Please resist sending me email messages February 14-19. I will be out of the country until next weekend.
Bob Jensen

Tidbits on February 13, 2006
Bob Jensen
at Trinity University 

Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory ---

Bob Jensen's various threads ---
       (Also scroll down to the table at )

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

I really like the Digital Duo show that appears weekly once again on PBS.  I found that you can bring up prior shows (video) on your computer by going to,00.asp

Bob Jensen's home page is at

Security threats and hoaxes ---

25 Hottest Urban Legends (hoaxes) --- 

Stay up on the latest and the oldest hoaxes ---

Online Video

The Digital Duo has a video on how to manage your money with a computer on the Web ---,segid,216,00.asp

Common Place (Jazz featuring the famous John Coltrane)  ---

From NPR
KT Tunstall is a one-woman band --- Watch Tunstall Perform

The Dynamic Duo's PC Buying Guide ---,segid,125,00.asp#
Wait for the 30 second commercial to end.

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 ---

Happy Valentine's Day from Janie ---

From NPR
The Sounds of Love: Valentine's Day Music
There are a lot of choices here, and some of them aren't so great.

Echoes of Africa ---
Bob Jensen's links to foreign folk music are at

The Jazz Files ---

New from Jesse
You Had Me From Hello ---
If the sound does not commence after 30 seconds, scroll to the bottom of the page and turn it on.
Then scroll back to the top for the picture and menu.

From NPR
KT Tunstall: Greater Than the Sum of Her Sounds ---
Video sample --- Watch Tunstall Perform


Photographs and Art

78 of Yahoo's Valentine's Day Photos (including some weird "I Hate Valentine's Day" shots) ---

Web Site Lets Public Track Alaska Volcano ---
Also see The Washington Post Version at

Leaves of Gold in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art ---

Illuminated manuscripts are hand-produced books that include drawn, painted, and gilded decoration on pages made of vellum, a specially prepared and polished animal skin. The simplest manuscripts are adorned with calligraphic penwork dividing one paragraph of text from another. More lavish examples are embellished with historiated initials, enlarged and colorful letters that contain tiny representations of figures or biblical scenes.

The brilliant pictures that illustrate and accompany the texts in a manuscript are called miniatures, not only because they are small, but because the Latin word miniare (to color with red lead) has been used since the Middle Ages to describe these illustrations. The miniatures seen here are painted in luminous colors and often have gold highlights or backgrounds that shimmer in the light. When a miniature contains gold or silver, it is considered to be illuminated. Important divisions in the text of an illuminated manuscript are sometimes decorated with a series of miniatures depicting traditional religious subjects. Some miniatures share the page with text; others fill the page and are surrounded by elaborate borders. A particular pleasure of the close scrutiny of manuscripts is the discovery of tiny figures and whimsical creatures hidden in the marginal decoration. Many different artists and craftsmen were needed to produce each manuscript, including a parchmenter to prepare the vellum, a scribe to copy the text, a rubricator and an illuminator to decorate the manuscript, and a bookbinder to bind the sections together

The Archive of Early American Images ---

ASIFA Hollywood ---

David Reeves Watercolour ---

Gothic Tour of London ---

Essential Vermeer ---

Paul Roberts Paintings ---

Victor Wang Figure Paintings (not my style) ---

How faces of a family change annually ---

Illustrations, Drawings, Animations, etc. ---

Happy Pencil ---

Draw a Pig ---

An Art Blog
Eye Level  ---

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

Classic Reader ---

Full Text Classics ---

Bibliomania ---

Globusz Digital Publishing ---

Economics and Game Theory by David K. Levine ---

American History
Benjamin Franklin: In His Own Words ---

History from BBC ---

Paris by Night ---

A Cynic's Dictionary Sampler ---

Journal of Accountancy (a wonderful free resource) ---

Asset Magazine (for financial planning) ---

Forbidden Library of Banned Books (not all are free) ---

Quotes (i.e., quotations) ---

The Invisible Library ---

The History Channel of Television ---

In fact, the ubiquity of the handheld reflects two other key trends among the Baby Boomers: No one has a secretary, and no one can remember a damn thing.
Elliott Abrams

They believed if they sang loud and long enough they could change the world.
Gavan Daws, co-author of Follow the Music

The distrust of wit is the beginning of tyranny.
Edward Abbey

If the end does not justify the means - what can?
Edward Abbey

The young don't feel any great need to wait for the Walk sign before they cross the street. They feel invulnerable. Over time, you better appreciate the consequences of each action. You see people get burned, you see friends fall apart, you go to a few heartbreaking funerals. You begin to realize that survival requires cunning, and as a hedge, as part of a long-term strategy for improving your odds, you wait on the corner until you get the signal to walk.
Joel Achenbach

Here we have a game that combines the charm of a Pentagon briefing with the excitement of double- entry bookkeeping.
Cecil Adams on Dungeons & Dragons

Who's the most dangerous professor in America?

I gave you his tidbit in the February 7, 2006 edition of Tidbits ---

Today is the big day for revealing the rest of academe's "100 of America's Most Dangerous Professors."
Here they are ---
(The Robert Jensen on the list is from the Journalism Department at the University of Texas. He's not THE Robert Jensen who wanders between his bookkeeping classes wearing a green eyeshade on the Trinity University campus.)

Bob Blystone wrote in and questioned why there were so many (almost 10%) from Columbia University. I wrote back that I suspect this is a really intellectual El Quida cell in the middle of Spanish Harlem.

In comparison, Cal-Berkeley only has three on the list, although one counts more. You can tell by his or her name, "Hatem," that Cal has the most honest dangerous pointy head in the Top 100.

Please don't fight in the aisles at Wal-Mart just to grab onto the last remaining copy of this book. It no doubt will be made into a movie produced in Michael Moore fashion by Rush Limbaugh. I actually looked for news about the "100 Most Dangerous Professors" on the Rush Limbaugh news site, but Rush was too busy "Golfing With the Pros at Pebble Beach" ---

Here's an excerpt from the introduction to David Horowitz’s new book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, which was officially released today.
"The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America," by David Horowitz," FrontPageMagazine, February 10, 2006 ---

Jensen Comment:
If Horowitz became a professor, somebody should be bumped to make room in the Top 100 for him.

What follows is a reply that came in two messages from a Trinity University professor.
The second message was more personal than the first message. I merged them into one reply and received his permission to paste them into Tidbits.
February 10, 2006 reply from Aaron Delwiche []

Jensen Comment: "If Horowitz became a professor, somebody should be bumped to make room in the Top 100 for him."
I fully agree, Bob.
David Horowitz has been an intellectual bully for the past four decades. First for the left, and now for the right.
In the late1960s, as the militant editor of the magazine Ramparts, Horowitz marginalized and expelled writers whose ideological views failed to conform with his Leninist party line. As an intellectual and activist, he was one of the most excessive and least tolerant figures associated with the New Left.
Over the past forty years, most of his old companions on the left have refined their ideas and adapted to a changing political landscape. Some moved gradually to the center or to the right, many stayed on the left, but most of the New Left activists at least matured with age.
Horowitz, on the other hand, made a 180-degree ideological flip in the late 1970s. Once an extremist for the left, he became an extremist for the right. His targets have changed, but his bullying tactics remain the same. Rather than discussing the issues and searching for common ground, he attempts to silence his opponents completely.
Unfortunately, he is significantly more well funded this time around.

I found an even-handed article in The Nation that humanizes Horowitz at the same time that it highlights his tendency to attack his opponents. See: 

In reading the article, it is easy to understand how Horowitz's personal disillusionment with the Black Panthers caused him to make a 180-degree flip. It is also hard to avoid feeling some empathy with an "insecure human being" who "craves approval" and wants to "be taken seriously as an intellectual."

In the 1980s, as an undergraduate at Berkeley, I was involved with the movement for human rights in Central America. During one peaceful march composed of more than 2,000 people, I encountered a militant activist that I recognized from campus. He and his friends were piling up bricks and stones with the intention of throwing them through local Bank of America. When I argued that this would discredit our cause, he pushed me away and threatened to hit me. Eventually, the moment of opportunity for breaking windows had passed. He and his friends scattered. At that moment, I finally understood that many people get involved with politics for a variety of psychological reasons. My militant acquaintance simply wanted to break things, and the atrocities in Central America gave him a justification for doing so.

A self-righteous bully is a self-righteous bully, regardless of political orientation.

This was probably the most powerful political insight of my youth. It made it possible for me to speak with (and respect) people who hold very different views, and it added an orthogonal dimension to my understanding of the political spectrum. Often, the way people say things is more important than what they say.

Unfortunately, David Horowitz doesn't seem to have learned that lesson.



Who’s Afraid of David Horowitz?
You would never know it from McLemee’s article, but The Professors is not about any threat from left-wing ideas as such. It is about the intellectual corruption of the university, and the intrusion of political agendas into the academic curriculum. I know this statement will come as a surprise to those familiar only with the attacks themselves, so here is what the book actually says: “This book is not intended as a text about left-wing bias in the university and does not propose that a leftwing perspective on academic faculties is a problem in itself. Every individual, whether conservative or liberal, has a perspective and therefore a bias. Professors have every right to interpret the subjects they teach according to their individual points of view. That is the essence of academic freedom. But they also have professional obligations as teachers, whose purpose is the instruction and education of students, not to impose their biases on their students as though they were scientific facts.”
"Who’s Afraid of David Horowitz?" by David Horowitz, Inside Higher Ed, February 27, 2006 ---

Caroline Higgins is 66 years old, a Peace Studies professor, and at 5’2” she’s not a daunting figure.
    But she's really dangerous!
Walking on the Earlham College campus last week, she ran into one of her students, a football player who very much towers over her. She mentioned that she was about to be named to a list of the “101 most dangerous academics in America.” Higgins said that her student just started laughing — and that for anyone who knows her, “dangerous” just isn’t the word that comes to mind. She teaches peace studies.But today, with the release of David Horowitz’s new book, The Professors: The 101 Most Dangerous Academics in America, Caroline Higgins finds herself in elite company. She makes the list along with such big name academic stars as Derrick Bell, Michael Bérubé, bell hooks, Noam Chomsky and Eric Foner. Horowitz, a one-time ’60s radical, includes plenty of ’60s radicals who didn’t have the conversion experience he did, so Angela Davis and Bernadine Dohrn make the list, of course, along with the likes of Ward Churchill and a who’s who in Middle Eastern studies.

Scott Jaschik, "David Horowitz Has a List," Inside Higher Ed, February 13, 2006 ---

Will the next book written by Horowitz be the 100 Most Dangerous Liberal Celebrities?

I doubt it. I suspect they're more of a danger to themselves. George Clooney is a Hollywood actor famous for his good looks, charm, bachelorhood, liberal politics, and anti-government movies. Here's some of the damage he's doing, in a very vernacular way, to another hero on the liberal side of the world whose name Clooney turned into a verb.

Clooney is quite sniffy about Moore, whose modus operandi he finds obnoxious and counter-productive. He uses his name as a verb - "I don't Michael Moore this shit," he says. "I don't come out and go, 'Look what these fuckers do.'" He thinks subtlety - class - gets better results. He is no doubt right, but it seems a little unfair given that dissent is a lot more palatable when it comes in the shape of George Clooney. His response to the traitor incident was to put together a montage of prominent people on the anti-war side, including the pope, Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and Pat Buchanan (a hard-right commentator in the US) and drape the word "traitors" across them, too. "Then I made 800 fliers anonymously and sent them to everyone in the media. And I waited. And Dan Rather [CBS news anchor] called me and said, have you seen this flier that's going around? And I said, 'My quote would be, the Pope and I can take it, but don't pick on Pat Buchanan.'" He grins. "You know, the truth is . . . it is not merely your right but your duty to question your government. You can't demand freedom of speech and then say, but don't say bad things about me. You gotta be a grown-up and take your hits."
"'I've learned how to fight' ," The Guardian, February 10, 2006 ---,,1706303,00.html

In case you're wondering this is how you "Michael Moore" (as a verb) ---

Harvard University Institute of Politics: Forum Archive ---

How is negative political campaigning like porn?

"High Praise for Low Blows: David Mark on negative campaigning and the accidental benefits of campaign finance reform,"  by Kerry Howley, Reason Magazine, February 12, 2006 ---

"It's a lot like porn," author David Mark says of negative campaigning—and he means that in a good way. As a political journalist and former editor-in-chief of Campaigns & Elections magazine, Mark has watched vicious attack ads take down many an aspiring politico. But instead of bemoaning the low blows struck in the name of electoral politics—from Swift Boat slanders to friend-of-terrorist-smears—Mark is convinced negativity is a distinctly positive feature of U.S. elections.

Like pornographers, Mark argues, negative campaigners have seized emerging technology to reach their audience, bypassing gatekeepers to reach voters directly. The result, he claims, is a more rich, if less genteel, conversation. In Going Dirty (Rowman Littlefield), coming out next month, Mark lays out and defends the modern history of negative campaigning, from1928 attacks on presidential nominee and "rum-soaked Romanist" Al Smith to less-than-subtle images of Osama Bin Laden in 2004. Assistant Editor Kerry Howley spoke with Mark in Washington D.C. in February.

Continued in article

"Jobless Claims Fall to 6-Year Low," The Wall Street Journal,  February 10, 2006; Page B6 ---

Teachers union to renege on award planned for ABC's John ("Give Us a Break") Stossel
The New York City teachers union has decided not to stage a demonstration at ABC's offices on Feb. 14 to protest John Stossel's recent 20/20 feature criticizing the public education system, Stossel said in an email to viewers of the show on Thursday. "They are apparently planning something else," he wrote. "Stay tuned." Earlier in the week, Stossel said that he had been scheduled to receive an award from the union's Social Studies Conference "for the outstanding work which you have done for social causes." However, he said, after the broadcast the union wrote a letter withdrawing the invitation and the award because his program "so violates the democratic principles of open mindedness, fairness and balance we hold dear."
"Teachers Union To Demonstrate Against ABC Commentator," Free Republic, February 12, 2006 ---

Jensen Comment
What the union is really saying is that they no longer holed "open mindedness, fairness, and balance" so dear.


Are tax software programs — like TurboTax from Intuit and TaxCut from H & R Block — still worth the cost in this era of free Web-based help?

It may depend on the complexity of your return. For those with complicated taxes, the answer is probably yes, especially if you are talking about TaxCut Deluxe, which is cheaper than many Web-based tax tools yet offers more useful advice. But millions of taxpayers who earn modest incomes and have simple returns to file may want to consider using the Free File program from the Internal Revenue Service instead of buying off-the-shelf software. Established three years ago, Free File is a partnership of the I.R.S. and private tax preparation sites that typically allows taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of around $50,000 or less to complete their returns electronically — free.
Paul J. Lim, "The Software You Buy vs. the Free Stuff ," The New York Times, February 12, 2006 ---

Jensen Comment
I bought TaxCut Basic for less than $10 from Wal-Mart. I could've used the free software version from the IRS, but I still prefer not to file electronically. By filling out the first page of my return in ink I trick the IRS into sending me a nice tax manual that I like to keep on file each year. Of course the rest of my return is printed in previous years by Turbo Tax and this year by TaxCut. TaxCut is cheaper and from what I've read is a better buy than Turbo Tax. Lim states the following in the above NYT article:

Of course, a major point of buying good software is not to be audited. But this is a nice safety net for a program that is solid all around. And to cap it off, TaxCut is around 25 percent cheaper than its main competitor. For me, that sealed the deal.

The TaxCut software site is at

The IRS site for free software downloads that should suffice for about 70% of all U.S. taxpayers is at,,id=118986,00.html

Bob Jensen's tax helpers are at
If you scroll down at the above site you will find a module entitled "Comparing Tax Prep Software" that compares the leading software options for individuals. By scrolling down further you will find reviews of tax software for the professional tax firms.

February 12, 2006 reply from Robert Bowers [M.Robert.Bowers@WHARTON.UPENN.EDU]

I thought of replying to this as "anonymous". Of the several software products I buy, one is TaxCut. This has been my deep secret for years.

While TaxCut is marketed by H & R Block, it was written by Kiplinger. I find Kiplinger magazines to offer excellent, sound advice. When you search a topic in TaxCut, you will get the IRS position, you will go to the form itself - and you will also get tax advice from Kiplinger on that topic.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, I have researched quite a few tax products. I think that Turbo Tax by Intuit is a tax product written by programmers, while TaxCut is a tax product written by tax professionals. And I don't like Intuit's ads touting that you answer "a few simple questions". I have said many times that, just because you hand someone a hammer, that doesn't make him a carpenter. These products are just a tool.

February 12, 2006 reply from Joseph Gawalis Jr [acnj2@PRODIGY.NET]

At what point should one decide not to do their own tax return, but go to a CPA firm?

February 12, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Since tax software is relatively inexpensive, my advice is to try to do your own returns initially. If you encounter problems the software just cannot handle, then I guess you seek help.

The software is quite user friendly, although you must have all the input materials at hand whether you are “talking” to a computer or to a tax preparation professional in person. One advantage of the computer is that you can start and stop with ease, especially when something is asked for that you must take time to find such as an investment firm’s report not yet mailed to you.

When you deal with a tax professional, it’s often troublesome getting everything to that professional in just one visit to the professional’s office. The back and forth game can be a pain in the butt for both you and the professional.

One advantage of the professional is that statement in writing that he or she will pay for any mistakes made by him or her when preparing your return. Of course nothing covers your mistakes in getting everything to the professional.

Bob Jensen

"Researcher Finds Ancient Science and Math Are Timely," PhysOrg, February 10, 2006 ---

Native American studies professor Martha Macri and graduate student Michael Grofe say their study of the Mesoamerican calendar is revealing how Native Americans were able to calculate with computer-like accuracy the movements of the sun, planets and the moon through time.

Macri, a linguistic anthropologist who studies ancient and contemporary languages, used her expertise to match the hieroglyphs -- pictorial characters used in Mayan writing -- to the 260-day ritual calendar.

With this knowledge, Macri created a theory that says the 260-day Mesoamerican calendrical cycle is based on various segments of the lunar cycle.

Her work is published in "Current Studies in Archaeoastronomy: Conversations Across Time and Space," edited by John W. Fountain and Rolf M. Sinclair, and published late in 2005.

Because Central America is located between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the area is an ideal place to develop an accurate calendar, Macri points out. Only in these latitudes is it possible to observe precise solar zeniths, or when the sun is at the center of the sky at noon.

By about 200 B.C., people living along the Gulf Coast in Central America developed the Long Count through their observations of the solar zeniths. The count forms the basis of the more extensive Mesoamerican calendar. The Long Count, with its 13 full cycles of 400 years each, accurately extends back to 3114 B.C., which is when the current era was supposed to have begun.

To handle the uneven counting during leap years, the Long Count developers created an elegant mathematical solution, Macri says.

"They saw how leap years shifted over thousands of days," Macri says. "So, to deal with the fractions, they expressed the numbers by multiplying to get a full number, thus allowing for a more accurate calendar over a long period."

In their observations of solar, lunar and planetary movements over time, the Native Americans were able to create complex mathematical tables. To this day, "daykeepers" in the Guatemala highland serve as Mesoamerican calendar priests by continuing to observe the skies and note their observations, Macri says.

Graduate student Grofe has examined the complex tables used to record the counting cycles that the Mayans used to create accurate projections thousands of years into the past and the future.

"Although computers can calculate time now, these people were very capable of observation and empirical science," says Grofe, who also holds biology and anthropology degrees. "Using complex tables, they recorded unbroken counting cycles over thousands of years."

But Grofe is also interested in how the Native Americans then and now incorporate scientific observations of the empirical universe into their sacred world.

"While in the Western world science and religion are separated," Grofe says, "you can see that even way back when these calendars were first created, scientific observations were interwoven into their religious knowledge."

Continued in article

Free video tutorials on Excel and MS Access

February 10, 2005 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

Below is a link to some very good tutorials on Excel and Access, primarily in the area of data analysis. 

Richard J. Campbell

Bob Jensen's related video tutorials are at


Kenneth Starr (remember him?) accused of sending fake clemency pleas
Lawyers for a death row inmate, including former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, sent fake letters from jurors asking California’s governor to spare the man’s life, prosecutors said Friday. The jurors denied they thought Michael Morales deserved clemency because some of the testimony at his trial may have been fabricated, said Nathan Barankin, spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
"Starr accused of sending fake clemency pleas:  Prosecutors: Ex-independent counsel fabricated letters on inmate’s behalf," MSNBC, February 12, 2006 ---

Holocaust Timeline (denied by the President of Iran) ---

Deadly Medicine (not a recommended site for children) ---

"Registrars’ Group Takes On Diploma Mills," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, February 10, 2006 ---

Diploma mill operators often manage to stay one step ahead of the law, changing their location or how they operate whenever state or other authorities zero in for a crackdown. And the laws and other tools available to regulators, higher education officials, students and others to stop degree mill operators are few and flimsy. So occasionally they turn to alternative tactics to fight the degree mills and other companies that help them do business.

Last month, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against the American Universities Admission Program. The program, which says it is based in Sarasota, Fla., operates among other things a service in which it evaluates the academic credentials of foreign students to help them gain admission to American universities. ("AUAP guarantees your admission into the best American universities possible with the best available conditions!” it boasts on its Web site).

On the site, and on the analyses it does of individuals’ credentials, the program lists itself as a member of the American Council on Education, NASFA: Association of International Educators, and the registrars’ association, which is among the leading evaluators of foreign students’ academic credentials. (Evaluators of foreign degrees in the United States are not regulated, and most traditional colleges use AACRAO or a service that belongs to the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services. )

None of the groups listed by AUAP claim it as a member, and AACRAO’s lawsuit aims to stop the program and its owner, Jean-Noel Prade, from suggesting otherwise. “The harm to AACRAO is real and present,” the association argues in its legal complaint. “Defendants are providing evaluations of foreign academic credentials of less than adequate quality,” and the program’s use of the AACRAO name “will mislead academic institutions into believing that AACRAO has reviewed or endorsed AUAP’s services.” The lawsuit asks a federal court to stop AUAP from using the name or logos of the registrar’s group.

Exactly what is the connection between AUAP’s credentialing of foreign students and the diploma mill industry? AACRAO officials declined to comment directly on the case or on the target of its lawsuit, but in a memo to its members about the suit, the association said the following: “AACRAO and other legitimate higher education organizations are under constant assault by diploma mills, fake accrediting bodies and/or credential evaluation mills. These entities typically attempt to misappropriate AACRAO’s respected and reputable name to further their fraudulent and deceptive activities. Unfortunately, many such operations are beyond the reach of American law. Where AACRAO can take action, however, it will do so with the full force of the law to preserve the association’s reputation and its intellectual property rights in its trademarks.”

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at

How successful was the 2006 Super Bowl financially speaking?

The article below was written before the game.
"Super Bowl Awash in Money," AccountingWeb, February 3, 2005 ---

The game that is the Super Bowl has become a cash cow unrivaled in American sports. In fact, its ability to generate revenue, on several levels, is as sure as the hands of Shaun Alexander, the Seattle Seahawks’ MVP running back who only fumbled the ball five times in 370 chances this season.

From the network airing the game, to the city hosting it, to the National Football League itself, the Super Bowl historically produces mind-boggling figures, and this year’s event is shaping up to be no exception.

Advertisers, paying ABC between $2.52 million and $2.57 million for 30-second spots, hope the steep investment will translate into increased sales.

Executives close to ABC have told various media outlets that the price for commercials this year has spiked about 5 percent, to 7 percent, from the $2.4 million that Fox received when it had the game last year.

Some media-buying executives, however, believe the price hikes are smaller than has been suggested—or even flat—because the current television advertising market is weak. Additionally, NBC’s Torino Winter Olympics—which begin airing five days after the game—has taken major TV advertising sports dollars.

Steve McClellan of Adweek said ABC had sold 90 percent of advertising airtime by mid-January, which is on par with past years.

“The rates, if you talk to buyers, are flat with last year,” McClellan said. “ABC is claiming that [it’s] getting a little more than that. On Super Bowl Day, [ABC] will still generate close to $200 million.”

The NFL and the Super Bowl have made giant strides since the first championship game Jan. 15, 1967, even if this year’s halftime entertainment—the aging Rolling Stones—already had released four albums in America by then.

Sprint paid the NFL a record $12 million to sponsor this year’s halftime show. By contrast, the University of Arizona and University of Michigan marching bands provided the entertainment for Super Bowl I, and a 30-second commercial cost $42,000.

Continued in article

A good place to start if you're looking for something
(Addresses, People, Zip Codes, Maps, etc.)

O'Keefe Accounting Library

Google (Shopping) Catalogs ---

Yahoo (Shopping) Catalogs ---

Bob Jensen's threads on specialized search sites are at

New tomb found in Valley of the Kings
Archaeologists from the University of Memphis have uncovered a tomb with five mummies in Egypt's Valley of the Kings, the first discovered there since King Tutankhamun's in 1922, Egypt's antiquities chief announced. The single-chamber tomb contains five wooden sarcophagi, in human shapes with colored funerary masques, surrounded by 20 jars with their pharaonic seals intact, said Zahi Hawass, head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. They likely are from the 18th Dynasty, about 3,500-3,300 years ago. The tomb's spare appearance suggests it was not dug for a pharaoh, said archaeologist Kent Weeks, who was not involved in the find but has seen photos of the site. “It could be the tomb of a king's wife or son, or of a priest or court official,” he said.
"New tomb found in Valley of the Kings," USA Today, February 10, 2006 ---

"First peek into the tomb of 3000-year-old mummies," Sydney Morning Herald, February 12, 2006 ---

"Love Advice? Just for Me? I'm So Flattered!" by Frank Aherns, The Washington Post, February 12, 2006 ---

Microsoft Loses Another Patent Case (this one is serious)
One in four businesses will have to update Microsoft Office because the Redmond, Wash.-based developer lost a patent lawsuit, an asset management company said. The patent was awarded for a way of linking spreadsheet data among multiple Microsoft programs.
Gregg Keizer, "Microsoft Patent Loss Translates Into User Pain," InformationWeek, February 6, 2006 ---

"Germany's gay zoo penguins still fending off female advances," Yahoo News, February 8, 2006 ---

Also see

Is consensual underage sex harmful?

Answer from Kansas
A federal judge hearing a constitutional challenge to a Kansas law requiring doctors, teachers and others to report underage sex between consenting youths said the state presented no credible evidence that underage sex is always harmful. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten stopped short of issuing a decision from the bench, but he repeatedly interrupted Thursday's closing arguments by Assistant Attorney General Steve Alexander to challenge his assertions. "Motives are irrelevant - I want to deal with facts," Marten said. "Where is the clear, credible evidence that underage sex is always injurious? If you tell me because it is illegal...
"Judge: No credible evidence underage sex always harmful," by Roxana Hegeman, Wichita Eagle, February 9, 2006 ---

Point of Fact:  You fly a human in pieces without paying the full price for a ticket
Human skull found in suitcase at Fort Lauderdale airport February 9, 2006, 10:18 PM EST FORT LAUDERDALE -- Customs and Border Protection agents at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport found a human skull in a passenger's luggage Thursday afternoon, authorities said. The woman arrived aboard Lynx International Airlines Flight 203 from Cap Haitien, Haiti, agency spokesman Zack Mann told South Florida Sun-Sentinel news partner WTVJ-ch. 6. Mann said the woman is being questioned by authorities, but she has not been arrested. He said the Broward County medical examiner's office is working with federal agencies on the investigation.
"Human skull found in suitcase at Fort Lauderdale airport," Sun-Sentinel, February 9, 2006 ---,0,3433528.story?coll=sfla-home-headlines

Jensen Comment
The man who tried to fly his deceased mother from LA to Tokyo in a garment bag had the right idea, but he should've taken her in pieces in different bags.

The Rest of the Story
"Severe stated that she had obtained the package, which contained the human head, from a male in Haiti for use as a part of her voodoo beliefs," the US attorney for the Southern District of Florida said in a statement. "Severe also stated that the purpose of the package was to ward off evil spirits."
"Woman held for smuggling skull," Aljazeera, February 11, 2005 ---

Diary of a Lost Girl by Osama Bin Laden's Mistress
The author of six books published in eight countries, Kola Boof is not only Sudan's top selling novelist, but in 1996, was the mistress of Osama Bin Laden.....a fact that jeopardized her American citizenship four years ago, until Morocco's Prince Fabrizzio Ruspolli confirmed Boof's claim that she had been held against her will by Bin Laden at Ruspoli's estate for sexual purposes. In her memoir, Diary of a Lost Girl, coming Feb. 1st in hardcover (0-9712019-8-6), Boof reveals a side of the terror chief that's never been explored before. In a telephone interview, I learned a few things that I never expected to find out...such as where he's been hiding.
Bruce Dunne, "An Interview With Osama Bin Laden's Former African Mistress," Black News, February 8, 2006 ---

"The 10 Biggest Network Security Myths: If you buy into all these commonly held beliefs, you better believe your data is at risk. We separate the fact from fiction," by Joanne VanAuken, InternetWeek, February 1, 2006 ---

KPMG Tax-Shelter Settlement May Be Revised Amid Opt-Outs
"This settlement could be in jeopardy," said attorney Edmundo Ramirez, whose client was one of 284 potential members of the KPMG class. Mr. Ramirez said his client rejected the original settlement, considering it "a sweetheart deal for KPMG."
Nathan Koppel, "KPMG Tax-Shelter Settlement May Be Revised Amid Opt-Outs," The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2006; Page C4 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on KPMG's happiness face and woeful face are at

Updates from WebMD ---


Why is Bowling Green University changing its email system?

Answer from David Albrecht on February 5, 2006

I am on an e-mail list with university CIOs and directors of ITS. They are concerned because Yahoo and AOL have announced (Jan 30) that on April 1, all e-mail sent (or forwarded) to one of their accounts will go through an intermediary (Goodmail Systems) that validates the sender of the e-mail. The intermediary will validate the sender by a process in which the sender (or forwarder) must pay a fee. Once that fee is paid, then the validated e-mail is delivered to an AOL or Yahoo mail box. If the fee is not paid, the e-mail is trashed along with all other spam and junk.

An ITS director cites an article at  for reference.

Apparently, some are conjecturing that this could be a signal of the death of all except (true, not spam) commercial e-mail. This would result because if anyone sends a post to, say AECM (listserv) for example, then everytime the e-mail sent/forwarded to each AOL/Yahoo mail box (and how many of these are there on AECM), then the sender must pay a fee or else AOL/Yahoo list members will not be receiving any e-mail.

Looking at the big picture, a mass migration (by those that like their e-mail) away from AOL/Yahoo would burden other ISPs that provide e-mail services, and soon everyone will be charging a fee to receive e-mail.

Are these ITS directors crying wolf when there's only a mosquito?

One reason the ITS directors are concerned is because they provide forwarding from university mail-boxes to where ever students/faculty want their e-mail sent. Presumably, the university (or possibly the original sender) would be responsible for paying the delivery fee to all e-mail sent to AOL/Yahoo accounts. Given the financial condition of so many universities/colleges, I imagine that there would be no forwarding provided.

David Albrecht
Bowling Green State University

"AOL, Yahoo to Let E-Mails Bypass Filters for a Fee," by Dan Goodin, The Washington Post, February 6, 2006; Page A08 ---

Two of the world's biggest e-mail account providers, Yahoo Inc. and America Online Inc., plan to introduce a service that will charge senders a fee to route their e-mail directly to a user's mailbox without first passing through junk-mail filters, representatives of both companies said.

The fees, which will range from a quarter of a cent to 1 cent per e-mail, are the latest attempts by the companies to weed out unsolicited e-mails, or spam, and identity-theft scams. In exchange for paying, e-mail senders will be guaranteed that their messages will not be filtered and will bear a seal alerting recipients that they are legitimate.

Continued in article

Widespread price scanner fraud and errors
Please verify that your cash register receipt records the prices promised.
You may be getting unknown charges to your credit card account.
I wonder if they ever undercharge? I doubt it!

"New Legislation Would Prevent Overpricing," by Suzanne Le Mignot, CBS2Chicago, February 4, 2006 ---

It's called scanner scamming. The price on the scanner doesn't match the price on a store shelf, and consumers get overcharged.

As CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot explains, Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing a new retail consumer act that hits stores with a steep penalty if they are caught making a scanner error.

Bob Hinde reported that he bought two tomatoes at a Dominick's food store in Des Plaines, and he said he was charged a lot more than the tomatoes cost.

"This was so egregious," Hinde said. "It was a clerical error of $102.15."

Hinde added: "They were very embarrassed. They gave us our money back immediately. But this is a mistake easy to catch."

Hinde happens to be the former consumer protection administrator in Des Plaines. In that position, he was responsible for making sure the prices on store shelves matched those at the register.

"The ones you don't catch are the 50 cents. The dollar and a half. The $3," he said. "Today, mothers and fathers are both working -- (they) dash into stores, boom, pay, out again."

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on consumer fraud are at

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

Sago Mine Survivor's Wife Sues His Brother
The wife of Sago Mine survivor Randal McCloy Jr. is suing her brother-in-law for taking pictures of her comatose husband and selling them to the National Enquirer.
"Sago Mine Survivor's Wife Sues His Brother,", February 9, 2006 ---

What is debt? What is equity? What is a Trup?
Banks are going to create huge problems for accountants with newer hybrid instruments

From Jim Mahar's Blog on February 6, 2005 ---

The Financial Times has a very cool article on financial engineering and the development of securities that combine debt and equity-like features. / Home UK - Banks hope to cash in on rush into hybrid securities: "Securities that straddle the debt and equity worlds are not new. They combine features of debt such as regular interest-like payments and equity-like characteristics such as long or perpetual maturities and the ability to defer payments."

"About a decade ago, regulated financial institutions started issuing so-called trust preferred securities, or Trups, which are functionally similar to preferred stock but can be structured to achieve extra benefits such as tax deductibility for the issuing company. Other hybrid structures have also been tried.

But bankers were still searching for what several called the “holy grail” – an instrument that looked like debt to its issuer, the tax man and investors, but like equity to credit rating agencies and regulators.

That goal came closer a year ago when Moody’s, the credit rating agency, changed its previously conservative policies, opening the door for it to treat structures with some debt-like features more like equity."

The link to the Financial Times article ---

Bob Jensen's threads on debt versus equity are at


Nearly half of California high school students never get a diploma
A remarkably large number of California high school students drop out each year. Some estimate that the number is as high as 60,000 per year. Factoring in results of the September 2005 CAHSEE, just over 116,000 current high school seniors have not passed one or both of the CAHSEE tests. Many of these are students who have attempted and failed the tests previously, so it is likely that a fairly large number of these students will fail again. Thus, some 40 to 50% of the students who entered high school in 2002 will not receive diplomas.
"A Dialogue on the California High School Exit Exam. Guest commentary by Jo Rupert Behm with a response from the Irascible Professor," The Irascible Professor, January 25, 2006 ---

January 25, 2006 message from Marguerite Newcomb []

Some interesting information I just received from NCTE:

Study: Most College Students Lack Skills (The San Jose Mercury News, January 19) Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food, according to a study of literacy on college campuses conducted by the American Institutes of Research.

Read the report "The Literacy of America's College Students" at

Download the report "A First Look at the Literacy of America's Adults in the 21st Century" and data tables from 

From Wharton at the University of Pennsylvania on January 26, 2006 ---

Digital Rights Management (DRM): Media Companies' Next Flop? ---

The Home-video Market: Who Rents, Who Buys and Why ---
Jensen Comment
This is an interesting paper on how to build a model to predict behavior.

'Jumping on the Asia Train': How Sustainable Is China's Rapid Growth? ---

Going Once ... Going Twice ... The Bidding Behavior of Buyers in Internet Auctions ---


New Upgrades for Camtasia and SnagIt

January 27, 2006 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

There are impressive new releases of the above products at 

With snagit 8.0, you can add hotspots to static images.

Vanderbilt University is creating a Ph.D. program in law and economics.
As part of the effort, the university recently announced that it had recruited W. Kip Viscusi and Joni Hersch from their faculty positions at Harvard Law School.
Inside Higher Ed, January 30, 2006 ---

Traffic (in endangered plants and animals) ---

Tobacco Companies Don't Win Them All on Appeal
The Oregon Supreme Court affirmed a $79.5 million punitive-damage award against Philip Morris USA in favor of a smoker's widow, dealing a setback in the Marlboro maker's long-running battle against tobacco litigation. Philip Morris USA, a unit of Altria Group Inc., had appealed the 1999 award to Mayola Williams, who lost her husband, Jesse Williams, to lung cancer in 1997. She had sued Philip Morris for negligence and fraud, claiming the company waged a 40-year publicity campaign to undercut published concerns about the dangers of smoking. The damages award was based on the fraud claim only.
Vanessa O'Connell and Mary Ellen Lloyd, "Philip Morris Loses Appeal Of Oregon Damage Award," The Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2006; Page B3 ---

Bob Jensen's updates on fraud are at

"Open letter to Michael Moore," by Gary Reid, Canada Free Press, January 25, 2006 ---

I read your advice to Canadian voters posted on your website on January 22, the day before our national election. For some reason, you seem to be the biggest Canada lover or hugger or whatever in the United States.

Even though you had the good sense to put the disclaimer in your piece that you, as an American, shouldn’t be telling us what to do, please note that we don’t have the slightest objection to Americans offering us advice. In fact, some of the best ideas that we lift are from America; note our thriving business in generic pharmaceuticals, for instance, not to mention an automotive sector that is bigger than the one in your home state of Michigan, where autos began.

But there is a qualifier. The advice has to be good, and be seen to be good.

You suggested that we should overlook the corruption of the Liberal government to avoid the consequences of electing a Conservative government, like the conservative government in the United States.

Now, Michael, really!

You know us well enough by now to understand that what we consider a conservative in Canada would be a liberal in the U.S., and what we call a liberal would be a socialist in your bailiwick, and what we call a socialist would either be classified as a communist or simply outlawed in America. So, we are talking apples and oranges here when you try to draw comparisons between your conservatives and ours.

Let us forget the political labels and look at the substance. You were not compelling in explaining why we should not care about the criminal activities of our ruling classes. I believe Liberal Prime Minister Chretien, who reigned during the most corrupt period, put it quite adroitly: "Who cares if a few million got stolen?"

Well, we now have the results from the voting and it appears that a fair number of Canadians care about that stuff.

I am wondering, in light of the unfolding Abramoff bribery scandal amongst the Republicans in the Congress, if you are advising your Democrat friends who are running for office this year not to make too much of the corruption issue on the hustings. As a rule of thumb, it is probably not advisable to give Canadians advice you would not be prepared to give to Americans.

You mention we have a parliamentary system and there are other means of taking care of bad guys in office. Do you really understand the British parliamentary system?

George W. Bush, the president that you don’t like very much, can only dream of the powers of our prime minister. You will note that I used the word "reign" when referring to Mr. Chretien. That was not done lightly in a country where the Queen of England is still the reigning head of state.

Imagine what the U.S. would look like, Michael, if Mr. Bush had the undisputed authority to appoint every member of the U.S. Supreme Court — not simply nominate — but appoint. What if Mr. Bush could also appoint every single member of the United States Senate?

What if he had total control over the country’s finances and was not beholden in that respect to a Congress? What if members of his own party in Congress disagreed with him and he could fire them, not from public office, but from the party?

What if Mr. Bush did not automatically go out of office every 4 years and was not limited to a total of 8 years, but, in effect, could stay indefinitely, provided he could get re-elected?

Are you getting the picture of our government, and the power that resides in the office of the Prime Minister, Michael?

There are no mandatory plebiscites, or automatic referenda, or recall rights, like you have in some of your states.

In Canada, the reality is that if you do not exercise your power as a citizen by voting the scoundrels out of office during an election, you are effectively screwed. The way our voters protect themselves is to deny a questionable party a majority mandate.

Finally, Michael, even though you are highly political and rub some folks on the other end of the political spectrum the wrong way, we do appreciate your unabashed enthusiasm for our country.

You might be surprised to know that there are a considerable number of us who have kind thoughts and feelings toward Americans and America, even when we differ on some the policies coming out of Washington.

We wanted to elect people to national office who reflect that view and not the American-bashing one that the Liberals have spewing out for 13 years. That is why we sent the Conservatives to Ottawa.

Your friend,
Gary Reid

Michael Moore's home page is at
I don't know if Michael sold the Haliburton shares he once held in his foundation but, if he sold these shares, his money managers may be lamenting the sale given that the dastardly evil Halliburton posted a $1.1 billion profit for last year ---
I hope Michael also sold his General Motors shares since GM posted an $8.6 billion loss for 2005 ---
Maybe Roger Smith should have listened to Michael Moore back in 1989 ---

"Google's Achilles' Heel," by Alice LaPlante, InformationWeek, January 23, 2006 ---

So why isn't this huge gift truly anonymous like announced at Johns Hopkins?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire known for his philanthropy, anonymously donated $100 million Thursday to Johns Hopkins University to support stem cell research, a new children's hospital and other projects, The Associated Press has learned. The Republican mayor, who graduated from Johns Hopkins and is a former Hopkins board chairman, has donated hundreds of millions to the school over the years. The school of public health at Hopkins bears his name.
Sara Kugler, "Billionaire NYC Mayor Gives Hospital $100M," Yahoo News, February 2, 2006 ---

China wants it both ways: Leading edge of the Internet with control of the flow of ideas
Both my colleague Mitch Wagner and I have been following the Chinese censorship issue that has caught Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, and Cisco like deer in the headlights and triggered a firestorm of international criticism. If my E-mail and responses to our blog are anything to go by, so have readers--with a mix of cynicism, business practicality, and a longing idealism. I think everyone recognizes that if you decide to do business in countries like China, which is desperately and pathetically trying to have it both ways--move their country into the Internet age without letting any unsanctioned ideas slip in (good luck, fellahs)--you have to abide by the laws of that country, no matter how repressive.
Patricia Keefe, "Be Careful What You Wish For ," InformationWeek Daily, February 7, 2006

Hi Jessica,

I added your link to a more current site at 


Bob Jensen

-----Original Message-----
From: Jessica Thomas [
Sent: Friday, February 03, 2006 4:11 PM
To: Jensen, Robert Subject: C/O Professor Robert Jensen

Dear Dr. Jensen,

I would like to suggest  as a resource for .

I found to be a useful education resource and thought your website visitors would benefit from it as well.


Jessica Thomas
Website Patron

Fireplace and gas vent calculators

February 6, 2006 message from Janice Kaluza []

I noticed on your page that you have some great online calculators and wondered if you'd like to include ours.
These homeowner calculators will help frame a corner fireplace or help choose a size for a vented gas fireplace
Please let me know if you require any more information.  We appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to your reply.
Best Wishes,
Janice Kaluza


Where is the "Haven for Patent Pirates" in the United States?

In one federal court in East Texas, plaintiffs have such an easy time winning patent-infringement lawsuits against big-tech companies that defendants often choose to settle rather than fight.
Sam Williams, "A Haven for Patent Pirates," MIT's Technology Review, February 3, 2006 ---,300,p1.html

"Media Elites:  The best books about the news business," by Roger Ailes, The Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2005 ---

1. "The Medium Is the Message" by Marshall McLuhan (Bantam, 1967).

The book also comes titled "The Medium Is the Massage," a typesetter's error that amused McLuhan so much, he decided to keep it. I was just starting in the television business when I read this book and recognized immediately the nerve it struck. In those days, we were still filming in black and white. There were no satellite hook-ups. But it was already clear to me that people who knew how to use television had enormous power at their disposal. McLuhan proposed that the collective way we watch television has created a "global village," one that is more affected by the nature of the medium than by the content of the message. I'd only add this to the formula: Never underestimate the influence of dominant TV news personalities, like Walter Cronkite in his day and those who have followed.

2. "The Kingdom and the Power" by Gay Talese (World Publishing, 1969).

Compared with the troubled New York Times of today, the newspaper Mr. Talese describes here--in his inside history of the Times from the postwar years through the 1960s--seems to exist in a golden age. Yes, we see the clash of giant egos and the infighting over everything from the coverage of the Kennedys to the appointment of a theater critic. But who, back then, could have imagined the Jayson Blair scandal or a deteriorating Times culture that allowed it to happen? When I was growing up, people thought: If it's in the Times, then it must be true. Who thinks that now? Reading Mr. Talese's hugely enjoyable, exquisitely detailed book in 2006 has to be a bittersweet experience.

3. "Breaking the News" by James Fallows (Pantheon, 1996).

This book stands out for how directly it addresses the arrogance and negativism of the press, which run counter to the way Americans feel about their country. Consider the media's current obsession with the wiretapping story. If an al Qaeda member is phoning somebody in the U.S., what are we supposed to believe--that he's looking for travel tips? Americans know better. On other matters, they can be more susceptible to media persuasion. Decrying the development of "attitude" journalism as a desperate attempt to hold onto audiences, Mr. Fallows says that leading journalists in the 1990s (the period under discussion) presented views of public life and public figures much bleaker than the ones they held themselves. The condition he describes so well has not changed.

4. "Three Blind Mice" by Ken Auletta (Random House, 1991).

Mr. Auletta's tremendous access to sources was the making of this entertaining book, subtitled "How the TV Networks Lost Their Way." Among other things, it shows how network people spend their lives sucking up, stabbing each other in the back and then going to corporate meetings promoting teamwork. I remember, from my own experience at NBC, the endless seminars on the subject of integrity. Chronicling the networks' struggles under new managers as audiences declined, Mr. Auletta draws on a vast reservoir of anecdotes. Some of them are familiar, like the one about Dan Rather's angrily marching off the "CBS Evening News" set, leaving the screen blank for six minutes. Most of the stories, though, come as insider intelligence of a high order.

5. "Bias" by Bernard Goldberg (Regnery, 2001).

This breakthrough book says: Let's stop pretending, let's finally acknowledge the elephant in the room--the fact that the media, composed largely of liberals, view the world through the prism of leftist politics and report the news accordingly. The subtitle of this best seller is "A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News," but Mr. Goldberg quickly became an outsider at the network after he first spoke out publicly on media bias. This treatment by CBS surprised the veteran newsman, because he had once been a liberal himself. But Mr. Goldberg also happened to believe in keeping an open mind. That's what made him unacceptable to his liberal colleagues.

Jensen Comment
It should be noted that Mr. Ailes is from the right (as opposed to left) side of the world.  He's chairman of Fox News Channel and Fox Television Stations. He is the author, with Jon Kraushar, of You Are the Message (Doubleday).

Forwarded by my secretary

A woman calls her boss one morning and tells him that she is staying home because she is not feeling well.

"What's the matter?" he asks. "I have a case of anal glaucoma," she says in a weak voice. "What the hell is anal glaucoma?" "I can't see my ass coming into work today."

Forwarded by Ed Scribner
Fun things and humorous computer upgrades ---

Turn up your speakers.
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Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email: