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May 2007

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May 04,2007
The guilty plea of Kirk Radomski - a Long Island, N.Y., weight trainer who worked in the New York Mets' clubhouse for 10 years - is the strongest evidence yet that the abuse of performance-enhancing drugs by pro baseball players remains pervasive. In copping to drug-distribution and money-laundering charges, Radomski detailed how he had sold anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, or HGH and amphetamines to "dozens" of unnamed major leaguers. Court documents show prosecutors have ... [full story]
1693 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
In the past few years, the U.S. Patent Office has issued a patent for an intergalactic anti-gravity spaceship. It also issued a patent to a grade-school kid for a method of swinging on a swing sideways while yelling like Tarzan. After decades of ignoring patent law, the Supreme Court is taking a series of cases that could limit such patent absurdity. Its first case, involving a lowly gas pedal extender; the justices tossed a ridiculous ... [full story]
2190 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
Congress gave the credit card industry a big gift in 2005: a law requiring debtors to jump through more hoops to declare bankruptcy. In a new analysis, the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog agency, says one of those hoops - a requirement that consumers get credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy - may not be working as the law, or the industry, intended. The idea was to head off bankruptcy, but, as the GAO notes: ... [full story]
1917 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
It certainly was an interesting choice of dates for Congress to send the White House a war spending bill its leaders knew was doomed, and for President George W. Bush to veto it, as promised. Indeed, the fourth anniversary of the day the president flew onto an aircraft carrier to celebrate his "mission accomplished" in Iraq had no shortage of political drama and gamesmanship. Like the now-laughable-and-lamentable banner of May 1, 2003, it is the ... [full story]
1647 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
France has been in a slow-motion free fall for more than 30 years. Thanks to decades of anemic growth, its standard of living - once among the world's highest - now arguably trails two-dozen nations. The reasons are obvious: The French economy is a sclerotic mess. Heavy bureaucratic obstacles and high taxes - needed to pay for an extensive, costly welfare state - make it difficult to create new businesses or expand existing ones. Worker ... [full story]
1766 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
Q: I am aware that most of our presidents have had dogs and cats while living at the White House; however, I was wondering about how many had horses. Since horses have been an important part of our history, I would be surprised if our presidents didn't have a close relationship with horses. A: Throughout the history of the United States, our presidents have depended on horses for transportation, sport and ceremonial uses. From George ... [full story]
1708 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
It's not only the parents of grown children who grapple with the empty-nest syndrome. Caregivers who lose their elderly parents go through a similar loss. Dutiful and loving adult children look after parents for years, advocating, cooking, laundering, chauffeuring, toileting, medicating, etc., etc. Then Mom or Dad dies, and the grown children are left with countless hours to fill and, eventually, energy they don't remember ever having. Now what? What do you do with your ... [full story]
2308 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
Even if your toddler's vocabulary is not yet as large as a parrot's, you may already know what billions of other moms and dads understand all too well: Kids want stuff. Children's ability to let you know what they covet begins at an age when uttering any word with more than one syllable is a struggle. But luckily, toddlers have discovered that one powerful word - mine! - often gets the attention of Mommy and ... [full story]
1874 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: I have 17 preferred stocks in my account worth $114,000. Those stocks earn me $6,500 in interest. This money and my modest pension and my Social Security take care of all my living costs. I also teach bridge classes, which is where I met my broker four years ago; who used to be a nice man. I gave him all my preferred stocks and his firm's bookkeeping makes my record-keeping and taxes ... [full story]
1897 times read - No comment posted

May 04,2007
Dear Mr. Berko: What do you think will happen to energy prices over the next couple of years and what do you think about investing in oil stocks? I missed the boat five years ago because I didn't have the money to invest. Now I've got about $30,000 that (if you think this is the time) I'd like to put into various oil issues like Exxon, Conoco, BP, Chevron, etc. So I would appreciate your ... [full story]
2194 times read - No comment posted

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