Saturday, March 21, 2015
Read more here:
Then I remember a visiting palliative-care physician’s words about caring for the fragile elderly: “We forget to ask patients what they want from their care. What are their goals?”
A wonderful geriatric nurse practitioner’s words come to mind: “Our goal for younger people is to help them live long and healthy lives; our goal for older patients should be to maximize their function.”
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
- I am afraid of the wife and her temper (ohh so fiery!)
- sad but true story of the utter greed of companies like comcast, so much that you had to hire someone full time to constantly wipe the drool dropping down the chin!
This is a trend that has birthed in the USA (obviously haha!) and the winds of change will blow all over the world.
One of the things that really grinds my gears is - I pay comcast for a bunch of channels that I DO NOT WANT. To add insult to injury, I have to sit through ad after ad after ad. Have you ever seen TBS super-station. It is mind-boggingly utterly ridiculous and frustrating. In effect, you are paying to be displayed ads. Ohh wait, it gets better. Some smart people decided to cash in on yet another ludicrous (see, I already used ridiculous) idea -
- pay for tv,
- pay to watch ads
- pay for a device that will help you get past item2.
Wait, but wait, there is MORE - It is not as simple as 1,2,3. It is more like 1,2,3,4 and 5.
- pay for tv
- rent the cable box
- pay to watch ads
- pay for a device that will help you get past item 3
- rent the device.
I can understand business and understand a capitalist mindset. But, to base whole companies on such frustratingly and greedy models grinds my gears to no end.
I cut off cable tv and still held hostage to comcast high speed internet for a basic service, that is apparently the cheapest @ $39.99 per month. I keep the internet because I am afraid of the wife. Happy wife Happy life!
I havent even begun talking about an ITSP (internet telephony service provider) like vonage. I spent hundreds on vonage over a 8-10 year love affair and cut the cord with them and happy with OOMA!
Thursday, September 11, 2014
I came across yet another article on obamacare and braced myself for more "revelatory" information that hitherto has been not made public or public expected to read between the lines. This article on thestreet.com had a surprise in store for me.
article link: http://www.thestreet.com/story/12869900/1/ouch-the-bill-for-obamacare-coming-due.html?cm_ven_int=morej
The administration has obfuscated the issue. Government numbers show Medicare expenditures growing more slowly, but that's because the new law raises premiums, cuts benefits and slices reimbursements to doctors and uses the cash saved to subsidize the federal and state insurance exchangesIt is no wonder that the government does nothing. My premiums continue to go up. They have been going up for the last 5 years. My employer is taking on more risk by pooling us into "deductible" based plans. On my current plan, I have to shell out the first $500 in expenses that is submitted by the health-care provider to my insurance company. What does this mean? Well, I go in for my annual checkup. My doctor (or PCP for primary care physician -> that is your family physician or local doctor in your part of the country. They are called PCP's in the United States) casually asked me if there was something bothering me. Without thinking twice, I blurted occasional blurriness in my eyes and I had an optometrist appointment the following day. The doctor immediately "pulls a disease from the medicine encyclopedia" and orders a bevy of tests. The doctor's fishing expedition was a grand success! One such test cost $1300 on a blood-sample. Insurance company made me pay the first $500. I have no choice but to pay or get my credit history maimed for not paying for a test that I clearly would have avoided any day and live with blurry vision until it became next to impossible. This is a dis-incentive for people like me to go running to our PCP. The patient, ie me, we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Doctors on one side REALLY want to write up tests and collect referrals or payments from insurance companies. I dont believe they have my interests at heart. I cannot get quality treatment without having to shell out $$$ every year. As I said, my premiums are going up and I have to be extra careful in ensuring and maintaining and keeping track of what tests my doctor orders on my behalf...lest, I am one holding the bag!
I called my insurance company and they were unwilling to budge inspite of saying that the doctor wrote these tests against my wishes.In this case, my doctor knows the best whats good for me (my financial status notwithstanding) (disclosure: i am considered fairly well off when i have a paying-job)
Half my friends who actually understand some of what the doctor says do not seem to care and simply pay up. They will wake up when they have $500 or $1000 deductibles for each person in the family. I often wonder, how do rest of america deal with it? roll with the punches? common, @labor rate of $7-9 an hour, how is it possible? one serious ailment a year is enough to submerge an individual. God forbid, if he/she has kids.
Did I say that they have made the process of buying basic medicines out of our FSA (flexible spending accounts) a hassle? FSA accounts are money taken out of your paycheck BEFORE taxes and deposited safely with a provider who releases payments. google FSA and IRS and you will learn more.
Long story short, with obamacare, soft fraud, systematic reaming using legal loopholes by doctors/hospitals and practices will continue. Good luck fighting any of it. Meanwhile, the 99% will keep fighting our daily battles, reading fine print, questioning how our doctor keeps our health a priority and keep budget in mind. For more on the same subject i strongly recommend reading Atul Gawandes's article here, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-cost-conundrum
Sunday, November 24, 2013
What a great rendition...softness, tenderness and grippingly emotional. I watched the song being performed on AMA awards a few minutes ago.
A terrific opening by the Ian Axel on the piano...I was getting ready to realize my worst fears come true. The diva, olympian and goddess reveal her usual self and make a mockery.
I was in for the shock of my life. Christina was not herself. She let go and truly embraced the soul of the song...she played second fiddle...I am dumbstruck!
The ginormous self-control and self-restraint demonstrated by Christina makes me believe anything is possible ;-). Bravo Christina, Bravo! I cant wait to hear you more.
I would never have heard this song in a 100 years if it was not for Christina bringing it to a bigger audience...thank you thank you thank you!
Friday, July 05, 2013
Why Best Buy is ready for creative destruction while Amazon will be the emperor of the eCommerce land
This is a real story.
2 amazingly different experiences and a warning shot to all those Best Buy investors. The end is near.
I purchased an oven baking element from Amazon a few weeks ago. Amazon has a nifty feature that highlights products of a similar nature at the bottom of the page. I luckily found a product that was 50% cheaper and clicked through the links and completed the purchase. Product arrived in less than 4 days (UPS). I open the packaging and to my shock find that while it looked the same overall, the ends of the baking element was totally different. This discovery was made after a couple hours of sweating and crouching and making allowances for my stupidity that I could not figure how to insert a baking element into the oven and turn one screw.
Anyway, It turns out that the page relevance on Amazon picked the wrong product because they referenced the same name I was looking for.
I opened a claim with Amazon and in less than a week - received full refund for the product including shipping all amounting to $18 (no biggie).
Rating: Excellent! That is Amazon customer service for you!
On Father's day, I decided to buy a chromebook for my dad. Off I go to Best Buy. There was this part-time worker, supposedly consultant who hounded me the moment I went in. I told him that I was serious about a purchase and did not wish to use BestBuy for "showboating" so I can go home and order on Amazon. Fine. He explained in great detail about the Samsung Chrome book ($249) and the Acer Chrome Book ($199), the advantages of a faster and ligher chromebook with a 16GB SSD drive, flora, fauna et al. I fell for it. i said I am gonna buy the cheaper acer for $199. I pick up 1 of the 2 products lying on the shelf. Odd thing, nowhere on the brown cardboard carton was any product specs other than the stupid barcode. Argh. Hey, in the past decade nobody sold me the "wrong product". I didnt have to worry much. I pay for it. Bring it home. Start using it. Until 2 weeks later (ie 3 days past their 15 day return policy), I was crushing the box in which the chrome book (now, this is a white cardboard carton with all the specs on the outside...I dont know why this was packaged in a brown carton and kept for sale).
To my horror, I found that I had bought the old product with 320GB HDD and2GB RAM...the consultant at BestBuy brought this product up but we didnt consider it since we wanted something that was fast.
I called BestBuy and all I got was "the 15 day return policy is over" and was instructed to go to the store back and negotiate a trade-in. What the hell does that mean? I was sold a product I didnt want to buy. They obviously mis-advertised, displaying the latest model and selling an older model. Seemed more like a bait and switch to me. Although, the old and new product sell at the same price. Call me naive, I have never had this experience. The product I picked has been pretty much the product I wanted...and due to the brown carton hiding the original packaging, I couldnt verify it was the same product at the time of the purchase.
Bottom line, I will never step foot in Best Buy again. With Amazon, I atleast have a recourse...
Rating: Poor and extremely disappointed.
Monday, June 17, 2013
The worst flight in America - UNITED FLIGHT 4352:
Count how many times there is a mention of "we are constantly trying to do a better job" and tally against the statistics.
Passengers interested in avoiding cursed flights should check the on-time performance for flights on airline websites and by independent services like FlightStats.com. The list of chronically delayed flights can be found on the Bureau of Transportation Statistics website.
Flight 4352 OFFICIALLY enters the hall of shame. I rarely fly and often book my tickets looking at the lowest price first. It never occured to me to check flight times (implicitly assumed they were mostly on time).
I am going to frame it here lest it is lost:
In 12 of the past 24 months ending in March, Flight 4352, which has changed flight numbers five times over the past two years to purge its bad history from airline reservation systems, was over 30 minutes late on at least half of its scheduled days, which is the DOT definition of "chronically late."
Thursday, June 13, 2013
One lead to another and I read this horrifying and shocking article - the poisoning of michigan.
National resource defense council
Americans carry much higher levels of these chemicals in their bodies than anyone else in the world and California children contain some of the highest levels ever measured. During manufacturing, use and disposal, these chemicals are released into the environment where they can be found in air, water, and wildlife. They are carried on air currents as far away as the Arctic where they pollute native human populations, marine mammals, and even polar bears. Exposure to toxic flame retardants have been linked to real and measurable health impacts. Women with higher levels of flame retardants in their blood take longer to get pregnant and have smaller babies. Children exposed in the womb have lower IQs and attention problems. Other studies have linked flame retardants to cancer, male infertility, male birth defects, and early puberty in girls. A recent study in animals has linkedWhy is california singled out - because of TB 117. Read more here - TB 117.
TB-117 2013 is coming and it may not address all your fears.
http://www.bhfti.ca.gov/about/laws/propregs.shtml. Debra Lynn Dadd explains why here
This is sad news - I didnt know that the air I breathe at home is contaminated with silent killers. A sudden spurt in some conditions and *my natural age* was always the common explanation. Thanks to Janette Neeves Rivera's petition, I understand how thoroughly fvcked I am to live in homes made of carcinogenic materials. No wonder that the generations past the 1950s suffer from untold and rare diseases - all the time I am asking why is that such conditions are not abound in third world? Cause the people are not rich enough to drink the modest concoctions of the western thinktank - eat, drink and breathe carcinogens.
Monday, June 03, 2013
On being insured and the insurance company being the negotiator
“You keep thinking it’s free,” she said. “We call it free, but of course it’s not.” (sic)
Yet, the sad story is,
- The USA outpaces rest of world on a 7:1 ratio in terms of medical spending
- The quality of care is most horrifyingly "average".
- The total number of drugs/scans/tests/procedures ordered per patient is unnecessary (see it 'saving ass').
- What more the drug/scan/procedures, USA is the most expensive in all 21 categories.
- The list goes on and on...
The high price paid for colonoscopies mostly results not from top-notch patient care, according to interviews with health care experts and economists, but from business plans seeking to maximize revenue;
While several cheaper and less invasive tests to screen for colon cancer are recommended — colonoscopy has become the go-to procedure in the United States. “We’ve defaulted to by far the most expensive option, without much if any data to support it,”
Latest NYT article on health care expenditures:
An article by the renowned Dr Atul Gawande on escalating costs and an explanation as to why?
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Most Whey is made using rennet (the inner lining of stomach of young calves). Read here.
Another link pretty much reiterating the same thing:
A third link so it really registers - Animal protein stays in Whey during cheese making
Beer and wines are not safe either:
If you are a lacto-vegetarian like me - watch out!
Most manufacturers hide animal based products under weird sounding chemical names and numbers (TRUE!), check this out...http://veganconnection.com/notvegan.html
USA only, Vegan beers, anyone? - http://veganconnection.com/veganbeer.htm
USA only, Vegan Wines - http://www.barnivore.com/wine
Thursday, May 23, 2013
This link gives a brief insight into Zach's life, diagnosis, suffering, family and his love - very touching!
We have heard this so many times - yet, when I heard Zach say "You dont have to find out you are dying to start living", it touched a chord deep down. Wisdom way beyond his years.
Zach's song, "Clouds" is an internet sensation, you can read the lyrics and watch the video here - http://lybio.net/tag/zach-sobiech-clouds-lyrics/
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Long long ago, I graduated out of a medium tier college. Not that it opened many doors for me or things would have been different had I graduated from a top-tier college. Chances are, regardless, the station I am at is where I would have been had I taken the umpteen other paths. I am not speaking of Destiny (It is a she and she is a Miss). However, I hate to admit...tip of the hat, Ms Destiny.
I am guilty of a crime - of not understanding American culture. It just belies common-sense.
Why is it harder to imagine that kids CAN stay with their parents and go to a local college/university spending the LEAST amount of money that doesnt endanger the kid or the parent financially? Why? Why? Why?
Back in the day, only because it was prohibitively expensive, and reservation policies that didnt allow a meritirous student like me to pursue an electronics engineering course, I was FORCED to pick a school outside my city. I was home-sick everyday of the 4 years. All in all, I spent somewhere close to $2000 (adjusted for exchange rates in the 1990s) for a 4 year college degree. I was able to earn close to $2000 in the very first year of employment ( I was living with my parents then, no bills, no expenses...free cash flow!)
Let us apply the same to the USA - kids are independent, have other expenses that need to be supported when they do graduate. The starting salary for a fresh out of college is no more than $40-50k. In one statement, let me state emphatically - this salary is NOT SUSTAINABLE. Unless the freshly-minted graduate lives a misers existence paying off the debt before enjoying the first $ as a debt-free man!
Confession - the 4 year degree certificate DID open doors for me, not the college nor the course!
Confession - 2: I am no Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, CTO ,whiz kid, genius, prodigy. But, just the above-average person any employer would love. If you are reading this, you shouldnt confuse yourself in thinking you are any better.
See, the world is full of employees. The world is full of engineering graduates. Let us see if you make the connection!
What prompted me to write this article was this paragraph from the daily beast (How to Reinvent the college)
The hazy imprecision of this notion is a triumph of college marketing. Many colleges hope that whims and intangibles will guide student decisions. It’s simply not in their interest to encourage students to think closely about the economics of their choice.The economics of obtaining a college degree in the USA are far costlier than other parts of the world. It is hugely tilted in favor of the universities. It will be many times cheaper to get one in India (for example).
Online education may sound the death-knell for these greedy colleges which at this moment are acting like toll-bridges. Not for too long.
Friday, May 10, 2013
WHOLE FOODS Salad Fiasco - This is why Indian Vegetarians MUST never trust even Vegan offerings in Food Stores
I expect great things from Whole Foods. I have shopped there several times and am shocked to learn the latest goof-up.
As a matter of rule, I dont trust *anything*, absolutely anything sold by American food stores, American/Chinese restaurants or chinese and indian cooks. I eat at only vegan restaurants where there is a little chance of animal/insect/seafood content contaminating the offerings (reminds me of something I am researching right now - POKA YOKE)
Check out this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/09/whole-foods-error_n_3249651.html
What is an affront to my senses is the wording in this paragraph:
The Food and Drug Administration noted the vegan salad contains soy, and the curried chicken salad contains egg. It said people who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy or eggs run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they eat the salads.No - this is unacceptable. Some vegetarians (lacto) like me cannot and will not eat animal-contaminated food, for religious and cultural reasons. We are not Vegan by choice or fashion! We chose Vegan so there are no assumptions whatsoever (no lac, no honey, no milk and its by-products too).
The company, based in Austin, Texas, said no illnesses have been reported
This thinking is embedded in American culture. I see it wherever I go - While it is hygienic and ultimately animal flesh is food - getting mentally sick from accidentally consuming contaminated food is the same as physical sickness emanating from allergies. American cooks (Teenagers), chinese or for that matter Indian cooks (in Indian restaurants offering a mix of veg/non-veg) dont get it.
Example, pizza places - they use the same gloved hands to dip into beef/pork and generously dip it into veggies. The pizza cutters are not dedicated for veggie lovers.
"Subway" - another worst example. The contamination of veggies as the workers move from meat to veggies is appalling.
This is happening everyday in America...people are ok with eating tiny chunks of beef, pork and chicken as long as it doesnt make head line news. Argh!
But, for now, I will take whatever 100% vegan restaurants there are in the offering and may their type thrive.
Friday, March 01, 2013
Saturday, September 01, 2012
I was first introduced to Dr Atul Gawande by reading this article on NYT, It was a wonderful article about the most expensive health-care county McAllen, Texas, USA. It is a must read - Link
For more information and to read all of Dr Atul Gawande's contributions to NYT - Go here
Monday, August 27, 2012
There’s a good evolutionary answer to that query, it turns out. Scientists have repeatedly observed that people living in environments that resemble our evolutionary past, full of microbes and parasites, don’t suffer from inflammatory diseases as frequently as we do.Generally speaking, autism also follows this pattern. It seems to be less prevalent in the developing world. Usually, epidemiologists fault lack of diagnosis for the apparent absence. A dearth of expertise in the disorder, the argument goes, gives a false impression of scarcity. Yet at least one Western doctor who specializes in autism has explicitly noted that, in a Cambodian population rife with parasites and acute infections, autism was nearly nonexistent.
It appears, people in third world countries do not need to worry about Autism...as evidenced by the western doctor. methinks too much of glade, anti-bacterializing life and in short, falling prey to capitalistic pressures of companies like P&G, J&J via their vile advertising campaigns.
You do not know what you want. You are gently persuaded by them to realize what you want...sigh!
Monday, June 06, 2011
The jokers over at WSJ are at it again - stoking. Here is the link to an article which they swear would not write back in 2008, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304563104576361522020024248.html
Most sensible comment from this gentleman and another follow up
- Ted Nicholas wrote:
- Roxie Radke replied:
Other than that, this is one of the best sets of guidelines I've seen. :) Maybe the WSJ should post this instead.
Friday, February 11, 2011
|Is Twitters valuation a sign of a bubble?|
Is there a bubble in web2.0 startups?
A sampling of the 25 smartest angel investors(aka smart money!)
Ron Conway makes some very interesting points on what to expect and some of the side-effects of google's rich which we are going to unfortunately see in the next round of createive destruction...not many will be left with their pants on...thats for sure!
Sunday, February 06, 2011
As one poster Ananthan Thangavel(response to netflix short sellers) on gurufocus put it,
"Quite simply, valuation shorts should NEVER be entered."
Link to the storyAs with all wave of immigrants in the past, this is unsurprising. But, the devices used is quite shocking and unsettling. This is a first in the book of any indian immigrant - claiming asylum in the name of religious persecution. Indians, in the past, used fake marriages, degrees, experience to enter the land of opportunities. This is a departure from the normal...for the worse.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Disclosed, the wealth of the aspiring MP(ministers of parliament) in India.
Wonder, what the low watermark and high watermark are for these upcoming elections. Atleast, from this article from the “masala time of india”, it is 122crores(~24.5million) to 600 crores(120million). I also wonder how this compares to US senators and congressman.
Soniaji may be at the bottom of the heap…if this article is any indicator.
BSP candidate Deepak Bhardwaj declares assets worth Rs 600cr
16 Apr 2009, 1529 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELH: Deepak Bhardwaj of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday filed his nominations papers from the West Delhi constituency, declaring assets worth a whopping Rs 600 crore.
Bhardwaj is the richest candidate, so far, for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections surpassing the previous richest candidate who had declared assets worth Rs 514 crore.
Interestingly, the candidate who belongs to Mayawati's party came on a tractor that he uses on his farmland, to the Rampura election office in West Delhi to file his nomination.
The 58-year-old tycoon owns businesses in real estate, hotels and education. He runs a school in Dwarka and plans to open two more schools- one in Dwarka and the other in Dhansa, both in West Delhi.
A resident of Lajwanti Garden in West Delhi, Bhardwaj also owns a township project called Deepganga in Hardwar and a hotel called Niteshpunj Hotel Complex on the Delhi-Gurgaon expressway.
Earlier this week, the previous richest LS candidate, a Mumbai-based businessman, filed his nomination as an Independent from Surendranagar. Khimji Patadia, 53, has declared assets worth Rs 514 crore, mainly in jewellery and real estate.
Besides Patadia, Bhardwaj beats candidates like the Congress’s L Rajagopal from Vijaywada (Rs 299 crore), the BSP’s Karan Singh Tanwar from South Delhi (Rs 150 crore) and the SP’s Abu Azmi from Mumbai NW (Rs 122 crore).
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
How the economy was Lost
The Real Great Depression(WRONG 1929 RIGHT 1873)
Exclusive Derivatives for dummies
Other articles of interest:
Monday, February 23, 2009
Smoke and mirrors corporate America, the dubious double standards and how the CEO's are the shareholders appointees and why I am a blathering idiot.
Check this paragraph from the article above,
It appears that the Japanese are ready to hold management accountable for poor results, even those not entirely under their control. Their boards may want to send the message that CEO job security is based on results, regardless of the origin of those results.
This may never happen, i repeat, never happen in the US auto industry or corporate America...which can be explained away as "this is how things are, will continue to be".
On first read, the actions by the Honda board seem excessive and also ill-thought. But, again, CEO's only job is to ensure "results" and be answerable to the board and the shareholders.
Good job Honda board. Good job Honda!
Max Fraad on HuffingtonPost does an excellent job trying to trace and help point what has landed us in this mess....good reading
Monday, February 02, 2009
You can’t predict who will change the world:
And in defense of America ;) – there is no such thing as declining power of America in the age of globalization.
An interesting point about risk-taking, and unbounded enthusiasm in constantly tinkering and trail-error’ing American way of life, this para explains why outsourcing is better for America. The anti-sourcing lobby doesn’t want to hear any of this which is also true…there are people in the USA who simply want a job, a pay-check and above all predictability – this, in the backdrop of publicly traded companies, hedge funds, mutual funds, 401k funds and *THE SAME AMERICAN WHO WANTS PREDICTABILITY AND WISHES HIS 401k/PERSONAL STOCK ACCOUNT TO RISE WITH HIS RISING PAY* does not seem possible. Quite rightly so!
Globalization allowed the U.S. to specialize in the creative aspect of things, the risk-taking production of concepts and ideas--that is, the scalable part of production, in which more income can be generated from the same fixed assets through innovation. By exporting jobs, the U.S. has outsourced the less scalable and more linear components of production, assigning them to the citizens of more mathematical and culturally rigid states, who are happy to be paid by the hour to work on other people's ideas.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
lobbyists for the rich and trade/labor unions for the poor, we are stuck between.
WE is the significant tax-paying, law abiding citizenry...
On a show couple of days ago, there was this talk abt compartmentalizing the fares...checkin luggage/snacks/pillow/blankets...this is all bandaid...
Recent history has shown any public corporation bending to labor union whims has never been successful..
as in the case of airline or the auto industry, this has been the same case. End result, higher costs are being pushed to the end consumers like US. WHY WHY WHY?
Where is capitalism? Where is competition? Why dont I have better bidders for my hard earned $?
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
This article appeard on Barrons which begins with the following paragraph,
A FEW YEARS AGO, AN ACQUAINTANCE SENT Wellesley College economist Karl "Chip" Case a T-shirt depicting a cartoon of a smiley-face house surrounded by soap bubbles, called "Mr. Housing Bubble." But it was the words captured in a comic-book cloud on the shirt that gave this otherwise goofy image its bite: "If I pop, you're screwed!"
The T-shirt looked like this perhaps :
Click to follow to the actual article: If I pop, you are screwed
Tim Iacono@SeekingAlpha makes a good pointThe real value in real estate is in its function as shelter - a place to live, a place to raise a family - a point nicely made by Steve Kersch in this column at MarketWatch today.
Click to follow link: Real Estate is SHELTER, stop believing it is an ASSET!!!
He quotes Steve Kerch from MarketWatch, who writes
Click to follow Steve Kerch@marketwatch, "At its core, a house is a shelter...
Monday, November 24, 2008
Scary, I am sure this will continue to happen unabated while the taxpayers are taken for a ride. Read more at this link below.
Other stuff I’ve been reading lately:Wholesale Rates and the Evolution of a Crisis by Jack M. Guttentaghttp://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/mortgage/123342?count=30&start=6#dtk-cmtscnt What's Wrong With Berkshire Hathaway?
Moody's says alt-A mortgage delinquencies rise
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Full text of the victory speech delivered by Barack Obama in Chicago>
If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
It's the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
It's the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.
It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.
I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he's fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation's promise in the months ahead.
I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.
I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation's next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House. And while she's no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.
To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics - you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you've sacrificed to get it done.
But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to - it belongs to you.
I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn't start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington - it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.
It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation's apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.
I know you didn't do this just to win an election and I know you didn't do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they'll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor's bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America - I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you - we as a people will get there.
There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years - block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek - it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers - in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.
Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House - a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, "We are not enemies, but friends...though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection." And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn - I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.
And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down - we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security - we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America's beacon still burns as bright - tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.
For that is the true genius of America - that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.
This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that's on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She's a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing - Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.
She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn't vote for two reasons - because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.
And tonight, I think about all that she's seen throughout her century in America - the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can't, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.
At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.
When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.
When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.
She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that "We Shall Overcome." Yes we can.
A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.
America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves - if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?
This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:
Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
Sir, John McCain IS truly a great son of America – I salute!
This truly is a water-shed moment in American politics (quoting Gloria Borger on CNN) regardless of whether one is Democrat or Republican.
McCain was tough during the campaign…I couldn’t help but swallow hard to hear his humbling words, “the failure is mine but not yours”. Maybe, he will take consolation that he was one of the lead actors in the creation of a new chapter in American history and he went down fighting Obama who we will see a lot in the years to come.
This is a full text of the speech – I was moved by the tone and the call for every American to join and help the next President.
The pain and disappointment was evident, hopefully, this will be a better John compared to the post-2000. We wish to see you around John to continue to be the maverick you have been all through your career.
Full text of McCain’s speech(courtesy: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/johnmccain/3383618/John-McCain-concedes-Full-text-of-speech.html)
John McCain concedes: Full text of speech
Full text of John McCain's speech conceding defeat in Arizona:
Last Updated: 7:13AM GMT 05 Nov 2008
Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you for coming here on this beautiful Arizona evening.
My friends, we have -- we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.
A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him.
To congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.
In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.
This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.
I've always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.
But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation's reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.
A century ago, President Theodore Roosevelt's invitation of Booker T. Washington to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage in many quarters.
America today is a world away from the cruel and frightful bigotry of that time. There is no better evidence of this than the election of an African-American to the presidency of the United States.
Let there be no reason now...
Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.
Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.
Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.
These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.
I urge all Americans...
I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.
Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.
It is natural. It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.
We fought -- we fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.
I am so deeply grateful to all of you for the great honor of your support and for all you have done for me. I wish the outcome had been different, my friends.
The road was a difficult one from the outset, but your support and friendship never wavered. I cannot adequately express how deeply indebted I am to you.
I'm especially grateful to my wife, Cindy, my children, my dear mother...
... my dear mother and all my family, and to the many old and dear friends who have stood by my side through the many ups and downs of this long campaign.
I have always been a fortunate man, and never more so for the love and encouragement you have given me.
You know, campaigns are often harder on a candidate's family than on the candidate, and that's been true in this campaign.
All I can offer in compensation is my love and gratitude and the promise of more peaceful years ahead.
I am also -- I am also, of course, very thankful to Governor Sarah Palin, one of the best campaigners I've ever seen...
... one of the best campaigners I have ever seen, and an impressive new voice in our party for reform and the principles that have always been our greatest strength...
... her husband Todd and their five beautiful children...
... for their tireless dedication to our cause, and the courage and grace they showed in the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign.
We can all look forward with great interest to her future service to Alaska, the Republican Party and our country.
To all my campaign comrades, from Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter, to every last volunteer who fought so hard and valiantly, month after month, in what at times seemed to be the most challenged campaign in modern times, thank you so much. A lost election will never mean more to me than the privilege of your faith and friendship.
I don't know -- I don't know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I'll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes, and I'm sure I made my share of them. But I won't spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been.
This campaign was and will remain the great honor of my life, and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honor of leading us for the next four years.
I would not -- I would not be an American worthy of the name should I regret a fate that has allowed me the extraordinary privilege of serving this country for a half a century.
half a century.
Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight, I remain her servant. That is blessing enough for anyone, and I thank the people of Arizona for it.
Tonight -- tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama -- whether they supported me or Senator Obama.
I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.
Americans never quit. We never surrender.
We never hide from history. We make history.
Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Management Bull shit:
This makes for good reading and especially effective if you are laid-off after 6-7years of back-breaking work in a high-tech company and you are escorted to the door on an odd day of the week(Tuesday) with 0 severance. Guess, you can call m disgruntled!
Credit: John Brandt was the author of this article –
This is very effective in this ultra-competitive dog eat cat world…What should a new manager hired for a top spot do in the company where everything is alien to him…some life saving tips, this!
“Dump everything on a sub-ordinate(Smith) who actually knows what he/she is doing.”
Another old fashioned option now available ONLY at the VP level or above. Breathe a sigh of relief as that pile of unsanswered memos and half baked proposals that’s on Smith’s desk leaving yours clean and shiny as the hood of the new Benz(Porsche or Cadillac) you will be driving this afternoon while Smith digs out.
Pros: If Smith is any good, you’ll look like a genius. If not, fire him. Why should you be blamed for all the incompetents your predecessors hired.
Cons: If Smith is as good as you hope, a rival may hire him away or worse yet, unmask you for the empty suit you really are
Upshot: It sure beats doing it yourself. Mitigate risk by giving Smith a bad review(he or she can now be painted as disgruntled) and making sure that his cubicle can always be found with a trail of bread-crumbs. Atta boy!
Parting thoughts to the individual investor:
1. Investors are advised to keep following topics front and center on their radar screens…they speak directly to the abilitiy of the markets to minimize very wide technical fluctuation occasioned by the current asymmetry between
a. The role of endogenous liquidity(refer book to what does endogenous liquidity according to the author means…or even better google it)
b. Official monetary actions
c. As well as the reliable openness of economies to developments elsewhere in the world.
2. Do not forget initial conditions – like Harvard Management companies first entry into TIMBER as early as the 1980s(1988-89???), Apparently, HMC made a killing back then and soon, like bees, everyone followed into timber…returns for first movers are the most(investing or forseeing opportunities where nobody is looking).
3. Major contributor to inequalities around the world has been technological progress which increases the premium on skills and antiquates relatively low skill inputs(need to update here?) thereby benefiting those who are already better off and displacing those that are already worse off.
4. Prisoner Dilemma – (need to update this)
5. 3 Circuit Breakers
a. Government or FED jumping in(making access to easy cash)
b. SWF with money entering the markets
c. Emerging Economies economic growth.
6. PASCALS WAGER: If people believed that the probabilitiy of an earthquake in California was hight, they would NOT live in California. Yet, because the probability is non-zero and the consequences are severe, it makes sense to consider earthquake insurance, especially, if the market is providing it cheaply.
7. Peter Dolan(from HMC?) 4 pronged principle in the life of a money manager
a. Strive for excellence(arete)
d. Nemesis(retributive justice)
8. The urgent/importance matrix – any ceo must need to pay attention to these(more in the book)
a. 1st Quadrant: IMPORTANT AND URGENT
b. 2nd Quadrant: Important NOT Urgent
c. 3rd Quadrant: NOT Important NOT Urgent
d. 4th Quadrant: Urgent NOT Important
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
"We always search for happiness in the outside world, in material things, which makes us constantly unsatisfied, angry with ourselves and the world," said Mishkov, who exudes a sense of tranquility, intelligence, and humor.
Greed and the marketization of our lives have reached the point where people have been turned into a commodity -- even their health can be traded like a stock, he said.
"We have so quickly lost our human appearance, we have become beasts ... There's no-one to count on and say 'hey neighbor come help me.' He will come but demand a payment."
Read the entire article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE49004C20081001?sp=true