Friday Morning Open Thread

Busy morning.

Congrats to the Ducks.

This is an Open Thread.

< Still Fighting | Unemployment Rate Falls To 10% >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Mayor of Copenhagen... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:12:18 AM EST
    picked on the wrong workers me thinks...and they ain't taking it lying down.

    The big winner is setting up to be the attendees of the Climate Summit.

    Gotta check this out... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:32:35 AM EST
    the funniest thing I've read in awhile...what happens when a big-shot commodities trader gets a lesson in the economy of the real...truly classic.

    Did you watch... (none / 0) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:40:11 AM EST
    ...that video over at Skippy's about "cannabis kills cancer cells?  It's on the sidebar...

    No I haven't... (none / 0) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:44:06 AM EST
    but thanks for pointing it out, I'll check it out later w/ sound...could always use more good news:)

    That's good (none / 0) (#16)
    by ruffian on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:21:11 AM EST
    Wish it had been pork bellies though!

    Really interesting article (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by CST on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:45:55 AM EST
    on Afghanistan.  It has an interview with the author of "Three Cups of Tea" which is now required reading for the military over there.

    It's somewhat optimistic with a lot of constructive criticism, and gives a pretty good idea of how things have changed and what still needs to change.

    Mortenson is a pretty incredible person.

    Unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by CST on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:34:23 AM EST
    One of the pieces of advice given looks like it's going unused.  "More people fewer bombs" is probably good advice for the civilians on the ground, but the U.S. government will still use bombs over people - especially in Pakistan.  I understand the desire to save American troop's lives, and in Pakistan we can't really send a ground force, but this does not help us win over the people of Pakistan.

    Ironically, (according to this article) the people living in the area with the drone attacks are much more supportive of them than the general poplution of Pakistan.  Suggesting that while they may be working as intended, it's still a pr nightmare for the country in general.

    There are certainly no easy decisions in this battle.  Even in the most optimistic scenario, the existence of these drones is quite simply - creepy and morally disturbing.


    I just read that "Cobra's Anger" (none / 0) (#21)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:38:59 AM EST
    kicked off today.  Who names these things?  Hopefully this is an Afghan type name that is meaningful to the Afghan troops involved.

    Let's hope so (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by CST on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:46:30 AM EST
    to me it sounds like a really terrible tequila shot.

    Used to use computer generated (none / 0) (#30)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:58:55 AM EST
    names, but some combinations came up that were terribly un-PC. this one isn't so great, either.

    What I really want to know is WHO (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:49:54 AM EST
    keeps leaving out the tribal leaders?  It's really chapping me.  I don't think this is the military either because they learned the very very very hard most painful way from "de baathification" in the Sunni triangle.  Nothing got better until the Sunni came to the table...and even then you had to allow for infighting to shake out at the start.  My perception is that this is a Holbrooke failing, who never wanted to have to consider the country as a whole and wanted a small footprint with lots of airstrikes that would have hit tribal areas.  Why show respect to the people who you didn't think counted for anything anyhow?

    Doesn't sound like the military (none / 0) (#27)
    by CST on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:56:59 AM EST
    to me either - since they are actually meeting with the leaders.  It sounds like a problem in the administration.

    Also - Nato allies sending 7000 more troops.

    And that doesn't include Germany or France.  I don't think France ever will - Germany might.  Sarkozy seems to really not like Obama personally.


    Regardless (none / 0) (#43)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:30:10 AM EST
    The military is still a pathologically anti-imaginative institution and does not possess, in any way, the evolved creative juice necessary to understand and address the real issues. So I must disagree, it is the military also. It will always be the military when we are in needless wars of choice. It would take decades, and an almost entirely new force of troops (at an average age of probably 35, most college educated and well traveled and multi-lingual) to really transform the military into an institution capable of addressing what really needs to be in this day and age. Then again, it would cease to be the military as we know it in most respects. And that, come to think of it, ain't such a bad idea. Imagine national pols in this country without a military to use and abuse on a regular basis as a propaganda tool and tool of diversion and deceit.



    Dadler (none / 0) (#73)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:31:39 PM EST
    I'm very sorry but when it comes to anti-imagination institutions running anything these days, the military doesn't even make the top 20 list.  I have heard complaints about the Holbrooke solutions from other soldiers.

    Agree with MT especially (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:01:21 PM EST
    given that the job of the military is NOT to come up with policy and political strategies, but to execute military, i.e., war plans decided by CIC and his advisers.  Why is the overworked and overstretched military to blame for policy blunders.

    Afghani Voices (none / 0) (#42)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:29:47 AM EST
    I have been looking for Afghani voices, pretty hard to find.  How come westerners are always speaking for them?  Maybe when we let some Afghanis speak we could learn something.  

    Ironic (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:33:44 AM EST
    Since this westerner's advice is "listen to Afghanis" - but you are right - it's very hard to find on this side of the pond.

    Argh, ankle throbbing (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:56:33 AM EST
    from the surgery and intestines not happy with the pain killers. gonna be a fun day until I go to sleep. Also, looks like it might snow here.

    At least it'll be a nice change.

    Sorry to hear that. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:00:24 AM EST
    Snow?  Where are you?

    My son is All Excited that it might snow tomorrow!  I'm tempted to get him all dressed up, shove him out the door and tell him to go have fun.  


    Northeast of Birmingham (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:02:19 AM EST
    maybe an inch here, maybe less. I have a good window view!

    Don't know what (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 03:55:50 PM EST
    kind of pks you're taking or what kind of gastric problems you're having, but over-the-counter anti-gas stuff helps a lot, I find.  And a nice baked potato is a real good cushion just before taking pks.

    Are you old enough to remember the very old Bufferin ads, "Why trade a headache for an upset stomach"?  I feel your pain.


    Baked potato and cheap antacids (none / 0) (#89)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 07:18:48 PM EST
    worked wonders this afternoon. thanks for the suggestion! I ought to be able to get by with aspirin in a few days or so, until the next round. It's odd, aspirin i can eat a piece of bread and no problem. Vicodin sets me off. Or it might be the almost two weeks of it, not just one day's worth.

    Jeff, if you keep having problems (none / 0) (#90)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:22:25 PM EST
    do give your doc a call. It's not an uncommon thing, and they're prepared to prescribe heavier-duty stomach meds if you're having trouble.

    Don't know about Vicodin, but all NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen and the like) can be really hard on your stomach lining when you have to take them steadily over a period of time, and you really don't want to end up with a stomach bleed.  Plus damage to your stomach lining puts you more at risk of stomach cancer eventually.

    The point being that gastric distress isn't just something you're supposed to soldier through and live with.  It's a sign of damage and should be taken seriously enough to do something about.


    And look for aspirin for arthritis (none / 0) (#91)
    by Cream City on Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 12:11:56 AM EST
    as its sufferers have to take them all the time, so there is aspirin for them that has special coating to dissolve slowly and not burn holes in your stomach lining.  (Seriously.)

    I can't do aspirin anymore, but I learned that when I did have to take it in heavy amounts, if only to get off those awful painkillers you're enduring.  And now, when I need something like aspirin, I look for ibuprofen for arthritis sufferers, etc.  

    And yes, try (preaching what I also find it hard to practice!) cutting back on coffee, tea, sodas, and other acidic stuff (tomato juice, many other juices).  If the problem probably is acidic distress, you can imagine the impact of more acids.


    Are you taking the PK's... (none / 0) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:59:34 AM EST
    ...with food--or at least a glass of milk?  The stomach needs something else in there to chew on!  

    I tend to take a half-dose as I tolerate it better that way.  


    I had them with (none / 0) (#12)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:01:09 AM EST
    apple danish this morning, but I had coffee also... might be a bad combo.

    Feel better jeff... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:03:49 AM EST
    maybe ask your doc about percocets instead of the vicodins for pain...I find 'em much easier on the stomach.

    And if you don't mind talking about it (sorry if I missed it), are you still headed to Afghanistan my brother?


    Thanks, Kdog (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:13:35 AM EST
    Looks like i'm on the porch now. Ankle will take 3-6 months if I don't have to have ankle fusion, up to 9 months with it.

    I think my adventure days are over. Medical metal in the neck, lower spine, ankle, with possibly more to come.

    Heck, I need a parrot and a puffy shirt and an eyepatch. I'm already moving on a crutch like Long John Silver (although for me it would need to be fat john silver)

    Back to teaching when I can get around a little better. I am thankful I took a 12 month leave of absence, and my school wants me to do some admin stuff starting in January, maybe teach a class or two if I can, long before I was supposed to be back.

    Nice to feel wanted.


    How about teaching online? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:35:27 AM EST
    I'm getting ready to start doing so in summer, having taken some workshops (but you can get a lot of the how-to info in online preps, too).  I'll miss the f2f interaction, but at a commuter campus with a lot of older students, we are starting to offer that alternative for some courses some times.  I still was reluctant but since have seen my own progeny take some online courses that worked better that way, actually.

    And for some of my colleagues in situations like yours, online teaching was a good temporary alternative.  And in one case, a colleague with joint custody whose child now is a distance away, it is more than a temporary alternative. . . .


    I'll be teaching at least one course (none / 0) (#49)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:56:06 AM EST
    online in January-- so I'm going to be prepping and treying to get ready for it this month. It certainly beats sitting around and watching daytime television! I'm going to ease into online teaching-- but if I like it, who knows?

    Ah, then you're actually ahead of me (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:17:12 AM EST
    in becoming a cyberprof, so do report back, please, on how it goes for you this spring.

    I also wonder if I might actually like teaching online, at least as an occasional alternative to serve students . . . and then down the line, if it allows me to at least sort of semi-retire, who knows?  As the snow starts falling here today, I have visions of me and my laptop on a beach somewhere, with my only problems being (a) how to keep recharging my battery before the sun sets, and (b) how to keep sand out of my keyboard. :-)


    I have dreams of Cartagena (none / 0) (#57)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:47:06 AM EST
    and writing to the students, myself! Maybe have the body in the office once every two months or so... we should start an online university!

    Congrats, Jeff (none / 0) (#71)
    by hollyfromca on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:17:00 PM EST
    I've taken three online programming classes and have loved them.  But one plea: please be available to your students as much as possible.  If I were in a f2f class, I would be sure to get phone numbers/email addresses of classmates, but you don't have that opportunity in an online class as much.  So when you get stuck, it's great to have an enthusiastic and responsive instructor.  I also really appreciated the instructors who were willing to post their lecture notes and assignments in advance--great for most of the working adults who have been in my classes.

    notes to remember,,, (none / 0) (#82)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 03:50:40 PM EST
    thanks, Holly, I'll make sure to follow your advice.

    my school has offered me one online to get into the swing of things!

    Sorry to hear that (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:40:37 AM EST
    If the pain killers make you feel sick, ask for a non-narcotic.

    I've found (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:06:35 PM EST
    after back & foot surgery, codeine-family drugs just made me feel awful and did not kill pain.  Substituted aspirin & such which worked far better, and they are not habit-forming.

    I always preemptively chew (none / 0) (#72)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:22:32 PM EST
    about five or six Tums or Rolaids before I take anything like that. It's worked fairly well so far.

    Is this crazy, or am I missing something? (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:01:51 AM EST

    Obama told the (Jobs) Summit attendees that the federal government was hindered by limited resources and growing deficits, so even though the private economy is still incapable of filling the void, most job creation would have to come from the private sector. From the AP/MSNBC:

    "So we can't make any ill considered decisions right now even with the best of intentions," he said. "We have to be surgical and we're going to have to be creative." Obama appealed to his audience of academics, business and union leaders and local officials to help him find "the biggest bang for the buck."

    I feel like I want to translate that as: "Yes, I am that guy who drives 35 on the highway, with my foot on the brake, in the fast lane."

    And I think it is obvious that Obama was the one who got the bucks, and now it is the people who  are getting banged.

    As for the Summit itself:

    So, months ago, the President called for ideas on how to put Americans back to work, and months later, all they can show for it are few ideas that were obvious months ago and could have been compiled in a week. And yet for months, it's been obvious that more was needed immediately, that unemployment would be far worse than they anticipated and would last far longer than they hoped.

    So...if jobs creation goes as well as health care reform...well, you fill in the rest of that thought.  

    And further to my point (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:09:53 AM EST
    about the mixed messaging, this from the FDL News Desk:

    President Obama, at his jobs summit, just agreed that many of the solutions being offered at today's session would involve public dollars, and that would be "a good investment in the future."

    There was a lot of concern about leaks that the President was more interested in deficit reduction in 2010, which would be really almost a death wish. This statement bears a much closer relationship to reality, in particular the reality of what needs to be done to fill in the demand shortfall and reverse unemployment.

    Here are the opening remarks from the President at the jobs summit. I know these things are largely irrelevant, but getting the President on the record that job creation is more important than deficit reduction is important, and he should be held to it. While Obama said that there "aren't enough public dollars to fill the hole of private dollars" created by the recession, he did say there's a role for those public dollars to play in the near term. And anyone who doesn't agree needs to look in the eyes of the 15 million unemployed and tell that to their face.

    So...is this really a strong position from Obama on what is needed for jobs creation, or is this just another case of him trying to have it both ways?

    I mean, Obama has gone on the record with respect to health care, for example, but can anyone say with any certainty what he's really for - or against?


    Interesting that lack of funds (none / 0) (#88)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 06:11:18 PM EST
    or astronomical deficits are never mentioned as an impediment to military escapades abroad.

    He also said this (none / 0) (#32)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:07:45 AM EST
    When he sat down with the Detroit Free Press and USA Today:

    President Barack Obama said he understands the "desperation and difficulty" of long-term unemployed people in Detroit and Michigan, and said it'll take more help from the government to get businesses hiring again.  

    In an interview with the Free Press and USA Today on Thursday, Obama laid out some of his ideas for tackling what he described as an 8-million-job hole in the economy. Among his suggestions: tax credits for employers who make new hires and paying people for weatherproofing their homes.

    "I am painfully aware of how tough the situation is," the president said in the 25-minute discussion, adding that he and first lady Michelle Obama "have family members who are out of work."

    "I think the most important message I can deliver to the people in Michigan though is that we will get through this short-term transition, and what we have to be doing is taking advantage of the long-term opportunities around areas like clean energy."

    While hosting a White House summit on jobs Thursday attended by Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and about 180 other officials, economists and businesspeople to brainstorm options, Obama also warned that the problems facing the U.S. economy were too severe to be solved quickly.

    "I am absolutely confident that we will bounce back just like we always have before," Obama said. "But it's going to take some work, and it's going to take some time. And it's going to require some patience."

    Breaking News: WC 2010 Draw (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by steviez314 on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:24:40 PM EST
    Group C:


    Very good group for the USA.

    we did (none / 0) (#69)
    by CST on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:07:05 PM EST
    really well in the qualifying, to make it as the top seed.

    Go team USA!


    That is a good draw... (none / 0) (#70)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:13:13 PM EST
    if we bring our A game and stay healthy we should make it out no problem.

    And they were that good (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 01:50:48 PM EST
    without the all-time greatest, IMO, English-Irish player, George Best paying for them.

    "I spent all my money on birds and booze. The rest of it I just pissed away" lol. One of a kind that one was.


    Georgie Best... (none / 0) (#84)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 03:58:09 PM EST
    An old neighbor of mine who hailed from N. Ireland used to never tire of regaling me with tales of the greatness that was Georgie Best...on and off the pitch.

    Extreme Views (none / 0) (#6)
    by melpol on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:46:32 AM EST
    There are millions of Americans that have extreme views, whether political or religious. They constantly spew hate. Some of them kill cops. Arresting potential violent extremists would fill our prisons. The murder of even ten thousand innocents by lunatics should not change our way of life. But those found guilty of religious or political violence should be swiftly hanged in public view. The freedom of 350 million Americans should not be curtailed because thousands are willing to commit violence.

    ducks v bucks (none / 0) (#7)
    by jharp on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:48:51 AM EST
    So it's the Ducks v my Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl I guess.

    Should be a good game as Ohio's defense is very good. I'm thinking it's gonna be a "pick em".

    This is an easy call (none / 0) (#48)
    by CoralGables on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:41:22 AM EST
    The Ducks haven't won a Rose Bowl since the US and Blackjack Pershing stopped hunting for Pancho Villa.

    Go Ducks!!!


    Anthony Sowell pleads (none / 0) (#8)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 08:51:08 AM EST
    Not Guilty by reason of insanity.

    It's a long shot.

    Resnick said the not guilty by reason of insanity defense is rare in Ohio, presented in only 1 percent of all felony cases. He said of those cases, about 15 percent (roughly 1.5 cases per thousand) are successful. He said in the successful cases, the person had been hospitalized about six times on average before the crime.

    MAC Championship tonight (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:24:29 AM EST

    Should be a great game - 8pm ESPN

    CMU's quarterback Dan LeFevour, who should have at least been considered for the Heisman Trophy this year, looks to break the FBS record for most total touchdowns ever - he needs 1. Among his accomplishments:

    One of 10 finalists for the Unitas Golden Arm Award . . . MAC Freshman of the Year (2006), MAC's Vern Smith Award as offensive player of the year (2009) . . . Joined Vince Young of Texas as the only Bowl Subdivision players to pass for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in the same season (2007); joined Florida's Tim Tebow as the only players in NCAA history with 20 TDs passing and rushing in the same season (2007) . . . 146 career touchdowns (99 passing, 46 rushing, 1 receiving) tied for the most in Bowl Subdivision history . . . only player in NCAA Division I with 12,000 career passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards.

    Tim Tebow who???

    Guess you can't tell who I'm rooting for!

    For some odd reason (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:28:50 AM EST
    I enjoy MAC football. Not as much as I enjoy the SEC...

    Seems to be a gritty type of play, with people of almost-normal size, but tremendous heart. I like DII football for similar reasons.

    Also, many of these kids wouldn't be in college without the scholarships, so it's a social blessing also!


    The funny thing is (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:36:08 AM EST
    People think of them as "small schools".  Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and Eastern Michigan all have around 30,000 students each, while a school like Notre Dame or Boston College, with really big time football programs, have only about 10,000 students.

    Both analysts who follow and predict the bowls are predicting that CMU will play Notre Dame in the GMAC Bowl....


    Central (none / 0) (#51)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:07:47 AM EST
    is the best party school of the lot IMO.

    You need to catch up (none / 0) (#52)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:09:36 AM EST
    We lost that rep in the mid-80s.  I think State had much wilder parties more recently, no?

    Oh sure (none / 0) (#55)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:28:53 AM EST
    I was not prepared to give away State's trophy in the slightest!!!  Heck, a party in East Lansing means people are burning their furniture in the middle of the street.

    If Central is no longer the best party school in the MAC I'm saddened because I consider that a badge of honor.


    Ah... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:48:59 AM EST
    I was there a few years ago for a football game, and as I was walking through the area where the students can tailgate (new since I was there), there was plenty of beer flowing!  After the game, walking back through the same area, you could smell the lovely smell of stale beer - it smelled like a bar in the morning - and it was completely outside!! So, I guess there still are some good parties going on there!  :)

    (That was also the day I realized that I am dirty old lady.  I was 36 at the time, and when walking through aforementioned party area, I was eyeballing all the young hardbodied boys with their shirts off - 6 packs of every type were there that day!  As I got to the end of the parking lot, it occurred to me that I could be all or most of those kids mothers!  I was horrified!)


    You funny. (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:09:10 PM EST
    I've had a somewhat similar experience...

    Every years since graduation me and a bunch of college guy friends have gotten together once a year in various cities around the country for a weekend of college football, golf, and associated activities.

    Going to the game and chatting up the local coeds at the tailgate/bar/stadium/whatever was always good healthy fun.

    One year, in about our mid-30's, as we sat in the bar after the game, a group of beautiful young coeds sasheyed up to our table.

    Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, we've still got it! We thought...

    ...until they introduced themselves and said "You all look like successful alums, and we're all going to graduate this year, are any of you hiring?"

    A true blow to all of our egos...


    LOL.... (none / 0) (#61)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:55:05 AM EST
    check out jbindc...you cougar you!

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:56:20 AM EST
    Those young guys WERE pretty hot.... :)

    No explaination necessary... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:55:39 PM EST
    I am staunchly pro-cougar.

    I'm just starting to get to that age where scoping out a fine young specimen can lead to  pangs of dirty old man guilt...so I can almost relate:)


    Yes, the thing that is small is the funding (none / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:24:26 AM EST
    for sports at such large public campuses -- like mine -- compared to the big bucks drawn from endowments at smaller schools for sports to keep their alumni happy.  And that includes more funds for tutoring to keep those athletes in school. . . .

    It is a strange system in this country, using campuses as essentially minor leagues for some sports.  (Much as we use campuses for r&d for companies to allow them to put less into r&d on their own.)  A while ago, in better economic times, my campus poured fund for a few years into one of our major sports, and we made it to the Sweet Sixteen -- and it was amazing to me to see how much that boosted our enrollment by the thousands.  But only for a few years, and with only a negligible and brief boost as well in their h.s. gpa's and entering test scores.

    So that sort of student moves on fast to the next trendy sports school, while the campuses are left with the opportunity loss -- with the wishlists  what else they could have done with the funds for more lasting benefits for more students.


    One positive (none / 0) (#56)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:32:24 AM EST
    is that primarily thanks to Title IX, those big-revenue sports end up funding athletic opportunities for women (and some men as well) who aren't fortunate enough to have chosen a big-money sport.  At least they have to spread a little of the wealth around.

    Interestingly (none / 0) (#85)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 05:48:13 PM EST
    I've seen more of their games this year then since I was a student and actually was AT the games.  Maybe because they're good, but the Chips have been on 5 or 6 times on one of the ESPN channels (that, or the fact that one of my fellow marching band members works at ESPN in some capacity in a control booth!)

    I knew it! I knew it! (none / 0) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:47:04 AM EST
    Paul Krugman, in today's NYT op-ed, allows the veil to drop on his rationale for "health care reform, or else": deficits, if not fiscal catastrophe. His objective seems to be not so much the importance of  coverage for the presently uninsured (he notes that they are cheap after all, young and healthy), as the golden opportunity it  offers for "serious cost-control measures for Medicare  A 'grand bargain' he claims: coverage for (almost) everyone , tied to an effort to ensure that health care dollars are well spent for Medicare.   We can "rein in spending" on Medicare, what with treatments that actually work, and more, he says. So, it seems, any health care plan will do, so as to get at Medicare--apparently, we not only know conclusively that health care dollars are not now well spent, but also, that this is the only remedial alternative available. To me the corker is his charge that demagogues like McCain are using scare tactics to present their point of view. And, we better be afraid, he continues, of what will happen if reform fails.

    I didn't much like that column either (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:57:53 AM EST
    But honestly, having read PK on this for a long time, he is genuinely much more interested in getting more people healthcare. He's a bleeding heart who happens to be a good economist.

    Yes, I am generally a fan (none / 0) (#33)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:09:41 AM EST
    of Professor Krugman, but this is not the first of his curious arguments on this topic (a discussion of one was covered a while back on TL). Also, health care discussions need more than the perspectives of economists, even good ones.  I just hope that this was not a consensus conversation in a hotel bar during the jobs conference.

    One might ask him whether he thinks (none / 0) (#35)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:13:00 AM EST
    it was a political mistake to give universal healthcare to the old first. Personally, I think probably not--if only because that was all that could be gotten at the time. But decisions like that have consequences.

    Do you mean that this is just (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:20:19 AM EST
    a comeuppance for the old timers?  That would not seem to register well in the bleeding heart department.

    No, not that (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:24:20 AM EST
    The problem is that no matter how you implement universal care, old people are going to be the most expensive to cover. They simply need more care. The paradox is that that's why they got Medicare in the first place AND why people are so afraid of expanding coverage to other age groups. Now, what's bothersome about this latest column is that Krugman implies that it's important to reduce what's paid for healthcare for the old. The section is tone deaf, and I wonder if he understands how much it seems to mean that the old should get less care. Maybe he ran out of space to explain exactly what he meant.

    Perhaps it was just underdeveloped. (none / 0) (#46)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:36:26 AM EST
    However, the whole notion of "savings" from Medicare to (a) address and stabilize Medicare itself, (b)  provide for new and probably increasingly expensive surgical and medical treatments, and (c) finance, to the tune of $500 billion, of the expanded coverage always struck me as curious.  Especially, when the various bills are silent to ambiguous as to how that all will happen  Yes, the Advantage plans should go and several other "savings" opportunities are lurking around.  But, Dr. Krugman's article does little to assuage concerns and may fuel opponents of the needed health care reform.  Indeed, political forces such as the AMA are ambivalent, and other medical societies are flat-out opposed. AARP is still on board, but their membership is pretty divided.

    so much for the poor (none / 0) (#29)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 09:57:53 AM EST

    mistreated downtrodden Somali pirates:
    Pirates operating in the waters off of Somalia have opened a stock exchange in order to encourage investment in their industry. The market has thrived, and the exchange now provides a business forum for 72 "maritime companies".

    Sounds like they are... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:40:56 AM EST
    westernizing, making their black market piracy more like our legit market piracy.

    Piracy investor Sahra Ibrahim, a 22-year-old divorcee, was lined up with others waiting for her cut of a ransom pay-out after one of the gangs freed a Spanish tuna fishing vessel.

    "I am waiting for my share after I contributed a rocket-propelled grenade for the operation," she said, adding that she got the weapon from her ex-husband in alimony.

    "I am really happy and lucky. I have made $75,000 in only 38 days since I joined the 'company'."

    Still a very different world...rocket propelled grenades as alimony?  and 75k in 38 days?  Wow...I'd invest in the pirates before I would invest in Citi:)


    where do you find this stuff? (none / 0) (#79)
    by sj on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:39:37 PM EST
    I find your links are always worth a look...

    Wasn't me sj... (none / 0) (#81)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:59:42 PM EST
    all credit goes to Capt. Howdy...and he does have a knack for finding the quality linkage.

    Knox trial in Italy and the Napoleonic Code (none / 0) (#36)
    by feralrom on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:13:10 AM EST
    The Daily Beast has articles today talking about the Amanda Knox trial referring repeatedly to the 'jury'.  IS there a JURY?  

    Italy is a Napoleonic Code country with an accusatorial prosecutor and magistrate system.  No juries.  Or is there some special circumstance that introduces juries into Italian jurisprudence?

    There is a jury in the Knox trial (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by shoephone on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:12:29 PM EST
    However, it doesn't resemble our system. It is an eight-person jury, the judge is one of the jurors, and even if the civilians on the jury vote unanimously one way, the judge can override their vote with his own.

    In some places, that would be called a kangaroo court.


    That would be Colorado (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by sj on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 02:47:00 PM EST
    My way of dealing with that (since I usually know nothing about any of the judges) is to vote "No" on "Shall Judge so and so be retained..." all the way down the line.  Except for once years ago when I was actually lobbied to support a specific judge.

    Those are total rubber stamp votes so my theory is that if there is a judge that should be removed, and there is already an effort underway to remove that judge, then here's a vote towards your efforts.

    In reality, of course, my "no" votes are totally meaningless.  But it makes me feel better.


    Not true (none / 0) (#92)
    by jbindc on Sat Dec 05, 2009 at 12:11:56 PM EST
    The judge presiding over the trial is NOT on the jury.  There are 2 randomly selected judges - to be used as experts on procedural matters. They sit with 6 randomly selected citizens

    More on the Italian Justice System:

    The most important innovation of this new legislation concerns the admission of evidence
    that, as a rule, can be obtained only during the
    course of an oral and public trial, in front of
    the judge (acting as a third party) on the basis
    of witnesses' cross- examination and other kinds
    of proof legally presented in the Court.  The
    trial is conducted by the prosecution and defense
    on a parity basis.
         The former inquisitorial procedure had
    allowed the admission of evidence obtained both in
    the course of the trial and in the preliminary
    investigation (istruttoria) stage.  The
    preliminary investigation was typically
    characterized by secrecy concerning documentation
    of the pre-trial investigation.  An investigating
    judge (giudice istruttore) was in charge of
    collecting criminal evidence as well as conducting
    direct examinations of the witnesses.  During the
    trial, the examination of witnesses was conducted
    by the Chief Judge.
         Although the new Italian Code of Penal
    Procedure is similar to the adversarial English
    and American systems, its system of written laws
    still retains important differences when compared
    with the Anglo-American system, such as the
    obligatoriness of penal action. (obbligatoriet...
    dell'azione penale).
         The obligatoriness of penal action is
    sanctioned by the Constitution (Art.112).
    According to this provision, the Public Prosecutor
    (Pubblico Ministero), when becoming acquainted
    with the  commission of a crime (notizia
    criminis), is legally bound to start the
    investigation and, if there is enough
    circumstantial evidence, to take penal action
    against the alleged culprit of that particular
    crime.  The Italian Prosecutor is therefore
    without discretionary power to withhold
    prosecution.  Prosecution is not simply a right,
    but a duty of the Italian Public Prosecutor. (Code
    of Penal Procedure, Art.358,405).
         However, certain crimes can only be
    prosecuted under specific conditions; penal action
    cannot be taken unless a specific requirement is
    met.  Crimes prosecutable by initiative of the
    offended person (reati perseguibili a querela
    dell'offeso), can range from forcible rape to
    personal minor injury and can be prosecuted only
    if the offended person requests the Public
    Prosecutor to proceed against someone for the
    alleged commission of a crime.  Excluding rape and
    similar sex offenses, this request can be
    withdrawn, which essentially eliminates the crime.
    (Penal Code, Art.120,152; Code of Penal Procedure,


    Alternatives to trial.  The accused does not have the right to plead guilty to a lesser offense(plea bargain).  (The inadmissibility of a plea bargain in the system is based on the principle of the obbligatorieta  dell'azione penale, which allows no discretion in prosecution.

    Once acquainted with the commission of a crime, the judicial authority is legally bound to take action against that particular crime and cannot choose to seek prosecution to a lesser charge in exchange for a plea of guilt. In other words, discretionary or selective enforcement does not exist in the system. The prosecutor has no discretionary power to engage in plea bargaining.


    *Bail procedure.  Bail is not allowed in the penal system.


    Good question (none / 0) (#37)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:14:48 AM EST
    I had understood that we were essentially one of the last holdouts on juries.

    Yes (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:19:14 AM EST
    More (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 10:22:24 AM EST

    Criminal Courts in Italy
    The criminal legal process involves judges, tribunals and assize courts ( corte d'assise), which include juries ( giudici popolari), unlike other courts which are composed entirely of lawyers. Once a trial has been concluded and judgement passed, a party found guilty can appeal the decision to an appeal court. If the appeal fails, it may be possible to appeal to the supreme court, but only on the grounds of the wrong interpretation or application of the law by a judge.

    Unfortunte timing is (none / 0) (#59)
    by prittfumes on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:52:42 AM EST
    'Unfortunate" (none / 0) (#63)
    by prittfumes on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:56:53 AM EST
    The problem facing healthcare reform (none / 0) (#60)
    by Madison Guy on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 11:52:57 AM EST
    Wyoming First Lady (none / 0) (#67)
    by jbindc on Fri Dec 04, 2009 at 12:53:05 PM EST
    was nominated by the White House to serve on the bench of the District of Wyoming federal court.

    Wyoming first lady Nancy Freudenthal was among three new judicial nominees announced by the White House Friday, winning an appointment to serve as a district court judge for the District of Wyoming.

    Here's her bio, courtesy of the White House:

    "Nancy D. Freudenthal is a litigation partner at Davis & Cannon, LLP, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. From 1980 to 1989, she worked as an attorney in the Wyoming Governor's office for intergovernmental affairs. In 1989, she was made chairman of the Wyoming Tax Commission, and then served as chairman of the board of the Wyoming Board of Equalization, where she worked until 1995. She joined Davis & Cannon in 1995 as an associate, and became a partner in 1998. Mrs. Freudenthal received a B.A. from the University of Wyoming in 1976 and a J.D. from its College of Law in 1980."

    Best Broadband Internet across UAE offering free i (none / 0) (#93)
    by dennis538 on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 01:28:18 PM EST
    Companies like are contributing to the telecom industry of UAE. Du Home Internet Connection has doubled its speed for the businesses and consumers as well.

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#94)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jan 02, 2020 at 01:37:12 PM EST