Author Topic: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...  (Read 1138669 times)

vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #30 on: November 07, 2007, 01:55:00 pm »
G.M. Posts Its Biggest Quarterly Loss
                 
 By NICK BUNKLEY and MICHELINE MAYNARD
 Published: November 7, 2007
 
 DETROIT, Nov. 7 ‚?? General Motors reported a nearly $39 billion third-quarter loss today, its largest ever, after it took a huge noncash charge to write down deferred tax credits.
 
 That's not a typo...
 
 The analysts can say what they want, but I still contend the single largest reason the US Automakers are struggling is because of their insistence on making bigger cars despite not heeding the warnings of an upcoming oil crisis years ago.  They are so far behind the game on fuel efficient cars that it may be too late to save them with out (1) major overhaul and (2) government bailout.
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vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2007, 03:28:00 pm »
OK, who is this guy and what did you do with the REAL leader of France?
 
 Sarkozy Greeted Warmly by Congress
 By ELAINE SCIOLINO
 Published: November 7, 2007
 
 WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 ‚??President Nicolas Sarkozy of France was greeted with cheers and standing ovations in the United States Congress today, a sign that France was forgiven for opposing the American-led war in Iraq. (SMACK: or because "they were right and we were wrong")
 
 In a speech to a joint meeting of Congress ‚?? a rare honor for a visiting head of state ‚?? Mr. Sarkozy spoke of his love of the American dream and the cultural icons of the 20th century, from Elvis Presley and John Wayne to Ernest Hemingway and Marilyn Monroe.
 
 He expressed admiration for Martin Luther King Jr. He thanked the United States for saving France in two world wars, rebuilding Europe with the Marshall Plan and fighting communism during the Cold War.(SMACK: a long over due thank you)
 
 When he called France ‚??the friend of the United States of America,‚?Ě the hall, packed with lawmakers, many of whom only a few years ago held France in disdain, burst into applause.(SMACK: be careful, the world might be coming to an end)
 
 More Glorious Adoration of the new leader of France, his thoughts on Iran, Trusting Europe and Climate Control...
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sweetcell

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #32 on: November 07, 2007, 04:00:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by vansmack:
 He expressed admiration for Martin Luther King Jr. He thanked the United States for saving France in two world wars, rebuilding Europe with the Marshall Plan and fighting communism during the Cold War.(SMACK: a long over due thank you)
hopefully posting that made you feel better.
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vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2007, 05:37:00 pm »
Sweetcell, you have no idea....
 
 On to other things:
 
 So we surveyed 15 general managers, assistants and other assorted personnel at the Hyatt Grand Cypress for their thoughts on the following five questions. Here are the results:
 
 1. Where do you expect Alex Rodriguez to be playing next year?
 
 Responses: Los Angeles Angels, 7.5; New York Mets, 3; Los Angeles Dodgers, 2.5; Baltimore Orioles, 1; Florida Marlins, 1.
 
 2. Where do you expect Barry Bonds to be in 2008?
 
 Responses: Oakland Athletics, 3; Texas Rangers, 2; Seattle, 2; Los Angeles Angels, 1; St. Louis Cardinals, 1; New York Yankees, 1; Tokyo Yomiuri Giants, 1.
 
 Three respondents predicted that Bonds will retire, and one executive said he'll be "in jail."
 
 I was not that GM, but if I were a GM, in jail would have been my response.
 
 More of Crasnick Surveying the MLB Landscape...
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sweetcell

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2007, 04:27:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by Brianna Wallace:
     
Quote
Originally posted by sweetcell:
  megan - i apologize for making fun of your inability to identify guitar talent, or decent music in general.  very un-gentlemanly on my part.  i suggest that i make it up to you the next time you're in NYC, by taking you out to dinner and a show, maybe some clubbing afterwards.  no, really, it's the least i can do.  just let me know the next time you're in town.  p.s. feel free to wear that miniskirt you wore in transformers.  thanks.
Keep dreaming, fanboy.  You think you can say all those mean things about me, just apologize and offer me dinner and a show?  Ha!  Why would I hang out with YOU when I could hang out with REAL musicians like Pete Wentz and Gerard Way?
 
 Megan [/b]
fair enough - given your definition, i'll hang out with REAL women like Jessica Rabbit and Lara Croft, in the meantime.
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vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2007, 09:51:00 pm »
Cardinal's Sued Over STD Text Message
 
 ST. LOUIS -- An Illinois woman is suing the St. Louis Cardinals for allowing a text message that falsely suggested her daughter has a sexually transmitted disease to be posted on the ballpark's message board during a game.
 
 The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court, claims the 17-year-old girl was so traumatized by the message last year during a class trip that she stayed out of school the rest of the semester and took her finals in a school office to avoid ridicule.
 
 The lawsuit seeks at least $25,000 in damages from the Cardinals, alleging the ballclub negligently failed to properly screen the messages, which fans may submit for a small fee to display on Busch Stadium's electronic message board.
 
 Linky...
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sweetcell

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2007, 10:32:00 pm »
next time i'm at busch stadium, i'm texting to the message board "SMACKIE NEEDS A BLOG".
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HoyaSaxa03

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2007, 10:43:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by vansmack:
  Cardinal's Sued Over STD Text Message
 
the real news here is that 48,000 people showed up to watch the royals play ... way to bury the lead, AP!
(o|o)

vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #38 on: November 09, 2007, 11:57:00 am »
In a rare occurence, I'm lecturing this morning in an international relations course on the situation in Pakistan.  In a previous career I worked with Pakistani lawyres and judges to help modernize their 1991 constitution, efforts that were quashed with Musharraf's coup.  
 
 Lucky for you, I will share my Cliff Notes so you don't have to take the course.  You will not be graded or tested on the following material.  You will simply be able to sound like you know what you're talking about at a cocktail party this weekend.
 
 PAKISTAN ‚?? You should care more about this particular country‚??s civil unrest than the others occuring today for one reason ‚?? they have the bomb!
 
 Players:
 General Pervez Musharraf (Self-Appointed President, head of the Army)
 Benazir Bhutto (former Prime Minister ‚?? 80‚??s and 90‚??s)
 Nawaz Sharif (former Prime Minister ‚?? 90‚??s)
 Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry (Chief Justice 2000‚??s)
 
 
 In 1998, while Pakistan was at war with India over the Kashmir region, Pakistan tested a nuclear weapon.  The Clinton administration and the UN immediately imposed economic sanctions on Pakistan.  In 1999, General Pervez Musharraf, attacked Indian forces in Kargil (part of Kashmir), according to then Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, Musharraf did this on his own authority.
 
 In October of 1999, under pressure from the US Government to seek a diplomatic end to the Kashmir conflict, Sharif tried to replace Musharraf as head of the Army while he was out of the country.  Unfortunately for Sharif, the Army was loyal to Musharraf, cleared the airport of Sharif‚??s police forces and allowed Musharraf to return to Pakistan.  Musharraf promptly suspended the Constitution in the Coup, declared himself Chief Executive of Pakistan and promised elections ‚??soon.‚?Ě   Sharif was then sent to exile in Saudi Arabia.
 
 In 2001, without an election, Musharraf declared himself President of Pakistan so that he could represent Pakistan‚??s interests in meeting with India over the future of the Kashmir region (and how two nuclear powers who distrust each other will live next to each other).  This angered the judges, who forced Musharraf to hold elections by Oct 2002.  An interesting world event occurred on the way to those elections:  Sept 11, 2001.
 
 In preparing the attack of Afghanistan, the Bush administration called the former US ally (they had sent troops to the previous gulf war) and asked them which side they were on: the terrorists or those fighting the terrorists?  Musharraf declared his support for the anti-terrorist forces in early 2002 and upset the Islamic western half of his country, known to be friendly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda (Osama Bin Laden is suspected of still being in the western tribal region of Pakistan).   The Bush Adminsitration promptly lifted many sanctions against the Musharraf led Pakistan and supplied the government with between $4-$10 Billion of military aid to fight Al Qaeda in the western region.
 
 In April, Musharraf, on the heels of this anti-terrorism pronouncement, held a referendum to ask the people to extend his term as Presidency for 5 years.  The legality of the referendum was questioned and the vote itself was seen as fraudulent.  Musharraf, under international political pressure, apologized for the referendum and held elections in October of 2002.  Pro-Musharraf parties then elected Musharraf as President of Paksitan while the opposition parties sat the elections questioning the legality of Musharraf running for President.
 
 Fast forward five years, and Musharraf‚??s term is coming to an end.  This time the lawyers and the judges were prepared to fight Musharraf on Constitutional grounds, namely that the Pakistani Constitution forbids a standing member of the Army from running for the office of the President.  In March of this year, Musharraf relieved Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry from his duties as Chief Justice, hoping to appoint a judge sympathetic to Musharraf.  This sent the lawyers and the judges to the streets in protest and Musharraf relented.  The Supreme Court then reiterated that Musharraf could not be President and in the Army at the same time.  At question was whether or not he could run for President while in the Army -  so Musharraf ran for President promising to step down if he was elected.  The Supreme Court allowed the election withholding their decision on the legality of Musharraf‚??s run for office until Nov. 15.  In the meantime, Sharif attempted to return to Pakistan to announce his candidacy for the office, however, on the runway, he was charged with corruption while in office and promptly returned to Saudi Arabia.
 
 Another former Prime Minister returned to Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto.  She had been in self exile avoiding her own corruption charges.  The exact agreement between her and Musharraf is in question, however, Musharraf allowed her to return with immunity.  The speculation is possibly one of two things:  (1) she has the popular support that Musharraf does not have and possibly promised her the Prime Minister role if she helped him get re-‚??elected‚?Ě to the Presidency or (2) under the previous guise Msuharraf allowed her back in the country, planned her assassination in order to frame the extremists so that he can declare a state of emergency and maintain power.
 
 Well, an assassination attempt on Bhutto failed (Musharraf is not letting international police organizations help with the investigation as to who attempted to assassinate Bhutto) and remember that Supreme Court decision?  The Supreme Court attempted to beat Musharraf to the State of Emergency by announcing the decision on the legality of his candidacy on the 5th instead of the 15th.  Musharraf caught wind of this announcement and, as you‚??ve seen this past week, Musharraf declared a State of Emergency, suspended the constitution and the elections, rounded up approximately 5,000 judges (including the Supreme Court Justice and those in his court not loyal to Musharraf), lawyers, and political party heads.  The lawyers then took the streets in calculated protests (as a lawyer, I don‚??t think I‚??ve ever been more proud of the profession then I was earlier in the week to see them defy Musharraf and his police, putting themselves in grave danger on behalf of the pro-democracy people in Pakistan).  Musharraf promised (again) to hold new elections in Feb and that he would (again) step down as head of the Army.  The international community said that they were going to let Pakistan sort this out until there was mass public protest.  Bhutto then organized a mass protest for this morning, however Musharraf squashed it, put Bhutto under house arrest for ‚??her safety‚?Ě and blockade the protesters in Bhutto‚??s home city.   Bhutto promises to attempt to take to the streets again with her supporters next week.
 
 So for the first time since the perestroika, a nuclear nation is experiencing civil unrest, and while it‚??s an exciting time in Pakistan, it‚??s a frightening time for the rest of the world, especially with Al Qaeda prominently in the country.
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godsshoeshine

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2007, 12:05:00 pm »
is it not surprising that it has taken so long for the unrest to occur? i remember dire predictions right after 9/11
o/\o

vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2007, 01:11:00 pm »
Quote
Originally posted by god's shoeshine:
  is it not surprising that it has taken so long for the unrest to occur? i remember dire predictions right after 9/11
Well, let's remember that Pakistan is an extremely divided country, so it always seems as though they are on the brink of some catastrophic collapse.  The root, of course, being how to mix Shariah law and democracy (which is what I was there to work on).
 
 After 9/11, Musharraf shocked (nearly) everybody by announcing his support for pro-western forces, and while that alienated the islamic-extreme western half of his country, it was likely a point of unison for the rest of the country (who actually vote).  It was thought that by embracing democracy (and it's allies) Pakistan might turn the corner.  It was how he went about maintaining that power that upset those he united with his pro-western stance, and got him where he's at now.
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vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2007, 03:55:00 pm »
High School Football
 
 For those of you that have the Sports Packages with their cable/satellite TV, I welcome you enjoy the battle of Orange County tonight on FSN West/Prime Ticket between my alma mater (Servite) and Smackette's alma mater (Mater Dei) at 7:30pm PT.  Over 20,000 people will be in attendance and the game is held at Anaheim Stadium, the only stadium big enough to house the game in The OC.
 
 For the record, my school hasn't beaten Smackette's school since I was a Freshman (when she was in 3rd grade), but I have a good feeling about tonight!
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vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2007, 01:08:00 pm »
Matt Barkley
 
 Remember the name.  I've seen a lot of great QB's play in high school - Matt Leinart, Carson Palmer, Tom Brady, Todd Marinovich, Jimmy Clausen - and as a Junior, his arm strength beats them all.  By the time he gets to USC (if Pete Carroll is still there), he will be the most experienced high school QB of all time (4 year starter at Mater Dei - currently USA Today #19 in the nation).
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vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2007, 01:34:00 pm »
Democrats: Colleges must police copyright, or else
 
 New federal legislation says universities must agree to provide not just deterrents but also "alternatives" to peer-to-peer piracy, such as paying monthly subscription fees to the music industry for their students, on penalty of losing all financial aid for their students.
 
 The U.S. House of Representatives bill (PDF), which was introduced late Friday by top Democratic politicians, could give the movie and music industries a new revenue stream by pressuring schools into signing up for monthly subscription services such as Ruckus and Napster. Ruckus is advertising-supported, and Napster charges a monthly fee per student.
 
 More on the worst idea ever....
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vansmack

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Re: Things Smackie Thinks You Need to Know...
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2007, 08:50:00 pm »
I swear, if you don't read anything else I post, at least read all of this one (and I'm posting it all!).  I have been preaching this for years and somebody finally got around to saying it!
 
 November 14, 2007
 Op-Ed Columnist
 Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda
 By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
 
 Two dates ‚?? two numbers. Read them and weep for what could have, and should have, been. On Sept. 11, 2001, the OPEC basket oil price was $25.50 a barrel. On Nov. 13, 2007, the OPEC basket price was around $90 a barrel.
 
 In the wake of 9/11, some of us pleaded for a ‚??patriot tax‚?Ě on gasoline of $1 or more a gallon to diminish the transfers of wealth we were making to the very countries who were indirectly financing the ideologies of intolerance that were killing Americans and in order to spur innovation in energy efficiency by U.S. manufacturers.
 
 But no, George Bush and Dick Cheney had a better idea. And the Democrats went along for the ride. They were all going to let the market work and not let our government shape that market ‚?? like OPEC does.
 
 You‚??d think that one person, just one, running for Congress or the Senate would take a flier and say: ‚??Oh, what the heck. I‚??m going to lose anyway. Why not tell the truth? I‚??ll support a gasoline tax.‚?Ě
 
 Not one. Everyone just runs away from the ‚??T-word‚?Ě and watches our wealth run away to Russia, Venezuela and Iran.
 
 I can‚??t believe that someone could not win the following debate:
 
 REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: ‚??My Democratic opponent, true to form, wants to raise your taxes. Yes, now he wants to raise your taxes at the gasoline pump by $1 a gallon. Another tax-and-spend liberal who wants to get into your pocket.‚?Ě
 
 DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: ‚??Yes, my opponent is right. I do favor a gasoline tax phased in over 12 months. But let‚??s get one thing straight: My opponent and I are both for a tax. I just prefer that my taxes go to the U.S. Treasury, and he‚??s ready to see his go to the Russian, Venezuelan, Saudi and Iranian treasuries. His tax finances people who hate us. Mine would offset some of our payroll taxes, pay down our deficit, strengthen our dollar, stimulate energy efficiency and shore up Social Security. It‚??s called win-win-win-win-win for America. My opponent‚??s strategy is sit back, let the market work and watch America lose-lose-lose-lose-lose.‚?Ě If you can‚??t win that debate, you don‚??t belong in politics.
 
 ‚??Think about it,‚?Ě says Phil Verleger, an energy economist. ‚??We could have replaced the current payroll tax with a gasoline tax. Middle-class consumers would have seen increased take-home pay of between six and nine percent, even though they would have had to pay more at the pump. A stronger foundation for future economic growth would have been laid by keeping more oil revenue home, and we might not now be facing a recession.‚?Ě
 
 As a higher gas tax discouraged oil consumption, the Harvard University economist and former Bush adviser N. Gregory Mankiw has argued: ‚??the price of oil would fall in world markets. As a result, the price of gas to [U.S.] consumers would rise by less than the increase in the tax. Some of the tax would in effect be paid by Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.‚?Ě
 
 But U.S. consumers would have known that, with a higher gasoline tax locked in for good, pump prices would never be going back to the old days, adds Mr. Verleger, so they would have a much stronger incentive to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles and Detroit would have had to make more hybrids to survive. This would have put Detroit five years ahead of where it is now. ‚??It‚??s called the America wins program,‚?Ě said Mr. Verleger, ‚??instead of the petro-states win program.‚?Ě
 
 We simply cannot go on being as dumb as we wanna be. If you hate the war in Iraq, then you want a gasoline tax so you can argue that we can pull out of there without remaining dependent on an even more unstable region. If you want to see us negotiate with Iran, not bomb it, you want a gasoline tax that will give us some real leverage by helping to reduce the income of the ayatollahs.
 
 If you‚??re a conservative and you believed that the Iraq war was necessary to drive reform in the Middle East, but the war has failed to do that and we need ‚??Plan B‚?Ě for the same objective, you want a gasoline tax that will reduce the flow of wealth to petrolist leaders who will never change if all they have to do is drill well holes rather than educate and empower their people.
 
 If you want to see America thrive by becoming the most energy productive economy in the world ‚?? a title that now belongs to Japan, which doesn‚??t have a drop of oil in its soil ‚?? you want a gasoline tax, which will only spur U.S. innovation in energy efficiency.
 
 President Bush squandered a historic opportunity to put America on a radically different energy course after 9/11. But considering how few Democrats or Republicans are ready to tell the people the truth on this issue, maybe we have the president we deserve. I refuse to believe that, but I‚??m starting to doubt myself.
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