Tidbits on March 6, 2006
Bob Jensen at Trinity University
Fraud Updates ---
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to
Archives of Tidbits: Tidbits Directory ---
Bob Jensen's various threads ---
(Also scroll down to the table at
Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter ---
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
Internet News (The News Show) ---
Bob Jensen's home page is
Security threats and hoaxes ---
25 Hottest Urban Legends (hoaxes) ---
Hoax Busters ---
Stay up on the latest and the
oldest hoaxes ---
Most Popular Web Sites 2006 - 2007 ---
WebbieWorld Picks ---
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 ---
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 ---
Quail Hunting School (forwarded by Paula) ---
"Searching the Web for Video Clips" by Walt Mossberg
and Katherine Boehret ---
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
The Blogging Heads ---
Information Week news (in audio) and Windows Vista
security (in video) ---
Exploring Space: The Quest for Life (from PBS) ---
Remember This One? (turn your speakers up)
Do Your Own Damn Taxes Video (music from Frank Sinatra) ---
Free music downloads --- ---
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available
free on the Web.
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---
My Time on Earth ---
Jenny Lewis: Questioning God on 'Rabbit Fur Coat' ---
God Bless America Again ---
Singing of New Orleans, Past and Future ---
Mississippi Squirrel Revival
Photographs and Art
The Decline of the Black Farmer ---
Girodet: Romantic Rebel ---
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 ---
America: Why I Love Her by John Mitchum---
Poems by Rudyard Kipling
Digital Orchid Library from Michigan State University ---
Poetry Foundation (probably the wealthiest of the foundations)
The Lotus Eater by W. Somerset
Other short stories by Maugham ---
Short Story Classics ---
General Sherman’s Memoirs ---
Sherman House Museum ---
Economic History Classics ---
A Cloud of Dust: John Updike Reviews "The March"---
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
NPR: E.L. Doctorow on Sherman and ‘The March’ ---
2006 PEN/Faulkner Winners ---
Wired for Books: Audio Interview with E.L. Doctorow ---
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,"
WorldDailyNet, March 1, 2000 ---
seek to be equal with men lack ambition.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro. I came, I saw, I stuck.
Veni, Vedi, Visa: I Came, I Saw, I shopped.
Damaged people are dangerous; they know they can
1993 movie 'Fatale', directed by Louis Malle, screenplay by
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
Newsday, March 4, 2006 ---
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
Forwarded by Auntie Bev
A balanced diet is chocolate in both
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
Herbert Lowe, Sun-Sentinel, March 3, 2005 ---
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 ---
A better version is at
A rebuttal to Whitaker's criticisms also appears in The Guardian
"Media organisation rebuts Whitaker accusations of selective journalism" ---
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 ---
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 ---
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
The Jerusalem Post
reported an interview with Wafa Sultan ---
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 ---
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
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
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
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
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 ---
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.
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) ---
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 ---
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 ---
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 ---
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 ---
Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution (History) ---
"Iraqi Women Should Think Twice Before Accepting Constitution," by Jan
Erickson, Government Relations Director, National Organization for 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
"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 ---
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 ---
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 ---
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
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
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
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
"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
Continued in article
Professor Mansfield has been a long-standing critic of grade inflation at
Harvard University. To read more about his articles on this go to
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 ---
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:
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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,
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 ---
Latest Headlines --- March 5, 2006
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 ---
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
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
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
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
Hoover Institution's Policy Review, March 2006 ---
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...
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
“system” is still the enemy military capability. Maneuver
warfare is just a more elegant way of dealing with the usual
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
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
of the transformation agenda speak to so-called “information
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
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
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
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.”
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.
definitional standpoint, there are at least three concepts
at work in any discussion of “warfare.”14
First is the character of
— 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
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
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
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 ---
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 ---
Latest Jon Stewart Videos ---
Jon Stewart Comedy Central Homepage ---
Jon Stewart Intelligence Page ---
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
"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 ---
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
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
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
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 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on outrageous executive compensation are at
The mice that roared!
What Jewish conspiracy is allegedly behind the historic "Tom and Jerry" cartoons
"Tom and Jerry – a Jewish makeover? Iranian official says cartoon is
conspiracy to improve image of mice, Jews," WorldNetDaily, February 25, 2006 ---
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
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
Continued in article
March 6, 2006 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University
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...
Al-Qaida claimed responsibility for the foiled attack on a Saudi Arabian
oil facility at Abqaiq
Aljazeera, February 25, 2006 ---
Also see The New York Times account on February 25, 2006 ---
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
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 ---
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 ---
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 ---
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 ---
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,
"Black Flight The exodus to charter schools," by Katherine Kersten,
The Wall Street Journal, March 2, 2006 ---
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 ---
If you've ever tried to stand in line in Italy,
you'll understand why self-service scanning at supermarkets has taken
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,
From The Washington Post on March 1,
What year was the first television patent issued?
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 ---
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,
"The End of Tolerance: Farewell, multiculturalism. A cartoon backlash
is pushing Europe to insist upon its values," Newsweek Magazine, March 6,
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
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
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 ---
Writing Center Resources from Princeton University ---
Writing Center Resources from Purdue University ---
Bob Jensen's writing resource bookmarks ---
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 ---
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 ---
Can I search MySpace to see if my kid is on
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 ---
From the Scout Report on February 14, 2006
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]
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 126.96.36.199 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,
TITLE: Automated Payments Pose Growing Problem
REPORTER: Carol Hymowitz and Elizabeth Bernstein
DATE: Feb 22, 2006
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
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
Bob Jensen's threads on credit card company scams are at
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
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
Charles Babcock, "It's Open Season," Information Week, February 20, 2006,
pp. 24-26 ---
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 ---
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 ---
All Domestic Partners are Not Alike
February 23, 2006 message (with respect to the marriage tax on people over
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
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 ---
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
, January 24, 2006 ---
Olympic Halls of Fame ---
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 ---
Basketball Hall of Fame ---
Women's Basketball Hall of Fame (with audio) ---
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum ---
National Soccer Hall of Fame ---
National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame ---
Country Music Hall of Fame ---
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ---
Accounting Hall of Fame (International) ---
European Accounting Hall of Fame ---
Hall of Fame Jokes ---
The best books about doctors and patients
"Saw Bones," by Jerome Groopman, M.D., The
Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2006 ---
1. "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Leo Tolstoy
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
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
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
4. "The Man Who Grew Two Breasts" by Berton
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
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
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 ---
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
Bob Jensen's threads on electronic literature are at
"SEC Shuts Down $50 Million Autosurf Ponzi Scam," by Gregg Keizer,
InformationWeek, February 28, 2006 ---
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
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
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
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 ---
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
February 23, 2006 message from Glen L Gray
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
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 ---
For details see
Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at
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 ---
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
February 23, 2006 message from Team Carper
This did not lift my spirits!
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
Forwarded by Bob Overn OvernBobLo@aol.com
This is a good explanation of how income tax
Sometimes politicians, journalists and others
exclaim; "It's just a tax cut for the rich!" and it is just accepted to be
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
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.
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%
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25%
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22%
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16%
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
GONNA BE A BEAR
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!
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
"Never again! I swore off drinking ten years ago. I need some food," the bum
"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
"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
"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
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Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
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