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Feb 11, 2012

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH: What's crazier than creationism and gold? It's in your wallet

What's crazier than creationism and gold? It's in your wallet

5:32p PT Saturday, February 11, 2012
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
Lawrence Summers, former U.S. treasury secretary and president of Harvard, is reported to have remarked the other day that "the gold standard is the creationism of economics":

Of course Summers meant the worst sort of disparagement, to liken gold standard advocates to religious crazies. And yet there are various creationisms and various gold standards.

What is called young earth creationism may have begun in 1650 with the Anglican bishop of Ireland, James Ussher, who famously calculated from his biblical research that God had created the universe in October 4004 B.C. Old earth creationism doesn't attempt to pinpoint the moment, arguing that the Creator's time frame is not man's and that His day as recounted in Genesis cannot be known to man. Old earth creationists may consider the issue settled by God's rebuke to Job: "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the Earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding." Despite their vast presumption to knowledge, even presidents of Harvard weren't around then.

 The historical gold standard pegged a currency to a fixed amount of gold and made the currency convertible. Essentially the money was gold and gold was the money, often with silver thrown in, though never at a very satisfactory ratio. Thus currency devaluations were obvious; there was no fudging them, as when the London Gold Pool, the gold price-rigging mechanism of the Western central banks throughout the 1960s, a coordinated and public scheme of gold reserve dishoarding meant to keep the value of the U.S. dollar at one 35th of an ounce of gold, collapsed in March 1968.
Then there is the more flexible sort of gold standard operating behind today's dollar, in which the U.S. government and the central banks of its allies undertake largely surreptitious gold sales, leases, swaps, and derivatives operations, essentially short sales of gold, to maintain the value of their currencies.
Gold trader, market analyst, and mining entrepreneur Jim Sinclair has been anticipating implementation of a gold standard without convertibility, what he calls a gold cover clause, in which the U.S. government would pledge to keep its money supply in a fixed ratio to its gold reserve. Of course such a mechanism might require of the U.S. government a lot more transparency with its gold reserve and international agreements, formal and informal, than it lately has permitted, the Federal Reserve in particular having recently been forced by GATA to acknowledge that its has many impossibly sensitive gold-related secrets:
And then there might be still another gold standard, a system in which currencies are simply always judged against each other in freely trading markets, much as was proposed by the Austrian school economist Friedrich Hayek in 1977. Gold inevitably would be one such currency, and given the world's traditional and renewed enthusiasm for it, probably the leading measure of all the rest. At least the many decades of Western central bank intervention in the gold market, both open and surreptitious, suggest that central banks know damned well what their primary competitor is.
Of course GATA may incline toward something like the latter gold standard, insofar as restoration of a traditional gold standard would have the government rather than the free market again determining the price of gold.

If all these gold standards are indeed crazy ideas, what can be said of the current international monetary system, in which only one country issues the world reserve currency, a boom-bust cycle is injected into most economies, the world is expropriated through the reserve currency-issuing country's chronic trade deficits, big and parasitic financial institutions are enriched and rescued by governments at the expense of the working class, and more and more government intervention is required to prevent markets from manifesting themselves and restoring some democracy and transparency to the planet?

Of course until very recently Summers himself was a primary architect of this system, and yet he presumes to mock both creationism and gold's monetary functions. Now that's crazy.

CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

NYT | Opinion Pages | Paul Krugman: The conscience of a Liberal

The New York Times

February 11, 2012,

Bubbles and Economic Potential

The ongoing discussions of economic policy and principles since the Great Recession struck have, I have to say, been a source of continuing revelation. Again and again one sees people with seemingly sterling credentials — Federal Reserve presidents, economists with Ph.D.s from good schools — propounding views that I thought were obvious fallacies, at least to anyone who had studied the subject a bit. And the hits just keep coming.

The latest, via Scott Sumner, is St. Louis Fed president James Bullard’s suggestion (pdf) that the bursting of the housing bubble has permanently reduced U.S. potential output:
A better interpretation of the behavior of U.S. real GDP over the last five years may be that the economy was disrupted by a permanent, one-time shock to wealth. In particular, the perceived value of U.S. real estate fell substantially with the 30 percent decline in housing prices after 2006. This shaved trillions of dollars off of the wealth of the nation. Since housing prices are not expected to rebound to the previous peak anytime soon, that wealth is simply gone for now. This has lowered consumption and output, and lower levels of production have caused a significant disruption in U.S. labor markets.
Wow. I often encounter the fallacy of confusing supply with demand, where people say, “spending was boosted by the bubble, so the GDP you see then was greater than potential”; this is a misunderstanding because potential GDP is a measure of how much the economy can produce, not of how much people want to spend. But Bullard goes even further, seeming to say that a drop in asset prices is itself a destruction of output capacity. What?
And yet we have David Andolfatto apparently endorsing this view, and Tyler Cowen at least expressing sympathy. What is going on?

OK, first things first. Capital gains are not counted in GDP. The direct effect of a bursting bubble on measured output is zero. Nor, by the way, is a fall in asset prices counted as a decline in the capital stock, which is in principle measured in physical terms. So what are these guys talking about?
Maybe the idea is that the burst bubble reduces demand, and hence leads to lower production. But at that point you’re into a Keynesian world of deficient demand, and you should be talking about ways to close the gap, not accepting it as a fact of life.

Let’s think this through. Imagine that you have a bunch of farmers, whose land is for some reason the object of a speculative bubble. So for a while farmland prices go through the roof. Then those prices slump. Why should this impair the ability of the farmers to keep growing corn? (OK, you can talk about possible impairment of credit channels and stuff, but again this should be something to focus on fixing, not a source of fatalism.)
And guess what — this isn’t a hypothetical example. Here’s the history of US farmland prices:
And here’s the history of US farm output during the 70s bubble and aftermath:
Do you see a permanent reduction in farm production when the bubble burst? I don’t.
By the way, if you’re wondering about that dip in 1983, it was about a terrible drought, which is the kind of thing that can reduce potential output.

Well, you might say, but farmers don’t buy a large fraction of farm output, whereas homeowners buy a large fraction of overall US output. Bzzzt! You’re talking demand-side economics again, and making, whether you know it or not, the case for monetary and fiscal stimulus.
At a basic level, this is all kind of terrifying. If top financial officials and credentialed economists can’t even avoid getting confused about the difference between asset prices and productive capacity, what hope is there for rational policy discussion?

RT News: News: UN resolution unlikely to change Russia and China’s minds on Syria


Today: 00:07

New UN resolution unlikely to change Russia and China’s minds on Syria

A week after vetoes from Russia and China put an end to a UN resolution on Syria its supporters are coming back with another draft.

Arab world protests Syria unrest

11.02, 23:37

Up in arms: Iraqis say radicals are smuggling weapons to Syrian opposition

Iraqi deputy interior minister Adnan al-Assadi told AFP that “weapons are being smuggled from Mosul through the Rabia crossing to Syria, as members of the same families live on both sides of the border.”

Syria unrest

11.02, 22:00 8 comments

Anti-ACTA day: Angry crowds take action (PHOTOS)

The world has witnessed an unprecedented day of protests against ACTA. Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered in dozens of cities around the globe to protect what is left of the freedom of expression on the internet.

11.02, 19:18 8 comments

Kim Jong (the) Un Dead

US officials have quashed reports that the new North Korean leader has been assassinated in China. The reports have recently sparked a social-network frenzy, but are nothing more than a hoax, according to those in the know.

11.02, 19:02 21 comments

Iran's inter-not: 'Nationwide web' on the way

It is not unusual for Middle Eastern countries to block certain websites that authorities feel pose a political or moral danger. Now, Iran has gone one step further and cut off an entire swathe of the internet.

11.02, 18:39

Euro-freeze zone: Extreme frost blankets Europe (PHOTOS)

Thick ice and heavy snow have locked the entire European continent, already claiming the lives of nearly 500 people. And while Europeans are struggling to warm themselves, frigid temperatures are showing no signs of rising in coming weeks.

11.02, 16:19 18 comments

Anonymous vows ‘crusade’ against Israel

Online collective Anonymous has pledged a “crusade” against Israel. Claiming the country is committing “crimes against humanity” and gearing for “nuclear holocaust”, the group promised a campaign against the Israeli government.

11.02, 15:14 41 comments

UK miss-isles: Argentina fears nukes on Falklands

Argentina’s foreign minister has accused the UK of deploying nuclear weapons near the disputed Falkland Islands, militarizing the South Atlantic.

11.02, 13:48 18 comments

Ron Paul for presidency? The view from NY

With the race for the White House well underway in the US, Lori “The Resident” Harfenist asks people in the Big Apple whether Ron Paul will become the Republican nominee.

US Election 2012

11.02, 13:36 23 comments

America’s front lines clash with bottom lines on obesity

In the US the obesity epidemic is growing. The Pentagon conciders it is a national security threat, as it finds it harder to source healthy recruits. But for some, making Americans fatter is a profitable business.

Globalist Controlled News Network Axes Show for Telling The Truth

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        Today's LIVE Streaming Expert Webcasts
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    Attend the eMoneyShow anytime between February 9-12, and you will be automatically entered to win
    the all-new Kindle Fire!

    Latest News from Naked Security: Latest Naked Security News From Experts at Sophos

    CIA website brought down - were Anonymous attackers responsible?
    The CIA's website was brought down for some hours last night by what appears to have been an internet distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.
    Read more..

    Dutch ISP KPN hacked, credentials and personal information leaked
    Dutch ISP KPN had over 500 of its customers personal information posted online after being hacked late last month. The data included names, addresses, passwords and telephone numbers.
    Read more..

    Should having autism be a legal defence to hacking charges?
    Gary McKinnon and Ryan Cleary have raised the profile of hackers with autism. With this week marking the 10th anniversary of Gary McKinnon's arrest, and with his fate still hanging in the balance, how likely is it that his condition will play a part in preventing his extradition?
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    The Washington Post Saturday's Headlines February 11, 2012.

    The Washington Post

    Jeffrey Zaslow, co-author of ‘The Last Lecture’
    Jeffrey Zaslow, 53, was a journalist who co-wrote the bestselling “The Last Lecture,” about a professor dying of cancer, with Randy Pausch.
    ( by Matt Schudel , The Washington Post)

    Turkish diplomat: Iran is ready to cut a deal
    Despite the lack of a formal request from Tehran, Turkish foreign minister insists that Iranians are prepared to negotiate curbs on its nuclear program.
    ( by Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung , The Washington Post)

    Memo: Awlaki directed ‘underwear bomber’ plot
    The Yemeni American cleric, killed in a CIA drone strike in September, directed the plot to take down a plane over Detroit in 2009, according to a Justice Department memo.
    ( by Peter Finn , The Washington Post)

    Turkey urges international help for Syria
    A visit to Washington by Turkey’s foreign minister is part of an international effort to organize an effective response to the carnage in Syria.
    ( by Karen DeYoung , The Washington Post)

    Germany refuses to sign ACTA
    Online activists in Europe have been able to generate vigorous pushback.
    ( by Ben Popper | ,

    More National: Breaking National News & Headlines - Washington Post

    Fairfax robberies could be linked
    Four armed robberies were committed in Fairfax County Thursday night in less than an hour and a half, and police think they may all be connected.
    ( by Martin Weil , The Washington Post)

    Beltway change helps some, squeezes othere
    Seems like every time VDOT tries to help some drivers in the congested space of the I-495 “Express Lanes” project, it winds up making travel more difficult for other drivers.
    (, The Washington Post)

    Md. gay marriage hearing gets heated
    O’Malley says that his bill provides rights for same-sex couples while not imposing on religious practices
    ( by John Wagner , The Washington Post)

    Huguely: ‘I may have grabbed her a little ... but I never strangled her’
    Prosecutors showed the video from a police interview from the day the former U-Va. lacrosse player was charged.
    ( by Mary Pat Flaherty and Jenna Johnson , The Washington Post)

    Religion events

    (, The Washington Post)

    More Post Local: Washington, DC Area News, Traffic, Weather, Sports & More - The Washington Post

    White House revises birth control rule
    Women whose employers oppose birth control on religious grounds could get coverage directly from insurer.
    ( by N.C. Aizenman, Peter Wallsten and Karen Tumulty , The Washington Post)

    Candidates make their appeals at CPAC
    After months of sparring, Santorum, Gingrich and Romney each tried to bring the conservative movement into his corner at CPAC.
    ( by David Fahrenthold , The Washington Post)

    Md. gay marriage hearing gets heated
    O’Malley says that his bill provides rights for same-sex couples while not imposing on religious practices
    ( by John Wagner , The Washington Post)

    Santorum’s takes on women’s roles
    GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum has been sparking controversy with his comments about the role of women in society.
    ( by Washington Post Staff , The Washington Post)

    Obama campaign cranks up spending
    Campaign and the DNC — even without a GOP nominee in place yet — spent twice as much money as all the GOP candidates combined in 2011. It is all part of effort to mobilize supporters, start building infrastructure for a successful reelection.
    ( by T.W. Farnam , The Washington Post)

    More Post Politics: Breaking Politics News, Political Analysis & More - The Washington Post

    Coming to grips with one’s childhood
    To know your own history, it helps to understand your parents and what was under their control.
    (, The Washington Post)

    (, The Washington Post)

    Julie Roberts, back onstage at Rams Head
    Country singer Julie Roberts is back in the game, after a devastating flood, a career-threatening illness and career setbacks. She’s performing Saturday in Annapolis.
    ( by Chris Richards , The Washington Post)

    Music review: Erika Wennerstrom brings Heartless Bastards’ ‘Arrow’ to another level
    The songs on “Arrow” are remarkable for no reason other than Erika Wennerstrom decided to sing them, enlivening the good songs and making the lesser ones sound better than they deserve to.
    (, The Washington Post)

    On Love: ‘I’m his greatest admirer’
    The groom was 98, the bride 90. They’d been together for more than 15 years, but the engagement came just three weeks before the nuptials, and they told almost no one what they were planning.
    (, The Washington Post)

    More Style: Culture, Arts, Ideas & More - The Washington Post

    TV and radio listings: Feb .11
    TV and radio listings: Feb .11
    (, The Washington Post)

    Data box: Navy at Army

    (, The Washington Post)

    No. 10 Eagles turn tables on No. 7 Cougars
    Naim Muhammad leads a strong performance by No. 10 North Point’s front court in a 74-57 road victory over seventh-ranked Thomas Stone.
    ( by James Wagner , The Washington Post)

    Gar-Field boys 74, Hylton 44
    The No. 11 Indians dominate Hylton, 75-44, to finish regular season 22-0. But they know there are bigger wins still to come.
    ( by Preston Williams , The Washington Post)

    Friday’s top scorers
    Top boys’, girls’ basketball scorers for Friday, Feb. 10, 2012
    (, The Washington Post)

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    U.S. says it wants investment, but China remains wary
    The flow of Chinese funds to the United States dropped sharply last year, despite a new American welcome mat.
    ( by Keith B. Richburg , The Washington Post)

    Greece reeling over deal on cuts
    Greeks clashed on the streets of Athens and in the halls of government on Friday, as protesters grew violent and cabinet ministers resigned.
    ( by Michael Birnbaum , The Washington Post)

    Blasts strike Syrian city of Aleppo
    Attacks on security compounds coincide with continuation of offensive against the city of Homs.
    ( by Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly , The Washington Post)

    Turkish diplomat: Iran is ready to cut a deal
    Despite the lack of a formal request from Tehran, Turkish foreign minister insists that Iranians are prepared to negotiate curbs on its nuclear program.
    ( by Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung , The Washington Post)

    Memo: Awlaki directed ‘underwear bomber’ plot
    The Yemeni American cleric, killed in a CIA drone strike in September, directed the plot to take down a plane over Detroit in 2009, according to a Justice Department memo.
    ( by Peter Finn , The Washington Post)

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    Living Single: What happens when you never find The One?
    Ellen McCarthy and Wendy Braitman discuss being single, the unmarried life and relationships.
    (, vForum)

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    Post TV columnist Lisa de Moraes chats with readers about the start of the Fall television season.
    (, vForum)

    Carolyn Hax Live: Advice columnist tackles your problems (Friday, Feb. 17)
    Advice Columnist Carolyn Hax takes your questions and comments about the strange train we call life.
    (, vForum)

    Dana Milbank Live: Is Obama caving on contraception mandate?
    Dana Milbank discussed Obama's decision to revise birth control rules for religious groups, CPAC and more.
    (, vForum)

    What the foreclosure, mortgage fraud settlement means
    Charles Lane discussed the settlement of more than $25 billion with five of the nation's banks over fraudulent foreclosure practices.
    (, vForum)

    More Conversations: Discussions, Blogs, Debates, Live Q&A's and More - The Washington Post

    Anonymous claims credit for crashing CIA site
    The CIA’s Web site was inaccessible around 3:30 on Friday afternoon.
    ( by Hayley Tsukayama , The Washington Post)

    Next up for Amazon’s Kindle: a 9-inch model?
    One analyst thinks a bigger Kindle Fire is definitely on the way.
    ( by Hayley Tsukayama , The Washington Post)

    Apple worth more than Google, Microsoft combined
    After a market rally, Apple is worth more than two of its largest rivals combined.
    ( by Hayley Tsukayama , The Washington Post)

    Will Apple’s next tablet be the ‘iPad 3’?
    Apple’s next tablet is expected in March — but will it be the ‘iPad 3’?
    ( by Hayley Tsukayama , The Washington Post)

    Droid RAZR Maxx review
    Should buyers of the original RAZR feel slighted that Verizon and Motorola introduced a dramatically better revision of their phone?
    ( by Nilay Patel | The Verge ,

    More Technology News - The Washington Post

    Investigate Jim Graham
    Unfinished business in the D.C. lottery case.
    (, The Washington Post)

    Downsizing at The Post
    How buyouts could hurt coverage.
    (, The Washington Post)

    Nattering nabobs of negativism
    The GOP has an anger management problem.
    (, The Washington Post)

    The war on birth control
    And the GOP’s embrace of ‘personhood.’
    ( by Rachel Maddow , The Washington Post)

    Bribery or politics?
    The blurry line between free speech and a crime.
    (, The Washington Post)

    More Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials - The Washington Post

    IEA lowers forecast for global oil consumption
    The International Energy Agency said it expects oil consumption to rise a relatively meager 800,000 barrels a day, or 0.9 percent, in 2012.
    ( by Steven Mufson , The Washington Post)

    Obama looks to tame U.S. debt
    Congress will be sent a 2013 spending plan that would raise taxes on the rich and pump nearly $500 billion into new transportation projects over the next decade.
    ( by Lori Montgomery , The Washington Post)

    Report: Energy Dept. needs to strengthen loan reviews
    A consultant’s report said the Energy Department should bolster its ability to assess loans in the wake of the Solyndra bankruptcy.
    ( by Steven Mufson , The Washington Post)

    The SEC and insider trading in Congress
    Investigating lawmakers could be an awkward endeavor for the agency.
    ( by David S. Hilzenrath and Kimberly Kindy , The Washington Post)

    The biggest threat to the health-care law?
    It may not be the Supreme Court or election-year politics. It may be a shortage of primary-care doctors.
    ( by Sarah Kliff , The Washington Post)

    More Business News, Financial News, Business Headlines & Analysis - The Washington Post

    NYT Today's Headlines: Rule Shift on Birth Control Is Concession to Obama Allie

    Today's Headlines


    Rule Shift on Birth Control Is Concession to Obama Allies

    The decision to soften a requirement that religious-affiliated organizations pay for insurance plans offering free birth control was meant to appease Catholics on the left - not bishops.

    Sudans' Oil Feud Risks Shattering a Fragile Peace

    Sudan and the breakaway nation of South Sudan have been locked in a dangerous game of brinkmanship over billions of gallons of oil.

    Traveling Light in a Time of Digital Thievery

    Information has become easier to steal over the Internet because employees can carry proprietary data around.
    "I, personally, expect full-fledged war. This is like the previews before a film."
    MARIAMAL-SADIQ AL-MAHDI, an opposition politician in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, on tension between Sudan and South Sudan.


    Audio & Photos: Ghosts of the Celtic Tiger

    The photographer Kenneth O Halloran narrates his documentation of the housing boom and bust in Ireland.
    Op-Ed Contributor

    Another Trial for Shylock

    Once again, William Shakespeare's Shylock is at the center of a trial, and as always, the trial reveals more about his attackers than it does about him or his creator.

    2 Security Complex Car Bombings Kill Dozens, Syria Says

    Explosions in Aleppo signaled that forces seeking the Syrian government's overthrow can strike at the very seat of its power.

    Myanmar Detains Monk Recently Freed From Prison

    A prominent Burmese monk who was released from prison last month was arrested again Friday in Yangon, according to a group that tracks political prisoners.

    Rejecting Appeal, Pakistani Court Says Premier Must Face Charges

    The high court on Friday rejected an appeal by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani against contempt charges, escalating a tense standoff between the judiciary and the ruling party.

    Across the Country, Looking for the Recovery

    Cities across the country have shown economic improvement in recent months, but it's a joyless recovery for people still feeling the pinch.

    Obama Budget Bets Other Concerns Will Trump the Deficit

    President Obama's budget blueprint, to be laid out Monday, is an election-year wager that higher taxes on the rich and spending on popular programs will outweigh deficit concerns.

    Labor Dept. Issues New Rules for Guest Workers

    Officials said changes to the H-2B program would add protections for foreign temporary workers and also spur recruitment of Americans.

    Romney's Record as Governor Resumes Central Role in Nomination Fight

    Mitt Romney, speaking to activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, pledged never to betray their trust or abandon their principles if he challenged President Obama as the Republican nominee.
    On Politics

    From 'Change' Candidate to Changed Candidate

    If circumstances and political skill allowed President Obama to run in 2008 as something other than an ordinary politician, this time around he faces all the challenges, and carries much of the baggage, of any other standard-issue Democrat.

    Helpings of Energy and Cheer for the Trail

    Michelle Obama is on the road, campaigning for the president and telling Americans to eat their vegetables.

    A Confused Nuclear Cleanup

    Some of the companies that built Japan's nuclear plants are now cashing in on the cleanup, though their knowledge of decontamination is a work in progress.
    Your Money

    Car Dealers Wince at a Site to End Sales Haggling

    By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD promises to deliver a guaranteed price for a car, efforts that automakers have pushed back against, saying that they could eat into already thin profit margins.

    At an Airline That Caters to Pets, the Humans Are Howling

    Pet Airways, once the great transportation hope for animal owners, is low on cash and has been canceling flights.
    Cultural Studies

    Don't Tell Me, I Don't Want to Know

    Unless you are my best friend or my husband, don't tell me, I don't want to know.
    They're Famous! (On the Internet)

    A StarKid Is Born

    Meet Joe Moses, Eminem impersonator and Severus Snape interpreter.

    An 'Entertainment Device' Is Expected From Google

    Google is moving into hardware, which is a goal of Larry Page, the chief executive, by developing an "entertainment device" to compete with Amazon and Apple.
    Knicks 92, Lakers 85

    With 38 Points, the Legend Grows

    Jeremy Lin's joyride rolled onward as the Knicks defeated the Lakers at Madison Square Garden for their fourth straight victory.

    Sharing a Heritage With a New Knicks Star

    Asian-Americans, some of them newly minted basketball fans, gathered Friday at Gatsby's bar to watch Jeremy Lin's performance.

    Coach Goes From Pros to His Old High School

    Eddie Jordan, 57, fired as coach of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2010, is coaching freshmen at his alma mater, Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington.

    A Hit That Has Outlasted 10,000 Chandeliers

    "The Phantom of the Opera" will have its 10,000th Broadway performance on Saturday, thanks to persistent marketing, quality control and smart pricing.
    Museum Review

    Lincoln Museum, Act II, the Morning After the Death

    In 2009 the first part of a formal Lincoln tribute opened at the renovated Ford's Theater; now a 10-story Center for Education and Leadership is opening across the street.
    Video Game Review

    From Ex-Pitcher, a New Game to Play

    Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the fantasy role-playing game that is the first release from Curt Schilling's 38 Studios, defies expectations.
    Crime Scene

    In a Mailbox: A Shared Gun, Just for the Asking

    Community guns, hidden away and shared by small groups of people who use them when needed, then return them, appear to be on the rise in New York, the police say.

    Incumbent Democrats in Fight for a Redrawn House District

    A dispute between Representatives Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman over a newly drawn district has complicated the party's hopes of winning back the 25 seats it needs to recapture the majority in the House.

    Giants Car Tag Upsets Groups Still Waiting for Their Own

    Though there is a moratorium on new custom license tags in New York state, a loophole of sorts has allowed the Super Bowl champs to get the honor.

    Whatever Happened to First Class?

    Once it meant lobster thermidor on china. These days, it might not even mean a hot meal. Exploring the domestic skies from the front of the plane.
    Choice Tables

    In London, Flavors of India Without the Fuss

    Mark Bittman tells you everything you need to know about where to eat Indian food in London.

    36 Hours: Penang, Malaysia

    Smart restaurants, a lively art scene and a spate of new boutique hotels: There's more to this exotic island than its famous noodle soup.

    The Freedom to Choose Birth Control

    President Obama's accommodation to church groups was not needed, but it preserves the basic principle of free access to birth control for any woman.

    Attacks on Disclosure

    A victory for Maine's sensible campaign law will not stop efforts to shield secret political donations.

    A Chilling Verdict in Spain

    The decision by the Spanish Supreme Court to remove Judge Baltasar Garzón from the bench is enormously damaging to the prospects of fair and impartial justice.
    Op-Ed Columnist

    Real Men and Pink Suits

    Masculinity is wide enough and deep enough for all men. We should remember that when society, and male culture in particular, tries to render it narrow and shallow.
    Op-Ed Columnist

    The Battle Behind the Fight

    I'm sure you heard about President Obama's new rule on health care coverage of contraceptives. Was it a cave, a tweak or a compromise?
    Op-Ed Columnist

    The Politics of Keystone, Take 2

    Building the oil pipeline is not going to lead to apocalypse.
    On Feb. 11, 1945, President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin signed the Yalta Agreement during World War II.