A nice way to stay in touch with loved ones, and a convenient way to share my opinions without having everyone just walk away...wait a minute, where are you going? I wasn't finished..

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Resolution

Always remember Southern Cal is a rival. Michigan is an enemy. This history is reposted at Rock's House from time to time.

Notre Dame and Michigan - A History

It is well this week to reflect on relations between Notre Dame and Michigan: how they began, how they developed, why they are the way they are and what forces impel Michigan to be the way it is. Let us review and remember all that Michigan really stands for.

Chapter One - Seeds of Smallness - The Yost Legacy

Fielding Yost is by far the most influential person in the history of Michigan athletics. A review of his tenure vis-a-vis Notre Dame is instructive of how and why Notre Dame and Michigan view each other the way they do.

"The two most powerful conference members athletically and politically were Chicago and Michigan. Both would become the staunchest athletic foes of Notre Dame. In 1898 Michigan voted to deny Notre Dame membership in the (then) Western Conference."

"In June 1901 Michigan and Chicago orchestrated the conference's banning of Notre Dame from the initial I.C.A.A. track meet"

1909 - Notre Dame defeats Michigan for the first time. After the game Notre Dame player Red Miller goes to shake Fielding Yost's hand. "When Shorty Longman introduced me to Mr. Yost, who had been my idol for years, I was thrilled beyond measure. . . To my utter amazement, he greeted me by saying 'Miller you were guilty of the most unsportsmanlike conduct that I've ever seen in all my days.'" Yost was angry because Miller had waited several times until the last minute to signal fair catches on punts and Michigan had been flagged twice for interference. "The fair catches were perfectly legal" as officals later confirmed.

Later that year despite, having a worse record and losing to ND, Michigan was voted "Champions of the West" by some Western Conference sportswriters and Yost claimed the split championship was just. "Of course we are champions. They have a good team down there, but you must recognize the fact that we went into that game caring little whether we won or lost. Practice was what we wanted."

1910 - 24 hours before Notre Dame and Michigan are to play, Yost cancels the game. The two teams do not play again for thirty-two years.

1911 - A general policy of blackballing of Notre Dame by Michigan and Western Conference schools begins. Jesse Harper writes to ask Michgan to schedule a game: "I am very sorry you could not think it best to schedule a game for next fall. If at any time you should find that your schedule is not working out to suit you and that you would like to play Notre Dame, I would be very glad to hear from you."

1913 - ND begins playing schools outside the midwest as a result of the boycott. Army, Texas, Penn State and Syracuse are added to the schedule. The 1913 Army game -- only scheduled due to the Michigan boycott -- becomes one of the most famous in ND history as Gus Dorais and Knute Rockne use the forward pass to upset the top team in the then-dominant East.

1914 - Yost to his AD "Do not favor Notre Dame game. It would be a hard game. Not much money or prestige if we won."

One senior football player of the class of '14 bears particular ill will towards Yost and Michigan for blackballing Notre Dame. Also, despite his pass-catching ability as displayed in the game against Army, Yost works to keep this player off of All American teams. The young player swears to friends that he will ensure that Notre Dame not only never needs the Western Conference, Yost or Michigan again, but that she will eclipse them across the nation.

Rockne viewed Yost as "a hillbilly who was forever grinding a religious ax against Notre Dame, who was crooked as a dog's hind leg, who was selfish and vain beyond comprehension, who was blindly jealous of Rockne's own success and ascension to national stardom and who coached boring, neanderthal football."

1923 Big Ten track and field meet to which ND is invited. At a meeting of athletic directors Yost makes a comment in front of all listeners that Rockne is a "Protestant holdout at a Catholic school" and urges Big Ten schools to boycott Notre Dame in all sports. During the meet one of Michigan's hurdlers stumbled and lost. Yost inisted the hurdles had been placed wrong and demanded the race be re-run. Illinois, Wisconsin and other schools withdrew and Notre Dame joined in support of their protest. Yost then approached Notre Dame's captain and told him to tell Rockne that he was a quitter and that he and his "dirty Irish" would never play on Ferry Field again.

Rockne wrote Yost "The Western Conference could put in a regulation that all coaches had to join the Ku-Klux-Klan but that certainly does not apply to us any more than some of the other freak regulations they may have. Now if you personally don't want to meet Notre Dame, that is your business, no holler from this end. . . But I dont think it is fair for you to carry out a campaign against us. I have always been a loyal booster and admirer of yours and I always hope to be. However, I am no quitter. I will not sit by quietly and have my school knocked even though I am not of its faith [this was before Rockne converted]"

1926 - In a note to the Big Ten Commissioner, noting that Notre Dame had won its last twelve games against Big Ten teams Yost urges all to join Michigan's renewed boycott, "one can readily see how the Conference is helping Notre Dame."

1929 - After years of false assertions by Yost against Notre Dame, Michigan's longstanding unethical tactics are exposed in a study by the Carnegie Report on college athletics. The report cited Michigan as "among the least fortunate" of 100 schools investigated in the manner in which both the University and its alumni clubs provided loans, jobs and other forms of aid to athletes. That same year, the Big Ten Commissioner denounced the report and called Michigan "an ideal" for other college athletic programs regarding ethics.

Rockne's system, involving the famed Notre Dame Shift caught other teams off balance and was the rage in football. Yost begins a national campaign to get the shift banned and resort to old-style less fluid football not involving shifting or as much passing - in other words, a return to the rugby-style that earlier had led to many deaths and led to President Theodore Roosevelt calling for reforms in the game. Eventually, the rule was modified to require a "complete stop" - Rockne coached his players to do so - briefly - and still used his motion offense to win a national championship in 1924. Yost was outraged. Next, Big Ten officials began flagging Notre Dame on a consistent basis for its "slick" plays and quick shifts and reverses. In a game at Northwestern, Michigan alum and Big Ten official Meyer Morton penalized Notre Dame 95 yards, NW zero, leading to the famous Rockne quote to the official "Looks like a Big Ten suckhole out there to me." Rockne was also outraged that Yost had a say on which Big Ten officials called ND games against Big Ten teams, even though Michigan was not playing Notre Dame. Even with the new rules designed by Yost and his allies to impede Rockne, Notre Dame went undefeated in 1929 and 1930 and won two more national championships.

At the end of the day Rockne has become the prototype of coaches and an American cultural icon, the winningest coach in the history of football with towns, buildings, stamps and famous movies named after him and the most legendary of all team exhortations to his credit. Yost's name is generally known only to Michigan fans.


Chapter Two - The Crisler Legacy - "They Say Hail Mary's"

Finally, in 1942, after thirty-two years, a game was played between Notre Dame and Michigan. Michigan won 32-20. The next year, the game was played in Ann Arbor. The teams were ranked 1 and 2 in the polls and it was a huge game. Notre Dame won 35-12 on the way to the national championship. The star of the game was Creighton Miller, son of Red Miller who Yost had attacked in 1909. As after Notre Dame's first win over Michigan, Notre Dame's second win provoked a cessation of relations for another thirty years.

In a gesture of goodwill in order to strengthen relations between the schools, Coach Fritz Crisler was extended an invitation to the Notre Dame football banquet in 1943. He told a friend to graciously say he was deeply disappointed he could not attend and that "No one but you need know that I have my tongue in cheek when I say that."

A Michigan official told Crisler that if asked about the Notre Dame series he would say its a great series, we are looking forward to more of the same. Crisler told him "I would back you in public for any quotes and then chew you out in private for going beyond your authority." Crisler thereafter politely put off all requests for a game in 1944, 1945 or 1946. In 1946 he instituted a policy requiring that aside from conference games, Michigan only play three other games of which one must be Michigan State, one must be an eastern team and one must be a western team, effectively elimintating any chance of playing Notre Dame without having to admit that was what was being done. Frank Leahy won five national championships at Notre Dame and constantly wrote letters to Crisler begging for him to play a game. Crisler never responded to those requests, but did work behind the scenes in an attempt to have Leahy censured by the coaches association for "faking injuries".

Crisler remained AD until 1968 and never scheduled Notre Dame for a football game. Moose Krause, ND AD during the period, would call Crisler every year to seek a game and was declined for twenty straight years. Said Krause, "I think he didnt want to play us because we were the power in his own backyard. If Michigan lost to Army, well, they were back East. We were too close."

Crisler often said he just did not want to distract from the Big Ten focus of the program. Others thought Crisler harbored anti-Catholic sentiment and feared that Catholics in Michigan might root for Notre Dame. A Detroit News writer, Pete Waldmeir, who covered Michigan for decades says the excuse of not wanting to jeopardize the importance of the conference was a smokescreen. He opined "That's the party-line bullshit. It wasnt that at all. Fritz didnt give a damn about the Big Ten. And you can quote me on that. He told them what to do in football. He had his people placed all around the Big Ten." In 1956 Crisler told Waldmeir, "You know, its tough. Every Saturday morning from every pulpit in town, they're praying for Notre Dame in Ann Arbor." Even Michigan's later athletic director Don Canham all but admits his predecessor's anti-Catholic bigotry: "Fritz didnt have a deep-seated hate of Catholics or anything like that. But, you know, in those days they figured if a Catholic ran for President he couldnt win. . . . I mean it was a different world. And thats what you have to realize when you look at it with today's perspective."

Bump Elliott, Michigan's coach from 1959-1968 also endorsed the "religious threat" reasoning for not scheduling Notre Dame, noting that when he was an assistant at Iowa, some of their Catholic alumni rooted against the Hawkeyes and for Notre Dame. Father Edmund Joyce, Vice President of Notre Dame, said that the only two schools that ever used Notre Dame's Catholic affiliation as an excuse for not scheduling Notre Dame in football were Ohio State and Michigan. Said Joyce, "I always thought the two of them were together on this. I never believed it." Continued Joyce, in the neatest summary of what the Big Two are all about: "Ultimately, Woody Hayes was a little more honest about it. He said he didnt want to play Notre Dame because the Michigan game was the only big game on their schedule, whereas if they played Notre Dame it would detract from the Michigan game. In other words what he was saying was they dont like to lose. Those guys all had great egos and they didnt want to lose." Said Elliott, "I think Crisler felt our schedule was tough enough without playing Notre Dame."

Indeed, Crisler loaded up Michigan with home games, as many as seven in a nine game season and even today, Michigan's historical record is incredibly slanted with a large majority of games having been played at home. From 1943 to 1958 Michigan played Indiana fifteen times, all in Ann Arbor. They played MSU eleven of thirteen games in Ann Arbor from 1945 to 1957. Despite such favorable scheduling and a boycott of Notre Dame, Michigan did not win any national championships from 1948 through the resumption of the series with Notre Dame, while ND was winning championships in 1949, 1953, 1966, 1973 and 1977. And Michigan's light schedule may have had much to do with its lack of success against good teams for decades. In the 1970's, while Notre Dame was winning three Cotton Bowls, a Sugar Bowl, an Orange Bowl and a Gator Bowl, defeating undefeated Texas twice, undefeated Alabama twice, as well as Houston and Penn State, Michigan was 0-6 in bowl games.

One time, Crisler was assured by an alumnus that he could always count on support from Michgian alumni in his efforts to avoid scheduling Notre Dame and preventing other Big Ten schools from scheduling them, telling Crisler he could depend on "a public opinion sufficiently non-Democratic and non-Catholic." Perhaps the mentality and admirability of the second-most signifcant figure in the history of Michigan sports can be summed up in this quote from him about Notre Dame "You know, before the game they march them all off to church and they say their Hail Mary's,"

Chapter Three - The Canham Years - Michigan and The Big Ten Want ND's Money.

While figures such as Yost and Crisler didnt like Catholics or Irish, their successors did like green, the color of money. And money was precisely what led to Michigan realizing the greater spirit and glory of sport that a resumption of games with Notre Dame would serve. Businessman extraordinaire Don Canham became athletic director in 1969 and quickly looked for avenues to increase revenue. Notre Dame was one.

Canham quickly got the deal done and Notre Dame always had the utmost respect for him as he did for Notre Dame. Said Canham. "You have to give Notre Dame credit. Any sport you name Notre Dame goes after the best competition. Thats why they're Notre Dame." The class and largeness of spirit exhibited by Canham was a break with Michigan's heritage and one not to be followed by those around him.

Canham was ahead of the game for the Big Ten in reaching out to Notre Dame. In the late nineties, Big Ten officials hotly courted Notre Dame to join the conference -- for money not love. Notre Dame wisely demured. In an ironic twist of history largely and predictably ignored by the media, Notre Dame was being asked to join the regional institution whose many earlier rejections of Notre Dame had forced it to seek a national schedule and thus become the national athletic institution it was. Moreover, the institution that had done the most to attempt to destroy, undermine and thwart Notre Dame athletics was aghast and insulted at its rejection when it came begging for Notre Dame join it so that it could monetarily profit from the name and brand ND had built up over the years.

Chapter Four - Bo and Lloyd - Pettiness Personified

Sound familiar? "I dont know whether [playng Notre Dame] is in the best interests of Michigan because Michigan should be pointing to Iowa or Michigan State or Ohio State. It had just got to the point where if I had remained there as athletic director and Notre Dame continued to manipulate the position of the game and to do some of the things they were doing, I'd have dropped Notre Dame." Yes, it is Bo. He also resented that his players didnt agree with him. "When you're setting your goals in your first meeting, Notre Dame always pops into the picture. And you say 'Okay men, we're going to shoot for Notre Dame, but I'm going to tell you something, Notre Dame is a non-conference game, and we'll always play it as that. There are only so many games you can really get your team up to a fever pitch." Bo was 4-6 against Notre Dame.

Bo's frustration undoubtedly stems in part from the fact that during his tenure at Michigan, three different Notre Dame coaches won national championships while Bo never got close. And throughout Lou Holtz's tenure, Notre Dame won five major bowls and played in four others while Michigan was going 2-3 in the Rose Bowl and not making any other major bowl games. Bo, who had the worst record against top-ten teams of any coach who ever won over a hundred games, had some of his most galling and embarrasing defeats at the hands of the Irish, including three straight losses to Holtz to close his career, Harry Oliver's 51-yard boot, Bob Crable's blocked field goal, Ricky Watter's punt return helping catapult Notre Dame to a national championship in 1988 and Rocket's two kick returns in 1989. So Bo's desire to avoid Notre Dame is understandable. His class and Michigan manner were recently displayed yet again when in true statesman of the game style he proclaimed "To hell with Notre Dame."

Lloyd Carr has picked up many of the same tendencies as his predecessors. He frequently talks about how it might be a good idea to end the Notre Dame series. Also, he went ballistic over a perceived "injustice" when Notre Dame played Kansas before playing Michigan in 1999. He claimed there was a gentlemans agreement that neither school would play a game before this one. Krause was conveniently dead. Unfortunately, the then-alive Canham opted to tell the truth and denied any such agreement. Carr's dissembling was further undermined by the fact that Michigan played games before playing Notre Dame in 1978-82, 1991, 1993 and 1994. As former Michigan athletic director Jack Weidenbach points out, "We can move our games around too" and had done so to get a game before Notre Dame for years before Carr's Yostian tirade.

Carr's hostility to truth is also displayed in his recruiting efforts to play the race card. Carr frequently uses Notre Dame's Catholic affiliation [sound familiar] and location away from a large city to attempt to convince African-American players not to attend Notre Dame. Carr's tactics are especially unworthy considering that African-American athletes going to Notre Dame almost uniformly earn degrees while an African-American football player at Michigan for most of the last two decades is most likely to serve his time in the fields at Michigan Stadium and around the Big Ten and then leave school with no degree. Carr's average of three-losses a season with what is generally considered unlimited recruiting resources and limited academic demands on his players has placed him squarely in the Michigan mold. Consistent winning with few outstanding seasons.

In the end, much of the Michigan-Notre Dame relationship comes down to smallness and jealousy. Notre Dame has won far more national championships, more Heisman Trophies, has more All Americans. Its games are more highly-rated, its team more closely followed nationally than Michigan. It has its own network contract and every year that polling is conducted Notre Dame is chosen as America's most popular college football team. While Notre Dame has been consensus national champion nine times since the polls came into effect in 1936 and number two four times, Michigan has won a championship in 1948 and a half of one in 1997, and has finished second twice. Never has Michigan defeated an undefeated or number one or two ranked team in a bowl game to win a national championship as Notre Dame has done repeatedly. While Notre Dame has won bowl games against undefeated opponents seven times, Michigan has never won a bowl game against an undefeated opponent. And Notre Dame is the only school to have a winning record against Michigan over the last fifty years. Indeed, even failures such as Bob Davie and Ty WIllingham have a combined .500 record against Michigan, with Ty having a winning record against Carr! Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that the average Notre Dame undergrad far outshines the resume of his Michigan counterpart, having finished in the top ten percent of his high school class and scoring much higher on standardized tests. Even by the ludicrous standards of the U.S News and World Report survey by which large universities such as Michigan live, Notre Dame outranks them. All of this is galling to Michigan, whose worldview is one conditioned on absolute superiority to the Big Ten schools it regularly dictates to politically, defeats on the field and over whom it presumes intellectual superiority.

Nowhere is Michigan's "Notre Dame complex" more apparent than in the hostile, ugly treatment of Notre Dame fans at Michigan Stadium. Michigan and other fans routinely comment on how friendly and refreshing a trip to Notre Dame is for a game - a trip back to days of real college football sportsmanship. Michigan, on the other hand, while constantly publicizing its committment ot sportsmanship and the values of intercollegiate competition embarrassingly was forced to send an official apology to Notre Dame for the vulgar and violent treatment of Notre Dame's students and fans at Michigan Stadium in 2003. Unable to have a constructive, mature relationship with a school that sees itself as more than its equal, Michigan's relationship with Notre Dame has always been one of animus and pettiness, fueled at various points by historical prejudice against Catholics and envy of Notre Dame's unique place in the history of American sport and its success against the odds, all achieved outside the narrow confines of the conference walls Michigan so obsessively built and maintains.

* Sources: Kryk, "Natural Enemies: The Notre Dame- Michigan Football Feud", Sperber, "Shake Down the Thunder" and "Onward to Victory"; Notre Dame and Michigan Media Guides.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Iowa

It's looking good for Edwards.

When he planned his 2008 campaign he figured half the folks wouldn't vote for Hillary, but he didn't figure on Obama. So it's been a struggle. I continue to think that he's on the right track; anti-corporate and anti-war, and his policy papers have been the best on health care and trade policies.

His political strategy has been sound, too; paying a lot of attention to the less populous districts in the western part of the state. From a recent Newsweek article.

"For months, Edwards has been rounding up support in the state’s rural precincts where the front runners have paid less attention. While Obama and Clinton have drawn crowds in the thousands in places like Des Moines and Ames, Edwards has been winning over people in tiny towns like Sac City (population: 2,189). That’s important, the strategists say, because under Iowa’s arcane caucus rules, a precinct where 25 people show up to vote gets the same number of delegates as a place that packs in 2,500. In other words, even if he loses to Obama and Clinton in the state’s bigger cities, he can still win by wrapping up smaller, far-flung precincts that other candidates have ignored. “The bulk of our support is in small and medium counties,” says Jennifer O’Malley, Edwards’s Iowa state director. O’Malley says Edwards has visited all 99 counties in the state; the campaign has so far trained captains covering 90 percent of all 1,781 precincts. Rural voters are sometimes reluctant to caucus, so the campaign has been enlisting respected community leaders to encourage first-timers to get past their apathy or fear."

Another part of his strategy is to be everybody's second choice. If you're an Iowa caucus goer, and your candidate doesn't have the support of 15% of the people who show up, you can switch to another candidate or go home. If Edwards gets 65% of the 15% who support second tier candidates (can't get over the 15% threshhold) those additions would add up to 10% of caucusers to his column. Nice guys don't always finish last.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

Populist Party

Too bad we don't have one. If we did we'd be choosing between Kucinich, the radical populist; Paul, the laissez faire populist; Huckabee, the fundamentalist populist; Edwards, the establishment populist; Obama, the new populist; and Clinton, the make believe populist. That would leave Giulliani, Romney, and McCain vying for the republican nomination - not a bad cross section. And Joe Biden, Dodd, and Richardson would be the Democratic contenders, all good folks. Of course Hillary would admit she doesn't really even know what a populist is, and slip back into the democratic fold - where her chances improve. The problem, of course is that there is such disparity among the populists. Could a Kucinich populist be persuaded to support a Paul candidacy? That's where party discipline comes in - and without a party we'll never know. The other part of the answer is that the republicans and democrats should merge into the corporate party. That would make the populist identity more binding, in spite of diversity of orientations. I'm less than half serious. But apres l'deluge, there will be redefinition and realignment

Janetts telling me we have to go get Mally. See Ya.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

In case you thought I was making it up...

about the banks bundling up credit card debt and selling it to insurance companies and pensions. Oh and I read a (sort of) funny blog this week about "jingle mail",
people just putting their keys in an envelope and mailing them to their mortgage company. Mommy said she saw an article advising people facing foreclosure to stop paying their mortgages. It'll take six months for them to get you out of the house and in the meantime you can save up enough to cover a big deposit on a rental.


Unpaid credit cards bedevil Americans By RACHEL KONRAD and BOB PORTERFIELD, Associated Press Writers
Sun Dec 23, 2:33 PM ET


SAN FRANCISCO - Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year and prompting warnings of worse to come.

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An Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country's largest card issuers also found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears.

Experts say these signs of the deterioration of finances of many households are partly a byproduct of the subprime mortgage crisis and could spell more trouble ahead for an already sputtering economy.

"Debt eventually leaks into other areas, whether it starts with the mortgage and goes to the credit card or vice versa," said Cliff Tan, a visiting scholar at Stanford University and an expert on credit risk. "We're starting to see leaks now."

The value of credit card accounts at least 30 days late jumped 26 percent to $17.3 billion in October from a year earlier at 17 large credit card trusts examined by the AP. That represented more than 4 percent of the total outstanding principal balances owed to the trusts on credit cards that were issued by banks such as Bank of America and Capital One and for retailers like Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

At the same time, defaults — when lenders essentially give up hope of ever being repaid and write off the debt — rose 18 percent to almost $961 million in October, according to filings made by the trusts with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Serious delinquencies also are up sharply: Some of the nation's biggest lenders — including Advanta, GE Money Bank and HSBC — reported increases of 50 percent or more in the value of accounts that were at least 90 days delinquent when compared with the same period a year ago.

The AP analyzed data representing about 325 million individual accounts held in trusts that were created by credit card issuers in order to sell the debt to investors — similar to how many banks packaged and sold subprime mortgage loans. Together, they represent about 45 percent of the $920 billion the Federal Reserve counts as credit card debt owed by Americans.

Until recently, credit card default rates had been running close to record lows, providing one of the few profit growth areas for the nation's banks, which continue to flood Americans' mailboxes with billions of letters monthly offering easy sign-ups for new plastic.

Even after the recent spike in bad loans, the credit card business is still quite lucrative, thanks to interest rates that can run as high as 36 percent, plus late fees and other penalties.
But what is coming into sharper focus from the detailed monthly SEC filings from the trusts is a snapshot of the worrisome state of Americans' ability to juggle growing and expensive credit card debt.

The trend carried into November. As of Friday, all of the trusts that filed reports for the month show increases in both delinquencies and defaults over November 2006, and many show sequential increases from October.

Discover accounts 30 days or more delinquent jumped 25,716 from November 2006 and had increased 6,000 between October and November this year.

Many economists expect delinquencies and defaults to rise further after the holiday shopping season.

Mark Zandi, chief economist and co-founder of Moody's Economy.com Inc., cited mounting mortgage problems that began after this summer's subprime financial shock as one of the culprits, as well as a weakening job market in the Midwest, South and parts of the West, where real-estate markets have been particularly hard hit.

"Credit card quality will continue to erode throughout next year," Zandi said.

Economists also cite America's long-standing attitude that debt — even high-interest credit card debt — is not a big deal.

"The desires of consumers to want, want, want, spend, spend, spend — it's the fabric of our nation," said Howard Dvorkin, founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which has advised more than 5 million people in debt. "But you always have to pay the piper, and that can be a very painful process."

Filing for bankruptcy is no longer a solution for many Americans because of a 2005 change to federal law that made it harder to walk away from debt. Those with above-average incomes are barred from declaring Chapter 7 — where debts can be wiped out entirely — except under special circumstances and must instead file a repayment plan under the more restrictive Chapter 13.

Personal finance coaches say the problem is most grave for individuals who are months delinquent or already in default — like Kenneth McGuinness, a postal clerk from Flushing, N.Y.

His credit card struggles began nine years ago, when he charged his son's college tuition and books. He thought he was being clever: His credit card's 6 percent "teaser" interest rate was lower than the 8.6 percent interest on a college loan.

McGuinness, 61, soon began using Citibank and Chase cards for food, dental work and copays on doctor visits and minor surgeries. Interest rates surged to 30 percent. Now he's $37,000 in debt and plans to file for bankruptcy in February.

"I tried to pay what I could and go after the high-interest accounts first," McGuinness said. "But it just kept getting higher and higher, and with late charges and surcharges I was going backward."

In the wake of the jump in defaults on subprime mortgage loans made to borrowers with poor credit histories, banks have been less willing to allow consumers to consolidate credit card debt into home equity loans or refinanced mortgages. That is leaving some with no option but to miss payments, economists said.

Investors also are backing away from buying securitized credit-card debt, said Moshe Orenbuch, managing director at Credit Suisse. But that probably has more to do with concerns about the overall health of the U.S. economy, he said.

"It's been getting tougher to finance any kind of structured finance — mortgages, automobile loans, credit cards, student loans," said Orenbuch, who specializes in the credit industry.

Capital One Financial Corp. reported that delinquencies and defaults are highest in regions where troubled mortgages are concentrated, including California and Florida.

Among the trusts examined, Bank of America Corp. had the highest delinquency volume, with overdue accounts valued at $5 billion. Bank of America defaults in October were almost 200 percent higher than in October 2006.

A spokesman for Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America declined to comment.

Other trusts — including those linked to Capital One, American Express Co., Discover Financial Services Co. and those containing "branded" cards from Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Home Depot Inc., Lowe's Companies Inc., Target Corp. and Circuit City Stores Inc. — also reported striking increases in year-over-year delinquency and default rates for October. Most banks and other financial institutions holding credit card debt on their own books also reported double-digit increases in delinquencies.

The one exception in October was JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s credit card trust, which reported declines in both delinquencies and defaults. A Chase spokesperson attributed this to its focus on prime borrowers and aggressive account management.

By contrast, Capital One executives told analysts last month that the company projected 2008 write-offs of credit card debt to be at least $4.9 billion. This projection, analysts were told, took into account growing delinquencies and potential effects if the housing market continued its downward slide.

Capital One spokeswoman Julie Rakes said the increase in delinquencies could be due to an accounting change last summer, which shortened the grace period between when statements were issued and the due date.

Capital One also reported that the number of accounts 90 days or more in arrears had increased between October and November. More than 1.2 million of Capital One's 30 million accounts were either delinquent or in default.

Many personal financial coaches expect this trend to accelerate in 2008 — particularly among people who took out untraditional loans whose interest rate has risen, requiring owners to pay mortgages several hundred dollars more than just a year ago.

"You're looking at more and more distress — consumers desperately trying to preserve their credit lines, but there's nowhere else to go," said Robert Manning, director of the Center for Consumer Financial Services at Rochester Institute of Technology. "It's like a game of dominoes."

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone is happy.

We've been busy with the normal Christmas stuff plus a couple of mishaps. I considered posting at Facebook that I hadn't been there 'cause I was busy posting to my blog, and writing here that I've been too busy at facebook to post to my blog. But you're all too smart for that.

Went to the Willow Christmas gala Thursday. It was really good, even better than last year seems to be the concensus.

I've got to shop for J-girl's present(s) today. I'm getting it done early this year. Usually I wait until the last minute.

But first, I have to take out the garbage. "Real women don't take out garbage"

Merry Christmas.

PS I didn't post the Infant of Prague this year, but don't forget, God is never more approachable than as the infant. Open your hearts.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Alright

I'm pleased to present for your viewing enjoyment the 2007 Notre Dame Fighting Irish football HIGHLIGHTS

Courtesy of Oldie Olderson. Thanks Oldie

Why would anyone post

this?

Hmm, it's getting better each time I play it,

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

This guy gets it

From article by Sean Olender at SFGate


"But unfortunately, the "freeze" is just another fraud - and like the other bailout proposals, it has nothing to do with U.S. house prices, with "working families," keeping people in their homes or any of that nonsense.

The sole goal of the freeze is to prevent owners of mortgage-backed securities, many of them foreigners, from suing U.S. banks and forcing them to buy back worthless mortgage securities at face value - right now almost 10 times their market worth.

The ticking time bomb in the U.S. banking system is not resetting subprime mortgage rates. The real problem is the contractual ability of investors in mortgage bonds to require banks to buy back the loans at face value if there was fraud in the origination process.

And, to be sure, fraud is everywhere. It's in the loan application documents, and it's in the appraisals. There are e-mails and memos floating around showing that many people in banks, investment banks and appraisal companies - all the way up to senior management - knew about it.

I can hear the hum of shredders working overtime, and maybe that is the new "hot" industry to invest in. There are lots of people who would like to muzzle subpoena-happy New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to buy time and make this all go away. Cuomo is just inches from getting what he needs to start putting a lot of people in prison. I bet some people are trying right now to make him an offer "he can't refuse."

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Willow's Reveal

Excerps from a couple of old time religion bloggers' recent posts

Reveal: Willow Creek is Weak

There is a buzz over a new book claiming that the basic model of ministry used by Willow Creek Church (the uber-mega-church of the evangelical world) is deeply flawed. Willow has released videos--one of which I tried to watch, but could not, given all the special effects and lack of substance--but I cannot find a substantive statement by Willow. I guess you have to buy the book, called Reveal. But I think I have picked up the basic idea from the CT blog and elsewhere.

The flawed model is that a program-driven church--big, slick, professional--will generate disciples (those who grow in love for God and others) by getting people to show up for activities. Now Bill Hybels and others are claiming this was a mistake. People need to take responsibility for their spiritual growth instead of just "participating" in the all the events.


Did Willow Creek Really Repent??

If you click on the title of the post (not here), it will lead you to a article talking of Willow Creek's new research into their own church and their lack of efficient and lasting results. To those who are outside looking in, it is no surprise. The language used by the pastoral staff at Willow Creek does not convince me that they know what they are talking about. We will see if they take their repentance seriously in retraction of all that they have done in the past in order to be more "effective." Are they just turning the same side of the coin of pragmatism? Hopefully, they will finally understand the Church through the study of God's Word and in its proclamation to the Church. Let us pray for our brethren and for God's grace to open their eyes.

and a response from Greg Hawkins of Willow Creek

Friends,

I’m thrilled to see the high level of interest and energy behind the blogosphere comments about REVEAL. But I’ve read enough postings to think that it might be helpful to provide a few facts on three issues that keep coming up. Trust me. I’m not into “spin control” here. I just want to fill in some gaps.

1. It’s Not About Willow
• REVEAL’s findings are based on thirty churches besides Willow. In all thirty churches, we’ve found the six segments of REVEAL’s spiritual continuum, including the Stalled and Dissatisfied segments. And these churches aren’t all Willow clones. We’ve surveyed traditional Bible churches, mainline denominations, African-American churches and churches representing a wide range of geographies and sizes. Right now we’re fielding the survey to 500 additional churches, including 100 international churches. So, while REVEAL was born out of a Willow research project in 2004, the findings are not exclusive to Willow Creek.

2. Willow Repents?
• The first blog started with this question, and the answer is “yes”. But repenting is not a new experience for us. We’ve made a number of major course corrections over the years – like adding a big small group ministry for the thousands of new Christians coming to faith at Willow, and adding a mid-week service for our Christ-followers. We’ve always been a church in motion and REVEAL is just another example of Willow trying to be open to God’s design for this local church.

3. Is Willow Re-thinking its Seeker Focus?
• Simple answer – no. My boss would say that Willow is not just seeker-focused. We are seeker-obsessed. The power of REVEAL’s insights for our seeker strategy is the evangelistic strength uncovered in the more mature segments. If we can serve them better, the evangelistic potential is enormous, based on our findings.

I hope this was helpful. In any event, I’m enjoying following the dialogue. Keep it up! And let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to address.

Greg Hawkins



At Willow the singular importance of reading and study of the Bible is undisputed, and urgings to daily prayer are frequent and emphatic. The recent study's findings that these two aspects of religious practice are most beneficial do not contradict the established tenets of Willow Creek Church. Nor do these findings denigrate the value of small groups and worship services in establishing personal relationships with, or the desire to be in the service of Jesus. So, why the consternation?
I've noticed before indications of an evangelical schism that manifests itself most clearly in attacks on Willow Creek Church by self-styled representatives of Southern Baptist and Reformed churches. I greatly appreciate Willow, have immense respect for Bill Hybels and I think the exponents of the Churches of Apartheid and Lynching should be concerned with their own fielty in the service of Christ rather than with the sincere strivings of Willow Creek Church and the Willow Creek Association. They kind of remind me of the United Mine Workers Union. "Our communities have been despoiled and devastated, most of us have been laid off and the rest of us will die of black lung disease or in cave-ins, but we've been very successful in recent negotiations." Well, keep up the good work.

Thanks, Mr Hawkins, for responding in far more measured tones than I can.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

For a change

something fun, light, and frothy

I should explain, I was watching clips of British news commentaries, kind of like John Stewart, only more crass and cerebral at the same time when I came across this clip, which then led to the first clip I linked. (I'd hate for anyone to think I was sitting here on a Saturday morning googling Emma Watson.)

Friday, December 07, 2007

There's always hope



If I was going to jump off the bridge and I saw that phone and that sign, it would help me more than a whole lot of counselling, (I think.)

Monday, December 03, 2007

"When I saw the polls this morning,



I threw up in my mouth a little bit."

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Facebook

I "joined" Facebook this morning It was kind of sad. No comments, no friends. It took me almost 2 hours to find a group I could join: Homestar Runner, and I'm still not sure it's right for me. Then I clicked on notes and got the message:

"Your friends have not written any notes yet.
You can write your own or find more friends."

Isn't that sad?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A blanket pardon

My distaste for the kind of people who get elected to high office, and their self serving machinations to the extreme detriment of the people who trusted them with their votes leads me to write things like..."I would say it's the innocent who will pay the price, but they weren't innocent of being stupid, and people who elect Clintons and Bushes aren't stupid by accident, they work at it" Well, my daughters voted for Bush because they believed his expressions of Christian compassion for the unborn and that he would work to stop the slaughter of the innocents. They are both intelligent and thoughtful and they're both under thirty years of age. They haven't developed the cynicism which I have. Would I wish that they had? Not really.

They believe the struggle between good and evil is a struggle for men's souls, not for supremacy in the world. God is supreme and His will will be done. The suffering that people endure at the hand of lying, thieving, murderous politicians is something that is a consistent theme in human history. That sort will always endeavor to scratch and claw their way to the top of the dung heap. I can't even dispute my daughters faith that God will forgive them their sins as readily as He will forgive mine. I can't help but hope their lifetime of duplicitous insincerity makes it impossible for them to ask forgiveness. Of course, the girls would tell me that hoping something like that is also a failing.

So, anyway, I hereby exclude (some) people under thirty from my criticism of the voting public.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Don't want to spoil your week-end

and I said I wouldn't say I told you so but this article caught my eye.

Here's the first couple of paragraphs..."Will your pension take part of the $1 trillion hit from the subprime meltdown?
Posted Nov 29th 2007 8:49PM by Peter Cohan

The Associated Press reports that local Florida governments have been withdrawing assets from its state pension fund at an astonishingly rapid clip. Specifically, in the last two weeks local Florida governments have withdrawn 40% -- or nearly $10 billion -- from the state pension pool. At this rate, the fund would have been 100% depleted by the end of 2007. So The State Board of Administration held an emergency meeting to halt further withdrawals.

If you think about this for a minute, you'll realize that this is pretty much the same thing that happened during the Great Depression when people withdrew their money from banks because they were afraid of losing their savings. In response, the government declared bank holidays. That is, the government told them that they could not get their hands on their money.

What -- you might ask -- is the reason that Florida local governments were so eager to get their hands on that pension money? Florida invested in some mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) -- which were downgraded by credit rating agencies to the point where they were below the standards permitted for a pension fund. Specifically, $700 million in asset-backed commercial paper was downgraded below "purchase credit rating guidelines."
---

So the state pension fund has to sell $700 million worth of this junk. What do you think they'll get? Maybe twenty-five cents back on the dollar? Does that mean three quarter of the retirees dont get their pensions, or every one gets a quarter of what they were planning on? On the bright side the $700 million was only a small fraction of their total holdings. On the not so bright side, the rest of the stuff they're holding is probably just as bad. Remember, people are just starting to default on their mortgages.

And we still have funds holding all those corporate junk bonds which financed all those overpriced buy-outs of the last 10 years. That money's not going to be paid back.

And just like anybody could borrow money to buy a house, even dogs and kids could get credit cards. Car loans? Didn't we talk about how everybody is upside down on their car loans. Consumer debt default will sky-rocket in the next couple years. And, yes, the bankers, credit card companies and car loan companies were bundling those loans up to and selling them to the pension funds and insurance companies just like the mortgages.

And of course the sad part is that the schemers will take their billions and retire somewhere they don't have to deal with the unpleasant consequences of the fraud they perpetrated. I would say it's the innocent who will pay the price, but they weren't innocent of being stupid, and people who elect Clintons and Bushes aren't stupid by accident, they work at it. Think they'll be able to sue? Not a chance, Bush's "conservative" Supreme Court isn't conservative when it comes to overturning Roe v Wade, or protectiong constitutional civil liberties, but they're damn conservative about letting poor people sue rich people. I'm not making it up - check it out.


There's more there if you want to read about it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

TG@D&J's



It's days later and I'm still full. Ooops, that was a usage Mommo never allowed, and we never described anyone as "rich", "comfortable" was barely acceptable.) Well, I've been comfortable for a couple of days now.

Home-made every thing from olives to wine. My personal favorite: eggplant antipasto, but the fried artichoke hearts were right up there. Anybody got the recipes? A person of any appetite would have filled up on the antipasto - like I did. And the pasta was a delicious lasagna. Were we done? No, just getting started. Ham and turkey, yumm. A corn,bean,pea vegge dish, mashed potatoes and green beans (with litttle pine nuts). For the nut course, roasted chestnuts and a pistachio faux gelato with cool whip, lemon and lime juice, pistachios and little pineapple chunks. That had to be desert for me. I couldn't face the pastries.

PS watchout for Tomasso's homemeade wine.

PPS Oh and the folks there were very nice also.


Flight Tracking

When schools are looking for coaches, some enterprising sleuth/fans track the flights of the schools corporate jets. This could be good for Michigan (the skunkbears), bad for Iowa.

"Mgoblog is reporting that a private jet left Willow Run airport (where all the private UM jets fly) to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was there for exactly 15 minutes, and then turned around, and should be landing back at Willow Run shortly.

Hmmmmmmm. It looks and smells like Ferentz for the Skunks."

Courtesy of BigEND at Rock's House.
Not so fast my friend, says SteelHop at Cartier Field:

"UM in almost any case can't hire Ferentz b/c it violates the Big Tens unspoken rule against hiring a coach at equal levels to fill an open position. UM can hire a DC or OC to do it but the intent of the rule is to stop what is exactly what is being rumored stealing a coach from a program that can't pay as much. Unless Delevany breaks the rule, and thus, admitting the conference is the Big Two in reality - this is rumor of equal to PFT.

I won't argue it can't happen but there would have to be a lot of explaining about how the Big Ten is no different than the ACC (O'Brien) or SEC (Tuberville) when it comes to athletics. Do you think Delaney wants to do that?"

Whadyallthink? And whateve happened to that other guy: what was his name? Oh yeah, Les Miles

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Aaahhh, that's better

I did something yesterday that had been on my mind for a month. I had to write to someone, but didnt know what was the right thing to say. I can't say it worked out well, but at least it's done. That undone thing had kept me from posting because every time I sat down to post I was preoccupied with not having written that person yet, and that thought drove other conversational ideas out of my mind.

And I've had a lot to talk about. Kim and Ross getting engaged, Thanksgiving at Dee and Jason's, Orla Hopp's passing and how involved we've been over the years with her family.

Orla Fitzsimmon's family came to Dundee during the 1920's and she was born in the house closest to route 31 on the south side of route 72. The house is still there with a candy store on the first floor. I guess the historic district won't let them tear it down. She was married to a postman whose family, the Hopps, has been here practically forever. They had three children, two sons and a daughter. One of her sons passed away several years ago. The daughter had children who were in elementary school with our own children. Janett first got to know Carrie at Brownie camp-outs and other events twenty years ago, and observed that Carrie was doing most of the work while the other mothers were planning, administering, and otherwise enjoying one another's company while engaged in non-productive pursuits. They became friends and shared many ups and downs over the years.

Carrie's oldest daughter, Crystal, became the closest of friends with both of our daughters, and they too shared all the ups and downs of childhood and adolescence. I'm not sure if Carrie's kids introduced our kids to Willow Creek Church, but I think so, and they certainly supported their regular attendance with rides and encouragement. Along with a loving family, Willow has been the the most positive influence in our childrens' lives.

Carrie's husband, Bill is a big-hearted galoot. He was running a small family business when I got to know him, and started helping him with some tax filings. I was worried about his heart and his back and encouraged him to accept a position with a large competitor for the security, the benefits, and the reduced workload. I don't know if he ever regrets giving up the rewards of ownership, but if he does he never let's on, and always greets me with "Hey, Andy, I love you, man" One time I was out of work for a while and behind in my bills and got my gas shut off. I don't know how he found out, but he was over to the house within hours saying "They can't do that." and going to the currency exchange to get service restored the same day.

Now Crystal has three beautiful little ones, and shares so much with Stephanie. It was Carrie's second daughter, Corrie, who steered Kim toward her job at Verizon, which is working out so well.

I'm hurrying now because our oldest son, Jase, is here and I should be getting ready for the wake, but speaking of Jason, he used to drop by their home and have coffee with Orla on his way to or from work before he moved out of town. That was ten years ago and her health was starting to fail then. Jason was very considerate of her, and she appreciated his friendhip. That's the way it's been for us with Orla and her family.

Well, got to go.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

For the students of foreign affairs among us,

another article on the Indo-Sino rapproachment. Item to ponder, the Chinese have traditionally given measured support to the Pakistanis, as the Russians have done with the Indians. One effect of this cozying up twixt the Chinese and Indians is to make Pakistan the odd man out on the sub-continent. How does this make the Pakistani military feel about Musharraf and his sell-out to the Bush-Cheney gang of two?

I haven't posted on economic/market matters for a couple of months because I think I already spun out the scenarion which is now occurring, and I'm not one to say "I TOLD YOU SO."

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Ok, a little history trivia



Bobbie Kennedy was at Notre Dame the day Martin Luther King was killed.

Sorry

not to be posting. I don't know if works a bitch, or the commutes a bitch, or I'm suffering from a post equinox emotional malady.

Here's a timely joke from the Other Guy at Rock's House:

I was feeling depressed following the Navy game, so I called the Help Hotline.

I was put through to a 'call center' in Pakistan .

I explained that I was feeling suicidal.

They were very excited at this news and wanted to know if I could drive a truck or fly an airplane...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This is the kind of harvest

that Bush's adventurism is south Asia will reap in the coming decades. "Let's go get them dirty Taliban" sounded pretty good to a lot of Americans in October of 2001, and the oil companies (IE VP Cheney) were happy to secure the right of way for a pipeline from the Caspian Sea. Problem is statesmen are supposed to be wise, deliberate and measured in their initiatives as opposed to say stupid, opportunistic, and acquisitive. Our military presence in south Asia will have more perilous consequences than the suicide bombers we've stirred up in the middle-east.

Here's a piece from an article which discusses important strategic shifts which are alarming as they were foreseeable. Most Americans don't have the time or the energy to concern themselves with such matters, which makes it all the more important that we elect leaders who exercise foresight and good judgement. Right now the two imperatives for American foreign policy is do whatever the oil companies and the Israelis want us to do, cause that's how you win elections.

The India-China-Russia Troika: Is It Possible?
Dr Suvrokamal Dutta
26 October 2007, Friday


With the historic India-Russia ties based on solid foundation, the emergence of warmer ties with China means a lot for this region. Already China and Russia have resolved their age-old border disputes amicably. Sino-Russian trade is quite robust and is increasing steadily. In the year 2003-04, the annual trade between China and Russia was to the tune of USD 5 billion which is a healthy figure on any country’s trade account. India’s defence and military - related trade being maximum with Russia (Russia accounts for 70 percent of India’s defence-related purchases) greater co-operation between the three countries will assume greater significance in future, if it really works out.

Russia’s inability to impede the eastward expansion of NATO and its frustration with NATO’s unilateral military action in Kosovo has forced it to seek closer strategic understanding with China and India. Yevgeny Primakov of Russia was the first person to talk about a "strategic triangle" involving Russia, China and India. India may still need time to decide if it should be one of the vertices of the triangle but such a decision cannot be ruled out .It is a fact that each of these States is involved in somewhat similar dynamics. Each is consolidating its relationship with the other, while simultaneously expanding its relations with the United States. In terms of strategic payoffs, this partnership will yield them, at least enhanced benefits arising from bilateral and trilateral co-operation and serve to neutralize US influence in the Asia-Pacific Region, at the most. This potential partnership could be a blueprint for the next Cold War and poses a threat that could affect the lives of everyone in the United States in a significant way and the United States of America is quite itchy about the unfolding tri-lateral ties.

During President Putin’s visit in December 2003, a multi-billion dollar defence deal was signed. Under the deal, Russia would supply IL-78 flight refuelling air-craft, aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov and IL-78 FRAs to India. Russia would also sell MiG-29K fighter aircraft for the aircraft carrier besides submarines and frigates. Submarines and frigates would also be jointly produced by the two countries. With such warm ties obtaining, the emergence of the said troika can-not be ruled out.

During his recent visit to Moscow, the External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had a detailed discussion with the Russian officials about many bilateral and strategic issues, including the Turkimenistan oil pipeline issue and the Indo-US nuclear deal. The response of the Russian side was quite positive to both the issues. It included an assurance from Russia of all help to India in the IAEA and the NSG.

A trilateral meeting of the Heads of the three countries on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly Session in 2003 raised a lot of heartburn among several western countries, including the United States. The then External Affairs Minister of India brushed it aside as nothing but assumptions. He said the meeting discussed global issues and cross-border terrorism confronting the three countries. The clarification was furnished during the question hour while replying to the supplementaries. The minister said, “This kind of meeting took 14 years to take place and no country was mentioned by name during the informal meeting, though the issue of terrorism in general figured in the discussions.” He further said, “Otherwise, it would have given the impression that we (India, Russia and China) are forming a group.” The Minister had also said then: “The Foreign Ministers of India, Russia and China agreed to meet in-formally in the same format and in this informal meeting we did not bring up bilateral issues and only trilateral issues were discussed .The meeting also discussed globalization.”

The Minister’s indirect acknowledgement of the discussion of trilateral issues and issues of global concern reflects this unfolding axis amongst the trio. China and Russia are co-operating on establishing railway links and on the issue concerning the oil pipeline through Central Asia, connecting the Caspian Sea with the Middle East and Europe. Russia has also shown keen interest in the pipeline issue involving India, Iran and Central Asia .Chances of the three countries joining hands on such common issues in future cannot be ruled out. American presence in Central Asia, Afghanistan and in the former Soviet Republics like Georgia, Ukraine, etc has hastened the process. The way things are unfolding in Central Asia, the official acknowledgement of a troika taking shape or the official constitution of such a troika in the near future cannot be ruled out. Such a troika is also required for the region in the context of its strategic and economic location.

Involvement and the special interest shown by the western powers, specially the United States of America after the advent of the WTO and the globalization that the region has witnessed, render the formation of such a power grouping all the more vital as this can neutralize the power domination by the West and the USA. This will rid the region of any kind of American domination which is of vital importance for the healthy, overall development and security of Asia. Any outside presence in the area is not in its interest.


(emphasis added)

PS

Incidentally, if you try to breakdown the globe into two camps, you'll find our camp is getting smaller with each passing decade. The rapproachment of India with China is troubling, but China ia also making significant inroads into the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. For now we can count on the grudging support of Europe and Japan, but these allies will necessarily hedge their bets making whatever accomodations are necessary with Russia and China as we isolate ourselves further from the world community.

These realignments would be hastened by an attack on Iran as we would demonstrate that we're incapable of learning from our mistakes, and bent on unleashing violence on who-so-ever Israel determines is a threat to their fascist state. I've always decried our support for the Israeli aggressors as brutish and immoral: it's also prohibitively costly as we'll soon learn.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Where else

could you hope to see Dwight Shute attack Jerome Bettis? I know what keeps you coming back.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mixed Emotions

One ND Fan posted this over at Her Loyal Sons to express his feelings about Notre Dame losing to USC 38 to nothing then getting verbal commitments from two top prospects for next year, including Michael Floyd, the receiver fans have been excited about as a prospect for the last year

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cloudy Monday but nice Sunday

We had a great time at Malachy and Madison's dual birthday party yesterday. A nice, pretty large group of grown ups and little ones - three generations of a couple families. It was a beautiful day and the kids got to run around a lot. Janett made mostacioli and Sandy baked three cakes. Two of them were four layer jobbies. I was impressed. Crystal bought big veggie and fruit platters for appetizers. I was also impressed with how the kids went for the veggies and fruit. Very healthy. One little guy (Isaac) asked me "What's that in you hand?" when I was smoking. Never saw a cigarette before. Hmmh.
Janett as usual sacrificed herself preparing and laying out the spread,so she didn't get to socialize as much as she would have liked, and now we all have to pay the price of missing the photo's she would have snapped.
Six or seven of the dad's snuck off to the basement to watch the last quarter of the Bears game and were rewarded with a last minute win. A very good day all around.
When it was time to go, I said good-by to Malachy three times. He was so deeply involved with a Power Ranger motorcycling transformer kind of thing he was oblivious to me. Never one to be ignored I scooped him up for a hug and a kiss. He howled and crumpled to the floor when I let him go. Then he gathered himself up and sobbing for a moment he returned his attention to the new toy. The crying stopped and the rest of the world faded back into oblivion. I resisted the temptation to pick him up for another hug. He was really deep into that toy.

We have new neighbors in the upstairs apartment: a cute young mom and her cute little boy. It sounds like the only toy the little guy has is a bowling ball. Somebody ought to get him a Power Ranger motorcycling transformer kind of thing.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

ND Loses again

'nuff said

I started a new temp assignment this week. It's a big company building a new plant. I'm supposed to do the capital project/fixed asset accounting. It'll be interesting.

Little Steffo suffered a set back in her effort to have another little baby last week. Sorry Steffo. I hope your faith makes it a little easier to accept the disappointment. We're all looking foreward to Malachy's birthday bash.

Because my new job is far away and outside my normal commuting range, I'm experimenting a little with routes. I tried going from 294 to 355 on 88 on the way home Friday. Boy, was that a mistake. I couldn't believe all those people put up with that traffic. People, haven't you ever heard of alternates: like Ogden, or Butterfield, or Roosevelt, or Cermak. What are you, goofy? You can tell I'm still upset. I mean I knew I must be sitting there with thousands of willfully stupid people who are going to vote for Hillary or Rudy. It was creepy.

Monday, October 08, 2007

From Portfolio Magazine's Blog

Regarding possible ouster of Sprint CEO

"Oct 5 2007 9:19AM EDT

PR Lie of the Day

A Sprint spokeswoman declined to comment. She said Mr. Forsee was traveling and couldn't be reached."

Now, that's funny.

I'm still recuperating from an over-the top week-end, but should note ND's win over UCLA. Wouldn't it be nice if we beat Boston College on Saturday? ND posters usually refer to BC as Fredo - like from the Godfather.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Birthday

Last Thursday was my birthday. Janett and I celebrated Friday night, 3 bars in 5 hours and home by midnight. Not a moment too soon. "I don't remember stopping at Arby's last night."

Friday - night went to the gambling boat (for the buffet) with former co-worker Sal, who'd been thoughtful enough to call to wake me Wednesday(?) morning with some goofy little toy singing "Happy Birthday To You" over the phone.

Saturday - Got to watch Notre Dame unveil the dynamic duo, Tate and Kamara, and Sharpley showed that us old guys still got it.

Sunday - Lou and Julie and I watched the Bears game while Kim and Janett shopped. They brought home a cake, which we took to Steffie and Mark's to share. (and I got some presents) I'd talked to Jase Sunday morning when we didn't have any plans, and he sounded uncertain about coming over, he was a little under the weather. Well, if Jase, Dee, or Joey see this, we saved you some cake. But I don't know how long Mark can withstand temptation.

My baby bouncing boy, Noah, apparently placed a higher value on a Weird Al concert in Champaign with his buddy Chad, than he did on celebrating one of a few remaining birthdays with his dear old Dad. That's OK, Noah you're still in the will, if I had one.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Did anyone watch the debate?

His staff says Edwards won, and provides these quotes. I hope he connected with folks in New Hampshire, where other candidates' financial advantages won't guarantee them a win.

MSNBC Democratic Debate in New Hampshire – Reviews Are In

Salon.com’s Joan Walsh Said Edwards “Made a Strong Impression” and Named Edwards the Winner of the Debate. Chris Matthews posed the question, “Who won tonight’s debate?” and Salon.com’s Walsh responded, “I think Edwards made a strong impression and I think he pushed her [Senator Hillary Clinton] back, he brushed her back a little bit. So I would go with Edwards.” [MSNBC, 9/26/07]

NBC's Chuck Todd: “Edwards Stood Out to Me,” “It Was One of His Better Performances.” “Of the candidates chasing Clinton, Edwards stood out to me. He seemed to realize he needed to prove contrast with Clinton on just about every answer he gave. It was one of his better performances. The guy is getting his William Jennings Bryan schtick down pat.” [http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/09/26/381964.aspx, “Some Quick Post-game Take-aways,” 9/26/07]

Newsweek’s Howard Fineman: “Edwards Has Emerged So Far the Most Forceful Challenger To” Clinton. “From where I sit, Edwards has emerged so far the most forceful challenger to her (other than Tim Russert).” [http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2007/09/26/fineman-debate-live-blog.aspx, 9/26/07]

Marc Ambinder: “Victory for JRE,” “Edwards Was Straightforward, Confident, Clear.” Edwards was Edwards on Centrum Silver: straightforward, confident, clear, knowledgeable, thoroughly encased in his own frame. Ying to the yang of both Obama and Clinton; If you’re new to nomination politics, then you’d think Edwards – and not Obama – was Hillary Clinton’s main foil. The war. Social Security. Health care. Campaign ethics. Clinton didn't take the punch, but she did move to dodge them, which is a victory for JRE. [http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/09/edwards_clinton_spats_stand_ou.php, “Edwards, Clinton Spats Sound Out,” 9/26/07]

ABC’s Rick Klein: “Edwards May Have Done Himself the Most Good Tonight.” “11:02 pm: Quick thoughts -- Hillary Clinton benefits whenever no one else distinguishes himself, and Edwards may have done himself the most good tonight. Obama squeezed in one good line, but I don't see that as enough for the evening.” [http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/09/live-blogging-d.html, 9/26/07]

NBC's Domenico Montanaro: Edwards Was “More Presidential” and “Looked Poised.” “Edwards looked poised in following up on his answer. Not angry or frustrated as we've seen him before, more presidential.” [http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/09/26/381656.aspx, “Edwards Pointing Out Differences,” 9/26/07]

Newsweek’s Howard Fineman: “Edwards Then Hits It out of the Park,” “Wins the Round” on Social Security. “Edwards then hits it out of the park, talking about a ‘protective zone’ of income between $97,500 and $200,000. His proposals sounded carefully thought through—whether you agree with it or not—and was much more specific than what Obama had to say on the topic. Hillary is talking too much about what her ‘husband’ did; she isn't being specific enough—Edwards wins the round.” [http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2007/09/26/fineman-debate-live-blog.aspx, 9/26/07]


NBC’s Athena Jones: Edwards Gets a “Whoop” for Promising to End Health Insurance for Congress if No Universal Health Care. “A whoop here for Edwards' promise to cut off health insurance coverage for members of Congress if they don't pass health care by July 2009.”[http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/09/26/381762.aspx, “Edwards health care reaction,” 9/26/07]

ABC’s Rick Klein: “Edwards Is the First to Draw Real Distinctions About” on Iraq. “9:07 pm: I'm ready to give the Big Three credit for intellectual honesty by saying troops will have to remain in Iraq for some years. But John Edwards is the first to draw real distinctions about what to do going forward. This won't be the last time he finds a way to set himself apart.” [http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/09/live-blogging-d.html, 9/26/07]

NBC's Domenico Montanaro: “Edwards Is Pressing the Distinctions with Clinton.” “Edwards is pressing the distinctions with Clinton. He said they had learned different things on their war vote and said this Iran vote was indicative of that. Will it matter? Edwards clearly wants to put her on the defensive. So far, he's the only one.” [http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/09/26/381710.aspx, “Edwards Pressing,” 9/26/07]

NBC’s Chuck Todd: “Edwards Seems on His Game Tonight.” “It's VERY early but Edwards seems on his game tonight.” [http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/09/26/381655.aspx, “Edwards Came To Debate With A Plan?” 9/26/07]

ABC’s Rick Klein: “I'd Give Edwards a Slight Edge in Making His Points and Making Them Solidly.”10:05 pm: “But I'd give Edwards a slight edge in making his points and making them solidly.” [http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/09/live-blogging-d.html, 9/26/07]

ABC’s Rick Klein: Edwards “Distinguished” Himself. “9:33 pm: One-fourth of the way in, Edwards and Richardson have distinguished themselves. If people were looking for a new, more aggressive Obama tonight, it doesn't look like they're going to get it.” [http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/09/live-blogging-d.html, 9/26/07]

Chris Matthew Said Edwards Came with a “Clear Strategy” to Differentiate Himself from Hillary Clinton. Chris Matthews said, “Senator John Edwards was one who came out with a clear strategy to differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton on the issue of combat troops in Iraq and U.S. military action potentially against Iran.” [MSNBC, 9/26/07]

Saturday, September 22, 2007

New Plan

Louie called yesterday and said maybe we ought to go to ND for the Michigan State game after all. So that's what we're going to do. I kind of messed up since I'd told Steff I would babysit Mally, who I love, Saturday evening and now she's scrambling to make alternative plans. Mommo's stepping up, but the pick up/drop off thing is still a little tough. Me and ND better come through with a win to make it all worth while. I'm almost tempted to ask to borrow Janett's camera, but I'd probably lose it or break it or something. Other guys post pictures from the games on their sites. Maybe I'll borrow a few to post here.

My play list is playing. I worked on it yesterday because a quarter, maybe a third of the tunes weren't playing anymore. The linked sites must have deleted the tunes. I added a few new selections. The ones I have doubts about are Gary Puckett, Jay and the Americans, and Sam Cooke. Those guys had great voices and occupy spots in my musical encyclopedia, but they just aren't as evocative as some other stuff. Of course "ecocative" is a highly subjective quality - but that's what a play list should be about, right? I found Spanish Boots of Spanish Leather and Low Spark, welcome additions.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sad and Glad

Sad because I sold my Energy Conversion stock today. Great technology, just couldn't get costs under control. Stock's so low I probably should be buying it, but at this price someone'll buy the whole darn company and I won't get my money back.

Glad because I added to my Goldcorp Warrants with the proceeds. Up over 8% today. Not Bad.

I called Louie to see if he wanted to go to SB Saturday. I hear tickets are available cheap ($50), but he has a horse running at Hawthorne, so no go. I bet Steffie would go with me and we'd have fun big time except she works Saturdays.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not much to say, really, about the Fed

They apparently care more about keeping the ten million dollar bonus checks coming in for their friends at Goldman Sachs than about dealing with the economic malaise that's spreading. A one half percent cut in the prime rate isn't going to help anyone facing a balooning mortgage payment, or a small businessman who's bank is cutting his line of credit because they're scared about the economy - but the stock market is up 300 points. Let's have a damn parade - right up to the front door of the fed and lynch the SOB's.

When gas is five dollars a gallon, it won't be because the Arabs dont like us, it'll be because the dollar is worth less (worthless?). And when you can't afford to throw a couple of pounds of ground beef into the grocery cart, you can console yourself that meat isn't really good for you anyway. Problem is fruits and veggies are going to be pretty pricey as well.

Meanwhile, the word out of South Bend is that practices this week have been full pads, full contact, and full speed. Apparently the lads had been working out against blocking sleds and tackling dummies to minimize the risk of injuries because we're a little short of talented players. Problem is on Saturday you don't get to play against sleds and dummies.

Some of the fans are hoping for a tussle in the tunnel before the game to get the players fired up. Michigan State would probably be willing to cooperate.

Also the legend of Thomas Bemenderfer is gaining circulation. He's a young man from Mishawauka (right next to South Bend) who didn't get an offer from ND so he accepted a scholarship from Northwestern. His freshman year Northwestern's head coach Randy Walker died, and that depressed Tom, and put him in the "life's too short" frame of mind. So, with no comittment from ND or the Irish coaches he transferred to ND. He's a serious pre-med so academics weren't a problem, but he had to ask his parents to come up with the cash which at Notre Dame is a hefty sum. His sophmore year he worked out with the team but had to sit out a year as a transfer student. This year he made the team as a walk on, got his scholarship, and played Saturday, actually opening a few holes for running backs. (an idea we hope will catch on with a few of his team-mates.) Hey, I'm not saying he should be starting ahead of the senior captain center who was snapping the ball over peoples' heads, or the highly prized sophmore guard who appeared to have been injured Saturday, but at least, get him some serious playing time. Maybe some of the other kids could learn from the example of a guy who really wants to be out there.


Thomas Bemenderfer

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ahoya in El Gin

Salsa Festa.

Are we going to the jalapeno eating contest, or just swing by tonight for some music?

Friday, September 14, 2007

I like it

Everybody should go out and buy some Corrs music stuff so they get to be on TV more.

Notre Dame v Michigan

Alot of ND fans are kind of down in the dumps right now, but remember the Irish fighting spirit and the immortal words of Captain Wildwings Kelso: "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Saturday, September 08, 2007

She is handsome, she is pretty,

she's the belle of Belfast City.

So many songs I'd like to link, but if I have to pick one, it's this one.

Irish fest at St Catherine's today. Noah's coming to town to meet me there. Louie has us working at a concession stand this afternoon, but I'm sure we'll find the time for a couple of beers.

Then Noah and I are going to watch the Notre Dame game at home.

Should be a nice day.

OK, here's one more.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

NJDoubleDomer reporting from South Bend

It's Dawn Under the Golden Dome
by NJDoubleDomer (09/04/2007 17:51:18)


I am bouyed by the surge of optimism I find here. We are finished with post-mortem panic. Now, it's: "No, we can do this. 110,000 of them, 5,000 of us. Not so bad. Cool, calm frosh QB, ready to become a legend. Tweak the O-line here; move a defender there; go back to what we do best." I drank the Irish Kool-Aid a long time ago. It's really good for you. This is Notre Dame.


ALRIGHT. Does Penn State really have 110,000 students? Sounds like we're the Spartans at Thermopylae.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Robot Genius

That's how folks at the ND sites were describing Charlie Weis; Inspirational, Invulnerable, and Invincible. A year ago ND Fans were hoping 2006 would be a good year because they didn't have much hope for 2007. Losing the big four on offense and having a senior class of only nine scholarship players didn't bode well for 2007.
But, as frequently happens, as the 2007 season approached fans grew more hopeful and even optimisic. The sophmores and juniors might be able to step in as new starters and win a lot of games. The addition of Defensive Coord. Corwin Brown sparked hope that the defense would be so much improved that a little fall off on the offensive side of the ball wouldn't spoil the chance for a successful season.

Saturday's 33 to 3 loss to Ga Tech provided a rude awakening. Most of the criticism has been directed at the offensive line which was unable to protect Soph QB Demetrius Jones from an agressive Ga Tech rush. Some point out that Demetrious looked indecisive and a little intimidated by the rush, and failed to take advantage of the few opportunities he had. Ditto Travis Thomas, the senior running back. The question remains, as it was last year, is the offensive line incapacitated by a lack of talent or poor coaching by line coach Latina?

But now there's a new wrinkle: did Charlie Weis strategize badly? I'm not expert enough to evaluate the argument that Charlie erred in trying to adopt the West Virginia "spread option" offensive model. By playing his most mobile quarterback to neutralize Ga Tech's aggressive defense he gave up the possibility of using a quick read short passing game which might have worked better against Ga Tech.

The defense is improved, but probably became discouraged as well as fatigued as the game progressed. Another loss by a similar margin should drown the hopes of the Irish fans, but I don't think that's going to happen.

The stage is set for the emrgence of a new hero and a new legend in the person of freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen. If the offensive line can't play better than they did on Satuday though, maybe they should leave Jimmy on the bench and play Frazier (if U Conn will let us have him back.)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

John West Filmfest

1

2

3

Makes me hungry for some salmon.

I accidentally hit the Next Blog button

and went to a blog named Dog Jokes. Here's a sample

This guy sees a sign in front of a house, "Talking Dog for Sale." He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the back yard. The guy goes into the back yard and sees a mutt sitting there.

"You talk?", he asks.

"Yep", the mutt replies.

"So, what's your story?"

The mutt looks up and says "Well, I discovered this gift pretty young and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift, and in no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running. The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a batch of medals. Had a wife, a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired."

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog. The owner says "Ten dollars."

The guy says he'll buy the dog but asks the owner, "This dog is amazing. Why on earth are you selling him?"

The owner replies, "He's such a liar."

Go Hill

I took time off from ND football and the markets today to read the news, and one item caught my attention. You guessed it - Hillary's campaign funds. Some Chinese gentleman named Norman Hsu is one of Hillary's big campaign contributors. He's been identified as having been convicted in California of defrauding investors out of a million dollars. After his conviction he forgot to show up in court for sentencing and there's an outstanding warrant for his arrest. Now he lives in New York and is said to be in the garment industry. (garment industry? Imports from China maybe?)

Besides his own contributions, as a leading fund raiser ("Hill Raiser"), he supposedly collects checks from other people who he contacts for donations. I'm sure investigation will prove he was making the "bundled" contributions himself by reimbursing the check writers. One Chinese family in California have been identified as the third biggest family of contributors to Hillary's campaigns: more than $130,000 since 2005. Paw, I think his name is, is a mailman whose son is supposedly a "business associate" of Hsu's.

Tracking down all Hsu's associates making large contributions shouldn't be too hard.
and it shouildn't be too tough to review their financials to see where they got the money they contributed. Nothing like a few indictments to get people cooperating. Of course the Republican controlled Federal Elections Commission and the Attorney General's office would probably like to wait until after Hillary has the Democratic nomination to bring these matters into court, and into the headlines.

I don't hate Hillary for being a liberal or a feminist, I hate her for pretending to be those things. The Democratic Party should be the champion of the working people, the Clintons have been the champions of outsourcing. The trade deals Bill engineered could have been written in Peking (Beijing) and I suppose parts of them were.

Remember the Bhuddist Temple party in 1996? The Clinton campaign received a hundred thousand dollars from Califiornia Chinese contributors. After an investigation most of it was identified as having come from a trade agency of the Chinese communist government.

One would have thought that experience would have made the Clinton's a little suspicious of Chinese American contributors. I suppose Hillary was as shocked and disappointed then as she is today. At least in '96 they were smart enough to send Al "Inconvenient Truth" Gore to the party at the temple to pick up the money.


Oh and one other thing - She'll try to donate Hsu's contributions to charity and hope no one presses too hard on the fraudulent "bundled" donations. Why not just return the money to the donor? Because then she wouldn't get the tax write off for the charitable contribution. She's just as sleazy as her husband.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I didn't know what to post

so I posted this. Kind of different but pretty funny.

As kick off time approaches my brain starts to shut down.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Would you like to meet someone who swears a lot?

Well here he is.

I had a nice day today. Kim came by around noon, We had a nice visit. Then Mom and I went to Best Buy to buy me a new keyboard. I spilled iced tea on my old one. It was not my home-made iced tea. It was a store-bought mix with a lot of sugar and some lemon flavoring. It sure made a mess of a perfectly good key board. My first thought was "Thrift Store" for a $4 replacement. Mom seemed skeptical, so I proposed Walmart for a basic bare-bones model for $12. Mom suggested Best Buy so I lifted my target to $16. But the cheapest they had was $20 so we took it. Did you know you can pay close to $200 for a keyboard? Well, you can. The only keyboard that would be worth $200 would have to be hermetically sealed and sweet drink resistant. But the one I got has 10 extra buttons down each side. I used three of them to adjust the volume while playing Risk. I think two others are for home and mailbox when on the internet. I plan to learn and use the other fifteen as well, having spent all that money. On the downside it came with a little pad to rest your hands on while typing, which I attached. The problem being that it throws me off a little and I sometimes hit the control key instead of the shift key. As you may know, the control key can be a nuisance. When I started to type the title above I must have hit control W and boom I was out of my mailbox back to my home-page. The price of progress...

But, anyway, there at Best Buy Mom found a three disc Neil Diamond anthology which contained the excellent but hard to find stuff from 35 - 40 years ago, like Glory Road, Porcupine Pie, and You're so Sweet (Horseflies Keep Buzzin 'round Your Face). She was so happy after we got home and she listened to a couple songs she came over and hugged me because I helped her find it. Well, nothing's ever quite perfect and sure enough she observed a couple of gross-lookin' fingerprints on the striated side of one of the disks, which as it turns out makes six of the songs unavailabe for listening.

Show of hands - Who thinks the gross fingerprints were imprinted at the factory? Ok, and how many think some Best Buy customer stirring his or her chocolate milk with their fingers while playing with the discs, realized the grave consequences of their carelessness and returned the package to Best Buy, who reshrink wrapped it and put it back into inventory? OK, and who thinks the customer got out their hairdrier and put their own shrinkwrap on and returned it to the store as though it hadn't been opened. Maybe we'll never know.

Much more happened today, like

driving through West Dundee where the storm last night blew down some trees including the old fir tree at village hall where they've traditionally hung the Christmas, oh excuse me, I meant holiday, no, I meant Seasonal Lights.

walking down by the river to see how high the water level was, and

babysitting little Malachy tonight who did NOT throw any Leggo's at my head.

But I'm out of space.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Musical Treat

8 days to footbaw. In the mean time. You guys know Johnny Cash, right? But do yo know Carl Perkins? He sang Blue Suede Shoes before Elvis did.

Edit with update: I listened to this again tonight and I really like it. Yardbirds, Blues Breakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney and Bonnie - I liked Clapton where ever he showed up, but for me Derek and the Dominoes was the definitive work. For the real flavor though you have to listen to the recording because Duane Allman's slide guitar on the album was great. Duane Allman was great and I read somewhere he always paid the roadies before he paid the band.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Being There

Remember that movie with Peter Sellers? Then you can figure out why Irish fans refer to Ty Willingham as Chauncy, especially after reading this quote from his press conference today, when asked about his teams opening game against Syracuse next month-
(Posied by Ditka03 at Rock's House):

Lionel (Oh yeah, sometimes they call him Lionel too. I'm not sure, but that may be from the movie Radio. Sorry.) was asked at his press conference today if he was preparing differently for Syracuse given that the game is at the Carrier Dome. Below is his response, taken word for word:

"I think its going to be different. Anytime you’re indoors, its different. Ya know, I don’t know the drafts of the building, and really I can’t remember what the drafts of the building were, OK, and every building has one, depending on which door they open, OK, so we’ll try to figure those things out the day before. But the overall heat, we know the east is usually associated with humidity. We know that humidity is the killer, not temperature. Its humidity that makes all the difference, and that is something that is very difficult to do. Most people don’t do well breathing water. And especially if you got a lot of people. Because I’m imagining where they draw their air from is the outside, and if the outside air is humid, its got a chance."

Whaaat?

I'm posting a lot of ND stuff because, believe me, you don't want me to get started on the economy and the markets. That stuff I told you about, it's here. You don't feel anything? Good. Say a little prayer, knock on wood, and throw some salt over your shoulder. Then duck,

But the family news is all good. The extended family is planning a week-end get together in October at my sister Mary's cabin in Wisconsin. That'll be great. My nephew Bill and his lovely wife Courtney are expecting in February. Betsy gets to be a Mommo. That's so cool.

Pagan Ritual at ND

Friday Night before game at midnight

Here's what you didn't see!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Back in the day

Corwin Brown, ND's new defensive coordinator, was quite a hitter. I can't wait to see our defensive backs lay the timber to some receivers like this. Heck, it'll be a nice change if they're close enough to the receiver to be on the screen at the same time.

Thanks to FightOnforMorrisey at Rock's house for the clip

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Links

I added a link to CounterPunch. I thought I already had one.

I'm not deleting my link for the Edwards campaign, I still favor him. I'm getting to like Obama better though as he takes the heat for saying he would talk to Chavez and Castro (instead of having them assassinated as the less "naive" candidates would prefer to do.) He said he wouldn't drop an atom bomb on Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Duh! So Hillary ripped him for taking that option "off the table". I really hate that bitch.

State and local govt's will feel pinch

From Counterpunch:

The Politics of Pain

“Pain starts to spread as state shuts its wallet…” (Los Angeles Times headline, August 3, 2007.)

“The budget standoff is forcing California to cease funding hundreds of health-and child-care providers. Some are hanging by a thread.” (Los Angeles Times subhead, August 3, 2007.)How about “The budget standoff is forcing California to cease funding highway construction, or prison construction, or subsidies for poison spray programs, or SWAT munition enhancements, or …

Nah. Stick it to the kids.

Not everyone loves Jane Austen

"Jane Austen? Why, I go so far as to say that any library is a good library that does not contain a volume by Jane Austen. Even if it contains no other book."

MARK TWAIN

Friday, August 03, 2007

In case you haven't gone there already,

here's andther Onion News report

Wow, it's Friday already

I haven't gotten around to posting about our trip to Champaign. It was great. Noah and Lauren are doing really well. Lauren likes her job taking care of wayward kids at a correctional facility. Noah finished his summer school with good grades and has a month off before school starts again. Their house is cute and comfy, and sleeps seven as we found out.
We'd been up in the air about whether to drive down and back on Monday or stay there Monday night. We were having such a nice time we couldn't tear ourselves away, until after Lauren fixed biscuits and gravy Tuesday morning. (Thanks, Lauren)
Sam and Maxie (the poochies) are doing fine. Max must remember his days as our house-guest, because he was very attentive to me. Audrie, the cat, was torn between a desire to just hide someplace til we left and the need to assert her territorial prerogatives.
Mark, Steffie, and Malachy drove down separately, and ended up spending the night too. So it was real quality family time. Noah got Mally a cute stuffed dinosaur to carry around and sleep with, and I got to go to Sonic - for a coney dog. Yummm!