Yes the snow is here for Halloween in the White Mountains. This is Mt. Washington (about 30 miles from our cottage)
Day after day we've endured gale force winds that have blown all but the ice off the crown of the mountain. Yesterday the winds exceeded 133 mph.
I took this shot late in the day from the front of our cottage.

Tidbits on October 30, 2006
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 

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

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   


Click here to search this Website if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
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Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
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Zaba Search free database of names, addresses, birth dates, and phone numbers. Social security numbers and background checks are also available for a fee ---

Online Video, Slide Shows, 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 ---

Hillary vs. Condi Ho Down (turn up your speakers) ---

Celebrating 40 Years of Film in New York City ---

Johns Hopkins Medicine Podcasts ---

Dan Roberts delivers two-minute history lessons on public radio stations around the world. ---

Computer Animated Music (link forwarded by Ed Scribner) ---

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum ---

HGTV: Crafts ---,1788,HGTV_3352,00.html


Free music downloads ---

My Beautiful America (with a slide show) ---

Bryan Adam - Everything I Do (with video) ---

Dizzy Gillespie's Cold War Jazz Diplomacy ---

Jenny Lewis in (Full) Concert ---

Keith Jarrett's Transfixing Tour de Force ---

Zero Refills by the Pernice Brothers ---

Built to Spill in Concert (full rock concert) ---

Building Power Through Electronic Repetition (Norway rock) ---

Cabaret Pop from Abby Travis on 'Glitter Mouth' ---

Forwarded by Auntie Bev
In March, 2005, this song was performed at a Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it! Sadly, major radio stations wouldn't play it because it was considered politically incorrect. Consequently, the song was never released to the public. If this song speaks to your heart, share it with friends and loved ones. Then let us cease being the silent majority and join together -- not as a particular political party, but as Americans! --- 
Diamond Rio Song

Photographs and Art

Pumpkin Carving 101 ---

Morton, Illinois: The Pumpkin Capital of the World --- 

Eye on Europe: prints, books & multiples / 1960 to now ---

Normandy 1944 ---

The Joy of Photoshop --- Click Here

Sumari Gallery ---

Syntax Denver Review ---

Stray Dogs: Danijel Zezelj ---

From Time Magazine
Japanese photographer Kosuke Okahara traces the dark path of drugs from the jungle of Colombia to the streets of Medellin and beyond ---


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 ---

HyperHistory Chart ---


Dan Roberts delivers two-minute history lessons on public radio stations around the world. ---

Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) --- Click Here

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) --- Click Here

The Adventure of The Beryl Coronet by Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) --- Click Here

Normandy 1944 ---

Ancient Greece ---

Syntax Denver Review ---

From the University of Virginia Library
785 Dirty Words ---

The Access to Archival Databases (AAD) System gives you online access to electronic records that are highly structured, such as in databases. The initial release of AAD contains material from more than 30 archival series of electronic records, which include over 350 data files totaling well over 50 million unique records.
National Archives ---

Working Poets featured in The New Yorker, October 23, 2006 ---

  • There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it.
    Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 BC-43 BC) ---

    You have not understood anything as you are an average man. An average man is a monster, a dangerous delinquent, a conformist, a racist, a slave-driver and a man who couldn't care less about politics.
    Pier Paolo Pasolini (1922-1975) ---

    It seemed the world was divided into good and bad people. The good ones slept better... while the bad ones seemed to enjoy the waking hours much more.
    Woody Allen (1935)  ---

    Oslo gay animal show draws crowds Curators say a Norwegian exhibition on homosexuality among animals has been well received, despite initial indications of strong opposition. The Oslo Natural History Museum opened the show last week and says it has been well attended, not least by families . . . It says homosexuality has been observed among 1,500 species, and that in 500 of those it is well documented . . . "Not only short-lived sexual relationships, but even long-lasting partnerships; partnerships that may last a lifetime."
    BBC News, October 19, 2006 ---

    The great object of my fear is the federal judiciary. That body, like gravity, ever acting, with noiseless foot, and unalarming advance, gaining ground step by step, and holding what it gains, is ingulfing insidiously the special governments into the jaws of that which feeds them.
    Thomas Jefferson ---

    Thirty percent of Maryland's college freshmen who graduated with a college-prep education in a state high school were assigned to remedial classes, according to a recently released study. The Maryland Higher Education Commission said that many of the students needing help in math or English were attending four-year colleges.
    "30% of freshmen in remedial classes," Washington Times, October 25, 2006 ---

    British Airways has been accused of appalling double standards after admitting Muslim staff may be allowed to wear veils - just weeks after it sent a Christian home for wearing a cross. Check-in worker Nadia Eweida has been on unpaid leave for a month after the airline banned her from wearing her tiny cross on a necklace over her uniform.
    Jane Merrick, Tom Kelly, and Gordon Rayner, "Fury as BA says it would allow Muslim veil but not cross," Daily Mail, October 25, 2006 --- Click Here 

    Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is the new chancellor of the College of William & Mary, which has taken the unusual step of removing a cross from its chapel in an effort to ensure the area is seen as a "non-denominational area."
    "O'Connor new chancellor of cross-removing college:  Former Supreme Court justice oversaw ejection of Christian symbol from chapel," WorldNetDaily, October 27, 2006 ---

    Are Republican's controlling the voting machines to rig elections?  Yes says Barbara Streisand
    Here they go again…frustrated by plummeting approval ratings and the relentless scandals, the Republicans have a new ad coming out, just in time for next month’s election, that is determined to provoke fear and panic in American voters. As Herman Goering was quoted at the Nuremberg trials, “…voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger." The new ad essentially repeats the Republican strategy before the 2004 presidential election: vote Democrat and your family will die! The ad features Osama bin Laden and quotes his threats against America from February 1998. "These are the stakes," the ad concludes, "Vote November 7." This tactic of playing the fear card is all too familiar. During the 2004 election, every time John Kerry's poll numbers elevated, the government announced a new heightened terror alert and people were once again forced to face the orange color code. We can not let it work, we can not fall for it again. This Administration would like Americans to forget that they were the ones who gave up on the search for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, and instead choose to invade Iraq, a country that had no connection to 9/11. They will manipulate the truth and repress the facts in order to be successful. They will try to hack voting machines, which are owned and operated by Republicans, in order to steal the election. They will do anything to stay in power. Until the law changes, the only answer is for Americans to turn out in massive numbers to vote and ask for paper ballots that can be tracked, so Republicans will not succeed in stealing this election. Don’t let the Republicans fear mongering and distortion work this time. Vote on November 7, 2006.
    Barbara Streisand, "Here We Go Again," October 23, 2006 ---

    But wait a minute Barbara! It's possible that Venezuelan Dictator and Castro's Friend Hugo Chávez controls many U.S. voting machines?
    In the debate about the reliability of electronic voting technology, the South Florida parent company of one of the nation's leading suppliers of touch-screen voting machines is drawing special scrutiny from the U.S. government. Federal officials are investigating whether Smartmatic, owner of Oakland, Calif.-based Sequoia Voting Systems, is secretly controlled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, according to two people familiar with the probe.
    Alfonso Chardy, "U.S. digs for vote-machine links to Hugo Chávez," Miami Herald, October 28, 2006 ---
    Also see

    Jensen Comment
    We probably won't know which party controls the most voting machines until the winners are tallied after November 7. I was amused by the author's name "Chardy" given the "Chard Scandal" of the punch-card ballots in Florida's crucial 2004 election.

    Anna Politkovskaya and the Self-Defense of Democracy By Jon Hellevig The writer is a Finnish lawyer who has lived in Moscow for 15 years. He has written the book Expressions and Interpretations ( ) discussing Russia's social development from the viewpoint of philosophy and judicial philosophy. He is also the author of several books on the Russian tax and labor law.

    "Anna Politkovskaya and the Self-Defense of Democracy," by Jon Hellevig, JRL Email Newsletter, October 26, 2006 ---

    The writer is a Finnish lawyer who has lived in Moscow for 15 years. He has written the book Expressions and Interpretations ( discussing Russia's social development from the viewpoint of philosophy and judicial philosophy. He is also the author of several books on the Russian tax and labor law.

    The murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya has once again induced a surge of anti-Russianism in Finland. Politicians, so-called researchers and media declare that Russian leaders masterminded the murder. Many people cautiously avoid these direct expressions, while being highly critical of the Russian government. Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja falls somewhere between the two groups, whereas Markku Kivinen from the University of Helsinki affiliated Aleksanteri Institute and MP Heidi Hautala clearly belong to the latter. It is obviously not in the interests of the Russian President to have a well known journalist killed (pointing this out would not be necessary, but for the continuous smear campaign against Russia). Based on information I received from Jukka Mallinen (translator of Politkovskaya's "Putin's Russia" into Finnish), there were no Russian government officials behind the murder. On the other hand, there is reason to put forward an alternative motive, which is quite possible -- that the murder was orchestrated by those wishing to create the kind of public opinion climate to compliment an anti-Russian agenda.

    In our culture, we usually honor the memory of the deceased by saying positive things about the departed in times of sorrow. One would like to show the same respect for Politkovskaya as well. But I cannot keep quiet when I see how her memory has been turned into a weapon to hit the Russian people in a manner that hinders Russia's development.

    Some are not happy with the opportunities that have been created during Putin's presidency.This includes the chance for many to now actively participate in a democratically run market economy. Upon the Soviet breakup, criminal elements took advantage of the weakness of a young nascent democracy by grabbing and stealing enormous possessions. Putin, courageously challenged the Mafia and oligarchs (often separated through a fine line drawn on water).

    Thirsty for "revenge", some of the non-Russian former Soviet states egg on the EU to engage Russia in a confrontational manner They overlook that Russia and the Russian people were the biggest victims of communism. Led by Yeltsin, the Russian people freed themselves from that burden and encouraged this spirit to other former prisoner-countries. Due to Russia's large land mass encompassing troubled regions, Russia unwillingly gets drawn into dirty games. This predicament gets twisted into the claim of a revanchist Russia bullying small, defenseless others.

    Given the uncritical fanfare accorded to Politkovskaya's work as a journalist, there is reason to critically review it. A case in point is her book "Putin's Russia", (published in 2004) which has been translated into several languages.

    In this book, she emotionally focuses on peoples' life situations (a style used in Karl Marx's Das Kapital, where he childishly tries to prove his theories of capital through the stories of people's everyday lives). Politkovskaya begins and ends her book with a stated disgust of Putin (as per the English translation of the book, see the Introduction as well as pages 281 and 282). She states her dislike of Putin "because he was a product of the Russian security service" (as if George Bush Sr.'s politics should be condemned on the grounds that he headed the CIA; a prevalent talking point in some circles). According to Politkovskaya, the KGB influenced Putin "does nothing but destroy civil liberties as he has all through his career". No mention is made of Putin's support for the late democratic mayor of St. Petersburg, Anatoly Sobchak. At the end, Politkovskaya states she is disgusted with Putin because there is a war in Chechnya (as if he started it). She adds that in her view, he is a cold, cynical, racist, who is prone to lying (among other references in her book, see pages 281-82). Politkovskaya does not like the fact that this evil (in her view) man goes to Easter church services (pages 279 and 280).

    Continued in article

    October 20, 2006 --- Naomi Ragen []

    Publication of Jimmy Carter's new book- Palestine:Peace not Apartheid- might have been postponed until after the upcoming elections because they want to keep Jews loyal to the Democratic Party. After all, an anti-Semitic, and anti -Israel diatribe by a former Democratic president, embraced by the current Democratic Party, couldn't be good for the elections. Best to keep the Jews clueless until after they vote in Jimmy's friends.

    Judging from an advance review manuscript of the new work, published by Simon & Schuster and set for release November 14, Carter appears to place the bulk of the blame on Israel for its continuing conflict with the Palestinians. But his critics will probably be most offended by the use of the word "apartheid" in the title.

    The book comes as the Republican Jewish Coalition is already waging a nationwide media campaign to convince Jewish voters that the Democratic Party can no longer be counted on to provide unflinching support for Israel. . . .

    The book was originally slated to be released November 1--six days prior to this year's congressional elections--but will now be available in stores November 14, according to Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Elizabeth Hayes.

    Jewish Democrats say that they were pushing for a later release date.

    Hayes says the delay was to allow Carter time to add material on the summer's war with Hezbollah. In any case, it's an interesting contrast with the spate of anti-Bush books that have come out just in time for the election.


    Paul Keating made it impossible to deport Sheik Hilaly from Australia
    FORMER prime minister Paul Keating has told the media to "nick off" over questions about his role in granting permanent residency to controversial Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilaly. And he also singled out a female journalist, telling her: "I will not be harassed by journalists, even by pretty ones like you." Mr Keating reportedly lobbied his Labor government colleagues in the late 1980s to ensure Sheik Hilaly was not deported and granted him permanent residency when he was acting prime minister in 1990.
    "'Nick off', Keating tells media,", October 30, 2006 ---,23599,20668331-1702,00.html 

    Sheik Hilali praises Iraq jihadists ---,20867,20666914-601,00.html

    Sheik Hilali justifies raping women who fail to cover their faces with veils ---,23599,20667815-2,00.html

    The Sheik now has serious health problems ---,23599,20667815-2,00.html

    A Dangerous Step toward Space Warfare
    The release of the U.S. National Space Policy (NSP) on October 6 has worried many experts, who say the policy marks a strategic shift toward a more military-oriented, unilateral approach to space for the United States. They fear that the policy, if followed, could begin an arms race leading to catastrophic space warfare.The NSP reads, in part, "The United States considers space capabilities… vital to its national interests. Consistent with this policy, the United States will: preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space; dissuade or deter others from either impeding those rights or developing capabilities intended to do so; take those actions necessary to protect its space capabilities; respond to interference; and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to U.S. national interests."
    Brittany Sauser, "A Dangerous Step toward Space Warfare:  Experts say the new U.S. National Space Policy will push the world closer to a space arms race," MIT's Technology Review, October 27, 2006 --- 

    "We are biased, admit the stars of BBC News," by Simon Walters, Daily Mail, October 21, 2006 ---

    It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism.

    A leaked account of an 'impartiality summit' called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror.

    It reveals that executives would let the Bible be thrown into a dustbin on a TV comedy show, but not the Koran, and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. Further, it discloses that the BBC's 'diversity tsar', wants Muslim women newsreaders to be allowed to wear veils when on air.

    At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians.

    One veteran BBC executive said: 'There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.

    'Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it.'

    In one of a series of discussions, executives were asked to rule on how they would react if the controversial comedian Sacha Baron Cohen ) known for his offensive characters Ali G and Borat - was a guest on the programme Room 101.

    On the show, celebrities are invited to throw their pet hates into a dustbin and it was imagined that Baron Cohen chose some kosher food, the Archbishop of Canterbury, a Bible and the Koran.

    Nearly everyone at the summit, including the show's actual producer and the BBC's head of drama, Alan Yentob, agreed they could all be thrown into the bin, except the Koran for fear of offending Muslims.

    Continued in article

    A senior BBC executive has admitted the politically correct views of the corporation are at odds with most of its viewers. BBC commissioning editor for documentaries Richard Klein admitted the broadcaster was out of touch with the British public, saying it was guilty of "ignoring" mainstream opinion.
    Paul Revoir, "BBC 'guilty' of ignoring public opinion says senior executive," Daily Mail, October 26, 2006 --- Click Here

    BBC Lends Aid to Enemies of the U.K.
    The BBC has come under fire from the Conservative Party after broadcasting an interview with a spokesman for the Taliban. His face hidden by a veil, Dr Mahammed Anif told BBC2's Newsnight that the Taliban would throw foreign armies out of Afghanistan. He also dismissed British and American claims to be rebuilding the country as an "excuse" to invade. Other members of a Taliban group in Helmand province were also filmed, vowing to fight to the death against British troops who are seeking to bring security to the area. Shadow defence secretary Liam Fox denounced the interviews as "obscene" and accused the BBC of broadcasting propaganda on behalf of Britain's enemies.
    "Tories brand BBC's Taliban interview 'obscene propaganda'," Daily Mail, October 26, 2006 --- Click Here

    Charlotte Church has a new talk show in England, where she plays a profanity-spewing hostess who is part Rosie O'Donnell, part Keith Olbermann (she has bashed President Bush as 'clueless' and a 'twat') and completely unhinged. The pilot episode featured Charlotte calling Pope Benedict XVI a Nazi, dressing as a nun and pretending to hallucinate while eating communion wafers imprinted with smiley faces…
    Michelle Malkin, "Where have all the good girls gone?" WorldNetDaily, September 27, 2006 ---
    Jensen Comment
    Michelle Malkin's critical commentary on Charlotte Church's bad behavior made her (Michelle) an Internet assault target ---
    I wonder who would be the target if Charlotte Church dared to portray a Muslim leader as a Nazi! BBC wisely will not allow Charlotte Church to criticize Muslims --- only Christians, Jews, and the U.S. coalition forces.
    You can listen to foul-mouthed Charlotte Church masquerading as an sweet-voiced angel at
    (Click on the listing under Media Clips)

    Al-Qaida Launches 'Media War' Against U.S
    As U.S. military losses mount steadily in Iraq, a document issued by a group linked to al Qaeda spells out new goals for America's most determined enemies and calls for a media war against the United States. The document, which began circulating on the Internet this month, illustrates the techniques Washington's enemy is using in what President George W. Bush has called the "war of ideas." "The people of jihad need to carry out a media war parallel to the military war . . . because we can observe the effect that the media have on nations," said the document, signed by Najd al-Rawi of the Global Islamic Media Front, a group associated with al Qaeda.
    "Al-Qaida Launches 'Media War' Against U.S.," NewsMax, October 27, 2006 ---

    CNN Broadcasts Al-Qaida Propaganda Film:  Probably in Another Media Effort to Influence the November 7 Election
    So why did CNN air something that cannot be defended as newsworthy? That video was given to CNN by terrorists in order to demoralize the American people about the hopelessness of Iraq just before midterm elections. And CNN did exactly what the terrorists wanted, and CNN knows it. In his introduction that night, Anderson Cooper said, "Insurgents" -- never terrorists, mind you, always "insurgents" -- were "delivering a deadly message, aiming for a global audience." CNN is the terrorist's messenger service, FedEx for the fanatics who want us dead.
    Brent Bozell III, "CNN, STENOGRAPHER TO TERROR," Yahoo News, October 25, 2006 ---

    From Opinion Journal on October 19, 2006

    We have long argued that America's mainstream media--because of what they see as the "lessons of Vietnam"--are actively working to promote American defeat in Iraq. (We gave this theme a lengthy treatment in a talk last November at the Hudson Institute, which later became an essay in the February issue of The American Spectator .) From CNN comes one of the most striking bits of evidence yet that this is the case. This promo for a "CNN exclusive" appears today on the homepage of (we've captured it here for posterity as well):

    *** QUOTE ***

    Almost 2,800 Americans have been killed so far in Iraq and one of the most dangerous insurgent opponents is the sniper. CNN has obtained graphic video from the Islamic Army of Iraq, one of the most active insurgent organizations in Iraq, showing its sniper teams targeting U.S. troops. The Islamist Army says it wants talks with the United States and some Islamist Internet postings call for a P.R. campaign aimed at influencing the American public. The video is disturbing to watch but CNN believes the story, shocking as it is, needs to be told.

    *** END QUOTE ***

    By airing this video, CNN is participating in what it acknowledges is "a P.R. campaign aimed at influencing the American public" in ways favorable to America's enemies. And the network does not even seem to realize what a shocking admission this is.

    With the midterm elections less than three weeks away, the media are filled with Tet talk. Here's Simon Hooper , in a commentary that also appears today on

    *** QUOTE ***

    For veteran statesmen such as [James] Baker, the parallels with another era-defining American war must also be striking. In the late 1960s the U.S. military found itself fighti

    ng an unwinnable conflict, enduring mounting casualties against a growing chorus of dissent at home--in Vietnam.

    On Wednesday [President] Bush himself acknowledged parallels between the current situation in Iraq and the 1968 Tet Offensive--widely considered to be the point when American public opinion turned against the war.

    *** END QUOTE ***

    As we noted yesterday , Thomas Friedman of the New York Times also drew the analogy in a column whose description of Tet is worth repeating:

    *** QUOTE ***

    Although the Vietcong and Hanoi were badly mauled during Tet, they delivered, through the media, such a psychological blow to U.S. hopes of "winning" in Vietnam that Tet is widely credited with eroding support for President Johnson and driving him to withdraw as a candidate for re-election.

    *** END QUOTE ***

    Tet, that is, was a military victory for the U.S. that turned into a propaganda victory for the communists because American journalists presented a false picture of what had happened.

    The media today are eager to repeat their "success" in Vietnam--and it was a success inasmuch as the media were hugely influential over the course of events. But from a journalistic standpoint it was a gross failure. The real lesson of Vietnam is that journalists got the story wrong. We are not at all convinced that the American people are about to get fooled again.

    Jensen Comment
    In addition I would question the authenticity of the sniper video received from Islamic terrorists. There's been an opposing video circulating on the Web that shows U.S. snipers knocking off the Taliban. My physicist friend in Germany tells me that the flying movements of the Taliban fighters is totally contrary to the laws of physics. In other words the video is totally faked. CNN would not air such a pro U.S. video even if it was not fake, especially just before an election. CNN prefers to air possibly faked video critical of the U.S. and its coalition partners. Hoping to pressure the U.S. into surrender, CNN prefers to air Islamic Army propaganda.

    THE French saying, often attributed to Talleyrand, that “this is worse than a crime, it’s a blunder,” could easily describe America’s invasion of Iraq. But for the United States to pull entirely out of that country right now, as is being demanded by a growing chorus of critics, would be to snatch an unqualified disaster from the jaws of an enormous blunder . . . A total withdrawal from Iraq would play into the hands of the jihadist terrorists. As Osama bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, made clear shortly after 9/11 in his book “Knights Under the Prophet’s Banner,” Al Qaeda’s most important short-term strategic goal is to seize control of a state, or part of a state, somewhere in the Muslim world. “Confronting the enemies of Islam and launching jihad against them require a Muslim authority, established on a Muslim land,” he wrote. “Without achieving this goal our actions will mean nothing.” Such a jihadist state would be the ideal launching pad for future attacks on the West. And there is no riper spot than the Sunni-majority areas of central and western Iraq. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi — the most feared insurgent commander in Iraq — was issuing an invitation to Mr. bin Laden when he named his group Al Qaeda in Iraq. When Mr. Zarqawi was killed this year, his successor, Abu Hamza al-Muhajer, also swore allegiance to Al Qaeda’s chief.
    Peter Bergen, "What Osama Wants," The New York Times, October 26, 2006 ---
    Peter Bergen, a senior fellow of the New America Foundation, is the author of “The Osama bin Laden I Know: An Oral History of Al Qaeda’s Leader.”

    In recent months, the Kremlin has changed its opinion of the EU from bureaucratic irrelevance to a serious threat to Russian interests.
    According to Europe's post-modernist fantasy, balance-of-power calculations or realpolitik of this sort are vestiges of a dark past -- or, worse, something indulged mostly by America. Europe prefers softly-softly diplomacy, asking Russia to open its energy markets to competition and pussyfooting about the demise of free speech and democracy there. Here are a few examples of how that approach is working: Shell's $20 billion oil and gas project in Sakhalin looks likely to fall victim to the Kremlin's strategy to reassert central control over energy. On the democracy front the most outspoken journalistic critic of the Putin regime, Anna Politkovskaya, was gunned down in cold blood this month. Europe may finally be "getting" it, thanks in part to the new EU members, who hold fewer romantic notions about their large eastern neighbor. Earlier in the week, the bloc issued a surprisingly muscular démarche to Moscow to keep its hands off Georgia. Europe's reliance on Russian energy has prompted some serious thought to alternative suppliers. Mr. Putin will no doubt try to split Europe, and the trans-Atlantic alliance, by courting Berlin or Paris. European Gaullists believed that a common EU foreign policy would be forged in opposition to America. How fanciful this notion seems today as the Union is engaged in a real-life encounter with Mr. Putin that's turning out to be a test of the bloc's ability to stand up for itself.
    "Look Who's Coming to Dinner," The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2006 --- Click Here

    In general, Central Europe is a success story. The Czech and Slovak republics, Hungary and Poland are free-market democracies. Formerly part of the Warsaw Pact, they are now members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union. Central Europeans have higher incomes, life expectancies and school enrollments than ever before. Yet liberalism, the philosophy of political, civil and economic freedom that was instrumental in bringing about those advances, is on the defensive. In Slovakia, a nationalist-socialist coalition defeated Mikulas Dzurinda's reformist government. In Poland, a coalition deal between conservatives and nationalists kept the liberal Civic Platform out of power. In the Czech Republic, the liberal Civic Democratic Party won the elections but is too weak to form a government. In Hungary, the populists were kept from gaining power -- but only by a whisker, and only because the ruling socialists lied about the real state of the economy.
    Marian L. Tupy, "Still in the Market for Reforms," The Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2006 --- Click Here

    "What's Behind Russia's Crime Wave? BusinessWeek's Moscow correspondent weighs reasons—including Putin's upcoming departure—behind recent murders and the rise in other crimes," by Jason Bush, Business Week, October 20, 2006 --- Click Here

  • Russia is reeling from a series of assassinations. On Sept. 13, central banker Andrei Kozlov was shot dead outside a Moscow soccer stadium, becoming the highest-ranking government official to be murdered in many years. Just three weeks later, well-known journalist Anna Politkovskaya was murdered outside her apartment in another apparent contract killing. Recent weeks have also seen several murders of businesspeople, including a Moscow bank manager and the property manager for the Itar-Tass news agency.

    Although there is no apparent link between the killings, Russians are beginning to ask if the coincidence is somehow significant. Perhaps, after the relative calm of recent years, violence is returning to Russia's business and political life.

    What's clear is that the recent spate of high-profile murders has put the spotlight once again on Russia's reputation for criminality. But are the killings part of a more general trend? And is Russia's poor reputation justified? BusinessWeek's Moscow correspondent Jason Bush weighs the evidence.

    Continued in article

  • Even liberals concede that President Hugo Chávez goofed at the U.N.
    Both supporters and detractors of President Hugo Chávez say he may have miscalculated in turning the United Nations into his bully pulpit.
    "Venezuelan’s Diatribe at U.N. May Have Backfired, by Warren Hoge," The New York Times, October 25, 2006 --- Click Here

    Hugo Chávez may not be able to buy Cuba as planned
    At this time the military seems to be loyal to Raul. Nevertheless, the dictator in waiting has at least two reasons to be worried. The first is Hugo Chávez, who pours an estimated $2 billion into the Cuban economy annually and seems to believe that he is the rightful revolutionary successor to Fidel. Rumor has it that attitude is not going down too well with Raul or his men. As Brian Latell, former CIA analyst and author of "After Fidel" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pointed out this week: "It may also be reasonable to speculate that Raul and his military commanders feel contempt for the mercurial and often bizarre Venezuelan, who rose no higher than lieutenant colonel in the decidedly less professional and accomplished Venezuelan military."
    Mary Anastasia O'Grady, "Cubans Begin to Just Say No,"  The Wall Street Journal, October 27, 2006; Page A15 ---

    Most women raped by Islamic men asked for it by not wearing veils
    Australia's top Muslim cleric rationalized a series of gang rapes by Arab men, blaming women who "sway suggestively," wear make-up and don't cover themselves in the tradition of Islam . . . The victims of the vicious gang rapes are leading the national outcry – with some calling for deportation of the sheik. In a Sydney Daily Telegraph online poll, 84 percent of people said the Egyptian-born sheik should be deported.
    "Imam justifies rape of unveiled women:  Australian cleric compares victims to 'uncovered meat' that attracts cats," WorldNet Daily, October 26, 2006 ---

    Anger Festering in French Areas Scarred in Riots: Crime Pays in French Courts
    “Tension is rising very dramatically,” said Patrice Ribeiro, the deputy head of the Synergie Officiers police union. “There is the will to kill.” Last month a leaked law enforcement memo warned of a “climate of impunity” in Seine-St.-Denis, the infamous district north of Paris that includes suburbs like Épinay-sur-Seine. It reported a 23 percent increase in violent robberies and a 14 percent increase in assaults in the district of 1.5 million people in the first half of this year, complaining that young, inexperienced police officers were overwhelmed and the court system was lax. Only one of 85 juveniles arrested during the unrest was jailed, it added.
    Elaine Sciolino and Ariane Bernard, "Anger Festering in French Areas Scarred in Riots," The New York Times, October 20, 2006 --- Click Here

    America's Election Year Economics
    Recently Bill Clinton, at the British Labour Party's annual conference, delivered what the Times of London described as a "relaxed, almost rambling" and "easy anecdotal" speech to an enthralled audience of leftists eager for evidence of American disappointments. Never a connoisseur of understatement, Mr. Clinton said America is "now outsourcing college-education jobs to India." But Mr. Clinton-as-Cassandra should not persuade college students to abandon their quest for diplomas: The unemployment rate among American college graduates is 2%. Mr. Clinton is always a leading indicator of "progressive" fashions in rhetoric. And every election year -- meaning every other year -- brings an epidemic of dubious economic analysis, as members of the party out of power discern lead linings on silver clouds.
    George Will, "America's Election Year Economics," The Washington Post via The Wall Street Journal, October 19, 2006 ---

    "A Nadir of U.S. Power," by Sebastian Mallaby, The Washington Post, October 23, 2006 ---

    A few years ago, the collapse of Russia's currency triggered a furious debate in Washington over who lost Russia. Now Russia's pro-Western voices are being snuffed out, and Americans are so inured to the limits of their power that they don't even pose that question. A crusading journalist has been killed, and on Thursday Vladimir Putin silenced Human Rights, Amnesty International and more than 90 other foreign organizations. Everyone accepts that there's not much the West can do about this.

    In Somalia, a Taliban-style group of Islamic militants has seized part of the country. One of its commanders is said to be sheltering terrorists who blew up the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania: A brand-new terrorist haven may be emerging. Again, it is assumed that the world's sole superpower can't do much but watch.

    Three long years ago, the Bush administration described the killing in Darfur as genocide. You might think that an impoverished African state that can't control its own territory would be a pushover. But the Bush administration has tried sanctions, peace talks and United Nations resolutions. Sudan's tin-pot dictator thumbs his nose at Uncle Sam and dispatches more death squads.

    When historians analyze the decline of empires, they tend to point to economic frailties that undercut military vigor. Well, the United States has several economic frailties and can't seem to address any of them.

    Every honest politician knows that entitlement spending on retirees is going to bust the budget. But since the failure of Bush's proposed Social Security overhaul last year, nobody is doing anything about it.

    Every honest politician knows that we need to quit gobbling carbon. But higher gas taxes are seen as a political non-starter on both sides of the political spectrum.

    Every honest politician knows that support for globalization is fraying because of rising inequality at home. But how many of them stand up for policies that could reduce inequality without harming growth -- most obviously, tax reform? You don't hear anybody on the left or right denouncing the absurdity that more than half the tax breaks for homeownership flow to the richest 12 percent of households.

    In fact, it's hard to name a single creative policy that has political legs in Washington. Is anyone serious about tackling the crazy tort system, which consumes more than a dollar in administrative and legal costs for every dollar it transfers to the victims of malpractice? Nope. Is there any prospect of allowing the millions of immigrants who come here to do so legally? To be honest, not much.

    Instead, the right and left are pushing policies that are marginal to the country's problems. The right wants to make its tax cuts "permanent," even though the boomers' retirement ensures that taxes will have to go up. The left wants to raise the minimum wage, even though this can only help a minority of workers.

    I'm not predicting the end of the American era, not by a long shot. The U.S. business culture is as pragmatic and effective as its political culture is dysfunctional. But has there been a worse moment for American power since Ronald Reagan celebrated morning in America almost a quarter of a century ago? I can't think of one.

    Canadians Grow Weary of Crime Leniency
    Calgarians are throwing their support behind a city cop facing internal charges after lashing out at the justice system. Const. Shaun Horne said he is overwhelmed by the support of fellow police officers and the public since the Sun reported he has lost faith in the justice system after a man with 65 convictions and Canada-wide warrants was released with conditions in December by justice of the peace Kristine Robidoux. “I’m at a loss for words,” he said today. “I can’t believe the support.”
    "Charged cop gets support City cop facing internal charges after lashing out at the justice system," Canada's CNews, September 14, 2006 ---

    Another Tragic Case of Judicial Leniency:
    What will the judge do after the guy raped and killed again and again after being released by the judge?

    Six years ago, convicted sex offender Kenneth Glenn Hinson was released from prison after a judge rejected prosecutors' pleas that he be committed indefinitely. That same judge was to preside Thursday over a preliminary hearing for Hinson, now charged with kidnapping and raping two teenage girls in an underground room behind his home. Circuit Judge Edward Cottingham's decision in 2001 allowed for the eventual release of Hinson, 48, who was arrested again after a four-day manhunt in March. The girls were sexually assaulted and left bound inside the room, concealed under a shed, but managed to free themselves and get to safety, authorities have said. The dungeon was a chilly, crypt-like space, just 4 1/2 feet deep and roughly the length and width of a midsize car, with the floor and walls lined with two-by-fours. A single 75-watt bulb illuminated the space.
    Meg Kinnard, "S.C. rapist to face judge who freed him," Yahoo News, October 26, 2006 ---
    Jensen Comment
    I know a judge in San Antonio, Texas  that would give Hinson another probation sentence this time around. This judge repeatedly gave probation to a serial rapist who finally went to prison only because he finally raped a woman outside Texas (New Jersey). According to a video of San Francisco's Chief of Police, the San Francisco Chronicle and City Supervisors are doing their best to discourage applicants and lower the morale of present officers.  San Francisco is known for its lenient Judges and liberal Supervisors. The S.F. Chief of Police accuses the Judges and Supervisors of having no accountability and calls the San Francisco Chronicle a piece of crap ---

    But this one tops it all in terms of judicial and lawyer insanity
    The roots of this folly are in the 1970s, when many state courts began to decide that the intentional acts of criminals shouldn't bar plaintiffs from collecting money from others with deeper pockets. So if you are carjacked -- sue the parking- lot owner. Most legislatures have yet to reverse this radical legal change. Thus trial lawyers, thanks to New York Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Figueroa's generous rulings and jury instructions, persuaded a jury in October last year that the terrorists who planted a truck bomb in the World Trade Center garage in 1993 were only 32% responsible, while the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was 68% responsible -- and therefore, under New York law, wholly on the hook for $1.8 billion in damages.
    Ted Frank, "Follow the Money," The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2006; Page A7 ---

    Here's a way you can drastically cut your auto insurance rates from major insurance companies --- register your car easily in North Carolina ---

    Generation of online libraries is born ---

    Hackers are having success in looting online stock accounts: Guess where these high tech thieves live?
    Hackers have been breaking into customer accounts at large online brokerages in the United States and making unauthorized trades worth millions of dollars as part of a fast-growing new form of online fraud under investigation by federal authorities. E-Trade Financial Corp., the nation's fourth-largest online broker, said last week that "concerted rings" in Eastern Europe and Thailand caused their customers $18 million in losses in the third quarter alone.
    Ellen Nakashima, "Hackers Zero In on Online Stock Accounts," The Washington Post, October 24, 2006 --- Click Here

    Bob Jensen's threads on computing and network security are at

    Investors never seem to grow weary of being screwed by mutual fund executives
    The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an investigation of 27 mutual-fund companies that the agency says have accepted kickbacks totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years. The investigation centers on alleged arrangements in which independent contractors agreed to pay rebates to mutual-fund companies in order to win lucrative contracts for jobs like producing shareholder reports and prospectuses. The probe stems from a $21.4 million settlement the SEC reached last month with Bisys Fund Services Inc., an administrative-services provider owned by Bisys Group Inc.
    Tom Lauricella, "SEC Probes Mutual-Fund Firms After Settlement in Kickback Case," The Wall Street Journal, Page A1, October 26, 2006 ---

    Why are mutual funds still rotten to the core?

    "The Soft Dollar Scandal," by Benn Steil, The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2006; Page A15 ---

    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

    Open Sharing Catching on Outside the United States
    Britain’s Open University today formally begins its effort to put its course materials and other content online for all the world to use. With its effort, OpenLearn, which is expected to cost $10.6 million and is supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the university joins Massachusetts Institute of Technology and institutions in several other countries in trying to put tools for learning within the reach of otherwise difficult to reach populations.
    Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2006

    Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing are at

    Google's Free Download Center (Google Pack Beta) and the New Firefox Upgrade
    Mozilla released a new version of its Firefox web browser that has gained popularity as a free alternative to Microsoft's ubiquitous Internet Explorer software. In the two years since its release by the nonprofit Mozilla Foundation, the Firefox browser has won millions of devotees worldwide.
    The Firefox Two browser made available for download on Tuesday was heralded by the Mountain View, California, organization as a "major update" developed by an "an international community of contributors." "Firefox 2 delivers the best possible online experience for people today," said Mozilla chief executive Mitchell Baker. "The improvements Mozilla has made to the ease of use, performance, and
    security in Firefox 2 reflect our ongoing, singular focus on meeting the needs of Web users all over the world." Localized versions of the browser were available in 35 languages and tailored to work with Windows, Macintosh or Linux computer operating systems, according to Mozilla. The browsers could be downloaded at the website
    Jensen Comment
    I use Firefox and like it (except for the slow downloads of media files). In my new computer I downloaded Firefox using Google's Free Download Center (Google Pack Beta)  (that I highly recommend for downloading software) ---

    A Tale of Two Web Browsers
    A couple of the year's most-anticipated releases -- new versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox -- arrive within a week of one another. So which one is best?
    Michael Calore, "A Tale of Two Web Browsers," Wired News, October 26, 2006 ---,72003-0.html?tw=wn_index_2
    Jensen Comment
    Fortunately it's not an either-or type choice. I prefer to start with Firefox since it is less of interest to Hackers and has more security mainly because of that fact. But when Firefox does not work well, I simply paste the link into IE. It's like having both a sail and a motor for your search boat.

    Updated and improved, Firefox remains excellent but breaks little new ground.
    John Borland, "Firefox 2.0: The Honda Civic of Web Browsers:  Updated and improved, Firefox remains excellent but breaks little new ground," MIT's Technology Review, October 27, 2006 ---

    A weakness has been discovered in Internet Explorer, which can be exploited by malicious people to conduct phishing attacks.
    The problem is that it's possible to display a popup with a somewhat spoofed address bar where a number of special characters have been appended to the URL. This makes it possible to only display a part of the address bar, which may trick users into performing certain unintended actions. Secunia has constructed a demonstration, which is available at 
    The weakness is confirmed in Internet Explorer 7 on a fully patched Windows XP SP2 system. Solution: Do not follow links from untrusted sources.
    "Internet Explorer 7 Popup Address Bar Spoofing Weakness," Secunia (Link forwarded by Richard Campbell) ---
    Richard Campbell forwarded this link and says it remains a problem in IE 7.

    "A First Look at Windows Vista:  Microsoft plans to introduce its new operating system to consumers in January. Is it worth upgrading?" by Erika Jonietz, MIT's Technology Review, October 20, 2006 ---

    "You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

    It's a tired saw, quoted in articles on topics from interviewing for jobs to designing websites. But it concisely conveys a basic truth of human nature: we draw conclusions about new experiences, new people, and new things very quickly. My first encounter with Microsoft's new Windows Vista was no exception.

    Last week, I installed the "RC1" version of Vista--officially post-beta but still not yet ready for prime time--on two computers. My experiences on the two machines were quite different, but my overall impression was the same: Microsoft has a long way to go in the next three months if it hopes Vista will revive its image the way that Mac OS X revitalized Apple's.

    Installing Vista on two computers might seem a bit excessive, but the Windows operating system is made for two different kinds of processors: 32-bit and 64-bit. By working with bigger chunks of data, the newer 64-bit processors can better handle intensive tasks such as video editing and playing advanced games. But most desktop and laptop computers in use--and plenty of those on store shelves--have older 32-bit processors, so Microsoft built two versions of Vista.

    I started by installing the 32-bit version of Vista on an older Dell Latitude laptop. While it's possible to upgrade from Windows XP to 32-bit Vista--leaving all of your programs and data intact--I elected to do a clean install. Downloading Vista and burning a bootable DVD was simple, and the installation went smoothly.

    My first reaction: Vista looks slick. The old squared-off windows now have rounded corners. The rectangular "start" button in the lower-left corner of the screen has been supplanted by a spiffy circle with the Windows logo. A transparent rectangle, called the Sidebar, runs down the right side of the screen. The Sidebar holds "gadgets," mini-applications that provide quick access to frequently needed information and tools. Vista comes with 11 such gadgets, 3 of which load the first time you start up: an analog-style clock, a slideshow viewer, and a newsreader with a collection of headlines from and Microsoft. It's all unquestionably reminiscent of the Dashboard and Widgets in Apple's Mac OS X Tiger.

    Of all the Sidebar applications, the Feed Headlines gadget--which can be customized with your favorite RSS feeds--stands out. Although Apple and the Mac community have created more than 2,300 Widgets to date, I have yet to find an RSS newsreader as flexible as Vista's.

    The new Instant Search feature is also handy but, again, reminiscent of OS X. As with Apple's Spotlight, search boxes appear at the top of every window, making it easy to hunt down the file you're seeking. And searching with Instant Search is both faster and more effective than searching in Windows XP. After copying files from my personal PC to the test laptop, I typed "DNA sequencing" into the search box.

    Continued in article

    October 20, 2006 reply from Scott Bonacker [cpas-l@BONACKER.US]

    Accountant's should be aware that Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 are not friendly with versions of QuickBooks (and Quicken) prior to 2007.

    See  and  

    for some additional information.

    Scott Bonacker, CPA
    Springfield, Missouri

    Inside Teaching from the Carnegie Foundation ---

    Welcome to Inside Teaching.  This website is designed to support a community of learning, which includes teachers, professional developers, and other educators interested in learning and in teaching.

    Visit collections of multimedia records of teaching practice. Learn from others' perspectives on using records of practice for teacher learning. Contribute your own teaching and learning experiences and browse materials and resources that reflect the larger context of the work featured here. This site itself is an environment of learning, a "living archive" that relies upon the contributions of visitors in order to grow and to thrive.

    This is another reminder for accounting students and/or educators to send in their nominations for the the recipient of the 2007 Innovation in Accounting Education Award. Simple instructions are provided a the American Accounting Association site at ---

    Given the shortage of accounting faculty, increasingly accountants from industry are being hired on tenure tracks
    Teaching is once again a career opportunity for practicing accountants

    Business schools are facing a shortage of accounting faculty. While it's a recognized problem -- the AICPA recently granted $25,000 to a program that provides financial aid for senior business leaders who want to transition to university teaching -- there are several misconceptions about what constitutes an academic career. The accounting faculty job market is quite strong and finding a position should not be a problem, according to Gerald DeBusk, CPA, CMA, an assistant professor of accounting at Appalachian State University who entered academia after 17 years of public accounting and industry experience. In this week's Quick Tip, he outlines the general steps that are required to make the move, and debunks the myth that work as a college professor equates to less hours or stress. "The truth is that college professors work hard," says DeBusk, later adding, "There are rewards for teaching that are priceless ... it is a pleasure to be associated with young men and women.
    Gerald K. DeBusk, "Hitting the Books: Transitioning Into Academia," SmartPros, October 2006 ---
    Jensen Comment
    In the 1960s, new AACSB accreditation rules made it necessary for most accounting faculty to have doctoral degrees. The traditional MBA-CPA credential was not considered "terminally qualified" after these new AACSB rules went into effect. Now in 2006 under more flexible AACSB rules regarding accreditation, we are to some extent returning full circle. Doctoral programs cannot attract enough candidates to meet the shortage of accounting faculty. The Masters-CPA/CMA credential is regaining steam, especially in critical shortage areas of auditing, tax, and AIS. You can read more about the history of this saga at

    October 24, 2006 reply from Stokes, Len [stokes@SIENA.EDU]

    Maybe as a discipline, we should also consider such a thing as a Clinical Doctorate, which many of the professional sciences are approaching. This type of doctorate could still contain some research framework but not be as time consuming as the Ph.D.

    October 26, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

    Shortages of faculty have become so critical in the field of Business Administration that the AACSB initiated a "Bridge Program" to encourage and provide financial aid for business practitioners to enter into doctoral studies ---
    Special efforts are being made to recruit women and minority students.

    There are a few business administration doctoral programs (probably not widely known) that are somewhat clinical in nature.
    For example see Pace University's executive doctoral program in business at --- 

    It is more common in fields outside of business to have "Executive Doctoral Programs," especially in Schools of Education, IT, and Medicine.

    It is even common to have separate tenure tracks in "Practice." For example, the University of Pennsylvania has Practice Professors of Education --- 

    Bob Jensen

    October 26, 2006 reply from Mesa, William B. [wmesa@CCU.EDU]

    Case Western Reserve University also has an Executive Doctoral Program where the research framework is Action Research than the traditional positivist approach. 

    Bill Mesa, D.M., CPA
    Assistant Professor of Management & Accounting
    School of Business and Leadership
    Colorado Christian University Faculty in Organizational Strategy Leadership
    Enterprise in Asian Development Institute Eastern University


    October 24, 2006 message from Dan Ward [dward@LOUISIANA.EDU]

    Have any of you faced the decision of hiring an individual with one of the on-line doctorates from a foreign university. The university in question is in France and has AACSB accreditation through the Masters level.

    Many of the faculty are very concerned over the fact that no classes are required - just "research" and a dissertation. In short, we don't feel that the degree is really and earned doctorate in the traditional meaning of the term.

    I would appreciate any feedback you could provide.


    October 24, 2006 message from CPAS-L@LISTSERV.LOYOLA.EDU

    I recall reading that Fridtjof Nansen received his doctorate based on research.

    > Many of the faculty are very concerned over the fact that no classes
    > are required - just "research" and a dissertation. In short, we don't
    > feel that the degree is really and earned doctorate in the traditional > meaning of the term.

    October 25, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Ron,

    Interestingly, the AACSB that accredits undergraduate and masters degree programs in business and accounting does not accredit doctoral programs. To my knowledge there are no doctoral program accrediting agencies, at least none that are respected in the United States.

    Doctoral programs are forced to ride on their reputations, reputations that in turn depend heavily upon the reputations of the universities that grant the doctoral degrees. It is generally assumed that a respected university will not jeopardize its reputation with any diploma mill doctoral program.

    Although most traditional doctoral programs have some required courses (usually from top research professors) and some elective courses, virtually all traditional doctoral programs have qualification exams that test on scholarship and research skills considered essential by the institution granting the degree.

    If a program waives all coursework and qualifying examinations, much depends upon the research qualifications and reputations of the major professors who must sign off on the candidate's dissertation. If these major professors have no notable reputations for research themselves, the graduates of their doctoral programs will find it difficult to obtain tenure track positions in credible universities.

    There are many diploma mills around the world that will sell doctoral degrees without any effort whatsoever other than coming up with the money to buy the doctorate. It is recommended that job applicants never even mention that they have purchased such phony credentials.

    Those who want phony doctorates from diploma mills can find alternatives at 

    Bob Jensen

    Islamic Accounting ---

    The Differences of Conventional and Islamic Accounting --- Click Here (coloring makes this version hard to read)
    The Power Point Version (easier to read) ---

    "Islamic Accounting: Challenges, Opportunities and Terror," AccountingWeb, October 5, 2006 ---

    Recent events, from the start of Ramadan, to the Pope’s controversial remarks about Islam, to the discovery of a new tape by two of the September 11 attackers, to the release of Bob Woodward’s latest book, have once more made Islam a topic of conversation. Beyond the headlines, however, exists a complex religious and social system that affects far more people than just Muslims. Islamic finance, particularly Islamic banking, insurance and accounting, is playing a growing role around the globe, especially in the business world.

    Islamic accounting is generally defined as an alternative accounting system which aims to provide users with information enabling them to operate businesses and organizations according to Shariah, or Islamic law. With little doubt, the greatest challenges to Islamic accounting and finance in the United States stem from a lack of knowledge and understanding of Islam and the intricacies of its financial laws and concerns regarding terrorism, combined with the U.S. regulatory framework and guiding principles of American business. The Muslim and Islamic financial markets within the U.S. and around the world, currently represent an enormous opportunity for those willing to overcome these challenges.

    Islam & Islamic Financial Laws

    “To professional accountants who have been brought-up on the idea of accounting as an ‘objective’, technical and value-free discipline, the idea of attaching a religious adjective to accounting may seem embarrassing, unprofessional and even dangerous,” Dr. Shahul Hameed bin Mohamed Ibrahim says in Islamic Accounting – A Primer.

    Both conventional and Islamic accounting provide information and define how that information is measured, valued, recorded and communicated. Conventional accounting provides information about economic events and transactions, measuring resources in terms of assets and liabilities, and communicating that information through financial statements users, typically investors, rely on to make decisions regarding their investments. Islamic accounting, however, identifies socio-economic events and transactions measured in both financial and non-financial terms and the information is used to ensure Islamic organizations of all types adhere to Shariah and achieve the socio-economic objectives promoted by Islam. This is not to say, or imply, Islamic accounting is not concerned with money, rather it is not concerned only with money.

    Islamic accounting, in many ways, is more holistic. Shariah prohibits interest-based income or usury and also gambling, so part of what Islamic accounting does is help ensure companies do not harm others while making money and achieve an equitable allocation and distribution of wealth, not just among shareholders of a specific corporation but also among society in general. Of course, as with conventional accounting, this is not always achieved in practice, as an examination of the wide variances in wealth among the populations of Arab nations, particularly those with majority Muslim populations shows.

    In addition, because a significant part of operating within Shariah means delivering on Islam’s socio-economic objectives, Islamic organizations have far wider interests and engage in more diverse activities than their non-Islamic counterparts.

    Concerns About Terrorism

    The diverse activities and interests organizations pursue under Shariah is a cause for concern when applying conventional accounting to Islamic organizations. After all, conventional accounting can be used to disguise unethical and even illegal activities within the very organizations they were intended to provide information about. Imagine how easy it is to overlook or just not identify such information when employing an accounting system not designed for use with the type of organization it is being applied to.

    In the past, the issues raised by this mismatch focused on the ability of users beyond the Muslim world to make appropriate decisions regarding investments. Since September 11, 2001, however, the concern has changed from the potential loss of investment to the possibility of supporting terrorism.

    This concern is particularly significant for non-profit organizations involved in providing humanitarian relief outside the U.S.. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (DoT) has issued updated Anti-Terrorist Financing Guidelines: Voluntary Best Practices for U.S.-based Charities (Guidelines).

    “The abuse of charities by terrorist organizations is a serious and urgent matter, and the Guidelines reinforce the need for the U.S. Government and the charitable sector alike, to keep this challenge at the forefront of our complementary efforts,” Pat O’Brien, Assistant Secretary for the Treasury’s Office of Terrorist Financing and Financial Crime, said in a statement announcing the updated guidelines. The Treasury Department is committed to protecting and enabling legitimate and vital charity worldwide, and will continue to work with the sector to advance our mutual goals.”

    The Guidelines urge charities to take a proactive, risk-based approach to protecting against illicit abuse and are intended to be applied by those charities vulnerable to such abuse, in a manner commensurate with the risks they face and the resources with which they work. At the request of the charitable sector, the Guidelines contain extensive anti-terrorist financing guidance, as well as guidance on sound governance and financial practices that helps prevent the exploitation of charities.

    Regulatory Issues

    The regulatory environment Islamic individuals and organizations are most concerned with, considering the current political climate, are those relating to anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering. Yet the tensions arising from regulatory requirements within the U.S. related to American business practices often prove more difficult to resolve.

    It is in trying to balance the expectations of distinct business cultures that the differences between conventional and Islamic accounting are most notable. For instance, depending upon the type of transactions the organizations are engaged in, the roles, responsibilities and rights assigned to each party can be contradictory and even in direct conflict. In some situations, such as transactions involving private equity, venture capital, profit sharing and liquidations, organizations and individuals employing conventional accounting may actually find they prefer Islamic accounting. Other issues, such as those related to taxation, require significant effort to resolve. The inherent flexibility of Shariah is a benefit under these circumstances, since the complexity of the American tax code is highly inflexible.

    The number of Muslim consumers, investors and business owners has grown along with the Muslim American population which is currently estimated to be between six and seven million. Although demand for Islamic financial products and services has increased, both the supply and the number of providers remain insufficient. It should also be noted that Islamic orthodoxy, expressed as the desire to implement Shariah as the sole legal foundation of a nation, is actually associated with progressive economic principles, including increasing government for the poor, reducing income inequality and increasing government ownership of industries and industries, especially in the poorer nations of the Muslim world.

    “While it is common to associate traditional religious beliefs with conservative political stances on a wide range of issues, this is only partly true,” said Robert V. Robinson, Chancellor’s Professor and chair of Indiana University’s Department of Sociology. “The Islamic orthodox are more conservative on issues having to do with gender, sexuality and the family, but more liberal or left on economic issues.

    Islamic Accounting Web ---

    The Islamic Accounting Website is a project of the Department of Accounting, Kulliyah of Economics and Management Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. This project is under the direction of Dr. Shahul Hameed bin Mohamed Ibrahim, Assistant Professor and the current Head of the Department. The philosophy of the University is to Islamize knowledge to solve the crisis in Muslim thinking brought about by the secularization of knowledge and furthermore contributing as a centre of educational excellence to revive the dynamism of the Muslim Ummah in knowledge, learning and the professions. The Department of Accounting is fully committed to this vision and strives to Islamicise Accounting.

    "ISLAMIC ACCOUNTING STANDARDS," by Shadia Rahman ---

    Sharing site of Dr Shahul Hameed Bin Hj Mohamed Ibrahim ---

    articles by the author


    articles by other scholars

     Forthcoming Articles on Islamic Accounting

    October 20 reply from Adnan Bakather [bakther@YAHOO.COM]

    Dear Prof. Jensen ,

    What is your perception of Islamic accounting ? . Do you think that Islamic accounting may compete with the conventional one ? . Regarding the terror , do think that the link between Islamic accounting and terror can be established ? .

    Adnan A.Bakather

    October 21 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi Adnon,

    I'm no expert on either Islamic Accounting or terror. Hence my answers should not be viewed as authoritative.

    Islamic Accounting is closer to what we term "stakeholder accounting" in which attempts are made to "account for" impacts of an entity upon various stakeholders in society, including but not limited to investors and creditors. Stakeholder accounting is grand in concept but very difficult to put into practice due to the many intangibles that defy measurement or even analysis qualitatively. I discussed many of these problems years ago in a monograph called Phantasmagoric Accounting, Studies in Accounting Research Volume 14, American Accounting Association --- 

    In other words, stakeholder accounting is grand in purpose but very difficult to put into practice. I suspect that Islamic Accounting is also grand in purpose but very difficult to implement in a global economic world. One of the main problems is breadth of purpose that exceeds the tools and information needed to meaningfully account to each stakeholder group. For example, trying to account for the cost of pollution or global warming of one factory upon society is virtually impossible to measure if there are millions of interacting factories, vehicles, natural phenomenon (such as methane bubbling up from the oceans and tundras), homes, and even burps from cattle (no joke) contributing to the same global pollution. There are also many interactions (called externalities in economic theory) of causes that greatly complicate the accounting.

    At the financial level, Islamic Accounting has not addressed the thousands upon thousands of contracts that take place daily. Hence we cannot go to Islamic Accounting for answers on how to account for derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting, structured financing, synthetic and other complex leases, and intangibles. Islamic Accounting has not addressed the complex world of financial contracting to the extent that it has been addressed over centuries of conventional accounting. Islamic Accounting developed in a much simpler world of finance.

    Perhaps the world should return to a simpler world of contracting that would make Islamic Accounting more suited to the world of finance. It is, however, naïve to assume that any accounting and reporting practices are going to magically overcome the really complex and intractable issues of stakeholder accounting in a complex world of externalities and interacting causal factors of individual persons and firms in the global aggregation of such causal factors.

    As far as terrorism goes, I suspect the problem of tracing terrorist funding is one of having the appropriate internal controls in place all along the funding trail. This would seem to be a problem for any type of accounting system, although some accounting systems may work under more difficult constraints than others, e.g., systems that attempt to protect privacy greatly constrain accountability in law and finance. Accountancy and law are much more unrestrained in Big Brother's system conceived by George Orwell --- 

    Terror on a global scale will lead us closer and closer to an Orwellian way of life out of desperation. The issue is not one of Islamic versus Conventional Accounting. The issue is one of Privacy versus Transparency Controls in all behavior, including financial contracting. At the moment no accounting system works very well against governmental or private sector corruption. The question is whether we want Big Brother to move in to end the corruption. In the United States we cannot even get campaign financing reform because the foxes in Washington DC are guarding both the hen houses and cold cash freezers.

    But our accounting systems are good enough to force our elected officials to hide their stolen loot in their freezers. That's why we call it cold cash. By the way, the first thing Big Brother would do to end corruption, money laundering, and terrorism financing is to do away with all cash and anything resembling cash such as bearer bonds. If all financing leaves electronic tracks, Big Brother can put internal controls in place to virtually end corruption, money laundering, and terrorism financing.  However, in the U.S., hell will freeze over before Congress votes to eliminate cash.

    Bob Jensen


    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at

    From Scientific AmericanPoliticians caught on Internet candid cameras

    "Armey: 'Parochial' GOP Has 'Compromised' Agenda," NPR, October 16, 2006 ---

    October 17, 2006 message from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

    Now that Bob Jensen is a rural-dweller, I figured he and others ought to be aware of this danger.

    I figure it's only a matter of time until a new FASB exposure draft is issued covering the accounting treatment for these losses. Given that it might be impacting national security, even Congress might get involved. Only one question remains: Why hasn't the Wall Street Journal picked up on this yet? Maybe they are losing their touch. This certainly tops most of their front page stories, both in factuality and importance.


    After running the video, scroll through the 9+ pages of supplemental evidence and come to your own conclusion.

    David Fordham
    Neighbor of a cattle farm

    October 20, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen

    Hi David,

    Up here we still hang cow and horse thieves with trials.

    My neighbor down the road has some cute little shaggy Scottish cows.


    Shoplifters Go High Tech:  Theft Rings Alter Bar Codes
    Just as technology has given a big boost to the retail industry, making it more efficient and productive, it has also transformed retail crime. Using sophisticated tactics such as bar-code forgery and fraudulent gift cards, criminals are stealing larger amounts, and it has gotten harder to catch them. Law-enforcement officers say many of the high-tech thieves belong to organized-crime rings that have turned retail theft into big business. And the Internet has made it easier for them to find buyers for the loot. Retail crime rose to about $37 billion in 2005 from $31 billion in 2003, according to a study conducted by the University of Florida, increasing almost twice as fast as retail sales over that period. Store employees, who have access to merchandise and familiarity with antitheft systems, account for 48% of retail-crime losses, according to the 2005 study. But professional thieves, many of them using sophisticated new methods, also are responsible for a big part, says Joseph LaRocca, vice president of loss prevention at the National Retail Federation, a trade group.
    Ann Zimmerman, "As Shoplifters Use High-Tech Scams, Retail Losses Rise:   Theft Rings Alter Bar Codes, Work Gift-Card Swindles; Fencing the Loot Online Target Snares a Lego Bandit," The Wall Street Journal, October 25, 2006; Page A1 ---

    Pivot Tables on the Web

    The problem with downloading Excel charts with pivot tables is the risk of macro viruses. Cyril Carter forwarded this link on how to put Excel interactive pivot tables on the Web without macro viruses ---

    "'Every Reason to Be Proud'," by Lawrence B. Lindsey, The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2006; Page A12 ---

    The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the FY 2002 revenue loss of the first Bush tax cut was $38 billion and $51 billion from the second Bush tax cut -- $89 billion in all. This leaves $268 billion of the shortfall to be attributed to the effects of the collapse of the 1990s bubble, the attacks on 9/11, and other economic drags. Swings in economic activity, not discretionary tax changes, drive the great majority of the swings in federal revenues, and were the cause of the deficits of the early part of the decade. Since then, it has been a matter of fiscal "catch-up."

    The data suggest that process of "catch-up" has been far more successful than official estimates thought possible. In August 2003 the non-partisan CBO forecast tax revenue in FY 2006 at $2.276 trillion (which excluded $53 billion of tax relief passed subsequently). That forecast included the effects of the slowdown, a return to more rapid growth, and the 2003 tax cuts. But the data just released showed FY 2006 revenues of $2.407 trillion, $131 billion higher than CBO projected after the tax cuts were accelerated and $624 billion higher than the FY 2003 revenues. For perspective on that $131 billion of extra revenues, the total 2006 revenue loss from all of the president's tax cuts was only $193 billion.

    There were two reasons for the revenue feedback. First, after the tax cuts were passed the economy expanded more rapidly than most projected at the time. Second, more taxes were collected from each dollar of GDP than expected. When an economy of a given size produces higher-than-expected revenue after a tax change, it must mean that the tax code has become a more efficient revenue generator. Lower tax rates, particularly on dividends and entrepreneurial income, provide incentives for people to give up some of their previous -- economically distorting but tax-efficient -- behavior.

    This response is underscored by the distribution of receipts, which have shifted decidedly up the income scale. Although critics endlessly call the Bush measures tax cuts for the rich, the share of income taxes paid by the top 1%, 5% and 10% of taxpayers has moved up. These people were most affected by higher rates of the past, and have the greatest ability to reorient their economic behavior when rates are reduced.

    While economists will argue about how to divide up the extra revenue between the demand-side and supply-side responses, the more interesting question is what would have happened without an aggressive fiscal policy response. In Japan, five years after its bubble burst, tax receipts were still 14% below their peak because the economy was so weak; in the U.S. they are 19% higher than in 2000. Evidence suggests that monetary policy, though helpful, was not the lone cause of the recovery. Consumption spending turned up sharply in the third quarter of 2003, coincident with reduced tax withholding in paychecks. Nearly every important macroeconomic variable, including the unemployment rate, started improving noticeably in the second half of 2003, the first time the full impact of the tax cuts hit the economy. Moreover, consumption spending turned up in advance of the housing boom, whereas in Australia, New Zealand and the U.K. the increase in home prices clearly led an acceleration in consumption growth.

    Mr. Bush has every reason to be proud of his tax cuts. Granted, he shouldn't expect a chorus of bipartisan praise based on the numbers just released. But he should rest assured that economic historians will credit the tax cuts as having been a model of the successful application of economic theory to the real world.

    Mr. Lindsey, president and CEO of the Lindsey Group, was President Bush's chief economic adviser from 2001 to 2002.

    Jensen Comment
    Be that as it may, President Bush has allowed the U.S. Congress to be a spendthrift by promoting entitlement programs that jeopardize younger generations and doom the U.S. economy ---

    Admission Hypocrisy: Elite schools abandon early admission (except for athletes)!
    Most faculty are clueless and voiceless about admissions operations at their colleges.

    "Where Is the Faculty in the Admissions Debates?" by Andrew Delbanco, Inside Higher Ed, October 12, 2006 ---

    But what role do faculty play in developing the policies on which the admissions office acts? At most, a minor one — which is particularly disturbing when it comes to tenured faculty, whose job security should encourage frank participation in university governance without fear of demotion or reprisal. Yes, the scale of the admissions process has become daunting. In some cases, tens of thousands of applications must be evaluated, so it would be hardly more than symbolic for faculty to read — as we once did at Columbia — a few distinctive folders. And yes, some administrators regard faculty as potential meddlers and prefer using catch-words such as “diversity” and “excellence” to asking hard questions about what these terms actually mean.

    But, if admissions policy has been reduced to slogans, blaming the administrators is finally an evasion of faculty responsibility. Most faculty are simply not interested and therefore uninformed. Any discussion of, say, the distinction between need-based aid and merit aid, or about principle versus practice in “need-blind” admissions, or the correlation between SAT scores and family income, or about the case for or against increasing the numbers of international students, is likely to elicit a perplexed stare even from those who hold confident opinions about many other matters outside their field of expertise. Faculty who normally regard all authorities with suspicion, and who are quick to proclaim the sanctity of such values as academic freedom, are strangely inert and indifferent with regard to how their own institutions decide whom to let in and whom to keep out.

    Some of this detachment is understandable, since college admissions have become a large-scale business whose intricacies require specialized knowledge. But the cost of disengagement is high. Faculty testimonials of devotion to the values of equity and democracy in America and the world can smell of hypocrisy when we ignore the attrition of these values on our own campuses. (Sometimes one hears muttering about too many “legacy” admits, but I haven’t heard much complaining about preferential treatment for faculty children.) Some of the very colleges where faculties tend to be most vehement on behalf of left-liberal causes are slipping out of reach for students from families with modest means.

    Over the last decade, for example, the percentage of students admitted early in the Ivy League has risen to roughly half the entering class — even in the face of studies suggesting that early applicants tend to be academically weaker and economically stronger than students who apply later in the year. Since most early applicants must promise to attend if admitted, they have to be willing to forgo the chance to compare financial aid offers from multiple colleges, and they come disproportionately from private or affluent suburban schools with savvy college counselors. Yet how many faculty have paid attention to what James Fallows, writing five years ago in The Atlantic, called “the early decision racket”?

    It’s not that the issues are simple. Even the case of early admissions, on which Harvard has now reversed itself, is not entirely straightforward. Pros and cons vary from institution to institution. Although the negative effects of early admissions are increasingly clear, there are positive arguments, some better than others, in favor of such programs, on which some colleges have come to depend. Students accepted early tend to arrive on campus pleased to be attending their first (and only) choice. Early admissions programs allow admissions officers to lock in much of the class — notably the athletes needed to field competitive teams — before Christmas, and then to use the regular applicant pool and waiting lists to balance and refine the composition of the full class. And, lamentably enough, early admissions allow institutions to inflate their yield rate, which figures in the widely-read rankings published in U.S. News & World Report.

    These issues should be debated with both idealism and realism not just by administrators in closed-door meetings but by informed faculty in open session. Yet in watching and commenting on all the maneuvering and grandstanding, students have been more alert to the nuances than faculty — as in a recent Harvard Crimson article pointing out that despite Harvard’s announcement, up to 100 athlete-applicants will still receive “likely admit” letters each year as early as October 1.

    In short, admissions policies have consequences for students, for society, and for the functionality of the college or university that enacts them. They certainly have effects on faculty. Since most institutions depend heavily on tuition revenue, the “discount rate” — the amount of financial aid subsidy offered to students — affects the availability of funds for other purposes, including faculty salary increments and new or substitutional hiring lines. Abandoning early admissions would strain the operating budget on many campuses — though not at Harvard or Princeton, where yield rates will remain high and income from their huge endowments will meet the increased demand for financial aid that will likely follow their recent actions. At some institutions, a cut in the rate of “legacy” admits might even jeopardize the institution’s long-term financial viability.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

    "Robbing Parents to Pay Teachers," Alan Caruba, ED News, October 2006 ---

    It is an act of thievery to take money to provide goods or services and then fail to do so. Our nation's schools have become a great criminal conspiracy, promising to educate our children, but more often producing "graduates" without even the most basic skills, let alone a useful, wider body of knowledge.

    "My daughter is now 20 years old," one mother wrote to me recently. "After graduating from high school in June 2005, she enrolled at the local community college. It was necessary for her to take a placement test and it was determined she needed to take Basic Skills Math and English before she could take [college level courses.] After failing both classes twice, she will not be returning. It breaks my heart to see that she can't pass basic math or English class. How did she graduate high school?"

    The answer is that her parents were heavily levied with property taxes, the vast portion of which was then given to the local school system to pay teachers and administrators salaries, along with all the other costs of operation. They, in turn, passed her daughter along, unmindful and indifferent to whether she learned anything. "She has been robbed of a basic education and we have been robbed of our tax dollars for 19 years."

    Early in his first term, President Bush embraced the "No Child Left Behind" legislation that has since been found wanting for its one-size-fits-all approach to education, its over-emphasis on testing, and its punishment of "under-performing" schools. The result has been to expose most schools as inadequate and to encourage every form of administrative cheating necessary for a school to meet the standards set by the law.

    The idea was to force some improvement on a system everyone already knew was failing students. Laws, however, do not educate students. Teachers are expected to do that and it is no surprise that the National Education Association—a union—hated the idea of improvement. Indeed, from the 1960s to the present day, the NEA has done its best to undermine, if not destroy, a system of education that served previous generations of Americans quite well.

    In the July/August edition of The American Enterprise, Jay Greene, wrote "Education Myths: Debunking the fictions that obstruct school reform." The article was based on Greene's book of the same name. Here are just a few examples of how schools rob parents to pay teachers who are producing students deliberately rendered ignorant.

    The standard answer to any question about the quality of our schools is the demand for more funding. The truth, however, is that "spending per student has been growing steadily for 50 years." It has doubled and then doubled again. What did not occur, however, was any significant improvement in test scores, particularly since the introduction in the 1970s of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

    Okay, we may be spending more on schools, but isn't it true that teachers still aren't paid enough? No, if the poorly educated students they produce are the standard, they are vastly over-paid. "The average teacher's salary does seem modest at first glace", wrote Greene, "about $44,600 in 2002 for all teachers."However, teachers only work nine months a year. A nurse making the same salary works twelve months with two week's vacation and perhaps ten paid holidays. The statistics are damning evidence they are paid well for far less actual work than comparable jobs.

    Another favorite myth is "that schools are helpless in the face of social problems is not supported by hard evidence," wrote Greene. "The truth is that certain schools do a strikingly better job than others at overcoming challenges in the culture." There is a reason why parents clamor for school choice, vouchers, when they know that some schools do a better job. Competition and incentives for the better schools would raise the standards for all schools.

    Class size is yet another myth. Greene notes, "Research suggests there may be some advantages to smaller classes—though, if so, the benefits are modest and come at a very high price tag." There is ample evidence that reducing class sizes is costly to the point of taking money from the purchase of books, equipment, and other reforms that would benefit students.

    In most professions and trade, certification is regarded as a reliable sign that practitioners have demonstrated a reasonable level of expertise. "One of the strongest and most consistent findings in the entire body of research on teacher quality is that teaching certificates and master's degrees in education are irrelevant to classroom performance."

    When the teacher corps is drawn from those college graduates who enter the profession for a lack of aptitude that would give them access to other, presumably better paying jobs, you end up with classrooms filled with people who may know barely more than their students. Or worse, are teaching classes on subjects for which they have no real skill, nor knowledge.

    "According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average private school charged $4,689 per student in tuition for the 1999-2000 school years. That same year, the average public school spent $8,032 per pupil." Somehow, private schools are able to out-perform public schools when it comes to imparting knowledge and skills despite the fact their students have less than half as much funding as public school students and the success of home-schooled students over their contemporaries is already legendary.

    The entire education establishment, frequently advocating the teaching of values at odds with those held by parents, has ruined our nation's schools and are defrauding taxpayers by failing to truly educate the children placed in their care.

    Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center, . His new book, "Right Answers: Separating Fact from Fantasy" has been published by Merril Press.

    Parents are not saving nearly enough to finance the education of their children
    A major theme of the report is that parents could do more to save, regardless of their income levels. Of parents in the survey, 58 percent say that they spent more on dining out or take-out food in the last year than on saving for college. In other categories of spending, 49 percent report that they spent more on vacations, 38 percent more on electronics, and 31 percent more on their children’s allowance than on saving for college. Such figures may explain why only 27 percent of parents in the survey believe that they will meet their goal for college savings.

    Scott Jaschik, "Poor Grades for Saving," Inside Higher Ed, October 16, 2006 ---
    Jensen Comment
    Parents of outstanding students who are not saving enough should know that, unless they have low incomes, the opportunities for merit scholarships are declining ---

    Understating Campus Crime?

    An analysis published today in The Wall Street Journal suggests that the crime data colleges report to the Education Department — and share with applicants — understate the extent of campus crime. The analysis compares that data with less publicized statistics reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which tend to suggest a far greater frequency of crime.
    Inside Higher Ed, October 23, 2006 ---

    University of Vermont Scientist Admits to Cheating
    On a rainy afternoon in June, Eric Poehlman stood before a federal judge in the United States District Court in downtown Burlington, Vt. His sentencing hearing had dragged on for more than four hours, and Poehlman, dressed in a black suit, remained silent while the lawyers argued over the appropriate sentence for his transgressions. Now was his chance to speak. A year earlier, in the same courthouse, Poehlman pleaded guilty to lying on a federal grant application and admitted to fabricating more than a decade’s worth of scientific data on obesity, menopause and aging, much of it while conducting clinical research as a tenured faculty member at the University of Vermont. He presented fraudulent data in lectures and in published papers, and he used this data to obtain millions of dollars in federal grants from the National Institutes of Health — a crime subject to as many as five years in federal prison. Poehlman’s admission of guilt came after more than five years during which he denied the charges against him, lied under oath and tried to discredit his accusers. By the time Poehlman came clean, his case had grown into one of the most expansive cases of scientific fraud in U.S. history.
    Jeneen Interlandi, "An Unwelcome Discovery," The New York Times, October 22, 2006 --- Click Here 

    Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at

    Amid Rising Costs and Criticism, Some Colleges Cut Back Merit Aid

    From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on October 13, 2006

    TITLE: Amid Rising Costs and Criticism, Some Colleges Cut Back Merit Aid
    REPORTER: Robert Tomsho
    DATE: Oct 11, 2006
    PAGE: A1
    TOPICS: Accounting, Governmental Accounting

    SUMMARY: 'A small but growing number of schools and university systems are to trying to reduce their merit offerings." Questions relate to understanding university financial operations as well as personal interest of the students in the topic.

    1.) What is merit aid to college and university students? How does it differ from need-based aid?

    2.) How has the level of merit aid changed in the last 10 years? From where is this information gathered?

    3.) What are the major sources of revenue to colleges and universities? Describe how these sources differ by type of institution, from large research-oriented universities to small liberal arts colleges.

    4.) How does offering financial aid impact college and universities' finances? Express your answer in terms of both cost to the institution and in terms of "discounting" tuition revenue.

    5.) Given the financial picture described in answer to questions 3 and 4, why do you think that colleges and universities offer a significant amount of merit aid?

    6.) Does the use of merit aid conflict with or support U.S. public policy on higher education? In your answer, identify what you think is U.S. public policy and then support your position on this question.

    Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

    "Amid Rising Costs and Criticism, Some Colleges Cut Back Merit Aid," by Robert Tomsho, The Wall Street Journal,  October 11, 2006; Page A1 ---

    As colleges and universities consider whether to join Harvard and Princeton in abandoning early-admissions programs, some are also trying to roll back another popular recruiting tool: merit aid.

    Colleges offer merit aid, which is typically awarded on the basis of grades, class rank and test scores, to students who ordinarily wouldn't qualify for financial help. Because merit aid can be a deciding factor in these students' choice of schools, it has become a major weapon in the bidding wars among colleges for high achievers who can help boost their national rankings.

    The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators says merit awards accounted for $7.3 billion, or 16%, of all college financial-aid grants in the U.S. for the 2003-2004 academic year, the latest for which data are available. That's up sharply from $1.2 billion, or 6% of the total, in 1993-1994.

    But the cost of such programs has mounted as their use has expanded and tuition has risen. Meanwhile, criticism has grown that they disproportionately benefit students from wealthier communities with better school systems, siphoning resources away from lower-income students with greater financial need. In some cases, students who qualify for neither need- nor merit-based aid end up paying even more to cover a college's costs. As a result, a small but growing number of schools and university systems are trying to reduce their merit offerings.

    The University of Florida recently slashed the value of its four-year scholarships for in-state scholars who qualified under the National Merit program by 79% to a total of $5,000.

    Last year, Illinois eliminated funding for a statewide merit program. Since 2004, the state of Maryland has been phasing out one merit program and flat-funding another while nearly doubling need-based college aid, to about $83.3 million a year.

    Many highly selective private schools like Harvard and Stanford universities don't offer merit aid, but some colleges that do are paring back sharply.

    Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pa., where annual tuition and fees total about $28,300, gave its $15,000-a-year merit scholarships to 15% of this year's freshmen, down from about 33% three years ago. To free up funding for more need-based aid, Rhode Island's Providence College scuttled its smaller merit scholarships and raised the eligibility requirements for its larger ones: A grade-point average of about 3.7 on a 4.0 scale used to be good enough; now it takes around a 3.83. Providence's merit scholarships can run as high as full tuition, which is $26,780 this year.

    Private-college associations in Pennsylvania and Minnesota are also taking early steps that could lead to broader cutbacks. They have been gathering data and weighing whether to ask the Justice Department for an antitrust exemption so their members can discuss joint action to reduce merit aid. With many colleges fearful that unilateral cuts will drive talented applicants into the hands of competitors, "it's going to take a group effort," says David Laird, president of the Minnesota Private College Council.

    But many college administrators fear that even discussing collective action will trigger an expensive repeat of 1991, when the Justice Department sued the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and eight Ivy League schools, charging them with antitrust violations for agreeing to adjust their financial aid offers so that a family's out-of-pocket price would be the same at every school. The suit was eventually settled, and a subsequent federal law permits 28 elite universities to agree on standards for granting financial aid but bars them from trading data on individuals.

    Efforts to cut back on merit aid also risk setting off a backlash from middle- and upper-income families who don't qualify for need-based aid but are finding the rising cost of a college to be a daunting stretch. "Family income isn't keeping pace with the things driving higher-education costs," says Jim Scannell, a partner at Scannell & Kurz Inc., a Pittsford, N.Y., consulting firm that works with colleges on enrollment issues.

    Some high-achieving applicants target schools that have merit-aid programs, hoping to win a tuition break. With tuition and fees at many private schools surpassing $40,000 a year, small private liberal-arts colleges that lack the cachet of the Ivy League but whose tuitions far exceed those of state colleges could have the most to lose from any cutbacks in merit aid.

    For many parents, merit aid "has become more of an expectation," says David Hawkins, public policy director for the National Association for College Admissions Counseling. James Boyle, president of College Parents of America, an advocacy group, adds that, "From a political standpoint, its difficult to take away."

    Indeed, efforts to contain the cost of statewide merit programs have sparked legislative battles in Georgia and other states. Despite the rising costs of aid, Georgia and Michigan have bet on merit-based scholarship programs as an economic-development tool, hoping to attract and keep academic talent and ultimately to spur research and innovation.

    Many institutions have no intention of cutting back on merit aid. Baylor University, a Baptist college in Waco, Texas, recently increased the value of the merit awards it gives to all incoming freshmen who score at least 1,300 points out of a possible 1,600 on SAT reading and math exams. The awards, which rise in value in tandem with a student's SAT scores, range from $2,000 to $4,000 a year.

    Jackie Diaz, Baylor's assistant vice president for student financial services, says the average SAT score for this fall's freshmen was 1,213, up from 1,196 a year ago. "I certainly think the financial-aid awarding has something to do with that," says Ms. Diaz, whose university gave merit packages valued at an average of $6,880 a year to about a third of last year's freshmen class.

    For some smaller schools, merit aid is less about boosting rankings than adding revenue by swelling enrollment. In most cases, students are still paying substantial sums for tuition even after receiving a scholarship. "I think in many cases it's misleading to call it merit aid," says Michael McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation, a Chicago-based educational research group. "It's 'get 'em in the door' aid."

    At private Wilkes University, Wilkes Barre, Pa., where tuition and fees are about $23,000 a year, only 81 of this year's 580 incoming freshmen didn't get merit aid. To land a scholarship, which starts at $6,000 a year, students have to have graduated in the top half of their high-school class and to have scored a combined total of at least a 900 on the SAT reading and math exams, not much above average.

    Mike Frantz, Wilkes's vice president for enrollment and marketing, concedes that the school's minimum requirement for merit aid "isn't incredibly high" but says the offers are necessary to persuade many cost-conscious students to seriously consider Wilkes.

    Most institutions, meanwhile, have shied away from cutting athletic scholarships, which often come out of a separate pocket. The University of Florida, for example, while downsizing the value of its National Merit scholarships, hasn't tinkered with its athletic awards. University officials say the $6.9 million in athletic scholarships it awarded last year were entirely funded by private donations and that revenue generated by the athletic program contributed more than $1 million to Florida's budget for need-based aid last year. Athletic scholarships at many schools are funded at least in part by private donors.

    Continued in article

    "New Approach to Aid," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, October 13, 2006 ---

    The University of Washington is putting a different twist on a growing movement to stop charging low-income students to enroll at leading public universities.

    Unlike many institutions that have started such programs in recent years, Washington is covering only tuition and fees, not room and board (although other student aid may well be available for that). But the university is offering its “Husky Promise” to those from families with incomes of up to 65 percent of the state median income, which would currently be about 235 percent of the federal poverty level ($46,500 for a family of four).

    That’s a much higher income level than the other public university programs. And because Washington already has a better record than most research universities at enrolling students from low-income backgrounds, the university is projecting that about 5,000 students a year will be in the program as it starts, or about 20 percent of all undergraduates. If the program encourages more eligible students to enroll — as officials at the university hope — Washington says it is possible that it could eventually have up to 30 percent of its undergraduates eligible, a proportion of low-income students that is almost unheard of at highly competitive universities.

    “This program is sending a very important message,” said Richard D. Kahlenberg, senior fellow at the Century Foundation and author of America’s Untapped Resource: Low-Income Students in Higher Education. “This recognizes that the problems with access extend beyond the lowest income students to the working class.”

    Ana Mari Cauce, executive vice provost at Washington, said that the institution wanted to cover students at the income levels it selected because focus groups indicated that many of them have false impressions about how much the university would cost them and about their ability to enroll. “We were hearing from an awful lot of people who thought tuition was $10,000 a year,” she said (about twice the reality).

    “I was sitting down with these people, many of whom I know would qualify for every aid program on the planet, but they have no idea. They think ‘I want to go to college, but you guys are too expensive,’ ” Cauce said. A psychologist who studies adolescents, Cauce said that research shows that these attitudes and expectations take hold early and can be hard to adjust, so the university wanted to do something dramatic to shake up those expectations and reach “the eighth grader trying to decide” whether it’s worth it to study hard, she said.

    Similar ideas have prompted a number of leading public universities to tell low-income students that they will not need to borrow to pay for college. The Carolina Covenant — at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — kicked off the movement in 2003. That program started with an eligibility level of 150 percent of the federal poverty level, and was raised to 200 percent, the level used by a program at the University of Virginia. Some of the institutions that have started programs since have used lower levels. In July, Michigan State University started a program for students at or below the poverty level.

    None of these programs have reached as high into the student body demographics as will the University of Washington (although some private institutions exceed that level). As a result of the higher cutoff level — and the fact that Washington is starting with a higher percentage of low-income students — a much larger share of undergraduates will be covered by the program. For example, 9 percent of Chapel Hill undergraduates meet that institution’s income level cutoff, compared to Washington’s 20 percent.

    The flip side, however, is that Washington won’t be covering room and board through this program. Cauce noted that many of these students will receive other aid for room and board, and she stressed that covering tuition and fees was only the minimum commitment and should in no way be viewed as a ceiling.

    The university’s demographics and location may also suggest that it has taken the right approach in covering more people, while not covering everything. “This is a university that has always had seriousness about serving low-income kids,” said Thomas G. Mortenson, a senior scholar for the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education. Add in the fact that the university in located in Seattle, making commuting a possibility for many students, and putting the emphasis on reaching more students with tuition aid makes sense, he said. “I’m not sure I would suggest this for Washington State University,” he said, given its more remote location.

    Kahlenberg of the Century Foundation said that in a perfect world, he would love to combine “the generosity of the Carolina approach with the cutoff of the Washington approach.”

    He said another plus to Washington’s including more income levels was that it would build the political base for student aid. “You have a much larger constituency,” he said.

    Robert Shireman, founder of the Project on Student Debt, said that he wasn’t sure which approach (more people eligible or larger grants) would be the best over time. “A blanket offer like the University of Washington’s can help deliver the message to more students in a simple way,” he said. North Carolina’s approach has the benefit of covering more needs for those at the lowest end of the economic spectrum, Shireman said. He said that there was no doubt that students do need to hear the kind of message Washington is now going to deliver.

    One of those pleased to see the Washington effort is Shirley A. Ort, associate provost and director of scholarships and financial aid at Chapel Hill, who led the efforts to create the Carolina Covenant and has encouraged other institutions to follow suit, including organizing a conference on such programs last month. Ort said that she thinks there is increasingly “a little peer pressure at work” in top universities trying to come up with new approaches to student aid. “I think there’s a lot more discussion about demographics and how they relate to institutional mission,” she said.

    Indeed, in announcing the new program, Mark Emmert, Washington’s president, said that one of the messages he wanted to send was that while his university had high standards and aspirations, it would never seek to be “elitist,” adding “it’s not in our DNA.”

    To the extent Washington is going about it in a different way than North Carolina did, Ort said that she wants to see different universities try different approaches, with the idea that they will learn from one another. This is a “let a thousand flowers bloom” kind of issue, she said.

    Mortenson of the Pell Institute also said he was pleased to see new approaches tried. His only caution was that most universities don’t have the resources of a major flagship to provide the aid that is needed, and government officials aren’t engaged in the issue. “One of the very positive things is that these institutions are not waiting for the government to address affordability problems. I think they are almost shaming the government,” he said.

    Added Mortenson: “I admire the commitment where I see it, but it really doesn’t get at all the unmet need out there.”

    Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

    The American Sociological Association criticizes the teaching of Intelligent Design
    The American Sociological Association has released a statement backing the teaching of evolution in public schools and criticizing the teaching of creationism and intelligent design. The latter theories, the statement said, are “empirically un-testable,” unlike evolution, the statement said. It added that the association “respects the right of people to hold diverse religious beliefs,” including those that reject evolution, but that such beliefs “should not be promulgated by science educators in the classroom.”
    Inside Higher Ed, October 20, 2006 ---

    The Genographic Project ---

    From the University of Virginia
    Miller Center of Public Affairs ---

    Barnard Center for Research on Women (social justice studies) ---

    To Recruit and Advance: Women Students and Faculty in Science and Engineering ---

    National First Ladies’ Library ---

    Does the author of this article needs more formal education in statistical analysis?

    "Suffering Schools Gladly," by George C. Leef, Tech Central Station, October 13, 2006 ---

    Last year's National Assessment of Adult Literacy showed that just 31 percent of college graduates could be regarded as "proficient" in their ability to read prose. When the NAAL was done in 1992, the figure was 40 percent, which seems to support the widespread anecdotal evidence that academic standards have been declining under the pressure to retain students who don't have much interest or ability in academic pursuits. The NAAL also shows weakness among college graduates in their ability to do simple math problems and the 2003 report of the National Commission on Writing found widespread dissatisfaction among employers with the writing skills of graduates.

    So are Americans "less prepared" just because they have fewer college degrees -- or because there has been an erosion of academic standards deep into our entire educational system? More to the point, though, just how much does it matter to our national economy that our "educational attainment" is sliding?

    So far, it is hard to see that it has any adverse impact. The U.S. economy remains one of the world's most robust, outpacing nations where the percentage of people with college degrees is rising. Canada and Japan, the two nations at the top of the list for college degrees among younger people, have 2005 GDP growth rates of 2.9 percent and 2.7 percent respectively. For the U.S., it's 3.5 percent. Barely behind the U.S. in the percentage of college degrees held by younger workers is France, which has a very anemic 1.4 percent growth rate. If there is any connection between college degrees and economic performance, it's a very loose one.

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    Millions of variables impact economic performance of a nation across a given year. It is misleading to single out any small subset of variables (such as academic literacy or math proficiency of recent graduates) and conclude that they are important or unimportant in and of themselves. There is also the matter of time. Executives making current decisions went to school in a different generation, perhaps one in which academic standards were higher. Even if future executives come graduate from schools with lowered standards, the rise to the top for these executives filter out most (not all) of the dummies. One thing is certain --- each new crop of executives if proficient in math to an extent they know who to manipulate the numbers to give themselves outrageous compensation. They're no dummies in the executive suites!

    Professor Quits Amid Charge of Improper Relationship
    An assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis who gained renown for helping to discover a new dinosaur species has resigned amid allegations of an improper relationship with a student . . . The issue surfaced this summer, when the university received information that was shared with Smith, according to M. Frederic Volkmann, vice chancellor for public affairs at Washington. Smith left the university over the summer, after the woman with whom he was alleged to have had a consensual relationship came forward, said a university official who wanted to remain anonymous. The student’s identity is not being revealed by Washington administrators. The university’s policy is that a faculty member is restricted from engaging in a consensual relationship with a student when the professor has a professional “position of authority” with respect to the student.
    Elia Powers, "Professor Quits Amid Charge of Improper Relationship," Inside Higher Ed, October 11, 2006 ---

    Has the University of Michigan been circumventing the Supreme Court decision on affirmative action?

    "New Salvos on Affirmative Action," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, October 17, 2006 ---

    With Michigan voters weeks away from a vote on whether to ban affirmative action, critics of the practice are releasing admissions statistics that they say show the extent of the gap between black and white applicants admitted to the University of Michigan.

    The data reveal large differences in grades and standardized test scores, and indicate that black applicants are much more likely to be admitted, even with lower grades and test scores. These are the sort of data that have been influential in other states that have considered — and passed — statewide bans on affirmative action. “The people of Michigan have a right to know the extent to which discrimination is taking place,” said Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, which is releasing the data today and planning a series of events in Michigan to publicize the figures.

    David Waymire, a spokesman for One United Michigan, which is leading the fight against the referendum, said that the data being released were “worthless” because they did not include breakdowns by economic class. He said that he believed the gaps in scores were largely driven by class, not race and ethnicity, and that this was just “the usual half-assed job” from the Center for Equal Opportunity.

    The data came from the University of Michigan, which had to release the figures in response to the center’s Freedom of Information Act requests. Among the findings:

    The debate in the weeks ahead is likely to be over what these numbers mean. To foes of affirmative action, they are the smoking gun about the use of racial preferences in admissions. To the University of Michigan, these are numbers without context or much significance at all (except perhaps politically).

    Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity said that these data suggest that the university is paying more attention now to race and ethnicity that it was before two landmark decisions by the Supreme Court in 2003. Those decisions — one about the system used by Michigan to admit undergraduates and one about its law school — effectively said that colleges could continue to use affirmative action, but couldn’t have separate systems in which extra points were awarded across the board specifically for race and ethnicity. Clegg’s group was hoping at the time for the court to completely bar affirmative action, but he said that the data show that Michigan is violating the ruling that was handed down.

    What the Supreme Court upheld was the use of race in a “limited and nuanced way,” he said, which is inconsistent with the wide gaps shown in the data his group is releasing.

    Julie Peterson, a spokeswoman for the University of Michigan, released a statement in which she took issue with Clegg’s analysis, which she called “flawed and shallow,” noting that expert witnesses in the affirmative action cases had found that such comparisons are oversimplified to the point of being misleading.

    The center’s analysis ignored key factors, she said, such as “the rigor of the student’s high school or undergraduate curriculum, extracurricular activities, essays, teacher and counselor recommendations, and socioeconomic status.” By ignoring these qualities about applicants, she said, “CEO attempts to reduce human beings to a couple of simplistic numbers. No top university admits students solely on the basis of grades and test scores. We consider many factors in order to admit a group of students who have diverse talents, who are highly motivated and who have the potential to succeed at Michigan and make a contribution to the learning environment.”

    Peterson noted that after the Supreme Court rulings, the university revised its undergraduate admissions process to gain more information about students. “It is just plain wrong to imply that race somehow carries a greater amount of weight than it has in the past, or than the Supreme Court allowed.”

    If there was one area on which Peterson and Clegg agreed, it was that the political stakes are high right now for data like the figures being released.

    “It is no coincidence that CEO has released this report in the weeks leading up to a ballot proposal that would outlaw public affirmative action in the state of Michigan,” Peterson said. “This is a politicized attempt by CEO to narrow the focus of the debate to college admissions at a single institution, rather than acknowledging the broader potential impact on state employment and contracting, K-12 schools and public universities and community colleges, potentially affecting financial aid, outreach, pre-college and other programs that consider race, gender and national origin.”

    For his part, Clegg said that he hopes the data will persuade Michigan voters to bar affirmative action. If they don’t, he said that the data could be helpful to others who may want to sue the university. And if you aren’t in Michigan, Clegg said that his group — which previously did a series of studies like the Michigan one — is planning another series.

    Saga of affirmative action at the University of Michigan ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

    Situational Ethics in Practice

    October 12, 2006 message from Scott Bonacker [aecm@BONACKER.US]

    It was really the second of these two articles that caught my eye. The point being, in any case, that teaching ethical behavior is not just an issue for accountancy.

    10-04-2006 Security's Rotten Apples 

    "if you're working with at least two other IT/security professionals, and you're not breaking any rules, look around -- there's a good chance one of them is.

    That's the net result of Dark Reading's "Security Scruples" reader survey, which tested the attitudes and ethics of some 648 IT and security pros over the last two weeks.

    The survey, which asked IT people about their beliefs and behavior in both real and hypothetical security situations, suggests that about two thirds of them agree on the conventions for proper conduct -- and the other third might be doing anything from peeking at colleagues' personal data to actively stealing information from the company."

    10-11-2006 Corporate Ethics are 'Situational' 

    "Officially, corporations never fail to report suspected security violations, never pay ransoms to hackers, and never allow employees to use company IT systems for personal reasons.

    Unofficially, they do all of those things.

    According to Dark Reading's "Security Scruples" survey, which concluded today, many enterprises operate differently in private than they say they do in public. And those differences cause some concerns for IT security professionals, whose jobs are on the line."

    Scott Bonacker
    Springfield, MO

    Bob Jensen's threads on ethics and accounting education are at

    From the Scout Report on October 20, 2006

    AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 7.1.4 ---

    Lurking around just about every virtual corner are viruses, waiting to bother high-functioning operating systems who are minding their own business. Interested parties will breathe a sigh of relief as they learn about this application, which provides a tool for scanning hard drives and email quickly and effectively. While the interface isn’t the most visually stunning, it is easy to use. Additional features include a real-time shield which is designed to prevent recurrent infections. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP.

    OpenOffice 2.0.4 --- 

    Designed as an open-source alternative to some of the mainline commercial office suite programs, the OpenOffice application contains a full-featured word processor (known as “Writer”), a spreadsheet tool, and an application for creating multimedia presentations. Additionally, visitors can also open and save documents in a number of formats, ensuring maximum compatibility with other programs. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, and XP.

    Jumping online to social networking sites brings rewards and risks for politicians Some profiles on not what they seem [Free registration required]

    Politicians caught on Internet candid cameras

    Politicians Try Out MySpace --- Click Here

    2006 Politics Online Conference Magazine
 Online 2006 Conference Magazine.pdf

    Declare Yourself ---

    Herblock’s Gift ---

    Updates from WebMD ---

    Latest Headlines on October 23, 2006

    Latest Headlines on October 25, 2006

    Latest Headlines on October 26, 2006

    To talk to your woman for hours on a cell phone or father her child, that is the question (Hamlet had no such choice)
    A study debuted in New Orleans has suggested that electromagnetic radiation from cell phones may have an effect on a man's sperm count.
    "Study: Cell phones reduce sperm counts," PhysOrg, October 24, 2006 ---

    Drugs to Curb Alzheimer’s Agitation Are Said to Be Ineffective
    The drugs most commonly used to soothe agitation and aggression in people with Alzheimer’s disease are no more effective than placebos for most patients, and put them at risk of serious side effects, including confusion, sleepiness and Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms, researchers are reporting today.
    Benedict Carey, "Drugs to Curb Agitation Are Said to Be Ineffective for Alzheimer’s," The New York Times, October 13, 2006 ---

    "A New Alzheimer's Vaccine:  New approaches to immunizing patients against the harmful protein buildup characteristic of Alzheimer's disease offer hope for safer treatments," by Emily Singer, MIT's Technology Review, October 19, 2006 ---

    Vaccination against Alzheimer's disease is one of the most promising treatment strategies. But safety concerns arising after initial human trials have slowed clinical development of such vaccines. Now new research that aims to bring the benefits of vaccines without the harmful side effects are raising hopes once again for this largely untreatable disease.

    "There is tremendous interest in this approach," says Neil Buckholtz, chief of the dementias of aging branch at the National Institute on Aging (NIA), in Bethesda, MD. "People believe this could be a promising therapeutic, but they are proceeding slowly because of safety concerns."

    Alzheimer's vaccines work by preventing or clearing the buildup of a protein, known as beta-amyloid, which clogs the brains of Alzheimer's patients. A patient can be injected with either an active or passive vaccine. Active vaccines contain the protein itself, triggering the body's immune response to produce protein-specific antibodies that tag the protein for clearance. Passive vaccines, on the other hand, contain antibodies to the protein and therefore may not require an active immune response.

    Animal tests of both approaches have been promising: animals given the vaccines showed less buildup of the toxic protein and better performance on cognitive tests. But an early clinical trial of an active vaccine, sponsored by the Ireland-based Elan Corporation, was stopped in 2002 after four patients developed encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain. Later, autopsies of these patients' brains showed that despite the inflammation, the vaccine did clear the toxic protein from the brain.

    "The challenge now is, are there other ways to use the immunotherapy approach to get the benefits without the adverse effects?" says Richard J. Hodes, director of the NIA.

    The NIA is sponsoring a new trial, announced earlier this week at the Society for Neurosciences conference, in Atlanta, of a different type of antibody therapy: intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg), a blood product used to treat immune disorders. IVIg contains a mix of different antibodies, including one against amyloid. Because the product has already been used to treat thousands of people with immune disease, scientists say it is unlikely to cause the inflammatory problems seen in the first Elan trial. "We have a good understanding of the side effects and how to avoid them," says Hodes.

    Elan is also testing a passive vaccine, currently in clinical trials.

    Naturally occurring enzyme can break down key part of Alzheimer's plaques
    Scientists have identified a naturally occurring enzyme that can break down a key component of the brain plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. The finding may provide researchers with new opportunities to understand what goes wrong in the brains of Alzheimer's patients and could one day help them seek new therapies.
    "Naturally occurring enzyme can break down key part of Alzheimer's plaques," PhysOrg, October 24, 2006 ---

    Scientists identify memory gene
    An international study led by U.S. geneticists has discovered a gene -- called Kibra -- that is associated with memory performance in humans. The researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix say their findings may be used to develop new medicines for diseases affecting memory, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, by providing a better understanding of how memory works at the molecular level.
    "Scientists identify memory gene," PhysOrg, October 20, 2006 ---

    Cancer Killing Virus
    South Korean scientists said Thursday they have developed a new genetically altered strain of virus which is highly efficient in targeting and killing cancer cells.
    "SKorean scientists say cancer-killing virus developed," PhysOrg, October 19, 2006 ---

    National Collegiate EMS Foundation ---

    It's perfect on a cracker. Almost too perfect. Explore the secrets of Easy Cheese, one of the world's most unnatural foods.
    Patrick Di Justo, "What's Inside: Squirt-On Cheese?" Wired Magazine, October 2006 ---

    It's perfect on a cracker. Almost too perfect. Explore the secrets of one of the world's most unnatural foods.

    Whey: The cheese-making process removes 80 to 90 percent of milk's moisture, some of which is in the form of liquidy whey proteins. This byproduct is usually thrown out, but Kraft plows it back into Easy Cheese to increase volume (filler!) – and passes the savings along to you.

    Canola oil: Keeps the cheese from solidifying.

    Salt: Increases the osmotic transport of moisture, speeding up the cheese-drying process. It also inhibits bacterial growth – in other words, it's a preservative. Easy Cheese has twice the sodium of typical organic cheddar.

    Sodium citrate: The sodium in this compound exchanges ions with the calcium in the milk and "softens" the water-soluble portion of the cheese, enabling it to mix thoroughly with the fat-soluble component. That's called emulsification. The citric acid-derived citrate boosts the sour "bite" of cheddar.

    Sodium phosphate: Degreaser, preservative, urine acidifier, enema ingredient – is there anything Na3PO4 can't do? Here, it's another emulsifying agent. Proponents of natural cheese cited this additive when lobbying to have Kraft's products regulated as "embalmed cheese." The Feds settled on the less-mortifying "process cheese."

    Calcium phosphate: Sodium phosphate tends to make calcium unavailable to the body. So it's possible that calcium phosphate has to be added to make Easy Cheese healthier. It also makes it legal for Kraft to label every can "an excellent source of calcium."

    Lactic acid: Bacteria, either found naturally in milk or added in the cheese-making process, digest the milk sugar lactose and produce lactic acid. It tastes a little sour, because that's how your taste buds interpret hydrogen ions, a key component of every acid.

    Sodium alginate: Every good processed food has seaweed extract, and Easy Cheese is no exception. Alginate, a gum found in the cell walls of brown algae, is flavorless but increases viscosity.

    Apocarotenal: This yellow-orange pigment, found in spinach and citrus fruits, enhances the color of processed cheese.

    The can: Easy Cheese is not a true aerosol – the food never comes in contact with propellant. The can has two sections: The bottom is filled with nitrogen gas, and the top with cheese. Press the nozzle and the nitrogen pressure pushes the cheese out of the can. The nozzle is notched for two reasons: To produce those pretty little floret patterns when the cheese is released, and to ensure that the tasty condiment comes out even if the end of the nozzle is pushed right up against the cracker.

    Johns Hopkins Medicine Podcasts ---

    "Medicine In ConflictThere is more concern than ever that doctors are blurring the lines between objective science and financial gain," by Arlene Weintraub and Amy Barrett, Business Week, October 23, 2006 --- Click Here

    On Oct. 22, some 5,000 physicians will convene in Washington for five days of discussions about high-tech heart treatments. Representatives of more than 160 medical- device companies also will be there to promote their valves, catheters, and stents. This annual confluence of medicine and commerce is carefully choreographed, but still, things don't always go as planned.

    In September, 2004, with thousands of doctors at the conference watching live by satellite on giant screens, a cardiologist in Milan inserted an experimental heart valve into a gravely ill patient. Suddenly the patient's heart began to fail. For 45 minutes the stunned audience watched a series of desperate life-saving attempts, until finally the satellite transmission was cut. The patient died later that day. "It was harrowing," says Dr. Martin B. Leon, the New York heart specialist who started the influential conference 18 years ago. "That was a very difficult thing for us."

    Leon's anguish over the incident remains palpable, but he also had a financial interest in seeing the valve work. He co-founded the small company that invented the device. That company was sold to Edwards LifesciencesEdwards Lifesciences llcEW just a few months before the device was used in the televised procedure. The deal netted Leon $6 million in cash, plus the chance to earn an additional $1.5 million if the product achieved certain milestones, one of which related to the number of patients successfully treated.

    Did Leon's financial stake in the experimental device play a role in its being promoted at an important conference where he is the most prominent figure? "Absolutely not," Leon says. The question, he adds, "borders on being offensive." Nevertheless, he now wonders whether the technology was refined enough to be ready for prime time.

    As Leon prepares for this year's conference, he does so amid renewed anxiety over the mixing of medical and corporate interests. Spurred by widespread concern that industry money has too much influence on patient care, the nation's leading medical institutions are reining in doctors. In May, the Cleveland Clinic tightened its conflict-of- interest procedures after ties between device companies and prominent doctors there came to light. Several top academic medical centers have ordered physicians not to accept even trivial company giveaways. "We don't think about whose pen we're holding or who bought us that last pizza, but it creates influence," says Dr. P.J. Brennan, chief medical officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

    Leon's career illustrates the potential conflicts that have become commonplace and are prompting the new rules. The doctor, who traces his choice of profession to the day his grandmother died in his arms after a heart attack, is chairman of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation in New York. The foundation uses donations and fees from medical device companies to stage Leon's annual conference, called Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT). A professor of medicine at Columbia University, he has helped start a handful of cardiac device companies through a corporate "incubator" he co-founded. He also has served as a paid scientific adviser for several other startups. Over the years, companies to which he has had close ties have been featured prominently at TCT, creating at minimum a perception that the companies' products are favored for reasons other than medical merit.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on potential conflicts of interest in academic research are at ---

    "Living With Love, Chaos and Haley," by Pam Belluck, The New York Times, October 22, 2006 ---

    At least six million American children have difficulties that are diagnosed as serious mental disorders, according to government surveys — a number that has tripled since the early 1990’s. Most are treated with psychiatric medications and therapy. The children sometimes attend special schools.

    But while these measures can help, they often do not help enough, and the families of such children are left on their own to sort through a cacophony of conflicting advice.

    The illness, and sometimes the treatment, can strain marriages, jobs, finances. Parents must monitor medications, navigate therapy sessions, arrange special school services. Some families must switch neighborhoods or schools to escape unhealthy situations or to find support and services. Some keep friends and relatives away.

    Parents can feel guilt, anger, helplessness. Siblings can feel neglected, resentful or pressure to be problem-free themselves.

    “It kind of ricochets to other family members,” said Dr. Robert L. Hendren, president-elect of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. “I see so many parents who just hurt badly for their children and then, in a sense, start hurting for themselves.”

    Continued in article


    Forwarded by Auntie Bev

    George Carlin's Rules for 2006

    New Rule: Stop giving me that pop-up ad for! There's a reason you don't talk to people for 25 years. Because you never particularly liked them! Besides, I already know what the captain of the football team is doing these days: he’s mowing my lawn.

    New Rule: Don't eat anything that's served to you out a window unless you're a seagull. People are acting all shocked that a human finger was found in a bowl of Wendy's chili. Hey, it cost less than a dollar. What did you expect it to contain? Trout?

    New Rule: Stop saying that teenage boys who have sex with their hot, blonde teachers are permanently damaged. I have a better description for these kids: lucky bastards.

    New Rule: If you need to shave and you still collect baseball cards, you're a dope. If you're a kid, the cards are keepsakes of your idols. If you're a grown man, they're pictures of men.

    New Rule: Ladies, leave your eyebrows alone. Here's how much men care about your eyebrows: do you have two of them? Okay, we're done.

    New Rule: There's no such thing as flavored water. There's a whole aisle of this crap at the supermarket, water, but without that watery taste. Sorry, but flavored water is called a soft drink. You want flavored water? Pour some scotch over ice and let it melt. That's your flavored water.

    New Rule: Stop f***ing with old people. Target is introducing a redesigned pill bottle that's square, with a bigger label. And the top is now the bottom. And by the time grandpa figures out how to open it, his ass will be in the morgue. Congratulations, Target, you just solved the Social Security crisis.

    New Rule: The more complicated the Starbucks order, the bigger the ass hole. If you walk into a Starbucks and order a "decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n'-Low and one NutraSweet," ooh, you're a huge asshole.

    New Rule: I'm not the cashier! By the time I look up from sliding my card, entering my PIN number, pressing "Enter," verifying the amount, deciding, no, I don't want cash back, and pressing "Enter" again, the kid who is supposed to be ringing me up is standing there eating my Almond Joy.

    New Rule: Just because your tattoo has Chinese characters in it doesn't make you spiritual. It's right above the crack of your ass. And it translates into "beef with broccoli." The last time you did anything spiritual, you were praying to God you weren't pregnant. You're not spiritual. You're just high.

    New Rule: Competitive eating isn't a sport. It's one of the seven deadly sins. ESPN recently televised the US Open of Competitive Eating, because watching those athletes at the poker table was just too damned exciting. What's next, competitive farting? Oh wait. They're already doing that. It's called "The Howard Stern Show."

    New Rule: I don't need a bigger mega M&M. If I'm extra hungry for M&Ms, I'll go nuts and eat two.

    New Rule: If you're going to insist on making movies based on crappy, old television shows, then you have to give everyone in the Cineplex a remote so we can see what's playing on the other screens. Let's remember, the reason something was a television show in the first place is that the idea wasn't good enough to be a movie.

    New Rule: No more gift registries. You know, it used to be just for weddings. Now it's for babies and new homes and graduations from rehab. Picking out the stuff you want and having other people buy it for you isn't gift giving, it's the white people version of looting.



    More Tidbits from the Chronicle of Higher Education ---

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    International Association of Accountants News --- and Double Entries ---
    Gerald Trite's eBusiness and XBRL Blogs ---
    AccountingWeb ---   
    SmartPros ---

    Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

    Richard Torian's Managerial Accounting Information Center --- 

    Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
    190 Sunset Hill Road
    Sugar Hill, NH 03586
    Phone:  603-823-8482