While I'm under contract to write a book I suspended weekly editions of Tidbits. However, when my monthly editions of New Bookmarks become too cluttered with tidbits I will occasionally come out with a special edition of Tidbits. This morning commenced at a balmy 54 degrees. On hot days up in the mountains, we had two such days in this in this otherwise cold summer, I think back to winter. The first picture below was taken almost three years ago before I got my new computer desk and thin-screen monitor. Also below are some wild turkeys looking in at the turkey inside on the computer.

The picture below is a shot of Erika planting wild flower seeds in our field about three years ago.
Below it you can see the success of her harvest this year.
It doesn't take much to rearrange the beauty of nature for the good or the bad!


 In front of our house is a plaque that names the mountains in our three visible mountain ranges to the east
(the Kinsman, Twin, and Presidential Ranges in the White Mountains)
When starting at sea level, a mile of upward granite can make a mountain.
New Hampshire is known as the Granite State.
To clear the fields farmers carried rocks to build New Hampshire's famous bordering rock walls.


Often in the early morning hours I can look out from my desk at clouds over the valley below that make it seem like I live near a lake.
The clouds usually burn off a few hours after sunrise.
Although we get a lot more wind up here, the days start out cooler down below in Franconia on the Gale River.

I put up the fence below thinking that it might prevent the snow from drifting so deep on my driveway
if I tacked up some snow fence on the split rails during the winter. It was to no avail.
The snow just covers up my fence on both sides so that it is not even exposed to the wind.





Poems About Mountains --- http://www.poetseers.org/poem_of_the_day_archive/poems_about_mountains

All things pass with the east-flowing water.
I leave you and go—when shall I return?
Let the white roe feed at will among the green crags,
Let me ride and visit the lovely mountains!
How can I stoop obsequiously and serve the mighty ones!
It stifles my soul.




Tidbits on June 25, 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

Boston Celtics Players --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgCvuDGztMw
Boston Celtics (greatest comeback in NBA playoff history)  --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MI3sj3XKrQ
Boston Celtics Tribute (history) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpzNbo0Xam0
2008 Tribute --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKRd88Ltcj0

An overly playful Orcinus orca --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/temp/orca.mpg

American Experience: The American West --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/west/

Truth in Accounting or Lack Thereof in the Federal Government (Former Congressman Chocola) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWTCnMioaY0 
Part 2 (unfunded liabilities of $55 trillion plus) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Edia5pBJxE
Part 3 (this is a non-partisan problem being ignored in election promises) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG5WFGEIU0E

Watch the Video of the non-sustainability of the U.S. economy (CBS Sixty Minutes TV Show Video) ---
Also see "US Government Immorality Will Lead to Bankruptcy" in the CBS interview with David Walker --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS2fI2p9iVs
Also at Dirty Little Secret About Universal Health Care (David Walker) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGpY2hw7ao8

Speak loudly and persuasively when you carry a broken stick --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl32Y7wDVDs


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

My Favorite Boogie Woogie
For Boogie Woogie Piano Dancers (GREAT!)
--- http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=26579077
More free Boogie Woogie by Sylvan Zingg (on piano, Hit the Play All Songs Button) --- http://cdbaby.com/cd/zinggtrio
Other Boogie Woogie Sites (including free lesson sites) --- http://www.boogiewoogiepiano.net/piano-jukebox/other-web-sites/other-websites.html

More free Boogie Woogie by Sylvan Zingg (on piano) --- http://cdbaby.com/cd/zinggtrio While working on the computer, Bob Jensen mostly listens to (free and without commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Venice Baroque Orchestra in Concert (Vivaldi) --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91425865

James Joyce's Poems Get a Musical Facelift --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91757715

Cyd Charisse died on June 17, 2008 --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyd_Charisse

 Older Than McCain (all in fun) --- http://www.youngerthanmccain.com/

Four Indiana institutions launched this week a website that offers more than 10,000 pieces of sheet music, some of them for free. Most of the works are related to Indiana, either by subject matter or because the composer, the arranger, the lyricist or publisher had a connection to the state. The majority of the pieces in the online collection were composed in the late 19th and early 20th century. The database allows searches by genre, composer and subject, among other searching categories.
Maria José Viñas, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 20, 2008  Click Here

Photographs and Art

Historic NYC Photographs --- http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5010

Mars Up Close --- http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2008/06/martian_skies.html

Biting the Bullet
"Remote Control for Pill Cameras:  A capsule-sized camera can be steered through the digestive system," by Kate Baggott, MIT's Technology Review, June 19, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/20909/?nlid=1157 

Early Real Estate Atlases of New York --- 

Banksy --- http://www.banksy.co.uk/menu.html
Also see http://uk.reuters.com/article/personalFinanceNews/idUKGRI14017720080611

Wasted Money:  Border Fence Construction (whether you like it or not) --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2034918/posts

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

A frequently-updated blog to free lectures from prestigious universities --- http://www.oculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses and videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Lost Titles, Forgotten Rhymes: How to Find a Novel, Short Story, or Poem Without Knowing its Title or Author ---

James Joyce's Poems Get a Musical Facelift --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91757715

Alice in Wonderland (Infomotions) ---

Interactive Alice in Wonderland --- http://www.ruthannzaroff.com/wonderland/

A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Crundle Castle by Lewis Carroll --- Click Here

Sylvie and Bruno Concluded by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll --- Click Here

The Walking Stick of Destiny by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Bruno's Revenge by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Wilhelm Von Schmitz by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

A Photographer'S Day Out by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Photography Extraordinary by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Through The Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here 

A Wonderland Miscellany by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

A Tangled Tale by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Phantasmagoria and Other Poems by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) --- Click Here

Lewis Carroll Homepage --- http://www.lewiscarroll.org/carroll.html

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) --- Click Here

Abolishing of Christianity in England by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) --- Click Here

Verses on The Death by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) --- Click Here

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) --- Click Here or Click Here

A Tale Of A Tub by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) --- Click Here

The Battle Of The Books And Other Short Pieces by Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) --- Click Here

Proposal for correcting, improving and ascertaining the English Tongue by  Jonathan Swift --- Click Here

Jonathan Swift: Journal to Stella --- http://www.swiftiana.com/stella/

Research Funding Might Be Available to You
The mission of the John Templeton Foundation is to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity. Our vision is derived from Sir John Templeton’s commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The Foundation’s motto “How little we know, how eager to learn” exemplifies our support for open-minded inquiry and our hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries
--- http://www.templeton.org/

Click on the funding areas below for an overview and a sampling of grant profiles.

Note the link to "The Great Seduction," by David Brooks, The New York Times, June 10, 2008 ---

Do you thing science has finally made belief in God obsolete?
This subject is debated from various angles at the Templeton Foundation site --- http://www.templeton.org/

"Harvard Law School Mandates Open Access," Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog from the University of Illinois, May 8, 2008 ---

"New Open-Access Humanities Press Makes Its Debut," Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog from the University of Illinois, May 7, 2008 ---

But reality, which tends to be pony-free, has long compelled university presses to split their catalogs ever more sharply between specialized works and commodities designed for a wider market. Occasionally, though, a new title hits that sweet spot somewhere in between. In a column earlier this month, I began scanning the fall lists for possible “crossovers” — books that might reach an audience beyond the ivory tower. Here are a few more possibilities.
"Books Exposed:  Part Two," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, June 18, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/06/18/mclemee


Let the Government Socialize All the Losers
Fiery added that if the federal government were to take over refineries, oil companies would profit. "The people who would be the most happy to hear about the socialization of oil refineries would be ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and all the oil companies because there really isn't much money to be made in refining," he said. "Historically, there has been close to no profit in those industries at all," Fiery added.
Josiah Ryan, "Democrat Steps Back From Call to 'Socialize' Oil Refineries," by  CNS News, June 23, 2008 ---

Change! That's all you'll have left when I'm done.
Author Unknown

Japan hangs 3 convicted murderers --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2032160/posts

Probably be an accountant. I like to figure out stuff. In accounting, if you miss one number you get the whole thing wrong. You have to be perfect --- I'm a perfectionist.
Giovani Soto (catcher for the Chicago Cubs when asked what he'd like to be if he wasn't in baseball), as quoted in in an interview with Mary Burns in Sports Illustrated, June 2008
Jensen Comment 1
If Soto only knew that accountants are second only to economists in terms of inaccuracies. When accountants total up the numbers on a balance sheet the total is always accurate, but the numbers being added up can be off by 1000% or more. Accuracy varies of course. Cash counts are highly accurate. Fixed assets, net of depreciation, are make-pretend within limits. Intangible asset valuations are about as accurate as ground eyesight measurements of floating cloud dimensions on a windy day. Accountants make highly inaccurate estimates of assets, liabilities, and equities. Then accountants change hats and chairs and add these estimates up very accurately and pretend that the total must mean something --- but accountants aren't sure what.
If Soto wants accuracy perhaps he should become a baseball statistician collecting up subjective estimates of the umpires. In the business world, accountants are the statisticians and the umpires. Therein lies the problem. An umpire decides what's a ball/strike, hit/foul, etc. and then leaves it up to baseball statisticians to book the numbers. In the world of business, accountants decide what are current versus deferred revenues, current versus capitalized costs, and additionally make highly subjective estimates about values of such things as forward contracts and interest rate swaps. After making their estimates they then put on another hat, change chiars, and record their own estimates to the nearest penny. They're the business world's umpires and statisticians who simply change hats and chairs and wait for the investors to file lawsuits against them.

Not everything that can be counted, counts. And not everything that counts can be counted.
Albert Einstein

Denial is a still a big problem, as demonstrated by the latest survey of global attitudes from the Pew Research Centre. The good news is that majorities in 14 of the 24 countries covered by this annual poll see global warming as a very serious problem. The bad news is that those countries with the smallest concerned majorities are the ones that are also contributing most to the stock of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Philip Stephens, "Saving the planet will be difficult, but do not despair," Financial Times, June 19, 2008 ---

As summer vacation begins, 17 girls at Gloucester High School are expecting babies—more than four times the number of pregnancies the 1,200-student school had last year. . . . Principal Joseph Sullivan knows at least part of the reason there's been such a spike in teen pregnancies in this Massachusetts fishing town. . . . Nearly half the expecting students, none older than 16, confessed to making a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together. Then the story got worse. "We found out one of the fathers is a 24-year-old homeless guy," the principal says, shaking his head. . . . The high school has done perhaps too good a job of embracing young mothers. Sex-ed classes end freshman year at Gloucester, where teen parents are encouraged to take their children to a free on-site day-care center. Strollers mingle seamlessly in school hallways among cheerleaders and junior ROTC. "We're proud to help the mothers stay in school," says Sue Todd, CEO of Pathways for Children, which runs the day-care center.
Kathleen Kingsbury, "Pregnancy Boom at Gloucester High," Time Magazine, June 18, 2008 --- http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1815845,00.html

Pursuing your dream of prospering will benefit everyone . . . When I graduated from Yale University, we had a serious commencement speaker not like the one you are stuck with today. The commencement speaker was President John F. Kennedy. And the point I'm making today is the same point he made all those years ago. He said, "No American is ever made better off by pulling a fellow American down, and all of us are made better off whenever any one of us is made better off." He concluded by using the analogy that "a rising tide raises all boats." Never forget or be ashamed of the fact that pursuing your own self interest furthers everyone's interest. Without you, the poor would be poorer.
Arthur Laffer commencement address to graduates of Mercer University, June 2008

Give Senator Christopher Dodd credit for nerve. On Tuesday, the very day he finally admitted knowing that Countrywide Financial regarded him as a "special" customer, the Connecticut Democrat also announced that he was bringing to the Senate floor a housing bailout sure to help lenders like Countrywide. How much will Countrywide benefit from Mr. Dodd's rescue? The Senator's plan allows mortgage lenders to dump up to $300 billion of their worst loans on to taxpayers via a new Federal Housing Administration refinancing program, provided the lenders are willing to accept 87% of current market value. The program will be most attractive to lenders and investors holding subprime and slightly-less-risky Alt-A loans made during the height of the housing bubble in 2006 and 2007 . . . Yesterday, nine Senate Republicans led by South Carolina's Jim DeMint sent a letter asking Majority Leader Harry Reid to delay consideration of Mr. Dodd's housing bailout bill in light of its benefits for Countrywide – and Countrywide's benefits for Mr. Dodd. That's an excellent idea, in addition to a Congressional and Justice Department probe of Countrywide, Fannie Mae and the favors they seem to have spread around Washington. American taxpayers need to understand more about who they're being asked to bail out here, and why.
"Angelo's Angel," The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2008; Page A14 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121383295591086669.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Jensen Comment
Countrywide was probably the worst and most politically-connected large mortgage broker in the subprime frauds. It looks like lobbying is still paying off big time.

Is Senator Dodd a Plagiarist or Pawn or Both?
The Washington Examiner has obtained a “confidential and proprietary” document produced by Bank of America and titled “FHA Housing Stabilization and Homeownership Retention Act of 2008.” The “Discussion Document” dated March 11, 2008, closely resembles the housing bailout bill drafted by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) that the Senate is set to vote on within days. Senate staffers have told the Examiner’s Tim Carney, “the bailout section is exactly what Bank of America and Countrywide wanted. Its obvious they got what they asked for.”
"Bank of America Drafted Dodd's Housing Bill," The Heritage Foundation, June 20, 2008 ---

A glaring loophole in Congressional disclosure rules has been revealed in the wake of news that both Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad and Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd received preferential treatment that saved them thousands of dollars on their mortgages from Countrywide Financial Corp. . . . The loophole certainly facilitated Countrywide's "Friends of Angelo" program that allowed CEO Angelo Mozilo to shower Washington potentates with "VIP service" that he told his loan officers "should knock their socks off." Senator Dodd acknowledged yesterday that he was told in 2003 that he was a beneficiary of the VIP program, but assumed it was due to his status as a longtime Countrywide customer. Mr. Dodd said there "was no red flag" that he'd gotten special treatment.
The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121410547471494781.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

The U.S. isn't the only country that's been discussing offshore drilling this week (see here): Witness Wednesday's agreement by China and Japan to cooperate in developing gas fields in the East China Sea. This is a welcome sign that Tokyo and Beijing can work out their problems by talking to, not threatening, one another. Wednesday's agreement marks the first time China and Japan have agreed on any aspect of the disputed East China Sea territory since arguments began decades ago. The deal sidesteps the boundary issue, and allows Japanese companies to invest in Chinese-run drilling projects in two fields. The fine details, such as profit and output sharing, have yet to be worked out.
"East China Sea Sense," The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121390938605089761.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Who voted James Fagan?
Don't you feel safe just knowing that most of our legislators are lawyers?
"Jessica’s Law dad blasts Mass. rep," Boston Herald, June 24, 2008 --- http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/politics/view.bg?articleid=1102761

The Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is considering passing a "Jessica's law." Named after 12-year-old Jessica Lunsford, who was raped and murdered by a repeat sex offender, the proposed law would require a mandatory 20-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of raping a child under 12.

The Boston Herald reports that Rep. James Fagan is a critic of the legislation:

Fagan, a defense attorney, infuriated victims' rights advocates during a recent House debate when he said he would "rip apart" 6-year-old victims on the witness stand and "make sure the rest of their life is ruined." In a fiery soliloquy on the House floor, Fagan said he'd grill victims so that, "when they're 8 years old they throw up; when they're 12 years old, they won't sleep; when they're 19 years old, they'll have nightmares and they'll never have a relationship with anybody." Fagan did not return calls seeking comment.

It may seem strange for me, an ordinary mortal, to be defending Harvard’s $34 billion dollar endowment. But we all know the way government works: today it’s Harvard, tomorrow it’s my $34 billion or maybe my 1993 Lexus. Because our government, acting through the Senate Finance Committee (read that Senator Dodd), has started to reach into private pockets, where it does not belong. A college endowment belongs to the college and the fact that it may be extremely large is no one’s business. Unfortunately, there are people who feel otherwise. There is a mindset that which believes that the granting of a tax exemption entitles the government to control how the resources of the non profit sector are to be spent. This raises questions about the compact made with the American people when the income tax was first imposed. There were understandings at the time, one of which was that non profit institutions carrying out charitable functions would be exempted from the income tax. It was never envisioned that the tax exemption would be used as a club to beat such organizations into submission to new policy directives. And if we are going to change any part of the relationship, then we must reexamine all aspects of the compact, comprehensively. Americans do not believe that everything belongs to the government. Quite the contrary, we believe the government is an instrument of our will and not the reverse. That being the case, it is perfectly in order to ask why the fruits of one’s labor should belong, even in part, to the government. In fact, one can propose that there is an element of seizure associated with the IRS taking a portion of a person’s salary check, before the remainder ever reaches the worker.
Issues in Higher Education, June 19, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/06/19/fryshman
Jensen Comment
Senator Dodd would back off if Harvard would invest its endowment in all of Countrywide's fraudulent mortgages.

Americans tend to put a disproportionate share of their money into shares of companies based in their own states, new research has shown, and that bias that can be exploited by sophisticated traders. These insights come from “Long Georgia, Short Colorado? The Geography of Return Predictability,” a study by George M. Korniotis, an economist on the staff of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, and Alok Kumar, an assistant professor of finance at the University of Texas, Austin."
Mark Hulbert, "The Perils of Staying Too Close to Home," The New York Times, June 15, 2008 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/business/yourmoney/15stra.html?_r=1&8mon&emc=ym&oref=slogin
The SSRN link is --- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1094560

Old left and new left had a lot of vision, but never quite envisioned how to communicate with each other
Maurice Isserman
, "Will the Left Ever Learn to Communicate Across Generations?" Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, June 20, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i41/41b00601.htm?utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en
Jensen Comment
One of the things Isserman left out is the transformation of some leftist anti-war activists like Academy Award actor Jon Voight into far right activists.
John Voight --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Voight
Mark Rudd --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Rudd
How are old leftists trying to keep the new leftists from screwing up --- http://www.markrudd.com/category/activism-now/

There is little doubt in my mind that the gains in personal freedom and gender and racial equality that we associate with the 1960s are vital; indeed, without them, we would never have had the campaign between an African-American and a woman in the first place. The benefits of the 1960s far outweigh the costs, and if we could relive history, we should never jettison what happened in those years. But it is also wise to be cautious about what you wish for. The radical movements of the 1960s attacked authority in all its forms. Forty years later, as a result, we are a more liberal country culturally, if a more conservative country politically. Legacies can be complicated things. The ones that follow from 1968 certainly are.
Alan Wolfe, "How Revolt Ricocheted to the Right," Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, June 20, 2008 ---http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i41/41b01001.htm?utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

The Supreme Court ruled last Thursday that the writ of habeas corpus should apply to non-American terrorist detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. The Taliban delivered its own commentary on the ruling the very next day, when it busted into a prison in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar and freed 1,150 prisoners, of whom 400 are Taliban members and the other 750 easy potential conscripts. Call it habeas corpus, Taliban-style. The connection between these events is not merely their timing. The point of keeping enemy combatants at a remote location like Guantanamo is that it offers some assurance that they will not return to the battlefield to kill more Americans – something many have done when given the chance. Yet last week's Boumediene decision makes it all but certain that Gitmo will soon be shutting (or should we say opening) its doors.
"Afghan Prison Break," The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2008; Page A14 ---

Obama's sudden annunciation of a hard line on Jerusalem recalls the decision of former Sen. Bob Dole — a man who'd previously never evinced much interest in Zionism — to introduce legislation requiring the United States to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 1995. This happened to coincide with the fact that he was running for president the following year and was hopeful of Jewish contributions, if not votes.
Jonathan Tobin, "Still Dancing Around Jerusalem," Jewish World Review, June 18, 2008 --- http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0608/tobin061808.php3

Bush League Television Station:  The U.S. Government's Failed Experiment in Arab-World TV
Dr. Telhami says Al Hurra ranks toward the very bottom of that (Arab viewer preference) list. "I think in there, it takes about two percent," he explains. "So, after half a billion dollars spent on Al Hurra, the effect in the region has been what?" Pelley asks. "In terms of public opinion, less than zero," Telhami says. Telhami says many in the Arab world say they dislike the United States because of its policies. It is not, he says, a misunderstanding or a distorted image portrayed by other channels. "It's what we do in Iraq. It's what we do on the Arab-Israeli issue. It's how we define our war on terrorism. Most people interpret it as a war on Islam," he says. "Every single year, anger with America has increased. Think about how could you get to that point if you're succeeding?"
"U.S.-Funded Arab TV's Credibility Crisis:  60 Minutes/ProPublica Joint Investigation Finds Anti-Israel Rhetoric On U.S.-Funded Al Hurra TV," CBS Sixty Minutes, June 22, 2008 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/06/19/60minutes/main4196477.shtml

Where are we headed? Corporations, bereft of their international subsidiaries and manufacturing facilities in the coming world order, will hire a different type of graduate from the university. Managing employees across different cultures? No need for those aptitudes once each country dis-integrates their affairs from others’. Employers will not value, in their hiring or promotion decisions, graduates with foreign language skills, study abroad experience, intercultural breadth, or international business acumen. There will be no need to cross borders or to bridge cultures. No need to deal with suppliers of components or services, or with providers of Chilean wine or Finnish cell phones, or to interact with overseas customers for our coal, computers or corn (since other nations, too, will be, in their nationalist interests, self-sufficient). So there will be no practical need for foreign language skills or courses. Faculty in those areas will be nearly eliminated from the academic ranks.
George Morgan, "Going ‘Un-Global’ By George Morgan," Inside Higher Ed, June 16, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/06/16/morgan 
Jensen Comments
I don't necessarily buy into Morgan's arguments, but there might be something to the elimination of courses in languages due to going un-global after the Democrats obtain a larger majority in the U.S. Congress in November 2008 and 2010.

Forty years have passed since the 1968 Democratic national convention. During that time, American academia has been transformed into the most postmodernist, know-nothing, anti-American, anti-military, anti-capitalist, Marxist institution in our society. It is now a bastion of situational ethics and moral relativity and teaches that there are no evil people, only misunderstood and oppressed people. American academia is now a very intolerant place, As Ann Coulter, who has been driven off more than one campus podium because of her conservative views, has put it, "There is free speech for thee, but not for me." When the Soviet Union collapsed, Marxism collapsed in Russia and in Eastern Europe. But it survived in U.S. universities, where politically-correct feelings are now more important than knowledge, and where politically-correct emotions are now more important than logic and critical thinking. Our students and graduates are well trained, but badly educated. Outside of what they must learn to make a living, they don't know very much. But they have been taught to feel sad, angry or guilty about their country and its past.
 Edward Bernard Glick, "How our Marxist faculties got that way," American Thinker, June 17, 2008 --- http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/how_our_marxist_faculties_got.html

Climate scientists and other spoilsports predictably charge Dyson with bad science — as though it were such a big deal to replace a forest half the size of the United States with carbon-eating, liquid-fuel-excreting trees that haven't yet been invented. (Perhaps the trees could also be designed so that they can give directions to lost hikers.) Rather than carping about the details, the critics should stop and ponder the implications of Dyson's optimism about technology for all the other problems that the world has not yet been able to solve. . . . Here's a prediction. One hundred thousand years from now, a wise and prosperous race of four-inch-tall, carbon-neutral people, whose atmosphere has been scrubbed clean by forests of carbon-eating, liquid-fuel-excreting, fireproof trees that give directions to lost hikers, will look back at us with bemusement and pity, wondering why we troubled with climate treaties, lawsuits, cap-and-trade programs, and other expensive, unnecessary sacrifices, all for their benefit, when we could have lived it up and left technology to clean up our mess. (Convictions, Slate)
Eric Posner, University of Chicago School of Law, Commentary on "A Noted Physicist's Contrarian View of Global Warming," by Evan R. Goldstein, Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, June 20, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i41/41b00401.htm?utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992, he notably dissented from liberal orthodoxy on welfare and the death penalty. Many observers have been wondering if Barack Obama will follow Clinton's example. They frequently raise school choice as a cause Obama could take up to show his independence from Democratic interest groups (read that teachers' unions).
James Taranto, "Not in My Backyard," The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2008 ---

Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets. Those positive signs are attracting little attention in the United States, where the war-weary public is focused on the American presidential contest and skeptical of talk of success after so many years of unfounded optimism by the war's supporters.
MSNBC, June 16, 2008 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25196847/
Jensen Comment
I'm surprised at this rare NBC positive note on Iraq. Meanwhile GOP-hating Keith Olbermann is trying to deflect any purported success in Iraq with MSNBC's political support for impeachment of our U.S. President --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rojf_d289mQ
Is it possible that Moqtada al-Sadr. is holding back in Iraq because he anticipates unconditional surrender of Iraq to Iran soon after the November 2008 elections?

Israel called for direct peace talks with a new Lebanese government and confirmed it had reached a six-month cease-fire with the Palestinian militant group Hamas, the latest in a flurry of diplomacy aimed at defusing the major national-security threats along its volatile borders. Proposals for talks have emerged involving Islamist guerrilla armies to Israel's north and south, the governments of Lebanon and Syria, and the Palestinian Authority.
Cam Simpson, "Israel Seeks Talks With Beirut, but Response Is Cool," The Wall Street Journal, June 19, 2008 ---
Also see http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/world/middleeast/19mideast.html

I also believe that part of how to keep us safe is making sure that we use our military wisely and we don't just rely on our military. And I think the war in Iraq was unwise. So much of the antagonism towards the United States right now has to do with the Iraq invasion. . . . So I think we have to end the war in Iraq. . . . And we have to initiate diplomacy. And we have to talk to countries we don't like, and John McCain and I have had an argument about this. He says, "Oh, that's naive. Obama wants to go sit down with Ahmadinejad and the leaders of Iran."
"Notable & Quotable," The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121374723421282655.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Jensen Comment
One question is whether "negotiate" is euphemism for surrender of Iraq to Iran. A second question is whether because of U.S. massive support for Israel, President Obama has the right to negotiate peace terms for Israel.

Al-Qaeda's Growing Online Offensive (from The Washington Post, June 24) --- Click Here
Infidels don't deserve to live and should be killed.
How can you negotiate with fundamentalists who are rewarded in heaven for killing as many non-believers as possible?

Every three or four days, on average, a new video or audio from one of al-Qaeda's commanders is released online by as-Sahab, the terrorist network's in-house propaganda studio. Even as its masters dodge a global manhunt, as-Sahab produces documentary-quality films, iPod files and cellphone videos. Last year it released 97 original videos, a sixfold increase from 2005. (As-Sahab means "the clouds" in Arabic, a reference to the skyscraping mountain peaks of Afghanistan.)

"It's beautifully crafted propaganda, and it's a huge problem for us," said Jarret Brachman, research director at the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. "You're left shaking your head and saying, 'Yeah, I guess they're right.' "

That Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’ regime is enabling Islamic terrorist organizations to take root in South America is no longer in question. What will the US do? In December 2002 freelance journalist Martin Arostegui published an article in Insight Magazine (“Chavez plans for a terrorist regime”) in which he reported the arrival in Venezuela of Hakim Mamad Ali Diab Fattah, a member of Hizballah. Venezuelan officials received him at the airport. In connection with his presence in the country Arostegui interviewed the former Venezuelan Intelligence Director, General Marcos Ferreira, who said Fattah represented only the tip of the iceberg in a Cuban-Venezuelan operation to promote the infiltration of terrorists from Hizballah into the U.S. Between 200 and 300 Cuban intelligence, he added, were already active in this project within Chavez inner circle, led by Cuban Captain Sergio Cardona. Ferreira also identified Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, the current Minister of the Interior of Chavez, as Chavez’s designated link with the terrorists.
"Hizballah in Venezuela: Will the U.S. move?" by Gustavo Coronel, Human Events, June 23, 2008 --- http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=27132 

Intelligence officials tell ABC News the group has activated suspected "sleeper cells" in Canada and key operatives have been tracked moving outside the group's Lebanon base to Canada, Europe and Africa. . . . Suspected Hezbollah operatives have conducted recent surveillance on the Israeli embassy in Ottawa, Canada and on several synagogues in Toronto, according to the officials. Latin American is also considered a possible target by officials following Hezbollah's planning. . . . "They want to kill as many people as they can, they want it to be a big splash," said former CIA intelligence officer Bob Baer, who says he met with Hezbollah leaders in Beirut last month.
ABC News, June 20, 2008

Speak loudly and persuasively when you carry a broken stick --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dl32Y7wDVDs

Similarly, we resist international pressure to participate in the 2009 elections. These elections were planned under the terms of a peace agreement Khartoum signed in 2005 with our friends of the South's Sudan Peoples' Liberation Movement/Army. The vote is supposed to lead to a referendum in 2011 on self-determination for the South. I'm afraid these elections are nothing but a charade designed to confuse the international community. How can we believe that these elections will be free and fair? How can those displaced people possibly cast a democratic vote when they still linger in refugee camps and have to fear the Janajaweed? Who will be allowed to run for office? Let's not forget that this Islamist regime came to power in a military coup after a disastrous election defeat. Given the horrendous crimes it has committed, Khartoum knows it would lose any free contest at the ballot box. It would therefore never allow fair elections. Despite all its goodwill, the international community is incapable of guaranteeing anything even resembling free elections in Sudan. We will not lend legitimacy to these sham elections. It is inconceivable that the racist, Islamo-fascist regime in Khartoum can reform itself. It must disappear. Did the world ever attempt to "reform" the Nazi regime?
Abdel Wahid Al-nur, Why We Won't Talk to Sudan's Islamo-Fascists," The Wall Street Journal, June 18, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121373660373782099.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

"Energy Prices, Offshore Drilling, and an "Excess" Profits Tax," by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker. The Becker-Posner Blog, June 22, 2008 ---

Increases in energy prices sharply accelerated during the past year, as the price of oil more than doubled, and gasoline prices in United States rose by 25 percent. Responding to these price increases, Senator McCain and President Bush have called for an end to the 27-year old federal moratorium on offshore drilling for oil and gas in US waters, while Senator Obama supports a continuation of the ban. McCain has also indicated that he is reconsidering his opposition to drilling in the Artic region of Alaska. In another response to the energy price boom, Obama has proposed an excess profits tax on oil companies, while McCain has come out against such a tax. What does economic analysis contribute to an evaluation of these proposals?

Supporters of a continuation of the moratorium worry that offshore drilling and oil leakages will kill many fish, and damage beaches and other coastal areas. These are potential risks, but whether to continue the moratorium involves a balancing of the advantages of drilling against environmental and other risks. These risks have not been affected by the rise in energy prices, but the benefits from drilling clearly have increased. Additional oil (and gas) from offshore drilling would lower US spending on imported oil, and thereby reduce the transfer of wealth from Americans to other oil and gas producers. Larger domestic energy supplies would also improve energy security in the event of a disruption in the supplies of oil and gas from major producers located in places like the Middle East and Nigeria that have had terrorist attacks on oil production facilities.

Even if offshore drilling started tomorrow, it would take several years before actual production began since construction of platforms in deep water and installation of equipment take time. The value of ending the moratorium now would depend not on energy prices and risks of disruption this year or the next, but on the situation beginning in several years and extending over the following decade. Some oil specialists are predicting a rise in the price of oil to $200 a barrel during the next few years. I have argued previously why such a large price increase is unlikely (see my post on May 11); indeed, oil may very well retreat from its present level of over $130 a barrel. Still, as long as world GDP continues to grow over the next decade at a sizable pace-which is likely- the price of oil will remain far above what it was in the 1990's.

This means that the financial and other benefits from offshore drilling are likely to greatly exceed the benefits at the time the moratorium was imposed, for oil was then much cheaper even in inflation-adjusted terms. The increasing share of imports in the oil consumed by the United States, and the rise in oil prices, explain why the value of imported oil rose more than five fold since the 1980s. This is why cost-benefit calculations of whether to end the moratorium and allow offshore drilling have shifted in the direction of allowing drilling. Although the risks of offshore drilling are much harder to quantify than the benefits, I believe the shift in the benefit-cost ratio has been large enough so that the time has come to allow drilling. Norway and Great Britain, to take two examples, have allowed drilling in the North Sea for many years without suffering major environmental damage. To be sure, in the end oil companies are the ones who have to decide whether the gains from drilling are worth the risks, including lawsuits if there are damaging oil spills, but these companies seem eager to start drilling offshore.

The proposed excess profits tax on the earnings of oil companies would discourage the search for additional oil, and hence would have the opposite effects on this search from a relaxation of the moratorium on offshore drilling. An excess profits tax that is expected to persist for many years discourages further exploration for oil simply because much of the profits on new oil production would be taxed away. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter introduced a windfall tax on oil companies to prevent them from profiting a lot from the high price of oil due to the Iran-Iraq war. An evaluation by the Congressional Research Service, a think tank that provides reports to Congress, concluded that the tax significantly reduced domestic oil production and raised oil imports. Disillusionment with the tax led to its abandonment in 1987. Yet the lessons from this fiasco have been forgotten, for since the post-Katrina rise in gasoline prices in 2005, members of Congress have made regular attempts to introduce legislation with a sizable excess profits tax on oil companies.

Even those Americans who worry a lot about global warming and other global pollution form the use of oil should be reluctant to discourage oil production offshore or elsewhere by American oil companies. Lower production by American companies would cause a rise in the world price of oil. Moreover, increased production by other countries would tend to offset reduced production by the United States, so that the effect on global warming and global pollution is likely to be modest. However, the increase in wealth transferred from the United States to the Middle East, Russia, Venezuela, and other oil-producing countries could be substantial.

"New Evidence on Government and Growth," by Keith Marsden, The Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121357899416776129.html?mod=djemEditorialPage 

In the early 1980s, Ronald Reagan embraced the ideas of a small group of economists dubbed "supply-siders." They argued that lower taxes and slimmer government would stimulate growth, enterprise, harder work and higher levels of saving and investment. These views were widely ridiculed at the time, dismissed as "voodoo economics."

Reagan did succeed in lowering some taxes. But a Democrat-controlled Congress weakened their impact by raising government spending sharply, resulting in large budget deficits.

A quarter of a century later, many more countries have cut taxes and reined in heavy-handed government intervention. How far have they gone down this path, and with what success?

My study, "Big, Not Better?" (Centre for Policy Studies, 2008), looks at the performance of 20 countries over the past two decades. The first 10 have slimmer governments with revenue and expenditure levels below 40% of GDP. This group includes Australia, Canada, Estonia, Hong Kong, Ireland, South Korea, Latvia, Singapore, the Slovak Republic and the U.S.

I compared their records to the 10 higher-taxed, bigger-government economies: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Both groups cover a representative range of large, medium and small economies measured by their gross national incomes. The average incomes per capita of the two groups are similar ($27,046 and $30,426 respectively in 2005).

Most governments have reduced their top tax rates and spending-to-GDP ratios over the last decade or so, according to data published by the OECD, IMF and World Bank. But slimmer governments have done so at a faster pace, and to significantly lower levels. Their highest tax rate on personal income fell to a group average of 30% in 2006 from 36% in 1996. Top corporate rates were lowered to an average of 22% from 30%. Their average ratio of total government outlays to GDP fell to 31.6% in 2007, from an average peak level during the previous two decades of 40.4%

Investment growth jumped to an average annual rate of 5.9% in 2000-2005, from 3.8% over the previous decade. Exports have risen by 6.3% annually since 2000. The net result was a surge in economic growth. The IMF reports that GDP soared in the slimmer-government group at a 5.4% average annual rate from 1999-2008 (including its forecast for the current year), up from a 4.6% rate over the previous decade.

Over that same period, the bigger-government group was more timid in its tax reductions. Their highest individual rates declined to an average of 45% from 49%, and corporate rates to 29% from 35%. Furthermore, their average spending-to-GDP ratio only fell to 48.3% from a peak of 55.2%.

The bigger-government group therefore failed to gain any competitive advantages in global markets by generating or attracting larger investment funds. Their investment growth slowed to an average annual rate of 0.8% in 2000-2005, from 4.1% in 1990-2000. Their export growth rate almost halved to 3.1% annually in 2000-2005, down from 6.1% in 1990-2000. The bottom line is a drop in their average annual GDP growth rate to 2.1% in 1999-2008, from 2.3% over the previous decade.

Nor did they balance their books. They ran budgetary deficits averaging 1.1% of GDP in 2006, whereas slimmer governments generated an average surplus of 0.3% of GDP. Their net government debt averaged 39.2% of GDP in 2006, more than four times higher than the latter's. Interest payments on their debt took 2.3% of their GDP, compared with an average of just 0.5% in the slimmer-government group.

Slimmer-government countries also delivered more rapid social progress in some areas. They have, on average, higher annual employment growth rates (1.7% compared to 0.9% from 1995-2005). Their youth unemployment rates have been lower for both males and females since 2000. The discretionary income of households rose faster in the first group. This allowed their real consumption to increase by 4.1% annually from 2000-2005, up from 2.8% in 1990-2000. In the bigger-government group, the growth of household consumption has slowed to a 1.3% average annual rate, from 2.1% during the 1990-2000 period.

Faster economic growth in the first group also generated a more rapid increase in government revenue, despite (or rather, because of, supply-siders suggest) lower overall tax burdens.

Slimmer-government countries seem to have made better use of their smaller health resources. Total spending on health programs reached 9.5% of GDP in the bigger government group in 2004, 1.6 percentage points above the average in the slimmer-government group. Yet slimmer-government countries have raised their average life expectancy at birth at a faster pacer since 1990, reaching an average level of 78 years in 2005, just one year below the average for bigger spenders. Average life expectancy is now 80 years in Singapore, although government and private health programs combined cost only 3.7% of its GDP.

Finally, spending by bigger governments on social benefits (such as unemployment and disability benefits, housing allowances and state pensions) was higher (20.3% of GDP in 2006) than that of slimmer governments (9.6%). But these transfers do not appear to have resulted in greater equality in the distribution of income. The Gini index measuring income distribution is similar for both groups.

Other forces clearly helped to narrow income disparities in slimmer-government economies. These forces include wage-setting practices, saving habits, the availability of employer-funded pension schemes, and income sharing among extended families.

Both groups reduced the share of defense spending in GDP over the past decade. The slimmer-government average fell 0.1 points to 2.2% in 2005, but this level was 0.5 percentage points above the bigger-government average. The average share of armed forces personnel in the total labor force in the bigger-government group fell to 1.1% from 1.5% in 1995, whereas it grew to 1.7% from 1.5% in the slimmer-government group.

Information on public order and safety expenditures is incomplete. But for the 11 countries for which data are available, slimmer governments seem to take their responsibilities more seriously. They spent an average of 1.8% of GDP on these functions in 2006, compared with 1.5% by bigger governments.

The early supply-siders were right. My findings firmly reject the widely held view that lower taxes inevitably result in cuts in public services, slower growth and widening income inequalities. Today's policy makers should take note of how tax cuts and the pruning of inefficient government programs can stimulate sluggish economies.

Mr. Marsden, a fellow of the Centre for Policy Studies in London, was previously an adviser at the World Bank and senior economist in the International Labour Organization.


The New Google Stock Screener (nice as online investment screeners go) --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's investment helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm

Fraud in Science
Please Say it Isn't So!

"Science Fraud at Universities Is Common -- and Commonly Ignored," by Jeffrey Brainard, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 19, 2008 ---  http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/06/3450n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Acts of scientific fraud, such as fabricating or manipulating data, appear to be surprisingly common but are underreported to university officials, says a report published today in the journal Nature. And the institutions may have investigated them far too seldom, the report's authors write.

The Nature report draws on the largest and most-systematic survey to date about research misconduct as defined by the federal government—namely, fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism. The Office of Research Integrity, a federal agency that oversees misconduct cases, sponsored the study. It was carried out with the help of the Gallup Organization, which collected responses from 2,212 federally financed scientists about apparent misconduct that they had directly witnessed among colleagues.

Extrapolating from the survey findings, the authors offered a "conservative" estimate of 2,325 possible instances of illegal research misconduct nationally per year. Of those only 58 percent, or roughly 1,350 incidents, were reported to institutional officials. The authors call this small percentage "alarming."

Based on the volume of observed misconduct, the authors argue that the number investigated by universities is too low. Federal rules give institutions that receive federal grants the lead responsibility for probing allegations against their researchers, but universities and other institutions have reported an average of only 24 investigations annually to the Office of Research Integrity. The office has the power to disbar scientists from participating in federally financed studies.

"Our study calls into question the effectiveness of self-regulation," the authors write in a peer-reviewed commentary in Nature. "We hope it will lead individuals and institutions to evaluate their commitment to research integrity."

The authors are Sandra L. Titus, an official in the research-integrity office, Lawrence J. Rhoades, the emeritus director of its education division, and James A. Wells, director of research policy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Mr. Wells previously worked for Gallup, where he directed the survey on research misconduct.

Their estimated incidence of misconduct is in line with those in a handful of previous studies. (The authors reported the incidence rate as at least 1.5 observed cases per 100 researchers annually.)

Questions About Methodology

But some observers criticized those previous estimates as seemingly too high and the studies' methodologies as flawed. So the research-integrity office designed the survey and its study to respond to the criticism. For example, members of the authors' research team evaluated whether the apparent misconduct described by the scientists surveyed appeared to meet the federal definition of research misconduct.

The leader of a previous major study on the topic called the latest one "sound and rigorous." Brian C. Martinson, a senior research investigator at HealthPartners Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Minneapolis, led a 2005 study, also published in Nature, that found an even broader incidence of ethically questionable research practices, not just the federally proscribed kind (The Chronicle, June 9, 2005).

At least one university official still had questions about the new study in Nature. Robert R. Rich, the medical-school dean at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said that, although he had not seen the study, the reported incident rate seemed high.

Continued in article

It's Rare for Universities to Fire Tenured Professors Who Plagiarize
"Columbia U. Says It Will Fire Professor Accused of Plagiarizing a Former Colleague and Students," by Thomas Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education," June 24, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/06/3520n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

A Columbia University professor has been suspended and will be fired for plagiarism and for obstructing the university's investigation into her case, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

The allegations against Madonna G. Constantine, a tenured professor of psychology and education at Columbia's Teachers College, first came to light in February after an investigation, conducted by a law firm hired by the university, found that Ms. Constantine had plagiarized the work of a former colleague and two former students (The Chronicle, February 21). This month a faculty committee accepted the administration's ruling.

In February, university officials reduced her salary and asked for her resignation, which she did not give.

A spokeswoman for the university confirmed that a memorandum was delivered to faculty members on Monday informing them of the decision to suspend Ms. Constantine, pending dismissal.

The spokeswoman declined to give further details.

In an interview last February, Ms. Constantine vigorously defended herself against allegations of plagiarism, and argued that it was she instead who had been plagiarized. She also contended that the university is biased against her and that her accusers are motivated by envy and racism (The Chronicle, February 22).

Ms. Constantine did not respond to an interview request Monday afternoon. But her lawyer, Paul J. Giacomo Jr., said the university had ignored information that would clear her. "The evidence that was offered by her accusers is highly questionable and is belied by evidence in Teachers College's own records," he said. Mr. Giacomo said that his client was keeping all options open and that she may appeal her termination to a faculty committee.

As for the university's assertion that the professor had obstructed its investigation, Mr. Giacomo said that accusation was based on letters Ms. Constantine sent to her accusers, warning them that they could face legal action. Mr. Giacomo said those letters were perfectly appropriate. He also said that his client would "absolutely" file a lawsuit.

In October, Ms. Constantine, who is African-American, said that a noose was found outside her office door. She told The Chronicle in February that she believed someone from Columbia placed it there.

Jensen Comment
Ms. Constantine accused one of her students for being racially motivated to accuse her of plagiarism of a term paper. The student is African-American such that Constantine's accusations lost a lot of credibility.

This case raises another suspicion. If you knew you, as a professor, were being investigated for plagiarism of the works of your own colleagues and students, and you had little personal integrity, what would you do? I might turn it into a legal lottery by hanging a noose on my own door, wait to get fired, and then hire Guard Dog Associates, the meanest law firm in New York City. If you suspect you will be fired for misdeeds why not win the legal lottery on your way out the door?

Bob Jensen's earlier threads about Madonna Constantine are at

Center for Academic Integrity --- http://www.academicintegrity.org/

Professors Who Cheat --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#ProfessorsWhoPlagiarize

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating and plagiarism --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

"Have We Lost the Moral Values That Undergird a Commercial Society?" by Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, June 9, 2008 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

David Brooks is one of the most thoughtful newspaper columnists. In a recent op-ed ("The Great Seduction," New York Times, June 10, 2008, p. A 23), he argues that the founders of the nation "built a moral structure around money. The Puritan legacy inhibited luxury and self-indulgence. Benjamin Franklin spread a practical gospel that emphasized hard work, temperance and frugality…For centuries, [the nation] remained industrious, ambitious and frugal." But, Brooks continues, over the past 30 years much of that legacy "has been shredded," while "the institutions that encourage debt and living for the moment have been strengthened.”"And here he mentions "an explosion of debt that inhibits social mobility and ruins lives," because of "people with little access to 401(k)'s or financial planning but plenty of access to payday lenders, credit cards and lottery agents." Among other "agents of destruction" are state lotteries--"a tax on stupidity," which tells people "they don't have to work to build for the future. They can strike it rich for nothing." Other culprits are the astronomical interest rates charged by payday lenders; and the aggressive marketing of credit cards by banks and other financial institutions, as a result of which by the time college students are in their senior year more than half of them have at least four different credit cards. The cures that Brooks offers include "rais[ing] consciousness about debt," encouraging foundations and churches to offer short-term loans in competition with payday lenders, strengthening usury laws, and taxing consumption rather than income, thus encouraging saving.

All this is very interesting, but is it correct? I have my doubts, except about the desirability of eliminating double taxation of savings, a problem with our income tax.

Max Weber argued convincingly in his famous book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism that the frugality and industriousness promoted by the early Protestants in opposition to the opulence of the Roman Catholic Church were values conducive to and perhaps critical in the rise of commercial society. Protestants who believed in predestination wanted to show by their modesty, austerity, and avoidance of lavish display that they were predestined for salvation.

But saving plays a less important role in economic progress today than it did in the sixteenth century. Its role in powering economic growth has been taken over, to a large extent, by technology. The great rise in standards of living worldwide is due far more to technological progress than to high rates of savings, that is, to deferring consumption.

At the same time, now that we have efficient debt instruments that in former times did not exist or were extremely costly, the role of personal debt (Brooks does not criticize corporate or government debt) in human welfare is more apparent than it was. Apart from its role in solving short-term liquidity problems resulting from delay in the receipt of income, debt enables consumption to be smoothed over the life cycle. Without debt, a family might have to wait 20 years before it could afford to buy a house. Of course, debt creates risk for both lender and borrower, as the subprime mortgage crisis has dramatically illustrated. But if the risks are understood, it is unclear why the assumption of them should be thought harmful to personal or social welfare. At worst, debt leads to bankruptcy, but bankruptcy is not the end of the world either for the borrower or for the lender.

In situations of desperate poverty, one can expect a heavy debt load; but such a load can also be positively correlated with prosperity, which cushions the risks that debt creates. It is especially odd to suggest as Brooks does that taking on debt is antithetical to hard work; on the contrary, it increases the incentive to work hard by making it at easier for people to obtain the goods and services they want by borrowing the money they need to pay for them, yet at the same time increasing the risk of bankruptcy should they slack off on their work and so let their income fall.

The very high interest rates for payday loans tell us that many people will pay a very high premium to shift consumption from future to present. As long as they understand what interest rates are and what interest rates they are paying, it is hard to see why their preference for present over future consumption, and hence for spending and borrowing rather than saving, should have social implications. People who take out payday loans are unlikely to be potential savers (i.e., lenders); and by taking on heavy debt they force themselves to work very hard; and I have suggested that saving is not as important as it once was.

I particularly do not understand how, if high interest rates for payday loans are a problem, loans by foundations and churches are a solution. If, as I assume Brooks must mean, these loans are to made be at lower interest rates than payday loans, the former payday borrowers will borrow more. If to try to prevent this the charitable lenders ration their credit tightly, the payday borrowers will borrow what they can from those lenders and top off with a payday loan; their total debt burden is unlikely to fall.

As for the "tax on stupidity," it is of course irresistible to finance as much as government as possible by a system of voluntary taxation, which is what a state lottery is. And I don’t think "stupid" is the right word to describe all or even most of the people who buy lottery tickets. I do think that some of them consider themselves "lucky" and so in effect recalculate the odds in their favor. That is stupid; in a game of chance, "luck" is randomly distributed. Some people, though, simply enjoy risk. Others like to daydream, and a daydream is more realistic if there is some chance it may come true, even if a very small chance. And finally and most interestingly, there are people whose marginal utility of income is U-shaped rather than everywhere declining. Usually we think of it as declining: my second million dollars confers less utility on me than my first million, and that is why I would not pay a million dollars for a lottery ticket that gave me a 50.1 percent or probably even an 80 percent probability of winning $2 million. But maybe I lead a rather drab life, and this might make such a gamble rational even if it were not actuarially fair. Suppose that for a $2 lottery ticket I obtain a one in a million chance of winning $1 million. It is not a fair gamble because the expected value of $1 million discounted by .000001 is $1, not $2. But if having $1 million would transform my life, the expected utility of the gamble may exceed $2, and then it is rationally attractive.

Brooks complains that government sponsorship of lotteries sends an official and therefore authoritative message that a person can strike it rich for nothing. But of course that is true, even when there are no lotteries. (And he gives no indication of wanting to forbid private lotteries.) You can inherit great wealth. More commonly, you may be able to leverage modest talents into great wealth by the luck of being in the right job at the right time. Brooks himself complains in his op-ed about the message sent by the fact that hedge fund managers often make more money than people who "build a socially useful product." Only the latter, he believes, should earn fortunes. But he doesn't propose an excess-profits tax on hedge fund managers; he accepts the legitimacy of their fortunes at the same time that he attributes those fortunes to luck. There is also an echo of the traditional but erroneous suspicion of speculation as an activity that does not create social wealth but merely shifts it around. That is incorrect. Speculation aligns prices (whether commodity prices or the prices of companies) with values and so creates more accurate signals for production and investment. It is a vital economic service. That is not to say that speculators "deserve" higher incomes than ditch diggers. Desert doesn't enter. Incomes are determined by supply and demand.

What is true is that easy credit facilitates bubbles, such as the housing bubble and the related mortgage-financing bubble, and the bursting of a bubble can, as we have been relearning recently, cause economic dislocations. This may require some regulatory adjustments; it does not require a return to Calvinism.

Jensen Comment
Richard Posner was a well-received plenary session speaker at the 2007 American Accounting Association annual meetings.

"Tardy Traveler Calls In Bomb Threat So He Can Catch His Flight by Will Safer," by Wil Safer, Switched.com, June 16, 2008 --- http://www.switched.com/2008/06/16/tardy-traveler-calls-in-bomb-threat-so-he-can-catch-his-flight/

Speak to Me Only With Thine Eyes:  The Sound of Colors for the Blind
Researchers at the Balearic Islands University in Spain are developing a device that will allow blind children to distinguish colors by associating each shade to a specific sound. The project, dubbed COL-diesis, is based on the synesthesia principle--a confusion of senses where people involuntarily relate the real information gathered by one sense with a different sensation. "Only 4 percent of the population are true synesthetes, but everybody else is influenced by associations between sounds and colors," said Jessica Rossi, one of the coordinators of the project. For example, people tend to associate light colors with high-pitched sounds. "We want to give the user a device that allows [blind children] to chose specific associations of colors and sounds based on each user's sensitivity," Rossi said. The device will include a sensor the blind kids will wear on their fingertips to touch the objects they want to know the colors of, and a bracelet that will transform the color into a sound. The researchers expect to have their prototype ready by September.
Maria José Viñas, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 23, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3109&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en
Jensen Question
Do we need multiple sounds for some colors? For example, there's Wall Street green, Al Gore's green, vegetable green, freshman green, and seasick green.

Bob Jensen's threads on technology aids for handicapped learners are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped

Jensen Comment for Accountants
Proposed (actually now optional) fair value financial statements have so many shades of accuracy regarding measurements of financial items. Cash counts are highly accurate along with cash received from sales of financial instruments. Unrealized earnings on actively traded bonds and stocks are quite accurate according to FAS 157. Value estimates of interest rate swaps may be inaccurate but inaccuracy doesn't matter much since these value changes will all wash out to zero when the swaps mature. Color them blah. Value estimates of most anything highly unique, like parcels of real estate, are highly subjective and prone to fraud among appraisal sharks. Color them scarlet!

Our Students Might Actually Like Color Book Accounting
Could we add information to fair value financial statements by colorizing them according to degrees of uncertainty and accuracy? And could we add sounds of uncertainty so that SEC-recommended bracelets could listen to the soothing waltzes Strauss (read that cash) and the rancorous hard rock-sounding shares in a REIT. What sounds and colors might you give to FIN 41 items Amy?

Bob Jensen's threads on visualization of multivariate data are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/352wpvisual/000datavisualization.htm 
I think the above document is interesting, but I never get any feedback about it.
There are all sorts of research opportunities in visualization of multivariate fair value financial performance!

Bob Jensen's threads on alternative valuations in accounting are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#UnderlyingBases

Should tenure decisions be reduced to an impact number?

Three mathematics associations -- the International Council for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, the International Mathematical Union, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics -- have examined citation-based statistics such as the impact factor and the h-index, and concluded that the measures are often misunderstood and misused. The use of the impact factor, developed as a way of ranking scientific journals, as the main tool to evaluate the quality of research has boomed during the last decade, and this measure has become crucial in hiring and tenure decisions, as well as in the awarding of grants. In a report released this month, the associations say that the impact factor and other citation-based statistics should not be dismissed as tools for assessing research quality, but they warn against using such metrics as the only evaluation method and not taking into consideration other factors, such as peer review.
Maria José Viñas, "3 Mathematics Associations Caution Against Overreliance on Impact Factor," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 20, 2008 ---

Been There, Done That for 24 Years

"Teaching Business at a Liberal Arts College," by Jeffrey Nesteruk, Inside Higher Ed, June 24, 2008 ---

Jensen Comment
This is an upbeat article that steers clear of the of the following conflict areas:

I really don't want to appear too gloomy about business programs in liberal arts colleges. The last 24 years of my 40-year teaching career were spent delightfully in teaching accounting at Trinity University --- a top-ranked university that prides itself as being a mostly arts and sciences university. In the masters programs, however, are only accounting, health care, and education programs. Fortunately, Trinity University has a huge endowment and, thereby, avoids most of the problems mentioned above. However, the high proportion of business undergraduate majors and disproportionate upper-division class sizes are problems. The business program is accredited by the AACSB.

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

Should a student who gets a zero (for not doing anything) or 23% (for doing something badly) on an assignment, exam, or term paper be automatically (as a matter of school policy) upgraded to a 60% no matter what proportion the grade is toward a course's final grade?
Should a student get 60% even if he or she fails to show up for an examination?

Jensen Comment
This could lead to some strategies like "don't spend any time on the term paper and concentrate on passing the final examination or vice versa."
Such strategies are probably not in the spirit of the course design, especially when the instructor intended for students to have to write a paper.

"Time to Add Basket Weaving as a Course," by Ben Baker, The Irascible Professor, June 22, 2008 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-06-22-08.htm

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

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

It all begins in San Antonio on June 31, 2008
A new podcast series, "Talking Financial Literacy,"
will be launched at the upcoming NECC conference in San Antonio. This special event will be held in the Hilton Palacio del Rio hotel, adjacent to the conference center on Monday, June 31, 2008 starting at 3:00 p.m ---

Free Upgraded Firefox Browser, a Great Alternative to Internet Explorer

Firefox comes from Mozilla, an open-source community in which thousands of people, mostly volunteers, collectively develop free products. Firefox is the No. 2 Web browser behind Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Explorer. Firefox 3 includes enhancements to help users organize their frequently visited Web sites and block access to sites known to distribute viruses and other malicious software.
"Firefox 3 browser downloads strong in first day," MIT's Technology Review, June 18, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/20975/?nlid=1157

Download --- Click Here

"Building a Better Browser: Firefox Keeps Innovating," by Rob Pagaro, The Washington Post, June 19, 2008 --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
I especially use Firefox for exploring sites I don't know enough about to trust.

Modeling Hispanic Serving Institutions
A new report released Wednesday,Modeling Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs): Campus Practices that Work for Latino Students,” explores strategies used by institutions with significant Latino enrollments. The report was released by Excelencia in Education and examined six community colleges and six public universities — in California, New York and Texas.
Inside Higher Ed, June 19, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/19/report
Jensen Comment
In particular note the "Lessons Learned" section on Page 19.

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

"Continued Growth for 2 Distance Ed Models," by Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed, June 19, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/19/distance

Two unique models of providing distance education to mainly nontraditional students are coming into their own, each showing a healthy expansion of enrollments and growth in available course offerings. One, the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges & Universities, has been enlarging since its inception, while the other, Western Governors University, faced years of skepticism from critics who said its ambitious goals would never be met. Now, both are touting their success with fresh numbers and statistics, suggesting that online education needn’t only come from large for-profit companies or local community colleges.

In 2005, Regis University announced a consortium of colleges that would work together, rather than compete, to share each others’ online courses in a way that would in effect vastly expand the offerings of each of the group’s members. Since then, the 39 founding colleges of the OCICU have expanded to 68, with 1,784 course enrollments over the past year.

The model is unusual in that it allows colleges that are interested in offering courses online, but don’t necessarily have the resources to cover every conceivable topic, to supplement their catalog with classes that already exist — in the consortium and on the Web, but not on their campuses. So far, seven of the member colleges, including Regis, act as “providers,” essentially allowing other colleges in the group to pick and choose which courses to make available to their own students, with full institutional credit assigned through the student’s college.

“We’ve just experienced remarkable growth and great feedback from the schools participating,” said Thomas R. Kennedy, executive director of new ventures at Regis. “Especially as member schools ... they don’t have any online schools whatsoever, and overnight they have one. That’s one of the beauties of it.”

That near-instant capability can serve students in a number of ways. Do they need to fulfill a general elective requirement, like sociology or political science? The providers offer plenty of possibilities for students at colleges that don’t have the resources to fill every gap in the curriculum. What about students interested in a niche topic, like Irish studies? Some of the providers, as well as members that are planning on offering up courses to the rest of the consortium in the future, have such offerings as well.

Many, but not all, of the member colleges are religiously affiliated, and most fit the profile of small- or medium-sized institutions in the Council of Independent Colleges that may not have the resources to get into the distance education business on their own. Members pay a one-time fee of $3,500 to join the consortium plus an annual fee of $1,000, Kennedy said, to cover administrative costs. Of the approximately $1,350 in tuition for a three-credit course, he added, about $500 would go to the provider school per student — essentially extra cash for a course that was already being held, he pointed out — and $700 would remain at the student’s home college, which would incur no additional cost.

“All these provider schools are doing is opening up their classes ... to visiting students, in a way,” he said. The key difference, however, is that students receive credit as if they took the courses at their own institutions, rather than as transfer credits.

Kennedy said he’s been urging member colleges to pocket that extra tuition money “and start investing in your own online program.”

Some are doing just that. Keuka College, in upstate New York, administers degree completion programs by partnering with hospitals and community colleges across the state. To help students in its various programs who need to take a specific course or two to complete their degrees, the college can now send them to offerings available online through the consortium.

“We found that by using courses offered through the consortium, we could offer students more forms of access,” said Gary Smith, associate vice president for professional studies and international programs at Keuka, especially for the “general education or general elective pool that’s outside our major program offerings.”

This year, Keuka will ramp up its own online courses by playing to its strengths: If all goes according to plan, Smith said, the college will add classes in Asian studies to the consortium’s lineup.

A ‘Competency-Based’ University Takes Off

Another model that’s meeting or exceeding the expectations of its leaders is breathing a sigh of relief. Western Governors University, founded in 1997 by 19 state governors, started with ambitious plans to grow its enrollment and become a regional economic engine. But the initial plans faltered and the university found itself the object of criticism and even scorn — although that wasn’t necessarily confined to Western Governors.

“If you go back to the mid-’90s, when the idea for WGU bubbled up from among the conversations from the governors of the Western states, there was at that time no clear sense of whether or not online education would work, period, or would work with any level of success and any decent level of quality,” said Patrick Partridge, the university’s vice president of marketing and enrollment. But, he acknowledged, there was plenty of skepticism in academe as well. “I think that skepticism was both of a financial type and sort of an awareness ... of the kind of political hurdles in the higher-ed world.”

These days, the picture for both online education in general, and WGU in particular, seems quite a bit brighter. The nonprofit institution, which receives no state support and sustains itself primarily through tuition and private donations, announced this month that it had reached an enrollment of 10,000 students — up from 500 in 2003. That growth can be attributed to a number of factors, including regional accreditation, but the university also emphasizes two features that distinguish it from most of its peers: a “competency-based” approach to assessing students’ work, and its nationally accredited Teachers College.

From the outset, courses and curriculums are developed with input from senior faculty together with an “outside council” including practitioners from a given field. Course material is then assessed to a level that’s considered “highly competent,” Partridge said, by the developers of the course, effectively creating a standardized set of requirements in lieu of more independent assessments by individual instructors. Upon completion, employers can theoretically be assured that students are proficient in a specific set of skills and knowledge.

The university doesn’t give letter grades, and it allows students to take as long as they want in their course of study — which could be a mixed blessing, since they pay a flat fee (a bit under $3,000) every six months. All in all, Partridge said, “we are as different from the other online schools as they are from” traditional higher education. It’s a model not suited to everyone, he acknowledged, but especially tailored to students with a certain “impatience” or “determination” to complete in a timely manner.

Another significant draw for WGU is the Teachers College, which, unlike any other such online program, places graduates at schools in virtually every state. Now, at least half of WGU’s students are enrolled in the teaching program. “[W]e offer a path to initial teacher licensure for individuals all around the country who want to become teachers, often later in life where returning to a traditional school of education ... is just not that convenient,” Partridge said.

The university projects further growth in the coming years, with a predicted enrollment of up to 15,000 in the foreseeable future. “We really see the future as one in which the people of the United States and the adult audience need to have very good-quality and affordable options to either get a first bachelor’s degree or continue to pursue [a] master’s degree, in particular change careers and pursue dreams that will in the long run strengthen our economy, the citizenry and make our country, our states, etc., stronger,” said Partridge.

Bob Jensen's threads on worldwide distance training and education alternatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

A Innovative Approach to Ranking Colleges
Wither though goest Wharton, Harvard, and Stanford?

An economist at Vanderbilt University’s business school has unveiled a new approach to business school rankings — an approach that responds to one criticism of M.B.A. education, which is that graduate schools of business are great at identifying talent, but don’t necessarily do much with it once students are enrolled. Mike Schor, the economist, took the top 50 programs, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and took data on inputs (college grades and scores on the GMAT) and outputs (average salaries). It is no surprise of course that some of the top ranked programs see their graduates do particularly well, but Schor noted that these schools attract some of the best students — so he compared salaries to what might have been the “predictive” salary based on GMAT scores and college grades. And he ranked the 50 in order of the gains in salary that the school appears to provide. Using this system, Cornell University comes out on top, followed by Indiana University at Bloomington and the University of Virginia. Details are at Schor’s blog.
Inside Higher Ed, June 20, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/20/qt

Jensen Comment
This does not necessarily mean that a student admitted to Wharton, Harvard, or Stanford should choose a "higher-ranked" Indiana University. There's too much snob appeal among recruiters for companies and doctoral programs to count out the prestige school halo impact on a resume. For example, Wharton opens doors on Wall Street even if Wall Street's starting salaries are a bit lower and/or based on securities sales commissions. Having said this, I once stated to a top administrator at MIT that if MIT did not mess a student up over the course of four years, the student would probably achieve great success whether or not the student graduated from MIT because admission standards are so high just to get into MIT. He nodded his head in agreement.

Bob Jensen's threads on college ranking systems are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#BusinessSchoolRankings

US News 2008 Rankings of Graduate Schools --- http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/grad

Grade Changing Scandal at Florida A&M (on the heels of the earlier financial fraud scandals)

Florida A&M University’s law school is facing a grade-changing scandal. Last week, The Tallahassee Democrat reported that three administrators had been fired and two students had been dismissed over inappropriate grade changes and admissions issues. Today, without offering details, the newspaper is reporting that the dismissed students didn’t have grades changed, but a student who did remains enrolled. In addition, also without details, the newspaper says that two of the fired employees reported the grade changing.
Inside Higher Ed, June 20, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/20/qt

"Minnesota Colleges Seek Accountability by the Dashboard Light," by Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 18, 2008 ---

When your car starts sputtering, it's easy to look at the dashboard and see if you're running out of gas. What if you could do the same with your local college?

Minnesota's system of state colleges and universities believes it can show the way.

After two years of preparation, the 32-college system unveiled on Tuesday its new Accountability Dashboard. The service is based on a Web site that displays a series of measures—tuition rates, graduates' employment rates, condition of facilities—that use speedometer-type gauges to show exactly how the Minnesota system and each of its individual colleges is performing.

The idea is in response to the growing demand, among both policy makers and the public, for colleges to provide more useful and accessible data about how well they are doing their jobs.

"There's a great call across the country for accountability and transparency, and I don't think it's going to go away," said James H. McCormick, chancellor of the 374,000-student system. "It's just a new way of doing business."

Shining a Light

The information in the new format was already publicly available. But its presentation in the dashboard format, along with comparisons with statewide and national figures as well as the system's own goals, will put pressure on administrators and faculty members for improvement, Mr. McCormick and other state education officials told reporters.

"The dashboard shines a light on where we need to improve," said Ruth Grendahl, vice chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Among the areas the dashboard already indicates as needing improvement is the cost of attending Minnesota's state colleges. The gauges for tuition and fees at all 30 of the system's two-year institutions show needles pointing to "needs attention," a reflection of the fact that their costs are higher than those of 80 percent of their peers nationwide.

The dashboard shows the system faring better in other areas, such as licensure-examination pass rates and degree-completion rates, in which the average figures are in the "meets expectations" range. Other measures, like "innovation" and "student engagement," don't yet show results, as the necessary data are still being collected or the criteria have not yet been defined.

Tool of Accountability

Many private companies already use dashboard-type displays in their computer systems to help monitor business performance, but the data typically serve an internal function rather than being a tool for public accountability.

The Minnesota dashboard stems in part from the system's work through the National Association of System Heads, or NASH, on a project to improve the education of minority and low-income students. The project is known as Access to Success.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Those in my generation might appreciate the fact that this car has a "NASH" dashboard. The problem is that when a car's dashboard signals troubles such as oil leaks and overheating, owner's can easily trade in or junk a clunker automobile. This is not so simple in the politics of state universities.

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment of college performance are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

June 18, 2008 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]


Dashboards are nothing new. Our ex late President (Kermit Hall) introduced them at Utah State University nearly a decade ago, and brought with him to Albany. Unfortunately, they did not last long after he was gone (died in a swimming accident a few years ago).

Back in the early seventies, working as a sort of industrial engineer in a soft drink franchising environment, I had to introduce them for control over returnable glass bottles and raw materials (water, concentrate/syrup, sugar, and CO2). It did not make me any friends, but I survived.

And Oh yes. I remember the thrill of riding on the running boards of the only Nash in the small village in South India where I spent some of my childhood. There were no laws prohibiting riding on running boards then, but the car literally crawled on the dusty macadam roads.


Cushy Independent Study Credits for Athletes

The Now Infamous Favored Professor by University of Michigan Athletes
A single University of Michigan professor taught 294 independent studies for students, 85 percent of them athletes, from the fall of 2004 to the fall of 2007, according to The Ann Arbor News. According to the report, which kicks off a series on Michigan athletics and was based on seven months of investigation, many athletes reported being steered to the professor, and said that they earned three or four credits for meeting with him as little as 15 minutes every two weeks. In addition, three former athletics department officials said that athletes were urged to take courses with the professor, John Hagen, to raise their averages. Transcripts examined by the newspaper showed that students earned significantly higher grades with Hagen than in their regular courses. The News reported that Hagen initially denied teaching a high percentage of athletes in his independent studies, but did not dispute the accuracy of documents the newspaper shared with him. He did deny being part of any effort to raise the averages of his students. The newspaper also said that Michigan’s president and athletics director had declined to be interviewed for the series.
Inside Higher Ed, March 17, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/03/17/qt

Has the University of Michigan blocked efforts to investigate its "independent study" athletics scandals?

In March, The Ann Arbor News ran a series of articles exploring allegations that many top athletes at the University of Michigan were encouraged to enroll in independent study courses with a professor who allegedly didn’t require much work for great grades. On Sunday, the newspaper started a new seriesarguing that the university has blocked efforts by professors to study issues related to athletes and academics. While university officials have said that they would provide information sought by faculty members, the series suggests otherwise.
Inside Higher Education, June 16, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/06/16/qt

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

Is it really true that "lawyer ethics" is an oxymoron?

Milberg Loves to Sue CPA Firms and Their Corporate Clients

"Milberg Settles With Government:  Law Firm Admits It Paid Kickbacks; Fine of $75 Million,"  by Ashby Jones and Nathan Koppel, The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2008; Page B2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121364029145878199.html?mod=hps_us_whats_news

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

From the Scout Report on June 13, 2008 (including freeware for making PDF files)

Scribus --- http://www.scribus.net/ 

As its name implies, Scribus is a writing application. Specifically, it is a freeware desktop publisher that includes a number of useful features such as PDF creation, separations, and neat page layout interfaces. Visitors can also take advantage of the detailed documentation available on their homepage. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000 and XP or Mac OS X 10.3.9 and newer.

Comodo Firewall Pro --- http://www.personalfirewall.comodo.com/ 

If you are wary of Trojan viruses and marauding hackers, then this version of Comodo Pro Firewall is worth checking out. The application includes tabs that allow users to customize some of its main features, and while the user interface isn't too fancy, it's still fairly easy to use. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP or Vista.

"If You Don't Have Something Mean to Say …," by Thomas Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 20, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v54/i41/41a00401.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Jerome Neu's latest book is pompous drivel masquerading as insightful scholarship.

Actually, his book's pretty good. But insults tend to be more interesting than praise, no? Mr. Neu's text — Sticks and Stones: The Philosophy of Insults — explores how insults — including schoolyard taunts and more sophisticated put-downs — affect our lives. Mr. Neu, a professor of humanities at the University of California at Santa Cruz, took a break from taunting his rivals to answer a few of our questions.

Q: You refer to various poets in the book — T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence. Is there a certain poetry in a well-wrought insult?

A: No doubt. Shakespeare has a lot to teach us about insults, and people like Camille Paglia, whatever one thinks of the content of her writing, is a modern master of vituperation. Clever, imaginative insults can have an independent pleasure of their own.

Q: And it hurts more, doesn't it? If it's particularly concise and the language is vivid, the insult tends to stick.

A: The crude spewing of venom can't precisely hit its target. Precision has a value, even in insults.

Q: You have an entire chapter on, um, the rear. Why is the posterior so often associated with insults?

A: To insult is to assert or assume dominance, either intentionally claiming superiority or unintentionally revealing lack of regard. When considered psychoanalytically, that power play can be deeply rooted in anal erotism. Think of the expression "up yours." This is one of our most vulnerable entry points. Plus, we don't have eyes in the back of our heads. There's a special shock associated with intrusions from that direction.

Q: How do academics insult each other?

A: Crude, vulgar insults are relatively rare in the academy. That's one of the peculiarities of campus regulations concerning hate speech. In a university context, the user of vulgar language tends to be discredited. Insults tend to be more subtle, and the vulnerabilities tend to be a little different than in the general population. People are vain about their intelligence and other things that may not be such points of pride elsewhere.

Q: Have you ever been the recipient of an especially hurtful insult?

A: Well, I've actually recently made formal charges against an administrator at my university who insultingly attempted to cancel my course on insults. But that's all I want to say about that.


Where can students substitute their college instructors for an online ($399) McGraw-Hill tutor for possible college credit from a state university?

An accounting tutor (not for advanced courses)  is listed at http://straighterline.com/courses/descriptions/#accounting1

Other course tutors, including college algebra and English composition, are listed at http://straighterline.com/

"Who Needs a Professor When There's a Tutor Available?" by Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 17, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3095&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

An unusual new commercial service offers low-cost online courses and connects students to accredited colleges who will accept the courses for credit. The only thing missing: professors.

The service, called StraighterLine, is run by SmartThinking, a company that operates an online tutoring service used by about 300 colleges and universities. The online courses offered by StraighterLine are self-guided, and if students run into trouble they can summon a tutor from SmartThiking and talk with them via instant messaging. Students turn in their assignments or papers to tutors for grading as well.

“We’re using our tutoring service as the instructional component,” says Burck Smith, CEO of SmartThinking. “Students move through the course, and when they have a problem they click a button and they’re talking with a tutor.”

The courses cost $399 each, which includes 10 hours of time with a tutor. If students need more one-on-one help, they can pay extra for more tutoring.

The courses themselves were developed by McGraw-Hill, and StraighterLine uses Blackboard’s course-management service. So this virtual college is essentially cobbled together from various off-the-shelf learning services.

So far three colleges have agreed to grant credit for the StraighterLine courses — Fort Hays State University, Jones International University, and Potomac College.

The colleges see the partnership as a way to attract new students. “One of the things we hope to do is convert those students to Jones students,” says D. Terry Rawls, a vice chancellor at Jones International. “My expectation is that in reality students will take one maybe two courses with StraighterLine and then the students will take the rest of their courses with us.”

Richard Garrett, a senior analyst for Eduventures, sees the service as part of a broader trend of colleges granting credit for unconventional college experience, provided that the students can pass a test or otherwise demonstrate competency. And that raises the question, he says, “what is the core business of the academy versus what can be outsourced?


Jensen Comment
It may well be that colleges and universities may soon have to accept transfer credit for these tutors from such places as Fort Hays State University --- http://www.fhsu.edu/

In addition to its onsite programs in Hays, Kansas, Fort Hays State University has its own online degree programs at http://www.fhsu.edu/virtualcollege/

Bob Jensen's threads on asynchronous learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education training and education alternatives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on free online video courses and course materials from leading universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on the dark side --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Free online tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials

Free textbooks and tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

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

One of the earliest and probably the most famous accounting and investment scandal was the South Sea Bubble in 1720
From the Harvard University Business School
Sunk in Lucre's Sordid Charms: South Sea Bubble Resources in the Kress Collection at Baker Library --- http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/ssb/

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting history --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

Education Tutorials

Lost Titles, Forgotten Rhymes: How to Find a Novel, Short Story, or Poem Without Knowing its Title or Author ---http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/lost/

A frequently-updated blog to free lectures from prestigious universities --- http://www.oculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses and videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

A frequently-updated blog to free lectures from prestigious universities --- http://www.oculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses and videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Venus, Earth's Structural Sister: Investigations Using Radar Imagery --- http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/structure04/activities/3875.html

American Medical Student Association PharmFree Scorecard 2008 (Medical Ethics) --- http://www.amsascorecard.org/

Research Funding Might Be Available to You
The mission of the John Templeton Foundation is to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discovery in areas engaging life’s biggest questions. These questions range from explorations into the laws of nature and the universe to questions on the nature of love, gratitude, forgiveness, and creativity. Our vision is derived from Sir John Templeton’s commitment to rigorous scientific research and related scholarship. The Foundation’s motto “How little we know, how eager to learn” exemplifies our support for open-minded inquiry and our hope for advancing human progress through breakthrough discoveries
--- http://www.templeton.org/

Click on the funding areas below for an overview and a sampling of grant profiles.

Note the link to "The Great Seduction," by David Brooks, The New York Times, June 10, 2008 ---

Do you thing science has finally made belief in God obsolete?
This subject is debated from various angles at the Templeton Foundation site --- http://www.templeton.org/

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

A frequently-updated blog to free lectures from prestigious universities --- http://www.oculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses and videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Praxiologies and the Philosophy of Economics, Edited by J. Lee Auspitz et al. --- Click Here

Media in Cultural Context: Popular Readerships --- http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Literature/21L-715Fall-2007/CourseHome/

Media Channel --- http://www.mediachannel.org/

"Will the Left Ever Learn to Communicate Across Generations?" by Maurice Isserman, Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, June 20, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i41/41b00601.htm?utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

Introduction to Public International Law Research --- http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Public_International_Law_Research.htm

American Medical Student Association PharmFree Scorecard 2008 (Medical Ethics) --- http://www.amsascorecard.org/

Early Real Estate Atlases of New York --- 

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

Law School Directory --- http://www.aboutlawschools.org/

Introduction to Public International Law Research --- http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Public_International_Law_Research.htm

"Harvard Law School Mandates Open Access," Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog from the University of Illinois, May 8, 2008 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

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

Math Tutorials

A frequently-updated blog to free lectures from prestigious universities --- http://www.oculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses and videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Mathematics Education at West Point: The First Hundred Years ---

"Addressing the Needs of Students with Disabilities in Math (Part 1)," by Patricia Deubel, T.H.E. Journal, June 2008 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on technology aids for handicapped learners --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped

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

History Tutorials

A frequently-updated blog to free lectures from prestigious universities --- http://www.oculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses and videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Lost Titles, Forgotten Rhymes: How to Find a Novel, Short Story, or Poem Without Knowing its Title or Author --- http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/lost/

One of the earliest and probably the most famous accounting and investment scandal was the South Sea Bubble in 1720
From the Harvard University Business School
Sunk in Lucre's Sordid Charms: South Sea Bubble Resources in the Kress Collection at Baker Library --- http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/ssb/

Bob Jensen's threads on accounting history --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

"Will the Left Ever Learn to Communicate Across Generations?" by Maurice Isserman, Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, June 20, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/free/v54/i41/41b00601.htm?utm_source=cr&utm_medium=en

Historical Book Arts Collection --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/historicalbookartsweb/

Historic NYC Photographs --- http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5010

Jonathan Swift: Journal to Stella --- http://www.swiftiana.com/stella/

Online Nevada Encyclopedia --- http://www.onlinenevada.org/

American Experience: The American West --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/west/

Early Real Estate Atlases of New York --- 

Mathematics Education at West Point: The First Hundred Years ---

"New Open-Access Humanities Press Makes Its Debut," Issues in Scholarly Communication Blog from the University of Illinois, May 7, 2008 ---

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

A frequently-updated blog to free lectures from prestigious universities --- http://www.oculture.com/2007/07/freeonlinecourses.html
Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing courses and videos --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Lost Titles, Forgotten Rhymes: How to Find a Novel, Short Story, or Poem Without Knowing its Title or Author --- http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/lost/

Historical Book Arts Collection --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/historicalbookartsweb/

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

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


This hurts:  Note the "Addicted to Technology?" blog --- http://boards.webmd.com/webx?THDX@@.897e8019!thdchild=.897e8019
Jensen Comment
Yeah, I know. My technology addiction got worse when I started cutting back on cubalibras.

I also have a nostalgia addiction --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/ 
Click on the first song in a chosen date list (I like 1955) and let it play through!

"Are There Too Many Women Doctors?," by Catherine Arnst, Business Week, April 17, 2008 --- Click Here

Jensen Comment
My physician is a woman and nobody works longer hours than her day and night.

"Online Medical Advice Goes Social:  A new website seeks to bring the power of social networking to health support groups." by Lissa Harris, MIT's Technology Review, June 16, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biztech/20908/?nlid=1151

Trusera, a new social-networking website centered on health, officially launched today. The site, which features online communities and personalized health information, allows members to endorse one another's contributions, as a way to identify reliable sources of information.

In the past few months, high-profile sites like Google Health and Microsoft HealthVault, which allow patients to collect and share digital copies of their health records, have drawn a lot of attention.

But Trusera is doing something different. Rather than deal with health records or data, it focuses on social networking and storytelling, hoping to foster communities in which users can learn from one another's experiences and seek out knowledgeable advice.

"'The power of been there'"--the site's motto--"is a real rallying cry for us," says founder Keith Schorsch, a former senior executive at Amazon. "Everyone has a health story. What we want to do is combine the power of those stories in an individual, and also collectively powerful, way."

In that respect, Trusera resembles a number of other innovative new health sites on the Web. PatientsLikeMe, a site launched in 2006, allows chronic-disease sufferers to share stories and health data, with one another and with medical researchers. DailyStrength, also launched in 2006, is a central hub for hundreds of health support groups. And Caring.com, which went online last year, offers discussion groups and information about elder care.

In contrast to most other "consumer-to-consumer" sites, Trusera doesn't seek to organize its users according to the health conditions they have in common. While users can look up information on specific diseases in Trusera's keyword-based search engine, Schorsch says that the idea is to connect health consumers with one another based on not just common diagnoses but also a variety of common interests related to health. The site, which has been in beta testing since December, is free to users and collects revenue from advertising.

Like just about everything else on the Web, online health information suffers from a signal-to-noise problem. There are vast, deep reservoirs of health expertise on the Web, buried in health discussion forums and personal blogs, but to find them, consumers often have to wade through an ocean of irrelevant--and even dangerously wrong--information.

At the same time, more Americans than ever are going online for a second opinion--or even a first one. A January 2008 report by iCrossing, a market research firm, found that more Americans had gotten health information off the Internet in the past year than from their doctors. And that information is coming not just from health-information portals, government agencies, and other "official" channels, but also from consumers, in the form of blogs, support groups, and other informal networks of fellow disease sufferers.

Continued in article

Forwarded by Lynn

LIFE IN THE 1500's (Some are probably urban legends)

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water.

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying . It's raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway. Hence the saying a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren't you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. ((My father's favorite poem. Anu))

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a ...dead ringer.

Forwarded by Gene and Joan

I was having trouble with my computer. So I called Eric, the 11 year old next door, whose bedroom looks like Mission Control and asked him to come over. Eric clicked a couple of buttons and solved the problem.

As he was walking away, I called after him, 'So, what was wrong? He replied, 'It was an ID ten T error.'

I didn't want to appear stupid, but nonetheless inquired, 'An, ID ten T error? What's that? In case I need to fix it again.'

Eric grinned.... 'Haven't you ever heard of an ID ten T error before?'

'No,' I replied. 'Write it down,' he said, 'and I think you'll figure it out.'

So I wrote down: I D  1 0 T

I used to like Eric

Meanwhile in Australia, a python pops out of 10th-floor toilet. How the six foot snake got there remains a mystery --- http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2008/06/20/4434_ntnews.html
I wonder if feeding it Viagra will turn it into a walking stick?

Jensen Comment
A similar event was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle when I was living in Palo Alto years ago. That boa constrictor, however, was discovered to have entered the soil pipe from the apartment next door. This is not a good way to get the attention of the young woman across the wall.

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