"What Muslim Women Want?" by Geneive Abdo and Dalia Mogahed, The Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2006; Page A18 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116597643672848516.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep
Shariah literally means "the road to water," and represents the moral compass of a Muslim's personal and public life. Historically, the principles of Shariah could be used to limit the power of the sultan; after all, he would never claim he was above God's law. Therefore, when Muslims call for Shariah and gender equality, both are calls for the rule of law and an end to inequality. In many countries, Muslims are calling for the application of Shariah because even when the constitution states that Shariah is the primary basis of law, in practice, this is not enforced by officially secular governments.
Among the women surveyed in our poll, Egyptian women are most likely to believe Shariah should be the primary source of legislation: 62% say it should be the only source of law, and 28% say it should be a source, but not the only source. In nearly every country surveyed, aside from officially secular Turkey, a majority of women say Islamic law should either be the primary source of legislation or a source.
For decades, the role of women in Islamic societies has provided one of the primary battlegrounds in the cultural war between East and West. As a result, Muslim women have been placed in two artificial and mutually exclusive categories: Modern and secular or religious and traditional -- even backward. The assumption is that, although the numbers of women choosing to veil in Egypt and elsewhere are growing, this trend is a result of either ignorance or women surrendering to pressure from their husbands or fathers.
In contrast to the popular wisdom that women are content even if they believe they are second-class citizens, Gallup's survey found that women in the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed believe they should have equal legal rights as men, from voting rights to employment opportunities and access to the highest posts in government. Some 83% of Iranian women, for example, say women should be able to hold leadership positions in the cabinet and national council. Still, when the same Iranian women were asked the Shariah question, 66% said Islamic law should be a source, and 14% said the sole source, of legislation.
Majorities of Muslim women also say that religion is an important part of their daily lives. When asked to associate descriptions with the Islamic world, the most often chosen statement among men and women was "attachment to their spiritual and moral values is crucial to progress." When asked an open-ended question about what they admire most about their own societies the most frequent response was "people's attachment to the teachings of Islam."
These findings muddy the oversimplified debate that posits religion against modernity, and they reflect a trend in Islamic societies that is gaining momentum: While Muslim women favor gender equality, they do not favor wholesale adoption of Western cultural values. Instead, they want to pick and choose which aspects of the West and the East will form the basis of their lives.
This trend is evident among the rich and famous Egyptian movie stars who have opted for a veiled life off the screen. Egypt's stars are powerful cultural icons, and it was their recent testimonials of embracing Islam and leaving behind their lives in the fast lane that were a factor in Farouk Hosni's remarks. As more and more prominent women in Egypt have announced publicly their desire to wear headscarves, the public debate in the country has become more heated.
As Muslim women try to reconcile religion with modernity, a few clerics are helping them along the way. Amr Khaled, arguably the most popular television preacher in the Arab world, has become the guardian for Muslim youth and educated women who are embracing Islam. With the business suits (not clerical robes) he wears for sermons and a London address, Amr Khaled has found a third way between secular liberalism and radical Islam. Through his teaching, he has attracted millions of followers much like Enas, a fashion-conscious member of Egypt's affluent class. After listening to Amr Khaled, she was "awakened spiritually" and then began wearing the hijab. "Our image of Islam used to be that it was only for poor people, old fashioned people who wore white galabyias [long traditional tunics] and had scruffy beards, not the chic upper class," says Enas. "By listening to Amr, I realized how much my life was missing without a focus on God."
The young Egyptian, who has a doctorate in pharmacy, is now pursuing a degree in Shariah studies. "Because our laws are not based on Shariah today, injustice and corruption are rampant. I wanted to study Shariah," she says, "to teach the young people so the next generation would be better than the current one -- so our country would progress."
Ms. Abdo and Ms. Mogahed are, respectively, senior analyst at, and executive director of, the Center for Muslim Studies at the Gallup Organization.
Report on the Taliban's War Against Women Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor November 17, 2001 --- http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/6185.htm
Prior to the rise of the Taliban, women in Afghanistan were protected under law and increasingly afforded rights in Afghan society. Women received the right to vote in the 1920s; and as early as the 1960s, the Afghan constitution provided for equality for women. There was a mood of tolerance and openness as the country began moving toward democracy. Women were making important contributions to national development. In 1977, women comprised over 15% of Afghanistan's highest legislative body. It is estimated that by the early 1990s, 70% of schoolteachers, 50% of government workers and university students, and 40% of doctors in Kabul were women. Afghan women had been active in humanitarian relief organizations until the Taliban imposed severe restrictions on their ability to work. These professional women provide a pool of talent and expertise that will be needed in the reconstruction of post-Taliban Afghanistan.
Islam has a tradition of protecting the rights of women and children. In fact, Islam has specific provisions which define the rights of women in areas such as marriage, divorce, and property rights. The Taliban's version of Islam is not supported by the world's Muslims. Although the Taliban claimed that it was acting in the best interests of women, the truth is that the Taliban regime cruelly reduced women and girls to poverty, worsened their health, and deprived them of their right to an education, and many times the right to practice their religion. The Taliban is out of step with the Muslim world and with Islam.
Afghanistan under the Taliban had one of the worst human rights records in the world. The regime systematically repressed all sectors of the population and denied even the most basic individual rights. Yet the Taliban's war against women was particularly appalling.Women are imprisoned in their homes, and are denied access to basic health care and education. Food sent to help starving people is stolen by their leaders. The religious monuments of other faiths are destroyed. Children are forbidden to fly kites, or sing songs... A girl of seven is beaten for wearing white shoes.
-- President George W. Bush, Remarks to the Warsaw Conference on Combating Terrorism, November 6, 2001
The Taliban first became prominent in 1994 and took over the Afghan capital, Kabul, in 1996. The takeover followed over 20 years of civil war and political instability. Initially, some hoped that the Taliban would provide stability to the country. However, it soon imposed a strict and oppressive order based on its misinterpretation of Islamic law.
The assault on the status of women began immediately after the Taliban took power in Kabul. The Taliban closed the women's university and forced nearly all women to quit their jobs, closing down an important source of talent and expertise for the country. It restricted access to medical care for women, brutally enforced a restrictive dress code, and limited the ability of women to move about the city.
The Taliban perpetrated egregious acts of violence against women, including rape, abduction, and forced marriage. Some families resorted to sending their daughters to Pakistan or Iran to protect them.
Afghan women living under the Taliban virtually had the world of work closed to them. Forced to quit their jobs as teachers, doctors, nurses, and clerical workers when the Taliban took over, women could work only in very limited circumstances. A tremendous asset was lost to a society that desperately needed trained professionals.
As many as 50,000 women, who had lost husbands and other male relatives during Afghanistan's long civil war, had no source of income. Many were reduced to selling all of their possessions and begging in the streets, or worse, to feed their families.
Denied Education and Health Care
Restricting women's access to work is an attack on women today. Eliminating women's access to education is an assault on women tomorrow.
The Taliban ended, for all practical purposes, education for girls. Since 1998, girls over the age of eight have been prohibited from attending school. Home schooling, while sometimes tolerated, was more often repressed. Last year, the Taliban jailed and then deported a female foreign aid worker who had promoted home-based work for women and home schools for girls. The Taliban prohibited women from studying at Kabul University.
"The Taliban has clamped down on knowledge and ignorance is ruling instead."
-- Sadriqa, a 22-year-old woman in Kabul
As a result of these measures, the Taliban was ensuring that women would continue to sink deeper into poverty and deprivation, thereby guaranteeing that tomorrow's women would have none of the skills needed to function in a modern society.
Under Taliban rule, women were given only the most rudimentary access to health care and medical care, thereby endangering the health of women, and in turn, their families. In most hospitals, male physicians could only examine a female patient if she were fully clothed, ruling out the possibility of meaningful diagnosis and treatment.
These Taliban regulations led to a lack of adequate medical care for women and contributed to increased suffering and higher mortality rates. Afghanistan has the world's second worst rate of maternal death during childbirth. About 16 out of every 100 women die giving birth.
Inadequate medical care for women also meant poor medical care and a high mortality rate for Afghan children. Afghanistan has one of the world's highest rates of infant and child mortality. According to the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 165 of every 1000 babies die before their first birthday.
Further hampering health, the Taliban destroyed public education posters and other health information. This left many women, in a society already plagued by massive illiteracy, without basic health care information.
In May 2001, the Taliban raided and temporarily closed a foreign-funded hospital in Kabul because male and female staff allegedly mixed in the dining room and operating wards. It is significant to note that approximately 70% of health services had been provided by international relief organizations -- further highlighting the Taliban's general disregard for the welfare of the Afghan people.
"The life of Afghan women is so bad. We are locked at home and cannot see the sun."
-- Nageeba, a 35-year-old widow in Kabul
The Taliban also required that windows of houses be painted over to prevent outsiders from possibly seeing women inside homes, further isolating women who once led productive lives and contributing to a rise in mental health problems. Physicians for Human Rights reports high rates of depression and suicide among Afghan women. One European physician reported many cases of burns in the esophagus as the result of women swallowing battery acid or household cleaners--a cheap, if painful, method of suicide.
Fettered by Restrictions on Movement
In urban areas, the Taliban brutally enforced a dress code that required women to be covered under a burqa -- a voluminous, tent-like full-body outer garment that covers them from head to toe. One Anglo-Afghan journalist reported that the burqa's veil is so thick that the wearer finds it difficult to breathe; the small mesh panel permitted for seeing allows such limited vision that even crossing the street safely is difficult.
While the burqa existed prior to the Taliban, its use was not required. As elsewhere in the Muslim world and the United States, women chose to use the burqa as a matter of individual religious or personal preference. In Afghanistan, however, the Taliban enforced the wearing of the burqa with threats, fines, and on-the-spot beatings. Even the accidental showing of the feet or ankles was severely punished. No exceptions were allowed. One woman who became violently carsick was not permitted to take off the garment. When paying for food in the market, a woman's hand could not show when handing over money or receiving the purchase. Even girls as young as eight or nine years old were expected to wear the burqa.The fate of women in Afghanistan is infamous and intolerable. The burqa that imprisons them is a cloth prison, but it is above all a moral prison. The torture imposed on little girls who dare to show their ankles or their polished nails is appalling. It is unacceptable and insupportable.
-- King Mohammed VI of Morocco
The burqa is not only a physical and psychological burden on some Afghan women, it is a significant economic burden as well. Many women cannot afford the cost of one. In some cases, whole neighborhoods share a single garment, and women must wait days for their turn to go out. For disabled women who need a prosthesis or other aid to walk, the required wearing of the burqa makes them virtually homebound if they cannot get the burqa over the prosthesis or other aid, or use the device effectively when wearing the burqa.
Restrictions on clothing are matched with other limitations on personal adornment. Makeup and nail polish were prohibited. White socks were also prohibited, as were shoes that make noise as it had been deemed that women should walk silently.
Even when dressed according to the Taliban rules, women were severely restricted in their movement. Women were permitted to go out only when accompanied by male relatives or risk Taliban beatings. Women could not use public taxis without accompanying male relatives, and taxi drivers risked losing their licenses or beatings if they took unescorted female passengers. Women could only use special buses set aside for their use, and these buses had their windows draped with thick curtains so that no one on the street could see the women passengers.
One woman who was caught with an unrelated man in the street was publicly flogged with 100 lashes, in a stadium full of people. She was lucky. If she had been married, and found with an unrelated male, the punishment would have been death by stoning. Such is the Taliban's perversion of justice, which also includes swift summary trials, public amputations and executions.
Violation of Basic Rights
The Taliban claimed it was trying to ensure a society in which women had a safe and dignified role. But the facts show the opposite. Women were stripped of their dignity under the Taliban. They were made unable to support their families. Girls were deprived of basic health care and of any semblance of schooling. They were even deprived of their childhood under a regime that took away their songs, their dolls, and their stuffed animals -- all banned by the Taliban.
The Amman Declaration (1996) of the World Health Organization cites strong authority within Islamic law and traditions that support the right to education for both girls and boys as well as the right to earn a living and participate in public life.
Indeed, the Taliban's discriminatory policies violate many of the basic principles of international human rights law. These rights include the right to freedom of expression, association and assembly, the right to work, the right to education, freedom of movement, and the right to health care. What is more, as Human Rights Watch has noted, �the discrimination [that Afghan women face] is cumulative and so overwhelming that it is literally life threatening for many Afghan women.� This assault on the role of women has not been dictated by the history and social mores of Afghanistan as the Taliban claim.
Nor are the Taliban's restrictions on women in line with the reality in other Muslim countries. Women are serving as President of Indonesia and Prime Minister of Bangladesh. There are women government ministers in Arab countries and in other Muslim countries. Women have the right to vote in Muslim countries such as Qatar, Iran, and Bahrain. Throughout the Muslim world, women fill countless positions as doctors, teachers, journalists, judges, business people, diplomats, and other professionals.
A large and increasing number of women students ensures that in the years to come, women will continue to make an important contribution to the development of their societies. In Saudi Arabia, for example, more than half the university student body is female. Although Muslim societies differ among themselves on the status of women and the roles they should play, Islam is a religion that respects women and humanity. The Taliban respects neither.
The long years of war and instability in Afghanistan have resulted in massive numbers of displaced persons internally and in neighboring countries. There are approximately 1.1 million internally displaced persons. An estimated 3.5 million Afghans have fled to Pakistan, 1.5 million to Iran, and hundreds of thousands more scattered throughout the border regions. Moreover, Taliban looting of humanitarian relief organizations contributed to the increased numbers seeking refuge abroad. Afghan women and children make up the overwhelming majority of the refugee population dependent on international assistance.
Afghan civil society and community-based activists are working hard to begin reconstructing their society in refugee camps, in preparation for the day when they can reclaim and rebuild their own country. Women have played an important role in these efforts, both in refugee settlements and--clandestinely--in communities in Afghanistan. These women and men, says Sima Wali, an Afghan woman who directs the non-profit organization Refugee Women in Development, have already demonstrated remarkable leadership and ability. They are our hope for Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan ... the disrespect of human rights has acquired extreme dimensions. Overall, women in Afghanistan are basically not treated as people.... To overcome this, one needs to develop specific gender-oriented programs that would include, primarily and first of all, questions related to proper education for women.
Taliban Rule No. 24 forbids anyone to work as a
teacher "under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of
the infidels." One rule later, No. 25, says teachers who ignore Taliban warnings
will be killed. Taliban militants early Saturday broke into a house in the
eastern province of Kunar, killing a family of five, including two sisters who
Jason Straziuso, "New Taliban rules target Afghan teachers," Yahoo News, December 9, 2006 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061209/ap_on_re_as/afghan_taliban_rules
The Taliban also prohibits teaching females to read and write.
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) --- http://www.rawa.org/
Everywoman is a
weekly magazine studio based show for women, presented by Shahnaz Pakravan.
On Everywoman we are uncompromising in our approach and dig deeper to uncover the stories that women want told. Everywoman is the first show of its kind out of this region and is essential viewing to half the world’s population and you men won’t want to miss it either.
Al Jazeera, December 14, 2006 ---
In India, abortion is not gender neutral
Ten million girls have been killed by their parents in India in the past 20 years, either before they were born or immediately after, a government minister said on Thursday, describing it as a "national crisis" . . . A UNICEF report released this week said 7,000 fewer girls are born in the country every day than the global average would suggest, largely because female foetuses are aborted after sex determination tests but also through murder of new borns.
Palash Kumar, "India has killed 10 mln girls in 20 years," Yahoo News, December 154 2006 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061214/india_nm/india280322
A new book showcases the lives of women in science, technology, gaming and other nerdy pursuits.
"She's Such a Geek!" Wired News, December 15, 2006 --- http://blog.wired.com/tableofmalcontents/2006/12/shes_such_a_gee.html
The Amazon Link --- Click Here
Why Aren’t More Women in Science?
The year 2006 may be remembered for unprecedented
attention given to issues related to women in science. Numerous expert panels —
most notably one
appointed by the National Academies — examined
barriers facing female scientists. A new collection published by the American
Psychological Association aims to add to the knowledge base.
More Women in Science: Top Researchers Debate the Evidence,
features essays on both biological and societal
explanations. The editors Stephen J. Ceci, a professor of developmental
psychology at Cornell University, and Wendy M. Williams, a professor of human
development at Cornell. Ceci and Williams responded to questions about the new
Scott Jaschik, "‘Why Aren’t More Women in Science?’" Inside Higher Ed, January 3, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/01/03/women
Screwed: The Spine as an Insider Profit Center
But there have been serious questions about how much the surgery actually helps patients with back pain and whether surgeons’ generous fees might motivate them to overuse the procedure. Those concerns are now heightened by a growing trend among some surgeons to profit in yet another way — by investing in companies that make screws and other hardware they install. The parts can be highly profitable. A single screw that goes into the spine, for example, sells for about $1,000 — at least 10 times the cost of making it.
Reed Abelson, "The Spine as Profit Center," The New York Times, December 30, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/30/business/30spine.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
Where were (are) the lawyers in the recent corporate governance and investment scandals?
Report of the Task Force on the Lawyer's Role in Corporate Governance, New York City Bar, November 2006 --- http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/WSJ-CORP-GOV-FINAL_REPORT.pdf
Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm
Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#Governance
A Dramatic Proposal for Change in Humanities Education
A panel of some of the top professors of foreign languages has concluded that the programs that train undergraduate majors and new Ph.D.’s are seriously off course, with so much emphasis on literature that broader understanding of cultures and nations has been lost . . . The implications of this call for change are, several panel members said, “revolutionary” and potentially quite controversial. For example, the measures being called for directly challenge the tradition in which first and second-year language instruction is left in many departments to lecturers, who frequently play little role in setting curricular policy. The panel wants to see tenure-track professors more involved in all parts of undergraduate education and — in a challenge to the hierarchy of many departments — wants departments to include lecturers who are off the tenure track in planning the changes and carrying them out.
Scott Jaschik, "Dramatic Plan for Language Programs," Inside Higher Ed, January 2, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/01/02/languages
Bob Jensen's threads on "Rethinking Tenure, Dissertations, and Scholarship in Humanities" are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#MLA
Microsoft's CALCULATOR + GETS AN F–
The September column (Journal of Accountancy, page 83) featured an item on Microsoft’s new Calculator Plus, a free product that should have been renamed “Calculator Minus” or “Not Yet Ready for Prime Time.” The idea behind the product is superb: a handy little popup program that contains both a regular and scientific calculator and all sorts of conversion functions such as international currencies, volumes, weights and temperatures. As it turns out, this jack-of-all-tools cannot handle all the jobs it claims it can. An Edit function is suppose to expand the range of tools—for example, add a wide selection of currencies for rate conversion—but it provides more frustration than conversions. I apologize for not investigating the product further before recommending it.
Stanley Zarowin, Journal of Accountancy, January 2007 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/jan2007/tech_qa.htm#CALCULATOR
How students can find internships
Helpers for managing student interns
Intern Toolkit --- http://www.interntoolkit.com/
Bob Jensen's tools of the trade helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm
A New Law to Encourage Whistle Blowing
"At Hospitals, Lessons in Detection of Fraud," by Robert Pear, The New York Times, December 24, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/24/us/24fraud.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
Most of the nation’s hospitals and nursing homes will have to teach their employees how to ferret out fraud and report it to the government under a federal law that takes effect next month.
The law encourages people in the health care industry to blow the whistle on their employers. Many health care providers said this week that they were unaware of the requirement, and when informed of it, they described it as a burdensome, potentially costly federal mandate.
But Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, who drafted the law, said it would help ensure that “taxpayer dollars are used to provide care for the most vulnerable people and not to line the pockets of those who seek to defraud the government.”
Starting Jan. 1, companies that do at least $5 million a year in Medicaid business must educate all employees and officers on how to detect fraud, waste and abuse. Moreover, health care providers must tell employees that if they report fraud, they will be protected against retaliation and may be entitled to a share of money recovered by the government.
Under the federal False Claims Act, some whistle-blowers have received millions of dollars in rewards for disclosing large-scale fraud.
Health care providers must also establish policies to make sure that their contractors investigate and report fraud. A large hospital system, whether run by a Fortune 500 company or a group of Roman Catholic nuns, typically has hundreds of contracts with doctors, billing agents and other vendors.
The new requirement will also apply to many pharmacies, health maintenance organizations, home care agencies, suppliers of medical equipment, physician groups and drug manufacturers.
Continued in article
Bob Jensen's threads on whistle blowing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#WhistleBlowing
Columbia Charges Students With Violating Protest Rules
Columbia University said yesterday that it had notified students involved in disrupting a program of speakers in early October that they were being charged with violating rules of university conduct governing demonstrations. The university did not disclose the number of students charged with violations. Columbia’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, announced the disciplinary proceedings in a letter to the university community yesterday that was also released publicly. But he said he would not provide further details because of federal rules governing student privacy. The charges will be heard next semester by the deans of the individual schools the students are enrolled in. Possible sanctions include disciplinary warning, censure, suspension and dismissal.
Karen W. Arenson, "Columbia Charges Students With Violating Protest Rules," The New York Times, December 23, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/23/nyregion/23columbia.html
Since the protestors who disrupted and frightened the speakers are totally non-repentant, it will be interesting to see how this plays out at Columbia.
"A Firm Stance: CU Marine Reservist Targeted In Angry Confrontation; No Disciplinary Action Taken," by Laura Brunts, Columbia Spectator, January 26, 2006 --- Click Here
At last fall's annual activities fair, Marine reservist Matt Sanchez, GS '07, got into an argument with several members of the International Socialist Organization and later filed a harassment complaint against three students.
More than three months later, the administration responded with a letter apologizing for the incident but took no disciplinary action. Realizing that he would get no public response from Columbia, Sanchez took his story to the press last week in an interview with FOX News.
The incident has provoked concern from members of Columbia's military community about what some see as a widespread anti-military attitude, and it raises questions about the University's anti-discrimination policy.
On Club Day, Zach Zill, CC '06, Monique Dols, GS '06, and Jonah Birch, CC '05, approached the table for the Columbia Military Society-a Student Governing Board-recognized group for Columbia students in Fordham's ROTC program-because they heard it was being used for ROTC recruitment, which is not allowed on campus.
"We went there to voice our disagreement with the fact that they were there and pick up some of their fliers," Dols said.
Sanchez stopped by the table soon after and entered the debate. In the course of the argument, Zill asserted that the military "uses minorities as cannon fodder," Sanchez said.
"My last name is Sanchez. I'm Puerto Rican. I'm a minority. Zach Zill is blonde and blue-eyed. I said, 'Look, I'm a minority. I know I enlisted; I don't feel like I'm being used at all,'" Sanchez said. "[Zill] said, 'Well, you're too stupid to know that you're being used.'"
Mark Xue, CC '06, a Marine officer candidate and president of the society, was also at the table and confirmed Sanchez's accusations.
"They were telling him that he was stupid and ignorant, that he was being brainwashed and used for being a minority in the military," Xue said. "Regardless of what you think about military recruiters, those comments were racially motivated."
Continued in article
From Columbia University
Having wreaked havoc onstage, the students unrolled a banner that read, in both Arabic and English, "No one is ever illegal."
"At Columbia, Students Attack Minuteman Founder," by Eliana Johnson, The New York Sun, October 4, 2006 --- http://www.nysun.com/article/40983
Students stormed the stage at Columbia University's Roone auditorium yesterday, knocking over chairs and tables and attacking Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen, a group that patrols the border between America and Mexico.
Mr. Gilchrist and Marvin Stewart, another member of his group, were in the process of giving a speech at the invitation of the Columbia College Republicans. They were escorted off the stage unharmed and exited the auditorium by a back door.
Having wreaked havoc onstage, the students unrolled a banner that read, in both Arabic and English, "No one is ever illegal." As security guards closed the curtains and began escorting people from the auditorium, the students jumped from the stage, pumping their fists, chanting victoriously, "Si se pudo, si se pudo," Spanish for "Yes we could!"
The Minuteman Project, an organization of volunteers founded in 2004 by Mr. Gilchrist, aims to keep illegal immigrants out of America by alerting law enforcement officials when they attempt to cross the border. The group uses fiery language and unorthodox tactics to advance its platform. "Future generations will inherit a tangle of rancorous, unassimilated, squabbling cultures with no common bond to hold them together, and a certain guarantee of the death of this nation as a harmonious ‘melting pot,'" the group's Web site warns.
The pandemonium that ensued as the evening's keynote speaker took the stage was merely the climax of protest that brewed all week. A number of campus groups, including the Chicano caucus, the African-American student organization, and the International Socialist organization, began planning their protests early this week when they heard that the Minutemen would be arriving on campus.
The student protesters, who attended the event clad in white as a sign of dissent, booed and shouted the speakers down throughout. They interrupted Mr. Stewart, who is African-American, when he referred to the Declaration of Independence's self-evident truth that "All men are created equal," calling him a racist, a sellout, and a black white supremacist.
A student's demand that Mr. Stewart speak in Spanish elicited thundering applause and brought the protesters to their feet. The protesters remained standing, turned their backs on Mr. Stewart for the remainder of his remarks, and drowned him out by chanting, "Wrap it up, wrap it up!" Mr. Stewart appeared unfazed by their behavior. He simply smiled and bellowed, "No wonder you don't know what you're talking about."
"These are racist individuals heading a project that terrorizes immigrants on the U.S.-Mexican border," Ryan Fukumori, a Columbia junior who took part in the protest, told The New York Sun. "They have no right to be able to speak here."
The student protesters "rush to vindicate themselves with monikers like ‘liberal' and ‘open-minded,' but their actions, their attempt to condemn the Minutemen without even hearing what they have to say, speak otherwise," the president of the Columbia College Republicans, Chris Kulawik, said. On campus, the Republicans' flyers advertising the event were defaced and torn down.
The College Republicans expressed their concern about the lack of free speech for opposing viewpoints on the Columbia campus in the wake of the evening's events. "We've often feared that there's not freedom of speech at Columbia for more right-wing views — and that was proven tonight," the executive director of the Columbia College Republicans, Lauren Steinberg, said.
The Minutemen's arrival at Columbia drew protesters from around the city as well. An hour before Messrs. Stewart and Mr. Gilchrist took the stage, rowdy protests began outside the auditorium on Broadway, where activists chanted, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, the Minutemen have got to go!"
Continued in article
Mr. Bollinger (President of Columbia
University), a legal scholar whose specialty is free
speech and the First Amendment, quickly condemned this week’s disruption.
“Students and faculty have rights to invite speakers to the campus,” he said
yesterday in an interview. “Others have rights to hear them. Those who wish to
protest have rights to do so. No one, however, shall have the right or the power
to use the cover of protest to silence speakers.” He added, “There is a vast
difference between reasonable protest that allows a speaker to continue, and
protest that makes it impossible for speech to continue.”
Karen W. Arenson and Damien Cave, "Silencing of a Speech Causes a Furor," The New York Times, October 7, 2006 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/07/nyregion/07columbia.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
With Columbia University again under fire over
speech issues, the president is condemning anyone who prevents another’s speech
from taking place. On Wednesday, protesters stormed a stage where Jim Gilchrist,
head of the Minuteman Project, a “vigilance operation” opposing illegal
immigration, was speaking, forcing him to stop his talk. Lee C. Bollinger,
Columbia’s president, pledged that the university would investigate the incident
and procedures for making sure that speakers can give their talks. In
a statement, he said: “This is not a complicated
issue. Students and faculty have rights to invite speakers to the campus. Others
have rights to hear them. Those who wish to protest have rights to do so. No
one, however, shall have the right or the power to use the cover of protest to
silence speakers. This is a sacrosanct and inviolable principle.”
Inside Higher Ed, October 9, 2006
There was also another incident where
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm
A Year's Worth of Memorable Moments on NPR ---
A nice article about foliage colors, art, and writing
Like light refracted in a prism, separated into the different lengths of colored beams, delving into the visual is a way I can refract creativity. The long blue beam of my writing is complimented by the array of other colors, other expressions of creativity that balance and enhance my work by allowing me to explore new ways of seeing and re-creating the world in which I live. To enhance their art, painters might dance, musicians might paint, writers might sculpt, and then bring all those shades of creativity back to the art of their choosing. After my winter play, my words are strong and vibrant, rested and basking in the return of the strengthening sun, ready for the work of writing, but my crayons also stand ready.
Amy Wink, "Comprehending the Light," Inside Higher Ed, December 21, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/12/21/wink
- Free Merriam Webster Online Dictionary/Thesaurus --- http://www.m-w.com/
New words of the year http://www.m-w.com/info/06words.htm
Words banashed from the Queen's English
Continuing a New Year’s Day tradition, Lake Superior State University has issued a new list of Words Banished From the Queen’s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use and General Uselessness. Among this year’s banned words and phrases: Combined celebrity names (TomKat, Bragelina and so forth), awesome, truthiness ("The Colbert Report” word may have once had meaning, but it’s been used up, the university concluded), and i-anything.
Inside Higher Ed, January 2, 2007 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2007/01/02/qt
Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries
Controversies over the limits of free speech on campus
Sixty British academics have issued a public letter calling for a change in the law to explicitly protect academic freedom and to give complete freedom of speech to those who teach at universities, The Guardian reported. The professors cite incidents in which colleagues with controversial views have been attacked or the self-censorship of some who wish to avoid controversy. An official of the main faculty union in Britain expressed some caution about the new movement, telling the newspaper: “We should distinguish between the crucial right of an academic to question and test received wisdom and any suggestions that this is the same as an unlimited right of a university academic to express, for example, anti-Semitic, homophobic or misogynist abuse where they were using a position of authority to bully students or staff, or potentially breach the duty of care that universities have towards students or staff.”
Inside Higher Ed, December 22, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/12/22/qt
"Kicked Out," by Cary Nelson, Inside Higher Ed, December 22, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2006/12/22/nelson
Reverend: “Not here. I decide what gets taught. I approve what they read. I’m ordering you to leave the building.”
Since it was a private facility I left as ordered. But the program is to be funded with public money, and the Illinois Humanities Council was assured free speech was guaranteed in the classes. It is not. Indeed others have suggested the students were under pressure not to disagree with church doctrine. This is precisely why the separation of church and state is established in the United States Constitution, though there is reason to doubt President Bush is comfortable with the concept.
Continued in article
Cary Nelson is president of the American Association of University Professors and a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Bob Jensen's threads on academic freedom are at
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#PoliticalCorrectness
Comparing George Bailey and Howard Roark
My purpose, however, is not to defend the genius of these creators but to compare two of their protagonists, The Fountainhead’s Howard Roark and Wonderful Life’s George Bailey. To anyone familiar with both works it would seem that the two characters could not be more different. I contend, however, that they are not only similar but a variation on a common archetype.
Joe Carter, "The Fountainhead of Bedford Falls: Comparing George Bailey and Howard Roark," The Evangelical Outpost, December 20, 2006 --- http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/archives/003342.html
Time for a Change: We're Losing the War on Drugs
Saul Becker, a famous sociologist who currently
resides in U.S. proposed a very interesting, although controversial, perspective
to the approach of the drug problem in his recent article "Drugs: what are
they?" The goal of this short research essay is to explore and analyze his
proposal under the concept of sociological imagination. A clear summary and
evaluation will provide a better picture to his standpoint and allow people to
see that he is indeed right on the button on many of the issues surrounding the
current drug policy.
Lawrence Ding, "A Critical Evaluation of Current Drug Policy of United States," DefenceTalk, December 17, 2006 ---
We will greatly miss Bob Anthony
December 20, 2006 message from Bill McCarthy [email@example.com]
The following appeared on Boston.com:
Headline: Robert Anthony; reshaped Pentagon budget process
Date: December 20, 2006
"At the behest of Robert S. McNamara, his longtime friend, Robert N.
Anthony set aside scholarly pursuits at Harvard Business School in the mid-1960s to take a key role reshaping the budget process for the Defense Department."
To see this recommendation, click on the link below or cut and paste it into a Web browser:
December 20, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen
Thank you! Bob has been a longtime great friend. His obituary is at http://www.hbs.edu/news/120506_anthonyobit.html
What is really amazing is the wide range of long-time service to at very high levels, including serving on the FASB as well as being Defense Department's Assistant Secretary (Comptroller) during the Viet Nam War. He also received the Defense Department's Medal for Distinguished Public Service. The FASB requested that Bob focus on accounting for nonprofit organizations. He also served as President of the American Accounting Association.
Bob was one of the most distinguished professors of the Harvard Business School It saddens me greatly to see him pass on. His Hall of Fame link is at
Or Click Here
I don't know if you were present when Bob Anthony gave his 1989 Outstanding Educator Award Address to the American Accounting Association. It was one of the harshest indictments I've ever heard concerning the sad state of academic research in serving the accounting profession. Bob never held back on his punches.
December 20, 2006 reply from Denny Beresford [DBeresfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]
Yesterday's New York Times also included an obituary for Bob Anthony . . . Bob wasn't the easiest person to get along with, but I considered him to be one of the very brightest people I ever associated with. He was a wonderful writer and I always enjoyed the letters and other things he sent me at the FASB and later - even when I disagreed completely with his ideas. His work with the government made him one of the most generally influential accountants of the 20th century, I believe.
His accounting concepts ranged from the global to
the provincial. In a 1970 letter to The New York Times, he proposed that the
United States create a tax surcharge to cover damages to the Soviet Union in the
event of an accidental American nuclear strike. The tax burden would be “the
smallest consequence of maintaining a nuclear arsenal,” he wrote. “An all-out
nuclear exchange would probably mean the end of civilization.” In the late
1980s, Professor Anthony moved to Waterville Valley, N.H., where for 10 years he
was the town’s elected auditor. “I got 24 votes last year; that’s all there
were,” he once said.
Electronic Journal of Sociology --- http://www.sociology.org/
Stop Child Poverty --- http://www.stopchildpoverty.org/
USDA: Food & Nutrition Service --- http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/
Bob Jensen's threads on social science and philosophy learning helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#Social
How to Track Current Happenings in the World
The World --- http://www.theworld.org/
Tools for Understanding (Math) --- http://www2.ups.edu/community/tofu/home.htm
Bob Jensen's threads on helpers for learning mathematics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics
Violin Instruction: The American Suzuki Institute at the
University of Wisconsin-Stevens
Point: the Suzuki Method in Action --- http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/Arts/subcollections/SuzukiAbout.shtml
Bob Jensen's threads on online music instruction --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Music
Teaching Geology --- http://www.colorado.edu/GeolSci/Resources/
Bob Jensen's threads on science learning helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#Science
Introduction to Electronics, Signals, and Measurement --- Click Here
National Eye Institute: Photos, Images, and Videos --- http://www.nei.nih.gov/photo/
Introduction to Microbiology --- http://www-micro.msb.le.ac.uk/109/index.html
Bob Jensen's threads on science learning helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob2.htm#Science
Digital Photography Tutorials --- http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm
What Can You Find at Google Patent Search?
Look up the Wright Brothers' airplane drawings or investigate Tesla's electrical innovation proposals and Tom Edison's incandescent patents. Send us results of your favorite searches.
"What Can You Find at Google Patent Search?" Wired News, December 15, 2006 --- http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2006/12/cool_patents_at.html
"Lesson Plan for Education Reform: A study group issues an
education plan for keeping the U.S. competitive globally, calling for a radical
transformation of American schools," by Jane Porter, Business Week,
December 14, 2006 ---
With the release of a new report Dec. 14 on the future of the U.S. educational system, the Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce has created a controversial blueprint for school reform that it says is crucial if the U.S. is to maintain its competitiveness. With India and China churning out highly skilled, low-cost workers, the group says the U.S. must train the next generation of college graduates to produce the next big wave of money-making ideas. If it can be done at all, it will take 15 years and cost billions in new and reallocated funds, but the U.S. has no choice, according to the report. "There is a real sense of urgency at this point," says Caroline Hoxby, Harvard economist and director for the National Bureau of Economic Research's Economics of Education Program. "We don't have any time to waste."
If implemented, the commission's recommendations—signed by 26 members from all corners of the corporate, nonprofit, education, and political worlds—would revolutionize the way children are educated in this country. Among the ideas: a set of Board Examinations allowing all 10th graders to place into college; improved compensation and incentives to attract better quality teachers; an overhaul of the American testing industry; contract-run schools instead of schools run by school boards; improved education for all three- and four-year-olds; standards for state-run funding instead of local funding; legislation for continued education for adults; a new GI Bill; and regionally focused job training.
Skeptics question the new testing proposal, the dangers of state-regulated standards supporting an inadvertently top-down system and the actual feasibility and effect such changes would have in a global context. Iris Rotberg, research professor of education policy at George Washington University, who has examined education reform across 16 countries, says the country's problems are not unique. "The fact is we are all struggling with pretty much the same problems, including an achievement gap based on socioeconomic status," she says, noting that countries in Europe and Asia face similar dilemmas.
But if experts in the field of education don't agree with one of the commission's recommendations, they are likely to agree with a slew of others. Educators agree that the report will serve as a necessary tool for policy makers thinking about future education reform. How feasible all of the 10 recommendations will be—considering the strong interest groups that would resist such a radical rethinking of American education—is at this point not entirely clear. But economists and scholars would agree that the report does a better job than any other attempt so far at re-envisioning an education system that produces the kinds of entrepreneurial thinkers the U.S. needs to stay afloat in a global market.
The commission is not just concerned with keeping up, but with staying ahead globally. This is not the first time the commission has come together to offer a reexamination of the education system. In 1990, the group released a report, America's Choice: High Skills or Low Wages, that recommended focusing on high-skill labor and allowing low-skill work to go to the countries with the lowest wages. Its impact spanned federal legislation from the National Skill Standards Board Act, to the Workforce Investment Act, to the Goals 2000 Act that established higher education standards.
Today the global market paints a very different picture. With China and India producing highly skilled engineers who work for a fraction of the cost of their American counterparts, combined with the rampant outsourcing of labor, the American middle class is gradually shrinking and the standard of living is at risk. An engineer making $45,000 in the U.S. can easily be replaced by one in India making $7,500 a year (see BusinessWeek.com, 11/15/06, "Keeping America Competitive").
The dubious Pacific Western distance education "university" is at it again
lan Contreras, an administrator with the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, noted that Pacific Western grants many of its degrees to people in Asia, where the distinction between the “University of California” and “California University” will be lost in translation. “It’s a perfectly rational business decision,” he said of the move by PWU to change its name. “Because people who see this are going to think it is the UC.” Contreras added that California’s Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education will have to approve the switch in title . . . Meanwhile, newspapers in Korea report that lawmakers and police have opened an inquiry into more than 150 high-ranking national figures who have received degrees at unauthorized foreign colleges. The Korea Times reported that 34 of those individuals received doctorates from Pacific Western. Those officials currently work at the education ministry and an agency affiliated with the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Paul D. Thacker, "What’s in a Name?" Inside Higher Ed, December 15, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/12/15/calu
Guess who's buying fake diplomas?
Lawyers defending those accused in a federal court of running a diploma mill revealed on October 11 that 135 federal employees, including a White House official, purchased degrees from the operation, the Associated Press reported. The names of the federal officials were not revealed.
Inside Higher Ed, October 13, 2006
The largest market for fake diplomas is among K-12 teachers who benefit from automatic pay raises when receiving graduate degrees.
Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at
Bob Jensen's threads on non-traditional doctoral degree programs are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#NontraditionalDoctorates
Bob Jensen's threads on legitimate distance education and training alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm
Suit Challenges Warm Gasoline
Seventeen oil companies and gasoline service stations have been named in a class-action suit accusing them of overcharging customers at the pump by failing to compensate for changes in gasoline volumes when temperatures rise. The consumer fraud suit contends that oil companies fail to take into account the fact that gasoline expands when the temperature exceeds 60 degrees. Therefore, the suit says, consumers get less energy for each gallon they buy.
"Suit Challenges Warm Gasoline," The New York Times, December 15, 2006 ---
Cellular and satellite service for obtaining fast Internet capability for on a PC
From Walt Mossberg's Mailbox, The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2006; Page B3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/mossberg_mailbox.html
Q: I have a house beyond the range of DSL or cable-modem service. Dial-up Internet is all that is available, and that is S-L-O-W. There is, however, a cellular tower in plain sight on the horizon which provides excellent BlackBerry and cellphone service, through which Internet access is much faster than dial-up. Is there any way for me to take advantage of this cellular service for obtaining fast Internet capability for my PC?
A: Almost certainly. Figure out which cellphone carrier operates the tower and purchase a data card from the company, with an accompanying monthly plan. These cards, which are essentially cellular modems for PCs, plug into laptops via their external card slots and connect them to the high-speed cellphone networks for the purpose of accessing the Internet.
If you don't have a laptop, you can buy an adapter for a desktop computer that will allow you to plug in such a card, and there are even a few base stations for homes with a slot for such a card. Some cellphone carriers offer a data modem that plugs in via USB, instead of via the card slot.
Another option: some high-end cellphones can be used as data modems, connecting via either a cable, or a wireless Bluetooth connection.
December 15, 2006 reply from David Coy [dcoy@ADRIAN.EDU]
Another option is satellite-based internet. I'm thinking seriously about Hughes Net. I don't care for the cable provider or the DSL provider in my area.
December 16, 2006 reply from Bob Jensen
If only the uploading speeds could be improved via satellite. For uploaders (big mouths) like me, fast uploading is important. For lurkers satellite receptors are good options.
A good reference for satellite Internet is at http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question606.htm
Although uploading is impossible for satellite Internet (thus requiring slow phone service for uploading), uploading speeds are generally not as fast as downloading speeds even on DSL Internet services.
See "Slower uploads are the result of mostly technical constraints," MIT's Technology Review, December 18, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17915&ch=infotech
December 16, 2006 reply from Peter Kenyon [pbk1@HUMBOLDT.EDU]
In rural, northern California where I live the major fibre optic trunk line is one mile away yet we have no broadband option at our home other than satellite ... no cable and no phone line option due to decrepit local lines. Furhtermore, we get no watchable through-the-air TV service due to local terrain.
We solved the broadband problem by subscribing to WILDBLUE satellite internet service. There were a few initial glitches but their service has proven reliable and fast, overall. I installed a router at our desktop workstation, so I can now use my HP notebook out in the barn or in my farm shop ... just don't get chicken feed or crankcase oil in the keyboard.
We've had DISH NETWORK STV since moving to the farm seven years ago. It works great but we were "assigned" the network affiliate feeds from Los Angeles (700 miles away) rather than from San Francisco (300 miles away). When I complained to DISH they claimed the assignment was by regulation and was not possible to change. We did enjoy the additional network feeds from New York City because we could watch the movie promotions on DAVE, JAY, and CONAN's shows and still get to bed early.
Now, as most of you probably know, a Florida judge has found DISH to be in violation of a key regulation or law and has ordered DISH to shut down ALL OUT OF AREA network feeds ... nationwide. We do not even have all four networks in our local broadcast area and none of the ones we do are fed to the big birds in the sky. That meant we were likely to LOSE ALL ACCESS to network programming ... something that would probably improve our intellectual life but which seemed too Grinch-like for the holidays.
The solution appears to be that we will be able to purchase out-of-area-network feeds (Atlanta and San Francisco) from another vendor (ALL AMERICAN DIRECT) that will be received through our DISH NETWORK antenna and will appear on our DISH NETWORK menu. The only "catch" here is that we have to obtain WAIVERS (permission) from our local affiliates before All AMERICAN can beam down the network trash we love so much.
Sorry for rambling (whining) on so long. My question for the group is this ... will we see the day when we can select (pay for) programming from ANY NETWORK AFFILIATE, regardless of location? Surely Bob would like to sit on his snowbound mountaintop and check out the San Antonio news from time to time. Will mini-market TV affiliates go the way of AM radio programming?
Humboldt State and Riverbar Farm
"IBM and Yahoo try to challenge Google with free data-search tool for businesses," MIT's Technology Review, December 13, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17897&ch=biztech
IBM Corp. and Yahoo Inc. are teaming up to offer a free data-search tool for businesses, a quirky move challenging Google Inc. and other corporate-search specialists in a blossoming market.
IBM already sells a business-focused search product, OmniFind, that lets organizations comb through internal documents. This free new edition of OmniFind will be limited in the number of documents it can query, but it will combine the results with Web searches powered by Yahoo.
IBM hopes the service, being announced Wednesday, bolsters its overall efforts to improve its dealings with small companies.
More broadly, though, Yahoo and IBM expect their partnership to shake up the field of ''enterprise search,'' in which leading providers such as Google, Autonomy Corp. and Norway-based FAST are seeing forays from business software giants such as Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and SAP AG.
Google has been dominant at the lower end of the market selling ''search appliances'' that begin at $2,000 and range up to $30,000. The top-of-the-line version can comb through 500,000 documents. Not coincidentally, that is the same limit that IBM and Yahoo have set for their free software -- although Google's product includes hardware that operates the search service.
''They're going to create a real headache for Google at that tier,'' said Forrester Research analyst Matthew Brown.
Of course, whatever pain Google feels ought to be put in context -- it gets 99 percent of its revenue from advertising, not from selling search appliances.
While Yahoo and IBM may eventually expand their partnership, Yahoo will focus on the Web-search aspect of the equation and not venture into enterprise search, said Eckart Walther, Yahoo's vice president of product management for search. That would be in keeping with Yahoo's recent pledge to stay focused on its consumer audience and advertising network -- a step aimed at resolving internal strife over a muddled strategy.
Indeed, Forrester's Brown said it appears that Yahoo is most interested in using the IBM deal to strengthen its brand in corporate environments and get people using Yahoo Web search at work more often.
The IBM-Yahoo edition of OmniFind can be downloaded from http://omnifind.ibm.yahoo.net/
December 14, 2006 reply from Scott Bonacker [aecm@BONACKER.US]
All that is great, but I've had great success with X1 Search, and it has been free for a while. It is a much more comprehensive search product than Google Desktop,
You can download X1 Enterprise Search from http://www.x1.com/download/
Bob Jensen's search helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/searchh.htm
Onsite rounds give way to PowerPoint for medical interns
Socratic Dialogue Gives Way to PowerPoint
"Socratic Dialogue Gives Way to PowerPoint," by Lawrence K. Altman, MD., The New York Times, December 12, 2006 --- Click Here
Grand rounds are not so grand anymore.
For at least a century at many teaching and community hospitals, properly dressed doctors in ties and white coats have assembled each week, usually in an auditorium, for a master class in the art and science of medicine from the best clinicians. Before us was often a patient who sat in a chair or rested on a gurney and two doctors, one in training and the other a professor or senior doctor at the hospital. In a Socratic dialogue, they often led the audience in a step-by-step deciphering of the ailment.
But in recent years, grand rounds have become didactic lectures focusing on technical aspects of the newest biomedical research. Patients have disappeared. If a case history is presented, it is usually as a brief synopsis and the discussant rarely makes even a passing reference to it.
Now grand rounds are often led by visiting professors from distant hospitals and medical schools. Sometimes, manufacturers of drugs and devices pay the visitor an honorarium and expenses, a practice that has drawn criticism. And the Socratic dialogue has given way to PowerPoint. These rounds are often useful, but certainly not grand.
Precisely when and where grand rounds began is not known. There are many types of rounds where doctors learn from patients. For example, there are the daily working rounds as doctors walk through a hospital to visit and examine patients. In teaching rounds, more senior doctors supervise the work of residents, or house officers, at a patient’s bedside or in a clinic.
Grand rounds were showcases featuring the best clinicians, and the practice thrived in an era when doctors knew little more than what they observed at the bedside. Professors often demonstrated characteristics of physical findings like an enlarged thyroid, a belly swollen with fluid or another grotesque disfigurement that the audience could see. Those with a flair for showmanship were often the best teachers, adapting the predictable structure to their needs and talents.
Grand rounds usually began with a younger doctor’s reciting the medical history of a patient with an unusual disease, physical finding or symptom. Sometimes the professor knew about the case, other times he did not. The professor would then ask the patient what was wrong. The more compassionate professors gave reassurance by placing their hands on the patients.
The professor would conduct the interview much like a journalist. When did the fever begin? How high was it? Did you notice a rash? Did you have pain? Where did you feel it? What relieved it?
Each major specialty, like internal medicine and surgery, held separate grand rounds. Pediatrics had a different style. A child unable to relate the events involved in his or her medical history often sat on a parent’s lap. The format promoted direct dialogue and emotional reaction between the pediatrician and the family in a way that would not come across if a doctor coldly presented the child’s case.
After arriving at a diagnosis, the professor related the current state of medical knowledge to the patient’s case. The emphasis was on diagnosis, treatment and the management of a patient, not on research.
In those earlier days, the patient stayed for part or all of the session, which usually lasted an hour. Sometimes doctors in the audience asked questions of the patient and professor. Humor trickled into some sessions. So did personal attacks among faculty members.
As a student at the Tufts Medical School in Boston beginning in 1958, I joined the throngs of doctors on grand rounds when Dr. Louis Weinstein spoke about infectious diseases.
Usually, the patient’s pertinent information was on a blackboard. Dr. Weinstein would study the fever chart, seeking clues in the pattern to help identify a particular infection. Then he would regale the crowd with anecdotes from his vast experience in caring for patients with typhoid fever, diphtheria, polio and many other infectious diseases.
Before the Medicare and Medicaid plans were enacted in 1965, many patients treated in teaching hospitals received charity care. In those days, when costs were less of an obstacle, professors sometimes hospitalized patients a few extra days so they could be presented at grand rounds. In other cases, many patients returned after discharge in gratitude for their free care.
Even the smartest experts had to be on their toes, because younger doctors often selected a case intended to tax their brains. Another intention was to have the experts explain their thinking as they matched wits against colleagues and the illness itself.
In San Francisco in 1987, I heard a visiting expert discuss the possible reasons that a woman in her 80s, who complained of weakness and muscle spasms in her back, had a severe loss of potassium.
After the resident gave a detailed account of her illness, the discussant, Dr. Donald W. Seldin, then the chief physician at the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center in Dallas, went to a blackboard to highlight the crucial elements and list possible causes.
Continued in article
Knowledge Media Laboratory ---
The Carnegie Foundation
Bob Jensen's threads education technologies are at
Bob Jensen's threads on tricks and tools of the trade are at
The Dark Side of the 21st Century: Concerns
About Technologies in Education ---
"A Fee That Is Not a Fee," by Paul D. Thacker, Inside Higher Ed, November 9, 2006 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2006/11/09/enhancement
But the University of Florida is quite careful to not call the $1,000 yearly hit to students “tuition” or a “fee.” The creative wording is causing some giggles. “The Board of Governors supports this third category of charges,” said Danaya Wright, professor of law and chair of the Faculty Senate. She then laughed. “I was going to say ‘fee,’ but it’s an additional charge.”
Wright said that the need to create this third category arose because the Legislature is loathe to raise tuition and fees. Florida funds the Bright Futures Scholarship Program which pays for 100 percent of tuition and fees for high school students who apply with a grade point average of 3.5 and 75 percent of that for students with a G.P.A. of 3.0. Around 95 percent of in-state students at Florida are Bright Futures Scholars, and to control the cost of the program, Wright said, the Legislature has effectively frozen tuition and fees, leaving the university in a budget bind. By creating this new charge that is not “tuition” nor a “fee,” the university can raise funds without affecting the budget for Bright Futures — because the students won’t be able to expect the state program to cover the costs.
My daughter went to the University of Texas. I discovered that Texas is most clever about charging hidden and disguised fees. It turns out that tuition is the cheapest of all the billings of students at UT or so it seems.
"Public Universities Chase Excellence, at a Price," by Tamar Lewin, The New York Times, December 21, 2006 ---
If there is any goal that the University of Florida has pursued as fervently as a national football championship for the Gators, it is a place among the nation’s highest-ranked public universities.
“We need a top-10 university, so our kids can get the same education they would get at Harvard or Yale,” said J. Bernard Machen, the university president.
To upgrade the university, Dr. Machen is seeking a $1,000 tuition surcharge that would be used mostly to hire more professors and lower the student-faculty ratio, not coincidentally one of the factors in the much-watched college rankings published annually by U.S. News & World Report. This year, that list ranked Florida 13th among public universities in the United States.
Like Florida, more leading public universities are striving for national status and drawing increasingly impressive and increasingly affluent students, sometimes using financial aid to lure them. In the process, critics say, many are losing force as engines of social mobility, shortchanging low-income and minority students, who are seriously underrepresented on their campuses.
“Public universities were created to make excellence available to all qualified students,” said Kati Haycock, director of the Education Trust, an advocacy group, “but that commitment appears to have diminished over time, as they choose to use their resources to try to push up their rankings. It’s all about reputation, selectivity and ranking, instead of about the mission of finding and educating future leaders from their state.”
While a handful of public universities have long stood among the nation’s top institutions — the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Michigan among them — many have only recently joined their ranks.
Continued in article
"Where To Invest 2007," Business Week Cover Story, December 25,
Bob Jensen's investment helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#Finance
Creative Commons Add-in for Microsoft Office
From the University of Illinois Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog on December 13, 2006 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/
Microsoft has created a free add-in that enables you to embed a Creative Commons copyright license into a document that you create using the Microsoft application Word, PowerPoint, or Excel. With a Creative Commons license, authors can express their intentions regarding how their works may be used by others.
To learn more about Creative Commons, please visit its web site, www.creativecommons.org. To learn more about the choices among the Creative Commons licenses, see http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/meet-the-licenses.
Installation of the Creative Commons Microsoft Office add-in will add an option to your File menu whereby you can easily add the CC logo and usage statement to your document.
Bob Jensen's threads on tools of the trade are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm
Bob Jensen's threads on copyright law are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Copyright
From the Scout Report on December 15, 2006
iRemindU 2.0.2 --- http://www.theapplegeek.com/iru/
As the calendar year winds down, many Scout Report readers may find themselves with more and more tasks to complete. Time is, of course, of the essence, and a gentle reminder while performing tasks while online can be most helpful. iRemindU 2.0.02 allows users to create alerts with this tiny popup timer. Additionally, users can also use the application to remind them of important tasks when they log on. This version is compatible with all computers running Mac OS X 10.2 and newer.
Winamp 5.3.2 --- http://www.winamp.com/
Winamp has functioned as a well-tuned media player for years, and this most recently released version contains some notable new features. These new features include the ability to search for live concert footage and other forms of streaming media, coupled with some rather delightful visualizations. Finally, this version of Winamp also syncs up with a number of portable audio devices, including various iPod models. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98, 2000, and XP.
"Microsoft makes Windows more secure, but how much does that matter?" MIT's Technology Review, December 11, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17882&ch=infotech
Microsoft Corp. took great pains to improve security in its newly released computer operating system, Windows Vista, redesigning it to reduce users' exposure to destructive programs from the Internet. Outside researchers commend the retooled approach -- yet they also say the changes won't make online life much safer than it is now.
Why not? Partly because of security progress that Microsoft already had made in its last operating system, Windows XP. Also because a complex product like Vista is bound to have holes yet to be discovered. And mainly because of the rapidly changing nature of online threats.
Sure, Microsoft appears to have fixed the glitches that used to make it easy for viruses, worms and other problems to wreck PCs. But other avenues for attack are always evolving.
''Microsoft has made the core of the operating system more secure, but they've really solved, by and large, yesterday's problems,'' said Oliver Friedrichs, director of emerging technologies at antivirus vendor Symantec Corp.
That claim would not please Microsoft, which touts Vista's improved security as a big reason why companies and consumers will want to upgrade to the new operating system.
In fact, Microsoft's effort to tighten security in Vista was one reason the software was delayed past the crucial holiday shopping season. It's now available for businesses and will be available to consumers Jan. 30.
''It is an incremental improvement -- it is a reasonably large increment,'' said Jon Callas, chief technology officer at PGP Corp., a maker of encryption software. ''I don't think it's a game-changer.''
Some of Vista's security enhancements require computers with the latest microprocessors -- which are known as 64-bit chips, in reference to how much data they process at once. That won't improve things on today's standard 32-bit computers, which will stick around for a long time.
However, most of the improvements are available in all editions of Vista, including a stronger firewall and a built-in program known as Defender that alerts users if Vista believes spyware is being installed.
''Windows is going to talk to you a lot more and make sure you're a lot more aware of what you're doing,'' said Adrien Robinson, a director in Windows' security technology unit. ''It's going to help consumers be more savvy.''
One of Vista's biggest changes is more control over computer management. With previous versions of Windows, users were given by default great control over the computer's settings -- a situation that opened the door to nefarious manipulation by outsiders. In Vista, users are prompted to supply a password when they make significant changes -- a security feature long available on Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh and computers running the Linux operating system.
"Researchers developing tool to combat Internet auction fraud," MIT's Technology Review, December 11, 2006 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17884&ch=infotech
Carnegie Mellon University researchers are relying on an old adage to develop anti-fraud software for Internet auction sites: It is not what you know, it is who you know.
At sites like eBay, users warn each other if they have a bad experience with a seller by rating their transactions. But the CMU researchers said savvy fraudsters get around that by conducting transactions with friends or even themselves, using alternate user names to give themselves high satisfaction ratings -- so unsuspecting customers will still try to buy from them.
The CMU software looks for patterns of users who have repeated dealings with one another, and alerts other users that there is a higher probability of having a fraudulent transaction with them.
''There's a lot of commonsense solutions out there, like being more careful about how you screen the sellers,'' said Duen Horng ''Polo'' Chau, the research associate who developed the software with computer science professor Christos Faloutsos and two other students. ''But because I'm an engineering student, I wanted to come up with a systematic approach'' to identify those likely to commit fraud.
The researchers analyzed about 1 million transactions involving 66,000 eBay users to develop graphs -- known in statistical circles as bipartite cores -- that identify users interacting with unusual frequency. They plan to publish a paper on their findings early next year and, perhaps, market their software to eBay or otherwise make it available to people who shop online.
Catherine England, an eBay spokeswoman, said the company was not aware of the research and would not comment on it. But England said protecting the company's more than 200 million users from fraud was a top priority.
Online auction fraud -- when a seller does not deliver goods or sells a defective product -- accounted for 12 percent of the 431,000 computer fraud complaints received last year by Consumer Sentinel, the Federal Trade Commission's consumer fraud and identity theft database. Auction fraud was the most commonly reported computer-related fraud in the database.
And the scams run the gamut.
Last year, a federal grand jury indicted an Ohio man on charges he sold hundreds of thousands of dollars of stolen Lego merchandise on the Internet. Earlier this year, a New Mexico woman was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for selling forged hunting licenses on eBay, over the phone and by e-mail, and then not delivering trips paid for by out-of-state hunters.
Earlier this month, a man who failed to deliver tickets to the 2005 Ohio State-Michigan football game to 250 online auction customers was sentenced to 34 months in federal prison.
Johannes Ullrich, an Internet fraud expert with the SANS Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, said the CMU research ''sounds like a credible way to detect fraud.''
''Essentially, what they're trying to do is find these extended circles of friends who make positive recommendations to each other,'' said Ullrich, the chief technology officer of SANS' Internet Storm Center, which tracks viruses and other Internet problems.
But Ullrich said the CMU researchers must find a way to screen out false positives. He said a small group of users -- such as baseball card collectors -- might repeatedly buy from one another and could be flagged as high-risk.
Faloutsos said the researchers have thought of that in developing the software called NetProbe -- short for Network Detection via Propagation of Beliefs.
''We're not just looking at your neighbors (on the auction site),'' Faloutsos said. ''We're looking at the neighbors of your neighbors, and the neighbors of your neighbors' neighbors.''
Bob Jensen's threads on how to prevent eBay fraud are at
Bob Jensen's threads on computing and network security are at
From The Washington Post on December 14, 2006
From the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
In 1998, Microsoft executive John Wood decided to take a
rare and hard-won vacation. He started out trekking in Nepal and ended up
establishing a foundation, Room to Read, that has created nearly 3,000 libraries
in the developing world and stocked them with more than one million books. His
experiences are chronicled in a recently-published book that offers his
corporate-based perspective on how to raise money, market the product, leverage
relationships and, ultimately, maximize results.
"How John Wood Left Microsoft to Change the World -- through Books (Including His Own)," Knowledge@Wharton, December 13, 2006 --- Click Here
Adobe Acrobat Update
December 12, 2006 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]
Perhaps the most significant new "feature" in the new release is the hook that Adobe is providing to other revenue-enhancing products like Acrobat Connect, which provides web-conferencing capabilities within Reader for a competitive price to www.gotomeeting.com (which I use). Incidentally, I personally believe that such a web conferencing product is an indispensable feature of any Internet-delivered accounting course.
One intriguing new development in the new Acrobat PROFESSIONAL version ( the pdf creation tool), is the ability to create forms that can be filled out and saved by users who have the free Reader. This is a departure from prior practice for Adobe, because they were trying to sell more expensive server software to facilitate that task.