Tidbits on March 6, 2006
Bob Jensen
at Trinity University 

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

Bob Jensen's various threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

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

Internet News (The News Show) --- http://www.thenewsshow.tv/daily/

Bob Jensen's home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Security threats and hoaxes --- http://www.trinity.edu/its/virus/

25 Hottest Urban Legends (hoaxes) --- http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp 
Hoax Busters --- http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/ 
Stay up on the latest and the oldest hoaxes --- http://www.snopes.com/

Most Popular Web Sites 2006 - 2007 --- http://www.webtrafficstation.com/directory/
WebbieWorld Picks --- http://www.webbieworld.com/default.asp

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

Videos from Suicide Bombers
Suicide bomber videos: Footage of hate Farewell message: 'There is no blood better than the blood of Jews'

WorldNet Daily, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49085

Quail Hunting School (forwarded by Paula) --- http://www.quailhuntingschool.com/flash.php

"Searching the Web for Video Clips" by Walt Mossberg and Katherine Boehret --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114117478467285971.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

From Opinion Journal on February 28, 2006
In an item yesterday on "Tom and Jerry," we mentioned "The Ducktators," a 1942 Looney Tunes short depicting an anatine Hitler and an anserine Mussolini. It turns out a video (albeit of rather poor quality) is available through Google; click here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1633673673225697900  

The Blogging Heads --- http://bloggingheads.tv/?id=64&cid=187

Information Week news (in audio) and Windows Vista security (in video) --- http://www.informationweek.com/

Exploring Space: The Quest for Life (from PBS) --- http://www.pbs.org/exploringspace/

Remember This One? (turn your speakers up)
Do Your Own Damn Taxes Video (music from Frank Sinatra) --- http://www.doyourdamntaxes.com/ 

Free music downloads --- --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

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

My Time on Earth --- http://www.goodolddogs.com/mytime.html

From NPR
Jenny Lewis: Questioning God on 'Rabbit Fur Coat' ---

God Bless America Again --- http://www.goodolddogs3.com/God-Bless-America-Again.html

From NPR
Singing of New Orleans, Past and Future --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5237133

Mississippi Squirrel Revival --- http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman7777/MSR2.htm


Photographs and Art

From NPR
The Decline of the Black Farmer --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5230129

Girodet: Romantic Rebel --- http://www.artic.edu/aic/exhibitions/girodet/

From NPR
Culture Destroyed by 1815 Volcano Rediscovered --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5237808

Dali Painting Galleries --- http://www.dali-gallery.com/html/paintings.htm

Earnest Lee Major (1864-1950) Paintings --- http://www.goodart.org/artofelm.htm

History of the Ossuary in Kutna Hora - Sedlec --- http://www.kostnice.cz/

Van Gogh's Letters --- http://webexhibits.org/vangogh/
Van Gogh Gallery --- http://www.vangoghgallery.com/
Also see http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/vginfo.htm

Dennis Weaver Photographs --- http://www.triviatribute.com/dennisweaver.html
Also see http://images.google.com/images?q=Weaver, Dennis&hl=en
Dennis Weaver died on February 27, 2006

The Modern Museum --- http://themodern.org/

Isabel Samaras Paintings --- http://astrocat.com/samaras/

Geodesic Drawing --- http://www.gpsdrawing.com/gallery.htm


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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

America:  Why I Love Her by John Mitchum--- http://www.goodolddogs.com/America_WhyILoveHer.html

Poems by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) --- Click Here

Digital Orchid Library from Michigan State University --- http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/orchids/

Poetry Foundation (probably the wealthiest of the foundations) --- http://www.poetryfoundation.org

The Lotus Eater by W. Somerset Maugham --- http://shortstory.byethost6.com/maughamlotus.html
Other short stories by Maugham --- http://shortstory.byethost6.com/

Short Story Classics --- http://shortstory.byethost6.com/

General Sherman’s Memoirs --- Click Here
Sherman House Museum --- http://www.shermanhouse.org/

Economic History Classics --- http://www.eh.net/

A  Cloud of Dust: John Updike Reviews "The March"--- http://www.newyorker.com/critics/content/articles/050912crbo_books

E.L. Doctorow links in the Scout Report on February 24, 2006

E.L. Doctorow wins PEN/Faulkner Award Doctorow’s ‘The March’ Wins Top Honor --- Click Here

NPR: E.L. Doctorow on Sherman and ‘The March’ --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4964601

2006 PEN/Faulkner Winners --- http://penfaulkner.org/winners.htm

Wired for Books: Audio Interview with E.L. Doctorow --- http://wiredforbooks.org/eldoctorow/

Uknakkahhapssshefauknallahpsehefhpa _ _ _ uknakkahhapssshefauknallahpsehefhpa
Supreme Court Judge Ruth Ginsburg commenting on a case in progress.
"Snorer in the court? Ruth Bader Ginsburg snoozes Justice dozes off during political redistricting hearing, colleagues let her sleep,"
, March 1, 2000 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49070

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
Bumper Sticker

Veni, Vidi, Velcro. I came, I saw, I stuck.
Bumper Sticker

Veni, Vedi, Visa: I Came, I Saw, I shopped.
Bumper Sticker

Damaged people are dangerous; they know they can survive.
1993 movie 'Fatale', directed by Louis Malle, screenplay by David Hare.

Deterrence is the art of producing, in the mind of the enemy, the fear to attack!
1964 movie "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" screenplay by Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern and Peter George.

Residents of one Hartford neighborhood hope Beethoven and Mozart will help drive drug dealers and prostitutes out of a local park.
Newsday, March 4, 2006 --- Click Here

I don't skinny dip,
I chunky dunk!

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

I can't jog anymore,
The rubbing of my thighs sets my tights on fire.

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

They lied! Hard work killed lots of people.
Forwarded by Auntie Bev

A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands.
Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Once upon a time I called the florist and ordered some flowers delivered to my wife at work . As she carefully explained to me, in some cases the value of a gift is negated when there is minimal effort involved.
Scott Bonacker, CPA Springfield, Missouri

The teacher's aide accused of raping a 4-year-old at a Queens day care center told authorities she thought the boy was a willing partner.
Herbert Lowe, Sun-Sentinel, March 3, 2005 --- Click Here

Uproars, including street protests, often depend on the source rather than the content
A rabbi's criticisms of the Jewish faith might sometimes be considered anti-Semitic when coming from anybody other than a rabbi. Catholic priests have more latitude when criticizing the Roman Catholic Church.  For decades use of the word "queer" was absolutely forbidden in academe until gay leaders, writers, and Hollywood gave it acceptability.

Video can be aired in the Arab media that would cause riots on the streets if initially aired in the Western media. An example of such a video is linked below. It's a strongly pro feminist video that attacks how Islamic fundamentalists treat women. You probably will not find any reference to this video in the mainstream Western media. The Western media powerhouses most likely consider it more explosive than publishing a Danish cartoon.  The academic academy wants no part of it because of this feminist atheist's "trashing" of Islam.

A  MEMRI subtitled video initially aired in the Arab media by Al Jazeera
Original version --- Click Here
A better version is at http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=1050wmv&ak=null  

The early part of the above video itself claims that the main woman speaker is an Arab-American Psychiatrist. I did not know where her home is, although the Arab-American depiction of her suggested to me that she’s living in America. After discovering this video I later learned a bit more about this Arab-American Psychiatrist whose name is purportedly Wafa Sultan. She's an atheist Syrian expatriate. One of her papers is entitled "Who Are The Muslim Brotherhood Trying to Fool?" She' also expounds a "rhetoric against Zionists, Yankees, Imperialists, Crusaders."

I think it speaks well for Al Jazeera to have even aired the video. I visit Al Jazeera daily and find it to be sometimes well rounded and balanced in its article. Al Jazeera seems to be quite supportive of the democratic movement in the middle east. You can judge for yourself at http://english.aljazeera.net/homepage 

Al Jazeera also broadcasted an interview with Wafa Sultan that you can read about at "LA psychiatrist clashes with Algerian jihadist over Islamic teachings and terrorism" --- http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/007434.php

MEMRI translations of the Arab media are a source of controversy. The MEMRI home page is at http://www.memri.org/

Other MEMRI-translated videos --- http://www.memri.org/video/

You can read Brian Whitaker's critical article about MEMRI (not the above video per se) at http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,7792,773258,00.html 

A rebuttal to Whitaker's criticisms also appears in The Guardian
"Media organisation rebuts Whitaker accusations of selective journalism" --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/comment/0,10551,778373,00.html

Brian Whitaker's Selective Memri is an example of selective journalism. Disregarding the Guardian's own code - "A newspaper's primary office is the gathering of news" - Whitaker has simply recycled inaccurate and previously published material.

Two days before his piece appeared on the web, he called our Washington office to ask for the Arabic original of an article translated by Memri from the London daily Al-Hayat. He could have used this opportunity to check his facts. He chose not to do so.

MEMRI accused of biased selections of what to translate rather than the translations themselves
Because the primary criticism that is leveled at MEMRI is nothing to do with the quality of its translations, but with the fact that it deliberately selects the most extreme articles and opinions from Middle Eastern news media, and presents them as being representative of the Arab and Muslim world in general. I’m not sure how important it is to emphasize that the individual articles cited by MEMRI are true (i.e. accurate translations), if the purpose of translating them is to use them collectively to make a point that is not true.

Lawrence of Cyberia Blog, January 4, 2006 --- http://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2006/01/jewish_criminal.html

March 27, 2006 Update
MEMRI claims to be an independent nonpartisan research institution. One of the co-founders of the organization, Yigal Carmon, is a retired Israeli military intelligence Colonel. Checking the MEMRI website, I found it served up blatant, unbalanced propaganda and was littered with inflammatory articles aimed to incite hate and bigotry toward any person whom MEMRI considers anti-Israeli or anti-Zionist.
"Speakout: MEMRI's systematic distortion," by Rima Barakat, Rocky Mountain News, March 27, 2006 --- Click Here

March 10, 2006 message from a friend


A friend sent me the Wafa Sultan video, MEMRI translated (link below). It read well as a transcript when you posted it, but the video is 4x more powerful. An impressive and courageous woman--worth spending 4 minutes watching.


Also see Also see http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49309 


The Jerusalem Post reported an interview with Wafa Sultan --- Click Here

Dr. Wafa Sultan's Life Threatened
"Muslim's Blunt Criticism of Islam Draws Threats," by John M. Broder, The New York Times, March 11, 2006 ---
Click Here

LOS ANGELES, March 10 — Three weeks ago, Dr. Wafa Sultan was a largely unknown Syrian-American psychiatrist living outside Los Angeles, nursing a deep anger and despair about her fellow Muslims.

Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die.

In the interview, which has been viewed on the Internet more than a million times and has reached the e-mail of hundreds of thousands around the world, Dr. Sultan bitterly criticized the Muslim clerics, holy warriors and political leaders who she believes have distorted the teachings of Muhammad and the Koran for 14 centuries.

She said the world's Muslims, whom she compares unfavorably with the Jews, have descended into a vortex of self-pity and violence.

Dr. Sultan said the world was not witnessing a clash of religions or cultures, but a battle between modernity and barbarism, a battle that the forces of violent, reactionary Islam are destined to lose.

In response, clerics throughout the Muslim world have condemned her, and her telephone answering machine has filled with dark threats. But Islamic reformers have praised her for saying out loud, in Arabic and on the most widely seen television network in the Arab world, what few Muslims dare to say even in private.

"I believe our people are hostages to our own beliefs and teachings," she said in an interview this week in her home in a Los Angeles suburb.

Dr. Sultan, who is 47, wears a prim sweater and skirt, with fleece-lined slippers and heavy stockings. Her eyes and hair are jet black and her modest manner belies her intense words: "Knowledge has released me from this backward thinking. Somebody has to help free the Muslim people from these wrong beliefs."

Perhaps her most provocative words on Al Jazeera were those comparing how the Jews and Muslims have reacted to adversity. Speaking of the Holocaust, she said, "The Jews have come from the tragedy and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling."

She went on, "We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people."

She concluded, "Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them."

Continued in article


"Clash of Whats?" by David Warren, RealClearPolitics, March 4, 2006 --- http://www.realclearpolitics.com/Commentary/com-3_4_06_DW.html 

Sometimes I am brought up short by the clarity and courage with which someone else -- with more to lose than I have -- states a truth. I am a Catholic Christian, who often dismisses “secular humanists”. But I’m in awe of people like Canada’s Irshad Manji, the “Muslim refusenik”, who had the courage in her book The Trouble with Islam to directly confront the horrors done in Allah’s name -- in, as she put it, “Pick a country, any Muslim country.”

Another is Wafa Sultan, an Arab woman practising psychology, now living in the States. A self-professed “disbeliever in the supernatural”, she has posted essays on the Internet in Arabic, including research into the fate of women under various Islamic regimes. She has willingly and ably confronted Muslim fanatics on Arab TV, most recently on Feb. 21st, when she debated Dr Ibrahim Al-Khouli on Al-Jazeera. A transcript and video clips with English subtitles were made available this week by the Middle East Media Research Institute (“Memri”) -- an indispensable institution, based in Israel, that distributes hard information and accurate translations of documents from the Arab world. (It is useless to condemn it as “Zionist” -- everything Memri publishes is sourced and checkable.)

With great bravery, Dr Sultan confronts the “tu quoque” (“you too”) arguments of the apologists for Islamic terror -- refusing to let them change the subject from what they have done, said, and approved, to misty rhetoric against Zionists, Yankees, Imperialists, Crusaders. Boldly on Al-Jazeera, last week, she said what our Western politicians, media flaks, and academic celebrities won’t say, from cowardice in its many forms. Excerpt:

“The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. ... It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on the other. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.”

The sparkling TV host interrupts to ask if Dr Sultan insinuates the clash is, “between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims”. Dr Sultan replies, “Yes, that is what I mean.”

The host reminds her that this phrase, “clash of civilizations”, came from Samuel Huntington, not Osama bin Laden. Dr Sultan reminds him that Islamic books and curricula, going back to the Koran, are full of calls for “fighting the infidels”.

When her opponent, Dr Khouli, claims he never offends people, Dr Sultan reminds that among other things he calls Westerners “al-Dhimma” (i.e. the Muslims’ natural slaves), that he routinely compares them to apes and pigs, that he calls Christians “those who incur Allah's wrath”, and so forth.

He asks if she is a heretic. Dr Sultan says, he can call her what he likes. He continues, “If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you, since you have blasphemed against Islam, the Prophet, and the Koran!” She replies, “These are personal matters that do not concern you. ... Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don't throw them at me.”

And after the usual banter about Zionism, she notes that since the Holocaust, the Jews have made the world respect them by their work and knowledge, not their crying and yelling. “We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church.” Likewise, though professing Muslims turned ancient Buddha statues into rubble, “We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a mosque, kill a Muslim, or torch an embassy.”

Since the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, many thousand other barbaric acts have been reported, around the world, each one performed explicitly in the name of Allah. This is fact, not prejudice, and our refusal to make Islam an issue plays directly into the fanatics’ hands.

It is not our business to “define Islam”, as so many Muslims aver. It is the Muslims’ duty to define it, in such a way that we will not mistake it for a sword held to our own throats. For when it is presented as a sword, it becomes our business.

Jensen Comment
I mentioned above that one of her papers is entitled "Who Are The Muslim Brotherhood Trying to Fool?"
She' also expounds a "rhetoric against Zionists, Yankees, Imperialists, Crusaders."

If you do a Google search on Wafa Sultan you will get hundreds of hits (mostly on blogs) --- http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en
You will notice that blog hits are frustrating. Google will take you to the blog site but not to the entry about your topic. It pays to know the date your topic appeared on the blog.

The following tidbits appeared in former editions of Tidbits and New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm

Ignorance is not bliss:  10 million children in the Arab world are out of school
Half of the women in the Arab world are illiterate and more than 10 million children in the region do not go to school, a report has revealed. The report on the status of children and women, produced by the Arab League and the UN Children's Fund (Unicef), said many Arab countries have made progress on child rights and protection, but that more still needs to be done. "More than 10 million children in the Arab world are out of school, most of them in Egypt, Iraq, Morocco and Sudan," said the report, although it gave no figures for the total number of school-age children in the region.
"Report: Half of Arab Women Illiterate," Al Jazeera, April 12, 2005 ---

Murdering Women For "Honor"
Today we are witnessing the globalization of honor killing, as the West has become the perpetual scene of immigrant Arab women being murdered by their immigrant families. A distinguished panel joins us today to discuss what causes this violence against women, how it is directly connected to the terror war, and why the Western Left is so deafeningly silent about a mass crime that violates one of its supposed sacred values . . .
Jamie Glazov, "Symposium: Murdering Women For 'Honor'," FrontPageMagazine.com, June 10, 2005 --- http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=18370

Meanwhile in Nigeria
They all have one thing in common, the determination to liberate Muslim women, who they claim, were still relegated to the background in utter disregard for their rights and priviledges as set forth in the Islamic legal code, Sharia. With the issue of stoning to death, caning and amputation, remaining the dominant Muslim news in national dallies, the Women of Hounour, as the are referred, women had decided to reverse the trend and restore dignity to such oppressed members of the society. Alhaja Sikiratulahi Atinuke Atobajaye (Iya Suna of Nigeria, President General, Nuru-ul-Islam International Alasalatu of Nigeria), Alhaja Fausat Taiwo Afolabi, Director, Office of Local Government Administration, Lagos State, Alhaja Fariat Tinubu, Director, Personnel Management, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, and Sayyidah Zeenat Abiola Kalejaye, all members of the Aenu Rahmat Faedot Tijani-yyat of Nigeria, were so deservingly honoured for championing the crusade against the plight of Muslim women in Lagos, recently.

"'ISLAM ACCORDS MEN, WOMEN EQUAL STATUS'," by Andrew Ahiante, Lagos, PeaceWomen, October 13, 2003 --- http://www.peacewomen.org/news/Nigeria/October03/equalstatus.html


In pursuit of Arab reform
This special report is concerned with the increasingly pressing demand for reform in the Middle East. While few harbour any illusions over the need for such a compelling change, the disagreement centres on the question: How?

"In pursuit of Arab reform," Al Jazeera, May 20, 2004 ---

The Koran and the Kafir
The chapter on the Koran and Moslem women gives us some idea on Islam's injunctions on Moslem women. They should cover their bodies from head to foot. Khomeini's Iran forces the women to go under the 'chador'. They must not go outside to work where other men might see them. They may not be rulers or judges in an Islamic state. Women lawyers are frowned upon in today's Pakistan which is an Islamic state. But such regulations are valid for Moslem women only. The non-Moslem or kafir women are to be handled differently, as the Islamic codes are not birding on them. The kafir women are considered to be the property of Moslems; they are their 'slaves'' and the wife or daughter of a 'zimmi' can be molested by a Moslem with impunity in a Moslem state ruled by the 'Sharia' or Islamic jurisprudence. The idea comes from the treatment meted out to kafir women who were captured in the battlefield. The first fifth of all booty went to the prophet or the caliph or whoever happened to hold the position of the amir-ul-mominin. It could be the Moslem king of the land or even a petty chieftain. This so called leader 'examined' all booty, inspected and sometimes 'felt' by touching it. The women, all of them were paraded in front of the leader, naked or scantily clad, so that the leader could make his choice. These women were NOT brought in front of the 'amir-ulmominin' dressed in 'chadors'. It was thus that the prophet himself used to inspect his captives and chose Rehana and Juwairiya' both Jewish women whose male relatives were all killed by the Moslems. Juwairiya eventually gave up her religion and married the prophet and became one of the ten or eleven wives of his harem. Rehana was a courageous lady and she did not give up her Jewish faith and so was turned into a concubine of the prophet. She thus took her place on the side of Mary, another slave woman, and a Christian, who after Khadija gave birth to a male child fathered by the prophet.

"The Koran and the Kafir," by A. Ghosh --- http://islamreview.org/KoranKafir/chapter11.html

In Pursuit of Arab Reform --- http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/967715B8-276C-4708-AC08-7FD102E13BA7.htm

Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution (History) --- http://www.jwa.org/feminism/

"Iraqi Women Should Think Twice Before Accepting Constitution," by Jan Erickson, Government Relations Director, National Organization for Women (NOW)--- http://www.now.org/nnt/summerfall-2005/iraqiwomen.html

Sharia Anti-Women?

National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy said the women of Iraq will lose hard-won rights under the new constitution, and the U.S. will share the blame for trading away women's rights.

"Iraqi women will have far fewer rights under this constitution than they have enjoyed for decades, and for this reason all Iraqi women should pause to consider whether they will vote for it," Gandy urged in August. "Adoption of this constitution will likely result in the loss of rights gained over past decades. Conservative Sharia law as the basis for the country's family law system threatens to send Iraqi women back to the Middle Ages."

. . .

Critics say that Sharia law is inherently misogynistic: In some sects, divorce is easy for men who are allowed multiple wives, and custody of children goes to the father. A conservative dress code requires many women to cover most or all of their bodies; women may be restricted to the home and are frequently not allowed to speak to men other than relatives. Women are not allowed to be clergy or religious scholars and may be restricted from certain jobs where they might come into contact with men.

Worst of all, most interpretations of Sharia law allow beating of "disobedient" wives. This permission has led to the practice in many Muslim cultures of so-called honor killings where women are beaten or murdered if the family believes that the woman has 'dishonored' the family with an extramarital affair.

When is surgery the right choice for back pain?
Americans get surgery for lower-back pain at a higher rate than any other country. Whether that's too many, too few -- or just right -- is a hotly debated subject in orthopedics. At the center of the debate is how to decide who should get surgery for lower back pain . . . Each consulted Dartmouth Medical School's Dr. James Weinstein, one of the nation's leading experts on back pain. In fact, Weinstein has had back pain himself. . . . The bottom line right now: Patients need to be involved in deciding whether to have surgery. Weinstein says it may even help their outcome, whatever they decide. Weinstein is heading a federally financed study of 1,200 patients with chronic lower-back pain to compare the benefits of surgery and nonsurgery. Results are due this summer.
"For Back Pain, Few Easy Answers on Surgery," by Joanne Silberner, NPR, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5240537
Jensen Comment:  My wife has had eight surgeries on her spine. Each surgery seems to make the pain worse. The Dartmouth Medical Center (called Hitchcock) is now proposing that she have a huge ninth surgery to put rods in front of and in back of her spine. The rods put on just her backside failed and had to be removed.

Headaches 40% more common among women taking birth-control pills
Some women have migraines during menstruation, when levels of estrogen drop, Dr. Karen Aegidius of the Norwegian National Headache Center in Trondheim, the study‘s lead author, told Reuters Health. These women also are more likely to have migraines while taking oral contraceptives, she added, explaining that these pills can boost estrogen levels up to four-fold above normal, resulting in a particularly steep estrogen drop-off with menstruation.
Anne Harding, "Study confirms oral contraceptive-migraine link," Reuters Health via News One, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.newsone.ca/piercelandherald/stories/index.php?action=fullnews&id=152680

Who's Harvard's dapper hombre feminists love to hate?
Hint: It's not Larry Summers. In fact this Harvard hombre implies Larry Summers is a wimp.

"Harvey Mansfield Calling All Hombres," by Naomi Schaffer Riley, The Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2006; Page A8 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114142682599489065.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- "Defend yourself." That's the lesson Harvey Mansfield drew for Larry Summers the week before Harvard's president was forced to resign. Mr. Mansfield, a 73-year-old government professor and conservative elder statesman of the university, went on to suggest that Mr. Summers's capitulation to those he offended (when he said women might be biologically less inclined to succeed in the hard sciences) is not simply a craven kowtow to political correctness, but proof, also, of a character flaw. Indeed, Mr. Mansfield continued with a mischievous smile, "He has apologized so much that he looks unmanly."

Perhaps this seems like a quaint insult, but Mr. Mansfield means something very particular by it. He would like to return the notion of manliness to the modern lexicon. His new book, "Manliness" (manfully, no subtitle), argues that the gender-neutral society created by modern feminists has been bad both for women and men, and that it is time for men to rediscover, and women to appreciate, the virtue of manliness.

Mr. Mansfield's former office in the grand neoclassical Littauer Hall just off Harvard Yard seemed better suited to his project, but the government department moved into a new building this year and he has been relegated to a spare, modern room in which even the blinds are operated electronically. The professor, with his elegantly tailored suits and sharp fedoras, looks out of place in his ungracious surroundings. (The poster-size portrait of Machiavelli, about whom he has written extensively, doesn't seem to fit in either.)

But after more than a half-century at the university -- as undergrad, grad student and professor -- Mr. Mansfield seems to have settled into his role as campus gadfly. This is not to say that scholarship and teaching do not occupy his time. In the past 40 years, he has published more than a dozen books, including a translation of Tocqueville, as well as groundbreaking studies of Machiavelli and Burke.

But it is his combat with campus liberal orthodoxy that has brought him a more public profile. To drive home his crusade against grade inflation, he began giving students a real grade (what he actually thinks of their work) and an "ironic grade" (which goes to the registrar). More controversially, Mr. Mansfield argues that grade inflation is the result of the university's affirmative-action program -- admitting too many underqualified minority students and then not wanting to give them poor marks.

Of all the enemies Mr. Mansfield has made, none has he more consistently provoked than feminists. It's been 20 years since he voted against the proposal for a women's studies major at Harvard (the only faculty member to do so), arguing that "it is not possible to study women except in relation to men." And he has not let up since.

"I've had a lifelong interest in women," Mr. Mansfield purrs in his smooth classical-radio-announcer voice when I ask why he decided to embark on his manliness project. Joking aside, he explains that "I always wanted to write a book on the woman question, and one reason, perhaps the main reason, I see is that we are embarked on a great experiment in our society, something very radical: to make the status of men and women equal, or, better to say, the same."

Mr. Mansfield's contention that women and men are not the same is now widely supported by social scientists. The core of his definition of manliness -- "confidence in a risky situation" -- is not so far from that of biologists and sociologists, who find men to be more abstract in their thinking and aggressive in their behavior than women, who are more contextual in their thinking and conciliatory in their behavior.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Professor Mansfield has been a long-standing critic of grade inflation at Harvard University. To read more about his articles on this go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#GradeInflation

Increasingly I am receiving requests from teachers and students in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere around the world. Often they are asking some very basic accounting and finance questions.  What are the most efficient ways to help them with these basic, and sometimes advanced, questions?

Answer from Bob Jensen
As most of you know, my Web documents and multimedia tutorials on two servers have become huge. Even I have finding my own stuff unless I use Google in search of my own deeply embedded modules. Most of my tutorials and other helpers in accounting and finance were written for my graduate students and my off-campus audiences in my traveling dog an pony shows. Unfortunately I do not have Web documents for elementary tutorials. And at the advanced level, there are many topics that I have not covered in tutorials.

How do I help with things that I've not covered in my tutorials? It finally dawned on me to check for Wikipedia links when people write to me for help. You might consider this same approach to save time when trying to help people who make inquiries around the world. When people write to me for help with basic concepts, I now check the quantity and quality of what has been written about these concepts in Wikipedia. The Wikipedia modules are often very good, often better than my tutorial would have been if I took the trouble to write my answers to the hundreds of inquiries I receive from around the world.

My skill in helping others has largely been in knowing what terms or sub-terms to search for on the Web. Now I use these skills to first search for Wikipedia modules. Then I do a search for other helpers that I can find in my own sites and in other sites on the Web. But first I check on Wikipedia for explanations and links  --- http://www.wikipedia.org/

By way of an illustration, I recently received an email from an accounting teacher in a developing country. He/she asked some very basic questions. A sample of part of my long reply to this teacher is shown below:

People often ask why I've poured thousands of hours in developing my accounting and finance tutorials that I share with the world on two Web servers. Answering inquiries from teachers, students, reporters, practitioners, and others has become my great joy in life. But since I receive hundreds and hundreds of inquiries I must resort to efficiency measures. My main efficiency measures are as follows:

  1. Put as much of you own stuff, documents, audio, and video, as possible on your Web servers so that you can simply point to research and other answers that you’ve previously prepared. Sometimes new inquiries inspire me to improve my tutorials.
  2. Some of the people who might contact you do not even have a textbook on the subject. Try to recommend free textbooks that can be downloaded from the Web. Some examples are given at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
  3. Learn the sites on the Web that provide a lot of great answers, particularly the Wikipedia site. Unfortunately I've been negligent in improving Wikipedia modules and creating new modules. Perhaps I will find time to this after I've retired on May 13, 2006.
  4. Belong to listservs and forums of specialists who are willing to answer questions that you yourself cannot answer. I've been blessed with some of these, notably one called the AECM.

It will make you feel good to help strangers who send you questions about technical issues in your craft. Try to help these people in need, but you must become efficient in providing high quality answers. And by all means admit your own ignorance when you cannot answer something. Don't try to waste their time by pretending or getting them lost in technical documents only remotely related to the questions raise.

Is Byetta a weight loss miracle for diabetics?

"A Ray of Hope for Diabetics," by Alex Berenson, The New York Times, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/02/business/02drug.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

The users call the drug Lizzie, the Big Brother or sometimes Gilly. On blogs they rave over its uncanny ability to melt away pounds, although some are wary of its side effects, which can include nausea and strange welts.

The users are not fad dieters or methamphetamine addicts, but people with diabetes. And the subject of their rhapsodies is not a gray-market diet pill sold on late-night television but Byetta, a federally approved diabetes medicine, available only by prescription, whose popularity and sales have soared since its introduction last June.

For diabetics, the weight loss caused by Byetta comes as a welcome contrast to the weight gain that often accompanies insulin and other diabetes medicines; the extra pounds can eventually worsen the disease. Some patients say Byetta has reversed the course of a disease that can lead to severe complications like amputations, blindness and kidney failure and even death.

Continued in article

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

What really fueled Hitler's regime? Hitler's Bank Bares Its Dark Past

Dresdner's self-financed study reveals that greed rather than ideology inspired its zealous support for the regime, even to helping build Auschwitz. There's no way to put a positive spin on German industry's collaboration with the Nazi regime before and during World War II, so Dresdner Bank Chief Executive Herbert Walter didn't try. Presenting the results of an independent study of Dresdner's role in the Holocaust, Walter admitted: "It confronts us with bitter historical truths. We accept these truths, even when they are painful."
Jack Ewing, "Hitler's Bank Bares Its Dark Past:  Hitler's Bank Bares Its Dark Past," Business Week, February 22, 2006 --- Click Here

Painful is hardly a strong enough word. According to the study by a team of historians from German universities, Dresdner functioned as the house bank to Hitler's Schutzstaffel (SS), lending more money than any other bank to the organization that was at the forefront of the most ghastly atrocities. Dresdner, co-founded by Eugen Gutmann, who was Jewish, quickly expelled its Jewish employees after the Nazi takeover and arbitrarily cut the pension payments of Jewish retirees. The bank even owned a stake in the construction company that built the crematorium at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

It has become almost a ritual for big German companies to finance detailed studies of their Nazi collaboration. Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler (DCX ), Siemens (SI ), and even menswear maker Hugo Boss (HUGSF ) have owned up to their histories. Part of the motivation may be genuine remorse, but companies also have learned that attempts to spin history can backfire.

Bertelsmann suffered severe embarrassment in 1998 when a German journalist, Hersch Fischler, punctured the myth that the Gütersloh-based media giant had resisted the Nazis and suffered a shutdown of its book-publishing business as a result. In fact, the company later conceded, Bertelsmann had profited handsomely from supplying morale-building books to German troops and was shut down near the end of the war only to save paper.

Since then, companies have learned that it's better to confront the past themselves than to wait for an enterprising historian or journalist to do so. The self-examination is a prerequisite to being a global player from Germany. "Apparently, they expect to be more involved in the global community in the next decade. They want to start in a clear position," says Cees B.M. van Riel, a professor who teaches corporate communications at RSM Erasmus University business school in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

As Walter conceded in a statement, Dresdner suppressed its own history until the mid-1990s when, under pressure from critics, it commissioned the study. Dresdner's close ties to top Nazis were already well-known; Chief Executive Karl Rasche, an SS member, was tried and sentenced to a prison term at Nuremberg.

But the study makes clear that Dresdner's wartime culpability was much deeper, and the motive was money rather than politics or Nazi pressure. The bank "took advantage of all the business opportunities opened up by the aggressive and racist policies of the Third Reich," study co-author Johannes Bähr concludes.

Despite the bank's own Jewish origins, it played a key role in the persecution of German Jews, according to the study. After Jewish employees were expelled in 1933, Dresdner exceeded even Nazi race laws in cutting their pensions or severance payments. As Jewish businesses were being "Aryanized," the bank hired thuggish "business consultants" to intimidate owners and seize control.

After the war began, bank executives knew early on about crimes taking place in concentration camps, according to the study. Dresdner provided banking services to numerous SS facilities. The bank was a major shareholder in a construction company, based in Breslau (now the Polish city of Wroclaw), which built crematoriums at the Auschwitz death camp. "Particularly in the case of its most reprehensible activities, the bank could have operated differently," Bähr writes.

Continued in article

Everybody Should Read This:  Evil Doers of the Future Extend Well Beyond Islamic Fundamentalists
Extremism, Terror, and the Future of Conflict

By Michael J. Mazarr Michael J. Mazarr is professor of national security strategies at the U.S. National War College and adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect the policy or position of the U.S. government or the National Defense University.

Hoover Institution's Policy Review, March 2006 --- http://www.policyreview.org/000/mazarr.html

When they briefly stated an intention to begin referring to a “global struggle against violent extremism,” certain officials in the Bush administration did more than implicitly acknowledge the vacuity of the idea of a “global war on terror.” They hinted, however obliquely, at something far more profound: a radical shift in the nature of conflict, what it means to be “at war.” From traditional notions of armies fighting armies in vast confrontations, the new concept seems to imply, the warfare of the future will look very different — twilight struggles against non-state networks of evildoers. This notion mirrors an emerging...


The theory of war that undergirds realpolitik is straightforward. For thousands of years, warfare has meant a clash of wills between opposing military forces on the field of battle, from which one side usually (though not always) emerged as a recognizable winner. The causes of such wars were the combination of an anarchic system of self-help that opened the way for aggressive and imperialistic campaigns of conquest, bitter competitions over scarce resources, escalating mutual security fears, and misperception and miscalculation. Conducting war meant the mobilization of resources and military units to defeat enemy forces in the field. It is from this basic concept — states at war employing organized military units — that most of the hallmarks of modern military science flow: the moral and physical clash of wills; the role of the decisive battle in a campaign; and the endless search for the enemy’s “center of gravity” and the “culminating point” of a conflict.

But we have been moving away from this paradigm for some time.2 Centuries ago, military forces were very nearly divorced from the societies on behalf of whom they fought: crowds of adventurers out at the frontier and beyond, staging highly ritualized über-duels on grassy plains, while the home society went on farming and hunting and carpentering. To be sure, these armies would affect the surrounding societies in profound ways: They would recruit or dragoon young men who otherwise would be farming or cobbling; they would pillage the surrounding landscape as they passed through it; and they would sometimes draw abundant camp-following crowds. But the basic model was one of a quasi-independent army marching off to find its counterpart and slaughter it. Even by Napoleonic times, armies remained remarkably separable from their peoples, grand militarized playthings moving around the chessboard of strategy.

And playthings they were, because armies and navies were the instruments of their leaders — sometimes individual kings or tyrants, sometimes collective groups, but always leaders in search of some self-defined material end, the governing power goal of realpolitik. Philip of Macedon could decide that the time had come to unify the Greek city-states, and off went his army to battle. The Romans could elect to subjugate yet another frontier people, and the legions gathered up their equipment. Kings and princes in early modern Europe, reflecting perhaps the apotheosis of this practice, marshaled bands of expensive knights and attendants in what looks to modern eyes almost like an elaborate game. Even when wars emerged without clear power-seeking intent, issues of security dilemmas and power rivalries always hung about the proceedings.

In such a context, the enemy’s forces in the field embodied very nearly the entirety of the conflict. When they were destroyed, the enemy was vanquished. What “the people” thought about it, hacking away at their farms a thousand miles from the battlefield (or even right next door to it), usually had little or no bearing on the outcome — except when especially reckless leaders bankrupted the home front to such a degree that they were overthrown while on campaign. Even when forces became nimbler and strategy emphasized moving between, around, and behind an enemy to get at his capital or his industrial heartland, these supposedly indirect strategies mostly ended up in force-on-force butchery.

In its actual practice (as distinct from its consequences, which frequently transformed societies from the roots up), then, war stood apart from society, independent, self-regarding. Warfare was armies against armies, and when it became something more than that — the destruction of whole societies, for example — it remained largely in service of the narrower goal: to cripple the enemy’s military instrument, and thus compel his surrender. The character of war in this theory was fierce and brutal, built as it was around the organized employment of violence to break an enemy military’s will.3

All of this made sense in a world governed by the doctrine of realpolitik. From Thucydides onward, the concepts of a realist approach to world politics were clear enough: States sought power; there was no world authority to govern the resulting conflict; stronger states took what they could, weaker ones succumbed or hid under the protective umbrella of alliances. Above all, military power and the diplomatic and political influence that flowed from it was the coin of the realm for the players in the international game, the sine qua non in whose absence no other state powers or goals could be reliably sustained.

For centuries, perhaps millennia — from the Peloponnesian War through the German advocates of machtpolitik — this situation was not only admitted, it was frequently celebrated. The world was a great Darwinistic struggle and courageous peoples sought power and used it. Warfare was welcomed as a means of stiffening national character and a route to glory for individuals and cultures alike — a perverse notion that, sadly, has not quite been put to rest.4 Later, British and American realists mourned the reality of power politics and warned against imperial expansion, but pronounced both of them unavoidable given the twin natures of world politics and human nature. Either way, as a positive doctrine or an empirical analysis, realism spoke to a world governed by unconstrained power rivalries, tragic misunderstandings, and, ultimately, force-on-force military confrontations.



With this background, it becomes clear that one claimed shift in the nature of war does not, in fact, describe any change at all. It goes under the current name of “transformation,” but even the concept is hardly new. Transformation is the child of the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) — itself a grandson of maneuver warfare and blitzkrieg, which have their roots in the renewal of strategic thought following the First World War. As one analyst explains it, attrition warfare (an especially slaughterous variant of the canonical force-on-force style) aspired to the annihilation of enemy forces. Maneuver warfare targets

the coherence of the adversary’s combat systems, methods, and plans. The hope is that a very selective action can have a cascading effect — an effect disproportionately greater than the degree of effort. An analogy from architecture would be the removal or destruction of the keystone of an arch . . . the removal of which disrupts the stability of the system, resulting in its destruction.5

But the “system” is still the enemy military capability. Maneuver warfare is just a more elegant way of dealing with the usual force-on-force confrontation.

And so are its descendants. The Soviet theorists of the “military-technical revolution” — who were themselves influenced by American writings, and whose concepts Americans then translated into the RMA — were interested in more or less the same things as the German blitzkriegers: slicing up, destabilizing, and defeating enemy forces, only this time with weapons energized by a revolution in microelectronics, computing power, precision strike, and automation. Radical new concepts of command and control, “networked” organizations, “information dominance” — this and much else on the Defense Department’s transformation menu — therefore reflects the latest and most efficient elaboration of the principles of maneuver warfare. Some of the documents of the Office of Force Transformation point to a broader agenda,6 but if we look at the practical efforts of the Defense Department — where its budget goes, what its troops are trained to do, how its operations are conducted — the emphasis remains stubbornly on the force-on-force route to military victory. The primary modernization agendas of the services today speak to the same deep-rooted goal: finding tanks, planes, ships, and people that belong to the enemy and making them explode.

Transformation advocates have grown dextrous in the use of bold terms. They call the whole enterprise “network-centric warfare” and speak of “information superiority” and “shared awareness.” They refer to “systems of systems” and “linked platforms of sensors, shooters and commanders in seamless webs,” and talk of the increased speed and greater lethality with which military operations will now operate.7 But whatever the language, network-centric warfare reflects principles that have governed force-on-force warfare for centuries: Rapid, effective command and control that allows you to get inside an enemy’s “decision loop” has been the goal of the great captains of history for centuries; precision-guided weapons are just the latest and most effective effort to hit enemy forces as accurately as possible.

Some elements of the transformation agenda speak to so-called “information warfare.”8 Like notions of transformation and “network-centric warfare,” accounts of information warfare generally say very little about what the thing actually is.9 Some writers have used the term “cyberwar,” by which they appear to mean the by now conventional idea that warring powers will try to destroy the computer systems of their opponents.10 One account points to the rise of domains that do not require physical force to attack, and the resulting extension of warfare “beyond the traditional military realm.”11

This is not the first time military strategists have pointed to the potential of new technologies to overcome age-old truths about war. Yet Clausewitz wrote the epitaph of “perfect information dominance” some time back: fog and friction. There will never be sensors numerous, accurate, or reliable enough to create a perfect information picture. There will never be information architectures capable of sharing the resulting information widely, perfectly, or quickly enough to allow forces in the field to rely on it.12

As partial evidence, we have a number of recent examples. In Kosovo, the Serbs managed to accomplish a vast amount of movement and operations without NATO knowledge.13 In the Iraq War, despite the full-scale application of sensor and communications technologies greatly more advanced than those of Operation Desert Storm, the most frequent military engagement may have been the venerable “movement to contact” — steaming ahead until you encounter the enemy, then groping your way around the battlefield until you find the right tactical answer for him. The Third Armored Division famously stumbled into the biggest conventional battle of the war without advance warning. Iraqi commanders were able to move huge units around the battlefield without being seen or detected, until more Americans on “movement to contact” orders plowed into them. The immense success of the U.S. and allied drive to Baghdad was far more a product of the tactical skill of middle-level U.S. commanders than it was a victory for sensors and “network-centric operations.”



It is hardly surprising that all of this transformational and network-centric jargon would add up to so little in the way of truly new theories of warfare. These concepts are all about tactics and implementation; they have nothing to say about the causes of war, or the strategic implications of those causes.

From a definitional standpoint, there are at least three concepts at work in any discussion of “warfare.”14 First is the character of battle — the clash of arms where one army physically meets another. This is the meeting point that generates statements about the “unchanging nature of war” — violence, blood, courage, willpower, and so forth. At a second level we find the form of warfare, the tactics and operational art governing units in battle — infantry war versus blitzkrieg, insurgency versus classical force-on-force duels. Whereas the character of battle may be eternal, the form of warfare constantly evolves, responding to new technologies, new tactics, and new social organizations. But then we come, finally and most fundamentally, to the nature of conflict. This is the highest strategic level of analysis and deals with the causes and character of severe political-military-socioeconomic disputes in the international system. International conflict generates the context for warfare, but also much else — Schellingesque bargaining games, coercive diplomacy, deception and artful dodges short of warfare and battle.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
What frightens me is the possible breakdown in confidence that our nation states can protect us. This may give rise to an explosion of militias with war lord mentalities. The becomes much more frightening with the possible availability of cheap dirty bombs and biological weapons.

Bob Jensen's threads on the "Evil Empire" are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisyEvilEmpire.htm

Nancy's latest scars from constituency spurs in her side (see "shout down" highlighted below)
San Francisco leaders have passed a resolution calling for President Bush’s impeachment on the accounts of bringing the country into war, sanctioning torture, spying on citizens and bungling the response to Hurricane Katrina. Members of the city’s board of supervisors have asked Congress to conduct a complete investigation of the administration's purported transgressions and hold offenders accountable with criminal prosecution or impeachment.
Joanna Wypior, "San Francisco Leaders Calling For Bush’s Impeachment," All Headline News, March 5, 2006 --- http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7002653797

Jon Stewart's "Donkey Show"
Normally I'm not a big fan of Jon Stewart, but I left The Daily Show on tonight while I worked on a couple of other tasks. Stewart reviewed the pandering done by Hillary Clinton and Ray Nagin yesterday, as well as the
shout down Nancy Pelosi received on Saturday when she (rationally) suggested to her constituency that their concerns on the war would best be addressed electorally in 2006 during a visit to San Francisco. At the end of the segment, titled "Donkey Show", Stewart noted this: So the Democratic platform appears to be ... Democrats are our government's slaves [Hillary added to graphic] ... New Orleans can't be rebuilt without Willy Wonka [Nagin added to graphic] ... and voting (to surrender in Iraq) is for pussies [Pelosi added to graphic]. Good luck in 2006, everybody!
Captain Ed, Captain's Quarters, January 16, 2006 --- http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/006173.php 
Jensen Comment
Latest Jon Stewart Videos --- http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_daily_show/videos/most_recent/index.jhtml
Jon Stewart Comedy Central Homepage --- http://www.comedycentral.com/shows/the_daily_show/index.jhtml
Jon Stewart Intelligence Page --- http://www.jonstewart.net/

San Francisco and India Have One Thing in Common: 
They will both fumigate after a visit by President Bush
Hindu priests who look after the memorial of Indian independence leader Mohandas Gandhi conducted a purification ceremony at the shrine after a visit from President Bush. But it wasn't the president who offended them, it was the sniffer-dogs who scoured the area ahead of his visit. After the dog visit, the memorial was cleansed with water brought from the Ganges river, which Hindus consider holy, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported Sunday.
"Priests Purify Shrine After Bush Visit," ABC News, March 5, 2006 ---

Why linking pay to stock prices is liable to do more harm than good

"Why Rules Can't Stop Executive Greed," by Daniel Akst, The New York Times, March 5, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/business/yourmoney/05cont.html

In the arena of executive compensation, two recent developments stand out against the backdrop of continuing looting. First, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced plans to make corporations more fully disclose executive pay. Second, a study by Mercer Human Resource Consulting found that more companies were imposing performance targets on the stock and options they granted to C.E.O.'s.

To the uninitiated, these events may suggest that some moderation is in the offing, but ultimately neither will help much. Any benefit from shining the cleansing light of day on executive greed will probably be outweighed by the inflationary effect of additional disclosure, which will provide more ammunition for executives and consultants seeking to justify additional increases. They have to keep up with the Joneses, they'll say.

Tying pay more firmly to performance won't help, either. Boards will find ways around the requirements if performance isn't up to snuff, and they will continue to bid irrationally for unduly coveted executives.

As Rakesh Khurana showed in his insightful book, "Searching for a Corporate Savior: The Irrational Quest for Charismatic C.E.O.'s" (Princeton University Press, 2002), there is a much wider pool of potential chief executives than soaring pay levels would seem to imply. But companies insist on bidding for a savior, not a capable leader who knows the business at hand, which may be why typical C.E.O. tenures are now so short. Even in the boardroom, charisma carries you only so far.

Indeed, linking pay to stock prices is liable to do more harm than good. A stock price isn't much of a measure of executive performance, anyway. A huge part of that price reflects industry conditions; energy companies soared not because they were run by paragons of diligence or insight, but because of world events beyond any executive's control. In hard times, moreover, a company's stock may take a hit, but those are precisely the times when good leadership is most difficult — and valuable.

Other performance metrics can be equally troublesome, encouraging executives to massage earnings, sacrifice long-term strength for higher short-term sales and profits and otherwise act in ways detrimental to everyone but the C.E.O., his family and a few lucky divorce lawyers.

Perverse incentives notwithstanding, this focus on metrics is a sad acknowledgment by corporate directors that they cannot control themselves or the pay they hand over to their top five executives. In one study, two professors, Lucian A. Bebchuk of Harvard and Yaniv Grinstein of Cornell, found that from 2001 to 2003, such pay totaled roughly 10 percent of corporate profits at public companies. It's a bizarre twist on the tradition of tithing, one that benefits the rich instead of the needy and conscripts America's shareholders as involuntary donors.

Although more disclosure and pay-for-performance requirements won't dampen runaway C.E.O. compensation, both are useful for illustrating a larger lesson: that it's naïve to place too much faith in the power of rules to limit human behavior. Indeed, the problem of C.E.O. compensation suggests that, as in many aspects of modern life, few mechanisms of constraint are as effective as one on which we relied so often in the past. That mechanism was shame.

You'd think that more disclosure would produce more shame, and thus less pay, for C.E.O.'s and other top executives. Unfortunately, disclosure of a few more million here and there won't fundamentally change a hiring system that actively recruits the most grasping and hubristic candidates. Consider the incentives: by offering lavish pay and perks that would make royalty blush, corporate directors today are perhaps unwittingly selecting C.E.O.'s for shamelessness and egotism rather than leadership.

HISTORY teaches that there is no ultimate solution to the so-called agency problem, or the tendency of those who merely work in an enterprise to act in their own interest rather than that of the owners. Rules and incentives can help, of course, but they cannot take the place of an honest sense of obligation, duty and loyalty — values that ought to run in all directions in any decent corporate culture.

Continued in article

"The Case for Cutting the Chief's Paycheck," by William J. Holstein, The New York Times, January 29, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/29/business/yourmoney/29advi.html

Bob Jensen's threads on outrageous executive compensation are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#OutrageousCompensation

The mice that roared!
What Jewish conspiracy is allegedly behind the historic "Tom and Jerry" cartoons and movies?

"Tom and Jerry – a Jewish makeover? Iranian official says cartoon is conspiracy to improve image of mice, Jews," WorldNetDaily, February 25, 2006 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/printer-friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48996 

The Jewish Walt Disney Company gained international fame with this cartoon," said Bolkhari. "It is still shown throughout the world. This cartoon maintains its status because of the cute antics of the cat and mouse – especially the mouse.

"Some say that the main reason for making this very appealing cartoon was to erase a certain derogatory term that was prevalent in Europe."

According to the professor, "Tom and Jerry" was created to irradicate the association between mice and Jews created in the minds of Europeans by Hitler.

"If you study European history, you will see who was the main power in hoarding money and wealth in the 19th century," continued Bolkhari. "In most cases, it is the Jews. Perhaps that was one of the reasons which caused Hitler to begin the anti-Semitic trend, and then the extensive propaganda about the crematoria began. ... Some of this is true. We do not deny all of it.

"Watch 'Schindler's List.' Every Jew was forced to wear yellow star on his clothing. The Jews were degraded and termed 'dirty mice.' 'Tom and Jerry' was made in order to change the Europeans' perception of mice. One of terms used was 'dirty mice.'

Continued in article

March 6, 2006 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

Bob, your tidbits this week contains the following quote under your headline "What Jewish conspiracy is allegedly behind the historic "Tom and Jerry" cartoons and movies?": "The Jewish Walt Disney Company gained international fame with this cartoon," said Bolkhari. "

But you don't comment on the blatant inaccuracies of the media report you quote. I urge my students anytime they quote a known erroneous media report to at least acknowledge the wrong information, lest they be guilty of also promulgating falsehood, and lest their credibiilty suffer by repeating false information.

First, Tom and Jerry is not a Disney cartoon. Tom and Jerry was created in 1940 by William Hanna and Joe Barbera, who later produced many other cartoons as "Hanna-Barbera". Tom and Jerry cartoons have never had any affiliation with Disney.

Second, the creators of Tom and Jerry insisted until the end of their lives that there was no political or other motive behind the cartoon beyond pure fun with animation.

Third, Disney was most certainly NOT a "Jewish" company in 1940 when the Tom and Jerry cartoons were created by Hanna- Barbera, and even more certainly not with the creation of Mickey Mouse. Walter Disney was a tyrannical manager (not necessarily a bad thing!), and kept tight control on the creative processes at the company until his death, -- and Walt Disney was ... an active Congregationalist! Not Jewish.

While the Disney company has recently had some top management with Jewish-sounding names (who possibly could even be of Jewish extraction, or even practicing Jewish religion for that matter, I just don't know and don't care), I doubt seriously that any of them are exercising near the control that Walt Disney did on the creative processes.

To quote a news media report with such glaring errors in it without calling attention to the unfactual information is to (shudder, wince) imitate the WSJ and NYT! I respect your tidbits and would hate to see them sinking to that low a level...


David Fordham

Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the foiled attack on a Saudi Arabian oil facility at Abqaiq
Aljazeera, February 25, 2006 --- Click Here
Also see The New York Times account on February 25, 2006 --- Click Here

What really fueled Osama bin Laden's 9/11 attack and other more recent attacks?
In what nation can he claim his only success in winning masses of new converts?
Hint: That nation is a long distance from the Middle East.

The money mostly came from Osama bin Laden's wealth in excess of $1 billion in family money. His initial goal is to topple virtually all governments of Muslim countries. His only success purportedly has been in Indonesia. Most other Muslim nations have not demonstrated increased allegiance for Osama bin Laden, although his El Quida cells lay hidden in all Muslim nations and most Western nations as well.

Yenny Wahid is an eloquent (and elegant) foe of Muslim fundamentalists.
After 9/11, many Americans assume that the radical Islamic agenda is to destroy the U.S. The reality is that attacks on Western targets are designed to function as brutal propaganda coups that will attract recruits to the cause of violent revolution. The main goal of ideologues like Osama bin Laden is to topple the governments of Muslim countries, including, most famously, the Wahabi royal regime of Saudi Arabia. But the real strategic plum, Ms. Wahid says, would be her native Indonesia and its 220 million citizens--with the largest Muslim population on earth. "We are the ultimate target," she told me in Washington during a trip to the U.S. earlier this month. "The real battle for the hearts and minds of Muslims is happening in Indonesia, not anywhere else. And that's why the world should focus on Indonesia and help."
Nancy De Wolf Smith, "Daughter of Islam: An eloquent (and elegant) foe of Muslim fundamentalists," The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008016

Iran official says U.S. behind al-Qaeda attacks
Iran’s Interior Minister accused the United States of using its infiltrators in al-Qaeda to carry out terrorist attacks that would serve its interests, government-owned newspapers in Tehran reported on Saturday. Radical Shiite cleric Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi said that Iran had “specific intelligence” proving that the U.S. had infiltrated al-Qaeda and ordered its cells to carry out terrorist attacks to convince other members of the group that they are genuine devotees. “We have specific intelligence that America has infiltrated al-Qaeda with certain individuals and has even given [its cells] the orders for terrorist strikes in order to strengthen their position”, Pour-Mohammadi told a meeting of local officials in the southern city of Kerman. He also blamed “foreigners” for being behind a spate of bombings in the south-western Iranian oil-city of Ahwaz in order to destabilise the country.
"Iran official says U.S. behind al-Qaeda attacks," Iran Focus, March 4, 2006 --- http://www.iranfocus.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6067

But Wait! That's not so. Israel is behind all terrorism in the world including its secret deployment of al-Qaeda
Israel is behind all the violence in the world and is using its secret service agencies to fuel the insurgency in Iraq to direct international attention away from the Palestinian conflict, claims a senior leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror organization. "The Israeli secret services are behind everything in the world, not only in Palestine or in Iraq. So one of the objectives would be to direct the attention of the world to Iraq instead of what is happening in [Israel],"

Abu Nasser, Al Aqsa's leader in the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=49110

Rahmatullah Hashemi was the Taliban's chief spokesman abroad. So how did he end up at Yale?
Why does he prefer a Jewish dining hall?

In terms of life experience, Rahmatullah is way ahead of his classmates at Yale, but he grew up fast and skipped that quintessentially collegiate phase of just hanging out and cracking jokes with friends in a dorm room
Chip Brown, "The Freshman:  Talib in Luce Hall ," The New York Times, February 26, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/26/magazine/26taliban.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Also see http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/fund030606.asp

Has the anti-war movement been hijacked?
Indeed, some of the major "anti-war" groups are intimately connected with terrorist states like North Korea, as well as terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Some, like the international A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, are closely allied with known communist organizations. One prominent group discussed in the April Whistleblower advocates that activists "physically shut down financial centers which regulate and assist the functioning of U.S. economy," engage in "large-scale urban rioting" so as to cause "massive unrest and even state of emergencies declared in major cities across the country," and "actively target U.S. military establishments within the United States … [using] any means necessary to slow down the functioning of the murdering body."
"ANTI-WAR OR ANTI-AMERICA? Exposing the violent, revolutionary leadership of today's 'peace' movement,
 Whistleblower --- http://shop.wnd.com/store/item.asp?ITEM_ID=1170 

"Black Flight The exodus to charter schools," by Katherine Kersten, The Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/cc/?id=110008032

MINNEAPOLIS--Something momentous is happening here in the home of prairie populism: black flight. African-American families from the poorest neighborhoods are rapidly abandoning the district public schools, going to charter schools, and taking advantage of open enrollment at suburban public schools. Today, just around half of students who live in the city attend its district public schools.

As a result, Minneapolis schools are losing both raw numbers of students and "market share." In 1999-2000, district enrollment was about 48,000; this year, it's about 38,600. Enrollment projections predict only 33,400 in 2008. A decline in the number of families moving into the district accounts for part of the loss, as does the relocation of some minority families to inner-ring suburbs. Nevertheless, enrollments are relatively stable in the leafy, well-to-do enclave of southwest Minneapolis and the city's white ethnic northeast. But in 2003-04, black enrollment was down 7.8%, or 1,565 students. In 2004-05, black enrollment dropped another 6%.

Continued in article

Supermarkets adopt portable scanners that let shoppers total their purchases themselves --
and foil Italian elbow queens who have mastered cutting in line.

"Grocery Checkout, Italian Style," by Nicole Martinelli, Wired News, March 1, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70282-0.html?tw=wn_index_4

If you've ever tried to stand in line in Italy, you'll understand why self-service scanning at supermarkets has taken off.

Something in the Italian character simply refuses to stand in an orderly fashion and wait. Women in fur coats park baskets near the checkout, disappear, come back and add items, and when they are done, cut in with the banshee wail: "I am in line!" For dignity's sake, one must swiftly elbow her out and hope a carabiniere husband isn't waiting in the parking lot.

Hence the appeal of quick, orderly DIY checkouts. Self-scanners have long been called the next big thing in supermarkets, but perhaps because of the hellish line situation, Inferno-familiar Italians were quick to adopt them. A Tuscan-based chain started experimenting in 1998, and two out of three supermarkets in my neighborhood in Milan had self-scanning programs before I decided to give them a try.

Continued in article

Making your food look and act more like toys
Last week, we took a look at the wonderful ways in which technology has improved our food without making it healthier or better tasting. This week, we're doing more of the same, starting with a product that will delight people who wish their toaster waffles more closely resembled plastic toys.
Lore Sjöberg, "You Can Play With Your Food," Wired News, March 1, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/columns/0,70306-0.html?tw=wn_index_2

From The Washington Post on March 1, 2006
What year was the first television patent issued?

A. 1947
B. 1939
C. 1929
D. 1884

U.S. Is Settling Detainee's Suit in 9/11 Sweep
The federal government has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by an Egyptian who was among dozens of Muslim men swept up in the New York area after 9/11, held for months in a federal detention center in Brooklyn and deported after being cleared of links to terrorism. The settlement, filed in federal court late yesterday, is the first the government has made in a number of lawsuits charging that noncitizens were abused and their constitutional rights violated in detentions after the terror attacks.
Nina Bernstein, "U.S. Is Settling Detainee's Suit in 9/11 Sweep," The New York Times, February 28, 2006 --- Click Here

Does this characterization of William Jennings B sound like anybody you know about today?
Yet this left-leaning Bryan had, in Hofstadter’s account, no meaningful program for change. He was merely a vessel of rage. Incapable of statesmanship, only of high-flown oratory, he was a relic of the agrarian past –- and the prototype of the fascistic demagogues who were discovering their own voices, just as Bryan’s career was reaching its end.
"Doing the Lord’s Work," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, March 1, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/03/01/mclemee 

"The End of Tolerance: Farewell, multiculturalism. A cartoon backlash is pushing Europe to insist upon its values," Newsweek Magazine, March 6, 2006 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11569485/site/newsweek

The world has long looked upon the Dutch as the very model of a modern, multicultural society. Open and liberal, the tiny seagoing nation that invented the globalized economy in the 1600s prided itself on a history of taking in all comers, be they Indonesian or Turkish, African or Chinese.

How different things look today. Dutch borders have been virtually shut. New immigration is down to a trickle. The great cosmopolitan port city of Rotterdam just published a code of conduct requiring Dutch be spoken in public. Parliament recently legislated a countrywide ban on wearing the burqa in public. And listen to a prominent Dutch establishment figure describe the new Dutch Way with immigrants. "We demand a new social contract," says Jan Wolter Wabeke, High Court Judge in The Hague. "We no longer accept that people don't learn our language, we require that they send their daughters to school, and we demand they stop bringing in young brides from the desert and locking them up in third-floor apartments."

What's going on here? Weren't the Dutch supposed to be the nicest people on earth, the most tolerant nation in Europe, a melting pot for minorities and immigrants since the Renaissance? No longer, and in this the Dutch are once again at the forefront of changes in Europe. This time, the Dutch model for Europe is one of multiculturalism besieged, if not plain defunct.

This helps explain Europe's unusually robust reaction to the cartoon crisis, which continued last week with riots in Nigeria and Pakistan that have left over 100 dead. There were apologies, to be sure, for causing offense after a small Danish paper published a dozen cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. But on one point European leaders were united and bluntly clear: they would not tolerate any limits on European newspapers' rights to publish. "Freedom of speech is not up for negotiation," declared Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, summing up a consensus that has only grown stronger as the cries of outrage from the Muslim world grow louder.

Continued in article

More Americans abducted along Mexico border than in Iraq
LAREDO, Texas – This border area is one of the least publicized international crisis zones. More Americans have been kidnapped just in this area than in all of Iraq by Islamic terrorists. Twenty-six Americans are now officially listed as missing in the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo region of the U.S.-Mexico border—in addition to the more than 400 Mexicans reported to be suffering a similar fate. The number of American civilians missing or kidnapped in Iraq since the beginning of the war is 23 as of last September, the latest figure released by the State Department . . . “They had 176 murders in Nuevo Laredo last year, and none of them have been solved. In the first less than six weeks of this year, there were another 27 murders. Again, none solved. At the rate they are going, the death toll will be over 300 by year’s end.” If anything, Mr. Flores said, the cartels have become more brazen, more willing to reach for their guns.
Maxim Kniazkov, "More Americans abducted along Mexico border than in Iraq," Insight Magazine, February 27, 2006 --- http://www.insightmag.com/Media/MediaManager/laredo_0.htm 

Writing Center Resources from Princeton University --- 

Writing Center Resources from Purdue University  ---

Bob Jensen's writing resource bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

How dangerous is MySpace.com now owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.?

"Scenes From the MySpace Backlash," by Kevin Poulsen, Wired News, February 27, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,70254-0.html?tw=wn_index_1

Meanwhile, schools are racing to block the site at the campus firewall. "Some argue that it's educationally valid, others say they're seeing kids beat up over it," says David Trask, a junior high teacher and technology director at Vassalboro Community School in Maine. "In my view, it doesn't have much (educational) value."

MySpace's rapid transformation into the largest community of teens and twenty-somethings in history made a backlash perhaps inevitable. In the three years since its launch, MySpace has gathered over 57 million registered users (counting some duplicates and fake profiles). As of last November, it enjoyed a 752-percent growth in web traffic over one year, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

In July the site was purchased for $580 million by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., and late last year launched its own record label in partnership with Interscope Records.

Concerns over the site fall generally into two categories: unease over the type of content teens are posting, and fear of the type of people they're meeting.

MySpace CEO Chris DeWolf says to his knowledge the backlash hasn't caused any advertisers to drop their support of the site. "We get phone calls from time to time, but when we describe the safety measure that we've put into place generally the advertisers are relieved and feel good about what we're doing."

Continued in article

"A MySpace Cheat Sheet for Parents," by Kevin Poulsen, Wired News, February 27, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70287-0.html?tw=wn_index_2

Can I search MySpace to see if my kid is on it?

I did it anyway. Should I be worried that my teenage girl is linked to so many male "friends?"

What if she's linking to adult men? That can't be good.

How should I talk to them about MySpace?

What is MySpace doing to protect its users?

Travelers Insurance company says hybrid-vehicle owners tend to be safer drivers, so they'll get a discount on their auto insurance, Wired Blog, February 27, 2006 --- http://wiredblogs.tripod.com/cars/

From the Scout Report on February 14, 2006

Camino 1.0 http://www.caminobrowser.org/ 

With a host of helpful features, Camino 1.0 will be a most welcome addition for Mac users everywhere. The interface for the browser is quite elegant, and gives users the ability to pause and resume downloads, along with enhanced security, and tabbed browsing. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.2. [KMG]

Link200 http://www.veign.com/download_app.asp?app=103 

Many users may have dozens, if not hundreds, of bookmarks located within their favorite browsers. It can be time-consuming and quite tedious to check their validity, and this is where this application can step in to help with this process. Link200 will go through bookmarks in Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Netscape and remove those that are no longer valid. This version is compatible with all computers running Windows 98 and newer.[KMG]

Consumers Beware of Unsuspected Automatic Billings

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review of February 24, 2006

TITLE: Automated Payments Pose Growing Problem
REPORTER: Carol Hymowitz and Elizabeth Bernstein
DATE: Feb 22, 2006
LINK: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114057073099879624.html 
TOPICS: Accounting, Banking

SUMMARY: The article describes issues consumers face in stopping automatic payment arrangements. "...Consumers don't always know and follow the rules for recurring payments, and banks say they aren't able to cancel recurring credit-card charges when a consumer has signed a long-term contract with a merchant..." In addition, consumers must devote significant time to resolving issues. Accounting topics arise because the article uses the terms debit and credit; questions ask students to understand the use of these terms in banking transactions.

1.) The article differentiates between debit card or bank account transactions and credit card transactions. What is the difference between a debit card and a credit card? How is a debit card similar to a checking account?

2.) What are the issues in resolving payment disputes on automated payment plans? Why do the issues differ between debit cards or bank accounts used for automated payments and automated charges to credit cards?

3.) The article uses the terms credit and debit in the title and other places, such as the statement that "Nancy Burleson's checking account was debited an extra week's mortgage payment..." Do these uses of the terms debit and credit correspond to the use of those terms in the balance sheet equation? Support your answer.

4.) Refer again to the statement quoted in question 3 about debiting a checking account. Describe how a customer checking account is classified on a bank's balance sheet, including a definition of the term "demand deposit." Explain how a demand deposit account is increased (with a debit or a credit?) and decreased (again, with a debit or a credit?).

5.) How is a customer credit card account balance (say, on a MasterCard or Visa account) classified in a bank's balance sheet? Explain how the account balance is increased (with a debit or a credit?) and decreased (again, with a debit or a credit?)

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

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

Bob Jensen's threads on credit card company scams are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm

Finally cancer deaths are on the decline
It didn't attract a lot of media fanfare, but two weeks ago the National Center for Health Statistics announced some spectacular news. The number of Americans dying from cancer fell for the first time in decades. This achievement against one of mankind's most dreaded diseases is the medical equivalent of putting a man on the moon. Just a few years ago health officials warned of an epidemic of U.S. cancer deaths. One and a half million Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year. And with a toll of half a million deaths a year, cancer is still one of the leading killers in America -- partly because death rates from infectious diseases have fallen precipitously over the past century. But the National Cancer Institute rightly hails the new data as "powerful evidence" that "we are on the right track to eliminating the death and suffering due to cancer."
"Cancer Prognosis," The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2006; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114066413292580962.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Where are all the open-source companies headed?
That Oracle, a company that has shown little support for open-source software projects, has developed an appetite for open-source acquisitions illustrates how much the worlds of commercial and open-source software are colliding. IBM has proven open source can thrive with the help of a large commercial developer, and now it's pushing its open-source strategy further. The experiences of Sun Microsystems and CA show how complicated the balance can get . . . Many in the open-source community view big-business encroachment with trepidation; they worry that Oracle, for example, is more out to kill a competitor than build a bridge. Yet others note there's only so much that any heavyweight can dictate in the open-source world. "The software stack and the communities around it, you can't buy those," says Scott Kveton, a director at Oregon State's Open Source Lab. If big vendors think they're buying customers with such deals, they're throwing money in the wrong direction. "That's the old school mentality of 'we're going to dictate where our customers go,'" Kveton says. "... This is 'watch where your community is going, and get there.'"
Charles Babcock, "It's Open Season," Information Week, February 20, 2006, pp. 24-26 --- Click Here

Witches May Overtake Science
K-12 science achievement has stagnated, according to the National Science Board’s “Science and Engineering Indicators, 2006″ report, issued Thursday. Witches, however, staged a big comeback in the ’90s before slipping a few notches.According to a section of the report on pseudoscience, only around 14 percent of Americans believed in witches in 1990, according to a Gallup poll. Witches rallied for a decade, convincing over a quarter of Americans of their existence by 2001, before about 4 percent of those reneged, putting the believers at just over 20 percent in 2005.
David Epstein, "American Ignorance," Inside Higher Ed, February 24, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/02/24/pseudo

All sparrows are not alike
The bird world has many resplendent creatures that are easy to spot. The appeal of sparrows is quite different. Most of them look alike, and only ace birdwatchers can tell one species from another . . . Depending on how you count them, there are at least 60 species of sparrows in the U.S. and Canada, according to the University of Toronto's James Rising, who has co-written two books on sparrows. Some, like the Spotted Towhee -- with its black head, white belly, rusty flanks and spotted mantle -- are distinctive. Many others, like the Song Sparrow or Savannah Sparrow, can be told apart only by such clues as tiny facial markings, the length of their tails and their flight patterns. What about the sparrows commonly seen hopping around city streets? They are usually House Sparrows, and to hard-core birders, they don't count. That is because the House Sparrow was brought over from Europe, and although it resembles North American sparrows, it isn't closely related.
Neil Templen, "Birdwatchers Find Sparrows Often Are A Tough Nut to Crack," The Wall Street Journal, February 26, 2006, Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114066223905080905.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

All Domestic Partners are Not Alike

February 23, 2006 message (with respect to the marriage tax on people over 60)
from Scott Bonacker [cpas-l@BONACKER.US]

If "living together" is an euphemism for extra-marital sex, it is maybe more of an example of the utilitarianism of Western morality. I doubt that the traditional definition of sin has been changed, just the way that society reacts to it.

However, if "living together" simply means sharing a residence and combining resources, like roomies, then morality probably isn't even an issue. Male/female co-housing has been acceptable for 30-40 years at least hasn't it? When was Three's Company on TV?

Someone else can ask, though. I'm not going to.


February 23, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Scott,

Actually this is not a joking matter when it comes to employer benefits put into place largely for gay and lesbian couples.

Some jurisdictions require that there be a sexual relationship (actually worded as a "non-platonic relationship"). This is intended to prevent benefits "selling." For example, a single professor with great a great medical benefits package might otherwise "sell" his/her "domestic partnering benefits" to a tenant in great need of expensive medical care or perhaps even give the domestic partnering benefits to his/her live-in relative.

The following was a Tidbit on January 27, 2006 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2006/tidbits060127.htm 

Domestic partners must have sex to get benefits
A requirement within a new domestic partner benefit plan at the University of Florida — that participants “have been in a non-platonic relationship for the proceeding 12 months” — has left many employees feeling like the university was getting a little too personal. Administrators have taken notice and said that the policy will be changed within the next two weeks.
Rob Capriccioso, "Too Much Information on Sex at Florida," Inside Higher Ed, January 24, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/01/24/florida

Olympic Halls of Fame --- http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en
Type "Hall of Fame" in the exact phrase box and the name of a country in the upper search box.

Pro Football Hall of Fame --- http://www.profootballhof.com/

Basketball Hall of Fame --- http://www.hoophall.com/

Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (with audio) --- http://www.wbhof.com/

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum --- http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/

National Soccer Hall of Fame --- http://www.soccerhall.org/

National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame --- http://www.racingmuseum.org/

Country Music Hall of Fame --- http://www.countrymusichalloffame.com/inductees/minnie_pearl.html

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame --- http://www.rockhall.com/hof/inductee.asp?id=81

Accounting Hall of Fame (International) --- http://fisher.osu.edu/departments/accounting-and-mis/hall-of-fame/

European Accounting Hall of Fame --- http://www.lums.lancs.ac.uk/news/3806/

Hall of Fame Jokes --- http://www.ssqq.com/jokes/jokefamous.htm

The best books about doctors and patients

"Saw Bones," by Jerome Groopman, M.D., The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/fivebest/?id=110008014

1. "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Leo Tolstoy (1886).

With fine brush strokes, Tolstoy paints the portrait of an ambitious and upwardly mobile magistrate, Ivan Ilyich, who suddenly comes down with a mysterious malady. The restrained prose works to amplify a chilling message: Severe illness strips away life's façade and forces us to examine our inner core. Ilyich, at the cusp of death, realizes that he has squandered his life by pursuing what is insubstantial. But Tolstoy affirms that while there may no longer be hope for the body, there is, until the last breath, hope for the soul. It is a lesson best learned while still healthy.

2. "The Cunning Man" by Robertson Davies (Viking, 1994).

The Canadian writer Robertson Davies, who died in 1995, is not widely read in the U.S., and that's a shame. He's a master at capturing the multiple facets of character. In this novel, Davies delves deeply into the mind of a doctor who is keenly aware of not only the clinical problems of his patients but also their psychological needs. "Patient autonomy" has become a popular mantra in our culture, but Davies prompts us to consider that there might be times when, buffeted by illness, we need the firm, guiding hand of the expert physician. And he shows us how the placebo effect, with roots in ancient shamanism and branches that extend to today's practice, can work for the good.

3. "An Anthropologist on Mars" by Oliver Sacks (Knopf, 1995).

Neurology is (pun intended) a highly cerebral field. Detailed knowledge of the anatomy of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves, and meticulous examination of the patient, lead the astute neurologist to a clinical diagnosis. While elegant cerebration may arrive at an answer, it does not necessarily bring a solution, since there is often little effective therapy for neurological disorders. Oliver Sacks is acutely attuned to this, and in these beautifully written case histories--including those of a painter who has lost the ability to see color and a man whose damaged memory leaves him living perpetually in 1968--he shows us how human beings, even in the absence of potent treatments, can find ways to surmount their debility and lead fulfilling lives.

4. "The Man Who Grew Two Breasts" by Berton Roueche(Dutton, 1995).

It should come as no surprise that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was a physician. Doctors often find themselves in the role of detectives, sifting clues, weighing evidence and melding deduction with intuition to identify the culprit--as Roueche depicted over the course of nearly 50 years as a medical writer for the New Yorker magazine. Modern medicine might rely heavily on the sophisticated technology of MRI scans and the like, but Roueche's stories of clinical enigmas, collected here and in other books, show how much doctors can surmise by asking the right questions and listening closely to the patient's responses. After numerous fruitless tests, a physician finally cracked the case of the man in the book's title by prompting him--through close questioning--to realize where he had been unwittingly exposed to female hormones (I won't spoil the mystery here). Words, and the doctor's laying on his hands, can still be the key to solving medical puzzles.

5. "The Lives of a Cell" by Lewis Thomas (Viking, 1974).

Doctors occupy a unique perch, witnesses to life's great mysteries. They are both biologists and healers, fascinated by the intricate geometry of tissues and organs while engaged in their patients' struggle to find meaning in their plight. Physicians aim for cure but more often come to compromise. The late Dr. Thomas embodies the physician-scientist who examines the organelles of the cell along with the aura of the spirit. A polymath, he draws connections between human beings and the natural world in unexpected places: how our physiology and our social behaviors are mirrored in termites and bees, wasps and ants, sea slugs and giant squids. His essays communicate a deep sense of awe, and his literary voice, like that of a physician at the bedside, brings wisdom and solace.

Dr. Groopman is the Recanati Professor at Harvard Medical School. His book on clinical decision-making will be published next year.


How Ordinary Scots in bygone days found out what was happening --- http://www.nls.uk/broadsides/

In the centuries before there were newspapers and 24-hour news channels, the general public had to rely on street literature to find out what was going on. The most popular form of this for nearly 300 years was 'broadsides' - the tabloids of their day. Sometimes pinned up on walls in houses and ale-houses, these single sheets carried public notices, news, speeches and songs that could be read (or sung) aloud.

The National Library of Scotland's online collection of nearly 1,800 broadsides lets you see for yourself what 'the word on the street' was in Scotland between 1650 and 1910. Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humour, tragedy, royalty and superstitions - all these and more are here.

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

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic literature are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

"SEC Shuts Down $50 Million Autosurf Ponzi Scam," by Gregg Keizer, InformationWeek, February 28, 2006 --- http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=181401317

The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed fraud charges against the owner of an Autosurf site who it accused of running a $50 million Ponzi scam and pocketing nearly $2 million.

Less than two weeks ago, the FBI opened an investigation into 12dailypro.com's promises of large returns on members' investments. In exchange for buying $6 units -- up to a maximum of $6,000 worth -- 12dailypro.com members were promised a 144 percent return within 12 days simply for viewing a dozen Web ads daily.

The SEC dubbed 12dailypro.com a "paid autosurf program" but said it was in reality an illegal Ponzi, a scam where income from incoming members is used to pay existing members' returns.

"The defendants falsely represented that upgraded membersSMQ-8217-SMQ earnings 'are financed not only [by] incoming member fees, but also with multiple income streams including advertising, and off-site investments,'" the SEC said in a statement issued Monday. "In fact, at least 95 percent of revenues have come from new investments in the form of membership fees from new or existing members. The other 'multiple income streams' from advertising revenues or off-site investments were either negligible or non-existent."

Johnson's scheme, said the SEC's complaint, had raised more than $50 million from over 300,000 members since mid-2005. Johnson, meanwhile, had transferred about $1.9 million from 12dailypro.com to her personal bank account, the SEC alleged.

The SEC asked the court to freeze Johnson's and 12dailypro.com's assets, as well as those of her payment providers, which included StormPay, an online payment service based in Tennessee that is under investigation by state authorities.

12dailypro essentially shut down after StormPay, which said it suspected an illegal scheme, turned off the payment spigot in late January. In less than two weeks, StormPay was hit with a denial-of-service (DoS) attack that knocked it offline for two days. The DoS attacker has not been identified.

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

All of your ancestors may not be alike
Advances in DNA testing are allowing people to uncover information about their genetic ancestry and find out where some of their ancestors came from. As an African American, I don't know where my African ancestors originated from. The only geographic location I can point to as my ancestral home is Tennessee. So I'm fascinated by the potential knowledge I could gain from this new generation of tests for genetic ancestry. But before I fork over more than $200 for such a test, the skeptic in me needs some answers. What can a DNA test really tell me about where I come from? How do these tests work? And can they be wrong?
Leslie O'Hanlon, "Tracing Your Ancestry DNA tests to find out your ancestry are growing in popularity. But do they really work? And are they worth it?" MIT's Technology Review, February 24, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/BioTech/wtr_16421,312,p1.html 

March 3, 2006 message from Denmark (and it's not about cartoons)

Dear Professor Jensen,

Recently here in Denmark several companies have been added to Icelandic portfolios. For example Magasin Nord is now 83% owned by the Baugur Group. Straumur-Burdaras and B2B Holdings. I have been intrigued by the financing of these deals. I read that within the space of four years Icelandic equity fund companies raised seven billion dollars for purchasing companies and shares. It all seems bizarre and dare I say it, “fishy.” On a cursory cruise through the company web-pages I realised that the board members of all the top banks and private holdings are connected. Here is one example, the Landsbanki is chaired by the father of the chairman of Samson Holdings and connected with Avion the air and shipping company. Interestingly the father was charged with 450 cases of fraud and embezzlement in 1986 when he owned a shipping company which went bankrupt. He was not found guilty except for a book-keeping count –there was a ministerial tie-in. The son went to New York to study business –then co-founded up a brewery in St. Petersburg, Russia. That company Bravo was sold for 400 million to Heineken. These connections are intriguing. I am sure Abraham Briloff would agree. I almost feel that the Icelandic financial system is a shell-game – what is your take on these shenanigans? Is it at all possible that the Russian criminal organisations have a finger in the honeypot or is that too fanciful?



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

February 23, 2006 message from Glen L Gray [glen.gray@CSUN.EDU]

I was speaker at a conference where Scott (Dilbert) Adams was also a speaker. During lunch all the speakers sat together. As you can imagine most the table conversion was questions being asked of Scott. When asked why he became a cartoonist his answer was that at age 12 he wanted to be either Hugh Hefner, a supreme court judge or a cartoonist. Why? Because they all get to work in their pajamas as they work. And, since he couldn't qualify for the first two, he selected cartoonist.

A couple of years ago I was called for jury duty. One of the jury interview question was: if you had a choice who in the courtroom would you like to be? I said the judge--and I gave Scott's answer assuming no one would then want a smart a** on their jury. It didn't work.

SEC Says NetEase, Former Officers Settled Action Over Accounting
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a settled enforcement action against Chinese online-games operator NetEase.com Inc. and two former officers over alleged improper accounting in 2000 and 2001. The SEC alleged that NetEase "materially overstated its revenues and understated its net loss by improperly recognizing revenue."
"SEC Says NetEase, Former Officers Settled Action Over Accounting," The Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2006; Page B11 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB114109787795885039.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

For details see http://corp.163.com/investor_eng/010904/010904_999.html

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

How Hollywood orchestrates publicity
The current strategies hark back to the Hollywood of the 1940s and 1950s, when studios, movie stars and the press worked hand-in-hand to create and maintain screen icons for worshipful fans. Today, the coverage of the stars has exploded. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, circulation of US Weekly stood at an average of 1,662,000 in the six months ending in January of this year, up 12.7% from the same period a year earlier. Circulation at Bauer Publishing's InTouch climbed 15.5% to 1,178,000, and at Star rose 12.3% to 1,460,000. The magazines are lucrative. US Weekly sells a million copies a week on the newsstand at $3.49 apiece. The magazine turns an operating profit of $50 million a year, says a person familiar with its accounts. People, which has a circulation of 3.8 million, brings in by far the most revenue and profit of any of the 154 magazines owned by Time Inc., a division of Time Warner Inc. Network TV programs like Access Hollywood, cable channels like E! Entertainment Television Inc. and Web sites have added to the coverage. All these outlets compete for photos documenting the daily lives of a small cast of celebrities. These stars, in turn, seek to control their images without appearing to, because doing so would ruin their mystique. "All those dirty little secrets in Hollywood include tipping paparazzi off and playing games with them," says New York-based public-relations professional Ken Sunshine, whose clients include corporations and stars such as Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio. He says people might find that "unethical" if they knew about it, "but unfortunately it seems to be an accepted part of the business."
Joe Hagan and Merissa Marr, "Caught in the Act! How Hollywood's bold-faced names secretly steer the celebrity news machine," The Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2006; Page A1 ---

National Institute of Justice --- http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/

NIJ is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice and is dedicated to researching crime control and justice issues. NIJ provides objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge and tools to meet the challenges of crime and justice, particularly at the State and local levels. NIJ's principal authorities are derived from the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended (see 42 USC § 3721-3723) and Title II of the Homeland Security Act of 2002.

The NIJ Director is appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The NIJ Director establishes the Institute's objectives, guided by the priorities of the Office of Justice Programs, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the needs of the field. The Institute actively solicits the views of criminal justice and other professionals and researchers to inform its search for the knowledge and tools to guide policy and practice.

February 23, 2006 message from Team Carper
This did not lift my spirits!

Age Gauge

This will really make you feel old....... Put your birth date in the pop up window after you click on the below link. What happens is pretty interesting. It's also amazing how quickly it computes!! Very cool. Send it on to all you think might like a bit of trivia!! Click here:


Forwarded by Bob Overn OvernBobLo@aol.com

This is a good explanation of how income tax really works!!

Sometimes politicians, journalists and others exclaim; "It's just a tax cut for the rich!" and it is just accepted to be fact.

But what does that really mean?

Just in case you are not completely clear on this issue, I hope the following will help. Please read it carefully.

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand.

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for dinner and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.

The fifth would pay $1.

The sixth would pay $3.

The seventh would pay $7.

The eighth would pay $12.

The ninth would pay $18.

The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

"Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily meal by $20." Dinner for the ten now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?'

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to eat their meal.

So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).

The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).

The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).

The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got a dollar out of the $20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got $10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a dollar, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than me!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for dinner, so the nine sat down and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start eating overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D
Professor of Economics
University of Georgia

Do you really want to be a bear?

Forwarded by Maria


In this life I'm a woman.  In my next life, I'd like to come back as a bear.  When you're a bear, you get to hibernate.  You do nothing but sleep for six months.   I could deal with that.

Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid.  I could deal with that too.

When you're a girl bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown, cute, cuddly cubs.  I could definitely deal with that.

If you're mama bear, everyone knows you mean business.  You swat anyone who bothers your cubs.  If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too.  I could deal with that.

If you're a bear, your mate EXPECTS you to wake up growling.  He EXPECTS that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.

Yup, gonna be a bear!


Jensen Comment
But your diet in New Hampshire's mountains will be mainly acorns except when you can reach a bird feeder or open the lid of a dumpster.

When you try to be friendly and get within a hundred feet of folks at a cocktail party, they'll all scurry like you're some kind of beast. If you get too friendly in Sugar Hill, my friend Sonny O'Neal will be hired to chase you down with his pack of bear dogs. Chances are that your hide will then hang from the ceiling of his living room alongside the skins of some other friendly bears that became trophies of Sonny and Bev. The rest of you will be in the O'Neal freezer until one day parts of you are alongside the mashed potatoes.

A street smart professor was approached by a bum begging for a handout.

"If I give you $20 will you spend it on beer or hard liquor?" The professor asked.

"Never again! I swore off drinking ten years ago. I need some food," the bum begged.

"Would you spend it on green fees for a round of golf?"

"I've not played golf since I was fired from my accounting job 12 years ago."

"Ah! I'll bet you'll take this $20 and offer it to a hooker on the south side of town."

"Honestly sir. I'm so hungry that I'm just not up to sex."

"Well then you come home with me. My wife will fix you a fabulous home cooked meal."

"But my clothes are filthy. I smell, and I've got lice. Why would you let me inside your house?"

"Well the truth of the matter is that I want to show my wife what happens to a man who gives up booze, golf, and sex."

Source:  My favorite Australian DJ at http://www.bluegrasscountry.org/

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

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

International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

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

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

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


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