Archive for August, 2005


KPMG Tax Again

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005

The WSJ finally has a good editorial on the subject:

KPMG avoided the fate of Arthur Andersen yesterday when it announced a deal with federal prosecutors over the marketing and sale of “abusive” tax shelters. But the price of survival was high. The accounting firm will pay $456 million in fines and restitution and has agreed to let a federal monitor look over its shoulder. At the same time, no fewer than eight former KPMG executives and an outside lawyer were indicted on conspiracy charges for designing and selling the shelters.

That KPMG avoided indictment as a firm shows that the Justice Department has learned something from its 2002 indictment of Arthur Andersen over its involvement with Enron. That conviction was thrown out earlier this year by the Supreme Court, but its vindication came too late for its 28,000 mostly innocent employees. Not to mention for the broader U.S. economy, which was reduced to only four major accounting firms just when Sarbanes-Oxley was gaining momentum.

KPMG will survive this “deferred prosecution” by admitting wrongdoing. But it’s easy to forget amid the righteous indignation over tax shelters with names like FLIP, BLIP, OPIS and SC2 that the legality of these tax-avoidance techniques has never really been tested. The IRS banned each of them in the late 1990s or early 2000s, but no court has ruled on their propriety.

Yep. This was about stopping accountants from finding tax shelters, not about anything illegal KPMG might have done. If it were, then they’d have let the cases make their way to court.

Read the whole thing.

Related KPMG posts here and here.


How Do You Speak?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005

I’m Yankee:

43% (Yankee). Barely in the Yankee category.

How do you speak?


iTunes Phone

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005

Here it comes:

Apple Computer Inc., in an effort to extend its strength in digital music to a potentially large new market, has reached an agreement with Cingular Wireless to offer a Motorola Inc. cellphone that will play songs from Apple’s iTunes Music Store, according to people familiar with the matter.

Apple also may introduce a line of iPod digital music players intended to replace its hugely popular iPod mini line, a person familiar with the matter said.

Read more here.


New King Kong Movie

Sunday, August 28th, 2005

From Peter Jackson. Here’s the trailer. Here’s the weblog.


Fat Ladies

Friday, August 26th, 2005

You want your doctor to be honest with you, even when the news isn’t so good, but one New Hampshire physician is in trouble for doing just that. NewsCenter 5’s Rhonda Mann reported that he told his patient she was fat. That led to a complaint and an investigation by that state’s attorney general’s office. “They’re trying to define me as a disruptive physician because I told somebody the truth,” Dr. Terry Bennett said.

Bennett told a female patient she was fat, adding that her weight put her at higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and even death.

Read more here.


J-Walk Sacrilege

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

J-Walk answers some fan mail:

Kirk: Do you put the milk/cream into the cup before you put the coffee in, or do you put the coffee in first and then the milk/cream?

I like my coffee plain. But if I did use milk or cream, I’d add it to the coffee. It only makes sense. Anyone who puts the milk or cream in the cup before the coffee is simply doing it wrong. The accompanying photo shows the proper method.

Uhhh, J-Walk couldn’t be more wrong. My father informed me that when he was younger, at a diner in Washington DC he was informed that putting the creme in before the coffee is called “Boston style.” In fact, it seems to be common practice around here, and the definitive coffee chain, Dunkin’ Donuts, serves all of their coffee that way.

No wonder they taste so good.


I Is For Idiotic

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

Idiotic Robot.

I blogged about the movie before, but I finally caught i Robot with Will Smith on DVD this weekend. It was pretty terrible. Will Smith went running around as this “gangsta cop” wearing his hat crooked and strutting with an attitude and stuff. It was too incongruent, it didn’t work, and it wasn’t believable when he came to conclusions because he seemed too stupid to think.

Otherwise, the movie was kinda fun. Too bad they had to ruin it the way they did.


Aeon Flux

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

The new Aeon Flux movie is coming out. Check the trailer.

Looks cool enough I suppose, but it also looks like they’re trying to make the movie make sense, something which the cartoon never did. It’ll prolly ruin it, but who knows.

I was surprised that the effects look as cool as they do, but it’s still not the irreality of the original.


It’s Here

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

Google Talk.



Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005


Pop Quiz: You’re a Cop. You respond to a domestic abuse call. You bang on the door. The door opens. Standing before you, like a sight of ineffable grandeur, is a bored housewife. Her body rocks big time. She isn’t wearing anything. What do you do? That’s the choice my friend on the DC police force faces a few times a month. He wouldn’t say whether he ever laid down on the job. But he said more and more police officers are responding to calls for burglary and prowlers, only to find oiled housewives, introducing themselves with a salacious wink and suggesting a quick tryst against the sink. When the UPS or Federal Express persons make deliveries, they also experience similar occurrences.

We decided to investigate. We scoured local fire departments, pizza delivery joints and bars frequented by wild packs of traveling pharmaceutical sales reps, to see if they shared similar experiences. Everywhere we went the story was the same: Bored housewives suffering the pangs of withdrawal from a marriage that’s lost its luster start calling random men to their home in order to make life more interesting, i.e., more sexual.

It’s MILF-er Time. Tastes great, less filling.

No, seriously, it’s kinda weird. Armstrong Williams concludes:

But then again, I am old-fashioned. So, I’m curious as to what you think. Send me your thoughts. Email me at arightside at and let me know if placing fake calls to police officers is a sign of sexual liberation, or a sad sign that the feminist movement has betrayed women by encouraging them to go about things as a male would. I will print your responses in a follow up column.

Ooh, now that’s an offer I can’t resist. Below is my printed response:

Mr. Williams,

I am a 33 year old bachelor living in Waltham, MA. I have noticed driving around town that there is a rather attractive blonde woman on the Waltham Police force. Would you recommend that I call the police for some concocted reason, and wait around all oiled up for her to arrive? Do you think this would work? Or might I be arrested?

Which brings me to a more serious point: why aren’t these women arrested when they call the police for no reason? Surely, they could put an end to this by simply arresting a handful of women and getting the local press to cover the arrests and embarrass the women.

I certainly suspect that if a gay man called the cops under false pretense with similar intentions, he’d have charges pressed against him no problem.

Finally, I seem to remember watching cartoons as a kid, the old WWII era Bugs Bunny cartoons, always joking around that it was the milkman that the housewife was sleeping with. In other words, this can hardly be a new phenomenon. We just don’t have milkmen anymore, so instead the housewife calls the police.

What’s so new about that?

-Rob Sama

Read Armstrong Williams here.