But first:

Going out on a date this weekend? Need a little confidence builder? You will surely want to click here.

And second:

Ever wonder how fast you are cruising the internet? Click here and you’ll see. (Thanks to Alan Light for this link.) I have two laptops running simultaneously from the same cable modem. The one that is directly wired to the modem clocked about 550Kbps (kilobits per second) connecting through AOL 5.0. (I can’t upgrade to a higher version because my address file is too large and AOL can’t handle it in its higher versions.) The one that connects to the modem wirelessly and by-passes AOL was twice as fast – 1100Kbps. Connecting over a plain old phone line and my computer’s built-in modem, the connection logged at 43Kbps.

And third:

I am indebted to Paul Lerman for this link to Jeff Brown’s Philadelphia Inquirer column on index funds. Brown points out that one should only be in the stock market for the long haul . . . and that over the long haul – according to data that Morningstar supplied him comparing the Vanguard 500 index fund with the most recent 10-year performance of actively-managed large-cap mutual funds – just 22.72% of the actively managed funds beat the index fund on a pre-tax basis. For funds held in taxable accounts, just 7.1% did. We have discussed the reasons for this many times in this space, and in my investment guide; but it’s always nice to see common sense confirmed.

And fourth:

Bob Daniels: ‘The repeated talk of ‘average’ tax cuts in the propaganda campaign for the Bush plan* reminds me of the line from Darryl Huff’s 1954 classic How to Lie with Statistics: The roadside merchant was asked how he could sell rabbit sandwiches so cheap. ‘Well,’ he explained, ‘I have to put some horse-meat in too. But I mix them 50:50. One horse, one rabbit.”

*Wherein, as described Tuesday, our commander-in-chief promises 92 million families ‘an average $1,083 a year’ from the latest proposed cuts, never mentioning that Bill Gates would get $40 million or so, Dick Cheney $327,000 or so, and George W. himself $44,000 or so . . . while most of those 92 million families would get much less than $1,083, yet be saddled with their share of the trillions in new national debt all this is leading to.

And now, finally!

Oh, my – will you look at that? We’re out of time. Please come back Monday for your very good thoughts on the 10 men and their idiotic dinner (and Tuesday for your thoughts on copyright extension).


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