Colleges, Degrees and Education
I hope my kid never goes to college. I hope he doesn’t have to. I hope that in the next 18 years, we figure out a better to learn and teach kids. I hope that one day anyone can learn anything that is being taught anywhere in the universe simply by logging in.
A lot of top colleges already offer free education online. Not receiving a diploma in exchange for what you learned isn’t the problem, society expecting one is. Perhaps we need to rethink how we perceive who is “qualified” and who is not.
How many people do we alienate because we base what they can learn and where they can learn it form on what kind of kids they were before they fully matured.
I’m not just talking about high school grades and SATs. The dichotomy of the education system starts at a young age. We place certain kids in “gifted” programs or in “honors” programs and we place others on an education path with less expectations of those students and equally less contributions to those students. All of this happens well before high school, it happens in elementary school, before some children even develop a sense or drive for learning or a focus on a particular skill or knowledge set.
Some people are late bloomers. They don’t figure things out and get their life in order until 20, 21, 25 years old. But for them, it’s already too late. They have 50 or 60 years of life left, but we’ve already sealed their fate. These people can’t get into better schools and they aren’t typically considered for better jobs. Not at 25, 35 or 55 years of age. We don’t view them as qualified. And we don’t give them a chance to prove it.
I’m not saying let anyone into any school. Not right away, at least. But we need to gradually relax the acceptance program while also improving how colleges teach.
There are people willing to pay to be taught and people willing to get paid to teach yet colleges put canyons between them. Application processes are ass-backwards. If people want to pay to learn, let them. If they flunk out, that’s their problem.
There just seems to be this artificial divide between consumers and producers in this market and I think we can find better ways to bridge both sides without sacrificing the quality of education.
After World War II, the United States sold the world on making the Dollar the world’s reserve currency and convinced countries to send us their gold and that we would maintain the value of gold at a steady $35 per ounce.
After the Vietnam War we stripped the dollar of it’s gold backing, let the dollar become a completely fiat currency and didn’t return anyone’s gold.
Today, gold trades at around $1600 an ounce.
Trust no bitch.
Things you don’t here in the news: Two Russian nuclear-armed bombers circled the western Pacific island of Guam this week in the latest sign of Moscow’s growing strategic assertiveness toward the United States.
Two Russian nuclear-armed bombers circled the western Pacific island of Guam this week in the latest sign of Moscow’s growing strategic assertiveness toward the United States.
The Russian Tu-95 Bear-H strategic bombers were equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles and were followed by U.S. jets as they circumnavigated Guam on Feb. 12 local time—hours before President Barack Obama’s state of the union address.
Air Force Capt. Kim Bender, a spokeswoman for the Pacific Air Force in Hawaii, confirmed the incident to the Washington Free Beacon and said Air Force F-15 jets based on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, “scrambled and responded to the aircraft.”
“The Tu-95s were intercepted and left the area in a northbound direction. No further actions occurred,” she said. Bender said no other details would be released “for operational security reasons.”
The bomber incident was considered highly unusual. Russian strategic bombers are not known to have conducted such operations in the past into the south Pacific from bomber bases in the Russian Far East, which is thousands of miles away and over water.
John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and former State Department international security undersecretary, said the Russian bomber flights appear to be part of an increasingly threatening strategic posture in response to Obama administration anti-nuclear policies.
“Every day brings new evidence that Obama’s ideological obsession with dismantling our nuclear deterrent is dangerous,” Bolton said. “Our national security is in danger of slipping off the national agenda even as the threats grow.”
Defense officials said the bombers tracked over Guam were likely equipped with six Kh-55 or Kh-55SM cruise missiles that can hit targets up to 1,800 miles away with either a high-explosive warhead or a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead.
The F-15s that intercepted the bombers were based at Kadena Air Base, Japan, and were deployed to Guam for the ongoing annual Exercise Guahan Shield 2013.
Two U.S. B-2 strategic bombers were deployed to Guam in late January and last fall advanced F-22 fighter bombers were temporarily stationed on the island. Three nuclear-powered attack submarines and the Global Hawk long-range drone also are based in Guam.
About 200 Marines currently are training on the island. Earlier news reports stated that Japanese and Australian military jets joined U.S. jets in the Guam exercises.
Guam is one of the key strategic U.S. military bases under the Obama administration’s new “pivot” to Asia policy. As a result, it is a target of China and North Korea. Both have missiles capable of hitting the island, located about 1,700 miles east of the Philippines in the Mariana island chain.
This week’s bomber flights are a sign the Russians are targeting the island as well, one defense official said.
Guam also plays a key role in the Pentagon’s semi-secret strategy called the Air-Sea Battle Concept designed to counter what the Pentagon calls China’s anti-access and area denial weapons—precision guided missiles, submarines, anti-satellite weapons, and other special warfighting capabilities designed to prevent the U.S. military from defending allies or keeping sea lanes open in the region.
Defense officials disclosed the incident to the Free Beacon and said the Russian bomber flights appeared to be a strategic message from Moscow timed to the president’s state of the union speech.
“They were sending a message to Washington during the state of the union speech,” one official said.
The bomber flights also coincided with growing tensions between China and Japan over the Senkaku islands. A Chinese warship recently increased tensions between Beijing and Tokyo by using targeting radar against a Japanese warship.
The U.S. military has said it would defend Japan in any military confrontation with China over the Senkakus. The bomber flights appear to signal Russian support for China in the dispute.
Meanwhile, Obama on Wednesday telephoned Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reiterate U.S. nuclear assurances to its ally following North Korea’s third detonation of an underground nuclear device.
A White House statement said the president told Abe, who visits Washington next week, that the United States “remains steadfast in its defense commitments to Japan, including the extended deterrence offered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella.”
“It shows that the Russians, like the Chinese, are not just going to sit idly by and watch the United States ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalance’ its forces toward Asia,” said former State Department security official Mark Groombridge.
“One could argue the Russians were poking a bit of fun at the Obama Administration, seeing how they flew these long-range bombers close to Guam on the same day as the state of the union address,” he said.
“But the broader implications are more profound,” said Groombridge, now with the private strategic intelligence firm LIGNET. “The Russians are clearly sending a signal that they consider the Pacific an area of vital national strategic interest and that they still have at least some power projection capabilities to counterbalance against any possible increase in U.S. military assets in the region.”
Airspace violations by Russian Su-27 jets triggered intercepts by Japanese fighters near Japan’s Hokkaido Island last week. The Feb. 7. incident prompted protests from Tokyo and took place near disputed territory claimed by both countries since the end of World War II.
The Russian air incursion around Guam was the third threatening strategic bomber incident since June. On July 4th, two Bear H’s operated at the closest point to the United States that a Russian bomber has flown since the Soviet Union routinely conducted such flights.
The July bomber flights near California followed an earlier incident in June when two Bear H’s ran up against the air defense zone near Alaska as part of large-scale strategic exercises that Moscow said involved simulated attacks on U.S. missile defense bases. The Pentagon operates missile defense bases in Alaska and California.
Those flights triggered the scrambling of U.S. and Canadian interceptor jets as well.
The bomber flights near Alaska violated a provision of the 2010 New START arms treaty that requires advance notification of exercises involving strategic nuclear bombers.
Military spokesmen sought to play down the June and July incidents as non-threatening, apparently reflecting the Obama administration’s conciliatory “reset” policy toward Russia that seeks better relations by tamping down criticism of Moscow, despite growing anti-U.S. sentiments and policies from the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey questioned his Russian counterpart, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, during a meeting at the Pentagon July 12th.
The latest Russian nuclear saber rattling through bomber flights comes as the Obama administration is planning a new round of strategic arms reduction talks with Russia. State Department arms official Rose Gottemoeller was recently in Moscow for arms discussions.
The president was expected to announce plans to cut U.S. nuclear forces by an additional one-third in a new round of arms reduction efforts with Moscow.
However, the president did not announce the plans and said only during his state of the union speech that he plans further arms cuts.
“Building Guam as a strategic hub has played a critical role in balancing U.S. security interests in responding to and cooperating with China as well as in shaping China’s perceptions and conduct,” wrote Government Accountability Office analyst Shirley A. Kan in a September 2012 report.
“Since 2000, the U.S. military has been building up forward-deployed forces on the westernmost U.S. territory of Guam to increase U.S. presence, deterrence, and power projection for potential responses to crises and disasters, counterterrorism, and contingencies in support of South Korea, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, or elsewhere in Asia.”
via Free Beacon
Does a Constitution-free zone really exist in America? via Yahoo! News
Is there really a government law that disallows the Fourth Amendment for 200 million Americans? Some people say it’s true, but the reasoning behind a 100-mile “Constitution-free” zone argument is confusing at best.
The American Civil Liberties Union has been saying since 2010 that a regulation allowing customs and immigration agents to search electronic devices at America’s borders without cause is wrong. Two years prior to that, the ACLU also warned of a 100-mile-wide U.S. border called the “Constitution-free zone” where such searches could occur.
Last Friday, the Department of Homeland Security issued a two-page review of its policy on searching laptops, cell phones, and other devices at border checks, to clarify the policy that the ACLU had questioned in 2010.
The DHS said that customs and immigration agents can “exercise long-standing constitutional and statutory authority permitting suspicionless and warrantless searches of merchandise at the border and its functional equivalent.”
The ACLU also asked for the details behind the decision to be released.
To be sure, the ACLU has played a valuable role in the debate since 2008 and has obtained many government files about electronic-device searches after filing Freedom of Information Act requests.
But the confusion seems to be centered on the idea of a 100-mile extended border for the United States, and how nearly 200 million Americans could have their laptops, cell phones, and iPads searched at any moment.
In a lawsuit filed in 2010, the ACLU argued that “we are not saying that the government can never search or seize electronic devices at the border, but only that border agents should have some suspicion that the search will turn up evidence of wrongdoing before looking through all the private information that people have stored in their devices.”
The 100-mile-wide border zone is from that earlier missive from the ACLU in 2008, which claimed the electronics-search zone applied to any person who lived within 100 miles of a land or sea border—which happens to be two-thirds of the American population. At the time, the ACLU labeled the area asthe “Constitution-free zone.”
Since then, bloggers and writers have continued to make the connection between this 100-mile wide border and the lack of constitutional rights for searches of laptops and cell phones.
Legally, the 100-mile-wide region is called the “extended border” of the U.S., as defined by Title 8 of the Federal Code of Regulations. There is also something called the “functional equivalent” border, which is the area around international airports in the interior region of the U.S.
The DHS ruling from last Friday said its “warrantless searches” applied to the U.S. “border and its functional equivalent,” with no mention of the extended 100-mile border.
Two analysis papers from the Congressional Research Service from 2009 offer some legal insight into what tactics agents can follow within the 100-mile-wide extended border, and why the distinction between the extended border and the other two borders is important.
Searches within the 100-mile extended border zone, and outside of the immediate border-stop location, must meet three criteria: a person must have recently crossed a border; an agent should know that the object of a search hasn’t changed; and that “reasonable suspicion” of a criminal activity must exist, says the CRS. (The service had done the legal analyses to prepare Congress members for legislation.)
“Although a search at the border’s functional equivalent and an extended border search require similar elements, the extended border search entails a potentially greater intrusion on a legitimate expectation of privacy. Thus, an extended border search always requires a showing of ‘reasonable suspicion’ of criminal activity, while a search at the functional equivalent of the border may not require any degree of suspicion whatsoever,” the CRS says.
The fact that agents need to show “reasonable suspicion” outside direct border stops and airports puts their actions closer to the scope of the Fourth Amendment, says the CRS.
“The Fourth Amendment mandates that a search or seizure conducted by a government agent must be ‘reasonable.’ As a general rule, courts have construed Fourth Amendment reasonableness as requiring probable cause and a judicially granted warrant. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has recognized several exceptions to these requirements, one of which is the border search exception.”
The argument about a Constitution-free zone may better apply to direct border stops and airports, where agents don’t need to explain why they are searching a computer or cell phone. So, there could still be a “Constitution-free zone,” based on the outcome of legal appeals. It would just be much smaller than that 100-mile band around the U.S..
The CRS says the Supreme Court has yet to consider a case involving the degree of suspicion needed to search laptops at the border without a warrant or reasonable suspicion.
And in an evolving world where people keep much of their private lives stored on computers and cell phones, the issue should only grow in importance in coming years.
Not the greatest article in the world, but it’s on Yahoo! which is a pretty big deal and a really good sign that at least some of the MSM is starting to report the reality of how far we’ve fallen.
via Yahoo! News