Tidbits on April 23, 2009
Bob Jensen

It was a close call for Erika on April 16, 2009

The Good News
Erika is alive and home from the hospital. I thank you for the many get well messages. She had minor abdominal outpatient surgery on April 15 that, one day later, left her out of her head with a fever of nearly 105 degrees. She was taken at midnight to our local (Littleton) hospital that managed to bring down her fever. But the septic infection was so dangerous she was sent by ambulance to the Dartmouth University Medical Center (where her suspect outpatient surgery was originally performed ). After many tests the eight doctors who looked over the CAT Scan and other test results came to the brilliant conclusion that they had no clue what caused the septic infection. The best guess, my guess, is a contaminated surgery instrument caused the infection. Fortunately, she did not have to have major corrective surgery. My advice for anybody in the future --- try not to be the last outpatient surgery scheduled for the day when the medical staff is growing weary.

Erika’s my $2 million dollar woman --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Erika2007.htm
She’s had more surgeries than any human should have to endure, including twelve spine surgeries that left her with a titanium rack from her neck to her hips. But she can still pick up a penny from the floor (the internal rack is jointed in three places). The sad news is that her spine, hip, and leg pain got worse with each spine surgery. She was originally injured in a operating room where she worked as a surgical nurse. Slightly over 30 years ago surgeon asked her to lift a 200 pound instrument table over a power cord. She spent a month in traction after that injury, but she eventually had to begin the first of her 12 spine surgeries about ten years later.

Erika's story: 
She describes how a Munich street urchin became Cinderella filled with love and joy --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/erika/xmas00.htm 


 When we were living in Texas the picture below was taken just after Erika's first spine surgery.
She had to wear an external back brace for about three months.
When we were flying to Munich, the passenger agent for American Airlines
upgraded us to Business Class after she saw Erika in that brace.
I don't think the agent noticed we were flying on free (frequent flier) tickets.

The picture below was taken in Amsterdam;
No back brace on that trip.

The picture below was taken in front of our fireplace in Texas.

Erika was preparing to go to a party in Texas

At the party with Dixie VanEynde

This was our back yard in San Antonio before we moved to New Hampshire.
One of the joys in life is not having another swimming pool to clean.

Below is the palm tree that one day fell into the pool.
Before then it was fondly known as our French tickler.

My mother and father during a Christmas past

Here's Erika partying with the Old Fart in San Antonio


One time in the past I've stated that a huge difference between a dog and a cat is that you can't train a cat to lead the blind.
I admit now that I was totally wrong (well almost totally wrong),

Libby and Cashew know what genuine love is all about --- caring.

What a wonderful world (slow loading slide show of the good old days) --- Click Here


Tidbits on April 23, 2009
Bob Jensen

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

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/.

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/resume.htm#Presentations   

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

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/

CPA Examination --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cpa_examination

Free Residential and Business Telephone Directory (you must listen to an opening advertisement) --- dial 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411
 Free Online Telephone Directory --- http://snipurl.com/411directory       [www_public-records-now_com] 
 Free online 800 telephone numbers --- http://www.tollfree.att.net/tf.html
 Google Free Business Phone Directory --- 800-goog411
To find names addresses from listed phone numbers, go to www.google.com and read in the phone number without spaces, dashes, or parens
Bob Jensen's search helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Searchh.htm


Bob Jensen's essay on the financial crisis bailout's aftermath and an alphabet soup of appendices can be found at


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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/NHcottage/NHcottage.htm

Bob Jensen's blogs and various threads on many topics --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/threads.htm
       (Also scroll down to the table at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ )

Global Incident Map --- http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php

If you want to help our badly injured troops, please check out
Valour-IT: Voice-Activated Laptops for Our Injured Troops  --- http://www.valour-it.blogspot.com/

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

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

Intelligent YouTube: Smart Video Collections --- http://www.openculture.com/2008/03/youtubesmartvideos.html

Evolution of Life --- http://www.evolution-of-life.com/en/home.html

Susan Boyle's Amazing Talent Show Debut --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition --- http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/lincoln/Pages/default.aspx

Video of the 1929 Stock Market Crash --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/video-on-1929-stock-market-crash.html

Rare Footage (Dancing 60 years ago) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOoNOs8Ql28

Exploratorium: Teacher Institute: Podcasts [iTunes, five-minute podcast tips] http://www.exploratorium.edu/ti/podcasts/index.php

National Endowment for the Arts: Audio & Video --- http://www.nea.gov/av/index_v.htm

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989 --- http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view-now/third-mind

PBS Video on Multinational Illegal Payments
FRONTLINE: Black Money --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/blackmoney/

2001 Economic Crisis Prediction of George W. Bush (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMnSp4qEXNM&NR=1

Letterman - Stupid Pet Tricks: Playing Dead --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DalB-CvO7Qc

April 18, 2009 message from Barry Rice [brice@LOYOLA.EDU]

Many of you may be familiar with www.imdb.com, the Internet Movie Database, which was launched in 1990 according to Wikipedia. It is the 41st most popular Web site on the Internet today according to http://mostpopularwebsites.net. However, did you know that they have added the ability to legally view free feature-length movies and TV shows in the past few months? Most of my friends and Loyola College colleagues as well as students with whom I discuss this don't know about this feature. Go to http://www.imdb.com/features/video/ and look at the "Browse All Videos By Type" heading on the left for links to "Full-Length Movies" and "Full-Length TV Episodes" to see the lists of dozens of movies and hundreds of TV episodes that you can view in their entirety at no cost. Yes, many of them are rather old, but they are free.


Just hook your computer or other Internet device to your flat screen TV and become a couch potato again. Some information about such devices is available at http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how_to/4213002.html in a one-year-old article. I'm sure other AECMers have more current ways to connect the Internet to TVs.


Finally, yes, I am aware that YouTube announced plans for something similar earlier this week. See http://www.pcworld.com/article/163320/youtube_adds_movies_and_shows_goes_after_hulu.html for more information.


Barry Rice

AECM Founder

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

American Flag Parachute Jump --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpZg2m7QU6M

Deer for breakfast in Texas --- http://www.metacafe.com/watch/316898/deer_for_breakfast_in_texas/ n

Talented Dog in Blue Sweater --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnKviLGreBw 

Susan Boyle's Amazing Talent Show Debut --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Picard Tagger --- http://musicbrainz.org/doc/PicardTagger

Dierks Bentley On Mountain Stage --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103294756

Web outfits like Pandora, Foneshow, Stitcher, and Slacker broadcast portable and mobile content that makes Sirius look overpriced and stodgy ---

TheRadio (my favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.theradio.com/
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) --- http://www.slacker.com/

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site --- http://www.e-radio.gr/
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection --- http://songza.com/
Also try Jango --- http://www.jango.com/?r=342376581
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) --- http://www.tropicalglen.com/
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live --- http://www.army.mil/fieldband/pages/listening/bandstand.html
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings --- http://bands.army.mil/music/default.asp

Bob Jensen listens to music free online (and no commercials) --- http://www.slacker.com/ 

Photographs and Art

With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition --- http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/lincoln/Pages/default.aspx

National Endowment for the Arts: Audio & Video --- http://www.nea.gov/av/index_v.htm

Deena Stryker Photographs, 1963-1964 and undated http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/stryker/

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989 --- http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view-now/third-mind

Stage Costumes --- http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/theatre_performance/features/Costume/index.html

All Sewn Up: Millinery, Dressmaking, Clothing, and Costume http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/HumanEcol/subcollections/MillineryBooksAbout.html

Edinburgh World Heritage --- http://www.ewht.org.uk/Home.aspx 

 Delaware Postcard Collection --- http://fletcher.lib.udel.edu/collections/dpc/indexm

Hampton Dunn Postcards Collection --- http://www.lib.usf.edu/public/index.cfm?Pg=HamptonDunnPostcardsCollection

Famous People Painting (double click a person's head for details --- http://cliptank.com/PeopleofInfluencePainting.htm

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

Electronic Literature Directory --- http://directory.eliterature.org/
(There are links to audio books here)

LibriVox Free Audio Books --- http://librivox.org/

Free Classics (audio books) --- http://www.freeclassicaudiobooks.com/

Poetry Out Loud [mulitimedia] --- http://www.poetryoutloud.org/ 

Find music and audio books from Akuma --- http://www.akuma.de/

Historical and Philosophical Audio Books --- http://www.ejunto.com/

Stories from the Heart of the Land (audio) ---  http://www.nature.org/heart/about/

Hear Carl Sandburg --- http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=6382389

"Why Students Don't Like Poetry," by Mark Bauerlein, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, April 19, 2009 ---

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

Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.
Napoleon Bonaparte as quoted by Mark Shapiro at http://irascibleprofessor.com/comments-04-15-09.htm

If only Vice President Joe Biden had stuck to plagiarism. But he apparently hasn’t learned. In 1987, he copied and used a large chunk of a speech given by British labor leader Neil Kinnock, even though some of the facts (related to family history) didn’t match his own. Since then, he’s gone from plagiarism to smashmouth rhetorician. Last week, Biden was called out by former Bush advisor Karl Rove because Biden repeatedly said he’d chastised President Bush in person. And Biden came out of the ensuing discussion with a lot of mud on his face. On April 6, 2009, Biden said: “I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office, 'Well, Joe, I'm a leader.' And I said: 'Mr. President, turn and around look behind you. No one is following.’” Three days later, on April 9, Rove said Biden’s conversation with Bush did not happen. Candida P. Wolff, Bush’s White House liaison, concurred: “I don't ever remember Biden being in the Oval. He was such a blowhard on all that stuff -- there wasn't a reason to bring him in." Facts notwithstanding, Biden has been telling stories that make it sound like he had unfettered access to Bush for some time. On HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” in April 2006, Biden said: “The president will say things to me, and I'll literally turn to the president, say: 'Mr. President, how can you say that, knowing you don't know the facts?' And he'll look at me and…say: 'My instincts. …I have good instincts.' [To which I’ll say]: 'Mr. President, your instincts aren't good enough.'"
A.W.R. Hawkins, Human Events, April 14, 2009 --- http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=31447
Other Celebrity Plagiarists --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm#Celebrities

God may have taken away George Bush, but he sent us Joe Biden.
Jay Leno, Readers Digest, May 2009, Page 117

Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied against their tyrannical captains--and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls "one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century." They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals.
Johann Hari, Huffington Post, April 14, 2009 --- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/you-are-being-lied-to-abo_b_155147.html
Jensen Comment
If she really studied the history of pirates Hari would find that many of them were the most mean and vile killers and torturers in the world. Edward Teach was certainly not somebody to hold up as a hero. If her Somali pirates are really heroes why do they stay safe and send children out to do the dangerous work? It's the same story over and over where evil people pray on the young and weak to do the stealing, killing, and suicide bombings. The pirate leaders are no better than capitalists exploiting the poor and hiding behind shields of mothers and tiny children. How brave are you when you put a gun in the hands of a teenager and set him off in a small boat to capture your booty?

Have the auditors resumed handing out rose colored glasses to accompany banking's bad debt reserves?
Last week, Wells Fargo (WFC) said it will report record Q1 earnings. It caused the stock to shoot up, but it also raised a few eyebrows as analysts wondered how realistic the company is being with respect to loan losses . . . The bottom line is that if bank earnings are across-the-board too strong, then it looks like the game is just totally rigged. The economy is still going to crap, defaults are still increasing rapidly, and commercial real estate is finally set to teeter -- how does it make sense for banks to be reporting anything near record earnings? It doesn't. Unless Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs can explain exactly how they had such amazing quarters against the current backdrop, the only conclusion will be that the banks are still fundamentally black holes that can't be trusted or valued by investors and counterparties. And when you factor in the stress test results -- which however ridiculous they may be could result in forced capital raises -- the bloom could come off this rose pretty fast.
Joe Weisenthall, "Banks Risk Reporting Too-Good Earnings," Business Insider, April 13, 2009 ---

The U.S. portion of this new commitment (to the IMF) is more than $140 billion. Yet Congress has debated neither the amount nor the proposed use of the funds. Instead, President Obama and his fellow leaders simply waved their hands, like a Star Trek captain, and said make it so. Recall that the IMF was founded in 1944 when the world monetary system operated on a gold standard. The fund's job was to act as a lender of last resort when countries encountered balance-of-payments shortfalls. When the world went to a fiat-currency system, the fund's original role became obsolete. It is possible to argue that a modified version of the lender-of-last-resort remains important for the global financial system. But over the past 30 years the fund has increasingly strayed from that limited mission to become a vehicle for transferring wealth to poor-country governments. The London agreement further advances these foreign aid ambitions with no oversight from Congress.
"Presto: Another $750 Billion:  How Treasury will conjure that new money for the IMF," The Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123966889497015459.html

Oregon Beer Tax Up Nearly 2,000 percent
Today is the dreaded April 15, but at least in Oregon it's even going to cost you more to drown in your tax sorrows. In their sober unwisdom, the state's pols plan to raise taxes by 1,900% on . . . beer. The tax would catapult to $52.21 from $2.60 a barrel. The money is intended to reduce Oregon's $3 billion budget deficit and, ostensibly, to pay for drug treatment.
"This Tax Is for You:  A levy on Joe Six Pack," The Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2009 --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123976316293519743.html
Jensen Comment
I wonder if some physicians will start prescribing beer in the drug treatment programs that provide free or greatly discounted "drugs" in Oregon. When I was on the faculty at the University of Maine, one of my colleagues made excellent beer in a 39 gallon garbage can. I liked it better than any beer available in stores. It's relatively easy to make beer and wine at home. Many wine ingredients can be used, including those pesky dandelions in the yard. For $85.77 Amazon sells the Chateau Classico 6 Week Wine Kit, Australian Cabernet Shiraz, 40 Pound Box. But for hard core booze and beer lovers I suspect there will be lots of runs for the border to Oregon's surrounding states (well maybe not be the tax capitol of the United States that's south of Oregon). People flock to New Hampshire for beer and booze --- parking lots are filled with cars from Canada, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, and Maine. New Hampshire is probably the only state in Union that has interstate highway exits that are exclusively dedicated to New Hampshire State Liquor Stores. Unless you go to the liquor store the only option is to get back on the highway.

You get four guesses as to why I retired in New Hampshire --- (a) younger women, (b) older whiskey, (c) faster horses or (d) all of the above?

Don't Mess With Olga
A hairdresser from the small Russian town of Meshchovsk has subdued a man who tried to rob her shop, and then raped him for three days in the utility room, Life.ru reports . . . After that Olga raped her hostage for three long days. She chained Viktor to the radiator with pink furry handcuffs and fed him Viagra. She eventually let the man go on Monday, March 16, saying: “Get out of my sight!” Viktor went straight to hospital as his genitals were injured, and then to the police . . . Both Olga and Viktor may now face prison terms. The woman could be convicted of rape, while the man of robbery.
Russia Today (with a blurry picture of Olga), April 14, 2009 --- http://russiatoday.ru/Top_News/2009-04-14/Hairdresser_turns_robber_into_sex-slave.html?fullstory

A new twist on protection money
The incident took place Saturday in Bahia's capital, Salvador, where 58-year-old Ivonete Pereira was shot in the chest by one of two attackers who tried to rob the bus. She was traveling to her summer home in the nearby town of Lauro de Freitas and because of frequent bus attacks in the region, she hid 150 reals (69 dollars) in 20- and 10-real notes coiled inside the left side of her bra. When the bus passed through the Boca do Rio neighborhood, the robbers suddenly announced their intention. A shootout ensued with a police officer on the scene and a stray bullet hit Pereira. Her bra was stuffed with just enough cash to absorb most of the impact, although she still had to be taken to hospital to have the bullet removed. A retired sergeant was gunned down during the shooting with the assailants, who managed to escape.

Yahoo News, April 14, 2009 --- http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090414/oddities/brazil_crime_offbeat

If you owe your bank manager a thousand pounds, you are at his mercy. If you owe him a million pounds, he is at your mercy.
Yu Yongding, one of the Chinese government's top monetary economists, discussing why China took the rare step of selling US Treasuries in the first two months of the year. The saying is originally attributed to John Maynard Keynes. As reported in The Economist, April 13, 2009 --- http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2009/04/quote_of_the_day_2.cfm

Comment Alongside the Above Quotation:  This does not bode wll for Obama's planned trillion-dollar annual budget deficits
China was the most naive and faithful financial partner of the Americans for twenty years. Now, the country (having 2 billion USDs) is in a trap, dollar is falling and (with the Obama budget) US state is falling too.

China has mobilized it's most innovative thinkers to break out from the dollar trap. Chinese are buying up companies and natural resources. They are doing currency swaps with several states. And they let some coastal metropolis to use the yuan for foreign trade. The bamboo network (South-Asian ethnic Chinese business empires and networks) can manage the dramatic change. It's developing.....

Tom Tancredo’s speech at UNC tonight was disrupted multiple times and from what I understand may have never even began. Several immature children who are students at the university ran up to the front of the room when Tancredo entered and held up a banner and began chanting over and over not allowing him to speak. A police officer eventually removed them and then several members of the audience began getting belligerent and shouting profanities at Tancredo. Ironically, they did all of this under the guise of free speech, claiming it was their First Amendment right to continue preventing Tancredo from speaking. Evidently free speech to them is only important when it’s speech they agree with and Tancredo’s First Amendment rights don’t matter. Don’t be surprised by this, however. Incidents like these go on all the time at college campuses.
Bane Windlow, "Leftist Activists Disrupt Tancredo Speech at UNC," Carolina Politics Online, April 14, 2009 --- http://www.carolinapoliticsonline.com/2009/04/14/leftist-activists-disrupt-tancredo-speech-at-unc/

"Message from the Chancellor: Free Speech at Carolina, UNC News, April 15, 2009 ---

I want to express how disappointed I am in what happened last night when former Congressman Tom Tancredo wasn't able to speak when a protest got out of hand, and our Department of Public Safety had to take action. Congressman Tancredo felt threatened and left without making his remarks.

Mr. Tancredo was scheduled to speak about immigration. We expect protests about controversial subjects at Carolina. That's part of our culture. But we also pride ourselves on being a place where all points of view can be expressed and heard. There's a way to protest that respects free speech and allows people with opposing views to be heard. Here that's often meant that groups protesting a speaker have displayed signs or banners, silently expressing their opinions while the speaker had his or her say. That didn't happen last night.

On behalf of our University community, I called Mr. Tancredo today to apologize for how he was treated. In addition, our Department of Public Safety is investigating this incident. They will pursue criminal charges if any are warranted. Our Division of Student Affairs is also investigating student involvement in the protest. If that investigation determines sufficient evidence, participating students could face Honor Court proceedings.

Carolina's tradition of free speech is a fundamental part of what has made this place special for more than 200 years. Let's recommit ourselves to that ideal.

Holden Thorpe


"The Ethanol Bubble Pops in Iowa:  More evidence the fuel makes little economic sense," by Max Schulz, The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2009 ---

Ethanol is also bad for the environment. Science magazine published an article last year by Timothy Searchinger of Princeton University, among others, that concluded that biofuels cause deforestation, which speeds climate change. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration noted in July 2007 that the ethanol boom rapidly increased the amount of fertilizer polluting the Mississippi River. And this week, University of Minnesota researchers Yi-Wen Chiu, Sangwon Suh and Brian Walseth released a study showing that in California -- a state with a water shortage -- it can take more than 1,000 gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol. They warned that "energy security is being secured at the expense of water security."

For all the pain ethanol has caused, it displaced a mere 3% of our oil usage last year. Even if we plowed under all other crops and dedicated the country's 300 million acres of cropland to ethanol, James Jordan and James Powell of the Polytechnic University of New York estimate we would displace just 15% of our oil demand with biofuels.

But President Barack Obama, an ethanol fan, is leaving current policy in place and has set $6 billion aside in his stimulus package for federal loan guarantees for companies developing innovative energy technologies, including biofuels. It's part of his push to create "green jobs." Archer Daniels Midland and oil refiner Valero are already scavenging the husks of shuttered ethanol plants, looking for facilities on the cheap. One such facility may be the plant in Dyersville, which is for sale. Before we're through, we'll likely see another ethanol bubble.

"Obama's Energy Policy Driven by Ideology, not Reason," by Tom Borelli, Townhall, April 2009 --- http://townhall.com/columnists/TomBorelli/2009/04/18/obamas_energy_policy_driven_by_ideology,_not_reason

"Why Students Don't Like Poetry," by Mark Bauerlein, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, April 19, 2009 ---

Internet Fraud Prevention Helpers from the Federal Trade Commission
OnGuard Online --- http://www.onguardonline.gov/default.aspx

Federal Trade Commission (Then and Now) --- http://www.ftc.gov/index.html

Bob Jensen's fraud prevention helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm

Don't Believe Everything Advertised Widely on TV
FreeCreditReport.com is a Scam! ---

This isn’t the first time, but now the State of Florida Office of the Attorney General is investigating FreeCreditReport.com. You’ll notice I don’t link to the site. This site, run by credit reporting agency Experian is taking advantage of the ruling that anyone can receive a free annual credit report from each of the three major agencies. FreeCreditReport.com is not the website that offers free credit reports in conjunction with this directive. It’s misleading, and here’s the fine print on the site:

When you order your free report here, you will begin your free trial membership in Triple AdvantageSM Credit Monitoring. If you don’t cancel your membership within the 30-day trial period, you will be billed $12.95 for each month that you continue your membership. If you are not satisfied, you can cancel at any time to discontinue the membership and stop the monthly billing; however, you will not be eligible for a pro-rated refund of your current month’s paid membership fee.

Below I show you the legitimate place to go for a free credit report.

Your FICO credit score is crucial to your credit to your good name.  It can be altered without your knowing it due to fraud and errors.  Getting a free credit report may not give you a FICO scores as well.  The main advantage of the from http://www.myfico.com/ is that it will give you your FICO score from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.  Consumer Reports (August, 2005, Page 18) notes that credit scores nearly always differ between the three major credit reporting agencies.  You may miss something if you only get one agency’s score.

To monitor your FICO score, Consumer Reports (August 2005, Page 17) recommends that you get the $44.85 package from http://www.myfico.com/

 The FTC site of interest is at http://www.ftc.gov/credit

If you want to dispute your credit score, note http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit/reports.shtm
Also see

Bob Jensen's fraud prevention helpers --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm

According to Business Week Magazine
Top Business Education Programs by Specialty in 2009 ---

Top Global Business Schools According to Business Week --- http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_43/b4006014.htm

Slide Show --- Click Here
The 15 business schools included here are strong contenders among the world's top MBA programs, but lower marks keep them just shy of the top tier

Top European Business Schools According the Business Week --- http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/europe/special_reports/03/31/2008europeanb-s.htm

"Mortgage Fraud at All-Time High Incidents of Mortgage Fraud Increase 26% from 2007 to 2008," SmartPros, April 7, 2009 ---

Reported incidents of mortgage fraud in the U.S. are at an all-time high and increased by 26 percent from 2007 to 2008 according to a new report released by the Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI).

Rhode Island, Florida and Illinois top the list of states with highest mortgage fraud rates. The 11th Periodic Mortgage Fraud Case Report to the Mortgage Banker's Association (MBA) examines the current state of residential mortgage fraud and misrepresentation in the U.S. based on data submitted by MARI subscribers.

The report found that, for the first time, Rhode Island ranked first in the country for mortgage fraud with more than three times the expected amount of reported mortgage fraud for its origination volume. This is also Rhode Island's first appearance on the MARI report Top-Ten list, indicating a problematic and overlooked mortgage fraud problem in the state. Florida, ranked first in 2007 and 2006, dropped to second place and is followed by Illinois, Georgia, Maryland, New York, Michigan, California, Missouri and Colorado. The report was presented during MBA's annual National Fraud Issues Conference in Las Vegas. It is available on the MARI Web site at: www.marisolutions.com.

“With fewer loan originations today, the data suggests that the economic downturn may have created more desperation, causing more people than ever before to try to commit mortgage fraud,” said Denise James, LexisNexis Risk & Information Analytics Group director of Residential Mortgage Solutions. “Not only are we seeing traditional fraud trends, such as application fraud, but we are also seeing new types of emerging fraud occur,” said James. “It is therefore imperative that the mortgage industry continue to share information and insights, and collaborate in the fight against mortgage fraud.”

The top fraud incident type in 2008 – representing 61% of all reported frauds – was application fraud, the fifth year in a row it topped the list. Second were frauds related to tax returns and financial statements which jumped 60% from 17% of reported frauds in 2007, to 28% of reported frauds in 2008. Additional documented fraud types included, in order of volume, frauds related to appraisals or valuations, verifications of deposit, verifications of employment, escrow or closing costs, and credit reports.

“MARI data shows that mortgage fraud is more prevalent today than it was at the height of the boom in mortgage loan originations,” said John Courson, president and chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “This report is essential reading for mortgage bankers who need to understand where mortgage fraud is coming from, what to watch for and how to protect our companies and communities.”

The report also found that:

After improving in 2006 and 2007, Georgia jumped from seventh to fourth place in 2008; California, ranked fourth in 2007, declined to eighth in 2008; Maryland jumped from fifteenth in 2007 to fifth in 2008; and The volume of reported frauds related to credit reports dropped from 9% to 4% between 2007 and 2008.

FBI, April 14, 2009 --- http://cincinnati.fbi.gov/doj/pressrel/2009/ci041409.htm

Kamal J. Gregory, 35, of Centerville, pleaded guilty in United States District Court here today to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Gregory committed the crimes in connection with an extensive mortgage fraud scheme affecting 210 residential properties, including 205 located in Montgomery County. The scheme affected 63 investors and led to foreclosure against owners of more than 90 percent of the properties.

Gregory G. Lockhart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and other members of the Greater Dayton Mortgage Fraud Task Force announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett.

In court documents, Gregory admitted that, between March 2002 and June 2008, he along with eleven other named individuals prepared and submitted on behalf of various purchasers/investors certain mortgage loan application packages to various lending institutions located throughout the United States.

These loan applications included documents that made fraudulent claims involving the income of the borrowers and values of the properties involved. Most of the homes involved were dilapidated and otherwise depressed properties located in the greater Dayton area. The loan application packages claimed the properties were worth prices which had been artificially inflated above legitimate fair-market values.

Gregory and his co-conspirators created the fraudulent loans as a way of making money for their own benefit.

Gregory admitted during his guilty plea hearing to participating in 46 separate fraudulent real estate closings between February 2003 and April 2005. The net fraudulent loan amounts associated with these closings exceeded $4,200,000. Gregory worked as a loan officer under individual or company names including Alliance Mortgage, Gregory Investments Inc., KG Enterprises, Mad River Properties, Premier Mortgage Funding of Ohio, Star Point Mortgage, and Ohio Financial Group.

A federal grand jury indicted Gregory and five co-conspirators, Julian M. Hickman, Robert Mitchell, Kenneth O. McGee, Edward McGee, and Jessica A. Zbacnik, in June 2008. Hickman pleaded guilty on December 12, 2008 to conspiracy and tax crimes and Mitchell pleaded guilty on March 11, 2009 to two counts of conspiracy. Both are awaiting sentencing.

Charges against Kenneth O. McGee, Edward McGee, and Jessica A. Zbacnik are pending.

The conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering is punishable by up to 30 years and a $1,000,000 fine. The conspiracy to commit money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment and a fine in the greater amount of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's fraud updates are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Bob Jensen's threads on how to prevent mortgage fraud are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudReporting.htm

The Heroes of Financial Fraud, The Atlantic, April 2009 --- http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/04/the_heroes_of_financial_fraud.php

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

Rotten to the Core --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudRotten.htm

What is American Airline's estimate of the labor cost per seat per mile?
What are the accounting issues in calculating and using this number?
Calculate the distance between airports --- http://www.convertunits.com/distance/

Union Troubles at American Airlines --- Among other things, pilots want a 50% pay increase
Unions do not seem to be swayed by the strong likelihood that AMR will declare bankruptcy
Is American Airlines too big to fail?
Is labor counting, with a friend in the Whitehouse, on a government bailout of American Airlines?

From The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on April 16, 2009

Labor Demands Cloud AMR Outlook
The Wall Street Journal
by Mike Esterl
Apr 13, 2009
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com ---

TOPICS: Cost Accounting, Cost Management, Derivatives, Financial Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Managerial Accounting

SUMMARY: The two articles cover current issues facing the airline industry. Despite AMR Corp. facing liquidity concerns and a first-quarter loss to be announced on Wednesday, 4/15, that is expected to amount to about $400 million, American airlines pilots are demanding a 50% increase in pay. The pilots gave pay concessions in 2003 to help the company survive at that time, but now "the 2003 concessions 'are viewed by our pilots as a loan, and it's time to restore [them],' says Sam Mayer, a pilot union spokesman and 767 captain for American." Southwest Airlines is mentioned in the first article; the related article focuses on its difficulties after having entering into fuel cost hedging transactions.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article may be used in management accounting classes to discuss labor cost measurements, labor negotiations, and other cost measurements unique to the airline industry. To assess costs facing the airline industry, typical financial statement ratios are measured in relation to passenger miles: American's labor cost is identified as the highest of 13 biggest airlines complied by the Federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics at $.0369 per available seat mile. The related article also covers fuel costs and hedging activities from a managerial accounting and financial accounting perspective.

1. (Introductory) What is the current state of the airline industry, inasmuch as you can glean from this article or your general knowledge.

2. (Introductory) Why are American Airlines pilots negotiating for significant pay increases in their next labor contract? How are their negotiations with corporate management undertaken--that is, who negotiates for the pilots?

3. (Introductory) Airline employees are expressing discontent about management pay in the last few years. How is this issue related to turmoil in other U.S. corporations about that issue?

4. (Advanced) How are airline costs measured? Define the formula you think may be used for these measurements. How does this help compare costs amongst different carriers?

5. (Advanced) Who compiles statistics about airline operating costs? How are this entity's needs satisfied by general purpose financial reporting and financial reporting requirements established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board? In your answer, define the term "general purpose financial statements".

6. (Advanced) Refer to the related article regarding Southwest Airline's "fuel-hedging program". How do airlines hedge fuel costs? Be specific in describing the types of contracts the airline will enter into and the accounting requirements for those contracts.

7. (Advanced) What does this mean to say that the "value" of the Southwest fuel hedging program is declining?

8. (Advanced) What actions are Southwest taking regarding future fuel needs? What do you think that behavior says about the company's expectations for future oil prices?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island

Southwest Airlines Swings to $91 Million Loss, Plans Buyouts
by Mike Esterl
Apr 16, 2009
Online Exclusive

"Labor Demands Cloud AMR Outlook." by Mike Esterl, The Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2009 ---

American Airlines is mired in increasingly contentious labor negotiations with its pilots, flight attendants and maintenance crews -- six years after union concessions allowed the carrier to avoid bankruptcy protection.

The AMR Corp. unit faces growing liquidity concerns as it prepares to announce Wednesday a first-quarter loss that analysts have forecast at about $400 million. American last month said it expected to end the quarter with a cash and short-term investment balance of approximately $3.1 billion, down from $3.6 billion at the end of December.

Wednesday's report will be the first in a series of what are likely to be dismal earnings announcements from U.S. airlines. Even as the recession is gutting corporate travel budgets, workers at many carriers, emboldened by what they see as a more labor-friendly environment in Washington, are trying to win back wage cuts that helped the industry survive the last downturn.

The situation is especially tense at American. Workers at the second-largest U.S. airline by traffic agreed in 2003 to $1.8 billion in payroll cuts, pushing compensation to levels of a decade earlier. But many of the airline's rivals -- including Delta Air Lines Inc., US Airways Group Inc. and UAL Corp. unit United Airlines -- secured bigger cuts in recent years through bankruptcy courts.

American's labor cost, at 3.69 cents per available seat mile as of last September, was the highest in a list of 13 biggest airlines compiled by the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Southwest Airlines Co. was No. 2 at 3.44 cents. Also, employee benefits, which were cut sharply at other airlines, have remained largely intact at American.

Nevertheless, American's pilots are demanding a 50% pay increase. The Allied Pilots Association has rented billboards near the Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago O'Hare airports, slamming $300 million in bonuses to the company's top 1,000 executives over the past three years and highlighting an ongoing government probe into possible safety violations at the airline.

The 2003 concessions "are viewed by our pilots as a loan, and it's time to restore us," says Sam Mayer, a pilot-union spokesman and 767 captain for American.

American's pilots are among the most experienced in the industry and among the highest paid. They earned an average of about $225,000 in salary and benefits in 2007, depending on seniority and other factors -- well above a 15-airline average of $188,268, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

American's management says its executive compensation is in line with other airlines and that the airline's safety is top-notch.

The Federal Aviation Administration is continuing its investigation of wiring problems on American aircraft. The airline and pilots union since last May have been in talks supervised by the National Mediation Board. American has since entered federal mediation with representatives of its flight attendants and maintenance crews.

Delta, the biggest U.S. airline, and Southwest Airlines, the largest low-cost carrier, recently struck agreements for increases well below what is sought at American. But talks are growing more combative at US Airways, where pilots are pressing for federal mediation. Negotiations with United's main unions are getting underway this month.

Negotiations at American could drag on for months. Under federal labor law, airline employees are prohibited from striking until mediators declare an impasse. If they strike, the White House can order employees back to work, as it did 24 minutes after a pilot strike was called at American in 1997.

Laura Glading, head of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, says American attendants also want to be made whole after their salaries were cut by more than 25% six years ago. The Transport Workers Union of America, which represents American's maintenance crews, has called for annual pay increases of 6%, 4% and 3%, respectively, over the next three years. Transport workers plan to shred and burn mock executive pay checks at American's headquarters in Fort Worth on Tuesday.

American has yet to make wage counterproposals to the pilots' union or flight attendants, preferring to first work on productivity issues. The airline's most recent offer to transport workers included a 5% bonus payment in return for scaled-back medical benefits. American also said last week that it will freeze wages for nonunion employees, which represent about a quarter of the airline's U.S. work force.

Analysts say big pay increases at American could push the airline to the brink of insolvency.

American executives are making the same argument as they urge unions to scale back demands. "If we don't exist, they don't exist," says Jeffrey Brundage, American's senior vice president for human resources.

Fitch Ratings slashed the airline's credit rating last month to triple-C, pushing the rating deeper into speculative, or junk, territory.

The deadlock with pilots already has stalled American's plan to fly planes to Beijing from Dallas, which is subject to the pilots' approval because it involves long-distance flights. Unions also could step up opposition to possible job cuts from a proposed trans-Atlantic alliance between American and British Airways PLC that is receiving antitrust scrutiny. Unions hope their leverage will improve since President Barack Obama nominated Linda Puchala, a former flight-attendant-union official, last month to run the National Mediation Board. Ms. Puchala awaits Senate confirmation and didn't respond to requests for an interview.

The current chairman, Read Van de Water, was a former lobbyist for Northwest Airlines Corp. The board has been neutral in all its work, she says, and has been equally strict with companies and unions. Ms. Van de Water says negotiations between American and its pilots have been "very, very tough" and that both sides remain far apart.

Jensen Comment
There are huge problems in computing the labor cost per seat per mile for American Airlines. First of all there's the problem of defining "labor" cost. Secondly, there are joint costs of providing services such as cargo and mail hauling versus passenger hauling. Any joint cost allocation formula is arbitrary. Thirdly, many airline labor costs such as maintenance labor costs and pilot costs and passenger agent costs are fixed or semi-fixed such that adding or eliminating flights does not correlate very well with changes in labor costs.

Reports are surfacing that CPA auditors were warned about toxic assets and pending bank failures.
Yet virtually all of the failed banks in 2008 and early 2009 received clean audit opinions not warning of "going concern" weaknesses

Aside from the massive lawsuits that have been or will soon be filed against banks, mortgage finance companies, and their auditors, it the big question will be investigations of the PCAOB into those failed audits. The Federal Government PCAOB's reputation is somewhat at stake here --- http://www.pcaobus.org/

"CPAs MIA," by Ralph Nader , Independent Political Report, April 12, 2009 --- http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2009/04/ralph-nader-cpas-mia/

Where were the giant accounting firms, the CPAs, and the rest of the accounting profession while the Wall Street towers of fraud, deception and cover-ups were fracturing our economy, looting and draining trillions of dollars of other peoples’ money?

This is the licensed profession that is paid to exercise independent judgment with independent standards to give investors, pension funds, mutual funds, and the rest of the financial world accurate descriptions of corporate financial realities.

It is now obvious that the accountants collapsed their own skill, integrity and self-respect faster and earlier than the collapse of Wall Street and the corporate barons. The accountants—both external and internal—could have blown the whistle on what Teddy Roosevelt called the “malefactors of great wealth.”

The Big Four auditors knew what was going on with these complex, abstractly structured finance instruments, these collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and other financial products too abstruse to label. They were on high alert after early warning scandals involving Long Term Capital Management, Enron, and others a decade or so ago. These corporate casino capitalists used the latest tricks to cook the books with many of the on-balance sheet or off-balance sheet structured investment vehicles that metastasized big time in the first decade of this new century. These big firms can’t excuse themselves for relying on conflicted rating companies, like Moody’s or Standard & Poor, that gave triple-A ratings to CDO tranches in return for big fees. Imagine the conflict. After all, “prestigious” outside auditors were supposed to be on the inside incisively examining the books and their footnotes, on which the rating firms excessively relied.

Let’s be specific with names. Carl Olson, chairman of the Fund for Stockowners Rights wrote in the letters column of The New York Times Magazine (January 28, 2009) that “PricewaterhouseCoopers O.K.’d AIG and FreddieMac. Deloitte & Touche certified Merrill Lynch and Bear Stearns. Ernst & Young vouched for Lehman Brothers and IndyMac Bank. KPMG assured over Countrywide and Wachovia. These ‘Big Four’ C.P.A. firms apparently felt they could act with impunity.” “Undoubtedly they knew that the state boards of accountancy,” continued Mr. Olson, “which granted them their licenses to audit, would not consider these transgressions seriously. And they were right…Not one of them has taken up any serious investigation of the misbehaving auditors of the recent debacle companies.”

“Misbehaving” is too kind a word. The “Big Four” destroyed their very reason for being by their involvement in these and other boondoggles that have made headlines and dragooned our federal government into bailing them out with disbursements, loans and guarantees totaling trillions of dollars. “Criminally negligent” is a better phrase for what these big accounting firms got rich doing—which is to look the other way.

Holding accounting firms like these accountable is very difficult. It got more difficult in 1995 when Congress passed a bill shielding them from investor lawsuits charging that they “aided and abetted” fraudulent or deceptive schemes by their corporate clients. Clinton vetoed the legislation, but Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) led the fight to over-ride the veto.

Moreover, the under-funded and understaffed state boards of accountancy are dominated by accountants and are beyond inaction. What can you expect?

As for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), “asleep at the switch for years” would be a charitable description of that now embarrassed agency whose mission is to supposedly protect savers and shareholders. This agency even missed the massive Madoff Ponzi scheme.

The question of accounting probity will not go away. In the past couple of weeks, the non-profit Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)—assigned to be the professional conscience of accountancy—buckled under overt pressure from Congress and the banks. It loosened the mark-to-market requirement to value assets at fair market value or what buyers are willing to pay.

This decision by the FASB is enforceable by the SEC and immediately “cheered Wall Street” and pushed big bank stocks upward. Robert Willens, an accounting analyst, estimated this change could boost earnings at some banks by up to twenty percent. Voilà, just like that. Magic!

Overpricing depressed assets may make bank bosses happy, but not investors or a former SEC Chairman, Arthur Levitt, who was “very disappointed” and called the FASB decision “a step toward the kind of opaqueness that created the economic problems that we’re enduring today.”

To show the deterioration in standards, banks tried to get the FASB and the SEC in the 1980s to water down fair-value accounting during the savings and loan failures. Then-SEC Chairman Richard Breeden refused outright. Not today.

Former SEC chief accountant, Lynn Turner, presently a reformer of his own profession, supports mark-to-market or fair value accounting as part of bringing all assets and liabilities, including credit derivatives, back on the balance sheets of the financial firms. He wants regulation of the credit rating agencies, mortgage originators and the perverse incentives that lead to making bad loans. He even wants the SEC to review these new financial products before they come to market, eliminating “hidden financing.”

Now comes the life insurance industry, buying up some small banks to qualify for their own large federal bailouts for making bad, risky speculations.

The brilliant Joseph M. Belth, writing in his astute newsletter, the Insurance Forum (May 2009), noted that life insurers are lobbying state insurance departments to weaken statutory accounting rules so as to “increase assets and/or decrease liabilities.” Some states have already caved. Again, voilà, suddenly there is an increase in capital. Magic. Here we go again.

Who among the brainy, head up accountants, in practice or in academia, will join with Lynn Turner and rescue this demeaned, chronically rubber-stamping “profession,” especially the “Big Four,” from its pathetic pretension for which tens of millions of people are paying dearly?

Bob Jensen's threads on the litigation woes of the large auditing firms are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm

The most serious problem in the U.S. audit model is that clients are becoming bigger and bigger due to non-enforcement of anti-trust laws. For example, the merger of Mobile and Exxon created an even larger single client. The merger of Bear Stearns and JP Morgan created a much larger client. The number of potential clients is shrinking while the size of the clients is exploding. According to the CEO of Bank of America, in a CBS Sixty Minutes interview on October 19, 2008, half of all banking customers in the United States now have accounts with Bank of America. That was before Bank of America bought out Merrill Lynch.

As these giants merge to become bigger giants, it gets to a point where their auditors cannot afford to lose a giant client producing upwards of $100 million in audit revenue each year. Real independence of audits breaks down because a giant client can become a bully with its audit firm fearful of losing giant clients.

Enron was an extreme but not necessarily an outlier. It will most likely be alleged in court over the next few years that giant Wall Street banks bullied their auditors into going along with understating financial risk before the 2008 banking meltdown. We certainly witnessed the understating of financial risk in 2007 and 2008.

I think we need an Accounting Court to deal with clients who become bullies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Professionalism

The Accounting Hall of Fame Citation for Leonard Spacek --- http://fisher.osu.edu/acctmis/hof/spacek.html

It must be kept in mind that the statements certified are not ours but are our clients--and our clients do not care to mix explanations of accounting theory with explanations of their business nor can we pass onto our readers the responsibility for appraisal of differences in accounting theory. Those fields are for you and me to grapple with, not the public. In general, clients are not primarily interested in arguments of accounting theory at the time of preparing their reports. The companies whose accounts are certified are chiefly interested in what is said to their shareholders, and in the hard practical facts of how accounting rules affect them, their competitors and other companies. Usually they are very critical of what we call accounting principles when these called principles are unrealistic, inconsistent, or do not protect or distinguish scrupulous management from the scrupulous.
"The Need for An Accounting Court," by Leonard Spacek, The Accounting Review, 1958, Pages 368-379  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudSpacek01.htm

Jensen Comment
Fifty years later I'm a strong advocate of an accounting court, but I envision a somewhat different court than envisioned by the great Leonard Spacek in 1958. Since 1958, the failure of anti-trust enforcement has allowed business firms to merge into enormous multi-billion or even trillion dollar clients who've become powerful bullies that put extreme pressures on auditors to bend accounting and auditing principles. For example see the way executives of Fannie Mae pressured KPMG to bend the rules (an act that eventually got KPMG fired from the audit).

In my opinion the time has come where auditors and clients can take their major disputes to an Accounting Court that will use expert independent judges to resolve these disputes much like the Derivatives Implementation Group (DIG)  resolved technical issues for the implementation of FAS 133. The main difference, however, is that an Accounting Court should hear and resolve disputes in private confidence that allows auditors and clients to keep these disputes away from the media. The main advantage of such an Accounting Court is that it might restrain clients from bullying auditors such as became the case when Fannie Mae bullied KPMG.

Who would sit on accounting courts is open to debate, but the "judges" could be formed by the State Boards of Accountancy much like a grand jury is formed by a court of law. Accounting court cases, however, should be confidential since they deal with sensitive client information.

I really don't anticipate a flood o cases in an accounting court. But I do view the threat of taking client-auditor disputes to such courts (in confidence) as a means of curbing the bullying of auditors by their enormous clients.

The problem is that poor anti-trust enforcement coupled with mergers of huge companies have combined to create mega-clients that auditing firms cannot afford to lose after gearing up to handle such large clients. I think we saw this in the "clean opinions" given to all the enormous failing banks (like WaMu) and enormous Wall Street investment banks (like Lehman). The big auditing firms just could not afford to question bad debt estimates, mortgage application lies, and CDO manipulations of such clients.

I find it hard to believe that auditors failed to detect an undercurrent of massive subprime "Sleaze, Bribery, and Lies" that transpired in the Main Street banks and mortgage lending companies --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Sleaze
The sleaze was so prevalent the auditors must've worn their chest-high waders on these audits


Bob Jensen's threads on the fate of the large auditing firms following the subprime scandals ---

Harvard's Tale of  Derivatives Speculation and Hedging and What Happened When Larry Summers Was President of Harvard

"Harvard:  the Inside Story of Its Finance Meltdown," by Bernard Condon and Nathan Vardi, Forbes, March 16, 2009 ---

The superstars at Harvard defied markets for years-- until now. Here's the inside story of how they finally tripped up.

Stocks were tumbling last fall as the new school year began, but at Harvard University it was as if the boom had never ended. Workers were digging across the river from Harvard's Cambridge, Mass. home, the start of a grand expansion that was to eventually almost double the size of the university. Budgets were plump, and students from middle-class families were getting big tuition breaks under an ambitious new financial aid program. The lavish spending was made possible by the earnings from Harvard's $36.9 billion endowment, the world's largest. That pot was supposed to be good for $1.4 billion in annual earnings.

Behind the scenes, though, a different story was unfolding. In a glassed-walled conference room overlooking downtown Boston, traders at Harvard Management Co., the subsidiary that invests the school's money, were fielding questions from their new boss, Jane Mendillo, about exotic financial instruments that were suddenly backfiring. Harvard had derivatives that gave it exposure to $7.2 billion in commodities and foreign stocks. With prices of both crashing, the university was getting margin calls--demands from counterparties (among them, jpmorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs (nyse: GS - news - people )) for more collateral. Another bunch of derivatives burdened Harvard with a multibillion-dollar bet on interest rates that went against it.

It would have been nice to have cash on hand to meet margin calls, but Harvard had next to none. That was because these supremely self-confident money managers were more than fully invested. As of June 30 they had, thanks to the fancy derivatives, a 105% long position in risky assets. The effect is akin to putting every last dollar of your portfolio to work and then borrowing another 5% to buy more stocks.

Desperate for cash, Harvard Management went to outside money managers begging for a return of money it had expected to keep parked away for a long time. It tried to sell off illiquid stakes in private equity partnerships but couldn't get a decent price. It unloaded two-thirds of a $2.9 billion stock portfolio into a falling market. And now, in the last phase of the cash-raising panic, the university is borrowing money, much like a homeowner who takes out a second mortgage in order to pay off credit card bills. Since December Harvard has raised $2.5 billion by selling IOUs in the bond market. Roughly a third of these Harvard bonds are tax exempt and carry interest rates of 3.2% to 5.8%. The rest are taxable, with rates of 5% to 6.5%.

It doesn't feel good to be borrowing at 6% while holding assets with negative returns. Harvard has oversize positions in emerging market stocks and private equity partnerships, both disaster areas in the past eight months. The one category that has done well since last June is conventional Treasury bonds, and Harvard appears to have owned little of these. As of its last public disclosure on this score, it had a modest 16% allocation to fixed income, consisting of 7% in inflation-indexed bonds, 4% in corporates and the rest in high-yield and foreign debt.

For a long while Harvard's daring investment style was the envy of the endowment world. It made light bets in plain old stocks and bonds and went hell-for-leather into exotic and illiquid holdings: commodities, timberland, hedge funds, emerging market equities and private equity partnerships. The risky strategy paid off with market-beating results as long as the market was going up. But risk brings pain in a market crash. Although the full extent of the damage won't be known until Harvard releases the endowment numbers for June 30, 2009, the university is already working on the assumption that the portfolio will be down 30%, or $11 billion.

The strain of market turmoil is visible in staff turnover at the management company, which axed 25% of its staff recently and is on its fifth chief in four years. Mendillo, 50, came to Harvard last July after running Wellesley's small endowment. She declines to comment. But how much blame she should get is unclear; the big bets on derivatives and exotic holdings were in place before she got there. The bad bet on interest rates--a swap in which Harvard was paying a high fixed interest rate and collecting a low short-term rate--goes back to a mandate from former Harvard president Lawrence Summers.

Jack R. Meyer, 64, a revered money manager who headed Harvard's endowment until 2005, offers a few guarded comments. "The liquidity thing most concerns me--that should not have happened," he says. Though he wasn't there at the time, Meyer says Harvard Management bought the commodity and foreign stock derivatives as a way to get exposure to those asset classes while freeing up cash to put to work elsewhere. The strategy, he says, "drained liquidity" from the endowment in recent months. "Many endowments stretched too far, and I think Harvard did as well," he says.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
There were university endowments more devastated than Harvard by the economic meltdown, most notably the University of Virginia.

April 14, 2009 reply from Jagdish Gangolly [gangolly@GMAIL.COM]


The following is one of the comments on the above article that should be interesting to many on AECM.


Posted by ConcernedCitizen2009 | 03/02/09 04:33 PM EST
Obama's Advisor Summers fired Derivatives whistleblower at Harvard Management Co

Harvard alum Iris Mack, MBA/PhD communicated with Larry Summers (former Harvard President and current Obama economic advisor) to express her concerns about how her Harvard Management Company (HMC) boss Jeff Larson used derivatives to manage an HMC portfolio. Larson eventually left HMC to start Sowood hedge fund with hundreds of millions of dollars of Harvard alums' donations. Sowood was one of the first hedge funds to blow up during the subprime mortgage derivatives crisis.

Dr. Mack communicated with Summers' office regarding such derivatives trades. Perhaps, she could have saved Harvard alums hundreds of millions of dollars if Summers had bothered to continue to hear her out before forcing her resignation. There is a wealth of information describing this derivatives whistleblowing case: correspondence between Dr. Mack and Summer's office (emails, faxes, snail mail, phone records, etc.); legal documents; reports from FBI and DOJ interviews, etc.

Given all this, you have to wonder whether Summers was either too (a) corrupt and wanted to coverup up some thing(s) at HMC. (b) arrogant to think that Dr. Mack had anything of value to tell him about mathematical finance and derivatives. Please recall Summers' comments about women and math. Also, please note that Dr. Mack has a doctorate in Applied Mathematics from Harvard and a Sloan Fellows MBA from London Business School. (c) incompetent to understand what Dr. Mack was trying to warn him about regarding derivatives trades in HMC portfolios.

Did Summers try to silence Dr. Mack the way he (as Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury), Rubin, and Greenspan tried to silence Attorney Brooksley Born of the CFTC (who suggested under Bill Clinton's administration that derivatives markets be regulated after a spate of frauds).


Bob Jensen's threads derivative financial instruments scandals (read that frauds well beyond Harvard's legitimate speculation and hedging) ---

Bob Jensen's free tutorials on how to account for derivative financial instruments --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/caseans/000index.htm

Queer Studies Pioneer Dies

"Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick:  In memoriam," by Ann Pellegrini, Chronicle of Higher Education's Chronicle Review, May 8, 2009 ---

After a long and public battle with breast cancer, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick died on Sunday, April 12th. She was 58. She was a renowned literary critic who left her imprint on numerous fields, but most distinctively on an interdisciplinary field she helped inaugurate: queer studies.

. . .

As she wrote in Epistemology of the Closet, "Axiom 1: People are different from each another." She went on, "It is astonishing how few respectable conceptual tools we have for dealing with this self-evident fact." In the face of the dazzling and dizzying ways in which people differ from each other (and themselves), sexual orientation is a pretty blunt instrument. That is a deceptively simple argument, which Sedgwick went on to unfurl without ever losing sight of how and why self-identifying as gay or lesbian in the face of a homophobic world does vitally, urgently continue to matter.

Sedgwick always understood the role she and gay studies were playing in the culture wars of the 1990s, but she was never cowed, as the neon signature of that long-ago T-shirt illuminated. Perhaps the most powerful and politically catalyzing aspect of Epistemology of the Closet was her devastating dissection of what she called the "regime of the open secret" and the structures of knowing and not knowing (heterosexuality's willful ignorance) that surround, sometimes claustrophobically, the experience and possibility of gay identity. Sedgwick was writing on the heels of Bowers v. Hardwick, the 1986 U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding sodomy statutes (since overturned in Lawrence v. Texas, in 2003), but her analysis of the dilemmas of disclosure, what it is possible to know or say about homosexuality, and by whom, seems no less vital today, nearly 20 years after its first publication.

Another major innovation was to allow for, rather than to smooth over, the incoherences and contradictions that have historically structured — and continue to do so — homosexual and heterosexual definition. In so doing, Sedgwick helped to clear a path through the debate on whether sexual identity is inherent or socially constructed; that debate organized, often acrimoniously, some early conversations among scholars in lesbian and gay studies. For one thing, Sedgwick pointed out how homo/heterosexual definition is caught between two apparently opposing views: the "minoritizing" claim that homosexuals constitute a "small, distinct, relatively fixed minority" population (one version of that is the claim that homosexuals are "born that way"); and the "universalizing" claim that sexual desire is such an unpredictable, and unpredictably powerful, solvent of stable identities that even the most apparently heterosexual persons, and those to whom they are drawn, may be marked by same-sex influences and desires (and vice versa for homosexual persons and the people to whom they are drawn). Let's call the latter, universalizing view the "queer possibility of possibility."

As Richard Kim pointed out in his own tribute to Sedgwick on The Nation's blog, it is just that queer possibility that frightens so many opponents of gay parenting, same-sex marriage, and gay rights more generally: not just, what if gays recruit, but what if I am recruitable?

Answering that worry with assertions of gay and straight immutability — the minoritizing argument — would not, according to Sedgwick, solve the problem. It would rather land us in a different set of quandaries and perhaps play into what she diagnosed as the "genocidal fantasy" of a world with, if not no homosexuals at all, at least with as few as possible. It is less that Sedgwick refused to take sides — she was, after all, resolutely for a world not just with many homosexuals but with the space to be gay or "do" gay in lots of different ways, as her lesson plan "How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay: The War on Effeminate Boys" suggests. It was more that she was crucially attuned to the perils of both arguments and humble in the face of the future either ushered in or foreclosed by choices made in the present. ("How to Bring Your Kids Up Gay" is among the most reprinted of Sedgwick's essays. It first appeared in the journal Social Text in 1991, was subsequently reprinted in the book Tendencies, by Duke University Press in 1993 and Routledge the next year, and has been included in several anthologies.)

A through-line in Sedgwick's work is the way she joins humility to fierce protectiveness of difference. Although she seemed to land on the constructivist side of debates, seeing gay identity and sexuality as constructed by social norms, she remained a passionate advocate of attending seriously to the stories that gay men and lesbians have told about themselves, whether they were "born" gay or made a radical choice. For Sedgwick, the queer studies or queer theory that could not make room for self-narratives that did not fit the frame of acacademic theory was not worth having or preserving.

If Epistemology of the Closet and the earlier Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (Duke University Press, 1985) helped to spark a focus in Anglo-American literary studies on lesbian and gay issues, with students inspired to read for gay or queer subtexts in essays and books, we can see Sedgwick at once anticipating and inaugurating new directions for lesbian and gay studies beyond the literary. And that was so, even as her own essays were gorgeously literary. One especially noteworthy example is "Queer Performativity: Henry James's The Art of the Novel," which was the very first article in the very first issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, in 1993. As the keyword "performativity" suggests, the article found Sedgwick engaged both with the speech-act theory of the late J.L. Austin and with Judith Butler's feminist and queer reuses of Austin's concept of performativity.

The term "performativity" was introduced by Austin, a British philosopher of language, to describe a class of utterances in which speech acts: Saying is at the same time doing. The authority of such utterances depends in large part on being utterly conventionalized. Austin's ur-example (to which Sedgwick devoted her critical attention and sharp wit) was the marital "I do," those two magic words that, if said in the right way, in the right kind of company, under the right conditions, transform a "man" and a "woman" into a "husband and wife." Butler, now a professor of rhetoric and comparative literature at the University of California at Berkeley, picked up on the notion that saying was authorized and authorizing to propose gender as itself a kind of stylized performance: Gender performatives create the illusion that gender is natural and stable. Sedgwick stepped into this conversation to observe that performatives work two ways: inwardly (à la French deconstruction) and outwardly (à la theatricality). But Sedgwick also pointed out how discussions too easily degenerated into debates about whether a particular performance was truly subversive. "The bottom line," in her memorable words, "is generally the same: kinda subversive, kinda hegemonic."

If the first iteration of Sedgwick's article placed her right in the thick of conversations about identity as performative, it also forecast later queer critical currents having to do with gay shame and the matter of affect. Precisely because there is something contagious about shame, she said, it could also provide surprising points of contact. Sedgwick herself returned to "Queer Performativity" in the wake of September 11, 2001, and importantly revised it, lifting out and expanding her analysis of shame to ask how shame delineates identity without being its endpoint. How it can lead to something else, like the political collectivity that other theorists have suggested. The final version of this essay appears in Touching Feeling: Affect, Pedagogy, Performativity (Duke University Press, 2003). That text, along with A Dialogue on Love (Beacon Press, 1999) and Shame and Its Sisters: A Silvan Tomkins Reader (Duke University Press, 1995), which she co-edited with Adam Frank, placed Sedgwick at the forefront of queer investigations of affect, which is one of the liveliest areas of truly interdisciplinary discussion and debate in queer studies (and beyond) today.

A Dialogue on Love was a kind of cancer journal. She wrote it in company with her therapist, Shannon Van Wey, after the cancer she had been suffering with recurred and she underwent a mastectomy. Sedgwick drew verbatim conversations with the therapist into the text. It is neither a purely solo-written book nor co-written in any formal sense. Standing somewhere in between, it's a hybrid text that rather reveals the social life and generosity of Sedgwick's thought.

But the formal experimentation of the book was not new for Sedgwick. Think here of the serious playfulness of the essay she co-wrote with Michael Moon — their two voices braiding and unbraiding — "Divinity: A Dossier, a Performance Piece, a Little-Understood Emotion" (in Tendencies). In those essays, and in Fat Art, Thin Art (Duke University Press, 1994), a book of poetry, Sedgwick broke form to suggest not only how many new things we might discover with her, but also in how many unexpected modes. The diversity and queerness of the forms to no small degree mime the arguments themselves. As she puts it in Touching Feeling, she is less interested in "prescriptive forms" than in the possibility of "a mind receptive to thoughts, able to nurture and connect them, and susceptible to happiness in their entertainment." Sedgwick seems to have achieved that for herself. One of her enduring gifts to us — her readers, her students, her colleagues — is the charge to just keep open to such receptivity, with all the perils and possibilities it holds out.

There is some irony that Sedgwick should have died on Easter. She who brilliantly analogized issues like the workings of the homosexual closet and the dilemma of Jewish self-disclosures in Epistemology of the Closet turned to Buddhism in the last decade of her life as a way to undo some, in her words, "painful epistemological/psychological knots" to do with illness and dying. In her essay "Pedagogy of Buddhism," which appears in Touching Feeling, Sedgwick refused the either/or charge to believe or disbelieve in rebirth. Rather, she opened herself to a space freed from the demand to know and given instead to the meditative play of "picturing your life, even your character, otherwise than as it is." As she wrote, "So many questions emerge. Yet their emergence is not in the context of blame or self-blame, nor of will or resolve. The space is more like — what? Wish? Somewhere, at least, liberated by both possibility and impossibility, and especially by the relative untetheredness to self."

Sedgwick's turn to Buddhism was not a turning away from queer studies. In many ways, we can see her meditative practices, and the lessons she gleaned from them and shared with her readers and students, as participating in a larger turn in queer studies to think about religion and spirituality in less rigid and rigidly hostile ways. As at so many other turning points in queer studies, Sedgwick's generosity and imagination were inspiring — she offered a pedagogy unafraid not to know, even when there seemed so much to be scared about. Here, amid a meditation on Tibetan Buddhism, we can see Sedgwick grappling with and expounding on some of the fundamental ethical and political claims of queer theory: namely, the hope, the risk, and the serious play of imagining otherwise, both in our deepest relations with others and in ourselves — however fictive "the self" or however fleeting Sedgwick herself's time among us.

Because of Eve Sedgwick's formative role in the shaping of queer studies, the absence left in her wake looms large. And yet her legacy lives on in the dazzling body of work she leaves behind, which we can continue to read and teach and find happiness in. Sedgwick was also, from all accounts, an amazing teacher and mentor to her students, so many of whom have themselves gone on to leave their marks on queer and feminist studies. She leaves us that other shining, pulsing legacy, then, in the form of her many students, whom she touched and graced, and whose own teaching is a kind of carrying forward of her torch and her touch.

Ann Pellegrini is an associate professor of performance studies and religious studies at New York University, where she also directs the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.


Harvard teaches rejection acceptance to students who've probably never experienced failure and never expected rejection as Harvard graduates

How bad is the economy? Harvard University's career services office has started a new seminar to teach students how to deal with rejection, The Boston Globe reported. Among the lessons for students: the idea that there may be more qualified people than Harvard graduates for some jobs.
Inside Higher Ed, April 22, 2009 --- http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/04/22/qt#197100

It's so sad that Wall Street shot itself in the head rather than the foot!
With Finance Disgraced, Which Career Will Be King?

"With Finance Disgraced, Which Career Will Be King?" by Steve Lohr, The New York Times, April 11, 2009 --- http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/weekinreview/12lohr.html?pagewanted=1&hpw

In the Depression, smart college students flocked into civil engineering to design the highway, bridge and dam-building projects of those days. In the Sputnik era, students poured into the sciences as America bet on technology to combat the cold war Communist challenge. Yes, the jobs beckoned and the pay was good. But those careers, in their day, had other perks: respect and self-esteem.

Big shifts in the flow of talent can ripple through the nation and the economy for decades with lasting effect. The engineers of the Depression built everything from inter-city roads to the Hoover Dam, while the Sputnik-inspired scientists would go on, often with research funding from the Pentagon, to create the building-block innovations behind modern computing and the Internet.

Today, the financial crisis and the economic downturn are likely to alter drastically the career paths of future years. The contours of the shift are still in flux, in part because there is so much uncertainty about the shape of the economic landscape and the job market ahead.

But choosing a career is a guess about the future in which economics is only part of the calculation. Prestige, peer expectations and the climate of public opinion also matter. And early indications suggest new career directions that are tethered less to the dream of an immediate six-figure paycheck on Wall Street than to the demands of a new public agenda to solve the nation’s problems.

The deep recession has clearly battered industries — and professions — whose economics were at risk before the downturn. Law firms are laying off lawyers as never before and questioning the industry’s traditional unit of payment, the billable hour. Journalism is reeling from the falloff in advertising and the inability of newspapers and magazines to make a living on the Web.

Still, the industry whose troubles are having the greatest impact on the rethinking of careers, especially at the nation’s elite universities, is the one at the center of the country’s economic downturn — finance. For years, the hefty paychecks and social status on Wall Street proved irresistible to many of America’s brightest young people, but the jobs, money and social respect there are much diminished today.

“In choosing careers, young people look for signals from society, and Wall Street will no longer pull the talent that it did for so many years,” said Richard Freeman, director of the labor studies program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. “We have a great experiment before us.”

What will the new map of talent flow look like? It’s early, but based on graduate school applications this spring, enrollment in undergraduate courses, preliminary job-placement results at schools, and the anecdotal accounts of students and professors, a new pattern of occupational choice seems to be emerging. Public service, government, the sciences and even teaching look to be winners, while fewer shiny, young minds are embarking on careers in finance and business consulting.

For the highest-paid business fields, the outlook is for a tempering correction instead of an all-out exodus. At Harvard, for example, about 40 percent of undergraduates in recent years went into the most lucrative corporate arenas like finance and consulting, based on surveys at the school year’s end. “That certainly won’t be the case this year,” observed Lawrence Katz, a professor and labor economist who has studied undergraduate career choices at Harvard going back to the 1960s. “We’re seeing students who would have been part of the Ivy League pipeline to Wall Street in the past considering very different career paths.”

Kedamai Fisseha, a 21-year-old senior, is one of them. An economics major, Mr. Fisseha says he always assumed he would go into finance, and his summer internship last year was at the investment bank Morgan Stanley. Yet after Wall Street’s meltdown, job prospects there have withered. Instead, he is interviewing with Teach for America, a nonprofit group that recruits college graduates to teach in hard-to-staff schools for two-year stints. (After that, only one-third stay in the classrooms, though two-thirds remain in education.)

Mr. Fisseha regards the turn of events as an opportunity to broaden his horizons. “It’s been liberating, and lucky for me,” he said. “But your situation does dictate your preferences.”

Graduate schools of government and public policy are seeing a surge of applications. In a survey of its members released last week, the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration found that 82 percent reported an increase in applications this year, and many saw the largest percentage jumps in several years, or ever. The most-cited reason was the expectation by students that government will be hiring.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
In spite of continued strong career opportunities, with some of the best opportunities for women, the above article ignores accountancy careers. I think much of this is due to Lohr's focus on high ranked MBA programs. These MBA Programs have not been major sources of public accountants in the past three decades. One reason is that to take the CPA examination most states requires more pre-requisite accounting course coverage than top MBA programs make available in the curriculum. This makes it more difficult for graduates of top MBA programs to sit for the CPA examination unless they were undergraduate accounting majors. Top ranked MBA programs like Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, and Darden generally prefer to admit students who were not undergraduate business and/or accounting majors.

Following the conflicts of interest charges and/or the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, most CPA firms sold off their consulting divisions like Andersen Consulting, Cap Gemini, PwC Consulting, and KPMG Consulting. Those divisions were more apt to hire MBA graduates who had no intention of ever taking the CPA examination. Also consulting firms have cut way back on their entry-level hiring in favor of hiring persons with technical expertise and experience.

Although faculty in state-supported universities are somewhat different from what we view as workers in the federal, state, and local bureaucracies, there will be increased hiring opportunities for faculty careers as the government pours upwards of a trillion dollars, over several years, into education opportunities for lower-income students. But with declining career opportunities as the private sector cuts back, the outlook is not particularly strong for academic careers in schools of business and accounting. It's even bleaker for undergraduate finance programs. The outlook is much better for science and medical/nursing/pharmacy faculty openings.

What I find somewhat sad in Lohr's article is the prediction that government careers are the long-term wave of the future. I've never been a fan of big public sector relative to the private sector. It's so sad that Wall Street shot itself in the head rather than the foot!


Bob Jensen's career helpers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob1.htm#careers

"Microsoft's Encarta, Rendered Obsolete by Wikipedia, Will Shut Down," by Brock Read, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 14, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3715&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en

Disproportionate Charges of Cheating Against University of Virginia Minority Students

"University community reacts to diversity statistics from Committee:  Various minority organizations, administrators discuss racial issues, discrepancies based on recently released statistics about cases reported, brought to trial," by Cameron Feller, Cavalier Daily, April 14, 2009 ---

The 2008-09 Honor Committee released statistics last week about the demographics of cases reviewed during its term. Although the data dealt specifically with cases reported, accused and brought to trial, the information also lends itself to several discussions about some students’ concerns pertaining to the University’s honor system and diversity.


One of the most obvious areas of interest within the statistics were the numbers that dealt specifically with reporting. According to the statistics, a total of 64 cases were brought before the past Committee. Of these cases, 27 reports were brought against white students, 21 against black students, 11 against Asian and/or Asian-American students, four against Latinos and four against students of unknown race.

“When I saw [the statistics], I was a little bit surprised at the disproportionate number of minority students reported compared to [white] students,” said Vice Chair for Investigations Mary Siegel, a third-year College student.

“Looking at these numbers, there are almost as many [black] students reported as [white] students, which is not at all proportional [to the actual number of students enrolled at the University],” Siegel said.

These concerns with respect to reporting extend beyond just Committee members, however.

“In terms of data collection, I can’t help but be startled by the discrepancy,” African-American Affairs Dean Maurice Apprey said.

Another alleged discrepancy is the ratio of cases brought against males to those brought against females. The statistics show that 48 males were reported of committing an honor offense, whereas only 18 females were reported.

Some members of the University attribute such statistical discrepancies to spotlighting, which is when certain minorities — such as blacks, athletes and Asians — are reported at a much higher rate than white students for reasons like standing out in the room more, as well as some reporters’ inherent biases.

“From a psychology point of view, sometimes you are going to look at what’s different in the room,” said Black Student Alliance President-elect Lauren Boswell, a third-year Architecture student.

Siegel said she hopes to help explore the reasons behind allegedly biased reporting by speaking to reporters more frequently than the current system allows.

“I think the first place we have to start is reporters and ask them why they suspected this person of an the Committee offense,” Siegel said. “If there seems to be a pattern, then the Committee can try and correct that pattern.”

Currently reporters of an alleged honor offense are involved in the first interview during the investigations process and then during a rebuttal, but are removed from the investigations process, Siegel said. Removing the reporter from the process ensures that his or her bias does not play a part in investigations, Siegel added, but does not ensure that there are not any biased motivations behind the initial report.

Accusations and Trials

After students are reported of having committed an alleged honor offense, the case is taken up by the Investigative Panel, which is comprised of three rotating Committee members, and examined to see if an honor offense occurred. If the panel believes an offense occurred, the student is formally accused and is brought to trial.

According to the statistics excluding last weekend’s trials, 35 students were formally accused of committing an honor offense by the I-Panel, 13 of whom were black. Twelve white students were accused and 10 Asian and/or Asian-American students also were brought to trial. A total of 29 trials, including last weekend’s trials, occurred during the past Committee’s term. Of the 11 white students brought to trial, six were found not guilty, whereas 14 of the 19 black students brought to trial were found not guilty. A total of 32 males, meanwhile, were brought to trial, nine of whom were found guilty. Comparatively, four of the 11 female students brought to trial were found guilty.

After looking at the statistics, several Committee members said they believe that any bias present in the beginning of the honor trial process is lost during the process.

“Once a case comes into the system ... these students are being found guilty at the same rate” regardless of race, 2007-08 Committee Chair Jess Huang said.

Fourth-year College student Carlos Oronce, co-chair of the Minority Rights Coalition, disagreed, however.

“I challenge the notion that students of different color are on par with white students” after trials, Oronce said, noting that though Committee members have told him a “balance” eventually exists, his own data analysis yields different conclusions. He explained that his conclusions are based on a study done six years ago; the Committee has yet to do a similar study since.

“You’ll see that there’s something like a 6 percent difference in guilt rate between [white] students and black students,” Oronce said. “Six percent comes off to me as a huge difference.”

Oronce added that he believes that a more formal study needs to be done to accurately see and analyze the alleged disparities. Siegel also said she believes the Committee “needs to look at ways to correct these imbalances” regardless of whether the imbalances come into play during the actual investigation and trial process.

Representation, Recruitment and Retention

Several members of the University community also have expressed concern about representation within the actual Committee itself in regards to diversity.

“I think if you look at the Committee and support officer pools, they are admittedly not very diverse,” said Committee Chair David Truetzel, a third-year Commerce student. La Alianza Chair Carolina Ferrerosa, a fourth-year College student, agreed, noting that one of her organization’s major concerns is increasing diversity within the Committee.

“We would like to see more of a push” to get more minority representatives on the Committee, and make sure that “the Committee is realistic when it looks in the mirror,” Ferrerosa said.

Members and non-members alike hope that by increasing minority representation within the Committee, other diversity issues can be addressed, like increasing outreach and personal relationships between minority contracted independent organizations and the Committee.

Vice Chair for Education Rob Atkinson, a third-year College student, said he already has had several meetings aimed at improving education efforts with some of these groups. He added that he feels it is important to create a personal relationship between these groups and the Committee before more formal relationships can be developed.

“We want to take into account the concerns or views of the different communities when we reach out to those communities,” Atkinson said. Reaching out to these groups, Truetzel added, will help ensure that all students feel like the system belongs to them, no matter their race or gender.

“When you lack diversity ... you don’t have diversity of thought, diversity of ideas,” Truetzel said.

Apprey, meanwhile, agreed that increasing minority representation on the Committee could lead to “healthy conversation, healthy debates” and could help promote “further cultural competence” and understanding.

To help increase representation, the Committee has taken steps to improve recruitment and students attracted to joining the Committee. BSA President-elect Boswell noted that the Committee has made an effort to help promote recruitment among the black student community, holding two honor education classes during both the fall and spring semesters this academic year that encouraged members of the black community to join the Committee.

Boswell said that first-year students in the black community often are approached by a lot of different programs focused on black students their first semester to create “a sense of family and place here” at the University. It is therefore sometimes difficult, however, to attract first-year students that are minorities within the Committee and other organizations during their first semesters, Boswell said. By holding an education class during the spring, Boswell said, the Committee “got outstanding turnout for minorities.”

The Committee and BSA also held a study hall that discussed both the Committee and UJC. Although Boswell said she thought it was a success, she hopes in the future that it will become more “casual” so that students will feel comfortable enough to have personal conversations.

Despite these efforts, there are still many things the Committee can do to encourage minorities to participate in the honor system, Boswell said. Even though the Committee attends The Source, the black community’s activities fair, Boswell said she does not know if it is “the most effective way” to help recruitment.

Oronce said consistent outreach efforts to these different communities, rather than just right before elections or the beginning of the year, could prove helpful for recruitment or maintaining relationships.

In addition to issues of recruitment and representation, Oronce said that many minority students end up quitting the Committee because they feel uncomfortable and marginalized. Boswell added that officer pool meetings can be isolating as students generally sit with their friends. Though she said this might be found in any organization, she also noted that it is imperative that the Committee makes sure every minority student feels comfortable and included if they wish to maintain diversity.

“This past year, there has been a move towards getting a group that is more representative,” Huang said.

Oronce also said he believes that “this year is definitely a lot better than last year” in terms of representation within both the Committee and the support officer pool, but that there is still room for improvement.

“Once we fix our problems internally, we will be in a better place to discuss” some of these other issues of diversity and the Committee, Siegel added.


The Committee’s educational outreach efforts are not limited to students. Within the Committee, the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Diversity Advisory Board were created to help address issues with faculty members and diversity organizations. The FAC chair meets with faculty members once a month to discuss faculty concerns and teach aspects of honor, while the DAB works with Honor to increase Honor relevancy and understanding with diverse groups.

Continued in article

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

"Students Lose, Fair Use Wins in Suit Targeting Anti-Plagiarism Tool," by Marc Parry, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 20, 2009 --- Clickhttp://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/article/3722/students-lose-fair-use-wins-in-suit-targeting-anti-plagiarism-tool?utm_source=at&utm_medium=en Here

Students have suffered another defeat in their legal fight against the company that runs a plagiarism-detection tool popular among professors.

A federal appeals court last week affirmed a lower court’s decision that the Turnitin service does not violate the copyright of students, even though it stores digital copies of their essays in the database that the company uses to check works for academic dishonesty.

The opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit “will be cheered by digital fair-use proponents,” says the E-Commerce and Tech Law blog.

Last year’s decision in the plagiarism case — and I’m plagiarizing here from The Chronicle’s account of it was seen as carrying wider implications for other digital services, such as Google’s effort to scan books in major libraries and add them to its index for search purposes.

The legal battle began in 2007, when four high-school students sued iParadigms, the company that runs Turnitin, arguing that the company took their papers against their will and profited from using them. The students’ high schools required papers to be checked for plagiarism using Turnitin. The service adds scanned papers to its database.

U.S. District Court Judge Claude M. Hilton had found that scanning the student papers to detect plagiarism is a “highly transformative” use that falls under the fair-use provision of copyright law. Mr. Hilton ruled that the company “makes no use of any work’s particular expressive or creative content beyond the limited use of comparison with other works,” and that the new use “provides a substantial public benefit.”

Steven J. McDonald, general counsel at the Rhode Island School of Design, reacted to the latest development in the case by calling the fair-use analysis unsurprising “but welcome.”

“In particular,” Mr. McDonald wrote in an e-mail message to The Chronicle on Monday, “it underscores that the copyright owner’s rights are simply not absolute and that ‘transformative’ uses deserve protection themselves.”

More than 450,000 educators and millions of high school and college students use Turnitin, according to a company fact sheet.

Last week’s opinion also reversed and sent back for further consideration the lower court’s decision on counterclaims made by iParadigms. The company had put forward a claim against one of the plaintiffs under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or CFAA. iParadigms said it was forced to launch an investigation — spending numerous man-hours in the process — after the student allegedly gained unauthorized access to Turnitin.

The E-Commerce and Tech Law blog called attention to the reversal, saying it “could leave Web users open to getting smacked with a large CFAA award whenever a company suspects someone has gained improper access to its Web site.”

Robert A. Vanderhye, the plaintiffs’ pro bono lawyer, acknowledged that the bulk of the opinion was a “stinging defeat.” But the lawyer has not surrendered yet. He plans to petition for a rehearing.

He argued that the court did not decide the issue of Turnitin sharing papers with third parties. If a student’s paper is flagged as unoriginal based on an earlier paper, he said, the company will turn over that earlier paper to an instructor upon request.

“This is not a complete, total defeat on the copyright issue,” he argued. “That issue is still outstanding,” he said, referring to the question of whether Turnitin infringes a copyright if it sends a complete paper to a third party. “They didn’t decide that issue.”

Bob Jensen's threads on cheating and plagiarism are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Plagiarism.htm

Some regulations proposed for credit default swaps do not solve the problems such as the AIG default problems

"A Central Clearing House Doesn’t Reduce CDS Risk," by Bill Snyder, Stanford GSB News, April 2009 --- http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/research/duffie_clearinghouse.html?cmpid=kb0904

A plan by global financial regulators to fix the mess created by the misuse of credit default swaps is flawed, says Darrell Duffie, professor of finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

In a preliminary research paper, Duffie, and GSB doctoral student Haoxiang Zhu, conclude that the central clearing houses founded to rationalize the $27 trillion market for credit default swaps will not remove nearly as much risk as regulators might hope. What's more, despite a mistaken belief by some commentators, the clearing houses are unlikely to bring much needed transparency to trades of credit-default swaps, or CDS, says Duffie.

Credit default swaps are essentially insurance policies used to hedge risky bonds. Their misuse has been blamed for the near-collapse of American International Group (AIG) and the subsequent damage to the global financial system in an over-the-counter market, out of view and off the public record.

Because there was, until recently, no central clearing house for the CDS market, buyers and sellers have been unnecessarily exposed to the risk of default. A clearing house stands between buyers and sellers, ensuring that accounts are settled properly when trades are made, and that margin requirements have been met. In effect, the clearing house acts as a buyer to every seller and a seller to every buyer, reducing the risk of default by either counterparty, as participants in such trades are called.

Responding to pressure from regulators, dealers in Europe and the United States, agreed to the establishment of CDS clearing houses, and by early spring two had been opened and more are planned.

Duffie, a member of the Financial Advisory Roundtable of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, supported the establishment of a clearinghouse in testimony last year to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. He still supports that idea, but maintains that the current implementation is flawed in several respects.

Although the worldwide market for credit default swaps is huge at $27 trillion, it has shrunk by more than 50 percent in the past year, and is too small—and the number of participating institutions is too small—for a clearinghouse that deals only in CDS to efficiently reduce counterparty risk, says Duffie. Instead, Duffie and Zhu suggest that the clearinghouse should clear a much larger fraction of trades made in the $500 trillion market for over-the-counter (off-exchange) derivatives.

"Our results make it clear that regulators and dealers should carefully consider the tradeoffs involved in carving out a particular class of derivatives, such as credit default swaps, for clearing," the research paper states. Here's why:

Banks reduce risk by trading across various classes of options, derivatives, and other financial instruments. Ultimately, positions between two counterparties tend to have offsetting exposures; some are of positive market value to a given counterparty, and others are of negative market value. These have a "netting effect," that is, only the net amount of market value is at risk in a default by one of the counterparties

Duffie and his co-author built a theoretical model to clarify an important tradeoff between two types of netting opportunities, "namely bilateral netting between pairs of dealers across different underlying assets, versus multilateral netting among many dealers across a single class of underlying assets, such as credit default swaps." The latter of these is the method by which the new clearinghouses will work.

Their model reveals that clearing only credit default swaps can actually increase the risk to the counterparties because the benefits of bilateral netting across asset classes is reduced in this case.

For instance, if Dealer A is exposed to Dealer B by $100 million on CDS, while at the same time Dealer B is exposed to Dealer A by $150 million on interest-rate swaps, then the introduction of central clearing for only credit default swaps increases the maximum loss between these two dealers, before collateral and after netting, from $50 million to $150 million. Additionally, CDS-only clearing would likely result in demands for additional, expensive, collateral to protect the two parties.

A CDS-only clearinghouse would work if the market were larger, say Duffie and Zhu. More precisely, their report finds that a dedicated central clearing counterparty [a clearinghouse] improves netting efficiency for these dealers if and only if the fraction of a typical dealer's expected exposure attributable to CDS is the majority of the total expected exposures of all remaining bilaterally netted classes of derivatives. In fact, the credit-default swap market is now too small to reach that threshold.

Making matters somewhat worse was the decision to establish multiple clearing houses. Having more than one reduces the netting effect even more, says Duffie, adding that each additional clearing house exacerbates the problem.

Even though the clearinghouse plan is flawed with respect to reducing counterparty risk, it has been suggested that establishing these new entities would at least add much needed transparency to the CDS market. Actually, the same level of information about CDS trades that would be available to regulators in a clearing house is already available through the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC). With or without a clearing house, there is no plan to reveal trades to the public. So, the stories of improved transparency are a red herring.

Public discussion, says Duffie, assumes that the clearinghouses would act like exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange, by systematically reporting all trades. "I’m sorry to disappoint, but most of the information about default swaps remains confidential even when cleared," he said during an interview.

Moreover, a clearinghouse can only clear standard transactions. But most of the credit default swaps initiated by AIG, are not standard, and would never have been cleared, even if a clearing house had existed years ago.

Presented in mid-February of 2009, the preliminary draft of the Duffie-Zhu paper is titled: "Does a Central Clearing Counterparty Reduce Counterparty Risk?" The work is something of a departure for Duffie, who says he rarely writes a paper to meet the immediate needs of a policy debate, but felt compelled to weigh in because of the critical nature of the discussion.

"During a research discussion over lunch, my co-author and I had a hunch that there was an important concept missing from the policy discussion. We could not confirm our intuition without building and solving a model. Once we did, it was obvious that we should present our results in a new research paper," he said in the interview.

Darrell Duffie is the Dean Witter Distinguished Professor in Finance at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Senior Fellow, by courtesy, at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.

Bob Jensen's threads and the CDS mess are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm#Bailout

"A New(?) Model for Teaching Ethical Behavior," by Robert J. Sternberg, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 24, 2009 ---

What is frightening about ethical lapses is not that they happen to the ethically outrageous but that they can sneak up on just about all of us. An informal classroom "experiment" I performed recently illustrates that slippery slope.

"I am very proud of myself," I told the 17 undergraduates in my seminar, called "The Nature of Leadership." I had just returned from a trip, I told them, and felt that the honorarium I was paid for my consulting on ethical leadership was less than I deserved. I felt badly that I had decided to accept an engagement for so little compensation. I then told the class that I had been about to fill out the reimbursement forms when I discovered that I could actually get reimbursed twice. The first reimbursement would come from the organization that had invited me, which required me merely to fill out a form listing my expenses. The second reimbursement would come from my university, which required me to submit the receipts from the trip. I explained to the class that by getting reimbursed twice, I could justify to myself the amount of work I had put into the engagement. (Full disclosure: I did not really seek double reimbursement.)

I waited for the firestorm. Would the class — which had already studied leadership for several months — rise up in a mass protest against what I proposed to do? Or would only a few brave souls raise their hands and roundly criticize me for what was patently unethical behavior? I waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing happened. I then decided to move on to the main topic of the day, which, I recall, was ... ethical leadership. The whole time I was speaking about that main topic, I expected some of the students to raise their hands and demand to return to the issue of my double reimbursement. It didn't happen.

Finally, I stopped talking and flat-out asked the class whether any of them thought anything was wrong with my desire for double reimbursement. If so, I asked them, why had no one challenged me? I figured that all of them would be embarrassed for not having challenged me. Indeed, many of them were. Others thought I must have been kidding. Still others thought that, since I was the professor and a dean to boot, I must have had a good reason for doing whatever I wanted to do. What I did not expect, though, was that some of the students would commend me for my clever idea and argue that, if I could get away with it, I was entitled to receive the money — more power to me!

That experience reminded me how hard it is to translate theories of ethics, and even case studies, into practice. The students had read about ethics in leadership, heard about ethics in leadership from a variety of real-world leaders, discussed ethics in leadership, and then apparently totally failed to recognize or at least speak out against unethical behavior when it stared them in the face. Moreover, these were students who by conventional definitions would be classified as gifted. Why is it so hard to translate theory into practice, even after one has studied ethical leadership for several months?

In 1970, Bibb Latané and John Darley opened up a new field of research on bystander intervention. They showed that, contrary to expectations, bystanders intervene when someone is in trouble only in very limited circumstances. For example, if they think that someone else might intervene, bystanders tend to stay out of the situation. Latané and Darley even showed that divinity students who were about to lecture on the parable of the good Samaritan were no more likely than other bystanders to help a person in distress.

Drawing in part on Latané and Darley's model of bystander intervention, I've constructed a model of ethical behavior that applies to a variety of ethical problems. The model's basic premise is that ethical behavior is far harder to display than one would expect simply on the basis of what we learn from parents, school, and religious training. To intervene, to do good, individuals must go through a series of steps, and unless all of the steps are completed, people are not likely to behave ethically, regardless of the ethics training or moral education they have received and the level of other types of relevant skills they might possess, such as critical or creative thinking.

Consider these eight steps of behaving ethically and how my students responded, or didn't respond, to the ethical challenge I presented:

1. Recognize that there is an event to react to. The students were sitting in a class on leadership, expecting to be educated about leadership by an expert on leadership. In this case, I did not present the problem as one to which I expected them to react. I was simply telling them about something I was planning to do. They had no a priori reason to expect that something an authority figure did, or was thinking of doing, would require any particular reaction, except perhaps taking notes. So for some students, the whole narrative may have been a nonevent.

That is a problem that extends beyond this mere college-classroom situation. When people hear their political, educational, or especially religious leaders talk, they may not believe there is any reason to question what they hear. After all, they are listening to authority figures. In this way, cynical and corrupt leaders can lead their followers to accept and even commit unethical acts such as suicide bombings and murder of those with divergent beliefs.

2. Define the event as having an ethical dimension. Not all students in the class defined the problem as an ethical one. It became clear in our discussion that some students saw the problem as utilitarian: I had worked hard, had been underpaid, and was trying to figure out a way to attain adequate compensation for my hard work. In that definition of the problem, I had come up with a clever way to make the compensation better fit the work I had done.

Thus cynical leaders may flaunt their unethical behavior simply by defining it in other, plausible-sounding ways. For example, when Robert Mugabe and his henchmen seized the land of white farmers in Zimbabwe, the seizure was presented as a way of compensating alleged war heroes for their accomplishments. What could be unethical about compensating war heroes?

3. Decide that the ethical dimension is significant. In the case of my plan to seek double reimbursement, some of the students may have felt it was sketchy or dubious but not sufficiently so to make an issue of it. Perhaps they themselves had "double-dipped." Or perhaps they had sometimes taken what was not theirs — say, something small like a newspaper or even money they found on the ground — and saw what I was doing as no more serious than what they had done. So they may recognize an ethical dimension, but not see it as sufficiently significant to create a fuss.

Politicians seem to specialize in trying to downplay the ethical dimension of their behavior. The shenanigans and subsequent lies of Bill Clinton regarding his behavior with Monica Lewinsky are an example. Eliot Spitzer, former governor of New York, misbehaved for years until his misdeeds were exposed.

4. Take responsibility for generating an ethical solution to the problem. My students may have felt that they were, after all, merely students. Is it their responsibility, or even their right, to tell a professor of a course on leadership how to act, especially if the professor is a dean? Perhaps from their point of view, it was my responsibility to determine the ethical dimensions, if any, of the situation.

Similarly, people may allow leaders to commit wretched acts because they figure it is the leaders' responsibility to determine the ethical dimensions of their actions. Or people may assume that the leaders, especially if they are religious leaders, are in the best position to determine what is ethical. If a religious leader encourages someone to become a suicide bomber, for example, that person might conclude that being a bomber must be ethical; why else would a religious leader suggest it?

5. Figure out what abstract ethical rule(s) might apply to the problem. Perhaps some of the students recognized the problem I created for them as an ethical one. But if they had never had to figure out reimbursements, it might not have been obvious to them what rule, or rules, apply. Or even if they had dealt with reimbursements, might there be some circumstances in which it is ethical to be reimbursed twice? Maybe the university supplements outside reimbursements, as they sometimes do with fellowships? Or maybe the university does not care who else pays, as long as they get original receipts. Or maybe I had misspoken; maybe what I meant to say was that I would get some expenses paid by the university and others by the sponsoring organization. Especially in unfamiliar situations, it may not be clear what constitutes ethical behavior.

6. Decide how abstract ethical rules actually apply to the problem, in order to suggest a concrete solution. Perhaps the students did know of relevant ethical rules but did not see how to apply them. Suppose they thought of the rule that one should expect from others only what one deserves. Well, what did I deserve? Maybe they saw me as deserving more than I did simply because I said I did. Or suppose they reflected on the maxim that one should not expect something for nothing. Well, I did something — I was only trying to get something back that adequately reflected my work. In the end, the students may have had trouble translating abstract principles into concrete behavior.

When U.S. forces kill suspected terrorists in other countries, some residents of the United States may be happy that the evildoers got what they deserved. But what if foreign forces entered the United States and started killing people a foreign government suspected of being terrorists? Does the ethical principle of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" mean, concretely, that if we do not want foreign forces in our country, we should not have our own forces elsewhere? Or does it mean that if we in the United States have forces elsewhere, those forces should not kill anyone, regardless of who that person is killing and what terrorist acts he or she may be planning?

In many instances, understanding exactly how to apply an ethical principle forces us to grapple with deeply held values.

7. Formulate an ethical solution, at the same time possibly preparing to counteract contextual forces that might lead you to act unethically. Suppose you sit in a classroom and hear your teacher brag about what you consider to be unethical behavior. You look around: No one else is saying anything. As far as you can tell, no one else is even fazed. Perhaps what you think is the right course of action isn't. Maybe you're the one who's out of line, and speaking up will only embarrass you in front of your peers.

In Latané and Darley's work, the more bystanders there were, the less likely it was for one to intervene. The investigators saw that people tend to think that if something is really wrong, someone else witnessing the event will take responsibility. You are actually better off having a breakdown on a somewhat lonely country road than on a busy highway because a driver passing by on the country road may feel that he or she is your only hope.

Sometimes the problem is not that other people seem oblivious to the ethical implications of a situation, but that they actively encourage you to behave in ways you define as unethical. In the Rwandan genocides, Hutus were encouraged to hate and kill Tutsis, even if they were family members. Those who were not willing to participate in the massacres risked becoming victims themselves. In Hitler's Germany, those who tried to save Jews from concentration camps risked being sent to the camps themselves, or having family members sent.

Obviously an individual has to decide what he or she is willing to risk for the sake of doing what he or she believes is right.

8. Act. In the end, you could be a wonderful ethical thinker, figure out all you need to do, be prepared to do the right thing, and then do nothing. One has to make the leap from thought to action. For example, most people know they should have only safe sex, but not all of them do, even if they know they have an illness that they could spread through sexual contact. In Rwanda and most recently in West Darfur, there were countless discussions about what needed to be done to behave ethically.In the end, the most difficult thing was not getting people to talk about action, but to engage in it.

We would like to think that peer pressure to behave ethically leads people to resist internal temptations to misbehave. But often exactly the opposite is the case. In the Enron scandal, when Sherron Watkins blew the whistle on unethical behavior, she was punished and made to feel like an outcast. In general, whistle-blowers are treated poorly, despite the protections they are supposed to receive.

I have argued that ethical behavior typically requires eight steps, and that if you miss any one of them, you are not likely to behave fully ethically. College can produce students who are smart and knowledgeable but ethically challenged. By alerting students to the steps in ethical behavior and the potential difficulty of going through them all, students may come to understand why it is so easy to slip into unethical behavior and be more likely to think and behave ethically. Given the problems we face in today's world, that seems like an urgent priority.

Robert J. Sternberg is dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, a professor of psychology, and an adjunct professor of education at Tufts University. His books include Wisdom, Intelligence, and Creativity Synthesized (Cambridge University Press, 2003).


Jensen Comment One of my favorite illustrations of ethical lapses is where a number of large auditing firms were billing clients for expense reimbursements well in excess of amounts paid by the auditing firms for airline tickets and hotels --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/fraud001.htm#BigFirms 
(You must scroll down to find media modules on these billing scandals.)

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Fraud001.htm#Professionalism

"American U. in Cairo Presents a Documentary About Second-Life Journalism," by Steve Kolowich, Chronicle of Higher Education, April 13, 2009 --- http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?id=3710&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en 

Those who attended the Virtual Journalism Conference at Washington State University this week may have glimpsed the future of global journalism in a brief documentary about an avatar-to-avatar news conference. The news conference, which took place in February in the virtual platform Second Life, gave eight Egyptian political bloggers a chance to directly question James K. Glassman, the public-diplomacy czar under form President George W. Bush.

“This is the ultimate situation of breaking down barriers of time and space,” said Lawrence Pintak, director of the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research at the American University in Cairo—or, rather, his slightly-less-gray-haired avatar said that in the documentary. “We’re putting together people who are on opposite sides of the world for a real-time conversation.”

The Second-Life news conference was the final stage of a project, overseen by American University in Cairo and paid for by the U.S. Agency for International Development, that brought the Egyptian bloggers to the United States to cover last fall’s presidential election.

Technology that allows journalists anywhere in the world to connect with each other and with newsmakers could make reporting less costly at a time when many newspapers are cutting back on travel. And while some might dismiss a Second-Life meet-up as little more than a glorified conference call, Rita J. King, a former journalist, said the difference is tremendous. Ms. King is CEO and creative director of Dancing Ink Productions, which designed the virtual space where the news conference was held and also helped create the documentary.

First of all, “teleconferences put people to sleep,” she told The Chronicle. They’re also expensive. But most importantly, the experience of interacting in a three-dimensional space is much richer, sensationally and psychologically.

“Neurologically, people feel they are sharing an experience if the brain perceives that they are sharing space,” she said. “I have found that people are very likely to be candid in interviews that are conducted virtually, much more so than over the phone or even in person.… It is safe physically, first of all, but it also eliminates elements of discomfort that are part of the physical world, related to socioeconomic status, age, gender, race.… There are all sorts of limiting factors that prevent people from being candid with one another in person.”

Bob Jensen's threads about Second Life virtual worlds are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/thetools.htm#SecondLife

From The Wall Street Journal Weekly Accounting Review on April 16, 2009

More States Look to Raise Taxes
The Wall Street Journal
by Leslie Eaton
Apr 09, 2009
Click here to view the full article on WSJ.com

TOPICS: Governmental Accounting, Income Tax, Revenue Forecast, sales tax, State Income Tax, State Taxation, Tax Laws, Taxation

SUMMARY: Since most states must by law balance their budgets every year, dwindling sales and income tax revenues during this economic downturn have led to discussions about increasing income and sales tax rates. "At least 10 states are considering some kind of major increase in sales or income taxes: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin. California and New York already have agreed on multibillion-dollar tax increases that went into effect earlier this year. Fiscal experts say more states are likely to try to raise tax revenue in coming months, especially once they tally the latest shortfalls from April 15 income-tax filings, often the biggest single source of funds for the 43 states that levy them....[However,] many states remain determined to balance their budgets by relying solely on spending cuts. That is the case in Indiana, where raising revenue 'is really not on the table,' said Pat Bauer, the speaker of the state House." The article finishes with a discussion of year over year comparisons and state revenue forecasts used to assess what actions states must take in these difficult times.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article can be used both to discuss state tax levies in a tax class and to discuss governmental budgeting in a governmental accounting class.

1. (Introductory) As described in this article, what are the major sources of revenue to state governments?

2. (Advanced) Why are states raising income and sales tax rates when current economic times make it difficult for many households even under current tax levies?

3. (Advanced) When can states best project their tax revenues for the fiscal year? Why must they make these projections?

4. (Introductory) For how long a period does Indiana usually prepare its budget? What has changed in this year?

5. (Advanced) What Financial analysis techniques do states undertake to forecast their revenues in order to decide on their course of action? Cite all that you can find in the article.

6. (Advanced) How do governmental entities include bad debts assessment as part of the analysis described in answer to question 5?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island



From the Scout Report on April 17, 2009

Picard Tagger ---  http://musicbrainz.org/doc/PicardTagger 

Those individuals with sizable (or not so-sizable) music collections may wish to take a look at the Picard Tagger application. The application allows users to create album-oriented tags that will work across different platforms, and it will also help them to create a more sophisticated way of accessing and organizing their music files. The site for this application also contains complete documentation and some video demonstrations of how the application can be used. This version is compatible with computers running Linux, Mac OS X 10.3 and newer, and Windows 98 and newer.

Restoration 3.2.13 --- http://www3.telus.net/mikebike/RESTORATION.html 

If you've ever found yourself in a pickle after accidentally placing some needed files in the recycle bin, you'll appreciate this helpful application. Created by Brian Kato, the Restoration application effectively restores files which have been deleted from the recycle bin by mistake. Conversely, the program has another function that makes it almost impossible to restore all deleted files. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 98 and newer.

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

Education Tutorials

Intelligent YouTube: Smart Video Collections --- http://www.openculture.com/2008/03/youtubesmartvideos.html

Exploratorium: Teacher Institute: Podcasts [iTunes, five-minute podcast tips] http://www.exploratorium.edu/ti/podcasts/index.php

"Do Parents Matter?" by Jonah Lehrer, Science Blogs, April 9, 2009 --- http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/04/do_parents_matter.php

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

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

April 18, 2009 message from Barry Rice [brice@LOYOLA.EDU]

Many of you may be familiar with www.imdb.com, the Internet Movie Database, which was launched in 1990 according to Wikipedia. It is the 41st most popular Web site on the Internet today according to http://mostpopularwebsites.net. However, did you know that they have added the ability to legally view free feature-length movies and TV shows in the past few months? Most of my friends and Loyola College colleagues as well as students with whom I discuss this don't know about this feature. Go to http://www.imdb.com/features/video/ and look at the "Browse All Videos By Type" heading on the left for links to "Full-Length Movies" and "Full-Length TV Episodes" to see the lists of dozens of movies and hundreds of TV episodes that you can view in their entirety at no cost. Yes, many of them are rather old, but they are free.


Just hook your computer or other Internet device to your flat screen TV and become a couch potato again. Some information about such devices is available at http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how_to/4213002.html in a one-year-old article. I'm sure other AECMers have more current ways to connect the Internet to TVs.


Finally, yes, I am aware that YouTube announced plans for something similar earlier this week. See http://www.pcworld.com/article/163320/youtube_adds_movies_and_shows_goes_after_hulu.html for more information.


Barry Rice

AECM Founder


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Evolution of Life --- http://www.evolution-of-life.com/en/home.html

Darwin’s evolving thoughts and private communications on the boundaries of science and religion ---

The Organic Center --- http://www.organic-center.org/

World Food:  International Year of Natural Fibres --- http://www.naturalfibres2009.org/en/index.html

Transforming Agricultural Education --- http://dels.nas.edu/ag_education/

World Health Organization: Global Malaria Programme --- http://www.who.int/malaria/

National Center for Electronics Recycling --- http://www.electronicsrecycling.org 

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

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

PBS Video on Multinational Illegal Payments
FRONTLINE: Black Money --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/blackmoney/

"Do Parents Matter?" by Jonah Lehrer, Science Blogs, April 9, 2009 --- http://scienceblogs.com/cortex/2009/04/do_parents_matter.php

World Health Organization: Global Malaria Programme --- http://www.who.int/malaria/

Public Policy Institute of California: Map Room http://www.ppic.org/main/mapindex.asp 

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

Internet and Information Systems --- http://idrinfo.idrc.ca/ 

Public Records and by State --- http://www.pac-info.com/ 

Government Information and Maps --- http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/govdoc/ 

Integrating U.S. Climate, Energy, and Transportation Policies --- http://www.rand.org/pubs/conf_proceedings/2009/RAND_CF256.pdf

Oxfam International Climate ChangeVideo --- http://www.oxfam.org/en/video

With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition --- http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/lincoln/Pages/default.aspx

Deena Stryker Photographs, 1963-1964 and undated http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/stryker/

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989 [Flash Player] http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view-now/third-mind

Bob Jensen's threads on Economics, Anthropology, Social Sciences, and Philosophy tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

Law and Legal Studies

PBS Video on Multinational Illegal Payments
FRONTLINE: Black Money --- http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/blackmoney/

Public Policy Institute of California: Map Room http://www.ppic.org/main/mapindex.asp 

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

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

Math Tutorials

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

History Tutorials

United Nations World Digital Library --- http://www.wdl.org/en/

National Endowment for the Arts: Audio & Video --- http://www.nea.gov/av/index_v.htm

Deena Stryker Photographs, 1963-1964 and undated http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/stryker/

Public Policy Institute of California: Map Room http://www.ppic.org/main/mapindex.asp 

The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989 --- http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view-now/third-mind

With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition --- http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/lincoln/Pages/default.aspx

One Life: The Mask of Lincoln (picture history focus) --- http://www.npg.si.edu/exhibit/lincoln/

The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana --- http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/stern-lincoln/ 

University of Rochester shares its Abraham Lincoln letters online --- http://www.library.rochester.edu/index.cfm?page=379
Also see http://www.technologyreview.com/Wire/20364/?nlid=912

C-Span: Lincoln 200 Years (Video)  http://www.c-span.org/lincoln200years/

Delaware Postcard Collection --- http://fletcher.lib.udel.edu/collections/dpc/indexm

Hampton Dunn Postcards Collection --- http://www.lib.usf.edu/public/index.cfm?Pg=HamptonDunnPostcardsCollection

Edinburgh World Heritage --- http://www.ewht.org.uk/Home.aspx 

goSmithsonian: Lincoln --- http://www.gosmithsonian.com/lincoln

Cambridge University: Digital Image Collections --- http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/digital_image_collections/

Stage Costumes --- http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/theatre_performance/features/Costume/index.html

All Sewn Up: Millinery, Dressmaking, Clothing, and Costume http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/HumanEcol/subcollections/MillineryBooksAbout.html

Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#History
Also see http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm  

From the Scout Report on April 17, 2009

Egyptian archaeologists hope to discover the tomb of Cleopatra and Marc Antony Egypt to search 3 sites for Cleopatra's tomb http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/04/15/AR2009041501087.html  

Cleopatra bust among treasures found in Egypt temple

Coin shows Cleopatra's ugly truth http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/tyne/6357311.stm 

Found: the sister Cleopatra killed http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5908494.ece 

Dr. Zahi Hawass's blog http://drhawass.com/blogs/zahi-hawass 

Supreme Council of the Antiquities http://www.museumsector.gov.eg/ 

Pyramid Challenge http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/launch_gms_pyramid_builder.shtml 

Antony and Cleopatra – Fact or Fiction http://www.biography.com/video.do?name=weboriginals&bcpid=1811456834&bclid=1407950740&bctid=1453535908


Language Tutorials

Bob Jensen's links to language tutorials are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Languages

Music Tutorials

Rare Footage (Dancing 60 years ago) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOoNOs8Ql28

Picard Tagger --- http://musicbrainz.org/doc/PicardTagger

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

Writing Tutorials

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob3.htm#Dictionaries

Updates from WebMD --- http://www.webmd.com/

Small Patients, Big Consequences in Medical Errors --- http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/15/health/healthspecial2/15mistakes.html?_r=1
Link forwarded by Amy Haas

"Five Ages of the Brain," New Scientist --- http://www.newscientist.com/special/five-ages-of-the-brain

"Immune Overhaul for Diabetes:  Some diabetics who received a stem-cell transplant do not need insulin injections even years later," by Courtney Humphries, MIT's Technology Review, April 14, 2009 --- http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/22465/?nlid=1950 

Patients who underwent a procedure to wipe out the immune system and reconstitute it with their own stem cells remained insulin injection-free for up to three to four years after the procedure, according to a study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research provides further evidence that a stem-cell transplant can reverse type 1 diabetes in some patients. Although a stem-cell transplant is a drastic procedure with a risk of serious side effects, this represents the most successful treatment to reverse the disease in humans without the need for ongoing medication.

The report extends research published in 2007 showing that the majority of 15 patients who underwent a blood stem-cell transplant were able to remain insulin-free for more than 18 months. Richard Burt, a coauthor of the study and a specialist in autoimmune disease at Northwestern University, says that "the criticism of the prior study was that maybe this was some kind of extended honeymoon"; he's referring to a phenomenon in which patients newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes will see their symptoms improve temporarily as they make health changes. This latest study extends the treatment to an additional five patients and shows that most patients have been able to remain off insulin for a longer period of time. In addition, it shows that patients have increased levels of a biological indicator of insulin secretion--evidence that they are indeed producing insulin on their own.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease in which the immune system attacks the insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas; the body eventually fails to produce enough insulin to control blood-sugar levels. Because this form of diabetes is an autoimmune disease, scientists have been looking for ways to stop the immune system's destructive actions. One idea is to "reset" the patient's immune system by wiping it out with drugs and then rebuild it with the patient's own stem cells. Blood or hematopoietic stem cells reside in the bone marrow and are responsible for replenishing blood and immune-system cells. Hematopoietic stem-cell transplant is most often used to treat patients with cancers like leukemia and other diseases of the blood, but it has recently been investigated as a way to treat several autoimmune diseases, including diabetes and lupus.

In this study, which was based at the University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil, patients first underwent drug treatments to boost their blood stem-cell production, making it possible to harvest stem cells from the blood rather than from the bone marrow. The patients were then hospitalized and given chemotherapy that severely impaired their immune systems; they simultaneously received drugs to prevent infections. The stem cells were purified from the blood and then injected back into the patients, where they could travel to the bone marrow and rebuild the immune system.

Forwarded by an old timer


Two guys, one old timer and one young, are pushing their carts around Lowe's Building Supply when they collide.

The old timer says to the young guy, 'Sorry about that. I'm looking for my wife, and I guess I wasn't paying attention to where I was going'.

The young guy says, 'That's OK. It's a coincidence. I'm looking for my wife, too. I can't find her and I'm getting a little desperate.'

The old guy says, 'Well, maybe we can help each other. What does your wife look like?'

The young guy says, 'Well, she is 24 yrs old, tall, with blonde hair, big blue eyes, long legs, big boobs, and she's wearing tight white shorts, a halter top and no bra..What does your wife look like?'

The old timer says... 'Doesn't matter --- let's look for yours.'

Most of the old timers are helpful like that.


One Sunday morning, the pastor noticed little Alex standing in the foyer of the church staring up at a large plaque. It was covered with names and small American flags mounted on either side of it. The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time, so the pastor walked up, stood beside the little boy, and said quietly, 'Good morning Alex.' Good morning Pastor, he replied, still focused on the plaque. Pastor, what is this? The pastor said, Well son, it's a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service. Soberly, they just stood together, staring at the large plaque. Finally, little Alex's voice, barely audible and trembling with fear asked,

"Which service...the 8:30 or the 10:30?"

Tidbits Archives --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm

Click here to search Bob Jensen's web site if you have key words to enter --- Search Site.
For example if you want to know what Jensen documents have the term "Enron" enter the phrase Jensen AND Enron. Another search engine that covers Trinity and other universities is at http://www.searchedu.com/

World Clock --- http://www.peterussell.com/Odds/WorldClock.php
Facts about the earth in real time --- http://www.worldometers.info/

Interesting Online Clock and Calendar --- http://home.tiscali.nl/annejan/swf/timeline.swf
Time by Time Zones --- http://timeticker.com/
Projected Population Growth (it's out of control) --- http://geography.about.com/od/obtainpopulationdata/a/worldpopulation.htm
         Also see http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/P/Populations.html
Facts about population growth (video) --- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U
Projected U.S. Population Growth --- http://www.carryingcapacity.org/projections75.html
Real time meter of the U.S. cost of the war in Iraq --- http://www.costofwar.com/ 
Enter you zip code to get Census Bureau comparisons --- http://zipskinny.com/
Sure wish there'd be a little good news today.

Three Finance Blogs

Jim Mahar's FinanceProfessor Blog --- http://financeprofessorblog.blogspot.com/
FinancialRounds Blog --- http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/
Karen Alpert's FinancialMusings (Australia) --- http://financemusings.blogspot.com/

Some Accounting Blogs

Paul Pacter's IAS Plus (International Accounting) --- http://www.iasplus.com/index.htm
International Association of Accountants News --- http://www.aia.org.uk/
AccountingEducation.com and Double Entries --- http://www.accountingeducation.com/
Gerald Trites'eBusiness and XBRL Blogs --- http://www.zorba.ca/
AccountingWeb --- http://www.accountingweb.com/   
SmartPros --- http://www.smartpros.com/

Bob Jensen's Sort-of Blogs --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/JensenBlogs.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called New Bookmarks --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/bookurl.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Tidbits --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TidbitsDirectory.htm
Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudUpdates.htm

Online Books, Poems, References, and Other Literature
In the past I've provided links to various types electronic literature available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm

Shared Open Courseware (OCW) from Around the World: OKI, MIT, Rice, Berkeley, Yale, and Other Sharing Universities --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/000aaa/updateee.htm#OKI

Free Textbooks and Cases --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ElectronicLiterature.htm#Textbooks

Free Mathematics and Statistics Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#050421Mathematics

Free Science and Medicine Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Science

Free Social Science and Philosophy Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm#Social

Free Education Discipline Tutorials --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Bookbob2.htm

Teaching Materials (especially video) from PBS

Teacher Source:  Arts and Literature --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/arts_lit.htm

Teacher Source:  Health & Fitness --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/health.htm

Teacher Source: Math --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/math.htm

Teacher Source:  Science --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/sci_tech.htm

Teacher Source:  PreK2 --- http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/prek2.htm

Teacher Source:  Library Media ---  http://www.pbs.org/teachersource/library.htm

Free Education and Research Videos from Harvard University --- http://athome.harvard.edu/archive/archive.asp

VYOM eBooks Directory --- http://www.vyomebooks.com/

From Princeton Online
The Incredible Art Department --- http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/

Online Mathematics Textbooks --- http://www.math.gatech.edu/~cain/textbooks/onlinebooks.html 

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives --- http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/doc/intro.jsp

Moodle  --- http://moodle.org/ 

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

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at http://www.accountingweb.com/news/college_news.html
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accountancy Discussion ListServs:

For an elaboration on the reasons you should join a ListServ (usually for free) go to   http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm
AECM (Educators)  http://pacioli.loyola.edu/aecm/ 
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 --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ListServRoles.htm

CPAS-L (Practitioners) http://pacioli.loyola.edu/cpas-l/ 
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/xyztalk
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
AccountantsWorld  http://accountantsworld.com/forums/default.asp?scope=1 
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group BusValGroup-subscribe@topica.com 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM

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


Professor Robert E. Jensen (Bob) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen
190 Sunset Hill Road
Sugar Hill, NH 03586
Phone:  603-823-8482 
Email:  rjensen@trinity.edu