Archive for March 16th, 2012
Album: Antidotes (Bonus Track Version)
The Ides of March
Song: Time for Thinking
Song: Julius Caesar (Memento Hodie)
Album: The Marble Index
Song: Go for the Throat
Album: Beat Em Up
Song: B Is for Brutus
Album: Tyrannosaurus Hives
Song: Killed by the Morning Sun
The Cloud Room
Song: When Dogs & Wolves Split
Album: Please Don’t Almost Kill Me-EP
Ike & Tina Turner
Song: I Smell Trouble
Album: Sing the Blues
Album: On Approach
Song: Lies Lies Lies
Album: So Sweet
Song: I’m Hurting All Over
Album: The Billy Fury Rarities, Vol. 8
Album: At War With Walls and Mazes
Asaf Avidan & The Mojos
Song: Painting On the Past
Album: Poor Boy/Lucky Man
Song: Political World
Album: Oh Mercy
Song: Things Behind the Sun
Album: Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick Drake
The Rolling Stones
Album: Some Girls (Remastered)
Song: Greaseball Blues
Album: Richard Swift As Onasis
The Brothers Johnson
Song: Strawberry Letter No.
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Until Tuesday at 4 p.m., every team in the NFL was looking at an Easter season filled with the joy of rebirth, the anticipation of acquiring new toys and the boundless belief that their franchise would surely have a Super Bowl-winning 2012 season.
Yet here we are — only a couple of days removed from the NFL version of the checkered flag — and already some fan bases are left to wonder “What were they thinking?” when cogitating on their team’s front office strategy.
I’m as much a Peyton Manning-loving football fan as the next woman, but even I get tired of the endless hype over the league’s top-tier signal callers. With the possible exception of Denver’s Tim Tebow, none of these gentlemen walk on water. If I hear one more offseason pundit describe the NFL as a “quarterback-driven league” I may be forced to do something unthinkable — like watch a television show devoted to real news.
However, with the immutable trending of rules towards promoting the passing game, the man doing said passing has indeed become every team’s one essential chess piece (continue reading…)
Political films are among my favorite genres because of their drama, excitement of the campaign and attempt to portray the human side of candidates and staffers.
Game Change is no exception.
The story of how Sarah Palin was chosen for the 2008 GOP vice-presidential spot was both intriguing and sad as it showed the lengths a desperate candidate and staff were willing to go in order to win the election.
For many decades now, the American people have been treated to VP picks from out of nowhere. Bush 41′s Quayle comes to mind as does Nixon’s Spiro Agnew and Carter’s Mondale. Even after they are elected, vice presidents are typically nobodies, although that’s changed considerably since Al Gore and his reinvention of government. Dick Cheney took the office to another level with behind-the-scenes manipulation, including his own nomination as vice president.
Sarah Palin was indeed different, too (continue reading…)
Yesterday at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, Bruce Springsteen proved once again that he’s not only one of the greatest popular artists and performers of all time, he’s also one of the greatest speakers, too. I come here to praise Springsteen not just because he’s from Jersey, and I’m from Jersey, but because it’s true and Bruce can still prove it all night — and based on yesterday’s extraordinary speech, all day too. If you haven’t heard Springsteen’s insightful and somehow inspiring keynote address about our “post-authentic world,” please do yourself a favor and go to npr.com to check it out as soon as you can.
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The Film World is in the midst of a three-dimensional craze, and its latest eye-popping gem is Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. The film’s featured star, Richard Winsor, is something of a startling vision himself. “Sexiest dancer in the world” – says Elle magazine. “I certainly do hope so!” would be the composer’s response (continue reading…)
Our country is in the midst of a great debate on how to reduce our national debt. This is an important discussion for all of us to have.
As part of this conversation, we should carefully examine the subsidies for different forms of energy production — fossil fuels and renewables. All of us understand that the subsidy game can be a slippery slope, and it is important to set clear standards for when subsidies make sense and when they do not.
As a rule, there are three things we should consider before putting subsidies in place: 1) Does the subsidy provide some overarching policy or economic benefit for the country? 2) Is this a new industry that truly needs help reaching scale or is the industry mature enough that it can stand on its own without subsidies? 3) How long do the subsidies really need to be in place?
A strong case can be made for more alternative energy (continue reading…)
HBO’s splendid movie Game Change tells the story of Sarah Palin’s rise and fall as John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential contest. It provides insight into the GOP’s identity crisis that’s produced this year’s demolition derby in the Republican primaries.
Game Change asserts that Palin was a desperate choice by the McCain campaign. Because they needed a dynamic vice-presidential candidate to stop Barack Obama’s momentum, McCain and his advisers rushed the process and did not adequately vet Palin. Then they discovered Palin had little knowledge of current events, much less foreign and domestic policy (continue reading…)
One of the iconic markers you are in a desperately poor third-world country is driving past the garbage dump and watching rag-pickers sort through open garbage dumps, often with their homes on top of the refuse pile from which they scavenge a living.
These communities, however, are the functional equivalent of recyclers — they separate and sell virtually everything of value in the waste stream, leaving behind primarily the food scraps and other organics.They are treated abysmally, often harassed, exposed to disease and toxic chemicals routinely, denied basic amenities of living like sanitation and clean water. That, of course, is the difference between a desperately poor county like India and the US — their recyclers lack fundamental dignity.
Or is it? At the LA Green Jobs/Good Jobs conference, Teamster Union organizers tell a story of how American recyclers are treated that — except for the fact that they work under roofs instead of in the open sky — sounds chillingly evocative of the scenes I’ve seen in India and Mexico.
Carla Campos, a worker from a local recycling facility, American Reclamation, described how she and her co-workers were often injured by glass, pierced by dirty needles and forced to use the garbage piles as toilets because the formal facilities were clogged (continue reading…)
I remember Margie more distinctly than the others because for one full year of Tuesday mornings she simply could not stop weeping. The other women who attended the support group I facilitated for victims of domestic violence also wept, but many of them, most of them, after a few weeks or months, were able to stop sobbing long enough to get angry or listen to suggestions, or in a few cases, to begin to make plans for a new life.
Margie was different. She seemed the most defeated in a roomful of women who felt defeated (continue reading…)
Todays Most Important Finance Story Lan T Pham PhD Told the CBO the Truth About Mortgage Securities and Was Fired For It
Every day I read the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times, and Handelsblatt. Then I skim other finance papers online. I also read several finance blogs. Each day I ask myself what is the most important news story of the day (continue reading…)
Many of us see President Obama’s graying hair and think, “it must be all the stress he’s under.” We view Hillary Clinton’s furrowed brow and assume, “the weight of the world is adding years to her face.” But does stress and anxiety actually accelerate the aging process? Is there scientific evidence to back this perception?
The fact is, the results from research are themselves pretty gray. Some studies studies suggest that stress has direct negative effects on our physical and emotional health, but its exact relationship is complex and not yet fully understood.
Here is what we know. Acute anxiety is our natural response to a real or perceived threat — what we call the fight/flight reaction (continue reading…)
Singer/songwriters Kenny Loggins, Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman recently formed the new band Blue Sky Riders, and were profiled by Huff/Post50 in February. They are finishing their first album and will be chronicling their experiences as a band in this blog.
I was very shy in high school; I played the baritone horn in the Platt High band. Cool kids do NOT play the baritone horn. It’s one degree above a tuba (continue reading…)
My husband’s Tilley Hat came to us 10 years ago with an owner’s manual and a “life’s perils” insurance policy. It guaranteed against loss or damage and unlike the Titanic, my husband’s Tilley Hat can float in water. It has a nifty pocket inside the crown for storing keys (should you be inclined to carry your keys on your head) and there are “ventilation grommets” to hook the arms of your glasses and velcro to seal them in place. My husband’s Tilley hat protects against harmful UV rays and with its chin-strap in place, can withstand gale-force winds.
It was love at first sight between my husband and his Tilley hat (continue reading…)
New York’s tabloids have been going crazy over the story of the “soccer mom Madam” who is alleged to have made millions serving up Eastern Europe’s finest young exports to some of the richest men in America.
We should be asking: why are the women indicted, while the clients — whose activities are also illegal under New York law — getting off literally and figuratively?
I looked into this and discovered that New York’s law enforcement apparatus is just starting to sign onto what’s called in anti-trafficking circles, the Swedish model — which targets the demand for commodified female flesh, not the supply.
Just before Christmas last year, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly hosted a small, cosmopolitan group of pretty young women in his office at 1 Police Plaza. Most were immigrants to the city, having come from Asia, Central America, Eastern Europe and around the United States. Because of the sensitive nature of what they would discuss, only two other officials were present — the NYPD’s chief counsel and the commanding officer in charge of vice.
The women spoke different languages but had at least one thing in common: they had all been brought to the city to labor in the sex industry. The non-natives’ first English words were “blow job” and “fuck.”
They told harrowing stories of being kidnapped, imprisoned and forced to sell their bodies (continue reading…)
There are many reasons to celebrate this Saturday: it’s the weekend, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and it’s the beginning of spring. Dust off those baskets, those blankets, and those sunglasses — and grab a few beers. You deserve a long, leisurely picnic out in the sun; an afternoon nap is optional, but recommended (continue reading…)
I’ve always been a political junkie. Since my earliest days as an observer and later as a participant in all things electoral, the golden rule has not changed: love thy neighbor’s wallet as though it were your own. Americans “vote their pocketbooks.” I have always accepted it as a truism — doesn’t everybody? Can’t you just hear James Carville whispering those four magic words into Bill Clinton’s ear over and over and over again in 1992…
“It’s the economy, stupid!”
Yale economist Ray Fair has developed a model to predict presidential election results which is based on economic considerations. It completely disregards social issues, moral questions and fashion statements like sweater vests (continue reading…)
I’m no fan of green cupcakes or green beer.And the only green eggs I like are the Dr. Seuss kind — in a book. I prefer my corned beef without cabbage and though I love the tin that McCann’s oatmeal comes in, actually I don’t love the cereal.
All this has no impact on how much I love St Patrick’s Day (continue reading…)
Emotions lie at the heart of how you respond to crises. They are the starting point for all of the reactions that we have toward a crisis. They are also the first obstacle to establishing a positive response to a crisis. That is why it is essential to understand the role that emotions play in how we react, with the goal being to gain control of and use our emotions in constructive ways when confronted by crises (continue reading…)
When the reality of impermanence and change in life hits you, it can feel sad, even terrifying. Seeing your children grow up before your eyes. The end of a love relationship. Losing your job, fearing you might never get “back on track.” The death of someone close (continue reading…)
As a society, we Westerners exalt individualism and self-reliance, and yet our biology moves us in other directions. Humans evolved as social animals, and we posses a number of behaviors that motivate us towards group conformity. The feeling of wanting friends, of desiring a peer group and of needing to feel like we are valuable members of that group is something we all can directly relate to, and we usually experience those feelings as a positive thing. Yet there is a bit of a dark side to our social nature that we might not notice, particularly because so much of its action goes on underneath the level of conscious awareness (continue reading…)
Our urban schools are screwed up; our teachers are under siege and burnt out; and the parents of the children who cause the most problems are the least involved.
So what else is new?
If all this seems obvious to you, it apparently comes as a shock to filmmaker Tony Kaye, who has made an angry, pained movie about the subject called Detachment, which opens in limited release on Friday (3/16/12). He and screenwriter Carl Lund obviously are worked up about the subject, but don’t have much to say that you haven’t heard before.
His way into this little slice of hell on Earth is a substitute teacher, Henry Barthes, played with soulful restraint by Adrien Brody. Barthes is apparently the top sub in the system, but he relishes the impermanence, because he has few real connections in his life.
His new school has an all-star faculty, including Marcia Gay Harden as the principal (under siege by the school board because of her school’s poor test scores), Lucy Liu and James Caan as guidance counselors, and Blythe Danner, Tim Blake Nelson, William S. Petersen and Christina Hendricks as teachers (continue reading…)
As per the annual ritual of the opening bell of free agency, the “chosen few” players were beneficiaries of the unrestricted free agency system brought into the NFL in 1993. Teams desiring to make purchases on the opening day of the buying season have to pay retail prices; they know that going in.
First, a couple of mantras from my years of watching free agency (and hoping in Green Bay that we would avoid the “stupid money” payouts of the first few days shopping sprees):
Some of the best deals made are the ones not made
Never let impulse or emotion override rational decision making, and
Teams that “win” March rarely play in January
Free agency moved at warp speed for one position group. A talented group of wide receivers made their presence felt throughout the league with a trade and some marquee signings designed to upgrade sluggish offenses. Let’s look at some of the new wide receiver riches…
NFL owners were adamant about changing the rookie pay at the top of the Draft for reasons beyond the oversized guarantees (continue reading…)
God is Love. How many times have we heard the word “love” being used to define that which is ultimately indefinable? I suppose it is because that’s the only word that can even bring us close to grasping the ungraspable. When we use “love” to define that which is transcendent, absolute, and metaphysical, we’re using it to describe qualities and attributes that are non-ordinary, that represent a higher dimension of human experience, intuition, and cognition. That is why the love that is God is transpersonal, because it points us far beyond our unique individuality or the unique individuality of any other (continue reading…)
“My name is Hind bint ‘Utba. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
It’s election year in America, a time when our public discussions center on power and who ought to wield it. The big struggle is less over specific legislative agendas and more over who controls the narrative and frames the issues (continue reading…)