Thursday, December 26, 2013


Any list that doesn't mention Secretariat's 2:24 Belmont record on a list of "unbreakable" sports records cannot be taken seriously.

The writer mentions individual records within the framework of team sports, so there isn't any excuse to leave the obvious choice out.

Websites are looking to crack down on trolls who think they can make vile comments without repercussions.

Ayn Rand biographer Barbara Branden, 84, has died after a lung infection.

I recommend her book, The Passion of Ayn Rand. Among other things, Branden's husband, Nathaniel, had an long-time affair with his mentor, Rand, who was some 25 years his senior. He eventually ditched both the wife and Rand for another woman.

Beginning in 1953, when Ms. Rand was nearly 50, Ms. Branden wrote, the intellectual mother of principled self-interest had ardently pursued an interest in Ms. Branden’s husband, Nathaniel. Though 25 years apart in age, they had an affair for about 15 years.

Ms. Branden knew about it because Ms. Rand had insisted from the start that both spouses — Ms. Branden and Ms. Rand’s husband, Frank O’Connor — give their consent.

Ms. Branden revealed the story, she said, partly to set the record straight about Ms. Rand’s sudden banishment of the Brandens from her circle in 1968. She had denounced them in a widely circulated essay, claiming they had exploited her financially. The couple denied the accusation.

In fact, Ms. Branden wrote, Ms. Rand expelled them because she had learned that Nathaniel Branden was involved with a third woman. She faulted Ms. Branden for not telling her about that other woman. The Brandens divorced soon afterward.

Another reason Obamacare is such a disaster:

The Obama administration has told Vista volunteers and other AmeriCorps workers that their government-provided health coverage does not measure up to the standards of the new health care law, and that they may be subject to financial penalties unless they obtain insurance elsewhere.

The notice has surprised and worried workers in AmeriCorps, the federal community service program that is often described as a domestic version of the Peace Corps.

Mary Strasser, the director of AmeriCorps’ Vista program, described the changes in a bulletin to members on Dec. 16.

The coverage provided by the agency — the AmeriCorps Health Care Benefits Plan — “does not satisfy the individual responsibility requirement of the Affordable Care Act,” which takes effect on Jan. 1, Ms. Strasser said. Accordingly, she said, Vista members may be required to pay a tax penalty if they do not have other coverage and do not receive an exemption.

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