Ben Stein’s article in the New York Times Wall Street, Run Amok highlights one of the core reasons why our financial system is not working: investment bankers are incentivized to leverage themselves to the sky; the more debt they take, the more their upside from structured deals and the more compensation they get, with the downside severely mollified by the public serving as the unwitting insurer.
Archive for April, 2008
Is it me or did anyone else notice the extreme bias of the media against Barak Obama this Sunday in all news shows? Whether it’s just a media circus game to extend the political party with a longer nomination fight, or whether it was Senator Clinton’s machine that appealed to the media establishment, it is fascinating how biased the media was.
The clearest and most patent example of downright dishonest coverage came this Sunday around 1:40pm EST when Jim Acosta from CNN covered the Indiana contest as follows:
With growing human population and consumption, our planet is already strained with water scarcity, fossil fuel scarcity, food scarcity, mineral scarcity, and environmental degradation. Is the big picture that humans will eventually kill each other to compete for scarce resources?
My sister had a really interesting observation on the modern forms of bondage that we experience, relating to the spiritual aspects of Passover…
The most humble eat grains and seeds. They don’t have anything else. They live off the earth.
The poor eat refined starches, rice, beans. They can’t afford anything else.
The luxury many strive for is perceived to be meat.
Then the cycle gets completed. As people learn more about nutrition and the environment, they start avoiding meat, they start avoiding refined sugars and starches, and they steer back to grains, seeds, vegetables and fruits straight from nature.
It sounds so crazy. With growing climate change, planet earth as we know it is on the brink of a radical transformation that could endanger the very survival of the human race, if not at best require the most painful and radical adjustments for us all.
Why then would any rational human being want to stand in the way of finding solutions to prevent an epic catastrophe?
OneVoice Israel just commenced an exhibit titled "Till White Smoke Emanates" urging the Israeli and Palestinian heads of state to continue negotiations non-stop till they strike an agreement (the only missing ingredient in the leaders’ commitment to "ongoing" but not "uninterrupted" negotiations, as the OneVoice Mandate urges).
The "white smoke" concept is borrowed from when Archbishops close themselves off and don’t come out of a big hall till the Pope has been selected. The Exhibit revolves around 24 wood chairs that Israeli artists were asked to transform into statements about this issue.
News reports have alluded to the fuel shortage in Gaza, with complaints from Hamas officials about Israel chocking Gaza off, and most recently a retort by the Israeli government that Hamas is intentionally causing the shortage (by avoiding pick up of fuel trucks) to create political crisis.
I decided to ask a couple of colleagues living in Gaza how the people on the streets saw the situation. Here is one response:
Perri Klass wrote a very interesting article on the interplay between modern medicine’s use of anesthesia and its interplay with the far less scientific and more mysterious concepts of consciousness and self. Anesthesia, as he writes, encompasses "the allure and the terror of leaving yourself behind."