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Enron writ large? by wisconsin_cur on Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:45 am

Enron was the financial scandal that kicked off the decade: a giant energy trading company that appeared to be doing brilliantly—until we finally noticed that it wasn’t. It’s largely been forgotten given the wreckage that followed, and that’s too bad: we may be repeating those mistakes, on a far larger scale.


Nomi Prins dissects the opaque origins of the record profits that have been recorded by the big banks recently, delving in to the accounting of Citibank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. My favorite quote comes in relation to Wells Fargo and sent me into a giggling fit:

Separately, Wells states in its filing that its management accounting process is “dynamic” and, not “necessarily comparable with similar information for other financial services companies.” This statement should give lawmakers pause...

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1 Comment Viewed 51473 times
What if things can only get worse by strider3700 on Sat Aug 08, 2009 2:19 am
I'm a fan of the tv show "Top Gear", every summer and winter I get 6 or 7 hours of people doing things I'll never be able to do driving cars I'll certainly never own, will almost certainly never touch and I probably won't even see in person. To me it's entertaining, the humor can be good and the editing is the best I ever see on TV.

Tonight I watched the 7th and last episode of the 13th series(season) which originally aired 5 days ago. It was all your standard top gear stuff until the last 4 minutes. They always end either with a final quick car review or the continuation of some challenge they are in, then a quick joke so the host can say they'll "end on that bombshell" and then credits.

Today was different.

It was a car review, but not like any other review I've ever seen them do. Here's the clip

As much as you may not...

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1 Comment Viewed 6242 times
The Bridge by wisconsin_cur on Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:56 am
A few weeks ago construction unceramoniously threw me off of the interstate and back into the neighborhoods of Minneapolis/St. Paul. As I followed my route and drove through a very nice (and expensive) neighborhood of St. Paul. I enjoyed the older, modest bet very well kept homes of that upper 10% of the metropolitian area which chooses to live within the traditional boundaries of St. Paul. Had I driven through at a different time the scenic path near the river would be full of beautiful people jogging and biking, talking and sauntering. All fairly oblivious to their privlidge and what lays beyond the natural boundary that I was seeking to cross.

Crossing the river into Minneapolis one immedietly enters a space of high rise apartments occupied, primarily, by immigrants. Three hundred yards from executives, consultants, tenured professors, lawyers and surgeons live cab drivers, hospital cleaning staff and the lady who gets you your latte.

On one side of the bridge are the people...

[ Continued ]

1 Comment Viewed 51208 times
If confronted by a mob, by wisconsin_cur on Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:04 am
I heard the question asked recently, how do you defend yourself from a mob. Assuming you have done your best (and failed) to avoid the mob, I see the options as:

1. Turn and run (flight)

This will engage the prey drive of the crowd. they will think they got you if they can only catch you. How big is the crowd and what percentile of the population can you out run? I'm not an avid runner but still in good shape, at least for the first mile or so. When I was tested for a job (self-selection bias at work here since only people who were willing to be tested in their 1 mile time applied) I was in the top 90%. So lets say for the population as a whole I'm in the top 5%. If there are 20 people, the odds are good that at least one of them will catch me.

I am also of the age where I will begin slowing even if I start to run more for exercise. Another question is if I have the lead...

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6 Comments Viewed 260369 times
When heros are murdered. by smallpoxgirl on Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:10 pm
Crazy Horse. Martin Luther King. Malcolm X. Harvey Milk. George Tiller. Our heros reflect the best in us. Our strength. Our passion. Our ability to see the heart of the issue and speak to that heart. Our willingness to risk everything to fight for what is right. When those heros are murdered, it's as though that which is best in us dies with them.

George Tiller was to abortion providers, what Harvey Milk was to the gay community or Malcolm X to the black community. He, more than anyone I ever met was able to articulate the heart and the compassion of our work. George was a devout Christian. In every way he embodied the Christian principal "Greater love hath no man than that he lay down his life for another." George lived for decades with the knowledge that his life could be ended by bigots any time. His clinic was bombed and was repeatedly vandalized. He was shot and threats against his life became a daily routine. Despite all that, I never once heard George...

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2 Comments Viewed 11382 times

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