Tidbits on March 28, 2005
Bob Jensen at Trinity University 

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

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 home page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

Campaign for Trinity University --- http://www.trinity.edu/departments/public_relations/case_statement/index.htm 

Art is the lie that makes us realize truth.
Pablo Picasso




Add your own Website for free:  I think you should do so at Wikicities


Four years ago, Jimmy Wales launched a free online encyclopedia that anyone could edit. Now, Wikipedia is one of the most popular sites on the Web, and Mr. Wales is building on its success with a new venture. This time, he intends to make a buck. Mr. Wales's closely held company Wikia Inc. has begun promoting its first for-profit endeavor, an ad-supported site called Wikicities.com that is based on the concept behind Wikipedia. Through Wikicities, groups of Web users can create their own free Web sites and fill them with, well, nearly anything. Among the topics being discussed on the nascent site: Macintosh computers, college hockey and real-world cities like Los Angeles, Beijing and Calgary.
Vauhini Vara, "From Wikipedia's Creator, A New Site for Anyone, Anything," The Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2005; Page B1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111196673261990485,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
Jensen Comment:  I've not tried the www.Wikicities.com site, but often go to Wikipedia and even add to its freeware encyclopedia entries ---  http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111196673261990485,00.html?mod=todays_us_marketplace
Sadly, Mr. Wales will not give me enough space to transfer my huge site to Wikicities.com.


AL-QAEDA'S STRATEGY UNTIL 2020
In light of this issue's report on the Idarat al-Tawahhush and its view on the secondary importance of Afghanistan in al-Qaeda's global struggle, a further window into al-Qaeda's strategic thinking is provided by a Jordanian analyst Bassam al-Baddarin. Writing on March 11 for the Arabic language daily al-Quds al-Arabi, his article ‘Al-Qaeda has drawn up working strategy lasting until 2020,' puts together from the assorted writings of al-Qaeda's ‘strategic brain' Muhammad Makkawi, what appears to be a coherent long-term strategy. It seeks to explain the series of events since September 11 2001, the events in Afghanistan and Iraq, and potentially beyond.   The subject of al-Baddarin's study, Muhammad Ibrahim Makkawi, is better known as Sayf al-Adel. He was a colonel in Egyptian Special Forces before joining with the mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet invasion. At the 1998 foundation of World Islamic Front against Crusaders and Jews (the full, official title for al-Qaeda), Sayf al-Adel was granted a pivotal role in military training, and subsequently headed the military wing, succeeding Abu Hafs al-Masri to become number three in al-Qaeda after Bin Laden and al-Zawahiri. In 2003, Iran at one point offered to extradite Sayf al-Adel, whom it claimed to have under arrest, in exchange for Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization leaders, but Washington rejected the offer. The theory:  Al-Baddarin identifies from Sayf al-Adel's writings a core thesis explaining events — a regional war against the Americans. It aims at opening the jihadist triangle of terror, beginning with Afghanistan, passing though Iran and southern Iraq, and ending with southern Turkey, southern Lebanon and Syria. The first, achieved, step in this strategy was to regionalize the struggle with the United States. In this, the events of September 11 constituted the first step: dragging the United States into the Arab region in preparation for an extended war of attrition. Al-Qaeda knew in advance that the quick and inevitable response would be a comprehensive attack from the super-power against Afghanistan, but that this would play into their hands by provoking another giant — the Islamic Nation — and forcing it to wake up from its slumbers . . . (Continued in the article)
Stepen Ulph, "AL-QAEDA'S STRATEGY UNTIL 2020," The Jamestown Foundation, March 17, 2005 --- http://jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=410&issue_id=3267&article_id=2369441


If it's so easy to use a surrogate, how many other teachers did not take their own certification tests?
Rubin Leitner, who is developmentally disabled, sits outside his Brooklyn home, saying Bronx teacher Wayne Brightly (below) paid him to take state exam. A Bronx teacher who repeatedly flunked his state certification exam paid a formerly homeless man with a developmental disorder $2 to take the test for him, authorities said yesterday. The illegal stand-in - who looks nothing like teacher Wayne Brightly - not only passed the high-stakes test, he scored so much better than the teacher had previously that the state knew something was wrong, officials said ... Brightly, 38, a teacher at one of the city's worst schools, Middle School 142, allegedly concocted the plot to swap identities with Leitner last summer. If he failed the state exam again, Brightly risked losing his $59,000-a-year job.
"Schoolhouse crock," New York Daily News --- http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/292646p-250502c.html
Jensen Comment:  Now that he's lost his job in the Bronx school teacher, about the only think Wayne Brightly is qualified for is to run for U.S. Congress.


What the uninformed don't know about the present Social Security pension fund?
We can assume that workers retiring today receive a rate of return of approximately 2 percent and that future retirees will receive even lower rates of return.
Michael Tanner, "The Better Deal," The Cato Institute, October 28, 2003 (Note the date) --- http://www.cato.org/pubs/ssps/ssp31.pdf
Jensen Comment:  And you have to live to a ripe old age to get your 2 percent.

Beside Ronald Reagan, the most underestimated president of my lifetime is George W. Bush. His capacity to frame the Grand Idea, to give it practical form and to engage in serious national conversation with those too young to have been taken seriously are defining differences between presidents who hold office and those who alter history.  Social Security reform, and particularly personal savings accounts, is a Grand Idea properly framed that more timid leaders, and those who govern by poll, would never have spoken. For decades, leaders in the White House and in Congress have rolled forward its day of reckoning, hugely expanding and then narrowly reforming, but always with an eye to the next election. It's one of the greatest entitlement cruelties the nation's leaders have inflicted upon their children. As Social Security's actuaries reported to Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt last week: The system is simply unsustainable.  When the system was created in 1935, 40 workers supported one retiree. By 1950, it was down to 16-1. By 2030, it is projected to be 2-1. What we will ask of our children is that they fashion their own lives, but drain their own incomes excessively to support more affluent and secure elders.  We could raise their taxes, sure. As Leavitt noted in remarks at Cobb's Galleria conference center, "We can't continue to solve this problem by raising payroll taxes. We've done that 20 times. They've gone from 1935 at 2 percent of our income (to a yearly maximum of $70), up to 12.4 percent. To go further would be an economy killer."  The solution to an unsustainable system is to change it. That's what the president has proposed. The pledge to those born before 1950 is that nothing changes. "There will be plenty of money in the system to take care of them," says Leavitt. "What's unspoken there, and should now be spoken, is that anybody born after that should worry. Why? Because of what the actuaries said to me today: 'The system is simply unsustainable.' "  By 2017, Social Security begins to run deficits. By 2041, benefits would have to be cut by a projected 25 percent, experts say.
Jim Wooten, "Bush's vision shows insight," Atlanta Journal Constitution, March 25, 2005 --- http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/wooten/2005/032705.html 


Economics has come to dominate (to the exclusion of other fields) the social sciences and political arena.
The short version of the
Bazerman and Malhotra chapter is that the authors believe that economics has come to dominate (to the exclusion of other fields) the social sciences and political arena. (Somewhat analogous to the idea that rational economics has dominated in finance to the detriment of psychology and behavioral finance).
 The authors identify "five predominant myths, adapted from pervasive economic assumptions, which serve as guiding policy principles and serve to destroy value in society. These myths include:

1) Individuals have stable and consistent preferences
2) Individuals know their preferences and they pursue known preferences with volition
3) Individuals make decisions based on all of the evidence available to them
4) Free markets solve economic problems
5) Credible empirical evidence consists of outcome data, not of mechanism data"

Jim Mahar's Blog, March 23, 2005 --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
Jensen Comment:  Economics may dominate in most realms, but psychology and sociology have stomped out good economic reasoning when it comes to Social Security reform.


The Sharpe Ratio is explained by Nobel Laureate Bill Sharpe at http://www.stanford.edu/~wfsharpe/art/sr/sr.htm

"Sharpening Sharpe Ratios,"  by William Goetzmann, Jonathan Ingersoll, Matthew Spiegel, Ivo Welch --- http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=302815

It is now well known that the Sharpe ratio and other related reward-to-risk measures may be manipulated with option-like strategies. This paper derives the general conditions for achieving the maximum expected Sharpe ratio. Also derived are static rules for achieving the maximum Sharpe ratio with two or more options, as well as a continuum of derivative contracts. The optimal strategy has a truncated right tail and a fat left tail. Additionally, the paper provides dynamic rules for increasing the Sharpe ratio.

In order to address the sensitivity of the Sharpe ratio to information-less, option-like strategies, the paper proposes an alternative measure that is less susceptible to such manipulations. The case for using this alternative ranking metric is particularly compelling in the hedge fund industry where the use of derivatives is unconstrained and manager compensation itself induces a non-linear payoff.

Bob Jensen's tutorials on accounting for derivatives are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm


Presumably the English will only go into future wars on non-intelligence
Britain will never again go to war on intelligence.
James Kirkup, The Scotsman, March 24, 2005 --- http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=313562005


I've been waiting by the hour all my life
Every hour of every working day, the U.S. Government awards a contract worth $1,000,000. Combined with state and local Governments, total contract dollars are over $800 billion per year – making the United States Government the largest business in the world.  The U.S. Government offers contracting opportunities in almost any industry. The latest count shows there are 22 million small businesses in the United States, yet only about 1% of them participate in Government Contracts.

Da Vinci Institute Newsletter on March 23, 2005


I'm glad this wasn't an airline company now starting up 13-year old engines
More than 600 workers at a Diamond Walnut processing plant in Stockton walked off the job and took up picket signs in September 1991. On Wednesday, the union announced that workers have agreed on a new deal that ends the labor dispute.   Tuesday night, workers at Diamond Walnut voted 184-61 to accept a new five-year deal with Diamond Walnut, ending a bitter labor dispute between the company and the Teamsters union.
"Walnut Company Strike Cracked After 13 Years Union Accepts New 5-Year Deal," KCRA Channel 3, March 23, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/LaborMoment


The proposed Florida Academic Bill of Rights legislation follows on the heels of legislation in other states.  The legislation proposed in most states is not so much “anti-democratic” as it is democratic/anti-McCarthyism.   Much of this is aimed at preventing the college classroom from becoming a religious platform and to “prohibit political and religious discrimination” ( Ohio ’s wording).  Totally free speech can lead to fundamentalist, anti-Semitic, and political dogma in the name of free speech and academic freedom.   My personal test of classroom content free speech has always been the curriculum plan and whether or not course content is faithful to the curriculum plan.  If the curriculum calls for a fundamentalist religious content or unbalanced political fundamentalism on the right or left sides of politics, then it is probably acceptable to lambaste other religious and/or political stances.  But students should be forewarned about fundamentalist biases in particular courses they are signing up for at the time of registration.  Ward Churchill’s courses probably fit into the ethnic studies curriculum plan at Colorado University since every student is most likely forewarned that the course will totally lambaste both U.S. government and business.  That’s fair enough.  Should his courses also be anti-Semitic in the name of academic freedom if they ever should cross that line?  I doubt that anti-Semitics falls into any curriculum plan at Colorado University.

The President of Columbia University took a somewhat similar position following “intimidation of students”
The facts of the controversy, as we understand them, are as follows. The David Project has produced a film2 that contains accusations that Columbia professors -- particularly from the Middle East Asian Language and Culture (MEALAC) Department -- have taken positions that are seriously critical of policies pursued by the Israeli government and have engaged in the intimidation of students "when they voiced pro-Israel views." And, according to the Columbia Spectator, "[o]ne professor featured in the film is Professor Joseph Massad."  Two episodes involving Professor Massad’s interactions with students are apparently identified in the film. One involves an alleged exchange outside the classroom between Professor Massad and Tomy Schoenfeld, a former member of the Israel Defense Forces, in which Mr. Schoenfeld reportedly asked Professor Massad a question and the Professor responded that he would not answer the question until Mr. Schoenfeld revealed "How many Palestinians [he had] killed."4 The second episode involves an exchange between a student, Noah Liben, who was defending the treatment of Sephardic Jews by the Ashkenazi majority in Israel and who concluded this discussion by asking whether Professor Massad understood the student’s point. Professor Massad allegedly answered that he did not understand the point that the student was trying to make and, according to Mr. Liben, the Professor "smirked" during the student-teacher exchange. In the film, and elsewhere,5 Professor Massad is further accused, in his lectures and writings, of describing the State of Israel as "a racist state that does not legitimately represent Jews."
Arthur Eisenberg, Donna Lieberman, and  Udi Ofer, "NYCLU Defends Academic Freedom At Columbia University Update:   The NYCLU's letter to President Bollinger," December 20, 2004 --- http://www.nyclu.org/bollinger_ltr_122004.html 

Definition of Fundamentalism from the Columbia University Electronic Encyclopedia  --- http://www.answers.com/topic/fundamentalism

Academic Bill of Rights (Ohio)
Last week
(early February), Ohio became the latest state where legislators introduced an "Academic Bill of Rights for Higher Education."  The bill seeks to impose on all private and public colleges and universities an administrative code allegedly designed to prohibit political and religious discrimination. It calls on the institutions to guarantee student access "to a broad range of serious scholarly opinion" and expose them to "a plurality of serious scholarly methodologies and perspectives." It insists that students "be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned answers" and prohibits discrimination on the basis of "political, ideological, or religious beliefs." Faculty members would be forbidden from using their classrooms "for the purpose of political, ideological, religious, or antireligious indoctrination"; and they would be barred from "persistently introducing controversial matter into the classroom ... that has no relation to their subject of study and that serves no legitimate pedagogical purpose." The bill extends its dubious protections to all student organizations, to the hiring and promotion process, and even to "professional societies formed to advance knowledge within an area of research."
"The New Repression of the Postmodern Right," David Steigerwald, InsideHigherEd, February 11, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/the_new_repression_of_the_postmodern_right 

Academic Bill of Rights (Florida)
Academic freedom is getting more public attention that it has in many years. This week, legislation advanced in Florida to create an “Academic Bill of Rights” that many professors find deeply offensive. And the sponsor’s statements about professors left many of them furious. Meanwhile, in New York City, Columbia University’s president gave a talk outlining the history of academic freedom — and suggesting that faculty members need to consider the appropriateness of pushing some views past a certain point in the classroom. Florida is the latest state to see political fighting — some of it nasty — over the Academic Bill of Rights. The legislation was created by David Horowitz, the one-time campus radical whose politics have shifted rightward and who argues that liberal professors use their classrooms to indoctrinate students. The legislation requires faculty members to expose their students to a wide variety of viewpoints — a requirement that professors say will leave them vulnerable to complaints every time they express a strong opinion . . . Leaders of Columbia’s Senate were unavailable to comment on the speech Thursday. But one of Columbia’s toughest critics had praise for it. Charles Jacobs, president of the David Project, which has organized the criticism of Columbia’s professors of Middle Eastern studies, said Bollinger’s comments about professors “were exactly what he should say” about professors in the classroom.  “I think he’s right to chide those who would use the podium in an ideological way,” he said.
Scott Jaschik, "Academic Freedom Wars," Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/25/acfreedom

Peace is not patriotic. Peace is subversive, because peace anticipates a very different world than the one in which we live--a world where the U.S. would have no place. The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military. I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus.
Nicholas De Genova (then anthropology professor at Columbia University) as quoted by Ron Howell, "Radicals Speak Out At Columbia ‘Teach-In,’" NewsDay, March 27, 2003.

Non-existent academic freedom in China
Universities across China are tightening controls on student-run Internet discussion forums as part of a Communist Party campaign to strengthen what it calls "ideological education" on campuses. The crackdown has caused widespread resentment among students and prompted at least two recent demonstrations. The Web sites, which run on school networks, host some of China's largest and liveliest online bulletin boards. They serve as virtual meeting places where millions of educated Chinese across the country gather for discussions about everything from pop culture to politics.
Philip P. Pan, "Chinese universities crack down on Internet forums New controls are part of a campaign by party to ensure students do not challenge its rule," Houston Chronicle, March 26, 2005 --- http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/world/3103053 

Jensen Comment:  It is interesting to note that the author of the above article, Philip Pan, wrote the article for the Washington Post.  In the March 16, 2005 edition of Tidbits, I posted the following modules --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/tidbits031605.htm 

I think Philip Bennett should move to China and try out that nation's free speech and democratic realities
"I don't think US should be the leader of the world . . . I think China is the best place in the world to be an American journalist right now." Philip Bennett, Editor of Washington Post  --- http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200503/10/print20050310_176350.html 

The People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese communist dictatorship, announced today that it would merge with the Washington Post, to publish "an accurate newspaper of global significance called The Wa-Po Daily."  Washington Post Managing Editor Philip Bennett will oversee news-gathering operations for The Wa-Po Daily, under the guidance of "an unnamed committee of Chinese truth advocates."  The first hints of the media marriage emerged from an interview Mr. Bennett granted to People's Daily correspondent Yong Tang, in which the veteran American newsman drew no moral distinction between the Chinese and American expressions of democracy and accused the Bush administration of lying and limiting freedom of the press.
Scott Ott, "Chinese Daily-Washington Post Merger Boosts Credibility," Scrapple Face, March 14, 2005 --- http://www.scrappleface.com/MT/archives/002112.html 

China's Communist Party maintains its monopoly on political power by delivering benefits to its 1.3 billion people, in line with governments worldwide. It also guards its turf jealously by ensuring that watchful party officials sit in every corner of society deemed a potential threat to that monopoly. This entails everything from "officially sanctioned" religious organizations and political parties to sports groups, chambers of commerce, university departments and farm collectives.  Groups viewed as a threat are quickly batted down, as seen with official crackdowns on Tibetan monks, Falun Gong practitioners, separatist Muslims in the country's west and Internet essayists. A recently published list of banned gatherings, which included an amateur singing club, a pigeon lovers group and a dozen people holding a ceremony to bless a new building, shows how jittery the party can be.  Police, cybercops and vaguely worded national security laws are among the bluntest weapons in the party's arsenal. At least as effective are the demotions and other subtle threats that engender self-censorship.  Communist leaders have read their history and are well aware that as least as many Chinese dynasties have fallen to internal rot, complacency and corruption as to barbarian threats beyond the Great Wall.  That's where the Hu and Wen campaign for enhanced discipline comes in. With 68 million members, or an all-time high of 5.2% of China's population, the Communist Party is bloated and increasingly unfocused.
Mark Magnier, "Flip Side to Fame in China," Los Angeles Times, March 14, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/ChinaMarch14 


Free speech versus indecency in the media
. . . a California woman has launched a Web site, www.speakspeak.org, meant to counter what she calls the excessive influence of anti-indecency groups, such as the Parents Television Council (PTC), that flood the government with complaints designed to spur fines against radio and television broadcasters. Sanders said his bill is meant to head off possible legislation discussed by Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) that would give the FCC the power to fine channels such as HBO and companies such as XM Satellite Radio Inc. if they air offensive content.
Frank Ahrens, "Anti-Indecency Forces Opposed," Washington Post, March 26, 2005; Page D12 --- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A1962-2005Mar25.html?referrer=email

Surge in accounting undergraduates coupled with a 17-year low in the number of new accounting professors
Here are some numbers that don't appear to add up. Even as the accounting profession has endured a torrent of negative publicity, more college students are enrolling in accounting programs.  The enrollments are so strong that some universities face a problem: a shortage of professors to teach these young bean-counters . . . However, the comeback of the accounting career occurs as the number of business doctorates produced is at a 17-year low and universities struggle to recruit new accounting professors. That leaves many wondering who will be left to teach all the new rules and regulations to the growing student pool. While many academic fields are suffering from professor shortages, the issue is more acute in accounting because of the pull toward high-paying public-accounting jobs.
Diya Gullapalli, "Interest In Accounting Doesn't Seem to Add Up," The Wall Street Journal --- http://www.collegejournal.com/salarydata/accounting/20040802-gullapalli.html 


Fooling Investors
A new report by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment identifies widespread practices that may lead to environmental accounting fraud. "Fooling Investors" shows how companies keep information about expensive environmental liabilities like toxic pollution, product health hazards, worker exposure, and global warming away from shareholder scrutiny. See further details in our full news item at http://accountingeducation.com/news/news6001.html 
Double Entries, March 25, 2005 


Difficulties of measuring changes in learning over time.
Regular assessment in the service of accountability is a consistent theme in current calls for reform in all levels of education. In this month's Carnegie Perspectives, Lloyd Bond, a noted scholar in the field of measurement, calls our attention to the many traps associated with one of the most frequent uses of assessment: the technical difficulties of measuring changes in learning over time. The measurement of learning is so central to the work of practitioners that Bond presents a compelling case for training in educational testing to become a more central and rigorous feature of all teacher education programs. I think you will find Lloyd's observations both instructive and enjoyable.  Following our theme in these Perspectives, Lloyd provides us with a different way to think about teaching and learning. Since our goal is to contribute to the dialogue on education issues, we hope that you find this commentary compelling and that you will take us up on our invitation to visit our online forum—Carnegie Conversations—where you can engage publicly with the authors and read and respond to what others have to say. Carnegie Conversations is on the Web at:  http://perspectives.carnegiefoundation.org/ 
Lee S. Shulman, President The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 


This is absolutely unfair!  If a CEO loots his/her company, the company pays insurance for all legal costs of the CEO even if he's convicted of looting the company that pays the insurance premiums.
A company that insured Tyco International Ltd. executives must pay legal bills for former Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski, who is on trial on corporate-looting charges, an appeals court said. In a 5-0 ruling, the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division left open the possibility that Federal Insurance Co., a Chubb Corp. subsidiary, could later recover some of the costs from Mr. Kozlowski. A lower court judge had ruled that Federal Insurance, which provided liability coverage to Tyco, was required to pay Mr. Kozlowski's legal bills . . . Mr. Kozlowski and Mark H. Swartz, Tyco's former chief financial officer, are accused of stealing $170 million from the conglomerate by hiding unauthorized pay and bonuses and by abusing loan programs. They also are accused of making $430 million by inflating the value of Tyco stock by lying about the company's finances. Their retrial in Manhattan's State Supreme Court on charges of grand larceny, falsifying business records and violating state business laws is ending its second month. Their first trial ended in a mistrial in April.
Associated Press, "Insurer to Pay Kozlowski's Costs," The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2005; Page C3 --http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111161345997387951,00.html?mod=todays_us_money_and_investing
Bob Jensen's threads on how hopeless it is to discourage white collar crime are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudConclusion.htm#CrimePays


This is also unfair and unethical
Rank-and-file employees are lying more often at work, by some measures. Employees calling in sick have hit a five-year high, and three-fifths of those who do so aren't sick at all, but are tending to personal needs or just feel entitled to a day off, says a 2004 survey of 305 employers by CCH Inc. In a separate survey last year of 1,316 workers by Kronos Inc., a labor-management and consulting concern, more than one-third of workers admit to having lied about their need for sick days.  Groups that track federal family-leave use say more employees are stretching the reasons for taking time off, even claiming that a common cold warrants a medical leave. In another indicator, job applicants reporting false academic credentials have hit a three-year high, with 12% of resumes containing at least some phony information, according to the Liars Index, a survey by recruiting firm Jude M. Werra & Associates.
"How and Why We Lie at the Office: From Pilfered Pens to Padded Accounts," The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2005; Page D1 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111162391698488207,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal


I think this is the best idea of the 21st Century
Today, Rudy Exelrod is itself being sued -- for not seeking more money. And California courts have ruled that the malpractice suit should go to trial, surprising the plaintiffs' bar and undoubtedly delighting business executives who have faced class actions.  No matter what the ultimate verdict, the suit -- filed by a lawyer married to a former Farmers employee who was disappointed she didn't get a nickel from the overtime suit -- puts the spotlight on an intriguing question: Can you sue the lawyers? Or, more precisely, should class-action lawyers be as vulnerable to malpractice suits as other lawyers?
David Wessel, "Now Being Sued: Class-Action Lawyers," The Wall Street Journal,  March 24, 2005; Page A2 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111162311502888186,00.html?mod=todays_us_page_one

Bravo:  Saying no to free money
But Ms. Diemer, a widow, doesn't want her check. While some residents clearly were inconvenienced by the evacuation, Ms. Diemer is one of about 18 residents so far who have decided not to take the money from Arkema Inc. "I shouldn't get $550 for having a wonderful time at lunch," says Ms. Diemer, who feels she was never in danger. We've heard so much lately on the debate about class-action lawsuits -- specifically on the question of whether the payouts have become excessive and exist more to benefit plaintiffs' lawyers than the plaintiffs. This debate led President Bush last month to sign the Class Action Fairness Act, designed to prevent plaintiffs' lawyers from searching around for local jurisdictions that may yield top-dollar awards. The act will allow defendants to move more class actions into federal court.
Jeff Zaslow, "Saying 'No' to Free Money," The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2005; Page D3 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111162409908488212,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal


Full time career as a part-time tenured professor
Now, amid growing discussion of the need for academe to be more “family friendly,” the University of California is considering one of the most ambitious programs ever for tenured and tenure-track faculty members to work part time for extended periods in their careers. The plan has only just been formally released for review — and is probably months away from adoption — but proponents hope it could lead to drastic changes in faculty career paths. And the prestige of the university could lend support to other institutions — especially research universities — that are considering such policies. That’s because California’s policy is also attempting to tackle one of the toughest issues in the development of such part-time options: how to evaluate research productivity.
Scott Jaschik, "A Real Option," Inside Higher Ed, March 24, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/24/parttime


"Back off kid, this a my job"
The city's teenagers have always worked less than the rest of the nation's youth, in large part because of a general surplus in the city's overall labor force, and because New York teenagers are more likely to be in school.  But the numbers of teenagers seeking jobs in the city have thinned at a far faster rate than in the rest of the country in the last 15 years, coinciding with a period of explosive growth in the immigrant population in the city. Over the same period, record numbers of people left the welfare rolls for low-wage jobs.  Only 22 percent of New Yorkers from 16 to 19 looked for work in 2004, according to the Department of Labor, compared with 44 percent of their counterparts nationwide. Of all teenagers who were eligible to work, only 22 percent of New York teenagers did so, compared with 36 percent around the country. In 1989, 31 percent of New York City residents from 16 to 19 worked.
Jennifer Steinhauer, "That Guy Flipping Burgers Is No Kid Anymore," The New York Times, March 27, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/27/nyregion/27teen.html?oref=login 


An investing balloon that will one day burst
The numbers are mind-boggling: 15 years ago, hedge funds managed less than $40 billion. Today, the figure is approaching $1 trillion. By contrast, assets in mutual funds grew at an impressive but much slower rate, to $8.1 trillion from $1 trillion, during the same period. The number of hedge fund firms has also grown - to 3,307 last year, up 74 percent from 1,903 in 1999. During the same period, the number of funds created - a manager can start more than one fund at a time - has surged 209 percent, with 1,406 funds introduced in 2004, according to Hedge Fund Research, based in Chicago.
Jenny Anderson and Riva D. Atlas, "If I Only Had a Hedge Fund," The New York Times, The New York Times, March 27, 2005 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/27/business/yourmoney/27hedge.html 
Jensen Comment:  The name "hedge fund" seems to imply that risk is hedged.  Nothing could be further from the case.  Hedge funds do not have to hedge risks,  Hedge funds should instead be called private investment clubs.  If structured in a certain way they can avoid SEC oversight.  
See "Hedge Fund" at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/acct5341/speakers/133glosf.htm#H-Terms 

Remember how the Russian space program worked in the 1960s? The only flights that got publicized were the successful ones.  Hedge funds are like that. The ones asking for your money have terrific records. You don't hear about the ones that blew up. That fact should strongly color your view of hedge funds with terrific records.
Forbes, January 13, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/ForbesJan_13 


Judge tells the jury that Morgan Stanley did it
The judge in a high-profile lawsuit brought by financier Ron Perelman said she regarded Morgan Stanley's failure to produce documents as "offensive" and would instruct the jury that the Wall Street firm helped to defraud Mr. Perelman.  In what legal experts called a highly unusual ruling, Florida Judge Elizabeth Maass wrote that she will tell the jury that Morgan Stanley had a role in helping appliance maker Sunbeam Corp. conceal accounting woes that reduced the value of Mr. Perelman's investment in Sunbeam. The ruling increases the possibility that a jury will find against Morgan Stanley and force the firm to pay Mr. Perelman some or all of the $680 million he says he lost on the investment. In addition he is seeking $2 billion in punitive damages
Suzanne Craig and Kara Scannell, "Judge's Fraud Ruling Puts Heat On Morgan Stanley, Law Firm," The Wall Street Journal, L March 24, 2005; Page A1 ---
http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111162256208888176,00.html?mod=home_whats_news_us
Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm


The report notes six allegations of either plagiarism or distortion of scholarly materials
Where Churchill may face difficulty is in allegations of research misconduct. The report notes six allegations of either plagiarism or distortion of scholarly materials. In one of the cases, the report notes, a lawyer at Dalhousie University, in Nova Scotia, concluded that one of its professors had been plagiarized by Churchill. The Dalhousie professor also charges that Churchill made a threatening phone call to her — a charge he has denied.
Scott Jaschik, "Churchill Survives — For Now,," Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/25/churchill

The university received complaints from Indian leaders 10 years ago that Churchill was being untruthful
The report also examined an unusual allegation that has been raised: That Churchill is not an American Indian, as he has claimed. According to the report, Churchill has always identified himself to the university as an American Indian, and the university received complaints from Indian leaders 10 years ago that Churchill was being untruthful. At the time, the university concluded that self-identification was an appropriate way for Churchill to declare himself an Indian, so the matter was dropped. Since the university ruled on the matter a decade ago, the review concluded that it could not investigate questions with regard to Churchill’s hiring. But, it did say that if Churchill is misrepresenting himself as an Indian, that could constitute research misconduct.
Scott Jaschik, "Churchill Survives — For Now,," Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/25/churchill

“A remaining question is whether Professor Churchill has attempted to gain a scholarly voice, credibility, and an audience for his scholarship by wrongfully asserting that he is an Indian. There is evidence that Professor Churchill’s assertion of his Indian status is material to his scholarship, yet there is serious doubt about his Indian identity,” the review said. “The evidence is sufficient to warrant referral of this question to the Committee on Research Misconduct for inquiry and, if appropriate, investigation to determine whether Professor Churchill relies on his Indian identity in his scholarship and, if so, whether he has fabricated that identity.”
Scott Jaschik, "Churchill Survives — For Now,," Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/25/churchill

Bob Jensen's threads on the saga of Ward Churchill are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/hypocrisyChurchill.htm


Many banks employ archaic data privacy practices
Today, most large-scale identity thefts go unreported, either because the bank wants to avoid tarnishing their reputation or because they are simply unaware of the breaches. Many banks employ archaic data privacy practices that haven't kept pace with the evolving threats. The exploits of identity thieves, however, which are often coordinated by international crime syndicates, have become increasingly creative and sophisticated. Many banks are caught in a catch-22 situation: Their customers are demanding greater online access to a broader range of financial services, yet as banks make their services available online to customers, they're also making them available to thieves.  There's no single silver bullet that can eliminate identity theft," concludes Stickley. "Based on our experience, the banks that do the best job of protecting their customers' information are the banks that view information security not as a static one-time fix, but as a regularly monitored business process that requires continuous improvement. Information security must become infused directly into every facet of the business, governing everything from policies and procedures for how the receptionist greets front desk visitors, to how waste paper is shredded, to how software engineers design and test the guts of online banking applications."
AccountingWeb, March 23, 2005 --- http://www.accountingweb.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=100697


Parents bear heavy responsibility for dismal school dropout rates
The high-school dropout crisis in Los Angeles and across California is far worse than anybody knew. Researchers at Harvard University reported Wednesday that more than half of the students who enter Los Angeles Unified School District high schools, and nearly 30 percent across the state, don't graduate within four years. The dropout rates are sharply higher for Latino and African-American children. Those numbers are roughly twice as bad as members of the education establishment led the public to believe. For years, they have blamed transiency of the large immigrant population and a lot of other reasons for the lack of good data, while fudging the numbers to make the situation look less dire.
"Crisis in education:  Parents bear heavy responsibility for dismal school dropout rates," LA Daily News, March 25, 2005 --- http://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413,200~20951~2780754,00.htm


The American Association for Higher Education, which was founded in 1969, announced Thursday that it would shut down its operations. The group has been influential on a number of curricular and teaching issues, but has faced a declining membership and financial difficulties . . . Lovett said that most AAHE funds come from membership and conference fees, and that both have been in decline. There are currently about 5,600 members — mostly faculty members and academic administrators — down from more than 9,000 in the late 1990’s. She also said that foundation grants have been harder to come by in recent years.
Scott Jaschik, "Influential Group Calls It Quits," Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/25/aahe


An address by the President of Princeton University
In a copy of her prepared text, Tilghman gave many examples of actual conditions that hinder talented women from advancing in science. For example, she cited a study she commissioned in 2001 of untenured faculty members in engineering and natural sciences at Princeton. She reported that 33 percent of women and 64 percent of men reported having strong mentoring support. Tilghman also noted the support that comes (or doesn’t) at home. One third of female scientists are unmarried, compared to 17 percent of men. And of married scientists, 10 percent of women and 40 percent of men have unemployed spouses.  Summers took a very different approach to examining the problem. Bowing to faculty demands, he posted a copy of his remarks on Harvard’s Web site, but that transcript was recently removed. Fortunately, The Harvard Crimson’s Web site still has a copy of the transcript, which allows for a comparison of the two presidents’ talks (go to the link below):
Scott Jaschik, "The Anti-Summers," March 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2005/03/25/tilghman


A lesbian scientist moves from Virginia to to Massachusetts
During those three years, however, my partner and I paid thousands of dollars for private health insurance when my partner was working part time, because she could not get those benefits through me. We did all we legally could to provide ourselves with the rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples, including the right to visit each other in the hospital and make medical decisions for each other. But we wanted to have a family, and in Virginia we could not both be legally recognized as parents of our future children. Because it seemed clear that laws of Virginia were not going to change in any way beneficial to us in the near future, I went on the job market in 2004. I was offered an exciting position at a university in Massachusetts, which had just become the first state where same-sex couples could get married. By contrast, around the same time the Virginia legislature passed the “Marriage Affirmation Act.” This bill outlawed any same-sex “partnership contract or other arrangements that purport to provide the benefits of marriage.” Under some interpretations, this law negated the medical powers of attorney we had obtained to guarantee hospital visitation in case of emergencies.
Lynn Adler, "A Reason to Move," Inside Higher Ed, March 25, 2005 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/views/2005/03/25/adler


UN Report on the progress of family planning and population control
Countries are making real progress in carrying out a bold global action plan that links poverty alleviation to women’s rights and universal access to reproductive health. Ten years into the new era opened by the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, the quality and reach of family planning programmes have improved, safe motherhood and HIV prevention efforts are being scaled up, and governments embrace the ICPD Programme of Action as an essential blueprint for realizing development goals.
UNFPA --- http://www.unfpa.org/swp/swpmain.htm 


New York Pubic Library:  275,000 images digitized from primary sources 
NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 275,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.
NYPL Digital Gallery --- http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/index.cfm  

Discovering Buddhist Art
Do you know the difference between a demon and bodhisattva? Find out by browsing the works of Buddhist art in the SAM collection. This interactive is a virtual guide to Discovering Buddhist Art, now on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

Discovering Buddhist Art ---  http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibit/interactives/buddhism/enter.asp 


Center for Health Services and Policy 
Founded in 1990, the George Washington University Center for Health Services and Policy is "dedicated to providing policymakers, public health officials, health care administrators, and advocates with the information and ideas they need to improve access to quality, affordable health care." With a staff of several dozen, the Center's work falls into a number of topical areas, such as welfare reform, HIV/AIDS, behavioral health policy, and maternal and child health. One of the first stops for new visitors should be the "Publications" section, which contains the organization's latest work (and archived materials) emanating from different research areas. The site also contains a helpful listing of relevant links and the opportunity to join the Center's managed behavioral healthcare electronic mailing list.
From the Scout Report on March 24, 2005.
The home page for Center for Health Services and Policy is at http://www.gwhealthpolicy.org/chsrp/ 


Where have all the children gone?
San Francisco, where the median house price is now about $700,000, had the lowest percentage of people under 18 of any large city in the nation, 14.5 percent, compared with 25.7 percent nationwide, the 2000 census reported. Seattle, where there are more dogs than children, was a close second. Boston, Honolulu, Portland, Miami, Denver, Minneapolis, Austin and Atlanta, all considered, healthy, vibrant urban areas, were not far behind. The problem is not just that American women are having fewer children, reflected in the lowest birth rate ever recorded in the country.  Officials say that the very things that attract people who revitalize a city--dense vertical housing, fashionable restaurants and shops and mass transit that makes a car unnecessary--are driving out children by making the neighborhoods too expensive for young families.
Timothy Egan, "Vibrant Cities Find One Thing Missing: Children," The New York Times, March 24, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/NYTchildren 


What would it take to have an unsafe plant?
BP Chief Executive John Browne said the company's Texas City, Texas, refinery ``a very safe plant'' on Thursday as the death toll in Wednesday's explosion there climbed to 15.  It was the third fatal accident at the mammoth plant in the 12 months. A worker died in a fall last May, and two were killed and one injured in September when scalding hot water burst from a pipe.
"BP: Texas Plant 'Safe,' Death Toll at 15," MSNBC News, March 24, 2005 --- http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/breaking/breakingnewsarticle.asp?feed=OBR&Date=20050324&ID=4327330


Technology for the Tower of Babel
One of the HLT unit’s biggest success stories is a highly efficient system for the creation of pronunciation dictionaries. Davel explains that the system has been tested on a number of South African languages, including isiZulu, Setswana, Afrikaans, and Sepedi. Researchers have also developed a speech synthesis system for isiZulu, which is the first language of more South Africans—24 percent—than any other. The system, which is now being tested, enables people with only a reading knowledge of isiZulu to communicate orally with native speakers. South Africa’s other major area of innovation involves communication of another sort: the collaborative process that is the heart of the open-source-software movement. More than 80 percent of the country’s six-billion-rand (about $1 billion) annual spending on software and licensing goes to foreign companies, according to the Shuttleworth Foundation’s Go Open Source campaign. This reliance on proprietary hardware and software hinders the development of South Africans’ information technology skills and closes off opportunities for economic growth.
Janet Paterson and Pamela Weaver, "South Africa," MIT's Technology Review, April 2005 --- http://www2.technologyreview.com/articles/05/04/issue/feature_gp_safrica.asp?trk=nl


The East German experiment failed
It is correct, though, to say that the East German experiment has failed. The two parts of the country have been drifting apart since 1997 despite or maybe because of the €85 billion of annual transfers. East German GDP per person of working age, which peaked at 61% of the West German level in 1996, has fallen to 59%. There are regions with unemployment levels of 30%, breeding extremism and violence. But even if we took the East out of the equation, the hard truth is that the West German economy has also been growing slower than any other country in Western and Central Europe.
Hans-Wermer Sinn, "Germany Outperforms...Moldova," The Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2005 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111161847607888070,00.html?mod=opinion&ojcontent=otep


I might claim the earth is flat if such a claim was worth over a million to me
Ms. Mapes continues to insist that the story was accurate, and that the documents were not forged. The book will present a detailed counterattack against an independent panel's findings that the segment should not have aired, and will include documentation and analysis that she says backs up her reporting and which the panel did not release.
"Mary Mapes signs book deal," Crains New York, March 21, 2005 --- http://www.crainsny.com/news.cms?id=10231


Brave Christian Women's Defiance of Castro
Communist dictator Fidel Castro is both furious and frightened of a little band of 30 protesters called "the Women in White." But today -- Easter Sunday -- these brave wives, mothers, daughters and sisters of imprisoned political dissidents will do what they have done every Sunday for the past two years.
Bob MacDonald, "The rebel women of Cuba:  A brave band holds a mirror up to the monstrous Castro regime, Toronto Sun, March 27, 2005 --- http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/TorontoSun/News/2005/03/27/973657-sun.html 

European Union Development Commissioner Louis Michel has urged Cuban President Fidel Castro to release imprisoned dissidents during a visit to Cuba to reopen talks between Brussels and Havana, an EU spokesman says. The Cuban leader expressed interest in mending relations with Europe during the four-hour meeting that lasted until 1 a.m. on Saturday, Michel's spokesman Amadeu Altafaj Tardio said. EU relations with Cuba were frozen two years ago after Castro ordered a crackdown on critics of his one-party Marxist state. "Michel repeated to Castro the unvarying position of the EU in favour of the release of all.. . . 
"EU urges Castro to free dissidents," Reuters UK, March 27, 2005 --- http://snipurl.com/ReutersMarch27 


She just didn't know after all
Australian Health Minister Tony Abbott made news last month because the man he believed to be his son, Daniel O'Connor, had been working in the same building.  The two were reunited after Mr O'Connor contacted his birth mother, who said Mr Abbott was his father. But DNA tests - carried out after another man came forward - have now shown there is no link between the two.
"Australian MP loses long lost son," BBC News, March 21, 2005 --- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4367921.stm


Lines between online and onsite shopping are becoming blurred
New technologies and ideas are allowing retailers to remove the wall between online shopping and in-store shopping, and to make the gathering of customer data both easier and more valuable. Advanced data-mining and Web analytics techniques now examine not just what you bought online but what you viewed, helping retailers design promotions that will entice you to shop online and in stores. These enticements will themselves arrive over multiple channels—through magazines, regular mail, e-mail, the Web, and wireless transmissions to your car or shopping cart. By looking at just a few of a customer’s purchases, a retailer will even be able to predict how much she’ll spend over her lifetime, and adjust the deals and promotions it offers her accordingly. The ultimate goal is more-customized, personal service. The best retailers have always striven to provide the most-­tailored service possible; however, as more and more retailers expand nationally and even internationally, building close relationships with customers is increasingly difficult. “Retailers can’t do that now because they have millions of customers all over the country,” says Dan Hopping, senior consulting manager for IBM’s Retail Store Solutions Division. “So they use technology to make the connection.”
Robert Buderi, "E-Commerce Gets Smarter," MIT's Technology Review, April 2005 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/05/04/issue/feature_ecommerce.asp?trk=nl


I don't find this particularly surprising in this era
Almost a quarter of 14-year-old girls have already had sex with at least one partner, according to a survey by a teen magazine.   The Bliss magazine study found that most of them did not use protection and that 60% of them had sex after drinking alcohol.  The survey of 2,000 teenage girls across Britain with an average age of 14.5 years is the most comprehensive of its kind.
"Is sex survey shocking?" Sky News, March 24, 2005 --- http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1175926,00.html


Now this I find surprising:  I guess he showed her a thing or two
An Italian woman whose angry husband refused for 7 years to have sex with her was awarded divorce damages by Italy's high court this week. Francesco launched his "sex strike" in the early 1990s to punish his wife, Piera, for taking sides against him in a family dispute over money, according to details of the case reported by local media.
"Italian wins in court after husband's 'sex strike':  Court awards damages, says 7-year campaign was unfair ," MSNBC News, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7294069/


1. 10 Most Popular Articles of the Past Two Weeks In case you missed any of these important articles, here are

the 10 Most Read Articles on NYTimes.com for the last two weeks (as of 11 a.m. ET, March 23).

1) Frank Rich: The Greatest Dirty Joke Ever Told

Published: March 13, 2005

A post-9/11 Friars roast and "Deadwood" show that indecency can be all-American. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/13/arts/13Rich.html?ex=1114059600&en=f60b06059a0666b1&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048jBR048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

2) In Cancun, Girls Gone Mild

By MAUREEN DOWD, Published: March 20, 2005

Sisters on a spring break adventure at a luxury hotel, where t-shirts stay dry and the rest of Mexico is kept at bay. http://travel2.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/travel/20cancun.html?ex=1114059600&en=a7f0638042fa97d3&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048jBP048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

3) U.S. Report Lists Possibilities for Terrorist Attacks and Likely Toll

By ERIC LIPTON, Published: March 16, 2005

The Department of Homeland Security has identified a dozen possible strikes it views as most plausible or devastating. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/16/politics/16home.html?ex=1114059600&en=58b8a0565df09e9e&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048jBM048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

4) No Need to Stew: A Few Tips to Cope With Life's Annoyances By IAN URBINA, Published: March 16, 2005 Striking back at the little things that drive people crazy is a case study in human inventiveness. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/15/nyregion/15annoyances.html?ex=1114059600&en=f703b363840152f7&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048jBH048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

5) Far From Hollywood, a Boxer Whose Dreams Died in the Ring

By RICK LYMAN, Published: March 9, 2005

Like Hilary Swank's character in "Million Dollar Baby," Katie

Dallam turned to boxing only to become disabled and suicidal. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/09/national/09boxer.html?ex=1114059600&en=b9e2610796cb4b55&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048jBC048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

6) Maureen Dowd: X-celling Over Men

Published: March 20, 2005

Research published last week in the journal Nature reveals that women are genetically more complex than men. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/opinion/20dowd.html?ex=1114232400&en=eb577b20184a9e9c&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048jB9048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

7) Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged TV News

By DAVID BARSTOW and ROBIN STEIN, Published: March 13, 2005

At least 20 federal agencies have made and distributed hundreds of television news segments in the past four years. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/13/politics/13covert.html?ex=1114059600&en=20947d7cd64c1b16&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048j5u048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

8) In Blow to Bush, Senators Reject Cuts to Medicaid

By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG, Published: March 18, 2005

The vote, a rebuke to both the White House and the Senate leadership, put the House and Senate on a collision course. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/18/politics/18budget.html?ex=1114059600&en=3583fc0bdd4f109e&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048j5r048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

9) Maureen Dowd: A Wink and a Fraud

Published: March 17, 2005

George W. Bush started his presidency with a chip on his shoulder. Now he's a barrel of laughs. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/17/opinion/17dowd.html?ex=1114059600&en=4bd65049b713a7fa&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048j5m048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

10) Frank Rich: Enron: Patron Saint of Bush's Fake News

Published: March 20, 2005

Revisiting the Enron story as it re-emerges in 2005 is to be reminded of just how much the Enron culture has continued to shape the Bush administration. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/20/arts/20Rich.html?ex=1114059600&en=656d524f9d3d0dbb&ei=5087&nl=ep&emc=ep&rd=hcmcp?p=048j5h048j6r4C77$012000mn6L4n6GD

 




Forwarded by Auntie Bev

Here are the 10 first place winners in the International Pun Contest

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says,"Dam"!

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse.   "But why?" they asked, as they moved off. "Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

8. These friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not.  He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop.  Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good)..... A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did????

 

 

 




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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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