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 ---
When a subject becomes totally obsolete we make it
a required course.
Peter Drucker ---
The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it
Logan Pearsall Smith as quoted
by Mark Shapiro at
Link forwarded by Dr. Wolff
The psychology behind suicide bombings ---
Forwarded by Paula
Dogs Are Men in Little Fur Coats ---
What do you do with $500 million for athletic recruitment at a
Now we’ve got the wherewithal to launch the biggest
recruitment campaign around, as soon as we finish building the Buzz
basketball stadium and facilities, refurnish the chancellor’s house, and pay
off some of those bad loans incurred during the tenure of our last financial
officer, D. Fal Cates.
David Galef, "Our Recent Recruitment Efforts," Inside Higher Ed,
February 2, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on athletic scandals in colleges are at
Population Growth: The Vatican Versus the Facts
We are realizing the worst prophecies of aging and
demographic implosion, and European politicians are seeing this with alarm,"
said the Cardinal. "The myth of over-population has collapsed.
"The Family in the New Economy: Reflections on the Margins on
Centesimus Annus," by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, President of
the Pontifical Council on the Family, Life Style, January 31, 2006 ---
For the facts on population growth, go to
How come Michael Moore and Barbara Streisand have not mentioned this
in their Websites?
Also removed (along with Cindy Sheehan)
from the gallery was Beverly Young. She's the wife of Republican Congressman
Bill Young of Florida, who chairs the House defense appropriations panel.
Her own shirt wasn't anti-war -- it read, "Support the Troops -- Defending
Cindy Sheehan's black shirt with the white letters read: "2,245 Dead. How
And Barbara Streisand complains the LA Times has become too
A Los Angeles Times Columnist Who, Unlike Howard Dean,
Does Not Support U.S. Troops
But I'm not for the war. And being against the war
and saying you support the troops is one of the wussiest positions the
pacifists have ever taken — and they're wussy by definition. It's as if the
one lesson they took away from Vietnam wasn't to avoid foreign conflicts
with no pressing national interest but to remember to throw a parade
afterward. Blindly lending support to our soldiers, I fear, will keep them
overseas longer by giving soft acquiescence to the hawks who sent them there
— and who might one day want to send them somewhere else. Trust me, a guy
who thought 50.7% was a mandate isn't going to pick up on the subtleties of
a parade for just service in an unjust war. He's going to be looking for
"Warriors and wusses: I DON'T SUPPORT our troops. This is a
particularly difficult opinion to have, especially if you are the kind of
person who likes to put bumper stickers on his car. Supporting the troops is
a position that even Calvin is unwilling to urinate on,"
Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2006 ---
The ugly side of outsourcing to India
India has become one of the hottest child sex
tourism destinations. A report, Trafficking in Women and Children in India,
sponsored by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), highlights this,
mentioning not just Goa, which since the 1990s has uncovered rackets by
Freddy Peats and Helmut Brinkmann, but also Alleppy and Ernakulam districts
of Kerala, where houseboat tourism has lately seen a boom. But the reports
findings tell only part of the story. “The attention paedophiles are paying
to India is preposterous,” says Rakesh Gupta, a child rights activist.
“They’re mentioning the Golden Triangle — Delhi, Agra and Jaipur — in their
anonymous blog posts.”
Mayank Tewari, Ramesh Babu and Shevlin Sebastian, "Hard truth: India is
haven for child sex tourism," Hindustan Times, January 21, 2006 ---
"How Reality TV Fakes It: Phony quotes, bogus crushes,
enhanced villains: the makers of "unscripted" TV spill its secrets," by
James Pontewozik, Time Magazine, January 29, 2006 ---
How can your diet reduce the risk of having a stroke?
"State of the onion: Fruit and veg slash risk of a stroke," PhysOrg,
January 29, 2006 ---
The researchers reviewed eight studies that
assessed the dietary habits and health of more than a quarter of a
million people in Europe, Japan and the United States.
Compared with individuals who ate less than
three servings of fruit and vegetables every day, those who ate between
three and five servings had an 11-percent reduction in the incidence of
Those who ate more than five portions a day had
a relative reduction in stroke risk of 26 percent.
Stroke is the third leading cause of death and
the commonest cause of disability in the world's wealthiest countries.
"The average fruit and vegetable intake in most
developed countries is about three servings per day, and current
recommendations encourage five or more servings a day," said lead author
Feng He of the University of London.
Continued in article
Fun Facts from the U.S. Department of Education ---
From WebMD ---
Latest Headlines on February 2, 2006
Seems a bit more than a $1,600 shower curtain that got a Stanford
University president in hot water
Texas Southern University President Priscilla
Slade has reimbursed the university more than $138,000 for the cost of
landscaping her new home, according to records released Wednesday. Slade,
who wrote the check Monday, is hoping to get back into the good graces of
the university's board of regents before they meet Friday to discuss her
future. She is also under scrutiny for charging roughly $87,000 to TSU for
household furnishings, according to a source familiar with the inquiry.
Although some board members have been strongly supportive of Slade, there
are still unanswered questions about the source of the money and whether...
Matthew Tresaugue, "TSU head returns $138,000 to school: President
hopes to ease concerns about expenses as regents prepare to discuss her
future," chron.com, February 2, 2006 ---
Also see "Kennedy: Where ideal meets reality in university life" ---
"Shock Therapy, Version 2.0," by Elizabeth Svoboda, Wired News,
February 1, 2006 ---
Shock treatment for depression is making a
comeback, and it no longer resembles a scene from One Flew Over the
Electroshock therapy, or ECT (the acronym
stands for electroconvulsive therapy) has been used to treat severe
depression for decades, but the serious side effects of the procedure,
including short- and long-term memory loss, have long relegated it to
Widely used in the 1940s as an improvement on
frontal lobotomy, ECT took a back seat to drug therapy with the advent
of Thorazine in the '50s. Now, decades later, a Pennsylvania startup
called Neuronetics is completing the first full-scale clinical trials of
transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS.
The procedure promises to treat depression as
quickly and effectively as electroshock without damaging mental
function. If the positive results of the trials are confirmed, TMS could
be available to patients in the United States in as little as six
TMS is based on the same therapeutic principle
as electroshock: Mood disorders can be improved by altering electrical
activity inside the brain. But because the skull is such a good
insulator, ECT treatments use very high voltage to the scalp to achieve
anti-depressive effects. Sylvia Plath alluded to ECT's effect on memory
in her autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar. "Darkness wipes me out like
chalk on a blackboard," she wrote of her experience. Also, the
electrodes that deliver the current for ETC cannot be directed at any
specific area of the brain.
The magnetic fields used in TMS, on the other
hand, can pass almost unaffected through the skull and focus the
stimulation. A rapidly changing current produced by a large capacitor
creates the fields, which travel into the brain from a metal coil
attached to the scalp.
"The field lines penetrate the brain, producing
a small electric current," said Bruce Shook, Neuronetics' chief
executive officer, who presented the company’s findings earlier this
month at the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. "This
causes the neurons to depolarize, turning on the 'mood circuits' of
patients with major depression."
Continued in article
Do politics and black history really matter to college students these days?
Answer: Probably yes to many, but then we read the following:
I asked the students in my class whether they knew
who their Senate representative was," said Watson, who teaches music and
sociology at three colleges in Boston. "No one knew. And when I asked who
was Sen. Edward Kennedy--the most activist senator in our country--the only
thing most of my students could say was that he was fat and that he was
drunk. I hate to think what would have happened if I'd asked who was Shirley
Professor Larry Watson as quoted by Brian Robinson, "Black History Month:
Does It Fuel Racism?" ABC News, February 1, 2006 ---
As I see students coming into college, seemingly younger and younger every
year, I find that they can't recall anything about Shirley Chisholm,
Watergate, Mary Jo Kopechne, Monica Lewinsky, Oliver North, or even Mao Tse-Tung.
These are familiar names only to the older and increasingly less relevant
"The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King," NPR, January
31, 2006 ---
Telegrams are now a part of history like the Pony Express is part of
For more than 150 years, messages of joy, sorrow
and success came in signature yellow envelopes hand delivered by a courier.
Now the Western Union telegram is officially a thing of the past. The
company formed in April 1856 to exploit the hot technology of the telegraph
to send cross-country messages in less than a day. It is now focusing its
attention on money transfers and other financial services, and delivered its
final telegram on Friday.
P. Solomon Banda, "Western Union -STOP- Ends Telegram Service." Iwon
News, February 2, 2006 ---
Also see NPR's account at
Internet Worm Set to Destroy Files Today
A computer worm that infiltrated hundreds of
thousands of computers last month is expected to awaken tomorrow, destroying
documents and files on infected machines and networks, Microsoft Corp. and
computer security experts said. The worm is variously named "Nyxem.D," "MyWife.E,"
"Blackmal.E," and the "Kama Sutra worm" by anti-virus companies. It is also
known as "Blackworm." On the third day of each month, it will seek and
delete many file types found on infected Windows computers, including Adobe
PDF files and Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.
"Internet Worm Set to Destroy Files Tomorrow," by Brian Krebs, The
Washington Post, February 2, 2006 ---
Security threats and hoaxes ---
From The Washington Post on February 2, 2006
What was one of the search terms the
Chinese government wanted Google to filter out from its latest search engine
release in China?
George W. Bush
Here is a French magazine with possibly more courage than brains
"French newspaper reprints Muhammad cartoons," by Sam Knight,
London Times, February 1, 2006 ---
Not so Fun Facts About How the Publishing Industry Checks (more
accurately fails to check) for Facts
Publishers Say Fact-Checking Is Too Costly
Last Thursday, publishing-industry veteran Nan
Talese was excoriated on television by Oprah Winfrey for publishing James
Frey's 2003 "A Million Little Pieces," a bestselling memoir about the
author's struggle to overcome drug dependency that he has since admitted is
partly fictitious. . . . Indeed, many members of the publishing
industry have rallied around Ms. Talese and Random House, saying that they
would have published "A Million Little Pieces" as well and could have
been duped just as easily. Unlike journalists, publishers have never seen it
as their purview to verify that the information in nonfiction books is true.
Editors and publishers say the profit-margins in publishing don't allow for
hiring fact-checkers. Instead, they rely on authors to be honest, and on
their legal staffs to avoid libels suits. "An author brings a manuscript
saying it represents the truth, and that relationship is one of trust," says
Jeffrey A. Tractenberg, "Publishers Say Fact-Checking Is Too Costly," The
Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2006; Page B1 ---
A Poem of Sorts
"Freyday Morning," by Margaret Soltan, Inside Higher Ed,
January 30, 2006 ---
Would you like to sift through millions of Enron email messages?
"Science Puts Enron E-Mail to Use," by Ryan Singel, Wired News,
January 30, 2006 ---
In March 2001, just a few
months before Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling
resigned, an employee e-mailed him a joke about
a policeman pulling over a speeding driver,
whose wife subsequently rats him out to the cop
for other offenses, including being drunk.
Skilling and Enron
chairman Ken Lay, whose federal trial on
multiple felony fraud charges starts Monday,
might not see the irony that, like the driver's
wife, their e-mails will soon be testifying
against them, both in court and in public
Enron's inbox first hit
the internet in March 2003 when the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
made public more than 1.5
million e-mails from 176 Enron employees as part
of its investigation of the company's
manipulation of California energy markets in
scoured the e-mail for embarrassing moments and
incriminating missives. Among the finds: Lay
family members' thoughts about finding the
perfect wedding photographer (someone who did
one of the Kennedy's weddings), Enron executives
angling for ambassadorships and positions in the
Bush administration, instructions from Tom
DeLay's staff to Lay and Skilling on
how to handle $100,000
contributions and messages from Lay's secretary
bemoaning the fact that she could not get tech
support to fix Lay's phone, which would
disconnect if answered before the third ring.
All this among
countless jokes about Texas, sex, nuns, women,
Latinos and priests. Other tasteful tidbits
include an offensive
fashion critique of
government lawyers investigating Enron.
The e-mails drew the
attention of more than just Californians looking
for some payback for the rolling blackouts and
astronomical energy bills.
InBoxer, an antispam
company, turned to the archive to help test its
newest product, which scans company e-mails in
real time for objectionable content or
confidential information, according to CEO Roger
For an accurate test,
Matus needed a sample of corporate e-mail in all
its raw, unadulterated drama and glory. He was
unsure of how useful the Enron e-mails would be,
until he loaded the database and looked at the
The e-mail read in
whole: "So you were looking for a one-night
stand, after all?"
"That was the moment I
knew we had a good testing corpus," Matus said.
Of the 500,000 e-mails
InBoxer included in the database, the company's
algorithms identified 10,275 with offensive
words and another 71,268 that included
potentially inappropriate messages, such as
sexual innuendos or lists of employee Social
"Enron had an extreme
culture of people who worked hard and played
hard," Matus said.
Company engineers also
found some great jokes, including one about how
to feed a pill to a cat, inspiring InBoxer to
make the e-mails searchable inside a demo of the
new product, called the Anti-Risk Appliance.
searching through the
e-mails for more on the
visitors can also try to win Apple iPod shuffles
given away to those who dig up the funniest
joke, the most fireable e-mail, and the most
regrettable message sent.
aren't the only ones exploiting the Enron e-mail
"10 Enron Players: Where They Landed After the Fall," The New
York Times, January 29, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's Enron Quiz is at
Bill Gates prediction of spam elimination widely misses his
Two years ago, Gates said the spam problem would be
"solved" by now. We're not even close, experts say, and for many reasons
that don't have anything to do with Microsoft.
Gregg Keiser, "Bill Gates' Spam Prediction Misses Target," Information
Week, January 24, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on spam are at
Huge effort underway to end spyware
Major figures at Sun and Google -- including Vinton
Cerf, one of the inventors of the Internet and now Google's Chief Internet
Evangelist -- are backing a new academic anti-malware initiative that aims
to spotlight spyware purveyors and ultimately give besieged computer owners
simple technologies to guide their Web surfing and downloading decisions.
David Talbot, "Google, Sun Backing New Anti-Malware Effort: Harvard, Oxford
researchers aim to create Internet defensive strategies geared to
consumers," MIT's Technology Review, January 25, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on spyware are at
Phishing Attacks Reach Record High
After several months of decline, phishing attacks
rebounded in November 2005 to reach an all-time high, a security
organization announced in a new report. According to data collected by the
Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), a collection of over 2,000 companies,
banks, ISPs, and government agencies, 16,882 unique phishing attacks were
reported in November. That was a 6.7 percent increase over October's 15,820
attacks, the previous record.
"Phishing Attacks Reach Record High," InternetWeek, January 20, 2006
Bob Jensen's threads on phishing, pharming, and pretexting are at
Do you want to download the new Google Pack? See
Google Pack is designed to be a single, easy-to-use
package containing a dozen different desktop applications for personal
productivity, communications, security, and just for fun. How well does it
Barbara Krasnoff, "Review: Google Pack," InformationWeek, January 23,
I've always been a fan of independently
produced, task-focused, and free (or inexpensive) software. Not only
does the low (or nonexistent) price make an application innately
attractive, but these types of programs are usually more interesting to
investigate, more innovative in their approach, and less invasive than
big-name commercial software. Which is why I was eager to try the new
Google Pack, Google's collection of original and third-party
The Google Pack is described on Google's
"More..." page as "A free collection of essential software." How
essential these products are is open to question, but there's no arguing
the fact that, for the most part, these are useful utilities.
The apps included in the Google Pack are
divided into Google Software (software developed specifically by and/or
for Google), Additional Software (useful stuff that the Google staff
apparently feels most users will want), and Optional Software
(applications that were, apparently, felt to be either less necessary or
less attractive). If you go to the Google Pack page, and just download
the Pack without any other tweaks, you'll get the software applications
in the first two categories. However, you can click on a link called
"Add or remove software," where you can remove apps from the download,
or add some of those included in the Optional Software category.
Continued in article
The Digital Duo has a video on how to manage your money with a
computer on the Web ---
Heavily featured are bank rate finders, annuities information, and
If your hard drive fails for whatever reason and your tech helpers throw up
their hands, where is the business firm of last resort for recovering hard
On January 26, 2005 ABC News ran a neat feature on DataSavers
At DriveSavers Data Recovery, loss is only
temporary - and we prove that again and again to business, government,
academic and individual customers all over the world. With the highest
success rate in the industry, for 20 years we've made possible what other
companies say is impossible.We rescue lost data from hard drives and other
media that have experienced everything from common drive failure,
corruption, viruses, or accidental deletion, to damage from power surges,
flood, smoke or fire.
January 26, 2006 reply from Gregory Leeds
One odd, last ditch technique before sending a
drive off and paying an ungodly sum of money is to stick the hard drive
in the freezer overnight. This can buy you at least ½ an hour with the
dieing drive to try and back everything up. This won’t work for a fried
drive or a drive with physical damage, but it should work for “click of
death”, read error type problems.
want to put it in a ziplock to keep the moisture from the freezer
out of the drive.
Development Information Systems Coordinator at Trinity University
Recovery is not quite so simple for your tiny storage devices
If anything, this problem has gotten worse. Our
digital devices have all gotten smaller, while at the same time they're
carrying more and more sensitive information.
Bruce Schneier, "Big Risks Come in Small Packages," Wired News,
January 26, 2006 ---
Can you become "too familiar" with your students without necessarily being
But on Friday, Mr. Kaufman received notice from his
principal that he was no longer permitted to teach at Rikers. His crime?
Michael Winerap, "Inspiring Rikers Teacher Runs Afoul of Jail's Rules," The
New York Times, January 26, 2006 ---
News from the Scholarly Communication blog from the University of
January 24, 2006 Library Group
Argues Before Congress
A Washington lawyer warned the
Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on
Tuesday not to stymie distance education and scholarship as
it considers legislation that would prevent the
redistribution of television footage. Congress is preparing
to draft legislation that would require manufacturers of
consumer electronics equipment to add components to their
products so that digital television programming could not be
widely copied and retransmitted over the Internet. The
lawyer, Jonathan Band, representing the Library Copyright
Alliance, said any legislation to require the so-called
broadcast flag could counteract the Technology Education and
Copyright Harmonization Act, which allows educators and
libraries to transmit material from news and entertainment
programs to students over the Internet. Mr. Band said that
Congress should exempt from the flag certain kinds of
content, such as news and public-affairs programs. The
Library Copyright Alliance is made up of the American
Association of Law Libraries, the American Library
Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the
Medical Library Association, and the Special Libraries
Association. Sen. Ted Stevens, an Alaska Republican who is
the chairman of the committee, said distance education is
important in Alaska and that he did not want to thwart its
The Chronicle: Wired Campus Blog 1/24/06
January 24, 2006 Vatican Invokes
Rome: A row has broken out in Rome about whether the
speeches and writings of Pope Benedict XVI should be freely
available to everyone or subject to copyright. The dispute
was prompted by revelations that a publishing house in Milan
had to pay £10,000 to reprint 30 lines from the first speech
by the Pope following his election in April, after the
Vatican transferred copyright on Papal texts to its own
publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. The Vatican
has said that papal texts have always been subject to
copyright but that the rules were often not observed.
The Hindu 1/24/06
January 23, 2006 Generations
The latest report from the Pew Internet & American Life
Project says that Internet access is the norm for most
Americans, up to age 70, and that about 90 percent of all
Internet users send or receive email. Given the many other
variations in Internet use among different age groups, it is
notable that this basic communications tool is almost
universally used. Internet users ages 12 to 28 have embraced
the online applications that enable communicative, creative
and social uses. Teens and Generation Y (age 18-28) are
significantly more likely than older users to send and
receive instant messages, play online games, create blogs,
download music and search for school information. Internet
users ages 29 to 69 are more likely to engage in online
activities that require some capital: travel reservations
and online banking.
OCLC Abstracts 1/23/06 Pew Press Release and Link to
January 23, 2006 Elsevier
Lobbying in the U.S.
British companies have spent more than $165 million
(£93.7 million) since 1998 with an American lobbying
industry that is being described by US Democrats as “part of
a poison tree of corruption”. This week both the Republicans
and the Democrats have announced proposals to clean up
Washington lobbying after the scandal over Jack Abramoff,
who pleaded guilty to using gifts of money, lavish meals and
foreign trips to buy political influence. Although British
lobbying represents less than 10 per cent of this vast
network’s earnings, British spending in 2004 totalled almost
$30 million....According to Alex Knott, the political editor
of the Centre for Public Integrity, British lobbying in
Washington was higher than for any other country, and was
more than the total spent by 35 American states. The highest
spenders were GlaxoSmithKline ($32.4 million), BP ($26.8
million), HSBC ($23.8 million), Reed Elsevier ($12.5
million) and Reuters ($12.2 million). Defence manufacturers,
such as Rolls Royce, have, Mr Knott suggested, obtained
particularly good value for money.
Open Access News 1/23/06 TimesOnline.com 1/20/06 ---
From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on January
TITLE: Expanding Bush Budgets Irk Conservatives
REPORTER: Jackie Calmes
DATE: Jan 24, 2006
TOPICS: Accounting, Budgeting, Governmental Accounting, Taxation
SUMMARY: The article describes all of the major expenditure line items in
the federal budget and the major factors driving changes in tax revenues. It
is useful for an introductory session in a governmental accounting class as
well as highlighting the budget development process.
1.) What are the major spending items in the Federal budget? Which of these
expenditures is discretionary, and which is non-discretionary? In your
answer, define discretionary and non-discretionary spending.
2.) What is the major source of revenue for the Federal government? What
are other sources of revenues?
3.) Why are tax revenues decreasing, particularly as measured in the
article relative to gross domestic product?
4.) In what ways are the analyses presented in the article based on
methods to adjust for inflation? How are trends in these items then
analyzed, i.e., how is growth measured?
5.) Why are the major categories of Federal spending increasing under the
Bush administration? Why are politically conservative groups particularly
frustrated by this situation?
6.) How does President Bush argue that '...the rate of growth in 'nonsecurity
discretionary spending' has been cut annually..."? Why do political analysts
view this statement as meaningless? How does that perception reflect the
analysts' view of
Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island
"Combating Corporate Fraud," AccountingWeb, January
13, 2006 ---
The number of companies around the
world that reported incidents of fraud increased 22 percent
in the last two years, according to the 2005 biennial survey
by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which interviewed more than
3,000 corporate officers in 34 countries. In England, a
recent Ernst & Young survey of the Times Top 1000 indicated
the average cost of each fraud exceeded $200,000. But fraud
is not the only problem. There's also misconduct, unethical
behavior, lying, falsification of records, sexual
harassment, and drug and alcohol abuse.
PwC found that “accidental” ways of
detecting fraud, such as calls to hotlines or tips from
whistleblowers, accounted for more than a third of the
cases. Internal audits were responsible for detecting fraud
about 26 percent of the time.
Steven Skalak, Global
Investigations Leader at PwC, told Reuters: "I think the
investment in control systems is paying off and detecting
more crime." The study found that companies with a larger
number of controls could better determine the full impact of
the fraud, uncovering three times as many losses as
companies with fewer controls.
Many of the new and increased
controls were generated through the passage of The
Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Act of 2002, which made having
confidential, anonymous reporting mechanisms a legal
requirement for any publicly traded company. But private,
government and non-profit organizations would be well
advised to also create and implement this important tool.
While executives get the headlines,
43 percent of surveyed people admit to having engaged in at
least one unethical act in the workplace in the last year,
and 75 percent observed such an act and did nothing about
it. Not spoken to the employee in question, not reported it,
nothing. As much as we do not like to admit it, theft, fraud
and malfeasance are common occurrences in companies.
Unfortunately these practices exist in every level of the
organization and irrespective of size or sector. Non-profits
are stolen from in equal measure.
The Association of Certified Fraud
Examiners 2002 Report to the Nation indicates, "the most
common method for detecting occupational fraud is by a tip
from an employee, customer, vendor or anonymous source." It
additionally comments, "the presence of an anonymous
reporting mechanism facilitates the reporting of wrongdoing
and seems to have a recognizable effect in limiting fraud
The report concludes,
"organizations with hotlines can cut their fraud losses by
approximately 50 percent per scheme." To be effective, a
confidential, anonymous reporting mechanism must be operated
by an independent, third party. Employees are understandably
hesitant and reluctant to report another employee. There is
not only the fear of retaliation; there is the fear of
retribution and of being ostracized by co-workers. In fact,
in an independent survey, 54 percent gave this as the main
reason for their silence.
There is also a concern if the
incident involves management, or the person required to take
the report or initiate the investigation. Employees must be
confident in knowing they can report an incident
effectively, confidentially and anonymously. Furthermore,
statistics prove that an internal hotline or reporting
mechanism is rarely perceived as truly anonymous.
You can become aware of and build
upon the positive aspects of employee relations while
proactively addressing and heading off potentially negative
issues with Ethical Advocate’s confidential, anonymous
reporting mechanisms and feedback system.
Confidential, anonymous reporting
mechanisms serves as an early warning system, enabling
organizations to react quickly to investigate issues, and
often resolve problems prior to increased malfeasance,
costly stealing, litigation, or negative publicity. Spending
a few dollars early on can save untold dollars and valuable
time. It also creates a culture of ethical behavior that
over time will diminish the prospects of these actions.
When installed properly,
confidential, anonymous reporting mechanisms can uncover a
variety of information that can improve processes, resolve
issues, and prevent catastrophic financial losses. Like a
computer network and a website, an employee hotline was once
just a good idea that top companies had adopted. Now it's a
mandatory part of doing business.
Bob Jensen's threads on fraud are at
Bob Jensen's threads on the importance of whistle blowing
Bob Jensen's PowerPoint files on fraud are
PwC 2005 Global Annual Review
January 25, 2006 message from
We'd like to make the Annual Review available
to you, so that you may explore the contents in an interactive manner
via the link below.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Economic Crime Survey 2005
The threat of fraud from apparently simple
cases of bribery to complex financial misrepresentation is more
prominent than ever on the agendas of company directors and financial
regulators. PwC's third biennial Economic Crime Survey is based on
interviews with more than 3,600 senior executives in 34 countries, and
reveals their experiences with fraud, its causes and losses, their
responses and recovery actions and the effectiveness of fraud prevention
measures. Please click to the link below to access the full survey.
Protecting International Trade
How can we reduce the risk that terrorists will
exploit legitimate trade to attack the United States? One answer is
described in PwC's "Cargo Security White Paper." It provides an example
of the application of internal control processes to increase protection
and expedite cargo. Please click to the link below to access the white
PwC on Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work
As we communicated to you in the past, we have
placed a significant focus on our people initiatives. As a result of
these efforts, we have seen a substantial reduction in turnover; and as
external validation of our focus we were pleased to hear the recent
announcement that PwC is on the Fortune "100 Best Companies to Work For"
in 2006. Our emphasis on the development and retention of our people
continues to be a top priority for us.
As always we welcome your feedback and
appreciate hearing from you on how PwC can best support you as faculty
Brent Inman and Jean Wyer
January 25, 2006 message from Dennis Beresford
The United States Chamber of Commerce has just
released a report titled
Auditing: A Profession at Risk. It is a short
but interesting read.
You can find it at
I snipped the above link to
Bob Jensen's threads on The Future of Auditing are at
Abraham Lincoln may have had ataxia
The National Ataxia Foundation describes the
condition as an "inability to coordinate muscular movements that is
symptomatic of some nervous disorders." The researchers have uncovered a
genetic secret that has plagued the Lincoln family for at least 11
generations: a mutation that causes a form of ataxia, the Minneapolis Star
Tribune reported Monday. The discovery -- published online by the journal
Nature Genetics -- doesn't prove the 16th president suffered from ataxia,
said Professor Laura Ranum, a geneticist who led the research. But Ranum and
her colleagues studied 300 distant cousins of the president and found about
a third of them have ataxia.
"Study: Abraham Lincoln may have had ataxia," PhysOrg, January 23,
From St. Jude Hospital ---
Ataxia telangiectasia (AT) is a devasting disease that
affects the nervous system. Childhood cancer, most commonly
acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), Hodgkin disease or
non-Hodgkin lymphoma, often shortens the lives and the
quality of life for children with AT. Children with AT
usually cannot tolerate standard treatments for childhood
Survivor is a television show on CBS ---
Here's a controversy about a Survivor winner who may not survive the IRS
January 23, 2006 message from Scott Bonacker
Jan. 23, 2006 (The Providence Journal) -
Richard Hatch wanted to know: What would his 2000 taxes look like if he
hadn't won $1 million on Survivor?
So the reality-show star from Newport asked
Judi Rodrigues Wallis, his Middletown, [Rhode Island] accountant, to
take the 2000 return she had prepared for him, revise it and show him,
she testified in U.S. District Court [last week].
"It was just for analysis," said Wallis, a key
witness for the prosecution in Hatch's federal tax evasion trial. She
said she took her name off the sample return and had Hatch sign a letter
from her stating, "This return is not intended to be filed and is simply
for your information."
Months later, she learned from Hatch that he
had filed that comparison return. It resulted in him claiming a refund
of $4,483 instead of the $234,800 she had determined he owed. And it
prompted an audit notice from the IRS.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee Vilker asked Wallis
if Hatch told her why he filed the sample return.
"He felt that he needed to file something," she
recalled. "I was surprised."
"Were you angry?" asked Vilker.
"I was too stunned to be angry at that point,"
The rich get richer
Stanford University is willing to take risks with its endowment
Stanford University's endowment, boosted by
deep ties to Silicon Valley, vaulted past those of Princeton University and
the University of Texas system last year, as fat investment gains at the
nation's richest colleges far outstripped what they received in gifts from
alumni and other donors. Though Stanford's endowment ranked No. 3 -- after
Harvard and Yale -- the Palo Alto, Calif., school had the fastest-growing
investment pool among the nation's 10 wealthiest universities. Its endowment
rose 23%, including donations and after spending on programs, to $12.2
billion in the year ended Aug. 31, according to an annual survey to be
released today by the National Association of College and University
Business Officers. (Fiscal years at most other schools end June 30.)
John Hechinger,"Venture-Capital Bets Swell Stanford's Endowment: Alternative
Investments Give Wealthy Schools an Edge; Trinity Can't Afford the Risk,"
The Wall Street Journal, January 23, 2006; Page A1 ---
The endowment survey, done with financial firm
TIAA-CREF, found that the average endowment generated a 9.3% return in
the year ended June 30. That was no small achievement in a period when
the S&P 500 index, including dividends, returned only 6.3%, and U.S.
bonds fared only a bit better.
But endowments with more than $1 billion
returned an average of 13.8%. In the 10 years ended June 30, the
supersize endowments returned an average annual 12%, beating the S&P 500
by a full two percentage points. The reason was clear: The big funds had
more than a third of their savings in lightly regulated hedge funds,
venture-capital, private-equity and other alternative investments.
Smaller funds tended to have only a smattering of these more unusual
John S. Griswold, executive director of the
Commonfund Institute, which provides investment management for colleges
and other nonprofits, says he doesn't recall another year with such
great disparities between the returns of less-affluent schools and elite
The reason: Schools with smaller endowments
just don't have the money and clout to get into many of the first-tier
funds, which often have investment minimums in the tens of millions of
Early Reese, vice president of finance and
treasurer at Trinity College in Connecticut, says his school, with its
$379 million endowment, can't afford the risk of putting $100 million or
so in a top-flight venture fund. For its 2005 fiscal year, Trinity
achieved an 8.8% return with a portfolio 70% invested in traditional
stocks and bonds. Mr. Reese says the school hopes to move its endowment
into the billion-dollar range through fund raising, in part so it can
increase its level of alternative investments. "Would we ever catch up?"
he says. "I don't think so."
Even a slight delay in getting into
high-yielding venture-capital funds has made a big difference in recent
years. For the year ended June 30, Princeton reported a 17% investment
return, with its heavy investments in private equity, hedge funds and
other alternative assets. Christopher McCrudden, Princeton's treasurer,
says Stanford preceded Princeton in investing in venture-capital firms
with a big position in Google, a reason for its bigger returns. He says
Princeton entered the arena in the mid-1990s. "We were a little slower
getting into that kind of portfolio," he says.
Continued in article
The rich get richer
Princeton University on Saturday announced a gift of $101 million to support
Peter B. Lewis, a Princeton trustee and a major
arts philanthropist, is making the donation. Also Saturday, Princeton
released a report on how the university can enhance the arts with the gift
and through other efforts. Among the plans: creating a new center for
performing and creative arts, developing a fellowship program for
early-career artist/scholars to teach and create their art at Princeton,
adding a new scholarly research program on the arts, and improving.
Inside Higher Ed, January 23, 2006 ---
It gets harder to get convictions for white collar crime
In Oregon this month, a judge dismissed criminal
charges against three corporate executives, saying the Justice Department
unconstitutionally pursued a stealth criminal investigation under the cloak
of a less-threatening civil proceeding by the SEC. And in Alabama last year,
a judge dismissed charges that former HealthSouth Corp. Chief Executive
Richard Scrushy lied to the SEC, ruling that he should have been warned that
the Justice Department already had opened a criminal investigation when the
SEC questioned him. In both cases, the judges found the line between the
agencies' roles had become improperly blurred.
Peter Lattman and Kara Scannell, "Slapping Down a Dynamic Duo: SEC and the
Justice Department Fight Financial Crime Together, But Is It an Unfair
Double-Team?" The Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2006; Page C1---
Bob Jensen's threads on white collar crime are at
Indonesia curbs foreign news
Indonesia is to begin enforcing a law that bans
local broadcasters from relaying live news provided by foreign stations. The
ban will affect programmes from the BBC and Voice of America (VOA), the
communications minister said on Monday.
"Indonesia curbs foreign news," Aljazeera, January 30, 2006 ---
Adult Blogs Have the Best Technology
Adult blogs, done right, transform a technical feed
into a content buffet. Respect the culture and keep 'em coming back for
Regina Lynn, "Bet Your Bottom (Line) on Blogs," Wired News, January
21, 2006 ---
Ford Will Shed 28% of Workers In North America
Ford announced plans to slash up to 34,000 North
American jobs over the next six years and shut 14 plants as part of its
restructuring plan. The auto maker also reported a $1.55 billion loss at its
North American operations for 2005.
effrey McCracken and Joseph B. White, "Ford Will Shed 28% of Workers In
North America: Car Maker to Close 14 Plants As It Joins GM in Overhaul
Of Detroit's Business Model," The Wall Street Journal, January 24,
2006; Page A1 ---
Here's one proposed solution to worker and retiree woes in the U.S.
auto industry on the brink of bankruptcy due to underfunded pensions and
"Union-Made, Union-Owned? A Plan for GM," by Jesse
Eisinger, The Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2006; Page C1 ---
So here's another idea: Transform GM's workers
and retirees into owners in exchange for benefit givebacks.
Rod Lache, an analyst for Deutsche Bank, has
been mulling over such a plan to save GM. Here's how it would work:
GM had a pension liability of about $90 billion
at the end of 2004. Mr. Lache estimates GM has health-care liabilities
of about $65 billion.
That's $155 billion in liabilities. The vast
amount, but not all, is attributable to hourly, unionized workers.
Now let's look at the assets supporting those
obligations. The pension plan had assets of almost $90 billion at the
end of 2004. GM says that after investment gains of 13% last year, the
plan is overfunded by $6 billion. The health-care obligations are
underfunded to the tune of $50 billion. (For the purposes of this
exercise, we assume simply that the pension fund is adequately funded.
When GM reports 2005 year-end results tomorrow, it will be easier to
assign more-accurate numbers to all of these.)
Mr. Lache proposes to give the money that is
socked away for pensions and health care to the auto workers. Then, he
proposes that GM transfer GMAC, the financing unit, to the workers. GMAC
has about $23 billion in book value. Add that to the existing $15
billion long-term health-care trust, which employees then manage. The
pension plan becomes an employee-run retirement plan.
OK, that amounts to $128 billion in assets,
leaving workers far short of the $155 billion in estimated liabilities.
The plan needs a sweetener: Give the workers $20 billion in GM equity.
But GM's market value is just $11 billion today. So, how is that
After getting out from under the benefit costs,
GM would be a nimbler competitor. And it would throw off plenty of cash.
Indeed, Mr. Lache estimates that GM would generate a little less than
$13 billion in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization a year under his plan.
The market would give the company a multiple of
five times that cash flow, Mr. Lache estimates, for an enterprise value
(market capitalization plus gross debt) of about $63 billion. GM would
have about $32 billion in debt remaining. There is other cash, but for
this exercise, we allocate the cash and other things like the short-term
health-care trust to cover restructuring costs. There would be $31
billion of equity value at the newly restructured company.
The shareholders sacrifice the potential upside
from a restructuring but would avoid a bankruptcy filing. Thus, with
GM's market cap growing to $31 billion from $11 billion, they can let
the workers have the remaining $20 billion in additional value created
by the radical restructuring.
Continued in article
Employee ownership did not save United Airlines from bankruptcy or excessive
compensation for UAL management. Why should it work better at GM?
The UAL CEO got $125 million in compensation
United Airlines parent UAL Corp. posted a
massive fourth-quarter net loss of $16.9 billion, swollen by $16.6 billion
in noncash reorganization claims related to its bankruptcy case. Without
those accounting liabilities, which will be extinguished after UAL steps out
of court protection next week, the carrier would have reported a narrowed
net loss of $297 million and an operating loss of $182 million in its 22nd
consecutive quarter in the red. In last year's fourth quarter, UAL posted a
net loss of $741 million and an operating loss of $570 million.
Susan Carey, "UAL Posts $16.9 Billion Loss On Bankruptcy-Related Claims,"
The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2006; Page A5
German Bank to Settle Fraud Claims for $134 Million
Deutsche Bank AG said it expects to pay about $134
million as part of a settlement with federal, state, and self-regulatory
agencies related to investigations into market-timing issues. The German
bank also said its Scudder Distributors business has received a so-called
Wells notice from the National Association of Securities Dealers regarding
noncash compensation to "associated persons of NASD member firms." A Wells
notice allows recipients to respond before the regulator takes civil action.
Gepffrey Rogow, "Deutsche Bank Offers Payment To Settle Market-Timing Probe,
The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2006; Page B13 ---
Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates are at
Bob Jensen's threads on banking and securities frauds are at
"The Case for Cutting the Chief's Paycheck," by William J.
Holstein, The New York Times, January 29, 2006 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on outrageous executive compensation are at
Scratch off off one twenty year old Botnet creator
A 20-year-old California man pleaded guilty
Monday to federal charges that he created a botnet of several hundred
thousand PCs, then rented out the network to spammers and criminals. The
conviction is the first in the U.S. against a botnet operator. Jeanson James
Ancheta, of Downey, Calif., had been arrested in November by the FBI and
charged with 17 counts of conspiracy, computer damage, fraud, and money
laundering. A 20-year-old California man is the first American botnet
creator to be convicted on federal charges.
Gregg Keiser,"Botnet Creator Pleads Guilty, Faces 25 Years,"
InformationWeek, January 24, 2006 ---
Scratch off one 20-year old hacker
Under a plea agreement, which still must be
approved by a judge, Mr. Ancheta will receive from four years to six years
in prison, forfeit a 1993 BMW and more than $58,000 in profit and pay
$19,000 in restitution to the federal government, according to court
documents. He is to be sentenced May 1.
"Hacker Pleads Guilty," The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2006 ---
ACLU wins one sort of
Two federal agencies agreed Tuesday to pay the
American Civil Liberties Union $200,000 to settle a lawsuit brought to
uncover information about the government's no-fly list, which bars suspected
terrorists from airliners. The government will compensate the ACLU for
attorneys' fees, settling a lawsuit initiated by two San Francisco peace
activists who were detained while checking in for a flight three years ago.
In October 2004, documents that the FBI and Transportation Security
Administration provided in the lawsuit revealed the government has "two
primary principles" but no "hard and fast" rules for deciding who gets put
on the secret list.
David Kravets, "Feds agree to pay ACLU over no-fly list," Seattle
Post-Intelligence, January 24, 2006 ---
An Older Style Way of Running a University
I have been conducting an informal poll in the past
few weeks, asking friends, acquaintances and even a few complete strangers
if they could identify Nicholas Murray Butler (1862-1947), the subject of
Michael Rosenthal's splendid and marvelously animated biography, "Nicholas
Miraculous." The most common response has been a blank stare, a reaction
that would not surprise Mr. Rosenthal. A few academics dredged up a
connection with Columbia University; fewer recalled that Butler was once
famous as its president . . . However much it had benefited from Butler's
leadership prior to World War II, Columbia entered the postwar era hamstrung
by some of the effects of his 45 years of autocratic rule. The trustees were
captives of their president and out of touch with the institution over which
they ostensibly presided. The faculty was turned inward to a bewildering
array of schools, departments, centers and institutes, all claiming autonomy
and resources. The students, especially the graduate students, hung around
in a state of barely suppressed rage as their thesis advisers haphazardly
"supervised" dozens of dissertations. Despite these handicaps, the
university had been able to function well enough during the Butler era;
after the war, when its disarray became notorious in the academic world, the
university fell behind most of its more nimble competitors in the scramble
for research dollars.
Robert Rosenweig,"A University Transformed, and This Butler Did It," The
Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2006; Page D10 ---
Wilson Pickett: Sex, Drugs and Stirring Soul
It took but one listen to a vocal by Wilson Pickett
to know you were dealing with a nasty piece of work. Mr. Pickett, who died
last week at age 64, had many run-ins with the law -- he spent a year in
prison following a drunken-driving conviction -- but the nastiness in his
voice and performance style preceded his legal woes. Sounding as if his
throat had been swabbed with sandpaper, Mr. Pickett attacked a song as if
he'd had to fight his way to the microphone and would have to bleed to keep
it. When he went down-tempo, his simmering swagger suggested he could
explode before the song was through. Mr. Pickett's performances were about
blunt sexuality and his unrelenting struggle to persevere. Mr. Pickett had
many successes. His roster of hits recorded in the mid-to-late '60s are
among the finest examples of American soul music: "In the Midnight Hour,"
"634-5789," "Funky Broadway," "Land of 1,000 Dances" and "Don't Knock My
Love, Pt. 1," all of which went to the top spot in Billboard's R&B charts,
and "Mustang Sally," which should have.
Jim Fusilli, "Wilson Pickett: Sex, Drugs and Stirring Soul," The Wall
Street Journal, January 25, 2006; Page D10 ---
Yiddish for Dick and Jane ---
David Albrecht sent the link to this "game" for idle minds ---
It does illustrate how curiosity leads us to "take chances."
Forwarded by Dick Haar
Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine.
A backward poet writes inverse.
A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
Practice safe eating - always use condiments.
Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.
A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
A bicycle can't stand on its own because it is two tired.
What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
She was engaged to a boyfriend with a wooden leg but broke it off.
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.
If you don't pay your exorcist, you get repossessed.
With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.
The man who fell into an upholstery machine is fully recovered.
You feel stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
Local Area Network in Australia: the LAN down under.
He often broke into song because he couldn't find the key.
Every calendar's days are numbered.
A lot of money is tainted - t'aint yours and t'aint mine.
A boiled egg for breakfast is hard to beat.
He had a photographic memory that was never developed.
A plateau is a high form of flattery.
A midget fortune-teller who escapes from prison is a small medium at large.
Those who get too big for their breeches will be exposed in the end.
Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis.
Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.
Acupuncture is a jab well done.
Once you've seen one shopping centre, you've seen a mall.