Friday, May 23, 2008

Trucking Regulators Warn on Use of Chantix -

Add this to the earlier ban by the FAA for pilots and air traffic controllers. This can't be good for Pfizer (PFE).

Trucking Regulators Warn on Use of Chantix - "The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a warning Thursday on the anti-smoking drug Chantix, advising medical examiners 'to not qualify anyone currently using this medication for commercial motor vehicle licenses.'

The FMCSA oversees the interstate trucking and bus industry. Chantix, made by Pfizer, Inc., was attacked in a study by a non-profit group on Wednesday for possible links to seizures, dizziness, heart irregularity, diabetes and more than 100 accidents."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Earthquake Hits CNPC and Exacerbates China's Diesel Shortage

Earthquake Hits CNPC and Exacerbates China's Diesel Shortage: "The earthquake in Wenchuan, Sichuan Province has affected the operations of the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), the parent company of PetroChina. According to preliminary estimates, losses due to the earthquake reached 1.78 billion Yuan. PetroChina is now making every effort necessary to rescue wounded staff and find employees that are still missing, while ensuring the supply of oil and the safe operation of facilities in earthquake affected areas.

Influenced by high oil prices in the international market, the diesel wholesale price in some areas rose to 7500 Yuan per ton last week."

Court says money discriminates against blind people - Yahoo! News

The government's arguments were weak at best and the court did a nice job of pointing that out.

Court says money discriminates against blind people - Yahoo! News: "The U.S. acknowledges the design hinders blind people but it argued that blind people have adapted. Some relied on store clerks to help them, some used credit cards and others folded certain corners to help distinguish between bills.

The court ruled 2-1 that such adaptations were insufficient. "The government might as well argue that, since handicapped people can crawl on all fours or ask for help from strangers, there's no need to make buildings wheelchair accessible*, the court said."

*The US Chamber of Commerce, by the way, opposes the ADA every chance they get.

AIG Raises $20 Billion via Shares, Debt Issue: CEO - Financials * US * News * Story -

AIG Raises $20 Billion via Shares, Debt Issue: CEO - Financials * US * News * Story - "American International Group Chief Executive Martin Sullivan on Tuesday told investors that the insurance company's recent issue of equity and debt raised in the region of $20 billion, far more than initially expected."

Monday, May 19, 2008

Texas FLDS Boys Battered & Sexually Abused?

More from The ABC News story:
ABC News: Polygamy Moms at Custody Crossroads: "The state also claims it has evidence of broken bones and sexual abuse among the boys."

Disabled Boy In A Conservative Religion

I wonder what that's like. How do leaders of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints* regard their disabled members? Are disabled boys and disabled girls treated differently? The piece says the boy was given a prosthetic leg while in Texas state custody. Was he previously doing without? Was he just in need of a new leg? Was he receiving medical treatment at all? What's the scoop?

From the ABC News story: "One of the wives of the sect's jailed leader said she was eager to comply with any psychological testing so she could be reunited with her son, a boy born with a birth defect who has been given a new prosthetic leg while in foster care."

Judge Thomas Gossett

*The link to the Church information goes to Wikipedia. It is provided without my endorsement of the contents. Make of it what you will.

ABC News: Polygamy Moms at Custody Crossroads

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some Things To Do This Summer

My sister took the niece & nephew just a couple of weeks ago. His thirteen year old self didn't want to go but his mom said try to be more open minded and give it a chance. He ended up totally intrigued and didn't want to leave when everyone else was ready to go. "I just have to see this, this and that first."
We went last summer and had a lovely afternoon. Time to go back, scrapbook or not the interior architecture alone makes the trip worth it.

Jump In: Visual Arts - The Boston Globe: "'Travels with Isabella': That Isabella Stewart Gardner. It turns out the world traveler and collector of art masterpieces was also an inveterate scrapbooker. When artist Luisa Rabbia spent time in residence at the Gardner Museum last year, she found Mrs. Gardner's scrapbook of a China trip, and spun her own art out of it - a video piece, with soundtrack by Swiss cosmic rocker Fa Ventilato. 'Travels with Isabella, Travel Scrapbooks 1883/2008,' at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, June 27-Sept. 28. 617-566-1401,"

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sippican Cottage: Not Bahstun; Bawstin!

Sippican Cottage: Not Bahstun; Bawstin!: "4. Charly - Made that street in South Boston famous. It didn't help. The trajectory of every poor Boston schlub: Born dumb, get a little education, lift your eyes up from the mud to gaze for a moment at the bright horizon, and then land face-first back in the mud again. They blame it on mental retardation in the movie, but I think it's the Guinness, myself. Triple points for the scenes in the Kasanof's bakery."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

McCain & Obama Plagued By Loony Pastors

This time it's John McCain and Pastor John Hagee. Apparently Hagee didn't know that "The Great Whore" was an anti-Catholic slur. Someone must have told him because he apologized. Whew, glad he saw the light. I'll bet he's a new man now.

Pastor John Hagee says he's sorry for anti-Catholic remarks - Los Angeles Times:
An excerpt taken from The Los Angeles Times online story. "Pastor John Hagee, who heads the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, said in a letter made public Tuesday that he now knew the terms he used to describe the church, such as 'the great whore,' were 'rhetorical devices long employed in anti-Catholic literature.'"

Monday, May 12, 2008

Legislator asks UMass to revoke Mugabe's honorary degree

Who the hell was running uMass in the 1980's? From the AP story - "But in the two decades since, Mugabe has been condemned for attacks on dissidents and accused of running a corrupt government." That seems to be putting it mildly as Mugabe has basically run the country into the ground. According to the BBC Zimbabwe's current inflation rate is running around 3,731.9%.

Zimbabwe dead:
"But, this year, Zimbabwe has been judged by the World Health Organisation to have the lowest life expectancy in the world. Last month, the cemeteries of the capital, Harare, were declared full. This week more than 3,500 people will die of HIV-related illness and tests on post-natal mothers have found infection rates of 70 per cent. A country whose population at its last census numbered 12 million people is dying in droves; its health system is in total disarray and malnutrition is a daily struggle for the majority of the country."

Worcester Telegram & Gazette AP State News

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Circuit City May Combine With Blockbuster To Create An Even Bigger Investor Sink Hole

Circuit City Gives Up the Fight: "y"

From a Business Week story:
"The moves almost certainly presage a sale of the chain, likely to Blockbuster (BBI), where Carl Icahn has stepped up and agreed to finance (, 5/9/08) a Circuit City acquisition. The billionaire—Blockbuster's largest shareholder—has bought into a "game-changing" scheme announced last month in which the troubled electronics retailer would be combined with the troubled movie retailer to create a new national chain selling consumer hardware and software."

Alternate reading: in which the troubled electronics retailer would be combined with the troubled movie retailer to create 'a troubled movie and electronics retailer'.


Thursday, May 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Mr. Warmth

Don Rickles

Don Rickles turned 82 today. Hard to believe. HBO featured a Rickles follow pic recently. Pretty good, he killed, check it out.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Madd Money: Great American Manufacturing Play - Dover


Madd Money: Great American Manufacturing Play - Dover

Cramer said the company is growing overseas with 25% of growth coming from Asia and 45% of total revenues from abroad. Dover trades at 12.6 times earnings and has a 15% growth rate. Cramer thinks this new world technology company should trade at a higher valuation.