President Vladimir Putin (center) holding a meeting with Russian Security Council permanent members, July 22, 2014. (RIA Novosti / Ekaterina Shtukina)
Putin has criticized the rounds of sanctions that the US and EU have imposed on Russia, which began during Crimea’s accession to Russia and continued after the MH17 plane crash in Ukraine.
“The very concept of the state sovereignty is becoming diluted. Unwanted regimes and countries that are trying to exercise independent policy or simply stand in the way of someone’s interests are getting destabilized,” Putin said.
“Attempts aimed at destabilizing the social and political situation, throwing off Russia and striking at its vulnerable and soft spots have been and will be made,” he added. Continue reading →
“You may not be an artist or an actor, but you can feel when you’re working in your vein of gold—you’re in the zone. Time stops, creativity flows, you feel in charge of things. Your unique spark of the divine springs forth.” S Butler
When you think of Julia Roberts, do you remember her scowling face in Ocean’s Eleven – or her radiant, megawatt smile in Pretty Woman? She tried her best to transcend the romantic comedy genre (and won an Oscar for her terrific role as bombshell-turned-investigator in Erin Brockovich), yet the world will always remember her as the pretty woman who got the guy despite the odds.
It’s her vein of gold. Consider Robert De Niro, who turns in brilliant performances bonding with other men in tough circumstances, dealing with loyalties and betrayals and wrestling with his own dark side. Romantic comedies are not his forte.
As director Martin Ritt, who coined the term ‘vein of gold’ explains, “All actors have a certain territory, a certain range, they were born to play. If you cast an actor within that range, he will always give you a brilliant performance. Of course, you can always cast an actor outside his vein of gold. If you do, that actor can use craft and technique to give you a very fine, creditable performance, but never a performance as brilliant as when he is working in his vein of gold.” Continue reading →
“It’s large governments that maintain police states, that spy on their citizens, and commandeer nearly every personal choice imaginable with regulatory agencies that tell us how to educate our children and what we can/cannot put in our own bodies.” S Black
Andorra ~ Leopold Kohr was a rather obscure Austrian economist from the early 20th century who spent the better part of his career railing against the ‘cult of bigness’.
Kohr’s fundamental premise was simple: Big doesn’t work. Big corporations. Big governments. Big countries. There are just too many problems from size.
Think about ancient Rome. As the empire expanded, Rome’s imperial government had to create layers and layers of bureaucracies. Municipal levels, provincial levels, regional levels, etc.
They had to maintain a massive standing army to secure their constantly-growing borders. Tax collection was a nightmare. Infrastructure constantly needed expansion and maintenance.
It was all so costly, and absolutely required that Rome run an unwieldy, behemoth government. Continue reading →
“It didn’t take more than a quick reading of the resumes of the multiple executives from Renaissance, who will be giving testimony before the Senate today, to see why it has landed in such hot water. One Executive Vice President, Mark Silber, wears all of the following hats: CFO, Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Legal Officer. And, by the way, he was previously a CPA with the accounting firm that now audits the books of Renaissance – BDO Seidman.” P Martens
Senator Carl Levin, Chair of the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Only one word comes to mind to describe the testimony taking place before the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations this morning: Machiavellian.
The criminal minds on Wall Street have twisted banking and securities laws into such a pretzel of hubris that neither Congress, Federal Regulators or even the General Accountability Office can say with any confidence if the U.S. financial system is an over-leveraged house of cards. They just don’t know.
According to a copious report released last evening, here’s what hedge funds have been doing for more than a decade with the intimate involvement of global banks: the hedge fund makes a deposit of cash into an account at the bank which has been established so that the hedge fund can engage in high frequency trading of stocks. The account is not in the hedge fund’s name but in the bank’s name. The bank then deposits $9 for every one dollar the hedge fund deposits into the same account. Some times, the leverage reaches as high as 20 to 1.
The hedge fund proceeds to trade the hell out of the account, generating tens of thousands of trades a day using their own high frequency trading program and algorithms. Many of the trades last no more than minutes. The bank charges the hedge fund fees for the trade executions and interest on the money loaned. Continue reading →
“Faith-based driving is still unrecognized around the country.” J Turley
Sometimes saying “God is my co-pilot” is more than an aspirational bumper sticker. Prionda Hill, 25, insists that she took it seriously when she said that God told her that he would drive her 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix. Either God is another elderly driver past his prime or he wanted to do in Anthony Oliveri, 47, because he immediately ran the car off the road and slammed into Oliveri on his 2001 Harley-Davidson.
Hill ended up in the median next to a Rally’s burger restaurant after the accident around 9:45 pm on July 11. Police found her in the restaurant where she recounted the divine intervention. She said that she was just driving along when “out of nowhere God told her that He would take it from here and she let go of the wheel and let Him take it.”
She almost killed Oliveri but at the last minute the car swerved away from his head and across his midsection. leaving him with broken ribs, a lacerated spleen and bleeding kidney. Hill passed an alcohol test but she was taking a prescription for the pain medication Vicodin.