I recently sent out an "Appeal" for accounting educators, researchers, and practitioners to actively support what I call The Accounting Review (TAR) Diversity Initiative as initiated by American Accounting Association President Judy Rayburn --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/395wpTAR/Web/TAR.htm




Tidbits on June 23, 2006
Bob Jensen

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

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

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

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

Informercial Scams (even those carried on the main TV networks)--- http://www.infomercialscams.com/

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

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

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/

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


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

This video makes you feel small and great at the same time --- http://www.care2.com/ecards/p/8020-3532-10346-2209

This video makes me feel proud to be an American --- http://www.link4u.com/aa.htm

Is Connie Chung's now infamous farewell hilarious or sick? You be the judge!
Click Here

Life After the Holocaust: Stories of Holocaust Survivors After The War --- http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/life_after_holocaust/

From The New York Times
China's Dark Clouds --- Click Here

From NPR
Soweto 1976: An Audio History --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5489490

Current Nazi Party in Minnesota --- http://img2.tapuz.co.il/forums/1_78931098.htm

 


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

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

Ballad of Thunder Road --- http://mywebpages.comcast.net/singingman777/ThunderRoad.htm

From NPR
Wainwright to Channel Judy Garland, Live --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5475107

From NPR
Organ Music: Pulling Out All the Stops --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5448985

Three from the Original
* 'The Man in the Moon'
* 'My Best Girl'
* 'If He Walked into My Life'

Rock Music from NPR
Loose Fur: 'Born Again in the USA' --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5456989

From NPR
Jerry Herman on 'Mame,' One Grand Dame --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5449786

Musicians Local No. 627 and the Mutual Musicians Foundation: The Cradle of Kansas City Jazz ---
http://www.umkc.edu/orgs/local627/

From NPR
New York's Legendary Sonic Youth in Concert (Full Concert) --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5480397

New From Janie

Greetings My Friends from my little corner of the world - Arkansas.  :-)
 This is another Beautiful-Beautiful poem by Joan Buchanan West... Wow!
 
http://mjbreck.com/elvisthefirstanniversary.html
 
Enjoy!
Hugs and Love to All...
Janie

Photographs and Art

From Al Jazeera
A painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt once looted by the Nazis has sold in New York for a record $135m --- Click Here

From Time Magazine
A photo portfolio of al-Zarqawi's killing and the legacy of his deadly insurgency --- Click Here

Pampramas --- http://www.panoramas.dk/fullscreen2/full22.html

Tate Papers ---  http://www.tate.org.uk/research/tateresearch/tatepapers/ 

From the Baker Library at the Harvard Business School
Coin & Conscience: Popular Views of Money, Credit and Speculation --- http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/cc/

Sunrise from Newfound Gap --- http://www.webshots.com/g/33/637-sh/45186.html

Taking the Wheel: Manufacturers’ Catalogs from the First Decade of American Automobiles --- Click Here

Time-Lapse Photo Animations of the Real Cosmos --- http://www.cosmotions.com/

Concept Design --- http://www.hethe.com/

Become your own Picasso online --- http://www.mrpicassohead.com/create.html

Pop Art History from Ralph Goings ---  http://www.ralphlgoings.com/

Oil Painting by Jacques Resch --- http://www.jacquesresch.com/

Kenneth Parker Photographs --- http://www.kennethparker.com/

 


Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Bibliomania --- http://www.bibliomania.com/0/0/frameset.html

The Open Music Encyclopedia --- http://www.musipedia.org/

The Oscar Wilde Collection  --- http://www.planetmonk.com/wilde/

Quotations from Shakespeare --- http://www.lomonico.com/bookch4.html
Shakespeare Quotes: 100 Famous Bardisms --- http://www.enotes.com/shakespeare-quotes/

Last Word Quotations --- http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/6537/

Quote DB --- http://www.quotedb.com/

Lyrics Fly --- http://lyricsfly.com/




Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan --- FactCheck.org --- http://www.factcheck.org/
(Now and then we need reminders that opinion polls, especially political polls conducted by the media, are not facts)

My best writing is done when my mind is already engaged.
Shari Wilson (worried that educators waste too much time in the summers) --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/06/20/wilson

Knowledge continues to make progress because we are able to base ourselves on the work of the great minds that have preceded us.
Margherita Hack (1922) --- Click Here

A committee can make a decision that is dumber than any of its members.
David Coblitz as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-06-15-06.htm

War amounts to shedding blood in the search for peace, while peace is a continuation of combat without shedding blood.
Author Unknown

That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. He cannot rightfully be compelled to do or forbear because it will be better for him to do so, because it will make him happier, because, in the opinions of others, to do so would be wise, or even right. These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil, in case he do otherwise.
John Stuart Mill  --- http://patriotpost.us/pub/06-24_Brief.htm

I think that most Christians would be better pleased if the Lord did not inquire into their personal affairs too closely. They want Him to save them, to keep them happy, and to take them off to heaven at last, but not to be too inquisitive about their conduct or services.
A. W. Tozer --- http://patriotpost.us/pub/06-24_Brief.htm

So much of the language in the Constitution has been exaggerated from its initial meaning, or else reinterpreted with ideology in mind, that there is public mystification about what it is that is truly guaranteed, or truly prohibited. The question of interpretation came up early in after the FBI searched the office of Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., finding evidence that the gentleman had been accepting and paying bribes and falsifying his tax returns... The issue was almost immediately raised that the FBI agents were exercising themselves outside their constitutional competence. This vague point has affected the thinking of those who are attracted to theoretical extrapolations on the Bill of Rights, taking its provisions to lengths that would surely have surprised the Founders. If the Constitution's rule separating church and state can be held to mean that a replica of the scene at Bethlehem cannot be constitutionally displayed on state property, then maybe Mr. Jefferson is indeed protected, giving credibility to the new Hastert-Pelosi exegesis of the Constitution. But stare down hard at the language. The Constitution holds that lawmakers are 'privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same.'... This has nothing to do with Mr. Jefferson's case. Which means that those who say that the FBI should not have had access to the congressman's home or office are extending that constitutional provision to the point of immunity from search... What the defense will plead in the case of Rep. Jefferson we cannot know for certain. But to plead the procedural point—that the FBI had no business in his freezer—is cartoon constitutional reductionism.
William F. Buckley --- http://patriotpost.us/pub/06-24_Brief.htm

Perched on the edge of a white grand piano and decked out in a full-length evening gown, the former CBS and CNN anchorwoman (Connie Chung) warbled a farewell song that put down Dan Rather (with whom she co-anchored the CBS news in the early 1990s), her husband and cable TV - all at the same time.
Michael Shain, "CONNIE CROAKS ADIEU," The New York Post, June 19, 2006 --- http://www.nypost.com/entertainment/connie_croaks_adieu_entertainment_michael_shain.htm




Great Minds in Management:  The Process of Theory Development --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/GreatMinds.htm

In April 2006 I commenced reading a heavy book entitled Great Minds in Management:  The Process of Theory Development, Edited by Ken G. Smith and Michael A. Hitt (Oxford Press, 2006).

The essays are somewhat personalized in terms of how theory development is perceived by each author and how these perceptions changed over time.

In Tidbits I will share some of the key quotations as I proceed through this book. The book is somewhat heavy going, so it will take some time to add selected quotations to the list of quotations at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/GreatMinds.htm 

Transaction Cost Economics: The Process of Theory Development

OLIVER E. WILLIAMSON

PG. #485 & 486 WILLIAMSON Transaction cost economics is an interdisciplinary research project in which law, economics, and organization theory are joined (Williamson, 1985).  Although the operationalization of transaction cost economics began in the 1970s and has continued to develop in conceptual, theoretical, empirical, and public policy respects since, many of the key ideas out of which transaction cost economics (TCE) works have their origins in path-breaking contributions in law, economics, and organization theory from the 1930s.  It was not, however, obvious how these key ideas were related, much less how they could be fruitfully combined.  Two follow-on developments--the interdisciplinary program for doing social science research that took shape at the Graduate School of Industrial Administration (GSIA) at Carnegie-Mellon University during the late 1950s and early 1960s; and new developments in the market failure literature during the 1960s--were needed to set the stage.1

As for my own involvement, I seriously doubt that I would have perceived the research opportunity presented by TCE but for my training in the Ph.D. program at GSIA (from 1960 to 1963).2  More than such training, however, would be needed.  My teaching, research, and public policy experience during the decade of the 1960s all served to alert me to the research needs and opportunities posed by TCE.

This chapter is organized in seven parts.  Section 23.1 describes seminal contributions from the 1930s.  Follow-on developments in the 1960s are examined in 23.2.  My training, teaching, research, and involvement with public policy during the decade of the 1960s are sketched in 23.3.  The foregoing led into what, for me, was a transformative research project: my paper on "The Vertical Integration of Production: Market Failure Considerations" (1971), which is described in 23.4.  Some reflections on TECe as it has evolved since are set out in 23.5.  I discuss the "Carnegie Triple"--be disciplined, be interdisciplinary; have an active mind--in 23.6.  Concluding remarks follow.


  The operationalization of TCE is the result of the concerted effort of many contributors.  A selection of some of the more influential articles can be found in Williamson and Masten, Transaction Cost Economics, Vols. 1 and II (1995).  Also see Claude Menard (2005).

2    For an autobiographical sketch of earlier events and people that were influential to my training and intellectual development, see Williamson (1995).  Although good instincts helped me to make the "right choices" at critical forks in the road, I also had the benefit of a number of exceptional advisors and teachers--and fortunately often had the good sense to listen.


"Management needs fewer fads, more reflection," Stanford Magazine, May/June 2006 --- http://www.stanfordalumni.org/news/magazine/2006/mayjun/dept/management.html

Jeffrey Pfeffer, PhD ’72, and Robert I. Sutton would like to foment a little revolution—one in which leaders in business and the world at large base their decisions on facts and logic, not ideology, hunches, management fads or poorly understood experience. Pfeffer, the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organizational Behavior, and Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering and, by courtesy, of organizational behavior in the Graduate School of Business, are the authors of Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and Total Nonsense: Profiting from Evidence-Based Management (Harvard Business School Press, 2006). STANFORD asked them about bringing more reason to organizational life.

What’s some of the total nonsense that occurs in companies?

Sutton: Probably the biggest single problem for human decision making is that when people have ingrained beliefs, they will put a much higher bar for evidence for things they don’t believe than for things they do believe. Confirmation-seeking bias, I think, is what social psychologists call it. Organizations can have amazingly good evidence, but it has no effect on the decisions they make if it conflicts with their ideology.

Do you have a favorite unsupported belief?

Pfeffer: One would be stock options. There are more than 200 studies that show no evidence that there is a relationship between the amount of equity senior executives have and a company’s financial performance. . . . Just as you would never bet on a point spread on a football game because it encourages bad behavior, you should not reward people for increasing the spread in an expectations market.

Overreliance on financial incentives of all sorts drives all kinds of counterproductive behavior.

Evidence-based management derives from evidence-based medicine. Explain what kind of decision making we’re talking about.

Continued in interview




"Cornell Theory Center Aids Social Science Researchers," PR Web, June 19, 2006 --- http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/6/prweb400160.htm

Great Minds in Management:  The Process of Theory Development --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/GreatMinds.htm

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


If we could Google a crystal ball and predict where our lives will be in 10, 20 or 100 years, what would it say? Take a glimpse with noted futurists and Washington Post reporters ---
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2006/06/13/LI2006061300649.html?referrer=email

Tomorrow's Gadgets
Matt Swanston and Sean Wargo from the Consumer Electronics Association will answer questions about what kinds of gadgets, gizmos, robots and other technology we can expect for the future.

Space Exploration
Michael J. Braukus, from NASA's Office of Exploration, will be online to answer questions about the future of the space program.

Farewell Information, It's a Media Age
As director of the Institute for the Future, Paul Saffo explores long-term technological change and its practical impact on business and society. In a recent essay (pdf), he looks at how the Web will shape tomorrow.

When Robots Attack
Daniel H. Wilson, a robotics expert, created a survival guide to help us ensure we're safe the day robots take over the world. Join him in an encore discussion to learn what precautions to take during an uprising.

The Environment
Washington Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin answered questions about the future of the Earth's oceans, and what may happen without preservation efforts.

When Humans Transcend Biology
Futurist Ray Kurzweil was online to discuss his Singularity theory: an era where humans and technology converge. As a noted inventor, he is credited for work with music synthesis, speech recognition, virtual reality and cybernetic art.

Revolutionary Wealth
"Future Shock" author Alvin Toffler discussed his new book, co-written with his wife Heidi, which focuses on how to create the wealth of tomorrow. The book explains how upheavals in social and political values are necessary for an economic transformation.

Radical Evolution
What will it mean to be human in next 15 years? Washington Post staff writer Joel Garreau explored that question with an online discussion based on his interviews with thinkers and scientists from his book "Radical Evolution."

Reality of Science Fiction
Brenda Cooper, a science fiction author and writer for Futurist.com, will discuss what aspects of some of your favorite SF books may actually come true.


Badjocks
Northwestern University
announced Wednesday that its women’s soccer coach had resigned, in the wake of a controversy over hazing that prompted the team’s suspension last month. Northwestern is one of numerous institutions that have been caught up in the publication by several Web sites, including Badjocks and The NCAA Is Weak on Hazing, of photographs of apparently drunk and occasionally nude athletes hazing, being hazed, or in post-hazing stupors.
Inside Higher Ed, June 22, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/22/qt
 

Jensen Comment
The Badjocks home page is at http://badjocks.com/
The Badjocks photo site is at http://badjocks.com/archive/2006/northwestern-womens-soccer-hazing.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on athletics controversies in higher education are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Athletics


Students’ personal and social responsibility
The Association of American Colleges and Universities announced Wednesday a new $2 million program, supported by the John Templeton Foundation, to work with colleges to promote students’ personal and social responsibility. Programs will be designed that help encourage students’ work ethic, sense of academic integrity, competence in moral reasoning, and vision of themselves as part of larger communities.
Inside Higher Ed, June 22, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/22/qt


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

Latest Headlines on June 15, 2006

Latest Headlines on June 16, 2006

Latest Headlines on June 17, 2006

Latest Headlines on June 19, 2006

Latest Headlines on June 22, 2006


Genes, Not Experience Explain Why The Lives Of Some Take Bad Turn
Take the conventional wisdom that their parents' divorce increases the risk that children will develop depression. "It turns out that the increased risk of depression in these children reflects a common genetic liability in the parents and kids," says Brian D'Onofrio of Indiana University, Bloomington. Since depressed people have more trouble getting and staying married, this genetic risk of depression raises their risk of divorce, he finds in a study submitted for publication. Parents pass that risk of depression to kids through DNA, not failed marriage. "The same genetic risk that makes the parents more likely to divorce also makes the kids more likely to develop depression," he says.
Sharon Begley, "Genes, Not Experience Explain Why The Lives Of Some Take Bad Turn," The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2006; Page B1--- http://online.wsj.com/article/science_journal.html


First Molecular Proof That Some Aspects of Aging Are Out of Our Control
There’s no argument that eating well, exercising wisely, and avoiding high risk behaviors can increase one’s chances for a longer, healthier old age. But it’s also obvious that in many ways the aging process is out of our control; that despite our best efforts (in concert with a genetic make-up that makes us more or less susceptible to certain diseases) our cells and tissues ultimately degenerate and eventually die. While scientists have long suspected that events outside our control can result in aging, a study led by Buck Institute faculty member Jan Vijg, PhD, provides the first direct evidence that the molecular machinery of our cells providing function to our tissues and organs spins irreversibly out of control as we age. The study appears in the June 22 edition of Nature.
"First Molecular Proof That Some Aspects of Aging Are Out of Our Control," PhysOrg, June 21, 2006 --- http://www.physorg.com/news70115352.html


Question
Will a little cinnamon daily reduce cholesterol?

"Health Mailbox," by Tara Parker-Pope, The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2006 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115076163955584659.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

Q: About a year ago I read that taking one-half to one teaspoon of cinnamon daily would have positive effects on cholesterol. I began mixing cinnamon in a small amount of yogurt. Three months later my HDL (good cholesterol) level had gone from 45 to 68. My triglyceride count went down 30 points. Do you know about the effects of cinnamon? -- M.E.

A: There is some evidence that cinnamon may lower both blood sugar and cholesterol. Unfortunately, most of the research has been in rats. About three years ago, the medical journal Diabetes Care did publish a small study from researchers in Pakistan of daily cinnamon use among adults with type 2 diabetes. The 60 patients studied took either a placebo or cinnamon twice a day, using various doses not exceeding one teaspoon a day. After 40 days, cinnamon use appeared to reduce fasting glucose levels as much as 29%, triglycerides by as much as 30%, LDL cholesterol as much as 27%, and total cholesterol by as much as 26%. No meaningful changes were seen in HDL.

Last month, German researchers published new data that also supported cinnamon use for patients with diabetes, but didn't show any real differences for cholesterol. These 79 patients took either a cinnamon extract or a placebo capsule three times a day for four months. The extract amounted to about a teaspoon of cinnamon powder per day. Cinnamon users showed a 10% drop in fasting blood-sugar levels, compared with just a 3% drop among placebo users. There were no significant differences in cholesterol levels between the two groups. Another Dutch study of 25 postmenopausal women with diabetes showed no benefit of cinnamon use for either diabetes control or cholesterol.

So the data on cinnamon are clearly mixed. None of the studies showed any side effects with one teaspoon of daily cinnamon, but patients shouldn't assume more cinnamon might be better. The spice can be toxic in large doses, but there's no harm in sprinkling limited amounts on your oatmeal or in your yogurt if you enjoy it. Cinnamon use shouldn't give you a false sense of security. It could be that your daily yogurt was part of an overall improvement in your eating habits and that the real reason for your improved HDL score was the result of eating a more healthful diet and other lifestyle changes.

Jensen Comment
It's less likely to be effective if the cinnamon is on a big sticky bun with lots of frosting.


"Revealing How Marijuana Affects the Brain:  A new imaging method could show how cannabinoids affect diseases like schizophrenia," by Emily Singer, "MIT's Technology Review, June 16, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=16994&ch=biotech


U.S. Versus Canada
"Where Would You Rather Be Sick?" by David Gratzer, The Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2006; Page A14 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115033718636680826.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

Is socialized medicine the prescription for better health? A recent study comparing Americans and Canadians, widely reported in the press, seems to suggest just that. But there is much less here than meets the eye.

The study, based on a telephone survey of 3,500 Canadians and 5,200 Americans (conducted by Statistics Canada and the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics), was released by the American Journal of Public Health. According to it, Canadians are healthier and have better access to health care than Americans, and at lower overall cost. So is the Canadian system, where the government pays for and manages the health-care system, superior? "Our study," says co-author Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, "is a terrible indictment of the U.S. health-care system. Universal coverage under a national health insurance system is key to improving health."

It is not so clear that the survey data back up these claims. Consider access. According to the survey, Canadians are more likely to have a regular physician, to have seen a doctor in the past year, and to be able to afford medications. But the data are ambiguous; Americans are more likely to have received a pap test and mammogram, as well as treatment for high blood pressure. Moreover, Americans are generally more satisfied with their health care. (The survey did not ask about access to specialist care or diagnostic imaging.)

The survey's most trumpeted conclusion was that Canadians are healthier than Americans. According to co-author Dr. David Himmelstein, "We pay almost twice what Canada does for care, more than $6,000 for every American, yet Canadians are healthier, and live two to three years longer." The survey says Americans have higher rates of diabetes (6.7% vs. 4.7%), arthritis (17.9% vs. 16.0%) and high blood pressure (18.3% vs. 13.9%). Americans are also more likely to be obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle. It's damning stuff. But we shouldn't confuse problems in public health with flaws in health-care systems. Americans may be heavier than Canadians, but this speaks more to genetics, diet, exercise and culture than to the accessibility or inaccessibility of health services. The remedy for obese Americans will be found in less fast food and more gym memberships.

So how does American health care actually measure up? If we look at how well it serves its sick citizens, American medicine excels. Prostate cancer is a case in point. The mortality rate from prostate cancer among American men is 19%. In contrast, mortality rates are somewhat higher in Canada (25%) and much higher in Europe (up to 57% in the U.K.). And comparisons in cardiac care -- such as the recent Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada study on post-heart-attack quality of life -- find that American patients fare far better in morbidity. Say what you want about the problems of American health care: For those stricken with serious disease, there's no better place to be than in the U.S.

Socialized health-care systems fall short in these critical cases because governments strictly ration care in order to reduce the explosive growth of health spending. As a result, patients have less access to specialists, diagnostic equipment and pharmaceuticals. Economist David Henderson, who grew up in Canada, once remarked that it has the best health-care system in the world -- if you have only a cold and you're willing to wait in your family doctor's office for three hours. But some patients have more than a simple cold -- and the long waits they must endure before they get access to various diagnostic tests and medical procedures have been documented for years. Montreal businessman George Zeliotis, for example, faced a year-long wait for a hip replacement. He sued and, as the co-plaintiff in a recent, landmark case, got the Supreme Court of Canada to strike down two major Quebec laws that banned private health insurance.

Dr. Karen Lasser, the study's third author, says that "Based on our findings, if I had to choose between the two systems for my patients, I would choose the Canadian system hands down." Perhaps she would. But as a physician licensed in both countries, I'd disagree.

Dr. Gratzer is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.


You may be paying dearly for a placebo

"Countering Counterfeits," by Carlos Gutierrez et al., The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2006; Page A20 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115076768235784783.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

The global economy for illicit goods is massive, but by definition impossible to measure. What we do know is that it is getting bigger. The number of counterfeit items seized at European Union borders has increased by more than 1,000%, rising to over 103 million in 2004 from 10 million in 1998. At U.S. borders, seizures of counterfeit goods have more than doubled since 2001. Even allowing for improved detection rates, there is little doubt that the situation is getting worse.

Today the EU and the U.S. will launch a joint action strategy on the global enforcement of intellectual-property rights. The groundbreaking agreement between the EU and the U.S. envisages closer customs cooperation, including more data sharing. There are plans for joint border enforcement actions, including in third countries, and the creation of joint networks of EU and U.S. diplomats in third countries working on intellectual-property protection.

Twenty years ago, counterfeiting might have been regarded as a problem chiefly for the makers of expensive handbags. In the 1980s, 70% of firms affected by counterfeiting were in the luxury sector. But in 2004, more than 4.4 million items of fake foodstuffs and drinks were seized at EU borders, an increase of 196% over the previous year. In the U.S., seizures of counterfeit computers and hardware tripled from 2004 to 2005. There are also fake electrical appliances, car parts and toys. Even airplane parts are being pirated: The Concorde crash of 2000 appears to have been caused by a counterfeit part that had fallen off another aircraft.

Perhaps most worrying is the booming trade in counterfeit medicines, which were reckoned to account for almost 10% of world trade in medicines in 2004. A recent study in the Lancet concluded that up to 40% of products labeled as containing the antimalarial drug artusenate contain no active ingredients. Most of these fake drugs are headed for the world's poorest countries. The World Health Organization estimates that 60% of counterfeit medicine cases occur in developing countries.

The popular view is that buying a fake is a win-win game, so long as you know what you are paying for. Everyone enjoys a bargain. But it's far too easy -- and wrong -- to write off this kind of crime as not really harmful to anyone. Counterfeiting is big business for criminal organizations that can affect entire sectors of the international economy. And when pirates move into fake medicines and fake car-parts, we move from rip-offs to potential tragedy.

The scale of counterfeiting matters enormously for the EU and the U.S., who compete on their reserves of innovation, invention and high-quality design and production. Piracy strips that comparative advantage away. Our economies are adapting to low-cost competition from the developing world. We have a right to expect that our own comparative advantages be respected.

But it is not just the developed world that has a stake in this fight. Tolerating counterfeiting almost inevitably backfires. Developing countries that tolerate the existence of a parallel illicit economy in their market will quickly lose the confidence of foreign investors and services traders, and the technology transfer that these bring with them. They also undermine the development of innovative and creative businesses in their own economy. Although China is now taking steps to better enforce its intellectual-property laws, it has for too long turned a blind eye to these problems. Ironically, customs authorities are now intercepting increasing numbers of Beijing 2008 Olympic knockoffs.

It is time for a new global strategy and a much tougher global approach. All members of the World Trade Organization have signed agreements to fight counterfeiting. The new focus has to be on enforcing the rules we already have against counterfeiting and piracy in particular. Countries that have signed up to these rules should no longer expect an easy ride if they don't implement them.

Continued in article

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


Question
I've encountered a number of ABD students with Watson's Syndrome?
I imagine you've encountered a few as well.
Do you know the symptoms?

I first encountered Watson’s Syndrome as a second-year master’s student at a prestigious university in the Northeast. The syndrome is named after the first person I observed exhibiting pronounced symptoms of what is now referred to clinically as “Watson’s Syndrome.” The “Watson” case illustrates the progression to a full blown syndrome . . .
Joseph Gelpher, "Beyond a Sense of Place," Inside Higher Ed, June 22, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/06/22/gelfer


Moving Ahead on Admissions Reforms
Lloyd Thacker founded the Education Conservancy two years ago out of the belief that the admissions system is out of control and that obsessions over rankings, money, prestige and testing are hurting students. While Thacker almost immediately attracted fans in the admissions world, last week’s meeting marked a shift in his reform movement as many of the participants were presidents of elite liberal arts colleges. The meeting was held at New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy.
Scott Jaschik, "Moving Ahead on Admissions Reforms," InsideHigherEd, June 20, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/20/admit

Bob Jensen's threads on dysfunctional media rankings of colleges are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings


Question
How many millionaires are there on earth today?

"Number of global millionaires grows," by Jim Krane, seattlepi.com, June 20, 2006 --- http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1310AP_Dubai_More_Millionaires.html

Worldwide, the number of millionaires has nearly doubled since Merrill Lynch found 4.5 million of them in 1996.

Last year's 6.5 percent growth in millionaires slowed slightly over last year's 6.6 percent, with the US and Europe slowing most alongside their cooling economies.

But the ranks of the ultra-rich - those worth more than $30 million - climbed by more than 10 percent to 85,400.

advertising Merrill Lynch said the ultra-rich did better because they found "select pockets" of high-growth investments in Asia, Latin America and the Mideast, while most investors stuck with stodgy earnings in North America and Europe.

North America held a slight edge over Europe in the population of millionaires, with 2.9 million to Europe's 2.8 million. Asia counted 2.4 million, Latin America 300,000 and Africa 100,000.

The world's millionaires are increasingly branching out from their home countries, with 65 percent paying attention to foreign markets and 30 percent buying homes overseas, the study found.

Growth of private equity holdings in 2005 outlined an increasing preference for aggressive assets, with investors funneling cash into emerging markets, while unloading fixed-income bank deposits and bonds.

That phenomenon is only supposed to grow, as some $41 trillion is expected to be passed to heirs over the next four decades, and money managers saying more than 80 percent of inheritors will want to boost their international exposure.

Dubai might be one destination. Bazzy said the ease of investment and galloping economic growth in the mushrooming city was spurring the world's premier companies to set up businesses here.

"There are no unions, no taxes and administration is very easy. Barriers to entry are going lower and lower," Bazzy said. Overall, the UAE counts 59,000 millionaires, while neighboring Saudi Arabia had 80,000, Bazzy said.



The Wall Street Journal
Flashback, June 22, 1994
E-mail Backlash: John Sculley, Apple Computer Inc.'s chairman, tells his pals to fax -- not e-mail -- important messages. One computer executive even shuts down his company's e-mail system for half the work day -- he finds it unproductive.
 

Inquiry Into Florida For-Profit University Widens
Florida's attorney general expanded his investigation of allegedly misleading sales tactics at for-profit Florida Metropolitan University, demanding records detailing the school's job-placement rates, grading, instructor qualifications, financial aid and course prices. The inquiry by Charlie Crist, the state's top legal officer, intensifies government scrutiny of for-profit career colleges, whose success has sparked fierce debate among educators and in Congress. U.S. lawmakers are considering legislation that would ease longstanding restrictions that curbed at least some of their rapid growth. Unlike the trade schools of the past, these for-profits have moved aggressively to offer bachelor's, master's and even professional degrees, taking on conventional universities.
"Inquiry Into Florida For-Profit University Widens," by John Hechinger, The Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2006; Page A12 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115093577533487007.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#DiplomaMill


"Overpaid Management: Their Cover Is Blown," by Mark Maisonneuve, The Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2006; Page A17 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115094549688587219.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

Jeremy Siegel ("The 'Noisy Market' Hypothesis," editorial page, June 14) blithely blames advisers for advocating capitalization-weighted indexes when in fact academics were the drivers. While individual advisers can move their small set of clients in any direction, academics have to consider that their research would apply to everyone. By definition everyone constitutes the total market and the total market can be held only on a cap-weighted basis.

But he redeems himself with the noisy market hypothesis, though in a way he might not have considered. With one blow we are rid of the justification for CEO pay bloat on the basis that the shareholders have been rewarded with a higher stock price. Noisy markets imply that the higher price may only be a chimera of temporary overvaluation. To Prof. Siegel's factors of diversification, liquidity and taxes I would add financial manipulation by the group most rewarded by overvaluation -- stock-option-laden senior management. Now that their cover is blown, shareholders and their boards can work to ensure that high pay is earned by real gains in fundamental value.

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


True Story from Auntie Bev

Good morning, I just had the dogs out and saw a "log" with eyes laying in the lake. I didn't have my contacts in yet, so I hurried up and got the dogs back inside and I noticed it was getting closer. I ran inside, put my contacts in, grabbed my binoculars and ran back outside and he was right in front of our house (in the back yard). Another neighbor across the lake was also watching him and Fred woke up and came out to see. He finally went out of sight and now I have to leave for the day---Fred will walk the dogs in the front of the house where there is no water, but it's just tooooo scarey!!!

Thought you'd want me to share my scare!!! Good Day Mates

Love,
Bev


"Leveling the Playing Field:  A university is forced to treat white professors equally," The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2006 --- http://opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110008521

Talk about back wages due: A federal judge in Phoenix this month said that Northern Arizona University owes $1.4 million to a group of professors who have been pursuing justice through the courts since 1995. The 40 teachers, all white men, argued that they were discriminated against when the public university gave raises to minority and female faculty members in the early 1990s but not to white males. Not only that--the plaintiffs said in a Title VII civil-rights suit--the salary bumps resulted in some favored faculty members earning more than white men in comparable positions.

The lawsuit and its outcome are yet another striking illustration of the perils of affirmative action, with its often contorted logic of redress and blame and its tendency to commit exactly the sort of discrimination that it was designed to prevent.

The university may persuade U.S. District Court judge Robert Broomfield to lower the bill for what is effectively back pay to the professors. But the school is also facing a claim for the plaintiffs' legal expenses. Their attorney, Jess Lorona, tells us that, with more than a decade of litigating on both sides totted up, the cost to Arizona taxpayers could soar to $2.5 million.

What happened here? The professors' victory, it should be said, is not a sweeping defeat of affirmative action, and the plaintiffs didn't ask for one. The university maintains that when it raised pay for certain faculty it was simply following a federal mandate to eliminate race or gender wage disparities. What got the school in trouble was not "catch up" payments per se but the way it made them. Even so, "the reverberations are going to be tremendous," attorney Lorona predicts. He explains that this decision "sets out case law about what needs to be done when you're trying to cure pay inequity."

Lesson One: You should probably prove that discrimination exists rather than just infer it from dodgy statistics. In 1993, the university's then-president, Eugene M. Hughes, assumed there had been discrimination, based partly on a study he'd commissioned. The study used salaries at other schools to help determine a theoretical median wage that should prevail at Northern Arizona. A lot of white males there fell below the median, but the significant finding for President Hughes was the one that showed minorities and women under a "predicted" par.

As Judge Broomfield noted in 2004, the initial study ignored factors such as whether people held doctorates. At any rate, the study's own figures indicated that white faculty were earning only about $87 a year more than minorities, and men were making about $751 more than women. Mr. Hughes's solution: raises of up to $3,000 for minorities and $2,400 for women. White men got nada.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm


Does affirmative action give false hopes to African Americans graduating from law schools
The other article — not yet available online or published — will appear in the North Carolina Law Review. This article examines the attrition of black lawyers from top law firms and links their departures to their poor grades in law school, which in turn the author has previously attributed to the use of affirmative action to admit minority law students who, on average, can’t compete at the same level with their white colleagues. A previous article on affirmative action by the same author — Richard Sander — was one of the most discussed pieces of legal scholarship in 2004, drawing both strong praise and intense criticism. Advocates are already lining up to dissect the new Sander article, even before it has appeared.
Scott Jaschik, "New Arguments on Affirmative Action," Inside Higher Ed, June 21, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/21/affirm


In addition to a free annual credit report, you can get a report following ID theft

"Be Prepared For ID Theft:  A Quick Response Helps," by Brian Krebs, The Washington Post, June 18, 2006 ---
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/17/AR2006061700106.html

Consumers who have evidence of attempts to open fraudulent accounts in their name should contact those creditors immediately, and file a report with the local police department. If possible, obtain a copy of the police report, or at least the police report number. Evidence of fraudulent activity allows victims to request that a 90-day fraud alert be extended to seven years, though a credit bureau will require proof of identity and a copy of the police report.

Placing a fraud alert entitles you to a free copy of your credit report from each of the major bureaus, in addition to a free report the law allows every consumer to request annually. If you get a fraud-related credit report, Givens advises waiting a few months before ordering the annual free one.

Alert the credit bureaus and credit issuers in writing of any inaccurate information or fraudulent accounts listed in your credit reports. You also have the right to have the credit bureaus strike any inquiries against your credit history that were generated by fraud.

For many identity-theft victims, being denied a loan or line of credit or receiving a call from a debt collection agency is the first sign of trouble. By law, if you inform a collector that a debt is the result of identity theft, that collector also must inform the creditor, and creditors are prohibited from selling debt that results from identity theft or placing it for collection. You also are entitled to a copy of all information about fraudulent debt, including late notices and account statements.

At least 23 states have passed "security freeze" laws that allow consumers to indefinitely prevent anyone from issuing credit in their name. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin provide all their residents with the option of placing a security freeze on their credit files. Hawaii, Kansas, South Dakota, Texas and Washington currently provide this option only to ID theft victims.

A number of state laws also are driving businesses to alert consumers about potential data losses, but legislation being considered on Capitol Hill could soon change that. Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer watchdog group in Washington, said a bill recently passed by the House Financial Services Committee and supported by the major financial institutions would exempt companies from alerting consumers about data thefts or losses if the company does not know whether that loss places the consumer at a direct risk of identity theft. The bill also would reserve credit freezes for ID theft victims only.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on credit reports are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#FICO

Bob Jensen's threads on ID theft --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#IdentityTheft
(The above link summarizes other things you should do in case of suspected ID theft)


As Sweden, Germany, and most other parts of Europe are cutting back on socialized benefits, Massachusetts is leading the way in the U.S. with state-mandated universal health care and 12-weeks each year of fully paid family leave in addition to vacation time

As Thomas takes her improvised leave, lawmakers in her home state are hammering out what they hope will be a better alternative. The Massachusetts legislature plans to vote this week on a bill that would give all employees in the state 12 weeks of paid medical leave annually--100% of their pay up to $750 a week and a guarantee to hold their jobs--to care for newborns or sick relatives. If passed, the bill would mandate the most generous paid-leave policy in the U.S.; it is the first of 24 similar proposals pending this year. Family friendly and popular with female voters, most of the bills are enjoying wide, bipartisan support, says Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. "We're seeing real movement toward more paid leave."
"Time Off, With Pay?  Massachusetts leads a push across the U.S. to give paid family leave to every worker," by Kathleen Kingsbury, Time Magazine,  June 18, 2006 --- Click Here


Question
Why are mutual funds and brokerage firms are still rotten to the core?

"The Soft Dollar Scandal," by Benn Steil, The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2006; Page A15 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115068121938383835.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep

The SEC will shortly issue its long-awaited final "interpretive release" on a brokerage industry practice that would make Tony Soprano blush. Known as "soft dollars," the practice involves a broker charging a fund manager commission fees five to 10 times the market rate for a trade execution, in return for which the broker kicks back a substantial portion in the form of "investment-related services" to the manager. Magazines, online services, accounting services, proxy services, office administration, computers, monitors, printers, cables, software, network support, maintenance agreements, entrance fees for resort conferences -- all these things are bought through brokers with soft dollars. And in one of the industry's loveliest ironies, fund managers even pay inflated commissions in return for trading cost measurement services which invariably tell them that their brokers cost too much.

Why do the fund managers do it? Why don't they buy items directly from their suppliers, and then choose brokers on the basis of lowest trading cost? The reason is clear. If the fund manager buys items directly from the suppliers, he pays with his firm's cash. If he buys them through brokers when executing trades, however, the law, or the SEC, lets him use his clients' cash.

How widespread is the practice? Some 95% of institutional brokers receive soft dollars, about a third of which were found by the SEC in the late 1990s to be providing illegal services to fund managers, well outside the scope of "investment-related." Surveys find that fund managers routinely choose brokers based on criteria having nothing to do with trade execution.

How much does this practice cost investors? My own analysis suggests that the cost in bad trading alone amounts to about 70 basis points a year, or about 14 times the estimated cost of the market timing abuses that dominated headlines in 2004.

The Senate Banking Committee held hearings on soft dollars in March 2004. Chairman Richard Shelby indicated at the time that the SEC would "get more than a nudge" to eliminate clear abuses, defined as services which could not reasonably be held to constitute "research." So what has our champion of investor rights decided to do for us? Punt the ball back to Congress. In its initial guidance last October, expected to be substantially reiterated in the forthcoming final verdict, the commission's long-awaited crack down amounted to little more than a memorandum to fund managers instructing them to read the law, cut out a few egregious abuses (office furniture is a no-no, though resort conferences are still fine), and pay only "reasonable" commissions.

How does the "reasonable" commission regime work in practice? Put simply, the higher the price tag on the soft-dollar goodies, the more trading the fund manager does with the broker to acquire them, which is clearly antithetical to investor protection.

To his credit, freshman SEC Chairman Christopher Cox issued a thoughtful statement in advance of last October's guidance, diplomatically describing soft dollars as an "anachronism" -- referring to the politics of unfixing fixed commissions 30 years ago, and Congress's insertion of the Section 28(e) safe harbor into the Exchange Act, allowing client trading commissions to pay for research. But it was under the SEC's watch that the safe harbor ballooned into a safe coastal resort, in which client-financed commission payments have become so generous that a broker for one of the nation's largest fund management companies made the headlines in 2003 by thanking the funds' traders with a lavish dwarf-chucking bachelor party. It is therefore time for Congress and the SEC to stop punting the ball back and forth, and for Congress finally to abolish the "anachronism."

As a Wall Street Journal reader in good standing, I'm not calling for more rules and market intervention. Quite the opposite. It is in the nature of a government-sanctioned kickback scheme that serial interventions by regulators will be required to pacify the fleeced. This is a simple property rights issue, and treating it sensibly as such would require less government intervention in the future.

The solution is simple. If a fund manager wants to buy $10,000 worth of research, let him write a check to the provider. That's how you and I would buy it -- we wouldn't expect to get it by making a thousand phone calls through Verizon at 10 times the normal price. There is a legitimate debate over whether the cost of research should be charged to the fund manager, which would then recoup it transparently through the management fee, or deducted directly from the clients' assets.

The first option was recommended by former Gartmore chairman Paul Myners in his famous 2001 report to the U.K. Treasury. The second would, in any case, be a dramatic improvement on the status quo. If the government did not force funds to buy research through brokers in order to pass the cost on to clients, the SEC's "best execution" requirements, meaningless in a soft-dollar environment, would actually become part of a fund manager's DNA. No longer forced to choose between soft dollars for his firm or good trades for his client, he will finally have an incentive to seek out value-for-money in both research and trading, as it will benefit both his firm and his client.

What do mutual fund traders think? At a November conference, I surveyed 35 of them anonymously. The majority, 46%, said that fund managers should buy independent research with "hard dollars," out of their own assets rather than those of the investors; 37% backed option two above, paying the providers directly rather than through commissions, which the SEC currently prohibits. A mere 17% supported the status quo, soft dollars. The problem is that fund managers have no incentive to move away from soft dollars while their competitors are legally using them to inflate profits.

So who actually loses from Congress correcting its mistake? Brokers. But shed no tears for them. Middlemen always lose when kickback schemes are ended.

Mr. Steil is director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm


"Diary of a Strung-out Search Committee Member," by Marilyn D. Davis, The Irascible Professor, June 15, 2006 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-06-15-06.htm

Jensen Comment
I like the way she writes. I can recall being on committees like this committee.


The Accountant and Lawyer Preservation Act is Protected by Ignoramuses and Professional Lobbies
As a financial adviser, I spend much of my time helping clients decide how to handle their estate tax liability. . . . It's not that hard to structure an estate to avoid the tax. That's what the thousands of accountants, lawyers and financial planners do. From my perspective, the estate tax is purely optional. So repeal is unnecessary except for the uninformed, the unfocused or those people who are unwilling to pay their financial planning team a little more to make the tax go away or be reduced. People pay their professionals to avoid lots of income tax legally, and they do it every year. Why is it so hard for them to pay a little every few years to review the estate plan and avoid much or all of the estate tax?
"Myth, Reality and the Estate Tax," The New York Times, June 12, 2006 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
In my highly subjective opinion the estate tax should remain with alternative minimum tax provisions that take a progressive portion of estates valued at $1 million and higher. This AMT should not allow lawyers and accountants to eliminate virtually all of the taxes due on such estates.


Gore's Movie Gets an A Grade for Politics and a F Grade for Science

"Scientists respond to Gore's warnings of climate catastrophe:  "The Inconvenient Truth" is indeed inconvenient to alarmists," by Tom Harris, Canadian Free Press, June 12, 2006 --- http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/harris061206.htm

"Scientists have an independent obligation to respect and present the truth as they see it," Al Gore sensibly asserts in his film "An Inconvenient Truth", showing at Cumberland 4 Cinemas in Toronto since Jun 2. With that outlook in mind, what do world climate experts actually think about the science of his movie?

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

But surely Carter is merely part of what most people regard as a tiny cadre of "climate change skeptics" who disagree with the "vast majority of scientists" Gore cites?

No; Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing significant global climate change. "Climate experts" is the operative term here. Why? Because what Gore's "majority of scientists" think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.

Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. "While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change," explains former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball. "They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies."

Continued in article

For an opposing view by supportive scientists who give Gore higher grades see "A Convenient Endorsement for Gore," Wired News, June 27, 2006 --- http://www.wired.com/news/wireservice/0,71260-0.html?tw=wn_index_7


Another Success Story on the Internet:  Craigslist could make $500 million a year
"Zen and the Art Of Classified Advertising:  Craigslist could make $500 million a year. Why not?" by Brian Carney, The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008531 

By almost any measure, Craigslist is a phenomenal success. It is the seventh-most-popular Web site in the world, according to the people who measure these things. The free online-classifieds site has become the nightmare of newspaper executives everywhere it launches a list. While it does not release financial statements, no one doubts--and its chief executive does not dispute--that it is comfortably profitable and has been so since 1999, about the time most other children of the dot-com boom started running out of cash.

All the same, no one really questions that Craigslist could be bigger--much, much bigger. The company took in a relatively paltry $25 million or so in revenue last year, while its peers among the Internet's top 10 raked in billions. Since its founding, Craigslist has been aggressively passive (newspapermen might say passively aggressive) about monetizing its huge audience and user base.

There are no banner ads on Craigslist, just the postings of its users, most of which are put online free of charge. CEO Jim Buckmaster takes some pleasure in calling Craigslist a "trailing edge" technology company. Its Web site is stubbornly minimalist and text-heavy, with row after row of blue underlined hyperlinks and nary another color or graphic in sight. One industry analyst has estimated that Craigslist could generate 20 times that $25 million just by posting a couple of ads on each of its pages. If the estimate is to be believed, that's half a billion dollars a year being left on the table. What kind of company turns up its nose at $500 million? That's what I'm here to find out.

Continued in article


"Picking Over Enron's E-Mail Remains," by Frank Ahrens, The Washington Post, June 11, 2006, Page F06 --- Click Here

Thanks to the combination of the Internet, software that lets employers scan employee e-mail for objectionable material and the evil genius of public relations, you can now search a bunch of Enron e-mails. A company called InBoxer Inc. sponsors the search, as a way of touting its business ( http://www.enronemail.com  ).

One is from the office of the chairman (Lay) to Houston employees, telling them that their hard work had pushed Enron stock over $50 per share. In return, each would get 50 Enron stock options. Gee, thanks.

There is a mournful exchange between two employees in February 2002, two months after bankruptcy, bemoaning Enron whistle-blower Sherron Watkins's $500,000 book advance. "I want what I had," one writes.

Others include mawkish lines between ex-lovers and forwarded jokes, many of a sexual and otherwise offensive nature. (Remember when we forwarded jokes via e-mail? How 1998.)

We love picking over the carcasses of big, dead things. Here's one more way to do a little corporate autopsy.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's complete set of Enron Updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#EnronUpdates

Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron scandal are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm


Past and future of the SSRN

From Jim Mahar's blog on June 16, 2006 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

SSRN interview with PrawfsBlawg via Financial Rounds

Since I get so much material from them, giving SSRN a plug is the least I can do.

Prawfsblog has an interesting interview with Gregg Gordon of SSRN. Probably interesting mainly to academics, but....

On look-in:

SSRN was founded in 1994 by Michael Jensen and Wayne Marr to provide an efficient means to distribute scholarly research. Our motto, Tomorrow’s Research Today, drives what we do every day. Tomorrow’s Research Today means rapidly distributing research worldwide enabling researchers around the world to be on the cutting edge of new ideas.

Read the entire interview here.

Thanks to FinancialRounds for pointing it out!

Bob Jensen Comment
The SSRN home page is at http://www.ssrn.com/
Since I am such a huge fan of open sharing, a major disappointment for me is that SSRN became a huge business operation charging fees per download or for annual subscriptions. Many professors who previously would not charge to send copies of their working papers for free now refer students and other interested researchers to the fee-based SSRN. SSRN does provide a useful service, but it has been at the expense of free open sharing. In fairness, the SSRN has become a free site for some announcements and news.

June 17, 2006 reply from Jagdish S. Gangolly [gangolly@INFOTOC.COM

Bob,

I agree with your comment about huge business operation.

I am not a particularly enthusiastic fan of SSRN (the profit thing bothers me, and the fact that it is not comprehensive of all SS disciplines also bothers me).

I am a fan of

1. http://www.arxiv.org/

2. http://www.archive.org/index.php

3. http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/

Perhaps the model in 1 or 3 could be emulated much better in Accounting.

It is difficult to marry openness and profit motive (except in successful marriages in humans).

Regards,

Jagdish

Many scientists oppose open access publishing
At first glance, it seems that the research world is united against the Federal Research Public Access Act. Scholarly associations are lining up to express their anger over the bill, which would have federal agencies require grant recipients to publish their research papers — online and free — within six months of their publication elsewhere. Dozens of scholarly groups have joined in two letters — one organized by the Association of American Publishers and one by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. To look at the signatories (and the tones of the letters), it would appear that there’s a wide consensus that the legislation is bad for research. The cancer researchers are against it. The education researchers are against it. The biologists are against it. The ornithologists are against it. The anthropologists are against it. All of these groups are joining to warn that the bill could undermine the quality and economic viability of scholarly publishing.
Scott Jaschik, "In Whose Interest?" Inside Higher Ed, June 15, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/06/15/open

Bob Jensen's threads on scholarly research publication fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#ScholarlyJournals


Question
In science it is somewhat common for published papers to subsequently be withdrawn because the outcomes could not be replicated. In the history of accounting research has any published paper ever been "withdrawn" or “retracted” because the results could not be replicated?

"Columbia researcher retracts more studies," The New York Times via PhysOrg, June 15, 2006 --- http://www.physorg.com/news69601046.html

A Columbia University researcher has reportedly retracted four more scientific papers because the findings could not be replicated.

Chemistry Professor Dalibor Sames earlier this year retracted two other papers and part of a third published in a scientific journal, The New York Times reported Thursday. All of the papers involved carbon-hydrogen bond activation research.

Although Sames is listed as senior author on all of the papers, one of his former graduate students -- Bengu Sezen -- performed most of the experiments, the Times said.

Sames said each experiment has been repeated by at least two independent scientists who have not been able to replicate the results.

Sezen, a doctoral student in another field at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, disputed the retractions, questioning whether other members of Sames's group had tried to exactly repeat her experiments, the newspaper said.

The retraction of one paper, published in the journal Organic Letters in 2003, appeared Thursday, while the three others published in The Journal of the American Chemical Society in 2002 and 2003 are to be formally retracted later this month, the Times said.

Jensen Comment
What's disappointing and inconsistent is that leading universities pushed accounting research into positivist scientific methods but did not require that findings be verified by independent replication. In fact leading academic accounting research journals discourage replication by their absurd policies of not publishing replications of published research outcomes. They also do not publish commentaries that challenge underlying assumptions of purely analytical research. Hence I like to say that academic accounting researchers became more interested in their tractors than their harvests.

My threads on the dearth of replication/debate and some of the reasons top accounting research journals will not publish replications and commentaries are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen//theory/00overview/theory01.htm#Relication 

June 17, 2006 reply from Jagdish S. Gangolly [gangolly@INFOTOC.COM]

Bob,

I have not heard of any one in accounting retracting his/her work. It does not surprise me because of what I see to be the philosophical suppositions of most empirical accounting researchers.

In my opinion, most of us in empirical accounting research are, in many ways, stuck with the philosophical suppositions of late 19th and early 20th century positivists of the Vienna school, the most vocal proponent of the ideas whose work I am familiar with is A.J. Ayer. In his view of the world, a synthetic (that is, not an analytical) sentence must be verifiABLE to be considered a scientific statement, and is added to the stock of science when verified.

The physical sciences have passed by this view, and in fact, in my opinion, regard the latter-day positivist Popperian ideas of falsificationism to be the ideal. Here, a sentence is scientific if it is FalsifIABLE. The stock of sentences that are not repeatedly falsified is science in some sense. Therefore, in most physical sciences, when a statement is falsified (by not being replicable) is treated as nonsense rather than science. For example, when the theory about cold fusion in the Utah experiments met failure in repeated attempts to replicate them, the theory was treated as nonsensical and not scientific.

The unfortunate thing is that verification (or falsification) is misinterpreted by most, since I don't think either Ayer or Popper intended their views to form a theory of meaning.

The above approach has had a whole host of severe critics. My shortlist would include C.S. Peirce, William James, Quine (though a verificationist he did not accept logical positivism), Feyerabend, Davidson, and a bunch of others.

We have twisted the meaning of Popperian as well as Logical positivist thought to consider "scientific propositions" as those "veriFIED" or "not falsiFIED". Philosopher of those schools, on the other hand used veriFIABILITY and falsiFIABILITY as criterion to answer the question whether a proposition is scientific or not. We mistake an epistemic community for a theory of meaning. While it might help reaffirm our belief in our epistemic community to do so, it certainly would not provide our community a resilient philosophical foundation. It also would make us more of a theological community.

Regards to all,

Jagdish

 


Question
What is the latest of countless acronyms on the scene --- IASESB?

The IAESB develops standards and guidance on pre-qualification education, training, and continuing professional development for all members of the accountancy profession. The board’s standards are designed to promote consistency and quality in education and development for professional accountants and prospective professional accountants. The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global organization for the accountancy profession, is seeking nominations for a public member for the independent International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB). Nominations must be made by June 23, 2006.---
http://www.ifac.org/News/LastestReleases.tmpl?NID=11492650758055684


June 8, 2006 message from classical study Resources [dianalance2006@yahoo.com]

Hi Bob,

I'm the webmaster of a classical study Resources website at http://classicalstudy.luckycontent.com  

I've collected quality links to other website that related on the Internet on my links page.

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I'd appreciate if you'd place a link back to my site using the following link and description: Title : Free classical study Resources URL Address : http://classicalstudy.luckycontent.com  Description : - New and exciting site provide information about classical study Resources and Directory

If you'd like the description of your site modified or if you have any other cross-promotion ideas just drop me a line.

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Best regards,

Diana Lance
Classical Study Resources


So if this sounds all nihilistic and grim, like an unending hamster wheel of futility or (my favorite metaphor) like being rotated on a George Foreman Rotisserie Oven in Hell, you would be correct. Don’t get mad at me, get even, and write that novel.
Interesting Blog noted in Newsweek Magazine, February 13, 2006, Page 14.
Bookfraud:
A middlebrow look at the world of a struggling novelist facing middle age. At least 65 percent not depressing.


The History and Geography of Inventions --- http://www.krysstal.com/inventions.html

Where Did Time Go --- http://www.wheredidthetimego.com/


"PERFECT $TORM OF FEMA SCAMS:  BILLION-PLUS IN 'CANE RELIEF WENT FOR PORN, BOOZE & OTHER WASTE ," by Georff Earle, New York Post, June 14, 2006 --- http://www.nypost.com/news/nationalnews/perfect_torm_of_fema_scams_nationalnews_geoff_earle.htm

In a shocking rip-off of taxpayers, federal hurricane relief bought "Girls Gone Wild" videos, Caribbean vacations and French champagne, as thousands of brazen scam artists bilked the government out of $1.4 billion, a bombshell report reveals.

Although the aid was intended to shelter and clothe thousands of devastated families from hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the audit to be presented to Congress today shows a widespread criminal splurge of debauchery and excess while the feds were asleep at the switch.

One evacuee scammed a luxurious $1,000 vacation at Punta Cana, a resort area in the Dominican Republic.

Another spent $300 on "Girls Gone Wild" videos at a Santa Monica, Calif., store.

Some opted for live entertainment: An evacuee spent $600 at a "gentlemen's club" in Houston, and another doled out $400 on "adult erotica products" at a Houston store called The Pleasure Zone.

"This is an assault on the American taxpayer," said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee's subcommittee on investigations. The panel will conduct the hearing today.

"Prosecutors from the federal level down should be looking at prosecuting these crimes and putting the criminals who committed them in jail for a long time."

CBS News reported last night that 7,000 people could be charged.

As much as 16 percent of the total aid was hijacked by con artists, the report concludes.

A copy of today's testimony about the audit was obtained last night by The Post.

One "victim" rode out the storm's aftermath by spending $300 at a San Antonio Hooters - and $200 for a bottle of Dom Perignon.

The feds also covered one person's three-month stay for a Honolulu hotel for $115 per night. The alleged scammer also collected $2,358 in rental assistance - despite residing in North Carolina, not New Orleans.

Anticipating the city's rebirth, another evacuee spent $2,000 on five New Orleans Saints season tickets.

But one evacuee was more practical, spending $1,000 to pay a divorce lawyer.

Closer to home, one rip-off artist double-dipped in Queens - collecting $31,000 to cover an extended $149 per night at the Ramada Plaza Hotel while also taking $2,358 in rental assistance.

Most of the hucksters used phony names and addresses to collect Katrina housing aid. Many listed post-office boxes, and some even used New Orleans cemeteries - but the hapless feds failed to check up on them.

Most fraud occurred because the Federal Emergency Management Agency "did not validate the identity of the registrant," according to investigators.

Incredibly, the feds handed out millions in emergency housing aid to 1,000 people who used the names and Social Security numbers of prison inmates in a half-dozen states across the south.

FEMA paid more than $20,000 to one prisoner who used a post-office box as the address of his "damaged property." It sent 13 payments to one person who filed claims at the same address using 13 Social Security numbers.

A federal investigator sniffing out mismanagement listed a vacant lot as a damaged address - and still got a $2,358 check.

"This is absolutely disgraceful," said Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.). FEMA "loses a billion in Katrina at the same time it's cutting 40 percent of [anti-terror] funding to New York City," he added.

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


The radically different buffet-style Stanford University MBA customizable curriculum resembles, in spirit, the new buffet undergraduate curriculum at Harvard University

Some possible problems this creates include the following:

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm

"Stanford Graduate School of Business Adopts New Curriculum Model Highly Customized Program Planned for 2007," Stanford Today News, June 2006 --- http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/new_mba_curriculum.shtml

Four key elements characterize the Stanford MBA Program’s new educational model: 1) a highly customized program; 2) a deeper, more engaging intellectual experience; 3) a more global curriculum; and 4) expanded leadership and communication development.

“All this builds on the personal, collaborative nature of the Stanford MBA experience,” said Joss. “We have much work ahead of us. Taking this to a new level will require significant funding, a 5 to 10 percent increase in faculty, and ultimately, a new facility with flexible classrooms to accommodate more and smaller seminars.”

The School has developed a building proposal, which will be presented to the Stanford Board of Trustees in June. If accepted, the Business School will pursue a plan for new buildings on the Stanford University campus.

 


"What Would You Do? Ethics Courses Get Context Beyond Checking Boxes, Some Firms Start Talking About Handling Gray Areas," by Erin White, The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2006; Page B3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115007339741277468.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace

Lockheed Martin Corp. executive Manny Zulueta met last month with seven colleagues to watch a DVD. In one scene, a worker complains to his manager's boss after the manager yells at her workers. The manager apologizes, but the worker soon feels the manager is retaliating by giving him lousy assignments, nitpicking his work and reprimanding him for arriving late.

Mr. Zulueta, Lockheed Martin's senior vice president of shared services, then led what he says was a "nuanced" discussion about the ethical issues involved. Employees rightly noted that they needed more information to discern whether the manager's action was indeed retaliatory, Mr. Zulueta says.

Experts laud this sort of contextual approach to ethics training. But, they say, it is all too rare. As U.S. employers have bolstered workplace ethics training in the wake of a rash of corporate scandals earlier in the decade, they often deluged employees with long lists of do's and don'ts.

Continued in article


Urban Living Designs

The BoxTank --- http://www.theboxtank.com/


Discretionary Death Awaiting Tax Breaks

June 12, 2006 message from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

"Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths?"

Full Text: http://ssrn.com/abstract=907250 

ABSTRACT: In 1979, Australia abolished federal inheritance taxes. Using daily deaths data, we show that approximately 50 deaths were shifted from the week before the abolition to the week after (amounting to over half of those who would have been eligible to pay the tax). Our findings suggest that the scheduled abolition of the US inheritance tax may lead some deaths to be shifted from the last week of 2009 into the first week of 2010.

Hmmmmmmmm, looks like they found the secret to living longer.

Amy Dunbar University of Connecticut School of Business Department of Accounting 2100 Hillside Road, Unit 1041 Storrs, CT 06269


From The Washington Post on June 12, 2006

An industry report predicts that the World Cup will provide the catalyst for TV services on mobile phones to start taking off, but real growth will occur over the next five years. How much are mobile users expected to spend during this year's World Cup to access streaming and broadcast services?

A. $50 million
B. $100 million
C. $300 million
D. $500 million


The Sad State of Professional Discipline in Public Accountancy

"SEC Accountant Fines Largely Go Unpaid," SmartPros, June 7, 2006 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x53399.xml

The Securities and Exchange Commission has taken disciplinary action against more than 50 accountants in 2005 and 2006 for misconduct in scandals big and small. But few have paid a dime to compensate shareholders for their varying levels of neglect or complicity.

It also turns out that nearly half of them continue to hold valid state licenses to hang out their shingles as certified public accountants, based on an examination of public records by The Associated Press.

So while the SEC has forbidden these CPAs from preparing, auditing or reviewing financial statements for a public company, they remain free to perform those very same services for private companies and other organizations that may be unaware of their professional misdeeds.

Some would say the accounting profession has taken its fair share of lumps, particularly with the abrupt annihilation of Arthur Andersen LLP and the jobs of thousands of auditors who had nothing to do with the firm's Enron Corp. account. Meantime, the big auditing firms are paying hundreds of millions of dollars in damages - without admitting or denying wrongdoing - to settle assorted charges of professional malpractice.

Individual penance is another matter, however, and here the accountants aren't being held so accountable.

Part of the trouble is that there doesn't appear to be an established system of communication by which the SEC automatically notifies state accounting regulators of federal disciplinary actions. In several instances, state accounting boards were unaware a licensee had been disciplined by the SEC until it was brought to their attention in the reporting for this column. The SEC says it refers all disciplinary actions to the relevant state boards, so the cause of any breakdowns in these communications is unclear.

Another obstacle may be that some state boards do not have ample resources to tackle the sudden swell of financial scandals. It's not as if, for example, the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy had ever before dealt with an accounting fraud as vast as that perpetrated at Houston-based Enron.

"We don't have the staff on board to manage the extra workload that the profession has been confronted with over the last few years," said William Treacy, executive director of the Texas board. "So we contracted with the attorney general's office to provide extra prosecutorial power."

Treacy said his office is usually notified of SEC actions concerning Texas-licensed CPAs, but the process isn't automatic.

With other states, communications from the SEC appear less certain. If nothing else, many boards rely upon license renewals to learn about SEC actions, but that only works if the applicants respond truthfully to questions about whether they've been disciplined by any federal or state agency. A spokeswoman for Georgia's board said one CPA recently disciplined by the SEC had renewed his license online without disclosing it.

Ransom Jones, CPA-Investigator for the Mississippi State Board of Public Accountancy, said most of his leads come from other accountants, media reports and annual registrations.

"The SEC doesn't necessarily notify the board," said Jones, whose agency revoked the licenses of key players in the scandal at Mississippi-based WorldCom.

Some state boards appear more vigilant than others in policing their membership. The boards in California and Ohio have punished most of their licensees who have been disciplined by the SEC since the start of 2005.

New York regulators haven't yet penalized any locals targeted by the SEC in that timeframe, though they have taken action against two disciplined by the SEC's new Public Company Accounting Oversight Board. It is conceivable that cases are underway but not yet disclosed, or that some individuals have been cleared despite the SEC's findings. A spokesman for the New York State Education Department said all SEC referrals are probed, but not all forms of misconduct are punishable under local statute. New rules now under consideration would strengthen those disciplinary powers, he said.

Meanwhile, although the SEC deserves credit for de-penciling those CPAs who've breached their duties as gatekeepers of financial integrity, barely any of those individuals have been asked to make amends financially.

No doubt, except for those elevated to CEO or CFO, most accountants are not paid as handsomely as the corporate elite. That said, partners from top accounting firms are were [sic] paid well enough to cough up more than the SEC has sought, which in most cases has been zero.

Earlier this year, in what the SEC crowed about as a landmark settlement, three partners for KPMG LLP agreed to pay a combined $400,000 in fines regarding a $1.2 billion fraud at Xerox Corp. One of those fined still holds his license in New York.

"The SEC has never sought serious money from errant CPAs," said David Nolte of Fulcrum Financial Inquiry LLP. "Unfortunately, the small fines in the Xerox case set a record of the amount paid, so everyone else has also gotten off easy."

It's not that the CPAs found culpable in scandals don't deserve a right to redemption, or just to earn a living. Most of the bans against practicing before the SEC are temporary, spanning anywhere from a year to 10 years.

But the presumed deterrent of SEC action is weakened if federal and state regulators don't work together on a consistent message so bad actors don't get a free pass at the local level.

Bob Jensen's threads about why white collar crime pays even if you get caught are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#CrimePays


How e-Business Blog Turned into a B2B Book
Brian J. Carroll, author of the popular new book Lead Generation for the Complex Sale™ (McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0071458972, $24.95) got many ideas for his book and honed his writing style through his award-winning lead generation blog which is regularly read by thousands of marketers each week. Carroll’s experience shows that authors can leverage a popular blog into a book deal and why smart publishers take successful bloggers who want to write a book very seriously.
"How a Blog Turns Into a Book Deal: The Story of Brian Carroll’s Lead Generation for the Complex Sale," PR Web, June 20, 2006 --- http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/6/prweb396871.htm

Bob Jensen's electronic business threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce.htm


"Smart Stops on the Web," Journal of Accountancy, May 2006 --- 
http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/may2006/news_web.htm

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT SITES
Your Company’s Conscience
www.e-businessethics.com

CPAs charged with keeping their firms and employers on the straight and narrow will find PowerPoint presentations here on corporate reform, Sarbanes-Oxley and the nature and scope of business ethics. Users can find a link to the 2005 National Business Ethics Survey or read business ethics case studies on Bridgestone/Firestone’s tire recall and the much-publicized Napster Web site legal proceedings. Test your own ethics with case scenarios and accompanying possible solutions.

Visit the Vault
www.aspow.com

CPAs will want to check out this Association of Coaching and Consulting Professionals on the Web (ACCPOW) e-spot to register for instant access to the free Coaching Business Weekly, which includes business tips on practice building, management techniques and generating passive revenue. A membership fee of less than $20 a month gives subscribers discussion forums, tutorials and practice management articles on deducting medical expenses, setting fees and five things a contract should include. Here are other ACCPOW Web sites, linked at the bottom of the home page:

www.assessmentgenerator.com
Looking to expand or rethink your client base? Take a free test-drive at this Web stop to rate your marketing know-how and target niches, Web design skills and even stress levels. Find free articles on how to create and use value assessments to determine whether your service is an “ideavirus” and how to recognize and fire a difficult client early.

www.coachinglab.com
CPAs who need help with HR matters can browse this pay-per-item e-catalog of assessments, checklists and worksheets on business management, finance, marketing and small business. Get resources for writing a company profile, finding employees who are a perfect fit and “virtualizing” your business, or rate your clients’ financial fitness.

www.coachingbridgelines.com
Interested in implementing teleconferences and teleseminars or arranging focus groups for marketing purposes? Find help at this Web site and read the free article “How to Organize a Successful and Profitable Teleclass.”


"Smart Stops on the Web," Journal of Accountancy, May 2006 --- 
http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/may2006/news_web.htm

On the Road Again?
http://businesstravel.about.com

CPAs on the go can find links here to the top seven frequent-flier programs and a plethora of tips, from how to quickly book a business trip to how to keep better records on the road. Sign up for a free newsletter to read “Crazy Business Travel Stories.” The Women’s Travel section offers advice for females traveling alone and the Travel Safety and Health section tackles tips for Americans taking trips overseas. There also are links to guidance geared to specific geographical areas such as China and the Middle East.

Bob Jensen's travel helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm


New Computer Products Ranging From Awful to Great
"Bad Ideas, Good Ideas Some real stinkers, plus a few terrific products," by Steve Bass PC World via The Washington Post, June 15, 2006 --- Click Here


Video recorder for the video-capable iPods
Next month, Belkin will begin selling a $70 plug-in recorder for the video-capable iPods. It's called the TuneTalk Stereo, and features twin mikes, plus a jack for hooking up an external mike. I haven't reviewed it, so can't say how well it works. Another option is to buy an MP3 player with a built-in recorder, like Creative Technology's Zen Vision: M.
Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2006 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/mossberg_mailbox.html


Lights, Camera, No Action

"Lights, Camera -- Jamming: A prototype device seeks out cameras and blocks them from taking pictures and video," by Kate Greene, MIT's Technology Review, June 22, 2006 ---
http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17015&ch=infotech

Researchers have been trying to develop effective ways to jam a camera for years, says Edward Delp, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University. A number of companies, including Philips, Thomson, and Apogen Technologies, as well as a handful of universities, have been working on projects and prototypes. The Georgia Tech approach, which combines methods of detecting a camera and the means to automatically prevent it from taking pictures is "a nice technology," says Delp, that achieves these two goals in one device, while also using infrared light to spot cameras, in contrast to some other combination systems.

To locate a camera, the researchers exploited a component of many digital cameras and camcorders: the charge-coupled device (CCD) that converts light collected by a camera's lens into an image stored in its memory. Because of its shape, a CCD is retro-reflective, meaning it reflects incoming light back out at the same angle. Taking advantage of this, the Georgia Tech device shines infrared LED light, which is invisible to the human eye, at a distance of about 20 feet, then collects video of these reflections with a camcorder, Abowd explains. Then the video of the reflections is transferred to a computer, where it's sent through image-processing algorithms that pick out infrared light bouncing back. And to decrease the chances of false positives -- infrared light reflecting off other objects, such as eyeglasses and earrings -- the researchers added image-processing algorithms that account for the specific shape of the CCD reflections and those of other objects.

In the second step, to block the camera from taking pictures, the device uses a projector that emits a narrow beam of white light directly at a CCD. The beam saturates the CCD with varying intensities of light, Abowd says, forcing the camera's electronics to constantly adjust, and ultimately producing large white splotches that cover about one-third of the recorded scene. The result: a low-quality, if not worthless, recording or photograph.

Continued in article


Walt Mossberg Reviews Yet Another Way to Run Windows on a Mac

"New Product for Mac Operates Windows, OS X Simultaneously," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2006; Page B1--- http://online.wsj.com/article/personal_technology.html

When Apple Computer announced back in April that its new Intel-powered Macintosh computers could run the Windows XP operating system as well as its own Mac OS X, the news was treated as a big deal. It meant that people considering switching from Windows to the Mac no longer had to worry about being unable to run the one or two Windows programs they relied on that might have no equivalent on the Apple platform. They could buy a Mac, work mainly in the nearly virus-free Macintosh operating system, and simply fire up Windows occasionally -- on the very same Mac -- to run any Windows software they needed.

Now, there's an even better approach to running Windows on a Mac. It's called Parallels Desktop for Mac, and it's from a small Herndon, Va., company called Parallels. It emerges from testing today and goes on sale for $79 at the company's Web site, parallels.com.

I've been testing Parallels Desktop on a new MacBook Pro laptop, and have found it works very well, despite a few drawbacks. I prefer it to Apple's solution, even though the Apple approach is free and also works very well.

Apple's system, called Boot Camp, has one big limitation: It allows you to run only one of the two operating systems at a time, requiring you to reboot the computer to switch between them. As a result, you can't quickly jump between Mac programs and Windows programs. You can't, for instance, simultaneously download your corporate email in Outlook using Windows while editing a home video in iMovie using the Mac OS.

With Parallels Desktop for Mac, you can do this. You can run any combination of Mac and Windows programs at the same time, on the same screen. No rebooting is necessary. You can even cut and paste material between Mac and Windows programs, and share files between the two environments.

The Parallels approach, called virtualization, runs Windows, with all its features, inside a window in the Mac operating system. It creates a faux Windows PC, called a "virtual machine," that co-exists with Mac OS X. You can devote the full screen to either operating system or you can reduce Windows, and whatever programs it's running, to a window on the Mac that can be dragged anywhere on the screen and made as small or as large as you like.

Unlike Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop can run every version of Windows back to Windows 3.1, not just Windows XP. It can also run Linux and even older operating systems like OS/2 and MS-DOS. You can even create and run multiple virtual machines, with different operating systems inside, up to the limit of your Mac's memory.

Virtualization isn't a new concept, and it's not even new on the Mac. Microsoft offers a product called Virtual PC for Mac that runs Windows inside a window on older, pre-Intel Macs. But Virtual PC runs painfully slowly on these older Macs, and it can't run every Windows program. It doesn't run at all on the new Intel-based Macs.

Parallels Desktop runs Windows a little more slowly than Apple's Boot Camp does because it is accessing the Mac's hardware through the Mac operating system rather than directly, as in a dual-boot system. But, in my tests, it was very snappy, as fast as many regular Windows computers.

Inside my virtual Windows machine, I was able to run programs like the Windows version of Microsoft Office, the Windows versions of the Firefox Web browser, iTunes, Adobe Reader, Google Earth and more. All worked well, as did Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser, Google's Picasa photo program and Google's Google Talk instant-messaging software.

I was able to do email in Apple's Mail program while simultaneously watching a baseball game in Internet Explorer inside my Parallels Desktop Windows virtual machine. I wrote part of this column in the Windows version of Microsoft Word and part in the Mac version, cutting and pasting between the two.

And, unlike Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop doesn't require you to dedicate a fixed section, or "partition," of your hard disk to Windows. Its virtual Windows computer is contained in a big Mac data file that uses only as much space as Windows needs.

Continued in article


June 1, 2006 message from James L. Morrison [jlm@nova.edu]

The June/July 2006 issue of Innovate (www.innovateonline.info) offers a range of practical ideas for using new technologies in classrooms as well as ways to avoid common pitfalls caused by technology. This is a one-time mailing to you; if you wish to receive future announcements of new issues and our webcast schedules, please take advantage of our free subscription at http://innovateonline.info/index.php?view=subscribe

We open with Sir John Daniel and Paul West’s exploration of how the digital dividends of technology can be used to overcome the digital divide for impoverished nations worldwide. They examine the challenges of bringing higher education to developing nations and advocate open educational resources as a potential solution to the problem.
(See
http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=252 )

Our next three articles address specific ways in which instructors have used the digital dividends available to them in teaching. Ulises Mejias describes a graduate seminar he taught on the affordances of social software--software that allows for information exchange, collaboration, and ease of communication. His students used the software while learning about it and critiquing it, illustrating well the learning opportunities afforded by this category of technology.
(See
http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=260 )

S. Pixy Ferris and Hilary Wilder examine wikis, one example of social software, as a way to bridge the distance between students and teachers.

Adopting the linguistic theory of Walter J. Ong, they see teachers as part of a print paradigm of learning, whereas they propose that students are increasingly a part of a secondary-oral paradigm characterized by certain attributes of both oral-based cultures and print-based cultures. Wikis, they argue, can be a pedagogical bridge between these two educational positions.
(See
http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=258 )

Craig Smith focuses on chat, a common way for online instructors to replace classroom discussion. He provides a protocol to keep discussions focused and productive, helping teachers realize the potential usefulness of an easily accessible technological tool. (See http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=246 )

Technology also presents some problems in the classroom. The easy availability of apparently anonymous information on the Internet blurs definitions of plagiarism. While tools such as electronic plagiarism detectors have become more common, Eleanour Snow argues that they are not enough. She advocates online tutorials as an easy and effective way of teaching students about plagiarism, and offers examples and links to tutorials for teachers eager to begin the process of educating themselves and their students.
(See
http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=306 )

Howard Pitler also sees a need to make copyright guidelines clear, but argues that copyrights should be more flexible. He offers guidance about how copyright works and describes Creative Commons, a Web site that provides writers and artists a way to select the rights that they want to reserve and make it clear to others exactly what they are allowed to reproduce and alter.
(See
http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=251 )

Another difficulty inherent in the digital age is the notorious attrition rate in online education. While noting that drop rates for online courses should not necessarily be equated with lack of success, David Diaz and Ryan Cartnal acknowledge that reducing attrition in such courses should still be on educators' agendas. In addressing this issue they examine the impact of term length on attrition rates, advocating a shorter length to enable time-strapped students to complete the course more efficiently. (See

http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=196 )

Please forward this announcement to appropriate mailing lists and to colleagues who want to use IT tools to advance their work. Ask your organizational librarian to link to Innovate in their resource section for open-access e-journals.

Thanks!

Jim

James L Morrison
Editor-in-Chief, Innovate

http://www.innovateonline.info
Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership UNC-Chapel Hill http://horizon.unc.edu


Rudolph Guiliani's Five Favorite Biographies

"Witness the Leading: Top biographies of top dogs," by Rudolph Guiliani, The Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/weekend/fivebest/?id=110008500

1. "Churchill: A Study in Greatness" by Geoffrey Best (Hambledon & London, 2001).

On the night after the attacks of Sept. 11, I remember getting home at about 2:30 a.m. and seeing on my nightstand a book I had been reading, a prepublication copy of Roy Jenkins's forthcoming "Churchill." I picked up this biography of a man who embodied every leadership principle I value--courage, optimism, preparation and a determination to stand up to bullies--and began reading about Churchill's becoming prime minister in 1940. Jenkins captures beautifully how Churchill led Britain through months of nightly bombings, never losing his confidence in the will of a free people. The Jenkins biography serves as a sort of middle ground between "Churchill: A Life," the definitive eight-volume edition by official biographer Martin Gilbert, and its one-volume abridgement. Perhaps my favorite Winston Churchill biography of all, though, is Geoffrey Best's "Churchill: A Study in Greatness," which combines all the biographical information with a real sense of what it felt like to be English in Churchill's era.

2. "Jefferson and His Time" by Dumas Malone (Little, Brown, 1948-81).

I read the first volume of Dumas Malone's superb Jefferson biography in college and then later read the entire six-volume set for the pure joy of experiencing magnificent writing about a great man. These Jefferson books led me to others and ultimately to the conclusion that Jefferson, more than anyone else, was the voice of American ideals. Malone uses Jefferson's own papers and letters to bring to life the man who composed the Declaration of Independence at age 33. Jefferson believed in limited government and states' rights, but as president he was capable of exercising enormous executive power--witness his engineering of the Louisiana Purchase. Malone's depiction of our third president's complexities remains relevant for political leaders today.

3. "Herndon's Lincoln" by William Henry Herndon and Jesse W. Weik (Belford, Clarke, 1889).

My mother was a great storyteller and a natural teacher. She introduced me as a child to the life of Abraham Lincoln--but when she read a short Lincoln biography to me, she seamlessly weaved in anecdotes she recalled from her own reading about him. As an adult, I went on to Carl Sandburg's wonderful Lincoln biographies, "Abe Lincoln Grows Up" and "Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years," both of which I adored for their thoroughness and for their understanding of the Midwest at a time when it was the frontier of our young nation. But I especially appreciated "Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life" by Lincoln's former law partner, William Henry Herndon, for the sheer fun of experiencing a biography written contemporarily by someone who knew him so well.

4. "Profiles in Courage" by John F. Kennedy (Harper, 1956).

I read John F. Kennedy's book when it was first published and can still remember how inspired I felt as I followed the stories of eight senators who had risked their political survival to do the right thing. One profile in particular that stuck with me was that of Edmund Ross, the Kansas Republican who cast the deciding vote for acquittal in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in 1868. Ross was no fan of Johnson's but sensed that the trial was more about rounding up votes than weighing the evidence. His decision to break ranks with his party ended Ross's political career, but his principled stand has been vindicated by history; Kennedy captures that dynamic expertly.

5. "President Reagan" by Richard Reeves (Simon & Schuster, 2006).

My wife, Judith, recently bought me Richard Reeves's book (subtitled "The Triumph of Imagination"), which excels in depicting Ronald Reagan's management style and unrelenting pursuit of his core principles: the restoration of the American spirit, limited government, a strong defense and the defeat of communism. For a longer-range look at the experiences that shaped Reagan's values, I recommend "The Role of a Lifetime" and "A Life in Politics," both by Lou Cannon, both works that do a remarkable job of revealing the character of this amazing man.

Mr. Giuliani, a former mayor of New York, is the author of "Leadership" and chairman and chief executive of Giuliani Partners.

 




"Free to Press:  Does the First Amendment allow the media to publish classified information?" The Wall Street Journal, June 14, 2006 --- http://www.opinionjournal.com/federation/feature/?id=110008511

Over the past six months, we have witnessed the publication of several pieces of classified information that appear to be extraordinarily sensitive, and extremely important tactical components of our ongoing effort to protect American citizens and property from additional terrorist attacks: The New York Times revelation last December of the NSA program conducting surveillance on Al Qaeda communications into or out of the United States, which the Times itself characterized as our "most closely guarded secret"; the USA Today disclosure earlier this month that several telephone companies were turning over databases of information about numbers called--so-called pen registers; and the Washington Post's story that some terrorists captured by U.S. forces were being held by the CIA in undisclosed locations in allied countries.

No one contests that in each instance, classified information was illegally provided to these media outlets and then subsequently published by them. And to my knowledge, no one seriously contends that the individuals who leaked the information are not subject to prosecution for violating the Espionage Act (or even subject to prosecution for treason if it could be proved that their intent in leaking the classified information was to undermine our war effort and thereby give aid and comfort to the enemy). Even those who would seek to bestow on the leaker the protected status of "whistle-blower" surely will acknowledge that the whistle-blower statute requires that the allegedly illegal activities be reported internally, through a certain specified administrative route, rather than shouted to the world from the front pages of our nation's major newspapers.

Otherwise, the whistle-blower statute would permit every government employee to be a classified information law unto himself, determining what should or should not be secret. The devastating consequences to our national security, and also to individual privacy, of such a flawed interpretation should be manifest. The question you are considering today is not the potential criminal liability of the leaker, of course, but of those in the institutional media who publish the classified information provided by the leaker.

That poses interesting constitutional questions if we assume, as I shall do, that classified information was leaked and subsequently published, and that the leaker himself, should his identity become known, is subject to criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act, among other things, for that illegal disclosure. Earlier this month, Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times, published an important letter to the editors of The Wall Street Journal challenging the notion "that when presidents declare that secrecy is in the national interest, reporters should take that at face value." Implicit in his rejection of that proposition is the view that reporters generally, and perhaps the editors of the New York Times in particular, are free to ignore the laws regarding publication of classified information when, in their view, the benefit to the public from gaining access to the information would outweigh any harm that might flow from its disclosure. Keller elaborated:

[P]residents are entitled to a respectful and attentive hearing, particularly when they make claims based on the safety of the country. In the case of the eavesdropping story, President Bush and other figures in his administration were given abundant opportunities to explain why they felt our information should not be published. We considered the evidence presented to us, agonized over it, delayed publication because of it. In the end, their case did not stand up to the evidence our reporters amassed, and we judged that the responsible course was to publish what we knew and let readers assess it themselves.

. . .

So where does that leave us with respect to the New York Times' contentions? Once it is clear that the "Freedom of the Press" acknowledged in the First Amendment does not create a special preserve for the institutional media, the full import of Bill Keller's claims come into view, and it is the old saw, long since disproved, that democratic governments are not permitted secrets, even in time of war. Our Constitution expressly recognizes the common-sense necessity of government secrets, for example, in the Article I requirement that each House of Congress shall publish a journal of its proceedings, "excepting such Parts as in their Judgment may require Secrecy." The need for secrecy is even more urgent in the executive branch, and as Alexander Hamilton noted in Federalist 71, it is one of the key reasons the Constitution provides for unity in the executive office, establishing an "energetic" executive who can operate with "secrecy" and "despatch" when necessary to protect "the community against foreign attacks."33 This need for secrecy in the conduct of certain executive functions such as those under consideration today has repeatedly been recognized and approved by the courts as well. Writing for the Court in United States v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp., for example, Justice Sutherland explained why the President's authority over foreign affairs was so great, noting that he "has his confidential sources of information. He has his agents in the form of diplomatic, consular and other officials. Secrecy in respect of information gathered by them may be highly necessary, and the premature disclosure of it productive of harmful results."34 A similar view was expressed by Justice Jackson in Chicago & Southern Air Lines, Inc. v. Waterman Steamship Corp.: "The President, both as Commander-in-Chief and as the Nation's organ for foreign affairs, has available intelligence services whose reports are not and ought not to be published to the world."

The constitutionality of protecting intelligence gathering and other operational military secrets in time of war is therefore beyond dispute, and the institutional press is no more permitted to ignore the legal restrictions imposed by the Espionage Act on the publication and other dissemination of such classified information than are ordinary citizens. Neither is it exempt from prosecution for willful violations of that Act. Justice Goldberg famously noted in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez that our Constitution "is not a suicide pact,"36 and the sentiment is particularly apropos for the issues under consideration today. The simple fact is that the asymmetric nature of the current war against international terrorist organizations makes intelligence gathering the central and most critical front in the war. Not only must the executive branch aggressively pursue every legal means of gathering intelligence at its disposal, it must be equally aggressive in protecting the classified methods that it is using in that effort if it is to succeed in preventing future attacks on our homeland and fellow citizens such as those we witnessed on that fateful day in September nearly five years ago.

Every citizen, including--particularly including--those employed with major media organs have a responsibility to prevent ongoing operational secrets from falling into the hands of our enemies by complying with the law regarding classified information. It is one of those "basic and simple duties" of citizenship that rests equally "on taxi drivers, Justices, and the New York Times." We may never know how great the damage to our national security the recent disclosures of classified, highly-sensitive intelligence-gathering information have caused, but with the seriousness of the threat to our lives and liberty posed by terrorist organizations such as Al Qaeda, it is certainly the right, and may well be the duty, of the executive to prosecute those responsible for them.

Mr. Eastman, the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law and Community Service at Chapman University School of Law, is the director of the Claremont Institute Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.




40 Things That Only Happen in the Movies --- http://www.nostalgiacentral.com/features/20moviethings.htm


Forwarded by Jesse Walker --- http://www.reason.com/hitandrun/

Science Discovers "World's Funniest Joke"

According to the London Telegraph, via Arts & Letters Daily, Science--with a capital S--has determined that the world's funniest joke was written by Spike Milligan, "Comic Genius!" and goes something like this:

Two hunters are out in the woods in New Jersey when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed.

The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps 'My friend is dead! What can I do?' The operator says: 'Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead.' There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says 'OK, now what?'

As a Garden Stater, I find nothing funny about this, but, dammit, the methodology used to arrive at the WFJ is simply unimpeachable and hence I must acknowledge Truth when it is revealed to me via science:

Five years ago, Prof Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, did an online experiment in which 300,000 people from around the world took part in LaughLab, where they voted for the best gag....

Prof Wiseman contacted Milligan's daughter, Sile, and she is as certain as she can be that he would have written the gag. She said she was "delighted that dad wrote the world's funniest joke".

Prof Wiseman said: "I think what is interesting here is that a joke from the 1950s still works, and how it has transformed over time from a cosy sitting room to hunters in New Jersey."

 




More Tidbits from the Chronicle of Higher Education --- http://www.aldaily.com/

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

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International Accounting News (including the U.S.)

AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
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Association of International Accountants --- http://www.aia.org.uk/ 
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IASB --- http://www.fasb.org/
Others --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm

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

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

I highly recommend TheFinanceProfessor (an absolutely fabulous and totally free newsletter from a very smart finance professor, Jim Mahar from St. Bonaventure University) --- http://www.financeprofessor.com/ 
Jim's great blog is at http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

 

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