the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

Archive for July, 2010

well-reasoned cogent arguments

Posted by ecoshift on July 30, 2010

I overheard a comment from someone who recently moved to Mendocino from Humboldt. One of the positive aspects was a change in the character of political dialog: “politics in Humboldt is a blood sport.”

Elizabeth Warren appears capable of well-reasoned discussions and responsiveness to opposing points of view. We need more examples of this at every level of public policy: county, state, national and international.

Political Economy – GOP appointees to oversight panel praise Elizabeth Warren’s work
By Brady Dennis

The pair praised Warren for conducting exhaustive investigations into the federal government’s rescue of firms such as American International Group and GMAC, even when those reviews produced results that didn’t always shine a glowing light on the Treasury Department.

“It is important to note that the panel has been critical of policies and decisions implemented by Democrats and Republicans alike,” wrote University of Kentucky economics Professor Kenneth Troske and J. Mark McWatters, a Dallas lawyer and certified public accountant, who serve on the five-member panel. “There is great virtue in that because, while it is easy to question the decisions made by members of the other political party, it takes courage to publicly question the decisions made by members of your own party.”

They added, “We often debate a wide variety of issues with Professor Warren and have found her quite willing to modify her views if presented with well-reasoned, cogent arguments.”


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Posted by ecoshift on July 23, 2010

The Financial Crisis One Year Later: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
Multinational Monitor Editor’s Blog

One year ago, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, bringing to a head the growing chaos on Wall Street.

In the days and weeks that followed Lehman’s September 15, 2008, collapse, credit markets would freeze, the stock market plunged, the government took a controlling interest in AIG, Wachovia and Merrill Lynch merged themselves out of existence, the Congress approved a plan to spend $700 billion to bail out Wall Street, the Federal Reserve innovated an array of programs involving trillions of dollars worth of support for Wall Street and the credit markets, and the national economy — and much of the global economy — declined precipitously.

As the crisis unfolded, it quickly became commonplace to suggest that nothing would ever be the same, on Wall Street or in the national economy. The Wall Street goliaths had been humbled — and many had gone out of business, via merger or bankruptcy. Deregulation went out of style and even former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan indicated that the conceptual underpinnings of his deregulatory approach had proven flawed.

One year later, it is clear that the conventional wisdom emerging as the crisis developed was wrong.

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health benefits…

Posted by ecoshift on July 6, 2010

Really? – The Claim – Exposure to Plants and Parks Can Boost Immunity – Question –

…for those who can take the heat and cope with the pollen, spending more time in nature might have some surprising health benefits. In a series of studies, scientists found that when people swap their concrete confines for a few hours in more natural surroundings — forests, parks and other places with plenty of trees — they experience increased immune function.

Stress reduction is one factor. But scientists also chalk it up to phytoncides, the airborne chemicals that plants emit to protect them from rotting and insects and which also seem to benefit humans.

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