Tidbits on August 31, 2012
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Bob Jensen's Second Set of Pictures Taken in the Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch State Park
About 15 Minutes from our cottage


More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

 White Mountain News --- http://www.whitemtnews.com/

Tidbits on August 31, 2012
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/

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this


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:  A Guided Tour of Bad Neuroscience ---

Congratulations to Nick Vujicic  and Kanae Miyahara in Australia
Nick was born without arms or legs, but he had no shortage of guts

Rehabilitation of a Bald Eagle (a bionic beak) ---

Imagine -- John Lennon:London Olympics 2012 Closing Ceremony ---

Government Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5u03KAcEbEo

Texas Versus California
Afterburner with Bill Whittle: Going Out of Business!

Couple's Radio Flyer turns heads on streets --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7AECIw1Xvc

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

The Tanglewood 75th Anniversary Concert --- http://www.npr.org/event/music/158372530/tanglewood-at-75-a-gala-concert

Leif Ove Andsnes: Fatherhood And Freedom At The Piano ---

A Four Year Old Pianist ---

Government Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5u03KAcEbEo

The Diamonds (then and now) --- http://www.flixxy.com/the-diamonds-little-darlin-1957-2004.htm#.UCbTTyLpUyA

American Civil War Music & Resources --- http://www.loc.gov/performingarts/civilwar/

Government Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5u03KAcEbEo

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

Irish Museum of Modern Art --- http://www.imma.ie/en/index.htm

Los Angeles Public Library Photograph Collection --- http://photos.lapl.org/carlweb/jsp/photosearch_pageADV.jsp

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Art New Media (multimedia) --- 

Mead Art Museum (Amherst College) --- https://www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/

Utah Artists Project --- http://www.lib.utah.edu/collections/utah-artists/

University of Utah Photographic Exhibits --- http://www.lib.utah.edu/collections/photo-ex

Thomas H. and Joan W. Gandy Photograph Collection (Acadian culture in Louisiana) ---

Google Earth Shows Undiscovered Pyramids, Amateur Archeologist Claims --- Click Here

Western Americana Collection (from Princeton University) --- http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0017

U.S. West: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints --- http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/all/cul/wes/

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

Western Americana Collection (from Princeton University) --- http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0017

The Faulkner Newsletter & Yoknapatawpha Review --- http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/archives/faulkner_nl.php

Aaron Thomas: The Caribbean Journal of a Royal Navy Seaman --- http://scholar.library.miami.edu/thomas

Drinking with William Faulkner --- Click Here

The Faulkner Newsletter & Yoknapatawpha Review --- http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/archives/faulkner_nl.php

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

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on August 31, 2012

U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

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

Ayn Rand --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

Once again the Chronicle of Higher Education panders to its snobbishly liberal readership
Right-wing think tanks can have Rand (even if she had little use for them). In the academy, she is a nonperson. Her theories are works of fiction. Her works of fiction are theories, and bad ones at that. Should the Republicans actually win in 2012, we might need to study her in the academic world. It would be for the same reason we sometimes need to study creationism.
See below

"The Ridiculous Rise of Ayn Rand," by Alan Wolfe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, August 19, 2012 ---

When the literary editor of The New Republic (note that William Buckley hated Ayn Rand such that this invitation to Alan Wolff was likely biased from get go) asked me to review two new books on Ayn Rand three years ago, I readily agreed. Rand, the Russian-born writer known for her take-no-prisoners defense of capitalism, was beginning to come back into vogue among conservatives, and I recalled hearing that there was a congressman from Wisconsin who was singing her praises and assigning her writings to his staff. I had had my own flirtation with Rand, when I was 18, and although it lasted less than a year, I could never forget a college classmate who kept extensive index cards ready so that he could quote her whenever he deemed the situation appropriate.

The two books were interesting, indeed fascinating. One, Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right, was written by Jennifer Burns, a historian at Stanford University. The other, Ayn Rand and the World She Made, came from the journalist Anne C. Heller. As good as the books were, however, I felt that to do justice to the essay, I would have to reread Rand’s own novels. That proved to be too much. One of the best things I have done for American politics in recent years was to turn down the review assignment. It went instead to Jonathan Chait, now at New York magazine, and I consider his masterly essay to be one of the outstanding pieces of political journalism of the past decade.

With Paul Ryan’s selection as vice-presidential candidate on the 2012 Republican ticket, Rand is back in the news. Chait continues to write about her. Burns came out with two essays about her contemporary relevance, one in The New York Times, the other in The New Republic. We now know that Ryan tempered his enthusiasm for Rand when he realized that her atheism might prove problematic for members of his party. It has become clear that Rand was pro-choice and, like any hater of government properly ought to be, a civil libertarian. She would be disgusted by the Republican Party’s spending on defense (let alone Ryan’s support, during the George W. Bush years, for the Medicare Part D prescription benefit and TARP).

Yet as much as I like it when intellectuals receive attention, I still find myself uninterested in Ayn Rand. I do not care what she would have thought of the current scene. That those who invoke her name treat her selectively is of almost no significance to me. I have the sense, moreover, that I am not alone, at least among those in the academic world. Despite a flutter of interest, she has been mostly ignored.

Rand wrote novels that are highly unlikely to be read and taught in departments of English. Her subject was the market, but no academic economists take her seriously, unless, of course, wealthy libertarians offer funds for that purpose. She considered herself an Aristotelian, but it is impossible to imagine departments of philosophy and political science adding her to the canon.

For those under Rand’s spell, all this is just more evidence of academe’s irrelevance. For me it demonstrates that, for all the attacks directed against it, American academic life still has standards. I will be teaching a course next semester called “Liberalism and Conservatism.” John Stuart Mill and Edmund Burke will be on the reading list. So will libertarians such as Friedrich von Hayek and the founder of the National Review, William F. Buckley Jr. Contemporary liberals such as E.J. Dionne will be there. But not Rand. My reasons for excluding her may be the same reasons that other academics ignore her.

Rand’s “thought,” such as it is, boils down to two propositions. One is that selfishness is the highest of moral virtues. The other is that the masses, above all resentful of success, are parasites living off the hard work of capitalists far superior to them in every way.

Self-interest is a useful concept, while selfishness is not. That, I believe, helps explain why Adam Smith is a first-rate thinker and Ayn Rand is an amateur.

Self-interest makes altruism possible: I can decide to help others, even if in doing so I may be set back financially, because other gains to my self-esteem are important to me. Self-interest requires a nuanced psychology, which is why economists now find themselves investigating all kinds of human behavior and are increasingly interested in how the mind works. Selfishness, by contrast, is not psychologically interesting; Rand’s understanding of human behavior has no room for the complex, the unexpected, or the paradoxical. It is one thing to say, as she frequently did, that altruism is evil; that is a normative position with which one might agree or, I hope, disagree. But to claim that altruism is impossible, an empirical question, is another matter entirely. Any social science, including economics, must be based on a realistic psychology. Rand does not offer one.

As for the masses, serious thinkers have shared Rand’s concern about their impact on society: de Tocqueville spoke of the tyranny of the majority and Ortega y Gasset of their “revolt.” There was a time when the concept of mass society was taken seriously in academic sociology: Daniel Bell wrote an essay about it, C. Wright Mills a chapter, and William Kornhauser a book. But while we continue to discuss mass media and mass culture, we have also learned, as Mills tried to teach us, that elites have flaws of their own. A theory of society that attributes virtues to one group and vices to another cannot pass the realism test: Rand’s “inverted” Marxism, as Chait calls it, is as myopic as its opposite.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Alan Wolff only hopes that Ayn Rand is a nonperson in the Academy, and if he's correct he's preaching from an ivory tower detached from the world of real people. If he's simply gone to Wikipedia, he would have found that she's not exactly a nonperson in the Academy. Thumbs down to Alan Wolff's new scholarship.


Ayn Rand --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

In his history of the libertarian movement, journalist Brian Doherty described her as "the most influential libertarian of the twentieth century to the public at large",and biographer Jennifer Burns referred to her as "the ultimate gateway drug to life on the right"

She faced intense opposition from William F. Buckley, Jr. and other contributors for the National Review magazine. They published numerous attacks in the 1950s and 1960s by Whittaker Chambers, Garry Wills, and M. Stanton Evans. Nevertheless, her influence among conservatives forced Buckley and other National Review contributors to reconsider how traditional notions of virtue and Christianity could be integrated with support for capitalism.

. . .

Academic reaction

During Rand's lifetime her work received little attention from academic scholars.[4] When the first academic book about Rand's philosophy appeared in 1971, its author declared writing about Rand "a treacherous undertaking" that could lead to "guilt by association" for taking her seriously.[175] A few articles about Rand's ideas appeared in academic journals before her death in 1982, many of them in The Personalist.[176] One of these was "On the Randian Argument" by libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick, who argued that her meta-ethical argument is unsound and fails to solve the is–ought problem posed by David Hume.[177] Some responses to Nozick by other academic philosophers were also published in The Personalist arguing that Nozick misstated Rand's case.[176] Academic consideration of Rand as a literary figure during her life was even more limited. Gladstein was unable to find any scholarly articles about Rand's novels when she began researching her in 1973, and only three such articles appeared during the rest of the 1970s.[178]

Since Rand's death, interest in her work has gradually increased.[179] Historian Jennifer Burns has identified "three overlapping waves" of scholarly interest in Rand, the most recent of which is "an explosion of scholarship" since the year 2000.[180] However, few universities currently include Rand or Objectivism as a philosophical specialty or research area, with many literature and philosophy departments dismissing her as a pop culture phenomenon rather than a subject for serious study.[181]

Academics Mimi Gladstein, Chris Sciabarra, Allan Gotthelf, Edwin A. Locke and Tara Smith have taught her work in academic institutions. Sciabarra co-edits the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies, a nonpartisan peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the study of Rand's philosophical and literary work.[182] In 1987 Gotthelf helped found the Ayn Rand Society, and has been active in sponsoring seminars about Rand and her ideas.[183] Smith has written several academic books and papers on Rand's ideas, including Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist, a volume on Rand's ethical theory published by Cambridge University Press. Rand's ideas have also been made subjects of study at Clemson and Duke universities.[184] Scholars of English and American literature have largely ignored her work,[185] although attention to her literary work has increased since the 1990s.[186]

Some academic philosophers have criticized Rand for what they consider her lack of rigor and limited understanding of philosophical subject matter.[4][99] The Philosophical Lexicon, a satirical web site maintained by philosophers Daniel Dennett and Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen, defines a 'rand' as: "An angry tirade occasioned by mistaking philosophical disagreement for a personal attack and/or evidence of unspeakable moral corruption."[187] Chris Matthew Sciabarra has called into question the motives of some of Rand's critics because of the unusual hostility of their criticisms.[188] Sciabarra writes, "The left was infuriated by her anti-communist, pro-capitalist politics, whereas the right was disgusted with her atheism and civil libertarianism."[4]

Rand scholars Douglas Den Uyl and Douglas B. Rasmussen, while stressing the importance and originality of her thought, describe her style as "literary, hyperbolic and emotional".[189] Philosopher Jack Wheeler says that despite "the incessant bombast and continuous venting of Randian rage", Rand's ethics are "a most immense achievement, the study of which is vastly more fruitful than any other in contemporary thought."[190] In the Literary Encyclopedia entry for Rand written in 2001, John Lewis declared that "Rand wrote the most intellectually challenging fiction of her generation".[191] In a 1999 interview in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Rand scholar Chris Matthew Sciabarra commented, "I know they laugh at Rand", while forecasting a growth of interest in her work in the academic community.[192]

Philosopher Michael Huemer has argued that very few people find Rand's ideas convincing, especially her ethics,[193] which he believes is difficult to interpret and may lack logical coherence.[194] He attributes the attention she receives to her being a "compelling writer", especially as a novelist. Thus, Atlas Shrugged outsells not only the works of other philosophers of classical liberalism as Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, or Frederic Bastiat, but also Rand's own non-fiction works.[193]

Philosopher Robert H. Bass has argued that her central ethical ideas are inconsistent and contradictory to her central political ideas

August 20, 2012 reply from Paul Williams


Thank you for your thoughtful testimonial (what else do we expect from you). As I have mentioned before (I think) as a younger man (much younger) I read the corpus of Rand's work (Anthem was one of her best ones, but never gets mentioned). Had she remained a novelist, then if people find something inspirational in her novels, all well and good. But she didn't stick with novels -- she organized a society to advocate an agenda.

Objectivism is not a reading circle for folks who find inspiration in her work, but an organized group with a political agenda. As such, she is culpable for things done in her name. J.K. Rowling hasn't organized people into purveyors of Hogwartism. One is responsible for the consequences of their actions, or so I am told by many on AECM. To take her seriously as a poltitical philosopher is quite another thing from finding inspiration in her novels. What I find astonishing is her popularity among certain Christians, notably now Paul Ryan.

Contrast Rand with: And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them saying: The Beatitudes, i.e., who is blessed: the meek (i.e., humble) the just, the peaceful, the righteous, etc. And the multitudes are the "salt of the earth" but to Rand they are parasites on the few superior human beings who produce and without whom the multitudes would perish(?) (ever notice that devotees of Rand always presume they are among the group of superior people, even though most of them bear little resemblance in their lives to Hank Rearden.).

How does one become a disciple of Christ and a disciple of Ayn Rand at the same time? They represent two completely antithetical views of what it means to be a human being. Perhaps I place to much value on coherence (the hobgoblin of small minds).


August 20, 2012 reply from Richard Sansing


I agree with much of what you wrote. Two points.

1. You wrote: "To take her (Rand) seriously as a political philosopher is quite another thing from finding inspiration in her novels."

True, but sales of her fiction swamp the sales of her non-fiction. I suspect that the great majority of those who cite Rand as a source of inspiration do so on the basis of her fiction.

2. You wrote: "What I find astonishing is her popularity among certain Christians, notably now Paul Ryan. Contrast Rand with:

And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then He opened His mouth and taught them saying: The Beatitudes, i.e., who is blessed: the meek (i.e., humble) the just, the peaceful, the righteous, etc.

And the multitudes are the 'salt of the earth' but to Rand they are parasites on the few superior human beings who produce and without whom the multitudes would perish(?) (ever notice that devotees of Rand always presume they are among the group of superior people, even though most of them bear little resemblance in their lives to Hank Rearden.). How does one become a disciple of Christ and a disciple of Ayn Rand at the same time? They represent two completely antithetical views of what it means to be a human being."

I agree with your conclusion, but I think you are mis-reading Rand. The virtuous in Rand's world are defined by the values by which they live rather than their "superior abilities." There are characters in Atlas Shrugged of ordinary abilities who exhibit values that Rand embraces (e.g., Eddie Willers).


And there are characters of great ability who exhibit values that Rand condemns (e.g., Dr. Robert Stadler.)


To me, the clearest contrast between Rand's values and Christian values is in John 20:29:

Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Richard Sansing


Some Other Ayn Rand Links

Comments following the poorly researched article at

Ayn Rand's Academic Legacy." by David Glenn, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 13, 2007 ---

"Ayn Rand Has Finally Caught the Attention of Scholars," by Jeff Sharlet, Chronicle of Higher Education, by Jeff Sharlet, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 9, 1999 ---

U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Should we keep increasing the government spending deficit and the national debt every year ad infinitum?

Although in these down economic times, the liberal's Keynesian hero and Nobel Prize economist, Paul Krugman, thinks recovery is stalled because the government is not massively increasing spending deficits. But he's not willing to commit himself to never reducing deficits or never paying down some of the national debt. Hence, he really does not answer the above question ---

So let's turn to a respected law professor who advocates increasing the government spending deficit and the national debt every year ad infinitum?

"Why We Should Never Pay Down the National Debt (even partly)," by Neil H. Buchanan George Washington University Law School), SSRN, 2012 ---

Calls either to balance the federal budget on an annual basis, or to pay down all or part of the national debt, are based on little more than uninformed intuitions that there is something inherently bad about borrowing money. We should not only ignore calls to balance the budget or to pay down the national debt, but we should engage in a responsible plan to increase the national debt each year. Only by issuing debt to lubricate the financial system, and to support the economy’s healthy growth, can we guarantee a prosperous future for current and future citizens of the United States.

Student Assignment

Since many of the most liberal economists are not quite willing to assert that "we should never pay down the national debt," what questionable and unmentioned assumptions have been made by Neil H. Buchanan that need to be addressed?

Are some of these assumptions unrealistic in any world other than a utopian world?

Bob Jensen's Answers ---

Aaron Thomas: The Caribbean Journal of a Royal Navy Seaman --- http://scholar.library.miami.edu/thomas

[Date: June 1798 - July 1798. Pages: 1 - 56]


Esto Libro farzem dentro Basseterre para Aarone Thomaso. Cemetro Caza; Wigmore Herefordshire en Mese Mayo 1798; by Richard Cable, et coste Tres corona de Espagna. -- Moltissimo caro. AT. Para suo Maniscritto.
Questa Escrivando dans Fort Real puerto 15th June 1798

Page the first

What is the most readyst thing, which the world is fondest of giving.
Answer. Advice.
Question. What is the cheapest thing amongst mankind.
Answer. Advice.
What is the least thing attended to amongst us.
A. Advice.
Q. For what reason, are all of us so fond of giving Advice.
Because it does not cost us a farthing.
Q. Then generally speaking, if the giving of advice, cost us fourpence, this mode of giving advice, would not be so common amongst us.
I am confident it would not be so common a thing.
Q. When does a persons friendship appear dubious.
As soon as he begins to give advice.
Q. So advice, is the very commonest thing amongst us.
A. Yes; And the most dispised thing on earth.

A.T. in Crokens Bay, Island of Anguilla in the West Indias, last day of June 1798



Transactive Memory --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactive_memory

Also see http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~wegner/tm.htm/

August 6,  2012 message from John Donahue (Trinity University)

Dan Wegner, former TU Professor of Psychology and now at Harvard has a front page article in the Sunday Review section of yesterday's (8/5/12) New York Times. He cites a 1983 article that he co-authored with Toni Guliano (then a student) and Paula Hertel, her mentor, on "transactive memory." How is that for "institutional memory?" (Applause)

The list of AASCB-accredited colleges and universities is at

Those with undergraduate programs (most also have one or more masters programs as well) tend to have accounting programs. I think most of those with masters program have accounting major tracks, although in most instances masters students who did not major in accounting as undergraduates generally have to take some undergraduate accounting prerequisites such as intermediate, tax, advanced, auditing, AIS, and governmental accounting. With the five year requirement to sit for the CPA program, some masters programs moved a few of those undergraduate courses to the masters program such as advanced, AIS, governmental accounting, and auditing II.

Those programs that have only graduate business programs vary in terms of the the types of "accounting concentrations" that they offer. Some have accounting concentrations along the managerial accounting track but do not offer the required courses mandated by states to take the CPA examination.

Among the most prestigious universities, availability of accounting courses and even business courses vary.

Among the Ivy League universities I think only Cornell and Penn have undergraduate business and accounting programs. They also have MBA programs and accounting doctoral programs.

Among the Ivy League universities I think that only Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and Columbia have MBA programs without undergraduate business programs. Large accounting firms sometimes recruit management consultants from those programs, but the pay scales are much higher than the pay scales for entry level auditors and tax accountants. Most have accounting doctoral programs except for Dartmouth.

Brown and Princeton have no AACSB-accredited programs at the undergraduate or graduate levels but both now have a finance track in their economics departments that teaches finance geared for Wall Street employment.

Outside the Ivy League, there are other prestigious MBA programs that do not have undergraduate business programs. I think Northwestern dropped its undergraduate program about the time it moved the business school out of downtown Chicago. Stanford, Rice, and Chicago have prestigious MBA programs. Rice dropped its accounting doctoral program.

Some of the most prestigious undergraduate universities like Swarthmore seem to almost take pride in not having business programs. They prefer to be jumping off points for law schools, medical schools, and doctoral programs in humanities and science.

Many of the most prestigious universities outside the United States now have AACSB accreditation ---


There are also prestigious foreign business programs that have not sought AACSB Accreditation.
Anthony Hopwood obituary --- http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/jun/28/anthony-hopwood-obituary

. . .

Following a stint at London Business School, Anthony was professor of international accounting and financial management at the LSE (1985-95). There, he focused his attention increasingly on the social and institutional contexts in which accounting operates. Again, Anthony's arguments were precocious, yet simple: if accounting takes place in both organisational and social contexts, then issues of legitimacy, ideology, power and politics have to be taken into consideration. Those who research and teach accounting need to pay close attention to such matters.

He moved to Saïd Business School, Oxford University, as professor of management studies in 1995 and four years later was appointed dean, a position he held until 2006. There, he was fond of saying that "business is so interesting, and most business schools are so boring". His vision was for an "intelligent" business school. Such phrases needled some, and Anthony was not unaware of that. But he stuck to his guns, and appointed people whom more traditional business schools would not even have considered.


It's hard to draw conclusions regarding the whether business and accounting studies and even engineering studies are generally accepted among prestigious colleges and universities. Where business and engineering programs are available prestigious universities they tend to be cash cows accepted somewhat begrudgingly by their humanities and science colleagues.

The Gordon and Howell Report and the Pearson Report in the 1950s, combined with Ford Foundation monetary incentives given to prestigious universities to add business and accounting doctoral programs, succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.

In terms of dedication to case method, field studies, and developmental research only a handful of prestigious business programs make a monumental effort. Harvard, Stanford, Penn, and MIT are probably the most dedicated universities that push faculty to do developmental research and case method research. Even in those universities, their accountics science doctoral programs probably will not accept case method and field study methodology.

Accountics science has a literal hammerlock on literally accounting doctoral programs in North America. I don't think there's a doctoral program in North America that will allow a doctoral student without advanced mathematics and statistical skills to conduct developmental research (e.g., case method research) for a doctoral thesis. This is not the case for many humanities and science programs within those same universities. For example, some prestigious anthropology programs now make a concerted effort to resist quantitative methods-based doctoral dissertations.


"Anthropology Without Science: A new long-range plan for the American Anthropological Association that omits the word “science” from the organization's vision for its future has exposed fissures in the discipline," by Dan Berrett,  Inside Higher Ed, November 30, 2010 ---

The plan, adopted by the executive board of the association at its annual meeting two weeks ago, includes "significant changes to the American Anthropological Association mission statement -- it removes all mention of science," Peter N. Peregrine, president of the Society for Anthropological Sciences and professor at Lawrence University, wrote in a widely circulated e-mail to members. The changes to the plan, he continued, "undermine American anthropology."

The Society for Anthropological Sciences, which is a smaller and more recently formed group than the larger, older and broader association, embraces and promotes empirical research. It condemned the move by the century-old, 10,000-member American Anthropological Association, Peregrine wrote.

The move has sparked debate on blogs and among the various sub-specialties of the discipline about the proper place of science in anthropology. Some also say privately that this conflict marks the latest in a running cycle of perceived exclusions among the heterodox discipline. In the past, archaeologists and practicing and professional anthropologists have argued that the discipline as a whole has become dominated by cultural anthropologists, and has grown indifferent to their interests.

More fundamentally, the dispute has brought to light how little common ground is shared by anthropologists who span a wide array of sub-specialties, said Elizabeth Cashdan, chair of anthropology at the University of Utah. For example, some anthropologists might mine the language and analytical tools favored by such humanities as literary criticism, while others may be more likely to deploy statistical methodology as befits social science. Still others might rely on the biological metrics, hard data and scientific method used by natural scientists. "This is reflective of tensions in the whole discipline," said Cashdan, a bio-cultural anthropologist who described herself as "very dismayed" by recent developments.

The association said that the long-range plan's change in language reflected a simple wordsmithing choice more than a true shift in purpose. The removal of any mention of science from the plan's mission statement applies only to the long-range plan -- and not to the organization itself or its larger direction, said Damon Dozier, a spokesman for the association. "We have no interest in taking science out of the discipline," he said. "It’s not as if the anthropology community is turning its back on science."

Dozier added that the alterations to the plan, though already adopted by the executive board of the association, are part of an ongoing dialogue and will be subject to revision. "This isn’t something that’s written in stone," he said. "This long-range plan is something that will be tweaked over time."

Still, the change seemed to resonate uncomfortably with some more scientifically oriented anthropologists, who perceived a broader shift in the discipline that they say began decades ago. "It’s become so dominated by, not so much humanistic scholars, but by scholars who are actively hostile" to science, said Raymond Hames, chair of anthropology at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and a cultural anthropologist who favors a scientific approach.

Hames and Cashdan echoed an argument that was articulated more provocatively in a recent blog post in Psychology Today by Alice Dreger, who holds a doctorate in the history and philosophy of science, and who distinguished between "fluff-head cultural anthropological types who think science is just another way of knowing" and those who pay closer attention to hard data -- and follow that data wherever they lead. To one group, objective truth as revealed by science is an ideal to pursue, while to the other, that notion poses problems because it embodies Westernized and colonial ideals. "Our only strength is that we use the scientific method and try to get things right rather than act as a vocal, emotional do-gooder group who’ll use any argument," said Hames. "We can use science to understand culture."

It is unclear what the reasoning was for the change, and leaders of the executive board of the anthropological association did not respond to requests for comment. Some observers pointed to an opinion that appeared on the blog, Recycled Minds, posted by someone describing himself as a doctoral candidate in applied anthropology at the University of South Florida. The blogger, Dooglas Carl, argued that continuing to use the term "science" in the association's mission statement had become a concern because it maintained "the colonizing, privileging, superior positionality of anthropology that continues to plague the discipline."

In contrast, scrubbing science from the plan's mission statement would allow anthropologists to better incorporate and appreciate the ways of knowing practiced by the people that scholars study and work with closely. "It is well past the time for this to change," wrote Carl. "Do anthropologists still use science? Of course, and science may well offer the most appropriate methodology for many. Still, we must also recognize that there are other means to knowing, exploring, and explaining."

Such arguments found expression at the recent annual meeting of the association, where some anthropologists held themselves to very high ethical standards in dealing with informants and sources; some argued that being an anthropologist, by necessity, meant that one had to advocate on behalf of one's subjects.

Hames did not dispute the need for advocacy, but faulted what he saw as an imbalance in the methods used to pursue that aim. Culturally centered interpretations must be subjected to empirical evaluation, even if doing so exposes anthropologists to charges of disrespecting local customs in favor of the "hegemonic" scientific method, he said. He described a hypothetical field study in which children being studied in a community were found to be dying of dysentery or cholera. "Are we to accept the local explanation that children are dying ... because someone is breaking a taboo and the gods are angry," he said, "or do we look to see how fecal matter is being introduced to the water supply?"

Accounting Doctoral Programs:  The Only Thing Missing is Accounting

August 18, 2012 message from Dennis Beresford

During the AAA annual conference I mentioned to someone that I enjoyed going to the research workshops held at my University even though I don't have the background to evaluate all of the formulas, etc. However, I've found that more and more of the papers presented by visitors seem to be far from what I would consider "accounting related." The person I was talking to at the time challenged me and suggested my background in public accounting and at the FASB narrowed my thinking on this too much. But I said that I had developed a personal policy of attending only workshops that I felt had something to do with accounting, however I might interpret that.

Our first School of Accounting research workshop for the fall semester is in two weeks. The paper being presented is titled, "Voice Pitch Predicts Labor Market Success Among Male Chief Executive Officers." I do not plan to attend.

Denny Beresford
(Narrow minded accounting lecturer)

August 18, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Denny,

I really miss the Golden Fleece Awards that used to be given out by Senator Proxmire --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Fleece_Award Many of these awards were for laughable research studies funded by government.

Of course we now have the Journal of Irrelevant Research ---
But this journal misses a whole lot of irrelevant findings

Jagdish Gangolly reminded me of  the Journal of Irreproducible Results ---

I may have to seek out a term to replace "accountics" if we get further and further away from accounting-based research in accounting programs. Maybe we should have a contest on the AECM, The condition is that the last three letters have to be "tics."

Bob Jensen

Update on Portable Scanning

August 22, 2012 message from Scott Bonacker

I deleted the extraneous material from this marketing email - it describes a scanner that could be useful for onsite work like I do - and maybe someone else as well – scan student papers at your desk at the front of the room?

Scott Bonacker CPA - McCullough and Associates LLC - Springfield, MO


The secret to success in the technology world is to solve a problem. Here's one. Mobile scanners can handle documents, but not bound materials. Wand scanners can handle bound materials but not documents. You can "scan" anything by snapping a photo with your smartphone, but positioning your smartphone perfectly wastes time, the lower quality makes optical character recognition more challenging, and you risk looking dorky. A new scanner attempts to solve this problem.

MobileScan Pro 100 ... in One Sentence

Shipping in September, Ambir's MobileScan Pro 100 is a portable scanner with document and wand functionality.


The Killer Feature

The MobileScan Pro 100 consist of two components -- a dock and a wand scanner with an LCD display. When the scanner is docked, it functions like a typical sheet-fed simplex scanner with speeds of up to 10 pages per minute in black and white (it can also scan in color).

However, you can detach the scanner from the dock, thus transforming it into a wand scanner for bound materials not to mention fabric and other items that you cannot feed.

Other Notable Features

The entire docked unit measures 12.4 x 2 x 1.7 inches and weighs 12.6 ounces. You can power it with the included USB cable or a battery (the battery resides inside the scanner component). The LCD screen enables you to adjust settings without the need for a computer.

The MobileScan Pro 100 scans at 300, 600, or 900 dpi, and saves your documents in JPEG or PDF format via the bundled PageManager 9 software. You can save scans to an attached computer or to the included 4 GB microUSB card that resides inside the scanner. The scanner can encrypt your scans on the microUSB card for security in the event of loss or theft.

What Else Should You Know?

The MobileScan Pro 100 costs $149.95. It works with Windows PCs and Macs. Learn more about MobileScan Pro 100.


Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---

Consultant's Report on Missions, Goals, and Strategies for the the Future of UNT-Dallas
"UNT-Dallas doesn’t want you to see this report," by Holly Hacker, Dallas News, August 23, 2012 ---

"No Thanks, Bain," by Kevin Kiley, Inside Higher Ed, August 24, 2012 ---

. . .

The consultants made recommendations to the university’s administration this spring. Those recommendations were not made public, but reports based on them state that the consultants called for a narrow set of career-oriented majors, large teaching loads for faculty members and more hybrid (mixed online and in-person instruction) courses, and for recruitment to focus on traditional-aged, “driven” undergraduate students (the university’s current student body is composed largely of transfer students). Bain also recommended low tuition and increased enrollment.

The university sent those recommendations to two groups for evaluation – a group of faculty and staff members, and a “21st Century Commission,” a group of prominent leaders assembled by Bain including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and city Mayor Mike Rawlings.

In a report the university tried to keep confidential but was obtained and published by The Dallas Morning News Thursday, the faculty and staff group were critical of the Bain plans and proposed a significantly different model, one that continues to offer a strong liberal arts core, focus on transfer and underprepared students, emphasizes educational quality over outcomes like graduation rates, values faculty research, and gives faculty a greater say in curriculum development than they’ve had in the past.

“UNT Dallas has already differentiated itself in the marketplace by reaching out to a broad spectrum of students and providing them access to higher education at an affordable cost,” the report states. “The university should continue down this path and emphasize its unique characteristics: transformation, belonging, value, diversity, and legacy.”

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

Updated College and University Rankings from the Princeton Review According to Wide-Ranging Criteria ---

"WVU is nation’s No. 1 party school for 3rd time; Utah’s Brigham Young most sober for 15th year," Washington Post, August 20, 2012 --- Click Here

West Virginia University is back on top for the first time in five years, bumping off Ohio University to reclaim its title as the nation’s No. 1 party school.

WVU hasn’t held the top spot since 2007, but the rankings announced Monday by The Princeton Review make it the third time. WVU was also No. 1 in 1997, and it’s been among the top 20 party schools 12 times in the 21 years the rankings have been published.

Not surprisingly, WVU also ranks No. 1 in the “Lots of Beer” category.

Topping the Stone-Cold Sober Schools for the 15th straight year? Utah’s Brigham Young University.

The current rankings are in the 2013 edition of “The Best 377 Colleges,” which goes on sale Tuesday. There are 62 ranking lists, each based on surveys of 122,000 students during the last school year. Students answered 80 questions about academics, administration, campus life, the student body and themselves.

WVU administrators, who have worked for years to tone down or eliminate the party school image, dismissed the survey.

“If you look at the schools on this list, they are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs,” said spokeswoman Becky Lofstead. “But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility.”

“As always, we focus on celebrating and supporting WVU’s long history of academic achievements,” she said. “Our students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends have made it clear that is their focus as well.”

Late Monday, however, police announced they issued 100 citations for underage drinking between Friday and Sunday, the move-in weekend for the semester that started Monday.

They also issued 39 open container violations and cited 11 people for “nuisance parties” as police stepped up neighborhood patrols. Seven people were charged with disorderly conduct, Chief Ed Preston said.

There were several criminal arrests as well, Preston said, including five for obstructing an officer, two for battery on an officer and three for drunken driving.

Still, the survey lists make clear that WVU isn’t all about drinking. The Morgantown campus, which has nearly 30,000 students, also scored well in two other areas: It got 95 points of a possible 99 for being environmentally friendly, and it scored 93 for fire safety.

The latter might come as a surprise in the city of Morgantown, where students and other revelers regularly set street and trash bin fires to celebrate everything from the beginning or end of a semester to a major athletic victory.

As of late June, after the end of the last semester, city fire officials said they’d responded to 115 fires. They tend to occur in batches, and 36 were set over St. Patrick’s Day weekend alone.

The record is 274 fires set in 2003.

WVU was also ranked third for students who study the least and third for best athletic facilities.

Robert Franek, the book’s author and Princeton Review senior vice president, says schools aren’t ranked overall because their culture and academic offerings vary widely.

“Instead, we tally lists of the top 20 schools in 62 categories based entirely on what students at these schools tell us about their campus experiences,” he said. “Our goal is not to crown one college ‘best’ overall, but to help applicants find and get in to the college best for them.”

Some of the other “bests” in the eyes of students include:

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on ranking controversies ---

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

Mission High School of San Francisco --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_High_School_%28San_Francisco,_California%29

Also See --- http://www.sfusd.edu/

Illustration of How Anecdotal Evidence Can Mislead
"Everything You've Heard About Failing Schools Is Wrong:  Attendance: up. Dropout rates: plummeting. College acceptance: through the roof. My mind-blowing year inside a "low-performing" school," by Kristina Rizga, MotherJones.com, August 22, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
The problems in a diverse urban high school such as this are monumental. But in this article the anecdotal evidence can be misleading.

Every school has some good scholars. We don't know how representative Maria is among other Mission High Students.

San Francisco public schools are probably not very representative of public schools in such places as South Los Angeles, Oakland, New Orleans, Atlanta, and East St. Louis. San Francisco is a very confined and relatively small city in the United States, and the metropolitan area population lives mostly outside San Francisco. San Francisco has virtually all very, very high prices such that residents of the city are not likely to be nearly as poor as the residents who live outside the city such as in Oakland.

Among residents of San Francisco, the Mission District has some of the highest real estate prices in the city.

Among all San Francisco public schools only 9% are African American and 17% are Latino. This is much, much different than most other major cities in the United States ---

Hence, if Mission High in San Francisco does better on attendance, low dropout rates, college acceptance, and standardized test scores, it's hardly surprising.

The type of anecdotal evidence in the article by Kristina Rizga can hardly be extrapolated to most other cities in the United States.

Innovation 20/20 Series (from the University of Georgia College of Education) --- http://www.coe.uga.edu/itt/2020-2/ 

The aim of the Innovation 20/20 Series is to showcase teaching innovations in the College of Education, and share ideas about how the “Big I” and “little i” innovations are taking place at the largest College of Education in the nation. Recognizing how important a commodity time is in our lives, each session consists of a focused presentation of only 20 minutes sharing a specific innovation, followed by 20 minutes of discussion and interactive engagement with the topic. If your schedule does not allow to be present during the talks, please visit the links below to view the video archive of the presentations.

Bob Jensen's threads on Tools and Tricks of the Trade --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm

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

From Grammar Girl on August 21, 2012

"Shudder the Thought" or "Shutter the Thought"?

Ken R. from Scottsdale, Arizona, wrote "It is 'shudder the thought' or 'shutter the thought'?"

The correct phrase is "shudder at the thought." The literal meaning-the thought was so horrible that I physically shuddered-should make it easy to remember, but without the "at" I can imagine someone mishearing "shudder" as "shutter" and thinking the phrase means the thought is so horrible it should be hidden behind shutters. It doesn't.

I have seen the error addressed in other sources, so it appears that people somewhat regularly confuse "shutter" and "shudder" because of the close pronunciation. Another reason you may be confused is that photography websites seem to enjoy the play on words that comes from using "shutter" for "shudder."

Hi Dan,

I just unpacked the car after our family Christmas in August on the coast of Maine. We no longer risk the mountain blizzards in December.

I don't think accounting majors become financially literate until they've had a tax course on top of basic accounting and basic finance. Basic tax knowledge is essential for financial literacy.

Things that should be added to a financial literacy course are the following:

Financial Glossaries ---

Online Financial Calculators (such as mortgage and bond calculators) ---
For example, look at the calculators for home financing.

Bob Jensen's threads on financial literacy ---

Financial Education in the Math Classroom --- http://mathforum.org/fe/

A Government Website for Helpers in Personal Finance
MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you are planning to buy a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, the resources on MyMoney.gov can help you do it better. Throughout the site, you will find important information from 20 federal agencies government wide.
My Money.gov --- http://www.mymoney.gov/

PBS Television will now answer your personal finance questions ---

From CNN:  Clark Howard's Informative Advice About Shopping, Financial Planning, and Warnings About Scams ---

Bob Jensen's warnings about scams ---

Bob Jensen's shopping helpers ---

I've been rich and I've been poor: rich is better.
Beatrice Kaufman (1895-1945) American writer
This is sometimes attributed to boxer Joe Louis (who could not handle money) ---

Yet another example of a professional athlete who cannot handle money.
Would it have helped to have take a required financial literacy course in college?
"Bills QB Young owes loan company $1.7 million," by John Wawrow, Yahoo News, August 16, 2012 ---

Quarterback Vince Young has been ordered to pay a loan company nearly $1.7 million after missing a payment in late May, shortly after signing with the Buffalo Bills.

The ruling against Young was made in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on July 2, according to court documents.

Young took out a high-risk loan from Pro Player Funding for $1.877 million during the NFL lockout in May 2011, while he was still under contract with the Tennessee Titans. The loan - plus $619,000 in interest - was due to be paid back in January 2013 at an annual interest rate of 20 percent. That rate jumped another 10 percent if Young missed a payment.

A ruling in the lending company's favor was made because Young agreed he understood the terms by signing what's called an affidavit of confession of judgment upon taking out the loan. The affidavit is regarded as proof and could be used at any time by the lender in the event a client defaults on the loan.

TMZ.com first reported the ruling against Young last week.

Young was unavailable for comment Thursday because he was traveling with the Bills to Minnesota for their preseason game on Friday. Messages left seeking comment from both the player's agent and publicist were not returned.

Continued in article

Ray Williams --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Williams_(basketball)
"Nobody wnats you when you're down and out" --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsrA2fMn0sk&feature=fvst

A Sad, Sad Case That Might Be Used When Teaching Personal Finance:  Another Joe Lewis Example
"Desperate times:  Ex-Celtic Williams, once a top scorer, is now looking for an assist," by Bob Hohler, Boston Globe, July 2, 2010 ---

Every night at bedtime, former Celtic Ray Williams locks the doors of his home: a broken-down 1992 Buick, rusting on a back street where he ran out of everything.

The 10-year NBA veteran formerly known as “Sugar Ray’’ leans back in the driver’s seat, drapes his legs over the center console, and rests his head on a pillow of tattered towels. He tunes his boom box to gospel music, closes his eyes, and wonders.

Williams, a generation removed from staying in first-class hotels with Larry Bird and Co. in their drive to the 1985 NBA Finals, mostly wonders how much more he can bear. He is not new to poverty, illness, homelessness. Or quiet desperation.

In recent weeks, he has lived on bread and water.

“They say God won’t give you more than you can handle,’’ Williams said in his roadside sedan. “But this is wearing me out.’’

A former top-10 NBA draft pick who once scored 52 points in a game, Williams is a face of big-time basketball’s underclass. As the NBA employs players whose average annual salaries top $5 million, Williams is among scores of retired players for whom the good life vanished not long after the final whistle.

Dozens of NBA retirees, including Williams and his brother, Gus, a two-time All-Star, have sought bankruptcy protection.

“Ray is like many players who invested so much of their lives in basketball,’’ said Mike Glenn, who played 10 years in the NBA, including three with Williams and the New York Knicks. “When the dividends stopped coming, the problems started escalating. It’s a cold reality.’’

Williams, 55 and diabetic, wants the titans of today’s NBA to help take care of him and other retirees who have plenty of time to watch games but no televisions to do so. He needs food, shelter, cash for car repairs, and a job, and he believes the multibillion-dollar league and its players should treat him as if he were a teammate in distress.

One thing Williams especially wants them to know: Unlike many troubled ex-players, he has never fallen prey to drugs, alcohol, or gambling.

“When I played the game, they always talked about loyalty to the team,’’ Williams said. “Well, where’s the loyalty and compassion for ex-players who are hurting? We opened the door for these guys whose salaries are through the roof.’’

Unfortunately for Williams, the NBA-related organizations best suited to help him have closed their checkbooks to him. The NBA Legends Foundation, which awarded him grants totaling more than $10,000 in 1996 and 2004, denied his recent request for help. So did the NBA Retired Players Association, which in the past year gave him two grants totaling $2,00

Continued in article

Another sports hero who does not understand personal finance.
Rule Number 1 --- Don't mess with the IRS unless you're in hiding offshore.

Will the IRS settle for $179,435.07?
"IRS Stabs OJ Simpson in The Wallet: You Owe us!" by Jose Lambiet, Gossip Extra, August 24, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
I'll just bet that the IRS will settle for $179,435.


Wharton Professor Olivia Mitchell on Worldwide Financial Literacy
http://www.ssga.com/definedcontribution/docs/Olivia_Mitchell_GlobalFinancialLiteracy_SSgADC_The Participant02.pdf

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---

Victor Lustig --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Lustig

"The Smoothest Con Man That Ever Lived," by Gilbert King, The Browser, August 22, 2012 ---

"TOP TEN MYTHS OF MEDICARE," by Richard L. Kaplan, The Elder Law Journal, Vol. 20, No.1, 2012 --- 

In the context of changing demographics, the increasing cost of health care services, and continuing federal budgetary pressures, Medicare has become one of the most controversial federal programs. To facilitate an informed debate about the future of this important public initiative, this article examines and debunks the following ten myths surrounding Medicare: (1) there is one Medicare program, (2) Medicare is going bankrupt, (3) Medicare is government health care, (4) Medicare covers all medical cost for its beneficiaries, (5) Medicare pays for long-term care expenses, (6) the program is immune to budgetary reduction, (7) it wastes much of its money on futile care, (8) Medicare is less efficient than private health insurance, (9) Medicare is not means-tested, and (10) increased longevity will sink Medicare.

Jensen Comment
I don't agree with every conclusion in this paper, but it is one of the best summaries of Medicare that I can recommend.

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse:  The gap between payments and payees in Medicare makes it a criminal's piñata

It should be emphasized at the outset that this contention is not about the ever-present specter of “waste, fraud, and abuse” that haunts governmental programs generally. That Medicare is targeted by scammers and schemers of all sorts is both indisputable and hardly surprising. As the famed bank robber, Willie Sutton, reportedly replied when asked why he robbed banks: “That’s where the money is.”101 Indeed, Medicare is where the money is—specifically $509 billion in fiscal year 2010 alone.102 Any program that pays out this amount of money to a wide variety of service providers in literally every county in America will be very difficult to police. That reality notwithstanding, such violations of the public trust as are encapsulated in the phrase “waste, fraud, and abuse” should be ferreted out whenever possible and eliminated. No one excuses these leakages, just as no one has a sure-fire solution to stem them once and for all.
Kaplan, Page 19

One thing to think about is why Medicare may be losing hundreds of billions of dollars relative to the national health care plans of Canada, Europe, etc. The obvious thing to pick on is that Medicare is a third party payment system where medical services, medications, equipment such as battery-powered scooters and home hospital beds, and medical care centers are not directly managed by the government. This opens the door to millions of fraudulent claims, often by extremely clever criminals, unscrupulous physicians, etc. The gap between payments and payees in Medicare makes it more vulnerable to abuse and waste.

This and other articles make a big deal about how administrative costs of Medicare are significantly less that the administrative costs of private insurance carriers like Blue Cross. However, what this article and related articles almost always fail to mention is that the major component of administrative cost to companies like Blue Cross lies in operating controls to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

National plans like those in Canada have both lower administrative costs and less waste, fraud, and abuse because the government provides most of the services directly without the moral hazards that arise from the gap between funding and delivery of services. Personally, I favor national plans. Of course, in some nations like Germany  there are premium alternatives where people that can afford it can pay for premium services not covered in the national plans.


Futile Care Waste:  My former University of Maine colleague was given thirty days to live (because of Stage Four bone cancer) and received two new hips but never walked again and died in less than two weeks

But the issue of “futile care” is very different from “waste, fraud, and abuse.” The claim that Medicare should not pay for pointless medical interventions presumes that funds were indeed spent on actual medical procedures. The issue is whether those procedures should not have been done for reasons of inefficacy or insufficient “bang for the buck.” It is certainly true that Medicare spends a disproportionate amount of its budget on treatments in the final months of its beneficiaries’ lives. Some twenty-eight percent of the entire Medicare budget is spent on medical care in enrollees’ final year of life,103 and nearly forty percent of that amount is spent during a patient’s last month. The critical issue, of course, is whether these expenditures are pointless.

In one respect, it is not surprising that the cost of a person’s final medical episode is unusually expensive. That person’s presenting condition must have been especially severe because he or she did in fact die during or shortly after treatment. Moreover, when circumstances are particularly bleak, more intensive and often much more expensive procedures, tests, and interventions seem appropriate. After all, the patient was literally fighting off death at that point, so medical personnel try everything in their armamentarium to win what was ultimately the patient’s final battle. Only after the fact does one know that the battle in question was indeed the patient’s last episode. Does that mean that the effort expended, and the attendant costs, were wasted?

This question is more difficult than some might suspect. A recent study of Medicare claims data examined the association between inpatient spending and the likelihood of death within thirty days of a patient’s being admitted to a hospital.It found that for most of the medical conditions examined, including surgery, congestive heart failure, stroke, and gastrointestinal bleeding, a ten percent increase in inpatient spending was associated with a decrease in mortality within thirty days of 3.1 to 11.3%, depending upon the specific medical condition in question. Only for patients who presented with acute myocardial infarction was there no association of increased inpatient spending and improved outcomes. Thus, the authors concluded, “the amount [of waste] may not be as large as commonly believed, at least for hospitalized Medicare patients.” To be sure, the results might not be as encouraging in non-hospital settings, but Medicare does not cover the cost of nursing home patients who are lingering at death’s door while receiving “custodial care.”In any case, hospital costs represent the single largest component of Medicare’s expenditures— fully twenty-seven percent in the most recent year for which such data are available.

That is not to say that some of Medicare’s expenditures near the end of beneficiaries’ lives provide insufficient benefit to justify their cost. But the tough questions are how to determine those wasteful expenditures in advance and who should make that determination. Such considerations are beyond the scope of this Article,but suffice it to note that end-of-life care discussions are extraordinarily contentious and easily demagogued. After all, former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin effectively scuttled a rather benign effort to include payment for end-of-life counseling in Medicare’s newly provided “annual wellness visit[s]” by contending that such counseling was a first step to rationing health care by “death panels” run by government bureaucrats. Thus, while patients can individually indicate in advance how much treatment they want at the end of their lives, any comprehensive effort to root out Medicare’s wasteful expenditures on “futile care” might face serious political opposition.

In any case, an authoritative analysis published in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that “the hope of cutting the amount of money spent on life-sustaining interventions for the dying in order to reduce overall health care costs is probably vain.” The authors noted that “there are no reliable ways to identify the patients who will die” and that “it is not possible to say accurately months, weeks, or even days before death which patients will benefit from intensive interventions and which ones will receive ‘wasted’ care.” That leaves age-based rationing of care or more precisely, denial of medical services on the basis of chronological age, as the only easily implemented pathway to eliminate what some might regard as inefficacious expenditures of medical resources. Such age-based rationing of health care is practiced in other national health care systems, even though studies of prognostic models have demonstrated that “age alone is not a good predictor of whether treatment will be success ful.” In any case, polls of Americans have shown little support and significant opposition to the concept. One survey undertaken in late 1989 sought agreement with the following statement: “Lifeextending medical care should be withheld from older patients to save money to help pay for the medical care of younger patients.” Only 5.7% of respondents under age sixty-five strongly agreed with this statement while 38.3% of that group strongly disagreed with it.120 Interestingly, among respondents who were themselves age sixty-five and older, the gap between these opposing viewpoints was narrower: 8.8% strongly agreed with the statement in question while 35.4% strongly disagreed.

Whether results would be substantially different today when the range of medical interventions has increased significantly and when the nation’s budgetary situation has worsened considerably is an open question. Yet, when the 2010 health care reform legislation created an Independent Payment Advisory Board to reduce Medicare’s expenses, the enabling statute was explicit that this Board may not make proposals that would “ration health care.” Clearly, the prospect of eliminating Medicare expenditures that are medically futile will not be an easy task to accomplish.
Kaplan, pp. 19-22

Jensen Comment
My former Unive
rsity of Maine colleague on Medicare was given thirty days to live (because of Stage Four bone cancer) received two new hips but never walked again and died in less than two weeks. I don't think he would've received those two useless and very expensive hips on any of the national plans of Canada or Europe.


Where Did Medicare Go So Wrong?
Medicare is a much larger and much more complicated entitlement burden relative to Social Security by a ratio of about six to one or even more. The Medicare Medical Insurance Fund was established under President Johnson in1965.

Note that Medicare, like Social Security in general, was intended to be insurance funded by workers over their careers. If premiums paid by workers and employers was properly invested and then paid out after workers reached retirement age most of the trillions of unfunded debt would not be precariously threatening the future of the United States. The funds greatly benefit when workers die before retirement because all that was paid in by these workers and their employers are added to the fund benefits paid out to living retirees.

The first huge threat to sustainability arose beginning in 1968 when medical coverage payments payments to surge way above the Medicare premiums collected from workers and employers. Costs of medical care exploded relative to most other living expenses. Worker and employer premiums were not sufficiently increased for rapid growth in health care costs as hospital stays surged from less than $100 per day to over $1,000 per day.

A second threat to the sustainability comes from families no longer concerned about paying up to $25,000 per day to keep dying loved ones hopelessly alive in intensive care units (ICUs) when it is 100% certain that they will not leave those ICUs alive. Families do not make economic choices in such hopeless cases where the government is footing the bill. In other nations these families are not given such choices to hopelessly prolong life at such high costs. I had a close friend in Maine who became a quadriplegic in a high school football game. Four decades later Medicare paid millions of dollars to keep him alive in an ICU unit when there was zero chance he would ever leave that ICU alive.

On November 22, 2009 CBS Sixty Minutes aired a video featuring experts (including physicians) explaining how the single largest drain on the Medicare insurance fund is keeping dying people hopelessly alive who could otherwise be allowed to die quicker and painlessly without artificially prolonging life on ICU machines.
"The Cost of Dying," CBS Sixty Minutes Video, November 22, 2009 ---

What is really sad is the way Republicans are standing in the way of making rational cost-benefit decisions about dying by exploiting the "Kill Granny" political strategy aimed at killing a government option in health care reform.
See the "Kill Granny" strategy at --- www.defendyourhealthcare.us

The third huge threat to the economy commenced in when disabled persons (including newborns) tapped into the Social Security and Medicare insurance funds. Disabled persons should receive monthly benefits and medical coverage in this great land. But Congress should've found a better way to fund disabled persons with something other than the Social Security and Medicare insurance funds. But politics being what it is, Congress slipped this gigantic entitlement through without having to debate and legislate separate funding for disabled persons. And hence we are now at a crossroads where the Social Security and Medicare Insurance Funds are virtually broke for all practical persons.

Most of the problem lies is Congressional failure to sufficiently increase Social Security deductions (for the big hit in monthly payments to disabled persons of all ages) and the accompanying Medicare coverage (to disabled people of all ages). The disability coverage also suffers from widespread fraud.

Other program costs were also added to the Social Security and Medicare insurance funds such as the education costs of children of veterans who are killed in wartime. Once again this is a worthy cause that should be funded. But it should've been separately funded rather than simply added into the Social Security and Medicare insurance funds that had not factored such added costs into premiums collected from workers and employers.

The fourth problem is that most military retirees are afforded full lifetime medical coverage for themselves and their spouses. Although they can use Veterans Administration doctors and hospitals, most of these retirees opted for the underfunded  TRICARE plan the pushed most of the hospital and physician costs onto the Medicare Fund. The VA manages to push most of its disabled veterans onto the Medicare Fund without having paid nearly enough into the fund to cover the disability medical costs. Military personnel do have Medicare deductions from their pay while they are on full-time duty, but those deductions fall way short of the cost of disability and retiree medical coverage.

The fifth threat to sustainability came when actuaries failed to factor in the impact of advances in medicine for extending lives. This coupled with the what became the biggest cost of Medicare, the cost of dying, clobbered the insurance funds. Surpluses in premiums paid by workers and employers disappeared much quicker than expected.

A sixth threat to Medicare especially has been widespread and usually undetected fraud such as providing equipment like motorized wheel chairs to people who really don't need them or charging Medicare for equipment not even delivered. There are also widespread charges for unneeded medical tests or for tests that were never really administered. Medicare became a cash cow for crooks. Many doctors and hospitals overbill Medicare and only a small proportion of the theft is detected and punished.

The seventh threat to sustainability commenced in 2007 when the costly Medicare drug benefit entitlement entitlement was added by President George W. Bush. This was a costly addition, because it added enormous drains on the fund by retired people like me and my wife who did not have the cost of the drug benefits factored into our payments into the Medicare Fund while we were still working. It thus became and unfunded benefit that we're now collecting big time.

In any case we are at a crossroads in the history of funding medical care in the United States that now pays a lot more than any other nation per capita and is getting less per dollar spent than many nations with nationalized health care plans. I'm really not against Obamacare legislation. I'm only against the lies and deceits being thrown about by both sides in the abomination of the current proposed legislation.

Democrats are missing the boat here when they truly have the power, for now at least, in the House and Senate to pass a relatively efficient nationalized health plan. But instead they're giving birth to entitlements legislation that threatens the sustainability of the United States as a nation.

In any case, The New York Times presents a nice history of other events that I left out above ---

"THE HEALTH CARE DEBATE: What Went Wrong? How the Health Care Campaign Collapsed ---
A special report.; For Health Care, Times Was A Killer," by Adam Clymer, Robert Pear and Robin Toner, The New York Times, August 29, 1994 --- Click Here

November 22, 2009 reply from Richard.Sansing [Richard.C.Sansing@TUCK.DARTMOUTH.EDU]

The electorate's inability to debate trade-offs in a sensible manner is the biggest problem, in my view. See


Richard Sansing

The New York Times Timeline History of Health Care Reform in the United States ---
Click the arrow button on the right side of the page. The biggest problem with "reform" is that it added entitlements benefits without current funding such that with each reform piece of legislation the burdens upon future generations has hit a point of probably not being sustainable.

Call it the fatal arithmetic of imperial decline. Without radical fiscal reform, it could apply to America next.
Niall Ferguson, "An Empire at Risk:  How Great Powers Fail," Newsweek Magazine Cover Story, November 26, 2009 --- http://www.newsweek.com/id/224694/page/1

. . .

In other words, there is no end in sight to the borrowing binge. Unless entitlements are cut or taxes are raised, there will never be another balanced budget. Let's assume I live another 30 years and follow my grandfathers to the grave at about 75. By 2039, when I shuffle off this mortal coil, the federal debt held by the public will have reached 91 percent of GDP, according to the CBO's extended baseline projections. Nothing to worry about, retort -deficit-loving economists like Paul Krugman.

. . .

Another way of doing this kind of exercise is to calculate the net present value of the unfunded liabilities of the Social Security and Medicare systems. One recent estimate puts them at about $104 trillion, 10 times the stated federal debt.

Continued in article

This is now President Obama's problem with or without new Obamacare entitlements that are a mere drop in the bucket compared to the entitlement obligations that President Obama inherited from every President of the United States since FDR in the 1930s. The problem has been compounded under both Democrat and Republican regimes, both of which have burdened future generations with entitlements not originally of their doing.

Professor Niall Ferguson and David Walker are now warning us that by year 2050 the American Dream will become an American Nightmare in which Americans seek every which way to leave this fallen nation for a BRIC nation offering some hope of a job, health care, education, and the BRIC Dream.

Bob Jensen's threads on health care ---

Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements ---

U.S. National Debt Clock --- http://www.usdebtclock.org/
Also see http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

Should we keep increasing the government spending deficit and the national debt every year ad infinitum?

Although in these down economic times, the liberal's Keynesian hero and Nobel Prize economist, Paul Krugman, thinks recovery is stalled because the government is not massively increasing spending deficits. But he's not willing to commit himself to never reducing deficits or never paying down some of the national debt. Hence, he really does not answer the above question ---

So let's turn to a respected law professor who advocates increasing the government spending deficit and the national debt every year ad infinitum?

"Why We Should Never Pay Down the National Debt (even partly)," by Neil H. Buchanan George Washington University Law School), SSRN, 2012 ---

Calls either to balance the federal budget on an annual basis, or to pay down all or part of the national debt, are based on little more than uninformed intuitions that there is something inherently bad about borrowing money. We should not only ignore calls to balance the budget or to pay down the national debt, but we should engage in a responsible plan to increase the national debt each year. Only by issuing debt to lubricate the financial system, and to support the economy’s healthy growth, can we guarantee a prosperous future for current and future citizens of the United States.

Student Assignment

Since many of the most liberal economists are not quite willing to assert that "we should never pay down the national debt," what questionable and unmentioned assumptions have been made by Neil H. Buchanan that need to be addressed?

Are some of these assumptions unrealistic in any world other than a utopian world?

Bob Jensen's Answers ---

Wealthy Italians Take Tax Lesson From Senator John Kerry (and 2004 Presidential Candidate)
Thanks to Paul Caron for the heads up!

"Italian Yacht Owners Weigh Anchor To Dodge Taxes," by Sylvia Poggioli, NPR, August 18, 2012 ---

Italy has a public debt of nearly 2 trillion euros, and it's cracking down on its notoriously wily tax evaders. Owners of luxury yachts are a prime target, with tax police launching dockside raids to see how individual tax files line up with owning and maintaining an expensive boat.

But yachts are mobile assets. In response, many boat owners are simply weighing anchor and setting course for more tax-friendly Mediterranean marinas.

On-the-spot tax inspections began last winter in Cortina d'Ampezzo, the trendy ski resort where many owners of Ferraris, Maseratis and Lamborghinis declared incomes of less than $30,000 a year.

It's summer now, and time to hunt down yacht owners. Tax police arrive dockside unannounced, board boats and check owners' details against their tax files. The raids have sent shock waves through the yachting community.

Cala Galera is a large private marina on the Tuscan coast with close to 1,000 berths.

"Clearly and definitely we at the moment are down with respect to other years," says marina director Pietro Capitani.

He points to the vast expanse of empty berths, and then makes a shooting gesture to his temple.

"We are at moment almost 40 percent less than last year. So, we are close to the [bang] for sure, for sure," he says.

A Huge Exodus

Since the tax crackdown was announced in March, around 30,000 boats have fled Italy, seeking safer havens. They include Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro to the east, France and Spain to the west, and Tunisia and Malta to the south.

The Italian association of marinas says the yacht exodus has cost the Italian economy some $350 million this year in lost revenues from marina fees and services, and fuel sales.

Tax authorities are unrepentant, saying it's important to strike fear in the hears of tax dodgers. Italy has a long history of tax evasion and it is estimated to cost the government some $160 billion a year in lost revenue.

A few miles from Cala Galera, Porto Santo Stefano was once a favorite stop for luxury yachts cruising the clear turquoise waters of the Tuscan marine sanctuary.

Fashion designer Valentino's yacht was once a constant presence, as were the megaboats of Italian jet-setters. Today, it's as empty as the Cala Galera marina.

A Blow To Local Businesses

At a waterfront sail-repair shop, Paola Valenti has little to do.

"There are less than half the boats there were last year," he says. "Boats used to have to drop anchor and wait off shore for a berth to open up. This year, nothing, nothing, nothing."

One of the first boat tax raids took place in April in the southern port of Bari. There, tax inspectors found yachts owned by people who declared almost no income.

One of the most brazen cases was a yacht worth $1.5 million whose owner had never filed a tax return.

Despite her diminished income, Valenti has little sympathy for tax-dodging yacht owners. "If you own a boat," she says, "you have to have a certain declared income. You can't earn less than the sailor who works for you."

Continued in article

John Kerry --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kerry

"Sen. John Kerry skips town on sails tax," by Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa, Boston Herald, July 23, 2010 ---

Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.

Isabel - Kerry’s luxe, 76-foot New Zealand-built Friendship sloop with an Edwardian-style, glossy varnished teak interior, two VIP main cabins and a pilothouse fitted with a wet bar and cold wine storage - was designed by Rhode Island boat designer Ted Fontaine.

But instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers with the missus, Teresa Heinz, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport” on her stern.

Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993, making the tiny state to the south a haven - like the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Nassau - for tax-skirting luxury yacht owners?

Cash-strapped Massachusetts still collects a 6.25 percent sales tax and an annual excise tax on yachts. Sources say Isabel sold for something in the neighborhood of $7 million, meaning Kerry saved approximately $437,500 in sales tax and an annual excise tax of about $70,000.

The senior senator’s chief of staff David Wade denied the old salt was berthing his boat out of state to avoid ponying up to the commonwealth.

“The boat was designed by and purchased from a company in Rhode Island, and it’s based in Newport at the Newport Shipyard for long-term maintenance, upkeep and charter purposes, not tax reasons,” Wade told the Track.

And state Department of Revenue spokesguy Bob Bliss confirmed the senator “is under no obligation to pay the commonwealth sales tax.”

But back in 2006, then-gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos took some flack for avoiding some $23,000 in Bay State sales tax and $1,320 in local excise taxes by berthing his motor yacht in Rhode Island. But Mihos paid just $475,000 for his 36-foot vessel Ashley and readily admitted that he used the boat at his West Yarmouth summer home.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Message from USC President Regarding Online Degrees

August 27, 2012 message from Denny Beresford


I thought you’d be interested in this.



From: USC Alumni Association [mailto:usc.alumni@alumnicenter.usc.edu]
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2012 12:09 PM
To: Dennis R Beresford
Subject: A Message from USC President C. L. Max Nikias


August 27, 2012

Dear Fellow Trojan,

I thought you might be interested in a memorandum that USC President C. L. Max Nikias sent to the USC community this morning. It addresses the future of online education, an area of great importance for all universities in the years ahead.

You can download a PDF of the memorandum here.

Fight On!

Scott M. Mory, Esq.
Associate Senior Vice President and
CEO, USC Alumni Association



August 27, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Denny,

Interesting how USC is more willing to go online with graduate degrees but not undergraduate degrees. This is consistent with my thesis that courses are only a small part of the maturation and learning process of 16-25 year old college students. Having said this, however, we must consider the non-traditional students such as those over 25 years of age, single parents with babes in their laps, people working full-time to make ends meet (including active military), and severely disabled students. That of course does not mean that USC has to scope in those non-traditional undergraduate students.

Any schools offering online courses should be keenly aware, however, of the laws regarding access no matter what the missions are for the online courses ---


Many universities are not so averse to online undergraduate degrees.

Socrates Mouses Around in the 21st Century
A Fully Online Philosophy Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro

"Virtual Philosophy," by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, May 17, 2012 ---

Some assume that online education is not a suitable medium for courses that rely on the Socratic Method. But the philosophy professors at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro are skeptical.

The Greensboro philosophy department, which already offers online versions of eight of its courses, has adapted two additional ones, including a “capstone” seminar, for the Web. Pending the approval of the university system’s general administration, the new courses would make it possible to earn an undergraduate philosophy degree from Greensboro without setting foot on its campus.

That would make philosophy the first department at Greensboro’s undergraduate college to offer a fully online degree.

That might strike some observers as odd, given philosophy’s reputation as a discipline that relies on classroom exchanges and whose pedagogical model has hardly changed since ancient Greece. But philosophy and technology are more closely linked than some might assume, says Gary Rosenkrantz, the chair of the department.

“It’s not as ironic as it seems if you reflect on the fact that computers -- both hardware and software -- derive from logicians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” says Rosenkrantz. Threads of inquiry that use the “if-then” protocol of formal logic are the “foundation of both the computer chip and basic computer software functions,” he says.

In fact, the structured reasoning of philosophy makes it perhaps more amenable to adaptation than some other humanities disciplines. To help teach the online versions, Wade Maki, a lecturer at Greensboro, developed a computer program based on the choose-your-own-adventure books of his youth. Called “Virtual Philosopher,” the program poses ethical dilemmas and presents multiple-choice questions. Once a student answers, the program -- which features text as well as video of Maki -- interrogates her answer before offering her the opportunity to either change or reaffirm it.

By asking leading questions and restricting student answers, Virtual Philosopher seeks to give students some autonomy without letting them wander off-topic, says Maki. For a preformatted program, the similarity to a typical classroom exchange is remarkable, he says.

“It’s this classic tennis back and forth, intellectually,” says Maki, who has co-authored a paper on using Virtual Philosopher to replicate the Socratic Method online. “And if you’ve been teaching for a while … it becomes quite natural to find that they can be easily structured to give a student a good replica of what happens in the classroom.”

The online philosophy courses at Greensboro do not rely entirely on Maki’s Virtual Philosopher. The instructors also hold live video chats via Blackboard, where students can inquire about various ideas without having to color inside the lines, says Rosenkrantz.

But with the proposed fully online philosophy track comes a new challenge: holding an upper-level seminar online. Whereas the lower- and mid-level courses had only to match the level of interaction that students could reasonably expect from a traditional class of 40 or 50 students, Rosenkrantz will now have to try to replicate a much smaller, discussion-intensive course when it puts one of the department’s capstone courses, “Philosophy 494: Substance and Attribute,” on to the Web. “That needs to have a significant element of synchronous interaction between a professor and students,” he says.

Rosenkrantz, who is slated to teach the course if the online major gets approved, says he is planning to use Google+ Hangouts to hold live discussions. Instructors have for years resisted holding seminar discussions online because multiperson video chat platforms were viewed as unreliable. But, like some other institutions that are moving discussion-intensive pieces of their curriculums to the Web, the Greensboro oracles are seeing technological capabilities gaining on ambition in online education. “Certainly the technology is there to attempt it now,” says Rosenkrantz.

Continued in article

Previously Steve Kachelmeier argued that in his opinion this unethical practice is not as common among for-profit accounting journals. It apparently is a problem in other disciplines, especially scientific disciplines. Accountics scientists do tend to frequently cite each other, but perhaps the pressures to do so are not so great among the journal publishers. Pressures may be higher from referees of accountics science journals. It's hard for authors to reply that the proposed citations are just not relevant in their viewpoint. They're more apt to cave in to referee requests without any protests.

Sometimes referees are prone to brag about their expertise, perhaps just to impress the authors.

"Journals' Ranking System Roils Research," by Gautm Niak, The Wall Street Journal, August 24, 2012 ---  http://professional.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444082904577609313125942378.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5&mg=reno64-wsj 

Growing pressure on scientific journals to increase their influence in the research world is pushing them to ever further lengths to play the system that ranks scholarly publications.

In July, a publication called Scientific World Journal retracted two papers about regenerative medicine, saying they had excessively cited another journal, Cell Transplantation.

At issue was the "impact-factor ranking," one of the most influential numbers in scholarship. The impact factor was invented more than 50 years ago as a simple way to grade journals, on the basis of how frequently their articles got cited in the literature.

But concerns have arisen that some journals' impact factor is artificially inflated by excessive citations—which appears to be why the editors of The Scientific World Journal retracted previously published work.

"These articles have both been retracted on the basis that they violate The Scientific World Journal's policy against citation manipulation," the Scientific World Journal said in a statement on its web site.

In response, Thomson Reuters, which publishes the impact-factor numbers, suspended the rankings for both the Scientific World Journal and Cell Transplantation for two years, a blow to the researchers who publish in those journals.

The broader worry is that the once-obscure yardstick is now a ubiquitous tool for assessing scientific merit—a job it wasn't designed to do, and whose use is open to manipulation.

"These concerns are becoming a crescendo, as the number of papers has increased exponentially" in the last two decades, writes Jerome Vanclay, an ecologist at Southern Cross University in Australia, in a recent article in the journal Scientometrics.

The impact factor, or IF, is routinely used by researchers in deciding where to publish and what to read. It guides promotions, tenure decisions and funding committees around the world, who assume someone publishing in a high-impact journal must be doing superior work.

Thomson Reuters calculates the IF by dividing the number of citations of research papers in a journal in one year by the total number of papers published in the same journal in the two previous years. So while the IF captures the citation rate of a journal as a whole, it says nothing about the quality or veracity of any individual paper.

Nonetheless, more and more countries today use the IF system to grade scientists. A few years ago, Qatar University began offering cash bonuses to its academics linked to the IF of the journal in which they publish.

Critics say that pushes academics to seek trendy fields of research and to try to publish in journals with the highest IF, instead of those that offer the best audience for their work. "It distorts the entire scientific enterprise," says Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal.

The IF is easily gamed, too. One in five academics in economics, sociology, psychology and business said they had been asked by editors to pad their papers with unnecessary citations to articles in the same journal, according to a study published in Science in February.

A year ago, Alberto Vincentelli, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, submitted a paper to a respected journal called IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems-I. The response surprised him.

In an email, the then editor of TCAS-I, Wouter Serdijn, said: "I don't think it is my duty to provide you with the exact references, but yours...If you feel that making such an effort is not necessary, then my recommendation is to withdraw the current manuscript from the TCAS-I review process."

The editor essentially "said I needed to cite more papers that had previously appeared in the same journal without indicating any such paper that would be relevant for the study," says Dr. Vincentelli. In other words, according to Dr. Vincentelli, the editor was trying to artificially boost the journal's impact factor.

Prof. Serdijn, a professor at Delft University of Technology, denies the claim. He says his suggestion was aimed at making the paper more relevant to the journal's readership. Dr. Vincentelli eventually agreed to cite the papers and his study appeared in January 2012.

Such occurrences have spurred a backlash. In 2010, for example, the Australian government said it would no longer use IFs in judging grant applications.

"The disapproval isn't about the metric itself but about its misuse," says Jim Testa, a vice president of editorial development and publisher relations at Thomson Reuters.

In April, Phil Davis, a publishing consultant who writes for a blog called The Scholarly Kitchen, noticed unusual citation patterns at Cell Transplantation.

In the blog, Mr. Davis noted that a review article published in another journal, Medical Science Monitor, had cited a total of 490 articles in the field, of which 445 were articles that had appeared in Cell Transplantation alone, in 2008 and 2009. Both those years were used to compute the 2010 impact factor for Cell Transplantation, and those citations apparently had an effect: the journal's IF rose from 5.126 in 2009 to 6.204 in 2010, a jump of 21%.

Mr. Davis notes three of the four editors of the Medical Science Monitor review article were also on Cell Transplantation's editorial board. Also, two MSM editors wrote a review in another journal, The Scientific World Journal, citing 124 papers. Of those, 96 were from Cell Transplantation in 2008 and 2009.

Continued in article

Eigenfactor --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eigenfactor

From the University of Illinois blog called Issues in Scholarly Communication on March 26, 2007 --- http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/

Journal Ranking Site: Eigenfactor

Eigenfactor ranks journals much as Google ranks websites. It is somewhat similar to Thomson Scientific's (ISI) Journal Citation Index (JCI), though it's dataset is larger.

Some points to note:
* JCI only looks at the 8000 or so journals indexed by Thomson Scientific while potentially any journal could be included in Eigenfactor.
* The JCI is calculated based on the most recent 2-year's worth of citation data; Eigenfactor is based on the most recent 5 years.

* In collaboration with journalprices.com,
Eigenfactor provides information about price and value for thousands of scholarly periodicals.
* Article Influence (AI): a measure of a journal's prestige based on per article citations and comparable to Impact Factor. Eigenfactor (EF): A measure of the overall value provided by all of the articles published in a given journal in a year.
* The Eigenfactor Web site also presents the ISI Impact Factors, so it's possible to compare the
ISI's "Impact Factors" with Eigenfactor's "Article Influence"
* Both simple and advanced searching is available: "You can search by partial or full journal name, ISSN number, or you can view a selected ISI category, only ISI-listed journals, only non-ISI-listed journals or both listed and unlisted."
* Eigenfactor is Free!

From the Eigenfactor Web site:

Eigenfactor provides influence rankings for 7000+ science and social science journals and rankings for an additional 110,000+ reference items including newspapers, and popular magazines.

Borrowing methods from network theory, eigenfactor.org ranks the influence of journals much as Google's PageRank algorithm ranks the influence of web pages. By this approach, journals are considered to be influential if they are cited often by other influential journals. Iterative ranking schemes of this type, known as eigenvector centrality methods, are notoriously sensitive to "dangling nodes" and "dangling clusters" -- nodes or groups of nodes which link seldom if at all to other parts of the network. Eigenfactor modifies the basic eigenvector centrality algorithm to overcome these problems and to better handle certain peculiarities of journal citation data.

Different disciplines have different standards for citation and different time scales on which citations occur. The average article in a leading cell biology journal might receive 10-30 citations within two years; the average article in leading mathematics journal would do very well to receive 2 citations over the same period. By using the whole citation network, Eigenfactor automatically accounts for these differences and allows better comparison across research areas.

Eigenfactor.org is a non-commercial academic research project sponsored by the Bergstrom lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Washington. We aim to develop novel methods for evaluating the influence of scholarly periodicals and for mapping the structure of academic research. We are committed to sharing our findings with interested members of the public, including librarians, journal editors, publishers, and authors of scholarly articles.

"What You Need to Know About Patent Trolls:  The Apple-Samsung courtroom clash is a magnified version of the intellectual-property battles currently roiling smaller companies in the tech space," by David Rosenbaum CFO.com, August 24, 2012 ---

Also see http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2012/08/apple-and-samsung-are-both-losers.php

Bob Jensen's threads on patents and copyrights ---

According to Hoyle
"Being a Mentor," by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, August 18, 2012 ---

These grades are guidelines. Cardiff University judges all applications on their individual merits ---

In most United States universities a B grade is now below average ---

I really don't have much information on grade inflation outside the United States.

The Teacher Factor
July 23, 2011 message from a graduate student in the Philippines

Thank you so much for sharing some write-ups about higher education controversies such as grade inflation. I'd like to be clarified, 

1) What actions constitute grade inflation? Some state universities like Central Mindanao University of Bukidnon, Philippines, incorporate a grading system that allows students to pass the exam if they get correct answers in at least 50% of the total items. This is because of the term "teacher factor" where teaching effectiveness is also considered as a contributing factor to the failure of the students to fully understand the subject matter. In accountancy, however, the standard is much higher at 65% zero-based as passing rate in order to maintain the quality of students allowed to graduate to ensure good school performance in the CPA Board Exams. But with the grading this high at 65% zero-based, often the students, including the brightest ones, hardly even reach 50% in total raw scores. Because of this, the teacher evaluates first the overall test results to see if a decent number of students got passing grades, and if not, subjectively lowers the passing rate to allow a certain percentile range to pass. Is this considered as grade inflation?

2) What programs or policies would you recommend to deal with grade inflation?

Was Milton Friedman more progressive than Barach Obama and Paul Krugman?
"Milton Friedman -- Student Aid Progressive?" by Alex Holt. Inside Higher Ed, August 17, 2012 ---

July 31 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late economist Milton Friedman. As a champion of school vouchers and other well-known conservative ideas, Friedman is far more heralded on the right than the left. But Friedman is also widely cited as the father of one idea that many progressives love: income-contingent student loans, in which borrowers pay a certain percentage of their income and loans are often forgiven after a certain time.

There’s just one problem: Friedman didn’t propose income-contingent loans. In fact, his student financial aid ideas were more radical and progressive than the loan policies supported by Democrats today, and he probably wouldn't have liked how his ideas have been put into practice so far.

Supporters of income-contingent loans have long cited Friedman as their intellectual patriarch. A 1988 New York Times article claims that the key concept of Michael Dukakis’s student loan reform proposal was the income-contingent loan, “first proposed by Milton Friedman, guru to a generation of conservative economists.” That claim has been popping up ever since.

Friedman’s actual proposal was something closer to an equity investment: think stocks, not loans. Under his plan, the government would provide students with financial assistance to pay for college and, in return, the students would pay a percentage of their income back to the government each year regardless of the amount of money initially provided to them. In other words, income-contingent loans socialize losses and privatize gains. Friedman’s plan socializes losses and gains. Let’s walk through what that means:

When the government issues a loan, it is agreeing with the borrower that it will get back the principal plus interest, no more, no less. Once the borrower repays what the government initially lent her, plus interest, she’s free of the debt.

However, under our current income-contingent loan system borrowers who are consistently low-income will not pay back the full amount of their loan, meaning that taxpayers will bear the cost of that loan (socialized loss), whereas high-income borrowers will pay back the loan and then continue to personally reap the dividends of the initial loan (privatized gain).

Friedman’s plan isn’t a loan at all. It’s an investment, in the true sense of the word. Under an equity investment arrangement, a student who realizes a big return on her education investment shares it with taxpayers by repaying more than was originally invested in her (socialized gain), but if she never earns much, she won’t even pay a fraction of what taxpayers originally invested in her (socialized loss).

Yet despite the seeming fairness of the equity investment approach to funding higher education, it turns out that individuals hate paying more when their lives turn out well, especially when they feel like they are subsidizing the perceived failure of others. When Yale University tried something similar to Friedman’s proposal in the 1970s, the most prosperous students complained that they paid a lot more than others.

“The only significant way the program seems really to have gone awry is in misjudging the gratitude of those who would benefit from it,” wrote Timothy Noah in response to a Wall Street Journal piece about the program ending.

“Twenty to 30 years on, the richer ones are bitching about how much they've had to pay. ‘[E]asily the worst financial decision I ever made,’ gripes David Bettis, a physician in Boise.… An e-mail support group for self-made Yalie plutocrats who now regret opting into the repayment scheme was started by Juan Leon, ‘who now sells Gulfstream jets in Latin America.’ "

In the end, the program ended prematurely, and Yale ate the outstanding costs. It’s worth noting that the program varied from Friedman’s plan in a significant way. An entire cohort of a class was invested in, and the cohort would pay a percentage each year until that cohorts’ loan was paid off. Those Yale students were complaining because 30 years on, they were still subsidizing the perceived deadbeats of their class, and that wasn’t fair. By tying investment to a group of borrowers, the Yale program was seen as a socialist dream gone awry, instead of a return on investment per individual.

The Yale program demonstrates that people do not like it when they feel they are subsidizing others for their success. So it is essential, if Friedman’s plan were to ever be implemented, that the investment in an individual was not tied to any other, and the terms of the investment were fixed. For example, no matter how much you earn, you will pay a certain percent of your income for twenty years, no more, no less. The percentage would, ideally, be calculated so that the program paid for itself, but it’s important that the terms of the investment don’t change. 

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on Admissions and Financial Aid Controversies ---

Fareed Zakaria --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fareed_Zakaria

That Gray Zone of Plagiarism

"In Defense of Fareed Zakaria:  The famous pundit made a mistake, but the schadenfreude brigades are guilty of worse," by Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2012 ---

. . .

Last week Mr. Zakaria apologized "unreservedly" to New Yorker writer Jill Lepore after a blogger noticed that a paragraph in his Time column was all-but identical to something Ms. Lepore had written. Mr. Zakaria has now been given a month's suspension by his employers pending further review of his work.

We'll see if there are other shoes to drop. Among the more mystifying aspects of this story is that plagiarism in the age of Google is an offense hiding in plain sight, especially when the kind of people who read Mr. Zakaria's columns are the same kind of people who read the New Yorker. Why couldn't he have added the words, "As the New Yorker's Jill Lepore wrote . . ."? What could he possibly have been thinking?

My guess is he wasn't thinking. That's never a good thing, but it's something that might happen to an overcommitted journalist so constantly in the public eye that he forgets he's there. The proper response is the full apology he has already made, and maybe a reconsideration of whether the current dimensions of Fareed Zakaria Inc. are sustainable. Otherwise, end of story.

But that's not how Mr. Zakaria is being treated. To some of his critics, nothing less than the Prague Defenestration will do.

Here, for instance, is Jim Sleeper in the Huffington Post—a publication that earns much of its keep piggybacking on the work of others. "Zakaria is a trustee of Yale," notes Mr. Sleeper. "If the Yale Corporation were to apply to itself the standards it expects its faculty and students to meet, Zakaria would have to take a leave or resign."

Mr. Sleeper, a one-time tabloid columnist, goes on to impugn Mr. Zakaria for various offenses, such as dissing people Mr. Sleeper obviously likes and commanding speaking fees Mr. Sleeper seems to think are too high. If Mr. Sleeper has ever been offered $75,000 to deliver deep thoughts to a corporate board and turned the money down, it would be interesting to see the evidence. Otherwise, his is the most vulgar voice of envy.

Also gloating are the people who detest Mr. Zakaria for his views. In a recent column in Reason magazine, Ira Stoll—who often insinuates that this editorial page gets all its good ideas from him—more or less gives Mr. Zakaria a plagiarism pass, then lights into him for holding incorrect views on tax rates and the Middle East. Who knew that disagreeing with Ira Stoll was one of the world's greatest journalistic offenses?

I'm an occasional guest on Mr. Zakaria's show, for which I get no pay and not much glory. Mr. Zakaria and I have an amicable relationship but have never socialized. And my political views are considerably to the right of his, to say the least.

But I will give Mr. Zakaria this: He anchors one of the few shows that treats foreign policy seriously, that aims for an honest balance of views, and that doesn't treat its panelists as props for an egomaniacal host. He's also one of the few prominent liberals I know who's capable of treating an opposing point of view as something other than a slur on human decency.

In my book, that makes him a good man who's made a mistake. No similar compliment can be paid to the schadenfreude brigades now calling for his head.

Celebrities Who Plagiarize/Cheat ---

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism ---

"Let's Talk about Academic Integrity, Part I: BI (Before the Internet)," by Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed, August 16, 2012 ---

"Let's Talk About Academic Integrity: Part II AI (After the Internet),"  by Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed, August 21, 2012 ---

That the Internet is a game changer is well-known phenomenon. In fact, the word most usually associated with this phenomenon is "disruptive," and it is a good one because more times than not it is truly a neutral, descriptive term. Depending on what side of the fence you are on at the time of the disruption, you might think it either a good or bad thing.  Think content industry: bad. Think people without money who want access to content: good. Of course, life, law and technology are infinitely more complicated than those Manichaeism terms, but you get the idea. Let's see how it applies to academic integrity.

But first let's be sure we have a foundational understanding of the concept.  Academic Integrity is larger than plagiarism, but taking other people's work without attribution and with a notion that it is your own is the lion's share.  How is it to be distinguished from copyright?  Copyright is law; academic integrity is policy.  You won't go to jail or pay a fine if you violate it, but within the community of scholars -- academic or public --  depending on a number of factors, you may lose your job or some degree of credibility.  If you are a student, also depending on a number of factors, you may have to rewrite a paper, get a failing grade in the assignment, fail the course, or even be suspended or expelled from the institution.  Copyright is not cured by attribution; in most cases, plagiarism is.  Why is it important?  Because it goes straight to the heart of academia: a community of scholars, stretched throughout all of human history, whose central dynamic is developing original work while standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us, irrespective of whether it was 10,000 years or 10 minutes ago.  It is to newcomers, i.e. students, a special community with special rules, hence the difference between law and policy.  It is an invitation to be part of the life of the mind, so long as you play by the rules.

Now, to be sure, the exact nature and shape of the rules can change given any number of factors, some obviously larger than others.  Technology is a big one.  Cutting and pasting having become so easy suddenly makes wholesale "copying" a facile process; how that function leads a tired, insecure or intentionally violative student down the road of perdition is a factor that educators must take into account no matter whether they like or don't like the fact of the technology that allows a student to do it.  Here is why: because the best, well intentioned students are anxious that they make a mistake.  That we do not want to cause our students undue anxiety.  It is not warranted, if we pay attention to the world in which they live and help them clarify the rules to the practices, and nor is it wise for us to allow undue measure of anxiety to get in the way genuine learning.  An overly cautious student may ultimately learn as little as the too liberal student when it comes to plagiarism.  If learning is the name of the game, it behooves educators to get it right.

So much has been written about remix that I need not go into detail here about it (Lessig's books is good start, although more focused on law than academic integrity).  Suffice it to say that remix now constitutes a very significant approach, trope and motif of contemporary culture that if we do not think hard about how we want academia to be of but not in this world, we will not serve either ourselves or our students.  Technology has made it possible, yes, but technology in this instance once again demonstrates its transfigurative powers.  That is, we see the academic dynamic -- something borrowed, something new -- more clearly than we might have seen it without technology.  We should use that insight to bridge generations of learners and the tools and methods by which they learn.

For anyone who does not believe there is anything new under the sun worth talking about, allow me to share some personal experience.  In creating a site on digital literacy, I spent some time talking to students about academic integrity.
 <http://digitalliteracy.cornell.edu/>  I also brought Harry Lewis, former Dean of Harvard College and a good and wise man, to talk with the Cornell community about any number of related issues.  I learned probably more than anyone.  Did you know that you can find whole instructors' manuals on the campus intranet?  That means if at two in the morning you still have not gotten to that chemical engineering assignment (or name your subject), you can find the answer with a few keystrokes.  Know how we know?  Because students who plagiarize the manual turn in the same mistakes as the manual.  Even better, when anywhere from one to two thirds of class of 200+ students turn in the same assignment with the same mistake, Houston, we have a problem!  I exaggerate not.  But I have not even gotten to the most upsetting part of this story.  Do you know why you don't hear about as often as it occurs?  Because untenured professors who tend to be the ones who teach these large classes are sufficiently concerned about their teaching evaluations as to minimize the issue.  Having talked to young professors in this situation, I can report that they are very torn about it, but make their choices in the calculous of their lives and careers.  Have they worked sufficiently with chairmen, deans and provosts on this matter?  The answer to that question belongs to every institution to address, and not once but continuously.  Do young professors have the understanding of academic leadership at their institutions?  That question should be a part of the conversation.

Continued in article

"Let's Talk About Academic Integrity: Part III After the Internet and With the Roof Blown Open," by Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed, August 22, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and cheating ---

Bob Jensen's threads on plagiarism and cheating by professors ---

"Anticipating Unanticipated Consequences: Brazil’s Radical Legislation," by Daniel Levy, Inside Higher Ed, August 22, 2012 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on affirmative action for faculty---

Bob Jensen's threads on affirmative action for students ---

"'Sex and God at Yale," by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, August 23, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
Before you yell and scream at me Zafar, let me say that I do not agree with most the points made in this interview. For example, if a Taliban student is not a threat on the Yale campus, I'm all in favor of expanding that student's knowledge and understanding (unless the student is majoring in anything connected with explosives and chemistry/biology/physics for weapons of mass destruction). I foresee all sorts of benefits from educating Taliban men and women at Yale, although I doubt that Taliban men will allow their women to satisfy the admissions prerequisites.

I think attempts should be made to accommodate students all races and religious faith on campus, although it's not cost effective to build a chapel or even have an office staff devoted to one or two students of a given religious faith. I'm a bit disturbed that Vanderbilt is driving Christians off campus, but that's another type of controversy --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2012/05/04/essay-impact-vanderbilt-policies-catholic-students

When Bill Buckley wrote God and Man at Yale it struck me as odd that most of the religion professors did not believe in a God. But then when I thought about it some more, I think it's no big deal to be a scholar of religion and history without buying into the doctrines of religious faith. Hence I've no objection to atheists being professors of religion, although I might draw the line in terms of theology schools that have  broader mission than education and research.


How do you come up with a lesson plan for 20 or more students for an entire week when all your students are learning at a different pace?

"The evolving classroom: Lessons go virtual," by Rick Bastien, CNN, June 27, 2012 ---

On any given Sunday night, your child’s teacher might face this problem: How do you come up with a lesson plan for 20 or more students for an entire week when all your students are learning at a different pace?

Mike is great at reading but needs help in math. Katie excels in science but struggles with writing. They both need to pass the same state tests. And with states picking up new high standards for education, there isn’t always a precedent of how to teach. Even with textbooks and years of experience, the best teachers can struggle to find new ways of teaching complex subjects, especially when each student learns differently.

This is a problem that Eric Westendorf and Alix Guerrier are determined to solve. The two former teachers co-founded LearnZillion.com, a social venture that provides free lessons for students, all in organized YouTube-style videos.

The formula is simple: Videos have to be about five minutes long, illustrated by hand and voiced by a real teacher. The product simulates a real-classroom effect —it’s like your favorite teacher drawing the math lesson on the chalkboard, except that you can play it over and over if you don’t quite understand it. At the end, you take a brief quiz. But as it turns out, this resource is mostly utilized by teachers looking for new ways to teach the topics with which their students are struggling .

In other words, teachers need help from other teachers. Jonathan Krasnov, Learnzillion’s publicist notes, “Even great teachers don’t teach everything great.”

Westendorf was the principal of E.L. Haynes, a charter school in Washington, D.C., when he came up with the idea.

He told CNN, “We started using it because we came across the Khan Academy site.  We liked this idea of instruction being captured and delivered to students. Then we said, ‘What if it could be based on the Common Core Standards,  [which most U.S.states have now adopted] , so that it is aligned with what students need? … It was out of these ‘what ifs’ that I came up with a prototype.”

Westendorf plans for LearnZillion to eventually make profit by selling services to school districts, such as lessons tailored to the needs of the school. But he says that the lessons posted online will always be free.

CNN attended LearnZillion’s first TeachFest , recently held in Atlanta. Westendorf and Guerrier recruited more than 100 “Dream Team” teachers to help build up their database of lessons. The teachers get paid $100 for each lesson created. But the chance to reach more students is the biggest reward for many teachers to whom CNN talked.

Mike Lewis, a fifth-grade teacher from Cohasset, Massachusetts, says his interest in the “ability to replicate yourself and your lessons using video” is what led him to LearnZillion. The slogan for TeachFest was “scale your impact.”

The idea is not new. KhanAcademy.org has thousands of lessons, and unlike LearnZillion, Khan Academy is a nonprofit. Both receive funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Gates Foundation donated $300,000 just for TeachFest.

Even Bill Gates acknowledges that the idea of the virtual classroom hasn’t quite gone viral yet. During last month’s Innovation in Education summit, the Microsoft CEO noted the example of Edx, a  partnership between The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University that provides free online courses.


Jensen Comment
This is why I created Camtasia modules for nearly every technical phase of both my AIS and Accounting Theory courses and then served them up on either my LAN drive or my Web server. When the video module contained copyrighted material I used the LAN drive. For example, if I showed students how to solve an end-of-chapter problem I used the LAN drive.

The Camtasia videos had several great learning advantages:

  1. Students could repeat, repeat, and repeat again until they finally mastered some complicated task such as writing a database query or booking fair value adjustments of an interest rate swap.
  2. Students could skip over parts of the module that they fully understood and then focus on the parts of a task that they had not yet mastered.
  3. Usually I encouraged students to work in partnerships such that they appreciated how teamwork aids learning. But they were on their own when I gave a quiz in every class to test whether they truly understood the technical process they were supposed to learn before coming to class.
  4. This allowed me to focus on such things as theory and concepts in class rather than having to solve problems that some students understood fully and other students had their heads in the clouds.

There is a risk that this works so efficiently that it's tempting to add more and more technical material to the course. My students generally let me know when my courses were demanding too much of their time relative to the other courses they were taking in the same semester.

This video module approach may be less successful for students who are not well above average. Students at the lower end of the spectrum may need more direct supervision and face-to-butt kicking.

At BYU, where basic accounting students are probably above the national norm for these two courses in terms of aptitude and motivation, each basic course is taught via variable speed video in courses that rarely meet face-to-face ---

There is no magic bullet for students who are overly exhausted from off-campus work, parenting, or partying. Learning requires lots and lots of sweat. And if the sweat arises from things other than course content, not a whole lot of learning of course content will take place under any pedagogy. Students in these poor learning circumstances generally discover that accounting, mathematics, engineering, and science courses should be avoided whenever possible.

Mortgage Rate Calculation Tools --- http://www.mortgagerates.net/additional-resources/calculation-tools/

"Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men? Analyzing the Search for High-paying Jobs," Knowledge@Wharton, August 1, 2012 ---
This is a summary of research by Wharton professors Matthew Bidwell and Roxana Barbulescu

Why do women continue to earn less money than men -- approximately 20% less, according to some estimates -- and what can be done about it?

At least half the pay gap reflects the fact that women tend to work in different kinds of occupations and industries than men, a phenomenon known as "gender segregation." Understanding the causes of that gender segregation is a key part of any attempt to address the pay differential.

Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell and Roxana Barbulescu, a management professor at McGill University in Montreal, set out to understand the causes of gender segregation by taking a different approach than studies that typically look at variances in the kinds of jobs that men and women choose, or at the decisions made by employers during the job application process. 

Bidwell and Barbulescu opted instead to look at job applicants themselves to determine whether the decisions they make during their job search process have a significant impact on which offer they accept. Their results are presented in a paper titled, "Do Women Choose Different Jobs from Men? Mechanisms of Application Segregation in the Market for Managerial Workers," forthcoming in the journal Organization Science.

"Much of the debate over earnings has focused on the idea that there are barriers to women getting certain kinds of jobs, and that a big part of this is due to subtle and not so subtle discrimination on the part of employers," says Bidwell. "But most of the available data looks at the jobs women end up in, which reflects a series of decisions by both the employee and employer." The challenge was to separate out data that deal primarily with how women view the employment landscape even before starting the job application process. Do those views, for example, lead women to systematically choose different, and lower-paying, occupations than their male counterparts?

The two researchers analyzed data on 1,255 men and women entering the job market as they were graduating from a large, elite, one-year international MBA program. Such a group is far from representative of the population at large. However, "studying MBA students is particularly valuable for exploring segregation into some of the best-paid and most influential jobs in society, which are the kinds of jobs in which women have traditionally been under-represented," the authors note in the paper.

Barbulescu surveyed the students about their job interests at the beginning of the MBA program, and then again at the end in order to find out what kinds of jobs they applied for, where they got offers and what jobs they ultimately accepted. 

The researchers' main finding was that women were significantly less likely to apply to Wall Street-type finance jobs, somewhat less likely to apply to consulting jobs, and more likely to apply to jobs in general management, most notably internal finance and marketing. Not coincidentally, the finance and consulting jobs that women avoided were also the ones that were most highly paid.

No surprises there, but the researchers dug deeper to see what might explain these results. To start, they broke down the different influences on job search decisions into three different factors: applicants' preferences for specific rewards from their jobs, such as money or flexibility; the ability of applicants to identify with particular kinds of jobs, which often reflects how compatible those jobs are with other ways the applicants see themselves; and the applicants' expectations that an application could succeed.

The researchers argue that each of those factors might be influenced by gender role socialization, which shapes our basic beliefs about the behaviors that are most appropriate for men versus women, and about the kinds of skills that accompany those behaviors. For example, if women are expected to play different roles in the workplace and at home than men, then they may also look for different rewards from their work, such as pay, intellectual challenge, flexibility, work/life balance and so forth.

Four Nights in a Hotel

Specifically, the researchers looked at expected work/life satisfaction with regard to 19 different job types, and found that women were significantly less likely than men to apply for jobs where work/life satisfaction ranked low. "This explained why women weren't applying for consulting jobs," says Bidwell. "The hours are not that much worse than investment banking jobs, but the expectation is that you will be staying in a hotel four nights a week. And that doesn't change. With investment banking, you might work very hard, but you usually sleep in your own bed, and the hours tend to trail off as you get more seniority." 

The second decision factor shaping applications is how people identify with different jobs. Bidwell and Barbulescu found that women identified the least with stereotypically masculine jobs, and they tended to apply to industries that usually employ a higher proportion of women. The third decision factor is whether individuals believe their applications for certain jobs will be successful: It may not make sense for applicants to pour a lot of time and effort into applications for jobs they do not expect to get.

Bidwell and Barbulescu found that at the beginning of the MBA program, men and women showed the same level of confidence that they would get an offer for a specific job in most of the fields they might apply to -- except investment banking. There are good reasons that women might have lower expectations of job offer success in stereotypically masculine jobs, says Bidwell, and no industry has more of a macho image than investment banking. "Women just didn't think they would get jobs there, so they didn't apply," he notes.

Equally interesting, says Bidwell, is that when women did apply to investment banking jobs, they were just as likely to get them as the men who applied.

"Our research shows how hard it is to bring about change," Bidwell adds." If you tell employers to stop discriminating, it doesn't mean you will end up with greater access for women to better, higher-paying jobs. Instead, it's about changing perceptions of culture. You can imagine that if you have a job that is seen as highly macho and aggressive, and you recruit those kinds of people -- mainly men -- then these perceptions and stereotypes become self-fulfilling. It's a much more insidious way in which jobs become gendered."

The researchers emphasize in their paper that "even when there are no gender differences in the likelihood of receiving a job offer, this does not imply that employers do not influence gender segregation." Indeed, employer decisions may affect applicant behavior "in ways that we could not detect." For example, they cite the climate and recent litigation history of some of the sectors they studied, primarily finance, which may have increased the pressure on employers to hire more women, but doesn't necessarily mean they will promote them into the same senior level positions as men.

The behavior of employers -- and the control they often exert over the workplace -- can clearly affect whether women apply for jobs with their companies. For example, the researchers write, "practices that reduce conflicts between work and family demands could reduce" segregation, and "interventions in the way that jobs are structured and role behaviors enacted to emphasize either masculine or feminine stereotypical attributes could also" lessen segregation. But that is not an easy sell. For instance, as the researchers note, "workplaces with fewer women face less pressure to adapt their working styles to accommodate family demands" -- an example of how segregation becomes self-perpetuating.

At the same time, "addressing these deep-seated organization issues, alongside the more common question of how hiring decisions are made, could be critical for increasing female participation in some of the best-paid jobs in society," the researchers add.

Token Gestures

According to Bidwell, this research paper is one of the first demonstrations that much of the segregation in the job application and hiring processes "happens because of how people apply for jobs rather than because of employer behavior further down the line. And that, in turn, reflects what jobs women are able to identify with, and where they think they will be hired."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Some of the findings are controversial, such as the question over which spouse tends to take the most advantage of having the other spouse be the primary bread winner (thereby taking advantage of having more career options such as one woman accounting professor I know whose Mr. Mom husband could then find time to write a best-selling Confederate War book). Statistically, women may take advantage of these options more frequently than their husbands, but increasingly my anecdotal experience is that women accounting professors are the primary bread winners on joint tax returns. And husbands tend to follow these women who have opportunities to relocate at higher salaries and their husbands then search for lower paying jobs after the move.

Hypothesized reasons female doctors earn less than male physicians ---
What I would like to see is whether there is a significantly higher ratio of males to females in the highest paying medical careers. For example, do women tend to avoid those specialties taking the longest time to complete slave-driving residencies (such as neurosurgery)? Do women tend to avoid those specialties requiring more strength and endurance such as orthopedics? A friend who is a physician tells me this is the case, but I've not investigated the data.

Bob Jensen's threads on gender controversies in higher education ---


"Cheating in Online Courses," Dan Ariely, August 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
If there is more cheating in online courses, the fault lies with the internal controls of the online system rather than the difference between online versus onsite systems per se. Cheating is largely the fault of the online and onsite instructors and their universities. There are controls (not costless) to reduce online cheating to levels below those of onsite courses ---
For example, observing a student taking an online test can be more one-on-one observation with the proper Webcam procedures or with hiring the Village Vicar to or a Sylvan Systems to proctor the examination.

August 11, 2012 message from Auntie Bev

Remember about 2 years ago you filled out a census form? Well ---- - - - - -> here are the result of this process.

Just glide your cursor over the map and it displays every county. Can't imagine how long it took to create this map!! You'll need to go to full screen mode to see it all!


From the TaxProf Blog on August 17, 2012 ---

ExxonMobil Paid $1 Trillion in Taxes Since 1999, Three Times Its Profits



LIBOR --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libor

"Understanding Libor," by FT reporters, Financial Times, July 20, 2012 ---

Jensen Comment
A recent article in The Economist predicts that it will be really difficult for plaintiffs in the thousands of LIBOR lawsuits to get serious settlements. I can't recall the citation (late in August 2012), but one of the main arguments is that use of LIBOR was volunary and not required. Also damages are very difficult to assess since playing "what if games are very difficult when it comes to "hypothetical impacts" of different interest rates.

Bob Jensen's fraud updates ---

"N.Y. Fed says municipal bond defaults higher than ratings agency counts," by Danielle Douglas, The Washington Post, August 15, 2012 --- Click Here

Defaults on municipal bonds for decades have been far higher than reported by rating agencies, bringing into question the true risk of a common investment widely considered to be safe, according to a study released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Economists at the agency counted 2,521 muni bond defaults since 1970, whereas ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service, for instance, reported 71.

Muni bonds often act as an investment haven for ordinary Americans, and the new findings reveal they may be more risky than previously thought. That has been the subject of debate among lawmakers and others in the wake of a series of bankruptcy filings in California and elsewhere, as well as the collapse of several municipal projects.

Supporters of muni bonds say that despite a few high-profile cases, government securities rarely default. Data from the New York Fed, however, suggests otherwise.

Ratings agencies only track the behavior of the bonds they rate, presenting a fragmented picture of the entire muni bond universe. For a more comprehensive look, the New York Fed merged defaults tracked by the three major rating agencies with unrated bonds reported by Mergent and S&P Capital IQ.

Researchers found no pattern of spikes in defaults during recessions, rather defaults appeared to be a “function of idiosyncratic factors associated with individual projects,” according to the study.

Muni bonds are a primary way states, towns and even hospitals and ballparks finance projects. They have become popular partly because holders of these bonds don’t have to pay state taxes on any gains. Individual investors, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, hold 75 percent of the outstanding bonds in the $3.7 trillion muni market through mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

General-obligation bonds, issued by municipalities, rarely fail because they are backed by tax revenue. But the Fed found bonds that finance hospitals, stadiums and nursing homes default at much higher rates because they have a narrower income stream. A sports stadium, for instance, needs to sell tickets, otherwise it may not generate enough to meet its debt obligations.

The worst-performing bonds were “industrial development” bonds that finance projects such as alternative energy plants or pollution control facilities. These bonds, which comprise nearly two-thirds of municipal issuance, fail at a 28 percent rate.

Some analysts contend that the study is overstating the number of defaults since these debts are repaid by corporations rather than cities or towns.

“There’s an apples-and-oranges comparison that makes it hard to take their findings and draw any inference into the broader risks in the muni market,” said Bart Mosley, co-president Trident Municipal Research, which tracks the bond market.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on the slow recovery of the economy are at

"Crunch Time in Quebec: Deadlines and Decisions Loom for Colleges, Students, and Voters," by By Karen Birchard and Jennifer Lewington, Chronicle of Higher Education, August 5, 2012 ---

With the fall semester only weeks away, confusion and uncertainty hang over higher education in Quebec, where an unprecedented student revolt over a tuition increase has sparked widespread disruptions of city streets and academic schedules—with no resolution in sight.

For months, student protesters, aggrieved professors, and pot-banging street demonstrators have made common cause against the provincial government, with Montreal the epicenter of sometimes-violent clashes between students and the police.

In May, with some colleges and universities hit by student boycotts of some classes, the government passed emergency legislation that suspended boycott-affected classes until mid-August, imposed temporary restrictions on civil rights, and set the stage for a 75-percent increase in university tuition over five years.

By 2017, Quebec university students will pay about $3,800 a year. Despite the increase, Quebec would still be the province in Canada with the lowest tuition.

Now, with make-up classes scheduled to resume in the middle of a provincial election campaign—and when the first phase of the tuition increase is set to take effect—no one, least of all student leaders, is ready to predict how things will play out in the coming weeks.

"It is very difficult and confusing for everyone," says Martine Desjardins, president of Quebec's federation of university students, one of three main student groups at loggerheads with the provincial government.

Talks between the government and the student groups broke off in May, and both sides are firmly dug in: The students want a tuition freeze to start with, but the government refuses, saying it needs to make up for previous freezes.

Quebec's premier, Jean Charest, playing off the resilient opposition of student activists, has made the protests an integral part of his bid to win the September 4 election.

"In the last few months, we have heard a lot from student leaders, from people on the streets, we've heard from those who've been hitting away at pots and pans," he said on August 1. "Now is the time for the silent majority to speak."

Making Up for Boycotted Classes

In the meantime, a daunting organizational challenge lies ahead for many of the province's universities and its 48 public junior colleges, which are known in Quebec as Cégeps, a French acronym that translates as colleges of general and vocational education. Although Quebec residents essentially pay no tuition at the Cégeps, protesters from the colleges say they are worried about rising costs when they move on to university.

The staggered roll-out of the make-up classes starts next week at 14 of the Cégeps, whose Francophone colleges were hardest hit by the boycotts. But no one is sure yet if the early return will be marked by further upheaval or take place without incident.

In addition to preparing for the fall semester, the strike-affected universities also have to accommodate students making up courses that were suspended in the spring. As well, many institutions have to accommodate the delayed arrival of about 8,000 Cégep students who were supposed to graduate last spring but now have to complete their boycotted studies.

The condensed make-up term is "pedagogically insane," says Julien Villeneuve, who teaches philosophy at Collège de Maisonneuve and supports the anti-tuition protests. He and others argue that students will not remember what was taught last February, when the boycotts began. In his view, the condensed term forces professors to cram a 15-week course into a few weeks and leaves them little time for grading.

"We are responsible to safeguard the quality of the education we provide," he says, expressing concern about a watering-down of academic standards. He is also dismayed by a proposed timetable that leaves virtually no breaks between classes during the day. "Are you supposed to teleport from one side of campus to the other?" he asks, incredulously.

Division Along Linguistic Lines

While almost all of the province's universities and junior colleges have had pockets of striking students, the boycotts were sharply divided along linguistic lines. Many students at English-language colleges and universities voted not to strike, citing other ways to voice objections.

English-speaking McGill and Concordia Universities, in downtown Montreal, had only a handful of students on strike and are beginning their fall semesters as normal, in mid-September. For the fall, McGill and Concordia are receiving students from mainly Anglophone Cégeps who completed their spring semester without much incident.

By contrast, at the Université du Québec à Montréal, historically a hotbed of student activism, 23,000 of 39,000 students boycotted classes at six of the university's seven colleges. Their disrupted session is scheduled to resume on August 27 and wrap up on September 30, while a truncated fall semester begins October 1.

Because the student strikes were not universal, either among or within institutions, administrators have been left scrambling to make adjustments on a departmental, program, or even student-specific basis.

Continued in article

From the Scout Report on August 10, 2012

As universities ready to welcome new students, some wonder about the
financial health of higher education
The college-cost calamity

After Leadership Crisis Fueled by Distance-Ed Debate, UVA will put Free
Classes Online

Why the Education Bubble Will Be Worse Than the Housing Bubble

Book Review: "The Higher Education Bubble"

Is College Over?

College Costs: Find out how much college costs

MOOC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooc

"What You Need to Know About MOOC's," Chronicle of Higher Education, August 20, 2012 ---

. . .

Who are the major players?

Several start-up companies are working with universities and professors to offer MOOC's. Meanwhile, some colleges are starting their own efforts, and some individual professors are offering their courses to the world. Right now four names are the ones to know:


A nonprofit effort run jointly by MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.

Leaders of the group say they intend to slowly add other university partners over time. edX plans to freely give away the software platform it is building to offer the free courses, so that anyone can use it to run MOOC’s.


A for-profit company founded by two computer-science professors from Stanford.

The company’s model is to sign contracts with colleges that agree to use the platform to offer free courses and to get a percentage of any revenue. More than a dozen high-profile institutions, including Princeton and the U. of Virginia, have joined.


Another for-profit company founded by a Stanford computer-science professor.

The company, which works with individual professors rather than institutions, has attracted a range of well-known scholars. Unlike other providers of MOOC’s, it has said it will focus all of its courses on computer science and related fields.


A for-profit platform that lets anyone set up a course.

The company encourages its instructors to charge a small fee, with the revenue split between instructor and company. Authors themselves, more than a few of them with no academic affiliation, teach many of the courses.

"The Future Is Now?" by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, August 13, 2012 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs, MITx, and Courses from Prestigious Universities ---

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

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

August 21, 2012 reply from Rick Lillie

Hi Bob,

Thanks for sharing the Chronicle article "What You Need to Know about MOOC's." I've been following this issue for some time. I have not yet posted a commentary on the Teaching with Technology (TwT) blog on AAA Commons.

I've been thinking about MOOC's and why I believe there is a great deal of confusion regarding where MOOC methodology fits into the overall education picture of higher education (degree seeking and credentialing) versus continuing education for whatever purpose. I believe the two education objectives are quite different from each other.

After returning from AAA in Washington, D.C., I've been on a RV trip to Yellowstone National Park (aka "Jellystone" for readers who remember Fred Flintstone). I do not teach during summer terms. I believe summer is "chicken soup for the mind." This is when I read for pleasure, work on research papers, think for fun, and reconsider what my life should be (not necessarily in any particular order).

I'm working on a series of posting for my AAA Commons blog "Teaching with Technology" or "TwT" which will soon become the new title for the blog. I've been following MOOC, Connectivity, and other new teaching movements that initially gained strength in Canada and have been moved elsewhere. Each has its interesting points. Frankly speaking, I find most of them boring.

Recent movements seem to confuse the purpose of developmental learning (e.g., preparing to pass the CPA Exam and enter the Accounting profession) with what one does once professional "entry" has been gained. What one does to keep current or explore really interesting things for "personal gain and happiness" after developmental learning has taken place has virtually no limits. In my mind, structured guidance fits developmental learning. Unstructured, do-it-yourself learning is applicable to life-long learning and growth.

The RV trip to Yellowstone was exciting, including the need to replace two front tires on our RV. Exploration within Yellowstone was exciting and priceless. I'm a technologist. Being deprived from cell phone and internet connection for the several days almost brought me to the point of self-enrolling myself in the Betty Ford Clinic. Yes, Betty Ford deals with more than drug and booze issues.

Viewing the boiling pools throughout the park gave me a greater appreciation for my swimming pool and hot tub at home.

This morning we drove from Yellowstone to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Great drive. Nice climate changes. The RV park includes "civilization with benefits" (i.e., weather, WiFi, TV, cell phone connection, pool, hot tub, and sun shine). I realize this is a dangerous statement, but while in Jackson Hole, I'm doing my best to avoid Republicans, economists, and finance people. What can I say, we all have a biased perspective.

Watch for upcoming TwT postings. I hope the posting will spark discussion that is relevant to all of us.

Best wishes,

August 21, 2012 reply from Amy Dunbar

Hi Bob,

I agree wholeheartedly with your analysis of Moocs. Along the technology lines,  I loved Tippens’s article in the Chronicle.  The Chronicle provides such a wonderful service to its readers by getting us to really think about teaching issues. 


This article inspired me read Hannah Arendt.  I’m starting with The Life of the Mind.  Oh my, that is rough sledding for me, but I finally understand the concept of metaphysical.  Ok, so I’m a little slow.



Great quote:

No PowerPoint presentation or elegant online lecture can make up for the surprise, the frisson, the spontaneous give-and-take of a spirited, open-ended dialogue with another person. Hannah Arendt was correct: "For excellence, the presence of others is always required."

August 6, 2012

Technology Has Its Place: Behind a Caring Teacher

Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle

By Darryl Tippens

"What is wrong with higher education? How will technology transform it? What new direction will it take in these difficult times?" I often hear such questions, from both inside and outside the academy. Such questions deserve answers, of course, but they raise another question, one seldom asked: What is college for? This, too, deserves attention, for if we do not agree on the destination of the enterprise, we are probably not going to agree on the route or the proper mode of transportation. Change is afoot and inevitable. The point is whether it will be made wisely, and with a clear goal.

The confusion has been magnified not only by a basic failure to understand the goals of education, but also by the extraordinary complexity and variety of the project. Higher education is not a single industry producing a single "product," but an extremely varied enterprise, with more than 4,000 institutions doing different things in different ways, with different ends in mind. The confusion shows up in the debates about whether technology (specifically, distance learning) will "save" us. As the recent events at the University of Virginia demonstrate, even governing boards can manifest a surprising naïveté about technology as the answer.

Of course, technology will play a prominent role in the continuing evolution of the academy, but it will not provide the comprehensive solution that many expect. This is so not because faculty members oppose technology—indeed, many embrace it with enthusiasm. But there is resistance for good reason. Many faculty, even those who embrace it, understand its limitations. Some things technology does with astonishing success. Some things it does poorly. Astute educators recognize the difference.

Consider the residential college in the landscape of higher education. It is a unique model that will not soon go out of style, if the surge in applications at the best of them tells us anything. There are several reasons for this confident future. Most of all, the residential-college model will flourish because it is grounded in the way human beings function. People are social creatures who best mature intellectually in a particular social environment. At the center of an effective educational system is a vibrant community in which learners not only think together but also engage in learning practices together.

This is something Plato, Aristotle, and Jesus understood. It was adopted by monasteries and cathedral schools in the Middle Ages. It was modified at Oxford and Cambridge (each university actually a collection of discrete learning communities, called colleges), and eventually taken up by hundreds of American colleges and universities, beginning with Harvard.

Despite the considerable differences among all those institutions, one idea binds them together: the understanding that reflection and practice together are the best pedagogy. As Andrew Delbanco puts it in College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be: "Learning is a collaborative rather than a solitary process."

Of course, technology plays a prominent role in the continuing evolution of colleges. Computers will enhance learning, but they will never replace the profoundly personal dimension in deep learning.

The degree to which we believe that physical presence is important to learning will influence our answer to "What is college for?" If we decide that college is simply an instrument to transfer objective data from one brain to another, without serious reflection on the big questions of life, or if we think essential knowledge can be reduced to a set of easily digested facts, then modes of delivery are not especially important. A "just the facts, ma'am" course of study hardly requires a person on the delivery end.

However, if we accept the wisdom of the philosopher and chemist Michael Polanyi, that all knowledge, even scientific knowledge, is personal—involving the passion and heart of the knower and not just the facts about the known—then personal engagement becomes critical. If a life—a soul—is to be formed, if college is about reflection, exploration, discovery, and self-discovery, then engagement with a mentor or guide in a lively community of learning is essential. Something akin to Socratic dialogue will be prominent.

After millennia of experimentation, we know a great deal about how people learn. We know that the best learning involves practices—lots of them. We know that effective learning is best achieved through the engagement of other deeply attentive human beings. The learning might occur in a traditional classroom, but it might happen in a different space: a lab, a mountain stream, an international campus, a cafeteria, a residence hall, a basketball court.

No PowerPoint presentation or elegant online lecture can make up for the surprise, the frisson, the spontaneous give-and-take of a spirited, open-ended dialogue with another person. Hannah Arendt was correct: "For excellence, the presence of others is always required."

As an educator, I take seriously the current complaints about the academy. Anything as sprawling and complex as higher education means that something, somewhere, is being done poorly or flat wrong. Too many professors, schooled in the finest research universities in the world, have learned to scorn teaching and even to view undergraduates as impediments to their professional advancement. Others have forgotten, or even scoff at, the idea of holistic, transformative, values-based education. Too many students never get a chance to know a caring professor personally.

No wonder some people think that education can be standardized, easily packaged, and cheaply distributed. No wonder taxpayers are less willing to finance the enterprise. As in Hamlet, we are hoist with our own petard.

Throughout America, though, in thousands of classrooms and labs, in fieldwork or over lunch, students continue to be transformed by caring master teachers. We must celebrate and support these successes. The residential-college model is uniquely effective in changing lives. It was so in 1636, when Harvard was founded. It will be so in 2037, when my university celebrates its centennial, and it will be long after, if we tell our story well and remain faithful to the vision of personal learning.

Darryl Tippens is provost at Pepperdine University.


August 21, 2012 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Amy,

I'm sorry you could not attend the AAA Annual Meetings this year. I did, however, have a short chat with John.

I agree that presence is essential for certain types of learning, especially that serendipity and face-to-face interaction and verbalization in case learning classes or watching a good lecturer interact with students in a class.

For example, when you teach a doctoral seminar on how to approach the testing of a particular hypothesis I suspect the best way is for your students to be meeting with you face-to-face when you use Socratic method in an effort to coax ideas out of their heads that you had not even discovered yourself.

However, for other types of learning, presence gets in the way. For example, if students have to learn something technical like how to value a bond or interest rate swap, I would rather have a very detailed asynchronous video that students can run, pause, back up, re-run, back up, and re-run again and again while at the same time they're privately  learning the software and mathematics. When it's something very technical that students learn at different paces, it's probably more important for them to not all have to be learning synchronously in class. This is where Khan Academy or the MOOCS or your own Camtasia videos can fit in if the learning modules are well done.

Of course you know this since you prepare technical tax learning Camtasia videos for your tax students. I suspect you also prepare technical software learning videos (such as how to run a GLM model in SAS).

Over the years I've maintained threads on advantages and disadvantages of asynchronous versus synchronous learning ---

I've also maintained threads on the dark side of technology and asynchronous learning ---

Thanks Amy,

"Career Lessons From The Forbes 100 Most Powerful Women:  Rankings," by Caroline Ceniza-Levine Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Forbes, August 26, 2012 ---

Rankings ---

Jensen Comment
Lady Gaga (who is seldom photographed with her underwear covered) comes in at Rank 14. That's better than Queen Elizabeth (Rank 26) and Minority/Majority House Leader Nancy Pelosi (Rank 28

As with most rankings of powerful people, the rankings ignore professors. I guess that means we're powerless. Professors really should consider posting more pictures of themselves in their underwear. This is one of the main lesson to be learned from these power rankings from Forbes.

Authors are mostly powerless, although J.K. Rowling comes in at Rank 78. She would rank much higher if she had more lewd pictures in her books.

Adriana Huffingtom is at Rank 29 whereas Newsweek's Tina Brown only manages Rank 77.  This is understandable since the Huffington Post carries more showgirl  pictures.---
Note the slide show on the "Wildest Dresses of All Time"
Now that's a career lesson on how to become powerful.

August 21, 2012 message from Amy Dunbar

Jensen Quotation
"Of course you, Amy, know this since you prepare technical tax learning Camtasia videos for your tax students. I suspect you also prepare technical software learning videos (such as how to run a GLM model in SAS)."

Actually I record Stata videos. I much prefer Stata to SAS. ;-)

Stata --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stata

SAS --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS_%28software%29

Note that PwC does Romney's tax returns and most likely is his main source regarding global tax planning.
"In Superrich, Clues to What Might Be in Romney’s Returns," by James B. Steward, The New York Times, August 10. 2012 ---

On the face of it, Senator Harry Reid’s explosive but flimsily sourced claim that Mitt Romney paid no income tax seems preposterous. Mr. Romney has denied it, and without his returns no one can say for sure. But for someone who makes millions of dollars a year, would it even be possible?

Evidently it is.

It so happens that this summer the Internal Revenue Service released data from the 400 individual income tax returns reporting the highest adjusted gross income. This elite ultrarich group earned on average $202 million in 2009, the latest year available. And buried in the data is the startling disclosure that six of the 400 paid no federal income tax.

The I.R.S. has never before disclosed that last fact.

Not even Mr. Romney, with reported 2010 income of $21.7 million, qualifies for membership in this select group of 400. But the data provides a window into the financial lives and tax rates of the superrich. Since the I.R.S. doesn’t release data for the tiny percentage of Americans at Mr. Romney’s income level, the 400 are the closest proxy.

And that data demonstrates that many of the ultrarich can and do reduce their tax liability to very low levels, even zero. Besides the six who paid no federal income tax, the I.R.S. reported that 27 paid from zero to 10 percent of their adjusted gross incomes and another 89 paid between 10 and 15 percent, which is close to the 13.9 percent rate that Mr. Romney disclosed that he paid in 2010. (At the other end of the spectrum, 82 paid 30 to 35 percent. None paid more than 35 percent.) So more than a quarter of the people earning an average of over $200 million in 2009 paid less than 15 percent of their adjusted gross income in taxes.

How do they do it?

The data show that the ultrarich typically pay low tax rates every year, but 2009 was a special case. In 2008, people with large stock portfolios and other less liquid assets were disproportionately hit with large losses on paper. One of the oddities of the tax code is that capital gains taxes are discretionary, since they must be paid only when gains are realized. And they can be offset by losses. The silver lining in a bad year like 2008 for wealthy people is that they can “harvest” losses by selling assets, then use those losses to offset any gains. They can also carry forward the losses to offset gains in future years.

There’s ample evidence that happened in 2009 among the richest taxpayers. Their average income, $202 million, dropped from $270 million in 2008 and was the lowest since 2004. Like Mr. Romney in 2010, for the richest taxpayers most income comes from capital gains and other investment income. Their net capital gains (the data doesn’t include gross gains and losses) dropped by nearly 40 percent, from an average of $154 million in 2008 to $93 million in 2009, which accounts for nearly all of their drop in total income. Even with these lower gains, these 400 taxpayers, a minuscule fraction of the population at large, still managed to account for 16 percent of all capital gains. That is the highest percentage since the data was first released for 1992, when that percentage was less than 6 percent.

Tax experts I consulted said these results almost certainly reflected aggressive use of tax-loss carry-forwards from 2008, since the stock market bottomed in March 2009 and rallied strongly during the rest of the year.

The superrich also accounted for a disproportionate amount of dividend income, which averaged over $26 million for the top 400, or over 6 percent of total dividend income, also a record. Capital gains and dividends are both taxed at a maximum rate of 15 percent, as opposed to the maximum rate on earned income of 35 percent, which helps explain why so many of the superrich pay a relatively low rate. Still, that preferential rate doesn’t get them anywhere near zero, or even 10 percent.

Edward Kleinbard, professor of law at the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California, explained it this way, “You start with income dominated by tax-preferred income — capital gains and qualified dividends. That gets you to 15 percent. Then you use charitable contributions of appreciated securities to reduce ordinary income. But the charitable contribution deduction is capped at 50 percent of adjusted gross income. Now you’re way down, but you’re not at zero.”

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Note that in many instances what we call a "tax savings" is not a net savings. For example, when a taxpayer has millions of dollars invested in tax-exempt bonds of towns, cities, counties, states, and schools (the so-called muni-bonds), those government entities are getting a lower cost of capital (adjusted for financial risk) than if the federal government took away those tax-exempt options in tax reforms. For example, the cost of capital for municipalities would soar much higher if their bonds were suddenly to become taxable on federal tax returns and, thereby, had to compete with lower risk corporate bonds.

One could argue that it would be better for the government to eliminate tax exemptions for municipal bonds and then subsidize all of the towns, cities, counties, states, and school districts, but the trillions in subsidies required would clobber Federal deficits now over a trillion dollars. And shrewd high-income taxpayers would simply find other ways avoid taxation.

Even if Congress should enact a flat tax, I'm not in favor of eliminating tax exemption for bonds of towns, cities, counties, states, and school districts. That elimination would be too much of a shock to all the Main Streets of America.

Having said this, I think there are many things that need to be accomplished in major tax reforms for all levels of AGI.


Case Studies in Gaming the Income Tax Laws ---

How many times can GM get away with screwing shareholders?
"General Motors Is Headed For Bankruptcy -- Again," by Louis Goodhill, Forbes, August 15, 2012 ---

. . .

Right now, the federal government owns 500,000,000 shares of GM, or about 26% of the company. It would need to get about $53.00/share for these to break even on the bailout, but the stock closed at only $20.21/share on Tuesday. This left the government holding $10.1 billion worth of stock, and sitting on an unrealized loss of $16.4 billion.

Right now, the government’s GM stock is worth about 39% less than it was on November 17, 2010, when the company went public at $33.00/share. However, during the intervening time, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen by almost 20%, so GM shares have lost 49% of their value relative to the Dow.

It’s doubtful that the Obama administration would attempt to sell off the government’s massive position in GM while the stock price is falling. It would be too embarrassing politically. Accordingly, if GM shares continue to decline, it is likely that Obama would ride the stock down to zero.

GM is unlikely to hit the wall before the election, but, given current trends, the company could easily do so again before the end of a second Obama term.

In the 1960s, GM averaged a 48.3% share of the U.S. car and truck market. For the first 7 months of 2012, their market share was 18.0%, down from 20.0% for the same period in 2011. With a loss of market share comes a loss of relative cost-competitiveness. There is only so much market share that GM can lose before it would no longer have the resources to attempt to recover.

To help understand why GM keeps losing market share, let’s look at the saga of the Chevy Malibu.

The Malibu is GM’s entry in the automobile market’s “D-Segment”. The D-Segment comprises mid-size, popularly priced, family sedans, like the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. The D-Segment accounted for 14.7% of the total U.S. vehicle market in 2011, and 21.3% during the first 7 months of 2012.

Because the D-Segment is the highest volume single vehicle class in the U.S., and the U.S. is GM’s home market, it is difficult to imagine how GM could survive long term unless it can profitably develop, manufacture, and market a vehicle that can hold its own in the D-Segment. This is true not only because of the revenue potential of the D-Segment, but also because of what an also-ran Malibu would say about GM’s ability to execute at this time in its history.

GM is in the process of introducing a totally redesigned 2013 Chevy Malibu. It will compete in the D-Segment with, among others, the following: the Ford Fusion (totally redesigned for 2013); the Honda Accord (totally redesigned for 2013); the Hyundai Sonata (totally redesigned for 2011); the Nissan Altima (totally redesigned for 2013); the Toyota Camry (refreshed for 2013); and the Volkswagen Passat (totally redesigned for 2012).

Automobile technology is progressing so fast that the best vehicle in a given segment is usually just the newest design in that segment. Accordingly, if a car company comes out with a new, completely redesigned vehicle, it had better be superior to the older models being offered by its competitors. If it is not, the company will spend the next five years (the usual time between major redesigns in this segment) losing market share and/or offering costly “incentives” to “move the metal”.

Continued in article

MOOC --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooc

"The Future Is Now?" by Joe Hoyle, Teaching Blog, August 13, 2012 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on higher education controversies ---

From the Scout Report on August 3, 2012

Break Taker ---  http://www.techerator.com/software/breaktaker/ 

Do you need a break? Would you like your computer to give you a reminder about said break? BreakTaker can help by encouraging users "to take short breaks at regular intervals." Visitors can use this application to change the time between break notifications and customize its appearance as well. This version is compatible with all operating systems.

Sigwich --- http://www.sigwich.com/ 

If you're looking to build your own creative and interesting email signature, you may wish to give Sigwich some consideration. Visitors have the ability to add a custom signoff, company name, email, address, social media icons, photo, and a personal tagline. Also, visitors can preview their new signature via a live preview feature that allows them to see how it will look in context. This version is compatible with computers utilizing browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Chrome

From the Scout Report on August 17, 2012

SoundDownloader 2.0  --- http://sounddownloader.com/ 

If you want to download sounds, this application is the perfect tool. Visitors can use SoundDownloader to download music audio files from YouTube and other popular websites with little fuss. The program can be set up to download multiple files at the same time, and it is easy to use. This version is compatible with PCs running Windows 2000 and newer.

Pocket 4.1.2 ---  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read-it-later-pro/id309601447?mt=8 

In an era of information overload, sometimes you may just want to save something for later. The Pocket application (formerly known as "Read It Later") allows users to just click on a photo, document, or other file so they can look at it at a later time. There isn't a limit to how many files can be saved, and it's rather useful. The program is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPod running iOS 5.0 or later.


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

Education Tutorials

Innovation 20/20 Series --- http://www.coe.uga.edu/itt/2020-2/

Understanding Science --- http://undsci.berkeley.edu/

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

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Video:  A Guided Tour of Bad Neuroscience ---

Understanding Science --- http://undsci.berkeley.edu/

Practical Physics --- http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics

Chemistry Now --- http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/chemistrynow/

USDA: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion --- http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/

Nutrition and healthy eating --- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/MY00431

Association for Biology Laboratory Education --- http://www.ableweb.org/

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance --- http://www.dbsalliance.org

Bipolar Disorder (mental health) --- http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder

Introduction to Electronics, Signals, and Measurement --- Click Here

Medical Dictionary --- http://www.medterms.com/script/main/hp.asp

American Physiological Society: Learning Resources ---

The A&P Professor (Anatomy & Physiology) --- http://www.theapprofessor.org/

RadQuiz (radiology) --- http://www.radquiz.com/

Geography of H-1B Workers (immigrant worker specialties) ---

Google Earth Shows Undiscovered Pyramids, Amateur Archeologist Claims --- Click Here

Kinematic Models for Design --- http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/k/kmoddl/

From the Scout Report on August 3, 2012

Antarctica, then and now: Icy continent was once a near-tropical paradise
Ancient climate change meant Antarctica was once covered with palm trees

Palm trees 'grew on Antarctica'

Persistent near-tropical warmth on the Antarctic continent during the early Eocene epoch

What would Shackleton have tweeted?

United States Antarctic Program

Antarctic images by Anthony Powell

From the Scout Report on August 17, 2012

New findings point to more interesting wrinkles in the story of human
Human evolution: Ask the family --- http://www.economist.com/node/21560237

Fossils complicate human ancestor search

Questions over human and Neanderthal interbreeding

Neanderthal sex debate highlights benefits of pre-publication

Introduction to Human Evolution --- http://humanorigins.si.edu/resources/intro-human-evolution

Becoming Human --- http://www.becominghuman.org/


Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

Geography of H-1B Workers (immigrant worker specialties) ---

Thomas H. and Joan W. Gandy Photograph Collection (Acadian culture in Louisiana) ---

UrbanLand --- http://urbanland.uli.org/

Understanding Science --- http://undsci.berkeley.edu/

The Aspen Institute: Forum on Communications and Society

USDA: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion --- http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/ 

Nutrition and healthy eating --- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/MY00431

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

UrbanLand --- http://urbanland.uli.org/

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

Math Tutorials

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

History Tutorials

Television Memories (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=JEfotdZCguk&pop_ads=null

Los Angeles Public Library Photograph Collection --- http://photos.lapl.org/carlweb/jsp/photosearch_pageADV.jsp

Western Americana Collection (from Princeton University) --- http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0017

U.S. West: Photographs, Manuscripts, and Imprints --- http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/all/cul/wes/

Irish Museum of Modern Art --- http://www.imma.ie/en/index.htm

The Faulkner Newsletter & Yoknapatawpha Review --- http://clio.lib.olemiss.edu/archives/faulkner_nl.php

Drinking with William Faulkner --- Click Here

Aaron Thomas: The Caribbean Journal of a Royal Navy Seaman --- http://scholar.library.miami.edu/thomas

Kentucky Maps --- http://digital.library.louisville.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/maps/

Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Art New Media (multimedia) --- 

Utah Artists Project --- http://www.lib.utah.edu/collections/utah-artists/

Tacoma Community History Project --- http://content.lib.washington.edu/tacomacommweb/index.html

Thomas H. and Joan W. Gandy Photograph Collection (Acadian culture in Louisiana) ---

Mead Art Museum (Amherst College) --- https://www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/

Mead Art Museum https://www.amherst.edu/museums/mead/Google Earth Shows Undiscovered Pyramids, Amateur Archeologist Claims --- Click Here

American Antiquarian Society, 1812-2012: A View at the Bicentennial ---

The Real Estate Record --- http://rerecord.cul.columbia.edu/ 
1868 to 1922 building activity in and around New York City and the surrounding area 
Before the crash of 1926

City of New York Parks & Recreation --- http://www.nycgovparks.org/

Big Apple History - PBS Kids Go! http://pbskids.org/bigapplehistory/index-flash.html

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

Seaquence (music composition) ---  http://www.seaquence.org/

American Civil War Music & Resources --- http://www.loc.gov/performingarts/civilwar/

Inventions of Note --- http://libraries.mit.edu/music/sheetmusic/index.html

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

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/

August 11, 2012

August 12, 2012

August 15, 2012

August 16, 2012

August 17, 2012

August 20, 2012

August 21, 2012

August 22, 2012

August 23, 2012

August 24, 2012

August 26, 2012

  • 30 Minutes of Daily Exercise Enough to Shed Pounds
  • Gallstones in Kids, Teens Linked to Obesity
  • New Policy Supports Choice for Male Circumcision
  • Are Kindergarten Kids Getting Their Vaccines?
  • PSA Test Linked to Better Prostate Cancer Survival
  • West Nile Virus: Who's at Risk?
  • Cancer-Causing Chemical in Smokeless Tobacco ID'd
  • Skin Infections Linked to Tattoo Ink
  • Partner Depression Common After Heart Attack

    August 29, 2012

    August 30, 2012


    Video:  A Guided Tour of Bad Neuroscience ---

    USDA: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion --- http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/

    Nutrition and healthy eating --- http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/MY00431

    Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance --- http://www.dbsalliance.org

    Bipolar Disorder (mental health) --- http://www.healthline.com/health/bipolar-disorder

    Introduction to Electronics, Signals, and Measurement --- Click Here

    Medical Dictionary --- http://www.medterms.com/script/main/hp.asp




    Don't Bungee Jump Naked --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=L1_W0LCHwK4

    German Waterbed --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wm-Ge8LL7o

    Government Video --- http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5u03KAcEbEo

    How Women Burn Calories in France ---

    Forwarded by Auntie Bev

    I was working out at the gym when I spotted a sweet young thing walking in....

    I asked the trainer standing next to me, "What machine should I use to impress that lady over there?"

    The trainer looked me over and said; "I would recommend the ATM in the lobby."

    When I was young, my intention was to go to medical school. The entrance exam included several questions that would determine eligibility.

    One of the questions was "Rearrange the letters P N E S I to spell out an important part of the human body that is more useful when it is erect."

    Those who spelled "SPINE" became Doctors. The rest ended up in Congress.

    Forwarded by Paula

    A New Zealander just started his own business in Afghanistan.

    He's making land mines that look like prayer mats.

    It's doing well. He says prophets are going through the roof.


    Who's On First? (Abbott and Costello) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6ogFYWUlgA

    Abbott and Costello Explain the Unemployment Rate

    COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America.

    ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It's 8%.

    COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

    ABBOTT: No, that's 15%.

    COSTELLO: You just said 8%.

    ABBOTT: 8% Unemployed.

    COSTELLO: Right 8% out of work.

    ABBOTT: No, that's 15%.

    COSTELLO: Okay, so it's 15% unemployed.

    ABBOTT: No, that's 8%...

    COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 8% or 15%?

    ABBOTT: 8% are unemployed. 15% are out of  work.

    COSTELLO: IF you are out of work you are unemployed.

    ABBOTT: No, you can't count the "Out of Work" as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.


    ABBOTT: No, you miss my point.

    COSTELLO: What point?

    ABBOTT: Someone who doesn't look for work, can't be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn't be fair.

    COSTELLO: To whom?

    ABBOTT: The unemployed.

    COSTELLO: But they are ALL out of work.

    ABBOTT:  No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work stopped looking. They gave up. And, if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

    COSTELLO: So if you're off the unemployment roles, that would count as less unemployment?

    ABBOTT:   Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

    COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don't look for work?

    ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That's how you get to 8%. Otherwise it would be 15%. You don't want to read about 15% unemployment, do ya?

    COSTELLO: That would be frightening..

    ABBOTT: Absolutely.

    COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

    ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

    COSTELLO:  Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

    ABBOTT:  Correct.

    COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

    ABBOTT: Bingo.

    COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to just stop looking for work.

    ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like an economist.

    COSTELLO: I don't even know what the hell I just said!

    ABBOTT: Now you're thinking like a politician.

    Forwarded by Auntie Bev


    DON'T LOOK BELOW FOR THE ANSWERS UNTIL YOU HAVE TRIED IT OUT A TEST FOR 'OLDER' KIDS I was picky who I sent this to. It had to be those who might actually remember. So have some fun my sharp-witted friends. This is a test for us 'older kids'! The answers are printed below, (after the questions) but don't cheat! answer them first.....

    01. After the Lone Ranger saved the day and rode off into the sunset, the grateful citizens would ask, Who was that masked man? Invariably, someone would answer, I don't know, but he left this behind. What did he leave behind?________________.

    02. When the Beatles first came to the U.S. .In early 1964, we all watched them on The _______________ Show.

    03. 'Get your kicks, __________________.'

    04. 'The story you are about to see is true. The names have been changed to ___________________.'

    05. 'In the jungle, the mighty jungle, ________________.'

    06. After the Twist, The Mashed Potato, and the Watusi, we 'danced' under a stick that was lowered as low as we could go in a dance called the '_____________.'

    07. Nestle's makes the very best . .. . . _______________.'

    08. Satchmo was America 's 'Ambassador of Goodwill.' Our parents shared this great jazz trumpet player with us. His name was _________________.

    09. What takes a licking and keeps on ticking? _______________.

    10. Red Skeleton's hobo character was named __________________ and Red always ended his television show by saying, 'Good Night, and '_______ _________.. '

    11. Some Americans who protested the Vietnam War did so by burning their______________.

    12. The cute little car with the engine in the back and the trunk in the front was called the VW. What other names did it go by? ____________ &_______________.

    13.In 1971, singer Don MacLean sang a song about, 'the day the music died.' This was a tribute to ___________________.

    14. We can remember the first satellite placed into orbit. The Russians did it. It was called ___________________.

    15. One of the big fads of the late 50's and 60's was a large plastic ring that we twirled around our waist. It was called the ________________.

    ANSWERS : 01..The Lone Ranger left behind a silver bullet. 02.The Ed Sullivan Show 03..On Route 66 04..To protect the innocent. 05.The Lion Sleeps Tonight 06.The limbo 07.Chocolate 08..Louis Armstrong 09.The Timex watch 10..Freddy, The Freeloader and 'Good Night and God Bless.' 11.Draft cards (Bras were also burned. Not flags, as some have guessed) 12.Beetle or Bug 13.Buddy Holly 14.Sputnik 15.Hoola-hoop

    Forwarded by Paula

    A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, what are all those clocks? St. Peter answered, those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move.

    Oh, said the man, whose clock is that? That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie.

    Incredible, said the man. And whose clock is that one?

    St. Peter responded, That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life'

    Where's are the 2012 U.S. presidential candidates' clocks? asked the man. "Their on my office wall. I'm using them both as ceiling fans.

    Forwarded by Jean and Joan

    APHORISM: A short, pointed sentence expressing a WISE OBSERVATION

    1. The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

    2. Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.

    3. If you don't have a sense of humor, you probably don't have much sense at all.

    4. Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

    5. A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water.

    6. How come it takes so little time for a child who is afraid of the dark to

    become a teenager who wants to stay out all night?

    7. Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how

    many people a company can operate without.

    8. Why is it that at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?

    9. Scratch a cat and you will have a permanent job.

    10. No one has more driving ambition than the boy who wants to buy a car.

    11. There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity.

    12. There are worse things than getting a call that's a wrong number

    at 4 AM. It could be the right number.

    13. No one ever says "it's only a game" when their team is winning.

    14. I've reached the age where happy hour is a nap.

    15. Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it.

    16. The trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the

    same size bucket.

    17. Do you realize that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of

    old ladies running around with tattoos? And rap music will be the Golden Oldies!

    18. Money can't buy happiness -- but somehow it's more comfortable

    to cry in a Corvette than in a Yugo.

    19. After 60, if you don't wake up aching in every joint, you are probably dead!

    20. Always be yourself. Because the people that matter don't mind.

    And the ones that mind don't matter.

    21. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.




    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/

    Online Distance Education Training and Education --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Crossborder.htm
    For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/HigherEdControversies.htm#ForProfitFraud

    Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

    The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

    How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
    "Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
    One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this

    What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

    The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


    Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

    Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

    Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---


    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.

    Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

    CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination
    Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle --- http://cpareviewforfree.com/

    Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at http://iaed.wordpress.com/

    Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

    Bob Jensen's Threads --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.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

    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.

    Accounting  and Taxation News Sites ---


    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://listserv.aaahq.org/cgi-bin/wa.exe?HOME
    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.

    Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, fraud, forensic accounting, auditing, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.


    CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/  (Closed Down)
    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
    FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
    Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 --- http://www.aicpa.org/pubs/jofa/mar2008/smart_stops.htm

    Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.
    The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

    September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker [lister@bonackers.com]
    Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

    I found another listserve that is exceptional -

    CalCPA maintains http://groups.yahoo.com/taxtalk/  and they let almost anyone join it.
    Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

    There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.


    Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

    Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

    Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/TaxTalk/ and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

    Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

    We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

    Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

    If any questions let me know.

    Jim Counts CPA.CITP CTFA
    Hemet, CA
    Moderator TaxTalk





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


    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

    Some Accounting History Sites

    Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory01.htm#AccountingHistory

    Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) --- http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/accountancy/libraries.html
    The above libraries include international accounting history.
    The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

    MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting --- http://maaw.info/

    Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

    Sage Accounting History --- http://ach.sagepub.com/cgi/pdf_extract/11/3/269

    A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
    "The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/105/infocus/p18.htm
    Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- http://www.nysscpa.org/cpajournal/2005/205/index.htm 

    A nice timeline of accounting history --- http://www.docstoc.com/docs/2187711/A-HISTORY-OF-ACCOUNTING

    From Texas A&M University
    Accounting History Outline --- http://acct.tamu.edu/giroux/history.html

    Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

    History of Fraud in America --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm
    Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud.htm

    Bob Jensen's Threads ---

    More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

    All my online pictures --- http://www.cs.trinity.edu/~rjensen/PictureHistory/


    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