But in the last five years, unmarried childrearing has resumed its inexorable rise. 38 percent of all babies are born out of wedlock, which implies probably more than half of women who become mothers for the first time do so while not married.
Is it mere coincidence that this resurgence in illegitimacy happened during the five years in which gay marriage has become (not thanks to me or my choice) the most prominent marriage issue in America — and the one marriage idea endorsed by the tastemakers to the young in particular?
So more gay rights mean more illegitimate kids and it’s not the abstinence-only education, oh no !
And in other news, abortion laws are causing bush fires:
CTFM leader, Pastor Danny Nalliah said he would spearhead an effort to provide every assistance to devastated communities, although he was not surprised by the bush fires due to a dream he had last October relating to consequences of the abortion laws passed in Victoria.
He said these bushfires have come as a result of the incendiary abortion laws which decimate life in the womb.
You may have already seen most of this…
Barclays Bank obtained a court order early today banning the Guardian from publishing documents which showed how the bank set up companies to avoid hundreds of millions of pounds in tax.
The gagging order was granted by Mr Justice Ouseley after Barclays complained about seven documents on the Guardian’s website which had been leaked to the Liberal Democrats’ deputy leader, Vince Cable.
A mirror of the documents is here
In a comment aired this afternoon on WMT, an Iowa radio station, Grassley (R-Iowa) said: “The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they’d follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things — resign, or go commit suicide.”
Speaking of punishing AIG: Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) plans to introduce a bill to tax AIG bonuses at a high rate this year. A spokesman for Peters says that details are still being worked out. Targeting legislation at one company is tantamount to the Congress’s passing a bill of attainder against AIG. But these are extraordinary times.
Rumor has it that this bill would create a 60 percent surtax on bonuses over $10,000 to any company in which the U.S. government has a 79 percent or greater equity stake. Currently, AIG is the only company that meets this threshold. The 60 percent surtax would be added to the normal income tax rate, meaning that bonuses received this year by AIG executives paying the top 35 percent tax rate would be taxed at 95 percent. The remaining 5 percent would likely be paid in state and local taxes, so taxpayers would fully recover any AIG bonuses paid in 2009.
Point A is the circle’s center. What is its radius?
The High Wycombe Mayoralty is the only one of its kind in the whole of the world, whereby their Mayor and all his officers get weighed every year.
The weighing process is recorded and the result compared to the weight at the end of the mayoral year. For each of the mayor and corporation, if there has been a weight gain in that year, the person is considered to have been gaining that weight at the taxpayers’ expense; they would be jeered and booed, historically accompanied with thrown tomatoes and rotten fruit.
“If the human body’s obscene, complain to the manufacturer, not me.”
– Larry Flynt
During the Middle Ages, everybody was middle aged. Church and state were co-operatic. Middle Evil society was made up of monks, lords, and surfs. It is unfortunate that we do not have a medivel European laid out on a table before us, ready for dissection. After a revival of infantile commerce slowly creeped into Europe, merchants appeared. Some were sitters and some were drifters. They roamed from town to town exposing themselves and organized big fairies in the countryside. Mideval people were violent. Murder during this period was nothing. Everybody killed someone. England fought numerously for land in France and ended up wining and losing. The Crusades were a series of military expaditions made by Christians seeking to free the holy land (the “Home Town” of Christ) from the Islams.
In the 1400 hundreds most Englishmen were perpendicular. A class of yeowls arose. Finally, Europe caught the Black Death. The bubonic plague is a social disease in the sense that it can be transmitted by intercourse and other etceteras. It was spread from port to port by inflected rats. Victims of the Black Death grew boobs on their necks. The plague also helped the emergance of the English language as the national language of England, France and Italy.
Sci Fi has a new name. Now it’s SyFy. The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic by rebranding its network. The former SyFy Portal website (a nerd news outlet) has been rebranded “Airlock Alpha” after selling the name to an “undisclosed recipient”.
Yt ys solely forre Medievalle scyence fyctionne. Suche as Chaucer’s Ye Canterburry Tayles YN SPAYCE!!
Some products are really frustrating for my designer friends.
This is what they think of every time they see that product….
Love eating out, but hate the mess? Snap and Dine should do the trick. It “is a single use three-course table setting that integrates disposable cutlery with traditional silverware.”
In June of 2006 I was replacing empty feeders with clean ones and this hummingbird landed on the feeder as I was carrying it to the pole. I stopped instantly and stood perfectly still because motion will scare hummingbirds away.
President Obama, with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, discussed the insurance company American International Group on Monday at the White House.
President Obama on Monday vowed to try to stop the faltering insurance giant American International Group from paying out hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses to executives, as the administration scrambled to avert a populist backlash against banks and Wall Street that could complicate Mr. Obama’s economic recovery agenda.
Later in the day, a White House official disclosed that the administration would use a pending $30 billion installment for A.I.G. to recoup the $165 million in retention payments to A.I.G. employees in the business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year.
“Treasury will be using this facility to address the excessive retention payments made to the A.I.G. Financial Products employees, which Treasury found to be completely unacceptable given that A.I.G. is already surviving on taxpayer funds,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Treasury will be adding provisions to its new facility aimed at making taxpayers whole for the amounts of the offensive payments.”
But increasing the pressure on A.I.G., New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo said on Monday that he would issue subpoenas to make the insurer release the names of the executives in its Financial Products subsidiary who received the bonuses, which were paid on Friday; their job descriptions, and details about their performance. In a letter to Edward M. Liddy, the company’s current chief executive, Mr. Cuomo said that if he did not receive the information by 4 p.m. he would issue subpoenas demanding compliance. After that deadline passed, Mr. Cuomo said that he had not received information he was seeking and would issue subpoenas for the data.
“I believe in transparency and disclosure,” Mr. Cuomo said on a conference call. “We believe taxpayers have a right to know.”
Though the RIAA says it has stopped its large-scale litigation strategy against suspected file-swappers, the music trade group has decided that it will continue those cases that were already in process before last winter. When put this way, the whole process sounds antiseptic and rather boring, but it continues to affect real people like middle-aged New Hampshire woman Mavis Roy, who was baffled when the music labels accused her of sharing songs like “Real Niggaz,” “Jigga My Nigga,” and “Da Rockwilder” using BearShare. Unable to afford a lawyer, Roy was confused by the legal documents she received.
“I thought it was a scam and I was being pressured to send them money for something I have never done,” she eventually wrote the court in a letter.
That accurately describes what is happening – now all we need is agreement from the court. Perhaps that might even stop future scams by the RIAA.
There is an interesting new paper out looking at the role of goals in causing misbehavior in markets and elsewhere. The applicability to the current downturn seems obvious, from Countrywide’s obsession with loan production to Madoff’s factory approach to ponzi.
Here is a banking example from the paper:
An excessive focus on goals may have prompted the risk-taking behavior that lies at the root of many real-world disasters. The collapse of Continental Illinois Bank provides an example with striking parallels to the collapse of Enron and the financial crisis of 2008. In 1976, Continental’s chairman announced that within five years, the magnitude of the bank’s lending would match that of any other bank. To reach this stretch goal, the bank shifted its strategy from conservative corporate financing toward aggressive pursuit of borrowers. Continental allowed officers to buy loans made by smaller banks that had invested heavily in very risky loans. Continental would have become the seventh-largest U.S. bank if its borrowers had been able to repay their loans; instead, following massive loan defaults, the government had to bail out the bank.
I think the underlying problem is the excessive focus on goals being “S.M.A.R.T.” – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. It’s basically used a way to see check if somebody ‘reached’ a goal, and base performance evaluations (and raises, bonus, etc) on that. Everybody is so focused on “goals being smart” they’re forgetting the single most important questions, such as: “How does reaching this particular goal make the company healthier, stronger, and more (medium and long-term) profitable.
I recall a story a few years ago where a hospital wanted increase the usage of their wheelchairs, so they set up a a goal where departments couldn’t have more than a certain number of wheelchairs sitting idle in the corridors. Sounds specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely, right? So the departments removed the wheels from a lot of their wheelchairs, and all reached the goals they were set to reach. And as a side effect, patients could basically forget about being transported in wheelchairs.
In case anyone’s wondering what leverage AIG has over the government that lets it think it can pay people bonuses for creating the largest losses in U.S. corporate history, here you are: