Maiello: Human Rights and the Stock Market
Doc Cleveland: Fear Itself: Ukraine Edition
And on a Lighter Note, CPAC Starts Today!
Early in my career at Forbes an editor introduced me to the quotation, "Everybody ought to be right," attributed to a 1929 Ladies Home Journal article by John Jakob Raskob, a financier for General Motors and Dupont and a darned good boom times investor. What Raskob meant was:
"...a man is rich when he has an income from invested capital which is sufficient to support him and his family in a decent and comfortable manner - to give as much support, let us say, as has ever been given by his earnings." [Read more]
On that day I was up in my sewing room, away from the TV. My four-year-old son was napping, and my 7-year-old daughter was in school. My husband was at work. It was early afternoon.
I heard the back door open and before I could start to the stairs, I could hear my neighbor, Gwen, shouting something, sobbing. I thought something must have happened to her mother, who had been ailing. By the time I got to her she could barely speak. "They shot the president! They shot Kennedy!"
Back in 2005, when I was still a financial journalist, I attended the Investment Company Institute's annual gathering in Washington, D.C. The end of retirement was a theme of the event. Ken Dychtwald of Agewave argued that the idea of retirement, wherein you stop working in your sixties and get to live a few decades in pursuit of your own ambitions before dying, was a post World War II prosperity phenomenon and that it played such a brief role in our history that you could count on it enduring no more than you could count on always being able to make money by investing in Internet stocks. [Read more]
A few weeks ago, an NFL player named Jonathan Martin, offensive left tackle for the Miami Dolphins, walked off the team and sought counseling for emotional health issues. This has led to the suspension of his teammate, the incongruously-named Richie Incognito, on charges of outlandish workplace harassment; an official NFL investigation into the team, now reaching to behavior by the coaches; and the kind of publicity you just can't buy. Plenty of NFL players, sports pundits, and armchair tough guys have denounced the 6'5", 312-pound Martin as soft and weak and proclaimed that outsiders just can't understand what goes on in an NFL locker room. [Read more]
Everybody knows the Walton family, the people who put the "Wal" in "Walmart", is the richest family in America. They're so rich you would have to pile up more than 40% of the wealth in the entire United States to even be on the same level. If each member of the family lived to be a thousand years old, they couldn't even begin to spend all of their fortune. So asking them to pay their employees a living wage and a few measly benefits is like asking them to give up, say, 1/10,000th of their fortune. (Don't quote me on that; I don't know that for absolute sure.)
But I'm ever the optimist, so I put these questions to them:
Timothy Geithner is getting what some on Wall Street will jokingly refer to as his first "real job" as a President and Managing Director at private equity house Warburg Pincus. At Business Insider, Joe Weisenthal's take is that it could have been worse from a conflict of interest standpoint -- at least he's not as a Too Big To Fail bank, lobbying against regulations. [Read more]
Yesterday I wrote about Opening Day for Michigan’s deer hunting season. But yesterday was also opening day for a hunting season not seen in Michigan for almost 50 years. Despite pushback from many different organizations, and petitions set up on a whole lot of petition sites, our grand Poobahs in Pure Michigan caved once again to special interests and instituted a hunting season for wolves.
Today marks the opening of hunting season here in Michigan’s north woods. The schools are closed in most upper state communities, including ours.
Opening Day is an annual holiday for the kids, even though only a small percentage of them will be out in the woods with guns. For many of them, today will be their initiation in deer camp, and it’s a day they’ve been waiting for all year. I don’t quite know when it started but I do know that up here it’s one of those holidays that is so sacrosanct nobody questions it.
They’ve elected a new mayor in Detroit, which, in other circumstances, might be a big deal, but since Detroit is under the thumb of a state-appointed emergency manager (who promptly–and probably unconstitutionally–took away all authority from every elected city official), the new mayor, Mike Duggan, will likely be mayor in name only. He’ll be invited to be in the first car in Detroit’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and, as the city’s Goodwill Embassador, he’ll be entrusted with handing out city souvenirs [Read more]
ocean-kat’s recent blog about secessionists, struck a chord with me and reminded me that I needed to finish writing this piece. It is a topic which has been tumbling around in my mind for a long time.
I was on Facebook a while back, having a discussion with a friend. She is a single mother living in the UK, and doesn't like being told she must get her child vaccinated.  [Read more]
We're an odd bunch, we Americans. We've had a hate-hate relationship with the very rich for as long as we've existed as a country, but, damn their black hides, we can't stop taking care of them.
After all these years we've become used to sparring with the super-rich over how much they get to keep and how much they should share. They want to keep it all, and we know that. We want them to behave like responsible citizens, and they don't think they should have to.
Due to apathy, off-off year elections (i.e., elections on odd-numbered years) tend to have lower voter turn-out than even off year elections. The bad news is that, for whatever reason, Republican-leaning voters tend to be less affected by apathy than Democratic-leaning voters. The good news is that this low turn-out means your vote counts more than it would for even-numbered years. So, go vote! [Read more]
From Edward Snowden's Manifesto for the Truth from his residence under the protection of Vladmir Putin and the decidedly not free and open Russia:
....Sometimes the agencies even deliberately try to hide their surveillance of high officials or the public. While the NSA and GCHQ seem to be the worst offenders – this is what the currently available documents suggest – we must not forget that mass surveillance is a global problem in need of global solutions..... [Read more]
At least you get better coverage out of the deal. I still had to pay for my ER visit because it fell under my $3000 deductible. But what could I do? This America. Private companies are supposed to wring people out like dirty washcloths. It's called a free market.
But this is different, isn't it? It's not the free market that's squeezing you dry. It's the government. Government isn't supposed to squeeze people. It's supposed to get out of the way and let the free market squeeze people. [Read more]
Coming back from the gym this morning, I encountered an 18 wheeler with a flatbed trailer, stuck on a narrow West Village street, trying to navigate between the fancy cars parked on both sides. I asked the driver if eyes outside the truck would help. He was happy to tell me where to look while he steered the truck back and forth in an effort to straighten out the trailer without smooshing anybody's fine examples of German luxry auto manufacturing.  [Read more]
When I first heard that Rev. Marvin Winans (of the gospel-singing Winans klan) refused to receive and Bless a child before his congregation because the child was born out of wedlock, I thought it was just another one of those ridiculous urban legends, because no Black minister could be that pompously out of touch with reality (I specified "Black minister" because Pat Robertson is White, and I’m not surprised at anything he does), and certainly no one with as high a public profile as Marvin Winans could possibly be that big a fool. [Read more]
Ted Cruz, that notorious commie-hunting senator from Texas channeling a certain notorious mid-20th century commie-hunting senator from Wisconsin, is just one in a long line of rock star politicians who think they've latched onto the best way to get their cockamamie ideas across: Get out there and make shocking accusations against either individuals or authority with such astounding stagecraft, the press, the media--indeed, a sizable section of the population--will become such slathering groupies they wo [Read more]
The NSA's answer to charges that it spies on the phone calls of citizens in the European Union is that it isn't spying, it is analyzing information provided to it by the intelligence agencies of allied governments. See, the NSA doesn't spy on Spanish people's phone calls. Spain does. Then they tell the NSA all about it. Glad we cleared that up.
This is very close to a defense of the metadata collection that the NSA engages in at home -- the NSA doesn't "collect" the data, says the argument, the phone companies do. Then they tell the NSA all about it. I'm not sure why that's supposed to make me think differently about the whole endeavor, but it works for some people. [Read more]
A couple of weeks ago on a Saturday, I was in the check out line at a local store. Just ahead of me was a lady checking out only she was over her budget and was having items taken off the bill. It took a while but I was not in a hurry. Shopping is just about the only thing I do to get out of the house these days, so I don't rush through it. After she got her over spending adjusted, she discovered she had left her EBT card at home. I could see her embarrassment in her face as she apologized. She said she would come back in a few minutes. There was tears in her eyes as she left the store. So all of us were switched to another register and I asked the young man checking me out if he thought she would come back. He said yes because she was a regular customer. Her tears of shame bothered me all day. In my head I had visions of her being a single mom that is over worked and tired. I think it is time that our politicians stop shaming people for being in need of SNAP and do something to remove that need. [Read more]