April 11, 2008 message from Gloria Castoreno at Trinity University

You have permission from Ken Lee that took the picture (in North Carolina).

These twin albinos have been coming to our backyard since they were fawns in 2006. We have been trying to capture a digital pic of them for awhile, but they arrive at dusk or even later and they don't turn out. On Friday about 10 am they arrived. It was a beautiful morning and they came for their photo op. I can do dishes and make lots of noise and they aren't bothered. However, when they hear the patio door open they usually bolt. However, this time I banged a dish and Tim opened the door at the same time and was able to take the pictures.

Meanwhile the shot below comes from Texas.

And up here in the White Mountains it's just us turkeys waiting for springtime. I took one shot from my desk facing the mountains in the east. The other was taken looking south at a wild cherry tree in our lawn. The bright light is the reflection of my cameral light on the glass.


Tidbits on April 22, 2008
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 

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

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination

On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

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

Global Incident Map --- http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

Set up free conference calls at http://www.freeconference.com/
Also see http://www.yackpack.com/uc/   

Free Online Tutorials in Multiple Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials

Google Maps Street View --- http://maps.google.com/help/maps/streetview/

World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php

Tips on computer and networking security --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  --- http://www.valour-it.blogspot.com/

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

Who I Am Makes a Difference --- http://www.blueribbonmovie.com/

Inspiring Impressionism --- http://exhibits.denverartmuseum.org/impressionism/

Beautiful Horse Video --- http://canecorso.com/lorenzo.htm

National Geographic: History --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/

National Portrait Gallery: Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture --- http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/recognize/index.html

Angry Wife Lashes Out in 'YouTube Divorce' Video --- http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/04/angry-wife-lash.html

Did one presidential candidate give the finger to another candidate with Will Smith styled humor? --- http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-sheffield
The audience cheered!

Dr. Gingrich: I'm deeply worried --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZiw3qVdFzw
Even more scary is the London Times video --- Click Here

On April 4, 2008, at a Los Angeles event commemorating the assassination of Martin Luther King, the African-American fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi gave Israeli-American Daphna Ziman its Tom Bradley Award for community service. Then the event's keynote speaker, Reverend Eric Lee, turned to Ms. Ziman and launched an anti-Semitic diatribe. Roger L. Simon interviewed Ms. Ziman.
Watch the Video --- http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/reverend-eric-lees-anti-semitism-a-personal-story-video/

From the Robert Wood Johnson (read that Johnson and Johnson) Foundation
Health Resources, Grants, Video and Webcasts --- http://www.rwjf.org/pr/type.jsp?catid=11

How the Kennedy Family Dodges Estate Taxes --- http://www.redstate.com/redhot#redhot-51333

Free to Choose (PBS) by Milton Friedman --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman

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

Five Memorable Commercials from the Financial Rounds Blog on April 14, 2008 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

The Anti-Elf Anthem (good harmony, stupid lyrics) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVwYKtgFYCc

With her band My Brightest Diamond, Shara Worden writes music that sounds a little bit indie-rock, a little bit classical, and a lot in between. The group's forthcoming second album is titled A Thousand Shark's Teeth --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89473666

Lionel Hampton on Piano Jazz --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89540153

Lionel Hampton --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionel_Hampton

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Photographs and Art

Spanish Trail (video) --- http://www.brightcove.tv/title.jsp?title=1438490562

Inspiring Impressionism --- http://exhibits.denverartmuseum.org/impressionism/

National Geographic: History --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/

Beautiful Horse Video --- http://canecorso.com/lorenzo.htm

National Portrait Gallery: Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture --- http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/recognize/index.html

Aluka (art history in Africa) --- http://www.aluka.org/

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

I get free online access to Encyclopaedia Britannica': Is this my just reward? '
Encyclopaedia Britannica' Is Now Free to Bloggers," by Catherine Rampell, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 21, 2008 ---

The Visual Dictionary --- http://www.infovisual.info/

National Poetry Month --- http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41

National Geographic: History --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/

Darwin's original theory of evolution goes online --- http://www.darwin-online.org.uk/
Some 20,000 items contained in around 90,000 images were published on the Internet, according to a spokesman for Cambridge University, the scholar's old academic home.

Library of Congress to Open New Online Exhibit
The Library of Congress is scheduled to open a new interactive Web site on Saturday, as a companion to a high-tech exhibit designed to give visitors a close-up view of some of the institution's treasures. A copy of the Gutenberg Bible, for instance, is in a glass case at the library, but the new Web site will let users flip through the book and zoom in on its pages virtually. An article in Ars Technica points out that the exhibit is the result of a $3-million gift from Microsoft to promote the use of the company's latest multimedia platform, called Silverlight. The exhibit sounds like a theme park ride -- it's called The Library of Congress Experience. The library has offered digital versions of its collections for years, of course. In fact, The Chronicle described one of its first efforts to do so back in 1994 -- back when the Web was in its infancy. But the latest exhibit suggests that digitized copies of historical items can use updating as technology improves.
Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 11, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2899&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


One thing Eliot Spitzer and JP Morgan have in common is that both paid dearly for Bare Sterns.
Don Ramsey pointed out the Bare Sterns pun.

A neurotic is a man who builds a castle in the air. A psychotic is the man who lives in it. A psychiatrist is the man who collects the rent.
Jerome Lawrence as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-04-11-08.htm

Worry looks around, Sorry looks back, Faith looks up.
Author unknown

The sheer complexity, opaqueness, and systemic risks embedded in the new markets – complexities and risks little understood even by most of those with management responsibilities – has enormously complicated both official and private responses to this current mother of all crises. Even previously normal trading relationships among long-established institutions are questioned. What has plainly been at risk is a disorderly unraveling of the mutual trust among respected market participants upon which any strong and efficient financial system must rest. Simply stated, the bright new financial system - for all its talented participants, for all its rich rewards – has failed the test of the market place. To meet the challenge, the Federal Reserve judged it necessary to take actions that extend to the very edge of its lawful and implied powers, transcending certain long embedded central banking principles and practices. The extension of lending directly to non-banking financial institutions – while under the authority of nominally “temporary” emergency powers – will surely be interpreted as an implied promise of similar action in times of future turmoil. What appears to be in substance a direct transfer of mortgage and mortgage-backed securities of questionable pedigree from an investment bank to the Federal Reserve seems to test the time honored central bank mantra in time of crisis -- “lend freely at high rates against good collateral” -- to the point of no return.
Paul A. Volcker, Speech Before the Economic Club of New York, April 8, 2008 --- http://econclubny.org/files/Transcript_Volcker_April_2008.pdf#PDF
Denny Beresford pointed to this link.

February 5, 2008 Iranian Propaganda Video featuring John McCain, George Soros, and others --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL9MaZQORfI
Coulter on Soros-McCain-Obama on MSNBC --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8PS6574R0E
Jensen Comment
Iranian hate for McCain is understandable. The question is why Iran hates George Soros since Israel hates him as well. He gives millions to Democratic Party candidates, and yet those same candidates tremble about his support in spite of wanting his money. Asians also hate him because of the way his currency trading created a financial crisis in all of Asia. He also badly damaged the economy of the United Kingdom with his currency trading manipulations.

One of his (George Soros) most notorious contradictions is that being of Jewish blood, he is an anti-Semite, accusing Israel, and possibly because of the hate he has for Bush, of being responsible for the intensification of antiterrorism by the Israelites. Besides being a multimillionaire, he is an anticapitalist. The Americans consider him ungrateful because after having made a great fortune in their country he has declared himself anti United States and has been baptized “Mr. Evil”, “Mr. Devil”. He wants to break all the American cultural cannons. With this purpose the great speculator of the planet has rolled the dice for someone that might be totally different to the American patron and with the same victory as his second name, he might win his candidate, Barack Obama. He is investing many millions so that he can become the next president of the United States and with his ability as financial magnate, he can also use his talent to win this speculative game.
"Obama and George Soros," Watching America, March 29, 2008 --- http://watchingamerica.com/News/581/obama-and-george-soros/

There will be a breakdown in the prevailing world order.
Geogge Soros Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxO5BggW2mg
Also see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf45RpXWFw0
The Man Who Would Be Kingmaker --- http://frontpagemag.com/Articles/Read.aspx?GUID=EB9D7A52-61E5-4E06-AFF6-2F9E08AD5F23

The article, by George Soros, published in the New York Review of Books, asserts that America should pressure Israel to negotiate with the Hamas-led unity government in the Palestinian territories regardless of whether Hamas recognizes the right of the Jewish state to exist. Mr. Soros goes on to say that one reason America has not embraced this policy is because of the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Yesterday, Mr. Obama's presidential campaign issued a dissent from the Hungarian-born billionaire's assessment. "Mr. Soros is entitled to his opinions," a campaign spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said. "But on this issue he and Senator Obama disagree. The U.S. and our allies are right to insist that Hamas — a terrorist organization dedicated to Israel's destruction — meet very basic conditions before being treated as a legitimate actor. AIPAC is one of many voices that share this view." The Soros article puts Democrats in the awkward position of choosing between Mr. Soros, a major funder of their causes, and the pro-Israel lobby, whose members are also active in campaign fund-raising. Pressed by The New York Sun, some Democrats aired their differences with Mr. Soros.
Eli Lake, "Obama Rebuffs Soros Billionaire's Comments on Aipac Are Scored," New York Sun, March 27, 2007 --- http://www2.nysun.com/article/50846
Jensen Comments
Nevertheless George Soros is backing Sen. Obama's presidential campaign with words and money.

Soros may be the biggest political fat cat of all time. Convicted in France of insider trading, Soros specializes in weakening or collapsing the currencies of entire nations for his own selfish interests. He is known as the man who broke the Bank of England. His power is such that his statements alone can cause currencies to go up or down. Other people suffer so he can get rich. But journalists don't want to examine the questionable means by which he achieved his wealth because they share his goal of electing Kerry and the Democrats. Curiously, once he made his fortune he became a global socialist, endorsing global taxes on the very means he employed to get rich – international currency speculation and manipulation.
Cliff Kincaid, "The Hidden Soros Agenda: Drugs, Money, the Media, and Political Power," Accuracy in the Media, October 27, 2004 ---

Until recently, Obama's church website outlined a controversial code of ethics written by blacks for blacks called the "Black Value System." It asks members to commit their time, money and talents to the black community, black businesses, black institutions and black political leaders. The program also demands black members disavow "the pursuit of (Bill Cosby's) middleclassness." The 160-word section has since been deleted from the About Us page, replaced by videotaped testimonials from church members extolling the virtues of the church, including a white official from the parent United Church of Christ who said she feels welcome at predominantly black Trinity.
"Obama's preacher sanitizes website," WorldNetDaily, March 16, 2008 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=59169

Michelle Obama believes she is her husband's best advocate, but some of Sen. Barack Obama's inner circle believe that should he win the Democrat nomination, they will have "repackage and redirect" Mrs. Obama for the general election, according to one Obama donor, who has voiced her concerns about the missus. "You look at what she says about America and some of the policies she thinks Obama would put in place and you just cringe," says the donor and fundraiser. "Much of what she says wouldn't fly in most of the country, and even sound like some of the things Hillary was saying 16 years ago or on the campaign trail today." The latest example was Mrs. Obama's appearance in Harrisburg, Pa., where she told a group of mothers: "If we don't wake up as a nation with a new kind of leadership, for how we want this country to work, then we won't get universal health care. The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."
"Laying the Foundation," The American Spectator, April 14, 2008 --- http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13046
Jensen Comment
At last we know why Rev. Wright, her pastor, does not want blacks to aspire to join the middle class (Wright calls it "middleclassedness.") The real reason is that the middle class is going to have to bear the burden of the new taxes for universal health care.

Democrats have been worrying about defending Mr. Obama's highly liberal voting record in a general election. Now they need to fret that he makes too many mistakes, from ignoring the Rev. Wright time bomb until the videotapes blew up in front of him, to his careless condescension towards salt-of-the-earth Democrats. Mr. Obama has a tendency to make such cultural miscues. Speaking to small-town voters in Iowa last year, he asked, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?"
John Fund, "Obama's Flaws Multiply," The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120821921853714665.html?mod=todays_us_opinion
Jensen Comment
The majority of Americans want change, but unbridled populist changes may be the downfall of the United States. Obama's comment about arugula may have been meant as a joke.. But his voting record is no joke in a general election, and his populism plan for the U.S. in this time of economic troubles will be a disaster --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm
It's time for his wand waving magic to become more specific about taxes, economic multipliers, the deficit, and free fall of the U.S. dollar.

Jodie Evans, co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, is a huge Obama supporter who has personally given his campaign the federal limit ($2,300) and continues to collect big bucks—$50,000 and counting—from friends and associates in an effort to help the Illinois senator, a favorite among Latin American socialist leaders, move into the White House. Code Pink bills itself as a grassroots, women’s peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq. Members say they reject the Bush Administration’s fear-based politics that justify violence, instead calling for policies based on compassion and kindness . . . Code Pink bills itself as a grassroots, women’s peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq. Members say they reject the Bush Administration’s fear-based politics that justify violence, instead calling for policies based on compassion and kindness. That evidently includes compassion and kindness towards Islamic terrorists who murder Americans. The group actually gave $600,000 to help Iraqi terrorist in Fallujah fight U.S. military forces and its “counter-recruitment” campaign has harassed, vandalized and impeded U.S. military recruiters across the nation.
Judicial Watch Blog, April 15, 2008 --- http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/group-funds-terrorism-gives-obama-money

From The Wall Street Journal Editors' Newsletter on April 21
We learn from blogger Tom Maguire that a group of 41 "journalists and media analysts" have signed an "open letter" to ABC in which, according to The Nation (with which five of the signatories are affiliated), they "condemn the network's poor handling" of the debate. Here's how the letter closes:

Neither Mr. Gibson nor Mr. Stephanopoulos lived up to these responsibilities. In the words of Tom Shales of the Washington Post, Mr. Gibson and Mr. Stephanopoulos turned in "shoddy, despicable performances." As Greg Mitchell of Editor and Publisher describes it, the debate was a "travesty." We hope that the public uproar over ABC's miserable showing will encourage a return to serious journalism in debates between the Democratic and Republican nominees this fall. Anything less would be a betrayal of the basic responsibilities that journalists owe to their public.

Among other things the liberal editors are raging mad over asking Obama for details regarding his tax initiatives.

Time and again, the rookie Senator (Obama) has said he would not raise taxes on middle-class earners, whom he describes as people with annual income lower than between $200,000 and $250,000. On Wednesday night, he repeated the vow. "I not only have pledged not to raise their taxes," said the Senator, "I've been the first candidate in this race to specifically say I would cut their taxes." But Mr. Obama has also said he's open to raising – indeed, nearly doubling to 28% – the current top capital gains tax rate of 15%, which would in fact be a tax hike on some 100 million Americans who own stock, including millions of people who fit Mr. Obama's definition of middle class. Mr. Gibson dared to point out this inconsistency, which regularly goes unmentioned in Mr. Obama's fawning press coverage. But Mr. Gibson also probed a little deeper, asking the candidate why he wants to increase the capital gains tax when history shows that a higher rate brings in less revenue.
"Obama's Tax Evasion," The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2008; Page A16 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120847505709424727.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

"Why Not Blame Obama? The media favorite has a very poor grasp of basic economic principles," by Larry Kudlow, National Review, April 18, 2008 --- http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=OTEwYWUxNjY0ZTJmNGY4NjAwYTM4NmJhNWMzZWYxNzc=

It’s rather amusing watching the liberal media launch a full-scale attack on George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson, with General Tom Shales of the Washington Post leading the charge. ABC’s Stephanopoulos and Gibson had the audacity to ask Obama some tough questions during the Democratic debate Tuesday night. Challenge Obama with well-informed questions on tax policy and politics? Wound the media favorite? How dare they?

. . .

But here’s the deal: During the debate, Obama bungled his answers on tax policy, big time. Period. End of sentence. End of story. To my liberal friends in the media, all I can say is: Get over it. Your guy has a very poor grasp of basic economic principles.

First off, you don’t raise taxes during a recession. That’s a no-brainer. Second, doubling the capital-gains tax rate will affect Americans up and down the income ladder, not just rich hedge-fund managers. In addition, capital-gains tax cuts are self-financing, and they stimulate jobs and the economy. You want to raise budget revenues and spark economic growth? Cut the cap-gains tax rate. That’s what history shows.

The Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore points out that in 2005, almost half of all tax returns reporting capital gains came from households with incomes under $50,000, while more than three-quarters came from households earning less than $100,000.

Obama also proposed uncapping the payroll tax, another blunder that will hit people up and down the income ladder. While Obama pledges tax hikes only for folks earning more that $200,000 a year, his tax hike on payrolls would actually slam middle-income earners. The cap on wages subject to the payroll tax is presently $102,000. By eliminating that cap Obama will be soaking veteran firemen, cops, teachers, and health-service workers, along with a variety of other occupations.

In fact, in America’s largest cities, a firefighter married to a school teacher can earn close to $200,000 filing jointly. So not only will each spouse separately pay more for Social Security and health care under Obama’s plan, together they’ll also be slammed by Obama’s cap-gains tax increase.

This is more than just a failure to understand the Laffer curve. It’s another cultural misstep by Obama. I can’t help but wonder if the senator knows any cops or firemen. His appeal is to well-educated latte liberals. That remark about middle-income folks having turned to God, faith, and guns because of economic setbacks? Not only was it ill-advised, it illustrates the wide cultural chasm that exists between the candidate and the rest of America.

. . .

That’s exactly why wealth-redistribution plans always backfire. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is a surefire economic loser. So is putting government in charge of the economy, which is what Mr. Obama is proselytizing.

This marks the third mistake for the Illinois senator. Not only does he not understand economics; not only is he set apart from middle-class values and beliefs; he apparently hasn’t read much history either.

Jensen Comment
The liberal media seems to be totally ignoring substantive questions like taxation and the economy. The New York Times called the ABC questions in the debate little more than show biz while never mentioning the NYT's preferred candidates' ignorance of economics and taxation --- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/18/us/politics/18moderator.html

Did you ever wonder why nobody, including Gibson nor Stephanopoulos, seems to ask the Presidential candidates for details on how they plan to reduce the Federal deficit (which is now the main cause of the plunging dollar and the soaring fuel prices)? Obama does say he intends to cut expensive programs from the Department of Defense but nothing is said about using the savings to cut the deficit.

Taking Back Our Fiscal Future --- http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2008/04_fiscal_future/04_fiscal_future.pdf

A case of the pot calling the kettle black?
Iran has lodged a complaint with the United Nations over an Israeli official's remarks the Jewish state would "destroy" Iran if Tehran launched a war against Israel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies the Holocaust and has previously stated Israel should be "wiped off the map," said the Jewish state was "heading toward annihilation" and called Israel a "permanent threat" to the Middle East that will "soon" be liberated.
Aaron Klein, WorldNetDaily, April 14, 2008 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=61497

The terrorist cell that planned to poison an Israeli restaurant this month was led by jihadists who were recently granted amnesty by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, WND has learned. The pardoned terrorists, members of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, were directly involved in orchestrating the foiled attack, according to defense sources. They were granted amnesty in October as a stated Israeli gesture to help bolster Palestinian Authority President and Fatah Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The terrorists were given amnesty on condition they disarm, refrain from attacks and spend three months in PA detention facilities and another three months confined to Nablus, the northern West Bank city in which they reside.
Aaron Klein, "Pardoned terrorists tried to poison restaurant," WorldNetDaily, April 13, 2008 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=61492

Former President Jimmy Carter deplored Palestinian militant attacks on Israel as a "despicable crime" as he toured a rocket-battered town on Monday. Carter met with police officials and with the mayor of Sderot, a southern town a mile from the Gaza Strip border. He was shown a house badly damaged by a rocket strike, and rusting piles of projectiles that had hit the town. "I think it's a despicable crime for any deliberate effort to be made to kill innocent civilians, and my hope is there will be a cease-fire soon," Carter told reporters.
Beth Marlowe, "Carter Visits Battered Israel Town," MyWay, April 14, 2008 ---  http://apnews.myway.com/article/20080414/D901KDEG0.html

Jonathan Evans, the director-general of MI5, has warned the government that donations of hundreds of millions of pounds from Saudi Arabia and powerful Muslim organizations in Pakistan, Indonesia and the Gulf Straits have led to a "dangerous increase in the spread of extremism in leading university campuses," according to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin. Eight of Britain's leading universities, including Oxford and Cambridge, have accepted more than 236 million pounds sterling, about $460 million, in donations from Muslim organizations, "many of which are known to have ties to extremist groups, some have links to terrorist organizations." The bulk of the donations have come in the past five years during a period when terrorist activities in Britain have increased. Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced over the weekend that MI5 was now investigating "42 current terror threats and the possibility of attacks is increasingly real."
Joseph Farah, "Saudis purchasing UK universities? Extremism in academia follows millions in donations," WorldNetDaily, April 14, 2008 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=61639
Jensen Comment
Much depends on the strings that are attached. Elite U.S. universities are also accepting Saudi money and forming campuses in Saudi Arabia. This type of globalization can be a good thing unless certain strings attached limit academic freedom just as academic freedom is limited in Saudi Arabia, especially human rights of women.

Exxon Mobil Corp. doesn't make many mistakes. In the often-chaotic petroleum business, its careful budgeting and efficient operations are widely admired. But Exxon's stingy approach to capital spending -- amid skyrocketing oil prices -- could be a target of second-guessing for years to come. With crude oil hitting a record above $113 a barrel Tuesday, the payoff for extracting more petroleum is enormous. Until very recently, Exxon hasn't been sprinting to win that race. Consider these numbers. In 2007, Exxon spent 5.3% of revenue on exploration and capital outlays, down from 6.5% in 2003. The actual dollar amounts did increase, to $20.9 billion from $15.3 billion. But they didn't keep pace with Exxon's overall revenue growth, let alone soaring oil prices. Crude climbed to about $92 from $34 a barrel during that period.
"Exxon's Stingy Capital Spending May Haunt It," The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2008; Page B2 ---

While the fate of Ms. Couric and the “CBS Evening News” is in the headlines, the entire CBS News division represents only a fraction of the CBS broadcast network’s revenue. More perplexing is the prime-time schedule, where no new hit has emerged this year, and as a result, CBS is likely to lose the crown of most-watched network to the Fox network.
Brian Stelter, "At CBS, Bad News Doesn’t End at 7," The New York Times, April 14, 2008 --- Click Here

On April 4, 2008, at a Los Angeles event commemorating the assassination of Martin Luther King, the African-American fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi gave Israeli-American Daphna Ziman its Tom Bradley Award for community service. Then the event's keynote speaker, Reverend Eric Lee, turned to Ms. Ziman and launched an anti-Semitic diatribe. Roger L. Simon interviewed Ms. Ziman.
Watch the Video --- http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/reverend-eric-lees-anti-semitism-a-personal-story-video/

The University of Rhode Island, which has already announced plans to eliminate its gymnastics team, on Monday announced it was also ending its men’s swimming, men’s tennis and field hockey teams. The university cited state budget cuts.
Inside Higher Ed, April 15, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/15/qt

"Rising Food Prices and Public Policy," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, April 13, 2008 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

The World Bank's index of food prices increases by 140 percent from January 2002 to the beginning of 2008, and a full 75 percent just since September 2006. This highly unusual explosion of food prices has been seized upon by neo-Malthusians as the beginning of a day of reckoning due to the collision between he limited capacity of the earth to produce foods and the growing demand for food and other commodities induced by rapid world population and income growth. Malthusians have turned out to be wrong in the past when they extrapolated from events like food price inflation to prophesies about world catastrophe-witness the embarrassingly wrong predictions in Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb about the impending mass world starvation in the 1970's due to what he considered vastly excessive world population growth. They are also wrong about this current food price rise because it has nothing to do with population growth, and is only a little related to the rapid expansion in world incomes in recent years.

Rather, the boom in petroleum prices and subsidies to ethanol and other biofuels are the most important forces explaining the recent increase in food prices. Both the sharp run up in oil prices, and the continuing subsides to ethanol production in the United States, and to a lesser extent Europe, induced an increasing diversion of corn from feed and human consumption to the production of biofuels. The main goal of the diversion has been to produce more ethanol as a substitute for gasoline. During the past year, one quarter of American corn production, and 11 percent of global production, was devoted to biofuels, and the US contributes a lot to the world corn market. The growth in demand for biofuels explains why acreage was shifted from other grains to corn-the acreage devoted to corn in the United States increased by over twenty percent in 2007-8, while that devoted to soybean production declined by more than fifteen percent. The reallocation of production away from other grains explains the rapid price increases for wheat, soybeans, and rice as well as for corn.

The huge increase in petroleum prices also pushed up the cost of producing foods, and hence food prices, since energy is an important input in the production of fertilizers and agricultural chemicals. Other factors affecting the rise in food prices include the drought in Australia in 2006-07 that cut world grain production during those years, and the fall in the value of the dollar that may have increased the dollar value of foods and other commodities.

The Malthusian forces of population and income growth ontributed only a little to explaining the big increase in grain prices since 2002. The large rise of world food prices came after food prices had been either stable or declined for many years. Although incomes in China and India, countries that account for almost 40 percent of the world's population, did grow rapidly during this decade as well as during the 1990's, global consumption of corn, wheat, and rice grew more slowly since 2000 than during the five years earlier. To be sure, the slower growth in consumption is partly the result of the rapid increase in grain prices. However, if an unusually large increase in world wide demand for grains to use as feed for animals and for human consumption explained the rapid increase in these prices, consumption should have grown more rapidly during the later period, even after adjusting for any induced increase in grain prices.

Some countries, including Argentina, India, Russia, and Vietnam, have responded to the sizable run up in food prices by severely restricting, or heavily taxing, food exports. By reducing exports of rice and other grains, these policies lowered the supply of these grains to importing countries, and helped bid up world prices. At the same time, however, these restrictions kept a lid on domestic prices of rice and other grains by diverting some supplies to domestic markets.

Governments in countries that restricted food exports usually responded to urban riots and other domestic disturbances, such as those in Egypt, Haiti, and Vietnam, that were protests against food price increases. The restrictions on food exports reflect the general tendency of governments in poorer countries to favor urban consumers over farmers. Since food accounts for a large fraction of household spending in poorer countries-over 70 percent in poor households- sharp food price increases would cut by a lot the purchasing power of poorer urban consumers. On the other hand, farmers are hurt by restrictions on their food exports since they get lower domestic prices than they could get on the world market. Restrictions of food exports also lower the efficiency and overall incomes of the countries imposing them since a lid on domestic food prices discourage farmers from increasing their food production at a time when world food prices have been rising at a fast pace.

Some analysts have justified these export restrictions as a way to combat the effect of rising food prices on poverty. However, poverty is much more prevalent among rural than urban families in developing countries like China, Egypt, India and Vietnam. So restrictions on food exports in developing nations not only lower the efficiency of their food production, but also usually raise inequality and overall poverty. The greater political clout of urban households in developing nations is the pressure behind the support for these inefficient and inequitable export restrictions, just as the greater political clout of farmers in developed nations maintains the inefficient, and probably energy-wasteful, ethanol subsidies in the United States and other rich countries.

"Rising Food Prices and Public Policy," by Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, April 13, 2008 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

Becker is right of course that a growing demand for food, resulting from world population growth, relative to supply cannot explain the very steep food-price increases that have occurred since 2006; world food prices are 75 percent higher than they were that year and obviously world population has not grown by that percentage, But I do not take this to be a refutation of Malthus, whose insights have relevance to the modern world.

Malthus argued that if a population is living at the subsistence level, if population increases geometrically (for example, a couple has three children, each of the three children eventually marries and produces three children, and so on) but food production only arithmetically, there will be more people than can be fed, and so population will decline through starvation, disease, or war until a new equilibrium is reached. (Because the population is assumed to be living at the subsistence level, the equilibrium cannot be achieved through higher food prices.) Malthus did not foresee the technological advances that have resulted in a faster rate of increase in the food supply than in the population, or increases in wealth that enable food prices to rise to prevent shortages should demand outrun supply. Nor did he foresee modern contraception technology, or China’s one-child policy. But given his assumptions, his analysis is sound and it gave Darwin the clue he needed to develop the theory of natural selection. In Malthus's model people kill each other to avoid starvation, and those who do best in the desperate struggle survive--hence survival of the fittest as determined by a competitive process.

As Becker points out, Paul Ehrlich and others predicted in the 1970s (beginning with the first "Earth Day," in 1970) mass starvation as a result of continuing population growth. They were wrong, in part by failing to predict the Green Revolution, which greatly reduced the cost of food production. The situation today is different.

The demand for agricultural products has grown, though not as a result of population growth; instead as a result of increased demand for ethanol and other biofuels, and for food that requires more agricultural acreage to produce. Today, besides people and pigs eating corn, our motor vehicles "eat" corn that has been converted into ethanol. And in China and India, which together contain a third of the world's population, increased wealth has led to an increased demand for meat, in China for beef. Cattle eat corn and other crops and are in turn eaten, but the amount of crops consumed in this process is several times greater than the amount that would be consumed if people ate the crops directly, rather than indirectly by eating vegetarian farm animals. China's consumption of beef, which has been growing rapidly for a number of years, is expected to grow 4 percent this year--yet it will still be only about 15 percent of U.S. beef consumption per capita.

Increased demand for agricultural products should lead to increased supply, but the supply response is limited because of the higher price of gasoline, an important input into food production, and because of scarcity of good agricultural land (in part a result of population growth), which implies an upward-sloping supply curve for food..

The fact that increased demand for agricultural products, and resulting high prices, are due to factors other than growth of population does not make a demand-supply imbalance any the less serious. We may be seeing the beginnings of an attenuated Malthusian response in Egypt, where there have been riots recently over food prices. Egypt is a poor country, and to avoid violence the government has had to increase its food subsidies--making the country poorer and hence more vulnerable to political instability, which could result in an Islamic insurrection. In poor countries today, as in ancient Rome, keeping the urban population happy is the foremost political imperative, because urban riots, especially in a nation's capital, can bring the government down. Urban residents are not farmers, so rising food prices only hurt, and do not help, them. But urban food subsidies immiserate the rural population, and limits on food exports, designed to control domestic food prices, disrupt the international agriculture market.

Our ethanol subsidies, and equivalent policies, such as the European Union's rejection of genetically modified foods, and the wealthy nations' (including the United States') tariffs on agricultural imports, could in principle be abandoned in order to increase the supply of food. But domestic interest-group pressures (which in the United States include the disproportionate influence that Iowa exerts in presidential politics) make reform unlikely.

Who gets a bigger cut out of what you pay for each gallon of gas --- the oil companies or the government?
What states gouge drivers the most and least for each purchased gallon of fuel?

"State and Federal Treasuries "Profit" More from Gasoline Sales than U.S. Oil Industry," by Jonathan Williams and Scott A. Hodge , The Tax Foundation, October 2005 --- http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/1139.html 


Samplings of Gas Prices by Zip Code --- http://autos.msn.com/everyday/GasStations.aspx?m=1&l=1&zip=03586&x=22&y=14
Read in a zip code of interest and scroll down below the map.
Remember that gas prices of over $3.00 means that it probably does not pay to drive around to save a few cents per gallon unless you're filling a motor home's nearly-empty gas tank.

When blaming oil companies for varying prices across different states, people fail to remember that the taxes of fuel vary greatly by state.

Comparison State-by-State (scroll down to the bar chart) --- http://www.ctrma.org/documents/GasTaxComparisonReport_Jun05.pdf
Nevada, Vermont, Wyoming, new Jersey, and South Carolina surprised me the most.
Florida is a bit surprising, but why not soak the tourists with big gas guzzling motor homes?
You would think that states that tax everything to the max would also tax fuel relatively high, but New Jersey and Vermont stand out as exceptions.

Distance Education.org or DistanceEducation.Org is a Great Helper Site
Ben Pheiffer in San Antonio forwarded this link to a terrific listing (with pricing estimates) of online training and education degree programs and courses from respectable universities --- http://www.distance-education.org/Courses/

Both graduate and undergraduate degree programs are listed as well as training courses (some free).

I added to my listings of worldwide online training and education programs at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

It frequently happens that you want to send or receive email attachments that are just too large to sent via email.
For example, my Christmas letter was a DOC file that contained so many pictures that I just could not send it via email to Kinkos for printing.
What are some of the free alternatives for doing transferring such files between friends or organizations?
What is this neat new thing called SideDrop?

You can read about alternatives for sending large files at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#SendingLargeFiles

I love the YouSendIt alternative and cannot explain why this valuable service is free --- http://www.yousendit.com/
It's a bit slower than attaching email, but that's because the files are so large.
For example, I told Jerry Searfoss he could send me the blueprints of his grand new house in Pullman via YouSendIt, and it worked.

YouSendIt just added a service called SideDrop --- http://www.yousendit.com/cms/SitedropTakeatourEmbed&s=13999?cid=sitedrp
You can watch a video at the above site that explains SideDrop. Even if you don't want to bother with SideDrop, YouSendIt is still a great service.

Do you know where your money is going?
A Website called Mint can help you manage your personal finances (at no fee).

Mint Refreshing Money Management --- http://www.mint.com/

A U.S. Treasury Department site where tax professionals go for news and updates --- http://www.treasury.gov/topics/taxes/

Custom Google searches of tax sites --- http://www.taxsites.com/

Bob Jensen's tax helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation

The Best and Worst College-Savings Plans:  In New Ranking of Popular 529 Programs,
Virginia, Illinois Join Top Tier; New York, Mississippi, Ohio Fall to Bottom

More 529 college-savings plans now feature lower fees and better investment options, according to a new report that selects the best and worst plans. That's the good news. The report, scheduled to be released Wednesday by investment researcher Morningstar Inc., also found that the worst plans, such as broker-sold offerings from Nebraska and Ohio, still feature high costs or funds with lackluster performance.
Jane J. Kim, "The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2008, Page D1 --- Click Here

Marketing Sites for Small Businesses

From the Journal of Accountancy Smart Stops on the Web in April 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/apr2008/smart_stops.htm



Looking to attract new clients or increase your firm’s visibility? Visit this Smart Stop to access the AICPA’s “CPA Marketing Tool Kit,” part of the Institute’s public accounting firm resources. The collection offers customer service and selling tips, client satisfaction surveys, PDF brochures and guidelines for becoming a media resource. The marketing guide includes a sample e-newsletter template, do’s and don’ts when creating and marketing a Web site, and e-mail marketing tips.


Find case studies on what works—and what doesn’t—when it comes to marketing your business on this site from MarketingSherpa. The research firm also provides how-to articles and interviews with marketing directors in both business-to-business and consumer marketing. Click the “Browse by Topic/Brand” tab for a complete listing of articles by industry or target, such as “Marketing to Small Businesses” or “Business Services Marketing,” or tactic, such as “Integrated Campaigns” or “How to Pitch to Business Media.


Don’t let “legal” throw you off—this site’s client communication and marketing tips can be applied to CPA firms wanting to expand their service offerings or client base. Author Thomas Kane, Esq., the principal of Kane Consulting Inc., has served as an in-house marketer for several firms. Check out articles like “Guarantee Client Referrals With Good Client Relations” and “Narrow Your Niche for More Effective Marketing,” or explore the Web’s marketing resources using Kane’s extensive library of marketing and firm blogs.




First appearing in this column in October 2004, this index of tax, accounting and payroll specific sites underwent a complete redesign recently. The new site features an expandable navigation tree and improved search capabilities using a Google custom search. There is also quick access to the site’s most commonly requested pages—including federal and state tax forms—as well as links to industry associations, certification information and software vendors.


Corporate CPAs and financial executives: This leadership forum from the California Society of CPAs and the California CPA Education Foundation is for you. The site provides executive education, advanced training in finance and business management, thought leadership, helpful resources and professional peer networking. The site also features opportunities such as participation in economic forums, CFO of the Year events and local roundtable discussions, which are listed in the “Upcoming Forum Events” section. You can read articles, such as how-tos with practical tips and Q&As with other leaders in the field. There is also a section featuring news on such hot topics as the XBRL taxonomy and new PCAOB standards.

Bob Jensen's small business helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness

Some Windows Fans Would Rather Bury Vista then XP in June
Microsoft Corp.'s operating systems run most personal computers around the globe and are a cash cow for the world's largest software maker. But you'd never confuse a Windows user with the passionate fans of Mac OS X or even the free Linux operating system. Unless it's someone running Windows XP, a version Microsoft wants to retire. Fans of the six-year-old operating system set to be pulled off store shelves in June have papered the Internet with blog posts, cartoons and petitions recently. They trumpet its superiority to Windows Vista, Microsoft's latest PC operating system, whose consumer launch last January was greeted with lukewarm reviews. No matter how hard Microsoft works to persuade people to embrace Vista, some just can't be wowed. They complain about Vista's hefty hardware requirements, its less-than-peppy performance, occasional incompatibility with other programs and devices and frequent, irritating security pop-up windows.
Jessica Mintz, "Users Fight to Save Windows XP," Wired News, April 14, 2008 --- Click Here
Also see http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D90153T00&show_article=1

Texas Tech: More Teaching Less Research?
Texas Tech University’s leading professors are objecting to the institution’s plans to increase enrollment dramatically — and especially to the suggestion from university officials that this can be accomplished in part by having professors shift time from research to teaching, The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported. A letter from professors said that the best students are attracted by the high quality research being conducted. Texas Tech appears to want to attract students with “a bargain basement price,” rather than quality, they said. Further, they suggested that the university is already “digging deeper into the barrel” to keep enrollment at current levels. The chancellor, Kent Hance, told the newspaper he strongly supported research and quality. He said that the professors who complained had been misinformed by “one or two faculty members who ... tried to stir people up.”
Inside Higher Ed, April 17, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/17/qt

How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States

"French Theory," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, April 17, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/04/16/mclemee

Last week, while rushing to finish up a review of Francois Cusset’s French Theory: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States (University of Minnesota Press), I heard that Stanley Fish had just published a column about the book for The New York Times. Of course the only sensible thing to do was to ignore this development entirely. The last thing you need when coming to the end of a piece of work is to go off and do some more reading. The inner voice suggesting that is procrastination disguised as conscientiousness. Better, sometimes, to trust your own candlepower — however little wax and wick you may have left.

Once my own cogitations were complete (the piece will run in the next issue of Bookforum), of course, I took a look at the Times Web site. By then, Fish’s column had drawn literally hundreds of comments. This must warm some hearts in Minnesota. Any publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right — so this must count as great publicity, especially since French Theory itself won’t actually be available until next month.

But in other ways it is unfortunate. Fish and his interlocutors reduce Cusset’s rich, subtle, and paradox-minded book (now arriving in translation) into one more tale of how tenured pseudoradicalism rose to power in the United States. Of course there is always an audience for that sort of thing. And it is true that Cusset – who teaches intellectual history at the Institute d’Etudes Politiques and at Reid Hall/Columbia University, in Paris – devotes some portions of the book to explaining American controversies to his French readers. But that is only one aspect of the story, and by no means the most interesting or rewarding.

When originally published five years ago, the cover of Cusset’s book bore the slightly strange words French Theory. That the title of a French book was in English is not so much lost in translation as short-circuited by it. The bit of Anglicism is very much to the point: this is a book about the process of cultural transmission, distortion, and return. The group of thinkers bearing the (American) brand name “French Theory” would not be recognized at home as engaged in a shared project, or even forming a cohesive group. Nor were they so central to cultural and political debate there, at least after the mid-1970s, as they were to become for academics in the United States. So the very existence of a phenomenon that could be called “French Theory” has to be explained.

To put it another way: the very category of “French Theory” itself is socially constructed. Explaining how that construction came to pass is Cusset’s project. He looks at the process as it unfolded at various levels of academic culture: via translations and anthologies, in certain disciplines, with particular sponsors, and so on. Along the way, he recounts the American debates over postmodernism, poststructuralism, and whatnot. But those disputes are part of his story, not the point of it. While offering an outsider’s perspective on our interminable culture wars, it is more than just a chronicle of them..

Instead, it would be much more fitting to say that French Theory is an investigation of the workings of what C. Wright Mills called the “cultural apparatus.” This term, as Mills defined it some 50 years ago, subsumes all the institutions and forms of communication through which “learning, entertainment, malarky, and information are produced and distributed ... the medium by which [people] interpret and report what they see.” The academic world is part of this “apparatus,” but the scope of the concept is much broader; it also includes the arts and letters, as well as the media, both mass and niche.

The inspiration for Cusset’s approach comes from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, rather than Mills, his distant intellectual cousin from Texas. Even so, the book is in some sense more Millsian in spirit than the author himself may realize. Bourdieu preferred to analyze the culture by breaking it up into numerous distinct “fields” – with each scholarly discipline, art form, etc. constituting a separate sub-sector, following more or less its own set of rules. By contrast, Cusset, like Mills, is concerned with how the different parts of American culture intersect and reinforce one another, even while remaining distinct. (I didn’t say any of this in my review, alas. Sometimes the best ideas come as afterthoughts.)

The boilerplate account of how poststructuralism came to the United States usually begins with visit of Lacan, Derrida, and company to Johns Hopkins University for a conference in 1966 – then never really imagines any of their ideas leaving campus. By contrast, French Theory pays attention to how their work connected up with artists, musicians, writers, and sundry denizens of various countercultures. Cusset notes the affinity of “pioneers of the technological revolution” for certain concepts from the pomo toolkit: “Many among them, whether marginal academics or self-taught technicians, read Deleuze and Guattari for their logic of ‘flows’ and their expanded definition of ‘machine,’ and they studied Paul Virilio for his theory of speed and his essays on the self-destruction of technical society, and they even looked at Baudrillard’s work, in spite of his legendary technological incompetence.”

And a particularly sharp-eyed chapter titled “Students and Users” offers an analysis of how adopting a theoretical affiliation can serve as a phase in the psychodrama of late adolescence (a phase of life with no clearly marked termination point, now). To become Deleuzian or Foucauldian, or what have you, is not necessarily a step along the way to the tenure track. It can also serve as “an alternative to the conventional world of career-oriented choices and the pursuit of top grades; it arms the student, affectively and conceptually, against the prospect of alienation that looms at graduation under the cold and abstract notions of professional ambition and the job market....This relationship with knowledge is not unlike Foucault’s definition of curiosity: ‘not the curiosity that seeks to assimilate what it is proper for one to know, but that which enables one to get free of oneself’....”

Much of this will be news, not just to Cusset’s original audience in France, but to readers here as well. There is more to the book than another account of pseudo-subversive relativism and neocon hyperventilation. In other words, French Theory is not just another Fish story. It deserves a hearing — even, and perhaps especially, from people who have already made up their minds about “deconstructionism,” whatever that may be.

You can read more about Michael Foucault at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Foucault

You can read about post-structuralism at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-structuralism

You can read about post-modernism at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism

Jensen Comment
It's pretty difficult to trace these French theories to accounting research and scholarship, but the leading accounting professor trying to do so is probably my former doctoral student Ed Arrington who even moved to Europe for a while to carry on his studies in these theories --- http://www.uncg.edu/bae/acc/accfacul.htm#arrington

A Google search turns up some of his publications in this area as they relate to accounting, economics, and business. His publications also branch off into other areas since Ed has wide ranging interests and is an excellent speaker as well as a researcher and writer. His thesis was an application of the Analytic Hierarchy Process in decision modelling, but he's expanded well beyond that since he got his PhD. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytic_Hierarchy_Process
For years my interests and publications were in AHP, although in latter years I was mostly critical of Saaty's precious and arbitrary eigenvector mathematical scaling (but I was not critical of Ed's thesis).

April 18, 23008 reply from Amy Dunbar [Amy.Dunbar@BUSINESS.UCONN.EDU]

I just finished reading Philosophy 100 Essential Thinkers by Philip Stokes. It is a short summary of various philosophers through time, and it helped me put philosophers in context. It accomplished its purpose because I was able to read Bob’s post and have a clue what the post was about. My favorite line:

"This relationship with knowledge is not unlike Foucault’s definition of curiosity: ‘not the curiosity that seeks to assimilate what it is proper for one to know, but that which enables one to get free of oneself’....”

I am curious, but unfortunately I think it is in the former sense, not the latter, as evidenced by my reading a book about 100 essential thinkers.

Amy Dunbar


April 18, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Amy,

Many of your 100 "Essential Thinkers" influenced the "Great Minds" of management philosophy. I put some capsule summaries of the Great Minds of Management the following site:
Great Minds in Management:  The Process of Theory Development --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory/00overview/GreatMinds.htm

Bob Jensen

April 18, 2008 reply from Paul Williams [Paul_Williams@NCSU.EDU]


FYI: Richard Baker Adelphi U., NY) and Eve Chiapello (HEC School of MGT., Paris) are co-editing a proposed special issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal: "Cross cultural impacts: the influence of French philosophers and social theorists on accounting research." Of course they have had no influence on accounting research in the U.S., but elsewhere it is a different story. An editorial comment on the intellectual limitations of the accounting academy, below are the four finalists for the Glen McLaughlin Prize for Research in Accounting Ethics. If not post-modern writ large, it certainly has an Orwellian flair.

Do internal control reforms improve earnings quality? (Jennifer Altamuro and Anne Beatty, both at Ohio State University)

Brokerage industry self-regulation: the case of analysts’ background disclosures (Lawrence D. Brown, Georgia State University; Artur Hugon, Georgia State University; Hai Lu, University of Toronto)

Principles, conformity and controls (William Tayler, Emory University; Robert Bloomfield, Cornell University); and

Whistleblowing: Target firm characteristics and economic consequences (Robert Bowen, University of Washington; Andrew Call, University of Georgia; Shiva Rajgopal, University of Washington)


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Theory01.htm

New Wireless Mouse Technology

"Squeaky Wheels: Tracking Mobile Mice," by Katherine Boehret, The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2008; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120768223569198837.html

This week I tested three entry-level mobile mice designed for laptops, from Logitech, Microsoft and Kensington Computer Products Group. These $30 mice include a USB receiver that plugs into a laptop, allowing the mouse to work wirelessly. When not in use, this receiver fits snugly beneath the mouse, turning its power off to save battery as it snaps into place. These mice are also somewhat smaller than regular mice so they can easily slip into a laptop bag.

Mobile mice are now more stylish than the traditional desktop mice, and like laptops and digital cameras, come in various shapes and colors. The mice I tested are available in pink, white, red, blue, orange and gray. Next week, the Microsoft mouse I used will be available in shades of pomegranate, aloe, dragon fruit (dark pink) and milk chocolate; a khaki-colored shade called crème brûlée will follow in June.

I tried Logitech's $30 V220 Cordless Optical Mouse in black, Microsoft's $30 Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 in aloe, and Kensington's $35 Ci75m Wireless Notebook Mouse in orange. To gain some perspective on high-end mobile mice, I also looked at two pricier options from Logitech: the $50 V470 Cordless Laser Mouse with Bluetooth (instead of a USB receiver) and the $70 VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse.

My vote for a favorite low-end mobile mouse had me struggling between portability and comfort. But overall, I found that the Logitech V220 offered the best combination of small size and usability. The Microsoft mouse was also comfortable to use, but its slightly bulkier size made it less portable, and it didn't feel as sturdy as the Logitech. While the Kensington was the flattest and most portable, it wasn't as comfortable to use as the Logitech or Microsoft mice.

To conserve battery, all three of these mice go into low-power mode after 10 minutes of nonuse, but none of them turns off completely. Battery indicators light up when juice is running low. According to company estimates, the Microsoft mouse has a battery life of over six months and the Logitech mouse has a battery life of up to six months. The Kensington mouse's battery life was estimated to be three months. I didn't use any of them long enough to prove the company claims.

These mice are compatible with Macs and PCs, and are plug-and-play -- meaning you don't need to install any additional software to make them work. I used each on laptops running Mac OS X and Windows Vista without any problems. The Microsoft and Logitech mice also can work with their own special software programs, but the extra features, such as reassigning a mouse button to open an application, aren't really necessary for the average user.

The $30 Logitech V220 fit comfortably in my hand, with rubber grips on its sides and a generously sized, smooth-gliding rubber scroll wheel that made it easy to use. This scroll wheel can be nudged to the left or right for horizontal scrolling, a feature found on most of Logitech's mice.

Unlike the Microsoft and Kensington mice, which show flashing red sensor lights, the Logitech uses an invisible optic sensor. This sounds cool, but because the mouse doesn't use any lights, it can be left on accidentally. I did this a few times before remembering to stow the USB receiver in the mouse to automatically turn off its power.

Of the three, the Logitech mouse was the only one with a manual on/off switch -- so you can turn it off without snapping the USB receiver into place in the mouse. This could save frequent travelers from having to detach the USB receiver every time they want to turn off the mouse, and could let people keep the receiver plugged into the laptop.

Kensington's $35 Ci75m was the flattest mouse by far, making it a cinch to slip it into the outside pocket of my already full laptop bag on a train trip to New York. And this mouse has a bonus feature: It can work wirelessly or with a USB wire, which wraps up inside the mouse and serves as a backup in case the mouse runs out of battery. I tested this by removing the batteries and using only the USB wire, and it worked like a charm.

I also liked the way the Kensington USB receiver disappeared into the body of the mouse, while the Microsoft and Logitech receivers protruded a bit when stowed, adding to the thickness of the mouse when tucked into a laptop pocket.

But though this bright orange mouse received approving feedback from passersby, it wasn't all that comfortable to use after a while. Its flatness saved room in my bag, but didn't give my hand much support. It also felt flimsier than the Logitech, and its small wheel wasn't as satisfying to use.

I received early test units of Microsoft's $30 Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 3000 in aloe, pomegranate and milk chocolate.

This mouse has rubber sides for a better grip, like the Logitech, and an arched shape for comfort. Its wheel is slightly smaller than Logitech's, though its overall size was bigger and more like that of a regular mouse -- not one designed specifically for mobile use. But even though the Microsoft mouse was larger, it didn't feel as solid as Logitech's; rather, it felt more like the thin Kensington. Its right and left buttons felt less stable, and its wheel didn't roll as smoothly.

I did like Microsoft's nod to new colors, and the aloe -- a cool hue of green -- was my favorite.

For people who don't mind spending a little extra money on a mouse, the $50 V470 Cordless Laser uses Bluetooth, eliminating the need for a USB receiver altogether. It took only a couple seconds to pair this mouse to a MacBook with built-in Bluetooth, and it worked smoothly. A manual on/off switch on this mouse's underside can help to conserve battery.

The $70 Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser is sleek with shiny black accents and a silver-edged wheel. The "Nano" in this mouse's name refers to its ultra tiny USB receiver, which sticks out only about a quarter of an inch when plugged in, so it can be left in a laptop at all times for ease-of-use. If needed, this receiver can be hidden away in the cavity of the mouse, under a snap-on lid. I used the VX Nano to glide around Web pages and Word documents with buttery smoothness.

No matter what mouse you choose to use with your laptop, most will be considerably more comfortable than touch pads and trackpoints, especially while working on long, mouse-intensive projects. But of the three lower-end mobile mice, the Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse delivers the best combination of comfort and transportability.

Jensen Comment
Someday the wireless mouse may actually be built into a wristwatch such that if you press a designated keyboard key you can wave your wristwatch like a symphony conductor and then return control to the keyboard by simply letting up on the “mouse key(s).” This would avoid those time-consuming hand shifts from keyboard to mouse and vice versa. It just dawned on me that this might also be done with a gold nose ring or the frames of your eye glasses. I’m certain I don’t want a gold nose booger.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had similar wand-waving control of our spouse, pets, and kids? I guess those are forthcoming as Japanese robots. However, robots won’t be very creative or warm and cuddly on cold winter nights.

My wireless mouse and keyboard receiver cords plug into my PS 2 ports (although I also have adapters for USB ports). I like to leave my USB ports free for external storage drives (hard drives and thumb drives). I don't bother with a powered USB hub that provides additional USB ports. I'm told that extra USB ports should be powered since the powerless ones are only good for weak devices.

I’m really liking my 320 Gb external hard drive (from Wal-Mart) that automatically backs up, while I type, both of my laptops using Memeo AutoSynch ($29 or $59). Every time I add or change a file it’s automatically backed up outside my computer(s). Be careful, however, AutoSynch will also delete files that you delete on your PC. But you can also save old files to the external hard drive that you do not want to AutoSynch with your desktop or laptop. In other words you can pick and choose folders that you want AutoSynched ---

Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#Technology

How can you compare living costs between any two college towns?

The Salary Mess (causing faculty attrition rates) for Universities in Wisconsin
The problem is money. Wisconsin's stagnating state higher-education budget has forced the university to keep faculty salaries far below average. When professors get feelers from elsewhere, they learn that a move can easily mean a whopping 100-percent salary increase — sometimes more. Budget problems have also depleted money for perks that keep faculty members on board — funds for research and travel, pay for summer months, reduced teaching loads, and longer and more frequent sabbaticals.
Robin Wilson, "Wisconsin's Flagship Is Raided for Scholars," Chronicle of Higher Education, April 18, 2008, Page A1 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i32/32a00103.htm

Jensen Comment
The problem is that analysts in general tend to compare average before-tax salaries and living costs. Although Wisconsin is slightly low in terms of state-supported university salaries, on an after-tax basis they are very low due to high taxes in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's State/Local Tax Burden Among Nation's Highest in 2007 --- http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/67.html
During the past three decades Wisconsin's state and local tax burden has consistently ranked among the nation's highest. Estimated at 12.3% of income, Wisconsin’s state and local tax burden percentage ranks 7th highest nationally, well above the national average of 11.0%. Wisconsin taxpayers pay $4,736 per capita in state and local taxes, and per capita state income is $38,639.
Wisconsin's State-Local Tax Burden, 1970-Present

On the other hand, some states that also pay lower than average faculty salaries are winners in terms of letting faculty keep more of their income. For example, consider Delaware:

Delaware's State/Local Tax Burden Fourth Lowest in Nation in 2007 --- http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/18.html
Consistently over the past two decades, Delaware has had one of the nation’s lowest state and local tax burdens. Estimated at 8.8% of income, Delaware’s state-local tax burden percentage ranks 47th highest nationally, well below the national average of 11.0%. Delaware taxpayers pay $3,804 per-capita in state and local taxes, and per capita state income is $43,471.
Delaware's State-Local Tax Burden, 1970-present

States like New York, New Jersey, and California that have relatively high average salaries for their major research universities can be losers in terms of taxes and real estate costs. Real estate costs in those states are still high even after the bursting of the sub-prime bubble. High taxes are also bummers in Maine and Vermont. States like Florida that used to be good deals for taxes and real estate costs have seen property taxes and insurance costs soar.

You may feed in the name of any state you choose and get state and local tax burden comparisons --- http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/18.html

You probably should go to the above site before comparing the average salaries (by faculty rank) of U.S. colleges and universities (public and private) that are listed in several sections of  Chronicle of Higher Education, April 18, 2008"

If you are attracted to or turned off by the average salaries (by faculty rank) in a given school, don't forget to compare taxes and real estate costs. There are also other cost considerations like the cost of private schools in some urban areas that have low cost or dangerous public schools K-12.

Compare taxes for all 50 states of the U.S. at --- http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/topic/18.html 

Compare the living costs of any two locales in the United States in terms of how far your salary will go in these to locales (such as where you live now versus where you might want to move to) --- Click Here  --- http://snipurl.com/comparelivingcosts       

Bob Jensen's threads on Salary Compression, Inversion, and Controversies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Salaries

Bob Jensen's tax comparison helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation

A Very Successful Blog
Stuff White People Like --- http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.wordpress.com/

"Stuff White People Like," by Evan R. Goldstein, Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, April 18, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i32/32b00401.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

What do the Sunday New York Times, Barack Obama, knowing what's best for poor people, having gay friends, and arts degrees have in common? According to Christian Lander, they are all "stuff white people like." A mere three months ago, the 29-year-old Internet copywriter started a blog by that name with a post satirizing white people's affinity for coffee, noting that they are fond of sayings like, "You do NOT want to see me before I get my morning coffee" and are happy to pay a premium for fair-trade coffee because "the extra $2 means they are making a difference."

That item struck a nerve. Stuff White People Like averages around 300,000 hits a day, and its numbered catalog of the cultural, political, and social predilections of highly educated, middle-class, liberal, white people is nearing 100 items. At the end of March, Random House announced that it had signed Lander, who is himself white, to a book deal widely reported to be worth around $300,000.

The blog's emergence as a cultural phenomenon has triggered a wide-ranging discussion about race, humor, and whether Stuff White People Like is a trenchant critique of white cultural mores — or a backhanded celebration of white cultural superiority.

Gary Dauphin, writer and blogger: Stuff White People Like … smells like a classic racial con job. It goes without saying that the specific entries (Oscar parties?) don't really apply to anyone. That makes Lander's overall pose — and the uncritical response to it — the real action. You'd think from the approving hubbub that SWPL had discovered (white) America or something, but white comedians, academics, and artists have been thinking and cracking wise about "white" culture since before Lander was in, well, the short pants he's posted about. Usually even jokey talk about whiteness has a whiff of danger to it, but SWPL is likely the safest, most-affable racial satire ever, a loving high-five between friends passing as critique. (The Root)

Dean Rader, associate professor of English, University of San Francisco: One more reason SWPL has resonated is due to its very smart awareness of what I call "Overculture," which is the subject of my next book. Stuff White People Like is fantastic at mapping the icons of Overculture — those popular texts that indicate a ubiquity in American consumer and popular culture. For example, Starbucks plays music heard on The Wire, which gets written about in Slate, which has an agreement with NPR, which reviews books available in Borders, which sells coffee and expensive sandwiches. Overculture is a new kind of cultural map that circumscribes everything that has hit a tipping point, everything educated people should either consume or be aware of. (The Weekly Rader)

Gregory Rodriguez, senior fellow, New America Foundation: As unusual as Lander's site is, it is also part of a sociological trend among whites who live in increasingly non-Anglo cities and regions: their transformation into a minority group. Whites used to think of themselves as standard-issue American — they had the luxury of not having to grapple with the significance of their own racial background; they were "us" and everyone else was "ethnic." Not anymore. (Los Angeles Times)

Adam Sternbergh, editor at large, New York: Even as an admitted yoga-practicing, public-radio-listening, Wrigley Field-visiting, Wes Anderson-movie-watching, Arrested Development-championing white dude — i.e., someone squarely in the targets of Stuff White People Like — I don't feel even mildly chastened about yoga, NPR, Wes Anderson, or Arrested Development after reading this blog. In fact, all the site's entries, while superficially chiding, can actually be divided into three very comforting categories:

1) Entries that don't reflect your lifestyle choices … and therefore make you feel superior.

2) Entries that do reflect your lifestyle choices … and therefore make you feel like you're in on the joke.

3) Entries that nod to commonly held comic stereotypes … and therefore, because you recognize them, make you feel superior. (The New Republic Online)

David Mills, screenwriter: The No. 1 biggest thing white people like is pretending to poke fun at themselves. … Here are a few things that white people don't like:

1. Black bosses.

2. Mexicans.

3. Being told they're wrong.

4. Panhandlers.

5. Black people on magazine covers.

6. Islam. (Undercover Black Man)

Megan McArdle, associate editor, The Atlantic: All right, let me add myself to the list of white people who don't like Stuff White People Like. Leave aside the arrogance of declaring "white people" to be equal to a rather small group of self-satisfied, overeducated, affluent poverty vultures. And I actively applaud its purpose — my demographic is a rich vein of humor. One that should be strip mined.

Unfortunately, SWPL just isn't very funny. How can you take a target as rich and inviting as people who deliberately buy ugly shoes and produce … a dull thud? (Asymmetrical Information, The Atlantic Online)

Alex Jung, blogger: Its cleverness is getting stale because it hasn't exhibited ways to think differently; one can predict the rest of the posts — white people also like to dress their pets … and watch Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and think about how "real" it is. [Lander] recognizes the dumb things white people do, such as believing they know what's best for poor people, but just as he will still spend 10 bucks on a sandwich, white people will still think buying a Gap T-shirt will end poverty in Africa. It's a critique followed by a shrug. (Race Wire, Colorlines)

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

No doubt about it; NASA mathematicians are more than a match for a German schoolboy

"German schoolboy, 13, corrects NASA's asteroid figures: paper," Yahoo News, April 15, 2008 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080415/od_afp/spaceastronomygermany_080415214347

A 13-year-old German schoolboy corrected NASA's estimates on the chances of an asteroid colliding with Earth, a German newspaper reported Tuesday, after spotting the boffins had miscalculated.

Nico Marquardt used telescopic findings from the Institute of Astrophysics in Potsdam (AIP) to calculate that there was a 1 in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth, the Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten reported.

NASA had previously estimated the chances at only 1 in 45,000 but told its sister organisation, the European Space Agency (ESA), that the young whizzkid had got it right.

The schoolboy took into consideration the risk of Apophis running into one or more of the 40,000 satellites orbiting Earth during its path close to the planet on April 13 2029.

Those satellites travel at 3.07 kilometres a second (1.9 miles), at up to 35,880 kilometres above earth -- and the Apophis asteroid will pass by earth at a distance of 32,500 kilometres.

If the asteroid strikes a satellite in 2029, that will change its trajectory making it hit earth on its next orbit in 2036.

Both NASA and Marquardt agree that if the asteroid does collide with earth, it will create a ball of iron and iridium 320 metres (1049 feet) wide and weighing 200 billion tonnes, which will crash into the Atlantic Ocean.

The shockwaves from that would create huge tsunami waves, destroying both coastlines and inland areas, whilst creating a thick cloud of dust that would darken the skies indefinitely.

The 13-year old made his discovery as part of a regional science competition for which he submitted a project entitled: "Apophis -- The Killer Astroid."

Also see http://physorg.com/news127499715.html

"German whizzkid got it wrong: NASA," PhysOrg, April 17, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news127634108.html 

It was an incredible tale of a German schoolboy spotting a miscalculation by the US space agency, proving the chances of an asteroid hitting the Earth were higher than initially believed.

But the amazing story of the whizzkid versus the space bureaucracy turned out to be wrong, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration said Wednesday.

The agency, sounding a bit like a weary math teacher, said its figures are correct when it comes to the asteroid Apophis, not the boy's.

"We stand by our numbers," NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown told AFP.

The agency that oversees space shuttle missions and unmanned space probes issued a statement after the German newspaper Potsdamer Neuerster Nachrichten reported on Tuesday that student Nico Marquardt had calculated there was a 1 in 450 chance that the Apophis asteroid will collide with Earth.

He argued in his project for a regional science competition that scientists at NASA had got it wrong when they estimated the chances of a collision at only 1 in 45,000.

But experts at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California had no doubts about their calculations, Brown said.

The Near-Earth Object Program Office "has not changed its current estimates for the very low probability (1 in 45,000) of an Earth impact by the asteroid Apophis in 2036," Brown said in a statement.

And the newspaper's account was also inaccurate when it described NASA telling the European Space Agency that the German student's calculations were correct, Brown said.

"Contrary to recent press reports, NASA offices involved in near-Earth object research were not contacted and have had no correspondence with a young German student, who claims the Apophis impact probability is far higher than the current estimate," the statement said.

The student's estimates were reportedly based on the asteroid hitting a satellite in 2029.

"However, the asteroid will not pass near the main belt of geosynchronous satellites in 2029, and the chance of a collision with a satellite is exceedingly remote," it said.

While the German newspaper article had spread across the Internet, NASA said the probability of Apophis colliding with Earth remained at 1 in 45,000.

Harvard U. Students Support Open Access for Student Theses A Harvard University student group
Harvard College Free Culture, has created a freely accessible Web site for seniors’ theses, according to a staff editorial last week in the campus newspaper, The Harvard Crimson. Students voluntarily post their theses to the Web site. The editorial announced its support for the project, saying it “should help students find models for senior theses as they enter the daunting process” of writing their own theses. The paper also stated that the project fits well with the open access plan recently adopted by the university’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Andrea L. Foster, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 14, 2008 --- Click here

Jensen Comment
This makes both plagiarism by students of the world and detection of plagiarism by instructors of the world simultaneously easier --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on open access of learning materials are at the following three sites:

This also makes Harvard seniors models for judging how well top students write as seniors in college. How well are your students doing in comparison?

Scholarly Journals Using Plagiarism Detection Software
Students may not be the only ones being checked electronically for plagiarism. The company that offers the popular detection service Turnitin announced this week a new service to be used by scholarly journals.
Inside Higher Ed, April 18, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/18/qt
Also see  http://chronicle.com/free/2008/04/2546n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

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

Unfortunately there's not much you can do personally to protect yourself on this one other than to file your tax return early, and it's a little late for that!

"A Call for Action On Tax Scams," by Stephen Barr, The Washington Post, April 14, 2008; Page D01 --- Click Here

The scam goes like this:

A bogus tax return using a stolen Social Security number is submitted to the Internal Revenue Service early in the tax-filing season. Because the IRS does not know the return involved identity theft, it sends a refund.

When the real tax return is filed, it gets flagged as a duplicate, freezing any refund. It sometimes takes months for the innocent, legitimate taxpayer to sort it all out with the IRS.

Filings of fictitious tax returns to steal refunds have jumped dramatically, perhaps because con artists can file them electronically and get a direct-deposit refund long before the real taxpayer finds out.

From 2002 to 2007, the number of fraudulent tax return complaints to the Federal Trade Commission jumped to 20,782, from 3,061, according to a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA.

The rise in fraudulent tax returns was an issue at a Senate Finance Committee hearing last week called by the committee chairman, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.). "I am disappointed that the IRS does not notify a taxpayer when someone else has filed a return using the victim's Social Security number," he said.

Nina E. Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, who provides an independent voice on behalf of taxpayers, told the committee she is concerned the IRS does not know how many taxpayers are affected by identity theft and said the problem may be more widespread than IRS data suggest.

Another witness, J. Russell George, the inspector general for tax administration, said the IRS "processes and procedures have been inadequate in reducing the burden for taxpayers who have been victimized. When the IRS becomes aware of employment-related identity theft, it does not take action unless the case relates to a substantive tax or conspiracy violation."

Unless the IRS acts to address identity theft and related computer security issues, George said, "there is no deterrent to keep the problem from spreading."

Olson, in additional testimony submitted to the committee, said her staff is receiving calls from senior citizens who filed for this year's tax rebate after not filing returns for several years and who have discovered that someone else has been using their Social Security numbers on tax returns.

She and George also described another common scam involving tax returns.

These cases often involve illegal immigrants and undocumented workers who use another person's identity -- name, Social Security number or both -- to obtain employment. The employer files a wage and tax statement, the W-2, under the stolen identification information, and the IRS computers attribute the earnings according to the Social Security number. Then the IRS levies an additional tax on the lawful owner of the Social Security number, creating consequences for the innocent person.

Continued in article

Tax Fraud Alerts from the IRS --- http://www.irs.gov/compliance/enforcement/article/0,,id=121259,00.html

Bob Jensen's threads on tax scams are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#TaxScams

Bob Jensen's tax helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#010304Taxation

Credit Default Swap (CDS) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_default_swap

A credit default swap (CDS) is an instrument to transfer the credit risk of fixed income products. Using technical terms, it is a bilateral contract, in which two counterparties agree to isolate and separately trade the credit risk of at least one third-party reference entity. The buyer of a credit swap receives credit protection. The seller 'guarantees' the credit worthiness of the product. In more technical language, a protection buyer pays a periodic fee to a protection seller in exchange for a contingent payment by the seller upon a credit event (such as a default or failure to pay) happening in the reference entity. When a credit event is triggered, the protection seller either takes delivery of the defaulted bond for the par value (physical settlement) or pays the protection buyer the difference between the par value and recovery value of the bond (cash settlement). Simply, the risk of default is transferred from the holder of the fixed income security to the seller of the swap. For example, a mortgage bank, ABC may have its credit default swaps currently trading at 265 basis points (bp). In other words, the annual cost to insure 10 million euros of its debt would be 265,000 euros. If the same CDS had been trading at 7 bp a year before, it would indicate that markets now view ABC as facing a greater risk of default on its mortgage obligations.

Credit default swaps resemble an insurance policy, as they can be used by debt owners to hedge, or insure against credit events such as a default on a debt obligation. However, because there is no requirement to actually hold any asset or suffer a loss, credit default swaps can also be used to speculate on changes in credit spread.

Credit default swaps are the most widely traded credit derivative product.[1] The typical term of a credit default swap contract is five years, although being an over-the-counter derivative, credit default swaps of almost any maturity can be traded.

"Default Swaps: One Boom in the Crunch; Volume Soared in '07 As Woes Worsened; Hedging and Betting," by Serena Ng, The Wall Street Journal, April 16, 2008; Page C2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120826572928916145.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

The bond market's love affair with credit derivatives continued during the market chaos of 2007, as volumes of instruments such as credit-default swaps surged to new highs.

Credit-default swaps, which are private financial contracts that act as a form of insurance against bond and loan defaults, were written on $62.2 trillion of debt at the end of 2007, according to data from the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, an industry group.

The latest numbers mark a 37% jump from the $45.5 trillion in so-called "notional" values of credit-default swaps in mid-2007, and compare with $34.5 trillion at the end of 2006. The gain indicates that the use of such swaps grew at a faster pace during the credit crunch in the second half of last year, possibly as banks and investors scrambled to protect themselves from possible defaults on mortgage debt and other bonds and loans.

In a credit default swap, one firm makes regular payments to another firm, which agrees to compensate it if a specified bond or loan defaults. Some investors and financial institutions buy these swaps to hedge their debt investments, but many others trade them to make bets on whether default risk is rising or falling. As such, the notional volumes of the contracts far exceed the actual amount of debt on which they are written.

ISDA's survey also found that the notional amount of interest-rate derivatives grew to $382.3 trillion at the end of 2007, up 10% from mid-2007 and 34% from a year earlier. These include interest-rate swaps, where firms exchange fixed interest payments on debt for floating-rate payments.

The market for equity derivatives including options and forward contracts covered $10 trillion in notional volumes at the end of 2007, unchanged from the mid-year but up 39% from a year earlier.

While notional amounts across all the asset classes add up to an eye-popping number of $454.5 trillion, ISDA says the numbers measure derivative activity rather than risk. It estimates that gross credit exposure of the firms that trade derivatives is around $9.8 trillion.

Still, the large volumes have raised concerns about "counterparty risk," or the risk that one or more firms may not be able to make good on their trades and create problems for other firms .

Continued in article

Read about a Credit Default Swap (CDS) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credit_default_swap

IAS 39 Paragraph B18 (g) allows some leeway as to whether companies want to account for such contracts as insurance contracts or derivative financial instruments.

FAS 133 Paragraph 59 is somewhat more explicit as to whether or not a credit derivative is scoped into FAS 133.

"Consider Your Needs, Then Use This Guide To Buying a Laptop," by Walter S. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2008; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120777238299202605.html

"Disaster recovery, backup, and restore: Big challenges for small businesses," AccountingWeb, April 2008 ---

The time and effort involved in creating the plan can be reduced by using readily available disaster recovery templates or working with consultants, but the starting point for every company is a risk analysis, according to the Disaster Recovery Planning Forum, identifying and assessing the potential that the loss of business functions, processes, and records could have on the operation of the business.

When writing a disaster recovery plan, you can find recommendations on the Forum, including the following:


  • Identify and define the company's mission critical business processes and systems. Review them for vulnerabilities and identifying steps required for restoration and recovery.
  • Make sure data is backed up to secure and separate locations.
  • Evaluate various storage solutions including storage area networks, data replication systems, new virtualization systems, network attached storage devices, and managed storage.
  • Pay significant attention also to . . . telecommunications providers to ensure they have built diversity and redundancy into their networks and have well developed and tested contingency plans.

    Members of the forum suggest that employees should be invested in the plan and fully informed about their responsibilities in a disaster. The disaster recovery plan should detail how business managers will communicate with their employees.

    With the overload on cell phone communication that occurred during the September 11th, 2001 disaster in mind, some specialists are recommending options such as contracting with a third party service for backup e-mail domains or using text messaging services. Managers also need to consider the impact of staff using the more affordable smart phones that can support business functions. As these devices come into use, IT staff must set up procedures to secure data, according to Chen.

    Implementing any plan will require selecting backup technology and storage and establishing procedures. Tape backup systems require that someone be able to physically remove them from a damaged office. Online options which have increased dramatically in recent years, including software packages available for small businesses, have the advantage of providing offsite storage as well as backup

    Prices for online services are all over the map, so it pays to shop around. For example, two products recommended by PC Magazine are SOS online backup, which costs $74.50 per year for 1GB; $237 per year for 10GB, and Mozy Remote Backup, which costs only $39.95 a year for 20 GBs.

    Third party services usually charge monthly rates for back up and storage of files and servers. Laura DuBois, an analyst at International Data Corp., believes many of these services are good enough in terms of general protections, according to internetnews.com. But the service provider should be a true partner to function well in disaster recovery.

    Attila Kozma, president of Earth to Stars of Glendale, CA, the company offering ThetaBackup.com, suggested several tips to help business owners select an appropriate vendor internet news.com reports:


  • The transferred data need to be encrypted and compressed before transmission;
  • The online backup and data recovery practices of the online backup company should be verified to determine if they store SMB data securely;
  • Recovery times must be rapid;
  • On-site professional help should be available whenever requested at an affordable rate;
  • Open files should be backed up;
  • Many versions of files should be saved online, as opposed to only the last saved version; and
  • The online backup client software should verify the sent data for its correctness.

    Iron Mountain Digital is the world's largest provider of data backup-recovery and archiving software as a service. Iron Mountain offers a range of services for small and medium sized businesses, the company's web site says. Peachtree Online Backup partners with Iron Mountain for PC backup. .

    Disaster recovery infrastructures for small and medium businesses have become more affordable in the past year with disk-to-disk backup and server virtualization, techtarget.com reports. Other technologies that are available are storage networks and data deduplication technology, which automatically removes duplicate records. Microsoft, Intel Corp., and Advanced Micro Devices are building virtualization into their infrastructures and, "It's now relatively easy to implement for an SMB without huge depth of knowledge of virtualization," says Carmi Levy of Info-Tech Research Group Inc. in London, Ontario, according to cio-midmarket.com.

    Testing the disaster recovery plan is critical. Access to the company's system should be restored and the data should be retrieved from off site storage. Changes to the IT environment can affect the recovery, so testing every six months or every year will be needed to ensure that the recovery plan functions in the current environment. Managers and staff should be fully involved in testing.

  • "How to protect data - a quick reference," AccountingWeb, April 2008 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=103784

    The latest technologies and gadgets make it incredibly easy for your data to be stolen from right under your nose, unless you take steps to protect it. Nick Lowe, from Check Point Software, reports.

    The ability to move massive amounts of information between PCs and portable storage devices means that it's now incredibly easy for confidential data to be taken from companies without knowledge or consent

    The perpetrators of such crimes are rarely stereotypical hackers, attacking systems via the internet from their mafia headquarters or their student dorms. Instead, the data thieves are frequently much closer to home. Unescorted visitors, for example, or temporary staff who have joined the organization purely to copy data and hand it over to a competitor. Or, as is becoming increasingly common, unhappy staff who are about to resign but think it's a good idea to first take copies of anything which might be useful in their new job. And lastly, innocent employees who simply don’t follow security policy, copy work files to take home and lose the unprotected storage device.

    Unguarded USB ports on today's PCs are perhaps the biggest threat to corporate IT security. USB memory sticks can typically store up to a gigabyte of data, but an MP3 player, smartphone or PDA can be just as effective for the data thief as they can all be quickly connected to any PC via a USB cable without the need for any driver software to be installed (and therefore, without the need for the thief to be logged in as an administrator).

    A few drags and drops, and the deed is done in a few seconds. Where the amount of data to be stolen is beyond the capacity of an iPod or PDA, external USB drives comprising half a terabyte of storage are now available on the high street for less than a hundred pounds.

    USB devices aren't the only way in which information can be stolen electronically, of course. Most mobile phones nowadays include a camera, which can be used to quickly make an electronic copy of a printed page.

    Pocket OCR wands and portable scanners offer similar facilities to the opportunistic data thief who stumbles across a confidential printed document. Or he could simply make a photocopy of a document and put it in the post. However, using any of these methods to steal large quantities of data is simply not practical because of the time required. Controlling the use of USB devices is of far greater importance.

    While the disgruntled employee is a prime suspect in many data thefts, actions by former employees should also be considered in your data protection plans. Do all of your users’ accounts and passwords get deleted as soon as the person leaves the company or changes department? Failure to delete such information isn’t just dangerous, but might also mean that you fall foul of the Data Protection Act by storing personal information that you do not need to retain.

    To reduce the problem of data leakage in your company there are three effective strategies. First, ensure that you have a policy which clearly states who is allowed to take data off-site, and how the data must be protected when it’s away from your premises.

    Second, ensure that data doesn't leave the building without your knowledge. Finally, ensure that data which needs to be removed from the building is protected so that it can’t fall into the wrong hands.

    To control which data files leave your premises in the first place, set up user accounts on servers and workstations so that employees can't access information which they have no need to see. Those in sales and marketing, for example, probably don't need access to the product development department's files on the server, so set the access permissions accordingly.

    Over-use of rules and regulations can lead to low morale, however, if the workforce feels that it clearly can't be trusted. Beware of becoming seen as Big Brother. It won't drive the data thieves away, but simply make them more determined.

    It's also well worth investing in a port control product such as my company's Pointsec Protector, which can automatically block USB devices from being connected to your systems without authorization. The software also includes transparent encryption, so that information copied to USB devices is automatically rendered inaccessible to thieves.

    Normally you will want to prevent confidential files leaving your premises, but this won't always be the case. Sometimes, allowing staff to take files away is necessary and beneficial. Salespeople need access to product information when they're away from the office, and marketing people often prepare PowerPoint presentations for delivery at conferences and seminars. Staff need to take work home at the weekend if they're particularly busy, and preventing them from doing so will deprive the company of some useful effort (not to mention all that unpaid overtime).

    It's absolutely vital that you protect information which is taken off the premises. If a sales manager's laptop is stolen from the boot of her car, you need to be sure that the customer information on its hard disk can't be accessed by the thief. If your marketing manager's PDA goes missing while he's at a conference, can you be confident that the document containing details of next year's product launches won’t be accessible to whoever buys the stolen hardware?

    The solution to this problem is encrypting data. There are many products on the market, but ensure that the solution you choose is proven, transparent and automatic, eliminating user interaction and creating a fully enforceable solution that holds up to the most stringent compliance requirements. Deploying an encryption solution will improve the level of trust and loyalty of clients and employees who recognise that every effort is being made to protect their sensitive data and ensure that a lost or stolen device never results in a data breach.

    Bob Jensen's technology bookmarks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm

    Bob Jensen's threads on total backup options are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#TotalBackup

    Bob Jensen's small business helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#SmallBusiness 

    A Man from Fidelity Who Had No Fidelity
    The Securities and Exchange Commission accused a former Fidelity Investments stock trader and a broker of profiting illegally by trading on confidential information about orders to buy shares of Covad Communications Group Inc. David Donovan, 45 years old, of Marblehead, Mass., was forced to resign in March 2005 after Fidelity learned of the allegedly illegal trading, which occurred in a three-month period in 2003, according to the SEC's complaint. According to a civil lawsuit filed by the SEC on Wednesday, Mr. Donovan obtained confidential information from Fidelity's order database that Fidelity was buying and intended to continue buying a big chunk of Covad stock for its advisory clients, a move which would likely drive up the price of the San Jose, Calif., technology company.
    Judith Burns, The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120848685804625435.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing

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

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

    "SEC foils Craig's List identity theft scammers," AccountingWeb, April 15, 2008 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=104958

    The Securities and Exchange Commission took action last week to stop a sophisticated Internet scheme that stole the identities of unsuspecting individuals and netted more than $66,000 in illicit profits in just seven weeks.

    In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the SEC alleged that one or more unknown traders conducted their entire online account intrusion scheme over the Internet and concealed their identities by, among other things, fraudulently opening brokerage accounts in the names of individuals who responded to a job advertisement on the Web site Craig's List.

    "While con artists continue to find new ways to defraud online brokerage customers, our efforts to protect U.S. investors from these account intrusion schemes continue to be a top priority of the Enforcement Division," said Linda Chatman Thomsen, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement.

    "Even when hackers hide behind stolen identities, this case shows that SEC action can take the profitability out of the scheme," said David Nelson, regional director of the Miami Regional Office. "While our main focus is on the securities law violators, there is a reminder here about how important it is to safeguard personal identifying information."

    According to the SEC's complaint, the unknown traders posted an advertisement on Craig's List beginning in February 2007 for a job with a fictitious Latvian brokerage firm, AWE Trading, Inc. Individuals who responded to the advertisement provided their personal information, including Social Security numbers and dates of birth to AWE via the Internet for purported company background checks. The unknown traders then used this personal information to open securities trading accounts online at Interactive Brokers LLC without the individuals' knowledge.

    The SEC's complaint further alleges that, on multiple occasions between March 8 and April 24, 2007, the unknown traders gained unauthorized, online access to accounts held by customers of various retail brokerage firms. They purchased and sold at least 18 securities listed on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. The unknown traders simultaneously bought and sold the same securities in the accounts they opened fraudulently, profiting from the change in trading volume and stock prices generated by the unauthorized transactions.

    The SEC's complaint charges the unknown trader defendants with violating Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by engaging in the complex securities account intrusion scheme. The complaint also seeks a final judgment permanently enjoining the unknown traders from further violations of the securities laws and ordering them to repatriate assets of the fraudulent scheme they hold outside the U.S., to disgorge their ill-gotten gains, and to pay civil money penalties. The Commission's complaint identifies Interactive Brokers, which fully cooperated in the staff's investigation, as a relief defendant because it currently holds cash and securities related to the scheme. In April 2007, Interactive Brokers detected suspicious trading in the involved accounts, suspended activity and froze the funds in the account.

    Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#IdentityTheft

    On matters sexual and soulful, colleges can be divided into two categories, the “spiritual” and the “evangelical” — the former the domain of hookup culture, the latter of purity culture, according to Donna Freitas, an assistant professor of religion at Boston University and author of the new book, Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America’s College Campuses (Oxford University Press).

    "Sex and the Soul," by Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, April 15, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/04/15/sexsoul

    “I think probably most people would expect the logical division to be between religiously-affiliated schools and nonreligiously-affiliated schools,” says Freitas, who, in researching the book, interviewed and collected online journal entries from 111 students and surveyed more than 2,500 undergraduates at seven different colleges described as Catholic, evangelical, nonreligious private and public (the institutions are not identified in the book, other than by affiliation, geographic location and size).

    “Catholic schools, they may as well be public institutions, in terms of attitudes about sex and religion. Evangelical colleges were just completely different.”

    Despite research showing that the overwhelming majority of college students consider themselves “spiritual,” Freitas finds that students at the private secular, public and Catholic colleges (the “spiritual” institutions in her classification system) generally treat sex as a secular act. “They’re secular only in the sexual aspect,” Freitas writes. “Given the large percentage of students self-identifying with religion and/or spirituality, one might reasonably expect students to make meaning of their sexual lives via these resources. Yet religion and spirituality have almost no influence on student behavior related to romance, love, and sex at the spiritual colleges.”

    At Catholic colleges, Freitas writes that many students were apathetic about faith traditions and some “literally laughed out loud” at the church’s teachings on sex. And at Catholic and nonsectarian public and private colleges, hookup cultures — hookups are defined as physically intimate encounters occurring outside long-term relationships — dominate the social scene.

    But Freitas finds that many students who participate in the hookup scene do so with serious qualms – and “suffer in silence.”

    “It seems like students feel the need to hide their belief systems,” Freitas says. “You’re pretty much just floating…If you’re already floating and you’re afraid to stand anywhere because you might get left out, people might not like you, people may reject you, you float where everybody floats and if it happens to be toward hookup culture, that’s where you end up.”

    By contrast, she finds that students at evangelical institutions are extraordinarily well-anchored. “Religion and sex are inseparable. You can’t even begin to think about sex without grounding that reflection in God and your Christianity.” But, Freitas points out, for students who feel they can’t live up to or fit into the pervading purity culture, the anchor weighs them down – sometimes tragically.

    “It’s like you’re failing everyone at once and you’re failing your faith tradition and you’re failing God. You can almost go down in an instant with one night of having sex. That is a pretty precarious way to live,” says Freitas.

    Women at evangelical colleges are expected to wait passively but at the same time are under “extreme” pressures to marry – the so-called “senior scramble” describes “the mad dash to find a husband by graduation.” The experiences of gay and lesbian students at evangelical colleges were mixed. Freitas recalls, for instance, one breezily bisexual female student, known by the pseudonym “Molly Bainbridge,” who had found her own community, one she called “Heretics Anonymous.” Yet, another evangelical college student, “Steven Parsons,” was probably, Freitas says, her most heart-breaking interview. Attracted to other men though he didn’t want to accept it, “he was an example of someone who was just shattered by his sexual identity not fitting into what’s being preached.”

    “On the flipside at evangelical campuses, what I saw that I didn’t see at other places was a level of integrated community. Talk about educating the whole person. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Freitas says. “Watching a community build itself around shared values was pretty extraordinary and I think really fulfilling for most of the students even if it can be stressful.”

    “It’s not like I’m advocating, ‘You all should become evangelical colleges,’ but I do think the way campus community is formed is pretty fantastic,” Freitas continues. “One of the things I saw at other [spiritual] campuses was such a yearning to express the personal, [for students] to express themselves — and meeting up with such roadblocks.”

    Mixed Gender Housing Trends on Campus --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#DatingRoommates

    If the current appraised value on your house is less than the balance due on your mortgage, what might discourage you from walking away from your house even if you can afford the mortgage payments?
    Hint: Keep in mind that most housing lenders in the U.S. will only lend if they can resell the mortgage to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

    "Fannie warns homeowners who walk away," by Kenneth Harney, San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 2008 ---

    The country's two largest sources of mortgage money have a blunt warning for anyone thinking about joining the growing "walkaway" trend, where homeowners stop making payments and months later send the house keys back to their lender: You will feel the pain.

    On March 31, Fannie Mae sent out new guidelines to lenders intended for walkaways and other foreclosure situations. Fannie will now prohibit foreclosed borrowers from getting another mortgage through the giant investor for five years, unless there are "documented extenuating circumstances." In those cases, the mortgage prohibition is for three years.

    Even after five years, borrowers with foreclosures in their files will be required to make at least a 10 percent down payment, and will need minimum FICO credit scores of 680.

    Freddie Mac, Fannie's rival, counts foreclosures as major credit blots for seven years, and a senior official said the company is now aggressively pursuing some walkaway borrowers "to preserve our deficiency rights" where permitted under state law.

    The walkaway trend is particularly noteworthy in former housing boom markets - including California, Florida and Nevada - where many homeowners find themselves upside down on their loans, owing tens of thousands more than the current market value of their houses. If they invested little or nothing in down payments, some owners reason, continuing to make payments - even if they can afford to - may be throwing good money after bad.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's mortgage helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#MortgageAdvice

    "Publisher Compares Wikipedia to Oxford English Dictionary," by Catherine Rampell, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 10, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2894&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

    Over at the Oxford University Press’s blog, OUP publisher Niko Pfund paid Wikipedia the ultimate compliment: He compared it to the Oxford English Dictionary. An excerpt from his comments: “I’m actually increasingly bored by this question of whether Wikipedia is good or bad, and even more so by the easy vilification of it, a reaction often rooted in professional self-interest. After all, the Oxford English Dictionary, arguably the greatest reference work in the English language…found its origins in a wiki model, whereby scholars put out the word to English speakers far and wide that they would welcome hard evidence of the earliest appearances of English words. The response was astonishing (never underestimate the enthusiasm of amateur lexicographers), so much so that the building in which the word submissions were kept, called The Scriptorum, began to sink under the weight of all the paper. Wikipedia is here to stay and its evolution will be one of the more interesting publishing and technology stories in the next decade.

    Jensen Comment
    Although Rampell makes some good points, readers should not assume that because the Oxford Dictionary is the "arguably the greatest reference work in the English language" does not mean that it serves all purposes. It is a great reference source for historical literature, especially religious and English literature. But it is a lousy source for modern technology terms in computing, economics, finance, accounting, law, and business. Wikipedia is increasingly become a much more comprehensive reference in spite of the risks of open sharing Wiki editing --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm#KnowledgeBases

    For example, look up "contango" in both both sources.

    "Time's Up for Tenure," Laurie Fendrich, Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, April 18, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/review/brainstorm/fendrich/times-up-for-tenure?utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en 

    The time has come for tenure in academe to be either radically modified or, as I’d prefer, abandoned altogether. I’ve held this position from long before I was tenured and promoted to full professor, and nothing I’ve experienced since being granted tenure — neither the job security, nor the greatly increased power in affecting departmental matters, nor the access to the ears of the administration, nor inclusion on any number of high-level committees, nor anything else — has changed my mind. Simply put, tenure does more harm than good.

    Defenders of tenure invariably cite its protection of academic freedom and free speech, and they’re not entirely wrong. In higher education, tenure does prevent administrations from firing a faculty member simply for teaching, researching, or merely saying something with which an administration disagrees. But tenure, while protecting the academic freedom and free speech of the tenured, exacerbates the lack of academic freedom and free speech of the untenured. Actually, tenure suppresses them.

    Tenured faculty on a tenure-decision committee hold an almost life-and-death power over the untenured candidate. If power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, a tenure committee is a veritable Petri dish for moral and ethical corruption. Members can — and do — vote negatively on a candidate because they’re threatened by the competition of the candidate’s teaching or research, because the candidate has openly disagreed with them in faculty meetings, because the candidate lunches with a member of the faculty the members don’t like, because the candidate has a student following, because the candidate dresses funny, because, well, because of practically anything.

    To the protest that most if not all of these reasons are not allowed to be factors, I’d reply that they’re ridiculously easy to conceal in the committee’s official business. Unless the candidate is a Nobel Prize contender with students hanging from the rafters to hear his or her lectures, the tenure case is de facto decidable on illegitimate grounds.

    To the protest that most tenured faculty are decent, reasonable people who wouldn’t vote against a candidate for illegitimate reasons, I’d reply that in a good many colleges it takes only one or two negative votes (against, say, a half-dozen positive ones) for the committee’s recommendation to seem weak or invalid in the eyes of the next level of decision-makers. (“The decision to promote wasn’t unanimous,” the dean says, “and I don’t want to make this schism in the department permanent, so. . . .”) In short, the institution of tenure and the way it’s decided — good ol’ peer review — means that if a candidate makes one measly tenured departmental enemy for any reason whatsoever, that candidate is most likely doomed.

    Tenure also kills free speech and academic freedom because it institutionalizes and encourages the bullying of untenured junior faculty. Those tenured departmental enemies sure don’t wait until the committee meetings during the up-or-out year to start getting their ounces of flesh. Although overt bullying may seem rather rare (it’s like rape in one of those cultures requiring multiple male witnesses for the crime to be taken to court), subtle and even silent bullying is pervasive to the point of universality.

    Tenure turns otherwise upstanding junior faculty into servile yes-men and yes-women — or, worse, cowards. Junior faculty working toward tenure must develop the servile art of pleasing those who outrank them. (Where, by the way, besides the military, is the power gap between “officers” and “enlisted men and women” so enormous?) That leads them to suppress their real opinions and ideas. So much for the academic freedom and free speech that tenure is supposed to preserve.

    And if their servility and cowardice does manage to get them tenure, these same faculty — like abused children who grow up to abuse their own children — quickly hoist the Jolly Roger of their own suppressed anger and humiliation and start bullying the next group of junior faculty — with, of course, complete impunity.

    Bullied or abused junior faculty can file grievances, you say — to which I reply: Lots of luck. Grievance boards are either composed of tenured faculty (who tend to protect their own) or have but a few token untenured members who are, of course, conveniently bullyable; faculty senates don’t want to dirty their hands with individual grievances against colleagues; ditto for the AAUP, which is interested only in grievances filed against administrators.

    For those who’d argue that corruption and bullying come from only a few aberrant tenured faculty members and that the rest are decent people of principle, I’d reply a) as I said above, it takes only one or two for corruption and bullying to be effective, and b) look around at the situation on the ground: I’ll bet there’s one or two egregious — albeit often subtle — bullies in every department on campus, including yours.

    In addition to bullying, tenure creates the problem of tenured professors hanging around long past the point when, if they had any sense of honor, they’d retire. They cling to their lifetime jobs, medical insurance, their comfy offices, and their phone/fax/copier privileges; they fumble with crumbling, yellow notes for courses they teach by rote recital. They profess blameless inability to handle any necessary IT, including, half the time, simple e-mail. They won’t budge, and it’s actionable age discrimination in most places for a department chairman or a dean even to raise the subject of retirement. Meanwhile, students suffer their perfunctory teaching, and younger, more energetic, more passionate, more eager teacher-scholars can’t advance past this arterial blockage or, worse, can’t even find jobs. While tenure isn’t the only reason for the “adjunctification of the university,” it’s a big one.

    But one of the worst consequences of tenure is the heavy price of Outcomes Assessment. If we’re going to be burdened with sinecured faculty members who have heretofore been “unaccountable” for life, administrators conclude, we can at least put them through the OA grinder. That is, under threat of being held responsible for disaccreditation, these non-fireable faculty can at least be made to insert prescribed “learning goals” and “learning objectives” into their syllabi. And they are being made to. That’s right: Outcomes Assessment has grown into Incomes Approval, i.e., the shaping of course content by administrative fiat. Where’s the precious academic freedom supposedly bulwarked by tenure? Where are the putative guardians (committees composed of or led by tenured faculty, faculty senates, or the AAUP) on this one?

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    In the United States three things are certain in academe:  Death, Taxes, and Tenure

    Bob Jensen's threads on the tenure debates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#MLA

    What is the most profit ever made by a speculator on Wall Street?

    April 16, 2008 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

    April 16, 2008
    Wall Street Winners Get Billion-Dollar Paydays


    Hedge fund managers, those masters of a secretive, sometimes volatile financial universe, are making money on a scale that once seemed unimaginable, even in Wall Street’s rarefied realms.

    One manager, John Paulson, made $3.7 billion last year. He reaped that bounty, probably the richest in Wall Street history, by betting against certain mortgages and complex financial products that held them.

    Mr. Paulson, the founder of Paulson & Company, was not the only big winner. The hedge fund managers James H. Simons and George Soros each earned almost $3 billion last year, according to an annual ranking of top hedge fund earners by Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine, which comes out Wednesday.

    Hedge fund managers have redefined notions of wealth in recent years. And the richest among them are redefining those notions once again.

    Their unprecedented and growing affluence underscores the gaping inequality between the millions of Americans facing stagnating wages and rising home foreclosures and an agile financial elite that seems to thrive in good times and bad. Such profits may also prompt more calls for regulation of the industry.

    Even on Wall Street, where money is the ultimate measure of success, the size of the winnings makes some uneasy. “There is nothing wrong with it ­ it’s not illegal,” said William H. Gross, the chief investment officer of the bond fund Pimco. “But it’s ugly.”

    The richest hedge fund managers keep getting richer ­ fast. To make it into the top 25 of Alpha’s list, the industry standard for hedge fund pay, a manager needed to earn at least $360 million last year, more than 18 times the amount in 2002. The median American family, by contrast, earned $60,500 last year.

    Combined, the top 50 hedge fund managers last year earned $29 billion. That figure represents the managers’ own pay and excludes the compensation of their employees. Five of the top 10, including Mr. Simons and Mr. Soros, were also at the top of the list for 2006. To compile its ranking, Alpha examined the funds’ returns and the fees that they charge investors, and then calculated the managers’ pay.

    Continued at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/16/business/16wall.html

    Remote desktop sharing and control

    From the Scout Report on April 11, 2008

    Sakina Privacy Protector ---  http://www.bestsecuritytips.com/content+index.id+7.htm 

    Cleaning up anything can be hard, and even just cleaning up a browser history can be troublesome. Sakina Privacy Protector helps users do just that, along with offering a way to delete cookies, clean up the cache, and also remove temporary files. This particular version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

    CrossLoop 2.11 ---  http://www.crossloop.com/ipage.htm?id=download 

    What if Bob is in Shanghai working on a project and Jane is in Dubai and needs access to something on his desktop? There are a number of ways to solve this quandary, and one of them happens to be the CrossLoop application. With CrossLoop, users can virtually share computer desktops across all sorts of borders, whether political or other. Guest users can save files to the other desktop and also use any application. This version is compatible with computers running Windows NT and newer.

    Bob Jensen's threads on remote desktop sharing (I like GoToMyPC. Cisco VPN, and UserView) ---

    GoToMyPC, Cisco VPN, and UserView are not free alternatives. A free alternative for Windows users is the remote control utility built into the Windows operating system --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob4.htm#RemoteControl

    Rising food prices raise questions about both food security and political unrest Food price rises threaten global security http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/apr/09/food.unitednations 

    Price of rice continues record surge --- Click Here 

    US government ready to export rice to Philippines http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2008/apr/10/yehey/top_stories/20080410top2.html

    Poor Thai farmers guard their fields as rice prices soar http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5ixDN85un6ReW59BDwXBO_7HNB_Gg

    Amber Waves: February 2008: Rising Food Prices Intensify Food Insecurity in Developing Countries [iTunes] http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/February08/Features/RisingFood.htm

    Free online videos, textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Matthew Averkamp sent me the link to the Accounting Coach tutorial site that bills itself as "The World's Largest Free Online Accounting Course" --- http://www.accountingcoach.com/

    AccountingCoach.com was developed by Harold Averkamp, a university senior lecturer emeritus and consultant known for his ability to explain material in a clear manner. Mr. Averkamp realized that the Internet would allow him to share his knowledge and passion for teaching accounting with people throughout the world in a convenient, cost-effective manner. The combination of educator, consultant, real-world examples, and computer links provide for an ease in understanding.

    Jensen Comment
    I commend Professor Averkamp for providing so many free samplings of accounting education material online. However, it should also be noted that this is a lead in promoting the sales of books that are not free --- http://www.accountingcoach.com/affiliates.html
    However, a very large amount of material is free.

    MIT's Sloan School of Management Open Sharing Course Materials (including some accounting courses) ---

    More free (some completely free) online videos, textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Distance Education.org or DistanceEducation.Org is a Great Helper Site
    Ben Pheiffer in San Antonio forwarded this link to a terrific listing (with pricing estimates) of online training and education degree programs and courses from respectable universities --- http://www.distance-education.org/Courses/
    Both graduate and undergraduate degree programs are listed as well as training courses (some free).

    I added to my listings of worldwide online training and education programs at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

    Education Tutorials

    Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#EducationResearch

    Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

    Darwin's original theory of evolution goes online --- http://www.darwin-online.org.uk/
    Some 20,000 items contained in around 90,000 images were published on the Internet, according to a spokesman for Cambridge University, the scholar's old academic home.

    World Food Situation --- http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation

    e-Agriculture --- http://www.e-agriculture.org/

    Earth Revealed --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series78.html

    From the University of Wisconsin
    The Aldo Leopold Archives game management and the environment) ---  http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/AldoLeopold/

    Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research --- http://www.pier.org/index.shtml

    From MIT Open Courseware
    "Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy" --- Click Here    

    Introduction to Chest Imaging --- http://www.med-ed.virginia.edu/courses/rad/cxr/index.html

    Radiology Education --- http://www.radiologyeducation.com/

    eHealth Forum's Physician Guides to Diagnostics and Treatment --- http://ehealthforum.com/health/health_forums.html

    From the Robert Wood Johnson (read that Johnson and Johnson) Foundation
    Health Resources, Grants, Video and Webcasts --- http://www.rwjf.org/pr/type.jsp?catid=11

    Mission-Driven: All research and evaluation grants fit squarely within RWJF’s mission and support our grantmaking priorities.

    Applied Studies: RWJF strives to produce research and evaluation that both policy-makers and practitioners in the field will find useful. As a result, virtually all of our research and evaluation projects are applied initiatives. They’re designed to make specific contributions to solving health or health care problems related to the Foundation’s priorities.

    Objective and Independent: Too much of the information that aims to guide health and health care decisions is advocacy-based or driven from a particular point of view. RWJF is committed to providing high-quality, objective information. We design evaluations to build the evidence base around a strategy—not to prove our ideas work. Related to its commitment to objectivity, RWJF emphasizes the integrity that flows from the independence of its researchers and evaluators. The Foundation does not interfere with the research and evaluations it funds to alter or suppress findings in any way.

    Easy to Understand and Widely Shared: The rigor of our research and evaluation efforts is valuable only if our findings are easy to understand and widely shared. We commit resources to ensure that our findings are both understandable and actionable for public and private decision-makers.

    For analysis and perspective about the history and structure of research and evaluation at RWJF, read an article by former vice president, Research and Evaluation, James R. Knickman, Ph.D.

    Learn about Our Approach to Research

    Learn about Our Approach to Evaluation

    Download our complete overview

    Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

    Social Science and Economics Tutorials

    From MIT Open Courseware (Sloan School of Management)
    "Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy" --- Click Here    

    World Food Situation --- http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsituation 

    e-Agriculture --- http://www.e-agriculture.org/

    The Urban Institute: Issues in Focus: Child Welfare --- http://www.urban.org/toolkit/issues/childwelfare.cfm

    Institute for Democracy in South Africa --- http://www.idasa.org.za/index.asp

    Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

    Law and Legal Studies

    Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Law

    Math Tutorials

    Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

    History Tutorials

    National Geographic: History --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/

    Aluka (art history in Africa) --- http://www.aluka.org/

    Inspiring Impressionism --- http://exhibits.denverartmuseum.org/impressionism/

    From the University of Wisconsin
    The Aldo Leopold Archives game management and the environment) ---  http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/AldoLeopold/

    National Portrait Gallery: Hip Hop and Contemporary Portraiture --- http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/recognize/index.html

    (American) History Explorer --- http://americanhistory.si.edu/explorer/index.cfm 

    Los Angeles Historic Resources Survey --- http://preservation.lacity.org/survey

    Library of Congress to Open New Online Exhibit
    The Library of Congress is scheduled to open a new interactive Web site on Saturday, as a companion to a high-tech exhibit designed to give visitors a close-up view of some of the institution's treasures. A copy of the Gutenberg Bible, for instance, is in a glass case at the library, but the new Web site will let users flip through the book and zoom in on its pages virtually. An article in Ars Technica points out that the exhibit is the result of a $3-million gift from Microsoft to promote the use of the company's latest multimedia platform, called Silverlight. The exhibit sounds like a theme park ride -- it's called The Library of Congress Experience. The library has offered digital versions of its collections for years, of course. In fact, The Chronicle described one of its first efforts to do so back in 1994 -- back when the Web was in its infancy. But the latest exhibit suggests that digitized copies of historical items can use updating as technology improves.
    Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 11, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=2899&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en


    Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
    Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

    Language Tutorials

    Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages

    Writing Tutorials

    Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

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


    eHealth Forum's Physician Guides to Diagnostics and Treatment --- http://ehealthforum.com/health/health_forums.html

    "Neglected Disabilities," by Felice Prager, The Irascible Professor, April 11, 2008 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-04-11-08.htm

    "Too Many Eggs Risky? Study Shows Higher Death Rate Among Men Who Eat 7 or More Eggs per Week; Egg Advocates Unconvinced," by Miranda Hitti, WebMD, April 9, 2008 --- http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20080409/too-many-eggs-risky

    The on-again, off-again debate about eggs and health has been cracked open again by a new report on death and egg consumption.

    On the one hand, the study shows a higher death rate among U.S. men who eat seven or more eggs per week, especially among diabetic men.

    But on the other hand, the study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows no link between egg consumption and heart attack or stroke. And eating up to six eggs a week didn't affect men's health.

    What to make of it all? The higher death rate linked to eating seven or more eggs per week is "surprising" and needs to be confirmed, notes an editorial published with the study.

    "Remember: eggs are like all other foods -- they are neither 'good' nor 'bad,' and they can be part of an overall heart-healthy diet," writes editorialist Robert Eckel, MD, of the University of Colorado, Denver.

    Egg Study The study included 21,300 male doctors followed for 20 years, starting when they were about 54 years old, on average.

    Every year during the study, the men noted their egg consumption, physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, consumption of vegetables and breakfast cereals, diabetes, high blood pressure, and use of aspirin.

    Participants weren't asked to change their diets. The typical participant reported eating one egg per week. Older, heavier, less active men who smoked, had high cholesterol, and had a history of diabetes and high blood pressure tended to eat more eggs.

    The researchers -- who included Luc Djousse, MD, MPH, DSc, of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School -- counted 5,169 deaths among the men during the follow-up period.

    Even after adjusting for other risk factors, men who reported eating seven or more eggs per week were 23% more likely to die of any cause during the study; the risk rose among those with diabetes.

    But egg consumption wasn't linked to increased risk of heart attacks or strokes, even among men who ate more than seven eggs per week.

    Djousse's team calls for further studies to investigate their findings.

    Egg Advocate Responds Donald McNamara, PhD, is the executive director of the Egg Nutrition Center, which is backed by the American Egg Board and the United Egg Producers. He raises three key points about the study.

    "First off is that we don't know what they died of," McNamara says. "We know it wasn't related to cardiovascular disease or strokes. But we don't have any information about what it really was related to."

    "I can't imagine that eating more than 6 eggs a week is going to cause you to drive off a bridge or speed," McNamara says. "It doesn't have a rational biological mechanism at this point that I can really put my finger on."

    Continued in article

    "More clues to midlife dementia that erases personality," PhysOrg, April 16, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news127573514.html

    This is the first in-depth study of emotional processing in patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), a neurogenerative disorder that often surfaces in middle age. Researchers from UC Berkeley and UCSF's Memory and Aging Center said FTLD is easy to overlook because it goes after the parts of the brain that control emotions while sparing functions such as memory, calculation and navigation.

    FTLD patients are typically clueless about their pathology: "In their mind, nothing has really changed," said UC Berkeley psychologist Robert Levenson, who directs the project in collaboration with UCSF behavioral neurologist Bruce Miller.

    As researchers learn more about FTLD through MRI scans of patients' brains, Levenson said they will be better able to pinpoint the brain circuits responsible for certain emotions and promote awareness of what is a devastating and still misunderstood disease.

    FTLD is particularly hard on families. "When your loved one becomes cold and unfeeling, your first reaction is to get angry, and the relationship suffers," Levenson said. "If you understand that these changes result from a brain disease, you are likely to have a different reaction and be more supportive."

    Levenson and Miller published an overview of their findings in the December 2007 issue of the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science after conducting intensive laboratory studies of FTLD patients that included brain scans, precise tests of emotional functioning, and interviews. While study participants reacted normally to very simple emotional stimuli, they lacked complex emotions such as embarrassment or compassion, and they had difficulty recognizing emotions in others.

    Continued in article

    "Study examines the effect of epilepsy on the aging," PhysOrg, April 16, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news127571240.html 

    An article published in the May 2008 issue of Epilepsia calls attention to the lack of knowledge regarding cognitive aging in chronic epilepsy patients. For persons with chronic epilepsy, little is known about the impact of aging on the course of cognitive and brain health, the prevalence of clinical disorders of aging (mild cognitive impairment, dementia), or the disease burdens and risk factors associated with abnormal cognitive and brain aging. The study presents data that suggest several reasons for concern.

    Numerous cognitive deficits, neuroimaging abnormalities and psychiatric comorbidities have been well characterized in younger persons with chronic epilepsy, with evidence of progression of these problems in some patients by middle age.

    People with chronic epilepsy have been exposed to several influences that may place them at increased risk for accelerated cognitive and brain aging, including: treatment with medications now known to adversely affect cholesterol, folate and glucose metabolism; increased rates of vascular disease risk factors; altered lifestyles that include decreased social interaction and physical inactivity; and elevated inflammatory markers.

    “The cognitive status of persons who have lived with epilepsy for a long time is unclear,” says Bruce P. Hermann, lead author of the study. “Because persons with epilepsy carry other risk factors for abnormal cognitive and brain aging, there should be great concern regarding the lack of knowledge about their cognitive and brain status in older years.”

    Previous research has identified numerous risk factors for abnormal cognitive aging and dementia in the general population, including vascular, inflammatory and lifestyle factors. Many of these factors are overrepresented in epilepsy, but not examined in relationship to cognitive and brain aging in epilepsy. This oversight is important given the epidemiological evidence that risk exposure and cognitive abnormalities in midlife represent critical predictors of eventual abnormal cognitive and brain aging.

    “If these factors exert comparable effects in people with chronic epilepsy, the management of epilepsy must be expanded to aggressively address critical risk factors in order to protect and promote cognitive and brain health,” says Hermann.

    Celebrex-Lipitor combo may halt prostate cancer
    Researchers at Rutgers’ Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy have shown that administering a combination of the widely used drugs Celebrex (celecoxib, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and Lipitor (atorvastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug) stops the transition of early prostate cancer to its more aggressive and potentially fatal stage. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States, with more than a quarter-million new cases appearing each year, according to the American Cancer Society. The findings are being presented by Rutgers Professor Xi Zheng at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in San Diego, April 14th. In the early stage of the disease, when it is typically diagnosed, prostate cancer cells depend on androgen hormones, such as testosterone, to grow. Treatment at this stage involves either decreasing the production of the hormone or blocking its actions on the cancer cells. “Anti-androgen therapy slows the prostate cancer but eventually the cancer becomes androgen-independent, the therapy becomes ineffective and the cancer cells become more aggressive,” said Xi Zheng, assistant research professor at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, who conducted the study.
    PhysOrg, April 14, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news127395412.html

    Exercise may lead to faster prostate tumor growth
    Prostate tumors grew more quickly in mice who exercised than in those who did not, leading to speculation that exercise may increase blood flow to tumors, according to a new study by researchers in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center (DCCC) and the Duke Prostate Center. “Our study showed that exercise led to significantly greater tumor growth than a more sedentary lifestyle did, in this mouse model,” said Lee Jones, Ph.D., a researcher in the DCCC and senior investigator on this study. “Our thought is that we may, in the future, be able to use this finding to design better drug delivery models to more effectively treat prostate cancer patients, and those with other types of cancer as well.” The findings were presented in a poster session at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting on April 13 in San Diego, Calif. The study was funded by the United States Department of Defense, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the American Urological Association Foundation, Rising Star in Urology Award, given to Stephen Freedland, one of the study’s investigators. The researchers implanted prostate tumors subcutaneously in the flanks of 50 mice and then put half of the mice in cages with exercise wheels and half in cages with no wheels. All mice were fed the same diet. On average, the exercising mice ran more than half a mile each day.
    PhysOrg, April 14, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news127369833.html

    Conflict and Health --- http://www.conflictandhealth.com/

    Ruthless behavior may be genetic
    Israeli researchers said genetics may play a role in the behavior of selfish dictators. A team at Hebrew University in Jerusalem said they found a link between a gene called AVPR1a and ruthless behavior by using an economic exercise called the "Dictator Game," in which players behave selflessly or like money-grabbing dictators, Nature News reported Thursday. The research team said it is unclear how the gene influences behavior, but said it may be that for some the adage "it is better to give than to receive" simply isn't true. AVPR1a is known to produce receptors in the brain that detect vasopressin, a hormone involved in altruism and "prosocial behavior," the report said. The findings were published in the journal Genes, Brain and Behavior.
    PhysOrg, April 5, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news126596073.html 

    Ingredient found in green tea significantly inhibits breast cancer growth in female mice
    Green tea is high in the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin-3- gallate) which helps prevent the body’s cells from becoming damaged and prematurely aged. Studies have suggested that the combination of green tea and EGCG may also be beneficial by providing protection against certain types of cancers, including breast cancer. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Mississippi researchers now finds that consuming EGCG significantly inhibits breast tumor growth in female mice. These results bring us one step closer to better understanding the disease and potentially new and naturally occurring therapies. The study was conducted by Jian-Wei Gu, Emily Young, Jordan Covington, James Wes Johnson, and Wei Tan, all of the Department of Physiology & Biophysics, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS. Dr. Gu will present his team’s findings, entitled, Oral Administration of EGCG, an Antioxidant Found in Green Tea, Inhibits Tumor Angiogenesis and Growth of Breast Cancer in Female Mice, at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society, part of the Experimental Biology 2008 scientific conference. Epidemiological studies suggest that green tea and its major constituent, EGCG, can provide some protection against cancer. Because these studies were very limited, the anti-cancer mechanism of green tea and EGCG was not clear. As a result, the researchers examined whether drinking EGCG (just the antioxidant infused in water) inhibited the following: expression of VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor, which is found in variety of breast cancer types); tumor angiogenesis (thought to help tumors to expand by supplying them with nutrients); and the growth of breast cancer in female mice.
    PhysOrg, April 7, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news126787438.html

    "Cancer Therapy Without Side Effects Nearing Trials," Jennifer Laloup, Wired News, April 13, 2008 --- http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/news/2008/04/kanzius_therapy

    A promising new cancer treatment that may one day replace radiation and chemotherapy is edging closer to human trials.

    Kanzius RF therapy attaches microscopic nanoparticles to cancer cells and then "cooks" tumors inside the body with harmless radio waves.

    Based on technology developed by Pennsylvania inventor John Kanzius, a retired radio and TV engineer, the treatment has proven 100 percent effective at killing cancer cells while leaving neighboring healthy cells unharmed. It is currently being tested at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

    “I don’t want to give people false hope,” said Dr. Steve Curley, the professor leading the tests, “but this has the potential to treat a wide variety of cancers.”

    Modern cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy have proven remarkably effective at treating many cancers, especially in combination, but are plagued with toxic side effects. These treatments kill healthy cells as well as cancerous ones.

    Kanzius RF therapy is noninvasive, and uses nontoxic radio waves combined with gold or carbon nanoparticles, which have a long history of medical use.

    Since the mid-1980s, scientists have been trying to create new medical therapies to take advantage of their tiny size. Nanoparticles made of gold, carbon and other materials can move through the bloodstream and through cell walls, allowing for efficient drug delivery, or to act like a homing devices for research purposes.

    However, questions about the safety of nanoparticles are largely unanswered. Nonetheless, the potential of nanoparticles to create novel treatments has become a central thrust of many fields of medicine, including oncology.

    At M.D. Anderson, Curley's research team is working on coating microscopic gold nanoparticles with cancer-seeking molecules. The proteins act as a filter that ensures nanoparticles attach only to cancerous cells in the body.

    “We’re looking into gold because it is FDA-approved and has a track record of being tolerated in humans,” said Dr. Christopher Gannon, assistant professor at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, who collaborated with M.D. Anderson.

    When the gold nanoparticles are inside the malignancy, a blast from a radio-frequency generator causes them to heat and cook the cancer cells.

    In trials with animal and human cells, the RF treatment destroyed 100 percent of malignant cells injected with nanoparticles, without harming surrounding healthy tissue.

    On April 13, 2008 the CBS Sixty Minutes television show featured the inventor (no college education) of the radio wave therapy --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/04/10/60minutes/main4006951.shtml
    John Kanzius himself is dying of cancer and hopes to survive long enough to see the first cancer patient cured with his radio wave treatments. Sadly he will not benefit with a cancer cure from his invention.

    "Gut Check: Why Doctors Say Not All Fat Is Created Equal," by Melinda Beck, The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2008; Page D1 ---

    The recent report that having a pot belly in your 40s roughly triples your risk of dementia in later life is just the tip of an ominous adipose iceberg.

    Belly fat -- the visceral kind that accumulates around internal organs -- has also been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and numerous cancers.

    Having a big belly is even more closely correlated with health problems than obesity in general. Last week, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital reported that in a study of 44,636 women, those with waists larger than 35 inches were 79% more likely to die prematurely than those with waists less than 27 inches, even if their weight was normal.

    For men, the danger point seems to be 40 inches or more. "These guys with small behinds but big 'beer guts' are at greater risk for health problems than men with higher Body Mass Index, but relatively less fat in the abdominal region," says Rudolph L. Leibel, co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York.

    What makes abdominal fat so sinister isn't completely understood. One body of research suggests that visceral fat may make metabolic mischief in its own right, promoting insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes, and inflammation, which may lead to heart disease.

    Another theory suggests that a big gut is essentially a marker -- an all-too-visible sign of psychological stress and other health problems, since the stress hormone cortisol seems to send fat into the abdomen. "It's possible it's a semi-innocent bystander, like a canary in the coal mine," says Dr. Leibel, who notes that if fat is building up inside the belly, it's probably also collecting in the liver, where it can lead to cirrhosis.

    The connection with dementia is also not well-understood; it could be that belly fat is linked to high blood pressure and poor vascular function, which then leads to Alzheimer's disease; or it could be a more random association, like gray hair going hand in hand with heart disease.

    Experts now think that subcutaneous fat -- the flabby variety under the skin in areas like the buttocks, legs and arms -- while unfashionable, is fairly benign. Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrated that when they removed an average of 22 pounds of subcutaneous fat via liposuction from 15 overweight women, they found no change in the women's cholesterol levels, triglycerides, insulin sensitivity or other health risks. "If they had lost that much fat by dieting, they would have substantially improved their metabolic profile, but they didn't," says Samuel Klein, director of WUSM's Center for Human Nutrition and the study's principal investigator. "It did make them thinner, though."

    Surgically removing visceral fat has been done on animals and some humans experimentally, but it is far more difficult and isn't likely to be a weight-loss option anytime soon.

    Of course, people generally can't choose where their fat is stored. That's determined mostly by heredity, hormones and aging. Men tend to deposit more fat in the gut than women, though after menopause, women start accumulating fat in the abdomen, too.

    The good news for both sexes is that visceral fat is often the first to go when someone loses weight in general. Aerobic exercise, like walking or running, is particularly effective. Doing sit-ups, abdominal crunches and pilates can strengthen your abdominal muscles, and help hold your stomach in, but they won't target visceral fat specifically.

    I've seen guys at the gym with impressive six-pack abs, but their gut is sticking out," says Michael D. Jensen, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "The minute they stop working out four hours a day, they'll be in big trouble."

    Is beer particularly destined to become belly fat? Only because it's an excellent vehicle for calories, and typically accompanies pretzels, peanuts and other salty, high-calorie food, experts say. "As far as I know, there's no good evidence that alcohol is like a cruise missile, headed for your intra-abdominal fat," says Dr. Leibel, employing yet another metaphor.

    Continued in article

    Rats cause famine scare in Indian state, officials say
    The northeastern state of Mizoram had a devastating famine in 1959 when a rare flourishing of bamboo flowers - a favorite food of the rodents - drove up their numbers. The phenomenon occurs about every 50 years and has hit the state again. This year the food shortages have affected about 630,000 people, nearly 70 percent of the 900,000 residents of Mizoram, said the state's Food and Supplies Secretary T.B.C. Rozara. No starvation deaths have been reported so far, he said. "Rats multiply in abundance whenever the rare bamboo flowering occurs as they feed on these flowers and then go about feasting on standing crops and granaries," said another state official, L.R. Sailo. In the past year farmers in the state harvested only a fifth of the expected rice production of 142,580 tons. They got enough for just two months' consumption, Rozara said. He said Mizoram has sought $154 million in assistance from the federal government and is considering offers of help from the United Nations and other international agencies.
    Wasbor Hussain, PhysOrg, April 18, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news127747170.html

    From the Robert Wood Johnson (read that Johnson and Johnson) Foundation
    Health Resources, Grants, Video and Webcasts --- http://www.rwjf.org/pr/type.jsp?catid=11

    Mission-Driven: All research and evaluation grants fit squarely within RWJF’s mission and support our grantmaking priorities.

    Applied Studies: RWJF strives to produce research and evaluation that both policy-makers and practitioners in the field will find useful. As a result, virtually all of our research and evaluation projects are applied initiatives. They’re designed to make specific contributions to solving health or health care problems related to the Foundation’s priorities.

    Objective and Independent: Too much of the information that aims to guide health and health care decisions is advocacy-based or driven from a particular point of view. RWJF is committed to providing high-quality, objective information. We design evaluations to build the evidence base around a strategy—not to prove our ideas work. Related to its commitment to objectivity, RWJF emphasizes the integrity that flows from the independence of its researchers and evaluators. The Foundation does not interfere with the research and evaluations it funds to alter or suppress findings in any way.

    Easy to Understand and Widely Shared: The rigor of our research and evaluation efforts is valuable only if our findings are easy to understand and widely shared. We commit resources to ensure that our findings are both understandable and actionable for public and private decision-makers.

    For analysis and perspective about the history and structure of research and evaluation at RWJF, read an article by former vice president, Research and Evaluation, James R. Knickman, Ph.D.

    Learn about Our Approach to Research

    Learn about Our Approach to Evaluation

    Download our complete overview

    World's oldest living tree discovered in Sweden
    The world's oldest recorded tree is a 9,550 year old spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden
    The world’s oldest recorded tree is a 9,550 year old spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden.
    PhysOrg, April 15, 2008 --- http://physorg.com/news127559576.html

    The spruce tree has shown to be a tenacious survivor that has endured by growing between erect trees and smaller bushes in pace with the dramatic climate changes over time.

    For many years the spruce tree has been regarded as a relative newcomer in the Swedish mountain region.

    ”Our results have shown the complete opposite, that the spruce is one of the oldest known trees in the mountain range,” says Leif Kullman, Professor of Physical Geography at Umea University.

    A fascinating discovery was made under the crown of a spruce in Fulu Mountain in Dalarna. Scientists found four “generations” of spruce remains in the form of cones and wood produced from the highest grounds.

    The discovery showed trees of 375, 5,660, 9,000 and 9,550 years old and everything displayed clear signs that they have the same genetic makeup as the trees above them. Since spruce trees can multiply with root penetrating braches, they can produce exact copies, or clones.

    The tree now growing above the finding place and the wood pieces dating 9,550 years have the same genetic material. The actual has been tested by carbon-14 dating at a laboratory in Miami, Florida, USA.

    Previously, pine trees in North America have been cited as the oldest at 4,000 to 5,000 years old.

    Forwarded by Auntie Bev

    Maxine on Minorities

    We need to show more sympathy for these people.
    * They travel miles in the heat.
    * They risk their lives crossing a border.
    * They don't get paid enough wages.
    * They do jobs that others won't do or are afraid to do.
    * They live in crowded conditions among a people who speak a different language.
    * They rarely see their families, and they face adversity all day every day.

    I'm not talking about illegal Mexicans; I'm talking about our troops! Doesn't it seem strange that many Democrats and Republicans are willing to lavish all kinds of social benefits on illegal's, but don't support our troops and are now threatening to defund them?

    "Another Batch of Funny Student E-Mail Messages to Professors," by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education,, April 17, 2008 ---

    By popular demand, we bring you a third round of funny e-mail messages sent by students to professors, that were posted by Chronicle readers to our Forums. As we did in batch one and batch two we highlight how technology seems to be changing teaching — and the teacher-student relationship.

    Classrooms Are Short Attention Span Theater One professor reports receiving this friendly tip from a student — when it comes to class, less is more:

    “Dear Mr. ———,

    This letter is just my opinion, but I think many of the other students will agree. I want you to know that I enjoy your class, and actually look forward to coming. However, I think that 3 hrs is way too long. I know that it is the time given to you, but I am sure that by the last hour of class most or all of the studens are in a different zone.

    I truley feel that we could get the same importnt information in 2 hrs or less. Honestly the last hour is gruling because my mind is going other places and I am struggling to listen. This is even if I find the information interesting, which I almost always do.

    I want to stress that I am not writting this letter because I don’t like the class. I really do. I think we should only go more than 2 hrs if we need to wrap things up. You may not like my idea, but I thought I would just throw it ot there.”

    Students Want Papers Graded Instantly One Chronicle forum participant recently shared an experience that seemed to be echoed by others — a flood of e-mail cries saying, “when will you give our graded papers back?”:

    “I’ve been getting bombarded with whiney demanding emails about when I’m going to have their papers graded. The ones they handed in a week ago. It started the morning after the papers were turned in and the ones who have habitually been late or pestering for extensions on their own assignment are the worst offenders. I’m now sufficiently annoyed that I want to tell them that each time someone nags me about the papers that I just received will delay the return of papers by one class. But I won’t.”

    And Professors Hope Some E-mails are Actual Attempts at Humor The important thing to know about this message sent in from a professor is that it arrived with an image of David Hasselhoff, the actor, attached:

    Prof. myname,

    I’d appreciate it if you could tell me the meaning of the word Haussmannization mentioned in your Impressionist lecture. My first inkling is that it has something to do with the raw manness that is “The Hoff”, also known as David Hasselhoff. However, I feel that is an incorrect assumption as I cannot recall any significant contribution he made to Impressionism, or Art History in general. I’d appreciate any response to my question. Attached is a picture of the Hoff for your troubles. Regards, student name

    That student e-mail was a joke, right?

    This bank robber should be nominated for a Darwin Award

    A woman accused of robbing two banks this month gave investigators a vital clue to her identity Monday, when she passed a threatening note to a teller with her name and address on the back. Investigators believe Maria Garcia, 33, scrawled the hold-up message on the back of a completed food stamp application moments before entering the Capital One Bank branch in downtown McAllen and making off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
    Jeremy Roebuck, "Bank robber gives teller her name, address," TheMonitor, April 14, 2008 --- http://www.themonitor.com/articles/bank_10952___article.html/police_mcallen.html

    New Theatrical Humor featuring Accountants (See the video links below)
    "Love, Sex, and the IRS: A much-needed laugh at tax time," AccountingWeb, April 15. 2008 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=104951

    Sometimes the best medicine to alleviate the pain of filing your taxes is laughter, preferably of the sidesplitting variety. Love, Sex, and the IRS, a play by William Van Zandt and Jane Milmore, provides exactly that.

    Love, Sex, and the IRS is about Jon and Leslie, two men who have been living together in the Big Apple for years. Jon does the taxes for both of the out-of-work musicians and learns he could save a lot of money if he were married to Leslie. It's all fun until, you guessed it, they get audited and Leslie must play the part of Jon's wife.

    Cross dressing ensues and so does hilarity when you throw in a landlord who won't permit unmarried couples to live together a la Three's Company, an IRS man who gets loaded, and Jon's mother, who shows up unexpectedly to help plan Jon's marriage to his real life fiancé Kate.

    Love, Sex, and the IRS was performed earlier this month at the Laurel Mill Playhouse in Laurel, MD, and Broadwayworld.com gave the show 3 1/2 stars out of 5. The show is also playing at the Meadville Community Theater in Meadville, PA.

    "The play has the normal Van Zandt-Milmore formula of twists of fate, running in and out, sight gags, mistaken identities, and Keystone Cop-type slapstick comedy," Dan Authier, who will direct the farce in Meadville, told GoErie.com.

    Love, Sex, and the IRS has recently played or is playing at venues from New Hampshire to California.

    Some Video Links for Love, Sex, and the IRS

    You can purchase the book --- http://www.amazon.com/Love-Sex-IRS-Comedy-Three/dp/0573611963

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting humor (much of it at the expense of Enron) are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#Humor

    Why did China stop publishing phone directories?

    There were too many Wong numbers.

    Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

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

    World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
    Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

    Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
    Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
    Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
             Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
    Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
    Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
    Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
    Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
    Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

    Three Finance Blogs

    Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
    FinancialRounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
    Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) --- http://financemusings.blogspot.com/

    Some Accounting Blogs

    Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
    International Association of Accountants News --- http://www.aia.org.uk/
    AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
    Gerald Trite's eBusiness and XBRL Blogs --- http://www.zorba.ca/
    AccountingWeb --- http://www.accountingweb.com/   
    SmartPros --- http://www.smartpros.com/

    Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
    Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

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

    Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

    Free Textbooks and Cases --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

    Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

    Free Science and Medicine Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

    Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

    Free Education Discipline Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

    Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

    Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/arts_lit.htm

    Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/health.htm

    Teacher Source: Math --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/math.htm

    Teacher Source:  Science --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/sci_tech.htm

    Teacher Source:  PreK2 --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/prek2.htm

    Teacher Source:  Library Media ---  http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/library.htm

    Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University --- http://athome.harvard.edu/archive/archive.asp

    VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/

    From Princeton Online
    The Incredible Art Department --- http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/

    Online Mathematics Textbooks --- http://www.math.gatech.edu/~cain/textbooks/onlinebooks.html 

    National Library of Virtual Manipulatives --- http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/doc/intro.jsp

    Moodle  --- http://moodle.org/ 

    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   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
    AECM (Educators)  http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ 
    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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

    CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
    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)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
    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.
    AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
    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 BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
    This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM



    Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
    190 Sunset Hill Road
    Sugar Hill, NH 03586
    Phone:  603-823-8482 
    Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu