Down Route 302 about 20 miles is the village of Bath, New Hampshire ---
There's a relatively long covered bridge in Bath ---
Bath is also the home of a general store called The Brick that claims to be the "oldest
continuously operating general store in America." The store's located at the start of the covered bridge.


Aside from the covered bridge and The Brick, there's not much of note in Bath except that it's the long-time home of Patti Page on her Hilltop Farm. Now most of you younger folks probably do not know much about Patti Page, but in the Big Band Era up into the 1960s, the clear-singing "Rage" was Patti Page ---
Also see

Actually she still had pop hit gold records into the 1980s and had some country song hits as well. In 2007 Patti Page was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.
(If you wait a bit you can listen to Old Cape Cod at the Hall of Fame site).

In 1948 Patti first visited the Hit Parade with “Confess,” entering the top ten in 1950 with “I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine" and a few months later with "With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming". Before the year was over, she had her first #1 chart topper with “All My Love” and the record that would sell more than 20 million singles, "Tennessee Waltz."

Throughout the 50’s and 1960’s Patti Page would add 15 gold records including, “Would I Love You,” “Mockin’ Bird Hill,” “Mister And Mississippi,” “Detour,” “Come What May,” “Once In Awhile,” “I Went to Your Wedding,” “Steam Heat”, “How Much is That Doggie In The Window,” “Changing Partners,” “Cross Over The Bridge,” “Allegheny Moon,” “Old Cape Cod,” “Left Right Out Of Your Heart,” and in 1965 the title song from the Bette Davis motion picture, “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.”

On the best selling charts more than 100 times, Patti Page sold a staggering 110 million records and won a Grammy in 1998 as Best Traditional Pop Singer.

In 2007 Patti Page was inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

In the photographs below she can be seen in the early years with Elvis and later years with her husband Jerry.


Patti Page did the soundtracks for 27 movies form 1950-2006 as well as star in some of her own movies.
For a listing of her performance successes see ---

This year she filled the Empire Theatre (Ontario, Canada) on April 12, 2008 ---
At a performance earlier in February 2008 (poor audio recording but lovely nonetheless)---
She also did a Swinging With the Band show recently in Arizona on April 26, 2008.

Patti Page's Maple Sugar and Organic Products Store has a home page at
Products can be purchased online, including some products she produces on the "New England Hilltop Farm" she shares in Bath with her husband Jerry.
Of course you can also purchase Patti Page memorabilia from her store.

One of Patti Page's hits was the title song in the "Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte" horror film starring Bette Davis ---
Previously I did a tidbit about Bette Davis who lived on the Butternut Farm about two miles down the road in Sugar Hill ---

Official Patti Page Website (especially note the historic photographs) ---

Patti Page with:
   Rex Allen
   Garth Brooks
   Nat King Cole
   Bing Crosby
   Emmylou Harris
   Bob Hope
   David Janssen
   Allison Krauss
   Burt Lancaster
   Lorrie Morgan
   Elvis Presley- photo 1
   Elvis Presley- photo 2
   Ed Sullivan
   Sarah Vaughn

Here are a few Patti Page video memories that I remember well:



Tidbits on July 15, 2008
Bob Jensen

For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 

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

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at

CPA Examination ---

On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics ---
       (Also scroll down to the table at )

Global Incident Map ---

Set up free conference calls at
Also see   

Free Online Tutorials in Multiple Disciplines ---

Google Maps Street View ---

World Clock ---

Tips on computer and networking security ---

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) ---

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  ---

Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

Irena Sendler ---

Christian the Lion (great music) ---

Secrets to Happiness ---
These are almost as good as being married to a rich nymphomaniac who owns a chain of liquor stores

MagentaTV (Professor Christopher Lamarca, Nature Photographer) ---
Also see "Defenders of the Forest," Chronicle of Higher Education's The Chronicle Review, July 11, 2008 ---

Kate and Gin – Britain’s Got Talent
Kate and Gin – talented dog 


Dialogue Radio and Television [current events video] ---

Torvill & Dean Olympic Skaters

Free music downloads ---

Elvis Singing America ---
1995 Slideshow ---
Video Version ---
American Holiday (Video) ---
Elvis Impersonator-Joseph Hall ---

Elvis doesn't care if the sun don't shine ---

Battle Hymn of the Republic (the music takes about a minute to start up) --- Hymn/index.htm

My favorite from Floyd Cramer ---

A couple of my many Judd Strunk banjo-picking favorites"


Judd Strunk sings "A Daisy a Day" on the Johnny Carson Show --- 

Black National Anthem ---

The National Anthem of Norway ---

National Anthem of Ireland ---

Irish Rebel Songs ---

Welsh National Anthem (Wales vs. Ireland) ---

Classical Violin
James Ehnes: A Little Recital And A Grammy ---

Drummer great Bobby Durham died on July 10, 2008 ---

Jane Froman's Great, Great Voice ---

July 7, 2008 message from

Aloha from Hawaii Bob,

I was happy that I somehow landed on one of you're sites while surfing the web today. I ended up reading a number of them for hours. Very interesting stuff. I came across one of you're pages entitled:

"Bob Jensen's Links to Online Music and Video"

As well as you're "Music Page"

Since I have a number of free Music downloads on my site to one of the most popular Hawaiian Artists in the islands "Israel Kamakawiwo'ole", I was wondering if you might consider posting a link to my Hawaiian Music website on either of these Music pages..?

I would be happy to post a link to you're Music pages or any linkpage you wish in kind if you would like.

I post some basic info about my site(s) (i.e: the 1st is the Music site, the 2nd is a Hawaii Photo site) below for your consideration and of course feel free to edit any of it as you see fit.


Title: Free Hawaiian Music Downloads

Description: "Free Hawaiian Music Downloads", including "Somewhere Over the Rainbow IZ Songs", and Free Legal Music Players.


Title: Hawaii Photo Beach Pictures Gallery

Description: Hawaii beach photos, Hawaiian sunset pictures, Hawaiian flowers, Hawaii photo album.

Photographs and Art

Fantastic Photographs Taken from Airplanes (Slide Show) --- Click Here

Black Hole Montage - NASA Galaxy Big Bang (video) ---

A Daring Experiment: Harvard and Business Education for Women, 1937-1970 ---

First Detailed Map of the Human Cortex ---

National Park Service, Nature & Science: Teacher Resources ---

Dakin Fire Insurance Maps (history of urbanization of Hawaii)  ---

From UC Berkeley
Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative ---

Dance Teacher Magazine ---

Library of Congress Search Site for Art, Speeches, Music, and Other Items ---

June 30, 2008 message from

Hello Bob,

This is photographer Amanda Koster and I wanted to thank you discussing my work and posting a link on October 24, 2005. Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my work, it is kind of you and also an honor.

There are a few things going on with my work that I thought you’d like to hear about.

A publisher out of Seattle has just given me a contract to publish my first book. The book will be a retrospective of my social documentary photography work and personal journals while doing this work around the world throughout the years. The book will also be focused on SalaamGarage, showing how SalaamGarage is a vehicle to harness ones own media talents and passions to cause positive change.

The publisher is also organizing an event “What can be done with a camera and a pen”, in early September where I will present the book, my work and SalaamGarage. A percentage of ticket + book sales will go to Vatsalya, the NGO SalaamGarage worked with in India last fall. I see this event as a call to action to realize the power of social documentary storytelling and to register for a SalaamGarage trip. I can send you the press release for the book and event later this month.

Salaam Garage ( ) is a venture I have created out of the 25th request, “Can I come with you?” Here is the mission statement:

Salaam Garage Adventures connects media savvy travelers and enthusiasts with international Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). Travelers commit to creating and sharing unique, independent social media that raises awareness and causes positive change. The rest of the adventure is spent touring around the region, experiencing and exploring the culture and environment with an entirely new context. You will find that Salaam Garage is not just visual art, but also a body of work that has the capability to spark global transformation.

We are the media now. Join us.

Here are a few articles about Salaamgarage: 

Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or comments about Salaam Garage. Thank you for taking the time to look this over, and for sharing an interest in causing positive change in our world.

Thank you so much and all the best,


Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

Bookspot is a very useful site for finding books by category (although it is not limited to free online books) ---

Quotations About Time ---
Also watch the video at 

Internet Book List ---

Classics Reader ---

University of Missouri Digital Library ---
Includes such things as sheet music and photographs.

American Library Association Mystery Showcase ---

Digital Library Books Page ---

Free eBooks for your PDA (or iPod) ---

English Composition: Writing for an Audience --- 

Five Best Books on Father-Son Relationships ---


A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.
Thomas Jefferson as quoted on the bottom of email messages from Patricia Doherty

I can't believe this appeared in a New York Times editorial:
Longer term, the challenge is perhaps even more daunting. Saving more is ultimately the only way to dig out of the budget hole that the nation is in. That will be painful, because higher government savings, done properly, means higher taxes and restrained spending. Candidates for president do not like to be pessimistic, or even candid, really, about the economy. But a leader who wants to steer the nation through tough times should not spend the campaign telling Americans they can have it all.
"There He Goes Again," The New York Times, July 12, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
But true to form, the NYT only criticizes John McCain's balanced budget goals in this context. No mention is made of the NYT's favorite candidate who certainly, albeit truthfully, is not promising anything within light years of a balanced budget. The question is which candidate, if elected, will heavily veto the outrageous spending bills that most certainly emerge from Congress over the next four or eight years. Sadly, George Bush, unlike Reagan, rarely inked a spending veto in his eight years. This country does not know what a life-threatening debt crisis is and will have a rude awakening after November when the U.S. dollar skids to all time lows never imagined. The real problem is that Congress is leaning to more of entitlement time bombs ---

Truth in Accounting or Lack Thereof in the Federal Government (Former Congressman Chocola) --- 
Part 2 (unfunded liabilities of $55 trillion plus) ---
Part 3 (this is a non-partisan problem being ignored in election promises) ---

Watch the Video of the non-sustainability of the U.S. economy (CBS Sixty Minutes TV Show Video) --- 
Also see "US Government Immorality Will Lead to Bankruptcy" in the CBS interview with David Walker ---
Also at Dirty Little Secret About Universal Health Care (David Walker) ---

My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it.
Barack Obama
Jensen Comment
Of course there are many ways any great nation can be improved. But change for change sake is a double-edged sword that can cut either way when change is built on borrowed money.

As a state senator from the South Side, Barack Obama once arranged for a $200,000 state grant to jump-start an urban venture capital fund for a non-profit group run by Rev. Jesse Jackson. The grant was the very sort of faith-based initiative now at the center of an uncomfortable rift between Jackson and Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. The money was spent, but the promised investment pool for job-poor neighborhoods never materialized, an example of the mixed record for Obama and other officials in getting results from such programs.
Bob Secter and Ray Gibson, "Obama has long backed faith charities," Chicago Tribune, July 12, 2008 ---,0,1382081.story
Jensen Comment
One of the drawbacks is that these programs are charities that do little to attract employers into poverty and crime-infested districts.
Five Best Books on Father-Son Relationships ---

The swelling forces of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters in Pakistan’s border region pose a grave threat to American and NATO troops in Afghanistan. They also pose a grave threat to the Pakistani people. Pakistan’s Taliban militias, like their Afghan counterparts, are trying to impose their harsh medieval version of Islamic law. More than a thousand Pakistanis have been killed in terrorist attacks in the past year, mostly in the border areas where radical Islamic fighters are strongest . . . Sending United States troops into Pakistan’s border regions to try to clean out Taliban and Al Qaeda forces is also not the answer — and would provoke even fiercer anti-American furies across Pakistan. The poorly paid, ill-trained and uncertainly loyal Frontier Corps in Pakistan is not up to the job . . . This month, Senators Joseph Biden and Richard Lugar plan to introduce sensible legislation that would provide up to $15 billion in aid to Pakistan over the next 10 years for economic development, health and education. Congress should move quickly to approve the aid.
"The Taliban’s Rising Tide," The New York Times, July 11, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
A nuclear threat far more serious than Iran or North Korea is the the tide of the Taliban will float off with the nuclear weapons in the hands of the meanest men on earth. Throwing billions at Pakistan is simply going to fuel the fire, but this is a typical NYT recommendation. We've been throwing billions at Pakistan for years and have ample proof that it's smart to keep threatening the U.S. because then we will send more money each time the threat gets more serious. Game theorists have known this for years, and Pakistan is proving to be as smart or smarter than the game theorists. The good news is that the increased billions we send around the world buy less and less because its all borrowed money while the national deficit at $55 trillion just keeps going up and up in our beautiful balloon. If we take the military option off the table what negotiating power have we got left? Editorials of The New York Times never mention going beyond sending more and more and more money.

“As president, I would pursue a new strategy, and begin by providing at least two additional combat brigades to support our effort in Afghanistan,” Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, wrote in an Op-Ed article published on Monday in The New York Times. “We need more troops, more helicopters, better intelligence-gathering and more nonmilitary assistance to accomplish the mission there.”
Barack Obama, "Troops in Afghanistan Need Help, Obama Says," The New York Times, July 14, 2008 ---

After saying U.S. troops should exit Iraq prudently, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois makes the point Afghanistan is where the only war on terror is taking place. And he says he is prepared to shift a large number of U.S. soldiers and assets to the guerrilla war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, which leads some intelligence experts to ask, somewhat anxiously, whether Afghanistan could become Obama's Vietnam, as it was Russia's Vietnam before.
Newsmax, July 11, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
Since I don't think its possible to seriously negotiate peace (other than our surrender) terms with fanatics in al Qaeda or the Taliban, I hope President Obama lives up to his pledge on this one in an effort to stop the take over of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal by religious fanatics. Contrary to the Bush administration and State Department Opposition, Obama states he's more inclined to carry out hot pursuit raids into Pakistan.

"Al-Qaeda meets its enemy And it turns out to be its own extremism," by Deroy Murdock, Boston Herald, July 12, 2008 --- 

Al-Qaeda’s agenda for Mosul included a decree that clothiers cover the heads of their in-store mannequins. Some relented, and shrouded their mannequins with plastic bags.

“I don’t know where these groups came from,” shop owner Mutaz Ahmed told the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. “They want to take us back 1,400 years. But if you want to stay alive, you have to obey their orders.”

Extremists banned soap in public baths because the Prophet Mohammed lacked it back in the 600s.

Al-Qaeda took particular interest in clamping down on various food items.

“Sammoun,” a type of bread popular in Mosul, was prohibited, since Mohammed never ate it. Islamo-puritans found the sight of cucumbers and tomatoes side by side sexually charged, so they ordered produce stands to keep them apart, and told restaurateurs like Khalaf Khalid to serve them on separate plates.

“We obey them because they threatened to blow up the restaurant and kill us if we didn’t,” Khalid said, back when al-Qaeda was in command.

Al-Qaeda also took a “Just Say No” attitude toward ice. Mohammed didn’t have it, so Mosul’s residents could not, either.

“They prevented production and sale of ice in Mosul from last year,” Khalaf Abed Al-Hadidi, an ice manufacturer, told Agence France Presse. “Last summer was tough for us, but we couldn’t use the ice factory.”

As part of a general crackdown on public displays of joy, al-Qaeda even banned wedding parties in Mosul.

As James Glassman, the State Department’s chief of public diplomacy, observed at Manhattan’s Council on Foreign Relations, “What began to turn the tide in Iraq was when Iraqis began to realize that this was a murderous ideology that was killing Muslims and justifying it by saying, ‘If I think you’re not a good Muslim, it’s OK for me to kill you.’ ”

If you're an al-Qaida terrorist who has participated in operations that have killed thousands of Americans, if you've been captured on the battlefield in Afghanistan or Iraq by members of the U.S. military and you're lucky enough to be detained at Guantanamo Bay, you're entitled to challenge the legality of your detention in a federal court. So say five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. If you're a member of the U.S. military fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq, risking your life on a daily basis to bring to justice — or send to paradise — the jihadists and you're accused of committing war crimes, the court of public opinion can issue an immediate verdict: Guilty. The bare majority decision of the high court opens a legal path that could conceivably lead to enemy combatants taken prisoner in a theater of war receiving the same legal rights as American citizens, including the presumption of innocence. If you're an American citizen who has heeded the call to duty, there's no such presumption.
Jonathan Gurwitz, "Don't troops have rights, too?" San Antonio Express-News, June 24, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
To the extent that this helps save our soldiers live, there's much worry that the ACLU is going to fight to the death to have this life-saving legislation overturned. But then when did the ACLU ever care about our national defense?

Al Jazeera broadcast this incredibly vile show on July 5th, 2008, glorifying Dalal Mughrabi—an Arab female terrorist responsible for an attack on a passenger bus in Israel that resulted in the murders of 35 men, women, and children. Mughrabi’s sister appears, and praises the Palestinian who ran amok with a front-loader in Jerusalem recently.
Watch the video on little green footballs, July 11, 2008 ---

Independent analysts have found higher education in Russia to be a part of society experiencing particularly rapid rates of growth in corruption, with bribes common to secure spots in classes or good grades, The St. Petersburg Times reported. Senior faculty members generally do not take bribes directly, but do so through intermediaries, the report said.
Inside Higher Ed, July 8, 2008 --- Jensen Comment
Purportedly Vladimir Putin not only plagiarized his doctoral thesis, but he may not have even read it ---

Don't underestimate the free lunch
Wall Street is in for a radical makeover. Fewer people, lower margins, lower risk, lower compensation — and ultimately, fewer talented people. It is likely to change the culture of an industry that for nearly a century has been the money center of the world. “There would be a lot of firms leaving New York if it wasn’t for lunch,” Mr. Wolfe said.
Andrew Ross Sorkin, "A ‘Bonfire’ Returns as Heartburn," The New York Times, June, 24, 2008 --- Click Here

Iraq's government has removed 550 tonnes of natural uranium left over from Saddam Hussein's era and sold it to a Canadian company, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said. The uranium, called yellowcake, had been stored in a compound at Tuwaitha, south of Baghdad, which was once the centre of Saddam's nuclear weapons programme. A U.S. embassy spokeswoman confirmed the U.S. military helped safely ship the uranium out of the country.
"Iraq removes uranium left over from Saddam era," Reuters, July 7, 2008 ---

But stop it has. In the past month, India has joined the list of the wounded. The country is reeling from 11.4% inflation, large government deficits, and rising interest rates. Foreign investment is fleeing, the rupee is falling, and the stock market is down over 40% from the year's highs. Most economic forecasts expect growth to slow to 7%—a big drop for a country that needs to accelerate growth, not reduce it. "India has gone from hero to zero in six months," says Andrew Holland, head of proprietary trading at Merrill Lynch India (MER) in Mumbai. Many in India worry that the country's hard-earned investment-grade rating will soon be lost and that the gilded growth story has come to an end . . . A June 16 report by Goldman Sachs' (GS) Jim O'Neill and Tushar Poddar, Ten Things for India to Achieve Its 2050 Potential, is a grim reminder that India has fallen to the bottom of the four BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) in its growth scores, due largely to government inertia. The report states that India's rice yields are a third those of China and half of Vietnam's. While 60% of the country's labor force is employed in agriculture, farming contributes less than 1% to overall growth. The report urges India to improve governance, raise educational achievement, and control inflation. It also advises reining in profligate expenditures, liberalizing its financial markets, increasing agricultural productivity, and improving infrastructure, the environment, and energy use. "The will to implement all these needs leadership," points out Poddar.
Manjeet Kripalani, Business Week, July 1, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
In some Indian states, the rats eat up more of the rice than people.

Ma don't care if her son can't read,
Teacher says television's all he'll need
When he's with his baby!

Last month, Representative Sam Graves, a Missouri Republican, introduced the NCLB Recess Until Reauthorization Act, which would essentially suspend the law's accountability provisions but not the funding. Under Mr. Graves's bill, schools would no longer have to file progress reports that expose achievement gaps between kids of different races, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Since NCLB passed in 2002, minority parents in particular have come to rely on this information to find out if a school is serving the needs of their children. But apparently Mr. Graves and his co-sponsor, Democrat Timothy Waltz of Minnesota, believe that the problem with public education today is too much accountability. Not surprisingly, teachers unions like the National Education Association are supporting their efforts.

"The Wrong Education Fix," The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2008; Page A10 ---

Since 1975, drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone (within 200 miles of the U.S. coast) has had a 99.999% safety record, according to the Energy Information Administration, which reports that "only .001 percent of the oil produced has been spilled." Thanks to technological advances, large spills are rare. Most spills are tiny, only a few feet in diameter. Large tanker spills, such as the Exxon Valdez in 1989, are so infrequent they account for a very small fraction of the oil that winds up in the sea. A joint study by NASA and the Smithsonian Institution, examining several decades' worth of data, found that more oil seeps into the ocean naturally than from accidents involving tankers and offshore drilling. Natural seepage from underwater oil deposits leaks an average of 62 million gallons a year; offshore drilling, on the other hand, accounted for only 15 million gallons, the smallest source of oil leaking into the oceans.
Andrew Cline, "Environmentalists Say Yes to Offshore Drilling," The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2008; Page A9 ---

In other words, the G-8 signed on to what has been the White House approach since 2002. The U.S. has relied on the arc of domestic energy programs now in place, like fuel-economy standards and efficiency regulations, along with billions in subsidies for low-carbon technology. Europe threw in with the central planning of the Kyoto Protocol -- and the contrast is instructive. Between 2000 and 2006, U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions fell 3%. Of the 17 largest world-wide emitters, only France reduced by more. So despite environmentalist sanctimony about the urgent need for President Bush and the U.S. to "take the lead" on global warming, his program has done better than most everybody else's. That won't make the evening news. But the fact is that the new G-8 document is best understood as a second look at the "leadership" of . . . you know who.
"Kyoto's Long Goodbye," The Wall Street Journal,  July 11, 2008; Page A14 ---

Helmsley Left Dogs Billions in Her Will ---
How Much is That Doggie in the Window ---
"Should Dogs Get $8 Billion from the Helmsley Estate?" The Becker-Posner Blog, July 13, 2008 ---

Here's a thought experiment: Assume that Iraq's democratic government declared it was nationalizing its oil industry, a la Venezuela or Saudi Arabia, while excluding American companies from the country. How do you think U.S. politicians would react? With angry cries of "ingratitude" and "this is what Americans died for"? Of course they would, led no doubt by that critic for all reasons, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. So it is passing strange that Mr. Schumer and other Senators are now assailing Iraq precisely because it is opening up to foreign oil companies, especially to U.S. majors like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. For some American pols, everything that happens in Iraq is bad news, especially when it's good news for the U.S. Iraq announced this week that it is inviting global competition to develop its major oil reserves, with 35 oil companies invited to bid. By tapping outside capital and expertise, Iraq hopes to increase production by 60%, providing a much-needed boost to its own coffers and the world's tight oil supply. This is welcome news. With elections looming later this year and next, the temptation for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government must have been to play the nationalist card – the way that Mr. Schumer did against Dubai Ports World's proposed U.S. investment in 2006 (see, for instance, "Ports of Gall"). Many Iraqis remain suspicious of outside oil companies – the legacy of a colonial past in which Iraq felt exploited for its oil.
"Iraq's Oil Surge," The Wall Street Journal, July 5, 2008; Page A10 ---
Jensen Comment
Schumer did not mention whether he's buying into Obama's willingness Iran take over Iraq (if necessary to stick to his quick withdrawal timetable for U.S. forces). In the latter case, Schumer might be happy that American Companies can no longer get drilling contracts in Iraq.

Shortly after coming to the Lone Star State, I bought the classic book of Texas wisdom, "Don't Squat with Your Spurs On!" One of its many useful pearls was "No matter who says what, don't believe it if it don't make sense." That's easier said than done, of course, when everyone seems to agree on something I'm still trying to make sense of. Many examples arise from the tendency of lawmakers and regulators to do during a crisis what should have been done earlier to prevent the crisis. Too-late smart may not be smart at all. Fixing the barn door after the horses escape doesn't do much good, and it may keep the horses from returning. Example: The argument that we should raise gasoline taxes to help wean drivers from too much driving in their gas guzzlers. If that was ever a good idea, it was before the recent rise in gasoline prices. Now it would just make a bad situation worse. Suspending gasoline taxes this summer is probably not a good idea either, but it makes more sense than raising them, and is more consistent with the common sense of making hay while the sun shines.
Bob McTeer, "Don't Do Right at the Wrong Time," The Wall Street Journal,  July 5, 2008; Page A9 ---

“WALL-E,” the latest animated production from Pixar Studios, is a heartwarming children’s film about ecological disaster. Its title character is a sturdy little trash-compacting robot whose name is the abbreviation for Waste Allocation Load-Lifter, Earth-class. He has been programmed to clear the vast junkpile left behind by mankind, which has long since absconded to live on a space station. His only companion — at least as the film begins — is a cockroach. Through plot developments it would spoil things to describe, WALL-E is transported to the human colony in deep space. In eight hundred years, it seems, our civilization will be a fusion of Wal-Mart, Club Med, and the World Wide Web. Related stories Faculty Meeting Theater, July 3 Newly Tenured ... at Babson, Pomona, Texas Woman’s U., Wesleyan, June 19 Good Grief, Oct. 10 C.L.R. James Meets Tony Soprano, June 6, 2007 Beach Blanket Bingo, May 23, 2007 E-mail Print Lots of kids will get their first taste of social satire from this film — and chances are, they are going to enjoy it. Yet there is more to what Pixar has done than that. Some of the images are breathtaking. It turns out that robots have their romantic side, or at least WALL-E does; and the sight of him rescuing mementos from the wreckage (fragments shored up amidst human ruin) is perhaps more touching than the love story that later emerges. I had heard almost nothing about the film before attending, so was not at all prepared for a strange surprise: It kept reminding me of Kenneth Burke’s writings about a grim future world he called Helhaven.
Scott McLemee, "Towards Helhaven," Inside Higher Ed, July 9, 2008 --- 

On Sunday, July 13, in Jonesboro, Georgia, an immigrant Muslim father strangled his daughter to death in a so-called "honor killing" because she protested being forced by her family to marry a man she did not know. No feminist uttered a word about the murder of twenty-five-year-old Sandeela Kanwal. On the following Wednesday officials in the city government of Atlanta, Georgia bowed to the pressure from one feminist nut to stop posting "men at work" signs in the city because they are "sexist."
Warner Todd Huston ---
Jensen Comment
This is a sad and isolated incident. Feminists have protested forced marriages in many settings ---
Also see

As you know, much has been made the last several weeks over a Playboy article written by Al Franken. This article, which Franken's campaign spokesperson claims he does not know whether Franken was paid for or not, is demeaning, degrading and an insult to all women. Mr. Franken's article perpetuates myths and stereotypes about women as objects and playthings - mere robots - to be used for pleasure and then essentially discarded when done. Recently, a number of leading Republican women wrote a letter to Mr. Franken condemning his article, and demanding an apology. Enclosed, please find a copy of a letter sent to Mr. Franken regarding our concerns.
A copy of the letter from Rep. Brod & Senator Wergin ---

 . . an e-mail surfaced from one of the state's leading abortion-rights groups, Planned Parenthood, denouncing an article he wrote for Playboy in 2000, calling the piece misogynistic and degrading to women.
Patricia Lopez, Kevin Diaz, and Kevin Duschhere, Star Tribune, June 6, 2008 --- Click Here

Firing a .357-caliber handgun until it was empty, an Ocala woman chased two intruders from her home in the 3800 block of Southeast 68th Street on Wednesday morning. Later Wednesday, Marion County sheriff's detectives had one home invasion suspect in custody and were looking for the second.
Austin L. Miller, "Woman, .357 blazing, chases intruders from home," Star Banner, July2008 ---
Jensen Comment
It's too bad she was not a better shot.

Black Hole Montage - NASA Galaxy Big Bang (video) ---
All physicists are racists --- Watch the Video

The Helhaven writings seem darker — and, well, battier — than “WALL-E.” Burke’s late work can get awfully wild, woolly, and self-referential; and these texts are a case in point. His imaginative streak is constantly disrupted by his theoretical glossolalia.
Scott McLemee, "Towards Helhaven," Inside Higher Ed, July 9, 2008 --- 
I quoted this just to highlight the mysterious word "glossolialia" which I could not spell or define --- 

In Massachusetts some attorneys prefer to punish the child rape victim
"Jessica’s Law dad blasts Mass. rep," Boston Herald, June 24, 2008 ---

The Great and General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is considering passing a "Jessica's law." Named after 12-year-old Jessica Lunsford, who was raped and murdered by a repeat sex offender, the proposed law would require a mandatory 20-year prison sentence for anyone convicted of raping a child under 12.

The Boston Herald reports that Rep. James Fagan is a critic of the legislation:

Fagan, a defense attorney, infuriated victims' rights advocates during a recent House debate when he said he would "rip apart" 6-year-old victims on the witness stand and "make sure the rest of their life is ruined." In a fiery soliloquy on the House floor, Fagan said he'd grill victims so that, "when they're 8 years old they throw up; when they're 12 years old, they won't sleep; when they're 19 years old, they'll have nightmares and they'll never have a relationship with anybody." Fagan did not return calls seeking comment.

A lack of openness has affected other facets of public health too. After the medical establishment blamed him for an outbreak of dengue fever last summer, Chávez halted weekly publication of an epidemiology report that for 50 years had tallied occurrences of infectious diseases nationwide. Former Health Minister Rafael Orihuela contends the loss of the weekly report has deprived the government of information needed for a quick response to outbreaks of disease. "I am not talking about a failure of the government to adopt innovations in healthcare," said Orihuela, a Chávez critic. "I am talking about a failure to maintain basic healthcare standards."
Kris Kraul, "Awash in oil wealth, Venezuela suffers healthcare crisis," Los Angeles Times via the Boston Globe ---

As the Senate prepares to vote on its mortgage bailout this week, one part of Banking Chairman Chris Dodd's bill deserves more scrutiny. It's a section called "affordable housing allocations," and while it sounds innocuous, in practice it amounts to a new tax to create a permanent subsidy for state governments and political activists. Like the bailout that has already passed the House, the Senate bill features a special new tax on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We have long urged reform of the two mortgage giants, which operate with an implicit government guarantee and therefore a license to endanger the taxpayer if they take on too much risk. The shares of both plunged yesterday to new lows based on their credit risks. But as a price for allowing more oversight of the two companies, Mr. Dodd and House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank want to cut their allies in on even more of the action.
"$600 Million Baby," The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2008; Page A20 --- Click Here

Leaders of the G-8 nations are gathered this week in Toyako, Japan, to root out the culprits in a food crisis that has moved hundreds of millions from subsistence to starvation. They need look no further than an old group photo. The G-8 countries' interventions have distorted global agricultural markets to the paralysis point. Politicians legislate price supports to enrich farm voters. Lobbies extort tariffs to block cheap food imports and subsidies to underwrite food exports at prices that destroy competitors in poor countries. Conservationists have agitated to set aside productive land and pay farmers not to grow. And now green energy advocates push ethanol quotas and tax credits that divert food into fuel. Don't blame speculators for the food crisis: It was already here when they arrived. Rather thank them for a wake-up call. Financial markets are driving today's prices to match expectations of tomorrow's values – the consensus of countless investors and producers is that the era of surpluses and cheap food is over. Yet even a credible promise that G-8 protectionist policies will be reversed would raise output down the road and drop prices at the corner grocery counter overnight.
Adam Lerrick, "The Rich World and the Food Crisis," The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2008; Page A21 ---

This week Congress will demonstrate if it is serious or not about reining in entitlement spending. Right now the government is paying insane rental prices for medical equipment – prices far higher than it would cost to purchase the equipment outright. For years, the Government Accountability Office and the Department of Health and Human Service's inspector general have been saying Medicare is paying too much for Durable Medical Equipment (DME). Just compare what Medicare pays to the prices of equipment for sale on the Internet.
Michael O. Leavitt, "Will Congress Continue a Medicare Scam?" (read that: Will Congress Cut Off the Big Lobbying Scam? The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2008; Page A13 ---

As we learn more about the Colombian military's daring hostage rescue last week, one detail stands out: In tricking FARC rebels into putting the hostages aboard a helicopter, undercover special forces simply told the comandantes that the aircraft was being loaned to them by a fictitious nongovernmental organization sympathetic to their cause called the International Humanitarian Mission (read that Nancy Pelosi). It may have taken years for army intelligence to infiltrate the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and it may have been tough to convincingly impersonate rebels. But what seems to have been a walk in the park was getting the FARC to believe that an NGO was providing resources to help it in the dirty work of ferrying captives to a new location.
"FARC's 'Human Rights' Friends," The Wall Street Journal,  July 7, 2008; Page A11 ---

Spain will apparently become the first country to give legal rights to chimpanzees and other great apes, according to The Times of London. The action would make it illegal to conduct research on apes, but would still allow zoos to keep them in captivity.
"Spain's Grant of Legal Rights to Apes Will Bar Research on Them," Chronicle of Higher Education, June 27, 2008 --- Click Here
Jensen Comment
Although much of the research on these animals is for medical research to benefit humans, some of it also benefits the sustainability of these primates and other primates. This is an example of animal rights legislation that reduces the sustainability of those animals. If all nations did this it would almost assuredly endanger these species.

A recent report (pdf) from Transparency International (TI) is a timely reminder of the failure of western governments to tackle corrupt activities, which are primarily designed to secure unfair advantage. George Soros, the renowned international financier, once said that "international business is generally the main source of corruption". Behind the facade of mission and corporate social responsibility statements, companies and their executives seem only too willing to indulge in bribery, corruption and a variety of antisocial activities that affect the life chances of millions of citizens. The government's inertia provides positive encouragement.
Prem Sikka, The Guardian, June 27, 2008 ---

The Dutch, more so than the Scotch, take the "high" road
Dutch: Cigarettes banned, pot OK ---

Let's get the most dangerous leader in Washington DC history out of power before it's too late
As Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich moved a "privileged resolution" to force House to consider the question of whether President Bush should be impeached for lying to Congress and the American people about the reasons for invading and occupying Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi surprised almost everyone by suggesting that the Judiciary Committee might indeed take up the issue.
John Nichols, "Pelosi Slips Impeachment Onto the Table," The Nation, July 10, 2008 ---

However, one does have to ask the question at some point - don't any of these people have any positive or productive solutions or ideas that would actually work on how to improve upon what is already a great country to begin with? Solutions other than to turn this country into Socialist Utopia and punish the successful, and thus take away success as a role model for all, and replace it with dependence on the government for all, even for people who clearly don't need or want it, and total subservience to the whims and opinions of all other nations to direct what we are supposed to do at all times? There are a lot of angry leftists who are going to be totally devoid of a mission in life come next January, regardless of whether the Democrat or the Republican in Name Only wins the White House, because they will no longer have the subject of their hate and anger as the sitting President. They will be left empty and frustrated with no easy person to blame whatever (fill in the blank) problem there is at the time.
Sjchermak, The Nation, July 11, 2008 ---
Also see

"The whole world is going to breathe a sigh of relief," she (Hillary Clinton) would proclaim, "when that moving van pulls up to the White House on its way back to Texas." She is, of course, largely correct. The sigh of relief will not issue from the whole world exactly, but from large parts of it. You certainly will hear it from the Middle East, where terrorists and their millions of fans will discharge enough celebratory gunfire to pepper an entire desert with spent shells. The devil George W. Bush will no longer be there to impede their goals.
Mark Davis, "Bush Can Take Pride in Scorn," RealClearPolitics, July 2, 2008 ---

What is the slogan and picture on Hillary's award winning and collectors' "Limited Edition" T-Shirt?
More than $20 million in the hole and finding reluctance among Sen. Barack Obama's supporters to help retire her campaign debt, Sen. Hillary Clinton urged her backers to help her out by buying a t-shirt.
See the T-shirt at
Sadly the proceeds will not go to reduction of the U.S. national debt. But then George Bush never did a thing to reduce the debt. He was probably the least responsible President in the history of the U.S. as far as the U.S. national debt is concerned.

The problem is simple and depressingly familiar. This year, federal spending will exceed federal revenue by more than $400 billion. Given the weak state of the economy, the deficit will get worse before it gets better. Actually, it may never get better, because the current shortfall coincides with the start of the most dreaded fiscal event of all time: the retirement of the baby boomers, who will soon consume eye-popping amounts in Social Security and Medicare. If that's not bad enough, Bruce Willis is not on hand to intercept the doomsday object before it arrives. Worse yet, neither Barack Obama nor John McCain wants the job.
Steve Chapman, "Obama, McCain, and Financial Disaster Empty promises won't fix America's broken budget," Reason Magazine, July 10, 2008 ---

"The Credit Crisis and Failed Risk Analysis:  We're Nowhere Near the End Here," The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, June 2008 ---;jsessionid=a8306bc6c52433251104?articleid=1998

Limbaugh True to Form
 I want to know. I look at Iowa, I look at Illinois-I want to see the murders. I want to see the looting. I want to see all the stuff that happened in New Orleans. I see devastation in Iowa and Illinois that dwarfs what happened in New Orleans. I see people working together. I see people trying to save their property...I don't see a bunch of people running around waving guns at helicopters, I don't see a bunch of people running and shooting cops. I don't see a bunch of people raping people on the street. I don't see a bunch of people doing everything they can...whining and moaning-where's FEMA, where's BUSH. I see the heartland of America. When I look at Iowa and when I look at Illinois, I see the backbone of America.
Rush Limbaugh ---
Jensen Comment
Somebody must be listening to Rush. He just penned a record (for radio) deal for $400 million ---

Last year, Los Angeles city officials hired armed guards and installed video cameras at the 109th Street Swimming Pool in order to protect children and pool staff from out-of-control youth. The 109th Street pool lies between two infamous housing projects and the warring gangs which control them. Many neighboring families avoid the recreational facility, driven away by the local gangbangers’ aggression. But the usual disorder turned even scarier on the second day of the pool season this June. The pool manager had had the temerity to ask swimmers to clear the pool for cleaning, its water having been rendered dangerously dirty by people jumping in with their clothes on or refusing to shower before entering. In response, up to 30 young men went on a rampage. They overpowered two armed guards and six pool workers, punched the manager as he was trying to escape to his office to call 911, and threw the manager, a lifeguard, and locker attendant into the water. This was not a case of adolescent hijinks: The men were in their twenties and thirties. They were simply unable to tolerate any authority over their own.
Heather Mac Donald, "Jesse Can Save:  A job for Reverend Jackson," National Review, July 11, 2008 ---

Britain and the US have condemned Russia and China for vetoing a draft UN Security Council resolution to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe's leaders. UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the veto was incomprehensible. The US said it brought into question Russia's reliability as a G8 partner. Zimbabwe and its main ally South Africa welcomed the result. Zimbabwe's Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu described the resolution as a Western plot and welcomed its rejecton.... There has been growing international criticism of Zibabwe since the re-election of Mr. Mugabe in a run-off boycotted by the opposition.
"Fury as Zimbabwe sanctions vetoed," BBC News, July 12, 2008 ---
Jensen Comment
Note that the votes against sanctions all come from nations where democracy is a sham in one-candidate-only elections.

In an attempt to understand the extent of cow flatulence on global warming, scientists in Argentina are strapping plastic bags to the backs of cows to capture their emissions.
See an actual photograph  at ---
Watch a good one catch on fire (methane will burn but this one may be faked) ---
Hillary's reason for funding this type of "catch and release" research in the U.S.  ---
The college prankster version ---
Eddie Murphy thinks its all a game ---
Bad taste commentaries about this to ad nauseam on The View ---

Free Google 411 ---
Give it a try on your telephone!
Both find and connect to a business phone --- for free.

Jensen Comment
I tried it and am not certain I like George Orwell's Big Brother dictating a business service even if the phone call is free. This might be useful if you're a total stranger in town. But with most business services it pays to comparison shop and check with the locals about quality and pricing of companies, attorneys, doctors, lawyers, etc. providing products and services in the area. However, if you know what who you want and you know Google 411 will connect you, you might save the toll on a toll call.

In Spite of the Economic Downturn, There's a Shortage of Accounting and Finance Employees
A shortage of experienced accounting and finance professionals continues to affect employers around the world, according to a report by Robert Half. For the second consecutive year, more than half (56 percent) of the finance and human resources managers surveyed worldwide reported difficulty finding skilled job candidates. The report also found that retention concerns have risen significantly in the last year.

SmartPros, July 14, 2008 ---

What's the latest innovation in "catch and release in a bottle" cheating?

Students are using YouTube in a very clever way.

"Students Show How to Cheat via YouTube," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 11, 2008 --- 

Academic cheating and dishonesty have long been a problem. But with YouTube students have discovered a new avenue for actually promoting such fraud. Liz Losh, a rhetorician at the University of California at Irvine, notes that there’s now a genre of videos that combine cheating advice with a “do-it-yourself aesthetic.” She flagged one of them Wednesday on her blog. It shows a student using a scanner and photo-editing software to make a cheat sheet on a Coke bottle.

Bob Jensen's threads on new ways to cheat are at

How well do student evaluations of instructors predict performance in subsequent advanced courses?
Are popular teachers necessarily the best teachers?
Are students misled by grade inflation?

One of the major points of the study was its look at the effectiveness of student evaluations. Although the evaluations can accurately predict the performance of the student in the “contemporaneous” course — the course in which the professor teaches the student — they are “very poor” predictors of the performance of a professor’s students in later, follow-up courses. Because many universities use student evaluations as a factor in decisions of promotion and tenure, this “draws into question how one should measure professor quality,” according to the report.
See below

"Evaluating Faculty Quality, Randomly," by James Heggen, Inside Higher Ed, July 11, 2008 ---

The question of how to measure the quality of college teaching continues to vex campus administrators. Teaching evaluations, on which many institutions depend for at least part of their analysis, may be overly influenced by factors such as whether students like the professors or get good grades. And objective analyses of how well students learn from certain professors are difficult because, for one, if based on a standardized test or grades, one could run into problems because professors “teach to the test.”

A new paper tries to inject some rigorous analysis into the discussion of how well students learn from their professors and how effectively student evaluations track how well students learn from individual instructors.

James West and Scott Carrell co-wrote the study, which was released by the National Bureau of Economic Research. “Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors” examines students and professors at the U.S. Air Force Academy from fall 1997 to spring 2007 to try to measure the quality of instruction.

The Air Force Academy was selected because its curricular structure avoids many of the pitfalls of traditional evaluation methods, according to the report. Because students at the Air Force Academy are randomly assigned to sections of core courses, there is no threat of the sort of “self-selection” in which students might choose to study with easier or tougher professors. “Self-selection,” the report notes, makes it difficult to measure the impact professors have on student achievement because “if better students tend to select better professors, then it is difficult to statistically separate the teacher effects from the selection effects.”

Also, professors at the academy use the same syllabus and give similar exams at about the same time. In the math department, grading is done collectively by professors, where each professor grades certain questions for all students in the course, which cuts down on the subjectivity of grading, according to the report. The students are required to take a common set of “follow-on” courses as well, in which they are also randomly assigned to professors.

The authors acknowledge that situating the study at the Air Force Academy may also raise questions of the “generalizability” of the study, given the institution’s unusual student body. “Despite the military setting, much about USAFA is comparable to broader academia,” the report asserts. It offers degrees in fields roughly similar to those of a liberal arts college, and because students are drawn from every Congressional district, they are geographically representative, the report says.

Carrell, an assistant professor economics at the University of California at Davis, attended the academy as an undergraduate and the University of Florida as a grad student, and has taught at Dartmouth as well as the Air Force Academy and Davis. “All students learn the same,” he said.

For math and science courses, students taking courses from professors with a higher “academic rank, teaching experience, and terminal degree status” tended to perform worse in the “contemporaneous” course but better in the “follow-on” courses, according to the report. This is consistent, the report asserts, with recent findings that students taught by “less academically qualified instructors” may become interested in pursuing further study in particular academic areas because they earn good grades in the initial courses, but then go on to perform poorly in later courses that depend on the knowledge gained from the initial courses.

In humanities, the report found no such link.

Carrell had a few possible explanations for why no such link existed in humanities courses. One is because professors have more “latitude” in how they grade, especially with essays. Another reason could be that later courses in humanities don’t build on earlier classes like science and math do.

One of the major points of the study was its look at the effectiveness of student evaluations. Although the evaluations can accurately predict the performance of the student in the “contemporaneous” course — the course in which the professor teaches the student — they are “very poor” predictors of the performance of a professor’s students in later, follow-up courses. Because many universities use student evaluations as a factor in decisions of promotion and tenure, this “draws into question how one should measure professor quality,” according to the report.

“It appears students reward getting higher grades,” Carrell said

"Great, My Professor," by JJ Hermes, Chronicle of Higher Education, May 22, 2008 ---

Partly because he was fed up with childish comments on Web sites where students rate their professors, a business-school professor at Temple University has created an online forum for students who want to sound off. So as not to mislead students, the site’s title suggests its intent: “Thank You Professor.”

“There are so many vehicles for students to express their opinion,” says the site’s creator, Samuel D. Hodge Jr., chairman of the business school’s legal-studies department. “But there’s nothing really at the school where the professor can get a letter directly from the student.”

When the site went live on May 1, Mr. Hodge says, he expected about a dozen comments in the first week. Instead, more than 200 flooded in. He converts each note into a letter to the faculty member being praised, then makes sure the business school’s dean gets a copy.

Mr. Hodge moderates the comments, but so far there haven’t been any negative posts on the site, he says.

For example, the four “thank you notes” left on the site so far for Rob B. Drennan Jr., an associate professor of risk, insurance, and health-care management, have been uniformly laudatory (three were signed, and one was anonymous). “I truly enjoyed his class,” wrote one student, Tom Coia. “Difficult and challenging, but isn’t that what we want from school?” Contrast that to an anonymous comment concerning Mr. Drennan that a student left last spring on “BOOOOO!!!!!”

Mr. Hodge, incidentally, has appeared on an MTV Web site of faculty members who “strike back” against comments on He says Ohio State University is the only other institution he knows of that gives students a way to thank their professors on the Web.

Temple may extend the site to the whole university, he says: “It’s such positive reinforcement."

Also see

"Correcting for Grade Inflation It can't get much more complicated! "A New Approach to Grade Inflation," by Abbott Katz, Inside Higher Ed, July 1, 2008 --- 

Bob Jensen's threads on grade inflation are at

Bob Jensen's threads on teaching evaluations and assessment are at

What should you probably do before you trash, sell, or return your computer to its rightful owner such as your employer?

From Walt Mossberg's Mailbox, The Wall Street Journal, July 9, 2008; Page D2 ---

Q. Do you know of a free or inexpensive program that will overwrite hard drives? My husband and I have updated to new computers, leaving us with two hard drives that have sensitive data that we would like to erase before disposing of them.

A. There's a $20 program for Windows called Window Washer from Webroot that will wipe an entire hard disk so that its data is unrecoverable. Its maker calls this process "bleaching." In cases where you don't want to completely wipe a hard disk, the program can also securely erase individual files and folders, and can remove all traces of browser activity. I have tested it, and I can recommend it. You can get it at

There are numerous other Windows file wipers, some of which may be free, though I haven't tested them. To find these others, go to and enter "file wiper" in the search box.

Q. Since downloading the new Firefox browser, the panel at the top that shows the Web address and the back and forward buttons has disappeared. How do I get it back?

A. That panel is called the Navigation Bar and it can be turned on and off. It sounds like it somehow got turned off on your computer. To switch it on again, go to the "View" menu, select "Toolbars" and then click on "Navigation Bar." The missing panel should reappear, and the next time you view that menu option, you will notice a check mark next to "Navigation Bar," indicating it is on.

You can also use the same technique to switch the Bookmarks Toolbar on and off.

Q. I have switched to Mac recently and never want to use Windows again. But the program I miss using on Windows the most is Microsoft Money. Do you know any way to make this program run on my Mac?

A. Microsoft doesn't make a Mac version of Money.

However, all current Macs can run Windows and Windows programs. I suggest you pick up a copy of one of two programs -- Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion. Both allow you to run Windows programs right alongside your Mac programs, even without displaying the Windows desktop. Microsoft Money would just appear in its own window, as if it were another Mac program.

This method works well, but it carries a price. Fusion and Parallels cost around $60-$70 each, plus you will have to buy and install a full, fresh, boxed copy of Windows.

You can find Mossberg's Mailbox, and my other columns, online for free at the new All Things Digital Web site,

Link forwarded by Glen Gray

Colleges conspiring with publishers to squeeze more money out of students

"As Textbooks Go 'Custom,' Students Pay Colleges Receive Royalties For School-Specific Editions; Barrier to Secondhand Sales,"
by Diana Hacker, The Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2008, Page B10 ---

The University of Alabama, for instance, requires freshman composition students at its main campus to buy a $59.35 writing textbook titled "A Writer's Reference," 

The spiral-bound book is nearly identical to the same "A Writer's Reference" that goes for $30 in the used-book market and costs about $54 new. The only difference in the Alabama version: a 32-page section describing the school's writing program -- which is available for free on the university's Web site. This version also has the University of Alabama's name printed across the top of the front cover, and a notice on the back that reads: "This book may not be bought or sold used."

Custom textbooks like this one are proliferating on U.S. college campuses, guaranteeing hefty sales for publishers -- and payments to colleges that are generally undisclosed to students. The publisher of the Alabama book -- Bedford/St. Martin's, based in Boston -- pays the Tuscaloosa school's English department a $3 royalty on each of the 4,000 copies sold each year. And though the prohibition on selling the book used can't be legally enforced, the college bookstore won't buy the books back, making it more difficult for students to find used copies.

Textbook companies and college officials involved in such deals say custom textbooks provide needed resources for academic departments and more-useful materials for students.

But Ann Marie Wagoner, a 19-year-old University of Alabama freshman who pays $1,200 a year for textbooks, calls the cost of new custom books "ridiculous" and complains that students aren't told about the royalties. "They're hiding it so there isn't a huge uproar," she says.

The custom-textbook business has become the fastest-growing segment of the $3.5 billion market for U.S. new college texts, comprising 12% of sales for 2006, the latest year for which data is available. Royalty deals generate tens of thousands of dollars for some big academic departments. The arrangements have drawn little attention, despite increasing legislative and regulatory scrutiny of the spiraling price of textbooks, which have been rising at twice the rate of inflation over the past two decades.

In 2005, a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office criticized several textbook industry practices -- including frequent new editions and the "bundling" of books with extras like CDs and workbooks -- that discourage the purchase of used books and inflate prices for students.

The agency found that college students spend an average of about $900 a year on textbooks. That's the equivalent of 8% of tuition and fees at the average private four-year college, 26% at a state university and 72% at a community college.

Controlling Textbook Costs

In recent years, 34 states have proposed or passed legislation to control textbook costs, including measures to prohibit inducements to professors for adopting textbooks, according to a May 2007 congressional study. A bill pending in Congress would require more disclosure of textbook pricing, in part by requiring publishers to sell textbooks separately from the bundles of extras with which they are now often packaged.

The book-royalty arrangements resemble a practice exposed during last year's student-loan scandal, when some universities steered students to particular lending firms and received a secret cut of the loans. New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo called those payments "kickbacks" and forced universities, many of which said they used the money to fund scholarships, to halt the practice. Mr. Cuomo recently launched a broad conflict-of-interest investigation of the relationship between colleges and vendors, including book publishers.

For publishers, the custom market is a way to thwart used-book sales, which cut deeply into their profits. Though used books have been around for decades, they have become a much bigger industry threat in the Internet age. Web sites for used books, such as Amazon.com1 and eBay, have transformed fragmented, campus-by-campus dealings in old texts into a national market, where discounts of 50% off the new-book price are common. Because of their limited audience, custom books are difficult to resell -- and they sometimes aren't eligible for authorized campus book-buyback programs.

James V. Koch, former president of Old Dominion University and the University of Montana, says that colleges, rather than requiring students to buy custom texts, should post exclusive material free on university Web sites. Prof. Koch, an economist who studied textbook costs for a Congressional advisory committee last year, says royalty arrangements involving specially made books may violate colleges' conflict-of-interest rules because they appear to benefit universities more than students.

'Unethical Behavior'

"It treads right on the edge of what I would call unethical behavior," he says. "I'm not sure it passes the smell test." Many colleges forbid professors from personally accepting royalties when they assign their own books for classes; others have no rules.

At the University of Alabama, Carolyn Handa, who until recently directed the school's writing program, acknowledges that students can save money if they buy used standard editions or sell their books at the end of the term. But Prof. Handa says the university edition is designed as a long-term reference. "You don't sell back your dictionary after your first year of college," she says. "It should be a resource they have on their shelf."

The writing program so far has collected about $20,000 in royalties in the two years since it started requiring custom textbooks, Prof. Handa says. She adds that she regularly declines pitches from other publishers offering even higher royalties. "I feel bad enough getting $3," she says.

Prof. Handa says the royalty money helps pay for trips to conferences for graduate students and will underwrite teaching awards. This year, three graduate students received about $500 apiece to attend the April convention of the Conference on College Composition and Communication in New Orleans.

Bedford/St. Martin's is a unit of Macmillan, which is owned by German publishing giant Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH. Brian Napack, president of Macmillan, says university departments deserve royalties because of the time they spend putting together custom texts. "We didn't come to the market to give departments royalties," he says. "We think there's a decent argument to be made for it. It's a nice bonus for colleges to have a couple of extra bucks to use for education."

Attracted to 15% annual sales growth, big players such as Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill Cos. and Macmillan are all making major pushes into the custom-book field. In part, that's because technology has made it cost-effective for customers to create specialized books for relatively few students. Proponents say students often complain that professors use only a few chapters of standard texts, whereas custom books can follow a course precisely.

Searching Facebook

Nicole Allen, textbooks advocate for U.S. Public Interest Research Groups -- a consumer organization -- says students, faced with buying a custom textbook, should ask the professor whether they can instead make do with a used standard version. If a custom text is required, students can try to find it used through local book exchanges or by searching social-networking sites such as Facebook for students who have recently taken the course and may want to sell a copy, Ms. Allen says.

Some custom books involve more than just little tweaks of established texts. At Virginia Tech, about 3,000 first-year students annually buy a required composition guide created by its faculty. The school distributes a new edition each year featuring student work. At the university bookstore, the text, published by Pearson, sells for about $50. Carolyn Rude, who chairs the English department, says the book helps provide consistency across more than 100 sections of freshman composition by ensuring a standard curriculum. She wouldn't disclose the precise amount of the royalty but said it was "several dollars" per book and generated about $20,000 annually. The university uses the money to bring in expert speakers and pay for $600 research and travel stipends for instructors, Prof. Rude says.

A $10 Royalty per Book

Pennsylvania State University recently ended a contract with Pearson for the roughly 10,000 students taking introductory economics courses. The economics department received a $10 royalty for each custom textbook students purchased, generating about $50,000 a year for the program, says Susan Welch, dean of the college of liberal arts. But, Prof. Welch says, the school was uncomfortable "making money on students like that," and the arrangement discouraged students from buying cheaper, used books. Under a new contract with Pearson, Penn State now uses standard texts with no royalties, as well as custom course packs.

Don Kilburn, chief executive of Pearson's custom-publishing division, says royalties are justified when professors and others "put in a fair amount of time and effort." Pearson says it pays royalties on 300 of roughly 9,000 custom projects. Mr. Kilburn acknowledged that custom books have lower resale value for students. But with custom books, he says, students "get something better suited for their needs."

Bob Jensen's threads on publisher frauds are at

July 11, 2008 reply from Paul Fisher [PFisher@ROGUECC.EDU]

I have often wondered about using different texts, or different editions to one text and how that effects student learning. I think this would relieve the pressure of overpriced textbooks. I have found that sometimes if a student cannot find an "exact" match in the text, they have difficulty with homework. In some students, particularly beginning students, there seems to be a lack of confidence to apply what is read to the homework. Does this square with your experience? Do you have some concrete ideas about how to instruct when different texts are being used?

Thanks for your thoughts.


July 12, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Paul,

One thing I always liked about the BAM pedagogy in intermediate accounting at the University of Virginia, Villanova, and elsewhere is that there are no assigned textbooks. It's more like the real world where students have to creatively search for the answers on their own --- 

Added metacognitive learning comes from the hunt itself. But students and instructors who want things wrapped up neatly in pretty packages tied up with bows are likely to hate the BAM pedagogy. They prefer frenetically opening those pretty packages under one tree rather than having to become drenched in sweat walking for miles in the woods (read that libraries) trying to find the answers. But there's a high correlation between sweat and long-term memory.

One drawback of a textbook, particularly an intermediate accounting textbook, is that it's a lot like the way the late banjo-picking Jud Strunk sings about the sign in front of Bill Jone's General Store in Stratton, Maine. The sign reads as follows (for instructors and students alike):

In other words a textbook becomes one-stop shopping. Up here in Sugar Hill, Bill Jone's General Store has been replaced by that new Wal-Mart place about 25 miles away on the Connecticut River in Woodsville just before Route 302 crosses the bridge into Vermont.

If Wal-Mart ain't got it, by golly you don't need it!

Of course there's deeper learning in Vermont than there is in New Hampshire, because Vermont "don't allow no new Wal-Mart stores" in the entire state of Vermont. That's because Vermont metacognitively taxes both the mind and the pocketbook more than New Hampshire.

I could not find a video of Judd singing "Bill Jone's General Store," but you might enjoy watching these videos:


Judd Strunk sings "A Daisy a Day" on the Johnny Carson Show --- 

I miss Judd Strunk and his Yankee humor.

New motels pop up around the Wal-Mart stores in New Hampshire just so Vermonters won't have to sleep in their trucks when they go shopping.

Accountants in the Movies:  Beyond the Stereotypes
Bob Jensen rents most movies from the terrific and cheap NetFlix service ---

David Albrecht forwarded the link below.

"The Discreet Charms of Accountancy," by Joe Queenan, The New York Times, July 13, 2008 ---

In the recent German film “Yella” a young accountant survives a car crash engineered by her stalker ex-husband, leaves town, meets a mysterious private equity fund executive and lands a job as his assistant. Initially brought on board because her command of spreadsheets allows her to raise questions at critical junctures, Yella, the accountant, soon becomes a full partner in her employer’s scheme to shake down financially imperiled start-ups, skim a few hundred thousand euros off each deal and start a new life.

To those of us who harbor a secret passion for high-quality films about bookkeepers, certified public accountants, auditors and Internal Revenue Service operatives, the release of “Yella” is a very exciting moment in the history of the genre. This is not only because “Yella,” unlike virtually all accounting movies, does not look down its nose at practitioners of the trade (whose numbers include my wife and two of my best friends), but because the film is the fourth European release in the past decade to position accountants directly in the eye of the dramatic storm.

The other entries are “The Dinner Game” and “The Closet,” brilliant comedies by Francis Veber, and Patrice Leconte’s sweet little romance “Intimate Strangers.” As opposed to most American movies that deal with accountancy, all four releases are art-house films that will be remembered long after “Dave,” “Same Time Next Year” and Susan Stroman’s dire rendition of “The Producers” are forgotten.

In the fetching actress Nina Hoss of “Yella” hard-core accounting film buffs have their first bona fide pin-up girl since Cher played a lovesick bookkeeper in “Moonstruck.” (Yes, the ravishing Eva Green identifies herself as an accountant in “Casino Royale,” but there’s precious little bean counting going on.)

That accountancy should be considered an appropriate subject for a serious film marks a sharp break with tradition. Starting with the original “Producers” (1968), in which Gene Wilder plays a neurotic, scaredy-cat accountant, and straight through “Ghostbusters,” “Midnight Run,” “Hitch” and even “Exotica,” accountants have mostly been portrayed as dweebs, geeks and losers.

Even exceptions — Charles Grodin as a persnickety C.P.A. who defrauds the mob in “Midnight Run,” Danny Glover as a patrician C.P.A. in “The Royal Tenenbaums,” Ed Begley Jr. as a sexually predatory tax specialist in “She-Devil” — still use the profession as a joke: What could possibly be funnier than a tomcatting numbers cruncher? Especially if the tomcat is played by Ed Begley Jr.? Ho ho ho.

Hollywood’s take on accountants is apotheosized in “Ghostbusters,” in which Rick Moranis plays a bookkeeping schlemiel smitten with his neighbor, Sigourney Weaver, unaware that she is soon to be possessed by the spirit of Zuul the Gatekeeper. As usual the idea of making one’s living as an accountant is something to be sneered at: What could be more outrageous than a C.P.A., possessed by the spirit of Vinz Clortho the Keymaster, bedding down with Zuul the Gatekeeper, thereby literally opening the gates of hell? Ho ho ho.

Even in those rare American films where those who ply the ledger trade are accorded respect, the accountant is usually portrayed as a goof, a slob or a jerk. In Brian de Palma’s “Untouchables,” Charles Martin Smith plays a pint-size, pipe-smoking, bespectacled treasury agent who dreams up the idea of nailing Al Capone for tax evasion. Just before his demise, he tells a fellow T-man, the studly young Andy Garcia, that his new shotgun-toting life, where he gets to mix it up with the boys from the South Side, is “much more diverting than accounting.” When Sean Connery subsequently bites the dust in a hail of bullets, the mood is somber and heroic. But when Smith goes down for the count, he merely seems like a poor jerk who got caught fighting out of his weight class.

In discussing films in this genre it is vital to distinguish between those that include accountants and those that are about accountants. Yes, Michael Caine plays one in “Hannah and Her Sisters,” and sure, Ben Kingsley plays another in “Schindler’s List”; so does Joe Pesci in “Lethal Weapon IV.” But accountancy qua accountancy is irrelevant to these movies’ central dramas.

That’s what makes the flurry of European green-eyeshade films so exciting. When Mr. Veber made “The Dinner Game” in 1998, he cast Jacques Villeret as a bumbling Finance Ministry drone who assembles matchstick models of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe in his spare time. Though the civil servant ultimately prevails over those whose weekly “dinner games” are no more than a cruel ruse to humiliate goofballs like him, the movie basically adheres to the tired theme of the Accountant as Punch Line.

But by the time the same director made “The Closet” three years later, he no longer treated accountancy as a joke. In this delicious bonbon Daniel Auteuil plays a low-key accountant who initially gets the ax for being boring and expendable, then wins his job back by pretending to be gay. In this film accountancy is not peripheral to the action, not an amusing sidelight, not some cheap banana-peel played for yucks. By the end the audience realizes that accountants can be cunning, daring and yes, even seductive.

So wise up, Mr. John Q. Public, and wipe that smirk off your face. The European accounting-film explosion has generated so much buzz that there is now some controversy regarding what should properly be included in the canon.

In Mr. Leconte’s “Intimate Strangers” Sandrine Bonnaire enters the wrong office, mistakes a rivetingly dull tax specialist (Fabrice Luchini) for a psychiatrist and pours out her heart to him. Flummoxed but enthralled, he cannot bring himself to confess his real identity. After a dust-up when Ms. Bonnaire finds out who he is, the two decide to continue their weekly consultations and ultimately fall in love.

Here’s where things get complicated. According to the film’s DVD box, Mr. Luchini is an “accountant,” but in the movie itself he is described (in French) as a “fiscal counselor” while the subtitles refer to him as a “tax lawyer.” A case can thus be made that he is not really an accountant and cannot officially be included in the genre. I, however, will not make this case, as the idea of shooting a film about a beautiful woman who falls in love with an accountant she has mistaken for a shrink is so inspired that Mr. Leconte should be given the benefit of the doubt.

One might also argue that because the accountant in “The Closet” is a liar, the one in “Yella” is a con artist, the one in “The Dinner Game” is a klutz, and the one in “Intimate Strangers” is a phony (and may not even be an accountant), none of these films does much for the overall image of the profession. That may be true, but aficionados don’t really care, because we understand that art need not imitate life to be effective. We enjoy seeing charismatic actors playing accountants in classy European movies. That doesn’t mean we’d want them doing our taxes.

And let's not forget the Enron movies:

That's Enron-tainment:  Positive review on the new Enron movie
Alex Gibney's freewheeling -- and terrifically entertaining -- documentary, newly entered into national release, puts faces and voices to the men and women who've become household names since the scandal broke four years ago. Some of these former executives have already enjoyed (or endured) extensive face time on TV. But now they're characters in the context of a film that's been adapted from the book of the same name by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, and the big screen lends new immediacy to their appearance. That's not to say Mr. Gibney's documentary turns its characters into real people. Given the scale of the human and economic damage, of the deception and very possibly the pathological self-deception, there may not be any real people behind those scrupulously straight faces. Still, "The Smartest Guys in the Room" gives us the same sort of perverse pleasure that's been a staple of "60 Minutes" over the years -- watching world-class crooks tell world-class lies.
"That's Enron-tainment: Company's Chief Cheats Give 'Smartest Guys' Energy:  Documentary Tracing Firm's Fall Is Provocative, Proudly Partisan; 'Machuca': Classy Class Drama," The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2005; Page W1 ---,,SB111473473039520299,00.html?mod=todays_us_weekend_journal

You can download Enron's Infamous Home Video
Although it has nothing to do with the above professional movie, Jim Borden sent me a copy of the amateur video recording of Rich Kinder's departure from Enron (Kinder preceded Skilling as President of Enron).  This video features nearly half an hour of absurd skits, songs and testimonials by company executives.  It features CEO Jeff Skilling proposing Hypothetical Future Value (HPV) accounting with in retrospect is too true to be funny during the subsequent melt down of Enron.  George W. Bush (then Texas Governor Bush and his father) appear in the video.  You can download parts of it at 
Warning:  The above video is in avi format and takes a very long time to download.  It probably dovetails nicely into Alex Gibney's new Hollywood movie.

Footnote:  Rich Kinder left Enron, formed his own energy company, and became a billionaire ---

Bob Jensen's threads on the Enron fraud are at


How does a nuclear power plant really work?

July 10, 2008 message from Carly Smith []

Dear Professor Jenson,

While doing some research for my job I somehow stumbled across your delightful site and your very interesting assortment of links and quotes. I spent quite a bit of time exploring your page, and especially enjoyed the link to World Clock. You seem to have a wide variety of interests!

I am working as an Editorial Assistant at BrightHub.Com, a science and tech website offering articles from professionals around the world. One of my responsibilities is the mechanical engineering channel: . I noticed you have quite a few links to HowStuffWorks, and thought you might enjoy reading one of our articles on How a Nuclear Power Plant Works, . I think it offers a nice introduction into the world of nuclear power. I would recommend exploring the rest of our site as well; I think you’ll find a lot that interests you!

Thank you for your time! We are seeking to make Bright Hub an excellent resource for learners of all ages and backgrounds and would appreciate feedback from a professional such as yourself. I am including my contact information below so feel free to send me comments and suggestions. If you enjoyed reading the article on How a Nuclear Power Plant Works or our Mechanical Engineering channel in general we would appreciate the reference!


Carly Smith
270 River St.
Troy, NY 12180 
(518) 268-1056

The Best Free Software (157 great downloads available) ---,2817,2260070,00.asp

Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence: Tools for Teaching and Learning ---

Bob Jensen's threads on education technology ---

"Ten Web Startups to Watch We profile some of the most innovative ideas of the Social Web," MIT's Technology Review, July 2008 ---

Instant Voicing Send voice messages without calling, and listen to them from a phone--or a laptop. By Larry Aragon

Sharing, Privately With Pownce, think Twitter meets Napster. By Lissa Harris

Cell-phone Streaming Qik lets tourists--and reporters--broadcast live from phones. By David Talbot

Traffic Master A dashboard gadget brings the Internet to highways, for traffic and local search. By David Talbot

Crisis Sourcing Ushahidi's platform allows text messages to feed into the Web. By David Talbot

Partial Recall QTech's reQall makes custom reminders for scatterbrains. By Lissa Harris

Are You ... Influential? 33Across calculates your online social clout for sharper ad targeting--and for you. By Larry Aragon

Semantic Ads Peer39's algorithms promise better ways of mining language. By Lissa Harris

Mashups Made Easy ByLissa Harris
Websites once stood alone. Now they talk to each other, exchanging bits of data and piggy­backing on each other's communities. One key to this change was the development of application programming interfaces (APIs), which allow all sorts of information sharing and hybridization. But startups often have trouble managing their APIs effectively. Mashery, a San Francisco startup, makes it easier--providing security, keeping abreast of shifting industry standards, and introducing potential partners to each other. This spring, Mashery helped Reuters launch its Open Calais project, a public API that gives developers access to semantically tagged news content, says Oren Michels, Mashery's CEO.

Video Packet-Switching Anagran helps the Internet handle growth in streaming media. By Larry Aragon

Jensen Comment
Probably the most important of these is video packet switching since streaming video is clogging the Internet.

Internet Gridlock Video is clogging the Internet
Video downloads are sucking up bandwidth at an unprecedented rate. A short magazine article might take six minutes to read online. Watching "The Evolution of Dance" also takes six minutes--but it requires you to download 100 times as much data. "The Evolution of Dance" alone has sent the equivalent of 250,000 DVDs' worth of data across the Internet.
"Internet Gridlock Video is clogging the Internet.: How we choose to unclog it will have far-reaching implications," by Larry Hardesty, MIT's Technology Review, July/August 2008 ---
Jensen Comment

Although the Internet is not exactly a "free good" in the sense of the air we breathe, a relatively small cost makes very nearly a public good in the following sense ---

In economics, a public good is a good that is non-rival and non-excludable. This means, respectively, that consumption of the good by one individual does not reduce the amount of the good available for consumption by others; and no one can be effectively excluded from using that good.[1] For example, if one individual eats a cake, there is no cake left for anyone else, and it is possible to exclude others from consuming the cake; it is a rival and excludable private good. Conversely, breathing air neither significantly reduces the amount of air available to others, nor can people be effectively excluded from using the air. This does not make it a public good this is because air is a free good. These are highly theoretical definitions: in the real world, there may be no such thing as an absolutely non-rival or non-excludable good; but economists think that some goods in the real world approximate closely enough for these concepts to be meaningful.

Non-rivalness and non-excludability may cause problems for the production of such goods. Specifically, some economists have argued that they may lead to instances of market failure, where uncoordinated markets are unable to provide these goods in desired quantities.[citation needed] These spanner issues are known as public goods problems, and there is a good deal of debate and literature on how significant they are, and on what their solutions might be. These debates can become important to political arguments about the role of markets in the economy. More technically, public goods problems are related to the broader issue of externalities.

The University of California and other universities are putting hundreds (soon to be thousands) of video courses on YouTube because it costs universities nothing to store and deliver these videos on the Internet. Families are now putting videos of each child's annual birthday parties on YouTube. Does it surprise us that there is an emerging bandwidth problem when such "free goods" are not rationed by any legislation or pricing mechanism. Teenagers are freely broadcasting millions of time wasters. How long can YouTube freely supply Webservers for the videos of the world even if there is advertising revenue? What's the cost benefit of a YouTube video that has only been downloaded three times except by accident?

Bandwidth does have finite limits and creating more of it will be costly. Who should bear that cost?

Video Packet-Switching Anagran helps the Internet handle growth in streaming media ---

Internet FAQ Archives ---

How Internet Stuff Works

How Internet Infrastructure Works: Backbones
Do you ever wonder how the Internet really works? How do Web pages, e-mail and music move to and from your computer? Learn all about the OC-48 can transmit 2,488 Mbps (2.488 Gbps). Compare that to a typical 56K modem transmitting 56,000 bps and you see just how fast a modern backbone is...

How The Airborne Internet Will Work: Floating On Air
Learn about the airborne Internet and how you might use this technology in the near future. Read more here!..Sky Station International is counting on its blimps to beat Angel to the punch in the race to deliver high-speed Internet access from high altitudes...

How The Airborne Internet Will Work: NASA's Sub-space Plans
Learn about the airborne Internet and how you might use this technology in the near future. Read more here!..Not to be left out of the high-flying Internet industry, NASA is also playing a role in a potential airborne Internet system being developed by Aero...

How The Airborne Internet Will Work: A HALO Over Head
Learn about the airborne Internet and how you might use this technology in the near future. Read more here!..One the three companies developing an airborne Internet network is Angel Technologies. Its HALO Network may be ready for deployment at the end...

Introduction To How The Year 2000 Problem Worked
A fascinating article that describes how and why batteries work!..Archived Edition Although the Y2K problem came and went in January of 2000, we have saved this article as an archived editon of How...

How Urban Legends Work: Internet Urban Legends
Internet urban legends spread quickly because of the convenience of email. Learn about common Internet urban legends and the truth behind them...The methods of passing urban legends have evolved over time. In the past 10 years, there has been a huge surge of urban legends on the Internet...

How Con Artists Work: Business And Internet Cons
Con artists can trick you out of your money. Learn how to spot con artists, characteristics of con artists, and how to avoid scams..actually selling anything, it's a pyramid scheme. The Nigerian Money Transfer Widespread use of the Internet has given con artists another way to scam...

How Internet Cookies Work: How Do Web Sites Use Cookies?
Cookies are widely used by Web sites to keep track of their visitors. Are cookies letting Big Brother into your PC? Find out what Internet cookies..customized weather information. When you enter your zip code, the following name-value pair gets added to MSN's cookie file: WEAT CC=NC%5FRaleigh%2DDurham...

How Virtual Private Networks Work: Tunneling: Remote-Access
Private networks give companies a way to extend their secure networks using regular Internet pathways. Find out how remote users can access a local network...2 Tunneling Protocol) - L2TP is the product of a partnership between the members of the PPTP Forum, Cisco and the IETF (Internet Engineering Task...

How Virtual Private Networks Work: Tunneling
Private networks give companies a way to extend their secure networks using regular Internet pathways. Find out how remote users can access a local network...Most VPNs rely on tunneling to create a private network that reaches across the Internet. Essentially, tunneling is the process of placing an entire...


Bob Jensen's threads on the Internet (which by the way is synonymous with the World Wide Web) are at

Bob Jensen's timeline is at

"Google ventures into virtual reality with 'Lively,'" MIT's Technology Review, July 8, 2008 ---

In the latest expansion beyond its main mission of organizing the world's information, Internet search leader Google Inc. hopes to orchestrate more virtual socializing on the Web.

Google debuted a free service Tuesday in which three-dimensional software enables people to congregate in fantasy rooms and other computer-manufactured versions of real life. The service, called "Lively," represents Google's answer to an already well-established site, "Second Life," where people deploy animated alter egos known as avatars to navigate virtual reality.

Google thinks "Lively" will encourage even more people to dive into alternate realities because it isn't tethered to one Web site like Second Life, and it doesn't cost anything to use. After installing a small packet of software from, a user can enter Lively from other Web sites, like social networking sites and blogs.

Google already has created a Lively application that works on, one of the Web's hottest hangouts, and is working on a version suitable for an even larger online social network, News Corp.'s

"We know people already spend a lot of time online socializing, so we just want to try to make it more enjoyable," said Niniane Wang, a Google engineering manager who oversaw Lively's creation over the past year.

Lively's users will be able to sculpt an avatar that can be male, female or even a different species. An avatar can assume a new identity, change clothes or convey emotions with a few clicks of the mouse.

The service also enables users to create different digital environments to roam, from a child's room to an exotic island. The rooms can be decorated with a wide variety of furniture, including large-screen televisions that can be set up to play different clips from, Google's video-sharing service.

Lively users can then invite their friends and family into their virtual realities, where they can chat, hug, cry, laugh and interact as if they were characters in a video game.

As a precaution, Google is requiring Lively's users to be at least 13 years old -- a constraint that hasn't been enough to prevent young children from running into trouble on other social spots on the Web.

Google spent several months testing Lively among a group of Arizona State University students before opening the service to the public through its "Labs" section -- a technology sandbox that the Mountain View-based company set up for its experimental products.

Although Google is best known for the search engine that generates most of its profits, the company has introduced other services that are widely used without making much, if any, money. Google's peripheral products include its 3-D "Earth" software and Picasa for sharing photos.

Google has no plans to allow advertising within Lively, Wang said.

Aaron Delwiche, an assistant professor of communications at Trinity University, is disappointed that Lively does not allow people to create their own content, a feature of the virtual world Second Life. "Google has given us an impoverished space in which content can only be developed in-house or by 'trusted developers,'" he writes. Vili Lehdonvirta, a researcher at the Helsinki Institute for Information Technology, says this about Mr. Delwiche's observation. "I don't think it's true that Second Life style dedicated tools for creating complex 3D content are a prerequisite for creativity and expression. People used to build pianos out of fish steaks and chessboards in Ultima Online," he writes of the popular three-dimensional game. "Still, I agree that it would be really cool if Google came out with advanced content creation tools that are easy to use."
Andrea L. Foster, "Scholars Are Skeptical of Google's New Virtual World," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2008 ---

July 10, 2008 reply from Steven Hornik [shornik@BUS.UCF.EDU]

There are myriad virtual worlds coming online each day, of course when your name is Google you get a lot of press.  Most of these worlds will likely fail and the one's left will also likely offer different functionality.  Lively, is a simple 2.5D social chat tool, a way to bring immersion and presence to chat, and from the look of it aimed at a certain younger demographic (which as I reminded by another email list, Google does demographics pretty well).  For a much more learned discussion of what might happen in the next few years as this space attracts more and more players I invite you to read this blog post from Terra Nova by Bruce Damer,
Lastly, the Chronicle article blurb ended with this quote: "Still, I agree that it would be really cool if Google came out with advanced content creation tools that are easy to use."
They do, it's called Sketchup, and it's quite amazing.  What would be really cool is if you could import that content into Second Life!


Bob Jensen's threads on virtual worlds for education are at

What recent behavior of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is beyond strange?

"A Return to the World of Diploma Mills," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 3, 2008 ---
Click here, before July 24, 2008 to ask a question

Alan Contreras, a longtime critic of diploma mills in the United States, returns to discuss whether much has changed in the four years since The Chronicle published a long report on the booming industry in spurious degrees. Join us for a live online chat, on Thursday, July 24, at noon, U.S. Eastern time. Four years ago, The Chronicle published a lengthy report on the booming business of diploma mills. The report described how some sophisticated purveyors of spurious degrees were making millions of dollars a year, how intertwined the schemes often were with legitimate higher education, how frequently those operations used fake accreditors and other trappings of legitimacy to mask their frauds, and how many professors had made use of bogus diplomas to advance their careers. Four years later, how much has changed? Is it easier to tell a diploma mill from a real university? What about international institutions? Or online ones? What should be the role of state and federal governments in policing nonaccredited institutions? What does a diploma even mean anymore?

"Diploma-Mill Operator Is Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison," by Thomas Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education,

One of the operators of a notorious diploma mill, Dixie E. Randock, was sentenced today to three years in prison, according to the federal prosecutor’s office in Spokane, Wash. Ms. Randock, along with her husband, Steven K. Randock, had pleaded guilty to fraud-conspiracy charges in March.

The Randocks made millions of dollars selling fake degrees online, usually issued under the name Saint Regis University. The bogus institution was based in Spokane but had ties to the government of Liberia and claimed accreditation through that country’s ministry of education. Representatives of the fake university bribed Liberian officials and created seals and stamps to make their diplomas appear authentic, according to court documents.

A good deal of the credit for bringing down Saint Regis belongs to George Gollin, a physics professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who investigates diploma mills as a pastime and helped bring the fraudulent operation to federal attention.

Jensen Comment
Millions of return for three years sounds like a pretty good deal

July 5, 2008 reply from Mac Wright [Mac.Wright@VU.EDU.AU]

Dear Bob,
 If I were to play Devil's advocate? I would ask: Is this not legitimate free enterprise? The purchaser of a fake degree is well aware that the lack of academic rigour that they are asked to undertake to get the degree means it is not worth anything. It is like buying a fake title awarded by an unemployed member of the Hapsburg family. You know it is fake, but it sounds good, like the sticker on the back of the car saying "custom built for ....." or the personalised number plate, or am I treading on dangerous territory?

Therefore the fraudster is not so much the person who sets up the awarding organization as the person who having purchased an award tries to pass it off as more than a party joke.

I would have thought that outsiders would be able to verify, by checking with the state authorities of the state in which the organisation is located.

The more dangerous qualification is the colour copy of the genuine diploma/testamur with the fraudster's name inserted. These are freely available over the internet, and have fooled some of the HR people in some of the biggest employers in the world. I know of one person who held a high ranking position with a major international corporation for over a year before being discovered. They then paid him out, rather than look like idiots.

Kind regards,

Mac Wright
Co-ordinator Aviation program
Victoria University Melbourne Australia

From the Scout Report on July 4, 2008

Diploma Mills Continue To Be An Area of Concern for the Federal Government Diploma Mill Concerns Extend Beyond Fraud [Free registration may be required] 

Bill to crack down on diploma mills stalls --- 
Jensen Comment
I wonder if the Terminator would've been terminated without one of these?  Hummm! His reluctance is beyond strange!

A legislative staff analysis of Senate Bill 823 declares that during the 1980s, California acquired the reputation of being "the diploma mill capital of the world."

That's not quite true. There were a couple of states, including neighboring Arizona, with worse reputations as redoubts for private, for-profit, trade and professional schools that charged big fees to students and offered little educational value. But California was right up there as a haven for diploma mills.

In response to a ruckus from defrauded students, consumer groups and the media, the Legislature tightened regulation of private schools and colleges a couple of decades ago. But the regulatory law expired a year ago, which would have been an open invitation for diploma mills to crank up again.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had vetoed a bill to extend regulation, saying he wanted "meaningful protections for students" and promising that he would propose "comprehensive reform" himself. But like many of the governor's grandiose pledges, it came to naught. The only thing Capitol politicians could do was extend the existing regulatory system for a year and say they'd work to do what needed to be done.

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata has been the leading political figure involved. He did, in fact, work on it, finally developing a new regulatory scheme that he wrote into Senate Bill 823. But it's faced rough sailing in the Legislature. The up-and-up private schools – and there are many – dislike some of its regulatory provisions. And the diploma mills don't want anything to impede their shoddy operations, such as the bill's requirement that they disclose more information to students, including their rates of success of students in gaining licenses and getting jobs.

This is no small matter. There are hundreds of schools ranging from those that train truck drivers to those offering advanced professional degrees. They collect untold millions of dollars from at least 400,000 students. It's not uncommon for students to commit their life's savings or go deeply into debt to finance their schooling in hopes of bettering their lives.

"With no regulation for these schools, many students find themselves tens of thousands of dollars in debt with no jobs or marketable skills or who paid tuition only to have the school close and no refunds given," Perata says.

A case in point occurred in the past year when an outfit called Corinthian Colleges, based in Santa Ana, paid $6.5 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that it had exaggerated its record of placing students in jobs. Four years ago, the state's best known for-profit college, the University of Phoenix, paid a $9.8 million fine to the federal Department of Education after an investigation into its recruitment practices.

The University of Phoenix's billionaire founder, John Sperling, often dabbles in California politics, both on matters affecting private schools and on other causes, such as easing marijuana laws. He and son Peter are the prime sponsors of Proposition 7, a November ballot measure that would push the state more deeply into renewable power.

Perata's bill would create a "Bureau of Private Secondary Education" in the Department of Education to regulate the industry. The measure is being denounced by lobbyists for the private schools as a mishmash of regulation with punishments that could cripple smaller trade schools.

The bill reached the Assembly floor Monday, the last day before the one-year extension of the old regulatory scheme would expire. As an urgency bill, it needed a two-thirds vote. With Republicans solidly opposed, it failed to gain passage.

Perata may have to amend the measure so that it wouldn't take effect until January, which Democrats could pass without Republican votes. Schwarzenegger's position, however, is still uncertain.

Brainstorm: Diploma Mills 

Psst. Wanna Buy a Ph.D.? 

Institution Accreditation 

Avoid Fake-Degree Burns By Researching Academic Credentials 

The unsavory world of diploma mills is a complex one, and a number of government agencies have attempted to regulate their activities with varying degrees of success. The Internet has aided operators of these educational "institutions" who frequently offer advanced degrees for little, or more often, no coursework. This past Sunday the New York Times reported on the case of Dixie and Steven K. Randock Sr. from the town of Colbert, Washington. The Randocks have been accused of operating more than 120 fictitious universities, and the federal government's concern goes beyond the mere matter of a phony degree. Law-enforcement officials fear that the growth of such diploma mills offers terrorists the potential to obtain bogus degrees in order to obtain visas in the United States. At the state level, about 20 states have passed laws to prohibit the trade in phony diplomas, but the U.S. Congress seems to be moving a bit more slowly on the issue.

The first link will take visitors to a New York Times article from this Sunday about the world of diploma mills. The second link leads to a piece from Dan Walters of The Modesto Bee which talks about a bill in California that would effectively crack down on diploma mills. Moving on, the third link leads to a timely piece of commentary from former university president Stephen Joel Trachtenberg on diploma mills, which appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education this week. The fourth link leads to another special report from the Chronicle of Higher Education by Thomas Bartlett and Scott Smallwood, which investigates the profusion of dubious doctorates in the education sector. The fifth link will lead visitors to the U.S. Department of Education's Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, which can help those wondering about the authenticity of an institution. Lastly, a link to the Federal Trade Commission's page on how to avoid "fake-degree burns" is offered for additional information and assistance.

July 5, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Mac,

You make a pretty good devil's advocate and perhaps if diploma mills were rampant society would have a more efficient way of verifying credentials. However, at this point in society many students are being deceived into paying for fake diplomas and some form of protection is needed, in my viewpoint, to protect the innocent from clever deceptions. More commonly, however, the students buy diplomas knowing full well they are faked. These students hope to pass the deception along.

The problem is when third parties having no control are paying the price. For example, common buyers of fake diplomas are K-12 teachers and administrators buying fake masters degrees and doctoral degrees. Compensation programs in U.S. schools give teachers and administrators automatic pay raises just for obtaining advanced degrees. Sometimes the schools are tricked by these phony degrees. At other times the schools are not tricked (but will always claim they innocent victims in court) when in fact they know a teacher or administrator bought a fake degree. Their supervisors, who may also have fake degrees, condone the practice on the grounds that "teachers are underpaid and deserve pay raises even if they have to deceive to get raises."  In this case it's the state and local taxpayers who fall victim since privacy of personnel records will not let taxpayers investigate individual employee records. It’s a rather simple way to bilk the public out of more money. One of the least-costly protections is to shut down the diploma mills.

What’s really unfair about letting teachers and administrators get away with this is that the unethical people are rewarded and the ethical people who refuse to buy diplomas without working for the degrees are put at a disadvantage. I, for one, don’t think we should favor the unethical people of the world. They are not necessarily smarter due to street smarts. They are quite simply --- unethical! Pretty soon unethical behavior becomes infectious if not treated at the source.

Your "buyer beware" argument sounds better on paper than on practice. We could easily extend it to allowing Nigerians free rein on conducting their nefarious email and telephone scams unabated. I for one think that law enforcement has an obligation to protect society from fraud by every means possible.

You are ignoring the fact in your "buyer beware" argument that one of the main purposes of society laws and rules is prevention of harm. Without punishment of some sort there is usually nothing to prevent deception.

Phony credentials eventually become like Gresham's Law where bad diplomas might even drive out the good. The problem here is not so much the really fake diplomas (where nothing other than $300 is needed for a PhD diploma so that even your dog can get a PhD). The problem is in the gray zone where students are required to take online courses and maybe even write paper and take examinations. Everything appears legitimate, except there are no admission standards and everybody passes no matter how badly they perform or even if they perform at all. There are, of course, differing degrees of this deception in practice. This is what makes consumer/taxpayer protection so difficult. And when we require "accreditation" phony accrediting agencies emerge to protect the phony diploma mills.

In a sense there is a "buyer beware" need in society since there are so many gray zone diploma mills. Most legitimate colleges are set up to recognize only legitimate colleges having legitimate accreditation. And most employers have become more savvy, although some are careless about accepting fake transcripts from legitimate colleges.

But I for one think that law enforcement must protect us from criminals who deceive on quality standards in society.

Bob Jensen

Bob Jensen's threads on diploma mills are at

Bob Jensen's threads on legitimate training and education alternatives are at

What's the Guinness record for downloads in a 24 hour period?

Mozilla has officially made history with a new Guinness world record for the largest number of software downloads in a 24-hour period. The final record breaking 8,002,530 downloads for Firefox 3.0 took place in June with parties in over 25 countries. "The enthusiasm and creativity of Firefox fans was key to making this happen" said Marketing head Paul Kim. Gareth Deaves of Guinness World Records called it "an extremely impressive accomplishment". The official figure was confirmed after logs from download servers were audited and checked to ensure duplicate and unfinished downloads were not counted. Mr Kim told the BBC.
Meggie Sheils, "Firefox download record official," BBC News, July 3, 2008 ---

You can download Firefox 3.0 from

What's behind the trend for professors to stay full time on the job well beyond age 65?

"The Graying of College Faculties," The Becker-Posner Blog, July 6, 2008 ---

Jensen Comment
This includes many geezers who have pretty nice retirement funding that would enable them to retire comfortably. Personally, I think I made the correct decision to not stay in the teaching harness when retirement age arrived on my calendar. Trinity University was terrific, but I was perhaps beginning to teach and generally live too much on automatic pilot.

We purchased a retirement a retirement home in the mountains in 2003. but I continued to teach until May 2006
On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been
Seein' things that I may never see again,
And I can't wait to get on the road again.

Willie Nelson
CBS Records
I like the road of any kind, 
for they intrigue me still.
I wonder what's around the bend,
or just beyond the hill.

Rachel Harnett (Age 95), 
Tucumcary Literary Review
, Los Angeles

When I ask some of my retired professor friends why they retired, a common thread has been that the work ethic of many students has declined relative to their grade expectations (demands) and bickering for higher grades ---

But the bottom line reason for some of the professors hanging on until Age 75 and higher is frequently a younger spouse who is not yet eligible for Medicare benefits. This is especially the case for professors who, somewhere along the way, obtained trophy wives/husbands who are considerably younger. Now these old professors are staying in the saddle mainly to keep the family medical plan of the university active for their spouses. In the old days, colleges could wheel and deal to encourage timely or even early retirement. This has become very expensive in terms of having to negotiate funding for many years of spousal medical coverage.

Fortunately this was not an issue in my case since my soul mate is a lovely old biscuit and already had Medicare benefits when I retired. I have a friend (not in accounting) who is still teaching at Age 88 because his young spouse still has children who've not even reached middle school. I should send him pictures of me on a world cruise if I had the time to take a world cruise.

Most of my time is still taken up with research, study, consulting, and writing. Sigh! I like my work and find most leisure activities boring.


What proportion of American Accounting Association (AAA) members are within five years of the traditional age 65 retirement year? Most will probably go a bit beyond age 65 for reasons mentioned below. Some will retire at the minimum Medicare age of 62 because they really want out of teaching so bad that they will take a monthly retirement benefit hit.

The proportion of AAA members that are 60 or older is so high that it makes sense for the AAA to merge with AARP.

After the messaging about retirement, I received five private messages from faculty who are at retirement age, want to retire, and feel they cannot retire due to pending inflation worries (none mentioned trophy spouses in need of medical insurance).

In some ways this makes sense if they'd carefully read "The Lotus Eater" short story written by Somerset Maugham in 1945 ---
It's a very well-written piece about an accountant who retires on the equivalent of a finite-term annuity and then outlives his retirement income and savings. There are now lifetime retirement annuities but inflation can grind them to peanuts each month.

Patricia at BU made a good point about maximizing social security when she stated that she must continue to teach, in her young-thing age bracket, until 70 to maximize her social security benefits. The government almost dictated that workers not retire at age 65 by making them take a sizable hit if they retire at the traditional retirement age of 65. This change in policy really clobbered colleges who would prefer to have a new and younger dynamic faculty (read that faculty who've not just given up learning FAS 133).

Another factor to consider is that, if Pat retires before that new magical age of 70 for her, there may be some income tax drawbacks if she works part time in retirement (because she did not wait until she turned 70).

The taxability of earnings after retirement is among the many things you can ask about at the AAA meetings in Anaheim this year. Note the message below from Tracey highlights that a session on retirement planning has been added in Anaheim this year. 


Tracey writes:


Recent demographic studies of the accounting professorate show that nearly half of AAA members are within five years of retirement; and junior faculty, busy establishing new careers, often spend little time thinking about retirement. Responding to members' interests, this year retirement specialists from TIAA-CREF will offer members of both groups opportunities to learn more about retirement planning. Family members/partners are welcome to attend these sessions as well. Both session are on Wednesday (August 6) at 2:00, one entitled "Retirement Planning for Faculty 55 and Over",  and a session for early career faculty designated as "Retirement Planning for Those Under 55." These sessions will both be held in large rooms to accommodate the expected overflow crowds.  While hosted by representatives from TIAA-CREF, you don't have to be a participant in TIAA-CREF to benefit from the sessions."


Jensen Question
If Bob Jensen were doing a highly technical session on FAS 133/157 in Anaheim at 2:00 p.m. on August 6, would he draw a bigger crowd than the Retirement Planning session?

Please don't answer that! But the average age of my three people in the audience would be much, much younger than the overflow crowds at the retirement planning session. The reason is that the older registrants at the AAA annual meetings might recommend the FAS 133 session for their grandchildren who are about to finish up doctoral programs in accounting.

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

July 12, 2008 reply from Bill McCarthy [mccarthy@BUS.MSU.EDU]

Thanks Bob,

 I found this blog entry interesting, even though some of its analysis (in my opinion) seems overly contrived "economic think" that flies in the face of common experience and even common sense, especially in accounting academics today.

I really do not understand how the "graying of the professoriate" affects non-accounting faculties, because I have been only an accounting systems professor for 30+ years.  However, their idea that the most innovative teachers are always the youngest teachers seems debatable to me for accounting faculties.  Young scholars in accounting seem much more homogeneous (myopic?) as a group to me than accounting faculties considered more generally.  Their training is accountics-based in most instances (as this AECM list often notes), and their incentives to be creative in the classroom seem minimal compared to other professors who make teaching a priority.  Assistant professors in accounting do produce much more research on a count-and-weigh basis for obvious reasons, but genuine innovation is not always measured thus (despite what many doctoral level accounting faculty think).  There certainly are innovative young accounting scholars, but not to the extent that Posner/Becker hint.  The doctoral-training straightjacket they have to escape to become that way is much more real and much more confining than it was 30 years ago. 

When I received my Ph.D. in accounting, none of the accounting faculty (at UMass-Amherst) seemed alarmed that I spent so much of my doctoral study time in the computer science labs and library, and most of the schools I interviewed for my first job seem so delighted with such training that they were ready to hand over the tailoring of their AIS courses to me as a brand new assistant professor.  Both of these circumstances would be rare indeed today. Curriculum and course innovation by new people was encouraged then; now such work is viewed as service loads to be contracted away for initial jobs.  Now, young AIS people must be accountics-qualified first and foremost, and AIS ideas are not allowed to become their "professorial essence" (at least until they survive the initial tenure race, at which point their AIS innovation initiative might be minimal).  This seems to be a formula for generating mediocre AIS teaching.  My heroes were people like Ted Codd, Roger Schank, and John Sowa; their heroes have become (in spirit if not in fact) the editorial board members of JAR.  

I believe very strongly that it is possible to be innovative and fresh in one's teaching and research even if one is not young.   I try to do it by hanging around with people outside the business school faculty (practitioners, computer scientists, and most recently, philosophers) and by staying away from accountics research seminars.  New experiences often generate new ideas in ways that keep teaching genuinely vibrant.  However, I also believe that “new” isn’t always better for the students.  I have a cache of  “classic” classes that work so well every single time I use them that it sometimes takes me a couple of hours to come down from the experience.  Students remember these for months and even years, so I know my learning objectives are met.  Mixing old and new ideas in a repetitively taught course makes preparation constant, but it produces the best results.  I think this is what experienced teachers do the best.   

To a certain extent, it is my belief that the box we put young AIS people in is the same confining structure that we apply to all new scholars in accounting.  A person like Paul Williams would never appear today as a new hire unless he or she were parachuted in from a European doctoral program where diversity in methods and domains is much more accepted (or from one of the very few US schools that remain eclectic).  I just spent two weeks in meetings and cafes with young informatics scholars from Belgium and Austria, and their research programs for information systems in business and accounting were very ambitious but practical, genuinely innovative, and technically informed in a manner that I simply cannot envision occurring in US accounting.  I believe that their teaching will follow that form. So maybe Becker and Posner do have it right in general about the inverse relationship between age and educational innovation for universities; it's just that US accounting academia is a glaring counterexample.


So, for all of us non-traditional faculty in accounting, I think the trend for professors trained "in the old days" to stay on longer is a positive one, for both the experienced teaching it affords students and for the diversity of thought that it sustains in what appears to be an increasing monolithic field.  I just turned 62, but I plan to stay at least 10 more years. My four classes are probably 80%, 75%, 60%, and 25% stable, but none of them fits the “old yellowed notes with turned page corners” stereotype that people seem to have of teachers that age.   I have no intention of retreating and leaving accounting education in the hands of accountics and conservative newcomers.   . 

Bill McCarthy
Michigan State


July 13, 2005 reply from Bob Jensen

Well said Bill!

And will the last American Accounting Association member please turn out the lights in Sarasota.

The production of doctoral graduates in accounting is still only around 100 per year in accounting. There are going to be some huge problems in academe and in the American Accounting Association over the next 10 years. Half the present membership in the AAA is within five years of retirement according to the Executive Director of the AAA. There are around 6,000 current members. Go figure! In five years there could be 3,000 fewer members being replaced by less than 500 new members. Membership in the AAA has been on the decline for years from a time when there were well over 10,000 members --- 

Of course not all 3,000 AAA members who could retire in five years will retire so soon because of the newer Social Security regulations extending the minimum age beyond age 65 for maximum benefits. But there will also be retirements at age 62 for some who are hanging on only to reach the minimum age for Medicare benefits.

The only way we're going to get more doctoral graduates in accounting is to face up to the reality that accounting research can and should extend beyond the limitations of social science quantitative method research. At the present virtually all North American doctoral programs require accounting graduates to be social scientists, particularly in the realm of econometrics or psychometrics. This is a turn off for young practicing accountants who contemplate returning for a PhD in accounting and are turned off by all the mathematics prerequisites. Also most doctoral programs in accounting now take five full-time years beyond the masters degree. Economics takes three years --- 

Bob Jensen

July 12, 2008 reply from Dennis Beresford [dberesfo@TERRY.UGA.EDU]


In addition to teaching SFAS 133, I wonder how many accounting professors are dealing with SFAS 140 (securitizations) and Interpretation 46R (consolidation of variable interest entities)? I suspect both are way too detailed and complicated to be covered in typical accounting classes. Yet the FASB's current project on this threatens to add trillions (yes, trillions) of dollars of liabilities and assets to the balance sheets of financial services companies. And, by the way, the possible impact of that happening is alleged to be the major cause of this week's market crisis for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This real world example of how accounting impacts the economy is truly fascinating. I only hope the economy survives for us to discuss it in class in the coming semester.

Denny Beresford

July 13, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Denny,

A new problem is that some of our existing financial accounting faculty are reasoning that it’s a waste of time to study the tough new FASB standards and interpretations that will soon be history when the U.N. (oops read that the principles-based IASB) standards replace the complex and bright-lined FASB standards.

During the transition period (when both FASB and IFRS standards are accepted) accounting faculty have even more freedom to cherry pick the hard stuff out of their course syllabi. Textbook publishers may well do the same thing to avoid textbooks from doubling in size.

Tom Selling is right. If IFRS 3(R) is any indication, we should not look forward to the IASB (read that "politically correct" IASB) taking over our financial reporting standards.

I'm glad I'm not young anymore --- 

Bob Jensen

July 14, 2008 reply from glen.gray@CSUN.EDU

I don't want to sound too negative, but aren't we past the tipping point in being able to expand accounting research topics for PhD candidates? At some point the doctoral student will have to pull together a dissertation committee. That may be very difficult if their research interest is outside the current mainstream. They might find professors to be on their committee out of courtesy or guilt (or arm twisting), but how helpful and encouraging are they going to be?

In other words, lets say the existing accounting faculty agreed tomorrow that we need to expand accounting research choices, do we have an infrastructure to support that decision?

Glen L. Gray, PhD, CPA Accounting & Information Systems, COBAE California State University, Northridge 18111 Nordhoff ST Northridge, CA 91330-8372 818.677.3948 818.677.2461 (messages) 

July 14, 2008 reply from Roger Debreceny [roger@DEBRECENY.COM]

Glen may very well be right. But I wonder if the AAA has a role to play in this process. It is enlightening to Google "PhD Accounting Programs." No meta site comes up at all.

For very little cost the AAA could provide a site on PhD programs that pointed potential students to a variety of research interests and paths of enquiry. This might broaden the demand and supply.

My concern is just how much unused supervisory capacity there is, rather than a lack of capacity. I can think of several colleagues who are not currently supervising PhDs .. or perhaps have not been allowed to, which is even more of a concern.


July 14, 2008 reply from Richard C. Sansing [Richard.C.Sansing@TUCK.DARTMOUTH.EDU]

The ATA provides accounting doctoral program information at

July 14, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Richard and Roger,

The AACSB database provides quite a bit more information (than the ATA doctoral program database) about accredited schools in business and accounting (including data about the doctoral programs in the U.S. and outside the U.S.) --- 

The way to find the information is as follows:

1. Find a college or university of interest at 

2. Click on the Red asterisk (the purple asterisk is only a link to the school itself)

3. Click on "View Demographics"

4. Look for doctoral program information (if any).

There's similar link to Accredited Accounting Programs ---  But some universities having quality doctoral programs in accountancy do not have accounting accreditation on top of AACSB business program accreditation. For example, such is the case with Yale University.

One way to improve the ATA database would be to weed out the inactive programs (such as Vanderbilt) and/or provide information on the trends in graduation rates each year and/or list the graduates by name.

I agree that it would be a great service if the AACSB and/or the AAA provided a more useful database to query for such things as history of the doctoral program, year-to-year graduation rates since inception of the doctoral program, prerequisites such as in mathematics and accounting, scholarship funding available, assistantship funding available, and information about where each graduate took the first post-doctoral job.

It would also be useful to be able to query the database for research methods specializations. For example, it would then be easier to find that Case Western has an option for getting a doctorate in accounting history or that the University of Central Florida has an option for getting a doctorate with more accounting stress and less accountics/social science requirements. SUNY at Albany also has some non-traditional options. At the moment, of course, there may only be three doctoral programs in North America that do not require accountics and social science research methods.

Still another useful feature would be to be able to quickly find which doctoral programs have joint-discipline options such as accounting-Law, AIS-Computer Science, Accounting-Philosophy, etc. I don't know of any such joint accounting doctoral programs, but at Yale University there is a joint doctoral program in finance and law.

It would also be useful to list each doctoral graduate by name so that we could then go the Hasselback Directory to try to find where those graduates are employed at the present (if they're still in academe).

The printed copy of the Hasselback Directory (Prentice-Hall) has a page, just before the college listings begin alphabetically, that summarizes the graduation rates in doctoral programs for the history of each U.S. accountancy doctoral program. This is very useful, but be forewarned that there are some errors. Two errors I detected are the graduation rates in the doctoral program at Penn State University and the failure to even list Yale University, which as you, Richard, once pointed out to me has a doctoral program in accountancy. I'm not criticizing Jim here, because errors are inevitable in most any database and Jim invites every user of his Directory to send in corrections --- 

By the way, when most of us want to locate Jim's online directory, we most likely go to Google and type in "Hasselback Directory." Unfortunately, the first thing that pops up is a 1999 version. I wish the above link would pop up first.

A don't think any of the online versions of the Hasselback Directory have the doctoral program summary page that's in the printed version from Prentice-Hall.

Bob Jensen

More on How White Collar Crime Pays Even When You Get Caught

"The Milberg Double Cross," The Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2008; Page A16 ---

The Justice Department recently took a bow in its legal victory over the law firm of Milberg Weiss. But now it seems Justice may itself have been conned by the notorious firm and its felonious former lead partner, Melvyn Weiss.

It was only last month that Milberg agreed to pay $75 million as part of a nonprosecution agreement over Justice's charges that it had run a 30-year kickback scheme. Not 30 days, or months. Thirty years. The firm got off easy, not least because it finally cut ties with the partners (including Weiss) it blamed for the scheme. Yet according to papers filed in New York State court, even as Milberg was pinning the blame on these criminals and telling Justice it had thrown them overboard, the law firm's remaining partners were agreeing to pay millions to Weiss going forward. Apparently crime does pay.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment

If I'm not mistaken, before we knew Melvyn Weiss was going to become a convicted felon, he was a very sanctimonious featured plenary session speaker a few years ago at an American Accounting Association annual meeting. I no longer have the video (I gave it and my other videos to the accounting history archives at the University of Mississippi.) My recollection is that Mr. Weiss lambasted CPA firms for wanting limited liability.

The Timeline of Derivative Financial Instruments Fraud ---

The Timeline of the Recent History of Fannie Mae Scandals 2002-2008 ---
"Fannie Mayhem: A History," The Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2008

Bob Jensen's threads on how white collar crime pays even if you get caught are at

Senator Dodd's Sham Mortgage Default Relief Legislation:  It's Only for Pre-Election Show

"The Flaws in the FHA Housing Bill," by Adam J. Levitin, The Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2008; Page A15 ---

One year and one million foreclosures into the mortgage crisis, Congress will finally produce a major piece of legislation aimed at alleviating the problem. The Dodd-Frank FHA Bill will authorize the Federal Housing Administration to insure refinanced mortgages, en masse. FHA-guaranteed mortgage terms will supposedly be more manageable for homeowners than their current ones.

Lawmakers can say they've "done something" about the crisis. The only problem is the bill won't work. Contractual and incentive problems in securitized mortgages will defeat the legislation's attempt to provide a significant amount of relief.

First, the bill requires lenders to write down the principal on loans by as much as 15%, and waive prepayment fees before their loans are eligible for FHA-guaranteed refinancing. This would be simple enough in the 1950s mortgage market, which was made up of institutions like the Bailey Building & Loan Association in the Frank Capra film "It's a Wonderful Life." Today the majority of residential mortgages are held by securitization trusts -- entities that own pools of thousands of mortgages, which serve as collateral for securities sold in the capital markets.

For securitized loans, there is no "lender" who can write down the principal. Instead, management of the loan is contracted out to a servicer. Frequently, servicers are contractually forbidden from modifying loans or else significantly restricted in their ability to do so. This alone will prevent many mortgages from being eligible for FHA refinancing.

Even when servicers can modify loans, they have no incentive to do so for the FHA program. Servicers incur significant costs (up to $1,600) in modifying a loan. Moreover, servicers' income is mainly based on the amount of principal outstanding in a securitization trust. When a loan leaves the pool because of a refinancing, the servicer ceases to receive revenue from it. Any equity appreciation in the property would be shared by the mortgage holder and the FHA, but not the servicer. In short, servicers have nothing to gain and everything to lose by engaging in the write-downs necessary for the FHA bill to work.

Another obstacle: Many homeowners have second mortgages, and many of these second mortgages are completely "underwater" -- or out of money. The second mortgages are frequently held by different entities than the first mortgages. In order for the refinanced mortgage to be insured by FHA, the second mortgage holder would have to be bought out.

Underwater second mortgagees (and many might be underwater even after a write-down on the first mortgage), have nothing to lose by holding out for a high payout and will block many refinancings. The FHA bill does not fix this problem.

Third, the FHA is not staffed to handle hundreds of thousands of refinancings, and neither are mortgage servicers (if they were willing to cooperate). It will take several months for the FHA program to hit full speed. In the meantime, foreclosures will continue, in the hundreds of thousands. The next Congress, in all likelihood, will have to revisit this problem -- in 2009.

The final critical flaw is that the FHA bill puts taxpayer dollars at risk.

To the extent that lenders are willing and able to do the write-down necessary for the FHA refinancing, they will only do so for loans that they think are worth less than 85 cents on the dollar. Lenders will retain loans with a higher expected recovery rate. This means there is an adverse selection problem for the FHA refinancing. Lenders will only sell the FHA their worst lemons, so the FHA will be overpaying for bum loans.

Lenders' contributions to an FHA loss reserve fund, and a special tax on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are supposed to protect against FHA losses. But no one has a firm idea of how many loans will be refinanced or just what the losses will be on those loans. It's all guesswork, and there's no reason to think that Congress's real estate gamble is going to pan out any better than that of so many investors.

Let's hope Congress gets it right. If not, the taxpayers will be holding the bag, mortgage markets will continue to suffer, and many more families will lose their homes.

Mr. Levitin teaches bankruptcy and commercial law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.

Treasury Secretary Paulson is insisting that any potential rescue plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac not benefit the companies' shareholders. Shares of Fannie and Freddie fell 22% and 3.1%, respectively, and the two face a crisis of confidence after a week in which their stocks lost nearly half their value.
Deborah Solomon, James R. Hagerty, and Serena Ng, "Rescue Debate: Paulson Insists Fannie, Freddie Holders Lose,"  The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2008, Page A1 ---
Jensen Comment
Paulson and Senator Dodd will probably make an exception for shareholders who are banks since friends of the banking lobby will do anything to protect banks.

Why are so many Ivy League alumni behind bars?

From July 3, 2008 ---

No matter which prison former Refco Inc. Chief Executive Officer Phillip Bennett serves the 16-year sentence he received today in Manhattan federal court, chances are he will be the only one there with a master's degree from Cambridge University in England.

The head of what was once the biggest independent U.S. futures broker, Bennett also was ordered to forfeit $2.4 billion in assets for what prosecutors said was ``among the very worst'' white-collar crimes. He faced a possible life sentence after pleading guilty to bank fraud and money laundering.

Bennett, 60, joins at least a dozen other wealthy corporate executives with degrees from elite institutions such as Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School who've been incarcerated for white-collar crimes this decade. Exceptional intelligence, self-confidence and feeling special, common among those educated at such schools, can turn into deviousness, arrogance and entitlement, said Tom Donaldson, a professor of ethics and law at Wharton in Philadelphia.

``If the devil exists, he no doubt has a high IQ and an Ivy League degree,'' Donaldson said. ``It's clear that having an educational pedigree is no prophylactic against greed and bad behavior.''

Imprisoned executives with Ivy League degrees include Jeffrey Skilling, 54, former CEO of Enron Corp. (Harvard Business School); Timothy Rigas, 52, former chief financial officer of Adelphia Communications Corp. (Wharton); and William Sorin, 59, former general counsel of New York-based Comverse Technology Inc. (Harvard Law School).

Elite Schools

Some of these convicted executives have multiple degrees. Conrad Black, the former CEO of Chicago-based Hollinger International Inc., now serving a 6 1/2-year sentence for stealing $6.1 million from the company, has two bachelor's degrees from Carleton University, a master's degree from McGill University and a law degree from Laval University, all in Canada.

``There is a correlation between going to an elite school and ending up as a CEO,'' said Edwin Hartman, a professor of business ethics at New York University's Stern School of Business. ``Look at the list of the heads of the 400 elite companies. They certainly didn't go to no-name state schools.''

A top-level education may also cultivate arrogance, said Maurice Schweitzer, who teaches information management at Wharton.

`They Feel Special'

``We tell our students at premier institutions that they are special, and they certainly feel special,'' Schweitzer said. ``We have famous faculty and great resources. They are surrounded by accomplished peers, and recruiters flock to them.''

Massachusetts-based Harvard University spokeswoman Rebecca Rollins said the school didn't have an immediate comment.

Wrongdoing in the executive suite is more about character flaws than alma maters, said Andrew Weissmann, a former federal prosecutor who led the U.S. Justice Department task force that investigated the collapse of Enron.

``Just because you went to a good school doesn't mean you have a good moral compass,'' Weissmann said.

Moreover, some of the executives convicted since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in 2002 in response to corporate corruption didn't attend elite schools. HealthSouth Corp. founder Richard Scrushy, 55, sentenced to almost 7 years in prison for bribery, has a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Former Tyco International Ltd. CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski, convicted of stealing $137 million from the company and in prison for 8 1/3 to 25 years, has a bachelor's degree from Seton Hall University.

Risk Takers

Executives with top educations may end up trading their pin stripes for prison jumpsuits because they're driven to excel.

``People who succeed in corporate America are risk-takers,'' said Anthony Barkow, a former federal prosecutor and Harvard Law School graduate who is now a New York University Law School professor. ``They're smart, confident and sometimes even arrogant. That's what it takes to succeed. Risk-takers get closer to the line and sometimes cross it.''

Graduates from top-tier universities may feel so special, they think law doesn't apply to them, Wharton's Schweitzer said.

``We encourage our students to explore and think outside the box,'' Schweitzer said. ``In general, this approach is very constructive, but it may prompt people to be less likely to recognize an ethical dilemma.''

Morgenthau's Warning

Current and former prosecutors who've handled white-collar cases said the defendants' most common trait was avarice.

``It doesn't matter if you graduated from the best schools in the world and had every privilege accorded to you or not,'' said Campbell, a member of the Enron Task Force with degrees from Yale University and the University of Chicago School of Law. ``Greed is a strong motivation, and it can cause you to make mistakes.''

Robert Morgenthau, the Manhattan District Attorney who is a graduate of Amherst College and Yale Law School, issued this warning:

``No matter what your position is in life or where you went to school, if you commit a crime in our jurisdiction, we'll be happy to prosecute you.''

What are do so many executives cheat in recent years?

See Question 1 and Answer 1 at

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

Bob Jensen's "Rotten to the Core" threads are at

Are 35% of Ivy League graduates really miserable?
White people love sounding smarter than their peers and will jump at any chance to use a statistic if it’s applicable to the conversation in any way. The more absurd the statistic, the more clever and original you will seem. Stats can also hide negative feelings. If you meet a white person who wishes went to a school that they refer to as the “Harvard of the (Region where the university they attended is), they may say something like “Good thing I didn’t go to an Ivy since 35% of their graduates reported being unhappy with their lives”. It is considered rude to laugh and you should instead smile or throw in another appropriate statistic if handy.

David Munoz, "Statistics," June 25, 2008 ---

What's the latest huge obstacle to faculty recruiting, especially senior faculty recruiting?

"Housing Market Woes Both Help and Harm Campus Recruiting," by Kate Moser, Chronicle of Higher Education, July 10, 2008 ---

With a house languishing in the real-estate doldrums of southwestern Ohio, Edward F. Leonard III and his family have lived apart since he took over as president of Bethany College, in Kansas, nearly a year ago. Their situation is like that of many faculty members and administrators frustrated by housing prices across the country.

"We got tired of being a long-distance family," Mr. Leonard said last week by cellphone as he drove caravan-style with his wife and young son. They were in two cars packed with belongings they would unload at the college's guesthouse, where they will live until they plot their next move.

Existing-home sales dropped 15.9 percent from a year ago, the National Association of Realtors announced in June, and sales of new single-family houses were down 40 percent in that period, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nationwide, the value of many homes has also plummeted.

That real-estate slowdown has proved a challenge for faculty members, administrators, and recruits unwilling or unable to sell their houses during a market slide whose bottom economists can only guess at. Still, the buyer's market yields a silver lining at many colleges—a slight reprieve for first-time home buyers.

Easier to Recruit?

For some institutions, the collapsing real-estate market would be a great recruitment tool—if their state economies weren't also ailing.

"For the openings that we've had, there are more attractive prices than they've seen in the last couple years," said David B. Ashley, president of the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

Nevada has seen the steepest drop in house prices of any state in the past year, 27 percent. That decline led one professor of animation who had taken a new post at Louisiana State University at Shreveport to return to his old job in Las Vegas after two months because the value of his house there kept dropping and he couldn't sell it.

But lower prices have been advantageous for first-time home buyers at other institutions.

A few weeks after Robert J. Alexander arrived in Northern California last month, he picked up keys to his first home—a 1928 bungalow, recently renovated, in a desirable neighborhood just south of the campus of the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, where he is the new associate provost for enrollment. Mr. Alexander had been renting in New Orleans, where he was an assistant vice president for enrollment management at Tulane University, so he didn't have to worry about selling property there.

The abundance of homes for sale in Stockton helped put Mr. Alexander's new house within his reach. Stockton has the highest rate of foreclosures—one in every 75 homes—among 230 of the nation's metropolitan areas, according to a June report by RealtyTrac Inc., which monitors foreclosures.

Mr. Alexander viewed several houses in foreclosure and saw some good deals. But "there's an aura of sadness there that I wasn't prepared to invest in," he said, noting that some had wiring and pipes ripped out, presumably by frustrated former homeowners on their way out.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One thing not mentioned is the tremendous increase in the cost of moving your household goods in a big moving van. My move in a 54-foot Mayflower van was close to $30,000 three years go. These days it might well be closer to $50,000 for a 2,000-mile move when you factor in the cost of the moving van company, fuel for your two cars, lodging, and other moving costs piled on the huge loss you may have to take selling your existing house. I was lucky to sell at a reasonable price, but there was only one offer to choose from back when the real estate market was much better than it is these days. I would certainly hate to be selling that 4,400 square foot San Antonio house these days.

Even though buyers who're not saddled with existing home ownership can get some good deals and/or move into homes they never thought they could afford, there are some warning signs to heed. Firstly, if you get a home for $200,000 that was previously $450,000 it sounds like a good deal at the relatively low current mortgage rates. But beware --- the property taxes probably won't go down much or at all from the previous taxes on the $450,000 appraisal. Some states like New Hampshire only reappraise for tax purposes every ten years or so. Some localities in other states reappraise more often but will not come down to the bargain price you paid for the house. Still other localities come down to what you paid but up the tax rates to cover the district's losses such that you probably will pay as much or more as the previous owner paid in property taxes.

And if you don't get tenure or are otherwise choose to relocate in a few years, the medium-run forecasts for the housing market are not particularly good at the moment such that you may be eventually stuck in the same position that that the seller faced when he/she dropped the price dramatically just to entice you to buy the money pit for $200,000 this year.

And if you're willing to rent for a bit, there are some really tremendous rental deals to be had on empty houses that won't sell. Many rental deals come with options to buy as well. Up here in cold country, some owners are willing to rent dirt cheap if you will just keep the home heated and maintained while you consider buying the place. Of course the cost of heating has doubled since last winter with no end in site for the price rises in heating fuel. When you buy a big house up north, the best kind of house these days is one that can be closed off (maybe around an interior apartment) when the snow is up to the window sills.

And if you're thinking of buying a second home or condo in some scenic part of the U.S., remember that the market for vacation homes and condos is even more depressed than the rest of the real estate market. Furthermore, it's likely to stay that way such that prospects of resale in a few years are not good. And when the Democrats begin to figure new taxes, they might just take away the tax breaks on the mortgage payments on second homes. Actually since both parties in Congress love to suck on the Real Estate Lobbying Tit, the probability of losing tax breaks on second homes is fairly low. But there is a chance is this era of wanting to stick it to higher income people who are usually the ones buying vacation homes.

And I would sure hate to be selling a time share these days. I always did think buying into a time share was dumb.

And if you want to take a vacation, some of the hotel and country inns are so desperate that they are offering tremendous deals these days compared with what they charged last year. It may be cheaper go to to a hotel or inn these days than get less than ten miles to the gallon hauling your trailer or heading your motor home on the road. And many hotels and inns are now including pretty decent breakfasts with the room prices. Make love, not breakfast!

One place offering better deals these days is the Sunset Hill House down the road from me ---
This inn is certainly not the cheapest lodging you can find around here, but it has some nice features such as a golf course and views of Erika Jensen's wild flowers. And if Nancy and Lon can't give you the deal you're looking for, you can wheel and deal with the many other mountain inns up here this summer.

And if you want to buy an inn, the vacant Foxglove Inn down the road is up for sale at greatly, greatly reduced prices (might even be auctioned) ---
Also see
I think it's listed somewhere at
However, it may have changed realty firms recently. It's a foreclosure owned by a bank.

I sure would hate to heat the Foxglove next year, but if you have a large family and want to be next to our great little Sugar Hill Community Church, the price is probably greatly reduced for eight bedrooms and baths. I don't recommend going into the B&B business these days. At one time the Foxglove was listed for $670,000. For kicks, try to find what the asking price is today.

July 12, 2008 reply from Glen Gray


Is the statement, "Unfortunately, Proposition 13 equivalents were not passed in other states where increases in tax appraisals forced many fixed-income people out of their homes." yours? It's the word "Unfortunately" that caught my eye. I'm not sure if there is anybody left in California who "honestly" believe that Proposition 13 was a good thing. Oh sure, people who have lived in their house for many, many years and pay very low property taxes are not complaining, but they also know it creates distortions and the concept of "fairness" is arguable. Think about the distortions and game playing that rent control has created in Manhattan for decades that every economist condemns. Proposition 13 does the same thing in California. The longer it has been in place the more distortions it creates.

I remember the pre-Proposition 13 days when the local TV stations would have some little old lady (usually a widow) on TV complaining that raising property taxes were going to "force" her to sell the house that her late husband built in 1938 for $1,200. Of course she was being "forced" to sell her 2-bedroom, 1 bathroom, 800 square feet house for $6,000,000!

Of course, in the U.S., nobody should be forced to sell their house, but Proposition 13 just replaced one set of problems with another set of problems.

July 12, 2008 reply from Bob Jensen

Hi Glen,

But California could’ve waited to tax the little old lady’s multimillion dollar gain until she wanted to cash in or she died. This is what we do with capital gains on the stock market. Why shouldn’t people be allowed to invest the same way in their homes? Taxing capital gains on homes before people cash in forces them to leave their homes against their will.

Secondly, the property tax is neither an income tax nor a consumption tax in terms of year-to-year cash flows. Since income tax is the least regressive, and consumption taxes generally vary with income, I think they are much more equitable than property taxes provided capital gains are eventually fair game for the taxing districts once the owners “cash out” one way or another. Proposition 13 forced California to look for other ways of raising revenues that, in my viewpoint, were more equitable. I think California should endow its capital gains taxes and then spend the endowment’s profits each year.

Also farmers and ranchers get an “unfair benefit” in terms of the property tax, since it’s impossible to have ranches and farms if this crop land is taxed at the same rate as land in urban areas. Thus, if the little old lady had a 200-acre farm near Yuba City she cannot be taxed the same way she’s taxed on her land parcels inside Yuba City. One of our sons is married to a woman whose family owns a 4,000 acre “ranch” not far from Yuba City. The ranch could not survive if each acre was taxed at the same rate as Yuba City lots in town. Hence, the ranch has a much lower property tax rate than our son’s two lots in Yuba City. That way California can still produce enormous amounts of grain, fruits, and vegetables to help feed the nation at food prices most people can afford. 

Up here in New England enormous portions of the states are designated “timberland” where people cannot live year around (there are no schools or towns in such areas). Timberland owners are taxed mainly for fire protection and little else, because if this land was taxed like residential areas you could kiss the vast forest lands and the paper industry goodbye for good. Where would the nation get its oxygen and newspapers and toilet tissue and The Accounting Review after that?

And now we see that Proposition 13 helped to take some of the bite out of tax losses due to drastic decline in California’s local property values. You cannot say the same for Boston’s school districts.

No tax is pleasant, but I think income and consumption taxes should be increased relative to property taxes. State income and consumption taxes allow the state to more equitably distribute revenues to districts with relatively low housing values.

A problem we now face in New Hampshire is that the state has no income or sales tax, thereby, relying on property tax funding of schools. And NH law restricts redistributing property taxes to urban (at least what New Hampshire calls “urban” in a state with about a million people) areas having lower property values to fund some of the larger districts in terms of the numbers of school children. Thus each year we have a lot of pleading from poor school districts in and around Manchester who contend they don’t have the same resources per student as we have in Concord and points north.

Technically there is some sales tax in New Hampshire but it is on restaurants and hotel guests. There’s no sales tax on vehicle sales and anything you can purchase at Wal-Mart. Also there is a serious sales tax on property transfers that is paid in half by the buyers and half by the sellers. But the tax is voluntary in a sense and does not hit home owners in the same way as our property tax hits home owners (and renters) year to year. Also there's a small tax on interest and dividends received in cash, but there's a $5,000 exemption and the tax is only 1% after that. This money can be redistributed to some of the less wealthy districts in the state.

And by the way, my property tax went up by a rather large amount this year even though the value of my property most likely went down considerably in value. We had no Proposition 13 to cushion the blow statewide, but NH just does not lower tax appraisals every time property values decline. I guess that’s the NH answer to not having Proposition 13 do some of the tax revenue smoothing.

Bob Jensen


In the face of some of the most drastic declines in property values in the U.S., why have many California homeowners not seen their tax valuations decline?

Proposition 13 kept tax valuations way below market value during the blowing up of the real estate bubble such that tax valuations did not have to decline when the bubble burst (thereby sending market values back down closer to tax appraisals). Unfortunately, Proposition 13 equivalents were not passed in other states where increases in tax appraisals forced many fixed-income people out of their homes.

"Prop. 13 Surprise," Investor's Business Daily, July 11, 2008 ---

It may not get much national notice, but a significant man-bites-dog story has emerged from the debris of California's real estate bust. Cities and counties are finding that their assessment rolls actually are going up while house values are diving.

Los Angeles County, for example, has seen its latest roll rise 6.9% to $1.1 trillion even as area home prices have depreciated 23%. Even nearby Riverside County, where the housing market has been swamped by foreclosures, assessments have gone up 1.45%.

Meanwhile, state government is staring at a budget gap of more than $15 billion, despite levying some of the highest personal income-tax rates in the nation.

The key to this puzzle is, as the Los Angeles Times notes, the role of Proposition 13 "as an economic stabilizer." Passed by voters in 1978, when an earlier real-estate boom juiced assessments so fast people were in danger of being taxed out of their homes, Prop. 13 now is shielding cities and counties from the latest downdraft.

It does this by assessing homes at their sale prices and limiting annual increases to 2% after that. A house bought for $500,000 in 1995, for instance, would be assessed at no more than $647,000 in 2008, even if its market value was well over $1 million.

Prop. 13 also caps property tax rates (other than voter-approved bond issues or special levies) at 1% of assessed value. These limits produce a smooth, gradually rising, revenue stream. Without them, local governments would be lurching from boom to bust.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on property taxes state-by-state are at

Sen. Charles Schumer has always had a big mouth
Did he go to far this time with a statement that will cost the Treasury billions?
I say no --- this time!
Don't shoot the messenger.

"Crisis Deepens as Big Bank Fails IndyMac Seized In Largest Bust In Two Decades," by Damian Paletta and David Enrich, The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2008; Page A1 ---

IndyMac Bank, a prolific mortgage specialist that helped fuel the housing boom, was seized Friday by federal regulators, in the third-largest bank failure in U.S. history.

IndyMac is the biggest mortgage lender to go under since a fall in housing prices and surge in defaults began rippling through the economy last year -- and it likely won't be the last. Banking regulators are bracing for a slew of failures over the next year as analysts say housing prices have yet to bottom out.

The collapse is expected to cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. between $4 billion and $8 billion, potentially wiping out more than 10% of the FDIC's $53 billion deposit-insurance fund.

The Pasadena, Calif., thrift was one of the largest savings and loans in the country, with about $32 billion in assets. It now joins an infamous list of collapsed banks, topped by Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co., which failed in 1984 with $40 billion of assets. The second-largest failure was American Savings & Loan Association of Stockton, Calif., in 1988.

The director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, John Reich, blamed IndyMac's failure on comments made in late June by Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), who sent a letter to the regulator raising concerns about the bank's solvency. In the following 11 days, spooked depositors withdrew a total of $1.3 billion. Mr. Reich said Sen. Schumer gave the bank a "heart attack."

"Would the institution have failed without the deposit run?" Mr. Reich asked reporters. "We'll never know the answer to that question."

Mr. Schumer quickly fired back.

"If OTS had done its job as regulator and not let IndyMac's poor and loose lending practices continue, we wouldn't be where we are today," Sen. Schumer said. "Instead of pointing false fingers of blame, OTS should start doing its job to prevent future IndyMacs."

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
Although I've never been a fan of Sen. Charles Schumer, I don't think we should shoot the messenger in this case. Banks that participated in a big way in the subprime lending scandal and shareholders who profited by this participation should now be able to take the heat. The problem is that the mortgage bubble just could not keep getting bigger and bigger on fraudulent appraisals and loans way beyond what borrowers could realistically afford.

The best explanation ever of the sub-prime (meaning lending to borrowers with much less than prime credit ratings) mortgage greed and fraud.
The best explanation ever about securitized financial instruments and worldwide banding frauds using such instruments.
The best explanation ever about how greedy employees will cheat on their employers and their customers.

"House Of Cards: The Mortgage Mess Steve Kroft Reports How The Mortgage Meltdown Is Shaking Markets Worldwide," Sixty Minutes Television on CBS, January 27, 2008 ---

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

Cheating in Business School Rankings in India

From the Mostly Economics Blog by Amol Agrawal on July 7, 2008 ---

Premchand Palety has been writing some fantastic columns every Monday in Mint. He has been discussing each activity of B-schools in his column and it makes you wonder what are we getting into.

In his recent column he talks about the B-School ranking season with a number of magazines coming out with their views on which school is the best. He says:

I have spoken to different directors and main promoters of B-schools about the issue of corruption in rankings. Some of them have confirmed that corrupt practices are followed by some agencies and publications. I was always surprised by the Top 10 ranking of an otherwise average B-school that used to participate in only one survey, by a business magazine.An insider from that school told to me the real reason. There was a major financial deal, amounting to several lakhs of rupees, struck between the CEO of the B-school and the agency head.

And then there is a lot more on corruption in these rankings.

Frankly it does not matter as the list hardly changes and I do not care why so much newsprint is wasted. I have always maintained that Business Schools in India, especially the elite ones, are anything like their abroad counterparts.

In abroad the main thing is the quality of research. Here, the main (perhaps only) criteria is placements. There is hardly any research by anyone in India. I haven’t come across one paper from these elite schools being referred in any research paper, be it any topic even India-specific.  But you do get to hear a lot on their placement achievements. And if the government imposes a service tax on the basis of their placement services, there is a big hue and cry.

I would maintain the trend is set by these elite schools and otehrs have simply copied their ways. There are so many advertisements these days even of elite schools and all you get to read is this “100% placements”. It is getting crazy and no one is interested in teaching. There are so many who pass out paying crazy sums not knowing anything at all. Throughout Day one and  Day final all the students talk about is internships and placements. So like it was said “All roads lead to Rome” , B-Schools say ” all roads lead to Placement”.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on collegiate ranking controversies are at

"Keep Private Equity Away From Our Banks," by Andy Stern, The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2008; Page A13 ---

Private-equity firms have made a lavish living on making big bets when no one is looking. Unlike banks and thrifts – which are regulated, transparent and generally publicly owned enterprises – private-equity firms operate in secret, virtually free from regulation. They use tax loopholes around carried interest – and deduct interest payments on the debt they use for buyouts – to extract huge profits from the companies they buy. Private-equity profits are built on big risks, and taking advantage of lax regulation – the very problems that led to the subprime and credit crises.

Shareholders are also paying the price for private-equity investments in banks. Texas Pacific Group's (TPG) recent investment in Washington Mutual (WaMu) massively diluted shareholder stakes by handing 50.2% of the company to TPG and its partners. While the deal – crafted in secret without shareholder input or approval – has already put $50 million in transaction fees in the pocket of TPG, WaMu shareholders have seen their stock value fall to $5.38 a share, the lowest level in 16 years (a nearly 90% drop in the last year alone).

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on "Rotten to the Core" are at

From the Scout Report on July 4, 2008

Yahoo! Widgets --- 

The word "widgets" used to serve as a surrogate type of product or imaginary good to illustrate various business case studies. Today, widgets are helpful little desktop accessories that can be used to track weather conditions, record typing speed, and even track traffic conditions. Yahoo! Widgets continues to grow on a daily basis, and visitors will want to check back on this site frequently for new and helpful devices. Most of these applications are compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.

NetNewsWire 3.1.7b1--- 

This latest iteration of NetNewsWire, the popular newsreader, is suitable for novices and those who've been using newsreaders since 2004. This particular reader allows users to sign up for an unlimited number of popular RSS feeds by merely checking boxes. Also, the application also features an integrated podcast manager, which will automatically send new podcasts to one's music jukebox. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5


How the Media Networks and Hollywood in general commit frauds

"Law and Disorder Producer Dick Wolf and NBC Are Battling Over the Profits Of One of the Richest TV Shows Ever. These Are Their Stories," by Rebecca Dana, The Wall Street Journal,  July 12, 2008; Page A1 ---

NBC Universal and Hollywood producer Dick Wolf have built "Law and Order" into one of the most lucrative properties in the history of television, generating billions of dollars from the franchise's three procedural crime dramas. The 19-year-old marriage was never an idyllic one, but as long as both sides were getting rich, it remained intact.

Now, it's on the rocks.

This spring, Mr. Wolf faced off against his corporate bosses in two major legal battles over the series's revenue, prestige and legacy -- a high-stakes saga that played out largely behind closed doors. If it were a TV show, it would be called "Law and Order: Law and Order."

According to Mr. Wolf's friends and employees, the producer believes he has been systematically cheated by NBC. He thinks the company has sold the show at a cheap in-house price to its own cable outlets rather than getting the best deal possible by letting other networks bid on it. NBC denies this, and in a private hearing this spring, an arbitrator sided with the network.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at

Free online textbooks, cases, and tutorials in accounting, finance, economics, and statistics ---

Education Tutorials

A Daring Experiment: Harvard and Business Education for Women, 1937-1970 ---

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at

Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

First Detailed Map of the Human Cortex ---

National Park Service, Nature & Science: Teacher Resources ---

How does a nuclear power plant really work?

July 10, 2008 message from Carly Smith []

Dear Professor Jenson,

While doing some research for my job I somehow stumbled across your delightful site and your very interesting assortment of links and quotes. I spent quite a bit of time exploring your page, and especially enjoyed the link to World Clock. You seem to have a wide variety of interests!

I am working as an Editorial Assistant at BrightHub.Com, a science and tech website offering articles from professionals around the world. One of my responsibilities is the mechanical engineering channel: . I noticed you have quite a few links to HowStuffWorks, and thought you might enjoy reading one of our articles on How a Nuclear Power Plant Works, . I think it offers a nice introduction into the world of nuclear power. I would recommend exploring the rest of our site as well; I think you’ll find a lot that interests you!

Thank you for your time! We are seeking to make Bright Hub an excellent resource for learners of all ages and backgrounds and would appreciate feedback from a professional such as yourself. I am including my contact information below so feel free to send me comments and suggestions. If you enjoyed reading the article on How a Nuclear Power Plant Works or our Mechanical Engineering channel in general we would appreciate the reference!


Carly Smith
270 River St.
Troy, NY 12180 
(518) 268-1056

Bob Jensen's threads on free online science, engineering, and medicine tutorials are at ---

Social Science and Economics TutorialsHeavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap By Lewis Page

"Heavyweight physics prof weighs into climate/energy scrap," by Lewis Page, The Register, June 20, 2008 ---

The Campaign Finance Institute ---

Dialogue Radio and Television [current events video] ---

University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute ---

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at

Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at

Math Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at

History Tutorials


Library of Congress Search Site for Art, Speeches, Music, and Other Items ---

American Choral Music, 1870-1923 ---

History of the United States --- 

Thomas Jefferson's Library [video]

Center for First World War Studies: Lions Led By Donkeys ---

Dakin Fire Insurance Maps (history of urbanization of Hawaii)  ---

From UC Berkeley
Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative ---

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at
Also see  

Language Tutorials

Welcome to Zon! (learning Chinese through interactive game playing) ---

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at

Writing Tutorials

English Composition: Writing for an Audience ---

Five Best Books on Father-Son Relationships ---

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at

Updates from WebMD ---

Drinking binges and "party-campus" reputations
Heavy alcohol use, or binge drinking, among college students in the United States is tied to conditions in the college environment. That is one of the key findings from research conducted by researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study (CAS), a landmark study that surveyed more than 50,000 students at 120 colleges from 1993 to 2001. In a new review that examines the findings from the CAS and their implications, the researchers conclude that heavy drinking behavior of students was more common in college environments that have a strong drinking culture, few alcohol control policies on campus or in the surrounding community, weak enforcement of existing policies, and alcohol made easily accessible through low prices, heavy marketing and special promotions. The review appears in the July 2008 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
PhysOrg, July 11, 2008 ---

Lightening Deaths Are Relatively Common
"Typically, July marks the peak in lightning activity. It's also the time when people are vacationing, so they are outside and they are vulnerable to lightning," said John Jensenius, a lightning safety expert at the National Weather Service . . . For campers and others outdoors far from a car or shelter, lightning experts warn people to stay away from tall objects like trees. Lightning tends to hit the highest thing around. And by the way, in an open field, that may be you. The United States rang up 45 lightning deaths last year and there have been 16 so far this year.
"Lightning claims 5 young lives in a week," PhysOrg, July 11, 2008 --- 

"New No-Calorie Sweetener:  Truvia Debuts Truvia, Made From Stevia, Being Sold Online and in Certain N.Y. Supermarkets," by Miranda Hitti, WebMD, July 11, 2008 ---

Truvia, a new, natural, zero-calorie sweetener made from the stevia plant, is making its debut online and in certain supermarkets in New York.

Cargill, which developed Truvia with Coca-Cola, is holding a "first taste" event in New York's Rockefeller Center to launch Truvia into the retail market.

For now, Truvia is only being sold online on the Truvia web site and in select D'Agostino supermarkets in New York City.

Truvia is the first stevia product that isn't labeled a "dietary supplement," the classification that the FDA has, up until now, required of all stevia products because of safety concerns from some, but not all, studies done mainly on animals.

In Cargill and Coca-Cola funded studies, Truvia showed no sign of health problems. For instance, it didn't affect blood pressure in healthy people or blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Further tests in rats show no effects on reproduction, fertility, or other health problems. Those studies recently appeared in Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Truvia is being sold as a tabletop sweetener and will be an ingredient in certain Coca-Cola drinks. It's not yet ready for use in baking.

Pepsi is also working on its own stevia sweetener. No head-to-head trials have been done on stevia vs. other no-calorie sweeteners, such as NutraSweet, Splenda, and Sweet'N Low.


"Healthier Aging Mice fed an ingredient in red wine are healthier, although they don't necessarily live longer," by Anna Davison, MIT's Technology Review, July 3, 2008 ---

Aging mice fed a chemical found in red wine were healthier in their twilight years, scientists have confirmed, although the rodents didn't necessarily live longer.

The anti-aging effects of the compound, resveratrol, mimic those of a calorie-restricted diet, which has been shown to give mice, dogs, and worms longer, healthier lives. Although resveratrol only extended the lives of obese mice in this latest study, it made all the animals healthier. They were spared the worst of some of the declines that come with old age, and they had healthier cardiovascular systems and stronger bones than did untreated animals. Non-obese mice fed resveratrol also had significantly lower total cholesterol. The study was done by the National Institute on Aging, as a follow-up to 2006 findings that resveratrol improves the health and longevity of overweight, aged mice.

The study offers yet more evidence of the possible anti-aging benefits of resveratrol. "Is this too good to be true?" asks Harvard Medical School's David Sinclair, one of the authors of the paper, which appears this week in Cell Metabolism. "I think we'll know in the next few years." Sinclair initially showed the anti-aging effect of resveratrol several years ago. Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, the company that he cofounded to develop anti-aging drugs, including ones based on resveratrol, was recently sold to GlaxoSmithKline for about $720 million.

Sinclair and his colleagues gave one-year-old mice--that's middle-aged, in mouse years-- high doses of resveratrol. It's found in the skins of grapes--which are left on the fruit when red wine is fermented but removed from white wine before fermentation--and in lower amounts in peanuts and some berries, including cranberries and blueberries.

Resveratrol had a broad range of health benefits for mice, the researchers confirmed. The mice had fewer cataracts, better bone density, healthier cardiovascular systems, and better motor coordination than did untreated animals, and resveratrol also made obese mice more sensitive to insulin.

"Let's hope it will do the same things for humans," says Mark Leid, a professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Oregon State University. He wasn't involved in this work.

Other studies have found that resveratrol extends life span in various organisms, including fish, flies, and yeast, and in mice fed a high-calorie diet. This study found the same effect in obese mice, although they still didn't live as long as mice on a normal diet. Resveratrol had no effect on the life span of animals fed a normal diet, although they had a healthier old age.

Continued in article

I'm thinking about ordering a blow up, albeit computerized, blonde just to test these brain theories
Playing with human-like machines activates areas of the brain related to the attribution of intentions and desires to others, a team of German researchers reports in a study published today in the journal PLoS ONE. To study how people perceive humanoid machines and attribute mental qualities to them, a team led by Sören Krach from the RWTH Aachen University, in Germany, observed the brain activity of a group of 20 subjects while they played a computer game against increasingly human-like machines--a regular computer notebook, a Lego-robot and a humanoid robot--and finally, against another person. The results showed that neural activity in two areas of the brain related to mental attribution increased in parallel to how closely the gaming partner resembled a person. The subjects also reported they enjoyed the game most when their opponent looked most like humans--and they thought those gaming partners were the most intelligent, too.
Maria José Viñas, ""Our Brains Attribute Human Qualities to Humanoid Machines," Chronicle of Higher Education, July 9, 2008 ---

Five Best Books on Father-Son Relationships ---

Something you will never read in the New York Times or The Nation

Forwarded by Dr. Wolff

Interesting data.

Did you know? I didn't know! How could we?

Did you know that 47 countries' have been reestablished their embassies in Iraq ?

Did you know that the Iraqi government Currently employs 1.2 million Iraqi people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated,

364 schools are under rehabilitation,

263 new schools are now under construction; and 38 new schools have been completed in Iraq ?

Did you know that Iraq 's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program?

Did you know that the Iraqi Navy is operational? They have 5 - 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a naval infantry regiment.

Did you know that Iraq ' s Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, Which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers?

Did you know that Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion? Did you know that the Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers? Did you know that there are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers every 8 weeks?

Did you know there are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq ? They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

Did you know that 96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations?

Did you know that 4.3 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October?

Did you know that there are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%?

Did you know that Iraq has an independent media that consists of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations?

Did you know that the Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004? Did you know that 2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate recently?


Instead of reflecting our love for our country, we get photos of flag burning incidents at Abu Ghraib and people throwing snowballs at the presidential motorcades. Tragically, the lack of accentuating the positive in Iraq serves two pu rposes:

It is intended to undermine the world's perception of the United States thus minimizing consequent support; and it is intended to vote for a Democratic Party government monopoly on power and spending.


In an attempt to understand the extent of cow flatulence on global warming, scientists in Argentina are strapping plastic bags to the backs of cows to capture their emissions.
See an actual photograph  at ---
Watch a good one catch on fire (methane will burn but this one may be faked) ---
Hillary's reason for funding this type of "catch and release" research in the U.S.  ---
The college prankster version ---
Eddie Murphy thinks its all a game ---
Bad taste commentaries about this to ad nauseam on The View ---

Proposed Dilbert Quotations Forwarded by James Don Edwards

These are some great reminders of life in the corporate world! And one of my all time favorites - "that's the way it always is sometimes."

A magazine recently ran a 'Dilbert Quotes' contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real-life Dilbert-type managers. These were voted the top ten quotes in corporate America:

'As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday, and employees will receive their cards in two weeks.' (This was the winning quote from Fred Dales, Microsoft Corp. in Redmond WA)

'What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter.' (Lykes Lines Shipping)

'E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business.' (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)

'This project is so important we can't let things that are more important interfere with it.' (Advertising/ Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)

'Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule.' (Plant Manager, Delco Corporation)

'No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them.' (R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/ 3M Corp.)

Quote from the Boss: 'Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say.' (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)

My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, 'That would be better for me.' (Shipping executive, FTD Florists)

'We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees.' (Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)

Sardar jokes in India are similar to blonde jokes in America ---

Santa Singh and Banta Singh landed up in Bombay. They managed to get into a double-decker bus. Santa Singh somehow managed to get a bottom seat, But unfortunate Banta got pushed to the top. After a while when the rush is over, Santa went upstairs to see friend Bannta Singh.

He met Banta in a bad condition clutching the seats in front with both hands, scared to death. He says, "Are Banta Singh!

What the heck's going' on? Why are you scared ? I was enjoying my ride down there ?" Scared Banta replies. "Yeah, but you've got a driver. "

Hint for Blondes
There is no driver on the top deck of the bus

Headlines forwarded by Paula

Tidbits Archives ---

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

World Clock ---
Facts about the earth in real time ---

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar ---
Time by Time Zones ---
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) ---
         Also see
Facts about population growth (video) ---
Projected U.S. Population Growth ---
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons ---
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Three Finance Blogs

Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog ---
FinancialRounds Blog ---
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) ---

Some Accounting Blogs

Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) ---
International Association of Accountants News --- and Double Entries ---
Gerald Trite's eBusiness and XBRL Blogs ---
AccountingWeb ---   
SmartPros ---

Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits ---
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links ---

Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities ---

Free Textbooks and Cases ---

Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials ---

Free Science and Medicine Tutorials ---

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Free Education Discipline Tutorials ---

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature ---

Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness ---

Teacher Source: Math ---

Teacher Source:  Science ---

Teacher Source:  PreK2 ---

Teacher Source:  Library Media ---

Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University ---

VYOM eBooks Directory ---

From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department ---

Online Mathematics Textbooks --- 

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives ---

Moodle  --- 

The word moodle is an acronym for "modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment", which is quite a mouthful. The Scout Report stated the following about Moodle 1.7. It is a tremendously helpful opens-source e-learning platform. With Moodle, educators can create a wide range of online courses with features that include forums, quizzes, blogs, wikis, chat rooms, and surveys. On the Moodle website, visitors can also learn about other features and read about recent updates to the program. This application is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer or Mac OS X and newer.

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to
AECM (Educators) 
AECM is an email Listserv list which provides a forum for discussions of all hardware and software which can be useful in any way for accounting education at the college/university level. Hardware includes all platforms and peripherals. Software includes spreadsheets, practice sets, multimedia authoring and presentation packages, data base programs, tax packages, World Wide Web applications, etc

Roles of a ListServ ---

CPAS-L (Practitioners) 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) ---


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob)
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482