Pat Howell (#30) hoists the NCISAA 3A state soccer championship trophy as Eduardo Alvarez raises his arms in celebration (click image to enlarge). Alvarez had a hat trick in Greensboro Day School's 3-1 victory over Charlotte Latin, this afternoon in Raleigh. The Bengals finished the season 17-0-3.
Nancy Barakat Vaughan is very disappointed that the NC State Democratic Party has interjected itself into a non-partisian election! I've always believed in voting for the best person regardless of their party affiliation. It seems to me that the NCDP have bigger things to worry about than the Greensboro City Council elections (and yes this may lead to a very "interesting" dinner conversation).
Jeff Thigpen is right, party activism in our local non-partisan races is not new or limited to one side, or even necessarily bad, but this may represent a new level of external involvement in GSO races.
I think it's going too far. Party politics would ugly up local campaigns and change the dynamics on the Council.
And in this town, attaching an "R" to names probably would hurt good candidates like Robbie Perkins -- or for that matter, any Republican in an at-large race -- and an "I" might hurt Vaughan, who is registered as an independent [fixed per the comments below -- thnx].
How did I not know about this sooner? "Figwit is a fan-derived name for an unnamed elf extra in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, played by actor and musician Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords."
The logical solution is to revert to a "robust" public option that
would align doctor and hospital payments with Medicare, thereby
re-establishing the public option's price advantage. But Pelosi doesn't
have the votes for that, and neither does Reid.
Wilbur Ross, best known around here for stitching the corpses of Burlington Industries and Cone Mills into ITG, says the US is about to see "huge crash in commercial real estate."
From a report mailed this week by a large privately-held real estate investment company, explaining the terrible performance of one of its funds: "Retail sales have plummeted, values have dropped 20-30% and may retailers have gone bankrupt or out of business...We simply could not pay the monthly mortgage and all operating expenses and the future looked so dismal that we elected to give this center back to the lender...equity related to this transaction has been written off."
Fred Hiatt in [Monday's] Washington Post [writes] in his column that the two biggest steps that can be taken to reduce the rate of health care cost growth — changes in health care’s tax treatment and an independent Medicare commission — are missing...[But] the Senate Finance Committee bill includes both of these measures.
According to CBO and JCT’s assessment, enacting H.R. 3962 would result
in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $104 billion over the
2010–2019 period. In the subsequent decade, the collective effect of
its provisions would probably be slight reductions in federal budget
Really not that complicated: stimulus spending helps replace consumer spending, but consumers still lack the wherewithal to drive a recovery on their own.
It's a long-term problem: "Stagnant wages and concern over mounting unemployment are
causing confidence to wane, raising the risk that consumers will
retrench in coming months as government assistance programs run
Greensboro's non-partisan elections, not so non-partisan. I hope Tony takes them up on the ride.
I disagree that the non-partisan label is a "fantasy," though -- not having the affiliations on the ballot is pretty real, and it carries over into Council business. But having the NCDP so actively involved seems to violate the spirit of the thing.
George Will leads a column with an anecdote about seven-year-olds attending and discussing "pharm parties," that is, "sampling pharmaceuticals from their parents' medicine cabinets."
The story is attributed to Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
I'm having a hard time believing the tale, which seems to misuse the term "pharm party," which itself is suspect in the first place.
We haven't had a seven-year-old in the house for eight years, but the memory is reasonably fresh, and I spent a fair amount of time this year with my bright seven-year-old nephew.
Based on that experience, and the lack of news coverage about little kids getting sick after eating adult doses of mom's happy pills or coming to second grade with four-hour boners -- how discerning in their drug intake are these children supposed to be? -- I'm calling BS on this one.
Not saying there are no seven-year-old pill-poppers out there, just that the pharm party angle is doubtful, and not some sort of meaningful trend among the SpongeBob set.
As the great Shelly Zalaznick used to say, If it doesn't make sense, I don't believe it.
Otherwise, a good column about the failure of the "War on Drugs" and the need for a smarter drug policy.
"Preservation Greensboro has linked with Philadelphia-based Partners for
Sacred Places and the Washington DC-based National Trust for Historic
Places to hold a community design workshop to explore the future of
Fisher Park." November 6 at Holy Trinity; RSVP and other details here.
"Obama took advantage of a rare political moment to break through one of Washington's most powerful lobbies and trim more weapons systems than any president had in decades." Good for us. Also includes some love for teh gay.
When I was asked to speak at a conference in Beijing, I volunteered to give a
version of the talk Sydney refers to as "The Internet, It's Kind of a
Big Deal," also known as "social networking for businesses," Enterprise
2.0, etc. No dice. (I ended up moderating a panel on IT strategy.)
Shortly after checking into our hotel, I discovered that access to this blog is blocked in China.
Along with Blogger, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, TypePad has been placed behind the "Great Firewall." The Chinese government doesn't want its people using many of the publishing and networking tools we take for granted in the West.
Getting around the Firewall is pretty easy, even for a non-adept like me. I could tunnel out via my company's private connection to the Internet, known as a VPN. I saw a Western visitor standing a few feet away from uniformed soldiers in Tiananmen Square, beneath the gaze of a giant image of Mao, using a smart phone to bring up banned pictures of tanks advancing on the plaza.
There are other methods for circumventing the infobarrier, and at least some segments of the Chinese population are well informed, if careful in conversation. I asked one person about the 1989 events at Tiananmen, and was given a discreet answer about students being influenced by wrong ideas and triggering a vaguely-described government crackdown. There was an artful pause, and then: "This is the official story."
It would be easy enough for the government to tighten its restrictions on information flow, at least on a technical level. But I wonder how businesses would respond to that kind of thing. Just as the US owes China so much money that we have leverage in the relationship, the regime's fondness for data-dependent modern businesses may make those highly-secure network connections hard for the post-Communist authoritarians to break.
I asked another person about the political expression allowed in artworks we'd seen in the 798 District. "The government knows a picture is worth a thousand words," came the reply. "As long as you don't actually say the words, it's OK."
Obtuseness from an Ivy Leaguer about the obtuseness of Ivy Leaguers.
Blame your parents, not Yale, if you find yourself unable to converse with a plumber.
My education taught me to believe that people who didn’t go to an Ivy
League or equivalent school weren't worth talking to, regardless of
their class. I was given the unmistakable message that such people were
Really? Maybe you'd be an asshole even if you'd gone to Cleveland State.
But if one can stand to keep reading, there are some nuggets about diversity and privilege buried in the article.
After [South Carolina assistant Attorney General Roland] Corning and the stripper gave conflicting stories about what they
were doing in the cemetery, Wines proceeded to search the SUV and found
Corning's stash of sex toys and Viagra. To clear up any
misunderstanding, Corning assured Wines he always kept them with him
"just in case."
Not one we've solved: "It is a riddle of modern magazining that during a period when staffs
are expected to file early and often to the Web to make sure that
publications have a significant digital presence, all the while still
making the print product, that they are now confronted by dramatic cuts
in staff that raise practical issues of getting the work done."
The industry seems to be healthier in China, judging by the crowded conference and thick issues produced by our sister publication.
I'm starting to think health insurers could use a little competition.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced another big rate hike at almost the same moment it mailed customers "a slick flier [...] urging them to send an
enclosed pre-printed, postage-paid note to Sen. Kay Hagan denouncing
what the company says is unfair competition that would be imposed by a
government-backed insurance plan."
Indignant Blue Cross customers have rebelled against the insurer's
message, complaining that their premium dollars have funded such a
They've hit the Internet in a flurry of e-mails to
friends and neighbors throughout the state. They've called Hagan's
office to voice support for a public option. They've marked through the
Blue Cross message on their postcards to instead vouch support, then
dropped them in the mail -- in at least one case taped to a brick -- to
be paid on Blue Cross' dime. Or dimes.
A look at opt-out: "While it's not ideal, an opt-out gives
you the reality of a public option." North Carolina and South Carolina are invoked as examples of neighboring states that might handle things differently.
Shocking fact: not everyone in China has heard of the State of North Carolina.
Our guide at the Great Wall, though, reacted positively when we told him where we are from, because he knew Michael Jordan played for UNC. And he is not alone in his fandom, as we noticed when passing a souvenir stand at the Mutianyu section.
Nixon was right, btw. It is, indeed, a great wall. The refreshment options have changed since his time (far left); the beast itself was appealing enough, in a camelid sort of way, but I thought the sign spoke to a deeper truth about life (near left; click images to enlarge).
One of two giant video screens facing the Forbidden City, outside Tiananmen Square, Sunday. These screens showed scenes of government officials and military might. Two more huge displays in the square itself showed cultural scenes, with a lot of Olympic pics. We wondered what a US version might show, other than Pepsi ads.
In case you can't make out the text at the bottom of this sign outside the Forbidden City's Jing Yun Men gate, even after clicking the image to enlarge it, the last line reads: "Made Possible By The American Express Company," complete with corporate logo.
"The economy does not in any way excuse the
crooks. They bear full responsibility for their actions, but the
break-ins are a reminder that the Great Recession is manifesting itself
in all kinds of uncomfortable ways." My newspaper column is about crime, recession, and local government. You can read the whole thing after the jump.
"There is a tremendous amount of wealth - here yesterday, gone today," says Charlotte CoC paresident Bob Morgan.
I've tried to make the point about the impact of reduced dividends on GSO -- people sitting on piles of LNC or AIG or Wachovia didn't just see their net worths decline on paper, they took huge hits to income, and that spiraled through their personal finances.
One impact: In previous recessions, they told philanthropies, "come back next year." This time, they're saying, "sorry."
Fun in the sun: NORTH MYRTLE BEACH -- When Premier Resorts, a Utah company that managed some properties at Barefoot Resort, closed last week, the company left property owners without a way to get into their units and one couple without a venue for their wedding that is just weeks away.
If a city manager refuses to read blogs because he doesn't "have time for the noise," but he does read an upcoming newspaper column in the local monopoly daily that begins with a citation from a local blog, have blogs made a sound?
"[T]he Netanyahu government's stance in this case represents a quite novel
and very shortsighted decision to, in essence, write off a big chunk of
American Jewry and class them amongst Israel's foes." Don't they know the joke, Two Jews, three opinions?
"Glass-Steagall was watered down over the years and finally revoked in
1999. In the Volcker resurrection, commercial banks would take
deposits, manage the nation’s payments system, make standard loans and
even trade securities for their customers — just not for themselves."