Tidbits on August 7, 2009
Bob Jensen

Another Sunrise in the White Mountains

Storm Clouds Moving in From the Atlantic Ocean
The bright spot is the reflection of my camera flash on the window in front of my desk

Down the road is the beautiful Iris Farm
The farmer has a herd of Scottish cows

We had a cold winter and a cold summer with lots of rain.
That weather must be conducive to a wonderful blooming of our wild roses.
Fortunately the Japanese beetles do no attack wild roses like they at the domestic roses.
Erika despises these beetles that devour her roses beside the cottage almost as much
as she despises the crows that fly off with our pond frogs.

Erika points out every weed that I miss,
And I do mean EVERY weed!


Phlox are my favorite flowers of springtime

Below are some humor pictures sent to me by others.
I did not take these pictures.

President Obama's new took up a collection for the forthcoming 2012 campaign..

Please tell be it isn't so!

 Old Barns and Old People --- http://www.dc2net.com/Old-Barns.htm

Video from Yale University
Lets talk about sex (facts), everything flows from sex (Paul Bloom full lecture) ---

Video:  Return of a fallen marine to New Braunfels, Texas ---

Thank You America (slide show) --- Click Here

My Beautiful America --- http://oldbluewebdesigns.com/mybeautifulamerica.htm

Il Divo - Amazing Grace (inspirational performance) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtrnB4FZ-yc

Bob Jensen is officially an "Uncommon Commoner"
August 6, 2009 message from Julie Smith David - AAACommons [noreply@hivelive.com]
Following the American Accounting Association Annual Meetings in NYC August 3-5, 2009
Although I usually attend these meetings, Erika and I could not make it this year.

Julie Smith David has sent you a message titled "Congratulations: The Uncommon Commons Award winner!". To reply to this message, visit: http://commons.aaahq.org/my/messages/inbox/330

Hello, Bob,

I will be sending you a much more formal note, but I wanted you to know that you are one of the inaugural winner of the Uncommon Commons Award!

This year we recognized the two most valuable contributors, and you were by far the stand out in the teaching areas. Fabienne Miller was awarded based on her use of the research capabilities. Both of you have been incredible supporters of this early-stage platform, and without you we'd be SOOO far behind!

So I hope you enjoy your award (which will be mailed to you next week) and that it lets you know how much the virtual AAA appreciates your insights and enthusiasm!

I also hope that you and your wife are able to find some comfort and joy each day.


Jensen Comment
I'm ever so appreciative of this award which officially makes me an Uncommon Commoner. The AAA Commons is a great site for accounting educators, practitioners, and researchers. However, it only available to AAA members  ---

But unless your idea of success is transferring wealth from one citizen to another for no tangible economic or environmental benefit, "cash for clunkers," like much of what passes as stimulus these days, is a major dud.
David Harsanyi, "Little Bitty Bang Bang The trouble with "cash for clunkers," Reason Magazine, August 5, 2009 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on the CCP program are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090807.htm

The Cash for Clunkers Program is a fantastic program for car dealers, modest welfare for higher income people, and a lousy deal for poor people around the world. I personally believe the impact on environmental protection will be negligible even in smog-filled Los Angeles and Mexico City. I also would not try to measure the drop in U.S. oil imports resulting from the CCP. The CCP puts factory workers back on the assembly line, but where are those new cars going to be sold in January 2010?

A very small example was the cash for clunkers program in the US that ended a short time ago. The 19th century French essayist Frederic Bastiat discussed facetiously the gain to an economy when a boy breaks the windows of a shopkeeper since that creates work for the glazier to repair them, and the glazier then spends his additional income on food and other consumer goods. The moral of that story is to hire boys to go around breaking windows! The clunkers program was hardly any better than that (see our discussion of the clunkers program on August 24th).
Gary Becker, Nobel Prize Winning Economist, "How Much Should We Care About Government Deficits?" The Becker-Posner Blog, September 15, 2009 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/archives/2009/09/how_much_should.html
Also see Gary Becker, "
The Cash for Clunkers Program: A Bad Idea at the Wrong Time, The Becker-Posner Blog, August 24, 2009 --- http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/archives/2009/08/the_cash_for_cl.html

As Bastiat showed 150 years ago, you don't create wealth by destruction.
"Clunker Cash Is Anything But Smart Money," by Randall Forsyth, Barron's, August 4, 2009 ---

Subaru sales jumped 34% in July, most of the jump coming after the CCP went into effect ---
Jensen Comment
It will be a cold winter for Subaru dealers this winter in New England, but watch for deals that are far better than clunker deals this summer. Erika and I may have been hoodwinked by the CCP.

Bob and Erika Clunk Old Betsie

In most ways the Cash for Clunker Program (CCP) is a very costly and deceptive gimmick to mislead the public into buying new cars. Unless a buyer really scales down by over 10 miles per gallon (for the $4,500 deal), most buyers like me only get $3,500 for scaling down over 5 mpg but less than 10 mpg. But on 2010 models, many dealers have taken away buying incentives such that buyers really save less than $3,500 on 2010 models. Buyers might save as much or more if they don’t qualify for the CCP, especially when they are trading up to more expensive models with more bells and whistles for which dealers will still dicker on the cash price out the door.

The big losers in CCP are the developing nations that like to buy up older cars and often beat the prices metal crushing companies would pay for older cars. CCP cars may not be resold to any buyer other than a crushing company. Castro might've never survived in Cuba if his people couldn't get their hands on big old U.S. automobiles.

Although it would be very hard save over 10 mpg on a new Subaru, ABC News claimed that the average fuel savings for turning in clunkers is nine mpg. This means a lot of clunker traders are saving over 10 mpg for a new car of some type. Buyers that qualify for $4,500 are usually clunking trucks for highly fuel efficient new cars.

For example, buyers mostly get the $3,500 discount for a Subaru (virtually no Subaru models qualify for the $4,500 discount unless you turn in an Army tank). Subaru is not the best gas mileage option since there are no hybrid models to my knowledge and Subarus only have all-wheel drive options. In the snow-blanketed mountains we need all-wheel drive vehicles.

Fortunately, I found a 2009 leftover new Subaru and got the added $2,000 discount not available on present 2010 models. I did get heated seats and still only had to pay $17,000 plus the cost of extending the bumper-to-bumper warranty to seven years (with free towing to the closest dealer and trip interruption coverage for hotel, meals, rental cars, and a $500 trip inconvenience reward). Thus far we’re very happy with our new car, although a few tears were shed when we drove away from our faithful old Betsie that once belonged to my father and mother. I didn’t know old cars could look so sad before being euthanized. It was like leaving your faithful and loving old dog to be put to final rest. We once had to dig a grave in our Florida pasture for a horse, and when the vet gave Travis Morgan the final needle I could not watch.

Actually I paid a little less than stated above because I will also get a sales tax deduction for sales tax I never had to pay. The states that do not charge a sales tax are Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon. On June 10, the IRS announced that new car buyers in states with no sales tax are entitled to take the new car sales tax deduction under IRC § 164(b)(6) (IR-2009-60) --- http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Web/20091796.htm 

In terms of gas mileage, you can compare your present clunker with any new car alternative at http://www.cars.gov/

The House and Senate prolonged the CCP with $2 billion more of National Debt. The CCP first ran out of money and was suspended midnight on July 30, 2009 less than two weeks after dealers up here started spending the CCP dollars. Now the dealers can empty their lots of remaining fuel-efficient vehicles.

I inherited my 1989 “clunker" when my father died in 2001. Last week it became one of the best clunkers ever turned into the crusher program (which is estimated to cost $40,000 per car when rebates, storage, transportation, and crushing costs are factored into the program). In reality the benefits and costs of the CCP will never be known because there are so many economic externalities. For example, many of the older cars like my Betsie are in relatively good shape. Crushing them deprives poor people of hundreds of thousands of low priced cars, including poor people in the United States, Latin America, South America, Turkey, and other nations that buy lots of older cars at auctions. New cars like mine can only be maintained by dealers, whereas I took my Betsie down to a local Franconia repair shop. Fewer and fewer older cars mean that smaller repair shops will struggle more and more to stay in business.

Manchester Subaru was almost paranoid about continuous ownership, insurance, and operation of my clunker. My salesman, Charlie Foster, photocopied my clunker's registration slips and proof of insurance slips going back for six years. I think the law, however, only specifies one full year. Hence, it's not possible to buy a junker for $500 now and turn it in as a clunker under the CCP. Think of the clever poems rhyming junkers once owned by hunkers and clunkers with trunkers. Forget the poetic idea!

Normally car dealers must offer incentives to sell new cars. I managed to get an added $2,000 off, in addition to a $3,500 clunker discount, because I bought a new 2009 Forrester. There were $0 dealer incentives for the 2010 Forrester (which is literally identical to the 2009 model even though the 2010 Outback models were changed rather substantially).

I started out dealing with the St. Johnsbury, Vermont Subaru dealership (about 30 miles from my home), but that dealership sold every 2009 model in less than one week after the startup of the CCP and was running low on the higher priced 2010 models in inventory. The Manchester Subaru dealership (over 100 miles away) had a few 2009 models left on July 30, but 2009 models were selling like hotcakes (sometimes over 20 per day last week). On July 31, after USA Today announced the CCP was suspended at midnight on July 30, there was not a single potential car buyer the next morning at the dealership when I picked up the Forrester I’d purchased the night before. About 12 salesmen (yes all men) were on their hands and knees on the morning of July 31 praying toward Washington DC for CCP restoration funds.

If the Senate and House both add another $2 billion to the CCP, I suspect buyers will race to Manchester Subaru trying to buy new cars before the CCP once again runs out of money. Forget the planned November termination of the CCP that was originally scheduled. I don’t think it will make it to November even with the new $2 billion welfare pot.

Certainly after the CCP is history, Subaru will introduce its accustomed cash rebates and dealer discounts once again. You might even make a better deal after the CCP expires sales are really plummeting. The best deals will probably for trade-ins of cars less than three years old.

By the way this is the first new car I ever purchased in my life (although I purchased a new Kubota tractor in Florida and a New Holland tractor in New Hampshire). The CCP was not my main incentive to buy a new car this year. Since my “clunker” was now 21 years old, I worried that it would be harder and harder to get repair parts (like belts) since GM shut down so many parts factories. So GM’s demise was my main reason for clunking my old Cad.

When I moved from Florida to Texas I managed to sell my used Kubota tractor in 1982 for $1,000 more than I paid for it new in 1980. I doubt that this happens much when selling used cars that are not yet antiques. Kubota was really catching on in the 1980s just like Japanese cars were catching on at the same time because of their higher reliability.

Since I read H.B. 3200, I now tease Erika that the next Cash for Clunker Program will be for old wives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm
She refuses to believe that H.B. 3200's euthanasia clauses for old folks will discriminate as to gender when Obamacare finally passes. And it would be sad to send her off to the crusher after all these years.

Bob Jensen

Update 1
Erika and I are no longer answering the phone and have hidden our new car deep in the mountains
Fortunately for us we still have our 1999 Jeep Cherokee for such an emergency

A week ago, Bobbie French, 76, Naples, received a call from a dealer, asking that she return her brand new Chrysler Town and Country. On Tuesday morning, French said she was told her time is up. “He said, ‘We need that car back and we’re sending a flat bed’,” said French of a phone call she said she received from Kevin Marleton. . . . Until recently Bobbie French drove a 2002 Chrysler Voyager. Then came the Cash for Clunkers program. French jumped at the opportunity to trade in her clunker for a brand new, more fuel-efficient ride. French made the trade and drove home in a brand new vehicle. For most people, that’s where the story ends. For French, it was just the beginning. Now, the dealership is demanding that she return her new car, or pay $4,500 that the government won’t reimburse.
Jeff Weiner, "Clunker conundrum: Dealer forcing 76-year-old Naples woman to return her new car," Naples News, August 3, 2009 ---
Click Here

Update 2

Hi Blan,

I never was worried about my new car and was joking about hiding it in the mountains. I think the Florida dealership was just trying to intimidate the old lady into paying another $4,500.

In any case, I’m virtually certain that a “flat bed truck” will never haul the car away. The lawsuit that follows will cost the dealership far more than $4,500 --- maybe $4.5 million for intimidating an elderly woman who, if she plays it to the max, will be wheeled into court in a wheel chair.

Think of what it will cost the dealership if the woman has a stroke while her new car is being hauled from her car port. Think of what it's costing the dealership just to have this sorry story get printed in the local newspaper and spread across the nation via the coconut wireless.

Bob Jensen

July 25, 2009 reply to a friend named Dena

You mean the government pays $4,500 in a clunker deal when a dealer sells knowing full well that the buyer will probably default down the road such that the dealer will get the car back without having to reimburse the $4,500 to the government.

There is potential moral hazard here, but the drop in value between used cars versus new cars may restrain this type of fraud. The most unscrupulous dealer, however, might conspire with a “loan defaulter” that never takes the car from the lot. That way the car could once again be sold as a new car. Hmmm!

The dealer and the "loan defaulter" could split the tax free $4,500 take from the government.

Thanks for the heads up!

Bob Jensen

"Cash for Clunkers May Cost $45,345 Per Vehicle," Seeking Alpha, July 31, 2009 --- Click Here http://seekingalpha.com/article/152909-cash-for-clunkers-may-cost-up-to-45-354-per-vehicle 
Jensen Comment
Don't believe the calculations in this article. I include it here only to demonstrate how misleading cost calculations can be even if they do appear from a credible source such as Seeking Alpha. Fortunately, Seeking Alpha also published the hundreds of critical comments related to the above article. I am still seeking verification of a $35,000-$45,000 estimate that was forwarded to me last week in a message that I unfortunately deleted before saving the link in the message. I will keep you updated when I get a more credible number.

The Obama administration is refusing to quickly release government records on its "cash-for-clunkers" rebate program that would substantiate—or undercut—White House claims of the program's success, even as the president presses the Senate for a quick vote for $2 billion to boost car sales.  . . . LaHood, for example, promotes the fact that the Ford Focus so far is at the top of the list of new cars purchased under the program. But the limited information released so far shows most buyers are not picking Ford, Chrysler or General Motors vehicles, and six of the top 10 vehicles purchased are Honda, Toyota and Hyundai.
Brett J. Blackledge, "Obama administration withholds data on clunkers," Breitbart, August 4, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
Many of the "foreign cars" are made, or at least assembled, in the United States. My new Subaru most likely was assembled in Indiana.

August 6, 2009 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

Bob, I originally sent the link.

I forgot to add the normal caveat that there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

The author of the piece does have a point that the incremental impact of the program is minimal. But timing is the key. Future sales of cars are being raided to prop current sales, but the significance of the increase is debatable.

I recall when Bill Clinton was president and he made a trip to LA. Just before leaving, someone suggested that he get a haircut from a famous stylist. He concurred, so the stylist was called and the $100 haircut was received and paid for. The only problem was that LAX was shut down for 3 hours so Clinton could get his haircut. I've been using this for classroom purposes: How much did Clinton's haircut cost?

My point is that how much an item costs depends on why you want to use the information. Those that wished to support the president answer that obviously the haircut cost $100, and that's all. Thos that wished to discredit the president answer that obviously you need to figure in the incremental costs for rerouting planes and for security personnel, as well as the opportunity costs for hundreds of thousands of people. I ask which answer is correct, and of course the answer is both are correct.

With respect to the cash for clunkers program, the true cost/benefit of the program is debatable. In my 3 second estimation, it seems to have cost a great deal for very minimal (at best) benefit.

David Albrecht
Soon to be from Concordia College
Moorhead, MN

Jensen Comment
Bob Blystone sent me a link that corrects the Bill Clinton LAX urban legend ---
In any case it makes a good story.

The CCP has only delayed a bigger problem --- one of timing with very few buyers in 2010
The bottom line is that, at $3 billion, the CCP is too small to have a noteworthy impact on oil imports, oil prices, air pollution, and climate change. The bottom line is that it has been a bonanza for dealers and put assembly line workers temporarily back to work. But the cars they build between now and December 2009 are going to be hard to sell in January 2010. Potential buyers in 2010, like me, were suckered in by the CCP in 2009.

Except for the poor people of the world in need of many of our clunkers, I don’t really get upset by the $3 billion spent on the CCP. It's a drop in the bucket in a year where government spending exceeds revenues by over $2 trillion and Goldman Sachs is making record profits sucking hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars in its dealings with the Fed.

At the moment three billion dollars is hardly enough for President Obama to bend down and pick up off the curb.

"Hybrid vehicle rebates produce scant environmental benefits, high cost: study," PhysOrg, August 4, 2009 ---


Tidbits on August 7, 2009
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

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines

World Clock and World Facts --- http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf

U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory --- http://snipurl.com/411directory       [www_public-records-now_com] 
 Free online 800 telephone numbers --- http://www.tollfree.att.net/tf.html
 Google Free Business Phone Directory --- 800-goog411
To find names addresses from listed phone numbers, go to www.google.com and read in the phone number without spaces, dashes, or parens

Cool Search Engines That Are Not Google --- http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/06/coolsearchengines
Bob Jensen's search helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm
Education Technology Search --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/0000start.htm
Distance Education Search --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/crossborder.htm
Search for Listservs, Blogs, and Social Networks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListservRoles.htm

Bob Jensen's essay on the financial crisis bailout's aftermath and an alphabet soup of appendices can be found at

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

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

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

The U.S. National Debt is Wiped Out in a Fake Coup
July 25, 2009 message from George Wright [Geo@LOYOLA.EDU]

… in his mountain hideout.  They won’t be coming after you for that CFC money, Bob.  There’s a plan to end the national debt crisis --- http://www.theonion.com/content/video/u_s_government_stages_fake_coup?utm_source=videoembed


Hilarious Video from Comedy Central with Jon Stewart ---
Proof that our Treasury Secretary, Tim Geitner, knows absolutely nothing about finance.
Subtitle: Tim Geitner is screwing Tim Geitner when it comes to selling his own house.
What it Proves:  Geitner really is too stupid to not make mistakes when doing his own taxes

The video is a anti-Bernanke musical performance by the Dean of Columbia Business School ---
Ben Bernanke (Chairman of the Federal Reserve and a great friend of big banks) --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Bernanke
R. Glenn Hubbard (Dean of the Columbia Business School) ---

Video:  Is Anyone Minding the Store at the Federal Reserve? ---

Yale's Robert Shiller (slightly over one hour of video lecture)
Behavioral Finance: The Role of Psychology --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZLNbxWH8Lc

Exclusive Interview: Somali Pirate on When to Negotiate, Kill Hostages 
and How to Hide from Navy --- http://www.wired.com/video

The Egg Trick on the Third Johnnie Carson Show --- http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/138148/detail/
First the trick than the slap stick.

Magician Strip Teases (R-rated video) --- http://users.skynet.be/pdauwe/ursula_martinez.wmv

When highlanders get bored --- http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1137883380?bctid=17075685001

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

Video:  Return of a fallen marine to New Braunfels, Texas ---

Inflation or Deflation? (a humorous country song) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fq2ga4HkGY&NR=1

Awesome Boogie --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHmmid1pLi8
I featured links to the boogie of JoAnn Castle and Tiny Little in the July 23 edition of Tidbits ---

Ode to Forgetfulness (video with awful music and cute lyrics) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lSliucgygc
Bob Jensen's threads to humor music --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Humor

An Accounting Love Song
One of Tom Oxner's former students (Travis Matkin) wrote and recorded this song a couple of years ago. It has now made it to U Tube ---

Rain Orchestra (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvngZLF7dUs

A Flutist Makes Ends Meet With Music --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106814790

Stile Antico: Old-School A Cappella in Boston --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105772791

Country Music In Her Blood: Holly Williams --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=106741232

Forwarded by Bob Overn
The song Elvis sang when his daughter married MJ --- Click Here
Bob Jensen's threads on humor music --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/music.htm#Humor

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

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

Photographs and Art

U.S. National Park Service Photos & Multimedia --- http://www.nps.gov/photosmultimedia

Geology of National Parks --- http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/ 

Crash: Air France A332 over Atlantic.... (extremely comprehensive report) ---

The Dynamic Earth --- http://www.mnh.si.edu/earth/main_frames.html

American Museum of Natural History: Climate Change --- http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climatechange/?src=h_h

African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pignozzi Collection --- http://www.nmafa.si.edu/exhibits/pigozzi/index.html

Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions --- http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/index.cfm

Geology of National Parks --- http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/ 

Typography for Lawyers --- http://www.typographyforlawyers.com/ 

Protesters wearing nothing but a smile
"Mother outraged by naked bicycle protest" --- http://www.komonews.com/news/local/52389702.html
Jensen Comment
All I can think of is how that must hurt to protest in this manner.

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

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

The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, ca. 1600-1925

Typography for Lawyers --- http://www.typographyforlawyers.com/ 

From NPR
Jack Gilbert: Notes from a Well-Observed Life (with audio readings of four poems) ---

Ruth Padel Poetry (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Chair of the UK Poetry Society) ---

Love Poems of Rumi --- http://www.khamush.com/love_poems.html

The Auden Society http://audensociety.org/ 
Poets: W.H. Auden

Favorite Poem Project (videos) --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/

Find a poet and/or share your poetry --- http://www.everypoet.com/

From NPR
Iraq Soldier Describes War in Poetry (with audio) ---

National Poetry Month 2007
James Longenbach's "Second Draft" is from his third book of poems, Draft of a Letter. Of the collection, The Los Angeles Times Book Review said, "A sensibility this cogent, this subtle and austere is rare; even rarer is its proof that poetry still flows through all things and transforms all things in the process."
NPR, April 18, 2007 ---

Video Poetry --- http://www.favoritepoem.org/thevideos/index.html
Includes Hillary Clinton reading The Makers ---
Click down hard on the picture to commence the video reading!

The Walt Whitman Archive --- http://www.whitmanarchive.org/

Mickle Street Review: An Electronic Journal of Whitman and American Studies [iTunes]

Poet at Work: Walt Whitman Notebooks 1850s-1860s ---  http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/whitman/

John Barbato's Collected Poems 1964 - 2002 is Now Available On-line at Lulu.com ---

Lord Byron:  Selected Poetry --- http://englishhistory.net/byron/poetry.html

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


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

The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians...It creates a hostile work environment.

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq .... Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

The internet is growing at 50% a year….clearly on a path to take over the world.
As for my favorite statistic 210 billion emails are sent every year, 78% of them are spam.

Simoleon Sense Graphic --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/the-exploding-globalizing-internet/ 
Jensen Comment
I'm doing my part (spam?)

KIPP schools have done terrific things for kids who’ve been neglected by the government-union monopoly. The Sun reports that most teachers at KIPP were happy with their old pay, and quotes one math teacher: I didn't feel I was tricked. It was worth it for me to teach at a school that is working so well," he said. Teachers at a charter school work longer hours? Can't have that, says the union! Teachers’ Union wins. Children lose.
"Union to School: Teach Less," John Stossel, ABC News, July 23, 2009 --- http://blogs.abcnews.com/johnstossel/2009/07/union-to-school-teach-less.html

Video from Roubini’s blog.
His views are quite a contrast from the rumors circulating the blogospher that Dr. Gloom had turned bullish. Most important point of the video ” if you include partial employment then current unemployment in the US is approximately 16%”
Simoleon Sense --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/roubini-says-dont-be-confused-economic-recover-will-be-ugly/

"What we want to do is to send a message to whoever is making these decisions, that if you're pursuing nuclear weapons for the purpose of intimidating, of projecting your power, we're not going to let that happen," Hillary Clinton said. "First, we're going to do everything we can to prevent you from ever getting a nuclear weapon. But your pursuit is futile, because we will never let Iran — nuclear-armed, not nuclear-armed — it is something that we view with great concern, and that's why we're doing . . ."
Watch the video --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
I would be more impressed if Secretary of State Clinton first squelched the nuclear arms program of the more dangerous and unpredictable North Korea.

How to lie with statistics:  Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
"The Median Isn't the Message,"  by Stephen Jay Gould as forwarded by Jagdish Gangolly ---

Tens of millions of Americans with checking, savings and credit card accounts are learning first-hand the meaning of what MSNBC.com columnist Bob Sullivan calls “gotcha capitalism.” It’s a modern variation on the Chinese “death by a thousand cuts.” Banks and other financial institutions in recent years have raised existing fees to dramatic heights, imposed a broad range of new fees, doubled and even tripled interest rates on credit cards without prior warning and otherwise put the squeeze on unsuspecting customers . . . Capitalism’s superiority over socialism by now ought to be an accepted fact. An economy only can function under a system of contractual exchange between buyer and seller, a relationship that socialism at best grudgingly concedes or denies altogether. Yet for precisely this reason, capitalism can be sustained only through a high degree of public trust. When trust breaks down, offending firms and industries must rebuild their reputation to remain competitive. The banking industry, to make a long story short, has a credibility problem right now.
Carl Horowitz, "Banks Go 'Gotcha!'," FrontPage, August 1, 2009 ---
Bob Jensen's threads on the dirty secrets of credit card companies are at

Six months into his presidency, Barack Obama finds himself where he likely never expected -- surrounded by chaos.
Matt Towery, Chaos, Townhall, July 23, 2009 --- http://townhall.com/columnists/MattTowery/2009/07/23/chaos

THE U.S. DOLLAR INDEX, which tracks the dollar against other major currencies, fell below its important June low of 78.33 late last week. On Monday morning, it was trading at an 11-month low. The bear trend from March continues with no meaningful support in sight. Roughly two years ago, when the dollar was in its previous bear market run, the dollar index had moved under a multidecade support level at 80 (see Chart 1). At the time, the subprime-mortgage crisis was just unfolding.
Michael Kahn, "The Greenback Is Broken," Barron's, August 3, 2009 --- Click Here

In truth, because of the continued profligacy of the government and Federal Reserve, the imbalances that caused the current recession have actually worsened. We are now in an even deeper hole than when the crisis began. Rather than wrapping up a recession, we are actually sinking into a depression. If things look better now, it’s just because we are in the eye of the storm. We must remember that recessions inevitably follow periods of artificial growth. During these booms, malinvestments are made which ultimately must be liquidated during the ensuing busts. In short, mistakes made during booms are corrected during busts – and in the recent boom we made some real whoppers. We borrowed and spent too much money, bought goods we couldn’t afford, built houses we couldn’t carry, and developed a service sector economy completely dependent on consumer credit and rising asset prices. All the while, we allowed our industrial base to crumble and our infrastructure to decay.
Peter Schiff, "Recession Is Over: Long Live Depression," Seeking Alpha, August 2, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
Peter Schiff is one of the few better-known economists who predicted the 2008 economic collapse long ahead of time and for all the correct reasons. Watch him with  John Stewart ---

The recurring problem is that banking regulation, in common with most business regulation, has been handed over to elites from the same industry. Their worldview is based on secrecy and mutual protection. They knew that banks were severely over-leveraged, indulged in tax avoidance at home and abroad, kept assets and liabilities off the balance sheets and gambled savers' monies on clever bets on the movement of exchange rates, interests rates, commodity prices and anything else that moved. Yet none challenged the banking industry.
Prem Sikka, "Tory banking regulation tastes stale: The Conservatives' response to the world's biggest financial crisis looks lacklustre: reshuffling the deckchairs won't work," The Guardian, July 22, 2009 --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jul/22/conservatives-banking-regulation

According to a Japanese news agency, Toyota is pulling up stakes at its Fremont, Calif., factory, known as NUMMI. This is the plant that was jointly run by Toyota and GM before GM’s bankruptcy filing this summer. The Detroit-based automaker decided NUMMI — where it built the Pontiac Vibe alongside the Toytoa Matrix and Corolla — was not integral to its future. NUMMI employs 4,700 people and is the only U.S. Toyota plant with UAW employees.
"Toyota to Liquidate California Plant" --- http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2009/07/toyota-to-liquidate-california-plant.html

Michael J. Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association in New York, took a harder line and said officers should not tolerate disrespect on the street. “We pay these officers to risk their lives every day,” Mr. Palladino said. “We’re taught that officers should have a thicker skin and be a little immune to some comments. But not to the point where you are abused in public. You don’t get paid to be publicly abused. There are laws that protect against that.”
Michael Wilson and Solomon Moore, "Cops ‘don’t get paid to be publicly abused’ Scholar’s arrest highlights the tactics used by officers facing heated words," The New York Times, July 25, 2009 ---

A black police officer who was at Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s home when the black Harvard scholar was arrested says he fully supports how his white fellow officer handled the situation. Sgt. Leon Lashley says Gates was probably tired and surprised when Sgt. James Crowley demanded identification from him as officers investigated a report of a burglary. Lashley says Gates' reaction to Crowley was "a little bit stranger than it should have been." Asked if Gates should have been arrested, Lashley said supported Crowley "100 percent."
"Black Officer Supports Professor's Arrest," Real Clear Politics, July 24, 2009 ---
Video:  http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2009/07/24/black_officer_supports_professors_arrest.html
Jensen Comment
This is the way police officers always close ranks. If a neighbor had not been witnessing the entire confrontation, matters would've gotten worse. Only because he had a black face, the respectful, grateful, and  polite Professor Gates would've been taken to the Police Department's secret torture chamber and water boarded 189 times just for being black. Professor Gates has been and still proves to be, in my opinion, an ego centric opportunist who uses his skin color to advance himself and his wealth. He maintains his own non-profit organization that skirts on the edge of fraud as a "bogus charity" --- Click Here

A foundation created and led by Henry Louis Gates Jr. is amending its federal tax form after questions were raised about $11,000 paid to foundation officers -- funds that the original tax form called research grants, but that should have been classified as compensation, ProPublica reported. When the payments are accounted for accurately, the foundation's administrative expenses will account for 40 percent of its spending in 2007, not 1 percent as originally reported to the Internal Revenue Service. Gates created the Inkwell Foundation with the goal of supporting work on African and African-American literature, history and culture, the article said. The report by ProPublica also noted that some of the actual grants went to people close to Gates. Gates told ProPublica that the foundation's second-largest grant, for $6,000, went to his fiancée, Angela DeLeon. DeLeon was formerly on the foundation board and Gates said he recused himself from a vote on the grant. A grant of $500 went to Evelyn Higginbotham, chair of the foundation's board and chair of Harvard University's Department of African and African-American studies. Gates said she didn't vote on the grant. ProPublica is an organization that conducts investigative journalism. The article noted that Gates -- the Harvard scholar who is a leading figure in African-American studies whose arrest at his home has set off a national debate about the way black men are treated by law enforcement -- also serves on ProPublica's board..
"Scrutiny for Foundation Run by Henry Louis Gates," Inside Higher Ed, July 28, 2009 ---

Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey is being sued for a whopping $1 trillion by author Damon Lloyd Goffe for plagiarism, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has claimed on his website. Goffe is suing Winfrey and her production company, Harpo, for allegedly stealing material from his work, 'A Tome of Poetry' and publishing it under her name with the title 'Pieces of My Soul', according to Hilton. In the legal documents filed in court, Goffe claims that the talk show host admitted to the thievery last year.
"Oprah Winfrey sued for $1 trillion: Reports," Times of India, August 5, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
Somehow I don't think the $1 trillion is for Perez Hilton's loss in royalties.

Leftist Comedian Bill Mahar tells his sickest joke ever
Days before the 2008 election HBO host Bill Maher expressed his hatred for Sarah Palin: "If there is such a thing as karma, let's hope that Sarah Palin comes back as a wolf being shot from a plane." Maher returned to the wolf-shooting metaphors on Friday night's Real Time as he discussed her farewell address in Alaska – except this time Maher suggested Palin would execute Cherokee Indians.
Tim Graham, "Maher: Palin Would Kill Indians From a Helicopter," NRO, August 3, 2009 ---

Pests, population growth, and depleted soil have wreaked havoc on agriculture in Africa, so universities across the continent are rethinking how they teach the topic.
Megan Lindow, "African Universities Tackle the Continent's Agricultural Crisis," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 20, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/article/African-Universities-Tackle-an/47101/

Dear Premier Jiabao --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wen_Jiabao
We are imposing a 50% tariff on all imported goods from China because you've failed to impose carbon emission limits to levels that the United States is imposing in on all manufacturing plants. I'm sorry about this, but a clause in the Cap and Trade legislation to help our labor unions and create more jobs in the U.S. gives me no choice in the matter.
Senator Boxer

Dear Madam Boxer
We are not turning over 50% of our investment in the $12 trillion U.S. National Debt and will no longer support the  spendthrift U.S. Congress that is building up the annual Federal government spending
deficit by over $2 trillion per year. We will cease bidding on new issues of Treasury Bonds used to finance your overspending. Please take your import tariffs plus your spending deficits and shove them where the "sun don't shine Barbie Doll."
Jensen Comment
Since President Obama wisely opposes the pro-labor union clause in the Cap and Fade Bill that imposes tariffs on nations that pollute at hire carbon rates than the U.S., this clause will probably be deleted or not enforced. But he's playing a dangerous game when trying to appease the unions that helped get him elected.

After years of supporting a national law to limit carbon dioxide emissions through participation in the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP) – a lobbying coalition pushing cap-and-trade legislation – Owens realized the final bill would harm his company. According to Energy & Environment News, the day before the House vote, Owens wrote to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), saying, “We cannot endorse this bill in its current form.”
Tom Borelli, "Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens: Digging a Cap-and-Trade Hole for America," Townhall, July 25, 2009 --- Click Here

President Obama May Make it Easier for Infamous Airliner Shoe Bomber to Sue His Way to Freedom
"Revenge of the ‘Shoe Bomber’:  The terrorist sues to resume his jihad from prison. The Obama administration caves in," by Deborah Burlingame, The Wall Street Journal, July 29, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203609204574317090690242698.html

On July 6, Justice Department lawyers informed the court that Reid will be given a “new placement” in a “post-SAMs setting.” Whether that entails stepped down security in a different unit or transfer to a less secure facility, the Bureau of Prisons won’t say, and Justice refuses to comment.

Mr. Obama likes to observe that “no one has escaped from supermax,” but if Reid is moved from ADX Florence, he will be the first convicted terrorist to use the First Amendment to sue his way out.

. . .

Meanwhile, in order to appease political constituencies both here and abroad, the Obama administration is moving full steam ahead, operating on the false premise that giving more civil liberties to religious fanatics bent on destroying Western civilization will make a difference in the Muslim world. In a letter sent to his father as he began his hunger strike, Reid provided a preview of how he will exercise his newly enlarged free speech rights, calling Mr. Obama a “hypocrite” who is “no better than George Bush.” His lawsuit remains active while the Department of Justice works out a settlement that satisfies the man who declared, “I am at war with America.”

President Barack Obama has completely discredited himself with his reckless, arrogant and high-pressure handling of his socialized medicine scheme.
David Limbaugh, "Health Care Hellfire," Townhall, July 24, 2009 --- http://townhall.com/columnists/DavidLimbaugh/2009/07/24/health_care_hellfire
Jensen Comment
It will also be a ton of lies when he finally explains why the final plan will not increase annual deficits.

You wouldn’t know it from the way President Barack Obama is blaming the GOP for his flagging health agenda. “There are those [read the GOP] who are advocating delay just as a desperation move to try to kill it,” complained White House budget director Peter Orszag. Republicans are working to “block health-care reform,” groused the president. “Republicans should immediately put an end to their political games,” demanded Democratic Rep. Chris van Hollen. Indeed. The party of the left owns the White House, a filibuster-proof Senate, and a 70-seat House majority. As one House Republican aide quipped: “We could have every GOP congressman and their parents vote against a Democratic bill, and still not stop it.” All Democrats have to do is agree on something.
John Strassel
, "How Obama Stumbled on Health Care," The Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2009 ---

The President Bombs in Peoria
His news conference the other night was bad. He was filibustery and spinny and gave long and largely unfollowable answers that seemed aimed at limiting the number of questions asked and running out the clock. You don’t do that when you’re fully confident. Far more seriously, he didn’t seem to be telling the truth. We need to create a new national health-care program in order to cut down on government spending? Who would believe that? Would anybody? The common wisdom the past week has been that whatever challenges health care faces, the president will at least get something because he has a Democratic House and Senate and they’re not going to let their guy die. He’ll get this or that, maybe not a new nationalized system but some things, and he’ll be able to declare some degree of victory. And this makes sense. But after the news conference, I found myself wondering if he’d get anything
Peggy Noonan, "Common Sense May Sink ObamaCare:  It turns out the president misjudged the nation’s mood, The Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2009 ---

President Blames Doctors for Health Care Costs --- http://townhall.com/columnists/KenKlukowski/2009/07/24/president_blames_doctors_for_health_care_costs
Jensen Comment
Of course the fact that lawyers are the cause of dysfunctional health care insurance costs is never mentioned by our lawyer-loving President Obama.

"Revolt against AARP in Dallas: “Do you work for us or do we work for you?” by Michelle Malkin, August 6, 2009 ---
Watch the Video --- AARP Town Hall Meeting on Health Care - Dallas, August 4, 2009 ---

The average Canadian family spends more money on taxes than on necessities of life such as food, clothing, and housing, according to a study from The Fraser Institute, an independent research organization with offices across Canada. The Canadian Consumer Tax Index, 2007, shows that even though the income of the average Canadian family has increased significantly since 1961, their total tax bill has increased at a much higher rate.
The Fraser Institute, April 16, 2007 --- http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2007/16/c5234.html
Jensen Comment
I put the portion of the Canadian tax dollars going into comparable health and social services contained in Obamacare legislation to be about 40% of each Canadian's tax dollar where malpractice coverage and government fraud is greatly controlled relative to the United States

Americans who want to tip the debate in the most progressive direction should take advantage an opening provided at the last minute during negotiations to get a bill approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. And they should do so by advocating even more aggressively for single-payer health care.
John Nichols, "Why Single Payer Advocacy Matters Now More Than Ever ," The Nation, August 4, 2009 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
Passionate advocates of universal health care are screaming "yes, yes, yes" without even caring how health care will be funded or whether or not it will further destruct the U.S. economy. The cannot care because they're so willing to vote yet before a funding proposal is even put forth. I actually favor single-payer nationalized health care but I'm unwilling to destroy by beloved homeland in a passionate rage for the gold plated version that this debt-ridden nation can ill afford at the present time --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm
U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

But what helps many Americans as individuals may hurt society as a whole. That's the paradox. Unchecked health spending is depressing take-home pay, squeezing other government programs—state and local programs as well as federal—and driving up taxes and budget deficits. The president has said all this; he simply isn't doing much about it. He offers the illusion of reform while perpetuating the status quo of four decades: expand benefits, talk about controlling costs. The press should put "reform" in quote marks, because this is one "reform" that might leave the country worse off.
Robert J. Samuelson, Health Reform That Isn't:  Despite the Rhethoric, Costs (and trillion dollar deficits) Will Rise, Newsweek Magazine, August 3, 2009, Page 26 --- http://www.newsweek.com/id/208439/page/2
Samuelson is the author of The Great -Inflation and Its Aftermath.

Video:  Rep. Tom Price (also a surgeon for 25 years) admonishes govt-takeover of healthcare ---
It falls on deaf ears.

Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman is the liberal economics professor at Princeton University and a leftist columnist for The New York Times. Until now he unfledgingly promoted Obamacare.
Newsbusters, by Seton Motley, July 28, 2009 --- Click Here

NYT's Krugman Conducts Informal Canadian Health Care Poll; "Result: 'Bad Move On My Part"
Watch his truth time video --- Click Here

Video of Rep. Maxine Waters advocating government takeover of the oil companies ---
Jensen Comment
Actually this is an efficient idea. The government now owns GM and Chrysler. Ownership of Ford cannot be far off. Why not vertically integrate to own the oil companies that fuel the government-produced vehicles? Makes sense to me! Maybe then we could put an end to the corn ethanol nonsense unless President Obama also buys Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. Sadly her proposals are often ignored since Maxine Waters was once ranked among the 13 most corrupt members of Congress --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxine_Waters#CREW_.22Most_Corrupt.22_list

Makes us wonder what else this guy was hiding in the folds of his fat
A nearly 600-pound man was able to hide a weapon for more than a day while he was in custody, police told KPRC Local 2 Wednesday.
Elizabeth Scarbourgh, "Inmate Hides Gun In Fat Layers," KPRC Houston, August 6, 2009 ---

Wal-Mart Does a Flip Flop on Obamacare in a Quest for Greater Monopoly Power

Here's Wal-Mart's Plan Before Obama Care
"I have diabetes, a pre-existing condition that requires regular doctor’s appointments. Wal-Mart suggests that I take its insurance and wait the two years until I become eligible. This means that I would pay about $2,000 or more and still not be covered for two years."

Here's Wal-Mart's Plan After Obama Care
In what some see as an about face, Wal-Mart is now in favor of Obamacare, but the suspected reasons is that its smaller competitors will be put out of business because of the higher costs.
“It will drive their smaller, less efficient competitors out of business.  There are a lot of mom and pop operations — and some that are their own small, regional chain stores — that are struggling to stay afloat right now. This new requirement will cause at least some of them to throw in the towel.” ---

"Businesses Hit Hard With Obamacare, Say Goodbye to Mom and Pop Stores," by Werner Todd Huston, July 2, 2009 ---

The most insidious part of Obamacare is the backdoor taxes, and defacto control of our healthcare by the nanny state that President Obama’s plan is loaded with. And here is another one that is not getting much play. Employers would be socked with requirements to pay for 72.5 percent of the cost of insurance premiums for their full-time employees under the plan being considered in the House.

They would also be required to pick up an as yet undetermined percentage of the insurance plans for part-time employees, as well. This alone will insure that part-time jobs across the nation are terminated for the destructive cost involved in having them.

Or, conversely, many full-time jobs will be eliminated if the costs of insurance is so steep and that of part-timers less so. Either way, jobs will be lost because of these new, never before seen expenses. According to the draft legislation in the House, businesses would be required to pay the federal government a fine of 8 percent of their payroll if they do not offer a basic insurance package to their employees. The House bill has yet to determine how large a small business must be before they are forced into this requirement.

Let’s think about what this means, though. This new mandatory expenditure will greatly drive up the costs of business for small and medium sized businesses and force many of them to close up shop. They will not be able to compete with the larger corporations that will have the resources to offer insurance plans even for part-time workers.

This means the permanent elimination of mom-and-pop business nationwide and the proliferation of large, corporate held shops of all sorts. From the corner market and small book store to the local garage and sandwich shop, small businesses will be hounded out of business by overweening government mandates. This will naturally open the business to even more national chains of all sorts. It seems to me that the self-same people that claim they want nationalized healthcare are the same sort that decry the giants like WalMart. But here they are pushing an idea that will give them more WalMats from sea to shining sea!

Jensen Comment
As of August 3, 2009 we still don't have final passage of an Obamacare package such that it is not clear what things might be added to or deleted from the bill to protect smaller businesses. In my mind, Huston is entirely correct unless some type of relief is given to the mom and pop stores that provide more U.S. employment than the national chain stores. There also is an issue of seasonal business that needs to be resolved. Will business firms that are only open for three or four months each season have to pay year-around health insurance for full-time and part-time employees?

The 8% of revenue good-deal-penalty still sounds like a great opt-out for millions of mom and pop stores across the U.S. As I've said repeatedly, however, the massive bureaucracy needed to process enrollment of between 100 million and 200 million people into the new Government Health Insurance Agency (GHIA) and process possibly billions GHIA claims for their health care each year just is not feasible for over a decade or more.

Hence I think the 8% good-deal-penalty is a bait and switch fraud just to get the plan passed in 2009. In order to keep private insurance companies afloat and reduce the number GIAA enrollments of working people down to a manageable number, the 8% bait used to get Obamacare legislation passed will be switched around 2014 to a much higher penalty such as X=50% that either forces employers to enroll employees into private medical insurance plans, go out of business, or move the business to another country such as Mexico (if that is possible for that line of business).

The X% no-longer-good-deal penalty will probably be bifurcated between full-time and part-time employees. Employers will have to provide private-plan coverage for their full-time employees because the X% is too high for opting out of the system entirely. The X% of revenue may still be the best deal for part-time employees when the percentage of work time (such as 20 hours per week divided by 40 hours per week) and number of weeks worked (such as 20 weeks divided by 52) are factored into the penalty payment for part-time workers.

There are some other disturbing features that I found in the current House Bill, but I will not dwell on them now except to say that

Probably the most disturbing to me is the increased opportunity for fraud. This bill is a bonanza for community organizing groups in from big cities to tiny villages. ACORN and other organizing groups will have an unbelievable cash cow for signing up real and fictional people and providing home services to both real and fictional people. For example, people who aren't really married will probably get a lot of ACORN-reimbursable counseling where half goes to the fraudulent client and half goes to an ACORN-like counseling firm manned by professionals with phony diplomas.

People who aren't really crippled will get a lot of scooters for their new scooter street ball games. Many will get expensive elevators (lifts) installed in their houses. What we now call Medicare fraud for home equipment and medications will be a drop in the bucket compared to the fraud to come. And the multiple-trillion dollar cash cow will be impossible to police given the cleverness of the fraudsters we cannot now detect in the Medicare claims service.

The Lie: The House Bill presently states that business firms can opt out of providing health insurance coverage for employees by paying an 8% of gross payroll good-deal penalty to the government. This is bait and switch fraud at its worst! By the time the government insurance option becomes viable this will increase to X% at whatever it takes to keep most working full-time employees out of the government health insurance option. The reason partly is due to the fact that it will take decades before the government option can process the claims for between virtually the entire population of the United States plus all the illegal aliens who will sneak into the country for health services. The reason also is that President Obama promised to keep private health insurance viable such that he must eventually make it virtually impossible for employers to opt out of private medical insurance plans at lower costs.


Two weeks ago I warned about the "bait and switch fraud" in the H.B. 3200 good news bait of an 8% of gross payroll penalty for employers who do not provide health insurance coverage for employees. In a surprising move, Congress is already switching the bait to 10% even before H.B. 3200 is passed. After its passage I look for the bait to be switched to an even higher percentage, maybe 50%, such that there is no way for employers to avoid an absolutely massive expense for health care coverage under the new rules of virtually no self insurance (policies will have to be purchased from large private insurance companies). virtually all pre-existing health issues will have to be covered instantly for each new person hired, part-time workers and illegal aliens will have to receive health insurance, and an array of social services will have to be covered including marriage counseling and family counseling.

The projected cost of employer-based health coverage is so huge that even a 10% penalty would still be cheaper. But employers should count on the bait being switched once again after Obamacare is legislated. The government medical insurance plan just will not be able to insure 200 million to 300 million people instantly if all employers opt out of health coverage by paying the X% penalty. Irrespective of the bait, the switch is inevitable!

The only reason I can see for switching the bait before H.B. 3200 is passed is to deceivingly make it look more deficit neutral and once again deceive the public and dimwitted members of Congress.

Even many Democrats are revolting against Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 5.4% income surtax to finance ObamaCare, but another tax in her House bill isn’t getting enough attention. To wit, the up to 10-percentage point payroll tax increase on workers and businesses that don’t provide health insurance. This should put to rest the illusion that no one making more than $250,000 in income will pay higher taxes.
"The Pelosi Jobs Tax:  Workers will pay for the new health-care payroll levy," The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2009 ---

Because of the present health care system in the United States is unjust and inefficient, I am in favor of a National Health Plan modeled after the Canadian National Health Plan where Canadians are taxed for a huge portion of their health services irrespective of their levels of income. In Canada, about half the average taxpayer's tax goes for health services. Any system that does not make users of the system share heavily in the cost of the services will be unjust, abused, and inefficient. Also in Canada the National Health Plan greatly restricts the size of malpractice lawsuit lotteries for lawyers.

he average Canadian family spends more money on taxes than on necessities of life such as food, clothing, and housing, according to a study from The Fraser Institute, an independent research organization with offices across Canada. The Canadian Consumer Tax Index, 2007, shows that even though the income of the average Canadian family has increased significantly since 1961, their total tax bill has increased at a much higher rate.
The Fraser Institute, April 16, 2007 --- http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2007/16/c5234.html
Jensen Comment
I put the portion of the Canadian tax dollars going into comparable health and social services contained in Obamacare legislation to be about 40% of each Canadian's tax dollar where malpractice coverage and government fraud is greatly controlled relative to the United States
Canada greatly restricts the number of free riders in the system and negotiates much lower prescription drug prices relative to insurance companies and Medicare in the United States. Malpractice awards in Canada are tightly controlled.

But what helps many Americans as individuals may hurt society as a whole. That's the paradox. Unchecked health spending is depressing take-home pay, squeezing other government programs—state and local programs as well as federal—and driving up taxes and budget deficits. The president has said all this; he simply isn't doing much about it. He offers the illusion of reform while perpetuating the status quo of four decades: expand benefits, talk about controlling costs. The press should put "reform" in quote marks, because this is one "reform" that might leave the country worse off.
Robert J. Samuelson, Health Reform That Isn't:  Despite the Rhethoric, Costs (and trillion dollar deficits) Will Rise, Newsweek Magazine, August 3, 2009, Page 26 --- http://www.newsweek.com/id/208439/page/2
Samuelson is the author of The Great -Inflation and Its Aftermath.

The projected cost of employer-based health coverage is so huge that even a 10% penalty would still be cheaper. But employers should count on the bait being switched once again after Obamacare is legislated. The government medical insurance plan just will not be able to insure 200 million to 300 million people instantly if all employers opt out of health coverage by paying the X% penalty. Irrespective of the bait, the switch is inevitable!

The only reason I can see for switching the bait before H.B. 3200 is passed is to deceivingly make it look more deficit neutral and once again deceive the public and dimwitted members of Congress. Nobody is mentioning the fact that expanded mental health coverage and social services coverage in H.B. 3200 massively increases the base for malpractice lawsuits and fraud.

Even many Democrats are revolting against Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s 5.4% income surtax to finance ObamaCare, but another tax in her House bill isn’t getting enough attention. To wit, the up to 10-percentage point payroll tax increase on workers and businesses that don’t provide health insurance. This should put to rest the illusion that no one making more than $250,000 in income will pay higher taxes.
"The Pelosi Jobs Tax:  Workers will pay for the new health-care payroll levy," The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

"Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will ‘Eliminate’ Private Health Insurancem" Breitbart, August 3, 2009 --- http://www.breitbart.tv/uncovered-video-obama-explains-how-his-health-care-plan-will-eliminate-private-insurance/

"Another Hurdle to Health Care Reform: Too Few General Practice Doctors," Richard A. Cooper, Knowledge@Wharton, July 22, 2009 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2297

While the possibility that millions of uninsured Americans might soon have access to health coverage may conjure images of patients stacked up in hospital hallways or waiting for months for an MRI, the most likely stress point in an expanded health care system will involve the family doctor.

The supply of primary care physicians is already tight in some parts of the country, and finding a general practice doctor will probably become even harder if the pool of insured Americans expands. "The biggest chokepoint in the health care system will be the availability of primary care doctors," says Wharton health care management professor Mark V. Pauly. "The physician bodies just aren't there."

He and other Wharton School health care experts say that existing infrastructure -- hospitals beds and technology, for instance -- will likely be able to accommodate any influx of patients, but expanding the physician workforce to meet added demand will take both time and a concerted effort. "If they are going to use health care reform to emphasize preventive medicine, it's not clear that they have thought through whether there is adequate capacity in primary care," notes Kevin Volpp, a Wharton professor of medicine and health care management, and director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics' Center for Health Incentives. "That's a bigger issue than hospital beds."

The American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects that even if the number of physicians remained the same, there would be a shortage of 124,000 doctors of all types by 2025, although the number could climb to as high as 159,000 should demand for doctors pick up along with wider insurance coverage.

Experts are particularly worried about a dearth of doctors to focus on primary care services, including routine checkups and sick visits. There are already primary care physician shortages in some rural areas, as well as in more populated communities. Merritt Hawkins & Associates, a physician recruiting and placement firm, reported in June that from April 2008 to March 2009, it had more requests for family doctors than for any other type of doctor. Requests for primary care doctors were up 23% compared to a year earlier.

"Virtually every hospital or large medical group in the United States would be happy to add a family physician or general internist. There simply are not enough primary care doctors to go around," Merritt Hawkins president Mark Smith wrote in a statement accompanying the firm's report.

The AAMC wants to increase the number of slots at U.S. medical schools by 30%, both through the expansion of existing classes and the creation of new medical schools, but it takes time to educate and train doctors -- four years of medical school and three or more years of residency, perhaps followed by a fellowship. "Even if we could magically expand medical schools in the next year, it would be years before we have more doctors," Pauly says. And even if more students are enrolled in medical school, it won't be easy to reverse a steady trend away from primary care practice in favor of specialty fields.

The various health reform scenarios being debated on Capitol Hill place some emphasis on bolstering primary and preventive care. The idea -- a familiar theme heard especially in the early days of HMOs -- is that if everyone had a so-called "medical home" with a primary care physician, they would be more likely to get timely and preventive care, thus avoiding more costly trips to specialists and emergency rooms. Uninsured Americans don't necessarily go without surgery or care when they get sick -- but they may put off treatment or be seen by a doctor in the emergency room instead of the doctor's office.

Costs Are Still an Issue

President Obama has said he would like to wrap up health care reform legislation by summer's end, but that may be tough as more questions arise over the cost of even a modest expansion of health insurance coverage. The Obama administration and other supporters of the various proposed initiatives have always presented reform as a two-goal effort -- to both expand access to the nearly 50 million Americans without health coverage and to reign in costs. But on July 16, Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, reported that the various proposals being backed by Democrats not only would fail to clamp down on costs, but would probably increase federal health care spending.

"In the legislation that has been reported, we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount," Douglas Elmendorf told the Senate Budget Committee. "On the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs."

His comments were latched onto by Republican lawmakers, and even some Democrats, who say that expanding insurance coverage is, in principal, a good idea, but not at the expense of higher taxes and a mounting deficit, especially in a sagging economy. It has been estimated that Democratic plans to expand coverage would cost about $1 trillion over 10 years.

But the issue of a looming doctor shortage will have to be addressed, no matter what shape reform takes, experts say. Not only are some patients already having trouble finding a doctor in some parts of the country, but they are having to book far ahead. According to a recent survey by Merritt Hawkins, the average wait time to see a family doctor for a routine physical ranged from seven days in Miami to 63 days in Boston. In eight of 15 metropolitan areas surveyed by the company, it took at least 14 days to be seen by a family physician. The report noted that the long waits documented in the Boston area may be due to legislation in Massachusetts that expanded coverage for the uninsured.

"Long appointment wait times in Boston also may signal what could happen nationally in the event that access to healthcare is expanded through health care reform," according to the Merritt Hawkins report. "Increased demand [due to] improved access to care for approximately 47 million uninsured people can be expected to extend doctor appointment wait times in many markets."

The Lure of Specialties

Today's medical school students are attracted to specialty fields instead of primary care for a number of reasons. For starters, they are piling up tremendous debt in the pursuit of an MD or DO (doctor of osteopathic medicine) -- $200,000 in loans is not unheard of -- and then looking at the realities of a labor market that rewards high-tech, procedure-based medicine. Merritt Hawkins noted in the June report that the average salary offered to family physicians was $172,000 in 2007-2008, compared to $300,000 for an anesthesiologist and $360,000 for a hematologist/oncologist. Some other specialties commanded even more.

Medical students are also veering away from primary care practice for lifestyle reasons, including wanting more time for family and leisure. A radiologist, for instance, can work far fewer hours than a pediatrician or general internist and still make twice the salary. There's also a "wow factor" at work. Today's medical students were raised on gadgets, and they may understandably be attracted to fields that use computers, lasers, robotic tools and other technology, rather than embracing a future filled with patients with colds, high cholesterol and other everyday concerns.

Richard A. Cooper, a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a senior fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute, says that some of the increased demand for physician services likely to be generated by an expansion of insurance coverage could be absorbed if doctors already in practice put in more hours, but that approach can only go so far. He suggests that the solution, from both an efficiency and economic standpoint, will have to involve "looking downstream" at the roles played by others in the health care system -- physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, nursing aides and technicians.

"All you can do is try to get other people trained quickly, and you have to jettison as many tasks downstream as possible," he notes. "You don't pay a doctor for what a nurse can do, and you don't pay a nurse for what a nursing assistant can do."

Cooper, himself an internist, points out that while it may seem to make sense to encourage more students to go into primary care, there's a downside to that strategy because there will also be a need for more cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons and geriatricians as the population ages. "To make one kind of doctor, you have to give up making something else," he says. Primary care doctors will have to become more like specialists, he predicts, using their time to handle complex cases and allowing their staff to see to more routine patients.

"We have to train people for rural medicine. We have to have people who can do oncology and care for the aging population," Cooper says. Whether they're called primary care doctors or whatever, "we need more doctors to do what doctors do."

Jensen Comment
I've been pleased with medical care up here in the White Mountains. But where we live may not be representative of rural New England in general. Firstly, New Hampshire has no income or sales tax above and beyond a 5% tax on cash interest and dividends (with a $5,000 exclusion and no tax on capital gains or other income). New Hampshire has some appeal to tax-weary physicians, especially those from Taxachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New York.

Secondly we only live 50 miles from the wonderful Dartmouth Medical School (Erika has been taken there by ambulance twice) such that we're really not living on the moon so to speak. Some medical specialists who live less than ten miles from our home work out of both our excellent local hospital (in in nearby Littleton) and the Dartmouth Medical Center. For example, our local cardiologist performs heart some procedures down at Dartmouth.

Hence we offer a lot of the amenities of mountain life north of Concord (low crime, schools with small classes, literally no traffic, scenery, clean air, lakes, mountain trails, great snow skiing, national forests, ocean beaches not far away, relatively inexpensive land, cool air, and no sounds apart from sounds of nature), but we're not quite typical of the boon docks because of easy traffic-free access to Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Relative to San Antonio, it appears to be much easier to find a primary care physician up here. But where we live may not be typical of rural America. I suspect that when Obamacare comes crashing down, we will weather the "primary care doctor shortage" problem better than many other parts of the U.S.

However, I worry a lot about the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center under Obamacare. Much depends what caps are placed on the government insurance alternative to private insurance. There are very few caps on our Medicare Plus Medicare Supplemental insurance. If this is also the case for the new governmental insurance plan, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center will be deluged with referrals from all parts of New England, including urban centers like Boston and other sizeable towns in Massachusetts and even as far away as Hartford.

If there aren't more caps on very expensive medical procedures that are available with Medicare, I saw one estimate in the WSJ that said over 10 years the Obamacare health plan will cost over $28 trillion, which is a far cry from the $1.5 trillion estimate of the CBO. Without the least trouble whatsoever, Medicare has paid over $2 million for Erika's heavy duty surgeries --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Erika2007.htm

Thus, in our instance, I don't think we will have a "rural problem" up here in the boonies. We will instead have a Dartmouth problem due to the confounded flatlanders who will converge on Dartmouth from all over New England when the patient lines at the wonderful Boston-area medical centers spill across state lines. Under Obamacare I will have a primary care physician but huge problems with access to specialists at Dartmouth. It may be necessary to take trips to Sweden, France, India, and the medical services in Cuba available to the elite but not the masses (Michael Moore got it wrong in Sicko).

Bob Jensen's threads on Obamacare ---

Torpedoing All Preferred Provider Health Insurance Utilized by 86% of Colleges Surveyed
"Cost of Colleges' Health-Care Benefits Continues to Rise," by Erica R. Hendry, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 28, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/article/Cost-of-Colleges-Health-Care/47482/?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

College and employee contributions to health-care premiums continued to rise this year along with the annual cost of health-care plans, according to the results of a survey by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.

A report on the association's survey of employee health-care benefits at American colleges and universities during the 2009 fiscal year indicated that the total cost of the plans' premiums grew 3.7 percent for employee-only coverage and 5.7 percent for employee-and -family coverage. Over the past two years, those increases amounted to about 11 percent and 14 percent, respectively.

Institutions absorbed most of that increase, according to the survey. Employee contributions to annual premiums rose 4.3 percent for both employee-only and employee-and-family coverage, while institutions saw increases of 4.7 percent and 6 percent for those plans, respectively.

The survey was completed by 420 institutions, up from 400 last year, including 18 systems whose members responded individually. This year's data represent 582 colleges, compared with 516 last year.

Coverage of domestic same-sex and opposite-sex partners rose for the fourth consecutive year, with 46 percent of institutions reporting that they cover same-sex domestic partners and 37 percent doing the same for opposite-sex partners.

Following last year's cost-cutting trend of offering "consumer driven" health-care plans, institutions are now cutting back on some programs of their own. The number of institutions with a separate budget for wellness programs dropped 6 percent, and only 16 percent of reporting institutions offer a defined-contribution program to help with the medical expenses of future retirees.

According to the survey, about 20 percent of reporting institutions paid the entire monthly premium for employee-only coverage, but only about 7 percent did the same for employee-and-family coverage.

Plans of preferred-provider organizations continued to be the most commonly offered health plans, with 86 percent of institutions offering one or more of them, according to the survey.

Artificial insemination joined in vitro fertilization and acupuncture as services least likely to be covered, with slightly less than a third of the plans, on average, offering those benefits. Institutions reported that 61 percent of their pharmacy orders were for generic drugs, up from 57 percent last year.

The association surveyed institutions only about their health-care benefits this year. Other types of benefits are surveyed every other year, the association said, and will be included in the 2009-10 survey.

If you think health insurance cost increases are bad in 2009, "you ain't seen nothin' yet."
The popular "preferred-provider" self insurance programs in many (86%) colleges will effectively be eliminated in the H.B. 3200 bill pending in Congress --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits/2009/tidbits090723.htm#Health


Microsoft’s Word 2007, Excel 2007, and PowerPoint 2007 Compatibility Pack

July 27, 2009 message from a friend

Oh, no! I have XP because some of my programs wouldn’t run on Vista and all I’ve heard about Vista is what a pain in the behind it is. Someone sent me a Word doc a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t open it because it was in Word 7. I wrote back, said I couldn’t open it, and could they send the message (it was an invitation of some sort) in the body of an e-mail message. Never heard back from them. I wouldn’t get a computer with Windows 7 yet…if XP will be minimally supported for another five years, I can wait a year or two. I need a new computer, but I don’t need headaches.

July 28, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

There are various alternatives (free and not free) for reading docx, xlsx, and pptx files. But I do not trust downloads from companies I’ve never heard of before.

I recommend looking into Microsoft’s Compatibility Pack ---

Microsoft has added new file formats to Microsoft Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 to reduce file size, improve security and reliability, and enhance integration with external sources. To help ensure that you can exchange documents between Microsoft Office releases, Microsoft has developed a Compatibility Pack for the Office Word, Office Excel, and Office PowerPoint 2007 File Formats.

Bob Jensen


What is the top party time university in the United States in 2009?

I have a two Nitny lion honoraria statuettes given to me for making presentations in two doctoral seminars at this university. The only partying offered to me during my visits were ice cream cones at this university's dairy.

You can find the other top partying universities at http://www.princetonreview.com/best-press-release.aspx
Also see http://www.princetonreview.com/college-rankings.aspx

"Interview With Nobel Prizing Winning Economist, Kenneth Arrow," Simoleon Sense, August 6, 2009 --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/interview-with-nobel-prize-winning-economist-kenneth-arrow/
Jensen Comment
In particular note the comments about behavioral economics neoclassical theory.

Did Facebook begin as a way to pick up women or billions of dollars?
The creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, famously started the popular social network from his dorm room at Harvard University. Ben Mezrich fills in some juicy details of that story (based on interviews and court documents but with imagined diaglogue) in his new book, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal. Mr. Mezrich argues that the student created the site out of frustration over getting rejected from an exclusive "final club" at Harvard, and that the social-networking site was his attempt to build a new kind of elite club online -- one that he could control. As Mr. Mezrich tells it, the student and his friend, Eduardo Saverin, essentially created the site as a way to pick up girls. Mr. Mezrich's previous work includes Bringing Down the House, the tale of a poker-playing team made up of graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which was made into a Hollywood film last year.
Jeff Young, "Author Explores the Juicy Origins of Facebook, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 5, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Author-Explores-the-Juicy/7583/?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

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

A Mountain Climbing Metaphor of Corporate Greed

"Scaling the Heights of Corporate Greed: Chafkin and Lo on Risk," by Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics Blog of The New York Times, August 5, 2009 ---

Scaling the Heights of Corporate Greed A Guest Post By Jeremiah H. Chafkin and Andrew W. Lo

In Laurence Gonzales’s riveting book Deep Survival, he gives a sobering account of four mountain climbers who successfully scaled the 11,249-foot peak of Mount Hood in Oregon — considered a “beginner’s” mountain — only to fall disastrously during their descent.

The climber in the top position — a veteran of much more challenging climbs — felt that belaying (the laborious process of anchoring a climber’s rope to the mountainside to arrest a fall) was an unnecessary precaution in this case, so when he lost his footing and fell, he yanked his three tethered colleagues, and five climbers below them, off the side of the snow-covered mountain. Three men died in this unfortunate incident, and the question posed by Gonzales is what leads some individuals to such tragic ends, while others faced with the same circumstances survive?

The answer, which forms the major thesis of Deep Survival, may also be the ultimate explanation for the current financial crisis:

The climbers on Mount Hood were set up for disaster not by their inexperience, but by their experience. It was the quality of their thinking, the idea that they knew, coupled with hidden characteristics of the system they had so often used. The system … was capable of displaying one type of behavior for a long time and then suddenly changing its behavior completely.

In other words, their mental model of this beginner’s mountain did not match the reality on that fateful day, resulting in their tragic accident.

The remarkably consistent performance of the U.S. residential real-estate market over the decade from 1996 to 2006 may have had the same effect, leading many experienced businessmen to conclude that such growth was likely to continue indefinitely. And despite all the protections that were available to these captains of industry — analytics that showed large potential losses in the event of a downturn in housing prices, leverage constraints imposed by regulatory capital requirements, and warning signs from the hedge-fund industry in 2005 and 2006 — they charged ahead anyway, with the single-mindedness of a well-funded expedition hell-bent on conquering a mountain. Their mental models apparently did not match reality either.

Much of neoclassical economics is based on the assumption that individuals act rationally and that markets fully reflect all available information, i.e., markets are informationally efficient. So powerful and far-reaching are the implications of this hypothesis that we sometimes forget it is meant to be an approximation to a much more complex reality. Recent advances in the cognitive neurosciences have radically altered our understanding of human decision-making, underscoring the importance of emotion, “hardwired” responses, and neural “plasticity” (the adaptability of neural pathways) in producing observed behavior (see Lo 2004, 2005). These breakthroughs show that decisions are often the result of several distinct components of the brain — some under our direct control and others that work behind the scenes and below our consciousness — that collaborate to yield a course of action best suited to achieve our immediate goals. On occasion, those immediate goals may conflict with larger and more important goals, like survival.

One illustration of this mismatch is the typical response to the following question: what is the primary objective of any mountain-climbing expedition? If, like most individuals, you answered “to get to the summit, of course,” you may be suffering from the same mental blinders as those climbers who fell from Mount Hood. A more risk-aware response might be: “to get to the summit, and then descend successfully.” Sometimes, we are so focused on one objective — to the exclusion of all else — that we neglect the obvious.

Risk-taking in corporate contexts is surprisingly similar, except that the height of the mountain is measured in units of earnings-per-share, return-on-equity, and share price. CEO’s are richly rewarded for the speed of their ascent during times of growing demand and easy money, but not necessarily for safely navigating the descent to the bottom of the business and credit cycles. While “greedy” CEO’s are easy scapegoats, the main object of everyone’s attention — the stock price — is often driven by shareholders looking for short-term profits, not long-term capital appreciation. And competition for shareholder dollars is akin to having many climbers competing to reach the same peak first. In both cases, the rewards — either bragging rights or bonuses — are proportional to the difficulty of the climb (barriers to entry) and the speed of the ascent (growth rate). A well-planned and successful descent is usually not on the list.

Now it can be argued that descending safely goes without saying, and most serious climbers are extremely well-prepared for both legs of their journey. But if it goes without saying, it sometimes goes without detailed planning, and then without doing, especially by those lucky climbers who have never experienced any setbacks or accidents. Similarly, corporate profits are rarely generated without taking some risks, yet the current culture, compensation structure, and shareholder and analyst objectives surrounding the modern corporation are all focused mainly on the race to the summit.

So what is the business equivalent of a well-crafted plan for descent? One possibility is for a corporation to appoint a chief risk officer (CRO) who reports directly to the board of directors and is solely responsible for managing the company’s enterprise risk exposures, and whose compensation depends not on corporate revenues or earnings, but on corporate stability. Any proposed material change in a corporation’s risk profile — as measured by several objective metrics that are specified in advance by senior management and the board — will require prior written authorization of the CRO; and the CRO can be terminated if a corporation’s risk profile deviates from its pre-specified risk mandate, as determined jointly on an annual basis by senior management and the board.

Such a proposal does invite conflict and debate among senior management and their directors, but this is precisely the point. By having open dialogue about the potential risks and rewards of new initiatives, senior management will have a fighting chance of avoiding the cognitive traps that can lead to disaster. Imagine if one of the four ill-fated climbers on Mount Hood had been assigned the role of the “designated skeptic” in advance, in which capacity he would be expected to raise every reasonable objection he could think of to a quick descent. We will never know if this would have been enough to have prevented their fall, but it would certainly have given them pause, and an opportunity for further reflection.

Mountains must be scaled, businesses must be built, and risks imply that occasionally, losses will be severe. But it would be even more tragic if we compounded our mistakes by failing to learn from them.

"Using Psychology To Save You From Yourself (with audio) ," by Alix Spiegel, NPR, July 12, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on related matters can be found at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#EMH

Also see Below

"Interview With Nobel Prizing Winning Economist, Kenneth Arrow," Simoleon Sense, August 6, 2009 --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/interview-with-nobel-prize-winning-economist-kenneth-arrow/
Jensen Comment
In particular note the comments about behavioral economics neoclassical theory.

"Video: Daniel Kahneman - The Psychology of Large Mistakes and Important Decisions" Simoleon Sense, July 27, 2009 ---

Speaker Background (Via Wikipedia)

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli psychologist and Nobel laureate, notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics and hedonic psychology.With Amos Tversky and others, Kahneman established a cognitive basis for common human errors using heuristics and biases , and developed Prospect theory . He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work in Prospect theory. Currently, he is professor emeritus of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School.

Watch the video --- Click Here

Video 1: "Nobelist Daniel Kahneman On Behavioral Economics (Awesome)!" Simoleon Sense, July 5, 2009 ---

Introduction (Via Fora.Tv)

Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman addresses the Georgetown class of 2009 about the merits of behavioral economics.

He deconstructs the assumption that people always act rationally, and explains how to promote rational decisions in an irrational world.

Topics Covered:

1. The Economic Definition Of Rationality

2. Emphasis on Rationality in Modern Economic Theory

3. Examples of Irrational Behavior (watch this part)

4. How to encourage rational decisions

Speaker Background (Via Fora.Tv)

Daniel Kahneman - Daniel Kahneman is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Professor of Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University. He was educated at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and obtained his PhD in Berkeley. He taught at The Hebrew University, at the University of British Columbia and at Berkeley, and joined the Princeton faculty in 1994, retiring in 2007. He is best known for his contributions, with his late colleague Amos Tversky, to the psychology of judgment and decision making, which inspired the development of behavioral economics in general, and of behavioral finance in particular. This work earned Kahneman the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 and many other honors

Video 2:  Nancy Etcoff is part of a new vanguard of cognitive researchers asking: What makes us happy? Why do we like beautiful things? And how on earth did we evolve that way?
Simoleon Sense, July 10, 2009

Video 3:  Yale's Robert Shiller (slightly over one hour of video lecture)
Behavioral Finance: The Role of Psychology --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZLNbxWH8Lc

"Must Read: Why People Fall Victim To Scams," Simoleon Sense, March 18, 2009 ---
The paper is at http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/consumer_protection/oft1070.pdf

Grading Essay Questions With Computer Software --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#Essays

Sociology professor designs SAGrader software for grading student essays
Student essays always seem to be riddled with the same sorts of flaws. So sociology professor Ed Brent decided to hand the work off to a computer. Students in Brent's Introduction to Sociology course at the University of Missouri-Columbia now submit drafts through the SAGrader software he designed. It counts the number of points he wanted his students to include and analyzes how well concepts are explained. And within seconds, students have a score. It used to be the students who looked for shortcuts, shopping for papers online or pilfering parts of an assignment with a simple Google search. Now, teachers and professors are realizing that they, too, can tap technology for a facet of academia long reserved for a teacher alone with a red pen. Software now scores everything from routine assignments in high school English classes to an essay on the GMAT, the standardized test for business school admission. (The essay section just added to the Scholastic Aptitude Test for the college-bound is graded by humans). Though Brent and his two teaching assistants still handle final papers and grades students are encouraged to use SAGrader for a better shot at an "A."
"Computers Now Grading Students' Writing," ABC News, May 8, 2005 ---
Jensen Comment:  Aside from some of the obvious advantages such as grammar checking, students should have a more difficult time protesting that the grading is subjective and unfair in terms of the teacher's alleged favored versus less-favored students.  Actually computers have been used for some time in grading essays, including the GMAT graduate admission test --- http://www.yaledailynews.com/article.asp?AID=723

References to computer grading of essays --- http://coeweb.fiu.edu/webassessment/references.htm

You can read about PEG at http://snipurl.com/PEGgrade

Applicants to medical and business schools will soon be able to leave their No. 2 pencils at home.  Both the Medical College Admission Test and the Graduate Management Admission Test are ditching their paper versions in favor of computer formats. The Association of American Medical Colleges has signed a contract with Thomson Prometric, part of the Thomson Corporation, to offer the computer-based version of the MCAT beginning in 2007.  The computerized version is being offered on a trial basis in a few locations until then.The GMAT, which has been offered both on paper and by computer since 1997, will be offered only by computer starting in January, officials of the Graduate Management Admission Council said.  The test will be developed by ACT Inc. and delivered by Pearson VUE, a part of Pearson Education Inc.The Law School Admission Council has no immediate plans to change its test, which will continue to be given on paper.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 5, 2005, Page A13

Jensen Comment:  Candidates for the CPA are now allowed to only take this examination via computer testing centers.  The GMAT has been an optional computer test since 1997.  For years the GMAT has used computerized grading of essay questions and was a pioneer in this regard. 


"GRE v. GMAT: Battle of the B-School Gatekeepers:  With Harvard, Wharton, and other top schools planning to accept the GRE for admissions, cracks are beginning to show in the GMAT monopoly," by Alison Damast, Business Week, July 23, 2009 --- http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/content/jul2009/bs20090723_112095.htm?link_position=link1

The battle between two of the largest graduate school testing giants has been heating up recently as more business schools warm to the idea of providing students with an alternative to the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). Now another top-ranked business school is weighing in. The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School(Wharton Full-Time MBA Profile) plans to allow MBA applicants to submit the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), for admission in the fall of 2010, says Admissions Director J.J. Cutler. It's part of a move by the school to attract a broader applicant pool, including dual-degree students, younger applicants, and international applicants from far-flung countries without GMAT access.

"We are trying to open up a little bit the different types of people that we want to apply to business school and we don't want to create additional hurdles for them to do so," Cutler says.

More B-Schools Embrace the GRE Wharton is following closely on the heels of Harvard Business School(Harvard Full-Time MBA Profile), which made waves this spring when it announced that it would allow applicants to submit the GRE for admissions. The institutions are joining the ranks of a small but rapidly growing number of business schools that are embracing the GRE, a standardized exam that students use to apply to a wide variety of graduate schools. The movement comes at a time when younger applicants—fresh out of college or just a year or two after graduation—are showing an increased interest in business school. For these applicants, many of whom have already taken the GRE, business schools that accept the test allow them to transition into an MBA program without studying for and taking another exam.

There are now more than 250 MBA programs that allow students, some on a case-by-case basis, to submit GRE scores with their applications, including most recently the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business(Darden Full-Time MBA Profile), Queen's School of Business(Queen's Full-Time MBA Profile) and Tulane's Freeman School of Business (Tulane Full-Time MBA Profile). While most of the schools say they still prefer most applicants to use the GMAT, they say the GRE is becoming a valuable tool in attracting sought-after and unconventional business school candidates who might not otherwise apply.

"The GMAT is a very successful standard for business schools, but that is certainly not the only standard," says Bill Sandefer, director of graduate admissions at Tulane's Freeman School.

This type of attitude represents a seismic shift in business school admissions. For decades, the GMAT test, given by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), has been the undisputed king of the management education world. The exam has been used since 1954 by business school admissions officers to evaluate candidates on their math, verbal, and critical-thinking skills.

Opening the Door to Competition Up until recently, the GMAT exam had a virtual monopoly over business school standardized exams. That all changed on Jan. 1, 2006, when GMAC cut its ties with the Educational Testing Service (ETS), with whom it had a decades-long partnership to develop and deliver the GMAT exam, moving instead to a new testing administrator, Pearson VUE. The severing of ties meant that ETS no longer had to abide by a noncompete clause with GMAC, giving it the green light to court business school admissions officers and promote the GRE as an alternative exam. Under the previous agreement between ETS and GMAC, this type of activity was forbidden.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
As a sidebar, I might repeat that the GMAT testing service was one of the first, if not the very first, testing service to innovatively use computer software to grade essay questions --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#Essays

Bob Jensen's threads on grading essay questions with computer software are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/assess.htm#Essays

Using Cmap Tools to Create Concept Diagrams for College Course

You can read about Cmap at http://cmap.ihmc.us/conceptmap.html
Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concept_maps

The following module was posted by Rick Lillie at the AAA Commons on July 27, 2009 --- http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/6d0b8c8402
Only American Accounting Association members can access the Commons

  • Using Cmap Tools to Create Concept Diagrams for...
    2 Views, 0 Comments
    activity type:
    Using Cmap Tools to Create Concept Diagrams for Accounting Classes
    delivery method:
    author name:
    IHMC (Institute for Human and Machine Cognition)
    This teaching tip explains how to use Cmap Tools, a concept mapping software program, to create concept maps.  Concept maps provide a way to visually present complex concepts and rules.  Research suggests that NetGen students are visually oriented.  If true, concept maps should prove to be a useful way to present accounting concepts and rules to today's NetGen accounting students.

    Attached to this posting is a Cmap diagram that I created for my ACCT 574 Intermediate Accounting class.

    course type:
    Intermediate Accounting
    other file:
  • On the Leading Edge of Learning and Education Technology
    Years ago in Tidbits I featured Dan Madigan at Bowling Green State University --- http://fp.dl.kent.edu/learninginstitute/madigan.htm

    Among other things Dan proposed using Concept Maps (Cmaps) in courses (see below)

    Dan Madigan is the Director of the Scholarship and Engagement and Professor of English at Bowling Green State University.

    Dan has a newsletter on Teaching Tips (usually with respect to technology) and other helpful teaching resources --- http://www.bgsu.edu/ctlt/page12182.html

    I discovered Dan Madigan in the February 2006 issue of Accounting Education News --- http://aaahq.org/ic/browse.htm
    In that issue of AEN, a summary of provided of his Idea Paper #43 on "New Technologies that are Shaping Education and Learning." Excerpts from that summary are provided below.

    Idea Paper #43 by Dan Madigan

    New Technologies that are Shaping Teaching and Learning


    You can create your own blog for free by going to http://www.blogger.com/home .  Blog technology allows blogs to be syndicated and aggregators allow users to automatically search for favorite blogs on the web and have them delivered to personal accounts ( http://www.bloglines.com/ ) [using tools like RSS feed readers-Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary].


    There are many places on the web that offer wiki support for free wiki including: http://pbwiki.com/ .  To find out more about wikis and how they can be used for teaching and learning go to http://www.writingwiki.org/default.aspx/WritingWiki/For%20Teachers%20New%20to%20Wikis.html .

     Learning Management Systems

    Many universities buy a proprietary LMS, but increasingly universities are building their own LMS based on open source software like Moodle ( http://www.moodle.org/ ).  Moodle's no-cost (excluding costs associated with hardware and support), flexibility to adapt to small or large institutions, departments, programs and individuals, and world-wide support are attractive features.
    (This includes modules on Blackboard, Moodle, and various competitors)

    Jensen Comment
    I have a somewhat dated module with some useful links about Moodle at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm
    In particular go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm#Moodle

    Presentation Software

    Although PowerPoint® may be the most common example of this program, there are many other programs including Keynote, Adobe Acrobat, and the popular and free Open Office Suite package that includes IMPRESS as its presentation program ( http://www.openoffice.org/index.html ).  Simple presentations can also be created using the Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System (S5).  This open source system ( http://www.meyerweb.com/eric/tools/s5/ ) requires only basic knowledge of web skills and can be learned quickly.


    A basic tutorial can be created with any text editor and delivered to students through a variety of digital technologies such as email, Portable Document Files (PDF) that can preserve the format and colors of a document, web pages, and CDs.  Tutorials that appeal to visual learners can be created with scanning software or basic screen capture software found on any operating system.  Video tutorials, like those for software applications, can be created with screen capturing software that captures the movement of a mouse as it is used to open windows and select options in a program.  A microphone, used simultaneously with the screen-capturing tool to narrate the actions and video-editing software, completes the process.  More advanced tutorials include functions that, for example, mimic teacher/student interactions and exchanges, and include an assessment of those interactions.  These interactive tutorials can be created through advanced programs such as Adobe FLASH and java scripting.

    Concept Mapping Software

    Description: Concept mapping (a method of brainstorming) is a technique for visualizing the relationships between concepts and creating a visual image to represent the relationship.  Concept mapping software serves several purposes in the educational environment.  One is to capture the conceptual thinking of one or more persons in a way that is visually represented.  Another is to represent the structure of knowledge gleaned from written documents so that such knowledge can be visually represented.  In essence, a concept map is a diagram showing relationships, often between complex ideas.  With new mapping software such as the open source Cmap ( http://www.cmap.ihmc.us/download/ ), concepts are easily represented with images (bubbles or pictures) called concept nodes, and are connected with lines that show the relationship between and among the concepts.  In addition, the software allows users to attach documents, diagrams, images other concept maps, hypertextual links and even media files to the concept nodes.  Concept maps can be saved as a PDF or image file and distributed electronically in a variety of ways including the Internet and storage devices.


    These live sessions are highly interactive and allow users to share applications, such as whiteboards, concept maps and word documents, and to communicate live through audio and chat.  Elluminate ( http://www.elluminate.com/educator_solutions.jsp ) is one of many server-based software programs that is enjoying popularity in educational settings.  Webcasts provide educational institutions with the ability to support conferencing and to deliver training and presentations to personnel anytime and anywhere.  Recorded and archived webcasts, because they are economical to develop and store, are increasingly becoming the preferred way for universities to deliver lectures, events and presentations to faculty and students through the web, CDs, DVDs and even TV broadcasts.


    Some popular free podcatcher websites are iTunes and iPodder.  The browser Firefox also has podcatching features.  Users can create their own podcast for free by going to websites such as ( http://www.twocanoes.com/vodcaster/ ).  For a nominal fee, a more powerful and cross-platform podcast creator tool can be found at ( http://www.potionfactory.com/ ).


    Although many standard software programs can be used to create basic ePortfolios, the most dynamic programs, such as Open Source Portfolio ( http://www.osportfolio.org ) are designed specifically for developing portfolios that serve a variety of reflective and representational functions within a password protected system.

    Personal Response Systems (Clickers)

    Individuals are equipped with their own remote control keypads that have letters or numbers that correspond to choices given by a presenter.  The results of the responses are captured on a computer either through infrared or radio signals and compiled in ways that show such breakdowns as class distribution and individual responses.  Typically, the results are instantly made available to the participants via some type of graphic that is displayed with a projector.  Presenters can set automatic controls within the system that limit the time a responder has to answer a question.  Each remote "clicker" has a serial number so that all users and their responses can be individually identified and recorded.


    Supporting Digital Technology for Teaching and Learning

    As faculty are carefully assessing their use of technology for purposes of teaching and learning, universities need to assess whether their technology support is adequate and responsive to the needs of those instructors.  During the early phases of the digital revolution on campuses, this meant building an infrastructure, providing equipment and offering basic skills-oriented workshops to faculty and students.  Over the years, however, we have learned that basic technology support has not always been enough to ensure that digital technologies are being used effectively as ways to enhance student learning.  Some universities have heeded the challenge and are creatively building upon existing programs to develop a technology of support that is responsive to the professional lives of today's faculty.  What follows are five examples that serve to represent ways that universities are developing creative solutions for supporting a learning environment that is increasingly being influenced by a digital revolution that show no signs of abating anytime soon.

    Faculty Involvement

    Faculty need to have a critical voice in university decisions about technology improvement and deployment on campus--especially when the technology relates to teaching and learning issues...Forward thinking universities find new and inclusive ways to tap into the collective voice so that student learning and new technologies can be effectively aligned.

    Blended Workshops

    Forward thinking universities go beyond skills-based technology workshops.  They have found creative ways to blend pedagogical instruction with technology instruction...Also, universities have begun to offer blended workshops that have a distinct pedagogical focus yet blend in thinking about resources, including technology resources, which can support a strong pedagogical focus...

    Threaded Workshops

    Universities are using the threaded workshop model as a framework for teaching and learning workshops that include learning about new technologies.  Each workshop in the series is "threaded" in such a way as to relate to one another and play off of one another.  Thus, a series on integrated course design might have individual workshops on different topics like assessment, learning activities, motivation, and learning outcomes that are aligned in a way that gives participants a more comprehensive view of how to build a dynamic course.  All discussions about technology in these threaded workshops are contextualized within the larger pedagogical discussion, and are focused on how the technology serves to support the pedagogy.  Because instructors attend the series over a period of several weeks, they bring back to each workshop their applied knowledge and share it with one another as real world and relevant experiences...

    Just-In-Time Resources

    Universities are increasingly realizing that busy instructors do not need to be experts in all areas of digital technology in order to use technology effectively in the classroom.  Universities support this notion by making technology learning easy, accessible, and just-in-time.  Today's digital technology allows just-in-time resources to flourish on campus.  For example, Internet available tutorials that are home grown or licensed ( http://www.atomiclearning.com ) make it easy for instructors to learn new software/hardware in bits and pieces and when needed.  Why learn everything there is to know about PowerPoint or your computer operating system when you can learn only what you need by going to a two-minute video that is available anywhere and anytime.  In addition, just-in-time resources extend the learning environments of students.  Why spend valuable class time teaching students how to use a certain technology application for a project or activity when just-in-time resources can be made available to students at their level and at a time outside of class time?

    Open Source

    Some of the more popular open source software programs include: Moodle ( http://www.moodle.org/ ) and Bazaar ( http://www.klaatu.pc.athabascau.ca/cgi-bin/b7/main.pl?rid=1 ), two LMS programs: MySQL ( http://www.dev.mysql.com/ ), a data base program, and; Open Office ( http://www.openoffice.org/index.html ), a productivity suite that supports word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation applications.  Many open source products can be found and downloaded at SourceForge ( http://www.sourceforge.net/ ).

    Jensen Comment
    I have a somewhat dated module with some useful links about Moodle at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm
    In particular go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/290wp/290wp.htm#Moodle


    Universities are home to a rich diversity of student learners whose cultures have been tremendously impacted by the digital revolution of the last fifteen years.  These students grew up communicating, creating knowledge, and sharing resources through the Internet and all its applications.  As university students, they are poised to take advantage of the digital world for learning.  But are we as teachers?  We should not jump headfirst  into this potential digital cauldron without taking stock of an important detail--as with all technologies and instructional practices, we must not only understand their potential to impact deeper learning in students, we must also understand their limitations as a means to achieve a deeper learning.  It is not the lecture, cooperative learning or the problem-based method itself that enhances student learning any more than it is the Internet, podcast, or blog.  It is far more important to know how to use instructional methods and technology to support learning outcomes that are integrally linked to the student learner as a critical thinker.  Students may know how to navigate the Internet and use other forms of digital technology for purposes of their own learning, but do they know how to take full advantage of those technologies for learning at the university level?  This is where progressive universities enter the equation and lead.

    In today's educational climate of decreasing state support and public scrutiny of educational spending, universities can ill afford to squander important dollars on technology resources that have not been critically assessed in terms of supporting student learning.  But, universities cannot stop there.  Faculty and administrators must combine efforts to celebrate openly the important symbiosis between technology and learning.  Nothing less will suffice or we will suffer from our own negligence.

    The above quotes are only isolated quotes from a much longer document.


    Emerging Learning Technologies on the Ohio Learning Network --- http://www.oln.org/emerging_technologies/

  • Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade in education and learning are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm


    Does online "convenience" trump onsite benefits in college courses?

    It's interesting that UW Milwaukee did not try to justify higher online tuition on the basis of higher cost of delivery or advantages in learning. Instead it seems to be developing an online cash cow to support other programs.

    "Students Will Pay Extra for Online Courses at U. of Wisconsin at Milwaukee,"  By Josh Fischman, Chronicle of Higher Education, July http://chronicle.com/blogPost/Students-Will-Pay-Extra-for/7485/

    Students will be able to take a lot more online courses at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee this fall. But they will pay more for the privilege, according to an article in the Miwaukee Journal-Sentinal. The university will charge as much as $275 per course on top of regular tuition.

    The university now is offering 90 more online classes than it did last fall, for a total of 366 online courses, the newspaper says. It also reported complaints from one student about the extra fee for an online class, because he did not feel he had the resources to wait a year for that class to be offered on campus again.

    But the newspaper quoted the university's provost, Rita Cheng, as justifying the fees by saying that students were paying for the convenience of taking classes early. "I don't see that as a penalty," Ms. Cheng told the Journal-Sentinel. "I see it as an option students have if they want to speed up their graduation." She pointed out that were the online courses unavailable, the student would have to wait a year for the on-campus course. In addition, students who take all their courses online do not pay the regular student fees for campus services. A number of students, however, take a mix of on-campus and online courses, so they get hit with both fees.

    Online-course fees vary throughout the university, with $275 at the high end. And other campuses in the Wisconsin system, such as the Madison flagship, generally do not charge extra for online courses at all.

    The newspaper reported that Milwaukee collected $7.8-million in tuition-and-fee revenue for online courses last academic year. University officials said they did not track the destination of this money precisely, but they were sure that most of it went back into online-course development and delivery.

    Bob Jensen's threads on online education and training alternatives are at

    Jensen Comment
    The online UW program at Madison is Godzilla compared to the online program at UW Milwaukee, although both are state supported universities. It will be interesting to see if Godzilla follows the same line of reasoning and increases online tuition accordingly.

    I have a sadly neglected page on costs of online programs at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/distcost.htm
    One of the key cost considerations is that online programs often use a higher proportion of part-time instructors, but urban state universities like UW Milwaukee use relatively high proportions of part-time instructors in onsite courses, especially courses offered in extension programs.

    If done right, distance education courses with instant messaging between instructors and students is generally more demanding of instructor time than onsite equivalent courses with limited office hours --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/Dunbar2002.htm

    It's interesting that UW Milwaukee did not try to justify higher online tuition on the basis of higher cost of delivery or advantages in learning. Instead it seems to be developing a cash cow for other programs.

    July 27, 2009 reply from Patricia Walters [patricia@DISCLOSUREANALYTICS.COM]

    Also, by constraining the number of students who can get into an on-campus course, the university can effectively force students into an on-line course if they want to graduate "on time" (within 4 years).

    With my cynical cap on, I can envision the following scenario:

    (1) There are currently 4 sections of Intermediate I offered (1 in the evening/1 per week rather than normal 2 session per week) in the fall semester. (2) Classroom size is the constraint so say there is a max of 30 students per class (3) Eliminate 1 class, especially if it's the night class and you would force students with full time jobs to go on-line since they would be able to take Intermediate 2 or Advanced until they have that course.

    I also think in the current environment, only a state-school could get away with this.


    Bob Jensen's threads on online education and training alternatives are at

    The Secret of Why Bob Jensen Became an Accounting Professor and Not a Practicing CPA

    Nursing Schools Should Warn Students About Grueling Hours
    Nursing schools should do a better job preparing students for the grueling hours, often unrealistic expectations, and lack of respect that await them when they enter the work force, says an article scheduled for publication today in the July/August issue of Nursing Outlook.
    MIT's Technology Review, July 27, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/article/Nursing-Schools-Should-Warn/47468/

    Jensen Comment
    Although I always mentioned the long hours faced by newly-hired CPAs, especially in tax season, I'm not sure I ever said enough about it to a point that I did not have some (I like to think only a few students) who really became upset over the long hours and pressures in CPA firms. Perhaps this has changed somewhat, but one of the problems that remains is that many newly-hired students have to travel much more than they expected as either CPA auditors or corporate internal  auditors. When out of town there's a tendency to work days and nights, sometimes in an effort to shorten the time on the road away from home.

    Truth Time
    When I became a CPA and worked for the largest accounting firm in Denver, I was also an avid, and unmarried, snow skier. I was even tempted to become a ski bum except that my entire family history made me fearful of living without income and security. I was also getting a MBA at the University of Denver and watched my professors work what seemed to me like 12 hours a week while living in the security of tenure for life. This seemed perfect for becoming having my ski time and still having guaranteed income for life.

    I even came to a point where I had an ink pen poised above a contract at Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado where I could get a tenure track position, in those days, with only a MBA-CPA credential. As I lowered the pen, I casually asked the Dean how far it was from Gunnison to Aspen (which looked to be less than 30 miles on the map). He said it depended upon whether it was summer or winter. The pass was closed in the winter such that the shortest route was over 200 miles by going around through Leadville.

    I dropped the pen and decided to accept a full-ride scholarship that Stanford University had offered me a few days earlier to enter the accounting doctoral program. The rest is history. I skied some while at Stanford, but after I got married at the dissertation stage of my studies, I gave up skiing and chasing wild women. More importantly I discovered that being a professional teacher and researcher was more fun and challenging than being a ski bum.

    It's probably a very good thing that I gave up being a ski bum. I always tended to be a bit of a hot dog skier who skied one or two notches above my real farm boy ability. Undoubtedly I would be dead or paralyzed if I'd truly become a ski bum.

    Interestingly as a professor and even as a retired professor I've worked longer hours year in and year out that most practicing CPAs. But this is a labor of love and a challenge to the mind and great relief from the boredom of leisure time.

    About 20 years ago I recorded a sloppy audio file about becoming a professor --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/academ01.wav


    Great Investment Return Calculators

    Forwarded from Jim Mahar's Blog on July 23, 2009 ---

    1. Historic Rates of return from any two points of time:

    From PoliticalCalculations:
    " Now however, everything has changed because we here at Political Calculations are putting the entire encapsulated history of the S&P 500 at your fingertips!

    We've taken the raw data from the sources linked above, and made it easily accessible by selecting a month and year in our tool below. The tool will provide the average index value of the S&P 500 for the given month and year, the associated dividends and earnings for that month and year, not to mention the dividend yield and the price to earnings ratio. For good measure, we threw in the value of the Consumer Price Index as well!"

    2. How much an investment would have grown from and to any point in time from 1871 (yeah, so the data may not be perfectly clean, still a good look!)

    Political Calculations: Investing Through Time:
    "All you need to do is to select the dates you want to run your hypothetical investment between and to enter the amount of money to invest either from the very beginning or to add each month (beginning with that first month you select) for the duration that your investment runs.

    We'll determine how much your investment would be worth assuming the amounts invested are adjusted for inflation for each month the investment is active and accounting for the effects of either not reinvesting dividends along the way or fully reinvesting dividends"

    What is PoliticalCalcuations? From the site: "Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math

    Bob Jensen's on ROI and other popular approaches for evaluating investments over time --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/roi.htm
    This site also discusses what's misleading about each approach

    Bob Jensen's threads about free online calculators of various types --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#080512Calculators

    Can you trust your pro forma accountant?

    Definitely not unless you check up on what she/he is assuming.

    "Fair Value for the S&P 500? Tell Me Lies, Sweet Little Lies," Seeking Alpha, July 28, 2009 ---

    So in valuing equities moving forward, what concept of earnings should we use? Pick a number, any number. Looking at 2010 earnings estimates yield an incredibly broad range of forecasts. If you believe the crack-smoking bottom-up guys who strip out everything that could be construed as a "loss", you get a resounding $74 per share. Not bad!

    Taking the same approach (stripping out the quarterly "one-offs"), but from a top-down framework, yields a substantially less rosy result: earnings of just $46 per share. And actually counting all the turds for what they are on a top-down basis yields 2010 EPS of just $37 per share.

    Source: S&P Remarkable!

    On this basis, equities are either pretty darn cheap, or bum-clenchingly expensive based on 2010 earnings. Gee, thanks. Now obviously, trusting analysts' forecasts is a treacherous endeavour at the best of times, but it's small wonder that you have some people screaming "buy buy buy buy buy!!!!" whole others mutter "you guys are frickin' morons" under their breath (or not, as the case may be.)

    The chart below shows the appropriate valuation for the SPX based on a) the 3 sets of earnings estimates listed above and b) a range of multiples, none of which is completely unbelievable.

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on pro forma controversies are at

    Using Bingo to Teach Governmental Accounting --- http://commons.aaahq.org/posts/ccef2f7950

    Unhappily the AAA Commons is available only to members of the American Accounting Association --- https://commons.aaahq.org/signin

    Bob Jensen's threads on Edutainment are at

    I think I'll have a dry martini tonight just to celebrate the Evil Empire's loss
    "Blackboard Loses on Appeal," by Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, July 28, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/28/blackboard

    A federal appeals court on Monday invalidated Blackboard Inc.'s 1999 patent for its learning management software, overturning a lower court's decision last year finding that the Blackboard competitor Desire2Learn had infringed the giant's intellectual property.

    Blackboard officials expressed disappointment but played down the significance of the ruling by the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, saying that new patents gained by the company -- which Blackboard has again accused Desire2Learn of infringing

    "The Federal Circuit’s decision does not affect Blackboard’s other patents or other efforts currently open in our effort to resolve the intellectual property disagreement we have with Desire2Learn," Matt Small, Blackboard's chief business officer, said in a prepared statement. "In fact, the issues raised by the Federal Circuit are not present in our other patents. Disputes like these have many steps and take a significant amount of time to resolve."

    Desire2Learn, not surprisingly, had a very different take on the matter. "Given what we've been through in this lawsuit, to have it completely 180 degree reversed is a really big deal," said John McLeod, director of marketing for Desire2Learn. "To say the mood in the office is elated would be an understatement."

    Monday's ruling by the appeals court is the latest development in a several-year court battle initiated by Blackboard in July 2006. The behemoth accused Desire2Learn of infringing dozens of Blackboard patents for online course management and e-learning technologies, and sought $17 million in damages and an injunction barring the Canadian company from continuing to infringe the patent.

    After a two-week trial in Lufkin, Tex., a jury in a district court seen as friendly to patent holders ruled that Desire2Learn's learning platform used technologies for which Blackboard received U.S. patents, known collectively as the " '138 patent," in January 2006. But its verdict gave the company far less than it was asking for, awarding Blackboard $2.5 million for lost profits and $630,000 in royalties. The district court invalidated 35 of the 38 claims that Blackboard made against Desire2Learn, but backed three other claims related to what constitutes a "user" of a learning management system.

    Both companies appealed the parts of the case they'd lost to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has nationwide jurisdiction over U.S. patent claims. Its highly technical decision upheld the lower court's conclusion that Blackboard's claims 1-35 were invalid. But the three-judge panel rejected the lower court's finding that Blackboard's patented learning system had originated the approach of giving a single user with a single log-in multiple roles, such as being a teacher in one course and a student in another.

    The appeals panel embraced Desire2Learn's argument that such technology existed in "prior art," in this case previously existing course management systems such as Serf and CourseInfo 1.5. The appeals court essentially ruled that the lower court judge had framed Blackboard's claim incorrectly for the jury, said Bruce T. Wieder, a lawyer for the Washington firm of Dow Lohnes who was not involved in the case. Having done so, the Federal Circuit court "could have said, 'This is how you should have interpreted it, you go look at it again,' " Wieder said. "But instead, the court said, 'Since we've seen what was argued, we now can say that the district court wouldn't have come to any conclusion,' and declared those claims invalid."

    Blackboard officials said they were weighing their options, which could include asking the entire Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to hear the case (known as seeking a hearing "en banc)," or requesting a hearing before the Supreme Court. But Wieder described both of those paths as unlikely to succeed, since the federal circuit "rejects 99 percent of cases" for en banc hearings, and the Supreme Court takes even fewer cases.

    But Blackboard has already initiated another lawsuit against Desire2Learn, accusing the Canadian firm in April of infringing new U.S. patents that the company received on its software. So while company officials continue to reassure higher education technology officials and others that Blackboard has no intention of asserting its patent rights against "open source or home-grown course management systems that are not bundled with proprietary software," they show no signs of retreating in the wake of Monday's stinging defeat.

    Bob Jensen's threads on the Evil Empire's quest to get paid for virtually all online courses ---

    College Publishers and Electronic Books
    Publishers Weekly --- http://www.publishersweekly.com/

    "Man Bites Dog," by Scott McLemee, Inside Higher Ed, November 21, 2007 ---

    Video 1: "Nobelist Daniel Kahneman On Behavioral Economics (Awesome)!" Simoleon Sense, July 5, 2009 ---

    Introduction (Via Fora.Tv)

    Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman addresses the Georgetown class of 2009 about the merits of behavioral economics.

    He deconstructs the assumption that people always act rationally, and explains how to promote rational decisions in an irrational world.

    Topics Covered:

    1. The Economic Definition Of Rationality

    2. Emphasis on Rationality in Modern Economic Theory

    3. Examples of Irrational Behavior (watch this part)

    4. How to encourage rational decisions

    Speaker Background (Via Fora.Tv)

    Daniel Kahneman - Daniel Kahneman is Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and Professor of Public Affairs Emeritus at Princeton University. He was educated at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and obtained his PhD in Berkeley. He taught at The Hebrew University, at the University of British Columbia and at Berkeley, and joined the Princeton faculty in 1994, retiring in 2007. He is best known for his contributions, with his late colleague Amos Tversky, to the psychology of judgment and decision making, which inspired the development of behavioral economics in general, and of behavioral finance in particular. This work earned Kahneman the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002 and many other honors

    Video 2:  Nancy Etcoff is part of a new vanguard of cognitive researchers asking: What makes us happy? Why do we like beautiful things? And how on earth did we evolve that way?
    Simoleon Sense, July 10, 2009

    Video 3:  Yale's Robert Shiller (slightly over one hour of video lecture)
    Behavioral Finance: The Role of Psychology --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZLNbxWH8Lc

    "Must Read: Why People Fall Victim To Scams," Simoleon Sense, March 18, 2009 ---
    The paper is at http://www.oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/reports/consumer_protection/oft1070.pdf


    Windows 7 Migration One Liners
    XP = Screwed! Buy a new computer!
    Vista = Viola! Victory!

    "For Some, Move To Windows 7 Will Be Tough," by Walter J. Mossberg, The Wall Street Journal, July 23, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB20001424052970204900904574304283334746634.html#mod=todays_us_personal_journal

    But how will Windows users transition their current computers to the new Windows 7? While this latest operating system stresses simplicity, the upgrade process will be anything but simple for the huge base of average consumers still using XP, who likely outnumber Vista users. It will be frustrating, tedious and labor-intensive.

    In fact, the process will be so painful that, for many XP users, the easiest solution may be to buy a new PC preloaded with Windows 7, if they can afford such a purchase in these dire economic times. In fact, that’s the option Microsoft recommends for XP users. (Conveniently, this option also helps Microsoft’s partners that make PCs.)

    By contrast, if you’re using Vista, the upgrade to Windows 7 should be a fairly easy, straightforward process. Because the new version shares most of the underlying guts of Vista, it installs itself on your current machine relatively quickly and smoothly, preserving all your files, folders, settings and programs. In a test of this process earlier this year, using a pre-release version of Windows 7, I upgraded a Vista laptop with no problems and little effort in about an hour.

    But Windows XP users, including the millions who have recently snapped up cheap, XP-powered netbooks, will first have to wipe out everything on their hard disks in order to install Windows 7. on their current machines. In fact, Microsoft doesn’t even call migrating to Windows 7 from XP an “upgrade.” It refers to it as a “clean install,” or a “custom installation.” This disk wipeout can be performed manually, or automatically during the Windows 7 installation process.

    If you’re an XP user, the disk-wiping will cause you to lose your current file and folder organization, and all your programs, though not necessarily your personal data files themselves.

    However, in order to preserve these personal files, like documents and photos, you will have to undertake a long, multi-step process, typically requiring the use of an external hard disk, to which all these files will have to be temporarily moved and then moved back.

    That means you’ll have to buy or borrow an external hard disk, or clean out enough room on one you already own, to hold all your files.

    Continued in article

    The Journal of Accountancy estimates that Microsoft will continue to minimally support XP (security updates only) for about five more years. Hence, if you're happy with your old XP like me, you may not be in such a rush. There are features in Windows 7 that might make you think about getting a new computer.

    Windows 7 --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_7

    July 23, 2009 reply from Richard Newmark [richard.newmark@PHDUH.COM]


    I have an idea of how to make the process a little bit less painful (and I stress a little bit), especially for laptop users. Instead of getting an external hard drive, purchase a new internal hard drive and use the old hard drive as the external drive via a hard-drive-to-USB cable
    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=2020-OTB&cat=CBL&cpc=CBLbsc  .
    When the cable is plugged into your old hard drive, your computer will recognize it as an external drive. This way, you can do a clean install from the Windows 7 disk to a fresh hard drive. Then, you can transfer your files from the old hard drive to the new hard drive, so you only need to transfer your data once instead of twice. One other advantage of using this method is that if the installation does not work for some reason you can just put your old Windows XP hard drive back in your machine and try the install another time. Unfortunately, all applications still need to be reloaded from the installation disks or files.

    Please note, this will NOT work if you have encryption software on your computer, which many universities put on their employees’ machines (like my laptop).


    Keep in mind that Mac is also coming out with an operating system upgrade.

    There's got to be an accounting joke somewhere in this stinking article

    At GM Failure Now Smells Sweeter
    A team of MBAs discovers how to make piles of manure in the inventory smell sweeter

    "Something's Smelly At GM," Investors Business Daily, July 23, 2009 ---

    You're a once-mighty auto company that's been bailed out by taxpayers, taken over by government and just posted a 22% sales drop. What's your next move? Why, unveil a new men's fragrance, of course!

    It got little attention, but GM's decision to launch its new fragrance line in honor of Cadillac's 100th anniversary may go down as one of the most absurd moves by a troubled corporation ever. No doubt they kept a team of highly paid MBAs busy for months with the project, while the car end of their business was imploding faster than a black hole.

    Is this what we get for our money — the $51 billion we taxpayers have ponied up to bail GM out of its self-inflicted woes?

    "Cadillac, the new fragrance for men," doesn't seem like much to start the "New" General Motors Corp. on. Likewise, it's never good to see that, amid all the cutbacks, GM's lobbying budget remains virtually untouched. We guess the new "Government Motors" needs the political clout.

    Disappointing? You bet. The White House created a so-called "Car Czar" to oversee the auto industry. The Big Three, we were told, had been totally irresponsible and needed the government's help and the taxpayers' cash.

    Well, so far, not so good. Just one month after the government took a 60% stake in GM, it reported its first half sales fell 22%.

    Worse, its global market share fell to 12% — down from 12.3% a year ago and 14.1% in 2005. Last year, Toyota took over from GM as the world's largest automaker, and this year GM will lose its Hummer, Saab, Saturn and Pontiac lines, becoming even smaller.

    We didn't expect an instant turnaround. But then again, we also didn't expect to find out that men's cologne would be part of their new product lineup.

    And no, we're not just picking on the auto industry here.

    At least one major American automaker seems to be getting its act together. Ford rejected a big government bailout. How's it doing? It posted a $2.3 billion quarterly profit in the second quarter, confounding analysts and critics alike.

    "We strengthened our balance sheet, reduced cash outflows and improved our year-over-year financial results despite sharply-lower industry volumes," said Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth.

    And it's not as if GM has nothing going for it. Quite the contrary.

    For one, GM's newly reissued Camaro is a big hit.

    Orders are literally running faster than production right now, forcing those who want a Camaro right away to pay more than the sticker price to get one.

    And sales are booming — overseas. GM recently announced that its sales rose 38% in China in the first half, while setting sales records in seven Latin American countries during the same time. GM in the first half sold almost as many cars in China (814,442) as it did in the U.S. ( 947,518). Its share of Europe's market is growing.

    This underscores why GM should have been allowed to undergo a normal bankruptcy — not the politically rigged one that the government forced down all of our throats.

    Today, GM might not exist, it's true, if forced into a regular bankruptcy court. Its assets would have been sliced and diced to pay off its creditors. But those assets would live on. What automaker wouldn't want to have the Camaro in its stable right now?

    A regular bankruptcy would have given GM bondholders first call on its assets. Instead, they literally had money stolen from them.

    More importantly, GM could have dumped its most onerous labor contracts with the United Auto Workers, while focusing on truly profitable cars. As it is, the UAW ended up with a major ownership stake in GM at the expense of its creditors and taxpayers.

    GM exited bankruptcy on July 10. Today, what's left after that politicized union-friendly travesty is two GMs.

    One is the sickly domestic GM, which still has enormously costly labor contracts that give it roughly a $2,000 per car disadvantage when competing against the 12 foreign companies that make cars here. This GM can't make money — especially now that government bureaucrats and union leaders are, in part, calling the shots.

    Then there's the other GM, the viable one. It posted big sales gains in foreign markets in the second half, and is the one part of GM that could not only survive, but thrive.

    Continued in article

    NCAA Hits Close to Home:  Hockey Is a Big Deal in Cold Climates
    The University of New Hampshire’s men’s ice hockey team has been placed on a two-year probation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for major recruiting violations. The Division I Committee on Infractions announced last week that one of the team’s two associate head coaches -- it would not clarify which one -- sent 923 impermissible e-mail messages to 30 prospects who were in their freshman and sophomore years in high school. The Concord Monitor reports that the associate head coach had been using Scoutware, an automated recruiting software program that allows coaches to send messages to many prospects at once. The associate head coach told the committee that he “misunderstood the relevant recruiting rule” and entered data into Scoutware “according to the prospective student-athletes’ expected enrollment at the university, rather than their high school graduation.” In addition to the probation, the team will reduce its number of off-campus recruiters by one and will not allow any of the 30 prospects in question to sign a National Letter of Intent with the university. Dick Umile, head men’s hockey coach, said the team had accepted the penalties, telling the Monitor, "We realized we made a mistake.”

    Jensen Comment
    We have a grandson (six feet eight and still growing) in Yuba City, California who is now a junior in high school. However, he was getting quite a lot of publicity for football and basketball performances in regional newspapers when he was in the 9th and 10th grades. In those early years he was also receiving quite a lot of messaging from about ten Division 1 universities from coast to coast. In no way am I trying to defend the UNH's tactics for recruiting hockey players, but anecdotally it seems to me that what the UNH was doing was no different than a lot of bigger schools are getting away with. It of course does not justify breaking the rules just because others are doing the same thing.

    Isaiah's parents are relatively poor and had difficulty affording special-order Size 18 shoes a couple of years ago. They live about 20 miles from the King Stadium where the Sacramento Kings play NBA basketball. Isaiah's mother contacted the Kings and to make a long story short Isaiah now gets free tennis shoes courtesy of the Kings.

    July 27, 2009 reply from Wayne Tanna [wtanna@netserver05.chaminade.edu]

    HI Bob,

    I do not currently have access to the NCAA's legislative services database that contains the most recently updated bylaws. However, from what I recall from my past life as an NCAA compliance officer, a student is considered to be a prospect upon entering the ninth grade. The types and frequency of the correspondence sent to prospects differs according to their year in school, whether the prospect is going to be going to a campus for an official visit and whether the prospect has signed a national letter of intent. The rules cover other situations and are very arcane.

    Just to make one ponder even more is the following article that is somewhat in response to your comment,


    As of 2009, seventh graders are now considered to be prospects in mens basketball. It is mens basketball only so far. It seems crazy but it is what the Division I membership decided to legislate last year for the benefit of students in basketball.

    On another note the college arms race seems to just get more interesting in this economy. As the NCAA says "there are over 400,000 student athletes and most will be going pro in something other than sports." Lately though schools seem to be dropping athletics or reclassifying to Division III (non scholarship) in large part due to the all or nothing nature of the membership requirements. I fear that this will impact many students from working poor families and many minority students that used to get some athletic aid to help them go to and stay in college to get that education and that degree that is so much more important for most of us who can not dunk or cover a post pattern.

    Thanks for all that you keep the list on top of and for letting me share this with you.



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

    Social Networking:  The New Addiction
    I wonder what would happen if students got extra credit from staying away from porn for three months
    There would probably be more female students earning extra credit

    Extra Credit for Abstaining From Facebook
    Robert Doade, an associate professor of philosophy at Trinity Western University, in British Columbia, is among those academics who believe Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media may be distracting students and causing them anxiety. So Doade challenges students by offering them a 5 percent extra credit bonus if they will abstain from all social and traditional media for the three month semester of his philosophy course, and keep a journal about the experience. Out of a class of around 35 students, only about 12 will try for the extra credit and by the end of the semester only between 4 and 6 are still "media abstinent."
    Inside Higher Ed, July 24, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/07/24/qt#204245

    Are student usages of FaceBook correlated with lower grades?
    Answer:  YES!
    Concerns About Social Networking, Blogging, and Twittering in Education ---

    Jensen Comment
    But analysts may be in statistical quicksand by trying to extrapolate correlation to causality on this one. The students who get lower grades are not necessarily going to raise their grades by abstaining from Facebook or even computer vices in general. They are more likely to be "time wasters" who will find most any excuse not to study. If you take their computers away they will spend hours arm wrestling, playing Frisbee, playing cards, necking, etc. In some instances computers and video games are birth control devices.

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

    "The Flaws of Facebook," by Alex Golub, Inside Higher Ed, February 3, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2009/02/03/golub

    An acquisitions editor of a major university press was nice enough to buy me a cup of coffee and a brioche and listen patiently as I pitched him my book manuscript during a recent meeting of my professional association. Things went well enough until, at the end of our meeting, he surprised me. On our way out of the café, he turned to me and asked “are you on Facebook?” “I am,” I replied, nonplussed, “but I, uh, don’t really check it very often.” “Well I do,” he said, tone heavy in significance, “so friend me.”

    My dislike of Facebook is not based on ignorance or a knee-jerk academic ludism. I understand exactly what Facebook is – it’s an Internet replacement service that combines e-mail, instant messaging, photo sharing, social networking, mailing lists, asynchronous gaming, and personal Web hosting all in one. Crucially, it allows differing degrees of privacy, so you can blog safely about the antics of your adorable cat or the incredible evil of your department chair without either of them finding out unless you add them to your friends list. What bothers me about Facebook — the dilemma highlighted by my encounter with the editor — is the particular problem it presents for academics, whose professional career and personal goings-on are all rolled up together into one big life of the mind.

    Teaching is an intensely public activity in a very simple way: You spend hours and hours having people stare at you. Over time this simple three-shows-a-week schedule blossoms into something infinitely weirder. It does not take long for professors to find themselves walking around a campus filled with half-remembered faces from previous classes — faces worn by people who remember you perfectly well. If you teach at a large state university, like I do, it does not take long before random waiters and pharmacists start mentioning how much they did (or didn’t) enjoy that survey class you taught. There are even apocryphal stories in Papua New Guinea — the country that I study — about a man who more or less taught every social science class at the country’s university during the late 70s. He spent the rest of his life never having to stand in line or fill out a form because he had trained the vast majority of the nation’s civil servants, who all remembered him fondly.

    The public created by your teaching is much larger than just the students in your class. Whether we lament or rejoice in the purportedly poor state of teacher evaluation, it does happen. Those forms our students fill out have strange afterlives and become the source of evaluation by deans and whispering among the senior faculty. The Internet unleashes these evaluations as well, allowing our classroom antics to be shared on Ratemyprofessor.com.

    So is Facebook a dream come true for academics — a private social networking site where professors can finally let down there hair because you control your audience, in the way that the average “I hate the world” anonymous adjunct blog cannot? I would say No. In the physical world professors uneasily navigate the uneasy blurring of their public and private lives, but Facebook doesn’t allow for blurring — you are either friends or not. This extremely “ungranular” system forces you to choose between two roles, private and public, that the actual, uncoded world allows us to leave ambiguous.

    Which of the following people would you friend on Facebook? A friend from graduate school? Probably — Facebook is, for better or worse, a great way to take the Old Boys Club online. A fellow faculty member? If you get along with them, why not? Your graduate students? Hmmm... well I suppose some people have that sort of relationship with their graduate students. Your undergraduates? I’ve drawn a line in the sand and said no to that one.

    I think these cases are actually pretty easy — categories like colleague and student are well-defined, as is the distinction between a “purely” formal relationship and the intimate friendships that grow up around it. I’m sure that many of the people reading this got to be where they were today because a professor in our lives went beyond the call of duty to become a friend and mentor. Facebook makes handling the formal and the informal tricky, but in all of these examples a lot of work has already been done for it because the relationships in question can all be neatly divided into “formal” and “informal” registers.

    What Facebook makes particularly uncomfortable are relationships in which friendship and professionalism are not clear and brightly bounded, but are tied to real political economic stakes. As a young professor on the path to tenure, for instance, acquisitions editors have a certain ominous power over me that compels me to friend them on Facebook (and I did friend him, by the way) and might even include small favors up to and including shining their shoes if the end of the deal includes an advance contract. On the other hand, as someone with a tenure track job, I am also in a position of diffuse power over people like adjuncts and lecturers, who I get along well with in my department, but who do not come to faculty meetings in which we discuss the budget (read: their pay).

    The more widely you friend people on Facebook — and it is a slippery slope — the more and more your Facebook page becomes a professional Web replacement on Friendster’s slick Internet replacement Web site. It becomes less and less a “private” space and more and more a place to show a public face to a very wide audience. In forcing you to craft a public persona, it raises uncomfortable issues of power and inequality and lurk under the surface of our actual world interactions — which is probably a good thing.

    Continued in article

    CBS Sixty Minute Module on Facebook --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cEySyEnxvU

    Some Sobering Thoughts --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMWz3G_gPhU

    Learn About Facebook (in a pretty good song) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpaxaxEWMSA

    Facebook Fever --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHi-ZcvFV_0

    Facebook Anthem --- http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=Facebook&aq=f

    "Researcher reveals massive 'professional thieving' botnet:  Ultra-stealthy Clampi Trojan snags 'tremendous' amount of financial info, money," by Gregg Keizer, Computer World, July 29, 2009 --- Click Here

    A ferocious piece of malware that's infected up to a million PCs is stealing a "tremendous" amount of financial information from consumers and businesses that log on to their bank, stock broker, credit card, insurance, job hunting and favorite e-shopping sites, a noted botnet researcher said today.

    "Clampi is the most professional thieving pieces of malware I've ever seen," said Joe Stewart, director of malware research for SecureWorks' counter-threat unit. "We know of few others that are this sophisticated and wide-ranging. It's having a real impact on users."

    The Clampi Trojan horse has infected anywhere between 100,000 and 1 million Windows PCs, said Stewart -- "We don't have a good way of counting at this point," he acknowledged -- and targets the user credentials of 4,500 Web sites.

    That's an astounding number, said Stewart, who has identified 1,400 of the 4,500 total. "There are plenty of other banking Trojans out there, but they usually target just 20 or 30 sites."

    Hackers sneak Clampi onto PCs by duping a user into opening an e-mailed file attachment or by using a multi-exploit toolkit that tries attack code for several different Windows vulnerabilities, Stewart said. Once on a machine, the Trojan monitors Web sessions, and if the PC owner browses to one of the 4,500 sites, it captures usernames, passwords, PINs and other personal information used to log on to those sites, or to fill out forms.

    Periodically, Clampi "phones home" the hijacked information to a command-and-control server run by the hackers, who then empty bank or broker accounts, purchase goods using stolen credit card information or simply compile it for future use, said Stewart.

    Although that describes most key-logging or spying malware, Stewart said Clampi is different, both because of the obvious scale of its operation and because of the multiple layers of encryption and deception used by its makers to cloak the attack code and make it nearly impossible for researchers to investigate its workings.

    Stewart started tracking Clampi in 2007, but began an intensive examination earlier this year. "The packing that Clampi uses is very sophisticated, and makes it really, really difficult to reverse engineer, said Stewart. "I'd say this is the most difficult piece of malware I've ever seen to reverse engineer." Security researchers often will reverse engineer malware -- pulling it apart to try to decipher how it works -- during their investigations.

    "They're using virtual machine-based packers that lets them take code from a virtual CPU instruction set, so that the next time it's packed, it's completely different," said Stewart. "You can't look at Clampi with a conventional tool, like a debugger. It's a real mess to follow, frankly."

    Continued in article

    Bob Jensen's threads on computing and network security are at

    It might be interesting for an accounting teacher, maybe in a class project, to track the changes in financial reporting before versus after PBGC takeovers such as the recent takeover of pension obligations in Delphi. This is one of those times to compare what happens in theory versus what happens (eventually) in practice. Especially interesting is the ROI impact over time.

    "The UAW’s Defined Benefactor:  Another taxpayer donation to GM and the auto workers union," The Washington Post, July 25, 2009 ---

    Welcome to the General Motors bailout, part three—or is it four, or five? It’s hard to keep up, but this week the federal Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation took over the pension liabilities of Delphi, the auto-parts spinoff of GM that has been working its way through Chapter 11 since 2005. As with the previous taxpayer rescues, this one includes a special favor for the United Auto Workers.

    Under the agreement, the PBGC will assume some $6.2 billion in pension liabilities from Delphi, including both hourly and salaried employees. That’s the second biggest pension bailout in PBGC history, and it takes billions of liabilities off the books for GM. As Delphi’s former parent, GM had agreed to take responsibility for billions of dollars of Delphi’s pension obligations to its hourly employees.

    It will be months before Delphi employees know what percentage of their expected pension they’ll receive, but not all pensioners are created equal in this arrangement. UAW employees will have their pensions made whole by GM, which insists it is merely fulfilling its end of a deal made with the UAW in 1999 (when it spun off Delphi) to cover any future pension shortfall. Few such obligations usually survive bankruptcy, but, nah, we’re sure politics had nothing to do with it. Less fortunate are smaller unions and Delphi’s salaried employees, whose pensions may see drastic reductions and who already lost their health care and life insurance plans on April 1. They would seem to lack the UAW’s clout inside GM and the Obama Administration.

    In a letter to the House Financial Services and Senate Banking committees, Michigan Democrats Bart Stupak and Dale Kildee and Republicans John Boehner and James Sensenbrenner, among others, have asked for Congressional hearings on the disparity. Pension benefits, the letter warned, “could be cut by as much as 70%, if not eliminated entirely, for 15,000 retirees.”

    PBGC spokesman Jeffrey Speicher says that 85% of people who get benefits receive the entire amount they’ve earned, though he acknowledges that number is misleading in some scenarios. In a plan like Delphi’s “with lots of early retirees, more people will see greater reductions.” OK, but then why is the UAW special? (Forgive the rhetorical question.)

    By our math, this puts the taxpayer contribution to GM’s survival at nearly $70 billion: Some $50 billion for the serial rescues of GM itself, another $12.5 billion for its GMAC credit arm, and now $6.2 billion from the PBGC.

    Meanwhile, the Administration is putting the PBGC, an ostensibly independent agency, at further financial risk. After Delphi filed for bankruptcy, the agency put liens on its overseas assets, providing an offset in case it had to take on the company’s pension liabilities. Now, lo and behold, the liens have been removed, allowing Delphi to sell its assets in bankruptcy court. GM will pay PBGC $70 million for the favor of releasing its liens, which Mr. Speicher says totalled about $200 million. Nifty deal for GM, though not for taxpayers.

    When the PBGC was created in 1974, Democrats running Congress assured everyone there was no taxpayer risk because the agency would be funded by fees from pension plans, as well as by the assets of plans the company takes over. But like Fannie Mae, we are learning that sooner or later these government guarantees always come due. Now the PBGC has a $33.5 billion deficit even before Delphi, and more bankruptcies are headed its way. Mark it down as one more way the taxpayers are being put on the hook for GM, the UAW and Michigan’s 17 electoral votes in 2012.

    Jensen Comments
    Probably a more famous instance is the time the PBGC assumed the pension obligations of every worker at United Airlines in order to keep UA airplanes in the air. At the time UA was the largest airline in the world. One of my good friends up here is a retired UA captain. He took a heavy hit on his pension since, in the UA case, pension benefits from the PBGC could not exceed $100,000 per year. That is much less UA pilots were promised in retirement.

    The really sad part about the UA case is that years before the bankruptcy United’s employees at all levels were given controlling interest in United’s common stock as an incentive to work harder for less money. In the reorganization all this sacrifice went unrewarded since their investments went to zero when new shares were sold after bankruptcy.

    Bob Jensen’s threads on recent bailouts are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

    Will Your California Muni Fund Get Clobbered?
    Since I have a very substantial proportion of my savings in a Vangaard Insured Long-term municipal bond fund (which by the way weathered the economic downturn relatively well), I'm interested in the prospect of muni bond defaults in California even though the fund I am in only has a small proportion invested in California.

    Sacramento's budget standoff may make you want to bang your head against a wall, but it's not necessarily catastrophic for your muni fund. Fund managers we've interviewed overwhelmingly agree that the likelihood of the state defaulting is tiny, and several fund companies, including BlackRock, Franklin, Nuveen, and Vanguard have published commentaries that make the case. While Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy code allows municipalities to file for bankruptcy protection, it doesn't afford states the same relief. Also, payments on the state's general obligation bonds are constitutionally mandated, ranking second only to spending on public schools. These obligations are a "continuing appropriation," meaning the Controller doesn't need action from the state Assembly to make payments. The size of this year's GO debt service payments, at around 5% of expenditures, doesn't appear particularly onerous, either.
    "Will Your California Muni Fund Get Clobbered? Deal or no deal, Sacramento's stalemate doesn't matter as much as you think," Morningstar, July 22, 2009 --- http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=299745

    Jensen Comment
    Just because I, along with Barney Frank, lean toward diversified muni mutual fund investing does not imply that I automatically advise this for everybody else. My muni fund is good for me because I have little concern with month-to-month fluctuations in the value as long as the tax-free interest postings to the account are relatively stable month after month after month and year after year. Muni fund investors must accept the fact that current value fluctuates (inversely) with interest rate movements. Hence value goes up and down with interest rates even though interest postings to my account never seem to vary to a degree that bothers me. 

    People who like the value of their investments to be solid as a rock might go nuts with muni funds. These are not like CDs but the after-tax yields are significantly higher. Also "insured" muni funds are not insured by the FDIC like CDs are usually backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government.

    Muni fund investing is not a good inflation hedge. But I don't know of any great inflation hedge investment strategy that does not entail substantial risks (stocks. commodities) and/or cash drains (real estate). I sold my inherited farm in Iowa because I got tired of the income taxes (state and federal) and the property taxes and the yearly nagging from my renter for more drainage tile and other improvements. If I'd been 45 years old I would've kept the farm as an inflation hedge. At 65 years of age, inflation losses were less of concern than tax drains. Hence I opted for tax-free interest for the same reason Barney Frank puts nearly all his savings, apart from pension funding, into muni funds. My 401 savings over the years were not in muni funds.

    Also retired people like me are usually less concerned about inflation hedges than people who are looking forward to 50 more years of living give or take. We are also less concerned about the deficit financing that will probably sink the United States after  we've moved on to greener pastures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Entitlements.htm

    Bob Jensen's investment helpers are at http://news.morningstar.com/articlenet/article.aspx?id=299745

    "Effects of Origination Channel and Information Falsification on Mortgage Loan Delinquency," by Wei Jiang,  Ashlyn Nelson,  and Edward Vytlacil, Columbia University Working Paper (Draft), July 2009 --- http://www.columbia.edu/~wj2006/liars_loan.pdf

    This paper presents a comprehensive predictive model of mortgage delinquency using a unique dataset from a major national mortgage bank containing all of their loan origination information from 2004 to 2008. Our analysis highlights two major agency problems underlying the mortgage crisis: an agency problem between the bank and mortgage brokers that results in lowered quality of loans originated by the latter; and the agency problem between banks and borrowers that results in information falsification by borrowers of low-documentation loans (known in the industry as Alt-A or “liars’ loans”), especially those originated through a broker. We also document significant differences in loan performance across races/ethnicities that cannot be explained by observable risk factors or loan pricing.

    This is another piece of the puzzle. It’s probably going to take years for academics to sift through all of the evidence in order to figure out what really did go wrong. I suspect that we might find out that a lot of our commonly held beliefs about what caused the bubble and where everyone went so wrong are all wet. The problem is that we’re using that conventional wisdom right now to try and bail ourselves out of this mess. Maybe that’s why we aren’t having much success.
    "Liar Loan Securitizations: A Surprising Twist ," Seeking Alpha, July 22, 2009 ---

    Comments on the research paper ---

    Bob Jensen's threads on Subprime: Borne of Greed, Sleaze, Bribery, and Lies (including the credit rating agencies) ---

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

    From the Scout Report on July 24, 2009

    WordPress 2.8.2 --- http://wordpress.org/ 

    If you want to get the word out about your new recipes, the doings in your neighborhood, or pet care and maintenance, you might want to take a look at this new version of WordPress. For the uninitiated, WordPress is a personal publishing platform that allows visitors to easily set up their own weblog and customize it to their heart's content. The WordPress site contains extensive documentation, and is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

    AV Music Morpher --- Gold 4.0.77 --- http://mp3-player.audio4fun.com/mp3-music-editor.htm 

    As a musical jack of all trades, AV Music Morpher is a pretty handy application. This music editor and player allows users to copy, paste, and edit songs for just about any purpose. The application also allows users to customize a wide range of surround sound configurations. Additionally, the application can be used to burn CDs and organize music. This version is compatible with computers running Windows Vista or XP.

    Consumer groups and others express concern over the withholding of data regarding driving while using cellphones U.S. Withheld Data on Risks of Distracted Driving [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/technology/21distracted.html?hp

    Should cell phone use by drivers be illegal?

    Car cellphone ban likely this year

     Road Phone Bans Inevitable

    Whirling Dervish Drivers [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/opinion/22dowd.html

     The Center for Auto Safety

    Education Tutorials

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

    Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

    Free Federal Resources in Various Disciplines --- http://www.free.ed.gov/  

    National Science Foundation: Science and Engineering Statistics --- http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/

    National Science Foundation: Science Nation --- http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

    Discoveries from Mars: Using a Planetary Perspective to Enhance Undergraduate Geoscience Courses ---  http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/mars/index.html

    Essentials of Geology --- http://www.wwnorton.com/college/geo/egeo/welcome.htm

    MIT OpenCourseWare: Introduction to Geology --- Click Here

    Global Canopy Programme (geology and climate) --- http://www.globalcanopy.org/

    Marine Mineral Studies --- http://www.mms.gov/SandAndGravel/MarineMineralStudies.htm

    The Dynamic Earth --- http://www.mnh.si.edu/earth/main_frames.html

    American Museum of Natural History: Climate Change --- http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climatechange/?src=h_h



    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

    Video 3:  Yale's Robert Shiller (slightly over one hour of video lecture)
    Behavioral Finance: The Role of Psychology --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZLNbxWH8Lc

    Pragmatic Case Studies in Psychotherapy --- http://pcsp.libraries.rutgers.edu/index.php/pcsp

    Introduction to Psychology --- http://www.intropsych.com/

    Stanford Humanities Lab (includes video) http://shl.stanford.edu/

    1969: The Year of Gay Liberation --- http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/1969/

    Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions --- http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/index.cfm

    College of Europe: EU Diplomacy Papers ---
    (It would greatly help if this site added a search engine)

    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

    Typography for Lawyers --- http://www.typographyforlawyers.com/ 

    From the Scout Report on July 24, 2009

    Consumer groups and others express concern over the withholding of data regarding driving while using cellphones U.S. Withheld Data on Risks of Distracted Driving [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/21/technology/21distracted.html?hp

    Should cell phone use by drivers be illegal?

    Car cellphone ban likely this year

     Road Phone Bans Inevitable

    Whirling Dervish Drivers [Free registration may be required] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/opinion/22dowd.html

     The Center for Auto Safety


    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 Georgia State Fair, Macon, 1886-1960 http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/gastatefair/?Welcome

    The Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, ca. 1600-1925 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/lhcbhtml/lhcbhome.html

    College of Europe: EU Diplomacy Papers ---
    (It would greatly help if this site added a search engine)

    The Dynamic Earth --- http://www.mnh.si.edu/earth/main_frames.html

    American Museum of Natural History: Climate Change --- http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climatechange/?src=h_h

    1969: The Year of Gay Liberation --- http://www.nypl.org/research/chss/1969/

    African Art Now: Masterpieces from the Jean Pignozzi Collection --- http://www.nmafa.si.edu/exhibits/pigozzi/index.html

    Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions --- http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/index.cfm

    National Museum of African Art: Artful Animals --- http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/animals/index.html

    U.S. National Park Service Photos & Multimedia --- http://www.nps.gov/photosmultimedia

    Geology of National Parks --- http://3dparks.wr.usgs.gov/ 

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

    Language Tutorials

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

    Music Tutorials

    From the Scout Report on July 24, 2009

    AV Music Morpher --- Gold 4.0.77 --- http://mp3-player.audio4fun.com/mp3-music-editor.htm 

    As a musical jack of all trades, AV Music Morpher is a pretty handy application. This music editor and player allows users to copy, paste, and edit songs for just about any purpose. The application also allows users to customize a wide range of surround sound configurations. Additionally, the application can be used to burn CDs and organize music. This version is compatible with computers running Windows Vista or XP

    From the Scout Report on April 10, 2009

    iConcertCal 2.4 --- http://www.iconcertcal.com/ 

    It can be hard out there for a diehard live music fan, especially with the myriad of upcoming summer concert tours. Using this plug-in for iTunes, users can draw on the information from their personal music collection to learn about concerts that will be making their way through their area. Visitors can also create their own concert "playlist", if they so desire. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 and newer and iTunes


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


    Writing Tutorials

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

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


    One Day Damaged Heart Muscle Will be Repairable
    By injecting a protein into mice with heart damage, researchers in Boston have shown that it's possible to cause adult heart-muscle cells to proliferate and cardiac function to improve. The approach could eventually prove valuable for heart-attack patients who have lost cardiac-muscle cells and some cardiac function, especially since existing therapies are unable to regenerate or restore these lost cells.
    Amanda Schaffer, MIT's Technology Review, July 24, 2009 ---

    "A Vaccine for Colon Cancer:  A new approach to preventing cancer teaches the immune system to seek and destroy emerging tumors," by Jocelyn Rice, MIT's Technology Review, July 25, 2009 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/23067/?nlid=2207

    The Pitt investigators say that if the vaccine is successful, it could potentially obviate the need for repeated colonoscopies in patients at high risk for developing colorectal cancer. These patients have had multiple precancerous polyps, called advanced adenomas, in their intestines, and they are routinely screened by colonoscopy for signs of recurrence.

    The vaccine has already proven safe in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. It is now in clinical trials to gauge the immune response it elicits in patients with a history of advanced adenomas. It works by spurring the body to manufacture antibodies against the abnormal version of a mucous protein called MUC1. While moderate amounts of the protein are found in the lining of normal intestines, high levels of a defective form of MUC1 are present in about half of advanced adenomas and the majority of colorectal cancers.

    The vaccine primes the immune system to monitor the gut for emerging cancers by teaching it to recognize abnormal MUC1. If an adenoma develops and begins to produce the faulty version of MUC1, the immune system will raise antibodies to attack and destroy the precancerous tissue.

    "You would be using your immune system as a surveillance mechanism to prevent the development of malignancy," says principal investigator Robert E. Schoen, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology at Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health.

    "FDA Cautions Public About Electronic Cigarettes," by Lindsey Layton, The Washington Post, July 22, 2009 --- Click Here

    The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that an analysis of leading brands of electronic cigarettes, a new type of "smokeless" nicotine product, detected carcinogens and a chemical used in antifreeze that is toxic to humans.

    Officials at the FDA and other public health experts cautioned consumers against using the products, saying that the health effects of electronic cigarettes are unknown.

    "The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public," said Margaret A. Hamburg, the agency's commissioner.

    The FDA studied the ingredients in cartridges from two leading brands of electronic cigarettes. In one sample, it detected diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze. Other samples turned up carcinogens, including nitrosamines, according to the agency.

    Electronic cigarettes, also called "e-cigarettes," are battery-operated devices that generally contain cartridges filled with nicotine, flavor and other chemicals. The electronic cigarette turns nicotine, which is highly addictive, and other chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. Since they produce no smoke, they can be used in workplaces, restaurants and airports.

    The products are relatively new and began appearing on the market about five years ago, sold over the Internet, in mall kiosks and in stores. They often come in candy and fruit flavors, leading critics to charge that they are being targeted toward children.

    The FDA considers e-cigarettes to be drug devices and, as such, says that manufacturers must first get federal approval to market them. It has refused to allow imports of e-cigarettes.

    In May, two e-cigarette suppliers filed suit against the FDA to allow the shipments, claiming that the regulatory agency has no authority over the products. The suit is pending in a District federal court.

    I propose Darwin Awards for this Swedish couple
    My Norwegian heritage leads me to understand how this could happen
    Officials say a Swedish couple looking for the pristine waters of the popular island of Capri ended some 400 miles (660 kilometers) away in the northern industrial town of Carpi after misspelling the destination on their car's GPS.
    Fox News, July 28, 2009 --- http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,535054,00.html?test=latestnews

    If they were in Orlando and say the road sign "Disney World Left," I'll bet they would have gone home.

    Police: Fake officer tries to stop real officer --- http://www.azcentral.com/offbeat/articles/2009/07/25/20090725policeimpersonator-ON.html
    Police say 21-year-old Antonio Fernandez Martinez of Oakland was arrested Wednesday in the Fruitvale district after trying to pull over an unmarked police vehicle. Martinez was driving a Ford Crown Victoria outfitted with flashing lights, a microphone and speakers. Martinez, a convicted car thief, will have his felony probation revoked and could face a prison term.

    I think we should also nominate this cat for a Darwin Award (seems to have evolved well ahead of its time)
    Keith R. Griffin, of the 3600 block of Northeast Jeannette Drive, was charged Wednesday with 10 counts of possession of child pornography after detectives found more than 1,000 child pornographic images on his computer, according to a news release. Griffin told detectives he would leave his computer on and his cat would jump on the keyboard.
    Sun Sentinal, August 6, 2009 ---

    For those who never saw any of the Burma Shave signs, here is a quick lesson in our history of the 1930's and '40's. Before there were interstates, when everyone drove the old 2 lane roads, Burma Shave signs would be posted all over the countryside in farmers' fields.

    They were small red signs with white letters. Five signs, about 100 feet apart, each containing 1 line of a 4 line couplet......and the obligatory 5th sign advertising Burma Shave, a popular shaving cream.

    Here are more of the actual signs:


















    Do these bring back any old memories? If not, you're merely a child. If they do - then you're old as dirt... LIKE ME!


    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

    The Master List of Free Online College Courses --- http://universitiesandcolleges.org/

    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

    Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
    Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
    Any college may post a news item.

    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