Bread and Roses

by James Oppenheim

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”
As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for — but we fight for roses, too!

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler — ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

Jewel Heist

The BBC calls the Milan theft a Daring $1m mid-day heist:

Staff at Pederzani’s, one of the city’s exclusive jewellers, thought nothing amiss when a window cleaner went to work on the plate glass display.

Dressed in regulation overalls, he propped his ladder against the window.

But then, instead using the bucket and squeegee to clean it, he calmly unscrewed it before scooping an estimated $1m-worth of jewels into his bucket and walking off into the Friday shopping crowd.

You can unscrew the window from the outside? How do you remove a window that you’ve propped your ladder against? Maybe something was lost in translation.

FTC Suspends Red Flags Deadline

Enforcement of the FTC Red Flags Rules has been postponed for several months, as reported by Bank Info Security:

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced this week it will suspend enforcement of the new Identity Theft Red Flags Rule until May 1, 2009 – six months beyond the original Nov. 1 deadline.

This move will give non-banking creditors and state-chartered credit unions additional time to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. FTC observers saw that many industry segments were unaware of the compliance date, hence the six-month pushback of enforcement.

[…]

The FTC’s delay does not apply to address discrepancy rules that were issued at the same time as the red flags rule.

The FTC’s announcement also does not affect other federal agencies’ enforcement of the original Nov. 1, 2008 deadline for financial institutions subject to their oversight.

The FTC’s decision to push back the enforcement date began with its outreach efforts to explain the rule to the many different types of entities that are covered by it. Examples of businesses and organizations that said they weren’t ready included utilities, certain healthcare providers, and higher education organizations. Most of those entities that aren’t compliant have not been subject to FTC oversight in other areas of their business

The entities were unaware. That does not seem like the most convincing argument for lack of compliance, but so it goes. The FTC is trying to be nice.

In their eagerness to become compliant, companies might not take the right deliberate steps to identify what the risks are, and instead go out and buy something off the shelf for compliance or do something that wasn’t well suited to their business, Broder notes. “So in the interest of getting it right, we extended the date for enforcement to give those companies time to get their program in place.”

Eagerness to become compliant? That’s a good one.

All compliance deadlines lead to last-minute buying sprees and unbudgeted/unplanned expense. What the FTC is doing is like a teacher giving students an extension on a final exam. They did not know there would be a final exam? Ok, final warning for the final exam. Will procrastination be cured by sliding the deadlines? I would argue no, but on the other hand what good comes of the FTC finding nobody compliant on November 1st — most entities might just give up in despair and protest/fight instead of try.

The bottom line is that if you were already operating under FTC oversight, then November 1st is still your deadline.

More on Alaskan Gift Giving

Remember Senator Steven’s defense regarding expensive gifts?

“I refused it as a gift,” Stevens replied. “I let him put it in our basement at his request.”

Uh-huh. Palin is starting to parrot the same defense, as revealed in an AP story:

“Those clothes are not my property. We had three days of using clothes that the RNC purchased,” Palin told Fox News in an interview that aired Thursday night.

Just because those clothes were purchased for my use, are my size, and I’ve worn some of them, does not make them my property. Not my property? Is that some kind of loophole that makes spending $150,000 on clothing in liberal cities over two months suddenly acceptable?

You just can’t make this stuff up.

In other news Palin condemned her predecessor for waste, and then gets caught with numerous acts of waste. Her command of ethics and transparency is suspect.

The real issue in the above story, in fact, is that her campaign paid more for physical appearances than foreign policy of the United States.

An acclaimed celebrity makeup artist for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin collected more money from John McCain’s campaign than his foreign policy adviser. Amy Strozzi, who works on the reality show “So You Think You Can Dance” and has been Palin’s traveling stylist, was paid $22,800, according to campaign finance reports for the first two weeks in October. In contrast, McCain’s foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, was paid $12,500, the report showed.

That’s $11,400 a week to maintain Palin’s appearance. Can America really afford this? Let’s consider for a moment that Palin argues that if you measure her waste you will like her better than other people who (she argues) wasted far more before her. It is clear they had different kinds of waste, rather than more, but regardless of the waste of others this is about a more universal and grounded concept. The measurements are in and showing clear signs of waste no matter how you look at it and irresponsible financial management in the Palin powder room. A terrible act by another person does not wash away her lesser acts of poor judgment. Her command of even basic ethics is questionable.

Why do I keep thinking about Imelda Marco’s shoe collection?

Just to be fair, it is also possible that Randy Scheunemann is a poor excuse for a policy advisor and not even worth $12,500, whereas Strozzi seems to know what she is doing.

Scheunemann until recently was an open extreme right-wing lobbyist (e.g. he advised Rumsfeld on the “Liberation” of Iraq and look how that turned out) until McCain was forced to take an anti-lobbyist policy stand. Then Scheunemann suddenly dropped his lobbyist credentials and became an “advisor”.

Perhaps the payment was just a symbolic gesture and the real money for foreign policy “advisors” is coming through extra-legal and underground means. For example, Georgia reportedly paid Scheunemann’s lobbying company $200K after McCain condemned Russia.