links for 2008-10-06

  • We are called "Common Root" because, together, we are rooted in the life of Christ. The word "radical" comes from the Latin word "radix" which means "root." A radical movement is one that seeks to challenge the status quo by seeking change by getting to the root of the issue. This movement is made up of denominational Anabaptists (like Mennonites, Brethren in Christ, and Church of the Brethren), neo-Anabaptists, peace-minded liberationists, Catholic Workers, and other theological exiles and refugees. We aim to be a diverse mix of people whose common "root" is the radical way of Jesus Christ lived out in a post-Christian, post-colonial world where the Church is slipping into the margins and is, we hope, able to regain its prophetic voice. These our our convictions:
  • The next step of this panic could be the mother of all bank runs, i.e. a run on the trillion dollar-plus of the cross-border short-term interbank liabilities of the U.S. banking and financial system, as foreign banks start to worry about the safety of their liquid exposures to U.S. financial institutions. A silent cross-border bank run has already started, as foreign banks are worried about the solvency of U.S. banks and are starting to reduce their exposure. And if this run accelerates–as it may now–a total meltdown of the U.S. financial system could occur.

    The U.S. and foreign policy authorities seem to be clueless about what needs to be done next. Maybe they should today start with a coordinated 100 basis points reduction in policy rates in all the major economies in the world to show that they are starting to seriously recognize and address this rapidly worsening financial crisis.

  • “I had been photographing an area of Cairo that was host to a number of pottery factories. They weren’t actually factories but rather mud hovels where workers made clay pots. I had spent months gaining access and befriending the workers. Child labor was rampant but many of the children working at the site were related to the men working in the factories. These families had no other choice but to have their children work at the site. If the children didn’t work, earning valuable income, then there would not be enough money to put food on the family’s table. One afternoon I was shooting and saw this little girl bathed in the late afternoon sun. At first she just stared at me but then she slowly looked off camera with eyes full of sadness.”
  • “This image is from Kuropaty, the former killing fields on the outskirts of Minsk. Every year people come to memorialize the up to 250,000 people killed there in Stalin-era purges. Bodies are still being found. The event is seen by authorities as a rallying point for the opposition, so the KGB usually tags along and films everyone. Like most demonstrations in Belarus, there is risk for those who attend. It was taken on the last day of my first visit to Belarus in 2000. I was exhausted and almost didn’t go, especially considering that it involved a 15km march from the city center to the site. I remember towards the end the light was fading fast, my young fixers were urging me to leave with them. I’m glad I hung around a little longer, for me the image reflects the stoic nature of the people there and their deep sense of history and memory.”
  • I just ran across this. Online Monastics, and 7 vows that they live under.
  • Today’s NPR – This American Life program was a follow-up, exploring the bailout bill passed into law on Friday. “Another Frightening Show About the Economy” again tries to demystify the current financial crisis, explaining why the bailout is needed, and what it intends to do.