Monday, May 02, 2016

Millennial's Having Buyers Remorse About College: Um Go to a State School

I would have buyers remorse as well seeing how bad college loans are with their usurious rates.
In fact, 57% of millennial graduates regret taking out as many loans as they did, and 36% even said that they would not have gone to college if they knew how much it was going to cost them, according to a survey by Citizens Bank.

Most State Schools cost a fairly reasonable amount. For instance Florida State tuition costs $6,507 for in-state. If the kid takes a "Malia Obama gap year" they will be all set to establish residency and and pay quite a bit less than that insane out of state cost. 

It might be possible to pay off that loan in a few years rather than 20+ years if the kid went to some small and private college. I'll pick Beloit out of a hat whose tuition is $42,500. You can go to Florida State for 6 years or Auburn for 4 for that exact same amount of money. I'm sure the education is very good at Beloit but is it really good enough to go into debt for decades more to pay it all off?

The state school also allows you to have one of the most fun things about college which is have a rooting interest for the rest of your life. I love seeing those old-timers with their Michigan shirts or someone shouting "War Eagle" at you from a moving car. That shared experience of going to somewhere with a good football or basketball team is very hard to beat.

Earth-sized Planets found just 40 Light Years Away

Pretty close indeed.
An international team of astronomers has discovered three Earth-sized exoplanets, all orbiting the same star just 40 light-years from us, the 16-nation intergovernmental research organization ESO reported on Monday.

The scientists have deemed all three planets potentially habitable, an exciting turn in the hunt for "exoplanets," a term for planets that orbit a star other than our sun.
And it could bring us closer to finding extraterrestrial life.
Too bad we couldn't beam some radio waves toward them and see if they pick it up or not. In fact they might just be getting Happy Days and All in the Family if our transceivers were pointed toward them. 

Japan Enters the Stealth Age with Mitsubishi X-2

Watch out Red China Japan might be trying to close the warplane gap.
Previously called the Advanced Technology Demonstrator-X (ATD-X), X-2 took off from Nagoya Airport and flew for 26 minutes to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force base in Gifu. Japan’s Ministry of Defense unveiled the X-2 on Jan. 28.

Overseeing the project is the Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency, or ATLA, a branch of the Defense Ministry that incorporated the older Technical Research and Development Institute. Together with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, they have overseen the aircraft’s development since 2009.
It is interesting that Japan is developing its own fighter in this day and age. I guess that US pivot toward the Pacific is a smart move because it looks like things are going to get interesting out here in the coming decades. 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Yale Students Rail Against John C. Calhoun College with a Very Odd Attack

Wait I don't understand this rebuke.
In a Wednesday press release Salovey said the decision to retain Calhoun's name was made "to encourage the campus community to confront the history of slavery, and to teach that history and its legacy."

That reasoning, however, drew harsh responses from students who said their painful history should not be made into an educational experience, according to the YDN.
Wait what? You will never learn about the painful history of something if you don't turn it into an educational experience. If these Yale students said "you know what, lets forget about the Holocaust because we don't want it made into an educational experience" that would make them a kind of Holocaust Denier.

Not learning about slavery and its history is a disservice to all of the people that lived through it and had to deal with its legacy. It does the worst thing you can do to people who lived through a tragedy which is to forget about them. All those Africans kidnapped from their homes, survived the middle passage, and worked those 18 hour or more days would be wiped from history by these Yalies. They will be forgotten simply because these students don't want them turned into an "educational experience." How do you learn about a tragedy unless you are educated about it?

However that said, why don't they just name the school after a prominent Yale abolitionist instead? Cassius Clay College or Samuel Hopkins College would do much of the work of teaching about slavery that John C. Calhoun College would. I can kind of see the Yalies point because something awful like the Adolf Eichmann School of Holocaust Studies would be grotesque. It is nice to see some College Presidents with a little backbone for a change. Salovey likes John C. Calhoun and he's sticking with him to the bitter end.

Ferrell Backs out of Alzheimers comedy About Ronald Reagan

Whoever is advising him made a good decision.
Ferrell’s spokesperson said that he was never officially attached: “The Reagan script is one of a number of scripts that had been submitted to Will Ferrell which he had considered.  While it is by no means a ‘Alzheimers comedy’ as has been suggested, Mr. Ferrell is not pursuing this project.”
I think this is what finalized the decision to back out.
On Friday, the Alzheimer’s Association criticized the planned project, stating: “Would filmmakers consider using a fatal form of cancer or another deadly disease for comedy? It’s time to stop this forever.” 
I'm sure some soulless liberal scumbag was like "It's making fun of a disease by a hated conservative so why the controversy?" When the Alzheimer's Association weighs in maybe shame (or discretion) finally sank in. In any case Farrell was smart to distance himself from this terrible disrespectful project. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

If Will Farrell makes this Offensive Movie about Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's Its Boycott Time: And I really Like Will Farrell

This has to be very high in the stupid career moves department.
News broke Wednesday about a planned movie starring Will Ferrell as the late President Ronald Reagan. Simply titled Reagan, Variety reported, “the story begins at the start of the ex-president’s second term when he falls into dementia and an ambitious intern is tasked with convincing the commander in chief that he is an actor playing the president in a movie.”
This has to be in poor taste even from liberals like Ferrell. Lots of people struggle with Alzheimer's Disease so making some funny satire about Reagan having it is egregious. I mean if some asshole on the right made a movie about Rosa Parks (who died of Alzheimer's in 2005) that had the same sort of plot there would be howls of anger from all sides. Instead its about Reagan so some Hollywood scumbag thinks his disease is fair game.

In any case if this movie gets made I will no longer watch anything that would have Will Farrell in it. I think he is super funny and talented and have pretty much watched everything he has made other than the last two with Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Hart in them. He was one of the highlights of Saturday Night Live when he was on the show and his Harry Carey impression is without peer.

However, Regan was one of our better Presidents and making light of his illness is crass and grotesque. So much so that I can no longer put money in Farrell's pocket if I can help it. Hopefully, he will walk away from this and find something less offensive for his next project. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Note the Date and Time: Bipartisanship found on Capital Hill and it Relates to Snooping Emails

I'm sure Obama will veto or Rush Limbaugh will come out against it or some other such mess.
The House voted unanimously Wednesday to overhaul a 30-year-old electronic privacy law to prevent government agents from reading Americans' old emails without a warrant.
House members voted 419-0 to pass the bipartisan Email Privacy Act, which requires government agents to get a warrant before they can gain access to Americans' email, texts, photos, videos and other electronic communication, regardless of how old the data is.
Wow so finally they need a warrant to read my old emails, texts, photos, and videos? I guess the Feds no longer has access to all those dirty photos and salacious emails that tripped up Patreaus and them. I'm sure they were all chomping at the bit to figure out who "Becky with the good hair" was. 

Trump Almost Sounds like a Pre-WW2 Isolationist

Hmm this is a very different foreign policy then even the Democrats are sporting.
"We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama's line in the sand in Syria," Trump said Wednesday. "Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos, and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper."

Those comments happen to echo Russia's Vladimir Putin, who believes U.S. intervention in places like Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Syria were mistakes that had dangerous destabilizing effects.
I know Putin has some sort of weird respect for Trump so their world-views might be very similar. I know if we didn't leave Iraq ISIS would be a footnote right now. So total non-intervention is not always a smart idea. I wonder if Trump will get rid of bases in Korea and Japan? I mean those wars have been "won" already and thus we should pull out if you go by the "Trump doctrine."

Monday, April 18, 2016

The 1924 Democratic National Convention: Dominated by the KKK? The VP Candidate was a Socialist that Wanted to Lower Taxes!?

I was reading this article about Dark Horses in the different conventions of the past and came across this.
The Democratic Party’s 1924 nominee, however — a West Virginian named John W. Davis — was definitely a dark horse, having received the nomination only as a compromise on the record-setting 103rd ballot after neither of the two leading contenders was able to secure the necessary two-thirds majority during the first 102 rounds of voting.
I was like who did this Davis guy beat out? It turns out it was William Gibbs McAdoo from California and Al Smith who was governor from New York. The interesting part was that William Gibbs McAdoo had the support of the KKK. The KKK was powerful in those days not just in the South but in the Midwest and Northeast as well.

The Democrats, much to their credit, tried to condemn Klan violence in a plank in the convention but it lost by a vote of 542.85 in favor, 546.15 against. It shows how different things were in the past. The guy from California was supported by the Klan against the governor from New York who was Catholic to the tune of 103 ballots. The Democrats instead picked a guy from West Virginia as the candidate. There were even so many Klan people around that there was a massive rally in New Jersey called the "Klanbake."

What was also interesting was the VP nominee Charles W. Bryan the Governor of Nebraska was a weird, radical socialist.

Loquacious beyond endurance, Bryan attacked the gas companies of Nebraska and bravely tried such socialistic schemes as a municipal ice plant for Lincoln. In 1922 he had won the governorship by promising to lower taxes.

That first part seems very Sanders-esque but the idea of him winning by promising to lower taxes is a complete volte fache of normal Dem orthodoxy. There was even a woman nominated for VP named Lena Springs. History is so strange sometimes. 


Picture of Syrian Students in Keffiyehs Mistaken for "Racial Insensitivity" by NJAP (Not Just a Party at UIUC) Wait aren't they named after a Racist Slur againt Japanese?

Now this is what you call knee-jerk racial/cultural animus at its finest.
The two groups said the party’s theme was not “rooted in racist sentiment.” As the Daily Illini reports, the student wearing the Native American headdress was dressed as a Cancun-based DJ while the two men dressed in keffiyehs were, in fact, both of Syrian descent and wanted to celebrate their heritage.

But their explanation failed to appease some students.

“Although that story might justify on an individual level, it does not justify on a systemic level because when people see it, they don’t know that story. When they see it, they see it as a justification for wearing cultural costumes,” Yousuf says, in reference to the men wearing keffiyehs.
So just wearing a keffiyeh among white folks is not correct behavior to these grievance groups? Even if it is to celebrate their culture? I guess this Yoursef cannot be arsed to get an actual explanation of what is happening in a picture. He sees keffiyehs and white people and says "systemic level" whatever and goes into full grievance mode.

However, I am offended by their name:

A number of student activist groups on campus – including Students for Justice in Palestine, the Black Students for Revolution, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan and the Campus Union for Trans Equality and Support — joined forces to form “Not Just a Party at UIUC” (NJAP) in response to the photo, according to Muhammad Yousuf, a junior at the UIUC and a member of NJAP.

NJAP contains a slur against Japanese people and they should change their name immediately. I cannot tolerate the insensitivity and "systemic level" whatever toward Asians shown by these groups.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The List of Theranos' Screw-Ups is a Mile Long: My Bet is it will be Taught in Business Schools as a Cautionary Tale

Now this is how to take $9 billion and flush it down the toilet.
The question is, how could this have happened? How could such a highly valued startup on its way to upending the $76 billion laboratory diagnostics industry by replacing test tubes of blood drawn from a vein with a few drops from a finger stick fall so far so fast? And how could Holmes’ star, which shone so brightly, fall practically overnight.   

If you had to find a way to destroy a brand and blow a $9 billion valuation, you’d be hard pressed to come up with a better plan than the one Holmes has pursued since October 16, 2015. If you had just six months to kill Theranos, this is how you’d do it:   
What follows is a tale of woe that reads like a Greek tragedy. Maybe this CEO Holmes has a future in the government sector where they can waste $9 billion over a long lunch.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

There Goes Theranos

I guess a 31 year old with a company valued at a billion that would revolutionize the blood testing industry was all hype.
Then in October 2015 came the massive Wall Street Journal investigation. Carreyrou eventually discovered and reported that it appears Theranos rarely even used its much-hyped Edison technology in its tests. Instead, the startup allegedly relies mostly on older technology by companies like Siemens for the bulk of its testing. (This was in contrast to the company's claims that it used older machines only for "certain esoteric and less commonly ordered tests.")

What's more, there are real concerns that the company's signature Edison machines — the ones that have garnered all the hype — aren't nearly as accurate as claimed. On this point, Carreyrou cited former employees, internal emails, and doctors. One Theranos employee even complained to regulators that Theranos had been gaming the system, "failing to report test results that raised questions about the precision of the Edison system."
I remember seeing her on Squawk Box a few years ago and she did promise something that was supposed to change the world. Instead they might have just been faking it the whole time. I wonder how this woman lived with the deception for so long? It must have been eating her up to lie to Walgreens, Board members Henry Kissinger and George P. Shultz, and regulators day after day.