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The Cody Blog: April 2005

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Denim is the New Black

I'd worn a suit only a handful of times and didn't even own a dress jacket, much less a suit, when I moved to NYC from New Mexico nine years ago. Spent about 10% of all the money I brought with me to this city for my first suit -- a classic blue Hugo Boss for 500 bucks from Bloomie's.

On top of that, I had to essentially replace my entire chillin' wardrobe over the course of the first year or two. Not an easy task, given I had NO spare money that first year and a half -- took my first job at Starbucks after I realized all those jobs I'd been reading about in the NYTimes classified were for cold-callers...not that I knew what that meant at the time, I could just tell after the first couple interviews that I didn't want to work with those places... I digress though.

See, the problem was that I wore mostly jeans and had very few black items at all. Meanwhile, you had to go out in black or something hip/urban in NYC in the late 1990s, you know? Anything less than hardcore urban just wouldn't work.

Fast forward to 2005, and denim is truly back. Hardcore urban ain't what it used to be. And denim to a classical concert at Carnegie Hall? Did it last Friday. Denim to a club in Downtown NYC? Fit right in last month.

Gotta love those jeans. Ironically, last year, I ventured into the Hugo Boss store here in NYC for the first time a few years. Bought myself, among other things, a pair of Hugo jeans. Bought an identical second pair today cuz I like 'em so much. Full circle, huh?

Denim is the new black. I'm gonna go out into this rainy evening wearing....yup, jeans.

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Cody News (April 29, 2005)

9 car bombings kill dozens in Iraq CBC - Newfoundland & Labrador - BAGHDAD - At least 24 people were killed in Iraq Friday after nine car bombings rocked Baghdad and a nearby town. Eighty-nine people, mostly Iraqi police and security officers, were injured in the attacks. ...These mofos are out of control.

Bush pushes Social Security, energy ideas CNN - WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush told reporters that he backs a Social Security proposal in which benefits for low-income workers would increase faster than those for wealthier Americans, saying that would solve most of the system's funding problems. ...
A total McGuffin. Social security is neither social nor secure (it's socialized, yes, but not social. and it's a terrible drag on our economy, making us less secure, not more.)
Read this for more from me on this topic: Social Security 4/29/05 11:47 AM ET

Akbar gets death sentence Allentown Morning Call - "it is the unanimous decision of us all that you should be put to death,'' the jury foreman said. The 34-year-old Akbar, who earlier in the day pleaded for forgiveness, did not react. A gasp rose from the families of Seifert and Air Force Maj. ...
Hell yeah. This evil mofo forfeited his right to live when he killed those men

Studies: Vitamin D and Calcium Won't Prevent Fractures National Ledger - Two new unrelated studies are claiming that Vitamin D and calcium supplements -- the inexpensive options for good bone health -- may be ineffective in the prevention of fractures of the elderly. For those ... .
I can anecdotally confirm this to be the case. I had cereal for breakfast and a glass of milk every day after school and again before bed growing up. In high school, after hitting my 15th broken bone, I even added calcium supplements. Hit #18 before I graduated HS. The doctor always told me, it wasn't a calcium problem nor a problem with my bones at all. He said I was just too psycho and had no concept of fear from pushing myself too far physically.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Cody News (April 28, 2005)

Missile seller guilty of aiding terrorism NorthJersey.com - By AMY KLEIN. After just seven hours of deliberations, a federal jury Wednesday found a British national guilty of illegally smuggling a shoulder-fired missile into Newark to shoot down airplanes. The verdict ...
They should just let him go. Or maybe they can spend millions upon millions for therapy for Hemant Lakhani.

New Berlusconi government approved ROME, Italy (CNN) -- Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has won parliamentary approval for a new government, ending a week-long political crisis that followed an embarrassing defeat in regional elections. ...
Probably would have been best for the Italian economy if the government had just shut itself down for a while.

Nokia takes aim at iPod marketVNUNet.com - 40 minutes agoNokia is hoping for a piece of the lucrative music player market with a handset capable of holding 4GB of songs and downloading on the fly.
iPod killer? Nah.

Woodpecker Thought Extinct RediscoveredWashington Post - 1 hour agoThe ivory-billed woodpecker, thought to be extinct, has reportedly been sighted in eastern Arkansas, a Cornell University researcher says in a paper released Thursday.
Millions of species go extinct every year with or without the influence of man. Still, very bitchen that the re-found this pecker.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Coming Up Next

Be sure to check back on here in a bit for today's Cody News.

You ever watch these shows on ESPN Classic or VH1 or so many other channels where you get like 5 minutes of programming then they spend a full minute or two showing you what's coming up after the 3 minute commercial break. And of course, the clips they show were the same damn clips you saw when the show was advertised and/or starting.

I sit there the whole time wondering why the hell they keep wasting my time showing me the same thing over and over again.

Coming up next, by the way, I'll post today's Cody News.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

New Rules for Our Alphabet

Ever notice that consonants in the American English language can be primary, secondary, or tertiary?

S is always a primary at the beginning of a sound. Sit. Slow. Space. Strike. Etc.

P can be primary or secondary at the beginning of a sound: Pit. Spit. Splice.

L can be primary, secondary or tertiary: Lose. Slow. Split.

B and G are other examples of consonants that can only be primary.

You follow me?

Sigh, back to work for now, I guess.

Independently Injured

So I'm a pretty darn independent kinda guy. Part of that independence (strange concept that independence has "parts" that make up being "independent, such that independence depends on those parts. Therefore, independence isn't independent. I digress though), entails me living alone in NYC.

But I'll tell ya something, living alone with a busted ankle sucks. I mean, you never realize how hard life can be until you can't walk to get a soda. Even putting together a bag of ice for the ankle is a pain in the...ankle.

I suppose I could have called some friends to come over and help out some, but I didn't. I do have someone bringing over some crutches today though.

When I was a kid, and I'd break my arm or something, I'd always try to hide it from my father. Ironically, last night, he calls me up and says, "Mo, (that was my nickname long before "Wyoming"), your ankle doesn't look too bad in that picture. You've played basketball tournaments with both ankles swollen bigger than that at the same time. What's up with the whining?"

Touche, Pop, touche.

The Cody News (April 26, 2005)

StarPhoenixTogo opposition rejects vote CNN - LOME, Togo -- Togo's main opposition party has called on supporters to reject the results of presidential elections after the son of West African nation's longtime dictator was declared the winner. "We call ...

What an endless nightmare for Togo's citizens.

President Bush, Saudi Prince Discuss Oil PricesVoice of America - 1 hour agoBy Amy Katz. Concern is growing in the US - about escalating world oil prices - which are pushing up the price of gas here. So, when President George Bush met with oil-rich Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah ...
What a crock that our government supports those dictators in SA. Oh, I know they say that politically and logistically they have to support them. But, really, what if our so-called leaders hadn't ever and still didn't sell out to these corrupt dictators? Methinks the world would be a safer, richer, healthier, freer place.

Star Wars Coming To A Television Near You All Headline News - Indianapolis, Indiana (AHN)- George Lucas announced plans for two Star Wars TV series as the next step in his film franchise. The animated and live action series will not extend past the sixth and final installment ...
I hope these don't suck. So much potential.

Inventor Creates Soundless Sound System Associated Press
Elwood "Woody" Norris pointed a metal frequency emitter at one of perhaps 30 people who had come to see his invention. The emitter -- an aluminum square -- was hooked up by a wire to a CD player. Norris switched on the CD player...
How cool is that?

Finally, a sportsfan's (which I'm not really much of one, actually) video:

Monday, April 25, 2005

Flipping the Bases

Here's what I'm saying about base 10 vs. base 8 or 16. When you split 1 in base 10 it becomes .5. Split that and you get .25, then .125 and so on and so forth.

In base 8 if you were to split 1, it becomes .4 then .2,then .1.

You see the beauty and cleanliness of it? We only use base 10 cuz we have 10 fingers.

Same can be said of the stupid base 12 that we use for our time system. Should be a base 8 or 16 there too. If you do the math through, you can find several combinations in each base 8 or 16 that would entail seconds being roughly equal to the current standard second. Of course, our concept of hours would change somewhat. Wonder how much different our lives would be with a different time system. How long would a sit com go for? And that "hour lunch meeting"?

A Royal and Depressing Pain

I can still elevate, at least I could yesterday. It was so nice outside yesterday, and I couldn't resist the urge to go play some pick up despite my repeated claims of retirement from hooping. So in a good game of 2 on 2 with a couple of guys who could really play and one big galoofy dude who was okay, I drove by my man and went up to throw it down on the rim (for the record, the rim was an inch too low, IMHO). Anyway, the big galoofy dude undercut me and sorta' tackled me, I guess. I slammed into the ground and really fucked up my ankle...again.

I've shattered this same ankle twice as a teen. Used to have a screw in it and then a couple of pins. If we were in any other time and place in the hisory of the planet, I'd be crippled. In that sense, I suppose it goes back yet again to those immortal words from Joe Walsh:

"I can't complain, but sometimes I still do."

And this busted ankle sucks.

The Cody News (April 25, 2005)

Pope Benedict lightens up with German pilgrims Reuters.uk - Tom Heneghan and Robin Pomeroy. VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Grinning and cracking jokes, Pope Benedict on Monday shed the stress of his election and inauguration for a jubilant audience with several thousand fellow Germans at the Vatican. ... Are popes allowed to make jokes? Now that I think about it, I don't recall ever laughing at anything in the Bible.

P.S. Can't type that last word there without that song about spelling it getting caught in my head. "That's the book for me!"

Microsoft expected to ignite 64-bit computing USA Today - Byron Acohido and Michelle Kessler, USA TODAY. SEATTLE — Microsoft (MSFT) on Monday plans to make its biggest push yet to popularize 64-bit computing on everyday computers. At a conference here, Chairman ...
Ever since I learned about counting in other bases, I've held that we should be base 8 or base 16. Forget this base ten crap. Makes much more sense for numbers to be split in straight sets rather than always have to over-use decimals. You with me?

Twin survives abortion News24 - London - A 20-year-old Scottish woman is suing a hospital where she had an abortion in 2001 after one of her twins survived the operation. Stacy Dow, who is raising her now three-year-old daughter Jayde with ...
Fascinating ethical, moral, and legal implications around this one.

Tough for me to add much to this rant, which my boy, Brian, emailed me:
April 23, 2005
Rick Santorum's Price: $7,750
Angelica Oung argues that Senator Rick Santorum's price is only $7,750:
Ezra Klein: Cheap as well as nasty: By now we've all heard about Rick
Santorum's bill seeking to prevent the National Weather Service from
actually sharing weather forecasts with Americans. You see, that
'socialized weather' business has got to stop. It's taking the bread
right out of the mouths of private web-based forecast providers who
work so hard to make a profit by repackaging that information the NWS
just want to give away for free. One such firm is Accuweather, which
just so happens to be based in Pennsylvania, just like the good
senator. Fancy that.
[T]hroughout 2003 and 2004, both Joel and Barry Myers have donated
nearly $2,750 to Santorum's 2006 re-election efforts. Public records
also showed that since 1999, the Senator received nearly $5,000 in
contributions from AccuWeather executives, raising questions of whether
the company attempted to court favor with the Senator through campaign
Count it up...$2,750+$5,000=$7,750. For a blatant gimme bill introduced
in congress? That's what I call value!
The Republicans should be able to find a senate candidate in
Pennsylvania whose price is at least $100,000! Where are standards
these days?

You guys go ahead and vote for these sold-out partisan cronies. I'm done with the two party poltical system that puts people like this into power and incentivizes crony socialism like this.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Direction of The Cody Blog

Some really great feedback from my question about what this blog should be about. Seems people do like The Cody News and political commentary. A few music requests. And lots of requests for more about my day to day life and for more links to blogs and cool sites in general.

Seems like the upshot is that we got this thing going in the right direction.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Calling All Ideas for The Cody Blog

Sorry for being so MIA of late. I've got that whole hedge fund gig that happens to be my day (and night for that matter) job.

I'm trying to figure out what this blog should be about. You guys like The Cody News? The Cody Jams on Friday iMix write ups? Any other ideas?

Shoot me an email: cody@clwillard.com .

The Cody News (April 22, 2005)

China `Welcomes' Apology Made by Japanese PM Koizumi on War Bloomberg - 1 hour ago April 22 (Bloomberg) -- China welcomed comments made in Jakarta today by Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the pain his country inflicted on neighboring nations before and during World War II, a Chinese spokesman said. ... I don't really understand the compulsion to apologize for something one had nothing to do with. My parents and their parents have made plenty of mistakes and of course, I feel bad for anyone who ever gets hurt. But I can't apologize for something I had no control over.

I guess maybe since Koizumi represents Japan the apology is symbolic. Still doesn't quite sit right with me.

Sharon and Abbas to Meet Soon -Israeli PM's Office Reuters - 59 minutes ago JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet again soon, Sharon's office said on Friday. The announcement came in a statement after officials ...
Communication is such an important thing.

China follows path of peaceful development: President Xinhua - 1 hour ago JAKARTA, April 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao reaffirmed here on Friday that China will follow steadfastly its chosen path of peaceful development and commit itself to achieving common development with other countries in Asia and Africa. ...
Sure, it's peaceful as long as you succumb to the communist gun to your head. Property rights? Common sense law? Not in China.

The Duel for Dual Core ABC News - 43 minutes ago Our Desktop Lead Analyst puts AMD's dual-core processor to the test and compares it to Intel's solution. The duel is on: AMD and Intel have entered yet another processor race.
Nice pun.

Going long on Longhorn CNET News.com - 3 hours ago Getting time with Microsoft's Jim Allchin used to be as easy as gaining an audience with the pope. But these days Microsoft's No.
Not so impressive a pun.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Another White Pope

I'm disappointed that the Church chose a white pope again. I really thought there was a good chance at those rich, old, virgin, white guys deciding that it was time to make a strong anti-racism statement.

Sigh. Maybe this particular dude they chose really was the best choice for the job.

The Cody News (April 19, 2005)

Smoke to Announce New Pope Dates to 1800s

Newsday - By The Associated Press. Cardinals sequestered in the Sistine Chapel to elect a pope use an iron stove and its narrow metal chimney to announce their decision. Black smoke means they have failed; white smoke means they have succeeded. ...
Maybe companies can start announcing their results using smoke signals. White smoke means strong results, black smoke signals a blow up.

The WiMax quiet revolution: BT's on board

Silicon.com, UK - 27 minutes agoIntel's Mr WiMax – Scott Richardson, GM of the broadband wireless division – has been touting the possibilities of the long-range internet access ...

Funny how the article starts off talking about the industry people "touting" the technology....but it's a "quiet" revolution.

Researchers: Early universe liquid-like

Newsday, NY - BY BRYN NELSON. Brookhaven National Laboratory scientists said Monday that a new type of matter produced from a giant atom smasher ...


Happy People Are Healthier, Study Suggests

Scientific American - The song "Don't worry, be happy," could double as sound medical advice, the results of a new study suggest. Whereas previous research had linked depression with an increased incidence of health problems, the ...

Or should it be: "Healthy people are happier"?

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Cody News (April 18, 2005)

India, Pakistan Vows Better Economic Ties
ABC News - Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf takes a pause during a press conference at the conclusion of his three-day visit to India in New Delhi, Monday, April 18, 2005. The peace process between India and ...
What a great opportunity to improve the world.

When Push Comes to Shove
TIME - Xu Jin, a 29-year-old marketing executive in Shanghai, was fast asleep when the beep of her cell phone woke her up. It was a text message from her boss urging her to boycott Japanese goods from May 1-June ...
This is what I'm talking about. The incredible ever-connected status that cell phones, IMs, SMS, email, blogs, etc, propels society onto new, more stable, more prosperous foundation.

DeLay Heads To Friendly Territory
CBS News - (CBS/AP) Under fire for possible ethics violations, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay went home to Texas over the weekend for some much-needed support. DeLay found plenty of support in the audience at the National ...
Who in their right mind supports this guy? Another poster child for the end of the two party political system.

AOL sued for chat monitor's relationship with minor
Geek.com - America Online (AOL), whose recent marketing tactics have centered on the company's Internet security features, faces a lawsuit that may severely damage that reputation.
The accusers are taking a page out of the stupid RIAA sues P2P enablers playbook.

Friday, April 15, 2005

The Tax Code Is Evil

I don't mind paying taxes. At all, really. I'm not an anarchist and I believe that the government should raise money through taxation to pay for protecting its citizens.

That said, I am always apalled by the tax system we have in this country. What a crock that rich people use all these idiotic and special interest loop holes and tax breaks to get out of paying as high a percentage as middle-class people pay. And don't get me started on the use of tax breaks as incentives for things like protecting the environment (ie, "we'll pay you to stop breaking the law" -- yeah, that makes sense in a capitalist democracy).

Anyway, the Unknown Broker sent out another great piece today that I want to share:

Yesterday I mentioned that I get crotchety around tax time. I also observed that I believe there is something wrong with a tax system that is so complex that it requires people to hire someone -- at cost of hundreds or even thousands of dollars -- to simply file their taxes.

As for those who attempt to do their own taxes, it is estimated that it takes, on average 27 hours to accomplish the task.

And don’t count on the IRS for help. A recent study showed that phone-in requests for assistance resulted in incorrect answers 14% of the time. Dropping in to an IRS help center increased the odds of bum information to 33%. (Oh, and if their faulty information results in your making errors, you still have to pay any penalties and interest.) If it is so complicated and convoluted that the IRS itself can’t figure it out…what does that tell us?

I'm no Donald Trump, believe me. My taxes are, compared to wealthier folks with more complicated financial lives, relatively straightforward. Yet, the compilation of forms and schedules that I send to the IRS is ...well, not Tolstoy-ish in length, but it does rival the average Hemingway tome in thickness.

I've attached something interesting. The first 1040 income tax form, circa 1913.

Now a little history. There was, prior to 1913, a brief period during which taxes on personal income were levied. During the Civil War the federal government needed money to pay for the war, so Congress passed the Tax Act of 1862. Citizens who earned more than $600 were taxed 3 percent of their income, while people who earned more than $10,000 were taxed 5 percent.

However, most people didn't pay taxes. In 1870, only 276,661 people paid -- out of the approximately 38 million people who lived in the United States.

The Supreme Court declared the tax unconstitutional in 1872, because the Constitution says that Congress can impose taxes only in proportion to a state's population. The 16th Amendment was passed in 1913, giving Congress the right to tax Americans' incomes.

So that brings us back to the original income tax form from 1913. As you open the attached file and look at it you will note a few key things:

1. It is very short. Only 3 pages long and 1 page of instructions.
2. It is very simple. This is what my income is, these are the deductions I am allowed, here is the net amount, and here's how much tax I pay. Boom-boom-boom. Done and done.
3. Take a look at the tax rates.
Tax Rate 1913 Income Level
zero Up to $20,000
1% $20,000-50,000
2% $50,000-75,000
3% $75,000-100,000
4% $100,000-250,000
5% $250,000-500,000
6% Over $500,000

And note that there was no tax - zer0 -- until someone made $20,000 (which is the equivalent of about $340,000 in 2005 dollars)

And the worst case scenario – tax rate-wise in 1913: If you were making $500,000 (the equivalent of about $8.5 million in today's dollars) you paid the princely rate of 6%


Oh, and one final thought on the simplicity (or lack thereof) issue. In 1913, the entire tax code -- all of the policies, regulations, instructions, etc. fit in one small binder. Probably about the length of your own 2005 personal tax return.

Today there are over 1000 tax forms, schedules and publications, and the U.S. Tax Code is 25 volumes in length.


Admit it, you’re feeling a little grouchy right about now too aren’t you?

Yes, I am. And the collapsing stock market doesn't exactly help the mood.

The Cody News (April 15, 2005)

Two UN officials linked in oil-for-food complaintGlobe and Mail - United Nations — Two high-ranking UN officials have been cited in a US criminal complaint against a South Korean businessman who was at the centre of a 1970s congressional corruption scandal and is now accused of accepting millions of dollars from Iraq ...
I'm not sure there's an entity that does less but gets more respect than the UN. And this corruption crap just tops everything.

Media criticizes Chirac EU appeal
CNN International - PARIS, France -- French media has dismissed as unconvincing President Jacques Chirac's efforts to persuade his country to vote for the EU constitution in an upcoming referendum. Meanwhile Friday, campaigners ...
What happens if the EU falls apart? Probably not much near term, but the reduction of barriers that it brought is a major long term positive.

An American terrorist
Berkshire Eagle - Eric Robert Rudolph is an American terrorist. He set off bombs in public to hurt and kill innocent people in order to make a political point: to "confound, anger and embarrass" the United States government for its legal sanction of abortion. ...
Shame on the Berkshire Eagle for romanticizing a terrorist. This man is a cold-blooded horrible killer and should be villified as such.

CBS NewsDrinking water: More isn't always better
Boston Globe - By Linda A. Johnson, Associated Press April 15, 2005. Runners should think twice before reaching for that water bottle: A study confirms that drinking too much can be dangerous, even deadly, for endurance athletes. ...
Remember when we were supposed to put heat on injuries? And nowadays ice. No, wait, ice, then heat, then ice and heat again. Drink water -- no, don't drink water. And maybe use a leech or two.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A Short Story About Cleavage and Love

Funny stuff, no?

The Great and Powerful Stomach

My friend, the Unknown Broker (yes, the Unknown Broker is a real entity, sorta like the Lone Ranger), just sent me the following email:

You know how it works. I feel sick, I want to vomit. The market rallies.

(And an amusingly high percentage of the time it actually works out. Oh, you think it’s amusing do you? You enjoy my pain? You sadists. The things I endure for you people.)

Last time I did this (on March 29th at the close) the market rallied 130 the next day.

I’m at Adam’s apple level right now and feeling light-headed.

The Unknown Broker, aka “The Great and Powerful Belly”

Dow 10,309

P.S. Not to be construed as a recommendation. For entertainment purposes only. Remember the Bloch comments from earlier regarding support levels.

P.S.S. Still, my stomach is a sometimes a guru.

Speaking of the Lone Ranger -- why doesn't TVLand or Nick at Night or somebody pick that show up? Do we really need eight channels showing re-runs of Cheers back to back to back?

You Cody News (April 14, 2005)

RIAA Sues More Than 400 College Students Over Internet2 DownloadsMTV.com - 15 hours agoIn addition to downloading Web pages hundreds of times faster than the regular Internet, the Internet2 is apparently the fastest way to trade and download ...
The reaction I get when I defend RIAA's right to protect its property is crazy. Half the time people think that means I'm against the P2P networks -- I'm not! I'm 100% against RIAA going after the networks that enable theft. But I'm 100% for RIAA going after the thieves themselves.

US Businessman Believed Abducted in Iraq
Really sounds like a fascinating man: Businessman Jeffrey Ake routinely urged entrepreneurs to travel to other countries to pitch their products, once telling a group to think of foreign nations as "U.S. states with cultural nuances thrown in."

China-Japan Dispute Hits Cyberspace
Voice of America - by Luis Ramirez. The growing animosity between China and Japan has entered cyberspace, with Chinese Web sites calling for thousands to join new anti-Japanese demonstrations in the coming days. The protests ...
The Internet and the communication that it enables changes everything. The world will never be the same.

Kenyan Middle Distance Runner Becomes US Citizen
Voice of America - By VOA Sports. Lagat was the 1,500 meters silver medalist at last year's Athens Olympics and the bronze medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He also has run the second fastest time in history in the 1,500 meters of 3:26.34. ...
Clearly the rest of the world still hates the US and I can see why people say our country is falling behind/apart. Whatever.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

You Cody News (April 13, 2005)

Risk of identity theft soars
Silicon.com: Data broker LexisNexis said on Tuesday that personal information may have been stolen on 310,000 US citizens — nearly 10 times the number found in a data ... The downside of an ever more connected society. Protection and punishment by our government must be stepped up.

FDA panel rejects silicone implants
USA Today: By Rita Rubin, USA TODAY. GAITHERSBURG, Md. — A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel Tuesday voted 5-4 against recommending approval of a manufacturer's request to sell silicone-gel breast implants to any woman who wants them. ...
Flipping it fully -- why is the government involved in this process at all? First of all, the government's job is to punish crime not to regulate medicine. Second of all, breast implants are a frickin cosmetic choice -- do the women who choose to have one really want the government to protect them from themselves. It's ironic that many of the same people who are pro-life and say they support a women's right to choose -- support the FDA and the other government medical regulatory bodies. How about a women's right to choose her silicone implants?!

Tyson vows 'train wreck' in comeback
Globe and Mail: By HOWARD FENDRICH. WASHINGTON -- Mike Tyson hunched in his chair and tapped his nine-year-old daughter's hand while she rested her head on daddy's ample shoulder. Later, the heavyweight boxer once called "the ...
I watched a replay of Tyson's like 8th professional fight on ESPN Classic the other day. Holy train wreck in deed, Batman -- he was amazing and unstoppable. Like Michael Jackson though, nowadays they're just freaky.

Music to Bush's ears
News24: Washington - US President George W Bush's taste in music is the talk of the town after the playlist of his new iPod player was revealed. The president's daughters gave him one of the Apple music players last ...
I picture "G-Dub Jams on Friday"?! 10 Random Tunes from George -- get your iMix today.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Protectionism is the New Racism

I've been commenting on news about the closing our borders to both trade and people, and those comments have generated a lot of feedback and discussion. I want to delineate my stance on this important issue by drawing some parallels to another -ism that has so long hurt our planet, our societies and our economies.

Just 50 years ago, racism was widely accepted in our culture and racists were vocal in private and in public. Back in those antiquated days, how hard did it used to be for a black man in Harlem to interact with a Jew in the Upper East Side? How difficult did it used to be for a white cowboy in Mobile to connect with a Mexican dancer? They just didn’t converse, they didn’t communicate.

The barriers to upward mobility and economic/class freedom have fallen today in large part because we communicate with others so easily. Racism itself has become a widely accepted evil – nobody with a brain in the US today thinks it’s okay to be racist. And those who want to talk and act racist can only do so in the shadows and out of the light. And it’s extremely noteworthy that it’s not because the government has outlawed racism. No, in fact the backlash against racism as an accepted belief system has eroded along along with barriers to communicating with others. Communication begets learning and learning begets knowledge and knowledge begets understanding – and all of this begets friendship and community.

Today a black woman is a likely front runner for the Presidency of the most powerful country in the history of the planet and a black man is a front runner for the Pope! The end of mass racism is nigh.

If you look back at how racists used to rationalize their beliefs, they often centered around economics. “Those niggers take our jobs,” so said the white supremists for oh so many years. Of course, the reality is that widespread upward mobility allows for economies to grow, which in turn creates value and wealth for everyone who’s willing to partake in the economy. It’s not a sum zero game. It’s a virtuous cycle of growth and value.

Rather ironic that we allow our government to continue to put up trade barriers and fight outsourcing and so tightly limit immigration to this country. Protectionism is the new racism.

The communication revolution will erode this barrier too over the coming decades.

You Cody News (April 12, 2005)

Trade Deficit Grows Larger
It's not a trade deficit -- it's a capital surplus. And besides who cares? It's earnings that matter and this is a measure of revenues -- not earnings. The US runs a giant earnings surplus.

Clinton gives $10m to Aids kids
Wonder if that's some of the money he and Hillary made from corrupt land deals or options trading.

Israel's plans for West Bank homes focus of US ire
If it ain't yours, don't take it. Amazing that sometimes our so-called leaders here in the US get something right.

Putin Says He Will Not Seek Another Term in 2008
This shocks me. I really think that Putin's been trying to establish himself as an absolute ruler. I'll believe it when I see him step down from power in 2008 then.

Cloned Cows' Milk, Beef Up to Standard
Fascinating. Count me in. Reminds me of how we all live decades longer eating all the chemicals and preservatives that everyone wants to pretend is bad for us.

Monday, April 11, 2005

You Cody News (April 11, 2005)

Procedure put in motion for secret election of pope
VATICAN CITY - The death of Pope John Paul II triggered a carefully scripted ritual that will culminate in the election of a new leader for the world's 1 ...
We live in a time when a black man or another non-white really might be the next Pope! Wow, what a wondrous time to be alive!

Survey: We're Learning To Live with Spam

Fifty-three percent of adult e-mail users in the US say they trust e-mail less because of spam, down from 62 percent a year ago and about the same as a June 2003 Pew survey. Pew also found that 22 percent ...

No -- we're not! This stuff is a crime and should be punished. (Dammit!)

Related topic:
Spammer Gets 9-Year Sentence
A Virginia Court gave Jeremy Jaynes, who was convicted of sending bulk emails with spoofed addresses, a nine-year sentence on Friday. However, because of an appeals process and by the Judge's recommendation ...
Burn, baby, burn.

Computer Keyboards Spread More Than Words
April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Harmful bacteria can linger on computer keyboards in hospitals, making it easy for the germs to spread to patients, a new study finds. To combat the problem, a research ... I've gotten to be rather manic about washing my hands in the last few years. This reminds me why.
I've gotten to be rather obsessive about hand-washing in the last few years. This reminds me why.

Pakistan says embassy official was kidnapped in Iraq for money
Radio Australia - 30 minutes agoAbida Bibi holds a family photo of her kidnapped husband, Malik Javed, as his mother weeps by her side. [AFP]. The Pakistani foreign office says an embassy official who was kidnapped in Iraq at the weekend appears to have been abducted for ransom.
Ah, yes, money -- the foundation of Islam ideals...right?

Friday, April 08, 2005

CNBC Monday Morning

Hey, I'll be on CNBC's Squawk Box Monday morning, bright and early at 7:15 EST.

Be square or be there (flip it, baby!)

A Random Pic That Got Thru My Spam Filter

I feel so comfortable ordering drugs from a woman in a nightie. Vicodin, Valium -- mmm, mmm, good stuff!

You Cody News (April 8, 2005)

Google's changing the world, people.

Death Toll from Cairo Bazaar Bomb Rises to Three
Terrorists trying to kill the economic base of the world. F them.

Hostage Reunited With Family in Oklahoma
Some wacky stuff. He "brainwashed her into staying"?

Royal Wedding Guests to Stay Under 30
I had no idea that I was included on such an exclusive guest list. How nice of them.

MTV unveils web channel
Broadcast is dead.

Related columns by moi on the topic
Video Spurred the DVR Wars
Book Time With Internet Advertisers
The Death of Commercials
Getting Armed for the Digital Content Wars
Video Revolution Won't Be Televised
Unbundling Content Will Prove a Net Joy

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Getting Perspective on the Schiavo Ordeal

Great write up from Robert Friedman at the St. Petersburg Times.

I'm down -- I'm having my attorney write this up for living will verbatim.

You Cody News (April 7, 2005)

Iraq Inaugurates First Non-Arab President in Modern Times
You do realize that we live in a time where an Arab country has elected a non-Arab to lead it and a black woman is one of the front runners for the Republican nomination in 2008. Wow, what a wondrous time to be alive!

"Toumai" is indeed oldest known hominid
We've sure come a long way.

Sony 'brain beam' patent
What reality?

IBM promotes opening up of IP
IBM flipping it when it comes to how to use intellectual property. Fascinating.

NY AG Buys Google Ads On Keywords Of Company He's Investigating
That's just wrong. At least we can clearly acknowledge that his fervent activity as an AG was in large part a stepping stone to a political career -- positive ramifations of his activity notwithstanding.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

You Cody News (April 6, 2005)

US tightens borders
I'm sure that's what our founding fathers had in mind -- keep out the foreigners. Or not.

Leaving US? Passport may be needed to get back in
Yeah, better make sure us citizens have our papers! Heaven forbid we move about freely.

Spears' home movies to be UPN series
Oh great, just when I've bashed and given up on reality TV, Britney's coming out with her own show? Like I'm going to be able to avoid watching at least one episode thinking to myself: "How can someone so hot be so annoying?"

The EU directive banning vitamins declared illegal
This is the slippery slope we end up on when the govt tries to protect citizens from themselves.

Finally, you've read my thoughts on Pillowman.
Meet Hollowman.

How about spring finally arriving in NYC? Rock on!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Still Fighting Spyware!

Don't think -- not even for a second -- that I've moved on from this Spyware fight. The gloves aren't even off yet, baby.

Softee's joining us in the fight btw.

PS. If you haven't joined the fight and forwarded on this link to others -- why not?!

You Cody News (April 5, 2005)

Blair pledges to ensure economic stability
Yeah, that's a PM's job. We have to fully kill this concept that the government has a role in ensuring economic anything.

PM Sharon to meet settler leaders
Can't take what's not yours.

El Paso soldier posthumously accorded the Medal of HonorI get chills reading what this man did while defending our nation.

Google to start 'video blogging'The democratization of the media goes visual.

Amnesty: Record rise in executionsI'm not against capital punishment in extremely clear cut cases, but somehow I don't think China's communist foundation is a hotbed for fair trials.

Finally, this one ain't a reading and it ain't a ranting...it's just cool:

Monday, April 04, 2005

Subsidies Don't Help; Punishing Litterbugs Does

While in DC the weekend before last, I was struck by how clean the city is compared to NYC (which itself is much cleaner than it was just a few years ago).

Why is Bloomberg trying to plow hundreds of millions of my tax dollars into a stadium to subsidize some really rich team owners (and thereby subsidize the players, coaches, and everyone on the payroll too)? Oh, that's right -- it's an investment in the city's economy and well being of the community.

To close the loop in this far-flung post (stick with me, I'm not completely insane yet), here's yet another revolutionary concept (though in reality it's simply straightforward):

Start writing tickets for littering in NYC! Use some of those funds earmarked for the stadium to hire cops to punish people for littering and violating my rights by throwing their garbage such that it ends up on my private property (or the streets in front of my private property).

Somehow I think a squeaky clean NYC would do more for city's economy and the community than another subsidy to the very rich. Isn't it ironic (or not) that such protection vs. subsidization is what a capitalist's government is supposed to do?

Kelly Osbourne's Drug Probs Prove Reality TV Ain't

I rarely give into sickness, but this weekend I collapsed into an achey, head pounding, sore throat flu. So last night, I was flipping through the channels (I can't get used to the "guide" part on digital cable and Tivo -- why use something so functional and miss out on mindlessly flipping the channels?). Anyway, I ended up on MTV watching Viva La Bam with this Bam Margera.

As they filmed the family in their house and what not, trying to portray the show as if it really reflects how these people live, I got to thinking about reality TV a concept. Sure it's all right and can be quite entertaining. But reality TV isn't really reality, so to speak.

For example, how the hell did Kelly Osbourned end up having a drug problem without us viewers seeing her use drugs? I think I'm pissed off now that I think about what a farce the whole show must have been. We didn't see these people's real lives. We saw some facade of the reality that they wanted us to see.

Do I really want a return of the sitcoms and/or high dramas? No, those suck too.

In fact, now that I think about it, I'm sick of pretty much all shows outside of stand up comedians. You know why? Cuz outside of great flicks like Quentin Tarrantino's Pulp Fiction, dialogue usually just sucks. And jokes aren't funny. And the lines are so stupid.

Ever notice how many lines in a show/movie are wasted on:

"I really think it's a problem"
"You really think it's a problem?"
"Yes, I really think it's a problem."
"Well, what should we do about this problem."

Since I was a teen, I've often said that mainstream Hollywood movies usually insult my intelligence. I stand by that statement, and now apply it to reality TV too.


You Cody News (April 4, 2005)

Web sites offer look at hospital quality
The Internet democratizes the media and the analyst world. Little brother is watching.

Create Your Own Podcasts
The iPod democratizes radio.

Ousted Kyrgyz President Akayev Resigns
I know I cite news like this all the time as underscoring the remakably successful system (that we need to do so much to to improve) here in the US, but it's an incredibly important theme -- and I'm not going to stop.

Karzai urges backers to speed up recovery
The point of no return was reached long ago -- he's right that aggressiveness from backers is key now.

Teens believe oral sex is safer, more acceptable to peers
I don't recall using that line back when I was a teen.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Media Appearance

Check me out on CNBC's Squawk Box Monday morning at 7.15am EST.

Be there or be square!

Cody Jams On Friday (April 1, 2005)

This week's Cody Jams are all easy listening tunes.

All the Right Reasons (The Jayhawks) - I love the melodies from the Jayhawks. We tried hard to emulate them in the band I was in during college. (I can’t sing for shit though, so I just strummed the guitar while the others harmonized.)

Nothing Lasts (Matthew Sweet) - Great guitar in a nice and mellow jam.

The 59th Street Bridge Song, Feeling Groovy (Simon & Garfunkel) - One of the greatest songs ever. Can’t listen to it and not feel groovy. I saw S&G in concert from the owner’s box at the Meadowlands last year (another incredible hook up). What a joy.

Lightning Crashes (Live) - One of my best friends who is now about to become a traumatic plastic surgeon used to strum this song at parties. He’d get to the “her placenta falls to the floor” part and then sing for the rest of the song “I said ‘placenta’, ‘placenta’ in a ballad.”

Cherry Blossom Girl (Air) - Good stuff from the 21st century.

Powderfinger (Cowboy Junkies) - Great cover of the Neil Young classic. Man, that woman in the Cowboy Junkies sure can sing.

Suicide Is Painless (The MASH) - Though the endless repeats of the sitcom MASH have all but killed the beauty that can be found in this song by bashing it into our heads – this is one beautiful song.

Still (Commodores) - Lionel Richie sure is talented. No comment on Nicole Richie.

I Can’t Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt)
- Bonnie going mainstream in style.

Come Pick Me Up (Ryan Adams) - Rumor has it that Ryan lives in my apartment building. I don’t know what he looks like, so I have no idea. But when I jam out on my Les Paul with the Fender amp blasting, I can't deny that I haven't fantasized that he can hear it and that someday he’s gonna show up at my door and ask if he can put one of my songs on his next album. LOL. Regardless, he plays some great music.

If You Could Read My Mind (Gordon Lightfoot) - Another
cage-cleaning classic.

Click here to download this iTunes (and even if you don't download it, rate it!)

You Cody News (April 1, 2005)

Zimbabwe Gov't Accused of Election Fraud
If you don't appreciate the incredible success and longevity of the US system -- may I suggest you get your head checked. That said, we gotta make it better.

Rainier in 'precarious' condition
I wonder if he hates the press as much as Prince Chuck does.

Google Gigs It Up
Never too much bit capacity -- storage, transmission, or otherwise.

Brad splashes out
I love my apartment in NYC and all -- but Brad's really got the right pad idea.

The premiums of Medicare to rise 14% next year
Ah, the wondrous miracles of socialized medicine. (Or not)

Pope has last rites after heart failure
Have to wonder how this will all play out given the Church's stance on the Schiavo ordeal.