It Could Be Make Or Break Time For Fine Gael & Labour.

An Irishman's Perspective.

2011-02-27-NOWith many national civil service unions now deciding no longer to kowtow to the government, voting against Labour and Fine Gael, voting against the “Croke Park II” deal, with the national Irish judiciary coming out and openly opposing the government, on the back of the teachers unions alone coming out and opposing the government – and much more… it looks like the two main parties are facing a crucial point in their ability to ram through their money sucking demands being foisted upon the Irish people.

The government’s plans for payroll savings has taken a serious fall as three of the country’s four biggest unions yesterday rejected the Croke Park 2 proposals – meaning it is certain to be formally rejected when trade union representatives meet at ICTU level today.

Members of the Labour party now will be in complete direct confrontation with unions that for some time, had backed them. Members of the Labour party will now be…

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Reporter’s notebook: Hundreds of lost souls, the graves of the undocumented

NBC Latino

In Falfurrias, Texas, Benny Martinez, the Chief Deputy of the Brooks County Sheriff’s office, gets out of his truck to give us a tour.

It’s a depressing and sad tour.

We’re at the Falfurrias Burial Park, just across the road from the Brooks County Fairgrounds. Headstones are neat, well-maintained. Most date from the turn of the century, resting places for the founders of this region, hardscrabble ranchers who fought dust and heat and drought to build huge cattle ranches and oil fields in the fields of scrub brush and thorny  mesquite trees.

Tucked in several corners, and now spilling over to the very edge of the property, are more than a hundred lost souls. No headstones, just cheap metal markers, most with an ID number and some variation of the  words: “Unknown Remains”, “Bones”, “Unknown Female.”

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Last year the county buried 68  unknown people here, presumably undocumented immigrants trying…

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J.P. Morgan Earnings, Dividend Boost and More Share Buybacks

24/7 Wall St.

JPMorgan_logoJ.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) reported fiscal first-quarter results before markets opened this morning. The investment bank and financial services giant reported quarterly diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.59 on revenue of $25.8 billion. In the same period a year ago, J.P. Morgan reported EPS of $1.19 on revenue of $26.8 billion. First-quarter results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.40 on revenue of $25.97 billion.

One-time items added $0.18 to the bank’s EPS in the first quarter. J.P. Morgan reduced its mortgage loan loss reserves and its credit card loss reserves by $1.15 billion. Absent the items, EPS came in as estimated and revenues were a little low.

The bank’s CEO said:

We are seeing positive signs that the economy is healthy and getting stronger. Housing prices continued to improve and new home purchases are also starting to come back. We…

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Sharp new campaign for Arrow Electronics hits the bull’s eye with “Five Years Out.”

Gods of Advertising

“Five Years Out” is the mantra for Arrow Electronics, a distributer-provider of technology solutions. Honestly, I’d never heard of the company until seeing these fun and ambitious films from Ogilvy in Chicago. Surprising my ignorance, given I’ve been specializing in technology clients for going on ten years. In some ways that makes the campaign that much more inviting. I’m being introduced to something.

I dig the mantra. “Five Years Out” is simultaneously hyperbolic and realistic. No easy feat for advertising. The conceit that there’s a special club for innovators, which can be accessed by others with a desire to participate or behold them is genius. Of course Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers are there. But so are the inventors of air conditioning and the three-pronged outlet.

A benevolent, ghost-like host informs his wide-eyed guests (and us) that while we “won’t know most of them” they are all part of…

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