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Brother, Can You Spare a Trillion?
10% of profits from sales of Paranoia will be donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund (www.ttof.org). For more information, visit www.jebraun.com.

Wow. Big news in money this week.

Apparently, an author is suing Oprah Winfrey for $1 Trillion for plagiarizing his work and selling 650 million copies at $20 each. Now, most likely this will get thrown out or greatly reduced, but the fact is, this is a frivolous lawsuit. Anybody in the book business knows the author gets about 7% royalties, so the lawsuit should be for a reasonable $84 Billion.

Gold diggers.

Luckily, Ms. O was a big supporter of Mr. O during the campaign and, well, cutting a check to Oprah for 1.2 Trillion should just happen with a wave of a hand from the White House. He's been paying back supporters since he stepped into office (can anybody say 44 Czars operating without Congressional oversight?). And really, what's 1.2 Trillion (actually, I'm not sure Congress knows the answer to that question)? The President can claim it as another stimulus package.

Or we can take that money and go to the new Dallas Cowboys stadium and buy something like 6 pizzas. Okay, maybe 7. Reports today show that ONE PLAIN PIZZA at the new stadium will cost....

get ready...


Kinda makes you feel like a rodeo clown that just got the lion's share of a bull's horn up the wazoo, doesn't it? But don't worry, you'll be able to soften the blow with a six-pack of beer! It will only cost you another $66.

Okay, listen, for $156 dollars, I could bathe myself in tomato sauce while drinking an entire keg of beer.

Hmmm...potential weekend plans...

Is it me or has the price of these amenities gotten ridiculous? It could be me. I am a bit ornery because I have a pinched nerve, which, by the way is nothing like having a knife thrust into your neck, as I heard one person say. It's more like taking your scrotum, stretching it to your neck, stapling it there, then driving a knife through both it and your neck. Sorry to my female readers who might not fully grasp that analogy, but I don't even want to venture an equivalent. I'm sure you've got your own ideas.

So, $156 dollars for pizza and a six pack. Who can afford to take the family to a game anymore? I mean, my 2 year old can put back a six pack on his own, so I'd need at least 2 or 3 of them. Up in New Jersey, the problem is $20,000 personal seat licenses that give you the RIGHT to then buy season tickets. Who is it, again, that's got that kind of money lying around? Except maybe the guys that are on the field. You know corporations will be scrutinized by the government and ratted out if they have season tickets, so they're out - unless they run some green initiative or something.

Maybe the NFL needs a version of minor league baseball, because at least in my area, we're within minutes of 2 minor league parks and within an hour of maybe 4 more. You can get tickets for a few dollars and they have little events between innings to entertain the kids. In a minor league NFL stadium, they could have an inter-inning event called, Beat the Guy Who Tried to Sell You a $90 Pizza.

And, just so you know, I don't advocate violence, but really, this is a special kind of transgression. Actually, all kidding aside, the people to blame for this mess are the people who go to the games and buy a $90 pizza. See, that's how capitalism works. If you will pay for it, they will sell it at that price. If people stopped paying $8 for a beer, the cost would be forced to come down.

If Congress stopped buying jets at $65 Million dollars each, they'd have to reduce the price to $64 Million. Then we'd all have a chance to buy one. Sometimes it's just that one or two million that puts something over the top. Of course, I say if somebody can afford something, they should be able to buy it. And apparently you and I are able to afford $550 Million dollars worth of new jets for Congress (8 in total - even though the Defense Dept. only wanted 2 to replace aging jets, but Congress upped the ante by 6 - hey, why get 2 when you can get 8?), so we should be able to buy them for our representatives. I mean, that's where you wanted your money to go, right? To, let's say, 6 unnecessary jets? Sure, some of you will say you would rather have seen YOUR money stay in YOUR pocket so you could feed YOUR children, but really, you're just selfish and un-American. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Congress NEEDS jets!


You should work harder so they could have more. I mean, what if they wanted 10 jets? They'd be left without, thanks to you, you cheap SOB. If you tack on just a few more hours a week, maybe they can even get themselves one of those pizzas in Dallas.

J.E. Braun is the author of Paranoia, a 9/11 survivor's tale. Jim survived 9/11 but his life did not. Follow one man's journey through post-traumatic stress as he attempts to rediscover what once made life worth living. 10% of profits from sales of Paranoia will be donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund (www.ttof.org). For more information, visit www.jebraun.com.