Tidbits on April 13, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

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For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Campaign for Trinity University --- http://www.trinity.edu/departments/public_relations/case_statement/index.htm 


Beware of email promoted patches pretending to be from Microsoft
A malicious new piece of nastyware is spreading around the net, pretending to be a critical Microsoft security patch. The e-mail-based attack comes just a few days before Microsoft's scheduled patch update, and it's sure to snag a host of unwary users. What should you look for--and beware of? Our story details how the worm spreads, what it uses for a subject line and how to disinfect yourself if you get caught.
Ryan Naraine, "Trojan Masquerades as Microsoft Security Update," eWeek, April 11, 2005 --- http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1784676,00.asp 

For legitimate information on Microsoft's eight new security patches, go to the Washington Post on April 12 --- http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/


Cookie Monster now prefers broccoli
My beloved blue, furry monster — who sang "C is for cookie, that's good enough for me" — is now advocating eating healthy. There's even a new song — "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food," where Cookie Monster learns there are "anytime" foods and "sometimes" foods.
Chelsea J. Carter, "Cookie Monster Advocating Eating Healthy," Television AP, April 7, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/CookiesNoNo


Business Ethics 100:  The purported top 100 ethical corporations ---
http://www.business-ethics.com/whats_new/100_best_corporate_citizens_chart_2005.pdf


It's that most beautiful time time of year in Texas
You may be on the plains or the mountains or down where the sea breezes blow, but bluebonnets are one of the prime factors that make the state the most beautiful land that we know.
Texas governor, senator, and western swing band leader W. Lee Pappy O’Daniel
As quoted in an always-value-added email from biology professor Bob Blystone at Trinity University


Going After Textbook Prices
Student groups upset over high textbook prices are now going after individual texts — organizing petition drives to urge publishers to stop issuing new editions of expensive works if not necessary. A
petition signed by hundreds of faculty members was sent to Thomson Learning this week, urging it to stop issuing new version of Physics for Scientists and Engineers,  a popular introductory textbook. The professors — organized by the California Public Interest Research Group — say that the latest version of the book, published last year, isn’t significantly different from the edition issued four years earlier. But a new edition not only ends up being more expensive, but making it impossible for many students to buy used texts. The book in question costs $134.96. The petition says that the faculty members are generally satisfied with the content of the book, and object only to the high price. They also note that an edition in Britain sells for much less: $72.43.
Scott Jaschik, "Going After Textbook Prices," Inside Higher Ed, April 11, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/04/11/text

A liberal perspective on Wall Street in the culture and life of America
Which makes the arrival of Steve Fraser's book, an account of how Americans have perceived Wall Street over the past 200 years, incredibly timely. But timeliness is not its only virtue. Every Man a Speculator: A History of Wall Street in American Life is fascinating in its own right. Though the title suggests a focus on financial affairs, it belongs on the shortlist of books that encompass and illuminate the entire trajectory of the American experience. That's because Fraser knows that Wall Street is far more than a workplace for bankers and brokers; rather, it is a place where Americans "have wrestled with ancestral attitudes and beliefs about work and play, about democracy and capitalism, about wealth, freedom and equality, about God and Mammon, about heroes and villains, about luck and sexuality, about national purpose and economic well-being."
Mike Wallace (Professor in the CUNY system), "All the World Is Green," The Nation, March 31, 2005 ---
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050418&c=1&s=wallace 


The Ward-Churchilling of David Corn
I've been Ward-Churchilled. In a way. This week I was scheduled to give a speech at Arkansas State University Mountain Home, a two-year college in the northern part of the state. But several weeks ago, Mick Spaulding, the vice chancellor for development, contacted my speakers bureau and canceled the contract. He said that the decision had been precipitated by material on my personal blog at www.davidcorn.com . . . Several days after Spaulding killed my gig--which was to be part of an ongoing lecture series underwritten by trout fishing resort owners Jim and Jill Gaston--Spaulding's assistant emailed me the offending material that had appeared on my blog. It was an ad for anti-Bush gear that flashes such witty lines as "Don't blame me, I voted for Kerry," "51 percent is NOT a mandate," "He's still not my president," and "Asses of Evil." Banned in Arkansas because of a politically-pointed ad on my blog? That sounded fishy to me. I sent Spaulding an email: Apparently, this [ad] was the only material that affected the decision to cancel the speech. And this causes me to be rather curious about your decision....Now why would this lead to the cancellation of my speaking engagement? I am well-known as a journalist who is critical of President Bush. That is why Fox News hired me as a contributor. It is no secret that I wrote a best-selling book called "The Lies of George W. Bush."
David Corn, "Banned in Arkansas, The Nation, April 7, 2005 ---
http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=2305


The Martha Stewart defense (too little, a freckle, involved) applied to Warren Buffett
Tomorrow morning, the Buffett catechism will come under scrutiny in New York. The Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and New York's attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, have asked Mr. Buffett to meet with them in Manhattan to discuss a wide-ranging investigation of insurance industry practices, some of which involve a Berkshire subsidiary. Mr. Buffett is a witness in the investigation, not a target, and several people involved in the inquiry said that there was no evidence that Mr. Buffett had either authorized or had knowledge of any malfeasance. But the investigation has forced Mr. Buffett, who has amassed a personal fortune that Forbes pegs at $41 billion, to respond to questions about accounting shenanigans and corporate subterfuge, practices that he has long railed against. People close to Mr. Buffett also say the investigation has left him fearful that his sterling reputation - built patiently and purposefully during five decades as a professional investor - will be sullied by events that have largely taken him by surprise.  . . . "The chance that Warren Buffett wanted to make a little extra money out of a subsidiary that is a freckle of Berkshire's earnings is just madness," said Mr. Munger, 81, whose law firm is representing Mr. Buffett in the inquiry. "I've been around him all these years. He's not that stupid and he's far too honorable."
Timothy L. O'brien, "The Oracle of Omaha's Latest Riddle," The New York Times, April 10, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/10/business/yourmoney/10omah.html?
Jensen Comment:  Buffett loyalists consider any type of corruption investigation of Warren Buffett (a multi-billionaire having  very nearly as much wealth as Bill Gates) the equivalent of investigating Mahatma Gandhy for felonious assault.  How it plays out will be most interesting.  Bob Jensen's threads on the AIG scandal are at  http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#MutualFunds


Remembering Okinawa: Dealing with suicide bombers — 60 years ago
Sixty years ago, the United States military invaded Okinawa on April 1, 1945, the last bastion of the Japanese maritime empire that stood in the way of an assault on the mainland. Operation Iceberg was perhaps the largest combined land-sea operation since Xerxes swept into Greece, involving more troops than at Normandy Beach — 1,600 ships, 183,000 infantry and 12,000 aircraft. More than 110,000 skilled Japanese troops, commanded by the brilliant Gen. Ushijima and buttressed by another 100,000 coerced Okinawan irregulars, were ready for them . . Almost every controversy of the present war has an antecedent at Okinawa. Faulty intelligence? The War Department insisted there were no more than 60,000 enemy troops on the island — not three times that number who had bored into the coral with sophisticated reinforced concrete bunkers. Suicide bombers were vastly underestimated. No one ever imagined that there were 10,000 Japanese bombers and fighters committed to the campaign — and perhaps as many as 4,000 kamikazes slated for suicide attacks. The result was the greatest losses in the history of the American Navy — 36 ships sunk, 368 hit, 5,000 sailors killed. Anger arose almost immediately: Why no accurate intelligence; why no armored aircraft carrier decks; why no suitable fighter screens; why the need to post off the island as sitting ducks — why the need to invade at all? Why, why, why?
Victor Davis Hanson, "Remembering Okinawa: Dealing with suicide bombers — 60 years ago ," Jewish World Review, March 31, 2005 --- http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0305/hanson033105.php3

Operational mistakes and intelligence gaffes are the stuff of all wars — whether the failure to count accurately the enemy on Sugar Loaf Hill or in the Sunni Triangle. Yet victory, then and now, goes to those who in their calm determination press on and thus make the fewest errors rather than none at all.

Despite heartbreak at our present losses, nothing in the three years of this present conflict, from its first day on Sept. 11 to the present terrorism in Iraq, compares with the carnage of those few weeks on Okinawa — for all its melancholy, still a hallowed American victory.

Perhaps we wonder now whether a presently divided American people can still overcome fascism, suicide bombers and beheaders to foster freedom in an autocratic landscape. In answer, we should look back 60 years ago to what we went through in Okinawa and the subsequent humane society and decent democracy that followed in Japan and sigh, "Yes, we can and will again."


You can't even trust a bank's call center
Police have arrested 12 men in western India on charges of cheating four Citibank customers out of nearly $350,000, a police officer said Friday. Three former employees at a call center in the city of Pune and nine of their associates have been charged with misusing financial data and illegally withdrawing money from the accounts of the New York-based customers, said Sanjay Jadhav, an assistant commissioner of police.  "By talking pleasantly to the customers, these men obtained the personal identification number of the customers and used the international wire transfer system to move the funds," Mr. Jadhav said. Citibank, part of Citigroup, outsourced some of its customer support operations to Mphasis BPO in Pune, 135 kilometers southeast of Bombay.
"12 Accused of Using Call Center in India to Cheat Citibank Clients," The New York Times, April 9, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/09/business/worldbusiness/09outsource.html


Do you suppose our lawmakers on the take from the banking industry could've left the loophole on purpose?
For the last few years, student loan companies have taken great advantage of subsidies that Congress thought it had done away with more than a decade ago. Through creative use of a loophole in federal law, lenders have amassed huge portfolios of loans carrying 9.5 percent interest rates, guaranteed by the government, at a time when students are paying a little more than a third of that.
Greg Winter, "Closed Loophole Hasn't Cut Subsidies for Student Loans," The New York Times, April 10, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/10/politics/10xcollege.html


Norway's female quota laws for company boardrooms
Norway will shut companies that refuse to recruit at least 40% women to their boards by 2007, a cabinet minister has said. Promising stern action against recalcitrant firms, Children and Family Affairs Minister Laila Daavoey on Tuesday regretted the companies were not doing enough to bring about gender equality at the workplace. "Companies have been dragging their feet. They really have to recruit more women," Daavoey said. "In the very worst case, they will face closure."
"Norway seeks gender equality," Aljazeera, April 6, 2005 ---
http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/6B45A478-01ED-4C63-A693-EC0EDF36B900.htm 


Career, not children
Maxine McKew's decision to pursue a career in journalism rather than have children has appeared in a new book by bestselling motivational author Jack Welch. Winning, released this month, quotes the ABC host McKew in a chapter about work-life balance and the sacrifices made by high-achieving women. Welch, the former chief executive and chairman of General Electric, writes he expected to "to be slammed" by McKew when, at a 2003 forum in Australia, he suggested women who paused on the corporate ladder to have children were not making a sacrifice. Instead, McKew made a series of revealing remarks about her own experience. "Women do give up something. It's biology," the book quotes her as saying. "Let me tell you what I gave up. I wanted my career. And so I never had children." Welch's first book, Jack: Straight From The Gut, became an international bestseller, selling 2.7 million copies. McKew, 51, yesterday said she stood by the comments and had seen a preview copy of the book. But she said she was talking only about herself and other women had been able to balance children and a stellar career.
Daniel Dasey, "Career, not children: McKew," Sydney Morning Herald, April 10, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/04/09/1112997221676.html 

Jensen Comment:  I'm not a Jack Welch fan and hate to plug his books.  But you can find some reviews of Winning at http://snipurl.com/WinningApril10


Future dominated by old people
If Australia's birth rate keeps declining, even massive immigration cannot save us from a population slide and a future dominated by old people. Paola Totaro reports. They are sisters, close in age and glued emotionally, even though the three live in different Australian cities. They are in their late 30s or early 40s, university graduates with demanding jobs. Only one has children. Together, the three women encapsulate an unfolding demographic story, one which experts believe is poised to change forever the nature of Australian society.
"Where have all the babies gone?" Sydney Morning Herald, April 9, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/04/08/1112815726341.html

Significantly, polling nationwide continues to show that Australians who want children still aspire to having two or more. But fewer people believe children are necessary to a fulfilling life. The Australian survey of social attitudes, for example, found that of more than 4000 people surveyed, 33.9 per cent of women and 45 per cent of men felt that life would be incomplete without children.

The phenomenon is not unique to Australia, and all the countries that have passed through the social and sexual revolution are registering falling birth rates. Today, the rate in more than 60 nations, including Australia, has fallen to 1.75 children per woman, below what is known as the "replacement rate" of 2.1. The birth rate in women of child-bearing age is such that they simply won't replace the same number of people in the next generation.

In Australia, birth rates have halved since 1961. Europe's average is 1.4, Japan is a little lower, while many countries, such as Italy, Spain and Greece, register rates of 1.2 or even less. In Germany, fertility rates had dropped below replacement level by the late 1960s and its population of children has been dwindling for a generation.

If Bureau of Statistics projections are right, Australia's child population will shrink dramatically over the next 45 years, as women delay child-bearing, have fewer babies, and the population ages. "When you walk down the street in 2050, it will be rare to see children. You'll be seeing older people," Ann Harding, director of the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, says. "Our whole society is going to have to change the way it does things to meet the needs of older people."
"A nation of empty playgrounds," Sydney Morning Herald, April 11, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/04/10/1113071854508.html


Drivers showed they would not feel any guilt in injuring or running over a pedestrian
About 40 per cent of the 640 taxi and bus drivers surveyed by San Marcos University in Lima suffered from psychological problems and showed psychopathic tendencies, such as aggressive, anxious and antisocial behaviour, the study, published this week, said. "Drivers showed they would not feel any guilt in injuring or running over a pedestrian," the study added. Hundreds of people die each year in bus and taxi crashes in Peru because of bad roads, poorly maintained vehicles and recklessness by drivers. In the last three months of last year at least 85 people were killed in crashes.
"Your life in their hands," Sydney Morning Herald, April 11, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/04/09/1112997229357.html


New student grievance procedures at Columbia University
Columbia University on Monday announced new grievance procedures for students who feel that they have been unfairly treated in their courses. The new procedures follow an investigation into allegations that Middle Eastern studies professors intimidated students who were pro-Israel. A faculty committee rejected most of those charges, but said that inadequate grievance procedures created distrust between students and professors.
Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/04/12/qt


Vermont's proposed version of its own tax-paid health insurance plan
This has got to be crazy from a state that already has towns trying to secede and residents moving to New Hampshire to avoid a high income and sales taxes

A House committee comprised largely of Democrats on Friday adopted a health-care reform plan that restructures key parts of state government to lay the groundwork for a publicly financed, universal-care system paid for with taxes. The plan calls for primary and preventative care coverage for all Vermonters by July 2007, publicly funded hospital coverage by October 2007, and universal coverage for other medical needs no later than July 2009. The proposal was immediately criticized by physicians, hospital officials and insurance executives because the proposal calls for sweeping changes to Vermont's health-care delivery system without saying how much it would cost or what medical procedures would be covered. Those decisions were put off until next year to allow lawmakers more time to meet with business leaders, health-care officials and Vermont residents to understand better what coverage level they desire and how much they are willing to pay. "This is a big two step," said Rep. John Tracy, D-Burlington and chairman of the House Health Care Committee. "This summer and fall is the time for people to have that discussion." Governor James Douglas, a Republican, did not wait to blast the proposal. "When Vermonters take a good hard look at what the House Democrats are proposing they're going to want a second opinion," said Douglas, who believes the plan will increase income taxes 134 percent and lead to health-care rationing. "This plan would dramatically raise taxes and put health care decisions in the hands of politicians and government bureaucrats," said Douglas, "a prospect I fundamentally and unequivocally oppose." Asked if he would veto the bill if it reached his desk unchanged, Douglas dodged the question but said: "I think I am sending a pretty clear message."
John Ziconni, "Committee passes single-payer universal health insurance plan," Times Argus, April 9, 2005 --- http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050409/NEWS/504090371/1002/NEWS01


How safe are unlisted phone numbers?  New threats to folks who pay to unlist their phone numbers
In the past five years, what most of us only recently thought of as ''nobody's business'' has become the big business of everybody's business. Perhaps you are one of the 30 million Americans who pay for what you think is an unlisted telephone number to protect your privacy. But when you order an item using an 800 number, your own number may become fair game for any retailer who subscribes to one of the booming corporate data-collection services. In turn, those services may be -- and some have been -- penetrated by identity thieves.  
In the past five years, what most of us only recently thought of as ''nobody's business'' has become the big business of everybody's business. Perhaps you are one of the 30 million Americans who pay for what you think is an unlisted telephone number to protect your privacy. But when you order an item using an 800 number, your own number may become fair game for any retailer who subscribes to one of the booming corporate data-collection services. In turn, those services may be -- and some have been -- penetrated by identity thieves. The computer's ability to collect an infinity of data about individuals -- tracking every movement and purchase, assembling facts and traits in a personal dossier, forgetting nothing -- was in place before 9/11. But among the unremarked casualties of that day was a value that Americans once treasured: personal privacy. William Sapphire, "Goodbye to Privacy," The New York Times, April 10, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/10/books/review/10COVERSAFIRE.html

April 9, 2005 reply from a Trinity University faculty member:

Case in point. Maybe 15 or 20 years ago I received a call from Trinity Security.  XXXXX's husband had died and they could not reach her to tell her about it because she had an unlisted number. I knew YYYYY had XXXXX's number but we could not call him because he had an unlisted number. I don't remember how that worked out but it was very frustrating,

We have several faculty who over the years had minor children. I just shutter what would happen if one of the children was seriously hurt and unconscious but they could not be notified because they have unlisted phone numbers.

Jensen Comment
An alternative to unlisted phone service is something like what SBC now offers in selected cities in most states (but not most  towns at this point in time).  The link for Texas is at 
 http://www01.sbc.com/Products_Services/Residential/ProdInfo_1/1,,97--6-3-0,00.html

Privacy Manager® is a service that screens your calls so you know who it is before you pick up.

Pricing  (keep in mind that there is also a monthly fee for unlisting your phone number)
$5.99 per month for Privacy Manager®
$5.00 one time installation fee

What will it do for me? (According to SBC)
 

  • Protect your privacy — A recording will notify the caller that you do not accept unidentified, anonymous, or out of area calls. A series of choices will guide the caller to self-identify. You then have four options for handling the call: send to voice mail, accept, decline or place on a do not call list if the caller is a telemarketer. To hear a demonstration of the service call 1-888-560-9299.
  • Save time — If a phone solicitor calls, one of the options you have is to be placed on a telemarketer's do not call list. This prevents you from having to make time to provide a written request or call to have this done.
  • Have peace of mind — Our service requires that callers self identify or the phone doesn't even ring. This keeps you from dealing with annoying or unwanted calls.

 

I had many interesting replies to this module when it was sent out as an email message.  These informative replies were posted in the April 12 edition of New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book05q2.htm#041205

Bob Jensen's threads on security issues are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm


US News rankings of the top business schools --- http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/mba/brief/mbarank_brief.php


From a Law Review Article:  Would you like to murder somebody and get away with it?
You may have daydreamed about it: some forgotten constitutional provision, combined with an obscure statute, that together make it possible for people in the know to commit crimes with impunity. Whether you were looking for opportunities to commit crimes or afraid that somebody else was, the possibility of a constitutional “perfect crime” was too compelling to ignore. This Essay represents the fruits of my own daydreams, combined with the fact that lately I have spent my lucid moments mulling over one particular forgotten constitutional provision: the Sixth Amendment’s vicinage requirement.  This article argues that there is a 50-square-mile swath of Idaho in which one can commit felonies with impunity. This is because of the intersection of a poorly drafted statute with a clear but neglected constitutional provision: the Sixth Amendment's Vicinage Clause. Although lesser criminal charges and civil liability still loom, the remaining possibility of criminals going free over a needless technical failure by Congress is difficult to stomach. No criminal defendant has ever broached the subject, let alone faced the numerous (though unconvincing) counterarguments. This shows that vicinage is not taken seriously by lawyers or judges. Still, Congress should close the Idaho loophole, not pretend it does not exist.
"
The Perfect Crime ," by BRIAN C. KALT, Michigan State University College of Law --- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=691642


If that fails, take you intended victim for a Holiday in Sweden
I doubt that Swedish sentences are much a deterrent for murder:  How early will he be paroled?
An 18 year old who murdered the owner of a restaurant in Malmö last autumn has been sentenced to eight years in prison. His accomplice, who was also eighteen, will serve five years for serious assault. On October 3rd 2004 the owners of the restaurant Wendis in Malmö were closing for the night. Mohamed Saeed Omar and Boonrawd Paernkit had hidden in the toilet and, armed with knives, pepper spray and with covered faces, planned to rob the restaurant. The female restaurant owner was stabbed to death and her husband, Wendi Ma, was stabbed in his eyes. Mohamed Saeed Omar was found guilty by Malmö district court of the murder and robbery of the female restaurant owner. He was also convicted for the serious assault of her husband. His friend, Boonrawd Paernkit, was convicted to five years in prison for seriously assaulting Wendi Ma, but found not guilty of murder. Three other friends of the 18 year olds were convicted of attempted robbery and will be put into social care. They were standing outside the restaurant keeping watch during the crime.
"Eight years for killing female restaurant owner," The Local, March 15, 2005 ---
http://www.thelocal.se/article.php?ID=1107&date=20050315


This is certain to raise the blood pressure of creationists
Scientists who three years ago discovered a nearly complete 7 million-year-old skull in central Africa have dug up additional evidence supporting the conclusion that the skull belonged to the earliest known human ancestor. The new findings -- two jaw bones and an upper premolar tooth -- lend credence to the proposition that the creature was probably among the first hominid, or human-like, primates to live after humans and chimpanzees diverged from each other a little more than 7 million years ago.
Rick Weiss, "More Evidence of Skull's Link to Humans Remains Believed To Be From Earliest Known Ancestor," Washington Post, April 7, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A32376-2005Apr6.html


Something needs to be changed:  When a physician writes a legal prescription why should the pharmacy be allowed to override the physician or put unnecessary hurdles in the way.  Perhaps it will take some lawsuits to set pharmacists straight on this one.
Something is off when access to contraception depends on who is working the late shift at Walgreen's. The real scandal is not that women are being denied birth control, but that they have to ask for it. There is no reason why a woman's access to contraception should depend on a single Roman Catholic with a conscience, or why a pharmacist should have to weigh the decision between denying a woman her prescription and violating deeply held moral beliefs.
Kerry Howley, "Immaculate Contraception Medicine and theology face off in the pharmacy," ReasonOnLine, April 7, 2005 --- http://www.reason.com/links/links040705.shtml


Factors that account for the success or failure of countries to develop
"One-fifth of the planet lives on less than $1 a day, so if we can unlock the mystery of why that is, the consequences for the welfare of billions of people will be huge," says Wacziarg, associate professor of economics at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. A country's economic institutions, laws, demographics, and policies have a great deal to do with its level of prosperity, concludes Wacziarg, a member of the School's multidisciplinary political economy group who has researched the factors that account for the success or failure of countries to develop. Wacziarg's work first takes into account the more obvious factors that affect economic growth—what he calls the "proximate" causes: the accumulation of means of production and human capital, the development and adoption of technology, and the rate of depreciation of capital. Much like corporations, without adequate technology and capital accumulation, countries cannot grow. Where the mystery lies, however, is in the factors that cause accumulation and the adoption of technology. These are the deeper causes of growth, the factors that affect the proximate causes themselves. "That's where it gets interesting," he says. These deeper causes are the structural features of an economy that shape the incentives to which firms and households are subjected—its demographics, its institutions, its geographic characteristics, and its governmental policies.
Marguerite Rigoglioso, "Unlocking the Mystery of Poverty," Stanford GSB Alumni News, April 2005 --- http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/econ_wacziarg_poverty.shtml



Perhaps the only way a nation can have a bordered Internet is to ban the Internet
The Internet, as we've heard time after time, is borderless. That means that some of the material people publish online will be legal in some places and illegal in others. America faces this problem every day when offshore gambling operations run Web sites that are available to anyone here, even though they're illegal. Laws also vary from state to state: You can order wine from an out-of-state winery
in some states, but not others. Not to continue picking on Paris -- after all, Random Access bought an "aller retour" ticket to France this week -- but insisting that French law apply to a distant corner of the Internet, just because you can access it from inside French borders, raises tough questions about online freedom.  Consider Yahoo Inc.'s continuing troubles with naughty Nazis auctioning their paraphernalia online. The latest twist in this ongoing tale is in Yahoo's favor. A French appeals court yesterday cleared the company's former president and chief executive, Tim Koogle, of charges that he violated French law by allowing Nazi and racist items to be sold through its U.S. auction site.

Robert MacMillan, "Can the Internet Have Borders? The Washington Post, April 7, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A33680-2005Apr7.html?referrer=email

An American Hero
Sergeant Smith died two years ago in a battle with Iraqi Republican Guards near what was then called Saddam Hussein International Airport. According to his Medal of Honor citation, Sergeant Smith single-handedly saved more than 100 American lives and killed as many as 50 Iraqi soldiers. He did so "in total disregard for his own life." President Bush presented the Medal to Sergeant Smith's family on Monday at the White House, and yesterday the fallen soldier was inducted into the Hall of Heroes, the ceremonial room at the Pentagon that honors Medal of Honor winners. The Medal is so rarely awarded that the last recipients fought in Somalia in 1993. Harry Truman once said he would rather win a Medal of Honor than be President.
"Sergeant First Class Paul Smith," The Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2005; Page A10 -- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111274784521899061,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
Jensen Comment:  There are relatively few recipients of the Medal of Honor.  Statistics are given at
http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/mohstats.htm


K-12 Teaching Resources --- http://www.topteachingresources.com/


eBay does have a fraud investigation team
Between about April 2003 and about January 2004, Stergios tried to fraudulently buy and sell merchandise, including jewelry, watches and computers, over the Internet through online auction Web site eBay. Stergios engaged in the fraudulent transactions with at least 321 victims, Frank said. Stergios tried to trick his victims out of around $420,000, but the actual loss was closer to $120,000 because some of the transactions weren't completed. In these transactions, Stergios would obtain either valuable merchandise for which he did not pay full value, or he would accept personal checks, bank checks, money orders, wire transfer payments and PayPal payments for merchandise that he did not deliver, and he would not provide refunds, Frank said. In addition, Frank said Stergios would bid on items such as jewelry, watches and computers, accept delivery of the merchandise and then pay with a check from a nonexistent account at Border Trust in South China, Maine. Border Trust received about 176 fraudulent bank checks for a total of more than $200,000, written on behalf of Stergios, Evolve Ent. Inc., Utopia Gifts, Draco Products and Thomas Brooks. Those persons or entities did not have accounts with Border Trust and the checks were not legitimate, Frank said. While not going into detail, an eBay spokesman said the company's fraud investigation team worked with Maine authorities and provided them with information they needed to apprehend Stergios.
Linda Rosencrance , "Maine man sentenced to 6 years for eBay ," Computer World, April 7, 2005 --- http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/cybercrime/story/0,10801,100923,00.html


If you're running out of challenges for your computer, try this for fun
Alerted to a counterfeiting ring, police rushed to the scene and collared the prime suspect. A 12-year-old boy from West Seattle. The Madison Middle School student used a relative's computer to create 20 realistic-looking $1 bills earlier this week and passed a dozen of them out to classmates, according to Seattle Public Schools spokesman Peter Daniels. One of the boy's friends used a phony dollar to make a purchase in the school cafeteria Monday, but the con wasn't discovered until cashiers made their tallies at the end of the day, Daniels said.
Jessica Blanchard, "12-year-old nabbed for printing $1 bills," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 8, 2005 --- http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/219333_counterfeit08.html


Back to the days of Enron
From Jim Mahar's blog on April 7, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Mark Chen

SSRN-Do Analyst Conflicts Matter? Evidence from Stock Recommendations by Anup Agrawal, Mark Chen

Agrawal and Chen have a really cool paper that looks at conflicts of interest with investment bankers and their affiliated brokerages. They find sure enough that the conflicts of interest do influence recommendations. However, the authors also make a pretty convincing case that these conflicts and biased recommendations probably are known by investors and therefore the market place is not tricked.

I'll try to find some time to write more about this paper soon. It is definitely worth reading!

Suggested Citation
Agrawal, Anup and Chen, Mark, "Do Analyst Conflicts Matter? Evidence from Stock Recommendations" (March 2005)
. http://ssrn.com/abstract=654281 

Bob Jensen't threads on security analyst frauds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#InvestmentBanking


Varsity athletics versus the Greeks
Brown University’s wrestling coach acted inappropriately when he told members of his team they had to choose between being on his squad and joining a fraternity, university officials say. Brown administrators declined to say what action, if any, they had taken against Coach David Amato, and some of the coach’s critics complained that he’d gotten a wrist slap, not a real punishment.Alumni and students affiliated with the Delta Tau fraternity were
furious last month when at least two freshman wrestlers who had been planning on joining Greek organizations decided not to, citing what they characterized as an ultimatum from Amato.
Doug Lederman, "A Coach Goes Too Far," Inside Higher Ed, April 11, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/04/11/wrestle

The geese are hissing in Europe
JEAN-BAPTISTE COLBERT, Louis XIV’s treasurer, advised that “the art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.” The sound of hissing coming from Marks & Spencer (M&S) may soon resonate all over the European Union (EU). In February, the British retailer appeared before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in an attempt to overturn a ruling by Britain’s Inland Revenue that the firm could not offset past losses at its French, German and Belgian subsidiaries against its British tax bill. The ruling, said M&S, unfairly penalises overseas investment. On Thursday April 7th, Miguel Poiares Maduro, an advocate-general at the European Court whose opinion the court generally follows, agreed with the company, saying that banning consolidation of taxes across the EU was incompatible with Union law.
"Taxing times," The Economist, April 8, 2--5 ---
http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3856669




Forwarded by Paula

Sven and Ole, hunters from North Dakota, got a pilot to fly them to Canada to hunt moose. They bagged six. As they started loading the plane for the return trip, the pilot said that the plane could take only four moose.

The two lads objected strongly. "Last year ve shot six and the pilot let us put dem all on board; he had de same plane as yours."

Reluctantly, the pilot gave in and all six were loaded. However, even on full power, the little plane couldn't handle the load and went down a few moments after take-off.

Climbing out of the wreck Sven asked Ole, "Any idea vere ve are?"

"Ya!.... I tink ve're pretty close ta vhere ve crashed last year."




For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




For earlier editions of New Bookmark s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

 

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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