Roger Brown

Brown is an investor and freelance writer residing in Alpine.

Guest Commentary

Do you ever wonder why Bruce Jenner gets more media attention than Andrei Markov? The reason this may not strike you as an important question will explain why it is.

To accept what follows, it is helpful to agree with two premises as incontrovertible fact: The first is that no one understands the entirety of all the tax laws affecting all the citizens of this country; the other is that many people do not understand computers and believe they are magic.

The inequality whiners use a statistical measure of dispersion, the Gini Index, to describe the plight of humanity. Visiting a minor indignity (using only the positive side of the real number line, but no one wants to hear about that) upon Corrado Gini’s 1912 mathematics, the Gini Index gives a number between zero and one that purports to measure the level of inequality in a group.

In the New Year, annual forecasts bloom like an early spring. I want to get out in front of that crowd with important guidance. Something is going to happen. It is a prediction I make each year and for nearly half a century I have never been wrong.

A simple proof asserts that if A=B and B=C, then A=C. It can be useful to apply this to understanding real estate and money. We ask “Is land money?” to which the answer appears to be “no.” Yet a further inquiry into money substitutes gives us pause. The emergence of Bitcoin offers an interesting venue for this discussion.

Johnny Carson once quipped “Wouldn’t it be great if they found out that taxes cause cancer?” Today he might not think that so funny. People in Texas are worried because quarantine protocols may not have been followed at a hospital treating a patient with Ebola.

Spoiler Alert: I am not making any of this up.

One of my favorite quotes is “The law is politics carried on by other means.” Attributed to many, I found it in graduate school at the end of a law journal article. There is much to be learned from that statement and from two lawsuits recently in the news. Those suits share two qualities. Each says something about leaders while at the same time they are both silly.

A recursive process is a series in which each computed result is subject to the same formula as the prior result. A simple example would be if (don’t ask why) you agreed to pay someone else's income tax, levied at rate q, arising from some event.

Egypt and Syria, to say nothing of the national debt, are just distractions. They divert our attention from what is really important, which is Bob Filner, a man giving new meaning to the term “hands-on mayor.” The Maven of Misogyny is no doubt out of the running for keynote speaker at the next meeting of the League of Women Voters.

Now that the United Kingdom, indeed the world, has lost a woman who apologized for nothing, we are left to contemplate a leader who apologizes for everything.

I have a technique that I developed years ago to drive my wife crazy. It has been so successful I have decided to generalize it to the rest of society. Two examples illustrate.

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