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Sunday, March 6, 2011

The future of education in Nevada...apathy is winning

Before anyone reads this please be avised this is only an opinion not a threat of any kind. Nevada needs help and I don't know who can help it. The people here seem to not care about anything and the people running this state seem toi be happy about it. I hate to say it but other then the people enrolled in school who will really care if our schools get closed. Who in our govenerment cares that we are so low in eduacation. It seems like none of them have,do or will. Nevada is a right to work state, it might as well be a right to live state. It is so sadding to me that this place is so undereducated and majority of people here don't care. The worst part here is that I leave here and still have these horrible assumptions proven to me everyday.


 Jasmine Gipson 

AFI top 100 Films

If not, who?

"Cuts in government can be made up by the private sector and non-profits" is the mantra of
Nevada Governor Sandoval, many Republicans, and almost all Tea Party and Libertarians.

John Shure, deputy director of the State Fiscal project at the Center for Budget and Priorities,
told the Las Vegas Sun that private business and non-profits have been hit by the same recession
as government and "to believe that if government got out of the way,disappeared or shrunk, people
would step up suggest a level of faith totally unwarranted by history."

Shure warned against idealizing the past. Sure, in the good old days, over a century ago,
some neighbors helped put barns and bring in the crops, but some neighbors did not get any help
if they were the wrong race, religious faith, or from another country or even another county.
Costs were lower and the US was a rural, not urban, nation, with core families living
within a few miles of each other, attending the same church, not scattered across the country.

Elected officials are leaning on non-profits and churches to step up and provide services,
but the reality is donations and money are not there. The stock market plunge, loss of jobs
and decrease value of homes and property mean that Americans are less likely to have the
extra resources, or are more concerned about protecting themselves against a "rainy day"
than to share it with others. Sure most of us to share out bounty with charities or our church, and
there are high profile individuals doing great things, but overall charities and churches are operating
at less than half their pre-recession levels.

So, if government makes the cuts, who is going to pay?

Or do we let the  sick, elderly, disabled, mentally ill, those seeking an education or
those who are without work simply stew in their misfortune and become the nameless
unknowns of our generation?

Viewers shifting to on-line television and film services.


Cord-cutting?

How much is the new-school way of viewing movies and TV shows via online streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon affecting the aging cable companies? The picture is still a bit fuzzy. Recent data show that U.S. pay-TV operators barely increased their subscriber base in 2010, while Netflix added more than 7 million subscribers. Double click image to expand graphic or go to the Washington Post by clicking here.


Sunday Morning News and Views, Part II


“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
-Yogi Berra

“You are not growing older, you are getting better” is the message advertisers have for Baby Boomers, with products, drugs, life styles, higher end automobiles, vacations, and independence and at the same dependence (electric mobile chairs, adult diapers, adjustable beds, luxurious seeming senior citizen homes). Meanwhile marketers are adapting to the ageing Baby Boomers in other ways, by changing how store shelves are stocked, at the nature of their flooring (carpets over stone and concrete), how automobiles are designed (easier to get in and out of with a sore back or disability), access to continuing or even traditional education (non-traditional students), voice activated computers 
and products that talk to you (so you do not have to think about your eye sight). 
Why the attention? $3.4 billion dollars in annual spending by boomers, and longer life spans.

Speedy Alka Seltzer dominated TV advertising during the 1950’s, with his career ending 
in 1964. Today a somewhat modernized Speedy is back, part of the baby boom appeal.   
Mr. Peanut is back, as is the Hawaiian Punch boy, the Pillsbury dough Boy, the 
Jolly Green Giant and Mr. Clean. Others did not disappear but have changed over time. 
Snap, Crackle and Pop have been around for 50 years, with Captain Crunch not much 
younger.

Super yachts, like those you see in James Bond and other movies, are a steal. For only 
$24 million you can now own a $120 million dollar yacht..but be sure you can afford fuel, 
marina space and the lifestyle (chef, servants, masseuse…). Mansions can be found for 
“pocket change”, for as little as one million dollars in some areas (including a few in Las Vegas).

In this age of discount yachts and mansions, we all have to tighten our belts and make 
sure that some of us are able to afford these little necessities. That’s the gist of arguments 
from Carson City and Madison to Washington DC to Wall Street, as have’s line up against 
have nots, and both have our long term interests in mind, as seen through very different 
demographic and philosophical perspectives. How important is it to balance the budget 
and at what expense? Who will suffer and who will profit? Can you balance a budget i
nflated by war and recession without either ending the war or increasing taxes? 
 
Weekend Edition Sunday has a feature with New Hampshire Republican 
Congressman Frank Guinta and Democratic Rep. Xavier Becerra of California 
about the debate over federal government funding measures. 
 
Arguments for and against increasing the retirement age. Some economists say 
raising the eligibility age to collect early Social Security benefits to 65 from 62 will 
generate more tax income and reduce pension costs. But others argue that in a 
weak job market, older workers are finding it more difficult to find or retain jobs 
and that raising the early retirement age would result in more poverty among 
sixty-somethings.
 
Economic expansion is continuing with a speed up of the growth, but much of 
that is corporate earnings and indicators that do not put people in jobs or pay 
the bills of average Americans. Gas and food will cost more, but that will also 
lead to hiring to meet the demand. So who is to be believed?
 
Michael Moore joined a long list of union leaders, filmmakers, celebrities 
and politicians to join in the protest against the “no compromise” stand of 
Wisconsin’s new Governor and largely freshman Republican legislative 
majority on the issues of union security and the need to be fully staffed 
with teachers and other government worker. He praises the crowd for 
reinvigorating the voice of the American worker.
 
Have you checked out “Funny or Die”, which produces an average of 
25 videos a month, often with top celebrities. The videos are viewed an 
average of 43 million viewers a month. The website is profitable. There is a 
film in the works for HBO and CBS has purchases the feature “Undercover Karaoke.”
 
KFC earns 2.2 billion dollars a year in China, more than McDonalds, Burger King 
and other American fast food franchise alone. Chinas KFC earned more last year 
than KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and Buffalo Wings in the United States combined. 
The Chinese earnings are after the Chinese Government gets its share of 
ownership money. Of course popular favorite’s soy milk, noodle soup and a 
few other things are on the KFC menu in China.
 
173 billion text messages were sent last year in the US alone. Text messages are not secure. 
The information is on your phone, the phone you sent it to and the company server. 
Tiger Text and other companies are starting secure text message services through iPhone 
and Google Android applications. The reasons for doctors and lawyers to be able 
to use the service is that much of their communication is protected by confidentiality laws, 
yet fast brief communication is essential to both professions. On the opposite side of the coin, 
Homeland Security is not in favor of anything that might let criminals or worse yet, terrorist; 
communicate without detection or a legal trail of recoverable communications.
 
School reforms, prisons, concealed weapons and more budget reviews are among 
the subjects up for debate as the Nevada Legislature enters the fifth week of a 
120-day session tomorrow. Lawmakers tomorrow will also hear about the state 
of the judiciary from Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Douglas.

It’s a fight fightin’ Andy Jackson would have hoisted a drink over. For a century, 
South Carolina and North Carolina have politely argued over where President 
Andrew Jackson was born. South Carolina claims Jackson as its only president, 
building a state park at where Jackson said he was born in the state's Lancaster County. 
But North Carolina has a statue of the seventh president along with two others 
at its state capitol in a display called "Presidents North Carolina Gave the Nation." 
The North Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution put up a monument on 
a site in Union County where another member of Jackson's family said he was born. And don't look to the White House for the answer: its website lists Jackson's birthplace as a "backwoods settlement in the Carolinas."
 

Who has a Nevada College Education

Only 14% of adult Nevadans, or about 1 in 12, have bachelors degrees.

Only 7.5 %, or one in fifteen have advanced degrees of any kind.

That puts Nevada at the bottom of overall college education levels in the nation.

Yet the Governor's budget may close rural community colleges, the Henderson campus of CSN,
and lead UNLV into the equivalent of bankruptcy, resulting in reductions in courses, sections and
for the first time ending the open "community" mission of the community college system,
including the College of Southern Nevada.

That should go a long way in attracting new industry, jobs and qualified individuals to the state.


Sunday Morning News and Views, Part I


Mozart may contribute to fine wine, if German scientists are correct. Exposure to Mozart during the process of wine making, they say.  Their research has not been independently confirmed, but observers say worker productivity and moods have improved.

The world job market has contributed to unrest in many areas, from the Middle East to China, India to the US. In most of the world the average age for a male is 18, with 16 in Egypt and some of the Middle East. And there are no jobs. Large numbers of young frustrated males seeking a future could be the fuel to many fires around the world. 

For the first time, the cost of a fill-up surpassed $100 this past week. Sticker shock! And a fear of being able to survive the next few years. Add a worldwide increase in food prices, driven by drought, increased population, wars and skyrocketing fuel costs, and increases in all of the many items we have become dependent on imports for (fuel cost and an increase in demand in the countries where the products are manufactured) the picture ahead is bleak, at least not the prosperity that many in America have take for granted and still think we can return to by simply cutting back services for everyone but ourselves. 

Republicans are cutting teachers, medical and social services at the Federal and state levels coast to coast in the name of reducing “agency” growth. Meanwhile key Republican backed projects are the same or actually increasing. Those who benefit are the wealthy, conservatives who still feel they are well off, and they say out grandchildren. Those who are hurt are children, college students, the elderly, most of the so called “middle class”, and the least of our brothers and sisters, the poor. Minorities (who are least likely to vote) will be proportionately impacted by decreases in services and support. Medicare, Social Security and retirement programs are “entitlements” to the Republicans and the “social safety net” or “foundation” of civil rights to Democrats.

Structure repairs in the wake of last week’s Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake will exceed eleven billion dollars, or about half of the projected economic growth of the entire country for the year. Meanwhile a 6.7 quake hit Chile this morning. It was “deep earth” so damage is expected to be minimal.

Five U.S. senators are calling for a federal crackdown on what they say are phony colleges handing out student visas to potential criminals and terrorists.  Senators Diane Feinstein of California, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Bill Nelson of Florida and Charles Schumer of New York say the colleges are fronts for people who pay to illegally enter the United States. The Democrats are calling on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Department of Homeland Security to share information that could help identify the fake colleges. The senators note several of the Sept. 11 terrorists entered the United States on student visas. They also cite recent incidents in California and Florida of schools accused of being involved in the scheme.

Opponents and supporters of a scheduled congressional hearing on Muslims' role in homegrown terrorism plan to rally today in New York City. A coalition of over 100 interfaith, nonprofit and governmental organizations says Thursday's hearing will demonize U.S. Muslims. A group calling itself the Liberty Alliance plans to hold a counter-rally in support of the hearing. Muslims point to the peaceful core of their faith and proven patriotism for the United States. Liberty Alliance says the few Americans proven to have joined terrorist groups, and escalated rhetoric from the Muslim community justify fear of Muslim terrorism from within the US.

The State Department says Yemen is not a safe place for Americans to be right now. A warning today says anyone thinking about going should make other plans and Americans in Yemen should leave because of civil unrest and terrorism. In Yemen today, suspected al-Qaida fighters ambushed and killed four Yemeni soldiers.

Eight British Special Forces, traveling without uniforms, are being held in Rebel hands in Libya, after they lied about having weapons. The rebels say that the troops had multiple passports and could be Kafadi mercenaries. Attempts are being made to confirm if the Brits are on a “diplomatic mission” as the British Home Office claims.

Great Britain is weighting a unilateral implementation of a “no fly” zone over Libya after continued reports of massive indiscriminate attacks against unarmed civilians, including ambulances and school busses.

Greek authorities say three people have died and another 28 have been hospitalized on the southern island of Crete after they were found on a beach near where two ships carrying migrant workers evacuated from Libya recently arrived.  The Merchant Marine Ministry says authorities were checking whether the 31 men, mainly from Bangladesh, had jumped overboard from two ships that docked earlier Saturday in Crete with a total of about 2,000 evacuees evacuated from Libya, in an attempt to avoid being transferred home. Ships have been ferrying thousands of evacuees from Libya to Crete in recent days. The ministry said Coast Guard authorities called to a beach near Souda Bay found the 31 men, all drenched. Three were dead, while many of the others were suffering from hypothermia.