Tidbits on September 9, 2005
Bob Jensen
at Trinity University 

Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
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

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/

Security threats and hoaxes --- http://www.trinity.edu/its/virus/

25 Hottest Urban Legends (in other words hoaxes) --- http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp


Music
The Silence of the Moment (close to a Karen Carpenter moment) --- http://www.eaglecanyon.com/pages/patriotic.htm

You Are the Ones (scroll down) --- http://www.kuhlmannsisters.com/theStore.htm

Royal Military College of Canada (Band Samples) --- http://www.rmc.ca/other/rmc_band/audio/index_e.html

The Golden Age of Jazz, by William P. Gottlieb (lots of photos but no audio) --- http://www.jazzphotos.com/

Train of Life (Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline) ---  
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7/TOL.htm

Photography
Time and Life Magazine history in photographs --- http://www.timelifepictures.com/ms_timepix/source/home/home.aspx?pg=1

National Geographic (in multimedia) --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/grimm/

Landscapes --- http://pascalrenoux.free.fr/Landscapes1.html

Darren Holmes Photographic Art --- http://www.darrenholmes.com/

Glass photos --- http://www.splutphoto.com/100 Shot Browser/studioframes.htm

Cherry Street & Lakeshore in Toronto --- http://wvs.topleftpixel.com/archives/photos_cityscape/040831_808.shtml




Now you can you carry your computer's "big screen" LED projector in your shirt pocket

"Pocket-sized projector offers big-screen action," by Barry Fox, NewScientist.com, September 6, 2005 --- http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7957

Impromptu movie screenings and executive PowerPoint presentations will soon be possible thanks to a pocket-sized portable projector developed by Toshiba. The battery-powered device is small enough to be slipped into a handbag and can be plugged into a laptop computer or mobile phone.

Whereas existing projectors use a bright white lamp and a rapidly rotating wheel with red, green and blue filters to generate a projected picture, Toshiba’s new system uses red, green and blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) instead.

And since the LEDs generate very little waste heat there is no need for a bulky cooling fan, which means the unit can be made small and light - its dimensions are just 136 millimetres x 39 mm x 100 mm. LEDs also last for thousands of hours and can be turned on and off quickly, while conventional projector lamps take a while to warm-up and cool-down.

Continued in article


One stop package tracking (UPS, FedEx, USPS, and many others) --- http://www.packtrack.com/


Tax Court Ruling Allows Deduction On M.B.A. Degree
Business-school students may soon have better luck deducting their tuition expenses, thanks to a new tax-court ruling. People who pursue a master's degree in business administration are allowed under Internal Revenue Service rules to deduct as a business expense school-related costs, which can exceed $40,000 a year at top-tier institutions. But in recent years, the IRS has increasingly challenged these deductions. A string of recent court decisions have also ruled against taxpayers. Now, there may be a glimmer of hope. Last week, the U.S. Tax Court ruled in favor of one petitioner's ability to deduct his M.B.A. expenses. Tax experts say the decision could be used as a precedent for other courts and taxpayers to follow. "After all we've seen in the past couple of years, [this case] seems to swing the pendulum back a little bit," says Robert Willens, a tax and accounting expert at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
Jane J. Kim, "Tax Court Ruling Allows Deduction On M.B.A. Degree," The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005; Page D2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112614408942834853,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

On September 8, tax professor Richard Sansing (Dartmouth) writes that the ruling will not necessarily restrict this to business majors.


How can you make phone calls when the lines are down and the cell phone towers are knocked out?
Satellite phones -- one of the least successful product introductions of the late 1990s -- are in fresh demand in the wake of Hurricane Katrina from storm-ravaged communities without functioning cellular and wire-line networks. But while sales are up sharply in recent days, retailers say it remains difficult to get handsets where they're needed.
Joanna Glaser, "Sat Phones Surge After Katrina," Wired News, September 7, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,68768,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_2


I suspect San Antonio will offer Tom a $10 trillion new stadium
Despite nearly four decades of on-field mediocrity, the New Orleans Saints have been a beloved local symbol, a big-league team in a small-market city. But Hurricane Katrina has turned the Saints' stadium, the Superdome, into a national symbol of squalor, and the National Football League team into a vagabond, unsure where it will play "home" games this season. The Saints' owner, Tom Benson, has emerged as a visible face of the dilemma confronting thousands of businesses in the storm's aftermath: Should I stay or should I go? For Mr. Benson, the question is complicated by the fact that before the hurricane hit he had riled local fans by making noises about moving the team. Leaving might appear as if he is deserting the city in its time of need. The Saints have relocated temporarily to San Antonio, where Mr. Benson, who made his fortune in car dealerships and banks, has a home and business interests.
Stefan Fatsis, "Football's Saints Ponder Whether To Relocate," The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112613850993434721,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace 


Katrina Victim ID Thefts
Social Security cards, driver's licenses, credit cards and other personal documents are literally floating around New Orleans, raising the prospect some hurricane survivors could be victimized again, this time by identity thieves. Betsy Broder, the attorney who oversees the Federal Trade Commission's identity-theft program, said the agency hasn't received any complaints yet. However, it's still early after the disaster and people have been focusing on more pressing needs, such as shelter, food and medicine. "This is probably not the most immediate concern that people have, but at a certain point they need to stop and take stock of their financial health," Ms. Broder said.
"Hurricane Survivors May Become Victims Of Identity Theft," The Wall Street Journal,  September 7, 2005; Page D3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112605804644733560,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal
Jensen Comment:  Many of the thefts arise when looters rifle through private possessions in homes and apartments.  Also can you imagine the problem credit card companies and other vendors are having in locating victims scattered across the nation?  I suspect the interest will accumulate on unpaid credit card accounts.


Nigerian Scams Spin Katrina --- http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=170701243
In one scheme, the writer claims to be a Mexican national working on a rescue team in New Orleans in need of money.


Phishing for Katrina dollars and credit card information
A Missouri federal judge signed a temporary restraining order against Frank Weltner, 64, of St. Louis, Mo., that prohibits him from accepting donations through the slew of Web sites he registered with names like www.donate-katrina.com, www.clergydonations.com, and www.internetdonations.org.  
"Missouri Attorney General To Sue Katrina Phisher," The Washington Post, September 7, 2005 --- http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/


Not a giving spirit for an opportunist named Steve Parker
Acting on an emergency request from the American Red Cross, the FCC on Friday handed over control of the toll-free number 1-800-RED-CROSS to the nonprofit group, unceremoniously plucking it from the hands of corporate digit-squatters who'd been hoping for a six-figure payday. "They weren't going to give it to us, and they were going to charge us ridiculous amounts of money to use it," says Chuck Connor, senior vice president of communication and marketing for the American Red Cross. "They were talking about the kinds of money that changed hands for 1-800-FLOWERS, which is ridiculous."
Kevin Poulsen, "Red Cross Gets Squatter's Number," Wired News, September 7, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/hurricane/0,2904,68774,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_9


New Orleans Past and Not-so- Optimistic Future
This week in the magazine and online, Nicholas Lemann writes about his home town, New Orleans, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Here, with Daniel Cappello, he discusses the city’s past, present, and uncertain future.
Nicholas Lehman, "The Battered Bayou, The New Yorker, September 9, 2005 --- http://www.newyorker.com/online/content/articles/050912on_onlineonly01


Louisiana officials did not use federal money that was available for levee improvements
But research into more than ten years of reporting on hurricane and flood damage mitigation efforts in and around New Orleans indicates that local and state officials did not use federal money that was available for levee improvements or coastal reinforcement and often did not secure local matching funds that would have generated even more federal funding.
Jeff Johnson, "Louisiana Officials Could Lose the Katrina Blame Game," CNS News, September 7, 2005 --- http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=\\Nation\\archive\\200509\\NAT20050907a.html


Litigation mania:  Environmentalists are to blame in large measure
. . .  environmentalists may have prevented building floodgates that would have prevented the flooding from Hurricane Katrina. The 5-28-05 New Orleans Times-Picayune states, “Under the original plan, floodgate-type structures would have been built at the Rigolets and Chef Menteur passes to block storm surges from moving from the Gulf into Lake Pontchartrain. Those plans were abandoned after environmental advocates successfully sued to stop the projects as too damaging to the wetlands and the lake's ecosystem, Naomi said. Now the corps wants to take another look using more environmentally sensitive construction than was previously available.”
Michael P. Tremoglie, "Compassionate Liberalism Part II: Blaming the Iraq War and Tax Cuts for New Orleans Flooding," Men's Daily News, September 6, 2005 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1478361/posts
 

Greens vs. Levees
With all that has happened in the state, it’s understandable that the Louisiana chapter of the Sierra Club may not have updated its website. But when its members get around to it, they may want to change the wording of one item in particular. The site brags that the group is “working to keep the Atchafalaya Basin,” which adjoins the Mississippi River not far from New Orleans, “wet and wild.” . . . The Army Corps was planning to upgrade 303 miles of levees along the river in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. This was needed, a Corps spokesman told the Baton Rouge, La., newspaper The Advocate, because “a failure could wreak catastrophic consequences on Louisiana and Mississippi which the states would be decades in overcoming, if they overcame them at all.” But a suit filed by environmental groups at the U.S. District Court in New Orleans claimed the Corps had not looked at “the impact on bottomland hardwood wetlands.” The lawsuit stated, “Bottomland hardwood forests must be protected and restored if the Louisiana black bear is to survive as a species, and if we are to ensure continued support for source population of all birds breeding in the lower Mississippi River valley.” In addition to the Sierra Club, other parties to the suit were the group American Rivers, the Mississippi River Basin Alliance, and the Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi Wildlife Federations.
John Berlau , "Greens vs. Levees: Destructive river-management philosophy," National Review, September 8, 2005 ---
http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/berlau200509080824.asp 


Since much of the Federal aid will go to Katrina victims themselves in one way or another, how will the Gulf Coast infrastructure rebuilding really be financed?

Jim Mahar points the way toward Bloomberg in his blog on September 6, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Speaking of the Hurricane, a few more financial points to note. The IRS has relaxed some rules and deadlines for those affected and even has advice for those who give to charities. Bloomberg reports on New Orleans' Muni debt:

"The reconstruction of New Orleans and the other ports on the Gulf Coast that were devastated by the hurricane is going to be a municipal market story. The bankers who design and sell municipal bonds, ordinarily a much-maligned group, are going to figure as superheroes in this modern Battle of New Orleans. Rated Baa2 by Moody's Investors Service and BBB+ by Standard & Poor's -- in other words, almost junk -- New Orleans already carried what the rating companies call a ``high debt burden'' and low financial reserves. So it would probably be a good idea for the state to set up a special authority to sell several billion dollars in bonds designed to help rebuild the city."

In related news, Bloomberg also reports that the economy may not be hurt by as much as some fear from Katrina.

"This paradoxical economic benefit can be seen on a large scale as well. Woodward found that South Carolina's rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Hugo in 1989 delayed the start of the early 1990s recession for the state. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis doesn't estimate the effects of a disaster on the national economy, but my own analysis of gross domestic product data from 1947 to 2005 shows that, with a two-quarter lag, a hurricane will boost growth by 0.3 percentage points.

Similarly, when a hurricane-force storm struck Denmark in December 1999, causing extensive and serious damage, the Danish Ministry of Finance calculated that the effect of the storm was to lift GDP by 0.8 percent in 2000 compared with what it would have been, and by a further 0.3 percent in 2001."


In addition to providing loot for looters, Wal-Mart is cranking up a monster relief program
Over the next few days, Wal-Mart's response to Katrina -- an unrivaled $20 million in cash donations, 1,500 truckloads of free merchandise, food for 100,000 meals and the promise of a job for every one of its displaced workers -- has turned the chain into an unexpected lifeline for much of the Southeast and earned it near-universal praise at a time when the company is struggling to burnish its image.
Michael Barbaro and Justin Gillis, "Wal-Mart Responds to Katrina With Massive Relief Effort," TheLedger, September 7, 2005 ---  http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050907/NEWS/509070330/1178
 

Also see http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112613957850434754,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Jensen Comment:  Charity has its amount and time limits.  For thousands of victims now scattered around the U.S., Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and other large retail chains will also provide badly needed jobs with full medical benefits.  In the final analysis, the most important assistance for many of the victims, especially parents, will be new jobs that allow them to carry on with car payments, house payments, and other bills that carry on in spite of being displaced and blown out of work.  And the oldsters and some severely handicapped can become Wal-Mart greeters.


Ear phones may be damaging your hearing
Compared with larger headphones that cover the entire ear, some insertable headphones, like the white ones sold with iPods, increased sound levels by up to nine decibels. That may not seem like much, but because decibels are measured in logarithmic units, it can mean the difference between the noise output of an alarm clock (about 80 decibels) and that of a lawnmower (about 90 decibels). The other problem, a second study found, is that insertable headphones are not as efficient at blocking background noise as some larger ones that cover the ear, so there is more incentive to turn up the volume.
Anahad O'Connor, "The Claim: MP3 Players Can Cause Hearing Loss," The New York Times, September 6, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/06/health/06real.html


A Critical Look at Medical Education
Medical students may be subject to “unrecognized influence” by the marketing efforts of drug companies and medical residents who consistently work long hours suffer impairment that is comparable to if they worked half the number of hours but had an alcoholic drink or two, according to two studies published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association
Doug Lederman, "A Critical Look at Medical Education," Inside Higher Ed, September 7, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/07/medical


No Comment
The New York Times linked to classroom "successes?" in political science

Juan Carlos Huerta and Joseph Jozwiak — political scientists at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi — said that requiring students to read The New York Times and linking the Times to class discussions can have a major impact. Students at their campus are generally not very politically aware or engaged in civic activities, Jozwiak said, and he hoped that the Times would help students “see social problems as their own” and make them “want to take action.”
Scott Jaschik, "Classroom Successes," Inside Higher Ed, September 7, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/07/polisci


The biggest source of spam is the U.S.
Speaking at today's Westminster eForum on spams and scams in London, David Evans, senior guidance and promotion manager for the ICO, admitted the government was failing to stop spammers.  Evans said: "The biggest source of spam is the US. Much as investigations teams would love to go and arrest people there, we don't have the power or resources. We would like the power to act but we would like the resources to use these powers." Evans added that the ICO, which is part of the Department of Trade and Industry, was forced to prioritise cases in favour of investigating phishing scams before general spam.
Dan Ilett, "Give us the power to can spam, says ICO," Silicon.com, September 6, 2005 --- http://software.silicon.com/malware/0,3800003100,39152000,00.htm


From the Scout Report on August 31, 2005

Colleges Near and Far Offer Help to Campuses Stricken by Hurricane
http://chronicle.com/temp/email.php?id=hb8c1jycthgajxapxqb9a0w6imt158zc 

Officials and aid groups begin to assess damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina NPR: Gulfport Streets Show Extent of Storm's Fury
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4825697 

Governor: Everyone must leave New Orleans
http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5245444,00.html 

Floodwaters, tension rise in New Orleans http://www.cnn.com/2005/WEATHER/08/30/katrina.neworleans/index.htm l

Inside the Daily Pulse: Rescue and Relief
http://journals.aol.com/dailypulseblog/citizenjournalism/entries/568 

Network for Good http://www.networkforgood.org/topics/animal_environ/hurricanes/?source=YAHOO&cmpgn=NEWS


Use you head before you leap into an interest-only mortgage obligation
The newfangled mortgages have been heralded in the industry as useful tools for buyers who would otherwise be shut out of the surging real estate market. That's because they reduce borrowers' monthly payments by allowing them to pay only interest initially while charging a lower interest rate that remains fixed for a few years before starting to adjust annually for the rest of the term, typically 30 years. But critics say they are riskier than standard mortgages, as they are prone to two payment spikes - one when the interest-only period expires and another when the fixed-rate period ends and the borrower faces potentially much higher interest rates. Critics also worry that offering extra-risky financial products that permit financially vulnerable buyers to get ever bigger mortgages is particularly perilous now, when many experts say the housing bubble may be near a breaking point.
Eduardo Porter, "Good News, Bad News: Your Loan's Approved," The New York Times, August 31, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/28/business/yourmoney/28loan.html


About half persons eligible for food stamps don't participate even though they are like cash equivalents for food
Only about one-half of all individuals in major metropolitan areas who were eligible for food stamps received benefits in 1999. Participation rates ranged widely across the nation, from a low of 21 percent in the Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ, metro area to a high of 94 percent in El Paso, TX. Midwestern metropolitan areas reported aboveaverage participation rates, and some urban counties exhibited considerably higher or lower participation rates than their respective metro areas.
Matt Fellowes and Alan Berube, "Leaving Money (and Food) on the Table: Food Stamp Participation in Major Metropolitan Areas and Counties," Brookings Institution, May 2005 --- http://www.brookings.edu/metro/pubs/20050517_FoodStamp.pdf


Down Syndrome May Hold Clues to Fighting Cancer:
Recent research shows that people with Down syndrome, a genetic condition with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities, have a significantly lower-than-expected rate of breast cancer, lung cancer, mouth cancer and other common solid tumors. They are at significantly greater risk of getting a rare type of leukemia, called acute myeloid leukemia (AML), when they are children -- but they have a substantially higher survival rate and lower relapse rate than children in the general population.
Amy Dockser, "Down Syndrome May Hold Clues to Fighting Cancer:  Researchers Probe Why Those With Disorder Are Less Likely to Develop Certain Tumors, The Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112595866884032091,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal


Contrary to popular belief among scientists
The federal government obligated $26.656 billion for science and engineering to colleges and universities in 2003, an increase of 9.1 percent over the previous year and the largest amount ever, according to a National Science Foundation report released Friday.
Doug Lederman, "U.S. Funds for Science Rose 9% in 2003," Inside Higher Ed, September 6, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/06/nsf
Jensen Comment:  But nothing went to badly needed stem cell research


"Google Book Copying Seen As Legal," InternetWeek Newsletter on September 6, 2005

Book publishers and writers won't be happy to hear what legal experts have to say about Google's plan to digitize as many library books as it can. While to some of us it may seem unfair that a business can copy someone's work without paying for it, the fact is such a practice may be legal, depending on the circumstances.

Today's InternetWeek includes a feature by freelancer Christopher Heun, who talked with legal experts about the Google Print Library Project. The experts were pretty much in agreement that Google is on solid legal ground.

Among the factors working in its favor is the social value of making electronic copies of library books, including those still protected by copyright. The benefits of having the content of the world's libraries in digital form would outweigh the damage done to copyright holders. In addition, Google isn't making money directly from the copyrighted material, so there's nothing to share with its owners.

 


New Gadgets on the Way
I wonder of Apple Corporation will sell Beano
Sony, which invented portable music players but now lags far behind Apple, has turned to the jelly bean for inspiration. The company plans to start selling the Walkman Bean in October in an effort to draw buyers from Apple's popular iPods. The pop design targets "young people and women," according to Saori Takahashi, a Sony spokeswoman. She said that the market for music players had been dominated by men "in their late 20s or older who like cutting-edge gadgets, but demand is now spreading to younger age groups and women."
"Gadgets of the week: Why Sony is full of beans," International Herald Tribune, September 3, 2005 --- http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/09/02/business/ptgadgets03.php


Flatterers look like friends, as wolves like dogs.
George Chapman


For some things it just doesn't pay to go cheap
Demerjian said that the university paid just under $2 million to build the facility in 1986, and that it would cost many times that sum to fix the building, so it makes more sense to tear it down (along with one next to it) and build a better structure. When the Gehry building went up, Demerjian said, California was skimping on construction costs, and used “very inexpensive materials,” which is why he thinks so many things are wrong with the building. At Irvine, he said, the fact that a building is “a Gehry” was one factor in the discussions about what to do with it. But it wasn’t a deciding factor.
Scott Jaschik, "Tearing Down a Gehry," Inside Higher Ed, September 6, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/06/gehry


U.S. Expects to Indict At Least 12 More Over KPMG Shelters
The lead prosecutor in the KPMG LLP tax-shelter investigation said the government expects to seek indictments against at least 12 more individuals in the coming weeks, on top of the nine people who were arraigned yesterday in a federal court in Manhattan. The additional defendants will be named as part of a superseding indictment and could include additional charges against the nine people whose bond requirements were set yesterday by U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. The government's lead prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin Weddle, said the additional charges in the superseding indictment likely would include obstruction of justice, as well as tax evasion, in addition to the existing conspiracy count.
Jonathan Weil and Kara Scannell, "U.S. Expects to Indict At Least 12 More Over KPMG Shelters," The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2005; Page C1 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112603926421333075,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

Bob Jensen's threads on KPMG's troubles are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#KPMG


"Great apes in danger of being wiped out," by James Reynolds, The Scotsman, September 2, 2005 --- http://news.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=1878412005

Key points
UN believes countries' poverty will kill most of the apes within fifty years
UN reports that growing development is destroying apes' natural habitat
UN survey concludes as few as 350,000 apes in total remain in wild

Key quote
"We have a duty to rescue our closest living relatives as part of our wider responsibilities to conserve the ecosystems they inhabit" - Klaus Toepfer, United Nations Environment Programme executive director


Let the sunshine in
Nowhere is this trend more apparent than in California, where rolling blackouts still affect a power-hungry population. It's not surprisingly, then, that California may host the largest solar-energy project in history. Southern California Edison (SCE), with 13 million customers, has just announced a deal with Phoenix-based Stirling Energy Systems that could result in a huge solar farm. The California utility is already the nation's largest purchaser of renewable energy, providing its customer with more than 2,500 megawatts of wind, geothermal, solar, biomass, and small hydroelectric-derived energy, or around 18 percent of its total power load. Now SCE has agreed to purchase upwards of 500 megawatts of electricity from Stirling Energy Systems -- enough to provide all the energy needs to 278,000 homes -- or more than all other U.S. solar projects combined. While neither company has disclosed the financial details, SCE said the system will not require state subsidies.
Tim Gnatek, "A Sunshine Deal," MIT's Technology Review, September 6, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/09/wo/wo_090605gnatek.asp?trk=nl


Big clue to start of universe is a very small thing
If you want to hear a little bit of the Big Bang, you're going to have to turn down your stereo. That's what neighbors of MIT's Haystack Observatory found out. They were asked to make a little accommodation for science, and now the results are in: Scientists at Haystack have made the first radio detection of deuterium, an atom that is key to understanding the beginning of the universe. The findings are being reported in an article in the Sept. 1 issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
"Researchers find clue to start of universe," Physorg.com, September 2, 2005 --- http://physorg.com/news6184.html


Gender Gap in Publishing
Women make up about one third of political scientists and are earning 42 percent of Ph.D.’s awarded in the discipline. But research presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association indicated that, in publishing, women lag far behind men. Women were the lead authors of 20.9 percent of the papers published in eight leading journals in political science from 1999 through 2004, according to a study by Marijke Breuning, associate professor of political science at Truman State University and editor of the Journal of Political Science Education. Breuning’s data also indicated that the percentage was even lower — 17.7 percent — at the APSA’s flagship journal, American Political Science Review. Only one journal in the field, Comparative Politics, had a percentage of women as lead authors — 32.5 percent — that was comparable to the female representation in the field. And several journals besides APSR had percentages below 20. They were the American Journal of Political Science (17.9 percent), the Journal of Politics (17.9 percent) and International Studies Quarterly (19.4 percent).
Scott Jaschik, "Gender Gap in Publishing," Inside Higher Ed, September 6, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/06/publishing


Question
Who would want the job of a college dean?

Answer
My recent service on a search committee for the dean of my university’s College of Education left me thinking about the future of these positions . . . Unless the job of dean of education is redefined into a doable set of tasks, the type of people we want to apply — people with integrity, a sense of balance, a sense of humor, a commitment to the well-being of students and children — are going to pass and stick to a faculty role. This would be a real tragedy for our field, as those are precisely the people we need to lead us into an uncertain future.
Russell Olwell, "The Job No One Wants," Inside Higher Ed, August 30, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/careers/2005/08/30/olwell

 

Forwarded by Denny Beresford on September 6, 2005

Stefanie Scott                                                                 

800-644-NEWS     

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

MCI’S SKYTEL LAUNCHES VEHICLE-TRACKING DEVICE

FOR PARENTS OF TEEN DRIVERS

SkyGuard Combines Wireless, GPS to Provide Parents Peace-of-Mind

 CLINTON, Miss. – September 6, 2005 – MCI, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: MCIP) SkyTel unit today announced the launch of SkyTel SkyGuard, a vehicle-tracking device made especially for parents of teenage drivers. SkyGuard uses next-generation wireless and state-of-the-art GPS technologies to automatically collect location, speed and other vehicle information and relay that information to a secure website.

SkyGuard allows parents to view trip information on the Internet and see where a vehicle has traveled. In addition, parents can set up zones around areas of interest (like school or home) and areas that should be avoided.  SkyGuard can also be used to remotely unlock or lock doors and disable a vehicle’s starter, preventing the vehicle from restarting once it has been turned off.

“SkyGuard allows parents to know their children’s whereabouts, giving them peace-of-mind,” said Bruce Deer, SkyTel president. “By utilizing our wireless and IP capabilities, we are able to provide a product that is accessible 24 X 7, easy to use and helps parents encourage their children to behave responsibly while driving.”

Unlike other tracking products, SkyGuard offers a remote alert feature that notifies parents via e-mail or mobile phone if there is an unusual occurrence such as the vehicle being driven when it should be parked, the vehicle is traveling at an unsafe speed or the car has entered a restricted zone.

SkyGuard works by installing a small device (about the size of a bar of soap) in the vehicle and connecting it to a power source. The device can also be wired to control door locks and the starter circuit. When the vehicle is running, the device collects and processes GPS and other vehicle information every two minutes and sends this data through MCI’s SkyTel network to the SkyGuard database every 10 minutes. Parents receive secure login information to their personal SkyGuard website.

“Parents who know where their kids are, who they're with and what they're doing are less likely to have children who engage in risky activity, or to be around others that do,’’ said

Kenneth Beck, Professor in the Department of Public and Community Health at the University of Maryland at College Park. ”Unfortunately, the research shows that parents are usually not aware of what their teens are doing and fail to establish and enforce rules and boundaries, and monitor what their teens are doing."

 SkyGuard services are available throughout SkyTel’s national network, which covers most metropolitan areas across the contiguous United States.
(Check
www.skytel.com/skyguard or call 1-800-395-6741 for pricing and availability.)

September 6, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Denny,

My reply to Noah --- “Too bad, but it’s only because I care so much about you.”

From "More Parents Going High-Tech to Track Kids," by Martha Irvine, The Washington Post, September 5, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/05/AR2005090501292.html?referrer=email

"Here's the story," Schmidt told them when he decided to begin tracking them about a year ago. "24/7, I can tell where your phone is, what speed it's going.... So (even) days later, I can look and see that 'Oh my gosh, you were going 80 miles an hour on the Interstate at 2 o'clock in the morning.'"

It might sound invasive, but Schmidt is convinced it's keeping his kids safer _ partly because they know they're being watched.

His 15-year-old son, Noah, who's been caught a few places he wasn't supposed to be, isn't nearly as pleased.

"It's annoying," the high school sophomore complains. "It gives the parents too much control."

Continued in article


Don't buy "HDTV ready"

I wonder if Amy is referring to using one's computer as essentially a TIVO system without the subscription fee. My husband bought a card that is easily installed in one's computer that allows it to capture TV signals. We do not have cable, so he's also had to buy an antenna for our computer (the kit came with an antenna, but we needed an amped, or powered, antenna). I think it might be easier to get this thing to work if you do have cable or satellite, but it might need its own cable connection. He bought this card over the Internet, but sorry, I don't know what it's called.

The part he's still having trouble with is the part that should be the easiest -- using our TV as a monitor for our computer. It is a high definition TV, so we think it should work out eventually.

My impression of this process is that it takes someone who loves fiddling around with cables and electronics to have the patience to see it through. And, you have to be willing to crack open your computer case and add a new card, which just requires a couple of screws. For me, TIVO would be a better option if I could afford it. TIVO is more of a "take it out of the box and plug it in" technology, which is about my speed.

I agree with previous posters that no one should buy an analog TV at this point. Don't even buy "HDTV ready" -- this will require a converter box. Look for something like "Integrated HDTV". In my opinion, both LCD and plasma technologies should survive as long as the TV does, so either should be OK. Mary Geddie University of Houston

 


College Tuition Blues:  Flashback from The Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal, September 2, 1959
American parents, who this month will be dispatching their offspring to colleges in record numbers, will face this hard fact of economic life: The cost of a college education still is climbing. Boston University is boosting tuition charges to $950 a year from $800.

Software Strives to Spot Plagiarism Before Publication
After a series of damaging newspaper scandals involving plagiarism in recent years, a new piece of software looks to help editors stop wrongdoers before their articles go to print. The LexisNexis data collection service has introduced CopyGuard, a program aimed at exposing plagiarists or spotting copyright infringement. According to John Barrie, chief executive of iParadigms, the company that developed the program with LexisNexis, CopyGuard can generate a report that calculates the percentage of material suspected of not being original, highlights that text and pinpoints its possible original source, all within seconds.
Tania Ralli, "Software Strives to Spot Plagiarism Before Publication," The New York Times, September 5, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/05/technology/05plagiarism.html

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm


Iraq is the most expensive war in 60 years
The US war in Iraq now costs more per month than the average monthly cost of military operations in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, a report has found. The Iraq Quagmire, a report issued yesterday by the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy in Focus, two US anti-war groups, put the cost of operations in Iraq at $US5.6 billion ($7.5 billion) a month, or almost $US186 million a day. "By comparison, the average cost of US operations in Vietnam over the eight-year war was $US5.1 billion per month, adjusting for inflation," it said. The US Congress has approved four spending bills for Iraq so far, with funds totalling $US204.4 billion, and is expected soon to authorise a further $US45.3 billion. "Broken down per person in the United States, the cost so far is $US727, making the Iraq war the most expensive military effort in the past 60 years," wrote the report's authors, Phyllis Bennis and Erik Leaver. While there are far fewer troops in Iraq than there were in Vietnam at the height of the war, the weapons they use are more expensive and they are paid more.
Alan Elsner, "Iraq the most expensive war in 60 years, report says," Sydney Morning Herald, September 1, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/08/31/1125302633906.html

Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/


Queer Blog for the Straight Web
Is there a market for a blog that covers gay lifestyle issues and eschews porn?
Adam Penenberg"Queer Blog for the Straight Web," Wired News, September 1, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,68708,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_5


This is somewhat contrary to the praises being sung by CEOs of auditing firms

From Jim Mahar's Blog on August 30, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

Sarbanes-Oxley after Three Years by Larry Ribstein

SSRN-Sarbanes-Oxley after Three Years by Larry Ribstein:

I am sure many of you have been wondering whether Sarbanes-Oxley has been successful or not. I know that I have been! Unfortunately, it is a very difficult thing to test. While the costs are relatively easy to measure, the benefits are not. Moreover, even like any regulation, the passage is anticipated and thus normal event studies get muddied.

So with that in mind (and a good dictionary in hand) I present to you Larry Ribstein's look at the Sarbanes-Oxley Act after three years.

Ribstein presents a very interesting history (why and how it came about) and summary (what it contains) of SOX. He then reviews the literature on the Act. This literature review can be summarized with the following quote:

"The finance studies on the effect of SOX have been accompanied by data on the costs of SOX that have fueled mounting doubt about the Act's cost-effectiveness." Ribstein's conclusion stems from this literature review:

"In general, the costs have been significant and the benefits elusive." Overall the paper makes several good points, and concludes with his recommendations for future legislation, however, I was left wanting more empirical evidence but I guess that will have to wait.

However, it was a good read and the history/summary section would be great for class use!

Cite: Ribstein, Larry E., "Sarbanes-Oxley after Three Years" (June 20, 2005). U Illinois Law & Economics Research Paper No. LE05-016. http://ssrn.com/abstract=746884 

BTW Jim's am not kidding about needing a good dictionary. ;)

Bob Jensen's threads on proposed reforms are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudProposedReforms.htm


From: Mike Kennelley [mailto:MKennell@jbu.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:24 AM
To: escribne@nmsu.edu
Subject: Sarbanes-Oxley Blues

If you haven't heard this one, turn on those speakers and enjoy . . . 

http://www.headwatersmb.com/content/audio_02.html


TheFreeDictionary.com:  2,000,000 articles and definitions from leading dictionaries and encyclopedias

August 31, 2005 message from Valerie Schaeffer [Valerie.Schaeffer@Farlex.com]

Dear Bob Jensen,

I like your website. While I was exploring it, I noticed that you had an excellent collection of online reference links located at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob3.htm . Would you consider adding www.thefreedictionary.com  to the list?

TheFreeDictionary.com has about 2,000,000 articles and definitions from leading dictionaries and encyclopedias. Please take a look at our site and help your visitors find out about us.

Thank you in advance for taking a look at our website.

Sincerely,

Valerie Schaeffer

P.S.

Also, if you are interested, we recently created a new "dictionary search" box and “Word of the Day” feature that can be used on your web page. The instructions can be found at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/lookup.htm 

I added this to the bookbob3.htm file mentioned above.  Since it is also a way of finding articles, I also added it to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#ElectronicBooks


Dollar Stretcher:  Links to help one-income families --- http://www.stretcher.com/menu/1income.htm


130 Colleges, Universities, and Greek Organizations Mandate Online Alcohol Prevention
This fall, more than 150,000 college students will complete an online alcohol prevention program called AlcoholEdu for College in an effort by campus and Greek organization administrators to ensure that students have the skills they need to make safe and healthy decisions about alcohol. According to a March 2005 report from the National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA), the problem of college drinking exceeds previous estimates. The report cites more than 1,700 alcohol-related deaths and 2.8 million cases of driving under the influence in 2001. Previous estimates also suggest 500,000 injuries, 70,000 sexual assaults, and 159,000 first-year student dropouts due to alcohol and other drugs every year.
See http://www.outsidetheclassroom.com/newsevents/press/pr_plp2005.asp


Choosing what you pay
Restaurant workers in the United States make more than twenty-five billion dollars a year in tips, so it’s natural that people think of the custom as quintessentially American. But it wasn’t always. Tipping didn’t take hold here until after the Civil War, and even as it spread it met with fervent public opposition from people who considered it a toxic vestige of Old World patronage. Anti-tipping associations were formed; newspapers—including the Times—regularly denounced the custom. Tipping, the activists held, fostered a masterservant relationship that was ill suited to a nation in which people were meant to be social equals. William R. Scott, in his 1916 polemic “The Itching Palm,” described the tip as the price that “one American is willing to pay to induce another American to acknowledge inferiority”; Gunton’s Magazine labelled the custom “offensively un-American,” arguing that workers here should seek honest wages “instead of fawning for favors.” The anti-tipping campaigns were so effective that six states actually banned the practice.
"Check Please," The New Yorker, September 5, 2005 --- http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/articles/050905ta_talk_surowiecki


For U.S., a Counterfeiting Problem in China Is Old and Very Real
New problems come and go between China and the United States, but when leaders of the two countries meet in Washington shortly, protection of intellectual property will be on the agenda - as it has been for years. Joining DVD's and cheap knockoffs of brand-name clothing and computer software are new, upscale lines of counterfeit goods. Shoppers can find "Callaway Big Bertha" golf clubs, and "Ikea" furniture. Shanghai bar and nightclub operators say they are often sold fake bottles of Chivas Regal or Johnnie Walker Scotch, which are slipped in among bottles of the genuine item in the cases they buy from wholesalers. Pharmacies and drug makers say copies of Western medicines - far beyond just Viagra clones - are common. Garages say fake auto parts are widespread. There are even knockoff cars. General Motors says the Shanghai-based Chery Automobile Company's QQ model is a copy of a model it produces in South Korea. A newer Chery sport utility vehicle, the Tiggo, is a dead ringer for Toyota's RAV4.
Howard W. French, "For U.S., a Counterfeiting Problem in China Is Old and Very Real," The New York Times, September 4, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/international/asia/04shanghai.html


Sometimes, It's Not the Tuition. It's the Textbooks
As the school year begins, soaring tuition isn't the only financial matter on college students' minds. Many are also trying relentlessly to get a break on the rapidly climbing cost of textbooks. Prices have risen 186 percent in two decades, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office - to the point that the average student now spends nearly $900 a year on textbooks and supplies. The climb doesn't match the one for tuition and fees, which have ballooned by 240 percent, but it is far higher than the 72 percent gain in consumer prices over that time. How do thrifty students cope? Strategies range from scouring the Internet for used books to simply using the library copy.
Dale Buss, "Sometimes, It's Not the Tuition. It's the Textbooks," The New York Times, September 4, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/04/business/yourmoney/04text.html


No Comment
A poll released yesterday found that "nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools," the New York Times reports --- http://snipurl.com/NYTAug31
Or go to http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/31/national/31religion.html


Especially aimed at middle schools
September 4, 2005 message from Erin Rech

On the suggestion of Eleanor Enthoven Hasse, an NCDPI Science Consultant, I am writing to let you know about our organization, Science Buddies. We are a non-profit organization providing free online help for science fair students, and have recently received a support grant from EMC Corporation to specifically target the science population in North Carolina schools. By partnering with scientific companies, we obtain valuable resources from their employees in developing our materials, as well as monetary funding. We offer Starter Kits (science fair project outlines), a Topic Selection Wizard, an Ask an Expert forum for specific questions, and many other reference sources. We are hoping to connect with teachers and students in North Carolina, as we currently serve students across the country and are looking to expand our reach beyond the 212,000 students who registered with us during the 2004-2005 school year.

Please take a look at our website: www.sciencebuddies.org . If you are interested in getting your classroom or school more involved in our activities, I would love to speak with you regarding the specific programs. We have many teachers who download our materials for classroom use, and who refer their students to our website every year. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or want to know more about our organization.

Thank you for your time,

Erin Rech
Science Buddies
The Kenneth Lafferty Hess Family Charitable Foundation (925) 640-8770

www.sciencebuddies.org


Islamic Laws to Override Human Rights for Women?

"Intl. protests against Shariah tribunals in Ont. set for Thursday," by Bruce Cheadle, CNEWS, September 5, 2005 --- http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2005/09/04/1202184-cp.html 

OTTAWA (CP) - Protesters will take to the streets this week in cities from Amsterdam to Victoria, all because of a bureaucratic proposal that would allow Islamic law to be used in Ontario family arbitration cases.

The long-delayed decision on whether to formally include - and regulate - Shariah religious arbitration in the province has raised alarms among Canadian and European women's groups, dissidents from hardline Islamic states such as Iran, human-rights activists, writers and humanist advocates.

Almost 100 organizations have banded together under the banner of the International Campaign against Shariah Court in Canada. On Thursday, they'll march in six European cities and at least five in Canada.

Ottawa, Toronto and Waterloo, Ont., Montreal and Victoria all have protests planned, along with Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Gutenberg, Stockholm, London and Paris.

Sohaila Sharifi, an Iranian emigrant who is organizing the protest in front of the Canadian High Commission in London, said the Ontario situation is emblematic of a global battle between secular societies and "political Islam."

"If they win this fight in Canada, there is always the possibility that they would see it as a victory that could bring them one step forward," Sharifi said in an e-mail exchange.

"They would use the same argument to establish the same religious system here in Europe and elsewhere."

The "they" in question represent an odd, informal coalition of hardline Islamic fundamentalists, mainstream Muslim groups and a former NDP attorney general from Ontario who studied the issue at length and came up with the current proposal.

Continued in article


August 31, 2005 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

This is a webroot link in respect to the frequency of spyware:

http://www.webroot.com/resources/stateofspyware/excerpt.html 

Richard J. Campbell mailto:campbell@rio.edu 

Bob Jensen's helpers for computer and network security are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection


Beware of those unregulated hedge funds
The Connecticut hedge-fund firm under scrutiny in what authorities believe may have been a massive fraud emptied five Citibank accounts over the course of six days in July 2004 in withdrawals totaling $161 million, bank records show. About $100 million of that money is the subject of a court fight between Stamford-based Bayou Fund LLC and Arizona authorities who seized the funds after concluding that there was reason to believe they were being used in a fraud. The remaining $60 million -- and possibly much more -- remains unaccounted for. The Citibank accounts in New York held money for all four of Bayou's hedge funds, but the bulk of the money was in the fifth account, under the name of its money-management arm, Bayou Management LLC, the records show.
Ian McDonald, "Bayou Drained Accounts in '04 Of $161 Million," The Wall Street Journal, September 1, 2005; Page C1--- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112550792590328009,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing 



Inside Higher Ed will restore its book review column on Intellectual Affairs
Ever fewer newspapers give any space at all to books of any kind. And most that do, it seems, have cut back in recent years. Even then, they tend to run material “off the wire” — that is, from news services. Which means (in turn) that titles and topics reflect some vague but rigid notion of what “the public” will find of interest.As for the general-circulation newsmagazines, they are, if anything, even worse about it. Last year, I complained about this bitterly at some length in a speech at the awards ceremony for the National Book Critics Circle.There was a murmur of assent from the crowd. And for one brief, adrenaline-charged moment, it seemed possible to imagine shaming certain very powerful media gatekeepers into a sense of responsibility.
"All Booked Up," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, September 1, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/09/01/mclemee

Free Book Notes (an index) --- http://www.freebooknotes.com/

Free audio book downloads --- http://www.freeclassicaudiobooks.com/

Free Audio Books from Harper Audio --- http://town.hall.org/Archives/radio/IMS/HarperAudio/

 

 

 

Free electronic classics
Great Books Index --- http://www.mirror.org/books/gb.home.html

Great Books Online --- http://www.bartleby.com/

Electronic Text Collections in Western European Literature --- http://www.lib.virginia.edu/wess/etexts.html

BiblioMania --- http://www.bibliomania.com/0/0/frameset.html

The Online Books Page --- http://digital.library.upenn.edu/books/aboutolbp.html

The Diaries of Franz Kafka --- http://www.metameat.net/kafka/index.php?en

Alice in Wonderland:  An Interactive Adventure --- http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/wonderland/

PG Wodehouse quotations (update the page for each new quote) --- http://www.drones.com/pgw.cgi

Database of quotations --- http://www.amk.ca/quotations/

Quote DB --- http://www.quotedb.com/

List of misquotations --- http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/List_of_misquotations

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography --- http://info.lib.uh.edu/sepb/sepb.html

The Scholarly Electronic Publishing Bibliography (SEPB) presents selected English-language articles, books, and other printed and electronic sources that are useful in understanding scholarly electronic publishing efforts on the Internet. Most sources have been published between 1990 and the present; however, a limited number of key sources published prior to 1990 are also included. Where possible, links are provided to sources that are freely available on the Internet.

The Open Access Bibliography: Liberating Scholarly Literature with E-Prints and Open Access Journals, by the same author, provides much more in-depth coverage of the open access movement and related topics (e.g., disciplinary archives, e-prints, institutional repositories, open access journals, and the Open Archives Initiative) than SEPB does. The "Open Access Webliography" complements the OAB, providing access to a number of Websites related to open access topics.

Announcements for new versions of SEPB are distributed on PACS-P, SEPW, and other mailing lists.

An archive of prior versions of SEPB is available.

An article about the development and utilization of SEPB has been published in The Journal of Electronic Publishing.

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books and journals are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm#ElectronicBooks




Celebrating Oxymoronic, Paradoxical,  and Self-Contradictory Quotations --- http://oxymoronica.com/

Oxymoronica for Writers --- http://www.oxymoronica.com/samplers/writers.shtml

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
Robert C. Benchley

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
I love being a writer.
What I hate is the paperwork.
Thomas Mann Peter De Vries

I don't think I am any good. If I thought I was any good, I wouldn't be.

We are all failures-- at least, all the best of us are.
John Betjeman J. M. Barrie, on writers

Be obscure clearly.
E. B. White, advice to writers

A good novel is possible only after one has given up and let go.
If it sounds like writing, I re-write it.
Walker Percy Elmore Leonard

It takes less time to learn how to write nobly. than how to write lightly and straightforwardly.
Writing came easy-- it would only get hard when I got better at it.
Friedrich Nietzsche Gary Wills

Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
Gene Fowler




"Deadly Bureaucracy In Katrina's wake, red tape too often trumped common sense," by Bobby Jindal, The Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2005 12:01 a.m. --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/cc/?id=110007224

This is not the only story of red tape triumphing over common sense. After so many years of drills and exercises, we were still unprepared for Hurricane Katrina. • A mayor in my district tried to get supplies for his constituents, who were hit directly by the hurricane. He called for help and was put on hold for 45 minutes. Eventually, a bureaucrat promised to write a memo to his supervisor.

• Evacuees on a boat from St. Bernard Parish could not find anyone to give them permission to dock along the Mississippi River. Security forces, they say, were prepared to turn them away at one port.

• A sheriff in my district office reported being told that he would not get the resources his office needed to do its job unless he emailed a request. The parish was flooded and without electricity!

• Unbelievably, first responders were hindered by a lack of interoperable communications. Do you recall how New York police and fire departments on 9/11 could not talk with each other? Four years later, despite billions spent on homeland security, state, federal, and local officials in Louisiana had the same problem.

My office became so frustrated with the bureaucracy that we often turned to private companies. They responded more quickly and flexibly.

After our staff visited communities to assess local needs, Budweiser delivered truckloads of water and ice. Ford provided vehicles for search and rescue. Every company we contacted provided goods and services without compensation.

Though things are far from perfect, we have seen an improvement in the response effort as the military increased its presence and created a more unified chain of command. However, the problems that existed before still resonate.

That's why we need, in the future, a single, strong leader with the power to override the normal process restrictions and get things done. That individual must be identified from the very beginning. But below that person, other individuals up and down the line need to know they can make obvious and sensible calls in an emergency.


In this edition of Tidbits, I'm posting, without comment, a September 7, 2005 message from a former B-29 pilot and close social friend who leans toward the conservative side of the world.

Here's some more on New Orleans:
 

In case you aren’t familiar with how our government is SUPPOSED to work in a storm disaster:
The chain of responsibility for the protection of the citizens in New Orleans is:

1. The Mayor
2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security (a political appointee of the Governor who reports to the Governor)
3. The Governor
4. The Head of Homeland Security
5. The President

What did each do?

1. The mayor, with 5 days advance, waited until 2 days before he announced a mandatory evacuation (at the behest of the President). Then he failed to provide transportation for those without transport even though he had hundreds of buses at his disposal.

2. The New Orleans director of Homeland Security failed to have any plan for a contingency that has been talked about for 50 years. Then he blames the Feds for not doing what he should have done. (So much for political appointees)

3. The Governor, despite a declaration of disaster by the President 2 DAYS BEFORE the storm hit, failed to take advantage of the offer of Federal troops and aid. Until 2 DAYS AFTER the storm hit.

4. The Director of Homeland Security positioned assets in the area to be ready when the Governor called for them

5. The President urged a mandatory evacuation, and even declared a disaster State of Emergency, freeing up millions of dollars of federal assistance, should the Governor decide to use it.

Oh and by the way, the levees that broke were the responsibility of the local landowners and the local levee board to maintain, NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

The disaster in New Orleans is what you get after decades of corrupt (democrat) government going all the way back to Huey Long.

Funds for disaster protection and relief have been flowing into this city for decades, and where has it gone, but into the pockets of the politicos and their friends.

Decades of socialist government in New Orleans has sapped all self reliance from the community, and made them dependent upon government for every little thing.

Political correctness and a lack of will to fight crime have created the single most corrupt police force in the country, and has permitted gang violence to flourish.

The sad thing is that there are many poor folks who have suffered and died needlessly because those that they voted into office failed them.

For those who missed item 5 (where the President’s level of accountability is discussed), it is made more clear in a New Orleans Times-Picayune article dated August 28:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In the face of a catastrophic Hurricane Katrina, a mandatory evacuation was ordered Sunday for New Orleans by Mayor Ray Nagin.

Acknowledging that large numbers of people, many of them stranded tourists, would be unable to leave, the city set up 10 places of last resort for people to go, including the Superdome.

The mayor called the order unprecedented and said anyone who could leave the city should. He exempted hotels from the evacuation order because airlines had already cancelled all flights.

Gov. Kathleen Blanco, standing beside the mayor at a news conference, said President Bush called and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation for the low-lying city, which is prone to flooding.
 

 




Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
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/.

International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
        Upcoming international accounting conferences --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/events/index.cfm
        Thousands of journal abstracts --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/journals/index.cfm
Deloitte's International Accounting News --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
Association of International Accountants --- http://www.aia.org.uk/ 
WebCPA --- http://www.webcpa.com/
FASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
IASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
Others --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm

Gerald Trite's great set of links --- http://iago.stfx.ca/people/gtrites/Docs/bookmark.htm 

Richard Torian's Managerial Accounting Information Center --- http://www.informationforaccountants.com/ 

 

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