UPDATE: Goldman Sachs now facing criminal probe, not just SEC civil action Goldman may face Justice Department review
Ha! I have never had any sympathy for the money machine that is Goldman Sachs. After all, they are the crony capitalists who inflicted two of their former leaders, Robert Rubin and John Corzine, on us.
Corzine, of course, the disasterous former governor of New Jersey, and Rubin the former Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton. Rubin went on to cover himself with glory as the senior counselor to Citigroup, earning $126 million over eight years, while advising them to be careful with those high risk mortgages. His advise was so good that Citigroup required a taxpayer bailout.
But I digress.
I watched Lloyd Blankfein two nights ago while I was in the gym, as two senators on the Finance Comittee grilled him. While Blankfein is several years younger than me, he could buy and sell me tens of thousands of times over. However, I have more hair.
If anything can generate sympathy for Goldman Sachs, it's watching two bloviating, blowhard senators playing to the cameras at a senate hearing.
From the Daily News - this is how much money Blankfein made, as his stock holdings in Goldman Sachs went up during the hearings.
And since, by one recent report, he owned 2,035,364 shares, Blankfein was getting more than $2.8 million richer even as he was being vilified.
Every penny the stock gained meant another $20,000 for the witness.
Every dime was another $200,000.
"Crap!" said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).
"Ka-ching!" said Blankfein's personal fortune.
This goes a long way toward explaining why Brigid still only weighs 106 pounds. ...
Dieters are often advised to stop drinking alcohol to avoid the extra calories lurking in a glass of wine or a favorite cocktail. But new research suggests that women who regularly consume moderate amounts of alcohol are less likely to gain weight than nondrinkers and are at lower risk for obesity.
The findings, reported this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine, are based on a study of 19,220 United States women aged 39 or older who, at the start of the study, fell into the “normal weight” category based on their body mass index. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston tracked the women’s drinking habits over 13 years. About 60 percent of the women were light or regular drinkers, while about 40 percent reported drinking no alcohol.
Over the course of the study, 41 percent of the women became overweight or obese. Although alcohol is packed with calories (about 150 in a six-ounce glass of wine), the nondrinkers in the study actually gained more weight over time: nine pounds, on average, compared with an average gain of about three pounds among regular moderate drinkers. The risk of becoming overweight was almost 30 percent lower for women who consumed one or two alcohol beverages a day, compared with nondrinkers.
But doesn't work for men -
The trend toward less weight gain among drinkers doesn’t appear to hold true for men. A 2003 study of British men showed that regular drinkers gained more weight than nondrinkers. Studies suggest that drinking alcohol has different effects on eating habits among men and women. Men typically add alcohol to their daily caloric intake, whereas women are more likely to substitute alcohol for food.
And drinking won't help a woman lose weight -
The findings don’t mean women should rush to drink alcohol to lose weight. Other research shows that once a person is already overweight, her alcohol metabolism is more efficient, and so an overweight woman may gain more weight from alcohol than a lean woman.
I'm shining my halo, as I point out that Farandaville is powered by wind energy - an option through the local power company, Con Ed. Green Power Network
Meanwhile, it took nine years to get approval for the Cape Cod project ...!
...the decision is expected to give a significant boost to the nascent offshore wind industry in the United States, which has lagged far behind Europe and China in harnessing the strong and steady power of ocean breezes to electrify homes and businesses.
“This will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic Coast,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said at a news conference here in the Massachusetts Statehouse with Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat and supporter of the venture, at his side.
The long-running struggle over the project underscores how divisive even a “clean” energy project can be in the United States.
Friends and foes have squared off over the impact it would have on nature, local traditions, property values and electricity bills; on the profits to be pocketed by a private developer; and even the urgency of easing the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels, a priority of the Obama administration.
Opponents argued that Cape Wind would create an industrial eyesore in a pristine area; supporters countered that it was worth sacrificing aesthetics for the longer-term goal of producing clean, renewable energy.
Developers say that Cape Wind will provide 75 percent of the power for Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard — the equivalent of that produced by a medium-size coal-fired plant.
The Separation of Church and State issue again.
A splintered Supreme Court displayed its deep divisions over the separation of church and state Wednesday, with the court's prevailing conservatives signaling a broader openness to the idea that the Constitution does not require the removal of religious symbols from public land.
... justices explained their reasoning in writing, often using stirring rhetoric or emotional images of sacrifice and faith to describe how religion can both honor the nation's dead and divide a pluralistic nation.
The bottom line, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote, is that "the Constitution does not oblige government to avoid any public acknowledgment of religion's role in society." Although joined in full only by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., Kennedy's opinion will be closely parsed as courts across the country consider challenges to religious displays in public settings.
In Commonweal. Woodward is the former religion editor for Newsweek, a graduate of Notre Dame and generally of the middle-of-the-road to liberal persuasion.
This is just a great essay, entitled Church of the "Times". 18 paragraphs long.
No question, the Times’s worldview is secularist and secularizing, and as such it rivals the Catholic worldview. But that is not unusual with newspapers. What makes the Times unique—and what any Catholic bishop ought to understand—is that it is not just the nation’s self-appointed newspaper of record. It is, to paraphrase Chesterton, an institution with the soul of a church.
The New York Times isn’t fair. In its all-hands-on-deck drive to implicate the pope in diocesan cover-ups of abusive priests, the Times has relied on a steady stream of documents unearthed or supplied by Jeff Anderson, the nation’s most aggressive litigator on behalf of clergy-abuse victims. Fairness dictates that the Times give Anderson at least a co-byline.
After all, it was really Anderson who “broke” the story on March 25 about Fr. Lawrence Murphy and his abuse of two hundred deaf children a half-century ago in Wisconsin. Reporter Laurie Goodstein says her article emerged from her own “inquiries,” but the piece was based on Anderson documents. Indeed, in its ongoing exercise in J’accuse journalism, the Times has adopted as its own Anderson’s construal of what took place. Anderson is a persuasive fellow: back in 2002 he claimed that he had already won more than $60 million in settlements from the church. But the really big money is in Rome, which is why Anderson is trying to haul the Vatican into U.S. federal court. The Times did not mention this in its story, of course, but if the paper can show malfeasance on the part of the pope, Anderson may get his biggest payday yet.
It’s hard for a newspaper to climb in bed with a man like Anderson without making his cause its own. Does this mean that the Times is anti-Catholic? New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan thinks it is—he said so last October in response to an earlier series of stories on clergy abuse. Whatever one thinks of Dolan’s accusation, clearly the Times considers sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests more newsworthy than abuse committed by other groups. An April 13 verdict against the Boy Scouts of America, which has struggled with the child-sexual-abuse issue for a century, did not merit page-1, above-the-fold treatment but rather a single paragraph deep inside the paper. A longer April 15 story about a Brown University student credibly accused of raping another student, an incident the university did not report to the police and arguably “covered up” at the request of powerful figures in the Brown community, appeared on page 18.
No question, the Times’s worldview is secularist and secularizing, and as such it rivals the Catholic worldview. But that is not unusual with newspapers. What makes the Times unique—and what any Catholic bishop ought to understand—is that it is not just the nation’s self-appointed newspaper of record. It is, to paraphrase Chesterton, an institution with the soul of a church. And the church it most resembles in size, organization, internal culture, and international reach is the Roman Catholic Church.
Author Katherine Russell Rich
Now there probably aren’t a lot of Web sites where the announcement that you’re around and breathing would cause anyone to take notice, let alone respond. But this is a site for people with Stage 4 breast cancer, something I’ve had for 17 years.
The average life expectancy with the diagnosis is 30 months, so this is a little like saying I’m 172 years old: seemingly impossible. But it’s not. I first found I had the illness in 1988, and it was rediagnosed as Stage 4 in 1993. That’s 22 years all together, which is the reason I post each year on the anniversary of the day I learned my cancer was back: to let women know that it happens, that people do live with this for years.
I tell them that when the cancer returned, it came on so fast, spread so quickly, that I was given a year or two to live. Within months, the disease turned vicious. It started breaking bones from within, and was coming close to severing my spinal cord.
Nothing was working, till a doctor tried a hormone treatment no one used much anymore, and the cancer turned and retreated, snarling. It remains sluggish but active. Every so often, it rears its head; when it does, we switch treatments and it slides back down. In that way, I stay alive.
I tell them: you just don’t know.
Quite interesting - in the Washington Post -
So what if they were innocent POWs. A band of rebels had massacred captured Union soldiers and their commanding officer a few weeks before. Now, Union commanders just needed to select a Confederate officer for death, to complete the eye-for-an-eye transaction.
There was no gallantry to this bloody affair in 1864, no stirring charge worthy of Currier and Ives. It was but a dark footnote to the epic of the American Civil War. And it was just what the National Archives sought for the major exhibit that will debut Friday: "Discovering the Civil War."
Read the short feature to find out what happens!
Too bad. The company that invested the personal digital assistant (PDA) and the first smart phone. But the competition seems to have left them in the dust.
I still use the Palm Z22 as my personal organizer, and have a non-smart cell phone The company long ago stopped making the Z22 and support for it is spotty. But I love it - have had about five of them. You back it up on your computer(s) and the system is excellent. But - I think a Droid smart phone is probably in my future.
Here's the article predicting Palm's demise - the pre and pixi phones aren't selling. Palm stock closed at $4.82 yesterday.
... here is the sad story: in one day, this past Friday March 19th, Palm shares collapsed, -29% in one Nasdaq session, closing at $4. The obvious question is why? But a second query immediately comes up: why $4, why not zero?
For months, the Wall Street “sentiment” — I didn’t know there was such a thing there — let’s say the calculation was this: ‘Sure, Palm’s cooked but one of the Big Players will buy it.’
By “cooked” the haruspices meant Palm had no future as an independent company.
Here's the writer's conclusion:
I’m afraid Palm will be twisting in the wind for a short while and then call it a day. A sad ending for the company that once led the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) world and then made substantial inroads into the nascent smartphone industry with its Treo.
If he's right, well that's capitalism for you.
Funny how there's not more outrage in the media about this. Could it be because Obama is in the White House and not Bush? Hmmm.
Here's Kristoff, who has written extensively about Darfur & the Sudan, from his NY Times op ed perch -
Evidently, this is a very common practice. From the Washinton Post, several months ago.
There's an anesthesiologist alternating with a nurse anesthetist, an X-ray technician and a circulating nurse; there's a pair of scrub techs to handle surgical instruments; there's the surgeon, a middle-aged orthopedist who has never performed this type of operation before.
And, at the foot of the operating table, there's Chuck Bates, a guy who studied biology in college and always wanted to go to medical school but never did.
Instead, he began his career selling hot dogs to grocery stores.
As the surgeon prepares to make an incision, Bates stares at the X-ray monitor.
Come up one centimeter and make your incision there, Bates tells the surgeon.
A little later, when it appears that the doctor is going to use his hand to push a needle into the patient's spine, Bates suggests that he try a mallet instead.
Just tap-tap-tap, Bates advises.
And this is very common with many medical equipment manufacturers.
Ahh, but there's more to this particular sales rep - eventually Mr. Bates becomes a whistle-blower and his company has to settle with the government over some inappropriate practices - read the article for the whole interesting story.
From humor consultant Ellen
A blonde was playing Trivial Pursuit one night... It was her turn. She rolled the dice and she landed on Science & Nature. Her question was, 'If you are in a vacuum and someone calls your name, can you hear it?' She thought for a time and then asked, 'Is it on or off?'
From the Zenit.org website. Here is a key point, that has gotten us to this situation, lifted from the Bishops statement below:
Bishop Wester proposed that the Arizona measure is "symptomatic of the absence of federal leadership on the issue of immigration."
Propose Importance of Education on the Need for Reform
WASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 27, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The U.S. bishops joined their voices to those of Arizona prelates in denouncing the highly controversial immigration law passed Friday in Arizona.
In a statement today, Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Migration, called the law "draconian."
The measure directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal.
"[The measure] gives law enforcement officials powers to detain and arrest individuals based on a very low legal standard, possibly leading to the profiling of individuals based upon their appearance, manner of speaking, or ethnicity," Bishop Wester cautioned. "It could lead to the wrongful questioning and arrest of U.S. citizens and permanent residents as well as the division of families -- parents from children and husbands from wives.
"It certainly would lead to the rise in fear and distrust in immigrant communities, undermining the relationships between their members and law enforcement officials."
The prelate said the law could have a nationwide impact on "how members of our immigrant communities are both perceived and treated."
No federal leadership
Bishop Wester proposed that the Arizona measure is "symptomatic of the absence of federal leadership on the issue of immigration."
He reminded that bishops have been calling for reform for years. But, he said, too many elected officials "still view the issue through a political lens, using it to gain political or partisan advantage. This gamesmanship must stop."
"Our national leaders must educate the American public on the need for reform and show courage in making it happen," the bishop added. "Until immigration reform is passed, other states will attempt to create and enforce immigration law, with harsh and ineffective consequences.
"The U.S. Catholic bishops stand in solidarity with the bishops of Arizona in opposing this draconian law. We call upon the administration to review its impact on civil rights and liberties.
"We renew our call for the administration and Congress to work in a bipartisan manner to enact comprehensive immigration reform as soon as possible."
The Wall Street Journal. I posted yesterday about the Journal's new NY metro section for those of us in the New York area The Wall Street Journal, going after the NY Times on the Times own turf .
Now this news:
USA Today's decline last year allowed The Wall Street Journal to surpass it as the newspaper with the biggest U.S. circulation. In Monday's report, the Journal once again posted the only gain in circulation among the top 25 newspapers that had comparable figures from a year ago. It grew its circulation 0.5 percent to 2.09 million. The Journal can count online readers because it charges them to read its website, while many newspapers can only count print subscriptions and newsstand sales.
The Journal is also looking to put itself further ahead of the No. 3 newspaper, The New York Times, which saw an 8.5 percent decline in weekday circulation during the most recent period and a 5.2 percent drop on Sundays. The Times' average circulation was 951,063 on weekdays and 1.38 million on Sundays.
The new figures came as the Journal launched a metro edition in the New York City region to compete more aggressively with the Times for local readers and advertisers.
no great insights or magic bullets here; but worth a read.
Pretty cool. A nex=-marine who went to college after his service.
The 6-3, 260-pound defensive end is a longshot to make it to training camp, let alone to the Opening Day roster. But if he did somehow stick, he'd be 34 at the start of the NFL season, making him the oldest rookie in the NFL since Otis Douglas became the NFL's oldest when he made the Philadelphia Eagles as a 35-year-old in 1946.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I met Brigid February 17th, 1978, at a party I was holding at my flat while living in Mandeville, Jamaica. Before the internet existed ...
According to the Washington Post, online dating services "the third-most-frequent method of introduction, behind meeting through a mutual acquaintance or at work or school."
The survey found that 17 percent of those who married in the past three years met online, making it the third-most-frequent method of introduction, behind meeting through a mutual acquaintance or at work or school.
"Online dating is by now a preferred way for singles to find dates," says Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine. "I think the stigma that has been attached to online dating -- and there's still some of that today -- has greatly decreased. Everybody knows someone who has done online dating, so people are less fearful to talk about it."
As always, hit the link for the complete story. ...
Apropos of my posting here Own bonds? Read this.on April 18th, here's another article I agree with.
Cohen said more money has been going into bond funds, from municipal funds to investment grade corporates, in 2009 than in the last 10 years.
“What people need to do is book some of those profits—take some of the profits out of your long-term bond funds and buy individual bonds in the front of the yield curve,” she said.
“There will be unbelievable opportunities because rates are going up—it’s only a matter of when—and people in long-term bonds are going to get massacred.”
It's only a matter of time. Not if, but when. Hit the link for the full interview.
UPDATE: This morning's initial edition of the NY section was nothing special. Perhaps it will improve in the future. That was the case when the WSJ started their weekend edition several years ago. Went very quickly from being mediocre to excellent.
The WSJ New York edition is coming soon to the metro area. The Journal already has a greater circulation then the NYT -
In Friday's Wall Street Journal. It's a response to comments by former President Clinton, with Limbaugh at his eloquent best. Hit the link for the whole op ed.
Like the millions of citizens who've peacefully risen up and attended thousands of rallies in protest, I seek nothing more than the preservation of the social contract that undergirds our society. I do not hate the government, as the left does when it is not running it. I love this country. And because I do, I insist that the temporary inhabitants of high political office comply with the Constitution, honor our God-given unalienable rights, and respect our hard-earned private property. For this I am called seditious, among other things, by some of the very people who've condemned this society?
... Last week—on the very day I was contributing to and raising more than $3 million to fight leukemia and lymphoma on my radio program—Mr. Clinton used the 15th anniversary of that horrific day to regurgitate his claims about talk radio.
At a speech delivered last Friday at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., the former president said: [T]here were a lot of people who were in the business back then of saying that the biggest threat to our liberty and the cause of our domestic economic problem was the federal government itself. And we have to realize that there were others who fueled this both because they agreed with it and because it was in their advantage to do so. . . . We didn't have blog sites back then so the instrument of carrying this forward was basically the right-wing radio talk show hosts and they understand clearly that emotion was more powerful than reason most of the time."
Timothy McVeigh was incensed by the Clinton administration's 1993 siege on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. It's no coincidence that the bombing took place two years to the day of the Waco siege. McVeigh was not inspired by anything I said or believe and to say otherwise is outright slander.
A fine op ed column in the WSJ. The woeful Democratic Party does have this going for them.
Marco Rubio appeared on a Sunday talk show this month to say something remarkable. The Republican running for Florida's Senate seat suggested we reform Social Security by raising the retirement age for younger workers. Florida is home to 2.4 million senior citizens who like to vote. The blogs declared Mr. Rubio politically suicidal.
The response from Mr. Rubio's primary competitor, Gov. Charlie Crist, was not remarkable. His campaign slammed Mr. Rubio's idea as "cruel, unusual and unfair to seniors living on a fixed income." Mr. Crist's plan for $17.5 trillion in unfunded Social Security liabilities? Easy! He'll root out "fraud" and "waste."
Let's talk Republican "civil war." Not the one the media is hawking, that pits supposed tea party fanatics like Mr. Rubio against supposed "moderates" like Mr. Crist. The Republican Party is split. But the real divide is between reformers like Mr. Rubio and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who are running on principles and tough issues, and a GOP old guard that still finds it politically expedient to duck or demagogue issues. As Republicans look for a way out of the wilderness, this is the rift that matters.
Well, sports if you count Joe going to the West Point spring paintball "Combat Classic", and Tim getting his trophy for being on the County district little league champion travel team last summer.
And of course, it all counts.
I took Joe up to West Point last Saturday morning, where he joined six friends plus one Dad. They were part of the Red team, which had the role of the Panamanians in the U.S. incursion - Operation just Cause - into Panama (remember that?) in December, 1989.
Joe took one of the family tents, for he and two of the other guys and the game/match/event? ended Sunday afternoon. I took some pictures when I picked them up Sunday, as the awards ceremony was going on.
Several hundred guys - and some women!
Joe and friends -
Here is Tim and Joe's friend Chase (a classmate of Tim's) who came up with his brother and father -
The view from Joe's tent - that's the back of the tent in the foreground
This is a paintball gun. The oval thingie on top of the gun is the "hopper" that holds the paintballs. The red tank holds the gas propellant. I think this particular gun (actually, paintball marker) and accessories is well over $300.
A good weekend!
If you've come this far - now it's on to Tim.
Also last Saturday: The start of the little league baseball season in Croton always begins with a parade, and then a ceremony. Because of the weather, the ceremony was held in the grammar school instead of on Dobbs Field. At the end of the ceremony, both the under 11 yr. old and under 12 yr. old travel teams were honored for their successes last summer.
Tim's team was AWESOME, going 12-1 and then sweeping the championship tournament. Croton U12 baseball travel team are the summer champs
These pictures were taken by Brigid - but I was there as Tim added to his trophy collection.
The room was packed - probably five hundred players and family members -
And one outside picture
For whatever reason, Tim decided not to play baseball this season. He's past little league and would have moved up to the next level, on a full size field. He's a good player, and I hope he'll get back into the game.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I have never done paintball, and after my little league, I played three mediocre years of Babe Ruth League baseball in Ossining.
Really. Government workers rally to demand tax increases so they can get a raise. Hit the link for an interesting picture.
"If you try to leave town without doing your job, we're going to chase you," warned union leader Henry Bayer at a rally that drew an estimated 15,000 people — the biggest at the Capitol since the era of the Equal Rights Amendment more than a quarter-century ago.
"These 177 people who have a job don't want to do their job," said Bayer, executive director of Council 31 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "Yes, people are hurting. That's why we need a tax increase."
Uhh, not exactly Tea Party candidates. And it shows the split in the country between government employees and the rest of us.
The new county Exec gave a sobering State of the County address last night.
Soering because of the financial shortfalls being projected:
2011 budget - short $166 million (that's 9% of the budget)
2012 budget - short $266 million
2013 budget - short $355 million
From the Journal News, and including a video, here's the story
This is really an excellent column from yesterday. It's not very long, but if you read it, you'll have a good idea what the SEC charges are all about.
I think the SEC will have a very difficult time showing that investors were defrauded. BUT that doesn't mean that this isn't a stupid way for major financial "players" to do business.
Once upon a time, Wall Street's leaders saw themselves as arbiters of capital, helping allocate society's savings to productive uses. By contrast, Wall Street's major firms now see themselves as captains of "the market," navigating it -- for themselves and sometimes their clients -- for maximum gain. This is a distinction with a difference.
... under the old model, lapses were usually recognized -- at least with hindsight -- as moral as well as financial failures. They were "deviant." Wall Street's new model is more permissive.
Consider the SEC's complaint against Goldman. In early 2007, at the request of a hedge fund run by John Paulson -- no relation to former Treasury secretary Henry Paulson -- Goldman created a synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO), Abacus 2007-AC1. By its nature, this was not an investment security; it was an instrument for betting on the housing market. ...
Paulson told Goldman that he would go short. His hedge fund suggested 123 mortgage securities to be included in the CDO. But to enhance the CDO's appeal to investors, Goldman wanted an independent third party to be identified as selecting the mortgage bonds. ... it's unclear from the complaint how many were proposed by Paulson. Goldman never disclosed to ACA or investors that Paulson would go short, the SEC said.
That, alleged the SEC, represented the "material" omission that defrauded investors. The mortgage bonds quickly lost value. Paulson made about $1 billion, the SEC said; other investors lost $1 billion.
Goldman's reply is defiant: Everyone knew the synthetic CDO had both "long" and "short" sides. The "long" buyers were "among the most sophisticated mortgage investors in the world." Goldman did earn a $15 million fee from Paulson for creating the CDO, but it kept a "long" exposure on which it says it lost more than $100 million. (The net loss: around $85 million.) As middleman, Goldman doesn't reveal buyers' and sellers' identities to each other.
But what economic value was there to this instrument? There are plenty of derivatives - options and futures contracts - that play an economic role, allowing institiutions and individuals to reduce their risk. I don't see anything but an aritficial creation here, with no risk-reducing value. it really looks purely like gambling.
A court will presumably decide the legal issues. But the moral question is more insistent. Goldman abdicates some of Wall Street's role as arbiter of capital, deciding what should be financed and traded. It adopts a strict market standard: If buyers and sellers can be found, we'll create and trade almost anything, no matter how dubious. Precisely this mind-set justified the packaging of reckless and fraudulent "subprime" mortgages into securities. Hardly anyone examined the worth of the underlying loans.
Judgment was missing. ...
Excellent column. Hit the link and read the whole (not very long) feature.
From Backpacker Magazine. It's fun to go through the different hikes. Of course the Appalachian Trial is 2,175 miles long, so there's plenty of day, overnight, multi-day hikes listed. Many of the New York listed section hikes I've done.
The hikes are listed in no particular order -
She is speaking to the "Young Democratic Socialists". The question is: who is coming after them?
Any of these groups that says, "I'm young, I'm Democratic, and I'm a socialist," is okay with me. You know that's no light thing to do -- to actually say, I'm a socialist. You've got to know, actually, we are living in a time that's going to dwarf the McCarthy era. It is going to dwarf the internment of World War II. We are right now in a time that is going to dwarf the era of Jim Crow and segregation.
They are coming. And they are coming after you. And they are going to be brutal and oppressive. They've already shown it. ... This is not rhetoric or hyperbole -- this is real. ... This tea party so-called movement -- a bowel-movement in my estimation -- and this blatant uncovering and ripping off the mask of racism...
Match played in Queensland - the Bulls were last year's Super 14 champions- good stuff.
Very interesting. Bias against a white running back?
When NFL scouts look at Gerhart, they see a 6-foot, 231-pound power back who ran for 1,871 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, getting edged out by Alabama’s Mark Ingram in the closest Heisman vote in history. When they look at Gerhart’s numbers from the NFL scouting combine, they see that he ran a 4.50-second 40-yard dash and registered a 38-inch vertical leap, both impressive numbers for a player his size.
Yet they also see a white guy trying to make it in the league as a feature back, something that has become increasingly rare in this era.
Pretty good. Unlike Maddow, Coulter has a sense of humor.
What's curious about the left's current obsession with Timothy McVeigh is that it proves that -- despite a frantic search for 15 years -- liberals have come across no better evidence of burgeoning "right-wing extremist" violence than a drug-taking, self-described "agnostic" who was thrown out of the Michigan Militia and who proclaimed, "Science is my religion."
That sounds more like Bill Maher than Rush Limbaugh.
This is from way back in 1967 - you have to be of a certain age to remember who Dirksen was.
Ann Althouse had posted this on her blog, which is where I picked up on it.
A couple of weeks a go, Rush Limbaugh started using the word "Regime" to decribe the Obama administration.
This upset a few left wing pundits.
...I'll name another person," Heilemann said. "You know, name Rush Limbaugh, you know, who uses this phrase constantly, talks about the Obama administration as a 'regime.' That phrase, which has connotations of tyranny."
Heilemann's accusation echoed one that Chris Matthews himself made on MSNBC's "Hardball" April 2, when he denounced Limbaugh's use of the word 'regime.' "I've never seen language like this in the American press," Matthews said. "We know that word, 'regime.' It was used by George Bush, 'regime change.' You go to war with regimes. Regimes are tyrannies. They're juntas. They're military coups. The use of the word 'regime' in American political parlance is unacceptable, and someone should tell [Limbaugh] to stop using it." A quick search of the Nexis database revealed more than 6,500 uses of the word "regime" to refer to the Bush administration since January 20, 2001, in the New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, and, yes, by Chris Matthews himself.
So now John Heilemann has spoken up. Which leads to an obvious question. Has Heilemann himself ever used that word, with its "connotations of tyranny"?
A search of the Nexis database shows four recent examples of Heilemann using "regime" to refer not to tyrannies but to American domestic politics. He even used the phrase "Obama regime."
Haha! Hit the link for the rest of the story.
Foundation Continues Restoring Reputation of Pius XII
NEW YORK, APRIL 16, 2010 (Zenit.org).- An interreligious group trying to discover the facts regarding Pope Pius XII and his efforts to help Jews during World War II has announced the discovery of documents showing how the Church excommunicated Catholics who joined the Nazis.
The New-York based Pave the Way Foundation said that its representative Michael Hesemann found a large series of documents from 1930 to 1933.
The documents indicate that any Catholic who joined the Nazi party, wore the uniform or flew the swastika flag would no longer be able to receive the sacraments.
This policy set three years before Hitler was elected chancellor made clear that the teachings of the Church were incompatible with Nazi ideology.
“The documents clearly show an ideological war between the Catholic Church and National Socialism already in the pre-war decade," Hesemann explained. "The German bishops and the Roman Curia considered the Nazi doctrine not only as incompatible with the Christian faith, but also as hostile to the Church and dangerous to human morals, even more than Communism."
Among the documents is a handwritten letter from a leading member of the Nazis, Hermann Goering, requesting a meeting with Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (the future Pius XII), which was flatly refused.
There are also documents asking for a removal of the excommunication, which was also denied.
Gary Krupp, president of Pave the Way, characterized these documents as "very significant."
"Michael Hesemann has been diligent in researching the open archives and has been discovering new important documents with every visit," he said. "His research tells a very different story of Eugenio Pacelli or Pope Pius XII than is commonly known."
When asked why this information is not currently known by many historians, Pave the Way chairman Elliot Hershberg noted that "according to the archives sign-in sheets, most of these historians and scholars have simply not come to the open archives to research 65% of Pacelli’s ministry.”
Here's an interesting posting at Outside magazine on how to rate various climbs in terms of their technical difficulty.
One point to keep in mind that the base definition of "technical" often means that climbers must use crampons and an ice axe. This implies skills with snow travel, crevasse rescue and self-arrest techniques - all of which are needed for a safe Everest climb from base camp to the summit; and back.
The NY Times had an interesting feature on how education colleges are losing their franchise to train teachers. I know several people who've switched careers, going the alternate route, and teach in the NY City school system.
Officials in Washington, D.C., and New York State, where some of the best-known education schools are located, have stepped up criticisms that the schools are still too focused on theory and not enough on the craft of effective teaching.
In an ever-tightening job market, their graduates are competing with the products of alternative programs like Teach for America, which puts recent college graduates into teaching jobs without previous teaching experience or education coursework.
And this week, the New York State Board of Regents could deliver the biggest blow. It will vote on whether to greatly expand the role of the alternative organizations by allowing them to create their own master’s degree programs. At the extreme, the proposal could make education schools extraneous.
“In a lot of respects, what the Regents have done is the ghost of Christmas future,” said Arthur Levine, a former president of Teachers College at Columbia University and now president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. “Education schools are on the verge of losing their franchise.”
While alternative programs now operate in most states, only a few, including Rhode Island and Louisiana, allow these programs to effectively certify their own teachers.
The NY Times had an excleent feature on the relationship between exercise and weight. Both good and bad news - well worth reading.
... a growing body of science suggests that exercise does have an important role in weight loss. That role, however, is different from what many people expect and probably wish. The newest science suggests that exercise alone will not make you thin, but it may determine whether you stay thin, if you can achieve that state. Until recently, the bodily mechanisms involved were mysterious. But scientists are slowly teasing out exercise’s impact on metabolism, appetite and body composition, though the consequences of exercise can vary. Women’s bodies, for instance, seem to react differently than men’s bodies to the metabolic effects of exercise. None of which is a reason to abandon exercise as a weight-loss tool. You just have to understand what exercise can and cannot do.
There actually was one. Former CNN commentator Lou Dobbs addressed the Party.
The article has a good picture of healthcare providers protesting Obamacare.
Production at Maine canneries has been sliding since peaking at 384 million cans in 1950. Faced with declining demand and a changing business climate, the plants went by the wayside one by one until, five years ago, the Stinson plant was the last one standing. Last year it produced 30 million cans.
Many of the employees have worked together for decades. Anderson, a tiny woman with strong hands and a strong back from years of packing small fish pieces into cans, said she'll be leaving behind close friends when the plant closes.
But she won't much miss the sardines, which she doesn't eat.
“I'm not saying I hate them,” she said, “I'm just saying I'm not a big eater of them.”
Tillman, the NFL player who quit football and enlisted in the army after 9/11, and was tragically killed by friendly fire.
On Saturday morning more than 28,000 people lined up outside Sun Devil Stadium to participate in the sixth annual Pat's Run, a 4.2-mile run (Tillman wore No. 42 while at Arizona State) that is staged in his honor. So popular has the race become since its 2005 inception, when 5,000 runners participated, that a few hundred runners had already crossed the finish line before the last of the bib-clad had even crossed starting line.
This (of course; by now you can tell the style) is from my humor consultant, Ellen
> A nun walks into Mother Superior's office and plonks down into a chair.
> She lets out a sigh heavy with frustration.
> "What troubles you, Sister?" asked the Mother Superior.
> "I thought this was the day you spent with your family."
> "It was," sighed the Sister. "And I went to play golf with my brother.
> try to play golf as often as we can.
> You know I was quite a talented golfer before I devoted my life to Christ
> "I seem to recall that," the Mother Superior agreed. "So
> I take it your day of recreation was not relaxing?"
> "Far from it," snorted the Sister. "In fact, I even took the Lord's name
> in vain today!"
> Goodness, Sister!" gasped the Mother Superior, astonished. "You must tell
> me all about it!"
> "Well, we were on the fifth tee...and this hole is a monster, Mother -
> 540 yard Par 5, with a nasty dogleg left and a hidden green...
> And I hit the drive of my life. I creamed it. The sweetest Swing I ever
> ...and it's flying straight and true, right along the line I wanted...
> And it hits a bird in mid-flight!"
> "Oh my!" commiserated the Mother. "How unfortunate!
> But surely that didn't make you blaspheme, Sister!"
> "No, that wasn't it," admitted Sister.
> "While I was still trying to fathom what had happened,this squirrel runs
> out of the woods, grabs my ball and runs off down the fairway!"
> "Oh, that would have made me blaspheme!" sympathised the Mother.
> "But I didn't, Mother!" sobbed the Sister. "And I was so proud of myself!
> And while I was pondering whether this was a sign from God, this hawk
> swoops out of the sky and grabs the squirrel and flies off,
> With my ball still clutched in his paws!"
> "So that's when you cursed," said the Mother with a knowing smile.
> "Nope, that wasn't it either," cried the Sister, anguished...
> Because as the hawk started to fly out of sight, the squirrel started
> struggling, and the hawk dropped him right there on
> The green, and the ball popped out of his paws and rolled to about 18
> inches from the cup!"
> Mother Superior sat back in her chair, folded her arms across her chest,
> fixed the Sister with a baleful stare and said....
> "You missed the f__ing putt, didn't you?"
I don't generally post busniess stuff, but I totally agree with this Morningstar columnist.
... it looks to me like a continuation of the same old sell low, buy high story. At least some of this money has to be money that people pulled from equities when things looked bad and moved to bonds until the dust settled. Now that the media has declared that the coast is clear, I bet we see fund flows reverse back into equity funds...after a 70% run.
On top of these events, interest rates really only have one direction to go from here...up. Who knows when, or how fast, but it seems clear that there might be trouble in bond land at some point. In addition, what impact will higher rates have on the massive amount of leverage we have in the system?
Should we be thinking about what happens when interest rates go up and you have household debt at levels through the roof? ...
So, be very light on long term corporates, treasuries, or munis. The exception would be to have a slug of TIPS.
I don't know about this - did he threaten to do anything illegal or violent? Or is he just a jerk?
"Jason is on paid administrative leave," Maureen Wheeler, the school district's spokeswoman, told FoxNews.com. She described the suspension as "standard practice during an internal investigation."
Levin has come under fire for saying he'd do anything short of throwing rocks to bring down the Tea Party. In the last two days, the Beaverton School District has received thousands of e-mails and phone calls from people across the country who said they were outraged at his behavior.
There are lots of jerks out in the workplace - you can't put them all on paid administrative leave.
This is stupid. Should be an April Fools joke, but it's not.
Taxpayer money (of course) and no, I don't tweet.
The library will archive the collected works of Twitter, the blogging service, whose users currently send a daily flood of 55 million messages, all that contain 140 or fewer characters.
Library officials explained the agreement as another step in the library’s embrace of digital media. Twitter, the Silicon Valley start-up, declared it “very exciting that tweets are becoming part of history.”
Academic researchers seem pleased as well. For hundreds of years, they say, the historical record has tended to be somewhat elitist because of its selectivity. In books, magazines and newspapers, they say, it is the prominent and the infamous who are written about most frequently.
Or at least that is the contention of some people. No one is actually certain the ball went 565 feet in the air. it did exit Tiger Stadium. Mantle was 21.
"No one in the history of the game has hit the ball farther than Mickey Mantle. His 565-foot home run hit at Griffith Stadium in Washington on April 17, 1953 is the home run that coined the term "tape measure home run." It's listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest home run ever measured."
In Iceland -
On the Boston Globe website - worth a look
The vileness of much of the media on the issue of race is horrendous. Someday i'd like to write a book about race relations. ...
And go here for the President's line regarding the Tea Party, "You Would Think They'd Be Saying Thank You". The more he talks, the lower his approval ratings go.Obama on the Tea Party
Good op ed from Tuesday's Wall Street Journal.
Simple facts about our tax system do not support the contention that it is "unfair" in favor of the rich. According to the most recent IRS data, the top 5% of earners bring in 37% of the income but pay 60% of the federal individual income taxes. The bottom half of earners bring home 12% of the income but pay 3% of the taxes. Today, according to the Tax Foundation, 60% of Americans consume more in government services than they pay in taxes.
In sum: A large majority disagrees with the current administration's redistributionist philosophy; believes the rich already face a tax rate that is too high; and disapproves of the fact that more and more Americans pay nothing in federal income taxes. So why do arguments like the president's persist?
Hit the link for the whole article and the answer.
The Heimlich Maneuver
And he got ... A seat upgrade!
Following the scare, fans applauded, hugged and high-fived Stone on his way back up to his seat. Stone was at the Stadium with his brother Jamie, an Army infantry soldier on leave from duty in Afghanistan.
Word of the heroics quickly spread to Bombers' honchos, who gave Stone gift bags and moved him, his brother and his brother's girlfriend down to the first row of the Legends section, where seats normally go for about $1,250 each.
Though Stone treated much more serious battle wounds during his tour of duty in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, he never performed the Heimlich maneuver for real until yesterday.
"I treated soldiers a lot worse than her, but this is the first time I've ever done it in the civilian world," Stone said. "I'm just happy that lady is okay."
A couple of nice pictures if you hit the link.
A young woman named Michelle was holding this; kind of described the tone -
I was in CT. for most of the day, but then headed over to the Westchester County Center, where the Tea Party rally was held. The Rally started at 4; I got there around 5:15. There was a BIG back-up on the southbound Bronx River Parkway, no doubt because of the Tea Party.
It was pretty much a Salt of the Earth crowd. People were coming and going, and I think there were about 750 people there when I arrived.
There were a handful of anti-Tea Party people
And this one - got to love the sign. No one was promoting any political candidates while I was there.
I came across my friend Laura, her parents and one of her nieces - here's Laura pointing me out to her Dad who's right behind her.
And the whole gang plus a family friend - plus Michelle with her sign to add a little context!
One of the speakers on the makeshift podium - the Tea Party evidently takes "We the people" quite seriously -
Cars going north on 100/119 were beeping their horns like crazy in approval of the rally
More signs and flags
The "Don't Tread on Me" motif was much in evidence
I loved this t-shirt. I should have spoken to the woman.
Second Amendment ...
Below is the other side of the sign I have in the first picture. The lady holding it is Michelle (just in the lower corner, there) and she's from Putnam and involved with GOOOH, which is short for Get Out Of Our House! There card says "Politicians are the problem. We have the solution. A plan to evict all 435 politicians from the U.S. house of Representatives."
My friend Laura - who like the Farandas is a pro-life agitator - thought it was great that so many people had become activated over the issues of smaller government, fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility. Once people get out in the streets at events like this, they become more committed, and that's the key to change.
I took a little video, and if I have time will do some editing to come up with a two or three minute youtube vid.