Tidbits on September 21, 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 (hoaxes) --- http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp


Music:

Israeli & Jewish Music Samples (some of these are long and slow to download, but most are lively and festive) --- http://www.juedische-musik.de/files/15.htm
I had to download a free RealPlayer add-in utility for the above music, but everything was quick and automatic after requesting the first music file selection.)
Also see http://www.your-mp3-source.com/jewish-music-mp3.html

If You Ever Leave Me (Will You Take Me With You) --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/if.htm

Unknown Legend (the Air She Breathes) --- http://www.jessiesweb.com/legend.htm

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

Ancient Eastern Music Meets Modern Technology
The robot was a flop. The laser koto was intriguing. And the two electronic music concerts presented here last week under the rubric Project RITE (Reinventing Tradition and Environment) revealed the fertile explorations taking place outside major concert venues -- explorations informed by everything from computer science to the ancient Japanese court music called gagaku.

Barbara Jepson, "Ancient Eastern Music Meets Modern Technology," The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2005; Page D7 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112673539312040977,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

 

Photographs

Move your mouse around and experience the dynamic panorama (free Quicktime required)
At panoramas.dk you can see interactive 360 degree panoramas also called VR Photography by some of the best VR Photographers in the world. They are presented in Fullscreen and you need Quicktime New panoramas are presented weekly. Scroll down for the last features. The Archive contains more than 160 panoramas from all the world.
Never seen a fullscreen 360 degree QTVR panorama before? Just click on the image to see the featured panorama this week.

Panorams.dk --- http://www.panoramas.dk/ 

Panoramic photographs in Virtual Sweden --- http://www.virtualsweden.se/




Why is a student at Our Lady of the Lakes University (San Antonio) asking the Justice Department to ferret out a problem at that university?
A student at Our Lady of the Lakes University has asked the U.S. Justice Department to rule that the San Antonio institution is violating her rights by barring her ferret from classes, according to KSAT news. The student says that she suffers from a variety of mental disorders and needs the ferret to get through the day.
Inside Higher Ed, September 22, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/22/qt


Bush Pays Off
Bush's proposed spending on Katrina amounts to $400,000 per family!

Whatever It Takes' Is Bush's big spending a bridge to nowhere?
In his Katrina policy the president is telling Democrats, "You can't possibly outspend me. Go ahead, try. By the time this is over Dennis Kucinich will be crying uncle, Bernie Sanders will be screaming about pork." That's what's behind Mr. Bush's huge, comforting and boondogglish plan to spend $200 billion or $100 billion or whatever--"whatever it takes"--on Katrina's aftermath. And, I suppose, tomorrow's hurricane aftermath.
Peggy Noonan, "'Whatever It Takes' Is Bush's big spending a bridge to nowhere?" The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2005 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110007291


When Katrina slammed into New Orleans, FEMA quickly dispatched 200 trucks full of ice --- to Maine!
Do you suppose they're filling up to head for Fairbanks when Rita slams into the Texas coast?

The trucks started arriving this weekend, and they're expected to keep coming through Sunday. City officials say they have no idea why the trucks are here, only that the city has been asked to help out with traffic problems. But the truck drivers NEWSCENTER spoke to said they went all the way down to the gulf coast with the ice -- stayed for a few days -- and then were told by FEMA they needed to drive to Maine to store it. The truck drivers, who are from all over the country, tell us they were subcontracted by FEMA . . . The truck drivers, who are from all over the country, tell us they were subcontracted by FEMA. They started arriving over the weekend, and city spokesperson Peter Dewitt says as many as 200 trucks could come to the city by the end of the week.
"FEMA Sends Trucks Full Of Ice For Katrina Victims To Maine,: Ksdk.com, September 21, 2005 --- http://ksdk.com/news/us_world_article.aspx?storyid=85020  

"Fixing FEMA Five Provocative Proposals." by John Helyar, Fortune, October 3, 2005 --- http://www.fortune.com/fortune/articles/0,15114,1105705,00.html

The Inevitable Water versus Wind Homeowner Claims Disputes
Homeowners on the Gulf Coast say insurers such as State Farm, Allstate, and Nationwide aren’t playing fair. If floodwaters are swept into a home, is the wind to blame?
John Simmons, "A Civil War Over Claims?" Fortune, October 3, 2005 --- http://www.fortune.com/fortune/articles/0,15114,1105654,00.html


PLANET-DISSOLVING DUST CLOUD IS HEADED TOWARD EARTH!
Is this a tabloid headline or is it a distinct possibility? 
I lean toward the tabloid side and will not yet commence constructing an ark in my barn in New Hampshire.

"The existence of this so called chaos cloud is only a theory. Americans shouldn't panic until all the facts are in."

"PLANET-DISSOLVING DUST CLOUD IS HEADED TOWARD EARTH!" by Mike Foster, Yahoo News, September 12, 2005 --- http://movies.yahoo.com/mv/news/wwn/20050912/112653720010p.html 

Scared-stiff astronomers have detected a mysterious mass they've dubbed a "chaos cloud" that dissolves everything in its path, including comets, asteroids, planets and entire stars -- and it's headed directly toward Earth!

Discovered April 6 by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the swirling, 10 million-mile- wide cosmic dust cloud has been likened to an "acid nebula" and is hurtling toward us at close to the speed of light -- making its estimated time of arrival 9:15 a.m. EDT on June 1, 2014.

"The good news is that this finding confirms several cutting- edge ideas in theoretical physics," announced Dr. Albert Sherwinski, a Cambridge based astrophysicist with close ties to NASA.

"The bad news is that the total annihilation of our solar system is imminent."

Experts believe the chaos cloud is composed of particles spawned near the event horizon of a black hole (a form of what's called Hawking Radiation) that have been distorted by mangled information spewed from the hole.

"A super-massive black hole lies about 28,000 light-years from Earth at the center of our galaxy," explained Dr. Sherwinski.

"Last year the eminent physicist Stephen Hawking revised his theory of black holes -- which previously held that nothing could escape the hole's powerful gravitational field. He demonstrated that information about objects that have been sucked in can be emitted in mangled form.

"It now appears that mangled information can distort matter.

"Just imagine our galaxy the Milky Way as a beautiful, handwritten letter.

"Now imagine pouring a glass of water on the paper and watching the words dissolve as the stain spreads. That's what the chaos cloud does to every star or planet it encounters."

To avoid widespread panic, NASA has declined to make the alarming discovery public. But Dr. Sherwinski's contacts at the agency's Chandra X-ray Observatory leaked to him striking images of the newly discovered chaos cloud obliterating a large asteroid.

"It's like watching a helpless hog being dissolved in a vat of acid," one NASA scientist told Dr. Sherwinski.

Ordinarily, Hawkings Radiation is harmless.

"It's produced when an electron- positron pair are at the event horizon of a black hole," Dr. Sherwinski explained. "The intense curvature of space-time of the hole can cause the positron to fall in, while the electron escapes."

But when "infected" by mangled information from the black hole, the particles become a chaos cloud, which in turn mangles everything it touches.

"If it continues unchecked, the chaos cloud will eventually reduce our galaxy to the state of absolute chaos that existed before the birth of the universe," the astrophysicist warned.

Some scientists say mankind's best hope would be to build a "space ark" and hightail it to the Andromeda Galaxy, 2.1 million light-years away.

"We wouldn't be able to save the entire human population, but perhaps the best and the brightest," observed British rocket scientist Dr. David Hall, when asked about the feasibility of such a project.

But even if such a craft could be built in time, evacuating Earth might prove fruitless if theories about the origin of the chaos cloud are correct.

"A black hole at the center of Andromeda is about 15 times the size of the one in our own galaxy," Dr. Sherwinski noted. "It might be like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire."

Speaking under the condition of anonymity, a senior White House official said the president's top science advisors are taking the findings in stride.

"This is a lot like global warming, where the jury is still out on whether it's real or not," said the official.

"The existence of this so called chaos cloud is only a theory. Americans shouldn't panic until all the facts are in."


After reading through the above module, I decided I really need the module below.

There's hope for all of you if Bob Jensen heeds the message!
"Time saving tips on wasting time on the web,"
Christian Science Monitor, September 14, 2005 ---
http://csmonitor.com/2005/0914/p25s01-stct.html There are only a few pins on this sad map
Mailinator is about saving you from spam. But in the process it ends up getting plenty of its own (averaging over a million emails a day!). This map shows (in semi-realtime) ip addresses that are currently sending the most spam to Mailinator --- http://www.mailinator.com/mailinator/map.html


When will you meet your Braine L'Alleud?
. . . most people don't know that the battle of Waterloo (famous as Napoleon's defeat) was NOT fought in Waterloo, or even anywhere NEAR Waterloo! It was fought outside the town of Braine L'Alleud, towards the town of Mont St. Jean (where Hugo wrote Les Miserables). But everyone believes Napoleon lost at "Waterloo", because that's what the London Times reported!

David Fordham, James Madison University


"Fewer A’s at Princeton," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 20, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/20/princeton

Princeton University students need to work harder for the A’s.

The university released results Monday of the first year under a new grading policy, designed to tackle the issue of grade inflation. In the last academic year, A’s (including plus and minus grades) accounted for 40.9 percent of all grades awarded. That may not be consistent with a bell curve, but the figure is down from 46.0 percent the previous year, and 47.9 percent the year before that.

Princeton’s goal is to have A’s account for less than 35 percent of the grades awarded. Nancy Malkiel, dean of the college at Princeton, said that based on progress during the first year, she thought the university would have no difficulty achieving that goal.

The data indicate that some fields have come quite close to the target while others lag. The only category that stayed the same the year the new policy took effect (natural sciences) was already near the target.

Percentage of Undergraduate A’s at Princeton, by Disciplinary Category

Discipline 2004-5 2003-4
Humanities 45.5% 56.2%
Social sciences 38.4% 42.5%
Natural sciences 36.4% 36.4%
Engineering 43.2% 48.0%

The university did not impose quotas, but asked each department to review grading policies and to discuss ways to bring grades down to the desired level. Departments in turn discussed expectations for different types of courses, and devised approaches to use. For independent study and thesis grades, the Princeton guidelines expect higher grades than for regular undergraduate courses, and that was the case last year.

Malkiel said that she wasn’t entirely certain about the differences among disciplines, but that, generally, it was easier for professors to bring grades down when they evaluate student work with exams and problem sets than with essays. She said that by sharing ideas among departments, however, she is confident that all disciplines can meet the targets.

Universities should take grade inflation seriously, she said, as a way to help their students.

“The issue here is how we do justice to our students in our capacity as educators, and we have a responsibility to show them the difference between their very best work and their good work, and if we are giving them the same grades for the very best work and for their good work, they won’t know the difference and we won’t stretch them as far as they are capable as stretching,” she said.

Despite the additional pressure on students who want A’s, she said, professors have not reported any increase in students complaining about or appealing the grades.

In discussions about grade inflation nationally, junior faculty members have complained that it is hard for them to be rigorous graders for fear of getting low student evaluations. Malkiel said that she understood the concern, and that Princeton’s approach — by focusing attention on the issue — would help. “What this institution is saying loud and clear is that all of us together are expected to be responsible. So if you have a culture where the senior faculty are behaving that way, it will make it easier for the junior faculty to behave that way.”

Melisa Gao, a senior at Princeton and editor in chief of The Daily Princetonian, said that student reactions to the tougher grading policy have varied, depending on what people study. Gao is a chemistry major and she said that the new policy isn’t seen as a change in her department.

Professors have drawn attention to the new policy at the beginning of courses, and Gao said that some students say that they are more stressed about earning A’s, but that there has not been any widespread criticism of the shift.

Many companies are recruiting on campus now, and Gao said that students have wondered if they would be hurt by their lower grades. Princeton officials have said that they are telling employers and graduate schools about the policy change, so students would not be punished by it.

But, Gao added, “at the end of the day, you have a number on a transcript.”

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation and teaching evaluations are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation


Katrina a Textbook in What Not to Do
Katrina is what classrooms call a teachable moment. Everyone is picking through the mistakes from all levels of government for lessons that will spare more lives and property when disaster visits the country again.

"Katrina a Textbook in What Not to Do," SmartPros, September 19, 2005 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x49790.xml


The Big Will Just Get Bigger
Will Windows Upgrade Hand Power to Big Media?

Microsoft's successor to the Windows XP operating system, known as Windows Vista, will come with new technologies meant to provide a secure digital media environment. The idea is to make it easier to download HDTV-quality video to your desktop or laptop. But, in the process, critics fear you will lose something: the freedom to use whatever hardware or software you want. So what you'll hear about Vista depends on whom you ask. According to Microsoft representatives, the new operating system (which was known until recently by its Microsoft code name, Longhorn, and is now scheduled to ship in late-2006) will be a vastly more secure platform for delivering high-quality entertainment content. But ask analysts at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the well-known Internet civil-rights organization based in San Francisco, and you'll hear talk of Vista turning into a highly restrictive sandbox--where only the major movie studios decide who can play.
Andy Patrizio, "Will Windows Upgrade Hand Power to Big Media?" MIT's Technology Review, September 19, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/articles/05/09/wo/wo_091905patrizio.asp?trk=nl


A Katrina Fill Up for Every Pork Barrel:
The frenzy to pay for Katrina reminds me a lot about the frenzy at Enron just before it imploded with creative accounting rather than sane financial management:  Bush just can't say no with his unused veto pen!

"Welcome to the GOP's New New Deal," by Stephen Moore, The Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2005; Page A17 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112709761314344586,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

There's an old adage that no one in Washington can tell the difference between $1 million and $1 billion. Seldom has that Beltway learning disability been more vividly demonstrated than in the weeks since Katrina.

When President Bush announced last Thursday that the feds would take a lead role in the reconstruction of New Orleans, he in effect established a new $200 billion federal line of credit. To put that $200 billion in perspective, we could give every one of the 500,000 families displaced by Katrina a check for $400,000, and they could each build a beach front home virtually anywhere in America.

This flood of money comes on the heels of a massive domestic spending build-up in progress well before Katrina traveled its ruinous path. Federal spending, not counting the war in Iraq, was growing by 7% this year, which came atop the 30% hike over Mr. Bush's first term. Republicans were already being ridiculed as the Grand Old Spending Party by taxpayer groups. Their check-writing binge in response to the hurricane only confirmed, as conservative leader Paul Weyrich put it, that "the GOP, once the party of small government, has lost its bearings and the Republican establishment doesn't seem to get the message that the grass roots of the party is enraged."

Congressman Todd Aiken of Missouri complains that Congress was forced to vote on the $62 billion first installment of funds "even though we knew a lot of the money may go to waste." Mr. Aiken and several dozen other House conservatives proposed an amendment to the $62 billion hurricane relief bill that would offset at least some of the emergency spending by cutting other government programs a meager 2.5 cents out of every dollar that federal agencies spend.

Was the amendment defeated? No. The Republican leadership would not even allow it to come to a vote, on the grounds that there was no waste which could be easily identified and cut.

Dozens of other reasonable proposals to offset Katrina's tidal wave of deficit spending have been similarly repelled. Mike Pence of Indiana suggested a one-year delay on the multitrillion dollar new prescription drug benefit for senior citizens. For 220 years, seniors have managed without this give-away; one more year of waiting would hardly be an act of cruelty. It would save $40 billion, but there were no takers. Then there was the well-publicized idea by Republicans and several Democrats in Congress to cut $25 billion for bike paths, train-station renovations, nature trails, parking garages, auto museums and 6,000 other such pork projects in the just-enacted highway law. It was torpedoed by the powerful committee chairmen who patched this abominable bill together in the first place.

It's only been 10 days since reconstruction funds were voted out of Congress, but there are already stories of misspending. For example, the Louis Vuitton store reported selling two monographed luxury handbags for $800 each, both paid for by women with FEMA's $2,000 emergency disaster relief debit cards.

Rapacious trial lawyers are already on the hunt rounding up Katrina's victims to unleash a barrage of multimillion dollar lawsuits. Now they have been empowered by Congress to finance these lawsuits against taxpayers … with taxpayer dollars.

The government has just allocated $250 million for "counseling and legal services." After 9/11, the federal government authorized tens of millions of dollars for "counseling" to traumatized families of the victims. A Republican Study Committee audit discovered that millions went for "peace" and "diversity" workshops, a "yearlong celebration of trees, gardens and other healing places," theater workshops, anger-management classes and multiculturalism programs to discuss "who we are and why we are here." (Isn't that what churches are for?)

Politicians from seemingly every congressional district appear to be elbowing their way to the orgy table for a slice of this $200-billion pie. At last count, 12 governors declared their states emergency disaster areas, and thus eligible for federal aid. Iowa, Michigan and Utah, for example, states nowhere near the Hurricane, are lining up for disaster relief funds.

Conspicuously missing from the post-Katrina spending debate is a question for some brave soul in Congress to ask, What is the appropriate and constitutional role here for the federal government? Before the New Deal taught us that the federal government is the solution to every malady, most congresses and presidents would have concluded that the federal government's role was minimal. One of our greatest presidents, Democrat Grover Cleveland, vetoed an appropriation for drought victims because there was no constitutional authority to spend for such purposes. Today he would be ridiculed by Ted Kennedy as "incompassionate."

We all want to see New Orleans rebuilt, but it does not follow that this requires more than $100 billion in federal aid. Chicago was burned to the ground in 1871; San Francisco was leveled by an earthquake in 1906; and in 1900 Galveston, Texas, was razed by a hurricane even more ferocious than Katrina. In each instance, these proud cities were rebuilt rapidly and to even greater glory -- with hardly any federal money.

Alas, in the world of compassionate conservatism, the quaint notion of limited federal power has fallen to the wayside in favor of an ethic that has Uncle Sam as first, second and third responder to crisis. FEMA, despite its woeful performance, will grow in size and stature. So will the welfare state. Welcome to the new New Dealism of the GOP.

Both political parties are now willing and eager to spend tax dollars as if they were passing out goody-bags to grabby four-year-olds at a birthday party. The Democrats are already forging their 2006 and 2008 message: We will spend just as many trillions of dollars as Republicans, but we will spend them better than they do. After witnessing the first few Republican misappropriations for Hurricane Katrina, the Democrats may very well be right.


FEMA Battered by Waste, Fraud
The national disaster response agency that mishandled the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe has for years been fraught with waste and fraud. In five years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency poured at least $330 million into communities that were spared the devastating effects of fires, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, an investigation by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has found. Taxpayers' money meant to help victims recover from catastrophes has instead gone to people in communities that suffered little or no damage, including . . .
Sally Kestin, "FEMA Battered by Waste, Fraud:  After some recent disasters, money poured into areas that suffered little or no damage," South Florida Sun-Sentinel, September 18 2005 ---
http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/college/la-na-fema18sep18,0,1386746.story



Vive la Difference
Author unknown (at least to me)

Race, class and gender:  Gender differences debunked
The theory that "men are from Mars and women from Venus" is a myth, according to new research. Psychologists in the US have found that the two sexes are far more similar than we have been led to believe. And they say the stereotype may be hampering both sexes in their personal and professional lives. The best-selling 1993 self-help book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus suggests that better communication between the sexes can be promoted by conceiving of them as coming from different planets, with different behaviour and value systems. But researchers from the University of Wisconsin reviewed 46 studies conducted during the last 20 years looking at gender differences. They say the idea that men and women are so psychologically distant has been vastly overestimated in the media, and that they are in fact more similar in personality, communication, mental skills and leadership than has been realised.
Jonathan Lessware, "Gender theory brought back to earth," Scottsman, September 19, 2005 --- http://news.scotsman.com/scitech.cfm?id=1960102005


Race, class, and gender:  Class hypocrisy among professors
“Though academics are good at theorizing class when it happens to other people,” as Hayot puts it, “in my experience they’re not great at explaining or even seeing it as it operates in their own world.... Class in the American university is a subject that fades continually into the background, like a photograph that wishes incessantly the return to its condition as unmarked, unfixed film.”
Scott McClemee, "Class Dismissed, Inside Higher Ed, September 20, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/09/20/mclemee
 


That N-word on campus
Bob Jensen's threads about hypocrisy in academia the media are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisy.htm
I especially complained about cartoonist depictions of Condoleezza Rice.

"Explosion Over the N-Word," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 20, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/20/florida

When Kanye West blasted President Bush’s treatment of poor black people in New Orleans after Katrina hit, the rapper unintentionally set off a hurricane of words in Florida.

The Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper, ran a cartoon last week that criticized West’s statements by showing him holding a large playing card marked “The Race Card,” and having Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, exclaim with scorn at West: “Nigga Please!” Since the cartoon ran, there have been multiple rallies against the student newspaper, with the latest drawing several hundred on Monday; the president of the university and other senior officials have condemned the cartoon and called on the paper to apologize for it; and there have been reports that students reading the paper on campus have had other students come up and grab the paper away from them, saying that it is racist.

In a statement published in the newspaper, Bernie Machen, Florida’s president, said of the cartoon, “Such depictions reinforce hurtful and damaging stereotypes. They poison the ongoing struggle to overcome the racial barriers that divide our country, and give comfort to bigots who seek affirmation for their racism.” He added that he and many students and faculty members were “disgusted by the image and discouraged that such an insensitive cartoon could be published in a newspaper that, while independent from the university, is written and edited by UF students.”

The newspaper is holding its ground and refusing to apologize. In fact, it is going on the offensive, calling many of its critics hypocrites. An editorial published Monday noted that the university has invited West and numerous other performers to its campus, paying them tens of thousands of dollars — even though they use various forms of the n-word in their work.

In addition, the editorial noted that some of the students who are leading attacks on the paper use forms of the n-word in their profiles on Facebook, the popular Web site with which college students meet others and stay in touch with their friends. Many black students at Florida, the editorial said, are members of a group called “N*ggas That Pledge.”

Mike Gimignani, editor of the paper, said in an interview Monday that the university was using “double standards” to criticize the paper. Editorial cartoons need to be short and to the point, and good cartoons get people talking and thinking, he said, adding that this one succeeded. “I would run it again tomorrow,” he said.

 


It seems more likely that the New Orleans police officers themselves were hiding it?
It was like a modern-day treasure map: a computerised diagram of neighbourhoods with codes marking the addresses where US National Guard soldiers discovered caches of goods taken by looters in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. "There's probably still loot out there," said Capt. Gregg McGowan. "We're not going house to house looking for it, but if we find it, we secure it so police can check it." In the chaos that followed Katrina's flooding, looters targeted everything from grocery stores to gun shops to trendy women's clothing boutiques.
"Katrina's hidden loot," News24.com, September 19, 2005 ---
http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_1772966,00.html


Divorce Myths Versus Facts (from a sociology professor)

"Debunking Divorce Myths," by David Popenoe, Discovery Heath, September 15, 2005 --- http://health.discovery.com/centers/loverelationships/articles/divorce.html

Fact: Divorce rates are rising.

Fact: Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.

Fact: There are ten myths of divorce.

Divorce Myth 1: Because people learn from their bad experiences, second marriages tend to be more successful than first marriages.

Fact: Although many people who divorce have successful subsequent marriages, the divorce rate of remarriages is in fact higher than that of first marriages.

Divorce Myth 2: Living together before marriage is a good way to reduce the chances of eventually divorcing.

Fact: Many studies have found that those who live together before marriage have a considerably higher chance of eventually divorcing. The reasons for this are not well understood. In part, the type of people who are willing to cohabit may also be those who are more willing to divorce. There is some evidence that the act of cohabitation itself generates attitudes in people that are more conducive to divorce, for example the attitude that relationships are temporary and easily can be ended.

Divorce Myth 3: Divorce may cause problems for many of the children who are affected by it, but by and large these problems are not long lasting and the children recover relatively quickly.

Fact: Divorce increases the risk of interpersonal problems in children. There is evidence, both from small qualitative studies and from large-scale, long-term empirical studies, that many of these problems are long lasting. In fact, they may even become worse in adulthood.

Divorce Myth 4: Having a child together will help a couple to improve their marital satisfaction and prevent a divorce.

Fact: Many studies have shown that the most stressful time in a marriage is after the first child is born. Couples who have a child together have a slightly decreased risk of divorce compared to couples without children, but the decreased risk is far less than it used to be when parents with marital problems were more likely to stay together "for the sake of the children."

Divorce Myth 5: Following divorce, the woman's standard of living plummets by 73 percent while that of the man's improves by 42 percent.

Fact: This dramatic inequity, one of the most widely publicized statistics from the social sciences, was later found to be based on a faulty calculation. A reanalysis of the data determined that the woman's loss was 27 percent while the man's gain was 10 percent. Irrespective of the magnitude of the differences, the gender gap is real and seems not to have narrowed much in recent decades.

Divorce Myth 6: When parents don't get along, children are better off if their parents divorce than if they stay together.

Fact: A recent large-scale, long-term study suggests otherwise. While it found that parents' marital unhappiness and discord have a broad negative impact on virtually every dimension of their children's well-being, so does the fact of going through a divorce. In examining the negative impacts on children more closely, the study discovered that it was only the children in very high-conflict homes who benefited from the conflict removal that divorce may bring. In lower-conflict marriages that end in divorce — and the study found that perhaps as many as two thirds of the divorces were of this type — the situation of the children was made much worse following a divorce. Based on the findings of this study, therefore, except in the minority of high-conflict marriages it is better for the children if their parents stay together and work out their problems than if they divorce.

Divorce Myth 7: Because they are more cautious in entering marital relationships and also have a strong determination to avoid the possibility of divorce, children who grow up in a home broken by divorce tend to have as much success in their own marriages as those from intact homes.

Fact: Marriages of the children of divorce actually have a much higher rate of divorce than the marriages of children from intact families. A major reason for this, according to a recent study, is that children learn about marital commitment or permanence by observing their parents. In the children of divorce, the sense of commitment to a lifelong marriage has been undermined.

Divorce Myth 8: Following divorce, the children involved are better off in stepfamilies than in single-parent families.

Fact: The evidence suggests that stepfamilies are no improvement over single-parent families, even though typically income levels are higher and there is a father figure in the home. Stepfamilies tend to have their own set of problems, including interpersonal conflicts with new parent figures and a very high risk of family breakup.

Divorce Myth 9: Being very unhappy at certain points in a marriage is a good sign that the marriage will eventually end in divorce.

Fact: All marriages have their ups and downs. Recent research using a large national sample found that 86 percent of people who were unhappily married in the late 1980s, and stayed with the marriage, indicated when interviewed five years later that they were happier. Indeed, three fifths of the formerly unhappily married couples rated their marriages as either "very happy" or "quite happy."

Divorce Myth 10: It is usually men who initiate divorce proceedings.

Fact: Two-thirds of all divorces are initiated by women. One recent study found that many of the reasons for this have to do with the nature of our divorce laws. For example, in most states women have a good chance of receiving custody of their children. Because women more strongly want to keep their children with them, in states where there is a presumption of shared custody with the husband the percentage of women who initiate divorces is much lower. Also, the higher rate of women initiators is probably due to the fact that men are more likely to be "badly behaved." Husbands, for example, are more likely than wives to have problems with drinking, drug abuse, and infidelity.

Copyright 2002 by David Popenoe, the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

David Popenoe is professor of sociology at Rutgers University, where he is also co-director of the National Marriage Project and former social and behavioral sciences dean. He specializes in the study of family and community life in modern societies and is the author or editor of nine books. His most recent books are Life Without Father: Compelling New Evidence That Fatherhood and Marriage Are Indispensable for the Good of Children and Society and Promises to Keep: Decline and Renewal of Marriage in America.


Divorce:  The problem more likely than not is money rather than sex
The annual cost of owning, not the price of the house itself, is what homebuyers should (and do) consider when contemplating a purchase. And when comparing the cost of owning with annual rent or annual income -- which is a good way of determining whether house prices are out of whack in relation to the rental market or families' ability to pay -- annual cost is the right measure to use. That cost is simply the net cash outflow required to own a house for a year -- namely, the after-tax cost of financing the purchase price either by borrowing or through the lost risk-adjusted return on the equity tied up in the house, plus carrying costs such as maintenance and economic depreciation -- less the expected appreciation on the property.
Chris Mayer and Todd Sinai, "Bubble Trouble? Not Likely," The Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2005; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112708454245544394,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


Divorce:  Go to the boutiques to shop for a lover after your divorce
Online social networking is moving from the dating warehouses found on sites like Yahoo and Match.com to boutiques where people can find companions with similar interests. Sites aimed at all types of people from animal lovers and cowboys to boat enthusiasts are popping up all over the Internet. These emerging niches, according to a story on today's InternetWeek, are part of an overall market that's becoming big business—$473 million last year.
InternetWeek Newsletter, September 19, 2005


It's going to be a close shave:  Gillette's new five-blade wonder
Yet there's good reason to believe Fusion can repeat Mach history. For starters, it offers compelling technology. Like Mach3, it incorporates multiple innovations -- not just more blades. By spacing the blades 30% closer than before, Gillette says it has created a new "shaving surface" that reduces irritation. Fusion also features a smoother coating on its blades, and an enhanced "Lubrastrip" infused with vitamin E and aloe. As it goes head to head with Schick, Gillette maintains that the combination of these improvements produces a shaving experience that most men find significantly superior. Peter Hoffman, president of Gillette's Blades & Razors Div., says Fusion was tested on some 9,000 men, who compared it to both Mach3 products and Quattro. "They preferred Fusion by a 2-to-1 margin over its rivals," says Hoffman. That's the same kind of overwhelming preference men showed for Mach3 over its rivals back in 1998.
William C. Symonds, "Gillette's Five-Blade Wonder," Business Week, September 15, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/NewRazor
Jensen Comment:  Can you imagine the shelf space stores must now take up with refills from the past four decades of different types of blade razors from multiple companies?


Tiresome articles (she's written at least two) about gender differences in bitching
that I just don't think exist in my university:  We have equal opportunity bitching here,
and I haven't yet discovered the "Golden Boys" on our campus.
Despite our sexually progressive campus, bitches must be women, and golden boys will be boys. Good soldiers alone promise equal access to all. Bitches and golden boys needn’t work very hard to earn their titles. Often, the die is cast before heels or oxfords touch down on sod. A woman, rumor has it, might have asked for too much start-up money upon receiving her offer. Golden boy status is often earned far, far earlier — frequently, birth, does the trick. While many bitches belie the canine etymology of their label — many of our local brood are quite stunning — for men, being golden often means, well, being golden. And tall.
"Bitches, Good Soldiers and Golden Boys," Inside Higher Ed, January 19, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/09/19/haberle

Is she from Mars?  I don't think my liberal arts college would sanction a men's caucus?
"The Quotidian Miasma of Discrimination," by "Phyllis Barone," " Inside Higher Ed, August 17, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/08/17/barone


Brown University discovers the real meaning of diversity by hiring a particular African American
Loury, an economist who doesn’t like the way he is tagged by some as a conservative, freely acknowledges that he stands out as a black scholar who rejects some views that are widely held among black scholars. For example, Loury has questioned the value of affirmative action. So where is Loury now? He has moved to Brown University, an institution frequently mocked and attacked by conservatives for being politically correct. Loury says that his move may suggest that he and his new university both may not be what others assume.
"A Less Leftist Brown," Inside Higher Ed, September 16, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/16/brown


From Brown University
Radical America
(Metadata and Magazine) ---  http://dl.lib.brown.edu/radicalamerica/index.html 



How sad that more can't be done for cities worse off than New Orleans

Detroit:  America's worst junk yard
Like Eminem, Paul Clemens is white. But unlike Eminem, Mr. Clemens grew up inside the city itself, not in its suburbs. "Made in Detroit: A South of 8 Mile Memoir" (Doubleday, 244 pages, $23.95) is an insightful but ultimately despairing tale of coming of age in one of America's tougher cities. "By the time I was born," asserts Mr. Clemens, "civilization surrounded the city and the Wild West lawlessness was contained within." . . . Not surprisingly, Mr. Clemens tends to see Detroit's recent history as an indicator of what may lie ahead for American society as a whole. "Whites, a minority in Detroit for many decades now, may some decades hence become a national minority," he writes. "The Motor City, as ever, remains ahead of the racial curve -- a case study, or cautionary tale." No doubt Detroit is a cautionary tale, though of exactly what is harder to say. For one thing, the city's decline began well before Coleman Young. Nearly two million people lived in Detroit at its postwar peak; the population had already declined to 1.5 million by 1970. (The latest Census estimate is less than 900,000.)
Tom Bray, "Running on Empty," The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2005; Page D8 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112716634130345377,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
Detroit has surpassed Cleveland as the nation's most impoverished big city, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.
Survey figures released Tuesday show 33.6 percent - more than one-third - of Detroit's residents lived at or below the federal poverty line in 2004, the largest percentage of any U.S. city of 250,000 or more people. The top five were Detroit; El Paso, Texas (28.8 percent); Miami (28.3 percent); Newark, N.J. (28.1 percent); and Atlanta (27.8 percent). Detroit has lost about half its population since a half-century ago. It is now the country's 11th largest city with just over 900,000 residents. Cleveland, which was No. 1 in 2003, dropped to No. 12 as the percentage of its residents living in poverty fell from 31.3 percent to 23.2 percent. The poverty threshold differs by the size and makeup of a household. A family of four with two children was considered living in poverty if their income was $19,157 or less. For a family of two with no children, it was $12,649. It was $9,060 for a person 65 or over who was living alone. Nearly half of Detroit's children under age 18 are impoverished, according to the survey. With 47.8 percent of its children living in poverty, Detroit trailed only Atlanta (48.1 percent) among the largest cities.
"Detroit now ranks as nation's poorest big city," Free Republic, August 31, 2005 ---
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1473961/posts 

Jensen Comment:
New Orleans (before the Katrina disaster) in 2004 ranked low in household income at 62 out of 70 cities ranked.  However, well over half the families in New Orleans earned enough to pay income taxes on earnings.

The rankings for 2004 are at http://snipurl.com/ACS2004
The rankings for 2003 are at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Products/Ranking/2003/R07T160.htm

See http://www.census.gov/acs/www/

 

Students under stress in Canada
Canadian students are smoking fewer cigarettes than they were six years ago but the effects of binge drinking and the prevalence of psychological stress are high and worrisome, according to the 2004 Canadian Campus Survey.
Inside Higher Ed, September 16, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/16/qt
Jensen Comment:  Because of the way students preparing to become Chartered Accountants must combine work experience with a series of rugged examinations, I sense that many of those students are particularly stressed, especially in graduate school.  I doubt that any of them have time for cocktails let alone binge drinking.


Should our students seriously study foreign languages?
Our colleges and universities encourage study abroad, develop internationalization initiatives, and welcome international students, but American students and faculty flee from the serious study of languages other than English. We teach the literature of our international trading partners in translation because so few of our students can read anything of substance in someone else’s language. And, as we usually do in American academic circles, we worry about all this a lot.
John Lombardi, "Should Our Students Study Chinese?" Inside Higher Ed, September 16, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/09/16/lombardi


The Institute for Higher Education Policy --- http://www.ihep.org/

The mission of the Institute for Higher Education Policy is to foster access and success in postsecondary education through public policy research and other activities that inform and influence the policymaking process.


This U.N Document is "is still a remarkable expression of world unity"
The "outcome document" adopted last Friday at the end of the United Nations world summit has been described as "disappointing" or "watered down." This is true in part -- and I said as much in my own speech to the summit on Wednesday. But taken as a whole, the document is still a remarkable expression of world unity on a wide range of issues. And that came as welcome news, after weeks of tense negotiations. As late as last Tuesday morning, when world leaders were already arriving in New York, there were still 140 disagreements involving 27 unresolved issues. A final burst of take-it-or-leave-it diplomacy allowed the document to be finalized, but so late in the day that reporters and commentators had no time to analyze the full text before passing judgment. It is no criticism of them to say that many of their judgments are now being revised, or at least nuanced.
Kofi A. Annan, "A Glass at Least Half-Full," The Wall Street Journal, September 19, 2005; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112708454142944392,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


Tyco Fraud Update

First a quote from 2004
PricewaterhouseCoopers also fell prone to faulty risk assessments. In July, the SEC forced Tyco, the industrial conglomerate, to restate its profits, which it inflated by $1.15 billion, pretax, from 1998 to 2001. The next month, the SEC barred the lead partner on the firm's Tyco audits from auditing publicly registered companies. His alleged offense: fraudulently representing to investors that his firm had conducted a proper audit. The SEC in its complaint said that the auditor, Richard Scalzo, who settled without admitting or denying the allegations, saw warning signs about top Tyco executives' integrity but never expanded his team's audit procedures.

"Behind Wave of Corporate Fraud: A Change in How Auditors Work:  'Risk Based' Model Narrowed Focus of Their Procedures, Leaving Room for Trouble,' " by Jonathan Weil, The Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2004, Page A1
You can read a longer part of the above article at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#PwC


Jensen Comment:
Dennis Kozlowski is eligible for parole in eight years on a 25-year sentence.  This is far too lenient and once again shows how white collar crime is punished much too lightly --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#CrimePays
But at least Dennis is not going to do his 8/25 in Club Fed (of course in Club Fed he would probably not get such an early parole opportunity.

"Tyco Endgame," The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2005; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112718329059445833,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

There aren't any $6,000 shower curtains in New York state prisons, where Tyco felons Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz will be enjoying all or part of the next 25 years. The former CEO and CFO were sentenced yesterday for their roles in looting $600 million from their company and paying off one or more directors to avert their eyes. They won't become eligible for parole until about seven years.

Thus concludes one of the sorrier chapters in U.S. business history. And while it took a while -- the first Tyco trial ended in mistrial -- the outcome strikes us as just. Not because of their greed -- there's no law against lavish living yet -- but because of their crimes. Messrs. Kozlowski and Swartz were convicted in June on 22 counts of grand larceny and conspiracy. The verdicts were a victory for Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who last week survived a tough primary challenge.

Of all the fin de siècle corporate scandals, the Tyco heist has always seemed the most audacious, a case of stealing money in plain sight. If you want to liven up the conversation at a business lunch, mention former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and Chairman Ken Lay and whether they were complicit in the fraud for which several former executives have been convicted. There are still those who believe former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was unaware of the fraud that was taking place under his nose, despite his conviction. The Tyco scandal didn't inspire such ambiguities.

Messrs. Kozlowski and Swartz aren't headed for Club Fed by the way; under New York correctional policy, criminals with their sentences usually serve their time in maximum-security prisons. In addition, they were ordered to pay restitution and fines of $175 million. A case of justice in plain sight.

Bob Jensen's updates on fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on Tyco can be found in various places at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm 


Enron/Andersen Fraud Update

September 15, 2005 message from Andrew Priest

Just wondering if anyone has seen this movie/documentary? Interested in feedback and if it is a good teaching tool?

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (M)

Directed by Alex Gibney, this is the inside story of one of history’s greatest business scandals, in which top executives of America’s 7th largest company walked away with over one billion dollars while investors and employees lost everything. Based on the best-selling book The Smartest Guys in the Room by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind and featuring insider accounts and incendiary corporate audio and videotapes, Gibney reveals the almost unimaginable personal excesses of the Enron hierarchy and the utter moral vacuum that posed as corporate philosophy. The film comes to a harrowing end as we hear Enron traders’ own voices as they wring hundreds of millions of dollars in profits out of the California energy crisis. As a result, we come to understand how the avarice of Enron’s traders and their bosses had a shocking and profound domino effect that may shape the face of our economy for years to come. [M] 109 mins. <http:// www.enronmovie.com>.

Regards
Andrew Priest

September 15, 2005 reply from Heidemarie Lundblad [lundblad@GTE.NET]

The movie is entertaining and factual. It has reduced some of the complex issues to make the subject more accessible to people not familiar with things such as derivatives, SPEs, etc. I liked it. Particularly, since it includes the video clip of Jeff skilling's Titanic joke. As a resident of California I took it the rip-off of California electicity users by Enron (and others) personally. It has been argued that the movie is too "left". However, i am not sure how one can ignore the close political ties of Enron and the current administration.

Heidemarie Lundblad

September 16, 2005 reply from Miklos Vasarhelyi [miklosv@andromeda.rutgers.edu]

I have seen the film in its opening in new york. i have been involved with a "cooking the books" course for a long time and was wondering about its educational value.... my conclusion was that the film really did not deal with any accounting issues as the movie makers did not understand them and in certain parts they were very sensationalistic and unfair to the parties involved...

however i always recommend my students to see the film as it raises awareness of many things.

miklos

September 18, 2005 reply from John Schatzel [jschatzel@STONEHILL.EDU]

The correct site is www.netflix.com  (for the Enron DVD) - just type the name of the movie in the search box and it apparently is available.

I saw the movie this summer. I went into it with an open mind and left feeling like I learned a few more details about the situation or whatever spin one wants to put on it. I figured it would be critical of the people who ran the company and it was. The movie was not geared toward an audience of accountants. They even said toward the beginning that this was a story about the people. It could be called the Lemony Snickets of accounting and a series of unfortunate events. If you are on the lookout for good stuff to add to your course, the "biggest" problem with the movie is that it's two hours long and I don't see how one would easily fit it into an accounting or auditing course. The second problem is that its not available on DVD yet (or at least it wasn't in August or I would have just purchased it The book is available.). DVDs are cheap so it's certainly worth a rental (if you can find one) or a purchase. I teach an advanced auditing course, which covers a number of cases including ZZZZ Best, Regina, ESM, and Enron. I use the "Cooking the Books" video as well because the clips on ZZZZ Best, Regina, and ESM are short and they are interesting. Even if the "Smartest Guys" video were available, I think you could only show a few parts of it and those parts would be mostly examples of ethical matters or the perils of executive management. It's certainly worth a look, but think it will take a lot of thinking to figure out how to use.

Prof. John Schatzel
Stonehill College

 

September 16, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Actually, the most factual account that I’ve seen is the recent book:
Kurt Eichenwald's Conspiracy of Fools:  A True Study, (Broadway Books, 2005).

This book is very long and in some parts is very dreary with fact after fact.  Although Kurt Eichenwald’s a New York Times liberal who would love to play up the role Republican leaders played in Enron’s crimes, their direct roles are virtually non-existent except for Senator Gramm and his wife Wendy.  And even in the case of Phil Gramm, it seems likely that he was legislating on free market dogma rather than his own get rich crimes.  I think I was overly tough on Wendy, who served on Enron’s Board, in my early account of the Enron scandals at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm
In any case, Wendy should’ve never been allowed to serve on Enron’s board given her former government executive position in energy regulation and her marriage to a powerful senator whose voting directly impacted on Enron’s future.

Enron’s Board of Directors is less criminal than many of us thought.  They were certainly not competent, and Fastow, Skilling, and Lay were really, really good at serving up cooked accounting books for Enron’s Board.  Ken Lay comes off better than expected in terms of not being a vile crook, and even Jeff Skilling is duped (I think in most instances because he just plain didn’t want to listen to McMahan and other whistle blowers).  The CEO at the very top, Ken Lay, focused to a fault on external relations with politicians and customers.  He showed almost no interest in looking inward at his company even when criminality clues were thrown in his face.  Lay and Skilling were like the parents who never ask why somebody else's blood is smeared all over the clothes of their son.

Everybody was afraid of Andy (is that Adolph?) Fastow, including his bosses Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay.  Literally everybody in Enron who dealt with Andy considered him a scheming little prick.  They just did not realize he was skimming off $60 million in hidden "management" fees for managing off-balance sheet SPE funds for which he'd promised Enron's Board that there would be no fees to him since he was being paid to be the CFO of Enron.  Herr Fastow channeled most of these ill-gotten fees through Michael Kopper or Kopper's secret gay lover who nobody knew anything about. 

The book details how Fastow and Kopper were the dastardly co-conspirators who stole from Enron itself in a series of high crimes, especially in their outright fraudulent JME-fund SPEs intended to hedge Enron's share prices.  Instead, the cash was skimmed off or squandered with ineptitude and replaced with Enron shares themselves.  It's impossible to hedge a company's equity share values by holding the shares themselves.  That's what Sherron Watkins meant, in her whistle blowing memo to Ken Lay, when she asserted "there's no skin in these funds."

Their schemes worked with unbelievable luck and lies, because both Fastow and Kopper come off as also being unbelievably and arrogantly stupid and foolhardy “conspiring fools.”  There were inquiries over time from several executives within Enron, but Fastow always steered them off by threatening their year-end bonuses if they tried to investigate Fastow's domain of over 3,000 off-book SPE funds.  Even Fastow's worst enemies buckled at the mere hint of reducing their compensation.  Greed ruled over ethics everywhere in Enron.

Financial institutions (Merrill Lynch, Citibank, etc) who participated in Fastow’s schemes were sometimes duped by and heavily pressured by Fastow.  In a few instances it appears they went along with what they knew to be unscrupulous dealings by Andy Fastow.  Like Enron's auditing firm Andersen, these financial institutions just did not want to lose Enron as a client since Enron gave them so much business.  As CFO of Enron, Fastow had the power to give them business or take it away.

There were also outright criminals in the energy trading side of Enron, but Fastow was not particularly involved in those crimes of market manipulation of energy prices.  Enron was an incredibly complex conglomerate with business ventures that really did not do much communicating with one another.

When Enron's finances were caving in just before declaring bankruptcy, virtually all the top executives turned covertly criminal by sneaking $200 million (about all that was left in cash) into an obscure bank and writing themselves generous bonuses on cashiers checks.  I say "virtually all" because it is not clear the the executives at the very top were involved in the bonus scam.  Before then Skilling had resigned and Fastow was fired by the Board of Directors.  Members of the Board  had no knowledge of these self-declared executive bonuses.  And Ken Lay never seemed to know anything about anything except where the next dinner parties were scheduled in Washington DC.

I’ve not yet finished with the book, but it would seem that Fastow and Kopper got off way too light in retrospect.  Fastow should get life in prison without parole.  Kopper should sit in the same cell for 35 years, and some of the energy traders should be in cells across the hallway.  Lay, Skilling, and most other Enron executives should be stripped of their entire fortunes, but I don’t think they deserve prison time.  Some would argue about where the buck stops, but I’m more inclined to ask where it starts in the case of Enron.  The worst crimes, and there were many, lead back to Fastow, his stooge Kopper, and the traders who delighted in stealing from state treasuries, especially from California. Oregon, and Washington.

If you care to know what Enron officials (the Cast of Characters) received in stock sales, you can see a listing at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#StockSales
An obscure and incompetent trading executive named Lou Pai is the biggest winner (over $270 million) but that was sheer luck because he got a divorce long before Enron's share prices plunged.  He didn't particularly want to sell at that time, but when he got a strip tease dancer pregnant Lou's wife demanded a cash settlement in the divorce.  That turned out to be the luckiest timing in her life or his life.  I don't know how much the dancer got in the end.

What's clear is that Enron had way too many unethical and unbelievably incompetent executives (“fools”) like Rebecca Mack who kept throwing billions after badly invested billions and took most of her pleasures in life in corporate jets and luxury hotels.  She was a very high level executive in charge of all international operations, including huge electricity and water generating plant constructions and operations.  Skilling and Lay never could teach her the simple fact that the Return on Investment (ROI) ratio has a denominator.  Up to the very end when Skilling fired her (too long after her billions in damages), she kept screaming “look at the numbers” where the numbers she presented were only based on the ROI numerator.

It’s entirely clear at last that literally every Enron executive considered accounting and banking games in which the only goal was to manage earnings and otherwise cook the books.  Andersen’s managing partner, David Duncan, comes out very badly in this book.  He ceased being an auditor and turned into an ardent advocate of Enron book-cooking, especially when it came to making presentations to good Andersen auditors like Carl Bass.  Bass is a hero (well only sort of because he could’ve been more forceful at Andersen’s headquarters), and Duncan is what we least want in our auditors --- ever! 

Duncan didn’t want to give up the Andersen Houston Office’s $1 million per week billings from Enron no matter how burned up (from cooking) the books became.  Duncan is also portrayed as an accounting light weight who spent far more time on the golf course than in his office.  Duncan should also have a cell near Fastow, but Duncan will probably get off because after being arrested he helped nail Fastow, Skilling, and Lay. 

It must be sad for David Duncan to live with the fact that he was the lynch pin that brought down the huge worldwide Andersen auditing and consulting firm.  But Andersen probably would’ve toppled anyway.  Andersen’s top executives gave up total quality management (TQM) of audits (e.g., in Waste Management, Worldcom, etc) long before Enron’s implosion.  Looking back at the deterioration in audit quality in Andersen, Andersen deserved to die as an auditing firm.

Bob Jensen (with more to come on the Enron saga)

Bob Jensen’s on-going threads on Enron are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm


If you think a gallon of gasoline or heating oil is expensive, think of how cheap it is to make a gallon of soda (a little sweetener mixed with a lot of water) or beer (mostly fermented water) relative to what it takes to get oil deep from out of the ground and put it through a very complex and possibly explosive refining process.  And you're still willing to pay more for a gallon of Coke or Miller Lite or even bottled spring water without protesting?
Bob Jensen
Think about it while, for a moment, not letting your disdain for oil company executives and Middle Easter sheiks overtake your reasoning.!

What happens when the oil tanks are empty?
Prophets have been warning Americans of the terrible things in store for decades, but Kunstler joins a fresh corps whose numbers seem to have been increasing as quickly as the price of gas. The past two years have seen books with titles like Paul Roberts's The End of Oil, Richard Heinberg's The Party's Over, Tom Mast's Over a Barrel, and David Goodstein's Out of Gas and a film called The End of Suburbia by Gregory Greene, to name a few, and to leave out their long and unsettling subtitles, most of which approximate Roberts's choice, which is On the Edge of a Perilous New World. These authors may someday join the ranks of the dated alarmists--Jeremy Rifkin, among countless others, issued similar warnings in Entropy in 1980--but then again, they may be right. One may demonstrate that the alarm rings too often and too soon, but that does not mean that danger will never come. Kunstler's predictions may seem excessively dire to many, but a significant number of people are paying attention and getting ready. His book has been hovering in the top 1,000 on Amazon.com for months, and the topic of peak oil has gained traction beyond the encouraging environment of the Internet. In the past 18 months, 82 groups with about 2,000 registered members in cities around the world have been organized through Meetup.com to discuss the issue. At a recent meeting of the 100-member New York forum, participants were quoting Kunstler repeatedly--during, for instance, a discussion of where to move after the crash.
Bryant Urstadt, "The Get-Ready Men," MIT's Technology Review, October 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/issue/review_ready.asp?trk=nl 

Solutions Scenario
A growing, influential body of writers believes that the exhaustion of cheap oil will be disastrous. In this issue, we take a look at The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century, by James Howard Kunstler. The author, a novelist and journalist who has written for the Atlantic and Rolling Stone, writes that we will fall into "an abyss of economic and social disorder on a scale that no one has seen before." Are he and his fellow doomsayers right? Hardly. To agree with Kunstler is to believe that alternative sources of energy cannot replace oil. This means dismissing the combined powers of natural gas, solar power, wind, coal, hydroelectric, biomass, and nuclear power. Doomsayers argue that these alternatives are a "mirage," as Kunstler puts it, because they will never produce as much energy as cheaply as oil. But that assumes we will not devise ways to use energy more efficiently. It also ignores the rapid progress in improving energy technologies, particularly in solar, wind, and nuclear power.
"Solutions Scenario," MIT's Technology Review, October 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/issue/readme_solutions.asp?trk=nl


"Jackson Action," by Charlie Ross, The Wall Street Journal,  September 15, 2005; Page A21 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112675449038241518,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Prior to the legislation, Mississippi was known as the "jackpot justice capital of America." The American Tort Reform Association had labeled certain jurisdictions "judicial hellholes." A survey of more than 1,200 senior in-house counsels for the U.S. Chamber Commerce ranked Mississippi 50th in virtually every category of judicial system nationwide. Insurance companies were fleeing the state. Others were refusing to write new policies. The medical field was particularly strained: Liability insurance was in many cases unaffordable, and in some cases unavailable.

One year later, the story is very different. Mass Mutual Insurance Group, St. Paul Travelers, World Insurance Co. and Equitable Life Insurance Co. are returning to Mississippi. State Farm Insurance eased its growth restrictions for homeowners' insurance and lowered its rates on property insurance.

The Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi, which writes 60% of the medical malpractice coverage for doctors in the state, had raised its rates 20% the year prior to the tort reform legislation. After its passage, MACM did not raise its rates at all. "Those people who said tort reform would not work and actively fought any civil justice reform," Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale said. "I think this indicates they were wrong." MACM also recently announced an end to its moratorium on new business; it also just declared it will cut its rates for 2006.

Continued in the article


Exploratorium: Science of Gardening --- http://www.exploratorium.edu/gardening/index.html 


Cleaning out the Vatican's unwanted
The Vatican has ordered investigators to look for gay students and faculty members at Roman Catholic seminaries in the United States, The New York Times reported. The investigators have also been asked to look for faculty members who dissent on church teachings.
Inside Higher Ed, September 15, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/15/qt

An Unwanted the Vatican Overlooked
The Catholic Diocese of Austin is investigating after a priest called about 15 children to come forward during evening Mass so he could prick them with an unsterilized pin to demonstrate the pain Jesus suffered during crucifixion. "What I was trying to teach them is that suffering is a part of life," said the Rev. Arthur Michalka, 78, on Friday.
"Priest Pricks Children With Pin," CBS News, September 17


How can you play 70 games of baseball, half of which are out of town, and pretend to go to class?
"The Brutal Truth about College Sports," by Skip Rozin, The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2005; Page D7 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB112673590440041002,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Big time college sports are a mess. While headlines hype the new football season and speculate on an eventual champion, accounts surface daily of athletes' stealing, assaulting women and getting busted on alcohol and drug charges. And when a title game is played, shadowing the coverage will be news of woeful graduation rates.

Meanwhile, the juggernaut that is college sports keeps getting bigger, with more television networks airing more games, not just on weekends but during the week, and colleges expanding their seasons to meet TV's unquenchable thirst -- up to 40 games each basketball season and 70 in baseball.

. . .

College sports' current crisis has generated unprecedented reform efforts by groups inside and outside the establishment. The Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics and the 16-year-old Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletes, for example, both work in cooperation with the NCAA. The Drake Group has bypassed the NCAA; its plan for full disclosure of all classes taken by athletes was read into the Congressional Record in March by Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky in hopes of getting Congress involved.

Their combined efforts have netted tougher NCAA academic requirements, but reform energy still gets bogged down in issues like the political correctness of team names. Substantive improvement has been minimal. The system is broken, and the impact is far reaching.

"The transgressions that universities commit in the name of winning sports undermine the values of the institution," says Derek Bok, former president of Harvard. "In all too many cases, they tarnish the reputation of the university by compromising its admissions standards, its grading practices, and the academic integrity of its curriculum."

To create winning teams, reformers believe, universities break rules on training, on the allocation of funds to athletics, and most frequently on athletes' eligibility. Deception begins early, when schools recruit sports prodigies who are ill-equipped -- or uninterested -- in academics. Popular rhetoric maintains that these students are preparing for pro careers, just as medical students are training to be doctors. This is naïve thinking. The best 1% to 3% may become professionals, but far too many of the rest are left with no degree and a clouded future.

"The biggest problem is recruiting fine athletes who should not be in college," says Andy Geiger, who retired this summer as Ohio State's athletic director after 11 years that included a national football championship and scandals in football and basketball. "Do we really want a gifted athlete at our school for any reason other than our own gain? Are we only in it to use these kids and then spit them out?"

At the core of the college sports problem is an obsession with winning. Winning is admittedly the goal in all competitions and is a treasured American characteristic, but universities are supposed to live by different standards from those that govern big business, the New York Yankees, or war.

Continued in article

September 15, 2005 reply from Carol Flowers [cflowers@OCC.CCCD.EDU]

Having gone through this with a son in sports, I find the whole thing a joke. I applauded the requirement of 12 units of C to stay eligible. However, I didn't realize they are not at class most of the semester -- they seem to be at away games most of the time. Scholarship offers came with tutorial help (tutoring turns out to be all but non existent (not to mention that you need to be in the area for the tutor to tutor). Sports and education don't mix. I only observed one team whose coach I respected for trying to enforce eligilbility (after the ball game the athletes went to dinner, then had a mandatory study hall from 8-9 pm at away games). However, I questioned how much the students absorbed at that hour and after a big game and dinner!!! But, kudos to the coach for attempting to keep "education" in the college experience.

Carol

Jensen Comment

I think the problem lies heavily with professional sports team owners.

College is a free way that they can filter out the best athletes who are put to the test and dump the majority of others who just don’t quite cut it. It would be analogous to sending all young people to war and then making professional soldiers out of the ones that win medals.

I think sports are important to the physical and social development of young people as well as giving them confidence and pride. But I like the way Trinity does it in NCAA Division 3 where there are no athletic scholarships and athletes are not dreaming of professional contracts.

Bob Jensen

September 15, 2005 reply from Paul Williams

Carol, et al,

You have pointed out the real problem in college athletics for the athlete. Of course it is hypocritical for the Wall Street Journal to harumph about college sports. College athletics is big business increasingly funded and promoted by big business. At NC State we have completed a third phase of a four phase renovation of the football stadium -- total projected cost over $100 million dollars. It sits beside the RBC Center (named after a corporation), where the Wolfpack plays basketball (and the Carolina Hurricanes play hockey) -- total cost $170 million. When all is said and done, there will be $300 million dollars invested in two college sports. Both facilities are plastered with ads for corporations and the luxury seating (the biggest cost of the facilities) is rented by corporations for the purpose of entertaining clients. Major college sports are entertainment, merely a medium for advertising and corporate promotion. Wealthy alumni and the business community are the prime movers behind the enormous investment in athletic facilities and the prime providers of the money. The university goes along because it has Title IX obligations it must finance and the big revenue sports are what fund it. Women's la crosse does not generate time on ESPN. And before we bash Title IX, the explosion in women's participation in sports at the collegiate level indicates that all women lacked was opportunity. Women crave the opportunity to participate in sport. Women and the men in the minor sports play for the love of playing. No lucrative pro career awaits a woman or man playing la crosse, but they work as hard at it as any of the revenue players.

What to do for the athletes since no university administrator is going to say let's just scrap our $300 million investment in facilities -- the alumni would have their head. Let's just quit being hypocritical about the "student athlete." Much of the problem is the NCAA and its rules that have a rather Victorian smell to them. Trivial behavior is criminalized by the NCAA in a vain attempt to foster a prissy rectitude that has never existed in the history of humankind.

When Tiger Woods was still a college player at Stanford he played at Bay Hill in Florida. Arnold Palmer wanted to meet with him, took him to lunch in the grill room, picked up the tab for a burger and fries and voila put Arnie, Tiger and Stanford in violation of NCAA rules. The tab was less than $20. There is no longer the amateur athlete -- look who competes for the US during the Olympics. The problem for the athlete is being a student AND an athlete at the same time.

Why don't we face the reality of big time college athletics and take the pressure off of the athlete? During the season, let the athletes play their sports -- why do they have to be a students at the same time? Every sport can have a season that corresponds to one semester or another. Football is played during the fall semester and the bowl season ends before the start of the second semester. So football players play football in the fall and are full time students during spring and summer. Basketball doesn't need to start in November. It could start after final exams in the fall and, instead of March madness, we could have April madness. Basketball players would be students in fall and summer semesters. There is no sport whose season could not be accommodated to just one school term or another. If a student wanted to and could take classes during the season, then all well and good. But they shouldn't be made to take them.

As Bernie Sliger, president of FSU when I was there, harped on constantly, "The more successful the athletic program, the more money people give to academics." It may be a brutal truth about college athletics, but most of the brutality is absorbed by the athletes because of archaic notions of the "scholar/athlete." And we on the academic side benefit as well. Those athletes bring a lot of resources to us academics, too. Perhaps a lot of the "crimes" athletic programs commit could be alleviated if we let young people be a scholar sometime and an athlete sometime, but quite expecting them to be both.

Paul Williams

September 15, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Paul,

Well said about the new NCS Stadium. This reminds me of Rochester/Simon School's new investment in "games" intended to lift its US News MBA program ranking from 26th into the Top 10 or Top 5. Has the Wolfpack ever made it into the media's Top 5 in basketball or football? Perhaps your new $300 million investment will pay off --- if that's the real anticipated payoff.

Also, I think you just made my point when choosing the word "hypocritical" when the WSJ reported a position harmful of big business. The WSJ is really two newspapers wrapped into one, where one of those "papers" is allowed to roam free and call it like some very good reporters roaming about.

In my September 14 edition of Tidbits, I wrote the following --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2005/tidbits050914.htm

How can the media and professors achieve greater credibility?
You probably observed that I quote a lot from both The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and The New York Times (NYT).  Both have credibility in spite of their opposing biases on the editorial pages.  The WSJ is unapologetic in its biases for financial institutions and business enterprises.  And yet the WSJ is the best place to look for damning criticism of particular accounting firms, financial institutions, and corporations.  CEOs live in fear of WSJ reporters.  For example, when Enron was riding high, before the Watkins memo, WSJ reporters did some very clever investigations and wrote articles that commenced the slide of Enron share prices (particularly dogged reporters named John Emshwiller and Jonathan Weil).  The NYT sometimes has editorials that make me want to vomit.  But the Business Section of the NYT is one of the best places to go for balanced coverage of business and finance news.  

Certainly not all of my accounting professor friends agree with me about the WSJ.  David's Fordham's book length reply is just too long to paste in here.  Some others like Bobbi Lee agree with him.

Association of College and Research Libraries January 2004, Vol. 65, No. 1
Book Review Bok, Derek. Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Pr., 2003. 233p. alk. paper, $22.95 (ISBN 0691114129). LC 2002-29267.
http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlpubs/crljournal/crl2004/backjan2004/bokbookreview.htm 

Athletics is the first area subject to Bok’s critique. Candidly and mercilessly, he summarizes the ugly history of intercollegiate football—its failed promise to "build character," its unsupportable claim to have helped minorities achieve a high-quality education, and its grievous undermining of academic standards. Students whose academic achievement and potential would hardly qualify them for careers in any learned profession are not only routinely admitted to universities of every quality but are even turned into national celebrities. Looking at the revenue-generating sports, mainly football and basketball, Bok informs the reader that as of 2001, some thirty coaches were earning in excess of a million dollars annually, far more than most college and university presidents. Bok strongly focuses on the almost complete disconnect between athletic prowess and academic achievement. He builds a powerful indictment:

What can intercollegiate sports teach us about the hazards of commercialization? First of all, the saga of big-time athletics reveals that American universities, despite their lofty ideals, are not above sacrificing academic values—even values as basic as admission standards and the integrity of their courses—in order to make money.

Indeed, Bok reaches the conclusion, described by him as "melancholy," that through their athletic programs, "universities have compromised the most fundamental purpose of academic institutions."

Turning to his second area, scientific research, Bok maintains that the record has been no less dismal and the battles between the worlds of intellect and industry no less ruthless: Scientists have been prohibited from publishing (or even discussing at conferences) results unfavorable to their commercial sponsors’ marketing goals. Companies have punished universities by threatening to withhold promised financial support should scientists dare to publish data unfavorable to sponsors’ interests. Researchers have been threatened with lawsuits, even grievously defamed. Companies have imposed a militarylike secrecy upon faculty who work with them, severely edited scholars’ reports, and even had their own staffs write slanted drafts to which university researchers were expected to attach their names. By Bok’s account, some elements of the commercial sector merely look upon faculty and graduate students as company agents—virtual employees, hired guns—charged to produce a stream of research from which will follow a stream of revenue for their businesses. Bok’s charges are not vague hints; he cites prestigious institutions, names researchers whose careers were jeopardized or damaged by threats and personal attacks, and provides many poignant details.

In the third area, higher education itself, Bok outlines the temptations of easy money, ostensibly available via universities’ willingness, indeed eagerness, to use the income from distance education (both domestically and abroad) to finance programs only indirectly linked to higher education. Bok further suggests that some schools willingly exploit the Internet more for the money than for any possible social benefit.

"Is everything in a university for sale if the price is right?" asks the book jacket. Are universities now ready to accept advertising within physical facilities and curricula? Will they permit commercial enterprises to put company names on the stadium, team uniforms, campus shuttle buses, book jackets sold at the campus bookstore, plastic cups at food service points, or even on home pages? Will universities sell the names of entire schools as well as of buildings? Worse yet, will some schools be tempted to accept endowed professorships to which the sponsors seek to attach unacceptable or harmful restrictions and conditions? There appears to be no end to the opportunities.

To respond to these and similar troubling questions, Bok’s two concluding chapters lay out practical steps the academic community might consider to avoid sinking into a quagmire of commercialism in which the academy is sure to lose control of both its integrity and its autonomy. Throughout his work, Bok reminds his readers of the obvious, but sometimes camouflaged (or ignored), distinction between the academy and commerce: The mission of the former is to learn, that of the latter to earn. Conflict between these missions is inevitable, and should it disappear, the university as we know it also may vanish. We may not like what replaces it.



The proof is in the pressure to change grades:  Repeating the same frauds year after year in academe

Louisiana State University has settled a lawsuit by a former instructor who said that she was pressured to change the grades of football players, the Associated Press reported. No details of the settlement were released and the university denied wrongdoing. Last year, LSU settled a similar suit for $150,000.
Inside Higher Ed, September 19, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/19/qt
 


Derek.Bock, Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Univ. Pr., 2003. 233p. alk. paper, $22.95 (ISBN 0691114129). LC 2002-29267.

In line with Bok's "Commercialization of Higher Education," a newer (2005) book explores the role of market forces in changing higher education — and the danger of market forces having too much influence
Three longtime observers of higher education explore the ways — positive and negative — that universities are changing in Remaking the American University (Rutgers University Press).  The authors are Robert Zemsky, a professor and chair of the Learning Alliance at the University of Pennsylvania; Gregory R. Wegner, director of program development at the Great Lakes Colleges Association; and William F. Massy, a professor emeritus of higher education at Stanford University and currently president of the Jackson Hole Higher Education Group. The three authors recently responded (jointly) to questions about their new book.
Scott Jaschik"Remaking the American University," Inside Higher Ed, September 21, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/21/remaking

Q: Of the trends you examine, which ones are most worrisome to you?

A: What worries us most is that universities and colleges have become so preoccupied with succeeding in a world of markets that they too often forget the need to be places of public purpose as well. We are serious in arguing that universities and colleges must be both market smart and mission centered. Not surprisingly, then, we are troubled by how often today institutions allow their pursuit of market success to undermine core elements of their missions: becoming preoccupied with collegiate rankings, surrendering to an admissions arms race, chasing imagined fortunes through impulsive investments e-learning, or conferring so much importance on athletics as to alter the character of the academic community on campus.

By far the most troublesome consequence of markets displacing mission, though, is the reduced commitment of universities and colleges to the fulfillment of public purposes. More than ever before, these institutions are content to advance graduates merely in their private, individual capacities as workers and professionals. In the rush to achieve market success, what has fallen to the wayside for too many institutions is the concept of educating students as citizens — graduates who understand their obligations to contribute to the collective well-being as active participants in a free and deliberative society. In the race for private advantage, market success too often becomes a proxy for mission attainment.

Q: We’ve just come through rankings season, with U.S. News and others unveiling their lists. Do you have any hope for turning back the ratings game? Any ideas you would offer to college presidents who are fed up with it?

A: On this one there is no turning back — the rankings are here to stay. Two, frankly contradictory ideas are worth thinking about. First, university and college presidents should accept as fact that the rankings measure market position rather than quality. An institution’s ranking is essentially a predictor of the net price the institution can charge. The contrary idea is to make the rankings more about quality by having most institutions participate in the National Survey of Student Engagement and agree to have the results made public. Even then, we are not sure that prestige and market position would not trump student engagement.

Continued in article

Coach Takes the Test
More evidence that many universities are losing (or never had) quality control on athlete admissions and grading

The National Collegiate Athletic Association punished Texas Christian University’s men’s track program on Thursday for a set of rules violations that included some of the most egregious and unusual examples of academic fraud in recent history. They included an instance in which a former assistant coach took a final examination alongside a track athlete — with the consent of the faculty member in the course — and then swapped his version of the test with the athlete’s, allowing him to pass.
Doug Lederman, "NCAA Finds Fraud at TCU," Inside Higher Ed, September 23, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/09/23/tcu

You can read more about quality control problems in college athletics at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/book05q3.htm#CollegeAthletics


In a speech Monday at Fordham University School of Law in Manhattan, Dan Rather claimed there was a "new journalism order": politicians applying pressure to news conglomerates, "dumbed-down, tarted-up" news coverage, 24-hour cable competition and a "chase for rating and demographics" — all of which creates an "atmosphere of fear"
Dan Rather --- http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/53734.htm

. . .  claimed there was a "elite MBA program order": deans applying pressure to faculty, "dumbed-down, tarted-up" course coverage, law school competition and a "chase for media rankings" — all of which creates an "atmosphere of fear"
Just re-working the quotation a bit


The Wall Street Journal Flashback, September 16, 1985
Oil Turmoil: Saudi Arabia has decided to increase oil production and cut oil prices, moves that could trigger a global price war. Prices could conceivably fall by next spring to $18 a barrel from the current market average of about $26.


September 15, 2005 --- Ida Robinson-Backmon [irobinso@ncat.edu]

Bob,

The alternative meeting site for the upcoming Diversity Section Meeting (moving from New Orleans) is Embassy Suites Hotel Atlanta-Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta, Georgia on the same dates, October 6-8, 2005. Program agenda and related information can be found on the AAA homepage ( http://aaahq.org)  or at http://aaahq.org/meetings/2005DIV_program.htm 

We are excited and energized as our inaugural meeting program now consists of several concurrent sessions that focus on critically important diversity topics, in addition to other accounting and tax topics that are of immediate concern to academicians and practitioners. The Friday evening reception will provide the opportunity for attendees to receive information about grant supported diversity research. The panel sessions on Saturday will address controversial diversity issues. Saturday’s schedule will also feature a panel of editors from high quality journals who will address their journals’ interest in diversity research and effective research methods.

The deadline to make your hotel reservations is TUESDAY, September 27. Additional information is available online.

If you have not previously registered, please take this opportunity to register at http://aaahq.org/meetings/2005DIV_online.htm . The early conference registration fee is available on or before September 22.

To register for the Diversity Section Meeting online you will need your AAA username and password. The site is case-sensitive so please be sure to enter your username and password exactly as they appear below. Your username and password are:

Username: aaa1783 Password: Jens1783

Please note that faculty/doctoral candidates interested in interviewing or administrators wishing to submit job announcements and receive candidate information can contact Dr. Leslie Weisenfeld (weisenfeldL@wssu.edu).

Sincerely,

The Diversity Section Executive Board




Forwarded by Auntie Bev

This may come as a surprise to those of you not living in Las Vegas but there are more Catholic churches there than casinos. Not surprisingly, some worshippers at Sunday services will give casino chips rather than cash when the basket is passed.

Since they get chips from so many different casinos, the churches have devised a method to collect the offerings. The churches send all their collected chips to a nearby Franciscan Monastery for sorting and then the chips are taken to the casinos of origin and cashed in.

This is done by a chip monk.




Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
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International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
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Deloitte's International Accounting News --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
Association of International Accountants --- http://www.aia.org.uk/ 
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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