Monday, June 30, 2014

JUNE 2014 BONEHEAD ABSURDITY OF THE MONTH

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1.   This tidbit comes from Texas Governor, Rick Perry, in a speech to the Comstock Club in San Francisco:

"I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have to desire not to do that-- and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."


2.  In a television appearance on the CBS This Morning show, Secretary of State John Kerry said that if Edward Snowden were a “patriot”, he would return to the United States from Russia to face criminal charges.
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“This is a man who has betrayed his country,” Kerry told CBS News. “He should man up and come back to the US.”

Man up?  Return to face charges?  The 1917 Espionage Act, doesn't distinguish between sharing information with the press in the public interest of selling secrets to a foreign enemy.  Thus it would be impossible for Snowden to argue that the information should never have been withheld from the American public in the first place.  The fact that the disclosures led to historic reforms in the US and around the world, even motivating Republicans and Democrats to politically cooperate, and earned Snowden journalism awards would be irrelevant to his prosecution under the Espionage Act. He thus could not prove the disclosures served the public good.  Moreover, he could face unlimited charges, including being charged for each of the documents published.  It would take not a man, but a fool to return to face criminal charges.

3.   You can always count of Ann coulter to live up to her bonehead tradition. 
This is what she recently wrote in the Clarion Ledger:

"If more “Americans” are watching soccer today, it’s only because of the demographic switch effected by Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration law. I promise you: No American whose great-grandfather was born here is watching soccer. One can only hope that, in addition to learning English, these new Americans will drop their soccer fetish with time."

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

THE MOST INTERESTING GOLFER IN THE WORLD

By Ronald T. Fox
6/18/2014

(Due to some kind of glitch, this article was re-posted.  My apologies.  Two-years later, however, he remains, the "Most Interesting Golfer in the World.")


   MiguelFeatured Miguel Angel Jimenez became the oldest man to ever win on the European Tour when he captured his country’s national championship, the Spanish Open, in a playoff.

I must admit, I’m a big Miguel Angel Jimenez fan. I don’t know if it’s because of his old hippie look, ever-present cigar, quirky stretching routine, the excellence of his game at the age of 50, the frankness and authenticity he conveys in interviews, or all of the above. I think what most impresses me is how he blends great golf skills with a passionate love of life, which he is not reluctant to put on display, on and off the course. It is this combination that makes him unique among modern professional golfers.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

CREDIT SUISSE PLEADS GUILTY TO A FELONY, BUT GETS OFF EASY


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By Ronald Fox

 
In four previous postings about wrongdoing by JP Morgan Chase, for which it received substantial fines but did not have to plead guilty to any criminal offenses, I expressed skepticism that big banks would ever pay a criminal price for their numerous misdeeds. My skepticism was based on recognition of the political and economic clout of large Wall Street banks, which makes federal regulators and prosecutors, not to mention the Congress, extremely hesitant to criminally prosecute a big bank, regardless of its transgressions.
 
Prosecutors in Manhattan and Washington worry that a guilty verdict, or even a plea to a lesser criminal offense, could prompt revocation of a bank’s charter—the equivalent of the death penalty. The cautiousness of their approach to prosecute big banks attests to their reluctance to take actions that might jeopardize a company’s license to conduct business in the U.S. They have thus relied on stiff fines and “deferred prosecution agreements,” which suspend charges in exchange for specified concessions, as the punishment of choice. Such actions, as I argued, amount to little more than face-saving gestures that will have little effect on deterring corporate crime.
 
To the surprise of many, last week Credit Suisse, which has a giant investment bank in New York and an American chief executive, pleaded guilty to the crime of conspiring to help several of its American account holders evade taxes, a felony under American law. This represents the first time in over 20 years a bank as large as Credit Suisse has pleaded guilty to a criminal wrongdoing. The bank were also required to pay $2.6 billion in penalties and employ an independent prosecutor for up to two years. The agreement further mandated that eight bank employees indicted in the tax evasion scheme had to be terminated.  I find both good and bad news in the plea agreement.