Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pictures of a Great show







Fishbone was remarkable tonight. The band was full of power, shine and fun. Angelo Moore was in fine stage diving form. Norwood, a bass hero of mine, was simply amazing. Especially on his furious slap bass on "Bonin' in the Bone Yard". The whole current line up of the band was bad ass. Their latest album, Still Stuck In Your Throat, is the triumphant return to my favorite era of Fishbone albums. The new stuff, like "Changes" and "Let Dem Hos Fight" fits right in with their classic sound. I should have written down the 2 hour set. Hopefully it will be updated here soon. Of the 3 opening acts, Heavy Mojo was the band that stuck out to me. As a bassist, I usually don't like bands without bass players, but these guys rocked. The drummer was smokin'. Enjoy the pictures of the show.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On the scene for heroes of my youth.

What is it about bands of a person's youth? The passionate devotion I gave (and continue to give) to certain bands always warm my heart. I am sitting here in Austin at Emo's waiting for Fishbone. This band has been through the journey of life. Band
members, producers lost and found. Musical journeys hitting solid ground and meandering aimlessly. This is me life as well. During this time of reflection (economy gone to hell, bright new Presidential light, holiday cheer with family and friends far and near and whatmore) I feel good going back to a place of emotional comfort. More after the show.....

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks for the Experience.


Do you realize this man was only 27 years old when he died?

Damn…

Go out and listen to Are You Experienced? The album with the bonus tracks. No, listen to it all the way through. Try to imagine hearing this for the first time. Then imagine everyone in the world hearing this for the first time with you. Go ahead now..

Today, he would have be 66 years old.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday…Ms. Bullock


This woman epitomizes power and grace. Her voice, her moves, her being. Her influence on women in rock, I think, is greatly understated. Her story is legendary and a triumph of perseverance that everyone can learn from. To the sexiest 69 (!) year old in the world…A hearty happy birthday to Tina Turner, still going strong.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It was 45 years ago today.



The 35th President of the United States was assassinated in Dallas Texas. In this year of incredible change, we should pause to remember the hope this man embodied for an American generation coming out of WWII and entering the cold war. We enter uncertain times with global economic forces, global warming and global wars. We have a new face for an American President and a country looking to him for hope.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Funniest Thing I Have Read and Watch in a Long Time

Bill Simmons is a genius!










By Bill Simmons
ESPN The Magazine

My favorite YouTube clip runs 572 magical seconds. It celebrates an impossible-to-fathom era of political incorrectness, egotistical celebs, misguided testosterone and the purest unintentional comedy possible … only it finishes with a Hall of Fame sports moment. That's right—I'm referring to the match race between Robert Conrad and Gabe Kaplan on the 1976 debut of Battle of the Network Stars.

A quick explanation: Building on the success of its Superstars franchise, ABC mustered an athletic competition that pitted on-air talent from the three networks against each other. Howard Cosell was the emcee/announcer for what is best described as a trashy coed team decathlon. Many TV biggies showed up for the $20,000-per-member-of-the-winning-team prize, even Farrah Fawcett-Majors. Nowadays, of course, she'd tell the producers to screw off. But then? Thanks for inviting me! (You have to love the '70s.) The team captains were Telly Savalas, star of Kojak (CBS), Gabe Kaplan, boss of the Sweathogs in Welcome Back, Kotter (ABC), and Robert Conrad, Pappy Boyington in Baa Baa Black Sheep (NBC). Here's a running diary that won't possibly match the clip itself:

0:00 A furious Telly complains about an illegal NBC baton exchange during the sprint relay. This is personal for Telly. As he explains to Cosell, his people, the Greeks, started the Olympics, so he feels obligated to stand up for what's right. Wait, did the original Olympians smoke cigarettes between events or wear red jogging suits with gold chains and dark sunglasses?

1:15 After a 35-second we-haven't-quite-figured-out-how-this-slo-mo-works replay of NBC's chicanery, Conrad bitches to sideline reporter … wait for it … reigning Olympic decathlon champ Bruce Jenner! (This show practically created two things: sideline reporters and instant replay. In other words, it went one-for-two.) "If they're protesting the fact that we really outran them," he hisses, "that's their problem!"

Not to be outblowharded, Savalas throws around words like "vulgarly" and "flagrantly" to condemn NBC. That's when Conrad crosses every line: "[Telly] is Greek, and the Greeks are famous athletes. That's how this all started. [Kaplan] is Jewish, he wants to arbitrate. And I'm German, I vant to kill both of dem!" Everyone laughs. Why? It's the '70s, that's why!

Just when it can't get better, Pat Harrington Jr.—Schneider, the wisecracking janitor on One Day at a Time—quips, "And I'm Irish, and I'm looking for another mick to hit!" followed by Telly deciding, "And I'm from New York, and I want the bread, baby."

I think that was a joke. I'm almost positive.

2:25 NBC's made-for-TV-movie queen Joanna Pettet sums up: "What is the hullabaloo?" It's the last time the word is ever used.

3:12 Director of competition Howard Katz, who would parlay this gig into a job running ESPN and ABC Sports, assesses a two-second penalty to NBC and awards the race to ABC as future A-list directors Penny Marshall and Ron Howard celebrate a bit too exuberantly. How have Laverne and Opie not yet pooled 10 mil to destroy all copies of this telecast?

4:00 Kaplan, Howard and Robert Hegyes (Kotter's Epstein) discuss the verdict with Cosell as Wonder Woman Lynda Carter happily kisses Kaplan on the cheek. Telly strolls in after popping four more blowhard pills. "I'm still upset, Howard," he gripes.

Me too. I'm upset we once lived in a world in which Telly was a sex symbol. Telly isn't half as ticked as Conrad is. He's now threatening to pull NBC from the competition. "I'm the captain of this team!" he screams. "We ran a damn good race!"

Katz makes the mistake of saying NBC would have placed second if not for their infraction. "Like hell!" Conrad bellows four times. Seriously, LIKE HELL!! When ABC star Richard Hatch (Streets of San Francisco) tries to calm things, Conrad sucks disdainfully from a cigarette and pushes Hatch away. Why was everyone so terrified of him? The guy is barely taller than Darren Sproles.

"Tell Kaplan to get his team out there and run it with us," Conrad yells. "We'll determine who the best team is." He's in a frenzy.

And then it happens: To a bemused Kaplan standing behind him, Conrad turns and snarls, "You and I want to run a 100 to see who the fastest is?" Kaplan quickly agrees. "Lets go!" Conrad says as he whips down his towel.

Now, before I found this clip on YouTube, I hadn't seen this moment in 32 years. I'd always remembered it vividly, though. You don't forget a bully calling out one of your heroes. No one challenges Mr. Kotter like that! I also remember thinking Gabe was in deep doo-doo. He was a gawky teacher with a Groucho mustache. Conrad shot people in Black Sheep. How could Mr. Kotter pull this off?

What I didn't know: Kaplan ran track in high school. He'd actually made up 15 yards on Conrad in the previous relay. "I'm sure it looked like I couldn't possibly win," Kaplan told me recently. "I looked like a guy who should be hanging around a deli, and he was, like, the macho man of his generation."

Even Farrah (Gabe's teammate) complained about the mismatch to Cosell, causing him to respond, "Farrah, baby, I'm not in charge of the rules committee. But … [shifting into Dramatic Cosell Mode] clearly, CON-tro-VERSY has beset the Battle of the Network Stars."

6:30 Back from a tense commercial break. Gabe's teammates try to talk him out of running. Nope. He has to do this.

8:00 They're off!

8:05 Things look bleak as Conrad rips off an early lead. But Gabe makes his move heading into the turn, catches up and—wait, this can't be happening—completely dusts Conrad down the stretch! It's Kaplan by a good 10 yards! ABC wins!

I can't emphasize this strongly enough: This was the happiest sports moment of my childhood—besides Carlton Fisk's home run and USA 4, USSR 3. My man ran 120 yards in under 14 seconds, while poor Conrad heaved his way to the end, handicapped by too many butts and a monstrous ego. It was too fantastic. All of it.

8:16 Gabe is mauled by his euphoric team. They do everything but pile on top of him like the 2008 Phillies. And then, a heartwarming moment: Conrad and Kaplan walk toward Cosell, arms around each other—and Conrad coughing up a lung.

"That's the way I like it," Conrad tells Cosell dramatically. "Best man wins … Best captain won."

Then he walks away, but not before giving Gabe two demeaning slaps on the face. Ladies and gentlemen, the biggest celebrity blowhard of all time … Mr. Robert Conrad!

9:01 The clip ends with a slo-mo replay of Gabe dusting Conrad as Epstein cheers like Lasorda after Gibson's homer. "Look at the smile etched in the visage as he breasts the tape," Cosell narrates. I was just thinking that. What the clip doesn't show is that ABC won the next event and later won the climactic tug-of-war. Gabe's race was Dave Roberts' steal, in a way.

Even now, Gabe remembers each detail. People have been bringing up the show to him for 32 years. He's the Mike Eruzione of reality TV. "I didn't realize at the time how big it would be," he admits. "Nobody could believe I won."

Or anything about those 572 seconds, for that matter.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm Back

1st there was the greatest election of my lifetime. Then, I had my career transition.

I started my job as the Competitive Media Analyst in my company on Thursday November 6. The career switch is a big deal to me. I must go into some history here.

I knew I was going to be a musician when I was 15 years old. I geared all of my decisions toward having a career in music-I didn't get married, I have no kids, I worked freelance jobs. After slugging away as the music industry wasted away, I moved to Austin and worked in cover bands. I decided to go back to school and I didn't stop for 6 years. I ended up at the local paper here in Austin and I was primed to move into my retiring boss's job. It was the AR Manager and I just finished my MBA in Finance after completing my BBA in Accounting. To add to the expectation, I was told in 2007 I was going to move into that job. So I was shocked when I was screwed out of the job by a nutjob middle manager. This person really doesn't know what teamwork is and wants to do everything a certain way.

This really added some stress to me. He I am in my mid-30s, getting turned down for a job in the cubicle world after I had trained for it. I was a great student, A average for my BBA and MBA while I worked full-time. I left my music to get a real job and the real job rejected me. I was not happy.

Then the marketing department had this position and it is perfect for me. I use my intellect. I am really a professional information junkie. I look up data and use my judgment to provide people the information they need. The information is all about media use, tracking and measurement and forecasting. The same skills I used in accounting and finance, but now with fun information: audience measurement, market share, audience behaviors. The great thing is that I have been doing this stuff intuitively because I was selling a product and skill in an over saturated market-music.

I have my footing and I will be back to my daily blog posting. Now the election is over and my guy won, I will watch, report and be encouraged. I feel now is the time for a rebirth in America. I really believe our economic issues will get worked out. I feel the good vibe coming back.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This is cold




You don't make Halloween political. If this was a Obama supporter, I would say the same thing. I have to admit though, it smells of the defensiveness of the McCain campaign.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NBA Baby!




My favorite sport, NBA Basketball, kicks off tonight. My Chicago Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-91.

Other highlights:



The Celtics beat the LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers their ring night.



I am expecting a minor playoff run for the Bulls and I think Derrick Rose will be the rookie of the year.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

People Meters...Racist?

This is a story from AdAge.

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Arbitron's commercialization of its Portable People Meter system in New York and New Jersey radio markets this week triggered a flurry of conflict. The attorneys general of both states filed suit to block implementation of the system, which, they charge, undercounts African American and Hispanic audiences. Arbitron then counter sued. Meanwhile, the Hispanic Radio Association and the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters joined with regional minority radio stations on the steps of New York's City Hall to blast the Arbitron system as inaccurate. Arbitron defends the accuracy of its data gathering.

Here is the video of this report.

This is very important because radio stations base advertising rates on ratings. Remember when the music industry switched to electronic data gathering to measure record sales? Soundscan changed the landscape of the music industry forever. I remember Garth Brooks and Country Music really taking of then. With these portable people meters, the same will happened to radio ratings. The problem is the portable people meters don't appear to be spread over a true representation of the listening public. Newspapers, television,the Internet and mobile media are businesses that use advertising to drive revenue. The whole media upheaval going on now is based on how to measure audience for content. My new position at my employer will study this problem. I feel it is exciting times.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ron Howard: American Icon

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die


This is a great, funny take about voting for Obama. Do you all realize the impact Ron Howard has had on American culture? Think about it.. Opie, Richie, Night Shift, Splash, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and yes, Willow...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Dolemite is Dead. Long Live Dolemite.



Rudy Ray Moore, comic trailblazer, died on Sunday, October 19. Dolemite is his best known persona. He was raw, unapologetic blackness. He was a black comic for black people in the days of the chitlin' circuit. Unlike his contemporary, Redd Foxx, he never really went mainstream. His larger than life, blacker than black, badder than bad image is the root of rap's braggadocios style. Farai Chideya of NPR's News and Notes had a great analysis of Rudy Ray Moore's impact on American culture here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Day of Voting in Texas

Today is the first day of early voting in Texas. The process was smooth. Texas is prepared for the record turn out. Here is what the electronic ballot looks like. Yes, I voted for Barack Obama.



Sunday, October 19, 2008

More Palin Funny.

Governor Palin is a good sport. She might hold some crazy opinions, but at least she can laugh at herself. Go to Hulu to catch the best clips from the show last night. This is my favorite one.


Friday, October 17, 2008

His Voice Ran Deep.



Levi Stubbs, the lead singer of the Four Tops passed away today. One of the greatest voices in the history of soul music. It must have ran in the family...his cousin was Jackie Wilson.

The urgency of his voice was so enticing. Listen for yourself..



RIP Soul Brother...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How Did Barack Do in the Debate?

Ladies and Gentleman, Mr. David Brooks of the New York Times:

Thinking About Obama

By DAVID BROOKS

We’ve been watching Barack Obama for two years now, and in all that time there hasn’t been a moment in which he has publicly lost his self-control. This has been a period of tumult, combat, exhaustion and crisis. And yet there hasn’t been a moment when he has displayed rage, resentment, fear, anxiety, bitterness, tears, ecstasy, self-pity or impulsiveness.

Some candidates are motivated by something they lack. For L.B.J., it was respect. For Bill Clinton, it was adoration. These politicians are motivated to fill that void. Their challenge once in office is self-regulation. How will they control the demons, insecurities and longings that fired their ambitions?

But other candidates are propelled by what some psychologists call self-efficacy, the placid assumption that they can handle whatever the future throws at them. Candidates in this mold, most heroically F.D.R. and Ronald Reagan, are driven upward by a desire to realize some capacity in their nature. They rise with an unshakable serenity that is inexplicable to their critics and infuriating to their foes.

Obama has the biography of the first group but the personality of the second. He grew up with an absent father and a peripatetic mother. “I learned long ago to distrust my childhood,” he wrote in “Dreams From My Father.” This is supposed to produce a politician with gaping personal needs and hidden wounds.

But over the past two years, Obama has never shown evidence of that. Instead, he has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day.

There has never been a moment when, at least in public, he seems gripped by inner turmoil. It’s not willpower or self-discipline he shows as much as an organized unconscious. Through some deep, bottom-up process, he has developed strategies for equanimity, and now he’s become a homeostasis machine.

When Bob Schieffer asked him tough questions during the debate Wednesday night, he would step back and describe the broader situation. When John McCain would hit him with some critique — even about fetuses being left to die on a table — he would smile in amusement at the political game they were playing. At every challenging moment, his instinct was to self-remove and establish an observer’s perspective.

Through the debate, he was reassuring and self-composed. McCain, an experienced old hand, would blink furiously over the tension of the moment, but Obama didn’t reveal even unconscious signs of nervousness. There was no hint of an unwanted feeling.

They say we are products of our environments, but Obama, the sojourner, seems to go through various situations without being overly touched by them. Over the past two years, he has been the subject of nearly unparalleled public worship, but far from getting drunk on it, he has become less grandiloquent as the campaign has gone along.

When Bill Clinton campaigned, he tried to seduce his audiences. But at Obama rallies, the candidate is the wooed not the wooer. He doesn’t seem to need the audience’s love. But they need his. The audiences hunger for his affection, while he is calm, appreciative and didactic.

He doesn’t have F.D.R.’s joyful nature or Reagan’s happy outlook, but he is analytical. That’s why this William Ayers business doesn’t stick. He may be liberal, but he is never wild. His family is bourgeois. His instinct is to flee the revolutionary gesture in favor of the six-point plan.

This was not evident back in the “fierce urgency of now” days, but it is now. And it is easy to sketch out a scenario in which he could be a great president. He would be untroubled by self-destructive demons or indiscipline. With that cool manner, he would see reality unfiltered. He could gather — already has gathered — some of the smartest minds in public policy, and, untroubled by intellectual insecurity, he could give them free rein. Though he is young, it is easy to imagine him at the cabinet table, leading a subtle discussion of some long-term problem.

Of course, it’s also easy to imagine a scenario in which he is not an island of rationality in a sea of tumult, but simply an island. New presidents are often amazed by how much they are disobeyed, by how often passive-aggressiveness frustrates their plans.

It could be that Obama will be an observer, not a leader. Rather than throwing himself passionately into his causes, he will stand back. Congressional leaders, put off by his supposed intellectual superiority, will just go their own way. Lost in his own nuance, he will be passive and ineffectual. Lack of passion will produce lack of courage. The Obama greatness will give way to the Obama anti-climax.

We can each guess how the story ends. But over the past two years, Obama has clearly worn well with voters. Far from a celebrity fad, he is self-contained, self-controlled and maybe even a little dull.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Prep for Tonight's Debate

My great employer, the Austin American-Statesman, created interactive bingo cards for the debate. You can also print them out.

This is McCain's and this is Obama's

Bonus prep:
This is Palin's bingo card.

And as a special bonus, an interactive image of Palin as President.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brownington Post


The new Tina Brown news portal is The Daily Beast. I am not quite sure what to make of it. It's kinda clunky, but very smart. Almost too smart for it's own good. Ms. Brown surrounds herself with talented, opinionated commentators sure to rise up the ire of liberals, conservatives, trendsetters and the intellectual elite.

The 1st scoop the site got was the splendid commentary by Christopher Buckley and his reasons for voting Obama in November. What did he get for his intellectual honesty? The door hitting him in the ass as he leaves the magazine his father founded. (By the way, I know I am slow, but I didn't know that Christopher Buckley wrote the book Thank You for Smoking. I enjoyed the movie so I have to read the book.)

Ms. Brown wrote her own piece about Obama. I think she engages in the subtle racial digs that sports commentators fall into when describing black athletes. There is a tendency to describe the black athlete as natural or raw talent, while using smart, intellectual and hard-working to describing white athletes. Better lucky than smart Tina? Really? A commentator on Tina's post wrote this and I agree:

PhDiva:

"Sure, Tina. The black guy couldn't possibly be running the must
economically successful campaign in American history. He couldn't have the
best ground game of any democrat in recent history. He couldn't have
defeated Hillary Clinton and the most powerful democratic machine of the
late 20th century because voters actually supported him. No, he's not
smart, gifted, organized, or presidential. He's just lucky. Can you
imagine anybody describing a white politician who has accomplished as much
as Obama in this way?..."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Congratulations Mr Krugman.

From the New York Times...

Krugman Wins Economics Nobel
By CATHERINE RAMPELL

Paul Krugman, a professor at Princeton and an Op-Ed page columnist for The New York Times, was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science on Monday.

The prize committee cited Mr. Krugman for his “analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity.”

Mr. Krugman, 55, is probably more widely known for his Op-Ed columns in which he has been a perpetual thorn in President Bush’s (and now John McCain’s) side. His columns have won him both strong supporters and ardent critics.

The prize, however, was awarded for the academic — and less political — research that he conducted primarily before he began writing regularly for The Times.

“To be absolutely, totally honest, I thought this day might come some day, but I was absolutely convinced it wasn’t going to be this day,” Mr. Krugman said in an interview on Monday. “I know people who live their lives waiting for this call, and it’s not good for the soul. So I put it out of my mind and stopped thinking about it.”

Mr. Krugman won the prize for his research, beginning in 1979, that explained patterns of trade among countries, as well as what goods are produced where and why.

Traditional trade theory assumes that countries are different and will exchange only the kinds of goods that they are comparatively better at producing — wine from France, for example, and rice from China.

This model, however, dating from David Ricardo’s writings of the early 19th century, was not reflected in the flow of goods and services that Mr. Krugman saw in the world around him. He set out to explain why worldwide trade was dominated by a few countries that were similar to one another, and why a country might import the same kinds of goods it exported.

In his model, many companies sell similar goods with slight variations. These companies become more efficient at producing their goods as they sell more, and so they grow. Consumers like variety, and pick and choose goods from among these producers in different countries, enabling countries to continue exchanging similar products. So some Americans buy Volkswagens and some Germans buy Fords.

He developed this work further to explain the effect of transportation costs on why people live where they live. His model explained under what conditions trade would lead people or companies to move to a particular region or to move away.

Mr. Krugman’s work has been praised for its simplicity and practicality — features economists are often criticized for ignoring.

“Some people think that something deep only comes out of great complexity,” said Maurice Obstfeld, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who wrote a textbook on international economics with Mr. Krugman. “Paul’s great strength is to take something very simple and make something new and very profound.”

Mr. Krugman applied his skill at translating complex ideas into clear, entertaining prose to his Times columns, which he began writing in 2000. In recent years, in his column and a related blog on nytimes.com, nearly everything about the Bush administration — from health care policy to Iraq to “general incompetence” — has been the object of his scorn.

Along the way, Mr. Krugman has come in for criticism himself from both economists and lay readers.

“Much of his popular work is disgraceful,” said Daniel Klein, a professor of economics at George Mason University, who this year wrote a comprehensive review of Mr. Krugman’s body of Times columns. “He totally omits all these major issues where the economics conclusion goes against the feel-good Democratic Party ethos, which I think he’s really tended to pander to especially since writing for The New York Times.”

But he has equally fervent fans of his popular work.

“I praise today’s prize as being deserving and even overdue, but more than that I reproach the Pulitzer committee, which owed him at least a couple of prizes in the past,” said Paul A. Samuelson, a previous winner of the Nobel in economic science. “Paul Krugman is the only columnist in the United States who has had it right on almost every count from the beginning.”

Mr. Krugman said he did not expect his award to have much effect on how colleagues and his popular readership — whether they be friends or foes — regard him.

“For economists, this is a validation but not news,” he said. “We know what each other has been up to.”

“For readers of the column,” he added, “maybe they will read a little more carefully when I’m being economistic, or maybe have a little more tolerance when I’m being boring.”

He said he did not expect the prize to silence his critics, given the treatment of another outspoken laureate, the 2001 winner Joseph E. Stiglitz. Mr. Stiglitz has been both praised and criticized for his writings on whether globalization in its current form has been beneficial.

“I haven’t noticed him getting an easy time,” Mr. Krugman said. “People just say, ‘Sure, he’s a great Nobel laureate and he’s very smart, but he still doesn’t know what he’s talking about in this situation.’ I’m sure I’ll get the same thing.”

Mr. Krugman first gained a popular following while writing about economics for Slate magazine and Forbes in the 1990s. He frequently weighed in on contemporary free trade debates related to his research.

“He was appalled by the monster he created,” said Michael Kinsley, the founding editor of Slate, who hired Mr. Krugman. “He’d come up with this theory about why sometimes free trade wasn’t the best policy, and suddenly everyone was citing it as an argument against free trade, while he thinks it applies once in a blue moon.”

While Mr. Krugman’s popular writing is now more focused on politics and his research more concentrated on international finance, he has occasionally returned to his interest in trade. In the last year he has written several times about the negative results of free trade, both in his column and in a paper he wrote for the Brookings Institution about whether trade with poor countries increases inequality in developed nations like the United States.

In 1991 Mr. Krugman received the John Bates Clark medal, a prize given every two years to an economist under 40 who has made a significant contribution to economic knowledge. He follows a long list of Clark medal recipients who have gone on to win Nobels in economic science, including Mr. Stiglitz and Mr. Samuelson.

Mr. Krugman, who grew up on Long Island and has a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a doctorate from M.I.T., has been teaching at Princeton since 2000. This semester, he is teaching a graduate-level course in international monetary theory and policy. He often teaches all-freshman seminars on issues related to economics.

Mr. Krugman joins another Princeton economist, albeit one of different ideological leanings, who has been in the news recently: Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve who, coincidentally, offered Mr. Krugman his Princeton post. Mr. Bernanke and Mr. Krugman were fellow graduate students at M.I.T. in the 1970s.

Their era at M.I.T. produced several other economists who went on to prestigious careers in public policy, including Olivier Blanchard and Kenneth Rogoff, the current and former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund.

Monday’s award, the last of the six prizes, is not one of the original Nobels. It was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in Alfred Nobel’s memory. Mr. Krugman was the sole winner of the award this year, which includes a prize of about $1.4 million.

Still, his collaborators and mentors in his international trade research — some of whom were considered competing candidates for the prize — extended their praise.

“Lots of people are saying to me, ‘Why didn’t you get it?’” said Jagdish Bhagwati, an economics professor at Columbia who helped Mr. Krugman publish one of his seminal papers when other academics thought it was too simple to be true. “Given the fact that I didn’t get it, this is the next best thing.”

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Back to the Grill Again

I made a conscience decision to stay away from the blog and my media fixes. It felt good to unplug a little. To catch up, I went to Jason Linkins' TV SoundOff on the Huffington Post. It is a must read on Sunday as a catch-all for the political commentary. This video was on the site. It is funny as hell.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Are McCain Rallies Becoming Lynching Parties?

This stuff is getting out of hand.

Respectful disagreement is part of democratic discourse. What is going at McCain rallies is really disappointing.

Here
is one story about it. Here is another.

Now, McCain has to defend Obama as a "descent man". Rock, please meet Mr. Hardplace...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy makin' other plans." Happy Birthday to Father and Son.


John Lennon would have be 68 today. It is still strange that he has been gone for almost 28 years. His youngest son, Sean shares a birthday with his father. He is 33 today.

It is amazing how much he looks like his father. Actually, John had some strong genes because Julian has a strong resemblance to his father also.

In 1997, I was living on Sullivan Street in the Soho section of Greenwich Village. As I was walking to my apartment, a dude roller blading with his girlfriend bump into me. No harm no foul. He was so nice and apologetic, I didn't notice that it was Sean Lennon with his girlfriend at the time, Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Viagra for My LapTop

I finally bought the Leopard upgrade for my MacBook Pro. I am looking forward to improved performance.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

That One is Going to Be President





Questions from the debate:

How will conservatives like a new government program that looks to spend another $300 Billion dollars on buying bad mortgages? By the way Senator McCain, the bailout plan already has money available for this.

Why can't John McCain say middle class?

Why did John McCain have to question the knowledge of the black man on his knowledge of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

If McCain has the foreign policy experience, why did he say that Barack was right on Afghanistan? Plus, why did he get General Petraeus's title wrong?

Why can't Senator McCain call Barack Obama like Senator, or Barack or Obama or homey, or bro? "That One?" C'mon man!

"Green behind the ears"?

What does McCain have against Tom Brokaw? And by the way, doesn't Tom Brokaw know that people want to hear the candidates and not him yap about time limits?

Is it me or did McCain seem really old stalking the stage like a grandfather chasing imaginary grandchildren? Or worse, like the death scene of Don Vito Corleone in the garden?

Putin on the Hits.



I am in a good mood. I got the position I wanted at my employer. I enjoyed a very entertaining Monday Night Football game. Even the markets are starting on an mild upswing today. I really believe Obama is going to do very well in tonight's debate and I think I am going to have to plan someway and somehow to go to a historic inauguration.

So as I am checking my email, I see this headline:

Judo Black Belt Putin shows off moves in DVD.

Putin cracks me up. When Bush talked about looking into the soul of Putin, maybe it was because Putin put a nasty judo chop to his neck and Bush was dizzy. Putin is the guy that heisted Robert Kraft's SuperBowl Ring.

Vladimir Putin is 56 years old today. I am wishing him a happy birthday, so he doesn't put a smackdown on my ass or steal any of my stuff.

I think we need a showdown between Vladimir Putin and Chick Norris.

Monday, October 6, 2008

New Position

After 4 months of aggravation, I am changing positions at my employer. I am moving from the accounting department to the marketing department.

My new position is the Competitive Media Analyst. I will gather, prepare and present media information to help our clients make effective media buys. That's sounds pretty good. I will essentially be a professional information junkie. Pretty cool.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Overtime Baseball

I don't know what it is about extra-inning playoff baseball that always pulls me in. It is currently top of the 12th inning of a 4-4 game between the Red Sox and the Angels.

Each pitch can be ecstasy or agony. I love how the crowd ohhs and moans and cheers with every play.

Who needs sleep when you have playoff baseball?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It was 13 years ago today, That Mr. Simpson Barely Got Away


But not today O.J.!

OJ was found guilty
of 12 counts of robbery and kidnapping in Nevada yesterday. It was 13 years to the day that he was acquitted of killing his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I felt sadness and I wondered how it leave race relations in America. It also highlighted the class warfare that at times transcends racial issues. Now 13 years later, we have a black man in great position to become the next president and our government has signed a new rescue (bailout) plan for $840 billion dollars. I believe race is still an issue, but class might be surpassing it. The bailout, to me, is about wall street bankers taking stupid risks, mortgage companies taking stupid risks, consumers taking stupid risks, house flippers taking stupid risks. Why? The American need for more. More house, more money. Keeping with the Britneys, Sex in the City shoes, the Entourage lifestyle, everyone wanting to be the playa or big baller. Most of us want to be in the exclusive, VIP, high-end part of life. I am guilty as anyone. I believe this is such a chance in history to re-evaluate who we are as Americans and what the purposes of capitalism and government. I just feel this is a great opportunity for America the lead and be revolutionary again. I have no reason for it, it is sometime I just really believe.

Friday, October 3, 2008

More Thoughts on the Debate.

After reading the reviews and listening to the pundits, I have some questions.

If Sarah Palin doesn't want to answer any questions except the ones she hears in her head, how can she be accountable?

Why is the country full of Joe Six Packs? What about Jane Six Pack? What about soccer dads?

Why do we need more of Wasilla, Alaska in Washington D.C.? Doesn't D.C. have enough of a drug problem?

I think my problem with McCain/Palin is their idea of main street America. That smells kinda exclusive to me. I think it is a subtle version of fear mongering. Let's face it, the country is changing. Nixon's silent majority includes people of color, gay people, people of different or no religious faith.

The debate was good. Biden and Palin are professionals. People will have to make the choice between substance and style. I must admit, I love when Joe Biden goes third person and when he held his hand up to his ear.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thoughts of the Vice Presidential Debate

I love Gwen Ifill. Radiant in the green jacket. What great command.

Gov. Palin ask if she can call Senator Biden, Joe. Trying to disarm him.

Question #1 about the financial crisis.

Joe Biden gets the first question and hits it out of the park.

Palin is staying away from the direct question with platitudes. How does watching a kid's soccer game say anything about the economy?

Will she every answer a question?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Don't F*ck with Grandpa Al

Some people are bigger than their own legend. Al Davis just might be one of them. He is the roaring lion in winter.

Al Davis on firing Kiffin
Al Davis on firing Kiffin


He looks at a junior science teacher scolding his students. How many press conferences have a desk lamp and an overhead projection? This guy is a maverick.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Big City Snob

Why can't Austin have a sushi place open past 10 PM on a Tuesday night? When I get out of work late because my internal clients forget about end of month billing, I need a stiff scotch and fine raw fish. I know it's hard to remember deadlines when the end of the month keeps changing from the 30th and the 31st. Especially after about....oh, I don't know...


TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT YEARS!

Johnny Walker Black, take me away......

Monday, September 29, 2008

No Soup For You, Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bush!


The bail out fails.


Image courtesy of the Huffington Post.

What Happens When Someone Throws 6 Touchdowns and Nobody Cares?



New York City is a great place and I can't wait to move back there. The thing about the city is that, other than 9/11, nothing is ever really bigger than the moment. Even though Wall Street is falling like a stone and Brett Favre has a career day. The Mets collapse rule the day.
Not a great way to close Shea Stadium.

By the way, Newspaper Headlines are still a force in our culture. They just need to adapt that power into a faster news cycle. I believe Newspapers, with new leadership can adapt.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Too Funny




The quote at the bottom:

"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where do they go? It's Alaska." - Sarah Palin

Really?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Debate Moments

John Dickerson from Slate.com put together some of his favorite presidential debate moments. I wonder if he will update the reel after last night.


Round 1

Because of my recording duties with the LEOG, I missed last night's debate. Actually, I'm kinda glad I missed it. This week was so full or political spectacle, I needed a break. I watched the replay very very late.

The reviews of the debate make sense to me. Since it was the first debate, I figured there would be no major mistakes, fire bombs or drama. They need to feel each other out and they don't want to use all of there best stuff. I think McCain is behind the eight ball a little bit because he didn't crush Obama in this debate. Opening with the economy didn't flow well for McCain. Obama sounded reasonable on his foreign policy beliefs and has a command of the issues. Of course, McCain has more experience with foreign policy, but he seems rooted in old rhetoric.

The pundits are really focusing on body language, which I always find interesting.

I wonder if this is McCain's sigh or watch-looking moment. We will have to stay tuned.

Paul Newman: 1925-2008



I always admired this man. His work, his family life, his philanthropy. The world lost a great citizen.

The trailer to one of his most memorable roles:

Friday, September 26, 2008

So This is How Chase Is Going to Pay for WaMu...

I understand Chase is buying Washington Mutual. Chase is my bank and I chose Chase based on their management and asset mix. In other words, I thought they were a good bet not to get caught up in this mess. They didn't sign people with terrible credit for terrible mortgages and they didn't go nuts on the financial products based on those terrible mortgages. All in all, I feel pretty good that my bank is still standing.


As I checked my account balance online I notice a check I wrote for $70.00 was cashed for $75.00. I got the image of the check I clearly wrote $70.00 in the number box and spelled it out. I went to my local Chase branch and they credited me my $5.00. But I have to wonder...

Is this a coincidence this happened? Is this how they raised the funds to by WaMu? Perhaps they processed millions and millions of checks all over the world, charging an extra $5.00. Would anyone notice? It's like the scheme in Office Space with all the extra cents.

Hmmm....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

She is Starting to Make My Head Hurt.

Margaret Carlson said the best thing about Sarah Palin I have heard. Margaret said on Countdown with Keith Olberman tonight that she was from a small town and the Gov. Palin is giving people from small towns a bad name.

Even Katie Couric in this interview where Gov. Palin struggles again to make sense of her foreign policy experience has the look of a mom struggling to teach a child.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

They Watch TV So I Don't Have To.

One of the coolest things about the Internet is the ability to grab the content you want. This is especially helpful when smart people filter the best for you. For example, Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post highlighted this appearance by Wanda Sykes on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno:



Jason also puts himself through hell to liveblog the Sunday Morning Talk Shows. The running commentary is awesome, especially when he throws in his wife's comments. Readers can email questions and comments to be participate in the action.

Other great TV critics I follow are:

Lisa de Moraes of the Washington Post. I have never seen a full episode of American Idol and I never will (how American Idol cheapens the art and craft of music is a discussion for later). She does a great job pointing out how "craptastic" the whole process of determining the winner has become.

Belinda Acosta
of the Austin Chronicle. A wonderful, witty writer who uses her perspective as a Mexican American woman to provide a unique view of TV culture. An IBP for sure (Intelligent Brown Person, I am going to copyright this term).

David Bianculli of TV Worth Watching. David appears on the great NPR talk show Fresh Air and provides excellent commentary.

Walking and Chewing Gum.

I can't believe that John McCain wants to postpone the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates.

Obama's response:

"Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time," he said, "it is not necessary for us to think we can do only one thing and suspend everything else. With respect to the debates it is my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who in roughly 40 days will be responsible for this mess," he said. "I think it is going to be part of the president's job to deal with more than one thing at once. I don't see why we can't be constructive in helping with this problem."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New to me! Yes, I know I'm slow.

I am sitting in my favorite bar in Austin-Longbranch Inn- watching the Colbert Report. I know I can be slow in cultural phenoms, but damn Colbert is funny. I have never watched his show before. Yes, I know. I said I can be slow sometimes. Cut me some slack.

Posted by ShoZu

The Day Genius Struck Twice



Today would be the 82nd birthday of John Coltrane and the 78th birthday of Ray Charles. Two men who changed music and challenged convention. The creators of "sheets of sound" and soul music, respectively. 

Don't Make Him Angry. You (White People) Wouldn't Like It When He's Angry

This article by Sam Fulwood III posted on theroot.com  is so on point.  I understand the image of control black men must have to succeed in this world. It is often viewed as aloof or uppity.  I live with this everyday.  I believe people have issues with IBPs-Intelligent Brown People.  Especially brown people, by the way they act when they encounter an IBP.



Why Obama Can't Get Mad

As much as we want Obama to go off on McCain, angry black men don't become president.

Sept. 22, 2008--I'm sick of folks yapping about how Barack Obama needs to do a war dance on John McCain's head.  Sure, McCain and his GOP allies are telling lies and appear to bear no cost for repeatedly doing so. And, yes, the Democrats' response has been, to say the least, lame and tepid. I understand; it's maddening to witness McCain and his right-wing, populist running mate Sarah Palin deep diving into the muddy waters, only to watch Obama stay aloof, safe and clean on the shore.

Predictably, natives of Obama Nation are restless. Some, like columnist and blogger Arianna Huffington, implored the cool and collected Obama to show some passion. Get veins-popping-and-eye-bulging angry, she wrote recently on The Huffington PostWeb site.

"Being likeable is obviously a good thing in politics," Huffington wrote. "So is being analytical and thoughtful and composed. But the last seven-plus years demand more than detached analysis—and certainly more than a beaming smile. They demand indignation. Outrage. Fury."

Even here on The Root, Terence Samuel vented his frustration at Obama's approach, writing, "This is not a civics seminar; it's a knife fight, and the McCain camp is bringing automatic rifles. Right now it is not about the American people getting it. It is about Obama getting it. He's getting hit over the head with a baseball bat and looking like he wants to file an amicus brief about it."

But if Obama wants to get elected president of the United States, getting mad is the last thing he can afford to do. He may be the Democrats' standard bearer, but he is still—as the McCain camp consistently points out with their unsubtle "not like you" messaging—a black man.

This is a struggle that black men—especially those of us who work in professional settings and want to remain there—grapple with daily: Showing our anger, no matter how justified, is a death sentence. We feel outrage. We want to say and demonstrate our daily frustrations, but we don't dare because we know that the release of our pent-up emotions can't ever be explained after the fact.

And so it goes for Obama in his quest for the highest prize in all of America. We won't know whether the nation is ready to cast aside enough historic prejudices to elect a qualified, smart, articulate and family-oriented black president until after all the votes are cast. For the first time in U.S. history, the possibility exists.

But, let me assure you, there's no need to hold the vote if Obama blows his stack before then. It might satisfy some Obama supporters to see him put McCain-Palin in their places, call them out John Wayne-style and pummel them into submission. For a quick, exhilarating minute, it would feel like the 21st century equivalent of Joe Louis' 1936 knockout of Nazi Germany's Max Schmeling.

But it would be political suicide.

Journalist Mark Shields said as much on a recent broadcast of PBS' News Hour, noting that Obama won the Democratic nomination because he didn't scare white people. "He has always been controlled," Shields said. "He's always been incredibly disciplined. And I think there is a concern about his ever becoming an angry black man that would somehow be a threatening figure to some voters."

Call it the Sidney Poitier syndrome. During the racially tense '60s, Poitier was a huge Hollywood-box-office draw. He made history in 1963 as the first black man to win an Academy Award for his role as a non-threatening Negro in Lilies of the Field. Rarely did he—or any iconic black male celebrity like Jackie Robinson, Sammy Davis Jr. or Bill Cosby—exhibit any public anger.

In that day and at those points in history, trailblazing black men succeeded because they didn't scare white people, unlike the civil rights protesters or—God forbid—the Black Panthers or the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and his followers in the Nation of Islam.

Now those were some bad-assed, angry black men. They didn't care whether their righteous anger frightened the white establishment. In fact, they relished the way their rhetoric, dress and behavior seemed to rattle dry, white bones. None of them had a shot at being elected president.

Let's be real: Obama can't win the White House by only making black people feel proud for slapping some sense into The White Man; he needs white votes—lots and lots of them—if he has any reasonable chance to win.

So stop all the foolish, short-sighted demands for Obama to open a can of whoop ass on the campaign trail. Come on, people, just five more weeks to go. Don't press a brotha to self-destruct.

Sam Fulwood is a regular contributor to The Root.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Judge for Yourself

Ok. Here is the video of the Josh Groban performance to drove me nuts. I watched it again and it still drives me nuts. The problem is not him, it's the fact that he is placed in a position where he can't win. The song list was weird. That might be a rights issue. Where were the Quincy Jones themes (Hikky Burr, Sanford and Son)? The Cosby Show theme? Hey, they did instrumental stuff like the Simpsons theme. What about SWAT? The A-Team? Ok what about the Bosom Buddies Theme? The Facts of Life? Different Strokes?

Plus Groban is about 27. What does he know about TV themes? In his generation, most of the TV shows don't have themes. I am not a fan of his style of music, but he has talent. I just think his management people didn't put him in a position to show his music strengths. The theme to the Fresh Prince was not even that good when Will Smith did it. Movin' On Up? Really? Last I checked, JaN'et Du'Bois is doing pretty well.

The Tyranny of TV





As I watched the Cowboys beat the Packers last night (and more importantly, secured my win in my week 3 fantasy match up-Thank God for Jason Witten!), I saw a variation of the above notice in a disturbing news crawl. 

This is a dispute between Time Warner Cable in Austin and the Austin NBC affiliate KXAN. Of course, this is about money. Time Warner charges a fee to us to carry KXAN and doesn't cut the parent company of KXAN-LIN-TV a share of the profits. Here is the KXAN/LIN-TV side.

Now this is the same crap that is keeping  the NFL Network from being displayed on Time Warner Cable.

This is my opinion on this stuff. The Time Warner, NFL Network thing is all on the NFL Network. The NFL Network wants to part of premium sports packages. The problem with this is that the NFL Network won't offer the Sunday Ticket to cable providers-only to DirecTV, a satellite provider. So Time Warner, as well as Comcast, want to keep the NFL Network on the basic cable tier. I think this is fair, because the games are what people really want. NBA TV on Time Warner is in a separate sports tier, but they of NBA League Pass, So I could get all of the games.  

This leads into my problem with the Time Warner/LIN-TV issue. Of course, I could switch pay TV providers, but Time Warner has a monopoly in Austin. I can't get Grande Communications, a regional cable provider where I live. AT&T Uverse is not in my condo community. And I am sorry, satellite sucks. It does go out in the rain and the trees do block signals. I have satellite radio in my car. I know this happens and it has happened to bars with satellite I have gone to in Austin. So I can't easily switch to another system that carries KXAN, the NBC station. Here is some of the programing I can lose:

NFL Football Oct 5- Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville
Oct 12 - New England @ San Diego
Oct 19 - Seattle @ Tampa Bay
Nov 2 - New England @ Indy
Nov 9 - NY Giants @ Philadelphia
Nov 16 - Dallas @ Washington
Nov 23 - Indy @ San Diego
Nov 30 - Chicago @ Minnesota
Dec 7 - New England @ Seattle
Dec 14 - NY Giants @ Dallas
Dec 21 - San Diego @ Tampa Bay
January - Playoffs- Teams TBD
February 2 - Super Bowl
College Football Oct 4 - Stanford @ Notre Dame
Nov 1 - Pittsburgh @ Notre Dame
Nov 22 - Syracuse @ Notre Dame
Heroes 

Mondays at 8 PM

The Office 

Thursdays at 8 PM

Today Show 

Weekdays 7-9 AM

Tonight Show 

Weekdays 1035-1135 PM


Now, NBC.com and Hulu.com could cover the shows, plus 30 Rock and SNL. But the football games and other sporting events will be a problem.

A solution would be have a service provide an a la carte system to programing. No pay TV service provider wants that, because it kills their monopoly. But you know what "monopoly" is going to be doing it? SiriusXM. (By the way, I don't consider Sirius-XM a monopoly. Between radio, HD Radio, webstreaming, podcasting, iPods and iPhones I can get just about every music choice and news choice I want.)

This was part of their merger deal with the FCC and why I was for it. The FCC wants to lead pay TV providers down the a la carte road. I think that would be good news and would hopefully give consumers more choice.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where is John Legend When He is CLEARLY Needed?

On a night of way too much TV:


The Emmys
Cowboys vs. Packers
Mad Men
Last game of Yankee Stadium
True Blood
Entourage

I am watching the Cowboys because of my fantasy team (I have Terrell Owens and Jason Witten). During a commercial break, I switch to the Emmys and I see Josh Groban. I have heard of this guy but never heard him sing. His voice sounds to me like New-Age Broadway. He did a medley of TV theme songs, including "Movin on Up"- the theme for The Jeffersons. To quote my man Bill Walton, "It was terrrrrrrrible." It made me want to throw it down on him, big man!

I am sure there will be a You Tube clip of the full medley which included the rap from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I will post the video as soon as I can find it and give it a proper critique. I have return to football to stop the bleeding in my ears.

End of an Era


One of the many gifts my father gave me is a love of sports. I am from Chicago, where we have legendary sports arenas. Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, Soldier's Field, Old Chicago Stadium and I will throw in the United Center.

If Madison Square Garden is the most famous sports arena in the world, then Yankee Stadium is not to far behind. I have been there a few times and I always enjoyed my time there. WFAN the premier sports radio station in New York put together a nice piece of the Top-25 moments at Yankee Stadium, voted by fans.

For those who scoff at sports, I think they miss point of community that stadiums build over generations. This might be the only common ground Giuliani had with the black community in the 1990s-a love of the champion Yankees. For those of us that can't stand the Yankees or their insufferable fans, there would nothing sweeter than for the Yankees to lose tonight and be eliminated from the playoffs tonight.

As the US financial System Burns, Europe Laughs

From the LA Times:

Europeans on left and right ridicule U.S. money meltdown

Fears Grow For Economy As Shares Continue To Plunge
Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images
A street scene near London's financial center. Among Europe’s economies, Britain’s most resembles America’s in its vulnerability. Europeans cited Alan Greenspan and greed as culprits in the Wall Street meltdown.
They list greed and Greenspan among the culprits, and there are comparisons to . . . Albania. But amid the gloating, there is fear for financial systems in Britain, Spain, Italy and elsewhere.
By Sebastian Rotella and Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
September 20, 2008
LONDON -- It's a rare day when finance officials, leftist intellectuals and ordinary salespeople can agree on something. But the economic meltdown that wrought its wrath from Rome to Madrid to Berlin this week brought Europeans together in a harsh chorus of condemnation of the excess and disarray on Wall Street.

The finance minister of Italy's conservative and pro-U.S. government warned of nothing less than a systemic breakdown. Giulio Tremonti excoriated the "voracious selfishness" of speculators and "stupid sluggishness" of regulators. And he singled out Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with startling scorn.

"Greenspan was considered a master," Tremonti declared. "Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most. . . . It is clear that what is happening is a disease. It is not the failure of a bank, but the failure of a system. Until a few days ago, very few were willing to realize the intensity and the dramatic nature of the crisis."

In an interview Thursday in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Tremonti drew a comparison to corruption-ridden Albania in 1997, when a nationwide pyramid scheme cost hundreds of thousands of people their savings and ignited anarchic civil conflict.

"The system is collapsing, exactly like the Albanian pyramids collapsed," Tremonti said. "The idea is gaining ground that the way out of the crisis is mainly with large public investments. . . . The return of rules is accompanied by a return of the public sector."

On the other end of the political spectrum, among leftists who have long predicted calamity for what they call the "savage neoliberal capitalism" of Wall Street, there were gleeful allusions to the stock market crash of 1929.

"Between the dread of a world in the midst of collapsing and the shiver of pleasure that finally something serious is happening to the kingdom of liberalism, how to orient oneself?" Eric Aeschimann wrote Thursday in the newspaper Liberation, a voice of French intellectuals whose disdain for capitalism persists in the 21st century.

Expressing nostalgia for "the good old days when bankers jumped out of windows," Aeschimann condemned as "extortion" the rescue of U.S. corporate giants by the very state that free-marketeers resent.

But fear accompanied gloating. The crisis threatens to worsen woes -- inflation, unemployment, weak growth -- of regional powerhouses including Britain, Spain and Italy. Joaquin Almunia, an ideologically moderate Spanish Socialist who is the European Union's economic commissioner, offered a simple analysis.

"It has been a problem of greed," he told El Pais newspaper. "In Europe it can't be said that we did nothing, European banks bought toxic products. . . . Nobody knows when this will end."

Anxiety was acute here in London. Britain's FTSE 100 stock index swung wildly this week, dropping about 8% between Monday and Thursday, then rocketing nearly 9% on Friday.

Among the European economies, it is Britain's that most resembles America's in its vulnerability. The big news of the week drove that home: an announced $22-billion rescue-takeover of the wobbling HBOS bank by Lloyd's TSB.

In ordinary times, regulators would have opposed the merger of the giants as anti-competitive. But beleaguered Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose economic expertise is one of the last arrows in his political quiver, pushed for the deal.

"The financial tsunami that has engulfed Wall Street since the weekend hit these shores yesterday," the Daily Telegraph declared in an editorial Thursday. "It swept away the country's biggest mortgage provider -- and with it, much of the [financial sector's] regulatory machinery. . . . The government has prevented a banking collapse that would have had unimaginable consequences for the economy."

But a more optimistic school of thought saw the week's events as an inevitable period of reconfiguration from which the markets -- and U.S. economic dominance -- will emerge reasonably unscathed.

This analysis gained ground with the strong recovery of European markets Friday.

In addition to the FTSE, France's CAC 40 rose more than 9% and Russia's RTS index jumped 22% after trading resumed after a two-day suspension.

"This time next year we'll be seeing things back to normal," said Eamonn Butler, director of the Adam Smith Institute, a think tank here. "The last thing we need is to slap more rules on the system. . . . From time to time, businesses fail and the worst thing a government can do is to bail them out because that just passes the cost on to the taxpayer and creates a moral hazard."

The spectacle across the ocean has left a lasting impression on many Europeans. Hanna Evers of Berlin, a cellphone retailer interviewed in the shopping district of Wilmersdorfer Street, said she was angry about the amount of money that had been "burned" in recent days.

"And I'm furious when I see the pictures of Americans who thought they were on the sunny side of life and now have lost their homes and have to live in their cars," Evers said. "I definitely do not feel sorry for the bankers who lost their jobs in the last couple of days. I can't believe that a country like the U.S.A. could have been so careless on a money issue!"

"I was taught that the U.S.A. is the motherland of moneymaking," she added. "And now all I can see is a herd of headless chickens running around on Wall Street."

Rotella reported from Madrid and Stobart from London.

Special correspondents Maria De Cristofaro in Rome and Christian Retzlaff in Berlin contributed to this report.

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