Tidbits on August 17, 2009
Bob Jensen

Sunrises are never the same in the White Mountains
The bright light is a reflection of the flash on the glass
Someday I must learn how to turn the flash off on my camera
But that would entail reading the #@$* manual

The Three Graces Mountains are also called the Three Cannonballs beside Cannon Mountain



 Japanese Azaleas slide show --- Click Here

The old wagon down the road from our cottage


 I did not take these humor pictures

MSNBC's Matthews and Olbermann After a Loose Conservative Once Again

He'd rather just have a flea collar



August 11, 2009 message from Will Yancey [will-yancey@sbcglobal.net]

Hi Bob,

Yesterday I saw a pair of eagles from my office window. See the attached photos. One eagle is on top of the tree in the center. The other is four branches down to the left and has its back to the camera.

Frenchman Bay is beyond the trees. I often see lobstermen pulling their traps, sail boats, kayaks, birds, squirrels, etc. Less often I see deer and red fox. About once a year a moose or bear will wander by, but I have not seen them yet.

This Bay opens to the Gulf of Maine. From one angle my office window faces east across 130 miles of ocean to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. In the winter the winds will get up to 70 miles an hour. There have been only two hurricanes coming ashore here in the last 60 years.

In the foreground is land that we have cleared and my wood chip paths that are in progress. Our arborist cleared a lot of the spruce and balsam fir trees. We cannot legally cut the remaining trees in the 100-foot wide shoreland protection zone. Some of these trees will fall over in the next few years.

Every window in the house has views of the Frenchman Bay or Raccoon Cove. We are in the process of planting and managing the land around the house as a wildflower meadow. We will not have a grass lawn to mow.

Since we arrived on June 4, the high temperature has been 82 degrees. June and July had a lot of rain.

Michael is eager to get back to the heat of Texas. On August 21 he begins his freshman year at Trinity University in San Antonio. Carol and I will go there with him. We will be back in Maine on August 26. We will go back to our Dallas home in late October.

Reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Will,

Here's a bird picture that reminds me of the Columbia piggybacking on an unlucky 747

Watch the Video:
I would not have expected this from the liberal and often snobby magazine called
The New Yorker
I also wondered whether Hess’s next movie would address his religious ideas more explicitly; my editors encouraged me to cut that speculation from the review, and I agreed that it’s better to stay out of the forecasting business. Imagine my delight when, a month later, Nacho Librecame out: it is, as I discuss in the clip below, one of the strangest and most personal American movies ever made about religion. (I’m happy to report that Hess’s new movie, “Gentlemen Broncos,” is scheduled for release on October 30th.)
Richard Brodie, Nacho Libre, The New Yorker, August 13, 2009 --- http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2009/08/nacho-libre.html
Jensen Comment
I don't think this is my kind of movie or humor, but I found it interesting to be featured by The New Yorker. I'm more of a Lillies of the Field type of person --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillies_of_the_Field


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

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


Tidbits on August 17, 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/

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

Video:  Jon Stewart reveals Glenn Beck speaking about health care from both ends of his digestive tract ---

Video:  Microsoft is Placing Adds for Illegal Pharmacies That Dispense Drugs Without Prescriptions
"Rogue Pharmacies Dominate Bing's Ads," by Kristina Grifantini, MIT's Technology Review, August 05, 2009 ---

Video History of the United States in Three Minutes --- http://yeli.us/Flash/Fire.html

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

The Ford Foundation --- http://www.fordfound.org/

Video: Cambridge Physics: Past, Present and Future --- http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/camphys/

Bertrand /Russell Video (history):  The Principles of Mathematics ---

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

Oral History Interviews at the Niels Bohr Library & (Physics) Archives --- http://www.aip.org/history/nbl/oralhistory.html

We Choose The Moon --- http://wechoosethemoon.org/ 

Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants (video) --- http://www.mnh.si.edu/ants/ 

U.S. Government Stages a Fake Coup to Wipe Out the National Debt (Humor of Sorts) ---
U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Creative Commons Video Archive --- http://creativecommons.org/videos/

We hear the trillion-dollar figure all the time, but how much would ObamaCare really end up costing? If we've learned anything from previous government programs, it's that the actual price almost always shoots far beyond the advertised price. Is there any reason to think things would be different this time around?
Watch the video --- http://reason.com/blog/show/135279.html

Robert Shiller With Winston Churchill's son on the Charlie Rose Show (Professor Shiller begins about 14 minutes into the show). Scroll down the August 3, 2009 entries to find the video on the Financial Rounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
Robert Shiller is professor in economics and finance at Yale University --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Shiller
He was one of the early leaders in behavioral finance that questions the assumptions of the classical economics.

The mysterious Hannity Non-report of August 16, 2009 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HannityReport081609.htm

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

Sweet Georgia Brown with the most unique percussion imaginable --- http://fschnell.net/WordPress/?p=1094
Link forwarded by Paul Krause
Reminds me of the historic two-cylinder John Deere tractors --- http://www.two-cylinder.com/

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 --- http://www.cfo.com/blogs/index.cfm/detail/13525940?f=search

2009 Summer Song Favorites: 'Save It For Later' ---

Felix Mendelssohn at the Library of Congress ---

Terence Blanchard Group: Live In New Orleans (full Jazz concert) ---

Stile Antico: Old-School A Cappella in Boston ---

Gold Standard For Bach's 'Goldberg Variations' ---

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

Take an art test presented by ABC News --- http://abcnews.go.com/2020/popup?id=527562
Click on either "Art" or "Not Art" to proceed to the next question.
Then read John Stossel's take on the test on CBS 20/20 --- http://blogs.abcnews.com/johnstossel/2009/08/modern-art-test.html
Please don't ask about my score.

Pictoral History of the United States in Three Minutes --- http://yeli.us/Flash/Fire.html

Authors: The Portrait Photograph File of the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/collection=AuthorsPhotographsfr&col_id=155
Over 150 portraits

Utah State History --- http://history.utah.gov/

The Ruins of Detroit --- http://www.white-history.com/hwrdet.htm
But GM is spending $15 billion for a new factory in Brazil

Big Streets in a Little City: Downtown Street Scenes in Kiel, 1860-1980  (Wisconsin History) ---http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/WI/subcollections/KielLocHistAbout.html

The Barren Lands of Canada (photographs) --- http://link.library.utoronto.ca/Tyrrell/ 

History & Culture of Brazil --- http://library.osu.edu/sites/latinamerica/indxclas_0_tblcontnts.htm 

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul --- http://www.nationalgeographic.com/mission/afghanistan-treasures/

MoMA: James Ensor (Belgian Artist) --- http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/ensor/#/intro/

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology: Delphi Collections Browser --- http://pahma.berkeley.edu/delphi/ 

American Museum of Natural History: Division of Anthropology --- http://anthro.amnh.org/

We Choose The Moon --- http://wechoosethemoon.org/ 

G.I. Jane Breaks the Combat Barrier as War Evolves --- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/16/us/16women.html?_r=1&hp

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

Voyages and Travels: Ancient and Modern http://www.bartleby.com/33/

Saint Anselm Journal --- http://www.anselm.edu/library/SAJ/SAJindex.html 

Utah State History --- http://history.utah.gov/

History & Culture of Brazil --- http://library.osu.edu/sites/latinamerica/indxclas_0_tblcontnts.htm 

The Art of Penguin (Publishers) Science Fiction --- http://www.penguinsciencefiction.org/ 

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

Lie:  In an effort to rush through Obamacare in 2009, Congress will drop demands for a government-operated health insurance competitor in favor of a non-profit Fannie Health Insurance Cooperative not run by the government.

This is obvious bait and switch fraud. The bait is to get Obamacare passed this year by making grandiose claims about not  having government health insurance to compete unfairly with private health insurance companies. The switch is that Fannie HIC, like Fannie Mae, is doomed from get go and will have to be taken over by the government.

Fannie HIC will insure tens of millions of minimum-wage workers, part-time workers, the unemployable, and the otherwise unemployed. There's no chance of having premium revenues come anywhere close to cash outflows for expanded health, mental health and social service coverage demanded in H.R. 3200. Before she even commences operation, Fannie HIC will have to become a government owned and operated and subsidized health insurance company competing with private insurance companies.

One can only hope that Congress will be so proud of Fannie HIC that this cooperative-gone-government company will provide the only health insurance coverage available to members of the House, Senate, and Executive branches of Federal and State Governments. Fat Chance!

Whereas Fannie Mae cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in toxic mortgages mandated by Rep. Barnie Frank and Sen. Chris Dodd, Fannie HIC will cost taxpayers untold trillions. Well, maybe not. The economic disasters Bernanke, Geithner, and Summers are agreeing to print U.S. dollars in lieu of having to tax and borrow to fund trillion dollar government spending deficits. Isn't that a brilliant idea? --- http://blog.mises.org/archives/009457.asp

Video:  David Dreman Warns About 10-12% Inflation, Simoleon Sense, August 5, 2009 ---

Video:  Watch MSNBC running really scared of Peter Schiff (by not letting him speak during the MSNBC interview) ---
Only members of the MSNBC Choir are allowed to speak during interviews!
Also see for more sanity ---  http://reason.com/blog/show/135219.html

Bullying Guests Turns Off Television Viewers
Last week Lawrence O'Donnell filled in for Ed Schultz on MSNBC's The Ed Schultz Show and bullied and interrupted his guest Peter Schiff. This week it's a repeat of that scenario. For years now previous viewers have shunned mainstream media because of many news channels becoming either too left-wing or too right-wing, biased reporting and interviewers, similar to Lawrence O'Donnell, Bill O'Reilly or Ed Schultz, who never do their jobs correctly when they have a guest on.
Andrew Moran, "Congressman to MSNBC: This is why your viewership is in the tank," Digital Journal, August 16, 2009 --- http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/277679
Jensen Comment
Guests are never bullied by Keith Olbermann. He only invites the MSNBC choir to his shows.

"Air Force Training More Pilots for Drones Than for Manned Planes," The Washington Post, August 11, 2009 ---

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 Failure of African Aid --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/134521.html

The Failure of War With the Taliban
The Taliban have gained the upper hand in Afghanistan, the top American commander there said, forcing the U.S. to change its strategy in the eight-year-old conflict by increasing the number of troops in heavily populated areas like the volatile southern city of Kandahar, the insurgency's spiritual home. Gen. Stanley McChrystal warned that means U.S. casualties, already running at record levels, will remain high for months to come.
Yochi J. Dreazen and Peter Spiegel, "Taliban Now Winning:  U.S. Commander in Afghanistan Warns of Rising Casualties," The Wall Street Journal, August 10, 2009 ---

While Congress debates how to take over the health-care industry, more evidence arrives that shows it can’t even handle the business it has already. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal deficit accelerated in July by $181,000,000,000 ($181 billion) and hit $1,300,000,000,000 ($1.3 trillion) for 2009. The massive new hit to the annual deficit comes from rapidly falling revenues, and an even more rapid increase in spending . . .
Ed Morrissey, "Deficit grows by $181 billion in July, hits $1,300,000,000,000," Hot Air, August 10, 2009 ---

Mamie Eisenhower had one secretary and President Eisenhower had to pay her salary. In the 1960s Jackie Kennedy had one secretary. Hillary Clinton had three and Laura Bush one. Today, Michelle Obama has 22 on her staff and no one knows how high the number will grow. Salaries start in the $30,000 range and go to $172,000 for her chief of staff. So far the total comes to $1,216,000 a year and it's not coming out of President Obama's salary because he doesn't make that much.
"How many staffers does it take?" Daily Commercial, August 14, 2009 --- Click Here

Have you been closely following the U.S. economy being driven down the road by Summers, Bernanke, and Geithner?
U.S. Debt/Deficit Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/

Would economists be better off starting from somewhere else? Some think so. They draw inspiration from neglected profits, like Minsky, who recognized that the "real" economy was inseparable from the financial. Such prophets were neglected not for what they said, but for the way they said it. Today's economists tend to be open-minded about content., but doctrinaire about form. They are more wedded to their techniques than to their theories. The will believe something when they can model it.
"The other-worldly philosophers," The Economist, June 18-24, 2009. Page 67

Congressman opposes voter ID law, but you must show a photo ID to get into his town meeting --- Click Here

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Senate Energy Leader says she can feel global warming when she flies.
National Review, August 10, 2009 --- http://community.detnews.com/apps/blogs/henrypayneblog/index.php?blogid=2041
Jensen Comment
Before long her broom handle will be too hot to touch.

Public outrage has boiled over as billions of dollars in bonuses have been handed out on Wall Street, the center of the 2008 financial storm that contributed to the worst recession in generations and left millions of people jobless. Even President Obama joined in, labeling the $18.4 billion in bonuses "shameful" and calling on Wall Street to "show some restraint." Seizing on the populist anger, lawmakers put together a compensation-reform bill that passed the House of Representatives on July 31 and will be brought to a vote in the Senate after the summer recess. Still, despite all the apparent momentum building to rein in runaway pay, it looks as if Wall Street's compensation practices will largely emerge unscathed. Critics say the bill's key proposals, though well-intentioned, are non-binding, so companies can choose to ignore them. And Wall Street executives, seemingly unconcerned about further antagonizing an already agitated mob, are gearing up to boost pay. Some top firms that just last year received billions in government bailout money are thriving again and appear undaunted by the widespread criticism of big paychecks.
Pallavi Gogoi, "Wall Street bankers are still raking in billions in bonuses," USA Today, August 9, 2009 ---

The mysterious Hannity Non-report of August 16, 2009 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HannityReport081609.htm

Nassim Nicholas Taleb --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taleb
Watch the video on CNBC --- Click Here

The Black Swan graced CNBC with His presence this morning.  In sum:

Question for Fama and French ---
It would be very enlightening if you would comment on the Nassim Nicholas Taleb ("The Black Swan") attack on the use of Gaussian (normal bell curve) mathematics as the foundation of finance. As you may know, Taleb is a fan of Mandelbrot, whose mathematics account for fat tails. He argues that the bell curve doesn't reflect reality. He is also quite critical of academics who teach modern portfolio theory because it is based on the assumption that returns are normally distributed. Doesn't all this imply that academics should start doing reality-based research?

Answer from Gene Fama (Chicago)
EFF: Half of my 1964 Ph.D. thesis is tests of market efficiency, and the other half is a detailed examination of the distribution of stock returns. Mandelbrot is right. The distribution is fat-tailed relative to the normal distribution. In other words, extreme returns occur much more often than would be expected if returns were normal.

There was lots of interest in this issue for about ten years. Then academics lost interest. The reason is that most of what we do in terms of portfolio theory and models of risk and expected return works for Mandelbrot's stable distribution class, as well as for the normal distribution (which is in fact a member of the stable class). For passive investors, none of this matters, beyond being aware that outlier returns are more common than would be expected if return distributions were normal.

For other applications, however, the difference can be critical. Risk management by financial institutions is a good example. For example, portfolio insurance, which was the rage in the early 1980s, bombed in the crash of October 1987, because this was an event that was inconceivable in their normality based return model. The normality assumption is also likely to be a serious problem in various kinds of derivatives, where lots of the price is due to the probability of extreme events. For example, news story accounts suggest that AIG blew up because its risk model for credit default swaps did not properly account for outlier events.

Answer from Kenneth French (Dartmouth)
KRF: I agree with Gene, but want to make another point that he is appropriately reluctant to make. Taleb is generally correct about the importance of outliers, but he gets carried away in his criticism of academic research. There are lots of academics who are well aware of this issue and consider it seriously when doing empirical research. Those of us who used Gene's textbook in our first finance course have been concerned with this fat-tail problem our whole careers. Most of the empirical studies in finance use simple and robust techniques that do not make precise distributional assumptions, and Gene can take much of the credit for this as well, whether through his feedback in seminars, suggestions on written work, comments in referee reports, or the advice he has given his many Ph.D. students over the years.


Robert Shiller With Winston Churchill's son on the Charlie Rose Show (Professor Shiller begins about 14 minutes into the show). Scroll down the August 3, 2009 entries to find the video on the Financial Rounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
Robert Shiller is professor in economics and finance at Yale University --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Shiller
He was one of the early leaders in behavioral finance that questions the assumptions of the classical economics.

Bank of America pays $33M SEC fine over Merrill bonuses
Bank of America Corp. has agreed to pay a $33 million penalty to settle government charges that it misled investors about Merrill Lynch's plans to pay bonuses to its executives, regulators said Monday. In seeking approval to buy Merrill, Bank of America told investors that Merrill would not pay year-end bonuses without Bank of America's consent. But the Securities and Exchange Commission said Bank of America had authorized New York-based Merrill to pay up to $5.8 billion in bonuses. That rendered a statement Bank of America mailed to 283,000 shareholders of both companies about the Merrill deal "materially false and misleading," the SEC said in a statement.
Yahoo News, August 3, 2009 --- http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090803/ap_on_bi_ge/us_bank_of_america_sec

Bank of America Not Punished Enough, Judge Wants a Heavier Fine
"Judge Rejects Bank of America's $33M Fine," SmartPros, August 11, 2009 --- http://accounting.smartpros.com/x67360.xml

Brazil purchases 250 German Leopard tanks to guard its borders The Brazilian army purchased 250 German leopard 1 A5 tanks which will be displayed mainly along the country’s 16.000 kilometres of land and fluvial borders thus reinforcing its dissuasive capacity in the event of foreign attacks. The program is also part of the National Defence Strategy, NDS, approved last December by President Lula da Silva.
"Brazil purchases 250 German Leopard tanks to guard its borders," Merco Press, August 4, 2009 --- http://en.mercopress.com/2009/08/04/brazil-purchases-250-german-leopard-tanks-to-guard-its-borders
Jensen Comment
Brazil was the first large nation to stop oil imports with a massive ethanol program producing ethanol more (efficiently than corn-based) from sugar cane-based ethanol. I wonder if each 42-ton leopard 1 A5 tank can run on sugar? Some 2-ton people at Dunkin Donuts have proved it's possible to move a lot a weight with sugar alone.

From the University of Pennsylvania:  States are not playing Obama ball with stimulus funds
From California to Connecticut, the global recession has squeezed state finances, forcing many state governments to slash services, raise taxes or find unusually creative ways to close the gap. According to experts, the widespread budget shortfalls -- expected to continue through at least 2011 -- threaten to put a drag on the nation's economic recovery and undermine President Obama's stimulus plan. "The states aren't really playing the game like Obama hoped they would," says one Wharton finance professor.
"Not With the Plan: State Budget Woes Create a Black Hole for U.S. Stimulus Funds," Knowledge@Wharton, August 5, 2009 --- http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2309

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 yes before a funding proposal is even put on the table. I actually favor single-payer nationalized health care as long as all people covered pay for toward their coverage, but I'm unwilling to destroy by beloved homeland in a passionate rage for a deceitful (in terms of hidden costs) version built on debt that this debt-ridden nation can ill afford at the present time --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.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.

But behind the official numbers is a scary story that illustrates the single biggest challenge facing the United States today. The American economy does not seem able to provide enough jobs — and nowhere near enough good jobs — to maintain the standard of living that most Americans . . . A truer picture of the employment crisis emerges when you combine the number of people who are officially counted as jobless with those who are working part time because they can’t find full-time work and those in the so-called labor market reserve — people who are not actively looking for work (because they have become discouraged, for example) but would take a job if one became available. The tally from those three categories is a mind-boggling 30 million Americans — 19 percent of the overall work force. This is, by far, the nation’s biggest problem and should be its No. 1 priority.
Bob Herbert, "A Scary Reality," The New York Times, August 10, 2009 ---

Iran's police chief admitted yesterday that protesters who were arrested after June's disputed presidential election had been tortured while in custody ... Moghaddam denied that the abuses were responsible for any fatalities there, claiming that an unspecified "viral illness" had caused the deaths. His admission marked the second occasion in as many days that a senior official had accepted that some criticisms levelled at the regime were well-founded, suggesting growing doubts and uncertainty within the embattled regime.
Simon Tisdall, "Iran admits election demonstrators were tortured," The Guardian, August 10, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
Mercifully the Iranian police avoided water boarding in favor of beating the crap out of prisoners.

Mr. Obama's problem is that Mr. Khamenei (supreme leader in Iran) could only have chosen Ahmadinejad because he does not want friendly talks with the U.S. He evidently calculates that without the ideology of "anti-Americanism" the regime would collapse. He is right. Certainly religious support cannot be enough anymore. Too many high-ranking clerics, including Grand Ayatollahs Hosssein Ali Montazeri and Yusef Saanei, now publicly oppose the regime. Nor can Persian nationalism serve as the prop: Its chief target is the despised Arabs, which is problematic, as the regime keeps trying to be more Arab than the Arabs in its hostility to Israel. Yet this hostility is itself a problem internally because the regime's generous funding of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad is extremely unpopular in Iran. Only anti-Americanism is left, and Mr. Khamenei will not let Mr. Obama take it away.
"Why U.S. Diplomacy Will Fail in Iran," The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2009 ---

Much has been made over the past two decades of the emergence of “asymmetric warfare,” in which the ill-equipped confront the superbly armed by changing the rules of the battlefield. Yet, such irregular warfare is not new; ¬it is warfare’s oldest form, the stone against the bronze-tipped spear¬ and the crucial asymmetry does not lie in weaponry, but in moral courage. While our most resolute current enemies¬, Islamist extremists, ¬may violate our conceptions of morality and ethics, they also are willing to sacrifice more, suffer more and kill more (even among their own kind) than we are. We become mired in the details of minor missteps, while fanatical holy warriors consecrate their lives to their ultimate vision. They live their cause, but we do not live ours. We have forgotten what warfare means and what it takes to win.
Ralph Peters is a retired U.S. Army

John Kenneth Galbraith may have been one of the wisest economists of his time, writes his biographer. He anticipated the limits of modern-day economics and made politics, corporate power, and psychology central issues in understanding it. But the questions he raised still haunt us.
Simoleon Sense, August 4, 2009 --- http://www.simoleonsense.com/the-legacy-of-john-kenneth-galbraith/
John Kenneth Galbraith --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kenneth_Galbraith
Some of his ideas --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kenneth_Galbraith#Some_of_Galbraith.27s_Ideas
Criticisms of his work --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kenneth_Galbraith#Criticism_of_Galbraith.27s_Work

President Obama's Golf Game --- http://politicalwire.com/archives/2009/08/06/obamas_golf_game.html
George Bush Gives Up Golf --- http://www.break.com/usercontent/2008/12/George-Bush-Gives-Up-Golf-639545.html

"Grassley’s Leverage The White House bows on ethanol tariffs," The Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2009 ---

Mr. Obama’s nominee to be Ambassador to Brazil, Thomas Shannon, had made the political mistake of saying at his nomination hearing that it would be “beneficial” for the U.S. to lift the 54-cent-gallon U.S. tariff on ethanol from Brazil. That’s a perfectly sensible observation, since the import tariffs, on top of an ad valorem tariff of four to seven cents a gallon, keep sugar-based ethanol from Brazil and the Caribbean from competing with less energy-efficient U.S. corn ethanol.

However, the tariff is sacred policy to Mr. Grassley, who promptly put a hold on Mr. Shannon’s nomination until he got a pledge that no such repeal would be sought. He got his promise last week in a letter from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and he promptly lifted his hold on Mr. Shannon.

In politics, you gotta do what you gotta do, as Bill Clinton once famously said to Bob Dole. And give Mr. Grassley credit for being up-front and public about the reasons for his hold on Mr. Shannon, in contrast to many other Senators who prefer to act in secret. On the other hand, we sure hope Mr. Grassley doesn’t make Americans pay twice for this political transaction: once in higher gas taxes from ethanol, and again with a health-care deal that raises taxes and rations medical care.

Trade protections and government mandates for ethanol leave American consumers holding the bill in terms of higher food prices—up to 10-15% higher, according to a Congressional Budget Office report. In a year, three billion bushels of corn and millions of acres of farmland are diverted to ethanol from food production.

Reality Pricks Corn Ethanol's Bubble
But as its limitations became clearer, the long-term future of corn ethanol has been clipped. Investors have concluded the industry can only be a niche player, engineers question the practicality of the fuel, scientists doubt its usefulness in reducing global warming, and the federal government is seeking to stop the industry's growth. "Everybody out here, including the corn ethanol industry, tends to understand the future of corn ethanol is limited," said Craig Cox, the Midwest vice president of the nonprofit Environmental Working Group in Ames, Iowa.
Doug Struck
, "Reality Pricks Corn Ethanol's Bubble," Simoleon Sense, August 6, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
Corn farmers in Iowa are grateful that the Grassley's always greener in Washington DC. Sen. Harkin has also helped green the bank accounts of Iowa farmers in the losing proposition of corn ethanol.

If Bush or Cheney Did This, MSNBC Would Be Outraged
No Outrage when Obama, Reid, and Pelosi instigate Big Brother's cookie baking

Ace of Spades, August 12, 2009 --- http://ace.mu.nu/

Since 2000, it has been the policy of the federal government not to use such technology. But the OMB is now seeking to change that policy and is considering the use of cookies for tracking web visitors across multiple sessions and storing their unique preferences and surfing habits. Though this is a major shift in policy, the announcement of this program consists of only a single page from the federal register that contains almost no detail. “This is a sea change in government privacy policy,” said Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “Without explaining this reversal of policy, the OMB is seeking to allow the mass collection of personal information of every user of a federal government website. Until the OMB answers the multitude of questions surrounding this policy shift, we will continue to raise our strenuous objections.”

The use of cookies allows a website to differentiate between users and build a database of each user’s viewing habits and the information they share with the site. Since web surfers frequently share information like their name or email address (if they’ve signed up for a service) or search request terms, the use of cookies frequently allows a user’s identity and web surfing habits to be linked. In addition, websites can allow third parties, such as advertisers, to also place cookies on a user’s computer.

“Americans rely on the information from the federal government to research politics, medical issues and legal requirements. The OMB is now asking to retain the personal and identifiable information we leave behind,” said Christopher Calabrese, Counsel for the ACLU Technology and Liberty Project. “No American should have to sacrifice privacy or risk surveillance in order to access free government information. No policy change should be adopted without wide ranging debate including information on the restrictions and uses of cookies as well as impact on privacy.”


"Wall Street profits from trades with Fed," by Henry Sender, Financial Times, August 2, 2009 --- Click Here

Wall Street banks are reaping outsized profits by trading with the Federal Reserve, raising questions about whether the central bank is driving hard enough bargains in its dealings with private sector counterparties, officials and industry executives say.

The Fed has emerged as one of Wall Street’s biggest customers during the financial crisis, buying massive amounts of securities to help stabilise the markets. In some cases, such as the market for mortgage-backed securities, the Fed buys more bonds than any other party.

However, the Fed is not a typical market player. In the interests of transparency, it often announces its intention to buy particular securities in advance. A former Fed official said this strategy enables banks to sell these securities to the Fed at an inflated price.

The resulting profits represent a relatively hidden form of support for banks, and Wall Street has geared up to take advantage. Barclays, for example, e-mails clients with news on the Fed’s balance sheet, detailing the share of the market in particular securities held by the Fed.

Continued in article

Dave’s Top 10 Reasons the Recession Will Last Forever ---

"Discriminating Tastes," (about racism and Obama), by Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, August 10, 2009 --- http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2009/08/10/090810taco_talk_sanneh 

Union Payback Time:  Billions for Unions are Sneaking Into Legislation Where We Least Expect It
Last week I noticed an odd, inexplicable provision in the House bill. Page 65, Section 164 sets aside $10 Billion for "eligible" health plans...for retirees. Not only that, it specifies the retirees can be as young as 55 yrs old. Now, I know very very few non-union private companies offer retirement health care plans, especially not at 55. So I suspected this was a payoff to the UAW and other unions. I called my Congressman and Senators but NO ONE could explain this to me. See the House Bill
Foon Rhei, Taxpayers to Pay for UNION Retiree Health Plans, Boston.com, August 6, 2009 ---

(Secret Service) Agents told Kessler that Jimmy Carter treated them and others who served him with utter disdain. "Inside the White House, Carter treated with contempt the little people who helped and protected him," and told agents not to look at him or speak to him — even to say hello — when he went to the Oval Office, Kessler disclosed. "For three and a half years, agent John Piasecky was on Carter's detail — including seven months of driving him in the presidential limousine — and Carter never spoke to him, he says. "At the same time, Carter tried to project an image of himself as man of the people by carrying his own luggage when traveling. But that was often for show. When he was a candidate in 1976, Carter would carry his own bags when the press was around but ask the Secret Service to carry them the rest of the time." On one occasion, disgruntled agents deliberately left Carter's luggage in the trunk of his car at an airport, and Carter "was without clothes for two days."
Jim Meyers, Newsmax, August 6, 2009 ---http://www.newsmax.com/insidecover/carter_kessler_service/2009/08/06/244734.html

They must know at this point they should not have pushed a national health-care plan. A Democratic operative the other day called it “Hillary’s revenge.” When Mrs. Clinton started losing to Barack Obama in the primaries 18 months ago, she began to give new and sharper emphasis to her health-care plan. Mr. Obama responded by talking about his health-care vision. He won. Now he would push what he had been forced to highlight: Health care would be a priority initiative. The net result is falling support for his leadership on the issue, falling personal polls, and the angry town-hall meetings that have electrified YouTube. In his first five months in office, Mr. Obama had racked up big wins—the stimulus, children’s health insurance, House approval of cap-and-trade. But he stayed too long at the hot table. All the Democrats in Washington did. They overinterpreted the meaning of the 2008 election, and didn’t fully take into account how the great recession changed the national mood and atmosphere.
Peggy Noonan, "‘You Are Terrifying Us’:  Voters send a message to Washington, and get an ugly response," The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204908604574334623330098540.html

No End in Sight:  Fannie Mae Now Costing Taxpayers More Than $1 Billion Per Month
Fannie Mae, the largest provider of U.S. home mortgage funding, on Thursday reported a $14.8 billion quarterly net loss that it said would force it to go to the U.S. Treasury trough a third time for money to stay in business. The company noted a "significant uncertainty" of its long-term financial health in reporting its eighth consecutive quarterly loss, which illustrates its struggle to make money in the face of rising defaults and pressure to do more to stabilize the housing market.
Al Yoon, Reuters, August 6, 2009 --- http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE5756ZH20090807

Seven lawyers in Tabriz and Mashhad who had been representing young Iranians detained in post-presidential election protests have been killed by the Iranian authorities in recent days, according to sources in Iran. Their deaths have deterred other lawyers from taking detainees' cases, they added. The sources spoke to The Jerusalem Post by telephone, and requested that their identities remain undisclosed for their own security. In Tabriz, Iran's fourth-largest city, the bodies of five lawyers were returned to their families earlier this week, the sources said.
Sabina Amidi, "Iran reportedly kills seven lawyers," Jerusalem Post, August 6, 2009 ---

Video:  Jon Stewart reveals Glenn Beck speaking about health care from both ends of his digestive tract ---

In anticipation of Obamacare, Bill Gates cuts his losses early on
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world's largest private philanthropy fund, sold off almost all of its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and health-care investments in the quarter ended June 30, according to a regulatory filing published Friday. The Seattle-based charity endowment, set up by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates and his wife, sold its total holding of 2.5 million shares in health-care giant Johnson & Johnson in the quarter, according to the filing.
Jessica Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125029373754433433.html

The Lie:  The public health insurance option is essential to having efficient private alternatives
To the Democrats, I say this: If you want competition in health care, you won’t get it if the public option can make deals its competitors can’t. So either give the Republicans hard assurances that the public option would have to break even and not get special treatment, or, better yet, just give it up to ensure that some useful health care reform is passed. A public option is neither necessary nor sufficient for achieving the real goals of reform, and those goals are too important to risk losing the war.
Professor Richard Thaler, "A Public Option Isn’t a Curse, or a Cure," The New York Times, August 16, 2009 --- Click Here

The Lie:  AARP endorsed H.R. 3200 (Obama's Press Secretary belated admitted to the lie)
"Gibbs: Obama misspoke about AARP," Fox News, August 12, 2009 --- Click Here

The Lie"  Preventative medicine as envisioned in Obamacare will make health care significantly cheaper.
So last week, CBO Director Doug Elmndorf wrote a letter to Congressmen explaining what cost savings they can expect from preventive medical services: The evidence suggests that, for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall. It makes sense if you think about what are called the “false positives”.
John Stossel, "Expanding Preventive Care May Add to Costs, CBO Says," ABC News, August 13, 2009 ---
See The Washington Post account ---

The two-tier versus age-discriminatory three-tier government medical insurance payment plan for hospitals
A huge portion of Obamacare will be financed by further limiting what hospitals receive from Medicare. I think this is a wrong  because it creates age discrimination that should not be allowed. If government medical insurance pays hospitals more for younger patients than older patients it will be age discrimination. If all government medical insurance payments to hospitals is so tight-fisted that the hospitals lose money on every government-insured patient (which is why the Massachusetts hospitals are suing the Mass. universal health care plan), then hospitals will have to rely more and more on private insurance plans to keep those hospitals in business. This, in turn, will drive up the cost of private insurance to a point where many businesses, especially small businesses, will shift almost entirely to part-time workers.

Democrats are now blaming the defection of elderly voters from Obama care on the phony threats of euthanasia and rationing of treatment of older people. But this is not the underlying cause of the defection. The underlying cause is the genuine threat that government health insurance will pay less for hospital and doctor care that what is being paid for younger patients. President Obama needs to assure the elderly that hospitals and doctors will receive just as much from older patients as younger patients. Why don't Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews ever assure us that there will be no age discrimination in claims coverage?
Bob Jensen

Obama Must Condemn NY Times Race-Baiting Tactics, Black Group Says
The Project 21 black leadership network, New York Times liberal columnist Paul Krugman Obama Must Condemn NY Times Race-Baiting Tactics, Black Group Says Washington D.C. — The Project 21 black leadership network is condemning New York Times liberal columnist Paul Krugman (Nobel Economist and Princeton University Professor) for scurrilously pinning racist motives on critics of President Obama’s health care proposals. The group is calling upon President Obama to condemn all efforts to derail legitimate public debate, specifically including this effort to stifle debate with race-baiting tactics.
Bob Parker, Canada Free Press, August 8, 2009 --- http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/13533
Jensen Comment
There will be ice caves in Hell before President Obama criticizes the GOP-hating New York Times.

We hear the trillion-dollar figure all the time, but how much would ObamaCare really end up costing? If we've learned anything from previous government programs, it's that the actual price almost always shoots far beyond the advertised price. Is there any reason to think things would be different this time around?
Watch the video --- http://reason.com/blog/show/135279.html

"What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand," Frank Rich wrote in Sunday's New York Times. That manipulation should disturb us. But contrary to Rich, it is not the work of "corporatists" who have sprung up to attack progressive reforms proposed by Obama and the Democratic majority. Manipulation is what we got many years ago when we traded a more or less free market for the "progressive" interventionist state. When government is big, the well-connected always have an advantage over the rest of us.
"Big Business for Health-Care Reform," by John Stossel, ABC News, August 11, 2009 ---

The Lie:  The big corporations (like Wal-Mart), the big medical insurance companies, and the big pharmaceutical companies are lobbying against Obamacare.
"Big Business Goes Big for Health Care Reform:  Why drug companies and insurance providers are backing ObamaCare," by John Stossel, Reason Magazine, August 13, 2009 --- http://www.reason.com/news/show/135407.html

"What disturbs Americans of all ideological persuasions is the fear that almost everything, not just government, is fixed or manipulated by some powerful hidden hand," Frank Rich wrote in Sunday's New York Times.

That manipulation should disturb us. But contrary to Rich, it is not the work of "corporatists" who have sprung up to attack progressive reforms proposed by Obama and the Democratic majority. Manipulation is what we got many years ago when we traded a more or less free market for the "progressive" interventionist state. When government is big, the well-connected always have an advantage over the rest of us in influencing public policy.

Observe: Although President Obama and big-government activists demonize health-insurance companies, the companies "are still mostly on board with the president's effort to overhaul the U.S. health-care system," the Wall Street Journal
reports; and ...

Although the activists criticize Big Pharma, "The drug industry has already contributed millions of dollars to advertising campaigns for the health care overhaul through the advocacy groups like Healthy Economies Now and Families USA. It has spent about $1 million on similar advertisements under its own name," the
Times reports.

Big Pharma and Big Insurance want Obama-style health-care reform?

It's not so hard to understand. "The drug makers stand to gain millions of new customers," the Times said.

And from the Journal: "If health legislation succeeds, the [insurance] industry would likely get a fresh batch of new customers. In particular, many young and healthy people who currently forgo coverage would be forced to sign up." No wonder insurers are willing to stop "discriminating" against sick people. (Forget that the essence of insurance is discrimination according to risk.)

Not that Big Pharma and Big Insurance like every detail of the Democratic plan. Drug companies don't want Medicare negotiating drug prices—for good reason. If it forces drug prices down, research and development will be discouraged. (Depending whom you believe, Obama may or may not have agreed with the drug companies
on this point.)

As for the insurance companies, they worry—legitimately—that a government insurance company—the so-called public option"—would drive them out of business. This isn't alarmism. It's economics. The public option would have no bottom line to worry about and therefore could engage in "predatory pricing" against the private insurers.

But despite these differences, the biggest companies in these two industries are on board with "reform."

It illustrates economist Steven Horwitz's
First Law of Political Economy: "No one hates capitalism more than capitalists." In this case, big business wants to shape—and profit from—what inevitably will be an interventionist health-care reform. Can you think of the last time a major business supported a truly free market in anything?

In light of all this, it's funny to watch Democrats and their activist allies panic over the protests at congressional town meetings around the country. Tools of the corporate interests! they cry. But anyone opposing "socialized medicine" at the meeting can't be a mouthpiece for big business because, as we've seen, big business supports government control. Conservative groups may be encouraging people to vent their anger at congressmen who pass burdensome legislation without even bothering to read it, but that's no reason to insult the protestors as pawns. What's wrong with organizations helping like-minded people to voice their opinions? Why do Democrats, such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
dismiss citizen participation as "AstroTurf"—not real grassroots—only when citizens oppose the kind of big government they favor?

They weren't so dismissive when George W. Bush was president and people protested—appropriately—his accumulation of executive powers.

"When handfuls of Code Pink ladies disrupted congressional hearings or speeches by Bush administration officials," Glenn Reynolds
writes, "it was taken as evidence that the administration's policies were unpopular, and that the thinking parts of the populace were rising up in true democratic fashion. ... But when it happens to Democrats, it's something different: A threat to democracy, a sign of incipient fascism ... House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the 'Tea Party' protesters Nazis. ... "

So when lefties do it, it's called "community organizing."

When conservatives and libertarians do it, it's "AstroTurf."

Give me a break.

John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' 20/20 and the author of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. He has a new blog at http://blogs.abcnews.com/johnstossel.

Jensen Comment
So who's against Obamacare? I think of the little people who are tired of being told that it's raining when hypocrites in Congress are peeing on our shoes. I think it's the little people who know full well that Obamacare will be neither less expensive nor less wasteful of consumer/taxpayer dollars. I think of the little people who are tired of spending deficits that are paving the road to Hell. I think it's the little people who fear the hoards of foreigners sneaking across our borders for free health care. I think it's the little people who wish that genuine photo identification should be required for voting and collection of benefits.

John Stossel's right. The great divide between big government and big business is a myth. We're puppets on a string being exploited by the people in glass towers who blow up our economic bubbles and pop our balloons. Obamacare is just another way of justifying lousy health care from overworked and underpaid healthcare providers. Obamacare's another way to beat down small business and competition in America.

"Drug Dealers:  The White House buys Big Pharma’s," The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2009 ---

Democrats are trying to explain opposition to ObamaCare as a sinister conspiracy controlled by the hidden hand of the health-care industry. Psychologists call this projection. Why bother with a new conspiracy when you’ve already clinched a secret deal with the President?

Part of the Obama health strategy has been to assiduously co-opt the key health “stakeholders,” primarily with the leverage that legislation was inevitable so they might as well negotiate. Doctors, hospitals, insurers and the drug makers bought it—or perhaps it is more accurate to say were bought. This week it emerged that the pharmaceutical industry’s supposedly voluntary peace offering to cut drug costs by $80 billion to help finance ObamaCare was an explicit quid pro quo in exchange for White House protection.

After the industry trade group PhRMA announced the plan in the Rose Garden in June, liberals on Capitol Hill promptly declared that they were “not bound” by it, as Henry Waxman and Nancy Pelosi repeatedly put it. If the industry could do Mr. Obama the favor of $80 billion, liberals wanted it to eat $100 billion in cuts, or $160 billion, or more.

“The President made the agreements he made,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “And maybe we’ll be limited by that. But maybe not.” Sure enough, the House health bill pockets the money and then imposes price controls in Medicare and other “rebates” from manufacturers, much like Medicaid requires now.

Chief pharma lobbyist Billy Tauzin’s clients were probably wondering about the return on their investment. Then, lo, Mr. Tauzin disclosed this week in a page-one story in the New York Times that, yes, the concessions were capped at $80 billion, no further. “We were assured: ‘We need somebody to come in first. If you come in first, you will have a rock-solid deal,’” Mr. Tauzin said. “Adding other stuff changes the deal.” The White House confirmed Mr. Tauzin’s account.

It’s astonishing to watch the press corps pass all this off as just another day at the Oval Office. During the Bush years, even eye contact with a business, CEO or lobbyist was treated as prima facie evidence of corruption. There was the furor over Dick Cheney’s “secret energy task force,” and even the Iraq war was engineered to benefit Halliburton, Blackwater and Big Oil. But apparently having corporate America dictate public policy is fine as long as it’s the largest expansion of the welfare state since the Great Society.

As for Mr. Tauzin’s gambit that playing nice would spare his industry, he evidently missed the sign hanging above Congress’s chambers: “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” Mr. Waxman responded, “PhRMA would like to see if they can get a bargain. I think that PhRMA should contribute more than PhRMA wants to contribute.” Senator Dick Durbin chimed in that “I don’t think any, if many, of us feel bound by any understanding or agreement along those lines.”

What this Abbott and Costello routine exposes is the industry folly of thinking that liberals could be appeased. By now it is beyond obvious that Democrats view whole segments of the health-care industry as expendable. After all, what do insurers really do, besides bilk consumers? Government already pays Medicare bills; it can handle the under-65 crowd too. Over time doctors can be transferred into the civil service, but if they’re good sports maybe at a higher pay grade than the DMV. As for drug research and development, the National Institutes of Health can fill in—and as a bonus, all those government-funded professors won’t care about profits either. For the Democrats running Congress, merely allowing a business to continue to exist is a concession.

Even if Mr. Tauzin’s strategy works this time around, it will only push his clients deeper into Mr. Waxman’s embrace as government pays for the majority of American medicine. If ObamaCare is defeated, it will be due to the common sense of the American people, not to the health-care lobbies that have become its political partners.

"Drug Industry to Run Ads Favoring White House Plan (Obamacare)," by David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times, August 8, 2009 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/09/health/policy/09lobby.html?_r=2

Also see the (gasp) Huffington Post take on this backroom deal --- Click Here

Billy and the Beanstalk  Big Pharma's lobbyist has sold his CEOs on a political fantasy.
As a political strategist, Big Pharma lobbyist Billy Tauzin is starting to look less like Dr. Faustus and more like Jack, trading away his industry for magic beans. Last week Mr. Tauzin ostentatiously blabbed to the media that his industry's deal to help fund ObamaCare with $80 billion in prescription-drug discounts was really protection money. In particular, he bragged that he had secured promises from the White House that President Obama would fend off Congressional Democrats who want to "negotiate" drug prices, which in practice means price controls.
The Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2009 --- Click Here

Jesus, the Great Healer, wants Obamacare according to MSNBC (even if top preachers are "dreadfully silent"). Watch the video ---

So the present (health care) system is an unsustainable disaster, but you can keep your piece of it if you want. And the Democrats wonder why selling health care reform to the public has been so hard?
Ramesh Ponuru,
"Obamacare's Fatal Flaw:  Democrats claim their plans will save money, but they have too many conflicting goals," Time Magazine August 17, 2009, Page 35
Jensen Comment
The problem is that they keep adding expensive medical services that sound great on paper, but few people, companies, and certainly not government can afford these uncapped benefits.

The Poster Child of Universal Health Care is In Financial Troubles
"France Fights Universal Care's High Cost," David Gauthier-Villars, The Wall Street Journal, August 7, 2009 ---

France claims it long ago achieved much of what today's U.S. health-care overhaul is seeking: It covers everyone, and provides what supporters say is high-quality care. But soaring costs are pushing the system into crisis. The result: As Congress fights over whether America should be more like France, the French government is trying to borrow U.S. tactics.

In recent months, France imposed American-style "co-pays" on patients to try to throttle back prescription-drug costs and forced state hospitals to crack down on expenses. "A hospital doesn't need to be money-losing to provide good-quality treatment," President Nicolas Sarkozy thundered in a recent speech to doctors.

And service cuts -- such as the closure of a maternity ward near Ms. Cuccarolo's home -- are prompting complaints from patients, doctors and nurses that care is being rationed. That concern echos worries among some Americans that the U.S. changes could lead to rationing.

The French system's fragile solvency shows how tough it is to provide universal coverage while controlling costs, the professed twin goals of President Barack Obama's proposed overhaul

"French people are so attached to their health-insurance system that they almost never support changes," says Frédéric Van Roekeghem, Assurance Maladie's director.

Both patients and doctors say they feel the effects of Mr. Sarkozy's cuts. They certainly had an impact on Ms. Cuccarolo of the firetruck birth.

She lives near the medieval town of Figeac, in southern France. The maternity ward of the public hospital there was closed in June as part of a nationwide effort to close smaller, less efficient units. In 2008, fewer than 270 babies were born at the Figeac maternity ward, below the annual minimum required of 300, says Fabien Chanabas, deputy director of the local public hospital.

"We were providing good-quality obstetric services," he says. "But at a very high cost." Since the maternity closed, he says, the hospital narrowed its deficit and began reallocating resources toward geriatric services, which are in high demand.

In the Figeac region, however, people feel short-changed. "Until the 1960s, many women delivered their babies at home," says Michel Delpech, mayor of the village where Ms. Cuccarolo lives. "The opening of the Figeac maternity was big progress. Its closure is perceived as a regression."

For Ms. Cuccarolo, it meant she would have to drive to Cahors, about 30 miles away. "That's fine when you can plan in advance," she says. "But my little girl came a month earlier than expected."

France launched its first national health-care system in 1945. World War II had left the country in ruins, and private insurers were weak. The idea: Create a single health insurer and make it compulsory for all companies and workers to pay premiums to it based on a percentage of salaries. Patients can choose their own doctors, and -- unlike the U.S., where private health insurers can have a say -- doctors can prescribe any therapy or drug without approval of the national health insurance.

Private insurers, both for-profit and not-for-profit, continued to exist, providing optional benefits such as prescription sunglasses, orthodontics care or individual hospital rooms.

At a time when the U.S. is considering ways of providing coverage for its entire population, France's blending of public and private medical structures offers important lessons, says Victor Rodwin, professor of health policy and management at New York University's Wagner School. The French managed to design a universal system incorporating physician choice and a mix of public and private service providers, without it being "a monolithic system of Soviet variety," he says.

It took decades before the pieces fell into place. Only in 1999 did legislation mandate that anyone with a regular residence permit is entitled to health benefits with no strings attached. Also that year, France clarified rules for illegal residents: Those who can justify more than three months of presence on French territory, and don't have financial resources, can receive full coverage.

That made the system universal.

In the U.S., health-overhaul bills don't attempt to cover illegal immigrants. Doing so would increase costs and is considered politically difficult.

Continued in article

Turning critics into enemies is not presidential
Team Obama is suffering from Extended Campaign Syndrome. In an election, campaign staffers are often just trying to survive until the next week or the next primary. They cut corners because they are fatigued or under pressure. They can be purposely combative and even portray critics as enemies. Carrying this mindset into the White House can get you into trouble, a lesson the Obama administration is now learning the hard way.
Carl Rove, "Obama and the Permanent Campaign," The Wall Street Journal, August 13, 2009 --- Click Here

Say What?
"Under Pressure, Obama Defends Health-Care Plan," by Jonathon Weisman, The Wall Street Journal, August 12, 2009 ---

Another questioner, Republican Ben Hershenson of Algonquin, Maine, said creating a public option like Medicare would break the private insurance market. "Who can compete with the government?

The answer is nobody," he said. Mr. Obama's answer evoked the public-private competition in the mail business. "UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right?" the president said. "It's the Post Office that's always having problems."

Michael Moore lets the Obamacare cat out of the bait and switch bag
Free Republic, August 11, 2009 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2313338/posts

In politics, knowing what your opposition thinks and says about you and your team is critical. But listening to what they’re saying about their own side can sometimes be even more telling.

In the latest issue of Rolling Stone, Michael Moore insists that Barack Obama’s ambitions are much farther left than he lets on. Thus, the President has been deliberately lying to us about everything from healthcare reform to the war on terror. But contrary to the Bush years, when perceived presidential deceit evoked liberal rage and a film to go with it, Moore adoringly approves of what he now sees as a necessary “rope-a-dope strategy” to advance his side’s cause.

The interview, part of a larger round table discussion also including Paul Krugman and David Gergen, asks the “three leading political observers” to analyze and discuss the first six months of the Obama presidency. The most startling perspective Moore provides is in regard to the current health care debate:

I take all of the things that make me nervous about the decisions that Obama has made, and I look and them through that lens – that it’s some kind of master plan. It’s like his continued support of a government-run option for health care. If a true public option is enacted – and Obama knows this – it will eventually bring about a single-payer system, because the profit-making insurance companies won’t be able to compete with a government plan and make the profits they want to make. At some point most of them will probably have to bow out of the business.
Michael Moore

"Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will ‘Eliminate’ Private Health Insurance," Breitbart, August 3, 2009 ---

President Barack Obama apparently came to believe the myth of his messiahship and has accordingly abused and squandered his good will and political capital and possibly self-sabotaged his socialized medicine scheme. Of all the newsworthy aspects of this desperate "reform" effort, none is more so than the robust democratic processes it has reinvigorated in this nation. While Democrats insist the nationwide grass-roots movement against his Draconian measure is contrived and illusory, it is just the opposite. Nothing could be so real as the American people, emboldened by their passion for liberty, standing up against a callous, dishonest government trolling for its freedoms in exchange for false promises.
David Limbaugh
, "Obama's Forfeited Credibility Sabotaging Obamacare," Townhall, August 14, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
The public just isn't buying into the lie that it's possible to widen the scope of coverage of each person's health insurance and add 50 million uninsured to the insurance plans without increasing the Federal deficit and/or driving small companies out of business with requirements to pay greatly increased premiums. The public recognizes that this is a job killer --- their jobs.

Video:  Canadian Brain Surgery --- http://www.freemarketcure.com/brainsurgery.php

Are labor unions for or against environmental protection?

"A Move to Put the Union Label on Solar Power Plants," by Todd Woody, The New York Times, June 18, 2009 ---

SACRAMENTO — When a company called Ausra filed plans for a big solar power plant in California, it was deluged with demands from a union group that it study the effect on creatures like the short-nosed kangaroo rat and the ferruginous hawk.

By contrast, when a competitor, BrightSource Energy, filed plans for an even bigger solar plant that would affect the imperiled desert tortoise, the same union group, California Unions for Reliable Energy, raised no complaint. Instead, it urged regulators to approve the project as quickly as possible.

One big difference between the projects? Ausra had rejected demands that it use only union workers to build its solar farm, while BrightSource pledged to hire labor-friendly contractors.

As California moves to license dozens of huge solar power plants to meet the state’s renewable energy goals, some developers contend they are being pressured to sign agreements pledging to use union labor. If they refuse, they say, they can count on the union group to demand costly environmental studies and deliver hostile testimony at public hearings.

If they commit at the outset to use union labor, they say, the environmental objections never materialize.

“This does stress the limits of credibility to some extent,” a California energy commissioner, Jeffrey Byron, said at one contentious hearing, “when an attorney representing a labor union is so focused on the potential impact of a solar power plant on birds.”

Union leaders acknowledge that they make aggressive use of the environmental laws, but say they do it out of genuine concern for the sustainability of California’s power industry, not just as a negotiating tactic. And they contend they do not abandon valid environmental objections to a project just because a company signs a labor agreement.

“We’ve been tarred and feathered more than once on this issue,” said Marc Joseph, a lawyer for California Unions for Reliable Energy. “We don’t walk away from environmental issues.”

At proposed fossil-fuel power plants, the union group has long been accused of exploiting environmental laws to force companies into signing labor agreements. The tactic is a subject of perennial discussion in the California legislature, which has considered, but never passed, bills to strip labor of its right to participate in environmental assessments.

What is new is that California Unions for Reliable Energy, a coalition of construction unions, appears to be applying this approach to new-age renewable energy projects, especially solar power plants, which are being fast-tracked to help meet the state’s green power target.

Lawyers for the union both negotiate labor agreements with solar developers and participate in the environmental review of the projects.

California Unions for Reliable Energy insists it is pursuing the long-term interests of its members. If energy projects are held to high environmental standards, the group says, more of them will ultimately get built, and that will mean more union jobs.

Nationwide, as billions of dollars in public and private investment flow to renewable energy projects, the environmental and labor battles being fought in California could prove to be the opening skirmishes of a larger fight over the emerging green economy.

Should Rust Belt factories converted to making solar components and wind turbines be union shops, gateways to the middle-class for a new generation of workers in the green economy? Or will the green economy look more like the service economy, with low-paid employees installing rooftop solar panels and retrofitting buildings?

For the labor movement, green jobs represent an opportunity to regain relevance after years of declining membership.

“Unions are trying to get a foothold in solar, wind and other new green occupations,” said Philip Mattera, research director for Good Jobs First, a labor-oriented research group in Washington.

“We’re at a turning point that will have an impact on the future of the whole economy, and a lot of unions are gearing up.”

But skeptics fear that union control of renewable energy projects will saddle the nascent industry with high costs and undermine its competitiveness.

Continued in article

"Construction Unions Meet in Washington, D.C.," Doug Perry, San Francisco Buildings and Construction Council ---

In discussing immigration legislation Boxer noted her opposition to the guest worker program. The House proposal would allow 325,000 temporary guest workers to enter the U.S. each year. Boxer commented that the guest workers would be unskilled, and could take jobs in any industry including construction. She felt the immigrants would compete for jobs with U.S. workers and exert downward pressure on wages. Temporary workers in agriculture are not part of the guest worker program, and are being dealt with separately in a bill by Senator Feinstein.

Jensen Comment
The worry for renewable solar and wind power is that environmentalists are pushing for rushed construction of projects in the face of existing environmental regulations and red tape that can delay the start of such projects for years. Although construction unions are now selectively using the red tape obstructions to their benefit, environmental protection organizations can also make mountains of obstructions and delays in the name of short-nosed kangaroo rat, ferruginous hawks, snail darters, condors, and desert tortoises. Environmentalists are clashing with environmentalists here! And politicians serving both labor union and Latino constituencies are caught in the middle as well when it comes to massive construction projects.

Are Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly Shows the new version of staged professional wrestling?

"MSNBC & FOX: Posing Divided, United They Stand," by Laura Flanders, The Nation, August 4, 2009 ---

In a nutshell, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC and Bill O'Reilly of Fox have been going at it. For months, Olbermann's called the Fox host out for his lies and smears, regularly dubbing him "Worst Person in the World," while O'Reilly's raised questions about MSNBC's corporate owners, General Electric.

The on-air feud was good for ratings. It wasn't even bad journalism, for these kind of programs. Olbermann held Fox's O'Reilly to account for dubbing Dr. George Tiller "baby killer" in the run up to Tiller's assassination. O'Reilly sent a producer to a GE shareholder's meeting to raise questions about company business in Iran.

The feud wasn't bad for ratings, but it was perceived as a potential threat to other corporate interests. And so it was that some time this May, the chairman of General Electric (which owns MSNBC), and Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corporation (which owns Fox News), were brought into a "summit meeting" for CEOs where Charlie Rose played peacemaker.

Said one General Electric employee quoted by the Times, calling the two into line meant, "Fewer headaches on the corporate side."

The sniping's stopped. There's been virtually none of it since the deal took effect on June 1. When Glenn Beck called the President a racist, for example, commentators criticized Beck, but they obediently avoided going after the network that pays him.

It's just another reminder why we don't see stinging reporting, say, of General Electric's investment in the weapons trade, or the healthcare business, or News Corp's dealings with the Chinese government.

Posing divided, united they stand. In the all-about profits media business, ideological rifts are fine for the purposes of gaining notoriety and building audience. Stir things up and deepen divisions among parties, politicians, workers, little people. But go after business interests -- and that's another story. Then, the same media moguls who profit off our social divides sing corporate Kumbaya when their profits are in peril.

Making independent media's tough. It's hard to fund and it's tempting to think there must be a better way. Wouldn't it be easier if some corporation paid the bills?


Seeking Alpha Question
Wouldn't all empirical researchers like smaller samples?

Then a coauthor on another paper told me that she'd found an error she made in her coding. In this case, when she found and corrected her error, it quadrupled our sample size. If you're an empiricist, you know how much an increase from about 90 observations to about 400 means. If not, let's just say it's a big deal to the alpha nerds among us (and that description applies to most of my friends).
Financial Rounds Blog, August 7, 2009 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

Jensen Comment
I often use another blog called Seeking Alpha ( http://seekingalpha.com/ ). I never thought much about the title of that blog. Now whenever I see the name "Seeking Alpha" I'm going to think of the irony of sample sizes of 90 versus 400 and the games played by empirical researchers.

Over the years I've encountered experienced researchers who have memory lapses when they are using enormous sample sizes. Statistical significance testing is superfluous for extremely large samples where insignificant sampling differences are always declared statistically significant.

Of course in Alpha tests of Type 1 error are less important in accounting research, because findings will not be replicated in any case, which says a whole lot about the importance of the findings in the first place. Oops! You must be tired of my sermonizing on replications by now ---

It's a research fact:  Natural blondes are becoming extinct!
Suppose this study had actually been reported a leading accounting research journal such as The Accounting Review.
Keep in mind that leading accounting research journals do not publish replication studies.
As a result few accounting researchers conduct replication studies since they cannot be published.
The logical deduction becomes that accountants would forever think that natural blondes are going extinct.

From the WSJ Opinion Journal on March 6, 2006

"Media outlets around the world, from CBS, ABC and CNN to the British tabloids" all fell for a hoax--a fake study from the World Health Organization claiming blondes are going extinct.

The Washington Post reported http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30318-2002Oct1.html
(Actually I think the story was removed with some very red faces)

"The decline and fall of the blonde is most likely being caused by bottle blondes, who researchers believe are more attractive to men than true blondes," said CBS "Early Show" co-host Gretchen Carlson.

"There's a study from the World Health Organization--this is for real--that says that blondes are an endangered species," Charlie Gibson said on "Good Morning America," prompting Diane Sawyer to say she's "going the way of the snail darter." . . .

"We've certainly never conducted any research into the subject," WHO spokeswoman Rebecca Harding said yesterday from Geneva. "It's been impossible to find out where it came from. It just seems like it was a hoax."

The health group traced the story to an account Thursday on a German wire service, which in turn was based on a two-year-old article in the German women's magazine Allegra, which cited a WHO anthropologist. Harding could find no record of such a man working for the WHO.

Hey, if you're a journalist, we've got a great human-interest story for you: Did you hear about the blonde who invented the solar flashlight? --- http://www.zelo.com/blonde/no_brains.asp

Now you see how ridiculous the accounting journal policy of not publishing replications becomes. Hopefully this published story in a leading U.S. newspaper (I mean The Washington Post that broke the Watergate scandal) the next time you read the findings in a leading accounting research journal.

This is a program that could affect virtually every college and university

"Obama's Great Course Giveaway: Clues to a grand online-education plan emerge from the college and the experts that may have inspired it," by Marc Perry, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 3, 2009 ---

Logan Stark's classmates scramble for courses with professors who top instructor-rating Web sites. But when the California Polytechnic State University student enrolled in a biochemistry class on the San Luis Obispo campus, he didn't need to sweat getting the best.

It was practically guaranteed.

That's because much of the class was built by national specialists, not one Cal Poly professor. It's a hybrid of online and in-person instruction. When Mr. Stark logs in to the course Web site at midnight, a bowl of cereal beside his laptop, he clicks through animated cells and virtual tutors, a digital domain designed by faculty experts and software engineers.

By the time Mr. Stark steps into the actual lecture hall, the Web site has alerted his professor to what parts of the latest lesson gave students trouble. That lets her focus class time on where they need the most help.

Mr. Stark's class is one of about 300 around the world to use online course material—both the content and the software that delivers it—developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Open Learning Initiative. If the Obama administration pulls off a $500-million-dollar online-education plan, proposed in July as one piece of a sweeping community-college aid package, this type of course could become part of a free library available to colleges nationwide.

The administration has released only vague statements about the plan. But Chronicle interviews with a senior Education Department official and others whose ideas have informed the emerging policy suggest how colleges might use these courses—and how Carnegie Mellon, repeatedly cited by officials, might offer a model for the effort.

The government would pay to develop these "open" classes, taking up the mantle of a movement that has unlocked lecture halls at universities nationwide in recent years—a great course giveaway popularized by the OpenCourseWare project's free publication of 1,900 courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Millions worldwide have used these online materials. But the publication cost—at MIT, about $10,000 a course—has impeded progress at the community-college level, says Stephen E. Carson, external-relations director for MIT OpenCourseWare.

The result is a "huge population of students," he says, "that aren't being served."

Experts see huge potential in serving those students with open courses: To help them explore careers. To give them confidence before returning to school. To improve retention once they get there. To lower the cost of a degree. To spur alternative ways of awarding credit. And to guarantee standards "whether you are in a more impoverished, underserved, or remote area of the country," says Curtis J. Bonk, a professor in the department of instructional- systems technology at Indiana University and author of the new book The World is Open.

The plan coincides with Mr. Obama's goal for the United States to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. But Marshall S. (Mike) Smith, senior counselor to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, feels that won't happen simply by moving middle- and high-school students further through the system. Higher education also needs to rope in older students who never went beyond high school, or who abandoned college before finishing a degree, he says.

"The opportunity to attract those people would be greatly enhanced by having a bunch of really good courses that they could work on in the evenings," Mr. Smith says, so they could "try out the idea of getting course credit for them—and get hooked."

Mr. Smith, a veteran of the Clinton- and Carter-era Education Departments, is an open-education evangelist who recently returned to government after serving as education-program director for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The California foundation has funneled more than $80-million into making digital resources like textbooks and lecture videos freely available on the Web.

Mr. Smith has bigger ambitions still. In January he published an article in the journal Science laying out the dream of "a 21st-century library" composed of Web-based open courses for high-school and college students. The courses would be laced with multimedia features and personalized with feedback from computer programs that track student performance. The language coming out of the White House and Education Department today echoes some of the concepts in Mr. Smith's article.

But his article also stacked up the challenges and mixed incentives that the controversial free-knowledge movement must surmount.

Working against open access are "financial concerns, authors' fears of exposing mediocre content, the weight of traditional practice, and legitimate reasons for protecting intellectual property," he wrote. "Some publishers and professional academic organizations believe they have a lot to lose" as open educational resources grow more popular.

In an hourlong interview with The Chronicle, Mr. Smith focused on many of the details facing the administration as it tries to create an open-course clearinghouse and navigates delicate, still-unanswered questions about what role the government would play in financing and disseminating its contents.

One big question: Who would get the money?

A possible answer, which is not specified in a House of Representatives bill that includes the online proposal, could be an outside laboratory-and-research organization that would receive a block of government money and parcel it out into competitive grants for course development, and then make sure the courses were updated. A community college could house the project, Mr. Smith says. So could a consortium of community colleges, a university, or a nongovernmental group.

The courses created would reach students through multiple devices, such as computers, handheld devices, and e-book readers like Kindles. They would be modular, and therefore easily updated. Both nonprofit and for-profit entities could compete for the money to build them.

Continued in article

"Obama Course-Giveaway Backlash?" by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 10, 2009 ---
OK, maybe backlash is too strong a word.

But some distance-learning leaders are starting to raise questions and concerns about President Obama’s new online-education proposal, a great-course giveaway that would pump $500-million into freely available Web-based courses.
Are new courses needed? Would students get help working through them? Would their privacy be protected as they use the material? All of those issues came up here during last week’s
Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning.
Janet Poley, president of the American Distance Education Consortium, argued that course development wasn’t a “terribly high need.” Many online courses have already been created, she pointed out. Why not start from existing material?
“I’d rather see more of this money go into scholarships for online learning than reinventing courses that have already been invented,” said Ms. Poley, an adult-education expert whose consortium consists of about 65 state universities and land-grant colleges.
The consortium president was one of several people to publicly worry about the fine print of Mr. Obama’s plan during the distance-learning conference, which drew about 800 people to Madison.
Chere Gibson, a University of Wisconsin at Madison professor emerita whose research has focused on distance learning, expressed concern about making courses available without an infrastructure to get students through them.
“It’s unethical to allow a student to have access to courses and not provide a support system that allows them to have success,” Ms. Gibson said during a panel discussion, prompted by a question from a Chronicle reporter. “There needs to be some kind of support system for learners, within the system. And it’s not inexpensive.”
The Obama administration has yet to release many details of its online course plan, one small piece of a sweeping community-college assistance package. But officials have repeatedly cited Carnegie Mellon University’s
Open Learning Initiative as a potential model. The project builds software-enhanced online courses that track students’ progress and provide them with feedback on problems. If the courses are used in combination with instructors, they can feed information to professors about where students are struggling.
If government-backed courses were based on this tracking-intensive model, Ms. Poley said, that raises questions about how long the data gathered would be kept, who would have access to it, how it would be used, and how students’ identities would be protected.
“If you have people recording everything that you’re doing in an online environment, even when you’re working on a problem, to study how you’re working on that problem, unobtrusively, there are big privacy questions,” she said. “Many people in that population group will not necessarily understand how much under the microscope they are.”
She added, “I think their little experiment is a nice little experiment – and there are a lot of other nice little experiments about. I want to see something much more systemic, and with much more input. I think they should have a summit.”

Jensen Comment
Although I’m one of the world’s strongest advocates of open sharing of knowledge, there are benefit versus cost tests that should be applied for this level of spending. It seems to me that money will be wasted on such an ad hoc program that is not self-sustaining.

I am more hopeful about OKI initiatives started years back by MIT and the sharing of full courses by major universities on YouTube. Of course these are severely limited by not making college credits available for “taking” such free courses.

Bob Jensen's threads on open sharing of knowledge are at

Bob Jensen's threads on free course materials, videos, and entire courses are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education and training alternatives ---

The 50 Greatest Film Monologues
Financial Rounds Blog, August 10, 2009 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
Also see http://www.hedgehogs.net/pg/newsfeeds/hhwebadmin/item/681019/the-50-greatest-film-monologues

Paul Williams reminded us of the following omission:
Greta Garbo's "I vant to be alone" isn't there?

"The 10 most historically inaccurate movies," London Times, August 4, 2009 ---

1 U-571, 2000

Rather cynically, American screenwriter David Ayer depicted American rather than British naval officers capturing the first Enigma machine, “in order to drive the movie for an American audience.” The first Enigma machine was in fact seized by officers from HMS Bulldog in 1941 and by the time the USA joined the war later that year, Britain had cracked the code. The post-release furore led Tony Blair, Prime Minister at the time, to agree that it was “an affront to the memories” of those involved and Bill Clinton, then US President, to write a letter emphasising the film’s fictional nature. In 2006, Ayer told the BBC he had come to regret the alteration: “Both my grandparents were officers in World War II, and I would be personally offended if somebody distorted their achievements.”

2 Braveheart, 1995

Not only was the Scottish hero William Wallace gruesomely executed in 1305, having been captured by the English at Falkirk, but seven centuries later his memory was exhumed, smeared with blue face paint and mutilated by Mel Gibson. Wallace was not the poor villager the film depicts, but a landowner and minor knight. The litany of fibs extends from Wallace’s love interest (Queen Isabella would have been about two-years-old at the time) to his kilt – a garment not developed for another three centuries. The historian Sharon L. Krossa likens it to “a film about Colonial America showing the colonial men wearing 20th century business suits.”

3 10,000 BC, 2008

This tale of a mammoth hunter travelling across the prehistoric globe to rescue his bride, features some surprising revelations. Were sabre-tooth tigers bull-sized? Could man train Woolly Mammoths to help build pyramids? Did we invent sailing boats so early? Unfortunately the answer to all these questions is no. In fact, the filmmakers incorporated so many animals then extinct, or yet to evolve, and so many future technologies and geographical impossibilities that Archaeology magazine was compelled to review - and pan it: “Unsurprisingly, this tribe is starving, but it is hard to have sympathy for them because any culture that tries to hunt mammoths with a net gets what it deserves.”

4 The Patriot, 2000

Gibson (rugby) tackles history again with his turn as an honest farmer drawn into the American Revolutionary War, which historian David Hackett Fischer claimed in the New York Times “is to history as Godzilla was to biology.” Crimes erroneously attributed to British soldiers include immolating villagers inside their church, an atrocity actually committed a century and a half later by Nazis in the French village of Oradour-sur-Glane. Meanwhile the director Spike Lee complained that the film “dodged around, skirted about or completely ignored slavery.” There is also strong evidence that Francis Marion, the basis for Gibson’s character, was a slave-owning serial rapist who murdered Cherokee Indians for fun.

5 Pearl Harbour, 2001

The protagonists of Pearl Harbour, George Welch and Kenneth M. Taylor, are based on two real-life US Army Air Corps Second Lieutenants, but the film weaves such a wildly inaccurate account of their love lives and sky-swooping exploits, that the cinematic incarnations have been rendered fictional. Before his death in 2006 Taylor told his son he thought the movie was “over-sensationalized and distorted.” The film’s villains fair no better than its heroes - the Japanese are reduced to a war-hungry stereotype that even in 1967 embarrassed TV bosses enough to mask it in latex and it call Klingon before broadcast.

6 Apocalypto, 2006

If you thought it strange that Apocalypto’s Mayans ransack a village of their own people for sacrificial victims and slaves, your suspicion was justified. Maya expert Zachary Hruby told the National Geographic that there is no evidence of this behaviour, “Captives appear to have been taken during war.” In fact, the brutality of Mayan life is exaggerated throughout the film. The kidnapped villagers are supposedly hunters living deep in the jungle, when they would probably have been farmers living on manicured land, and they are murdered in mass sacrifices, an Aztec practice. The ubiquitous Gibson produced and directed the film.

7 Amadeus, 1984

Some years after Mozart’s death in 1791, a rumour circulated in Vienna that Antonio Salieri, court composer to Emperor Joseph II, had plotted the Austrian’s death - an assertion upon which Amadeus is based. But if Salieri was murderously jealous of Mozart he gave little clue to it. His contemporary Anselm Hüttenbrenner claimed that Salieri spoke of the prodigy "with exceptional respect," and Mozart’s widow Constanze trusted the Italian enough to ask him to tutor her son. It is possible that Salieri was wary of usurpation by the young genius, but the rumoured vitriol was probably propaganda fabricated as part of the rivalry between Italian and German schools of music.

7 Amadeus, 1984

Some years after Mozart’s death in 1791, a rumour circulated in Vienna that Antonio Salieri, court composer to Emperor Joseph II, had plotted the Austrian’s death - an assertion upon which Amadeus is based. But if Salieri was murderously jealous of Mozart he gave little clue to it. His contemporary Anselm Hüttenbrenner claimed that Salieri spoke of the prodigy "with exceptional respect," and Mozart’s widow Constanze trusted the Italian enough to ask him to tutor her son. It is possible that Salieri was wary of usurpation by the young genius, but the rumoured vitriol was probably propaganda fabricated as part of the rivalry between Italian and German schools of music.

8 Gladiator, 2000

Joaquin Phoenix’s Commodus is a coward who lusts after his sister Lucilla and murders his father, Marcus Araelius. In reality Commodus’s accession ended Pax Romana, two centuries of peace and minimal expansion by the empire and he has been described as a capricious show-off. But his father probably died of smallpox and far from falling in love with Lucilla, Commodus had her murdered after her involvement in an assassination attempt upon him. Ultimately, he was strangled in the bathtub by the wrestler Narcissus after twelve years of rule, not as the film asserts, while a new emperor, in a gladiatorial arena at the hands of Maximus – a fictional general based on Narcissus.

9 Young Victoria, 2009

Prince Albert really did prove his devotion to the pregnant Queen Victoria by bundling her into the well of a carriage during an assassination attempt, but he did not absorb the bullet this film dealt him. The gunman either missed or the pistol jammed, but the royal couple escaped unscathed. Screenwriter Julian Fellowes insisted that accuracy was paramount in his script, but that the alteration was necessary to show Albert’s deed to be “the act of bravery and selflessness that it was.” According to the News of the World, the present Queen was not amused by his decision.

10 Marie Antoinette 2006

In her stylised biopic of Marie Antoinette, Sofia Coppola sidelined the simmering politics of the French Revolution to focus exclusively on costumes and cakes. But while Marie lost her head for taking a similar stance, she might have lost it sooner had she propagated the film’s assertion that it took the queen a decade to conceive because Louis XVI was afraid of sex. The delay was almost certainly medical and in 2002 the historian Simone Bertière ascertained from royal correspondence that it was probably Louis’ “bracquemart assez considérable” mismatched with Marie’s “l'étroitesse du chemin” that blighted their love life. Perhaps too indelicate for Kirsten Dunst to explain between mouthfuls of macaroon.

August 11, 2009 reply from Richard.Sansing [Richard.C.Sansing@TUCK.DARTMOUTH.EDU]

In the spirit of egalitarianism, here is the worst film monologue of all time. It starts about a minute into the clip. Enjoy.


Richard Sansing

August 11, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty get advice on how to compose hits ---

My favorite line is that a hit "tells them something they already know."

I wonder if there's a lesson for academic accounting research here.

Bob Jensen

"A new low for cheating students:  B.C.'s Simon Fraser University introduces the grade of FD: failed for academic dishonesty," by Wendy Stuek, The Globe and Mail, August 13, 2009 --- Click Here
Thank you Jerry Trites in Canada for this link.

Summer may mean slow times on campus, but instructors at Simon Fraser University have already had reason to contemplate slapping students with a new, failing grade: FD, failed for academic dishonesty.

The grade, introduced in May as part of an overhaul of campus polices related to student misconduct, has already been considered by faculty for students enrolled in summer classes, said Rob Gordon, director of SFU's school of criminology.

“There have been some cases already in the summer term, where people have consulted me about the use of the FD grade,” said Mr. Gordon, who was part of an SFU committee that drew up the reforms, which include an updated student code of conduct.

“They [faculty] are looking at particularly egregious cases or cases involving repeat offenders.”

Faculty members must consult with department heads before assigning the grade, which would remain on an offending student's transcript while they remain at the university and for two years after graduation.

The new grade is part of updated policies that attempt to take into account matters ranging from online essay banks to hazing and to ensure that rules – and penalties for breaking them – are consistent throughout the university.

The FD grade would be handed out according to principles that include the severity of the offence and whether a student has been caught cheating before.

“If they're cheating on a tutorial assignment that's worth 10 marks, we're not going to throw the book at them,” Mr. Gordon said. “You don't use the FD grade to deal with someone in that situation. But you would use it for someone who, for example, plagiarized 80 per cent of their thesis.”

SFU's new failing grade is in line with measures taken by other universities in North America to combat academic dishonesty.

Asked to recall the worst case of academic dishonesty he could recall from his 30-year teaching career, Mr. Gordon cited a student's thesis that was plagiarized nearly in its entirety from six different sources.

The copy cat references were discovered after the student had graduated, but the university was able to rescind the degree.

That possibility is spelled out in SFU's updated code of conduct.

“Even though a student has departed the university, if their conduct is subsequently detected, we can recall the degree,” he said. “[That option] was always kind of there, but now it's much clearer.”

Jensen Comment
I don't agree with the headline that says the FD grade is a new low. Actually the FD grade sends a stronger message that the student not only failed, but that the student is also a cheater with low ethics. This could be more damaging on a permanent transcript than the simple grade of F. If the student is under 18 years of age, I'm not certain the grade would even be legal in the United States.

The FD grade, however, is ambiguous because it does not distinguish “Smart Enough to Pass, Dumb Enough to Cheat” from “Dumb Enough to Fail Compounded by Dumb Enough to Cheat.” Hence I propose the finer grading partitions of SEPDEC versus DEFDEC.

I hesitate to define DEPSEC that is assigned by professors fearful that failing grades will result in negative evaluations on RateMyProfessor --- http://ratemyprofessors.com/ 

August 13, 2009 AAA Commons reply from Julie Smith David (Arizona State University)

ASU has a grade of XE ( http://provost.asu.edu/academicintegrity/policy/TheGradeOfXE ), which is similar to the FD described here. I have found that students are VERY concerned about having this grade on their transcripts, but that faculty are equally committed to it when they have caught a student in a serious violation of the academic integrity code.

As the chair of the Masters Program Committee, and one of those "hard liners," I think this helps us protect our credibility, and helps recruiters understand what they're getting...

But I wonder how other schools are keeping data to help find the "repeat offenders" mentioned above. I don't know that we have a good way of idnetifying what has happened to students in prior courses, if the professors don't bring the greivance all the way to the forefront. Ideas?


August 13, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Julie,

Thanks for the added input.

Over my 40 years of teaching I generally give an F grade to a cheater. I also reported the cheating to the Academic Vice President who kept records on cheaters such that, on occasion, repeat offenders were expelled from the university.

Just before I retired, Trinity University put in a student honor court such that instructors across the campus could no longer simply assign an F grade to cheaters. Cheating had to be reported to the student court. The court then conducted an investigation and operated much like a real court. In many instances the student court was more harsh on cheaters than were faculty. Also the publicity of the court hearings was in itself a sort of punishment to cheaters.

The drawback of this system is that, for cheaters, grading is taken out of the hands of the instructor. Furthermore, reporting cheating is more of a hassle under a court system. In my days I simply had to confront a student with my evidence (I had a number of obvious plagiarism cases), hear the student's side of things, and then decide whether or not the infraction deserved an F grade. Now an instructor has to report the student to the court, document the evidence, serve as a withness, and has no final say regarding the punishment. If the court does not decide to assign an F grade, the instructor must then possibly assign more work and assign the final grade. In my opinion, the process discourages some faculty from reporting cheating.

Bob Jensen


Actually some cowardly professors willingly allow their students to cheat (and make excuses for cheaters) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/plagiarism.htm#RebeccaHoward 

Bob Jensen's threads on assessment are at

"Study: Higher education playing bigger role in gender wage gap," PhysOrg, August 9, 2009 ---

While higher education has helped women narrow their long-running wage gap with men, there is one college-related factor that has becoming increasingly important in perpetuating that gap, according to new research.

And that factor is college major.

Women are still segregated into college majors that will lead them to careers with less pay than men, said Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, author of the study and assistant professor of sociology at Ohio State University at Marion.

"Gender segregation in college is becoming more influential in how men and women are rewarded later in life," Bobbitt-Zeher said.

"If you really want to eliminate earnings inequality, college major segregation is a piece of the puzzle that really stands out."

The findings are especially important now because many people assume that, if anything, college helps women more than it helps men nowadays.

"A lot of people look at data showing that women are more likely to go to college than men, and that women get better grades in college than men, and assume that everything is all right," she said.

"But this research suggests there are still problems for women that relate to college."

Bobbitt-Zeher presented her research August 9 in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

She used data from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 and the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988. With these data sets, she was able to compare women who graduated from high school in 1972 and 1992. She compared the incomes of college graduates seven years after their high school graduations, in 1979 and 1999. Both samples included about 10,000 cases.

Findings showed the income gap between college-educated men and women declined significantly in 20 years - in 1979, women's earnings were 78 percent of their male counterparts, but by 1999 the women were earning 83 percent as much as men.

Using well-accepted statistical techniques, Bobbitt-Zeher estimated how much of that income difference between men and women was explained by various factors in 1979 versus 1999. Some of the factors she examined included occupations and industries that men and women work in; background, including socioeconomic status and race; how much individuals valued earning a lot of money; factors related to parental and martial status; SAT scores; the colleges that people attended and whether they earned graduate degrees; and, of course, the percentage of women in their college majors.

Findings showed that about 19 percent of the income gap between college-educated men and women in 1999 could be explained by their college major - nearly twice as much as in 1979, when 10 percent of the gap was explained by college major.

Although work-related characteristics combine to explain a bigger share of the gap, no other single known factor was more important than college major in explaining the income gap in 1999.

In addition, college major is the only factor explaining a substantial part of the income gap that increased in importance between 1979 and 1999.

"What this suggests is that college major segregation is becoming more important for wage inequality than it used to be," Bobbitt-Zeher said.

Many college majors did become more integrated between 1979 and 1999, she noted.

"Most of integration has come from women making different choices, rather than men moving into traditionally female fields," Bobbitt-Zeher said.

However, significant differences remain in the majors women and men choose. And this is contributing to the gender income gap in a more meaningful way than it did in the past.

The continuing wage gap isn't explained completely by men choosing majors that require greater skills than majors chosen by women, she said.

"Gender composition of majors is a stronger influence on the gender income gap than is the content of the field of study," according to Bobbitt-Zeher.

The reasons for the gender segregation of majors are not entirely understood, she said. Personal choice could play a role, or it could be that girls are still influenced to pursue "women-appropriate" majors. Programs that encourage girls to pursue scientific careers may be part of the answer.

But Bobbitt-Zeher said the results should be a reminder for us not to believe gender inequality in higher education is a problem of the past.

"There's been a lot of attention paid to the fact that women seem to be doing so well in college compared to men. But what people don't know is that education is playing a bigger role than ever in perpetuating the gender income gap," she said.

"It's an issue that we need to keep at the forefront."

Also see "Gender, Majors and Money," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, August 10, 2009 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on gender and salary differences in higher education

Reminds me of the woman who wore the see-through dress and nobody wanted to
Authors, some of them famous, are now sending out free e-Books
This . . . file photo shows author James Patterson, of Palm Beach Fla, posing in his study. Patterson's latest best-seller, "The Angel Experiment," is a little different from his usual hits. The novel isn't new; it came out four years ago. Its sales aren't happening at bookstores, but mostly on the Kindle store at Amazon.com. And the price is low even for an old release: $0.00
"The latest craze: Free e-books offerings," PhysOrg, August 5, 2009 --- http://www.physorg.com/news168849765.html

Bob Jensen's threads on the history of eBooks are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

"The Missing (Sociology) Master's Students," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, August 11, 2009 ---

A Giant Day for Electronic Textbooks
Monday saw a flurry of news about the campus bookstore and textbook markets, which, like many industries related to information and publishing, are being buffeted by technological and other trends. It'd be overly grand to say that these developments, taken together, mean a great deal, other than the fact that they all happened on the same day. But the array of news -- Barnes & Noble's repurchase of its college bookstore arm, a venture capital investment in an online bookstore, and a big new grant supporting a community college open textbook initiative -- does suggest a lot of intensity and interest surrounding the transformation of the college textbook market.
Doug Lederman, "Textbook Bonanza," Inside Higher Ed, August 11, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/11/books 

“Although both companies previously thrived as separate entities, owing to distinctions in their product offerings, the definition of textbooks and tradebooks has become increasingly blurred, Riggio, the CEO, said in a news release. "This trend will accelerate with eBook offerings. Thus, combining both businesses on a single branded platform will enable the combined company to cross-promote print and digital offerings to all of our customers.”

The digital textbook space is where Academos operates; it creates and manages online bookstores and market places for colleges under their own names. And on Monday, the company announced that it had taken in $2.5 million in additional funding from Kohlberg Ventures, a California venture capital firm.

“The online bookstore landscape is rapidly changing as schools and students increasingly rely on technology to meet their needs,” Jim Kohlberg, managing director of the venture firm, said in a news release about the investment. “Academic institutions across the nation, as well as their students, need low cost and easy-to-use options to streamline the purchase of textbooks. Akademos brings an innovative and timely service to a growing market -- one that addresses a very real need for virtually every college, university and student body.”

The third and last of Monday's news developments also comes in the digital textbook arena -- but from the free, rather than for-profit, perspective. The Community College Collaborative for Open Educational Resources said the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation had given it $1.5 million in new funds to expand its work, which focuses on increasing the number of free, online textbooks and training community college instructors on how best to use such books. Its main resource, the Community College Open Textbook Project, has dozens of college members and seeks to significantly expand the number of freely available digital textbooks it makes available.

"This grant comes at an opportune time,'' said Mike Brandy, chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, which leads the online collaborative. "It coincides with the growing interest in open educational resources, such as President Obama's proposal to invest $500 million over the next decade in developing free high school and college courses. Open textbooks are moving into the mainstream as financially distressed states such as California look to free digital textbooks to reduce the cost of public education.''

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on electronic books are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ebooks.htm

Golden Parachutes Often Rewarding Failure in (North Carolina) Academe

Over the past five years, (North Carolina) taxpayers have paid about $8 million to 117 administrators who either returned to the faculty or left the university. In 24 cases, the payouts were for $100,000 or more. A News & Observer review found that these agreements, along with other transitional payments, offered sizable sums of money with few or no strings attached, in at least three cases violated UNC system policies and in some cases rewarded administrators with as much as a year's salary for a job poorly done.
Dan Kane and Eric Ferreri, "Ex-university brass get leaves, payouts," The News and Observer (Raleigh), August 9, 2009 --- http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1640060.html

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies are at

I must be psychic, because I've been saying this all along --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm
So has Amy Dunbar --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/002cpe/Dunbar2002.htm

"The Medium is Not the Message,"  by Jonathan Kaplan, Inside Higher Ed, August 11, 2009 ---

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Education released a report that looked at 12 years' worth of education studies, and found that online learning has clear advantages over face-to-face instruction.

The study, "An Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies," stated that “students who took all or part of their class online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.”

Except for one article,
on this Web site, you probably didn’t hear about it -- and neither did anyone else.

But imagine for a moment that the report came to the opposite conclusion. I’m sure that if the U.S. Department of Education had published a report showing that students in online learning environments performed worse, there would have been a major outcry in higher education with calls to shut down distance-learning programs and close virtual campuses.

I believe the reason that the recent study elicited so little commentary is due to the fact that it flies in the face of the biases held by some across the higher education landscape. Yet this study confirms what those of us working in distance education have witnessed for years: Good teaching helps students achieve, and good teaching comes in many forms.

We know that online learning requires devout attention on the part of both the professor and the student -- and a collaboration between the two -- in a different way from that of a face-to-face classroom. These critical aspects of online education are worth particular mention:

At Walden University, where I am president, we have been holding ourselves accountable for years, as have many other online universities, regarding assessment. All universities must ensure that students are meeting program outcomes and learning what they need for their jobs. To that end, universities should be better able to demonstrate -- quantitatively and qualitatively -- the employability and success of their students and graduates.

Recently, we examined the successes of Walden graduates who are teachers in the Tacoma, Wash., public school system, and found that students in Walden teachers’ classes tested with higher literacy rates than did students taught by teachers who earned their master’s from other universities. There could be many reasons for this, but, especially in light of the U.S. Department of Education study, it seems that online learning has contributed meaningfully to their becoming better teachers.

In higher education, there is still too much debate about how we are delivering content: Is it online education, face-to-face teaching, or hybrid instruction? It’s time for us to stop categorizing higher education by the medium of delivery and start focusing on its impact and outcomes.

Recently, President Obama remarked, “I think there’s a possibility that online education can provide, especially for people who are already in the workforce and want to retrain, the chance to upgrade their skills without having to quit their job.” As the U.S. Department of Education study concluded, online education can do that and much more.

But Kaplan above ignores some of the dark side aspects of distance education and education technology in general --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/theworry.htm
The biggest hurdle, in my opinion, is that if distance education is done correctly with intensive online communications, instructors soon become burned out. In an effort to avoid burn out, much of the learning effectiveness is lost. Hence the distance education paradox.

Kaplan also ignores some of the strong empirical support for online learning, especially the enlightening SCALE experiments at the University of Illinois --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/255wp.htm#Illinois

August 11, 2009 reply from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

Isn't online education more expensive than face to face? With face to face it class sizes can be a bit larger. Online, or so I've read, requires a huge time commitment from instructor. At least, this is what I've concluded from reading various reports.

David Albrecht

August 11, 2009 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi David,

I have a sadly neglected Website on costs of distance education programs at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/distcost.htm

You are raising a very complicated issue, not the least of which is that there is a temptation in major state universities and some prestigious private universities to turn distance education into cash cows. A recent example is the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee that started charging higher tuition for distance education courses that most likely are cheaper than onsite course equivalents.

Cost varies all over the board. Stanford adopted the ADEPT engineering masters degree to be almost entirely a video degree program with very lite communications between faculty and students (thereby greatly reducing faculty cost) but having a heavy fixed cost to develop the videos. However, this pedagogy only works with highly talented (i.e., engineering students admitted to Stanford’s graduate program) and highly motivated (e.g., Silicon valley engineers) who need very little hands on guidance.

In contrast, the University of Connecticut pays Amy Dunbar to teach tax to graduate students who occupy her time even at home with intense instant messaging. This is almost the opposite end of the spectrum except that her students are talented and motivated ---

At the opposite end of the spectrum we have students in need of remedial studies who are trying to learn with a kid squirming on each knee. Effective distance education in such circumstances is very, very expensive.

Sadly, many distance education programs are designed on the cheap, and students are led into ineffective courses.

Once again one of my favorite examples of how effective distance education can be is a case study instigated by the Chronicle of Higher Education to have one of its editors (Goldie) take a Not-for-Profit Accounting Course at the University of Phoenix:

The Chronicle's Goldie Blumenstyk has covered distance education for more than a decade, and during that time she's written stories about the economics of for-profit education, the ways that online institutions market themselves, and the demise of the 50-percent rule. About the only thing she hadn't done, it seemed, was to take a course from an online university. But this spring she finally took the plunge, and now she has completed a class in government and nonprofit accounting through the University of Phoenix. She shares tales from the cy ber-classroom -- and her final grade -- in a podcast with Paul Fain, a Chronicle reporter.
Chronicle of Higher Education, June 11, 2008 (Audio) --- http://chronicle.com/media/audio/v54/i40/cyber_classroom/

·         All course materials (including textbooks) online; No additional textbooks to purchase

·         $1,600 fee for the course and materials

·         Woman instructor with respectable academic credentials and experience in course content

·         Instructor had good communications with students and between students

·         Total of 14 quite dedicated online students in course, most of whom were mature with full-time day jobs

·         30% of grade from team projects

·         Many unassigned online helper tutorials that were not fully utilized by Goldie

·         Goldie earned a 92 (A-)

·         She gave a positive evaluation to the course and would gladly take other courses if she had the time

·         She considered the course to have a heavy workload


Since the University of Phoenix did not have to hire a tenure-track accounting professor with a PhD, I suspect the faculty cost is relatively low vis-à-vis the new not-for-profit onsite courses at Rutgers. Of course since it is very difficult to find specialists in not-for-profit specialty courses (also in tax courses), even Rutgers might be hiring specialized practitioners for onsite courses.

In any case, cost analysis of online versus onsite education is very, very difficult due to the usual suspects --- joint costs, indirect costs, and highly variable circumstances leading to huge missing variables in cost models.

Bob Jensen

August 11, 2009 reply from Steve Markoff [smarkoff@KIMSTARR.ORG]

Reply 1

I've always believed that the role of the teacher is one of FACILITATOR. My role in the classroom is making it EASIER for information to move from one place to another - from point A to point B. This could be from textbook to student, it could be from the outside world to the student, from another student to the student, from the student him or herself to that same student AND from teacher to student (me to them). In defining the word 'teaching', I think many people overemphasize the last transition that I mentioned, thinking that the primary movement of information is from them(the teacher) to the students. In fact, it constitutes a minority of total facilitated information flow in a college classroom. I think this misunderstanding leads many to underestimate the value of other sources in the education process other than themselves. Online content is just one of many alternative sources.

Unfortunately, online formats do allow certain professors to hide behind the electronic cloak and politely excuse themselves from the equation, which greatly hurts the student. Also, online formats can be fertile ground for professors who lack not only the desire to 'teach' but the ability and thus become mere administrators versus teachers.


"Infographic: Mortgages & Morals," Simoleon Sense, August 12, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
An interesting perspective (and great graphic) of changing lifestyles and morality over the past 100 years.

Fat Tails and Black Swans

In retrospect between 2001 and the credit derivatives fiasco of 2008 (where Wall Street had millions of such contracts) is that Janet M. Tavakoli’s credit derivative models in 2001 looked almost perfect but ignored the Black Swan of 2008 that some might argue helped to bring down the world of finance to the extent that so many credit derivatives were used, in a failing effort, to insure against investment failures. This, of course, was a much larger specification problem than the Euclidean difference between cylinders and cones. I wonder how Ms. Tavokoli is sleeping these days. See http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Bailout  

Q&A: Confidence in the Bell (Gaussian) Curve --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaussian
Also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_Distribution
Value at Risk --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Value_at_Risk
Eugene Fama --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Fama
Kenneth French --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_French

Question for Fama and French ---
It would be very enlightening if you would comment on the Nassim Nicholas Taleb ("The Black Swan") attack on the use of Gaussian (normal bell curve) mathematics as the foundation of finance. As you may know, Taleb is a fan of Mandelbrot, whose mathematics account for fat tails. He argues that the bell curve doesn't reflect reality. He is also quite critical of academics who teach modern portfolio theory because it is based on the assumption that returns are normally distributed. Doesn't all this imply that academics should start doing reality-based research?

Answer from Gene Fama (Chicago)
EFF: Half of my 1964 Ph.D. thesis is tests of market efficiency, and the other half is a detailed examination of the distribution of stock returns. Mandelbrot is right. The distribution is fat-tailed relative to the normal distribution. In other words, extreme returns occur much more often than would be expected if returns were normal.

There was lots of interest in this issue for about ten years. Then academics lost interest. The reason is that most of what we do in terms of portfolio theory and models of risk and expected return works for Mandelbrot's stable distribution class, as well as for the normal distribution (which is in fact a member of the stable class). For passive investors, none of this matters, beyond being aware that outlier returns are more common than would be expected if return distributions were normal.

For other applications, however, the difference can be critical. Risk management by financial institutions is a good example. For example, portfolio insurance, which was the rage in the early 1980s, bombed in the crash of October 1987, because this was an event that was inconceivable in their normality based return model. The normality assumption is also likely to be a serious problem in various kinds of derivatives, where lots of the price is due to the probability of extreme events. For example, news story accounts suggest that AIG blew up because its risk model for credit default swaps did not properly account for outlier events.

Answer from Kenneth French (Dartmouth)
KRF: I agree with Gene, but want to make another point that he is appropriately reluctant to make. Taleb is generally correct about the importance of outliers, but he gets carried away in his criticism of academic research. There are lots of academics who are well aware of this issue and consider it seriously when doing empirical research. Those of us who used Gene's textbook in our first finance course have been concerned with this fat-tail problem our whole careers. Most of the empirical studies in finance use simple and robust techniques that do not make precise distributional assumptions, and Gene can take much of the credit for this as well, whether through his feedback in seminars, suggestions on written work, comments in referee reports, or the advice he has given his many Ph.D. students over the years.

The possibility of extreme outcomes is certainly important for things like risk management, option pricing, and many complicated "arbitrage" strategies. Investors should also recognize the potential effect of outliers when assessing the distribution of future returns on their portfolios. None of this implies, however, that the existence of outliers undermines modern portfolio theory or asset pricing theory. And the central implications of modern portfolio theory and asset pricing—the benefits of diversification and the trade-off between risk and return—remain valid under any reasonable distribution of returns.

Who is Nassim Nicholas Taleb? --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taleb
Many finance professors make students watch some of Taleb's videos, especially the Black Swan --- Click Here
Black Swan Financial Collapse Black Swan --- http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x720r3_black-swan-paradigm-financial-colla_tech
(People underestimate the probability of rare events)

"How Dragon Kings Could Trump Black Swans Power laws have a hidden structure that reveals why extreme events are more common than we'd thought," MIT's Technology Review, August 4, 2009 ---

Sornette gives as an example the distribution of city sizes in France which follows a classic power law, meaning that there are many small cities and only a few large ones. On a log-log scale, this distribution gives a straight line. Except for Paris, which is an outlier, many times larger than it ought to be if it were to follow the power law.

Paris is an outlier because it has been hugely influential in the history of France and so has benefited from various positive feedback mechanisms that have ensured its outsize growth. Apparently London occupies a similarly outlying position in the distribution of cities in the UK.

Sornette goes on to identify a number of data sets showing power laws with outliers that he says are the result of positive feedback mechanisms that make them much larger than their peers. He calls these events dragon kings. What's interesting about them is that they are entirely unaccounted for by a current understanding of power laws, from which Nassim Nicholas Taleb built the idea of black swans.

The special characteristic of dragon kings is that a positive feedback mechanism creates faster-than-exponential growth making them larger than expected.

So what to make of this? Sornette makes one interesting observation. The seemingly ubiquitous existence of these dragon kings in all kinds of data sets means that extreme events are significantly more likely than power laws alone suggest.

That's important. If you've ever wondered why we've experienced not just a single 100-year financial crises in the last couple of decades but two or three, here's your answer. It also implies that you'll experience a few more before your time is up.

But Sornette goes further. He argues that dragon kings may have properties that make them not only identifiable in real time but also predictable. He puts it like this: "These processes provide clues that allow us to diagnose the maturation of a system towards a crisis."

That's much more speculative. It's one thing to identify the feedback mechanisms that cause faster-than-exponential growth (and it's not clear that Sornette can do even this) but quite another to spot the event that trigger a crash.

Sornette looks to be onto something interesting with his notion of dragon kings: outliers that exist beyond the usual realm of power laws. That could be a hugely infuential. But his contention that these outliers are in some way more easily predictable than other events smacks more of wishful thinking than good science.

Ref: arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290: Dragon-Kings, Black Swans and the Prediction of Crises

Video:  Nassim Taleb Talks About The Book “Dancing With Chance” ---
Also see http://www.cnbc.com/id/31706523

Bob Jensen's threads on black swans and fat tails (including video links) ---

Q&A: Factor Correlations --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaussian
Beta (β)--- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_(finance) 
Eugene Fama --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Fama
Kenneth French --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_French

Question for Fama and French --- Click Here
Are the Fama/French factors more correlated when markets go down? Are value portfolios riskier in bad times?

Answer from Fama and French
The two questions are related. Throughout the period from 1926 to now, small stocks have higher market βs (sensitivity to market returns) than big stocks. This means small stocks go up more in good market times and down more in bad market times. In terms of market sensitivity (β), small stocks are riskier than big stocks. Prior to 1963, value stocks have higher market βs than growth stocks, and during this period value stocks tend to move up or down more than the market. After 1963, value stocks have lower market βs than growth stocks, and after 1963 value stocks tend to move up or down less than the market. It is important to emphasize, however, that in the three-factor model of Fama and French, market β is not sufficient to describe the risks of common stocks. In the three-factor model, value stocks are always riskier than growth stocks because they are more exposed to a value-growth risk factor that is separate from market risk and is compensated differently in expected returns. In the three-factor model, portfolios of value and growth stocks have similar exposure to the market. This means that when there are big market moves, like those of the last few months, value and growth stocks (or at least diversified portfolios of value and growth stocks) move in much the same way. In other words, big market moves tend to dominate the returns on value and growth stocks alike.

Bob Jensen's threads on the economic crisis --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

Producers Say NBC Show Won't Mock Community Colleges
During a recent press stop in Los Angeles, producers of the forthcoming NBC sitcom “Community” said the show will not make jokes at the expense of community colleges. The show, as described by the network, follows a lovable group of “losers” at the fictional Greendale Community College. Upon hearing the premise of the show in May, some community college officials expressed concern that the sitcom might belittle their institutions and unfairly stereotype their students. The Los Angeles Times reports that Dan Harmon, the show’s executive producer, assured audiences at the press stop that he did not think the setting, in and of itself, was funny. Harmon continued, “Rather, I think the funny thing is … farts.” He later went on to tell the audience that his own experience at a community college has influenced his take on the show: “While I was there, I took biology and psychology and ended up in study groups because I threw off the curve and everyone wanted to study with me. I’m a stand-offish agoraphobe, so I was socially paralyzed into studying … but then we did become this family.”
Inside Higher Ed, August 7, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/07/qt#205185
Jensen Comment
If Sarah P:alin stop being a target of NBC's humor and wrath she would be advised to enroll in a community college and then hold NBC (read that MSNBC) to its pledge.

Think of the implications if she wins her lawsuit;
 College degrees might have to come with guaranteed employment after graduation

A New York City woman who says she can't find a job is suing the college where she earned a bachelor's degree. Trina Thompson filed a lawsuit last week against Monroe College in Bronx Supreme Court. The 27-year-old is seeking the $70,000 she spent on tuition. Thompson says she's been unable to find gainful employment since she received her information technology degree in April.
"Jobless NYC woman sues college for $70K in tuition," Yahoo News, August 2, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
ABC News added some added some revelations about deceptive promises being made to student prospects and tuition rip offs. There may be circumstances that make this lawsuit different from most situations for college graduates in general.

I've not tried making cartoons, but this sounds like a relatively easy thing to do for those of us without drawing talent.
Bob Jensen

"Create Cartoons With Anime Studio Debut Create South Park-like cutout and simple 2D animation easily using the bone structure of a drawing," by Steve Horton, PC World, via The Washington Post, August 6, 2009 --- Click Here

Anime Studio Debut is Smith Micro's homegrown animated answer to their translated 2D art program, Manga Studio. It uses a "bone" interface as its core. You use a tool to add bones to the structure of a drawing. You can then animate these bones, and you can adjust their strength to behave more like real bones. Anime Studio Debut ($50, 30-day free trial) can also animate based on edges of drawings and in many other ways. It includes a straightforward timeline system that allows you to intuit when and how animation happens easily.

Build animated characters from the skeleton up with Anime Studio Debut.>

Underneath the animation is a full-featured paint program that has a familiar look to it, as it appears inspired by Manga Studio.

One of the best things about Anime Studio Debut is its well-designed tutorial PDF. This tutorial, which is laid out like a design book, goes from simple to complex in numerous tutorial topics. Anyone wanting to master Anime Studio Debut would be best served by running through this tutorial from beginning to end. The tutorials are detailed and involved, so expect that to take several hours.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade are at

"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.

Things You Wish (an do possibly) Say on Student Papers
This link was found in the Financial Rounds Blog on August 3, 2009 --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/

Here's a pretty good list of things I wish I could write on some students' papers, from Sapience Speaks. #6, while harsh even for this list, is my favorite. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
  1. "You certainly have a way with words. A long, long way."
  2. "You seem to be attempting a very delicate approach to the assignment--so delicate, in fact, that you fail to touch on it at all."
  3. "Every one of the words in this sentence is utterly devoid of meaning."
  4. "I can't help feeling that you treat the ideas in your paper much as a black hole treats its neighboring star systems: forcefully and vigorously synthesizing them, you condense them beyond recognition, leading to utter destruction and chaos."
  5. "like the broad swift stream / a thesaurus will go far / but yields no great depth."
  6. "This paper isn't even bulls*&t. Bulls*&t has substance. This is diarrhea."
  7. "I find your rhetorical strategy in this expository to be similar to that of a rhinoceros in extracting a tooth: large, blunt, and wholly ineffective."
  8. "This entire page says exactly NOTHING."
  9. "Every teacher wishes she could read a paper like this one. It makes the rest of her life so much brighter by contrast."
  10. "As I was reading, I felt that you were trying to include in your paper every type of fallacy possible. If so, you only missed one."
  11. "The level of disorganization in your paper suggests that your true topic must be chaos theory, not, as your title implied, Wordsworth."
  12. "the wind speaks all day / yet with only empty breath: / you have no thesis"
  13. "I'm not sure even you believe this sentence."

The inmates are running the asylum
From Duke University:  One of the Most Irresponsible Grading Systems in the World

Her approach? "So, this year, when I teach 'This Is Your Brain on the Internet,' I'm trying out a new point system. Do all the work, you get an A. Don't need an A? Don't have time to do all the work? No problem. You can aim for and earn a B. There will be a chart. You do the assignment satisfactorily, you get the points. Add up the points, there's your grade. Clearcut. No guesswork. No second-guessing 'what the prof wants.' No gaming the system. Clearcut. Student is responsible." That still leaves the question of determining whether students have done the work. Here again, Davidson plans to rely on students. "Since I already have structured my seminar (it worked brilliantly last year) so that two students lead us in every class, they can now also read all the class blogs (as they used to) and pass judgment on whether they are satisfactory. Thumbs up, thumbs down," she writes.
Scott Jaschik, "Getting Out of Grading," Inside Higher Education,  August 3, 2009
Jensen Comment
No mention of how Professor Davidson investigates and punishes plagiarism and other easy ways to cheat in this system. My guess is that she leaves it up to the students to police themselves any way they like. One way to cheat is simply hire another student to do the assignment. With no examinations in a controlled setting, who knows who is doing whose work?

August 4, 2009 reply from David Fordham, James Madison University [fordhadr@JMU.EDU]

Bob, While I feel the way you do about it, it is interesting to note that this type of thing isn't new.

In the fall semester of 1973, at the North Campus of what today is the Florida State College in Jacksonville (formerly FCCJ, and when I was going there it was called FJC), I enrolled in a sophomore-level psychology class taught by Dr. Pat Greene. The very first day, Dr. Greene handed out a list of 30 assignments. Each assignment was independent study, and consisted of viewing a 15 to 60 minute video/filmstrip/movie/etc. in the library, or reading a chapter in the textbook, followed by completion of a 1 to 3 page "worksheet" covering the major concepts covered in the "lesson".

As I recall, the worksheet was essentially a set of fill-in-the-blank questions. It was open book, open note, open anything, and when you completed the worksheet, you put your name on it and dropped it in Dr. Greene's mailbox in the faculty offices lobby at your convenience.

The first 10 assignments were required in order to pass the course, but students could pick and choose from the remainder. If you stopped after the 10 required assignments, you got a D in the class. If you did 15 assignments, you got a C; 20 a B, and if you completed all 30, you got an A in the class. Students could pick which lessons to complete (after the first 10) if they elected not to do all 30.

This was before email, YouTube, and PDF's. Students worked at their own pace, there was no class meeting whatsoever after that first day. After the first day of class where I received the syllabus and assignment sheet, I never attended the classroom again. Dr. Greene supposedly held office hours during class time for students who wanted to ask questions, but I never needed it (nor did anyone else I knew of) because the assignments were so simple and easy, especially since they were open book, open note, and there was no time limit! There was no deadline, either, you could take till the end of the semester if you wanted to.

Oh, and no exams, either.

This was also before FERPA. Dr. Greene had a roll taped to his office door with all students' names on it. It was a manual spreadsheet, and as you turned in assignments, you got check marks beside your name in the columns showing which assignments you had "completed". We never got any of the assignments back, but supposedly if an assignment had too many errors, the student would get a dash mark instead of a check mark, indicating the need to do it over again.

Within 2 weeks, I had completed all 30 assignments, got my A, and never saw Dr. Greene again. I learned at lot about psychology (everything from Maslow's Hierarchy to Pavlov's slobbering dogs, from the (now infamous) Hawthorne Effect to the impact of color on emotions), so I guess the class was a success. But what astounded me was that so many of my classmates quit after earning the B. The idea of having to do half-again as much work for an A compared to a B was apparently just too much for most of my classmates, because when I (out of curiosity) stopped by his office at the end of the semester, I was blown away by the fact that only a couple of us had A's, whereby almost everyone else had the B (and a couple had C's, again to my astonishment). I can't remember if there were any D's or F's.

At the time, I was new to the college environment, and in my conversations with other faculty members, I discovered that professors enjoyed something called "academic freedom", and none of my other professors seemed to have any problem with what Dr. Greene was doing. In later years, it occurred to me that perhaps we were guinea-pigs for a psychology study he was doing on motivation. But since he was still using this method six years later for my younger sister (and using the same videos, films, and filmstrips!), I have my doubts.

Dr. Greene was a professor for many, many years. Perhaps he was ahead of his time, with today's camtasia and snag-it and you-tube recordings... None of his assigned work was his own, it was all produced by professional producers, with the exception of his worksheets, which were all the "purple plague" spirit-duplicator handouts.

I've often wondered how much more, if any, I could have learned if he'd really met with the class and actually tried to teach. But then again, as I took later psychology classes as part of my management undergrad (org behavior, supervision, human relations, etc.) I was pleased with how much I had learned in Dr. Greene's class, so I guess it wasn't a complete waste of time. Many of my friends who were in his class with me found the videos and filmstrips a nice break from the dry lectures of some of our other profs at the time. Plus, we liked the independent-study convenience. Oh, well...

Bottom line: this type of thing isn't new: 1973 was 35 years ago. Since academic freedom is still around, it doesn't surprise me that Dr. Greene's teaching (and in this case, his grading) style is still around too.

David Fordham
James Madison University

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

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

University of Texas at Brownsville Cheating Scandal
Authorities last year uncovered a major cheating scandal at the University of Texas at Brownsville--Texas Southmost College in which employees, some of them students, helped other students obtain test answers for themselves or give  or sell them to others,
The Brownsville Herald reported. The cheating involved gaining access to the Blackboard system used by faculty members for tests and grading, among other uses. The university was vague on how it punished students, saying that university procedures were followed (which would have involved an F for students in courses in which they were found to have cheated). Twenty people -- 6 employees and 14 students -- were involved. The university considered, but decided against, pressing criminal charges. Juliet V. Garcia, president of the university, released a statement to the Herald on why she favored internal handling of the matter. "It’s the job of institutions of higher education to preserve and honor academic integrity. Yes, academic dishonesty is a challenge that all educators must be prepared to handle," she said. "The policies and procedures in place at the university provide the means for the campus to investigate and make informed decisions on courses of action appropriate for each case."
Inside Higher Ed, August 3, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/08/03/qt#204832

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

August 7, 2009 message from David Albrecht [albrecht@PROFALBRECHT.COM]

Harkening back to the original purpose of AECM, I post a link to a written draft of the Unwritten Rules of Technology.

Here are a few:

You Must Obey: The Unwritten Laws of Technology

Basic PC Laws

Law 3: The hard drive always fails just before you were going to back it up.

Law 4: Your data will get corrupted just before you plug in your new backup external drive.

Law 5: Your backup plan is only as good as your last successful restore.

Tech Support Rules

Law 1: Fix a computer for a friend or family member, and you'll be tech support for life.

Law 3: Recommend a product that you've used with no problems, and the friend/family member who buys it will immediately descend into RMA [product return] hell.

Law 5: If it's broken and you call tech support, it will fix itself while you're on hold.

David Albrecht
Concordia College


"Students Reach Settlement in Turnitin Suit," by Erica Hendry, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 3, 2009 ---

A two-year battle over copyright infringement between four students and Turnitin, a commerical plagarism-detection service, came to an apparent end last Friday in a settlement that prohibits either party from taking further legal action.

The high-school students first sued iParadigms, Turnitin's parent company, in 2007 for copyright infringement, saying the company took their papers against their will and then made a profit from them.The students' high schools required them to use the service, which scans papers for plagarism and then adds them to its database, which students argued could easily be hacked.

But the students and their lawyers were handed two decisions against them -- first from the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., in March 2008 and again this April from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

The Chronicle reported in March 2008 that the district-court judge said Turnitin's actions fell under fair use, ruling that the company “makes no use of any work’s particular expressive or creative content beyond the limited use of comparison with other works." He also said the new use “provides a substantial public benefit.”

The April opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the lower court's decision, and sent back to the lower court a complaint by iPardigm under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that stated that one of the students had gained unauthorized access to Turnitin.

Friday's settlement puts an end to that complaint as well as any further legal action by the students -- including an anticipated Supreme Court appeal. But a blog post on Anon-a-blog suggests that one of the lawyers for the students, Robert A. Vanderhye, could take up the issue with a different group of students.

"Now the search goes out for any student who has a paper that's being held by TurnItIn that they did not upload themselves," the post said.

"Students Lose, Fair Use Wins in Suit Targeting Anti-Plagiarism Tool," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 20, 2009 ---

Students have suffered another defeat in their legal fight against the company that runs a plagiarism-detection tool popular among professors.

A federal appeals court last week affirmed a lower court’s decision that the Turnitin service does not violate the copyright of students, even though it stores digital copies of their essays in the database that the company uses to check works for academic dishonesty.

The opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit “will be cheered by digital fair-use proponents,” says the E-Commerce and Tech Law blog.

Last year’s decision in the plagiarism case — and I’m plagiarizing here from The Chronicle’s account of it was seen as carrying wider implications for other digital services, such as Google’s effort to scan books in major libraries and add them to its index for search purposes.

The legal battle began in 2007, when four high-school students sued iParadigms, the company that runs Turnitin, arguing that the company took their papers against their will and profited from using them. The students’ high schools required papers to be checked for plagiarism using Turnitin. The service adds scanned papers to its database.

U.S. District Court Judge Claude M. Hilton had found that scanning the student papers to detect plagiarism is a “highly transformative” use that falls under the fair-use provision of copyright law. Mr. Hilton ruled that the company “makes no use of any work’s particular expressive or creative content beyond the limited use of comparison with other works,” and that the new use “provides a substantial public benefit.”

Steven J. McDonald, general counsel at the Rhode Island School of Design, reacted to the latest development in the case by calling the fair-use analysis unsurprising “but welcome.”

“In particular,” Mr. McDonald wrote in an e-mail message to The Chronicle on Monday, “it underscores that the copyright owner’s rights are simply not absolute and that ‘transformative’ uses deserve protection themselves.”

More than 450,000 educators and millions of high school and college students use Turnitin, according to a company fact sheet.

Last week’s opinion also reversed and sent back for further consideration the lower court’s decision on counterclaims made by iParadigms. The company had put forward a claim against one of the plaintiffs under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA. iParadigms said it was forced to launch an investigation — spending numerous man-hours in the process — after the student allegedly gained unauthorized access to Turnitin.

The E-Commerce and Tech Law blog called attention to the reversal, saying it “could leave Web users open to getting smacked with a large CFAA award whenever a company suspects someone has gained improper access to its Web site.”

Robert A. Vanderhye, the plaintiffs’ pro bono lawyer, acknowledged that the bulk of the opinion was a “stinging defeat.” But the lawyer has not surrendered yet. He plans to petition for a rehearing.

He argued that the court did not decide the issue of Turnitin sharing papers with third parties. If a student’s paper is flagged as unoriginal based on an earlier paper, he said, the company will turn over that earlier paper to an instructor upon request.

“This is not a complete, total defeat on the copyright issue,” he argued. “That issue is still outstanding,” he said, referring to the question of whether Turnitin infringes a copyright if it sends a complete paper to a third party. “They didn’t decide that issue.”

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

"Thaler Responds to Posner on Consumer  (Financial) Protection," The Business Desk, August 4, 2009 --- http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2009/07/thaler-responds-to-posner-on-c.html

Review by Jim Mahar on August 3, 2009 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/

This is excellent.

If you have been following the controversy about consumer Financial Protection at all you probably know that the administration has asked for simpler and safer products. This has angered many on each side.

For instance (From NPR)
Fed Chair Bernanke and US treasury Secretary Geithner have taken different sides in the issue:
"The White House wants to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to oversee a vast range of financial products, stripping the Federal Reserve and other banking regulators of their current authority for policing them.

"I think it's very hard to look at that system and say that it did anything close to an adequate job of what it was designed to do," Geithner told the House Financial Services Committee. He cited the collapse of the housing and credit markets because of high-risk subprime mortgages made to borrowers who didn't understand and couldn't afford them.

Bernanke, appearing before the same committee after Geithner, argued that the Fed should retain its consumer protection powers regarding consumer products.

I have been sort of on the fence: worried that regulation would strangle innovation, but admitting that many, myself included, get so bogged down with the paperwork and number of choices that accompanies some deals that there in the end it is far from an optimization problem and closer to a "can I just be done" solution.

In his
Nudge Book (which by the way is well worth reading and even if you only read the interview on the Amzon page you will learn much.) Thaler and Sunstein suggest that by should take human behavior (i.e. behavioral finance/economics) into account when considering "choice architecture".

Seemingly this idea has taken root and large parts of it are being adopted and as such has more or less been in the news weekly for the past few months.

Not all are happy with this and recently Richard Posne
r took issue with the proposed changes in a WSJ opinion piece:
"...the agency might [emphasis is Jim's] outlaw adjustable-rate mortgages on the theory that consumers don’t give adequate weight to a future increase in interest rates. But such mortgages are cheaper than fixed-rate mortgages, because they shift the risk of interest-rate fluctuations from lender to borrower. Do borrowers not understand they are trading a lower interest rate for greater risk?

The agency might also outlaw prepayment penalties on mortgages. They do make refinancing more costly, but mortgages that include such penalties compensate by charging a lower interest rate. Is the choice among such alternatives really beyond the cognitive competence of the average home buyer? Is three minutes the limit of his attention span?"

Thaler responded on Paul Solman's blog over at PBS The Business Desk with Paul Solman | Online NewsHour | PBS. Thaler begins by talking about crib deaths and then brings that story back to the case of protecting lenders and borrowers. (Indeed I actually caught myself looking back in the article to make sure I had not opened a new tab!) Specifically, he tells of a sad death of one of his friend's baby in a crib that never should have been allowed to remain on the market.

"How should we go about preventing deaths such as Danny's? Three factors should be kept in mind. First, most parents have little knowledge about the properties of a crib (or toy) that makes it dangerous. Second, many do not read the instructions before using the crib. Third, cribs tend to be passed on from one family to another, often without the instructions that have long since been tossed. The crib Danny died in had been donated to the day-care center, almost certainly without the assembly instructions. What these three facts tell us is that cribs should be designed to be fail-safe in the sense that they should not be dangerous even if the user has not read the instructions.

Which brings me to the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency that is the subject of Judge Posner's essay."
Without going into details (he links to his own NY Times piece for interested readers), Thaler writes:

"The proposal that particularly draws Posner's ire is the idea that the Agency would designate a few types of "plain vanilla" mortgages and suggest that unsophisticated shoppers concentrate their search on those. The idea is very similar to the standard leases used in most rental agreements. The landlord can change the terms of the standard lease, but those changes are done in a way that makes them quite salient to prospective tenants, and the tenants are alerted to the fact that these terms are not the usual ones...."
And takes pain to stress that plans do not rule out adjustable rate mortgages.
"The administration has not stipulated how many types of plain vanilla mortgages there would be, but the research on which this proposal is based makes it clear that it is reasonable to assume that there would be at least a fixed-rate and some type of adjustable-rate mortgage in the mix."

Bob Jensen's threads on the end of investment banking as we know it --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#InvestmentBanking

Private Colleges Freeze Salaries and Slash Benefits, Survey Finds
Two-thirds of private colleges plan to freeze salaries and 53 percent are cutting benefits, according to results of a survey released on Wednesday by Yaffe & Company, a consulting firm specializing in executive compensation and governance. The survey, which was conducted in June, generated responses from 259 private colleges in 39 states. It found that of those planning to freeze base pay, 80 percent were doing so institution wide. About 9 percent reported plans to reduce pay . . . But benefits are no longer off-limits for colleges, according to the study. Of the 53 percent that are making cuts, one-quarter planned to reduce or eliminate contributions to 401(k) or 403(b) savings plans. Other cuts included having employees pick up a larger share of health-benefit costs (27 percent) and a reduction in the number of health-benefit plans offered (8 percent).
Paul Fain, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 12, 2009 ---

Nicolas Cage's IRS Mess
Hollywood star Nicolas Cage has been dragged to court by US tax officials who have demanded that the actor pay up a massive USD 6.2 million of overdue taxes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials have filed a case in a court in Louisiana accusing him of failing to keep up with his taxes in 2007. The actor, who won an Academy award for his leading role in 'Leaving Las Vegas', is trying to sell his home in Louisiana to recoup the cash, Contactmusic reported.
"Nicholas Cage taken to court over massive tax bill," The Hindu, August 3, 2009 ---

Shift Happens

"Deloitte’s New Shift Index – Elegant Framework For A Complex World," The Big Four Blog, July 9, 2009 ---

We were intrigued by Deloitte’s newly unveiled “Shift Index” which “pushes beyond cyclical measurement and looks at the long-term rate of change and its impact on economic performance.” The Shift Index is “designed to measure the rate of change and magnitude of these long-term forces that spawn the extreme events currently observed in today’s business world.”

And here is how this is put together: the Shift Index has three constituent indices:

First Wave: Foundations Index
This involves the evolution of a new digital infrastructure and shifts in global public policy, quantifying the rate of change in the foundational forces taking place today. A leading indicator since it shapes opportunities for new business practices.

Second Wave: Flow Index
Increasing flows of capital, talent, and knowledge across geographic and institutional boundaries, shifting the sources of economic value from “stocks” of knowledge to “flows” of new knowledge.

Third Wave: Impact Index
How companies are exploiting foundational improvements in the digital infrastructure by creating and sharing knowledge, and what impacts those changes are having on markets, firms, and individuals.

And what has this shift index shown?

U.S. firms’ ROA has steadily fallen to almost one-quarter of 1965 levels at the same time that we have seen improvements in labor productivity
The ROA performance gap between corporate winners and losers has increased over time, with the “winners” barely maintaining previous performance levels while the losers experience rapid performance deterioration — falling from positive returns in 1965 to largely negative ones today
The “topple rate” at which big companies lose their leadership positions has more than doubled, suggesting the “winners” have increasingly precarious positions
The benefits of productivity improvements increasingly accrue not to the firm or its shareholders, but to two stakeholders: top creative talent, or knowledge workers, who have experienced significant growth in compensation, and customers, who are gaining and wielding unprecedented power as reflected in increasing customer disloyalty

A write up on the index and the actual report (142 pages in pdf) are available here:



July 24, 2009 message from Carolyn Kotlas [kotlas@email.unc.edu]


"The accelerated growth of online instruction has been accompanied by questions of quality in terms of outcomes. One measure of program quality and effectiveness is program completion rates. Although studies have shown the effectiveness of instruction in the online environment to be comparable to that of the traditional classroom environment, studies and anecdotal evidence indicate high attrition rates for online courses, often much higher than for campus courses."

In "Attrition in Online and Campus Degree Programs" (OJDLA, vol. 12, no. 2, Summer 2009), East Carolina University researchers Belinda Patterson and Cheryl McFadden report on their study comparing online and face-to-face students in two graduate-level programs. The authors concluded that "attrition in online program formats remains an issue and challenge warranting the attention of educational leaders in program planning and development." They also believe that "[d]ropout seems to result from an interaction of many complex variables that are difficult to delineate and determine, particularly in online environments, hence making it difficult for one comprehensive theory of dropout to fully explain the phenomenon in all situations or settings."

The paper is available at


The ONLINE JOURNAL OF DISTANCE LEARNING ADMINISTRATION (OJDLA) is a free, peer-reviewed quarterly electronic journal published by the Distance and Distributed Education Center, The State University of West Georgia, 1603 Maple Street, Carrollton, GA 30118 USA;

email:distance@westga.edu; Web: http://www.westga.edu/~distance/

Jensen Comment
I think drop rates are more heavily a function of the level of the class (e.g., first-year versus fourth-year undergraduates) and individual circumstances --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#DropoutRates
First year graduate students, however, may be more likely to drop than fourth-year undergraduates.



 "Cellphones have been called 'the new paper and pencil' or 'the new laptop,' and they could be in the hands of as many as 10 million to 15 million schoolchildren in the next few years."

EDUCATION WEEK's webinar "Cellphones as Instructional Tools" makes a case for using cellphones as "mobile computers" that can be used for students' learning activities both in and outside the classroom.

Although the presenters use examples from the K-12 educational environment, instructors in higher education may find the presentation of interest. A link to the archive of the webinar is available at http://www.edweek.org/ew/marketplace/webinars/webinars.html

(Registration is required to access the broadcast; registration is free.)

Education Week's webinars are sponsored by Editorial Projects in Education, the non-profit organization that founded The Chronicle of Higher Education. For more information, contact: Editorial Projects in Education Inc., Suite 100, 6935 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233 USA; tel: 800-346-1834;
Web: http://www.edweek.org/

See also:

"50 Ways to Use Twitter in the College Classroom" Online Colleges, June 6, 2009



 In December 2008, the tenth annual EDUCAUSE Current Survey asked participants to select the "five most-important IT issues out of a selection of thirty-one in each of four areas: (1) issues that are critical for strategic success; (2) issues that are expected to increase in significance; (3) issues that demand the greatest amount of the campus IT leader's time; and (4) issues that require the largest expenditures of human and fiscal resources."

 As for the previous six years, funding IT, administrative/ERP information systems, and security rank at the top of the list of college and university CIOs' concerns. This year, funding IT is the number one concern, reflecting the economic downturn that most institutions are experiencing.

The survey results and other materials, including readings related to each of the ten issues, are available at http://www.educause.edu/2009IssuesResources

 EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

The current membership comprises more than 1,900 colleges, universities, and educational organizations, including 200 corporations, with 15,000 active members. EDUCAUSE has offices in Boulder, CO, and Washington, DC. Learn more about EDUCAUSE at http://www.educause.edu/



 "Instructors who are new to online teaching often fear that their courses will be impersonal and that connecting with their students will not be possible in an online environment. Online students also fear this 'missing instructor,' and feel isolated if they don't sense that others are out there sharing their learning journey."

In "Increasing Instructor Presence in an Online Course" (EDUCATOR'S VOICE, vol. 10, no. 4, July 8, 2009), Gail E. Krovitz provides tips to help online instructors connect and stay connected with their students.

Her suggestions include "paying attention to the frequency and tone of communication, having a strong presence in threaded discussions, providing feedback and expectations. . . ." Krovitz also recommends "increased instructor personalization" by posting instructor bios, pictures, voice recordings, and the use of first person in communications. The article is available at http://www.ecollege.com/Educators_Voice.learn

Educator's Voice is published monthly by the eCollege Instructional Design Team. For more information contact eCollege, eCollege Building, 4900 S. Monaco Street, Denver, CO 80237 USA;
tel: 888-884-7325; fax: 303-873-7449; Web:



 "Today's learning leaders face more challenges than ever before. How do they deal with the economic and business climate we are all facing? How should they make decisions? How should they effectively interface with business leaders? How can they build (or re-build) a team for success?

All of these questions have become even more critical and challenging."

The LEARNING LEADER FIELDBOOK (The MASIE Center, 2009), edited by Bill Byron Concevitch ,is "designed to bring you insight into the worlds and daily realities of a prestigious group of learning leaders. We've captured their thoughts and some guiding principles and actions that they believe have aided their success." The book includes texts and podcasts from nine learning officers in corporate and government organizations.

 The book is available for free downloading at http://www.masie.com/fieldbook and, under a Creative Commons License, can be distributed and duplicated.

The MASIE Center is an international e-lab and think tank located in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Center is dedicated to exploring the intersection of learning and technology. For more information, go to http://www.masie.com/



 "Recommended Reading" lists items that have been recommended to me or that Infobits readers have found particularly interesting and/or useful, including books, articles, and websites published by Infobits subscribers. Send your recommendations to carolyn_kotlas@unc.edu for possible inclusion in this column.

"The Impending Demise of the University" By Don Tapscott, EDGE, June 4, 2009

 "Universities are finally losing their monopoly on higher learning, as the web inexorably becomes the dominant infrastructure for knowledge serving both as a container and as a global platform for knowledge exchange between people.

 "Meanwhile on campus, there is fundamental challenge to the foundational modus operandi of the University -- the model of pedagogy.

Specifically, there is a widening gap between the model of learning offered by many big universities and the natural way that young people who have grown up digital best learn."

 Responses/rebuttals to Tapscott's essay by Marc D. Hauser, Harvard University and James O'Donnell, Georgetown University http://www.edge.org/discourse/demise.html

From the Scout Report on July 31, 2009

HTTrack Website Copier 3.43-7 --- http://www.httrack.com/ 

If you have ever found yourself out of range of a wireless network, you may find this handy application to be a real find. HTTrack Website Copier allows users to store and view websites for perusal at a later date. The application downloads the site to a local directory, and visitors can view the site at their leisure while offline. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95/98/ and XP and those running Linux.

Recuva 1.29.429 --- http://www.piriform.com/recuva 

Just when you thought a certain file was gone forever, there may be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. The Recuva application is designed to help users recover and locate lost files, and its user interface device is quite easy to use. After users select a drive, the application goes to work, and it will eventually return a list of deleted files. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.

Urban foragers wander around the city in search of food, communion, and conversation Urban forages feast on sidewalk salads

Documentary about urban foragers in Chicago

The freegans' creed: waste not, want not

Forage Oakland http://forageoakland.blogspot.com/ 

Urban Edibles http://urbanedibles.org/ 

Wild Food Tours http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/

From the Scout Report on August 7, 2009

HardCopy Pro 3.0.11  --- http://www.desksoft.com/HardCopy.htm 

HardCopyPro is a screen-capture tool, but it has some nice bells and whistles that make it worth a closer look. Visitors can use the tabbed dialog box interface to pick images or even capture images at set time intervals. Also, users can preset the program to capture a certain rectangle, window, full screen, or even the window located under the mouse cursor. This version is free for 30 days, and it is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer.

Statement from the Company
 HardCopy Pro is the professional, easy to use screen capture utility for Windows. It can capture rectangular screen areas and whole windows. The captured images can be cropped very easily and the color depth can be changed to any desired value from monochrome to true color. Images can be printed, saved, copied to the clipboard, emailed, edited with any image editing program, etc. Many options allow the customization of all these actions to individual user needs.

Jensen Comment
I downloaded this (temporarily free) program by clicking on Downloads and then choosing HardCopy Pro. I first saved the zip file in a Temp folder and then unzipped the file under Program Files.
The download link is at http://www.desksoft.com/HardCopy_Download.htm

The free download version only lasts 30 days, but you can purchase the software for $20 such that there’s no big investment here if you like the program. After about 20 days of playing around with this I will probably buy the software for $20.

I like the HardCopy Pro feature of being able to click (using PrintScreen) what's on the screen and have it automatically save to a folder without disrupting the viewing screens. You can just click away as if a camera was recording each screen you click on. You can then access the picture files later on for editing and pasting.

Like most low priced screen capturing software, it will not capture video frames. I use Camtasia Producer
( http://www.techsmith.com/  ) to capture video frames of stored video files, but it will not capture streaming video frames.

I also use Camtasia SnagIt ( http://www.techsmith.com/  ) for screen captures. One advantage of SnagIt is that it will capture rolling screens such as a text document or spreadsheet that will not all fit on one screen. But I’ve not had any success using SnagIt to capture video of any kind. SnagIt seems to capture the screen but will not save it as a picture file that I can edit. However, I’m not running the latest version of SnagIt.

Bob Jensen

Omeka 1.0 --- http://omeka.org/ 

If you're looking to start your own online exhibit, you'll want to give Omeka 1.0 a test run. This web-based publishing platform was created by staff members at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, and it allows users "to focus on content and interpretation rather than programming". First-time users may wish to look at some of the online exhibits that have been created so far with Omeka, and then dive right in. The site also has complete documentation, along with discussion forums and an RSS feed. This version of Omeka is compatible with computers running Linux.

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

Education Tutorials

Creative Commons Video Archive --- http://creativecommons.org/videos/

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Video: Cambridge Physics: Past, Present and Future --- http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/camphys/

Center for History of Physics --- http://www.aip.org/history/index.html 

Oral History Interviews at the Niels Bohr Library & (Physics) Archives --- http://www.aip.org/history/nbl/oralhistory.html

Bill Gates purchased the rights to lectures by Richard Feynman and has initially made seven of them available free at http://research.microsoft.com/apps/tools/tuva/index.html
The catch is that you must install the Microsoft Silverlight browser add on (at no charge).
Richard Feynman is a very famous physicist --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Feynman

We Choose The Moon --- http://wechoosethemoon.org/ 

Chemistry: A Molecular Approach --- http://wps.prenhall.com/esm_tro_chemistry_1/ 

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: National Wetlands Inventory --- http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/

Farmers, Warriors, Builders: The Hidden Life of Ants (video) --- http://www.mnh.si.edu/ants/

Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology --- http://tiee.ecoed.net/index.html BioPortal --- http://www.bioportal.gc.ca/

Ocean Science --- http://www.ocean-science.net/

Natural England --- http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/

Natural Resources Conservation Service: Backyard Conservation --- http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/backyard/

The Barren Lands of Canada (photographs) --- http://link.library.utoronto.ca/Tyrrell/ 

The Perkins Geology Museum at the University of Vermont --- http://www.uvm.edu/perkins/index.html

Forests and Poverty Reduction (Ecology) --- http://www.fao.org/forestry/livelihoods/en/ 

Creative Commons Video Archive --- http://creativecommons.org/videos/

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

"Infographic: Mortgages & Morals," Simoleon Sense, August 12, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
An interesting perspective (and great graphic) of changing lifestyles and morality over the past 100 years.

"Discriminating Tastes," (about racism and Obama), by Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, August 10, 2009 --- http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2009/08/10/090810taco_talk_sanneh 

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

Bob Jensen's threads on economic statistics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

OECD Factbook eXplorer --- http://stats.oecd.org/oecdfactbook/

EconStats --- http://www.econstats.com/index.htm

Pew Global Attitudes Project Key Indicators Database --- http://pewglobal.org/database/?src=hpgraphic 

Federal Revenue and Spending Book of Charts (Great Charts on Bad Budgeting) --- http://www.heritage.org/research/features/BudgetChartBook/index.html

World Health Organization: Health Economics --- http://www.who.int/topics/health_economics/en/

Public.Resource.Org --- http://public.resource.org/

Economic Indicators --- http://www.gpoaccess.gov/indicators/
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#EconStatistics

Chinese in California, 1850-1925 --- http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/chineseinca/

The Redistricting Game --- http://www.redistrictinggame.org/

The Ford Foundation --- http://www.fordfound.org/

The Landscape of Recession: Unemployment and Safety Net Services Across Urban and Suburban America --- 
http://snipurl.com/urbansafetynet  [www_brookings_edu] 

Forests and Poverty Reduction (Ecology) --- http://www.fao.org/forestry/livelihoods/en/ 

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

Law and Legal Studies

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

Math Tutorials

Video: Cambridge Physics: Past, Present and Future --- http://www-outreach.phy.cam.ac.uk/camphys/

Bertrand /Russell Video (history):  The Principles of Mathematics ---

Teaching Math: A Video Library --- http://www.learner.org/resources/series34.html

Functions Grapher --- http://mathdl.maa.org/mathDL/3/?pa=content&sa=viewDocument&nodeId=404

Famous Curves Index --- http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Curves/Curves.html


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

History Tutorials

"Infographic: Mortgages & Morals," Simoleon Sense, August 12, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
An interesting perspective (and great graphic) of changing lifestyles and morality over the past 100 years.

The Ford Foundation --- http://www.fordfound.org/

Saint Anselm Journal --- http://www.anselm.edu/library/SAJ/SAJindex.html 

Utah State History --- http://history.utah.gov/

"Discriminating Tastes," (about racism and Obama), by Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, August 10, 2009 --- http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2009/08/10/090810taco_talk_sanneh 

Big Streets in a Little City: Downtown Street Scenes in Kiel, 1860-1980  (Wisconsin History) ---http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/WI/subcollections/KielLocHistAbout.html

The Barren Lands of Canada (photographs) --- http://link.library.utoronto.ca/Tyrrell/ 

Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology: Delphi Collections Browser --- http://pahma.berkeley.edu/delphi/ 

Authors: The Portrait Photograph File of the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/explore/collection=AuthorsPhotographsfr&col_id=155
Over 150 portraits

American Museum of Natural History: Division of Anthropology --- http://anthro.amnh.org/

History & Culture of Brazil ---

Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul ---

Chinese in California, 1850-1925 --- http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/chineseinca/

The Art of Penguin (Publishers) Science Fiction --- http://www.penguinsciencefiction.org/ 

Google Maps Rumsey Historical Maps (old Chicago, Moscow, etc.) ---

U.S. Department of Transportation: Maritime Administration --- http://www.marad.dot.gov/

Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections ---  http://www.bplonline.org/resources/Digital_Project/Collections.asp

MoMA: James Ensor (Belgian Artist_ --- http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/ensor/#/intro/

MoMA: Kirchner and the Berlin Street (Art History Slide Show) --- http://moma.org/exhibitions/2008/kirchner/kirchner.html

The Perkins Geology Museum at the University of Vermont --- http://www.uvm.edu/perkins/index.html

Voyages and Travels: Ancient and Modern http://www.bartleby.com/33/

We Choose The Moon --- http://wechoosethemoon.org/ 

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

Creative Commons Video Archive --- http://creativecommons.org/videos/

The mysterious Hannity Non-report of August 16, 2009 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HannityReport081609.htm

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

Language Tutorials

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

Music Tutorials

Felix Mendelssohn at the Library of Congress --- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/mendelssohn/mendelssohn-home.html

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

Creative Commons Video Archive --- http://creativecommons.org/videos/

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/


"Multiple sclerosis successfully reversed in animals," PhysOrg, August 11, 2009 --- http://www.physorg.com/news169211700.html

A new experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) completely reverses the devastating autoimmune disorder in mice, and might work exactly the same way in humans, say researchers at the Jewish General Hospital Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and McGill University in Montreal.

MS is an autoimmune disease in which the body's own immune response attacks the central nervous system, almost as if the body had become allergic to itself, leading to progressive physical and cognitive disability.

The new treatment, appropriately named GIFT15, puts MS into remission by suppressing the immune response. This means it might also be effective against other autoimmune disorders like Crohn's disease, lupus and arthritis, the researchers said, and could theoretically also control immune responses in organ transplant patients. Moreover, unlike earlier immune-supppressing therapies which rely on chemical pharamaceuticals, this approach is a personalized form of cellular therapy which utilizes the body's own cells to suppress immunity in a much more targeted way.

GIFT15 was discovered by a team led by Dr. Jacques Galipeau of the JGH Lady Davis Institute and McGill's Faculty of Medicine. The results were published August 9 in the prestigious journal Nature Medicine.

GIFT15 is composed of two proteins, GSM-CSF and interleukin-15, fused together artificially in the lab. Under normal circumstances, the individual proteins usually act to stimulate the immune system, but in their fused form, the equation reverses itself.

"You know those mythical animals that have the head of an eagle and the body of a lion? They're called chimeras. In a lyrical sense, that's what we've created," said Galipeau, a world-renowned expert in cell regeneration affiliated with the Segal Cancer Centre at the Jewish General and McGill's Centre for Translational Research. "GIFT15 is a new protein hormone composed of two distinct proteins, and when they're stuck together they lead to a completely unexpected biological effect."

Continued in article

Move Out of the Way Sally Fields
"New Osteoporosis Drug Coming?" by Miranda Hitti, WebMD, August , 2009 ---

The experimental drug denosumab may be on its way to becoming the newest way to treat osteoporosis.

Denosumab, a biological drug given by injection every six months, looks safe and effective, researchers report in today's advance online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

An FDA advisory panel will meet Aug. 13 to decide whether to recommend denosumab for FDA approval. The FDA often follows the advice of its advisory committees, but it doesn't have to.

Denosumab Studies Denosumab works differently than other osteoporosis drugs. It binds to a protein called RANKL, which cells called osteoclasts need to break down bone as part of the bone remodeling process.

The idea behind denosumab is to slow the bone-breakdown process in people whose bones are already dangerously thin.

WebMD first reported on denosumab in September 2008, when news about the drug's potential to treat osteoporosis in postmenopausal women was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research in Montreal.

Now, that trial's results have been published, along with a separate study in men with prostate cancer taking bone-weakening hormone therapy to treat their cancer.

In both studies, patients got a shot of either denosumab or a placebo every six months for three years. And in both studies, fractures were rarer in patients taking denosumab.

In the postmenopausal osteoporosis study, which included 7,800 women 60-90 years old with osteoporosis, new vertebral fractures occurred in 2.3% of patients taking denosumab, compared with 7.2% of patients taking the placebo.

That's a difference of 68%, notes researcher Steven Cummings, MD, director of the San Francisco Coordinating Center at the California Pacific Medical Center and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of California at San Francisco.

"It's more effective for reducing vertebral fractures than I expected ... 68% is a very powerful reduction," Cummings tells WebMD.

In the prostate cancer study, which included more than 1,400 men with prostate cancer on bone-weakening hormone therapy, new vertebral fractures occurred in 1.5% of patients taking denosumab, compared with 3.9% of patients who got the placebo.

"To see this very dramatic 62% decrease in vertebral fractures in three years in this relatively high-risk population of men is very impressive," researcher Matthew Smith, MD, PhD, tells WebMD. Smith is the director of genitourinary medical oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

Not all experts are as sold on the breakthrough
At a time when the country is focused on reforming health care, however, some health experts are asking an important question: Can the U.S. afford to shield the bones of millions of aging baby boomers? On Aug. 11, the New England Journal of Medicine published a critical editorial penned by Mayo Clinic professor of medicine Dr. Sundeep Khosla. He isn't convinced Amgen's drug is that much better than older, affordable alternatives, such as Merck (MRK)'s Fosamax, now available as a generic for as little as $100 a year. Amgen won't reveal its pricing plans yet, but analysts are assuming that because denosumab is a biologic drug, it will cost significantly more than the $2,000-a-year price tag on Fosamax's most expensive rivals. "If there's only a marginal difference, you really need a reason not to use those older drugs," says Khosla, who neither participated in the Amgen trials nor has financial relationships with companies that market rival treatments.
Arlene Weintraub, "An Osteoporosis Blockbuster for Amgen?" Business Week, August 11, 2009 ---

"Men with angina at twice the risk of heart attack and death compared with women," PhysOrg, August 7, 2009 --- http://www.physorg.com/news168867652.html

"Studies Question Spine Treatment," by Denise Grady, The New York Times, August 5, 2009 ---

Two new studies cast serious doubt on a widely used and expensive treatment for painful fractures in the spine.

The treatment, vertebroplasty, injects an acrylic cement into bones in the spinal column to ease the pain from cracks caused by osteoporosis, the bone-thinning disorder common in older people. Doctors began performing it in this country in the 1990s, patients swore by it — some reporting immediate relief from terrible pain — and it soon caught on, without any rigorous trials to determine whether it really worked.

The new studies are exactly the kind of research that health policy experts and President Obama have been calling for, to find out if the nation is spending its health care dollars wisely, on treatments that work. A bill passed by Congress this year provides $1.1 billion for such so-called comparative effectiveness research.

The studies of vertebroplasty, being published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, found it no better than a placebo. But it remains to be seen whether the findings will change medical practice, because they defy the common wisdom and challenge a popular treatment that many patients and doctors consider the only hope for a very painful condition.

“I’m going to be the most reviled radiologist on the planet,” said Dr. David Kallmes, the first author of one of the studies and a professor of radiology at the Mayo Clinic.

Last year about 73,000 Americans had the treatment, which costs $2,500 to $3,000, as well as $1,000 to $2,000 for an M.R.I. scan. Before it came along, the standard treatment was rest, painkillers and sometimes a back brace, but those measures did not help everyone.

The studies began several years ago at medical centers in the United States, Britain and Australia. Working independently of one another, Dr. Kallmes’s research team and one based in Australia put vertebroplasty to the toughest kind of test — an experiment in which patients were picked at random either to receive the real injection or to be part of a control group given a sham procedure with no cement. That kind of study had not been done before.

Both teams had trouble recruiting patients because so many people believed in the treatment, wanted it and did not want to take a chance on ending up in the control group. In the end, the American study enrolled 131 patients and the Australian study enrolled 78.

The researchers prepared cement even during the sham procedure, so patients would smell it and imagine they were receiving it. The Americans assessed the patients one month later, and the Australians at one week and at one, three and six months.

Vertebroplasty flunked the test in both studies. The treated patients and the control group each had pain relief, but there was no difference between them.

“It does not work,” said Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, a physician and epidemiologist at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and the leader of the Australian team. She does not perform vertebroplasty and would “absolutely not” recommend it to patients, she said.

Dr. Kallmes, who helped develop vertebroplasty and has been performing it for 15 years, said his team was “shocked at the results.”

How could the treatment group and the controls get the same pain relief? One possibility is the placebo effect, or the power of suggestion: people felt better because they believed they had received an effective treatment. Studies have found that pain is especially susceptible to placebos.

It is also possible that those who improved gradually healed naturally, which is the normal course for spinal fractures. Finally, the numbing drugs injected into the patients’ backs during the sham procedure may have had some lasting effect on their pain.

One reason for studying the procedure is that it does have risks, which would not be justified if there is no real benefit. Though rare, complications can be serious. Damage to the heart and lungs, and some deaths, have occurred when the cement leaked into blood vessels. There are also unresolved questions about whether cementing one vertebra can stress others and lead to more breaks.

One patient in the study, Jeanette Offenhauser, 88, said she was convinced that the cement had helped her severe back pain, even after hearing the results.

Dr. Kallmes has begun a small, pilot study, he said, in which patients are given only the numbing drugs to see if they alone can help.

But Dr. Kallmes said he was not ready to give up on vertebroplasty. He said more studies were needed to determine whether there were specific subgroups of patients for whom it might work. People who want the treatment should still be able to get it, he said — but only if they enter a clinical trial that collects data on every case.

In an editorial accompanying the articles, Dr. James N. Weinstein, director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, said, “Compassionate care and tincture of time, in and of themselves, can have an effect.”



Now Viagra is Such a Pain
A married eastern Wisconsin man thought he was going to a motel for a little romance with one of his handful of lovers. She allegedly played along and suggested he be tied up and blindfolded for a massage, according to court documents. But four women eventually showed up to humiliate the man, who ended up with his penis glued to his stomach in a bizarre plot to punish him for a lover's quadrangle gone bad, according to the documents filed in Calumet County. Now it's the women, including the man's wife, who face punishment — perhaps six years in prison — and at least one said Monday the story has gotten twisted and she's embarrassed. "I am disturbed. I am upset. I am having a hard time handling life; an emotional wreck," Wendy Sewell, 43, of Kaukauna, said Monday in a telephone interview from her home. "I am ashamed."
Robert Imrie, "4 Wis. women accused in lovers' quadrangle plot, Google News, August 3, 2009 ---

Possible Darwin Award Nominee
A Connecticut woman who authorities say spent more than $2,000 to stage a dinner honoring her as "Nurse of the Year" has been charged with pretending to be a nurse at a doctor's office. Betty Lichtenstein, 56, of Norwalk was charged Thursday. Prosecutors say Dr. Gerald Weiss believed Lichtenstein was a registered nurse, especially after she was named the Connecticut Nursing Association's "Nurse of the Year" in 2008.
"'Nurse of the Year' charged with not being a nurse," Yahoo News, August 6, 2009 ---

Possible Darwin Award Nominee
A bride in Germany spent her wedding night passed out next to a crate of vodka in the back seat of a car and had to be rescued by police when the BMW began to overheat in the sun. Police in the western city of Cologne said Monday the inebriated 30-year-old remained unconscious even after they smashed the car window to get her out. "Only after being shaken several times did she eventually regain consciousness," police said in a statement. Still clad in her wedding dress, the dazed woman had to scramble through the broken window because she had no idea where the car keys or her husband were, police said.
Reuters, August 11, 2009 --- http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE57A5C520090811

Possible Darwin Award Nominee
A 60-year-old man has been convicted of groping a woman in a Minnie Mouse costume at Walt Disney World.
TBO.com, August 11, 2009 ---
Jensen Comment
It's probably going a bit too far to imply that he was after tail. Mickey always held out cheese before trying to cop a feel.

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