In 2017 my Website was migrated to the clouds and reduced in size.
Hence some links below are broken.
One thing to try if a “www” link is broken is to substitute “faculty” for “www”
For example a broken link
can be changed to corrected link

However in some cases files had to be removed to reduce the size of my Website
Contact me at if you really need to file that is missing


Tidbits on December 14, 2016
Bob Jensen at Trinity University

Set 4 of My Sunrise and Sunset Favorites from the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---    


Tidbits on At Deloitte, the problems with audit quality and professionalism start at the top December 14, 2016
Scroll Down This Page

Bob Jensen's Tidbits ---

For earlier editions of Fraud Updates go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 
Bookmarks for the World's Library --- 

Bob Jensen's past presentations and lectures ---   

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

Bob Jensen's Home Page is at

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Updates from WebMD --- Click Here

Google Scholar ---

Wikipedia ---

Bob Jensen's search helpers ---

Bob Jensen's World Library ---


Online Video, Slide Shows, and Audio

Reverend Malthus Math ---
Animated Map Shows How It Took 200,000 Years for Human Population to Reach 1 Billion, and Only Another 200 Years to Get to 7 Billion ---

PBS: Crash Course Astronomy Videos

Untamed Science (ecology videos) ---

Hubble Space Telescope: Videos ---

Richard Feynman’s Poignant Letter to His Departed Wife Arline: Watch Actor Oscar Isaac Read It Live Onstage ---

Watch Georges Méliès’ The Dreyfus Affair, the Controversial Film Censored by the French Government for 50 Years (1899)  ---

Performance Artist Marina Abramović Describes Her “Really Good Plan” to Lose Her Virginity ---

The John Peabody Harrington Collection (native American voices) ---

Learn 48 Languages Online for Free: Spanish, Chinese, English & More ---

Intelligence Squared (debates on a wide variety of topics) ---
Tickets must be purchased in many instances

The Map of Physics: Animation Shows How All the Different Fields in Physics Fit Together ---

US Navy's Hovercraft ---

Free music downloads ---
In the past I've provided links to various types of music and video available free on the Web. 
I created a page that summarizes those various links --- 

Patti Smith Sings Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rains Gonna Fall” at Nobel Prize Ceremony & Gets a Case of the Nerves ---

Warning:  This is Patriotic
Aretha Franklin performed a 5-Minute National Anthem ---

National Ballet of Canada Virtual Museum ---

The Genius of Paul McCartney’s Bass Playing in 7 Isolated Tracks ---

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

Pandora (my favorite online music station) ---
(online music site) ---
Slacker (my second-favorite commercial-free online music site) ---

Gerald Trites likes this international radio site ---
Songza:  Search for a song or band and play the selection ---
Also try Jango ---
Sometimes this old guy prefers the jukebox era (just let it play through) ---
And I listen quite often to Soldiers Radio Live ---
Also note
U.S. Army Band recordings ---

Bob Jensen's threads on nearly all types of free music selections online ---

Photographs and Art

Google Moon (moon version of Google Earth) ---

Time Magazine:  100 Most Influential Images of All Time ---

The Photography of Poet Arthur Rimbaud (1883) ---

SAAB's Viggen Could Stick a Landing and Takeoff Again Like No Other Fighter ---

Time Magazine's Top 100 Photographs in 2016 ---

Momma-Baby Animal Photos ---

Unforgetable photographs of the attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago ---

Antarctic Report ---

Wildlife Photographer of the Year --- People's Choice ---

Herbert Matter: Modernist Photography and Graphic Design ---

The Supermoon ---

The Hagley Vault (USA History of Business and Fashion) ---
This site needs a better search engine

The Land Divided, the World United: Building the Panama Canal ---

Archives of American Art Blog (Smithsonian Art History) ---

BackStory (American History) ---

A Homespun Life: Textiles of Old Russia ---

Library of Congress: Photochrom Prints (historic colored photographs) ---

50 Photos That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity ---

Beautiful National Geographic photos show how Americans in every state spend their downtime ---

This beautiful village of affordable cottages might be the best place to retire ---

Dante on Stamps (postage stamps) ---

National Ballet of Canada Virtual Museum ---

Arago: People & the Post [stamps and the post office]

The Civil War in Art ---
Warning:  It's no longer politically correct to display some of this art on college campuses.

Bob Jensen's threads on art history ---

Bob Jensen's threads on history, literature and art ---

John Glenn's Life ---

From the Scout Report on December

The Prado Museum Exhibits the Work of Clara Peeters, 17th Century
Still-Life Painter
In A First, Spain's Prado Museum Puts The Spotlight On A Female Artist

The Museo del Prado Hosts Its First Exhibition Devoted to a Woman Painter:
Clara Peeters

We need to remove the mask of history from female artists

Museo Nacional del Prado: The Art of Clara Peeters

Still-Life Painting in Northern Europe, 1600-1800

How Asian luxury goods found their way into Dutch Golden Age paintings


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

Bob Jensen's threads on libraries ---

Friday Reads, Margaret Atwood ---

Friday Reads: Fyodor Dostoevsky ---

28 Lists of Recommended Books Created by Well-Known Authors, Artists & Thinkers: Jorge Luis Borges, Patti Smith, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, David Bowie & More ---

Benjamin Franklin's Almanac for the Common Man ---

As/Us (women writers and their works) ---

Free Electronic Literature ---
Free Online Textbooks, Videos, and Tutorials ---
Free Tutorials in Various Disciplines ---
Edutainment and Learning Games ---
Open Sharing Courses ---

Now in Another Tidbits Document
Political Quotations on December 14, 2016        

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the booked obligation of $19+ trillion) ---
The US Debt Clock in Real Time --- 
Remember the Jane Fonda Movie called "Rollover" ---

To Whom Does the USA Federal Government Owe Money (the unbooked obligation of $100 trillion and unknown more in contracted entitlements) ---
The biggest worry of the entitlements obligations is enormous obligation for the future under the Medicare and Medicaid programs that are now deemed totally unsustainable ---

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 ---

"These Slides Show Why We Have Such A Huge Budget Deficit And Why Taxes Need To Go Up," by Rob Wile, Business Insider, April 27, 2013 ---
This is a slide show based on a presentation by a Harvard Economics Professor.

The US is $19.9 trillion in debt — here are the countries we owe the most ---
Jensen Comment
I remember the Jane Fonda1981  movie called "Rollover" where the Arabs refuse to rollover their investment in US debt ---
China has since overtaken the Arabs in holding Uncle Sam somewhere below the belt.

Peter G. Peterson Website on Deficit/Debt Solutions ---

Bob Jensen's threads on entitlements ---

Bob Jensen's health care messaging updates ---

Journal of Interactive Media in Education (MOOCs) ---

JIME is a peer reviewed open access online journal in educational technology that focuses on the implications and use of digital media in education.  It aims to foster a multidisciplinary and intellectually rigorous debate on both the theory and practice of interactive media in education.  JIME was launched in September, 1996.

JIME is planning some exciting special collections in the forthcoming year so we are not currently accepting other submissions.  The forthcoming special collections that we are planning are: on the themes of Open Education (submissions now closed- see below); Mobile Learning and Designing for Learning.

NOTE: JIME is planning some exciting special issues so we are currently not seeking unsolicited papers and will only be considering papers that are related to our advertised special issues. Please look out for future calls for papers.

Bob Jensen's threads on MOOCs ---

Even in states that have legalized marijuana, using it means sacrificing your right to armed self-defense ---

. . .

If you are one of the 68 million Americans who live in a state that has decided to allow recreational use of marijuana, or one of the 186 million who live in a state that recognizes marijuana as a medicine, you may have been under the impression that legalization makes cannabis consumption lawful. The ATF wants to disabuse you of that notion; hence the warning.

"We were concerned that some buyers who use marijuana may read the 2012 language asking if they were an 'unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana' and erroneously say no because in that particular state, marijuana has been legalized," an ATF spokeswoman told The Denver Post last week. "Most dealers recognize that marijuana use prohibits people from purchasing firearms under federal law, but many members of the general public may not be as familiar with the Gun Control Act."

Under that law, a cannabis consumer who possesses a gun (no matter where he got it) is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Likewise anyone who sells him a gun if has reason to know the buyer is a cannabis consumer. Falsely denying marijuana use on Form 4473 can get you up to five years.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
If you have one or more guns for protecting yourself and your home, think again about ever buying or even going near marijuana. If you are thinking about taking marijuana for pain think trying other pain killers.

What is not clear is enforcement or lack thereof. For example, what about guns in your house that you already possess and will not be filing Form 4473 for those guns. If you buy marijuana legally will the AFF be raiding your home looking for guns? Perhaps not unless they have other reasons to find your guns. Legal marijuana purchase may become an excuse, however, to look for guns in your house or car.

What's probably unfair about the law is that alcohol abusers are likely to be far more impaired that marijuana abusers.

Big Brother knows when you purchase marijuana legally. Have three double martinis instead (but don't drive).

Ph.D. Degrees in the USA for Selected Years 2005-2015 ---

Jensen Comment
Some of the points to note.
Less than 3% of the Ph.D. degrees in the USA are in Business Administration (not shown is that less than 0.3% of the total each year (only slightly over 100) are in accountancy. Life Sciences take the lion's share of the total due mostly to necessity to get a Ph.D. for many of the outstanding Life Science careers outside academe. In comparison, there's virtually no need to get a Ph.D. in Business Administration for careers outside academe where professional certifications (like CPA and CFA licenses) are more valuable.

The largest Ph.D. mills (e.g., the Universities of Michigan, Texas. and Wisconsin) identified in the above 2005-2015 article plus the University of Illinois were also the largest accounting Ph.D. mills before the 1990s. Then the number of accounting Ph.D. students in those mills collapsed to the miniscule numbers shown in the table at 
Reasons are complicated but the main reason is that accounting was no longer the focus of accounting Ph.D. programs across the USA after the 1980s ---
Professional accountants lost interest in applying for Ph.D. programs and many mathematicians (especially from Asia) started applying for accounting Ph.D. degrees in the USA.

Study: It's Far Too Hard to Fire Bad K-12 Teachers ---

Tenure Reviews Every Five Years at the University of Wisconsin:  Some associate professors may actually get promoted to full professor after 20 years on campus
A new policy, approved by University of Wisconsin system regents on Thursday, requires administrators to conduct independent reviews of tenured faculty members every five years. System officials say the move is about providing clarity, while faculty opponents call it one more attempt to weaken tenure in the state ---
From a Chronicle of Higher Education newsletter on December 9, 2016

University Of Wisconsin Gives Administrators Final Say Over Five-Year Post-Tenure Reviews; Underperforming Faculty Will Be Placed In Remediation Program, Leading To Termination If Performance Does Not Improve ---

Jensen Comment
In spite of all the weeping and wailing among the Academy in the USA, this can have some positive impact if it resuscitates some of the living dead in a university campus. Some tenured faculty may even be inspired to do some research and publishing like they did when they were still not tenured. Some may give more attention to the negative reviews by some of their students. Some associate professors may actually get promoted to full professor after 20 years on campus.

Why schools should not teach general critical-thinking skills ---

Jensen Comment
There's a great deal of debate on this ranging from pleas to teach more critical skills in higher education to laments that it's impossible to teach critical thinking ---

Personally I think they can be taught at some point, but I think that they should be taught after students are somewhat expert on content. For example, I don't think students should debate accounting theory topics such as accounting for derivative financial instruments until they are quite knowledgeable of such contracts and accounting rules for such contracts. I'm sure most debate teachers disagree with me on this issue. But the best debaters can zing the other side based upon better knowledge of content.

Metacognition ---

Reading Apprenticeship at WestEd: Downloadable Resources (metacognition) ---

Metacognitive Bookmark ---

Metacognition Experiment in Teaching Intermediate Accounting ---

Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality: Research ---

The Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI) has built a comprehensive research program focused on measuring and explaining trends in poverty, inequality, and labor market outcomes.  This program features 15 research groups (RGs) that address some of the important

Mapping Inequality ---

Nine Hidden Costs That Come With Buying a Home (and these are only half of what you should expect) ---

Jensen Comment
When asked a real estate agent will explain the various homeowner costs. but the estimates may be really low.. For example, if the owner selling you the house is selling the house for considerably more than he/she paid a few years back you should probably expect property taxes to go up substantially based upon what you are paying this year. My taxes doubled the first year. If the owner is selling at a huge loss, however, don't expect the property taxes to go down based upon your bargain price. Our minister bought a big house for his big family down the road at a foreclosure sale price that seemed like a real deal. The property tax valuation, however, did not go down to his bargain price. He took it to Superior Court to get his property taxes lowered --- of course he lost in court. The courts don't want every homeowner lined up outside the door.

Some costs vary by state. For example, New Hampshire has no sales tax on most items you purchase like cars and computers, but it does have a sales tax (called a real estate transfer tax). It's about 1% of the property's purchase price and is usually split between buyer and seller. You also may have to prorate property taxes paid by the previous homeowner before the sale.

If your new house has a swimming pool you should look into the cost of getting a second mortgage.

In a gated neighborhood that "home owners association fee" can be quite steep. That guard at the gate with a gun on the hip 24/7 does not come cheap.

Up here in the mountains owners who lived moved from an apartment into their own house are sometimes surprised at how much snow removal can cost for driveways and roofs. What surprised us is how driveways sometimes have to be plowed twice a day during heavy snowfalls. Retired folks like me have the time to run a snow thrower twice a day, but working stiffs generally have to hire pros to plow their driveways. Prices can vary, but up here it's not uncommon to pay $30-$50 for each plowing. And that drive cannot always be available at the time of day when you want the driveway cleared..

Don't forget the monthly price of a pest control service. There are pests in all 50 states of the USA. Examples include New Hampshire mice and Florida cockroaches bigger than New Hampshire mice.

Anticipate some major expenses not long after you move in. For example, more often than not up here your "new" home will need a new furnace, water heater, and/or water softener in a year or two.

Don't put too much trust in the "professionalism" of the inspector who went over your house just before you closed the deal. It's awfully easy for inspectors to miss things, and the realty firm that may have recommended this inspector may find it advantageous to not recommend inspectors who are picky, picky, picky.

Up here not having a garage for every one of your cars and your yard equipment can be a real bummer. Plan on building a garage if your new house is missing such a convenience or only has a small garage. Owners with two cars should have at least a three-car garage, but a four-car garage works out much better. Our cottage had a double garage, but I found it necessary to add another double garage onto my small barn.

Trash removal and yard debris removal costs vary from town to town. In most towns trash removal is a service provided by the town. Up here in the mountains I must pay for trash hauling, and the driver will not haul yard debris. However, he does pick up both trash and recycling bags inside our garage such that I don't have to haul the trash to the road.


Bob Jensen's Personal Finance Helpers ---

Teaching Case from The Wall Street Journal Accounting Weekly Review on December 9, 2016

Cash for Closing-Day Surprises
by: Robyn A. Friedman
Dec 02, 2016
Click here to view the full article on

TOPICS: Asset Acquisition

SUMMARY: This article is written for the benefit of individual home buyers but may be used to introduce the accounting concept of capitalizing all costs necessary to acquire property, plant, and equipment by businesses.

CLASSROOM APPLICATION: The article may be used in an introductory or intermediate financial reporting class or in a personal finance class.

1. (Advanced) Define the term closing of a real estate purchase, either when a business buys a building or an individual or couple buys a home.

2. (Introductory) What are closing costs? What types of items are included in this category?

3. (Advanced) How must businesses account for closing costs when buying real estate? Be specific, listing each of the items you identified in answer to question 2.

4. (Introductory) Consider homebuying by individuals or couples. Besides a downpayment to purchase the home, what are all of the items listed in this article for which homebuyers must save?

5. (Advanced) What is an "estoppel" letter? How can this letter help avoid concern about being surprised by hidden fees that come to light at closing or errors in assigning fees to buyer and seller?

Reviewed By: Judy Beckman, University of Rhode Island


"Cash for Closing-Day Surprises," by Robyn A. Friedman, The Wall Street Journal, December 2, 2016 ---

Home buyers typically know how much money they’ll need for the closing. But mortgage experts say that might not be enough.

Note to house hunters on a budget: A home’s sale price isn’t really the sale price—there are lots of closing costs and expenses that jack up the final number.

According to online real-estate listings site Zillow, buyers typically pay between 2% and 5% of the purchase price in closing costs. So if a home costs $300,000, that buyer can expect to pay between $6,000 and $15,000. Since the financial crisis, there’s more transparency on the part of lenders when disclosing the costs associated with a mortgage, so buyers know in advance how much they’ll need for the closing. But experts say that might not be enough.

Lender fees are only one part of the total cost of homeownership. Buyers must also pay appraisers, home inspectors and settlement agents, as well as the cost of title insurance, homeowners insurance and property taxes. And the fees don’t stop at the closing. Utilities, regular home maintenance and unexpected repairs add up as well—and can derail even the most experienced buyer.

“Many of the hidden fees associated with financing have been eliminated,” says Jay Parker, chief executive officer of Douglas Elliman’s Florida brokerage. “But that does not eliminate some of the potential expenses associated with the homebuying process.”

In a survey of 1,300 U.S. homeowners conducted for TD Bank in March, 62% spent close to $2,000 in unexpected costs during the mortgage process. For millennials, those born between 1982 and 2004, the number is higher; 44% incurred up to $5,000 in unexpected costs.

“Millennials, in particular, go online and do their research first, but may not understand about closing costs and escrow accounts,” says Ray Rodriguez, regional mortgage sales manager for the metro New York market for TD Bank. Lenders create escrow accounts to pay insurance and tax bills on a mortgaged property when they come due.

Mr. Rodriguez recently closed a $700,000 mortgage in Connecticut where the borrower had to post $10,600 just to set up escrow accounts. Utility bills can come as a surprise as well. Some utilities and other service providers may require a deposit when an account is opened.

Continued in article

Eye Opening Sixty Minutes Videos on December 9, 2016
Benjamin Netanyahu
The New Colombia, Lost
These will only be free at this link for a short time

The Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend
Benjamin Netanyahu discussed how Israel is no longer alone in the Middle East because of (unspoken) alliances in the Arab world now fighting Iran and Hezbollah terrorists. He also stressed how strongly Israel supported Trump's quest to become President of the USA. The changed global alliances are so very complicated in the 21st Century. They give us hope and worry regarding how long they can last.

With Peace Comes Prosperity
The module about Colombia was a real eye opener on the new prosperity and peace in Colombia, and the investments that made it possible (such as escalators up steep hills).  What amazed me is how Colombia is prospering while oil-rich Venezuela is starving its people. How quickly things changed in these nations.

25 of Prospering Versus Dying Industries in the USA ---

Among the most prosperous industries eldercare slightly edged out goat farming, oil pipeline construction, and technical services like accounting --- 
Note that a prospering industry need not mean growing employment in that industry if robotics are taking over.

It's not a good time to be into fabrics, newspapers, and land developing.

What's your balance with the IRS?  Do you owe anything or have any unclaimed refunds?

New online tool allows taxpayers to check IRS account information ---

The IRS announced on Thursday that it has launched an online tool that allows individuals to check their tax account balances online, including tax due, penalties, and interest, after they complete an online registration process called Secure Access. To register for Secure Access the first time, taxpayers must have an email address, a text-enabled cellphone in the taxpayer’s name, and specific account information for the taxpayer, such as credit card accounts and loan account numbers. Each time a taxpayer returns to use the service, he or she will be required to enter a code received from the IRS by email or text. The IRS, mindful of the many scams that try to obtain taxpayers’ information, noted that it will not send emails or texts asking for personal information or login credentials—it will only send codes for one-time use. Taxpayers who previously registered with the IRS for Get Transcript Online or through the online Get an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) service can use the same usernames and passwords.

Jensen Comment
In 2014, following a Turbo Tax breach of tax data on millions of people who filed returns, a thief filed a tax return in my name using my Social Security number and my IRS PIN number. The IRS paid a refund to the thief based upon this fake tax return, just like the IRS has paid out billions every year on fake tax returns since the IRS commenced to allow electronic filings. Before electronic filings it was harder for thieves to file fake tax returns, although the IRS started getting ripped off much more after the era of electronic filing commenced. Since 2014 I will never file electronically again in my lifetime.

I detected the fraud before April 15, 2014 when the IRS refused to accept my genuine electronic filing. I immidiately suspected what happened and mailed by genuine return to the IRS via snail mail. Since I had all my 1099 forms attached the IRS recognized that my mailed return was genuine and that the IRS had paid out an earlier refund to fake Bob Jensen. The IRS then sent me my genuine (and much smaller) refund.

My question is whether this new 2016 online tool will reveal phony and well as genuine activity in my IRS account?
I've not yet tried the tool, but would love to hear from anybody is already using this tool.

What's worrisome is the thought that a thief beat me to using this tool for my IRS account.

Speakers at meeting for graduate deans warn about the pitfalls of big data-driven research ---

Jensen Comment
For example, statisticians sometimes warn that stratified sampling is better than costly big data sampling in compliance testing. I had a friend who, before he died, became quite wealthy consulting on stratified sampling in compliance testing:
Will Yancey's Legacy ---

Bernie Madoff Scandal ---

Bernie Madoff explains in rare interview from prison how he rationalized his crimes ---
Thank you Elliot Kamlet for recommending this Harvard site ---

Jensen Comment
i don't like the way Business Insider shifts to video informercials.

Bob Jensen's threads on the Ponzi world where Madoff was a king --- 

There's a big change happening to Social Security in 2017 — here's what you need to know ---

Infinity Minus Infinity Equals Pi: This Video Proves It ---

Older Americans Went Back To School During The Recession. Did It Pay Off? ---

Jensen Comment
Being "older" in this article does not mean being a senior citizen. More often than not this about a need to build a career later in life as a result of retirement after 20+ years in the military or wanting a career after the kids leave for college themselves. Exhibit A is a woman who majored in fluff when she met the love of her life in college, got married before finishing college or got married after graduating in fluff, raised two kids, got divorced at age 37 and now needs to find a career better than a McFluff. Exhibit B is a Mr. Mom who struggled to write a successful book while driving the kids to soccer games and fixing dinners before putting them to bed. After the kids left home he lighted up the back yard with his book drafts in a burn barrel and wanted a money-making career after his wife died of breast cancer.

The positives are that older students are often better students more focused on academic achievement. Another positive is that times have changed regarding age-discrimination preventions written into the law and corporate policies. The negatives are frequent health problems such as depression and diabetes and issues of recovering from addictions. Going back to school is on the road to improved feeling of self worth.

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education alternatives (including many that are free from highly respected universities) ---

The demarcation between science and pseudoscience is part of the larger task to determine which beliefs are epistemically warranted ---
For examples see

"Richard Feynman on the Universal Responsibility of Scientists," by Maria Popover, Brain Pickings, March 6, 2013 ---

. . .

It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress and great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress that is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom, to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed, and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations

Metaphorical Meaning of the Phrase "Cargo Cult Science" ---

The term "cargo cult" has been used metaphorically to describe an attempt to recreate successful outcomes by replicating circumstances associated with those outcomes, although those circumstances are either unrelated to the causes of outcomes or insufficient to produce them by themselves. In the former case, this is an instance of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

The metaphorical use of "cargo cult" was popularized by physicist Richard Feynman at a 1974 Caltech commencement speech, which later became a chapter in his book Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, where he coined the phrase "cargo cult science" to describe activity that had some of the trappings of real science (such as publication in scientific journals) but lacked a basis in honest experimentation.

Later the term cargo cult programming developed to describe computer software containing elements that are included because of successful utilization elsewhere, unnecessary for the task at hand.


Examples of Junk Science: A Pseudoscience Whistleblower Story ---

"The Sad Story of the Battery Breakthrough that Proved Too Good to Be True," by Kevin Bullis, MIT's Technology Review, December 6, 2013 ---

"The Replication Myth: Shedding Light on One of Science�s Dirty Little Secrets
," by Jared Horvath, Scientific American, December 4, 2013 ---

"Is Economics a Science," by Robert Shiller, QFinance, November 8, 2013 --- Click Here shiller/2013/11/08/nobel-is-economics-a-science?utm_source=November+2013+email&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Blog2&utm_campaign=EmailNov13

NEW HAVEN � I am one of the winners of this year�s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, which makes me acutely aware of criticism of the prize by those who claim that economics � unlike chemistry, physics, or medicine, for which Nobel Prizes are also awarded � is not a science. Are they right?

One problem with economics is that it is necessarily focused on policy, rather than discovery of fundamentals. Nobody really cares much about economic data except as a guide to policy: economic phenomena do not have the same intrinsic fascination for us as the internal resonances of the atom or the functioning of the vesicles and other organelles of a living cell. We judge economics by what it can produce. As such, economics is rather more like engineering than physics, more practical than spiritual.

There is no Nobel Prize for engineering, though there should be. True, the chemistry prize this year looks a bit like an engineering prize, because it was given to three researchers � Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt, and Arieh Warshel � �for the development of multiscale models of complex chemical systems� that underlie the computer programs that make nuclear magnetic resonance hardware work. But the Nobel Foundation is forced to look at much more such practical, applied material when it considers the economics prize.

The problem is that, once we focus on economic policy, much that is not science comes into play. Politics becomes involved, and political posturing is amply rewarded by public attention. The Nobel Prize is designed to reward those who do not play tricks for attention, and who, in their sincere pursuit of the truth, might otherwise be slighted.

The pursuit of truth

Why is it called a prize in �economic sciences�, rather than just �economics�? The other prizes are not awarded in the �chemical sciences� or the �physical sciences�.


Fields of endeavor that use �science� in their titles tend to be those that get masses of people emotionally involved and in which crackpots seem to have some purchase on public opinion. These fields have �science� in their names to distinguish them from their disreputable cousins.

The term political science first became popular in the late eighteenth century to distinguish it from all the partisan tracts whose purpose was to gain votes and influence rather than pursue the truth. Astronomical science was a common term in the late nineteenth century, to distinguish it from astrology and the study of ancient myths about the constellations. Hypnotic science was also used in the nineteenth century to distinguish the scientific study of hypnotism from witchcraft or religious transcendentalism.

Crackpot counterparts

There was a need for such terms back then, because their crackpot counterparts held much greater sway in general discourse. Scientists had to announce themselves as scientists.


In fact, even the term chemical science enjoyed some popularity in the nineteenth century � a time when the field sought to distinguish itself from alchemy and the promotion of quack nostrums. But the need to use that term to distinguish true science from the practice of impostors was already fading by the time the Nobel Prizes were launched in 1901.

Similarly, the terms astronomical science and hypnotic science mostly died out as the twentieth century progressed, perhaps because belief in the occult waned in respectable society. Yes, horoscopes still persist in popular newspapers, but they are there only for the severely scientifically challenged, or for entertainment; the idea that the stars determine our fate has lost all intellectual currency. Hence there is no longer any need for the term �astronomical science.�


Critics of �economic sciences� sometimes refer to the development of a �pseudoscience� of economics, arguing that it uses the trappings of science, like dense mathematics, but only for show. For example, in his 2004 book,
 Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Nicholas Taleb said of economic sciences:
�You can disguise charlatanism under the weight of equations, and nobody can catch you since there is no such thing as a controlled experiment.�

But physics is not without such critics, too. In his 2004 book,
The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next, Lee Smolin reproached the physics profession for being seduced by beautiful and elegant theories (notably string theory) rather than those that can be tested by experimentation. Similarly, in his 2007 book, Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law, Peter Woit accused physicists of much the same sin as mathematical economists are said to commit.


Exposing the charlatans

My belief is tha
t economics is somewhat more vulnerable than the physical sciences to models whose validity will never be clear, because the necessity for approximation is much stronger than in the physical sciences, especially given that the models describe people rather than magnetic resonances or fundamental particles. People can just change their minds and behave completely differently. They even have neuroses and identity problems - complex phenomena that the field of behavioral economics is finding relevant to understand economic outcomes.


But all the mathematics in economics is not, as Taleb suggests, charlatanism. Economics has an important quantitative side, which cannot be escaped. The challenge has been to combine its mathematical insights with the kinds of adjustments that are needed to make its models fit the economy�s irreducibly human element.

The advance of behavioral economics is not fundamentally in conflict with mathematical economics, as some seem to think, though it may well be in conflict with some currently fashionable mathematical economic models. And, while economics presents its own methodological problems, the basic challenges facing researchers are not fundamentally different from those faced by researchers in other fields. As economics develops, it will broaden its repertory of methods and sources of evidence, the science will become stronger, and the charlatans will be exposed.

More examples and debate

How to Mislead With Statistics

Here's how much surgeons, lawyers, and 18 other top-earning professionals make per hour ---

Jensen Comment
This articles is one of the best/worst articles I've seen lately on how to lie with statistics.

Here are a few things to point out to your students if you want to highlight how not to report survey results.

First and foremost when you define the total populations (apart from sample sizes) and don't mislead about the sizes of the populations.
For example, the above article says there 15,650 physicists.  Aren't professors and other teachers in physics "employed?" There are more physicists employed only in academia than 15,650.. Most likely the average hourly wage would be greatly pulled down if academics were included in the population and the sample.

Secondly the article ignores standard deviations and kurtosis of the distributions from which averages are reported. For example, outliers in millions of dollars of compensation to attorneys and other professionals tend to skew averages upward. Even medians can be misleading for highly skewed distributions with outliers on both sides of the medians. Think of all those lawyers who will work for food.

How random are the samples from the populations identified in the study. My guess is not very random.

Watch definitions.
What is a "chief executive?" The manager-owner of our local hardware store is a "chief executive" as is the CEO of a Fortune 500 Corporation.
What's the definition of a "financial manager versus a "sales manager?" Why are there twice as many financial managers as sales managers?
What's the definition of "public relations and fundraising managers" and why are there only 60,380 of them when there are 531,161 financial managers? Many financial managers and chief executive officers and are also the public relations and fund raising managers. My guess is that the sampling population totally ignored public relations and fund raising managers for colleges, universities, churches, and charities where compensation is often quite low or contingent upon funds raised.

What's the difference between a pharmacist and the chief executive? Many pharmacists also own and manage the entire drug store?

What's "compensation?" Most CEO's of Fortune 500 companies get paid on performance-based contracts depending upon such things as corporate earnings reports. In other words what a CEO makes one year may be doubled or tripled the next year and then taken way down the following year.

What's "compensation?" Most CEOs are paid in many ways including stock options, stock awards programs, living benefits (use of the corporate jets and ski chalets, wine, women, and song).

There's an enormous difference between what a physician makes before or after malpractice insurance and other expense expenses. Those that work for much lower annual salaries often do not have to pay their own malpractice insurance, nurse expenses, receptionist expenses, accounting expenses, office rental expenses, etc.

I could go on and on, but I think students will catch my drift.

This article is so misleading it's worse than garbage.

How to Mislead With Statistics

"This graph shows how much money you can earn from each college major," by Abby Jackson, Business Insider, December 24, 2015 ---

Jensen Comment
This graph is a great illustration of an interactive graphs, although you have to play around with it some to get the hang of it. For example, if you want to see the graphs for just "Accounting" click off the box for "All," click the box for "Accounting," and then scroll down and click on "Apply."

By now many of you are weary of my warnings about such things as definitions, averages without standard deviations, skewness (kurtosis), etc. For example, means or medians for "accounting" can be misleading without knowing how accounting is defined. For example, there's a big difference between what lowly bookkeepers make versus CPA firm partners and executives in major corporations. There's a huge difference between what accounting Ph.D. graduates make in struggling small private colleges versus what they make at Ivy League universities. Also there's a huge difference in fringe benefits such as housing subsidies, research stipends, summer pay, and fringe benefits such as contributions to TIAA/CREF. Also Ph.D. graduates tend to have opportunities for outside income in book writing and consulting. At a prestigious university like Harvard, a professor's Harvard salary is likely to be only a small part of total income.

In general, the biggest problem is in career tracking combined with income standard deviations. Comparing the lifetime earnings of a cost accountant in General Electric cannot really be compared with the lifetime earnings of a partner in a small local public accounting firm really cannot be compared because some of these partners may top out at $50,000 or more per year whereas others top out at $500,000 per year after their retirement buyouts are factored into compensation.

A top accounting graduate typically goes to work for 5-10 years with a large public accounting firm or the government. However, 80% or more of those graduates leave (most never intended to stay in public accounting or government employment) and go to work for in private industry such as when an IRS agent goes to work at a high level in a corporate tax department. At such time they often make much more than others who stay in public accounting or government. The problem is that in studies like the one cited above these "former" accountants are no longer classified as accountants such as when a public accountant becomes the CFO or CEO of a large or small corporation. Hence in studies like the one above a former accountant is excluded from the 20-year survey of "accountants."

The same problem arises when examining accountants who only have "associates" degrees. Typically these accounting graduates are no longer "accountants" ten or 20 years out. Some may be CEOs of their own companies and some might earn over $200,000 per year in stores or plumbing companies that they own. Hence, I'm extremely suspicious of graphs that compare the benefits of getting a Ph.D. versus an associates degree in accounting. The problem is that most associates  or bachelors degree holders either dropped out of the labor market (such as to have babies) or became entrepreneurs who are no longer classified as "accountants."

Problems like those mentioned above become exacerbated when comparing types of degrees such as accounting versus culinary arts versus creative writing.

The bottom line is that studies like this are so misleading and dangerous that I wish they did not get published.

Bob Jensen's threads on careers are at

How to Mislead With Statistics

2016:  Explore What Private-College Presidents Make ---

Information about presidents' tenures and prior employment was obtained from college websites, newspaper archives, or university offices. Photographs were obtained from university websites.

Jensen Comment
The above quotation raises a red flag about the data. The data were not collected in a statistical survey with consistent definitions and findings. For example, is it possible that the definition of "compensation" varies with the highly varied sources of the data? In some cases "compensation" may have included the value of a free house, a free car, and even a free airplane or use of an airplane (such as when a Trustee's private jet is used to ferry the president's family on vacations). In other cases "compensation" may exclude some of those fringe benefits.

How to Mislead With Popular Vote Statistics ---

. . .

The Nation magazine put it this way, “The preliminary count had Democratic Senate candidates gathering 46.2 million votes to 39.3 million for Republican candidates.” That and $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee from the aforementioned unshowered, probably with earlobes stretched to the size of Frisbees and an impromptu lecture on the “justice” of fair trade coffee beans.

But it’s a fraud.

Those numbers aren’t a lie, per se, but how the left is using them is, just like how it is using the presidential popular vote.

In California now, all candidates run in the same primary, and the top two vote-getters advance to the runoff unless one receives more than 50 percent of the vote. Thanks to total Democratic Party control, both candidates for the open Senate seat were Democrats. So Democrats got all the votes in California’s Senate race.

In fact, several solidly Republican states or states Republicans stand a good chance of winning didn’t have Senate elections in 2016.

When you choose the unit of measure by which you determine success you will always come out ahead. That’s what Democrats are doing here.

In this year’s World Series, the Chicago Cubs won the title 4 games to 3. But both the Cubs and Cleveland Indians scored 27 runs in the seven games. Applying the argument liberals are using, there needs to be an eighth game, or at least more innings added to game 7 with the winner being whichever team scores the next run.

Why Making Accurate World Maps Is Mathematically Impossible ---

Amazon is Building Some Onsite Grocery Stores (might be upwards of 2,000 such stores in the future)

Take a look inside Amazon's grocery store of the future — there are no cashiers, registers or lines --- 

Jensen Comment
Note why it will be harder to shoplift relative to traditional stores.

The CEO of Ford just perfectly summarized the biggest problem for electric cars ---

Jensen Comment
CEO Mark Fields contends the sales demand just isn't there.

Sure there are rich people in warm climates providing a niche market for Tesla electric cars as long as taxpayers are stupid enough to continue paying huge subsidies for purchase prices and provide free roads and bridges for electric cars. But those rich folks have gasoline cars for longer trips beyond the limited ranges of electric cars.

Sure there are rich people not worried about what Trump's angry China might do to the price of lithium. Rich folks have other cars.

I suspect there will be an increased market for hybrids since they have longer ranges. Those cars make sense.

All eyes are on the forthcoming Chevy Bolt since the Bolt is cheaper than the Tesla and has a worldwide network of dealers.

Ford's CEO Mark Fields does not seem to be losing sleep over competition from Tesla or Bolt.

I think this was a cartoon in The New Yorker.
The CEO stands in front of a chart showing a pending financial disaster.
The CEO says to his chief accountant:
"Digbee, the only thing that can save us is an accounting miracle!"

GAO Assails Department Of Education's Cost Estimates Of Income-Driven Student Loans, Projects 39% ($137 Billion) Of 1995-2017 Loans Will Not Be Repaid ---

Jensen Comment

We have to think that maybe the Department of Education's accountants took lessons on how to cheat from the House Budget Committee estimating the future costs of Obamacare around the turn of the 21st Century. The errors are so enormous one has to think that these errors are intentional in both cases.

Jensen Comment
I have a granddaughter with over $100,000 in student loans who's watching this unfold. However, since her starting salary in Portland, Maine is over $125,000 as a licensed pharmacist she may not be eligible for full forgiveness.

California: Where the Air is Pure and the Streets are Putrid

It's now legal to urinate and defecate on the streets of San Francisco even though it's not a good thing for tourism or health (don't walk barefoot on hotel room carpets)---

The Cow Fart Police in California:  California To Start Regulating Cow Farts ---
Jensen Comment
Don't tell Jerry Brown, but as milk and dairy prices skyrocket in California it's possible to get fresh milk and many dairy products from Amazon. At what point will California's dairy farmers start selling their land for more ticky-tack housing? The lowest Amazon price I found today was $.59 per ounce which leaves a lot of cushion for California fresh milk price rises. However, customers may buy cheaper milk substitutes and powdered milk on Amazon as well.
It won't be long before California's fart police are sent to nursing homes and homes for wayward boys.
Our two sons in Yuba City, California have warned me that in the future I may need a special permit to visit them.

Jensen Comment
Don't tell Jerry Brown, but as milk and dairy prices skyrocket in California it's possible to get fresh milk and many dairy products from Amazon. At what point will California's dairy farmers start selling their land for more ticky-tack housing? The lowest Amazon price I found today was $.59 per ounce of Maine milk which leaves a lot of cushion for California fresh milk price rises. However, customers may buy cheaper milk substitutes and powdered milk on Amazon as well.

It won't be long before California's fart police are sent to nursing homes and homes for wayward boys.

Our two sons in Yuba City, California have warned me that in the future I may need a special permit to visit them.

The Chronicle of Higher Education Report on Non-Traditional Students ---

Political Correctness Book Banning
'To Kill a Mockingbird' Pulled From Virginia Schools Because of 'Racial Slurs' --- 

Bob Jensen Threads on Banned (Forbidden) Books ---

Bob Jensen's Threads on Political Correctness in Education ---

How to Stop Facebook Videos From Playing Automatically ---

How to Take Photographs at Night (That Aren't Blurry) ---

The Atlantic:  Why Violence Against Nurses Has Spiked in the Last Decade ---

PhilPapers (study of philosophy) ---

Philosophy Bites (interviews with philosophers around the world) ---

Lottery Winners Often Lose it All for Different Reasons than Sports Stars ---

Jensen Comment
The one thing in common rich sports stars typically have in common is ignorance about finance and investing. But lottery winners are prone to giving too much away to friends and family while not properly investing enough to sustain themselves.

Sports stars either waste the money on luxuries (penthouses, yachts, wild women, drugs, etc.) or they are victimized by investment advisors who gamble away their windfalls provided by the sports stars.

There are of course exceptions, but far to many who get rich quickly end up bankrupt and miserable.

Eye Opening (Wow) and Eye Closing (Yawn) Books in 2016

Economist Magazine 2016 Book Recommendations ---

Quartz Favorite 2016 Books ---


The New York Times:  10 Best Books of 2016 ---

The Association of Small Bombs By Karan Mahajan

The North Water By Ian McGuire

The Underground Railroad By Colson Whitehead

The Vegetarian By Han Kang. Translated by Deborah Smith

War and Turpentine By Stefan Hertmans. Translated by David McKay.

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails By Sarah Bakewell

In the Darkroom By Susan Faludi

The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between By Hisham Matar

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City By Matthew Desmond

Jensen Comment
This is a book that shows us the dark side of USA poverty. It's an eye-opening book about government welfare policies and programs gone bad.

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right By Jane Mayer

Jensen Comment
There are 400 billionaires in the USA: Half are Good (Democrats) and Half are Bad (Republicans)
A better title for this book would've been "A Billionaires Guide for Political Correctness" (Of course Oprah and Bill Moyers love it)

Bill Gates Book Choices for 2016 (not necessarily published in 2016)---

String Theory, by David Foster Wallace.

Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight.

The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

The Myth of the Strong Leader, by Archie Brown.

Honorable mention: The Grid, by Gretchen Bakke.

Newsweek's Choices for Favorite Books of 2016 ---

Buisness Insider Readers Choose the 20 Best Books in 2016 ---

Brain Pickings:  The Best Science Books of 2016 ---

Bob Jensen's Favorite Book for 2016 by one of Bob Jensen's Favorite Authors

Book Review
Michael Lewis’s ‘Brilliant’ New Book About Cognitive Bias ---

Michael Lewis’s brilliant book celebrates Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Israeli-American psychologists who are our age’s apostles of doubt about human reason. The timing is fortunate, given that overconfident experts may have caused and then failed to predict such momentous events as Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

Mr. Kahneman and Tversky (who died in 1996) first started working together in 1969. They were well-matched. The Holocaust survivor Mr. Kahneman chronically doubted even himself. The brash Tversky targeted his doubts toward others, especially (as one acquaintance noted) “people who don’t know the difference between knowing and not knowing.” Testing people with quizzes in their laboratory, they found a host of “cognitive biases” afflicting rational thinking.

One bias they found is that we underestimate uncertainty. In hindsight bias, for example, test subjects misremembered their own predictions as being correct. As Tversky explained, “we find ourselves unable to predict what will happen; yet, after the fact we explain what did happen with a great deal of confidence. . . . It leads us to believe that there is a less uncertain world than there actually is.” Mr. Lewis is outraged by McKinsey & Co. coaching their consultants to radiate certainty while billing clients huge fees to forecast such unknowable variables as the future price of oil. The work of Tversky and Mr. Kahneman convinced Mr. Lewis that, as he puts it when summarizing the view of a jaded former consultant, such “confidence was a sign of fraudulence.”

Failing to process uncertainty correctly, we attach too much importance to too small a number of observations. Basketball teams believe that players suddenly have a “hot hand” after they have made a string of baskets, so you should pass them the ball. Tversky showed that the hot hand was a myth—among many small samples of shooting attempts, there will randomly be some streaks. Instead of a hot hand, there was “regression to the mean”—players fall back down to their average shooting prowess after a streak. Likewise a “cold” player will move back up to his own average. (Both Mr. Lewis and his subjects love sports examples; Mr. Lewis now says that he realizes the insights chronicled in his 2003 “Moneyball,” about flawed judgment in baseball, had been predicted by Mr. Kahneman and Tversky all along.)

Failing to understand regression to the mean is a ubiquitous source of prediction errors, such as expecting China’s world-record streak of high economic growth rates to continue forever (it won’t). Mr. Kahneman showed that such flawed thinking had even messed up the Israeli Air Force. Officers praised pilots after a great landing and berated them after a terrible one. Officers then noticed that the next landing after a fantastic one was worse, while the one after a horrendous one was better. The Air Force concluded that praise backfired while criticism improved performance. Mr. Kahneman noted that this spurious conclusion failed to understand regression to the mean. When he repeated this story to test subjects later, they made up stories about why praise backfired—they were also blind to the regression to the mean. Mr. Kahneman wrote: “It is part of the human condition that we are statistically punished for rewarding others and rewarded for punishing them.”

We also process uncertainty about people badly, resorting to stereotypes based on a small number of vivid examples about different types of people. Nobody in basketball thought of an awkward Chinese-American as a typical star, so nobody drafted Jeremy Lin in 2010. The Knicks discovered his abilities only in 2012 after a rash of injuries forced them to play him. Tversky and Mr. Kahneman found that stereotypes are more powerful than the logic of probability. They told test subjects that a fictitious “Linda” was smart and socially conscious and asked which is more likely: (a) that Linda is a bank teller or (b) that Linda is a bank teller and a feminist. Subjects chose (b) even though the subset of feminist bank tellers has to be smaller than the set of all bank tellers (feminist and non-feminist). Linda was just too irresistible a stereotype of a feminist to obey the laws of sets and probability.

Today vivid examples of Muslim terrorists have the far more serious consequence of inducing many to vastly overestimate the likelihood that any random Muslim might be a terrorist. A passenger on an American Airlines flight in May reported a suspicious dark-haired man next to her scribbling what looked like Arabic on a piece of paper. Security personnel pulled him off the plane only to discover that he was an Italian professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania who had been doing differential equations.

It would be wrong to mock uneducated people for such mistakes, because Mr. Kahneman and Tversky found that even those trained in statistics exhibit the same cognitive biases. Indeed, there exist no experts without cognitive biases to fix everyone else’s cognitive biases.

Tversky sadly died much too young, at age 59. Mr. Kahneman went on to win the Nobel Prize in economics in 2002, then wrote a best-selling book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” in 2011—the next great book to read after this one. There Mr. Kahneman balanced out the account a bit. He and Tversky had focused on mistakes, but there are many things that the brain does well—as Mr. Lewis also notes.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One of my all-time favorite writers is Michael Lewis. I first encountered him in my research on derivative financial instruments frauds. My "timeline" of these frauds has many quotes from books by Michael Lewis ---

PISA ---

USA students excel more in Pizza than PISA

American 15-year-olds declined in performance on the "mathematics literacy" portion of the international PISA assessments. Reading and science scores remained flat in the latest assessment. An analysis of the results was released today by the United States Department of Education ---

Copying Singapore’s Math Homework ---

. . .

A few examples hint at the potential that a broader effort to share knowledge and practices has to accelerate progress:

• In England, a math-teacher exchange with Shanghai has led the Department for Education to adopt Shanghai’s approach to teaching math in half of England’s primary schools.

• In Vietnam, more than 2,500 primary schools adapted the Escuela Nueva model, a student-centered, participatory approach to learning developed in Colombia, where it has helped rural children thrive.

• In Chile, a student-leadership initiative, Panal (or “Honeycomb”) has expanded to Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador. Panal was developed by a Chilean partner of Teach for All.

But examples like these are few and far between. Hundreds of millions of children around the world can only dream of realizing their potential—or of a future full of opportunity, promise and financial security.

PISA enables us to analyze what high-performing and rapidly improving countries have in common. We need to ensure those lessons don’t stay on the pages of the report. We need to support a robust global ecosystem to foster learning and collaboration in education, so knowledge can travel quickly to communities around the world that can use it in service of better outcomes for kids.


Jensen Comment
It won't do much good to bring in teachers from Singapore as long as USA schools keep reducing classroom hours while pushing up grade inflation in the midst of lousy student performance. Do USA students really know that learning takes blood, sweat, and tears?

The New York Times:  Tiger Woods is Now Ranked 898th in the PGA
And yet the PGA and TV networks are $alivating over his return (for good reason)

A professor's book became a best seller just as the research behind her claims was crumbling ---

Jensen Comment
In a way the above article is related to the whole issue of fads in accountancy research. Use of the CAPM model for years became the fad that got researchers into our top journals, tenure, endowed chairs etc. And then the CAPM world began to crumble ---

How Do Couples Handle Money? ---
Keep scrolling down to read about the seven couples

Jensen Comment
Even though I'm a CPA, early on in our marriage I turned the checkbook over to Erika and let her handle our short-term bill paying and finances. When we both were working we pooled our incomes into one checking account. Since she's a nurse and not trained in investments or taxes I made the long-term decisions regarding our financial future while, at the same time, explaining my reasoning in this regard. I had to convince her that most of these sob-story solicitations on TV are frauds (she's a sucker for a sob story). We choose to donate larger amounts to fewer charities that we trust.

I rarely had the slightest idea how much was in our checking account and held my tongue if I discovered the large amount Erika kept in that account.

I had some rules of thumb until we retired. One was never to buy a new car. We always had reliable cars but never new cars. Since we lived in the south much of our married life road salt cancer was not a problem when buying pre-owned cars. My other rule of thumb was to pay as much for a house as we could possibly afford due to income tax benefits and inflation hedging. This worked wonderfully (doubled our investments) for three out of four houses owned in Michigan, Maine, Florida, and Texas. The big house in San Antonio that we lived in for 24 years sold for the same price we paid. Given all the maintenance and improvement expenses over two decades this house lost quite a lot of money but gave us enjoyment, although I grew weary of cleaning the beautiful swimming pool under huge live oak trees. The house did not go up in value for a number of reasons even though it was less than a block from a big medical center (NE Baptist where Erika worked) and a block from the best private K-12 school (St. Mary's Hall) in San Antonio. Times changed in San Antonio such that expensive homes pretty much had to be in gated neighborhoods to go up in value. It could've been worse. I unloaded this house (before the real estate bubble burst in 2006) to a couple who whose children went to St. Mary's Hall. Their offer was the only offer I received in the year spent trying to sell the home. I drank some martinis the night after the closing of that sale.

Pictures of this house are available at

Bob Jensen's personal finance helpers ---

Gifts:  The 2016 CPA technology gift guide ---

20 Tech Gifts for Under $100 ---

More Holiday Gift Ideas
These are the tech gadgets you’ll want to have in an emergency ---

Time Magazine:  50 Most Influential Gadgets of Our Time

Bob Jensen's threads on gadgets ---

Time Magazine:  The 25 Best Inventions of 2016 ---

Top 10 Tech Flops of 2016 ---

NetFlix will now let you download movies to watch offline ---

6 million Americans have stopped paying their car loans, and it's becoming a 'significant concern' ---

Institute of International Education: Open Doors Data (foreign students in the USA) ---

If You Had $45 Billion, What Would You Do to Improve Education?

Jensen Comment
The amount of $45 billion is too small to do much for the really big problems of providing education.

However, since there are so many alternatives for education amidst the really enormous problem of grade inflation (with the median USA grade being A-), I would spend the money on building reputed global competency testing centers for badges of accomplishment on everything from from academic performance (such as creative writing) to professional skills in languages, mathematics, law, medicine, etc. These badges would not be licenses to practice since licensing may entail experience requirements, but they would be a means of whether that A average in a discipline really amounts to A-level competency.

The Atlantic:  In a Decade, Oklahoma's Earthquakes Will Be Normal Again (but watch out for next year) ---

Don't Be Fooled, The Mac App Store is Full of Scams ---

Magnus Carlsen wins the 2016 World Chess Championship ---
Watch the videos

NCAA Rules Ex-Official at Cal State-Northridge Committed Academic Misconduct ---

Punishment includes infractions for helping two players cheat in courses
NCAA Wipes Out 2 Years of Notre Dame Wins in Football ---

When the Coaches Pass the Courses Instead of Football Players
Georgia Southern U. Staff Members Helped Athletes Cheat, NCAA Rules ---

Former U. of Southern Mississippi Coach Directed Cheating Ring, NCAA Says ---

The worst offender in history, basketball powerhouse University of North Carolina, got off easy after nearly 20 years of fake courses and illegal grade changes. It's a little like stealing where you get probation for stealing $10 million and a year in jail for stealing $100.

The higher the average annual performance of the college's teams the more frequent are the repeat academic cheating offenses.

And when a repeat offender like SMU finally gets serious about academic integrity the average annual performances go down the tubes.

 Bob Jensen's threads on athletics scandals in higher education ---

The Great Eucalyptus Debate:  Science Can't Tell Us What to Do
When environmentalists clash among themselves it's not a "clear cut" war between bad guys versus good guys
When the research of prestigious universities (think Stanford and UC Berkeley)  is not trusted by residents on and near those campuses

Jensen Commen6t
When I lived on the Stanford University campus (six years as a graduate student plus two later years in a think tank) I loved to walk among the towering Eucalyptus trees and breathe their wonderful aroma. Even when healthy these towering giants usually look like they're dying among lots of falling branches and bark,

Eucalyptus trees are slow (think centuries) growing and very hard and heavy ---

California. In the 1850s
Eucalyptus trees were introduced to California by Australians during the California Gold Rush. Much of California has a similar climate to parts of Australia. By the early 1900s, thousands of acres of eucalypts were planted with the encouragement of the state government. It was hoped that they would provide a renewable source of timber for construction, furniture making and railroad ties. It was soon found that for the latter purpose eucalyptus was particularly unsuitable, as the ties made from eucalyptus had a tendency to twist while drying, and the dried ties were so tough that it was nearly impossible to hammer rail spikes into them. They went on to note that the promise of eucalyptus in California was based on the old virgin forests of Australia.
This was a mistake as the young trees being harvested in California could not compare in quality to the centuries-old eucalyptus timber of Australia. It reacted differently to harvest. The older trees didn't split or warp as the infant California crop did. There was a vast difference between the two, and this would doom the California eucalyptus industry. One way in which the eucalyptus, mainly the blue gum E. globulus, proved valuable in California was in providing windbreaks for highways, orange groves, and other farms in the mostly treeless central part of the state. They are also admired as shade and ornamental trees in many cities and gardens. Eucalyptus plantations in California have been criticised because they compete with native plants and do not support native animals. Fire is also a problem. The 1991 Oakland Hills firestorm which destroyed almost 3,000 homes and killed 25 people was partly fuelled by large numbers of eucalypts close to the houses.[41] In some parts of California, eucalypt plantations are being removed and native trees and plants restored. Individuals have also illegally destroyed some trees and are suspected of introducing insect pests from Australia which attack the trees.[42] Eucalyptus trees also grow in parts of the Pacific Northwest: Washington, Oregon and parts of British Columbia.

Eucalyptus tree fire hazard ---
What makes them doubly dangerous are the many arsonists ready, willing, and able to start fires in troubled California


The Great Eucalyptus Debate
The Bay Area is deadlocked in a battle over whether its non-native blue gum trees should be felled or protected


. . .


Macalister isn’t 100 percent sure she could trust a NAS report, but she likes the idea better than charging a local university with studying these issues. “I would say it is a roll of the dice, but if you must put the dice in particular hands, the Academy is certainly better than local options,” she says.


Science can’t tell us what to do, whether to hone the axe and ready the glyphosphate or simply spread a picnic blanket under the canopy and relax. But in an ideal world, there would be an agreed-upon set of facts. From there, the differences of opinions would flow from different values, and there’s always hope that opposing values can expand and melt into each other—that compromise and compassion can be achieved. Until then, the magnificent Tasmanian blue gum is, in some sense, a prisoner of dueling realities.

Jensen Comment
I side with Mary Macalister in her quest to save the trees. But then I don't own nearby real estate (wish I did).

November 30, 2016 reply from Paul Krause

My experience with eucalyptus rail ties was in the winter we lived in South Australia. We burned the ties in our wood stove the entire winter. They had only one disadvantage- the wood was very hard and extremely difficult to split into stove size pieces.

The ties were the remnants from the dismantling of the narrow gauge railroad in the northern part of the state. There was a seemingly endless supply of these ties. Not only were they the cheapest firewood available they were the hottest and longest burning available.​ It was beautiful wood and it seemed to me a shame to reach their final use as firewood

Truth (usually I hate that word in academe) about human behavior that's both fascinating and sad ---

Prospect Theory ---

History Corner
How Two Trailblazing Psychologists Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down ---

Book Review
The End of America’s Economic Miracle ---
The Wall Street Journal
by Paul Kennedy
November 28, 2016

. . .

The big point that Mr. Levinson is making is that historically special circumstances were at work that pushed America into abnormally high rates of growth that wouldn’t last forever. Interestingly, then, while the 1973 “oil shock” caused the economy to fall back, it wasn’t the chief culprit. The United States was coming to the end of a special period economically; it was becoming a mature society.

If that is so, and this is the hard conclusion to be drawn, then presumably nothing will get us back to the golden age. A change of administration has little real effect on such things. When it comes to the key measure, total-factor productivity, the post-1973 American economy has been equally unresponsive—this may surprise some readers—to newer technologies in the workplace. Faster communications, improved construction materials, better energy use, the transformation of the firm, increased population demand, even the internet: Nothing has done the trick. The Clinton years in the mid-1990s looked pretty good, at least for a while. But nothing ever got things back to that “extraordinary time” when productivity went up and up without missing a beat. Mr. Levinson is, moreover, not alone in this argument. The respected economic historian Robert Gordon, at the end of “The Rise and Fall of American Growth” (2016), suggested as much, even more emphatically.

Mr. Levinson ends his book abruptly, rather too abruptly for this reviewer’s taste. How nice it would have been to have this very smart writer tease out more implications from his story. Instead he closes with a 1981 reflection by the great Nobel laureate economist Paul Samuelson: “The third quarter of the Twentieth Century was a golden age of economic progress. It surpassed any reasoned expectations. And we are not likely to see its equivalent soon again.” But is there not more to say? What we have here is a giant economic claim, that modernizing societies (America included) have but one special period of great productivity growth and then return to normal. Either it’s true, and we have troubled times ahead, or it’s not yet proved. But what could bring us a second sustained boom?

Mr. Kennedy is a professor of history and director of International Security Studies at Yale. His many works include “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers: Economic Change and Military Conflict From 1500 to 2000.”

What Really Makes Retirees Happy (Hint: It Isn’t the Money) ---

Jensen Comment
It is the money if you don't have enough. I'm think most of those old Walmart greeters would rather be somewhere else.

I could spend more time doing volunteer work for the hospital, but I think my expertise enables me to do more productive volunteer work like contributing endlessly to listservs and email forums.

Some of my retired friends love their nomad lives including photography adventures in Zimbabwe, Kenya, China, Europe, etc. Some love cruses. My last cruise was on a battleship.
My father, more than my mother, loved to travel about and talk about his life with any stranger who would listen. My mother went along for the rides but she mostly stayed in the hotel rooms while he wandered about looking for somebody with ears.

But most of those travel adventures are not for me --- been there done that! I like short hikes in the nearby New Hampshire mountains, but I no longer feel strong urges to return by car to the mountain trails of the west.

Some of my retired friends are into gaming --- bridge, chess, and computer games. But those are not for me. I would like to play more bridge, but none of our retired friends in these mountains play bridge.

I have lots of woodworking equipment in the basement but this mostly gathers dust. I'm really not into hobbies.

What do I miss most about being away from Trinity University?
I miss the campus library. I loved to wander about library stacks my entire academic life of 40+ years of being a full-time faculty member. Now my library is the Internet.
I don't sit an read books for hours on end unless I want to take a nap. I read portions of books in short spurts.

What makes me happiest in retirement is what made me happiest before retirement --- learning. And yes in my blogs I still try to stay on the leading edge of scholarship in my discipline --- accountancy and frauds ---
For earlier editions of Fraud Updates go to
For earlier editions of Tidbits go to
For earlier editions of New Bookmarks go to 

I also try to keep up with advances in knowledge in many fields
Bookmarks for the World's Library --- 


Exercise in important in retirement.
Even though I live on a golf course I don't play golf because it's boring and takes too much out of a day. I used to take long walks, but for me long walks now seem boring. What I like best for exercise is my yard work, although Erika will tell you that I spend too much time on my tractor and too little time walking about with a trimmer. But there are endless other things to be done in my four-acre yard and three flower gardens.

As far as romance goes, Erika and I have a movie date around 4:00 pm every afternoon. The movies are from NetFlix (streaming or on disk), and mostly they're BBC mystery movies that challenge the gray cells. Currently we're watching Luther and Inspector Lewis.

And I like our dinner parties and dinner conversations. I used to drink more at parties, but one or two per night now suffices at a party. Alcohol lubricates my tongue.


This Sneaky Retailer Trick Could Cost You Hundreds of Dollars ---

What Does Betsy DeVos Have in Mind for Higher Ed? ---

. . .

But it’s hard to find evidence of Ms. DeVos having taken any positions on higher-ed policy. Neal McCluskey, director of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, put it bluntly in an analysis of her nomination: "I have no idea where DeVos stands on early-childhood or higher-education issues, and the latter, especially, is gigantic."

"DeVos will essentially be taking over a hugely bureaucratic lending company — with lots of regulatory power — that on a day-to-day basis could prove to be a far greater burden than she expected," Mr. McCluskey wrote.

Continued in article

Jensen Comment
One of the problem with higher education for-profits is that they've become almost entirely dependent upon government to pay the tuition of their students. Another problem is that their admission and academic standards are suspected of being lower than those of their competitors in the public sector of higher education. If Ms Devos promotes academic standards and more competitiveness among the for-profits for students then she might be a breath of fresh air in the Department of Education. However, it's not clear that the for-profits can really compete with the public sector where online education is soaring with more reputable universities and professors.

For-profits might become more competitive if accrediting agencies like the AACSB are forced to open the door a crack for-profits with deep funding with such new names as Google University, GE Technical Institute, Budweiser University, etc.

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

Bob Jensen's threads on distance education alternatives ---

Alumni of a Woman's College Shout:  "Keep your nuts away" ---
Jensen Comment
This is more than just an issue of transgenders with penises.

Stanford University:  Long-term care can be ruinously expensive, and the odds of needing it are high. So why don’t seniors buy insurance to cover it? ---

. . .

What’s Wrong Today

The flaws in existing long term care insurance policies are many. One common gripe is that premiums are too high relative to benefits. But Tonetti’s model shows that demand for long-term care insurance isn’t very sensitive to price — increasing premiums by 30% over the actuarially fair price had little effect on purchases.

The bigger deterrent, surely, is that the policies one can buy today don’t actually eliminate risk. “Those earlier studies basically assumed we all have access to a state-contingent asset and choose not to buy it,” Tonetti says. “But these aren’t state-contingent assets at all. They work on a reimbursement model. You pay for the care yourself and then hope to get your money back.”

Stories abound of insurance companies denying claims or dragging out the process. “It can get adversarial,” Tonetti says, “and you might be in no shape to fight back or might be dying and have a short horizon.”

Short stays in a facility, the most common case, are not covered because of deductibles. Long stays, often needed for patients with cognitive decline — the most expensive case — are not covered because benefits end after one to five years. Within those bounds, there are limits on the services paid for and where they can be delivered. And, oh, your premiums might be raised at any time; fail to pay and you lose your coverage.

Future Potential

Tonetti says those flaws don’t entirely explain the under-insurance puzzle. When the better policy was explained to test subjects, not all those predicted to want it said they’d actually buy it. But that gap arose mainly among the wealthiest individuals, who can rely on their own resources.

For the majority of elderly Americans, the introduction of an improved form of long-term care insurance would offer a tremendous increase in quality of life, not to mention peace of mind. And by lightening the load on Medicaid, it would be a relief for state and federal finances as well.

That’s not to say it would be easy. These papers don’t analyze why the market appears to be failing, but fears of “adverse selection” are likely a factor; that’s when coverage is purchased mainly by people who expect to cash in on the benefits, making it unprofitable. But Tonetti and his colleagues have convincingly demonstrated that there’s an unmet demand for long-term care insurance — a big opportunity for any insurer who can figure it out.

Christopher Tonetti is an assistant professor of economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business. His coauthors on the papers “Long-Term Care Utility and Late-in-Life Saving” and “Late-in-Life Risks and the Under-Insurance Puzzle” are John Ameriks, Vanguard; Joseph Briggs, New York University; Andrew Caplin, New York University & NBER; and Matthew D. Shapiro, University of Michigan & NBER.

Jensen Comment
One thing the article does not mention is a tactic taken by many, many folks approaching possible long-term care (usually in nursing homes but sometimes at home). The tactic is to plan ahead and push all the assets to the heirs before long-term care is needed. Then the heirs support the old folks until if and when those "impoverished" old folks now qualify for Medicaid to pay all the long-term care bills. Their Medicare will not pay for long-term care but their Medicaid will pay for all long-term care. A friend of mine insists this tactic is perfectly legal. But if it's legal (I'm not entirely convinced) its certainly not ethical to shield the savings of older folks from the expenses of their long-term care.

Younger folks such as severely disabled young adults generally can be turned over to states to pay for their long-term care. This is all perfectly legal. And in my opinion it's ethical since these unfortunates generally do not have their own savings for such purposes. Decades ago parents usually had to pay for the long-term care of their disabled children, and some still do contribute to their long-term care. But this is less and less common.

In other nations like Canada and the United Kingdom long-term care expenses created crises in funding.

Nationalized healthcare is not all it's cracked up to be ---

. . .

Back home, though, Canadians seem far more critical of the system. If you follow the internal Canadian debate, you’ll hear the word “crisis.” In fact, many Canadian healthcare economists warn that their system is headed for a major collapse. The aging population has continued to stress an already fragile system. This is the same system that many proponents of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, pointed to as a model.

Another model of national health care cited by fans of the ACA is the UK’s National Health Service (NHS). Like the Canadian system, there seems to be one attitude for export and another for domestic consumption. You may recall the odd tribute to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. The NHS was portrayed as a sea of Mary Poppins bliss. At home, though, Brits had reason to complain. The UK was rated as having the worst patient care and lowest cancer survival rates in the Western World.

The NHS is in even worse shape now, and complaints are growing louder. According to the committee that represents UK hospitals, the NHS is on the verge of collapse. The former health minister Paul Burstow warned of this outcome two years ago. At the time, increases in the NIH budget were limited to the rate of inflation. But that did not allow for the increased cost of a growing elderly population. The NIH effort to find £30 billion in “efficiency savings” was already putting enormous strains on the system.

When a healthcare system is overloaded, it’s not just the aged who suffer. A Lancashire man operated on himself when he was put on a long waitlist for a surgery that he badly needed. With waitlists growing, the Royal College of Surgeons reports that financially challenged clinical groups are denying services to patients who are obese or smoke. Often, delayed treatment will increase medical costs in the long run.  

So it shouldn’t be surprising that the Affordable Care Act, which was inspired by the Canadian and British systems, is in deep trouble. Though I predicted it, it is worrisome when the act’s biggest supporters, including The New York Times, admit the program’s flaws.

The growing aged population is a huge financial burden

Obamacare doesn’t deal with the real source of rising healthcare costs: the increase in age-related diseases due to a growing elderly population. It is mathematically impossible to cut societal medical costs while at the same time providing adequate healthcare to a growing and increasingly expensive older population.

This is not just a problem with health care. Social Security and pension funds are running deficits, which will also worsen. Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, recently said that he has lost the optimism that he has long been known for. The reason is that “we have a 9 percent annual rate of increase in entitlements, which is mandated by law.  It has got nothing to do with the economy. It has got to do with age and health and the like.”

Greenspan points out that politicians refuse to deal with the “third rail” of entitlements. I agree, but I think there’s a solution. Politicians claim that voters won’t accept delayed retirement. But the evidence shows that most people would like to work longer and save more to pay their own way. Zoya Financial reports that almost two thirds of Americans have to retire earlier than planned, largely due to problems with their own health or a spouse’s.

Anti-aging biotechnologies are in labs right now that could lengthen health spans and working careers. This would allow us to save our entitlement systems. But economists and politicians still have no clue about the biotechnological progress that has marked the start of the 21st century. This will change because it must… but I hope it happens soon

50% of health and social-care funding is spent on 4% of people . . . About 25% of all hospital inpatient spending during a person’s lifetime occurs in the final three months.
"The (British) National Health Care Service is a Mess," The Economist, September 10, 2016, pp. 48-49 ---

. . .

Like health-care systems around the world, the National Health Service (NHS) is struggling to provide good care at low cost for patients such as Mrs Evans (not her real name). Its business model has not kept up with the changing burden of disease. For as more people enter and live longer in their dotage, demand increases for two costly types of care. The first is looking after the dying. About 25% of all hospital inpatient spending during a person’s lifetime occurs in the final three months. The second is caring for those with more than one chronic condition. About 70% of NHS spending goes on long-term illnesses. More than half of over-70s have at least two and a quarter have at least three. In south Somerset 50% of health and social-care funding is spent on 4% of people.

. . .

If one fallacy about the NHS is that it is the envy of the world, as its devotees claim, another is that it is a single organisation. In fact it is a series of interlocking systems. Public health, hospitals, general practitioners (or GPs, the family doctors who provide basic care outside hospitals) and mental-health services all have separate funding and incentives. Social care, which includes old-folks’ homes and the like, is run by local councils, not the NHS

. . .

So the NHS must do more with what it already spends. A sign of inefficiency is the 6,000 patients in English hospitals who are ready to go home but not yet discharged, up from 4,000 in 2013. They cost the service hundreds of millions of pounds per year and obstruct others from treatment. The bed-blockers themselves are harmed, too. Elderly patients lose up to 5% of muscle strength for every day they are laid up in hospital. Some delays are the result of council cuts: about 400,000 fewer old people receive social care than in 2010, meaning that hospitals are sometimes used as expensive alternatives to care homes. But most are due to how hospitals are run.

. . .

On average, the framework made GPs some of the highest-paid family doctors in the world when it was introduced in 2004. But since then it has become less generous. GPs’ real-terms income has fallen by one-fifth. This, and poor planning, has led to a shortage of them. England needs 5,000 more in the next five years. The NHS is mulling a deal with Apollo, whereby the Indian health-care firm supplies enough doctors to fill the gap.

. . .

The move from “volume to value”—that is, from paying providers for the procedures they carry out to paying them for the outcomes they achieve—has helped to stem the cost of Medicare, the American health system for pensioners. The expansion of ACOs as part of Obamacare led to reduced mortality rates and savings for providers of about 1-2%. But Dan Northam Jones, a visiting fellow at Harvard, warns that the potential for savings is greater in systems like Medicare, where there is no cap on spending.

And yet ACOs reflect a growing belief that if you want radically to improve health care you have to change how you pay for it. They will not solve all the problems of the NHS, some of which are inherent in its taxpayer-funded model. But perhaps its business model may yet catch up with how illness is changing. The NHS should forget being the envy of the world, and instead learn from it.

On November 22, 2009 CBS Sixty Minutes aired a video featuring experts (including physicians) explaining how the single largest drain on the Medicare insurance fund is keeping dying people hopelessly alive who could otherwise be allowed to die quicker and painlessly without artificially prolonging life on ICU machines.
"The Cost of Dying," CBS Sixty Minutes Video, November 22, 2009 ---

"Germany Is Exporting Its Grandmas (to Poland)," by Naomi, Kresge, Bloomberg Business Week, September 26, 2013 ---

"Government Medicine vs. the Elderly:  In Britain in 2007-08, 16.5% of deaths came after 'terminal sedation," by Rupert Darwall, The Wall Street Journal, September 14, 2009 ---

Rarely has the Atlantic seemed as wide as when America's health-care debate provoked a near unanimous response from British politicians boasting of the superiority of their country's National Health Service. Prime Minister Gordon Brown used Twitter to tell the world that the NHS can mean the difference between life and death. His wife added, "we love the NHS." Opposition leader David Cameron tweeted back that his plans to outspend Labour showed the Conservatives were more committed to the NHS than Labour.

This outbreak of NHS jingoism was brought to an abrupt halt by the Patients Association, an independent charity. In a report, the association presented a catalogue of end-of-life cases that demonstrated, in its words, "a consistent pattern of shocking standards of care." It provided details of what it described as "appalling treatment," which could be found across the NHS.

A few days later, a group of senior doctors and health-care experts wrote to a national newspaper expressing their concern about the Liverpool Care Pathway, a palliative program being rolled out across the NHS involving the withdrawal of fluids and nourishment for patients thought to be dying. Noting that in 2007-08, 16.5% of deaths in the U.K. came after "terminal sedation," their letter concluded with the chilling observation that experienced doctors know that sometimes "when all but essential drugs are stopped, 'dying' patients get better" if they are allowed to.

The usual justification for socialized health care is to provide access to quality health care for the poor and disadvantaged. But this function can be more efficiently performed through the benefits system and the payment of refundable tax credits.

The real justification for socialized medicine is left unstated: Because health-care resources are assumed to be fixed, those resources should be prioritized for those who can benefit most from medical treatment. Thus the NHS acts as Britain's national triage service, deciding who is most likely to respond best to treatment and allocating health care accordingly.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the NHS is institutionally ageist. The elderly have fewer years left to them; why then should they get health-care resources that would benefit a younger person more? An analysis by a senior U.K.-based health-care expert earlier this decade found that in the U.S. health-care spending per capita goes up steeply for the elderly, while the U.K. didn't show the same pattern. The U.K.'s pattern of health-care spending by age had more in common with the former Soviet bloc.

A scarcity assumption similar to the British mentality underlies President Barack Obama's proposed health-care overhaul. "We spend one-and-a-half times more per person on health care than any other country, but we aren't any healthier for it," Mr. Obama claimed in his address to Congress last Wednesday, a situation that, he said, threatened America's economic competitiveness.

This assertion is seldom challenged. Yet what makes health care different from spending on, say, information technology—or any category of consumer service—such that spending on health care is uniquely bad for the American economy? Distortions like malpractice suits that lead to higher costs or the absence of consumer price consciousness do result in a misallocation of resources. That should be an argument for tackling those distortions. But if high health-care spending otherwise reflects the preferences of millions of consumers, why the fuss?

The case for ObamaCare, as with the NHS, rests on what might be termed the "lump of health care" fallacy. But in a market-based system triggering one person's contractual rights to health care does not invalidate someone else's health policy. Instead, increased demand for health care incentivizes new drugs, new therapies and better ways of delivering health care. Government-administered systems are so slow and clumsy that they turn the lump of health-care fallacy into a reality.

According to the 2002 Wanless report, used by Tony Blair's government to justify a large tax hike to fund the higher spending, the NHS is late to adopt and slow to diffuse new technology. Still, NHS spending more than doubled to £103 billion in 2009-10 from £40 billion in 1999-2000, equivalent to an average growth rate of over 7% a year after inflation.

In 1965, economist (and future Nobel laureate) James Buchanan observed of the 17-year old NHS that "hospital facilities are overcrowded, and long delays in securing treatment, save for strictly emergency cases, are universally noted." Forty-four years later, matters are little improved. The Wanless report found that of the five countries it looked at, the U.S. was the only one to be both an early adopter and rapid diffuser of new medical techniques. It is the world's principal engine driving medical advance. If the U.S. gets health-care reform wrong, the rest of the world will suffer too.

Mr. Darwall, a London-based strategist, is currently writing a book on the history of global warming, to be published by Quartet Books in Spring 2010.

Jensen Plea
If and when I become gaga please sedate me to the max (meaning euthanize me)! I fear my wife, who is quite religious, will not allow that to happen.

Bob Jensen's universal health care messaging ---

Hasty Pudding: The Original American Comfort Food ---

David Hendry on "Economic Forecasting" ---

Jensen Comment
For those interested in doing research on the technical aspects of economic forecasting, the above module provides a list of researchers to look up and follow.

One question to ask is were economic forecasting stands among the near hopelessness of earthquake forecasting versus the much more hopeful discipline of sales forecasting.

Earthquake Prediction ---

From the Scout Report on November 25, 2016

Firefox Focus ---

Firefox Focus serves two purposes. First, it greatly increases user privacy by blocking any and all user tracking, cookies, and advertisements. Users automatically have a private browsing experience simply by using this browser - there is no need to personally adjust privacy settings or erase one's web history. Second, because sites that track user behavior are blocked, users can experience faster - and less cluttered - internet browsing. In keeping with the dual aims of simplicity and privacy, Firefox Focus does not allow for bookmarks or multiple tabs. However, if simplicity and privacy are you goals, this may be the browser for you. Firefox Focus is currently only available for iOS devices.  

PDF Viewer --- 

PDF Viewer is a free application, available for iOS and Android mobile devices, that allows users to view and annotate PDFs with ease. PDF viewer is unique in that it allows users to edit documents, e.g. delete pages, rotate pages, and add images and notes, and even add signatures,  on any mobile device. Users can also easily check out a list of all recent annotations and edits, facilitating easy collaboration. PDF Viewer will be of use to anyone looking to quickly and easily collaborate on documents, and may prove especially helpful for the classroom or office

In the Depths of the Black Sea, A Team Uncovers Over Forty Shipwrecks
More than 40 Shipwrecks Discovered in Black Sea

Maritime archaeology expedition in Black Sea

'We Couldn't Believe Our Eyes': A Lost World of Shipwrecks is Found

Mock Shipwreck: An Exercise in Maritime Archaeology

David Rumsey Map Collection: Atlas Map of the Black Sea

Oxic, Suboxic, and Anoxic Conditions in the Black Sea

From the Scout Report on December

.Jumpshare --- 

Jumpshare is a free file-sharing tool that allows users to instantly and securely share material with others, enabling easy collaboration on projects. Jumpshare may be downloaded as a web app on Apple or Windows computers, or as a mobile app on iOS or Android devices. Once downloaded, users can share an extensive assortment of documents, ebooks, images, videos, and other file types (interested users can check out the complete list of supported file formats on this website). In addition to Jumpshare's versatility and compatibility across multiple devices, the tool also syncs with a handful of workplace collaboration programs, including Slack and Asana. The basic version of Jumpshare is free; users can upgrade to a paid subscription for additional storage space.

HoursTracker --- 

Anyone looking to track their hours - whether to stay on top of freelance work or to improve personal productivity - may want to check out HoursTracker. Users can create their own tabs for each task or job and set a clock to mark an allotted time duration or a selected end time for each activity. A single tap allows users to easily clock in and out of tasks. In addition, employees can calculate earnings by entering an hourly wage for jobs worked. Data may be exported via email in either text or CSV format. This mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices.

The Prado Museum Exhibits the Work of Clara Peeters, 17th Century
Still-Life Painter
In A First, Spain's Prado Museum Puts The Spotlight On A Female Artist

The Museo del Prado Hosts Its First Exhibition Devoted to a Woman Painter:
Clara Peeters

We need to remove the mask of history from female artists

Museo Nacional del Prado: The Art of Clara Peeters

Still-Life Painting in Northern Europe, 1600-1800

How Asian luxury goods found their way into Dutch Golden Age paintings

From the Scout Report on December 9, 2016

Trello --- 

Trello is an online tool created to help individuals and teams get and stay organized. It is essentially a shared virtual bulletin board where users can share ideas, resources, and to-do lists with one another. Individual users can create a "card" dedicated to a particular topic e.g. "Book Club Ideas," "Outreach Plan," "To Do: Monday Event," etc. These cards can then be used to compile Trello boards, which are essentially "lists of lists." Boards and Cards may be shared with others to view or edit. The web version of Trello Basic is free and available for users running Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer browsers. Users can also download a mobile version of Trello (available for iOS or Android devices) or use it with Slack.

Spark --- 

Spark, a mobile and web-based application, is designed to add ease and organization to emailing. The app sorts emails into categories for easy browsing and allows users to quickly search their emails with user-friendly language (e.g. "email from Amina last week"). Another feature of Spark is the ability to "snooze" emails and reply to them at a later time. This email app boasts a sleek interface and is integrated with a number of other organizational and collaborative tools, such as Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Drive. Currently, Spark is only available for Apple devices.

Scientists Use Ancient Records of Eclipses to Show that Earth's
Rotation is Slowing
Ancient eclipse records show that days on Earth are getting just a little

Ancient eclipses show Earth's rotation is slowing

Astronomers Are Using Ancient Eclipse Records to Solve a Cosmic Mystery

Measurement of the Earth's rotation: 720 BC to AD 2015

Solar Eclipses of Historical Interest

Historical solar eclipse maps



Free Online Tutorials, Videos, Course Materials, and Learning Centers

Education Tutorials

Journal of Interactive Media in Education (MOOCs) ---

Reading Apprenticeship at WestEd: Downloadable Resources (metacognition) ---

Metacognitive Bookmark ---

Institute of International Education: Open Doors Data (foreign students in the USA) ---

Intelligence Squared (debates on a wide variety of topics) ---
Tickets must be purchased in many instances

Education Outside Lesson Pathway (k-12 Ecology) ---

PhilPapers (study of philosophy) ---

Philosophy Bites (interviews with philosophers around the world) ---

The Ways (Native Anerucan Languages) ---

Roald Dahl: Teach the Stories (language arts) ---

Bob Jensen's threads on general education tutorials are at

Bob Jensen's bookmarks for multiple disciplines ---

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---


Engineering, Science, and Medicine Tutorials

Open Science Journal ---

The NCBI Style Guide (biotechnology writing) ---
Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at

Hubble Space Telescope: Videos ---

The Romantic Venus We Never Knew ---

PBS: Crash Course Astronomy Videos

Google Moon (moon version of Google Earth) ---

The Problem With Nuclear Fusion ---

When Einstein Tilted at Windmills ---

The Map of Physics: Animation Shows How All the Different Fields in Physics Fit Together ---

PhET Interactive: Build an Atom ---

Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University:Visual Archives ---

Learn.Genetics: Basic Neuroscience ---

BioSystems (genes and proteins) ---

Monarch Butterfly Migration and Overwintering ---

Medical Heritage Library ---

Voice of the Ocean:  Sylvia Earle addresses the state of our seas. ---

Water, Megacities, and Global Change (PDF) ---

Education Outside Lesson Pathway (k-12 Ecology) ---

Untamed Science (ecology videos) ---

How We Know What Killed the Dinosaurs ---

OECD Health Statistics 2016 ---

Antarctic Report ---

Pew Research Center: The New Food Fights: U.S. Public Divides Over Food Science

From the Scout Report on December 9, 2016

Scientists Use Ancient Records of Eclipses to Show that Earth's
Rotation is Slowing
Ancient eclipse records show that days on Earth are getting just a little

Ancient eclipses show Earth's rotation is slowing

Astronomers Are Using Ancient Eclipse Records to Solve a Cosmic Mystery

Measurement of the Earth's rotation: 720 BC to AD 2015

Solar Eclipses of Historical Interest

Historical solar eclipse maps


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

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---

Social Science and Economics Tutorials

PhilPapers (study of philosophy) ---

Philosophy Bites (interviews with philosophers around the world) ---

Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality: Research ---

Mapping Inequality ---

Institute of International Education: Open Doors Data (foreign students in the USA) ---

Water, Megacities, and Global Change (PDF) ---

Pew Research Center: The New Food Fights: U.S. Public Divides Over Food Science

Food Politics ---

As/Us (women writers and their works) ---

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

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---

Law and Legal Studies

Bob Jensen's threads on law and legal studies are at
Scroll down to Law

Math Tutorials

Bob Jensen's threads on free online mathematics tutorials are at
Scroll down to Mathematics and Statistics

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---

History Tutorials

Techie Working at Home Creates Bigger Archive of Historical Newspapers (37 Million Pages) Than the Library of Congress ---

The Civil War in Art ---
Warning:  It's no longer politically correct to display some of this art on college campuses.

Colonial North American Project ---

From Colonialism to Tourism: Maps in American Culture ---

Mizan Project (history of Muslim societies) ---

Newberry Digital Exhibitions: Treasures of Faith: Twenty Years of Acquisitions ---

PhilPapers (study of philosophy) ---

Philosophy Bites (interviews with philosophers around the world) ---

The New Yorker: The Factory of Fakes (art history) ---

Art History Today ---

As/Us (women writers and their works) ---

Museums of India: National Portal and Digital Repository ---

The John Peabody Harrington Collection (native American voices) ---

The Hagley Vault (USA History of Business and Fashion) ---
This site needs a better search engine

The Land Divided, the World United: Building the Panama Canal ---

Library of Congress: Photochrom Prints (historic colored photographs) ---

Dante on Stamps (postage stamps) ---

The Junto (Native Americans and early American history) ---

Arago: People & the Post [stamps and the post office]

Intelligence Squared (debates on a wide variety of topics) ---
Tickets must be purchased in many instances

Herbert Matter: Modernist Photography and Graphic Design ---

28 Lists of Recommended Books Created by Well-Known Authors, Artists & Thinkers: Jorge Luis Borges, Patti Smith, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, David Bowie & More ---

Reading Europe (European History) ---

Hear 20 Hours of Romantic & Victorian Poetry Read by Ralph Fiennes, Dylan Thomas, James Mason & Many More ---

DYI ---- Do It Yourself
The University of Iowa Libraries: DIY History (Iowa history) ---

The Ways (Native Anerucan Languages) ---

The John Peabody Harrington Collection (native American voices) ---

The world's largest armies from antiquity to the present ---

From the Scout Report on November 25, 2016

In the Depths of the Black Sea, A Team Uncovers Over Forty Shipwrecks
More than 40 Shipwrecks Discovered in Black Sea

Maritime archaeology expedition in Black Sea

'We Couldn't Believe Our Eyes': A Lost World of Shipwrecks is Found

Mock Shipwreck: An Exercise in Maritime Archaeology

David Rumsey Map Collection: Atlas Map of the Black Sea

Oxic, Suboxic, and Anoxic Conditions in the Black Sea



Bob Jensen's threads on history tutorials are at
Scroll down to History
Also see  

Bob Jensen's links to free courses and tutorials ---

Language Tutorials

Roald Dahl: Teach the Stories (language arts) ---

The Ways (Native Anerucan Languages) ---

The John Peabody Harrington Collection (native American voices) ---

Learn 48 Languages Online for Free: Spanish, Chinese, English & More ---

Bob Jensen's neglected links to language tutorials are at

Music Tutorials

National Ballet of Canada Virtual Museum ---

Bob Jensen's threads on free music tutorials are at
Scroll down to Music

Bob Jensen's threads on music performances ---

Writing Tutorials

Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide ---

The NCBI Style Guide (biotechnology writing) ---

Bob Jensen's helpers for writers are at

Bob Jensen's threads on medicine ---

CDC Blogs ---

Updates from WebMD ---

November 28, 2016

November 29, 2016

November 30, 2016

December 1, 2016

December 2, 2016 December 3, 2016

December 5, 2016

December 7, 2016

December 8, 2016

December 9, 2016

December 10, 2016

December 12, 2016

Tim Magazine:  What happens when you get too little sleep?

Why Banning Kratom May Make the Opioid Epidemic Even Worse ---

Key Cause of Parkinson's Disease Can be Treated ---

Time Magazine:  Parkinson's Disease May Be Traced to Gut Bacteria ---

Scientists have finally figured out why astronauts lose their vision while in space ---

What data on 3,000 murderers and 10,000 victims tells us about serial killers ---

Jensen Comment
I don't believe some of this because serial killers usually are very adept regarding deception about motives. For example, Ted Bundy blamed porn, but most investigators closest to Bundy doubt his explanation.

Humor for December 2015

2016:  The Jeep Pulling Fidel Castro's Ashes Breaks Down During Funeral Procession, Soldiers Have To Push Vehicle
1961:  The hearse carrying Lyndon B. Johnson's  father-in-law's funeral procession ran out of gas in rural Texas on the way to the cemetery. The procession and the Johnson's had to wait until another hearse arrived.


Humor November 2016 ---

Humor October 2016 ---

Humor September 2016 ---

Humor August  2016 ---

Humor July  2016 ---  

Humor June  2016 ---

Humor May  2016 ---

Humor April  2016 ---

Humor March  2016 ---

Humor February  2016 ---

Humor January  2016 ---

Humor December 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor November 1-30,  2015 ---

Humor October 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor September 1-30,  2015 ---

Humor August 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor July 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor June 1-30,  2015 ---

Humor May 1-31,  2015 ---

Humor April 1-30, 2015 ---

Humor March 1-31, 2015 ---

Humor February 1-28, 2015 ---

Humor January 1-31, 2015 ---

Tidbits Archives ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

Update in 2014
20-Year Sugar Hill Master Plan ---

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

Online Distance Education Training and Education ---
For-Profit Universities Operating in the Gray Zone of Fraud  (College, Inc.) ---

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

The Cult of Statistical Significance: How Standard Error Costs Us Jobs, Justice, and Lives ---

How Accountics Scientists Should Change: 
"Frankly, Scarlett, after I get a hit for my resume in The Accounting Review I just don't give a damn"
One more mission in what's left of my life will be to try to change this 

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 ---


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

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

Free (updated) Basic Accounting Textbook --- search for Hoyle at

CPA Examination ---
Free CPA Examination Review Course Courtesy of Joe Hoyle ---

Rick Lillie's education, learning, and technology blog is at

Accounting News, Blogs, Listservs, and Social Networking ---

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

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

Some of Bob Jensen's Tutorials

Accounting program news items for colleges are posted at
Sometimes the news items provide links to teaching resources for accounting educators.
Any college may post a news item.

Accounting  and Taxation News Sites ---


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

Over the years the AECM has become the worldwide forum for accounting educators on all issues of accountancy and accounting education, including debates on accounting standards, managerial accounting, careers, fraud, forensic accounting, auditing, doctoral programs, and critical debates on academic (accountics) research, publication, replication, and validity testing.


CPAS-L (Practitioners)  (Closed Down)
CPAS-L provides a forum for discussions of all aspects of the practice of accounting. It provides an unmoderated environment where issues, questions, comments, ideas, etc. related to accounting can be freely discussed. Members are welcome to take an active role by posting to CPAS-L or an inactive role by just monitoring the list. You qualify for a free subscription if you are either a CPA or a professional accountant in public accounting, private industry, government or education. Others will be denied access.
Yahoo (Practitioners)
This forum is for CPAs to discuss the activities of the AICPA. This can be anything  from the CPA2BIZ portal to the XYZ initiative or anything else that relates to the AICPA.
This site hosts various discussion groups on such topics as accounting software, consulting, financial planning, fixed assets, payroll, human resources, profit on the Internet, and taxation.
Business Valuation Group 
This discussion group is headed by Randy Schostag [RSchostag@BUSVALGROUP.COM
FEI's Financial Reporting Blog
Smart Stops on the Web, Journal of Accountancy, March 2008 ---

Find news highlights from the SEC, FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board on this financial reporting blog from Financial Executives International. The site, updated daily, compiles regulatory news, rulings and statements, comment letters on standards, and hot topics from the Web’s largest business and accounting publications and organizations. Look for continuing coverage of SOX requirements, fair value reporting and the Alternative Minimum Tax, plus emerging issues such as the subprime mortgage crisis, international convergence, and rules for tax return preparers.
The CAlCPA Tax Listserv

September 4, 2008 message from Scott Bonacker []
Scott has been a long-time contributor to the AECM listserv (he's a techie as well as a practicing CPA)

I found another listserve that is exceptional -

CalCPA maintains  and they let almost anyone join it.
Jim Counts, CPA is moderator.

There are several highly capable people that make frequent answers to tax questions posted there, and the answers are often in depth.


Scott forwarded the following message from Jim Counts

Yes you may mention info on your listserve about TaxTalk. As part of what you say please say [... any CPA or attorney or a member of the Calif Society of CPAs may join. It is possible to join without having a free Yahoo account but then they will not have access to the files and other items posted.

Once signed in on their Yahoo account go to and I believe in top right corner is Join Group. Click on it and answer the few questions and in the comment box say you are a CPA or attorney, whichever you are and I will get the request to join.

Be aware that we run on the average 30 or move emails per day. I encourage people to set up a folder for just the emails from this listserve and then via a rule or filter send them to that folder instead of having them be in your inbox. Thus you can read them when you want and it will not fill up the inbox when you are looking for client emails etc.

We currently have about 830 CPAs and attorneys nationwide but mainly in California.... ]

Please encourage your members to join our listserve.

If any questions let me know.

Hemet, CA
Moderator TaxTalk





Many useful accounting sites (scroll down) ---


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

Some Accounting History Sites

Bob Jensen's Accounting History in a Nutshell and Links ---

Accounting History Libraries at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) ---
The above libraries include international accounting history.
The above libraries include film and video historical collections.

MAAW Knowledge Portal for Management and Accounting ---

Academy of Accounting Historians and the Accounting Historians Journal ---

Sage Accounting History ---

A nice timeline on the development of U.S. standards and the evolution of thinking about the income statement versus the balance sheet is provided at:
"The Evolution of U.S. GAAP: The Political Forces Behind Professional Standards (1930-1973)," by Stephen A. Zeff, CPA Journal, January 2005 ---
Part II covering years 1974-2003 published in February 2005 --- 

A nice timeline of accounting history ---

From Texas A&M University
Accounting History Outline ---

Bob Jensen's timeline of derivative financial instruments and hedge accounting ---

History of Fraud in America ---
Also see

Bob Jensen's Threads ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories

All my online pictures ---


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