January 3, 2006

Time for an Internet Wall of Shame for the Chinese Police-State Enablers

FOLLOW-UP: The Wall’s First Inductees
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Yahoo!’s proactive assistance given to the Chinese government in capturing and imprisoning a dissident journalist is the most egregious example of a US-based company cooperating with the friendly-faced police state based in Beijing, and gave rise to the “I Do Not Yahoo!” display currently in the right frame.

But Yahoo! has a lot of company — make that companies. The latest one to cross way over the line is the MSN Spaces unit of Microsoft, as reported by Rebecca MacKinnon at RConversation (HT Instapundit):

Microsoft takes down Chinese blogger

Microsoft’s MSN Spaces continues to censor its Chinese language blogs, and has become more aggressive and thorough at censorship since I first checked out MSN’s censorship system last summer. On New Years Eve, MSN Spaces took down the popular blog written by Zhao Jing, aka Michael Anti.

….. Note, his blog was TAKEN DOWN by MSN people. Not blocked by the Chinese government.

Anti’s sins? He was covering the Beijing journalists’ strike and the recent killings of protesters in Southern China.

Rebecca went through an exercise of setting up a Chinese-language blog and then observed what happened when she used forbidden words or phrases (e.g., Falun Gong, Tibet independence, etc.). Her blog was eventually taken down, and her conclusion was this (bold is mine):

It is VERY important to note that the inaccessible blog was moved or removed at the server level and that the blog remains inaccessible from the United States as well as from China. This means that the action was taken NOT by Chinese authorities responsible for filtering and censoring the internet for Chinese viewers, but by MSN staff at the level of the MSN servers.

MSN is not merely acquiescing in government censorship, it is clearly an enthusiastic participant.

This is unacceptable, but so what? Stop using Microsoft products? And Cisco’s, HP’s, and the other police-state enablers? Great — walk away from The Information Age and crawl into a cave. That’ll show ‘em.

Short of pressuring our government to get companies based in our country to at least stop whooping it up with the Chinese censors, I don’t know of what to do except highlight the most heinous offenses as they occur, and hope that if enough of us chronicle and shout out our objections, someone will act. Plus one other thing: I’m collecting the logos of the offenders and will make a “Wall of Shame” graphic to replace the “I Do Not Yahoo!” display you currently see (hopefully in the next week or so). Let me know either in a comment or be e-mailing me of any companies besides the ones I have mentioned in this post that deserve inclusion in the Shrine.

Martin Crutsinger of AP Botches Reporting on the November Construction Spending Report

The Associated Press’s Martin Crutsinger used today’s release by the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau of November’s Construction Spending Report as an opportunity to take an unsupported swipe at the housing market, and to give government spending full credit for the favorable news.

Here are the topline seasonally adjusted numbers (4-page PDF) released today (in billions; listed in order of November, October and the net change; figures may not add up due to rounding):

Total Construction — $1,146.4, $1,144.2, +$2.2

By Sector:
Residential $648.4, $648.9, -$0.5
Nonresidential $498.0, $495.3, +$2.7

Public and Private:
Public $253.9, $253.2, +$0.7
Private $892.4, $891.0, +$1.4

Public Sector Breakdown:
Residential $6.4, $6.8, -$0.4
Nonresidential $247.5, $246.4, +$1.1

Private Sector Breakdown:
Residential $641.9, $642.1, -$0.2
Nonresidential $250.5, $249.0, +$1.5

With this “big picture,” here’s how Crutsinger led off his article:

Construction spending hit an all-time high in November as government spending to build schools, highways and sewer systems offset a slight dip in home building.

Huh? The three individual components of the Public Sector Crutsinger chose to flag went up by $3.5 billion (you’ll have to see the detailed report to verify the numbers), while you can see that total Residential Construction fell by only $0.5 billion. That’s quite a bit more than an “offset,” and the difference between the two ($3.0 billion) is well in excess of the total monthly increase in all construction of $2.2 billion.

This is analysis?

Further, since when did “Residential Construction” translate to “home building”? The home ownership rate in the US is 69%, so there’s plenty of apartment and other types of construction in the “residential” number besides owner-occupied homes. Perhaps Mr. Crutsinger is itching to tell his audience that housing construction is in decline, but the report neither proves or disproves that point. In fact, since over 75% of the housing decline occurred in the Public Sector (again, you’ll need to go to the detail to verify), which tends to build and remodel public (non-owned) housing, it’s fair to say that there is no evidence of ANY dip in “home building” in the Construction Spending Report.

But let’s get back to the big picture. If you’re going to look for contributors to the increase, you would look in the sector where most of the spending (about 78%) occurs: the private sector. The nonresidential portion of the Private Sector accounted for roughly two-thirds of the month’s total increase ($1.4 billion out of the $2.2 billion increase). So it appears that in addition to not understanding that all residential construction is for housing, Mr. Crutsinger gives the Public Sector exclusive credit for the surge. Public Sector nonresidential spending did increase significantly ($1.1 billion above), so it would be reasonable to give it near-equal billing with the Private Sector.

So stick with the big picture, Martin. Use this as your model for your next opener:

Construction spending hit an all-time high in November as increases in private and public nonresidential spending offset a slight dip in residential construction.

There. That wasn’t so difficult, was it? Perhaps it’s not as exciting, but it does have the advantage of being the truth.

The really big news in the report is that the Office, Commercial, and Healthcare areas in the Private Sector, and the Public Sector areas Crutsinger cited (plus the Healthcare and Water Supply areas), have been on double-digit or near double-digit tears during the past 12 months (again that info is in the detail).

Private Sector firms were very reluctant for many years to build new buildings or extensively remodel olds ones because occupancy rates had been soft. The fact that spending in the Private Sector areas just noted is surging appears to reflect an underlying optimism about the economy on the part of business leaders (who, after all, are the people ordering up the construction projects) that hasn’t been present for some time.

Cross-posted at Newsbusters.org.

Living Under the Naive Assumption That They’ll Continue to Pay for This Indefinitely….

Filed under: Soc. Sec. & Retirement,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:20 pm

As the very first Baby Boomers reach age 60, Americans for Prosperity has a beginning-of-year post on how Gen X, Gen Y and the generations that follow are, and will continue to be, ripped off by the current Social Security system:

Hopefully, as elected officials confront this oncoming retirement tidal wave, they’ll take a second look at what it will really take to “save Social Security.”

….. a few snippets:

  • National Taxpayers Union Foundation research shows that per capita federal entitlement spending on seniors totaled $17,637 in 2000, while entitlement spending on Americans aged 18-64 amounted to just $1,845 per person.
  • Social Security is a raw deal for the young. While a worker born in 1915 who retired at 65 in 1980 collected $71,390 more than he paid into Social Security, a worker born in 1975 can expect to collect $93,486 less than she contributed.
  • The unspoken truth is that young Americans – many of whom are struggling to pay off educational debt and want to save for a home, marriage, and a family – are being forced to make an intergenerational wealth transfer to more-affluent seniors.
  • Indeed, the average net worth of seniors age 65-74 is $146,000, while the average net worth of Americans under age 35 is a mere $9,900. Government-mandated wealth-transfer policies are one factor in this disparity: over the past four decades, federal entitlements to the elderly grew almost twice as fast as they did for Americans under 65.

Short of a total rethink about the assumptions behind the current meaning of “retirement” (which all too often involves totally ceasing working at a point that is years, even decades, premature, and never working again), the only way to salvage retirement for Gen X, Gen Y, and those who follow is to move to individually controlled and owned investment accounts.

Otherwise, I would say that we are 20 years or away from Gen X and Gen Y partially or fully repudiating the so-called “claims” of Social Security retirees (which, by the way, have no legal standing — see second paragraph at link), and (depending on how the economy performs in the meantime) perhaps 5 years away from the time when attempting a partial conversion to individually controlled and owned investment accounts may become too costly.

This Is Why Some Corporate Execs Deserve All the Scorn That Comes Their Way

Filed under: Biz Weak,Business Moves,Corporate Outrage — Tom @ 1:20 pm

This fell to the bottom of the proverbial pile, but despite its age, needs to be posted and commented on.

James Rogers, to-be former CEO of Cinergy Corp., which is in the process of being bought by North Carolina-based Duke Power Co., and who is receiving a $23 million payout in the deal, was quoted in the December 12 issue of Business Week (known as Biz Weak around here) as saying:

To keep management ahead of the game [and] to get ultimate shareholder value, you want a management team that’s economically indifferent to whether or not they will have a job when the deal is done. This is the way to compensate them for putting the shareholders in front.”

Translation:

“We can’t be trusted to serve the needs of shareholders, as is our fiduciary and legal duty, unless we’re set for life after the deal is done. My price for serving the needs of shareholders is $23 million.”

Alternate translation:

“Execs should know that they’ll be set for life when a deal is done. This will motivate them to dress up their companies so they look more attractive to buyers, even if that means that shareholders who are in it for the long-term, customers, and employees are less well served in the process.”

Alternate translation 2:

“I do what I want. Bleeeeeeeeeeeep you.”

Other alternate translations are welcome.

Here’s hoping that 2006 is the year institutional investors in major U.S. companies show some spine, as happened here (go to “Surprise: A Mutual Fund flexes its muscles” at the link), and not only get executive pay, and especially golden parachutes, in line, but force execs to focus their allegiance to their shareholders.

Cincinnati Should “Heart” (and Demand) New York City’s Level of Safety

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:25 am

The City of Cincinnati ended 2005 with 79 murders, and racked up its first one in the new year before the noon church bells rang on January 1.

Here are some examples (from the first link) of lives snuffed out in the mayhem on city streets and in city neighborhoods:

A 23-year-old woman watching her child play in an inner-city park was killed when she was struck in the head by a bullet that police believe was intended for someone else.

A 16-year-old boy sitting in a parked car with friends was shot to death by someone on a bicycle in what family members called a turf war with youths from another neighborhood.

A 19-year-old woman was killed by a stray bullet in a melee outside a crowded party where, witnesses said, several teens had guns.

Meanwhile, New York City’s murder count was the lowest in 42 years, and down 75% in 15 years:

The crime rate in New York has dropped for the 17th consecutive year, with the fewest number of recorded murders in the city since 1963.

Over the past year, there have been 537 murders, down from 566 in 2004, and a peak of 2,245 in 1990. Rape, assault, burglary and car theft have all tumbled, with subway crime down by five per cent, according to New York Police Department statistics.

New York is now the safest big city in America, while other major cities, including Boston, Houston and Philadelphia, are witnessing soaring crime rates.

Vast areas of the city that were once no-go areas are now no-murder areas. In 2005, eight precincts recorded no murders, including Central Park, which was once infamous for night-time killings.

If New York’s murder rate on a population of 8.1 million was applied to Cincinnati’s estimated population of 310,000 (the last reported number was 314,154 in July of 2004, and the city lost over 4,000 in population in each of the last three reported years), Cincinnati would have had only 21 murders. If Cincinnati’s murder rate were applied to New York’s population, The Big Apple would have have had 2,064 murders, over 1,500 more than actually occurred.

So let’s face it. Cincinnati in 2006 is for all practical purposes as dangerous as New York was when Rudy Giuliani was first elected mayor. There are plenty of excuses, but no good reasons, why Cincinnati cannot accomplish what Giuliani and his successor Michael Bloomberg have, and more quickly.
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UPDATE: This New York Times story notes that crime in The Big Apple dropped in virtually every major category in 2005. I would add that the real big drops in crime did not begin to occur until Giuliani took office in November 1993.

UPDATE 2: This graph, done just before the murder count of 79 was finalized, shows the five-year negative progression, which I believe can be traced to the letup in police effort that occurred after the April 2001 riots:

CincyMurders00_05

Election Law Complaint Filed Against Bob McEwen — UDPATE

Filed under: OH-02 US House,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:33 am

I received this from the Ohio Elections Commission (OEC) today, in part:

CASE NO. 2005E-087
Blumer v. McEwen et al.

NOTICE OF PROBABLE CAUSE HEARING

Please be advised that the probable cause hearing in the above case has been scheduled for January 11, 2006 at 3:00 P.M. in Office of the Ohio Elections Commission on the sixth floor of the Wyandotte Building located at 21 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43215.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE: Based on reviewing the OEC’s Rules of Procedure that I received along with the notice, a possible result of a Probable Cause Hearing is essentially a recommendation to the full Commision, which takes it from there in accordance with Ohio 3517-1-11(A)(2) (also found at this link, which I missed initially because the section’s title did not appear to apply). So, it does not appear that any kind of definitive ending will be achieved on January 11.
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Case Progression Posts:
- Dec. 29 — Election Law Complaint Filed
- Jan. 11 — Probable Cause Hearing Held
- Jan. 17 — Probable Cause Finding Letter
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As with the previous post, no direct comments will be processed, though they may be saved. Trackback comments are welcome.

This Is Not Why They Call the Town “Loveland”

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:15 am

The town just made its ridiculously petty claims for back taxes go away. I knew about the one for $1.16, but there was another one for 50 cents. And check out the last paragraph of the excerpt:

Women settle tax disputes with Loveland
Agree to pay what they owe – $1.16 and 50 cents – plus $25

LOVELAND – Officials here said Monday that they intend to ask a judge this week to dismiss criminal charges against two women who have failed to pay miniscule city income taxes.
In exchange, the women, Deborah Combs, 51, and Lisa Mason, 36, will pay the taxes they owe and reduced penalties of $25 each.
Combs, who faced three counts of failure to pay taxes and one count of failure to file an income tax return, owed $1.16. Mason, who was charged with three counts of failure to pay taxes, owed 50 cents.
The women faced a maximum of 18 months in jail and about $4,000 apiece in penalties, court costs and other fees, one of their lawyers said.
Combs also has agreed to file her 2000 tax return – and the city will assist her with that requirement, Loveland officials said.
When completed, Combs’ 2000 tax return will be the last of five late tax returns she will have submitted to the city.
Loveland Mayor Rob Weisgerber said Monday in a statement that he was pleased with the outcome.
“This is a victory for Loveland taxpayers,” he said.
“The city will receive what it has wanted all along: for these two residents to file their tax return and pay any taxes owed. It has never been the city’s desire to convict these taxpayers of criminal charges.”
The city’s former mayor, Brad Greenberg, had said last fall that Loveland should drop the charges – but City Council balked.
Council members said they wanted to wait until a newly created, council-appointed citizen tax review panel weighed in on the situation.
The panel, made up of lawyers Arthur Phelps and Tim Butler and tax accountant Carolyn Bingaman – all Loveland citizens – is examining the city’s income tax code and enforcement process and is expected to report back to council soon.
In the meantime, the incident became a public relations black eye for Loveland.
Loveland’s prosecutor, Joseph Braun, said he negotiated with the women’s lawyers throughout the holiday weekend because the city wanted to resolve the matter.
Mason’s case was scheduled for a jury trial Thursday in Hamilton County Municipal Court.
Interim City Manager Tom Carroll said Loveland approached the women’s lawyers last week with a settlement offer similar to one made to them earlier this year – but this time, the city lowered the penalty amounts.
“This is important to the citizens of Loveland,” Braun said. “A lot of people had interest in seeing this settled fairly, and I believe it was.”
The women always intended to pay the taxes, stressed one of their lawyers, Chris Finney of Hyde Park.
“Both women are relieved that it’s over,” he said. “The complete victory is for them that the charges have been dropped. … They are pleased to have this behind them.”
Monday’s settlement doesn’t resolve a federal lawsuit that Finney filed in November on behalf of the women against Loveland.
The suit seeks to reform the city’s procedures and alleges that its practice of allowing police offers to accept cash for bail from defendants at the scene of traffic stops is illegal.
….. But as terms of the settlement, Loveland officials have agreed to review any concerns the defendants or their lawyers have about the city’s income tax code. About 200 citizens annually don’t pay their city income taxes, Carroll said.

The article “conveniently” (for the town) avoids telling us the penalty amounts the Lords and Lawyers of Loveland originally wanted, and readers should have been told. Here’s the answer in the $1.16 case, from an October 17 AP report: Combs owed $200 in late fees — $50 for each year she didn’t file a return,” and apparently if the criminal charges stuck (dream on), another $4,000. Knowing that, it’s pretty clear that the town’s decision to drop the criminal charges in return for the taxes owed and $25 penalties was made to cut its losses, and to end what has become a complete national embarrassment. The Lords and Lawyers of Loveland should have settled for the $25 penalties weeks ago.

The town’s “cash to the cops at traffic stops” program sounds like a recipe for corruption. I have not heard of a similar practice elsewhere, but I am fortunately not fully-versed personally in the nuances of police traffic stops.

And talk about misplaced priorities — How many of the 200 not paying taxes at all do you think owe more than $1.16?

It’s going to take a lot of Valentine’s cards with the town’s postmark on them to make up for this fiasco.

The National Education Indoctrination Association Exposed

Filed under: Corporate Outrage,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:15 am

So, the National Education Association has finally had to open up its books, and what do we find (link requires free registration):

If we told you that an organization gave away more than $65 million last year to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Amnesty International, AIDS Walk Washington and dozens of other such advocacy groups, you’d probably assume we were describing a liberal philanthropy. In fact, those expenditures have all turned up on the financial disclosure report of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union.

Under new federal rules pushed through by Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, large unions must now disclose in much more detail how they spend members’ dues money. Big Labor fought hard (if unsuccessfully) against the new accountability standards, and even a cursory glance at the NEA’s recent filings–the first under the new rules–helps explain why. They expose the union as a honey pot for left-wing political causes that have nothing to do with teachers, much less students.

We already knew that the NEA’s top brass lives large. Reg Weaver, the union’s president, makes $439,000 a year. The NEA has a $58 million payroll for just over 600 employees, more than half of whom draw six-figure salaries. Last year the average teacher made only $48,000, so it seems you’re better off working as a union rep than in the classroom.

….. The NEA gave $15,000 to the Human Rights Campaign, which lobbies for “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equal rights.” The National Women’s Law Center, whose Web site currently features a “pocket guide” to opposing Supreme Court nominee Sam Alito, received $5,000. And something called the Fund to Protect Social Security got $400,000, presumably to defeat personal investment accounts.

The new disclosure rules mark the first revisions since 1959 and took effect this year. “What wasn’t clear before is how much of a part the teachers unions play in the wider liberal movement and the Democratic Party,” says Mike Antonucci of the Education Intelligence Agency, a California-based watchdog group. “They’re like some philanthropic organization that passes out grant money to interest groups.”

There’s been a lot in the news recently about published opinion that parallels donor politics. Well, last year the NEA gave $45,000 to the Economic Policy Institute, which regularly issues reports that claim education is underfunded and teachers are underpaid. The partisans at People for the American Way got a $51,000 NEA contribution; PFAW happens to be vehemently anti-voucher.

….. The NEA is spending the mandatory dues paid by members who are told their money will be used to gain better wages, benefits and working conditions. According to the latest filing, member dues accounted for $295 million of the NEA’s $341 million in total receipts last year. But the union spent $25 million of that on “political activities and lobbying” and another $65.5 million on “contributions, gifts and grants” that seemed designed to further those hyper-liberal political goals.

The good news is that for the first time members can find out how their union chieftains did their political thinking for them, by going to www.union-reports.dol.gov, where the Labor Department has posted the details.

….. we wonder if the union’s rank-and-file stand in unity behind this laundry list of left-to-liberal recipients of money that comes out of their pockets.

Not, a, chance.
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UPDATE: Neal Bortz (second January 3 item at link; HT S.O.B. Alliance member Weapons of Mass Discussion) weighs in on The WSJ’s final question:

Disgusted? Sure you are. And you can rest assured that there are thousands of government school teachers out there who will be just as outraged as you when they learn how their dues money is being spent.

Business Column of the Year: Rich Karlgaard on the “World’s Worst Disease”

This is a good place to start as everybody returns for the first “real” business day of work in this new year.

I know it’s early January, but this may indeed be the Column of the Year — Forbes’ clear-headed Rich Karlgaard outdoes himself with his Jan. 9, 2006 column (may require subscrption, which is why much of it is excerpted below):

World’s Worst Disease

It’s not cancer or AIDS or avian flu; it’s a monstrously flawed idea. The sickest thinking–and the source of most of human misery throughout the ages–is based on the following beliefs:
• The Earth is running out of resources;
• People consume more than they contribute;
• Wealth is a zero-sum distribution game.

History overwhelmingly refutes these ideas; otherwise, humankind would still be living in caves, sharpening spears for the hunt. Our lives would be brutal and short, lasting on average about 30 years. We’d enjoy no books, movies or iPods; we’d drive no cars to visit grandma over the holidays; we’d savor none of her gooseberry pie if the economic pie hadn’t been growing all along.

Yet most politicians, economists and journalists act as if growth were a mirage and wealth a zero-sum game. What else accounts for last November’s headlines yelling about GM’s cut of some 30,000 jobs? Does the creation of 30,000 jobs get equal treatment? Why not? That’s about how many jobs are born in the U.S. every six days.

Origins of the Virus

Why do so many opinion makers promote the zero-sum view? I think that politicians, even the best and brightest, become zero-sum thinkers because they occupy a zero-sum world. Only one person can be President of this country; only 50 can be governors; only 100 can be senators. The most creative entrepreneur in the world can’t change these parameters. Politicians live in a world in which one person’s gain is another’s loss.

You’ll also find most economists and professors in the zero-sum camp.

….. It’s no surprise that the top business thinker of the last 50 years, the late Peter Drucker, operated outside of the university system. Drucker, who had escaped Germany in 1933, was no Pollyanna and no stranger to evil. But he saw that evil had its roots in a belief system of limits. The Nazis believed there was room on the planet for only one ideology and one race.

Journalists at mainstream media organizations wallow in a zero-sum world: There can be only one evening television anchor and one top editor at a newspaper. All others are beta dogs. Thus from the MSM we get a staple of alarming stories about job losses, trade and fiscal deficits, global warming, the price of oil rising to $100 a barrel and so on. Zero-sum nonsense, all of it. Why does the mainstream media love environmentalists? Both groups share a zero-sum view of the world.

Meanwhile, much of the better journalism and commentary has been migrating to blogs. No surprise here. Anybody who creates a blog is: (a) an entrepreneur and, thus, probably NOT a zero-sum thinker; and (b) a producer first and a consumer second. These two attributes alone guarantee that the blogger has a clearer view of how the world really works than does the zero-sum thinker toiling away at his mainstream media position.

Maybe “life is not a zero-sum game” should be the year’s mantra.
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UPDATE: Just before year-end, Don Luskin’s post on Karlgaard’s comment about “most economists and professors” being zero-summers generated quite a bit of heat, and a fair amount of light.

Positivity: Dungy Sets an Example of Faith

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:12 am

One of the really good people in sports gets up off the mat, and the Indianapolis Colts will surely have a few extra million fans who ordinarily could care less about football wishing them well during the playoffs:

INDIANAPOLIS – He jogged off the field Sunday with the game ball in his left hand. A mourning father and winning coach, waving to the crowd that roared his name. Sympathy seldom comes this loudly.

It had been a tragic week for Tony Dungy. Tuesday, he buried his son. Apparent suicide. But this was game day in the NFL. So he went back to work, because that is what his faith and his heart and his wife told him to do.

How important can a meaningless game be? Indianapolis vs. Arizona Sunday meant nothing in the standings. But everything in the fractured world of Tony Dungy.

“More than anything, I think I had to make a statement,” Dungy said afterward, of what had brought him back to the sidelines, after one of the worst weeks of his life. “If I’m a Christian, if I’m going to claim to be a Christian … I’ve got to be able to move on. As tough as it is.

”My wife and I discussed it and that’s something we wanted to do and felt it was necessary. We’re still healing, but it’s important to move forward.”

The Indianapolis Colts, with nothing left to win in the regular season, treated Sunday as if it were an August exhibition, in terms of who played. Several starters never appeared. Peyton Manning put in one series. The 17-13 victory – saved with 13 seconds left when a replay review overturned an Arizona touchdown – had no football significance.

Dramatic, yes. Important, no.

Except to the soul of the Colts.

They were determined to win for Dungy, no matter how many backups played. At the end, it was regular safety Mike Doss who demanded the ball from one of the officials – ”I’m taking that to my coach,” he said – and carried it to Dungy.

”It’s a salute to him,” Doss said later, ”for being so strong.”

”It’ll remind me of how much I’ll be proud of these guys,” Dungy said. ”All our guys are close. This just gave the world a chance to really see it.”

Dungy was determined to be there with them. To send his own message about belief and faith, and how to get through the dark days.

There has been much for him to think about since James Dungy’s funeral. All the phone calls and e-mails, for example, from other parents who have buried their own children.

”What you realize is that you’re not alone,” he said. ”It’s not something that hits just you and you only.”

And there were the moments he had to himself, to decide the message he wanted to send. Love your kids. Cherish your family. Try to understand that all things happen for a reason, even the horrors. So he had time to return to practice Thursday. Time to coach on Sunday. But no time to be bitter. No time, as a parent, to ask in anger why.

”You always have those questions,” he said Sunday. ”But I never felt like God dealt us any hand that was wrong, or anything like that.

“We have to hope the future is in God’s hands. It’s a hurtful time because I’m going to miss my son. But it’s not like I don’t have any hope.”

“If I can only show my best foot forward when everything’s going well – when we win or when you get a new contract – that doesn’t say the whole thing about my faith.”

That is what drew him to the sideline Sunday. When Dungy first walked onto the field, the fans stood and cheered. He waved in appreciation and flashed the thumbs-up to someone in the stands.