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Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Percentages: The Pain of Life Forces

In Kleeneze: Fact or Reality on January 29, 2011 at 5:48 pm
Contributions_to_Percent_Change_in_Real_GDP_(t...

Image via Wikipedia

A percent growth rate (or sometimes referred to as percent change, growth rate, or rate of change) is a useful indicator to look at how much a population is growing or declining in a particular area. It is also useful when comparing the growth or decline of populations in two different areas or regions. But percent growth rate can be used in other studies besides population (such as employment, unemployment, economic factors, etc.). Any number from one time and any number from another time can be put into the calculation to determine growth rate. This article will show you how to easily calculate the growth rate or percent change.

Things You’ll Need:

  • calculator or spreadsheet software
  1. 1

    The rate of change (percent change, growth rate) from one period to another is calculated as follows:
    Percent Change = (value at end of period – value at beginning of period)/value at beginning of period * 100

  2. 2

    Another way of expressing the equation for growth rate or percent change is:
    Percent change = (Vpresent-Vpast)/Vpast*100

    In this formula,
    Vpresent = present or future value
    Vpast = past or present value

  3. 3

    To further calculate an annual percentage rate of change, divide the percent change arrived at in step two by N.
    N represents the number of years between the two values used in step 2.

  4. 4

    Example to calculate growth rate or percent change:
    A particular city has a population of 800,000 in 1990 and a population of 1,500,000 in 2008. To find the growth rate of the population in this city, do the following:
    Growth Rate = (1,500,000 – 800,000)/800,000 * 100
    Growth Rate = 87.5 percent

    Average Annual Growth Rate = 87.5% / 18 years
    Average Annual Growth Rate = 4.86 percent

Read more: How to Calculate Growth Rate or Percent Change | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4532706_calculate-growth-rate-percent-change.html#ixzz1CRo95aDb

Cars Wanted Urgently

In AMA Sales & Marketing, Business, Media Dailies, To Deal or Not on January 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm

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Friends Quote

In The Flying Muse on November 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm

We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

necessary

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.

1.     It was without a doubt imperative to the cause that you have a clearly defined overview of your opponent before any consultation – this means to have a most intimate knowledge of his/her mental state as well as the physical to name but  two of the most important factors that must on no account be taken lightly.

In order to have an enemy, one must be somebody. One must be a force before he can be resisted by another force. A malicious enemy is better than a clumsy friend.

He hasn’t an enemy in the world – but all his friends hate him.

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.

Choose your friends carefully. Your enemies will choose you.

The Bible tells us to love our neighbours, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.

Man is his own worst enemy.

Money can’t buy friends, but you can get a better class of enemy.

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

One enemy can do more hurt than ten friends can do good.

1.     You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.

If you want to make enemies, try to change something.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.

You shall judge a man by his enemies as well as by his friends.

If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.

The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.

Treat your friend as if he might become an enemy.

A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.

Man usually avoids attributing cleverness to somebody else unless its an enemy.

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

There are only two people who can tell you the truth about yourself: an enemy who has lost his temper and a friend who loves you dearly.

The Power to Change

In Business on November 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

A goal properly set is halfway reached.

– Zig Ziglar

 

 

 


Jamaica: State of emergency in Kingston

In Media Dailies on November 26, 2010 at 5:46 pm
By the CNN Wire Staff
May 24, 2010 7:22 a.m.
Supporters of an alleged drug lord blockaded Kingston neighborhoods.
Supporters of an alleged drug lord blockaded Kingston neighborhoods.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Gang members had blocked off a miles-long area of Jamaica’s capital city
  • Standoff revolves around U.S. attempts to extradite suspected drug kingpin
  • Coke was charged last year, accused of leading international crime syndicate
  • Violence, blockades prompt emergency meeting of Jamaican president’s Cabinet
RELATED TOPICS

Kingston, Jamaica (CNN) — Jamaican authorities declared a state of emergency in Kingston after gang members supportive of an alleged drug lord wanted by the United States attacked police stations and blockaded a large swath of the city.

Two police stations were evacuated after being hit with Molotov cocktails, while the status of a third was unclear.

Gang members blocked off a miles-long area of Jamaica’s capital city — mostly in West Kingston — using vehicles, sandbags, barbed wire and anything else they could find.

Are you there? Send us your stories, images

The standoff revolves around attempts by the United States to extradite suspected drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Last year he was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine and with conspiracy to illegally traffic in firearms in U.S. federal court.

On Friday, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding said citizens should “allow the courts to deal with the extradition matter,” the state-run Jamaica Information service reported.

In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, Golding announced an emergency meeting of his cabinet in response to the violence and blockades, the Jamaica Information Service said.

The state of emergency extended to St. Andrew, an area near Kingston, according to the Jamaica Information Service.

The U.S. State Department is “monitoring the situation closely,” a spokesman said Sunday evening.

Coke was charged in August by the attorney’s office in New York, which accused him of leading an international criminal syndicate known as the “Shower Posse.”

“At Coke’s direction and under his protection, members of his criminal organization sell marijuana and crack cocaine in the New York area and elsewhere, and send the narcotics proceeds back to Coke and his co-conspirators,” the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency said in a release accompanying the charges.

“Coke and his co-conspirators also arm their organization with illegally trafficked firearms,” the DEA said in a statement at the time.

Coke is on the Justice Department’s list of Consolidated Priority Organization Targets, which the department says “includes the world’s most dangerous narcotics kingpins.”

The State Department issued a travel alert for Jamaica on Friday, saying that the “possibility exists for violence and/or civil unrest in the greater Kingston metropolitan area.”

“If the situation ignites, there is a possibility of severe disruptions of movement within Kingston, including blocking of access roads to the Norman Manley International Airport,” the alert said.

Journalist Kirk Abrahams contributed to this report.

To cruise or not to cruise?

In Media Dailies on November 19, 2010 at 11:57 pm

By Robert Reid, Special to CNN
November 16, 2010 8:26 a.m. EST
tzleft.robert.reid.courtesy.jpg
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Travel editor Robert Reid says some are likely leery of cruises after Carnival Splendor debacle
  • He says “real” travelers eschew cruises but people flocked to them after 9/11 especially
  • If you’re nervous about cruises, there are train trips and barge tours that give cruise experience
  • Reid: Cruises provide unusual access to open sea, and odds of Splendor-type disaster slim

Editor’s note: Robert Reid is the U.S. travel editor for Lonely Planet and host of the 76-Second Travel Show.

New York (CNN) — Now that the 4,500 people stranded last week on the Carnival Splendor are safe and sound in San Diego, California, some vital questions need to be answered. Were the passengers cared for properly? Will any use the free cruise vouchers Carnival offered? And, most importantly, did they or did they not eat any of that Spam?

Another big one is whether anyone should bother taking a cruise in the first place. Already, cruises tend to be smeared by the “real” travel community as floating malls, Vegas on water, with structured camplike activities, dodgy food and, as writer David Foster Wallace called it, “1,500 professional smiles” from people “who clearly dislike you.”

But by all indications, people do have fun on cruises, and they are a committed lot. Particularly Americans. Of the 13.4 million worldwide travelers who set off on a “Love Boat” experience last year, says the Cruise Lines International Association, 70 percent are Americans. And the number rises every year.

The Titanic aside, cruise ships have an impressive safety record — especially when one considers that annual cruise bookings have risen by more than 1 million since 9/11. The fire that stalled the Carnival fun can pretty much be chalked up to a freak occurrence, not likely to be repeated if you’re planning a trip by big boat.

The people who do this usually defend their vacation choice with a handful of reasons. “You only have to unpack and pack once” goes one argument. “They’re hassle free.” “You don’t have to worry about planning anything.” “They’re relaxing.” And the biggest, “The value. They’re cheap and you know what your total cost will be.”

(Of course, a cruise’s final bill is much more than advertised. Onboard expenses are where cruises make their profit. Liquor is rarely included, same with offshore excursions, souvenirs, the casino and tips for the woefully underpaid staff, which can quickly reach $125 total. If you find a Mayan Riviera cruise in Mexico for $300, expect to pay $200, at least, in extras, not including transport to get to the pier.)

To be sure, there are sound reasons to get on board, and the most travel-oriented one is probably the best: People like that they get to see different places: “You fall asleep in Jamaica and wake up at Grand Cayman” (the catch being you only have a few hours and, usually, can only see what a tour offers).

But there are other kinds of travel that achieve this effect, and for those put off on cruises for the moment, they are worth considering.

One alternative that floats is spending a week aboard a barge. Burgundy in France has a network of canals and rivers that total nearly 800 miles. (Renting a barge can run about 300 to 400 euros a day). In the U.S., you can rent family-size barges to ride along the 365-mile Erie Canal system between Albany and Buffalo, New York, and stop into canal-side historic towns at your own leisure (from $350 a day for a week from rental companies such as CanalCruises.com). It’s your boat for the trip — plus you get the added thrill of driving it yourself.

Another cruise-alternative is the train. But you needn’t hop on and off across Europe with a Eurail pass or the U.S. with an Amtrak pass; some trains offer built-in vacation packages. Though not as roomy as a boat, trains can be as social as cruises.

Whether you go on escorted trips — like Amtrak’s six-night, all-catered Glacier Park Discovery between Chicago, Illinois, and Seattle, Washington (from $3,250), or the luxury version of the Trans-Siberian, the Golden Eagle’s 15-day trip from Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia, ($8,000) — or go alone, there are many mix-and-mingle opportunities in observatory decks or while sharing a table in the dining car. And the views often beat a cross-country trip by car — with no billboards cluttering the passing landscape.

Canada’s VIA Rail has North America’s prettiest excursions, with multiday trips crossing the Rockies between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Jasper, Alberta. Costlier is the classic art-deco Venice Simplon-Orient-Express; an overnighter from London, England, to Venice, Italy, is more than $3,000. But it sure is nice.

If you still have a yen for the big boat, it’s understandable. Cruises do have their own distinctions. Like the sea itself. Taking my first cruise shortly after 9/11, I realized it was the only time I’d been at sea. I skipped the “fire gaucho” shows and limited my visits to the unlimited ice cream bar to the bare minimum, but the sea I liked and stared out endlessly — a rolling gray mass that looked like the surface of another planet.

And even for travel purists, it’s hard to deny that people do seem to have a great time on these things. Like the commercials attest, people do look and act younger once they get out there. Maybe it’s because it feels like an “adult camp” — a throwback-type of travel, on water not airways, where there’s no need for clocks, just a focus on magic shows, the dessert bar and dance floor.

No, taking a cruise isn’t ever going to let you get an authentic experience of a place, as compared to finding a posada or bed and breakfast in Puerto Vallarta or Cartagena for a week would.

But then again neither does a weeklong stay at an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where you can find all the “professional smiles” you can handle.

In the end, I guess there are two types of travelers: those who like cruises, and those who hate them. If you like them, go. That random incident aboard the Splendor shouldn’t change a thing.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Robert Reid.

1984

In Media Dailies on November 9, 2010 at 12:45 am

We’re going after all your bank details:

Ministers demand earnings figures in crackdown on welfare fraud

By Daily Mail Reporter

Ministers are seeking access to the bank details of virtually everyone in the country to crack down on the £5billion lost to fraud and error in the welfare system each year.

The Government is to change the law to require the banks and private companies to hand over details of earnings by millions on out-of-work benefits and tax credits.

The scheme will eventually be extended to cover all people in work, allowing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reduce the massive errors seen in the tax system in recent years.

Access all areas: The scheme will eventually be extended to cover all people in work, allowing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reduce the massive errors seen in the tax system in recent years
Access all areas: The scheme will eventually be extended to cover all people in work, allowing HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reduce the massive errors seen in the tax system in recent years

The move is likely to raise concerns about both privacy and data security, but
Whitehall sources insisted last night that all the information involved is already supposed to be passed to the Government.

One said: ‘About 94 per cent of employees and 97 per cent of benefit recipients get their earnings or benefits through the banking system – it contains all the data we need.

‘This does not involve us receiving new information, but it does involve us getting it in a more timely manner and in a way that is easier to use in reducing fraud and error.

‘It will catch out people who are not reporting a change in their circumstances, and make it easier to identify people who are saying different things to HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to maximise their tax credits and benefits.’

The scheme, due to be phased in during the next three years, will involve a ‘massive data-matching exercise’ to cross-check payments made to benefit recipients against their declared earnings.

HMRC already receives details on earnings from companies on an annual basis through the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) system.

Meanwhile, the DWP holds information on payments made and declared earnings of all benefit recipients.

But there is currently no system to link the two. Under the new proposals, the banks will be ordered to allow officials access to details of payments made through the banking system.

Employers will also be required to hand over payroll details each month, rather than on an annual basis.

Much of the error in the benefits system relates to the time lag in officials receiving information about changes in a person’s circumstances, such as a new job, extra overtime or a new partner.

In many cases overpayments of tax credits and benefits continue to rack up for months, resulting in huge sums which can never be recovered.

At least six million people have recently been told they have paid the wrong amount of tax because of errors in the existing system, and the final figure could be as high as 15million.

A Government source said: ‘Having information on a monthly basis will allow HMRC to keep track of what is going on with people’s earnings and allow it to adjust tax codes more quickly.’

Whitehall’s monthly audit

More transparent: Danny Alexander said plants to improve accountability in Whitehall represented a 'quiet revolution'
More transparent: Danny Alexander said plants to improve accountability in Whitehall represented a ‘quiet revolution’

Whitehall departments will be forced to publish month by month plans of their activity to improve accountability, the Prime Minister will say today.

David Cameron will unveil plans for a ‘power shift’ designed to make Government more transparent.

He will present it as an alternative to Labour’s target culture, which he argues encouraged short-term thinking and distorted priorities.

Ministers who fail to deliver agreed reforms and savings will be required to write a public letter to Mr Cameron explaining the poor performance.

Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said the proposals represented a ‘quiet revolution’ in the way government works.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327623/Ministers-demand-earnings-figures-crackdown-welfare-fraud.html#ixzz14k1Xbs4Y

Amanda Knox will face slander trial over claim police beat her up while quizzing her over Meredith murder

By Nick Pisa

Sullen: U.S. student Amanda Knox is escorted by police officers into court in Perugia today to discover that she faces further proceedings for slandering police officers during her murder trialSullen: U.S. student Amanda Knox is escorted by police officers into court in Perugia today to discover that she faces further proceedings for slandering police officers during her murder trial

Amanda Knox was today ordered to stand trial on slander charges for claiming she was beaten by police when questioned in 2007 about her flatmate’s murder.

The 23-year-old American maintains she was trying to defend herself and did not mean to slander anybody, her lawyers said.

Knox had claimed she was beaten by police during questioning over the murder of British student Meredith Kercher three years ago.

Police have denied misconduct and filed charges saying Knox’s comments were slanderous.

Knox made the allegations in June 2009 during her trial and they had earlier been repeated by her parents Curt Knox and Edda Mellas who are also facing a similar charge after giving a newspaper interview.

The slander charge came about as in the murder trial Knox recalled her police questioning and said: ‘One shouted, “You don’t remember?” then a policewoman behind me hit me across the back of the head. I turned towards her and she did it again.

‘They were only decent with me when I made my statement. They wanted a name, but I couldn’t give them one.’

Under Italian law slander is punishable with a fine and or a prison sentence of between two and six years.

The judge, Claudia Matteini, issued the indictment ruling after a behind-closed-doors hearing in Perugia.

During the hearing, which she attended in a blue top and trousers, she stood up and spoke to the court.

Facing the music: Knox is flanked by police officers today. She claimed she was only trying to defend herself when she made the claimsFacing the music: Knox is flanked by police officers today. She claimed she was only trying to defend herself when she made the claims

 

 

She said: ‘I didn’t mean to offend or slander anybody. I reiterate, I was only trying to defend myself. I was exercising a right.’

Her lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova had argued that the case should be thrown out but judge said there was enough evidence to send Knox to trial for slandering a total of seven officers.

Knox is serving a 26-year prison term after she was convicted of murder and sexual assault in December.

She has denied murdering 21-year-old Kercher and her appeal is due to to begin on November 24.

Different look: Amanda Knox during her murder trial back in February 2009Different look: Amanda Knox during her murder trial back in February 2009

Her father, Curt Knox, told The Early Show on the U.S. cable channel CBS today that ‘this is going to be her chance once again to have that wrongful conviction overturned’.

Lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said Knox was ‘very sad and worried’ but also ready to face the appeals trial.

Victim: English student Meredith Kercher, who was murdered by American Amanda Knox and her italian boyfriend Raffaele SollecitoVictim: English student Meredith Kercher, who was murdered by American Amanda Knox and her italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito

Knox’s ex-boyfriend and co-defendant at the murder trial, Italian Raffaele Sollecito, was also convicted and sentenced to a 25-year jail term.

A third person, Ivorian Rudy Hermann Guede, was convicted of murder in separate proceedings and sentenced to 30 years in prison, which was cut to 16 years on appeal.

All three have maintained their innocence.

The murder is set to be the subject of two films – the first starring Heroes star Hayden Pannettiere as Knox has already started filming while British actor Colin Firth is also set to make a film starring as an investigative reporter.

Earlier this month to mark the third anniversary of her death the Kercher family issued a statement in which they paid tribute to Meredith and described how they “missed her more than ever”.

In a statement released by Francesco Maresca, the Kercher family’s Italian lawyer, they said: “Meredith is missed more than ever and although three years have passed it is difficult to understand the why of what happened.

‘We can only hope that very quicjy a line will be drawn under all this and we can go forward and concentrate exclusively on Meredith’s memory.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1327792/Amanda-Knox-faces-slander-trial-claim-police-hit-questioning.html#ixzz14k4I8dOD

In Readers Choice on November 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Roma rights campaigner jailed for £2.9m benefits scam

Lavinia  Olmazu
Lavinia Olmazu admitted a fraud charge in July

A woman who helped more than 170 Romanians illegally claim £2.9m in benefits has been jailed for two years and three months.

Lavinia Olmazu, a leading campaigner for the rights of Roma (Gypsies), helped mastermind the scam involving 172 members of the Romanian community.

Olmazu, of north-east London, gained access to them through her work with Haringey and Waltham Forest councils.

The 31-year-old admitted a fraud charge at Southwark Crown Court in July.

As well as working as an outreach worker with the councils, the university graduate was involved with the Big Issue.

She set up companies with her boyfriend to help facilitate the frauds they carried out as part of a gang.

‘Abused position’


“You have now lost your reputation by involving yourself in this fraud”

End Quote Judge Deborah Taylor

Sentencing her, Judge Deborah Taylor told Olmazu, of Woodford Green, her role in the fraud was “made easier” by her involvement with the local authorities and charities which granted her access to people within the Roma community.

She added: “You identified individuals who wished to be involved in this scheme and in doing so, abused your position with a number of charities.

“You were a previously well-respected woman working in human rights. You have now lost your reputation by involving yourself in this fraud.”

Immigrants from Romania are not entitled to a National Insurance number, and therefore a number of benefits, unless they can prove to the authorities they have been employed.

The court heard Olmazu and her partner, unemployed Alin Enachi, would offer false documents for money to the migrants purporting to be from their employers, and also provided them with fake references.

Alin Enachi
Olmazu’s partner Alin Enachi was also jailed

Migrants would pay in cash for help with their applications before going on to receive benefits, such as child tax credits, working tax credits and child benefit, if their applications were successful.

Olmazu, who has an 11-year-old son, admitted one count of conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud between November 2007 and August 2009.

Enachi, 30, also of Woodford Green, was jailed for two years and eight months after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to supply articles for use in fraud between November 2007 and August 2009.

Olmazu and Enachi were part of a gang of eight, all of whom have now been sentenced for their part in the fraud.

A police spokesman said even though £2.9m had been claimed illegally, the scam would have defrauded the UK of more than £10m if the authorities had not intervened.

A confiscation hearing will be held at a later date, but the court heard £40,000 had passed through Enachi’s account.

Det Con Melanie Groves, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “This is a clear case of Roma families who wished to improve their lives but were prevented from doing so by being exploited by their own people.”

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The One Percent


The One Percent is a 2006 documentary about the growing wealth gap between America‘s wealthy elite and the citizenry on the whole. It was created byJamie Johnson, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, and produced by Jamie Johnson and Nick Kurzon. The film’s title refers to the top one percent of Americans in terms of wealth, who controlled 38% of the nation’s wealth in 2001.[1]

The film premiered on April 29, 2006, at the Tribeca Film Festival. It was reported to have been purchased by HBO and a revised version of the film, substantially re-edited and incorporating footage shot since the 2006 festival screening, premiered on Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 6:30pm ET/PT on HBO’s Cinemax.

It was stated in the Page Six column of the New York Post that Warren Buffett had written a letter to Nicole Buffett, daughter of his son Peter’s ex-wife from another marriage. In response to her participation in the film, distancing himself from her, he wrote “I have not emotionally or legally adopted you as a grandchild, nor have the rest of my family adopted you as a niece or a cousin.”[2]

———————————————————————————————————————–

Brixton riot:

Report blames racial tension



Last April’s riots in Brixton, south London were caused by serious social and economic problems affecting Britain’s inner cities, a report has said Lord Scarman‘s inquiry into what he called the worst outbreak of disorder in the UK this century also blamed “racial disadvantage that is a fact of British life”. The report criticised police and the government, but it said there was no excuse for the violence and praised officers for their conduct during the disorder. Hostile crowd. The investigation found the rioting was caused by a spontaneous crowd reaction to police action – rightly or wrongly believed to be harassment of black people – and had not been planned.

On the night of 10 April two police officers were attempting to help a black youth who was bleeding from a suspected stab wound when they were approached by a hostile crowd.

The local community was already aggravated by “Operation Swamp” – during which large numbers of black youths were stopped and searched – and the confrontation quickly escalated.

Over 300 people were injured, 83 premises and 23 vehicles were damaged during the disturbances, at an estimated cost of £7.5m.

Community policing

Lord Scarman called for a new emphasis on community policing and said more people from ethnic minorities should be recruited to the force.

He also advised the government to end racial disadvantage and tackle the disproportionately high level of unemployment among young black men – as high as 50% in Brixton.

The report has been widely welcomed by senior policeman and government ministers.

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News From Ireland

Nine people have been arrested after a massive garda operation targeted suspected drug gangs.

The operation aimed to disrupt organised crime in Sheriff Street and Oriel Street in Dublin, while raids were also carried out in Cork, Wexford, Kildare and Cavan.

Nine men were arrested and were taken in for questioning at several garda stations across the country. The detained men include a 20-year-old in Cork and a 48-year-old in Enniscorthy, while three men aged 17, 23 and 61, were also arrested.

Meanwhile, a 23-year-old and a 41-year-old were detained at Bridewell Station, and a 40-year-old in Mountjoy and a 20-year-old in Whitehall were also held.

A garda spokesman said the raids were co-ordinated from Store Street Garda Station as part of an ongoing intelligence-led investigation into drug trafficking.

Up to 300 gardai were drafted in for the massive crackdown to search homes, business premises and other properties at 33 locations.

Seven of the suspects were being held under tough anti-gang laws passed last year. They were arrested on suspicion of participation and contribution to activities intended to enhance the ability of a criminal organisation.

A number of garda divisions were involved in the operation, including the Criminal Assets Bureau, the armed Emergency Response Unit, the Organised Crime Unit, Air Support Unit, dog handlers and the riot squad.

It is understood the operation was aimed at the gang’s drug distribution network.

The raids targeted those suspected of moving the drugs hauls around the country to dealers.

The crime gang is involved in heroin, cocaine, cannabis and ecstasy trafficking.

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भारत दौरे पर आए अमेरिकी राष्‍ट्रपति बराक हुसैन ओबामा ने संसद के दोनों सदनों के प्रति‍निधियों को संबोधित करते हुए सबसे पहले तो धन्‍यवाद दिया और कहा, ‘मैं दुनिया के सबसे पुराने लोकतंत्र की ओर से आप सबके लिए शुभकामनाएं लाया हूं.’ उन्‍होंने कहा कि भारत में ब‍हुत प्रगति हुई है.

ओबामा की यात्रा के पहले दिन की झलकियां

ओबामा ने कहा कि भारत के लोगों द्वारा मुझे और मेरी पत्‍नी को बहुत सम्‍मान दिया गया इसके लिए बहुत धन्‍यवाद. ओबामा ने यहां तक कि हिन्‍दी में भी ‘बहुत धन्‍यवाद’ कहा. उन्‍होंने कहा, ‘मैं अमेरिका का कोई पहला राष्‍ट्रपति नहीं हूं जो यहां भाषण दे रहा हूं, लेकिन यह अमेरिका से बाहर की मेरी सबसे लंबी यात्रा है.’

दूसरे दिन की झलकियां

उन्‍होंने कहा कि भारत बड़ी उभरती ताकत नहीं है बल्कि वह बड़ी ताकत बन चुका है. ओबामा ने भारत और अमेरिका के संबंधों को मूल्‍य आधारित बताते हुए कहा, ‘मैं भारत के मूल्‍यों का सम्‍मान करता हूं. आपकी सभ्‍यता बहुत पुरानी है ओर मैं इसका सम्‍मान करता हूं. 1 अरब भारतीयों को संबोधित करना गर्व की बात है.’

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“Villarán desconoce o repite argumentos de la dirigencia del Sutep”

En entrevista con El Comercio, el primer ministro José Antonio Chang también sostiene que hay una ambigüedad en decir si Patria Roja o el Sutep estarán en el manejo educativo

Lunes 08 de noviembre de 2010 – 07:45 am
Imagen

Por Mariella Balbi

¿Podrá hacer un buen ‘premierato’ teniendo dos cargos (presidente del Consejo de Ministros y ministro de Educación)? Ambos requieren trabajo.
Hay estilos y estilos. El ‘premierato’ es la capacidad de coordinar las acciones de los diferentes ministerios en temas transversales a ellos. Yo siempre he creído que cada ministro debe asumir su responsabilidad al frente de su cartera. El presidente del Consejo de Ministros no tiene que cargarse los problemas de un sector. Solo en los casos en que haya que dirimir en una posición de Estado entre tres, cuatro sectores, el primer ministro puede intervenir. Cuando tuvimos los conflictos con el sindicato de profesores en mi sector yo no incomodé al presidente del Consejo de Ministros de entonces ni al presidente Alan García ni a nadie.

Pero su agenda para llena. Confiep, por ejemplo, está buscando una cita con usted y le es difícil.
No he recibido ninguna solicitud formal al respecto y coincido en algunas reuniones con dirigentes empresariales. No me han dicho nada.

¿Diría que es un primer ministro mudo o callado?
No, hay que hablar en la oportunidad necesaria. Mi estilo es más de accionar y hacer cosas que estar en los medios de comunicación.

Probablemente permanecerá en el cargo hasta el final del Gobierno. ¿En qué centrará su gestión?
Este es un gabinete de 10 meses. Tenemos que garantizar al país un proceso electoral transparente, en el cual el Gobierno mantenga una actitud de absoluta neutralidad.

¿Incluso con la publicidad estatal?
Absolutamente. He conversado con todos los ministros sobre la necesaria neutralidad. Habrá otra tónica para difundir las obras, ya no será un ‘recordaris’ de todo lo que estamos haciendo. En los próximos 15 días ofreceremos un planteamiento. También hay que dejar un país estable económicamente, sin bombas de tiempo. Además, vamos a fortalecer todo lo relacionado a la seguridad ciudadana.

La Defensoría del Pueblo ha mostrado que las comisarías están desvencijadas.
El ministro del Interior, Fernando Barrios, es una persona ejecutiva. Hará una inmediata intervención para mejorar las comisarías por un monto de 33 millones de soles. Además, ya entró en licitación el plan para unificar las redes de comunicación en la policía.

Eso se lo he escuchado a varios ministros del Interior.
Seguramente, pero a fin de año la comunicación será integrada.

La incapacidad de gasto del Ministerio del Interior es constante. ¿Los sucesivos ministros del Interior no han sido buenos gestores?
Entiendo que hubo fallas, mucha lentitud o procesos engorrosos. El presidente García nos reunió y solicitó disminuir los procedimientos, sin afectar la transparencia. Es posible que haya habido falta de experiencia en el manejo administrativo. Estoy seguro de que el ministro Barrios mejorará el tema de la seguridad ciudadana. Otro punto es la lucha contra la corrupción. Hemos fortalecido el Plan Nacional Anticorrupción. Anteayer se destinaron 3’755.954 de soles para agilizar la aplicación del Código Procesal Penal en lo que son delitos de corrupción de funcionarios. Hemos presentado proyectos de ley para sancionar de modo definitivo a los funcionarios que cometan actos de corrupción para que no vuelvan al sector público. El Congreso debe aprobarlo. Esas son básicamente las líneas de acción; también el fortalecimiento de algunas reformas importantes: la educativa, la descentralización y la dotación de servicios básicos. Se trata de consolidar estos avances y que puedan ser continuados por el siguiente gobierno.

¿Y de paso se ayuda a la candidata aprista (Mercedes Aráoz)?
No, de ninguna manera. Tenemos que seguir trabajando, no podemos paralizar las obras.

Está por aprobarse el presupuesto. ¿El anunciado incremento de sueldos a las Fuerzas Armadas y policiales implica necesariamente eliminar la cédula viva en este sector?
El presupuesto debe mantener los indicadores macroeconómicos que nos han dado reconocimiento internacional. En el tema puntual de las FF.AA. y policiales, la posición del Gobierno es que la cédula viva no debe continuar. Es un régimen exclusivo para ellos y no debería haber regímenes de excepción. Hemos planteado una mejora de remuneraciones.

Se critica que se recortaron 800 millones de soles del presupuesto del sector Defensa para destinar la cantidad a las remuneraciones.
No es tan así. No hay recortes, sino redistribución de los recursos de Defensa por 200 millones de soles. El resto sale de la caja fiscal.

¿Si el Congreso no anula la cédula viva no hay aumentos para Defensa e Interior?
Ese es el planteamiento del Gobierno. Si hasta el 15 de noviembre surge una fórmula que, sin romper el equilibrio fiscal, pueda aumentar sueldos y mantener la cédula viva, la estudiaríamos. Pero no existe. Si el Congreso no corta la cédula viva, no se puede aumentar sueldos al sector Defensa e Interior porque el presupuesto no estaría equilibrado.

Un gran punto de conflicto, ¿no?
Es un conflicto, sí, pero los ministros de Defensa, Interior y Economía se reunieron con la Comisión de Presupuesto para buscar una solución.

EL SECTOR EDUCACIÓN
Hablemos de su gestión como ministro de Educación. Usted dijo que la alcaldesa Susana Villarán ignora la Ley de Carrera Pública Magisterial (LCPM).
Yo he dicho que ella demuestra un total desconocimiento de la LCPM, o está muy mal informada. Las frases que repite son las mismas que utilizó el Sutep para desprestigiar la LCPM. Ella dijo que la evaluación de los maestros es solo una prueba objetiva de marcado, en la cual se pregunta por Napoleón y Elba. Para un profesor de historia universal esto sería básico. No menciona que, adicionalmente al examen de conocimiento, los profesores son sometidos a evaluaciones de tecnologías de la información, de idiomas y están obligados a dar una clase magistral, de su desempeño en el aula. El Sutep sabe que es así, pero lo omite porque quiere desacreditar la LCPM. Por eso digo que la señora Villarán o desconoce o repite los mismos argumentos de la dirigencia del Sutep. Yo, encantado, estoy a su disposición para informarle cómo es la evaluación.

¿Ya ha tenido un acercamiento con la alcaldesa Villarán? ¿La llamará?
No. En el momento que ella considere me podrá llamar. Entiendo que ahora está en su proceso de transferencias; entonces, yo la dejo tranquila.

El ministro del Interior sí la llamó.
Seguramente, es una política de él, por la necesidad de ver lo de la seguridad ciudadana.

¿No hay una hostilidad de su ministerio para transferir las funciones de Educación a la región Lima Metropolitana?
Pero yo no tengo ninguna hostilidad. Sí tengo que desmentir cosas que se dicen. Como la señora Villarán tiene a su alrededor a un grupo vinculado a la dirigencia del Sutep no tengo que aceptar que se digan cosas que no son ciertas de la LCPM.

Ella dijo que el manejo de la Educación en su región no estará en manos del Sutep sino a su cargo y de asesores como Gloria Helfer y Manuel Iguíñiz, que no están vinculados al Sutep, ¿no?
Habría que ver qué cosa hicieron cuando fueron autoridades frente al Sutep. Desconozco sus gestiones mayormente. No tengo mayor información de acciones concretas de sus gestiones.

El desempeño en el aula no tiene un gran peso en el conjunto de la evaluación. El criterio de su ministerio es que los directores, que la califican, pueden ser subjetivos. ¿No sería bueno darle más puntaje?
También participan los padres de familia. Es discutible. Pesa 15, pero hay muchas evaluaciones: la manera como usan las tecnologías de la información en el aula, los idiomas. Si compara tiene un peso importante. La que tiene más peso es la prueba de conocimiento, 40%.

¿Por qué no variar eso?
Se ha evaluado bastante. Se le puede decir a un profesor mañana es tu evaluación de desempeño y puede preparar la clase extraordinariamente. Pero no sabemos si eso fue producto de la presión del examen y no es una constante. No se puede negar que sí hay evaluación en el aula.

El Consejo Nacional de Educación afirma que se debe revisar la evaluación.
No, no, quien dice eso es la señora Villarán y algunos miembros afines a su pensamiento, como el señor César Barrera Bazán, Edmundo Murrugarra o discrepantes del gobierno como León Trahtemberg. Los hemos incorporado para escuchar sus voces. No hay ningún documento del consejo que diga lo que usted afirma. Es fácil criticar, pero cuando hay que evaluar a 350 mil maestros, no se puede dar a todos una hora de desempeño en el aula. Son 350 mil horas. Es mejor hacer una selección de conocimientos y luego ver el desempeño.

El Sutep dice que no se evalúa por especialidad y que el examen es memorístico.
No. La primera evaluación es de comprensión de lectura, razonamiento lógico-matemático, conocimientos pedagógicos y de la especialidad (primaria, secundaria o inicial). Si un profesor no puede comprender lo que lee, cómo va a enseñar. Luego se le evalúa en su especialidad. Al final de este gobierno tendremos 90 mil maestros en la carrera pública magisterial y 220 mil que están en la antigua ley del profesorado.

¿Ha leído el programa municipal de Fuerza Social?
Algunos temas son repetitivos del mensaje del Sutep. Lamentablemente, hasta los términos son iguales a algunos de sus panfletos. Hay una ambigüedad en decir si Patria Roja o el Sutep estarán en el manejo educativo. El Sutep le reclama que ellos han trabajado en conjunto la política educativa. Nuestro temor es que las mejoras en la evaluación de los maestros retrocedan…

¿Cómo? Si la evaluación es potestad del Ministerio de Educación.
Podrían matar la meritocracia, los incentivos por rendimiento, homologando a todos con los sueldos de los mejores maestros. Quien estudia y quienes no ganan igual. La descentralización ha hecho que a los directores de UGEL los nombre la región. Ellos son los responsables de implementar las políticas nacionales. Si estos boicotean los procesos de selección en Lima, como ocurrió en Puno, por ejemplo, donde no facilitaron los procesos de inscripción de la LCPM y obstruyeron el ingreso a los exámenes, sería desastroso porque acá está el 30% del alumnado del país. Debería haber un concurso público para directores de UGEL.

¿Y por qué no lo efectúa?
Porque, según la ley, debe realizarlo la región.

El Sutep sostiene que la educación no mejora.
No es cierto. El organismo regional Preal (Programa de Promoción de la Reforma Educativa de América Latina y el Caribe) solicitó a Grade que hiciera una evaluación de la educación en el Perú. De nueve indicadores, hemos mejorado en siete.

Hay fuertes críticas por ‘municipalizar’ 666 colegios, cuando son comunas pobres y sin recursos.
El plan piloto indica que hay municipios que respondieron bien y otros no tanto. Pero en los distritos más pobres y alejados, donde la autoridad del ministerio o la regional no están cerca, el municipio permitió que mejore la cobertura educativa, con lo que se garantiza que los profesores asistan, que los materiales educativos se entreguen. Ese indicador ha funcionado, no las mejoras de infraestructura o de asignar más profesores aparte de lo que el ministerio le transfiere. Desde acá no podemos atender a escuelas en un distrito pequeño. Además, esos 666 colegios vienen de la mano con el programa Juntos, que condiciona la entrega del subsidio con la asistencia del niño al colegio.

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Natural selection is the process by which traits become more or less common in a population due to consistent effects upon the survival or reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution.

The natural genetic variation within a population of organisms may cause some individuals to survive and reproduce more successfully than others in their current environment. For example, the peppered moth exists in both light and dark colors in the United Kingdom, but during the industrial revolution many of the trees on which the moths rested became blackened by soot, giving the dark-colored moths an advantage in hiding from predators. This gave dark-colored moths a better chance of surviving to produce dark-colored offspring, and in just a few generations the majority of the moths were dark. Factors which affect reproductive success are also important, an issue which Charles Darwin developed in his ideas on sexual selection.

Natural selection acts on the phenotype, or the observable characteristics of an organism, but the genetic (heritable) basis of any phenotype which gives a reproductive advantage will become more common in a population (see allele frequency). Over time, this process can result in adaptations that specialize populations for particular ecological niches and may eventually result in the emergence of new species. In other words, natural selection is an important process (though not the only process) by which evolution takes place within a population of organisms. As opposed to artificial selection, in which humans favor specific traits, in natural selection the environment acts as a sieve through which only certain variations can pass.

Natural selection is one of the cornerstones of modern biology. The term was introduced by Darwin in his influential 1859 book On the Origin of Species,[1] in which natural selection was described as analogous to artificial selection, a process by which animals and plants with traits considered desirable by human breeders are systematically favored for reproduction. The concept of natural selection was originally developed in the absence of a valid theory of heredity; at the time of Darwin’s writing, nothing was known of modern genetics. The union of traditional Darwinian evolution with subse

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Maccabees

Tanakh
(Books common to all Christian and Judaic canons)
Genesis · Exodus · Leviticus · Numbers · Deuteronomy · Joshua · Judges · Ruth · 1–2 Samuel · 1–2 Kings · 1–2 Chronicles · Ezra (Esdras) · Nehemiah · Esther · Job · Psalms · Proverbs · Ecclesiastes · Song of Songs · Isaiah · Jeremiah · Lamentations · Ezekiel · Daniel · Minor prophets
Deuterocanon
Tobit · Judith · 1 Maccabees · 2 Maccabees · Wisdom (of Solomon) · Sirach · Baruch · Letter of Jeremiah · Additions to Daniel · Additions to Esther
Greek and Slavonic Orthodox canon
1 Esdras · 3 Maccabees · Prayer of Manasseh · Psalm 151
Georgian Orthodox canon
4 Maccabees · 2 Esdras
Ethiopian Orthodox “narrow” canon
Apocalypse of Ezra · Jubilees · Enoch · 1–3 Meqabyan · 4 Baruch
Syriac Peshitta
Psalms 152–155 · 2 Baruch · Letter of Baruch
Bible Portal

The first book of Maccabees is a book written in Hebrew by a Jewish author after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom, about the latter part of the second century BC. The original Hebrew is lost and the most important surviving version is the Greek translation contained in the Septuagint. The book is held as canonical scripture by some Christian churches (including Catholic, Orthodox and Copt churches), but not by most Protestant groups. Such Protestant groups consider it to be an apocryphal book (see also Deuterocanon). In modern-day Judaism, the book is often of great historical interest, but has no official religious status.

The setting of the book is about a century after the conquest of Judea by the Greeks under Alexander the Great, after Alexander’s empire has been divided so that Judea was part of the Greek Seleucid Empire. It tells how the Greek ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to suppress the practice of basic Jewish religious law, resulting in a Jewish revolt against Seleucid rule. The book covers the whole of the revolt, from 175 to 134 BC, highlighting how the salvation of the Jewish people in this crisis came from God through Mattathias‘ family, particularly his sons, Judas Maccabeus, Jonathan Maccabaeus, and Simon Maccabaeus, and Simon’s son, John Hyrcanus. The doctrine expressed in the book reflects traditional Jewish teaching, without later doctrines found, for example, in 2 Maccabees.

In the first chapter, Alexander the Great conquers the territory of Judea, only to be eventually succeeded by the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes. After successfully invading the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt, Antiochus IV captures Jerusalem and removes the sacred objects from the Jerusalem temple, slaughtering many Jews. He then imposes a tax and establishes a fortress in Jerusalem.

Antiochus then tries to suppress public observance of Jewish laws, in an attempt to secure control over the Jews. He desecrates the Temple by setting up an “abomination of desolation” (an idol). Antiochus forbids both circumcision and possession of Jewish scriptures on pain of death. He forbids observance of the sabbath and the offering of sacrifices at the Temple. He also requires Jewish leaders to sacrifice to idols. While enforcement may be targeting only Jewish leaders, some Jews (and children) are killed as a warning to others. Antiochus introduces Hellenistic culture; this process of Hellenization included the construction of gymnasiums in Jerusalem. Among other effects, this discouraged the Jewish rite of circumcision even further, which had already been officially forbidden; a man’s state could not be concealed in the gymnasium, where men trained and socialized in the nude. But 1 Maccabees also insists that there were many Jews who sought out or welcomed the introduction of Greek culture. According to the text, some Jewish men even engaged in foreskin restoration in order to pass as fully Greek.

Mattathias calls upon people loyal to the traditions of Israel to oppose the invaders and the Jewish Hellenizers, and his three sons begin a military campaign against them. There is one complete loss of a thousand Jews (men, women and children) to Antiochus when the Jewish defenders refuse to fight on the Sabbath. The other Jews then reason that, when attacked, they must fight even on the holy day. In 165 BC the Temple is freed and reconsecrated, so that ritual sacrifices may begin again. The festival of Hanukkah is instituted by Judas Maccabeus and his brothers to celebrate this event (1 Macc. iv. 59). Judas seeks an alliance with the Roman Republic to remove the Greeks. He is “succeeded” by his brother Jonathan, who becomes high priest and also seeks alliance with Rome and confirms alliance with Areus of Sparta (1 Macc. xii. 1-23). Simon follows them, receiving the double office of high priest and prince of Israel. (Simon and his successors form the Hasmonean dynasty, which is not always considered a valid kingship by the Jews, since they were not of the lineage of David.) Simon leads the people in peace and prosperity, until he is murdered by agents of Ptolemy, son of Abubus, who had been named governor of the region by the Macedonian Greeks. He is succeeded by his son, John Hyrcanus.

The name Maccabee in Hebrew, means “hammer”. This is properly applied to the first leader of the revolt, Judas, third son of Mattathias, whose attacks were “hammer-like”. The name Maccabee also might have been derived from the battle cry of the revolt, Mi Kamocha B’elim, YHWH (“Who is like you among the heavenly powers, YHWH!” – Exodus ch. 15:11.) In Hebrew, the first letters of this four word slogan form the acronym MKBY (Mem, Kaf, Bet and Yod). This became synonymous with the revolt. The name came to be used for his brothers as well, which accounts for the title of the book. Scholars infer that in the original Hebrew, the term used for “abomination of desolation” would have sounded similar to “Lord of heaven”, so that this term might refer to an image or altar of Zeus.

The narrative is primarily prose text, but is interrupted by seven poetic sections, which imitate classical Hebrew poetry. These include four laments and three hymns of praise.

The text comes to us in three codices of the Septuagint: the Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Venetus, as well as some cursives.

Though the original book was written in Hebrew, as can be deduced by a number of Hebrew idioms in the text, the original has been lost and the version which comes down to us is the Septuagint. Some authors date the original Hebrew text even closer to the events covered, while a few suggest a later date. Because of the accuracy of the historical account, if the later date is taken, the author would have to have had access to first-hand reports of the events or other primary sources.

Origen of Alexandria[1] gives testimony to the existence of an original Hebrew text. Jerome likewise claims “the first book of Maccabees I have found to be Hebrew, the second is Greek, as can be proved from the very style” (per Prologus Galeatus). Many scholars suggest that they may have actually had access to a Biblical Aramaic paraphrase of the work — most Christian scholars of the time did not distinguish between Hebrew and Aramaic. In either case, only the Greek text has survived, and this only through its inclusion in the Christian canon. Origen claims that the title of the original was Sarbēth Sarbanael (variants include Σαρβηθ Σα[ρ]βαναι ελ “Sarbēth Sa[r]banai El” and Σαρβηθ Σα[ρ]βανέελ Sarbēth Sa[r]baneel), an enigmatic Greek transliteration from a Semitic original. Various reconstructions have been proposed:

  • Book of the Prince of the House of Israel” or “the Prince of the House of God (El)“, from the Hebrew שַׂר בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, Sar Beit-Yisra’el or בֵּית אֵל‎ שַׂר, Sar Beit-El, respectively,
  • History of the House of the Warriors[2],
  • Book of the House of the Princes of God[3],
  • the Book of the Dynasty of God’s resisters[4], perhaps from סֵפֶר בֵּית סָרְבָנֵי אֵל, Sefer Beit Sarevanei El (“Book of the House who strive for God”).

Gustaf Dalman, meanwhile, suggests that the title is a corruption of the Aramaic “The Book of the House of the Hasmoneans“.[5]

The book’s author is unknown, but is assumed to have been a devout Jew from the Holy Land who may have taken part in the events described in the book. He shows intimate and detailed geographical knowledge of the Holy Land, but is inaccurate in his information about foreign countries. The author interprets the events not as a miraculous intervention by God, but rather God’s using the instrument of the military genius of the Maccabees to achieve his ends. The words “God” and “Lord” never occur in the text, always being replaced by “Heaven” or “He”.

BB King

In Music For Pleasure, This Day In History on September 26, 2010 at 6:49 pm

His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. Yet B.B. King continues to wear his crown well. At age 76, he is still light on his feet, singing and playing the blues with relentless passion. Time has no apparent effect on B.B., other than to make him more popular, more cherished, more relevant than ever. Don’t look for him in some kind of semi-retirement; look for him out on the road, playing for people, popping up in a myriad of T.V. commercials, or laying down tracks for his next album. B.B. King is as alive as the music he plays, and a grateful world can’t get enough of him.

For more than half a century, Riley B. King – better known as B.B. King – has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics. He was born September 16, 1925, on a plantation in Itta Bena, Mississippi, near Indianola. In his youth, he played on street corners for dimes, and would sometimes play in as many as four towns a night. In 1947, he hitchhiked to Memphis, TN, to pursue his music career. Memphis was where every important musician of the South gravitated, and which supported a large musical community where every style of African American music could be found. B.B. stayed with his cousin Bukka White, one of the most celebrated blues performers of his time, who schooled B.B. further in the art of the blues.

B.B.’s first big break came in 1948 when he performed on Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program on KWEM out of West Memphis. This led to steady engagements at the Sixteenth Avenue Grill in West Memphis, and later to a ten-minute spot on black-staffed and managed Memphis radio station WDIA. “King’s Spot,” became so popular, it was expanded and became the “Sepia Swing Club.” Soon B.B. needed a catchy radio name. What started out as Beale Street Blues Boy was shortened to Blues Boy King, and eventually B.B. King.

In the mid-1950s, while B.B. was performing at a dance in Twist, Arkansas, a few fans became unruly. Two men got into a fight and knocked over a kerosene stove, setting fire to the hall. B.B. raced outdoors to safety with everyone else, then realized that he left his beloved $30 acoustic guitar inside, so he rushed back inside the burning building to retrieve it, narrowly escaping death. When he later found out that the fight had been over a woman named Lucille, he decided to give the name to his guitar to remind him never to do a crazy thing like fight over a woman. Ever since, each one of B.B.’s trademark Gibson guitars has been called Lucille.

Soon after his number one hit, “Three O’Clock Blues,” B.B. began touring nationally. In 1956, B.B. and his band played an astonishing 342 one-night stands. From the chitlin circuit with its small-town cafes, juke joints, and country dance halls to rock palaces, symphony concert halls, universities, resort hotels and amphitheaters, nationally and internationally, B.B. has become the most renowned blues musician of the past 40 years.

Over the years, B.B. has developed one of the world’s most identifiable guitar styles. He borrowed from Blind Lemon Jefferson, T-Bone Walker and others, integrating his precise and complex vocal-like string bends and his left hand vibrato, both of which have become indispensable components of rock guitarist’s vocabulary. His economy, his every-note-counts phrasing, has been a model for thousands of players, from Eric Clapton and George Harrison to Jeff Beck. B.B. has mixed traditional blues, jazz, swing, mainstream pop and jump into a unique sound. In B.B.’s words, “When I sing, I play in my mind; the minute I stop singing orally, I start to sing by playing Lucille.”

In 1968, B.B. played at the Newport Folk Festival and at Bill Graham’s Fillmore West on bills with the hottest contemporary rock artists of the day who idolized B.B. and helped to introduce him to a young white audience. In “69, B.B. was chosen by the Rolling Stones to open 18 American concerts for them; Ike and Tina Turner also played on 18 shows.

B.B. was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. He received NARAS’ Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 1987, and has received honorary doctorates from Tougaloo(MS) College in 1973; Yale University in 1977; Berklee College of Music in 1982; Rhodes College of Memphis in 1990; Mississippi Valley State University in 2002 and Brown University in 2007. In 1992, he received the National Award of Distinction from the University of Mississippi.

In 1991, B.B. King’s Blues Club opened on Beale Street in Memphis, and in 1994, a second club was launched at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles. A third club in New York City’s Times Square opened in June 2000 and most recently two clubs opened at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut in January 2002. In 1996, the CD-Rom On The Road With B.B. King: An Interactive Autobiography was released to rave reviews. Also in 1996, B.B.’s autobiography, “Blues All Around Me” (written with David Ritz for Avon Books) was published. In a similar vein, Doubleday published “The Arrival of B.B. King” by Charles Sawyer, in 1980.

B.B. continues to tour extensively, averaging over 250 concerts per year around the world. Classics such as “Payin’ The Cost To Be The Boss,” “The Thrill Is Gone,” How Blue Can You Get,” “Everyday I Have The Blues,” and “Why I Sing The Blues” are concert (and fan) staples. Over the years, the Grammy Award-winner has had two #1 R&B hits, 1951’s “Three O’Clock Blues,” and 1952’s “You Don’t Know Me,” and four #2 R&B hits, 1953’s “Please Love Me,” 1954’s “You Upset Me Baby,” 1960’s “Sweet Sixteen, Part I,” and 1966’s “Don’t Answer The Door, Part I.” B.B.’s most popular crossover hit, 1970’s “The Thrill Is Gone,” went to #15 pop.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/grI75ZpkAg%5D

Milton Friedman – Greed

In Business on September 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm

LIBERTARIAN The economist Milton Friedman, who died in 2006, believed government should keep its hands off the economy.

By PETER S. GOODMAN

Published: April 13, 2008

Joblessness is growing. Millions of homes are sliding into foreclosure. The financial system continues to choke on the toxic leftovers of the mortgage crisis. The downward spiral of the economy is challenging a notion that has underpinned American economic policy for a quarter-century — the idea that prosperity springs from markets left free of government interference.

The modern-day godfather of that credo was Milton Friedman, who attributed the worst economic unraveling in American history to regulators, declaring in a 1976 essay that “the Great Depression was produced by government mismanagement.”

Five years later, Ronald Reagan entered the White House, elevating Mr. Friedman’s laissez-faire ideals into a veritable set of commandments. Taxes were cut, regulations slashed and public industries sold into private hands, all in the name of clearing government from the path to riches. As the economy expanded and inflation abated, Mr. Friedman played the role of chief evangelist in the mission to let loose the animal instincts of the market.

But with market forces now seemingly gone feral, disenchantment with regulation has given way to demands for fresh oversight, placing Mr. Friedman’s intellectual legacy under fresh scrutiny.

Just as the Depression remade government’s role in economic life, bringing jobs programs and an expanded welfare system, the current downturn has altered the balance. As Wall Street, Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue seethe with recriminations, a bipartisan chorus has decided that unfettered markets are in need of fettering. Bailouts, stimulus spending and regulations dominate the conversation.

In short, the nation steeped in the thinking of a man who blamed government for the Depression now beseeches government to lift it to safety. If Mr. Friedman, who died in 2006, were still among us, he would surely be unhappy with this turn.

“What Milton Friedman said was that government should not interfere,” said Allen Sinai, chief global economist for Decision Economics Inc., a consulting group. “It didn’t work. We now are looking at one of the greatest real estate busts of all time. The free market is not geared to take care of the casualties, because there’s no profit motive. There’s no market incentive to deal with the unemployed or those who have lost their homes.”

To Mr. Friedman, such sentiments, when turned into policy, deprived the economy of the vibrancy of market forces.

Born in Brooklyn in 1912 to immigrant parents who worked briefly in sweatshops, Mr. Friedman retained a sense that America was a land of opportunity with ample rewards for the hard-working.

His intellectual bent was forged as a graduate student at the University of Chicago, a base for those who saw themselves as guardians of classical economics in a world then under the spell of woolly-headed revisionists.

The chief object of their scorn was John Maynard Keynes, and his message that government had to juice the economy with spending during times of duress. That notion dominated policy in the years after the Depression. Mr. Friedman would spend much of his career assailing it: He argued that government should simply manage the supply of money — to keep it growing with the economy — then step aside and let the market do its magic.

So firm was his regard for market forces, so deep his disdain for government, that Mr. Friedman once said: “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.”

This antagonism toward bureaucracy seemed to spring from Mr. Friedman’s conception of his country as a bastion of rugged individualism. During an interview on PBS in 2000, he noted that Adam Smith, the father of classical economics, published his canonical work, “The Wealth of Nations,” in 1776, “the same year as the American Revolution.”

He spoke in the interview of his concern at the end of World War II that socialism was gaining adherents because countries had been forced to organize collectively to produce armaments.

“You came out of the war with the widespread belief that the war had demonstrated that central planning would work,” Mr. Friedman said. “The left, in particular, … interpreted Russia as a successful experiment in central planning.”

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MALCOLM X & JFK

In Readers Choice on September 6, 2010 at 11:31 pm

I want to thank Allah for coming and giving to us our leader and teacher here in America, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I want to thank Brother Benjamin at the outset for doing a wonderful job of opening up our eyes and giving us a good preliminary basic understanding of the means and the objectives of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and also I am thankful to Allah for bringing so many people out here tonight, especially just before Christmas.

You know, it’s next to a miracle when you get this many of our people together so close to Christmas interested in anything whatsoever that’s serious. And actually what this shows is the change that’s taking place among the so-called Negroes not only here in New York but throughout the entire world. Today dark mankind is waking up and is undertaking a new type of thinking, and it is this new type of thinking that is creating new approaches and new reactions that make it almost impossible to figure out what the black man is going to do next, and by black man we mean, as we are taught by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we include all those who are non-white.

He teaches us that black is the basic color, that black is the foundation or the basis of all colors. And all of our people who have not yet become white are still black, or atleast part of the Black Nation,and here at Muhammad’s Mosque when you hear us using the term “black” we mean everbody who’s here, regardless of your complexion. If you’re here at the Mosque you’re black, because the only ticket you need to get into Muhammad’s Mosque is to be black. So if you got in you know you’re black.

You may not have known that you were black before you came here. In fact, very few of our people really look upon themselves as being black. They think of themselves as practically everything else on the color spectrum except black. And no matter how dark one of our people may be, you rarely hear him call himself black. But now that The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has been teaching among the so-called Negroes, you find our people of all complexions going around bragging that “I’m a black man.”

This shows you that a new teaching is taking place and there is new thinking among the so-called Negroes. Yet just yesterday you would have to admit that it was very difficult to get our people to refer to themselves as black. Now all of a sudden our people of all complexions are not apologizing for being black but bragging about being black. So there’s a new thinking all over America among the so-called Negroes. And the one who is actually the author of this new thinking is The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. It is what he is teaching that is making our people, for the first time, proud to be black, and what’s most important of all, for the first time it makes our people want to know more about black, want to know why black is good, or what there is about black that is good.

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Being Hemingway

In Daily Meditations on September 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm

In the long run the pessimist may be proved right, but the optimist has a better time on the trip.

— Daniel L. Reardon