You sit here today, $30,000 or $40,000 in debt, as the latest victims of what may well be the biggest conspiracy in U.S. history. It is a conspiracy so big and powerful that Dan Brown won’t even touch it. It’s a conspiracy so insidious that you will rarely hear its name.
Move over, Illuminati. Stand down, Wall Street. Area 51? Pah. It’s nothing.
The biggest conspiracy of all? The College-Industrial Complex.
Consider this: You have just paid about three times as much for your degree as did someone graduating 30 years ago. That’s in constant dollars — in other words, after accounting for inflation. There is no evidence that you have received a degree three times as good. Some would wonder if you have received a degree even one times as good.
According to the College Board, in 1983 a typical private American university managed to provide a bachelor’s-degree-level education to young people just like you for $11,000 a year in tuition and fees. That’s in 2012 dollars.
Some members of the College-Industrial Complex are talking about a new solution to bring down costs. They want to reduce, or eliminate, the amount spent on the actual teaching. Instead, students will watch online videos. Perhaps these will be on YouTube, or TED. It sounds like a column by the late, great Art Buchwald: “For $30,000 a year we can provide you with a top-of-the-range B.A. degree, just without any actual teaching.” You couldn’t make this up. But we’re already halfway there anyway. Even today most undergraduates don’t get within a million miles of the big-name professors they’re paying for.
Today’s graduates, so badly served by comparison with their parents and grandparents, may actually look lucky to those who come later. Costs are probably going to keep rising. The super-rich can bid up prices, just as they do for real estate in New York or London. (The difference is that you don’t have to live in New York or London, but you do have to get a degree: Unemployment rates for those without a bachelor’s degree are twice as high as for those who have one.) The conspiracy will keep pushing for more federal support.
How high will it go? Try this: The College-Industrial Complex says that degrees are still worth it because those with B.A. degrees will earn a lot more over the course of their lifetimes, and should pay for that. They point to U.S. Census data showing those with bachelor’s degrees earning on average $26,000 a year more than those with just a high-school diploma.
Using that logic, they could justify charges approaching $500,000 for a college degree. With the interest rate on subsidized student loans down to 3.4%, the net present value of those future earnings is, theoretically, very high.
No one is going to slap that price tag on a degree in public. Not yet.
Via: Cease Fire Magazine:
While the reality of Gladio’s existence in Europe is a matter of historical record, Edmonds contended the same strategy was adopted by the Pentagon in the 1990s in a new theatre of operations, namely, Asia. “Instead of using neo-Nazis, they used mujahideen working under various bin Ladens, as well as al-Zawahiri”, she said.
The last publicly known Gladio meeting occurred in NATO’s Allied Clandestine Committee (ACC) in Brussels in 1990. While Italy was a focal point for the older European operations, Edmonds said that Turkey and Azerbaijan served as the main conduits for a completely new, different set of operations in Asia using veterans of the anti-Soviet campaign in Afghanistan, the so-called “Afghan Arabs” that had been trained by al-Qaeda.
These new Pentagon-led operations were codenamed ‘Gladio B’ by FBI counterintelligence: “In 1997, NATO asked [Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak to release from prison Islamist militants affiliated to Ayman al-Zawahiri [whose role in the assassination of Anwar Sadat led to Mubarak’s ascension]. They were flown under U.S. orders to Turkey for [training and use in] operations by the Pentagon”, she said.
Research Credit: HongPong
Thanks to Pookie for sending $75.
Thanks to everyone who supported Cryptogon in April. Total earnings came to $1017.24.
Boomers lost a significant chunk of their retirement nest eggs in the recession, but it was members of Generation X who were really hit the hardest, according to a report released Thursday.
If they don’t start paying off debt and saving more, Gen Xers (those between the ages of 38 and 47) and younger Boomers (those in their late 40s to mid-50s) are on track to retire financially worse off than the generations before them, according to analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit.
“Many younger Americans were already behind in saving for retirement, and suddenly millions of them were out of work or owned homes worth far less than they had been just a few years earlier,” the report said.
Including Social Security benefits, Gen Xers are projected to have enough money in retirement to replace only half of their annual pre-retirement earnings. Financial planners recommend retirement savers aim to replace 70% to 100% of pre-retirement income.
The Internal Revenue Service official in charge of the tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups now runs the IRS office responsible for the health care legislation.
Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.
Her successor, Joseph Grant, is taking the fall for misdeeds at the scandal-plagued unit between 2010 and 2012. During at least part of that time, Grant served as deputy commissioner of the tax-exempt unit.
Grant announced today that he would retire June 3, despite being appointed as commissioner of the tax-exempt office May 8, a week ago.
U.S. Congress Restricts Government Purchase of Chinese Computer Equipment, Citing Cyber-Espionage ConcernsMay 17th, 2013
haha. Good luck with that.
Via: The Verge:
The latest US appropriations bill, signed into law just this week, includes a provision that is likely to further raise tensions between the country and China. The provision requires the Department of Justice, Department of Commerce, NASA, and the NSF to perform a formal assessment of risk of cyber-espionage before purchasing computer systems and other IT equipment. There is a clause in the bill that states that the assessment must specifically analyze — with the assistance of the FBI — any “such system being produced, manufactured or assembled by one or more entities that are owned, directed or subsidized” by the People’s Republic of China to determine if the purchase is “in the national interest of the United States.” Stewart A. Baker first wrote about the provision on his blog yesterday, and Reuters published a report on the restriction earlier today.
Research Credit: noguru
Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left a note claiming responsibility for the April 13 attack on the Boston Marathon, reports CBS News senior correspondent John Miller.
Sources tell Miller that Tsarnaev wrote the note in the boat he was hiding in as police pursued him, and as he bled from gunshot wounds sustained in an earlier shootout between police and his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. It reads as part manifesto, part suicide note, and part justification for the killing and maiming of innocent civilians.
The note — scrawled with a marker on the interior wall of the cabin — said the bombings were retribution for U.S. military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, and called the Boston victims “collateral damage” in the same way Muslims have been in the American-led wars. “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims,” Tsarnaev wrote.
The war in Afghanistan may be winding down. But the Pentagon’s chief of irregular warfare still sees a war against al-Qaida that will last decades, all over the world — a prospect that prompted astonishment and constitutional debate in the Senate.
Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, “At least ten to twenty years.”
Raymond Michael Rodden was bored this week, so he drove to downtown Phoenix and began walking around, snapping photos of the federal courthouse and the state capitol with his iPhone.
The 33-year-old man ended up jailed, unemployed and homeless; his iPhone, iPad and Macintosh laptop confiscated as “evidence.”
All because they found it odd he was taking photos at 3 a.m.
“They told me they’re going to keep my computer because they want to see my search history,” he said Saturday evening in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime.
“They wanted to know if I belonged to any extremist groups like the national socialist movement or sovereign citizens. They wanted to know what kind of books I checked out of the library.”