Quote of the Day - All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
Investing with Fred FlintstoneThis one was too fun to pass up. You've undoubtedly heard of identity theft. Although you may have heard of the fictional town of Bedrock, you may not know that there's a real-life version in Bedrock, Colorado, population 10.
It's the site of the latest internet scam, attempting to get you to deposit money and give up your personal information.
After all, who wouldn't want to invest? It seems as solid as a rock.
Rumpole Rolls Over In His GraveRight, old boy, who moved my woolsack?
Well, the high and mighty (no, that's not really his title) Lord Falconer has decided to put English courts on the telly. Well, not actually all of them, it's really just a pilot program at this point.
Lord Falconer said the filming will help to increase public confidence in the criminal justice system. However, detractors believe it will discourage witnesses from appearing in court, as well as lead to sensationalized coverage and ultimately undermine public confidence. My my, what a conundrum!
The Guardian, a UK staple, has a feature on the development. And of course, the BBC has a feature, too. Lord Falconer decries the OJ trial, and says the Brits are not trying to emulate the Americans, thank you very much, but they are trying to bring a light to the Court system.
It certainly won't measure up to Rumpole's standards, but then again, I'm sure Captain Peacock might have an opinion about it, too.
God Save The Queen, what will they think of next?
Firing, Not Prosecuting, The Crooked CopsBe careful parking your car in Albany, New York. More specifically, be careful about making enemies there, especially if they write parking tickets.
You might find your car towed away. The three parking officers in the last link wrote a lot of tickets, and targeted their enemies.
Well, that's one side of the story.
The other side is why they were only terminated, and not prosecuted.
Well, let's ask Police Chief Turley. According to him, the three ticket writers were not charged because "it appears that they had no criminal intent ... I felt termination was appropriate," Turley said.
Criminal intent. What does that mean? Does it mean these three parking officers didn't mean to write the tickets? They didn't mean to target their enemies?
It seems pretty clear that they did mean it. I mean after all, they wrote the tickets.
It also seems pretty clear that the City isn't telling us the whole story. According to the Albany Times Union, "City officials had initially refused to release any information about the scam. They turned over payroll records and an electronic list of all tickets written this year after the Times Union filed a Freedom of Information Law request. " But we still don't know why.
It took a FOIA request to even get basic information out of the City. What are they trying to hide?
P.S. Thanks to my friend David Giacalone for pointing out this story.
New & Improved Comment BoxOur Comment Box feature has received some attention of late.
We've received a number of comments (no pun intended) on our Comment Box because you couldn't post a very long comment in it, and you couldn't post a URL in it.
Now, both of those problems are fixed, plus we added emoticons for you to really express yourself.
So, have at it.
Is That Your Signature?Chase Manhattan Bank may not have been watching the store. A New York waiter saved and saved and saved. Over $70,000.
Then he went abroad, comfortable that his money was safer than under the mattress.
Then when he went to draw down on his account, it was empty, and it had been emptied while he was overseas over the previous two years.
He asked CMB where the money went, and they told him they cashed his checks. He said, "What checks?" When he checked, he didn't find his signature on the checks. He claims that someone had forged his name on checks and been paid all the money in his account.
The waiter sued. Then CMB got the case dismissed.
Now, a New York state appeals court has reinstated his suit against for cashing forged checks that emptied his account while he was abroad.
We'll find out soon who signed what.
Needed in Wales - Jobs and OpportunitiesMy great-grandparents came over from Wales in 1896. They came over on the boat. In steerage on the White Star Line.
I found the actual ticket among my dad's things when he died. It's now in a frame, with their photographs. It's a bit of a memorial.
Needless to say, I have an affinity for Wales. Recently, I ran into Chris Banning, with the Welsh Development Agency. They have grants and funding available to companies wishing to locate there.
The agency is also designed to bring jobs to Wales, and at the same time provide something more than the jobs bring to Wales. Loyalty, stability and productivity. You know, the kind of dedication that is usually only found in the Midwest. Yes, the Southeast, Northeast and West, too. They're not trying to take jobs out of the US, but enable companies that are looking for an international presence to find one in Wales.
As a third-generation immigrant, I know the work ethic that was instilled in me. Somehow, I believe that that ethic is still around, and available in Wales.
At least that what my grandparents and parents taught me.
Boy Drives Car, Corvette Ad Pulled From OlympicsWe've been watching the Olympics, which means we've been watching Olympic ads, too. TIVO apparently can't do everything. (Long sigh here).
Some advertisements are good, others are pretty dismal. On average, nowhere near as good as Superbowl ads.
But, Chevrolet had a good one. Filmed by Guy Ritchie, Madonna's current husband. But, it must have been too good.
Complaints have driven Chevy to pull the ad. It's the one with the kids driving (well, not really) two Corvettes, and winking at each other as they pass each other while "jumping" the cars.
Apparently after watching the ad, some five-year old took his Uncle's caddy for a stroll, and the ad is now gone. Well, your five-year old can view it here (unless Chevy replaces it there, too).
Where were the parents? Why was the car unlocked? Inquiring minds want to know.
We Forgive Selflessness, But Not SelfishnessYou've probably heard of Adelphia, the cable company headquartered in Philly. It's not far from where I went to high school, so I've probably paid more attention to the story because it's about "back home."
Somewhat typical of prominent Pennsylvanians (such as Congressman Dan Flood, who was elected despite an indictment and pending criminal trials [scroll down to patronage and scandal]) they can - and do - receive forgiveness. In the Luzerne County, where my parents grew up, that election was revered, and frequently pointed to as an indication of the rewards you get for "taking care of your own."
Perhaps those winds are changing direction, though, but then again, perhaps not. Adelphia's founder, John Rigas has been convicted of fraud and a number of similar crimes. Now that it's trying to raise funds to repay creditors since it filed bankruptcy, Adelphia requested a bankruptcy judge to force Rigas and his sons to repay the $3.2 billion they allegedly took from the cable company. Adelphia alleges that the Rigases used company funds and credit to enrich themselves, and is now demanding immediate repayment, plus interest.
Long gone are the political patronage days. But the Rigas/Adelphia scandal is not about patronage. People are less sympathetic to those who get caught with their hand in the till and take care of themselves instead of others. Funny how that forgiveness thing works, isn't it?