January 30, 2002
Unlike some of us, I
Is Hamid Karzai the first
Is Hamid Karzai the first Afghan leader to witness a State of the Union speech first hand?
A fine portrait of the
January 29, 2002
E. J. Dionne jumps on
E. J. Dionne jumps on the "Enron proves campaign finance reform is needed" bandwagon, but admits,
He also tries to tie in Vice President Cheney's refusal to name names and discuss discussions on his energy task force. In this case, taking advantage of a financial scandal and legitimate institutional debate to push one's pet (and unconstitutional) cause is just plain illogical. Suppose campaign finance reform were in place. That wouldn't have stopped Enron from cooking their books, nor would it stop Cheney from protecting Executive Branch autonomy from Congressman Waxman's (D-CA) fishing expedition.
"Soft Money: Had Enough?"
The Motley Fool will be
The Motley Fool will be charging to get on their famous message boards.
"Motley Fool Courts Online Subscribers"
January 28, 2002
Tom Tomorrow, the comic artist
Tom Tomorrow, the comic artist who isn't very funny, friviously tosses out this bit of conspiracy kookiness: "We've got at least one mysterious death--the apparent suicide of a former Enron executive who, from all reports, had nothing to hide, but was expected to be a major whistleblower in the case."
Tom would be mentioning the death of J. Clifford Baxter.
If you've read any of his This Modern World strips, you'll know Tom opposes anything to the left of Barbara Streisand. I'm not surprised he'd try to connect the suicide of a man to a President with no shred of evidence, but it's still tasteless. The death was ruled a suicide, but that won't stop Bush bashers like Tom.
The Washington Post goes Pulitzer
The Washington Post goes Pulitzer with their series on the days following 9.11.01. The first story follows President Bush from the moment he's told about the attacks until he finally sleeps in the White House after addressing the nation. The second part reports on the day after, including the development of the strategy of the war on terrorism.
"'We Will Rally the World'"
January 27, 2002
The terrorists held in Cuba
The terrorists held in Cuba aren't going anywhere anytime soon. That's the impression I got when Secretary Don Rumsfeld said, "They will not be determined to be POWs [Prisoners of War]." He won't call them POWs because then they would have to be released after the war is over in Afghanistan. The Bush administration believes these prisoners are direct threats to U.S. security and don't want to let them go. It sounds reasonable, but does that mean they'll be in Cuba permanently? That's what it looks like right now.
"Rumsfeld: Afghan Detainees Not POWs"
While still in the talking
While still in the talking stage, Miller Brewing could change from a stagnating No. 2 U.S. brewer to a growing No. 1 world brewer. Miller's headquarters would still be in Milwaukee, the name would still be on the Brewers' stadium, and no local jobs would be cut.
"Miller May be Merged into World's No. 1 Brewer"
A military commander for North
A military commander for North American defense makes sense. Military response in future domestic attacks should be streamlined. I worry that mission creep could occur, and this new regional command could start getting involved with stuff like immigration and drug interdiction. Those are areas best left to civilian law enforcement. I also wonder how the new command would work with Tom Ridge's Office of Homeland Security. It could be another turf war for Ridge to fight.
What you can't say is that the Pentagon isn't getting serious about domestic security.
2002 is already becoming a
2002 is already becoming a great year for music. Nine Inch Nails just let loose a live album, the Chemical Brothers will be releasing their new collection of songs, and Rush will be coming out with their first album in five years this spring. Here's hoping these great artists live up to my expectations.
"Rush Wraps New Album"
January 26, 2002
Brian Doherty notes that later
Brian Doherty notes that later in his life, Robert Nozick moved away from the anarchistic political theory in Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Nozick thought the State was a symbolic mechanism for channeling "private actions and concerns toward" problems.
Note that the libertarian Doherty doesn't reject Nozick's thinking because he wasn't a "pure" libertarian or classical liberal (if such a demon exists). Anarchy is still an important book, and the vast expanse of his thinking is respected. Compare the tolerant intellectual view of the Right (broadly defined) to the Left. When a former Lefty like David Horowitz passes away, don't expect The Nation to fawn lovingly over his Communist works.
"Anarchist in the Academy"
A deep belief and passion
A deep belief and passion in a company is considered "cultish" in Froma Harrop's opinion. If Enron's employees were brainwashed, then the same could be said about certain Star Wars fans, political pundits, even webloggers.
TAM is now powered by
TAM is now powered by Blogger Pro.
Eric Burns thinks newspapers and
Eric Burns thinks newspapers and all-news cable channels can more fully cover the Enron story. "The former can run articles with an indefinite number of column inches; the latter can run interviews with experts that take up as much time as required," writes Burns.
I'll give the edge to newspapers. All-news channels are dependent on the talking heads acting like testosterone-drenched rams. Good tv for them is putting four people on one screen, and having them react to what the others are saying. Lengthy explanation, not yapping is required to understand what happen with Enron. Printed pages fit the bill better.
"Can Journalism Pass the Enron Test?"
Kmart is so spooked by
Kmart is so spooked by the potential for accounting problems that they've opened an investigation based on an anonymous letter to the company.
"Kmart Launches Accounting Investigation"
January 25, 2002
Any hint of an accounting
Any hint of an accounting problem gets Wall Street very nervous. The SEC is looking at the way RSA Securities previously reported revenue. One analyst said the accounting only deals with 1% of revenue, but another anaylst said that regardless, "RSA is now only appropriate for the most speculative investors willing to bet on the outcome of an investigation we know very little about." The stock has taken a tumble.
I wouldn't worry about an Enron implosion. Andersen isn't their auditor, Deloitte & Touche are, but they're the same accounting firm that peer reviewed Andersen's auditing work and concluded it was alright. As always, investor beware.
"RSA to Face Accounting Probe"
The Rink Rage Killer only
The Rink Rage Killer only got 6-10 years. The judge admitted it was lenient, but didn't have the guts to hand out a longer sentence. So, in Massachusetts, not being able to control your temper and killing another human being is only worth a minimum of 6 years of your life.
"Hockey Dad Sentenced to Six to 10 Years"
Cooked books, shredded documents, calls
Cooked books, shredded documents, calls to government officials for help, and now a suicide. What else will happen with Enron?
"Ex-Enron Exec An Apparent Suicide"
January 24, 2002
Wal-Mart will soon become the
Wal-Mart will soon become the world's largest company. The same can't be said for K-Mart.
"Wal-Mart Aims for No. 1 Spot"
In his tribute to Robert
In his tribute to Robert Nozick, he writes:
"Life of Liberty"
Influential libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick
Influential libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick died. His most well-known and influential book Anarchy, State, and Utopia made the case for a minimal state and energized classical liberal thought. Godspeed, Robert.
January 23, 2002
Iran's new alliance with Arafat
Iran's new alliance with Arafat is just a way for Iran's tenuous leadership to hold on to power. Many Iranians are fed up with the religious leaders and their government puppets. Forcing a fight with Israel may help them rally the populace.
"Growing Concern Over Iranian Campaign To Destroy the Jewish State"
Wendy Gramm certainly has a
Wendy Gramm certainly has a problem--more than anyone in the Bush administration. She serves on Enron's board of directors. Specifically, she is on the audit committee. Her problem is: did she know about Enron's accounting shenanigans? If she did, she certainly didn't take advantage of that knowledge like Enron executives did. Gramm sold her stock back in 1998 and lost more than $600,000 because of Enron's bankruptcy. If she didn't know about the companies misleading books, then she failed in her fiduciary duty. She failed to look out for the interests of Enron shareholders.
Ev has demoed Blogger Pro.
Ev has demoed Blogger Pro. Robert Scoble was at the meeting. Some of the features are neat, like staggared posting. All I want is a stable, reliable Blogger, and at $30/year ($50 in the future) I hope Blogger Pro will fit the bill.
January 22, 2002
Didn't Robert Altman threaten to
Didn't Robert Altman threaten to leave the country if George W. Bush was elected President? What's taking him so long?
I've been trying really hard
I've been trying really hard not to go all-Enron-all-the-time, but Bob Bartley is just too good. He takes a broader view of the largest bankruptcy in American history. He notes that in a capitalistic economy people make mistakes and businesses fail. The alternative would be "some group of brilliant and well-informed mandarins to head off human folly." Such a utopia solution would fail because "the mandarins would soon be marching to the tune of some or another batch of politicians feeding this or that narrow constituency."
As to the failure of everyone to not see Enron's house of cards, Bartley writes that it's the result of a culture-wide lowering of standards. Being judgemental is the real sin. "What kind of behavior can an 'I'm OK, you're OK' society expect from its professionals or business leaders?" he asks.
We know how to best run an economy. It's ironic that the solution is for no central authority to run it. With decentralized decision-making, the economy is dependent on individuals acting morally. To have a healthy, functioning economy, you need to have a healthy, functioning culture.
"I'm OK, You're OK! Enron's OK?"
The West is doomed because
The West is doomed because Europeans and Americans aren't having enough kids while non-Westerners multiply like rabbits. That is Pat Buchanan's argument in his latest book. Buchanan has moved from traditionalist conservative to populist to nostalgic reactionary with racist overtones.
"Closed Door Policy"
January 21, 2002
It's been a few weeks
It's been a few weeks since Stephen Ambrose's copycat flap and finally the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comments. Ambrose is originally from Wisconsin, and the state's paper of record gets around to offering a very bland editorial criticizing Ambrose's sloppiness.
"An Author's Worst Nightmare"
It's pretty simple to analyze
It's pretty simple to analyze Green Bay's loss to the Rams: Brett Favre biffed it. Throwing six interceptions (three were returned for touchdowns) doesn't give your team much of a chance to win. The Packers racked up more offense than the explosive Rams, but the turnovers were too much.
Even with the disasterous loss, the Pack had an outstanding season. They did better than I expected, even with all the injuries on defense. Ahman Green had a great season, Favre should have won MVP, and they might have a superstar in defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. What's needed is wide reciever help. Antonio Freeman is getting old, and Bill Schroeder doesn't rise to the occasion in big games. The Packers also need to get more depth on defense so they can better survive any future rash of injuries. Next year, the team focus must be to win the division. A division championship means home playoff games at Lambeau Field. Bring the Rams to the Frozen Tundra, and the result might have been different.
"Swept Under the Carpet"
January 20, 2002
The big story in the
The big story in the Milwaukee area is the pension scandal. Long-time Milwaukee County employees could reap millions from the plan. County board supervisors claim ignorance for voting for the plan last year. The public is showing more anger and emotion than during the debate over building Miller Park. A recall petition has generated 10,000 signatures (73,000 are needed by March), and organizers envision 100,000 by Valentine's Day. The Journal Sentinel wants Tom Ament's resignation. I knew people were angry, but I didn't think they had much of a chance with the recall. 73,000 signatures is a lot to get in 60 days. Why are people so angry? Justine Morris put it simply, "He [County Executive Tom Ament] tried to take something out of my pocket."
"Pension Furor Spreads Like Wildfire"
"Tom Ament Should Resign"
The Bush White House doesn't
The Bush White House doesn't leak. Mary Matlin says it's because everyone's on the same page and no one is "trying to advance any position but the president's." There doesn't seem to be the left-right Republican camps struggling for power.
It takes real talent to
It takes real talent to boil an complex issue down to one sentence. George Will does it with Enron's collapse by writing, "Rather, the cause was the growing arrogance of executives who became confident that no one was looking over their shoulders, watching -- and understanding -- what they were doing."
"The Arrogance of the Executives . . . "
Black Hawk Down may be
Black Hawk Down may be #1 at the box office, but according to my sister and mother, it's a bloodbath. Not for the squimish. I'm reading the book now, and it looks like Ridley Scott stays true to the book. Author Mark Bowden didn't flinch in reporting all the detail of bullets going through Somali men's heads like melons, or how an RPG took off the side of a U.S. Ranger. Since I cringe watching ER, I don't know if I want to see the movie.
An interesting idea for accounting
An interesting idea for accounting reform (that term has never been mentioned in a non-trade news source) is to make public companies rotate auditors. The theory is that accounting firms would be tougher on companies because a competing firm would be looking at their work some time in the future.
January 17, 2002
While stark, the treatment of
While stark, the treatment of Afghan prisoners in Cuba doesn't seem inhumane. They get fed and are allowed to pray. They're being treated that well in spite of the threat that they want to kill an American before they leave.
Which brings me to this question: When will those prisoners leave? The point of holding them is to get information about al Qaeda out of them, and prevent them from attacking the U.S. If they spill their guts, how long will the Bush administration consider them threats? A permanent prison is being built at Guantanamo, so it looks like the prisoners will be there for a long time.
Page down to the part
Page down to the part where Jonah Goldberg writes about the Holy Grail. If you don't laugh, slam your forehead on a hard object for a few seconds, then re-read.
Enron fires Andersen. But what's
Enron fires Andersen. But what's really interesting is the comment from Enron attorney Bob Bennett:
It's Andersen's fault? Andersen didn't set up partnerships to move debt and losses from the books. That was the decision of Enron directors and executives.
"Enron Axes Andersen Accounting Firm"
Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:18 PM
Andersen knew that Enron's accounting
Andersen knew that Enron's accounting tricks to divert debt from their balance sheet wasn't the wisest thing to do. Executives of the accounting firm even talked about cutting ties with Enron.
It's not a real shock that Andersen knew about the potential consequences. They were Enron's accountants. They had access to the books and were paid to ask hard financial questions. It's obvious, Andersen failed in their duty.
"Andersen Memo Provides Smoking Gun on Enron Deals"
January 16, 2002
A NOW spin-off wants to
A NOW spin-off wants to stick their paws in 9.11 relief money so they can promote affirmative action. The money is supposed to be used to rebuild New York City, not for liberal social engineering.
"Women's Group to Congress: Give Us 9/11 Money or See You in Court"
January 15, 2002
It's interesting to compare how
It's interesting to compare how private business handles crisis compared to public entities. Andersen fired the lead auditor of Enron and suspended others. The accounting giant seems to be taking this scandal very seriously.
Now, compare this to post-9/11. Most agree that the attacks were a complete failure of the intelligence community, yet no one's been fired. President Bush even gave a pep talk at CIA headquarters and publically supported Director George Tenet. I think Tenet should be fired, or he should have the decency to resign. Instead, he joined the gang on the cover of Vanity Fair.
The difference between public and private institutions is feedback. Andersen's integrity as an objective accounting firm is threatened. Without it the firm would suffer financially. The Enron scandal is a direct threat to the company and its partners. Because of that self-interest they're firing people and suspending others.
Public institutions (particularly government) have a more round-about feedback mechanism: voters. Politicians don't have to worry that they'll be fired because their term is for a specified length of time. Only on election day can they be fired or re-hired. Sure, there's public opinion, but they still wield the reigns of power unless they're recalled (if that's even possible). Because of that there's not the same urgency to hold people accountable or to change things.
"Firm Fires Chief Enron Auditor"
Consumers are doing their part
Consumers are doing their part in holding up the U.S. economy. December sales fell slightly. If consumer spending holds up, the key to recovery will be capital spending, and businesses may gain confidence to invest more into their companies with this new data.
"Retail Sales Dip Much-Smaller-Than-Expected 0.1 Percent in December"
On the affect of large
On the affect of large campaign donations from Enron on the Bush administrations "inactivity," Bill Allison of the Center for Public Integrity said officals couldn't act because "The appearance would have looked terrible. They felt that they couldn't act on behalf of Enron because of the political fallout." Whether Allison feels officals should have acted is uncertain, but it does sound a little like some Democrats' assertion that the Bush administration should have intervened to protect Enron investors and employees. If the administration would have acted critics would say it was because of campaign contributions, and if they didn't act it was because of campaign contributions. With this kind of spin, there's no way to win. (Sorry, the spirit of Johnny Cochran momentarily entered my body.)
"Enron Employee Warned Chairman Lay"
January 14, 2002
Schottenheimer's out and Spurrier's in.
Schottenheimer's out and Spurrier's in. Now, the Redskins are looking for a General Manager. One name floating around is ex-Packers GM Ron Wolf. He won't take the job. He'd want total control, and owner Daniel Snyder is running the show in Washington.
"Redskins Fire Schottenheimer; Spurrier's in"
Congressman Waxman (D-CA) is taking
Congressman Waxman (D-CA) is taking advantage of the Enron affair. NRO's Byron York reports that Waxman's trouncing Sen. Lieberman (D-CT) and Sen. Levin (D-MI) in press coverage, and Waxman has no subpoena power.
"Waxman?s Enron Attack"
Planet MR2 got a small
Did President Bush have money
Did President Bush have money on Miami? That might explain the choking.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is
Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is tossing around charges of "obstruction of justice" after learning of an Andersen memo ordering destruction of Enron documents.
In the same AP story, Mr. Campaign Finance, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is taking advantage of the Enron scandal to promote his agenda. "We're all tainted by the millions and millions of dollars that were contributed by Enron executives, which ... creates the appearance of impropriety,'' said McCain. Notice where he said Enron's donations create "the appearance of impropriety." Actual wrongdoing or unethical behavior isn't enough to move an agenda. Now, only the appearance is necessary. By his logic, anything that goes wrong and involves a public official that gets the attention of the NY Times, the Washington Post, and 24-hour news channels ever seeking material to put on-air, can be considered "the apperance of impropriety."
Well, here's a good appearance of impropriety: 9.11. The U.S. intellegence community failed horribly by being surprised of the attacks. Yet, no one has been fired in any major intelligence position. In fact, CIA Director George Tenet has the full confidence of President Bush. Sen, McCain (who received $9,500 from Enron) has bigger fish to fry than using Enron to promote campaign finance (and free-speech curtailing) reform.
"Timing of Enron Memo Questioned"
January 13, 2002
Andersen, Enron's accountant, should go
Andersen, Enron's accountant, should go down with the one-time Texas energy power house. Time reports that Andersen lawyers told employees to destroy documents.
From now on when researching a stock, check to see who did the auditing. If it's Andersen, politely move onto another company. I have lost all faith in their ability to objectively evaluate companies.
The Green Bay Packers move
The Green Bay Packers move on to face St. Louis after beating the San Francisco 49ers, 25-15. The 49ers couldn't shake off the mystic of Lambeau Field where the Pack have never lost a playoff game. Cornerback Mike McKenzie earned part of his new contract by tipping a ball in the fourth quarter that turned into an interception by Tyrone Williams. Ahman Green added to the Packers' dominance over San Francisco by powering for 86 yards and a touchdown.
Next, are the St. Louis Rams with the most explosive offense in the league.
"Green Bay 25, San Francisco 15"
Enron got $4 billion in
Enron got $4 billion in corporate welfare. Much of it from the Clinton administration.
"Enron and the Clintonites"
January 12, 2002
With Daniel Snyder's yearning for
With Daniel Snyder's yearning for Steve Spurrier, I see no chance of current coach Marty Schottenheimer coming back next season. I know I wouldn't be too happy if my boss was looking for my replacement while keeping me on the payroll.
"Redskins again seeking Spurrier"
It seems 24-hour news channels
It seems 24-hour news channels crave scandal so much that they're willing to create one in the case of President Bush and Enron. There has been no evidence or accusation that Bush or any of his staff did anything wrong, unethical, or improper. It looks like the media wants to balance things out for going after Bill Clinton and Whitewater. Former Clinton counsel, Lanny Davis warned his fellow Democrats not to use Enron for political points. "Democrats have to avoid using innuendo as a surrogate for fact. This is not payback time."
"Enron Collapse Likened to Whitewater for Bush"
January 11, 2002
Andersen, Enron's accountant, is being
Andersen, Enron's accountant, is being dragged down because of their poor practices. I have no sympathy for them. It's not the first time they've helped cook a company's books.
"Andersen's Future at Stake After Enron"
At the root of this
At the root of this story about Enron is that neither Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, nor Treasury Under Secretary Peter Fisher aided the now bankrupt company. They were asked, but no help was given. In fact, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin did more to help Enron than any Bush official. Millions in campaign contributions didn't help them.
[NOTE: I'm still an Enron shareholder, and will be for at least a little while longer. The NYSE halted trading while waiting for more details about the sale of its energy trading operation.]
"Treasury's Fisher Felt Enron Asked for Help"
This is weird. You need
This is weird. You need a ticket to get on the viewing platform overlooking Ground Zero.
"Tragedy and Its Vendors"
Sure, I'm biased, but Stephen
Sure, I'm biased, but Stephen Hayes makes the case for a 4th MVP for Brett Favre. And I'm still ticked about him giving Michael Strahan that sack.
"There's Something About Favre"
January 10, 2002
Democrats out to get Bush
Democrats out to get Bush over Enron will probably claim Arthur Andersen is part of the Vast-Right Wing Conspriacy for destroying many documents. The accounting firm says the destruction was "required in certain circumstances."
Instead of wasting time on
Instead of wasting time on investigations of Enron and Major League Baseball, Congress should look at Arafat's role in the boat-load of weapons Israel captured. Did Arafat know about the smuggling, and when did he know it?
"U.S. Turns Up the Heat On Arafat Over Smuggling Affair"
I may have been wrong
I may have been wrong about the winner, but I'm glad a good guy won Survivor
In a few hours the
In a few hours the Survivor winner will be known. I'm putting my bet on Tom.
Because a French court ruled
Because a French court ruled that a disabled child had a right "not to be born," doctors there won't use ultrasound on pregnant women. They fear future lawsuits. The law of unintended consequences slapped France right in the face. TheBlueButton.com put it succinctly: "The French are idiots."
"Scan Strike by French Doctors"
Enron's bankruptcy will only play
Enron's bankruptcy will only play a minor role in the Democrats' attack on President Bush. Here's their strategy: make a big fuss over Enron's collapse and its financial tricks. Then bring up all the Enron head honchos. Ask a few questions about the accounting schemes and then move on to the juicy stuff: Texas politics. Democrats will try to portray Bush's governor's office as a corrupt institution that doled out government favors for campaign contributions. CBS Marketwatch's David Callaway gave it all away when he wrote, "Enron, the company, will soon be gone. But Enron, the symbol of how big business and big politics sometimes conspire to fix the game, is just starting to dawn on the national consciousness."
Let me stay on Callaway's article a little longer. He writes:
How did Enron executives get Bush's "economic plan" (i.e. tax cuts) passed? Why would it be in the interests of Enron executives to drain away the budge surplus? Callaway doesn't show any link. It's just anti-Bush prattle. He can't go after him on the war front because we're winning, so he has to find another route.
This op-ed is delusional. Bob
This op-ed is delusional. Bob Herbert spews class-warfare rhetoric ("Enron was a bonanza for ó whom else? ó the folks at the top of the pyramid.") and makes a vague claim that Enron got government goodies simply because top executives contributed to campaigns. Herbert does admit there's no hard evidence that Enron did anything illegal, yet he still tries to splatter mud all over the Bush administration. It seems that if it doesn't look like a Whitewater scandal, liberals will just convince themselves that it is.
Tom Wolfe notes that New
Tom Wolfe notes that New York was changing before 9.11. Modern art and architecture is bankrupt; Asians are the fastest growing ethnic group; and women are pursuing men instead of the other-way-around.
"The New New York"
Due to Blogger's illness, yesterdays
Due to Blogger's illness, yesterdays posts are now available.
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) is sticking his Congressional nose where it doesn't belong. He's calling for Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig's resignation because his Milwaukee Brewers got a loan from a company owned by another baseball owner.
The only things that makes professional baseball anything close to interstate commerce--an area Congress constitutionally has domain over--are the cross-country travel and the national broadcasts. Even if Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce, that doesn't mean it has to in every case.
For the most part professional baseball is a group of private businesses. Many teams do receive big subsidies like the stadiums they play in, but the federal government has and should have little involvement.
Minnesota Congressman, Bill Luther chimed in by saying, "the best interests of baseball are not served by having a team owner serve as commissioner." Fine, Bill. Then get your own team and vote to remove Selig. It isn't the role of Congressmen to dictate who should or shouldn't run a private organization. When team owners hired Selig as commissioner, they knew he was an owner, but they felt comfortable with his leadership. They made their bed, and they'll have to lie in it.
Back to Conyers. He also thinks contraction is part of a dark conspiracy to improve the Brewers. According to Conyers, "Brewers stand to double their television revenue if the Twins are eliminated." The congressman doesn't know much about the Midwest sports scene. If the Twins go away, Minnesotans won't jump to the Brewers. They're not fans of any Wisconsin teams. Minnesota is a state where they don't support a tax payer-funded baseball stadium. If baseball leaves, they'll move on to other sports.
"Selig Asked to Back Off Contraction"
January 09, 2002
One of the greatest coaches
One of the greatest coaches in college hockey history, Wisconsin's Jeff Sauer will retire after this season.
"Sauer Will Resign from UW Hockey Post"
Wisconsin Republicans have a rather
Wisconsin Republicans have a rather unique way to fix the gaping hole in the budget: freeze spending.
"GOP Fix: Clamp Down on Spending"
If you think your public
If you think your public school is already too confining in its teaching, then hope your local school doesn't implement Minneapolis' "Small Learning Communities." Ninth graders there are forced to choose a career which will let administrators determine what school they should attend. While it is possible for a high schooler to switch their major (in high school!), they will have to wade through an already sluggish bueauracracy.
"Minneapolis 9th Graders Told to Choose Career Path Now"
Scott wonders about using deceit
Scott wonders about using deceit to save lives. When it comes to abortion, sometimes it has to be done. We live in a culture of death. In too many instances when a woman gets pregnant, abortion is seen as the only solution. Lying to a pregnant woman in order to stop her from killing her child doesn't violate anyone's rights. Sure, the Supreme Court (incorrectly) allows abortion on demand with limited state restrictions, but that doesn't mean a woman's rights are violated if she doesn't undergo the procedure. Lying to prevent abortion is unseemly, but in no way does it violate rights, as would be the in the case of shooting an abortion doctor or blowing up a clinic.
The National Organization for (liberal)
The National Organization for (liberal) Women is despicable. After the 9.11 attacks, they want statistical gender equality in the rebuilding of New York. If too few women aren't getting contracts, then they'll release the hounds--I mean lawyers.
But other than legal fees and increased fund raising from all the attention, Wendy McElroy doesn't answer how NOW could get any of the relief money.
"NOW Grabs For WTC Relief Funds"
Fuel cells as a real
Fuel cells as a real technology won't happen unless companies think there's a way to make money with them. No amount of tree hugging environmental talk will do it. GM thinks that by replacing the internal combustion engine with a fuel cell they can expand the world-wide car/truck market from the 12% that currently own them.
"GM Veers Towards Fuel Cells Cars"
Bill Gates on the Xbox:
Bill Gates on the Xbox:
"Gates Opens Windows to Wireless"
I was waiting for David
I was waiting for David Horowitz to toss in his two cents on the West-Summers affair. I really liked it when he wanted West to bolt to Princeton because then Harvard's Afro-American Studies Department "would be even better."
"Harvard Prof, Involved in Political Flap, Labeled 'Intellectual Lightweight'"
January 08, 2002
More on Michael Strahan's cheap
More on Michael Strahan's cheap record-breaking sack: Packers coach Mike Sherman didn't seem too thrilled about Brett Favre giving away the sack. "I don't believe you give anybody anything in this league; everybody has to earn what they get. I've always felt that way. You people pretty much know what I stand for," said Sherman. Other Packers think it was a set-up. The Journal Sentinel story says that "even some of his own teammates merely smiled or smirked at the notion that he had deviated from the play called in the huddle for some other reason than to allow Strahan to sack him."
The NFL is letting this bit of pro wrestling stand by not taking away Strahan's (and Favre's) sack. I demand an asterisk!
"Sack Still Stirs up Giant Hornet's Nest"
An old man like Rep.
An old man like Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) isn't a serious terrorist threat. If I were on a plane with 150 John Dingell, I would feel pretty safe. I would definitely feel safer with Dingell on board than some 20-year olds from Marian County, Califorinia. What the screeners did to Dingell was ridiculous. Call it limited profiling or call it what it really is: common sense.
"Boxers or Briefs? Rep. Dingell's Airport Exposure"
Milwaukee County supervisors are livid
Milwaukee County supervisors are livid that top county officials could get millions of dollars in pension money. They're calling for resginations, but the supervisors shouldn't be left off the hook. The pension plan was part of a bill passed by them late last year by a 20-5 vote. A few people forgot to read the details.
"Pension Authors Under Fire"
This review of Berard Goldberg's
This review of Berard Goldberg's Bias echoes my feelings.
"Telling the Whole Story"
What Tiger 03 did in
What Tiger 03 did in Afghanistan is WAY more impressive than watching bombs drop into the windows of Iraqi buildings during the Gulf War. The kill ratio of that Green Beret team is over 70 to 1.
"1,300 Enemy Men Killed by Handful of Green Berets"
Virginia explains the concept of
Virginia explains the concept of marginal cost better than any econ professor I had. She's prettier too.
"Often, Basic Concepts in Economics Are Taken for Granted"
Wisconsin is one state that's
Wisconsin is one state that's facing a huge hole in its budget. Tax revenue increased throughout the booming 90's but government spending grew even faster. The American Legislative Exchange Council notes that this isn't limited to the Dairy State.
"Watchdog Group: Higher Spending Comes Back to Haunt States"
It's NFL Players Week on
It's NFL Players Week on Wheel of Fortune this week. In a press release, Pat Allen of Players, Inc. said, "NFL Players are not only skilled athletes, but community leaders as well." Ok, but can they spell?
Packers' Ahman Green to Appear on Wheel of Fortune "NFL Players Week"
January 07, 2002
Fred Barnes concludes the Ambrose
Fred Barnes concludes the Ambrose copying affair.
This story moved fast. The speed of the Internet disemenated the story quickly. Pundits and quasi-pundits (like me) examined it with some care. Then Ambrose apologized two days after the story broke. This process may have taken days to weeks a few years ago.
Steve Jobs wanted the new
Steve Jobs wanted the new iMac to look like an sunflower. It looks more like an art deco piece. Can the chrome extention between the flat-panel screen and the computer handle abuse? It looks a little fragile.
"Apple's Latest Fruit"
January 06, 2002
James Q. Wilson links the
James Q. Wilson links the decline of marriage to Enlightment ideas. Since it's a cultural problem, Wilson
"Why We Don?t Marry"
Rich Galen combines Enron with
Rich Galen combines Enron with Lanny Davis. The moral of his story: "Sometimes what looks like an excellent strategic move just doesn't work out. The best course is to admit it and move on."
I'm betting that there's something left of value in that shell of a company.
I love how the Journal
I love how the Journal Sentinel editorial page is more concerned about the conditions of the worst prisioners in Wisconsin, than the victims they harmed.
"Good Boscobel Prison Deal"
The Journal Sentinal editorial page
The Journal Sentinal editorial page knows that the investigation of Enron (I'm still part owner) could turn into a partisan weapon. So, "to prevent a real circus" they recommend a joint commitee. Sounds reasonable to me.
"Investigating Enron Corp."
The paleo-libertarians at the Mises
The paleo-libertarians at the Mises Institute critique 200+ years of American Presidents.
"Reassessing the Presidency"
There's a poll (to the
There's a poll (to the right of the story) on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website. The question is, "Should the Packers have given Michael Strahan the gimme sack?" As of this moment, the no's lead 55.5% to 44.5%.
Stephen Ambrose had admitted his
Stephen Ambrose had admitted his copying in The Wild Blue and will make changes in future editions of the book.
His other books should still be looked into, but this embarassment should be enough punishment. However, it does put a cloud over all his future books.
"Ambrose Sorry for Copying Phrases"
Clark Judge knows Favre gave
Clark Judge knows Favre gave Strahan a gift, but doesn't care.
That's bogus!! Strahan is only deserving of the record if he actually earns the record. Ahman Green had a great season for the Packers. What he didn't do was become the first Packer to rack up 2000 yards in total offense. According to Judge's logic, the NFL should just give him that honor because Green "had a heckuva season." But Green didn't do what it took to get 2000 total yards, so he doesn't deserve the honor. By the same reasoning, Strahan's gift shouldn't count toward his sack total.
Without Favre's flop, the not-as-big-a-story would be how the Packers shut out Strahan and kept him from breaking the record. At the very least, the sack should be split between the two. Then Favre probably would be the first (and only) quarterback to ever record a sack.
"Gift or Not, Strahan Deserved the Record."
Michael Strahan had an outstanding
Michael Strahan had an outstanding season. He should be considered in the voting for NFL MVP, but the sack that gave him the NFL record was a gimme. Brett Favre's teammates thought he was going to hand off the ball. Instead, Brett rolls out right into the shadow of Strahan. Brett doesn't try to stiff-arm him or roll away from his grasp. He just slides to the ground giving up the record-setting sack. That's not sport; that's pro wrestling. Unfortunately for Strahan, an asterisk should go beside his record. He had a couple of legitimate chances to get Favre, but that last one shouldn't count.
What ticked me off as much as Favre's gift was the ineptitude of Fox's sideline reporter Pam Oliver. She interviewed Strahan right after the game and never asked if he thought Favre let him sack him. Did it even come to her mind to ask?
"Strahan Breaks Gastineau's 17-year-old Record"
Not over my dead
Not over my dead body will they raise your taxes.With that sentence, President Bush drew a line in the sand and took the same stand as his father while in office. If he keeps his word, he'll be re-elected, if not, he's doomed--just like his father.
"Bush, on Offense, Says He'll Fight to Keep Tax Cuts"
Lord of the Rings took
Lord of the Rings took an early lead in Oscar contention by taking the American Film Institute's award for best picture. LoTR is a wonderful movie, but I'm leaning toward the original and provocative Memento as my pick.
"Lord of the Rings Earns AFI's Best Picture Honors"
January 05, 2002
Edmund Morris has no regrets
Edmund Morris has no regrets over adding fiction to Dutch, his biography of Ronald Reagan. Morris is back in the news because of the second volume of his three-part biography of Theodore Roosevelt. Theodore Rex is selling very well since part one, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt came out in 1979.
I just started reading Rise and am already impressed with the intellect and psychological character of young TR. The man was a voracious reader and he never let his bouts with asthma or diarrhea hold him back from doing what he wanted. Just reading about TR's relentless energy makes me tired.
"Reagan's Biographer, Unapologetic, Inserts No Fiction Into Roosevelt's Story"
Andrew Hofer's idea about licensing
Andrew Hofer's idea about licensing Blogger to ISP (how about web space providers?) makes great sense. Blogger, like e-mail, would be a service the ISP would provide subscribers. It would be like the difference between Napster and the Gnutella. A licensed Blogger wouldn't be strapped by a central server. By doing that pressure would lessen on Ev's servers, and he could focus more on making Blogger better instead of just keeping it functioning.
At the very least, Ev should consider making users pay for Blogger with the condition being that it will be less prone to outages.
Professor Marc Herold claims that
Professor Marc Herold claims that 3767 Afghan civilians were killed by U.S. bombs as of 12.06.01. The tone of Herold's piece is anti-American. He uses quotes to try to claim moral equivalence between the terrorists who attacked the U.S. and the military who responded to those attacks. That doesn't mean almost 4000 Afghans civilians were killed, it just explains his sympathies.
"A Dossier on Civilian Victims of United States' Aerial Bombing of Afghanistan"
I read the military portion
I read the military portion of the administration's summary of the first 100 days of the war on terrorism (needs a real name!) and no mention was made of casualties. Yesterday, Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman became the first U.S. soldier killed in action. Other soldiers have died away from combat, and CIA agent Johnny Spann was killed in a Taliban prison riot. No total U.S. dead was listed. Also, I've read nothing on the amount of causualites of our Afghan allies. There have only been sporatic guesses about civilian casualties, but no definitive numbers have been collected about them either.
On another note: the report says that 460 people are being held by the INS. What about the claims that 1000 people have been detained by the government? This just might be some spin by the administration. The only mention of detainees is the 460 by the INS. That doesn't include any arrests by other law enforcement agencies. Another possibility is that administration critics are just using hyperbole and outright lies to advance their cause. Tactics like flagrant exaggeration is common in the environmental Left with who many war critics sympathize.
Maybe Stephen Ambrose, America's most
Maybe Stephen Ambrose, America's most revered living historian and Wisconsin native, has pumped out too many books in too short a time (four in the past year according his web site). Maybe it's all the side projects he's worked on (including Saving Private Ryan and HBO's Band of Brothers) Maybe it's just a sign of age, although 66 isn't that old. The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes makes a good case that Ambrose's lastest book The Wild Blue has passaged copied almost verbatum from Thomas Childers' The Wings of Morning.
This accusation comes after Putlizer Prize winner Joseph Ellis admitted to lying to students for years about his Army career and his civil rights work. In addition, Michael Bellesiles' book on the history of gun ownership in America is receiving tremendous criticism because much of the research appears to be made up.
Ambrose can withstand this intellectual scandal. He's beloved by millions of readers, by WWII veterns, and by their families. Even Childress doesn't want to go after Ambrose because he's done "an awful lot of good work."
Ambrose has done more than any other writer to praise the courage and sacrifices made by those soldiers. That goodwill will protect him, but from now on, a cloud of doubt will surround any of his future work.
"Stephen Ambrose, Copycat"
"Author Accused of Plagiarism"
While children were opening presents
While children were opening presents and getting ready for Christmas Day church services, 611,000 New York City tv viewers kept their eyes on a burning hunk of wood. WPIX will air it again next Christmas.
"Yule Log Wins Christmas Morning Ratings in New York"
January 04, 2002
As part of a settlement
As part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit, the State of Wisconsin would change the name of its Supermax prison. (Rep. Mark Gundrum suggested the "'Jon Litscher Kittens and Rainbows Suites" in honor of Secretary of the Department of Corrections Litscher.) Inmates who filed the suit think it's demeanding to be considered the "worst of the worst." Also part of the deal is a ridiculous idea to have the state pay for bus trips for families of the prisoners.
"Supermax Deal 'Coddles' Prisoners, GOP Lawmakers Say"
January 03, 2002
This may be my only
This may be my only comment on the Summers-West spat, and it's actually a response to Charles Ogletree's statement that Harvard president Larry Summers must be more forceful in his defense of afirmative action. Ogletree said,
I've heard no news that Harvard would be dismantling its affirmative action program, but Ogletree thinks that if Summers doesn't state his love for racial preferences loudly enough then that will damage "black intellectual inquiry." Two members of Harvard's Afro-American Studies department are Henry Louis Gates and William Julius Wilson. Both of them are Left-of-center, but still respected scholars in their fields. Cornel West is more known for his awful hip-hop and his political activities than his scholarship. David Horowitz points out West's intellectual emptyness, and Leon Wieseltier in The New Republic wrote that West's books are "almost completely worthless." West is probably doing more to damage black intellectual inquiry than anything Summers has (or hasn't) done. [Thanks to Andrew Sullivan via InstaPundit]
I'm impressed with myself that
I'm impressed with myself that I almost watched the entire first half of the Rose Bowl. Miami is making it look like they're playing a video game. A Nebraska victory could have made loud case for a serious determination of college football's national champion, but calls for a playoff won't be listened to for another year.
Another 100+ story skyscraper would
Another 100+ story skyscraper would be a big middle finger to bin Laden, but Mayor Bloomberg doesn't think it's economically practical. Market forces must be allowed to work in the reconstruction of Ground Zero, but that doesn't mean a tasteful, aestheticlly pleasing complex of buildings and a memorial can't be erected. The Autumn 2001 issue of City Journal offers up a vision of the rebuilt area.
"110-Story Skyscraper Unlikely in NY"
I've added another commenting feature
I've added another commenting feature to TAM. I hope this holds up better than the previous one. One benefit already is I've discovered Rate Your Music.
Nine Packers made the Pro
Nine Packers made the Pro Bowl.
Not surprising, but Sen. Lieberman
Not surprising, but Sen. Lieberman and other Senate Democrats will open hearings on Enron's collapse. [NOTE: I'm still a proud shareholder.]
The Governmental Affairs Committee will investigate how federal regulators didn't see the house of cards Enron really was.
I'll give you a simple explanation: Enron's leadership along with their accountants all went along with moving debt off the books to partnerships and claiming earnings in an unconventional way. No one cared as long as the stock price went up. Regulators had no reason to suspect the company's collapse. Enron was the darling of the energy world.
The end result of Enron's misdeeds was bankruptcy. The feds couldn't do more than what the market did. The stock market lost all trust in the company and the stock caved. The only serious question I see is if some Enron executives knew about the coming collapse and sold their stock, leaving other investors (including Enron employees) with huge losses. The attempt to link Enron to the Bush administration a la Whitewater will fail in its brazen partisanship.
"Senate Panel to Investigate Enron"
January 02, 2002
The weblogging phenomenon is only
The weblogging phenomenon is only a few years old and some people are putting together a Blog-Con 2002. Vegas in August would be hot, but this could be interesting.
Bad Elements examines the thoughts
Bad Elements examines the thoughts and feelings of Chinese exiles. Author Ian Buruma worries about China's future move from Communism to liberty.
"Bad Elements: Gang of One Billion"
Mr. InstaPundit writes this fine
Mr. InstaPundit writes this fine defense of "evil" book superstores.
Sure, Barnes & Noble (my employer) and the lot are great "third places," but they can be a pain when trying to shuffle customers out when it's time to close the store. The company's survival is secure since there are people who would never leave if the store was open 24 hours a day.
"Community by the Book"
Best prediction for 2002 (so
Best prediction for 2002 (so far) comes from Jonah Goldberg:
I hope it comes true. Does anyone read Salon anymore?
"The 2002 Forecast"
January 01, 2002
In Bias, Bernard Goldberg, ex-CBS
In Bias, Bernard Goldberg, ex-CBS News reporter confirms the feelings held by millions of news watchers: that news stories slant to the Left and give conservative ideas short shrift. The bias comes from reporters' cultural isolasion and elitism. It also comes from a strange perception of the world. Dan Rather thinks the NY Times editorial page is "middle of the road." After reading Goldberg's story, I see little hope of the media reforming itself. The institituion cannot handle criticism. The biggest weakness with the book is Goldberg's angry tone. He was unjustly pushed aside at CBS News over a Wall Street Journal op-ed, but the bitterness gets tiring.