Michael Maiello's picture

    The Flash Crash Boy

    When I was at Forbes I learned that the American Stock Exchange, once known as "the curb," also had the nickname, "The Scam-ex."  This was where people bought and sold shares of subprime public companies and where insiders and bucket shops conducted pump and dump scams on retail investors.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    The Marathon, Democracy

    It's Marathon Monday in Boston, the second Marathon since the bombing. A Massachusetts jury is currently deciding whether the surviving bomber should serve life in prison or be executed, but that jury  will not meet today, because it is a holiday. Today is Patriot's Day.

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    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    Do Women Desire Peaceful Gentle Partners

    According to Washington Post book reviewer Joanna Scutts, anthropologist Melvin Konner argues in Women After All that we can look forward to a peaceful future because women will increasingly mate with "caring, committed partners" rather than "feckless brutes". 

    At least three assumptions underlie Konner's conclusion:  1) Going forward, young women will have a greater degree of agency when it comes to selecting reproductive mates.  2) Women with agency will choose caring unassuming mates.  3) The offspring of gentle empathic men will be gentle and empathic.  While the truth of each assumption may be questioned, this post briefly examines the second and finds it dubious.

    Dr. Quinn's Koestler-like Energy Future Shock

    We had an interesting guest appearance by Quinn re: the slide to renewables in perhaps 30-40 years.

    Presuming this all goes as (un)planned and coal/oil/gas can mostly be phased out, it begs some interesting questions, what with nearly limitless almost-free energy (& electric cars, super-grids & presumably electric planes to go along with it)

    1) what happens to our global warming concerns as we replace fossil fuels with non-CO2 & non-heat producing alternatives?

    What, me happy with Congress?

    Regarding the Senate committee's unanimous vote yesterday to "condition the President's power" on negotiating a nuclear agreement with Iran, I was irate before I had my coffee, on the fence during breakfast, and surprisingly I now have decided not to allow perceived insults to the President ruin my day. I'm not gloriously happy, but I'm o.k with with the unanimous vote.

    Hal Ginsberg's picture

    Botched Rollout

    For married-with-children New York suburbanites in the 1970s and 80s, nothing spelled success like a Mercedes S-Class Sedan in the driveway.  After the big promotion, hot shot investment bankers, law firm partners, and ad agency execs headed over to Mercedes-Benz of Greenwich.  There they handed Hans a fat check and the keys to the family's now superfluous Gran Torino before cruising back to Scarsdale or Darien in 450 SEL splendor.

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    Great Scott

    I first formed an opinion about Scott Ritter in the early 90s based on some network’s clip  showing him--then a UN arms inspector--arguing with some of his Iraqi contacts.  Poorly... Fitting every part of the role of the Ugly American.

    Some years later he spoke at some local hall and I went. In the flesh he was an improvement.

    That was the last I thought about him until the Huffington Post last week headlined those  comments of his on Lausanne which I linked to in Caviar anyone? I recommend taking a look at that link. Whichever side you’re on, Ritter raises issues which should be dealt with  although he himself, like me, seems  pro Lausanne. 

    Richard Day's picture

    THERE IS NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!

    League of their own ver2.jpg All the republicans have been doing over the last six years is sobbing over the election and re-election of Barack Hussein Obama.

    Mr. Obama was not qualified to run for President of these United States of America because he was not and is not an American citizen.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/was-there-a-birth-certificate-trump-battles-abcs-jon-karl-over-obamas-ted-cruzs-citizenship/

    Mr. Obama worshipped with a radical anti-white Christian minister.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blotter/democraticdebate/story?id=4443788&page=1

    Ramona's picture

    As Long as There is a Constitution, The GOP Can't Win

    It's been a while, but here I am.  Illnesses and the vagaries of the gypsy life have taken a toll, frazzled my brain, and, if you can believe it, have led me to thinking about things other than the state of the nation.  During my enforced R&R I read a few novels, watched a few movies, spent time with friends, marveled at scenery, and all-around de-fragged.  I hung around on the edges of the political debates, but found myself thinking the unthinkable:  "Who cares?"

    Now I'm back.

    So. . .

    What the devil has gotten into those Republicans?  Are there no grownups left in that party? It's as if, this past January, they all just got out of juvie, where they were plotting their mischief, and now's the time to put their malicious but childishly goofy plans into action.

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    stillidealistic's picture

    Religious Freedom? I Think Not.

    Religious freedom, my ass.

    None of this stuff going on right now is about religious freedom. It's about fundamentalist Christians wanting to shove THEIR religion down the throats of everyone else.

    I haven't heard a SINGLE SOLITARY Christian leader come out and say how wrong it was for the country to basically FORCE Mormons to abandon polygamy, even though it was a basic tenant of their religion from the get-go.

    I haven't heard a SINGLE SOLITARY Christian leader come out and say that the Muslims should be able to practice Sharia Law, according to their religion.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Gay Rights For Paleo-Christians

    "In truth, laws are always useful to those with possessions and harmful to those who have nothing; from which it follows that the social state is advantageous to men only when all possess something."
     
    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are available to any American who doesn't suffer from that incurable disease called "otherness". There's a Dimension of personal belief that spills into the public sector; this belief has the ability to circumvent the rights of others. The lack of equality the homosexual community face is a direct reflection of the way our society has always handled radical alterity. The right to engage in commerce or have a marriage that's recognized by the sovereign is a right many (in this free country) have fought and some died for, yet the progress made in some states is being negated by the regressive policies of other states: Indiana and Arkansas.
    Michael Maiello's picture

    Another Thing About the 47%

    You heard, during the last campaign, that 47% of Americans "don't pay taxes," by which we mean Federal Income taxes (they pay many others at all levels of government).  It has somehow been difficult to convince people that 47% of the population does not actually make enough money that they can be taxed in any meaningful way but at a median income of $50,000 a year and long-term, inflation-adjusted wage stagnation, I've always suspected it's true.  From The Big Picture, some further evidence:

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    Bruce Levine's picture

    Iran Negotiations -- The Final Phase

    The completion last week of the framework phase of the P5+1 coalition's nuclear negotiations with Iran  presents an opportunity to take stock of where the parties are and what to expect over the next few months leading up to the deadline for the final phase of negotiations now set for June 30th.  This analysis looks forward to the extent possible and amounts to my humble attempt to focus on what we might anticipate to see in negotiations and my even more humble recommendations to those who know far more about the substance of these talks than I would ever claim to have.  Much of what I discuss below is addressed in some of my previous posts addressing these negotiations.

    Danny Cardwell's picture

    Middle East Fear: We All Should Be Afraid

    I read something about fear a few years ago that resonated with me: neurologically, fear and anger have very similar effects on the human body. I read this in prison; it gave me pause: most of the people I knew who were in prison for murder weren't stereotypical gangsters or psychopaths. I thought long and hard about the stories I'd heard over the years and most of them were rooted in fear not anger. I decided that I would do everything in my power to avoid appearing intimidating or threatening.

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Myth of the Militant Homosexual

    Indiana Governor Mike Pence is shocked—shocked—that people see anything objectionable in Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. “Was I expecting this kind of backlash?” he exclaimed, “Heavens no.”

    After all, who could object to religious freedom?

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Religion Is Not A Counterculture

    I spend too much time on Ross Douthat and his sensei, David Brooks. Today, Douthat wrote a piece casting America’s practicing religious communities as a counterculture.  He then calls for the same tolerance that most countercultures, from beats to hippies to punks to vegans to gays have asked for but rarely received.

    Douthat says:

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    Richard Day's picture

    HERE COMES TOMMY COTTONTAIL

    A stained glass depiction of Jesus as a Caucasian man with long brown hair, a beard and the characteristic Christian cross inscribed in the halo behind his head. The figure dressed in a white inner robe cover by a shorter, looser scarlet robe. Depicted as a Shepherd, he is holding a crux in his left hand and carrying a lamb in his right. Sheep are positioned to the left and right of the figure.

    HERE COMES TOMMY COTTONTAIL:

    HOPPIN DOWN THE FUNNY TRAIL

    HIPPITOTY HOPPITY JESUS IS ON HIS WAY.

     

    YOU SHOULD FEEL SO LUCKY you all,  IN ANOTHER PLACE YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN EXECUTED.

    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2015/04/02/3642060/senator-says-critics-indiana-get-perspective-thankful-state-doesnt-execute-gays/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tptop3

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Tolerance Doesn't Cut It

    This week, Ross Douthat and his mentor David Brooks both wrote pieces cautioning the “victors” of the battle for civil rights for gay people to be “gracious” in their ascendance.  Both have made this argument before.  First, they say, that the civil rights proponents could very easily go too far in an essentially conservative culture and second, they say, they owe a nod to tolerance of dissent by the religious.

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    Christians should pee into cups.

    Within the vast offensiveness of the Indiana, and now Arkansas, Enshrine Christians (and Bigots) legislation what is being downplayed by progenitors is the leniency shown religious folk---who wish to refuse service to certain patrons---in providing proof that their refusal of service is central to their faith.

    Folks like the Tea Party/Christians---who are the one's being pandered to with the recent odious legislation---are first in line to force welfare recipients to pee into cups or force the poor and elderly to provide voting I.D. that isn't necessary. But there is scant to no provision in these new laws requiring Christians to prove the sincerity and honesty of their own behavior.

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