Sunday, September 25, 2016

Thank You! (100K views)

Thank You!

We just broke 100,000 views of this blog.  Yes, it took 5 years to do it, yes, most sites get that in a day but to me it's a major milestone so THANK YOU!

Your support is the catalyst to continue and I intend to.

So whether it's popular culture, TWIT or anything else I cover know that if it's worth writing about I'll be sure to post it here.

Tell you friends!  Looking forward to the next 100,000 views!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Arizona Monsoon 2016 Highlights

So let's take a break from the activism for a bit and explore one of the other reasons for this blog's existence. 

I've said it before.  I'm a frustrated storm chaser.  I'm fascinated by weather and storms and if I could afford it I'd have one of those home weather stations just so I could check barometric pressure and wind speed every 5 minutes.

Alas, I'm just an enthusiast with a smartphone and an old 1 Megapixel camera that eats batteries like a 5 year old eats fruit loops.

Below are some of my favorite examples of this year's Arizona Monsoon season.  I actually got lucky in  a few videos and caught some dramatic shots but truth be told this year's monsoon was more about wind than rain.  In fact the meteorologists are saying we're actually down 2 inches this year having not broken 5 inches in total.  

Some places got much more than that but those were isolated cases.  In one storm event a part of the valley received 3 inches of rain in an hour.  That doesn't sound like much if you're from the Midwest or deep South but here it translates into freeways underwater and cars floating around.

Of course I can't let this post end without mentioning that you can enjoy most of these videos Ad Free thanks to TWIT's abuse of YouTube's copyright system.  The very same one that Leo's brain-dead zombie henchmen led by the #DarkTrollWitch  have used to demonetize the entire channel till November....

Leo's on a boat for this year's vacation.  I hope he doesn't get too seasick but Karma being what it is....


Try to enjoy these snippets of time from this year's Arizona Monsoon storms brought you courtesy of my crappy cameras and poor videography.  

You might see something that surprises you!


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

ITT Tech: Proof that profit has no place in education

Riddle me this....

If an education from a "For Profit" educational institution is so expensive how can it be considered worthless?

How can an education costing sometimes 2 to 3 times as much not offer 2 to 3 times the benefit?

It all comes down to greed.

The problem with getting a good education is its cost.  Even if you haven't been victimized by the outrageous tuition and questionable value of a private college, the bottom line is that getting a leg up is going to cost you.

As generations go by the hurdles get higher.  Today without the aid of grants, scholarships and student loans any hope of an education past high school is out of reach.

Enter the "For Profit" education industry.  These are the ITT Tech's, Devry's and University of Phoenix's that promise a more accessible road to success but at a premium price.  The problem here is the profit motive that short-circuits the emphasis on the student in favor of how much money can be extracted from him/her

When you mix profit and education, education suffers.  Profit in education to me is equivalent to profit in retail and retail is all about volume and maximum return with minimal investment.

Maximum return from minimal investment may be fine for paper towels but I don't choose a university the same way I choose the store brand over Brawny!

Students aren't making a minimal investment.  Not of their time, effort or especially their money.  To that end, I'm adamant against painting these students with the same brush as those that have corrupted their institutions.

Forget the term, "diploma mill."  From my own experience I can tell you that while the motives of the "for profits" CEO's may not have been pure the motives of the students were.  Nobody gets on the hook for 5 figures without expecting something for the investment.  That said, education is a personal experience and it's up to you to get as much out of it as you can.

That doesn't absolve a school from their responsibility to provide value, however.  The "for profit" schools often demand sums far in excess of their public university competition for comparable education.

A sum that's often paid in the form of student loans that put the recipient on the hook for thousands of dollars regardless of the quality of the institution.  A process with little oversight that provided billions of dollars to "for profit" schools that didn't deliver on their sales pitch.  So long as the body was in the seat, however, they didn't care because the free flow of taxpayer money was a tap without a shutoff.

At least until now.

With the blatant mismanagement of ITT and Corinthian we see the seedy underside of the "for profit" education industry for what it is. 

That being, profit driven with no more regard for the student than what's required to continue abusing the Federal Student loan programs.

You didn't see that in the glossy brochures or flashy websites, however.  Instead you saw a sales pitch that paints these schools as the light at the end of the tunnel for the disenfranchised led by benevolent philanthropists.

Except that these schools aren't being operated according to some overarching altruism.  We're back to that maximum return for minimum investment thing again.  It was about making as much money as possible for as long as they could get away with it.  Ultimately, leaving the students holding the bag.

And without intervention from some government body they will continue to be holding that bag.  The institution may fail but that doesn't absolve the students from the debt.  

When you have Federal Student Loans the Federal government is your creditor, not the school.  Once the disbursement is made the school has their money.  Even if they go bankrupt you're still on the hook with nothing to show for it.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

TWIT & YouTube: The Hypocrisy Engine and Why it Works (against you)

I told you I'd be watching and I'm keeping my promise.  This time it's proof positive of the double standard TWIT employs when it comes to copyrighted material.

TWIT had a "Live Special" that was nothing more than a live reaction video to Apple's September 7th event.  That's bad enough but TWIT was also rebroadcasting the event which is in direct violation of the Apple Copyright and Terms of Use of their website.

So why do I care?

As you know, My Digital Dynamic channel received a copyright strike due to a takedown of an UNEDITED vidcap of the broadcast of TWIT's move to the East Side studios.  Even though I conformed to the strictest interpretation of the Creative Commons license I still received a copyright violation that removed monetization for all videos on that channel most of which had no TWIT content.

OK, so TWIT's on my list but what about YouTube?  What do they have to do with it?

Everything..  There's a double standard at play here.

One that for me began years ago with the #microstopped mass takedown that yanked a Windows 8 HowTo video and continues with the recent TWIT takedowns of the past month.  YouTube provides the heavy hand to enforce what is often unfair and unsubstantiated copyright claims.

The fact of the matter is this.  YouTube is not your friend when it comes to copyright law and free speech.  YouTube is in the business of selling ads not political activism.  To that end they protect their Safe Harbor provisions and their advertising revenue at your expense.

It's a business not a public park.  They get to make the rules and however unfair or unevenly applied you have to operate within them if you want to put your content on their service.


When they enforce the rules on one party and not another that sets up a double standard.  This is why I include them in my "hypocrisy engine."

Here's the companion video.   Much more fun than all these...words...

Friday, September 2, 2016