I have only one superstition. I touch all the
bases when I hit a home run.
Babe Ruth as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-10-28-05.htm
Democracy substitutes election by the
incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 1950) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bernard_Shaw
The best argument against democracy is a five
minute conversation with the average voter.
Winston Churchill (1874 1965)
In order to form an immaculate member of a flock
of sheep one must, above all, be a sheep.
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Einstein
What foods are the best cancer fighters?
Broccoli Sprouts, Cabbage, Garlic,
"Eat Your Veggies and Fight Cancer, Too," by Daniel DeNoon, WebMD, October 31, 2005 --- http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/114/111314.htm?z=1728_00000_1000_tn_06
Simple foods carry the most scientifically advanced anticancer compounds, scientists say.
The reports come from the fourth annual Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting, held by the American Association for Cancer Research.
At the cutting edge of these new frontiers is the finding that, well, that your mother was right. You really should eat your vegetables. They're full of newly discovered cancer-fighting compounds, says conference program chairman William G. Nelson, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University.
Continued in article
Who are the most powerful women in business today?
"MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2005: Top 50,"
Fortune Magazine ---
The Changing Graduate Student Population
Enrollments in graduate schools in the United States increased by 2 percent in 2004, to 1.5 million students, according to a report being released today by the Council of Graduate Schools . . .
Scott Jaschik, "The Changing Grad Student Population," Inside Higher Ed, October 31, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/31/grad
Trends in Graduate Enrollments, by Race and Gender
Group 2004 Enrollment 1-Year % Change Average annual % change, 1986-2004 African American 125,029 +3% +5% —Men 35,933 +3% +4% —Women 88,189 +3% +6% American Indian 8,138 +4% +4% —Men 2,883 +6% +3% —Women 5,177 +3% +5% Asian 72,712 +3% +6% —Men 33,340 +3% +4% —Women 38,793 +4% +7% Latino 86,765 +4% +5% —Men 32,320 +5% +5% —Women 54,033 +4% +7% White 836,962 +1% +0% —Men 332,815 +1% +0% —Women 492,347 +1% +1%
What is happening in terms of U.S. birthrates?
Nearly 4.1 million babies were born in the U.S. last year, boosting the nation's birth rate by 4% from 2003 . . . The birth rate for teens has never been lower. It's been dropping for a while, but the pace is cooling off, the CDC reports.
Miranda Hitti, "U.S. Birth Rate Up in 2004," WebMD, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/114/111283.htm?z=1728_00000_1000_tn_06
The National Women’s Health Information Center ---
There is also a current news set of links on the right side of the first page.
Catholic Schoolgirls Unravel DNA
There were many big-league DNA scientists at the annual genome sequencing conference held here last month, but no one stood out more than a slight high school teacher in religious habit towing five of her students through the imposing crowd of genetics pioneers with a quiet grace. The unlikely delegate was Sister Mary Jane Paolella, of Sacred Heart Academy, an all-girls Roman Catholic high school in Hamden, Connecticut. She wasn't here on a sightseeing trip. Paolella showed up with her students to make an official presentation of DNA sequencing data that her honors biotechnology class generated from genes associated with osteoporosis.
Michael D. O'Neill, "Catholic Schoolgirls Unravel DNA," Wired News, November 2, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,69336,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1
Women May Feel Pain More Intensely Than Men: Put another way,
men are more numb
Women really are more sensitive than men, a new study suggests. Women's skin -- at least a small section near a nerve in the cheek -- has twice as many nerve fibers as men's skin, report Bradon J. Wilhelmi, MD, of Southern Illinois University and colleagues. That may explain why a number of studies -- including some animal studies -- find that women feel pain more intensely than do men.
Daniel DeNoon, "Women May Feel Pain More Intensely Than Men," WebMD, October 28, 2005 --- http://my.webmd.com/content/Article/114/111271.htm?z=1728_00000_1000_tn_06
Women's Skin Has More Nerve
Australia declares religious right
to inflict pain on females
Can wife-beating be justified under any circumstances? According to some in Australia, yes — if the couple is Muslim.
The Australasian Police Multicultural Advisory
Bureau has published and distributed 50,000 copies of an 82-page handbook
for Australian police officers, directing them on how to deal with people
from all the unfamiliar cultures that an Australian policeman may encounter.
A Sikh, for example, may receive a three-day reprieve from arrest if the
arresting officer happens upon him while he is reading his holy scriptures —
a practice that takes fifty hours, and must not be interrupted. And Muslim
husbands who beat their wives must be treated differently from other
domestic violence cases, as a matter of cultural sensitivity: “In incidents
such as domestic violence,” says the handbook, “police need to have an
understanding of the traditions, ways of life and habits of Muslims.”
This handbook has been issued, not surprisingly, in Australia’s Victoria
state, where late last year two Christian pastors in Australia fell victim
to new and treacherously elastic religious hatred laws. They were found
guilty of vilification of Muslims for crimes such as quoting verses of the
Qur’an that Victoria Muslims evidently preferred that non-Muslims not know
about. The silencing of free speech was bad enough; now the distribution of
the handbook made Joumanah El Matrah of the Islamic Women’s Welfare Council
concerned that women would be endangered: “The implication,” she explained,
“is one needs to be more tolerant of violence against Muslim women but they
should be entitled to the same protection. Police should not be advising
other officers to follow those sorts of protocols. It can only lead to
Robert Spencer, "," Front Page Magazine, November 1, 2005 ---
Use care when feeding mom's apple pie to skinny toddlers
Toddlers who are skinny at age two, and then rapidly put on weight, are up to three times more likely to develop coronary heart disease as adults than their chubbier playmates, a new study suggests. The research, led by David Barker, at Oregon Health and Science University, US, and the University of Southampton, UK, suggests that it is the rate of weight gain between the ages of two and 11 that most strongly relates to the risk of heart disease in adult life – not a child’s actual body weight at a given age.
Shaoni Bhattacharya, "Fattening up skinny toddlers risks heart health," New Scientist, October 27, 2005 --- http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8221
Yale Scientists Identify (Maybe) the Dyslexia Gene
Yale University researchers say they have found the gene responsible for dyslexia. The discovery might enable early testing of children for a predisposition to reading difficulties. But even though the scientists are sure they have isolated the gene, others are not convinced just yet.
Joe Palca, "Scientists Identify Dyslexia Gene," NPR, October 28, 2005 ---
Google's Controversial Book Scanning Operation is Back in Business
"Google Will Return to Scanning Copyrighted Library Books," by Kevin J. Delaney and Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2005; Page B1
Google Inc. will resume scanning copyrighted library books into its search engine after a self-imposed hiatus, despite the efforts of some publishers and authors to block it from doing so without the copyright holders' permission.
The Mountain View, Calif., company said it plans to resume scanning copyrighted books in the collections of Stanford University and the University of Michigan "soon." In August, amid a backlash by publishers, the company suspended its scanning of copyrighted books in libraries until today in order to give publishers time to request that their works not be scanned.
Google also said it will focus on scanning copyrighted works that are out of print and is seeking publishers' permission to digitize books that are still available new from bookstores. The company hadn't publicly disclosed that it was targeting out-of-print works for its initial scanning efforts although it says that was always its policy. That distinction could strengthen its argument that the project won't negatively affect book sales. But it isn't likely to lead the two groups suing Google over the Print Library Project to back down.
Continued in article
And so you want to beat the stock market?
"Dumbbell Strategy," by Justin Lahart, The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2005; Page C1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113089481632885863.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing
With much uncertainty over whether the economy would run hot or cold, many investors appear to have followed a "barbell" strategy at the beginning of the quarter that took either possibility into account. They bought energy stocks on the view that a strong economy would augur continued demand -- and high prices -- for crude oil. But they also bought shares that tend to perform better during slow times, such as utility and health-care stocks. To round out the trade, some bet against financial stocks on the notion that neither a hot economy (which would entail lots of interest-rate increases) nor a cool one (which would hurt housing) would be good for the sector.
In October, the strategy didn't work at all. The energy, utility and health-care sectors were last month's worst performers, with the Dow Jones U.S. Oil & Gas Index falling 9.2%, the U.S. Utility Index dropping 6.7% and the Health Care Index slipping 2.8%. Meantime, financial-company shares rallied, pushing the U.S. Financials Index up 2.2%.
In a word: ouch.
One reason that this strategy worked so miserably was that so many hedge funds, which generally had a tough month, were involved in it. If a group of investors bunched into the same trade get out at the same time, investments that aren't supposed to be correlated with one another can start to move in the same direction.
Part of the problem is that the proliferation of hedge funds has led to some strategies getting crowded. The performance pressures on some hedge funds are so intense that if a trade goes badly against them for a little while, they will quickly exit it -- even though in the longer term, the strategy may prove sound.
Bob Jensen's threads on hedge funds can be found by scrolling down at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm#H-Terms
The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 1983
According to a Gallup Organization poll, 64% of the public think that at least half of all big-company executives cheat on their taxes. The poll suggests a huge share of Ameicans have adopted a cynical view of ethics in the professions and in business.
What is Behavioural Finance? ---
The above site has many categories to choose from.
"SUPPLY AND DEMAND FOR ACCOUNTING GRADUATES" (Source: AICPA), Accounting Education News, October 30, 2005 --- http://accountingeducation.com/index.cfm?page=newsdetails&id=141703
Here are some of the highlights of this year's report:
- Enrollments in accounting programs continue to climb. For the
four-year period 2000 to 2004, enrollments are up 19% (to 171,000 in 2004.)
- Since 2000, accounting graduates are also up 19%.
- The increase in enrollments from 2003 to 2004 was 1.5%.
- The number of Bachelor's degree recipients (40,400) increased 9%
compared to 2003.
- The number of Master's degrees awarded in 2004 (13,350) increased
5.4% for the same period.
- In 2004, 55% of accounting Bachelor's and Master's graduates were
- Ethnic minorities accounted for 23% of Bachelor's graduates, 21% of
Master's graduates and 38% of Ph.Ds.
- In 2004, there was a 17% increase in the number of new accounting
graduate hires by the firms compared to 2003. The number of Bachelor's hired
increased 13% (to 15,000) and Master's hires increased 33% (to 4,700).
- Females accounted for 53% of accounting graduates hired by the
- Twenty-three percent of the firm hires in 2004 were ethnic
Bob Jensen's threads on accountancy careers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers
Part of the increase in demand for accounting graduates lies in the complexity of the U.S. Tax Code
"Taxing Words," The Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2005; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113081240558284920.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
So, just how long is the U.S. tax code? Long enough that it's hard to answer that question. These columns have recently used two different numbers -- nine million and 2.8 million words -- in two different editorials, prompting alert readers to ask which number is correct.
The answer is both, and therein lies a story. The latter number comes from John Walker, who runs the Web site www.fourmilab.ch , where he has created a cross-referenced and searchable database of Title 26 of the U.S. Code -- the section of federal law that deals with taxes. Since we published that number in August, Mr. Walker has updated his site and now puts the number of words at 3.4 million, although he concedes that this may be a little on the high side, given the way his program counts words.
The nine-million-word figure is arrived at by combining Title 26 with all the regulations that have been written to implement the law. The regulations are estimated to run to nearly six million words, giving us the oft-quoted nine million total. Last year, the White House noted conservatively that the tax code ran to "over one million words." Mr. Walker arrives at a figure of approximately 1.3 million words if one excludes "all the auxiliary and supplementary material (lists of amendments, cross-references, transitional rules, etc.)," which is close to the White House figure.
The larger point here is that, whichever number you pick, the tax code is monstrous. The 1986 Reagan tax reform cut the code in half, according to the National Taxpayers Union, but since then it has grown back like jungle brush, thicker than ever. A complicated tax code leads to wasted time and money as taxpayers and their advisers comply with its myriad rules. As President Bush's tax reform panel winds up its business today, we assume that reducing complexity will be high on its to-do list.
Bob Jensen's tax helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation
The Tragedy of the Commons entails economic theory about problems of
sustaining resources shared in common
Play the “Tragedy of the Bunnies” to learn more about the "tragedy of the commons," as well as potential ways to turn this tragedy into a comedy --- http://www.bunnygame.org/
If you can't make jokes about aging, what's left?
Troy officials released a statement Monday evening saying that because of the litigation, they could not make any general comment about the issues in the suit. However, the statement said that the photographs that were removed “displayed male full frontal nudity,” which is not “consistent with our community’s standards.” FIRE posted on its Web site details about Troy’s policies, such as a ban on “indecent expression,” limits on the use of the phone or e-mail to insult others, and a ban on jokes or gossip related to age, sex, gender, race and other factors.
Scott Jaschik, "Troy U. Sued Over Speech Code and Art Censorship," Inside Higher Ed, November 1, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/01/troy
Racially Biased Journalism
USA Today Caught in Photo Scandal of Maliciously Darkening Secretary of State Rice's Face
The USA Today version on the right was deliberately altered to make Condi Rice look more menacing. Notice how the whites of the eyes are highlighted to make her BLACK eyes look BLACKER and HATEFUL. The doctored photo is here on USA Today's site (they'll probably take it down with some heat). You have to look overseas here to see an unbiased version. Under the heat of protest, will USA Today apologize? Or, don't they care about racism when directed at "house Niggas" like Condi? Rathergate, OJgate, now Condigate! What will the MSM think of next? And if anybody would like to see why I think this is a scandal, take a look at an enlarged version of the photos that I put into photoshop and animated. This is scandalous stuff folks!
"THE CONDI RICE - USA TODAY SCANDAL," From the Pen, October 25, 2005 ---
Biased reporting in Iraq --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1509600/posts
Bob Jensen's threads on hypocrisy in academia and the media are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisy.htm
Microsoft may lose a huge one to the University of California
The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Monday to hear an appeal by Microsoft to lower the potential damages it faces in a patent dispute with the University of California and another company, Bloomberg News reported. The case involves a dispute over the Internet Explorer Web browser and Microsoft could face hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.
Inside Higher Ed, November 1, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/01/qt
Dialectics of Disaster
After months of tsunami, hurricane, and earthquake, Scott McLemee wonders if the trouble didn’t really start on November 1, 1755.
"Dialectics of Disaster," Inside Higher Ed, November 1, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/11/01/mclemee
Blocking Google Advertisements
I have a confession to make: I've been stealing from Google. With $1.578 billion in revenue last quarter, the company is unlikely to miss the pennies I've denied it. Still, I feel I owe an explanation: I'm "adnorant," which is to say, I ignore online ads. I've been using a Firefox plug-in called CustomizeGoogle to block Google ads and generally improve the search experience. CustomizeGoogle has a lot to recommend it beyond its ad-blocking abilities. My favorite feature is its placement of links to other major search engines on Google's search results pages. It lets you try your search query on AllTheWeb, AltaVista, Ask Jeeves, Bloglines, Feedster, Lycos, MSN, Technorati, Teoma, and Yahoo.
Thomas Claburn, "Stealing From Google," InformationWeek Newsletter, November 1, 2005
Jensen Comment: I don;t find the way Google advertises in the column on the right of the page to be intrusive. As a matter of fact these advertisements provide added information regarding my search terms such as where to buy something related to those terms.
Human (International) Development Report
This year’s Human Development Report takes stock of human development, including progress towards the MDGs. Looking beyond statistics, it highlights the human costs of missed targets and broken promises. Extreme inequality between countries and within countries is identified as one of the main barriers to human development—and as a powerful brake on accelerated progress towards the MDGs.
Human Development Report 2005 --- http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005/
Intellectually Biased Economics Jargon
"Defining Capitalism Up," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2005; Page W15 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113046173248882058.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal
In his 1946 essay "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell famously lamented that our language "becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." He was writing about his native tongue, but today a group of young free-marketeers in Central and Eastern Europe have discovered the same thing -- discussions of economics in their countries are being poisoned by a vocabulary inherited from their communist past.
Ruta Vainiene, a young former central banker in Lithuania, has decided to do something about it. Last month, she published her plainly titled "Dictionary of Economics." The response, both in Lithuania and elsewhere in Europe, has been striking. Since its release, the Dictionary has been the No. 2 nonfiction best seller in her native country. And plans are now afoot to translate the book into local-language editions in a number of other countries. Think tanks around Europe are supporting the effort, having seen the necessity of cleaning up economic language and thought that, a decade and a half after the collapse of the Soviet empire, remains infected by history.
"The dictionary was my response to the market need to educate journalists and students about economic jargon that seemed very frightening to them," Ms. Vainiene said in a phone interview. "It explains the concepts in simple words. But also" -- and this is crucial -- "explains them correctly."
The book notes, for example, that "social 'justice' is always related to the unjust redistribution of wealth, and 'fair competition' is almost always related to unfair government intervention in the economy." In other words, Ms. Vainiene is trying to educate but also to eradicate the misleading and contradictory doublespeak that infects much economic language, especially as it is used in Europe.
Continued in article
How to avoid runaway compensation and perks for college CEOs
"Learning From American U.’s Mistakes," by Rob Capriccioso, Inside Higher Ed, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/28/gw
Nobody wants to be the next American University. After weeks with its now ex-president, Benjamin Ladner, under a barrage of fire for his lavish spending habits and benefits package, universities are making sure that they don’t face similar vulnerabilities.
Given all the publicity in Washington over American, it’s not surprising that George Washington University is among those institutions, creating a new position to monitor executive compensation and conducting an in-depth audit.
In recent months George Washington President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg – the highest paid college executive in the nation’s capital – has worked closely with the university’s board to have an audit conducted of his and other top administrators’ expenses. The audit, managed by a firm not affiliated with the university, found that there was no wrongful spending by Trachtenberg or other administrators. In fact, the audit showed that the president had donated approximately $250,000 back to the university over the past 3 years.
Last Friday Charles Manatt, chairman of George Washington’s board, announced that the university would soon hire an additional financial assistant to monitor the spending of administrators.
“It’s a matter of adding a second compensation consultant,” said Tracy Schario, director of media relations with the university. According to Schario, this assistant will aid in examining salaries and spending of top administrators. More details on the position were not available.
Raymond D. Cotton, a consultant who advises several college boards on their contracts with presidents, said Thursday that trustees from nearly 20 different private universities have reached out to his Washington law firm for advice since the American University scandal ensued.
Continued in article
I don't think there's a "hard and fast" case here
A student who broke his hip during an accident involving Jell-O wrestling (wrestling in a children’s pool full of Jell-O) is suing New York University for failing to prevent the incident, The New York Post reported. NYU officials told the paper they had not seen the suit.
Inside Higher Ed, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/28/qt
Teaching Versus Research in Academe
Academics tend to be contemptuous of markets, which is why the for-profit University of Phoenix is their bête noire. But markets will do a better job of sorting these things out, at least in some aspects, than the accredited professionals who, after all, merely respond to a system that rewards time spent on research and scoffs at time spent on teaching. Such incentives need to change. It will be a good thing if parents and students become more demanding, and it will be a very good thing if more sources of information are made available to them about what constitutes good teaching and where it is taking place -- and not taking place. There is a huge and completely unanswered need for college guides that are as frank, intelligent and unsparingly honest about the quality of undergraduate instruction as consumer guides are about, say, cars and stereo equipment. Unless, that is, we think of higher education as nothing more than a credential and a badge, a source of social prestige that we buy for ourselves and our kids. In that case, we will continue to get what we pay for.
Wilfred M. McDlay, "Teaching the Teachers," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2005; Page W15 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113046565220882172.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal
Professor McClay teaches history and humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Intel Self-Destruct Mode Aids AMD Momentum
It's hard to believe a company that controls more than three-quarters of perhaps the most profitable segment of the electronics industry can simultaneously look vulnerable and weak even while posting "banner" operational results. But Intel, in reshuffling its processor road map this week, has ensured that the momentum rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has built over the past year will continue for at least another year. Intel maintains that scrapping its original plans for a new Xeon processor for multi-processor servers in favor of a different platform will enable it to bring a higher-performance product to market faster than originally scheduled. That may prove true, but its customers must be wondering exactly what is going to happen over the next few months before that new processor is delivered. Will Intel meet its new delivery schedule, and will it actually deliver improved performance? The company is also delaying its next-generation Itanium processor by about six months. That comes as the Itanium has struggled with a market perception that it is a processor in search of a home as Dell and IBM have pulled back support, and only Hewlett-Packard remains to bolster the architecture among the largest system vendors.
Darrell, "Intel Self-Destruct Mode Aids AMD Momentum," InformationWeek Newsletter, October 31, 2005
Corning's new line of business
Then, four years ago, even as Corning's fiber-optics business was unraveling, the company's leadership decided to place a daring bet on cleaning up diesel exhaust. That bet--which is just now beginning to play out--commits Corning to spending upward of a half-billion dollars and harnessing the talent of hundreds of researchers to develop, manufacture, and sell a line of devices to dramatically reduce pollution from diesel-powered vehicles. Diesel engines produce slightly different pollutants--including soot--than gas-powered engines, and typical car technology is ineffective against them. "This is not a wild leap off a cliff," says Joe Miller, Corning's chief technology officer. At the same time, Miller says, it was "a very, very gutsy decision." The collapse of the tech bubble was as vivid, and as traumatic, at Corning as anywhere. Indeed, it must have appeared to blow a hole in Corning's financial performance. The company's total quarterly revenue peaked in the fourth quarter of 2000, at $2.1 billion. Just eight quarters later, in the fourth quarter of 2002, Corning's quarterly revenue was down to $736 million.
Charles Fishman, "Cleaning Up," MIT's Technology Review, October 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/issue/brief_one.asp
Plagiarism might be found if college officials only looked harder
The dean of Ohio’s Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Dennis Irwin, rejects Matrka’s view that a widespread plagiarism problem exists in the engineering program, and says the former student is wrong to believe that Ohio officials haven’t taken his charges seriously. The college, he says, has investigated the “four or five” cases that Matrka has brought to his attention, and while Irwin asserts that a federal student privacy law prevents him from discussing details of the review, he acknowledges that “a thesis or theses have been removed” from the library.
Doug Lederman, "Perceived Plagiarism at Ohio U.," Inside Higher Ed, November 1, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/01/plagiarism
Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm
A TIME TO RUN
By Barbara Boxer, with Mary-Rose Hayes
(Chronicle, 368 pages, $24.95)
Now along comes Sen. Barbara Boxer, a Democrat
from California, with her debut novel. She isn't afraid to thrust her
political prejudices into her story: On the very first page of "A Time to
Run" we learn that the plot will hinge on the confirmation vote of an
"ultra-conservative" to the Supreme Court. By the second and third pages we
are already being treated to miniature stump speeches on "the nominee's
strongly suspected bias against Roe v. Wade," a bias that threatens to "turn
back the clock." The bad guys are of course sleazy members of the vast
Mary Anastasia O'Grady, "Bookmarks," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113044985789181715.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal
Another Democratic celebrity, Jimmy Carter, has written many novels --- http://www.cartercenter.org/doc914.htm
Study of the Chinese language, culture, and even business is exploding in U.S. colleges
"Red Hot China," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/28/chinese
At Northwestern University this fall, there are two sections of third-year Chinese, the first time ever that a second section has been needed. At Yale University, enrollment in introductory Chinese is up 68 percent from last year, and for the first time professors can remember, significant numbers of freshmen are arriving with enough Chinese to start in second- or third-year Chinese. While national data are not available for this year, experts agree that colleges are seeing an unprecedented boom in the study of Chinese, and also study in English of Chinese history, economics and society.
“Chinese is the new Russian,” says Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the Modern Language Association, referring to the Cold War period when colleges couldn’t increase programs in Russia fast enough.
As dramatic as some of the enrollment increases colleges are already seeing are, they may be a fraction of what is to come. Next year, the College Board will offer an Advanced Placement test in Chinese for the first time, as part of an expansion that is also introducing AP tests in Italian, Japanese and Russian. As with all AP language courses, several years of language study would be required before the test. Earlier this year, the College Board surveyed high schools, asking if they planned to offer the new AP language courses. Board officials expected a few hundred would indicate interest in each of the new language programs. That was true for all except Chinese, for which 2,400 high schools indicated that they planned to build their Chinese programs to levels where students could take the AP exam.
Continued in article
Paul Pacter has been working hard to both maintain his international accounting site and to produce a comparison guide between international and Chinese GAAP. He states the following on May 26, 2005 at http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
May 26, 2005: Deloitte (China) has published a comparison of accounting standards in the People's Republic of China and International Financial Reporting Standards as of March 2005. The comparison is available in both English and Chinese. China has different levels of accounting standards that apply to different classes of entities. The comparison relates to the standards applicable to the largest companies (including all non-financial listed and foreign-invested enterprises) and identifies major accounting recognition and measurement differences. Click to download:
From Paul Pacter's (Deloitte ) site on international accounting on October 29, 2005 --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
We have updated the following agenda project pages to reflect discussions at the joint IASB-FASB meeting on 24-25 October 2005 in Norwalk, CT, USA:
Bob Jensen's threads on accounting standard setting are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm
CFA analysts' group favors full fair value reporting
The CFA Centre for Financial Market Integrity – a part of the CFA Institute – has published a new financial reporting model that, they believe, would greatly enhance the ability of financial analysts and investors to evaluate companies in making investment decisions. The Comprehensive Business Reporting Model proposes 12 principles to ensure that financial statements are relevant, clear, accurate, understandable, and comprehensive (See below).
"Analysts' group favours full fair value reporting," IAS Plus, October 31, 2005 --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity
Comprehensive Business Reporting Model – Principles
- 1. The company must be viewed from the perspective of a current investor in the company's common equity.
- 2. Fair value information is the only information relevant for financial decision making.
- 3. Recognition and disclosure must be determined by the relevance of the information to investment decision making and not based upon measurement reliability alone.
- 4. All economic transactions and events should be completely and accurately recognized as they occur in the financial statements.
- 5. Investors' wealth assessments must determine the materiality threshold.
- 6. Financial reporting must be neutral.
- 7. All changes in net assets must be recorded in a single financial statement, the Statement of Changes in Net Assets Available to Common Shareowners.
- 8. The Statement of Changes in Net Assets Available to Common Shareowners should include timely recognition of all changes in fair values of assets and liabilities.
- 9. The Cash Flow Statement provides information essential to the analysis of a company and should be prepared using the direct method only.
- 10. Changes affecting each of the financial statements must be reported and explained on a disaggregated basis.
- 11. Individual line items should be reported based upon the nature of the items rather than the function for which they are used.
- 12. Disclosures must provide all the additional information investors require to understand the items recognized in the financial statements, their measurement properties, and risk exposures.
Download the Comprehensive Business Reporting Model from the CFA
Click here for Press Release (PDF 26k).
Bob Jensen's threads on fair value reporting are at
Is Web 2.0 more hype than hope?
It's been hyped to death, but now problems are emerging. Will Web 2.0 suffer from the same old scams that doomed Usenet and e-mail?
Spam, scams and scatterbrains -- the same
problems that plagued the old internet are cropping up again in a new wave
of technologies known collectively as Web 2.0. But this time around,
proponents say Web 2.0 has been better engineered to withstand the troubles
that wrecked Usenet, BBSes and free e-mail. The cycle is so predictable,
it's almost a natural law: Every new internet movement popular enough to
generate buzz also generates a backlash. This time, the debate revolves
around the cracks that are starting to appear in Web 2.0, a term coined by
O'Reilly Media Vice President Dale Dougherty to describe a post-dot-com
generation of sites and services that use the web as a platform -- things
like Flickr, BitTorrent, tagging and RSS syndication. While there's no
strict agreement on exactly what Web 2.0 is, much of it involves public
participation and contributions from the commons.
Xeni Jarden, "Web 2.0 Cracks Start to Show," Wired News, October 27, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,69366,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_1
Futurists Pick Top Tech Trends
In an age of rapid-fire change, contemplating the future is downright headache-inducing. Investors who plan strategies over multiple years or decades recognize that today's must-have technologies are probably destined for tomorrow's waste bins. But there's no scientific method for identifying their replacements. That's why this week's column includes input from an assortment of experts who share their views on top contenders to be the technologies of tomorrow. Next time around, we'll see what future-thinking folks predict about the opposite question: Which heavily touted technologies are destined to flop? For now, let's take a look at the positive trends futurists see on the horizon.
"Futurists Pick Top Tech Trends," by Joanna Glasner, Wired News, October 25, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/business/0,1367,69138,00.html
A technology milestone: More online bill payments than personal check payments
InternetWeek Newsletter on October 28, 2005, by Antone Gonsalves
The days of writing checks to pay bills are nearly over. For the first time since MasterCard International started tracking such things, the number of U.S. households paying recurring bills automatically through credit and debit cards surpassed those who wrote checks.
Although it wasn't included in the study, the number of consumers using online banking to pay bills is also growing. That's surprising, given recent studies showing consumers increasingly concerned with having their personal information stolen on the Web.
But the fact is people, at least according to a Consumer Reports WebWatch study, are not worried as much about using their banks' services.
The study found that banking sites were trusted by nearly 7 in 10 Web users. In addition, more than half of online users trust sites where one can set up automatic payment of bills.
Update on Emerging Technologies
This week Trinity University hosted a visiting scholar named Susan E. Metros, Deputy CIO Executive Director for Educational Technology and Distributed Learning, The Ohio State University --- http://cio.osu.edu/metros.html
The tabs at the top of her Web site read as follows:
ROKR is for SUKR
Or, simply put, why would people carry two devices in their pockets -- an iPod and a cell phone -- if one could perform both functions well? I still stand by that claim; but the device I thought could be first proof of this argument, Motorola's ROKR phone, has let me down.
Eric Hellweg, "ROKR is for SUKRs," MIT's Emerging Technologies, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/wo/wo_102805hellweg.asp?trk=nl
What nation is known for being "built on politeness" as well as delayed justice on white collar crime?
One of the many earnest intellectuals who write in Canada's national media shared with the country last week his perception of the liberal paradise that Canada is becoming. It's the only country in the world, he writes, "where women can live in real equality, where it's OK to be gay, and where people pick up after their dogs." This was the vision of John Ibbitson, a columnist for Toronto's Globe and Mail, who ran in that newspaper a precis of his new book on the Canada that is to come. It's titled "The Polite Revolution," politeness being Canada's "secret recipe." It is "the core of what we are, the means by which we accommodate each other."
"A nation built on … politeness," World Net Daily, October 29, 2005 ---
Canadian white collar criminals can almost wait until they're in nursing
homes before going to trial
Canadian authorities say they want to clamp down on corporate crime. They seem to be having a hard time. Take Livent Inc. In 1998 -- before Enron, WorldCom, Tyco International, Adelphia and other high-profile U.S. accounting scandals unfolded -- the Toronto-based producer of "Phantom of the Opera" and other Broadway shows went into a tailspin. Its U.S.-listed shares became worthless. The company, under new U.S. management, accused founder Garth Drabinsky and other executives of a fraud that disguised the company's financial problems for years . . . The "right to mount a proper defense" can stretch out a "difficult, complex fraud" case, said a spokesman for the attorney general of Ontario. About two years ago, Canadian authorities vowed to get tougher on alleged corporate wrongdoers. While some recent moves show stiffer resolve, critics say cases are still taking too long, if they are pursued at all, and penalties remain light by U.S. standards.
Mark Heinzl, "Slow Canada: Fraud Cases Can Drag On," The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2005; Page C1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113037467355480761.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing
Louisiana White Collar Criminals Are in Politics
Throughout Louisiana’s modern history, corruption has flourished in state and local government. Some leaders have even celebrated our reputation saying it colors our politics. We may be corrupt, but we’re not boring. Perhaps no one better fit this persona than our four-time elected governor, now jailbird, Edwin Edwards. For years, he survived dozens of corruption investigations and indictments. His last gubernatorial campaign even embraced his less -than-tidy image producing bumper stickers that read “Elect the Crook, It’s Important.” What Edwards lacked in integrity, he more than made up for it with his personality.
Jason Dore, "La. politics colorful, extremely corrupt State must move away from image," The Daily Reveille from Louisiana State University, October 27, 2005 --- http://www.lsureveille.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/10/27/43605f8acd44b
WorldCom defendants in $651 million deal
A group of investment banks and other defendants agreed on Thursday to pay a combined $651 million to a coalition of institutional investors that lost money in WorldCom Inc.'s collapse. . . . More than 65 institutional investors are part of the pact, including the largest U.S. pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System. Others set to get payments include the California State Teachers' Retirement System and pension funds in Illinois, Washington state and Tennessee. The bulk of the settlement will be paid by WorldCom's former investment banks -- primarily Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase & Co -- that underwrote WorldCom Inc. securities, according to plaintiffs' law firm Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins of San Diego.
Martha Graybow, "WorldCom defendants in $651 mln deal," The Washington Post, October 27, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/wpOct27
Bob Jensen's threads on the Worldcom/Andersen scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#WorldCom
Internal Revenue Service Offers Settlement Over Tax Shelters
The Internal Revenue Service proposed a new settlement offer for some 4,000 small businesses, wealthy individuals and large corporations that participated in a variety of tax shelters. The settlement covers 21 types of transactions, 16 of which include tax shelters the IRS classified as abusive. Under terms of the settlement, individuals and corporations will pay all taxes and interest owed. Penalties will be reduced to half or one-quarter of the normal amount, according to the type of transaction. IRS Commissioner Mark Everson told reporters. "We're offering taxpayers a quick, quiet cost-effective way to put these deals behind them."
Rob Wells, "Internal Revenue Service Offers Settlement Over Tax Shelters," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2005; Page C2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113045348752081810.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing
Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm
Mixed reviews are given to video games used to supplement academic
The consensus for potential is still there, but lack of development funds for education-intended games. We really can't judge it these things at the college level until better quality stuff comes along for education rather than training.
See "Joystick Nation," by David Epstein, Inside Higher Ed, October
25, 2005 ---
Some examples are give for games being developed for science education.
Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment and learning games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World
"A Child’s Garden of Culture and Atrocity," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, October 27, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/10/27/mclemee
“Whoever cannot give to himself an adequate account of the past three thousand years,” said Goethe, “remains in darkness, without history, living from day to day.”
That is an expression of a bedrock principle of liberal humanism, European-style. It takes the existence of the educated individual as its basic unit of reference — its gold standard. But it also judges the quality of that existence by how much the individual has spent in acquiring a sense of the past. That expenditure also means, in effect, going into debt: You’ll never repay everything you owe to previous generations.That outlook is, when you get right down to it, pretty un-American. It goes against the ideal of unencumbered self-creation that Emerson taught us –- in which we are supposed to throw off the burdens of the past, living always in the vital present. Fortunately, this is not hard to do. The first step is not to learn much history to begin with. (We are good at this.)
Even so, there may be an audience for E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World, now available from Yale University Press, 70 years after it was first written. Imagine Goethe giving up the role of sage long enough to become a children’s author and you will have a reasonably good idea of the book’s content. It goes from prehistory up to the end of the (then-recent) Great War, with particular attention to ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, and the emergence of Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.
As for the style ... well, that is something even more remarkable. The tone is wry, at times, without ever being jokey — a kind of light seriousness that is very respectful of its young audience. Each chapter is perfectly calibrated to suit the attention span and cognitive powers of a 10 year-old, without ever giving off a trace of condescension.
The effect, even for an adult reader, is incredibly charming –- and, indeed, instructive, at least for anyone with the occasional gap in that interior timeline. (Quick now: Who were the Hohenzollerns? And no, a vague sense that they were German doesn’t count.)
In his later and better-known role as art historian, Gombrich commanded a really humbling degree of erudition, but always with a certain generosity towards his audience. That combination is very much in evidence throughout his first book – one written in what must have been very trying circumstances.
It was Vienna in 1935. Gombrich was 26 and had recently finished his dissertation. (Writing one “was considered very important,” he told a presumably incredulous audience at Rutgers University in 1987, “yet it didn’t take more than a little over a year to write.") His immediate job prospects ranged from the nonexistent to the merely terrible. Besides, he was Jewish, and the writing was on the wall, usually in the form of a swastika.
He managed to find part-time employment with a publishing company. He was asked to evaluate a book on world history for children in English, to see if it might be worth translating. He recommended against it, but offered instead to write one directly into German. It took him about six week, writing a chapter a day. The volume did quite well when it appeared in 1936, though the Nazis eventually stopped publication on the grounds of its “pacifism.”
By then, he was in London, working at the Warburg Institute (a major art-history collection, where Gombrich in time became director) and aiding the war effort by translating German radio broadcasts into English. Before leaving Vienna, he had agreed to write another book, this one for adolescents, on the history of art. That project that grew into a rather more ambitious work, The Story of Art (1950) – long the standard overview of European art history, from which generations of museum tour-guides have cribbed.
He wrote it – along with his more monographic works on iconography and on the psychology of perception –- in English. When his Little History was reprinted in Germany in the mid-1980s, he wrote an afterward for it; but he turned down offers to have it translated into English, preferring to do that himself, and to make some necessary revisions. It is not clear from the edition now available from Yale just how far Gombrich got with that effort at the time of his death in 2001. (The title page gives the translator as Caroline Mustill.) But he did add a postscript called “The Small Part of the History of the World Which I Have Lived Through” – summing up the 20th century from World War I through the end of the Cold War, and trying to put as optimistic a spin on that record as possible.
Continued in article
Terror Cell "Smuggled Missiles into Europe,
An Islamic terror cell has smuggled two surface-to-air missiles into Europe in a plot to shoot down planes at one of France's main airports, it was claimed Friday. French and Algerian extremists with links to al-Qaeda bought the Russian SA-18 Grouse missiles from Chechens in 2002 and smuggled them via Georgia and Turkey, according to French anti-terror sources quoted in Le Figaro. French anti-terrorism investigators learned of the missile terror plan while interrogating a Jordanian al-Qa'eda operative close to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of the Islamic terror group in Iraq.
"Terror Cell "Smuggled Missiles into Europe," Targeting French Airport," Telegraph-UK, October 31, 2005 ---
"Tough On The Top Police say Islamist terrorists are targeting Netherlands' ruling elite," By Bruce Crumley, Time Europe, October 31, 2005 --- http://www.time.com/time/europe/eu/article/0,13716,1118282,00.html
While radicals responsible for the deadly train bombings in Madrid and London chose anonymous commuters as victims, jihadists in the Netherlands appear bent on killing vips. Last week, police there arrested seven Dutch nationals of Moroccan origin in four cities and sealed off government buildings in the Hague in response to what Dutch Interior Minister Johan Remkes described as an "acute terrorism threat."
Security officials said they'd obtained evidence that Islamist extremists were planning assaults on politicians and government facilities. Among those held was 19-year-old Samir Azzouz, whom officials accuse of trying to buy automatic weapons and explosives for the alleged plot. Last April, Azzouz was acquitted of terrorism charges because of a lack of evidence, but was convicted of related offenses of illegal possession of guns and explosives. Police think the suspects may be related to Amsterdam's Hofstad Group, which Remkes says is "increasing in size" and has become more "autonomous." Formed in 2002, the Hofstad group is accused of organizing the Nov. 2, 2004, murder of filmmaker and critic of Islam, Theo van Gogh-13 members will face terror charges related to that case. In 2004, other alleged Hofstad members were deported from Portugal to Holland on evidence they were plotting to assassinate then-Prime Minister and current European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso.
French terror expert Roland Jacquard warns that targeting prominent local or national figures isn't a tactic limited to Dutch radicals. "Jihadist terror literature has begun stressing the sensational, destabilizing effectiveness of assassinating key officials, and it's become almost common in Iraq," says Jacquard. He notes that suspects arrested in France last month were considering killing two French political leaders and a former Moroccan security official now retired in Paris. "They are diversifying their killing techniques, not clipping them back," says Jacquard.
The Wall Street Journal, October 31, 1997
Pfizer Inc. presented to Wall Street analysts details of its experimental impotence treatment, Viagra, and other candidates in its new product pipeline, sending its shares up strongly until an afternoon market downturn. Viagra was originally tested and discarded as a heart pill.
Paul Pacter and Deloitte provide a statistical database (with data about international accounting) at http://www.iasplus.com/stats/stats.htm
Bob Jensen's links to economic and business data are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics
From Paul Pacter's IAS Plus on October 28, 2005 --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
We have posted the Deloitte Letter of Comment on Proposed Amendments to IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets (PDF 47k). On 30 June 2005, the IASB proposed to amend IAS 37 (and to retitle it Non-financial Liabilities) and complementary limited amendments to IAS 19 Employee Benefits. The amendments to IAS 37 would change the conceptual approach to recognising non-financial liabilities by requiring recognition of all obligations that meet the definition of a liability in the IASB’s Framework, unless they cannot be measured reliably. Uncertainty about the amount or timing of settlement would be reflected in measuring the liability instead of (as is currently required) affecting whether it is recognised.
Our response states:
With the exception of the proposals for restructuring provisions, we do not support the ED, which we see as largely unnecessary. In our view, the majority of the Board's proposals are premature and pre-judge matters that should be discussed in the context of the review of the IASB Framework rather than as an amendment of IAS 37. We think that IAS 37 is operating satisfactorily within the current operating model and environment. In addition, we do not think that the Board's choice of a single measurement attribute is appropriate. As such, we find the majority of the changes proposed in the ED fail to achieve an improvement in financial reporting.
Bob Jensen's threads on contingencies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#TheoryDisputes
The U.N. was very good to Saddam Hussein according to the final report
of Paul Volcker
The publication yesterday of Paul Volcker's fifth and final report on the U.N.'s Oil for Food program tells us little we didn't know about the broad outlines of the $100 billion scandal. But, oh, are the details ever instructive. The Volcker report confirms that Saddam Hussein demanded, and got, some $1.8 billion in illegal surcharges, kickbacks and bribes from companies doing business in Iraq. It confirms that he steered billions in oil and humanitarian contracts to his politically preferred clients, particularly Russia and France, and smaller sums to agents of influence (or their associates) such as British MP George Galloway, French Senator Charles Pasqua, and Oil for Food director Benon Sevan. It confirms that Saddam did so under the noses, and frequently with the connivance, of the U.N. agencies entrusted to monitor the program.
"Volcker 5.0," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2005; Page A12 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113046042345482016.html?mod=todays_us_opinion
In a scathing final report documenting massive
corruption in the U.N. oil-for-food program, investigators accused more than
2,200 companies and prominent politicians of colluding with Saddam Hussein's
regime to bilk the humanitarian operation of US$1.8 billion (¤1.5 billion).
The 623-page document exposed the global scope of a scam that allegedly
involved such name-brand companies as DaimlerChrysler and Siemens AG, as
well as a former French U.N. ambassador, a firebrand British politician and
the president of Italy's Lombardi region. It meticulously detailed how the
US$64 billion (¤52.76 billion) program became a cash cow for Saddam and
"U.N. oil-for-food probe accuses 2,200 companies of making illicit payments to Iraq," Asharq Alawsat, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.asharqalawsat.com/english/news.asp?id=2404§ion=1
Will the U.N. be as good to Iran?
In the case of Iran, Israel's response was well-conceived and executed. In calling for the annihilation of Israel (by Iran's President) - a UN member state - Iran stands in grave breach of the UN Charter, which stipulates that member states must foster peaceful relations with one another. And so, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom ordered Israel's ambassador at the UN to demand Iran's expulsion from the world body. Israel's emissaries throughout the world rapidly pointed out the fact that with its nuclear weapons program, its ballistic missiles and its active support for global terrorism, Iran is not just Israel's problem. It constitutes a clear and present danger to global security.
Caroline Glick, "Column one: The good terrorists," Jerusalem Post, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1129540617128&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
Ramita Navai, Correspondent for The Times, was
among thousands on the streets of the Iranian capital for annual anti-Israel
rallies, at which the President continued his inflammatory rhetoric. "It's a
bit like a family day out, but with cursory outbreaks of flag burning. There
are picnics, street-vendors and people selling balloons... there's a kind of
carnival atmosphere . . . The conservative hardliners have turned out in
force, but it would be a mistake to think that all of Iran is on the streets
baying for Israel's blood. The majority of ordinary Iranians don't really
care about Israel - they have enough to worry about at home with a declining
economy and high unemployment.
Ravita Navai, "On the spot in Tehran: 'A family day-out ... with flag-burning'," TimesOnLine, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,251-1847563,00.html
Iranian President Stands By Anti-Israel Comments
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's defends his remarks that Israel should be "wiped off the map." The defiant leader reiterated his comments Friday at an anti-Israel rally in Tehran. His statements have generated condemnation from world leaders. Trita Parsi, a Middle East specialist at John Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, discusses the fallout.
Robert Seigel, "Iranian President Stands By Anti-Israel Comments," NPR, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4980285
Germany convicts four Arabs in terror plot,
A German court has sentenced four Arab men to prison terms ranging from five to eight years each Wednesday for plotting attacks on Jewish sites. Three of the men are Jordanians. They were convicted of supporting an al-Qaida group linked to Iraqi insurgent leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the BBC said. The fourth man is Algerian, and was found guilty of plotting attacks and supporting a terrorist group.
"Germany convicts four Arabs in terror plot," Washington Times, October 26, 2005 --- http://www.washtimes.com/upi/20051026-121546-5103r.htm
France Considers New Anti-Terrorism Measures
The French government is considering a new anti-terrorism bill that is already being criticized for eroding basic civil liberties. The French legislation echoes a similar bill in Britain, and may foreshadow, some say, a tougher European approach toward terrorism in the future. Sponsored by French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the terrorism legislation would offer a new arsenal of terrorism fighting tools for France's judiciary and police. Among other measures, the legislation would stiffen prison sentences for convicted terrorists, increase video surveillance in public areas, and allow police to monitor suspects traveling to countries like Afghanistan, known to have terrorist training camps.
"France Considers Anti-Terrorism Measures," by Lisa Bryant, Voice of America, October 26, 2005 --- http://www.voanews.com/english/2005-10-26-voa28.cfm
North Korea accused of printing counterfeit U.S. currency
North Korea is financing illicit activities by printing up bogus U.S. $100 bills and passing them abroad to banking centers such as Macau, the former Portuguese colony now under China's control, a senior U.S. Treasury official charged Friday. The counterfeit bills are of such good quality that they've come to be called "super notes," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
Tim Johnson, "North Korea accused of printing counterfeit U.S. currency," Mercury News, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1511457/posts
Forwarded by Debbie Bowling
Seniors Study Seniors: More Undergrads Major in Old Age
That is college life for a growing number of students like Emily Keppler, a senior gerontology major at Ithaca College in New York state. She says people are usually surprised she has chosen to pursue a career with the elderly at such a young age — until she tells them how much she loved working as a dietary assistant at a nursing home.
Liz Borod Wright, "Seniors Study Seniors: More Undergrads Major in Old Age," ABC News, October 27, 2005 --- http://abcnews.go.com/Health/LivingLonger/story?id=1237784
Exploring Abraham Lincoln's 'Melancholy'
A new book about Abraham Lincoln explores how the young Illinois lawyer went on to become president despite being afflicted with depression from which he never recovered. In January 1841, a young Abraham Lincoln suffered his second breakdown. He collapsed, and was treated by a doctor who may have done him more harm than good. A new book explores how the Illinois lawyer went on to become president despite suffering from lifelong depression.
Robert Seigel, "Exploring Abraham Lincoln's 'Melancholy'," NPR, October 26, 2005 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4976127
Stories of Self-Awareness and Gay Culture
We hear readings from When I Knew, Robert Trachtenberg's colorful collection of vignettes from gay men and women about coming to terms with their sexuality. And Andrew Sullivan discusses the subject of gayness with Linda Wertheimer. For one man, it was watching the Dating Game as a boy and imagining himself in the bachelorette role. For two others, it was keen youthful interest in TV's Tarzan series. In one way or another, the accounts of the contributors to When I Knew are tip-offs -- whether to others or to themselves -- that they are gay.
"Stories of Self-Awareness and Gay Culture," NPR, October 29, 2005 ---
Another bite out of the high-priced Big Apple
What is the estimated savings after the AICPA moves over 400 jobs to Durham, North Carolina?
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Governing Council on Monday approved a proposal that would move approximately 400 jobs functions to Durham, North Carolina beginning in August 2006. The New York and Washington D.C. offices will only be minimally affected by the move. Every effort is being made to mitigate any disruption of service to AICPA during the transition . . . The relocation is expected to provide the AICPA with an annuity savings of approximately $10-11 million per year over a 15-year period.
Electronic Books and Journals
Jane Austen Centre --- http://www.janeausten.co.uk/
|For all those family hols? . . . A whistle
Things moved. I sat back, staring at my boots.
'Was that,' my friend smiled, 'where you "have your roots"?
' No, only where my childhood was unspent,
I wanted to retort, just where I started:
. . .
'Nothing, like something, happens anywhere.'
More Philip Larken Poems --- http://www.shearsman.com/pages/magazine/back_issues/shearsman52/larkin.html
What did professors wear on Halloween? --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/31/halloween
What did they, along with staff, wear on the Trinity University
http://www.trinity.edu/agarza3/PHPTPur Open House 2005.pps
Bowl with the Witch...use your space bar to throw the ball! http://www.club300.ru/public/content/media/humor/cat_new/cat_new.swf
Gift suggestion: Clock radio clocks up nude peeping tom photos
A clock radio in a Greenwood woman’s bedroom and bathroom was doing more than telling her the time or playing tunes. The woman’s personal trainer is accused of giving her the digital clock radio with a video camera inside as a gift and recording more than 400 images of her, police said. (snip) The two met at Bally Total Fitness, where Lenzy was a trainer for the woman, according to a probable-cause affidavit. Lenzy helped her move furniture and gave her the clock as a gift, which he then used to record images of the woman in her bedroom and...
Michael W. Hoskins, The Daily Journal, October 28, 2005 ---
I might consider this a gift from heaven
A Russian couple had a narrow escape when their naked neighbour dropped in - through the ceiling. Rozalia Valiakhmetova had been relaxing in the bath when the floor gave way, dropping her and the bath tub into the flat below. She said: "I had just dozed off and then I heard this huge crash and realised what had happened. The bathroom floor just collapsed under the bath and I came crashing through the ceiling of the people below me. "They seemed as shocked as I was when they saw me lying there naked in the bath in the middle of their living room."
"Naked woman drops through ceiling," Ananova, October 28, 2005 --- http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1590574.html?menu=news.quirkies