A Painting of Mary Weiler on the tee at Profile Golf Course near Sugar Hill.
In the background is Cannon Mountain where there are over 60 ski trails.

 

 In the preceding edition of Tidbits I discussed some alternatives/dreams for retirement --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits081106.htm

One thing I forgot to mention is expanding upon a talent and/or hobbies in retirement. Many retired folks take up drawing and picture painting. Some become or were previously good enough to be called artists. One such retirement friend recently joined the Sugar Hill Community by purchasing a home beside our Community Church. Actually Bud and his wife Mary for many years have owned Clements Farm in Landoff on the outskirts of Sugar Hill (near Pearl Lake). In retirement, Mary decided she wanted a home less remote than Clements Farm, so the Weilers bought a Cape Cod home on the Main Street of Sugar Hill (actually the Village itself has no other streets other than roads outside the Village itself, and the Village has only has one country store called Harmon's). You can read more about Sugar Hill at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sugar_Hill,_New_Hampshire 

Bud and Mary still have a home in Massachusetts as well, although Bud recently sold his computer software business. Now he has additional time for painting and will spend more time up here in the mountains. His studio is at Clements Farm in Landoff, and you can view the Gallery of his paintings and pen&inks at http://www.budweilerstudios.com/
You can read Bud's biography here --- http://www.budweilerstudios.com/about.php


Bud Weiler's Painting of Clements Farm in Landhoff, New Hampshire

Below are a couple of photographs of Cannon Mountain plus some wild turkeys on my lawn.


Cannon Mountain and Franconia Notch from the shore of Echo Lake


A friend of mine tells me I must learn to shut the flash off when I take pictures through my front windows.
But then I'd have to read the manual that came with my camera.

Here are a few links to view my photographs:

Our Cottage --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

Sunrises --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits080904.htm

Autumn --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits080925.htm

Ice --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits080219.htm

Wind --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits071206.htm

Snow --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070409.htm

 

More photographs and history of this area --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Sunset Hill House Hotel --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits080824.htm

Iron Ore --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits071001.htm

Robert Frost --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070905.htm

Bette Davis --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070801.htm

Peggy Lee --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits080715.htm

Bode Miller --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2008/tidbits080331.htm

Cannon Mountain --- http://www.trinity.edu/%7Erjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits071226.htm

Mittersill --- http://www.trinity.edu/%7Erjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits070515.htm

Mt. Washington Winds --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits071218.htm

White Mountains --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2007/tidbits071001.htm

 

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

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

Link forwarded by Auntie Bev (this is the best free music playback site ever)
TheRadio.com --- http://www.theradio.com/
Note that it will continue to play other songs by an artist even if you selected only one title (it often changes artists after that)
Type in the Name of a Song or the name of a musician or the name of a composer like Beethoven
If you forget how to spell the name of a hit song or an artist try --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Music.htm
If a link is broken on Jensen's above site, get the spelling of the title or artist and go to --- http://www.theradio.com/
Jensen links to many video sites and recordings not on The Radio, but The Radio has many recordings not on Jensen’s site.

Also look up many leading song titles and artists for The Radio.com below:
More Recordings To Hear Before You Die --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96495906

________________________________________

Just thinking about possible ways to stick it to a media who over the last two years would have made Pravda blush in their naked support of one party and one candidate.
"How do we counter a one-party media?" Vanity, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2126860/posts
Jensen Comment
It is futile to try to counter the one-party media. Just examine the biased commentating of  Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore, Whoppi, Barbara Walters, Larry King, NBC, CBS, CNN, the NYT, Washington Post, and all the HBO comedians. Their material is gone;  political comedy will die
Please meet George Orwell's Big Brother!

In a most egregious way, American's CEOs and Wall Street traders have led us down the path to George Orwell's Big Brother --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#OutrageousCompensation
Perhaps this rottenness to the core in large corporations and Wall street caused the free media of the United States to close ranks to a point where the media is no longer free.
Please meet George Orwell's Big Brother!

Featured in This Week's Quotations
Please meet George Orwell's Big Brother!
(See Below)

Also Featured
My Favorite Poem Project
(including a video reading by Hillary Clinton when she was the First Lady of the United States)

Tidbits on November 11, 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

American Experience: The Crash of 1929 (video) ---  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/crash/

The Technology Industry in a Troubled Economy, 50 Slides from Mary Meeker, as served up by The Washington Post, November 6, 2008 --- Click Here
These would be greatly improved if they were also narrated. But the graphs and tables are useful.

Let's no forget that today, November 11, is Veterans Day for those that gave us so much!
Go Daddy (a special birthday video for our Marines) --- https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/holiday/usmc2008/playmovie.asp?isc=gdp1116

Mutual Fund Fees (video) --- http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=922873186
Bob Jensen's investment helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#Finance

The Trouble (Risk) With Online Sex --- http://chronicle.com/media/audio/v55/i12/techtherapy/?utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en

Is That Ink Cartridge Really Empty (video) --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html
Other PC World Consumer Advice Videos --- http://www.pcworld.com/video.html

Internet Superstars:  Where are they now? (video) --- http://www.pcworld.com/video/id,930-page,1-bid,0/video.html

Gove Vidal goes on a rant claiming the Republican Party is made of racists that love war (this is the one of the strangest interviews I've ever watched) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2L8iUHZ2sY

Football (Andy Griffith) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNxLxTZHKM8&feature=related

Audiovisual Library of International Law --- http://www.un.org/law/avl/

Asia Society: Podcasts [iTunes] http://www.asiasociety.org/podcasts/subscribe.html

Boston By Design (radio) --- http://www.wbur.org/news/local/bostonbydesign/

Who is Nassim Nicholas Taleb? --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taleb
Many finance professors make students watch some of Taleb's videos, especially the Black Swan ---
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=taleb+black+swan+&www_google_domain=www.google.com&emb=0&aq=f&aq=f#
Black Swan Financial Collapse Black Swan --- http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x720r3_black-swan-paradigm-financial-colla_tech
(People underestimate the probability of rare events)


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

Link forwarded by Auntie Bev (this is the best free music playback site ever)
TheRadio.com --- http://www.theradio.com/
Note that it will continue to play other songs by an artist even if you selected only one title (it often changes artists after that)
Type in the title of a song or the name of a musician or the name of a composer like Beethoven
If you forget how to spell the name of a hit song or an artist try --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Music.htm
If a link is broken on Jensen's above site, get the spelling of the title or artist and go to --- http://www.theradio.com/
Jensen links to many video sites and recordings not on TheRadio.com, but TheRadio.com has many recordings not on Jensen’s site.

Also look up many leading song titles and artists for The Radio.com below:
More Recordings To Hear Before You Die --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96495906

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/

Imagine all the People (John Lennon video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEOkxRLzBf0

Peruvian singer Yma Sumac died November 1, 2008 at age 86. Sumac recorded an extraordinarily wide vocal range of more than four octaves; she could sing notes in the low baritone register as well as notes above the range of an ordinary soprano--- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96536505

Pianist Gary Graffman: Left-Handed Miracles --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95485851

Dion Pays Homage To Guitar-Rock Giants --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=96541354 


Photographs and Art

To Honor Veterans Day --- http://www.tom-phillips.info/images/cool.pics.military.htm

Portable Radio [iTunes] --- http://www.portableradio.russellmartin.org.uk/

Time Frozen in Photographs --- http://www.timefreezephotos.com/

Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger --- http://tsutpen.blogspot.com/

The Opper Project (editorial cartoons) --- http://hti.osu.edu/opper/index.cfm

Landscape Photographs of QT Luang --- http://www.largeformatphotography.info/qtluong/

World Stadiums http://www.worldstadiums.com/

The Bud Weiler Studios --- http://www.budweilerstudios.com/ 

Gregory Skolozdra Photographs --- http://www.gregoryskolozdra.com/

Making Things Invisible With Photoshop --- http://www.fwdfish.com/content/what-if-few-things-went-invisible-photoshop-fun

Rejected Cards --- http://www.mymilliondollaryear.com/rejected/

Pets on Booze --- http://www.vplanet.org/2006/rw/thrw093006.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

From MIT
Classics Archive --- http://classics.mit.edu/

Origins of Words and Phrases --- http://www.meghan-mccarthy.com/articles_sayings.html

Double-Dactyl --- http://lonestar.texas.net/~robison/dactyls.html

Bad Poetry --- http://unix.cc.wmich.edu/~cooneys/poems/bad/ 

Knowledge Rush --- http://www.knowledgerush.com/kr/jsp/db/directory.jsp

The Life and Work of Lord Byron --- http://www.englishhistory.net/byron.html
Lord Byron:  Selected Poetry --- http://englishhistory.net/byron/poetry.html

Poets' Gravesites --- http://www.poetsgraves.co.uk/

My Favorite Poem Project (including a video reading by Hillary Clinton when she was the First Lady of the United States) --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/videos.html

I especially like the video reading by Nancy Nersessian
Note how Professor Nerseeian relates the poem to her broken brother.

The Sentence

by Anna Akhmatova

And the stone word fell
On my still-living breast.
Never mind, I was ready.
I will manage somehow.

Today I have so much to do:
I must kill memory once and for all,
I must turn my soul to stone,
I must learn to live again—

Unless . . . Summer's ardent rustling
Is like a festival outside my window.
For a long time I've foreseen this
Brilliant day, deserted house.

The video reading by Rev. Michael Haynes seems especially appropriate following the historic election of a person of color to be the President of the United States, proving that there truly is an An American Reality to accompany an American Dream.

“. . . our knowledge is historical, flowing, and flown.” is the ending of a poem with Sandburg-like way of putting what can be seen into words that, by themselves, let us see and smell from just the words themselves. The video reading is by Alexander Scherr.

What’s your favorite reading?

Hear Carl Sandburg --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6382389

The Living History Farm (Video) --- http://livinghistoryfarm.org/index.html
 

 

Bob Jensen’s links to free online books, poems, and other literature of the ages, including those with audio and video --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Farmer and the Lord (Jim Reeves) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TY_-sgoqA8

Beauty from Space (Exceptional) --- http://www.greatdanepro.com/Blue Bueaty/index.htm
It all looks so peaceful and beautiful from miles above the corruption, crime, war, and poverty.

America the Beautiful and We Shall Overcome--- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGfQlFUmYio

Bob Jensen’s links to free online music and inspirational slide shows ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm

 

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




To Honor Veterans Day --- http://www.tom-phillips.info/images/cool.pics.military.htm

Happy Birthday Marines
From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, all across America and in Iraq, Afghanistan and wherever America is being defended, the world’s most exclusive gun club is the celebrating its 233 birthday today. Born in a roughneck Philadelphia bar in 1775 on a dare to surpass standard warrior excellence, the United States Marines Corps has distinguished itself over its history as the finest military force the world has ever seen. Do not point the US Marines Corps at anything you do not wish conquer. They are the pointy end of America’s spear.
Ted Nugent, "Happy Birthday Marines," November 10, 2008 --- http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=29416
Jensen Comment
Although they're officially not welcome in Berkeley or San Francisco, I hope the rest of the U.S. wishes their Marines a very happy birthday.

 

I add one thing. The phrase I often worriedly think of when I see, on television, gross violence, cruelty, a vulgarity of character, erectile dysfunction ads, news reports that reflect a mean and cynical attitude toward America, and still-menacing if increasingly antique rappers is: The children are watching. They're absorbing and understanding life via this darkness. Well, Tuesday at 11 p.m., as an old barrier that was rotting and waiting to fall, fell, I got to think it happily: The children are watching. And absorbing a better, deeper understanding of life in America.
Peggy Noonan, "The Children Are Watching:  America makes history, but the mandate is for moderation," The Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2008 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122600597583706149.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

The Culture Wars will be reignited and, as always, the main casualties will be children, the truth, gays, and that evilest excresence of capitalism since novels, nickelodeons, and comic books: video games. And Obama, like Bill Clinton, will be far more conservative on this sort of thing than anybody on either side wants to admit.
Nick Gillespie, "Three Predictions for Obama's America," Reason Magazine, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/129958.html

However, the looting of the taxpayers, which was initially $700 billion for Wall Street and has now ballooned to an estimated $1.8 trillion and is not over yet, was not labeled as corruption by our media. Instead, it was called a “rescue” and was demanded by many anchors and reporters. We were told it would stabilize the markets and help ordinary people. It didn’t. Kevin Howley, Associate Professor of Communication at DePauw University, says this was deliberate propaganda on their part. He comments that “…the phrase ‘bailout’―with its connotation that the government is letting Wall Street off the hook for questionable business practices―has given way to a far more agreeable term― ‘rescue plan.’ This phrasing appeals to the basic decency of the American people and suggests that we’re all in this thing together.” In a real-life corruption case, which was just as suspiciously timed as the financial crisis itself, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens was indicted and then convicted in this election year on all seven charges of making false statements on Senate financial documents. One of the charges was that he had received a $1,000 Alaskan sled dog puppy that he valued at only $250 and claimed had come from a charity. This is chicken feed compared to what the politicians and their appointees have done by bringing the U.S. to the point of bankruptcy. But can we ever expect the Department of Justice to turn on the politicians for these financial crimes? Not likely.
Cliff Kincaid, "The Financial “Rescue” that Bankrupted America," Accuracy in the Media, November 9, 2008 ---
http://www.aim.org/aim-column/the-financial-rescue-that-bankrupted-america/
Please meet George Orwell's media-manipulating Big Brother!
More about the Bailout scheme --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

Just thinking about possible ways to stick it to a media who over the last two years would have made Pravda blush in their naked support of one party and one candidate.
"How do we counter a one-party media?" Vanity, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2126860/posts
Please meet George Orwell's media-correct correct Big Brother!

To answer the question of my headline, no CBS isn't joking. CBS is actually pretending that the Old Media must be "won over" by a President Obama. It makes one wonder just how much more the press can be in love with The One? As multiple studies have shown, the Old Media has been far more in Obama’s corner than not yet now CBS wants to pretend they are skeptical of Obama? Now CBS wants to act as if they will be tough on him unless he appeases them? I know I said CBS was serious with this report, but it still seems like a joke of epic proportions.
Wayne Todd Huston
, "CBS News: Obama Must 'Win Over' Media? Is CBS Joking Here?" Newsbusters, November 9, 2008 --- Click Here
Please meet George Orwell's not-so-funny Big Brother!

Our Job (as journalists and media commentators) Is To Make This Presidency Work
MSNBC's Chris Matthews Video --- http://www.eyeblast.tv/public/video.aspx?v=e46Ueu6USU
Can you imagine the media outrage if the Republican Party had pleaded in Year 2000 for the media's help in making the Presidency work? In 2008 don't expect a single Obama or Congressional criticism from Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore, Whoppi, Barbara Walters, Larry King, NBC, CBS, CNN, the NYT, Washington Post, and all the HBO comedians. Their material is gone;  political comedy will die. The Palin's retarded jokes and dumb bimbo accusations are getting stale. Keith Olbermann is still calling Palin a barricuda. This is getting boring Keith. Fox news will most likely be the target of an enormous advertising boycott far different than the feeble current effort. The creed of the U.S. media for decades has been "hands off" the Democrats. It will be a sad day when we have to click on the North Korean News Agency and Aljazerra.net for balanced news coverage. All things bad for the next 100 years will be blamed on George W. Bush. Don't expect the liberal media to make one joke or bring one criticism of the Democratic Party dynasty for the next 100 years.
As for the liberal academy, many professors won't give up their liberal attacks until the stock markets are dead and the private banking system is beaten into Ground Zero.  
Please meet George Orwell's media-correct correct Big Brother!

Did you notice how CNN dropped/lost Glenn Beck as soon as the polls revealed an immanent Obama victory?
There's one last job for Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore, Whoppi, Barbara Walters, Larry King, NBC, CBS, the NYT, Washington Post, and all the HBO comedians. We can expect the newspapers and airways to be filled with relentless 24/7 attacks on Glen Beck (now with Fox Network), Bill O'Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh. These three will receive a withering attack in the U.S. liberal media. MSNBC's totally unbiased (yeah, right) Keith Olbermann  is leading the first assault by saying those leading critics of the Democratic Party "don't matter anymore" --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#27563634
Please meet George Orwell's Big Brother's obedient son His name is Keith! --- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#27559181

ABC is the most objective network. Just ask Barbara Walters. The November 6 edition of "The View" kicked off with a discussion on ABC correspondent Steve Osunsami’s emotional reaction to Obama’s victory. Barbara Walters defended Osunsami and called ABC the most "objective network."
Barbara Walters, Newsbusters, November 8, 2008 ---
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/justin-mccarthy/2008/11/06/barbara-walters-abc-most-objective-network
Jensen Comment
Yeah right! For their part, Whoppi and Barbara relentlessly attacked Republicans on The View while leaving it up to ABC to find other outlets for criticism of Democrats. I've not discerned one time when Barbara Walters said anything critical of the Democratic Party in this campaign while teaming up with Whoppi to repeatedly criticize Republicans. Hugo Chavez was so grateful for her anti-Bush rhetoric that he gave Barbara Walters an exclusive interview where he repeated his claims that George Bush was the  Devil --
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDaSJ23DRjs
Chavez said "fortunately Bush will not remain in office long" --- that made Barbara overjoyed.
Did you notice how polite Barbara was to Obama on The View but, when John McCain and his wife appeared on The View, Barbara went on a dogged attack about how many houses they own --- http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/09/cindy_and_john_mccain_on_abcs.html
Also see the View's other attack --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U7JMV8pwsk
ABC may be the most "objective network," but The View is a flagrantly biased television show even after Rosie took a hike.
Please meet Barbara and Whoppi's Big Brother!

His (Obama's) biggest challenge? Not demoralized and reorganizing Republicans on the Hill but his own party, with a hunger for innovation and a head of steam built up and about to burst. And the incredible sense of expectation his supporters hold. When you think someone's Moses, you expect him to part the seas. Americans want change, and they just voted for it, but in times of high-stakes history they appreciate stability. And while we love drama in our movie stars and on our television sets, we don't love unneeded drama in our government and among our govern-ors. This is already a dramatic time—two wars, economic collapse—and people are rattled. "Moderation in all things." It should be noted here that the split in the popular vote was 53% to 46%. That is a solid seven-point win for the new president-elect, but it also means more than 56 million voters went for John McCain in a year when all the stars were aligned against the Republicans. (Though it is also true that many of the indexes for the GOP are dreadful, especially that they lost the vote of two-thirds of those aged 18 to 29. They lost a generation! If that continues in coming years, it will be a rolling wave of doom.)
Peggy Noonan, "The Children Are Watching:  America makes history, but the mandate is for moderation," The Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2008 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122600597583706149.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

In a nation that was founded on genocide and then built on the backs of slaves, it was an unexpected moment, shocking in its simplicity: Barack Obama, a good man, a black man, said he would bring change to Washington, and the majority of the country liked that idea. The racists were present throughout the campaign and in the voting booth. But they are no longer the majority, and we will see their flame of hate fizzle out in our lifetime.
Michael Moore --- http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/message/index.php?id=240
Jensen Comment
Anything critical of Obama's dynasty, populism, gay activism, feminism, universal health care, or undocumented immigrants will be attributed to racism in the media.
Please meet George Orwell's "Sicko" Big Brother!

Make no mistake, there is still discrimination against people of color in America. And inside black America, there is still disproportionate poverty, school dropouts, criminal activity, incarceration and single motherhood. But with the example of Mr. Obama's achievements, from Harvard Law to the state legislature, U.S. Senate and the White House, the focus of discussion now is how the child of even the most oppressed of racial minorities can maximize his or her strengths and overcome negative stereotypes through achievement. The onus now falls on individuals to take advantage of opportunities. That begins with keeping families together and taking responsibility for the twisted "gangsta" culture that celebrates jail time instead of schooling. With Mr. Obama as the head of government, discussion of racial problems now comes in the form of pragmatic discourse for how to best give all Americans opportunty, for example, how to improve schools. The change in black politics has been slowly coming with the growing black middle-class. It now accelerates with Mr. Obama's victory. As King said at the end of the 1965 march for voting rights in Alabama -- when he reached the state capitol in Montgomery -- the result of black political participation is a "society that can live with its conscience." There are no quick solutions, he added, but no matter how difficult or frustrating there will be success because "the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice." In terms of racial politics, the arc of justice took a breathtaking leap.
Juan Williams, "What Obama's Victory Means for Racial Politics ," The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122628263723412543.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Jensen Comment
The real test of advancement will come some day, hopefully in the near future, when African Americans can ignore the color of a candidate's skin when they're inside the voting booth. America is still 80% white, and certainly many whites were able to vote for non-white candidates for many national and state elective offices in the November 2008 election. America shall overcome almost anything except, sadly, it's $10 trillion booked national debt plus its $45 trillion off-balance sheet unfunded entitlement obligations. Let's hope that America survives its own American Dream of being a sustainable democracy.

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
Alexander Tyler. 1787 - Tyler was a Scottish history professor that had this to say about 2000 years after "The Fall of the Athenian Republic" and about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution.
As quoted at http://www.babylontoday.com/national_debt_clock.htm (where the debt clock in real time is a few months behind)
The National Debt Amount This Instant (Refresh your browser for updates by the second) --- http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
Please meet George Orwell's inevitable Big Brother!

"The country must be governed from the middle," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has spent much of the last two years working to quell intramural fights between liberals and conservatives on everything from ending the Iraq war to curbing the deficit. "You have to bring people together to reach consensus on solutions that are sustainable and acceptable to the American people." She also acknowledged, however, that Obama faces "more expectations than any president I can ever remember in my life time." So does his party.
"Pelosi: Obama Facing Higher Expectations Than Any Other President," Fox News, November 6, 2008 ---
http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/11/06/pelosi-obama-facing-higher-expectations-president/
Jensen Comment
If Nancy Pelosi keeps saying such things as "curbing the deficit" you can expect a new Speaker of the House soon.

Obama is not making a balanced budget any kind of "bucket" priority (then again, neither did McCain or any candidate for any office in November)
Asked what Barack Obama was elected to do, and what legislation he's likely to find on his Oval Office desk soonest, Mr. Emanuel (the incoming White House Chief of Staff) didn't hesitate. "Bucket one would have children's health care, Schip," he said. "It has bipartisan agreement in the House and Senate. It's something President-elect Obama expects to see. Second would be [ending current restrictions on federally funded] stem-cell research. And third would be an economic recovery package focused on the two principles of job creation and tax relief for middle-class families."
Jason L. Riley, "Do What You Got Elected to Do," The Wall Street Journal, November 8, 2008 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122611134918910647.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Jensen Comment
It's interesting that Buckets 1, 2, and 3 did not mention ending the war in Iraq on the promised timetable or curbing inflation. Stem cell research spending somehow moved up to the Number 2 bucket. Bucket Number 3 contains tax relief for the middle class coupled with the inevitable inflation accompanying  soaring national debt (currently increasing at $4 billion a day before Obama takes office). As an accountant I will be watching how the government hides the start of the trillion-dollar universal health care plan. Don't watch the media for revelations of slight-of-hand government accounting.
Please meet George Orwell's accounting Big Brother!

Democrats ran on "paygo" in 2006 (with a Democratic Party majority in both the House and the Senate), promising to offset any new spending increases or tax cuts with comparable tax increases or spending cuts. Once in charge on Capitol Hill they quickly made exceptions, waiving paygo no fewer than 12 times to accommodate some $398 billion in new deficit spending -- not that the press corps bothered to notice. That didn't stop Majority Leader Steny Hoyer from announcing in May that "We're absolutely committed to paygo. Speaker [Nancy Pelosi] is committed to paygo. I'm very committed to paygo. Our caucus is committed to paygo." Yet now Mr. Cooper is delivering official last rites, as the Washington spending machinery powers up in earnest. Paygo was always a big con designed not to reduce spending but to stop tax cuts. It was invented to stop the GOP Congress and then a Republican President, but it is inconvenient when Democrats run the show. With the recession available as an excuse for just about anything, get ready for the first $1 trillion federal budget deficit. And don't expect any howling from the Blue Dogs.
"Pay As You Go Is Gone," The Wall Street Journal, November 10, 2008 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122628143512612399.html?mod=djemEditorialPage
Jensen Comment
There's little doubt about where we're headed --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/entitlements.htm

"Moody's estimates that the annual cost of the plan could be on the order of $100 billion to $200 billion, inclusive of participant contributions, on top of current annual government spending of about $800 billion," the rating agency said in a report this week.
"Obama healthcare plan boon for hospitals: Moody's," Reuters, November 7. 2008 --- http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE4A65W720081107
Jensen Comment
And that nearly $1 trillion is only for the first year. The impossible dream would be for just one of the liberal media's stars to openly discuss how more and more entitlements lead to a shrinking dollar and runaway inflation, including Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore, Whoppi, Barbara Walters, Larry King, NBC, CBS, CNN, the NYT, Washington Post.
Please meet George Orwell's politically correct Big Brother!

"Green Herring:  Obama tries to hide the costs of his global warming solution," by Jacob Sullum, Reason Magazine, November 5, 2008 --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/129866.html
Jensen Comment
The impossible dream would be for just one of the liberal media's stars to be critical of this hiding of costs, including Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore, Whoppi, Barbara Walters, Larry King, NBC, CBS, CNN, the NYT, Washington Post.

Please meet George Orwell's accounting Big Brother!

There are many professors won't give up bashing a market-based economy until the world's stock markets are dead and the private banking system is failed entirely.
How long will it be before the government bails out all pension funds, including TIAA/CREF?
All pensions are probably the next gigantic government bailout.
It's best to study about how to live on a government pension with soaring inflation ---
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/entitlements.htm
Please meet George Orwell's pension funding Big Brother!

An academic voice speaks against Big Brother --- how dare he?
A second paper in this series will examine the theoretical justifications for the importance of the stock market as perhaps the central financial institution in the United States.

"Who Needs the Stock Market? Part I: The Empirical Evidence," by Lawrence E. Mitchell George Washington University - Law School, SSRN, October 30, 2008 --- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1292403

Data on historical and current corporate finance trends drawn from a variety of sources present a paradox. External equity has never played a significant role in financing industrial enterprises in the United States. The only American industry that has relied heavily upon external financing is the finance industry itself. Yet it is commonly accepted among legal scholars and economists that the stock market plays a valuable role in American economic life, and a recent, large body of macroeconomic work on economic development links the growth of financial institutions (including, in the U.S, the stock market) to growth in real economic output. How can this be the case if external equity as represented by the stock market plays an insignificant role in financing productivity? This paradox has been largely ignored in the legal and economic literature.

This paper surveys the history of American corporate finance, presents original and secondary data demonstrating the paradox, and raises questions regarding the structure of American capital markets, the appropriate rights of stockholders, the desirable regulatory structure (whether the stock market should be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, for example), and the overall relationship between finance and growth.

The answers to these questions are particularly pressing in light of a dramatic increase in stock market volatility since the turn of the century creating distorted incentives for long-term corporate management, especially trenchant in light of the recent global financial collapse.

A second paper in this series will examine the theoretical justifications for the importance of the stock market as perhaps the central financial institution in the United States.

A Sobering Paper from the University of Pennsylvania
"Think the Credit Crisis Is Bad? Coalition Sees Bigger Problems Down the Road
,"  Knowledge@Wharton, October 29, 2008 ---
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm;jsessionid=9a30144044b07a406280?articleid=2077

When most people look at the turmoil in the American economy over the last month -- wild gyrations in the stock market, giants of finance failing or requiring government rescue, rising unemployment, sinking home prices and a wave of mortgage foreclosures -- they see an immediate crisis and a bleak future.

But Alice Rivlin, who was head of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in the Clinton administration, also sees an opportunity. Rivlin was among a number speakers who came to the University of Pennsylvania recently as part of a "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour" organized by a bipartisan coalition of think tanks and government watch-dog groups trying to focus voters on America's mounting debt. A Wharton department was among the sponsors of the tour's recent visit to the university.

Rivlin said she has long believed that only a short-term crisis atmosphere might spur political leaders in Washington to make some of the difficult long-term choices to head off a rising tide of red ink. "I have said that a mini-crisis would actually be useful, something like a rapid plunge in the dollar," said Rivlin, currently director of economic studies for the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution. Instead, she said, the much larger economic storm now unfolding could convince Washington -- as it is pressed to take bold and sometimes unpopular action related to the credit crisis -- to wrap in some forward-looking solutions to rising costs associated with Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid -- costs that will make the taxpayers' Wall Street rescue effort, which could amount to more than $1 trillion, seem petty by comparison. A General Accounting Office study concluded that in less than 20 years, the cost of Social Security and Medicare will exceed all government revenues.

David M. Walker -- president and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on the national debt and related challenges -- agreed with Rivlin that the current economic crisis could be a teachable moment for the nation's leaders about the risks of fiscal inaction. "They waited for a crisis until they did something about it," said Walker, referring to the credit logjam that has locked up the flow of credit that lubricates the economy. When it comes to government action on tough economic issues, he said, "the system is dysfunctional."

Walker, Rivlin, and their co-panelists -- Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the debt-fighting Concord Coalition, and Stuart M. Butler, vice president for domestic and economic policy studies for the conservative-leaning Heritage Foundation -- are carrying on the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour that was launched back in 2005. Since the beginning, the campaign has been trying to persuade Americans to pay less attention to day-to-day ups and downs of Wall Street and the U.S. economy, and focus more on the bigger picture of projections for the staggering future costs of federal entitlements.

Bringing the Message to Battleground States

The tour's visit to the Penn campus was co-sponsored by Wharton's Business and Public Policy Department as well as the Annenberg School for Communication, the Department of Political Science, the Fels Institute of Government and the Fox Leadership Program. Officials said the selection of Pennsylvania -- a key battleground state in the presidential election less than three weeks away -- is part of the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour's strategy of visiting key states right before major political events such as the New Hampshire primary or Iowa caucuses. Its ultimate goal, organizers said, is a better-informed electorate.

"We're trying to elevate the issue in front of key constituencies in key states," Bixby said. He later noted that many of the group's events have been held on college campuses because the anti-debt coalition believes any solution will ultimately come from greater involvement by the generation now voting for the first time. "If young people get involved, and we can view the situation as a leadership problem, we'll go a long way toward getting it solved."

The broader problem quite simply is this: America is already dangerously deep in debt, and will soon see an explosion in costs to provide Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements it has promised to tens of millions of retiring and soon-to-retire baby boomers. While federal spending is now roughly 20% of the American gross national product, which has been relatively constant in the last half-century, that ratio could rise as high as 42% by 2050 if current federal policies on entitlement spending and taxes remain unchanged, according to Bixby. That would be the same rate as when the U.S. was waging World War II. The impact would fall hardest on today's young people.

Driving this projection are the ticking time bombs of benefit obligations to retirees and impoverished families under Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Over the next three decades, the percentage of Americans older than 64 will grow from 13% to 20% even as health care costs continue to increase faster than inflation.

We Suggest... Richard Marston and Jeremy Siegel: Will the Bank Plan Revive Global Markets?

Do the Answers to Our Current Financial Woes Lie in the Past?

The Candidates on Taxes: Finding the Devil in the Details

Obama and McCain: Different -- and Evolving -- Visions for the U.S. Economy

What's Ahead for the Global Economy in 2008? Reports from the Knowledge@Wharton Network Walker, who was formerly the nation's top auditor as its Comptroller General, said unrestrained health care policies are a recipe for fiscal disaster. "We're the only country on the face of the earth that is currently writing a blank check for health care because every other country that has done that has gone bankrupt."

'Arithmetic, Not Ideology'

"It's a matter of arithmetic, not ideology," said Bixby, whose bipartisan Concord Coalition was founded by Warren Rudman, a former Republican senator; the late Paul Tsongas, who served in the Senate as a Democrat; and Pete Peterson, who was Secretary of Commerce in the Nixon administration. Bixby believes part of the problem is that Americans have been too willing to buy into certain myths about our fiscal policies, including the notions that we can close our budget gap simply through growing the economy and increasing revenues, or just by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse in federal spending.

Several speakers emphasized that while their Wake Up Tour can be heavy on charts and graphics outlining the grim mathematics of the problem, the real problem with profligate government spending has a moral component: Is it right for the current generation to take on obligations and hand the bill to the next generation? Walker concluded his presentation with a slide showing his three grandchildren who will inherit the massive debt. "It's really not a fiscal issue," agreed Bixby. "It's a moral issue."

The speakers acknowledged that -- given the wide range of their ideological views -- they do not necessarily agree on all the solutions to the problem, but they want their audience to understand what the choices are -- continued but unsustainable borrowing from overseas sources such as China or the oil-producing nations of OPEC, raising taxes, or making decisions on spending cuts and priorities that so far have proved too difficult for political leaders. In fact, the political hurdles have been so great that some -- including the current co-chairs of the Concord Coalition, Rudman and ex-Democratic senator Bob Kerrey -- have suggested that the only solution would be the creation of a bi-partisan panel to devise a set of solutions that Congress would be required to accept or reject without amendment.

Where to start? Rivlin suggested that longer-term solutions could be wrapped into the current legislative effort to attack the credit crunch and expected recession. For example, she said, "a relatively easy thing to do" would be to gradually raise the retirement age. That would have no impact on current retirees, but would provide significant long-term savings for Social Security.

Butler, of the Heritage Foundation, noted simply raising taxes to cover the deficit is not a likely solution. By 2050, he said, balancing the budget with tax increases but no other policy changes would mean raising marginal income taxes on the wealthiest top bracket to 88%, with a 63% higher levy on the second bracket that comprises much of the middle-class. "If there's a moral problem with passing the debt along to younger people, is raising taxes and taking their money any less immoral?" he asked. He also doubted that Congress would use such additional revenue for debt reduction. If you believe it would, he said, "you're probably one of those people who think professional wrestling is real."

A more likely scenario, as outlined by Butler, would be to look at the most sensible ways to make the benefits that now go to American retirees more affordable, such as reconsidering the current prescription drug benefits for seniors and whether they should be extended to the wealthiest citizens. He noted that billionaire Warren Buffett now receives the same drug benefit as a low-income retiree. The Heritage Foundation expert also said America needs to do a much better job encouraging private citizens to save for the future, citing a recent study that the lowest income households, making less than $13,000 a year, spend an average of 9% of that income on lottery tickets.

Indeed, several of the speakers agreed that the Baby Boom generation now running the country has never been asked to sacrifice and rarely asks such measures of citizens. At the same time, he noted, America's consumer-oriented economy and the rise of relatively cheap credit beginning in the 1980s has resulted in a national personal savings rate of zero. On top of that, Butler political debate has been dragged down in some ways by the rise of the Internet and especially cable television, which "emphasizes conflict while dialogue is eliminated."

In the meantime, the speakers said that ongoing federal deficits -- and a debt service that now costs $238 billion annually and is growing sharply -- are squeezing programs that could make America more competitive in the global economy. These would include a massive program to repair the nation's crumbling infrastructure as well as improving education and health care, especially for children in low-income families. "The large middle class is our backbone, but we can't compete on wages in this country," Walker said, stressing instead the need for a better educated workforce and also for a health care system that delivers better results for the money. "We're mortgaging our future and increasing our obligation on the backs of young people at the same time that we're investing less in them," he warned.

Yet, according to Rivlin, despite all the controversy about the government's current dramatic efforts to deal with the immediate financial crisis, these measures may not contribute much to solving the debt problem. She acknowledged that the Treasury may recover some of the $950 billion it has pledged to unlock credit markets and stabilize key banks, and that a new economic stimulus package under discussion in Congress might stave off a lengthy recession that would also sap tax revenues. "But the danger," she warned, "is that we will lose all discipline, that the recession will be the excuse" to delay difficult choices.

Still, there seemed to be a general consensus among the speakers that the current crisis could raise the public's awareness and interest in a long-term solution to government debt. "There's nobody to bail out America," said Walker, "so the sooner we get started, the better."

Continued in article

 

Another global bubble about to burst
Last month, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association estimated that nearly $47 trillion in swaps were outstanding as of June. That number might include transactions not cleared by the depository corporation. The most default swaps have been written on the countries of Turkey, Italy, Brazil and Russia, according to the new data. They were followed by GMAC, the auto finance company that is partly owned by General Motors. Others in the top 10 include Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, General Electric Capital and Countrywide Home Loans. But that ranking does not account for contracts written on multiple units of the same companies. In a credit-default swap, a buyer of protection pays an insurance premium to a seller who agrees to cover any lost interest or principal on bonds or loans issued by companies, countries or other organizations. The buyers and sellers are typically securities firms, hedge funds, banks and insurance companies. Policy makers have been unnerved by the rise of the market because they are worried that sellers of protection may not have enough reserves to pay future claims and that default by one party could lead to a cascade of failures throughout the financial system. That fear led the Federal Reserve Board to extend an $85 billion bridge loan to the American International Group and prompted the Fed to arrange a sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase. Both AIG and Bear Stearns had bought and sold billions in swaps. Industry officials, however, have argued that while the total amount of credit-default swaps appears large, many of the contracts offset one another. Many players in the market hedged their positions so if they had bought protection in one transaction they would sell it in another.
Vekas Bejaj, "Look at credit-default swaps reveals surprises," International Herald Tribune, November 5, 2008 --- http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/05/business/05swap.php
Jensen Comment
Don't count too heavily on the netting out offsets because these credit default swap hedging slights of hand are not all perfectly symmetrical. One one counterparty to the swap may default so there's no offset. Unlike market-based derivatives (e.g., commodities derivatives), credit default swaps put the entire notional at risk. If it were possible to offset insurance risks this way, all casualty insurance companies would thereby have no risk. Huh?
Bob Jensen's threads Primer on Derivatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Primer

President-elect Barack Obama's newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," according to government reports reviewed by ABCNews.com. According to a complaint later filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Freddie Mac, known formally as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, misreported profits by billions of dollars in order to deceive investors between the years 2000 and 2002.
Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz, ABC News, November 7, 2008 --- http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6201900&page=1

When the government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers inherited more than just bad debts. They're also potentially on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in legal fees for the executives at the center of the housing market's collapse. With the Justice Department investigating companies involved in the mortgage and financial meltdown, executives around the country are hiring defense lawyers. Like many large companies, Fannie and Freddie had contracts promising to cover legal bills for their executives. When the Treasury Department delivered a $200 billion bailout to Fannie and Freddie, that obligation passed to the government, which may find itself paying for the lawyers defending the executives against the government's own prosecutors. "Who'd have thought we might be on the hook for paying the defense costs when we're also paying the prosecution costs?" said Doug Heller, executive director of Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based group that has been critical of the financial bailout packages. "To defend the economy from the havoc that's been created, we're going to defend the havoc creators?"
"Taxpayers May Pay Legal Fees for Mortgage Execs," Fox News, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,447784,00.html
Please meet George Orwell's Big Brother!

Just thinking about possible ways to stick it to a media who over the last two years would have made Pravda blush in their naked support of one party and one candidate.
"How do we counter a one-party media?" Vanity, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2126860/posts
Jensen Comment
It is futile to try to counter the one-party media. Just ask  Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore, Whoppi, Barbara Walters, Larry King, NBC, CBS, CNN, the NYT, Washington Post, and all the HBO comedians. Their material is gone;  political comedy will die
Please meet George Orwell's media Big Brother!

In a most egregious way, American's CEOs and Wall Street traders have led us down the path to George Orwell's Big Brother --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#OutrageousCompensation
Perhaps this rottenness to the core in large corporations and Wall street caused the free media of the United States to close ranks to a point where the media is no longer free.
Please meet George Orwell's Rotten to the Core Big Brother!

Please call my attention the first time your hear one of the following influential commentators even suggest that the U.S. should work desperately to obtain a pay-as-you-go balanced budget (reducing the National Debt would be asking too much):  Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Brian Williams, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Michael Moore, Whoppi, Barbara Walters, or Larry King. CBS gets off the hook because of a great video on Sixty Minutes.

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




Question
Between now and inauguration day, what should incoming President Obama quickly study in great detail?

Given my own views of the corporatist state-generated roots of the financial crisis, I’d probably recommend (that the incoming President Obama read) The Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises, so that he could get a quick education on how the credit policies of a central bank set the boom-bust cycle into motion. Perhaps this might shake the new President into a truly new course for US political economy.
Daniel Drezner as quoted by Scott McLemee, "Turning a Page," Inside Higher Ed, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/05/mclemee

I’d probably advise the (incoming) president to read the uber-source for international relations, Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. Too many people only read portions like the Melian Dialogue, which leads to a badly distorted view of world politics (the dialogue represents the high-water mark of Athenian power — it all goes downhill after that). The entire text demonstrates the complex and tragic features of international politics, the folly of populism, the occasional necessity of forceful action, the temptations and dangers of empire, and, most importantly, the ways in which external wars can transform domestic politics in unhealthy ways.
Chris Matthew Sciabarra as quoted by Scott McLemee, "Turning a Page," Inside Higher Ed, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/05/mclemee

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
Alexander Tyler. 1787 - Tyler was a Scottish history professor that had this to say about 2000 years after "The Fall of the Athenian Republic" and about the time our original 13 states adopted their new constitution.

I’d have him (the incoming President) read Polanyi’s The Great Transformation. Why? It’s short, clearly argued, and makes a simple but fundamental point: capitalism is not the natural way that people relate to one another (including in their “economic” relations). It is the result of several political decisions that create the framework within which it can emerge. The next president will have to recognize that he too will make political decisions with economic consequences (and should not deceive himself into thinking that his decisions are simply a reaction to economic “necessities").
Dick Howard, as quoted by Scott McLemee, "Turning a Page," Inside Higher Ed, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/05/mclemee

More than thirty years ago, your predecessor Jimmy Carter described America’s tax system as “a national disgrace.” Since then, it’s gotten much, much worse. It is now so complex and irrational that only two groups of Americans understand it: tax lawyers and readers of David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times reporter and author of Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super-Rich — and Cheat Everybody Else. The abuses and evasions detailed in Perfectly Legal (and its companion volume, Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense – and Stick You with the Bill) may raise your blood pressure dramatically. You should read them, but only under a doctor’s supervision.
George Scialabba, as quoted by Scott McLemee, "Turning a Page," Inside Higher Ed, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/05/mclemee

I would recommend that President Obama read Our American King by David Lozell Martin. First, Obama is already familiar with Marxist, feminist, structuralist, and post-colonial theory from his days as a student at Harvard. So there is already some coverage here. Second, Obama has lots of advisors providing lots of advice on policy matters. Anything added here would end up just another item in the mix. Third, the new President faces so many enormous challenges that it is highly unlikely he’ll have much time to devote to pondering a complex text, no matter how important. So I recommend a novel published last year, bedside reading that will provide the new President with food for thought. It captures, I think, the fears of many of us for the future of democracy in a time of extreme inequality, the sense that our country is leaning heavily on the wrong side of a precipice.
Jodi Dean,  as quoted by Scott McLemee, "Turning a Page," Inside Higher Ed, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/05/mclemee

As a playwright, I want the next president to read a play. Plays are perfect fodder for the chief executive-to-be: they are short, can be digested in one sitting, and offer the advantage of distilling larger currents of thought into character, dialogue and action. And such an opportunity should not be wasted on agit-prop (Bertolt Brecht, Clifford Odets) or classics that should already have been imbibed by the civilized soul. (So let’s shelve Henry V and Major Barbara for now.) The play should talk to the president about the human cost of tough times, the dignities and foibles of ordinary citizens, and the dire alternatives to forceful and human courses of action. For such times, the German playwright Odon von Horvath is just the ticket. Before his tragic death on the cusp of World War II, Horvath offered a window on the brutalities of economic collapse and the roots of fascism in desperation and human folly. But which Horvath to select? Tales from the Vienna Woods is Horvath’s masterpiece, but I’d worry that its deep subtleties and epic canvas of pre-war Austria would confound a reader pressed for time. So I’d opt instead for Horvath’s tiny jewel of human desolation: Faith, Hope and Charity. In a mere 52 pages, the play follows Elisabeth, an ordinary young woman down on her luck, as she is hounded to death by close encounters with unfeeling bureaucracy and casual cruelty. It is a succinct and powerful play with a simple lesson: if our political institutions are not suffused with the moral values of the play’s title, they can be perverted into engines of personal annihilation. It is a message the new president should consider as sweeping changes in government and its powers are proposed and enacted.
Richard Byrne,  as quoted by Scott McLemee, "Turning a Page," Inside Higher Ed, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/05/mclemee

So this begs the question of what Bob Jensen would like incoming Barack Obama to read before taking office?
My answer should come as no surprise to anybody. I want him to watch several short videos and then read my unfinished essay:

I.O.U.S.A. Movie:  A Fact-Filled Documentary
"Another Inconvenient Truth," The Economist, August 16, 2008, pp 69-69 --- http://www.economist.com/finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=11921663

AMERICA’S infamous debt clock, near New York’s Times Square, was switched off in 2000 after the national burden started to fall thanks to several years of Clinton-era budget restraint. However, it was reactivated two years later as the politically motivated urge to splurge once again took over. The debt has since swollen to $9.5 trillion, with the value of unfunded public promises (if you include entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare) nudging $53 trillion—or $175,000 for every American—and rising. On current trends, these will amount to some 240% of GDP by 2040, up from a just-about-manageable 65% today.

David Walker, who until recently ran the Government Accountability Office, has made it his mission to get the nation to acknowledge and treat this “fiscal cancer”. His efforts form the core of a new documentary, “I.O.U.S.A.”, out on August 21st. The message is simple enough: America’s financial condition is a lot worse than advertised, and dumping it on future generations would be not only economically reckless but also immoral.

The biggest deficit of all, the film contends, is in leadership: politicians continue to duck hard choices. It hints at dark consequences. As America has become more reliant on foreign lenders, it warns, so it has become more vulnerable to “financial warfare”, of the sort America itself threatened to wage on Britain, a big debtor, during the Suez crisis. Warren Buffett, America’s investor-in-chief, pops up to warn of potential political instability.

The film is part of a broader effort to popularise the issue. In 2005 Mr Walker set off on a “fiscal wake-up tour” of town halls; sparsely attended at first, it now attracts hundreds to each meeting (though some may be turned off by the giant pie chart strapped to the side of his tour van). The young are being drawn in too, even forming campaign groups; Concerned Youth of America’s activists “crusade against our leveraged future” wearing prison suits. Mr Walker is talking to MTV, a music broadcaster, about a tie-up. His profile has been lifted by a segment on CBS’s “60 Minutes” and an appearance on “The Colbert Report”, a satirical TV show, which dubbed him the “Taxes Ranger”.

Promisingly, the new film was well received at the Sundance Film Festival

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

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

Bob Jensen's "Unfinished Essay on the Pending Collapse of the United States" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm


Question
Are risky returns higher or lower than the risk free rate on average over long periods of time?

First learn about the theory of mean reversion at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_reversion

"Reversion to the Mean Why treasuries have outperformed equities," The Economist via CFO.com, November 10, 2008 --- http://www.cfo.com/article.cfm/12585264/?f=rsspage

GREATER risk means greater reward, right? Wrong, at least over the last 25 years. As the graph shows, Treasury bonds have actually outperformed riskier asset classes over the last quarter century. That is despite the long equity bull-market from 1982 to 2000.

Treasury bonds have understandably beaten equities this year, when the financial sector has been in crisis and the economy headed towards recession. The government bond-market always performs well at times of crisis. But the last 25 years have been, by and large, a pretty good time for global economies, marked by the "great moderation" in inflation and growth.

But the last quarter century has been positive for all asset classes, with government debt, corporate bonds and Treasuries all returning an average of around 10% a year in nominal terms. So why have Treasuries done so well in relative terms? The explanation, as Jim Reid of Deutsche Bank explains, lies in reversion to the mean.

Asset classes can go through long periods when they underperform, leaving them cheap and ripe for revaluation. That happened to Treasury bonds, which suffered four consecutive decades of negative real returns from the 1940s through the 1970s. At that point, Paul Volcker, then the Federal Reserve chairman and now an advisor to President-elect Barack Obama, successfully brought down inflation, allowing investors to lock in double-digit Treasury yields. It was one of the great historical buying opportunities.

Such a period is extremely unusual. Since 1900, the average annual return from Treasuries has been 4.6%, or 1.5% after allowing for inflation. In contrast, American equities have delivered 9.3%, or 6% in real terms.

The current poor performance of stockmarkets reflects, of course, a reversion to the mean after the excesses seen during the dotcom bubble, when the rolling 25-year annual return of US equities reached a remarkable 16%. On a 10-year basis, the return from equities has now slumped to minus 3.5% in real terms.

. . .

There are two important caveats. First, this kind of analysis is no use at all in predicting short-term movements. Second, markets spend very little of the time at fair value (on Mr Reid's calculations), tending to veer wildly from one extreme to another. All three asset classes might still be overvalued; after all, the figures show returns over the last quarter century have been well above average.

Bob Jensen's investment helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#Finance

Jensen Comment
This speaks in favor of jumping out of equity at the instant a bubble begins to burst. but it's generally difficult to identify a true bubble early on. Plus the media is always urging the public not to panic and to hang on to equity investments on the theory that what goes down goes back up. The media, however, probably does not have a clue about mean reversion.False positive bailouts can lead unnecessary transactions costs. Also if your equity investment is tied up in a pension fund like CREF, you don't have fast reacting options.


Higher Education Has Been Marked Down in Importance by Voters

"Higher Education in the Age of Obama," by Arthur Levine, Inside Higher Ed, November 10, 2008 ---
http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2008/11/10/levine 

A number of pressures will now require the new president to rethink this array of important proposals because he won’t have the resources to carry out this agenda. First, discretionary dollars will be eaten up by the $800 billion bailout, additional federal funding for economic relief, the continuing cost of the Iraq war, and declines in tax revenues.

Second, support for education has diminished as a priority for the American people. During the 2000 presidential election, Americans ranked education either first or second among the nation’s priorities. In 2004, it fell to fifth. In 2008, it dropped off the priority list.

Third, the primary citizen advocates for increased education funding have shifted their focus to health care. Baby Boomers, who constituted more than half of the electorate until this election, single-handedly made education a priority because they wanted good schools for their children. Today, with most of their kids graduated or largely through school, Boomers are now focused on aging and frail parents, who are absorbing an increasing share of their time and resources.

The sheer size of the Baby Boom generation ensures that every politician running for any office, from dogcatcher to president of the United States, quickly develops a platform that emphasizes Boomers’ interests. As a result, elder care, health insurance and Social Security have become the new priority — and will likely continue to overshadow education in the years ahead., since the first Boomers reached retirement age this year.

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


"Green Herring:  Obama tries to hide the costs of his global warming solution," by Jacob Sullum, Reason Magazine, November 5, 2008 --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/129866.html
Please meet George Orwell's Big Brother!

The Apollo Alliance, a coalition of environmentalists and labor unions, wants the federal government to spend $500 billion over 10 years to "build America's 21st century clean energy economy" and thereby "create more than five million high quality green-collar jobs." Barack Obama says he can accomplish the same goal for only $150 billion, which gives you a sense of how reliable these projections are.

More fundamentally, both the Apollo Alliance and Obama, who has liberally borrowed from its ideas, mistakenly treat the manpower required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as a measure of success, when it should be viewed as a cost to be minimized. Obama's "green jobs" rhetoric is part of his strategy to conceal the enormous expense associated with his plan to "transform our entire economy" and "build a new economy that is powered by clean and secure energy."

Obama wants to "implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050." That is even more ambitious than the goal of a cap-and-trade bill that the Department of Energy estimates would cost between $444 billion and $1.3 trillion in reduced economic growth over two decades.

Depending on how bad the effects of global warming are expected to be and how effective Obama's plan is at ameliorating them, such a sacrifice could be justified. But Obama has not made that case. Instead he has said, in essence: Sacrifice? What sacrifice?

The basic problem addressed by a cap-and-trade system, which uses tradable permits to charge companies for the greenhouse gases they generate, is that people contribute to climate change without bearing the cost of their behavior. Like a carbon tax, which achieves the same result more explicitly, a cap-and-trade system works only if it makes energy use (and the emissions associated with it) more expensive.

What are we to make, then, of Obama's promise to cushion the blow of rising gasoline prices and home heating bills by providing "emergency energy rebates"? That is exactly the opposite of what the government should do if it wants to encourage energy conservation and make alternative energy sources more competitive. "Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system," Obama admitted during an unusually candid interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in January, "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

If Obama's cap-and-trade plan works as advertised, it will create incentives for businesses to achieve greenhouse gas reductions as efficiently as possible. He nevertheless cannot resist centrally planning the response—for example, by arbitrarily requiring that 25 percent of the nation's electricity come from renewable resources by 2025, instead of letting the market decide what mix of conservation and alternative energy makes the most sense.

A recent RAND Corporation study concludes that, without "dramatic progress in renewable energy technology," reaching this "25X'25" goal will mean "significantly increasing consumer costs." And the study did not consider "the transition and adjustment costs associated with initiating such a significant shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy technologies."

Those costs involve not just the loss of jobs in carbon-intense parts of the economy but the loss of jobs that would be created if the resources used to mitigate global warming were available for other purposes. Obama and other "clean energy" boosters do not take those losses into account, acting as if every "green job" is a net gain to the economy.

The Apollo Alliance goes so far as to brag that "renewable energy creates more jobs than coal," as if this were a selling point, as opposed to a sign of lower efficiency. It enthusiastically likens the creation of a "clean energy economy" to "the World War II industrial mobilization."

The analogy is more telling than the alliance realizes: Like a war, the effort to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions may be justified to prevent a more costly outcome. But the economic activity it generates has to be weighed against the destruction it causes, something the president-elect so far has shown no inclination to do.

Jensen Comment
At least the 2050 deadline proposed by Obama is more realistic and humane than the Blood and Gore 2018 deadline proposed by Gore and Blood:

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.
Oscar Wilde

Guess who is now trying to promote  a new form of "sustainable capitalism?"
Why it's Blood and Gore!

Question
If the liberal media, new market regulations, new taxes on higher wage earners and corporations, the raft of bank failures, unmanageable national debt, crippling entitlements, resurgent protectionism and militant unions, a plunging stock market, tort lawyers with class action lawsuits, costly national health care, fraud that's growing exponentially, newer mushy accounting standards, rising corruption in politics, gangland, Hollywood, and fundamentalist Islamic terrorists do not destroy capitalism in the United States, what's left to drive the final nail in the coffin of U.S. capitalism?

Answer
Environmental protection legislation and enforcement that send energy prices soaring and force entire industries to shut down because of cost barriers that make profitability and cost of capital unbearable for sustaining capitalism itself. But rising up like a phoenix from the smoldering cinders will be the Blood and Gore new form of sustainable capitalism.

 

We Need Sustainable Capitalism
by Al Gore and David Blood
The Wall Street Journal
Nov 05, 2008
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com
 

TOPICS: Accounting, Capital Budgeting, Capital Spending, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Cleanup Costs

SUMMARY: "The challenges of the climate crisis, water scarcity, income disparity, extreme poverty and disease must command our urgent attention." So argue former Vice President Al Gore and his managing partner in Generation Investment Management, an organization founded in 2004 "...to develop a new philosophy of investment management and business more broadly." They argued that "the causes of the current financial crisis include: short-termism (including but not limited to increased leverage), poor governance and regulation, misaligned compensation and incentive systems, lack of transparency, and in some firms, poor leadership and a dysfunctional business culture."

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article is the second to allow students to discuss the implications of this week's presidential election on business topics in financial reporting, entrepreneurship and business decision-making.

QUESTIONS: 
1. (Introductory) From what political viewpoint do the authors of this opinion page piece hail? How does that influence the proposals they make regarding the state of both the economy and our environment?

2. (Introductory) With regard to environmental issues, the authors quote Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute, who said, "Nature does not do bailouts." What are the implications of this statement for business?

3. (Advanced) What do the authors mean by "short-termism"? How is leverage related to a short-term viewpoint? How is financial reporting of quarterly income for publicly-traded companies to our financial markets also related to this viewpoint?

4. (Introductory) What is transparency? When is it evident that financial reporting achieves this notion of transparency?

5. (Introductory) Messrs. Gore and Blood argue that "we need to internalize externalities-starting with a price on carbon" and that not placing such a price delays "...internalization of this obviously material cost." Though not all U.S. citizens agree with the argument that carbon emissions are a material cost, assume that it is the case. Why is this cost not visible in current reports of U.S. business performance? How would these authors propose to internalize this cost?

6. (Introductory) Refer again to the statements in the question above by Messrs. Gore and Blood. What do they mean by stating that this is an "obviously material cost"? Are they using the term "material" in the same sense as it is used for accounting purposes? In your answer, provide this definition of materiality.

7. (Advanced) The authors argue that the longer businesses delay internalizing costs of carbon emissions, "the greater risk the economy faces from investing in high carbon content, 'sub-prime' assets." What are these risks? What implications do they hold for business decisions on capital investments in projects to generate future revenues?

8. (Introductory) Refer to the related article. What business investment decisions are being made in anticipation of political change in the areas of the environmental cleanliness and reduction of carbon emissions? List at least two responses and explain the factors influencing those decisions.

9. (Advanced) Refer to you answer to the question above. What accounting information about environmental aspects of operations are needed to make those business decisions?
 

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island
 

RELATED ARTICLES: 
Business Braces for Cooler Climate
by Elizabeth Williamson
Nov 05, 2008
Online Exclusive

Boosting Clean Energy: Research is Nice, Cap-and-Trade is Nicer
by Keith Johnson (blog posting)
Oct 30, 2008
Online Exclusive
 

"We Need Sustainable Capitalism Nature does not do bailouts," by Al Gore and David Blood, The Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2008 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122584367114799137.html?mod=djem_jiewr_AC

When greeting old friends after a period of absence, Ralph Waldo Emerson used to ask: "What has become clear to you since we last met?"

What is clear to us and many others is that market capitalism has arrived at a critical juncture. Even beyond the bailouts and recent volatility, the challenges of the climate crisis, water scarcity, income disparity, extreme poverty and disease must command our urgent attention.

The financial crisis has reinforced our view that sustainable development will be the primary driver of economic and industrial change over the next 25 years. As a result, old patterns and assumptions are now being re-examined in an effort to find new ways to use the strengths of capitalism to address this reality. Indeed, at the Harvard Business School Centennial Global Business Summit held earlier this month, the future of market capitalism was one of the principal themes discussed.

We founded Generation Investment Management in 2004 to develop a new philosophy of investment management and business more broadly. Our approach is based on the long-term, and on the explicit recognition that sustainability issues are central to business and should be incorporated in the analysis of business and management quality.

Nearly five years on, our conviction on the importance of sustainability in delivering long-term performance has increased. Indeed, the past year, and certainly the past two months, has reinforced our view on sustainability. While certainly not a complete list, the causes of the current financial crisis include: short-termism (including but not limited to increased leverage), poor governance and regulation, misaligned compensation and incentive systems, lack of transparency, and in some firms, poor leadership and a dysfunctional business culture.

Forty years ago, Robert F. Kennedy reminded Americans that the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Gross National Product measure neither our national spirit nor our national achievement. Both metrics fail to consider the integrity of our environment, the health of our families and the quality of our education. As he put it, "the Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile."

The Keynesian system of "national accounts," which still serves as the backbone for determining today's gross domestic product, is incomplete in its assessment of value. Principally established in the 1930s, this system is precise in its ability to account for capital goods, but dangerously imprecise in its ability to account for natural and human resources.

Business -- and by extension the capital markets -- need to change. We are too focused on the short term: quarterly earnings, instant opinion polls, rampant consumerism and living beyond our means. As we have often said, the market is long on short and short on long. Short-termism results in poor investment and asset allocation decisions, with disastrous effects on our economy. As Abraham Lincoln said at the time of America's greatest danger, "We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we will save our country."

At this moment, we are faced with the convergence of three interrelated crises: economic recession, energy insecurity and the overarching climate crisis. Solving any one of these challenges requires addressing all three.

For example, by challenging America to generate 100% carbon-free electricity within 10 years -- with the building of a 21st century Unified National Smart Grid, and the electrification of our automobile fleet -- we can encourage investment in our economy, secure domestic energy supplies, and create millions of jobs across the country.

We also need to internalize externalities -- starting with a price on carbon. The longer we delay the internalization of this obviously material cost, the greater risk the economy faces from investing in high carbon content, "sub-prime" assets. Such investments ignore the reality of the climate crisis and its consequences for business. And as Jonathan Lash, president of the World Resources Institute recently said: "Nature does not do bailouts."

Sustainability and long-term value creation are closely linked. Business and markets cannot operate in isolation from society or the environment.

Today, the sustainability challenges the planet faces are extraordinary and completely unprecedented. Business and the capital markets are best positioned to address these issues. And there are clearly higher expectations for businesses, and more serious consequences for running afoul of the boundaries of corporate responsibility. We need to return to first principles. We need a more long-term and responsible form of capitalism. We must develop sustainable capitalism.

Mr. Gore, chairman of Generation Investment Management, is a former vice president of the United States. Mr. Blood is managing partner of Generation Investment Management.

Jensen Comment
What the authors fail to answer is how capitalism or even the United States of America itself can be sustained while adding nearly $4 billion per day at the moment to the national debt. New forms of energy (synthetics, wind, geothermal, hydro, and nuclear) will take a massive infusion of capital. Where will it come from without destroying the U.S. dollar? How do we compete with nations who have no intention of producing cheaper energy with continued use of hydrocarbons such as China and India?

Is Gore's envisioned new form of capitalism really sustainable or will the wheels of industry grind to a halt due to the high cost of energy under a 10-year mandate to eliminate carbon pollution? What happens if we start borrowing $10 billion per day over the next 10 years?

Maybe Blood and Gore Visible Hand Capitalism is the answer to sustainability of capitalism, but I do not see it in the above article. If our cows are burping and farting half the carbon pollution, I guess we can kill all the cows over the next 10 years. It might even be healthier to live without milk and meat! Put unemployed coal miners to work making candles. Oops! Candles emit carbon monoxide.

Blood and Gore Capitalism will truly cause soaring inflation  --- I guess it's appropriate that Gore and Blood proposed "sustainable capitalism" for the survivors. Perhaps the television networks will capture it all in reality shows as we're sustaining ourselves.

 




We should not blame fair value accounting for the bank failures when, in point of fact, there were conflicts of interest among rating agencies that would've led to investment failures under any accounting system that did not disclose the conflicts of interest in the rating agencies themselves --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#FairValueAccounting

From the Financial Clippings Blog on October 22, 2008 --- http://financeclippings.blogspot.com/

I wrote earlier that credit rating agencies seem to be run like protection rackets..

from CNBC
In a hearing today before the House Oversight Committee, the credit rating agencies are being portrayed as profit-hungry institutions that would give any deal their blessing for the right price.

Case in point: this instant message exchange between two unidentified Standard & Poor's officials about a mortgage-backed security deal on 4/5/2007:

Official #1: Btw (by the way) that deal is ridiculous.

Official #2: I know right...model def (definitely) does not capture half the risk.

Official #1: We should not be rating it.

Official #2: We rate every deal. It could be structured by cows and we would rate it.

A former executive of Moody's says conflicts of interest got in the way of rating agencies properly valuing mortgage backed securities.

Former Managing Director Jerome Fons, who worked at Moody's until August of 2007, says Moody's was focused on "maxmizing revenues," leading it to make the firm more "issuer friendly."

Bob Jensen's threads on the history of corruption among rating agencies can be found at
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm#CreditRatingAgencies




Question
When does one fall guy (read that taxpayer) pay for the prosecution and the defense at the same time?
Please meet George Orwell's Big Brother!

"Taxpayers May Pay Legal Fees for Mortgage Execs," Fox News, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,447784,00.html

When the government took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, taxpayers inherited more than just bad debts. They're also potentially on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in legal fees for the executives at the center of the housing market's collapse.

With the Justice Department investigating companies involved in the mortgage and financial meltdown, executives around the country are hiring defense lawyers. Like many large companies, Fannie and Freddie had contracts promising to cover legal bills for their executives.

When the Treasury Department delivered a $200 billion bailout to Fannie and Freddie, that obligation passed to the government, which may find itself paying for the lawyers defending the executives against the government's own prosecutors.

"Who'd have thought we might be on the hook for paying the defense costs when we're also paying the prosecution costs?" said Doug Heller, executive director of Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based group that has been critical of the financial bailout packages. "To defend the economy from the havoc that's been created, we're going to defend the havoc creators?"

The Bush administration is working to avoid it. The Federal Housing Finance Agency, which controls Fannie and Freddie, said in regulatory filings it soon will try to prohibit the two companies from paying legal fees to their executives. But such a prohibition almost certainly would lead to a costly court fight over who's responsible for the bills when the Justice Department comes knocking.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I see this as only fair since the government (read that Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank) forced the executives of Fannie and Freddie to buy up mortgages of borrowers who never intended to make payments on those mortgages. It was all in the “nutty” (from Oak Trees) plan.

"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" (and ACORN) 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.

President-elect Barack Obama's newly appointed chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, served on the board of directors of the federal mortgage firm Freddie Mac at a time when scandal was brewing at the troubled agency and the board failed to spot "red flags," according to government reports reviewed by ABCNews.com. According to a complaint later filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Freddie Mac, known formally as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, misreported profits by billions of dollars in order to deceive investors between the years 2000 and 2002.
Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz, ABC News, November 7, 2008 --- http://www.abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6201900&page=1

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


Is there now a world recession?

From the Mostly Economics Blog on November 6, 2008 --- http://mostlyeconomics.wordpress.com/

IMF Projects a Global Recession But Does Not Call It
IMF has updated its economic forecast and the report is
here. IMF’s previous forecast was in early October and so in just one month it has revised it. Givebn it has release a fresh forecast in such quick time, the obvious case is for a substantial downward revision.

 

 
    Latest forecast Difference from Oct 2008 projections
  2007 2008 2009 2008 2009
World output 5 3.7 2.2 -0.2 -0.8
Advanced economies 2.6 1.4 -0.3 -0.1 -0.8
  United States 2 1.4 -0.7 -0.1 -0.8
  Euro area 2.6 1.2 -0.5 -0.1 -0.7
    Germany 2.5 1.7 -0.8 -0.2 -0.8
    France 2.2 0.8 -0.5 -0.1 -0.6
  Japan 2.1 0.5 -0.2 -0.2 -0.7
  United Kingdom 3 0.8 -1.3 -0.2 -1.2
  Canada 2.7 0.6 0.3 -0.1 -0.9
Developing economies 8 6.6 5.1 -0.3 -1
  Africa 6.1 5.2 4.7 -0.7 -1.3
  Russia 8.1 6.8 3.5 -0.2 -2
  Developing Asia 10 8.3 7.1 -0.1 -0.6
    China 11.9 9.7 8.5 -0.1 -0.8
    India 9.3 7.8 6.3 -0.1 -0.6
  Middle East 6 6.1 5.3 -0.3 -0.6
  Brazil 5.4 5.2 3 -0.5
  Mexico 3.2 1.9 0.9 -0.1 -0.9

IMF has reviswed its forecasts pretty downwards and is pretty much in line with what Roubini says. UK looks like the worst affected economy and that is why BOE cut rates by 150 bps (though I still don’t see how even zero rate would help).

 


"Moving (usually from Blackboard or WebCT) to Moodle:  Reflections Two Years Later," by Ining Tracy Chaw, Educause Quarterly, Number 3, 2008 --- http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EQM0837.pdf

Bob Jensen's threads on Blackboard, WebCT, and Moodle --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Blackboard.htm


Camtasia Version 6

November 6, 2008 message from Richard Campbell [campbell@RIO.EDU]

FYI

Version 6 of Camtasia is available.

http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia.asp 

Richard J. Campbell
School of Business
218 N. College Ave.
University of Rio Grande
Rio Grande, OH 45674
Voice:740-245-7288
http://faculty.rio.edu/campbell 

November 6, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

The first Camtasia video you see doesn’t talk about what’s new. But when I clicked on the What’s New button I found a helpful summary of what’s been added to Version 6 of Camtasia Studio --- http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/whatsnew.asp 

Most of us who made a lot of Camtasia Studio videos in the past really didn’t edit the videos except maybe to add two videos together sequentially or to add in a still picture or two. Of course I always use the audio editing feature to change the volume of the captured audio, but this is not really video editing per se.

The huge problem with video editing is getting the edited audio to synch with the edited video, particularly when lip-synching a talking head. Version 6 allows for separation of the audio and video tracks which, in theory, makes it easier to synch the edited audio with the edited video. But I doubt that any of us amateurs will be able to edit like the pros. Life is just too short to become a pro on content plus a pro-editor on video production

But the beauty of Camtasia is that it is really simple to use as long as you are happy with the videos you record initially. It’s extremely helpful to have a toggle (mine is the F9 key) for pausing during recording so that you can pause, rest, bring up the next computer screens to be used in your video, and rehearse for the next segment without having to make a separate video file for that segment. Viewers really don’t know you even paused unless you tell them that you paused.

Version 6 allows HD quality video although this is not a huge advantage to us amateurs who are more concerned with storage space required for compressed versions of our videos.

Camtasia still has not added the features that I really want added to Camtasia. First and foremost I want Camtasia to have an alternative to record video without having to pass audio through a microphone. When you want to make a video that captures parts of another video or captures pre-recorded audio into the video screens that you are capturing on video, capturing the video directly would avoid all the sound degradation of having to record your speaker noise into the microphone.

I would like a three-way switch that allows me to capture my microphone exclusively, capture audio without a microphone exclusively, or mix the internal audio with my microphone audio. For some reason Camtasia has never been able to engineer audio capture without having to place a microphone in front of the speakers. The audio gets captured, but it sounds pretty tinny except when you are narrating through the microphone. With a good microphone and hushed ambient noise in the room, capturing microphone narration works pretty well. But capturing music or other audio from a video you are playing on screen is awful.

Another feature I would like added is a built-in option for downloading YouTube videos directly into the computer rather than having to capture the video and the audio while it is playing on the screen and on the speakers. Captured YouTube video currently sucks in Camtasia. It would be great if we could directly capture all or parts of a YouTube video into a window on the computer screen while we are making a narrated video of the entire screen (where the narration is timed not to conflict with the YouTube audio). It would be great if we could capture YouTube video without having to use a microphone attached to our computers.

Camtasia offers a variety of video compression alternatives that reduce avi video file size by over 90%. But Camtasian cannot possibly solve the problem that, if you make videos of hours of lectures, your college probably will not give you enough server space to store these compressed videos for your students or for the world. I had to beg my computer science friends at Trinity University to give me a vast amount of space on their server. Many of you constrained on your campus file server may have to resort to YouTube. This, of course, makes your videos available to the public. Also for most of us, the running time limit on YouTube is ten minutes for video. This means that you have to break your lectures into short segments.

Colleges somehow get to run longer video files on YouTube. For example, UC Berkeley has hundreds of lectures that run 60 or 90 minutes continuously. Perhaps your college can negotiate similar runtimes on YouTube.

Some of my own Camtasia videos (recorded years ago) can be downloaded from the following links:

http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/video/acct5341/ 

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

Bob Jensen


"Chicago Business School Gets Huge Gift," by Robert Guth, The Wall Street Journal, November 7, 2008 --- Click Here

The University of Chicago's business school will get a $300 million boost to its endowment -- and a new name -- from David Booth, an investor who has tried to avoid the limelight until now.

The gift, among the largest donations ever to a U.S. university, comes as endowments have been hit hard by the financial meltdown, and many potential donors are tightening purse strings. The 61-year-old Mr. Booth, chief executive of the Dimensional Fund Advisors mutual fund, said Thursday that he will donate $300 million of his firm's stock to the business school, from which he graduated in 1971.

The Chicago school will change its name to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and use the funds to hire and retain professors, and to expand its publications, said Edward Snyder, the school's dean.

The gift represents a coming-out for Mr. Booth, who is largely unknown outside the rarefied world of academic research and in finance. In the 27 years since founding Dimensional, Mr. Booth has played a behind-the-scenes role, while his now-retired partner, Rex Sinquefield, was the public face of the company.

Mr. Booth said he is nervous about stepping into the public with the grant and namesake school. "My life as I know it will be changing," he said in an interview.

Mr. Booth made his money applying concepts of "passive investing," which eschews the research-intensive task of picking individual stocks for a strategy of holding large portfolios of hundreds of stocks that as a group better represent the overall market.

Founded in 1981, Dimensional now manages about $120 billion in assets through 300 different funds and accounts.

In the past year, Dimensional has posted mixed returns, according to data from Morningstar Inc., with some of its big funds comfortably ahead of the competition, while others lag behind. Still, it has avoided the kind of catastrophic performance that has wrecked the long-term track record of other value investors.

The gift will be a portion of the Dimensional shares held by Mr. Booth's family trust, said a University of Chicago spokesman. The university will get an income stream from the shares, he said.

Mr. Booth grew up in Kansas and, in 1969, landed at the Chicago business school, where he was a research assistant to Eugene Fama, who fathered the "efficient markets hypothesis" that now guides modern investing.

Jensen Comment
The timing is interesting since the tax deduction will be higher now than that it will be if the Dow keeps dropping toward $5,000. Could it be that David Booth is predicting further huge drops in the market that earlier on made him a billionaire? Then again the market could make a dramatic recovery making his gift all the more valuable to the University of Chicago Business School.

Later in his career Fama had second thoughts about market efficiency and the famous Capital Assets Pricing Model (CAPM) upon which the majority of empirical capital markets research has assumed in the past few decades. --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_Asset_Pricing_Model

In recent years, Fama has become controversial again, for a series of papers, co-written with Kenneth French, that cast doubt on the validity of the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), which posits that a stock's "beta" alone should explain its average return. These papers describe two factors above and beyond a stock's market beta which can explain differences in stock returns: market capitalization and "value". They also offer evidence that a variety of patterns in average returns, often labeled as "anomalies" in past work, can be explained with their 3 factor model.
Wikipedia --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Fama#Efficient_market_hypothesis

What's interesting is how we give awards to economic researchers who conclude one thing from their research and then give awards to these same researchers for destroying their previous conclusions. Isn't economics still a branch of astrology?


Does the Free Market Corrode Moral Character?” by Nobel Laureate Gary Becker, The Becker-Posner Blog, November 2, 2008 ---
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

The title of this discussion is taken from a question put by the John Templeton Foundation to leading scientists, scholars, and public figures. The foundation published some of the answers in the New York Times on October19th. It is obvious from the revelations during this financial crisis, the Enron scandal, and other business scandals, that dishonest and morally corrupt figures sometimes are among the leaders in highly competitive industries. Hollywood has often highlighted these figures, such as the morally bankrupt Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone's film "Wall Street", which probably contributed to the general perception of businessmen as corrupt. Moreover, polls in the United States and Europe usually find that businessmen get a low rating when people are asked about whether they respect them, or believe they are honest, although congressmen in recent polls get an even lower rating than businessmen.

If the question had been put to me, I would have first discussed whether corrupt and dishonest businessmen make greater profits than honest and morally admirable businessmen. Honest businessman would be more successful than corrupt ones when they compete against each other in a free market, as long as consumers can punish dishonest businessmen by not giving them repeat business, (when repeat business is necessary to succeed). Dishonest businessmen may make greater profits in the short run, but honest businessmen make higher profits in the longer run because cheaters cannot attract back customers who they cheated.

Two conditions must be operative for this process to be effective:1) customers must be able to detect when they are being cheated or misled, and 2) customers must be frequent enough buyers, so that repeat business is an important determinant of profitability. Both these conditions often prevail, but one or the other may be absent under certain circumstances. For example, repeat business is not so important in vacation areas where tourists seldom come back. Then morally corrupt and dishonest businessmen may do relatively well, although tourists do get recommendations from friends who have been there before, or from the hotels where they stay. Another example deals with certain durable consumer goods since consumers only infrequently purchase expensive goods like a car or home. Although repeat business is less important in these markets, consumers will put more time and research into considering decisions that require large expenditures. In addition, word of mouth information about the reputations of different sellers can hurt the dishonest sellers.

Even when repeat business is important, consumers would not be able to punish corrupt businessmen if they cannot readily determine whether or not they have been cheated or badly misled. For example, consumers who buy defective used cars that break down only after a year or so of driving may blame the breakdowns on their own actions rather than on the quality of the cars that were sold to them.

Adam Smith claimed that businessmen were, on the whole, more trustworthy than diplomats. His argument was based on the importance of repeated interactions. Essentially, Smith argued that repeat business was usually more important to businessmen than to diplomats. Smith argued that diplomats frequently broke treaties since treaties are made infrequently. As a result, the gain from breaking treaties often exceeds the gain from living up to the obligations imposed by the treaties.

Another, much more famous, result of Adam Smith shows that under certain conditions, businessmen in competitive industries would promote the general welfare, even though they were only trying to increase their profits. These conditions include that businessmen are prevented from colluding-Smith correctly argued that businessmen try to collude in order to exercise monopoly power- and Smith assumed consumers could punish dishonest businessmen.

Many critics judge the performance of free markets relative to alternatives the way a judge might make her decision about the winner of a beauty contest between two contestants. She chose the second contestant after seeing the warts on the first one. Prominent and not so prominent businessmen in market economies have been involved in various scandals where they have provided misleading information, lie, sell shoddy and dangerous products, and the like. When such scandals arise, there is a clamor for greater regulation in the sectors where the scandals occurred, and sometimes even for government takeovers of these enterprises. This presumes that regulators and government officials act with sufficient knowledge about the industries involved, and with great wisdom and morality. Unfortunately, often that is not the case.

Aside from the not infrequent cases of outright bribery of regulators and legislators, many other more subtle ways exist to bias, even corrupt, officials when their decisions replace the forces of market competition. Regulators often get "captured" by the companies they regulate, so that regulations are developed to keep out competition rather than promote greater honest competition (this capture theory was given an economic interpretation by our late friend, colleague, and Nobel-prize winning economist, George Stigler). One of the more notorious examples is the former Civil Aeronautics Board that was supposed to regulate competition among airlines, but had trouble giving approval to new airlines to compete against the established airlines.

Legislators sometimes bail out companies in financial distress, or restrict competition from abroad in order to raise the profitability of domestic companies-in effect they become tools of these companies at the expense of taxpayers and consumers. Why should American automakers get subsidies from the government during this present crisis, and in the past, when they have repeatedly made bad production, marketing, and labor contract decisions during the past 30 years? A free market in the automobile industry with less government involvement would have given American consumers faster and easier access to the cheaper and better cars made by Japanese, German, and now Korean companies.

I might add in concluding that I have spent my whole career in academia, and I have witnessed many examples of morally corrupt behavior by professors. So it is far from obvious to me that businessmen have worse morality than professors, although I may be making the same mistake in this inference as the judge did in the beauty contest I referred to earlier who had seen up close only some of the contestants.

“Does the Free Market Corrode Moral Character?” by Richard Posner, The Becker-Posner Blog, November 2, 2008 ---
http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/

The essays commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation and available at www.templeton.org/market/ offer a variety of answers to the question whether free markets corrode moral character. Becker's posting offers an interestingly different answer, and I shall offer a different answer as well.

Different cultures and, within cultures, different occupations both select for different character traits and shape character traits. Let me start with culture. One can distinguish between a culture built on notions of honor, military prowess, and status within a hierarchy often based on birth, on the one hand, and a commercial culture on the other. English history is a case study of the transition from the first to the second, the second having been realized in the United States earlier and more fully than in the mother country. The two types of culture select for and inculcate quite different character traits--reckless physical courage, a fierce concern with personal honor, identification with a group (family, dynasty, or nation), and hierarchic control in the former; cooperativeness, empathy, tact, politeness, intelligence, individualism, self-interest, prudence, and deferral of satisfactions (i.e., a low discount rate) in the latter. Aggressiveness and a willingness to deceive are constants, although deception is more skillfully deployed in a commercial society.

Politicians possess and cultivate the traits associated with whatever culture they operate in. Honor-based societies attract charismatic leaders, often warriors; democratic societies model their politics on the economic market. As Schumpeter explained in his unfortunately rather neglected economic theory of democracy (sometimes called "competitive democracy"), democratic politicians, constituting the members of a governing class much like the business community in the economic domain, compete for the support of "consumers" (= voters) who "pay" (vote) for the competitor whose product (a package of policies, values, and leadership traits) they prefer.

People in a commercial society are probably more self-interested than people in an honor-based society, because the latter are more likely to identify with leaders or causes than to behave as separate individuals with individual tastes and goals. Although commercial society selects for and encourages traits that we are apt to think "good," such as cooperativeness, intelligence, and empathy, in fact these qualities are morally neutral. Intelligent and cooperative businessmen, whose empathetic qualities enable them to manipulate consumers' emotions and intellectual limits, will be prone to collude with their competitors and defraud their consumers, as well as to ignore pollution and other externalities that economic activity produces. That is why even libertarians, with the exception of anarcho-capitalist extremists, believe that antitrust and antifraud laws are necessary controls over commercial activity.

Even without such laws, it is true, not all markets would be riven by collusion and fraud. Collusion invites free riding, since a seller can increase its profits by slightly undercutting the cartel price; and the reputation concerns stressed by Becker will often deter fraud. But without any regulation, cartel agreements would be legally enforceable, which would discourage free riding, though they would be eroded by new entry--but often the new entrants, attracted by supracompetitive prices, would be less efficient than the incumbent firms. Reputation concerns will not deter deceptive advertising concerning traits shared by all products in the market in question. A cigarette advertiser who advertises that his cigarettes are "safer" than competitors' cigarettes is reminding consumers that smoking is in fact unsafe. The cigarette companies (also the automobile manufacturers) tried for decades to conceal the dangers inherent in their products, since trumpeting those dangers would have reduced demand.

Businessmen also have an incentive to manipulate the regulatory process, seek tax loopholes, and the like. Although we tend to blame politicians and bureaucrats for bad policies, often they are merely brokering interest-group deals. In a democratic society, it is legitimate (in fact inevitable) for policy to yield to the demands of interest groups. We should not blame politicians who are honest agents of politically powerful forces. Politicians who do not yield to those forces are ineffectual.

Of course politicians lie a great deal, but so does anyone who depends on the goodwill of others. Max Weber in a famous essay on politics as a vocation distinguished between private and public morality. Anyone in a public position--and this includes business and academic leaders as well as politicians--cannot indulge a taste for candor or altruism and expect to be successful at his job. It is the same reason why good business leaders drive hard bargains with their suppliers, play off subordinates against one another, lay off workers by the thousands, receive huge compensation packages, and often relocate plants overseas when foreign wages and taxes are lower.

The difference between public and private morality shows that even honesty is a morally neutral quality. Often the regulations imposed on business are mindless and crippling and to survive a businessman must violate them; in doing so he promotes both his own welfare and that of society as a whole.

History teaches that a commercial society is bound to be more prosperous and peaceful than an honor-based traditional society. The commercial culture creates incentives and constraints that, provided that economic activity is effectively regulated, (an important qualification) maximizes the values that are important to most people. This doesn't mean that people in a commercial society are "better" than people in other types of society. The human race is genetically uniform, and our "moral" genes are not much different from the corresponding genes in chimpanzees. The success of commercial societies just illustrates that different institutional structures produce different human behavior.


Bob Jensen's threads for education technology in general are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm

Ideas for Teaching Online --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Ideas

Teaching online is no different in many respects with respect to fundamental differences in pedagogy and student aptitudes and abilities. Examples include the following:

 

Teaching online involves such a wide range of alternatives, that there is no one set of resources that satisfies each pedagogy and style of teaching/learning. Differences include such things as the following:

One important thing to do is to study how some existing online courses are taught successfully. Some great places to search for those illustrations include the following:

San Antonio on August 13, 2002 
CPE/CEP Workshop Number 1 --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm 

Free audio and presentation files of the following speakers:
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/02start.htm 

  • Dennis Beresford, University of Georgia
  • Amy Dunbar, University of Connecticut
  • Nancy Keeshan, the Global MBA and Cross-Continent MBA Programs of Duke University
  • Susan Spencer, San Antonio College
  • Bob Jensen, Trinity University
     

Atlanta on August 11, 2001
CPE/CEP Workshop Number 1 --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/001cpe/01start.htm

Free audio and presentation files of the following speakers:
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/001cpe/01start.htm

  • Don Carter, Chartered Accountancy (CA) School of Business
    (Perhaps the only complete performance-based pedagogy program in the world)
  • Michael T. Kirschenheiter, while he was at Columbia University
  • Robert Walsh, Prentice-Hall and Marist College
  • A team of faculty from UNext
  • Bob Jensen, Trinity University
     

Philadelphia on August 12, 2000
 CPE/CEP Workshop Number 1 --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000cpe/00start.htm

Free audio and presentation files of the following speakers:
http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/000cpe/00start.htm

  • Charles Hickman, AACSB and Quisic (formerly University Access)
  • Michael T. Kirschenheiter, Columbia University
  • Anthony H. Catanach, Villanova University
  • Dan N. Stone, University of Illinois
  • Bob Jensen, Trinity University
     

International Teacher Training and Lesson Sharing --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm#Training

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

Keep in mind that students often prefer online learning whereas teachers often burn out or become frustrated with the tremendous amount of work involved in the best online courses --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm#Workloads

Also note the Dark Side of Education Technology and Online Learning --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm

Bob Jensen's personal advice would be to see how much of this course you can teach on video using Camtasia. Even if you don't use the Camtasia videos in each online class, those videos can be invaluable for students to study asynchronously --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Video

Ideas for Teaching Online --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#Ideas

Where to look for online training and education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm

October 10, 2008 message from Bruce Lubich [BLubich@UMUC.EDU]

Hi Dexter,

I'd like to suggest another alternative. Here at UMUC, we hire adjunct faculty to teach our online classes. Every new hire is required to pass a 5 week online training class which focuses on the pedagogy of online teaching. There is no charge for the class, and afterward you are okay to teach for us online. In your case, you would have gotten the education you are seeking, as well as being able to teach for us.

If you want more information, go to http://umuc.edu/facultyrecruit/index.shtml 

Bruce Lubich, PhD, CPA
Program Director,
Accounting Graduate School of Management and Technology
University of Maryland University College

 

 


The Important Timing of the Initial Public Offering of a Distance Education Corporations Shares

Online college Grand Canyon Education Inc. is planning its initial public offering later this month, in a deal that would mark the end of a nearly four-month IPO drought in the U.S. The deal is set to price the week of Nov. 17, according to underwriters. Arizona-based Grand Canyon Education filed for its IPO in May, and set a share size and price range at the end of September. But it didn't select a date to launch the deal as October led to steadily deteriorating broad market conditions. The company plans to sell 10.5 million shares at a price between $16 and $18, $2 lower than originally planned, and will list on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol "LOPE." Credit Suisse Group and Merrill Lynch & Co. are the lead underwriters. The deal is expected to begin trading Nov. 20. The last IPO held in the U.S. was for Rackspace Hosting Inc., which began trading on Aug. 8; if the Grand Canyon launch goes off as planned, 15 weeks will have passed without any new stocks coming to market. Since the 1970s, the U.S. market hasn't gone longer than two consecutive months without an IPO, according to data from University of Florida Prof. Jay Ritter.
Lynn Cowan, "Online School Poised to End IPO Drought," The Wall Street Journal November 8, 2008 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122610770884610387.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing


An illustration where suspected superficial handling of the most important underlying factor destroys a study's conclusions!

"Female Professors at U. of Texas-Austin Earn $9,000 Less Than Male Peers," by Karen Birchard, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 6, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/news/

Female professors at the University of Texas at Austin earned an average of $9,028 less than their male counterparts in 2007, and senior female faculty members there feel more isolated and less recognized for their work than do their male colleagues.

Those are among the findings of a new report on gender issues affecting the faculty that was written by a 22-member panel created by the university’s provost in 2007.

In a news release issued this week, the university said the provost, Steven W. Leslie, had accepted the panel’s recommendation that the university develop a five- to 10-year plan to reduce or eliminate gender inequity on its faculty.

The panel also found that more women than men at Texas left before winning tenure, and of those who stayed a smaller proportion of women than men achieved tenure within seven years. Thirty-six percent of women hired as assistant professors in 1997 had earned tenure and been promoted to associate professor within seven years, compared with 56 percent of men. The task force also conducted a survey of faculty members that found that 14 percent of female professors said they had been sexually harassed.

Gender inequities in the professoriate have been a major concern for other prominent universities — most notably Harvard University, which has had a poor record of offering tenure to women, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which nearly a decade ago conducted a gender-equity review like the one at Texas and found similar results. —Robin Wilson

 

Comments

  1. My own experience with these studies is that the inequities are always demonstrated in the aggregate, that is, typically part of a flawed regression equation that precisely measures income and ambiguously measures productivity. When we said, fine, let’s address the individual cases where a particular woman is underpaid and the specific reasons why, the opposition melted away, presumably because the unaggregated cases didn’t seem as clear as the situation taken as a whole. The lesson I took from this is that inequities are best handled on a case-by-case basis, rather than part of a far-flung study that cannot correctly process the predictor variables.

    — kp    Nov 5, 12:59 PM    #

  2. “Unaggreggated cases didn’t seem as clear …” Sounds like gobbledook from the notoriously sexist economics department, where sex ratios are usually about 25:1, male to female. In 1982, I wrote a similar expose about underpaid female faculty at my university. Nothing has changed, not even the wornout arguments about “human capital,” she had a baby and wrote one less article, she failed to bargain hard upon entry (code for we took advantage of her when we hired her), she served on too many committees (which her chair required) and didn’t write enough at promotion time (while she provided gazillion hours in service) … familiar sexist CRAP. Equal pay for equal work PERIOD. No apologies. No excuses. Women are valuable and vital to academia. Indeed, without underpaying female faculty the budget might have to cut into the football department. OOOh let’s not go there. And while making less money she got little or no pay/support when she had a baby. Would have been better to have a heart attack, 6 to 12 weeks paid, supportive colleagues, in the middle of a semester no less. Class action lawsuit and enforcement of federal legislation are the only solution.

    — Dr. Mo    Nov 5, 04:04 PM    #

  3. Were these findings corrected for confounding variables like, oh, academic specialty?

    — Take Back the U!    Nov 5, 04:13 PM    #

  4. Don’t worry. Obama will fix it all.

    — IG    Nov 5, 04:29 PM    #

  5. Why do so many of the comments on Chronicle articles sound as if they come from cranky old white men? Are they the only ones not busy with really useful academic activities?

    — johntee    Nov 5, 04:47 PM    #

  6. so kp (#1)….what you are trying to say is that female professors are not as “productive” as their male counter-parts? Please give us the benefits of your analysis of black, asian & hispanic instructors too. We want to know if you’re also a bigot or just a chauvinist pig.

    — Gary    Nov 5, 05:04 PM    #

  7. I was expressly told that I couldn’t negotiate salary by a member of the administration. Later, I discovered that a male colleague did not receive this response and negotiated a higher starting salary. All I can say is that I learned a valuable lesson-take what they offer and add 5K to 9K to it. Then, if they reject your counter-offer, decide whether you really want the job or not. Part of the solution to gender pay inequity has to come from women standing up for their own worth and taking the risks that stance implies. Men do it all the time.

    — J.D.    Nov 5, 05:34 PM    #

  8. It’s always interesting to read comments from people who did not even bother to click on the link and read the report. All of your concerns are explicitly addressed therein.

    Yes, they did control for discipline. No, they did not control for productivity, even though most of the wage gap was concentrated among the most productive faculty.

    The gender pay gap was only statistically significant at the full professor level, and for non-tenure track instructors.

    The report also speculates that female faculty use leaves of absence more than males, which extends their time to promotion. However, child care is not a significant factor.

    Some of the human capital controls do reduce the wage gap.

    Read the report. Unless statistically modeling is “gobbledy-gook” to you, in which case your predetermined ideological knee-jerk response is probably the best you can muster.

    — tb    Nov 5, 05:51 PM    #

  9. As my kindegarten teacher used to say, let’s play nice boys and girls!

    — Innocent By-Stander    Nov 6, 08:34 AM    #

  10. Ditto #2 and #6…#7 so true, but when I did negotiate like a man I was told that people would see me as a department destroying shrew…I decided I needed the money (and I only got half of what I asked for). I am very productive, still underpaid, and apparently a shrew.

    — DJ    Nov 6, 08:51 AM    #

     

  11. I find it hard to believe that within a given discipline there was any department where women were earning significantly less than men. These are times with internal grievance procedures and pit bull labor lawyers.

    I don’t find any comparisons within disciplines within this study. Could it be that these comparisons destroy the conclusions?

    More fair studies are cited at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#GenderSalaryDifferences

Jensen Comment
The study is very vague about controlling for differences by discipline. It would have been much better had the study showed us differences in starting salaries between men and women by discipline. If there were differences here it's time to get a pit bull lawyer.

It would've been nice to make similar gender comparisons among full professors after factoring out the super-salaried endowed professorships.

Where there may be differences is in the associate professor ranks, especially if there are "permanent" associate professors who are tenured but have not been promoted for ten or more years. I think it might be more fair in this case to compare salary differences between men and women by discipline in the year of promotion to full professorships. If there are differences here it would be very disturbing.


From the Chronicle of Higher Education, November 2008
The Trouble (Risk) With Online Sex Video:  Part II --- http://chronicle.com/media/audio/v55/i12/techtherapy/?utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en 


Virtual Learning for Accounting Students

Second Life (Membership is Free) --- http://secondlife.com/
Also see --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Life
A Second Life Blog --- http://blog.secondlife.com/

Videos --- Click Here

"Accounting for Second Life," by Richard A. Johnson and Joyce M. Middleton, Journal of Accountancy, June 2008 --- http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2008/Jun/AccountingforSecondLife 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Second Life is a virtual world with education, public relations, and economic implications. CPA Island is the center of the public accounting profession in Second Life.

At a minimum, CPA Island presents a creative communication medium to appeal to a new generation. This generation has grown up with high-speed Internet connectivity, instant messaging, and multiplayer online gaming.

The spirit behind CPA Island goes beyond clearly demonstrating an awareness of the different skill set of this new generation. It embraces and celebrates these skills as important to the future of the accounting profession.

The economic implications of Second Life are just now unfolding. Suspend disbelief, log on, and experience CPA Island and the other aspects of Second Life for yourself.

Richard A. Johnson, CPA, Ph.D., and Joyce M. Middleton, CPA, Ph.D., are professors of accounting at Frostburg State University’s College of Business. Their e-mail addresses, respectively, are rjohnson@frostburg.edu and jmiddleton@frostburg.edu .

Thanks to the pioneering efforts

Instructors can create their own Second Life virtual learning worlds.
Another great pioneer accounting education expert in Second Life is Professor Steven Hornik at the University of Central Florida.

Bob Jensen's threads on virtual learning and Second Life are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife


From the Scout Report on November 7, 2008

AirRadar 1.1.1 --- http://www.koingosw.com/products/airradar.php 

If you are out and about and looking for a wireless network for your computer, you may want to take advantage of the AirRadar application. The application will list all open and closed networks in range, type of encryption, and channel. Advanced users will also appreciate the fact that the application can also track noise and signal strengths in a graph format. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5.


Orbit Downloader 2.7.8 --- http://www.orbitdownloader.com/ 

With an eye towards enhanced downloading of files from social networking sites, Orbit Downloader is well worth a look. The application uses a fairly basic interface, and it's easy to use, as visitors can just right-click a video or photo and select the "Download" function from their menu to complete the action. Another useful feature is the one-click button that allows users to download multiple files from any given site. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, 2003, and Vista.

 


Does It Matter That Your Professor Is Part Time?

November 10, 2008 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

This is an interesting article from U.S.News.

At my school, the most recent past president seriously curtailed the the use of adjuncts and hired a couple of hundred non-tenure track faculty. A majority of the student credits at BGSU are taught by non-tenuretrack faculty, either full time or part-time adjuncts.

Now that faculty are attempting to organize into a union, squabbling is going on as to whether the non-tenure track should be in the tenure-track bargaining unit or in their own unit. The organizers want them in the tenure-track union to get their votes.

Dave Albrecht

http://www.usnews.com/articles/education/2008/11/07/does-it-matter-that-your-professor-is-part-time.html 

Does It Matter That Your Professor Is Part Time? By Kim Clark Posted November 7, 2008

As colleges face increasing costs, the traditional tweed-coated, pipe-smoking, comfortable-job-for-life full-time professor appears to be going the way of the dodo bird. Nowadays, the typical college professor is a part-timer, moonlighting for extra cash or prestige, or "freeway flying"­cobbling together a teaching career with several classes at different colleges.

Some students are benefiting from adjuncts' lower costs and, often, more practical, up-to-date instruction, of course. But there's also considerable evidence that the proliferation of adjunct professors­many of whom don't have Ph.D.'s­is dumbing down many classrooms and contributing to grade inflation.

Despite 20 years of booming enrollment and skyrocketing tuition, colleges have been quietly filling the majority of new openings with part-time or short-contract adjunct professors (also often called "visiting professors," "instructors," or "lecturers") instead of the traditional assistant professors who have a chance to work up to a full tenured job. In fact, the nation's graduate schools are now pumping out hundreds more Ph.D.'s each year in some disciplines than there are tenure-track openings available. The trend has become so pervasive that about two thirds of America's college instructors are now adjuncts.

That's generated tremendous savings for colleges. On average, traditional professors, who have tenure (or lifetime job guarantees), benefits, and campus offices, cost colleges the equivalent of about $8,000 per three-credit class, one recent study found. Adjuncts, the vast majority of whom teach only one or two courses at any particular college, cost their employers an average of about $1,800 per course. Schools not only pay adjuncts less per classroom hour but often don't offer benefits or support such as offices or secretaries.

Acceleration. A few schools, such as Arizona State University, are responding to current budget shortfalls by laying off adjunct faculty. But looming financial problems are likely, over the long term, to cause many colleges to "accelerate the hiring of adjuncts," says Jane Wellman, director of the Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability.

Indeed, many of the fastest-growing schools have eliminated tenure altogether. Western Governors University, a new online community college, has found that non-Ph.D.'s, on average, do a better job of motivating and counseling students through the school's computerized lessons. And the freedom to release employees whose students fail improves the quality of the education, says Robert Mendenhall, WGU's president.

Many traditional colleges claim adjunct-taught classes are better for students than, for example, classes taught by graduate students.

Texas Woman's University Provost Kay Clayton says raising the share of part-time faculty about 4 percentage points to 44 percent in the past five years might be helping her students. For instance, by hiring moonlighting nurses for about $3,000 per course to teach some nursing classes, the school helped keep this year's tuition at $6,500 a year and, Clayton says, provided better teachers. "That is a real benefit to the students, because they are practitioners and bring in a wealth of experience," she says.

In fact, one study found that in some fields­especially technical and career-related programs such as psychology, architecture, and finance­students who are taught by professionals serving as part-time instructors appear to perform better academically. Such students also take more courses in the subject.

But that study (and others) found, in addition, that the students of adjuncts who are teaching the basic academic disciplines, such as English, history, and pure sciences, are more likely to drop out.

Despite that troubling research, more than half of all English professors are now not on the tenure track. And many adjuncts say most colleges provide them with so little support, job security, and money that it is inevitable that their students will underperform.

Since schools usually look at student evaluations to determine whether or not to invite adjuncts back, Lila Harper, who has a Ph.D. in English literature and teaches writing and literature at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash., finds herself grading a little easier than she likes and avoiding controversial subjects. "We are gradually undermining the value of a college degree," she fears.

Harper, who is a full-time adjunct, says that because she has no chance at tenure, she stopped teaching a course that included Thomas Mann's novella Death in Venice after a student objected on religious grounds. (The main character, a middle-aged writer, struggles with an unexpected passion for a young boy as he also confronts his mortality and his moral duty to warn the youngster to flee a coming plague.) "I am disposable," Harper says. "If they can save face by firing me, they will fire me, so I try to pick topics that are not controversial."

Multiple choice. Another adjunct, who teaches speech and communications part time at private Midwestern colleges and asked not to be named, says that only by teaching six to nine courses a semester (at about $2,000 a course) can he make the $25,000 to $30,000 a year he needs to cover his basic living costs. So he spends 12 to 13 hours a day driving to part-time jobs at different colleges, teaching, and grading. "I give multiple-choice tests because I don't have time to grade essays," he says. And when one private college, eager to increase enrollment, recently asked him to pass a flunk-ing student who would otherwise have dropped out, he says he had little choice but to agree, since he wants to be invited back to teach again next semester.

Sometimes, he thinks of how each of the 20 or 30 students in his classes is paying about $2,000 in tuition and fees for each course. The classes generate at least $40,000, which means the colleges pass on to him only about 5 percent of the students' tuition. Although the adjunct, who has a master's degree, gets top ratings from his students, he doesn't get raises. The colleges "always say, 'We know that you are worth more than this, but we don't have the money.' "

Meanwhile, to get to his classrooms, he drives past cranes erecting "million-dollar dorms and athletic facilities," he notes. He is often tempted to find steadier, more lucrative work. But "I love teaching, being exposed to the students, their ideas and energy." If he did quit, he knows there are dozens of professionals eager to take his place. "If the university can get something cheaper," he says, "it will."

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


Does It Matter That Your Professor is on Overtime?
Some of the online professors are over-time rather than part-time.

Note the piece-rate pay system.

"U. of Iowa Limits How Many Extra Online Courses Professors Can Teach," by Charles Huckabee, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 9, 2008 --- http://chronicle.com/news/article/5459/u-of-iowa-limits-how-many-extra-online-courses-professors-can-teach?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

After paying $1.76-million in “overload” bonuses last year to professors who taught online courses in addition to their regular duties, the University of Iowa has limited the number of such courses that faculty members may teach and capped student enrollments in the courses, The Des Moines Register reported.

The changes came after the newspaper requested records of overload pay to professors at all three of the state’s public universities. Besides teaching online courses, professors can earn overload pay by teaching regular classes or providing other services. Together, the three universities spent $2.72-million on such pay in 2007-8, the Register reported, with the money coming from a combination of tuition, registration fees, and grants.

At the University of Iowa, which paid the largest bonuses, 14 professors received overload pay in excess of 30 percent of their base salaries, the newspaper said. Wallace Loh, the university’s provost, defended the use of overload pay as more cost-effective than hiring additional professors. Still, he decided in September to limit the number of extra online courses a professor may teach to one per semester.

Mr. Loh also capped enrollments at 36 students per online course because professors are paid for those courses according to how many students they teach. Last year the rate was $280 per student.

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

PS
Iowa University, in the waning seconds of a football game on Saturday, destroyed Penn State's hopes for an undefeated season. Credit goes to a little guy from Iowa City with a big leg.


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


Education Tutorials

EDUCAUSE Quarterly --- http://connect.educause.edu/eq

This Nibipedia Link was forwarded by Bill Ellis
These free videos and article are very informative on wide-ranging topics.
Nibipedia --- http://www.nibipedia.com/

Nib n: image + article attached to a video.
Nibi n: a stream of interesting nibs
Nibwit: n:someone who gets smarter using Nibipedia.
Nibstream: n: a stream of nibs inhabiting the space under Youtube videos.
Nibipedia: n: the place where you can nibi research, learn and teach. Add nibs if you'd, but it's fun just to watch too.

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


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

ActionBioscience: Issues in Biotechnology --- http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/

Microbial Life-Educational Resources --- http://serc.carleton.edu/microbelife/

The Biology Project: The Chemistry of Amino Acids --- http://www.biology.arizona.edu/biochemistry/problem_sets/aa/aa.html

The Big Bang --- http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=3639

Assessing-to-Learn Physics: Project Website --- http://a2l.physics.umass.edu/

Physics History Videos:  Physclips --- http://www.physclips.unsw.edu.au/

Physics Education Technology --- http://phet-web.colorado.edu/new/index.php

 

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

The Opper Project (editorial cartoons) --- http://hti.osu.edu/opper/index.cfm

Freedom House --- http://www.freedomhouse.org

International Migration and Human Rights --- http://www.globalmigrationgroup.org/pdf/Int_Migration_Human_Rights.pdf

Land Banking as Metropolitan Policy --- Click Here

The U.S. Conference of Mayors: Online Publications --- http://www.usmayors.org/publications/ 

China Digital Times --- http://chinadigitaltimes.net/

Asia Society: Podcasts [iTunes] http://www.asiasociety.org/podcasts/subscribe.html

Who is Nassim Nicholas Taleb? --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taleb
Many finance professors make students watch some of Taleb's videos, especially the Black Swan ---
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=taleb+black+swan+&www_google_domain=www.google.com&emb=0&aq=f&aq=f#
Black Swan Financial Collapse Black Swan --- http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x720r3_black-swan-paradigm-financial-colla_tech
(People underestimate the probability of rare events)

November 7, 2008 message from Jagdish Gangolly [gangolly@CSC.ALBANY.EDU]

Bob,

If I were teaching a finance course, I would refer the students to

http://www.riskglossary.com/link/stable_paretian_distributions.htm 

which provides the clearest SIMPLE explanation of all that is behind Black Swans.

I also would have them read the stuff on Pawer laws in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_law_distribution 

This phenomenon, called in statistics as "Fat Tail Risk" phenomenon (or stable Paretian distributions), have been the staple of financial mathematics for a long time (I studied it a bit as an undergraduate trying to be an actuary way back in the mid-sixties; I wish I had paid more attention to it then). In statistics the phenomenon is a branch called "extreme value theory".

The early work on it was done by the French mathermatician Paul Levy and the French-American mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, much derided by most finance establishment. I would very highly recommend his popular (I mean non-mathematical) book "Misbehaviour of Markets".

I find it rather disturbing that it has now become popular to blame the present crisis on the use of mathematics in finance. I think it is the MISuse that needs to be blamed.

Jagdish

-- Jagdish Gangolly (gangolly@csc.albany.edu )
Department of Informatics, College of Computing & Information
State University of New York at Albany 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222
Phone: 518-442-4949

 

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

Audiovisual Library of International Law --- http://www.un.org/law/avl/

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


Math Tutorials

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


History Tutorials

The Opper Project (editorial cartoons) --- http://hti.osu.edu/opper/index.cfm

Georgia Official and Statistical Register --- http://statregister.galileo.usg.edu/statregister/

Boston By Design (radio) --- http://www.wbur.org/news/local/bostonbydesign/

World Stadiums --- http://www.worldstadiums.com/

American Experience: The Crash of 1929 (video) ---  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/crash/

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

 

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

Foreign Language Faculty in the Age of Web 2.0 --- http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/EQM0831.pdf

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


Writing Tutorials

How To Spice Up Your Writing With Dialogue --- http://www.archetypewriting.com/articles/writing/spiceUpWdialogue.htm

Guide to Grammar and Style --- http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/

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


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


"Researchers discover Achilles' heel in pancreatic cancer:   Medicine & Health / Cancer UC Davis Cancer Center researchers have discovered a metabolic deficiency in pancreatic cancer cells that can be used to slow the progress of the deadliest of all cancers," PhysOrg, November 6, 2008 --- http://www.physorg.com/news145215143.html

Published in the October issue of the International Journal of Cancer, study results indicate that pancreatic cancer cells cannot produce the amino acid arginine, which plays an essential role in cell division, immune function and hormone regulation. By depleting arginine levels in cell cultures and animal models, the team was able to significantly reduce pancreatic cancer-cell proliferation.

"There have been few significant advances in 15 years of testing available chemotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer," said Richard Bold, chief of surgical oncology at UC Davis and senior author of the study. "The lack of progress is particularly frustrating because most patients are diagnosed after the disease has spread to other organs, eliminating surgery as an option. We have to turn back to basic science to come up with new treatments."

Bold explained that average survival time for those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is just four-and-a-half months, although chemotherapy can extend that prognosis up to six months.

"There is a dire need to find new options for these patients. While our findings do not suggest a cure for pancreatic cancer, they do promise a possible way to extend the life expectancies of those diagnosed with it," Bold said.

Bold and his colleagues hypothesized that pancreatic cancer cells lack the ability to produce arginine. In human pancreatic tumors, they measured levels of an enzyme — argininosuccinate synthetase — required to synthesize arginine.

The enzyme was not detected in 87 percent of the 47 tumor specimens examined, suggesting that the majority of pancreatic cancers require arginine for cell growth because of an inability to synthesize the amino acid.

The researchers then conducted further tests using pancreatic cell lines that represent the varying levels of argininosuccinate synthetase observed in human tumor specimens. Focusing on the lines with lowest levels, the researchers depleted arginine levels in cultures of pancreatic cell lines using arginine deiminase, an enzyme isolated from a Mycoplasma bacteria.

The enzyme was modified by adding polyethylene glycol chains to increase size and circulatory time.

The researchers found that exposing the pancreatic cancer cell lines to the modified arginine deiminase enzyme inhibited cancer-cell proliferation by 50 percent. They then treated mice bearing pancreatic tumors with the same compound and found an identical outcome: a 50 percent reduction in tumor growth. According to Bold, the current study represents a unique approach to cancer treatment in that it is one of the first to identify a metabolic pathway that can be leveraged to interrupt cancer growth.

"Instead of killing cells as with typical chemotherapy, we instead removed one of the key building blocks that cancer cells need to function," Bold said.

Metabolic interruptions like this one are also being studied for their potential in treating cancers of the blood, such as leukemia and lymphoma. In those cases, depleting the amino acid asparagine may be used in slowing cancer-cell growth.

Continued in article


"A Quicker Response to Cancer," by David DeBolt, Chronicle of Higher Education, November 7, 2008 ---
http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3447&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Mechanical engineers at the University of Maryland at College Park are developing an MRI-compatible robot to perform breast biopsies and remove cancerous tumors in a single MRI session.

The device is the work of Jaydev Desai, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the university. Mr. Desai has been working with Kevin Lister, a mechanical-engineering graduate student, and collaborating with Rao Gullapalli, an associate professor of diagnostic radiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, in Baltimore.

The robot will be controlled by a doctor and will share space with a patient inside a MRI machine. If a tumor is discovered during a procedure and found to be cancerous, the robot will insert a probe to destroy the cancerous cells.

The team was recently awarded a $1.27-million grant from the National Institutes of Health to complete the robot. In the latest installment of Wired Campus TV, below, Mr. Desai and Mr. Lister use their prototype to demonstrate how the device will work.

 


From the Chronicle of Higher Education, November 2008
The Trouble (Risk) With Online Sex Video:  Part II --- http://chronicle.com/media/audio/v55/i12/techtherapy/?utm_source=wb&utm_medium=en 




Question
Have you ever had a failing student who requested that you have a meeting with is mother?

Answer
Bob Jensen's had such a meeting with both parents and their lawyer. The student still got an F.

From the Unknown Professor's Blog on November 5, 2008 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

Can I Bwing My Mommy? Puh-Weeze?
A new student (I'll call him SnowFlake from now on) walked into my office last week asking for advice on classes. He'd transferred to Unknown University from a private school (which, by the way, has a reputation for drastically inflating grades). He needed some advice on which classes to take, and since I'm listed as his advisor, I seemd like the right person to check with. But he also wanted some advice on how to study since he's flunking intermediate accounting, and "that's never happened in any of my classes before".

SnowFlake starts out by blaming the instructor (who, by the way, is one of the best in the college). After some questions and comments on my part like "Gee, that doesn't sound like Professor X at all. Are you sure?", it turns out that he hadn't been keeping up with the work, and hadn't worked more than a problem or two from the end of chapter material. Instead, he tried to cram for the first exam, and did poorly. Since that strategy worked out so well on the first exam, he ecided to try it once more on the second exam for good measure. Lo and behold, the same approach yielded the same result (funny how that happens).

So, I gave Snowflake some standard advice on how to study, and then he asked if he could set up a time early this week to set up his classes for the next semester. We set a time (Monday morning at 10), and then came the kicker:

He asked if it was alright if his MOTHER came to the appointment.

I managed to keep my jaw off the floor, since he was a second-semester junior, and if you have hover-moms, they usually get cured of it by sophomore year (and they're almost non-existent in Business schools). But since I couldn't think of anything else to say (other than "You'll be all right once they drop", which didn't seem prudent at this juncture). I said, "Well, Precious, that's entirely up to you".

Monday morning comes around, and I'm running late for our 10:00 a.m. appointment. So, I have the secretary leave a note on my door saying I'd be a few minutes late, and hurry in to the office with visions of MomZilla running loose in the hallway and going on a rampage in the Dean's office.

I get there five minutes late, and there's no sign of either Snowflake or MomZilla. I hang out in my office for a few hours just in case, and it seems like a larger-than-usual number of faculty seem to filter by my office (they keep me off the beaten path, which is probably a good thing). I guess after hearing about Mom coming in, they just couldn't resist sneaking a peek.

In any event, I get a call late that morning from SnowFlake informing me that he had to be in traffic court that morning, had completely forgotten, and wanted to reschedule.

I guess I should have had his Mom remind him.




Humor in Accident Reports --- http://people.msoe.edu/~taylor/humor/accident.htm

Humorous State Mottos --- http://funny2.com/states.htm

Exam Answers --- http://www.masalatime.com/?p=419

Funny metaphors used in high school essays --- http://help.com/post/124066-funny-metaphors-used-in-high-school
A good sign they weren't plagiarized (except maybe from this site)


Forwarded by Maureen

I just want to thank all of you for your educational emails over the past year..

There's no way to save my grandchildren from being street beggars in Rio --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#NationalDebt

Thanks to you, I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I can't enjoy lemon slices in my tea or on my seafood anymore because lemon peels have been found to contain all kinds of nasty germs including feces.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pass-time while driving alone is picking your nose (although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot)

Eating a Little Debbie sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom. Yuck!

I must send my special thanks to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

Also, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa's novena has granted my every wish. ; I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you, I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an email to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas..

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face...disfiguring me for life. ; I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping mall s because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda & Singapore and Uzbekistan .

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

Thanks to you, I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice, I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 PM this afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician...

Have a wonderful day...

Oh, by the way..... A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mail with their hand on the mouse.

Don't bother taking it off now, it's too late.

 




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 Trites'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