Links 1/6/10


  1. Ina Deaver

    Wow — that picture reminds me of the time my mother tried giving herself a home perm. Same hair, same facial expression.

  2. financial matters

    One way to start some clawbacks. Could also be an interesting discovery process… Also like the public website idea..

    US FDIC sues 109 bank execs for negligence

    “””The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said the suits target bank directors and officers for “either gross or simple negligence.” It is seeking to recoup money for its deposit insurance fund, which backs customer accounts.

    The FDIC has previously said it was pursuing such legal actions but now has unveiled a website with updated numbers.

    The website will be updated monthly with a running tally of the amount of lawsuits authorised and how much the agency is seeking to recover.”””

  3. LeeAnne

    Way to go FDIC … thousands of 20 something vice-presidents to go after. Will they have the money to defend themselves? Will they have jobs even?

    You can be sure anything any regulator, politician, governor, AG, FED, FBI, Interpol are going after is nothing other than repression and persecution of innocent workers following the orders of the big cabal in the sky. Oops, I meant in global land.

    1. financial matters

      Yes, there are definitely bigger fish to fry. Keep in mind that financial institutions lured many of our best young minds into their non productive endeavors with the offer of high salaries and million dollar bonuses.. some may decide to flip on their higher-ups

      from Econned..

      “””Morgan Stanley carefully cultivated the urge to blast a client to smithereens. It was no surprise I had caught the fever so soon. Everyone had caught it, particularly the most senior managing directors.. My bosses were avid skeet shooters… When they screamed “Pull!” they imagined a client flying through the air.”””

  4. LeeAnne

    Army’s “Spiritual Fitness” Test Comes Under Fire

    It should come as no surprise that the military would seek to have only faith based non-thinkers in their ranks considering the US inhuman treatment of our young citizens (repeated tours of duties and destruction of families) and those abused in their own countries who hope to gain US citizenship by joining up.

    1. Leviathan

      “Faith based non thinkers” is a wee bit severe, don’t you think?

      The military perspective is straightforward and constructive in a narrow sort of way: our personnel are breaking down under the stress of repeated deployments. How can we better build them up or even preselect for resilience?

      Remember, LeeAnn, the military brass doesn’t get to decide how long or even how many troops are deployed in combat. That’s a job for our civilian leaders. If you find the situation inhumane, take it up with them. You have a point, but you’re blaming the wrong people.

      On the more narrow point of whether a “spiritual” health component is out of line (and there are lots of peer reviewed studies to support the thesis that spiritual health impacts overall well-being), here is a solution. Use the phrase spiritual/philosophical instead. Presumably SOMETHING drives atheist soldiers to risk their lives when they do not have to (if this is all there is, why risk it?). Help them identify it, foster it, use it to undergird the whole self. What is wrong with that? How would that be unconstitutional?

      If military leaders didn’t do anything to help prepare and train their combat personnel, we would criticize them for heartlessness. This is better.

      1. Antifa

        This one Army effort, examined out of context, might possibly be viewed by an innocent bystander as an effort to cut down on suicides witin the ranks, cut down on divorces, PTSD and such.

        “O! how kind of the Army brass,” says the innocent pedestrian.

        Yeah, right.

        When examined in context this Army effort is clearly part of an overarching effort involving the Air Force Academy, the Army, the Navy, the officer levels within the Pentagon — all our Armed Forces — an overarching effort to thoroughly evangelize and Christianize our military.

        An overarching effort by whom?

        By Christian Dominionists, by Joel’s Army, by the Seven Mountains movement within modern Christianism. There is a well coordinated plan pushed in a thousand different ways and places to quietly turn our Armed Forces into a Christian Army.

        They are actively and knowingly going after seven distinct spheres of culture, aiming to place them all in Christian hands so as to create a Christian Kingdom for Jesus to rule over.

        The Seven Mountains are:

        America’s Congress, Pentagon, and military institutions already have active members and proselytizers from the Dominionist movement highly active in spreading the message and gaining new members.

        Standard Operating Procedure is to claim innocence, mumbling something about how it is ‘spiritual’ and not ‘religious’ when the indoctrination is objected to or brought to the attention of the press.

        When the press moves on, these soldiers are right — objecting to this indoctrination will harm their careers, just as it can harm the career of a Pentagon officer or a new Congressman to go against these people.

    2. Tertium Squid

      “faith based non-thinkers”

      Considering your attitude, Leann, I would expect you to LIKE the idea of getting believers out of the country and put in harm’s way.

      Happy New Year!

  5. Valissa

    The Economics of Economists’ Ethics

    There is research, for example, demonstrating economists’ occasional lack of what we might call consideration for their fellow man. (Put less gently: The literature describes a profession of amoral Scrooges.) In one paper, for instance, researchers set up simple zero-sum games between students of various disciplines, including economics: One player decides how to divvy up a $10 pool of cash; the other accepts or rejects his portion. When economists did the divvying, they proposed keeping $6.15, on average. Noneconomists proposed keeping $5.44. The verdict? Economists tend to be “self-interested.” Another study found that economics professors give less than half what other professors give to charity, even though they make more. Another confirms the bias outside the classroom, describing how economics students are more likely to “free-ride in experiments that called for private contributions to public goods” than other students. In English: They put their own profit first, even when the game calls for the maximization of public value.

  6. Tertium Squid

    For Washington DC voters, I don’t know why the north part couldn’t be counted in Maryland elections and Alexandria etc. to the south be in Virginia.

    It might not be a solution to suit our political parties (Dems want permadem seats in perpetuity & Reps love having hundreds of thousands of left-leaning voters disenfranchiesd)

    But it’s a perfect solution if what you want is for every vote to count.

  7. Charles Kiting

    A 90% tax rate in and of itself is meaningless.

    During the Eisenhower years you also had very little GDP growth, practically no inflation, women and teens culturally removed from the workforce, and a hollowing out of cities because of the excessive property taxation. You also had the full deduction of all interest payments from AGI. It would take me days to go on.

    The more important point is federal revenue as a % of GDP has been virtually unchanged for 60+ years.

    1. ScottS

      Exactly right. We need to up the estate tax to 100% above 1 mil for each beneficiary, and tax carried interest like income.

      THEN, we can up the highest income bracket to 90%, and it’ll mean something.

    2. Anonymous Jones

      Is this a joke? You don’t care which segment of society bears the burden, only that the burden (tax/GDP ratio) stays constant?

      This has to be a joke, right?

      Certainly amounts (at the ends of the spectrum) are important. But really, the real important stuff is to whom those amounts are allocated.

      Perhaps read up on relative consumption?

      1. Charles Kiting

        Are you a joke?

        Since when is the tax rate alone an indicator of who is bearing the burden? I specifically gave examples of segments of society that carried the burden during the 90% tax rate days and for the most part it wasn’t the rich.

        The belief that the rich carried most of the burden during the Eisenhower administration can only be the product of looking at the past with rose-colored glasses.

    1. David

      Yes, no longer will Obama have to telephone the banks, all he has to do now is to ask Daley what the banks want.

  8. scraping_by

    Re: Hot Pursuit of Customers: The Real Reason More People are Turning to Payday Loans

    Payday loan volume dropped $38.5 billion in 2009, or 24% since 2007, in part because of state regulation.

    And in part because experience replaced advertising. Economic exploitation is based on and indeed, exists as, information control. Payday loans were unknown to most people until the check-cashing stores and other bank substitutes spread across the country. The first most people heard about it was advertising, and indeed, with no friends or relations having experience to pass along, advertising was their entire information.

    Just one experience with finance companies or payday loans or paycheck cashers opens up most peoples eyes. The deal is usually poorly explained, and most people operate by giving the benefit of the doubt first time. The grief that normally follows is the lesson. At that point, their view of payday lending is built from history rather than art.

    Can’t people learn from the media? Well, there’s a lot of lying going on these days, and a lot of things aren’t what they appeared from the outside. Word intellectual types tend to reinterpret things five levels up and away, and the grass roots mind doesn’t see themselves in the new picture. Being able to see the world both ways just makes the information voids obvious, rather than fill them.

    Legal loan sharking may come and go, or at least, as the Next Great Thing. They’ll probably survive small scale, as adjuncts to pawn shops, as I’m seeing around here. Pawn your watch, pawn your week’s work, same thing.

  9. skyblu5555

    obama + daley = corporate fascism = greater unemployment for Americans especially White Collar Highly Educated males and females who are citizens of the USA. Exponential increases in HB1 foreign workers recruited by all companies from Boeing, Microsoft to The Dollar Store, etc. Few foreign workers who become citizens are from Western European Nations and many become dependent on US tax funded safety nets, especially women with children. The forced corporate changes now reflected in US policy and culture have completely altered and destroyed what had been the safety net for the American people. Daley and his NAFTA and GATT should have been thrown out of America years ago.

    Obama and Daley are examples of why I left the “democratic party” years ago… Oh I do Long for the Stonewall Jackson Democrats! This crowd? Yuck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Thomas Barton, JD

    Those mice enjoying that vaccine are close relatives of the mice who were enjoying pain relief a decade ago from a painkiller naturally occurring in a sea slug or conch or some such critter. Recently the human approved synthetic derivative of that mouse-approved drug has been withdrawn because in people-sized mice like you and me it causes cancer and a peculiar psychosis. But of course the vaccine will be a-j-squared away in this brave new world where JPMorgan is the gatekeeper for the Oval Office.

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