Tidbits Quotations
To Accompany February 26, 2015 edition of Tidbits
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
Margaret Wheatley,

We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
Joseph Campbell

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking.
George S. Patton

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.
Henry David Thoreau

Instead of dropping bombs on ISIS we should be dropping ISIS fighters job applications
State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf told Chris Matthews that ISIS can be stopped if we just create jobs for them.

Joshua Riddle --- http://www.youngcons.com/state-department-spokesperson-cant-stop-isis-killing-need-give-jobs/
Also see
Sounds like a great ideal. Let's put at least 40,000 of them to work in NYC.
Wonder who gave Marie Harf a job?

Netflix Now Available to the Four People with Internet in Cuba ---
Jensen Comment
This is an exaggeration. Roughly 25% of the Cuban population has Internet access, mostly elites of the Communist party, had Internet connections ---
Approximately 33% of the people have computers --- Z

Iran Won’t Pursue Nuclear Weapons Because It’s ‘Contrary to Their Faith’
Barack Obama ---
Why doesn't this apply to Pakistan as well?

Putin Russia Europe Here's who backs Putin in Europe — and why
The Economist, February 14, 2015
One of Poland's leading presidential candidates just vowed for better ties with Russia ---
Jensen Comment
The trembling (read that Putin-fearing) old Soviet countries are reconsidering joining up again with Russia
The Rusted-Out Soviet Express is Beginning to Show Signs of Life.
The mystery is why?  Russia has zero to offer in terms of economic hope. Old communists just die hard! Capitalism entails too much hard work.

Putin personally is worth $200 billion ---

The 21 men beheaded on a Mediterranean beach in a video released by Islamist savages Sunday were killed because of their Coptic Christian faith, by men who proclaimed the reason for the murders before the whole world. And the White House won’t say the word." Christian."  (when sacrificed by Islamists)

The cases that received media publicity were those of Monica Lewinsky, Jenifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Elizabeth Ward Gracen. These cases were a mere 5 percent of the allegations made against Bill Clinton that were not disclosed in the media.
Even so, I think Bill Cosby has Clinton outnumbered.

Eric Posner—a University of Chicago Law School professor and son of famed federal judge Richard Posner—makes the case in Slate that college students don't really deserve free speech or due process rights. He also chides libertarians outraged by campus censorship for thinking that 18-year-olds—infants, in his view—are intellectually capable of thriving in a non-coercive environment.
Robby Soave --- http://reason.com/blog/2015/02/13/college-students-are-infants-and-deserve

It should hardly come as a surprise when a hard-core US socialist (Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders) comes out with demands that his socialist peers in Greece be bailed out by none other than the Federal Reserve
Tyler Durden --- http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-09/us-senator-demands-federal-reserve-bailout-greece
But only if Greece declares no more capitalism.

Forget Greece, Italy is Europe’s ticking time bomb ---

We'd rather be obese on benefits than thin and working.
Janice and Amber Manzur

Moocher Hall of Fame --- https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/the-moocher-hall-of-fame/

Progressive scholars are so prejudiced they won't even read this article.

"America’s Most Influential Thinker on Race: Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s insights are reshaping law and policy for the better," by Juan Williams, The Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2015 ---

In his office hangs a copy of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery in America. When his critics, and he has many, call him names, he likes to point to it and shout out, “I’m a free man!” This black history month is an opportunity to celebrate the most influential thinker on racial issues in America today—Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas .

Justice Thomas, who has been on the court nearly a quarter-century, remains a polarizing figure—loved by conservatives and loathed by liberals. But his “free”-thinking legal opinions are opening new roads for the American political debate on racial justice.

His opinions are rooted in the premise that the 14th Amendment—guaranteeing equal rights for all—cannot mean different things for different people. As he wrote in Fisher v. University of Texas (2013), he is opposed to “perpetual racial tinkering” by judges to fix racial imbalance and inequality at schools and the workplace. Yet he never contends racism has gone away. The fact that a 2001 article in Time magazine about him was headlined “Uncle Tom Justice” reminds us that racism stubbornly persists.

His only current rival in the race debate is President Obama. At moments of racial controversy the nation’s first black president has used his national pulpit to give voice to black fear that racial stereotyping led to tragedy. But that is as far as he is willing to go. His attorney general, Eric Holder , has gone further by calling Americans “cowards” when it comes to discussing race. And some critics have chastised him even for that.

Justice Thomas, meanwhile, is reshaping the law and government policy on race by virtue of the power of his opinions from the bench. Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American on the Supreme Court, stood up as a voice insisting on rights for black people. Justice Thomas, the second black man on the court, takes a different tack. He stands up for individual rights as a sure blanket of legal protection for everyone, including minorities.

In his dissent in Grutter v. Bollinger, a case that preserved the affirmative-action policies of the University of Michigan Law School, he quoted an 1865 speech by Frederick Douglass : “‘What I ask for the Negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice.’ . . . Like Douglass, I believe blacks can achieve in every avenue of American life without the meddling of university administrators.”

The principal point Justice Thomas has made in a variety of cases is that black people deserve to be treated as independent, competent, self-sufficient citizens. He rejects the idea that 21st-century government and the courts should continue to view blacks as victims of a history of slavery and racism.

Instead, in an era with a rising number of blacks, Hispanics, Asians and immigrants, he cheers personal responsibility as the basis of equal rights. In his concurring opinion in Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena (1995), he made the case against government set-asides for minority businesses by arguing that “racial paternalism and its unintended consequences can be as poisonous and pernicious as any other form of discrimination.” The Constitution, he said, bans discrimination by “those who wish to oppress a race or by those who have a sincere desire to help.”

In the same vein he contends that people who insist on racial diversity as a worthy principle are hiding assumptions of black inferiority. “After all, if separation itself is a harm, and if integration therefore is the only way that blacks can receive a proper education, then there must be something inferior about blacks,” he wrote in his concurring opinion in Missouri v. Jenkins (1995). “Under this theory, segregation injures blacks because blacks, when left on their own, cannot achieve. To my way of thinking that conclusion is the result of a jurisprudence based upon a theory of black inferiority.”

Justice Thomas holds that quality education should be the focus of educators for children of all races and argues there is no proof that integration necessarily improves education. Black leaders, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Thurgood Marshall, he has noted, were educated at black schools.

He also makes the case that diversity in school admissions has never been proven to raise black achievement to the level of people admitted with no special consideration. “Racial imbalance is not segregation,” he wrote in a 2007 case ending Seattle and Louisville plans to reverse racial segregation in schools, “and the mere incantation of terms like re-segregation and remediation cannot make up the difference.” Federal judges, he said, are “not social engineers” charged with creating plans to achieve racial equality.

As he wrote in his concurring opinion in Fisher, even if schools have the best intentions and justify lower standards for blacks seeking college admission in the name of reparations for past injury, “racial discrimination is never benign. . . . There can be no doubt that the University’s discrimination injures white and Asian applicants who are denied admission because of their race.”

This line of thinking has helped to rein in ambitious diversity and desegregation plans in K-12 schools as well as at universities. It has also made Justice Thomas the target of liberal derision. Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson once said he simply “doesn’t like black people” or “being black.” Nevada Sen. Harry Reid once dismissed him as one of “five white men” on the high court. Paradoxically, these bitter attacks are still more evidence that Clarence Thomas is now leading the national debate on race.


The Overhyped Reaction To Jon Stewart Leaving ‘The Daily Show’ ---
Jensen Comment
I always thought of him as mostly childish. boring, and not all that funny --- although less childish than Stephen Colbert

The overhyped programming may be in anticipation of having Jon Stewart replace NBC news anchor Brian Williams
Rumor has it that the timing of the Brian Williams suspension and the resignation of Jon Stewart from the Daily Show could be more than just coincidence ---
I vote for the humorless Lester Holt

Skeptical Science: Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism --- http://www.skepticalscience.com

Legislating Against American History Negativism in the Liberal Academy
"Why States Are Fighting About American History Class," by Lily Rothmann, Time Magazine, February 18, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
This sets a somewhat dangerous precedent of politics dictating a college's curriculum. This is common at the K-12 level in some states on both ends of the political spectrum where the State of Texas prescribes K-12 textbooks and California insists on a LGGT curriculum at the K-12 level. But colleges have been more free to run their own show albeit with political bias of faculty in most universities ---

In Texas there have been long running disputes about K-12 textbooks. The worst-case situation where the required anti-American history textbook for all Texas K-12 students asserted that the USA dropped a nuclear bomb on Korea during the Korean War. At a minimum conservatism and liberal bias dictated for schools should at least be accurate about what's presented.

In colleges curriculum political disputes tend to be more internal such as when a literature course instructor is required to replace a certain number of pieces authored by white male and female authors with writings of black authors.

Air Force One --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Force_One#History

It's ridiculously expensive to fly Air Force One (especially just for a golf game or political party fund raising dinner) ---

Taxpayers fork over $206,337 every hour the world's most famous plane is in flight, according to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) letter obtained by the nonprofit Judicial Watch.

. . .

Here are some examples from Judicial Watch:

 • Flights for Obama's 2014 Labor Day weekend fundraising trips to Westchester, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, cost taxpayers $527,192.50

 • Transportation for Obama's round-trip flight from Washington, D.C., to Westchester, New York, to attend a wedding cost taxpayers $358,490.90

 • The flight for Obama's trip to Milwaukee to speak at "Laborfest 2014" cost taxpayers $653,718.70

 • Obama's June 17-19, 2013, trip to Belfast, Ireland, including a Dublin sightseeing side trip by Michelle Obama, her daughters, and her entourage, cost taxpayers $7,921,638.66

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
I think the above cost estimates exclude the significant costs of added security for such trips, including renting of limousines and helicopters and paying for extra security after landing at a destination --- even if the trip is only for a golf game in Palm Springs.

In fairness, abuse of Air Force One luxury is bipartisan since the 1910 beginnings of a Presidential aircraft. Ronald Regan took a lot of vacations to his ranch in California. JFK took a lot of family visits to the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port. LBJ often flew to his ranch near Johnson City, Texas (that is now a National Park). The government also paid a lot for improvements to personal residencies such as buildings to house the Secret Service, helicopter pads, and entertainment facilities. Rumor has it that an entire highway leading to Austin, Texas was upgraded at high cost due to LBJ's bad heart.

Air Force One, in my viewpoint, is being increasingly abused for political fund raising and rallies to a point where taxpayers in general are spending tens of millions of dollars for political promotions of the party in White House.

In recent years, a lot more is also being spent for personal aircraft of Vice-Presidents and the Speakers of the Senate and House. Often these trips are only to visit family in home towns for a week end. It would probably be cheaper to fly wives and children commercially to Washington DC for a week end.

In fairness, we should also note that CEOs of big companies milk profits for personal junkets all the time. Before I purchased my first home I rented a farm house on an old dairy farm near Michigan State University. My landlord was the son of the CEO of a major General Motors subsidiary. Sometimes on Saturdays this CEO and his son would fly to Scotland for a round of golf and then return back to Michigan on the same day on a company jet.

Wall Street's brightest minds reveal the most important charts in the world ---

There are only 9 states in the US with little-to-no income tax ---

Jensen Comment
Property taxes are considered high in New Hampshire, but I think the property taxes were slightly higher in Texas. Property taxes valuations do not change very often in New Hampshire, whereas in Bexar County where I lived in Texas the valuations changed every year at a minimum. My valuations never went down in New Hampshire or Texas even when the values of my homes clearly declined. I just recently got a slight valuation downward adjustment in New Hampshire but the valuation is still much higher than what I could sell this home and land for in the dismal real estate market up in these mountains. NH does not in general re-value homes to the sales prices of recent transactions. This tends to frustrate buyers who bought their homes in arms length honest transactions and much less than property tax valuations. Our village tax assessor insists that when anybody buys property for less than the tax valuation amount it is, by definition, a "bahgain purchase."

Vermont taxes everything under the sun, but the loudest complaint I hear from Vermonters is about property taxes. Actually the property taxes are not any worse than those of New Hampshire, but New Hampshire does not tax everything else.  For example, NH has no regressive sales tax --- which is one of the reasons people in Vermont come to NH to shop for big ticket items like HDTVs and new sets of tires. New cars registered in Vermont must pay a sales tax whereas cars registered in NH have no sales tax no matter where they are purchased. This slightly helps car dealers in Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts survive.

What I don't understand in the above article is the claim that Wyoming property owners pay a 9.5% property tax. That is a whopping rate relative to most states that have less than a 2%-5% property tax rate. Perhaps the base in in Wyoming is not truly the current fair value of the property.


These are the 2 classic ways Mexican cartels launder money ---

Jensen Comment
I once knew a money launderer (I think) for a Mexican cartel, although I was unaware that this mild-mannered very friendly neighbor purportedly worked for a Mexican cartel. His parents were Germans who immigrated into Mexico --- which is why he he looked like a blue-eyed Nordic with a Hispanic name. He and his wife built a huge house for their five children across the street. Purportedly his father started the largest flouriest wholesale business in Mexico City. His inlaws built a multimillion house down the street that they used on visits about two weeks per year. They mostly lived in Spain and were supposedly extremely wealthy.

My neighbor became a very respectable San Antonio businessman buying up mostly commercial properties like some of the tallest buildings in San Antonio. He was very generous of his time and money with our neighborhood association and was instrumental in having our street closed with a 1,000 doubly-thick brick wall that separated our neighborhood from the Northeast Baptist Hospital campus of buildings.

At the other end of our street was San Antonio's finest private K-12 academy (St Mary's Hall) that had dormitories, but his children attended more exclusive private schools in Mexico City and Europe.

Being invited to a dinner party in their house was something out of a Hollywood movie. Their butler met us at the front door and guided us into a room where their house servants served up the hors de ovaries. There was an outdoor kitchen where the house chef cooked seafood.

On a tour of the house I recall that in his bathroom there were built in small drawers on ball bearings where each drawer held a carefully-folded shirt.

In any case I think you get the idea that our neighbors lived a lifestyle much different than a lowly accounting professor who lived across the street. About a year after we sold our house and retired in New Hampshire I learned that the huge house across from us was for sale. It was rumored that my friendly neighbor made a plea bargain with the FBI and promised never to return to the USA. He was such a gentle, friendly, and mild mannered man who did so very much for our neighborhood. I never verified all the rumors, but the big house now has new owners.

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on February 20, 2015

The Obama administration is taking a new approach to addressing rising U.S deficits. The White House is advocating an emphasis on boosting the American workforce and its productivity, to balance out the impending departure of baby boomers retiring from the ranks of the working population.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Nick Timiraos reports, President Barack Obama ’s economic advisers now say the focus should be on the next surge of retirees that will strain the social safety net for the next 20 years, rather than merely seek to balance the budget and sharply reduce the debt. Shaun Donovan, the president’s budget chief, said making changes to entitlement programs like Social Security only get harder “if we don’t have more workers per retiree.” When it comes to the national debt, he added, “what’s acceptable in the next 20 years is different from what might be acceptable in the long term.”

The argument, amplified in Mr. Obama’s annual economic report to Congress on Thursday, is aimed at blunting criticism that the White House has backed away from unpopular entitlement curbs that both parties have said will be needed to cut deficits. This is needed as a wave of retiring workers demand more federal spending while shrinking the tax rolls.

Jensen Comment
The Whitehouse proposal for more productivity per worker to support the burgeoning bubble of retired and disabled folks in the USA is little better than wishing on a cloud without making the hard political decisions needed to anticipate the entitlement crises down the road. The real crisis is not Social Security payments. The real crises are Medicare and Medicaid since, under present laws, it's impossible to spend our way out of those entitlements with inflation. The prices of doctors, hospitals, and medicines go up up and away as the purchasing power declines years down the road. Medicare and Medicaid will break the U.S. Treasury unless something is done to curtail benefits and/or make recipients pay for a greater share of their medical bills.

Entitlements are two-thirds of the federal budget. Entitlement spending has grown 100-fold over the past 50 years. Half of all American households now rely on government handouts. When we hear statistics like that, most of us shake our heads and mutter some sort of expletive. That’s because nobody thinks they’re the problem. Nobody ever wants to think they’re the problem. But that’s not the truth. The truth is, as long as we continue to think of the rising entitlement culture in America as someone else’s problem, someone else’s fault, we’ll never truly understand it and we’ll have absolutely zero chance...
Steve Tobak ---

"CEOs want to raise the retirement age to 70," by Suzy Khimm, The Washington Post, January 18, 2013 ---

A lot of CEOs have gotten on the deficit-reduction bandwagon, but they’ve often been loath to push for specific proposals, endorsing instead an overall “framework” for fiscal consolidation that’s big and bipartisan.

That’s now starting to change: A group of the country’s leading CEOs from the Business Roundtable has put out an entitlement reform plan that proposes to raise the eligibility age for both Social Security and Medicare to 70.

Leading Republicans have long rallied to raise the eligibility age for Social Security to 70, but the Business Roundtable’s recommendations for Medicare go significantly further than the GOP consensus: During the fiscal cliff negotiations, for instance, Boehner proposed raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 years, while the CEOs want to push it three years higher.

The group wants a slew of other changes as well: higher premiums for wealthy beneficiaries, chained CPI and more private competition for Medicare and private retirement programs.

“Even though most of these modernization initiatives would be phased in gradually, the immediate benefits would be enormous. First, they would put Medicare and Social Security on the sound financial footing needed to provide a sustainable retirement safety net. This would represent a major step forward in reducing the growth of government spending,” Gary Loveman, CEO of Caesars Entertainment Corp. and Business Roundtable participant, wrote in the Wall Street Journal.

The Business Roundtable believes its proposals would save the government $300 billion in Medicare spending and extend Social Security’s solvency for 75 years. But the changes would also come with costs to others as well. By eliminating Medicare coverage for those between 65 and 70 years old, the plan would send more individuals into Medicaid and the newly created health-insurance exchanges, as not everyone would continue to work or be covered by their employers’ insurance, explains Tricia Neuman, a vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

That would drive up health-care premiums overall in the exchanges, as there would be older, sicker people getting coverage, says Neuman. In states that don’t elect to participate in the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, lower-income people in their mid- to late-60s could also become uninsured, particularly those who are in physically demanding jobs they might not be able to continue until they’re 70. Overall, raising the eligibility age “would reduce federal spending but would do so in a way that shifts costs to other payers and raises overall health care costs,” says Neuman, who’s examined the impact of raising the age to 67.

On the flip side, proponents of the changes argue that raising the retirement age makes sense given the rise in life expectancy, and that sacrifices are necessary to ensure the solvency of entitlement programs. “What has happened to Social Security over years is because people are living much more longer, it’s moved more toward a middle-aged retirement system,” says Eugene Steuerle, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute.

Continued in article

World Life Expectancy Map --- http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com/index.php

Bob Jensen's threads on the entitlements disaster are at

A million jobs evaporate
EPA Climate Regulations Expected to Hit Manufacturing Sector Especially Hard -

A short paper recently released by the Heritage Foundation takes a look at the expected manufacturing job losses as a result of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. Predictably, they are significant.

(Note the graphic of the 50 states)

Using a social cost of carbon (SCC) equal to $37 per ton, the Heritage Energy Model (HEM) was used to determine the economic impact such climate regulations would have on the U.S. economy down to the state and, most interestingly, even to a congressional district level.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Rust Belt, home to what remains of the country’s once dominant industrial sector, can expect to see the largest losses in manufacturing jobs by 2023. Historically impoverished communities in many southern states that rely heavily on manufacturing jobs will also not be spared.

Environmental regulations cannot be imposed in a vacuum – the U.S. economy is a very dynamic institution. Policymakers should definitely keep this axiom in mind.

Read the Report

Oregon governor is resigning after a scandal involving political deals with his fiancée ---

Kicking the Debt Bomb Down the Road

Greece and Europe have a deal ---

Forget Greece, Italy is Europe’s ticking time bomb ---

"Hillary Clinton's suffocating presence," The Economist, February 12, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
One of the reasons that liberals are working so hard to get Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016 is that after two terms of Hillary Clinton, Senator Warren will be 75 years of age. No President of the USA has commenced office at such an advanced age ---

The rigor required for campaigning has gotten much worse in recent years. Very few people over 70 years of age have the physical and mental stamina required for such a daunting task.

Because she's far more of a big government liberal than Hillary Clinton, winning the presidency is also much more of an uphill battle for Elizabeth Warren.

Not Democracy in Theory But Democracy in Action

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on February 11, 2015

Companies with a healthy revenue stream must routinely balance between returning cash to shareholders through buybacks and dividends and spending more on themselves to fuel future growth—or simply hoarding the cash for a rainy day. But for General Motors Co., if an architect of its 2009 bailout gets his way, its hand will be forced and $8 billion will go toward reducing its outstanding share count.

Harry J. Wilson, a former hedge-fund executive who helped usher GM through a government-led restructuring that ultimately cost taxpayers about $10 billion, has emerged as one of the auto maker’s chief antagonists. Mr. Wilson, who holds GM shares and represents hedge funds collectively holding more than 34 million shares, nominated himself as a GM board candidate and wants the nation’s largest car maker to spend on buybacks.

Mr. Wilson’s move is the latest challenge to hit America’s biggest companies. Activists have collected record amounts of cash to launch campaigns against blue chips including Procter & Gamble Co., DuPont Co. and even Apple Inc. As for GM, the company says it has had regular contact with Mr. Wilson’s group and would evaluate him as a board nominee, making a recommendation “based on the best interest of all shareholders.”

What really caused the financial crisis beginning in 2007 ---

Jensen Comment
The above article (blaming government regulation) is wrong, and most other articles (blaming Wall Street) on this topic are wrong.

The primary cause of the financial crisis was fraud on Main Street. This fraud was enabled by letting Main Street banks and other mortgage lending companies to make high risk (often subprime) mortgage loans and sell them to Fannie, Freddie, and Wall Street banks without retaining any of the bad debt (default) risk. This encouraged reckless lending and outright fraud (e.g., property appraisal fraud). One of the best examples is how a woman on welfare got a $100,000+ mortgage on a $10,000 shack ---

Marvene is a poor and unemployed elderly woman who lost her shack to foreclosure in 2008.
That's after Marvene stole over $100,000 when she refinanced her $10,000 (current value) shack with a subprime mortgage in 2007.
Marvene wants to steal some more or at least get her shack back for free.
Both the Executive and Congressional branches of the U.S. Government want to give more to poor Marvene.
Why don't I feel the least bit sorry for poor Marvene?
Somehow I don't think she was the victim of unscrupulous mortgage brokers and property value appraisers.
More than likely she was a co-conspirator in need of $75,000 just to pay creditors bearing down in 2007.
She purchased the shack for $3,500 about 40 years ago --- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123093614987850083.html

Wall Street investment banks like Lehman Bros and various others exacerbated the fraud by slicing and dicing the financial risk of these subprime loans into collateralized (CDO) bonds on the basis of a flawed Gaussian copula formula.

Can the 2008 investment banking failure be traced to a math error?
Recipe for Disaster:  The Formula That Killed Wall Street --- http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-03/wp_quant?currentPage=all
Link forwarded by Jim Mahar ---

Some highlights:

"For five years, Li's formula, known as a Gaussian copula function, looked like an unambiguously positive breakthrough, a piece of financial technology that allowed hugely complex risks to be modeled with more ease and accuracy than ever before. With his brilliant spark of mathematical legerdemain, Li made it possible for traders to sell vast quantities of new securities, expanding financial markets to unimaginable levels.

His method was adopted by everybody from bond investors and Wall Street banks to ratings agencies and regulators. And it became so deeply entrenched—and was making people so much money—that warnings about its limitations were largely ignored.

Then the model fell apart." The article goes on to show that correlations are at the heart of the problem.

"The reason that ratings agencies and investors felt so safe with the triple-A tranches was that they believed there was no way hundreds of homeowners would all default on their loans at the same time. One person might lose his job, another might fall ill. But those are individual calamities that don't affect the mortgage pool much as a whole: Everybody else is still making their payments on time.

But not all calamities are individual, and tranching still hadn't solved all the problems of mortgage-pool risk. Some things, like falling house prices, affect a large number of people at once. If home values in your neighborhood decline and you lose some of your equity, there's a good chance your neighbors will lose theirs as well. If, as a result, you default on your mortgage, there's a higher probability they will default, too. That's called correlation—the degree to which one variable moves in line with another—and measuring it is an important part of determining how risky mortgage bonds are."

I would highly recommend reading the entire thing that gets much more involved with the actual formula etc.

The “math error” might truly be have been an error or it might have simply been a gamble with what was perceived as miniscule odds of total market failure. Something similar happened in the case of the trillion-dollar disastrous 1993 collapse of Long Term Capital Management formed by Nobel Prize winning economists and their doctoral students who took similar gambles that ignored the “miniscule odds” of world market collapse -- -

The rhetorical question
is whether the failure is ignorance in model building or risk taking using the model?

Bob Jensen's threads on the economic collapse and subsequent bailout ---

The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups ---

Jensen Comment
Why not fully cooperate and put an end to this saga before the 2016 elections? Continued resistance and Lerner's unwillingness to testify under oath just makes it repeated guilt by noncooperation.

How to Mislead With Statistics
The Net Worth Of The American Presidents: Washington To Obama
--- Click Here

Jensen Comment
I don't see how comparisons across over 300 years of vastly different economies are anything but misleading even if an attempt is made to adjust for changes in the purchasing power of the dollar. Inflation adjustments entail defining a market basket of goods and services, but there is no way to compare market baskets over such a long period of time. For example, For example, our earliest presidents bought and used slaves in their baskets. Modern day presidents have many goods and services in their baskets that did not exist 300+ years ago.

There's also a question of timing since wealth varies so much before, during, and after the presidency. For example, read the Bill Clinton module. Then read the George W. Bush module. The summary makes Bill Clinton look much more wealthy than Bush, but before and during their presidencies this was most certainly not the case. Clinton became very wealthy after the presidency.

There's also the question of how to compare the rather generous lifetime pensions of later-year presidents like with William Henry Harrison who "died penniless" versus Barack Obama who will have a generous pension for as long as he lives.

There's a question of whether a president's net worth can be separated from that of his spouse. William McKinley is a good example in terms of inherited wealth. If you combine what Bill Clinton earned after his terms in office with that of his wife Hillary you perhaps more than double the wealth shown for Bill Clinton in this study.

There's much mystery surrounding how some presidents became wealthy. For example, LBJ died having nearly $100 million after being born dirt poor and having only drawn a paycheck from taxpayers his entire life.

The study does attempt to distinguish presidents that were born wealthy are were part of family dynasties of great wealth such as the family of JFK versus Bill Clinton who started with no rich daddy.

Perhaps comparisons can be made across shorter intervals of time such as comparing the wealth of George Washington with John Adams or comparing the wealth of Barack Obama with Bill Clinton. But I would not try to compare the wealth of John Adams versus Barack Obama.

In conclusion the study does allow for very broad comparisons such as comparing the lifetime wealth of Woodrow Wilson (relatively poor) to the lifetime wealth of Teddy Roosevelt (quite wealthy). But when it comes to finer comparisons such as comparing the wealth of Jimmy Carter with William Henry Harrison forget it --- you are comparing peanuts with land values that are very hard to estimate in terms of 21st Century land valuations.

Jensen Comment
Any course that studies leadership should probably have a module on Kim Jong Un.

What things are Kim Jong Un quite good at?
"Understanding Kim Jong Un, The World’s Most Enigmatic and Unpredictable Dictator," by Mark Bowden, Vanity Fair, March 2015 ---

Everyone knows that North Korea’s leader is a bloodthirsty madman and buffoon—or is he really? Mark Bowden digs into the hard facts for an unusual portrait.

oes anyone make an easier target than Kim Jong Un? He’s Fatboy Kim the Third, the North Korean tyrant with a Fred Flintstone haircut—the grinning, chain-smoking owner of his own small nuclear arsenal, brutal warden to about 120,000 political prisoners, and effectively one of the last pure hereditary absolute monarchs on the planet. He is the Marshal of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Great Successor, and the Sun of the 21st Century. At age 32 the Supreme Leader owns the longest list of excessive honorifics anywhere, every one of them unearned. He is the youngest head of state in the world and probably the most spoiled. On the great grade-school playground of foreign affairs, he might as well be wearing across his broad bottom a big KICK ME sign. Kim is so easy to kick that the United Nations, which famously agrees on nothing, voted overwhelmingly in November to recommend that he and the rest of North Korea’s leadership be hauled before the International Criminal Court, in The Hague, and tried for crimes against humanity. He has been in power for a little more than three years.

In the world press, Kim is a bloodthirsty madman and buffoon. He is said to be a drunk, to have become so obese gorging on Swiss cheese that he can no longer see his genitals, and to have resorted to bizarre remedies for impotence, such as a distillation from snake venom. He is said to have had his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, and the entire Jang family mowed down by heavy machine guns (or possibly exterminated with mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, or flamethrowers), or to have had them fed live to ravenous dogs. He is reported to have a yen for bondage porn and to have ordered all young men in his country to adopt his peculiar hairstyle. It is said that he has had former girlfriends executed.

All of the above is untrue—or, perhaps safer to say, unfounded. The Jang-fed-to-dogs story was actually invented by a Chinese satirical newspaper, as a joke, before it began racing around the world as a viral version of truth. (And to be sure, he did send Uncle Jang to his death.) It says something about Kim that people will believe almost anything, the more outrageous the better. In light of this, is it worth considering that the conventional take on Kim Jong Un does not come close to providing an accurate picture?

What if, despite the well-documented horrors of the Stalinist regime he inherited in 2011, while still in his 20s, Kim has ambitions at home that one might be tempted to describe—within carefully defined limits—as well intentioned? What if, against terrific odds, he hopes to improve the lives of his subjects and alter North Korea’s relationship with the rest of the world?

There is no shortage of evidence to the contrary—evidence, namely, that Kim is little more than a bad, and erratic, approximation of his canny father. Kim has continued his father’s military-first policies: the same saber rattling and shrill denunciations come screaming out of Pyongyang, the same emphasis on building nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the same unabashed political oppression. For years, North Korea has engaged in what experts in Washington have called “a provocation cycle”—ramping up provocative behavior, such as launching missiles or conducting nuclear tests, followed by charm offensives and offers to begin a dialogue. Under Kim Jong Un, the provocation cycle continues to spin dangerously. When Sony Pictures suffered a damaging and embarrassing breach of its internal computer network weeks before the scheduled December release of the comedy The Interview, little prompting was needed before fingers started pointing at Pyongyang. In the movie, Seth Rogen and James Franco play Americans who land an interview with Kim and then are enlisted by the C.I.A. to try to assassinate him. Earlier, in June, North Korea had promised to unleash a “merciless countermeasure” should the film be shown.

Whatever his true character, Kim faces a problem peculiar to dictators. His power in North Korea is so great that not only does no one dare criticize him, no one dares advise him. If you are too closely associated with the king, your head might someday share the same chopping block. Safer to adopt a “Yes, Marshal” approach. That way, if the king stumbles, you are simply among the countless legion who were obliged to obey his orders. One way to read the confusing signals from Pyongyang in recent years is that they show Kim, isolated and inexperienced, clumsily pulling at the levers of state.

Kim is, in fact, playing a deadly game, says Andrei Lankov, a Russian expert on Korea who attended Kim Il Sung University, in Pyongyang, in 1984 and 1985, and now teaches at Kookmin University, in Seoul. “He has had a spoiled, privileged childhood, not that different than the children of some Western billionaires, for whom the worst thing that can happen is that you will be arrested while driving under the influence. For Kim, the worst that can actually happen is to be tortured to death by a lynch mob. Easily. But he doesn’t understand. His parents understood it. They knew it was a deadly game. I’m not sure whether Kim fully understands it.” Running with the Bulls

We’re not even sure how old he is. Kim was born on January 8 in 1982, 1983, or 1984. To tidy up their historical narrative, Pyongyang’s propagandists have placed his birthday in 1982. The original Kim, the current leader’s grandfather and national founder, Kim Il Sung, for whom universal reverence is mandatory, was born in 1912. As the story goes, in 1942 his son and heir, Kim Jong Il, came along; for this second Kim, a slightly lesser wattage of reverence is mandatory. In truth, Kim II was born in 1941, but in North Korea myth trumps fact to an even greater extent than elsewhere, and numeric symmetry hints at destiny, like a divine wink. That is why 1982 was seen to be an auspicious year for the birth of Kim III. For reasons of their own, South Korean intelligence agencies, which have a long history of being wrong about their northern cousins, have placed his birthday in the Orwellian year 1984. Kim himself, who occasionally shows magisterial disdain for the slavish adulation of his underlings, has said that he was born in 1983—this according to the American statesman, rebounder, and cross-dresser Dennis Rodman, who had been drinking heavily when he met Kim, in 2014 (and who shortly afterward went into rehab). Whichever date is correct, the Sun of the 21st Century has walked among us for three decades.

What do we know for sure about those years? About enough to fill one long paragraph. We know that Kim is the third and youngest son of his father, and the second-born son of Kim II’s second mistress, Ko Young Hee. In the last half of the 1990s, he was sent to two different schools in Switzerland, where his mother was secretly being treated for breast cancer, ultimately to no avail. The first of these was the International School of Berne, in Gümligen, and the second was the Liebefeld Steinhölzli school, near Bern. At the latter, he was introduced to his teenage classmates as “Un Pak,” the son of a North Korean diplomat. His classmates remember him on his first day of upper school, a skinny boy dressed in jeans, Nike trainers, and a Chicago Bulls sweatshirt. He understandably struggled in classes taught in German and English. He was undistinguished academically, and apparently unbothered by it. He is remembered as having been fond of video games, soccer, skiing, basketball (in which he was able to hold his own on the court), and those Bulls, who were in the process of winning the last three of their six N.B.A. championships behind Michael Jordan, one of Kim’s heroes. In 2000, he returned to Pyongyang, where he attended the military academy that bears his grandfather’s name. At some point, around 2009, Kim II decided that Kim Jong Un’s older brothers were unsuited for leadership, and he selected the youngest son as his heir. At about this time, Kim III began putting on weight—literally and figuratively. Some believe that in order to more closely resemble his revered grandfather, whom he resembles anyway, he was “encouraged,” or ordered, to do so. He assumed power when Kim II died, in December 2011, and at around the same time he was wed, in an arranged marriage, to Ri Sol Ju, a former cheerleader and singer about five years his junior. He is said to be genuinely in love with his wife. The Kims have a daughter, whose birth is believed to have been induced so that she would be born in 2012 rather than 2013. Mrs. Kim is often seen with her husband in public, a clear departure from his father’s practice. Kim II’s women were usually kept offstage. (A notorious womanizer, he was known to be officially married once and kept at least four known mistresses.) Kim stands five feet nine inches, taller than most North Koreans, and his bulk is now estimated to be upwards of 210 pounds. He already shows signs of the heart problems that killed his father, and also possibly of diabetes, and seems to regard modern notions of healthy living as Western nonsense. He openly chain-smokes North Korean cigarettes (unlike his father, who smoked Marlboros), drinks a lot of beer and hard liquor, and evidently approaches mealtimes with gusto. There is no picture of him jogging.

. . .

alk-show comedians and the tabloid press may delight in mocking Kim, but many of those who watch him closely are actually impressed. What are the things a dictator needs to be good at? You need to manage the system—the party structure, the military, the economy, and the security forces—in such a way that your people remain loyal. This is done by adopting policies that bring prosperity, if not to everyone, then to at least enough people; by artfully elevating those most loyal and able; and by demoting the able but disloyal. Threats to your power must be eliminated ruthlessly.

A dictator needs to know how to present himself in public, and at this, Kim III already excels. He has a deep voice and is a capable public speaker. “I have noticed in my viewing of him that he moves well as a politician,” says Bill Richardson. “He is a lot better than his father. He smiles. Goes and shakes people’s hands.” Daniel Pinkston, a deputy project director for the International Crisis Group, who studies North Korea closely, says, “I do not like dictatorships, but as far as being a dictator—given that system, and what type of person is needed to manage it, maintain it, and sustain it—he is a great dictator.”

A great dictator must offer more than an impressive voice and posture. He must be decisive and instill fear. In his first three years, Kim has removed the two men who posed the most serious risk to his rule. The first to go was Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho, chief of the general staff of the Korean People’s Army and a member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party. Ri had been close to Kim II and had direct responsibility for protecting Pyongyang and, perhaps more important, the Kim family. He had been one of the stars of his generation. In July 2012, Kim III called a rare Sunday meeting of the Workers’ Party Central Committee politburo and abruptly stripped Ri of his duties. It was the first sure sign that Kim planned to run the show himself. After Kim’s purging, Ri vanished. His ultimate fate is unknown, but no one is expecting him back.

The second threat was Uncle Jang, who, being a family member and a far more powerful figure than even Ri, was far more emphatically dumped. Kim made a public show this time, demonstrating a more impulsive flair in such matters than his father, who was content to shoot errant generals quietly, to imprison them, or retire them to rural estates. The fall of Jang harked back to the old Soviet show trials and the flamboyant excesses of Saddam Hussein, who liked to get up onstage with a fat cigar before his assembled leadership and personally point out those who were to be taken from the hall and shot.

What exactly was Kim up to? It was crucial to clean house in the military, replacing older leaders loyal to his father with those primarily loyal to him, many of them younger men. This not only ensured that the military’s commanders were beholden to him but also infused the old Cold War-era ranks with more modern thinking and less resistance to change.

He has also initiated sweeping economic reforms. His father was leaning toward some of these in his later years, but the changes have been so aggressive that the prime mover behind them must be Kim himself. Most are designed to build North Korea’s economy on money, which seems an almost silly thing to say, since economies are by definition about money. Not in North Korea. In the nation’s past, the only path to prosperity was ideological purity. If you lived in a better apartment, drove a nicer car, and were permitted to live in the relatively affluent districts of Pyongyang, it meant you had the approval of the regime. Increasingly, North Koreans can better their lot by earning more money, as is the case throughout the world. Managers of factories and shops have been given financial incentives to do better. Success means they can pay their workers and themselves more. Kim has pushed for the development of special economic zones in every province of the country, with the aim of setting up internal competition and rewards, so that the fruits of success in one area no longer must be fully returned to the state. It is part of a general effort to kick-start productivity.

In the agricultural sector, Kim has also implemented reforms that have proved surprisingly effective. “He decided to do what his father was deadly afraid of doing,” says Andrei Lankov, the Russian Korea expert. “He allowed farmers to keep part of the harvest. Farmers are not working now as, essentially, slaves on a plantation. Technically, the field is still state property, but as a farming family you can register yourself as a ‘production team.’ And you will be working on the same field for a few years in a row. You keep 30 percent of the harvest for yourself. And this year, according to the first unconfirmed reports, it will be between 40 and 60 percent that will go to the farmers. So they are not slaves anymore, they are sharecroppers.”

There was no dramatic announcement of the change in policy, and few have noticed the turnaround. Chronic malnutrition remains a problem. But in 2013, according to Lankov, for the first time in about 25 years North Korea harvested almost enough food to feed its population.

. . .

The strangest of Kim’s recent overtures was the Dennis Rodman episode. The meeting is certainly the most significant contact any group of Americans has had with North Korea since Kim assumed power. It was conceived as a stunt by Shane Smith, the bearded, tattooed co-founder and C.E.O. of Vice Media, the highly successful and offbeat news-and-entertainment company. A few years ago, Smith proposed to his staff that they figure out a way to get back to North Korea. Various approaches were kicked around before it was decided to try to exploit Kim’s fascination with Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Vice contacted Jordan’s representatives, proposing to fly him to Pyongyang with their crew, and were met with a combination of disbelief and silence.

“We had thrown out the idea of Dennis Rodman as [laughter here] a gay, very crazy idea,” says Jason Mojica, at the time a Vice producer and now editor in chief of Vice News. “And then someone who kind of overheard here just literally got in touch with his agent.” The agent conveyed that his client was generally keen on anything to make a buck—he had recently appeared at a dental convention—and so Rodman was enlisted. They had a Chicago Bull.

“He did great,” says Mojica.

With his colored hair, his piercings, and his tattoos, and with his flamboyantly ill-defined sexuality (he wore a wedding dress to promote his 1996 autobiography) and his reputation for substance abuse, Rodman might be considered a poster child for capitalist libertine decadence. A less likely ambassador to North Korea cannot be imagined. But his name opened doors magically. Vice proposed that Rodman lead a basketball camp for kids, if possible with the help of other pro basketball players. These turned out to be three of the Harlem Globetrotters, adding to the surreal character of the event. The highlight of the visit would be an exhibition basketball game between two mixed teams made up of the Americans and the North Koreans. “We kind of expected that it would be held in some run-down gymnasium with like 80 to 100 little kids, and that the game would just be this little thing that we really did just for the cameras,” says Mojica. As part of their overture, the group from Vice did mention that they would love to meet with Kim Jong Un: “Waves, hello, maybe we can shake his hand before he disappears. But we never expected it to actually happen.”

Certainly not the way it did. The proposal was accepted, and Rodman flew to Pyongyang in February 2013 with the Globetrotters and the Vice crew. Along for the ride (and for his language skills) was Mark Barthelemy, an old friend of Mojica’s—they both attended college in Chicago in the 1990s and played in bands. Barthelemy developed a lifelong interest in Korea—he calls it an “obsession”—learning the language and living in Seoul for six years, working mostly as a stock-market analyst. Mojica wanted someone along whom he trusted and who understood the language.

The visiting Americans were given the full Potemkin—touring a new shopping mall, a fitness center, a dolphin show, the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun. The group was shocked when, on the day of the exhibition game, instead of being led into a run-down gymnasium, they were escorted into an arena more like Madison Square Garden, packed to the rafters with North Koreans.

“We were quickly setting up, and all of a sudden that roar happened, and that was our first indication that Kim Jong Un was there,” says Mojica. “And it was incredibly shocking—I could not believe it.”

The moment was captured in the episode Vice filmed of the trip for HBO. The crowd of uniformly dressed spectators rises as one and begins thunderous cheering and clapping. Then the camera turns to view Mr. and Mrs. Kim.

“I was just walking around the sideline of the court shooting pictures and then suddenly I see people just stand up and start screaming,” Barthelemy recalls. “He walked in and sat down, and then Rodman went over to sit next to him, and the atmosphere in the place was electric for a moment and then just very aware … You could feel everyone watching.” As translators hovered, Rodman sat and chatted with the Supreme Leader during the event.

After the game, the Americans were invited to a reception. There was an open bar, at which Mojica ordered a scotch. “There is kind of a receiving line, kind of like a wedding reception,” Mojica recalls. “So then I turned and immediately the very first person in the line is Kim Jong Un. Like right to my right, and I am like, Oh shit! So I put this glass of scotch down, and I go over, and suddenly the cameras are flashing, and I have my Saddam-Rumsfeld moment. So it was kind of like: here is my handshake photo with the evil dictator that will come back to haunt me years later.”

When Mojica took his seat at the assigned table, a waiter brought his discarded drink back and then set down a full bottle of scotch. The meal was lubricated with toasts, and at one point Mojica was pulled forward by Rodman, who held out the mike to him. Mojica had prepared brief remarks in advance, so they could be screened by one of the North Korean minders. So he stood with a microphone in one hand and a full tumbler of scotch in the other. He told the room that the most difficult part of the trip had been trying to get Rodman, the N.B.A.’s onetime bad boy, to get along with the Globetrotters, who were like Boy Scouts. “And I think that we have done that,” Mojica said, “and therefore it proves that anything is possible, even world peace!”

There was laughter and cheering, first from the Americans, and then, moments later, from the North Koreans, as his words were translated. Mojica lifted his glass to Kim, took a sip of the scotch, and went to put the microphone down. Then he heard a voice yelling at him from across the head table. He looked up and realized that it was Kim, sitting on the edge of his chair, shouting and gesticulating with a raised left hand. Mojica was confused. Then Kim’s translator shouted the Supreme Leader’s words in English: “Bottoms up! You have to finish your drink!”

Mojica looked down at the giant glass of brown fluid. This was clearly a command performance. “I am a guest, so I am going to do it,” he says. “So I finished—kind of guzzled this drink—and when I finish, my head is kind of spinning.” He reached back for the microphone and spoke again, amazing himself as the words came out of his mouth: “If we keep it up at this rate, I will be naked by the end of the evening.”

Some of the women in the audience looked aghast. There was silence as the remarks were relayed to Kim in translation. “He is sitting there kind of like on the edge of his seat with his mouth open and eyes wide,” Mojica recalls. “And he is like, listening, listening, and nodding and nodding, and then he is like, Oooh!, slapping the table, and everyone laughs with a great relief.”

Mojica says his memory grows foggy from that point on. He remembers a North Korean all-girl rock band revving up the theme music from Dallas, and then Rocky. One of the American group’s translators got up onstage and played the saxophone. Things got a little out of hand. There was crazy dancing. A friend of Rodman’s got into a drunken fight with someone in the Globetrotters’ entourage. One of the North Korean hosts went over to Mojica with a message from Rodman. “He suggested that we may want to chill out a little bit,” he says. It was alarming. Things had apparently drifted further out of hand than the producer had thought. How many people can say that they were told by Dennis Rodman at a party to tone things down?

At one point in the evening, before things got too hazy, Mojica remembered, he stared at Kim for a long time because “he was right there.” Sitting just 12 feet away, Mojica tried to take in every detail, knowing how rare it was for an American to get such a close look at Kim Jong Un. The Supreme Leader seemed perfectly relaxed. Not at all drunk. Friendly. Smiling. Fat. Interacting with his guests, though in a very formal way. It was hard for Mojica to believe that this young man was, in this place, completely, utterly, in a way most Americans cannot fully comprehend, in charge.


Jensen Comment
For the spectrum of management theory and leadership these are two useful links:

Great Minds in Management:  The Process of Theory Development ---

Mike Kearl's great social theory site
Go to http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/theory02.htm#Kearl

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on February 17, 2014

A nine-month workers dispute that has hamstrung West Coast port activity is starting to bite into business sectors across the U.S. and beyond. The standoff between the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents port employers, and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union saw ships remain unloaded over the holiday weekend. The White House announced Saturday that Labor Secretary Tom Perez will meet with both parties on Tuesday.

In the meantime, the economic cost of the dispute is mounting, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Agriculture Transportation Coalition estimates that port delays and congestion have reduced U.S. agricultural exports by $1.75 billion a month, while the North American Meat Institute put losses to U.S. meat and poultry producers at more than $85 million a week. For retailers, the rerouting and carrying costs and other expenses could bring the industry’s total costs to $7 billion this year, according to analysis by consulting firm Kurt Salmon.

The port delays also are causing problems for auto makers. On Monday, Honda Motor Co. said it was experiencing parts shortages at plants in Ohio, Indiana and Canada that will affect its production on multiple days over the next week. Small-business owners with limited inventory to cover sales are also being pummeled.

From the CFO Journal's Morning Ledger on February 23, 2014

SEC Commissioner Aguilar critiques agency with sharp edge ---
Luis Aguilar, the longest-serving commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission laid into the agency on Friday, CFO Journal’s Maxwell Murphy reports. Among his complaints to the audience at the Practising Law Institute’s SEC Speaks conference in Washington, D.C., Mr. Aguilar lamented the SEC’s slow progress on implementing Dodd-Frank reforms, and a dearth of bans on officers and directors that have committed fraud.

Bob Jensen's Fraud Updates ---

"On the Impossibility of Fighting ISIS," by James Fallows, The Atlantic, February 15, 2015 ---

"I have come to the conclusion that there is no military solution to this issue that can be generated by the U.S. But I believe there is a political solution." How to think about the next war, as we consider getting into it.

. . .

I simply do not understand our strategy, assuming we really have one. If our goal is defeating ISIS's ideology and its support of international terrorism this cannot be done by indirect fire, PERIOD! If [conclusive defeat] is our objective we only have limited choices: either military control of 25 million Syrian/Iraqi Sunnis, which will require a sustained force of 500,000 for decades; or creating conditions whereby the majority of Sunni Arabs will see it in their self interest to subjugate the ideological minority.

If our objective is simply to maintain the borders set by colonial powers in 1919, then air power alone will suffice. But the inevitable result will be Shia control of Syria and Iraq and a strengthening of ISIS ideology and terrorism.

The use of air power is our only feasible military option, but using air power to liberate urban areas, like Mosul means destroying them! That will only create more enemies.

I have come to the conclusion that there is no military solution to this issue that can be generated by the U.S. But I believe there is a political solution.

We have to give the Sunnis reason to reject ISIS. That would entail having the U.S. come out against the Sykes-Picot borders, supporting a break-up of Iraq into Kurdish, Shia, and Sunni countries, incorporating most of Syria, while simultaneously and carefully decimating ISIS leadership. I simply cannot understand why it is in the strategic interest of the U.S. to maintain current Middle Eastern borders, which are unsustainable. I see our current approach as guaranteed to fail.

Terrorism is murder, whether it is in Paris, Copenhagen, or any U.S. town. Every day about 70 Americans are murdered, most by guns. Unless the victims are famous or cute most are ignored by the media. But a minor terrorist attack gets headlines. A YouTube video of a beheading forces the U.S. president to go to " war" in order to avoid being called weak by his domestic political opposition. That's not leadership! Worse, the so-called hawks push for deeper involvement irrespective of military reality. They live in a fantasy world of U.S. military exceptionalism.

To me the issue is not whether we would be better served if the A-10 were being properly employed. Obviously we would be! Ditto [other military-reform concepts], which have always made sense to me. To me the issue is strategy ... and as I see it our use of force is currently counterproductive.

In Gaza the IDF has been able to assassinate Hamas leaders sometimes layers deep. So what! The occupants of Gaza have seen their society all but ripped apart, and they continue to support Hamas. If 125,000 were still employed in Israel instead of Asians I wonder how much support Hamas would have?

If I were a Sunni Arab I would know that when the Syrian Alawite (Shia) used poison gas the U.S. did nothing although thousands were massacred. Yet when two Americans were murdered we bombed Sunnis ... and then we expect Sunnis to love the U.S.

We have got caught up in tactics, and strategy has been caught up in domestic politics. Military reality is nowhere to be found.

I am profoundly worried.

A central argument of my "Tragedy of the American Military" article was that because Americans "honor" their military but don't really take it seriously, we repeatedly send our forces on missions at which they're destined to fail.

The "easy" part of dealing with ISIS is agreeing on its horror. The difficult part is thinking ahead five steps, about what the use of military power can and cannot do. Wood's reporting and Brower's military analysis are valuable steps in that direction.

Jensen Comment

The title of this article is a misleading. It suggests that there is no way to defeat the ISIS army with any kind of military action. The best way to defeat it is political according to the author but a viable political solution is never proposed by James Fellows. Instead the author proposes doing what we are doing now --- containing the ISIS army with (so what's new?) military action.

James Fellows never defines what we mean by "defeating ISIS."
If he means defeating the current ISIS army in the field then he's clearly mistaken. If he means defeating ISIS exportation of terror then  he's correct, but ISIS has never shown that it is better at exportation of terror than other terror organizations that are not subordinating themselves to ISIS. I remind you that Iran is fighting ISIS rather than bowing toward the ISIS military might.

Terror will never be defeated because lone wolf bands of terrorists, including vicious nut cases who are suicidal, can easily get their hands on weapons of terror on a small scale. Our worry is that small bands of terrorists may one day conduct more serious terror acts like destroying power grids, water supplies, food supplies, etc. in biological and chemical warfare where small bands of antagonists have big weapons.

In my opinion defeating the ISIS army  is possible (I think James Fellows agrees) in the short term or the long term depending upon when how quickly and how seriously the ISIS army becomes a threat to the West. Osama Bin Laden made a huge mistake killing over 3,000 people in one day in NYC. Such an act of terror would spell the doom of the ISIS army in a short time in spite of what James Fallows argues --- if he means that it's "impossible to defeat" the ISIS army in battle. Defeating ISIS is simply a matter of deciding how many innocent people the world powers are willing to take out in the process. After the Twin Towers imploded we carpet bombed Afghanistan. At the moment we're obsessed not carpet bombing ISIS in fear of taking out too many civilians. If ISIS should ever take out 3,000 civilians in the USA or Europe in one day the powers of the West will return the favor on every inch of land ISIS thinks it controls whether or not each ISIS fighter is hiding behind a civilian.

James Fellows is correct in that it most likely is impossible to stop terror by enemies that will never surrender
It may well be impossible to defeat anarchist terror in terms of stopping never-ending worldwide small acts of terror such as blowing up airplanes, suicide bombings, etc. That tactic is unstoppable and therein lies the problem for terrorist states like ISIS and Iran. All that needs to be done is to return the favor so to speak so that unstoppable terror against terrorists prevents terrorists from collecting their prize of world domination. Israel repeatedly demonstrates how to repeat the favor with such small acts of inhumanity necessary to achieve a temporary truce.

What is not clear is why ISIS will emerge as the leading terrorist organization among all of the contenders to terror activities.
ISIS is fighting a fairly traditional battle in the field where it's bound to lose. The allied forces against it are currently fighting a slow but methodical war of destroying the logistics of supplying ISIS fighters. The Napoleonic expansionist strategy of the ISIS army will be defeated the same way Napoleon was defeated --- because of having to supply a front lines with food, clothing, sex, medicine, weapons, ammunition, etc. Napoleon's  battlefield warfare is a losing strategy for ISIS.

I'm in full agreement with James Fellows that it's impossible to defeat anarchists who will never surrender.
Islam cannot defeat anarchists. Western powers cannot end anarchist terrorism. Either such terrorism becomes a way of life (as in Israel) or we control it with Orwellian losses of freedoms (as in North Korea) that we prize so dearly.

My criticism of James Fellows is that he proposes that there is a "political solution" without providing even a hint of what that solution might be. The fact of the matter is that there is no political solution short of having Big Brother watching every move of every person on earth.

And if Putin keeps waving his nuclear arm there may not be many people left for Big Brother to watch. And who knows what might happen if North Korea or Pakistan sell out to Hitler-like terrorist states that are willing to destroy the world in a temper tantrum? Or might they themselves become ruled by insanity as bad as the Third Reich? We should always know where to find Dennis Rodman in case of a crisis.

"Latin America's progress has stopped," The Economist, February 21, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
There's not much hope when the most flourishing business is crime, including selling of dangerous one-way tickets sneak into the USA.

Paul Krugman Asserts Obamacare is a Roaring Success --- No Major Problems With I

From DakirSmith comment at

Problems with obamacare:

1. Sky high deductibles compared to pre-ACA.

2. Sky high out of pocket maximums for OUT OF NETWORK. Several plans I looked at were $12,700 max. out of pocket for individuals $25,000 for a family. How many know your doctor at an in network hospital can be out of network? (Didn't think so.)

3. Subsidies. Wealth redistribution 101! Paid directly from the treasury? I thought it was a tax? Corporate wealthfare!

4. High coinsurance.

5. Mostly HMOs.

6. Estimated 26 million will get obamacare exemptions and 4 million still can't afford health insurance under ACA. That is 30 million. SAME AS BEFORE ACA!

7. How many have thousands saved to cover the out of pocket limits or deductibles? Government backed loans coming soon. Just like student loans. Welcome to more debt.

8. It's not paid for. 18 trillion in debt and we hand out a new entitlement? We haven't covered SS or Medicare yet.

9. Many working poor can't get subsidies - income too low and are forced into Medicaid they don't want.

10. Many obamacare co-ops are bankrupt.

11. It's racist and discriminatory. Higher income - typically whites get better options platinum and gold plans with lower out of pocket and deductibles while low income - typically minorities get bronze or silver with sky high maxs.

12. Why different metal levels? If we are all equal shouldn't we all have the same insurance and pay the same for it???

Jensen Comment

A $5,000+ surprise from the IRS?
"The ObamaCare Burden Some Americans are in for an especially bad tax season," by James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2015 ---

. . .

“Janice Riddle got a nasty surprise when she filled out her tax return this year,” CNN.com reports:

The Los Angeles resident had applied for Obamacare in late 2013, when she was unemployed. She qualified for a hefty subsidy of $470 a month, leaving her with a monthly premium of $1 for the cheapest plan available.
Riddle landed a job in early 2014 at a life insurance agency, but since her new employer didn’t offer health benefits, she kept her Obamacare plan. However, she didn’t update her income with the California exchange, which she acknowledges was her mistake.
Now, she has to pay back the entire subsidy, which is forcing her to dip into her savings.
“I was blindsided that the subsidy has to be paid back,” said Riddle, adding she didn’t even use the coverage, which she had until she qualified for Medicare in October. “I’m in shock . . . but I have no choice. Do I want to argue with the IRS or the Obama administration?”

CNN reports that “between 4.5 million and 7.5 million taxpayers received subsidies,” and an earlier CNN report cites an H&R Block estimate that 3.4 million of them will end up owing the IRS money on the deal. Of course taxpayers who overestimated their income and thus underestimated their subsidies will be due a refund—but one suspects those with an unanticipated income squeeze were likelier to drop their insurance during the year, which means that in some cases they’ll owe the mandate tax.

Another Oops from HealthCare.gov
The Obama administration revealed Friday that it sent about 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers a tax form containing the wrong information, and asked them to hold off on filing their tax returns --- Click Here

Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Jensen Comment
Price Fixing generally leads to one of more of these three unhappy events":

  1. Reduction in quality of service such as bait and switch substitution of physicians assistants for MDs in general practitioner offices
  2. Shortage of goods and services such as the empty shelves in Venezuela
  3. Soaring black market prices such as the $700 condom packets in Venezuela

For USA for persons covered by ACA insurance, prices of physician services were fixed relatively low in order to both reduce the premium subsidies and keep premium rates affordable, because higher premiums more and more people would opt out of coverage.

"How Obamacare Is Ruining Health Insurance," by John C. Goodman, Forbes, February 11, 2015 ---

The health insurance market is changing. And the changes are not good. Even before there was Obamacare, most insurers most of the time had perverse incentives to attract the healthy and avoid the sick. But now that the Affordable Care Act has completely changed the nature of the market, the perverse incentives are worse than ever.

Writing in Sunday’s New York Times Elizabeth Rosenthal gives these examples:

But aren’t these insurers worried that if they mistreat their customers, their enrollees will move to some other plan? Here’s the rarely told secret about health insurance in the Obamacare exchanges: insurers don’t care if heavy users of medical care go to some other plan. Getting rid of high-cost enrollees is actually good for the bottom line.

To appreciate how different health insurance has become, let’s compare it to the kind of casualty insurance people buy for their home or their cars.

Dennis Haysbert is the actor I remember best for playing the president of the United States in the Jack Bauer series, 24.  You probably know him better as the spokesman for Allstate. In one commercial he is standing in front of a town that looks like it has been demolished by a tornado. “It took only two minutes for this town to be destroyed,” he says. And he ends by asking “Are you in good hands?”

The point of the commercial is self-evident. Casualty insurers know you don’t care about insurance until something bad happens. And the way they are pitching their products is: Once the bad thing happens, we are going to take care of you.

Virtually all casualty insurance advertisements carry this message, explicitly or implicitly. Nationwide used to run a commercial in which all kinds of catastrophes were caused by a Dennis-the-Menace type kid. In a State Farm ad, a baseball comes crashing through a living room window. Nationwide’s “Life comes at you fast” series features all kinds of misadventures. And of course, the Aflac commercials are all about unexpected mishaps.

My favorite casualty insurer print ad is sponsored by Chubb. It features a man fishing in a small boat with his back turned to a catastrophe. He is about to go over what looks like Niagara Falls. Here’s the cutline: “Who insures you doesn’t matter. Until it does.”

Now let’s compare those messages to what we see in the health insurance exchange. Federal employees have been obtaining insurance in an exchange, similar to the Obamacare exchanges, for several decades. Every fall, during “open enrollment,” they select from among a dozen or so competing heath plans. In Washington, DC where the market is huge, insurers try to attract customers by running commercials on TV, in print and in other venues.

Continued in article

The Case Against Obamacare: An eBook From Forbes
Don’t be fooled. The new health law has disrupted coverage for millions, and driven up costs for millions more.

MediCal is California's Version of Medicaid free medical services for poor people. MedicCal also has a price-fixing program that is preventing many doctors and hospitals from providing services to patients insured by MediCal. This is an example of where price fixing either results in either having no goods and services or inferiors goods and service.

Over a fourth of the California population is now getting totally free medical services and medicines under Medical.
California's Medi-Cal program for "poor" grows to 12 million. --

Since California embraced the federal health care overhaul, the state's Medicaid program for the poor has added more than 2.7 million people, a surprisingly high number that has left the state to grapple with making sure there are enough doctors to care for all of them.

Medi-Cal, the $95 billion joint federal-state program, covers 12 million people — nearly one in every three residents — for their doctor visits, hospital care, pregnancy-related services, as well as some nursing home care, making California the largest health care purchaser in the state.

The figure accounts for 17 percent of the nation's Medicaid enrollment, even though California has 12 percent of the U.S. population.

Lawmakers and advocates say the safety net program has grown so big, so fast that without major fixes, California won't be able to provide quality health care for its poor.

"Medi-Cal is turning into an empty promise with an insurance card," said Molly Weedn, a spokesman for We Care for California, a coalition of doctors, hospitals, health plans and labor unions pushing for higher payment rates. Democratic Sen. Ed Hernandez of La Puente and Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Alameda plan to introduce legislation Wednesday to raise rates.

Even though the federal government has injected billions into California, doctors and hospitals say the state continues to pay much less than private insurance or Medicare for medical services. That's meant fewer primary care doctors and specialists are willing to treat Medi-Cal patients.

According to the California HealthCare Foundation, a health care philanthropy based in Oakland, 76 percent of primary physicians accept new patients through private insurance, but only 57 percent accept new Medi-Cal patients.

The result is that more Medi-Cal patients are ending up in emergency rooms, which is more expensive and doesn't provide ongoing care for serious diseases and illnesses, according to We Care for California.

Dr. Marc Futernick, who directs emergency services at California Hospital in downtown Los Angeles, said one Medi-Cal patient with advanced colon cancer came into his emergency room four times in five weeks because he was unable to see an oncologist or get the chemotherapy treatments he needed.

"It's much worse than just a couple years ago," Futernick said.

As Democratic legislative leaders look for ways to spend more on social services, Gov. Jerry Brown and Republican lawmakers fret about the state's ability to pay for its commitments. Medi-Cal costs grew 4.3 percent from $17.8 billion last year to $18.6 billion this year, or 16 percent of the state's general fund. The program also faces spiraling costs for seniors and specialty drugs.

While the federal government will pay 100 percent of the costs for newly eligible Medi-Cal recipients until 2016, it will be phasing down to a 90 percent share in 2020. The Brown administration projects it will cost $1.7 billion more for the state to cover the 10 percent.

One way the Brown administration has proposed controlling costs is to limit Medi-Cal enrollment to certain times of the year, similar to open enrollment for private health plans.

Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, a doctor who has called for Medi-Cal reform, said it would be shortsighted if the state doesn't increase provider payments to save money in the long run. He said the state needs to improve coordination of care, set and measure performance standards for contracting health plans and better manage chronic illnesses to reduce hospitalization rates.

"How can we not afford this?" he asked.

Chris Perrone, director of health reform at the California HealthCare Foundation, said the state's enrollment success stems from its decision to make it easier for low-income people to enroll. For example, the state negotiated a waiver from the federal government to start covering low-income childless adults in a transitional program as early as 2010.

The expansion has helped Richard Olivares, a 33-year-old homeless man in Sacramento. He gained access to a cardiologist for heart spasms and a psychiatrist for schizophrenia, anxiety and anger management issues. Medi-Cal also covered a recent jaw surgery from a fight.

"It's really been a blessing because I have a heart problem and every time I get sick, I'm able to go and see a doctor," he said.

When Medi-Cal expanded last year under President Barack Obama's health reform plan, the state struggled to enroll people fast enough and counties reported being hobbled by a new web-based enrollment system that didn't always work. California's backlog reached as high as 900,000, prompting threats from the federal government and triggering a lawsuit from patients and health care advocates.

Under the expansion, a person can make up to $16,105 or 138 percent of the federal poverty level to qualify for Medi-Cal, or $32,913 for a family of four.

The state Department of Health Care Services, which oversees Medi-Cal, said the backlog has been "virtually cleared." The department declined multiple interview requests to The Associated Press to explain its plan for handling the caseload, which is expected to grow as more immigrants in the country without documentation will be eligible for state-funded health coverage under Obama's executive order not to seek deportation.

Read more here:


"Medi-Cal a waiting game for many low-income Californians," by Tracy Seipel, San Jose Mercury News, February 7, 2015 ---

Julie Moreno felt lucky to be among more than 2.7 million previously uninsured Californians to be added to Medi-Cal, the state's health care program for the poor.

Until she needed cataract surgery.

For three months after her November 2013 diagnosis, the 49-year-old Mountain View resident said, she tried to get an appointment, but each time she called, no slots were available. Desperate and worried, she finally borrowed $14,000 from her boyfriend's mother to have the procedure done elsewhere last February.

One year into the explosive, health law-induced growth of Medi-Cal, it appears one of the most alarming predictions of critics is coming true: The supply of doctors hasn't kept up with demand. One recent study suggests the number of primary care doctors in California per Medi-Cal patient is woefully below federal guidelines.

"If you're pregnant, you get help," Moreno said. "But if you're 49 and not pregnant, you have to wait for everything."

In fact, seven months after Moreno's surgery, her original surgeon's office called just to say they still couldn't fit her in.

At least 1.2 million Californians have signed up for a private insurance plan since enrollment began in October 2013 under the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. But it's Medi-Cal that has witnessed the largest growth -- 2.7 million since the controversial law opened the program up to many more recipients in January 2014.

By mid-2016, more than 12.2 million people -- nearly a third of all Californians -- will be on Medi-Cal, state health officials say.

Those officials continue to insist that the current delays to see a doctor and crowded emergency rooms are all part of to-be-expected growing pains. But many experts say the problems are so widespread they shouldn't be ignored.

"California did a good job of getting people signed up, but they basically stuck their heads in the sand and assumed that California physicians would just jump right on board and want to take more Medi-Cal patients," said Dr. Del Morris, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians, which represents many of the first-line doctors who treat Medi-Cal patients. "It's unacceptable to say, 'We are not ready for you yet, you'll just have to suffer with your disease.'"

Morris and other experts say the situation is about to get worse, in part because of Medi-Cal's health care reimbursement rates.

For years, the rates paid by Medi-Cal -- called Medicaid in the rest of the country -- have been among the nation's lowest. A provision of Obamacare hiked the rates for primary care doctors to the substantially higher Medicare rates for two years, but those increases ended on Dec. 31. A second blow came last month when the state cut the Medi-Cal reimbursement rate by another 10 percent, a reduction approved by California lawmakers in 2011 but delayed in a court battle that doctors ultimately lost.

Even before the latest cuts, Medi-Cal doctors -- particularly specialists -- in California's rural areas often seemed nearly impossible to find. And the shortage of Medi-Cal physicians appears to be causing spikes in the number of Medi-Cal patients being treated in hospital emergency rooms around the state. Data from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development show that in the first three quarters of 2014, "treat and release" visits to emergency rooms by Medi-Cal patients jumped 30 percent from the same period the year before.

At least once a week at the MayView Community Health Center in Mountain View, the clinic is so swamped that it is forced to send Medi-Cal patients to hospital emergency rooms "because they cannot go anywhere else," clinic operations director Harsha Mehta said.

Since January 2014, Axis Community Health in Pleasanton has added about 1,700 new Medi-Cal patients to its five facilities that serve the Tri-Valley area, bringing the total to about 14,000. While 700 of those patients were already being treated at Axis before they enrolled in Medi-Cal, the overall jump in new patients is forcing Dr. Divya Raj, Axis' medical director, to hire more hard-to-find doctors.

A recent report by the California HealthCare Foundation that tried to determine if the state has enough doctors to handle the influx of Medi-Cal patients reinforces Raj's trepidation.

The report found the ratio of patients to full-time primary care doctors participating in Medi-Cal -- including family medicine physicians, general internists, pediatricians and ob/gyns -- was 35 to 49 physicians per 100,000 enrollees, well below the federal guidelines of 60 to 80.

"We had a shortage of primary care doctors before this flood (of Medi-Cal enrollees) came about," said Dr. Steven Harrison, a veteran primary care doctor who directs a residency program for such physicians at Natividad Medical Center in Salinas. "Now we have a dire shortage."

Bait and Switch for Primary Care "Doctors"
Nationwide there was an enormous shortage of primary care doctors before Obamacare. Obamacare greatly increased the demand for such doctors, thereby, making the shortage much worse. This has led to nationwide bait and switch primary care that is similar to three of the medical clinics in Littleton, New Hampshire. Each clinic has one MD and one or more added "physicians assistants" who are not medical doctors but can examine patients and prescribe common medications.

The bait and switch part is that patients in each clinic are not allowed to see the MD at all or must wait much longer for an appointment to see the the MD. In the meantime they are encouraged to be examined by only the physicians assistant or to go to emergency rooms.

Another sad part of the bait and switch tactic is that many specialists such as those at the Dartmouth medical center will only see patients referred by an MD or osteopath. Without such referrals patients are not allowed to make appointments with such specialists such as dermatologists, psychiatrists, and surgeons.

One other clinic up here has a really lousy and uncaring foreign-trained MD and an osteopath. My primary care doctor is the osteopath. He seems pretty good to me, but then my medical needs are fairly simple and routine. Our Littleton Regional Hospital does have an outstanding emergency room, although it's not a trauma center and has to send a relatively large number of patients by helicopter to the Dartmouth medical center about 50 miles away.

Of course patients with serious problems have discovered how to get referrals. The go directly to emergency rooms and maybe wait the better part of a day to be examined. But they eventually leave with a referral to see a specialist provided that specialist will accept their insurance.

The huge problem in New Hampshire is that nearly half (slightly less this year) of the hospitals and specialists will not accept ACA insurance.

Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm

Bob Jensen's Tidbits Archives ---

Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Summary of Major Accounting Scandals --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_scandals

Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:

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Current and past editions of my newsletter called Fraud Updates ---

Enron --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudEnron.htm

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

American History of Fraud --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/FraudAmericanHistory.htm

Bob Jensen's fraud conclusions ---

Bob Jensen's threads on auditor professionalism and independence are at

Bob Jensen's threads on corporate governance are at


Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---

·     With a Rejoinder from the 2010 Senior Editor of The Accounting Review (TAR), Steven J. Kachelmeier

·     With Replies in Appendix 4 to Professor Kachemeier by Professors Jagdish Gangolly and Paul Williams

·     With Added Conjectures in Appendix 1 as to Why the Profession of Accountancy Ignores TAR

·     With Suggestions in Appendix 2 for Incorporating Accounting Research into Undergraduate Accounting Courses

Shielding Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave  --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/TheoryTAR.htm
By Bob Jensen

What went wrong in accounting/accountics research?  ---

The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most Accountants ---


Bob Jensen's threads on accounting theory ---

Tom Lehrer on Mathematical Models and Statistics ---

Systemic problems of accountancy (especially the vegetable nutrition paradox) that probably will never be solved ---

Bob Jensen's economic crisis messaging http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/2008Bailout.htm

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

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