Tidbits on March 2, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

For earlier editions of New Bookmark s go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm 
Archives of Tidits:  Tidbits Directory --- 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.
This search engine may get you some hits from other professors at Trinity University included with Bob Jensen's documents, but this may be to your benefit.

Ten things Bob Jensen's done that nobody else has done
http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits022605.htm#TenThings


Yet another hit on women
Why so few women chess masters? America's top female player ponders the question.
But Ms. Polgar is not someone who sees the two sexes as the same. "I think women are built differently and approach life very differently," she told me. And in a 2002 column for ChessCafe.com, she took on what might now be called the Lawrence Summers question. "If we talk about pure abilities and skills, I believe there should be no reason why women cannot play as well as men," Ms. Polgar wrote, but she went on to list various reasons that more female players have not reached chess's highest ranks -- among them their biological clocks, narrower opportunities to compete, cultural and gender bias, and the fact that "for years, women have set much lower standards" for themselves in chess than men. "If you do not put in the same work, you can't compete at the same level," she said then
Barbara D. Phillips, "Envoy From the Sport of Kings And Queens, Bishops, Knights," The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2005; Page D9 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110964485701166720,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 


Gasp!  When those pharaoh ants come marching in
Researchers say if you see ants in the house, then they should be taken into consideration if anyone has breathing problems.  Many insects (including cockroaches) have been reported to contribute to respiratory problems. Now, the pharaoh ant joins the ranks of suspect insects.  The tiny, yellow pharaoh ant came from the tropics but can now be found just about everywhere, having been carried throughout the inhabited world, say the researchers. The ants live indoors for warmth.  "Pharaoh ants nest in secluded spots and favor temperatures between 80-86 degrees Fahrenheit," according to the University of Nebraska web site.  "These ants are frequent house invaders, often found around kitchen and bathroom faucets where they obtain water."  Researchers Cheol-Woo Kim, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that pharaoh ants were responsible for asthma in two middle-aged women . . . 
Miranda Hitti, "Ants Can Cause Asthma, Allergies," WebMDHealth, February 25, 2005 --- http://my.webmd.com/content/article/101/106095.htm?z=1728_00000_1000_tn_01 
Jensen Comment:  We owned a home in San Antonio for 20 years.  Every winter something triggered the march of the Pharaoh ants.  It only happened for a few days each winter, but they were almost microscopic and became so thick that they almost looked like running water on counters and sinks.  Ant traps in kitchen and bathroom electrical outlets helped somewhat, but I think it was mostly a matter of the ants marching to their own tunes that turned them on and off.. My wife was a vigorous Pharaoh fighter.  Fortunately, none of us noticed any breathing difficulties arising from the march of the Pharaohs.  


Audio interviews with familiar news anchors are online (who competed for an amazing 21 years)
Also highlights some funny bloopers.  And then there's Rev. Sharpton alleging that the Nation of Islam in the U.S. has nothing to do with Islam.

This week in the magazine, Ken Auletta profiles Dan Rather on the eve of his departure from the ďCBS Evening News.Ē On October 2, 2004, Auletta moderated a panel discussion with Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Peter Jennings, in the Celeste Bartos Forum of the New York Public Library, as part of the sixth annual New Yorker Festival. Here, in three parts, is a recording of that conversation. 
"The Three Anchors," The New Yorker, February 28, 2005 --- http://www.newyorker.com/online/covers/index.ssf?050307onco_covers_gallery 

Listen to part one of the conversation.

Listen to part two of the conversation.

Listen to part three of the conversation.


This statistic surprised me:  Fear of the outside versus reality of the inside
Suicides outnumber homicides in the United States, and some 90 percent of people who kill themselves suffer from a diagnosable and preventable problem such as depression, a top mental health official said Monday.  Charles Curie, who heads the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said suicides in the United States run at about 80 a day or more than 29,000 a year, three for each two homicides.
"Suicides Outnumber Homicides," CBS News, March 1, 2005 --- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/01/health/main677132.shtml 


Say what?  "If you construct a career raging against the system, you canít stop raging just because the system has accepted you."
ďTo live outside the law, you must be honest.Ē Thompson, like a lot of people in the sixties and seventies, interpreted Dylanís famous apothegm to mean that in order to be honest you must live outside the law. By the time the fallacy in this reading became obvious, his persona, thanks in part to the Uncle Duke figure in Garry Trudeauís comic strip, but largely because of his own efforts, was engraved in pop-culture stone. Itís an occupational hazard: if you construct a career raging against the system, you canít stop raging just because the system has accepted you, or has ceased to care or to pay attention. The anger needs someplace to go. At its best, in the Nixon era, Thompsonís anger, in writing, was a beautiful thing, fearless and funny and, after all, not wrong about the shabbiness and hypocrisy of American officialdom. It belonged to a time when journalists believed that fearlessness and humor and honesty could make a difference; and itís sad to be reminded that the time in which such a faith was possible has probably passed.
Louis Menand, "Believer," The New Yorker, February 28, 2005 --- http://www.newyorker.com/talk/content/index.ssf?050307ta_talk_menand 


Now it's almost certain there'll be a remake of the movie about the Hole in the Wall Gang 
(remember Butch and Sundance and their Hole in the Wall Gang )

Two Turkish prison inmates who drilled a nine centimetre (3.6 inch) aperture between their cells, enabling them to have sexual relations in prison that produced a child, received four-month sentences for damaging public property.
Weird News, February 28, 2005 --- http://weird-news.news.designerz.com/ 
Jensen Comment:  These two murderers were convicted of planting a bomb in a public market.  Prison guards should've been  more suspicious of how Kadriye Fikret Oget could her hat on her cell's cement wall.


From MIT:  Technology Review Index
Technology Review, of course, is all about the future, and the companies and people involved in the innovation that will get us there. It is in that spirit that we introduce the Technology Review Index, which includes the TR Large-Cap 100 and its sibling, the TR Small-Cap 50. Developed in conjunction with Standard and Poors, these global equity indices will serve as our own in-house gauge of the pulse of innovation at 150 of the worlds most important public companies.  Our two indices will track both the most powerful innovators and the up-and-comers in the 10 most innovative industries of the global economy. The performance of these indices will be updated daily on our online platform at www.technologyreview.com/TRIndex .
Duff McDonald, 'Introducing the Technology Review Index," MIT's Technology Review, March 2005 --- http://www2.technologyreview.com/articles/05/02/trindex/tri_mcdonald021105.asp 


There are no facts, but only interpretations.
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 


Sarbanes Oxley Blues
What the business world now calls SOX is a law passed that forces auditing firms to provide better audits at a substantially increased cost to their clients.  We now have a new song that is not exactly a celebration of SOX.

From: Mike Kennelley [mailto:MKennell@jbu.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, March 01, 2005 8:24 AM
To: escribne@nmsu.edu
Subject: Sarbanes-Oxley Blues

If you haven't heard this one, turn on those speakers and enjoy . . . 

http://www.headwatersmb.com/content/audio_02.html


Pull your SOX up boss (remember Marlon Brando in Teahouse of the August Moon)
More than 500 public companies have reported deficiencies with their internal accounting controls under a controversial new federal rule -- a figure sure to feed the continuing debate about the cost and usefulness of recent efforts to strengthen corporate governance.  To backers, the volume of disclosures demonstrates that the new rule, part of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-accountability law, is pushing a lot of U.S. companies into line. But business groups complain that it's costing them a lot of money and effort to turn up deficiencies that in most cases are inconsequential.
Deborah Solomon, "Accounting Rule Exposes Problems But Draws Complaints About Costs," The Wall Street Journal,  March 2, 2005; Page A1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110971840422767575,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us 
Bob Jensen's threads on reforms are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudProposedReforms.htm 


UNC student badly beaten:  Hate crime
Police say an attack on a gay student who was beaten by a gang of six or seven men was a hate crime, but no witnesses have come forward to help investigators. The victim suffered broken bones but wasn't hospitalized, police said. His attackers, described as six or seven white males around the age of 20, have not been identified. The student was walking alone around 2 a.m. Friday near the intersection of Franklin and Columbia streets when he was taunted by the group of ...
"Police: UNC student's beating a hate crime," News-Record, March 1, 2005 --- http://www.news-record.com/news/now/uncbeating_030105.htm 


Big Spenders Managing Our 50 States
The longer a Republican stays in office the more likely he will be a big spender.  The rankings cover all of a governor's time in office. George Pataki's B would drop to a C without his first term, when he slashed New York taxes. He has since increased spending so much that a huge tax increase passed over his veto. If Bill Owens were judged just by his recent attempts to alter Colorado's tax limitation law, he would not be considered A material. Florida's Jeb Bush, who earned an A two years ago, has slipped to a B after endorsing more bloated budgets. Finally, we'll note the bipartisan nature of Cato's F students: Republican Bob Taft of Ohio and Democrat Edward Rendell of Pennsylvania.
"Grading the Governors," The Wall Street Journal,  March 1, 2005; Page A18 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110964266317966659,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 
Jensen Comment:  This article ranks and grades all 50 governors.  Rick Perry from Texas comes in at Rank 12 with a B grade.  The two F grades are assigned to Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania) and Bob Taft (Ohio).  The Girlie Boy from La La Land heads the list with an A grade.


And this is where the "Big Spenders" get a lot of your money (but not in New Hampshire --- hip hip hooray)
The 2004 Sales Tax Rate Report released by Vertex Inc., shows the average sales tax rate in 2004 reached a record high of 8.587 percent, up from 8.5336 percent in 2003. This increase completes a four- year upward trend in the average sales tax rate that began in 1999 when the average rate was 8.231 percent. "Local jurisdictions continue to function with less federal and state funding and look to sales tax rate increases as one method to help fill the gap for local program financing," says Diana DiBello, Director of Tax at Vertex. "The high number of tax decreases are tied mainly to election year politics but were not enough to lower the overall effective tax rate."
"Average Combined Sales Tax Rate Reaches Record Level," AccountingWeb, February 24, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=100573 


But those of us in New Hampshire aren't "tickled" by this report
A study conducted by Tickle Inc., an online career assessment testing company, has found workers in the Northeast fall far below other regions in many key areas of job satisfaction. Survey results show overall job happiness is strongly tied to a healthy work-life balance and strong company leadership. New England falls far below the national average in both categories, while the Midwest and South lead the country in both areas. Tickle's study also found that women maintain a healthier work-life balance than men and are therefore more satisfied in their jobs.
"Study Reveals Midwest and South Offer Best Work-Life Balance," AccountingWeb, February 28, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=100562 
Jensen Comment


Hurricane winds recycling the snow:
Those in New Hampshire aren't especially "tickled" by the Mt. Washington weather review for March 1
(sure glad I'm teaching in Texas at the moment)

Snow came in later then expected, with the first flake falling just after one this morning. I didn't actually observe the first flake, for it brought many wind blown friends. Temperatures have been varying all night, ranging from two to twelve degrees. Winds from the East are driving snow through every crack of the building, though I think that is the only point of accumulation. At last observation, I didn't see any of this snow actually sitting on the observation deck, as hurricane force winds have escorted it off the summit, though I'm not worried. We'll reacquaint ourselves soon enough, once the winds shift back to our prevailing west to northwest direction, blowing the snow from one end of the mountain, back to the other.
March 1, 2005 summit report --- http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/index.php 


Entitlements Endings to the Western World
The U.K., like the rest of the developed world, has a pension-funding crisis. A pay-as-you-go system that was easy and cheap to finance when there were lots of workers and fewer retirees than now -- with shorter life expectancies -- is groaning under the strain as fewer workers support more retirees for longer.  Luckily for Britain, it has a couple of things going for it that its neighbors on the Continent can only wish for. The most important is extensive private, funded pension systems that still support many British workers in retirement. For these workers, contributions made to a defined-benefits pension system over the years have been invested on their behalf, and when they retire they will draw, in theory, a fixed sum based on their salary before retirement.  We say "in theory" because the British defined-benefit funds have come under considerable strain themselves of late. Post-bubble lethargy in the stock market is partly to blame, but a major culprit is one of Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown's stealth tax hikes since Labour took office in 1997. In his first budget in 1997, the chancellor eliminated a 20% tax credit that pension funds enjoyed on dividends paid to the funds.

"Wrong-Way Tories," The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110962946093366264,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 
Bob Jensen's unfinished essay on the "Pending Collapse of the United States" --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/entitlements.htm


Days of AK-47s:  Are revolutions a permanent way of life in Africa?
It is a surprise when some states collapse. But the gradual unwinding of Nigeria is happening in a very public manner. The collapse of this giant -- the continent's most populous state, whose 137 million citizens account for approximately 20% of all people south of the Sahara -- may soon be the most pressing issue in Africa.  President Olusegun Obasanjo was first elected in 1999 as Nigeria transitioned to multiparty democracy after the disastrous five-year rule of Gen. Sani Abacha. He won another term in 2003 in elections that had numerous irregularities and remain a source of bitterness. Mr. Obasanjo has also had to confront Nigeria's disastrous economic decline and its extraordinary corruption. Although he retains a good reputation in the West -- in part due to U.S. and European fears that highlighting Nigeria's many problems will only undermine a leader with good intentions -- he has often been indecisive in the face of threats to the very fabric of the country.
Jeffrey Herbst, "The Ticking Time Bomb That's Nigeria," The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110963165703166333,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 


How to keep people poor for a longer period of time
The annual budget speech in India has typically been more than an accounting statement. It is seen as the government's all-encompassing reform program for the year. Ideally then, this year's budget speech should have stressed the need to reduce the inordinately large role of government in the country's economic sphere. It could have included measures such as liberalizing limits on foreign direct investment, increasing the pace of privatization and deregulating the labor market.  However, given India's political climate, there was never much prospect of such a free-market agenda. The Congress-led coalition government is reliant on communist parties to remain in power. And last year's surprise national election results have, for some strange reason, weakened the faith of India's political class in good economics.
Ruchir Sharma, "Keeping Out Bad Ideas in India," The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110963215352066349,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 


Remember that you heard this first from the LA Daily News on February 27, 2005
Marriage Is About More Than Sexuality
Los Angeles Daily News, Feb. 27


Oestrogen and progesterone:  Small sample, big result
Looking at 62 women - half taking the combined pill, oestrogen and progesterone - researchers found that those on the pill had twice the incidence of depressive symptoms as those not taking it. None of the women had a history of depression.  Levels of depression were assessed by each woman and an interviewer at two-month intervals. The women on the pill had a depression rating of 17.6, compared with 9.8 in the others.  "To our surprise, on re-interview we found that women who were on the pill had higher levels of depression than women who were not on the pill, and it was significantly higher," said the director of The Alfred Psychiatry Research Centre, Jayashri Kulkarni. She said a larger study would investigate the effects of the type of pill, duration of use and dosage levels.
Amanda Dunn, "Depression emerges as the pill's downside," Sydney Morning Herald, March 1, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/02/28/1109546799438.html 


Why Business People Speak Like Idiots
Here's the kind of guff that we've all had about enough of (and if you've already had more than enough, feel free to skip ahead): "Technological innovation, globalization, complex regulation and increased accountability at the senior management and board level have all combined to significantly change the landscape of risk management today. To help address these issues, our security professionals deliver services to address the various elements of security and trust associated with communicating, transacting and accessing in this environment."

Why Business People Speak Like Idiots (Free Press, 175 pages, $22) aims to put prose like that -- especially the spoken version of it -- out of its misery. Good idea.
Barbara Wallraff, "Assessing the Parameters Of Issue-Driven Discourse," The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2005, Page D9 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110964096311766617,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 


Newt Gingrich (a professor turned politician)  thinks it's time to get rid of tenure
I'm  glad he didn't have tenure while in Congress?

According to a report on The National Review's Web site, Gingrich on Friday said that the Ward Churchill controversy shows that "you don't need tenure in this country anyway." Gingrich said that there are "75 whacked-out foundations that would hire him for life." More broadly, Gingrich reportedly told an audience at the American Enterprise Institute: "We ought to say to campuses, it's over. We should say to state legislatures, why are you making us pay for this? Boards of regents are artificial constructs of state law. Tenure is an artificial social construct. Tenure did not exist before the 20th century, and we had free speech before then. You could introduce a bill that says, proof that you're anti-American is grounds for dismissal." There are lots of arguments about tenure, of course, and plenty of critics of the tenure system are not seeking to squelch controversial ideas. Some younger scholars see tenure protecting professorial deadwood in jobs they covet. Princeton's president, Shirley Tilghman, once published an article (which she disavowed after getting her current job) suggesting that the tenure system hurt female academics because of the overlap in scholars' lives between the period for winning tenure and having children. But Gingrich's statement that free speech existed prior to tenure is worth examining.
Scott Jaschik, "Ward & Newt & Tenure," Inside Higer Ed, February 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/insider/ward_newt_tenure 

And if you want to learn more about the future (in his dreams) President of the United States, the place to begin is as follows:
Winning the Future: A 21st Century Contract for America, by Newt Gingrich (Regnery Publishing, 320 pp., $27.95)


Student selection and pricing structure of higher education
One confusing thing about the higher education industry is the conflict between social goals and economic choices. The trend toward universal access to higher education has led to the notion that everyone should be able to find a route into higher education that matches interest, preference, ability and economic circumstance. This in turn has focused attention on the student selection and pricing structure of higher education, a topic of infinite interest, controversy, and confusion.

John V. Lombardi, "Reality Check Who Gets In, What It Costs," Inside Higher Ed, February 28, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/reality_check__2 


Might be better to let the bag sag
Already wondering about how to fit into that bathing suit? Thinking about an extreme diet? Think again.
Barry Wolcott, MD, "Extreme Weight Loss," WebMDHealth --- http://my.webmd.com/content/article/89/100184.htm?z=1728_00000_1000_td_01 

There is also a bipolar disorder questionnaire at http://my.webmd.com/webmd_today/home/default 


BrainGate
Nagle, 25, is the first patient in a controversial clinical trial that seeks to prove brain-computer interfaces can return function to people paralyzed by injury or disease. His BCI is the most sophisticated ever tested on a human being, the culmination of two decades of research in neural recording and decoding. A Foxborough, Massachusetts-based company called Cyberkinetics built the system, named BrainGate.
Richard Martin, "Mind Control," Wired Magazine, March 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/brain.html?tw=wn_tophead_5 


Primary care versus specialty care
Quad/Graphics has organized health care by using primary-care physicians for navigating and negotiating both illness and the health-care system for their employees ("Radical Surgery: One Cure for High Health Costs," WSJ, page one, Feb. 11). This contrasts to our present dominant health-care system driven by a physician-payment system that uses Current Procedural Terminology codes for episodic encounters.  Paying for episodic encounters makes sense for specialty care but not for continuity of care where intimate knowledge of patients is the primary goal as an essential of care. Our health-care system needs a physician-payment system that integrates both functions. The results as reported strongly suggest that Quad/Graphics has put in place a workable and prototypic model. If this holds true, the task becomes how to generalize this to others: the young, the old, the unemployed, the uninsured and the underinsured.
John C. Peirce, M.D., M.A., M.S., "Physicians Who Negotiate Illness and Health System," The Wall Street Journal,  February 28, 2005; Page A17 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110955954467465621,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion 
Jensen Comment:  You can read about Current Procedural Terminology at http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/3113.html 


AIDS antiviral therapies
As a group, AIDS antiviral therapies have extended lives of individual patients by as much as 15 years, for a collective two million years of life saved in the U.S. since such drugs came into use in the late 1980s, said Rochelle Walensky of Harvard Medical School. She said her study with co-workers at Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, Yale, Cornell and Boston University represents "an underestimate" of the drugs' benefit.  Despite more than 20 drugs on the market and many more in the pipeline, far too few patients are now able to access needed treatment, U.S. health statisticians said Friday.
Marilyn Chase, "AIDS Scientists Cite Modest Gains," The Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2005, Page B4 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110955131006765463,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace 

Also see "New Therapies Boost AIDS Arsenal," Wired News, February 26, 2005 --- http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,66731,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_6 


Having an 800 pound gorilla living next door can be unsettling
That Southeast Asians -- above all the Vietnamese and the Indonesians -- would regard China's rise with a weary eye is to be expected. Vietnam has historically feared domination by its former overseer. Indonesia has always suspected that China would use the large and successful ethnic Chinese community as a fifth column. Singapore is leery, too.  But in the past few months China has managed to alienate its Northeastern neighbors as well. Even South Korea -- where the fascination with things Chinese was growing apace with economic dependency -- has been put off by a series of mishandled events. Chinese security goons raided and broke up a press conference in Beijing by a group of South Korean parliamentarians last month. Later, brushing aside a plea from Seoul, China sent back to North Korea a poor, 72-year-old South Korean POW from the 1950-53 war who had managed to escape after decades in the gulag.  And, of course, China's claim that a chunk of North Korea is historically Chinese has not gone down well at all. Some South Korean intellectuals are beginning to ponder how salutary China's rise is for the long-term health of the Korean nation.
Michael gonzalez, "Fear and Loathing in East Asia," The Wall Street Journal,  February 28, 2005; Page A17 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110954572850965312,00.html?mod=todays_us_opinion 


Praise the Lord
Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who heads a body overseeing international accounting-standards setters, rejected calls by the European Union for a greater say in how these rules are crafted.  Speaking in Brussels before a group that advises the European Commission on accounting issues, Mr. Volcker said representation on the International Accounting Standards Board, the body that crafts the rules, shouldn't be based on "national, political or sectoral interests."
David Reilly, "Volcker Rejects EU Plan for IASB," The Wall Street Journal, Page February 28, Page C3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110954949853865424,00.html?mod=home%5Fwhats%5Fnews%5Fus 


The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges.
Anatole France

Think Bloomingdales:  A victory for New York City
Bowing to intense pressure from neighborhood and labor groups, a real estate developer has just given up plans to include a Wal-Mart store in a mall in Queens, thereby blocking Wal-Mart's plan to open its first store in New York City. In the eyes of Wal-Mart's detractors, the Arkansas-based chain embodies the worst kind of economic exploitation: it pays its 1.2 million American workers an average of only $9.68 an hour, doesn't provide most of them with health insurance, keeps out unions, has a checkered history on labor law and turns main streets into ghost towns by sucking business away...
Robert B. Reich, "Don't Blame Wal-Mart," The New York Times, February 28, 2005
Jensen Comment:  Vermont has also banned Wal-Mart, which is one of the reasons why the roadways are clogged with stuffed green-license-plate cars and trucks returning home from New Hampshire.  Why don't Vermonters stay home and shop in their own villages' stores?


What happened to "stretch suits" now that I need them?
The man of the house is spending more money on his wardrobe. This spring, men will be able to pick from broadened selections of red, black and brown candy-striped shirts, and many stores will offer the new stretch suits.
Flashback, The Wall Street Journal, February 28, 1963
Jensen comment:  No mention is made that beads and sandals were also popular in 1963


A bit of history:  Who were our allies in the WW II era?
France was not an ally, for the Vichy government of France aligned with its German occupiers. Germany was not an ally, for it was an enemy, and Hitler intended to set up a Thousand Year Reich in Europe. Japan was not an ally, for it was intent on owning and controlling all of Asia. Japan and Germany had long-term ideas of invading Canada and Mexico, and then the United States over the north and south borders, after they had settled control of Asia and Europe.  America's allies then were England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Australia, and Russia, and that was about it. There were no other countries of any size or military significance with the will and ability to contribute much of anything to the effort to defeat Hitler's Germany and Japan, and prevent the global dominance of Nazism. And we had to send millions of tons of arms, munitions, and war supplies to Russia, England, and the Canadians, Aussies, Irish, and Scots, because none of them could produce all they needed for themselves.
Forwarded by Dick Haar, February 28, 2005
Jensen:  During the ensuing Cold War era and for the Gulf War, we had a few more allies, some of whom were former enemies.


And he awoke to a mess
I have this uncle, Rip Van Garver, who just woke up after sleeping for 30 years. Some people think he slept so long because he was exhausted from working so hard as a political activist during the '60s and early '70s. Personally, I just think he found a comfy pillow. Regardless, here's the transcript of our first conversation: Me: Uncle Rip, how are you feeling? Rip: I'm okay. But I really need to brush my teeth. What year is it? Me: 2005. Rip: Wow. I've got a library book I better return pronto. So, nobody blew up the world. I...
Lloyd Garver, "Caught Napping? Jewish World Review, February 28, 2005 --- http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0205/garver1.asp 


This does not mean that eating it will make you live longer
Ancient Chinese craftsmen used a secret ingredient to keep their structures standing through the centuries: sticky rice.  The legend that rice porridge was used in mortar to make robust ramparts is believed to have been verified by archaeological research in the north-western province of Shaanxi, the state news agency Xinhua reported.  During maintenance work on the city wall of the provincial capital, Xi'an, workers found plaster remnants on ancient bricks were hard to remove.  A chemical test showed the mortar reacted the same as glutinous rice.
"Stick around," Sydney Morning Herald, March 1, 2005 --- http://www.smh.com.au/text/articles/2005/02/28/1109546800854.html 


"Morally Bankrupt," The New Republic, February 25, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/TNRbankruptcy 

We are beginning to wonder if the debate over Social Security privatization is a mere GOP diversionary tactic: Get Democrats to commit all their resources to a knockdown drag-out over retirement benefits, then quickly ram through a host of items off the business lobby's wish list. Exhibit A is the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act--the latest name for a bill that Congress has been rejecting since the late '90s--which the Judiciary Committee approved last week and looks set for passage in the coming weeks.

Bankruptcy laws are supposed to balance the interests of creditors with debtors as well as balance society's interest in encouraging people to take risks (such as taking out a loan to start a business) with its interest in ensuring that the risks they take are not foolish ones (such as borrowing money to play the ponies). U.S. bankruptcy laws have generally done a good job of striking this balance and have thus contributed to an economy that is among the most entrepreneurial in the world. What's more, they have codified a progressive and long-standing American value: the belief in second chances.

By these measures, the bankruptcy bill is a catastrophe. Under the current system, bankruptcy courts have broad discretion to decide who can file for Chapter 7, which allows debtors to erase their obligations after forfeiting a state-determined percentage of their remaining assets, and Chapter 13, which requires strict repayment according to court-ordered schedules. Judges base their decisions as much on why the debt was accrued as on income; this way people who come into debt through no fault of their own can get a fresh start, while a judge can decide that a careless gambler must pay what he owes. But the new bill would replace judicial discretion with a means test on household income--those above a certain level would be forced to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy--dismantling the system's ability to discriminate among worthy and unworthy debtors.

Continued in the article


Loss of a Great Economist to a Fire
The world lost a great economist last week, when David F. Bradford succumbed to injuries suffered in a fire. David was the father of modern consumption tax philosophy, and the most important contributor of the last few decades to serious thinking about fundamental tax reform.  When people think of replacing the income tax with a consumption tax that can achieve whatever level of progressivity one prefers, they think of two main models. The first, sometimes called a consumed income tax, structurally resembles our present system for taxing individuals, except that people get unlimited savings accounts, like IRAs, contributions to which may be deducted while withdrawals are taxed. During his time at the Treasury Department in the 1970s, David developed what is still by far the best prototype for such a system: the so-called "Blueprints" cash flow tax that he discussed in detail in his landmark study, "Blueprints for Tax Reform."  The other main prototype, involving a business-level as well as an individual-level tax, has as its best-known exemplar the Hall-Rabushka flat tax (after the economists Robert Hall and Alvin Rabushka), which I believe David helped inspire. He then used the flat tax as a starting point for developing what he called the "X-tax," a better-designed version that could be more progressive than the flat tax, if desired, and that did a better job of handling problems such as transition from the existing income tax and rate changes between taxable years.
Daniel Shaviro, "David Bradford," The Wall Street Journal, March 1, 2005, Page A18 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB110964406044966694,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep 


Part of a message received from a friend on March 1, 2005
This is a letter that friend received from a top administrator at Purdue University.  I assume PAA stands for the Purdue Alumni Association.

Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for your email, and for your consideration of our request to support PAA. The alumni association does receive a percentage of the total amount of charges submitted by our alumni who use the card. We are precluded by contractual arrangements from disclosing the percentages or amount but I can tell you that this is a significant revenue source for the alumni association.

The revenue from this program is used in a variety of ways to support the programs and services offered to our alumni and members. These funds help support our outreach efforts such as alumni clubs, student recruitment events, Purdue on the Road events. In addition these funds help support the Faculty Incentive Grant program to assist in faculty development, Diversity Grants to support diverse programming efforts and Legacy events that highlight Purdue students whose parents are graduates of Purdue as well.

In addition to the financial support is another way to market Purdue throughout the world. Every time someone pulls the card out of their wallet they are marketing Purdue for us.

I am more than happy to answer any further questions you might have and thank you for your email. It is very important for our alumni to be informed about our programs and I appreciate your thoughtful questions.

Best wishes,

YYYYY
Purdue University

Jensen Comment
One of my friends forwarded the above message.  It reflects what is commonplace now among alumni associations of colleges.  These associations promote a particular credit card company and receive revenue for this service on purchases of alumni and students.  I suspect it is not unethical as long as alumni and students are aware of all facts in the situation.  The letter above does not mention that alumni associations generally forward more than names and addresses to credit card companies and possibly other vendors.  I have some concerns when they forward social security numbers without express written consent for alumni.  I also have concerns when alumni are not aware of how or who is receiving confidential information from alumni associations.

I have written previously about this general practice at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm#FICO 
I think the credit card companies want the home addresses and social security numbers of all alumni and students so that FICO ratings can be investigated before inviting an alumnus or student to apply for a University of ZZZZZ  credit card.



For earlier editions of New Bookmark s 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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