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On Dividends and Agency Problems .
Feb 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

On Div­i­dends and Agen­cy Prob­lems. The invest­ing public’s dis­dain for div­i­dends and fas­ci­na­tion with cap­i­tal growth has a prece­dent. In our last great bub­ble, the 1920s, the same thing hap­pened. Why should com­pa­nies pay out div­i­dends? It is a way for the man­age­ment to prove… [Mis­es Eco­nom­ics Blog: Aus­tri­an Eco­nom­ics and Lib­er­tar­i­an Polit­i­cal The­o­ry]

I’ve com­ment­ed on stock prices and div­i­dends before, and this sup­ports my con­clu­sions.

Aristide Flees Haiti; Bush Sends Marines [ AP World News ] Just what we need–yet another bunch of troops sent to a fore
Feb 29th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Aristide Flees Haiti; Bush Sends Marines [AP World News]

Just what we need--yet another bunch of troops sent to a foreign country that is none of our business.

GDP, Measured in Gold .
Feb 28th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

GDP, Mea­sured in Gold. Econ­o­mist Paul Kas­riel looks at the GDP mea­sured not in dol­lars but in gold and finds that it peaked in 2001 has been declin­ing since. Kas­riel says “‘real’ GDP peaked in 2001, and has declined for two suc­ces­sive years since.… [Mis­es Eco­nom­ics Blog: Aus­tri­an Eco­nom­ics and Lib­er­tar­i­an Polit­i­cal The­o­ry]

On this day six years ago Apple cancelled the Newton.
Feb 27th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

A picture named mp2000.gifOn this day six years ago Apple can­celled the New­ton. I’m still using the same Mes­sagePad 2100 that I was on that day (although I do have spares, just in case).

Publishers Face Prison For Editing Articles from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya or Cuba .
Feb 27th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Publishers Face Prison For Editing Articles from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya or Cuba. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control recently declared that American publishers cannot edit works authored in nations under trade embargoes which include Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya and Cuba.

Although publishing the articles is legal, editing is a "service" and the treasury department says it is illegal to perform services for embargoed nations. It can be punishable by fines of up to a half-million dollars or jail terms as long as 10 years. (link)

So rendering any kind of service to citizens of certain countries (and that's what we're talking about here, not their governments) is now a crime. Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa billah. What is the world coming to? Kudos to the American Chemical Society and every other group that is standing up against this abhorrent rule. [Al-Muhajabah's Islamic Blogs]

In other words, anyone in the Department of Defense who edits a report sent by soldiers or colonial bureaucrats in Iraq maybe be imprisoned for up to 10 years because the works are authored in a nation under trade embargo. But of course laws don't apply to the government, so I won't hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

Give Me A Break, and Another Break, and Another .
Feb 26th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Give Me A Break, and Anoth­er Break, and Anoth­er. New at Rea­son: You paid for John Stossel’s beach house. The well-heeled ABC news­man explains how he and oth­er plu­to­crats game the gov­ern­ment for free mon­ey, price sup­ports and oth­er good­ies. [Hit & Run]

Mr.
Feb 26th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Mr. Pres­i­dent, An Aster­oid Impact Is Immi­nent…. As report­ed by Dr. David White­house of BBC: Some sci­en­tists believed on 13 Jan­u­ary that a 30m object, lat­er des­ig­nat­ed 2004 AS1 [SciS­coop aside — also known as AL00667], had a one-in-four chance of hit­ting the plan­et with­in 36 hours. It could have caused local dev­as­ta­tion and the researchers con­tem­plat­ed a call to Pres­i­dent Bush before new data final­ly showed there was no dan­ger. The pro­ce­dures for rais­ing the alarm in such cir­cum­stances are now being revised. At the time, the president’s team would have been putting the final touch­es to a speech he was due to make the fol­low­ing day at the head­quar­ters of Nasa, the US space agen­cy. In it he planned to reset the course of manned space­flight, send­ing it back to the Moon and on to Mars, but he could have had some­thing very dif­fer­ent to say. He could have begun by warn­ing the world it was about to be hit by a space rock. Bush would not have known where it would impact — only some­where in the North­ern Hemi­sphere. Experts would have been bounc­ing radar sig­nals off the huge rock as he spoke in order to get more infor­ma­tion about its tra­jec­to­ry. At about 30m wide, the aster­oid was cos­mic small fry, not the type of thing to wipe out the dinosaurs or threat­en our species, but still big enough to cause con­sid­er­able dam­age after explod­ing in the atmos­phere. Poten­tial­ly, the loss of life could have been much worse than 11 Sep­tem­ber. In the end, Bush made no such announce­ment, but astronomers have admit­ted they were on the verge of mak­ing the call. In a paper pre­sent­ed at this week’s Plan­e­tary Pro­tec­tion con­fer­ence in Cal­i­for­nia, vet­er­an aster­oid researcher Clark Chap­man calls it a “nine-hour cri­sis”. He explains how word reached the astro­nom­i­cal com­mu­ni­ty of an aster­oid that had just been dis­cov­ered by the twin opti­cal tele­scopes of the Lin­ear auto­mat­ed sky sur­vey in New Mex­i­co. [SciS­coop]

I’m not so con­cerned about the pos­si­bil­i­ty of almost giv­ing a false alarm. What I’d like to know is, if a rock real­ly was going to hit us, would the astronomers at some point tell ordi­nary peo­ple, or would they just tell the Pres­i­dent?

Patriot Act Thievery .
Feb 25th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Patri­ot Act Thiev­ery. My wife recent­ly trans­ferred funds from a mutu­al fund to her bank account to buy a new car (BMW 330 XI). When she checked her bank account to see if the trans­fer had occurred, she noticed that only 55% of… [LewRockwell.com Blog]

The Feds have appar­ent­ly found a new way to vio­late the Fourth Amend­ment. This one looks like a muta­tion of the “civil for­fei­ture” con­cept, where the gov­ern­ment steals your prop­er­ty with­out ever charg­ing you with a crime.

REALbasic 5.5 adds Linux, enhances Mac support .
Feb 25th, 2004 by Ken Hagler

REAL­ba­sic 5.5 adds Lin­ux, enhances Mac sup­port. REAL Soft­ware Inc. on Wednes­day released REAL­ba­sic 5.5, the lat­est ver­sion of their cross-platform devel­op­ment envi­ron­ment. The addi­tion of Lin­ux to the list of sup­port­ed plat­forms is a major addi­tion in this release but is by no means the only change, accord­ing to com­pa­ny pres­i­dent and CEO Geoff Perl­man, who recent­ly spoke with Mac­Cen­tral about the new ver­sion. [Mac­Cen­tral]

I’ve been using REAL­ba­sic in var­i­ous small work-related projects for years now, and I’m pleased to see how well it’s developed–and that they still sup­port the MacOS, and not just OS X.

Haiti Rebels: Aristide Made Error on Guns [ AP World News ] Sitting poolside and fingering assault rifles, r
Feb 23rd, 2004 by Ken Hagler

Haiti Rebels: Aristide Made Error on Guns [AP World News]

bq. Sitting poolside and fingering assault rifles, rebel leaders bent on ousting Haiti's president said Monday his big mistake was sending them home years earlier with their guns. All three have a vendetta against Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

"We don't want any more bloodshed. We just want Aristide to leave," Guy Philippe told The Associated Press in an interview. He used to be the police chief in Cap-Haitien, Haiti's second-largest city of 500,000 that rebels seized with little resistance on Sunday, the biggest prize in their 18-day revolt.

It takes a pretty incompetent dictator to overlook imposing gun control. Unfortunately whatever dictator the rebels install will probably not miss the lesson.

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