To Accompany the March 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.
Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life
that is waiting for us.
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
Ten weeks into
their huge new majority, Republicans are struggling to cobble together 218 votes
for anything that matters. The Boehner leadership team puts the blame squarely
on some 30 to 50 conservative members, who are variously described as crazy, or
divorced from political reality, or unwilling to compromise. Or all of the
Kimberley A. Strassel, The Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2015 ---
challenger Chuy Garcia is setting progressive hearts aflutter, largely because
his economic ideas are terrible ---
Right now the
California has only about one year of water supply left in its reservoirs, and
our strategic backup supply, groundwater, is rapidly disappearing,
Jay Famiglietti, NASA Water Scientist --- http://www.newsweek.com/nasa-california-has-one-year-water-left-313647
Nobody knows how much ground water remains. Farmers just keep digging deeper wells.
There have been some good rains this winter, but the snow depth in the mountains is pitiful this year.
You Don’t Say! WaPo:
‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Was A Lie
Matt Vespa, Washington Post ---
Michael Brown Was
a Punk and a Thug
Eric Holder, USA Attorney General
Feinstein’s husband gets billion dollar government rail contract (on
top of his billion-dollar post office sales contracts) ---
At this point Senator Feinstein's husband is slightly outperforming Nancy Pelosi's husband in the landing of insider government contracts.
Racial Bias in the Media
Guess Why This Is Not News: Four 'Teens' Murder 94 Year-Old Woman in Mississippi ---
include hiring nine people, including two black psychologists experienced in
racial discrimination and advisers to recruit and mentor black students and
student athletes; creating an African American Student Resource Center; and — in
a different vein — renaming a building after Assata Shakur, a former Black
Panther and the first woman on the FBI’s list of Most Wanted Terrorists.
Nanette Asimov, UC Berkeley black students demand fixes to 'hostile’ climate, San Francisco Chronicle, March 17, 2015 ---
genetically superior to men ... Males are inferior beings
Professor Melvin Konner at Emory University ---
Since the late
1960s, universities have considered it their mission to teach students what
rather than how to think. Students soon internalize the catechism, summed up in
the Twitter hashtag #whiteprivilege, meaning: Western civilization thrived on
white, Christian, Euro-centric aggression against Others; Western literature and
art are the patriarchy’s handmaidens; the university’s mission is to further a
just society and empower the wretched of the Earth; objective “knowledge” is a
tool for one dominant race, gender and sexuality to oppress the powerless;
reason is but one “way of knowing”; any opposition to identity politics and
multiculturalism is racism; there are no hierarchies in cultural values — in
matters of gender, art and family, all manifestations are equally valid; and
most insidiously, acknowledging and rewarding objective merit is considered an
“institutionalized form of racism and classism.”
Barbara Kay --- http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/11/barbara-kay-universities-are-teaching-students-what-to-think-not-how-to-think/
History and Meaning of "Political Correctness" --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_Correctness
We'd rather be obese on benefits than thin and
Janice and Amber Manzur
Moocher Hall of Fame --- https://danieljmitchell.wordpress.com/the-moocher-hall-of-fame/
"Annoy the Media, Vote Likud Bias magnifies Netanyahu’s victory," by James Taranto, The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2015 ---
The media makes a big deal over Netanyahu's rejection of a two-state solution. But they rarely mention that the Palestinians reject a two-state solution. They want Israel driven out of what they consider their land and will never rest until that's accomplished.
The USA faces almost $8T retirement income shortfall The Pension Rights Center estimates the U.S. retirement income deficit now stands at $7.7 trillion, up from $6.6 trillion five years ago.
Our Politically Correct Law Schools in the USA
"Lindgren: The Most Under-Represented Groups in Law Teaching: Whites,
Christians, Republicans, Males," by Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog, March
21, 2015 ---
This article is the first careful look at the demographic makeup of law faculties compared to the larger pools of lawyers and the general public. It examines which racial, gender, religious, and political groups were the most under- and overrepresented in 1997 and in 2013 compared to persons of similar ages in larger pools, including the U.S. full-time working population and the U.S. lawyer population.
The data show that in 1997 women and minorities were underrepresented compared to some populations, but Republicans and Christians were usually more underrepresented. For example, by the late 1990s, the proportion of the U.S. population that was neither Republican nor Christian was only 9%, but the majority of law professors (51%) was drawn from that small minority. Further, though women were strongly underrepresented compared to the full-time working population, all of that underrepresentation was among Republican women, who were—and are—almost missing from law teaching.
Continued in article
Political correctness is very pronounced in USA education, particularly in faculty hiring. There are tradeoffs. When it came to hiring a female conservative at the University of Iowa in 2009 political leanings outweighed gender. In 2015 the U.S. Supreme Court recently forced the case to have a new trial.
"U. of Iowa Staff Member Sues Law School for Discrimination," by Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 22, 2009 --- Click Here
A staff member in the law-school writing center at the University of Iowa has sued the school and its dean, saying she was turned down for teaching positions because of her conservative political views, Iowa City Press-Citizen reported.
Teresa Wagner filed the lawsuit against the school and its dean, Carolyn Jones, on Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
In the lawsuit, she states that in 2006, she applied for an advertised job as a full-time writing instructor, and that later, she applied for a part-time adjunct position teaching writing. She was rejected for both positions, even though she had collegiate teaching experience and strong academic credentials, the lawsuit says. She argues that affiliations listed on her résumé, including stints with groups like the National Right to Life Committee, did her in with a liberal-leaning faculty.
To bolster her case, the lawsuit dissects the political affiliations of the approximately 50 faculty members who vote on law-school faculty hires; 46 of them are registered as Democrats and only one, hired 20 years ago, is a Republican, the lawsuit states. Ms. Wagner also says that a law-school associate dean suggested that she conceal her affiliation with a conservative law school and later told her not to apply for any more faculty positions.
Steve Parrott, a spokesman for the University of Iowa, says the discrimination claim is “without merit.”
There Goes the Neighborhood
"U. of Colorado Is in Search of a Scholar of Conservative Thought U. of Colorado Is in Search of a Scholar of Conservative Thought," by Sydni Dunn, Chronicle of Higher Education., February 26, 2013 ---
The University of Colorado at Boulder is adding a conservative-in-residence to its liberal-leaning faculty in an attempt to broaden intellectual diversity at the state's flagship campus.
The new position, the "visiting scholar in conservative thought and policy," is being paid for entirely by private money. A total of close to $1-million will finance the job, set to begin in the fall and to be housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, for at least three years.
Some professors and students are questioning the need for the new role and have been critical of the credentials of the finalists. Although two of the three finalists have Ph.D.'s and the third has a master's, they all are better known for political activism and policy work than for scholarly pursuits.
The finalists, each of whom visited Boulder and gave public speeches on the campus this month, are Linda Chavez, chairman of the Center for Equal Opportunity; Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution; and Steven Hayward, a fellow at the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University.
The search committee is scheduled to recommend a candidate for the hire the first week of March, said Keith E. Maskus, associate dean for social sciences and head of the search committee.
The idea for the conservative appointment goes back a decade, Mr. Maskus said, and was originally conceived of as an endowed position. When it didn't get "far off the ground" in terms of support or fund-raising, he said, the project was shelved. In 2008, however, the idea was revived and reconfigured, and a group of donors decided to convert the position to a privately financed, visiting role that is off the tenure track.
The position was created, in part, to change the public's perception of the institution, Mr. Maskus said. Most of the faculty present balanced viewpoints in the classroom, he said, but the university has a longstanding history of leaning left. And, he said, having a conservative scholar will help balance the perspectives to which students are exposed.
"We've appeared in the newspaper a few times; I'm sure you can think of a few of those headlines," said Mr. Maskus, hinting at the university's controversial firing, in 2007, of Ward Churchill, an ethnic-studies professor. The decision, which the university said was based on findings of research misconduct, came after Mr. Churchill became the focus of national outrage for a provocative essay he wrote about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, in which he compared some American victims of terrorism to Nazi bureaucrats. Breaking the Mold
Some students have reacted positively to the creation of the conservative-scholar position.
They include Zach Silverman, who is president of the College Democrats at the Boulder campus and a senior majoring in political science. A university should be a marketplace of ideas, he said, and the new visiting job promotes that mission.
"For CU, this breaks the mold of being a liberal college, a biased college," Mr. Silverman said. "It shows we are interested in all opinions, left or right."
Mr. Silverman, who is 21, said his professors try to remain neutral in the classroom but that it can be obvious, particularly in political science, which way they lean politically. In a 2008 survey that included 825 faculty members at Boulder, only 23 were registered Republicans, according to Ed Rozek, a political-science professor who conducted the survey.
Embedding a conservative viewpoint in the classroom will encourage variety, Mr. Silverman said, but only if that person is actually a scholar. "This person needs a doctorate," he said.
Mr. Maskus, the associate dean, said one of the qualities the search committee sought was a strong record of published books or articles. All of the finalists fit that criterion, he said, though to different degrees. Ms. Chavez is the only finalist without a Ph.D., for example, but she has published three books and spent more than 40 years in the political arena.
Faculty members, Mr. Maskus said, have expressed concerns both about the scholarly credentials of candidates for the position and about whether the university should be taking donations to make a faculty appointment.
A group of private donors contributed to this position, and some of them sit on the 10-person search committee for the job, Mr. Maskus said. The committee has five tenured faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences, and five "external community" members appointed by the chancellor. Mr. Maskus would not say how many of those people are donors who are supporting the new position. He also did not reveal how much money the donors who are serving on the committee collectively contributed to the project.
Mr. Maskus said he does not believe that having donors serve on the search committee and participate in hiring the scholar creates a conflict of interest. The committee is following procedures that were put in place "to avoid such conflicts," he said.
Other criticism, coming mostly from students, has questioned whether the position is necessary.
In a guest column published in a local newspaper, The Daily Camera, Matthew Aitken, a graduate student in physics, wrote that the creation of the position supports the assumption that all universities lack balance.
"Conservatism—like all other political ideologies—should be considered on its own merits, and no special position need be created for its proponents' voices to be heard," Mr. Aitken wrote. "That an esteemed institution like the University of Colorado would give credence to this specious notion of conservative victimhood is disappointing, at best." Taking a Risk
Ms. Chavez, a finalist who visited the university last week and gave a presentation titled "A Conservative Approach to Immigration Reform," said it was obvious that some students did not like the idea of the position. A number of students grilled her with questions after her speech.
"What I find fascinating is that students who disagree with me rarely actually read what I've written," she said. When students hear her point of view, she said, they realize they have some things in common. "We might differ, but our ultimate goals are the same."
Continued in article
The chair was designated a "visiting professorship" so the University of Colorado would not have to give tenure to a conservative --- or so it seems.
For years one of the hardest things to do is to be politically conservative
when seeking a job in virtually any discipline in our Academy. Harvard's Harvey
Mansfield advises against revealing conservatism at least until tenured ---
Even more pronounced is the virtual impossibility of being legally admitted
to the USA as a white immigrant ---
"The Sugar Industry Shaped Government Advice On Cavities, Report Finds," by Alexandra Sifferlin, Time Magazine, March 10, 2015 ---
Internal sugar industry documents reveal how it influenced national research priorities for tooth decay
A new report reveals that the sugar industry heavily influenced federal research—as well as the guidelines that resulted from that research.
Tooth decay remains a problem in the U.S. despite being preventable. One simple fix is cutting back on overall sugar intake. But a new report published in the journal PLOS Medicine reveals that the sugar industry greatly influenced the U.S. National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) 1971 research by shifting the group’s focus away from dietary changes.
MORE: 4 Ways to Tell How Much Sugar You’re Eating
It’s a mistake nutrition and dental experts say had long-lasting consequences.
Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, (UCSF) reviewed internal sugar-industry documents between the years 1959 to 1971, a period when the NIDR was trying to figure out which tooth decay-related interventions could wipe out the problem in a decade. In 1967, an advisory council recommended NIDR focus its efforts on dietary changes. And by 1971, the agency had launched its National Caries Program—but it didn’t tell Americans to start focusing on their sugar intake.
MORE: Where the Dietary Guidelines Went Wrong
“It’s extremely shocking to see how closely NIDR [and the sugar industry] worked together, and how the research priorities between the two groups were so aligned to benefit the sugar industry,” says study author Cristin Kearns, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSF School of Medicine.
So what happened?
It turns out the sugar trade organization and the government groups were making some behind-the-scenes deals.
In 1969, an NIDR formed a subcommittee called the Caries Task Force Steering Committee, which started regularly meeting to come up with their research priorities. Simultaneously, another group called the International Sugar Research Foundation (ISRF) started their own series of meetings to identify dental-health priorities. In their investigation, UCSF researchers notices that ISRF’s panel and the NIDR’s steering committee were made up almost entirely of the same people. See the graph below:
Continued in article
Tooth decay is only one of the many bad things about sugar in our diets ---
"German finance minister to Greece: 'don't blame others for your economic
woes'," by Michael Shields, Reuters, March 13, 2015 ---
VIENNA (Reuters) - Greece's economic problems are home-made, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told an Austrian newspaper, reiterating Berlin's line that it will not pay war reparations to Athens.
"I think those in charge are obliged to tell the people the causes of the problems in Greece. They are not in Brussels, Europe or Germany.
They are in the fact that Greece lived beyond its means for a long time," he said in an interview with Der Standard released ahead of publication on Saturday.
Germany this month dismissed Greek demands to pay World War Two reparations after leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accused Berlin of using legal tricks to avoid paying compensation for the Nazi occupation of his country.
"The matter has been settled for decades," Schaeuble said.
On other subjects, he said he saw no danger to bilateral ties despite hits to German banks from the winding down of defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria's "bad bank".
"Of course there are legal disputes and efforts to get to a reasonable solution of a complex problem. But in my view no problems in German-Austrian ties arise from this," he said.
"U.S. Recovers $3.3 Billion in Federal Health-Care Fraud Obama administration steps up efforts to prevent Medicare fraud, not just uncover it," by Stephanie Armour, The Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2015 ---
This is a great start, but has a long way to go in the $100+ billion in Medicare and Medicaid frauds. For example, much more is needed to stop ineligible people from defrauding Medicare and Medicaid. An audit revealed that half the people getting free medical care and medications were not eligible for Medicaid in Illinois.
Many of the people declared disabled for a lifetime of Medicare really are not disabled. Florida is notorious for physicians and lawyers who will get ineligible people declared disabled. When the son of a neighbor down the road from our cottage lost his job five years ago he decided to try to be declared disabled for the rest of his life because of his one (successful) spine surgery. He could not find a doctor in Nebraska who would declare him disabled. So he moved to Florida. Without much trouble David soon found a storefront Cuban-exiled doctor who would declare him disabled. He's now permanently receiving lifetime Social Security benefits and free Medicare insurance. He's 41 years of age. When he visited recently up here he helped his dad shovel snow in the driveway. So much for being disabled. When we went out to dinner recently he bragged that getting disability checks beats having to go to work. He never did have much of a job his whole life.
Many doctors and clinics are billing Medicare and Medicaid for medical services never rendered. Or in some cases the services were rendered to uninsured patients.
One huge problem is that people often do not check the accuracy of bills that they do not have to pay. One time a woman whom we do not know had her medical bills paid on my wife's Medicare account. Since both Medicare and our Blue Cross supplemental insurance usually pay all such billings we sometimes do not check those billings very closely. We did, however, discover this error error of hundreds of dollars in billing by both the doctor and the Littleton Regional Hospital. We did notify the hospital and the doctor involved. However, neither one of them thanked us for the correction. In fact I don't think there was any correction since neither Medicare nor Blue Cross notified us of an error correction. I think it was a deliberate attempt to pay for a woman who had no medical insurance.
The huge Boehner-Pelosi deal that could change Medicare forever ---
Sadly the deal does little to curb Medicare fraud.
Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging --- http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/Health.htm
Tidbits Archives ---
Jensen's Pictures and Stories
Summary of Major Accounting Scandals --- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accounting_scandals
Bob Jensen's threads on such scandals:
Bob Jensen's threads on audit firm litigation and negligence ---
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
Bob Jensen's threads on
auditor professionalism and independence are at
Bob Jensen's threads on
corporate governance are at
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
Against Validity Challenges in Plato's Cave ---
By Bob Jensen
wrong in accounting/accountics research? ---
The Sad State of Accountancy Doctoral Programs That Do Not Appeal to Most
AN ANALYSIS OF THE EVOLUTION OF RESEARCH CONTRIBUTIONS BY THE ACCOUNTING REVIEW:
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/