Archive for April, 2008

Caminito del Rey

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Via Jim, who in turn thanks Marvin “for the bowel-loosening link.”

Good news from Brazil: S&P’s rates it "Investment grade’

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Bovespa Rises to Record After Investment Grade Rating:

Brazil’s Bovespa stock index jumped to a record after Standard & Poor’s unexpectedly raised the country’s credit rating to investment grade.

Brazil’s rating was lifted to BBB-, Standard & Poor’s lowest investment grade rating, the rating company said today.

S&P cited the country’s “continuity” in maintaining its inflation targeting policy and government debt levels “increasingly in line” with investment grade countries.

Brazil became a net foreign creditor for the first time this year, inflation dropped to a seven-month low in February and the benchmark interest rate was at a record low 11.25 percent before this month’s increase. The country’s economy probably grew at a 4.8 percent rate last year, the fastest since 2004, according to the median economist estimate in a Bloomberg survey.

Things are looking up.

The big news in Brazil, however, is that soccer star Renaldo got caught with three transvestite prostitutes because of “psychological problems due to his knee injury.”

When it comes to excuses, that’s a new one.

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Puerto Rican superdelegates back in the news

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Following Bill Clinton’s underwhelming tour of Puerto Rico earlier month, Chelsea is touring the island, this time making a stop right near where I used to live, the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon.

Chelsea Picks Up A Puerto Rico Superdelegate For Her Mother

Chelsea Clinton just bagged a superdelegate for her mother. The youngest Clinton is campaigning today in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A few moments ago, at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazon, Luisette Cabanas, an unpledged superdelegate, announced her support for Clinton, giving the campaign the majority of automatic** delegates on the island.

This is hardly surprising. After the governor of Puerto Rico turned himself in to the Feds on his nineteen counts of electoral funds fraud Obama lost the only superdelegate supporting him.

The rest of the political bosses favored Hillary then, and they still do. Not only that, but they are the ones hosting Chelsea’s trip:

Chelsea and her entourage are being hosted by superdelegates Fransisco Domenech and Senate President Kenneth Mclintock.

Last month in my post Desperation and the Puerto Rico primary, I pointed out that

a. Puerto Rico has only 8 superdelegates and 55 delegates.
b. Puerto Ricans living in the island do not vote in the US Presidential elections. Puerto Ricans living in the fifty states do.

So here we have the Democrat party candidate for President possibly being decided by people who aren’t voting for him/her.

The primary’s scheduled for June 1.

From Chelsea’s tour, a photo begging for a caption:

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Obamarama Wright roundup

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Why’d Obama Join Trinity in the First Place?

Which, put another way, means that Obama’s decision to join Trinity was probably the opposite of cynical. Trinity was the place where, despite the potential pitfalls–and he must have noticed them early on–Obama felt most true to himself.

Rick Moran’s podcast, with Ed, Jazz and I. Ed asks, Does Obama’s repudiation lance the boil?.

Baldilocks: View From Under The Bus

Ace: Obama’s Speech on Wright, Take Two. And then there’s the Princeton professor cheering Wright.

Dan Riehl: Wright’s Saddest Truth Overlooked

Iowahawk: Advice for the lovelorn.

Mark Steyn: Mrs. Grievance

Larry Elders Skewers Barack Obama

When Life Hands You Lemons…

And, for a change of subject, here are Rev. Wright’s Middle East Views

UPDATE
Nice hat, Senator
Obama Suddenly Objects To Wright Being Called His ‘Spiritual Mentor’

And don’t miss Denny‘s.

Special thanks to Larwyn for the links.

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The finer things in life

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

As we all can see, the baby boomer generation is now nearing retirement age even as that same generation and their offspring become more obsessed with youth. This week Siggy has two essays on ageing that got me thinking about several people I’ve had the privilege of knowing throughout my life. All these people are too old to be baby boomers.

In his first essay Siggy says

Still, no matter how ferocious attempt to obviate nature, time will not be denied. The devotion to youth upends those who chase what will soon represent the lesser part of our lives. At 40 we enter middle age. At 50, we are reminded that there are those in the wings who are waiting for us to give way, for no other reason than our experiences and wisdom are of less value than youth. Mandatory retirement is no gift or recognition or achievement. It is the conclusion of a process that institutionalizes a process of inactivity and decline at an age when most of us have the capacity, wisdom and insight to be most productive.

While economies need to make way for new employees since at any give time there is a limited number of jobs available and new workers are less expensive than workers with more seniority, societies lose when the more experienced workers are discarded simply because the calendar turned one day.

Siggy also states,

Or are meant to contribute something meaningful and lasting? If we understand that our legacy will be measured in how we left this world a better and more meaningful place, then it becomes immediately apparent that our maturity, wisdom and insight are of far greater value than our physicality. When this truth is realized, the maturity, wisdom and spirituality of those with the experiences of life under their belts more than compensates for their diminished physicality. As our physicality declines, our priorities are reevaluated and ordered- and that usually results in making the four cubits we inhabit and beyond, a better place.

I have met several people who lived to a very advanced age precisely because they didn’t retire.

The youngest of my parents’ siblings to die lived past age seventy (and he had burned the candle at both ends and the middle), the oldest was at least 106 years old, so genetics has a lot to do with how long you live. How well you live has a lot to do with you.

I learned this at a young age from several people, one of which I’ll tell you about now.

When I was first married my husband and I went to his college reunion along with my in-laws since my father-in-law had graduated from the same college exactly thirty years earlier. They went off to some activity or another and I was left by myself enjoying a beautiful day, having lunch at a picnic table. A very elderly gentleman came by and asked if he could join me. Of course I said yes.

He was one of the most fascinating people I’ve ever met.

He could walk about as long as it was on pavement, but because we were on a lawn he was on a wheelchair. He told me that he of course knew that the reunion was on and wasn’t sure he could make it since had recently been inconvenienced by some ailment, but since he was fine now he wasn’t about to miss it. He lived in Princeton (where I now live) which is some 300 miles from the college.

Aside from his charm and intelligent conversation, what I learned from him was that one’s work is never finished, and that that is a very good thing.

This gentleman was the oldest member of his family still to be involved in the family business, a very large multinational pharmaceutical company. He had through the years been intimately involved in the business even as chairman of the board, and had decided to step aside when he felt that he could not give his job 100% (later on I learned from another board member that he had insisted on stepping aside in spite of the board’s recommendation that he stay). But he didn’t go off to fade into the sunset.

Instead what he did was to become involved in projects that the company had with non-profit and community outreach organizations, and with the college (which we were visiting) and its students.

I realized right then that that was exactly why he was so vital, so interesting. His purpose was what gave his life meaning.

While this may sound like a real dozer of a conversation, he was witty, funny, and quick. So witty that it wasn’t until an hour later or so after our conversation that I realized that it was he who had donated the building for the school’s student union.

Mind you, the gentleman in question wasn’t simply another old codger bragging about his work. He was clearly happy to be there, he was enjoying the good food and the cold beer, the beautiful day, the company of a young woman who was totally absorbed in what he had to say. His conversation was not a long list of things he had done; instead it was a series of replies to my questions (since he was a great deal more interesting than I and he had a lot to say), replies which he peppered with humor, puns (and you all know how I love puns) and wit. He was well dressed, accompanied by a uniformed (attractive) nurse, and driven there in his luxury car by his chauffeur.

The guy knew how to live.

May we all learn to appreciate people like him. And may we all learn from people like him to enjoy the finer things in life.

More on aging (and a lot of other topics) in yesterday’s podcast.

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New DNC Ad Includes Fahrenheit 9/11 Footage

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

New DNC Ad Includes Fahrenheit 9/11 Footage: Media Lizzy has the details; she includes two clips,
New DNC ad

Farenheit 9/11 trailer

As Lizzy said,

If there was any lingering doubt over which branch of the Democratic Party will drive message in the General Election campaign – it has been removed.

Looking forward to seeing Michael Moore sitting next to Jimmy Carter at the presidential booth in Colorado…

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Tuesday night tango: Leeds, UK

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Natacha Poberaj & Eduardo Villegas

I just got back from a fascinating group panel discussion on Prof. Mickey Edwards’s new book, Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost – and How It Can Find Its Way Back. More on that tomorrow.

Tonight, however, I’ll be one of Rick Moran’s podcast guests at 8PM Eastern.

Chile: One, two, three,…FOUR times a lady!

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Old guys in Lo Prado , Chile are about to get four times lucky:

Chilean mayor to offer free viagra to older men

For the first time in Chile, a mayor plans to give out free Viagra to men 60 and older in his town to improve their “quality of life” four times a month, according to media reports.
“This has to do with quality of life and it’s done responsibly. It’s not just like handing out candy at the corner,” Gonzalo Navarrete, a physician and mayor of the poor town of Lo Prado south of Santiago, told Las Ultimas Noticias daily.

He said any man 60 years and older who wants it can have up to four Viagra pills a month after undergoing a thorough medical exam to avoid potentially harmful side effects of the drug Sildenafil.

“We’ll give out four, 50 milligram pills, in other words, for four sexual relationships per month,” Navarrete said, adding that the program would have a starting cost of about 20,000 dollars.

The reason?

The mayor said the idea for his unprecedented move came from hearing older men in his town complain about not getting enough sex.

I’m willing to bet the younger men in his town have that complaint, too.

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Coming up today: McCain’s healthcare bloggers’ call

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

The McCain campaign just released this ad,

More on the call later.

In today’s podcast at 11AM Eastern: Is there a "shortage of eligible men"?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Or will we talk of other things?

The chat room will be open at 10:45AM, and the call in number is 646) 652-2639. Join us!

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