The Redneck Lifestyle

The Redneck Lifestyle
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Hottest Video Game Babes of 2008

1. Naomi Hunter - Metal Gear Solid 4 (Konami)

2. Anya Stroud - Gears of War 2 (Epic Games)

3. Kendra Daniels - Dead Space (EA Games)

4. Catwoman - MK vs. DC Universe (Midway)

5. Zoey - Left 4 Dead (Valve)

6. Sophitia Alexandra - Soul Calibur IV (Namco Bandai)

7. Natasha Volkova (Gina Carano) & Special Agent Tanya Adams (Jenny McCarthy) - Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (EA Games)

8. Trish - Devil May Cry 4 (Capcom)

9. Maria Sharapova - Top Spin 3 (2K Sports)

10. Detective Chase Linh (Played by Maggie Q) - Need for Speed Undercover (EA Games)

11. Celeste - Mirror´s Edge (EA Games)

12. Elle Holloway - Silent Hill Homecoming (Konami)

13. Lola del Rio - Grand Theft Auto IV (Rockstar Games)

14. Chun-Li - Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (Capcom)

15. Elika - Prince of Persia (Ubisoft)

16. Lara Croft - Tomb Raider Underworld (Eidos Interactive)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Executive Compensation

US: EXECUTIVE PAY -- C.E.O. Pay Keeps Rising, And Bigger Rises Faster
by Eric Dash, The New York Times

CHIEF executives' pay continued to rise in 2005, although at a slightly slower pace than in 2004.

The average total pay for chief executives rose 27 percent, to $11.3 million, according to a survey of 200 large companies by Pearl Meyer & Partners, the compensation practice of Clark Consulting.

The 123 chief executives included in the survey for the last three years saw their compensation increase, on average, 15 percent, to $11.4 million in 2005. Last year, their pay was up almost 30 percent, to $10.2 million.

Chief executives' median pay -- the point at which half are above and half are below -- was $8.4 million in 2005, up 10.3 percent from 2004. A few executives who received very large long-term bonus and option awards account for the big difference from the average.

While ordinary workers' wages and benefits were squeezed last year, chief executives were largely immune from those pressures.

The median base salary for chief executives rose about 4 percent, to $1 million. The median bonus rose 8 percent, to $1.8 million. That compares with a 38 percent increase, to $1.9 million, in 2004, when profits were growing faster.

The fastest-growing part of executive compensation in 2005 was in new grants of restricted stock and long-term incentive payouts. For the typical chief executive, they rose almost 15 percent, to $1.9 million. In 2004, they grew almost 111 percent, to $1.4 million, reflecting rising profits and a shift away from stock options.

Of the 200 executives surveyed, about half stand to collect big pensions. At least 20 percent can expect $1 million in annual benefits.

There were some big winners but few real losers last year. Chief executives of the largest oil companies, homebuilders and Wall Street investment houses had the largest paychecks in 2005.

Ray R. Irani, the chief executive of Occidental Petroleum, topped the list, with more than $63 million in total pay. Next were Bruce E. Karatz of KB Home and William E. Greehey of the Valero Energy Corporation, who each received more than $40 million in total compensation.

The heads of Wall Street's four biggest investment houses -- John J. Mack of Morgan Stanley, Henry M. Paulson Jr. of Goldman Sachs, Richard S. Fuld Jr. of Lehman Brothers and E. Stanley O'Neal of Merrill Lynch -- were also near the top.

Next year may reveal even bigger paydays. In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed 370 pages of rules to improve the disclosure of how -- and how much -- executives are paid.

The requirements, expected to take effect in 2007, call for companies to explain how much the five highest-paid managers and all directors receive.

Companies will also be expected to show deferred compensation, retirement benefits and severance pay -- figures so hard for investors to find that they are called ''stealth wealth.''

One area that has already changed is the disclosure of perks, which are usually reported in public filings as ''other compensation.'' This form of compensation rose 9.3 percent, to about $188,000, last year, after the S.E.C. took a more aggressive stance on perk reporting.

Companies ''are now putting a value on things that never had to be valued before,'' said Jannice L. Koors, a managing partner at Pearl Meyer & Partners. ''That affected tons of stuff with everybody: airplanes, cars, drivers, apartments. All the stuff that wasn't disclosed because it wasn't reported income now has to be disclosed as a perquisite.''

Chief executives at consumer products companies took a pay cut of about 4 percent after weaker shareholder returns. But boards at many automobile, retail and telecommunications companies appeared to ignore last year's bad news.

Gap, for example, more than doubled the compensation of its chief executive, Paul S. Pressler, to $19.1 million, even though the company posted its worst results in years. Still, the board withheld his annual bonus.

April 9th, 2006

Wall Street Versus America : The Rampant Greed and Dishonesty That Imperil Your Investments
By Gary Weiss

Friday, December 5, 2008

Playboy Braille Edition

I guess, there are people who really subscribe to the Playboy magazine for its article. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Why do we, as a nation, award stupidity and mediocrity as excellence?

Frankly, I'm sick and tired of seeing people admiring so-and-so individual simply because so-and-so possesses a certain physical appearance. Yes, there is nothing wrong in wanting so-and-so because so-and-so is extremely hot. But that does not mean that we should award so-and-so just because that so-and-so individual possesses striking physical attributes. Honestly, is beauty an achievement? Nope, because it is merely having the good fortunate to have the correct attributes at the right time and place. Just think about this, a woman who is overweight would currently not fit our present sense of beauty we simply assume without much objection that thin is physically attractive. Now did you know that overweight women were considered beautiful during most of the Renaissance period? This meant that thin women were undesirable. Hence, I ask you again, is beauty an achievement? 

Okay, it is true one can fix oneself up so as to look more attractive. One could go to a plastic surgeon and acquire some good parts to enhance or in some case to completely alter one's look. Wasn't this the premise for "Extreme Make-Over" and "The Swan"? So, is beauty an achievement? Besides, does it improve the world by having another self-absorbed human being wasting our precious resource? Absolutely not! In addition, there is nothing a self-absorbed individual adds the overall good of society. True, it is nice to look at a beautiful person but as the old proverbial saying goes "beauty fades but learning lasts, and the world wanes and becomes vain, but a good name neither becomes vain nor wanes." 

Now I have nothing against beauty that is if it is in its proper context. True, beautiful people are pleasing to the eyes. And yes, most of us would pick the hottest and sexiest partner if we knew that such possibility existed (I know that such opportunity exists for some but for the vast majority of the people hunks and supermodels are out of our league). Okay, there is nothing wrong with having such desires. But there is something strangely wrong to present awards to so-and-so just because so-and-so has the look that is currently desired by many. Okay, so-and-so is extremely hot and sexy but still it does not aid in the overall progression of human evolution. Also, how does awarding so-and-so for his or her beauty going to aid us end world hunger? In addition, what does beautiful people produces to assist in the overall growth of our society? True, they cause much perspiration and some form of grunt noise. However, there is nothing a beautiful person produces to aid the community in large. Clearly, they do not produce ideas to aid in solving many of our current crises. So, in the name of sanity, can we merely look or lust after beauty but stop awarding such attribute as if it some great achievement.

Thank you!

Preparation is Half the Fun!