Economic Outlook: Stop Congress from Giving Away Your Money

By Richard Hylton
Thursday September 25, 2008 - 09:51:00 AM

In the latest example of privatizing profit and nationalizing risk, the Bush administration has proposed bailing out Wall Street’s investment houses, hedge funds, and all the commercial banks by giving away $700 billion of taxpayers’ money. The total cost of the ad hoc bailout of financiers may eventually exceed $1 trillion. And the administration’s Treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, says we must give him the power to use this $700 billion any way he sees fit. And, by the way, Congress has to give it to him right now! -more-

Dispatches From The Edge: Dangerous Crises in South Asia

By Conn Hallinan
Thursday September 25, 2008 - 09:52:00 AM

If most Americans think Iran and Georgia are the two most volatile flashpoints in the world, one can hardly blame them. The possibility that the Bush administration might strike at Teheran’s nuclear facilities has been hinted about for the past two years, and the White House’s pronouncements on Russia seem like Cold War déjà vu. -more-

Undercurrents: On the Army Base Conversion, Oakland Should Pass on Tagami

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 25, 2008 - 09:53:00 AM

A little over a year from now, Oakland city staff will recommend—and the Oakland City Council will thereafter make a decision on—the master developer for one of Oakland’s largest and most important development projects in decades: the 108-acre Gateway Project on the old Oakland Army Base. -more-

Green Neighbors: In Praise of the Black Phoebe

By Joe Eaton
Thursday September 25, 2008 - 11:56:00 AM
A black phoebe near its nest at Tilden Regional Park's Little Farm.

The black phoebe is an admirable bird in many ways. What I appreciate most about it is its identifiability. No other California bird is anything like it: small, black with a white belly, short crest, upright posture. This is remarkable in a member of the tyrant flycatcher family, many of whose species are cryptic in the extreme. -more-

About the House: How Much Wire Do You Really Need?

By Matt Cantor
Thursday September 25, 2008 - 11:12:00 AM

I confess to some iconoclastic tendencies. I’m probably more geek than rebel but I certainly don’t like to run with the pack. One way in which this is true is that I’m a big fan of antique wiring. It might seem obvious that very old wiring systems are inherently dangerous but it ain’t necessarily the case. Some of these are in great shape and can serve your need handsomely and some are either inherently inadequate by design or have been ruined by any of the armies of despoilers that roam the country. -more-