Trillions of your tax dollars allegedly down
the drain in accounting adjustments
To the right (on the opening page of the site below) you will find a running total of the amount of "unsupported adjustments" used by the Department of Defense in FY2000 to balance its books. This total is based on the report of DoD's inspector general. The counter runs on a calendar year. It is a simple attempt to demonstrate the scale of ENRON style accounting in the US government.
"How fast does $1.1 trillion disappear in a year?" --- http://www.whereisthemoney.org/
"Bush Unveils Plans
to Rebuild Gulf Coast" ---
Bush is making an enormous mistake that we will one day regret!
This is why I think New Orleans should not be rebuilt below Lake Ponchetrain:
A photograph of that huge building in Oklahoma City with its entire face blown off on April 19, 1995 will forever live in my memory. Aside from the carnage, what impressed me most was the sheer power of cheap fertilizer chemicals in the back of a small rental truck parked some distance from the building. This is a frightening thought when you consider the following:
- If an
18-foot rental truck can carry so much cheap
and relatively easy-access explosive power,
what destruction can be packed into a
54-foot moving van? Perhaps and
enormous bomb could be placed on a ship tied
up on a dock in New Orleans or a barge being
pushed down river from up north where a lot
of fertilizer is readily made available. Perhaps a bomb might not be
necessary at all on a Kamikaze airplane
crashing straight into a levee.
relatively low-IQ bomber can learn how to
make a fertilizer bomb on the Internet ---
- Hundreds of
thousands of New Orleans residents were able
to flee before Katrina hit because of
technology that allows for early warning and
tracking of hurricanes. In Oklahoma
City in 1995 there was not one second of
advanced warning before a fertilizer bomb
killed hundreds of innocent children and
- Suppose a
vicious drug cartel becomes exceedingly
angry because we succeeded in squeezing its
revenues. For revenge, the cartel
could set off a little bomb that would put a
small crack in a Lake Ponchetrain levee and
afterwards try to extort millions by
threatening that the next explosions at
several places on the levee will be 1,000
times more powerful.
Who's willing to kill hundreds of thousands of people and inflict billions of dollars worth of damage in a newly-rebuilt New Orleans? The list of possible bombers is endless?
- As I
mentioned above, it could be a drug cartel
or an organized crime group bent on
extortion. Instead of risky nuclear
extortion, it might be a less risky
extortion endeavor by North Korea or some
- It could be
a Timothy McVeigh-type angered by being
passed over for a Special Forces assignment
and not being issued a green, red, or black
beret. It could be a soldier angered
about being assigned to dangerous Iraq.
It could be an relatively ordinary citizen
angered by a costly Tax Court decision.
- It could be
a Eric Robert Rudolph-type angered by a
rumor that an abortion took place in the
Tulane Medical Center that is very close to
the Lake Ponchetrain levee.
- It could be
a white supremacist with visions of a
hundred thousand welfare mommas floating
face down in the muck who could no longer
bring a million new n_____s into the world.
Media coverage during Katrina (was there a
single white victim shown of television?)
and the aftermath of increased government
assistance makes it much more likely that
white supremacists will accelerate and
magnify atrocities against African Americans
- It could be
carried out by any one of thousands of hate
groups like Al Qaeda. Or it could just
be two brothers from Afghanistan who are
upset because U.S. bombs killed their
- It could be
some bipolar mental case having a bad day..
I'm no expert on explosives. Perhaps the levees will be rebuilt strong enough to withstand truck bombs and Kamikaze crashes. In that case, I think an Al Qaeda cell might be eager to take on a more complicated undertaking because of the glory that a complicated killing of hundreds of thousands of Americans would reap in Allah's hereafter. Terrorists could design an underground/underwater mission that is more complicated than blowing up the Bridge on the River Kwai.
In a statistical sense, the rebuilding of New Orleans on its present site is a disastrous mistake due to the high probability of future breaches in the levees. For maximum impact, the evil doers may have to patiently await a tidal surge, but such surges are common in New Orleans. And tidal surges are much more dangerous in recent years due to the frightening disappearance of the Mississippi Delta that historically cushioned New Orleans from the sea.
I should also think that Holland is also nervous with the rising threat of Islamic militants in that nation below sea level. And I doubt that Russia would be stupid enough to rebuild a city under sea level with angry Chechnyans all about. Why is the U.S. so naive? It's like we keep forgetting that we do have enemies, millions (billions?) of them!
New Orleans is more vulnerable to attack in the future because of Katrina's media coverage and the costly havoc she reaped.
Turn up your
KatrinaUSA --- http://snipurl.com/KatrinaUS
Media coverage during Katrina (was there a single white victim shown of television?) and the aftermath of increased government assistance makes it much more likely that white supremacists will accelerate and magnify atrocities against African Americans --- http://www.publiceye.org/racism/white-supremacy.html
Black activists are also giving white supremacists ideas that initially (honestly) inspired my above tidbit on why New Orleans should not be re-built south of Lake Ponchetrain.
Islam leader and Air America may reap what they
Liberal radio asserts that white people deliberately blew up the levees to kill as many blacks as possible
Two hosts at the liberal radio network Air America are defending Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan - saying he's not wrong to suspect that white people deliberately blew up the levees in New Orleans. "You cannot blame people for coming up with conspiracy theories," Air America host Chuck D. said, after he was asked Thursday about the paranoid pronouncement by MSNBC's Tucker Carlson . . . But the Air America host refused to budge, insisting instead that there was a chance Farrakhan could be right.
"Air America Hosts: Farrakhan Not Wrong on Levees," NewsMax, September 15, 2005 --- http://newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/9/16/11533.shtml
September 16, 2005 reply from David Fordham
. . .the Dutch aren't terribly concerned about threats to their dike, because they don't have "a dike". They have LOTS and LOTS of little dikes. If something happens to one, the "downstream" protectors start kicking in. In America, we seem to be eliminating everything small in favor of "mega-" everything. We abandon small rail lines and take them up and put the money into single mainlines. We shut down small generating stations and build mega- humongous ones. We close down small colleges and build huge universities. We close down neighborhood schools and build huge magnets where no one, not even the principal, can know all the kids names. ("Anonymity supports criminality" will one day become a famous quote.) We close down little military bases and consolidate them into megabases. (I heard that we now have only two submarine bases on the whole Atlantic coast...
I guess we are following Will Rogers' advice to "put all your eggs in one basket, then watch that basket!") If New Orleans is rebuilt at all, they need to do like the Dutch, and cut lots and lots of canals to get lots and lots of earth and build lots and lots of dikes. That way, when one fails, you have a minor flood which inconveniences, rather than a major disaster which devastates.
I'm still trying to figure out how the Flemish have been able to build buildings for 600 years that don't crack. If you tour Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brugge, Oostende, Knokke, or any of the other Flemish or Dutch towns, you see these old, old buildings which are leaning because the sand and silt they were built on has settled. But THEY DON'T CRACK! The brickwork is still all together in one solid piece! I don't know how they do it. My home, built in 1985, is cracking due to the "ground settling", according to the contractor, yet these Flemish buildings lean 3 degrees from vertical and don't have a crack anywhere in the masonry. Puzzling.
September 18, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen
I changed the n-word to n______s in tomorrow's above tidbit. I had a not-so-surprising number of private emails complaining about my use of the n-word. It seems to be a more banned word than the increasingly popular f-word or its equivalents which are hard to avoid on any given day in the media and the movies and overheard campus conversations.
I was at a dinner party last night where we ended up watching "Million Dollar Baby" (MDB), that big-time Academy Award-winning movie that I'd not yet seen --- http://milliondollarbabymovie.warnerbros.com/intro.html
I previously avoided the MDB movie, because I naively expected another Rocky I, Rocky II, Rocky III, and so on. I was wrong, especially about my wrongly-anticipated MDB ending. I guess that's because MDB is based on a true story whereas Rocky is Hollywood fiction.
I was startled when hearing the n-word in MDB movie. Hollywood manages to carry on its n-word tradition to make us aware and uncomfortable, and I guess I was trying to do the same in the above tidbit. But I should've remembered that Mark Twain's n-word book Huckleberry Finn is the most banned book in American libraries even though new books are shelved daily that are filled with the famous f-word, the other f-word demeaning gays, and worse. Those are allowed even in some high school libraries and most certainly in college and community libraries.
For my above Bush-Mistake module, I would like to thank David Fordham for his comments about Holland's dikes. I added his comments to my Tidbit.
September 18, 2005 reply from Eric Press
Predictably, someone is quick to ask Jensen if he really used the n-word. I'll give good odds he did. The man has freed himself from fears of retribution; I've noted the loosening of bonds for a while.
Once upon a time, no one would ask Jensen if he wrote the sentence. That's not because back in the good old days everyone was all racists anyway. Rather, once readers were willing to reason before their knees jerked, and less inclined to conjure up some umbrage. It was obvious from his context that Jensen is referencing the mental state of a white supremacist. He articulates a view of the consequences of the supremacist's vile act, in the supremacist's terms.
Alas, we have lost our licenses. Everything is literal, and the words we utter before students and colleagues are freighted with the peril that, should they cross a shifty bound defined by a vocal if ill-educated crowd, one has put a career at risk. Thus, administrators are fired because, referring to a penurious deed, they describe it as "niggardly". It does not matter that the word's origins have nothing to do with "negro," much less its pejorative form, the dreaded n-word.
The subjugation of human dignity by pettyfoggers who hunt for nuanced racial slander is widespread. Jensen' transgression is a bold step. He's probably sick of small mindedness, and figures at this stage (he's about to retire), nothing can hurt him anyway.
The sharpest satire on where language police and PC-witch hunts lead is Phillip Roth's The Human Stain. Lillian Hellman's Children's Hour doesn't do a bad job, either.
Eric Press -----
September 18, 2005 reply forwarded from a friend
Personally, I never had a doubt about you or had a problem understanding what you were doing.
The article at http://www.ccgmedia.com/article_tricknology.php is an interesting read, and this writer is often critical of behaviors that reinforce myths.
I have enjoyed reading his articles.
This is meant as a message of support, hopefully you aren't feeling like you need it though.
September 17, 2005 reply from Carol Flowers
I find this whole conversation about the n word amusing. I think referring to these words as the n and f words is ridiculous. It sounds so politically correct and I'm sick of politically correct!
I don't think being politically correct changes attitudes. It merely masks them.
Can't we make a political exception for Katrina victims in this time of crisis?
unions demand Katrina's education funding relief
to be limited to only children enrolled in
Department of Education announced a plan today to pay 90 percent of the educational costs of students and schools affected by Hurricane Katrina for one year. But the plan, which seeks $2.6 billion in new hurricane relief spending, came under immediate attack from Democrats and officials of the nation's two largest teachers' unions, who asserted that a major component - payments to families with children in private schools - amounted to a national voucher program.
Michael Janofski, "Plan Will Pay 90% of Costs for Students Hit by Storm," The New York Times, September 16, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/16/education/16cnd-educ.html
Jensen Comment: In New Orleans, enrollments in private schools are mostly from middle income and even lower income families. This is particularly true in Catholic schools in New Orleans since the Roman Catholic church has a dominant presence in New Orleans.
Come on teachers unions! Lay off the political pressures for the sake of all children caught up for a short time in the wake of the Katrina disaster.
Across Nation, Storm Victims Crowd Schools --- http://snipurl.com/CrowdedSchools
Announced on NPR on September 15, 2005
Katrina Aid Efforts Continue
Billboard, NY -
1 hour ago
... conductor Klauspeter Seibel says. The concert will be offered to National Public Radio (NPR) affiliates and streamed live on NPR.org.
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in Nashville
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in Nashville
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to perform in Nashville
all 13 related »
Look for a barrage of Katrina coverage
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WI -
Sep 13, 2005
... horizon, dubbed "Higher Ground." This one, featuring Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall, is a National Public Radio production, but ...
Education: A Long-Range Goal
Achieving true diversity at the college level won't happen without erasing a significant black-white "achievement gap" that persists in America to this day. And true to O'Connor's expectation, doing so will likely be the work of decades, if not a quarter century. That is because you really can't close the white-black achievement gap at the college level. Rather, it must be done in the early childhood development years. And doing so won't be as easy as providing need-based financial aid. Rather, it will require a sustained commitment by society to providing a range of quality neonatal and early childhood health care, day care, parental education and pre-school services for at-risk youngsters, both white and black. "Justice O'Connor's expectation is realistic if, and only if, the nation acts promptly to put in place the measures that would eliminate or substantially reduce racial disparities that occur between birth and young adulthood," Lisbeth B. Schorr, director of Harvard University's Pathways Mapping Initiative, argued in an essay published last year.
"Equal Education A Long-Range Goal," The Ledger, September 12, 2005 --- http://www.theledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050912/NEWS/509120310/1036
Finds More Cases New Computerized Version Found
Between 15 Percent and 28 Percent More Cases in
Women Younger Than 50 ---
heavy; he's my buddy"
. . . On second thought, he's too damn heavy! (Ker plop)
Scientists at RTI International Health, Social and Economics Research and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention used two data sets that encompass more than 45,000 full time workers between the ages of 18 and 64 for the new analysis. They compared figures that included body mass index (BMI), sick days and total medical expenditures. In general, a BMI greater than 25 is considered overweight. The researchers found that as BMI increased, so too did medical expenses for both men and women. The additional costs ranged from $162 for slightly obese men to an extra $1,524 for men with a BMI greater than 40. For overweight women, these costs ranged from $474 to $1,302. When the team factored in the cost of lost work days for obese employees, they calculated that the per capita cost of obesity amounts to between $460 and $2,485 annually.
"Study Assesses Annual Cost of Obesity to Employers," Scientific American, September 14, 2005 --- http://sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000F169F-356B-1327-B0E183414B7FFE87
Puzzle forwarded by Auntie Bev
This is a pretty neat puzzle --- http://www.brl.ntt.co.jp/people/hara/fly.swf
Click & Hold, to move the puzzle pieces into place.
Hope you enjoy it. I did.
Amazing: Since then, the military has paid closer attention to blogs
"State of the Art: Their War," by Daniel Schulman, CJR Columbia Journalism Review, September 2005 --- http://www.cjr.org/issues/2005/5/stateoftheart.asp
Ernie Pyle, the legendary correspondent, understood soldiers. He knew how they marched, how they mourned, how they endured. With few exceptions, the coverage coming out of Iraq today doesn’t portray the grunts in the same deeply personal light. It is a different era, and most journalists have never served in the military and have only a passing acquaintance with the worlds that most soldiers come from. But for readers who want a taste of the soldier’s life, a modern-day Ernie Pyle is no longer necessary; soldiers themselves are blogging their experiences from the front lines.
Since combat began in Iraq in March 2003, “milblogs,” as they’re called, have been cropping up in increasing numbers. Some are sophomoric and laced with obscenities, while others offer frank and poignant accounts of what it’s like to fight this war. Their popularity has drawn the interest of book publishers, along with the scrutiny of military higher-ups concerned that milblogs could breach operational security. For the Pentagon there is also something else at play here: how to manage the flow of information from the field — especially when the military’s official version of events is contradicted by blogging soldiers.
In August 2004, a twenty-eight-year-old Army infantryman named Colby Buzzell, writing anonymously under the handle CBFTW (the last three letters stand for, alternately, “fuck the war” or “fuck the world”), posted his account of a vicious firefight with insurgents on his blog, My War. “We were driving there on that main street when all of a sudden all hell came down all around on us. I was like, this is it, I’m going to die. I cannot put into words how scared I was.” The battle received scant media attention, and the Pentagon played down the extent to which Buzzell’s brigade had even been involved in the fighting — crediting Iraqi security forces with the victory. Days later, though, a report in the Tacoma, Washington, News Tribune, which covers Buzzell’s Fort Lewis-based detachment, noted the discrepancy between Buzzell’s version and the Pentagon’s. This drew attention to Buzzell’s blog, and soon his officers learned his identity. Buzzell was later briefly confined to base, an experience he details in his forthcoming book, My War: Killing Time in Iraq, due out in October.
Since then, the military has paid closer attention to milblogs. Some have been censored, others ordered to shut down. The crackdown, though, may have unintended consequences for the military. The best of these blogs offer Americans back home a chance to connect with soldiers in ways that today’s media coverage does not.
Continued in article
personal personal finance blogs
Open talk about the details of personal finance may break a social taboo. It certainly seemed so when Mr. Wang first did it in April. "I'm going to take the plunge and join the level of financial transparency that other personal finance blogs are willing to reveal," he wrote. If other financial bloggers can "bare it all (and have for quite some time), I think I can do it, too," he said. "I'll detail, to the cent, my spending this month along with my budgetary targets."
Elizabeth Harris, "Psst: Want to Know My Net Worth?" The New York Times, September 18, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/18/business/yourmoney/18blog.html
New search tool from Google: Putting order into the wild west of the Blog Frontier
It's tough to
make money in a chaotic environment, and
things don't get more rough-and-tumble
then in today's blogosphere. The
universe of blogs has everything from
little Johnny's web diary to serious
journalism and corporate marketing.
Nevertheless, there's money to be made,
and Google is taking the first step to
finding that pot of gold. The Mountain
View, Calif., company has launched a
that looks to
bring order to the unruly blogosphere.
Experts say some blogs, such as those
doing credible work in journalism and
commentary, are beginning to show
commercial potential. The problem,
however, is to find and categorize them,
which is something Google does better
InternetWeek Newsletter, September 15, 2005
Also see http://www.internetweek.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleId=170703264
Google's blog search page is at http://blogsearch.google.com/
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm
threads on Weblogs and blogs are at
Bob Jensen's threads on Weblogs and blogs are at http://www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm#Weblog
Until the colour of a man's skin is of no more
significance than the colour of his eyes -
everywhere is war.
The Last Coach
"The Last Coach" (W.W. Norton & Co., 546 pages, $26.95) is Allen Barra's attempt to do for Bryant what David Maraniss did for Vince Lombardi in "When Pride Mattered": take a legend and bring him to life. While "The Last Coach" lacks the narrative sparkle of Mr. Maraniss's portrait, it is a worthy work that does much to separate myth from fact and to restore our sense of Bryant himself, as he actually was. Though Bryant was successful early on -- at Maryland, Kentucky and Texas A&M -- it was back at his alma mater that he truly made his mark, building Alabama into the most dominant school in football over the course of 25 seasons. His often undersized Crimson Tide teams executed fundamentals splendidly and out-hit even their bigger opponents. Bryant himself mixed homespun cordiality (he was a terrific salesman on the recruiting trail), a nearly sadistic will to win (his training camps were the stuff of legend) and a mastery of gamesmanship. Though he would often mispronounce or just plain forget his players' names, he rarely lost the battle of the sidelines. Former assistant Bum Phillips paid Bryant the ultimate coach's tribute when he said: "Bear can take his'n and beat your'n, or he can take your'n and beat his'n."
Michael Maccambridge, "The 'Bear' Essentials," The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2005; Page D7 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112673668988841027,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
Coach Bryant probably did more for civil rights
in Alabama colleges than any other human being.
Coach Bryant recognized the value of African
American athletes' pride and skills. He
also made them study and learn in their courses.
Years ago when I was on the faculty at Michigan
State University, a speech by renowned MSU Coach
Duffy Dougherty made me appreciate Coach Bryant
at Alabama. I can't remember the exact
words, but Duffy's key quotation went
approximately as follows: "I once sent a
letter to Bear Bryant complaining that he was
recruiting players too aggressively in MSU
territory." Duffy was not referring to
Michigan. He was referring to Alabama
where for years Duffy recruited top black
athletes who could not be admitted to the
University of Alabama because of their race.
Bear Bryant changed all that.
I also remember that Bear Bryant brought dignity to college sports. He wanted his many fans to be courteous to opponents win or lose and to dress for games --- I mean coats and ties in the stadium. And he was painfully honest in defeat. He did not want the south to project an image of redneck fools. Once when I was invited to give a lecture at Alabama, my friends took me to a game between Alabama and Notre Dame. Notre Dame solidly won the game. That same evening on television, the "Bear" did not try to make excuses or complain about referees. He announced that Notre Dame was a bigger and faster team that could probably win any day of the week. That's my kind of man and my kind of coach.
Black faculty members
allegedly struggle in academe
Black faculty members “continue to struggle for full inclusion in the academy,” according to a new book, Exposing the “Culture of Arrogance” in the Academy: A Blueprint for Increasing Black Faculty Satisfaction in Higher Education. The book is based on surveys of and interviews with black faculty members and the experiences of the two authors: Gail L. Thompson, an associate professor of education at Claremont Graduate University, and Angela C. Louque, a professor of education at California State University at San Bernardino.
"Culture of Arrogance," Inside Higher Ed, September 13, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/13/black