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A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2006, 06:33:08 PM »
My g/f wants to go to that...

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2006, 06:43:31 PM »
Ingrate:

'Jeopardy' champ Ken Jennings blasts show

1 hour, 22 minutes ago

NEW YORK - "Jeopardy!" ace Ken Jennings, who won $2.5 million during his 74-game winning streak, has a few unkind words to say about the show — and dapper host Alex Trebek.

"I know, I know, the old folks love him," Jennings writes in a recent posting, titled "Dear Jeopardy!" on his Web site.

"Nobody knows he died in that fiery truck crash a few years back and was immediately replaced with the Trebektron 4000 (I see your engineers still can't get the mustache right, by the way)."

Jennings also takes aim at the show's "effete, left-coast" categories and "same-old" format.

"You're like the Dorian Gray of syndication," he says. "You seem to think `change' means replacing a blue polyethylene backdrop with a slightly different shade of blue polyethylene backdrop every presidential election or so."

A call by The Associated Press to "Jeopardy!" spokesman Jeff Ritter was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Jennings, a software engineer from Salt Lake City, snagged 74 wins on "Jeopardy!" in 2004 before he was beaten by challenger Nancy Zerg.

Trebek, 66, has hosted the show since 1984. In a "correction" posted Monday on his Web site, Jennings offers an apology of sorts.

"We regret the insinuation that Mr. Alex Trebek is a robot, and has been since 2004. Mr. Trebek's robotic frame does still contain some organic parts, many harvested from patriotic Canadian schoolchildren, so this technically makes him a `cyborg,' not a `robot.'"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060725/ap_en_tv/people_ken_jennings

Sui generis

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2006, 08:25:42 PM »
Cities Shed Middle Class, And Are Richer and Poorer For It
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/23/weekinreview/23scott.html?ei=5070&en=fac99d6da9905976&ex=1154318400&adxnnl=1&emc=eta1&adxnnlx=1153749594-TwZU7HadcIrw6AdGfe0/5A

By JANNY SCOTT

SOME big American cities are flourishing as at no time in recent memory. Places like New York and San Francisco appear to be richer and more dazzling than ever: crime remains low, new arrivals pour in, neighborhoods have risen from the dead. New York is in the throes of the biggest building boom in 30 years, its population at an all-time high and climbing. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg proudly promotes his city as “a luxury product.”

But middle-class city dwellers across the country are being squeezed.

This time, they are being squeezed out by the rich as much, or more so, as by the poor — a casualty of high housing costs and the thinning out of the country’s once broad economic middle. The percentage of middle-income neighborhoods in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington has dropped since 1970, according to a recent Brookings Institution report.

The percentage of higher-income neighborhoods in many places has gone up. In New York, the supply of apartments considered affordable to households with incomes like those earned by starting firefighters or police officers plunged by a whopping 205,000 in just three years, between 2002 and 2005.

Does it matter if there is less room for a middle class? In strictly economic terms, plenty of economists say, it may not. But they also say that in the long run, those cities may become places where they and other city lovers would prefer not to live.

Obviously, cities benefit economically from the presence of the rich. Tax revenues go up when the rich pour into what some economists now call “superstar cities,” places like New York, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston and Washington that attract highly skilled people but have limits on the ability to build housing. In New York, fewer than 13,000 of the 2.3 million households that pay income tax are expected to account for nearly 30 percent of city income tax paid in 2006.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the percentage of households earning more than $100,000 a year rose to over 30 percent in 2000 from approximately 7 percent in 1970, said Joseph Gyourko, a professor of real estate and finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. “Is that area worse off?” he asked. “At least so far, there’s a lot of evidence that economically they’re better off. Land prices are really high, lots of people want to move there.”

Edward L. Glaeser, a Harvard economist who studied 300 large cities with a range of levels of income inequality in the 1960’s and 1970’s, says he found little evidence that those levels later affected the growth of housing prices, income or population there.

Of course, cities need police officers, firefighters, teachers. But as long as they can get the labor they need from somewhere nearby, some economists say, middle-class shrinkage may not hurt. In Southern California, developers import construction workers from Las Vegas and put them up in hotels; costs go up but rich clients can pay. Firefighters who want to live in high-priced cities can work two jobs, said W. Michael Cox, chief economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “I think it’s great,” he said. “It gives you portfolio diversification in your income.” Pay for essential workers like plumbers and cabdrivers will tend to go up, he said.

Professor Glaeser said: “There’s no obvious smoking gun saying cities will be substantially worse off. There’s a whole lot of America that does a very good job of taking care of the middle class. The great sprawling edge cities of the American hinterland provide remarkably cheap housing, fast commutes, decent public services and incredibly cheap products available in big box stores. As a New Yorker, I understand the view that exile from New York is consignment to hell; but that’s not accurate. The majority of middle-class people that have moved out have presumably found themselves better lives out there.”

But sociologists and many economists believe that there can be non-economic consequences for cities that lose a lot of middle-income residents. The disappearance of middle-income neighborhoods can limit opportunities for upward mobility, the authors of the Brookings study said. It becomes harder for lower-income homeowners to move up the property ladder, buy into safer neighborhoods, send their children to better schools and even make the kinds of personal contacts that can be a route to better jobs. The Brookings study, which defined moderate-income families as those with incomes between 80 and 120 percent of the median for each area, found that the percentage of middle-income neighborhoods in the 100 largest metropolitan areas had dropped to 41 percent from 58 percent between 1970 and 2000. Only 23 percent of central city neighborhoods in 12 large metropolitan areas were middle income, down from 45 percent in 1970.

Meanwhile, New York University researchers reported last month that the number of apartments affordable to households making 80 percent of the median household income in New York City dropped by a fifth between 2002 and 2005. Nationally, median household income ranges from just above $20,000 in Miami to around $40,000 in New York and Boston and about $60,000 in San Francisco.

With a dwindling middle class, rich and poor become more separate. Alan Berube, an author of the Brookings study, said a two-tiered marketplace can develop: Whole Foods for the upper classes, bodegas for the lower, with no competition from stores courting the middle. “If the two models are check cashers on the one hand and major national financial institutions on the other, who’s thinking about how to hold down costs for the basic consumer?” he asked.

School systems may suffer, too. While some upper-middle-class families rely on the public schools, many that can afford private-school education opt out. Urban school systems tend to be dominated by middle- and lower-income families. Middle-income parents have the ability and leverage to demand improvements. Similarly, studies show that lower-income students benefit by being in economically mixed schools.

Politics can become polarized without the moderating force of an engaged middle, sociologists and economists said. And while cities can import middle-level workers, there is a cost in productivity, family time and other intangibles.

“People have a stake in the place that they’re living in,” said Chris Mayer, a professor at Columbia Business School. “If you have a police and firefighting force saving their city as opposed to somebody else’s city, it makes a difference. In the same sense, local shopkeepers just seem to be better. What happened on 9/11 was really about ‘our city.’ ”

Mr. Mayer, who recently moved with his wife and three young children to New York, said he believed that it was important for children to grow up in a place that is racially, ethnically and economically diverse. He calls those places more vibrant. In most places, the upper middle class is less diverse than the middle, he said. New York would be less attractive to him without its still-expansive and lively middle.

“This trend toward living and interacting with people who are like you is intensifying a lot,” said Professor Gyourko, who lives in the affluent suburb of Swarthmore, Pa. “I do not meet the full range of incomes and social classes within my neighborhood. Well, think about what happens if metropolitan areas like New York, San Francisco and the like turn into my suburb. You’ll have even less interaction. The most interesting and potentially foreboding implication of this sorting is that it changes the way we view life.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.

AshyLarry

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2006, 08:39:43 PM »
Ingrate:

'Jeopardy' champ Ken Jennings blasts show

1 hour, 22 minutes ago

NEW YORK - "Jeopardy!" ace Ken Jennings, who won $2.5 million during his 74-game winning streak, has a few unkind words to say about the show — and dapper host Alex Trebek.

"I know, I know, the old folks love him," Jennings writes in a recent posting, titled "Dear Jeopardy!" on his Web site.

"Nobody knows he died in that fiery truck crash a few years back and was immediately replaced with the Trebektron 4000 (I see your engineers still can't get the mustache right, by the way)."

Jennings also takes aim at the show's "effete, left-coast" categories and "same-old" format.

"You're like the Dorian Gray of syndication," he says. "You seem to think `change' means replacing a blue polyethylene backdrop with a slightly different shade of blue polyethylene backdrop every presidential election or so."

A call by The Associated Press to "Jeopardy!" spokesman Jeff Ritter was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Jennings, a software engineer from Salt Lake City, snagged 74 wins on "Jeopardy!" in 2004 before he was beaten by challenger Nancy Zerg.

Trebek, 66, has hosted the show since 1984. In a "correction" posted Monday on his Web site, Jennings offers an apology of sorts.

"We regret the insinuation that Mr. Alex Trebek is a robot, and has been since 2004. Mr. Trebek's robotic frame does still contain some organic parts, many harvested from patriotic Canadian schoolchildren, so this technically makes him a `cyborg,' not a `robot.'"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060725/ap_en_tv/people_ken_jennings


This dude used to womp(yeah I said womp) on people in Jepoardy. If anyone hasnt seen him he would be up maybe $25,000 while the 2nd place guy has $2,000 and 3rd place $500.

fuisse

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2006, 08:47:36 PM »
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0CEFDA1139F936A35757C0A9629C8B63

DaimlerChrysler to End Options Rewards
Print Save
 
Published: April 5, 2004
DaimlerChrysler AG will no longer reward its executives by offering them stock options, a spokesman said on Sunday.

The spokesman said Daimler's chief executive, Jürgen E. Schrempp, would present a new remuneration system for its 6,000 executives at the group's annual shareholders meeting in Berlin on Wednesday.

The old stock options plan will expire next year. The spokesman declined to give details.

Stock options have been criticized for giving executives an incentive to drive up share prices in the short term without considering long-term consequences. The move mirrors one by Europe's top phone carrier, Deutsche Telekom, which said last month that it would drop stock options and introduce a salary plan for executives that includes parts that hinge on reaching yearly and midterm goals without using stock options.



I am new here. My name is Peter Fuisse. I have majored in mechanical engineering and minor in French. I will be attending law school in the fall. Thank you

BrerAnansi

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2006, 09:43:22 PM »

I am new here. My name is Peter Fuisse. I have majored in mechanical engineering and minor in French. I will be attending law school in the fall. Thank you

This has to be the oddest, little introduction I've ever read on these boards...so formal...but I like it.  Welcome Peter.
Grrr...

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A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2006, 10:14:20 PM »
Firefighters who want to live in high-priced cities can work two jobs, said W. Michael Cox, chief economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “I think it’s great,” he said. “It gives you portfolio diversification in your income.” Pay for essential workers like plumbers and cabdrivers will tend to go up, he said.

Lol.  "Portfolio diversification in your income."  Only an economist.  I love it. :D

2Lacoste

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2006, 10:46:06 AM »
'ere you happy?

--------------------------------------------

Ashcroft Nostalgia

By Ruth Marcus
Wednesday, July 26, 2006; Page A17

Alberto Gonzales is achieving something remarkable, even miraculous, as attorney general: He is making John Ashcroft look good.

I was no fan of President Bush's first attorney general, who may be best remembered for holding prayer breakfasts with department brass, hiding the bare-breasted statue in the Great Hall of Justice behind an $8,000 set of drapes, and warning darkly that those who differed with administration policy were giving aid to terrorists.
 
But as I watched Gonzales testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, it struck me: In terms of competence (the skill with which he handles the job) and character (willingness to stand up to the president), Gonzales is enough to make you yearn for the good old Ashcroft days.

Gonzales is an amiable man, not nearly so polarizing or ideological as his predecessor. If you were given the old desert-island choice between the two, he would be the better option -- more likely to share the rainwater, less likely to make you listen to him sing. (If you've ever heard Ashcroft's "Let the Eagle Soar," you know what I mean.)

Where Ashcroft was hard-edged and combative, Gonzales is pleasant and seemingly imperturbable. He's always reminded me a bit of the Pillsbury doughboy: No matter how hard he's poked, he springs back, smiling.

At the start of last week's hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), sounding like an exasperated high school English teacher, chastised Gonzales for failing to turn in his prepared statement on time. The attorney general sat silent, then calmly delivered the tardy testimony.

The next three hours and 40 minutes illustrated just about everything that is wrong with Gonzales's Justice.

There is no polite way to put this: Gonzales doesn't seem to have an adequate grasp of what's happening in his own department or much influence in setting administration policy.

Asked about House-passed legislation that would bar Justice from enforcing a year-old law requiring trigger locks on newly sold handguns, Gonzales said he was "not aware of" the dispute. Asked about his department's prosecutions of corrupt Border Patrol agents (described in a front-page story in this newspaper), Gonzales said he would "have to get back to you."

And when Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) inquired whether the administration supported reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act as passed by the House, Gonzales didn't seem empowered to give him a straight answer -- though the Judiciary Committee was set to take up the measure that afternoon. "I don't know if I'm in a position to state that as an administration we're going to support that," Gonzales said.

Gonzales as witness is a maddening exercise in jello-nailing. "I'm going to move on and accept your non-answer, because I don't think I'm going to get anything more on that subject, and perhaps nothing more on the next subject," Specter told Gonzales after a fruitless line of questioning about whether Justice was -- as the attorney general had said in May -- considering prosecuting journalists for publishing leaks.

Specter's bleak prediction proved accurate. When he asked Gonzales about the attorney general's previous assurance that the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance was the only program not subject to judicial authorization, this illuminating exchange ensued.

Gonzales: "I'm not sure that those are the words that I used, Mr. Chairman."

Specter: "Well, the substance of the words you used."
 
Gonzales: "Those are the substance of the words I used, but those are not the exact words that I used."

At which point Specter gave up and changed topics.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) didn't fare any better on military tribunals. Leahy asked whether Congress should simply ratify the existing system, as an assistant attorney general had urged the previous week.

Gonzales: "That would certainly be one alternative that Congress could consider, Senator Leahy."

Leahy, trying again: "Is that the administration's position, yes or no?"

Gonzales: "I don't believe the administration has a position as to where Congress should begin its deliberations."

Well, that was informative.

The big news of the hearing -- that the president had in effect killed an internal Justice investigation into the domestic spying program by refusing to grant the necessary security clearances to department lawyers -- underscores the most disturbing aspect of Gonzales's tenure: his lack of independence from the president. If Gonzales disagreed with this move -- a bad call and an even worse precedent -- he offered no hint of it at the hearing.

This is not a surprise -- after all, Gonzales's entire public career is entwined with that of George W. Bush -- but it is a disappointment. Ashcroft at least clashed with the White House over detainee policy (he fought internally to give citizens detained as enemy combatants access to counsel) and warrantless surveillance (he refused when Gonzales came to his hospital room asking that he sign papers extending the program).

To his credit, Gonzales did resist -- he supposedly threatened to quit -- when the president, pummeled by congressional Republicans over the search of a Democratic congressman's office, considered ordering Justice to return the documents. But Attorney General Gonzales doesn't seem to have any less zeal for unbridled presidential power -- or any less willingness to make outlandish arguments on its behalf -- than did White House Counsel Gonzales.

Which is precisely why he shouldn't be there in the first place -- and why I am experiencing intermittent twinges of a most unexpected emotion: Ashcroft nostalgia.



Mets will take the NL Pennant.

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2006, 10:56:54 AM »
Lol.  Watch your back, lacoste.

2Lacoste

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2006, 11:02:47 AM »
Lol.  Watch your back, lacoste.


*Peering over shoulder*
Mets will take the NL Pennant.