LOOKING FOR LIFE BEYOND CABLE NEWS AND FINDING THAT RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy. But you cannot have both.
- Louis Brandeis
Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
- Chinese Proverb
Well, look who came to dinner!
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Category Archives: good news
Mystery monkey settles down
ST. PETERSBURG — The monkey is somewhere up in the vine-laced trees, or perhaps on the roof looking out for predators. Either way, the woman in the house knows how to reach him.
She whistles a few short notes. “Monk,” she calls.
Within seconds, the monkey comes crab-crawling down a post, climbs over a stack of firewood and walks over to the middle of the porch. He blinks, looks around and sits calmly as four people, including a Tampa Bay Times reporter, watch through a glass wall.
He’s a famous fellow who has 82,000 fans on his Facebook page where he has – until now – been known as the Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay as he’s bounced around on his own throughout SW Florida for four years. He even had a National Geographic television special.
But those days are over. Six months ago, he found a spot he liked, settled down and joined a family. While they hadn’t invited him, they welcomed him. Apparently some wildlife officials (who appear to have nothing else to do) are distressed about this. But the reporter won’t give out any names or addresses and the retired couple on whose property Mr. Monk has settled, aren’t telling either.
The monkey is gentle with the sickly, old cat, sometimes picking her up and moving her to a sunnier spot on the patio. He loves Oreo cookies, twisting the tops off and licking the frosting.
He tolerates squirrels and raccoons who come after his fruit and nut dinners, softly backhanding them if they get too close.
“If he hears any rustle in the woods he will stare and grunt at it,” the husband said. “Then run over and up a tree to get a good look and make sure we aren’t being attacked by a lizard or turtle or butterfly.”
Mr. Monk, the husband said, has a home with the family for as long as he wishes.
Now isn’t that a nice news story?
California gets it right.
LOS ANGELES – A federal appeals court panel ruled on Tuesday that a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California violated the Constitution, all but ensuring that the case will proceed to the United States Supreme Court.
I’ve a dress put away (it’s getting rather dated) to wear on the day Ed and Steve can get married. I do think 40 years is a long enough engagement, don’t you?
“This is a huge day: The United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, which represents nine states and certain territories, has decided that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional,” said Theodore B. Olson, one of the attorneys representing the American Foundation for Equal Rights, which challenged Proposition 8. Speaking at a news conference here Tuesday morning, Mr. Olson said he was now “very confident” the Supreme Court would uphold this decision and nullify the voter initiative.
Olson is partnered with Atty. David Boise in this suit. Remember those guys? They were the opposing counsel who argued Bush v Gore in the Supreme Court. They’re on the same side in this one. Adversaries one day, partners another day – that’s as it should be in our civic life. This suit was filed three years ago with the stated intention of taking it to the Supreme Court. So far, so good.
(Are crinolines back in style?)
Republican candidates proclaim Obama’ an economic failure, mistaking slow growth for no growth or contraction. Or they’re just lying. Here are seven headlines from the front page of the Business section of my paper this morning:
- Spending more, laying off fewer
- Hiring and investment show companies plan to grow (National story). [boxed quote accompanying that story: “With big ticket spending rising and the labor market firming, the economy is a lot better than some central bankers think.”]
- Delayed a year, recovery is inevitable says Florida economist (Local story)
- Lakewood Ranch makes sales list: ranked number 9 on national list with 301 new home sales in 2011 (Local story)
- Survey of architects shows growth likely (Local story)
- Another call center is moving to Bay area (Local story)
- Caterpillar profit climbs 60 percent (National story)
Aren’t the candidates here in Florida? Maybe they should read the papers.
Wow. Here‘s a story from Business Insider, via Raw Story about that devil Obama appointed to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. Until I read this, about the only thing I knew about Richard Cordray was that he was not Elizabeth Warren.
So who is he?
We’ve written a lot about him at Business Insider. Partly because, no matter what side of the aisle you’re on, there’s no denying he’s incredibly impressive. Cordray is an undefeated, five-time Jeopardy! champion (he won $45,303), has a masters in economics from Oxford University, and was also editor-in-chief of the University of Chicago Law Review.
After law school he clerked for Supreme Court for a Reagan appointee, and represented the U.S. government before the Supreme Court there three times — once for George H.W. Bush and twice for Bill Clinton. That was all before running for AG of Ohio (a swing state) as a Democrat.
So what’s the problem with Cordray? There are two, one is an old Washington problem, and the other is purely Wall Street’s:
- Republicans said they would never support anyone to head the CFPB — Period —that is, unless the White House made serious changes to the agency. (Politico)
- He doesn’t just go after Wall Street Institutions. He goes after individual executives as well.
So he makes it personal – something we’ve all been yearning for:
- In 2009, representing several state public pension funds, he reached a settlement with Hank Greenberg and other AIG execs that blew the SECs settlement out of the water. Cordray got $115 million, the SEC got a mere $15 million.
- The following year he settled another suit against AIG itself (also for Ohio) for $750 million. Some reports said the insurance company would actually be paying out $1 billion.
Knock ’em dead Richard. Go in there and stand up for us! And Godspeed.
She’s constructed from materials taken from the rubble of the Twin Towers. How ’bout that! (h/t friend Jim)
This month, the population of Planet Earth will reach seven billion. That’s a lot of people. Here’s a quick look at recent history.
- 1800 900 million
- 1900 1.6 billion (added 700 million in 100 years)
- 1950 2.4 billion (added 2 billion in 50 years)
5.14.4 billion (added 2 billion in 30 years)
- 2000 6 billion (added
1.31.6 billion in 20 years )
- 2011 7 billion (added 1 billion in 11 years)
Until very recently we were headed for population Armageddon; in the 1970’s demographers began sounding an alarm about what they saw in their projections. And we very likely would have gotten to that awful place, but for one thing. Contraception. In the last 20 years, access has spread worldwide in spite of the religious resistance (from Christians here in the US and from large segments of the Muslim world). Women embraced birth control; lower birth rates led to better nutrition, more education and ultimately increased prosperity, which itself is a factor in containing population growth.