Tidbits on February 22, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

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Frosting on the cake costs more in Maryland
As is the case in many states, politicians and educators in Maryland want more undergraduates to finish in four years. So the regents of the University System of Maryland last week adopted a series of new policies designed to encourage that.  The headlines in Maryland focused on the possibility of tuition surcharges for those who exceed certain numbers of credit hours. But the Board of Regents may have more influence with another policy it adopted for its 13 colleges, which collectively enroll nearly 130,000 students.
"The Maryland Blend," Inside Higher Ed, February 22, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/insider/the_maryland_blend 
Jensen Comment:  This article then goes into a strong case for lifelong learning via distance education, which is a medium that is especially advanced in the higher education system in Maryland.


A really bad case of hate at Carnegie Mellon University:  Is this academic freedom?
An appearance by Malik Shabazz at Carnegie Mellon University last week has infuriated Jewish students, who say he not only devoted a university lecture to attacking them, but broke university rules and asked that Jewish students identify themselves as Jews before a hostile audience.  A columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, who managed to stay at the appearance when other journalists were forced to leave, wrote: "Shabazz travels with a retinue of young men and women in jackboots, arm patches and berets. One wandered about with a nightstick. Another snapped photos of white people in the audience.... Try to imagine Farrakhan in Nuremberg."  Shabazz could not be reached for comment Monday. Nor could members of the black student group that organized the appearance. Carnegie Mellon officials said that they tried to persuade the students not to invite Shabazz, who has been criticized as an anti-Semite not only by Jewish organizations but by groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center. But the university decided that its commitment to free expression meant that the students were given the final say.
"Hate at Carnegie Mellon," Inside Higher Ed, February 22, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/insider/hate_at_carnegie_mellon 


A new way of transmitting a flood of information
Want to stay up on the latest news but think Google News is dry and boring? For something a little more visual, try 10x10. The site lets viewers scour the top headlines using photos, which combine to create a broad snapshot of the world every hour on the hour.  News at a glance has never been so literal, thanks to information architect Jonathan Harris, 25, creator of the site. 10x10 takes the most common words from major news outlets like BBC World Edition and New York Times International and couples them with pictures. The site lets users interactively search for the top stories by scrolling over pictures and the words associated with them.
David Cohn, "A Fluid Look at the News," Wired News, February 22, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,66612,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_3 
Jensen Comment:  Click on This is Now at http://www.tenbyten.org/ 
My picture isn't there this morning. (sigh)
Some things about this site are clever, but I have a hard time recognizing many of the pictures.  I also find some that have a picture with blank news.  Might we call these "empty headed?"  There's room for improvement here.


College students are more articulate than expected
Linguists fear that instant messaging and e-mail are responsible for language deteriorating. Others find the medium allows more people to write and report college students are more articulate than expected.

Kristen Philipkoski, "The Web Not the Death of Language," Wired News, February 22, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,66671,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4 


No More Medicaid in Mississippi
Medicaid will no longer exist in the state of Mississippi as of Feb. 28, due to the state’s overspending. This change in health care is causing problems for many citizens depending on the free medicine. According to Michael Boland, a physician at the Baptist Memorial Hospital, as many as 1,500 patients will be affected just from his office alone. Patients have been notified of this situation and are not happy about the change. “They are poor people who can’t afford medicine,” Boland said. Boland is sympathetic to his patients who are stuck in the middle of a bad situation and...

Victoria Hiles, "State to drop Medicaid," The Daily Mississippian, February 18, 2005 --- http://www.thedmonline.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/02/18/42158af9eaf80 
Recall that Tennessee cut way back on Medicaid to avoid bankruptcy.


And you think you're a prolific writer?
To make a case for Mr. Galbraith, now 96, you would have to emphasize the quantity theory of books. His four-dozen average out to a book every two years, including two huge bestsellers, "The Affluent Society" and "The New Industrial State." Paul Samuelson, a Nobel laureate himself, once characterized Mr. Galbraith as "America's foremost economist for noneconomists." It was meant as a put-down, but Mr. Galbraith's royalties must have taken the sting out of it.

Dan Seligman, "Celebrity Central Planning," The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2005, Page D10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110903646601960498,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 
Jensen Comment:  Richard Parker has a new biography on the life, politics, and economics of Harvard's most famous economic professor --- http://snipurl.com/JKGparker 
Two of the world's most famous debaters were John Kenneth Galbraith (liberal) versus William F. Buckley (conservative).  They toured the world with their dog and pony shows, often putting one another down with sharp wits and sharp tongues.  Buckley had a higher opinion of the intelligence and influence of JKG than most economists --- http://www.rationalexplications.com/blog/archives/000212.html 


Soaring demand for economics professors
The growing quest for economic talent is largely a response to market forces. Economics is the leading major at many top schools, including Harvard, where 15% of undergraduates major in the subject. Universities figure top-name professors will help recruit the brightest students.
Timothy Aeppel, "Economists Gain Star Power:  Hot Demand Lifts Salaries, As Elite Universities Seek Big Names," The Wall Street Journal,  February 22, 2005; Page A2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110902759512460268,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one 


A Culture of Deceit
Of all my recent columns, none has drawn as positive a response as "Saving the Air Force" (PostOpinion, Feb. 11). It wasn't a brilliant piece. Just a case of the emperor having no clothes. The tone of the comments from those in uniform and veterans was that it's high time someone called the Air Force to account for the way it brushes aside strategic reality and common sense to buy what it wants, rather than what our security challenges demand. And there's broad disgust at the service's recent procurement scandals.  We're engaged in a deadly, long-term struggle of beliefs with Islamist terrorists, but the Air Force has been hawking a war with China to justify buying the F/A-22 air superiority fighter.

Ralph Peters, "A CULTURE OF DECEIT," New York Post, February 21, 2005 --- http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/40196.htm 


Glass Elevator Shooting for the Moon:  There're no buttons for the first 3,650,000 floors.  
Views are terrific!
From Mars the cable will look like a string on the Earth's balloon.

Bradley C. Edwards, president and founder of Carbon Designs Inc., is the driving force behind the space elevator, a purportedly safer and cheaper form of transporting explorers and payloads into space. Although the idea has appeared in both technical and fictional literature for decades, the drive to bring it to reality belongs to Edwards. A cable extending from the Earth’s surface to outer space is kept under tension by the competing forces of gravity on Earth and the outward rotational acceleration of the planet in space. Once the cable is aloft, the elevator will be ascended by mechanical means.
"Elevator Into Space," February 21, 2005 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1347760/posts 


If it sounds too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true!
Federal tax deductions that people receive for paying local and state taxes have quietly started to vanish for many households.  The culprit is a once-obscure federal tax provision known as the alternative minimum tax, which was created in 1969 to ensure that a relatively small number of wealthy people did not use loopholes to avoid paying taxes.  But it is increasingly being applied to families with incomes of $75,000 to $250,000 a year who claim relatively high deductions - like the ones for property taxes, state and local income taxes - and the exemption for children. When it does apply, it cancels some of those deductions.
David Leonhardt, "Case of Vanishing Deductions: Alternative Tax Called Culprit, The New York Times, February 21, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/NYTtaxFeb21


You've got to understand that fuel prices soared in Minneapolis:  Coaches in shorts gotta keep warm somehow!
Southern Methodist University holds a special, and ignominious, place in National Collegiate Athletic Association history, as the group's most-punished sports program and the only institution ever to receive the "death penalty."  In one fell swoop, the University of Minnesota could become SMU's equal.  The university's athletics department announced Friday that it had suspended two men's tennis coaches with pay after concluding an investigation into possible wrongdoing in the tennis program. Minnesota said that it had turned over the results of its investigation to the NCAA, and that it expected the association to begin its own inquiry tomorrow.  The NCAA placed Minnesota on probation for four years in 2000 and imposed a set of other penalties on the men's basketball program.

"More Trouble in Minnesota," Inside Higher Ed, February 21, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/insider/more_trouble_in_minnesota 


Colby College students get lectured and loosened on Friday nights
At many colleges, concern about alcohol abuse has led to complete bans on consumption on campus.  Colby College has announced a different approach: It has added beer and wine to the menu of the campus dining hall on selected Friday nights. Only students of legal drinking age can consume. Alcohol-related programming -- such as a lecture by the owner of the Allagash brewery about his Belgian-style beers -- also has been added in the dining halls.

"Educational Drinking," Inside Higher Ed, February 15, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/insider/educational_drinking 


It Cost More Than Peanuts:  Nobel Peace Prize Winner Now Armed With Torpedoes
The USS Jimmy Carter enters the Navy's fleet as the most heavily armed submarine ever built, and as the last of the Seawolf class of attack subs that the Pentagon ordered during the Cold War's final years. The $3.2 billion Jimmy Carter will be commissioned Saturday, signaling the end of an era in submarining and more uncertain times for the multibillion-dollar industry.
"USS Jimmy Carter to Be Commissioned," ABC News, February 19, 2005 --- http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=514435 


Three cheers for Satan
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth and populated the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives. Then using God's great gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Kreme Donuts. And Satan said, "You want chocolate with that?" And Man said, Yes!" and Woman said, "and as long as you're at it, add some sprinkles." And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled.

"In the Beginning," Free Republic, February 22, 2005 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1348505/posts 

What did you say his name is?
Yet he was also part of a century-old tradition in American letters, the tradition of Mark Twain, Artemus Ward and Petroleum V. Nasby, comic writers who mined the human comedy of a new chapter in the history of the West, namely, the American story, and wrote in a form that was part journalism and part personal memoir admixed with powers of wild invention, and wilder rhetoric inspired by the bizarre exuberance of a young civilization. No one categorization covers this new form unless it is Hunter Thompson's own word, gonzo. If so, in the 19th century Mark Twain was king of all the gonzo-writers. In the 20th century it was Hunter Thompson, whom I would nominate as the century's greatest comic writer in the English language.
Tom Wolfe, "The 20th Century's Greatest Comic Writer in English'," The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2005, Page D10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110903593760860492,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal 

One of Satan's success stories
The next time I saw Hunter was in June of 1976 at the Aspen Design Conference in Aspen, Colo. By now Hunter had bought a large farm near Aspen where he seemed to raise mainly vicious dogs and deadly weapons, such as the .357 magnum. He publicized them constantly as a warning to those, Hell's Angels presumably, who had been sending him death threats. I invited him to dinner at a swell restaurant in Aspen and a performance at the Big Tent, where the conference was held. My soon-to-be wife, Sheila, and I gave the waitress our dinner orders. Hunter ordered two banana daiquiris and two banana splits. Once he had finished them off, he summoned the waitress, looped his forefinger in the air and said, "Do it again." Without a moment's hesitation he downed his third and fourth banana daiquiris and his third and fourth banana splits, and departed with a glass of Wild Turkey bourbon in his hand.

Tom Wolfe, "The 20th Century's Greatest Comic Writer in English'," The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2005, Page D10 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110903593760860492,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal 


Who are the Wall Street's bonus babies?  Bet on white and male!
Overwhelmingly they are involved in securities and investments, according to an analysis of Census and other data. They either help make markets, make sales, make deals, or give advice ? brokers, investment bankers, traders, financial analysts, financial advisers, portfolio managers, and a few chief executive officers.  Finance-related jobs are significantly better paying than other positions;  93% of those making over $347,000 are white while 86% are male.
Andrew Beveridge, "Wall Street Bonus Babies," Gotham Gazette, January 2005 --- http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/demographics/20050128/5/1306 


Report Scolds Colleges
"Many academic leaders feel compelled to chase revenues and rankings rather than to focus their efforts on providing a high-quality education," says the report, "Correcting Course: How We Can Restore the Ideals of Public Higher Education in a Market-Driven Era," issued by the Futures Project, a higher education research group based at Brown University.  The report scolds colleges for spending money on things of limited educational value, while not investing enough money in teaching and in student aid for those from low-income families. "Institutions of all kinds of have splurged on state-of-the-art computer labs, luxury dormitories, and sparkling new gymnasiums to lure the best, brightest and most affluent students," the report says. "Financial aid packages are increasingly used as a competitive tool, designed to reduce the sticker price for students with high test scores and GPAs, rather than to ease the burden for those with financial need."

"The Drive for Revenues and Rankings," Inside Higher Ed, February 18, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/insider/the_drive_for_revenues_and_rankings 


We want the facts to fit the preconceptions. When they don't, it is easier to ignore the facts than to change the preconceptions.
Jassamyn West as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-02-17-05.htm 

Avoid Conclusions That Might be Harmful to Business Interests
The issue of integrity in science, academia, and public life is nothing new. However, the events of recent weeks perhaps argue for a renewed examination of what constitutes scientific, academic, and political integrity. The IP has in mind recent revelations that more than 200 scientists working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been pressured by management to alter their findings on endangered species in order to avoid conclusions that might be harmful to business interests; revelations that a high-visibilty, activist professor at the University of Colorado may have embellished the facts in some of his published work; and the recent revelation that the cost of the Medicare drug benefit is turning out to be much higher than originally claimed by those in the Bush Administration who pressured a civil service actuary to low ball the estimate that was given to Congress at the time the plan was up for a vote.

Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-02-17-05.htm 


Early Roots of Academic Freedom
This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Development of Academic Freedom in the United States by Richard Hofstadter and Walter P. Metzger, published by Columbia University Press. It has long been out of print. But circumstances have had the unfortunate effect of making it timely again. Locating a copy is worth the trouble, and once you do, the book proves just about impossible to put down . . . On the final page of The Development of Academic Freedom in the United States, his collaborator writes, "One cannot but be but be appalled at the slender thread by which it hangs.... one cannot but be disheartened by the cowardice and self-deception that frail men use who want to be both safe and free." It is a book worth re-reading now -- not as a celebration, but as a warning.

Scott McLemee, "Academic Freedom, Then and Now," Inside Higher Ed, February 17, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/intellectual_affairs__5 


Wanted:  More Gays
Five years after Britain lifted its ban on gays in the military, the Royal Navy has begun actively encouraging them to enlist and has pledged to make life easier when they do. The navy announced Monday that it had asked Stonewall, a group that lobbies for gay rights, to help it develop better strategies for recruiting and retaining gay men and lesbians. It said, too, that one strategy may be to advertise for recruits in gay magazines and newspapers. Commodore Paul Docherty, director of naval life management, said the service wanted to change the atmosphere so...

Sarah Lyall, The New York Times, February 22, 2005


National health care has its own problems
The family of a 94-year-old widow who died days after a 34-hour wait on a hospital trolley have spoken of their upset at the way she way treated. Bernard Edwards' aunt Phyllis was suffering from pneumonia when she arrived at casualty at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff. Her family said she lay for hours among drunk patients and others with minor injuries, and died a few days later. A hospital spokesman said pressures at the unit remained "significant". Mr Edwards, from Cardiff, said he complained repeatedly but staff were unable to find a bed for her
"Late widow's 34 hours on trolley," BBC News, February 22, 2005 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/4287073.stm 


They weren't working solely in their clients' best interest.
The study was instigated by Steven D. Levitt, a self-described "rogue economist" who has applied the analytical tools of his trade to everything from sumo wrestlers to drug-dealing gangs; his work is cataloged in the forthcoming book "Freakonomics," written with Stephen J. Dubner.  Professor Levitt had fixed up and sold several houses in Oak Park, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. When working with real estate agents, he said, "I got the impression they weren't working solely in their clients' best interest."
Daniel Gross, "Why a Real Estate Agent May Skip the Extra Mile," The New York Times, February 20, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/20/business/yourmoney/20view.html 
Jensen Comment:  Steven Levitt is a terrific economics professor at the University of Chicago.  You can get a list of his publications at http://www.src.uchicago.edu/users/levit/ 
Over the course of the history of America, real estate fraud has been the most prevalent kind of fraud.  See Bob Jensen's history of fraud in America at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/415wp/AmericanHistoryOfFraud.htm 


We knew this back on the farm:  The longer you sit in an outhouse, the less it smells.
Now she thinks she has come up with just about the perfect material for taking the stink out of sludge - sludge itself. She starts with fertilizer pellets that the New York Organic Fertilizer Company in the Bronx makes from the city's treated sludge.
Anthony DePalma, "Secret Weapon Against the Smell of Sludge?" The New York Times, February 21, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/21/science/21sludge.html


Our Forgotten Goddess
The history of libertarianism has played out in the catacombs of standard American intellectual history. And so, even after an age of feminist theory and history, it is little noted that in 1943 three foundational documents of modern libertarianism were issued, as the journalist John Chamberlain put it, by “three women—Mrs. [Isabel] Paterson, Rose Wilder Lane, and Ayn Rand—who, with scornful side glances at the male business community, had decided to rekindle a faith in an older American philosophy. There wasn’t an economist among them. And none of them was a Ph.D.”

Brian Doherty, "Our Forgotten Goddess," ReasonOnLine, February 2005 --- http://www.reason.com/0502/cr.bd.our.shtml 
This is a review of The Woman and the Dynamo: Isabel Paterson and the Idea of America, by Stephen Cox, New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 418 pages, $39.95.


The Juche Philosophy Is an Original Revolutionary Philosophy
Leader Kim Jong Il's famous work "The Juche Philosophy Is an Original Revolutionary Philosophy" was brought out in booklet by the Sweden-Korea Friendship Association. The work, published on July 26, Juche 85 (1996), makes a scientific analysis of the limitation of the time when the preceding philosophy was set out and the originality of the Juche philosophy. It clarifies the idea that the Juche philosophy serves as a revolutionary philosophy and a political philosophy of the Workers' Party of Korea and principled issues arising in studying and explaining the Juche philosophy.
"Kim Jong Il's Work Published in Sweden," Korean News, February 17, 2005 --- http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2005/200502/news02/19.htm#1 


"There is no one biological parameter that clearly defines sex," added Dr. Eric Vilain of the University of California, Los Angeles, whose research suggests gender is genetically hard-wired into the brain before birth — regardless of which genitalia develop.
"Mommy, Am I A Boy Or A Girl?" CBS News, February 20, 2005 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/02/18/tech/main675080.shtml 


Pretending you know more than you do, pretending you are more important than someone else
Cox liked the rhythm of life in Maine. He would take time off, mid-morning, to cut flowers from the garden outside his office. He liked its philosophy of life, too: "Maine culture derided pretense," he writes, "pretending you know more than you do, pretending you are more important than someone else."

Russ Smith in a WSJ (February 18 review of the review of the following book.--- http://snipurl.com/JournalismMatters JOURNALISM MATTERS By Peter W. Cox (Tilbury House, 384 pages, $20)


Harvard's Slobbering Dog
Our Rottweiler, Larry, has been very confrontational since we moved him back to Cambridge from Washington a few summers ago. He's not nice around the kids, and even worse with the staff in our office. He attacks anything that comes near him, and it's ceasing to be endearing. He's also developed some bad manners: He slobbers all over the place, and he's messy when he eats. What would you recommend? Would castration help?

Carl, Cambridge, Mass., as reported in the Boston Globe, February 18, 2005 --- http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2005/02/18/larry_means_well/ 

In a last ditch effort to save his job, Harvard University President Larry Summers today compared female professors of math and science to Nazis, in a fashion reminiscent of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill's characterization of 9/11 victims. "Female math and science professors form a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire," Mr. Summers said, paraphrasing Mr. Churchill. "These little Eichmanns drive the mighty engine of profit to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved - and they do so both willingly and knowingly." The Harvard faculty greeted the statement with a standing...
ScrappleFace, February 22, 2005 --- http://www.scrappleface.com/MT/archives/002080.html 
Jensen Comment:  I don't need you on this one Richard Sansing.


This has got to be bull
Australian scientists have cloned the world's first cow using a new research method called serial nuclear transfer (SNT), Xinhua reports.  The Hostein-Friesian calf, named Brandy, created by scientists at the Monash Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and the Genetics Australia Cooperative, was born just before last Christmas.
"World's first cow cloned using new technique," Webindia.com, February 17, 2005 --- http://www.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=67379&cat=Science 


Lure of the Campus:  After losing an election, Gore went to Columbia University.  John Edwards went to UNC
John Edwards, former U.S. senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have opened a "Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity." Housed in the law school, the center will be directed by Edwards, a newly minted "university professor," and will include an advisory committee of senior UNC faculty from multiple disciplines. A UNC Chapel Hill news release asserted that the center would be a "nonpartisan initiative." According to The Daily Tar Heel, the student newspaper, university trustees had been briefed on negotiations with Edwards and "voiced their wish that the initiative be nonpartisan."...

Tom Ashcroft, Charlotte Observer, February 19, 2005 


Forged and manipulated scientific facts 
Panel says professor of human origins made up data, plagiarized works A flamboyant anthropology professor, whose work had been cited as evidence Neanderthal man once lived in Northern Europe, has resigned after a German university panel ruled he fabricated data and plagiarized the works of his colleagues. Reiner Protsch von Zieten, a Frankfurt university panel ruled, lied about the age of human skulls, dating them tens of thousands of years old, even though they were much younger, reports Deutsche Welle. "The commission finds that Prof. Protsch has forged and manipulated scientific facts over the past 30 years," the university said.
..
FreeRepublic, February 19, 2005 --- http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1346676/posts 


Fired by Google
The blog ( http://99zeros.blogspot.com ), which Jen naively thought would mainly interest his friends and family, became extremely popular. (Its single-day record is about 60,000 unique visitors.) This was a far cry from Jen's previous technically-oriented blog, which he published while working for 18 months at Microsoft (Profile, Products, Articles) Corp.'s Redmond, Washington, headquarters before moving to San Francisco to join Google. He quickly found out there is a large audience in the so-called blogosphere interested in a view of life inside Google.
Juan Carlos Perez, InfoWorld, February 16, 2005 --- http://www.infoworld.com/article/05/02/16/HNgoogleblog_1.html 


A lesser threat
The European view was perhaps best summed up by Mr. Bush's host on the first leg of his trip, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, who wrote in an op-ed piece in the Financial Times in February 2003: "As long as we Europeans feel threatened, the use of war and weapons can more or less be justified....As long as Soviet divisions could reach the Rhine in 48 hours, we obviously had a blood brotherhood with our cousins overseas. But now that the Cold War is over, we can express more freely our differences of opinion."  Al Qaeda and its ilk, in other words, are not, at least in Mr. Verhofstadt's view, a threat on the order of the Soviet tanks once arrayed on the eastern end of the Fulda Gap. Of course, as George Melloan notes in a related commentary, there was no unanimity of opinion in Europe on how to face that threat even then.

"Explaining the War," The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110904106408260564,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 


Bloggers are a "lynch mob" of "salivating morons"
Blog flap. Here's the retroframing: Some mainstream media fell back on their traditional view of bloggers as inaccurate, upstart nobodies who dare to criticize their betters. Last week, for instance, the New York Times, which had looked the other way for two weeks, ran a story dripping with disdain. Headlined "Bloggers as News Media Trophy Hunters," it offered a simple-minded view of bloggers as wild conservatives out to collect liberal scalps. The story was laced with quotes assuring us that bloggers are a "lynch mob" of "salivating morons," fanning fears of "the growing power of rampant, unedited dialogue" on the Internet (as opposed to the completely reliable and unrampant reports in mainstream media).
John Leo, "Making media accountable," Jewish World Review, February 21, 2005 --- http://cweb.jewishworldreview.com/cols/leo022105.asp 


Europe Teems With Web Dailies That Twit the Mainstream Press
The Web is a sprawling space that has spawned new breeds of digital press gadflies like the Rojos and an assortment of self-appointed cybermonitors of the conventional news media in Europe. Across the world, their sharp comments can provoke an array of reactions: amusement, insults, public outrage, blunt legal threats. Yet these Web sites and Web logs, or blogs, are scoured by policy makers and the political elite.  "It's a phenomenon that has grown very much," said Mónica Ridruejo, a former member of the European Parliament who runs her own media consulting firm, Dragonaria, in Madrid. "People like to see the scoops there, and everyone talks about them at lunchtime."
Doreen Carvajal, "Europe Teems With Web Dailies That Twit the Mainstream Press," The New York Times, February 21, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/21/business/worldbusiness/21rags.html 


Say what? Common Cause?
The governor did get sharp questions from the group over his proposal to reform the incumbent-protection gerrymander imposed on California in 2001. But his plan also collected a surprise endorsement from the liberal group Common Cause. Leaving town, Mr. Schwarzenegger could claim not only that he faced down entrenched elected officials of his own party, but also had reached across the ideological divide.

John Fund, "Political Diary," The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110904145277260575,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 


New News at Emory University
Although she said the Wheel has expanded its coverage of “gay news” this year, she thinks gay students need advocacy as much as attention. Her publication, referred to as E.Vo, has received the blessings of many top administrators, including University President James W. Wagner, as well as support from the student-run Media Council.  Then there is The Emory Phoenix, an online publication marketing itself as Emory’s version of Atlanta’s alternative tabloid Creative Loafing and offering a limitless space to students who want to write magazine-length feature stories. College senior Paul Forrest, who conceived of the project last fall along with several of his friends, said about 50 students have expressed interest in joining the Phoenix, which plans to post its first stories on www.emoryphoenix.com  next week.

Robbie Brown, "Student journalists plan to launch 2 newspapers," The Emory Wheel Online, February 18, 2005 --- http://www.emorywheel.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/02/18/42152992b3b69 


Painting the Red States (read that Evangelicals) Blue
Mr. Dean said at a press conference after his acceptance speech that he would be embarking on a nationwide party-rebuilding crusade to reach out to pivotal parts of the electorate that the Democrats have been losing, including Catholics and evangelicals, whose support has been a key factor in the Republicans' victories, particularly in rural America. "We are definitely going to do religious outreach. We're definitely going to reach out to the evangelical community," he said.
Donald Lambro, "Dean: Democrats will 'stand up for what we believe', reach out to evangelicals," Insight on the News. February 17, 2005


Painting the Red States (read that pro life) Blue
Say What?  Is this consistent with her previous position on this controversial issue?

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York says abortions, ideally, should be performed "only in very rare circumstances."
Dick Pohlman, ""Dems reworking abortion message," Biloxi Sun Herald, February 20, 2005 --- http://www.sunherald.com/mld/sunherald/10946467.htm 
Jensen Comment:  I personally preferred the previous Democratic Party position on abortion.


Painting the blue states pale
Massachusetts was once a favorite of the national environmental movement, passing some of the country's strongest laws to protect its air, water, and land. But today, after 15 years of budget cuts, it is failing to deliver key services. Across the state, the results are apparent: almost $800 million in deferred park maintenance, a shortage of rangers and environmental police officers in state parks, and less attention to identifying hazardous waste sites, keeping streams and rivers clean, monitoring mercury contamination, and cutting levels of acid rain.
Beth Daley, "Green movement pales in Bay State," Boston Globe, February 21, 2005 --- http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2005/02/21/green_movement_pales_in_bay_state/ 


As Johnnie Carson would say, "That must've been really inexpensive."
"British Historian Discovers Couple Married 81 Years, a Record," Weird News, February 17, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/Married81years 


This time the U.S. army is not involved
The standoff in Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkariya region, was the latest in a series of confrontations between law-enforcement authorities and alleged extremists in the volatile North Caucasus region, which includes Chechnya.  Last month, security forces killed seven alleged Islamic extremists in the same city in a two-day battle with members of the so-called Yarmuk group.

"Russia forces 'surround militants'," CNN, February 19, 2005 --- http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/europe/02/19/russia.militants.ap/index.html 


For Dick Tracy Wannbees
Compared with other Palm devices, the Wrist PDA isn't so hot: It runs the older Palm OS 4 and offers less than eight megabytes of memory, specs comparable to four-year-old models. (Had it shipped last summer as originally planned, it might not have looked quite as archaic.)

Anthony Zurcher, "Wrist PDA, More Novelty Than Utility," The Washington Post, February 20, 2005 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37123-2005Feb19.html 


The left side can get away with this
Howard Dean said that the only way the Republicans could get so many African Americans to turn up at an event like this was if they invited the hotel staff.

Michael Gowenda, "Loose-lips Dean fires up both sides of politics," The Sydney Morning Herald, February 19, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/02/18/1108709439177.html 


Federal Workers Have a Savings Plan
The personal investment accounts that are the centerpiece of the Bush administration's Social Security proposal would be modeled after a popular federal retirement savings plan that offers a mix of index funds with microscopic administrative fees.  The Thrift Savings Plan is similar to the 401(k) plans many private companies offer their employees. More than 3.4 million federal civilian employees, postal workers and members of the armed services participate in the plan, which had more than $152 billion in assets at the end of 2004.  There are two reasons the federal plan is an appealing role model for personal savings accounts, benefits experts say. (From USA Today)
Tennesean.com, February 5, 2005 --- http://tennessean.com/business/archives/05/01/65265212.shtml?Element_ID=65265212 


Don't you wish life were like that?
In the Woody Allen movie "Annie Hall" a character is sounding off about the Canadian media theorist Marshall MacLuhan when the subject himself appears and says: "Excuse me, I'm Marshall MacLuhan. You know nothing of my work." Woody Allen then turns to the audience and asks, "don't you wish life were like that?"

"An 'Annie Hall' Moment," The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110867882251758232,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 


Expensive Sketch Pads:  Do you suppose their wives will one day sell this art in garage sales?
A strip club in Idaho has found an artful way to prance past a city law that prohibits nudity. On its "art club nights", the Erotic City strip club charges $US15 ($19) for a sketch pad, pencil and a chance to see naked women dancers.  In 2001 the Boise City Council passed an ordinance banning total nudity in public unless it had "serious artistic merit" - an exemption meant to apply to plays, dance performances and art classes. "We have a lot of people drawing some very good pictures," said Erotic City's owner, Chris Teague, who has posted drawings around the club.
"The Art of Getting Naked," Sidney Morning Herald, February 19, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/02/18/1108709439267.html 


It is nothing to die; it is frightful not to live.
Victor Hugo

From the Opinion Journal on February 18, 2005

The Grim Reapers 
"U.S. Sees Dead People on Farm Subsidy Roles"--headline, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 16

But Aren't They in the Same Boat?
"Husband Banned From Rowing With Wife"--headline, ITN, Feb. 16

What Would Experts Do Without Panda Poo?
"Panda Poo Excites Experts"--headline, Xinhua Online, Feb. 17


"School for Scandal," The Economist, February 17, 2005 --- http://www.economist.com/opinion/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3667863 

A stout defence of the virtues of economics from a publication called The Economist would hardly be a surprise. But, in fact, this is not necessary to refute the claim that business schools are responsible for moral turpitude at the top of corporate America. As it happens, most of the erstwhile corporate leaders currently appearing in the dock never went near one (see article), whereas many acknowledged champions of business ethics, such as Lou Gerstner at IBM, did.

What's more, many of the top business schools have taken steps to offset any ethically desensitising influence there may have been in their MBA coursework. They have greatly expanded their teaching of business ethics—some by introducing special courses, others in more memorable ways. Tuck School of Business, for example, persuades an ex-convict to come every year to tell its MBA students of his regrets.

Continued in the article.




February 18, 2005 message from Joanne Tweed [ibridges@san.rr.com
Joanne is 76 years old!

Hi Bob,

America's seniors are being cheated of their life's savings by securities Broker/Dealers. 
SENIORS AGAINST SECURITIES FRAUD http://seniorsagainstsecuritiesfraud.com  offers supportive educational links and solutions. Please consider linking.

Most Sincerely,
Joanne Tweed

It's been proven, there is life after death
Identity theft isn't among the risks of medical treatment -- such as infection -- listed on the standard release form that patients sign. But there's evidence that identity thieves are starting to target medical patients. 
Kevin Helliker, "A New Medical Worry: Identity Thieves Find Ways To Target Hospital Patients," The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2005, Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110902598126260237,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal 

Just this weekend, the University of Chicago Hospitals reported that a former employee had stolen identity information from as many as 85 patients. In recent years, rings of thieves stole the identities of more than 15 such patients in Iowa, 30 in Minnesota and nearly 50 in Indiana. During the past two years, the state of Michigan has prosecuted more than 20 cases involving medical-patient identity theft, many involving multiple victims, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says.

Hospital patients are vulnerable in part because they are unlikely to detect anything amiss. Some may never leave the hospital. A team of alleged identity thieves arrested in 2003 in New Jersey were targeting the terminally ill, according to police.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on identity theft and phishing are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm#SpecialSection

For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidits:  Tidbits Directory --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

 

Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
Jesse H. Jones Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
Voice: 210-999-7347 Fax: 210-999-8134  Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu  

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