oldschool CxC

Friday, January 31, 2003

>Seriously folks, despite the presence of certain unibrow, jew-loving slovaks in our midst, can't we do something about this?

[E: Um, jury nullification anyone?]

Jury foreman Charles Sackett III said outside court that jurors were following federal law in finding Rosenthal guilty, but he hoped the verdict would be overturned.
"We had no legal wiggle room," Sackett said.

Ed speaks.

Hey, SH, I recommend a career in politics for you. How about as a campaign platform you take the position that companies shouldn't be able to deduct stock and option compensation for tax or book purposes. Since it's a wash, as you say, for the companies, they won't take any issue with it. But crazy people like me will also back you. Win win. Right? I also recommend you take the position that stock option deductions should be accounted for for cost sharing purposes.

{So: before you were just flat wrong, but now you're babbling, you're making no sense at all. I'll take that as a concession that you don't actually know the rules.}

[ I'll take that as a concession that you've got nothing other than personal attacks and wholly irrelevant "arguments" (see, e.g., your references to Black-Scholes option pricing and shareholder level taxation). The thing I don't get, Sony, is that not only are you (1) clearly and demonstrably wrong just because you say it, doesn't make it true. In fact, probably the opposite and (2) not in line with the community of tax practitioners lets not discuss who is in line with the community of tax practitioners , but your position isn't even taxpayer friendly my position that companies must deduct the exact amount included in income by the employee?( You're implicitly misstating my position. It isn't that corps shouldn't get the deduction. That's a separate issue. My positon is that it should be characterized as a tax subsidy rather than a real expense.) . Corporate taxpayers pretty much invariably take the position that it is a tax subsidy and which line on the 1120 do you take that position? {please, please, try to keep your comments relevant. Oh, you don't take the position on the 1120? Oh, well that changes everything. I mean, one could take a litigating position if, for example, as just freaking discussed, they were litigating whether to include this expense in a cost sharing pool. But what do I know?} b/c if they had to treat it as an actual expense then they would have to book it and they would have to include the expense in their cost sharing pool (which is a huge deal for tech companies). The issue is under litigation right now in the cost sharing context (unless it was settled since I last checked in) and the taxpayer is taking the position that it is a subsidy. And the taxpayer will win. I'm trying to think of a way to offer you an easy out but not coming up with any ideas. Suggestions would be appreciated.

wow, my shit got deleted multiple times here. In short, you don't even understand the tax rules. You are wrong about cap gain (it is gross income), you are wrong about the Fisc (since the comp and deduction are the same, the higher individual rates make it so) and you can't make an 83b election for options. Since you can't get any of the rules right, I don't see why your opinion matters. Go read BNA.

[E: Maybe corporations should take the deduction for stock options annually, as the difference between actual and option price for each outstanding option. This gets back to my point that companies, especially dotcoms, used options as "free" compensation to keep their balance sheets attractive. But frankly I don't know or care much about this stuff since I work for a non-profit, and I don't buy stock in companies unless they actually produce something of value.]

The accounting rules are pretty easy. Rick just didn't understand the tax rules. [Nice try but no dice. Your point about ISO vs. NQOs is true but irrelevant. It's not even a debate about rules, it's a debate about the definition of "tax subsidy." I guess it should have been clear to me that you didn't understand the issue the first time you brought up the irrelevant Black-Scholes option pricing model. - RM] The only debate among knowledgable people is how you value the option for accounting purposes. Typically, a company will give you an option to buy 1000 shares, the strike price is the current fair market value and it vests ratably over 5 years. (everything changes if its perfomrance based vesting, so lets not even discuss that rare bird.) Ask yourself: how much you would pay for an option to buy Microsoft (trading at $56) at a $56 exercise price and, oh by the way, if you don't work for me for the next five years you forfeit the option? How much is that worth to you? Most companies say jack shit (technically, its called "intrinsic value" ) so they take a fat zero; it is not "expensed". McCain-Levin and no one else that matters (Does Warren Buffeet Matter?) want to use the Black Sholes method. That method adds a value factor for time, as if stock only goes up. Most people, feel that the expense approach would actually be misleading to investors - because options cannot be measured accurately, an expense will lead, by definition, to an inaccurate picture on the financial statements. Right now the Financial Accounting Standards Board has punted- it lets companies choose the method. I think one or two companies on the S&P 500 actually use Black Sholes.

Tax is different, there is no expense until the employee exercises the option, if at all. IRS wants the employee and the company to have income/deductions of the same amount and at the same time, which you cannot escape. So a company's tax return will always show a cost to the company for exercised options.

And none of this has anything to do with Enron. Not a thing. Enron collapsed because its accounting for "special purpose entities." If the technical SPE rules are satisfied, a company may, among other things, remove debt from its balance sheet and transfer that debt to the SPE's balance sheet. Because the SPE is not consolidated with the sponsoring company, not only is the debt removed from the sponsoring company's balance sheet, but gains and losses on transactions between the SPE and the sponsoring company will be recognized. That fucked up the picture- if everything is consolidated, you can't make a profit trading with yourself (you can always profit by playing with yourself).

hehe yeah now we're talking language I can understand..
you fucking cabbage eating bumpkin
{So claims ownership. That's my line from a post to Ari. I can insult myself better then he can.} {{"Froot loop shy of bowl?" "Go read up on Black-Sholes (sic)?" I posit that your insulting skills are nothing to brag about. - RM}}

[Erik insults himself: What are you doing on an old school CC board, you overblown, backwater hick? Shut your 'purty' mouth before we put your wide ass on the next train back to cowtown.]

Reiterating my disappearing text: If a company issues stock then uses that cash to compensate employees, then that's an expense in the hands of the company. If the company merely issues new stock, then that's an expense in the hands of the shareholders, who will get their tax benefit when they sell at a lower share price due to dilution. Under the current regime, the expense is double counted, 1st in the hands of the company and second in the hands of the shareholders. Perhaps as the next issue we can discuss whether, if congress eliminates dividend taxation because it's "double taxation," will they also take away this tax subsidy so that corporations actually pay tax.

So tries to reason with a guy doesn't know much, but leads the league in nostril hair Listen, you Kokot, Sims the Game Company gives away $100 worth of stock and takes a deduction. The market now has $100 worth of more stock. Sims the Game II Company Sells $100 stock and uses the cash to pay employees and takes a deduction. Explain again how any of the parties- shareholder, employee, corporation- are different in the two scenarios? [At the very least it's a timing benefit. Plus it puts the downside risk on the fisc. Not to mention that the tax is cap gains whereas the deduction is at the corporate ordinary income rate. And that's assuming I actually accept your argument. And are you sure that I'm leading league in nostril hair? I mean, I've seen you, and it's not necessarily pretty. - RM] So confirming RMs nostril hair issues Did you really say "I posit?" Oh dear. [ "Did you really say 'I posit?'' Hey thanks and all, but I can demonstrate your lack of insulting skills without your help.] Anyway, the fact that you've retreated to discussing "timing issues" ["at the very least" - RM] pretty much shows what we've concluded. Plus, your ability to be so absolutely, convincingly wrong on the Fisc settles everything: Sun Microsystems pays tax at no more then 35% (set aside that they usually pays none since I am giving you the benefit of all possible scenarios), so its deduction results in $0.35 charge to the Fisc at most. Larry Ellison pays income tax at 38.6% so every exercise of a nonqualifed stock options earns treasury $0.386. "The amount of the deduction is equal to the amount included as compensation in the gross income of the service provider under section 83" TR 1.83-1(a). It may hurt your two neurons, so let me do the math for you, the Fisc makes $0.036 on every NSO granted by Sun to Larry. BTW, good thing you quit before anyone relied on your advice that compensatory stock option exercises yield "cap gains." For those making an 86(b), yes. Your point being . . . ? Ho ho ho, that would've been a funny scene, watching you get fired. [ Still goes to none of my points, but you still get an "E" for effort and a "T" for nice try. I may not have the best cash flow but its clear that I still own you, so I guess I can put that on my balance sheet.]

Never heard of 86b. Your only point is the top of your head. If you mean 83b, don't be a knucklehead, you can't make the election with respect to NQOs and the rule of 83 (i.e. the one you obviously don't understand, but which exclusively applies) covers any transfer of propery (e.g. stock). (Agreed that you can't make an 83(b) election for NQOs, but it's irrelevant so let's move on) I used to think you were smart, thanks for clearing that up. When employee exercises an option, the spread is includible in his income, in the same as salary (not like cap gains, ho ho ho, you're fired!), just under section 83 instead of 61. TR 1.83-1(a) requires that the company take a deduction equal to and at the same time as the employee's income hit. Dude, I am beating you 104 to 3 (all scored on technical fouls for taunting), aren't you embarrassed, Regina?

Please do not bring up Incentive Stock Options since you must already know (i'm trying to help you, pal) that the company gets no deduction whatsoever. Again, where is my disappearing text? (I think we're editing at teh same time and whoever clicks post& publish first wins. Just like the discussion, I keep winning that race.) Maybe A knows? G'dammit, I had text where your post is now. I get it. I'm the Raiders and you're the Patriots.

I'm blind linking this because I hear it is damn funny [this must from Emperor Ng -jv], though I'll need to wait until I get home to look at it.

Sony reccomends that the creator of this seditious and libelous material have his genitals cut off and shoved into his mouth to symbolize his infidelity to our Fatherland, have his heart dug out with a dull shovel and shoved up his ass to underscore how cowardly he is and, after he has died, his foul carcass should be cut into pieces, which will be hung from traffic lights at major intersections in our cities to show how we treat people like him. (all props to Froissart for the metaphorical mutiliation).

[Erik clarifies: By the way, I loved the SOTU. He broke the Dems' ankles with the AIDS/Hydrogen Car crossover move, two-hand dunked on the anti-war crowd with his case for taking action in Iraq, then hung on the rim while pointing at Kim Jong Il up in the crowd. I know he's just reading a speech that someone else wrote, but still... that was Kobe-esque.] {Yeah, but: the judges take points off for lack of sincerity and opportunism. I mean, when exactly did he start showing any interest in anything in Africa? Joe public expects Joe Taurel to lead the new committe on AIDS in Africa.} [E: that's why I called it a crossover. It's used to fake your opponent out before you score.]{That's funny - RM}

[Michael Buffer says: Welcome fans to the Ultimate Tax Fighting Championship. Our fighters are in the ring, so LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!]

To pick the Enron string again. Erik asked about stock options & I sez the tax treatment of stock options is as neutral as the treatment of cash salary. When you issue an option, no tax for the individual and no deduction for the company. When employee exercises (not including ISO and, BTW, this is not tax advice) then employee takes an income tax hit equal to the difference between strike price and fmv. The company gets an equal and offsetting deduction. As a policy matter, during the boom Tech corporations paid very little in taxes [ In large part due to the enormous deductions available under this rule -RM (Stay away from wet paint and DAP, you're getting delirious. Giving away ownership in a company is not a cost? How is that different from selling stock on the market and using the cash to pay employees? As far as subsidy, the employee takes an equal income hit, so net revenue change is in the government's favor for the wealthiest employees (higher individual rate then corp.))] so the deduction didn't drain the treasury. Individuals do pay taxes, so stock exercises flooded the treasury with cash and more cash (which Grey Davis promptly spent, then monetized the future revenues to spend some more. Wooo Hoooo, free cash and revenue forever.)

Anyway, as you can see, options have no more tax benefit to the company then cash. [Bullshit. It's a tax subsidy. (just because you say You farted, doesn't mean I did) The company gives away nothing and gets a deduction. No other country in the world (that is a really good argument, I am floored) provides the same tax dedution and I'd bet that the CBO and GAO call them subsidies for budgeting purposes. - RM Nope, they call the income taken in by the employee as revenue. [Doesn't go to my argument, but, whatever - RM] Try to put this model in your SIMs the Game world: Company A goes IPO and uses the money to pay employees, Company B simply gives stock to the employee. Does your SIMs the Game world treat similarly situated entities differently] But options have a huge, huge accounting/book keeping benefit. By giving away options, you are paying employees, but its not a charge to earnings in the same way . The stock market run-up was basically tied to incredibly earnings projections and faking ways to meet them. So pay a guy $100,000 cash and that knocks your earnings down. Give him options with a FMV strike price, and you have ho expense. Bigger companies like Coke now book the option/ expense as a form of accounting honesty [ Not so much honesty as anticipation of a rule (Stop reading the Comrades To Arms for your news, FASB hasn't passed or proposed any such rule, its shareholder pressure all the way) {Sony, you ignorant Slovak, it's the McCain-Levin bill, not FASB. Not to discount shareholder pressure you fucking cabbage eating bumpkin} steal my own line? Clever, clever. I understand that you're One Froot Loop shy of a full bowl, but even you know that the bill is dead, as is any bill with McCain's name attached. Now go read up on Black-Sholes change requiring booking stock options as an expense in order to qualify for the tax deduction. Again, no other country (if you say that again, I will stop reading this chicken scrawl ) treats this as an expense for book purposes. Deducting the "expense" actually distorts earnings. A company that spent a million dollars to make $100million could have no earnings due to stock options, even though the company clearly has profit to distribute and will never have to pay to acquire the stock underlying the options.. The better way is to show dilution scenarios as now required by the SEC. - RM That is so freaking wrongheaded, I don't know where to start. I've never seen a Fed subsidy that has as its qualification: a market run up in stock coinciding with a vesting schedule and having a third party exercise option. If you don't have all three elements no "subsidy"?. {The qualifactions are irrelvevant. { kind of like a working knowledge of the topic is irrelevant to your posting? } All tax subsidies have qualifiactions. E.g., home ownership.] Lets assume your SIMs the Game Company did not issue options with a one year vesting period (because lord knows, no company I advise would), instead it promised to pay its employees $90 million if they brought it $100 million gross revenues, which happens. It sells stock on the market and pays teh employees. This company gets a legit deduction but your SIMs the Game Company gets a subsidy equal to the deduction? ]

This has nothing to do with Enron. Enron faked earnings by creating related party transactions: Enron buys a Widget for $100, next week Enron sells it to Raptor, LLC (owned by Enron’ VPs, SVPs etc.) for $500. That’s $400 in earnings. I’m not that smart, but if you read a research report back then, you could easily gauge that its earnings were smoke and mirrors. Same with El Paso, to a lesser extent.

the tangential connection is that insiders holding huge equity stakes have a primordial interest in seeing stock appreciate, so they do wahtever it takes. Back then, everyone focused on earnings or market share, so insiders faked earnings and market share growth (i.e. Global crossing and Qwest trading (unused) capacity and booking it as revenue and claiming market gains).

Anyway, That’s Stock Options and Enron As I sees it. I’ll get Rick’s argument that more rules will make everyone honest and happy later.

RM says: Agreed on conclusion, dissent on the dicta. Next issue. The next issue is what makes Rich such a freaking commie regulator? Whatever it is, it works well. Hey what happened to my comments? I'm looking in your direction SH. You can delete all the text you want, but you will still be wrong in your unique Hodurish way. - RM So protests Seriously, I didn't delete anything. Not sure what happened (editing at the same time?) but that kind of thing is flat wrong & I wouldn't do it. [It's cool brother and I never actually thought for a second that you would do such a thing. Well, maybe one second, but that's it, I swear. - RM]

Obvious: GTA III turns Oakland youths into homicidal maniacs.
[E: Wow. there have been a lot more muggings than usual in the north oakland and berkeley areas, so I wonder if these guys are the main reason. I also wonder if they were playing "GTA: Vice City" instead of GTA III; neither one allows you to be "pimps who beat their prostitutes for not making enough money" -- although that does sound like fun... "Pimps Up/Hos Down: The Game", coming soon to an Electronic Boutique near you.]
{j-vizzle in the hizzle: Man, Oakland has been getting the rap lately. Listen to this from NPR:
NPR's Richard Gonzales reports that city leaders and residents of Oakland, Calif., are trying to cope with more than 100 murders this past year, the highest number since the early '90s. Mayor Jerry Brown blames ex-cons involved in drug-turf battles, and has announced a crackdown on repeat offenders. Police have been issued a list of the city's 100 most dangerous men. In the city's poorest neighborhoods, volunteers are making their own efforts to stop the killings.
It obviously isn't video games. It's gotta be the shoes.}

[RM notes: The murder rate is higher now than in the 90's, but nowhere near as high as in the go-go Reagan years.]{ So mourns, old Ronny's influence has waned along with his clarity. Hopefully, Bush can get us back on the right track}

Sorry guys, this year's lard sculpting contest is cancelled. But next year, we're gonna dominate.
A: Wouldn't it be great it was followed by a lard sculpture eating contest? I bet there would be entrants.
SL:Someone call Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O. I'm sure they'll enter and even throw the midget off a balcony into a pile of sculpted lard.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

howdy fellers. I feel like I've only awakened from a long deep sleep. If I kept opening and closing one eye, I'd be Rip Van Winky. Looking over your posts, I see you are all very articulate and thoughtful gentlemen. You do this country proud. [Yo Mama Sez: "Rip Van Winky?" Boy, grab me another beer and my sack up on that table then put yourself to bed.] {So muses: Since you've moved to the pharcide of the moon, I've been wondering one thing: Who's got Rudy Balls?


Sam can you find us a nice soothing color for the page? Bonus points if you wade into the HTML and find where to put it.

how about bright pink? yikes Java?!?! i think up near the top it has some settings that randomly generate colors and put them into variables. not sure if we can force those to static or what, but i think it may be easier to start with a simpler template then attack from there. Ill mess with it later.- SL

A sez: OK how you like Mossy Khaki style with red links.. if u want to tweak I put comments in there marked with *** I like this template cause the options on the right, especially open in new windows but yes, it's a bit overly complicated. I think it even saves cookies for your font selection. Please don't change the template though (edit HTML fine) cause it's getting customized...
[ E: likes it, because I work in the near-dark quite a bit. Very easy on the eyes, like a M*A*S*H episode at 1am... but it would be nice to find a different color for followed links since they look like any bold text right now.]

The Sentence was only slighty worse then the lecture: Calling the sentence Reid will face "a fair and just sentence, a righteous [E:Who is this guy, the pope?] sentence," Young said, "We do not sign documents with terrorists. We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice. ... You're big, but you're not that big. You are no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist.

"You hate our freedom -- our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, and to believe or not believe as we individually choose. ... See that flag, Mr. Reid? That is the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is forgotten. And it still stands for freedom."

I'm no UN-hating Buchananite, but first they put Libya in charge of the human rights commission, and now they put Iraq in charge of the disarmament conference. (IRAQ sez: Bwaaahaahahaa "joining Iraq as co-chair for the session in Geneva, Switzerland, will be Iran. " Doh!) That's just mind-boggling. Then again, the conference kicks off in May, and by then Iraq may know a thing or two about being disarmed. [Kofi Annan thinks: Hm, maybe rotating through countries in alphabetical order isn't the best process for picking conference leaders.] [Americans think: Goddamn U.N. and its new world order. Ma, get me mah gun. Not that one, the big one. Over there.]

OH boy, you just taught me some shit

[Get outta here with your commie, Saddam-loving propaganda - RM]

[Erik tsks: I think posting someone else's complete work like that goes against the Blog moral code, as it were. You should always link to the site what pays the author if possible... unless, UNLESS, you really are a commie. AD? We look to you for guidance.]
A sez {Sheeit. I don't know. or care.. I tend to be amoral. but I was thinking how lots of sites don't like people linking images / wasting their bandwidth like that.. but it's not like this blog is any traffic.. i dunno. I do like funny pictures though.}
{SH congratulates Erik: your high moral standards just won you the job of Commissioner of Roto Baseball. Please Report to Las Vegas Hilton on MArch 29, Conference Room TBD, to assume your duties. This is not a test, this is fer reel}}
A sez: I was going to link that image to the site and ask if that was better but Salon won't even let me see that single comic strip [get it here] unless I shell out $30, 18.50 or watch a Benz commercial. so phuck them. thank you for saving me the agony Sony. I also was looking at the hummer site to see if those sporty new yellow jobbers really did get 8 MPG but I couldn't find the info.
E: Good points all--now I'll have to go find a picture to post. And don't be so hard on yourself A, you're just differently-moraled.

testing image jacking linking (seems to work): Let the games begin.

SL:I edited this post since I just updated my web site today, I went with a more "sour look". I'd enjoy some feedback on the site (A: good job cleaning up, why have the links if they don't go anywhere. Add em when the pages r ready..) and music. It features a new "old" song that I recorded on Dec 31st 2001. I also remixed Lemons for Lemonade. Just click the image and it'll take you there. [I like the new LfL mix, but when I listen to it on Real Player it sounds like you're rapping is extremely distorted. - RM][supposed to be distorted, undergroundish sounding. can you still hear the lyrics clearly enough?-SL]//sounds clear enuf on winamp here.. in mp3 format. Real Player is usually muddier, at least with real streaming format.. but I don't think it's in that format.? Real stuff kind of sucks overall..A.// [Yes it does. Suck, that is. - RM] {Now those quicktime trailers over at apple.. Crispy. -A}

[Rick opines: I dunno, I liked the way the vocals were mixed in before. I'd like to be able to hear them better because they have a good flow and good content. With the echo and treble and distortion I can't feel the flow as much and it's hard to hear what you're saying. I've been wrong about these kinds of things before but that's my $.02.] {Emphasis Added by So, just because I like that phrase. That's what I'm going to tell JB next time she won't go make coffee in the morning)Lemons remixes and posts:lemons for lemonade remix v5

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Oregon to begin releasing inmates and cutting state troopers. Anybody interested in going up north for few days to commit some crimes?
SL:I heard certain things grow really well up there, really sticky green things :o . We could make enough money just supplying the released inmates with our special "medication". They can't commit crimes if they're stuck to their couches.
[E: In Jon Carroll's anti-drug war rant today (here, but don't bother) he writes "There are certainly people who mess up their lives by smoking too much pot, but mostly they eat Cheetos and watch 'American Idol.' " When I read that I thought, hey, I resemble that remark!

This article on Korean clans of Counter-Strike players in the east bay is funny on a number of levels, including that the reporter inexplicably takes these guys seriously.
[A: Violence Breaks out in Los Angeles Cyber Cafes oh those Kids..]
[E: Owned!]
{S That was an interesting article, funny how Doom really got it all going.
(A: also funny how Doom was ahead of it's time in releasing source code (1997) and ensuring mods that kept it alive This authors book The Cathedral & The Bazaar had been blowing my mind. And all his books are up for your free perusal here. Highly recommended. sorry to thread-jack your comment Sam.)
Here is Eric Harris's remembrance of Doom}
[SL: After they were done shooting, the perps bunny hopped their way to a quick escape (inside video game j/k). But seriously what else is there to do in Northridge?]
[E: Or Concord for that matter.]

Hey, I wanna post something cool. Unfortunately, I got nothing. I guess these guys are kinda interesting, if you're into Roots-sounding hip-hop. They're new and you probably haven't heard of them before but, um, well, yeah, I guess it isn't that interesting.

Anyone who's bored is welcome to go heckle semi-retarded new moms on the babycenter bulletinboards. You can start with "How much milk do you pump these days?" They've already started a special thread in honor of an incredibly restrained little post o' mine. [Perhaps you would be interested in my new book: Trolling For Fun And Profit. - RM]
[It was so restrained I could barely tell it was you-A]
{A good troll never gets kicked off after the first post. You have to gain tehir confidence, a few allies, etc so that it becomes a harder and harder thing to delete you. That way you can ratchet up the annoyancator.}

I never could open up the RIAA website
[A: 'sactly. Here is a mirror of an old hack. I believe they were trying to push legislation thru that allowed them to use disruptive techniques against pirates using P2P. Mad pirates+hackers = not good.]
Does the RIAA owe you $20? {Burner asks: have you bought a CD in 3 years? I haven't.}[MP3z: Good question.] {Obvious: Um, I've bought I few. Do I get more than $20?}[Oops: No. As a matter of fact you probably won't get squat. Too many people will file and they will end up making a charitable contribution instead of paying out. Sorry if you got your hopes up.. who knows though.]

[Erik links: to the New Yorker and a quick article about hacker-god Kevin Mitnick getting out of jail and surfing the web for the first time ever.]

The Register "This is our first exposure to Estonian humour. And we like it."
damn I was going to do a drunken rant on GONY, kids, war, movies, tech, copyrights and RIAA but the blog is acting up.. If i was 'n0!d I'd think it was cause the riaa hack link.. but im not. that.. yet.. [Everyone thinks: A, you read some crazy ass shit][you find the craziest, most obscure links in other people blogs I tell ya.--A]

The Australian: Long hours at computer 'deadly' [January 29, 2003] and we were making fun of those asian dead gamer reports.. [Sony wonders what's the verb form of "e-thrombosis"? "Dude, I am so e-thrombosising"?][A:"aka economy class syndrome" LOL]

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Rick to your point on Enron. We agree that insiders committed fraud and the shareholder are entitled to file a derivative suit to force the insider to disgorge their profits to the corporation. But their ill gotten gains are tiny in comparison to shareholder losses. Consider the raptor transactions; they faked trasactions and booked huge profits. A couple guys stole a few million as commission, a few others sold stock and netted a few million. But the profits convinced investors wage hundreds of millions on the company. How do they collect those hundreds of millions? Insiders don't have it and didn't steal that much. If the auditors perpetrated the fraud, they can be sued too, but that hasn't been shown; Auditors are entitled to rely on the data provided them (they were convicted of Obstruction of Justice, after all the hooplah had occured). Plus they BKed. So no one who committed the evil deeds has the funds to bring shareholders their lost investment. So they are, and will continue to be, screwed.

I think Ari's point, but I'm not sure, is that something must be done and my answer is "not legislatively." This is simple fraud that aggregations of wealth are always subject to. The Economists has a funny article on Corporate reform, how British, American and German boards are structured differently, but all of their business communities get sucked in by fraud. The point being that no structure weeds out that most base of human impulses.

[RM requests clarification: When you say "Not legislatively," are you saying (1) the feds shouldn't insure against these kinds of losses, (2) additional criminal lor civil liability for such wrongdoers is not appropriate, (3) new federal regulation isn't warranted, or (4) something else? I would start my amoral diatribe now but I'm all drunk and would hate to waste my muse on a misunderstood position. Also, what does "BKed" mean?]

Sony tries to clarify, but his thinking is admittedly loose (1) yes, (2) yes (since they're pretty hefty now, as long as the prosecutors don't take the short cut and deal, like they did with Milken and Boesky) (3) yes and (4) my point is that litigation & existing rules will handle the current mess and that nothing will prevent fraud, so lets not punish/burden the innocent. Sorry, BK is short for bankruptcy- so much of it going around we developed a short hand. I assume your SOU drinking game went well? Are you able to tell me how I should feel? Was he robust and strong? Did Elizabeth Dole get moist?

Rick mostly agrees: I'm with you on points 1 and 2, but disagree on point 3 and partly disagree on point 4. Existing laws and litigation aren't handling the current mess because they will fail to (1) make whole those who were wronged and (2) restore the average persons confidence in the equity markets. The second part is the larger problem. I think you would agree that over the last 10 years or so for a number of reasons the average American has become more heavily invested in equities. This has been good for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that it resulted in a robust IPO market which in turn made financing available to new and innovative companies that created jobs and economic growth, both delicious things. The current crisis is really the first crisis in that new reality. I think that what the average investor has learned is that you can't rely on financial statements, that financial advisors, auditors, and corporate managers don't necessarily have the same interests as public investors, and that when you get burned that money is gone forever, even if the loss is caused by outright fraud. And the average investor isn't going to have the resources or sophistication to, say, interview company management or scour companies' books. The proper response to this crisis would have been to both introduce legislation and fund enforcement to restore the average investor's confidence in the reliability and transparency of financial statements and to align the interests of the average investor with the interests of financial advisors, corporate managers and auditors. It's simply not enough to tell Joe Sixpack that he needs the knowledge of a CPA or JD to be able to make informed equity investment decisions and that if things go wrong he's SOL because he can't afford to litigate against an Enron (granted he could join a class action, but that rarely fails to make any investor whole) and even if he could, there's nothing left to take from them. All that says to me is stuff your money in a mattress, and that belief isn't going to do anybody any good.

[Erik wonders: Wasn't it federal tinkering with the tax code that encouraged companies to give out lavish stock options as benefits to senior management, thus setting the stage for the corrupting of corporate goals to the point where the day's stock price was the only thing that mattered to them? [Don't know what exactly you're referring to. Anyone? - RM] I could be wrong, and often am on these matters, but it would seem that some minor legislation to fix this problem would be in order. I'm not sure, though, that I like what Rick seems to imply, that the government should protect Joe Sixpack from his own bad investments.] [Insuring against loss, or prohibiting overly risky investments would undoubtedly be protecting JS from his own bad investments. Enacting and enforcing rules requiring that financial statements acurately and completely reflect the financial health of a company and also requiring independent auditors be actually independent isn't, IMHO. The later measures do, however, dramatically reduce transaction costs and help to ensure that equity prices reflect business risk rather than the risk that company management is a bunch of lying bastards. I suppose one could argue that securities regulation is a bad thing altogether. For an example of how that works, see, e.g., Russia and its thriving financial markets.]

[Erik blockquotes from some thinktank:]

One fast-growing tax break that had a very significant effect in lowering taxes involved stock options. When stock options are exercised, corporations can take a tax deduction for the difference between what employees pay for the stock and what it’s worth—even though in reporting profits to shareholders, companies don’t treat stock-option transactions as business expenses. ITEP found that 233 of the 250 companies lowered their taxes from stock options, by a total of $25.8 billion over the three years. Microsoft led the pack with $2.7 billion in stock-option tax benefits—reflecting the fact that stock option tax benefits are dependent on how much a company’s stock has gone up in value, and thus the tax savings were especially large in high-tech industries whose market valuations zoomed during the three-year period.
[Oh, dats what dey is. Personally, in my tiny, tiny, mind, that's not telling me that that has any impact in the recent wave of corporate scandals, although I do think that it's a lame-ass tax subsidy. I mean, there are other reasons to favor stock options as compensation. Most importantly, for example, is that they are taxed much more lightly in the hands of the employee than ordinary cash compensation would be, so the employee gets a better net return. Another is that the options aren't cash out of pocket for the employer. Even if the tax subsidy were the primary motivation for this type of compensation, I don't see why it's bad. I mean, if the corporate managers are shareholders, then doesn't that align their interests with the other shareholders. If on the other hand, their compensation were solely in cash, wouldn't they be mostly interested in extracting cash from the company? But perhaps I'm not seeing the arguments on the other side, which perhaps you will kindly provide me. - RM]

hackers @ RIAA re: Verizon/Kazaa/Berman
1/7 article

an example of (Drupal) forum style comments
You can see this "happen" in Drupal; forum topics and blog entries can coexist. The main difference is they way they are being rendered based on the context they are shown in, not the underlying datastructure.

i ho is Ian, not class of '88 so he's not harbitten, meanspirited nasty partying epicurean, but he's a good boy. The problem with a The State Of The Union Drinking Game is that you have to watch the SOU. I usually wait for the morning paper to tell me how I feel about the speech.

With the State Of The Union address beginning in just over 4 hours, I bring you: The State Of The Union Drinking Game. Enjoy.
+ [A: isn't it scary when he talks?]

BTW you are all adminned and welcome to invite whoever you want to the Blog. (via team button).
Anyone working on a Blog of their own? Was thinking of busting out a few separate ones for movies / music talk. Trying to think thru threading and organization issues too. thoughts?

Rick Thinks: There aren't enough people using this blog right now to merit separate movie and music blogs. Which is good, I think. Also the small user group makes organization somewhat less important since there are at most 2 or 3 separate, eh, things, going on at any one time. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. See, e.g., my earlier post on containment in Iraq. But then again, if you're doing the work, then I say "Go on with your bad self." Of couse, on second thought, a music blog would give me the opportunity to fully dork out on the subject.

"Money is scandalously stolen in front of our faces":
Please note that the IRS has revised the mileage reimbursement rate for business use from 36.5 cents a mile in 2002 to 36 cents a mile in 2003.

Damn fascists.

Old yeller interview Yellowman really was an orphan? Fatheads dead? Operation Eradication? too much... I just wanted to find out about . . Yellow Fever Release Date: August 24, 1999..
more: Yellowman Bio (Discography) Live at Aces, eh.?
maybe Eric will have something to say about Yellowman. If he really was homeless, so very KRS-1.
It seemed that he could do no wrong, and even his version of "I'm Getting Married In The Morning" sold well

[Sony reminisces: good old Zungguzungguguzunggueng and that single, Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt. Loved those. Its time to bust out "Nah go to war" the anti Desert Storm anthem that no one knows, but your faithful correspondent played on his radio show.]
[AD reminisces a bit more: can't forget my old CD changer that would always go straight to "dry head adassa" when in random]

Monday, January 27, 2003

Don't know if anyone checked out BMWFILms.com but the one with James Brown & Gary Oldman is freaky cool, even has a cameo by Marylin Manson. [AD: yeah very crazy, funny how they had to subtitle JB. Very 'fast & furious'ish driving scene.] The John Woo is good too. [AD: love the to the edge scene, kept rewinding it. I think the shot catches the tires going way out of shape and snapping back]

By the way, has anyone talked to Mike Rowe lately?

[Erik has: sent that message and link to Mike. That picture made me laugh out loud. ]

Any idea how I can play your shit, Sam, on Windows Media? Shockingly, this Microsoft product doesn't perform well It makes everything sound tinny and plays it like a 45 RPM instead of 33 MPH. Incidentally, my daughter may never actually hear a 45 in her entire life. gmmmmm.

you should download those mp3s to your hard drive, then any mp3 player including windows media should handle playback. maybe take a look at WinAmp, pretty cool mp3 player.

[she'll probably not know what a cassette tape is either. -A.]

[The cassette tape is probably on its last legs but there's actually a big 45 revival movement going on right now. Well, maybe not big compared to N'Synch, but big compared to, um, cassettes. Check out, e.g., Stones Throw, or Soulfire Records. Not that I'm particularly in on it. I think the last 45 I actually owned was The Night Chicago Died by Paper lace when I was, like, 8 years old. Have it on mp3 now to remind me that there's a difference between good music and bad. It's the bad.- RM]

Samuel, I like Lemon's Motivation. It reminds me slightly of Aesop Rock without the 1000-words-a-minute flow. Which you may or may not feel as a compliment, but I like AR. Have you checked out Blaktroniks?

SL: cool. haven't checked out Blaktroniks, i like it..

Found my old site, with some Everbomb songs and instramentals. Sheckitout.

[RM: The Everbomb songs and beats are sweet. I read the FAQs on your Havenauts site ("Can I use your beats? No.") but if it's alright with you I'd like to use one or two of those for a mp3j set I'm putting together for a party on Feb. 15th. In particular I'm thinking of the Porno Flick beat. Also, if you're feeling in the mood to visit Oaktown you should come up for said party. There should be a large contingent of young women-folk, many of whom will be getting straight nekkid for some tubbing. Or if you're not in the market for that, there'll be plenty of opportunity for good old fashioned chit chat and chilling.

SL: sounds good, i hope i can make it. btw you can use any beat or song you like. im hoping in about a month ill have my site up and running with lots more songs. then im gonna make a CD with a mix of the songs. [Rick wonders: What are you gonna do with the cd? Is it a commercial venture or is it just for friends and well-wishers?][Lemons responds: I'm not sure. I think I may package it with small boxes of lemonheads and pass it out to cute girls on the street. [Excellent idea - RM] Otherwise, it'll be a product ready for release. Now finding someone to release it, and folks to buy it is the issue. I just got the final concept for the LP, its going to be sort of a auto-biography featuring my past music. The songs will be available (full version) on my site. But the LP will contain lots of blends and transitions, so some verses may be cut in order for content/legnth of the LP. Also, the LP will prob feature lots of instrumentals. and beats that flow from song to song. I would say at this point 90% of the music is done. Most of my time will now be in creating the Lemon's site, image, logo, CD cover etc. ALso, the mixing and mastering of the final CD sounds like it'll be time consuming but i can't wait. As soon as its complete, I'll prob do a little shopping of it. maybe to college radio and mom and pop hip hop shops. of course, well-wishers will get the first copies free :)] [RM - That all sounds good to me. I had intended to write something supportive and encouraging about your plans, but what came out was mostly late-night-after-the-pub babbling, so I think I'll change my message to pointing out that you have my support and encouragement.]

Ari- its snot that I disagree with your positions, its that I have no clue what they are. Your posts sometimes look like a pastiche of discarded signs from a WTO demonstration. Its not the content that I am criticizing, its the argument-by-sloganeering.

E.g. "money is scandalously stolen in front of our faces" what does that mean? You don't think people should pay taxes? You think that someone who invested in Enron at $180 a share is entitled to that money, even though the company wasn't actually worth its market valuation? How exactly would the government insure against market loss without collecting taxes?

[A chimes in: naw something is hella foul bout Enron. Mofos scammed billions using companies named after Star Wars Shit? [Sony's take off balance shit financing is common and considered a normal business method. What they did was flat out lie about the sales and prices. That's just fraud, nothing fancy.] Shelly, come on! Maybe we can start a new linkfilled thread on it. There really was a energy shortage causing all those blackouts right? no? {Sony's take blame your elected leaders. You can regulate or deregulate a market, but if a bunch of term-limited career politicans think they can legislate some half-ass mangement system, they should be prepared to be gamed.] my half assed searching and linking just noise? I dunno. Just tell me the dude did not have the huge brass ones to campaign for tort reform cause.. and killing the environment and supporting atrocities in India.. dude is Darth Vader!]

Sony's take Good Stuff A.D., there's truth in all of that, but so what? To the victor go the spoils. The Repubs were fired up in their hatred for Clintonista, they banded togother, unified behind the Shrub, ponied up millions in a pass-the-hat and won the damn country (and I am enjoying my tax cut, thank you very much). Now they're doing it their way, just like a democrat would. Anyway, you look at Enron and tell us who is entitled to what damages? If I bought at $180 the day before Enron went belly, what was it actually worth? Am I entitled to to $180 when it was never really worth that? If so, who owes it to me? The other shareholders? The Guvment (i.e., all the taxpayers smart enough to stay away from that shit?)? I have very little sympathy 'cause during the California energy crisis I wanted to park some of my roll-over IRA into Natural Gas. I looked at El Paso, I looked at Enron and absolutely passed because that shit was clearly shady and overvalued based only free Yahoo material (I got a mutual fund instead, which is not so hot, but not bankrupt). Companies have always pulled shit like that since the dawn of corporations and from then on to the early U.S. versions; its a republican tradition. But just because bad things happen in the woild, doesn't mean we need to legislate a mess of laws that effectively punish the innocent. Just b/c you ride your motorcycle like a complete nut, doesn't mean I, the innocent law-abiding driver, should face a cc limit or ban on Motos.

But Rick points out: If some of what went on at Enron was "fraud" as you call it (and I agree), then aren't shareholders entitled to damages under existing law? And wouldn't those damages come from the perpetrators of the fraud, such as, e.g., the auditors and company management?

E.g. "I'm not comfortable watching atrocity without taking an outspoken & contrary position.
How many more corp scandals will it take before even the lawyers start saying, 'We're in the midst of a fascist takeover'?"
Are corporate scandals "atrocities"? Is Enron the same as Rwanda (by the way, did you support the failure to militarily intervene there?)? See, that kind of hyperbole only energizes the converted, its makes no sense to teh skeptical. Look at Rick's conclusive email on the cost/benefit analysis of the war, or MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail to see different approaches.

As point of fact, I do think the country is constantly threatened by fascist sentiments and actors, but I don't think corporate scandals are within 1,000 parsecs of that issue.

And by the way Ari, its America, you can, if you chose hide or reject your heritage. Mine calls for heaping mounds of cabbage and potatoes washed down by home made wine served by a fat wife, but I haven't honored it.

Rick comments with amusement: Linking to a definition of "parsecs" could be interpreted by some as smart-assishness. I know that you're only striving for clarity, I'm just saying that it could be interpreted that way.

[Erik wonders whether Sony will ever call a Rick post "reasoned" again after that comment.] [Sony replies Again? gotta love the edit function]

Dudes I am tres excited about the the New Shrek that is coming out, as advertised during the Superbowl Of Advertisements. Bad-ass digital effects, Cars smashing, tank throwing, pissed off Shrek. And no Eddie Murphy!!! I cannot wait.
[A: I finally saw the o.g. Shrek recently. Liked the cursewords for kids names. Who's the sassy sidekick now? John Leguizamo, David Spade(r?)]

Regarding the Super Bowl outcome: Boooooooooo.

I assumed that because the game was anticlimactic, there wouldn't be any trouble. [Trouble? From Article: "Witnesses reported lots of "sideshow activity," with motorists driving recklessly and spinning "donuts" in the street."] Guess I was wrong.

[Gary Radnich this morning on KNBR (sports radio): "We were all set to do our live piece for the [11pm local] news from San Diego when they called and said we were pushed back 10 minutes because there was stuff going on down on International boulevard--someone broke a window on the news van. I don't mean to point the finger at my employers, because all of the media does this, but here we are at the biggest sporting event of the year and we get bumped because some idiot broke a window."] (Sony: Reminds me of the first Laker Championship when we had 4 hours of footage from the one block of newly christianed "Chick Hearn Court," featyuring about 30 guys and two fans. The great L.A. riot.") [A: I have to admit I couldn't tear myself away from that stupid ass (L.A.) coverage.. I liked when they chased the food truck.]

Saturday, January 25, 2003

FreshAlloy.com: 350Z The Run DVD I think I was trying to tell Sam about this 350Z commercial I saw as a trailer before LOTR:TT. I normally hate commercials in the theater but this one was kind of hot and actually made my palms sweat (prob. cause the sound.) It's at The Run but slow site so d/l it first (pump the volume too). Supposed to be at Z site sometimes down. This might be official Nissan site and I just read the 2 min. trailer is part of a 6 min. DVD.. gotta find that link somewhere...

Sony Check out BMWs flicks John Woo never met a cop car he wouldn't smash. Make sure you check out "Season One Films"

Samuel Lemons aka Spark Twain (:o the sour samuel clemens, mark twian :o)

You can check out my shtuff at:

Samuel Lemon's Web Page

free music - open source songs :)

Erik & Sony: Did you scare me off the blog? Nah. Did you frighten me at the state of the nation reflected in the amoral diatribes of my fellows? Not sure if frighten or sadden is the right word Also I was up in SF learning my new job, had no time to BLOG..

I guess fundamentally the issue is not about disliking the war & it's historical ramificaitons, or seeing through the thin cloak behind which so much (tax & stock market) money is scandalously stolen in front of our faces, but more having a stance and willingness to take actions on a stance. That's an issue I've been dealing w/my whole life.

I tend not to mention that, just as we each have our ethnic makeup, I have a heritage which I don't often publicly claim but it is fundamentally of questioning authority & demanding actions to be taken against corruption & immorality. I say all this even while conscious that I am a new part of a giant corporate structure, and certainly in my own life I'm no paradigm of virtue.

I push my view not necessarily because I'm a radical, although I am one & have been for ages -- and SF is a comforting bastion for me -- but more that I'm not comfortable watching atrocity without taking an outspoken & contrary position.
How many more corp scandals will it take before even the lawyers start saying, 'We're in the midst of a fascist takeover'?

Enjoying Sam's artwork. Reminds me of some amazing art I saw ages ago, lots of montage pieces where he changed missiles & weapons by adding limbs to them. & what's with the 'Lemons'? Who's changing their name next??!?!
My suggestions: Andrew Lion, Erik Handsome, Ari Prayfist, Sony Holder...

Since in blogworld, length is irrelevant, and i have no other spots to post & hyper-link my poems to right now, here is a poem of mine that I've read at Poetry Slams. It's no easy read out loud, b/c it has to be read fast & with punch. Mixed reactions from groups. It reads well on paper. Among you, perhaps some will enjoy, or be annoyed... Feedback would be interesting -- especially since I already know the contrary nature of the audience.

TV 9/6/02
I turn on the TV
pussy Buy This pussy puh puh
pussy False Authority Lie Lie
Buy This Buy This Now NOW pussy
pussy pussy puh puh puh LIE
pussy Buy Buy BUY IT NOW Lie
Lie Nine Eleven Buy It Now
Kill pussy pussy pussy Kill
Buy Kill Buy False Authority
Kill Kill Buy Buy pussy pussy
puss puss puss Kill Buy Lie
I turn off the TV
I bought it. I didn't even
want it.
I wonder -- where is the dick on TV?
I remember...
The man lying to me
Saying the item was free
Saying I had to kill.
Saying I am free
Saying he kills for me.
Saying he saves my liberty
He's good to me he's a hero
with a gun killing the enemy
I remember...
where the dick is on TV.
The dick is in the TV.
The old wealthy dick
I'll never see.
Its wrinkled impotency
forever buried in money
raped from everybody
sucked from every country
now on 24/7 TV
selling me garbage with female sexuality.
And I refuse to believe the TV again.

[AD sez: "amoral diatribes"?
Democracy is the worst possible form of government, except for all the others.
[Erik sez:"amoral diatribes": Cite exactly which post was amoral and why, otherwise you are just talking out of your ass.]
[Erik adds:If the issue is "having a stance and willingness to take actions on a stance" then does that mean you side with the Bush administration? Pretty much describes them to at T. Of course it could also describe Al Qaeda, or say, a serial rapist.]
[AD guesses: Maybe it was old Tommy Vercetti?]

Rick sympathizes: I'll tell you what Ari, I'll take your side on this one even though I'm not really feeling your arguments. But let's try this tack and see how it goes: Containment, although admittedly unsafisfying, has worked (Saddam hasn't caused any international problems since Gulf I), isn't terribly expensive, and is a known quantity. War is therefore a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, nobody knows how much it will cost (but it probably won't come cheap), and is probably the most volatile investment an individual or nation can make. Conclusion is that the cost-benefit analysis argues against and we should invest our national resources somewhere likely to give us a better return. And here I thought I was too late to join the party. Anyway, my amoral diatribe ends here.

Friday, January 24, 2003

click me for super special flash video music. weeee

(not safe for work)

another of my comps, in one word sum up what this picture communicates to you.


you can edit and leave your responses here (or you can ignore me altogether :O)

[Erik shamelessly quotes: Well, it's a big pretty white plane with a red stripe, curtains in the windows, wheels, and it looks like a big Tylenol!]
[AD sez: The club mile high and the eye in the sky. No wait, Hawaii Air's new outdoor urination sting operation.]
[ Ari pipes in: Blatantly phallic airplane with dangling photo testicle(s), the artist has a desire to penetrate (or be penetrated?) at an altitude or perhaps merely in seclusion. HA HA]
[Sony subversively adds: Make it an El Al or Zimbabwae airlines flight just to insert an ambiguous political note]

Huh, what, did I miss the war debate on oldschoolCxC? And here I'd been waiting so long to add my own witty insight to the dialogue. You'll just have to belive me when I say I had some really clever things to say. Instead I'll just have to post an article that may interest you due to the constitutional issues raised, or, if you're like me, it will interest you for its use of the phrase "highway rest stop sex-cottaging sting operation".

[Erik wonders: There's a newspaper called The Gay People's Chronicle?]

Oh, don't act so surprised. But thank you for not asking the question, "Why is Rick reading The Gay People's Chronicle? I saw it on another blog. Really.

Samuel quotes & comments: "At his trial, prosecutors convinced the jury that because Henry stepped back from the urinal before fastening his pants, anyone entering the facility "could have" come to the conclusion that Henry was masturbating."... later the jury packed their bags and put on their Nikes for the long journey home.

Rick interprets the jury's verdict: Shake more than twice and you're playing with it, fancy boy.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I love The Daily Show, and the interview with four of the correspondents in the Onion this week is hilarious.

Samuel sez: Steven Colbert is a riot, and his part of this interview is hilarious too. I love his field peices, although as he commented in the interview, they have toned down the maliciousness a bit.

glish.com : CSS layout techniques If any HTML wiz wants to play with the template, go for it. I don't like the changing colors really, but the font change and open in new buttons window is cool.. one caveat is format stuff like built in links (there are none now) will disappear with a template change.

Check out the following jpeg and tell me in a one word adjective what this image conveys to you. For example, if it was an image of a jalepeno pepper on fire you may say "hot". I could really use the feedback.

latest comp assignment

[AD sez: Loud? If that's it the crazy cat fits in the least for being in such a prominent spot.]
[Erik sez: What's louder than loud... earsplitting? Wish I had a boombox bigger than me, that would be cool.]

Hey Ari, I agree with Sony. I would actually welcome a nice discussion on the issue, it just has to be substantive. I certainly hope you're not intimidated by Sony and me, not when you have France, Germany, China, Russia, the entire Middle East except Israel, the EU, the Democrats, Greens, Libertarians, Reforms, and the vast majority of academia on your side.

Pop Quiz: Your team is down two late in the game, and you're guarding the second smallest player in the history of the NBA when he gets by you on a drive. Do you A) Let him go so that your teammates who are all at least a foot taller than him can contest his shot, or B) Give him a weak shove that doesn't affect his shot but awards a freethrow that ices the game?

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

btw Glenn said he was afraid to Blog about old posts because it would lose continuity.. So I adminned him and told him to edit old posts.. Also you can create a link to a specific post by clicking on the timestamp. (though weird stuff happens when viewing archived old messages that have been recently updated- updates might not show)

that'll learn ya to talk bad about Boykins. Warriors +4 :p

Jameson gonna score 60 tonight?

I predict Kobe will do a 360 dunk with full splits over Earl Boykins.

Lakers by 14. :P

oh yeah, Dave C is funny as hell, his show looks pretty good too.

Hey any of you planning on watching the new Dave Chappelle comedy show on Comedy Central tonight at 10:30pm? Hopefully it will be good. Dave Chappelle can be damned funny. Also, Lakers-Warriors tonight. Warriors by 3! Ha.

Did me and Erik run Ari out of here? Ari, it was all fun and games. Don't turn into an SF radical that can only tolerate hanging out with like minded people. You are smart & tough enough and your ideas robust enough to handle withering sarcasm. Breathe in the rose petal air of teh free market of ideas- stop by the Sneering Libertarian booth, quaff a loving draught at the Peacenik Barre, and enjoy a rousing ensemble musical at Ye Olde Whig Theatre.

At all the Clipper games, someone shoots the half court shot for a car. I predict the shot everytime and 99% I predict airball. All those clowns are trying to shoot the ball in the basket. Plus, they seem to pick an inordinate amount of schlumpy jello arms. The only time anyone gets close is a nice laser shot at the backboard. Only once has anyone made it and he was a strong looking guy. He was warming up with a two hand push shot, and I told JB, "you know what, he's trying to bank it in and I bet he makes it." he sure did. The lesson is, on a half court, you must go for the bank or you will airball. No one swishes those except a pro here and there.

Sam, you are in like flynt. Finally, someone else can guard Gary. He just wears me out on D and I can't get anything done on O. Nothing worse then a guy shorter then you blocking all of your shots. (Insert angry face emoticon)

Wonder if this commercial will make the Superbowl lineup MJvsMJ? If you have a fast connection you can view it smoothly.

[AD sez:"Could've dunked" "Should've dunked" that's great. yall seen the Yao Ming / Mini me Apple commercial?]

This seems like some serious shennanigans to me, but maybe those of you who know better could fill me in. Also, here's the 10-Q.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., January 15, 2003 - Ariba, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA) announced today that it will restate its financial statements for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2001 and 2000 and for the quarters ended March 31, 2000 through June 30, 2002 as a result of an ongoing review of accounting matters. The company also announced that because this review is not yet completed, it has not yet filed its annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2002 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As previously disclosed, Ariba has determined that, for accounting purposes, it should treat a $10.0 million payment provided personally by Keith Krach, Ariba’s chairman and co-founder, in March 2001 to Larry Mueller, its president and chief operating officer at the time, as a $10.0 million capital contribution from Mr. Krach to Ariba and the payment of compensation from Ariba to Mr. Mueller. Because no company funds were used and there was no commitment to or from Ariba, the company originally viewed the payment as a personal transaction.

The company has further determined that chartered air services, provided personally by Mr. Krach to Mr. Mueller, should be treated similarly as a capital contribution from Mr. Krach to Ariba and a payment of compensation from the company to Mr. Mueller. These services were provided over the period from September 2000 through July 2001 at a total cost of $1.2 million.

omg Samuel play basketball :

when: tonight
where: palms jr high
why: to prove i can't make a half court shot, a 3 pointer, or a free throw

call me Sony

I can't imagine anyone booing a half-court airball considering pros draw iron only a third of the time (unless you're Timmy Hardaway - he got skillz and crazy range), but I do think you'd get booed for even attempting the free throw. I know I would.

Awfully nice of the NBA to reclassify Shaq's flagrant foul from the other night. Too bad it already affected the outcome of the game, and probably shouldn't have been called a foul period.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

nr_flipitshot -as if it wasn't hard enuf. What probablility for an upside down half court shot for $5 mil. Also wonder what kind of assumed make rates the insurance co.s use..

Still, you have a great chance of airballing a 3 or a half court shot which will get you instanly booed. Although being a punk and taking a free-throw would prob get you booed too. Ok, for the sake of oscillating, I'll shoot from half-court and stop being such a biznatch.


Samuel:give me my money!

NBA: We meant for you to shoot the other way into the other basket, sorry! :/

Most newspapers have published followup Clonaid stories saying, well it's probably a hoax, but none that I know of have said that it's likely a hoax and we look like idiots (sitting there with no cake!) for publishing the claims of a UFO sect to begin with. I will continue to hold my breath and wait.

AD, I agree, just factor the pressure into your probable make percentage. Probably would drive down freethrow % the most, since it requires the most fine muscle control, the first to go when nervous.

Monday, January 20, 2003

Check out my homework for Photoshop Class: fantasy comp

He just gave us about 6 photos where we had to mimic a rough design he gave. Its a crazy word where beasts fly and you need two lighthouses in order to see. !Que Romantico! w00t!

[AD sez: Airstrikes.. No Panzer, No.. Sniper Rifle.. No wait it's just a picture. (edit in post test)]

Sunday, January 19, 2003

what's up with Clonaid, that crazy lady, and all the media coverage it's getting?
"Almost six years ago, Raël, the well-known spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement, the world's largest UFO-related organization numbering 55,000 members in 84 countries, founded Clonaid, the first company offering to clone human beings." Dude is on some Ti and Do shit.

/me ruffles feathers


tried to track down that full article to see it the authors are as idiotic as it seems but twas a subscription site.

thats funny you went with the expected return calculation Erik, I was thinking the same thing. But how do you calculate for the pressure? (see Brian Grant choking all those FTs in double OT? [won anyways though]) . Now if it was me, I'd prob have to go with the freethrow, no chance in hell I'd make anything else. But would you be able to stop thinking about the chance at a million you passed up?

A lot of those contests are half court shots only, aren't they? Or does everyone just go for the gusto?

Nice headline: Drinking Plus Pot Smoking May Equal More Injuries . As usual the yahoo news message boards are (sarcasm) full of wisdom (/sarcasm), including this statement which seems to implicate someone we know:

"...they walk around thinking nobody except the teenage kid at the gas station with the pot-leaf tatoo smokes pot, when it reality it's their dentist, or their tax attourney, or their pastor going home at night to fire up a joint."

I figure at best I would have a 75% chance at hitting the free throw, maybe 33% at hitting the three, and 5% at hitting the half-court shot. Mutliplying these odds by their respective payouts gives me $38K, $33K, and $50K -- so I'd take the half-court shot.

Friday, January 17, 2003

XXXXXXI'll take the 3 any day, its a shot I could possibly make with some practice. Give me my 100,000 and I'll make a million.XXXXX

scratch that, I'll take the free throw. I'd be lucky to hit that three. One free throw for 50,000 sounds like a fair trade to me.

On to more important topics: the "million dollar shot" at the NBA All Star game. One person gets the chance to take a single shot from one of three places. Make it from the free-throw line and win $50,000; from the 3-point line for $100,000; or from half court for a cool $1,000,000. If you had the chance, which would you take and why?

I know, I can't believe the casinos weren't just pouring money into it. Nothing like getting high to further remove you from the reality of pretty-colored-chips=money. Also, the only thing you might shoot someone with while high is this (um, adult content warning for those of you at work).

Let's get real! Marijuana is fun up until the point you shoot your friends, run over a kid innocently riding his bike in a heavily trafficed drive-thorugh, or fund Osama's next attack on America. And all this time I though it just made me fat and lazy with a smile on my face.

[AD sez: Now that they are re-running these commercials, I believe there is a valuable message in the one where the smoker is shot by the kid in the chair: the message is this: "It's a bong, not a microphone. Shut the fuck up, take your hit, clear the fucking carb, and pass that shit, bitch. Or you'll be shot. don't keep a smoker from his smoke, mang."]

From Reason online. Sorry for the large text dump, but this stuff just pisses me off.

Derided by the White House as "nothing more than a cheap political stunt," marijuana advocates' attempt to hold Office of National Drug Control Policy head John P. Walters' feet to the fire for his overt, taxpayer-funded political campaigning against drug-reform state ballot initiatives bore some small fruit this week.

Responding to a formal complaint from backers of the Nevada marijuana legalization measure that received 39 percent of the vote in November, Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller formally charged the nation's drug czar to issue "a written response to the complaint" by January 27th.

[In] its complaint, MPP also takes issue with the White House's near-ubiquitous anti-drug television ad campaign. A series of ONDCP ads that first aired during September links domestic marijuana consumption with foreign terror. During the fall election season (and on in to December), the White House funded some $48 million nationally in anti-marijuana ads.

[Walter's] advocacy against the measure while in Nevada is a matter of public record. During his three days traveling around the state, Walters made a series of media appearances warning that the initiative's passage would lead to Nevada becoming "a center for drug tourism." And he said the initiative would help "feed the criminal organizations that are a dangerous threat to democratic institutions in the Western Hemisphere." On Election Day itself, The Wall Street Journal published his statement that, "we're going to fight whether we win or lose in every state they [reformers] come in to from now on."

Anyone catch this? Man vs. Beast

mwhahaha. Now here's a subject matter deserving of Weintraub's condescending attitude.

Didn't I just write that article on our fantasy NBA page? heh

now this is just a cheap shot...

ESPN's Stuart Scott worked some pidgin Mandarin into his tired faux-ebonics act

I'm sorry Robert Weintraub, we should look to you for "slang from the hood", beauties like...

"In his debut, Yao scored a bagel"
"Yao better than Shaq? Oy Vey!"

..and various other excepts from Jews from the Hood, a Weintraub production

This Shaq vs. Yao hype is starting to frighten me... for Yao's health. Giving Shaq a reason to be interested in the game is not smart. Samuel will appreciate this comparison from an article today in Slate:

Over at ESPN.com, Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons went from guaranteeing Yao's demise to calling him the "most compelling player since Michael Jordan in his prime" and someone who "affects the game at both ends more than anybody since Bill Walton." I suppose that makes Cleveland's Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who betters Yao in every statistical category, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Stay out, 12-stepper! Your lies are not welcome here.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

how did it get named after Sonny Bono anyways?
and did you hear, it is now legal to fornicate in Georgia.

. Friendly gathering held
Pyongyang, January 15 (KCNA) -- Russian Ambassador to the DPRK Andrei Karlov hosted a friendly gathering at the embassy on Jan. 14 on the occasion of the New Year, Juche 92 (2003). Present on invitation were minister Ri Kwang Gun and Vice-Minister Kim Yong Jae of foreign trade and officials concerned.
The staffers of the Russian embassy here were on hand.
Speeches were made at the gathering.
The participants deepened friendly feelings, talking to each other about the fact that the friendly and cooperative relations between the two countries are growing stronger as the days go amid the deep concern of Kim Jong Il and President V. V. Putin

On the one hand that was a complete capitulation to big business arguments but on the other hand, this Court is too tired and old to deal with tough issues. They just like 4th and 10th Amemndment cases. BTW Around here we call it the Mickey Mouse extension, not the Sonny "the other" Bono thing, because Congress extends it everytime Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters come up.

Frodo has failed.

Sony - any thoughts on the recent upholding of the Sonny "the other" Bono copyright term extension act? No doubt we'll see another extension when this one expires, but as long as it is not extended perpetually (only virtually perpetually in 20 year chunks) it's ok by the supremes.

[AD links: Lawrence Lessig Blog]

check out the GZA and the lyrics on this song. GZA is the head of the Wu-Tang Clan, and by far their greatest lyricist.

here are the lyrics to FAME, one of the best hip-hop songs i've heard in awhile.

Must be those 8th-graders that are stuffing the all star ballot box.

I still play :). In fact I play all the time with the kids at school when I coach. I just think it's more fun to dominate 8th graders. I'm the Yao Ming of Culver City. If I go out and play with adults I'm just another Travis Knight.

There used to be a site called HoopsTV.com that no longer exists that housed lots of basketball goodness, I'll have to search around and see if anyone has the videos they used to host. Unfortuantely they no longer exist. Also, be on the lookout for the AND1 videos on SVCD, that would be fantabulous!

Kobe @ Rucker highlights
And1 stuff (kind of slow site, but those numbered files under Mirror 2 [some down] are worth d/ling and checking out)
Basketball Videos any more sites with dunky goodness?
Vince Carter. Too bad it's either too small or too blurry.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Does anyone remember when Sam used to play basketball. Boy, those were the good old days.

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Straight out of Sámiid ruovttuguovlu
Crazy Mutherfuckers named Saami dude
From a gang called Finnish with Attitude

...An exceprt from Straight Outta Finland, FWA (Finnish With Attitude) first (and last) release.

In this industry, we call it "Urban," as in "Urban" films don't generate presales in foreign territories. I like "ghetto-linux", though, it sounds like Saami music straight outta Helsinki

Samuel Lemon's latest release Lemons for Lemonade is now available. I'd say its a cross between punk-hop and ghetto-linux.

[AD sez: I never thought a song could sound sour till I heard Sam Lemons Sing "Lemons for Lemonade".]

Yeha, the surf and sun one was hth best IMO too. I voted for it. But most likely we're going to have some dirty gold scavenger and his bear lucky represent California's 25 cents.

I kind of liked the surf and sun coin myself, more Japanese than Californian but at least it has style. The rest are awful variations on the farmworker-and-prospector-riding-a-bear-across-the-golden-gate-into-Hollywood theme.

Monday, January 13, 2003

waiting on a better version of Hero that wasn't recorded with a cam in a theater. Pretty F'in dope though.

Man those are some ugly coins, I especially hate the one that seems to put the Hollywood sign above the Golden Gate Bridge (which has like 25% of the votes), funny I've never seen it there before. I guess its a tribute to the lack of geographical knowledge by the stoned Californians. I think they encourage ugly coin designs to help spending. I mean, who wants those things laying around the house?

Vote on the California quarter design here. Prepare to be underwhelmed by the choices.

I would link, but you need to subscribe. Any chance of you copying this, A.D.?

Ying Xiong
(China-Hong Kong)

A Beijing New Picture Film Co. (in China)/Edko Films (in H.K.)/Miramax (in U.S.) release of a Beijing New Picture Film Co. (China)/Elite Group Enterprises (H.K.) production. (Non-Asian sales: Focus Features, New York.) Produced by Bill Kong, Zhang Yimou. Executive producers, Dou Shoufang, Zhang Weipin. Directed by Zhang Yimou. Screenplay, Li Feng, Zhang, Wang Bin; story, Zhang, Li, Wang.

Nameless - Jet Li
Broken Sword - Tony Leung Chiu-wai
Flying Snow - Maggie Cheung
Sky - Donnie Yen
King of Qin - Chen Daoming
Moon - Zhang Ziyi
(Mandarin dialogue)

By DEREK ELLEYA dazzlingly lensed, highly stylized meditation on heroism and the point at which individualism conflicts with the common good, "Hero," Zhang Yimou's long-planned foray into martial arts territory, skewers its chosen theme with a single-minded devotion. Taking its inspiration from several real-life attempts to assassinate China's first emperor, who unified the country from a mass of warring states 2,200 years ago, pic is more a cinematic fantasia melding music, color and combat than a traditional, or emotionally involving, narrative feature. Anyone expecting a conventional crowd-pleaser on the order of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" will come away feeling cheated; film is closer, if anything, to Wong Kar-wai's elliptical, arty take on the genre, "Ashes of Time" (1994), albeit much more accessible. Robust returns as a specialized item look more likely than breakout biz across the board.
Almost two years in the making, and with a reported budget of some $30 million -- double that of "Crouching Tiger," -- pic represents a high-stakes roll of the dice for Chinese cinema in general, as well as a return to center stage by Zhang after a series of well-regarded but small efforts.

After a foreign language Oscar-qualifying run Oct. 24-30 at a 100-seat venue in Shenzhen, and a massive ad-pub blitz thereafter, film officially premiered Dec. 19 in Beijing and went wide on some 200 screens throughout China, breaking first-day records with a reported gross of $1.45 million. Ten days later, theaters were still running the film to SRO biz, with nationwide takings reportedly already north of $12 million. In Hong Kong, business has been brawny on 46 screens, and in mid-January, film fans out to Taiwan and Singapore. Miramax, which has the pic for numerous territories including North America, is mulling a May release, although U.S. preem will take place on Jan. 14 at the Palm Springs Film Festival.

The period, and the basic story of an assassin who tried to kill the King of Qin, formed the basis of two recent Mainland productions -- Chen Kaige's opulent but dramatically messy "The Emperor and the Assassin" (1999) and Zhou Xiaowen's little seen but far superior "The Emperor's Shadow" (1996). Compared with those two movies' detailed sense of era, "Hero" has an almost spare look, which evokes the period without slavishly following its actual designs. In spirit, pic is more a martial arts movie, set in the usual semi-mythical age, than a historical drama.

However, "Hero" breaks tradition with the martial arts genre by neither primarily being driven by narrative nor featuring a huge number of characters (there are basically only six protags, plus loads of extras). Other departure from the genre is pic's use of swathes of color to reflect moods and feelings. While this approach isn't entirely new, Zhang takes an extreme position in "Hero," above and beyond even his use of color and fabrics in "Ju Dou." Result is an estimable success on the aesthetic terms the director sets out for himself, but may encounter resistance from viewers expecting, or desiring, a different, more ordinary sort of movie.

Narrative is simple: After 10 years during which no one has managed to find three legendary assassins, a country sheriff called Nameless (Li) arrives at the palace of the King of Qin (Chen Daoming) to report mission accomplished, with physical proof of his success. The audience between Nameless and the King -- held in a vast, almost empty reception hall, the two separated by a bank of candles which later prove a crucial plot element -- is the framework on which the several flashbacks of Nameless' exploits reside and, especially in Chen's sly perf, provide ongoing suspense. The grim, gray/black set also provides a continual point of contrast between the colorful flashbacks.

First, tightly told flashback continues the opening color scheme but adds the physical element of water, as Nameless recounts his duel with Sky (Donnie Yen) in a rainy teahouse courtyard.

Second, much more elaborate flashback, gets the film going. Seg starts from a small element -- Broken Sword (Tony Leung Chiu-wai) practicing the calligraphy of his nickname with a stick in a sandbox -- and broadens out to reveal first a whole class of students engaged in the same practice and then, in the dusty plain outside, the massed black-garbed army of Qin. As clouds of arrows (effectively augmented by CGI) rain down on the schoolhouse, the aged teacher orders his pupils to continue with their calligraphy.

In the first of several segs-within-segs, a tiny story of sexual jealousy also unfolds: that of Broken Sword's partner, swordswoman Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung), against her maid, Moon (Zhang Ziyi), who also loves Broken Sword. After taking on the bombardment of the Qin army's archers in one of several music-and-image montages that pepper the pic, Sword and Snow settle their differences, and Snow -- in perhaps the movie's best showpiece, deals with Moon in an autumnal forest. Subsequently, Nameless kills Snow in a brief duel in front of his army.

When Nameless finishes his report to the king, it turns out this is only the start of the story. As the king questions Nameless' version of events, a different set of variations unspool over the subsequent 50 minutes, with the characters' change of garbs reflecting their different attitudes as the real story eventually comes to light. At pic's end, Nameless has a major decision to confront.

Anyone in search of film buff reference points will have a ball with "Hero" -- Kurosawa's "Rashomon" and "Throne of Blood" are easy starters, plus a host of Chinese martial arts movies. That shouldn't detract from the movie's overall accomplishment in redefining the genre's action elements.

In traditional martial arts movies -- which "Crouching Tiger" conveniently saluted and rehashed to its immense profit -- fighting styles express character (its weaknesses and strengths), with heroes winning by scaling a pyramid of opponents with contrasting styles that each test an aspect of the hero's skills. Zhang Yimou & Co. largely dispense with this.

For the most part, duels, staged by Hong Kong action maestro Tony Ching Siu-tung are quite samey, more aerial ballets than form-heavy swordplay. Rather than expressing character traits or individual skills, Ching's martial arts choreography describes an overall mood, often to jaw-droppingly beauteous effect, but without the kinetic excitement of acknowledged genre classics.

In fact, it's difficult to separate the various elements in each showpiece, as lensing, color design, choreography and music all coalesce into what are virtually tone poems. For example, in a duel between Nameless and Sword on the surface of a shimmering blue-green lake, grief over the death of Snow is tinged with respect by Nameless for Sword's devotion to her -- the outcome of the duel hangs on a drop of water that lands on her face, as she lies on a bier in a pavilion in the lake's middle. The aerial ballet is equally underscored by Tan Dun's ethereal music (often supplemented by Itzhak Perlman's violin solos) and Christopher Doyle's tranquil lensing, both working in a totally different vein from the wild romanticism of, say, the pic's desert scenes.

Indeed, the use of separate colors for each story seg -- moving from black to red to blue, green and white -- has been the pic's most pre-publicized element. (Idea basically replaced Zhang's initial one of using different cinematographers and shooting styles, which proved impractical.) The idea is not as rigidly executed as expected: As the story axis changes, and the protagonists become more shaded, so the use of color becomes freer and less dogmatic.

For those prepared to take the leap, "Hero" advances the genre. There's a gutsy, rough-and-ready feel to the movie, recalling Zhang's own "Red Sorghum." In Chinese terms, pic is typically "northern" in its sensibilities, compared with the soft "southern" feel of a film like "Crouching Tiger."

Doyle's camerawork is sensational, surpassing even his flashiest work for Wong Kar-wai, with one after another succulent composition -- from the umbrous interiors of the King of Qin's palace to the burst-yellow desert-scapes (shot near Dunhuang) and shimmering lake-scape (in Jiuzhaigou). The Snow/Moon forest duel, shot in Inner Mongolia at a precise moment of the year, rivals the classic bamboo forest battle in King Hu's "A Touch of Zen."

Performances vary from average to good, with Li, the titular star of the picture, just OK as Nameless, bringing as little warmth of personality and as much woodenness of performance as to most of his previous roles. He's outgunned in the linking segs by Chen's stentorian, sly authority as the ruthless king.

Of the others, Zhang Ziyi, in the relatively small role of the maid, is among the most eye-catching, though more convincing as fighter than lover. With their more colloquial, less elevated dialogue (sometimes used for comic effect), Cheung and Leung as the two swordfighting lovers seem at times to inhabit a different movie, though the lighter tone comes as a relief from the heavier scenes between Li and Chen. The two H.K. thesps' voices have been dubbed by native Mandarin speakers after a decision that Cheung and Leung's Cantonese accents were still too evident, no doubt a wise move in light of the linguistic train wreck of Chow Yun-fat and Michelle Yeoh's efforts to speak Mandarin in "Crouching Tiger."

Mandarin re-voicing is well done, and further enhances Cheung's stately, magnetic perf as the lady Macbeth-like Snow, easily one of her best roles since the remake of "Dragon Gate Inn." Leung is decent, but lacks stature; Yen, in briefly as Sky, is fine, though the role under-uses his genuine m.a. skills.

Other tech credits are tip top, from the flowing but not elaborately decorated costumes by Emi Wada ("The Bride with White Hair") to production design by Huo Tingxiao ("The Emperor and the Assassin") and his former assistant, Yi Zhenzhou. Latter's sets for the King's palace and the calligraphy school, both built at Hengdian TV & Movie City, in Hangzhou, recall the look of "The Emperor's Shadow" in breadth and solidity.

Pic has already drawn criticism, even on the Mainland, for supposedly endorsing the government's line on a unified China. In fact, like most of Zhang Yimou's pics, any messages are there for the individual taking: finale can be read either as a triumph of unity over chaos or as a victory by militarism over pacifism. Irony is that both sides -- "heroes" as well as "villains" -- use the same methods, which is probably Zhang & Co.'s point.

Camera (color), Christopher Doyle; editors, Zhai Ru, Angie Lam; music, Tan Dun; violin solos, Itzhak Perlman; drumming, Kodo; production designers, Huo Tingxiao, Yi Zhenzhou; costume designer, Emi Wada; sound (Dolby Digital), Tao Jing; action director, Tony Ching Siu-tung; visual effects supervisor, Pan Guoyu; associate producer, Zhang Zhengyan. Reviewed at Golden Eagle Cinema, Salle B, World Trade Commercial Center, Xiamen, Fujian, China, Dec. 30, 2002. (In Palm Springs Film Festival.) Running time: 93 MIN.