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  1. #1

    Default OT: Writing in general

    Hi, Everyone. MR. MARKET suggested I write a thread about writing itself, as I am a writer, published online, as well as longtime investor and MR. Market subscriber. Although my name is Jack Kemp, I am not the politician.

    I've been published many times at AmericanThinker.com. Once they like your writing, it's relatively easy to get, say 45% of your submissions published, but I wrote a piece a couple of years ago defending Taser as a company when various "do gooders" attacked it. In fact Tasers were invented as a result of many liberals and idealists working on non-leathal weapons for hostage and other tough situatons. Anyway, my article, in which I admitted to making some money trading Taser long, got published. But then came the toughest writing assignment of my life. I got two reply letters from a reader, forwarded to me by the editor. The first was standard anti-corporation boilerplate criticisms which was so trite that I didn't even bother to reply. Then the guy sent me a letter telling me what was really bothering him: his son, a scizophrenic, had an loud incident that resulted in a policeman shooting him with a Taser and killing him. Now I had to write to my toughest critic, toughest in that his argument was real world and personal, not some hypothetical politics b.s. Below is my reply to him. I left out his name to give him privacy.
    ------------------------------------------------
    Mr. XXXX, your earlier email did not discuss what really is going on with you personally. I also send my condolences on the loss of your son. And your son's death. I have no knowledge of the details of why or how the police came to shoot him with a Taser, but it is a tragic loss for you, no matter the circumstances.

    I'd like to briefly discuss one of the competitors to Taser that does not use an electric stun device because I think it would be of interest to you. For the purposes of full disclosure, I once owned shares in this company but do not now. Lamperd Less Lethal is a company that makes a five shot pistol and an assualt rifle attachment that projects expanding rubber bullets that reach the size of a tennis or softball and knocks people down. Lamperd is a Canadian company trying to get into the US and Canadian military (hostage situation) and police markets, but at this time is going nowhere. I will mention the stock price to make a point about their adaption: Lamperd went from around $2.50 earlier in the year to $1.15 recently, a sign that they are not signing up a lot of customers for reasons I don't know. Perhaps they need a champion like you to tell your story in their advertising and promotion. I mean that seriously.

    If you could spare the time from your other obligations in life, you could perhaps make the world better for other parents of schizophrenics who have a medical incident in public. I believe the effort would be somewhat theraputic for you, even though it will not bring back your son to life. As much as you are understandibly angry at Taser, you might actually do them a favor by contacting their scientists and give them some suggestions, at least conceptually, on what they should research in order to improve their product in the future.

    The first autos had no safety glass, no seatbelts, no airbags. They didn't even have side view mirrors or turn signals, adaptions developed in the early Indianapolis 500 races. I'm sure a lot of people died because of those safety features not being there, but I'm also glad that no personal injury attorney put the automobile industry out of business in 1912 because we would not have ambulances, firetrucks and general transportation as we know it.

    By the way, there are other electric stun-gun type companies around which claim to have a superior device to Tasers, but for some reason, their product just hasn't been able to take much market share from Taser. I know Taser is also working on advancements to their equipment, just as Ford didn't stop with its 1920 Model T.

    Once again, I'm sorry for the loss of your son. I hope this email has given you some positive suggestions.

    Sincerely,
    Jack Kemp

  2. #2

    Default New York writers

    Some of you may wonder why so many writers come from New York. The crazy energy of the city encourages this. Below is an unpublished true story that explains this, in part.
    ----------------------------------

    In the late 1970s or early 1980s, I spent a week in the country at a retreat and returned home to receive a letter one week later saying that one of the kitchen helpers preparing everyone's food had Hepatitis. It was suggested that I go immediately to a doctor for a shot to ward off the disease.

    I first tried my local Queens, NY hospital which was required to ask me my religion on the emergency room form. Since I wanted to go to a place that had more confidence in their abilities and didn't think they needed to know which funeral home and cemetary to transfer my dead body to, I decided to go elsewhere. So I went downtown to Bellevue Hospital, a place most commonly known in New York for its mental ward.

    Some of you here have seen my contributions to AT signed as "Jack Kemp (not the politician)." I did then and do not now physically resemble the former Republican Vice Presidential candidate, having no gray hair and a physique smaller than an ex-pro football player's. But when I entered the treatment station, the nurse on duty was having trouble making this distinction.

    There I was, bent over a treatment table with my pants down, waiting for an injection in my buttocks. Then the nurse, possibly a candidate - not for office, but for Bellevue's mental ward - said to me, "I do not like your politics, Mr. Kemp." Since I had not discussed any politics with her, I replied in my most deep and authoritative voice, "I am not the Republican politician Jack Kemp." This had a calming effect on her mania and she apologized and came out of her trance of anti-Jack Kemp rage to remember she was, in fact, a nurse on duty in a hospital and not a person being interviewed for their political opinion on National Public Radio.

    I swear this is all true, even though it sounds like something from a Seinfeld episode. It is hard to make up stuff like this if you are not a professional writer. Then again, experiences like this have driven me and many other New Yorkers to take up the pen.

    Jack Kemp
    (standing upright, and not the politician)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    northern ohio
    Posts
    3,373

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SundialMan View Post
    I'd like to briefly discuss one of the competitors to Taser that does not use an electric stun device because I think it would be of interest to you. For the purposes of full disclosure, I once owned shares in this company but do not now. Lamperd Less Lethal is a company that makes a five shot pistol and an assualt rifle attachment that projects expanding rubber bullets that reach the size of a tennis or softball and knocks people down. Lamperd is a Canadian company trying to get into the US and Canadian military (hostage situation) and police markets, but at this time is going nowhere. I will mention the stock price to make a point about their adaption: Lamperd went from around $2.50 earlier in the year to $1.15 recently, a sign that they are not signing up a lot of customers for reasons I don't know. Perhaps they need a champion like you to tell your story in their advertising and promotion. I mean that seriously.

    Sincerely,
    Jack Kemp
    Hello Jack Kemp, and welcome to the forum. However, I am surprised that your first post here would concern that famous pump and dump company from 2005, Lamperd Less Lethal. In fact, over a period of days from May 27, 2005 to June 6, 2005, LLLI.OB went from about 1.80 to almost 4.50 and immediately back down to about 1.50 on huge volume. How do I know this? I received all the hype by email and snail mail. I watched the stock. I actually made a little money on it. And I learned how pump and dump works. I have never gone near anything like it again. I see that LLLI.OB closed yesterday at 0.121.

    It will be interesting to read your stories about writing. Riverbabe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    6,314

    Default

    Welcome to our forum Jack. This should prove to be interesting. Would you mind if any of us posted a short antedote of our own on occassion. You could critique it in a constructive way that will be helpful I'm sure. Great to have you.
    THE SKIRACER'S EDGE: MAKE THE EDGE IN YOUR FAVOR

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    6,314

    Default

    Welcome to our forum Jack. This should prove to be interesting. Would you mind if any of us posted a short antedote of our own on occassion? You could critique it in a constructive way that would be helpful I'm sure. Great to have you.
    Also want to hear about some of your plays and selections with the stocks.
    THE SKIRACER'S EDGE: MAKE THE EDGE IN YOUR FAVOR

  6. #6

    Default Ski Racer & other Writers

    Ski Racer, no I don't mind you posting an interesting story on this thread as well. This has happened three or four times at American Thinker, where other authors posted stories that were based on points I made in my writing. Most were additions from their experience. One was a knock-down, drag out "dueling blog pieces" argument that forced me to draw upon everything I ever read and knew to refute the other author who is also a regular writer at American Thinker.

    Yes, Ski Racer, why not? Hopefully I can do a good job of writing advisor and editor.

  7. #7

    Default

    Riverbabe: Lamperd "pump and dump"

    Yes, Riverbabe, I used the example of an awful stock, but I wasn't advising this man to invest money in it. I was advising him to get involved in life outside his grief again. And if your read my letter to him again, I stated that the stock tanked. I was advising him to channel his anger and other emotions into helping others who might become victims of an imperfect stun gun. As someone once said, "It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness." As corny as that line is, it is 100% true.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    6,314

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SundialMan View Post
    Ski Racer, no I don't mind you posting an interesting story on this thread as well. This has happened three or four times at American Thinker, where other authors posted stories that were based on points I made in my writing. Most were additions from their experience. One was a knock-down, drag out "dueling blog pieces" argument that forced me to draw upon everything I ever read and knew to refute the other author who is also a regular writer at American Thinker.

    Yes, Ski Racer, why not? Hopefully I can do a good job of writing advisor and editor.
    Thanks, looking forward to participating and reading everything that you have to say. Don't forget about presenting your stock ideas and trades.
    THE SKIRACER'S EDGE: MAKE THE EDGE IN YOUR FAVOR

  9. #9

    Default Fish Story for Riverbabe & Others

    Riverbabe, after seeing your great photo, I think you may enjoy this one.

    Jack

    Fish Farm Feminism

    When I was in my mid-twenties, I worked in an Israeli kibbutz's fish ponds. My boss in those ponds had previously been one of the Israeli Navy frogmen who blew up the ships in the Suez Canal in the first morning of the Six Day War. For those of you not familiar with those days - or only familiar with the politically correct version, that war started after Egyptian President Nasser ordered all the UN Peacekeepers out of the Sinai and placed cannon at the southern end that blockaded Israeli shipping to its Asian markets, an act of war under international law. The UN did not fight the demand from Nasser: they complied right away - and precipitated a war. You can look it up in the NY Times archives of April-May-June of 1967. This is from the days when the NY Times was actually a professional newspaper with reporting standards.

    My stay on that kibbutz was a few years after that war, in a work-study program tha also had us learning Hebrew half of each workday. In our class, we were asked to elect a pair of group representatives, the two highest vote getters - who had no real further duties to go with the title. I came in second - by one vote - to a young woman from Canada, so we both were the class choices. One day, shortly after our election, she complained to me that she didn't like her kibbutz job cleaning toilets and thought it was sexist and that males should switch jobs with her. I replied that my job was waking up at 4:30 am, getting to the dining hall by 5, finishing breakfast and entering a jeep by 5:15, driving to a fish pond the length of a football field. There, in a shack, I changed into even grubbier work clothes than the ones worn around the kibbutz and old sneakers, and entered a very cold fish pond ("brecha" in Hebrew) at 5:45 am, my legs sinking into the mud up to my knees, and dragging a Seine net (long and rectangular) with the other workers to gather hundreds of pounds of fish.

    The young woman who wanted to switch jobs was around 5 feet, 4 inches tall, of average weight and build. I never heard her complain about her job on the kibbutz farm again. The concept of physical labor on a farm and physical differences between men and women, particularly in their twenties, apparently was not something fully discussed in feminist theory - but she caught on fast. Her not being a veterinarian or licensed English teacher (who also knew Hebrew well and would agree to stay a year) made her job choices limited.

    To be honest, one time a few of the kibbutzniks had to go away and there was a shortage of male labor in the fish ponds, and our boss dragooned some of the Swedish young women who came to work there (full time, not studying Hebrew). These women were taller than myself, around six feet tall - or should I say one meter, 80 centimeters tall? I could tell by how they pulled the nets and lifted a metal sorting tank, that they were as strong as I was. And the men and women took turns changing clothes in the work shack. The Swedes labored in the fish ponds for a day or two and went back to their other jobs. I have forgotten what they normally did, but they probably worked in the kitchen or the cow sheds. The Swedish women did not, however, complain either about the cold fish pond waters - or about being taken off fish pond work detail.

    Please don't send me any emails saying I think all women under six feet tall belong in the kitchen or cleaning toilets. Hey, years later I had a woman dentist do root canal work on me - and it wasn't some HMO or union plan where you have to take who they gave you. I could have asked for her male boss, but I thought she was a damn fine dentist.

    Jack Kemp
    Last edited by SundialMan; 01-27-2007 at 06:20 PM. Reason: by seperating a paragraph, I have an uncleaer reference to the word "she" in the first sentence of the now combined 2nd and 3rd paragraphs

  10. #10

    Default

    "Thanks, looking forward to participating and reading everything that you have to say. Don't forget about presenting your stock ideas and trades."
    - Skiracer

    Skiracer, I may present a few stock trades from time to time, but...I get mine from newsletters and MR. MARKET these days. I don't have the time to both write and search the Yahoo Boards, IBD, the daily volume and price leaders.

    The title to this thread started with "OT" standing for "Off Topic." I would not object to some stock discussion, but I want this to be primarily about writing. There are obviously no shortage of stock recommendation and discussion threads on the MR. MARKET boards.

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