In this Doonesbury.


You know those big red plastic Dixie™ party cups we all buy sooner or later? “You wash those?” asked a guest who’d just seen me retrieve his from the trash and put it in the sink. Let me rephrase that question, and with some urgency: “You don’t?” Surely the little bit of hot water it takes to wash the white wine out of a cup is less than the energy and petroleum required to make a new one.


Dear Friend,

As you know, the Earth is moving closer to several negative “tipping points” that could — within as little as 10 years — make it virtually impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet’s habitability for human civilization.

My friend Leonardo DiCaprio has just produced an amazing documentary on this subject. The film was created using over 150 hours of interviews with some of the brightest minds on the planet, including physicist Stephen Hawking and Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Moreover, Leo himself is very eloquent and persuasive in this movie. I recommend it highly.

Through interviews and beautiful footage of the environment, The 11th Hour demonstrates how human beings have created the climate crisis and related environmental crises, and shows that we have the means to solve them.

The 11th Hour is both a portrait of a planet and a source of hope and

I hope that you will go to see this important film. You can find out if The 11th Hour is playing near you by [clicking here].

Thank you,
Al Gore

☞ “Urgent, startling and absorbing,” opines the reviewer for the generally conservative San Diego Union.

So let’s see: Leonardo DiCaprio . . . star of “Titanic” . . . unheeded warnings . . . a seemingly immense craft (carrying a whole lot of passengers) that is actually but a speck in the firmament . . . hmmm.


The New York Times tells the story. Nervous-making, to say the least. But just as the article says, the company’s FAQ advises students to take out lower-cost government loans first . . . plus, there is no penalty for prepayment, so if they can get a better deal elsewhere, they’re free to grab it. One of the shorts I know calls their lending practices “shameful,” but this doesn’t seem so shameful to me.


Three weeks from now, on September 26, we either win or lose, as HAPC, Inc. either succeeds or fails to make its acquisition of InfuSystem from I-Flow.

  • If it fails to make the acquisition, the warrants some of us have bought – with money we can truly afford to lose – will trade much lower. They’d retain a little value, on the slim chance that HAPC might be able to line up another acquisition prior to next April and close it successfully prior to next October. But if no acquisition is completed, the warrants expire worthless.
  • If the acquisition is approved, the warrants should trade much higher, because a three-year option to buy at $5 a share a stock currently trading at $5.65 should be worth a lot more than the 23 cents at which the warrants were trading Friday.

Being one to keep my expectations low, I am fearing the worst.

The first of two things that need to go right September 26 should be no problem: more than half those who vote have to vote to approve the merger, and I assume they will.

But it turns out there is a second hurdle that I’m told is “standard” in the structure of “blank check” companies like this one, but which I had missed in the prospectus: if, out of the entire universe of shares outstanding (not just the smaller number for which votes are actually cast),
20% oppose the merger, and then exercise their right to “get their money back” from the cash sitting in trust to make the acquisition, the acquisition is blocked.

Might some large holders go for the cash? Yes, they might. Then again, if they want cash, why not just sell the stock here, at $5.65 or so, rather than having to wait several months for a couple of dimes more? (Last Wednesday, nearly half a million shares did change hands at around $5.70, perhaps with just that thought in mind.) Yes, the money in the trust is earning interest; but I think it would also suffer a $3 million hit for a “break-up fee” if the current acquisition did not go through . . . so this seems like a lot of trouble to turn $5.70 into, say, $5.90.

I don’t think anyone can know for sure what the outcome will be September 26.

The market may be telling us this is not going to work – why else would the warrants be so cheap? Then again, you have some bright folks who’ve put a lot of effort into this, with a big incentive, to make it work, so I’m hopeful that it will.

It did with Aldabra – their acquisition of Great Lakes Dredge & Dock was approved, and that stock closed Friday at $8.87 . . . meaning that the folks who voted for the acquisition have done a lot better than they would have had they grabbed the cash instead.

(And it may work with Aldabra 2, which is on the hunt for an acquisition even as we speak, and the warrants of which some of us, with money we can truly afford to lose, have bought, too.)


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