Sami Alrabaa, a scholar at a nearby college, recalls attending a lecture by Prof. Kalisch and being upset by his doctrinaire defense of Islamic law, known as Sharia...The professor, a burly 42-year-old, says he has received no specific threats but has been denounced as apostate, a capital offense in some readings of Islam.
Try watching prime time, broadcast TV these days. There are a whole lot of "uncomfortable" moments. No wonder I gravitate to the History Channel.
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
Democracy can be a bitch [or is that un-PC to write?]. That's why instead of building new majorities [see the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts in the house of the people], they choose to seek POWER in the branch of government that believes and acts as though they should be the new aristocracy of the people.
civil unions, yes. Their protests here have sunk any chance of forcing gay marriage down anyone's throats barring judicial intervention, and any judge that decides to do so will be unemployed, next election. Guaranteed. The people are tired of their voices overriden by robed elitists. In CA, we have the Rose Bird option: buh-bye
Posted by: Frank G ||
"The woman, in my opinion, is a natural Patton. A fighter to the core."
Good Lord. She couldn't even cut Joe Biden off at the knees in their debate. Christallfridays...talk about low hanging fruit. He's been wrong on nearly every foreign policy decision from the Cold War to Iraq. Give her a green-screen and a gig with the Weather Channel.
Not to mention that, as Mr. Wife said (Mr. Wife was a member of the debate club in high school), Senator Biden always has complete control of his facts, even if he has to make them up. Did the honourable senator say even one true thing that evening? The problem is, that to effectively debate a liar, one actually has to have complete mastery of even the minutest details of every subject mentioned, and Governor Palin hadn't time enough to get to complete mastery in the few weeks she was part of the McCain campaign. Under the circumstances, DepotGuy, that she earnt from Mr. Wife the opprobrium of an almost-tie is quite impressive indeed -- especially given that Mr. Wife still doesn't like her.
Old Spook this wasn't from Fredic the Great but from Saadi Carnot who was the war minister during the worst days of revolution. He was key on the overthrowing of Robespierre and put ijn place the system who detected talented soldersa made them officers while detecting talented officers and making generals of them. Massena, Lannes, Davout, Bonaparte were some of the products.
Ever since the Vietnam misadventure, a postmodern revolution had been looming in America. Barack Obama's tour de force is its clincher. American campuses have been mass-producing smug, politically correct poseurs and slogan-spouting groupthink conformists for decades. Converging circumstances enabled the postmodernists who indoctrinate America's younger minds to conquer its highest political bastions as well.
To us in Israel none of this is new, except that here postmodernists are called post-Zionists. Their underlying assumption is the absence of objective truths, justice or ethical absolutes. Nothing is black and white - just subjective shades of gray on a landscape of moral relativism. All cultures are of equal merit. The worst despotic societies aren't more villainous than societies which, their imperfections notwithstanding, sanctify civil liberties. Indeed, the postmodern inclination is to downplay autocratic repression while casting doubt on the freedoms of the world's most egalitarian systems.
IT WAS mind-boggling to gauge the zero-resonance to Yossi Beilin's unambiguous confession that he cooked up the Oslo fiasco clandestinely, sans authority, even behind Shimon Peres's back, and that he had conducted his negotiations in clear contravention of the then-prohibition against contact with the PLO, when it was appropriately designated a terrorist enemy.
In an October 31 Yediot Aharonot interview Beilin unabashedly admitted that during the Oslo process he "had to do things behind peoples' backs. I was deputy foreign minister. The foreign minister and prime minister [Peres and Yitzhak Rabin respectively] didn't know that I was conducting talks with the PLO until I decided to inform them."
The era that defined Wall Street is finally, officially over. Michael Lewis, who chronicled its excess in Liar's Poker, returns to his old haunt to figure out what went wrong.
To this day, the willingness of a Wall Street investment bank to pay me hundreds of thousands of dollars to dispense investment advice to grownups remains a mystery to me. I was 24 years old, with no experience of, or particular interest in, guessing which stocks and bonds would rise and which would fall. The essential function of Wall Street is to allocate capital--to decide who should get it and who should not. Believe me when I tell you that I hadn't the first clue.
I'd never taken an accounting course, never run a business, never even had savings of my own to manage. I stumbled into a job at Salomon Brothers in 1985 and stumbled out much richer three years later, and even though I wrote a book about the experience, the whole thing still strikes me as preposterous--which is one of the reasons the money was so easy to walk away from. I figured the situation was unsustainable. Sooner rather than later, someone was going to identify me, along with a lot of people more or less like me, as a fraud. Sooner rather than later, there would come a Great Reckoning when Wall Street would wake up and hundreds if not thousands of young people like me, who had no business making huge bets with other people's money, would be expelled from finance.
When I sat down to write my account of the experience in 1989--Liar's Poker, it was called--it was in the spirit of a young man who thought he was getting out while the getting was good. I was merely scribbling down a message on my way out and stuffing it into a bottle for those who would pass through these parts in the far distant future.
Unless some insider got all of this down on paper, I figured, no future human would believe that it happened.
I thought I was writing a period piece about the 1980s in America. Not for a moment did I suspect that the financial 1980s would last two full decades longer or that the difference in degree between Wall Street and ordinary life would swell into a difference in kind. I expected readers of the future to be outraged that back in 1986, the C.E.O. of Salomon Brothers, John Gutfreund, was paid $3.1 million; I expected them to gape in horror when I reported that one of our traders, Howie Rubin, had moved to Merrill Lynch, where he lost $250 million; I assumed they'd be shocked to learn that a Wall Street C.E.O. had only the vaguest idea of the risks his traders were running. What I didn't expect was that any future reader would look on my experience and say, "How quaint."
I had no great agenda, apart from telling what I took to be a remarkable tale, but if you got a few drinks in me and then asked what effect I thought my book would have on the world, I might have said something like, "I hope that college students trying to figure out what to do with their lives will read it and decide that it's silly to phony it up and abandon their passions to become financiers." I hoped that some bright kid at, say, Ohio State University who really wanted to be an oceanographer would read my book, spurn the offer from Morgan Stanley, and set out to sea.
Somehow that message failed to come across. Six months after Liar's Poker was published, I was knee-deep in letters from students at Ohio State who wanted to know if I had any other secrets to share about Wall Street. They'd read my book as a how-to manual.
In the two decades since then, I had been waiting for the end of Wall Street. The outrageous bonuses, the slender returns to shareholders, the never-ending scandals, the bursting of the internet bubble, the crisis following the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management: Over and over again, the big Wall Street investment banks would be, in some narrow way, discredited. Yet they just kept on growing, along with the sums of money that they doled out to 26-year-olds to perform tasks of no obvious social utility. The rebellion by American youth against the money culture never happened. Why bother to overturn your parents' world when you can buy it, slice it up into tranches, and sell off the pieces? Rest of 9 page article at link.
When the boards flood the market with so much paper that accountability is lost to institutional investors and portfolio managers who handle the company as nothing more than a 'unit' to wring out as much ROI and who make no effort to insure proper operation of the corporation and the efficiency of the management overhead, is anyone surprise of these results? The underlying basic purpose of the process has disappeared. The paper became the end not the company upon which it was predicated upon.
Bottom line, they haven't got a clue. Stiglitz comes the closest with his negative analysis of the IMF, but then steers off into lala land with his recommendation for a new global reserve currency.
It is sad to read the incoherence of Samuelson and yet his introductory economic textbooks still form the basis for most Eco 101 courses.
Well Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for something that has nothing to do with peace. I guess some of these Nobel Laureates in economics can spout off theories that may or may not have much to do with the financial crisis we are currently dealing with. Unfortunately most of them as well as our Congress Critters who spend our money with great abandon will continue to have their job.
Posted by: Bill Angains8020 ||
According to Congressman Barney Frank, one of the architects of the legislation that enables the deals: "Any use of these funds for any purpose other than lending - for bonuses, for severance pay, for dividends, for acquisitions of other institutions ... is a violation of the act." Yet this is exactly how the funds are being used.
And Barney knows which funds are bing used for what ... how? Funds are fungible, are they not?
I'm not sure Naomi really understands how things work. Bush is in charge until January when Obama is President. Obama currently has no authority. None, nada, zip, beyond threats of what he might do if people don't cooperate and the niceties of others who want things to run smoothly in our government.
I think the first vote for change should be to insist that journalists attend, and pass, a high school civics class before being allowed to pontificate on politics.