Showing posts from March, 2009

Business: Are all the people at AIG bad guys?

The Federal Government, the media and the people are angry at AIG about the bonuses.

But is there more to the story than the image of pitchfork and torch carrying crowds marching down on the people who say let them eat cake?

I heard on a political talk radio program that an AIG executive published his resignation letter explaining the context of his bonus that is now vilified by everyone.

While looking around for information on the story, I came across this Campbell Brown clip:
Embedded video from CNN Video
A little more digging yielded the letter published in the New York Times. Excerpts:After 12 months of hard work dismantling the company - during which A.I.G. reassured us many times we would be rewarded in March 2009 - we in the financial products unit have been betrayed by A.I.G. and are being unfairly persecuted by elected officials. In response to this, I will now leave the company and donate my entire post-tax retention payment to those suffering from the global economic downturn. …

Sports: Meanwhile in the other basketball tournaments

At the NIT, the 8 teams are filling out the quarter finals.

6 are from the big conferences: Auburn, Baylor, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Florida and Penn State.

San Diego state awaits the winner of Davidson vs. St. Mary.

UPDATE: I don't have cable tv but I just found out the game is being broadcast on the internet on! At the moment, St. Mary is up 10 with a little under 4 minutes to go. Patty Mills has a double double and is looking strong.

The CBI is in its final four: Stanford, UTEP, Oregon State and Richmond.

The CIT is in its final four as well: James Madison, Belmont, Bradley and Pacific.

And in the world baseball classic, as of this post, its gone into extra innings with Japan and South Korea knotted at 3.

LA Scene: Did you know that there is an election on 3/24/2009?

There is an election to file the 26th State Senate District seat in Los Angeles.

The seat is vacant because Mark Ridley-Thomas won a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Who is trying to get his old job?

Well, the guy with the cash is Curren D. Price, Jr. who was a state assemblyman. I've gotten many, many, many mailers from his campaign.

I got one piece of mail from Jonathan Friedman who say on his web page: "Los Angeles native Jonathan Friedman is a Chartered Financial Analyst and an expert in tax policy and financial issues."

I have not received any mailers for the other six candidates.

Mike Davis has a few paragraphs in the voter booklet. He is also a state assemblyman like Price.

Robert Cole also has a few paragraphs in the voter booklet. He has worked as a staffer in a Congressional House office, a California Assembly office and a local government commission.

Saundra Davis is the Vice President of the Board of Education for the Culver City Unified Schoo…

Sports: UCLA 65 VCU 64

It was close down the stretch.

UCLA had a small to medium sized lead much of the second half but toward the end, it got way too close for comfort.

I'm sure many a Bruin fan wore a hole in the carpet pacing the floor while watching or listening to the game!

And about half the fans of post-game Bruin talk were reciting the mantra, survive and advance while the other half a were complaining that Howland can't coach.


Lute Olsen, the now retired dean of Pac10 college coaches (25 years at Arizona) won one national championship.

Roy Williams (21 years of coaching at Div. 1 at Kansas and North Carolina) has one national championship. Expectations are pretty high for UNC this year so Williams might win his second.

33rd year coach Jim Boeheim has led Syracuse to one national title.

Ben Howland coached 5 years at Northern Arizona, 4 years at Pittsburgh and is in his 6th season at UCLA. 15 years. Let's give the guy a little more time before saying the guy can't win &quo…

Culture: NBC's "Kings"

When I had heard that a tv show set in a fictional modern setting was starting up based loosely on the story of David from the Hebrew Scriptures, I admit I was a bit skeptical.

The opening episodes started on Sunday night and I caught only the last part of the show. It was interesting enough that I went to Hulu to see the whole episode.

The pacing is at times uneven and some connections to the original David story are a little too cute for its own good (e.g. the hero is David Shepherd and the enemy tanks are called Goliath) but the human drama of political intrigue, courage, brokenness and faith mixed with terrific performances by Ian McShane (King Silas) and Chris Egan (David) drew me in.

I'll be checking in on Kings as it unfolds.

Sports: 2009 NIT Bracketology

For this season's NIT projections go here. This post is last year's.

Feel free to join "RR Readers" at Yahoo! Fantasy Sports Tournament Pick 'Em '09 ... where NIT fans pick'em!
Group ID: 67330
Password: madmarchness
Winner gets a token prize from my prize drawer!

Watching the NCAA bubble? Or are you here for the NIT bubble?

8:30 pm Sunday - NIT Bracket is available!

How did RR do this year?

I got 29 teams out of 32 correct.

My missed calls:
Arizona - went up to NCAA
Maryland - went up to NCAA
Wisconsin GB - went out of NIT

Replacing those missed calls:
San Diego State - NCAA bubble burst
Duquesne - my #1 just out of NIT team
Nebraska - my #2 just out of NIT team

Not bad for a non-sports journalist blogger in pajamas, eh? 8-)

Will see if I'm back at it again next year!

Until then, enjoy the Madness of all FOUR tournaments.

10:45pm Saturday - next update will be after NIT brackets (ESPNU at 9pm EDT Sunday) are announced. Hope you have had some ente…

Money: Jim Cramer of CNBC in an ongoing beef with the Obama Administration

I don't have cable tv to watch CNBC and his show is on during my typical work day.

However, I have seen the show on occasion when I've been on holiday or sick at home with the flu.

I have to say his hyper style is entertaining for a handful of minutes but it is a bit much.

However, he does have an interesting life story and clearly he has fans as his show has been on for some time.

Recently, he has criticized the actions of the Obama administration and now is in a verbal firestorm as the WH has belittled him and allies of the WH have taken their gloves off to land some punches.

Cramer is fighting back.

Here is one of Cramer's online responses and here is another.

Below some excerpts from the two Cramer links above:President Obama's team, unlike Bush's team, demonstrates a thinness of skin that shocks me. When I somewhat obviously and empirically judged that the populist Obama administration is exacerbating the crisis with its budget and policies, as evidenced by the inc…

Faith: Can we trust the Gospels?

Have read parts of The Case for Christ.

The little graphic above is my attempt to summarize some of the ideas from that book.

The New Testament Scriptures, as written works of antiquity, stand strong on three counts:
(1) Their closeness relative to the events they describe. Within a century (fragments of Gospels) and a few centuries (complete Gospels).
(2) The number of copies. Homer's Illiad comes in a distant second with 650 ancient copies.
(3) The consistency of the copies. Its estimated that they are about 99.5% in agreement with each other.

As you can see from the graphic, we don't have the actual original Matthew-Mark-Luke-John Gospel accounts of Jesus.

The art and science of textual criticism tries to piece together the original Gospels from the copies.

The late Bruce Metzger who died in 2007 was one of the most noted scholars of textual criticism. Though the copies of the Gospels aren't perfect, Metzger retained his Christian faith.

One of his students, Bart Ehrman

Faith: Koukl on the Question of Doubt

Koukl's opening line: 85% of Christians report experiencing doubt 15% are lying about it.

Indeed, as a person on the journey of faith in following Jesus, I don't experience 100% certainty.

I admit I have doubts. Not constantly but often enough that it sometimes bothers me.

Part of it is emotional. Just as we sometimes wonder if someone loves us or whether we love them, there simply are day-to-day variation in our emotional states. Thus, it is often said, love is a commitment not just an emotion. And so it is with faith. We may feel the emotion of faith and hope and certainty. But sometimes we don't. And when we don't, we have to decide do we live out that faith as a commitment to it or cast it aside as our emotion pulls us down?

As I see it, "Christian theology" provides a way of looking at the world and it seem to correspond pretty well. Christian faith recognizes the fallenness of humanity. Christian faith asserts that God has sent Jesus to restore ou…