Birches at Sunrise
I snapped the above picture of white birches at sunrise from our back deck earlier in the spring before the leaves had budded on the trees.

Storm Clouds Over the Mountains
The second picture was taken more recently as I watched storm clouds move across the mountains. Sometimes it's just plain scary up here. The flash of white is only the reflection of the camera light off the glass in our front porch.

I had a good short trip to California last week. There's not much else that's new to report. I took Erika down to the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center for some tests (not related to her spine surgeries) and will take her down again for two days of more testing this week. I will report her results when we have some results to report. It really is handy having such a great medical center less than an hour away.

One of Erika's All-Time Favorite Authors Who Has Hope for the World
Khaled Hosseini ---


Tidbits on July 16, 2007
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 ---   

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
       (Also scroll down to the table at )

Set up free conference calls at  

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  ---

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 ---

Freedom is Not Free ---

US Army and Iraqis Celebrating victory over AlQaeda in Anbar Province ---

When Life Was in Black and White ---

This week in the magazine, Jon Lee Anderson writes about the effort to eradicate opium in Afghanistan. Here is a portfolio of images by Aaron Huey, taken when Huey and Anderson accompanied the Afghan Eradication Force (A.E.F.) on a mission in Uruzgan Province, a region in central Afghanistan largely controlled by the Taliban
"In the Opium Den Slide Show," The New Yorker, July 9, 2007 ---

Second Life 3-D Accounting Model ---

Building Design ---

A model of a bridge that you won't believe ---

From NPR
Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Present at the Creation ---

Dial One for English ---

Free music downloads ---

Mozart's Fantastic 'The Marriage of Figaro' ---

Regine Crespin, French Opera Diva Dies at 80 ---

From the Vienna State Opera
Mussorgsky's 'Boris Godunov' ---

Nice nature pictures and great music ---

What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong) ---

Wizard Rock: Harry Potter Goes Punk ---

Embracing 'Cult Status,' with an Eye on Stardom ---

Dial One for English ---

Susan Werner Finds Her Gospel Truth ---

Dutchman's Gold (from old Walter Brennan) ---

Forwarded by Paula

This is a wonderful nostalgic website, with two decades of music and events to remember.  It is very well done. Just click on the link and sit back and enjoy the memories.

At the top of each segment there are four items to click on for a history lesson..............

It's sure to bring back some memories.......

The Fifties:

The Sixties: 

both found at:


Photographs and Art

The New Seven Wonders of the World (slide show of 21 candidate sites according to Time Magazine) --- Click Here

Nice nature pictures and great music ---

The Art of Light
Dan Flavin: A Retrospective - Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA) ---

From the Whitney Museum
Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era ---

Historical Postcards of New York City from the Picture Collection at Mid-Manhattan Library

World Monuments Watch ---

Foundation for Landscape Studies ---

Identity by design: Tradition, Change and Celebration in Native Women’s Dresses ---


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 ---

The Art of Fiction: Jack Kerouac ---

The Chimes by Charles Dickens --- Click Here

Confidence by Henry James --- Click Here

The Turn Of The Screw by Henry James --- Click Here

The Call Of The Wild by Jack London --- Click Here

Essays Of Travel by Robert Louis Stevenson --- Click Here

Life On The Mississippi by Mark Twain --- Click Here

Accounting Majors are Hot, Hot
But two weeks into her final year, she had lined up 15 interviews with the biggest firms in the country. Recruiters treated her to trendy happy hours and fancy steak dinners, wooing her with impressive salaries, free Cancun <> vacations and irresistible sign-on bonuses. She got three job offers in one afternoon." I had no idea it would be that easy to find a job," said Piniuk, 23, who will start at Ernst & Young's McLean <> office in October.
The Washington Post, Forwarded on July 6, 2007 by Don Ramsey.

The job market turned in a solid performance in June, suggesting the economy is solid enough to further diminish the chances of an interest rate cut. The job market's solid performance in June, along with recent signs of vigor in manufacturing and a buoyant stock market, suggest the U.S. economy is entering the second half with considerable steam despite nervousness on Wall Street about cracks in the credit markets and woes in housing.
Brian Blackstone, The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2007 --- Click Here

I hope George Bush is made aware that this discovery took place in Canada and not the U.S.
A startling discovery on the development of human embryonic stem cells by scientists at McMaster University will change how future research in the area is done.
"Researchers discover human embryonic stem cells are the ultimate perpetual fuel cell," PhysOrg, July 11, 2007 ---

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Business
Brent Bowers
, The New York Times, July 11, 2007 ---

Woman comes home to find burglar using her toilet 80-year-old asks intruder: 'How long are you going to be?'
Fox News
, July 13, 2007 ---

Six months on, the country isn't much impressed. Congress's approval rating is drifting into the netherworld, having sunk to an average of 25%. One recent Gallup poll reported only 14% of Americans profess confidence in that institution, now run by Democrats. The numbers make even President Bush look good, an extraordinary achievement.
Kimberley A. Strassel, "Anger Mismanagement:  Congress discovers there's not much gain in Bush hatred," The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2007 --- 

Jackie Kennedy was distraught at the nature of Oswald's political identity. Her husband, she said, "didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights. . . . It had to be some silly little communist. It even robs his death of meaning."
Fred Siegel, "The True Politics of the Paranoid Style:  American liberals took leave of reason after JFK's murder," The Wall Street Journal, Thursday, July 12, 2007 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
What Jackie meant was that the murder of JFK would've meant more if a dastardly capitalist red neck  had done the deed.

As high as gas prices are, milk is more expensive. And the high prices for both can be traced to the high cost of another commodity — corn. Both the fuel and grain needed to run a dairy come from corn, which is getting more expensive because of increased demand for corn's other use, ethanol.
Sarah McCammon, NPR, July 14, 2007 ---

As someone with a vivid memory of Kennedy's brief and lackluster term as president, I have been amused over the following 44 years to watch the myth of the greatness of John F. Kennedy grow. Here was a president who initiated no impressive programs, was less than notably courageous in coming to the aid of civil-rights workers in the South, got the nation enmeshed in one of the most unpopular wars in our history (Vietnam), and brought it to the edge of nuclear war in a probably unnecessary war of nerves with Nikita Khrushchev over the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba. In short, John F. Kennedy was a president who, based on the decisions he made or didn't have the courage to make while in office, deserves to go down as one of the resoundingly mediocre figures in American presidential history.
Joseph Epstein, "Sham-a-Lot," The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2007; Page A14 --- Click Here

The greatest souls are capable of the greatest vices as well as the greatest virtues.
René Descartes --- Click Here

To find a friend one must close one eye - to keep him, two.
Norman Douglas --- Click Here

Iran agrees to allow United Nations nuclear inspectors to inspect a heavy water reactor. The International Atomic Energy Agency says the inspection will be conducted before the end of the month.
NPR, July 13, 2007 ---

A group of women take a stand for women's rights in Zimbabwe. The group is called Women of Zimbabwe, Arise, and they are a thorn in the side of the government.
"Women's Rights Activists Face Danger in Zimbabwe," NPR, July 13, 2007 ---

Ambrose Bierce was once described as “the forgotten brother of Mark Twain,” perhaps because he echoed Twain’s view that “Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its one sure defense.” Because of his way with words, “Public figures quaked in fear of his satirical pen.” Bierce is best remembered for The Devil’s Dictionary, a collection of satirical definitions skewering society. Since political behavior has not exactly improved since he wrote, and American’s are already being bombarded with the earlier than ever start to 2008 campaigns, it is worth revisiting what Bierce’s “classic curmudgeon’s bible” has to say about “the form of government where everyone gets what the majority deserves.”
Gary Galles, "Ambrose Bierce on Politics," The Mises Economics Blog, July 6, 2007 ---

The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (1842 1914) --- Click Here

Katrina Was a Perfect Storm and George Bush was a Perfect Patsy:  Harvesting the Bounty of Disaster
"Federal agents investigating widespread fraud after the Gulf Coast hurricanes in 2005 are sifting through more than 11,000 potential cases, a backlog that could take years to resolve," reports USA Today. "Authorities have fielded so many reports of people cheating aid programs, swindling contracts and scamming charities after the hurricanes that Homeland Security inspectors, who typically police disaster aid scams, have been 'swamped,' says David Dugas, the U.S. attorney in Baton Rouge."
Cato Institute, July 6, 2007 ---

An enduring myth about farm subsidies is that they go to needy family farms. But in reality, price supports have accelerated the demise of small farms because the benefits go to the most profitable growers, says the Wall Street Journal. According to Citizens Against Government Waste: -- Three-quarters of the payments under the 2002 farm bill have gone to the richest 10 percent of farmers. -- More than half of the $1.9 billion sugar program lines the pockets of the wealthiest 1 percent of plantation owners.
"Farming for Dollars," National Center for Policy Analysis, July 6, 2007 ---

It's been more than six months since the U.S. first shone a light on the corruption in the United Nations Development Program in North Korea -- a scandal potentially involving tens of millions of dollars used to help prop up the nuclear-armed regime of one of the world's most dangerous dictators. But never mind. It's all a Bush administration plot . . . A preliminary report by U.N. auditors, issued last month, confirms massive violations of U.N. rules regarding hiring practices, the use of foreign currency, and inspections of U.N.-funded projects. In a series of interviews in New York, Mr. Shkurtaj says the auditors (who were barred by North Korea from going there) barely scratched the surface of the misconduct.
Melanie Kirkpatrick, "A Whistleblower's Tale," The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2007; Page A9 --- Click Here

Hundreds of joyful mourners formed an unconventional funeral procession in Detroit this week as the NAACP officially “buried” the “n word.” “Today, we’re not just burying the n word, we’re taking it out of our spirit,” announced Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. “Die, n word, and we don’t want to see you ‘round here no more.” Michigan Democrat Governor Jennifer Granholm bade “good riddance to this vestige of slavery and racism and... hello to a new country that invests in all its people.”
Patriot Post, July 13, 2007 ---
Jensen Comment
Now if RAP singers would just let the word die we might be able to let the dead rest in peace.

A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.
Ralph Waldo Emerson --- Click Here

The forty per cent of the American electorate who regard themselves as Independents would also benefit (if NYC's billionaire mayor ran for president). Their number has been growing in recent years, and they are increasingly joined in political sympathy by Republicans and Democrats who find their parties captive to a base, fringe, or interest group with which they have little in common. We are living through one of those recurring moments—1912, 1980, and 1992 were others—when disgust with the two big parties stirs a longing for an outsider of upright character, untainted by dirty money or political dealmaking. (Barack Obama and Giuliani are trying with some success to play the role from inside the parties, which might encourage Bloomberg to stay out.) This longing is almost always based on the illusion that compromise is separable from power, that political innocence should be the main qualification for office. The candidates Eugene Debs, John Anderson, and Ross Perot would probably not be remembered as stellar Presidents, but they forced both the Democrats and the Republicans to take public disillusionment more seriously. Bloomberg’s candidacy as a plain-speaking manager—and one who is socially liberal, fiscally competent, and temperamentally reassuring—would appeal to the millions of voters who are heartily sick of the spectacle of the permanent American campaign.
George Packer, "Mr. Independent," The New Yorker, July 2, 2007 ---

The New York Times: Two Papers in One! (As noted in the Opinion Journal, on July 10, 2007)
Now, a pact between local tribal sheiks and American commanders has sent thousands of young Iraqis from Anbar Province into the fight against extremists linked to Al Qaeda. . . . The deal has all but ended the fighting in Ramadi and recast the city as a symbol of hope that the tide of the war may yet be reversed to favor the Americans and their Iraqi allies.--
New York Times, July 8 --- Click Here
It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit. . . . Milestones came and went without any progress toward a stable, democratic Iraq or a path for withdrawal. . . . Whatever [President's Bush's] cause was, it is lost. . . . Keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse.
Editorial, New York Times, July 8 --- Click Here
Also see
Jensen Comment
We have to wonder whether the Editor of the NYT reads anything printed in the NYT that is not anti-war and/or pro-liberal. There is not one single bit of evidence to the contrary in NYT editorials.

The latest from the campaign trail of Obama
"Shift Troops to Fight al-Qaida": "We cannot win a war against the terrorists if we're on the wrong battlefield," Obama said. "America must urgently begin deploying from Iraq and take the fight more effectively to the enemy's home by destroying al-Qaida's leadership along the Afghan-Pakistan border, eliminating their command and control networks and disrupting their funding."

"Clueless," Powerline, July 14, 2007 ---
Jensen Comment
While Commander and Chief Obama's U.S. military is "deploying form Iraq ... [to]... the Afghan-Pakistan border," the al-Qaida's top leaders will deploy from Pakistan to the vacated Iraq. To carry the fight to those warring leaders, Obama's military will then have to re-invade Iraq or give terrorism's command a safe haven. What will Commander and Chief Obama do if the new battlefield in fact becomes Iraq? Much depends upon how much terror the U.S. and its allies will tolerate before re-invading Iraq. Many anti-war protesters hope that if we give al-Qaida 80% of the world's oil reserves (which means give them the entire Middle East) that they will become capitalists dependent upon a safer world to buy their oil. I think "clueless" is a good word here for the strategy to pull completely out of Iraq and shift the theatre of war to the Afghan-Pakistan border. Of course we are and will continue to be worried about Pakistan, because Pakistan is a major nuclear power teetering on the brink of control by Islamic militants. If  al-Qaida and its sympathizers get control of a nuclear arsenal in Pakistan or Iraq, "someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away."

They're rioting in Africa. They're starving in Spain. There's hurricanes in Florida and Texas needs rain.
The whole world is festering with unhappy souls. The French hate the Germans. The Germans hate the Poles. Italians hate Yugoslavs. South Africans hate the Dutch and I don't like anybody very much!
But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud for man's been endowed with a mushroom shaped cloud.

And we know for certain that some lovely day someone will set the spark off and we will all be blown away.
They're rioting in Africa. There's strife in Iran.
What nature doesn't do to us will be done by our fellow man.
Kingston Trio, 1959 ---

Terrorism's Travel Agent Travel Agent ---
I don't think the terrorists will get the chicken that they hope for any U.S. 2008 presidential candidate with the possible exception of the truly-pacifist Dennis John Kucinich.

It appears that al-Qaeda can be marginalized in Iraq if the U.S. does not succumb to pressures of the Democratic Party to abandon Iraq
US Army and Iraqis Celebrating victory over al-Qaeda in Anbar Province ---

Most of the Sunni-led Arab states are alarmed. They worry that Assad's behavior in Iraq might bring about a full-scale Sunni-Shiite confrontation that could swallow up the region. The alliance with Shiite Iran is of particular concern, since it poses a direct threat to regimes in the Gulf that have suppressed their Shiite minorities. The actions of Hamas and Hezbollah, by complicating prospects for a negotiated settlement with Israel, have obliged most Arab states to contemplate more decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Their regimes may not be able to survive this if the outcome is a general revitalization of militancy in the region, particularly Islamist militancy, that would target them first.
Michael Young, "When Dictators Dictate Why do Arab thugs always get away with murder?" Reason Magazine, July 6, 2007 --- 

1. Announce that the US will end the occupation, close the military bases, and withdraw (from Iraq).
9. Assure the political sovereignty of Iraq and making sure that their oil isn't stolen.

Dennis John Kucinich, "Plan for Iraq" --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
Has anybody asked Kucinich how Point 9 is accomplished after Point 1 transpires?
What happens if and when al-Qaida's top leaders or Iran take over in Iraq and "steal the oil." Somehow I cannot visualize Commander and Chief Kucinich rescuing the oil for the terrorized Iraqi people. Just how hard will Iran and al-Qaida fight each other for Iraq's oil? Actually the outcome may moot whoever is victorious since both sides will be Islamic militants bent on defeating Western freedoms, economies,  and culture.

Should a human rights center at the nation's most prestigious university (Harvard University) be collaborating with the top US general in Iraq in designing the counter-insurgency doctrine behind the current military surge?
Tom Hayden, "Harvard's Humanitarian Hawks," The Nation, July 14, 2007 --- 
Jensen Comment
It really stabs leftists in the heart when note humanitarian scholars in academe see benefits of not just surrendering in Iraq and abandoning ship as advocated by virtually all members of the Democratic Party and more extreme pacifist activists.

Our organization (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ) was shocked and extremely disappointed by the tactics and low standards demonstrated by The Nation in the writing of this article. The men and women quoted in this article bravely spoke out precisely because they were concerned about the war and its effects on all people in Iraq--military or civilian. Like honorable military service, solid journalism requires an extremely high level of integrity and professionalism. This article is journalism at its worst. The veterans quoted trusted The Nation, and that trust was betrayed. Our members put themselves and their families at tremendous risk by choosing to participate in this article. But that is for each of them to worry about now. And The Nation has a sensational story that is sure to gain significant attention and sell numerous copies.
"A Letter from IAVA," The Nation, July 13, 2007 ---
Jensen Comment
To their credit, the highly liberal-leaning editors of The Nation published this criticism of themselves. Not to their credit is the non-academic way in which they one-sidedly cherry picked the quotations from these war veterans ---

Up to now, autocrats in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and much of the Arab world have demonized Israel in order to consolidate their own diplomatic and domestic power. Hamas's coup has changed the game. Suddenly, the autocrats realize that should Israel be defeated, the West Bank would fall to Hamas, helping revolutionary Iran secure its hold on the region while slicing in half the entire Sunni Middle East. The clock is ticking. Hamas does not have much time, which means Fatah does not have much time either. Suppose, however, as all the polls have been saying for years, that ordinary West Bank Palestinians in fact favor peace with Israel so long as the Arab notables -- in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and particularly Saudi Arabia -- bless the terms of the peace. Suppose, too, that despite its congenital inability in past situations to sort out the "logic of hope," today's Palestinian leadership has the Sadat-like cunning to sort out the present situation's "logic of power." Finally, suppose the Europeans -- especially now under the leadership of Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel and Gordon Brown -- suspended their appeasement of their former colonies and attended to the Sino-Russian-Iranian oil cartel building up against them and their energy supplies.
Sarah Kass, "Peace Paradox," The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2007 --- Click Here 

Living as we do now afloat the incoming and outgoing tides of media, perhaps the aborted London and Glasgow car bombings of a fortnight ago are worth another thought before these attempted mass murders drift away on the sea of bad memories. What about those doctors? The apparent complicity of UK-resident Muslim physicians in the attempted murder of innocent British civilians had many in the West asking why. The short answer is that these trained MDs somehow convinced themselves that these British people didn't deserve to live -- that it would be morally good to kill them. That's insane. Why would they think that? The best answer I have seen in a long time is found in a new study of Islamic media propaganda by a research team from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. "Iraqi Insurgent Media: The War of Images and Ideas" by Daniel Kimmage and Kathleen Ridolfo (with Radio Free Iraq correspondents, two of whom were abducted and murdered this year) is an astounding compilation of the high-tech methods being used by the insurgency in Iraq to propagate the ideology of the Islamic jihadist movement. This is the blogosphere for killers.
Daniel Henninger, "The Blogosphere for Killers," The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2007; Page A14 --- Click Here

WHEN it comes to economic decisions, there are always trade-offs. Gain one thing and you lose something else. This is particularly true in health care, a market in which a scarce good is ridiculously expensive, but needed by everybody. Kurt Loder, the film critic who is best known as the anchor of “MTV News,” wrote a scathing critique of the film for MTV’s Web site . . . But the film as a whole, he concluded, is “breathtakingly meretricious,” in large part because of its characterizations of other countries’ health care systems ( When “governments attempt to regulate the balance between a limited supply of health care and an unlimited demand for it, they’re inevitably forced to ration treatment,” Mr. Loder asserted. He ticked off a number of negative anecdotes and statistics to counter the positive ones offered by Mr. Moore. Mr. Loder cited the short film “Dead Meat,” which presents anecdotes of failure in the Canadian single-payer system. In its one-sidedness, “Dead Meat” (available online at ) might have made for a nice double feature with “Sicko,” and left moviegoers with a more complete understanding of the complications of deciding on a health care system.
Dan Mitchell quoting Kurt Loder,"What’s Lacking in ‘Sicko’," The New York Times, July 7, 2007 ---

The Constitution doesn't explicitly give Congress the power to issue subpoenas or contempt citations. The Supreme Court has upheld the practice since first ruling on the issue in 1821. Anyone who is cited for contempt of Congress faces a year in prison and a fine of as much as $1,000. Congress last passed contempt charges in 1983. Executive privilege isn't mentioned in the Constitution. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson invoked the privilege during their administrations, arguing that it was part of the separation of powers.
Nick Timiraos, "Battle Brews Over Executive Privilege," The Wall Street Journal, By NICK TIMIRAOS July 7, 2007; Page A5 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
I'm puzzled by the Democratic Party's concerted effort to end or greatly restrict the President's Executive Privilege custom when in fact Democrats have a terrific chance of winning the presidency in 2008. Some precedents have to be lived with for a very, very long time. This could also backfire in an eventual Supreme Court decision to limit subpoena power and contempt citations in Congress. The timing of the current fight instigated by Congress sounds entirely stupid at this time.

On September 3, 2004, a nine-member officer's panel at Fort Lewis, Washington, found Specialist Ryan G. Anderson guilty of five counts of seeking to aid the enemy during a time of war and attempted espionage. The court martial subsequently sentenced him to five concurrent life terms for his crimes. To date, the sentence represents the most severe penalty meted out to a U.S. citizen in President George W. Bush's global war on terror. The case also marked the triumph of the new field of cyber counterterrorism, which I helped develop. Working from my home computer, I enabled Anderson's capture. There have since been more than 200 other cases although many of these were intelligence cases that, for various reasons, did not result in criminal prosecution.
Shannen Rossmiller, "My Cyber Counter-jihad,"  Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2007 ---

When long-defiant former state Sen. Kathryn Bowers finally admits as expected Monday to taking bribes, the once-improbable Tennessee Waltz will have all but played out. She will become the 11th of 12 defendants in the FBI's undercover Waltz corruption sting to be found guilty. After Bowers, only one minor defendant remains, a former school board member. Prosecutors are undefeated -- 11-0 -- and they've scored victories against some of the biggest names in Tennessee politics. From Memphis powerhouse John Ford to his venerable East Tennessee colleague Ward Crutchfield and former Shelby County Commissioner Michael Hooks -- heir to the one...
Marc Perrusquia, "Federal sting sent official message: Old political ways no longer work," Memphis Commercial Appeal, July 14, 2007 ---,2845,MCA_25340_5628858,00.html

Over 50 Iranian economists bluntly told President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a face-to-face meeting this week his economic policies were ‘inexpert’ and lacked ‘any basis in science’, the press reported Saturday. At the meeting, arranged so the president could hear their criticism, the economists launched a withering attack on Ahmadinejad’s government which they said was frittering away the benefits of unprecedented oil wealth. ‘In your government, economic policies are adopted without any basis in science or the directives of the fourth development plan,’ said a statement from the 57 economists read out at the start of Friday’s meeting, the...
"Iran economists lash out at Ahmadinejad policies," Khaleej Times, July 14, 2007  --- Click Here

Immature poets imitate. Mature poets steal.
T.S. Eliot --- Click Here

Deportation of millions of illegal aliens is impossible.
George W. Bush, President of the United States ---

Consider the (New Mexico) state's general fund, that portion of the budget over which the governor and the legislature have the most control. This year it hit $5.6 billion, up $1.5 billion since Mr. Richardson took office in 2003. The governor asked for and received an 11% increase in spending this year, the biggest jump in memory, outstripping inflation and population growth in the state.
Paul J. Gessing, "Richardson's Santa Fe Line," The Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2007; Page A6 --- Click Here

In light of President Bush's latest comments on Iraq, few residents of Baghdad seem to share the president's optimism about the prospects of success, but many say a premature pullout of U.S. forces would lead to disaster.
Jamie Tarabay, NPR, July 1, 2007 ---

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace, says the number of Iraqi battalions able to fight independent of American support has dropped in recent months, despite increased U.S. efforts. Political pressure has grown in Congress for a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Guy Raz, NPR, July 1, 2007 ---

US and British troops will need to stay another one or two years in Iraq, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has said. Mr Talabani was addressing students during a visit to Cambridge University. Asked when the UK and US should leave, he said: "I think in one or two years we will be able to recruit our own army forces and say goodbye to our friends."
BBC News, May 11, 2007 ---

Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki declared Saturday that Iraqi forces could secure the country on their own “any time” American troops decided to withdraw.
Richard A. Oppel, Jr., "Maliki Says His Forces Are Able to Secure Iraq," The New York Times, July 15, 2007 ---
Click Here
Jensen Comment
Read that "his forces are able to secure Iraq by turning it immediately over to Iran." I think Maliki wants Iran to secure a foothold before al-Qaida gets a stronger foothold Iraq and its oil.

The President's Strained Mercy
If Bush wants to correct unjust sentences, why stop with Scooter Libby?
Jacob Sullum, Reason Magazine, July 11, 2007 ---

Great Tips for Saving Yourself and Your Family
Put your car keys beside your bed at night. If you hear a noise outside your home or someone trying to get in your house, just press the panic button for your car. The alarm will be set off, and the horn will continue to sound until either you turn it off or the car battery dies . . . And remember to carry your keys (in your hand) while walking to
your car in a parking lot. The alarm can work the same way there.....

Forwarded by Dick Haar (After attending a neighborhood watch meeting)
Jensen Comment
An added benefit is that the intruder will not know whether or not the intrusion has been phoned into 911 and/or whether a loaded shotgun awaits inside the house. A sign on the outside your door may also help:  "Welcome to the Gage's home. Come on in and meet 12 of our family."

Searching for PowerPoint ppt files, Excel xls files, and other file types

Barry Rice tells us how to search for PowerPoint and other file types
July 15, 2007 message from Barry Rice [brice@LOYOLA.EDU]

I just read in PC Magazine that you can Google by file type by entering in the search box
"filetype: filetype and search term"
e.g., entering the following in the search box returns 374,000 hits [quotes left out to minimize confusion]:
filetype:ppt accounting
I get 27,800 links to PowerPoint files when I search for:
filetype:ppt accounting auditing
I get 969 links to PowerPoint files when I search for:
filetype:ppt accounting derivatives
I get 15 links to PowerPoint files when I search for the following, a couple of which, amazingly, are not Bob:
filetype:ppt accounting derivatives jensen
Barry Rice
AECM Founder
E. Barry Rice, MBA, CPA
Director, Instructional Services
Emeritus Accounting Professor
Loyola College in Maryland
Facebook me!

April 15, 2007 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Barry,

When I typed the phrase "filetype:ppt accounting derivatives" (without quote marks)  into the "Advanced Search" box it would not work properly. The phrase must be typed in the "All the words" search box to work properly. This makes sense since in retrospect --- Dahh!

When I typed the phrase "filetype:ppt accounting derivatives AND Jensen" (without quote marks)  into  the "All the words" search box I got some but not all of my PowerPoint files on derivatives that are listed at

When I typed the phrase "filetype:ppt "accounting derivatives" AND Jensen" without the outer quote marks it reduced the number of hits, but it also missed more of my PowerPoint files on this topic.

When I typed the phrase "filetype:ppt accounting derivatives AND Jensen" I did find some of my Excel workbooks on this topic but not all Excel workbooks under the following URL ---

My conclusion is that if you want your PowerPoint ppt files or other file types like xls on some topic like "accounting derivatives" it is best to be very careful to use that phrase in the title or in a listing of key words for each PowerPoint file.

By the way, I just taught a workshop last week in California on Fair Value Accounting. My files on this topic are available at

When I typed the phrase "filetype:ppt accounting "FAS 157" AND Jensen" (without the outer quote mark) I find my most recent PowerPoint file on FAS 157 --- Click Here

This is great searching advice.

Thanks Barry

Bob Jensen

Google Search Engine ---

Bob Jensen's search helpers ---

Professors and Colleges Skating on the Edge of Questionable Ethics

Companies go to great lengths to establish close ties to professors who act as their on-campus talent scouts, sometimes investing several years and considerable amounts of cash to deepen and maintain the relationship . . . As companies compete fiercely for top talent on campus, they're forging closer relationships with influential faculty members—and they're not shy about spreading around the cash 
"The Professor Is A Headhunter," Business Week, July 9, 2007 ---

Direct payments to professors who offer recruiting tips are rare, according to company and campus officials. Instead, professors who receive corporate consulting fees or research grants sometimes pass along promising names as part of their relationship with companies hungry for talent. In one unusual case, Valero Energy Corp. (VLO ) recently provided gas cards to graduate teaching assistants at four Texas universities in exchange for the names of undergraduates deemed suitable for a company internship program. "There's a tremendous amount of money changing hands," says Maury Hanigan, who runs a New York-based firm that scouts MBAs for corporate clients. "It's all dressed up to pass the sniff test."

Schools have a range of policies on the issue. Seeking to avoid even a whiff of favoritism, the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business cautions faculty against offering potential employers any kind of recruiting help before the company approaches students. (The guidelines do not cover traditional letters of recommendation.) The University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business lacks formal rules in this area, but Dean Edward A. Snyder says he encourages professors to help make connections between compatible employers and students. However, taking money for recommendations would be improper, Snyder says, echoing a view commonly held by his peers. "You'd be picking talent for one company, as opposed to picking talent and matching across companies," he says.

Procter & Gamble Co. (PG ) was one of the first companies to link college funding to recruiting. Nearly 30 years ago, the giant consumer-products maker began funneling modest sums to more than 100 schools that P&G saw as likely to produce dynamic executives, says James Mead, who oversaw worldwide personnel for the company in 1979, when the practice began. Mead, who now runs the executive search firm James Mead & Co., says P&G consolidated the number of schools where it recruited from 450 to 135 by identifying the business programs that produced the most managers for the company. The payments helped P&G gain the favor of particular schools and assured that on recruiting days, its interview slots were filled with top students' names, Mead explains. P&G says it no longer makes such payments and scaled back its financial support to higher education in about 2002.

Not long ago, it took more effort for companies to build relationships with professors. In most cases, they went through the campus career office, a process that some recruiters say can be bureaucratic and time-consuming. But with detailed bios for most professors online nowadays, companies have no problem bypassing the career centers and going to the professors directly. "We can't prevent faculty from communicating," says Jody Queen-Hubert, who heads Pace University's Co-Operative Education & Career Services. "And we can't prevent employers from contacting faculty."

In many cases, companies don't pay schools or professors explicitly for recruiting help but establish more subtle financial relationships. The accounting firm Ernst & Young maintains a list of about 2,800 top accounting professors. E&Y financially supports academics in a number of ways, including paying for what Ellen J. Glazerman, the firm's head of faculty relations, calls "buyout time," when a professor takes a semester off to develop a new course. Glazerman says some professors routinely identify top performers for E&Y—sometimes even intervening on behalf of job candidates who perform poorly in initial interviews.

General Electric Co. (GE ), which hires about 1,000 undergraduates and several hundred MBAs each year, has developed relationships with professors at some 40 universities who, it says, help identify up-and-comers. "We'll say, 'Hey, work on this with your PhD candidates, and we'll help fund it,'" says Steve Canale, GE's recruiting head. "As a by-product, we get insights into top [student] talent."

The National Association of Colleges & Employers cautions against the mingling of financial support with more targeted recruiting. Many schools adhere to its guidelines. Others have devised their own rules. One is Darden. Its MBA Policy Committee has maintained guidelines for more than a decade that instruct faculty to "refrain from making evaluative statements about students, including any suggestion of those who should be contacted or interviewed...prior to [recruiters] interviewing the students in question." The purpose of such rules is to make the recruiting process fair and open, says James R. Freeland, associate dean for faculty. All recruiters get equal access to the same students, and students can talk to all of the companies that are hiring.

Freeland recalls an incident in which a senior faculty member persistently called the registrar's office, seeking student grades and transcript information to pass along at a company's request. The professor, still a member of the faculty today, was "trying to tell recruiters who the best students were," says Freeland, who politely told the professor to back off.

Faculty support for Darden's guidelines isn't universal. "I think the policy is misguided in some ways," says Timothy M. Laseter, a Darden professor and former partner at the consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton. Laseter recommended students to his former firm until being informed by a colleague that doing so violated Darden's policy. While Laseter says he now adheres to the school's rules, he argues that restricting faculty matchmaking can hurt talented students. Laseter on occasion does paid consulting work for Booz Allen and writes for its quarterly journal, but he says that his informal recruiting for the firm stemmed from loyalty, not from any financial incentive.

Not long ago, Laseter recommended a student named Angela C. Huang, whom Booz Allen had initially overlooked after she applied for an internship. Huang struck Laseter as perfect Booz Allen material: She was intellectually curious and deeply analytical. At his urging, the firm took a second look, and Huang now works as an associate in the Booz Allen office in Cleveland. "Tim probably sees the best candidates for Booz Allen," says Peter Sullivan, who runs the firm's MBA recruiting operation. "And God love him for it."

Many professors outside of business schools also participate in the annual recruiting ritual. Doing the right thing in this setting is something that Princeton chemistry professor David W.C. MacMillan says he often struggles with. MacMillan has lucrative relationships with such big pharmaceutical companies as Amgen (AMGN ) and Merck & Co. (MRK ) Some pay him consulting fees. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY ), meanwhile, funds fellowships for chemistry students at Princeton, to the tune of about $100,000 a year.

Many of the same companies welcome MacMillan's recommendations on which students to hire, he says. MacMillan adds that he encourages students to take jobs at companies that he believes would be a good fit, rather than funneling top talent to the company that gave him his most recent consulting gig or batch of research money. Amgen declined to comment. Merck and Bristol-Myers Squibb say recruiting is a secondary benefit of research funding.

The relationship between talent-scouting professors and corporate recruiters seems likely to deepen. Consulting fees are an important part of many professors' incomes. What's more, recruiters operate in a frenetic market for talent, where it's not unusual for top students to receive multiple offers. And when companies have a sudden need for talent, their methods can get very creative.

Exhibit A: Valero Energy. Last year the oil refiner had more than 100 intern slots, up tenfold from the previous summer, according to Dan Hilbert, who until recently was Valero's manager of global recruiting. Less than two weeks before a career fair at the University of Texas campus in San Antonio, the company still had a handful of openings. Waiting until the fair would have meant losing candidates to rivals, says Hilbert, who now runs his own consulting business.

In an April interview with Business Week, Hilbert said he approached graduate student teaching assistants at UT-San Antonio and three other schools in the area, offering them $25 gas cards—"they call them 'beer cards,'" he says, redeemable at gas stations—in exchange for the names of undergrad prospects. Persuading a candidate to take an internship at Valero was worth another gas card, this time for $100.

It worked. According to Hilbert, seven graduate assistants took the bait and turned over the names of their best and brightest, even complying with his instructions to avoid students with tattoos and facial hair. In a week's time most of the open internship slots were filled. Valero says it does not endorse using gas cards as an incentive to provide student information. Hilbert is unapologetic. "This is putting allies in behind the fortress wall," he says. "We bent the rules to best suit us."

Bruce L. Howard, UT-San Antonio's associate director of employer relations, who oversaw the job fair, was surprised when Business Week told him Valero had used graduate assistants for recruiting purposes. Valero posts job openings for all students to see, he says. But using insiders to pinpoint the top students? That, says Howard, "is close to treachery."

Bob Jensen's threads on financial and academic accountability issues in higher education are at

Dress for Success
The NPD Group, the market research firm, goes so far as to proclaim 2007 “the year of the dress.” In recently released data, the firm says sales of women’s dresses surpassed $5 billion in the 12 months ended in April — up 30 percent from the year-earlier period. By contrast, overall sales of women’s clothing rose only 5 percent.
Phyllis Korkki, "For Retailers, the Dress Is an ’07 Success," The New York Times, July 15, 2007 --- Click Here

Saving a Favorite Web Video Updated Free Version of RealPlayer
This week, I tested the newest version of RealNetworks Inc.'s RealPlayer, which offers a distinctly useful feature: the ability to copy any video from the Internet onto your PC, as long as it isn't protected by a copyright. This player, which was just released in its beta (or testing) version last month, is available as a free download from . . . RealNetworks will release a second version of this beta before the end of the year, including options for transferring videos to portable players and Mac compatibility. For now, the free download of this first version is smart, simple and fun to use.
Katherine Boehret, "Saving a Favorite Web Video:  Updated RealPlayer Copies, Organizes Clips Using a PC," The Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2007; Page D4 ---

Why you may not want a new tiny laptop from Dell or Toshiba
The laptop is taking over from the desktop as the main type of personal computer, but the most popular and economical laptops sold are too large for maximum mobility. Making laptops that are tiny as well as powerful is a tough design challenge. I've been testing two of the latest efforts to crack that problem. The first is from Toshiba, a company that once dominated the laptop world, but has since slipped badly. The other is from Dell, best known for larger, clunkier laptops. Both machines are stylish and worked fine in the tests, but each has flaws that might give a buyer pause.
Walter S. Mossberg, "These Two Laptops Are Small and Sleek, But Come With Flaws," The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2007; Page B1 ---

Absurd CEO Compensation Once Again
Richard D. Fairbank is the chairman and chief executive of Capital One Financial, the company whose ads ask, “What’s in your wallet?” Lately, the answer for Mr. Fairbank has been as much as $2 million more every week. . . . Now, with the 10-year options nearing their expiration, Mr. Fairbank is gradually collecting his payback. Since early May, he has exercised more than 10,000 options every day and sold the shares, collecting as much as $3.4 million before taxes each week. By the end of August, his (deferred) pay for 1997 should have easily exceeded $60 million. Then he plans to start cashing in the 1.2 million options he got in 1998. They are worth more than $50 million.
Patrick McGeehan, "What’s in His Wallet? Millions in Options," The New York Times, July 15, 2007 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on outrageous executive compensation are at

Dirty tricks Capital One Financial and other credit card companies play on consumers ---

Why will China be long delayed in becoming the world's dominant economic and military superpower?

Since the melamine-laced pet food scandal hit in March, American consumers have witnessed one Chinese safety problem after another. There have been lead-tainted toys, antifreeze-tainted counterfeit tubes of toothpaste, antibiotic-tainted fish, salmonella-tainted snack foods, and tread-separating tires. And that's nothing compared to what Chinese consumers have faced. Last month brought exposure of fake blood proteins and fungus-tainted baby diapers; this month came word of explosion-prone counterfeit mobile phone batteries.
"Chinese Fake Out:  Beijing gets a lesson in brands and quality control," The Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2007 --- .

Beijing can't clean up the environment, rein in stock speculation, or police its companies. Why the mainland's problems could keep it from becoming the next superpower.
"Broken China," Business Week Cover Story, July 23, 2007 --- Click Here

When the bureaucratic machinery of China rolls into action, it is a sight to behold. A mayor announces a plan to reclaim hundreds of acres from the sea and build a massive industrial complex. A few years later, busy factories and roads stretch as far as the eye can see, families are living in thousands of new apartments, and 10,000 workers have launched Phase Two.

This is the side of China that awes the outside world. The mainland's extraordinary ability to mobilize people and capital to accomplish daunting feats in record time is the reason it has averaged annual growth of 9.5% for three decades. It is why China is an export juggernaut in everything from T-shirts to TVs, has the world's fastest-growing consumer market, and has amassed enough wealth to snap up South American mineral reserves, IBM's (IBM ) PC division, and a big stake in private-equity firm Blackstone Group. Will Beijing complete all of the stadiums, expressways, and hotels in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics? Count on it. It's also a decent bet China will achieve its goal of winning the most gold medals.

Why, then, is it so hard for this same government to crack down on exporters of dangerously tainted seafood, toothpaste, and medicine, despite years of warnings by local and foreign experts? The relentless headlines about unsafe products from China reveal a scary truth: Probe even a little into the Chinese economic miracle and glaring administrative failures abound. Product safety is just one aspect of Beijing's inability to enforce needed regulation in everything from manufacturing and the environment to copyrights and the capital markets.

The same Communist Party apparatus so proficient at censoring the Internet can't keep peddlers in the heart of Beijing from selling knockoff Callaway golf clubs and fake iPods, despite solemn promises to Washington since the early 1990s about enforcing intellectual property rights. Shanghai's stock exchange may be one of the world's hottest and may boast a state-of-the-art paperless trading system. But it was a casino when it opened in 1990 with eight listings, and after years of flaccid regulation it's an even bigger casino with 1,118. Beijing proclaims all sorts of green initiatives, yet heavily polluting new factories and coal power plants keep going up. The party has talked for decades about building a social safety net, yet as the working population ages the government isn't investing nearly enough to head off looming crises in health care, education, and pensions. China spends more than Japan on research and development, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD), but its record of innovation is underwhelming.

China observers dismiss these flaws as the growing pains of a nation making a breathtakingly fast transition from a command economy to a free market. But now it's becoming clearer that these and other structural problems aren't being addressed. The same policies that have been so successful at boosting the gross domestic product by developing new export industries and public works projects, it turns out, undermine initiatives that might move China's economy to a higher level. In its pursuit of growth at all costs, China skimped on investments needed to provide basic affordable health care and the regulatory machinery that can enforce environmental, safety, and corporate governance regulations nationwide. Solving these shortcomings will require a massive shift of the resources that are now being plowed into capital projects. While Beijing would like to cool the economy, however, it is wary of doing anything that would slow the high growth needed to generate jobs for the millions of youth pouring into the workforce each year, especially with a pivotal leadership conference scheduled this fall. "China's economic development model was based on the simple concept of expansion of production," says economist Chen Xiushan of People's University in Beijing. "This model has reached a critical point."

A more intractable problem is China's power structure itself. Although Beijing holds a monopoly on politics, local Communist Party officials enjoy wide latitude over social and economic affairs. They also have huge professional and financial incentives to spur GDP growth, which they often do by ignoring regulations or lavishing companies with perks. As a result, China has built a bureaucratic machine that at times seems almost impervious to reform. Even if Beijing has the best intentions of fixing problems such as undrinkable water and unbreathable air, it is often thwarted by hundreds of thousands of party officials with vested interests in the current system.

Beijing knows it must change course. China's $1.2 trillion in foreign reserves—the most ever amassed by any country—and soaring trade surplus may seem like signs of strength, but they're actually evidence of an overreliance on exports, weak domestic consumption, and a primitive financial system. And a dearth of social services makes a widening income gap between urban and rural areas politically explosive. Conjuring ancient Confucianism, President Hu Jintao harps repeatedly on the need to attain a "harmonious society," implying that China today is anything but. In March, Premier Wen Jiabao labeled the economy "unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsustainable."

To their credit, Chinese officials have unveiled a blitz of corrective measures. Regulators this year shut more than 180 illegal food producers. A directive ordering government agencies to use legitimate software has helped cut the share of pirated programs to 82% from 92% in 2001. Beijing is launching new health-care initiatives, trying to tame the runaway stock market, and passing stringent environmental rules. And in 2006 alone, nearly 30,000 officials were prosecuted for corruption.

If this reformist agenda fails, watch out. The working assumption from Washington to Tokyo is that China is on a trajectory to become a modern market economy and a responsible global citizen. But if its problems persist, the world will have to keep living with a giant trade partner that can't guarantee safe products, control piracy, or curb pollution. China could keep growing rapidly for years, but a scenario of dysfunctional administration calls into question whether it will really become an economic superpower with world-beating corporations that challenge the West in innovation—a Japan Inc. on steroids.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In spite of the overwhelming problems of overpopulation, pollution, poverty, corruption, energy shortages, information suppression, and red tape, China has some huge advantages among world economies. Not the least of these advantages is the fact that China has not burdened itself with entitlements ---

What do other nations know about taxes that the U.S. just cannot understand?

"We're Number One, Alas," The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2007; Page A12 --- Click Here

There's a trend here. At least 25 developed nations have adopted Reaganite corporate income tax rate cuts since 2001. The U.S. is conspicuously not one of them. Vietnam has recently announced it is cutting its corporate rate to 25% from 28%. Singapore has approved a corporate tax cut to 18% from 20% to compete with low-tax Hong Kong's rate of 17.5%, and Northern Ireland is making a bid to slash its corporate tax rate to 12.5% to keep pace with the same low rate in the prosperous Republic of Ireland. Even in France, of all places, new President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed reducing the corporate tax rate to 25% from 34.4%.

What do politicians in these countries understand that the U.S. Congress doesn't? Perhaps they've read "International Competitiveness for Dummies." In each of the countries that have cut corporate tax rates this year, the motivation has been the same -- to boost the nation's attractiveness as a location for international investment. Germany's overall rate will fall to 29.8% by 2008 from 38.7%. Remarkably, at the start of this decade Germany's corporate tax rate was 52%.

All of which means that the U.S. now has the unflattering distinction of having the developed world's highest corporate tax rate of 39.3% (35% federal plus a state average of 4.3%), according to the Tax Foundation. While Ronald Reagan led the "wave of corporate income tax rate reduction" in the 1980s, the Tax Foundation says, "the U.S. is lagging behind this time."

Continued in article

For all the talk about fiscal mismanagement at the national level in India, there's a bright ray of hope: the states. And it's all thanks to the Laffer curve. Tax reforms and other acts of liberalization at both the central and state levels have boosted revenues -- just as Arthur Laffer's famous tax rate-versus-revenue graph said they would -- and paved the way for even more pro-growth policies. New Delhi can't get its own house in order, but at least it's not hindering state-level development.
Paromita Shastri, "State Sense," The Wall Street Journal, July 13, 2007 --- Click Here

Why don't they put it into plain English?
I nominate FAS 133 for every category of this award!

The Plain English Campaign monitors good and bad language usage. They give out the Golden Bull Awards -- awards for "the worst examples of written tripe" -- to people who offend their sense of plainspokenness, as well as several other awards for clear language usage. This year, they gave out seven Golden Bulls and 20 awards for clear language. One of this year's seven Golden Bull recipients is Australian writer and academician Germaine Greer. She won for a recent arts column in The Guardian (London), in which she said, "The first attribute of the art object is that it creates a discontinuity between itself and the unsynthesized manifold."
"Gobbledygook, Drivel, and Tripe," by Erik Deckers, The Irascible Professor, July 10, 2007 ---

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers is at

How to get more doctors and other health care providers
An influx of doctors lured to Texas by new limits on malpractice lawsuits has overwhelmed the state board that screens candidates for medical licenses, creating a backlog that forces many applicants to wait months before they can start seeing patients.
"Influx of Doctors Overwhelms Texas Board," The Washington Post, July 9, 2007 --- Click Here

Microsoft's Billion Dollar Attempted Fix
Why isn't the need for this surprising from a company that almost always releases products in need of fixing before they're out of the box?

In the face of staggering customer returns of the Xbox 360 console, the software maker announces a charge of at least $1.05 billion to address the problem In the quest for supremacy in next-generation gaming consoles, Microsoft (MSFT) had a big advantage by releasing the Xbox 360 a full year ahead of competing devices from Sony (SNE) and Nintendo (NTDOY). But hardware failures on the device are forcing Microsoft to cede some of its hard-won ground.
Cliff Edwards, "Microsoft's Billion-Dollar Fix," Business Week, July 6, 2007 --- Click Here
Also see

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on July 13, 2007

"Microsoft's Videogame Efforts Take a Costly Hit" by Nick Wingfield, The Wall Street Journal, July 6, 2007, Page: A3
Click here to view the full article on

TOPICS: Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Analysis, Reserves

SUMMARY: Microsoft Corp. said it will take a $1.05 billion to $1.15 billion pretax charge to cover defects related to its Xbox 360 game console. Microsoft executives declined to discuss the technical problems in detail, but a person familiar with the matter said the problem related to too much heat being generated by the components inside the Xbox 360s. An analyst in the consumer-electronics industry, Richard Doherty, says the magnitude of the charge Microsoft is taking, which represents nearly $100 for every Xbox 360 shipped to retailers so far indicates Microsoft is concerned about widespread failures or that the company is being extremely conservative in taking this estimated charge. The charge will be taken in the quarter ended June 30, Microsoft's fiscal year end.

1.) Describe the accounting for warranty expenses. In general, why must companies report warranty expenses ahead of the time in which defective units are submitted for repair?

2.) Why must Microsoft record this charge of over $1 billion entirely in one quarter, the last quarter of the company's fiscal year ended June 30, 2007? Support your answer with references to authoritative literature.

3.) How are analysts using the disclosures about the warranty charge to assess Microsoft's expectations for the repairs that will be required and for the general success of this line of business at Microsoft?

4.) Consider the analyst Richard Doherty's statement that either a high number of Xbox 360s will fail or the company is being overly conservative in its warranty estimate. What will happen in the accounting for warranty expense if the estimate of future repairs is overly conservative?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at

And Yet Another Reason to Be Annoyed With Microsoft
Chris Pirillo leaned away from his webcam and pointed to his printer/scanner/fax machine, which stopped scanning and faxing after he installed Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows Vista operating system.
Jessica Mintz, "Little Annoyances Still Big Vista Issue," PhysOrg, July 14, 2007 ---

From CCH
A National Map of Gas, Sales, and Cigarette Tax Rates Comparing All 50 States
Jensen Comment
Aggregations like this are somewhat misleading. For example, some states with high sales tax exempt selected items like certain basic foods from grocery stores. Unmentioned are the enormous car rental taxes that in some cities like Kansas City are rip-offs to pay for new sports arenas. Unmentioned are the differentials in hotel and restaurant taxes that not only differ between states but often differ between cities. New Hampshire looks great on the above CCH map and is proud of not having a sales tax on most items, including automobiles and anything passing through a Wal-Mart checkout stand. But New Hampshire does have an 8% tax on restaurant tabs. Liquor is relatively cheap in New Hampshire such that people in surrounding states purchase liquor by the case our I-93 and I-95 exits that only exit to NH State Liquor Stores. I mean that these exits do not go anywhere except for fill ups on booze. I've not seen a map comparing all 50 states on booze prices/taxes! Alcoholics, chain smokers, and Wal-Mart addicts flock to New Hampshire from miles around for cheap booze, wine, smokes, and anything found in the aisles of Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs. But legislation requiring funding is sometimes a joke in a low tax state like NH. For example, our proud representatives recently passed a bill requiring quite a lot of money to implement but only appropriated one dollar. I think we should send more Yankees to DC.

Bob Jensen's tax helpers are at

Where is the real blame in the fall from grace at GM, Ford, and Chrysler?

Part of it is union wages and unfunded benefits

A tip sent us to the blog of Dr. Mark J. Perry, professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, who points out that hourly union workers at the Big 3 make on average 57.6% more in a year than a university professor with a Ph.D. Using figures from the automakers themselves, Dr. Perry tells us that a union worker at Ford makes $141,020/year including wages and benefits. A worker at General Motors makes $146,520/year and one at Chrysler earns $151,720/year. According to another report he cites, the average annual salary for a college professor in 2006 was $92,973, which happens to be close to the $96,000/year a Honda, Nissan or Toyota worker makes in the U.S.
John Neff, "U of M Economics professor tackles tough question of UAW wages," Autoblog, July 13, 2007---
Jensen Comment
Actually this piece is defense of auto worker pay and a put down of overpaid professors. The bottom line conclusion is that a PhD teaching at a college has a choice of becoming an autoworker. Why not take it?

Another, perhaps larger part, is quality of product relative to the competition

"The Decline of Detroit:  Don't just blame the UAW. The "Big Three" also need to make better cars. ," by John Schnapp, The Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2007; Page A7

It is true enough that the Japanese, European and lately the Korean automakers who have scattered their new factories across the lower Midwest and the Southland do not have many retirees to support. Yet there is so far no evidence that the asserted $1,500 a unit advantage in cost is being used by Japanese automakers in predatory pricing.

In fact, the sticker prices of their vehicles are generally somewhat higher than comparable Detroit models. And beyond the sticker prices, the various discount incentives of the domestics currently average around $2,500 per vehicle. Toyota's average incentive is less than half that amount and Honda's is zero.

In other words, the domestic automakers' net prices are considerably lower, but they still continue losing market share. Frustration over this recently led GM's North America chief Mark LaNeve to urge each of his dealers, starting at Saturn, to buy a Honda Accord and a Toyota Camry so they could show prospective customers that their own offerings were fully comparable and certainly less expensive.

The ability of the leading Japanese automakers to extract higher prices does enhance their financial resources. And these resources have in turn helped underwrite their relatively short model cycles, entry into previously unexplored segments like fullsize pick-up trucks, and the initial losses of introducing novel products like the Toyota Prius hybrid.

Even with all of this, however, it's instructive to take a look back to 1997, Chrysler's last full year as a freestanding enterprise. Carrying all of the same sorts of legacy-cost burdens complained of today, and with the lowest labor productivity in its industry, the company still recorded a healthy 4.8% net profit on sales, down from an even headier 5.7% the prior year. GM in 1997 hit 3.8% and Ford 4.5%, not at all shabby. And over the entire previous decade, which included a three-year patch of market softness in the early 1990s, total annual return to shareholders ranged from 12.2% at GM to 17% at Chrysler.

So what has really gone wrong over the last decade?

Annual U.S. demand for cars and light trucks has grown modestly -- but what has shrunk is the ability of the Detroit Three, especially GM and Ford, to attract customers. Each of them will be selling nearly a million fewer vehicles this year than in 1997. Most of the financial crunch they face comes from lower unit sales trying to support an increasing population of retirees, many added through cost-reduction workforce cutbacks, plus additional benefits yielded to the UAW in the intervening bargaining sessions.

So how, under these circumstances, can the Detroit Three generate the resources they need for fostering what they hope will be turnaround products?

They can cut the dividend payout to shareholders, an initiative GM and Ford finally undertook last year. They can enter collective bargaining by invoking the image of Armageddon, as they are now doing. And they can sell off some of the family silver, which they are also doing -- at GM this has included DirecTV, control of the company's finance arm, and spinoff of its partsmaking albatross, Delphi. Ford has undertaken extensive mortgaging of its real estate, has dumped Aston-Martin and is seeking an acceptable price for Jaguar and Land Rover; ultimately it will probably be forced to unload even Volvo.

A major overhanging question, though, is whether the Detroit Three can obtain some form of governmentally brokered relief from their retiree obligations. Currently they aren't explicitly asking for it but they aren't exactly not asking either.

Not quite asking usually comes in the form of elaborately staged Washington events in which the CEOs show off their latest future-tech prototypes, reiterate their dedication to alternative power systems, praise clean air and have heart-to-hearts with the president. So far this president has applauded the prototypes, wished them well, but has not yet been afflicted with the weepies about legacy-cost burdens.

Even if the UAW were to offer substantial concessions, they are unlikely to provide more than mild, short-term therapy. Success in the auto business means bringing products to the showrooms that are hits with buyers. And hitmaking is a seemingly lost art in Detroit since Lee Iacocca's last burst of Chrysler winners in the mid-1990s.

Meanwhile the newly Democratic Senate has passed an omnibus energy bill that would require the average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks to improve from the current 25 miles per gallon to 35 mpg by 2020. An auto industry trade association has already launched a scare-mongering advertising campaign warning motorists that if the mandate passes people might not be able to find the vehicles they want to buy. Hometown heroes like Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. John Dingell have employed all the tools at their considerable command to apply the brakes, but it seems probable that the House will ultimately follow the Senate's lead.

But a 35 mpg mandate will surely not shoehorn motorists unwillingly into tiny clown cars like Mercedes's European money loser, the Smart. Nor is it likely to affect occupant safety or even performance. It will involve broader availability of hybrids, already well underway, and application of incremental technologies like turbocharging, continuously variable transmissions and variable valve lift engines.

It will also oblige the automakers to sell Americans on high-tech, high-performance, high-efficiency and very durable diesel engines -- engines which, by the way, they already sell in Europe, and which attract as much as 70% of car buyers in venues like France with $7-a-gallon gasoline prices.

The overriding challenge, though, for the Detroit Three remains neither their cost burden nor Congressional fuel economy activism. Rather it is overcoming their continued inability to win in the marketplace.

A decade ago, before any of the recent red ink began to flow, the stewards of these giant enterprises had ample resources to compete. Events have proven that they didn't use them very effectively. In 1996-97, with all of the same cost burdens now bemoaned, Chrysler -- for one -- made itself the world's most profitable automaker, generating rates of profitability roughly the same as Toyota does today.

Continued in article

Forecasting Power of Implied Volatility
In this paper the authors examine460 of the S&P 500 firms to demonstrate that: (1) implied volatility is a better forecaster of realized volatility than historic volatility or GARCH models and (2) the information content of implied volatility significantly decreases with liquidity.
Jonathan M. Godbey and James W. Mahar, "Forecasting Power of Implied Volatility,"  July 2007 ---

An English Lord Convicted of Big Time Fraud
A federal jury convicted fallen media tycoon Conrad Black and three of his former executives at Hollinger International Inc. Friday of illegally pocketing money that should have gone to stockholders. Black, 62, was convicted of three counts of mail fraud and one count of obstruction of justice. He faces a maximum of 35 years in prison for the offenses, plus a maximum penalty of $1 million. He was acquitted of nine other counts, including racketeering and misuse of corporate perks, such as taking the company plane on a vacation to Bora Bora and billing shareholders $40,000 for his wife's birthday party.

"Conrad Black Convicted of Fraud," NPR, July 14, 2007 --- Click Here
Read the longer NYT account (more history) at

"Lord Black's Board: A-List Cast Played Acquiescent Role," by Robert Frank and Elena Cherney, The Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2004, Page A1

On a winter afternoon four years ago, Hollinger International Inc.'s directors met with the company's chief executive, Conrad Black, for an especially busy board meeting.

Gathered around a mahogany table in a boardroom high above Manhattan's Park Avenue, eight directors of the newspaper publisher, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and Jerusalem Post, nibbled on grilled tuna and chicken served on royal-blue Bernardaud china, according to two attendees.

Marie-Josee Kravis, wife of financier Henry Kravis, chatted about world affairs with Lord Black and A. Alfred Taubman, then chairman of Sotheby's.

Turning to business, the board rapidly approved a series of transactions, according to the minutes and a report later commissioned by Hollinger. The board awarded a private company, controlled by Lord Black, $38 million in "management fees" as part of a move by Lord Black's team to essentially outsource the company's management to itself. It agreed to sell two profitable community newspapers to another private company controlled by Lord Black and Hollinger executives for $1 apiece. The board also gave Lord Black and his colleagues a cut of profits from a Hollinger Internet unit.

Finally, the directors gave themselves a raise. The meeting lasted about an hour and a half, according to the minutes and two directors who were present.

The boards of scandal-plagued companies from Enron to Tyco have been heavily criticized for lax corporate governance and poor oversight. The board of Hollinger -- a star-studded club with whom Lord Black had longstanding social, political and business ties -- is emerging as a particularly passive watchdog. Hollinger directors openly approved more than half of the transactions that allowed Lord Black and his colleagues to improperly siphon more than $400 million from the publisher, according to a company investigation overseen by former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Richard Breeden.

High Society

Mr. Breeden's 500-page report, which was released earlier this month, gives a detailed picture of a board that functioned like a high-society political salon, while neglecting its oversight responsibilities. Lord Black worked hard to win his directors' loyalty, giving to their charities and holding dinners in their honor. As the scandal unfolded, director Henry Kissinger even tried to negotiate with the company on Lord Black's behalf.

Continued at

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance frauds are at

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

The Controversies of Rankings of Physicians by Cost and Quality

"N.Y. Attorney General Objects to Insurer’s Ranking of Doctors by Cost and Quality," by Anthony Ramirez, The New York Times, July 14, 2007 ---

In a sharply worded letter, the New York State attorney general’s office asked a health insurance company yesterday to halt its planned introduction of a method for ranking doctors by quality of care and cost of service, warning of legal action if it did not comply.

. . .

It asked the company to cancel its plan to release the rankings in September, citing a furor over a similar program’s introduction in Missouri in 2005. There, physician groups, including the American Medical Association, said the cost rankings primarily reflected the cost of care to the insurer — not to patients.

Missouri doctors cited numerous objections to the pilot program, which was halted and is being redesigned. For example, most faculty members of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis were initially excluded from the quality rankings because university-based care is generally more expensive. Doctors in major specialties were ranked by cost alone.

Tyler Mason, a spokesman for UnitedHealthcare, said the company had been meeting with the attorney general’s staff. He said: “We share their commitment to looking at cost and quality. That’s exactly what this is about. The assertion in the letter that sometimes higher cost equals higher quality is actually not what experts nationwide find. Sometimes lower cost means higher quality.”

Continued in article

Related Item of Controversy
Drug makers are exploring the possibility of tying pharmaceutical prices to performance
"Pricing Pills by the Results," by Andrew Pollack, The New York Times, July 14, 2007 --- Click Here 

Boston Scientific agrees to pay $195 million to settle claims related to a potentially flawed defibrillator made by its subsidiary, Guidant.
Barry Meir, "Maker Settles Suit on Device for Hearts," The New York Times, July 14, 2007 --- Click Here

"PwC Sets Accord in Tyco Case:  Pact for $225 Million Settles Claims Involving Auditing Malpractice," by David Reilly and Jennifer Levitz, The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2007 --- Click Here

Accounting titan PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP agreed to pay $225 million to settle audit-malpractice claims arising from the criminal misdeeds of top executives at Tyco International Ltd., marking the largest single legal payout ever made by that firm and one of the biggest ever by an auditor.

The settlement applies to claims from both Tyco investors, who had filed a class-action lawsuit against the accounting firm in federal court in New Hampshire, and Tyco itself. The agreement was disclosed Friday by PwC, Tyco and the class-action investors.

Tyco's involvement in the PwC deal followed on its agreement in May to settle for $2.98 billion claims brought against it by the same class-action plaintiffs -- removing a cloud of liability that shadowed the conglomerate as it split into three publicly traded companies. As part of that agreement, Tyco allowed investors to pursue its own claims against PricewaterhouseCoopers, while Tyco would pursue claims on behalf of shareholders against former executives, including former Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski.

Attorneys for Tyco investors said the settlement marked a victory for shareholders. The $225 million payout "sends a message to accounting firms" and will act as a "deterrent to future situations like this," according to Jay Eisenhofer of Grant & Eisenhofer PA, who represented investors in the case. Tyco declined to comment beyond saying that the agreement had been filed.

The PwC settlement ranks among the top 10 legal payouts made by accounting firms related to work on behalf of one company. Ernst & Young LLP's $335 million settlement in 1999 related to work for Cendant Corp. remains the biggest-ever payout by an auditor.

As a percentage of the overall settlement reached by the company and other parties -- an important metric looked at by accounting firms -- the PwC deal represented a payout on its end of about 7% of the total. That is generally in line with payouts by accounting firms, which tend to range from 5% to 15% of total payouts.

While the Tyco case was one of several corporate scandals that rocked markets earlier this decade, it is somewhat unusual in that the malfeasance revolved around compensation issues involving top executives. That contrasted with the kind of bankruptcy-inducing fraud seen in many other scandals such as those at Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. In June of 2005, a jury convicted Mr. Kozlowski, and Mark Swartz, Tyco's former chief financial officer, of grand larceny, conspiracy and securities fraud. Both are serving prison sentences in New York.

While PwC stood by its work, the firm's position was potentially undermined when the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2003 barred Richard P. Scalzo, the firm's lead partner on Tyco's audits from 1997 to 2001, from audits of publicly listed companies. The SEC didn't accuse him of deliberately covering up faulty accounting at Tyco, but said he was "reckless" for not heeding warning signs regarding the integrity of the company's management. Mr. Scalzo didn't admit or deny wrongdoing.

Although the PwC settlement with Tyco will have to be approved by class-action investors, and some could drop out to pursue claims individually, the deal mostly brings to a close one of the biggest legal issues for PwC. Other high-profile cases the firm has outstanding are suits related to its work for insurance titan American International Group Inc. and computer maker Dell Inc.

Bob Jensen's threads on PwC's legal woes over time are at

Bob Jensen's threads on the Saga of Professionalism and Independence in Auditing are at

The Butler Did It, Really and Truly
Graham J. Lefford, a former butler to American Idol creator Robert Sillerman, has agreed to a $66,200 settlement in an insider-trading case. The Securities and Exchange Commission had charged Lefford with trading on information he allegedly obtained from faxes sent to Sillerman in 2004, when Sillerman was closing a deal to buy a stake in Elvis Presley's estate.
Alan Rappeport, "A Whodunnit in the Hamptons,", July 10, 2007 ---

Efficient vs. Adaptive Markets (and a Joke)

From the Financial Rounds Blog on July 11, 2007 ---

Efficient vs. Adaptive Markets (and a Joke)
"Classic" finance theory says that markets are efficient (that prices reflect all available information). However, real-world data reveals a lot of patterns that seem to contradict market efficiency - like the small-firm and value effects, post-earnings announcement drift, momentum effects, and so on.

One competing approach to the Efficient Markets Hypothesis is the "Adaptive Markets Hypothesis," or AMH for short (a term coined by Andrew Lo at MIT). It says that inefficiencies like the ones above can exist, but that market participants search them out and eventually arbitrage them away until the profits from using these patterns get too small to be worth the effort. So, in essence, it says markets are efficient after all, but in an evolutionary sense.

I'm agnostic about which approach is correct. The AMH has a lot to recommend itself because (according to Grossman & Stiglitz) if there aren't some inefficiencies, there isn't any incentive for market players to gather information (which makes markets efficient). The G&S paper alkways troubled me, and the AMH provides a partial answer.

I just came across a great illustration (HT: Barry Ritholtz) that I'll use in class the next time I teach about market efficiency and "anomalies" like the value-glamour effect:

Scene One —
Efficient Markets Hypothesis An economics professor and a grad student are walking along the sidewalk, and the grad student spots a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk. He says, “Hey professor, look, a twenty dollar bill.” The professor says, “Nonsense. If there were a twenty dollar bill on the street, someone would have picked it up already.” They walk past, and a little kid walking behind them pockets the bill.

Scene Two —
Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, Part 1

An economics professor and a grad student are walking along the sidewalk, and the grad student spots a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk. He says, “Hey professor, look, a twenty dollar bill.” The professor says, “Really?” and stoops to look. A little kid walking behind them runs in front of them, grabs the bill and pockets it.

Scene Three —
Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, Part 2

An economics professor and a grad student are walking along the sidewalk, and the grad student spots a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk. He says quietly, “Tsst. Hey professor, look, a twenty dollar bill.” The professor says, “Really?” and stoops to look. He grabs the bill and pockets it. The little kid doesn’t notice.

Scene Four —
Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, Part 3

An economics professor and a grad student are walking along the sidewalk, and the grad student spots a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk. He grabs the bill and pockets it. No one is the wiser.

Scene Five —
Adaptive Markets Hypothesis, Part 4

An economics professor and a grad student are walking along the sidewalk, and the grad student is looking for a twenty dollar bill lying around. There aren’t any, but in the process of looking, he misses the point that the professor was trying to teach him. The professor makes a mental note to not take him on as a TA for the next semester. The little kid looks for the twenty dollar bill as well, but as he listens to the professor drone on decides not to take economics when he gets older.

Read the whole thing at The Aleph Blog. Once you read it, look around the blog a bit. Although the author (David Merkel) is relatively new with his blog, he's been in the finance game for a while, and his stuff seems to be right on target - it's interesting, technically correct and very well written. And not too many blogs pull off that combination.

The Aleph Blog is at
The module above was written on July 2, 2007

"Skepticism of Faculty and Tenure," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, July 12, 2007 ---

A new poll by Zogby Interactive may not cheer professors. A majority of the public believes that political bias by professors is a serious problem and doubts that tenure promotes quality.

To critics of the professoriate, the poll is but more evidence of the gap between academics and the public, but some experts on public opinion about higher education have questions about the value of the new findings.

The poll was conducted this month through an online survey of 9,464 adults, and has a margin of error of +/- 1 percent. A Zogby spokesman said that the poll was conducted by the polling company itself, and was not sponsored by any group.

More than 58 percent of those polled believe that political bias is a somewhat serious or very serious problem.

There are sharp divisions by party lines (73.3 percent of Republicans view the problem as very serious, while only 6.7 percent of Democrats do), gender (46.8 percent of men view the problem as very serious, compared to 32.1 percent of women) religion (57.9 percent of those who are born again view the problem as very serious, while only 17.6 percent of Jews do), and those who shop at Wal-Mart (56.7 percent of those who shop there weekly believe the problem is very serious, while only 17.6 percent of those who never do think that).

On age and race, white people and older people

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on political correctness in academe are at

Resource: Teaching High School Science ---

Science as Storytelling ---

Profiles in Science: The Mary Lasker Papers --- \

Air & Space Power Course ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free science and medicine tutorials are at

Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies ---

Lesson Plans on Aging Issues ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free social studies tutorials are at

Interactive Mathematics Miscellany and Puzzles ---

xyAlgebra ---

Bob Jensen's threads on mathematics and statistics tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on edutainment are at

Economics Tutorials
National Taxpayers Union & National Taxpayers Union Foundation

State of World Population 2007 ---

Bob Jensen's links to social science tutorials are at

From UCLA:  Helpers for College Leaders and Education Researchers
Higher Education Research Institute ---

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for education research are at

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

Fears That Public Disclosure of Teaching Evaluations Attract Students to High Grading Instructors
A new Missouri law requires public colleges to put some of the information from student reviews of professors online for students to see when picking courses, The Columbia Daily Tribune reported. Some faculty members fear that the law will encourage students to look for easy graders, but others note that unofficial Web sites already create such problems.
Inside Higher Ed, July 13, 2007 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching evaluations and grade inflation are at

CIA Special Collections
Cold War Era Hard Target Analysis of Soviet and Chinese Policy and Decision Making, 1953-1973 ---

What's so controversial about Duke's Group of 88?

What's left to be done at Duke is taking action against the Group of 88. This group is made up of Duke professors representing more than a dozen academic departments at Duke who took out a large newspaper ad that constituted a rush to judgment about the guilt of the three accused lacrosse players. The ad: (1) publicly demeaned the players (their own students about whom they are supposed to care), (2) castigated the players for their actions (as the Group of 88 presumed those actions to be) and, (3) called for the lacrosse players to simply confess to their presumed misdeeds.
Charles F. Falk, "What'll Be Done About Duke's 'Group of 88'? July 7, 2007," The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2007 ---
Click Here

The 88 Duke University faculty members who took out a hysterical ad, supporting those local loudmouths who were denouncing and threatening the Duke students, have apparently had nothing at all to say now. Not only did many Duke University professors join the lynch mob atmosphere, so did the Duke University administration, which got rid of the lacrosse coach and cancelled the team's season, without a speck of evidence that anybody was guilty of anything.
Thomas Sowell, "The Duke Case's Unfinished Business," RealClearPolitics, June 19, 2007 --- Click Here

Duke Reaches Settlement With Players
Duke University has reached an undisclosed financial settlement with three former lacrosse players falsely accused of rape, the school said Monday. Duke suspended Reade Seligmann, Collin Finnerty and Dave Evans after they were charged last year with raping a stripper at an off-campus party. The university also canceled the team's season and forced their coach to resign. ''We welcomed their exoneration and deeply regret the difficult year they and their families have had to endure,'' the school said in a statement. ''These young men and their families have been the subject of intense scrutiny that has taken a heavy toll.'' The allegations were debunked in April by state prosecutors, who said the players were the innocent victims of a ''tragic rush to accuse'' by Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong. He was disbarred Saturday for breaking more than two dozen rules of professional conduct in his handling of the case.
The New York Times
, June 18, 2007 ---  

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

Questions about iPhone?
Can you physically remove the included AT&T SIM card from the iPhone and replace it with another AT&T card or one from another wireless carrier?
And how can you replace the sealed-in battery?

From Walt Mossberg's Mailbox, The Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2007; Page B3 ---

Q: Can you physically remove the included AT&T SIM card from the iPhone and replace it with another AT&T card or one from another wireless carrier?

A: Yes, and no. The SIM card, which carries the iPhone's account information, can be removed by inserting a paper clip into a tiny hole at the top of the phone. However, Apple says that if you replace the included card with one from another carrier, like T-Mobile in the U.S., or Orange in Europe, the phone won't work. According to Apple, some non-iPhone AT&T cards may work, but some may not.

It's possible that hackers will figure out a way to override this lock on other carriers' SIM cards. But, as of now, the iPhone will work only with AT&T. Even overseas, at least until Apple does deals with foreign partners, you won't be able to use SIM cards from other carriers. The iPhone will work overseas, but you will have to roam with AT&T and pay high charges. For instance, according to an AT&T spokesman, if you make a call in Europe, it would cost $1.29 a minute. It would cost 99 cents a minute if you are on one of AT&T's $5.99 per month international plans.

Q: Since the iPhone battery is sealed in and can't be easily replaced by the user, what happens when it dies? Will you have to buy a new iPhone?

A: No, but you will have to send the phone to Apple, or drop it off at an Apple store, to have the battery replaced. The battery is covered during the phone's one-year warranty period. After that, replacing the battery costs $79, plus $6.95 for shipping, and takes three business days. Details are at Some small companies may eventually offer to do this for less, or in less time, as they have for the iPod.

One twist: because a phone is a necessity, Apple is offering loaner iPhones for $29 while your phone's battery is being replaced, or for the period of any other repair on the iPhone. You will have to switch the AT&T SIM card from your own phone to the loaner, and then back again. Details are at

In addition, Apple warns that all the data on your iPhone will be wiped out during a battery replacement, but notes that it can easily be restored by simply syncing again with the iTunes software on your computer once you get it back with a fresh battery. That's because, whenever you sync your iPhone with iTunes, it backs up the data on the phone. You can also use this method to fill your loaner iPhone with your own data.

Textbook Publishers Scrutinized By Congress
There's an interesting short article in today's Chronicle of Higher Education about a briefing by textbook publishers. Congressional staff members pelted company officials with questions about the high costs of college textbooks and asserted that the publishers did not have students' best interests in mind during a briefing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.But the publishers said they offer professors hundreds of books to choose from for a specific subject, varying in cost from only $30 to upwards of $100, and in some cases even let the professor purchase certain chapters of a book that will not be wholly used. Data offered by both sides about the amount students pay for textbooks varied from $644 to $900 a year. Congressional staff members, many of whose children are college students, complained about the frequency of new editions of text books that students have no choice but to purchase. Publishers described new online products that they contend will be more effective and less costly than traditional printed textbooks, but in general, these staffers seemed cautious about the efficacy of online learning tools.
The University of Illinois Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog, July 11, 2007 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on oligopoly textbook publisher frauds are at

Picasa 2.7 (Photo Organizer from Google) --- 

From the Scout Report on July 13, 2007

ProVoc 4.2.2 --- 

Learning a new language can be daunting, but this handy application can make this process a bit friendlier. With ProVoc, users can download existing vocabulary sets for English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, and dozens of other languages. After that, they can run through these words at their leisure on their computer or their iPod for convenience. Finally, the site also includes a FAQ section that answers any number of topical questions about the application. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3 and newer.

SUPER AntiSpyWare Free Edition 3.9.1008 --- 

In an age where spyware and other such vexing problems are fairly ubiquitous, it can be a relief to know about different free applications that can help with such pesky matters. With this latest version of SUPERAntiSpyware, visitors can take advantage of features like complete hard drive scans, the removal of various spyware and adware threats, and their process interrogation technology which locates threats anywhere on a given operating system. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP, 2003, and Vista.


"Robotic Farmer:  Automated weeding could eventually reduce the use of herbicides," by Duncan Graham-Rowe, MIT's Technology Review, July 11, 2007 --- 
Jensen Comment
My wife has one of these but he keeps pulling the flowers and missing the weeds.

Updates from WebMD ---

From the Journal of the American Medical Association
JAMA Patient Page ---

Hope for new Parkinson's therapy
Hope for new Parkinson's therapy Scientists have discovered a protein which may help to slow, or even reverse symptoms of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's destroys nerve cells that produce the brain chemical dopamine, causing movement and balance problems. Finnish researchers found the new molecule can prevent degeneration of these cells - and help damaged cells start to recover. Their paper, featured in Nature, showed symptoms eased in rats given injections of the protein. Current anti-Parkinson's drugs do not stop nerve cells from degenerating and dying, and their effects can be patchy and short-lived. The researchers, from the...
"Hope for new Parkinson's therapy," BBC News, July 14, 2007 ---

How to Live Past Age 100
A new project to partially sequence the genomes of 100 people age 100 or older could shed light on the genetic variations that allow some people to stay healthy decades beyond the average life expectancy. Dubbed the Methuselah Project, the endeavor will serve as a test bed for a new approach to sequencing developed at the Rothberg Institute, a non-profit research center in Guilford, CT. About 1 in 7,000 people live to be 100, many of them spry well into their 90s, but the reasons for their good health remain largely unknown. "One of the women we'd like to look at is over 100, and up to two years ago, she was still playing tennis," says Jonathan Rothberg, founder of both 454 Life Sciences, a sequencing technology company based in Branford, CT, and the Rothberg Institute. "My dream is that we will find [genetic variations] that are enriched in this population that are protective."
Emily Singer, "The Secrets to Living Past 100," MIT's Technology Review, July 10, 2007 ---
Jensen Comment
She still may be playing tennis, but she's mainly trying to meet boys so she can get invited to the forthcoming prom on May 14, 1915.

China Not the Sole Source of Dubious Food
At a time when Chinese imports are under fire for being contaminated or defective, federal records suggest that China is not the only country that has problems with its exports.
Andrew Martin and Griff Palmer, "China Not the Sole Source of Dubious Food," The New York Times, July 12, 2007 ---

"Atrial Fibrillation FAQ," The New York Times, July 7, 2007 ---

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Clues in the blood Researchers at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) believe that blood may hold vital insights into what is happening in the brain of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
PhysOrg, July 7, 2007 --- 

New risk factors discovered for Alzheimer's disease
A recent study in Journal of Neuroimaging suggests that cognitively normal adults exhibiting atrophy of their temporal lobe or damage to blood vessels in the brain are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease. Older adults showing signs of both conditions were seven-times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than their peers.
PhysOrg, July 7, 2007 ---

"Depression lingers for female heart attack victims," PhysOrg, July 13, 2007 ---

From Harvard University
Program on the Global Demography of Aging

Five Best Books About Hollywood
"No Business Like Show Business A-list books about Hollywood," by Robert Osborne, The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2007 ---

1. "The Name Above the Title" by Frank Capra (Macmillan, 1971).

This is the best show-business autobiography to date, bar none, written by a man who for many years was one of only three directors in Hollywood (the others: Cecil B. DeMille and Alfred Hitchcock) whose name meant as much on a marquee as any star's. The life of Frank Capra (1897-1991) is a dazzling American success story, filled with more peaks than plateaus. But by the time the three-time Academy Award-winning director was 64, "the Marquis de Sade had taken over the movie industry," he writes, and "the kind of people I once ate for breakfast were maneuvering me out of pet projects I wanted to do and out of the studio I had helped build into a major company." So Capra called it a day. Regrettably, for us. What he has to say about his time in the sun is filled with all the verve and intrigue of a great mystery novel.

2. "Memo From David O. Selznick" edited by Rudy Behlmer (Viking, 1972).

Apparently no one ever wrote more memos, with carbon copies, than producer David O. Selznick (1902-65). The memos flew out of his office at an alarming rate, whether he was pondering the casting of "Gone With the Wind" ("Would Warners give us a picture a year with Errol Flynn if we give him the lead?") or telling Ingrid Bergman how much makeup to use. Deftly assembled by Hollywood historian Rudy Behlmer, "Memo From David O. Selznick" shows us how the obsessively hands-on Selznick was able to produce so many outstanding movies--in addition to "Gone With the Wind," he was behind "Dinner at Eight," "Nothing Sacred" and "Rebecca." It also makes clear why people ran screaming whenever a messenger showed up with another memo from DOS.

3. "Act One" by Moss Hart (Random House, 1959).

Moss Hart (1904-61) was one of the marvels of Broadway and Hollywood, renowned as a playwright ("The Man Who Came to Dinner," "You Can't Take It With You"), screenwriter ("Gentleman's Agreement," "A Star is Born") and Broadway director ("My Fair Lady," "Camelot"). He was also a famous wit, a devoted friend and a man prey to deep depressions and mood swings. His autobiography, "Act One," is a treasure-- an extraordinary treat and the perfect answer for anyone who ever wondered why a person would devote his life to such an unstable and erratic line of work. The book covers only Hart's early years, before success kicked in, but it tantalizingly promised two more volumes--which, alas, never came.

4. "Lion of Hollywood" by Scott Eyman (Simon & Schuster, 2005).

Soon after MGM's big boss, Louis B. Mayer, died in 1957, his name became a symbol of Hollywood hierarchy at its most monstrous. I have always found this confusing, since many of those who knew Mayer well and worked for him were fond of the man who shepherded "more stars than there are in heaven." Scott Eyman's excellent Mayer biography, "Lion of Hollywood," helps explain these divergent views: In 1961, New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther wrote a book about Mayer ("Hollywood Rajah") with much negative input from one of Mayer's two daughters, Edie Mayer Goetz, who had been--ah!--left out of his will. Eyman's meticulously researched book never panders to Mayer but does a great deal to balance our perceptions of him. Along the way, we learn how a boy born in Russia in 1882 joined a generation of refugees, glove salesmen and other ambitious young men to start an American industry. The empire they built was dictated much more by need and passion than meanness and malice.

5. "The Grand Surprise" by Leo Lerman (Knopf, 2007).

Leo Lerman (1914-94) never produced a movie or directed a play, but as a writer, editor and critic at Condé Nast he ran in glamorous circles. His celebrated friends included many who were identifiable by just one name: Marlene, Tru, Jackie, Cary. Lerman kept detailed journals tracking his social scamperings (even before he could afford it, he entertained constantly). But in the journals he also confessed to fears of failure and inadequacy alongside those glittering souls. "The Grand Surprise" (edited by Stephen Pascal), with an intoxicating mix of gossip, anecdotes and character sketches, will be for many a grand surprise. Lerman writes with just the right touch of brio and bite as he evokes a vanished time.

Mr. Osborne, a Turner Classic Movies host, is at work on "80 Years of the Oscar," to be published next year by Abbeville Press


Forwarded by Auntie Bev

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old

I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, he was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and that I would ponder it and let him know.

Growing Older, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be.

Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body ... the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the cellulite.

And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly.

As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself and less critical of myself.

I've become my own friend.

I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to be messy, to be extravagant, to smell the flowers.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until4 a.m. and then sleep until -- ?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50's and 60's and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love...I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set.

They, too, will get old (if they're lucky).

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But then again, some of life is just as well forgotten and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face.

So many have never laughed,and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

I can say "no," and mean it. I can say "yes," and mean it.

As you get older it is easier to be positive.

You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore.

I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being older.

It has set me free.

I like the person I have become.

I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day... (if I want).

Forwarded by Team Carper (Note that there currently is a drought in both the southeastern region of the U.S.)


Alabama is so dry that:

The Baptists have started baptismal sprinkling in place of dunking.

The Methodists are using a wet wash cloth.

The Presbyterians are giving rain checks and,

The Catholics are trying to turn wine back into water.

Forwarded by Aaron Konstam

When oxygen Tech played Hydrogen U. The Game had just begun, when Hydrogen scored two fast points And Oxygen still had none Then Oxygen scored a single goal And thus it did remain, At Hydrogen 2 and Oxygen 1 Called because of rain. --

Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Stephen Wright Humor

1. Can an atheist get insurance against acts of God?

2. One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor.....

3. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

4. If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys
and apes?

5. The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the
bad girls live.

6. I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the
self-help section?"  She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

7. What if there were no hypothetical questions?

8. If a deaf person swears, does his mother wash his hands with soap?< BR>
9. If someone with multiple personalities threatens to kill himself, is
it considered a hostage situation?

10. Is there another word for synonym?

11. Where do forest rangers go to "get away from it all?"

12. What do you do when you see an endangered animal eating an
endangered plant?

13. If a parsley farmer is sued, can they garnish his wages?

14. Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

15 Why do they lock gas station bathrooms?  Are they afraid someone will
clean them?

16. If a turtle doesn't have a shell, is he homeless or naked?

17. Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?

18. If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to
remain silent?

19. Why do they put Braille on the drive-through bank machines?

20. How do they get deer to cross the road only at those yellow road signs?

21. What was the best thing before sliced bread?

22. One nice thing a bout egotists: they don't talk about other people.

23. Does the Little Mermaid wear an algebra?

24. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?

25. How is it possible to have a civil war?

26. If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do the rest drown too?

27. If you ate both pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry?

28. If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?

Tidbits Archives ---

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

Three Finance Blogs

Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog ---
FinancialRounds Blog ---
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) ---

Some Accounting Blogs

Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) ---
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 ---

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 ---

Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities ---

Free Textbooks and Cases ---

Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials ---

Free Science and Medicine Tutorials ---

Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials ---

Free Education Discipline Tutorials ---

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature ---

Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness ---

Teacher Source: Math ---

Teacher Source:  Science ---

Teacher Source:  PreK2 ---

Teacher Source:  Library Media ---

Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University ---

VYOM eBooks Directory ---

From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department ---

Online Mathematics Textbooks --- 

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---

Moodle  --- 

The word moodle is an acronym for "modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful. The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle, educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to
AECM (Educators) 
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc

Roles of a ListServ ---

CPAS-L (Practitioners) 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM



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