Posts Tagged ‘Congress

16
Oct
13

10.16.13 … what should we call a reverse dixiecrat? …

reverse dixicrats, new order: what should we call a reverse dixiecrat? A rinocrat? … “the cowardice of Republican non-extremists (it would be stretching to call them moderates)” … harsh …

And right now we have all the necessary ingredients for a comparable alliance, with roles reversed. Despite denials from Republican leaders, everyone I talk to believes that it would be easy to pass both a continuing resolution, reopening the government, and an increase in the debt ceiling, averting default, if only such measures were brought to the House floor. How? The answer is, they would get support from just about all Democrats plus some Republicans, mainly relatively moderate non-Southerners. As I said, Dixiecrats in reverse.

The problem is that John Boehner, the speaker of the House, won’t allow such votes, because he’s afraid of the backlash from his party’s radicals. Which points to a broader conclusion: The biggest problem we as a nation face right now is not the extremism of Republican radicals, which is a given, but the cowardice of Republican non-extremists (it would be stretching to call them moderates).

The question for the next few days is whether plunging markets and urgent appeals from big business will stiffen the non-extremists’ spines. For as far as I can tell, the reverse-Dixiecrat solution is the only way out of this mess.

via The Dixiecrat Solution – NYTimes.com.

Justice Antonin Scalia, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,  ideological antagonists, Supreme Court, judicial activism:

JUSTICES Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are ideological antagonists on the Supreme Court, but they agree on one thing. Their court is guilty of judicial activism.

“If it’s measured in terms of readiness to overturn legislation, this is one of the most activist courts in history,” Justice Ginsburg said in August in an interview with The New York Times. “This court has overturned more legislation, I think, than any other.”

But Justice Ginsburg overstated her case. If judicial activism is defined as the tendency to strike down laws, the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is less activist than any court in the last 60 years.

Nonetheless, Justice Ginsburg’s impression fits with a popular perception of the court. In 2010 in Citizens United, it struck down part of a federal law regulating campaign spending by corporations and unions, overruling two precedents in the bargain. In June, it struck down parts of the Voting Rights Act and the Defense of Marriage Act.

The court will no doubt be accused of yet more activism if it continues to dismantle campaign finance restrictions, as it seemed ready to do Tuesday at arguments in a case about limits on campaign contributions from individuals.

….

Three months after Mr. Obama’s remarks, Chief Justice Roberts broke with his usual conservative allies and voted with the court’s four liberals to uphold the law. In a joint dissent, the four conservatives said the majority was wrong to portray its ruling as “judicial modesty” when “it amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching.”

Writing in Public Discourse last year, Joel Alicea, then a law student at Harvard University, said “the clash between the chief justice’s opinion and that of the joint dissenters” is “a clash between two visions of judicial restraint, and two eras of the conservative legal movement.”

Justice Scalia said last month that he used another definition “when I complain about the activism of my court.” His colleagues were activist, he said at George Washington University, when they identified rights, like one to abortion, that were not in the text of the Constitution.

The Roberts court may not be especially activist in the classic sense of striking down a lot of laws. But there does appear to be an element of politics in its rulings.

“In a nutshell, liberal justices tend to invalidate conservative laws and conservative justices, liberal laws,” Professor Epstein and Andrew D. Martin of Washington University in St. Louis wrote last year in The Emory Law Journal in a look at the Roberts court’s first five terms.

Only Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the justice at the court’s ideological center, is a puzzle. In remarks this month at the University of Pennsylvania, he said his court should play only a modest role. “Any society that relies on nine unelected judges to resolve the most serious issues of the day is not a functioning democracy,” he said.

Yet Justice Kennedy “is the most aggressive of the Roberts justices,” voting with the majority 94 percent of the time when the court struck down a law, Professors Epstein and Martin found. “Unlike the other Roberts justices,” they added, “no underlying ideological pattern seems to exist to Kennedy’s votes.”

Justice Ginsburg said there was a theory behind her votes to strike down some laws and not others. In general, she said, “we trust the democratic process, so the court is highly deferential to what Congress does.”

via How Activist Is the Supreme Court? – NYTimes.com.

Congress, Separation of Powers, 2013 Shutdown:  I realize this is the conservative analysis, but this is the only analysis that I have read that makes sense.

There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.

This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

ObamaCare is indeed “the law of the land,” as its supporters keep saying, and the Supreme Court has upheld its Constitutionality.

But the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.

The hundreds of thousands of government workers who have been laid off are not idle because the House of Representatives did not vote enough money to pay their salaries or the other expenses of their agencies — unless they are in an agency that would administer ObamaCare.

Since we cannot read minds, we cannot say who — if anybody — “wants to shut down the government.” But we do know who had the option to keep the government running and chose not to. The money voted by the House of Representatives covered everything that the government does, except for ObamaCare.

The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a “clean” bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word “clean” like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?

If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

via Who Shut Down the Government? – Thomas Sowell – Page full.

Navy Yard scandal, Charles Krauthammer:  Where has the compassionate society gone? The problem here was not fiscal but political and, yes, even moral.

This would generally have relieved the hallucinations and delusions, a blessing not only in itself, but also for the lucidity brought on that would have allowed him to give us important diagnostic details — psychiatric history, family history, social history, medical history, etc. If I had thought he could be sufficiently cared for by family or friends to receive regular oral medication, therapy and follow-up, I would have discharged him. Otherwise, I’d have admitted him. And if he refused, I’d have ordered a 14-day involuntary commitment.

Sounds cruel? On the contrary. For many people living on park benches, commitment means a warm bed, shelter and three hot meals a day. For Alexis, it would have meant the beginning of a treatment regimen designed to bring him back to himself before discharging him to a world heretofore madly radioactive.

That’s what a compassionate society does. It would no more abandon this man to fend for himself than it would a man suffering a stroke. And as a side effect, that compassion might even extend to potential victims of his psychosis — in the event, remote but real, that he might someday burst into some place of work and kill 12 innocent people.

Instead, what happened? The Newport police sent their report to the local naval station, where it promptly disappeared into the ether. Alexis subsequently twice visited VA hospital ERs, but without any florid symptoms of psychosis and complaining only of sleeplessness, the diagnosis was missed. (He was given a sleep medication.) He fell back through the cracks.

True, psychiatric care is underfunded and often scarce. But Alexis had full access to the VA system. The problem here was not fiscal but political and, yes, even moral.

via Charles Krauthammer: The real Navy Yard scandal – The Washington Post.

Georgia’s Senate race, Michelle Nunn:  Given that I am a longstanding fan of Sam Nunn (a true Dixiecrat?) his daughter’s run for US Senate interests me.  But I personally don’t like any state race should be financially influenced  by corporate bigwigs, celebrities and D.C. types, making it a National election.

If you need a reminder that Georgia’s Senate race is a national one, then take a look at the names behind Democrat Michelle Nunn’s $1.7 million fundraising haul.

We got a hold of her disclosure last night, and the names of corporate bigwigs, celebrities and D.C. types join the local Democratic stalwarts donating to Nunn.

Among them are former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, ex-U.S. President Jimmy Cater, real estate mogul Tom Cousins, actress Jane Fonda, former Sen. Bob Graham, Washington fixer Vernon Jordan, Home Depot executive Carol Tome, retired federal judge Marvin Shoob, singer Nancy Sinatra, ex-Georgia Supreme Court chief Leah Ward Sears, Howard Dean\’s PAC and former U.S. ambassador Andrew Young.

Many of these bold-faced names gave $5,600, a two-cycle sum that accounts for her fundraising strength in their early going. Now she faces the question of whether she can keep it up.

via Your daily jolt: Johnny Isakson points to Heritage PAC as… | Political Insider | www.ajc.com.

kith/kin, Ga 11th District, edlindsey.us :  And on a more personal level …

Not every candidate has reported in, but we have enough to paint at least a partial picture of the money that’s flowing into the Republican race to replace U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta:

— Former congressman Bob Barr reports $165,560 raised in the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, with $101,057 in cash on hand. He raised $251,782, and had $146,740 in the bank as of June 30. So there\’s that.

— Tricia Pridemore, a Marietta businesswoman and former state agency head, declared $103,541.93 raised – up slightly from the second quarter. The campaign also reported $188,535.63 in cash on hand.

— Former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk of Cassville reported raising $78,760, with $64,122 in the bank. He raised just over $97,000 last quarter.

— State Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, $75,903.84, including a $20,000 personal loan, and has $161,673 in cash on hand. He raised in the neighborhood of $157,000 in the second quarter.

via Your daily jolt: Johnny Isakson points to Heritage PAC as… | Political Insider | www.ajc.com.

Also, I am tired of hearing the term “gerrymander” … It is a political reality that who is in control of the redistricting process in a given state following the census establishes districts that will protect its interests to the greatest extent.  In my own state of NC, we have a district that runs from Charlotte to Durham up the 85 corridor …. it’s jokingly called the Mickey Mouse district.  Mickey’s District? . – Google News via nc mickey mouse district – Google Search.

 

A few thoughts from ed lindsey  …

First of all, we need to show the general public that we can govern. We need to be able to not just talk about problems but to actually promote a positive conservative reform agenda, and that’s the strength that I bring to the process. Furthermore, we need to explain how a conservative agenda will impact people’s lives. When we talk about economic issues and job growth, we need to do so not only in terms of economic development, but in terms of the importance of work and employment to the human soul, to our work ethic. That tends to get lost in the discussion. We need to be focused on issues that are “gateway issues.” These are issues that, while most importantly being good policy, give groups that haven’t traditionally been with our party a chance to give us a second look. Education and school choice are good examples, and I have been actively involved with those issues in the General Assembly. Criminal justice is another. We need to be willing to go into communities where we don’t currently have a strong voice.

via Q&A: Ed Lindsey | The Arch Conservative.

TAC: What do you see as the future of the conservative movement and what can we as a movement do to stay vibrant and relevant in American politics?

Lindsey: Don’t allow our own actions or the words of others to tag us as the folks for the status quo. We must be the movement for reform and change, the movement that takes an honest look at problems in society and applies conservative principles to them. We have to attack problems. That’s how we remain relevant – we stay totally engaged with today’s problems. We can’t just be the party of “no.” We also have to be a big tent. We can’t just toss people out. I don’t agree with a lot of Chris Christie’s positions – but he’s pretty fiscally conservative, took on the unions… I appreciate the fact that he’s a Republican governor of New Jersey. I want him at the table. I’ll have an honest fight with him and debate him on a number of issues, but I want him at the table. I want a party that’s big enough to hold myself, Rand Paul, Chris Christie… and Bob Barr.

via Q&A: Ed Lindsey | The Arch Conservative.

President Barack Obama,  presidential war powers: 

President Barack Obama just turned decades of debate over presidential war powers on its head.

Until Saturday, when Obama went to Congress to ask for permission to strike Syria, the power to launch military action had been strongly in the hands of the commander in chief. Even the 1973 War Powers Resolution allows bombs to start falling before the president has to ask Congress for long-term approval.

That makes the move by Obama to hand a piece of the messy situation in Syria to Congress a clear step in the other direction — an abdication of power to Congress at a moment when he has no good solutions.

And even if Obama ultimately balks at Congress if they vote down his ask, prominent conservatives who fueled the expansion of presidential power — especially Bush administration alums — are beside themselves, arguing that Obama has weakened the presidency.

John Yoo, who wrote the legal opinions that justified the Bush administration’s interrogation tactics with sweeping views of executive power, says Obama has undermined the quick-strike ability that gives presidents much of their power in dealing with military threats.

via Bushies fear Obama weakening presidency – David Nather and Anna Palmer – POLITICO.com.

09
Jan
13

1.9.13 first walk …

labyrinths, walking, notes from the path:

“Solvitur Ambulando”

– It is solved by walking.

I’m feeling a little guilty since I have not walked since December 31. I think I may have broken a New Year’s resolution.

As I left my house, I was thinking what an ugly day for my first walk. But by the time I reached Avondale Presbyterian Church, the sun was out, and I am so glad I came because it is now a beautiful winter day.

Thoughts as I walked:

Labyrinth keepers have been hard at work on the labyrinth and it is in great shape today. A few weeds are here, but they are part of the labyrinth today.

Chimes are singing softly and they become a part of my walk. As I walk out, i make the decision to pause when the chimes paused, and to pace myself to the chimes as well. I begin thinking what a wonderful site it would be to see classical ballerinas dancing to some Gregorian chants on a labyrinth. It would be really beautiful ballet.

I am tired today. My husband has a new addiction. It is the tv show and related books of Dexter. Dexter is a serial killer. I am wondering why we can all sit there and watch this. It has a transformative effect.

The bright sunshine is blinding. If it were 15° colder it would be a perfect winter day. Unfortunately it is about 70°. Amazing.

Do you like my new boots? Perfect for labyrinth walking in the winter!

Blessings to you!

bicentennials, anniversaries, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, bookshelf:  Just so you know … 19 days ’til the bicentenary of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE! What shall I read this month. 🙂

youtube, LOL:  how to stay positive …

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR3rK0kZFkg]

winter, vacations, bucket list:  Oddly, just about every place on this list is already on my bucket list. 🙂

And so,with 2013 just beginning, I got to thinking of my favorite places to spend a winter week

via Where to Spend a Week This Winter – Intelligent Travel.

Gretchen Rubin, Steve Martin,  G. K. Chesterton, quotes, memoirs, bookshelf:

Last week, I read Steve Martin’s memoir of his time learning and doing stand-up comedy, Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life. I loved it.

It’s a terrific example of one of my favorite kinds of books: someone coming into his or her vocation. I love reading about why people become interested in particular subjects or skills, and how they master them.

Reading Steve Martin’s memoir reminded me of one of my favorite quotations, from G. K. Chesterton: “It is easy to be heavy: hard to be light.” Although Steve Martin’s comedy looks wild and crazy, it’s the product of a tremendous amount of serious thought, rehearsal, and experiment.

via What I Learned About Myself from Steve Martin. « The Happiness Project.

Congress,  polls: colonoscopy?

In a poll released Tuesday, Public Policy Polling found that Americans have a higher opinion of traffic jams (56%-34%), colonoscopies (58%-31%) and cockroaches (45%-43%) than Congress. Ditto for love-‘em or hate-‘em band Nickelback (39%-32%), used-car salesmen (57%-32%), root canals (56%-32%) and NFL replacement refs (56%-29%).

via Poll Finds Congress Ranks Lower Than Colonoscopy – Washington Wire – WSJ.

technology, the future: The Jetsons!

The PAL-V ONE, which looks like a cross between a three-wheeler and a helicopter, uses a rear-mounted propeller to take off and a free-spinning rotor on top for lift. Made by PAL-V in the Netherlands, it needs about 200 meters to take off and costs nearly $300,000. If the price comes down and a reasonable way can be found to keep skyborne vehicles separated, we may at last see a world that is somewhat akin to the one depicted in the futuristic cartoon.

via A Land-Air Hybrid Vehicle: Commute to Work Like The Jetsons : Scientific American.

23
Jan
11

1.23.2011 … Sunday, Sunday … so nice to have a day of rest …

followup, Jake’s , Charlotte, restaurants/diners:  So we ventured to Jake’s Good Eats for a second visit.  It is an upscale diner … in an old gas station.  The food is interesting.  The friend oysters were very good, but the sautéed spinach underneath was to die for.  The wedge with bleu cheese and bacon was very good … a meal in itself.  And my vegetable plate was quite good.  I could not have downed a full entre after the other two shared items.  I’ll go again … but get there early.  It is worth a 30 minute wait … but not an hour.

Jake’s Good Eats -.

music, classical music, lists:  I am not a music person, but I do consider myself educated … so I laughed when I got to her number 10 and had never heard of him.

I am about to reveal my list, though as those who have been with me on this quest already know, I’ve dropped hints along the way. And the winner, the all-time great, is … Bach!

But forced to pick only one more composer, I’m going with Bartok. In an earlier piece I made my case for Bartok, as an ethnomusicologist whose work has empowered generations of subsequent composers to incorporate folk music and classical traditions from whatever culture into their works, and as a formidable modernist who in the face of Schoenberg’s breathtaking formulations showed another way, forging a language that was an amalgam of tonality, unorthodox scales and atonal wanderings.

via The Greatest Composers – A Top 10 List – NYTimes.com.

Julio J. Ramirez, Davidson, kudos: To former neighbor Julio, kudos!

Julio J. Ramirez, the R. Stuart Dickson Professor of Psychology at Davidson College, has been named by President Barack Obama as a recipient of a the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

Ramirez will receive the award next Thursday, Jan. 27, at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington. John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, will make the presentation. Ramirez will deliver a 10-minute talk on that occasion about his 30 years of involving students in his research on recovery from brain injury and his national efforts to promote neuroscience education and research.

via Obama honors Prof. Ramirez for mentoring | DavidsonNews.net.

Civil War Sesquicentennial, education, history, research:  We are only in the first weeks … It will be interesting to see how I/we feel after retracing this history in 5 years.

Over the next four years Americans will be reminded of and engage in debates about every aspect of a war that fundamentally transformed the nation and that set us on a path we are still working to come to terms with. America went through the same process at the centennial. What’s different this time around is the focus on race and slavery, both of which have the potential to divide Americans and obscure the boundaries between the present and the past; that, and the ability for anyone to access millions of pages of information about the war, its causes and consequences through the Internet.

via Teaching Civil War History 2.0 – NYTimes.com.

Silent Sam, public art, UNC-CH, Civil War, history, icons:   I remember first encountering Silent Sam and hearing the tale of why he is silent (read on … ).  I laughed and went on.  I never knew he was memorializing the Civil War veterans who attended UNC.  I am sure all the current students will know his history as calls to topple him are made.  A compromise needs to be made.  He is a university icon.  Maybe it is time to publicly remember slavery and teach to understand the war by all students.

The present generation, I am persuaded, scarcely takes note of what the Confederate soldier meant to the welfare of the Anglo Saxon race during the four years immediately succeeding the war… their courage and steadfastness saved the very life of the Anglo Saxon race in the South — when the ‘bottom rail was on top’ all over the Southern states, and today, as a consequence, the purist strain of the Anglo Saxon is to be found in the 13 Southern States.”

Carr then proudly recounted his contribution to Reconstruction’s racial violence:

“100 yards from where we stand, less than 90 days perhaps after my return from Appomattox, I horse-whipped a negro wench, until her skirts hung in shreds, because upon the streets of this quiet village she had publicly insulted and maligned a Southern lady.”

This disturbing past is part of our beloved institution’s history. All paths forward carry their own perils. Destroying the monument erases an uncomfortable past, but to ignore its connections to racial ideologies that barred African Americans from UNC until the 1950s is equally problematic. Even new interpretive signs would stir debates on what to include. These debates are healthy. As we near the Civil War’s sesquicentennial discussions over the meaning of our past ensures a more informed public. This I celebrate.

via The Daily Tar Heel :: Why Silent Sam was built: A historian’s perspective.

It is silent because the figure wears no cartridge box for ammunition,[2] but legend has it he fires his gun every time a virgin walks by; since supposedly “no one” on campus is a virgin, he never fires his gun, hence why he is known to be “silent.”

via Silent Sam – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Erected in 1913 as a monument to the 321 alumni of the University who died in the Civil War and all students who joined the Confederate Army, this statue is known by students as Silent Sam. The university continued operation during the Civil War, thanks to President Swain’s reliance on wounded veterans and men who were exempt from military service. Although the soldier holds a rifle, it is silent because he wears no cartridge box for ammunition.

via Landmarks | Silent Sam | The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

childhood, Disney Princesses, end of an era, RIP, Bruno Bettelheim, followup, :  Still think this is sad that our society has outgrown the princess fairy tales.  I am sure followers of Bruno Bettelheim would say the stories were never about happy endings … but still for a generation who grew up with the films and who raised its children on the films it is a sad end.

Tangled, Disney’s latest fairy tale movie, was shut out at the Golden Globe Awards last weekend. Nominated for two — Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (“I See the Light”) — the retooled Rapunzel story won neither.

The critical shunning could be construed as a key indicator: Fairy tale movies have fallen on hard times. In fact, around Thanksgiving, the Walt Disney Co. revealed it has no plans to make another animated fairy tale.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Disney’s fairy tales. What do we tell the children? Kissed frogs don’t turn into princes, wicked stepsisters win out, glass slippers just won’t fit. And what colorful icons will we silkscreen all over kids’ pillows and lunchboxes?

via The Fairy Tale Struggles To Live Happily Ever After : NPR.

In The Uses of Enchantment (1976), his prize-winning treatise on the uses of fairy tales in the child’s upbringing, Bettelheim poignantly described how the child’s imagination is served by romantic stories, especially those told to the child and, in the telling, elaborated by the child’s freely created variations. Again, Bettelheim emphasized the collaboration of parent and child in sharing fairy tales to enhance the child’s developing sensibilities. The child needs not only those coping skills that are fostered by didactic parents, but also, Bettelheim wrote, a moral education communicated not through abstract (ethical) concepts but through fairy tales that deal with what is tangibly right and therefore meaningful. He likened the child’s understanding of fairy tales to the psychological insights gained long ago by poets. The German poet Schiller wrote: ‘Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in the truth that is taught by life.’10

As in so many of his works, the foundation for Bettelheim’s thesis that fairy tales foster the child’s developing mind and provide a forum for emotional expression rested primarily on the application of psychoanalysis to childhood education. True to the subject, Bettelheim whimsically discussed some of the most difficult psychoanalytic concepts in clear, amusing and fanciful language, rendering his thesis accessible to contemporary parents. Conspicuously oedipal themes in fairy tales are brought forth for the reader to consider. The power of Bettelheim’s writing resides in his ability to illuminate concepts that are obvious to psychoanalysts but remain obscure to parents without explication. A little girl’s conflict with her mother is narrated in ‘Cinderella’ by the device of having the child’s mother portrayed as the wicked stepmother. Such a theme resonates with a girl’s feeling of helplessness which is then overcome by the ‘good mother,’ a fairy godmother, who rescues Cinderella and supports her in her aspirations to meet the prince. Bettelheim also highlighted the importance of sibling rivalry in the family and in the Cinderella story, which depicts beautiful but shy Cinderella helpless at the hands of her stepsisters. This, too, is resolved by the rescuing fairy godmother, a resolution that every little girl deeply appreciates. Bettelheim hoped that as parent and child together understood the deeper meaning of these stories, the parent and the child would bond in mutual enjoyment.

http://www.ibe.unesco.org/publications/ThinkersPdf/bettelhe.pdf

random, video, NAPC, Atlanta:  Well this is an interesting way to teach a group of dull Presbyterians about their leaders and leadership! I’m a North Avenue Officer.

news, media, Keith Olberman:  So in the end does it just come down to money?

This was all Keith’s choice. He has several times over the years said that he wants out of his contract. He never meant it until this year. He started lawyers negotiating twice this year. He stopped them in the spring. Then, about a month ago with the guidance of his new ICM team and a new LA manager (who were making zero $ on his current deal), he once again said he wanted to leave and this time they negotiated the full package.

via NEW DETAILS: “MSNBC And Keith Olbermann Have Ended Their Contract”; Lefty MSNBC About To Make Right Turn? – Deadline.com.

“I think the same fantasy has popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I’ve been told–that this is going to be the last edition of your show,” Olbermann said. “You go directly to the scene from the movie ‘Network’ complete with the pajamas and the raincoat.”

via Keith Olbermann’s Parting Words on MSNBC (Video) – Speakeasy – WSJ.

Arizona Massacre, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, rehabilitation:  So much hope … but I would hate to be in the spotlight.

Instead of doctors making you well, rehab means “teaching you how to help yourself” to get your life back, said Dr. William Donovan, a former medical director of the rehab hospital who still works there part-time.

It’s frustrating when your muscles and mind won’t work the way you want them to. Emotional challenges, post-traumatic stress and physical problems like seizures, headaches and infections loom as risks that could complicate her recovery.

via Rep. Gabrielle Giffords ‘More Alert,’ Says Dr. Gerard Francisco.

random, viral videos, lawsuits, YouTube:  I am sure this has happened before.  But the security guard did nothing to help her and posted the embarrassing video on YouTube. Do you think it really never crossed the guard’s mind that this was not appropriate? … unkind? … reflective on him or her that he/she was not doing their job?

But their lack of action has opened the floodgates. Sitting next to Marrero on GMA was her attorney, James Polyak. “We plan to hold all responsible parties accountable,” he said, for letting the video out, and will at the very least request an apology from the security team.

(More on TIME.com: See photos of the monstrous Mall of America.)

Marrero’s outcry has already made waves within the mall staff. According to the Reading (Pa.) Eagle, the Berkshire Mall security guard who posted the video has been fired. (via ABC News)

via Woman Falls in Fountain While Texting: Yes, She’s Real. And Mad. And Suing – TIME NewsFeed.

truth, friendship, relationships, Jane Austen, Davidson friends:  Ah, Jane once again subtly revealing the truth. This reminded me of my friend Cary’s recent article about our Davidson friend group gatherings.  I think one of the core requirements is that you tell the truth about yourself.

Truth is a very dangerous commodity. It is like a very sharp knife. You will kill or wound someone with truth more easily than you will cut the cords of ignorance with it. Truth often hurts; sometimes the hurt is necessary. A friend of mine used to say, “The truth will set you free, but it will make you miserable first.” In order for wounds to be healing wounds, they must be both given and received in a context of love and trust. Emma may often disagree with Mr. Knightly, but she never doubts his concern for her and her father.

via Holy Nativity Orthodox Church: Who’ll Tell Emma The Truth?.

heartbreak, Alzheimer’s, personal stories: Jan’s Story: Love and Early-Onset Alzheimer’s – CBS Sunday Morning – CBS News.

college students, Duke:  Duke is getting nailed for what has been happening on college campuses forever.  The women should know better; the men should know better.  “Student activists call the parties exploitative and dangerous to the young women who take part.” Stupid … and these kids are supposed to be the best and the brightest.

Some Duke University student activists hope to end a long-held practice where female students are plied with booze and encouraged to cozy up to new fraternity recruits.

It happens at “progressive” parties, generally held at the end of rush, the period during which fraternities and sororities evaluate prospective members. At Duke, the latest rush period concludes next weekend.

Female students are invited to be hosts at these fraternity parties. The Duke Chronicle student newspaper reported this week that the women’s tasks at the parties can range “from bartending to providing sexual favors.” The women often dress provocatively and are stationed in party rooms bearing such themes as “spring break” and “school girls,” critics say.

Student activists call the parties exploitative and dangerous to the young women who take part. A new group, the Greek Women’s Initiative, recently held a forum examining the issue, and petitions seeking to end the practice have garnered about 800 signatures.

via ‘Progressive’ Duke parties under scrutiny – CharlotteObserver.com.

random, literature, museum exhibits, Morgan Library, NYC:  Diaries are interesting.  I would like to see this exhibit at  the Morgan.

“I have tried to keep diaries before,” John Steinbeck writes in a giant ledger book filled with his methodical script, “but they didn’t work out because of the necessity to be honest.”

via ‘The Diary’ at the Morgan Library – Review – NYTimes.com.

random, politics, Congress, man cave:  I never thought about where freshman members of congress lived.  But if you think about it they have just spent a ton of money and are only assured of two years.  Man Cave in the office??

“I probably got it as good as a man cave can be,” Walberg said.

Down the hall, freshman Republican Joe Walsh of Illinois, is still figuring out how to manage his nights. He sleeps on a couch.

“I think it’s important that we show we don’t live here, we are not creatures of this town,” Walsh told us. “There’s so much to do the next two years, I don’t want to be distracted with another place. I don’t want to have to think about an apartment.”

Walsh, Walberg and nearly two dozen of their colleagues are part of a trend that may have reached a historic high point.

A CBS News survey of all freshmen members of the U.S House of Representatives has found that at least 21 of the 96 members are sleeping in their office – that’s 19 of the 87 new Republicans and 2 of the 9 new Democrats.

The reasons range from making a symbolic statement that they are not part of Washington, proving they are fiscal conservatives, and just saving money.

They sleep on air mattresses, cots, couches, and rollaway beds.

via One-Fifth of House Freshmen Sleep in Offices – CBS Evening News – CBS News.

Arizona Massacre, emotional injuries, prayers:  Keep them in your prayers.

They cried together. They promised one another to seek professional help. And they said they would remain in frequent touch. When Mr. Green drove by with his son the other day, Ms. Hileman vowed that there would be more backyard water gun fights.

In a certain sense, Ms. Hileman sees herself, along with Ms. Giffords, as the third corner of a triangle — she wanted Christina to know that she, too, could become the kind of woman who emanated intelligence and pizazz.

“Christina and I were doing exactly what we wanted to do,” Ms. Hileman said. “We weren’t dragging somebody to the movies. We were happy. Some idiot decided to rain on my parade.”

via Tucson Shooting Survivors Struggle With ‘What If?’ – NYTimes.com.

07
Jan
11

1.7.2011 … what does “peace out” mean? Today, I am just happy to have a little peace.

art, ballet, bookshelf: I asked several friends who are involved in the ballet world and they agree with much about this book’s conclusion.

Perhaps a later history will view all these as the final gutterings of a spent flame. This is no golden age, and several of its ballets are indeed dead. My own main alarm about ballet — not one that troubles Ms. Homans — is that its dependence on pointwork for women and partnering by men proposes a dichotomizing view of the sexes that is at best outmoded and at worst repellently sexist. Nevertheless, this balletgoer testifies that the scene feels brighter than it did 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

via Jennifer Homan’s ‘Apollo’s Angels’ – Critic’s Notebook – NYTimes.com.

restaurants, pop ups:  I am going to one of these if I have to ride the MegaBus to get there!

Mr. Fraser’s novelty, scheduled to open on Jan. 25 for what he estimates will be a nine-month run, is one answer — an especially striking, even eccentric one. It’s called What Happens When, and if the thought were finished and the predicate filled in, it would mention rules being rewritten and assumptions challenged.

Diners, for example, will be expected to set and reset the cutlery on their tables with utensils from drawers beneath. That way Mr. Fraser won’t need as many servers. It will save him money, he said, and translate into fewer intrusions for diners. “You’re visited only at points of the meal when you really need help,” he said.

Rather than woo bigwig investors who might make big-time demands, Mr. Fraser has decided to solicit hundreds of what are essentially contributions, from $5 to $2,500, through a micro-financing Web site, Kickstarter, which helps raise money for creative projects.

It’s an improvisatory approach for an improvisatory time, when chefs are finding all sorts of ways to eliminate overhead, streamline operations, edit out distractions and focus on the cooking, which is the beginning, end and point of it all.

In Chicago, the chef Grant Achatz is preparing to open Next, where diners will buy tickets in advance for an appointed hour and a predetermined menu. The pinpoint planning that allows him will save money on service staff.

Some chefs are hatching pop-up restaurants, which squat for just days or weeks in locations already furnished and equipped. Some are giving meals on wheels a spin.

via Temporary Restaurants – Now You See It, Now You Don’t – NYTimes.com.

restaurants, business models: My favorite restaurant advertises … “Over 245 billion served!”

Sixty. That’s the number of diners a night that chef André Chiang sets as the maximum for a good restaurant. Any more and quality starts to slip, he says.

His Singapore restaurant serves even fewer people than that. André, which opened in October 2010, accommodates just 30 diners each a night.

via Asia’s Restaurants Want Fewer Customers — Scene Asia – Scene Asia – WSJ.

statistics, Congress:  Welcome to the 112th Congress …

The Wall Street Journal examined the list of freshmen and came up with some stats on the 112th Congress:

Average age: 57.4 (down from 58.5 in the 111th Congress)

Blacks: 42 (up from 40)

Hispanics: 26 (down from 27)

Asians: 11 (no change)

Women: 89 (down from 90)

Veterans: 113 (down from 119)

No college degree: 28 (no change)

Attorneys: 202 (down from 203)

Farmers or ranchers: 6 (down from 7)

via 112th Congress: By the Numbers – Washington Wire – WSJ.

travel, budget travel:  I have heard it was just OK.  My kith nieces came home to Charlotte at Christmas on the MegaBus.

First, an overview: This is not your father’s Greyhound. For the most part, the buses are incredibly pleasant, dirt cheap and full of bonuses like free bottled water and electrical outlets by the seats. They run on time from convenient locations, making them practically as fast as airplanes at a fraction of the cost and a microscopic speck of a fraction of the hassle.

THE UPSHOT

The pricing revolution that started out with a few Chinatown buses has now given us a fairly reliable way to travel. Even, occasionally, after a blizzard.

via Frugal Traveler: A Guide to Cheap Buses (Including How to Score $1 Tickets) – NYTimes.com.

spring:  Thinking of spring.  I gave John  a composter for Christmas and maybe I’ll try my hand at  cold frames …How to Make a Simple Cold Frame | eHow.com.

products, advertising:  Are they really making anything new.  Seems like a waste of time and energy.

The product, called Purex Complete Crystals Softener, is being billed as “a purer way to get laundry that smells clean and fresh for weeks.” It is making its way this month onto the shelves of American grocery, drug and mass-merchandise stores, priced around $4 to $7 for a 28-ounce package that can be used for 32 loads of laundry.

A campaign for the new softener is to be introduced next month by Energy BBDO, the agency that created the ads to introduce Purex Complete 3-in-1. The budget is being estimated at $40 million to $50 million.

via Laundry Products Put Into Yet Another Form – NYTimes.com.

college, youth, gap year:  I have heard great things from a few people about the value of this.

Burnout from the competitive pressure of high school or a desire “to find out more about themselves,” are the top two reasons students take gap years, says a survey of 280 people who did so by Karl Haigler and Rae Nelson, co-authors of a forthcoming guidebook on the topic. To benefit, a student should be able to set worthwhile goals, says Holly Bull, president of the Center for Interim Programs, a gap-year consultant in Princeton, N.J. Those who take a year off just to procrastinate on college applications or party nonstop aren’t likely to gain much. In fact, Haigler advises having students apply to college before starting a gap year, then ask to defer admission.

Weary of the college admissions race during his senior year of high school, one Illinois student says his gap year in a wilderness training program, then a cultural-immersion program in Nepal, turned him around academically. After enrolling the next year in college, he posted his best grades ever, competed on a mock-trial team and edited a campus literary magazine.

via Is a ‘Gap Year’ Right for Your Family? – The Juggle – WSJ.

culture, online dating: Why does online dating just seem creepy to me?

FOR the lovelorn, the new year can be an unhappy time, as they cast envious glances in the direction of lovey-dovey couples at the season’s parties. For online-dating agencies, it is a golden opportunity, as people who have spent the holidays ruminating over unsatisfactory or non-existent love lives log on in their thousands, hoping to find romance—ideally before February 14th. “The period between New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day is our busiest six weeks of the year,” explains Sam Yagan, the boss of OkCupid, a big American dating site.

via Online dating: Love at first byte | The Economist.

random:  I was just talking about this with my kids the other day. You’re Out: 20 Things That Became Obsolete This Decade PHOTOS.

innovation, consumer products, autos, green:  By the time I buy one, it will all be pretty easy!

Powermat, founded in Israel in 2007, says automotive applications have long been part of its plan. Powermat CEO Ran Poliakine says besides cordlessly recharging portable electronics, the system can be used with special cups to keep coffee hot and soft drinks cold. “We want every car in GM to have this wireless charging system to help consumers charge everything they have without the hassle of plugs,” he said.

But the larger opportunity might be recharging the batteries of electric cars without having to plug them in. Poliakine says Powermat has already demonstrated the capability. It holds the prospect of being able to park an electric car atop a charging mat at a shopping center, office, airport or at home and have it wireless recharged. “It is part of this whole vision,” he says. He declined to estimate how soon such a technology might be rolled out.

The best application for such cordless charging would be public stations, says Chelsea Sexton, an electric-car activist who was among the first to receive a Volt for long-term testing.

via GM-Powermat deal turns cars into cordless chargers – USATODAY.com.

random, lottery: I always buy a ticket when it gets high … but the Curse scares me … Do you think you could handle the sudden influx of fortune and fame?

Curse of the lottery

Some winners don’t live happily ever after. The so-called lottery curse, popularized by the corpulent character “Hurley” on ABC’s show “Lost,” has ruined at least a dozen winners over the years who couldn’t handle the sudden influx of fortune and fame.

The most infamous case is that of Andrew “Jack” Whittaker, a construction company owner from West Virginia who won $315 million from Powerball in 2002.

Already a millionaire before he won the lottery, Whittaker pledged part of the winnings to his church.

But it all went downhill from there, according to published reports.

Whittaker’s post-lottery problems are said to have included lawsuits, divorce, drunk driving, the theft of a cash-stuffed briefcase in a strip club, and the untimely deaths of his daughter and granddaughter.

via Mega Millions $355 million jackpot is dream to many – Jan. 4, 2011.

Apple:  Ah, Apple … groundbreaking again.

The technology-industry analysts Macworld spoke with seem to feel that Apple is making a savvy move in bringing the success of the iOS App store to the Mac, suggesting that it’s a strategy that opens open another difference between the Mac and PCs running Windows.

“It’s groundbreaking,” said Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. “I think this will be more than just an experiment—I think it’ll be quite successful within the Apple community. Those who are familiar with the Mac way of doing things will easily accept this, and probably embrace it.

via Mac App Store opens with more than 1,000 apps | Software | Macworld.

06
Jan
11

‎1.6.2011 … Epiphany Greetings!

holidays, Advent, Epiphany:  Always enjoying learning something new …

Advent January 6th is Epiphany, which means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal”. On this day we as the body of Christ are reminded of our mission to seek to as best we can to be used by God to “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. With this we end the 12 days of Christmas and celebration of the Christmas/Advent season. Next year we will start again. Hope this was a blessing to you. God bless!

via Advent.

-and-

Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth Day. In following this older custom of counting the days beginning at sundown, the evening of January 5th is the Twelfth Night. This is an occasion for feasting in some cultures, including the baking of a special King’s Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany (a King’s Cake is part of the observance of Mardi Gras in French Catholic culture of the Southern USA).

In some church traditions, only the full days are counted so that January 5th is the Eleventh Day of Christmas, January 6th is the Twelfth Day, and the evening of January 6th is counted as the Twelfth Night.

In traditional Christian churches Christmas, as well as Easter, is celebrated as a period of time, a season of the church year, rather than just a day. The Season of the Church Year associated with Christmas actually begins with the first Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas Day.  Advent is marked by expectation and anticipation in preparing to celebrate the coming of Jesus.  Christmas begins with Christmas Day December 25 and lasts for Twelve Days until Epiphany, January 6, which looks ahead to the mission of the church to the world in light of the Nativity. The one or two Sundays between Christmas Day and Epiphany are sometimes called Christmastide.

For many Protestant church traditions, the season of Epiphany extends from January 6th until Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter.  Depending on the timing of Easter, this longer period of Epiphany includes from four to nine Sundays.  Other traditions, especially the Roman Catholic tradition, observe Epiphany as a single day, with the Sundays following Epiphany counted as Ordinary Time. In some western traditions, the last Sunday of Epiphany is celebrated as Transfiguration Sunday.

The term epiphany means “to show” or “to make known” or even “to reveal.” In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing “reveal” Jesus to the world as Lord and King. In some Central and South American countries influenced by Catholic tradition, Three Kings’ Day, or the night before, is the time for opening Christmas presents. In some eastern churches, Epiphany or the Theophany commemorates Jesus’ baptism, with the visit of the Magi linked to Christmas. In some churches the day is celebrated as Christmas, with Epiphany/Theophany occurring on January 19th.

via The Season of Epiphany.

Congress, The Constitution:  I agree.  Why edit the Constitution, Republicans?  I think it a great idea to read it … but you should read the entire Constitution.

Today’s reading of the Constitution on the House floor was surely intended by the GOP leadership as a Tea Party moment. But it looks like it has turned into a progressive moment instead.

Before the House started the reading, two Democratic congressmen stood up to inquire about the language the House leadership had deemed appropriate to read aloud on the House floor. While this elicited some laughter in the chamber — oh, the conservatives must have thought with a chuckle, how delightful that the liberals are revealing that they are so ignorant of the Constitution that they need to ask for clarification on its language via parliamentary procedure! — this was a significant, legitimate point. Rather than reading the entire Constitution, with all its flaws and corrections, the GOP-led House was going to read an “edited” version of our Nation’s charter.

One cannot fault members of the House for being reluctant to read the portion of the original Constitution that declared slaves to be three-fifths of a person for purposes of representation, or the fugitive slave clause. But, as Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., so powerfully explained before the reading began today, the fact that these portions of the original Constitution were superseded by Amendments that abolished slavery and guaranteed equality is an important one. These Amendments — as well as the Amendments to secure the vote for women and remove poll taxes from standing in the way of low-income voters, among others — were the result of generations of men and women who gave blood, sweat, and treasure in the struggle to improve our founding charter and create a “more perfect union.”

via Elizabeth B. Wydra: Why Did the GOP “Edit” the Constitution?.

holidays, LOL, me:  My friend Claudia of Tutu.com tweeted the below … and I laughed at myself for not getting the choice of the day before …

National Tutu Day is fast approaching! 02/02/2011! What tutu will YOU be wearing on National Tutu Day?

via Twitter / @Tutu.Com: National Tutu Day is fast ….

Great Recession, Banking Meltdown, Great Recovery, politics, words:  Two things …  1) This is very difficult for anyone in the industry to have their compensation structure dictated by the government … and I believe if the employer has paid back its TARP that should be the end of it.  2) What does “nous” mean?  It means “British informal common sense; practical intelligence” via definition of nous from Oxford Dictionaries Online.

DISPLAYING new-found political nous, Britain’s biggest banks have reportedly asked the government for guidance on “what sort of bonus payments will be acceptable”. One suspects the answer won’t be to their liking.

The bankers’ entreaties follow the recent announcement of EU and Financial Services Authority (FSA) guidelines on bonuses. The new rules, an effort to end “over-individualistic behaviour”, will limit upfront cash awards to 20-30% of the total bonus, and require banks to set aside at least 50% of a bonus for 3-5 years (depending on employees’ “risk profile”). Non-EU banks will have to apply the rules to their European employees, while EU-based banks will have to apply the rules globally.

You don’t have to be a red-clawed capitalist to see this as remarkable and unhealthy regulation. It’s highly unusual for governments to dictate the structure of private sector compensation, and for good reason: Soviet-style pay rules risk introducing far more problems than they solve.

Because the new regulations only address the symptoms of sky-high financial sector compensation, rather than the underlying causes, they amount to squeezing a balloon: financial companies will simply adjust their remuneration structures to maintain similar levels of “benefit” to employees. Starting salaries, for example, have reportedly gone up 15-20% this year alone.

via Financial sector compensation: Bad bonus rules are worse than bad bonuses | The Economist.

etiquette:  I actually think about this when I e-mail someone.  What is the proper way to open and close and e-mail message?  What do you think?

Correspondence styles have changed since 1860, when Abraham Lincoln addressed this letter to Mary Todd Lincoln ‘Dear Wife.’

Like many modern communicators, Ms. Barry, a spokeswoman for Rep. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, has nixed the salutation “dear” in her emails.

“Dear is a bit too intimate and connotes a personal relationship,” she said.

Ms. Barry said she wants to keep her business communications with the press at “the utmost and highest level of professionalism.”

Across the Internet the use of dear is going the way of sealing wax. Email has come to be viewed as informal even when used as formal communication, leaving some etiquette experts appalled at the ways professional strangers address one another.

People who don’t start communications with dear, says business-etiquette expert Lydia Ramsey, “lack polish.”

“They come across as being abrupt,” says Ms. Ramsey, who founded a Savannah, Ga., etiquette consultancy called Manners That Sell.

via Hey, Folks: Here’s a Digital Requiem for a Dearly Departed Salutation – WSJ.com.

children,education, play, parenting:  Do you think our parents ever thought that they had to teach us how to play.  My generation really screwed this one up as parents …

Ms. Wilson has embraced a growing movement to restore the sometimes-untidy business of play to the lives of children. Her interest was piqued when she toured her local elementary school last year, a few months before Benjamin was to enroll in kindergarten. She still remembered her own kindergarten classroom from 1985: it had a sandbox, blocks and toys. But this one had a wall of computers and little desks.

“There’s no imaginative play anymore, no pretend,” Ms. Wilson said with a sigh.

For several years, studies and statistics have been mounting that suggest the culture of play in the United States is vanishing. Children spend far too much time in front of a screen, educators and parents lament — 7 hours 38 minutes a day on average, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation last year. And only one in five children live within walking distance (a half-mile) of a park or playground, according to a 2010 report by the federal Centers for Disease Control, making them even less inclined to frolic outdoors.

via The Movement to Restore Children’s Play Gains Momentum – NYTimes.com.

Arianna Hufffington, TED videos, health:  Great TED video … “Sleep your way to the top, literally.” – as only Arianna could say it!  Arianna Huffington: How to succeed? Get more sleep | Video on TED.com.

Apple, iPad: Apple iPad 2 Rumors Circulate the Web – NYTimes.com.

politics:  Oops, Mr. President.

President Obama’s comment Wednesday that departing White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has worked awfully hard for his “relatively modest” pay of $172,200 may have sounded to some like a rationalization for Gibbs joining the private sector to earn some big bucks.

But the remark to the New York Times got the attention of the Washington Post “Federal Eye” columnist, who posted a lengthy story questioning just how modest such a six-figure salary is in a weak economy with high unemployment and complaints about government spending. Gibbs’ compensation falls just under the $200,000 mark that the pre-tax-compromise Obama administration once pegged as upper income for an individual — and undeserving of a continued tax break from the Bush-era reductions.

via Obama Comment That $172,000 Is ‘Relatively Modest’ Pay Has Tongues Wagging.

history, Civil War: Interesting website … I wonder how many people will plan a vacation around the sesquicentennial celebration of the Civil War?  Civil War in Georgia – Plan a Trip – Georgia Civil War Events and Attractions.

 

04
Jan
11

1.4.2011 … last day with the boys in town … will miss them … but they have become night owls … not sure what they look like in daylight.

economists, ethics, Davidson:  When I was a senior, I remember a professor telling me I was an economist … I wondered what that meant … not much I guess.  I also remember a class at Davidson called “The Emergence of Professions.”  In that class we discussed the difference between an expert/ a specialist and a professional.  Only professionals were governed by a fiduciary duty to their customer (patient, client, student, etc.).

Economists are no purer than anyone else, and I share the view of my fellow Economix blogger Nancy Folbre that we all have room to become better people. But I’m skeptical that the A.E.A. is well suited to arbitrate the ethics of the economics profession.In one area, however, the A.E.A. can act productively: It can create clear conflict-of-interest disclosure rules for its prestigious journals.The film “Inside Job” raised disturbing questions about whether economists who regularly wrote or opined on various policy debates failed to report relevant background information, such as board memberships or consulting arrangements. The accusations are serious, and it seems clear that the profession has been carelessly cavalier about conflicts of interest.As individuals, most of us could do with higher moral standards, but what are the appropriate institutional remedies?It would be nice to think that the American Economic Association could lay down a code of ethics that would solve everything, but that would be a vast institutional overreach. The biggest problem with that approach is that the A.E.A. is not a licensing or accrediting association, like the American Bar Association.The A.E.A. publishes journals, organizes an annual meeting and gives out awards, such as the John Bates Clark Medal. Membership in the A.E.A. is not selective, and many economists choose not to join, without much harm to their professional reputation I think I’ve let my own membership lapse.

The American Economic Association has successfully operated for 125 years, and part of its success comes from staying above the fray. Its primary purpose is to encourage the exchange of ideas through meetings and journals. It can and should regulate those journals better, but it doesn’t have the authority to try to regulate other aspects of economists’ lives.

via Edward L. Glaeser: Where to Draw a Line on Ethics – NYTimes.com.

random, kudos, South Africa:

Project: Report 2010 is a partnership between YouTube and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, made possible by Sony and Intel. The contest invited aspiring reporters to share their stories with the world.

With two rounds over three months, short documentary assignments were judged on the quality of the stories reported and the production value of the videos. An expert panel led by the Pulitzer Center chose ten finalists from the first round to receive technology prizes from Sony and Intel. The ten finalists then competed to receive one of five $10,000 grants to work with the Pulitzer Center on an under-reported international story. See the official rules.

The winners were announced in May 2010. The five winners received travel grants to report on an under-reported international story with the Pulitzer Center.

The winners’ reporting projects are now underway:

And Mark Jeevaratnam , who explored the effects of mountain top removal mining in Kentucky, reports on how soccer may have the potential to improve the lives of South African youths.

food trucks, street art, random, quote:

“Pie is the new donut, or pie is the new cupcakes…and the truck thing, I don’t know how long that’ll last. I don’t know where they eat it, that’s what I can’t figure out about a truck. Where the hell do you eat it?”

via Mimi Sheraton on Food Trucks | The Food Section – Food News, Recipes, and More.

Apple, marketing: Amazing … “It’ll be the elephant in the Las Vegas Convention Center: the endlessly discussed outsider whose absence helps define the show.”

Slate PCs, smartbooks and the Que were rendered largely irrelevant by the iPad, which Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced in San Francisco two weeks after last year’s CES. The fact that the most influential company in the business chooses to hold its own launch events on its own schedule further erodes CES’s usefulness as a predictor of next big things, but it doesn’t mean that Apple won’t be on everyone’s minds. It’ll be the elephant in the Las Vegas Convention Center: the endlessly discussed outsider whose absence helps define the show.

via The 2011 Consumer Electronics Show: What to Expect – TIME.

Great Recession, BofA:  I hope he is right.  🙂

Jim Cramer thinks Bank of America could break out after addressing its housing losses head on.

via Cramer: BofA Could Break Out JPM, C, WFC, BAC – TheStreet TV.

Politics, Congress, culture:  I wonder if this lack of spousal friendships is a factor in what is viewed as a lack of  congeniality among members of Congress.

In its midcentury heyday, 50 or so members of the Senate Wives’ Club, met at 10 o’clock each Tuesday morning, Democrats and Republicans alike, sitting together in Red Cross uniforms, rolling bandages and exchanging the intimate details of their lives. “We became close friends,” remembers Ellen Proxmire, whose late husband, William Proxmire, spent three decades in the Senate. “We all lived here. We would see each other on weekends.”

Today, the club, long ago renamed Senate Spouses in a nod to the growing number of women in Congress, meets about once a month, and fewer than a dozen attend. “A lot of the Senate wives don’t live here,” explains Proxmire, “so it would be harder to have a weekly meeting.” When Michelle Obama hosted the annual First Lady luncheon for the club this past July — harkening back to a time when the likes of Van Cliburn and Marvin Hamlisch played at the event– only 45 or so current Senate spouses showed for Jill Biden’s slideshow of her recent trip to Iraq, over crab cakes and grilled shrimp. The room was filled out by Proxmire and other wives of senators long-retired. “It wasn’t unusually well attended,” she says.

As the 112th Congress opens, the family lives of the nation’s lawmakers are in disarray. Newsweek recently reached 46 of the 107 freshman members of Congress, and only one—Mike Lee, the newly elected Republican senator from Utah—said he or she was planning to move to Washington with spouse and children in tow.

via No More Washington Wives and It’s Our Loss – Newsweek.

apps, New Year’s Resolution’s, me:  Hmmm, wonder which ones I should buy!  5 Fitness Apps to Get You Off the Couch – TIME Healthland – StumbleUpon.

history, France, Elizabeth Musser, kith/kin:  This article made me think of Elizabeth’s  early trilogy.

Algeria is not France’s Vietnam, he said, but something more ingrained. “It is much more complicated to exorcise it here, and then on top of that we have the pieds noirs and the harkis,” he said. “France is now getting slightly more involved in this part of its history,” with more documentaries on television. “But the French can’t, for now, see their tragedy on the big screen.”

via France’s Pain Over Algeria Reawakens With 2 New Films – NYTimes.com.




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