Due to a heavy travel schedule over the next two weeks, some of it outside the U.S., there will be no editions of Tidbits or New Bookmarks until late November.  Please resist sending me email messages during this time, because I will not be attending to my email.  I fly out this morning.


Bob Jensen

Tidbits on November 14, 2005
Bob Jensen
at Trinity University 

"Confusion Is Rife About Drug Plan as Sign-Up Nears," The New York Times, November 13, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/NYTnov13 

My links on Medicare drug plan options are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#Medicare
Under no circumstance should anybody sign up for a plan with a stranger over the telephone even if that person claims to be a Medicare representative or a licensed insurance agent who phoned out of the blue.

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/.

I really like the Digital Duo show that appears weekly once again on PBS.  I found that you can bring up prior shows on your computer by going to http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/index/0,00.asp

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 

Stay up on the latest and the oldest hoaxes --- http://www.snopes.com/

Free video download
Protect your kids online and offline --- http://www.pcworld.com/digitalduo/video/0,segid,143,00.asp

Video Poetry --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/thevideos/index.html
Includes a video of Hillary Clinton reading The Makers --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/thevideos/hclinton.html
Click down hard on the picture to commence the video reading!

See Hillary's husband in the Kooks of Hazard video
The Kooks of Hazard --- http://www.mdna.net/kooks.html

Other FlowGo Cartoons --- http://www.flowgo.com/
(You must watch an add and wait for the cartoons to load.)

Free music downloads

In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

A. Vivaldi " die Jahreszeiten (Uplifting classical music) --- http://www.adamkostecki.de/KH-Horbeispiele.htm

Classical Composers Database --- http://www.classical-composers.org/cgi-bin/ccd.cgi?comp=_phome 

A long list of old songs.  Listen to the music on the piano and read the lyrics --- http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/usa.html

Jazz News listing of downloads  of jazz and blues --- http://home.nestor.minsk.by/jazz/audio/index.html

Train of Life (Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline) ---  


Index to Galleries --- http://www.afterimagegallery.com/sites.htm

Mountain Images (These are great) --- http://www.mountain-images.co.uk/

High Summer Landscape (Beautiful) --- http://www.johngoto.org.uk/summer/2.htm

Adam Burton Landscapes --- http://www.adam-burton.co.uk/

Image*After --- http://www.imageafter.com/
Image*After is a large online free photo collection. You can download and use any image or texture from our site and use it in your own work, either personal or commercial.
More photographs (a huge collection) that you can use are at http://www.freestockphotos.com/

P r a i r i e H a u n t s  --- http://www.justinspace.com/phaunts/phaunts01.html
(Click on the pictures to move forward to other pictures)

Photos West Classics (the American West) --- http://photoswest.org/exhib/faves/faves.htm

In one way at least teaching is a good profession for a writer, because it gives him a sharp sense of futility.
John Fowles, as quoted in an email message from Ed Scribner

Learning is not compulsary...neither is survival.
W. Edwards Deming --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._Edwards_Deming
(As quoted at the bottom of email messages from Charles Betts)

If you're going to tell people the truth, be funny or they'll kill you.
Billy Wilder (1906 -2002) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Wilder

The difference between the sexes has long been a rich source of humor. Now it turns out, humor is one of the differences. Women seem more likely than men to enjoy a good joke, mainly because they don't always expect it to be funny.
Randolph E. Schmid, "Women May Enjoy Humor More, if It's Funny," Yahoo News, November 7, 2005 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051107/ap_on_sc/gender_humor

At last, some good news from Darfur: the genocide in western Sudan is nearly over. There's only one problem—it's drawing to an end only because there are no black people left to cleanse or kill.
Christopher Hitchens --- http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=20121

The profit margin on the Model T was only $2. The Ford Motor Company hoped to reap large profits selling spare parts for the car at their 48,000 dealer outlets.
October 7, 2005 message from Mike Gasior [mike@afs-seminars.com]

I had been mad enough to study reason;  I was reasonable enough to study madness.
Michel Foucault --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Foucault

Paul-Michel Foucault Lite --- http://snipurl.com/FoucaultGutting

Foucault is best known perhaps for challenging unjustified claims of knowledge and authority
Very few accounting professors, with the notable exception of Ed Arrington, want to devote much time, let alone their lives, studying the philosophy of Paul-Michel Foucault.  On Sunday I stumbled upon a new addition to the Trinity University Library called Foucault:  A Very Short Introduction by Gary Gutting (Oxford University Press, 2005, ISBN 0-19-280557-6).  This is a very short book with slightly over 100 exceptionally small pages. 

I only started the took and plan on finishing it tomorrow on my flight to Trinidad.  However, I've read enough of it to recommend it to anybody who wants a "lite" introduction to Foucault.

You can read about Foucault at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Foucault

Tech-Recipes (Multiple Platform) at http://www.tech-recipes.com/

This cookbook of computer knowledge contains almost a thousand recipes of step-by-step tutorials, tweaks, hacks, and hints. Feel free to browse the latest recipes, read our blog, or grab one of our many RSS feeds. Users who frequently share their knowledge are rewarded by us with gifts. Come join the fun!

For example,
Use Google to Find Free eBooks (Electronic Books) --- http://www.tech-recipes.com/google_tips85

Atlas of North American English ---

Studying Dialects
Acoustic Measurement
The North American Vowel System
Vowels and Vocalic Changes
Audio Samples and Maps

What's the real reason behind the unpopularity of the U.S. Congress?

Answer:  It's all in the math!
At last count, Congress Assembled contains two physicists, two chemists, two biologists, one geologist, 234 lawyers and an astronaut. This puts the lawyers within striking distance of an absolute majority in the 538-member Congress. No other profession approaches this 43.5% plurality, and, under quorum rules only lawyers can construe, for they wrote them themselves, it usually constitutes a de facto majority.
Russell Seitz, "Congressional Math," The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2005; Page A10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113167573546594425.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

Thousands of Arabs, outraged by the Muslim-vs.-Muslim bombings in Jordan, angrily rallied against al Qaeda yesterday as investigators arrested Iraqi suspects. "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!" Jordanians chanted outside one of the hotels blasted by alleged supporters of al Qaeda's Iraqi chief.
Niles Lathem, "''BURN IN HELL, AL-ZARQAWI!" New York Post, November 11, 2005 --- http://www.nypost.com/missing/missing.htm

Al-Qaeda calls Queen an "enemy of Islam"
AL-QAEDA has threatened the Queen by naming her as “one of the severest enemies of Islam” in a video message to justify the July bombings in London. The warning has been passed by MI5 to the Queen’s protection team after it obtained the unexpurgated version of a video issued by Al-Qaeda after the 7/7 attacks. Parts of it were broadcast on Al-Jazeera, the Arabic satellite channel. In the video, Ayman al- Zawahiri, second-in-command to Osama Bin Laden, targets the Queen as ultimately responsible for Britain’s “crusader laws” and denounces her as an enemy of Muslims.
Abul Taher, "Al-Qaeda calls Queen an ‘enemy of Islam’," The Sunday Times (Britain), November 13, 2005 --- http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1869849,00.html
Jensen Comment:  But why blow up innocent people on buses and subways in London?  I don't think the Queen's family rides on buses and subways.

Pattani's iron ladies take up arms
Women in restive Pattani are to take on a new role under army training _ firing guns. ''The situation has reached an intolerable point. Now we need to stand up, grip our guns and get out to fight,'' said Siwatchaya Pararat, a 39-year-old member of the so-called Iron Lady Unit. Up to 128 women in Panare district are being taught on how to use firearms, part of a five-day training course for village protection volunteers. The unit was initiated by Her Majesty the Queen, who wants women to learn self-protection and guard their villages against militants in the three southernmost provinces.
Wassana Nanuam, "Pattani's iron ladies take up arms:  Latest women's unit to get weapons training," Bangkok Post, November 13, 2005 --- http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/13Nov2005_news05.php

So much eventually boils down to drug rings
With every night that France's rundown suburbs burn, officials grow increasingly convinced that drug traffickers and Islamist militants are using frustrated youths to challenge law and order here. Many people who watch their cars, shops and schools go up in flames, however, are not buying it. They blame unemployment, racial prejudice and widespread youth boredom for the outbursts. Finding "hidden hands" behind the unrest seems like trying to catch the rioters as they rampage through the night. Some may get caught, but far more slip away in the darkness. "Everybody is fed up seeing our town and our district trampled over daily by these organised gangs," declared Gerard Gaudron, conservative mayor of the northeastern Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois after an hour-long march against violence. If the police don't crack down on these "hooligans," the embattled Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has warned, "who would give the orders? The mafias and the fundamentalists."
Tom Heneghan, "Paris seeks "hidden hands" in riots, locals unsure," Reuters, November 5, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/ReutersFranceNov7

"Study: American Women Need More Vacations," by Robert Roy Britt, Live Science, November 10, 2005 --- http://livescience.com/humanbiology/051110_vacations.html

Problem is, most of them aren't even getting one vacation a year.

A new survey of working women found they got away from it all ...

 "It's shocking to me that nearly one in five women we studied reported taking a vacation only once in six years," said study leader Cathy McCarty of the Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wis.

Sony secretly embeds a Trojan horse on your computer, opening the door to hackers!

"The Fools at Sony," by Antone Gonsalves, InternetWeek Newsletter, November 11, 2005

When I read about Sony BMG's controversial copy-protection technology, I thought of a line from Will Smith in the sci-fi film "I, Robot." Like the people who built the servant machines that later turned on their masters, the folks at the Sony record company are the world's "dumbest smart people."

How can so many execs with degrees from the best business schools be so stupid as to use a hacker-style rootkit to hide copy-protection software and make it nearly impossible to remove from a PC. Who was the idiot who stood up and said, "Hey, that's a great idea."

I'm proud to say that an attorney from my adopted state, California, was the first to file a class-action suit against these bozos, claiming that Sony's malware, dubbed XCP for Extended Copy Protection, violates the state's consumer protection laws, including a provision that forbids the taking control of a person's computer.

Continued in article

"TECHNOLOGYSony BMG shoots itself in the foot while firing against music pirates
Company's new CDs said to make PCs vulnerable to hackers, crippling virus," by Simon Avery, Globe and Mail, November 11, 2005, Page B6  --- http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20051111/IBSONY/TPBusiness/International By SIMON AVERY

At least one group of hackers has capitalized on that fact. Sophos PLC, a British-based security firm, said yesterday it has found the first Trojan software to take advantage of the Sony BMG's tool.

"Despite its good intentions in stopping music piracy, Sony's [digital rights management] copy protection has opened up a vulnerability which hackers and virus writers are now exploiting," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "We wouldn't be surprised if more malware authors try and take advantage of this security hole, and consumers and businesses alike would be sensible to protect themselves at the earliest opportunity."

It's still not clear, however, the best way for consumers to protect themselves. When Mark Russinovich -- the programmer and blogger who revealed the covert code last week -- tried to erase it from his PC, it disabled his CD drive.

Sony BMG has released a patch that makes its software visible again, but the fix itself can create new problems and may crash users' computers, according to Computer Associates International Inc. Making matters worse, once the patch is installed, it cannot be removed without Sony BMG's consent.

Sophos said yesterday afternoon it had issued a tool to detect the code and disable its "cloaking" function.

A group of consumers in California filed a class action law suit against Sony BMG last week, claiming the record company does not inform users that it installs the software directly into the "root" of their computer systems.

Sony BMG has declined to comment. A spokesman for Sony Canada was not available for comment.

Sony BMG provides a brief warning when customers insert one of the protected CDs into their PCs. A 3,000-word agreement pops up on the screen and includes the following paragraph: "This CD will automatically install a small proprietary software program onto your computer. The software is intended to protect the audio files . . . on the CD, and it may also facilitate your use of the digital content. Once installed, the software will reside on your computer until removed or deleted."

Thomas Hesse, the president of Sony BMG's global digital business unit, said the software, known as a "rootkit" because it installs itself in the root of a PC, is cloaked so would-be pirates can't find and remove it.

"Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?" he said in an interview with National Public Radio. "The software is designed to protect our CDs from unauthorized copying and ripping."

Rootkit 101

What is it

A rootkit is a set of virus-like tools frequently used by hackers to conceal running processes and files from diagnostic and security software. This helps an intruder maintain access to a computer for malicious purposes.

What does it do

Rootkits are often very difficult to detect and trying to remove them can damage a computer's operating system.

Sony's involvement

Since March, some Sony BMG music compact discs have been equipped with similar technology it calls Extended Copy Protection to cloak the activity of Sony's digital-rights management system, and stop computer users from copying CDs. The rootkit runs constantly in the background, using up system resources, and notifies Sony every time the user plays the CD.


Sony is under fire for allegedly not making it clear to buyers that the software would be installed when they play the CDs on their computers. Reports have stated that hackers have already taken advantage by creating two viruses that piggyback on Sony's rootkit.

Some affected titles

Trey Anastasio, Shine (Columbia); Celine Dion, On ne Change Pas (Epic); Neil Diamond, 12 Songs (Columbia); Our Lady Peace, Healthy in Paranoid Times (Columbia); Chris Botti, To Love Again (Columbia); Van Zant, Get Right with the Man (Columbia); Switchfoot, Nothing is Sound (Columbia); The Coral, The Invisible Invasion (Columbia); Acceptance, Phantoms (Columbia); Susie Suh, Susie Suh (Epic); Amerie, Touch (Columbia); Life of Agony, Broken Valley (Epic); Horace Silver Quintet, Silver's Blue (Epic Legacy); Gerry Mulligan, Jeru (Columbia Legacy); Dexter Gordon, Manhattan Symphonie (Columbia Legacy); The Bad Plus, Suspicious Activity (Columbia); The Dead 60s, The Dead 60s (Epic).


So why are only Windows users targeted by Sony for damaging Trojan horses?
Stung by continuing criticism, the world's second-largest music label, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, promised Friday to temporarily suspend making music CDs with antipiracy technology that can leave computers vulnerable to hackers. Sony defended its right to prevent customers from illegally copying music but said it will halt manufacturing CDs with the "XCP" technology as a precautionary measure. The antipiracy technology, which works only on Windows computers, prevents customers from making more than a few copies of the CD and prevents them from loading the CD's songs onto Apple Computer"s popular iPod portable music players. Some other music players, which recognize Microsoft's proprietary music format, would work.
"Sony to Stop Controversial CD Software," Physorg, November 11, 2005 --- http://weblog.physorg.com/news3593.html

Sony will likely never do this again, but I wouldn't trust any of the Hollywood moguls very far --- http://www.wired.com/news/digiwood/0,1412,69560,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3

The Fools in Silicon Valley

"Authorities Probe Improper Backdating of Options:  Practice Allows Executives To Bolster Their Stock Gains; A Highly Beneficial Pattern," by Mark Maremont, The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113167728332394467.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

Federal regulators and academics, scrutinizing a broad pattern of well-timed stock-option grants, are exploring the extent to which companies improperly backdated grants to provide insiders an extra pay windfall.

One Silicon Valley software company, Mercury Interactive Corp., admitted to such a practice last week, in an outgrowth of a broader probe of option-granting by the Securities and Exchange Commission which has made backdating a focus. Mercury said its chief executive and two other top officials resigned after an internal investigation found they "benefited personally" from widespread manipulation of stock-option grant dates.

Mercury is one of about a dozen companies currently being looked at in the SEC investigation, which was launched last year. Helping drive the probe is longstanding academic research that shows an overall pattern of stock prices dropping ahead of the reported dates of option grants and rising just afterward.

Continued in article

The controversies over employee stock option accounting rules are highlighted at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory/sfas123/jensen01.htm

"EKG to Go A new handheld heart monitor and subscription service may assuage heart-attack fears -- for people who can afford it," by Lauren Gravitz, MIT's Technology Review, November 11, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com//wtr_15874,1,p1.html?trk=nl

Chest pain, shortness of breath, indigestion, backache, nausea: they could be symptoms of a myocardial infarction -- or they could mean you have the flu. Many people are reluctant to wake their doctor at 1:00 a.m. over a case of indigestion -- but if they're really in the throes of a heart attack, waiting it out is the worst possible thing to do.

Enter EKGuard, a portable gadget and subscription service now available for the first time in the United States. EKGuard provides clients with a handheld electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor and a 24-hour call center staffed by cardiac specialists. Their goal: to drastically reduce the time between the onset of a heart attack and a patient's arrival at the hospital.

"The biggest problem when it comes to heart disease is that people aren't acting fast enough," says Jay Lichtenstein, EKGuard's president and CEO. "Typically, there's about four to six hours between when people feel symptoms and when they seek help. But after two hours, a person's chances of dying double -- her heart muscle suffers permanent damage because it's not getting oxygen." And the greater the damage, the lower the chances of survival.

Continued in article

"Too Much Money? Sports and the Budget," by John V. Lombardi, Inside Higher Ed, November 11, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/11/11/lombardi

Bob Jensen's threads on athletics in colleges are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Rip Off of the Season
How cities sock it to visitors:  New Rental Car Taxes
Added Fees Can Double the Price of a car
People who rent cars are getting hit with a host of new taxes that are being used to pay for things like stadiums, museums and alternatives to renting a car, such as monorail systems and rail lines.
The fees are being levied to pay for things like stadiums, museums -- and alternatives to renting a car, such as monorail systems and rail lines. State and local lawmakers, many of whom operate under balanced-budget mandates, got hit hard by the recent economic downturn and have become more creative about looking outside their constituencies for funding. Some of the new taxes are taking effect just as travelers are making plans for the busy holiday season. That means they are likely to sting even more, since many companies raise their rates around this time of year.
Avery Johnson, "Travelers Hit With Slew of New Taxes on Rental Cars:  Added Fees Can Double the Price of an Economy Car," The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2005; Page D1 ---

One Way to Possibly Avoid Extra Charges (if you are going to rent for a significant number of days)

Because most of the taxes are being passed at the local level, travelers face a hodge-podge of charges. Some fees, for example, apply at the airport, but not in town. This means that travelers can sometimes avoid taxes -- either by taking a cab across city lines or flying into an airport where the fees are lower. But sometimes the quest to avoid the fees can be more expensive than the charges themselves.

The increased use of rental-car taxes was touched off last year in Kansas City, Mo., when the city passed a new fee of $4 per day on cars rented in the city limits. The money is going to help fund a new sports arena. Then in April of this year, Arlington, Texas, put a 5% tax on cars rented in the city to fund a new stadium for the Dallas Cowboys (Arlington borders Fort Worth). Indianapolis increased its rental car tax from 2% to 4% on rentals within the city limits as of July 1. Last month, Revere, Mass., a town about a mile from Logan Airport outside Boston, added a new $10 tax per rental-car transaction to fund an $18.5 million police-and-fire station. Tom Ambrosino, Revere's mayor, says that rental cars should be taxed because they add wear and tear to the roads and create more traffic and pollution.

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

Are Women Better Drivers? Maybe, and Estrogen Could Be Why, Says British Researcher
Fasten your seat belts; the battle of the sexes is cruising into the realm of driving. Are women better drivers than men? If so, do women's hormones give them an advantage behind the wheel? It's possible, British researcher Amarylis Fox says in a news release. She notes the results of a study she and her colleagues recently conducted.
Miranda Hittie, "Are Women Better Drivers? Maybe, and Estrogen Could Be Why, Says British Researcher," WebMD, November 9, 2005 --- http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/115/111491.htm?z=1728_00000_1000_tn_06
Jensen Question:  Does this mean that we're in more trouble when these drivers reach menapause?

How to improve financial forecasts (possibly by 15%)
Looking at customer relationship metrics in conjunction with other financial measurements can forecast a financial profitability number for the coming year 15 percent closer to the actual figure, says GSB accounting Professor Madhav Rajan.
Marguerite Rigoglioso, "Nonfinancial Data Can Predict Future Profitability," Stanford Newsletter, November 2005 --- http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/acctg_rajan_nonfinancialdata.shtml

How to integrate electronic business into the curriculum
Addressing Electronic Business, Phase Two, Stanford Business, August 2005 --- http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm0508/faculty_news.shtml

Creativity: Ray of Enlightenment
Helping students find—and listen—to their inner voices has been the goal of Michael Ray's elective class on creativity --- http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm0511/feature_creativity.shtml

Stanford Podcasts and other audio/video links

From the Tech Smith Newsletter on November 10, 2005

Stanford University, in conjunction with Apple, is providing school-specific content on the iTunes Music Store. The service will give visitors the ability to listen to audio content on a computer or an iPod.

Stanford on iTunes will provide alumni and the public with a "new and versatile way of staying connected to the university through downloads of faculty lectures, campus events, performances, book readings, music recorded by Stanford students and even podcasts of Stanford football games."

When it begins, the service will contain "close to 400 distinct audio programs, and the university will continue to add new content as it becomes available."

See http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2005/october26/itunes-102605.html

Go to most any major university these days and search on the term "Podcast".  There is a phenomenal amount of information being podcasted from universities.

Podcast Directory by Topics --- http://www.podcastdirectory.com/genre/index.php?formatword=college

U.K. podcast directory for educators, schools and colleges --- http://www.ipodcast.org.uk/schools.php
Also see http://www.ipodcast.org.uk/weblog/blog.html 

KPMG's Knight in Shining Armor

Denny Beresford forwarded me an interesting article entitled “KPMG's Knight in Shining Armor” by Sue Reisinger.

I then set out on a Google search and found a link at http://www.law.com/jsp/ihc/PubArticleIHC.jsp?id=1131425800801 

This is a most interesting document on what was going on behind the scenes to convict versus same KPMG. It took a second generation Norwegian immigrant to get the job done. Now that made me feel good.

One statistic popped out. Sue’s article claims KPMG “raked in $128 million in ill-gotten profits while thumbing its nose at the law.” This is the supposed return on over $1 billion sales of illegal tax shelters, many of which were sold after the IRS warned KPMG to stop selling these shelters. Details are given at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#KPMG 

The eventual $453 million settlement to stay in business is costly to KPMG. Civil suits are still pending and these could become astronomical. And nearly 20 former KPMG tax partners are still facing criminal charges that could send them to jail.

But KPMG is still in business. Like Andersen many of Andersen’s professionals, there are many, many outstanding KPMG employees who bear no responsibility for the bad things that went down.

Horrible (shell game) accounting rules for pension accounting
Over the past three decades, we have allowed a system of pension accounting to develop that is a shell game, misleading taxpayers and investors about the true fiscal health of their cities and companies -- and allowing management to make promises to workers that saddle future generations with huge costs. The result: According to a recent estimate by Credit Suisse First Boston, unfunded pension liabilities of companies in the S&P 500 could hit $218 billion by the end of this year. Others estimate that public pensions -- the benefits promised by state and local governments -- could be in the red upwards of $700 billion.
Arthur Levitt, Jr., "Pensions Unplugged," The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2005; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113159015994793200.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Changed pension accounting rules are in the wind
This week, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, which writes the accounting rules for American business, will decide whether to go ahead with plans to change the way pension accounting is done. The board's current rule is 20 years old and has drawn fire from retirees and investors for many of the same reasons that disturb Mr. Zydney, who has made his concerns about his Lucent pension into something of a crusade. "Right now, the stuff isn't transparent," Mr. Zydney said. "There's no accuracy. No consistency. And everybody's trying to play some financial game to make things look better."
Mary Williams Walsh, "A Pension Rule, Sometimes Murky, Is Under Pressure," The New York Times, November 8, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/08/business/08pension.html?pagewanted=1

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm

A Bankruptcy Fraud

"Oohs and Ahs at Delphi's Circus," by Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times, November 13, 2005

It's not every day that investors can view the contortions performed by compensation consultants trying to justify the monster executive pay packages that they recommend to corporate clients. And when these exercises in absurdity are done for executives asking for great sacrifices from workers, retirees, creditors and former shareholders because they manage a company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, the entertainment is unmatched.

The ringside seat for this show comes courtesy of the Delphi Corporation, the automotive parts giant that filed for Chapter 11 on Oct. 8. The performers are Delphi's lawyers, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and its compensation consultant, Watson Wyatt. The consultant said it was hired to devise incentive plans for the company's executives that would "align the interests of both program participants and company stakeholders and to benchmark such programs against competitive practice."

Brian Foley, a compensation expert in White Plains who scoured the Delphi plan, is dubious. "It starts off with usual alignment rationale, but the reality is it provides no explanation as to how that rationale works when the only people receiving payments are the 500 to 600 chosen," he said. "At the end of the day, you have shareholders, retirees, union employees and nonunion workers who get nothing under this. Align that."

The Watson Wyatt plan - 35 pages in all - was filed with the bankruptcy court overseeing the Delphi case in New York. Accompanying the plan was a brief from Delphi's lawyers arguing that the company's managers must be "appropriately incentivized to maximize the financial performance" of the company. A hearing on the plan is scheduled for Nov. 29.

Delphi, which has 185,000 employees, argues that its woes are a result of high union wages, a fiercely competitive industry and rising commodity prices. The company plans to turn itself around, according to its lawyers, by improving its manufacturing and "eliminating noncompetitive legacy liabilities and burdensome restrictions under current labor agreements." Put in plain English, that means dumping its pension liabilities on American taxpayers and cutting its workers' wages and retirees' health and life insurance.

Workers at Delphi earn good money - $26 to $30 an hour in many cases. And the company is bizarrely forced to pay 4,000 current workers who no longer have jobs.

But when a company jettisons a pension that is underfunded by $11 billion, according to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and proposes cuts of up to two-thirds in workers' pay and deep reductions in retiree benefits, you would think that its executives might want to share the pain.

You would, however, be mostly wrong.

Continued in article

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

"GM Will Restate Results for 2001 In Latest Stumble:  Auto Maker Says It Booked 'Erroneous' Supplier Credits," by Joseph B. White and Lee Hawkins, Jr., The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113158081329892910.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

General Motors Corp., whose accounting is under scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission, said it must restate financial results for 2001 and possibly subsequent years, the latest blow to the beleaguered auto giant and its chairman and chief executive, Rick Wagoner.

Late yesterday, after the close of New York Stock Exchange trading, GM said it overstated income for 2001 by as much as $300 million to $400 million -- equivalent to about 50% of the profit it reported at the time -- by "erroneously" booking credits from suppliers. The company said its accounting for credits from suppliers is "one of the matters" being investigated by the SEC.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
GM's stock price hit a 13-year low and is a huge component of many investment and trust funds that are hoping GM can end this free fall.

The outside independent auditor for GM that apparently did not detect this huge error is Deloitte and Touche --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Deloitte

"Trump Stress With Your Thoughts," by Miranda Hitti, WebMD, November 4, 2005 --- http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/114/111393.htm?z=1728_00000_1000_tn_06

From MIT:  Embedded semiconductor circuits could save lives in surgery
High-powered lasers, snaked through the body inside thin optical fibers, can quickly and precisely burn off tumors lining the esophagus, intestines, or bronchial tubes. But there's a risk: if the fiber walls fail, the laser light beam can escape and harm healthy tissue. Now MIT researcher Yoel Fink, associate professor of materials science, has devised optical fibers that are wired with their own heat-sensitive electronics, which can be used to monitor developing defects while the laser is in use -- in time to shut it down before a failure.
Kevin Bullis, "Smart Fibers Optical fibers with embedded semiconductor circuits could save lives in surgery," MIT's Technology Review, November 8, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/BioTech/wtr_15853,306,p1.html?trk=nl

From MIT's Labs: Breakthroughs by researchers at MIT
One of the biggest problems in tissue engineering is keeping cells alive after they've been implanted in the body. Researchers have had success implanting very thin layers of engineered tissue like skin, because they can use blood vessels from underlying tissue to deliver oxygen and nutrients and get rid of waste. Thicker engineered tissues like muscle, however, tend not to live long because they lack their own sets of vessels that deliver nourishment. Langer and his colleagues have taken an important step toward solving this problem: for the first time, they have gotten blood vessels to grow in a patch of engineered tissue before implanting it in the body. While the researchers focused on muscle tissue, a similar approach could work for other tissues that have a lot of blood vessels, such as liver or heart tissue.
"From MIT's Labs: Breakthroughs by researchers at MIT," MIT's Technology Review, October 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/10/issue/ftl_mit.asp?trk=nl 

Absurd OHSAA Story of the Day

October 7, 2005 message from Mike Gasior [mike@afs-seminars.com]

High school football player Bobby Martin received an official apology from the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) recently. It seems that Bobby, who plays for Colonel White High in Dayton, was barred from playing in a game because he was not wearing the shoes and kneepads required by OHSAA.

The troubling aspect of the story is that Bobby was born without any legs, but has been a contributing member of the punt return team since he is able to move around the field very quickly using his arms.

Bobby gave thought during halftime to having a trainer use athletic tape to tape the required shoes and kneepads to his chest and then attempting to play in the second half of the game.

When asked about the situation, Bobby said, "That's the first time in 17 years" that anyone had ever actually made him feel disabled. Some moron from the OHSAA said that the referees were just being overly cautious.

This is just another story that proves that some people should just be taken somewhere and beaten with hammers.

Indecency in the media, like white collar crime, pays even if you get caught
Part of the problem, the agency says, is that fines are too low -- a maximum of $32,500. If broadcasters refuse to pay, the cases are turned over for enforcement to the Department of Justice, which has little incentive to pursue such small fines, members of Congress have said.
Frank Ahrens, "Delays, Low Fines Weaken FCC Attack on Indecency," The Washington Post, November 10, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/09/AR2005110902078.html?referrer=email

From: Paul Connolly [mailto:paul@gaapworld.com
Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2005 9:37 PM
To: Jensen, Robert
Subject: Hi from a Shanghai Expatriate

Hi Bob,

I have just discovered your excellent site and have just began to scratch the surface of it, it is most interesting.

I am an English Accountant recently qualified with the ACCA and currently living in Shanghai. The enthusiasm for accounting here among students is considerable and I have already met many students here that are showing interest in doing research etc.

This has led me to think about creating some kind of forum site to help these students. I have set up a tentative skeleton on www.gaapworld.com  hopefully people may use it to post questions on and to chat.

I would appreciate any comments that you may have about it so that I can improve it


Paul Connolly

November 13, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Paul,

Thanks for the kind words. I will add your message to several pages on my site, including tomorrow’s November 14 edition of Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2005/tidbits051114.htm 
I hope you get some people communicating with you at your new site in China.

You really should join (its free) the active listserv for international accounting educators --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2005/tidbits051114.htm 

You should also make daily visits to Paul Pacter’s great international accounting site --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm 

Paul also wrote a book comparing Chinese versus IFRs GAAP. After helping to write accounting standards for both the FASB and the IASB, he joined Deloitte in Hong Kong.

Bob Jensen

"Good" Bacteria: Good for Colds?
"Eat your bacteria," is not something you hear every day, but it could prove to be good advice for people who want to stay healthy. During the past few years, interest in the health benefits of probiotics or so-called "good" bacteria has grown. Found in certain yogurts and in supplement form, probiotics are increasingly used to treat diarrhea and other gastrointestinal ailments. Now a new study suggests that they may also help prevent respiratory infections like the common cold.
Salynn Boyles, "'Good' Bacteria: Good for Colds?" WebMD, November 7, 2005 --- http://www.webmd.com/content/Article/114/111409.htm?z=1728_00000_1000_tn_06

Google Local, Yahoo Maps Pose Challenge to MapQuest

"The Best Way to Get From Here to There:  Google Local, Yahoo Maps Pose Challenge to MapQuest; A Whole Town Goes Missing," by Walter Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2005; Page D7 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113149524488091699.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

These newer sites are free, like MapQuest, but they offer some fancy features, like the ability to pan across a map simply by moving your mouse's cursor, or zooming in or out on a location quickly. Google adds satellite photos of the actual locations, down to the trees in your front yard.

MapQuest looks a little dowdy by comparison to the newcomers, but it works for a lot of folks because it gets people from point A to point B, without any extra fuss. So, we tested these new features from Google and Yahoo to see if they were actually useful, or just a lot of hype that muddied up the direction-retrieval process.

Overall, we concluded that, for the sake of getting where you're going with the most-thorough directions, MapQuest still does the best job, with the most accurate directions. But Yahoo has a multipoint routing feature that's valuable. And, for some, the ability to quickly pan a geographic region on Yahoo and Google -- with satellite photos on the latter -- can familiarize them with the surrounding area and make the drive easier.

Continued in article

Microsoft to Bundle Anti-Spyware App With Windows
Microsoft said Friday that it plans to bundle its "Windows Anti-Spyware" tool with Windows Vista, the chronically delayed next version of the company's operating system. Microsoft also decided to rename the program "Windows Defender," in part to give it "a more positive name." The announcement, like others of late, was posted on one of the numerous blogs on Microsoft's site that catalog the daily doings of the software giant's many technical divisions. But this news -- for me, anyway -- was more than just a press release issued via a breezy blog post. It offered a glimpse of something Redmond hinted it was going to do years ago, but which has only recently become more of a reality: ship antivirus and anti-spyware updates to hundreds of millions of Windows computers every day through its Windows/Microsoft Update feature.
Brian Krebs, "Microsoft to Bundle Anti-Spyware App With Windows," The Washington Post, November 7, 2005 --- http://blogs.washingtonpost.com/securityfix/2005/11/microsoft_to_bu.html?referrer=email

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

November 8, 2005 message from Per Christensson [sharpened@mac.com]

Here is a good glossary to add to your site at: www.trinity.edu/~rjensen/245glosf.htm 

The Sharpened Computer Glossary http://www.sharpened.net/glossary/ 

Also, FileInfo.net is a great file extensions reference to consider adding as well. http://www.fileinfo.net/ 

Hope you find this helpful!

Thanks, -
Per Christensson

Jensen Comment:
I added these to my technology glossary at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/245gloss.htm

Modern day value added by education

November 8, 2005 message from Carol Flowers [cflowers@OCC.CCCD.EDU]

A comment I made about commitment and the attitude of today's youth verus "yesterday's" regarding education (And I realize this doesn't apply to all students): On the news today I heard (and have heard about this before as it is evidently becoming more common), that if you have ONE YEAR of perfect attendance, you can earn a new mustang (car) from a car dealer in the area. I had 4 years of perfect attendance and got a plaque!!! If they complete school, different businesses are providing cars and cash. No wonder students now adays don't have the motivation -- why do anything for personal gratification and self esteem when you can hold out and get a monetary award? I'm sure these individuals providing these "prizes" are well meaning -- but just exactly what lesson is being taught/ learned??!!!!

Jensen Comment
Carol did not mention whether or not the winners have to pass.

The Internet Craftsmanship Museum --- http://www.craftsmanshipmuseum.com/

Bob Jensen's threads on history and museums are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History


"Old School:  William F. Buckley explains why he thinks conservatism has become "a little bit slothful," by Joseph Rago, The Wall Street Journal, November 12, 2005 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110007541

There is something out of time about lunching with William F. Buckley Jr. It goes beyond the inimitable WFB style: the mannered civility, the O.E.D. vocabulary, the jaunty patrician demeanor. It is also something more than mere age. "Well, I am one day older than I was yesterday," he says, with rather good cheer. Yet if there's anachronism to Mr. Buckley, it is also a sense of being present at a moment of creation.

For all his versatility as editor, essayist, critic, controversialist and bon vivant, Mr. Buckley is widely credited as the driving force behind the intellectual coalition that drew conservatism from the fringes of American life to its center, with such side-effects as the utter collapse of the Soviet empire. "There's nothing I hoped for that wasn't reasonably achieved," declares Mr. Buckley, who will turn 80 later this month. "Now, I'm going to have a cocktail," he announces, flashing his oblique grin. "Will you join me?"

"My view is unorthodox," Mr. Buckley says of the violence roiling the French suburbs. "It seems to me that a very hard dose of market discipline would distract the attention of the young revolutionaries from their frolics, traditional and otherwise, and my sense is that if they had to worry about how to eat, and buy food, they would stop screwing around and face reality. If these people didn't wake up in the morning thinking about what cars to burn--instead of work--they might not be having these problems." Here, with this talk of young men on the boil, we turn to the episode that made Mr. Buckley's name--the publication, in 1951, of "God and Man at Yale." His argument, scrubbed down, was relatively simple: that the inner workings of Yale were increasingly hostile to conservative and religious perspectives. It was "the detraditionalization" of a great university. Yet his trim little volume scandalized the Yale administration and Bill Buckley, then 26, found himself subjected to calumnies from every sort of pen-and-inkubus. "A violent, twisted and ignorant young man," said McGeorge Bundy. And he was among the more charitable.

"The academic establishment simply agreed that it was a completely forgettable ideological hour, fit to be ignored completely," Mr. Buckley recalls. "They were overwhelmed by the fact that such thinking could happen, and they made fools of themselves--I think." "God and Man," now regarded as a classic, is worth revisiting. Its most important consequence was that it "opened up thinking on several fronts . . . not least being, people became more conscious of ideological balance, and therefore more sensitive to the overwhelming superiority of the formalisms of college life." All these years later, Mr. Buckley remains skeptical of our higher education. He concedes "a broadening of perspective," but notes that "the liberal orthodoxy is still pretty secure and it is unlikely that any event--at least in my lifetime--will dislodge it."

If there has been a signal project of Mr. Buckley's career, it is nicely captured in his reflection about opening up thought. That undertaking was most alive in his periodical, National Review, founded in 1955. This might seem incompatible in light of its famous animus: "It stands athwart History, yelling Stop." But since the forces of history can no more be resisted than those of gravity, its capitalization--as History--is a touch that reminds us that Mr. Buckley meant it to represent the regnant liberalism which NR was specially designed to contest.

. . .

Does he believe the war on terror to be the same kind of "long twilight struggle" as the Cold War? "Well," he says, "it lacks the formal face. It's detached from national dimensions. As such, it legitimately inquires into two things. No. 1: To what extent does this society elect to fight it? Because if it doesn't care that much about it then to hell with it. No. 2: Is this society pliant enough to come up with a formula to defend itself that nevertheless acknowledges the ancient restrictions on ideas? If I'm correct, there hasn't been an act of terrorism in the U.S. for four years, and that bespeaks not the absence of will by terrorists to damage but a lack of resources. How much of that is owing to their own institutions or to a sense that resistance is here remains to be seen."

This last is a glancing way of referring to the U.S. enterprise in Iraq, which Mr. Buckley calls "anything but conservative." "Conservatism," he says, "except when it is expressed as pure idealism, takes into account reality, and the reality of the situation is that missions abroad to effect regime change in countries without a bill of rights or democratic tradition are terribly arduous. This isn't to say that the war is wrong, or that history will judge it to be wrong. But it is absolutely to say that conservatism implies a certain submission to reality; and this war has an unrealistic frank and is being conscripted by events."

Mr. Buckley is similarly skeptical of the presidency of George Bush, who, he says, was not elected "as a vessel of the conservative faith." He returns to a formulation he has used before: "Bush is conservative, but he is not a conservative." The distinction is not unimportant; it suggests a way of approaching the world with a conservative disposition but having devoted no particularly methodical thought to the subject--perhaps a bit too in thrall to the formalisms of Republican discourse. "There's a certain"--Mr. Buckley pauses mischievously--"wholesomeness to the Republican Party."

Does he think the conservative movement will undergo the same kind of intellectual reinvigoration that National Review spurred in its early years? "I don't think there's any way to avoid it," he quickly interjects. "Mutatis mutandis. So one point on our side."

Mr. Buckley necessarily declines, however, to speculate on how that realignment will take shape. "I know people who have assured me about what will happen tomorrow, and they'll tell you animatedly about it. I don't have that gift. The happy aspect is that you're never surprised. On the other hand it denies you any claim to prophetic skills. But there's no alternative, and we're lucky there isn't."

Continued in article

Morgan State Objects
Maryland officials have approved a joint M.B.A. program to be offered by Towson University and the University of Baltimore, despite the objections of Morgan State University, The Baltimore Business Journal reported. Morgan State, a historically black institution, has complained that the new program will detract from its business offerings and run counter to desegregation goals. Towson and Baltimore officials have said that the new program addresses unmet needs in the region.
Inside Higher Ed, November 10, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/11/10/qt

From Jim Mahar's blog on November 7, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

How 1+1+1+1 Can Equal Less Than 4

This was in yesterday's NY Times. It is another supporting article for the diversification discount.

"over the long haul, conglomerates, on average, perform worse in the stock market than the typical focused company. One likely cause is that they tend to do a poor job of allocating capital among their various divisions. Of course, if those units were separate publicly traded companies, the market itself would be making the allocation decisions. And it stands to reason that the overall market is a better administrator in this regard than the average corporate manager."

A study conducted by David S. Scharfstein, a finance professor at the Harvard Business School, offers evidence of inefficient capital allocation among widely diversified companies. Professor Scharfstein found that managers of conglomerates generally felt compelled to invest something in all of their divisions, regardless of the divisions' growth potential - a phenomenon that he calls intrafirm "socialism." Because of it, conglomerates tend to invest too much in divisions with low growth potential and too little in those with high potential."

Yet another example of a perfectly timed article. Just today in class we were speaking of the problems with internal capital markets!

Professor Scharfstein's research was conducted for the National Bureau of Economic Research; a copy of his study is at [SSRN]:   "The Dark Side of Internal Capital Markets II: Evidence from Diversified Conglomerates" ---   http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract-id=226103

November 8, 2005 message from Saeed Roohani [sroohani@COX.NET]

Bob had a posting on supply and demand for accounting graduates, I am a bit surprised that about 2/3 of all graduates produced still have Bachelor's degree after almost two decades of the 150 hour rule.

Given that many major corporations have outsourced their "real" accounting function (not talking about AP or AR jobs) to CPA firms, where is the market for this 75%? Are we just advocating the 150 hours rule?

Saeed Roohani
Bryant University

Around the world (almost) on one tank of fuel
A Boeing Co. jet arrived in London on Thursday at the end of an attempt to break the record for the longest nonstop flight by a commercial jet. The 777-200LR Worldliner - one of Boeing's newest planes - touched down shortly after 1 p.m. (8 a.m. EST) at London's Heathrow Airport after an almost 23-hour journey of more than 12,586 miles from Hong Kong. The flight traversed the Pacific Ocean and North America before landing in London.
"Boeing jet arrives in London in attempt to break record for world's longest commercial flight," The Wichita Eagle, November 10, 2005 --- http://www.kansas.com/mld/kansas/news/breaking_news/13131667.htm

"Children of bipolar parents more creative," Science Daily, November 8, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/ScienceNov8

Researchers said a sample of children who either have or are at high risk for bipolar disorder, which was formerly called manic-depressive illness, score higher on a creativity index than so healthy children.

"I think it's fascinating," said Dr. Kiki Chang, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and co-author of the paper. "There is a reason that many people who have bipolar disorder become very successful, and these findings address the positive aspects of having this illness."

. . .

Ketter said he believes bipolar patients' creativity stems from their mobilizing energy that results from negative emotion to initiate some sort of solution to their problems. "In this case, discontent is the mother of invention," he said.

The study appears in the November issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

"Man Jailed in 1st Copyright Violation Case," by Helen Luk, The Washington Post, November 7, 2005 ---

HONG KONG -- A Hong Kong man on Monday was sentenced to three months in prison in what local officials say is the world's first successful prosecution of copyright violation using the popular file-sharing software BitTorrent.

Chan Nai-ming, 38, who called himself "Big Crook" on the Internet, was earlier convicted of illegally uploading three Hollywood films, "Daredevil," "Red Planet" and "Miss Congeniality," onto a Web site so that others could obtain them.

Chan is the first person in the world to be convicted and jailed for illegal online sharing of copyrighted material using the BitTorrent software, said customs spokeswoman Glenis Liong.

Continued in article

Democracy Flashback

The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 1988
California's voters have more on their minds than a choice between George Bush and Michael Dukakis in today's elections. The California ballot has 29 initiative and referendum proposals, taking up 150 pages of fine print in the official state voter's manual.

High School Student Elected Mayor of Mich. Town (without even being on the ballot)
Earlier this year, Michael Sessions lost his bid for student body vice president at Hillsdale High School, but the high school senior has made quite a comeback. Today he is the mayor-elect of Hillsdale, Mich. "I ran because I thought I could bring a difference to the city of Hillsdale," Sessions told ABC News. Sessions successfully mounted a rare write-in campaign for the office of mayor, narrowly defeating the 51-year-old incumbent, Douglas Ingles, on Tuesday. Sessions (whose name could not be included on the regular ballot because he had not turned 18 by the May filing deadline) ran his campaign using the $700 he made from his summer job, according to The Associated Press.
Brian Wise and Jen Brown, "High School Senior Elected Mayor of Mich. Town," ABC News, November 9, 2005 --- http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=1296769

Prisoner Elected to Calif. School Board
The winner of a school board election didn't campaign, attend forums or even go to any school board meetings before the vote — because he was in jail.
"Prisoner Elected to Calif. School Board," Fox News, November 10, 2005 --- http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,175187,00.html

No guns in San Francisco and now no Golden Arches in Ogunquit
I don't know if this is constitutional, but it happened in Maine
(previously Vermont banned all new Wal-Marts in the state)

OGUNQUIT, Maine --Voters in this seaside town on Tuesday became the latest community to ban so-called "formula" restaurants. Supporters of the chain restaurant ban put the measure on the ballot because they didn't want their town to turn into just another congested strip of Dunkin' Donuts, Subways, Applebee's and Burger Kings. The measure, which was approved 506-207, prohibits formula restaurants, defined as establishments with the same name, employee uniforms, color schemes, architectural design, signage, or similar standardized features as another restaurant regardless of location or ownership. From Maine to California, more than a dozen municipalities now have laws that ban or restrict chain restaurants, motels, retailers and other establishments.
"Maine town approves ordinance to ban chain restaurants," Boston.com, November 8, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/BostoncomNov8

"Pride of the Yankees A new encyclopedia fleshes out the idea of New England," by Joseph Raga, The Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2005 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/la/?id=110007521

In 1878, Thomas Gold Appleton, the scion of one of Boston's first families, published an essay called "The Kingdom of the Common-Place," in which he argued that New Englanders must reconcile themselves to "the fatal poison" of modernity. "The rail-road, steamer and telegraph have melted a whole continent into a tedious unity of customs and manners," he wrote, and "never again, we fear, will the air of New England coin itself into beauty and power."

As with any change, there was gain and loss. A new vitality and sense of national purpose may have been found, but a great deal of regional distinctiveness drained away. We see this most often in the South, bound up in the faded mythologies of the Lost Cause. But New England forfeited much of its unique character as well, or thought it had. More than a geographical definition, New England was an idea, or rather a constellation of ideas, constituting a way of life. It was centered on the Puritan mission to do God's work in the howling wilderness and the Yankee spirit of thrift, hard work, virtue and order. In the late 19th century, each seemed under siege. Thus Appleton's threnodic strains.

But of course his lament was premature. New England has endured, imagined and reimagined. And social and cultural historians have, over the past two decades, rethought the importance of regionalism in American life. Now we have a rich introduction to all that historical spadework, or at least its Northeastern variety, in "The Encyclopedia of New England." The book draws on the efforts of some 1,000 contributors and, spooled out over 1,564 pages, touches on a nearly boundless range of topics, from the textile mills of the Industrial Revolution to the Internet boom of the information age; from clamming to aquaculture; from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Robert Frost; from the Harvard-Yale game to the Boston Red Sox. The tidy entries are accessible to the general reader and end with suggested readings for further study.

It must be noted that the "Encyclopedia" is the product of a university press, and a certain amount of academic cant is evident, though generally limited to predictable topics. Was it really wise to devote more column inches to, say, "ecofeminism" than to either Henry Adams or John Winthrop? An entry for Bernie Sanders, Vermont's socialist congressman, but not Henry Wadsworth Longfellow?

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads of history and literature are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History

"B-Schools Ranked on Social (Responsibility) Studies," Business Week, November 1, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/BENov1

As part of the study, the organizations rank B-schools based on how well they integrate social and environmental issues into their curriculum and research. The ranking weighs a school's commitment in four categories, including the number of courses offered, the enrollment for those courses, the quality of the content, and the depth and breadth of faculty research. Nearly 600 MBA programs participated by responding to a survey, and 1,842 courses and 828 journal articles from leading peer-reviewed business publications were analyzed to determine the top 30 schools.

The top 10 programs as ranked by "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" are:

01. Stanford University Graduate School of Business, U.S.
02. ESADE Business School, Spain
03. York University Schulich School of Business, Canada
04. ITESM (EGADE) Graduate School of Business, Mexico
05. University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business, U.S.
06. The George Washington University School of Business, U.S.
07. The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, U.S.
08. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School, U.S.
09. Cornell University S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, U.S.
10. Wake Forest University Babcock Graduate School of Management, U.S.

Although the business schools surveyed are making important progress, the report's authors note that teaching and research on these topics are still limited and not widespread. Only 4% of faculty at the surveyed schools published research on related issues in top, peer-reviewed journals during the survey period, says Mark Milstein, business research director for the World Resources Institute's Sustainable Enterprise Program.

Bob Jensen's threads on the controversies of any rankings of colleges are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

Woman in Clinton affair gets $90,000
The former West Chester Friends School official who said she was fired because she had an affair with former President Bill Clinton yesterday accepted a $90,000 settlement judgment from the school and will end her discrimination case. Myra Belle "Sally" Miller, 66, sued in federal court in Philadelphia last year, alleging she was harassed and discriminated against when school employees learned she was once mentioned along with Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers. Miller, also known by her former married name of Sally Perdue, ... and was paid between $40,000 and $50,000 a year.
Benjamin Y. Lowe, "Woman in Clinton affair gets $90,000," The Philadelphia nquirer, November 8, 2005 ---http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/13109509.htm

Reporters Without Borders
An interesting coalition has formed to monitor technology vendors' willingness to play ball with repressive regimes that seek to limit their citizens' ability to speak their minds on the Internet and, presumably, elsewhere.

The alliance is made up of a reporters' watchdog group, called Reporters Without Borders, dedicated to the notion that people who make their living with words should be able to write and say exactly what they wish, without any government interference.
Johanna Ambrosio, InformationWeek Newsletter, November 9, 2005

Segregation of the future might be based upon haplotype blocks
Different populations have haplotype blocks of different lengths, and may also inherit different patterns of variation, making the decision to study diverse populations inevitable. With a full catalog of haplotype patterns, researchers can speed up their hunts for disease-related genes by selecting "tag SNPs," individual variations that depict the full pattern of differences in each block.
Erika Jonietz, "Part II of a A New Genetic Globe:  The international HapMap project is teaching an unorthodox lesson: our differences, not our similarities, may save us," MIT's Technology Review, November 9, 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com//wtr_15860,1,p1.html?trk=nl  

Barbara's Zeal
If there was ever a time in history to impeach a President of the United States, it would be now. In my opinion, it is two years too late. We should have done this before the election to spare the country the misjudgment, the incompetence and the malfeasance of this administration. Let us remember that UN weapons inspectors asked for more time to search Iraq for WMDs. Two months into their search, the Director General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, stated that he found no evidence that Iraq had revived its nuclear weapons program since its elimination in the 1990s. And Saddam Hussein had begun to comply with the administration's demands. Why would you invade a country if there was still a chance for peace? Shouldn't war be an absolute last resort? We went to war because we were misled. And we should be angry because of the 2,000 American soldiers and the 200 armed coalition forces that have died. We should be livid because of the 15,000 American soldiers that have been horribly maimed and wounded. We should be disgusted because of the 30,000 innocent Iraqi civilians that have been killed and the 20,000 that are wounded after administration officials claimed that the US was going to liberate the Iraqi people.
Barbara Streisand on October 26, 2005 at her own Website --- http://barbrastreisand.com/statements.html

Contrary to what Barbara asserts, Richard Minter concludes she, like the rest of the world, is a victim of disinfomation

"WMDs Found in Iraq," Online Human Events, November 9, 2005 ---

Contrary to ongoing reports by mainstream media outlets, WMDs have been found in Iraq, so reports New York Times best-selling author Richard Miniter in his new book, Disinformation.

Consider these shocking facts:

• Found: 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium

• Found: 1,500 gallons of chemical weapons

• Found: Roadside bomb loaded with sarin gas

• Found: 1,000 radioactive materials--ideal for radioactive dirty bombs

• Found: 17 chemical warheads--some containing cyclosarin, a nerve agent five times more powerful than sarin

This is only a partial list of the deadly weapons Miniter reveals in his new book, Disinformation. Miniter systematically dissects the "No-WMD Myth" (how it started, and why it continues), as well as 21 other War-on-Terror myths perpetuated by the media.

You can get a chapter free at http://www.humaneventsonline.com/sarticle.php?id=10101&o=DIB004

USA Test forwarded by Barb Hessel on November 8, 2005

The 4th of July is a time when we celebrate our nation. A time to reflect on the freedoms which we believe are not granted by our government, but are self-evident rights for all humankind. Back by popular demand, the Independence Day Quiz has returned-- How much do you really know? Everyday thousands leave their homelands to settle here in the land of the free. Before they become citizens they are required to take a citizenship test. Could you pass this test if you took it today?

We have run the contest a few years in a row now. This time our quiz throws a few curveballs in the mix-- questions not found on the Citizenship test. The last ten questions may be a bit harder, but a score of around 24 out of 30 is considered a passing grade.

Click Here when you are ready to Begin the Quiz --- http://www.toast.net/games/Independence/page1.asp

Electronic Books, Poems, and Journals

Bob Jensen's new site with links to Electronic Literature --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

The Mississippi Review --- http://www.mississippireview.com/

American Verse Project (From the University of Michigan in collaboration with the Michigan Humanities Text In-------Initiative) --- http://www.hti.umich.edu/a/amverse/

So, you want to learn Bookkeeping! by Bean Counter's Dave Marshall --- http://www.dwmbeancounter.com/tutorial/Tutorial.html

SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR --- http://www.wordiq.com/books/read/109/

Video Poetry --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/thevideos/index.html
Includes Hillary Clinton reading The Makers --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/thevideos/hclinton.html
Click down hard on the picture to commence the video reading!

Poetry Magazine --- http://www.poetrymagazine.org/

Cyber Poet --- http://www.cyberpoet.com/

Poem Hunter --- http://www.poemhunter.com/

Not-So-Funny Humor Department
"Adult Humor and Other Oxymoronicals," News By Us --- http://newsbyus.com/more.php?id=553_0_1_0_M

I love the Anyman.com site --- http://www.anyman.com/

Especially I like quotations for curmudgeons --- http://www.anyman.com/gist.htm

Examples from the long list:

Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.
Lily Tomlin

Life is like a B-Grade movie. You don't want to leave in the middle, but you don't want to see it again.
Ted Turner

The organization of American society is an interlocking system of semi-monopolies notoriously venal, an electorate notiously unenlightened, misled by a mass media notoriously phony.
Paul Goodman, as quoted in The Return of the Portable Curmudgeon

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, pee in it, and serve it to the people that piss you off.
Jack Handy, Deep Thoughts

Yes, in my life, since we must call it so, there were three things, the inability to speak, the inability to remain silent, and solitude, that's what I've had to make the best of.
Samuel Beckett, The Unamable

Personal Message  from Auntie Bev --- No kidding!

Dear friends & family,

Just a quickie to let you know that last night Comcast restored our home phone, cable TV and Internet---I feel like I've died and gone to heaven, ha. I have over 560 UNREAD messages since H. Wilma knocked out all power Oct. 24---it'll take till Christmas to read them all, but I'm working on it. Thanks for all your kind care and concern for Auntie Bev & the Fredster--we made it, trying to hold on to our sanity, or what's left of it.

Hurricane Wilma sure did a nasty job on Ft Lauderdale (south east coast)---we lost a lot of our landscaping, roof tiles, all our fruit trees, all the screening around the pool, etc etc. But we were blessed, we remained safe with our pups and my family did also. I've been in hurricanes in Miami Beach since 1963, but Hurricane Wilma was definitely the WORST for me, and Fred says the same!!! She sounded like a freight train rolling over our house---I must admit, I was scared!!! All our power was out for 9 days, so at 6 PM daily we were litterly "in the dark". Next year I will have purchased many new items for hurricane survival (like a propane camping stove, battery operated lanterns, etc etc)

Will close and thanks again for ALL your concern and jokes, which I better get busy and read! It's so wonderful to be back online!!!!!


Bev & Fred

You might be a Floridian if

· You have more than 20 C and D batteries in your kitchen drawer.

· The freezer in your garage is full of homemade ice.

· You flinch when you are introduced to a person named Charley, Frances, Ivan or Wilma.

· You find yourself dropping words like "Millibar" and "Convection" into everyday conversation.

· Your pantry contains more than 10 cans of Spaghetti Os.

· Making coffee on your propane grill does not seem like an odd thing to do.

· You are thinking of repainting your house to match the plywood covering your windows.

· When describing your house to a prospective buyer, you say it has three bedrooms, two baths and one safe place.

· You are on a first-name basis with the cashier at Home Depot.

· You are delighted to pay $3 to even get a gallon of unleaded.

· The road leading to your house has been declared a No-Wake Zone.

· You decide that your patio furniture looks better on the bottom of the pool.

· You have the number for FEMA on your speed dialer.

· You own more than three large coolers.

· You can wish that other people get hit by a hurricane and not feel the least bit guilty about it.

· Three months ago you couldn't hang a shower curtain; today you can assemble a portable generator by candlelight.

· You catch a 5-pound catfish- In your driveway.

· You can recite from memory whole portions of your homeowner's insurance policy.

· At cocktail parties, women are attracted to the guy with the biggest chain saw.

· You have had tuna fish more than 5 days in a row.

· There is a roll of tar paper in your garage.

· You can rattle off the names of three or more meteorologists who work at The Weather Channel.

· Someone comes to your door to tell you they found your roof.

· Ice is a valid topic of conversation.

· Relocating to North Dakota does not seem like such a crazy idea

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

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

International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

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

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

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


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu