Leaving aside a few things, such as (1) that gambling is morally problematic and an economy shouldn't be dependent on that industry and (2) that Democrats will be delighted they'll be able to blame Chris Christie and further damage his brand, what can be done?
Experts say the impact of losing an estimated 7,800 jobs since the January closing of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel would ripple across the region and hurt the resort’s marketing efforts in an already stagnant economy.
The casino, which opened in 1984 under the tutelage of its namesake, Donald Trump, joins Revel Casino-Hotel and Showboat Casino Hotel in announcing closings at the end of the summer tourist season. The latter two properties employ about 3,100 and 2,100 people, respectively. Atlantic Club’s closing, meanwhile, left about 1,600 without work.
And, since casinos have been the backbone of the local economy since their introduction in 1978, the effect of so many workers joining the ranks of the unemployed would ripple outward across many other sectors.
“It affects where they buy Friday night pizzas with their families, where they do their dry cleaning, where they shop for groceries, where they volunteer and the religious organizations and charities they donate money to,” Figart said.
Israel Posner, executive director of Stockton’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism, said a lot of it boils down to supply and demand. Across the mid-Atlantic, there are too many casinos and too few gamblers.
Adding a casino to North Jersey would only exacerbate the problem, Posner said.
“You’re still looking at a $6 billion market,” he said. “Just because you add more seats on the bus, doesn’t mean you have more passengers.”
Some have pointed to the 2012 opening of Revel as one contributing factor, but Posner said blaming one casino for the problem is narrow-minded. By 2012, he said, the market was already suffering from competition in neighboring states.
Good feature in this past NY Times magazine section.
Today there's only one major league baseball player throwing "the screwgie", to quote Phil Rizzuto. Rizzuto would (as any longtime Yankee fan would know) have been referring to Luis Arroyo and his screwball - and his glittering 1961 season as a Yankee reliever.
No reference to Arroyo in this article - but some discussion of other famous screwgie pitchers - Spahn, Hubbell, Valenzuela. The reason the screwball is unpopular: an evidently false notion that it is more damaging to your arm then other pitches.
Excerpts below, but great article to read in it's entirety if you're into baseball.
Earlier that day, in a spring-training game, Santiago, a 26-year-old southpaw from Newark in his fourth season, threw a screwball to the All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers. His previous pitch, a fastball, hit 94 m.p.h. The screwball approached the plate at 76. The difference in velocity alone would be difficult for a hitter to process, but the clockwise spin on the screwball also caused it to drop precipitously and veer to the left, away from the right-handed Gomez rather than toward him, as a curveball would. Gomez swung mightily and missed. “That pitch was filthy,” he told me later. “I was looking for it. I had it. And it disappeared. Put that guy on ice, man. He’s going to win a lot of games.”
Today few, if any, minor leaguers are known to employ the pitch. College coaches claim they haven’t seen it in years. Youths are warned away from it because of a vague notion that it ruins arms. “Pitchers have given it up,” says Don Baylor, the former player and manager, who now works with Angels hitters. “Coaches don’t even talk about it. It’s not in the equation.”
Many of baseball’s best hitters have never seen a screwball. This spring, I spent time in nearly a dozen clubhouses asking about the pitch. “Maybe in Wiffle ball,” David Freese, the Angels’ third baseman, said. “But I’ve never sat in a hitters’ meeting and heard, ‘This guy’s got a screwball.’ It doesn’t come up. I’m not sure I even know exactly what it is.”
As a result, the pitch has taken on somewhat mythical properties. “I don’t think it’s physically possible,” the Giants’ Buster Posey, the 2012 National League M.V.P., told me one morning. “I just don’t believe that a right-handed pitcher can make a ball move as though he were left-handed. I just don’t.”
Posey’s clubhouse locker faced the corner where many of the team’s pitchers dress, including Tim Hudson. The veteran fastballer had overlapped in Oakland with Jim Mecir, a right-handed journeyman who threw screwballs from 1995 to 2005. “I didn’t think I’d ever see one,” he volunteered. “I thought screwballs were just really, really good changeups. Then Mecir threw one, and it broke like a curve in reverse. That’s when I understood.”
In a day or two I'll be posting Tim's highlight film from his just past outdoor throwing season. A highlight film is to help get yourself recruited for college sports. It will be going out to at least a couple of dozen schools. Tim threw the javelin and shot put this past season.
In the meantime, here's the shot put event from the touring International Diamond League - this meet held in Glasgow. When you convert the winning throw from meters, it is 71 feet, one inch. That's a 16 lb chunk of steel! Amazing. The high school shot put weighs 12 lbs.
In 2012 Reese Hoffa won the bronze at the London Olympics - it was his third Olympiad. He's still going strong.
Here's the wikipedia for Breakneck Ridge, which is north of Cold Spring, NY.
And Here's an August, 2007 hike up the most difficult parts of Breakneck, but we had to turn back - ran out of time - and didn't get to the top of the last ridge. It was a "Gang of Four" hike. Tom. Brigid, Jeanne Marie & Joe, up Breakneck
Lastly two views of it from Storm King, across the Hudson. Pictures by me, taken last June as Jeanne Marie and I hiked Storm King.
Wow, this past Saturday what a great day hike, with my hiking buddy Jeanne Marie (our wonderful spouses both opted out, or rather never opted in). Here's the wiki for Beacon Mountains. And here's an excellent description of the full hike, including distances, and elevations - Hike the Hudson Valley - Mt. Beacon
From Beacon North Mountain
If I'd known what an under 4-hour-or-so-up-and-down this was, I'd be doing it every summer.
Not without it's funny bits - I thought we were going up South Mountain first, and only figured out we'd gone up North Mountain when we checked a compass as we headed to the second mountain, and figured it out ... Not exactly Hawkeye/Daniel Boone stuff.
Then on the way down from South Mountain, made a wrong left turn, for a 30 minute total delay. As we were backtracking a couple near the turnoff also started down the wrong way, because they were "following us." Bad idea.
Plenty of people made the first part of the hike - up North Mountain - without any equipment or bag. As you can see, the view from there is tremendous. It is a straight up hike and took us just over 45 minutes to get to the viewing area (you can't go all the way to the top, with it's communications towers). It's about a 2 and a half mile round trip. As we were going up, we were passed by a guy running up (in his mid 40's) who also passed us as he was going down - and we were still going up.
At the top of North Mountain ae the remains of an incline railway, which used to bring people up to a casino and hotel.
JM and I. She makes the picture. Duh.
From the North Mountain prominence, at 1210 feet.
The bridge of course is the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge.
Most people don't go on to the higher South Mountain, which is one mile south, but we did. At 1610 feet I think It's the highest point in New York, east of the Catskills.
On the way to South Mountain I snapped this - very rare when a couple is sharing a backpack for the lady to be carrying it. BUT he told me "Sir, I usually carry our three year old."
The southern top with Jeanne Marie taking the lead to the tower.
Some views - not quite as neat as from North Mountain.
From south Mountain, here's the top of North Mountain - with the communications stuff.
Below, looking southwest and zooming in; the crest just to the right of center of the picture is Storm King, on the other side of the Hudson. Storm King is facing Breakneck Ridge - you can see the lush green back of Breakneck.
A further zoom-in to Storm King. The rocky outcropping between 1 & 2 o'clock in the picture - Jeanne Marie and I had our picture taken there last summer!
And here is that picture, from June 16th, last year.
Top of the tower - and it was a little scary with the wind!
Straight down the tower. Weird being up there ...
A couple of things we spotted on the way back - this is for you, Kathy.
And this guy! Just as we were getting back to South Mountain, Jeanne Marie spotted him/her?
I call it a black snake, but JM says it's a "black rat snake". Because it eats rats, I guess.
A good five feet long.
the walk back down was uneventful. Total round trip about five miles (including our getting lost down the wrong trail) or a bit more. It was a leisurely four hours in gorgeous weather. Will have to bring Brigid up this summer.
HA! The purchase is - I guess - an ideological statement by some supporters. Get the book but no need (for them) to know what's inside it. FULL DISCLOSURE: I haven't read Thomas Piketty's book and I don't intend to; I have read two extensive reviews, and that's enough for me.
It's beach time, and you've probably already scanned a hundred lists of summer reads. Sadly overlooked is that other crucial literary category: the summer non-read, the book that you pick up, all full of ambition, at the beginning of June and put away, the bookmark now and forever halfway through chapter 1, on Labor Day. The classic of this genre is Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time," widely called "the most unread book of all time." (Note from Faranda: I read Hawking's book years ago - it's pretty good!)
How can we find today's greatest non-reads? Amazon's "Popular Highlights" feature provides one quick and dirty measure. Every book's Kindle page lists the five passages most highlighted by readers. If every reader is getting to the end, those highlights could be scattered throughout the length of the book. If nobody has made it past the introduction, the popular highlights will be clustered at the beginning.
Thus, the Hawking Index (HI): Take the page numbers of a book's five top highlights, average them, and divide by the number of pages in the whole book. The higher the number, the more of the book we're guessing most people are likely to have read. (Disclaimer: This is not remotely scientific and is for entertainment purposes only!)
"Capital in the Twenty-First Century" by Thomas Piketty : 2.4% Yes, it came out just three months ago. But the contest isn't even close. Mr. Piketty's book is almost 700 pages long, and the last of the top five popular highlights appears on page 26. Stephen Hawking is off the hook; from now on, this measure should be known as the Piketty Index.
Here's an excellent short article by Michael Barone (one of the few Washington-based pundits who's a registered Republican) of Adminstration positions that have been rejected - often unanimously - by the Supreme Court.
Some of the positions are so bizarre - like their position (unanimously rejected) that the government can determine who is and is not a member of the clergy of a religion - that you have to truly wonder about the totalitarian God-like impulses of the Administration. Nixon would be proud of his successor.
But in this respect at least, President Obama has produced the fundamental transformation he promised in his 2008 campaign. Over the last three years, the Court has rejected Obama administration positions repeatedly in unanimous 9-0 decisions.
Barone outlines some of the recent anti-First Amendment positions that are well-known and then goes on -
Property rights are also disfavored by the Obama administration. A unanimous court said the Fifth Amendment requires compensation when the government repeatedly floods its land in Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. U.S. in 2012.
That year, the court in Sackett v. EPA also unanimously ruled that landowners could sue without risking a $75,000 per day fine to challenge a government order blocking construction in a supposed wetland.
And in 2013, the court in Horne v. USDA ruled that raisin farmers could sue for damages from confiscation of hundreds of pounds of raisins without first paying a $483,000 fine.
Nor is the Obama administration particularly respectful of the Fourth Amendment prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures. In 2012, a unanimous Court in U.S. v. Jones rejected its contention that the government could attach a GPS tracking device to a car without a warrant.
That was followed by last month's Riley v. California, in which a unanimous Court rejected the position, supported by the Obama Justice Department, that police could search without a warrant the cellphone of a person under arrest. ...
A unanimous Supreme Court has also rejected Obama administration prosecutions that went beyond the letter of the law, including double taxation of a firm that paid foreign tax (PPL Corp. v. IRS, 2012), an extension of the statute of limitation against securities fraud (Gabelli v. SEC, 2012) and the "boundless reading" (in Chief Justice Roberts' words) of a statute implementing the Chemical Weapons Treaty to prosecute a woman who sprayed toxic chemicals on objects likely to be touched by her husband's paramour (Bond v. US, 2014).
Incredible. Hit the link above for the full article.
... As teams passed the 81-game midpoint of the season, they were averaging just 4.13 runs per game through Wednesday. If the average stays at that level through the end of the season, it will be the majors’ lowest mark since 1992. Strikeouts continue to rise; walks and home runs continue to decline; and the major league batting average, .251, is the lowest since 1972, the year before the creation of the designated hitter.
“None of the stuff that’s come up the last several years has benefited offense,” said Joe Maddon, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays. “It’s actually subtracted from offense, and it’s going to continue to subtract. Offense is going to go back almost to the dead-ball era. You’re always going to have several really good hitters — guys who would have hit well in 1894 and 2014 — but you’re going back to normal human beings playing the game, with none of the advantages.”
The 4.13-runs-per-game average is a full run lower than in 2000, the peak of the so-called steroid era. The major league on-base percentage is a meager .316, and the slugging percentage, .390, is at its lowest point since 1992.
hitters, though, are far less successful when swinging for the fences. Martinez said hitters have generally struggled to handle this era’s newest mainstream pitch — the cutter — which moves on a more sideways plane than the slider. And hitters routinely say that pitchers, especially relievers, throw harder than ever.
If pitchers are not recording strikeouts, they are often daring hitters to put the ball in play. The avalanche of data in the modern game naturally benefits pitchers, who control the action, more than hitters, who simply react. Teams are more aware of hitters’ tendencies than ever, and many have responded with extreme defensive alignments.
According to Baseball Info Solutions, an analytics service that provides most teams with data, major league teams are on pace to use almost 14,000 shifts on balls in play this year, which would shatter last year’s record of just over 8,000. In 2011, the service counted fewer than 2,500 shifts.
This trend, naturally, turns many would-be hits into outs. ...
By Mr. Gaskin’s account, the Farm sprang in part from spiritual revelations he had experienced while using LSD, the details of which he described to thousands of disciples, who gathered in halls around San Francisco to hear his meditations on Buddhism, Jesus and whatever else entered his mind.
But to his followers, he ultimately offered more than spiritual guidance. In founding the Farm, they said, he gave concrete form to the human longing for togetherness coupled with individual expression that had energized the counterculture.
The second paragraph above, almost a cliche!
To a degree that startled outsiders in the ’60s, the Farm’s young men in straw hats and beards and women in long skirts lived an almost puritanical life. They took vows of poverty and pooled their assets. Vegetarianism was mandatory. Mr. Gaskin banned alcohol, tobacco and, to the surprise of many, LSD, though not marijuana. Plenty of work — considered a form of meditation — was assigned. Artificial birth control was forbidden.
Mr. Gaskin, who became a minister under Tennessee law, decreed that if couples had sex they must be considered engaged, and if the woman became pregnant, they must marry. Men were expected to treat women with “knightly” chivalry, he said.
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby challenged the Administration's requirement that all corporations cover contraception including abortifacients and sterilization in their worker health plans. The Affordable Care Act did not require this imposition on businesses such as the Hobby Lobby arts-and-crafts chain that tries to operate in accord with religious principles. The White House invented it via regulatory discretion in 2012 as part of its "war on women" election theme.
The problem is that a 1993 law called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, requires the government to meet a high standard when interfering with the free exercise of religion. The feds must narrowly tailor such rules and use the "least restrictive means" at their disposal for achieving some public good.
The White House claims to be promoting women's health and gender equality, but it drew an artificial distinction between types of corporations. Its remarkable argument is that businesses forfeit normal conscience protections when trying to turn a profit.
On Monday the Court held 5-4 that RFRA does cover closely held businesses like Hobby Lobby and that the Administration failed the law's substantial-burden test. RFRA is meant "to provide protection for human beings," Justice Samuel Alito writes. "A corporation is simply a form of organization used by human beings to achieve desired ends."
Claiming that for-profit businesses cannot exercise religion reflects the mechanistic liberal view that companies only exist to maximize dollars "at the expense of everything else." But of course corporations have many other goals, such as charitable causes, green energy or, yes, promoting moral beliefs.
The Administration has already made a contraception mandate "accommodation" for nonprofits, allowing soup kitchens and the like to supposedly avoid being complicit in what they view as grave wrongs. This gimmick is being litigated separately and our view is that nothing is solved by hiding the costs of contraception in the balance sheets of third-party insurers. Still, writes Justice Alito, the Administration "has provided no reason why the same system cannot be made available when the owners of for-profit corporations have similar religious objections."
Justice Alito was explicit in noting that the Hobby Lobby ruling only applies to closely held, family-run commercial enterprises. Publicly traded companies with dispersed ownership would have some difficulty demonstrating sincere religious beliefs, and most Americans of all faiths (or none at all) do not share Hobby Lobby's birth control qualms. But tolerance only means something if minority beliefs are respected, especially religious faith and conduct.
... political overkill suggests that Democrats are secretly delighted by the ruling, which they hope to use to scare women to the polls and salvage their shaky midterm prospects. Yet the real liberal grievance isn't with the Supreme Court but with RFRA itself. If Democrats are as upset as they claim, they ought to campaign this fall to repeal RFRA and be honest about how little they care about religious liberty.
This from my friend Joe. Nothing, if not original!
The United States was bounced from the World Cup today as they waffled against the Belgians, losing to them 2-1 ! In another World Cup game today, the Pope's Argentina sent Switzerland packing, defeating them 1-0! Somewhere in the Vatican the Holy Father is celebrating, being careful, of course, not to do it too heartily in the presence of the Swiss Guard ! ! !
... Dr. Conkright said, is that “there is some truth to that idea of ‘no pain, no gain.’” Catecholamines are released only during exercise that the body perceives as stressful, he said, so without some physical strain, there are no catecholamines, no messages from them to the CRTC2 protein, and no signals from CRTC2 to the muscles. You will still see muscular adaptations, he added, if your exercise is light and induces no catecholamine release, but those changes may not be as pronounced or complete as they otherwise could have been.
The study also underscores the importance of periodically reassessing the intensity of your workouts, Dr. Conkright said, if you wish to continually improve your fitness. Once a routine is familiar, your sympathetic nervous system grows blasé, he said, holds back adrenaline and doesn’t alert the CRTC2 proteins, and few additional adaptations occur.
The good news is that “intensity is a completely relative concept,” Dr. Conkright said. If you are out of shape, an intense workout could be a brisk walk around the block. For a marathon runner, it would involve more sweat.
“But the point is to get out of your body’s comfort zone,” Dr. Conkright, “because it does look like there are unique consequences when you do.”
Here's a deeper analysis of some years, the earnings, the taxes, and the charitable giving.
During Clinton's years in the Senate the disclosures, which were published by OpenSecrets.org, included full tax returns filed by her and her husband. These returns detailed the Clintons' total income, charitable gifts they made, and their total taxes paid from 2001 through 2007. For those seven years, the Clintons earned total income of $108,817,646, the vast majority of which came from Bill Clinton's speaking fees. They paid over $33 million in federal income taxes for an effective tax rate of about 31%. The Clintons also gave more than $10 million to charity from 2001 through 2007, which is about 9% of their total income from this period.
The article contains other info, if you hit the link.
When it's known which tugboats will pull the Slater, it can be followed real-time on www.marinetraffic.com. Check back on lohud.com for updated information. Updates also are available on the group's Facebook page.
If you go to the marine traffic website, you are looking for the tugboats Frances and Margot - the Slater does not register as a ship or icon. With some fiddling with the map, you can get tothe Hudson River and "see" the two tugs (their icons). They are moving at about 8 mph.
When it's known which tugboats will pull the Slater, it can be followed real-time on www.marinetraffic.com. Check back on lohud.com for updated information. Updates also are available on the group's Facebook page.
The warship, now a floating museum run by a nonprofit, served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.
The USS Slater will begin her return voyage to Albany in early morning and should be a spectacular sight — this time during daylight hours — for those within view of the river, from Manhattan past Poughkeepsie.
The schedule could change, but the Slater is expected to be:
• Leaving Staten Island at 5 a.m. Monday, then passing by Manhattan shortly after.
• Passing through the Lower Hudson Valley from mid- to late morning Monday.
• Passing West Point about 1 p.m. Monday.
• Passing beneath the Walkway Over the Hudson about 4 p.m. Monday.
• Arriving at its home pier in Albany about 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Will see if can can spot it from Croton Point, or even better, the lookout point on the East side and overlooking of the Hudson, just south of Bear Mountain.
The tenure of both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder has been marked by a dangerous push to legitimize a vast expansion of the power of the federal government that endangers the liberty and freedom of Americans. They have taken such extreme position on key issues that the Court has uncharacteristically slapped them down time and time again. Historically, the Justice Department has won about 70 percent of its cases before the high court. But in each of the last three terms, the Court has ruled against the administration a majority of the time.
So even the liberal justices on the Court, including the two justices appointed by President Barack Obama — Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor — have disagreed with the DOJ’s positions. As George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin told the Washington Times last year, “When the administration loses significant cases in unanimous decisions and cannot even hold the votes of its own appointees . . . it is an indication that they adopted such an extreme position on the scope of federal power that even generally sympathetic judges could not even support it.”
And there's more. This from WSJ columnist James Taranto yesterday. Well worth reading th entire column.
...In the ensuing two days, the court made the point more strongly than we would have on Tuesday night. It issued three decisions yesterday and two today, of which four were 9-0 and one 6-3. The unanimous decisions included three high-profile constitutional matters.
I suppose I am in the minority these days (but I'm still right!) that we need a proactive foreign policy, doing our best to promote liberal (in the classic sense, not the liberal v. conservative of today's politics) political and social values (democratic elections, the rule of law, respect for minority views; stuff like that). I am sure that in the long run this is in our own best interest and the only way to fight terrorism; terrorists don't stop because we declare the war is over!
Alas, isolationaism is taking root among both political parties ...
Anyway, I agree with almost everything Blair says in this Financial Times (UK) op ed.
If the link doesn't work, google Tony Blair financial times op ed.
The reason we got into such difficulty in Iraq, as in Afghanistan, was precisely because once the dictatorship was removed, extremist Islamist forces then made progress extraordinarily difficult. That is their hideous impact the world over. The fundamental challenge today arises not from the decisions of 2003 or those of 2014. It is the challenge of Islamist extremism and it is global.
It is a challenge we cannot avoid. Its outcome will dramatically affect our own security. We may be war weary and want to disengage but the people we are fighting do not share that weariness. Leave aside Iraq or Syria; look at Pakistan today. It has powerful institutions; it has a functioning democracy. Yet be in no doubt, the struggle it is waging is existential. Nigeria was two decades ago a model of religious tolerance. Today it is on the rack of extremism. Even in western societies, there are tensions that are real and dangerous.
The bad news is that this issue is not going away. That is why I am speaking about it. Since leaving office I have spent a large part of my time studying it and through my foundation trying to counter it.
Short term, we have to do what we can to rescue the situation in Iraq and Syria. In Iraq, without inclusive government this will be hard to do. The US is right in demanding political change as the price of its engagement. In Syria, an outright win for either side is no longer sensible; the majority of Syrians just want the torment to end.
Long term, we have to have the right mixture of soft and hard power responses, which fights this extremism wherever it is conducting its terror campaigns. We must deal with the root cause of the problem which lies in the formal and informal systems that educate young people in a closed-minded approach to religion and culture.
The good news is that this extremism does not represent the majority of Muslims. As the recent elections in both Iraq and Afghanistan show, where despite threats, violence and terror, people came out to vote in their millions. These people want to be free: free of dictators and free of terror. We should help them. It is in our interests that they succeed.
The problem: people have short memories-don't understand-don't care-don't want to face a multi-decade issue.