Both Oars In
May 22, 2012
Egg on whose face?
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

It is hard to be wrong 104 billion times without feeling a little defeated. However, there was some vindication for the Facebook naysayers on Friday as the “the most anticipated IPO ever” went out with whimper rather than a bang. And, now that the stock has to stand on its earnings rather than its media hype, there will be time—time to scrutinize the stock more rationally. This should embolden would-be Facebook slayers as well as attract the ever-feared shorts to the stock.

I continue...

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May 15, 2012
Character flaws
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

A good memory is essential to good character.

When I was in fifth grade, I pulled a piano bench out from under my teacher as he was sitting down. Fortunately, my teacher was not hurt, at least physically. He was angered and, I am sure, momentarily humiliated by my disrespect. However, he regained his composure quickly and calmly dismissed me from class. There must not have been a call home as my mom does not even remember that I took piano in middle school.

The only life-changing outcomes...

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May 08, 2012
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I recently stumbled across a CNN interview with President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines called "A Prophylactic to Poverty." Not surprisingly, the premise of the piece is that easier, less stigmatized access to contraception would curb the Philippines’ poverty problem. To begin the interview, CNN’s Anna Coren coldly states, as if it were an uncontestable fact, “One of the big reasons that there is poverty in this country (Philippines) is the lack of contraception or that...

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May 01, 2012
Qatar: hard to say
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

Can you say Qatar properly? I have been working on it for some time, but I am not sure that I will ever get it right. I may have to settle for the Anglicized version which is pronounced simply “cutter”. From what I have read, this is preferable to tripping up and saying Qatar in a manner that rhymes with “guitar”. Unfortunately, that is exactly what’s stuck in my head, complete with the emphasis on the “tar”.  

Usually, one can just avoid mentioning small countries with hard...

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April 27, 2012
A momentary return to civility
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I remember the day everything changed as if it were yesterday. However, I must admit that I had not thought about how much changed that day for a long time. Unexpectedly, it all came back to me as I passed through the metal detector at Boston’s Logan Airport last week fully dressed, still wearing my shoes and sports jacket. The momentary return to civility reminded me of exactly what we lost as a national community in the aftermath of 9/11.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)...

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April 20, 2012
When 'Has-Beens' want to be again
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

These days, people are staying active longer and presidents are trending younger.

Subsequently, it is fast becoming the norm for former presidents to leave the White House with 30-plus years to kill. With sixty being the new forty, retired presidents are unlikely to settle for playing golf, tending to their libraries and appearing publically when summoned, for three decades. They are going to want a second act.  

The possibility of former presidents having long, active post-office...

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April 13, 2012
The why in the what
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I have a new favorite movie. It’s Moneyball.

I realize that Moneyball has been out for a while; but, I have to watch a movie several times before I feel comfortable to commit to it at this level. With my restricted budget, this means waiting until a movie is out on DVD so I can afford to watch it a second, third or fourth time. 

However, I knew I would like the movie Moneyball even before I saw it in the cinema, because I loved the book. I knew I would like the book even before I read...

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April 06, 2012
Not a house call
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

I enjoy peanuts. I don’t mind sitting in the balcony. And, I don’t mind throwing my two cents into debates where the buy-in is a lot higher than that. So, for the record, I do not support Dr. Jim Yong Kim for president of the World Bank even if he is Mr. Obama’s nominee and the run-away favorite.

Dr. Kim is currently the president of Dartmouth College. He is the first Asian-American to head an Ivy League institution. If elected, he would also be the first physician to lead the World...

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March 29, 2012
Seeing Red
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

When it comes to Haiti, the Associated Press appears to be able to turn over stones other news services either miss or cannot handle. In late 2010, the AP broke the story on the likely connection between the cholera outbreak in Haiti and the Nepalese military personnel serving in the country under the UN. This time, the AP has brought to light an odd multi-million dollar real estate purchase made in the midst of the international relief effort. 

According to Martha Mendoza and Trenton...

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March 23, 2012
Should serious wealth be taken seriously?
By Deacon Patrick Moynihan

Forbes recently published a list of the 1,226 wealthiest people on the planet. Usually, “top” lists come in round numbers like 10 or 100, but Forbes seems to have set the cutoff at $1 billion in assets rather than at a defined number of people.

I guess one of the benefits of being a billionaire is that you do not get treated like a number—which is a bit ironic since it’s a number that makes a billionaire a billionaire.

Not cutting minor billionaires from the list of wealthiest...

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