Friday, June 8, 2012

The Times goes live....

Looks like the times isn't just a newspaper company anymore. They are  vlogging, blogging, podcasting, and now doing live video like a traditional cable news company. I like the possibilities of this, does anyone else see this as the method via which news media will survive. 

You can't just be a newspaper company or radio company anymore. If you want to survive in the digital age you have to do everything, and you have to do it all well. The same thing is happening over at Huffington post, except its following the ala carte model. Instead of watching an entire news cast people are watching individuals stories.

 I imagine the next BIG thing in news delivery is going to be social/tailored news casts where you might have a thirty minute news cast with like 10 stories all of which had been tailored to your viewing preferences . Imagine a world where not only did everyone have their own unique front page, but they also had their own unique news casts. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Why I won't be voting for Obama or Romney

 Domestic Social policies are important, there is no way to argue any other way, BUT, voting for a candidate solely based on those policies is dangerous in the extreme. Part of the problem our nation faces today is our consistent failure to educate ourselves and our propensity towards voting for for the perceived lesser of two evils(evils who are generally only different on social policies). 

Social wedge issues aside, there are a variety of reasons why I won't be voting for Obama. The Patriot act has still not been revoked or revised, nor has the White House made it a priority. While the president could not on his own remove this law, it is absolutely something he could have used his bully pulpit to limit. 

 Targeted killing and kill lists are considered legitimate tools for use in the Global War On Terror, and can include Americans living abroad.

 Extraordinary rendition is still being practiced and Guantanamo is still open. The Drug war is still in full swing, which would be acceptable if the president had actually appointed someone who didn't feel like it was their job to continue wasting money on the drug war. 

Lets not forget the crony capitalism of Solyndra and GE. The bailouts 2.0 to the same people who caused the crisis in the first place. 

We are still antagonizing for an attack on Iran, and we admitted to creating the Stuxnet virus and launching an attack on a legally acting sovereign ala Russia and Estonia. While some liberals might feel that more drone strikes and computer worms are preferable to ground troops I beg to differ. 

Part of the problem with war today is that our population doesn't feel any of the consequences of it. War needs to be hell, when its not we wage it carelessly and for trivial reasons. It was wrong when GWB told fifth ave America to go shopping as he shipped out mainstreet to fight in the sands of the Middle East and it is wrong for Obama to use cyber war and institutional inertia to continue those campaigns. Not to mention the incredible risk that he has put citizens in openly admitting that the United States bilaterally, with Israel, and without UN approval, launched an offensive attack on another Sovereign nation. 

 While the CIA and NSA may think themselves top dogs, the real talent, as always, is in the for profit private black market and this kind of behavior is going to have long term repercussions ala 9/11. Imagine waking up to a digital attack of mass proportions and having to explain to the population that there is little that can be done because we did it first. 

Most importantly the President has the power to indefinitely detain anyone, anywhere, for any reason, without Du process. This isn't hyperbole, I don't watch Fox or Alex Jones, if we the people don't start actually engaging with our political apparatus on foreign policy and economic policy we will lose our Republic. Its these kinds of big picture policies that make it impossible for me to vote for Obama. People need to stop voting with their hearts and start voting with their minds.

Take none of this as an endorsement for Romney who I see as a naked politician who will do/say whatever he has to get elected. I don't think he would be "bad for America' but I don't think he would be particularly good either. At present I am leaning towards Gary Johnson or "none of the above". 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What happened to Mike?

Everyone knew something was up Thursday, May 22, when Mike Savin failed to show up for class a second time in the same week. Having never missed a class the previous trimester, even when visibly ill, it was disconcerting to students. 

The fill in professors, Brigid Bacus and Marci Bailey, assured students that it would be okay and that Mike was just sick.

Students in Chemistry 222 found out May 29, a full week later and past the deadline to drop with a “W," that Savin had resigned. The exact why of his resignation was never articulated. Rumors abound as to why a well liked and respected instructor would simply leave three weeks before the end of the term. 

Had students been told the day Savin resigned, that he had resigned, it would have been possible for any in the class to drop with a W if they so chose. However, since Backus and Bailey did not inform the students of Savin's resignation until after the deadline to drop, such an option was precluded.

Bailey claimed that she could make no comment on the situation and Backus claimed to know nothing other than that she was filling in for Savin for the rest of the term. 

Numerous students were unwilling to make any comments on the record for fear of reprisals from the chemistry department. Students expressed everything from fear of being personally targeted for merely speaking positively about Savin, to fear of the evening class as a whole being targeted to prove that Savin was not fulfilling his contractual obligations. 

One student who had no fear of speaking up was Gil South . Gil felt that Savin was an excellent instructor and that the chemistry department at LBCC would suffer from the loss. He reached out to Savin to let him know that he appreciated his service and time and that he were sorry that Savin would no longer be teaching at LBCC. He emphatically felt like blame for his departure should be placed on the department and not on Savin.

Instructor Savin also made no comment. Savin has taught high school chemistry, college chemistry, is currently an assistant at the Oregon State University chemistry department and tutors in the Mole Hole.

At a Glance

Professor leaves suddenly right before finals and no one is talking, not even the students.

 Mike Savins Linkedin profile

Mole Hole Schedule 

Linn Benton Chemistry Department