Monday, November 18, 2013

11-18-13 Great Guests for Your Show

1. James Hirsen: PG-13 Films More Violent than R-Rated Films
2. Lowell Ponte: Janet Yellen Agrees to More QE Stimulus
3. Kyle Olson: Data Reveals the Obscene, Lavish Compensation for NY’s Long Island Administrators
4. Kerry Lutz: Digital Currency
5. Christina Tobin: The Rise of Independents

PG-13 Films More Violent than R-Rated Films

Brad Bushman of Ohio State University and Daniel Romer of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center studied 945 top-grossing films from the 1950 to 2012 time period. The subject movies were found to contain 17,695 violent scenes. According to the study, over the last three decades movie scenes that feature gun violence had tripled in PG-13 movies. The researchers additionally found that by 2009 the level of gun violence in PG-13 movies was statistically the same as films that were rated R, and by 2012 PG-13 films surpassed R-rated fare in scenes containing gun violence. "The MPAA website clearly says that R-rated films contain more violence. But PG-13 films now contain significantly more violence than R-rated films." Bushman told the Los Angeles Times. [more...]

Janet Yellen Agrees to More QE Stimulus

Last Thursday, when President Barack Obama began his press conference, the news media dutifully cut away from the confirmation hearings of Janet Yellen, nominated to succeed Ben Bernanke as chair of the Federal Reserve. They preferred to cover a lame duck president to a woman who in a few days will become the most powerful person in the world as our planet's queen of money. The Federal Reserve is America's central bank and controller of the whole world's reserve currency, the U.S. dollar. When a Fed chair speaks, stock markets around the world can plummet and economies can crumble. Check out Lowell's new book, "The Great Withdrawal." [more...]

Data Reveals the Obscene, Lavish Compensation for NY’s Long Island Administrators

Should an administrator from a school district most people have never heard of make more than the President of the United States? That may be what people in the Syosset Central School District are wondering. Superintendent Carole Hankin, who retired October 31st, raked in $511,333 in compensation annually, according to, a transparency Web site maintained by the Empire Center. But a review of her contract reveals the fringe benefits are equally eyebrow-raising. The contract stipulated Hankin’s base pay for the 2012-13 school year to be $405,244.23 and it could never decrease. President Barack Obama, by the way, makes a base salary of $400,000 per year. [more...]

Digital Currency

I confess to being a Bitcoin (digital currency) skeptic. I had an opportunity to get in on the ground floor when the digital alternative currency was trading at just $7 per Bitcoin, but didn't bite. Today, the exchange rate hit $400. Trading Bitcoin is not for the faint of heart. Daily fluctuations of 25% or more are not uncommon. For those not in the know, the currency is open source, the number of units issued is fixed and those who hold it are anonymous. Many misconceptions about it continue, which is hampering its adoption. Governments are extremely hostile to its acceptance as money.  No surprise there. It's not like you expect the Federal Reserve to welcome alternative currencies with open arms. [more...]

The Rise of Independents

A recent poll shows that 60% of Americans are not satisfied with the two-party system and want more choices. Third parties have been gaining ground, with an increasing number of Libertarian, Green and other independent candidates appearing on more ballots across the country. Many attribute this trend to the failures of the Republican and Democratic parties to respond to the needs of their constituents; but upon consideration, one finds that trend appears to be much deeper than just politics. The rise of independents is a worldwide phenomenon that is happening in every aspect of society. [more...]

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