Monday, October 27, 2008

Ben Stein is Not Sam's Favorite

Dean Baker points out this August 2007 commentary containing dubious economic analysis by Ben Stein;

I'm sure Mr. Stein can "explain" his poor foresight (in characteristically patronizing tone), but to me it seems like he was looking at all the wrong figures. He wastes a lot of space talking about the "subprime" percent of the market in the article, going out of his way to minimize the extent of subprime defaults, meanwhile missing the point; subprime mortgage problems are not the cause of our financial troubles, they are a symptom. The cause is an overvalued housing market; by various accounts, 3 to 6 trillion dollars overvalued.

I look forward to the New York Times, NPR and other major news outlets' discussion of the *prime* mortage problem in the very near future! Like yesterday! Why haven't we heard about it yet? It will be another obvious "symptom" of an overvalued housing market, there is no reason not to start discussing it right now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Woyzek and ETHEL

This weekend we had back to back shows to kick off this season of the Next Wave Festival at BAM. And it started off great. Friday night we saw Woyzeck, a reinvention of the German 19th century play by an Icelandic theater group with a score by Nick Cave. I didn't know what to expect really, but the result was great. A morality play about a worker who is driven insane by his superiors and by jealousy, the music by Nick Cave worked great with the play (see above for an example), as well as trapeze work and water tanks that were worked in to the show. It sounds really odd but it was great.

And yesterday, after spending the day painting a school up in The Bronx for New York Cares Day, we saw ETHEL's TruckStop. This was another unexpected show in a good way. ETHEL is a classically trained string quartet, but they were performing with a bunch of guests, featuring a Hawaiian slack key guitar, a Mexican style accordion, a banjo and bunch of traditional Native American instruments. It was a really interesting melding of sounds, and they were recording the show as well - I'd recommend it if it ends up getting released.

Hopefully, the rest of our shows are as good as the first two!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber

Dagnabbit, Obama's tax plan doesn't raise Joe the Plumber's taxes one single penny;

That one's a dead horse, McCain, go cook up another one...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Weekend Updates

Short and sweet summary. Last weekend we went up to Mom and Dad's place in the Berkshires. We hadn't been up since May and were hoping for some good R&R. Somehow, we got lucky though and the pick your own berry farm I found online was open and even had golden raspberries, so we went a bit overboard with the raspberry picking and ended up making 6 batches of jam total - 3 batches of golden raspberry, 1 of red raspberry, and 2 of donut peach jam, and a raspberry not so crisp crisp (the topping kind of melted). So that took most of Saturday, but we managed to get in some nice relaxation on Sunday.

This past week was pretty busy. Only cooked at home once this week - salad and a quick and easy chicken saltimbocca. We caught Boeing Boeing last night for a fun night at the theater.

And today, we wandered around Gowanus/Park Slope, checking out places for Open House New York, including the Tom Otterness studio. Looking forward to some napping before a friend's birthday celebrations this evening.


Originally uploaded by samtny


Originally uploaded by samtny