Tidbits on April 1, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

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I repeated this one from the March 30 edition of Tidbits since people contacted me about this provocative piece by an Australian sociology professor.
The principal motive for the rise of fundamentalisms in recent decades - Islamic, Christian and Jewish - is a reaction against modernity. That is Western modernity, which combines the material progress that has been generated by capitalist industrialisation and the humanist culture that framed it. The provocation has been the nihilistic consequences of humanism. A movement that started in the Renaissance with the ambition of founding a human-centred view of existence, to replace the religious one that had preceded it, failed to find its own answer to the great metaphysical questions that confront all humans: where do I come from, what should I do with my life, and what happens to me at death. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche proposed that with the "death of God" the truth about existence has become that life is either absurd or horrible. He satirised the modern individual as the "last man", whose only interest in life is his digestion; that is, comfort. Nietzsche's bleak view has been projected ever since in countless works of literature, art and music, depicting the human condition as meaningless and depressive - Hamlet's "sterile promontory". The theme also emerged that if death has no sense - merely a biological event ending in rot and stink - then neither does life. Nihilism - the belief that there is nothing - is the inevitable end point of the humanist cultural experiment. Needless to say, humans cannot live with the ultimate conclusion that this is all there is. So humanist modernity has generated a range of reactions against itself. Fundamentalism is one. From believing in nothing there is a leap to the opposite - fanatical attachment to a body of doctrine that is claimed to be absolute and universal, the word of God himself, spoken directly through one or other of his chosen prophets. Sigmund Freud would have included this reaction under his psychological category of "negation" - where fear that I believe nothing surfaces as its opposite, dogmatic assertiveness that I know the one Truth. And it is the case that people who deeply know what they know are usually relaxed in themselves, feeling no need to assert their faith. The need to convince others cloaks a need to convince oneself. It is insecurity about belief that triggers intolerant dogma, as defence. Fundamentalism is a symptom of fragile faith.
John Carroll, "How the West leads the fight against itself," Sydney Morning Herald, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/03/27/1111862254583.html 
John Carroll is professor of sociology at La Trobe University. This article was originally published in the Griffith Review: The Lure of Fundamentalism (ABC Books).  You can read more about him at  http://www.latrobe.edu.au/socsci/staff/carroll/carroll.htm


How to sleep better without pills
With complaints on the rise, the medical profession is stepping up its focus on the treatment of sleep disorders. Earlier this month the American Board of Medical Specialties recognized sleep medicine as an official subspecialty for physicians in a number of areas, including internal medicine and neurology. Specialists are finding success with a range of behavior-based therapies that offer long-term solutions to insomnia. With these methods, doctors say they can teach patients to alter their thoughts and actions and break the cycle of sleeplessness, with little or no reliance on drugs.
Jennifer Corbet Dooren, "Talking Yourself to Sleep:  Behavioral Therapies Teach Insomniacs to Snooze Without Relying on Drugs, The Wall Street Journal,  March 29, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111205598498291410,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal


This would be one for Comedy Central if it wasn't about such a serious topic
In the original Three Amigos, our heroes went to a Mexican town to perform their Hollywood act, and were shocked to find that the banditos they encountered in mid-yippee were using real bullets. Somebody ought to slip that DVD into W's player tonight.
Jed Babbin, "Loose Canons The Three Amigos Summit," The American Spectator, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=7945


Are low-sugar cereals really healthier?
Jennifer Hardee of California filed the suit Thursday in the Superior Court of California in San Diego County. She alleged that the low-sugar cereals falsely represent "that they offer a nutritional advantage over defendants' full-sugar breakfast cereal products, when in fact, the removed sugar is replaced by other carbohydrates, thus offering no significant nutritional advantage."  The complaint, which seeks class-action status, lists the reduced-sugar versions of Post's Fruity Pebbles from Kraft, General Mills' Cocoa Puffs and Trix, and Kellogg's Frosted Flakes. The suit seeks restitution for the cost of the low-sugar cereal purchased since the introduction of the low-sugar varieties by California consumers who believed the new cereals were healthier. The suit also seeks other damages to be determined.
Sarah Ellison, "Suit Challenges 'Low-Sugar' Cereals:  Carbohydrates Contained In New Breakfast Varieties Cited in California Action,"  The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2005; Page B6 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111198224246790724,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace


Making Muslims Part of the Solution
Muslims are a distinct minority in the U.S., variously estimated at between three and six million adherents. There are over 30 million in Europe. Most of the 1.2 billion Muslims in the world are in Africa and Asia. They fall into two main groups, Sunni and Shiite, with conflicting claims to succession from the Prophet Muhammad dating back to the seventh century. Muhammad founded Islam on monotheism, taking as his antecedents Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Thus Islam claims the same origins as Judaism and Christianity. But Muhammad made the singular claim that he was the last prophet of God's word. Muhammad was a different kind of prophet also in the sense that he was temporal ruler as well, building his political base in Medina and then conquering the Arab city that had once rejected him, Mecca. After his death, in June 632 by traditional account, Arabs rapidly built an empire stretching from the gates of the Mediterranean to the far side of India, spreading Islam as they went. On the whole, they were tolerant of Christians and Jews in the lands they conquered, acknowledging that all three religions claimed the same origins. Today, Muslim intolerance as manifested in al Qaeda, strict religious laws in Iran and the social strictures against women in Saudi Arabia, is regarded, in the first two instances at least, as a threat to other peoples and religions. It is this image that plagues moderate Muslims. In the U.S., they are dealing with it the way other minorities have done, by getting involved in the political process.
George Melloan, "Making Muslims Part of the Solution," The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111205503593491358,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion


Israelis toast Arab footballers
For years, Abas Suan and Walid Badir endured racist taunts from the bleachers. Now they're the toast of the predominantly Jewish state. Badir scored Israel's only goal in a 1-1 tie with France on Wednesday in a World Cup qualifying match, repeating Suan's feat in a Saturday match against Ireland, keeping Israel in contention for a slot in the prestigious tournament.
"Israelis toast Arab footballers," Aljazeera, March 31, 2005 ---
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F0328E76-38EF-454F-8A69-8646635A1904.htm


Won't the Europeans simply seek out the fatter and fuller non-European version of the Windows operating system?  The slimmer version seems to me to be a stupid idea for just one sector of the world.
Microsoft Corp. and the European Commission agreed the software giant can sell a stripped-down version of its Windows operating system under the name "Windows XP Home Edition N," Microsoft said. Microsoft's Windows XP Professional Edition will also include the "N" for versions sold in Europe without its Windows Media Player audiovisual software. The deal represents a small step in Microsoft's long battle with the EU's executive body, which last year ruled the U.S. software giant had abused the near-monopoly of Windows to crush competition and fined it nearly €500 million ($650 million). The commission ordered Microsoft to sell a version of Windows without its Media Player and the two clashed over a suitable name.
"Microsoft, EU Agree On Slimmer Version Of Windows System," The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005; Page B5 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111202539653090934,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
Jensen Comment:  Perhaps the European's just don't understand Gresham's law ---
http://www.eh.net/encyclopedia/?article=selgin.gresham.law
 

Gresham's law - first articulated in the sixteenth century - may have some interesting applications for the twenty-first century in situations where money takes the form much more prominently of accounting entries rather than of coins in circulation. --- http://www.tdctrade.com/econforum/hkma/hkma021001.htm


It must be nice to get paid nearly $20 million for cheating
Bank of America Corp., which has paid more than $1 billion during the past year in scandal-related settlements and penalties while absorbing a huge acquisition, paid its chairman and chief executive, Kenneth Lewis, a total of $19.3 million in compensation, according to a proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The 57-year-old Mr. Lewis, in his fourth year of running the Charlotte, N.C., company, which ranks third in assets among U.S. banks, received a salary of $1.5 million, unchanged from 2003. His bonus rose 6% to $5.7 million from $5.4 million a year earlier.
Betsy McKay, "Bank of America Pays Its CEO $19.3 Million Amid Penalties:  Total for Lewis Followed $1 Billion in Settlements, Absorption of Acquisition," The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005; Page A6 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111205640746091429,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one
Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates area at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads on banking are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#InvestmentBanking


Big Employer is listening to your "personal" conversations
Many recent college graduates and young professionals are avid users of social-networking sites that are blossoming across the Internet. But as Mr. Silverman's case makes clear, the information on these sites can leak into a job search, sometimes hurting one's chances of landing a position. Popular sites for the 35-and-under crowd, such as Friendster.com, Ryze.com and LinkedIn.com, which together have more than 18 million members, typically work in the same way. New members spend time filling out forms with personal information, from marital status and favorite movies to educational background and résumé details. Some even have space for photos. Then, they set out to create a network, searching the site for friends, colleagues and peers. As personal networks grow, members can voyeuristically browse the profiles of friends-of-friends-of-friends; if a stranger catches their eye, they usually can find someone in their own network to broker an introduction.
Jessica Mintz, "Social-Networking Sites Catch the Eye of Employers," The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005; Page B6 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111206247812691607,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace


Technology versus tradition in educating deaf children
So-called cochlear implants -- electronic devices surgically placed in the bone behind the ear -- have been around for two decades. But it was only five years ago that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the devices for use in children as young as 12 months. Now a new generation of children is entering deaf schools with the hope that they may someday hear and speak almost as naturally as those without hearing problems. As this happens, it is reshaping a longstanding battle over how deaf children should be educated. Supporters of the venerable culture built up by deaf people believe deaf children should get a strong grounding in American Sign Language so they can participate fully in that culture when they grow up. But others -- including some deaf kids' parents who can hear -- want more emphasis on hearing and speaking English to prepare the children for life in the mainstream world. Now the implants are boosting their cause. More than 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents.
Paul Davies, "Toddlers' Implants Bring Upheaval To Deaf Education: Cochlear Devices Help Kids Join Mainstream Classes; Will Sign Language Die? A Picket Against Dr. Green," The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111205074655191265,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one 


Historical myths versus reality
. . . in "Bound for Canaan" (Amistad, 540 pages, $27.95), Fergus M. Bordewich illuminates the lives and times of the Underground Railroad's stationmasters, conductors and passengers. He has written an excellent book that is probably as close to a definitive history as we're likely to see . . .
When the Underground Railroad was running, frustrated Southerners imagined it to be much more extensive than it really was. Today Americans are likely to overstate its significance because they want examples of moral virtue to make up for a national stain. As Mr. Bordewich notes, there is a "national fairy tale" quality to the Underground Railroad, and any serious chronicle must break through "the hard sheen of myth."  "Bound for Canaan" offers several myth-busting lessons, including the unsurprising fact that few of the movement's white leaders subscribed to 21st-century notions of racial equality. One of the most influential figures
John J. Miller, "Destination, Freedom," The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 2005; Page D6 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111206438089891665,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


When must your eBay revenues be reported on your Federal tax return?
More than 135 million people have registered to use the auction site that calls itself "the world's online marketplace." Buyers bought more than $34 billion worth of merchandise there last year. Some people make money by cleaning out items from their closets; others use the site to run small businesses. "When you're working on the Internet, it's kind of a gray issue," said Bart Fooden, a certified public accountant in Woodbury, N.Y., who advises small businesses and individuals. "The big issue is whether you're doing it as a business or not." The IRS can apply a list of nine indicators that might prove whether someone's online auctions amount to a business. These indicators include evidence that the taxpayer depends on the income, acts in a businesslike manner, or puts enough time and effort into the activity to suggest a profit motive.
Mary Dalrymple, "IRS May Consider EBay Sales Taxable Income," Washington Post, March 28, 2005 ---    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A6111-2005Mar28.html?referrer=email


I wonder if job applicants my take on any personality they think will win them a job?
Even before the candidates had stepped through the door for the group interview, their fate had been largely determined by a computer. They had taken a 50-minute online test that asked them to rate to what degree they agreed or disagreed with statements such as, "It's maddening when the court lets guilty criminals go free," "You don't worry about making a good impression" and "You could describe yourself as 'tidy'."
Ariana Eunjung Cha, "Employers Relying On Personality Tests To Screen Applicants," Washington Post, March 27, 2005, Page A01 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A4010-2005Mar26.html?referrer=email

Perhaps job applicants should instead take the Gone2thedogs.com test
Here’s a web site that they mentioned on Good Morning America earlier. It’s called Gone2thedogs.com; it will have you take a short 10-question test that will let you know what kind of dog you would be. It’s a hoot. My results were that I’m a German Spitz! Try it. --- http://www.gone2thedogs.com/ 
Debbie Bowling at Trinity University

I wonder what jobs Hitler would qualify for in this day in age:  For Hitler history buffs
The rare 1943 document was among the papers discovered in Cornell University Law School's collection from the Nuremberg war crimes trials. The psychological profile of the Nazi dictator is now available on the law library's Web site. The report said that if Germany were to lose the war, Hitler might kill himself. Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker in late April 1945.
"Harvard Study: Hitler Held Grudges, Craved Attention," WFTV.com, March 30, 2005 --- http://www.wftv.com/news/4328039/detail.html
Hitler's personality document, newly discovered, in the Law Library at Cornell University is at http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/library/donovan/hitler/
Also see http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/31/science/31hitler.html


Hitler Flap at Middlebury College
A photographic illustration included in the March 17, 2005 issue of The Middlebury Campus has attracted the attention of major media outlets and prompted President Ronald D. Liebowitz to condemn the illustration in a campus-wide e-mail sent on March 25. The photo illustration, which is a modified photograph of former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani including a Hitler-style mustache and haircut, was published alongside an opinions submission by Ben Gore '05.
"Giuliani graphic elicits widespread condemnation," MiddleburyCampus.com, March 31, 2005 --- http://www.middleburycampus.com//
See the photo and article at http://www.middleburycampus.com/news/895684.html?mkey=503123
Jensen Comment:  The editor of the Middlebury Campus resigned and the president of the college, Ronald Liebowitz, wrote a letter condemning the illustration, which, he says, "reflects a gross misunderstanding of history, let alone of Mr. Giuliani's record."


I don't think personality differences account for these salary differentials
Black and Asian women with bachelor's degrees earn slightly more than similarly educated white women, and white men with four-year degrees make more than anyone else. A white woman with a bachelor's degree typically earned $37,800 in 2003, compared with $43,700 for a college-educated Asian woman and $41,100 for a black woman, according to data to be released Monday by the Census Bureau. Hispanic women took home $37,600 a year.   The bureau did not say why the differences exist. Economists and sociologists suggest several possible factors: the tendency of minority women, especially blacks, to more often hold more than one job or work more than 40 hours a week, and the tendency of black professional women who take time off to have a child to return to the work force sooner than others. Employers in some fields may give financial incentives to young black women, who graduate from college at higher rates than young black men, said Roderick Harrison, a researcher at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a research organization in Washington.
"Income Gaps Found Among the College-Educated," The New York Times, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/28/education/28income.html?


Shared travel experiences
TravelPost.com ( www.travelpost.com ) has launched a free service designed to let people store and share personal travel experiences online, using tools for creating illustrated diaries and itinerary maps. Users are encouraged to rate cities, hotels and restaurants they have visited, information that becomes searchable by other users to help them plan vacations and business trips.
Leslie Walker, "Online Scrapboooks Let Globetrotters Trace Their Travels," Washington Post, March 27, 2005; Page F07
 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2609-2005Mar26.html?referrer=email


Some taxpayers are having some shared travel (offshore) experiences:  It's not nice to fool with Mother IRS
Everson said more than 90 percent of those who participated in the shelter, popular in the 1990s, were wealthy individuals. Others included business owners and corporations. He said this project dwarfed previous efforts to pursue tax evaders. A program to crack down on improper use of offshore credit cards netted $270 million, equivalent to the amount paid by just three individuals in the "Son of Boss" initiative. One person paid back more than $100 million and the average was nearly $1 million. "This was not a bargain-basement deal," he said. Under the terms of the program, people were required to pay back 100 percent of the claimed tax losses and pay a penalty of either 10 percent or 20 percent. Those who choose to litigate their case instead of participating in the initiative face assessment of the maximum penalty of 40 percent. Everson added that those who go to court will be publicly named, while the IRS does not make public the names of those participating in the settlement.
Jim Abrams, "Crackdown on Tax Shelter Nets IRS $3.2 Billion," SmartPros, March 25, 2005 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x47533.xml


Some of the above taxpayers might've learned not to fool Mother IRS if they'd taken a required high school course now being proposed in the Texas legislature
HB 492 would require personal finance education for high school graduation. According to the National Council on Economic Education, such requirements already exist in seven states: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, New York, and Utah.  In his remarks, Polansky pointed to statewide research conducted by TSCPA showing that only 20 percent of Texans pay their credit card debt in full each month. Fifty percent of respondents say they didn't learn about the need for financial planning and the importance of savings until they were in their 30s. TSCPA's research also found 26 percent of Texans say they aren't saving any money for retirement. Texas CPAs believe teaching money management principles to high school students better prepare them for sound financial decision-making as adults.
"CPA Society Supports Bill Requiring High School Financial Education ," SmartPros, March 28, 2005 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x47554.xml


It's not nice to play with someone else's patented technology
San Jose-based Immersion Corp. sued Sony in 2002, claiming it violated two of its patents. A federal jury in Oakland decided in favor of Immersion in September and ordered Sony to pay $82 million in damages. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken affirmed the decision tacking on $8.7 million in interest.
Mathew Fordhaul, "Sony to Pay $90.7M in PlayStation Case," ABC News, March 28, 2005 --- http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory?id=620454
Jensen Comment:  The fine is chicken feed to Sony.  But the court's ban on future sales is a serious blow.


Good Dating Seal of Approval from the State of Michigan
Some lawmakers, though, say that as online dating becomes more popular, users need better protection from predators. Twenty-six million people visited dating sites in January, according to the Internet research firm Nielsen/NetRatings. The Senate is considering legislation that would require an Internet dating company serving Michigan residents to disclose on its Web site whether it has conducted criminal background checks on users, based solely on the names provided.
David Eggert, "Michigan May Require Online Dating Checks," ABC News, March 28, 2005 --- http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=619978


Advice on leaving your personal computer files to you distant ancestors
Burning material to the disk itself is a snap, thanks to built-in tools most operating systems now have. There's also advanced programs, such as those from Roxio (www.roxio.com) or Nero (www.nero.com), that help organize material into folders. One warning: Do not compress files to save space. You may not be able to decompress them in 2015. Software that allows you to organize your archive across multiple disks, like Genie-Soft (www.genie-soft.com), can be handy as well, but test it by trying to open the files directly without using the backup program.
Joab Jackson, "Create an Electronic Archive," Washington Post,  March 27, 2005; Page M03 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64566-2005Mar24.html?referrer=email
Bob Jensen's computer helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm


Filene's is a famous department store in Boston
Filene's Puts $11 Price Tags on Its Coats and Suits -- Then Calls Cops: Stampeding men and women so overtaxed a Boston store's facilities that the doors had to be closed twice within the first half-hour. A dozen Boston bluecoats were on hand to maintain order.
The Wall Street Journal, March 29, 1949
Jensen Comment:  One of the memorable moments in my life was back in 1969 when I was in the bargain basement at Filene's.  Several women were so frenetic about the bargain prices on slacks and dresses that they were running around in their underwear (in those days garter belts and hose) trying on clothes beside the clothing racks.  And yes, there were uniformed police at various points in the basement trying to maintain order but not dress codes.  I don't think there even were dressing rooms in the bargain basement.


I think much of this anticipated technology failed, although it may have saved on energy usage
Many more foods may soon be sprayed out of aerosol cans at the flick of the housewife's finger. The possibilities range from "instant milk," which can be kept unrefrigerated on shelves, to such things as mayonnaise, pancake mix and peanut butter.
The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 1961


North Korea acknowledged for the first time an outbreak of bird flu at poultry farms near its capital, in a sign that the deadly avian virus endemic in Southeast Asia could be greatly expanding its geographic reach. Pyongyang's official news agency reported Sunday that hundreds of thousands of chickens had been destroyed in an effort to curb the spread of the disease, which had killed birds at "a few chicken farms."
Gordon Fairclough, "North Korea Acknowledges Bird Flu," The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2005; Page A9 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111197882571490670,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one


Madeleine Albright, and not some neoconservative in the Bush administration, who insisted that the U.S. would act "with allies if possible, alone when necessary."
Indeed, the cave-in of the Democrats is hardly surprising. After all, it was Madeleine Albright, and not some neoconservative in the Bush administration, who insisted that the U.S. would act "with allies if possible, alone when necessary." And it is former U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, who has argued repeatedly and eloquently for the need for U.S. military interventions to right certain human rights wrongs. And it has been liberal interventionist intellectuals like Michael Ignatieff and Samantha Power who have, in effect, argued, to use the phrase British Prime Minister Tony Blair did at the time of the Kosovo intervention, for wars based on "values not interests."   Nor are the Bush administration's arguments about political stability, respect for human rights, and economic prosperity being the byproduct of democracy somehow outside the mainstream. To the contrary, they are at the core of the theories of the single most respected liberal economist in the world today, Amartya Sen. So, if anything, the liberal interventionist critics of the administration probably have more in common with this kind of armed democracy-building than they would ever be comfortable admitting on matters of principle, if not on the details of how these policies should be implemented, what role should be assigned to the use of force, to multilateralism, international legal regimes, the U.N., and a host of other concerns.   In other words, if the contest is between different forms of commitment to interventionism in the name of democracy, liberal capitalism, the rule of law, and human rights, it seems obvious that the administration has the more consistent argument (though cynics can of course debate their sincerity). After all, it is rather difficult to claim that it was a good thing to overthrow Slobodan Milosevic, and that there should be an intervention in Darfur, but that somehow Saddam Hussein was off limits. In the battle between the muscular utopianism of the right and the pale utopianism of the left, there really isn't much of a contest.  And yet, it is precisely the utopianism of this interventionist project, whether defined in Richard Holbrooke's terms or Paul Wolfowitz's, that has led me at least to a re-education in realism. These doubts have two sources: the actual degree of success the U.S. has attained in Iraq and in the Middle East, and, far more importantly, the wisdom of such engagements, whether or not they succeed.
David Rieff, "Muscular Utopianism," The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2005; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111196968791190532,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion


Few see us as we are, but everyone sees what we pretend to be.
Niccolò Machiavelli
Jensen Comment:  But at least a few eventually see through what we're pretending to be.


Colorado University is a "lunatic asylum" says one of its inmates
Both Ward Churchill and one of his legislative critics compared the University of Colorado to an asylum this weekend — showing that the debate over the controversial professor has not been put to rest by a university review released Thursday.   Churchill says that the new investigation requested by the review — this time an inquiry into whether he engaged in plagiarism and other forms of research misconduct — is unfair. In a speech in San Francisco Friday night, he said that the new investigation at Colorado, which will examine among other things his claims of being an American Indian, was befitting to a  “lunatic asylum,” and he vowed not to cooperate with the investigation, according to a report in The Rocky Mountain News.
Scott Jaschik, "Churchill Wars Continue," Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/28/churchill
Bob Jensen's threads on Ward Churchill are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisyChurchill.htm


Continued War and Peace at Columbia University:  It's amazing how this internal matter is being made public
In a strong indictment of Columbia’s grievance procedures and advising channels, the ad hoc faculty committee investigating students’ claims that they were intimidated by some Middle East studies professors described a pattern of mishandled complaints and widespread confusion over how to address students’ concerns about what goes on in the classroom. The committee’s report, obtained by Spectator last night and expected to be made public today, also identified one instance in which assistant professor Joseph Massad “exceeded commonly accepted bounds” when he made an angry outburst to a student defending Israel’s military conduct. The report addressed two other specific claims of intimidation, neither of which it found to constitute abuse. The committee also said it “found no evidence of any statements made by the faculty that could reasonably be construed as anti-Semitic,” and it said no students had received lower grades for holding dissenting viewpoints. But throughout the 24-page document, a picture emerges of the Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures department as rife with tension and incivility, especially in an increasingly politicized climate after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (Continued details are in article)
James Romoser, Committee Report Criticizes Grievance Procedures, Finds No Anti-Semitism By James Romoser Spectator Senior Staff Writer, Columbia Spectator, March 31, 2005 --- http://www.columbiaspectator.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/03/31/424bcd5f26faa
Also see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/31/columbia
The NYT report on this is at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/01/education/01columbia.html
 

The report itself is at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/news/05/03/ad_hoc_grievance_committee_report.html

Reactions to the Report (this is a particularly long report featuring criticisms of the make up of the Review Committee
Reaction to the report was in many ways predictable. Professors of Middle Eastern studies said that they had been exonerated (and the professor who was not cleared attacked the committee). Meanwhile, the harshest criticis of the professors said that the university had engaged in a whitewash. Behind the scenes, however, there are signs that some players on both sides of academe’s Middle East wars may be ready for, if not peace, at least a cease fire. At Columbia, a new grievance procedure will be created so that students who feel intimidated in the future know where to go with their complaints. And the university is moving quickly on an endowed chair in Israel studies. And at least some within Middle Eastern studies nationally say that there may be truth to the idea that too many programs are dominated by pro-Palestinian scholars. To be sure, there is still plenty of fighting to be done about the report, and that started Thursday with the release of the report. The faculty panel that issued it was created in December with Columbia facing increasing questions about allegations that pro-Israel students were being mocked and harassed in some courses on the Middle East.As the allegations picked up steam, a group called the David Project released a film called Columbia Unbecoming, in which students discussed incidents with these professors.
Scott Jaschik, "War and Peace at Columbia," Inside Higher Ed, April 1, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/04/01/columbia

Peace is not patriotic. Peace is subversive, because peace anticipates a very different world than the one in which we live--a world where the U.S. would have no place. The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus.
Nicholas De Genova (then anthropology professor at Columbia University) as quoted by Ron Howell, "Radicals Speak Out At Columbia ‘Teach-In,’" NewsDay, March 27, 2003.


I wonder what type of program would be more popular if journalism had a certification examination like some other professions.  My guess is that programs helping most with the certification exams would be very popular.
Three years ago, Lee C. Bollinger set off a debate about journalism education, when he suggested that it focused too much on skills and not enough on the kind of intellectual growth that would prepare journalists for a long career. Bollinger, then the new president of Columbia University, made his comments in rejecting the finalists for the deanship of the university’s Graduate School of Journalism.  Now — with a new dean running the school — Columbia is introducing a new journalism curriculum. But it is doing so in a separate program, maintaining its old program, which has many of the characteristics Bollinger criticized. The new program is a one-year M.A. degree that draws more heavily on the liberal arts and broad areas of study, rather than the traditional, one-year M.S. program at Columbia, which focuses on specific skills like news writing.  Nicholas Lemann, the journalism dean at Columbia, said in an interview that the two programs are different enough that he expects many students in the new program to be graduates of the older program.  “We want to teach things [in the new program] that you cannot pick up on your own on the job. It’s our supposition that people in this program will never be full-time at a university again in their jobs, but they will be in journalism for decades,” he said. “We are trying to teach people things that will be useful to them over the long term as journalists.”
Scott Jaschik, "Columbia Rethinks Journalism Education," Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/28/journalism


If this was an Islamic state, this woman would be hanged:  Cowards here might bomb her
On March 18, Wadud rose in front of a crowd of more than 80 people at an Episcopal church in Manhattan to conduct a prayer service for men and women. In the days before the service, she was applauded by some Muslims, especially in America, for trying to improve the status of women in the religion.   But Muslim religious leaders, particularly in the Middle East, sharply criticized Wadud for what they characterized as a break with hundreds of years of Islamic tradition that precludes women from being imams of congregations that include men. An art gallery that was scheduled to play host to the service received a bomb threat, according to news reports. Outside the prayer service itself, one protester carried a placard that said “Mixed-Gender Prayers Today, Hellfire Tomorrow.” Another said: “If this was an Islamic state, this woman would be hanged."
Doug Lederman, "Securing the Campus," Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/28/muslim

A case for more nuclear power plants
One of life's more pleasurable experiences is watching environmentalists paint themselves into a corner. Take energy, for example. Environmentalists say they support energy independence for America, but their proposed solutions run from nonsensical to irrational. They say the burning of fossil fuels causes pollution and global warming. They also are against developing more domestic energy sources -- witness their hysteria over drilling in the Arctic Nincompoop Wasteland Refuse -- because each drop of oil prolongs the age of the internal-combustion engine. But the renewable sources they promote have serious deficiencies. The technologies behind fuel cells, solar power and biomass have not advanced sufficiently to supplant gasoline, heating oil, natural gas and coal anytime soon. Meanwhile, environmentalists are schizophrenic when it comes to other non-polluting sources. They love wind power as long as windmills aren't built in places where the wind blows (ridge lines, mountain passes, Nantucket Sound, etc.). They like hydro, except when it requires damming rivers. Most of all, however, they hate nuclear power, which neither fouls the air and water nor emits greenhouse gases. No greener energy exists, yet environmentalists scream "Three Mile Island" anytime anyone brings it up. Well, they'd better get used to people bringing it up because nuclear power is poised for comeback. A conference on nuclear power this month in Paris closed with most of the 70 participating nations agreeing nuclear power will be a major player in the 21st century. Interest is especially high in the emerging economies of Asia, where 18 of the world's 27 new nuclear plants are under construction. The United States and several European nations may follow.
"Nuclear Revivial," March 29, 2005 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1373041/posts


Students borrowing more than ever before
The report compared borrowing by students who graduated from college in the 1992-3 and 1999-2000 academic years, and also the financial status of those starting to repay loans the year after graduation. During the period between the time the two cohorts in the study graduated, the report noted, the cost of college rose faster than inflation and Congress moved to increase the limits on how much students could borrow. Not surprisingly, those shifts resulted in significant increases in the percentage of graduates who had borrowed. In 1992-3, 49 percent of graduates had student loans, and the average debt for those who borrowed was $12,100 (in 1999 constant dollars). In 1999-2000, 66 percent of graduates had student loans and the average debt for those who borrowed was $19,400. The researchers then looked at the debt burden that this borrowing placed on the new graduates — a year after graduation. Debt burden was defined as the monthly loan repayment as a percentage of monthly income. And despite the significant increase in borrowing, the debt burden increased only marginally. Using 2001 constant dollars, the researchers found that the first cohort, a year after graduation was making monthly payments that averaged $170, or 6.7 percent of their monthly income. The second cohort was making monthly payments that averaged $210, or 6.9 percent of their monthly income.
"Borrowing More, Earning More," Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/28/loans


Before traveling for sexual pleasure with children, know the law in your own country
Wheelchair-bound John Seljan admitted to police he had been visiting young girls in the Philippines for the last 20 years. The judge said his term in prison was "tantamount to a life sentence". He is the first person convicted at trial under the Protect Act, aimed at curbing sex tourism. The former country singer and businessman was caught at Los Angeles international airport in 2003, where agents found child pornography, sex aids, sexually explicit letters to the two girls, aged nine and 12, and 45kg (100lb) of chocolate in his bags. Some photos portrayed the half-naked elderly man with naked young girls. Following a non-jury trial in November, he was convicted of "attempting to travel internationally with the intent of engaging in illegal sexual conduct with a minor".
"Would-be sex tourist, 87, jailed," BBC News, March 29, 2005 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4390199.stm


Does it pay to attend a "luxury college" vis-a-vis a state-supported college?
Universities and colleges have no magical power. The value of the education acquired at most middle to upper ranked schools (by any criteria) is mostly dependent on the commitment and focus of the student rather than on the miraculous power or luxury characteristics of the institutional process. Moreover, most colleges and universities sell a commodity product, an education that at its core is fundamentally similar between institutions. The amenities may differ — luxury dorms, elaborate student centers, complex and fully equipped recreational facilities — but the chemistry and English classes are pretty much the same. Luxury is a good thing if you want it and can afford it. If someone will deliver a Mercedes for the price of a Geo, why not ride for the four years in style? Nonetheless, if you find yourself in a Geo, you will get to the supermarket at almost exactly the same time as your friends in the Mercedes. What you do when you get out of the car, however, depends almost entirely on you, not on the luxury of your ride.
John V. Lombardi , "Luxury, Subsidy and Opportunity: Purchasing a Quality Education, Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/03/28/lombardi
Jensen Comment:  I think some criteria were overlooked such as quality of the living and extra-curricular learning environment.  Some students do better socially and academically on smaller campuses.  They become overwhelmed living in dorms such as the one that is so large that it has two zip codes at the University of Texas.


What's it like to be on the faculty of a for-profit higher education system?
F
rom "Is Phoenix the Future?" by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/careers/2005/03/28/phoenix

Much of traditional academe doesn’t know what to make of for-profit higher education. Is it to be emulated or feared? Gary A. Berg, dean of extended education at California State University Channel Islands, studied the sector — and received extensive access to University of Phoenix administrators and faculty members. The result is Lessons From the Edge: For-Profit and Nontraditional Higher Education in America, recently published as part of the American Council on Education/Praeger Series on Higher Education.

The following are Berg’s answers to some questions about his research and his book:

Q: To prepare for this book, you taught a course at Phoenix. How did the experience differ from courses you have taught at more traditional institutions?

A:  It was a vastly different experience, from beginning to end.  First, the University of Phoenix requires all to participate in a very lengthy and in-depth training program where candidates are introduced to the background of the organization and its teaching-learning model. This is followed by working very closely under the guidance of a mentor in the first actual course. The University of Phoenix, much like other open access institutions such as the British Open University, relies to a large extent on standardized course materials. Faculty members are mainly responsible for facilitating discussions and giving feedback on student work.

Recently, the University of Phoenix has moved from requiring a faculty-created weekly lecture in the online courses, to supplying this as well. However, what a tenured faculty member from a traditional university would notice most is their lessened influence.  University officials claim that the faculty at the University of Phoenix is more empowered than part-timers typically found at traditional institutions. There is some evidence of this. Certainly, I found that the university regularly asks for faculty involvement in ongoing training, faculty meetings, and to provide comment on curricular issues.  Additionally, there are some full-time faculty members who take on chair-type roles at the University of Phoenix.

Continued in the article

Bob Jensen's documents on education technology and distance education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm


Words from atheism's fundamentalists and missionaries
He (Larry Beinhart, who is best known as the author of the novel "Wag the Dog,") added that he considers religion "psychotic" and called it "the search for meaning gone mad" in a vast, indifferent universe, though he acknowledged people spend most of their lives "figuring out how the world works."  Beinhart said he agreed with Karl Marx that "religion is the opiate of the masses," though he observed that for most people, its effect is "between opium and prozac, and for a lucky few, it's LSD." However, the author noted that because religious persons have a world view that makes sense to them, they "live longer, they're healthier, and everything else works better. So even if it's delusional, even if it's wrong, it's functional. And ultimately, we have to think about that and respect that." Beinhart then stated he believes atheists have become trapped in an argument from the last century. "Saying there is no God is a dead end," he added. "The concept of God is offering people something they want. Why do they want it, and what can we offer in its place?" The writer added that he believes religion can't be repressed or stamped out. "Just look how many people are in here," he said to the audience in the room, "and how many people are out there." Noting that something in religion "makes sense either for the people doing it or for their relationship to the world or both," Beinhart insisted: "We've got to figure out what that is and separate it from the delusional parts. We've got to get past this God stuff."
Randy Hall, "Atheist Activists Look to Future During Easter Convention," CNSNews, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200503/CUL20050328a.html


Let the children suffer in the name of Allah
Accusations by Islamic preachers that vaccines are part of an American anti-Islamic plot are threatening efforts to combat a measles epidemic that has killed hundreds of Nigerian children, health workers say. Government officials play down the anti-vaccine sentiment, but all the measles deaths have been in Nigeria's north, where authorities had to suspend polio immunizations last year after hard-line clerics fanned similar fears of that vaccine. Nigeria, whose 130 million people make it Africa's most populous nation, has recorded 20,859 measles cases so far this year. At least 589 victims have died, most of them children younger than 5 and all in the north, the Nigerian Red Cross and the U.N. World Health Organization say. Southern Nigeria, which is mainly Christian, had only 253 measles cases, and no deaths.
Oloche Samuel, "Muslim clerics warn against vaccinations," HeraldToday, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/11246628.htm


Come on Texans:  Don't be as rough on foreign murderers as on the domestic murderers
The Supreme Court (search) is considering whether Texas and other states can execute 51 Mexicans who say they were improperly denied legal help from their consulates, a dispute testing the effect of international law in U.S. death penalty cases.
"High Court Considers Death for Foreigners," Fox News, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,151650,00.html
Jensen Comment:  This could lead to a whole new strategy by foreign consulates on how to keep murderers from being executed by refusing to help your own citizens.


Al-OhOh-ah:  Fat teachers tip the scales in Hawaii
A state lawmaker has suggested Hawaii's public schoolteachers be forced to weigh in as part of the fight against obesity in students, KITV in Honolulu reported. State Rep. Rida Cabanilla introduced a resolution in the house requesting that the Board of Education establish an obesity database among public schoolteachers. "You cannot keep a kid to a certain standard that you yourself is not willing to keep," Cabanilla said. It's been documented that more than 20 percent of Hawaii's children are at risk, or are already overweight, according to the station. There are no statistics on teachers.  . . . It's been documented that more than 20 percent of Hawaii's children are at risk, or are already overweight, according to the station. There are no statistics on teachers.  The resolution calls for all public schoolteachers to weigh in every six months.
"Lawmaker Wants Teachers In Hawaii: Weighed For Obesity Teachers Union President," NBC5i, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.nbc5i.com/education/4322022/detail.html

As an incentive for weighing in, each teacher who does so should be given one of the new yummy (to kill for or die from)  Burger King breakfast sandwiches
Burger King began offering two new breakfast sandwiches Monday, including one that packs more calories and fat than a Whopper. The Enormous Omelet Sandwich carries 730 calories and 47 grams of fat and comes with two eggs, sausage, three strips of bacon and two slices of melted American cheese on a bun. It's heftier than a Whopper hamburger, which weighs in at 700 calories and 42 grams of fat.
"Burger King Sandwich Packs the Calories," My Way News, March 28, 2005 --- http://apnews.myway.com//article/20050328/D8943MJG0.html

Breakfast is more fun at Burger King than at Harvard:  The new cereal options are soggy
There are some things that even a $40,000-a-year Ivy League education can't buy. At Harvard, it's Frosted Flakes and Lucky Charms. For Harvard sophomore Allison Kessler, it's annoying to pay more than $4,000 for a meal plan that scrimps on her favorite breakfast foods. Particularly since, Kessler, like many college students, eats cereal several times a day. ''I used to eat Lucky Charms for lunch and dinner," she said. ''The fake stuff gets real soggy, and I've just stopped eating cereal. This is not fair." Harvard officials say student surveys showed an interest in healthier, organic products, and brand-name cereals have been slow to move in that direction. At the same time, the major cereal companies are raising prices about 8 percent to 10 percent per year, more than double the rate for natural and lesser-known cereals, according to Jami M. Snyder, a spokeswoman for Harvard University Dining Services. ''We have a responsibility to spend their dollars wisely," Snyder said. Harvard has reduced its six-figure cereal budget by 25 percent this academic year since shelving most brand-name cereals, including Apple Jacks, Cheerios, and Frosted Flakes.
Jenn Abelson, "Harvard students want their snap, crackle, pop back," Boston Globe, March 28, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/HarvardCereal


Moral Hazard:  I wonder if he took a page out of the strategy book for anti-virus protection software companies
The Johannesburg man was picked up after residents told police they had seen someone fiddling with the lights. Police say he confessed to working for two tow-truck companies, attempting to generate extra business for them. In recent months, there have been a number of accidents in the area as a result of malfunctioning traffic lights. Police spokeswoman Sergeant Katlego Mogale said the man was arrested on Saturday in the city's western suburb of Roodepoort and had been seen with two children helping him.
"SA traffic light tamperer stopped," BBC News, April 28, 2005 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4387721.stm


Religiongate?  Religious faithful are viewed by the media a being "on the fringe"
Two Washington press corps veterans have conceded that the news media have a bias against religious believers. On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, New Republic Senior Editor Michelle Cottle asserted that journalists "behave as though the people who believe" in widely-held Christian values "are on the fringe." Steve Roberts, who noted how he "worked for the New York Times for 25 years," revealed: "I could probably count on one hand, in the Washington bureau of the New York Times, people who would describe themselves as people of faith." That disconnect hurt the media, Roberts suggested, in how "there was so much attention...on the rockers and the sports celebrities who were registering voters." Roberts asked: "And how many stories did we see about that compared to the pastors and churches in Ohio who were registering ten times as many voters?"
Media Research Center --- http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2005/cyb20050328.asp


What you pray for is optional
However, he said he believes he is the latest of several “black luminaries” to be unjustly accused, including South African political prisoner-turned-president Nelson Mandela and boxing champions Muhammad Ali and Jack Johnson. “I just want to say to fans in every corner of the Earth, every nationality, every race, every language, I love you from the bottom of my heart,” Jackson said in the hour-long interview. “I would love your prayers and your goodwill, and please be patient and be with me and believe in me because I am completely, completely innocent. But please know a lot of conspiracy is going on.”
John Rogers, "Singer says he's target of ‘a lot of conspiracy'," USA Today, March 28, 2005, Page 3A  --- http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20050328/a_jacksonbox28.art.htm
Jensen Comment:  I won't be praying for the parents who allow their kids to spend the night with Michael.


And I won't be praying for some of the Air Force Academy top brass
The Air Force has come under sharp criticism for a top-level memo that clears senior Air Force officers of any responsibility for the sex-assault scandal at the Air Force Academy.  Peter Teets, acting secretary of the Air Force, sent the memo last week to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after announcing he would resign, effective Friday. He said he reviewed the findings of the Defense Department's inspector general and a report of an independent commission. “I accept the inspector general's findings on which officers are not responsible for failure to identify and address the academy's sexual assault problems,” Teets said in the memo. The inspector general's report singled out officers who are retired, and Teets said taking disciplinary action against them would be unwarranted.
"Memo clears senior Air Force officers in sex-assault scandal," USA Today, March 28, 2005, Page 8A  --- http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20050328/a_academy28.art.htm

"Revelations of abuse," USA Today, March 28, 2005, Page 18A  --- tidbits050401.htm

1991: A Navy officer reported she was sexually assaulted at a convention of the Tailhook Assn., a Navy and Marine aviators club. Investigators ultimately found 83 women had been assaulted and that Navy brass had “tacitly approved” such behavior for years.

1996: Female Army trainees at Aberdeen, Md., reported sexual assaults. A dozen Army drill instructors were charged and several officers were reprimanded.

2003: Female Air Force Academy cadets said they were sexually assaulted by male cadets and faced retaliation when they reported it. An independent panel found that Air Force leadership had known about sexual misconduct at the academy since 1993 and failed to address it effectively.


You get paid to whistle in old DC
But you can't whistle for a fee in NYC

In another scrape with the City Council, Mayor Bloomberg has just vetoed a bill that would let private citizens profit from blowing the whistle on fraudulent claims against the city. Called the New York City False Claims Act, it is modeled on a federal law credited with saving $12 billion since it was updated in 1986. And federal whistleblowers collected more than $1 billion in bounty-like awards that ranged from 10% to 30% of what the feds recovered. But Bloomberg vetoed the city version as beyond the power of the Council to impose without a public referendum.
Frank Lombardi, "Whistleblower bill vetoed," NY Daily News, March 18, 2005 --- http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/story/293982p-251715c.html


China doesn't want the U.K.'s household trash
More than 1,000 tonnes of contaminated household refuse disguised as waste paper on its way to be recycled in China is to be sent back to Britain after being intercepted in the Netherlands. Dutch environment ministry officials believe that British refuse is being systematically dumped in poor countries via the port of Rotterdam, the largest container port in Europe. In one of the biggest international scams uncovered in years, they say waste companies across Europe are colluding to avoid paying escalating landfill and recycling charges. The foul-smelling rubbish, which includes waste food, plastic packaging, batteries, drinks cans, old clothes, carrier bags, wood, paper, broken glass and vegetable matter, has been found in 54 large lorry and container loads en route to Rotterdam where they were to be trans-shipped to Asia.
John Vidal, "UK firms caught in illegal waste dumping, The Guardian, March 28, 2005 --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/waste/story/0,12188,1446818,00.html


Shrinkage of R&D investment by the private sector
The U.S. government’s pre­occupation with security would be less important if the private sector were investing in basic research. It is not: for years, corporate R&D has stressed return on investment through the timely creation of new products. And U.S. venture capitalists have responded to government and corporate demand by disproportionately funding security-related startups. Since 2000, according to Venture Economics, communications funding has dropped 83 percent, and software investment is down 77 percent; but during the same period, defense investment fell only 58 percent. Fields like robotics, nanotechnology, and genomic medicine are underfunded. Venture capitalists have a “lemminglike instinct when it comes to investment themes,” admits Bill Kaiser, a general partner at Greylock Partners in Waltham, MA. The U.S. obsession with security may yet yield wondrous technologies; it has happened before. “Uncle Sam might be investing in the next Internet,” Nelsen says. Ken Morse, managing director of the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, insists that security investment “is a good thing.” After all, he says, “thoughtful government funding years ago has spawned cool companies.”
Jason Pontin, "United States," MIT's Technology Review, April 2005 --- http://www2.technologyreview.com/articles/05/04/issue/feature_gp_us.asp?trk=nl


Who's side would you take after they gave you a gun?
“The rebels told me to join them, but I said no. Then they killed my younger brother. I changed my mind.” It was with this matter-of-fact description to a Radio Netherlands reporter in 2000 that a 7-year-old boy in Liberia encapsulated the world's largest, but least understood, case of child abuse.
P.W. Singer, "Tragic challenge of child soldiers," USA Today, March 31, 2005 --- http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20050331/opcom31.art.htm


Real sporting:  320,000 will die
It was carnage on a scale the frozen ice floes of Newfoundland have not seen for more than half a century. The cull started early in the morning, with more than 70 boats disgorging hundreds of seal hunters on to the ice. By the end of the day more than 15,000 harp seal cubs, most less than six weeks old, lay dead, clubbed to death and skinned to provide coats, hats, handbags and other accessories for the European fashion trade.
Paul Brown, "320,000 will die in Canada's biggest seal cull for more than 50 years:  Skin trade fuels government's quota increase," The Guardian, March 31, 2005 --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/conservation/story/0,13369,1448939,00.html 

Japan appears determined to adopt a new scientific whaling program in the Antarctic that would kill humpback and fin whales as well as minkes, the Environment Minister, Ian Campbell, said yesterday. The move would be the first to target bigger whales since commercial whaling was halted nearly 20 years ago and would be likely to provoke strong opposition from anti-whaling nations and conservation groups. The new program was flagged yesterday in a statement by the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research that claimed there had been rapid recent growth in humpback and fin numbers in the Antarctic.
Andrew Darby, "Japanese push to expand whale kill," Sydney Morning Herald, April 1, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/03/31/1111862534140.html


Glad I'm not going there
'We would love the tourists to come back,' a Zimbabwean opposition politician told the Guardian earlier this week. But is it really possible to holiday in a pariah country without endorsing its government? Stuart Jeffries examines the ethics of trouble-spot tourism.
"Wish you were here?" The Guardian, March 31, 2005 --- http://travel.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,7445,1448975,00.html




Actual 911 conversation, The Opinion Journal, March 31, 2005

Caller: I ordered my food three times. They're mopping the floor inside, and I understand they're busy. They're not even busy, OK, I've been the only car here. I asked them four different times to make me a Western Barbecue Burger. OK, they keep giving me a hamburger with lettuce, tomato and cheese, onions. And I said, I am not leaving.

Dispatcher: Uh-huh.

Caller: I want a Western Burger. Because I just got my kids from tae kwon do; they're hungry. I'm on my way home, and I live in San Clemente.

Dispatcher: Uh-huh.

Caller: OK, she gave me another hamburger. It's wrong. I said four times, I said, "I want it." She goes, "Can you go out and park in front?" I said, "No. I want my hamburger right." So then the lady came to the manager, or whoever she is--she came up and she said, um, "Did you want your money back?" And I said, "No. I want my hamburger. My kids are hungry, and I have to jump on the toll freeway [sic]." I said, "I am not leaving this spot," and I said I will call the police, because I want my Western Burger done right. Now is that so hard?

Dispatcher: OK, what exactly is it you want us to do for you?

Caller: Send an officer down here. I want them to make me the right--

Dispatcher: Ma'am, we're not going to go down there and enforce your Western Bacon Cheeseburger.

Caller: What am I supposed to do?

Jensen Question
What do you suggest for this troubled woman when the law enforcement system fails?


Forwarded by Barb Hessel

"Get the Drunk Home" Game.--- http://www.wagenschenke.ch 
Try this and see how far you can keep this drunk man up.
You just move you mouse left to right (no clicking) to keep him walking in a straight line.
The object of the game is to keep him walking, without falling over, by moving your mouse from left to right or right to left - you can't see your mouse, which makes it more difficult.
Apparently the record is 82 meters! It's in German.




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Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

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Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu  

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