Friday, May 26, 2006

Enron Verdict

Todays WP has a good article explaining the reasoning of the jurors in the Lay/Skilling trial, who delivered an overwhelmingly guilty verdict. I doubted either would be found guilty on a majority of counts, but it is interesting that the testimony of both damned their chances for acquittal.

The article is a good recap, but I am troubled by the juror's quote:

"The jury delivered not-guilty verdicts on all but one of Skilling's 10 insider trading charges. In deciding the answer to each charge, forewoman Smith said, "We went by the judge's instruction: 'Not guilty' means 'not proven.' ""

There is no mention of the contrapositive; guilty means 'proven beyond the shadow of a doubt'.

In any event, the jurors seem dedicated to their task and decision, although their 'closeness' may have led to groupthink, they believe in the verdict they rendered, which was their duty.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

UVA Spring Athletics

The resurgence of UVA spring sports has been a great reminder of the commitment the athletic department has made to being competitive in all events. While some would argue "UVA should succeed in all preppy sports" it can't just instinctively happen, and while I was at school, the spring sports season was an afterthought, with the exception of lacrosse. The outstanding play of the lacrosse team has made for a great spring, I was able to take in the game against UMD in college park, on a great day the team looked outstanding. Honestly, I am anxious as they play (hopefully) over the next two weekends in the final 8. Additionally, the emergence of the baseball and tennis teams has been an unexpected bonus. Baseball is ranked in the Top 10 and readying for postseason play (where they have yet to experience great success). The tennis team has established a fairly dominant program, being ranked for @ the last 10 years, and being at the top of the rankings, of late. A tough season schedule made for more losses than expected, so it remains to be seen if the team has a competitive advantage in the NCAAs.

After years of mediocre spring sports, fully funding scholarships and improving the tennis and baseball facilities has aided UVA recruiting, as well as great coaching hirings. Having an athletics season that stretches 9 months is a privilege afforded to a handful of schools (Stanford, UCLA, Texas, UNC, Duke, Florida, Baylor) and I am glad UVA has made the jump to compete at the level of the country's top athletic programs.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

US Immigration Reform

15 May Speech

The rumbling sound you hear are illegal immigrants storming the US border before heightened security measures (potentially) take effect in 2008.

While I understand President Bush's hands are tied in terms of expediting funding, etc., but I find his five-point plan to be short-sided. Creating a tighter border, over the next 18 months, is symptommatic of the root cause of immigration concern/ire, and doesn't address the number of illegals already in the US.

The idea of a biometrically tied card to prevent fraud is well intentioned, but who is to tell me the cards won't be somhow copied or turned into a commodity, debasing its validity and placing it in the same category as current fradulent documentation.

Ultimately, Bush's plan for integration of current illegal immigrants assumes those already in the US will be proactive in assimilating to US culture. I consider the opposite to be true, and the majority of illegals won't make amends unless caught. Bush needs to lay out a plan if illegals are caught and refuse to immediately pay the proposed fine. Additionally, I find it sad that the cure to current illegals is payment of a fine, when no plan is laid out as to where the money will go.

Somewhat rambling...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I find nothing worse...

...than seeing a middle-aged man driving a Chevrolet Corvette convertible with the top down. It epitomizes a combination of creepy guy in his '40s, the downfall of the American sportscar, $70,000 wasted on an antiquated status symbol. I find nothing more pathetic.

Happy to see that Polo changed the logo on the Andrew short, the only casual short I prefer to wear. Iam assuming this means they will be keeping them around, although I hadn't seen many of the make at stores in the DC area lately. I hate the feel of anything that falls below the knee, and the 5" inseam is going the way of the dodo; pleats be damned, I'd rather be rocking the pleats than a flat-front FUPA.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Shooter Jennings Sucks It Hard

I went down on Friday night to Charlottesville to see Shooter Jennings at Starr Hill. Great venue (@250 person capacity), and Charlottesville in the spring isn't to be passed up.

Got to the show @ 9, opening band was miserable (standard garage band music) and ended at 9:45. I figured it would lead to a long set by SJ. By 10:30 he was not on stage.

11:00 - nothing

11:30 - nothing

Finally at 11:39 his band saunters on and he shortly follows, stumbling, dragging a bottle of JD (which looked not to be open). His voice was awful, he sounded holllow and tired, and he proceeded to play the first four songs from his new album. In order. No rest, just twenty minutes of off-key rambling and incoherent babble. Awful.

The next 30 minutes didn't improve, as his cocky personality/insobriety were lost on anyone in the crowd with a discerning ear to good music. Worst show I have ever seen. I left after fifty minutes, and it was already 12:45.

In summation, you can't keep a crowd waiting for almost two hours and dispense verbal vomit, especially if you are a no talent hack, succeeding on a combination of your lineage and an extremely savy producer capable of alchemy; able to take your piss voice and garbage musical ability and produce a decent album (Electric Rodeo). The only problem is when it comes to playing live, you are overshadowed by your album, making it obvious you had little input on the final product. Thankfully, your music career will probably be resigned to tantalizing the screetching 17-year-olds and local simpletons who seemed to be enjoying your drivel; guaranteeing you no critical acclaim for what you pass as country, but is really a contrived mixture of PR promotion delivered in four minute intervals.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Outside Opinion

A quick question to those outside of DC; are DC politics considered the laughingstock of the country, based on the antics of Marion Berry, and the fact he is still electable? His latest switch from chastising the Ted Lerner group, to snagging a photo-op in 48 hours in mind-boggling.

What DC Deals With

Social Security II

Information Regarding SS

I researched the SS trust fund being depleted in 2040, which means the surplus of funds paid out v. collected for SS, which is being distributed elsewhere, will have been exhaused and SS benefits will be paid at a rate of 74%.

Only yesterday did I realize the % of my salary that goes to SS (6.2%), which is matched by my employer. It is astounding that SS receives 12.4% of 106.2% of every individual's salary, and is going to deplete to being unable to pay benefits in 2040. If 74% is the projection for 2040, what is the projection for 2050...

I cannot believe the demographic that stands to be royally screwed by SS, the 25-40 sect, has no say in where their SS funds. It is literally throwing money down a black hole. I googled SS PAC, and brought back nothing.

Would it be possible to start an age specific PAC (25-40) aimed at partial privitization of SS ?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Social Security

I've got a simple question for those more in the know regarding Social Security than I. On last night's news, they projected Social Security will run out of funding in 2040, ironically, the year I turn 62.

Does this mean that I will have contributed to the Social Security pot for 35+ years, and reap nothing?

Monday, May 01, 2006


Foxfield 2006 was amazing, my 11th Foxfield in the last 12 years, which really makes me sound old. The weather in Charlottesville was gorgeous, I applied ample amounts of sunblock, and don't look like a Christas stocking. Granted, I am still tired and dehydrated, but a late lunch outside made my afternoon bearable. After the races I went to a barbeque while the sun set, and perpetuated my "state" until @ 1:00 AM Sunday. All in all, an amazing weekend. Being that I will be eclipsing 30 in 2008, will next year be my swan song at the races? Based on the good returns for 2006, I may have more mileage in the tank than previously thought.