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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 20, 2010 / 5 Shevat 5770

Kangaroo Court for the Banks

By Tony Blankley




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As a general rule, diagnosis should precede treatment. But last week, we saw in both the legislative and executive branches examples of the "treatment before diagnosis" mentality. In Congress, the first hearings of the congressionally created Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was held under the chairmanship of Phil Angelides, former California treasurer and former chairman of the California Democratic Party. The commission was "mandated" by law with reporting back to Congress by December 2010, "with a series of conclusions about what occurred, and recommendations as to how to avoid future market breakdowns. (Disclosure: I provide professional advice to some financial institutions.)


Chairman Angelides led off his first hearing, at which he had called the CEOs of some of the leading New York banks with a demand that they accept blame for the financial crisis, saying he was "troubled by their inability to take responsibility." With the chairman having decided on the first day that the bankers were responsible for the financial meltdown, what is the point of the commission? Can't they even bother to fake an intent to carry out their responsibilities as the law requires?


Even weirder, the Democratic leadership has made it clear that they plan to pass their financial re-regulation act before the November elections — even though they legally call for recommended changes from the Commission to be reported back to them after the election, in December.


Sadly, Angelides' kangaroo-court attitude does not seem to be an aberration. On Saturday, the president, in the words of the Washington Post, "unleashed a verbal barrage against the nation's largest banks, accusing them of wanton selfishness by refusing to accept new regulations he and his party are proposing, and for fighting a new tax that Obama wants to impose."


The president proposes enacting "The Financial Crisis Responsibility Fee," which is a $90-billion tax leveled against the 50 largest banks that, according to the Post, "Obama called responsible for pushing the nation into economic crisis. By paying the tax, the nation's largest banks would settle their debt to taxpayers." That the bank paid back, with interest, the money loaned to them by the taxpayers does not excuse them from this new tax.

Letter from JWR publisher


Note that not only is the president, like the commission chairman, assuming they know the cause that the commission the president signed into law is assigned to find out. But also, this new tax would establish a precedent that any person or business can be taxed or fined for any harm that Congress thinks they did to the economy.


On this theory, everyone who contributed to the real estate and stock market bubble, the breaking of which "caused" the crisis, could be taxed for the "effects" of their economic conduct. Under that theory, everyone who bought real estate or a stock after, say, 2005, should be taxed for their crime against society. Perhaps the Democrats would apply this theory to education. They could tax the teachers' unions and their members for "causing" generations of ill-educated children.


But beyond such foolishness, the fundamental danger of this mentality is that if they are wrong that, basically, the banks caused the crisis, then their remedies in the form of new regulations and taxes may not make the economy safer. Rather, they may needlessly encumber and tax our financial institutions and drive financial business to unregulated Asia — and with it, our future prosperity.


Their theory is that greedy, insufficiently regulated bankers went money mad, making bad loans, gambling with their depositors' money and thereby destroyed not only their own banks but the nation's and the world's economy.


It's a simple and time-tested method: Characterize human actions as sins, and respond to sin with punishment. That is how the Spanish Inquisition dealt with heresy, and why primitive societies made human sacrifices to propitiate their gods. Unfortunately, such punishments didn't end free thinking or the droughts that the primitives thought were evidence of their sin against their gods. And punishing the human desire to acquire will not make us healthy, wealthy and wise.


There are other, more plausible theories of what caused the economic crisis. Larry Summers, now the president's top economic adviser, gave a brilliant speech in Mumbai in March 2006 in which he pointed out that the account imbalances in the world — caused by China's and other's excess savings being loaned to the U.S., and not corrected by letting exchange rates find their natural levels, and the U.S.'s lack of savings and excessive borrowing — would cause severe recession in the near future.


This trade and capital imbalance problem, many experts believe, was compounded by the Federal Reserve policy of keeping interests rates too low too long after Sept. 11. Between those two phenomena, America was awash in a sea of cheap money that resulted in asset bubbles, excessive debt and the inevitable petty corruptions that attend bubbles. Add to these ill-considered government policies the congressional bipartisan pressure on banks to make bad subprime loans, and you may be approaching a better explanation for what caused the crisis.


Three quarters of a century on, serious economists are still vigorously debating the causes for the Great Depression and its persistence. Wouldn't it be wise to spend at least a few months trying to find out the real causes of our current economic crisis before committing major surgery on a financial system that has over the last century permitted the United States to become the greatest economic engine in human history?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. Comment by clicking here.

© 2010, Creators Syndicate

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