Monday, April 14, 2014

Take My money and I own you.

Today's Tids Issue 3,070
Opening Stuff:
 
“Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. – 1 Corinthians 5:7  Happy Passover, everybody.
 
One week from today is the Patriot’s Day holiday up in Boston, but it has also always been a day off for me and many down here in RI and those in other NE states. It’s the day of the Boston marathon and a morning Red Sox game. More important, and sometimes lost in the visceral activities, It’s a day designed to appreciate Paul Revere and the midnight ride; One if by land, two if by sea; the alerted New England  farmers secure  behind stone walls fighting the rows of Red Coats. The shot heard round the world. It is a day that remembers the first steps by brave people on the way to finally establishing the greatest free society in history. Today, though it is something else. The boom … that brought in the heroes. In response to the inhuman act of terrorists that killed and maimed the innocent, men and women rose to the occasion amidst smoke and panic. Like valiant forefathers and mothers they raced into the unknown to aid strangers, fellow Americans. Today we honor the heroes of the past as always, and the valiant they spawned; all of those who today retain the spirit an valor of those who led the way that 18th day in April 239 years ago. There will be tears in New England today. And, thanks, too.
 
A headline read: “Right Wing candidates step up assault on health care.” Oooooooo! “Right Wing”. What a scary term. They eat children. What ogres. What a crock, political labeling has become. I would rewrite the headline saying, “Sensible, responsible Americans running for office increase questioning about why the government should take over 1/6 of what used to be a free enterprise economy.”
 
As one spider said to another, “Time’s fun when you’re havin’ flies.”
 
The Question:
Last week Moody’s reduced the Bond rating of ADP Company down a notch from AAA. Now there are only three companies in America with that triple “A” rating. Name them.
 
The Headlines:
--Bubba Steadies Himself And Wins Second Masters In Three Years.
--Ukraine Tensions Could Slow Stocks At Weeks Opening; Wall Street Also Looking At new reports On retail Sales..
--Anti-Semitic Gunman Shoots and Kills Three At Kansas City Jewish Community Center.
--Violent Clashes In Ukraine Has UN Scrambling, Denouncing Russia; Putin Responds, “Who, Me?”.
--Microsoft To Squeeze Windows 8.1 Onto 16 Gig devices; Will Open Markets For OEM Tablets; Samsung Planning On Ending Association With Google Android..
--UTAH Woman Arrested After Authorities Find 7 Dead Babies In Home; Babies Resuolt of Births Over Past decade.
 
Remember Rawanda? Remember the horror of genocide that equaled the most horrendous acts in the history of mankind? I was thinking about the inaction of the rest of the world at that time as I pondered the concerns of politicians over the deaths of civilians in the Syrian civil war. I don’t believe I ever heard any outrage from the broader press, or the Clinton admin at the time. Nor did the sanctimonious UN… or several of the moral leadership countries like the UK and Belgium. Weren’t the lives of 500-000 to 1,000,000 (The estimates) Tutsi, or the countless thousands of others raped and maimed worth some action from the rest of the world? It bothered me then, and it still does. So when the outrage over places like Syria arises, I wonder who makes the choices of who lives and who dies. And why.
 
How come car makers don’t provide the option of “Control, Alt, Delete” for all of those times when dashboard warning lights come on?
 
In case you are interested, 44% of Twitter “Users” have never sent a tweet!
 
Why do people when trying to help the disadvantage seem to lower their standards in behavior, language and dress rather than raise the standards of those in need of a push upwards?
 
TV Front: --Mad Men is back and as good as ever. --Fargo, a new series based on the great movie, Takes Justified’s 10:00 slot on Fx Tomorrow night. Could be a winner. Great cast.
 
When I think of the word hopeless, I often think of people living under African dictators.
 
One of the little comforts in life is knowing that you have zippers in jackets that work smoothly all of the time.
 
I have noticed over the years that to some executives, “casual clothes day” means reducing starch in shirts by 80%. Or should I say, starch in shorts!
 
In case you don’t remember, the Tids Financial Editor predicted the current bumpy road in the markets. I’m beginning to moderately understand the irrational factors that drive a computer driven stock market. But, it doesn’t help.
 
The NHL Boston Bruins had the best record in Hockey, but they could lose out of the box to the Detroit Red Wings.
 
I put on the kitchen TV and walked away to fix a sandwich. In the background I heard some inane chatter, gratuitous guttural language from a female and thought, now that’s one of the reasons American is losing its way. I looked over and saw this woman on the screen and wondered, “Who is this person, and why is anybody watching?” Then as the program faded to a commercial, I saw the name “Kim Kardashian”. God help us.
 
Several Tids ago I listed the top and bottom supermarkets according to Consumer Reports. One of my favorites, “Shaws” was next to last. So, I went back to see what had changed. They still have the best bakery (And Biscuits), great meats, good low price deals, nice employees. It looked the same to me. So, I’ll keep going and enjoying it as usual. It just pays to be your own judge rather than get trapped by public opinion. Oh yeah, and this week they have 88 cents 64 oz Diet coke.
 
One of the qualifications that served as a negative in the CR rating of best supermarkets was “Crowding”. Now the way I see it, is if a supermarket is crowded than a lot of people must go there because they get what they want.
 
Thanks to Mike Peters, as usual.
 
Just thinkin’ – the Boston Celtics have a nice youth nucleus in Olynyk, Bradley and Sullinger.
 
The Answer:
The three companies in American with a Moody’s Triple A rating are Exxon-Mobil, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft.
 
 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stop the comedians.

Today's Tids Issue 3,069
Opening Stuff:
 
I’m starting to hear a small ground swell of opinion about rationalizing RI not having to pay off what are called Moral Obligation Bonds. The argument seems to go, “Well we’re only “morally” obligated” not legally bound. Doesn’t that kind of thinking make you want to sit on that big curbside surrounding America, and cry. Just sob and shudder over the trend in thinking by way too many citizens. God , the things we used to be able to do based on moral commitment! The trust we used to have of fellow citizens; the good we used to do because our heart and not a government edict said so. Our leaders, cultural, government, business – and even religious -- have become the hypocritically sanctimonious and the irreverent, willing to enable the breakdown of innate common human honesty, civility and decency. It’s a damn shame.
 
A smaller government makes a bigger person.
 
Frick and Frack Run the Government, Department”
Really, you got feel sorry for Kathleen Sebelius. Everything went wrong with the ACA intro, and on her ride into the sunset Rise Garden ceremony, you may have heard, there was a page missing from her speech. Maybe details just aren’t her forte after all. Maybe ACA never had a chance.
 
The Question:
Name five of the greatest characters from “24” Past.
 
The Headlines:
--Fed-Ex Semi Crashes Into Tour Bus Carrying Students, Killing 10 And Severely Injuring Up To 37 Others.
--JP Morgan Miss Has Stocks Sliding Again; Consumer Sentiment Rises Significantly In Preliminary April Reading.
--Choice Of Colbert Blasted By Limbaugh And O’Reilly As Detrimental To US Cohesiveness; Whatever Happened To The Fun Of Carson And Leno…And Even Letterman, They Asked.
--Bill Passes That Would Bar Iran Ambassador To Un From US; Will President Sign.
--IRS Loses Over $ Billion to Internet Fraud.
--Latest Latin American Quake Hits Nicaragua.
--IRS Gave Dems Info On Targeted Conservative Group.
--Latest “Ping” Signal Not related To Malaysian jet.
--West Virginal (D) Senator Manchin Criticizes Harry Reid For Calling Job Creating, Tax Paying Koch Brothers “Un-American”.
--Nirvana Steals Show As They and Kiss, Linda Ronstadt, E Street band, Peter Gabriel and Cat Stevens Enter rock & Roll hall Of Fame; Kiss says Rn ‘R Good Ole Boy Organization.
 
My West Coat observer of human frailties and accomplishments is primed and ready for the intro episode of the new version of “24”. She tells me that she has seen a half hour preview video of the show shot completely in London, and tells us to get ready for greatness! She has already ordered her Chinese take-out for May 5. 24 : 7 : 56 : 37*. KThunk. KThunk. KThunk.
·        Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds.
 
In case you are interested, Rupert Murdoch says his to favorites for the GOP nod are Paul Ryan and Jeb Bush. He has some like for Christie and maybe Walker who he doesn’t know well. He has a love-Hate relationship with Rand Paul’s positions. He said he could live with The Hill as Prez. But then he implies --what choice does an American have when a person is elected.
 
J-Lo was upset with the loss of Malaya last night on American Idol.  Too bad they wasted their “Save” on Sam the week before. But, Malaya has been near the bottom all year long and it was just a matter of time. But, CJ should have gone this week.
 
Adam Scott came out of the box well. I believe this is shaping up as a great masters.
 
I just went through one of those Internet scenarios showing pics of Celebs with and without makeup, implying that the made up woman looked better. I guess it depends on who is looking.
 
The only two organized job creation plans coming out of the RI legislature are gambling and drugs. Yup, in addition to making calamari the state appetizer, the energy of that august body seems to be devoted to expanding gambling and legalizing marijuana as the two best, easiest routes of increasing revenue to the state. That’s really what it’s all about anyhow, producing money for the public sector.
 
That rancher in Nevada fighting the government because they are rustling cattle off his land which they have deemed sacred because of a turtle. Legally the Rancher is wrong in that he is breaking a law. But, I feel for his agony over a government that continues to grow in its velocity of intrusion into private businesses and people lives.
 
A smaller government has less people spending the day looking for things to keep them busy, activities that more often than not inflict angst among people.
 
Reading Between the Lines Movie Reviews:
--Draft Day is a pretty good thriller, probably more so for real football fans. A good cast headed by Kevin Costner recreates the tension of the days before the draft and the day itself, all under the pressures of a  job in jeopardy and a secret lover…played by Jennifer Garner. I will go.
--Oculus is a scary one. The world of two teens is devastated when the parents are murdered and the brother is charged. In his mid twenties, he is released from prison and he and his sister set out to find a mysterious mirror that she thinks is the perpetrator for the killings, and prove the innocence of the brother. They learn that all owners of the mirror have met tragic deaths. The kids realize too late that the horror of their childhood is beginning again.
--Rio2 is a redo of that magical trip down the amazing. It will be good for kids, but it is not good compared to #1.
 
The Answer:
Jack Bauer and David Palmer were the first to come to mind. I really liked Nina Myers, and of course Chloe O’Brien. Michelle Dressler was a definite favorite as was Edgar. Tony and Kim Bauer were big characters but not necessarily for me. I didn’t like Sherry Palmer but grew to Like Audrey Raines. Other good ones were Mike Novick, Ryan Chapelle. Kate Warner and Renee Walker, two of Jack’s women were also very good. There are maybe over a thousand different cast members including actors like Dennis Hopper and Pauli Parette.
 
Have a great weekend E-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y.
 
Send me pics of your best palm sculptures.

Fore!

Today's Tids Issue 3068
Opening Stuff:
 
The Masters kicks off today, which means that Sunday afternoon will be a great day. Have to go buy some popcorn and various orange colored snacks. I use big days like the Master’s final to assuage my guilt over eating stuff that tastes good. Of course I also use things like the hour before five PM every day as critical relaxation and self gorging time.
 
This labeling of sports employers as “Slave Owners” is getting out of hand and is demeaning to all those who were truly slaves.
 
We need more French restaurants with great sauces.
 
If you don’t think Putin is tightening the screws, just read through all of the assorted headlines. He is not listening to warnings or paying attentions to sanctions from anybody.
 
The Question:
The Masters starts today. Who won the first Masters? Who are the three players that have won consecutive tournaments? Which golfer has won the most Green Jackets? Which golfer won the first green Jacket? Which seven players have won the most Masters?
 
The Headlines:
--New Weekly Claims for Jobless Benefits Drops To 7 Year Low Of 300K.
--Russia Angrily rejects US Warning About Oil For Goods deal With Iran; Russia Demands Prepayments From Ukraine For Gas.
--Markets Stable; Ally Bank Intro Falls Short On Opening Price.
--Congress Pushing For Criminal Charges Against Learner.
--Pro-Hiller Super Pac War Chest bursting With Cash.
--Senate Repubs Blocking Milkulski Paycheck Fairness To Women Bill; Bill needing 60 to Pass Falls Short 53-44.
--Lebanon Hezbollah Praises Assad For Fighting Rebels To Standstill; Group Says Foes Must Accept reality Of Assad Remaining In Power.
--Aids Victims Big Group Flocking to ObamaCare; Health Observers Monitoring Percentage of Seriously Ill Signing Up for OC..
 
If anybody is still out there watching American Idol, which is more and more looking like the stepchild to The Voice instead of Granddaddy of music competitions, here’s what last night’s mediocre array may come down to. Caleb was good but not great even though perhaps the best of the night. Sam was good only if you compare to previous weeks miserable performances. Gena Held her own as did Jessica. I don’t think Dexter is very good and he makes the bottom three with and inconsistent Malaya and loveable “CJ”, who has yet to hit a note. Now Alex, who many think is most talented, sometimes gets caught in confusing change for change sake creations, and last night he may have lost some of his fans and dropped into the bottom. CJ should go.
 
I seem to be having problems with my Foxfire lately. Is that because gays don’t like the Prersident of Mozilla who was forced out by reverse bigots.
 
The fight to make the successful feel miserable continues. In Newport here there are many great historic mansions of the Vanderbilt’s, Astor’s and Belmont’s among other “Gilded Era” financial giants, and they have proved to be an enormous tourism boom for the City and State (One of the few businesses not chased out by Union dominated legislature). These mansions have been restored and are museums of the past drawing  millions of visitors each year. These “Cottages” are sprinkled throughout very upscale neighborhoods, and a university. A women writes to the local newspaper to suggest her great idea: Why not make them useful too! She goes one to suggest how they could be altered to house the homeless! There’s sense, and then there is sensibility.
 
You can tell the public golf courses from the private golf club by the softness of the toilet paper in the restrooms.
 
The mass stabbing in the school in the Pittsburgh area yesterday reminds me of a scene from the TV show “The Following”…which reminded me of the stabbing scenes in malls in China. Who’s following whom?
 
Eric Holder also played the “Race Card” as a method of pivoting away from reality. As he said that he is the only AG who has been picked on like he has been. “And, you know why that is, ” he smirked to a lapdog audience. As black Senator Scott said,  I guess Holder forgot about the persecution of AG Gonzalez.  Scott added that it saddens him to see public officials resort to race to avoid the truth.
 
The Answer:
--Horton Smith was the first to win in 1934 (He won two). Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Nick Faldo won two in a row. Nicklaus has won six and the first jacket was presented to Sam Snead in 1949. The seven with the most i=wins are Jack (6), Tiger and Arnie (4), and with 3 each to Sam, Phil, Nick and Gary.
 
So far, the top five all at -1 are Tom Watson, Stewart Cink, Ian Poulter, Kevin Stadler and Jnas Blixt. Already we ah=have a sentimental favorite…Kevin Stadler. I like heavy guys. Just kidding, Tom Watson is a nice guy and great student of the game. He’ll put up a fight.
 
Enough for the golfers, already! Here’s something fro the dancers:
 
 

Archie and XT! We’re doomed.

Today's Tids Issue 3,067
Opening Stuff:
 
Is there a better symbol for waste in American than last night‘s planned demise of Microsoft’s Windows XT! The program is still working just fine and  is loved by millions of consumers. It is  the bedrock for many, many successful businesses. Tech is all about fluffing the new to create sales to gullible Americans who follow “I want” economics rather than the more conservative, Protestant Ethic value system of “I need”. Bring back Morse code!
 
Yikes! Say it ain’t so Jughead…Veronica…Betty…Reggie. Aaaaaargh! The evil comic book dynasty is going to kill off Archie, and with that the memories of millions whose lives paralleled the teen years of that frolicsome five. How many times did we stand in vacant lots discussing the antics of Jughead. Hoping that Archie for a minute would take his eyes off Veronica and see the love in Betty’s eyes. Many of us lived your life Archie, and we all wanted to beat Reggie to the pretty girl. Tis a sad day indeed.
 
I just saw a Gillette ad for men’s body razors! Shaving my body? This isn’t Archie Andrews world anymore. Really, am I still on the same planet.
 
The Question:
Bonus day: 1. Last night UConn Women matched the men winning an NCAA title. Two other colleges were unique in Winter sports post season play. Name them and why. Bonus: What Late Night Comedian always used the expression: “I kid you not”?
 
The Headlines:
--New Concerns In Washington: Potential Of Russia Arming Iran With Super Missile Is Frightening: Russsia Trading “Products” For Millions Of barrels Of Oil A Day.
--China Aggressive In Talks With US Over China Sea Territorial Waters.
--UConn Women Join Men As Champs; Team Handles Excellent Notre Dame Easier Than Expected.
--“Pinging” Off Australia Rediscovered.
--Quebec Votes Solidly Against Separation From Canada; Putin Sends Troops To Labrador.
--IRS Investigative Committee Ready To Subpoena Learner.
--Obama Issue Order On Women’s Pay Gaps; White House Gaps remain.
--Archie to Die; Innocence of USA Goes With him.
 
US Insulter Laureate, the snide ridiculing Joy Behar told NJ Gov Christie, “You’re Toast!”, That ought to rally Republicans around him.
 
It’s about the fascination with George Bush’s art…it isn’t that great. Why can’t we get real about the outputs of celebrities. George should check with his mother first before going public. When Mom was asked, “How do you like the painting of your husband?”, she answered, “That‘s my husband?”
 
Buyer Beware: Greece is returning to the Bond markets. There’s always something.
 
The Voice is paring down and Blake Shelton last night had a difficult decision. I personally liked all of his choices, but I thought Ryan capable of going far. Madilyn, the other left off is a nice little singer but needs just and pinch of seasoning. Frankly I like the authentic country of Jake, and how can you deny the power and elegance of Sisaundra. Audra, could catch on with the people voters. I think he has a good team. In case you are interested, fan voting went Sisaundra, Audra, Jake, Madiyn and Ryan.
 
The Masters Picks are going to be real tough, if not impossible. I like the way Sergio is playing. Kutcher is solid. Adam Scott might be the front Runner. Rory closed strong last weekend. Then what about one of the rookies – 2014 3 time winners Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reid. No rook has won since Fuzzy Zoeller. Bubba looks strong again, and a lot of money is going to Dustin. Zack has won it before and is playing well. Augusta his his kind of course. Then you have this current run of 3 consecutive wins by Aussies – Sender, Wadsworth and Jones. So, let’s throw Jason Day (Another 2014 Aussie winner who always plays well at Augusta) and Mark Lieschman (4th there the last year). into the mix. I think I will go for the Fed-Ex champ Henrik Stenson. But, you know it will be someone like Justin Rose or Luke Donald. Or, another former Master’s champ Charl Schwartzel. Go figure. Oh, did I mention Phil Michelson.. Confused? I am.
 
Maybe things do have a chance to change for the better. Goldman Sachs is considering closing down its Private Stock-Trading Venue, the “Dark Pool” known as Sigma X. Oooooo-Weeeeeeee-Oooooooo. They are wondering if the revenue generated is worth the risk, and the critical eyes of regulators and investigators focused upon such a less than transparent operations.
 
Have you noticed that The USA seems to be mediating every possible dispute in the world? The state department is looking for one big win, just as did when Hillary traipsed the world. It didn’t happen then and it isn’t now. Other countries think they know what they are doing about their own country.
 
The next potential problem area could be in India where the favorite to win is Hindu Narendra Modi, who says in his campaign that he has gotten over hating Muslims. World observers aren’t so sure of that. It is also said he will stiffen resistance at the China and Muslim long time rival Pakistan broders.. Send in Kerry.
 
The Answer:
1. Only two colleges were represented in both the Hockey and Basketball NCAA championships – Wisconsin and Providence College. Bonus: It was jack Paar who often said, “I kid you not”.
 
I wonder what the world will be 20 years from now.
Will I continually ask my friends, What? How?
Will there be any decent values left to guide?
 Or will the world be a government owned free ride?
I certainly would find it hard to honestly abide.
Lets hope there’ll be some rational left, to decide!
 
Good night Archie. We loved ya!

No parents…and certainly not union officials.

Today's Tids Issue 3,066
Opening Stuff:
 
It is a time of disgruntlement on Wall Street. There’s been a few attack-lets on the current favorite of retirees -- Big company stocks paying good dividends. The fear is that with the inevitable movement towards higher interest rates becoming a stronger reality, investors would gladly move towards safer interest baring instruments over the Prime companies stocks which are hitting high level valuations. Then you have to wonder if the Gold sellers are planting these negative stories about good stocks to rehab their lackluster products. The next three weeks or so will tell the story. Just be prepared for some queasy ups and downs.
 
Since the beginning of time some kid has always complained about tough football practices. I would hate to see some Union rep with power over the coach in behalf of a whiner. Beating somebody in tough grueling situations is part of being a winner on the field. I would take pleasure in “mistakenly” blocking somebody into a union official nurturing the underachiever. Oops!
 
Hawks Versus Doves, Department:
If you don’t think that the Syrian situation is entirely confusing, consider that the state department are the hawks and the Pentagon the doves on the issue. The big squabble within the Admin is between Kerry, NSC and Samantha Power versus Hagel and the Joint Chiefs. Kerry wants a US Special Ops team to go in and help train the rebels while the defense experts say it would be the first bad step into an open ended war. In essence the US would be fighting and training rebels that include large al-Qaida forces, while fighting against Assad, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia! Gen. Peterson, an adviser to Kerry and co-designer of the surge in Afghan, says US direct involvement will work. Nobody has any idea where Obama stands on this.
 
The Question:
What other child star joined Mickey Rooney in a series of successful musical movies? Bonus: Name the four cities with the worst funded public employee pensions.
 
The Headlines:
--New Ukraine Unease, Earnings Season Worries And Overvaluations Have Stocks Limping; Some Wonder If Era Of High Dividend Stocks Is Winding Down.
--Pro-Russia Groups Seek Succession For East Ukraine; New Looting And Brawls Bring Ukraine To Brink..
--UConn Beats Kentucky For Men’s national Championship; ND And UConn Women On Tap For Battle Of Century In Tonight’s Women’s Final.
--Dem Budget In response To Ryan Has Tax Increases Of $1.5 trillion!
--Hagel Tells Chinese That US Will Back Japan In dispute Over Islands.
--Plane Seekers Fail To Relocate Pings Heard Over Weekend.
--SC Refuses To Take Case Of Christian Photogs Refusing Gay Marriage Job.
--New Extensive Gallup Poll Suggests Admin Far From 7.1 Mil Signees; Poll Though, Also Indicates Positive Upward Trend.
--It’s Back To the Drawing Board As RI Police Reject Pension Agreement; 70% of All Public Employees Agree to Accept, But Convoluted Scheme Allows One of Six To Control Outcome.
 
I think the Red Sox are waiting for someone to hit a magic button. Everything seemed to click last year with a team of basically journeymen plus two super starts is Pedroia and Elsbury and an aging Ortiz who continued to be amazing. With the odds against everything going equally perfect again this year, and no Elsbury, It is pitching that gave me hope for 2014. But, great pitchers can’t throw no or one hitters every five or six days. So, I’ve been worried since the beginning if players like Ross, Carp, Gomes, Nava and Victorino can be as consistently timely as they were last year. It’s only April 8th, and already I’m thinking like sit’s August. That’s what’s so great about being a Red Sox fan – negative angst.
 
I get it now: The Dems are fighting vehemently for a higher minimum wage so the poor can afford to pay ObamaCare premiums.
 
Older people are reading the Peanuts comic strip the second time around. Interestingly, I think I’m looking at the same thing completely differently, through more experienced eyes. It’s new all over again, and just as good as the first day Charlie Brown and Snoopy walked across the page.
 
If the health care fiasco has proven one thing to me, it’s that that the powers that be should be focusing all their attention on the improvement of the economy. Like everything else, everything works better in what is supposed to be a free society when people are working and earning good incomes. Education is more meaningful and health care is readily accessible without Big brother intervention.
 
Letters to the Editor are more often than not from the myopia afflicted, only seeing what they want to see. Often these anal intolerant write about seeing groups of white people gathering and are horrified by the lack of diversity. But when Asians congregate, nary and utterance of the ubiquitous “D” word. How come we don’t have more non-Asians in math class? Oops, ethnic profiling.
 
Jeb Bush said yesterday, “Illegal Immigrants often act out of Love”. I think he’s running.
 
I don’t care what the cultural icons say, a looser, more immoral society isn’t a good place for anybody other than people making money off of stupidity.
 
It seems like it’s been about 40 years I’ve been hearing politicians say about Education (Like RI’s Gina Raimondo said yesterday), “There are too many barriers to success“. That’s code for we need more money for education. It has been proven time and time again, even by education experts, that money is not the answer to the problem that so many are trying to solve. Kids throwing away education opportunities is like a kick in the gut for me. The reality is that many kids, Hispanic, Asian, black and white, in the worst of environments seem to find a way. So the question should be, what are those kids doing that other’s aren’t? Are their families different? Are they made differently? Are their teachers better? There are many brilliant children who adapt to negative cultures. How to we make positive behavior more acceptable to a broader range of culture smothered youngsters? The money has been there for decades, but the improvement hasn’t.
 
The Answer:
Judy Garland and Mickey were great friends and terrific together in Babes in Arms, Babes on Broadway, Strike Up the Band (One of the great Judy Garland songs) and Girl Crazy. Bonus: Obama and pal Emanuel’s Chicago top the list of pension economics out of control cities at $20 Billon plus unfunded. Philly at $5.3 follows and then Jacksonville at $1.65 and NYC comes In fourth.
 
I just want a more positive world…for everybody.

The enigmatic, consuming, tenacious power of love.

Today's Tids Issue 3,065
Opening Stuff:

While we too often only remember the battles, it is pure unadulterated love which has always. ruled the world.  Since the beginning of time, men have walked on clouds and women have dreamed of Princes on white stallions. Grizzly men and hard women have been broken by the power of the heart. Tears are shed and bodies are elated. When the blackness closes in, the cushion of love brings the strength.
 
Nathaniel Hawthorne Revisited, Department:
Twitter and other social media have enormous, unbridled power often misused, often unreasoned to stamp the big scarlet “A” across the foreheads of decent people. Salem never saw witch hunts like we have today.
 
More Big “A”, department:
Chick-fil-A has 1775 stores compared to KFC’s 4495. KFC just removed the phrase, “the leader in the U.S. chicken [quick-service restaurant] segment” from their annual report.  CFA had greater sales in dollars, $5 billion to KFC’s $4.2 Billion! And remember that CFA is only open 6 days aweek – no Sundays, thank you! I guess that protest against the religious beliefs of the Chick-fil-A owners isn’t working out too well.
 
The Question:
Aside from “Here comes Peter Cottontail”, classical music related to the real Easter abounds. Name five great symphonic pieces.
 
The Headlines:
--Dow Beaten Down As NASDAQ Attempts To Recover; Investors Worry About High Flying Valuations As Potentially Stingy Earnings Season Approaches.
--Pro Russia Separatists Claim Independence For Eastern Ukraine; Seize Provincial Admin Building.
--EU Plans To Send Slovakian Gas To Ukraine; Could Be Blocked By Russia.
--1939 Entertainer Of the Year Mickey Rooney Dies At 93.
--Microsoft Ends Support For Windows XP.
--MH370 Seekers Buoyed By New Pinging Evidence.
--India Begins Worlds Largest Democratic Exercise.
--Afghanistan Begins Vote Count.
 
I’m talking a lot about the bigness of love in hearts today. I can’t think of anything that represents pure love for fellow human beings than what I saw last night in 60 minutes about two nurse practitioners who spend their lives bringing health care to the utterly poor. People are always talking about “Saints”. I think if you looked up “Saint “ in the dictionary you’d find Teresa Gardner and Paula Meade. As I type, I feel for them, and the people of Appalachia they treat
 
There are times in life when you just have to be bold. Today I am officially rejecting Publishers Clearing Sweepstakes as a future source of income. Too much angst.
 
In January the Tids talked about the biggest game in college basketball; how it will only come about when and if UConn and Notre Dame women meet in the NCAA women’s final. They will tomorrow night. Both are undefeated…and this will be a war.
 
I’m picking UConn men tonight. Tomorrow is a coin flip, but I think ND looks fired up, and I’ll stick out my neck there, even though I am, and am surrounded by UConn lovers.
 
About this “extreme” weather… I have several theories on this: First I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary around here despite the anguish of reporters. And that’s number two. There is just much more reporting of weather related incidents than ever in the past. Third, weather incidents appear to wrack more havoc because there are more and more people living in areas of violent storms. And, fourth, we have more kids getting degrees in Environmental Science, who must write something to sustain their visibility and retain Government grants, in what is becoming a big industry with lots of tax payer dollars behind it.
 
A friend of mine writes to say that the reason older people take a little longer to recall items from their formidable, fertile brains is because they have crammed so much usable great stuff in there over the many years. Often when moving info to the surface we pass by beautiful memories which gives delectable pause.
 
On Thursday, Senator Diane Feinstein said, “All Vets are mentally ill in some way and the government should prevent them from owning firearms.” When I think of mental illness, I think of Harry Reid, and his followers. You have to worry about a government intent on banning weapons from those who know how to use them.
 
How great was it to see the incomparable Stevie Nicks with Lady Antebellum last night on the American Country Awards show. Shakira and Blake Shelton had a pretty impressive duet too. Kieth Urban was on fire! But, I was intrigued most by Eric Church and his song “Give me back my Hometown”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5DnNxDTjbQ
 
When you see the headlines about “Medicare cuts”, it isn’t at all about Medicare in general but about the specific Medicare Advantage programs, which “O” said he would cut in the beginning but then relinquished to pressure before the elections, and then one day when we were looking re ordered it.
 
Only 4% of women consider themselves beautiful. I think the 96% are mistaken, only measuring themselves against contrived paragons of the fashion and cosmetic industry marketers.
 
By the way, why don’t alternative energy companies, instead of begging for handouts from Uncle, go to Wall Street like companies in America have done for generations? Is it because WS doesn’t really function anymore?
 
A local columnist suggests the Selfie” is a very apt term with which to describe today’s generation.
 
Silicon Valley’s liberal bastion, one of the more intolerant elements of the current US society, tromped on the free speech of Mozilla president last week, forcing him to give up his job.  Beware of the sanctimonious, for they shall scuttle rationality.
 
 
There are days when the content of the Tids is totally determined by the emotions from music I’m hearing.
 
The Answer:
Handel’s Messiah certainly pops up quickly. I like Mahler’s dramatic 2nd symphony, “The Resurrection”. Bach gave us a couple of Passions, “St. Matthews” being the most notable. Rimsky-Korsakov gave us the Russian Easter Overture – which will wake you up. Of course the Masses always celebrate the meaning of Easter with some of the best being from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and Berlioz. John Stainer wrote the Crucifixion, and Antonin Dvorak gave us the Stabat Mater.
 
Be yourself, Be Great, Department:
This below from a man named Brahms who felt inadequate in the shadow of Beethoven.
The music, to me, has the feeling of a man in love. And Brahms was, you know, with Composer Robert Schuman’s wife Clara. He once wrote, “I believe that I do not respect and admire her so much as I love her and am under her spell. Often I must forcibly retrain myself from just quietly putting my arms around her and even – I don’t know, it seems so natural that she would not take ill.” I think he put his arms around her in the second movement.
 
Looks like golf weather a comin’.
 

Save us from selfies.

Today's Tids Issue 3062
Opening Stuff:
 
It was early morning as I stepped out of the car, ready and prepared to be strong in the dentist’s chair now a few steps away. The air was beautiful, you know that clean, cool perfection that mornings always bring. I even thought I saw a bud or two as I walked past a small bush. And then, then I heard the strains, powerful music filtering through the beauty of the morning. The Stars Spangled Banner from the US Naval station a road or three away wafted neathe the crystalline skies; it stopped me in my tracks. I stood for a moment consuming the energy of the song; looked at my watch; I strode in. Everybody was smiling. They heard it too.
 
The weathermen keep regaling us with higher temperature reports, but the ocean here keeps us cool sometimes into June. In the meantime I’ve postponed stowing the fleece.
 
I look for news and rarely find much that is truly worth reporting, even for my meager headline segment. The Malaysian plane was real news for what – two days. Anything North Korea does is news that should be reported because the leader appears to be so maniacally unpredictable. But, killings in the Middle East are like litter violations here. There are sad little incidents like yesterday when the older Australian women out for her morning swim was killed by a shark. Or the nice little piece of news about Boston firemen finding the wedding ring for the wife of the husband killed. The point here is that there is so much bogus information out there and so many media outlets to report it, that it gets tougher and tougher to be fresh.  Maybe I’ll just start making up stuff about Obama.
 
The Question:
Eddie Murphy was a genuinely funny guy, but some of his newer films have been less that successful. Name five of the good Eddie Murphy movies.
 
The Headlines:
--Another Fort Hood Shooter Kills 4, Wounds 16; Ivan Lopez Was There Being Treated For Mental Illness.
--US New Jobless Claims Jump up 16K To 326,000; Analysts Awaiting Report On New Jobs Added In March – Expected To Be Higher Than Forecast 200K; Market Strong At Opening..
--US state department Concerned Over Choice Of Iran’s UN Ambassador; Hamid Aboutalebi Is Hardliner, Former Member Of Group that Took Over US Embassy.
--7.6 After Shock Keeps Nerves On Edge In Chile.
--FBI Reports Nothing Unusual Found In Malaysia Plane Pilot‘s Simulator.
--NASA Suspends Dealings With Russia Space Program.
--Former CIA Boss Morell Tap Dances Around Questions From Congress Benghazi Investigative Panel.
--US Trade Deficit Climbs 7.7% in Feb.
 
If you want to know what the future of TV is going to be all about, consider that Amazon Prime just outbid Netflix for the streaming of “24”.  And, it won’t be long until we all feel the new economics of this emerging, sure to be dangerous entertainment industry…until the next development changes everything, again.
 
The Voice is forging on with what appears to this tin ear to be a high level of talent. American Idol on the other hand have some contestants who just continually sing out of tune. Take AI’s CJ Harris, a nice guy with a great smile, good looking behind his guitar; the trouble begins when he opens his mouth. I like Alex Preston and at times Jessica Meuse and Jena Iren. I thought Dexter Roberts was pretty good last night, but may not be popular with the voters. Caleb Johns is good but he needs to enter the no screech zone at least once. I’m going for the bottom three of CJ, Sam Woolf and Malaya Watson (She seems like a nice person, but an irritating entertainer.) I would vote off lackluster Sam, but maybe it’s time for CJ to go.  Oh yeah, I started this Tidlet talking about the Voice. Right now there are just too many left for me to embrace and get selective. I like too many of them. Actually, I get so engrossed in the many great performances that forget to remember names. But, I’m getting there.
 
Red Sox Prez Larry Luchino has always been a huge Obama fan. So Far I’ve been able to suppress that inconsistency that could muddy my love affair with the Boston team. But now, it may be out of control. The radio ads promoting the Sox have started featuring the words President Obama spoke at the White House yesterday during a team visit. Say it ain’t true, J.D. Drew.
 
I remember back in the eighties two guys and me traipsing down to a large investment banker on Wall Street to raise money for a Publishing venture we were starting. The slicker than I operatives liked the package but not the idea that we only made money from advertising as a opposed to also  paying subscriptions. Today, investors don’t think twice about dumping billions onto advertising only revenue companies like Google, FaceBook or Candy Crush. Just wait, felt poodle skirts and skinny ties will come back too.
 
Conspiracy Book, Department:
The first Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan was a psychiatrist. The second fort Hood shooter Ivan Lopez was there for treatment of mental illness. Now I’m thinking Manchurian candidate, where Hasan implants post hypnotic suggestions that are triggered by certain movements in Joe Biden’s eyes
 
I see where Putin just divorced his wife of 30 years. No wonder he rode bare-chested. He was a living moving presidential billboard.
 
I should be playing golf today. Unfortunately I’m still winding down all of those activities that have kept me busy during the Winter. And that doesn’t count all of the different geezer groups where I’ve become a participant.
 
The US has spent more time, money and energy trying to put a Palestine-Israel peace together. We’re at it again, and Kerry is dismayed that the two countries continue to put up roadblocks to his initiatives – measures that are favorable to each of the two adversaries. Personally I think it is a conundrum, not the acrimony between the foes, but why we keep going back and back, ignoring history and the personal beliefs of each of the countries.
 
European conservatives led by Marine le Pen is now targeting the European Parliament for gains similar to those they have made in France. There is a growing feeling among citizens of Europe that the EU is gaining too much power, interfering with long held nationalistic traditions. Personally, I think it is something to watch.  It stirs my heart to see people not sitting back at larger government encroachment.
 
The Answer:
Everybody loved Eddie in the Beverly Hills cops series. I liked him in Trading Places. He also garnered fans for 48 Hours, Coming to America, The Golden Child, Best Defense, The Distinguished Gentleman, The Nutty Professor and many voice over’s, especially the Donkey in Shrek. To me, he was one of those rare characters who can light up the screen merely by being there creating anticipation.
 
I like the Fox 5-6 PM program, “The Five”. Fox is a classic example (MSNBC, CNN too) of the problem of so little real news. After an hour of the Five, every succeeding program pretty much says the same thing.
 
I have no late breaking news bulletins.