Hard times build determination and inner strength. Through them we can also come to appreciate the uselessness of anger. Instead of getting angry nurture a deep caring and respect for troublemakers because by creating such trying circumstances they provide us with invaluable opportunities to practice tolerance and patience. Dalai Lama
My brother Danny continues his fight against cancer despite a setback last week when he was over come with infections common to long hospital stays. But his outlook is strong and positive.
Mish Mash: noun \ˈmish-ˌmash, -ˌmäsh\ A : hodgepodge, jumble “The painting was just a mishmash of colors and abstract shapes as far as we could tell”. Origin Middle English & Yiddish; Middle English mysse masche, perhaps reduplication of mash mash; Yiddish mish-mash, perhaps reduplication of mishn to mix. First Known Use: 15th century
Buddy Holly final photo on his final tour on the last day of his life.
DON’T WORRY-BE HAPPY
HERE'S PLEASANT POEM FOR YOU TO ENJOY................
HERE'S SOME NICE ART FOR YOU TO LOOK AT....ENJOY!
Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1953
I LOVE BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS FROM FILM
No one is entirely sure what is in the grave of William Shakespeare, who was buried in Stratford, England, on April 25, 1616, two days after his sudden death, perhaps from fever. Presumably, most of his skeleton is there, but it’s possible that Shakespeare’s skull was stolen in the 18th or 19th century. Art historian Horace Walpole supposedly put a bounty of £300 on Shakespeare’s head in 1769, daring people to brave the curse on anyone who would disturb his bones. And legend has it that someone named Dr. Frank Chambers did just that… but then returned it. Another rumor says the skull was stolen and removed to St. Leonard’s Church at Beoley, Redditch, around 15 miles away. This centuries-old rumor is back in the news this week as clergy at St. Leonard’s petitioned to DNA test a lone skull found in a church vault to see if it is that of the Bard.
Shakespeare’s skull raises questions about the purpose of identifying the remains of historical people. From Richard III to Lisa Gherardini (Mona Lisa), it seems that archaeologists, clergy, art historians, and other lovers of history are keen to disinter the famous and pore over their bones for clues to their lives, while others are content to let the dead rest in peace. This is not even the first time that someone has asked to dig up and test Shakespeare, though.
In 2001, a group of South African forensic scientists including Francis Thackeray of the Insitute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersrand analyzed the residue from a couple dozen 17th century clay pipesunearthed in the garden at Shakespeare’s home in England. They claimed to have found traces of tobacco, cannabis, and cocaine. The latter assertion is the most difficult to buy, since cocaine comes from the New World plant coca and is assumed not to have been made in the Old World until well into the 19th century. Hemp, of course, was used in Elizabethan England, mostly as a fabric. The researchers also found traces of myristic acid (from nutmeg, possibly a hallucinogen), and quinoline (which contains quinine, long used to treat malaria). This pipe study stirred up quite a controversy by suggesting that Shakespeare did all kinds of drugs, buoyed by some references in his Sonnet 76 that refers to the “noted weed.”
Then in 2011, Thackeray was back in the news with a plan to test hair or nails — if there are any remaining — of Shakespeare to see if he smoked weed. He also wanted to look at dental wear on Shakespeare’s teeth to see if he smoked a pipe. As Thackeray told LiveScience at the time, his team planned to use laser surface scanning of Shakespeare, his wife Anne Hathaway, and his daughter Susanna, then create 3D models of the bones and skulls, with the possibility of doing digital facial reconstructions. Thackeray also wanted to do DNA analysis to confirm the relationship among the family in the Shakespeare grave, and to do chemical testing of hair and nails, which contain keratin, to see if any evidence of drug use could be found. Although Thackeray floated his proposal by the Church of England, it appears to have been denied (although, by some reports, the request was never actually filed).
This week’s news similarly comes with a negative result for people who are interested in testing bones purported to be those of the Bard himself. The application, the Telegraph reports, was denied by the Chancellor of the Diocese of Worcester, ruling there was no convincing evidence that the skull was that of Shakespeare. Scholars of Shakespeare also deny the claims that his skull was stolen and ended up elsewhere, and agree that there is no reason to think that the skull at Beoley is in any way related.
But the fact that Shakespeare’s bones are back in the news gives me the chance to reiterate my problems with the majority of these historical fishing expeditions: is it an appropriate use of scientific resources to dig up or destructively test a famous dead person to find out bits and pieces about his or her life because we’re curious? I tend to come down on the side of “no,” but this may be because I am trained as a bioarchaeologist rather than as a forensic anthropologist.
Bioarchaeologists work with individual skeletons to answer questions about populations; we can’t make much sense of one skeleton except in its relationships to others within the population. Forensic anthropologists, on the other hand, take the individual as their research subject. Their field is about identifying unknown, modern individuals, which is possible because they have a reference population: all of us currently alive. Forensic archaeology is at the intersection of these two fields, when researchers attempt to find out information about a specific ancient or historical person. In the recently newsworthy case of Richard III, the excavation and analysis solved longstanding historical questions, and was therefore, on balance, about a greater scientific good.
Read More: The Hunt for Mona Lisa’s Bones Is a Publicity Stunt, Not Science
But forensic archaeology, while undeniably “sexy science” that lets us act as detectives with a high-profile ancient case to solve, can be problematic when historical people are excavated without a clear research question and without a good understanding of the population and culture from which the person comes. Basically, without a thorough understanding of the ancient population (the Average Joes) from which an individual (the VIP) was drawn, it’s hard to reconstruct their lives – from Mona Lisa to Zachary Taylor, Shakespeare to early Christian martyrs. And this kind of investigation almost always singles out the privileged few who “shaped” society while ignoring the millions of others who did the actual hard work to make that society function.
Circling back to Shakespeare, though, does testing the Bard’s hair or nails for cannabis or cocaine tell us how widespread the practice was in Elizabethan England? Or whether it was an acceptable thing to do in that society? No. If drug tests eventually show that Shakespeare indulged in mind-altering substances, what does that tell us about his craft? Nothing, really. Are you more likely to slog through Titus Andronicus if you thought Shakespeare was high while writing it? Highly unlikely.
Although I am professionally more interested in the nameless people whose skeletons reveal more about an ancient culture than historical records can alone, personally I can understand the fascination with the people who made history. We look in our own culture to celebrities to set clothing trends, to politicians to set legal precedents, to religious leaders to direct our moral compasses. Being able to know more about these people as individuals - how they lived and how they died – gets at two fundamental aspects of being human: curiosity and sociality. Getting new personal information about history-makers and cultural touchstones helps us feel connected to our culture, both in the present and in the past.
But I still don’t think we should dig up Shakespeare. It’s simply not scientifically rational.
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.
I quit being afraid when my first venture failed and the sky didn't fall down. -Allen H. Neuharth
I doubt this writer is correct, I’m fairly certain the London Police arrested the right guy, still, this is interesting.
Did an Australian teacher solve the mystery of Jack the Ripper?
In his new book, Richard Patterson proposes that the notorious serial killer was a poet. But dozens of suspects have been proposed since the gruesome murders in 1888, and the case remains unsolved.
By Cathaleen Chen
Notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper's real identity has been ardently debated for well over a century. Now, an Australian teacher says that he may have solved the mystery: It was writer Francis Thompson who committed the heinous crimes, he claims.
In 1885, before he became a well-known poet, Dr. Thompson moved to London with dreams of being a famous writer. Three years later, the five women were found gruesomely murdered in the Whitechapel district of London’s East End.
About 100 years after that, literature student Richard Patterson came across Thompson’s poetry. Upon discovering that the "The Hound of Heaven" poet had also been a medical doctor, Mr. Patterson became convinced that Thompson was Jack the Ripper.
An English teacher in Byron Bay, Australia, Patterson has been researching the topic for 20 years. In his forthcoming book, "Francis Thompson – A Ripper Suspect," he presents evidence implicating the British poet.
"I'm grateful to have played some part in helping people understand Thompson, and why he might have been the Ripper," Patterson told Mercury Press.
During Thompson’s years in London, he became addicted to opium. As Patterson tells the story, the young writer was homeless in Whitechapel until a prostitute offered him lodgings. Though he never revealed her identity, their friendship is believed to have turned into Thompson’s only romantic relationship. But as he slowly gained recognition in the literature world, she disappeared.
This is when Thompson had a mental breakdown, Patterson said.
"The moment he told her he was finally published, she said she was leaving him because the public would not understand their relationship. This was after Thompson's year-long romance with the woman,” Patterson said.
Before and after the murders, the author explained, Thompson wrote about stabbing female prostitutes.
"Thompson kept a dissecting knife under his coat, and he was taught a rare surgical procedure that was found in the mutilations of more than one of the Ripper victims,” Patterson said.
The case was officially closed in 1892, 15 years before Thompson's death at age 47.
But the investigations never truly ended. Scholars and sleuths have obsessed over the mystery through the years, producing up to a hundred different suspects and transforming "Ripperology" into a global phenomenon.
Some Ripperologists believe the murderer was a woman. Some say he was painter Walter Sickert, or writer Lewis Carroll. Some propose that he was a butcher, or a famous surgeon, or just a man with profound mommy issues. In London, tourists can take a dozen competing Jack the Ripper walking tours. A search for "Jack the Ripper" on Amazon fetches more than 4,700 books.
But what exactly is the murderer's popular appeal? What is the importance of solving 127-year-old crimes?
The grisly and sexualized nature of the murders make for a salacious and riveting story, but gender historian Julia Laite argues that the real appeal lies in the lives of the victims: Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Mary Kelly, and Catherine Eddowes.
Most of them are believed to have been sex workers, and in studying their lives, Ripperologists have become pseudo-anthropologists, discovering overlooked cultural information about poor and working-class women of the Victorian era.
"Jack killed flower sellers. Jack killed charwomen. He killed mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives," Ms. Laite writes in the Guardian. "These women are infinitely more interesting to me than the identity of their killer. Finding out about their poverty, their work and their experiences of injustice and inequality is far more important than their killer’s DNA."
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom. Marcel Proust
By Kenneth Barish, Ph.D.
All children, even the most fortunate, suffer emotional injuries. At home, in school and on the playground, all children experience disappointment, frustration and failure; criticism and disapproval; and exclusion by peers. In every family, there will be moments of anger and misunderstanding.
In healthy development, children recover from these moments. Whether on their own or with our support, most children bounce back. Emotional injuries are, in many respects, analogous to physical injuries. Just as our cells must repair physical injuries, emotional injuries also must be healed. Without this healing, the injurious process will spread.
As parents, it is important for us to recognize these common injuries and provide some healing of a child’s discouragement and anger. Often, a simple acknowledgment of her disappointment or frustration is all that is necessary.
Children learn invaluable lessons from moments of repair. They learn that, although it is not always easy, moments of anxiety, sadness and anger are moments and can be repaired. Disappointments, in themselves and in others, are part of life, and feelings of anger and unfairness do not last forever.
A Pathway Toward Emotional Maturity
These are critical moments in the emotional life of a child—when admired adults are able to help a sad, anxious or angry child realize that she will not always feel this way; when we help a child who is disappointed or discouraged regain some measure of confidence in her future. In these moments, we have strengthened her inner resources for coping with disappointment and distress, and built a foundation of optimism and resilience.
We have also opened a pathway toward emotional maturity. In moments of repair, children begin to develop a more balanced, less all-or-nothing perspective on the disappointments and frustrations in their lives. As a result, they will be better able to “regulate” their emotions—they will be less urgent in their expressions of distress, less insistent in their demands, and able to think more constructively about how to solve emotional problems. Moments of repair may also reduce a child’s level of physiological stress.
Ten Minutes at Bedtime
Because these moments are so important to children’s emotional health, I recommend that parents set aside some time every day (perhaps ten minutes at bedtime) for kids and parents to have a chance to talk, and use this time to repair moments of conflict and misunderstanding. This may be the most important ten minutes of a child’s day.
In these brief daily conversations, we should ask kids if there is something they might want to talk about—perhaps a problem at school or with friends, something they are angry with us about, or what they may be anxious about the following day.
When there has been conflict in our relationship with our kids, it is especially important for us to take the lead and begin to repair hurtful interactions. We need to make a deliberate effort to set aside criticism and judgment as long as we can and hear their side of the story. Discussion and disagreement, even problem solving, can come later. Especially, don’t stay angry.
Of course, children do not always make this easy, especially when they are angry and demanding, or when they insistently blame others. And sometimes we may not know what to say. But our willingness to make the effort is important in itself.
Often, when we are able to listen patiently, we will find some truth in their side of the story, perhaps some previously unnoticed provocation or hurt feeling. We can also let children know that we know how they feel—because we have also had these feelings. We have also suffered frustrations and disappointments, and moments of embarrassment. We can say, for example, “Yes, I know, it feels really bad when other kids won’t let you play…I also felt bad and angry when those kinds of things happened to me.” Many children will respond to these statements with astonishment. “That happened to you!?” And, of course, it has.
Then we can help them put their disappointments in perspective. We can remind them (when they are ready to hear it) of the good things they have done and will be able to do, and that no one succeeds all the time.
And we should let them know that, win or lose, we are proud of them for their effort. A child’s feeling that her parents are proud of her may be the deepest and most lasting emotional support we can offer—an anchor that sustains her in moments of anxiety and self-doubt.
Patient listening receives far less attention than it deserves in current parenting debates, in our understandable concern with children’s achievement and character development. In my experience, however, there is no more important parenting “skill” than this, and nothing we do as parents that is more important for our children’s emotional health—and for their success in life.
About Kenneth Barish, Ph.D.
Kenneth Barish, Ph.D. is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He is the author of Pride and Joy: A Guide to Understanding Your Child’s Emotions and Solving Family Problems. Pride and Joy is winner of the 2013 International Book Award (Parenting and Family) and the 2013 Eric Hoffer Book Award (Home Category).
*** FREE THEATER IN NYC ***
THE TEA PARTY
Written and directed by Ethan Ness
A suburban family sits down to enjoy dinner together. However, when daughter Alice returns home, things begin to change in unexpected and mysterious ways.
Saturday, Nov. 14th, at 7:30pm.
161A Chrystie Street, between Rivington and Delancey
web site: http://dixonplace.org/performances/the-tea-party/
*** PLAYWRIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES ***
THE PRESIDENT PLAYS challenges your creativity to write an original play using a “president” or “presidency” as the springboard, subject or theme. Think outside the box! ANY elected or appointed official can be featured, from a U.S. president to a chief officer of an institution to the president of the International Scrabble Club! Or find inspiration from a famous myth, speech or motto (“I cannot tell a lie” – “Yes we can!” – “Ask not what your country can do for you…”). We are seeking plays written in any style that reveal a fresh plot, sufficient conflict and a running time of 10 minutes, maximum.
A juried showcase of the year’s best original one-act plays
Lower Denton Theatre. Wolfville, Nova Scotia
March 31 - April 2, 2016,
The Acadia Theatre Company (ATC) is pleased to announce its 22nd annual MiniFest, to be held in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada March 31 - April 2, 2016.
Once a year, hundreds of the best plays from around the world are submitted for a juried evaluation. The best make it to the short list, from which the winning plays are chosen by the Executive Committee.
Little Black Dress INK is creating production opportunities for female playwrights through its Female Playwrights ONSTAGE Project; a short-play festival dedicated to producing peer-selected works by women. In addition to contributing to the selection of plays, participating playwrights are able to review and revise their work via online-streaming of play readings, and are encouraged to blog about the process along the way.
Submissions are now being accepted from awesome female playwrights for consideration in this year’s festival! This festival utilizes a peer-review process for evaluating submissions.
*** FOR MORE INFORMATION on these and other opportunities see the web site athttp://www.nycplaywrights.org ***
*** THE GHOST OF OLIVE THOMAS ***
Olive Thomas (October 20, 1894 – September 10, 1920) was an American silent film actress and model.
Thomas began her career as an illustrators' model in 1914, and moved on to the Ziegfeld Follies the following year. During her time as a Ziegfeld girl, she also appeared in the more risqué show, The Midnight Frolic. In 1916, she began a successful career in silent films and would appear in over twenty features over the course of her four-year film career. That year she also married actor Jack Pickford, the younger brother of silent film star Mary Pickford.
On September 10, 1920, Thomas died of acute nephritis in Paris five days after consuming mercury bichloride. Although her death was ruled accidental, news of her hospitalization due to the poison and Thomas' subsequent death were the subject of media speculation. Thomas' death has been cited as one of the first heavily publicized Hollywood scandals.
Images of and related to Olive Thomas in Wikimedia Commons
A Gang of Ghosts Ready to Rumble
For years, workmen at the New Amsterdam Theater on West 42d Street reported seeing a young woman, crying, in a white dress trimmed in silver. They were seeing the ghost of Olive Thomas, a star of the Ziegfeld Follies, which were presented at the theater from 1913 to 1927 (excepting 1921). After appearing with the Follies and serving time as Flo Ziegfeld's mistress, Thomas headed west and became a star in silent films. She attained semi-royal status when she married Mary Pickford's brother, Jack. In 1920, she collapsed on the floor of a hotel room in Paris, a victim of poisoning. The exact circumstances of the death were never explained. She was buried in a white dress trimmed in silver.
In this Theater - New Amsterdam
Two postscripts to the history of this theatre must be added. First is the legend that it is a haunted house. In his book Ziegfeld, Charles Higham reported that in 1952 a handyman at the theatre was alarmed by the appearance of a beautiful, ghostly showgirl in a white dress with a gold sash on which appeared the name “Olive.” When he followed her, she vanished. Two weeks later, the apparition returned. Another worker identified her as Olive Thomas, a statuesque Follies girl whom he knew and adored. She had committed suicide in Paris, reportedly after discovering that her husband, Jack Pickford (Mary’s brother), had given her syphilis. During the restoration of the New Amsterdam in the 1990s, a crewman on the project called PLAYBILL and stated that there had been spooky incidents in the theatre while he worked. Things moved mysteriously backstage, and a woman’s voice behind him asked, “Hey — how’re you doin’?” He turned around and no one was there.
Poor Olive Thomas, Lost in the Wings
In his article ''A Palace for a New Magic Kingdom, 42d St.'' $(May 11$), Herbert Muschamp didn't mention the legend attached to the old New Amsterdam Theater, that it is, or perhaps was, haunted by the ghost of Olive Thomas, a Follies showgirl. She appeared in the balcony late at night to cleaning ladies, janitors, projectionists or patrons as a beautiful woman in a white gown carrying a blue bottle. Thomas died of an overdose of medication probably kept in such a bottle.
Perhaps the racket of reconstruction scared her ghost away. Maybe she is waiting until the hoopla quiets down to reappear, or maybe she has reappeared, though people now think she's a wayward hooker or a homeless person.
Appaition of Olive Thomas
A phone rang in the bedroom of Dana Amendola, the man whom the Disney corporation had put in charge of its latest acquisition, the derelict New Amsterdam Theatre. Amendola squinted at the clock. Who could be calling at 2:30 a.m.? He picked up the phone. It was the security guard he's hired to patrol the New Amsterdam. The man was hysterical. During his rounds of the theatre, he was crossing the stage when his flashlight picked up a beautiful young woman who had absolutely no business being there at that hour. She had a green beaded dress, a beaded headpiece, a sash and was holding a blue bottle. He shouted at her and she left the stage - by walking right through the wall on the 41st Street side.
The watchman wanted to resign on the spot.
Amendola, who is still in charge of the New Amsterdam as vice president of operations, had heard the stories of the ghostly Follies girl. He did some research and found, among many photographs, the one that accompanies this story.
Workers who renovated the theatre for its 1997 reopening reported numerous encounters with Olive. She appears almost exclusively to men, and often acts flirtatiously. Once or twice she's been reported to speak, saying "Hi, fella!" in a coquettish voice.
As Olive's host, Amendola has become something of an authority on her life. He told Playbill that she is a regular visitor to the theatre - appearing, or making her presence known - only after audiences depart. She's generally benign, but can be temperamental. Two portraits of her now hang backstage, and everyone who works there makes a habit of saying "Good morning, Olive!" when they arrive for work, and "Good night, Olive," when they leave. As long as they do so, Olive seems appeased.
- See more at: http://www.playbill.com/features/article/the-ghosts-of-broadway-329561#sthash.Vbgtqw6i.dpuf
Disney on Broadway: the Ghost of Olive Thomas
Review: ‘Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic’ Explores the Murky Death of the Actress Olive Thomas
Olive Thomas, the “Ziegfeld Follies” beauty whose teary ghost is said to haunt the New Amsterdam Theater, has taken up residence down the block. Her stage is the Liberty Theater, a long-ago Broadway house now tucked incongruously at the back of the Liberty Diner, on West 42nd Street. When she died scandalously in Paris in 1920, a Jerome Kern musical was running there.
GHOST LIGHT: THE MUSICAL
According to backstage lore, the ghost of a Ziegfeld Follies star haunts the New Amsterdam Theatre. Ghostlight excavates the true story of Olive Thomas, a small-town girl who rises to headline alongside Fanny Brice. Seduced by the decadent world of the theater, Olive stumbles into a secret affair, an unfulfilling Hollywood marriage, and a downward spiral into drugs and alcohol. An homage to Broadway's Golden Age, Ghostlight captures the glamorous and tragic lives of those who changed the face of the American musical forever.
“The Flapper” silent movie starring Olive Thomas
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The worst loneliness is to not be comfortable with yourself. Mark Twain
One of the most powerful pieces of music in the 1930’s was the song “Strange Fruit”, sung by Billie Holiday. This song depicted the horrific tragedy of lynchings, hangings and other terrors facing the African American communities of the South. The lyrics are absolutely haunting and Ms. Holiday’s voice decries these tragedies with enough soul to make us weep with heartache.
Awareness is a flower that blooms but never dies. Author Unknown
Lucullan \loo-KULL-un\ Definition: lavish, luxurious. Lucullan echoes the name of Roman general Lucius Licinius Lucullus. The general had a distinguished military career (including the defeat of Mithradates VI Eupator, king of Pontus, at Cabira in 72 B.C.E.), but he is best remembered for the splendor of his opulent retirement. Lucullus established a reputation for magnificent banquets, at which he wined and dined the leading poets, artists, and philosophers of his time. His feasts were sufficiently extravagant to establish a lasting place for his name (in adjective form) as a synonym of lavish in the English lexicon.
There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see. Leonardo da Vinci
Bad stuff does happen, sometimes. Always remember that. But remember that you have to move on somehow. You pick your head up and stare at something beautiful like the sky, or the ocean, and you move the hell on. James Patterson, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas
Nov 3, 2015 | By CAP Action War Room
Open Enrollment Under The Affordable Care Act Is Underway
It’s that time of year again! Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is officially underway, which means consumers can once again shop for health care coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace. Open enrollment started over the weekend and runs through January 31st. For coverage that starts January 1st, the deadline to enroll isDecember 15th.
More than 9 million Americans are already benefiting from having quality, affordable health insurance through the federal and state marketplace and that number is expected to increase to 10 million by the end of next year. And the good news doesn’t stop there: more than 80 percent of people who signed up through HealthCare.gov receive financial assistance to make their monthly premiums more affordable. In fact, most people’s premiums are $75 or less a month. Already insured through HealthCare.gov? Call or go online to renew your plan, and take the opportunity during open enrollment to shop around and make sure your current plan is still the best fit for your needs and your budget.
Millions of Americans have already seen the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, and many more stand to benefit from this open enrollment period. Unfortunately, the fight to make sure every American sees the benefits of the Affordable Care Act remains a struggle. After two Supreme Court cases, more than 50 repeal votes, and years of partisan fighting, Medicaid expansion remains a struggle in many Republican-controlled states.
Yesterday, Montana officially became the 30th state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, bringing 70,000 Montanans out of the coverage gap. But today’s statewide elections in Kentucky threaten Medicaid in the Bluegrass state. The state saw the steepest drop in the uninsured rate thanks to the Affordable Care Act. And around half a million people, or a quarter of the state’s population got health care coverage after outgoing democratic Governor Steve Beshear expanded Medicaid through an executive order. But now the GOP gubernatorial candidate has threatened to repeal Medicaid expansion, putting hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians back in the coverage gap. If you need another reason to get out and vote today, read this.
BOTTOM LINE: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate is at a historic low. It’s time to build on that success and make sure every American has access to quality, affordable health insurance. Visit www.healthcare.gov to renew your existing plan or shop around for a new plan that fits your needs and your budget.
TODAY'S ALLEGED MOB GUY
An FBI surveillance photo of Joseph D. Pistone (left)—a.k.a. Donnie Brasco—and Mafia associates from the 1980s. With him are mobsters Lefty Gun Ruggiero (Middle) and Tommy Rossi
Real Estate investor Tamara Rand killed after messing with the mob
Reported by: Tom Hawley
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) – This month marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Martin Scorsese’s "Casino” – a movie which unlike many others set in Las Vegas – gets it right.
In this Video Vault, we look at one small scene from that movie that happened 40 years ago.
“Well it was based on a woman named Tamara Rand who was a real estate investor in San Diego,” says the Mob Museum’s Geoff Schumacher.
“Who was really the front man for the Argent* Corporation, which owned the Stardust and three other hotels in Las Vegas,” explains Schumacher. “But, of course, which was secretly operated by the Chicago outfit and other Midwestern mob groups.”
Joe Bonpensiero picked up the story, talking about his uncle, Frank “Bomp” Bompensiero: “Frank had a good reputation in the Midwest, in the East Coast -- Chicago, Kansas.”
Bompensiero operated out of San Diego, where Rand lived and Glick had gotten his start. Joe says his uncle Frank was acquainted with Las Vegas muscle man Tony Spilotro, played in the movie by Joe Pesci as Nicki Santoro.
“Spilotro, being from Chicago, etcetera, or back and here. Not familiar with the area,” Joe said. “Turned to somebody he knew that lived there he could trust. And that would have been Frank.”
Spilotro had been sent to San Diego because Rand was suing Glick, having been a silent partner in his enterprises.
“She invested in it on the premise that she wanted to get into the casino business,” says Schumacher. “But she felt like Glick had betrayed her, and that he had not honored his obligations.”
The lawsuit would have meant opening the Stardust account records, exposing the skim.
“But before she could start counting her money, the boys back home decided to settle the case out of court instead. So they called me,” says Santoro/Spilotro in the movie.
Rand was shot five times with a .22-caliber gun, Spilotro’s weapon of choice. The movie implies Spilotro made the hit solo, and Bompensiero is not represented.
“They were together,” Joe explained emphatically. “No question about it.”
Was Frank just a wheelman, or did he pull a trigger? All people can do is speculate.
“Where are they gonna get the information?” asks Joe rhetorically. “From the source? And they ain't talkin'! Or they're gonna go to the dead guy?”
The two men sent on the hit went out gangland style themselves. Bompensiero was shot in a phone booth in 1977; Spilotro, whose legal counsel in Las Vegas was future mayor Oscar Goodman, was beaten to death and buried in a cornfield in 1986.
Finns may be able to get a paycheck just for being Finland citizens.
Finland may pay citizens just for being Finns.
Finland could become the first country to introduce a universal basic income.
An official at the Finnish Social Insurance Institution, known as KELA, said last week that each Finn could receive 800 euros ($876) a month, tax free, that would replace existing benefits. Full implementation would be preceded by a pilot stage, during which the basic income payout would be 550 euros and some benefits would remain.
KELA will present a proposal by November 2016, but for now the idea sounds unrealistic. Finland has one of the European Union's shakier economies. It has been in recession almost continually since mid-2012 and lacks growth opportunities. The traditionally strong pulp and paper industry is in decline and the tech sector hasn't lived up to expectations after Nokia lost its place as the mobile-phone market leader. Giving 800 euros a month to every Finn (population 5.4 million) would cost 52.2 billion euros a year, and the government projects revenue of 49.1 billion euros for 2016.
Even wealthier Switzerland, which will hold a referendum on a basic income program next year, is unlikely to adopt the idea because of the expense. The proposal to pay each citizen about $2,500 a month would cost about $210 billion a year, or 30 percent of gross domestic product. The Swiss federal government and the parliament have called on citizens to reject it. According to a recent poll, 49 percent of the voters support a universal basic income, but to achieve a majority, the allowance would have to be smaller than proposed.
Finland, however, may go through with its plan, perhaps moving ahead of the Netherlands, where universal income pilot projects will begin next year in Utrecht and possibly in several other cities. The reason for the project’s good prospects in Finland: a political consensus that it is necessary.
Earlier this year, Helmuth Cremer of the Toulouse School of Economics in France and Kerstin Roeder of the University of Augsburg in Germany showed that modern democracies are far more likely to adopt a means-tested social security system than a universal basic income. Giving away taxpayers' money to people whether they work or not is not a popular notion.
The Finns are different. In a recent poll commissioned by KELA, 69 percent said that they would support a basic income plan and that about 1,000 euros a month would be the appropriate amount. There is broad support for the idea across political parties and Prime Minister Juha Sipila favors the idea as a way to simplify the welfare system. The poll showed there was especially high backing for a basic income implemented as a negative income tax. Such an arrangement, which was initially proposed by economists Milton Friedman and Robert Lampman, would provide payments from the state that would increase in inverse proportion to income.
U.S. experiments in the 1960s showed that a negative tax wouldn't work “as long as the median income remains within striking distance of the poverty line.” In Finland, the median income is about 3,000 euros a month, far more than KELA's 800 euro target. But it also is a country where some people pay more than 50 percent tax on incomes of 70,000 euros a year, and there may be a greater acceptance of further redistribution, especially if it means more security. A jump in the unemployment rate to 11 percent earlier this year (it is 8.4 percent now) raised alarm in Finland, possibly making a basic income even more appealing. One draw is that giving all citizens the same benefits would remove the stigma attached to joblessness.
Many experiments have shown that people provided with a basic income don't lead idle lives. A study conducted in Uganda indicated that people given such assistance invest in their personal development and end up in more qualified positions, working longer hours and earning more than those who don't have a safety net. In wealthier countries, people slightly reduce the amount of time they spend at work. The extra time is often spent with children, on personal development or healthy activities.
There probably isn't much danger that Finns will stop working if they get a basic income. The bigger risk is that the government won't be able to pay for it.
Leonid Bershidsky, a Bloomberg View contributor, is a Berlin-based writer
Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her. Lao Tzu
I call people rich when they’re able to meet the requirements of their imagination.Henry James
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The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and, therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him. C.S. Lewis
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Beat poetry evolved during the 1940s in both New York City and on the west coast, although San Francisco became the heart of the movement in the early 1950s. The end of World War II left poets like Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Gregory Corso questioning mainstream politics and culture. A Brief Guide to the Beat Poets | Academy of American Poets https://www.poets.org/poetsorg
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