Friday, December 30, 2005
In post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the Soviet Union, the new communist state was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism.
During the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent three-year Russian Civil War, the Bolshevik Party under Vladimir Lenin dominated the soviet forces, a coalition of workers' and soldiers' committees that called for the establishment of a socialist state in the former Russian Empire. In the USSR, all levels of government were controlled by the Communist Party, and the party's politburo, with its increasingly powerful general secretary, effectively ruled the country. Soviet industry was owned and managed by the state, and agricultural land was divided into state-run collective farms.
In the decades after it was established, the Russian-dominated Soviet Union grew into one of the world's most powerful and influential states and eventually encompassed 15 republics--Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belorussia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. In 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved following the collapse of its communist government.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
The Cadets beat Country Day 61-53 infront of a highly partisan crowd at Armstrong yesterday.
Maybe I didn't get a 1400 on my SAT, and maybe I didn't get a scholarship to Washington and Lee, but I went to BC, where the students actually show up at basketball games and raise hell. Today's article doesn't talk much about it (although last year's went into great detail), and I wasn't there (had to work) but supposedly after each Country Day's player name was announced before tipoff yesterday, the 200+ Cadet student section would yell in unison: "hey (name), YOU SUCK!" as the player walked across the court to shake hands with Coach Cannon.
Country Day's students, as usual, did not show up at the game. They were too busy growing out their hair, studying for their SATs, reading Maya Angelou books for AP English, watching Laguna Beach, and trying to act "laid back."
Thank you so much BC, for being the only school in Savannah that still gives a sh*t about anything. This is why, despite Kelly Burke, rising tuition, and other administrative missteps, you remain by far the best high school in Savannah, and America.
Friday, December 23, 2005
Serious question, though: Are presidents allowed to get drunk? What if Bush picked a random day next month to drink himself to sleep at the White House and that night a major terrorist attack happened? Honestly, I'd like to know the course of action from that moment.
On the TV show, Seinfeld, Frank Costanza (George's father) created this holiday to combat the commercialization of Christmas. It's origin is explained in this conversation between Frank and Kramer.
Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born . . . a Festivus for the rest of us!
Cosmo Kramer: That must've been some kind of doll.
Frank Costanza: She was.
There are four main elements to the Festivus celebration:
The Festivus Pole: The Costanzas' tradition begins with a bare aluminum pole, which Frank praises for its "very high strength-to-weight ratio." During Festivus, an unadorned aluminum pole is displayed. The pole was chosen apparently in opposition to the commercialization of highly decorated Christmas trees, because it is "very low-maintenance," and also because the holiday's patron, Frank Costanza, "find[s] tinsel distracting."
Festivus Dinner: The Festivus dinner menu is flexible, but it should consist of filling, non-holiday comfort food (no turkey, duck, goose, or ham).
The Airing of Grievances: At the Festivus dinner, each participant tells friends and family of all the instances where they disappointed him or her that year.
The Feats of Strength: The head of the family tests his or her strength against one participant of the head's choosing. Festivus is not considered over until the head of the family has been pinned to the ground. A participant is allowed to decline to attempt to pin the head of the family only if they have something better to do instead.
Happy Festivus, everyone.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
I now have the latest reason for my reassurance in the greatness of Savannah: IKEA is building a 1.7 million square foot distribution warehouse on 115 acres at the Savannah River International Trade Park. This is going to bring 15,000 more 20 foot containers through the Port. Keith Keller, IKEA North America's Distribution Services president, had this to say: "As one of the fastest growing ports in the country, Savannah offers the long-term capacity, infrastructure and geography that we were seeking to complement our distribution presence in North America. A Savannah-based distribution center will help IKEA ensure our stores continue to offer well designed and functional home furnishings at affordable prices." (source- Atlanta Business Chronicle) IKEA is following Target and Walmart with putting a distribution facility at the Port.
"With Katrina aftermath, many meetings will be relocated to Savannah and the Golden Isles, and that hurricane will also boost container traffic at the already-booming Port of Savannah," said UGA economist Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the Terry College of Business. (source- Atlanta Business Chronicle)
Compare home prices as well: Charlestown's average home price in 2004 was $307,400. In Atlanta, the average price in 2004 was $303,000. In Jacksonville, the average was $290,778. Savannah's average home price last year was $247,375. (source- Savannah Chamber of Commerce)
Oh and for silver lining, since the above is so horrible, Savannah's employment is forcasted to rise 2.5% in 2006.
Transgender (What the hell is that?)
Disclaimer: The list is not exhaustive by any means.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Rafael "Fookie" Furcal = gone. The Dodgers got a new GM who is spending the big bucks, and in the case of the ol' Buckhead Booze Bandit, he shat out a wee too much. Catfish Face wanted to stay where he has been his first five years of his career, but the Dodgers are getting serious about building a good team this year.
Edgar Renteria - our new shortstop. We completely ripped off the Red Sox by getting this All Star in exchange for a prospect. This prospect, Andy Marte, has been hyped up a lot, but he could only play third base, and Chipper isn't going anywhere. In fact, Chipper volunteered, for the second year in a row, to reduce his salary so that we could spend more money elsewhere. Renteria didn't have a great year for Boston, but they gave up on him too easily. They just lost Johnny Damon to the Yankees, so next year they will be as worthless as TC trying to get muscle definition from his workouts.
Dan Kolb, the worthless sack who ruined many games and John Smoltz's 2005 win count, got his ass shipped back to Milwaukee. To further prove how bad we wanted to get rid of him: the pitcher we got in exchange wasn't even offered a contract by the Braves.
The Braves are up for sale. Hopefully we will get a human owner; anything would be better than being owned by some faceless corporation who could care less about winning as long as there is profit being made. A bigger budget would be great, but the White Sox won this year with $70 million - 10 million less than what we have now.
Now our biggest issue is getting a closer. They are seriously considering trying Reitsma as the full-time guy, but if you're like me, you'd rather see Ms. Dolan up on the mound. Beware the Jane Train.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Upon graduation, Wood joined TC at Play-it Again/Pro-Play sports. He also played bass for Arm the Bears, a progressive art rock trio. Joe then went on to attend Georgia Southern University in Statesboro Georgia, where the only "Happy Hour" left is the 60-minute drive on I-16 to Savannah Friday after class.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
It's time.Please let me know what ya'll think, either through email or comments. While I have never listened to 311 and I think soccer is gayer than Ricky Martin wearing Hollister drinking a Smirnoff Ice in Buckhead, I think Wood would (haha) still make a fine addition. He has been our most avid follower since day one, and I think he's made a decent case. That having been said, I still don't want BMBS to eventually go the way of "Who's Who Among American High School Seniors" either. If we let Joe in, we need to limit things after that. So let me know what we should do. Thanks.
I'm going to present my case to become a BMBS contributor. Please post the following.
Since December of 2005, I have been a devout follower of BMBS. I fell I would make an exemplary contributor to this fine blog. I recall now the second post of BMBS:
"Qualifications for membership in this elite club will probably include but may not be limited to: graduating from BC, being Irish (except Arvind Raman), liking Savannah, thinking it is better than Charleston, not using the words "dude" and "like" more than necessary (which means never), and not being from the metro Atlanta area."
I meet most of not all these criteria. I graduated from BC, my mother's maiden name is Murray, I love Savannah as my home, Charleston sucks, I have impeccable grammar and syntax, and I would rather be homeless than live in Atlanta.
True, there are some skeletons and, possibly even worse, not a single pair of boat shoes in my closet. Here they are:
1. Yes. I dated a girl from Savannah Christian in high school. She was nice though, y'all met her.
2. I did not remain in JROTC for my senior year. I was too busy getting paid to play football.
3. I left the St. Patrick's Day parade early. My girlfriend at the time was with me and the weather was miserable. I did stay to see the Cadets march, and that's the real reason there's a parade in the first place.
That is all I have to say. Merry Christmas to all.
-Joe Wood '01
Thursday, December 15, 2005
TC graduated from St. Peter the Apostle in 1997, where he led the football team to an undefeated record. He hung out with Pat Maher and Chris Murray as well. He then attended Benedictine Military School as a third generation cadet. There he served as Student Senate Vice President, shotput superstar, outstanding senior, National Honor Society treasurer, and Brigade S-1. He bought beer for us when we were 16, because he looked 24.
Upon receiving his diploma from Benedictine in May of 2001, Madison was awarded a special internship/fellowship opportunity at Play it Again Sports, later Pro-Play Sports. He housesat for the Hjortsbergs during the summer of '01 as well. He then attended Georgia State University, where he received a degree in real estate. He is currently the only person I know in our class besides Brooks that holds a real job.
Madison currently resides in Atlanta with his girlfriend and Arvind. They have 1 dog, Budweiser.
What do you want me to bring to this blog, pat, stephen, tim, will, ryan, michael, and whoever i missed? Arvind? did you kick him off or something?
Monday, December 12, 2005
If anyone is contemplating what to get me for Christmas, visit the Colonel's Corner and order me a hoodie.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
I laughed when I first heard VanGorder's name in the mix to replace Mike Sewak at Georgia Southern. VanGorder left UGA to become a position coach in the NFL, with the hopes of becoming a defensive coordinator and then landing a top-notch head coaching job at the 1-A level. Taking the GSU job seemed like a step sideways, if not a step backwards, but certainly not a step forward. There are rumors that part of the deal was for GSU to make the transition to 1-A within the next five years. I don't think it will happen that quickly, but this hire is a strong signal that the administration is ready to take the next step.
Van Gorder has not hired an offensive coordinator yet, but he has already made it clear that the days of the spread option are gone. Installng a "more multiple" look, as he put it, is essential to recruiting the offensive talent necessary to compete at the next level. The transition will be tough these next few years. The administration will have to exercise patience, as it will take time to get the right personnel for whatever offense VanGorder plans to use. The house-cleaning at Nebraska is a good indication of what will probably happen.
Is this a good hire? It depends. If Georgia Southern is committed to making the leap to 1-A, then yes, they made an excellent choice. If they are content to stay at the 1-AA level, then I don't see any reason to scrap what has been the trademard of Georgia Southern football.
(I've copied a lot of this stuff from website I forgot to hyperlink.)
Neither flat nor fair, the panel's two plans propose income-based systems with three and four income-tax brackets, with top tax rates of 30- and 33-percent, respectively. That's a modest decrease from today's top bracket of 35 percent, but even that niggardly flattening of the tax schedule came to the panel as an afterthought. The President's directive had been to keep both plans revenue neutral---drawing no more or no less tax revenue than the current system---and this, they eventually realized, necessitated a lowering of the rates. (Even John Maynard Keynes, father of that child demand-side economics, maintained that 25 percent was the highest tolerable rate for income taxation.) Where did the panel find the savings for this act of benevolence? By ending federal deductions for state and local taxes paid, stripping tax-free provisions on employer-provided medical insurance, and chopping off home-mortgage deductions at the knees. Proposals of this sort can only be interpreted as tax increases on the middle class. The primary reason for the panel's failure is its composition.
Clearly, the President's plans for dynamic change in the tax code have been sabotaged, but why would an administration that purported to be so serious about tax reform entrust the job to a panel of pantywaists? Was it really nothing more than a hollow exercise?
But there is a glimmer of hope. A far more legitimate effort comes from Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Senators who---in the best tradition of the Palmetto State---are willing to put their money where their mouths are. In response to the President's Adivisory Panel debacle, Senators DeMint and Graham have offered a plan to eliminate the personal-income tax completely, replacing it with the afore mentioned national consumption tax. Unlike most fair tax plans, however, the tax burden is equally distributed between businesses as a value added tax (VAT) and consumers as a national sales tax. Both the sales tax and the VAT would be a comfortable 8.5 percent, eliminating not only the income tax, but capital-gains taxes, the death tax, and taxes on Social Security benefits---not to mention the awful association we Americans have long had with April 15th. Sen. Graham came on board with the junior senator's plan because it would place U.S. and Chinese goods on a level playing field. "Now the Chinese goods would have to be charged the consumption tax just as American-made products would be," says Graham. Sen. DeMint, meanwhile, points out that the VAT would be "very visible to the final end-use consumer."
Thursday, December 08, 2005
The House voted Thursday to preserve tax cuts for investors through the rest of the decade, safeguarding the centerpiece of the Republican tax agenda in a $56 billion package of tax breaks.
The bill, passed 234-197 along mostly party lines, would keep the 15 percent top tax rate for capital gains and dividends in place in 2009 and 2010, two years after their scheduled disappearance at the end of 2008.
The Republicans are still weak. Initially, the RINOs boulstered elimination of the capital gains tax... but we'll take all the breaks we can get. Right Pat?
The good thing about keeping some capital gain tax alive is to ensure that old Yankees from the Landings will keep paying Hancock Askew & Co. to plug in their menial capital gains into a computer every Spring.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
RECOGNITION OF STAFF SERGEANT GEORGE K. GANNAM FOR BEING AWARDED A PURPLE HEART FOR HIS SERVICE IN WORLD WAR II -- HON. JACK KINGSTON
HON. JACK KINGSTON OF GEORGIA IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Tuesday, November 14, 2000
Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, today I recognize a great American hero, from my district Savannah, GA, George K. Gannam, for being awarded a purple heart for his service in World War II. We should all stand up and applaud Mr. Gannam for his dedication and service to our country. He was a brave and heroic man and deserves to be recognized as such.
Mr. Gannam was killed in the Japanese attack on Hickam Field on December 7, 1941. He was the first person from Chatham County to die in World War II. An eye witness reports that Mr. Gannam received mortal wounds while assisting other airmen to remove airplanes from a burning hangar during the height of the attack. Medical records indicate that Mr. Gannam died of multiple shrapnel and machine gun bullet wounds. As a result of his heroic actions he was awarded a purple heart.
The American Legion Post #184 in Thunderbolt, GA was named after him. This is a great recognition and will help keep his name alive for years to come.
American Legion Post 184 God and Country Award:
CDT/LTC John Patrick Holland, Jr.
George K. Gannam Award:
CDT/SSG Michael Hotard
And the crowd goes wild!
Friday, December 02, 2005
Statesboro, GA (AP) - A seven-year-old boy was at the center of a Statesboro courtroom drama this week when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of him. The boy's parents had a history of beating him, so in keeping with child custody law and regulations requiring that family unity be maintained to the degree possible the judge initially awarded custody to his aunt. The boy surprised the court when he proclaimed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and he adamantly refused to live with her. Some investigation revealed he had been telling the truth, the aunt was indeed terribly abusive to the boy.
When the Judge suggested that he live with his grandparents, the boy cried out that they also beat him - a claim which investigations proved also to be true. After considering the remainder of the immediate family and learning that domestic violence was apparently a way of life among them, the judge took the unprecedented step of allowing the boy to propose who should have custody of him.
After two recesses to check legal references and confer with child welfare officials, the judge granted temporary custody to the Georgia Southern Eagles football team, whom the boy and the court both believe are not capable of beating anyone.
Several producers and technicians from ABC Sports, as well as thousands of football fans, have written a letter to the judge on Saturday, confirming this.
The young man is planning to move in to Paulson Stadium on Monday.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Starting in the steamy summer of 2001, Will and I were employed by MACCOM Inc., a division of Big Ed McCuen Enterprises. Big Ed paid us a humble wage of $8.00 per hour. Not a lot, but respectful for a college kid summer job in Savannah.
During that glorious summer, I noticed a detrimental habit of our old buddy Will. No, it wasn't the endless shopping expeditions in Bluffton, SC. Instead, beginning at least one our before our lunch break, Will would begin brainstorming for the most tasteful, bountiful, and jovial place to eat lunch. Always and most assuredly, Will picked a place that costs no less that $6.50 and as high as $11.00 per lunch. And as J. Patrick Holland can attest, this lunch hour spending pattern has yet to cease for Will during summer work.
In contrast, I would brown bag my lunch every day. This usually consisted of (but not limited to) a bologna sandwich with mustard, pretzels, an apple, a coke, and a Little Debbie (preferredly Fudge Rounds.) The cost of my brown bag lunch was no more than $2.00 per day.
As the summer progressed, Will can tell you that I became more and more infuriated at his irresponsible lunch hour splurges. Now, I know what you're thinking... Stephen is a tight wad and doesn't like to have fun. I agree. But, the point of this post is to show how much money Will and the world can save by brown bagging one's lunch.
Hypothetically, lets say Will brown bags his lunch for the next 30 years with 20 bagged lunches per month. You can expect the rate of return from some alternative investment to be 6% annually. Finally, lets say "eating out" lunch price is a modest $6.50.
Will's lunch savings could be worth $88,133 after 30 years.
This assumes that you save an average of $4.50 per lunch ($90.00 per month.) The savings are then invested in the 6% rate of return investment.