Anti-thanks

By DAVID MOON, Moon Capital Management, LLC
December 1, 2013

It's traditional this week for columnists to write about the things for which they are thankful, mixing attempts at cuteness, cleverness and predictable, syrupy topics into a narcissistic essay. I know this because I have done it.

But not this year. This year I will celebrate my narcissism by discussing things I despise or find especially irritating.

Fox News. No one likes a good conspiracy theory more than me, but fear mongering makes for much better television than it does investment--or even life--advice. I'm sure I wouldn't like MSNBC any more but, like most Americans, I've never seen it.

Quantitative easing.

Miley Cyrus. Al Sharpton. Billy Ray Cyrus.

Elected officials that hasn't went to English class.

Anthony Weiner. That unstable mayor of Toronto. And Alec Baldwin.

Glenn Beck. I'm so glad that he's on the Internet and I can't accidentally run across him while look for Judge Judy.

Incompetent investment people. Collectively, they do more harm than all of the outright thieves such as Bernie Madoff.

Hashtags. I don't know what they are, but my kids talk about them and I can't figure out where to get one.

Tax reform. Let's just pick some tax code and stick with it a while.

Jim Cramer.

Televised Congressional hearings. I am convinced that the probability of accomplishing something during those shows would finally creep above zero percent if cameras were banned.

Foreign call centers.

Donald Trump.

The Fed. The World Bank. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

When people say "ATM machine," "IRA account" or "PIN number."

Sports announcers who are masters of the obvious. "Coach Jones really wants a touchdown on this drive." No kidding, genius.

Weather people who say "it looks like we're going to have some weather tonight." Restaurant hostesses who ask "are you here for breakfast?" when you walk in at 7:00 am.

Federal loan guaranteed for private businesses. If people don't want to buy exploding electric cars, no one can stop them.

Folks who flip the light switch and say "let there be light."

People who look at the tissue after blowing their nose.

Strategic plans. As opposed to the non-strategic ones?

People who, like, use the word "like" like a, like, comma.

The pilot intercom system on commercial aircraft.

People wearing sunglasses indoors.

Those two tax payer-subsidized electric car parking spaces that almost no taxpayer can use.

Websites that automatically begin making noise the moment you land on them.

Rappers who sing about killing cops and degrading women, then thank God at award shows.

People who don't write thank you notes.

Reality shows on HGTV. Reality shows with little girls wearing makeup and dressed like Hooter's waitress rejects. Reality shows.

People who treat coffee as some mystical experience.

When people say "irregardless." It isn't a real word.

Voice mail greetings lasting longer than ten seconds. I already know you didn't answer the phone and I know how to leave a message.

Fortunately, I didn't spend Thanksgiving Day with anyone irritating. I hope you didn't either.

David Moon is president of Moon Capital Management, a Knoxville-based investment management firm. This article originally appeared in the News Sentinel (Knoxville, TN).

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