Links 4/7/12

Pilot turns back after snake pops out of dashboard Associated Press (hat tip reader May S)

IBM chief hits glass ceiling in Augusta Financial Times

The US Has Made No Progress on College Graduation Rates in 30 Years (Chart) Truthout. I’m not sure this is all that meaningful. The caliber of what constitutes “tertiary education” varies a lot (but the flip side is that a fair bit of what is college education in the US is accomplished in secondary schools in other countries). The bigger problem is that US educational levels (literacy, numeracy) are falling, and the US is alone in that among advanced economies.

Troubling Flaws in a Heart Device Shake Implant Makers New York Times

Saudi Billionaire to Invest $600 Million in Ethiopia Cooking Oil Bloomberg (hat tip reader May S)

How to Start Your Own Power Company, Stop Coal and Nukes, and Transform Your City Alternet (hat tip reader May S)

‘Jackie Kennedy of China’ at Center of Political Drama Wall Street Journal

US weapons ‘full of fake Chinese parts Telegraph (hat tip reader Pat Caddell)

ANOTHER US drone crashes off the Seychelles… the second in just four months Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S)

5 Big Media Stereotypes About the South (And the Real Story Behind Them) Alternet. I can’t speak for the rest of the South, but as far as Alabama is concerned, she is just wrong on 2 and 4, and the use of “stupid” in 3 is disingenuous. Educational standards suck in Alabama, period.

More on Private Equity, Carried Interest, Wealth, and Romney Linda Beale, Angry Bear

Hidden Dangers Makes Fiscal Cliff More Treacherous Dave Dayen, Firedoglake

New Limits on Courting U.S. Officials Vex Lobbyists New York Times. Notice the inside headline: Limits on Lobbyists as Hosts? Simply Unworkable, They Say

More Public Pension Scare Stories at the Post Dean Baker

Sharp slowdown in US jobs growth Financial Times

Some Dreary Forecasts From Recovery Skeptics New York Times

Number of the Week: How Long Before Job Seekers Give Up? WSJ Real Time Economics

America’s hall of mirrors recovery Robert Reich, Guardian

Goldman On Economic ‘Payback’ And The Date Of The Next QE Announcement Clusterstock

Credit Card Borrowing Falls; Car Lending Is on the Rise New York Times

Young People Are Driving Significantly Less Jon Walker, Firedoglake

Tamara Mellon puts the boot in to buyouts Financial Times. Her comments are devastating, not that that should be any surprise.

New mortgage rule on disputed debts might hamper homebuyers seeking FHA loans Washington Post

Pasco couple stymied in trying to fix lender’s mistake Tampa Bay Online (hat tip Lisa Epstein)

An angry priest scatters the money lenders The Age. Notice an anti-bank story is picked up in Oz, not here.

Antidote du jour. This is Brighty the guard donkey (but Scott thinks the lambs in the accompanying photos would make for a nice Easter meal):

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  1. Rex

    I was reading the “Some Dreary Forecasts” article when I noticed and clicked a link about the singer Dr. John. Saw this in that article…

    The songs from “Locked Down,” written by Dr. John with the entire band, fuse North Africa, New Orleans and Dr. John’s hard-nosed take on the present: “Blind eyes of justice/Deaf ears of power/Dumb moves of money/Left us in a desperate hour,” he rasped in “Revolution,” which meshed Ethiopian-flavored horns and a Motown beat.

    I have not heard the song yet but those lyrics seem to sum up the last several years pretty well.

  2. Amara Graps

    You might want to post this on an upcoming Links:

    This is significant. Women have only about 400 mature eggs to be viable for reproduction in her entire lifetime. Until an egg is released, it remains dormant in its follicle-suspended state in the middle of cell division, and is thus one of the longest-lived cells in the human body. A dormant egg cannot perform the usual cellular repair processes, however, so damage increases as a woman ages. This work is going to change that 400 number to ‘unlimited’.

    1. mk

      Elimination of menopause is timely, tough to be menopausal in the age of global warming…

      Seriously though, very interesting article, thanks for posting the link.

      1. skippy

        Why not just use – only – what is needed.

        Any way, the material presented was one guitar played by 5 people. A collaborative effort they pulled off quite well, methinks, more interesting and entertaining than the canned rubbish flooding the air waves these days.

        Skippy… I remember when I used to worry about conformity, it was a difficult time.

        1. Eureka!

          The really amazing part is they got drums, percussion, bass and three guitar tracks out of one guitar. Three vocalists too.

          The only thing they missed was a string section and woodwinds.

  3. hondje

    I just saw a woman and two small children looking for food in a nearby dumpster. Have a good Easter everyone.

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      Did you perhaps stop and either give them a little money or offer to buy some groceries ?

      “World Poverty/Hunger” is hard to process, but it’s easy to give something to a single human being when we see them in trouble.

  4. ?

    RE: The US Has Made No Progress on College Graduation Rates in 30 Years (Chart) Truthout.

    The Hidden Dark Agenda of Public Education

    “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment to all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is the aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues, and other such
    mountebanks, and that is the aim everywhere else.”

    – H.L. Mencken, The American Mercury, April 1924

    “Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”

    – Joseph Stalin in an interview with H.G. Wells, 1934

    “The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda — a deliberate scheme to outfit the pupil, not with the capacity to weigh ideas, but with a simple appetite for gulping ideas ready-made. The aim is to make ‘good’ citizens, which is to say, docile and un-inquisitive citizens.”

    – H.L. Mencken

    “Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.”

    – Bertrand Russell

    “A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another: and the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government.”

    – John Stuart Mill

    “Education by the State is a contradiction in terms. Intellectual development is only possible to those who have seen through society.”

    – Celia Green

    “Academies that are founded at public expense are instituted not so much to cultivate men’s natural abilities as to restrain them.”

    – Baruch Spinoza

    1. nonclassical

      …having taught U.S. and other western democracy, it is obvious to me the GOALS are different-Germany, that goal is a lifetime taxpaying, fully educated
      through university or vocational equivalent, citizen.

      U.S. goal is a cheap labor force…for what reason would U.S. create a “fully educated workforce”?

      1. F. Beard

        Good point!

        The US imagines that it is free so the common belief is that everyone gets exactly what they deserve here.

        However, the fact that the system is rigged in favor of the banks and the so-called “credit-worthy” is beginning to dawn.

        1. skippy

          Whom – owns – controls – the banks, the trail does not end at their front door.

          Skippy… Btw its an international problem, not just an American issue, tightly coupled thingy.

          1. F. Beard

            Btw its an international problem, not just an American issue, tightly coupled thingy. skippy

            Agreed. The whole world is in debt to the counterfeiting cartel.

            Asset-backed money is a brilliant invention – it could have been used for all of us and might still can be.

            But fools think the system is just and would rather risk their own house than see their neighbor get any relief on his mortgage.

          2. skippy

            Then you have a bit of a problem with contracts.

            Any deviation from the currant system will kick off a massive wave of litigation or worse ( more market uncertainty ), how long will that run and what will happen in the tween.

            Skippy… slowing down and sharing would take the edge off things, yet the proscription is for more? Personally I don’t see the haves letting go, its not in their nature, its not how they got there in the first place. Too much concentrated anything seems to do that, suck everything else in or blow up down the road.

          3. F. Beard

            Any deviation from the currant system will kick off a massive wave of litigation or worse ( more market uncertainty ), skippy

            The banks should not be opposed to a universal bailout since it would improve the performance of their loans.

            slowing down and sharing would take the edge off things, yet the proscription is for more? skippy

            I advocate putting banks out of the credit creation business. That should effectively eliminate the rat race.

          4. skippy

            So you offer to make them hole again and in return they give up their power and control, advantage?

            Skippy… Whom will enforce this contract? After this last party what makes anyone think you can engage in contracts with them? Their acts previously and ongoing forbade trust, the ultimate faustian bargain? These folks don’t give up anything, they take, that is all.

            PS. the American legal system is irrevocably broken in my book, so again, whom will enforce any contract with the citizens, when they have zero power, no seat at the table, toothless… eh.

          5. F. Beard

            So you offer to make them hole again skippy

            A universal bailout would fix everyone from the bottom up, including the banks.

            and in return they give up their power and control, advantage? skippy

            Banks could still broker honest loans between savers and borrowers. And at some point in this Depression, if it continues, it won’t matter much what the banks want.

    2. SidFinster

      Google up John Taylor Gatto’s magisterial Underground History of American Education and prepare to find out that everything you know is wrong.

  5. Jessica

    US weapons ‘full of fake Chinese parts’

    This is one piece of evidence pointing toward our elite being “stupid” rather than “evil”.
    For me, it is one more piece of evidence that we do not have a coherent elite with any kind of long-term vision at all. Just a decreasingly disciplined set of parasites.
    The symptoms we see are not the actual problem. They are opportunistic infections. The lack of an immune system is the real problem.
    Short-term, our suffering may be the same, but this matters for long-term strategy.

      1. 2little2late

        I’ll just throw my toaster at them. It’s also Chinese made and has failed prematurely, but would make a dent in any enemy’s head.

    1. Bill the Psychologist

      This is one piece of evidence pointing toward our elite being “stupid” rather than “evil”

      Those two traits are far from being mutually exclusive…

        1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          Thank God we pay them only with counterfeit money.

          Counterfeit money for fake parts or real money for fake parts – which is better?

          1. F. Beard


            Are you a silly gold-bug?

            Actually we pay them with real money that pays interest.

          2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            We pay the Chinese with real money and we pay ourselves with counterfeit money?

          3. F. Beard

            We are mostly paid with bank credit which is worse than limited simple counterfeiting since continual debt expansion is required just to pay the interest.

            Why don’t you start reading the Bible yourself? God promises wisdom to those who seek it. I suggest you start at Proverbs 8. Don’t tell skippy though …

          4. Eureka!

            The F. Beard – “We are mostly paid with bank credit” ….ad nauseum

            Have you considered getting a job at a different employer? That may clear up most of your problems.

          5. skippy

            O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 1 Thimothy 6:20

            Colossians 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

            1 Timothy 1:9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,

            2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

            International Standard Version (©2008)
            These women are always studying but are never able to arrive at a full knowledge of the truth.


            Human knowledge, apart from God, is not only flawed, but the Bible also refers to it as worthless because it isn’t tempered by love (1 Corinthians 13:2). The knowledge man possesses tends to make one proud. “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Therefore, the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, without seeking God, is foolishness. “Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom . . . but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief” (Ecclesiastes 1:17-18). Worldly knowledge is a false knowledge which is opposed to the truth, and Paul urges us to “Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith” (1 Timothy 6:20-21). Human knowledge is opposed to God’s knowledge and therefore is no knowledge at all; rather, it is foolishness.


            Skippy… knowledge bad ( wandering from truth ), truth good, truth equals blindly obeying your master… some recipes never change… eh.

          6. F. Beard

            knowledge bad ( wandering from truth ), truth good, truth equals blindly obeying your master… some recipes never change… eh. skippy

            First, spare me anyone’s interpretation of the Bible. They are irrelevant and often wrong or misleading. Stick to direct quotes from the Bible, please.

            Second, you should know the Bible “contradicts” itself so you should be able find quotes in both the Old and New Testament that extol knowledge. Here’s one:

            For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 2 Peter 1:4-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

            And need I remind you that science itself was and is greatly advanced by scientists who were/are Christian?

          7. Eureka!

            I’m a bit worried that F. Beard is going into debt-money-religous rapture and the server hits will cause the NC server to serve up a page that says:

            Server Down – Went to meet Alan Turing – No reason to check back later

          8. skippy


            The Chinese were actually the earliest and most prolific practitioners of discovery – science, closely followed by the Persian’s.

            Skippy… not till the Renaissance did the west even come close and much of that, was on the back of the previous.

      1. Jessica

        I laughed at your comment. Thank you.
        There is plenty of evil there, for sure. I would consider willful ignorance itself a form of evil too.
        But I think it is class stupidity that is running the show. There are plenty of bright individuals and organizations within the elite, but our elite as a whole is now remarkably stupid. (As opposed to, most obviously, the German regime of 1933-1945 or Stalinism.) This distinction matters when it comes to what to do about them.
        If they have a coherent program (=evil), then we need to know what it is. And we need to counter it somehow.
        If they do not have a coherent program (=stupid), we serve ourselves better by focusing more on building what we want and on protecting each other from the drunken thrashing about of our elite.

        I will say that they can be cunning, in a hyena-like way, but not smart. And by “not smart”, I don’t mean “they don’t do what I want, so they are not smart”. Rather I mean “they are doing things that don’t work for them, long-term”.

      2. F. Beard

        On second thought, J. P. Morgan deliberately sold defective rifles to the Union Army and got paid in advance for doing so!

    2. Cap'n Magic

      In a generation past, it used to be the case that when you produced MILSPEC parts and weapons for Uncle Sam, they had the right to take not only the weapons, but the physical plants and tooling needed. Guess someone wasn’t paying attention.

  6. JTFaraday

    “Guard donkeys should also be prevented from acclimating to other donkeys, but beyond that they should be free to do what comes naturally.”

    So… in order to cultivate its natural capacity to chase away coyotes, the guard donkey can’t have donkey friends?

    I still don’t get it.

    1. evodevo

      It’s the same psychological conditioning used with Great Pyrenees dogs – they are kept with the sheep and in time identify with them as herd mates, to be protected. A donkey will stomp any predator-like animal that comes within range – dogs, wolves, coyotes, etc. If you have ever raised sheep, and gone out one morning to find half of them dead with the neighbor’s boxer hanging around, you would appreciate a good guard donkey. They are worth their weight in gold.

  7. Jackrabbit

    Why don’t responsible economist insist that the headline BLS unemployment number be reported as a range?
    Today that would be something like: 8.2 – 16.7

    Even Robert Reich gets it wrong! He writes:
    The rate of unemployment dropped from 8.3 to 8.2%, mainly because fewer people were searching for jobs – and that rate depends on how many people are actively looking.

    Being dropped from the unemployment rolls does not necessarily mean that someone has stopped looking. This is an _assumption_ of the BLS model. In normal times, this is a reasonable assumption. In our current economy, it is a farce.

    1. Jackrabbit

      I think 8.2 – 11.5 would be more accurate for unemployment.

      I think 16.7 includes those who have been forced to take part-time work.

      1. nonclassical

        jack, et al, truth:

        Reagan changed unemployment values….his flunkies prescribed that ANYONE who had EVER taken unemployment before at ANY time, is NOT a “new unemployment claim”…recognize when they use this wording-“NEW unemployment claim”, what they are stating..

        Then, only 3 of 5 applying for, get unemployment..

        Then, those who fall off unemployment are not counted..

        Then, those who never applied are not counted…

        Then, there’s a new twist-unemployment agency sends job seeker out to company who is COMMISSION based only…seeker is offered job, but no guarantee, and DROPPED from unemployment roles, even if only for short time…expect more of this..

  8. MrColdWaterOfRealityMan

    As I’ve ranted for years, outsourcing of software and hardware isn’t just an immediate economic risk, it’s a security risk for the USA. Fake parts. Intentionally sabotaged electronics and software. It doesn’t take genius to see why this could be a problem. Moreover, if it isn’t now, it could start to be at any time in the future.

    Yes, manufacturing in the USA would be “hundreds” of times more expensive, but at least you’re cycling the money back into the USA’s economy and not funding China.

    1. ohmyheck

      Manufactured computer viruses embedded in products sold to corporate and military entities. One of them is named “Stuxnet”. Not stupid…evil.

  9. Lambert Strether

    “How Long Before Job Seekers Give Up” (21.4 weeks is the median) is interesting, though it might be re-titled “How Long Before Job Seekers Comply,” since the preferred policy of the 1% is quite evidently permanently higher DISemployment.

    However, the larger issue is that “one door opens when another closes.” Meaning that some percentage of the DISemployed surely enter System D, the underground economy, which is the fastest growing economy in the world. There is, for obvious reasons, no coverage of this societal movement in our famously free press, but it has to be happening. At least until cash is abolished, anyhow…

    1. reslez

      Maybe we can shortly expect an article from an Australian newspaper on the underground economy in the U.S., while a U.S. newspaper reports on the underground economy in Australia. Those crazy foreigners!

  10. F. Beard

    An angry priest scatters the money lenders

    Ah good! The Bible has a lot to say about economics; it’s time churches remember that.

    1. Flying Kiwi

      Ah yes. Things like:

      “They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” 18 And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matt.14:14-22)

      Now we know how Wall St. works.

      1. F. Beard

        Wall Street multiplies debt. Jesus came to forgive and personally pay debts.

        All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:8-10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

        1. psychohistorian

          I have now taken to skipping any comments that have your involvement. Your ignorance and faith based stupidity are tiring and no longer a contribution to this web site, IMO.

          The Rapture cannot come soon enough to end your continual textual vomit.

          1. Roland

            PH, if you don’t like Beard quoting the gospels, that’s fine–we all have our likes and dislikes.

            But Beard’s not at all stupid.

            And even if he were stupid, it certainly wouldn’t be because of his religious faith.

          2. skippy


            “First, ****spare me anyone’s interpretation of the Bible****. “””””They are irrelevant and often wrong or misleading.””””” Stick to direct quotes from the Bible, please.”…. beard… “* skip emphasis

            Skip here… “spare me anyone’s interpretation” “They are irreverent – wrong – misleading”… beard. Roland how can he make such assertions… really… who the fook does he think he is.

            Then there is a long list of material fact I’ve pulled him up upon and he demises it with some un-contextualized snip it of NASB biblical vagary, one link to a pro religious science site, all topped off with accusations of anyone challenging HIS view points with the time tested flinging of… you don’t want to help people, the world will end if you don’t agree, your confused my child, et al. Preachy bastard IMO. It’s all in this blog and others, a full time job thingy, I can dig it up.

            This is his reality, all his mental thought processes pass through this lens, there can be – no – other.

            Stupid: marked by or resulting from unreasoned thinking or acting: senseless < M-W.

            MM – "Theory" (less we forget) and lets not forget that economics is just a political exorcise as an extension of history's evolution from religious backed sovereign monarchs to the nation state. At the end of the day we are living in a religious paradigm, a market based religious value set and look at what it has done to us and the world.

            Skippy… human beings monetized for electron price cash flow like battery's in that movie…. BARF. Yep that will save us all… and the planet.

  11. Jim Haygood

    Spot the concealed premise in the Truthout article: ‘America’s college graduation rate hasn’t improved in 30 years.’

    The writers assume that ‘improved’ = ‘higher.’ Maybe they should study their own chart. Compared to Korea’s 63% college graduation rate for young adults, Germany achieves only 25%. And like the U.S., Germany has shown no ‘improvement’ over 30 years.

    Yet Germany’s economy, richer than Korea’s, is the envy of Europe. Germany’s vaunted vocational training system has made it a manufacturing powerhouse. Evidently, Germans do not regard raising their college graduation rate to Korea’s level as a desirable ‘improvement.’

    Similarly, Latin America’s most dynamic economy, Brazil, gets by with only 10% college graduates. I would think that raising this rate closer to Germany’s 25% likely would benefit Brazil’s economy. But it’s simply a theory which is subject to confirmation.

    In America, the unquestioned assumption that nearly everybody should go to college is prima facie evidence of an educational system which fails to impart the capacity for critical thinking. Obama is a tireless expounder of the mindless “mo’ college for mo’ folks” mindset, suckering impressionable teens into the indentured servitude of student loans from which there is no escape.

    President Teleprompter is living proof even the most prestigious tertiary education (Harvard Law, in his case) can’t lift a second-rate intellect out of mediocrity.

    1. ohmyheck

      My daughter is an 8th grader, and the parents had a required meeting with the school guidance counselor. Not only were we expected to plot out her entire high school career right there, but the first thing out of his mouth was, “This is her GPA, and if she wants any financial aid for college, she will need to do some things.”

      I was gobsmacked. It was not a question of if, just how. Well, my daughter doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about school and education, so why would I hock her entire financial future on a complete waste of time and money? Junior college and/or a Technical College is fine, when the time comes and she has a better idea of what she might want to do in life.

      The counselor was equally gobsmacked. I thought he might have shorted his brain, he couldn’t understand that a parent might not actually buy in to the “American Dream of a College Education”. Oh my heck, someone who thinks outside the box! Does. Not. Compute.

      1. Eureka!

        Everyone knows that if you want to “marry up” you have to go to college and major in Liberal Arts.

        But a student loan as a dowry might put a damper on things.

  12. Hugh

    The BLS definition of unemployment is highly restrictive. The BLS defines someone as unemployed only if they don’t have a job but have looked for work in the four weeks before the Household survey is conducted. If you do not have a job and have not looked for a job for 5 weeks, then the BLS does not consider you unemployed but out of the labor force. The official unemployment rate is based on this.

    The BLS has a broader measure of un and underemployment which includes involuntary part timers (those who would work full time if they could. They are counted as in the labor force.) and the marginally attached. The marginally attached are those who are not counted in the labor force but have looks for work in the last year.

    The problem with all these BLS measures is that they significantly understate the severity of the jobs crisis. You can see this if you take a labor force participation rate characteristic of a solid expansion and multiply it by the potential labor force as represented by the Non-Institutional Population over 16. I use .67 in my own calculations. This gives us where the labor force should be. The difference between it and the current labor force is a measure of how big the BLS is undercounting the problem. In March, this number was 7.838 million. Forget job seeking. These are people who would work if jobs were available.

    Take them into account and the official unemployment rate jumps to 12.6% and the broader measure of un and underemployment goes to 17.3%.

    *Sorry for the oblique references to the BLS categories but WordPress tends to suppress my comments on employment. If you want the unexpurgated version, you can find it here:

    1. Jackrabbit

      Hugh! You have a blog!

      I will definitely follow.

      Why don’t you add it when you comment? Then ppl could click on your name to see your blog (I think).

      1. Jackrabbit

        Oh, I see its lamberts “home” too. Looks interesting.

        Do you have to have a blog to join? (it asks for a url that works – I just entered NC)

  13. Waking Up

    Re: An angry priest scatters the Money Lenders. We as a society need more people like Father Robert Rien, of St Ignatius at Antioch, a Catholic church east of San Francisco. He stated, ”Jesus went to the temple and he challenged the banking system of his day. He said, ‘you are thieves and marauders, you are wrong in what you are doing’.” He continues with, ”Look at how much money some of these people [in finance] earn; no one needs to be that rich, no one.”

    From Pastor Ryan Bell, a Seventh Day Adventist. “He, too, turns to the gospels to explain his protest, but for him it is the parable of the unforgiving servant that sheds best light on the banks’ role in the crisis. In this story a merciful king forgives the debt of a servant, who later chokes an even more humble servant to extract a debt owed to him. ”The taxpayer is the merciful king,” says Pastor Bell. ”And the banks are choking my parishioners even though they have had that bailout.”

    Congratulations to these two men of the cloth who not only preach the word but live by what they say. Bravo! Bravo!

    1. Flying Kiwi

      Not doubt Father Rien’s heart is in the right place, but he is blind to the underlying truth of Jesus’ actions when cleansing the money-changers (not money-lenders) from the Temple.

      For these were actually Temple officials who were accepting the current coinage of the Roman occupation and converting it into the old Hebrew currency which the Temple had declared was the only currency acceptable to JHV in sacrifice – at an exchange rate set by the Temple.

      Jesus’ action was a direct attack on Temple profiteering and the reason the Jewish authorities had him ‘removed’, but in his ‘render unto Caesar’ equivocation he actually supported the banking system of the day.

      1. F. Beard

        but in his ‘render unto Caesar’ equivocation he actually supported the banking system of the day. Flying Kiwi

        It wasn’t equivocation. Read Romans 13:1-7 for confirmation that we are to pay taxes – with Caesar’s money, btw.

        As for the “banking system of the day”, lending in those days was honest usury for existing money – not “credit creation” from thin-air.

  14. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Pilot turns back after snake’s visit.

    So, should we go with pilotless drone freight flights now?

  15. rich

    Meditate on this for Easter Sunday..

    Homelessness Becomes A Crime In Hungary

    Methodist pastor Gabor Ivanyi, 61, who runs the Danko street shelter, says obviously the homeless can’t afford to pay the fines. He charges that conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz allies have substituted harassing the underprivileged for creating a viable strategy for housing and assisting the poor.

    “What Orban wants is to get rid of the poor, and everybody who deals with the poor is seen as an opponent,” Ivanyi says. “The police permanently bully the homeless. This is not the solution of a civilized or Christian state when security personnel drive around and hunt the homeless!”

    Homelessness Becomes A Crime In Hungary
    Credit has become one of the primary means of reverse wealth
    distribution, a tax on the 99 per cent by the 1 per cent; financial expert Margrit Kennedy has calculated that 45 per cent of the price of goods reflects this cost of capital. As economists such as Steve Keen and Michael Hudson have demonstrated, the systemic breakdown in 2008 is essentially a crisis of debt – a generalised incapacity of governments, corporations and households to repay their debts. Without
    wiping out the debt, we cannot restart the economy.

    1. rich

      oops…wrong title

      What’s all the fuzz about money?
      Debt-free money may well be the solution to restoring a sane monetary system.
      Credit has become one of the primary means of reverse wealth
      distribution, a tax on the 99 per cent by the 1 per cent; financial expert Margrit Kennedy has calculated that 45 per cent of the price of goods reflects this cost of capital. As economists such as Steve Keen and Michael Hudson have demonstrated, the systemic breakdown in 2008 is essentially a crisis of debt – a generalised incapacity of governments, corporations and households to repay their debts. Without
      wiping out the debt, we cannot restart the economy.

  16. Susan the other

    Dean Baker on the WaPo’s attack on pension funds. The funds are running out of money to the tune of 600bn over some length of time and so the disingenuous former Bush advisor on committing the Social Security funds to the stock market who authored this “editorial” says to prepare for the disintegration of public pension funds. Baker points out it is all a question of allocation of funds – the money will be there. So why the article by Pozen? Because it is an election year. And we can be sure to see Romney pick up the torch in behalf of those who would benefit from such a social theft. How like a corporate raider. And sadly, we can probably expect the same from Obama. Especially if he fails to create jobs. And where are all WaPo’s articles demanding jobs?

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