20080326

ASU Foundation report, in closer detail

The report released on Tuesday, The Arizona State University Foundation: Advancing the New American University. A report on the financial activities of the ASU Foundation, issued by The Coalition for Justice at Great Western Erectors shows evidence that the ASU Foundation has misappropriated funds that are intended to benefit the university.

Here are the highlights from the report:
  • The ASU Foundation is the fund raising arm of Arizona State University and is charged with advancing ASU as a New American University. Unfortunately, according to this report the organization has lost sight of this mission. Since 2002, ASU students have faced tuition and fee increases while the ASU Foundation's endowment has increased by 91% in the last five years. For more information on tuition increases in Arizona please read one of my previous posts. This is a common theme for the rest of the nation.
  • The Sustainable Endowments Institute recently gave the ASU Foundation failing grades in the categories of Endowment Transparency and Shareholder Management.
  • According to the ASU Foundation's IRS Form 990, one of the major sources or revenue is 'Other Income'. For 2005 - 2006, this 'Other Income' amounted to almost $20 million.
  • Again the IRS Form 990 shows that in 2005 - 2006 $74 million was spent in functional expenses. Keep in mind that the ASU Foundation's purpose is to raise funds to support ASU. During this 2005 - 2006 time period only 43.8% went to the University in the form of grants and allocations.
  • The compensation for the ASU Foundation's top eight officers alone totaled almost $1.7 million. ASU Foundation Officer compensation is higher than peer foundations. The University of Florida, a public institution with a student population similar to ASU, spent only $630 thousand.
  • The third highest paid non-officer employee of the ASU Foundation in 2005 - 2006 was Sybil Francis, wife of ASU President Michael Crow. She received $160,000 as a 'senior advisor' to the ASU Foundation. That same year, Arizona State University compensated President Crow $520,000. For more information on Arizona State University salary for 2006 - 2007 please read this post.
  • The ASU Foundation spent $20.8 million on 'Other Expenses'. Compared again to the University of Florida, which spent only $5 million, it would appear that life at the ASU Foundation is, fun and games.
  • Actually, for a better idea of the fun and games at the ASU Foundation check out these figures. In 2005 - 2006 the ASU Foundation spent $978,261 on 'Nonprofessional Services'. Compared again to the University of Florida, which spent an even more incredible amount of $0. Yes, the University of Florida spent nothing on nonprofessional services during the same time period.
  • As mentioned earlier, the ASU Foundation spent 43.8% of it's total expenses on the university itself. Compared to the University of Florida, which spent 63.6%, and the University of Arizona, which spent 81.3% on their respective universities the ASU Foundation isn't spending nearly enough money on ASU.
  • Average overhead spending at the ASU Foundation increased 82% in just three years under President Michael Crow. Among the most notable expenses was a 206% increase in of average officer compensation. This coincides with a 6% in grants and allocations to ASU as a % of Total Functional Expenses. These figures are comparing two time periods. The percent change is comparing 2001 - 2003 and 2003 - 2005.
  • Resident in-state tuition and mandatory fees have increased by 100% since 2000 - 2001. Funds spent on ASU Foundation officer compensation have increased 440% since 2000 - 2001.
This information was taken from The Coalition for Justice at Great Western Erectors' report titled:
The Arizona State University Foundation
Advancing the New American University?
A report on the financial activities of the ASU Foundation

ASU Foundation possibly involved in misuse of funds

As I posted earlier, the ASU Foundation at Arizona State University has been criticized for financial improprieties. It is my opinion that this is a serious allegation and should be looked into more closely. If the ASU Foundation is indeed squandering money on frivolous expenditures something should be done. ASU is already being criticized for it's hiring contracts, Aramark and Great Western Erectors - to name two.

Here is an excerpt from the State Press article:

The Coalition for Justice at Great Western Erectors has said in a press conference Tuesday that the ASU Foundation spent too much money on overhead expenses and not enough on students.

According to a report circulated at a coalition press conference, millions of dollars that were donated to the foundation were spent on meals, entertainment, gifts, trophies and flowers.

The ASU Foundation's expenditures were not consistent with its stated mission to advance ASU and supply financial aid to ASU students.

But the foundation's president and CEO, Johnnie Ray, said that the allegedly exorbitant expenses, such as fees paid to asset managers, meal and gift expenses, along with salaries of top foundation employees, are normal operating expenses.

The growth of ASU Foundation's has resulted in increased spending to attract potential donors and hire more staff.

The payoff, he added, is evidenced by ASU's endowments growth —more than 50 percent since 2003.

Ray said a lot of the other information in the report was taken out of context.


Read the full article here.

Read a related post here.

20080323

ASU Presidential Rumors

There are rumors of possible misdeeds involving Arizona State University President Michael Crow and the ASU Foundation.

I'm sure more information will surface soon.

20080319

Argument: Allowing foreign nationals serve in the military to gain US citizenship

What better way to justify an illegitimate invasion, war, and occupation than to send in someone else to do the dirty work?

For all you anti-immigration people pay attention.
There are several instances of children being raised in the United States, just like any other US citizen, whose parents work-consequently paying taxes into a system which they cannot personally benefit from, and who are being denied the full opportunity to participate in their society. What kind of human being can justify denying another human being the opportunity to pursue a college education or to work?

Are not these two goals part of the alleged Amerikan dream. Why deny this to someone based on their citizenship status? It is clearly obvious where the person lives, where the person works, where the person has built a social support network. It is most clearly obvious that this child, that this human being lives in the United States. It should be obvious that a person living in Arizona for 6, 9, or 18 years be given the opportunity to go to college just like anyone else that has lived in Arizona for that same time period.

There is one thing that I can agree with you on. The immigration policy in the United States must be revised so that it is efficient and so that it promotes the welfare of our communities.

The DREAM Act wants to make it possible for minors to gain citizenship by serving in the military or by going to college. I am strongly opposed to this legislation because although it has the potential to allow several talented young people the opportunity to go to school it also allows the Amerikan war machine another batch of young impressionable soldiers to carry out more wanton violence and destruction.

After all, it would be easier to have your constituents agree to a war if they knew their own friends or children would not have to fight. It would certainly be easy for some people to merely say, "Let those Mexicans take care of it. They want to be in this country, let them earn their freedom."

Freedom is not earned by fighting another person's fight.

Freedom is earned by birth.

Freedom is earned, simply by being alive.

Argument: Guns on campus

I sure hope not. I am a student and I oppose the presence of weapons near or around me.

Lets review the argument for allowing people to carry concealed firearms on college campuses.

Though Students for Concealed Carry on Campus supports concealed carry on the campuses of both public and private colleges, we strongly support the rights of private property owners; therefore, we believe that the issue of concealed carry at private colleges must be handled through negotiations with school administrators, rather than through state legislation. However, SCCC supports state laws that grant private schools and other businesses immunity from liability for the actions of concealed handgun license holders.

SCCC supports the legalization of CONCEALED carry by LICENSED individuals on COLLEGE campuses. SCCC has no official position on open carry, unlicensed concealed carry, or concealed carry on the campuses of primary or secondary schools.

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus is not affiliated with the NRA, a political party, or any other organization.

Argument: "The last thing we need is a bunch of vigilantes getting into a shootout with a madman, particularly since it's been proven that trained police officers have an accuracy rate of only about 15%, in the field."

Answer: "Citizens with concealed handgun licenses are not vigilantes. They carry their concealed handguns as a means of getting themselves out of harm's way, not as an excuse to go chasing after bad guys. Whereas police shooting statistics involve scenarios such as pursuits down dark alleys and armed standoffs with assailants barricaded inside buildings, most civilian shootings happen at pointblank range. In the Luby's Cafeteria massacre, the Columbine High School massacre, and the Virginia Tech massacre, the assailants moved slowly and methodically, shooting their victims from pointblank range. A person doesn't have to be a deadeye shot to defend himself or herself against an assailant standing only a few feet away. It is highly unlikely that an exchange of gunfire between an armed citizen and a deranged killer would lead to more lives lost than would simply allowing an onslaught of execution-style murders to continue unchecked. Contrary to what the movies might have us believe, most real-world shootouts last less than ten seconds*. Even the real Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, a shootout involving nine armed participants, lasted only about thirty seconds and ended with only three of the participants being killed. It is unlikely that an exchange of gunfire between an armed assailant and an armed citizen would last more than a couple of seconds before one or both parties were disabled. And if the assailant were disabled, he would be unable to do any more harm."

A Cronkite/Eight poll released by ASU professor Bruce Merrill showed that 73 percent of registered Arizona voters objected to the idea of concealed-weapons carriers bringing guns on campus. At the Judiciary Committee hearing, the ASU, UA and NAU police chiefs testified in opposition to the bill. Allowing concealed carry on campus would add confusion to an active shooter situation and make it difficult for police to do their job, the police chiefs said.
"I think our job is difficult enough," ASU Police Chief John Pickens told the committee last Monday. "I don't believe that more weapons on campus is the solution."

I personally feel that having more weapons increases the potential for violence and that it would result in a greater loss of life. I should hope that an incident involving firearms does not happen again.

It just so happens that the grand old party is supporting this under the presumption of preserving state's rights. Those dastardly devils.

20080318

Is 'Save Darfur' a scam?

Some reasons for why it may be:
  • It wouldn't be the first Big Lie our government and media elite told us to justify a war.
  • It wouldn't even be the first time the U.S. government and media elite employed "genocide prevention" as a rationale for military intervention in an oil-rich region.
  • If stopping genocide in Africa really was on the agenda, why the focus on Sudan with 200,000 to 400,000 dead rather than Congo with five million dead?
  • It's all about Sudanese oil
  • It's all about Sudanese uranium, gum arabic and other natural resources
  • It's all about Sudan's strategic location
  • The backers and founders of the "Save Darfur" movement are the well-connected and well-funded U.S. foreign policy elite
  • None of the funds raised by the "Save Darfur Coalition", the flagship of the "Save Darfur Movement" go to help needy Africans on the ground in Darfur, according to stories in both the Washington Post and the New York Times
  • "Save Darfur" partisans in the U.S. are not interested in political negotiations to end the conflict in Darfur
  • Blackwater and other U.S. mercenary contractors, the unofficial armed wings of the Republican party and the Pentagon are eagerly pitching their services as part of the solution to the Darfur crisis

Full article at Alternet.

Honesty is certainly the best policy

Honesty is certainly the best policy. If only each person said what they meant instead of what they thought other people wanted to hear. If only. Be honest with yourself and with others. I can guarantee that your life will be improved by following this policy. Not only will people trust you but people will respect you. Here are exerpts of some articles that somewhat discuss the topic of honesty.

7 Secrets of being popular
People look up to those who have a solid character with the attributes of honesty, kindness, strength and humility. But, at the same time these are ideals to be lived and not talked about. Quite often we see some people talking about how others should live a good life. Yet these proud moralists, may be better advised to concentrate on their own conduct before lecturing others. The secret of popularity here is to be honest and self giving without the necessity of correcting others. The most powerful way is to merely lead by example; if others follow, fine; if not that is fine as well.

16 Tips to Survive Brutal Criticism and Ask for More

Develop a policy for honesty where you encourage people who give you honest feedback. I’ve wrote about this topic several times on my blog, and I’ve gotten many suggestions from readers who prefaced their ideas with, “I’m saying this because I know you won’t take it personally.” How many ideas would I have lost if I hadn’t created an honesty policy?

How to be great!
Honesty. It's no coincidence that "Honest Abe" Lincoln and George "I cannot tell a lie" Washington are among our nation's most cherished figures. Deceit and deception violate our culture's conception of heroism. "Ronald Reagan once said thai Oliver North was an American hero," observes Farley. "But Ollie obviously founder on the honesty standard."
Relationship rules
Know your needs and speak up for them clearly. A relationship is not a guessing game. Many people, men as well as women, fear stating their needs and, as a result, camouflage them. The result is disappointment at not getting what they want and anger at a partner for not having met their (unstated) needs. Closeness cannot occur without honesty. Your partner is not a mind reader.

20080316

Exercise of the Week: bodyweight squats

Useful Firefox Extensions


  • BlockSite: Useful for blocking Facebook Beacon and other website you don't want to ever visit.
  • CookieCuller: Lets you block and protect some sites from setting cookies and keeping track of your internet habits.
  • del.icio.us Bookmarks: Access your bookmarks from any computer.
  • Google Images Re-Linker: On a Google image search this jumps to the actual image.
  • GooglePreview: Has a screen shot preview in Google & Yahoo! search results.
  • Greasemonkey: Helps manage user scripts. Very useful to use with Facebook.
  • NoScript: Blocks unwanted scripts from running. Provides extra protection.
  • RefControl: Websites track your history. Control what gets sent from website to website.
  • RetailMeNot: Useful automatic notification of coupon codes when doing on-line shopping.
  • Torbutton: When used along with Privoxy, provides a button to easily enable or disable the tor proxy. You are effectively masking your IP address with this one.
  • TrackMeNot: Protects against data profiling by search engines by sending out several random searches each minute.
  • Zotero: Most useful when doing research.
These are the Firefox Extensions I use and I recommend them to all.

20080307

Tax assistance for students

Some say taxes are unconstitutional and are therefore not required. Others say the opposite.
If you would rather not risk being thrown in jail do your taxes. I'm sure the government could use the money to invade another country.

Here is some help for students:
IRS Tax Information for Students.


If you have other tax preparation suggestions, please leave a comment.

Honey & Wellness

Honey is composed primarily of carbohydrates and water,
and also includes small amounts of a wide array of
vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins such as niacin,
riboflavin, and pantothenic acid, along with
minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium,
manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

It is well-known that carbohydrate consumption prior to, during and after exercise improves performance and speeds the recovery of muscles. Honey is a natural source of readily available carbohydrates, providing 17 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon and may serve as an inexpensive alternative to commercial sports gels. Preliminary data from the University of Memphis Exercise and Sports Nutrition Laboratory suggest that honey is as effective as glucose for carbohydrate replacement during endurance exercise.

It is estimated that by the year 2020, half of all American over the age of 50 will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis or low bone mass. One of the key strategies for reducing likelihood of developing low bone mass is to consume adequate calcium. Of course, it is also very important that calcium consumed is absorbed. Researches at Purdue University showed that honey enhanced calcium uptake in laboratory animals. In fact, researchers found that the absorption of calcium was increased as the amount of honey was increased. Although this data would need to be confirmed using human subjects, the preliminary findings are very compelling. Maybe you'd like to get your calcium through a fruit smoothie made with milk rather than by taking a calcium pill. The following recipe is easy to make and of course, is delicious.

Fruit Honey Smoothie
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup skim or nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla low-fat yogurt
In a blender, combine all ingredients, blend until smooth.
Nutritional Information:
  • Calories: 664
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 76 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Calcium: 281 mg
  • Potassium: 747 mg
  • Sodium: 110 mg

For information about HONEY, do visit the National Honey Board's website. It has all the things you would ever want to know about honey.

Parents, Combat Saavy Marketing

It must be difficult for parents to have to say no to their children. Especially if it is a specific brand of product that child somehow wants.

Get Rich Slowly has a terrific and very useful post about how to deal with the invasive marketing strategies that companies use to gain a foothold in our homes, and our $ accounts.

"every time we noticed that a commercial or a print ad caught their attention, we asked them if they thought the product really did what the commercial claimed. This introduced the idea that sometimes people say things that aren't true and that it was okay for them to question what they saw and heard. It also taught the boys that what they think is important and valuable.

At the same time, we explained to them how companies need money to pay their workers and themselves, and how those companies try to convince others to buy their products in order to make money. Slowly, we began to see a change in their behavior. "

Use of passive writing pervasive in reports about sexual assault

Use of passive voice when reporting sexual assault, as if it were the victim's fault, is unfortunately very common in the mainstream media. For those of you that are unsure of what passive sentences are read on:

Passive sentences are to be avoided: Beware of the use of "to be" and its conjugations (is, was, were, are, am). These often indicate a passive sentence, where the subject is acted upon instead of acting. Passivity makes for weak, unconvincing writing. Passivity is often the hallmark of someone trying to weasel out of something: "Mistakes were made" assigns no blame, while "I made a mistake" tells the world you're taking responsibility. It does not convey the action, it only suggests the effect. So avoid passive sentences.

Examples of the use of passive writing when reporting sexual assault:

Security upped after apartment assaults by Matt Culbertson and Jacqueline Pantos published on Friday, February 29, 2008
"On Sunday, a 20-year-old female ASU student was held down by three men and sexually assaulted by a fourth man in her apartment at Gateway, Tempe Police reported."
Armed heist at Bennett Valley jewelry store By DEREK J. MOORE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
A woman was raped after being kidnapped Feb. 7 from a shopping center parking lot across the street from the jewelry store.


The following example shows an affirmative writing style. Clearly the perpetrator is the subject of this sentence and article.

Police: Gunman in deadly store attack sexually assaulted victim Published on: Thursday, February 07, 2008
A gunman who killed five women at a suburban Chicago clothing store sexual assaulted one of his victims, police said Wednesday as the attack's lone survivor commented publicly for the first time.

The media often does this to subtly shift the focus on the victim of the crime and not the perpetrator.

Abstinence Only Programs fail to achieve their goal, of abstinence.

Those crazy Christians keep wanting to preach their idealogy of safe sex as no sex. Some of the more radical groups think that human life begins at the mere thought of conception and the only way to prevent unnecessary loss of life is by abstinence. This approach is unfortunately pointless.

Ten Facts About Unplanned and Teen Pregnancy
  • At present, about half of all pregnancies in the United States are unplanned.
  • That amounts to about three million unplanned pregnancies each year.
  • Seven in ten adults believe reducing unwanted pregnancy in the United States is an important goal.
  • Teen pregnancy and birth rates in the United States have declined by about one-third since the early 1990's.
  • Even so, three in ten girls in the United States get pregnant by age 20.
  • Teens say parents most influence their decisions about sex.
  • The U.S. still leads the fully industrialized world in teen pregnancy and birth rates—by a wide margin. In fact, the U.S. rates are nearly double those of Great Britain, at least four times those of France and Germany, and more than ten times that of Japan.
  • About two-thirds of sexually active teens wish they had waited longer to lose their virginity.
  • The rate of unplanned pregnancy remained unchanged between 1994 and 2001 at 51 pregnancies per 1000 women aged 15-44. Over the same time period, the rate of unwanted pregnancy actually increased slightly (4 percent) between 1994 and 2001—from 31.9 to 33.2 unwanted pregnancies per 1,000 women age 15-44.
  • Over half (55 percent) of all unplanned pregnancies occur to women in their twenties. By comparison, only 21 percent occur to teen girls.

The National Campaign

Secure A Good Internship

Landing a good internship can mean a big difference in getting started in your career. Here are 15 steps that will help you identify and get the internship you want.

1. Start with the basics.
2. Let professors know.
3. Tap your parents.
4. Do community service.
5. Meet the speakers.
6. Check out career fairs.
7. Get business cards.
8. Write a letter.
9. Less is more.
10. Research career services.
11. Plan ahead.
12. Paying for part of your education.
13. Videotape mock interviews for review.
14. Set clear goals.
15. Get a campus job.
Details at Bankrate.com

20080306

An answer to Facebook wall spam?

I wrote Facebook customer service about how the rate of wall spam ringtone offers had increased.

This was the response from one of their User Operations staff:
Thanks for writing into us. It is possible that your friend’s account has been compromised. We would like to investigate this issue further, but unfortunately, we cannot release information regarding a user’s account to anyone but the account holder. Please tell your friend to contact us directly at privacy from his or her login email address with a brief description of the problem. We apologize for any inconvenience. Let me know if you have any further questions.

Is this response sufficient, no. Only time will tell if Facebook is able to repel spammers from the posting absurd free ringtone offers.

20080305

Improve US education system

Segregation in US public schools is a problem, especially in the North Eastern states and especially in New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Illinois. This disparity results in educational barriers for some students and opens doors for others.

Here is the solution:

The best way to desegregate public schools is to redistribute school funding on a per pupil basis. The government should redistribute funding in such a way that each student receives funding no more than two standard deviations away from the national mean. In 2005 the national average was $8973. (I don't have the data to find the standard deviation or else I would have provided it.)

In this redistribution of funds, schools with larger student populations will receive more money than schools with smaller student populations. This makes sense because larger schools need more money to maintain and improve educational standards. This will allow for all children to have improved access to educational resources.

This is a solution to public school segregation. Segregation seems to be more an issue of inadequate resources than an issue of ethnic groupings. This theory is purely economical and ignores any issue of ethnic background. (I do not believe in the concept of "race". The American Anthropological Association has stated that there is more genetic variance within alleged "races" than between them.)

Two standard deviations, although chosen somewhat arbitrarily, allows for economic regional differences. Areas with a more expensive cost of living will need more money to educate their children than areas with a less expensive cost of living.