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    Chicago Boyz

                     
     
     
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  • Archive for January, 2017

    Eriophora ravilla

    Posted by Jonathan on 31st January 2017 (All posts by )

    Eriophora ravilla

    Posted in Photos | 1 Comment »

    Where’s The Lane?

    Posted by on 28th January 2017 (All posts by )

    I recently traded in my old Acura MDX for a new one. What a long, long way we have come in the 7 years since I purchased a new vehicle. I now have an air conditioned seat, something I am looking forward to using this Spring and Summer. I also have a heated steering wheel now, which is great during Winter. Quite the creature comfort.

    It also has a feature called Auto-Idle Stop that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 can enable and disable that shuts the car off at a stop to save gas. The Acura dealer says that is will save a mile a gallon. At first I didn’t like it, but now I am used to it. I remembered it from when I was in a Prius cab once. When you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 take you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r foot off the brake, the car fires up and off you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 go. While you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are stopped, all of the climate control and audio/whatever else you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have on is still functional. It automatically turns back on after around a minute sitting there if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 haven’t moved. I have no clue how this actually saves you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 gas but if they say it does, I guess they can’t really lie about it.

    Outside of all of the comfort things, the new vehicle is a technological powerhouse. I have had it for almost a month now and am still figuring out all of the features and tech stuff. It has 16 gig of memory to store music onboard. I don’t use that much since I love my XM, but there it is if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 want it.

    Of the greatest interest to me are the next steps auto manufacturers have made to get everyone used to the idea of the inevitable autonomous vehicle. Three things work in concert on my vehicle. They are Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). At first I turned all of this stuff off, but decided to one day read the manual (I know) to understand how it all works. It is interesting to say the least.

    ACC is basically “smart” cruise control. You set you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r cruise and it will keep the speed, but will also compensate for cars in front of you500vip彩票安卓下载官网. You can set the distance that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 prefer between you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r car and the car in front of you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 (there are four distances to choose from). In the city, I choose the closest distance so as not to clog traffic. The car will actually go all the way down to zero, braking at a light, and will start moving again when the car in front moves forward. There is a bit of a delay when you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 re-start, so you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 may look like you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have no idea what you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are doing, but to heck with everyone else, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 don’t have to accelerate or brake and they do. Oh yes, the Auto-Idle Stop feature works with this as well, but you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have to hit the accelerator to resume again if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are Auto-Idle Stopped with the ACC in charge.

    LDW is, from what I have figured out, just a warning system. It wiggles the steering wheel and shows a display when it feels you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are out of the lane.

    LKAS is where the rubber really hits the road. When you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 enable this along with the ACC, the car literally drives itself. LKAS keeps you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 centered in the lane at whatever speed you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are going. I have taken my hands off the wheel, but there are apparently sensors in the wheel because after a few seconds, the car says “you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have to drive” and shuts down the auto systems. So just a light pressure on the wheel is all you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 need and you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 can let the car do the work. Sometimes the delay takes a bit and it would seem to the car behind you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are drunk driving since you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are weaving back and forth a bit in the lane. This typically happens when you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are on a curved road. It isn’t perfect, but when the road is straight, it works very well.

    But.

    The cameras for all of this are only as good as the ROAD MARKINGS. We had a snow storm recently and my car was caked with snow and ice and the car just said on the display “cameras blocked” and you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are on you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r own. In addition, I live in rural Wisconsin, just outside of Madison. In the city, there are much better lane markings. In the country, the roads have NONE. No smart driving for you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 in the country, although the ACC always works wherever you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are as long as the camera isn’t blocked by snow. Even in the city, the lane markings deviate and/or are in bad shape in areas, and the car will beep and tell you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 that “tough stuff, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have to drive”, we can’t see the lane. This means that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have to pay attention because at times, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 can see the lane markings, but the cameras can’t. There is a part of the display that lets you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 know if the camera can see the lane markings. I haven’t been on the interstate with it yet, but will soon and look forward to seeing what the car can do in that venue. I assume it will work great.

    All in all, when I figure out everything, this new vehicle will make my hour plus a day in the car a much more pleasant experience. Without proper lane markings, however, or unless and until we have lightning speeds with GPS, I don’t see fully autonomous vehicles coming for a bit. Which gets me to thinking I should probably look into investing in companies that manufacture lane marking equipment and paint, but that is certainly grist for another post.

    Cross posted at .

    Posted in Product Reviews/Endorsements, Tech, Transportation | 71 Comments »

    Now That We Have a New Administration

    Posted by on 26th January 2017 (All posts by )

    I had an appointment with my primary care health provider at the dot of 9 AM Wednesday morning, down at the primary care clinic at Fort Sam Houston. Some years and months ago, they moved that function from the mountainous brick pile that is the Brooke Army Medical Center, into a free-standing clinic facility on Fort Sam Houston itself. I would guess, in the manner of things, that this clinic facility will undergo some kind of mitosis in about ten years, and split into another several facilities … but in the meantime, this is where I get seen for my routine medical issues … mainly high blood pressure. So; minor, mostly – immediately after retiring, I went for years without ever laying eyes on my so-called primary care provider. A good few of them came and went without ever laying eyes or a stethoscope on me, as well. But this last-but-one moved on, just at the point where he and I recognized each other by sight and remembered each other from one yearly appointment to the next. But once yearly, I must go in and see my care provider, and get the prescriptions renewed, and Wednesday was the day …

    Fort Sam Houston – what to say about that place? Historically, it was the new and shiny and built-to-purpose military establishment after the presidio of the Alamo became too cramped, run-down and overwhelmed by the urban sprawl of San Antonio in the late 1870s. I have read in several places, that if the place is ever de-accessioned and turned back to civil authority as the Presidio in San Francisco was, that the inventory of city-owned historic buildings in San Antonio would instantly double. Yes – San Antonio is and was that important. It was the US Army HQ for the Southwest from the time that Texas became a state, the main supply hub for all those forts scattered across New Mexico Territory (which was most of the Southwest, after the war with Mexico), the 500vip彩票安卓下载官网 of the commander and admin staff for that administrative area. Every notable Army officer from both world wars put in serious time at Fort Sam during their formative military years, and the very first aircraft bought by the Army Signal Corps did demo flights from the parade ground. (I put a description of this in the final chapter of The .)
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Current Events, Elections, Military Affairs, Politics, Texas, Trump | 25 Comments »

    Glasnost and Perestroika: An Agenda for the Trump Administration

    Posted by David McFadden on 25th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Although President Trump is confident of his ability to deal with Vladimir Putin, he should carefully avoid emulating Putin. It would be far better for the president to look to the example of Putin’s predecessor, Mikhail Gorbachev, who transformed the Soviet Union. The first steps in the transformation were glasnost and perestroika. Glasnost, introduced in 1985, roughly means openness and was a step toward open discussion of political and social issues. Perestroika, introduced the following year, roughly means restructuring. Perestroika reduced central economic planning and allowed some private business ownership. These and later reforms resulted in a sharp increase in political freedom (from nil), which peaked in 1991. Sadly, the gains were short lived. Freedom steadily and drastically declined under Yeltsin and Putin for a complex of reasons debated at .

    The United States as it emerges from the Obama Administration, while not as bad off as the Soviet Union as it emerged from communism, is badly in need of both glasnost and perestroika. They should be the twin priorities of the dawning Trump Administration.

    Glasnost

    The American left has come to despise freedom of speech as much as it has traditionally despised freedom of contract. It has followed the normal progression of leftist movements toward viewing the protection of its social objectives as more important than human rights. The earliest and still worst manifestation of this trend is on college campuses. Campus speech codes began to appear in the late 1980’s and spread rapidly. Within a few years sixty percent of colleges had them. According to a , the percentage has declined over the last nine years to forty percent.

    In 1998, Congress declared that it was the sense of Congress that “an institution of higher education should facilitate the free and open exchange of ideas” and that “students should not be intimidated, harassed, discouraged from speaking out, or discriminated against.” . While the sponsors of this provision may have thought (or wanted to give the impression) that they were doing something, they did not do very much. The provision imposes no consequences on institutions that act contrary to the sense of Congress on this subject. It needs an amendment putting federal funds at stake, as anti-discrimination sections in title 20 do. Although speech codes are less common than they were, universities still do a lot to stifle “the free and open exchange of ideas.” In particular, they fail to prevent students from being intimidated, harassed, and discouraged from speaking out by other students, using increasingly violent methods.

    Intolerance of dissent, especially on a fixed dogma like climate change, is not limited to college campuses. A few years ago, a cabal of environmentalists enlisted sympathetic state attorneys general to investigate climate change dissidents. With a vague objective of finding a RICO violation, a group of twenty attorneys general (“AGs United for Clean Power”) have subpoenaed forty years of records from ExxonMobil in a retaliatory effort to find evidence that it has had information on climate change that differs from what it has said publicly. The attorney general of the Virgin Islands subpoenaed documents from academic institutions, scientists, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank. He withdrew that subpoena after getting some pushback from a congressional committee and a lawsuit from the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

    A venerable weapon is available for the Justice Department to use against oppressive state universities and attorneys general, the Enforcement Act of 1870. The second section of the act, 18 U.S.C. § 242, makes it a crime for anyone under color of state law to deprive a person of rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution. The first section of the act, 18 U.S.C. § 241, provides criminal penalties for conspiracy to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in the enjoyment of any right secured to him by the Constitution. State action is not an element of the crime under § 241. Could not the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, under new leadership, go after, for example, a group of students who prevent Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking? That would be fun.

    These tools may or may not work, but they should be tried. Assaults on civil liberties should no longer be costless.

    Perestroika

    In Federalist No. 72, Hamilton said, “To reverse and undo what has been done by a predecessor, is very often considered by a successor as the best proof he can give of his own capacity and desert.” This has to be the best standard now, as everyone in the Trump Administration should understand.

    Perestroika in the modern context ought to begin with reversing and undoing the Obama Administration’s impositions on the economy. Amity Shlaes, who, it should be recalled, wrote The Forgotten Man, that “smaller firms–the ones unready for the lawsuit, the investigation or the audit–bear the greater share of regulatory costs.” The regulatory burdens in need of repeal extend far beyond the Affordable Care Act and its progeny. Daniel Pérez of George Washington University’s Regulatory Studies Center Obama issued about 33% more “economically significant” regulations than either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush.

    It will be a challenge for the political appointees in all the departments of the federal government to sift through the regulations and begin the process of liberating the economy from the worst of them. Fortunately, litigation has already left some of the Department of Labor’s output in ruins. The Persuader Rule, which I warned about in this blog before its adoption, and the Fiduciary Rule are controversial intrusions of the Labor Department into professional relationships. Both the Persuader Rule and an anti-business revision of overtime regulations have been enjoined by federal district courts in Texas. Five different lawsuits challenging the Fiduciary Rule are pending.

    Withdrawing appeals of the rulings against the Persuader Rule and the overtime regulations is the simplest way to dispatch those rules. Other recently adopted regulations can by nullified by using the Congressional Review Act, . A joint resolution of disapproval has to be introduced within sixty days of Congress’s receipt of a report of rulemaking. The act provides an expedited procedure for a joint resolution and limits debate in the Senate. In June, President Obama vetoed a joint resolution disapproving the Fiduciary Rule.

    For that rule, and so many others, the arduous notice and comment process of the Administrative Procedure Act will be the only method of repeal. The ultimate goal should be that the Code of Federal Regulations will bear no trace that the Obama Administration ever existed and, more generally, that this time glasnost and perestroika will have a more lasting imprint.

    Posted in Big Government, Civil Liberties, Education, Law, Obama, Russia, Trump | 5 Comments »

    Mangroves

    Posted by Jonathan on 24th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Mangroves At Sunset

    Posted in Photos | Comments Off on Mangroves

    Uncle Henry, Charlie Kellstadt, and Donald Trump

    Posted by David Foster on 24th January 2017 (All posts by )

    As President Trump has focused on persuading certain specific companies to increase their US employment (or at least to refrain from decreasing it as much as originally planned), concerns have been raised about his ability to operate above the level of the single case and to think in terms of framing general policies. I do share this concern to a certain extent.

    But I’m also reminded of Peter Drucker’s story about two old-line merchants.

    The first of these, called “Uncle Henry” by those who knew him, was the founder and owner of a large and succesful department store. When Drucker met him, he was already in his eighties. Uncle Henry was a businessman who did things by intuition more than by formal analysis, and his own son Irving, a Harvard B-School graduate, was appalled at “the unsystematic and unscientific way the store was being run.”

    Drucker remembers his conversations with Uncle Henry. “He would tell stories constantly, always to do with a late consignment of ladies’ hats, or a shipment of mismatched umbrellas, or the notions counter. His stories would drive me up the wall. But gradually I learned to listen, at least with one ear. For surprisingly enough he always leaped to a generalization from the farrago of anecdotes and stocking sizes and color promotions in lieu of markdowns for mismatched umbrellas.”

    Drucker also knew another leading merchant, Charles Kellstadt (who had once run Sears.) Kellstadt and Drucker served together on a Department of Defense advisory board (on procurement policy), and Kellstadt told “the same kind of stories Uncle Henry had told.” Drucker says that his fellow board members “suffered greatly from his interminable and apparently pointless anecdotes.”

    On one occasion, a “whiz kid” (this was during the McNamara era) was presenting a proposal for a radically new approach to defense pricing policy. Kellstadt “began to tell a story of the bargain basement in the store in Chillicothe, Ohio, where he had held his first managerial job, and of some problem there with the cup sizes of women’s bras. he would stop every few sentences and ask the bewildered Assistant Secretary a quesion about bras, then go on. Finally, the Assistant Secretary said, “You don’t understand Mr. Kellstadt; I’m talking about concepts.” “So am I,” said Charlie, quite indignant, and went on. Ten minutes later all of us on the board realized that he had demolished the entire proposal by showing us that it was far too complex, made far too many assumptions, and contains far too many ifs, buts, and whens.” After the meeting, another board member (dean of a major engineering school) said admiringly, “Charlie, that was a virtuoso performance. but why did you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have to drag in the cup sizes of the bras in you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r bargain basement forty years ago?” Drucker reports that Charlie was surprised by the question: “How else can I see a problem in my mind’s eye?”

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Business, Deep Thoughts, Management, Trump | 6 Comments »

    What Chicago Boyz Readers Are Reading (December 2016)

    Posted by Jonathan on 24th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Below is a list of the books, ebooks, music and videos that Chicago Boyz readers viewed and/or ordered in December 2016 via Amazon links on this blog. (A cumulative list of Chicago Boyz readers’ Amazon purchases is here.)

    Your book and non-book Amazon purchases help to support this blog via the Amazon Associates program. Chicago Boyz earns a percentage on all of you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r Amazon purchases as long as you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 get to the Amazon site by clicking on Amazon links on this blog (including the Amazon banner in the blog header, , and even Amazon links on Chicago Boyz for products other than the ones that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 want to buy).

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Book Notes | 1 Comment »

    The Ballpoint Pen as an Economic Case Study

    Posted by David Foster on 20th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has lamented China’s inability to “make ballpoint pens with a smooth writing function.” After five years of research, a state-owned steel company now says it can.

    notes that 80% of the world’s ballpoint pens are made in China…but that thus far, China has not been making all of the pen’s components. Specifically:

    The tip of a high-quality ballpoint demands metal work involving high-precision machinery and very hard, ultrathin steel plates. So 90% of pens made in China have imported tips. China’s leaders want “self-sufficiency,” in pens as in semiconductors. Now they claim they’ll have it.

    This little story is interesting from at least three angles.

    First–as the WSJ story points out, China’s desire to control the entire ballpoint pen supply chain indicates that their leaders still value economic autarky, and that Chinese leadership denunciation of President Trump on grounds of his insufficient respect for free trade carry more than a whiff of hypocrisy.

    Second–the ballpoint pen example makes the point that the apparent simplicity of a product does not necessarily reflect the complexity or lack thereof involved in manufacturing it. American economic commentators often fail to grasp this point when they assert that America’s future must lie in producing “advanced high-technology products.”

    Third–the example should also clarify the point that the highest value in a product supply chain does not necessarily lie in the assembly of the final product. The final product assembly is usually the most visible part of the supply chain, but very often the creation of components that go into that chain involves more complexity and requires more skill than the final assembly process itself. It’s considerably more difficult to make integrated circuits, for example, than to assemble those chips onto circuit boards and to assemble the boards into a plastic or metal case.

    Posted in Business, China, Economics & Finance, Tech, USA | 44 Comments »

    The Right Hand Side of the Menu

    Posted by Ginny on 20th January 2017 (All posts by )

    I’ve never understood people who don’t notice costs. Maybe it was because we didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up, maybe it was bicycling around to deliver papers in the snow . . . but I don’t think so. My life wasn’t all that rough. I think it is good old Scottish common sense. It is sensible to assess price in terms of worth. Or as Franklin would see it – is the value of the time I spent earning that money a good exchange for the use or pleasure it provides. From different perspectives, this was what I thought when I set prices in my business and when I wander around a store, touching and thinking about that dress or dish.

    I’ve long wondered about D.C.’s ability to spend money. As a Kelly girl, I found state and federal offices squandered time in ways private businesses never did. We know the stories of lottery winners whose money is gone in half a year. I suspect someone who considers the lottery a good investment probably isn’t all that good at assessing worth, though they may be misled by winning.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Current Events, Customer Service, Trump | 12 Comments »

    National Tantrum

    Posted by on 19th January 2017 (All posts by )

    As the Deity be my witness, I have never – not even since 1968 (which I am sufficiently old enough to remember, being 14 years of age in that cursed year) – seen such a massive and public temper tantrum as that which we have been observing since November, 2015. Let it be said that I am observing all this with appalled and horrified fascination. It used to be that only certain very far-leftish intellectuals and college students were given to briefly melt down in such an over-the-top fashion – but over the last month and a bit this appears to have become the chosen reaction to their side losing an election on the part of most Hollywood A- B- and C-Listers, all the social justice warrior front, most of the establishment media, a good chunk of our public intellectuals, a good few businesses (looking at you500vip彩票安卓下载官网, Kellogg) a generous selection of our Democrat Party establishment, and a representative sample of leftish freelance political freaks. (As an aside – good show; displaying you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r contempt toward at least half of you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r prospective audience/consumers/& etc is a sure winner, when it comes to the consumer market. This household will never purchase Kellogg brands again. Or go to a movie with Meryl Streep in it.)

    So – why the Cat-5 hurricane degree of hysteria, which shows not the slightest degree of diminishing? A number of reasons, I would venture; and for many of the most demonstrative “Never Our President” virtue signalers it may be a combination of several of these.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Civil Society, Deep Thoughts, Politics, Tea Party, The Press, Trump | 21 Comments »

    [ ENTERS QUIETLY, STAGE RIGHT. LOOKS AROUND NERVOUSLY. CLEARS THROAT PART TWO]

    Posted by Subotai Bahadur on 19th January 2017 (All posts by )

    First, let me thank you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 all for the warm welcome. I am deeply cognizant of the fact that I am writing in the company of the first team, and I just hope that I can keep up. I am going to try to turn up here every week or two.

    In the previous installment, I mentioned that children are learning 500vip彩票安卓下载官网. If you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 want to raise a generation that excels, use that. They want to learn. They are desperate to learn. And if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 pay enough attention to them as individual people, they will learn from you500vip彩票安卓下载官网. Don’t talk down to them. Don’t plant them in front a TV that teaches them that America is evil, Whites are evil, and that males are evil and incompetent. You have to present alternate lessons.

    My children are grown. I lost a son at 11 years old, but the rest have done well. My oldest daughter owns her own business with her family. My next oldest got two degrees in 5 years, the next has her degree and has run a multi-county arts council, and my son chose not to go to college but became a chef and then a master brewer for an internationally respected craft brewery [and makes more than his sisters]. They, and my nieces and nephews have all mentioned that I am different than most parents. I have always talked to them like they were people, and not “children”. I might have to explain things, but I don’t talk down to them.

    Part of that is so they learn new things and expect to learn new things as part of growing up. Part of that is the respect shown to them as people. Which they will internalize. If they believe they are worthy of respect, then they will try to live up to their self image.

    Children will be what they are expected to be. If you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have low expectations, they will live down to those expectations. If you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have high expectations, and by that I do not mean pressured, just make sure that they have access to the tools and let them use them; then they will.

    My dad had a 6th Grade Chinese education in the late 1910’s, early 1920’s. He knew what he did not know. From my own 6th grade, we had to start picking our classes for the next year. He told me that he would sign whatever I chose, because he did not know what I would need. Just as I was responsible for cooking for myself when alone and taking care of myself when alone from age 9, I was responsible for directing my own schooling, with the expectation that I would choose the best course of study for the future. And I did.

    I was always a reader. When I got my first library card at 10 and went to the Aurora Public Library, they kept trying to chase me into the children’s section. I wanted to be in the History section, checking out and reading the 15 volumes of Morison’s “Official History of US Naval Operations in WW-II”. I told my dad, and his response was to give me a note to take to the librarians. It said: “Reading is good. You shouldn’t have anything in the library he shouldn’t read. If he can carry it, he can check it out.”. Just in passing, I had a bike with a paperboy’s baskets. I could carry quite a lot. But the lesson there was that I was free to learn anything that interested me. Teach that lesson, and be willing to either answer any questions or refer to a reference source if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 cannot answer them you500vip彩票安卓下载官网rself.

    What they are surrounded with at 500vip彩票安卓下载官网 can guide and enable that search for knowledge. If y’all remember, there was a world before the Internet. In those days, a good set of encyclopedias was the best that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 could do at 500vip彩票安卓下载官网. In 1963 my dad spent the equivalent of a month’s wages to get a deluxe edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica for me. And I used it.

    When my kids were growing up, we had functionally a library at 500vip彩票安卓下载官网. Today in my house, literally every room has walls of floor to ceiling bookcases, packed; except for the bathroom and our bedroom. For décor reasons, the bedroom bookcases are long and low. And most of what I call my “working library” of military reference books from when I was writing for military journals are packed away, because I don’t have room to have them out. I arguably have a better history collection than our local public library.

    That is what my kids grew up surrounded by. Then there is the completing link for that portion.

    They have to see that reading, and learning, is normal. Kids do what they see. Just as certain behaviors make you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 someone who can learn, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have to model them as examples for them to follow. It takes up part of the day, but one parent or another needs to read to children when they are small every day. My kids’ bedtime stories were “The Hobbit” and then “The Lord of the Rings”. Yeah, they are not pre-school books. Kids don’t care. Kids will learn, especially if mom or dad read it to them. They may [shock] end up with a wider vocabulary than their contemporaries. They may hear a story [whichever one you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 pick] that has good, evil, the struggle between them, honor, and good winning through perseverance and being willing to pay a cost. Nothing being free. And it may influence their outlook on life.

    If they see you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 reading by you500vip彩票安卓下载官网rself, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 normalize it, and they will turn to books. They will thereby create an internal horizon that is something larger than the adventures of the latest Disney semi-slut. If they hear you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 and you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r spouse or friends discussing what you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have read, if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 relate what they do see on TV to history and to literature, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 widen that horizon. Kids are learning 500vip彩票安卓下载官网. We, Deity help us, have being a teaching machine as part of our job description on top of being the economic support. No one says it’s easy.

    When looking at widening you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r children’s horizons, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have to have an aim towards what you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 want to include within that horizon. Here is where the final piece falls into place. Your school needs to be something other than the politically correct mish-mash of Marxist theory and anarchist “fact” that makes up the public school system. Where you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 send you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r kids and what is taught will make or break them.

    Except for a dismal period in high school when I was stuck in the middle of Nebraska [where the world history teacher was acclaimed as the Nebraska teacher of the year, and in whose class I got an A literally without cracking the text] I grew up in Denver and Aurora from 3rd grade on. When I was there, there were schools known for excellence. Some friends of mine went to a Denver high school where admission to MIT, or Colorado School of Mines, or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute was a common event for a graduating class. My own high school had regular admissions to service academies or to Ivy League schools before they degraded.

    Now, those schools are sites of gang wars, drug emporiums, and a part of the production line of dropouts and criminals.

    Looking at the school systems in Colorado, where every major system now has more administrators than teaching staff, there is very little excellence. You have to look outside the standard public schools to find such. Specifically, charter schools. And not just any charter schools. There are some whose teaching is based on the theories of E. D. Hirsch.

    Hirsch wrote Cultural Literacy; What Every American Needs to Know, The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, and the series of books What Your Preschooler Needs to Know on through What Your Sixth Grader Needs to Know. Read these. Cultural Literacy can be defined as what you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 need to know to fit in to and function in a Western, Judeo-Christian based, constitutional society. It is exactly what is not only not taught, but is concealed by modern public schools.

    He created and still runs the Core Knowledge Foundation. And there are a number of charter schools based on his principles. There is one in my town. There are fewer administrators. The staff gets less pay than teachers do in the rest of the district. And teachers fight to get a slot there, because they are allowed to teach. In Colorado, we have proficiency testing at regular intervals for all students. Not one of the Core Knowledge students has ever failed the proficiency tests in the over a decade they have been in existence, and most test far above their grade level.

    A few years ago, our town’s high school abolished the position of Valedictorian of the graduating class. Because when students transfer from the Core Knowledge school, they are so far ahead of the regular public school students that the Valedictorian was always a Core Knowledge student. And it did not make the other schools and teachers look good, nor did the concept of someone actually excelling match modern educational theory.

    Not saying that they are perfect. There are some behavioral problems. These are teenagers brought up in modern America, and in a state where marijuana is legalized, for pity’s sake. But the behavioral problems are a small fraction of the regular public school peers, and the dropout/flunkout rate is almost non-existent. By the vaporous cojones of the Holy Ghost, they are doing something very, very right with those kids.

    So, finally getting around to the original question that started all this. I don’t claim this is the only way, but this is what has worked in my experience, and what books, theories, and schools I recommend.

    Fair warning. Once I start writing, I AM a wordy bugger.

    Posted in Education | 8 Comments »

    [ ENTERS QUIETLY, STAGE RIGHT. LOOKS AROUND NERVOUSLY. CLEARS THROAT Part One]

    Posted by Subotai Bahadur on 18th January 2017 (All posts by )

    I have been dropping by here for some years, and have encountered some CHICAGO BOYZ elsewhere around the web. Apparently, some have not been scared off by my ramblings, so I have been offered a chance to write here sometimes. It may be that someone, somewhere is dubious about this. Before I could register with the credentials offered, my ancient [my fallback is an abacus] machine did something . . . terminal to Firefox and I lost all but email. The error message was unlike any I had ever seen, so this had to go to my boffin. Which is part of the cause of the delay.

    The computer was fixable. The other part is not, completely. Let us just say that I am getting an in depth view of orthopedics. And for the last week I have been arguing with WordPress and losing until literally moments ago.

    Now that I am back, let us return to the discussion that started all this some time ago. I was giving some of my family history, and was asked what I would recommend to teach “real history”; that which actually influenced the real world we have to deal with, not the Narrative which changes with the winds of political correctness and who is currently playing the part of Emmanuel Goldstein.

    With all due modesty, like the rest of us here I am on the right side of the bell curve. Part of that is genetics, part of that is upbringing. I’ve mentioned my father, and his coming from China. This came about because I had a grandfather who was smarter than the average Chinese peasant. He counted acres of land, and sons, and realized that he did not have enough land to divvy up to let each son have a chance to support a family. My dad was the you500vip彩票安卓下载官网ngest, so he was told that he would not get land when he grew up, but that he would be sent to the United States where he would have a chance to make his fortune.

    Mind you500vip彩票安卓下载官网, he was 12 years old, had the Chinese equivalent of a 6th grade education [so he could read, write, and do arithmetic in Chinese], and had no family going with him. And we have already gone through the legal environment here for Chinese. But he was willing to go.

    It is not often considered, but China has the concept of “pioneer stock” the same as Americans. They did not go West, they went South. Until the Chinese cut down the jungle, chased out the tigers, and planted rice; South China was the frontier. And it was the South Chinese [Cantonese] who became the commercial classes all through SE Asia. And it was the Cantonese who came to this country in search of opportunity.

    As one can imagine, life was not exactly upper middle class American for him. He worked in a restaurant, starting at the bottom, slept on a pallet in the back, and along the way learned English. He became a cook, and then [largely because he spoke, read, and wrote English unlike most Chinese immigrants] after the entry of the US into WW-II, was a food service supervisor at the old Lowry Army Air Force Base in Denver, when it was located in the Park Hill neighborhood before they moved it out by Aurora.

    In 1943, due to Chinese protests about the way Chinese airmen in the US being trained to fly B-24’s against the Japanese were treated by Americans [in Pueblo, Colorado]; the US became the last nation to give up Extraterritorial Status in China, and thus Chinese in this country finally became legally human beings.

    Although not an American citizen, once he could my dad enlisted in the Army. Keep in mind, that 30 years old is awful late to become an infantry soldier. And he did become an infantryman. They tried to make him a cook, and he fought to become an infantryman.

    He started carrying a mortar base plate, and by the end of the war was one of the first non-white squad leaders in the combat infantry. He never talked about anything after they shipped out for Europe. Most combat veterans don’t. It was only after he died, that I learned that his unit the 5th Infantry RGMT, 71st Infantry Division, had fought across Europe including breaking the Siegfried Line, took part in the Battle of the Bulge, on May 4 his company liberated the last concentration camp in German hands [Gunzkirchen sub-camp of Matthausen] and on May 8 was the farthest east of any American Army unit in Europe when they linked up with the Russians east of Linz, Austria.

    For his service, he was granted his citizenship at the end of the war. I did it the easy way, being born here.

    I know that I am repeating myself from earlier posts, but it is not to brag, but to point out one very key concept. I grew up hearing about his life, except for his service in Europe, over and over again as I grew up. I watched him. Keep in mind that he raised me alone until I was 16, and owned his own restaurant. And worked 12+ hours a day, 6 days a week to raise me in a middle class lifestyle.

    I always knew that just below the surface was a harder life, a worse life, than we lived. And that it took a lot of work to keep that good life. Like most of our Chinese acquaintances, it was assumed that all that work had the goal that the next generation would have it better than having to work in restaurants 72 hours a week.

    And the kids shared in the work. My first restaurant job involved busing tables, one plate at a time, at 4 years old. Customers thought it was cute as hell. Probably helped the waitress’s tips. Most of my contemporaries worked off the books, without pay, until age 16 when they could legally go on the books. And then we worked in the family restaurants weekends, after school, and on all school breaks until we went to college. All that work did not excuse us from having to have good grades. Indeed, the only excuse for not working was that we had too much schoolwork.

    In college, by that time most of us were qualified Chinese cooks. So on summer breaks, and Christmas breaks we would cook in the family restaurants, full time for full pay. And that is how we paid for college. In college I would work 4 months a year for $600 a month Chinese [which then meant in the middle of the country to get Chinese cooks to come there, the pay was after taxes and room and board was furnished.] like every other cook in the restaurant I worked 6 days a week, 12-15 hours a day, in 109 degree temperatures in the kitchen.

    This was vital. We grew up knowing that to have a good life, we would have to work hard. And we worked hard. And we developed the ability to, if necessary, outwork our competition no matter what. One of the things my dad told me was that to get the same reward as a white person in this country, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 had to work three times as hard and be three times as good.

    Even by the time I was growing up, it was not quite that bad, the way it was when my dad was making his way. I promise that it is getting easier and easier to work 3 times as hard and be three times as good.

    Modern Americans, and Europeans, do not grow up that way. There is no real consciousness or acceptance that success requires work, sometimes hard, painful, physical work. There is no knowledge or experience that life was not always as easy as it is today, and no comprehension that it is possible that someday that life can be hard. It is expected that there is always going to be someone, or something that will take care of them.

    The immigrant culture, the concept of working you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r way up from whatever you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 left to a better life for you500vip彩票安卓下载官网rself and you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r children is gone. It is not just a Chinese or Asian culture. Germans, Irish, Scots, Jews, legal immigrants from Mexico and points south, Africans; they all had and can have it.

    The first step then, if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 want you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r children to learn “real history” is to teach them that history as they grow up. The hard times that either you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 or you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r parents or grandparents had to go through. Make sure they know by relatable stories of their own families about not only hard times [and every American family has such in their history either here or in the old country], but how they overcame it. Teach them about real life, about real suffering. Don’t sugar coat things, because the world is not sugar coated. Children are learning 500vip彩票安卓下载官网. From the moment they open their eyes and they try to make sense of what you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are saying they will absorb knowledge like a sponge. Tell them the truth, tell them reality. Tell them about the heroes that they came from, because that is who they will try to be worthy of. And teach them that they CAN be worthy of those who came before.

    There are other steps, but creating a culture of reality and honor [both for their past, and for them to live up to] is critical. End Part One of Two.

    Posted in Education | 24 Comments »

    Fake News, today’s CJR edition

    Posted by on 18th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Here is an and arrogantly signed “The Press Corps” without actually soliciting any other signatures of journalists.

    What really gets me is his fifth point “We’ll obsess over the details of government” which is simply, objectively not true. If it were true, certain artifacts would have produced and an entire category of journalism would be common because a press corps that was obsessed over the details of government would use those artifacts to easily and cheaply create certain stories that they do not create.

    When you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 read about Flint, MI and its lead pipe problem on the web, did the site geolocate you500vip彩票安卓下载官网, identifying you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r own water system, list out the lead pipes used there, the date when the last one is projected to be replaced, and give you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 the contact information of the office that can move that lead free date up? No, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 didn’t because years before, nobody identified all the water systems and arranged a cheap way to regularly get their pipe inventory into a database along with the install dates and expected lifespans. That would be the mark of a press corps that was obsessed over the details of government.

    That would be journalism worth paying for and the kind of story that I would like to write and see written.

    Here’s what is missing to do that Flint story correctly.

    Comprehensive list of all governments that operate their own water systems with contact information
    List of the private water systems overseen by various government oversight bodies
    Each water system’s pipe inventory with install and expected replacement dates along with type/material of pipe.

    I really would love to not be building out these basic data structures. The established press, which does have the resources to do such a thing quickly, just is not interested so others have to step in.

    Posted in Media, USA | 6 Comments »

    Dominic Cummings: How the Brexit Referendum was Won

    Posted by Lexington Green on 17th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 5.25.53 PM

    Dominic Cummings explains . Cummings was the Campaign Director of Vote Leave. He was in effect the executive director of the Brexit referendum campaign. This article explains how it happened. It is also long and rambling. But read it all anyway.

    It is full of many interesting observations and various insightful, epigrammatic comments:

    Most of the MPs we dealt with were not highly motivated to win and lacked extreme focus, even those who had been boring everybody about this for decades. They sort of wanted to win but they had other priorities. …
     
    This lack of motivation is connected to another important psychology – the willingness to fail conventionally. Most people in politics are, whether they know it or not, much more comfortable with failing conventionally than risking the social stigma of behaving unconventionally. They did not mind losing so much as being embarrassed, as standing out from the crowd. (The same phenomenon explains why the vast majority of active fund management destroys wealth and nobody learns from this fact repeated every year.)

    This happens all the time, not just in politics.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Anglosphere, Britain, Crony Capitalism | 10 Comments »

    Seth Barrett Tillman: Opening Arguments Podcast on the Emoluments Clause, With Andrew Torrez and Thomas Smith

    Posted by Jonathan on 17th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Posted in History, Law, USA | Comments Off on Seth Barrett Tillman: Opening Arguments Podcast on the Emoluments Clause, With Andrew Torrez and Thomas Smith

    Seth Barrett Tillman: Tillman’s Poetry Corner: Flanders Fields

    Posted by Jonathan on 17th January 2017 (All posts by )

    This is interesting:

    John McCrae’s Flanders Fields is iconic. No more need be said. Unfortunately, its meaning has been distorted by the most popular voice and instrumental accompaniment. This new reading of the poem has transformed Flanders Fields’ meaning. My guess is that this metamorphosis was unintentional, but one and all should work to recover the original public meaning.

    Posted in Arts & Letters, Culture, History, Poetry, Rhetoric | 1 Comment »

    Dusk

    Posted by Jonathan on 16th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Posted in Photos | 3 Comments »

    Lex on Leadership

    Posted by David Foster on 16th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Neptunus Lex wrote about his “you500vip彩票安卓下载官网ngster” cruise as a Midshipman attending the Naval Academy. This is the first of two cruises that a Midshipman takes: during the second cruise, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r activities are those of an officer…

    But during you500vip彩票安卓下载官网ngster year, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 sail as a Sailor. You wear dungarees, chip paint, sweep passageways and stand enlisted watches. You sleep in enlisted berthing, eat in the enlisted mess and attempt to get some sense of the men you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are supposed to lead in three year’s time, and the lives they live. ..You are tempted to believe that this work is beneath you500vip彩票安卓下载官网. You are a Naval Academy midshipman, the cream of the crop. You are special.

    and

    You spend some time in the engineering plant – in a gas turbine ship, an amazingly clean and quiet space. Totally incomprehensible. It resembles nothing at all like the wiring diagrams in you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r thermodynamics textbooks.

    But there’s a 23 year old Sailor who didn’t go to college, never read Thoreau, and who nevertheless understands it all. He patiently tries to teach you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 how it works. He speaks to you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 like one would speak to an elderly person in a nursing 500vip彩票安卓下载官网, slowly, simply. You feel patronized, and worse: You realize that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 do not entirely understand.

    You are beginning to learn – not about engineering. But about Sailors.

    and

    You’re heading 500vip彩票安卓下载官网. Bridge watches now, under the tutelage of 20 year old quartermaster’s mates. Men from small towns that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网’ve never hear of, in states you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 remember dimly from you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r grade school geography. From farming families, where no one went to college, and no one was expected to. Men who could fix you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r position to a hundred yards moving at 20 knots across the endless sea using only the stars, a stopwatch and a sextant. Men who could debate the finer points of Strauss and Engels. Men who play classical guitar to an appreciative audience in the 80 man berthing during their time off duty. Who have dreams of their own that they will tell you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 about, when no one else is listening. Men who would risk their lives to save you500vip彩票安卓下载官网rs in the midst of a flaming inferno, without hesitating for a moment to reckon the cost, to tally the odds. Men who would die for you500vip彩票安卓下载官网, if they had to.

    And you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 begin to realize that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网’re not special because of who you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 are, the grades you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 got in high school or where you500vip彩票安卓下载官网’re going to college. You’re special because of who you500vip彩票安卓下载官网’ve been selected to lead, when you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r time comes.

    And that, my friends, is the beginning of wisdom.

    Definitely .

    There was a general…can’t remember who it was…who remarked that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 will can never be a good officer unless you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 like Soldiers. (And you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 can’t fake it for long, he added.) I think it is pretty clear that Lex liked Sailors.

    One way of evaluating any leader…military, political, business executive..is his attitude toward those he leads or wants to lead.

    Posted in Management, Military Affairs, USA | 9 Comments »

    You are the someone.

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 13th January 2017 (All posts by )

    tonopah shooting

    I posted a bit on the role of the individual and terrorism last year.

    We are a week from the Trump inauguration and there are all sorts of threats by the left to disrupt the inauguration.

    What can individuals do ?

    Tomorrow, my wife and daughter are going to drive to Tucson where we have bought a new 500vip彩票安卓下载官网. They plan to leave early and about 10 AM will be passing the Tonopah turnoff on the way to Phoenix. Yesterday,

    According to Col. Frank Milstead, the director of DPS, the trooper was responding to the shots fired call when he came upon a single-vehicle rollover wreck near Tonopah. A woman had been ejected from that vehicle.

    The trooper immediately stopped and began laying out flares.

    DPS Capt. Damon Cecil said the trooper — a 27-year-veteran of the agency — was ambushed by the suspect when he got out of his vehicle at the scene of the rollover. The trooper was shot and wounded.

    I have not yet heard if the suspect was crazy or what motive he might have had. A passerby stopped and told the suspect to stop his assault on the trooper. The passerby then went back to his car and got his gun. He told the suspect to stop or he would shoot him. He did not stop and the passerby shot and killed him.

    Milstead, speaking from the hospital to which his trooper and taken, said an “uninvolved third party” who was driving by saw the trooper grappling with the suspect and stopped to help, eventually shooting and killing the suspect.

    That civilian, using the wounded trooper’s radio, was the one who alerted DPS to the shooting.

    “To the civilian on the DPS trooper’s radio, if you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 can hear me, I need you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 to let me know where the suspect is that got in an altercation with our trooper,” the dispatcher could be heard saying on the scanner.

    “The suspect is … occasionally breathing or stirring. He’s been shot by a passerby,” the man with the wounded trooper’s radio calmly responded. “He’s laying right next to the officer.”

    Arizona has been an open carry state since it was a state. The chief of the Department of Public Safety said his trooper would not be alive but for the passerby with the gun.

    I am leaving a state that has become horribly corrupt since I first came here in 1956. I have much higher hopes for Tucson where we will be living after Monday.

    It has been a hassle but I have high hopes for

    I am taking all my guns. California is Chicago with good weather. My niece who is a nurse at Rush medical center has a friend, another nurse with metastatic breast cancer but still working. Yesterday, leaving work, she was held up. She told the gunman, “Go ahead and shoot me, I have nothing to lose.” He robbed her but did not shoot her.

    Posted in Crime and Punishment, Personal Narrative | 8 Comments »

    An Odd Couple, or a Match Made in Heaven?

    Posted by David Foster on 13th January 2017 (All posts by )

    It is interesting that there is such a high overlap of political opinion between College Professors and Entertainers…the latter category not being known for their intellectual or scholarly tastes, on the average.

    Significance, if any?

    Posted in Academia, Film, Politics, USA | 33 Comments »

    Seth Barrett Tillman: This is what balanced news reporting looks like ….

    Posted by Jonathan on 13th January 2017 (All posts by )

    [Partial automated translation:]

    Tillman also pointed out that many of the public service regulations were not valid for the purpose of preventing possible conflicts of interest for elected deputies [i.e., officials], judges and not least the presidents and vice-presidents. Tillman called [i.e., made reference to] the desired independence of the persons who hold such offices. If presidents had to submit their decisions to an ethics officer, in order to rule out possible conflicts of interest, the latter would gain a very powerful position, although he [i.e., the latter] was not legitimized by any choice [of the people]. Judges and elected representatives enjoy a trust advance.

    This is . Recent US reporting on the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause, like much recent US reporting on any topic that can be associated with Trump, is tendentious in the extreme.

    See also: (Seth appears in the beginning around 5:50, debating a Democratic Party representative. The clip runs about 9 minutes.)

    Posted in Law, Media, Politics, Trump, Video | 1 Comment »

    Those With Dead Eyes

    Posted by on 11th January 2017 (All posts by )

    I didn’t watch very much of the horrific YouTube tape of four inner-city “you500vip彩票安卓下载官网ths” of color tormenting a special needs white kid – a tape that was all over the alternative media last week, and miracle of miracles, even made it to the national media, where incidents of black-on-white violence usually get to be covered, like with a pillow until they stop moving. It goes without saying that if the skin colors of victim and perpetrators had been reversed, just about every other national news story would have been driven off the front page and out of the first twenty minutes of national news for weeks. (Save perhaps one of the Kardashians bursting out of her dress like an overstuffed sausage in the middle of a top-drawer celebrity event.) I know that, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 know that, we all are most tiresomely and cynically aware of that. Many would have been the chins tugged, NPR would have been consulting their golden rolodex for the most plummy-voiced commentator with an air of spurious authority over matters racial, CNN anchors and the correspondents of main-line news broadcasters over the world would have been hyperventilating in their efforts to keep up with the currently-fashionable expressions of condemnation of American racism, brutality, racism, cruelty to the ‘other’, white privilege, racism, the center-city of places like Chicago, Baltimore, St. Louis, Detroit (aside – is there anything left in Detroit to burn?) would have been going up in flames … so on and so forth, und so weiter. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Chicagoania, Crime and Punishment, Current Events, The Press, Urban Issues | 27 Comments »

    The End of Accounting Book Review – Part One

    Posted by on 8th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Recently I read an excellent book called “” by Baruch Lev and Feng Gu. I highly recommend this book for investors, analysts, accountants, and those with a general interest in business. The book is very well written and researched in that it:

    1. Describes the current situation in depth
    2. Aligns the situation across an historical context and with relevant research
    3. Makes specific recommendations about how to improve the situation

    If you500vip彩票安卓下载官网’d like to read more about this topic on you500vip彩票安卓下载官网r own (will help to frame out these posts), here is an excellent Wall Street Journal article titled “” (if the link doesn’t work because you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 don’t have a subscription you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 can probably find it elsewhere on the internet). Here is a link from and an from CFO magazine.

    The first post in this series is going to be my personal insights and journey in the area of accounting information, financial and investor relations analysts. This context is relevant because I, too, have seen the problems that the authors outline in the series and come up with my own “hacks” to attempt to gain better information and insights.

    I started out my career as an accountant, and I used to help create the footnotes that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 see at the end of the financial reports. This wasn’t creative work per se – you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 would start with last year’s footnote as a template and insert new numbers, unless it was a new requirement, in which case it was a lot of work and we would turn to specialists. At that time (20+ years ago) there were only a few footnotes and the financial statements themselves weren’t that long; you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 would be able to read from the Chairman and CEO’s letter all the way through to the last footnote in a couple of hours.

    This was also before the internet; we would go into the company library and look at microfiche sometimes to do research or you500vip彩票安卓下载官网’d pull up the hard (printed) copy from the files. At that point an annual report was also somewhat of a marketing document; companies put a lot of thought into the cover, for instance.

    At various points in the history of accounting there has been a focus on the balance sheet (assets and liabilities), the income statement (earnings per share and price / earnings ratio) and on cash flows (cash generated from the business). Each of these views are important and have their merits and their drawbacks. The statements were generally the “GAAP” view which focused on financial statement presentation and used taxes at official rates (many companies pay almost nothing in taxes in actuality by deferring them indefinitely) and held assets at historical costs. Both of these assumptions made the financial statements less useful for certain types of companies and industries.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Book Notes, Business, Capitalism, Economics & Finance | 3 Comments »

    A Great Concert – SRV at Champaign IL 1987

    Posted by on 7th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Dan is much smarter than me and he holds on to all the ticket stubs for concerts and sporting events that he’s attended over the years.  He recently sent me a rug and a coffee mug that he created based on the ticket stub for a special concert we attended almost 30 years ago when we were at the University of Illinois.  The show was Stevie Ray Vaughan at .

    At the time I was in college and had almost no money.  I saw that Stevie Ray Vaughan was coming to campus and thought I would get up early and stand in line to purchase tickets before class (I rarely got up early in those days when I could avoid it).  Alas, the line was already long and I pretty much gave up right away.  There was a guy who was scalping tickets, however, so I went up to him and bought two tickets for what I remember was about $50.

    The tickets were up front in the first couple of rows as it turned out but way, way on the left side of the stage.  Dan and I got rip roaring drunk before the show (which was the custom, back in the day) and we headed to Foellinger.  Note that Foellinger was a lecture hall and I had many classes in that room – the room had bolted-down desks with the fold out panels that you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 could write on, so it was kind of odd that they had concerts at that same room (I also saw the punk band Husker Du in that same lecture hall, which seemed even odder).

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    Posted in Music | 4 Comments »

    Jargon, Proverbs, and Memes

    Posted by David Foster on 7th January 2017 (All posts by )

    Texan99, writing at , discusses the ‘thick fog of buzzwords’ that pervades the educational arena in this country. My comment is that buzzwords and jargon are worst in education, government, and the ‘nonprofit’ world, but increasingly are also pervading the world of business and having a malign effect therein. Many of the posts I see on LinkedIn, for example, represent attempts by people who have never had a creative idea or insight in their lives to posture a deep thinkers and business intellectuals by maximizing their use of the buzzwords du jour.

    draws a distinction between memes and proverbs:

    Of all the ways people have come up with to avoid thinking, I like memes the most. They are so ridiculously easy to fall into. You see the words, you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 see the picture and you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 go “ah ah, that’s so true.” Even when on a minute’s reflection it makes no sense whatsoever…I think in a way it follows the same pattern that proverbs followed in more ancient cultures…While proverbs were ways not to have to think or short cuts around thinking, they weren’t, by themselves, pernicious…Proverbs are in a way, the encoding of societal wisdom into short cuts to lead people into ways that have worked before…Memes are similar, but you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 have to remove societal wisdom and put in “the commanding forces of culture and mass media”. RTWT

    Andre Beaufre, who in 1940 was a you500vip彩票安卓下载官网ng captain on the French General Staff (later a general, he commanded the French contingent in the Suez attack) commented on his impressions when he first breathed the refined air at the General Staff level:

    I saw very quickly that our seniors were primarily concerned with forms of drafting. Every memorandum had to be perfect, written in a concise, impersonal style, and conforming to a logical and faultless plan–but so abstract that it had to be read several times before one could find out what it was about…”I have the honour to inform you500vip彩票安卓下载官网 that I have decided…I envisage…I attach some importance to the fact that…” Actually no one decided more than the barest minimum, and what indeed was decided was pretty trivial.

    Entirely consistent with Beaufre’s observation was a interchange between the artists Picasso and Matisse which took place in the midst of the collapse of 1940:

    Matisse: But what about our generals, what are they doing?

    Picasso: Our generals? They’re the masters at the Ecole des Beaux Arts!

    …ie, men possessed by the same rote formulae and absence of observation and obsessive traditionalism as the academic artists.

    The decline in clarity of writing and speaking presages nothing good. Confucius pointed out that “If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.”

    See my earlier post When Formalism Kills and the ensuing discussion thread.

    Posted in Academia, Business, Deep Thoughts | 5 Comments »

     

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