Sunday, January 26, 2014

In paradisum

Lydia Vinour Miller 1916-2014

In paradisum deducant angeli;
in tuo adventu suscipiant te martyres
et perducant te in civitatem sanctam
Chorus angelorum te suspipiat
et cum Lazaro, quondam paupere,
aeternam habeas requiem.

May the angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs receive you at your coming
and lead you into the holy city
     of Jersusalem.
May the choir of angels receive you
and with Lazarus, once poor,
may you have eternal rest.

REQUIEM, Gabriel Fauré

Hear it beautifully sung here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A Powerful PSA

Virginia Ted sent me a link to a great economics/finance blog call The Big Picture. As I was perusing its offerings, I came across this powerful public service announcement from New Zealand. Please watch it.

This ad should be reproduced in the USA. Maybe the insurance companies can get together and finance it.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Books on Social Security

I'm embarking on a reading program of books about Social Security, and thought you might enjoy this little illustration of the dangers of believing the blurbs on the backs of books.

The book I'm looking at is called The Looting of Social Security, by Allen Smith.

The blurb on the book comes from Publishers Weekly and says:
Smith, a retired ecomomics professor, presents what is at heart a straightforward grievance: for more than a decade, political leaders from both parties have used various accounting tricks to shift the Social Security surplus into the general budget, in violation of federal law, and have lied about the nation's financial status, with the probably (sic) result, Smith says, that they'll run Social Security into the ground by 2018 ...
Checking the Publishers Weekly review, that truly is the first sentence of the review (minus turning probable into an adverb).

But the next two sentences of the review take a slightly different tone:
He propounds every point of that grievance over and over, even quoting the same speeches in separate chapters. The text is further padded by long excerpts from the Congressional Record, an entire AP dispatch about Smith's exploits driving around Florida in a "debtmobile" covered in slogans, even the complete transcript of a CNN appearance to promote his previous book (The Alleged Budget Surplus ).
I haven't started reading yet, but will try to give him a fair hearing. As an antidote, next up is Social Security: the Phony Crisis, by Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrot.

Stewart Does Christie

A classic. Forget the text and just scroll down to the video.

You're welcome.

Addendum: If you're really interested in this issue, I recommend this interview with the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, who should be considering becoming New Jersey's next governor.

Monday, January 06, 2014

I Must Have Been More Discreet Than I Thought!

A journal called Crime and Delinquency has published a study that finds that, by age 23, 49 percent of African-American males, 44 percent of Hispanic males, and 40 percent of white males HAVE BEEN ARRESTED for something other than a traffic violation.

Yeowie Zowie! Also:
While the prevalence of arrest increased for females from age 18 to 23, the variation between races was slight. At age 18, arrest rates were 12 percent for white females and 11.8 percent and 11.9 percent for Hispanic and black females, respectively. By age 23, arrest rates were 20 percent for white females and 18 percent and 16 percent for Hispanic and black females, respectively.
Does not look good on a resumé.

Do they still have resumés?

Thursday, January 02, 2014