A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
Sept 2, 2009 Three Stories
Yesterday, the Israeli media was filled with coverage of a story explaining the mysterious hijacking of a Russian ship last month, a vessel that disappeared and then was “rescued” by the Russian navy. No explanations have ever been given and the Russian news media has been totally silent regarding the events. One of Israel’s most well-known military correspondents published the following story yesterday: The ship departed from Kalingrad which is small Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea. The area used to be a closed military zone and today is controlled by military officials. As further background it should be noted that two years ago, Israel and Russia reached an agreement, where by Russia would not sell certain advance anti-aircraft missiles to Iran and Syria– in return for which, Israel would cancel a large arms deal it had with Georgia (Subsequently, Russia and Georgia fought a small war over an breakaway section of Georgia). Despite that agreement it seems a group of Russian military officials, together with members of the Russian mob, arranged to sell some “surplus” Sams to Iran. Thus, the ship that left Konisburg had the arms aboard. The Russian government was made aware of what was happening and responded in total disbelief. When they were given unimpeachable proof they agreed some actions needed to be taken, and in the end, they intervened. Part of the report indicates that Israelis detained the ship until the Russians could be fully brought along. Tonight there are reports that the journalist who broke this story has fled after receiving threatening phone calls.
The second story in the news today is of a Lebanese investment advisor by the name of Isadon. Isadon, a Lebanese Shite who was close to Hezbollah, convinced Nasrallah to let him invest the Billion dollars Hezbollah received from Iran after the Second Lebanon War. Isadon lost at least $700 million of the money. Between this loss and the fact that during the war Israel deliberately and successfully targeted Hezbollah economic targets, Hezbolah is now hurting financially.
The final major story of the day has to do with the improbable report by Israel’s inspector general which has investigated the Pollard case. His report was supposed to be dealing with the Israeli handling of the case, but his report ended up critical of the American judicial process. His claim that Pollard's due process rights were violated by an unprecedented meeting between the then Secretary of Defense Weinberger and the judge in the case before the sentencing. At the meeting, Weinberger called Pollard "one of the most dangerous spies in American history" and urged the judge to "mete out the harshest punishment possible". As a result, the judge threw out the negotiated plea agreement and sentenced Pollard to a life sentence.
Three More Individuals Charged in Connection with the Cuyahoga County Corruption Probe
William J. Edwards, First Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of Ohio C. Frank Figliuzzi, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the FBI and Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, today announced that a six-count Information was filed charging former Maple Heights City Schools Board of Education member and former Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office employee Santina “Sandy” Klimkowski, age 58, of Maple Heights, Ohio, attorney Bruce Zaccagnini, age 48, of North Royalton, Ohio, and attorney Timothy J. Armstrong, age 65, of Huron, Ohio, in connection with the Cuyahoga County public corruption investigation.
The Information charges Klimkowski, Armstrong and Zaccagnini with a bribery conspiracy that caused millions of dollars in losses to the County over 10 years. According to the Information, a person identified as PO2 received approximately $1.22 million in kickbacks from attorneys Louis C. Damiani (deceased), Zaccagnini, Armstrong, and an unnamed lawyer related to approximately $22 million in County Commercial Reappraisal Contracts. Klimkowski is charged with accepting approximately $154,000 in cash kickbacks on the contracts. The Information charges that Klimkowski and Damiani gave the cash kickbacks to PO2. Damiani, Zaccagnini, Armstrong and the unnamed lawyer received revenues of approximately $8,985,380 from the scheme. In addition, Zaccagnini and Damiani’s relative shared additional revenue of approximately $3,689,000.
The Information also charges Klimkowski in a separate bribery scheme involving former DAS Construction executive Steve Pumper. According to the Information, Klimkowski accepted bribes in the form of household improvements from Pumper, in exchange for assisting DAS in obtaining approximately $458,600 in Maple Heights City Schools contracts. Pumper previously pleaded guilty to these and other bribes.
Klimkowski is also charged with participating in a scheme to defraud the Maple Heights City Schools by diverting school district property for her personal use and the personal use of others, including Damiani. The Information cites one example of the conspirators moving a school district mobile classroom to private property to use as a hunting cabin.
The Information further alleges that Klimkowski obstructed justice by instructing an employee of the Maple Heights City Schools to “get rid of” a television that the employee received in exchange for performing official acts. The Information alleges that the employee followed Klimkowski’s instruction and removed the television from his home.
The Information charges Klimkowski with making a false statement on her income tax returns by failing to report income she received from bribes.
The following individuals were charged previously in connection with the Cuyahoga County corruption investigation:
Former Geographic Information Systems project manager, Cuyahoga County Engineer’s Office Former President, Parma City School District Board of Education, Principal, J. Kevin Kelley Consulting, LLC
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/1/2009
Retired Chief of Staff, Engineer’s Office, Cuyahoga County
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/1/2009
Retired Chief of Staff, Engineer’s Office, Cuyahoga County Principal, The Eagle Group
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/2/2009
Former co-executive director, Alternatives Agency
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/2/2009
Chief Executive Officer, DAS Construction
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 7/17/2009
Principal Office Assistant, Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009
Former Vice President of Facilities and Construction Services
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009
Former Vice President of East West Construction Company
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 9/9/2009
Former Mayor of Lakewood, Former Member of the Ohio State Senate, Principal of AC Sinagra & Associates
Awaiting Sentencing Guilty Plea 8/31/09
If convicted, each defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including that defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, that defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ann C. Rowland and Antoinette T. Bacon, following investigation by the Cleveland office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. The investigation is ongoing.
An Information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Find Your Legacy
Over the past 20 years of my business career, I have had the chance to lead a wide variety of teams. Ranging from my first experience of leading a small brand team when I was brand manager of Breyers Ice cream at Kraft Foods (thank you Chis, Alan and Marcello for putting up with such a novice boss) to my latest role where I had the privilege of leading a large, highly performing, sales organization at The Coca-Cola Company. Regardless of size or structure, I learned that leadership is an art, and very different from management. I learned that you "manage" projects/timetables/initiatives/ etc but that you "lead" people. While this delineation seems simple, it is also vital! I have often seen leaders attempt to "manage" their teams in the same way they "manage" their projects, usually with very little success.
Through the course of my career, and through a great deal of trial and error, I started experiencing that my "leadership" actions seemed to be centering on three areas of my team's "beings". Now I don't mean anything metaphysical by this, but I do mean that my actions seemed to be focused on three areas or "impact points" of my teams.
1.) their minds
2.) their hearts
3.) their hands and feet.
what follows is a review of this idea that I wrote a few years ago and recently edited. Take a look and let me know what you think!
This comment has been removed by the author.
Like we say in the PR business, "What do you want the audience to think (head), feel (heart) and do (hands)?"
The role of the leader is not only the most critical, it is frequently the least understood. Although I find your model simple to understand, the challenge to follow it is almost overwhelming. Many leaders recognize the accountability associated with their responsibility, even if they don't know how to be an effective leader. With these three impact points, the leader is reminded of key questions that he/she should constantly ask themselves with regard to the performance of the organization and their effectiveness.
The 7 Biggest Security Breaches in Corporate History
As more people rely electronic payments and Internet transactions, the more information is out there for unscrupulous individuals to steal.
The parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and A.J. Wright stores, TJX Companies Inc., announced in 2007 that its computer system had been hacked and that the personal information of approximately 45.7 million customers had been compromised over a span of nearly two years. TJX has since spent upwards of $5 million towards improving security, investigation, and customer notification. Costs for TJX are likely to increase given the multiple lawsuits the company is facing.
In 2007 the pharmaceutical giant admitted that the personal information of almost 17,000 of its past and present employees may have been compromised. Pfizer said that the security breach occurred after a company laptop was taken home by an employee and P2P file sharing software was installed on it. This software led to the theft of the personal information.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc.
One of the largest data thefts of all time happened when Heartland, a credit card processing company that handled approximately 100 million credit card transactions each month, was hit by a large security breach in 2009. Three men were indicted later in August for stealing more than 130 million credit cards numbers from Heartland, 7-Eleven, and other companies.
The cutting edge technology company is known for wowing customers with its products, but in 2010 a number of Apple users were stunned when it was revealed that early users of the iPad had their information compromised. According to Business Insider, in 2010 more than 100,000 iPad users had their user accounts compromised. The news source said that this included a lot of high-profile users of the tablet, and was likely the fault of AT&T.
The email marketing provider had its databases hacked in April of this year, according to DigitalTrends. Epsilon’s clients include Citigroup, L.L. Bean and Visa, and it said that it had reason to believe that the data of some of its client’s customers may have been stolen. However, the investigation into the security breach is still ongoing.
The Sony PlayStation hack made headlines worldwide recently. What first appeared to be a power outage of the gaming console’s online network turned out to be much more serious as it was revealed that some of the network’s 70 million users’ credit card information may have been stolen. The breach has undoubtedly cost Sony a pretty penny since it brought down the Playstation Network for almost two months during efforts to repair the damage done.
Bank of America
Security breaches can affect companies of any size, as the case of Bank of America illustrates. In 2011 an employee of the bank leaked account information to scam artists, which resulted in losses of $10 million. Most of the affected consumers are in western states like California. This just goes to show that
I have changed … Almost entirely … The way I see things … The way I react to things … How I work … How I relax … New found interests and hobies … Feels entirely different … I’ve started to feel that my behaviour is changing a lot … I am being more focused and composed on my reactions … I’ve become more rational and practical … I started considering immediate effects of my actions as well, rather than just the long term … My focus on academics has improved a lot … My patience increased almost exponentially …
It would be safe to summarise that I am starting to feel an inner peace … Its all calm and smooth within … I have never felt so comfortable, happy and good my whole life … But, a part of me still wonders … Is this a calm before a storm … ? Like what they say … Some things change, but some things don’t …
Sept 2, 2009 Three Stories - History
In the 1870s, upperclassmen at the University of Pennsylvania began to initiate freshmen through a new intramural sport called football, a rough-and-tumble American variation of the English game of rugby, which provided ample opportunities for organized assaults, and the release of pent up energies and aggressions. The game had no standardized rules, strategies, or scoring system until the 1880s&ndashand even then nothing was carved in stone&ndashbut its evolution seemed very much in sync with ongoing changes in American society.
The collegians added structure, discipline, and regimentation to the controlled mayhem they had inherited, as the game came to reflect America's emerging industrial economy and society. Like baseball, the game fostered competition and teamwork, two essential qualities advanced by industrial capitalism. But in football, players divided into skilled and unskilled positions, the game was run by clock, and each play, designed to drive deeper into the opponent's territory, was like a new work shift. Fearful that the modern world was softening American manhood, middle-class and elite Americans embraced football's aggressive nature and the courage and muscular vitality it required. Victory in the increasingly popular intercollegiate game came through brutal physical combat and coordinated assault. Twenty players on each side had three chances to move the ball five yards for a first down, and they did so through charges of brute force, gang tackling, and kicks of the ball into the opponents' territory.
As the first collegiate players moved beyond the ivied halls of the academy, the game graduated with them to the athletic clubs and associations they joined. By the 1880s, the sporting associations and amateur athletic clubs that had formed earlier in the century around other sports like baseball, cricket, and rowing began sponsoring football teams, as well. And the game spread. In Pennsylvania it had particular appeal in the coal towns of western and northeastern Pennsylvania, and the steel towns around Pittsburgh and in Bethlehem . Football's appeal among blue-collar workers and immigrants was magnetic the game called for the same kind of grit they had to muster just to get by every day.
On the field, competition among clubs was as fierce as it was among the colleges . Pride was at stake. So, too, was money. Even then, betting on football was as passionate as it was pervasive, so off the field competition for the best players could be ferocious. It was no secret that bigger clubs regularly tip-toed around amateur regulations by bringing in college boys and other ringers with the same kinds of under-the-table incentives&ndashfrom cash to job offers&ndashthat pre-professional baseball had employed.
On November 12, 1892, that changed. The Allegheny Athletic Association, anxious to beat their cross-town rival, the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, lured former Yale All-American William "Pudge" Heffelfinger, the most celebrated footballer of his day, to join their squad that afternoon with a $500 carrot. That payment, kept quiet for years, turned the afternoon's wild proceedings into what has become accepted as the first professional football game. By the following year, teams were putting players under early contracts.
It would take decades for the professional game even to begin approaching the collegiate variety in popularity. In the 1890s, as the United States battled for overseas colonies and joined the ranks of the world powers, the popularity of college football soared. But so, too, did injuries and deaths among the nation's finest young men. In December 1905, thirteen schools met in New York to determine the fate of college football. Moved by the eloquence of Haverford College athletic director James Babbitt for reform rather than abolition, eight of them, including Haverford and Swarthmore, voted to continue the game. Later that month a conference of more than sixty colleges formed the Inter-College Athletic Association- in 1910 renamed the National Collegiate Athletic Association- to change the rules and outlaw professionalism.
To reduce the brutality of the sport, the Association changed the rules to open the game up, and legalized the forward pass, an innovation championed by Coach John Heisman, who had played varsity football for Penn in 1890-91. The changes worked, turning the game from one of brute strength into one that matched strength with speed and dexterity. As football's popularity soared, a new batch of heroes emerged, including two&ndashcoach Pop Warner and his greatest star, Jim Thorpe &ndash from an unlikely venue: the Carlisle Indian School .
Thorpe went on to play professionally from 1913 to 1925, at first with a Pennsylvania squad in Pine Valley, then with bigger teams in Canton, Toledo, and New York in the first years of the new National Football League (NFL). The new league, founded in 1920&ndashthe year before Pittsburgh radio station KDKA aired the first football game, a collegiate contest between Pitt and West Virginia from Forbes Field&ndashtried desperately to get a toe-hold in larger cities. Though it managed to place teams in Chicago and New York, the majority of the early NFL franchises were off-shoots of industrial and factory-league squads in smaller towns like Green Bay, Kenosha, and Pottsville, Pennsylvania, an anthracite coal town where a blue-collar, often immigrant fan base embraced the game.
In the league's earliest years, most middle-class American sport fans dismissed professional football as a barnstorming sideshow, a sorry stepchild to its nobler collegiate relation they were far more interested, for example, in a small college from southwest Pennsylvania, Washington and Jefferson, holding mighty California to a scoreless tie than in anything the pros were doing. Indeed, the 1920s and 1930s marked the Golden Age of college football, and it was a particularly glittering time for western Pennsylvania's college elevens. Carnegie Tech twice beat powerhouse Notre Dame, and Duquesne won the Orange Bowl in 1934 and 1937. Meanwhile, the University of Pittsburgh, which won national championships in 1916 and 1918 under Pop Warner, won back-to-back titles for Coach Jock Sutherland in 1936 and 1937.
The second-class aura around the professional game began changing when the great Illinois running back Red Grange left school to join the Chicago Bears at the end of the 1925 season. His presence gave the game an immediate boost in class, credibility, and respectability. The league's champion that year, the Pottsville Maroons , soon moved to the much larger Boston market. By the early 1930s, professional teams were playing in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
Football also flourished in other arenas. Factories, mills, and mines sponsored worker teams to help build pride and morale. In the early 1900s, communities came together to sponsor both amateur sandlot and professional teams the latter would continue on even after the formation of the NFL through a string of minor-league circuits. There were also all-black teams, none better than the Garfield Eagles, so dominant in the sandlots of Pittsburgh against black and white competition alike during the 1930s that they were often called the Homestead Grays of their sport.
In the north, collegiate football was integrated. In the late teens, African-American player Paul Robeson was named an All-American at Rutgers and Fritz Pollard an All-American at Brown. Both starred in the nascent NFL, with Pollard becoming the league's first black coach in 1921 in 1923 and 1924 he also led the Gilberton Cadamounts to successful campaigns in the semi-professional Pennsylvania "Coal League." At the onset of the Depression, however, blacks were banned from the NFL, and would remain so until just after World War II, when the owners, including the Steelers" Art Rooney , spurred by Commissioner Bert Bell , once again agreed to integrate their teams.
In the 1950s, a black quarterback from western Pennsylvania named Willie Thrower rewrote the high-school record books he then went on to become the first black quarterback in the modern NFL. At the same time another hardscrabble signal caller named Johnny Unitas emerged from the Pittsburgh sandlots to redefine the position, piloting the Baltimore Colts to NFL titles in 1958 and 1959. Unitas was just one in a parade of Hall of Fame quarterbacks, including Joe Namath, Dan Marino, and Joe Montana, to march from western Pennsylvania into the national spotlight.
In the 1970s, football began to challenge baseball as the nation's favorite spectator sport, its popularity driven and its pockets enriched by television. Pennsylvania would remain a football powerhouse. After winning their third league championship in 1960, the Philadelphia Eagles entered a period of decline, but between 1975 and 1980, the Steelers twice won Super Bowls back to back, then added a fifth in 2006, and sixth in 2009.
The University of Pittsburgh joined the fun in 1976 by once again being named national collegiate champion, a crown that Penn State would wear in 1982 and 1986. The 1970s also saw the birth of the multi-purpose stadiums, with Veterans Stadium replacing the far more intimate Shibe Park in Philadelphia and Three Rivers Stadium supplanting Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Both behemoths gave way in the twenty-first century to new, state-of-the-art baseball and football stadiums in each city.
By then, of course, football had long since cloaked itself in the mantle of "America's Game." Television has made the sport rich, and free agency has created a new class of sporting plutocrats in helmets and shoulder pads. And if football has also suffered such modern ills as cocaine and steroids, it continues to inspire and entrance. On any given Saturday, more than 100,000 fans fill Beaver Stadium when Penn State plays at home, and fans in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh live and die with their team's fortunes.
World Literature I
Even though the flood story in "Gilgamesh" was thought as a pioneer related to many other flood myths, the reason why the Gods inflicted the flood and how the heroes were selected to survive were quite different in these three epics. In "Genesis", the God decided to destroy human mainly due to his dissatisfaction of the sinners, and Noah was selected because of his faith. "Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God." (Genesis 6:9) Compare with this, the reason for the occurrence of the flood in "Gilgamesh" was explained as the overpopulation. Unlike Noah, Utnapishtim survived just depended on a random selection. When it came to "Metamorphoses", Ovid explained that the flood was the consequence of human and giants' irreverences. "They, like the seed from which they sprung, accurst, Against the Gods immortal hatred nurst, An impious, arrogant and cruel brood." In my opinion, Deucalion and his wife finally survived should just be another random selection. "But, two, the best of either sex, surviv'd" somehow implied that their survival was not that random enough as I thought. By noticed that Deucalion was a son of Prometheus, he probably had been warned and aided by his father.
For FY 2009, the Federal government received $2.105 trillion in revenue. Income taxes contributed $915 billion, Social Security taxes added $654 billion, and Medicare taxes were $191 billion. Corporate taxes were fourth, at $138 billion, while the rest was made up of Excise taxes ($62 billion), Unemployment insurance taxes ($38 billion) and interest on Federal Reserve deposits ($34 billion). Revenue was drastically reduced by the financial crisis, which lowered incomes for both families and businesses.& nbsp(Source: OMB FY 2011 budget, which shows actual spending for FY 2009, Table S-1)
Congress thought the original FY 2009 revenue projection of $2.7 trillion was too high, given the slowing economy. As it turned out, Congress was right. Bush proposed his budget before the March bailout of Bear Stearns, the July bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. (Source: "FY 2009 Budget, Summary Tables, Table S-1" OMB.)
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Too little, too late
"We reconsider the crucial 1927 Solvay conference in the context of current research in the foundations of quantum theory. Contrary to folklore, the interpretation question was not settled at this conference and no consensus was reached instead, a range of sharply conflicting views were presented and extensively discussed. [..]
We provide an extensive analysis of the lectures and discussions that took place, in the light of current debates about the meaning of quantum theory. The proceedings contain much unexpected material. "
Dave asked his readers what to read and Matt Leifer suggested the above in a comment.
December 8, 2009
This is a little problem which somebody (I forgot who it was) told me many years ago. It was wrapped in a story (I guess something about the physics of heads and tails), which I will not try to reconstruct.
Consider a random process x(t) which generates a series of 0s and 1s, but many more 0s because the probability for x(t) = 1 decreases with t as 1/2^t.
Now assume that we encounter this process not knowing 'how far we are already', in
other words we don't know the value of t.
The question is: "What is the probability to get a 1 ?"
Unfortunately there are two ways to answer this question. The first calculates
the 'expectation value', as a physicist would call it, or 'the mean' as a statistician would put it, which is zero.
In other words, we sum over all possible t with equal weight and have to consider
s = sum( 1/2^t ) with t = 1, 2, . N It is not difficult to see that
s = 1/2 + 1/4 + . equals 1.
The answer is therefore prob(1) = s/N = 1/N and because N is infinite (the process never ends) we get prob(1) = 0.
The second answer simply looks at the definition of the process and points out that
prob(1) = 1/2^T, where T is the current value of t. Although we don't know T it must have some finite value and it is obvious that prob(1) > 0.
So which one is it, prob(1) = 0 or prob(1) > 0? And which one do you prefer, the 'equal weight' or the 'unknown T' answer?
added later: A Fatwa has just been issued, which should end this discussion: prob(1) > 0.
Of course, this would raise the heretic question "if prob(1) is greater than zero, what value does it actually have?" but we will not ask that question.
And it also leaves open my question about the lottery ticket (in the comments).