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Daily Digest - Feb 6

Thursday, February 5, 2009, 9:37 PM
  • It's Not Going to Be OK (Hat Tip CM) 
  • Toyota shuts down all but one assembly line (Hat Tip PineCarr & CM)
  • US credit card delinquencies at record high 
  • Bonus Babies: The Big Tarp Recipients and their Booty (Table)
  • Neel Kashkari on the Market Crisis & Asset Relief, FORA.tv
  • Unemployment Chart
  • New jobless claims jump more than expected to 626K (Hat Tip WendyT)
  • New Home Sales and Recessions (Chart)
  • Existing Home Inventory, Monthly (Chart)
  • Citigroup Hides Mystery Meat in Balance Sheet (Hat Tip CM)
  • Lawmaker says SEC hindering House's Madoff probe (Hat Tip CM) 
  • Depletion and Abundance (Hat Tip Christopher Peters) 
  • Madoff House Hearings (Video)
  • Counties threaten tax revolt against Calif. budget (Hat Tip CM) 
  • Comptroller: Illinois facing a $9 billion deficit (Hat Tip CM)  

Economy 

It's Not Going to Be OK (Hat Tip CM) 

"The puzzle to me is the lack of social unrest," Wolin said when I asked why we have not yet seen rioting or protests. He said he worried that popular protests will be dismissed and ignored by the corporate media. ... "Every day we hear how much longer the recession will continue. They are already talking about beyond next year. The economic difficulties are more profound than we had guessed and because of globalization more difficult to deal with. I wish the political establishment, the parties and leadership, would become more aware of the depths of the problem. They can't keep throwing money at this. They have to begin structural changes that involve a very different approach from a market economy. I don't think this will happen." 

Toyota shuts down all but one assembly line (Hat Tip PineCarr & CM) 

TOYOTA CITY, Japan (CNN) -- On what was to be a historic day halting all of Toyota's Japanese assembly lines, the automaker announced late Thursday that it kept one line running. 

The late news sent copy editors and reporters to their laptops erasing headlines like "historic shutdown," but it did little to quell the pain for the tens of the thousands of workers idled across Japan as nearly every Toyota line stopped producing autos and auto-related equipment.

US credit card delinquencies at record high 

US credit card delinquencies hit a record high in January, and further deterioration is likely as the economy slows down and unemployment rises, Fitch Ratings says. 

Payments at least 60 days late rose almost half a percentage point last month to a record 3.75 per cent, said Fitch. Credit card lenders also wrote off loans to delinquent borrowers at close to record levels, and such "charge-offs" were expected to breach records in the coming months.

Bonus Babies: The Big Tarp Recipients and their Booty (Table)

Neel Kashkari on the Market Crisis & Asset Relief, FORA.tv

Unemployment Chart

New jobless claims jump more than expected to 626K (Hat Tip WendyT) 

In an already dismal labor market, and there's no relief in sight for workers as mass layoffs persist. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of newly jobless workers seeking benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 626,000, from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 591,000. The latest total is far more than analysts' expectations of 583,000. 

That's also the highest since October 1982, when the economy was in a steep recession, though the work force has grown by about half since then.

The numbers reflect the large spate of layoffs announced last month by companies from all sectors of the economy, including Caterpillar Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The layoffs continued Thursday with cosmetics maker Estee Lauder Cos. saying its fiscal second-quarter profit fell 30 percent and it plans to begin a four-year restructuring plan that will include cutting 2,000 staffers, or 6 percent of the work force. The company will also continue its hiring freeze.

Economists expect the government to issue a grim report Friday that will show the unemployment rate rose to 7.5 percent in January, up from 7.2 percent in December. That would be the highest rate in 17 years.

New Home Sales and Recessions (Chart)

Existing Home Inventory, Monthly (Chart)

Citigroup Hides Mystery Meat in Balance Sheet (Hat Tip CM) 

Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Even now, Citigroup Inc.'s bosses can't get over their delusions of grandeur. 

You can see their shiny optimism in a $44 billion balance-sheet item called deferred-tax assets, which is a fancy term for pent-up losses that the bank hopes to use later to cut its tax bills.

That figure tells you Citigroup's executives, in spite of their bank's near-collapse, are still forecasting future profits as far as the eye can see. They have every incentive to do this, too. If they ever turned pessimistic, the assets might go poof.

While you won't find any mention of deferred taxes in Citigroup's latest earnings release, this may be the most important asset on the bank's books today. It also looks the fishiest, at more than three times what it was a year ago, and more than double the company's $19 billion stock-market value.

Lawmaker says SEC hindering House's Madoff probe (Hat Tio CM) 

House lawmakers on Wednesday accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of impeding their probe into the agency's failure to uncover the alleged $50 billion Bernard Madoff fraud. 

The clash between lawmakers and high-ranking SEC officials at a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing came after the man who waged a decade-long campaign to alert the regulators to problems in Madoff's operations denounced the agency for its inaction. Whistleblower Harry Markopolos also said he had feared for his physical safety and would turn over new evidence that Madoff had not acted alone.

In loud, angry exchanges, lawmakers threatened to issue subpoenas to SEC officials to compel their testimony in the case.

Depletion and Abundance (Hat Tip Christopher Peters) 

Depletion and Abundance are just two sides of the same coin. We're no longer speaking of the future when we talk about climate change and peak oil. So now the project is to accept depletion, and still find a good and abundant way of life, not just for ourselves, but for those who will come after us. We can do this - it is one heck of a challenge, but we have to find a way, so we will. That's what this site is for - finding a way forward. 

Madoff House Hearings (Video)

Counties threaten tax revolt against Calif. budget (Hat Tip CM) 

SACRAMENTO - California counties are throwing another wrinkle into the state's cash crisis as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders try to agree on a way to erase a $42 billion budget deficit. 

Several counties are considering some form of tax revolt - either filing lawsuits or delaying tax payments to the state - because the governor has proposed withholding payments to them for as long as seven months in a move to preserve cash.

Comptroller: Illinois facing a $9 billion deficit (Hat Tip CM) 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Newly installed Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn met with the state's chief fiscal officer this morning and got a sobering welcome: Illinois will be looking at a $9 billion deficit by mid-year if nothing changes.

"The bottom has dropped out," state Comptroller Dan Hynes told reporters in the Statehouse today, restating what he'd earlier told Quinn during their meeting.

Hynes said the latest calculations show Illinois' current budget deficit is between $4 and $5 billion, and will hit a record $9 billion during the next fiscal year if nothing is done. As much as $3 billion of that could be recouped through the pending federal stimulus package, but even at that, the state will be paying its bills late or not at all without either drastically reduced spending or increased revenue.

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26 Comments

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

955519535_597e1ded9d.jpg

Dr. John's picture
Dr. John
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

Davos,

Thank you for your work on the Daily Digest.  A job well done!

Dr. John

Davos's picture
Davos
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

Hello Dr. John:

It is a pleasure to contribute to this fine community of Chris's, takes me but 2 seconds to do. Take care 

scotthw's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

What really intrigues me is where you come up with all those uproarious pics - love em!

Trad's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

The world is changing in a BIG way. I wonder what waits on the other side? I wonder how many will see the other side?

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bikemonkey
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

From my perpective, things are accelerating this week.  I'm hearing more public backlash spoken out loud daily over the 'stimulus' and the 'rescue'.

Last month, suddenly everyone was showing up to work on time.  This month, people are showing up early. 

Trad's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

And everyone is being Sooooooo Nice lately. Almost tripping over themselves to help.

Goal Digger's picture
Goal Digger
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

"The puzzle to me is the lack of social unrest," Wolin said when I asked why we have not yet seen rioting or protests.

This puzzles me too.  The apathy is astounding.  I'm not sure whether people just don't get it, or they don't know what to do.  I put 6, 9, and 12 month financial planning on the agenda for monthly meetings with my partners and they look at me like I'm crazy.  I'm single with no kids.  They are all married with multiple kids and they ask me why I'm worried about the economy, or the survival of our firm.  WHY AREN'T THEY WORRIED THEMSELVES?!?!  I have one mouth to feed.  Mine!

Perhaps another couple months of 600,000 jobs lost and the arrival of Spring will result in some movement by the masses as they awaken from their Winter hibernation.  I fear its too late as I watch "our" Senate discuss a "compromise" "stimulus" bill.

Davos's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=adnIDRZKZQJw&refer=us

 Agreement Reached on Economic Stimulus, Senators Say 

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

 http://www.salon.com/wires/ap/business/2009/02/06/D966FN101_bank_closures/index.html

Quote:

Feb 6th, 2009 | WASHINGTON -- Regulators on Friday closed FirstBank Financial Services in Georgia and two California banks, Alliance Bank and County Bank, marking nine failures this year of federally insured institutions.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed receiver of the three banks. FirstBank Financial, based in McDonough, Ga., had $337 million in assets and $279 million in deposits as of Dec. 31. Alliance Bank, based in Culver City, Calif., had about $1.14 billion in assets and $951 million in deposits as of year's end. Merced, Calif.-based County Bank had around $1.7 billion in assets and $1.3 billion in deposits as of Feb. 2.

Twenty-five U.S. banks failed last year, far more than in the previous five years combined. The six failures announced in the last two weeks are double the total for all of 2007.

mred's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

Some might want to check out this amusing and interesting video:

Daniel Kahneman & Nassim Nicholas Taleb: A Conversation in Munich

Some vintage Taleb at the end hacking away mercilessly at the bankers, business schools, government... the works. With some nice topics: the human innate ability for self-deception and the emperor with no clothes embodied in modern economics/finance. 

CB's picture
CB
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/100/story/61606.html  

Will Ukraine follow Iceland into financial meltdown?

Quote:

While no one predicts an immediate default, the numbers are alarming. The national currency plunged 59 percent against the dollar during the past six months. A new gas contract negotiated with Russia last month will end subsidies and expose Ukraine to far higher gas prices.

Credit lines have dried up and steel prices are half what they were. Steel production in Ukraine fell some 13.4 percent last year, the biggest amount of any large global supplier.

"Ukraine has been virtually shut out of the international capital markets," said Pingfan Hong, the chief of global economic monitoring in the U.N. department that produced the January report.

"The economic outlook has further deteriorated recently . . . risks of a deeper recession in 2009 have increased," Hong said in an e-mail to McClatchy.

In the third quarter of last year, Ukraine's imports of goods and services totaled $29.4 billion, according to official statistics. Foreign currency reserves at the end of the quarter were $31.9 billion, dangerously close to not being able to pay for those three months of imports, a redline minimum for a nation's economy.

Ukraine's dwindling currency reserves — less than one-tenth of Russia's — are mixed in a toxic cocktail of soaring debt. Ukraine's gross external debt, from government and private sectors, was about $29 billion in late 2004. By last year, it skyrocketed to $105.4 billion. Much of that increase came from Ukraine's banks, whose debt increased more than 17-fold during those four years, from about $2.4 billion to more than $42 billion, roughly $10 billion more than the national reserves.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6
Goal Digger wrote:

"The puzzle to me is the lack of social unrest," Wolin said when I asked why we have not yet seen rioting or protests.

This puzzles me too.  The apathy is astounding.  I'm not sure whether people just don't get it, or they don't know what to do.  I put 6, 9, and 12 month financial planning on the agenda for monthly meetings with my partners and they look at me like I'm crazy.  I'm single with no kids.  They are all married with multiple kids and they ask me why I'm worried about the economy, or the survival of our firm.  WHY AREN'T THEY WORRIED THEMSELVES?!?!  I have one mouth to feed.  Mine!

Perhaps another couple months of 600,000 jobs lost and the arrival of Spring will result in some movement by the masses as they awaken from their Winter hibernation.  I fear its too late as I watch "our" Senate discuss a "compromise" "stimulus" bill.

 

What you have to understand is how infantilized the American public have become. It's just like a child. Taking away our "toys" are the only things that will make us cry. We can lose our jobs, our houses, and everything else, but if we can still watch "American Idol" and the NBA and The Super Bowl, people will be complacent. As long as there is porn on the internet and John Stewart on Comedy Central, people will basically be complacent, even if they've been relegated to living in their parents basements. 

 I say, when entertainment and sports starts being hit in a big way,  then you'll see it. When some Major League Baseball teams have to go out of business and movie studios and famous people start going broke, then you'll see it, because it will snap us out of this bubble that we live in where we have routines and watch the shows that we watch weekly and drink a beer while watching the game. When our favorite distractions are no longer options, that is when the "sh_t hits the fan"

Steve in Ohio's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

What you have to understand is how infantilized the American public
have become. It's just like a child. Taking away our "toys" are the
only things that will make us cry. We can lose our jobs, our houses,
and everything else, but if we can still watch "American Idol" and the
NBA and The Super Bowl, people will be complacent. As long as there is
porn on the internet and John Stewart on Comedy Central, people will
basically be complacent, even if they've been relegated to living in
their parents basements. 

 

Dead spot on, TBD. Dead spot on.

 

And if you want to know why they are that way...It's because that is what spending 12-16 years in a government school produces.They can't think critically, they are waiting for Teacher to tell them what to do. And right now, the "Teacher" (the government and the mainstream media) are telling them "Nothing to see here, move along!" even though the economic train wreck is as plain as the nose on their face.

 

Fogle's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6
The_Black_Death wrote:
Goal Digger wrote:

"The puzzle to me is the lack of social unrest," Wolin said when I asked why we have not yet seen rioting or protests.

This puzzles me too.  The apathy is astounding.  I'm not sure whether people just don't get it, or they don't know what to do.  I put 6, 9, and 12 month financial planning on the agenda for monthly meetings with my partners and they look at me like I'm crazy.  I'm single with no kids.  They are all married with multiple kids and they ask me why I'm worried about the economy, or the survival of our firm.  WHY AREN'T THEY WORRIED THEMSELVES?!?!  I have one mouth to feed.  Mine!

Perhaps another couple months of 600,000 jobs lost and the arrival of Spring will result in some movement by the masses as they awaken from their Winter hibernation.  I fear its too late as I watch "our" Senate discuss a "compromise" "stimulus" bill.

 

What you have to understand is how infantilized the American public have become. It's just like a child. Taking away our "toys" are the only things that will make us cry. We can lose our jobs, our houses, and everything else, but if we can still watch "American Idol" and the NBA and The Super Bowl, people will be complacent. As long as there is porn on the internet and John Stewart on Comedy Central, people will basically be complacent, even if they've been relegated to living in their parents basements. 

I say, when entertainment and sports starts being hit in a big way,  then you'll see it. When some Major League Baseball teams have to go out of business and movie studios and famous people start going broke, then you'll see it, because it will snap us out of this bubble that we live in where we have routines and watch the shows that we watch weekly and drink a beer while watching the game. When our favorite distractions are no longer options, that is when the "sh_t hits the fan"

 

And when the foodsuply gets disrupted. 

Some one here on this site once said: "civil unrest is just three meals away". Hunry people, who normaly never experience real hunger, are a big threat to social order, i.e. unrest, demonstations or revolution.

But aslong the people get their bread and games, all will be "fine".

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6
smbohn wrote:

What you have to understand is how infantilized the American public have become. It's just like a child. Taking away our "toys" are the only things that will make us cry. We can lose our jobs, our houses, and everything else, but if we can still watch "American Idol" and the NBA and The Super Bowl, people will be complacent. As long as there is porn on the internet and John Stewart on Comedy Central, people will basically be complacent, even if they've been relegated to living in their parents basements. 

 

Dead spot on, TBD. Dead spot on.

 

And if you want to know why they are that way...It's because that is what spending 12-16 years in a government school produces.They can't think critically, they are waiting for Teacher to tell them what to do. And right now, the "Teacher" (the government and the mainstream media) are telling them "Nothing to see here, move along!" even though the economic train wreck is as plain as the nose on their face.

 

Since most of us went to government schools, I'm not sure if the insult is to be taken personally, broadly, or with a huge grain of salt. Glittering generalities are probably something commenters rely on to sound intelligent without necessarily sounding knowledgeable. It's how right-wing talk radio works. The irony, is that the unthinking amens to this post exemplify the very thing the poster was denouncing: group think.Yep, it happens out there, and it happens in here. Funny how that all works. 

eb_riesling's picture
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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

The black death,

 I second the motion.  The apathy of the general public is astounding. 

I have attempted to pass along the words of wisdom from our fearless leader to a wide range of my friends, family and business associates.  1 in 20 see the impending doom and try to take evasive action and change their life and financial strategies.  The rest are a mixed bag ranging from outright denial to eternal hope.  They want to believe in some kind of techno solution that will allow our boundless economy to keep growing within a finite system.  They all confuse technology with energy and can not see the problem with a debt based fiat currency system constrained and amplified by a deminished EROEI on every depleting barrel of oil.  They can't wrap their collective heads around the dichotomy of cup of coffee costing more than a cup of gasoline and the fact that such a system must ultimately fail. They struggle to cope with a mind exercise that merely equates gasoline to coffee on a per cup basis i.e. $15/gal at this point they typically do not want to play it anymore. 

 It is not unlike the movie the matrix, some people would rather live in a fantasy than face reality.

 

E

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

I, too, have been wondering what it will take to penetrate the collective consciousness of the American people.  While I agree that some/much of the problem is apathy, poor education, etc., I have found that there are many well educated people who possess decent deductive reasoning capabilities who still are unable to fathom the possibility that all of "this" could just fall apart.  I believe that part of the problem stems from skills learned at a basic level -- it is reasonable to assume that things will continue to work as they always have.  The sun comes up in the morning, grocery stores have food when we go there, dollars come out of the ATM when we want them, whatever.  The Kondratieff cycle is unfortunately just long enough that anyone who learned those lessons has died and several generations have experienced nothing but springs, summers, and falls.  The generations with the most life experience and who are our leaders of state and industry are in this respect the ones least likely to guide us successfully through the comming troubles since they are drawing from a lifetime of experiences which potentially have nothing to offer for the future.  Plus, every time in the last 10,20,30 years that anyone has uttered the phrase "its different this time" it has turned out to be exactly the same.  Add to that the problem that we live in a culture that prizes conformity above all else and punishes unusual or abberant behavior, andbreaking free from the "conventional wisdom" becomes that much more difficult.  Also it seems that we as a people have an extremely unreasonable level of confidence in our national leaders who seem hellbent on taking advantage of that situation for as long as possible, but this is another issue entirely.  As a parent of young children, I am quite discouraged.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

One friend's comment after discussing current economic crisis and where things are very likely headed:

"I don't really like to talk about it...it's like hearing there's no Santa Claus."

Too many people I know are just too afraid to discuss or think about what's going because it makes it more real, and the illusion is much more comforting. 

Too bad it takes a tragedy to wake people up.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

Since most of us went to government schools, I'm not sure if the insult is to be taken personally, broadly, or with a huge grain of salt. Glittering generalities are probably something commenters rely on to sound intelligent without necessarily sounding knowledgeable. It's how right-wing talk radio works. The irony, is that the unthinking amens to this post exemplify the very thing the poster was denouncing: group think.Yep, it happens out there, and it happens in here. Funny how that all works.

azzenstudent, it depends a lot on when you obtained your government education, the degree to which your family took control of your intellectual upbringing, and also if you have taken control of your intellectual development since you became an adult. That is what determines if you have the critical thinking skills and the intellectual honesty to search for the truth or if you sit on the sofa and take what gets spoon fed to you by the mainstream media.

 

The "insult" is aimed at the NEA and the larger government school institution.

 

But by the way... I rely on my comments to sound intelligent, not propagandized arguments or ad hominem attacks such as yours.
You wouldn't happen to be a government school teacher, would you?

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6
smbohn wrote:

azzenstudent, it depends a lot on when you obtained your government education, the degree to which your family took control of your intellectual upbringing, and also if you have taken control of your intellectual development since you became an adult. That is what determines if you have the critical thinking skills and the intellectual honesty to search for the truth or if you sit on the sofa and take what gets spoon fed to you by the mainstream media.

 

The "insult" is aimed at the NEA and the larger government school institution.

 

But by the way... I rely on my comments to sound intelligent, not propagandized arguments or ad hominem attacks such as yours. You wouldn't happen to be a government school teacher, would you?

It's a rather odd formulation - "the degree to which your family took control of your intellectual upbringing" - that you use to denigrate public-schools. I know people who actively coerce ideological conformity in their children and they do so by sending them to church schools, or charter schools. In case you missed it, there's a whole lot of that stuff going on now.

Here's a litmus test: do you think public schools should teach evolution or do you think that they should obey the will of the majority and teach some kind of mush with Creationism at its core?

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

I'm in between azzenstudent and smbohn.  Federal money really shouldn't go to schools that don't accept all kids.  In my state, Charters operate exactly like regular schools (lottery driven) except only 50% have to be certified teachers and they get about 80% funding and no buses.  At the same time I see some very strange ideas in the NEA that don't help teaches in the long run (they really don't advocate for new teachers or for students).

I'll be applying for licensure this week but I don't think I would want to work in our public school system.  Currently our system (in my city and state) is driven by a state wide standard taken from national organization (NCTM) that are very "fuzzy math" and "whole language" reading influenced.  Thus our standards drive the creation of the tests which in turn drive how we choose our curriculum.  Let's just say it is not very intensive education.  Don't get me wrong I'm not a drill and kill person, but there is a place and time for educational games and activities and that time is not at the beginning of learning a skill or concept but when applying the learned skill or concept.

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6
Aurum Vir wrote:

One friend's comment after discussing current economic crisis and where things are very likely headed:

"I don't really like to talk about it...it's like hearing there's no Santa Claus."

Too many people I know are just too afraid to discuss or think about what's going because it makes it more real, and the illusion is much more comforting.

Too bad it takes a tragedy to wake people up.

Too bad you can't save everybody either......

That's the conclusion I have come to.  Save those who are willing to be saved, the others will just be the cannon fodder for collapse.  After all, we often discuss population 'control', well this is one way a lot of people will disappear off the face of the planet I'm afraid......  and I too have friends who can't be saved.  Concentrate on thos that will act.

Mike 

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

Mike,

that was the toughest reality I came to and it isn't pretty. I've found people want choices. Since there is only one reality and it isn't the one that they want to hear, their choice becomes no choice. Simple logic over the illogical, but very very sad - Life...

Paul

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

I'm not sure if I agree or disagree with government schools, I attended government schools from K-University in a blue collar middle class neighborhood and attended a state run commuter university in Milwaukee.

But I'm keenly aware of this nations and the global economic downfall, and surprised at the lack of outrage as to what our so-called leaders and corporate nitwits are getting away with.

Then again most people I went to school are alseep at the switch.

But I'd have to argue that even people I know who had a private K-Uni. education are just as clueless.

Until we abolish the 'private' Fed Bank and reconsider our fiat currency, nothing will change.

But I try to be optimistic.... well I'm trying! :)

 

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Re: Daily Digest - Feb 6

I was halfway through a public university degree before I finally "got" critical thinking as a skill, and I was consider a gifted student throughout my public school career.

At one point, shortly before I got pregnant for the first time, I went about two-thirds of the way through a teacher credentialling program. I was looking for a post-journalism career in which I felt I could make a difference. I left the program after realizing that I would never be able to teach in a public school setting in in the manner that I believed maximized students' creativity, curiosity, intellectual development and self-motivation. (And the only private schools in my area were religiously driven. I do think there are better options for group education out there, but they are rare. And my personal ideal is a Sudbury Free School model, which I don't expect would appeal to many parents at all.)

 More than half of our classroom discussions in that credentialling program were focused on behavior management issues (and a good portion of the rest centered around testing and evaluation and the need to meet standards) and it was clear to me teaching was about keeping 30 children in their desks and quietly attending to the lesson. I applaud John Taylor Gatto (a NYC public school teacher who won teacher of the year both for the city and the state) for speaking out so forcefully on the failed evolution of public schooling in this country, though he is not the only educator to speak out against the system and its shortfalls.

fwiw,

Sue

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