On the evening of April 8, 1999, a long line of Town Cars and taxis pulled up to the Minneapolis headquarters of Pillsbury and discharged 11 men who controlled America’s largest food companies. Nestlé was in attendance, as were Kraft and Nabisco, General Mills and Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Mars. Rivals any other day, the C.E.O.’s and company presidents had come together for a rare, private meeting. On the agenda was one item: the emerging obesity epidemic and how to deal with it. While the atmosphere was cordial, the men assembled were hardly friends. Their stature was defined by their skill in fighting one another for what they called “stomach share” — the amount of digestive space that any one company’s brand can grab from the competition.
James Behnke, a 55-year-old executive at Pillsbury, greeted the men as they arrived. He was anxious but also hopeful about the plan that he and a few other food-company executives had devised to engage the C.E.O.’s on America’s growing weight problem. “We were very concerned, and rightfully so, that obesity was becoming a major issue,” Behnke recalled. “People were starting to talk about sugar taxes, and there was a lot of pressure on food companies.” Getting the company chiefs in the same room to talk about anything, much less a sensitive issue like this, was a tricky business, so Behnke and his fellow organizers had scripted the meeting carefully, honing the message to its barest essentials. “C.E.O.’s in the food industry are typically not technical guys, and they’re uncomfortable going to meetings where technical people talk in technical terms about technical things,” Behnke said. “They don’t want to be embarrassed. They don’t want to make commitments. They want to maintain their aloofness and autonomy.”
A chemist by training with a doctoral degree in food science, Behnke became Pillsbury’s chief technical officer in 1979 and was instrumental in creating a long line of hit products, including microwaveable popcorn. He deeply admired Pillsbury but in recent years had grown troubled by pictures of obese children suffering from diabetes and the earliest signs of hypertension and heart disease. In the months leading up to the C.E.O. meeting, he was engaged in conversation with a group of food-science experts who were painting an increasingly grim picture of the public’s ability to cope with the industry’s formulations — from the body’s fragile controls on overeating to the hidden power of some processed foods to make people feel hungrier still. It was time, he and a handful of others felt, to warn the C.E.O.’s that their companies may have gone too far in creating and marketing products that posed the greatest health concerns.
The Muslim population in England and Wales has increased by 80 percent since 2001 according to a British government census. With 2.7 million known adherents — 40 percent living in and around London — Islam has emerged as Britain’s second-largest religion after Christianity. Immigration accounts for most of the increase but conversions are on the rise making Islam the UK’s fastest-growing faith. Data from mosques indicates there may be more than 100,000 converts in Britain of various ethnicities. There were 5,000 conversions in 2012 of which three quarters were young females. What’s fueling this trend?
“Make me a Muslim,” a documentary that recently aired on BBC World, begins with “growing numbers of white British women are converting to Islam and asks but why would they want to give up all the freedoms their Western life allows?” It seeks to discover the challenges they face following the precepts of their new faith within a society known for its liberal, freewheeling lifestyle.
Neither snow, nor rain nor gloom of night has taken on a different meaning at the U.S. Postal Service with plans to launch a new product line of apparel and accessories under the brand name, “Rain Heat & Snow.”
The Postal Service’s unofficial motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” serves as a backdrop for a licensing agreement the organization has signed with Cleveland-based fashion apparel company Wahconah Group, Inc. The agreement leverages Postal Service intellectual property by introducing the Rain Heat & Snow brand of apparel and accessory products.
“This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” said Postal Service Corporate Licensing Manager Steven Mills. “The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ — also known as wearable electronics.”
In our attention to what’s goin’ down in the several states, especially those several states where Republican governors have Republican state legislatures with which to play, we have been inexcusably neglectful in keeping an eye on North Carolina — aka The Smart Carolina. They had all that academia going on in the middle of the state, and all that medical smartitude breaking out all throughout the Research Triangle, and we were so dazzled that we didn’t notice that, politically, the people running the place were casting envious eyes southward toward The Dumbass Carolina and thinking, “We need to get us some of that!”
Oh, sure, there was the time when the Republicans in the legislature passed that bill that made it illegal for the oceans to rise in contradiction to Jesus’s expressed wishes, but we took that as a kind of prank, really. Now, though, Governor Pat McCrory has made it clear that, by cracky, he’s not going to be out-peckerwood-ed by those folks one state down 95.
The overhaul will allow North Carolina to repay $2.5 billion borrowed from the federal government for unemployment benefits at a quicker pace. The law, which takes effect on July 1, cuts maximum weekly benefits to $350 from $535 and caps benefits at 12 to 20 weeks, depending on the unemployment rate, instead of the current 26 weeks. McCrory said the measure “will protect our small businesses from continued over-taxation, ensure our citizens’ unemployment safety net is secure and financially sound for future generations, and help provide an economic climate that allows job creators to start hiring again.” Critics said the harsh nature of the cuts would harm some of the state’s most vulnerable residents. North Carolina has more than 400,000 jobless workers, making its 9.2 percent unemployment rate higher than the national average of 7.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
‘Death Spiral’ States?
Posted on January 11, 2013
Q: Do 11 states now have more people on welfare than they have employed?
A: A viral email making this claim is off base. It distorts a Forbes article that compares private-sector workers with those “dependent on the government,” including government workers and pensioners, and Medicaid recipients — not just “people on welfare.”
Please let me know if this is accurate or not. I am just concerned if the comparison between the number of people who are employed vs the number of people who are on welfare is accurate.
These eleven states now have more people on welfare than they have employed.
All eleven of them have one thing very much in common. All of them have Democrat Governors and Democrat controlled legislatures, and; surprise surprise, seven of these eleven states all voted for Obama. DUH!
This just goes to prove that the majority of Americans have no intention of ever attempting to put together an independent life for themselves and their families, but rather, that they are quite content to just live on the tax payers dime for eternity.
Unfortunately, I see no clear cut scenario in which any of these states, or possibly even the whole United States for that matter, will ever manage to recover.
On Nov. 25, 2012, forbes.com published an article by William Baldwin, an investment strategies contributing writer, that asked, “Do You Live In A Death Spiral State?” Baldwin’s advice to readers was to avoid putting capital in financially troubled states where people “dependent on government” outnumber those working in the private sector.
“If your career takes you to Los Angeles or Chicago, don’t buy a house. Rent,” he wrote. “If you have money in municipal bonds, clean up the portfolio. Sell holdings from the sick states and reinvest where you’re less likely to get clipped.”
That list of “fiscal hellholes,” as Baldwin labeled them, included Ohio, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, South Carolina, New York, Maine, Alabama, California, Mississippi and New Mexico. And they are all highlighted in the graphic above, which was taken from segments of the Fox Business television program Varney & Co., where Baldwin’s reporting was later discussed.
But Baldwin’s definition of individuals “dependent on government” is stated incorrectly in the viral email as simply those on “welfare.” Baldwin wrote that, among the dependents, he included current state and local government employees, as well as former workers receiving government pensions. And he only counted Medicaid recipients as those on “welfare.”
And none of the 11 states on his list has more Medicaid recipients than workers. Also, none of the states has more recipients of other kinds of “welfare,” such as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or food stamps (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
Baldwin told us in an interview that what he reported and what the email says “are not the same thing at all.”
Italy’s Catholic Church will be forced to pay taxes starting in 2013 after the EU pressured the country’s government to pass a controversial law stripping the Church of its historic property tax exemption.
The Catholic Church in Italy is excluded from paying taxes on its land if at least a part of a Church property is used non-commercially - for instance, a chapel in a bed-and-breakfast.
“The regulatory framework will be definite by January 1, 2013 - the start of the fiscal year - and will fully respect the [European] Community law,” Italian premier Mario Monti’s government said in a statement on Tuesday.
The move could net Italy revenues of 500 million to 2 billion euros annually across the country, municipal government associations said. The extra income from previously exempt properties in Rome alone - including hotels, restaurants and sports centers - could reach 25.5 million euros a year, La Repubblica daily newspaper reported.
On Monday, the Council of State, Italy’s highest ranking court for administrative litigation, ruled against the new law. Authorities stepped in, arguing that everyone in Italy should pay property tax, including the Church.
The measure came after the country’s leadership decided in February to alter Italy’s property tax code, ending the Church’s longstanding privileges due to the severe debt crisis.
Soros? The Illuminati? The Obama Regime? Someone’s going be frogmarched to a treason trial.
Interesting fact: when I tried to fax the letter to President of Israel Shimon Peres, there was a message in Hebrew from the phone company that the fax is blocked. Why would the state department of Israel post on their web site the fax number, which is blocked?
Here is the letter and 137 pages of exhibits which I am mailing as the fax machine is blocked
So why is she sending 137 pages of crap to Israel, via fax (if she could)?
My letter to the President of Israel Shimon Peres advising him that he is about to give a medal of distiction to a criminal with forged and stolen IDs, has been picked by Israeli web sites and translate into Hebrew.
It’s on her site. I won’t link to it because you never know what you’re going to catch there.
I think I actually understood this. WOOT!
Posted by Tom Hartsfield at Wed, 13 Feb 2013 01:24:47
Back in 8th grade, I hated math. Everyone hated math. Maybe the kid who kept their calculator (or slide rule, for you vintage readers) in a case didn’t hate math. That kid probably became an engineer. Or a physicist. (Confession: I was later the kid with the fancy calculator.) Our rallying cry as math-haters was, “When are we ever going to use this?!” Here’s a wise answer: two basic forms of geometry, learned before high school, are used in almost every engineering project and every physics discovery that has ever been made.
Greek mathematicians, notably Euclid and Pythagoras (of middle school algebra infamy), laid out the first geometry of the world. They thought of things in terms of shapes made of lines and curves. Their most important discovery was a way to tell how far apart things are:
Take any two places (A and B) and draw a line through each place such that the lines meet (C) at a 90 degree angle. The distance from A to B, squared, is always equal to the distance B-C squared plus the distance from C back to A, squared. (This is the infamous Pythagorean theorem.) This language is perfectly accurate for flat, still surfaces. Notice however, that it only deals in distances between things, not their absolute position. Euclid says “B is five miles north of A” not “B is at 2 Water Lane, Woolsthorpe”.
Descartes wanted a way to make the points A, B and C refer to absolute things so that anyone anywhere can perform the same measurements. Latin, Chinese, Hebrew and English are all languages of words to catalog or refer to concepts. They are phone books that assign words to ideas. Similarly, the math of Descartes is a phone book, but to assign numbers to places in space. This is called Cartesian geometry. In this language, the Pythagorean Theorem is written like this:
Where A, B and C are all coordinate numbers, like (0,0) or (-3,5) that you stick into the formula. Euclid would have made you draw lines and geometric shapes and connect them all with theorems!
Descartes’s world is an enormous ream of numbered graph paper. You start with zero somewhere, and then you follow perpendicular lines in all directions. Euclid’s relative distances are replaced by numbers that tell you where you start and where you end and where you are everywhere in between, relative to the entire world. This mathematical machinery is valid for most experiences in day to day life.
Centuries later, Einstein came along and changed everything. His conclusion that the speed of light is constant, and his fitting of experiments to theory demanded a new geometry. In this geometry, objects always move at the speed of light through four-dimensional space-time. The math was invented by Hendrik Lorentz, a brilliant mathematician and physicist of the late 19th century. Lorentzian geometry is much harder to explain, but you can think of the graph paper of Descartes as actually distorted, or squished, like a cardboard carton being smashed:
Researchers at Albuquerque’s Sandia Labs have, for whatever reason, decided to create zombie cells which mimic live cells and out-perform them. Only a matter of time now.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), a former hospital CEO and ardent Obamacare critic, announced at a press conference Wednesday evening that he will accept Obamacare funding in order to expand his state’s Medicaid program for low-income Americans. The move comes after Scott secured a waiver to privatize the public insurance program.
The decision represents a marked departure from Scott’s previously held stance. Scott didn’t just initially oppose taking part in the expansion — which the Supreme Court ruled to be optional last summer — he knowingly cited wildly inaccurate figures to inflate the program’s cost to the state by 2500 percent in an effort to discredit it. He eventually dropped his estimate for the expansion by $23 billion in the face of intense media scrutiny. The federal government will pay the lion’s share of funding for states that expand Medicaid, including fully funding expansions for the first three years.
Good but he’s got an endless way to go to make up for all of the damage he’s already caused to Florida.