The Intercept: Increase In Defense Budget Would Pay for Free College Tuition

According to the organization the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2016–2017 school year was $33,480 at private colleges, and it was $9,650 for state residents at public colleges, and $24,930 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

According to CNBC, more than 44 million Americans have taken out student loans to pay for school, and their debt totals $1.4 trillion. The average debt for 20-year-olds is $22,135, and for 30-year-olds, it’s $34,033, and will increase.

This is a disaster.

Sources state that there are several countries where college tuition is free or virtually free.  The writer of this blog post was able to study in Germany, and tuition was indeed almost free. (At the time, there was a fee of around 70 Deutschmarks a semester.)

Tuition costs in France are not free, but they are very inexpensive.  Studyineurope.eu reports that bachelor’s programs cost 189.10 EUR per year (roughly $224), and engineering degrees have a tuition fee of 615.10 EUR per academic year (or about $729).

CNBC writes that the total cost of tuition for a degree at a public university in the U.S. could be $250,000 eighteen years from now.

America is no stranger to the concept of free tuition, because public high schools are free.

Where would the money come from?

As it so happens, the website The Intercept reports that the recent increase in the military budget alone is enough to pay for free college.

On September 18th, the U.S. Senate approved an $80 billion annual increase in military spending, to $700 billion for the year 2018.  However, USA Today estimates that the tuition costs at all 4-year colleges and universities is roughly $70 billion a year, which is less than the increase in defense spending.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/17/in-18-years-a-college-degree-could-cost-about-500000.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2014/10/29/7-countries-where-americans-can-study-at-universities-in-english-for-free-or-almost-free/?utm_term=.f4fc9e6d4bbb

https://www.salon.com/2014/11/02/7_countries_where_college_is_free_partner/

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/18/senate-passes-700-billion-defense-policy-bill-backing-trump-call-for-steep-increase-in-military-spending.html

Bernie Sanders issues bill to make 4-year colleges tuition-free

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/18/the-senates-military-spending-increase-alone-is-enough-to-make-public-college-free/

https://www.marketplace.org/2015/03/31/education/learning-curve/how-german-higher-education-controls-costs

http://againstausterity.org/wsst

El Mio Speed Trap

In the town of Farmer’s Branch, just outside of Dallas, Texas, there is a motel called El Mio on the west side of I-35E.  Farmer’s Branch is just beside the town of Carrollton.

On Friday, November 18th, the author saw four cars get pulled over within the span of an hour at the motel. It was between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m.  Below are the videos.  The first vehicle pulled over was a red moving van.

This video shows the second car, a white SUV.

On this tape, the policeman pulled over the third vehicle, a white sedan.

In this video, the police pulled over a red Hyundai.

Later, the author (me) was at the El Mio Motel at night when he saw two police cars that had stopped someone. That was on November 23. The speed limit in front of the El Mio is 35 m.p.h., but on most service roads in the area it is 50 m.p.h.

Death Penalty News

Last week, federal prosecutors said that they will seek the death penalty against Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old suspect in a racially motivated attack that killed nine black worshippers.

Image result for dylann roof

The move is a relatively rare one for the federal government.  It’s especially unusual, experts said, because state prosecutors had already announced plans to seek Roof’s execution in their separate case against him.  So, if he’s convicted, Roof will face the ultimate penalty in two different courtrooms. In state court, he is set to be tried in January.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement that she arrived at her decision after a “rigorous” review of the case’s factual and legal issues.  “The nature of the alleged crime and the resulting harm compelled this decision,” she said.

Keep in mind, Roof has not yet been convicted.

In other death penalty news, the Supreme Court ruled decisively in favor of death-row inmate Timothy Tyrone Foster in Georgia on Monday, chastising state prosecutors for improperly keeping African-Americans off the jury that convicted him of killing a white woman.

The AP writes that the justices ruled 7-1 in favor of death row inmate Foster in underscoring the importance of rules they laid out in 1986 to prevent racial discrimination in the selection of juries.

According to CNN, Foster’s attorneys obtained notes the prosecution team took twenty years ago while it was engaged in picking (or packing?) a jury.  The notes including marking potential jurors who were black with a “b” written by their name.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court that Georgia “prosecutors were motivated in substantial part by race” when they struck African-Americans from the jury pool.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/23/politics/supreme-court-racial-discrimination/

http://voiceofdetroit.net/2016/05/29/us-supreme-court-nixes-death-penalty-from-all-white-jury/#sthash.UuF2fBo8.dpuf

Strange Knife Laws In Oklahoma

A recent bill in Oklahoma – Knife Rights’ Oklahoma Knife Law Reform bill SB 1159 – passed in the Oklahoma House by 76-5, and has already been passed unanimously by the Senate. The bill now goes to the Governor, Mary Fallin, for signing.

The law would remove dagger, bowie knife, dirk knife and sword cane from the list of items prohibited from carrying in Oklahoma. Switchblades in Oklahoma were made legal last year with bill HB 1911.

SB 1159 will be effective statewide upon enactment on November 1, assuming Governor Fallin signs the bill.

http://openstates.org/ok/bills/2015-2016/SB1159/

http://www.koco.com/news/Fallin-signs-bill-legalizing-switchblade-knives-in-Oklahoma/32624906

http://www.kniferights.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=299&Itemid=1

http://www.kniferights.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=358

Is Tuition-Free Education And Single-Payer Healthcare ‘Radical?’

Is tuition-free education a radical idea? Ask a German citizen. Ask a French, Swedish, or Brazilian citizen. Is single-payer healthcare a radical idea? Ask anyone, anywhere in the world.

At the Democratic Forum on Fusion TV on Monday, Bernie Sanders discussed free college tuition and “socialized medicine.”

More:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32821678

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-gilbert/adventures-with-bernie-sa_b_8963690.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/02/7_countries_where_college_is_free_partner/

http://www.marketplace.org/2015/03/31/education/learning-curve/how-german-higher-education-controls-costs

Vehicle Rollovers

A quick check of the term “rollover” showed an enormous amount of vehicle rollovers just in the last few days.  One in California killed a family of four with two children.  In another rollover, a car hit a power transformer and knocked out power to the area.

This raises the question: is it possible to engineer vehicles (i.e., make them lower, wider, or with better suspension) so that they don’t rollover as easily?  What about self-driving technology?  Can it be used to slow down a car automatically before a curve?

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Fatal-Crash-Loma-Linda-San-Diego-County-CHP-363122521.html

http://kfgo.com/news/articles/2015/dec/23/man-dies-in-rollover-crash-north-of-watford-city/

http://abc7.com/news/riverside-rollover-crash-causes-power-outage/1132154/

http://www.startribune.com/elk-river-man-dies-in-rollover-accident-in-steele-county/363339511/

http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/12/22/rollover-crash-on-i-270-backs-up-morning-traffic/

http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/story/news/local/2015/12/22/perrysville-man-cited-rollover-crash/77754548/

http://wabi.tv/2015/12/22/houlton-woman-killed-in-interstate-rollover-accident/

http://www.gloucestertimes.com/news/local_news/police-fire-essex-man-injured-in-rollover-accident/article_ba5e4f14-b305-5cac-83f5-aab7744ae1e4.html

http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/male-dies-in-rollover-accident/article_5a570ff2-ace3-5f9c-b0c9-12d70277c5d3.html

http://www.cinewsnow.com/news/local/Only-minor-injuries-in-War-Memorial-three-car-crash-rollover-363309511.html

http://www.stjoechannel.com/news/local-news/rollover-accident-sends-man-to-hospital

http://www.ourquadcities.com/news/driver-killed-in-rollover-accident-in-walcott