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Choosing the Heads of the IMF and World Bank

Dec 18th, 2015 | By | Category: Features, Front Page

Dec 18, 2015 The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) are two major components of the international financial system. They were established at the end of World War II, with differing objectives. The IMF was meant to provide short-term loans to member countries that found themselves in balance-of-payments crises—typically situations where countries were running short of foreign-exchange reserves to finance imports of necessary goods. The WB’s original mission was to provide financing for the reconstruction of Western Europe; but this goal being quickly met, the attention of the WB turned to issues of the developing world, viz.[Read more...]

Homer Ponders New Rules for the GOP Debates

Nov 2nd, 2015 | By | Category: Features, Front Page

  Editor’s note: Homer is the author’s alter ego or fantasy nemesis or a distant relative.  We are not sure. He couldn’t believe it. Homer was watching the third GOP candidates’ debate, and was shocked to see the CNBC moderators ask the presidential contenders one “gotcha” question after another. Did they have no respect for the distinguished people standing at their podiums? Trump, Carson, Bush, Rubio—no one was spared the ignominy of having to answer questions that were clearly meant to embarrass them. Why, oh why, couldn’t CNBC have trotted out a more respectable lineup of questioners? Ted Cruz suggested[Read more...]

Another Case of Regulations Strangling Entrepreneurship in Pennsylvania? Homer Investigates

Oct 17th, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page, News

  Where’s the damn outrage, said Homer to the crack staff of EJ in a recent interview. Homer was talking about a case brought against Chaka Fattah Jr, the son of a Philadelphia congressman, who himself is being investigated by the FBI on corruption charges, Where to begin, said Homer heavily, as the EJ staff nodded sympathetically. They had heard about the heavy hand of regulations being brought to bear against this noble father-son duo who, after all, were engaging in their God-given right to pursue life, liberty and happiness (and a little bit of extra cash.) According to media[Read more...]

Dream Team for 2016

Jul 25th, 2015 | By | Category: Features, Lead Article

Noted diplomat Dennis Rodman is not content to rest on laurels. You may recall that last year, he single-handedly undertook a dangerous mission to North Korea where, through a game-theoretic strategy involving high-stakes basketball, he managed to disarm the Little Dictator and make the United States North Korea’s BFF. Upon his return to America, he was rewarded by the media with glowing testimonials to his courage, statesmanship, and choice of nose rings. And now, Rodman has outdone himself! He has managed to bring order to what was increasingly becoming an unruly fight for the Republican presidential nomination. He has come[Read more...]

The Year of Living Dangerous

Jan 19th, 2015 | By | Category: Front Page, News

A recent mis-spelling of Adolf in the Bonhoeffer article (Jan. 17) is perhaps the first instance of a slip-up by the crack staff of EJ which has otherwise built up an enviable reputation for scrupulous attention to language. Words, sentences, paragraphs are all scrutinized keenly before they are approved for public release. No complaints have ever been made about incorrect, or even injudicious, usage in the newspaper—such has been the tenacity with which the EJ editors have guarded the English language. These strenuous efforts are being made by the EJ editors in the face of increasing laxity in the outside[Read more...]

EJ Editor, concerned about income inequality, charges special rate for speaking at college

Nov 28th, 2014 | By | Category: Features, Front Page

Hillary Clinton has been taking flak over her speaker fees. For a recent speech given at UCLA, Clinton earned $300,000, which, she said, was a special rate for universities (1). But more details have now emerged about her requirements for the appearance—the style and color of the executive armchairs she would be sitting in, choice of beverages in the green room, a scanner that the university had to go out and buy (who uses a stand-alone scanner these days?) But these details do not come as a surprise to Homer, who recently invited the executive editor of EJ to give[Read more...]

Falling crime rates, but more justifiable homicide by police

Nov 13th, 2014 | By | Category: Features, Front Page

  First, the good news. Violent crime is falling. The estimated number of violent crimes in 2013 was 4.4 percent lower than in 2012. The estimated number of property crimes also fell, by 4.1 percent. (FBI Crime Statistics for 2013) But the news on justifiable homicide by police, defined as killing of a felon by a law enforcement officer in the line of duty, is more troubling. In 2013, there were 461 such deaths, up from 397 in 2010. (FBI Crime in the United States 2013)     Justifiable Homicide by Weapon, Law Enforcement 2009–2013 Year Total 2009 414 2010[Read more...]

Justices behaving badly (Commentary)

Nov 11th, 2014 | By | Category: Front Page, News

What’s up with Pennsylvania’s judges? They seem to be trying to outdo each other in avarice, venality, and sheer idiocy. First, untrammeled greed and the case of privatized prisons. In 2009, a county judge was sentenced to 28 years in jail for sending hundreds of juveniles to prison for minor indiscretions and pocketing cash from the for-profit detention centers. He had also received cash from the builder of the facilities. But the real tragedy is the blighted lives of the youngsters who spent years in jail and then found it difficult to re-enter society. Transferring prisons to the private sector[Read more...]

A Model for Lancaster County (Commentary)

Nov 7th, 2014 | By | Category: Features, Front Page

Visit the website of the Richmond Standard and you will see it is devoted to community-driven news. It says so on the top of the page (1). Richmond, a small city near San Francisco, is blessed to have a newspaper covering issues of local interest. But the Richmond Standard is not an ordinary newspaper. It is funded by oil giant Chevron, a fact made clear on the website. In fact, a tab on the navigation menu takes you to a page dealing solely with Chevron. A recent article dealt with how a local Chevron project was being unfairly covered in[Read more...]

Commentary: Prayer and its Discontents

May 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Features, Lead Article

Can a town board start a session with a prayer? Even one that is distinctly sectarian and delivered by a person belonging to just one particular faith? In a recent 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court said yes.(NYT, May 6, 2014). The majority argued that such prayers reflect tradition—they are, said Justice Kennedy, “long part of the nation’s heritage.” Look at Congress. Both the House and Senate employ chaplains who offer prayers at the beginning of each session. Justices in the minority argued that legislative sessions are different from town board meetings, since the latter includes members of the public who[Read more...]