UW-Madison Grad Anthony Shadid:
It had been almost a year since I was in the Iraqi capital, where I worked as a reporter in the days of Saddam Hussein, the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and the occupation, guerrilla war and religious resurgence that followed. On my return, it was difficult to grasp how atomized and violent the 1,250-year-old city has become. Even on the worst days, I had always found Baghdad’s most redeeming quality to be its resilience, a tenacious refusal among people I met over three years to surrender to the chaos unleashed when the Americans arrived. That resilience is gone, overwhelmed by civil war, anarchy or whatever term could possibly fit. Baghdad now is convulsed by hatred, paralyzed by suspicion; fear has forced many to leave. Carnage its rhythm and despair its mantra, the capital, it seems, no longer embraces life.
“A city of ghosts,” a friend told me, her tone almost funereal.
In a task-force report released Monday by NCAA president Myles Brand, Division I schools were encouraged to rein in spending on sports – but there aren’t any requirements everyone must adhere to or punishments if they don’t.
“In the case of academic reform, we had a hammer – namely, by teams not conforming, we could take away scholarships and, if that failed, we could keep them out of the Final Four and postseason. That’s heavy duty. That’s a sledgehammer,” Brand said after speaking at the National Press Club. “The fact is, we don’t have that for fiscal responsibility in intercollegiate athletics.”
The task force of about 50 school presidents and chancellors was formed in January 2005, and the report’s release comes as the NCAA is preparing its response to an Oct. 3 letter from Rep. Bill Thomas, R-Calif., chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee. Thomas asked the NCAA to justify its tax-exempt status and sought a reply by the end of October; the NCAA received a two-week extension.
I’ve gone to a variety of sporting events around the country over the past 25 years. It is interesting to observe the explosion in sponsorships, luxury boxes and facilities around college athletics.
KCRW is a leading example of how public radio stations are aggressively pushing high-definition radio, live streaming of programs, podcasting and other technology-driven improvements — and in the process demonstrating the potential the Internet may hold for all radio stations, public or commercial.
Such moves have helped public stations expand their audience at a time when commercial broadcasters are seeing the listener base shrink. But while the initiatives have helped public radio stations expand their reach, the bar for success is also lower. Public stations rely on sponsorship and listener donations and are under less pressure to make money on their audience-growing online initiatives, such as selling ads on their podcasts.
“They have less to lose,” says David Bank, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets. “They’re all about delivering their content to the audience, without worrying about how [new technologies] might displace the audience and the advertiser.” Now, he says, commercial radio is wishing it had moved faster and earlier in this area, although it has a big effort to catch up in the past year or two. Many big radio companies now sell advertising for their streams separately to their broadcast advertising, and start most podcasts with an ad. Industry-wide, online revenue now runs well north of $100 million annually.
KCRW’s music programs are, in my view, the best around and a refreshing change from the usual commercial practice of playing the same old songs over and over and over and over.
Driving around yesterday, I tuned into WSUM where the DJ began to read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven, something one would not here on a typical commercial radio station.
Bogle believes investors should simply buy the lowest-cost index funds available and hold them forever. His rule of thumb is to take your age minus 10 and hold that percentage of your assets in a total bond market index fund and the rest in a total stock market index fund. For example, a 30-year old would put 20 percent in bonds and 80 percent in stocks.
This strategy nearly eliminates “the two greatest enemies of equity investing — expenses and emotions,” Bogle said.
Bogle’s attitudes have barely changed since he started the first index fund in August 1976.
That fund, now called Vanguard Index 500, has about $112 billion in retail assets and is the second-largest fund after American Funds’ Growth Fund of America, according to Morningstar.
Bogle wrote the excellent “Battle for the Soul of Capitalism“.
Defense & The National Interest:
10/24/06 Peaking of world oil production, an update by Robert Hirsch, Senior Energy Advisor, SAIC: