Parents Cheat on Board Games with Kids: They Can’t Stand It

That time with the kids . . . repetitive, mind-numbing, and the word, “Again!” over and over, well, again. Some parents can’t take it, so, for example, they stack the decks in Candy Land to ensure that their children get to the magical candy capitol quickly. Let the kids win by holding the low cards up their sleeves or under the table. Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2018, p. A1.

The goals are noble. Time with the kids. Getting them away from iPhones and computer games is critical. Reliving our board-game childhoods. Who would have thought cheating was the cure for boredom.

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Fun Fact: Popping Bubble Wrap

44% of Americans say that popping bubble wrap is “their most oddly satisfying behavior.” The other 56% are not being truthful. Popping bubble wrap is great fun.

Thanks to Clorox for their work on this issue.

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Fun Facts: Our Truthfulness About Dates on Valentine’s Day

Nearly one in four single men lie about not having a date for Valentine’s Day.
Nearly one in six single women lie about not have a date for Valentine’s Day.

Conclude whatever you wish about the difference. Thanks to Dairy Queen and Toluna research for their work.

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Scuffing the Cricket Ball

The captain of the Australian Cricket Team apologized, in tears, for the cheating plot he and two other team members concocted. Their plot involved sandpapering the cricket ball, something that makes the ball more difficult to control. The three were caught on video and removed from the team and banished from cricket for 9 months to one year.

The captain of the Australian Cricket Team is right up there in power rankings, second only to the prime minister. Australians take cricket seriously and fooling around with the cricket ball dishonors the team and Australia.

The young team captain seems like a sincere young man, and his remorse and regret are the marks of a mature individual. The old saw is that everybody cheats in sports. Perhaps so, but the difference lies in the response. Contrast this young man’s post-cheating scandal behavior with Tom Brady’s. Denials, refusing access to his cell phone, and going to court are the stuff of fooling around with football inflation. Or consider all the steroid athletes and their chutzpah in denials. And the team owners and the league saying, “Who knew?” One more difference, the coach for the Australian Cricket Team resigned. He was not implicated in the actions. He did so out of honor. We could use a little cricket in our sports.

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The Toll Scofflaws: A Hall of Fame

Toll scofflaws are those who go through the No-Cash booths without an E-ZPass transporter on their cars. They are also the folks who do the same but do not have sufficient funds in their E-ZPass accounts to pay the toll. Then there are the clever scofflaws who enter through the cash lane and take a ticket but then exit through the E-ZPass lanes. What’s a few dollars here and there?

Well, thanks to the Wall Street Journal, the Barometer has the answer to that question. Herewith, some data from the most notorious scofflaws:

The top 100 toll dodgers in Pennsylvania have more than $21,000 in unpaid tolls.
Illinois publishes a list of scofflaws who owe at least $1,000. There are 469 names on the list (trucking firms are on the list) and the top scofflaw owes $890,000.

The states have various laws and remedies. In Florida, you cannot renew the vehicle registration if you owe tolls. Pennsylvania has taken to filing criminal complaints when the amount owed is more than $2,000. One of the first people charged was a woman with 1,645 violations who owes $92,000. She has paid $26,000 so far, and her lawyer is asking for the court’s understanding about her ability to pay. Amazing how it adds up and how the law catches up.

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The Story of GE: Who Was Running This Company?

Jack Welch was a legendary leader — taking GE to soaring heights through the growth of GE Capital. But, GE Capital was doing everything from Thai auto loans to long-term care insurance policies to “floating-rate Polish residential mortgages . . . denominated in Swiss francs.” When 2008 hit, GE Capital was, literally and figuratively, in a world of hurt. Now that GE Capital is selling and shrinking, analysts are looking at GE and stunned at how little cash the business of GE generates, i.e., the turbines, the jet engines, and health care equipment.

The board says that it was “in some level of shock.” That would be because former CEO Jeffrey Immelt, who took over after Mr. Welch retired, told them, analysts, and the world that all was well in GE.

Now the SEC is investigating the company’s accounting on booking revenues for software sales to gas turbine customers. it looks as if GE tried to cram all those software sales into obeyer even though the contracts for them are performed over time.

There is nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. The accounting tomfoolery generally comes when the business model is failing. So it is and was with GE. A company of quality products may die of self-inflicted wounds. The irony is that during this long death march, Mr. Immelt, the board, and other officers spun yarns about their success. If you have bad news, get it out there and take your lumps. Then move the company forward. GE is still in cover-up mode. And no one seems to be sure which way to move forward.

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Unplanned, Unscheduled, and Unknown Inspections by Federal Agents Reveal Safety Problems on Offshore Rigs

Fifty inspectors from the federal government, aboard helicopters, got a bird’s eye view of the work habits and patterns on offshore oil rigs. They are concerned, and they will be issuing safety advisories based on what they saw. Nothing beats unplanned, unscheduled visits by those in charge for finding out what is really going one in the trenches. A wise practice in any industry or organization.

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Facebook Had a Security Breach: What Security?

Why the outrage over Facebook? Folks were given a free site to post everything from the banal to items that cost many folks their jobs. With a billion folks here and there posting information, quite a bit of that information was bound to end up in places we did not anticipate. Facebook is, and always has been, a giant marketing firm. High tech, high schmech. They were using users to make money. That political folks tapped into the resource is no surprise. Discretion should have always been part of our online activity. And Mr. Zuckerberg et al, leaning in and otherwise, should have been more forthright about their intentions.

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“I invited my wife to come and help. I left it to my wife, you know, to choose something. I dismissed myself from the issues.”

Dr. Ben Carson, throwing his wife under the bus, in explaining the $31,000 dining room set for his office.

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Megan Barry: Former Nashville Mayor Who Had an Affair with the Head of Her Security Detail

The taxpayers funded quite a few trips for her honor and the head of her security detail, all alone and by themselves. Both are married to others. Both showed incredibly poor judgment. Her honor resigned. No word on the head of her security detail. How do these executives find the time for such activity? How come no one around them noticed? Where were the staff members processing travel? So many questions, so much not reported.

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“Testilying”: A New Verb to Describe False Testimony by Police Officers

“Police perjury” or “blue lies,” have been described as an inevitable part of the justice system, so common that we now have a new verb of “testilying” to describe what some police officers do. The way we discover the false statements? Surveillance videos, body cameras, and sometimes cell phone footage. Prosecutors should be looking for the existence of these tangible evidentiary accounts before putting their officers on the stand. One can assume the integrity of most officers, but perceptions, sequence of events, and other inevitable phenomena in human recollection are worth a review before officers take the stand.

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Jon Huntsman: A Man of His Word

There were many tributes to businessman Jon Huntsman at his funeral, but there was one story told about his integrity that tells us how ethics is done. During the 1980s, Mr, Huntsman and his business were struggling. In order to get cash into his business, he entered into an oral agreement to sell 40% of the stock of his company to a buyer who had been a tough negotiator. Mr. Huntsman shook hands on the deal.

Shortly after the deal was negotiated, conditions in the market changed, and Huntsman’s stock climbed because the company’s earnings had increased five-fold. His lawyers argued that the oral agreement was not binding because no one had signed any paperwork. Mr. Huntsman still closed the deal because he said that he had made an agreement and his handshake was his bond. Members of he the chemical industry were shocked. He lost millions with the deal.

The rest, as the say, is history. Mr. Huntsman went toto enjoy even greater success and growth. The loss at the time of the deal was small from the perspective of bis billionaire status. Your word is you bond. Your handshake means something. Doing the right thing even when you could escape legally. Three lessons in Mr. Huntsman’s passing.

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Theranos and Former CEO Elizabeth Holmes Settle SEC Charges

She was the first female billionaire in Silicon Valley. She had founded Theranos, a company touting a new blood test that could detect everything from diabetes to cancer. She raised $700 million from investors for the company that was touted as revolutionizing health care. Only 19 years old at the time of founding the company, Ms. Holmes captivated investors. The SEC said that she “lied” to investors. Neither the company nor Ms. Holmes, now 34 years old but still wearing the black turtleneck that was a Steve Jobsian signature of her company officers, admitted any wrongdoing. Ms. Holmes must pay a $500,000 fine and is banned for 10 years from being an officer or director of a publicly traded company.

The lies alleged were about the tests themselves. While people were getting their fingers pricked at Walgreen’s as the next means of medical diagnosis, those back at Theranos were keeping secret the fraud of the tests until the Wall Street Journal found an informant and broke the story in 2015. Too good to be true, in health and in money.

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Former Chief Information Officer of Equifax Charged With Insider Trading

After learning of a security breach at his company, Equifax, CIO Jun Ying exercised all of his stock options and then dumped them on the market. Ying accomplished all of this activity before Equifax disclosed the breach publicly. The security breach compromised the personal information of 140 million Americans whose records are part of the credit-rating company. The convenient exercise and sale averted $117,000 in losses. The sales were discovered through an internal investigation at the company. When confronted with the activities in an October 2017 meeting, Ying resigned rather than be fired. Equifax noted that it takes “compliance very seriously.” He received no severance package.

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