Pittsburgh Penguins Receive Stanley Cup Rings

Just look at all that gold.

Yes, that one ring could probably bail you out of your credit card debt.

Well, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Penguins who received their Stanley Cup rings last night.

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

The Penguins presented their championship rings in numerical order at a private dinner last night, which meant that captain Sidney Crosby had to wait and wait and wait for the serious bling that was to come. It was, of course, worth the time to place an ornament with the heft of a rock on his finger.

Crosby showed off the white and yellow gold band decorated with 167 diamonds, which was enough ice to replicate the surface at Mellon Arena.

“It’s a pretty nice ring,” Crosby said with classic understatement.

Rings were made for 52 players, coaches, staff and executives, and most were presented in person at a dinner at LeMont Restaurant on Mount Washington. The ceremony was held three days before the Penguins begin defense of their title, which team officials hoped would mark the end of the celebration and get the players in the proper frame of mind to begin another title journey.

Ironic that after four months on the ice, you get rewarded with more ice.

(Thanks to James Mendez for that last line.)

Go Pens!  The quest to defend the Cup begins Friday in Pittsburgh.

Sydney Crosby’s Groin Ready for Home Opener

Sorry, Syd.  Had to write that headline after reading this from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Center Sidney Crosby participated in the Penguins’ practice at Southpointe today with no apparent problem, and seems increasingly optimistic about playing in their season-opener Friday night against the New York Rangers at Mellon Arena.

Crosby said the injured groin he has been nursing for about a week “feels pretty good,” and that, “as long as everything stays the way it is, it should be good to go.”

I was even happier to read the team received their rings.

Memorial for Derrion Albert Goes All Wrong…

I can’t even imagine the emotions….

From the  Chicago Sun-Times:

About 250 neighbors, Fenger graduates and self-proclaimed community activists angrily shouted at each other during a boiling protest of street violence during the vigil called in response to the Thursday mob beating that took Derrion’s life.

One neighborhood activist who called herself, “Queen Sister,” chanted through a bull horn and led a group of people to the school’s front door demanding to be let in before being turned away. Some people stood nose-to-nose arguing over whether the gathering should be in memory of Derrion or a protest of the violence that killed him. Chicago police were there to calm the crowd.

“Our community has been reduced to nothing more than a killing field,” Queen Sister said.

Fenger graduate Charles Barkley, 18, said “Our community needs to be saved. … We need to reach out to our youth and let them know the right way to go. All this gang banging, there ain’t no reason for it.”

Earlier this afternoon, three teenagers were ordered held without bail for the vicious beating death of Derrion, who was 16.

Four teens now have been charged.

Enough is enough.

We need to take a good, hard look at how this happened in the first place.

It was about gangs.  And this honor student was pulled in, and he lost his life.  And at least four teens have lost the rest of their lives as well.

This cannot happen again. Ever.

Would Senator Schumer Consider Thomas Paine an Unpaid Journalist?

Disturbing news for bloggers out of Washington, D.C. today.

Okay, so why is today any different from any other day?

From Andrew LaVallee at the Wall Street Journal:

A recent amendment to the federal shield bill being considered in the Senate will exclude non-”salaried” journalists and bloggers from the proposed law’s protections.

The law, called the Free Flow of Information Act, is intended to prevent journalists from being forced to divulge confidential sources, except in cases such as witnessing crimes or acts of terrorism. The amendment, introduced by Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) last week, limits the definition of a journalist to one who “obtains the information sought while working as a salaried employee of, or independent contractor for, an entity–

a. that disseminates information by print, broadcast, cable, satellite, mechanical, photographic, electronic, or other means; and

b. that—

1. publishes a newspaper, book, magazine, or other periodical;

2. operates a radio or television broadcast station, network, cable system, or satellite carrier, or a channel or programming service for any such station, network, system, or carrier;

3. operates a programming service; or

4. operates a news agency or wire service.”

As an unpaid blogger — according to this definition — let me say this: government should not have the right to define what is and is not “the press.”  If a resident of any town wants to sit down with a word processing program and print the news on 8.5″ x 11″ and become the next town crier, how can Washington say this journalistic neophyte is not legit?

The government cannot do this.  The government must not take this step.  Schumer is wrong. If this amendment does pass, the Supremes would be well advised to declare it unconstitutional.

Why?  Consider this…

What would Chuck Schumer have done with Thomas Paine? Would Schumer first have to consider if Paine was paid for Common Sense?  Would he conclude that Paine was just an independent blogger, you know, throwing his opinion around?

Would Chuck Schumer be the guy turning Thomas Paine over to the British?

You gotta wonder.

16-year-old Derrion Albert Beaten to Death in a Mob of Children

According to police, 16-year-old Derrion Albert was an innocent victim who was dragged into a mob of teens fighting on Chicago’s South Side.

The news comes from WLS-TV, ABC 7 in Chicago:

Authorities say 16-year-old Derrion Albert was walking from school in broad daylight when he was beaten to death.

It happened on Thursday in Chicago’s Roseland community on the far South Side in the 300-block of West 111th Street.

According to authorities, Derrion Albert was kicked, punched and beaten to death by several teens near the Agape Community Center.

Police say about a dozen teens were in a massive fight with sticks around 2:30 p.m. Albert got dragged into the mob.

Albert was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and pronounced dead around 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Witnesses say the fight that Albert appeared to have walked into was between mostly students from his school, Fenger High, identified by the uniforms they wore.

"These were kids beating kids," said Milton Massie, director, Agape Community Center.

Police are studying video from outside the Agape Community Center. One witness said she saw kids go in after Albert with two-by-fours:

"It looked like 100 kids. We’re talking about kids all over the place, in every direction…On the video, there were kids hopping over cars. The kids had huge sticks. They were going after each other. It seemed as if it was not so much a targeted, but it was random," said Massie.

"Everyone was just letting him get beat…it was basically like he was really by himself," said Tynesha Jackson, witness.

"He was down and they started kicking him. Then I saw they had, like two-by-fours, that’s when we realized that someone need to do something," said Linda Cotton, Agape Community Center.

The center employees pulled Albert’s beaten body to safety.

"He would gasp for a breath a few times but he was unconscious and lying there," said Cotton.

But it was too late.

According to his grandfather who raised him, Albert attended Bible class on Tuesday evenings and church on Sunday.

Our children did this.

I’m simply stunned at this point. I need to reflect and pray about this, how this could have possibly happened. We need to reflect and pray about this one, and for Derrion Albert and his family.

Our children did this.

Read the entire report here.

Seal the New Deal, President Obama: Invite Paul Krugman to an Economic Summit, and Listen to Him

Barack Obama and FDR: The New Deal

Top left: The Tennessee Valley Authority, part of the New Deal, being signed into law in 1933. Top right: FDR (President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) was responsible for the New Deal.Bottom left: A public mural from one of the artists employed by the New Deal’s WPA program. Bottom right: President Barack Obama. Is he ready? (Photo montage: Wikipedia, and ENEWSPF.)

Mr. President, it’s time to Seal the New Deal. It’s time for true health care reform: Health Care for All.

Take up the cause, and believe in it. Do what you do well. Inspire. Inspire the American people, Inspire Congress.

I’ve been reading economics recently, and I’ve learned a lot. Most of all, I’ve learned I need to keep reading, and learn more.

If you’ve never read anything on economics (I suspect you have), the so-called “dismal science,” you should get started. Don’t read to reaffirm your own beliefs or preconceptions on how an economy should work. Instead, read to learn, realizing that the science of economics can be about anything and everything. And we need to understand it better.

Allow me to suggest some reading material for you. Please consider the following economics cuisine.

To begin, I suggest Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.), by Steven D. Levitt, as your ecomics appetizer. This little gem is a wonderful way to begin to get a grasp on economis theory. It made a splash when first published because of Levitt’s research on crime and abortion statistics. I don’t buy Levitt’s conclusions, but that’s for another post. The book is wonderful. If you’ve never been exposed to economics before, or it’s been a long time, Levitt’s book is a good start.

Next, please consider Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, by Charles Wheelan, as your salad. Levitt taught me that economics is about anything, because anything and everything can impact the economy. Wheelan took me further down the rabbit hole. I learned about interest rates, why it matters when the Fed raises or lowers them. And I learned a lot more. More importantly, Naked Economics will whet your appetite for the main course.

For the main course, I suggest Paul Krugman’s The Conscience of a Liberal. Krugman won the 2008 prize in ecomics. And he deserves it.

Krugman is fantastic. The Conscience of a Liberal will give you a solid background on economics in the United States. Consider it a complete history of economics in the United States. After memorizing what you then considered useless statistics in high school, you will finally understand the New Deal, and why we need to seal the New Deal by providing universal health care to everyone in the United States of America.

If you read nothing else on ecomics, read The Conscience of a Liberal.

For dessert, I recommend The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008. You’ll get more history, but, more importantly, you’ll get more Krugman.

Mr. President, I know we have readers from Washington, D.C. on Turning Left. If you’re one of them, you can do better.

Besides reading Krugman, invite Paul to Camp David for an Economic Summit. And listen to him. Learn from him. Pick his brain.

And strongly consider his advice.

Seal the New Deal, Mr. President. Find the courage to protect the middle class, to inspire congress — yes, this congress. This is your time, your moment in history.We need you to make it spectacular. Convince us that you haven’t grown too comfortable in the White House. Find the courage to protect the middle class, to inspire Congress — yes, this Congress. This is your time, your moment in history. We need you to make this moment spectacular.

Seal the New Deal. Call Paul Krugman, chat with him, listen to him, and do what he says.

For the rest of us, read up on economics. And then read more. And then call your honorable representative in congress, and call the White House.

Let’s demand that they Seal the New Deal, once and for all. It’s the only way to preserve and protect the middle class, and lift up those now living in poverty.

Our moment is now.

Obama on Letterman: “I was actually black before the election.”

President Obama, in response to a question by David Letterman as to whether the vitriol at health care forums was motivated by racism, said, “I was actually black before the election.”

Letterman responded, “Really? How long have you been a black man?”

I just think it’s incredible that we can witness a conversation on race in this context.

Letterman and President Obama spoke about the economy, health care, the kids.

And, on the economy, I just heard the President say, “We lost $5 trillion of wealth” because of this economy.

I hope the President is reading Paul Krugman.

Cross-Dressers Must Show ID at Elk Grove Gay Bar

Now here’s something you don’t see every day – a gay bar that might be facing a discrimination complaint from the ACLU.

From the Chicago Tribune:

An Elk Grove Village gay bar popular with cross-dressers now requires them to show a valid photo ID that matches their “gender presentation.” Put another way, they now need a photo ID that shows them in drag.

Hunters Nightclub reluctantly imposed its new ID requirement because cross-dressing prostitutes were advertising on Craigslist and mentioning the establishment, said manager Peter Landorf.

“They’re implying they’re coming here,” said Landorf, whose new rule could cut down on his cross-dressing clientele. “If it is prostitution in any form, that could cost me my liquor license.”

So cross-dressers must show a government-issued photo ID that shows them in drag.  Ed Yohnka, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said this could be discriminatory.

“The fact is, if they are only requiring this of cross-dressers, that would be problematic because it would single out cross-dressers or transsexuals for a special burden,” Yohnka told the Chicago Tribune. “Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, they can’t do that.”

Yet another legal prostitution calamity brought to you by Craigslist.

Remember this?

Craigslist Prostitution Sting by Sheriff’s Police Nets 76 Arrests