I’ve been closely following the antics of Patrick Byrne, CEO of a Utah-based internet retailer called Overstock.com. Overstock is mainly known for bad service, junky products and restocking charges if you try to send back their crud. To the media it is known for two things: accounting fraud and a company-financed smear campaign.
There is a show on cable TV’s Discovery Channel that has me thinking about the best way to reform government. It’s called “Dirty Jobs” and the premise is simple: in each episode, host Mike Rowe endeavors to perform a job so unpleasant that most people wouldn’t want to do it if their livelihoods–or their lives–depended on it.
I read a news story this morning that made me choke on my breakfast. As a human being and one who is concerned about other people it made me nervous. As the father of a daughter, I felt my heart in my throat…
I’d like a nickel for every Massachusetts Democrat who, after seeing Scott Brown win “Ted Kennedy’s seat,” said or thought to themselves, “I don’t understand it. Everyone I know voted for Martha Coakley.”
Buried deep in an AP story about Israel demanding a precautionary presence in part of the West Bank in any agreement reached with the Palestinians, was a little news nugget capable of torpedoing Israel’s relationship with the United States.
According to the Associated Press story, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has proposed the Obama administration negotiate the final borders of a Palestinian state with Israel on the Palestinian’s behalf.
“Such a proxy arrangement could provide a way around the current deadlock over reviving Israeli-Palestinian talks, which broke off more than a year ago,” the story notes. “As an alternative, U.S. officials could replace Palestinian negotiators in border talks with Israel, said an Abbas aide.”
This tells me the Palestinians are pretty sure whose side the United States President is on — so much so that they’re willing to let him do their bargaining on their country’s final borders for them.
Abbas evidently made the proposal in recent meetings with Egyptian officials who passed the idea along to Washington, the story said. It was not clear how the Americans reacted, according to the story.
I find chilling the fact the Palestinian officials are so confident of Barack Obama’s advocacy.
Such an arrangement would seem, by it’s nature, to pit Israel against the United States.
It would put Israel in the position of risking its historically close alliance with the U.S. if it failed to agree to some proposal the U.S. put forward on the Palestinians’ behalf.
I can’t see that working out well for Israel on any level.
Some of us may have underestimated Abbas’ cunning. What a clever way to try to undermine the main international relationship helping ensure the Jewish state’s survival.
If the United States were to agree to such an arrangement, Israeli officials would be in the position of having either to accept the idea, which would jeopardize the relationship between the two longtime allies, or reject it, and I’m not sure how they diplomatically do that.
On the other hand, were the U.S. to accept such a suggestion — to act on behalf of the Palestinians — it may not matter, anyway, because all pretense of neutrality will have flown out the window.
After the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Port-Au-Prince last week, the situation in Haiti remains horrific. The death toll is unknown but is certainly in the tens of thousands and may surpass 100,000. Amidst the devastation everywhere, countless victims remained trapped, while famine and disease threaten survivors. The earthquake is merely the latest catastrophe in Haiti, a country of abject poverty, victimized historically by hurricanes, floods, devastating epidemics and murderous dictators.
A smalll paragraph in the Arts Section of the Monday Times indicated that Frank Gehry had resigned from the task of designing the new Museum of Tolerance in Jerusalem, an adjunct to the existing one in Los Angeles built and operated by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The location of the site in Israel has sparked controversy from the beginning with Arabs claiming that it is on the remains of the thousand year old (mostly paved over) Mamila Cemetery and Jewish groups complaining that its intent is limited to bigotry between Jewish sects as opposed to Jewish/Arab/Christian discrimination. The Israeli Court has ruled that the project can go forward but apparently the Wiesenthal Center had tried to reduce the estimated cost of the Gehry building, originally targeted at 250 milllion dollars, resulting in the master’s resignation from the plan.
Mark McGwire didn’t want to say it in front of Congress but he finally came clean about not playing clean. He admits he used steroids and his admission will launch a torrent of speculation about others who are under suspicion (Senor Sosa? Donde esta?). There will be renewed debate whether McGwire, who has never come close in the voting for admission to the Baseball Hall of Fame should receive renewed consideration now that the truth has set him free.
Barack Obama is one of the most calculating and political president in American history but Rush Limbaugh is only creating sympathy for him and the democrats with his remarks that Obama is using the disaster for political gain.
That universal question arises in the story of 14-year-old Laura Decker of the Netherlands. With her parents’ consent, Laura plans to sail around the world alone in a 26-foot boat and become the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe. Currently, the youngest solo circumnavigator is a 17-year-old British boy who confronted 50 foot waves, dangerous storms and mechanical problems during his nine month, 28,000 mile odyssey.
I don’t know precisely when the dumbing down of America began, but my guess would be sometime during the 1960’s, the decade historians may someday identify as the beginning of the end of the USA. I believe this dumbing down has now caught up with us to the extent we are, collectively, one of the most stupid countries on the face of the earth.
It is no secret that a substantial number of Americans are fed up with the federal government and its gross fiscal irresponsibility. Yet the first line of defense against such irresponsibility is not the people themselves. Perhaps it is time for individual states to step up to the plate and deliver a clear message to Congress and the White House: we will not allow you to drive us into bankruptcy.
According to a study released in November by the journal “Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts,” movies with sexual content perform worse at the box office than films with little or none of that type of content. Analyzing 914 films released between 2001 and 2005 researchers discovered that explicit sex and nudity actually hurt a film’s performance - on average, gross sales were 31% less. As the article abstract indicates: “Although it is commonly assumed that “sex sells” in mainstream cinema, recent research indicates a far more ambiguous relation between strong sexual content and financial performance.
We knew it will come to this. Barack Obama is criticized by the left for not being tough enough on Israel, so his special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchel threatens Israel with cutting aid if it fails to “to advance peace talks with the Palestinians and a two-state solution.”
ROMNEY? ROMNEY? I’ve been intrigued by the boomlet for Mitt Romney currently underway in the Republican Party. It hasn’t gotten much media attention, which may tell you more about the candidate than he’d like you to know. But it’s there.