THE BUBBLE

Thanks to Greg Lawton for this recent story from the Philadelphia Inquirer. Snippet:

. . .what has been knocking Jon Orens for a loop is the intensity of the housing demand. ‘No model, no pictures, just floor plans and a quick tour of a windowless building piled with bird poop, and we end up selling 123 of the 144 units at $350 to $400 a square foot,’ Orens said.

‘We keep raising the prices to discourage investors, but they keep coming,’ he said. ‘An investor looks for three things: rent to cover the mortgage, appreciation, and depreciation. When we tell them that the rent won’t cover the mortgage, they tell us that two out of three isn’t bad.’

GNUCASH.ORG

Paul Rightley: ‘You used my message Friday but included the wrong URL for gnucash. Being a part of the free software world (that is free as in speech, not as in beer), the correct URL is www.gnucash.org since it is not out to make money (just keep track of it). Unfortunately among many there is a perception that free software must be inferior to software that you must pay for. In many cases this is not correct.’

☞ But this is not for amateurs (like me). I couldn’t even tell whether it would run on a Windows PC. That wasn’t one of the Frequently Asked Questions.

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE – YOUR ANSWERS

Dan Schaeffer: ‘Oh! I know what’s different about that family! The parents have been together for more than 20 years! That’s so unusual these days!’

Tom Reingold: ‘I live in the Maplewood, South Orange area of New Jersey. We have so many gay couples raising children here that it is no longer an eyebrow raiser. I am still very heartened, but my kids are so used to it that they ask me why I make note of it at all. It’s just a part of the landscape for them, and I’m happy about that. And I’m not gay.’

Ann Hartzell: ‘Thanks for the great day brightener – loved those pictures of such a happy family. What is the deal with this country, anyway? OK – just one voice from Savannah saying ‘right on.”

Chip Ellis (age 43): ‘Seeing how happy Laurent, Joe and the kids look and the fabulous trips they have taken, I have one question — Do they want to adopt me?’

FORTUNATELY, OUR GOD IS BIGGER THAN THEIR GOD

You might think a religious war is exactly what we should all want to avoid. It didn’t work well in the Twelfth Century, and it may have even more terrible consequences today. In case you missed this editorial in Saturday’s New York Times:

Separation of Church and Air Force

Whatever is ailing the Air Force Academy, and the academy has had its share of ailments over the years, campus pressure on cadets to adopt a particular set of religious beliefs will not cure it. Last year, academy officials promised to do something about widespread complaints of unconstitutional proselytizing of academy students by evangelists whose efforts were blessed by authority figures in the chain of command. An authorized investigation by the Yale Divinity School and local news reports documented numerous instances of pressure on cadets to adopt Christian beliefs and practices. Such pressure came from dozens of faculty members and chaplains, and even the football coach, with his “Team Jesus Christ” banner.

One chaplain instructed 600 cadets to warn their comrades who had not been born again that “the fires of hell” were waiting. Pressure to view “The Passion of the Christ” was reported, extending to “official” invitations at every cadet’s seat in the dining hall. Nonevangelicals complained of bias in the granting of cadet privileges and of hazing by upper-class superiors, who made those who declined to attend chapel march in “heathen flights.”

The cure for this blatant abuse of God and country should be obvious. But it turns out that the academy’s remedial program of religious toleration is running into resistance. The Air Force’s chief chaplain expressed displeasure at the object lessons dramatized in a multidenominational educational videotape. “Why is it that the Christians never win?” the chief, Maj. Gen. Charles Baldwin, demanded to know after watching the give-and-take of instructional encounters. General Baldwin had segments cut out on such non-Christian religions as Buddhism, Judaism and Native American spirituality.

Capt. MeLinda Morton, a campus chaplain charged with helping to fix the problem, was thoroughly disheartened by the response. She warned that the altered video program would do little to cure what remained “systemic and pervasive” proselytizing. The captain, a Lutheran minister, was removed last week as executive officer of the chaplain office.

Right now, it is hard to believe that there can be true reform from within. It is time for the higher chain of command to deproselytize this institution of national defense.

Tomorrow: What’s Wrong with These Nobel Laureates?

 

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