Friday, February 27, 2009

Stimulus Package from different angles Part 1

I am sure many of you do not understand the ins and outs of the Stimulus package that was passed. But I am sure if you bothered to read this that you have an idea it is meant to kick start the economy by giving it a jolt. Think electric shock on something dormant. From what little I know I am skeptical. Remember I am just suspicious , I am not condemning. What I can do is give you different audio and video and text from different sources.

I highly recommend the round table discussion below chaired by George Stephanopoulos. Who you might remember from his gig with the Clintons. I find his weekly podcast/ TV show very informative since he asks good questions and he brings opposing points of view into one place. Then you decide from there. Isn't that special??

I have to admit, the more I listened to other people talk about it, the more I am reminded of what the Bible says when it comes to handling problems. There is the short term solution and then there is the long term solution . Give the man a fish as opposed to teaching him how to fish. I fashioned my Google search after that concept and found some good stuff. I will make more entries the more information and opinions are available.


I hope you know all this stimulus money is not money lying around. The piper will have to be paid at some point. I want this to work which is very different from thinking it's going to work. I rather be wrong and have everybody financially better off than to be correct and and have all of us materially suffer.Any idiot can spend a lot of money. It's spending it on something that will perpetuate that will be the tricky part. I just hope what is going to happen is not dealing with a heroin addict by just giving him more heroin. I just hope the economy does not sleep with the fishes.






Ed



http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2009/feb/11/senate-passes-obama-economic-stimulus-bill/

http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=6984145 (video)

(video)

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/03/todays-obama-economy-worse-than-great.html

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0209/18508.html

Against a backdrop of grim job losses, the White House and Senate Democrats secured a deal with moderate Republicans Friday to clear the way for passage of President Barack Obama’s economic recovery plan.

After days of watching from the sidelines, Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief of staff, came to the Capitol Friday afternoon to help seal the arrangement. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he hoped to complete passage on Monday, and a party caucus Friday night indicated strong Democratic support.

"We have a deal" said one official, and at least three Republicans are expected to back the revised bill: Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

"Is it perfect? No. But this bill is an enormous improvement," Collins said. "The American people don’t want to see partisan gridlock. They don’t want to see us divided and fighting. They want to see us working together to solve the most important crisis facing our country."

"Personally I would prefer not to be on the edge of the pin as so frequently is the case in this body," Specter said. "But I do believe we have to act."

Specter and Collins figured prominently in the meeting with Emanuel, together with Reid in the leader’s second-floor Capitol office. Reid had already signaled to Collins and Specter that he would accept spending cuts in the range of $80 billion. With the addition of Emanuel to the mix, final concessions were made, and having Emanuel present was good political insurance for Reid in dealing with House Democrats down the road.


While details are still incomplete, it appears the package, as initially brought to the Senate floor, will be scaled back by about $82 billion in spending reductions and $25 billion in tax cuts. In addition, tax cuts approved on the Senate floor this week for car and home purchases would be modified, and the total bill then would be in the range of $800 billion.

Lost in the process—or scaled back significantly— are some important Democratic initiatives and at least $47 billion in promised aid to the states. New Pell Grant funding is largely preserved, but $16 billion in school construction funds would be cut, and increases for popular programs like Head Start cut in half.

Obama’s own agenda is not immune. The deal would trim back new funds committed for expanding broadband access and improving the electrical grid as well as investments in health information technology.

Specter’s role is striking since he is a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which helped write the bill. On the floor this week, Democrats like Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin helped him secure increased funding for the National Institutes of Health—a Specter priority. Yet in the talks, it appears that $5.8 billion in public health funds for the treatment of preventable diseases—a Harkin priority— would be severely cut or even wiped out.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) , who has been critical himself of the initial package, said he expected Reid will enjoy a solid Democratic vote. "My sense from the caucus," he said, "was that the caucus was united, that the package had been improved, and people would support it."

Senate passage will not be the end of the process but will allow the administration to move into final negotiations with both the House and Senate together, when more adjustments are sure to be made. Clerks were just beginning to translate the agreement into legislative text Friday night, and Republicans were threatening a possible filibuster. But Reid was confident he could hold together his 60-plus votes, and the White House hopes to move as fast as possible since the House-Senate negotiations promise to be difficult and time consuming.

Friday’s agreement followed the release of new Labor Department numbers showing that as many as 598,000 workers lost their jobs in January — the worst since 1974 and pushing the unemployment rate up to 7.6 percent. "These numbers demand action," Obama said earlier in the day. "It is inexcusable and irresponsible to get bogged down in distraction and delay while millions of Americans are being put out of work. It is time for Congress to act."

But as Obama has stepped up his rhetoric, so has his old rival, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Friday’s exchanges sometimes resembled a flashback to the 2008 presidential campaign.

"It will take months even years to renew our economy," Obama said. "But every day that Washington fails to act, that recovery is delayed."

Taking on the Senate floor later, McCain accused his old opponent of failing to reach out to Republicans as much as Obama once promised.

"We want to have legislation that stimulates this economy," said McCain. "But we want it to stimulate the economy, not mortgage the future of our children and our grandchildren by the kind of fiscal profligate spending that’s embodied in this legislation."

McCain appeared to zero-in on those moderates like Collins and Specter, and through the day the two senators were the center of attention coming and going from Reid’s office.

More than in the past, Reid took a more direct hand in dealing with the Republicans, and his working relationship with Collins was most important. It was at her urging Thursday night that he changed his plan to keep the Senate in all night, and the two could be seen through the open doors of the Senate back lobby as she appealed to the Democratic leader to back away from what might have been a tense standoff.

"Everyone’s going to have to give a little and understand this is a process," Reid said Friday. In the afternoon, he held an hour-long meeting with Collins and Specter at which he presented a counter offer estimated to include about $80 billion in savings.

The deeper cuts are sure to rile House Democrats. For this reason, having Emanuel on hand is good insurance for Reid, since the chief of staff is not just the president’s man but also a former lieutenant for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

http://www.gottamentor.com/viewBlog.aspx?b=111

I can`t help but recall my first year economics class at Harvard when I think about the current economic crisis. Despite the fact that I hated that course, I became an economics major. Now, I see the wisdom in it. In my mind everything we need to know about how we got into this mess and how we can get out of it, starts with my Ec 10 course and a simple concept known as supply and demand.

I think by now, even Mom & Pop in rural Indiana know how we got into this mess: debt. Let`s analyze this in a simple supply and demand framework. Let`s say that basic wages and prices enabled Jim to consume $100 worth of goods each year. Because Jim could use debt through either credit cards or refinancing his appreciating home, Jim was now able to consume $150 worth of goods. Subsequently, companies increased supply in order to meet Jim`s growing demand. They built a $150 supply infrastructure to meet the $150 demand. Jim and his friends could now afford $4 per cup coffee shops on every corner; so, Starbucks built them.

Everything was fine as long as Jim could artificially fill the gap between his $100 real demand and the new $150 supply infrastructure with $50 worth of debt. Then the debt dried up. All of a sudden there was no way to fill the $50 gap. In fact, as the economic condition has deteriorated, the gap has gotten even larger. The combination of people losing their jobs and the fear of losing their jobs has caused Americans to do something they have not done for 30 years: save. Now, instead of demand being $100, it has shrunk to $80. Today the demand/supply gap is not $50, but $70. So how do you solve this problem?

Here is where I differ with almost every economic proposal coming out of Washington, both from the Bush and Obama administrations. All of their plans suggest that we try to fill this demand/supply gap by artificially stimulating demand. They call this an economic stimulus package. No one really knows what that looks like, but they all agree that it starts with trying to get people to consume more to meet the $150 supply infrastructure. This is just another form of financial engineering. It is the same type of engineering that got us into this mess in the first place, except that we called it leverage (e.g. debt). What ever you call it, it is artificially inflating demand. That is the wrong answer. The answer should not be how to artificially grow demand but how to manage the contraction of the supply infrastructure.

No one in Washington (or frankly America) wants to use the term "contraction of supply". We are a nation consumed by the word growth. Everything must grow -- all the time. We have gotten blinded by growth. What we fail to realize is that sometimes things must shrink (in this case dramatically) in order to grow again. Of course, there are two obvious and legitimate reasons why politicians are afraid of contraction: unemployment and deflation. Our bloated supply infrastructure employees a lot of people. It has also led to wage growth. The contraction of our supply infrastructure will put a lot more people out of work and it may force us to reduce wages. These are not good things and can / will put even more downward pressure on the economy. I do not advocate that if we manage the contraction of supply that we stand their idle and watch unemployment grow precipitously. In my mind, that should be the focus our the Administration`s efforts. We should allocate our brain power and money towards softening the blow to employment by allocating our trillion plus dollar bailout plan to job creation programs. This type of artificial stimulus can have huge positive long-term impact through infrastructure development and the creation of a more employable workforce. Every heard of line: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Giving Americans a $5000 tax credit versus re-training him for the workforce is the equivalent.

Even if we achieve the organic growth that I advocate, it will take time. I also do not believe we will be able to create enough new high wage jobs to fill the gap of those lost through this supply contraction. There is another aspect of this plan that needs to be adopted. It is a concept that few Americans are not prepared to address, but must address: contraction of expectation. As debt bloated our supply infrastructure, it also bloated our personal expectations and sense of entitlement. I was with my 19 year old cousin during Thanksgiving. She is in college and has no job, yet she has a $250 I-phone. So do all of her friends. We live in a society where unemployed kids not only have such luxuries but feel entitled to them. That must change. And, it is not just the kids. It is our entire society. Let me put this bluntly:

- Americans are not entitled to I-phones

- Americans are not entitled to more than one large flat screen tv in their homes

- Americans are not entitled to a new car every 5 years

- Americans are not entitled to retire by age 60 to a nice house in Florida on a golf course

- Single Americans are not entitled to live by themselves

- Americans are not entitled to not have multiple generations of their family live under the same roof

These are all things that we have taken for granted as Americans. We need to alter our expectations. Citizens in most developed countries around the world do not have the bloated expectations of Americans. If we do not change, the only answer is to artificially inflate demand which will lead to this same disaster happening again. Next time the result will be much worse. It will not simply be the bankruptcy of American homeowners. It will be the bankruptcy of America. And that, my friends, is game over.

So what is the answer? Stay tuned for that in my next post.








Musical Reaction to latest A Rod News


Oh never a dull moment with A- Lightning Rod for publicity. First he can't even mention the existence of this guy in the first press conference.In the second press conference he just refers to him as a generic cousin. Now with all the New York press watching his every move in Spring Training , he has him as a chauffeur. Then now the NYY bans this International Man of Mystery from the ballpark. Who said spring training is dull?
I might as well have musical fun with it with a musical clip below. Trust me, it's a good song even if you know nothing about this story. The significance of the song and the title is if the Yankees showed due diligence less than a year and a half ago who Alex was bringing to the ballpark then they would not have committed the money they did to him. Money it turns out earned with false pretense.Now that they ban this cousin who has seen more of A Rod's backside than Madonna it's akin to the classic closing the barn doors after the horses have run off.


Ed


http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Ap6W8_FVFIHhDXdsQ0yP_m05nYcB?slug=ap-yankees-rodriguez&prov=ap&type=lgns




AP source: A-Rod told to keep cousin from ballpark

By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer 20 minutes ago



New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, left, speaks to manager Joe Girardi during practice at the George M. Steinbrenner field during spring training, Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 in Tampa, Fla.


NEW YORK (AP)—Alex Rodriguez was told by the New York Yankees to keep his cousin away from the team.

The message was given to the star third baseman on Thursday, said a person familiar with the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team did not make an announcement. The message applied both to spring training and the regular season, the person said.

Rodriguez also was told the cousin should not be anywhere the team congregates, which presumably includes the team’s hotel when it travels and the ballpark.

Speaking at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., general manager Brian Cashman said only that the matter of Rodriguez being picked up from his spring training opener Wednesday by his cousin “has been handled.”

Rodriguez took a similar tone following New York’s 5-1 victory on Thursday over Tampa Bay.

“It’s been addressed,” he said. “And, no further comment.”

A day earlier in Dunedin, Rodriguez homered and walked twice, then got into a SUV driven by Yuri Sucart. He’s been identified as the cousin who provided Rodriguez with performance-enhancing drugs obtained in the Dominican Republic. Rodriguez admitted using them while playing for Texas from 2001-3.

Rodriguez acknowledged to the Yankees that having the cousin meet him at the ballpark in Dunedin was a mistake, the person who told The Associated Press about the situation said.

Dan Mullin, MLB’s vice president of investigations, was at Steinbrenner Field on Thursday to meet with the Yankees clubhouse staff. Mullin hopes to meet with Rodriguez in the next few days, but the timing of the meeting still was not finalized.

Rodriguez received mostly cheers with a few boos mixed in Thursday, going 0-for-2 and leaving after five innings with the Yankees leading Tampa Bay 2-0. The crowd included Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.






Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Then The Day is Mine!!!!

I first saw this almost ten years ago and to this day I still bust a gut watching it. Even then I never realized Will Ferrell would be the cinematic comedic giant that he is now. If you don't see the video screen below then either click the title or go here and find Alex Trebeck under the "tags " section .

If you find this 1/5 as funny as I do. Bookmark this web page and go back to it when you need a good laugh.

Ed

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celebrity_Jeopardy!_(Saturday_Night_Live)

Celebrity Jeopardy! was a recurring sketch on Saturday Night Live. It parodies the Celebrity Jeopardy! edition of the television game show Jeopardy! where celebrities compete and the game's level of difficulty is significantly reduced. Thirteen sketches have been aired to date, two per season from 1996 to 2002, and one in 2005 when Will Ferrell returned to host an episode of Saturday Night Live.

Will Ferrell appeared as host Alex Trebek in all thirteen sketches. Darrell Hammond also appeared in each sketch, eleven as Sean Connery. Norm Macdonald appeared in four sketches, all as Burt Reynolds. Jimmy Fallon appeared in six sketches and Dean Edwards appeared in two; neither playing the same character twice.

Origins
On the television special Saturday Night Live in the '90s: Pop Culture Nation, Norm Macdonald revealed that he created the sketch purely as an excuse to do his Burt Reynolds impersonation. Macdonald also stated that Reynolds is a fan of the sketch and that there were talks to do a sketch where the real Reynolds would crash the game and punch out Macdonald. Reynolds would then play the remainder of the game, with his answers being even dumber than Macdonald's. However, Macdonald was fired from Saturday Night Live before that sketch could be written.


The sketch
Under the guise of a run-of-the-mill celebrity game show wherein celebrity contestants appear and donate their winnings to charity, the sketches usually begin at the start of the second round of Jeopardy!, called Double Jeopardy!. The host, Alex Trebek, welcomes the audience and introduces the celebrity contestants, along with their current scores. These are usually deep in the negative, zero (because they've never buzzed in), or a very low positive score, such as $14. Both the host and contestants are played as caricatures of their real-life personalities. Trebek, known to strictly enforce the rules, is the beleaguered straight man. He is generally the only person on stage interested in engaging in a game of Jeopardy! The contestants, who often appear either unaware of what the game is or uninterested in playing it, either ramble incoherently, deliver irrelevant monologues, or openly antagonize the host. Whenever a contestant takes the game seriously, he or she proves utterly incapable of answering any of the questions correctly. In thirteen sketches, no contestant ever buzzes in and gives a correct response. Meanwhile, Trebek makes little or no effort to hide his contempt for the celebrities’ stupidity, and in return he is bombarded with sophomoric insults from Sean Connery.

In order for a game of Jeopardy! to progress, the contestants select clues, arranged in a grid by category and point value, so Trebek can give them. Many times, the celebrities refuse or fail to select a clue, grinding the pace of the game to a halt. Often, Trebek violates the rules and selects the category himself. At first, the show employed reasonable categories such as "Movies" and "Popular Music," but as the celebrities’ ineptitude grew more apparent, the categories became more and more childish. Many category names, such as "Colors that end in 'urple,'" suggest that the contestants could infer the correct responses before hearing the clues, and categories such as "Automatic Points" do not even require responses. Jeopardy! standby "Potent Potables," a category about alcoholic beverages, is always offered but never selected by Trebek or a contestant. Categories that do not fit this profile are often misunderstood by the celebrities and transformed by one of the contestants (almost always Connery) into sexually suggestive phrases. For example, he misreads "The Pen is Mightier" (a category about literary quotes) as "The Penis Mightier" (which the contestants believe is a penis enlargement product). In addition, Sean Connery occasionally modifies the board; for instance, he uses a marker to change "I have a Chardonnay" to "I Have a Hard On" and once sticks a piece of paper reading "Things Trebek Sucks" over the actual category, "Potpourri".


Final Jeopardy!
Trebek eventually grows exasperated with his inability to conduct the show and cuts it short by moving to the Final Jeopardy! round. Often, he discards the scripted category and question in favor of something much easier, such as asking the contestants to write down their own question and answer it, or make any mark whatsoever to earn a correct answer. Sometimes, the show itself delivers a childishly simple category such as "First Grade Math" or "Horsies." Despite constructing scenarios wherein it appears impossible for the celebrities to fail, they invariably do.

On rare occasions, contestants answer Final Jeopardy! correctly, but such success is never accompanied by an appropriate wager, rendering the whole effort pointless. Connery occasionally provides a correct answer but uses his wager to transform the text into something rude. For instance, when Trebek asks the contestants to write anything at all to earn a correct response, Connery writes "below" for his response, which Trebek acknowledges as correct, and writes "me" for his wager, so his screen reads "below me", a reference to fellatio. These instances and others indicate a shift in Connery’s character: first portrayed as stupid and clueless, Connery eventually demonstrates that he is aware of the nature of the show and capable of answering the questions, but he prefers making rude jokes and frustrating Trebek to attempting to win the game. Trebek then ends the sketch, sometimes by announcing that money will not be given to charity or declaring his intention to resign or commit suicide.

Initially, Burt Reynolds had been the celebrity who appeared on each episode, and there are some indications that he was to develop an antagonistic relationship with the host as well. When Reynolds appears for the last time on the sketch, he misreads categories in the way Connery does and insists that he be addressed as "Turd Ferguson" because "it's a funny name." For Final Jeopardy!, he merely tells Trebek "don't bother, I didn't write anything." He also antagonizes Trebek during the sketch.


End of the sketch
The sketch was initially retired on Will Ferrell’s departure from the SNL cast in 2002, but it returned for another appearance on May 14, 2005, when Ferrell hosted for the first time since leaving as a regular. His last line in the Celebrity Jeopardy! sketch was "All Right. That's it. I quit. Once and for all. Really. Good night." The second-to-last sketch featured the real Alex Trebek in a cameo appearance wherein he gives the Trebek character a sendoff on Will Ferrell's last show as a member of the SNL cast.


Relationship with the real Jeopardy!
On the September 5, 2001 episode of Jeopardy!, all the Double Jeopardy! categories were inspired by the sketch. They were “Sean Connery,” “Surprise Me, Trebek!”, “Therapists,” “Things You Shouldn’t Put in Your Mouth,” “The Number After 2,” and “Rhymes With ‘Dog’.”[1]
On the June 27, 2006 episode of Jeopardy!, the first category of the second round was “Japan-U.S. Relations,” one of the many categories misunderstood or misrepresented by the Connery character (he cited it as "Jap Anus Relations").[2]
In the 2006 Celebrity Jeopardy! tournament, categories included "Surprise Me, Trebek!" and "Answers That Start With 'Feb'," which both reference the sketch.[3][4]
On the September 24, 2008 edition, one of the categories in the Jeopardy round was "Starts with Feb, Trebek!", of which contestant Brian Levinson did his version of Sean Connery's voice in asking for the category, and Trebek said "You can keep doing it [in Connery's] voice."[5] Four days later, another SNL inspired category - "Months That End in 'Ber', Trebek" - was one of the first round categories.
While the real-life Alex Trebek shaved his mustache in 2001, Ferrell’s Trebek character retained it.
The board on the Celebrity Jeopardy! sketches features seven categories of four answers each, different from the real Jeopardy! board of six categories with five answers each. Also, when the real Jeopardy! doubled its dollar amounts in 2001, the board in the sketches retained the original 1984-2000 cash setup.







Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Top Ten Food To Avoid by Dr. Ted Broer




 For years I have tried finding this same list on line and I can't. Tonight I rectified that mistake because I was spelling his name wrong. It's not Brewer it's Broer. A long time ago, May 4 1995 I attended a seminar that just had rapid fire speakers, all successful people in different fields. There was Zig Ziglar, financial author David Chilton, Olympian Silken Lauman, Jim Rohn, former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clarke etc. I want to speak today about the nutritionist Dr. Ted Broer who I myself have found to be an inspiration. Below are some of his recommendations (and links) and my added notes will be in the usual red. Taken for the aforementioned really old note book that I hunted for tonight. All you people who think diet soft drinks are harmless, download the pdf files in my attachment section in the multiply page. . If the notes are lacking, Google the rest and believe what you want to believe.

Ed






Top 10 Foods Never to Eat

1. Pork/High Fat Luncheon Meats- it took nine years to really really sink in but I gave up all pork as he asked. That habit has lasted four and a half years and its worthy of its own eventual blog entry.
2. Shell fish- they are bottom feeders , see similar list below
3. Margarine/Hydrogenated Oils- he says butter is better. It does not make sense to avoid pouring this down the sink yet willingly let it in your body.
4. Aspartame / Nutrasweet- see the PDF attachments in my Multiply page Feb 24 2009 http://cornholiogogs.multiply.com/journal
5. Junk Food- if God's bacteria can not grow it, how good can it possibly be for you? His main example were those Hostess Twinkies type products.
6. MSG
7. Chlorine / Flouride
8. High Fat Dairy Products-
9. Caffeine- in this case do as I say and not do as I do. Still I only drink coffee once a day.
10. Alcohol

Top 5 Ways to Lose Body Fat

* Drink half your body weight in ounces of purified water daily.
* Eat low glycemic foods.
* Eat six small meals daily. Your daily calorie intake should be 10 times your desired weight. Example: (if desired weight is 180, multiply by 10 = 1800 calories daily, divided into 6 meals of 300 calories per meal)
* Take fat loss supplements, Conjulean and Cod Liver Oil.
* Exercise daily, cardio and resistance



http://www.askdrhelen.com/shownotes/drtedbroer-10-food-not-eat.html



Dr. Ted Broer
"Top 10 Foods You Should NEVER EAT!!"

1. HOT DOGS, BACON, SAUSAGE, HAM, PEPPERONI (HIGH-FAT LUNCH MEATS)

• Increase risk of leukemia in children

• If eaten when a woman is pregnant, she has double the risk of brain cancer in her unborn child
2. ASPARTAME (Found in EQUAL & NUTRASWEET)
- Produce nitrous urea compounds
- High increase in risk of brain tumor
Symptoms: Headaches, Confusion, Depression, Insomnia, Memory Lapses

NOTE: WHEN PUT IN HOT LIQUID, ONE OF THE COMPONENTS IT BREAKS DOWN INTO IS WOOD ALCOHOL! THE COMBINATION OF EATING A HOT DOG AND DRINKING A DIET DRINK CREATES ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL CANCER-PRODUCING SUBSTANCES KNOWN TO MAN.
3. MARGARINE (HYDROGENATED OILS) Found in peanut butters like Jiff and Skippy.
Buy natural peanut butter
Use real butter, olive oil, canola oil instead
4. SHELLFISH (LOBSTER, SHRIMP, CRAB) According to Dr. Broer, a lobster is an arthropod, a cockroach is an arthropod! Unclean. Scavengers.
5. OLESTRA
6. JUNK FOODS LIKE TWINKIES & STORE-BOUGHT CUPCAKES Better to eat a homemade cookie
7. CHLORINE IN YOUR WATER SUPPLY Increases heart disease & cancer risk
GET BOTTLED WATER OR USE A FILTER
8. HIGH-FAT DAIRY PRODUCTS
Use skim or low-fat milk, low-fat cottage cheese, sour cream, etc., whipped butter
9. CAFFEINE PRODUCTS
This is a short term "fix" Taps into your adrenals and causes fatigue later. Can increase risk of breast tumors 5 cups of coffee a day increases your risk of heart disease by 50%!
10. ALCOHOL PRODUCTS

THANK YOU FOR WATCHING DOCTOR TO DOCTOR! WE HOPE THESE SHOW NOTES ARE A BLESSING TO YOU! MAY GOD BLESS YOU

Because of my love for you, I am reading through my crappy 14 year old notes to give you the best information.


ASPARTAME: A CHRONICLE OF CRIME

Last year the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) passed the Truth in Food Labeling Act which mandated that food manufacturers disclose a complete list of their products ingredients, and that titles on food labels must honestly represent the contents within the package. This means that a Low Fat product must, in fact, be low in fat and that “light” means that the product is lighter in calories, not just in package. Thus, I am astonished that a product marketed as an artificial sweetener can carry the name NutraSweet, when 1) it is not nutritive by definition, and 2) it is shown to be a hazardous chemical causing severe side effects including headaches, seizures and even birth defects in laboratory animals. One would think that our government would protect us from products that are known to harm us, but in the case of Aspartame, which is marketed under the name of NutraSweet, they have not. If the public fully understood the irregularities in the research and development of aspartame and Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval process of this chemical, the cries of conspiracy would be heard far and wide. The path that took this chemical from the laboratory to your kitchen table is one wrought with deception and blatant conflicts of interest, not to mention what could be considered a conspiracy to market a product to Americans which has been proven to be harmful.

If you would like to read more on this in-depth health and nutrition analysis, click on the links below to download these reports in PDF format.











http://www.virtualmag.co.uk/index.cfm?jsessionid=0c3026701207021819774&client_id=79&fuseaction=Magazine.ShowArticle&article_id=222&ID=168

Ted Broer’s top 10 criminals (foods to avoid)

  1. All pork products – which he refers to as a homotoxin (human poison) including luncheon meat, ham, bacon and pork. “Eat a pig, look like a pig” is his great one-liner.
  2. Shellfish – which includes lobster, crab, shrimp, oysters, mussels and clams.
  3. Junk food – this covers all high fat, sweet foods, fast foods and white breads.
  4. Alcohol – all alcoholic beverages.
  5. High fat dairy products – including milk.
  6. Margarine – all margarines.
  7. Aspartame and diet sodas.
  8. Olestra – the fake fat.
  9. Caffeine – including coffee, tea and cola.
  10. Chlorine and fluoride – found in some regional tap waters.
Many of the products in the criminal list are of no surprise I’m sure to most of you. Most of the reasoning presented behind the “do not do” list is relatively sound but has a tendency to get clouded with passion against the food group with scare stories. By the time you’ve read these chapters you will be emptying your cupboards and worried about poisoning, cancer, heart failure and all sorts of illnesses.
There is, however, sound reasoning behind the choices he makes whichever way you look at them. Pork is one of the highest saturated fat meats with only approx 25% of its calories coming from the protein group and up to 75% of its calories coming from saturated fat. If you compare this to protein from pulses or grains the remaining calories outside of the protein are approximately 45% carbohydrate and the fat calories come from the good fat group. Pork is also often used in processed products such as luncheon meats, which brings along many hidden dangers, chemicals and additives, as well as being high in fat.
Broer’s shellfish list is high in cholesterol that may cause elevated levels of blood cholesterol. This may lead to furring up of the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis), which can lead to heart disease and heart failure. Although you have to remember here that fish as a group is a healthy option for protein.
Junk food I’m sure is no surprise to you. It is high in fat, sugars and kilocalories. Ted Broer holds a particularly easy-to-follow discussion on hydrogenated fats that appear in the junk food and margarines. Hydrogenated fats are fat oils that have been heated and then pumped with hydrogen to make them solid at room temperature (hydrogenated). This corrupts the fatty acid chain, changing its shape from a “cis” shape to a “trans fatty acid”. These are harmful to health and interfere with hormone production and are linked to coronary heart disease. These fats are often the hidden fats appearing in junk food or anything that a manufacturer may make from margarine products.
Interestingly, he includes white bread or highly refined bread as junk food. White bread is highly processed and responds in the blood the same as eating pure sugar. This causes insulin levels to rise in the blood as a response to keeping the blood sugar levels within normal range. Insulin also plays a part in fat storage so as well as feeling the yo-yo affect on energy of high blood sugar then low blood sugar, eating lots of white or refined bread products will increase your ability for fat storage.
Broer highlights several dangers from the liquids we consume such as caffeine, which is an addictive stimulant that can cause you to feel up one minute and down the next, as well as being a diuretic encouraging the body to expel more fluid than necessary, leaving you dehydrated. Alcohol appears on the list as it is high in calories, seven kcals per gram compared to protein and carbohydrate, which are four kcals per gram. Chlorine and fluoride are also fraught with dangers even if added to our drinking water for good reasons. There has over the years been a lot of research on aspartame, which appears as the brand product NutraSweet in many low-calorie drinks. One of its family products is phenylalanine, which a small minority of people cannot digest. Aspartame itself
is a naturally occurring amino acid so one view is that the body can digest it adequately and without risk. The opposing view is that aspartame has for a long time been linked to research on cancer but even now the jury is still out on it.

Broer’s do list

  1. Live one choice at a time.
  2. Do whatever you do consistently.
  3. Set nutritional goals.
  4. Drink at least eight glasses of pure water per day.
  5. Include adequate fibre in your diet.
  6. Take vitamin and mineral supplements with your daily meal.
  7. Eat the good fats Omega 3 and Omega 6, found in fish oils and seed oils.
  8. Exercise correctly and consistently.
  9. Learn how to manage your stress.
  10. Don’t eat the top 10 foods to avoid.
If you take the recommendations together with the foods to avoid he is working his way to what we would consider healthy eating and exercise guidelines for weight management rather than just following a list of foods on a particular fad diet that are very low in calories.
There is little question that substantial excess body fat increases your health risk and mortality. Given this threat any intervention recommendations to the public must focus on interventions that would educate the public on the dangers of poor lifestyle choices and the subsequent outcome. Taking his scare tactics, aside this book offers members of the public a gentle introduction to the physiology behind weight management and poor lifestyle choices.




http://www.healthmasters.com/



http://www.healthmasters.com/top_ten/thanks.html

What A Way To Find Out You Are Dumped

Link

I was talking to a guy in the line at the store. The conversation got around to wives, and he said he had been widowed three times. I said "Three wives, all dead and buried?" He said "Yes."
"What happened to the first one?"
"Poison Mushrooms."
"What happened to the second one?"
"Poison Mushrooms."
"And the third?"
"Fractured skull."
"How did that happen?"
"She wouldn't eat the poison mushrooms."




I first started really paying attention to the Drew Petersen story when I saw this 14 minute video on ABC News Nightline. I guess I heard bits here and bits there before. But there is something about watching video that goes into a bit of depth. My title suggests that I sympathize with his bozo. I do not. Still there is a lot of charm there. Watch the video and ask yourself if you think a killer is talking to you. Note my video on multiply and blogspot is in two parts . The original is at the source website of ABC News. Ed


http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Story?id=6751346&page=1


http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/Story?id=6770060&page=1



Fiancee Leaves Drew Peterson After 'Nightline' Story
Peterson Says Fiancee Christina Raines Had Second Thoughts After TV Show Aired
By MARTIN BASHIR, ERIC JOHNSON and KATIE ESCHERICH
Jan. 30, 2009


Drew Peterson told ABC News today that his fiancee dumped him as they watched his interview Thursday on "Nightline." Peterson told anchor Martin Bashir that his fiancee called him a liar, packed her bags, and left. Peterson told Bashir, "The engagement is over because of your interviews."
After Drew Peterson's candid interview with, his girlfriend hit the road.

On Thursday night, Glenn Selig, the former police officer's publicist, called the "Nightline" story fair. Joel Brodsky, Peterson's lawyer, said he believed his client came across as "forthcoming."

ABC News spoke to Ernie Raines, Christina Raines' father, who also watched Thursday's "Nightline" interview. He said it was an accurate portrayal of Peterson and says it definitely contributed to his daughter's decision.

"How dare Drew say he will just get tired of my daughter and then move on!" Ernie Raines said. "Who does he think he is? He's nobody!"

Earlier today Ernie Raines called the Bolingbrook Police Department from outside of Peterson's Illinois home. According to Lt. Ken Teppel, he went to Peterson's house this morning to help his daughter move out. Teppel said Peterson refused to let Ernie Raines inside at which point the father called the police. The officers arrived and began removing Christina Raines' property in plastic bags.

During Thursday night's "Nightline" interview, Peterson said he understood why his future fifth wife's loved ones are concerned for her safety. But Peterson, who is a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife Stacy and the death of his third wife Kathleen Savio in their Bolingbrook, Ill., home, said that "I'm a good guy."

Peterson's first two wives have complained about him being very controlling and, before her disappearance, Stacy allegedly told her minister that Peterson confessed to killing Savio.












Monday, February 23, 2009

What We Can All Learn From Jake Porter

" In the stands mothers cried and fathers roared. Players on both sidelines held their helmets to the sky and whooped."



Since it happened, people in the two towns just seem to be treating one another better. Kids in the two schools walk around beaming. "I have this bully in one of my [phys-ed] classes," says Dewitt. "He's a rough, out-for-himself type kid. The other day I saw him helping a couple of special-needs kids play basketball. I about fell over."

This is very similar to what I posted last week. Similar in the sense that the playing field/ court showed what values can be learned and more importantly put to practice. I promise you that if you want to warm your heart , this is a good thing to read. I'm almost sure no one reading this is retarded to the point that Jake Porter is but just reading about his attitude should inspire ALL OF US. None of us have that handicap but look at what we can learn from the way he approaches life. In fact the saga around Jake inspired entire towns.You might remember this line from last week's story .

"As a principal, school, school district staff, and community you should all feel immense pride for the remarkable job that the coaching staff is doing in not only coaching these young men, but teaching them how to be leaders," Womack wrote.

Read this story and read the previous story and tell me if the previous quote does not apply to both instances. Isn't this something you want to impart to your kids? I don't have any kids so I am imparting it to you.

Ed

Jake Porter is 17, but he can't read, can barely scrawl his first name and often mixes up the letters at that. So how come we're all learning something from him?

In three years on the Northwest High football team, in McDermott, Ohio, Jake had never run with the ball. Or made a tackle. He'd barely ever stepped on the field. That's about right for a kid with chromosomal fragile X syndrome, a disorder that is a common cause of mental retardation.

But every day after school Jake, who attends special-ed classes, races to Northwest team practices: football, basketball, track. Never plays, but seldom misses one.

That's why it seemed crazy when, with five seconds left in a recent game that Northwest was losing 42-0, Jake trotted out to the huddle. The plan was for him to get the handoff and take a knee.

Northwest's coach and Jake's best friend, Dave Frantz, called a timeout to talk about it with the opposing coach, Waverly's Derek Dewitt. Fans could see there was a disagreement. Dewitt was shaking his head and waving his arms.

After a ref stepped in, play resumed and Jake got the ball. He started to genuflect, as he'd practiced all week. Teammates stopped him and told him to run, but Jake started going in the wrong direction. The back judge rerouted him toward the line of scrimmage.

Suddenly, the Waverly defense parted like peasants for the king and urged him to go on his grinning sprint to the end zone. Imagine having 21 teammates on the field. In the stands mothers cried and fathers roared. Players on both sidelines held their helmets to the sky and whooped.

In the red-cheeked glee afterward, Jake's mom, Liz, a single parent and a waitress at a coffee shop, ran up to the 295-pound Dewitt to thank him. But she was so emotional, no words would come.

Turns out that before the play Dewitt had called his defense over and said, "They're going to give the ball to number 45. Do not touch him! Open up a hole and let him score! Understand?"

It's not the kind of thing you expect to come out of a football coach's mouth, but then Derek Dewitt is not your typical coach. Originally from the Los Angeles area, he's the first black coach in the 57-year history of a conference made up of schools along the Ohio-Kentucky border. He'd already heard the n word at two road games this season, once through the windows of a locker room. Yet he was willing to give up his first shutout for a white kid he'd met only two hours earlier.

"I told Derek before the play, "This is the young man we talked about on the phone,' " Frantz recalled." 'He's just going to get the ball and take a knee.' But Derek kept saying, 'No, I want him to score.' I couldn't talk him out of it!"

"I met Jake before the game, and I was so impressed," Dewitt said. "All my players knew him from track. So, when the time came, touching the ball just didn't seem good enough." (By the way, Dewitt and his team got their shutout the next week, 7-0 against Cincinnati Mariemont.)

Into every parade a few stink bombs must fall. Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette grumbled that if the mentally challenged want to participate in sports, "let them do it at the Special Olympics. Leave high school football alone, and for heaven's sake, don't put the fix in." A few overtestosteroned Neanderthals on an Internet site complained, "That isn't football."

No, it became bigger than football. Since it happened, people in the two towns just seem to be treating one another better. Kids in the two schools walk around beaming. "I have this bully in one of my [phys-ed] classes," says Dewitt. "He's a rough, out-for-himself type kid. The other day I saw him helping a couple of special-needs kids play basketball. I about fell over."

Jake is no different, though. Still happy as a frog in a bog. Still signs the teachers' register in the principal's office every morning, ready to "work." Still gets sent on errands, forgets where he's going and ends up in Frantz's office. Still talks all the time, only now it's to NBC, ESPN and affiliates from CBS and Fox about his touchdown that won the game.

Yeah, Jake Porter thinks his 49-yard run made for a comeback victory. He thinks he was the hero. He thinks that's why there were so many grins and streaks down people's faces.

Smart kid.

This is the original story

http://www.rob-robson.com/jake_porter/jake_porter.shtml





Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are You Lonesome Tonight Sgt Shultz

As if I have not tortured you enough by now. Here is more. An Elvis classic with a little tempo change after the solo.


Ed

Is this article about me?







A long time friend of mine sent me this article below. I looked in the "to" field and it was addressed to nobody else? Does it really apply to me?? I might agree with it because I admit that I am addicted to podcasts and podcasts come from the Net. Let me know.

Ed



http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=705d2e4e-420f-4555-82ac-285b73d74d96&k=37204

Recognize Internet addiction as a mental illness, MD urges

Compulsive e-mailing and text messaging could soon become classified as an official brain illness.

By The Ottawa Citizen March 17, 2008



Compulsive e-mailing and text messaging could soon become classified as an official brain illness.

An editorial in this month's issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry says Internet addiction -- including "excessive gaming, sexual pre-occupations and e-mail/text messaging" -- is a common compulsive-impulsive disorder that should be added to psychiatry's official guidebook of mental disorders.

Like other addicts, users experience cravings, urges, withdrawal and tolerance, requiring more and better equipment and software, or more and more hours online, according to Dr. Jerald Block, a psychiatrist at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. Dr. Block says people can lose all track of time or neglect "basic drives," like eating or sleeping. Relapse rates are high, he writes, and some people may need psychoactive medications or hospitalization.

Dr. Block says about 86 per cent of Internet addicts have some other form of mental illness, but that unless a therapist is looking for it, Internet addiction is likely to be missed.

He argues that the phenomenon warrants being included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, psychiatry's official dictionary of mental illnesses. The next edition is due out in 2012. A draft is expected to be available for public comment next year.

But some say the research into Internet addiction is in its infancy and they wonder how doctors decide when computer use crosses the line from the normal to the pathological.

British psychiatrists, reporting last year in the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, say a "significant minority" -- some estimate between five and 10 per cent of online users -- are addicted to the Internet, and that while early research suggests most are highly educated, highly introverted males, more recent studies suggest the bulk of the problem is occurring among middle-aged women on home computers.

Some use computers like they would drugs or alcohol as a way to escape reality, the researchers say. Addicts may be addicted to everything from the sheer act of typing, to chat rooms, online shopping or three-dimensional, multiplayer games users have described as "heroinware."

According to addiction therapist John Macdonald, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, computer use becomes problematic when the behaviour starts affecting people's lives.

For example, is the person pre-occupied with getting, and staying, online? "If they're not able to engage in it, is it emotionally upsetting for them?

"The real proof in the pudding: is the amount that you do causing any problems in your life?" Mr. Macdonald says.

China and South Korea are already addressing the problem.

After 10 people died in Internet caf├ęs in South Korea from cardiopulmonary-related deaths -- at least seven reportedly due to online gaming -- the government trained more than 1,000 counsellors in the treatment of Internet addiction, Dr. Block writes.
© (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

This Made Me Cry At Work Today Twice

Yes, the title is not a typo. I have a small audience, yet a loyal one so once in a while I will reward you with admissions like that.Very few people can be as cynical as me on a regular basis. Specially when it comes to politics and sports . Once in a while I will come across a gem that makes me believe that there is humanity out there and this is one of those incidents. I want you to experience this the way I did today which is have Greenberg and Golic explain the story to you. Then go ahead read the text after. I heard the story first then I wept . Later on at lunch time when I could legally watch stuff on my Ipod I viewed the same clip you have in front you and even with the element of surprise gone I still shed a few tears. No one was with me both times even if I was at work. Once in a while you need moments like this to remind you that there is good in some people and good in you too.


For a similar crying at work story click here.




Ed




http://sports.espn.go.com/highschool/rise/basketball/boys/news/story?id=3914375






Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Set Your Course On Adventure Your Mind On A New Romance

The following video may not contain nudity or course language but could possibly be more offensive. Bernie on Drums, Doughboy on Guitar and James on Bass. Nothing wrong with them. The singer should have been shot. Speaking of shot, this was shot around July of 1993.



Ed








Bloggers You Should Feel Better


Yes , all you who write , here is a reason to feel better about yourselves even if you are not an insider. Once again Colin Cowherd says something so brilliant that all you people who do not listen to him should hear. You may not have the proximity that reporters have but it can be used to your advantage. In a way you are more objective. I don't care what MItch Albom (shown above) says. I don't want to put words in Colin's mouth so here is the audio file.



Ed

related: http://apse.dallasnews.com/news/2005/041105albom1.html

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

That Wine In Rome Must be Really Good.




Does n't Japan have enough problems? Or maybe that is exactly why Shoichi Nakagawa was plastered in a crucial event in a crucial time for Japan and the rest of the world. Still you represent your country and that is how you present yourself? I hope he at least enjoyed the pizza. Does n't seem like a good time is awaiting him back home.


Ed

Those receiving by email , amusing videos available in main blog, click title.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/29218123


Japan Finance Minister Denies Being Drunk at G7
Topics:Economy (Global) | G7 | Politics & Government | Japan
By: Reuters | 16 Feb 2009 | 05:14 AM ET
Text Size

Japan's finance minister denied on Monday that he had been drunk at a G7 news conference but the opposition demanded he be fired, piling pressure on unpopular Prime Minister Taro Aso ahead of an election this year.

Asked ahead of a meeting with Aso if he was considering resigning, Shoichi Nakagawa told reporters: "If I was told to resign, I would."

Nakagawa, 55, a close ally of Aso, said he had only sipped a little wine at a luncheon before the news conference, which followed a Group of Seven finance leaders meeting in Rome.

But he said he had taken a large amount of cold medicine, which may have affected his performance badly.

The fuss over Nakagawa's behavior at the news conference comes as Aso's public support is plummeting ahead of an election that must be held no later than October and as the economy sinks deeper into recession.

If Nakagawa is fired or forced to quit, analysts said, it would be a heavy blow to Aso, struggling to keep his own grip on power after a series of gaffes and policy flip-flops.

"It is a fact that I didn't conduct myself clearly, and I feel I must put it straight," Nakagawa told reporters in Tokyo about the news conference.

At the news conference with Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa after the G7 meeting, Nakagawa's speech sounded slurred.

At one point, Nakagawa, his head down and eyes closed, mistook a question directed at the BOJ governor as one for him.


Nakagawa attributed his behavior to having taken too much medicine, including cold medicine, but said his performance had not harmed Japan's standing or its relations with G7 nations.

The main opposition Democratic Party disagreed and said he should either be fired or step down.

"This is a matter where his responsibility as a minister of state and as a financial minister has been called into question," Democratic Party leader Ichiro Ozawa said. "His responsibility for having shown disgrace to the world is heavy. I think this is an embarrassment."

Kyodo news agency quoted an unidentified executive from Aso's Liberal Democratic Party as saying Nakagawa should resign soon.

Former prime minister Yoshiro Mori, asked about the news conference, told Japanese TV he had discussed such issues with Nakagawa in the past.

"Since he really loves to drink, I advised him once to be careful about drinking," Mori said.

Potentially Lethal?

Democratic Party No. 2, Yukio Hatoyama, told reporters the party may submit a censure motion against Nakagawa to parliament's upper house if the matter was not quickly resolved.

A censure motion in the upper house, controlled by the opposition, is non-binding but one minister was pressured to resign in the past by such a resolution.

Nakagawa, a right-leaning lawmaker who has also held farm and trade portfolios, earlier said it was up to the prime minister to decide his fate.

Political analysts said if Nakagawa stepped down or was axed it would be a serious blow to Aso, who appointed his close ally to hold both the finance minister post and the banking supervision portfolio when he took office last September.



"Losing someone in charge of the financial system and public finances at this juncture ... is potentially lethal for his (Aso's) own tenure," said Koichi Nakano, a Sophia University political science professor.

Even if Nakagawa stays, "it will add to the impression that Aso is well past his expiration date," Nakano said.

Grilled in parliament over his behavior, Nakagawa said he had sipped wine at a luncheon toast on the day of the news conference, but had not consumed an entire glass.

"I did not drink a glassful," he said.

Japanese TV broadcasters and national newspapers called attention to Nakagawa's behavior at the news conference at the G7 gathering to discuss the world financial crisis.

Video of the media conference was widely circulated on the Internet.

Japan has been hit hard by the global downturn. Its economy is suffering an unprecedented slump in exports, posting in the final quarter of last year its biggest GDP contraction since the first oil crisis in 1974.
Copyright 2009 Reuters. Click for restrictions.







Monday, February 16, 2009

Swearing leads to being obnoxious in other areas

You may recall I had this previous item concerning a person who thinks swearing profusely and speaking in a volume audible three counties away makes her more feminine and appealing . I wrote that in June. Well there was a recent development on that area. Our building supervisor cited her last week for doing acts unmentionable in a family blog in the driveway area of our building. Same area she engages in that tasteful habit of ingesting nicotine several times a day.

The thought of this person just gives me the willies. When I wrote her that email in June I meant every word. It may not be diplomatic but it's true. And you know what? Nothing changed. Which for me just proves that there was reason and validity for the letter in the first place. Her presence and noise pollution was a continuous drain on my sanity that I agreed to be transferred one floor up. Its been about three months and I am glad I am away.

I just want to make it clear that if you choose to pollute your work place with language more appropriate for a bordello then chances are you will also be publicly obscene in other areas. It turns out her language was not the only thing that was obscene.

Ed

If you want more background on these series of incidents, available here.



2) name of Moo Yuck Loud disgusting annoying irritating butt paez Makati Percom Personal Computer Specialists Makati obese fat gigantic enormous gross pathetic mia grotesque carmen lousy ugly hideous anti christ demon satan satanic evil Philippines Quezon thunder thighs devil




All Icing and no Cake

In a few hours a spectacle will descend upon Tampa that might dwarf the one held there a few short weeks ago. I am talking about A-Rod's imminent collision with the press.

If you ever read my home page, I mention about Linus and Pumpkin Patch that's the most sincere. How much that always meant to me. That concept flows smoothly into all icing and no cake. All form and no substance. The idea of questioning what is really there. In retrospect this article is even more fascinating now than when it was first published 2 1/2 years ago. Enjoy this view of a guy you will hear about over and over again for a while. (Book comes out middle of April) .

Ed

http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1103884/index.htm

September 25, 2006
A-rod Agonistes
His successes are often overshadowed by his failures. Despite his extraordinary accumulated numbers, New York fans are quick to discount his contributions. And when things go wrong for Alex Rodriguez, even his fellow Yankees find him hard to motivate and harder to understand
TOM VERDUCCI

"Joe wants to see you."

Alex Rodriguez still was weak from a throat infection that had confined him to his Seattle hotel room for the New York Yankees' game the previous night-not to mention forced him to cancel a recording session for his ringtone endorsement deal-when he walked into the visitors' clubhouse at Safeco Field on Aug. 24 and was told to go manager Joe Torre's office. Torre asked him to close the door, then motioned to the blue leather couch in the smallish room. "Sit down." � The richest and most talented player in baseball was in trouble. Rodriguez could not hit an average fastball, could not swat home runs in batting practice with any regularity, could not field a ground ball or throw from third base with an uncluttered mind and cooperative feet, could not step to the plate at Yankee Stadium without being booed and could not-though he seemed unaware of this-find full support in his own clubhouse.

For 11 summers Rodriguez had been the master of self-sufficiency, a baseball Narcissus who found pride and comfort gazing upon the reflection of his beautiful statistics. His game, like his appearance, was wrinkle-free. Indeed, in December 2003, when the Red Sox were frantically trying to acquire Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers, several Boston executives called on Rodriguez in his New York hotel suite after 1 a.m. Rodriguez answered the door in a perfectly pressed suit, tie knotted tight to his stiff collar. The Red Sox officials found such polished attire at such a late hour odd, even unsettling.

But then Rodriguez has long been the major league equivalent of the prettiest girl in high school who also gets straight A's, which is to say he is viewed with equal parts admiration and resentment. The A-Rod of 2006 was different, though-unhinged and, in a baseball sense, unkempt. "My seasons have always been so easy," says Rodriguez. "This year hasn't been easy." He adds that his wife, Cynthia, in helping him with his struggles, encouraged him to "turn to the Lord for guidance."

With the boost of a September surge Rodriguez's final numbers will look, as usual, stellar. (At week's end he was hitting .287, with 33 homers and 114 RBIs.) But even Rodriguez admitted early this month that his statistics can't erase the pain he felt during his three-month slip into a dark abyss, when he lost his confidence, withered under media and fan pressure, and, some teammates believe, worked a little too hard at keeping up appearances-displaying "a false confidence," New York first baseman Jason Giambi said. The slump (a word Rodriguez refuses to utter) revealed that for all his gifts, A-Rod may never be seen by Yankees traditionalists as worthy of his pinstripes.

Yet there's still another chapter to be written in the story of his season. He still, God help him, has October.

Torre had been concerned about Rodriguez and his game for weeks before he called him into his office. Effort hadn't been the issue. If anything, the 31-year-old Rodriguez works too hard, crams too many bits of information into his head. He even studies videotape shot from centerfield cameras to see if he can decode patterns in catchers' signal sequences with a runner on second base.

"I can't help that I'm a bright person," he said last month. "I know that's not a great quote to give, but I can't pretend to play dumb and stupid."

What bothered Torre most was Rodriguez's seeming obliviousness to how badly he was playing. In June, for instance, hitting coach Don Mattingly ordered Rodriguez into the cage and sternly lectured him on the flaws in his swing, which Mattingly thought A-Rod had been unwilling to address. "An intervention," Mattingly called it. "He got to a pretty good point with [his swing], but it lasted only a few days and he went right back to where he was."

In the 80 games the Yankees played from June 1 to Aug. 30-almost half a season-Rodriguez hit .257 with 81 strikeouts while committing 13 errors. Tabloids mocked him. Talk radio used him for kindling. "I haven't seen anything like it since I've been here," said reliever Mariano Rivera, in his 12th year as a Yankee, of the rough treatment.


Torre hit .363 with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1971 and .289 the following season, giving him a deep understanding of the ebb and flow of performance. With veteran players especially he operates like an old fisherman checking the tide charts, believing that the worst of times only means the best is to come. Rodriguez will hit, he thought, and he kept telling his third baseman exactly that.

Torre's trademark placidity ended, though, when Giambi asked to talk to Torre in Seattle. "Skip," Giambi told Torre, "it's time to stop coddling him."

For all the scorn heaped upon Giambi for his ties to the BALCO steroid scandal, he is a strong clubhouse voice because he plays with a passion that stirs teammates and even opponents. This season, for instance, he reprimanded his former Oakland A's teammate, Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada, for occasionally showing up late to games out of frustration over another losing Baltimore season. "You're better than that," he told Tejada. So Giambi's gripe about Rodriguez sounded an alarm with Torre.

"What Jason said made me realize that I had to go at it a different way," Torre says. "When the rest of the team starts noticing things, you have to get it fixed. That's my job. I like to give individuals what I believe is the room they need, but when I sense that other people are affected, teamwise, I have to find a solution to it."

The players' confidence in Rodriguez was eroding as they sensed that he did not understand how much his on-field struggles were hurting the club. Said one Yankees veteran, "It was always about the numbers in [ Seattle and Texas] for him. And that doesn't matter here. Winning is all you're judged on here."

Before Giambi went to Torre, he had scolded Rodriguez after a 13-5 win in Boston on Aug. 19. Irked that Rodriguez left four runners on base in the first three innings against a shaky Josh Beckett, Giambi thought A-Rod needed to be challenged. "We're all rooting for you and we're behind you 100 percent," Giambi recalls telling Rodriguez, "but you've got to get the big hit."

"What do you mean?" was Rodriguez's response, according to Giambi. "I've had five hits in Boston."

"You f--- call those hits?" Giambi said. "You had two f--- dinkers to rightfield and a ball that bounced over the third baseman! Look at how many pitches you missed!

"When you hit three, four or five [in the order], you have to get the big hits, especially if they're going to walk Bobby [ Abreu] and me. I'll help you out until you get going. I'll look to drive in runs when they pitch around me, go after that 3-and-1 pitch that might be a ball. But if they're going to walk Bobby and me, you're going to have to be the guy."

(Asked about Giambi's pep talk, Rodriguez said he could not remember what was discussed, though he added, "I'm sure we had a conversation.")


In Seattle, Torre looked at Rodriguez squarely and said, "This is all about honesty. And it's not about anybody else but you. You can't pretend everything is O.K. when it's not. You have to face the reality that you're going through a tough time, and then work from there."

It was as close to a tongue-lashing as the low-key Torre ever gets. When the manager comes down on a player, he will mix in the occasional profanity, but his voice remains even and there are no threats. Here his hammer was in the rebuke that Rodriguez's unwillingness to address his slump head-on was letting himself and the team down. Torre told him he needed to show some fight, some anger even, rather than continuing to act as if he were doing just fine.

Rodriguez maintained eye contact while Torre spoke and nodded repeatedly. His only sign of discomfort was that he kept twirling his wedding ring around his finger. When Torre was done, he asked A-Rod if he understood what he had just told him. "Yes, 100 percent," Rodriguez said firmly.

Earlier this month, in recalling the meeting with Torre, Rodriguez said, "Oh, he was real tough. That was the toughest he's been on me."

On the night of the meeting Rodriguez struck out as a pinch hitter to end the game. He whacked the dugout railing with his bat, walked up the runway and into the clubhouse, and picked up a folding chair and threw it.

Two days and seven more embarrassing strikeouts later, it seemed as if the meeting with Torre had never happened. It was late afternoon at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, so late that the concession and maintenance workers were long gone as Rodriguez walked through the empty labyrinth of service tunnels from the clubhouse to a rightfield parking lot. "It's not a big deal," he said. "It's only two games. Back in 1999 I was 5 for 81 [actually 6 for 62] and got an 0-and-2 fastball from Esteban Yan over my head and hit it out, and I was fine. This is nothing like that. It's only two games."

It was classic A-Rod: the instant recall of his numbers, the whistling past the graveyard of a slump that was much deeper than two days. He has already hit into more double plays than ever before, and he most likely will exceed his career highs in strikeouts and errors. Rodriguez also hadn't come to terms with his teammates' sense that he wasn't doing enough to shake things up. Torre and his coaches, for instance, lingered late in the Angel Stadium clubhouse on the previous night trying to decide what to do about Rodriguez. Some wanted him dropped in the lineup. Torre came down on the side of moving him up to second in the order.

Despite taking 45 minutes of batting practice after the game that day, Rodriguez continued to flail away, in the midst of what would be a 2-for-20 stretch with 14 strikeouts. Like a blindfolded kid hacking at a pi�ata, he missed the baseball 19 of the 36 times he swung the bat.

Said centerfielder Johnny Damon during that West Coast trip, "His swing is so mechanical. He's too good to be swinging like that. Just let it flow. See the ball and react to it. And sometimes you need to do whatever you can, especially with two strikes or with runners on, to get the job done. He's not doing that."

"He's guessing," Giambi said, "and he's doing a bad job of it, which is inevitable when you guess as often as he guesses. He's squeezing the f--- sawdust out of the bat."


Said another teammate, "I think he ought to get his eyes checked. I'm not kidding. I don't think he's seeing the ball."

And another: "I honestly think he might be afraid of the ball."

Every clubhouse has a unique current, like that of a river, with a temperature and a pace that can be felt only by wading into it. The A's, taking their cue

from general manager Billy Beane's shorts and flip-flops, play as if it's Friday happy hour. The Atlanta Braves, eschewing the clubhouse stereo, have a self-assured, nine-to-five approach. The Yankees, the last baseball bastion in which beards and individualism are verboten, foster a Prussian efficiency.

The old guard with connections to New York's four championship seasons from 1996 to 2000-Torre, Rivera, shortstop Derek Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada and outfielder Bernie Williams-almost never talks about individual numbers because stats are incidental to the team's mission: winning the World Series. Those title teams talked about "passing the baton"-taking a walk or moving a runner over out of confidence in and respect for the next hitter. Reliance on one another is what mattered. That is still the covenant of the Yankees, though perhaps not as sublimely executed.

One day last month, wading into that current, I asked Rodriguez whom he has relied on most during his difficult summer. He first mentioned Cynthia.

But to whom has he turned on this Yankees team?

He looked down and thought in silence. Ten seconds passed.

Finally he said, "Rob Thomson." Thomson is the team's special-assignment coach who throws batting practice.

"And Mo. Mariano is the best. Those three."


And that was it.

As the conscience and soul of the team, Rivera is everyone's touchstone. When asked if he had counseled Rodriguez this summer, Rivera said, "He has my support, [but] he has to figure it out on his own. Sometimes you try so hard to do things so right that you do them all wrong. It's like moving in quicksand. The more you move, the more you sink."

As revered as Rivera is, though, no one is more important to the Yankees' clubhouse culture than the captain, the 32-year-old Jeter. As younger players Rodriguez and Jeter enjoyed a close friendship, often staying with each other when the Yankees faced the Mariners. But they have had little personal connection since 2001, when Rodriguez referred to Jeter as a number-two hitter in an Esquire story, code for a complementary player. Giambi referred last month to "the heat that exists between them."

Jeter, who publicly supported Giambi when he was being blasted for his BALCO involvement, has refused to throw any life preservers to Rodriguez this summer. I asked Jeter why he hasn't told the critics to ease up on A-Rod. "My job as a player is not to tell the fans what to do," he said. "My job is not to tell the media what to write about. They're going to do what they want. They should just let it go. How many times can you ask the same questions?"

Had he ever seen such persistent criticism? "Knobby," he said, referring to error-prone former second baseman Chuck Knoblauch. "[Roger] Clemens for a whole year. Tino [Martinez]."

Has A-Rod's treatment been worse?

"I don't know," Jeter said. "I don't think about that. I'm just concerned with doing what we can to win."

Here is the way Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson, a Yankees special adviser and a member of the franchise's mythological pinstriped society, explained the yin and yang of the Jeter-Rodriguez relationship: "Alex is too concerned with wanting people to like him. Derek knows he can control only things within the area code DJ."

Rodriguez must be deferential to Jeter because birth order within the Yankees' family is a powerful influence. Rodriguez will never be as popular as Jeter with New York fans, will never catch him in rings or Yankees legacy, in the same way the younger brother never will be the oldest, no matter how many birthdays pass.

When I asked Rodriguez about his relationship with Jeter this year, he replied, "People always want to look at someone's silence and equate that with a negative thing. I don't see it that way."


I reminded him that Jeter's words carry the most weight. "Mariano said good things [about me]. Joe said good things. [G.M. Brian] Cashman said great things," Rodriguez said. "But again, people want to focus on Jeet. Jeet's very quiet by nature, so I wouldn't want him to change who he is to come and defend me. Because I'm a grown man."

Watching a Yankees-Angels game in Anaheim from a television booth, Jackson noticed Rodriguez (the number-two hitter that day) and Jeter (batting third) near the on-deck circle with their backs to each other. "Classic Ruth-and-Gehrig picture right there," said Jackson, referring to the legends and their frosty relationship.

Jackson likes Rodriguez, recognizes in him the same need for ego massaging that he had as a player. Jackson took him to dinner last month-yet another intervention-and described how bad he had it as a Yankee. Jackson talked about when his teammates left notes in his locker telling him that they didn't want him in New York; about how manager Billy Martin so beat it into his head that he was a bad defensive player that on the night Jackson hit three home runs in the 1977 World Series, he played a routine double into a triple because he'd been stricken with fear that he'd screw it up; about when he was in the midst of such a horrific strikeout streak that he pleaded to Detroit Tigers catcher Lance Parrish, "Tell me what's coming, and I promise I'll take a turn right back into the dugout no matter where I hit it. I just want to look like a pro a little bit." ( Parrish replied, "F-- you"; Jackson, to his immense satisfaction, grounded out.)

During the game, Jackson told a parable to make a point about Rodriguez. A man is trapped in his house as floodwaters rise. Twice he refuses help, once from rescuers in a boat and then, when the man seeks refuge on his roof, from rescuers in a helicopter. "No, thanks," the man says. "I've got faith." The next thing he knows he is face-to-face with God in heaven.

"But I put my faith in you!" the man cried.

"Yes," God replied, "and I answered your faith and tried to help you twice."

As Jackson spoke, Rodriguez whiffed yet again, this time on a pitch that bounced on the grass in front of home plate. How does a player with so much talent get so bad? It seemed ages ago, but Rodriguez was the American League Player of the Month for May, when he batted .330 with eight homers and 28 RBIs. Then he lost the natural groove and quickness in his stroke. A crisis of confidence befell him when he could not hit the ball out of the park to right centerfield in batting practice.

"BP is a big key for me," Rodriguez said. "And you don't know how devastating it is to hit a ball you think you got squarely and see it die on the warning track. Out of 40 swings in BP, I should hit 22 out of the park. I was hitting three out of 40. I couldn't hit a fastball. Eighty-nine, 90 [mph pitches] were going right past me, and I knew it."

Trying to catch up to fastballs, he started guessing and began his swing early, lunging at the ball with his hips drifting forward, creating a flaw that robbed him of even more power-or worse, flailing embarrassingly at what turned out to be a slider. Then as he carried the anxiety into the field, his usually reliable glove began to fail him.

"He puts in the work before games and looks textbook out there," third base coach Larry Bowa said last month. "But all of a sudden the game starts, and he quits using his feet and he's fielding with a lazy lower half. That causes his arm to drop, and the ball sails on him."


There was one game against Boston in Yankee Stadium in June when Rodriguez looked so anguished by the rough treatment from New York fans that Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, while watching him from the on-deck circle, grew concerned. Ortiz caught Rodriguez's attention and gave him an exaggerated exhale, the way you might when a physician asks you to take a deep breath. Rodriguez would later thank Ortiz. "It was painful to see his face," Ortiz said. "I had to tell him to just breathe and relax."

Asked when his season turned sour, Rodriguez replied, "I was absolutely on fire in Detroit early in the year. Then I got sick and I didn't play for three or four days. And then the whole month was kind of lost. It took a while to get my strength back. I'm not explaining that June, the month I stunk, was because I got sick. Let's make that clear. You ask, 'What's the turning point, going from Player of the Month in May to June?' That's the only thing in the middle."

He did admit that the media and fan criticism caused him stress that crept into his game. "I think it bothered me, early in the year," he said. The jeering of Rodriguez fed on itself, with Yankees fans emboldened by the obvious physical signs from A-Rod that he was unnerved. Posada could go 0 for 25 in August and go uncriticized, but Rodriguez would be excoriated for popping up in the first inning.

Sample A-Rod headlines from the summer:

E-ROD


K-ROD

A-ROD GETS A HIT...

DO YOU HATE THIS MAN?

Said Rodriguez, "It actually reached the point of being so ridiculous that I just had to laugh. It's like if you show up at work one day with a red shirt, and I go, 'Man, that's an ugly shirt.' And the next day you wear a blue shirt, and I go, 'Man, that's an ugly shirt.' And the next day, yellow shirt, same thing. And on and on, every day. At some point you understand it's not really about the shirts. And it becomes easy to dismiss the criticism."

Why must Rodriguez defend himself? He plays hard, is durable, stays out of trouble off the field, has hit more than 460 home runs and might wind up reaching 800, which would place him on the short list of the greatest players in history. He is a career .305 hitter (and has batted nearly the same with runners in scoring position, by the way) with 10 All-Star selections, eight Silver Sluggers, four home run titles, two MVP Awards, two Gold Gloves and one batting title.


And yet A-Rod routinely is treated like the guy in the dunk tank at the county fair, even, most incriminating of all, by his peers. In the past two years he's been called out by Boston pitcher Curt Schilling ("bush league"), Red Sox outfielder Trot Nixon ("He can't stand up to Jeter in my book, or Bernie Williams or Posada"), Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen ("hypocrite") and New York Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca (who accused him on the field of showing up the Mets by admiring a home run too long).

"One thing people don't like," said one teammate, "is his body language. Too much of what he does on the field looks ... scripted."

I asked Rodriguez why criticism of him from inside and outside the game is so amplified. "We know why," he said.

The contract? That 10-year, $252 million deal that no one has come close to matching for six years? He nodded.

"But I don't expect people to feel sorry for me," he said. "My teammates get more upset about the criticism and booing than I do. A hundred players have come to third base and said, 'This is bulls--. You're having a great year.' You wonder why it bothers players so much. Tim Salmon, Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Garret Anderson ... I could throw you a hundred names. They're looking at the scoreboard and saying, 'This guy's got 90 RBIs and I've got 47, and I'm getting cheered?'

"My agent, Scott Boras, was talking about [ Oakland third baseman] Eric Chavez, who's a great player. He's hitting .235. He's got 16 home runs, 43 ribbies? This guy is getting cheered every time he comes up to the plate. If I can look back on 2006 and see I made 25 errors, hit .285 and drove in 125, I mean, has God really been that bad to me?"

Alex doesn't know who he is," Giambi said in late August. "We're going to find out who he is in the next couple of months." � October is the foundry of Yankees legend. It's why Scott Brosius will never have to buy another meal in New York, though the third baseman was a career .257 hitter, including .245 with a dreadful .278 on-base percentage in the playoffs. But Brosius had a couple of huge hits, and the Yankees were 11-1 in postseason series with him.

For all his career achievements, Rodriguez cannot become a made Yankee without a memorable October. He won the AL MVP award last year, but what stuck to him was his 2-for-15 showing in a Division Series loss to the Angels. It reinforced his disappearance during New York's historic 2004 ALCS collapse to Boston. Until Game 4 of that series, Rodriguez had hit .372 and slugged .640 in 22 career postseason games. But since then he has hit .125 (4 for 32) and slugged .250 while the Yankees have gone 2-7. It's unfair, of course, but to find real acceptance in New York, Rodriguez must win a ring as a Yankee.

Not that A-Rod believes he has all that much that needs to be redeemed this season. His extreme slump-not his word, of course-that peaked in Anaheim didn't seem so bad to him. "Reggie hit .230 one year," Rodriguez said. "That's awful. He struck out 170-something times in a year. I don't care who you are, extremes are just part of the game. I was awful [in Anaheim], but Jeter was 0 for 32 [in 2004], Mo blew three games in one week [last year].... Everybody goes through it."

Rodriguez isn't the only Yankee who needs a good October. When he looks around the clubhouse, he sees more teammates who have never won a title in New York than those who have. And thanks to the Rangers' picking up $67 million of the money left on his contract when he was traded to New York, Rodriguez can find three players in the same room to whom the Yankees are paying more this year-Jeter ($21 million), Giambi ($19 million) and righthander Mike Mussina ($19 million)-and a fourth, lefthander Randy Johnson, to whom they pay an equal amount ($16 million). Next year the Yankees will pay outfielder Bobby Abreu ($17.5 million) more than Rodriguez, making A-Rod a veritable bargain. I point out all of this to Rodriguez early this month as we walk underneath the first base stands at Yankee Stadium toward the indoor batting cage.


"Mussina doesn't get hammered at all," he said. "He's making a boatload of money. Giambi's making [$20.4 million], which is fine and dandy, but it seems those guys get a pass. When people write [bad things] about me, I don't know if it's [because] I'm good-looking, I'm biracial, I make the most money, I play on the most popular team...."

He laughed easily, his mood still bright after a Yankee Stadium curtain call the previous day in which Torre told him the fans wanted him, prompting Rodriguez to observe, "I'm very shy when I play. I always wonder, If I was an a--- and a very flamboyant guy, how much attention could I really call to myself?"

Yet that shyness has been his undoing. Rodriguez suffers from an astonishing lack of competitive arrogance proportionate to his immense skill. Jackson, for instance, hates the way A-Rod does his pretty peacock-preening practice swings and then lacks any physical presence once he steps in. Even his infamous gut reaction to Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo's trying to tag him along the first base line in the 2004 ALCS-Rodriguez awkwardly slapped Arroyo's glove rather than bulldozing the pitcher or first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz-was a window into his softer side.

Rodriguez knows reporters' names and their affiliates and will often ask them questions about themselves, a rarity among ballplayers. This solicitousness can be awkward, even detrimental, in the socially stunted environment of a clubhouse and the brutally demanding environment of Yankee Stadium. His blood may not run cold enough.

"You know what you are?" Jackson said to Rodriguez in the New York clubhouse last Thursday. "You're too nice."

With a hitter as talented as Rodriguez, it would seem inevitable that after the drought would come a deluge. ("No," says Rodriguez, "because you don't believe it's inevitable when you can't hit the ball out in batting practice.") On Aug. 31 in the Bronx he banged out three hits against the Detroit Tigers, only his second three-hit game at home since the All-Star break. That triggered a 9-for-17 tear in which Rodriguez smashed five home runs, including one that looked so much like a routine fly-out off the bat that Torre yelled to the runners, "Tag up." Four hundred fifty feet later the ball landed in the black seats beyond centerfield. "Once you're relaxed, you react to the [pitch]," Torre said. "He's reacting to the ball, not predetermining what he was going to do, like before."

Rodriguez hasn't stopped hitting, either, batting .360 since that breakout game as the Yankees, comfortably in control of the AL East, play carefree baseball. He rediscovered his smooth footwork in the field, and his hands felt faster at the plate. He began to wait long enough on pitches to drive them hard to centerfield and rightfield, the satisfying confirmation for a righthanded hitter, like a wink from a pretty girl, that life is good.

After the home runs Rodriguez would credit Torre for helping to put the groove back in his swing. Under the stadium on a cool, wet night in which October seemed so close, I thought about that meeting Torre had with A-Rod in Seattle and had one last question:

What was Joe's main message?

Rodriguez rolled the question around in his head for a moment. He hesitated, "Uh ..." and then answered with this: "'We need you.'"





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