Erika will have her 11th spine surgery in Boston on September 29, 2008. This will be the last edition of Tidbits until we return home in several weeks and things get back to normal in our lives. I will provide updates about her at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Erika2007.htm

September 25, 2008 message from Ken and Judy Hummel (Ken is a retired mathematics professor from Trinity University):

Bob,

Thank you again for a very nice day with you and Erika. We really enjoyed visiting and the great meal and tour.

When we left we went to Echo Lake and looked around as well as the (European looking) Alpine Village. Then we went to the Flume and walked all the trails. It is beautiful as is the Franconia Notch on the way north again on 93. After we exited 93 and before we got to Jefferson Highlands we slowed down in the moose crossing areas and we saw a moose grazing on the side. It was not yet quite dark so we got some (probably grainy) pictures. But we saw one anyway.

We hope all goes well with Erika's surgeries and that she regains better pain free ambulation.

Thanks again.

Ken and Judy

 

Below you will find some of Bob Jensen's fall foliage pictures taken from our yard and inside our cottage.

 

The above picture was zoomed just a bit from our driveway.

 

Foliage Network --- http://www.foliagenetwork.com/default.php
Foliage in New Hampshire's White Mountains --- http://www.nhliving.com/foliage/index.shtml
Fall Foliage --- http://gonewengland.about.com/cs/fallfoliage/l/blfoliagecentrl.htm
Foliage Pictures --- http://photo.net/travel/us/ne/foliage

Some Beautiful Foliage Pictures (slide show) --- http://www.biblesociety.ca/free_scriptures/escriptures/ecclesiastes3/ecclesiastes3.html

The National Debt Clock --- http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
At the above site it appears to be a fixed number.
But now hit your refresh button to see how much it's changed in just a few seconds.

At 9:34 a.m. on September 23, 2008 it was $9,734,361,140,920.08 trillion
At 9:35 a.m. on September 23, 2008 it was $9,734,365, 595,383.82 trillion
The annual amount of interest per year on the above number at 6% is $584,061,935,723.03 billion
This translates to well over a million dollars a minute.
There is a greatly increased chance that U.S. debt will receive a lowered credit rating, which will greatly increase the cost of out national debt each minute.

Peter, Paul, and Barney: My Evolving (Daily) Essay on 2008 U.S. Government Bailouts of Private Companies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

 

Tidbits on September 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


Despite these noteworthy linguistic strides, the Academy presents Orwell 2008 to a college counselor who advises his clients to deliberately make mistakes on their applications so they "don’t sound like robots." After all, "if you fall into the trap of trying to do everything perfectly," without "typos" and other "creative errors," there's just "no spark left."
Fifteenth Annual Emperor's Awards, Guest commentary by Poor Elijah (Peter Berger), The Irascible Professor, August 19, 2008 --- http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-08-19-08.htm
Jensen Comment
The same can be said for blogs and newsletters.

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/   

U.S. Social Security Retirement Benefit Calculators --- http://www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator/
After 2017 what we would really like is a choice between our full social security benefits or 18 Euros each month --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm

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

Chronicle of Higher Education's 2008-2009 Almanac --- http://chronicle.com/free/almanac/2008/?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm
Bob Jensen's threads on economic and social statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

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

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

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.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/




Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI




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

Shocking 25 Minute Video
A Rigged Trading System: "The odds are better in Las Vegas than on Wall Street"
This is the same fraud as the one committed by Max in the Broadway show called The Producers (watch the Bloomberg video of how the fraud works)
Max sold over 100% of the shares in his play.
A fraudulent market manipulation contributed to the Wall Street meltdown
Phantom Shares and Market Manipulation (Bloomberg News video on naked short selling) --- http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4490541725797746038

Popular New Ride at the Texas State Fair --- http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=oNGXBiYgETE

From the London School of Economics
LSE Information Systems and Innovation Group Video Archive ---
http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/informationSystems//newsAndEvents/videoArchive.htm

Cornell University has some great videos for new students (e.g., health and safety videos) --- http://newstudents.cornell.edu/welcome/QuickTour.html

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Research (video) ---  http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/research.asp

Dig It! The Secrets of Soil --- http://forces.si.edu/soils/

Anatomy: The Foundation of Medicine: From Aristotle to Early Twentieth- Century Wall Charts --- http://www.hsl.virginia.edu/historical/anatomical/index.html

Ride on a B-27 --- http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=pEl7oXYqqzo
Also see http://www.metacafe.com/watch/648443/awesome_b_17_ride_video/
Photos --- http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=31073833

Mickey Mouse Must Die (not a joke from Islamic fundamentalists bent on taking over the world) --- http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1850.htm 
And this is our first line of defense.
Congressional Recess Explained --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEKNdZqrukc


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

It's a Wonderful Life (Part 3 with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed dancing the jitterbug) --- http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=DbKPLPhvmNU

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (great photos and Willie) --- http://www.greatdanepro.com/Western Stars/index.htm

Henry Mancini On Piano Jazz --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94772943

Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolyn_Leigh

I Don't Want to Miss a Thing --- http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=mMk4kV8aYLs

You Can Let Go --- http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=IbAmiExU8S4

Here's to Us (a Judy Garland number that never aired) --- http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=6J3spaSdgjs

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


Photographs and Art

Satellite Photos --- http://www.greatdanepro.com/Blue Bueaty/index.htm

Magic Lantern Slides Collection from Japan --- http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/lanternslides/index.php?c=1

Ben Shahn at Harvard --- http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/shahn/

NASA Images --- http://www.nasaimages.org/

50th Anniversary of NASA --- http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/50th/

Aviation News --- http://www.flightglobal.com

Patagonian Expedition Reports, 1896-1899 --- http://diglib.princeton.edu/xquery?_xq=getCollection&_xsl=collection&_pid=Patagonia

Index of Medieval Medical Images --- http://digital.library.ucla.edu/immi/

Anatomy: The Foundation of Medicine: From Aristotle to Early Twentieth- Century Wall Charts --- http://www.hsl.virginia.edu/historical/anatomical/index.html

Dubious Natural Art in Antarctica Ice --- http://snipurl.com/iceart  [www_metro_co_uk]

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys (great photos and Willie) --- http://www.greatdanepro.com/Western Stars/index.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

Poetry Foundation: Anne Sexton --- http://www.poetryfoundation.org/archive/poet.html?id=6163 

Modern American Poetry: Anne Sexton --- http://www.english.uiuc.edu/maps/poets/s_z/sexton/sexton.htm

Jews on the Moon (Science Fiction) --- http://avideditor.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/jews-on-the-moon-a-science-fiction-story/

Peter, Paul, and Barney: An Essay on 2008 U.S. Government Bailouts of Private Companies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

From the Scout Report on September 19, 2008

Friends and colleagues remember author David Foster Wallace David Foster Wallace, Influential Writer, Dies at
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/books/15wallace.html 

Wallace Invented 'New Style, New Comedy' http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=94629055 

Author created 'Jest' in Syracuse ---
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf?/base/news-15/122155534751021.xml&coll=1

In Memoriam: David Foster Wallace --- http://www.pomona.edu/ADWR/president/dfw1.shtml 

Considering David Foster Wallace [iTunes] http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/pc/pc080916considering_david_fo 

David Foster Wallace: Harper's Magazine --- http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/09/hbc-90003557

David Foster Wallace: Commencement Speech at Kenyon College --- http://www.marginalia.org/dfw_kenyon_commencement.html

 

Teach Philosopy 101  --- http://www.teachphilosophy101.org/
This site presents strategies and resources for faculty members and graduate assistants who are teaching Introduction to Philosophy courses; it also includes material of interest to college faculty generally. The mission of TΦ101 is to provide free, user-friendly resources to the academic community. All of the materials are provided on an open source license. You may also print as many copies as you wish (please print in landscape). TΦ101 carries no advertising. I am deeply indebted to Villanova University for all of the support that has made this project possible.
John Immerwahr, Professor of Philosophy, Villanova University

Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI




Peter, Paul, and Barney: An Essay on 2008 U.S. Government Bailouts of Private Companies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

History suggests it was always this way. Even Isaac Newton, of gravity fame but who also held the position of master of the mint, lost money in the South Sea Bubble. He got out, thinking it was a bubble, then got back in when it kept going up. He lost a small fortune in the process when it finally collapsed. Human greed, coupled with hubris, hasn't changed in the four centuries for which we have some sense of economic history.
Lawrence B. Lindsey, "Loosen Deposit Insurance Rules To Prevent a Bank Run," The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2008 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122161066927045759.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Jensen Comment
You can read about the South Sea Bubble in 1720 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Sea_bubble
The South Sea Company was selling shares in itself and calling it income.

Wall Street was also brought to its knees in the Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) "Trillion Dollar Bet" in 1993 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#LTCM
 

Brooksley Born, chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission --- suggested that government should at least study whether some regulation might make sense, a stampede of lobbyists, members of Congress, and other regulators --- including Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin --- ran her over, admonishing her to keep quiet.  Derivatives tightened the connections among various markets, creating enormous financial benefits and making global transacting less costly --- no one denied that.  But they also raised the prospect of a system-wide breakdown.  With each crisis, a few more dominos fell, and regulators and market participants increasingly expressed concerns about systematic risk --- a term that described a financial-market epidemic.  After Long-Term Capital collapsed, even Alan Greenspan admitted that the financial markets had been close to the brink.  
Frank Partnoy, Infectious Greed (Henry Holt and Company, 2004, Page 229)


Harvard University Press, MIT Press and Yale University Press are collectively sending 5,700 books to help replenish the Iraqi National Library. Shipping costs and transportation are being arranged by the Sabre Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Iraq.
Inside Higher Education, September 26, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
Sounds like a good idea for all of us.
And don't forget to tell them about the following:
Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

The businessman's lunch.
You buy the restaurant, bankrupt the place, then walk away with a multi-million dollar golden parachute. That's the businessman's lunch.
Cartoon forwarded by Denny Beresford.

The (Warren Buffet deal with the Men in Black) deal is structured in two parts, giving Berkshire a stream of cash and potential ownership of roughly 10% of Goldman. Berkshire will spend $5 billion on "perpetual" preferred shares of Goldman. These are not convertible into equity but pay a fat 10% dividend.
"Buffett to Invest $5 Billion in Goldman," The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122220798359168765.html#articleTabs%3Dcomments
Jensen Comment
At first I thought that Warren just wanted to spend $5 billion to tap into the $700 billion bailout gift to bad banks, but now it appears that he just wants a high fixed rate of return of $500 million a year now that Goldman will have its losses reimbursed by the Government's bailout.

Get out the trough, it's feeding time. Congress has decided that an election year with recession written all over it is not the time to be giving up those job-producing "pork" projects bemoaned by both parties' presidential candidates. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has quietly shelved the idea of a one-year moratorium on so-called earmarks, the $18 billion or so in pet projects that lawmakers sent to their home states this year. Senators in both parties have voted to kill the idea. The California Democrat earlier had signaled her support for the idea of including no legislative earmarks in...
"Congress forgets ban on pet projects (Pork-o-Rama Time!)," Yahoo News, March 31, 2008 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1994814/posts
Kerry says voters should forgive politicians who change their minds --- http://www.meadvilletribune.com/election2008/local_story_088132145.html?keyword=secondarystory

The University of Chicago — already the subject of bashing by those who don’t like one-time law school faculty member Barack Obama — had its law school thoroughly trashed this week by another former faculty member, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Speaking at a meeting of the Federalist Society (a conservative legal group), Scalia said that Chicago’s law school has gone downhill since he left. The Chicago Sun-Times quoted him as saying: “I don’t think the University of Chicago is what it was in my time. I would not recommend it to students looking for a law school as I would have years ago. It has changed considerably and intentionally. It has lost the niche it once had as a rigorous and conservative law school.” Further, in an apparent dig at the courses Obama taught on race and society, Scalia said that when he was a law student, “I took nothing but bread-and-butter classes, not ‘Law and Poverty,’ or other made-up stuff.” A spokeswoman told Inside Higher Ed that the law school did not plan a response to the coverage of Scalia’s remarks.
Inside Higher Ed, September 18, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/18/qt
Jensen Comment
Judge Scalia graduated from Harvard Law School and was on the faculty of such law schools as those at the University of Virginia, Chicago, Georgetown, and Stanford --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalia
Although one of the more outspoken Supreme Court justices, he's also considered to be a top scholar on the bench and one of its best writers. I don't think his remarks on today's University of Chicago law school are appropriate in the heat of an election campaign.
Sixty Minutes on CBS had a very upbeat interview with Antonin Scalia on September 14, 2008.
Part 1 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4448191n
Part 2 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4448193n


On Friday, David Foster Wallace’s wife returned home to find that he had committed suicide by hanging himself. He was 46. For the past few years he was professor of creative writing at Pomona College. Since 1987 he had published two novels, two collections of essays and three of short fiction, plus one book on the concept of infinity and another, much shorter one about John McCain’s 2000 campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. He was also the co-author of a book called Signifying Rappers: Rap and Race in the Urban Present, issued by a small press in 1990, that for some reason is never included in the usual roundups of DFW titles. . . . It was his extreme sensitivity to how commercial messages and network-fostered norms of human interaction were shaping the whole cultural landscape that made Wallace come to seem, over time, like the spokesman for a younger cohort than my own, even though he was actually a year older. In part this was because he was often imitated; even some of his imitators found imitators. Wallace’s incredible capacity to mimic and deconstruct the endlessly proliferating new varieties of self-hypnotizing American bullshit (the argots of psychotherapy, public relations, TV production, etc.) became widely dispersed, watered down beyond all capacity to serve as a tonic.
Scott McLemee, DFW, R.I.P., Inside Higher Ed, September 17, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/09/17/mclemee


I think the answer (to the surge in popularity of the GOP among independent voters)  is pretty clear: The Democratic leadership in Congress took the golden opportunity it was given in 2006 and pissed it away on petty partisanship -- just like the Republicans who preceded them did. A Gallup poll out this week is revealing. It found that only 47 percent of Americans say they have trust in the legislative branch of the federal government. That's the first time that number has dipped below 50 percent since Gallup began asking that question in 1972. The same poll found that only 18 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing vs. 31 percent who approve of the job President Bush is doing. There is good reason for those low ratings. When voters swept Democrats into power two years ago, they expected that the party would deliver on its promises. It hasn't. Instead of leadership and statesmanship, we got gamesmanship. Instead of governing, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid embarked on a two-year political campaign.
Andrew Cline, "Pelosi and Reid Blew It," The American Spectator, September 19, 2008 --- http://www.spectator.org/dsp_article.asp?art_id=13913


>>   I am under 45 years old,
>> · I love the outdoors,
>> · I hunt,
>> · I am a Republican reformer,
>> · I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,
>> · I have many children,
>> · I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with
>> less than two years in the governor's office.

Teddy Roosevelt --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teddy_Roosevelt
Forwarded by Diane

Where do those professional Palin smears on YouTube come from? --- http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/194057.php

Under the title "Michelle Obama Has a Rabbi in Her Family," The Forward ran a piece celebrating the supposed Jewish connections of Michelle, and noted that her "rabbi" cousin "has often urged the larger Jewish community to be more accepting of Jews who are not White." There is only one problem - and read my lipstick here - the "rabbi" discovered by The Forward as the Jewish kin to Michelle Obama is neither a rabbi nor, evidently, a Jew.
Steven Plaut, "Stampeding Jews to Support Obama," Arutz Sheva, September 15, 2008 --- http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/8243
Jensen Comment
But her husband has a militant Muslim cousin named Abongo Obama. Will that count? --- http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977423808

Was this inevitable? Elvin T. Lim, an assistant professor of government at Wesleyan University, makes only a few brief references to campaign speeches in his recent book The Anti-Intellectual Presidency: The Decline of Presidential Rhetoric from George Washington to George W. Bush (Oxford University Press). But his analysis suggests that long-developing tendencies within the presidency have had the effect of “hollowing out ... our public discursive sphere.” Lim’s book is not, as one might reasonably guess, devoted to cataloging the W. malapropisms (a needless exercise at this late date). The stupeying dynamic of presidential rhetoric is scrupulously bipartisan. The speeches of Bill Clinton provide numerous examples of the process that Lim describes, in which factual explanation and rational deliberation have sunk beneath the tide of appeals to feeling, rambling personal anecdotes, and applause-generating punchlines.
Scott McLemee, "The Anti-Intellectual Presidency," Inside Higher Ed, September 24, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/09/24/mclemee__1

"I come from Arkansas, I get why she's hot out there," Bill Clinton said. "Why she's doing well." Speaking to reporters before his Clinton Global Initiative meeting, the former president described Palin's appeal by adding, "People look at her, and they say, 'All those kids. Something that happens in everybody's family. I'm glad she loves her daughter and she's not ashamed of her. Glad that girl's going around with her boyfriend. Glad they're going to get married.'"
Karen Matthews, "Bill Clinton says he understands Palin's appeal," The Seattle Times., September 22, 2008 --- http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2008195867_apbillclintonpalin.html
If he said she had a beautiful body would she hold it against him --- http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=dcqyvkcZNZk

A week after a high-profile send-up of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on "Saturday Night Live," the NBC comedy show returned to making fun of the Alaskan governor in a skit where New York Times reporters sought to probe the possibility Palin's husband was having sex with the couple's own daughters. "What about the husband?" asked a Times reporter during a mock assignment meeting for the paper. "You know he's doing those daughters. I mean, come on. It's Alaska." The assignment editor for the Times, portrayed by actor James Franco, responded: "He very well could be. Admittedly, there is no evidence of that, but on the other hand, there is no convincing evidence to the contrary. And these are just some of the lingering questions about Governor Palin."
Joe Kovaks, "NBC jokes: Sarah Palin's husband has sex with daughters," WorldNetDaily, September 21, 2008 ---
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.printable&pageId=75852
Jensen Comment
NBC, the Obama Campaign Network, thought it was funny to suggest that Palin's husband might be incestuous. There would be riots on the streets if NBC made comedy about Barack Obama "doing his daughters." NBC most certainly has two sets of standards and is probably the most politically biased network. As you might guess, Al Franken helped SNL design the skit.

From the roof of the Robert C. Byrd Intermodal Transportation Center on Main Street, one can see the Wheeling Artisan Center to the east, the Wheeling Stamping Building to the south and Wheeling Heritage Port to the west — all flourishing, thanks to the financial help of Sen. Robert Byrd. To say the 90-year-old senator from West Virginia has brought home the bacon during his half-century in Washington would be akin to saying Congress likes to spend taxpayers' money. Two of Byrd's Senate colleagues, Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, are threatening his ability to spend that money in places such as Wheeling, Charleston, Huntington and Morgantown. McCain wants to eliminate all congressional "earmarks" — money set aside by lawmakers for specific programs or projects back home. Obama favors less spending and more transparency.
Richard Wolf, "Next president could dam up money flow to W.Va.," USA Today, September 17, 2008 ---
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-18-50states-westvirginia_N.htm

Along with the claim that Joe Biden had a "blue-collar" upbringing -- he had a decidedly upper class (though not "rich") childhood -- Joe Biden has for years claimed that his first wife and his daughter were killed by a "drunk driver" in 1972. However, closer examination of the records proves that the man driving the truck that slammed into the Biden family car was never charged with drunken driving. So, why has the media allowed this perception that Biden lost his wife to a drunk driver to persist? . . . Along with the claim that Joe Biden had a "blue-collar" upbringing -- he had a decidedly upper class (though not "rich") childhood -- Joe Biden has for years claimed that his first wife and his daughter were killed by a "drunk driver" in 1972. However, closer examination of the records proves that the man driving the truck that slammed into the Biden family car was never charged with drunken driving. So, why has the media allowed this perception that Biden lost his wife to a drunk driver to persist?
Warner Todd Huston, "Why Is Media Allowing Joe Biden to Lie About Drunk Driver Killing His First Wife?" Newsbusters, September 20, 2008 ---
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2008/09/20/why-media-allowing-joe-biden-lie-about-drunk-driver-killing-his-

A president's pension currently is $191,300 per year and ends when they turn age 80. Assuming the next president lives to age 80. Sen. McCain would receive ZERO pension as he would reach 80 at the end of two terms as president. Obama would be retired for 26 years after two terms and would receive $4,973,800 in pension. Therefore, it would certainly make economic sense to elect McCain in November.
Anonomous
Jensen Comment
It would be a small token to offset a trillion dollar bailout package.

Joe Biden isn't backing down from his startling claim last week that raising taxes on the rich is the "patriotic" thing to do. On Thursday he upped the ante, thundering that he also has Jesus in his corner. "Catholic social doctrine as I was taught it is, you take care of people who need the help the most," Mr. Biden preached to a group of union supporters on Thursday.
http://sbk.online.wsj.com/article/SB122204158558561239.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Jensen Comment
Now we know why the McCain should've gone with the Mormon's Mitt Romney for VP.
This "patriotic" taxes thing turned out to be really bad timing for Rep. Charlie Rangel. Charlie says he will become more patriotic and finally pay his back taxes.

"Pittsburgh Public Schools officials say they want to give struggling children a chance, but the district is raising eyebrows with a policy that sets 50 percent as the minimum score a student can receive for assignments, tests and other work," reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . . . Of course, there's an obvious (better) solution to this: Make the minimum score 100% instead of 50%. That ensures that Pittsburgh students will have the highest grades in the country (as long as no other school district learns the secret), and also that there will be no awkwardness, since no one will know any math.
"Eyebrows raised over city school policy that sets 50% as minimum score: 1+1=3? In city schools, it's half right," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, September 22, 2008 ---
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08266/914029-298.stm 
Jensen Comment
Actually the Pittsburgh schools learned about the 10% Rule in Texas and decided to one-up the Lone Star State with a 50% Rule. This gave Hank Paulson an idea. What if a homeowner made no payments on a sub-prime mortgage? Why not give 50% minimum credit for each non-payment to lower the amount owed.? That way the bailout recoveries won't look so bad since the government can thereby receive half of what is owning to it with each bailed out mortgage. This will appeal to Congress since there is public aversion to receiving zero on bailed out mortgages. Yikes! I'm beginning to think like an accountant selling tax shelters.

"Prof tells students: 'Undermine' Palin  Metro State class assignment compares VP candidate to 'fairy tale'," by Bob Unruh, WorldNetDaily, September 15, 2008 --- http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=75426

Students in an English class at Metropolitan State College in Denver have been told to assemble criticisms of GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin that "undermine" her, and students say they are concerned about the apparent bias.

"This so-called 'assignment' represents indoctrination in its purist form," said Matt Barber, director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel, whose sister, Janna, is taking the class from Andrew Hallam, a new instructor at the school.

The instructor also, according to students, is harshly critical of President Bush during his classroom English presentations. He reportedly has allowed students who identify themselves as "liberal" to deride and ridicule those who identify themselves as "conservative" or Republican.

"So much for critical thinking. What's happening in that classroom represents a microcosm for what's happening with the angry left around the country," Matt Barber told WND. "The visceral and even abusive reaction Hallam and some of his students are having against Sarah Palin and Republican students in the class is occurring on a much larger scale among left-wing elitists throughout the media, academia and the larger Democratic Party."

Continued in article

Liberal Bias in the Media and Academe --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#LiberalBias

Mickey Mouse Must Die (not a joke from Islamic fundamentalists bent on taking over the world) --- http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1850.htm

If your parents did not have any children chances are you won't either.
JoNel Aleccia, MSNBC, September 17, 2008 --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26680088/
Jensen Comment
Say that again?

A DeKalb lawyer was suspended for 15 months Thursday for arranging to have a female client perform nude dances for him in exchange for credit on her legal fees, a state commission said. Scott Robert Erwin, a lawyer since 1980, will begin his suspension Oct. 7, according to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, a branch of the state Supreme Court that conducts investigations into attorney misconduct.Erwin, with offices at 211 N. 1st St., has not been charged criminally. Erwin represented the female client and several of her family members on several different types of cases.
Art Barman, "Stripper's private dancing lands DeKalb lawyer in hot," Chicago Tribune, September 19, 2008 ---
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-lap-dance-lawyer-both-19-sep19,0,4893585,print.story
Jensen Comment
She was just trying to wiggle out of paying her lawyer

A tense standoff is underway in northeastern Somalia between pirates, Somali authorities, and Iran over a suspicious merchant vessel and its mysterious cargo. Hijacked late last month in the Gulf of Aden, the MV Iran Deyanat remains moored offshore in Somali waters and inaccessible for inspection. Its declared cargo consists of minerals and industrial products, however, Somali and regional officials directly involved in the negotiations over the ship and who spoke to The Long War Journal are convinced that it was heading to Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia's Islamist insurgents. It was business as usual when speedboats surrounded the MV Iran Deyanat on August 21. The 44468 dead weight tonnage bulk carrier was pushing towards the Suez and had just entered the Gulf of Aden - dangerous waters where instability, greed and no-questions-asked ransom payments have led to a recent surge in piracy. Steaming past the Horn of Africa, 82 nautical miles southeast of al-Makalla in Yemen, the ship was a prize for the taking. It would bring hundreds of thousands of dollars - possibly millions - to the Somalia-based crime syndicate. The captain was defenseless against the 40 pirates armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades blocking his passage. He had little choice other than to turn his ship over to them. What the pirates were not banking on, however, was that this was no ordinary ship.
Nick Grace, "Mystery surrounds hijacked Iranian ship" The Long War Journal, September 22, 2008 --- http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/09/mystery_surrounds_hi.php

On a night to meant to honor the finest in TV, Hollywood just couldn’t leave politics alone. At last night’s 60th Primetime Emmy Awards, presenters Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert promised not to talk politics - then ended up comparing Republican presidential candidate John McCain to a prune. Munching on the snack, Colbert said, “America needs a prune. It may not be a young, sexy plum. Granted, it is shriveled and, at times, hard to swallow, but this dried-up old fruit has the experience we need.”
John Perrigard, "Emmys Hit Low Point," Boston Herald, September 22, 2008 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
John Stewart and Stephen Colbert nightly injure the Democratic Party efforts to not once again lose the national election because of its low "family values" image.

Liquidity crisis?
What liquidity crisis?
Microsoft to buy back $40 billion of stock ---
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/22/AR2008092200766.html?wpisrc=newsletter
How about just $20 bucks to speed up Vista?




An essay is presented discussing the decision by the U.S. to go to war with Iraq in 2003. The author believes that the military action taken by U.S. president George W. Bush had precursors in the policies of former president Bill Clinton, specifically in regard to the Iraq Liberation Act. The author argues that the Iraq War was inevitable since the Clinton administration was already planning for an invasion in 1999.
Arthur Herman, "Why Iraq Was Inevitable," Commentary, Jul/Aug2008, Vol. 126 Issue 1, p28-36

In this light — that is, in light of what was actually known at the time about Saddam Hussein's actions and intentions, and in light of what was added to our knowledge through his post-capture interrogations by the FBI — the decision to go to war takes on a very different character. The story that emerges is of a choice not only carefully weighed and deliberately arrived at but, in the circumstances, the one moral choice that any American President could make.

Had, moreover, Bush failed to act when he did, the consequences could have been truly disastrous. The next American President would surely have faced the need, in decidedly less favorable circumstances, to pick up the challenge Bush had neglected. And since Bush's unwillingness to do the necessary thing might rightly have cost him his second term, that next President would probably have been one of the many Democrats who, until March 2003, actually saw the same threat George Bush did.

IT IS TOO often forgotten, not least by historians, that George W. Bush did not invent the idea of deposing the Iraqi tyrant. For years before he came on the scene, removing Saddam Hussein had been a priority embraced by the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton and by Clinton's most vocal supporters in the Senate:

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas, or biological weapons…. Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: he has used them. Not once, but repeatedly…. I have no doubt today that, left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again. These were the words of President Clinton on the night of December 16, 1998 as he announced a four-day bombing campaign over Iraq. Only six weeks earlier, Clinton had signed the Iraq Liberation Act authorizing Saddam's overthrow — an initiative supported unanimously in the Senate and by a margin of 360 to 38 in the House. "Iraqis deserve and desire freedom," Clinton had declared. On the evening the bombs began to drop, Vice President Al Gore told CNN's Larry King:

You allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons. How many people is he going to kill with such weapons? … We are not going to allow him to succeed, [emphasis added] What these and other such statements remind us is that, by the time George Bush entered the White House in January 2001, the United States was already at war with Iraq, and in fact had been at war for a decade, ever since the first Gulf war in the early 1990's. (This was literally the case, the end of hostilities in 1991 being merely a cease-fire and not a formal surrender followed by a peace treaty.) Not only that, but the diplomatic and military framework Bush inherited for neutralizing the Middle East's most fearsome dictator had been approved by the United Nations. It consisted of (a) regular UN inspections to track and dispose of weapons of mass destruction (WMD's) remaining in Saddam's arsenal since the first Gulf war; (b) UN-monitored sanctions to prevent Saddam from acquiring the means to make more WMD's; and (c) the creation of so-called "no-fly zones" over large sections of southern and northern Iraq to deter Saddam from sending the remnants of his air force against resisting Kurds and Shiite Muslims.

The problem, as Bill Clinton discovered at the start of his second term, was that this "containment regime" was collapsing. By this point Saddam was not just the brutal dictator who had killed as many as two million of his own people and used chemical weapons in battle against Iran (and in 1988 against Iraqis themselves). Nor was he just the regional aggressor who had to be driven out of Kuwait in 1991 by an international coalition of armed forces in Operation Desert Storm. As Clinton recognized, Saddam's WMD programs, in combination with his ties to international terrorists, posed a direct challenge to the United States.

In a February 17, 1998 speech at the Pentagon, Clinton focused on what in his State of the Union address a few weeks earlier he had called an "unholy axis" of rogue states and predatory powers threatening the world's security. "There is no more clear example of this threat," he asserted, "than Saddam Hussein's Iraq," and he added that the danger would grow many times worse if Saddam were able to realize his thoroughly documented ambition, going back decades and at one point close to accomplishment, of acquiring an arsenal of nuclear as well as chemical and biological weapons. The United States, Clinton said, "simply cannot allow this to happen."

BUT HOW to prevent it? An opportunity arose later the same year. In October 1998, Saddam threw out ten Americans who were part of a UN inspection team, and on the last day of the month announced that he would cease all cooperation with UNSCOM, the UN inspection body. On December 15, UNSCOM's director, Richard Butler, reported that Iraq was engaged in systematic obstruction and deception of the internationally mandated inspection regime. Although the UN hesitated to invoke the technical term "material breach," which would almost certainly have triggered a demand for a response with force by the world body, Clinton himself was determined to act. He had already received a letter from a formidable list of U.S. Senators, including fellow Democrats Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry, urging him to "respond effectively" — with air strikes if necessary — to the "threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its WMD programs." After consulting with Great Britain and other allies, Clinton ordered Buder to pull out the remaining inspectors. On December 16, he launched Operation Desert Fox.

For four days, American and British planes and cruise missiles bombarded Iraqi sites in an effort to degrade Saddam's programs. The key objective was to knock out communication-and-control networks — and in this, a Clinton official would assert, Desert Fox "exceeded expectations." But the attacks did virtually nothing to destroy facilities suspected of housing weapons, most of which were in unknown locations. The only way to find out where they might be was by reintroducing UN inspectors, something Saddam now adamantly refused to permit.

Thus, in the end, Desert Fox proved a failure, not because of insufficient American firepower but because of Saddam's defiance — and because of a lack of forceful follow-up. True, passage of the Iraq Liberation Act meant that the United States now had a regime-change resolution on the books and was providing a certain amount of money and aid for covert internal action against Saddam. True, too, Vice President Al Gore was a particularly strong supporter of these initiatives. But in the wake of Desert Fox, Saddam had conducted his own violent crackdown on potential opposition figures, which meant there was no hope for Iraqis to retake their country without massive outside help. As 1999 dawned, the choices narrowed. Inspections had failed. So had air strikes and covert action. So had international trade sanctions, which imposed a new level of misery on the Iraqi people without putting any pressure on Saddam himself. The UN's Oil-for-Food Program, created in 1996 in order to allow Iraq to sell some of its oil in exchange for food and other necessary supplies, appeared to be still another failure: Iraqis continued to starve, while Saddam seemed to grow only richer.

AND so, "starting in early 1999," as Kenneth Pollack, an official in Clinton's National Security Council, would later recount, "the Clinton administration began to develop options to overthrow Saddam's regime."

A plan for an actual land invasion of Iraq had been drawn up a few years earlier under the stewardship of Colin Powell, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was updated after Desert Fox. Although (Pollack writes) "no one thought the U.S. public would support such an invasion," this was now beginning to seem the only option.

Concurring with this judgment was Scott Ritter, an American who had served on the UN's weapons-inspection term and had become notorious for his aggressive approach to his job. In testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in late 1998, Ritter castigated the Clinton White House for failing to confront Saddam with the threat of invasion. This hardly endeared him to the President, but it did win him two warm allies in the Senate. One was the Republican John McCain. The other was the Democrat John Kerry, who outspokenly declared that since Saddam clearly intended "to build WMD's no matter what the cost," America "must be prepared to use force to achieve its goals."

But nothing would happen in 1999. At the end of the year, the UN passed Resolution 1284 — an effort to get Saddam to accept a new inspection regime, called UNMOVIC, in exchange for lifting sanctions on all goods for civilian use. Yet, weak as the resolution was, it led to a split in the Security Council, with four members — including France, Russia, and China — abstaining from the vote. That split would become permanent. By 2000, life at the Security Council would turn into a constant battle of wills, with the U.S. and Great Britain in one corner and Russia, France, Germany, and China in another. Although George W Bush would later come to be blamed for wrecking the coalition that had fought the first Gulf war, the reality is otherwise: the wreck occurred three years before he became President.

All the same, as the military historian John Keegan has pointed out, Resolution 1284 did signal the beginning of the end of Saddam Hussein. By refusing to re-admit inspectors, even under a relaxed sanctions regime, Saddam made it unmistakably clear that only a credible threat of military force would make him budge, and only the exercise of military force would ever get him out.

Unfortunately, by this time Clinton had lost whatever limited appetite for armed confrontation he might earlier have entertained. According to Pollack, the lengthy campaign to dislodge Slobodan Milosevic in Kosovo had given the White House a taste of might go wrong in open-ended military operations, and Clinton's advisers "were not looking to back into a war with Saddam the way they had backed into one with Milosevic." Besides, the proposed invasion plan called for 400,000-500,000 troops and six months of laborious preparation, which would stretch to the breaking point an American military that, thanks to Clinton-era cuts, was now little more than half the size of the one that had fought Desert Storm.

In his final year in office, Clinton decided that his contribution to Middle East peace would lie not in the removal of Saddam Hussein but in a grand attempt to resolve the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. With this, he missed his last chance to deal forcefully with the man he was publicly committed to overthrowing. Worse, by focusing his energies on a futile effort to placate Yasir Arafat, he diverted American attention not only from Saddam but from the mounting challenge represented by Osama bin Laden — not to mention the possibility that these two sinister figures might some day find common ground. As Clinton's administration ended and George W Bush's began, Iraqi defectors were claiming that Saddam had set up camps in which terrorists connected with bin Laden were training to attack the United States.

CONFRONTING THE same threat faced by the Clinton administration, and the same policy predicament, the incoming Bush team arrived at the same conclusion — namely, to do nothing. Bush's advisers, like Clinton's, were split. In the Defense Department, some, like Paul Wolfowitz, seemed (according to Pollack) "obsessed" with getting rid of Saddam — though in point of historical fact Wolfowitz's position was not strikingly dissimilar to Al Gore's. For others, like Secretary of State Colin Powell, Iraq "simply did not measure up" to China or Russia or Europe on the scale of international importance.

Most, like Vice President Cheney, were in the middle. They saw plainly enough that containment was not working, and they also saw the long-term benefits of regime change. But they recognized as well that (to quote Pollack again) "toppling Saddam was going to be difficult, potentially costly, and risky." The net result was that by the summer of 2001, despite the almost complete collapse of the sanctions regime, "it had become clear that the administration was not going to pursue a radically new approach to Iraq."

Then came September 11. A hitherto obscure terrorist threat emanating from the Arab-Muslim world had reached out to commit mass murder against Americans on their own soil, and in so doing had changed everyone's priorities. Hillary Clinton, the new junior Senator from New York, put it this way in an interview with Dan Rather two days after 9/11, using starkly confrontational language of the sort for which President Bush would soon be pilloried: "Every nation has to be either for us, or against us. Those who harbor terrorists, or who finance them, are going to pay a price."

As for the administration, it had come to understand something else — namely, that its responsibility extended beyond the clear and present danger presented by nations, like Afghanistan, guilty of harboring terrorists. It had to prepare for future threats as well. In that regard, Iraq moved quickly to the head of the list.

As Douglas Feith explains in War and Decision, the recently published memoir of his days as Under Secretary for Policy in Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department, there were several reasons why a post-9/11 strategy had to focus on Saddam Hussein. First among them was Saddam's ties to terrorist groups, of which the Clinton administration had been well aware and had repeatedly cited. Although no evidence existed that Saddam had been involved in al Qaeda's attack on New York and Washington — and no Bush official ever asserted otherwise — the White House learned after the liberation of Afghanistan that Abu Musab Zarqawi, one of al Qaeda's key operatives, had found safe haven in Iraq. There was also some evidence (cited by General Tommy Franks in his own memoir, American Soldier), that Zarqawi "had been joined there by other al-Qaeda leaders."

Continued in article

"Bush's Lonely Decision," The Wall Street Journal, September 15, 2008; Page A22 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122143387192234073.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

No less remarkably, the surge continued to face entrenched Pentagon opposition even after the President had decided on it. Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, went out of his way to prevent General Keane from visiting Iraq in order to limit his influence with the White House.

The Pentagon also sought to hamstring General David Petraeus in ways both petty and large, even as it became increasingly apparent that the surge was working. Following the general's first report to Congress last September, Mr. Bush dictated a personal message to assure General Petraeus of his complete support: "I do not want to change the strategy until the strategy has succeeded," Mr. Woodward reports the President as saying. In this respect, Mr. Bush would have been better advised to dictate that message directly to Admiral Mullen.

The success of the surge in pacifying Iraq has been so swift and decisive that it's easy to forget how difficult it was to find the right general, choose the right strategy, and muster the political will to implement it. It is also easy to forget how many obstacles the State and Pentagon bureaucracies threw in Mr. Bush's way, and how much of their bad advice he had to ignore, especially now that their reputations are also benefiting from Iraq's dramatic turn for the better.

Then again, American history offers plenty of examples of wartime Presidents who faced similar challenges: Ulysses Grant became Lincoln's general-in-chief in 1864, barely a year before the surrender at Appomattox. What matters most is that the President had the fortitude to insist on winning. That's a test President Bush passed -- something history, if not Bob Woodward, will recognize.

John Glenn fires back --- http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/glenn.asp
More importantly read the anonymous quotation near the end about the Iraq war.




"Barney's Rubble," The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122161010874845645.html?mod=todays_us_opinion

Barney Frank didn't like our recent editorial taking him to task for his longtime defense of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Congressional baron defends himself in his signature style here. We'd let him have his say without comment except that his "whole story" is, well, far from the whole truth.

Mr. Frank contends that he favored "very strong reform" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, even before Democrats took over Congress after the 2006 elections. To adapt a famous phrase, this depends on what the meaning of "reform" is. Mr. Frank did support a bill that he and others on Capitol Hill described as reform. But on the threshold reform issue -- limiting the size of the portfolios of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that the two companies could hold -- Mr. Frank was a stalwart opponent.

In fact, Mr. Frank was publicly arguing for an increase in the size of their combined $1.4 trillion portfolios right up to the day they were bailed out. Even now, after he's been proven wrong about a taxpayer guarantee, he opposes Treasury's planned reduction in the size of the portfolios starting in 2010, according to a quote attributed to him in this newspaper last week. "Good luck on that," he reportedly said. Mr. Frank's spokeswoman hung up the phone when we sought confirmation Tuesday.

Fannie Mayhem: A History A compendium of The Wall Street Journal's recent editorial coverage of Fannie and Freddie. The MBS portfolios have long been both the chief source of the systemic risk posed by the two mortgage giants and of the profits that so handsomely enriched shareholders and officers alike for decades. Without the extreme leverage inherent in those portfolios -- which the companies borrowed heavily, at taxpayer-subsidized rates, to accumulate -- their federal takeover might never have become necessary.

For years, Mr. Frank and other friends of Fan and Fred opposed not only bills written to limit the size of their portfolios, but any bill that in their view gave an independent regulator too much discretion to order a reduction. This was true of the reform that his House committee passed last year. Only when the White House caved to Mr. Frank and dropped its earlier insistence that a reform bill rein in the portfolios did Mr. Frank move his bill.

In his letter, Mr. Frank also repeats his familiar claim that Fannie and Freddie are vital because they support "affordable housing." This is political smoke. The awful irony of Fan and Fred is that they have done very little to assist affordable housing. Most of the taxpayer subsidy has gone to enrich shareholders and Fannie managers, as a 2003 study by the Federal Reserve shows.

Mr. Frank says he favored the disclosure of Fannie and Freddie compensation -- which is nice, but beside the point. The source of the rich pay packages was the Fannie business model that Mr. Frank fought so hard to protect. Instead of helping the poor, Mr. Frank was enriching Jim Johnson, Frank Raines, Angelo Mozilo and Wall Street.

If Mr. Frank thinks his "affordable housing" goals are so popular, he can always ask Congress to appropriate money for any housing subsidy he desires. But he knows those votes are hard to come by. It's much easier to have Fannie and Freddie take inordinate risks, even at taxpayer expense, so they can pay a political dividend called an "affordable housing trust fund" that politicians will disperse. In opposing genuine reform of Fan and Fred, Mr. Frank wasn't acting like a principled liberal. He was protecting corporate giants while hiding their risks from taxpayers until the middle class got stuck with the bill.

Peter, Paul, and Barney: My Evolving (Daily) Essay on 2008 U.S. Government Bailouts of Private Companies ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm




The F9 Toggle Key

Somebody who has been making Camtasia videos for sometime was surprised when I told her about the F9 (or some equivalent) toggle key that lets you pause while recording a video, take a break, bring up some new computer screens for the next segment of the video, concentrate on what you plan to say and do during the next segment, and then hit the F9-key to commence recording the next segment.

Most of my videos were recorded this way. I looked brilliant in the way I could record relatively long videos in one session. In truth, I recorded a succession of segments that allowed me to rehearse before commencing once again. To my students there was a continuous flow across all segments.

I’ve never been good about editing out bad segments unless there is no audio (I almost never record without audio). Editing the video part is easy, but synching the audio with it takes a pro --- I’m no pro.

If I really screwed up a segment of a video, I just rolled my eyes and commenced recording the entire video from scratch. But the F9-toggle key greatly reduced the probability that I would screw up a video (except for small screw ups that sometimes were educational when the students watched me in the video correct these little mistakes).

You can see some of my videos at the following two sites:

Excel and MS Access Helpers --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5342/

 FAS 133 --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5342/

 It is important to compress (“produce”) the recorded avi files into something like mpg, wmv, mov, or flash files. This reduces over 90% of the file size for storing and downloading. It would take forever for my students to download the original avi files.

 If your college will still not give you enough space for all your recorded and compressed videos, why not put them on YouTube for free and share them with the entire world. This is the era for open sharing.

 You can read about free (and some fee) videos for accounting courses at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
Scroll down to the free accounting textbooks, tutorials, and videos.


"Finding a College That Suits Students With Special Needs," by Susan Shallenbarger, The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122160388151245179.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

"Case Study," TechSmith Promotion Release, September 2008 --- http://www.techsmith.com/morae/casestudy/landmarkcollege.asp?NLC=edu57

Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, is one of the only accredited colleges in the United States designed exclusively for students with dyslexia, attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), and other specific learning disabilities.

In 2001, the college started the Landmark College Institute for Research and Training (LCIRT). The Institute promotes understanding and support for the needs of individuals with learning disabilities at the regional, national, and international level, working with college and high school systems and educators to help students realize their academic potential. The Institute develops and disseminates educational research and theory-based teaching practices that set the standard for educating students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders.

The Institute also houses several significant federal grant projects that support the continued development of innovative practices, publications, and research projects.

Before we had the Universal Design and Usability Lab, much of our work was anecdotal – now that we have Morae, it’s undeniable. Morae has enabled us to conduct research and communicate results in ways we never thought possible, and we are able to have a positive impact in the way other organizations design learning content and technologies.

You can read (and watch a video) more about Morae at http://www.techsmith.com/morae.asp

What is the Landmark Act?
What is the Landmark College? 

"Reaching Students With Learning Disabilities," by David Epstein, Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/10/25/landmark

According to a report by the American Council on Education, the number of full-time college freshmen with learning disabilities — dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactive disorder are among the most common — more than doubled in the decade leading up to 2000, to nearly 27,000.

Betit said the spike is because more of those students are being identified than in the past, and that, now that colleges are recognizing their own students with learning disabilities, it is time to learn more about educating them. A large part of Landmark’s intent is to use the grant to make information about teaching techniques available online, so teachers at colleges that do not cater only to students with learning disabilities can easily access information. If it works at the five partner colleges, Landmark hopes to share its wisdom more widely. “We’ll never be a big college,” Betit said. “But we want to share what we know.”

Many of the shared techniques will focus on expanding the available types of sensory input a student can use for learning. “I don’t know how many college classrooms have boxes of Legos” like Landmark classrooms, he said, noting that some students “are more tactile, and need to grasp an idea literally, rather than intellectually.”

But Betit said other colleges don’t necessarily need to go to Legos to better accommodate students with learning disabilities. He said sometimes easy adjustments, such as using more graphics, can help students who are visual learners. And other strategies that focus on basic skills that students with learning disabilities often have not developed — such as time management, and study skills — can benefit all of the students in a conventional college classroom.

One of the systems that Landmark uses, “master notebooks,” gives students a separate notebook for each course that is divided into sections like “ideas,” and “curriculum.” In the “notes” section, students use a two-column note-taking system that uses paper with a large left-hand margin, for students to organize major ideas of a course, and then they can fill in details pertaining to each idea on the right.

Betit encourages techniques as simple as a daily checklist to help teach time management. “Better time management is something all students can use,” he said, so it shouldn’t be difficult to incorporate into a conventional college classroom.

It isn’t clear yet exactly which new teaching methods will be carried out in classrooms beyond Landmark, but the partner colleges will start by educating their own employees. Charles Blocksidge, vice president of organizational development and the Frieda G. Shapira Center for Learning, which works with students with learning disabilities at Allegheny County, wants to adapt some of the training techniques of Landmark personnel to develop a training program for “our support services personnel,” he said, but also for faculty members.

Susan Trist, disabilities support coordinator at Western Nevada, said she works with around 100 students with learning disabilities, and hopes that, through contact with Landmark, she can be kept up to date on prevailing thought about teaching methods, “and especially on assistive technology,” she said. The students Trist works with are mixed in with other college students, and she will sometimes “have the exam read to them if they have a visual processing disorder, or get them textbooks on CD,” she said. Trist said she “is anxious to hear about” the techniques Landmark faculty use to accommodate students. “We need to start a community of people to share best practices,” she said.

The Landmark Disabilities Act is celebrated at http://www.eeoc.gov/press/7-27-99.html

The Landmark College site is at http://www.landmarkcollege.org/

I might add the following from accounting education:
Sherry Mills and Cathleen Burns won the American Accounting Associations Innovation in Accounting Education Award by using a Lego project to teach cost accounting --- http://aaahq.org/awards/awrd6win.htm 

Bob Jensen's threads  on technology to aid special need students at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Handicapped


Question
Once you make the admission tests optional (SAT and ACT), what do you put in its place to filter out acceptances versus rejections from all the applicants with virtually straight-A high school records (when you do not have the capacity to admit every applicant to campus)?

"After You Go SAT-Optional," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 25, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/25/wake

Jensen Comment
There may be a clever strategy for dealing SAT/ACT optional admissions after the $700 million bailout is in place. Admit every applicant on probation for one semester. Then at the end of the semester sell all the flunk outs under achievers to the U.S. Department of the Treasury. If the government waits long enough and spends billions more for remedial education, taxpayers might eventually make a profit like President Bush promises that taxpayers will profit from buying up all the banks' bad debts. We've got to build up momentum behind this bailout idea --- it can work for more than just challenged (submerged) mortgage investments.


Students Overwhelmingly Prefer Interactive Online Lectures to Onsite Classroom Lectures
"I’ll Take My Lecture to Go, Please," by Andy Guess, Inside Higher Ed, September 23, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/23/capture

It looks like students can be open-minded after all: When provided with the option to view lectures online, rather than just in person, a full 82 percent of undergraduates kindly offered that they’d be willing to entertain an alternative to showing up to class and paying attention in real time.

A new study released today suggests not only a willingness but a “clear preference” among undergraduates for “lecture capture,” the technology that records, streams and stores what happens in the classroom for concurrent or later viewing.

The study, sponsored by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s E-Business Institute, tackles the much-discussed question of students’ preferences for traditional versus online learning with unusual rigor. Based on a survey of more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the university, the study had a response rate of over 25 percent. Almost half of the undergraduates — 47 percent — had taken a class with lectures available for online viewing.

The responses potentially address two of the biggest obstacles some observers see to more widespread adoption of lecture capture technology and other elements of distance education: a willingness to learn remotely, and the cost barrier.

Students who responded to the survey clearly understood the benefits of lectures that are available as Webcasts, such as making up for missed classes — which, at 93 percent, ranked as the top advantage — and “watching lectures on demand for convenience” (79 percent) or other reasons, such as reviewing lectures before class.

Over half, moreover, said they saw value in having access to course materials (such as lectures, potentially) even after the semester was over, much in the same way that some students keep their old textbooks for future reference.

At the same time, the survey addresses potential cost concerns, which have given pause to administrators who worry about the financial strains of scaling up their educational efforts as well as to students who would bristle at added technology fees for all of their classes. Over 60 percent of respondents said they would pay for lecture capture capabilities, and of those, 69 percent said they would be willing to pay on a “course-by-course” basis rather than bundled fees.

“I think one of the things that surprised us a bit was the undergraduate preference,” said Sandra Bradley, practice director at the university’s E-Business Consortium and co-author of the study. “I think we were maybe anticipating that we would see it a bit higher with graduate students,” whose preference was only slightly lower, at 79 percent.

Sean Brown, vice president of higher education for Sonic Foundry, which specializes in rich media and lecture capture applications for higher education, said the study was a validation of his company’s internal research. He will be featuring the study’s results in a live Webcast to higher education professionals today. As a member of the E-Business Consortium based at the university, he added, the company’s marketing department initially supported some of the study’s administrative costs, but those did not in any way influence the outcome.

“There’s a lot of positive feelings ... but to have empirical evidence that it’s having an impact and about how students feel about” lecture capture, he said, was valuable feedback.

Continued in article

Jensen Question
What are the advantages of onsite lectures?
Coed watching?
Opportunity to daydream?
Chit chats face-to-face after class?
Cannot procrastinate watching a live lecture as opposed to a video lecture?
Can feel the instructor's enjoyment of being in front of a face-to-face class?
Instructor is more likely to notice my confusion, pain, happiness, boredom, etc.

Jensen Comment
Outcomes may vary a great deal with class size (e.g., 20 students vs. 600 students in the class)"
The response rate seems rather low for a student survey and outcomes could be biased

Note the more scientific SCALE experiments summarized at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois


In one century we went from teaching Latin and Greek in high school to offering remedial English in college.
Joseph Sobran as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-11-27-07.htm

Most Students in Remedial Classes in College Had Solid Grades in High School Nearly four out of five students who undergo remediation in college graduated from high school with grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher, according to a report issued today by Strong American Schools, a group that advocates making public-school education more rigorous.
Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 15, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/news/article/5145/most-students-in-remedial-classes-in-college-had-solid-grades-in-high-school-survey-finds 

College Admissions Officers Urge Dumbing Down of College Admissions Tests (e.g., the SAT and ACT tests)

"Admissions Group Urges Colleges to 'Assume Control' of Debate on Testing," by Eric Hoover, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 22, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/09/4685n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en
Also see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/22/testing

With just a few words, William R. Fitzsimmons could start a revolution. He is, after all, dean of admissions and financial aid at Harvard University.

Imagine if he announces one day that his office no longer requires applicants to submit standardized-test scores. Within weeks Harvard's competitors go test-optional, too. Soon less-selective institutions do the same. College admissions is transformed, and high-school students everywhere rejoice.

At least that's what happens in the daydream shared by some testing critics. Reality, however, looks a lot different. ACT and SAT exams support a complex ecosystem in which colleges' needs vary according to size, mission, and selectivity. Even Harvard cannot change that.

Still, people listen to what Mr. Fitzsimmons says. And this week, he plans to say a lot about tests.

Last year the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or Nacac, asked Mr. Fitzsimmons to lead a panel that would examine testing issues and recommend how colleges might better use entrance exams. The dean and his fellow panelists are to present their findings on Friday at the association's annual conference, in Seattle.

Nacac gave The Chronicle an early look at the long-awaited "Report of the Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergraduate Admission," which stops well short of condemning admissions tests. Nonetheless, it delivers the association's strongest statement to date on one of higher education's most controversial issues. It affirms that colleges and other interested parties have overinflated both the real and the perceived importance of the exams—and proposes how to let some of that air out.

The report urges colleges to regularly scrutinize their testing requirements, to stop using minimum scores for scholarships, and to ensure that admissions policies account for inequities among applicants, including access to test preparation. Moreover, it anticipates a future when admissions tests better reflect what students learn in high school.

"We want to get the word out more clearly than before that tests should not be used in a rigid way," Mr. Fitzsimmons says. "A couple decades ago, people associated testing results with so-called ability. We have come to a clearer understanding that those scores have more to do with opportunities."

'Center of Gravity'

Creating the 58-page report was a test itself. The 21-member panel included admissions deans from an array of institutions, such as Central Lakes College, in Minnesota; Georgetown University; and the University of Connecticut.

"The challenge was to find a center of gravity," says David A. Hawkins, Nacac's director of public policy and research. "We were looking to the collective wisdom of colleges, which have their own proprietary interests and are not always consistent."

High-school counselors, independent consultants, and education-policy experts rounded out the panel, which met four times and communicated frequently via e-mail. Mr. Hawkins had the unenviable task of synthesizing more than 20 hours of notes with the panelists' written contributions.

The commission crafted recommendations that echoed the association's big-tent spirit. "We were realistic," says Mr. Hawkins. "We weren't going to tell people to abolish tests or that they were the greatest thing since sliced bread."

The report does encourage more colleges to consider dropping their test requirement if they find that they can make appropriate admissions decisions without the ACT and SAT.

Each college, the report says, should use its own validity studies to judge whether the tests have enough predictive value to justify their use. Admissions offices should not rely only on national data compiled by testing companies—or on tradition.

The panel encourages Nacac to become an "unaffiliated clearinghouse" of testing information. It recommends that the association create a program to train admissions officials in the ethics and standards of testing. It also asks Nacac to create a way for colleges to share testing research, and to annually publish sample validity studies of the ACT and SAT.

Judgments of the value of such statistics, however, often divided the committee. All members agreed that test scores reliably predict freshman-year grades, but some said that did not justify requiring the tests.

Steven T. Syverson urged his fellow panelists to reach a broader definition of success in college. "We need to start paying better attention to our language," says Mr. Syverson, vice president for enrollment at Lawrence University, in Wisconsin, which does not require standardized-test scores. "Success isn't a grade-point average. I've got lots of students who get C's but who have a fabulous college experience. They develop social skills and leadership skills. Being a good citizen is a successful outcome."

Randall C. Deike agrees. Even so, he brought a more practical view of tests to the discussion.

Vice president for enrollment at Case Western Reserve University, Mr. Deike holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology. He believes that the ACT and SAT are solid tests that help admissions officials do their jobs, especially at large universities with waves of applicants. He repeatedly told the commission not to discount the statistical significance of the exams.

"Why," he recalls asking, "would you throw away good information?"

Mr. Fitzsimmons, the chairman, dubbed Mr. Deike "the canary in the coal mine." When panelists proposed language that struck him as too critical of tests, he would speak up and try to steer them to more-inclusive recommendations.

In the spirit of collaboration, Mr. Deike ended up writing a key passage in the report that encourages more colleges to at least explore the possibility of going test-optional. But he remains unconvinced that such a move is advisable for many. "Too often standardized testing is condemned," he says, "when it's really test misuse that's at issue."

Beyond Numbers

The report takes gentle swipes at several third parties for "possible misuses" of test scores. It urges the National Merit Scholarship Corporation to stop using minimum PSAT scores as a requirement for its awards. It questions why the College Board "appears to condone" that practice. The report also criticizes the use of test scores in U.S. News & World Report's college rankings, as well as in college-bond ratings.

The booming test-preparation industry prompted a vigorous debate among panelists. Some participants say they had hoped that the report would dismiss test prep's value to students. Others, however, argued that the issue looms too large in students' lives to reduce to a short statement. They wanted the report to confront the complexity of what they see: that test prep benefits some applicants but not all.

"I'm not against preparing for tests, but there's now an obsessive compulsion to get the best scores you can," says Marybeth Kravets, a counselor at Deerfield High School, a public school in Illinois. "Therein lies the inequity—those who can afford it can better prepare themselves."

The commission concluded that while test prep is inevitable, its effects remain too mysterious. Could it add 30 points to a student's SAT score, or 100? What distinguishes good prep from bad?

Continued in article

Even without dumbing down the admissions tests, too many admitted students need remedial tutoring--- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#RemedialNeeds

Our underachieving colleges --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#Bok


"Stanford U. Engineering Courses Offered Online -- for Free," by Scott Carlson, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 17, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3324&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

Stanford University is offering 10 online computer-science and electrical-engineering courses for free. The content will be offered through a variety of media and formats, including video on YouTube and podcasts on iTunes, and will present an introduction to computer science, artificial intelligence and robotics, and linear systems and optimization.

Stanford University is offering 10 online computer-science and electrical-engineering courses for free. The content will be offered through a variety of media and formats, including video on YouTube and podcasts on iTunes, and will present an introduction to computer science, artificial intelligence and robotics, and linear systems and optimization.

The courses will be covered under a Creative Commons license, which means that professors and students can download and use the courses for noncommercial purposes, as long as they give Stanford credit.

Stanford officials said the program could be expanded to include more courses if it proves popular and successful.

So, if you’re Stanford, why do this? To test a potentially lucrative market? To extend the brand? David Orenstein, a spokesman for Stanford, says that the college already offers online courses for tuition, so money is not a motivation here. Spreading Stanford’s brand name might be a benefit, he says. “At this point, there is not a grand motive,” he says, noting that similar projects have been offered by Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing of courses are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI


See one of my heroes, Bernie Milano, on Video --- http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3150.cfm

Minority Hiring Success Varies Greatly by Discipline:  Law, Business, and Sciences Have the Worst Records
The major cause lies in the supply chain of PhD graduates

One of the reasons for the shortage of minority undergraduate students in accounting has been the lack of role models teaching accounting courses in college.

"Whatever Happened to All Those Plans to Hire More Minority Professors?" by Ben Gose, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 2008
http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i05/05b00101.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Duke U.: Success rates vary by discipline

The black faculty Strategic Initiative began in 1993, on the heels of the failed effort to add at least one black professor to every department.

As of the fall of 2007, Duke had 62 tenured or tenure-track black professors, accounting for 4.5 percent of the faculty. But while the raw number is double that of 20 years ago, it masks tremendous variation within the university. Black professors remain rare in the law school, which has one black professor, the business school, with two, and the natural sciences, with three.

Karla FC Holloway, an English professor who served as dean of humanities and social sciences from 1999 to 2005, says each unit of the university should be held accountable for its record on diversity. "There has been growth in arts and social sciences, and medicine, but in some ways that growth has arguably allowed other schools or divisions not to work as aggressively with this effort," she says.

Mr. Lange, the provost, concedes that some parts of the university have fallen short. He says he is working closely on the issue with the law school's dean, David F. Levi, and other officials. "They have made offers and have not been successful at times," Mr. Lange says. "They're putting in a lot of effort to do better."

Duke makes sure that when black job applicants visit the campus, they meet other black faculty members — and not just potential colleagues in the department to which they're applying. The university also is taking small steps to widen the pipeline. Duke has financed two postdoctoral positions for minority candidates each year, with the hope that it will eventually hire some of them for tenure-track faculty positions.

In 2003, Duke started yet another faculty initiative related to diversity — but this time the scope was expanded to include women and all underrepresented minority groups. "We needed to recognize that diversity had come to include a substantially broader set of concerns," Mr. Lange says.

Ms. Holloway worries that the broader focus may give deans and department chairs an out: "People can say, 'I've hired enough women, and that makes up for the lack of minorities.'"

Harvard U.: Uneven progress on racial diversity

Harvard created an office of faculty development and diversity, to be headed by a senior vice provost, in 2005, shortly after announcing that it would spend $50-million to help diversify the faculty.

In the more than three years since that commitment, the university has made modest progress in diversifying its faculty, and some professors believe that the new office deserves some of the credit. Kay Kaufman Shelemay, a professor of music and of African and African-American studies, says the office has done a good job compiling statistics related to diversity and working with deans and department chairs to ensure that they cast a wider net in their searches. "There is no doubt that the office established by former President Summers both invigorated and centralized our institutional efforts," Ms. Shelemay says.

Women now make up 16 percent of tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the natural sciences, up from 12 percent in 2004-5. In the humanities, 32 percent of the professors are women, up from 30 percent, and in the social sciences, 31 percent are women, up from 28 percent.

The changes for the professional schools over that period varied — law, engineering, and government all saw significant gains for women, while the proportion of female faculty members actually dropped in the schools of divinity, dentistry, and education.

The university's progress on racial diversity, meanwhile, has been uneven. More than 6 percent of the tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the social sciences are black, but black professors make up 1 percent or less of faculty members in the natural sciences and the humanities. Hispanic professors make up no more than 2 percent of faculty members in each of those three areas.

In 2006, Harvard committed $7.5-million to improve child care on the campus — a primary concern of female faculty members. The university also just completed its third year of a summer program aimed in part at improving the pipeline for female and minority professors. The program allows undergraduates to spend 10 weeks in the research laboratories of science and engineering faculty members. More than half of the 400 participants have been women, and more than 60 percent have been minority students.

Judith D. Singer, a professor of education who became senior vice provost for faculty development and diversity in June, says she was willing to take on the job because the climate "feels different" under Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard's first female president. But Ms. Singer acknowledges that progress has been uneven among departments and divisions.

"Addressing issues of diversity remains a challenge throughout higher education," she says. "We at Harvard, like our peer institutions, must do better."

U. of Wisconsin at Madison: Progress in fits and starts

The university undertook its Madison Plan in 1988, vowing to double the number of black, Hispanic, and American Indian professors by adding 70 new faculty members within three years.

Progress has come in fits and starts. A Wisconsin official told The Chronicle in 1995 that the university hadn't made the progress it had hoped for. The number of tenured or tenure-track black professors, for example, increased only 61 percent, to 37, in that seven-year span. The total then surged to 60 by 2001, only to stall. Over the six years ending in 2007, the number of black professors dropped to 51.

Mr. Farrell, the provost, argues that part of the challenge is increased competition. While institutions like Wisconsin were among the first to spell out ambitious plans to diversify the faculty, now almost every institution has one. "We compete with everybody else for the pool that exists," he says.

Damon A. Williams, who became vice provost for diversity and climate in August, says Wisconsin and other universities must seek out minority job candidates more aggressively. For example, he wants to see Madison recruit aggressively at the annual Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, sponsored by the Southern Regional Educational Board and attended by hundreds of minority Ph.D. candidates.

"We have to be visible and present at that meeting and be willing to sell ourselves to them," he says.

Wisconsin's record with Hispanic and American Indian faculty members has been stronger. The university had 77 Hispanic professors in 2007, up from 53 in 1998, and 13 American Indian professors, up from four in 1998.

The growth of American Indian studies — in a state that is home to several Indian tribes — has helped attract new American Indian professors to the campus, Mr. Farrell says. "Professors who visit say, 'OK, here's a place where people from our background can thrive, fit in, and have success.'"

Still, Wisconsin and other universities must persuade more minority undergraduates to pursue academic careers, the provost says. The engineering school has developed a fellowship program, aimed primarily at minority graduate students, that encourages them to pursue research immediately. That program is being copied by the College of Letters and Science.

"When students spend their first year or two just on class work," Mr. Farrell says, "they find graduate school is not nearly as interesting as they thought it would be."

Virginia Tech: A bigger faculty role in hiring

The university made an extraordinary effort to diversify its campus starting in the late 1990s, and it paid off: During the three years ending in 2002, the number of black tenured and tenure-track professors in the College of Arts and Sciences rose by more than 50 percent, to 17; the number of Hispanic professors more than doubled, to seven; and the proportion of female professors rose from 20.6 percent to 23.6 percent.

Myra Gordon, an associate dean who left Virginia Tech in 2002, was the architect of the plan. At the time, faculty members complained that she had essentially taken over their role of hiring new professors.

Mark G. McNamee, the provost since 2001, says that while the university remains strongly committed to diversifying the faculty, some of the tactics that were criticized have been reined in or eliminated. Now he and the deans offer input at beginning of the process but for the most part let faculty members have the final say in hiring.

"It was a much more centrally controlled process at the time," Mr. McNamee says. "The deans are still engaged and have responsibilities, but they're not perceived as unduly influencing what the outcome is going to be."

It is difficult to evaluate progress in the College of Arts and Sciences since then, because it was divided into smaller colleges several years ago. Over the four years ending in 2007, the university had a net increase of five black and five Hispanic professors. Black faculty members make up about 3 percent of the tenured and tenure-track professoriate, Hispanic faculty members less than 2 percent, and women 24.3 percent.

In 2006 students protested the university's decision not to grant tenure to a black professor known for his activism on affirmative action and other causes. Mr. McNamee promised to establish a committee to study the role of race at the university. "When someone doesn't get tenure, that doesn't help us, but that's just the way it is sometimes," he says now.

In August the committee released a plan that calls for a cluster of six new hires in Africana studies and race and social policy.

Virginia Tech also frequently invites professors from historically black universities to deliver lectures on the campus, in part to elevate awareness of the university among those lecturers.

"Once people know Virginia Tech," says Mr. McNamee, "they really like it a lot better than they think they're going to like it."

Continued in article

To its credit, the Big Four accounting firm KPMG, inspired heavily by Bernie Milano at KPMG, years ago created a foundation  (with multiple outside contributors) for virtually five years of funding to minorities to selected for particular accounting doctoral programs --- http://www.kpmgfoundation.org/foundinit.asp

  • Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarships

    The KPMG Foundation Minority Accounting Doctoral Scholarships aim to further increase the completion rate among African-American, Hispanic-American and Native American doctoral students. The scholarships provide the funding for them to see their dreams come to fruition.

    For the 2007-2008 academic year, the Foundation awarded $10,000 scholarships (annually), for a total of five years, to 9 minority accounting and information systems doctoral students. There are 35 doctoral students who have had their scholarships renewed for 2007-2008, bringing the total number of scholarships awarded to 44. To date, KPMG Foundation's total commitment to the scholarship program exceeds $12 million.

    Financial support often determines whether a motivated student can meet the escalating costs of higher education. For most of those students, a return to school means giving up a lucrative job. For some, acceptance in a doctoral program means an expensive relocation. Still others need enough time to study without the burden of numerous part-time jobs.
    Jensen Comment
    This is more than just a pot of money. KPMG works with doctoral program administrators and families of minority candidates to work out case-by-case solving of special problems such as single parenthood. I think added funding is provided on an as-needed basis. The effort is designed to help students not only get into an accounting doctoral program but to follow through to the very end. It should be noted that although KPMG started this effort, various competing accounting firms have donated money to this exceptionally worthy cause. One of the reasons for the shortage of minority undergraduate students in accounting has been the lack of role models teaching accounting courses in college.

    See one of my heroes, Bernie Milano, on Video --- http://www.diversityinc.com/public/3150.cfm

    Universities, if they are going to encourage the careers of women (and of everyone), she said, need to be willing to embrace “people with different values” and be sure that they are fully included. To the extent some men “will compete for anything,” Downey said, that should not set a standard where only women who share those values can succeed in academe. The success of women and men, she said, can be judged on their work and not competitiveness. “It’s no longer useful to have a ’sink or swim’ mentality,” she said.
    "New Questions on Women, Academe and Careers," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 22, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/22/women

    Bob Jensen's threads on affirmative action in hiring and pay raises are at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#AffirmativeAction


    "Government Losses on 9.5-Percent Loan Loophole May Exceed $1-Billion," by Paul Baskin, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 18, 2008 ---
    http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/09/4654n.htm?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

    A group of 14 student-loan companies that benefited from a federal subsidy loophole collected nearly three times the amount they may have been entitled to claim without the maneuver, according to a set of independent audits of their operations.

    If those audit findings are representative of all loan companies that received subsidies under a program that guaranteed some lenders a 9.5-percent return on their loans, it would mean the government lost nearly $1.2-billion in improper payments over a six-year period.

    That's about twice the loss previously suggested by outside estimates after the Bush administration agreed last year to let the loan companies keep all the money they had taken so far through the loophole, with the understanding that they wouldn't take any more (The Chronicle, January 28, 2008).

    "I'm astounded by the audits so far," said Rep. Thomas E. Petri, a Wisconsin Republican who serves on the House education committee. The findings should prompt the Education Department to demand audits of all other lenders to find out how much was lost, Mr. Petri said.

    Yet executives of some of the loan companies that took payments under the 9.5-percent interest-rate program—a group that consists mostly of state-chartered agencies and other nonprofit corporations—said they saw little reason for concern.

    Loan agencies "across the nation have moved forward beyond the 9.5 loan issue," said Patricia Beard, chief executive of the South Texas Higher Education Authority. Anyone concerned about the welfare of student borrowers should instead devote "attention to something that matters to the nation," such as the overall downturn in capital markets, Ms. Beard said.

    A Break Became a Windfall

    The losses stem from the government's program of providing subsidy payments to private lenders that issue student loans. One element of that program, created in 1980 at a time of relatively high interest rates, promised nonprofit lenders a fixed 9.5-percent rate of return.

    That subsidy rate became a financial windfall for those lenders in later years when market rates fell. Some lenders extended that advantage through a "recycling" process in which they passed new loan money through old accounts, thereby claiming them to the Education Department as eligible for the expired 9.5-percent subsidy rate.

    After years of deliberations on how to handle that type of activity, the Education Department ruled in January 2007 that the largest user of the recycling tactic, Nelnet, a for-profit Nebraska student loan company formed in 1998 from a nonprofit lender, had been allowed to receive $323-million more in subsidy payments than it should have (The Chronicle, February 2, 2007).

    In what the department described as a settlement, it let Nelnet keep the $323-million but required the company to forgo expected future payments under the 9.5-percent program, estimated at $882-million. The department then agreed to let any other loan companies keep billing through the 9.5-percent program if they provided an independent audit proving they were not claiming the subsidy on any improperly recycled loan money (The Chronicle, February 6).

    Nelnet and other lenders had repeatedly asked the Education Department as early as 2002 for confirmation that the recycling tactic was legal. In a letter of May 29, 2003, Terry J. Heimes, president of Nelnet Education Loan Funding, a corporate subsidiary, described the company's approach and pleaded for a response.

    "We intend to proceed under the analysis described above and assume its correctness, unless we are directed otherwise by you," Mr. Heimes wrote to Angela S. Roca-Baker, an official in the department's Office of Federal Student Aid, according to a September 2006 audit of the case by the department's inspector general.

    Continued in article

    "College Administrator’s Dual Roles Are a Focus of Student Loan Inquiry," by Sam Dillon, The New York Times, April 13, 2007 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/13/education/13loans.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

  • Walter C. Cathie, a vice president at Widener University, spent years working his way up the ranks of various colleges and forging a reputation as a nationally known financial aid administrator. Then he made a business out of it.

    He created a consulting company, Key West Higher Education Associates, named after his vacation home in Florida. The firm specializes in conferences that bring college deans of finance together with lenders eager to court them.

    The program for the next conference, slated for June at the Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards in Baltimore, lists seven lenders as sponsors. One sponsor said it would pay $20,000 to participate. Scheduled presentations include “what needs to be done in Washington to fight back against the continued attacks on student lenders” and the “economics and ethics of aid packaging.”

    Investigations into student lending abuses are broadening in Washington and Albany. Mr. Cathie is still at Widener, and his roles as university official and entrepreneur have put him center stage, as a prime example of how university administrators who advise students have become cozy with lenders.

    Widener, with campuses in Pennsylvania and Delaware, put Mr. Cathie on leave this week after New York’s attorney general requested documents relating to his consulting firm and told the university that one lender, Student Loan Xpress, had paid Key West $80,000 to participate in four conferences.

    Mr. Cathie said in an interview yesterday that he still hoped to pull off the June event. “Though who knows, if nobody comes, I guess it’ll implode,” he said.

    Several of the scheduled speakers said in interviews that they were canceling.

    “Yes, I’ve made money,” he said, “but I haven’t done anything illegal. So I’d sure like this story to get out, that — you know, Walter Cathie is a giving individual, that he’s been very open, that he’s always taken the profits and given back to students.”

    He said he had donated some consulting profits to a scholarship fund in his father’s name at Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked for 21 years. “I’ve been in this business a long time, I’ve always been a student advocate, and I haven’t done anything wrong,” Mr. Cathie said.

    Others say his case illustrates how some officials have become so entwined with lenders that they have become oblivious to conflicts of interest.

    “The allegations made against Mr. Cathie and his institution point at the structural corruption of the student lending system,” said Barmak Nassirian, a director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

    The system has become so complex, and involves so much money, Mr. Nassirian said, “the temptation has become too great for many of the players to take a little bite for themselves.”

    The program for the conference in June lists corporate sponsors. One is Student Loan Xpress, whose president, according to documents obtained by the United States Senate, provided company stock to officials at several universities and at the Department of Education.

    Another is Education Finance Partners Inc., which Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has accused of making payments to 60 colleges for loan volume. Neither company returned calls for comment.

    The program lists as a speaker Dick Willey, chief executive of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority, a state loan agency facing calls for reform after reports that board members, spouses and employees have spent $768,000 on pedicures, meals and other such expenses since 2000.

    Mr. Willey’s spokesman, Keith New, said that Mr. Willey would not speak at the conference, but that the agency intended to sponsor it with a “platinum level” commitment of $20,000.

    Mr. Cathie came to Widener in 1997, initially as its dean of financial aid, after years at Allegheny College, Carnegie Mellon and Wabash College in Indiana, building a background in enrollment management and financial aid.

    In 1990, well into his tenure at Carnegie Mellon, Mr. Cathie and his boss, William Elliott, an admissions official who is today Carnegie Mellon’s vice president for enrollment, began organizing annual conferences for college administrators to debate policy issues, both men said.

    They named their conferences the Fitzwilliam Audit after the Fitzwilliam Inn in New Hampshire, where they were held, Mr. Cathie said.

    Continued in article

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

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

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


    Forwarded by Gene and Joan

    Carjacking with that dangerous sheet of paper on your back window

    You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the engine and shift into Reverse. When you look into the rearview mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock your doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.

    And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car. So now the carjacker has your ca r, your home address, your money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are now compromised!


    "Duke University's Business School to Open 5 Overseas Campuses," by Aisha Labi, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 15, 2008 --- Click Here

    Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business announced today an ambitious international-expansion plan that will involve the simultaneous establishment of five new overseas campuses, in Dubai, London, New Delhi, Shanghai, and St. Petersburg.

    The move will transform the school into “the first truly global business school, shaped and driven by the fundamental issues of our time,” its dean, Blair Sheppard, said in a written statement.

    The Fuqua School’s first new international partnership, with the Graduate School of Management at St. Petersburg State University, was announced today, and details of the location of the campus in India will be disclosed next month.

    “Partnerships with individuals, municipalities, and organizations will facilitate the simultaneous launch of the business school’s campuses in each of these five regions,” the statement announcing the initiative said. However, Duke’s approach to global expansion differs from that of other institutions in that it “calls for a significant presence in each location rather than the casual affiliations that define the international programs of most U.S. business schools,” Dean Sheppard said in the statement.

    The “breadth and scale” of the new Duke venture sets it apart from other business schools’ overseas efforts, and Dean Sheppard, who took up his post just 16 months ago, “has been one of the most innovative architects of business programs,” the London-based Financial Times newspaper said in an article today. But the article pointed out that a previous attempt at overseas expansion failed when the Fuqua School “had to close its Frankfurt campus because it could not drum up enough business there.”

    The school’s existing partnerships with overseas institutions may well be a complicating factor, the Financial Times said. For example, Duke has an existing relationship with the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, which is not part of the new plan, as well as with the London School of Economics and Political Science, whose role in the expansion has not yet been announced. The London School of Economics offers an executive M.B.A. program in conjunction with New York University’s Stern School of Business, which “could end up in direct competition with one of the Duke programs in London,” the Financial Times said.

    Also see http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/09/16/duke

    Jensen Comment
    Duke also had the first Ivy-like online MBA program (centered in Paris in 1996). You can read the following very old tidbit at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm#Motivations

    Example 7 --- Partnerships 
    Lucrative partnerships between universities and corporations seeking to train and educate employees.

    The highly successful Global Executive MBA Program at Duke University (formerly called GEMBA) where corporations from around the world pay nearly $100,000 for one or two employees to earn a prestigious online MBA degree --- http://www.fuqua.duke.edu/admin/gemba/index.html

    UNext Corporation has an exclusive partnership with General Motors Corporation that provides online executive training and education programs to 88,000 GM managers.  GM pays the fees.  See http://www.unext.com/ 

    Army University Access Online --- http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/index.html 
    This five-year $453 million initiative was completed by the consulting division of PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).  Twenty-four colleges are delivering training and education courses online through the U.S. Army's e-learning portal.  There are programs for varying levels of accomplishment, including specialty certificates, associates degrees, bachelor's degrees, and masters degrees.  All courses are free to soldiers.  By 2003, there is planned capacity is for 80,000 online students.   The PwC Program Director is Jill Kidwell --- http://www.adec.edu/earmyu/kidwell.html 

    Army Online University attracted 12,000 students during its first year of operation.  It plans to double its capacity and add 10,000 more students in 2002.  It is funded by the U.S. Army for all full time soldiers to take non-credit and credit courses from selected major universities.  The consulting arm of the accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers manages the entire system. 

    The U.S. Internal Revenue Service has a program for online training and education for all IRS employees.  The IRS pays the fees for all employees.  The IRS online accounting classes will be served up from Florida State University and Florida Community College at Jacksonville --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A60881-2001May7.html 

    Deere & Company has an exclusive partnership with Indiana University to provide an online MBA program for Deere employees.  Deere pays the fees.  See "Deere & Company Turns to Indiana University's Kelley School of Business For Online MBA Degrees in Finance," Yahoo Press Release, October 8, 2001 --- http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/011008/cgm034_1.html 

    The University of Georgia partnered with the consulting division of PwC to deliver a totally online MBA degree.  The program is only taken by PwC employees.  PwC paid the development and delivery fees.  See http://www.coe.uga.edu./coenews/2000/UGAusnews.htm 

     


    Writing Helpers for College Professors:  Write Something Every Day (Darn! All these years I thought it was every minute.)

    "Job Coaches Help Get Professors Back on Track Academics seek advice when writer's block threatens their careers," by Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i05/05a00102.htm

  • Junior professors, midcareer faculty members, and even the most seasoned of academics sometimes need help with managing at least one aspect of their careers. Here are a few signs of when you might need to give a faculty coach a call:
    • You're mired in a departmental battle.
    • You can only work under deadline pressure.
    • You've allowed teaching and service work to take up all of your time.
    • You're a chronic procrastinator.
    • You start papers but never finish them.
    • You're baffled by putting together a promotion and tenure portfolio.
    • You can't find time to do research.
    • You avoid writing at all costs.
    • You're not clear on the expectations for tenure.
    • You need help maintaining momentum.

    (Jensen Comment:  Think of some others here ---  )
    Television
    Video on the Web
    Refereeing the writing submissions of others (think of the hours spent on this one)
    Fear of rejection that is second only to fear of acceptance subject to conditions of major revision
    Fear that a referee will do to you what you just wrote on some poor schluk’s paper
    Explaining (to a student or some practitioner calling from another country) for the 946th time how to value an interest rate swap
    Reading and responding to email
    Reading listservs and blogs in fear you might miss something important (Jensen gets cursed a lot)
    Always attending seminars, invited guest lectures, art exhibits, committee meetings, etc. etc.
    Colleagues and students chew up time with chit chat)
    Long lunch hours
    Afternoon receptions and early cocktail hours
    Picking up or dropping off you kids, somebody else's kids, soccer dads, hockey moms, etc. etc.
    Shopping, putting groceries away, cooking, cleaning, etc. etc.
    Porn (hush now)
    And (darn) having to read before you write
    Sex every day (yes, yes) for better health but not better writing ---
    http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/365-nights-of-sex-can-it-strengthen-a-marriage

     

    In the publish-or-perish world of colleges and universities, writing is incredibly important because without published work professors don't get promoted and never earn tenure. Some, including these three, are turning to outsiders called faculty coaches to help them overcome this career killer.

    "There's this myth that we're all effortlessly proceeding," Ms. Curwood says. "We all know that's not always how it is."

    Faculty coaches, often clinical psychologists, focus on helping professors thrive in the ivory tower. Much of what the coaches do revolves around breaking down barriers to writing. But they also can help professors navigate departmental politics; strike the right balance of research, teaching, and service; maneuver the tenure process; and even find new jobs.

    "Professors have difficulty maintaining their productivity on long-term projects that don't have deadlines," says Gina J. Hiatt, a clinical psychologist and founder of a coaching business called the Academic Ladder. "They can become anxious, desperate, and depressed."

    "Everybody's so competitive, of course, so people feel they can't talk to other people about their struggles," she says. "They say they're fine, but they're not."

    Ms. Curwood realized in 2005 when she came to Vanderbilt as an assistant professor of African-American and diaspora studies that she was struggling to find time to write on a regular basis. "I said right away, I need to get some help with this sooner rather than later," says Ms. Curwood. She found Ms. Hiatt, whose specialty is encouraging professors to write, online after reading an article she had written.

    The two talked by telephone, and later Ms. Curwood began individual coaching sessions. At the time, she was turning her dissertation into a book on African-American marriages between the two world wars.

    Although images of the two sitting on comfy couches and sipping lattes while hashing through the complexities of academic life may come to mind, in reality, faculty coaches typically use the telephone and e-mail to reach out to their clients. Ms. Curwood remembers completing an online form before each 45-minute session to let Ms. Hiatt know what had gone well with her writing that week, and what had not. The two would then talk by phone, mostly about the writing process. Ms. Hiatt's mantra, enforced gently but firmly: Write something every day.

    At first, Ms. Curwood started with just 15 minutes of daily writing — "that was when I was feeling pretty spread thin," she says. "If I had a teaching day, I would try to do it in the morning. Sometimes, teaching preparation would take over, but I would do it before I left the office." The slow and steady approach has resulted in a book that her publisher has returned to her for revisions.

    Continued in article

    Academic Ladder (writing coaches, especially for dissertations) --- http://www.academicladder.com/

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


    June 3, 2008
    Enron Recovery Rate Hits 50 Percent

    Enron Creditors Recovery Corp. said Monday that with the latest distributions, creditors of the former Enron Corp. had received 50.3 cents on the dollar and creditors of Enron North America Corp. had gotten back 50 cents on the dollar. Both figures excluded gains, interest and dividends. John J. Ray III, president and chairman of the recovery corporation, said creditors had received "significantly more than originally was anticipated under the plan." The recovery corporation said it made a distribution Monday totaling about $4.17 billion to holders of unsecured and guaranty claims and distributed $1.87 billion on May 13 to newly allowed unsecured and guaranty claims that resulted from a settlement with Citigroup.
    SmartPros, June 3, 2008 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x62107.xml

    September 10, 2008
    "Billions to Be Shared By Enron Shareholders," SmartPros, September 10, 2008 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x63157.xml

    A federal judge has approved a plan to distribute more than $7.2 billion recovered as part of a lawsuit by Enron Corp. shareholders and investors in connection with the company's collapse.

    U.S. District Judge Melinda Harmon also approved $688 million in attorneys fees, the largest ever in a securities fraud case.

    About 1.5 million individuals and entities will be eligible to share in the distribution under the settlement plan. The plan was part of a $40 billion lawsuit claiming financial institutions participated in the accounting fraud that led to Enron's downfall.

    The $7.2 billion comes mostly from settlements made with such financial institutions as Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.

    No mention is made of a penny to the 10,000 employees who lost their jobs and pensions.

    Bob Jensen's timeline of the Enron/Andersen scandal is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm#EnronTimeline


    "Don't Blame Mark-to-Market for Banks' Problems," by Jonathan Weil, Bloomberg ---
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_weil&sid=aJFrPa3rqhHw

    If only we didn't know how badly off the banks are, then maybe we could save the financial system as we used to know it.

    That is the growing mantra from financial executives and their water carriers in Washington. The major problem isn't that banks made poor decisions and lost credibility with investors, in their view. The problem is that mark-to-market accounting is dragging down financial institutions and the U.S. economy, as House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said last week.

    They couldn't be more wrong. And there's so much misinformation floating around the markets on this subject that it's time, once again, to debunk the myths.

    Myth No. 1: The rules known as Financial Accounting Standard No. 157 are to blame.

    The latest iteration on this tired saw comes from Christopher Whalen, a managing director at Institutional Risk Analytics, who gave an interview on the subject Friday. Among his recommendations:

    ``Rescind FAS 157 so if you have a real quoted price for an asset, fine, use it. Otherwise you allow companies to use historic cost. You had a transaction, you know what you paid for it, it's a fact. All this other stuff is speculation. We are literally creating the impression of losses.''

    The Awful Truth

    The truth: FAS 157 doesn't expand the use of fair-value accounting. Rather, it requires companies to divulge more information about the reliability of their reported fair values.

    Most companies won't even adopt FAS 157 until this quarter. All the standard does is require companies to disclose how much of their assets and liabilities are valued using quoted market prices, how much are measured using valuation models, and how much come from models using inputs that aren't observable in the market. That's it.

    Myth No. 2: Mark-to-market accounting is new.

    Companies have been ``marking to model'' for decades, and few people complained when banks and others were recording large gains as a result. The difference now, thanks to FAS 157, is that outsiders can see the extent to which companies' fair-value results are based on estimates, at least at companies that adopted the rules early.

    Financial statements always have been piles of estimates heaped upon a bunch of guesswork. Look through the footnotes to any company's financial statements, and you'll see that estimates are used for everything from loan-loss reserves, to income-tax and stock-option costs, even revenue.

    Solves Nothing

    Moving everything to historical-cost accounting wouldn't solve anything. For assets that aren't marked-to-market each quarter, such as goodwill and inventory, they still must be written down to fair value whenever their values have declined sharply and show no sign of bouncing back. The accountants call this an ``other-than-temporary impairment.''

    So even if we had historical-cost accounting today for all the mortgage-related holdings that have plummeted in value and for which there is no liquid market, companies still would have to estimate the assets' fair values and write them down accordingly. That's because the values probably won't come back anytime soon, if ever.

    Myth No. 3: Companies aren't allowed to explain their mark- to-market values.

    This is a fairly new one. Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it is drafting a letter to let companies tell investors when they think the market values of their plunging assets don't reflect the holdings' actual worth. Companies also would be allowed to disclose ranges showing what their models say the assets might fetch in the marketplace.

    Guess what? Companies are allowed to do these things already in the discussion-and-analysis sections of their SEC reports each quarter. They also can make such disclosures in their financial-statement footnotes. What they can't do is print ranges on their balance sheets or income statements, any more than taxpayers can put down ranges on their Internal Revenue Service returns.

    Myth No. 4: Eliminating mark-to-market accounting will prevent margin calls.

    If you're a banker for, say, Thornburg Mortgage Inc. or Carlyle Capital Corp., do you think for a minute that you would hesitate to call in one of these companies' loans just because they started using historical cost to account for hard-to-value financial instruments? No way. The moment lenders decide the collateral isn't worth enough to support the loans, they'll demand more collateral or pull the plug, no matter what the financial statements say.

    Myth No. 5: The public would be better off without mark-to- market accounting.

    Investors are fully capable of understanding that unrealized losses on hard-to-value assets are estimates. They're also smart enough to know that values change over time. And in the case of things such as credit-default swaps that eventually might reach some settlement date, the fair-value changes include vital forward-looking information about what the future economic costs of these derivatives may be.

    What most investors can't tolerate is being kept in the dark, when companies in their portfolios are sliding toward insolvency and whistling along the way that all is well.

    We've got a meltdown, folks. Deal with it.

    September 16, 2008 message from Patricia Walters [patricia@DISCLOSUREANALYTICS.COM]

    I have some "top line" thoughts on accounting & the credit crisis.

    First, I don't believe accounting "causes" crises. However, in my view, US GAAP accounting rules contributed to the lack of transparency about the financial position & performance of companies who engaged in securitizations involving sub-prime mortgages.

    So here are some tidbits for thought re: the failure of financial reporting to provide relevant information for economic decision-making:

    (1) Securitization SPE/VIEs could be moved off-balance sheet if they were "legally isolated" from the company that created them. Legal isolation was based on opinions of attorneys. These vehicles proved not to be legally isolated when "legal isolation" was tested by the market place.

    (2) Models measuring fair values of financial instruments include assumptions about the characteristics of the instruments. Rarely, if ever, do they include assumptions about more fundamental economics, such as real estate prices or general market collapse. Since the belief was that "real estate prices would always rise", the possibility of a general collapse of real estate prices would have received an extremely low weighting even if this variable was included in a fair value model. There is nothing that accounting rules can do (in my view) to create a comprehensive & complete list of variables to be included in fair value models. All we can do is provide guidance on who to estimate fair values.

    (3) Only when defaults started to occur did the information begin to creep in the financial statements through

    (a) more realistic estimates of fair values of instruments on the books and

    (b) through moving back onto the books assets that had been moved off-balance sheet in SPEs.

    On the IFRS front, I wrote a monograph on this issue for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. If anyone is interested in my emailing them a copy, email me off-list.

    Regards,
    Pat Walters
    Fordham University

    So where does AIG's bailout money go?
    Remember that AIG, unlike Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch, is primarily an insurance company. As such it entered into heavy credit default swaps which are derivative financial instruments that protect against a swap counterparties bad debt losses due to customers' credit downgrades. For example, if the counterparty holds fixed rate investments such that values plunge if the customer's credit rating plunges, the counter parties receive swap payments based the decline in the value of the debt that is defaulted. Credit default swaps are virtual insurance policies protecting against a default under the debt instrument. However, because the the debt itself can be virtual (i.e., no real default loss transpires), counterparties can speculate using credit default swaps. And unlike insurance contracts, credit default swaps until very recently are unregulated.

    "Your Money at Work, Fixing Others’ Mistakes," by Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times, September 20, 2008 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/21/business/21gret.html

    If federal regulators and political leaders want to earn back some trust, they could do two things. First, they could provide us with some transparency about whom precisely we are backing in the recent bailouts.

    Take, for example, the rescue on Tuesday of the American International Group, once the world’s largest insurance company. It was pretty breathtaking. Since when do insurance companies, whose business models seem to consist of taking in premiums and stonewalling claims, deserve rescues from beleaguered taxpayers?

    Answer: Ever since the world became so intertwined that the failure of one company can topple a host of others. And ever since credit default swaps, those unregulated derivative contracts that allow investors to bet on a debt issuer’s financial prospects, loomed so big on balance sheets that they now drive every bailout decision.

    The deal to save A.I.G. involves a two-year, $85 billion loan from taxpayers. In exchange, the new owners — us — get 80 percent of the company. If enough of A.I.G.’s assets are sold for good prices, we may get our money back.

    Credit default swaps, which operate like insurance policies against the possibility that an issuer of debt will not pay on its obligations, were the single biggest motivator behind the A.I.G. deal.

    A.I.G. had written $441 billion in credit insurance on mortgage-related securities whose values have declined; if A.I.G. were to fail, all the institutions that bought the insurance would have been subject to enormous losses. The ripple effect could have turned into a tsunami.

    So, the $85 billion loan to A.I.G. was really a bailout of the company’s counterparties or trading partners.

    Now, inquiring minds want to know, whom did we rescue? Which large, wealthy financial institutions — counterparties to A.I.G.’s derivatives contracts — benefited from the taxpayers’ $85 billion loan? Were their representatives involved in the talks that resulted in the last-minute loan?

    And did Lehman Brothers not get bailed out because those favored institutions were not on the hook if it failed?

    We’ll probably never know the answers to these troubling questions. But by keeping taxpayers in the dark, regulators continue to earn our mistrust. As long as we are not told whom we have bailed out, we will be justified in suspecting that a favored few are making gains on our dimes.

    A.I.G.’s financial statements provided a clue to the identities of some of its credit default swap counterparties. The company said that almost three-quarters of the $441 billion it had written on soured mortgage securities was bought by European banks. The banks bought the insurance to reduce the amounts of capital they were required by regulators to set aside to cover future losses.

    Enjoy the absurdity: Billions in unregulated derivatives that were about to take down the insurance company that sold them were bought by banks to get around their regulatory capital requirements intended to rein in risk.

    Got that?

    Which brings us to Item 2 for policy makers. Stop pretending that the $62 trillion market for credit default swaps does not need regulatory oversight. Warren E. Buffett was not engaging in hyperbole when he called these things financial weapons of mass destruction.

    “The last eight years have been about permitting derivatives to explode, knowing they were unregulated,” said Eric R. Dinallo, New York’s superintendent of insurance. “It’s about what the government chose not to regulate, measured in dollars. And that is what shook the world.”

    Continued  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Bailout

    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting for credit default swaps are under the C-terms at
    http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm#C-Terms

    Bob Jensen's threads on fair value accounting are at http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_weil&sid=aJFrPa3rqhHw


    From the Scout Report on September 19, 2008

  • AirRadar 1.0.7 --- http://www.koingosw.com/products/airradar.php 

    Finding a wireless network will be much easier with this helpful application. Visitors can use AirRadar 1.0.7 to search for nearby wireless networks, and they can also elect to tag favorite networks if they wish to do so. This particular version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.3 and newer.


    PageNest Free Edition 3.11 --- http://pagenest.com/download.html

    In the off chance that you might have to go off-line, PageNest Free Edition 3.11 is worth a close look. Visitors can use the application to copy a single webpage or an entire site for consultation while in any number of settings. The application's interface is quite simple to use, and visitors can organize the sites they download as they see fit. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.


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


    Education Tutorials

    Cornell University has some great videos for new students (e.g., health and safety videos) --- http://newstudents.cornell.edu/welcome/QuickTour.html

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Travelers' Health --- http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx

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


    Excel Tutorial Videos

    Eileen Taylor asked me to forward her message about some Excel helper videos --- http://www.showmeacademy.com/
    Eileen Z. Taylor, PhD
    Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting
    North Carolina State University
    Campus Box 8113, Nelson Hall
    Raleigh, NC 27695-8113
    919-513-2476
    eileen_taylor@ncsu.edu

    Show-Me Academy provides concise video tutorials that show you how to accomplish specific tasks within common products or programming languages. All 54 of our video tutorials start with a common theme - Show me how to...

    Bob Jensen provides some Camtasia video home made Excel and MS Access helper tutorials at http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5342/
    PQQ stands for Possible Quiz Questions (which is how I motivated students to study these videos outside the classroom)

    Using Camtasia Videos to Teach Excel in Accounting...
    Warren Bostrom posted the following teaching resource on the AAA Commons
    American Accounting Association members should visit the AAA Commons today --- http://commons.aaahq.org
     

    Note:  These materials were presented at the 2008 AAA National Meeting in an ELS Forum.

     

    As new professionals must be proficient in Microsoft Excel, instructors have an obligation to teach students how to use Excel. There are two significant obstacles to teaching students how to use Excel. First, not all instructors have a computer lab at their disposal. Second, instructors who do have a computer lab frequently become frustrated in teaching Excel to students of widely varying skill levels. These problems may be solved through the use of Camtasia videos. A Camtasia video captures one’s actions on the computer and voice at the same time. These videos can be posted to the web and students love being able to work through them at their own pace.

     

    I have developed a series of Excel exercises for use in Financial and Managerial accounting courses. Students learn increasingly complex Excel techniques in each exercise.  Due to space limitations on AAACommons, I have only attached my overall guide and one sample exercise and related Camtasia video.  Note that this exercise has a warm up portion and a homework portion, and while I have recorded a video for each, the attached video is only for the homework portion.  This is because the video for the warm up portion is too large for AAACommons.  If you would like a free copy of my complete CD containing 8 different exercises and 16 Camtasia vidoes, please let me know and I would be happy to mail one to you.  I must emphasize that I do not receive any compensation for this CD or from Camtasia; my goal is simply to have others improve their teaching through use of this wonderful tool.

     

     

    Dr. Mark Lehman and Dr. Carol Lehman of Mississippi State University have prepared a guide titled “Using Camtasia Studio to Record Web-based Videos”.  You may find this guide at http://business.msstate.edu/accounting/pdf/Camtasia.pdfIt does an excellent job of providing step by step instructions on how to create Camtasia videos.  If you wish to use Camtasia’s product, visit http://store.techsmith.com/education.asp or call (888) 750-0685.  Make sure to ask for special education pricing.

     

    Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks
    Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Tutorials
    Edutainment and Learning Games --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Edutainment
    Open Sharing Courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

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


    Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

    Anatomy: The Foundation of Medicine: From Aristotle to Early Twentieth- Century Wall Charts --- http://www.hsl.virginia.edu/historical/anatomical/index.html

    Dig It! The Secrets of Soil --- http://forces.si.edu/soils/

    Marine Mammal Commission --- http://www.mmc.gov/

    Monterey Bay Aquarium: Research (video) ---  http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/research.asp

    Ecology, Art, and Technology --- http://www.ecoarttech.net/

    Crustacea.net --- http://www.crustacea.net/

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services: Fisheries and Habitat Conservation --- http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/

    Patagonian Expedition Reports, 1896-1899 --- http://diglib.princeton.edu/xquery?_xq=getCollection&_xsl=collection&_pid=Patagonia

    Darwin’s evolving thoughts and private communications on the boundaries of science and religion ---
    http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/index.php

    The Complete Work of Charles Darwin --- http://darwin-online.org.uk/

    Paleontology Portal --- http://www.paleoportal.org/

    Life in the Palaeozoic --- http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2659

    NASA Images --- http://www.nasaimages.org/

    50th Anniversary of NASA --- http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/50th/

    Aviation News --- http://www.flightglobal.com

    Index of Medieval Medical Images --- http://digital.library.ucla.edu/immi/

    Anatomy: The Foundation of Medicine: From Aristotle to Early Twentieth- Century Wall Charts --- http://www.hsl.virginia.edu/historical/anatomical/index.html

    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

    Teach Philosopy 101  --- http://www.teachphilosophy101.org/
    This site presents strategies and resources for faculty members and graduate assistants who are teaching Introduction to Philosophy courses; it also includes material of interest to college faculty generally. The mission of TΦ101 is to provide free, user-friendly resources to the academic community. All of the materials are provided on an open source license. You may also print as many copies as you wish (please print in landscape). TΦ101 carries no advertising. I am deeply indebted to Villanova University for all of the support that has made this project possible.
    John Immerwahr, Professor of Philosophy, Villanova University

    Ask Philosophers --- http://www.amherst.edu/askphilosophers/

     

  • This site puts the talents and knowledge of philosophers at the service of the general public. Send in a question that you think might be related to philosophy and we will do our best to respond to it. To date, there have been 1375 questions posted and 1834 responses.

    Philosophy Talk (Audio) --- http://www.philosophytalk.org/

    London School of Economics Information Systems and Innovation Group Video Archive ---
    http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/informationSystems//newsAndEvents/videoArchive.htm

    Understanding Economics --- http://www.henrygeorge.org/

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


    Law and Legal Studies

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


    Math Tutorials

    MAA NumberADay (mathematics) --- http://maanumberaday.blogspot.com/

    Math DL: Loci (video) --- http://mathdl.maa.org/mathDL/23/

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


    History Tutorials

    The Civil Rights Digital Library --- http://crdl.usg.edu/voci/go/crdl/home/

    Ben Shahn at Harvard --- http://www.artmuseums.harvard.edu/shahn/

    Magic Lantern Slides Collection from Japan --- http://digicoll.manoa.hawaii.edu/lanternslides/index.php?c=1

    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

    Writing Helpers for College Professors:  Write Something Every Day (Darn! All these years I thought it was every minute.)

    "Job Coaches Help Get Professors Back on Track Academics seek advice when writer's block threatens their careers," by Audrey Williams June, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/weekly/v55/i05/05a00102.htm

  • Junior professors, midcareer faculty members, and even the most seasoned of academics sometimes need help with managing at least one aspect of their careers. Here are a few signs of when you might need to give a faculty coach a call:
    • You're mired in a departmental battle.
    • You can only work under deadline pressure.
    • You've allowed teaching and service work to take up all of your time.
    • You're a chronic procrastinator.
    • You start papers but never finish them.
    • You're baffled by putting together a promotion and tenure portfolio.
    • You can't find time to do research.
    • You avoid writing at all costs.
    • You're not clear on the expectations for tenure.
    • You need help maintaining momentum.

    (Jensen Comment:  Think of some others here ---  )
    Television
    Video on the Web
    Refereeing the writing submissions of others (think of the hours spent on this one)
    Fear of rejection that is second only to fear of acceptance subject to conditions of major revision
    Fear that a referee will do to you what you just wrote on some poor schluk’s paper
    Explaining (to a student or some practitioner calling from another country) for the 946th time how to value an interest rate swap
    Reading and responding to email
    Reading listservs and blogs in fear you might miss something important (Jensen gets cursed a lot)
    Always attending seminars, invited guest lectures, art exhibits, committee meetings, etc. etc.
    Colleagues and student chew up time with chit chat)
    Long lunch hours
    Afternoon receptions and early cocktail hours
    Picking up or dropping off you kids, somebody elses’ kids, soccer dads, hockey moms, etc. etc.
    Shopping, putting groceries away, cooking, cleaning, etc. etc.
    Porn (hush now)
    And (darn) having to read before you write
    Sex everyday for better health but not better writing ---
    http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/365-nights-of-sex-can-it-strengthen-a-marriage

     

    In the publish-or-perish world of colleges and universities, writing is incredibly important because without published work professors don't get promoted and never earn tenure. Some, including these three, are turning to outsiders called faculty coaches to help them overcome this career killer.

    "There's this myth that we're all effortlessly proceeding," Ms. Curwood says. "We all know that's not always how it is."

    Faculty coaches, often clinical psychologists, focus on helping professors thrive in the ivory tower. Much of what the coaches do revolves around breaking down barriers to writing. But they also can help professors navigate departmental politics; strike the right balance of research, teaching, and service; maneuver the tenure process; and even find new jobs.

    "Professors have difficulty maintaining their productivity on long-term projects that don't have deadlines," says Gina J. Hiatt, a clinical psychologist and founder of a coaching business called the Academic Ladder. "They can become anxious, desperate, and depressed."

    "Everybody's so competitive, of course, so people feel they can't talk to other people about their struggles," she says. "They say they're fine, but they're not."

    Ms. Curwood realized in 2005 when she came to Vanderbilt as an assistant professor of African-American and diaspora studies that she was struggling to find time to write on a regular basis. "I said right away, I need to get some help with this sooner rather than later," says Ms. Curwood. She found Ms. Hiatt, whose specialty is encouraging professors to write, online after reading an article she had written.

    The two talked by telephone, and later Ms. Curwood began individual coaching sessions. At the time, she was turning her dissertation into a book on African-American marriages between the two world wars.

    Although images of the two sitting on comfy couches and sipping lattes while hashing through the complexities of academic life may come to mind, in reality, faculty coaches typically use the telephone and e-mail to reach out to their clients. Ms. Curwood remembers completing an online form before each 45-minute session to let Ms. Hiatt know what had gone well with her writing that week, and what had not. The two would then talk by phone, mostly about the writing process. Ms. Hiatt's mantra, enforced gently but firmly: Write something every day.

    At first, Ms. Curwood started with just 15 minutes of daily writing — "that was when I was feeling pretty spread thin," she says. "If I had a teaching day, I would try to do it in the morning. Sometimes, teaching preparation would take over, but I would do it before I left the office." The slow and steady approach has resulted in a book that her publisher has returned to her for revisions.

    Continued in article

    Academic Ladder (writing coaches, especially for dissertations) --- http://www.academicladder.com/

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

     


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

     


    Is Daily Sexual Intercourse good for you?

    "When their marriages fell into the doldrums, two long-married couples decided to find out if having sex every day could boost their relationships," Suzanne Wright, WebMD, September 2008 --- http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/365-nights-of-sex-can-it-strengthen-a-marriage

    If you decided to have sex every day, would your relationship benefit?

    Two long-married couples decided to find out. When lovemaking fell off their respective "to-do" lists, they ditched the sweats, bought sex toys and books, stepped up exercise, lit candles, and took trips. Then they chronicled their "sexperiment" in two recently released books, Just Do It: How One Couple Turned Off the TV and Turned On Their Sex Lives for 101 Days (No Excuses!) by Doug Brown and 365 Nights: A Memoir of Intimacy by Charla Muller with Betsy Thorpe.

    But will daily sex really help a relationship that's hit a rough patch? Some experts say yes; others aren't so sure. As for the two couples who tried it, the Browns and the Mullers, both say the experiment strengthened their marriages in -- and out -- of the bedroom.

    Charla Muller had been married for eight years to her husband, Brad, when she embarked on what she calls "the year of the gift" as a way to celebrate her husband's 40th birthday Rather than fixing anything wrong in her marriage, she writes that frequent sex made her happier, less angry, and less stressed.

    Doug Brown's wife, Annie Brown, initiated the offer of daily sex after hearing about sexless marriages on Oprah. He had a similar revelation after they started having daily sex. A feature writer for The Denver Post, Brown writes of releasing "an avalanche of flesh pleasures upon our relationship."

    "There's a special sense of being desired that only comes from sex," he tells WebMD. "You can be good at your job or at sports, but the daily confirmation you get through sex is a super feeling."

    (Is this something you’d ever try? Why or why not? Talk with others on WebMD's Sexuality: Friends Talking message board.)

    Reversing the Downward Sex Spiral

    According to the National Opinion Research Center, the average American couple reports having sex 66 times a year. Newsweek has noted that 15% to 20% of couples have sex less than 10 times a year, which is defined as a "sexless" marriage.

    Familiarity, advancing age, work pressures, the challenges of raising a family, and household responsibilities all conspire against regular sex among many otherwise loving couples who feel too harried to get physical.

    When Doug Brown and his wife began their experiment in 2006, they were juggling two kids and two jobs. Married for 14 years, they averaged sex three times a month. And he admits he had performance anxiety.

    "I felt I had to be a porn star or an Olympic gold medalist. That melted away with [daily] sex. We learned so much about each other. Sex became much more playful and that translated into a more playful union. We regained an electricity that wasn't always there before."

    Continued in article

    Jensen Comment
    I don't know for certain, but I'll bet it's more uplifting than watching depressing news on television seven nights a week. I wonder if all that build up of “electricity” glows in the dark?

    The groom almost always thinks that it will be like that every night. The bride thinks marriage pretty well puts an end to that part of life, or so I'm told.

    My former (great and elderly) neighbors in San Antonio had the following sign over their family room bar:
    "Sex is the best two minutes of my day."
    The great part is that it still leaves time for the cocktail hour.

     


    Cornell University has some great videos for new students (e.g., health and safety videos) --- http://newstudents.cornell.edu/welcome/QuickTour.html

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Travelers' Health --- http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/default.aspx


    "Aspirin and atherosclerosis," PhysOrg, September 22, 2008 --- http://www.physorg.com/news141315102.html

  • Research Aspirin has become one of the most widely used medications in the world, owing to its ability to reduce pain, fevers, inflammation, and blood clotting. In animal studies, aspirin has also been shown to prevent atherosclerosis, though none of its known mechanisms of action would seem to account for this. In a new study, though, researchers have uncovered the mechanism that may explain aspirin's ability to prevent arterial plaque buildup.


    "Stem Cells Lessen Stroke Damage:  The anti-inflammatory effect could lead to new therapies," by Jennifer Chu, MIT's Technology Review, September 15, 2008 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/21377/?nlid=1344&a=f

    Until recently, the promise of stem-cell therapy has centered on stem cells' ability to morph into virtually any kind of cells. But researchers are finding that stem cells may have other healing effects. In recent studies, scientists have observed stem cells acting as anti-inflammatory agents, reducing swelling and even scarring when administered to injured tissue.

    However, while stem cells' anti-inflammatory effects have been observed in a number of disease models, it has been difficult to pinpoint exactly how stem cells have this effect. Now a group at Tulane University, led by Darwin Prockop, director of the Center for Gene Therapy, has found that injecting human stem cells into the brains of stroke-induced mice triggers immune cells to produce chemicals that protect nerve cells, thereby reducing swelling and scarring. Prockop, now director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center, says that understanding the mechanism behind stem cells' anti-inflammatory effect could help researchers develop therapies for stroke and related diseases.

    "In diabetes, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's disease, there is an excessive early inflammatory response, and stem cells can sense that," says Prockop. "If you can turn that inflammation down, everything improves."

    In their experiments, described in a paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Prockop and his team induced a stroke in mice by blocking blood flow to their brains for 15 minutes. They then injected bone-marrow-derived human stem cells into the oxygen-deprived portion of the brains of some of the mice and observed the interactions between stem cells and the neural environment over a period of about two weeks.

    Although the injected stem cells disappeared after just five days, the researchers found that they had a lasting effect on surrounding brain cells. Mice treated with stem cells experienced 60 percent less cell death compared with mice who did not receive the treatment. Furthermore, when placed in an open environment, the treated mice behaved much like healthy mice, actively exploring the space around them, unlike their more lethargic untreated counterparts.

    "It was a hit-and-run effect," says Prockop. "The human stem cells stopped some of the negative processes going on, and stopped the mouse brain from destroying itself."

    Continued in article


    "Answering the question: Who should have surgery for sleep apnea?" PhysOrg, September 23, 2008 --- http://www.physorg.com/news141398936.html 

  • Diseases Even as more and more people in the United States are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there remains a disconnect as to who can benefit from corrective surgery. Leading experts in the field of sleep medicine will attempt to answer the question of who could benefit from surgery, during a moderated discussion at the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, IL.

    Sleep apnea, which affects more than 10 million American, with an estimated additional 10 million undiagnosed, is characterized by loud snoring interrupted by frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing (obstructive sleep apnea). Serious episodes last more than ten seconds each and occur more than seven times per hour. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder.

    The discussion will focus on understanding what treatments are best suited for different patient populations, while seeking to clarify whether non-surgical options are helping or hindering a patient's treatment.

    Source: American Academy of Otolaryngology


    Forwarded by Paula,

    http://www.heartattackgrill.com/ 

    Y'all won’t believe this! This restaurant is in Arizona and is called "The Heart Attack Grill!" I am serious!!!

    They feature food that is deliberately BAD for you and rate their burgers by how many heart bypasses it will bring on! They fry their french fries in pure lard. They also sell cigarettes, JOLT cola, and other bad-for-you stuff. You will NOT believe the burgers--complete with lots of bacon and cheese.

    The waitresses are dressed in skimpy nurses’ outfits. If a guy's heart wasn't already in trouble from the food, the sexy ladies will probably finish him off.

     




    Forwarded by Paula

    Hymn #365

    This is a hoot, but I suspect the minister didn't appreciate it.

    A minister was completing a temperance sermon. With great emphasis he said,
    'If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'

    With even greater emphasis he said,
    'And if I had   All the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'

    And then finally, shaking his fist in the air, he
    Said,
    'And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river.'


    Sermon complete, he sat down.

    The song leader stood very cautiously and announced
      With a smile , nearly laughing, 'For our closing song,
    Let us sing Hymn #365, 'Shall We Gather at the River.'


    Forwarded by my good neighbors

    Here's a truly heartwarming story about the bond formed between a little 5-year-old girl and some construction workers that will make you believe that we all can make a difference when we give a child the gift of our time.

    A young family moved into a house, next to a vacant lot. One day, a construction crew began to build a house on the empty lot. The young family's 5-year-old daughter naturally took an interest in the goings-on and spent much of each day observing the workers.

    Eventually the construction crew, all of them 'gems-in-the-rough,' more or less, adopted her as a kind of project mascot. They chatted with her during coffee and lunch breaks and gave her little jobs to do here and there to make her feel important. At the end of the first week, they even presented her with a pay envelope containing ten dollars. The little girl took this home to her mother who suggested that she take her ten dollars 'pay' she'd received to the bank the next day to start a savings account.

    When the girl and her mom got to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her very own pay check at such a young age. The little girl proudly replied, 'I worked last week with a real construction crew building the new house next door to us.'

    'Oh my goodness gracious,' said the teller, 'and will you be working on the house again this week, too?' The little girl replied, 'I will, if those assholes at Home Depot ever deliver the FRICKEN' sheet rock.'

    Kind of brings a tear to the eye - doesn't it?




    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

    Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) --- http://www.iasplus.com/links/links.htm

     

    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