Frank Charney's Sunday Postcard
December 30, 2007
New Year greetings, and a Johnstown firm comes under scrutiny
First, a happy and prosperous New Year 2008 to all the hometown readers.
The liberal Washington Post and Rep. John Murtha are in agreement about pulling our military out of Iraq, despite the reported progress being made there. The Post, however, has set its gun sight on another Johnstown-area government agency originally founded by Rep. Murtha. I thought it would be of some interest to readers.
Tributes are being paid to Bill Hartack after his death on November 26 at 74 years of age.
The current scandal over how large companies have been cooking the books reminds me of a basic accounting course I took years ago. The professor was explaining an accounting method called First In Last Out, which is useful for industries that accumulate large inventories of stuff. It explains why the oil industry, for example, reported huge profits during the 1970's when the oil shortage occurred. They stopped buying oil, so they had to use oil that, on paper, had been purchased in the 1930's at 20¢ a barrel. They of course sold it at current market prices, which accounted for their huge profits.
One of the students put up his hand and said, "Excuse me, sir, but that doesn't sound very ethical to me."
To which the professor replied, "You're in the wrong class, son, this is Accounting 101. Ethics 101 is down the hall."
Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
Thought for today
The question is not so much what the hand is doing (passing over some cash or a check) but what the heart is thinking while the hand is doing it.
John R. W. Stott, clergyman and writer
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