Austin, Texas - If colleges were automobiles, the University of Texas at Austin would be a Cadillac: a famous brand, a powerful engine of research and teaching, handsome in appearance. Even the price is comparable: Like one of the luxury car´s models, in-state tuition for a four-year degree runs about $40,000. But in an era of budget-cutting and soaring tuition, is there still a place for "Cadillacs" — elite, public research institutions like Texas, Michigan, California-Berkeley and Virginia that try to compete with the world´s best? Or should the focus be on more affordable and efficient options,
Pop quiz: What was the biggest news story this week? And I don´t mean, what was the biggest news story according to Obama´s media. Obviously, it was the economy taking a nosedive into negative territory last quarter, along with the fact that hardly enough jobs were created last month to keep up with population growth. Oh, and the unemployment rate increased. Of course the economy is the biggest story; it affects the most people and Obama´s doing it wrong. But not only is the media never-minding the economy, much of the media coverage related to economic bad news is forever
People have been warning us for years that drilling for oil in the Alaskan arctic would lead to big environmental trouble. It’s not that the technology hasn’t advanced to the point where it can be done safely, but those nasty people in charge of the projects just don’t care about the environment. These Mother Earth Hating Monsters would clearly let the whole thing go to H. E. double toothpicks and ruin the pristine beauty of the wilderness. Well, I guess they turned out to be right. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has agreed to plug
Did you know: * That more than two out of every five members of Congress are lawyers? * That members of Congress actually live shorter lives than the rest of us? * That members of Congress make in two months what the average American makes in one year? * That 26 members of the House and one senator (Democrat Mark Begich of Alaska) do not have college degrees, and one (Republican Rep. Bill Young of Florida) doesn’t have a high school diploma? But two-thirds have graduate or professional degrees? (Correction: A reader points out that Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of
Politicians are not known for originality. In their public speech, most cling to the security of clichéd stock phrases the way toddlers hold fast to threadbare blankets. Thus Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney posed before an enormous national debt clock and intoned that the nation’s “debts get passed on to our kids.” Speaker of the House John Boehner addressed the opening session of the 113th Congress by professing: “In our hearts, we know it is wrong to pass on this debt to our kids and grandkids.” On the eve of President Obama’s second inauguration, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell warned
Governor Rick Perry expressed his feelings towards the Texas school system by calling for more charter schools throughout the state, and to honor a voucher plan. Perry, addressing the State Board of Education, told members, "In terms of philosophy, this is where the rubber meets the road." Waco ISD says it´s unfair that charter schools don´t have to follow certain rules that are required by a public school. (Snip)Vouchers also remain an issue. They´re a way for public tax dollars to be used to fund private schools. This allows parents in poor performing districts
The writing-off of Sarah Palin began not long after her departure from Fox News hit the newswaves last Friday. The Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote on Monday that Palin is now “officially gone,” at least from the national spotlight.(Snip)With Fox News or without Fox News, says Harris, “Gov. Palin is an Internet celebrity, she’s an Internet politician; and her supporters aren’t going anywhere.” Have a look at her Facebook page and her nearly 3.5 million “likes.”
AUSTIN - Gov. Rick Perry stood his ground Saturday against allowing openly gay members to join the Boy Scouts of America, an idea the century-old organization will consider at a national board meeting next week. Scout policy has traditionally refused gay scouts and scout leaders, a practice affirmed by the Supreme Court in 2000. In a recent shift, Scout officials said they may consider lifting the ban. Perry, an Eagle Scout, has been vocal against that. "Hopefully the board will follow their historic position. … I think most people see absolutely no reason to (remove the ban)
Casting about for a viable GOP candidate for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Republicans are looking to two key members of Team Romney who dramatically raised their national profiles during last year’s presidential contest: Ann Romney, the wife of the candidate, and Taggart “Tagg” Romney, the candidate’s oldest son. The Boston Herald reported Saturday that party leaders are talking about Mrs. Romney, even though she has expressed no interest in the seat and has never run for public office. A special election will be held June 25 to replace Mr. Kerry
Yet another student has been suspended for having something that represents a gun, but isn’t actually anything like a real gun. This time, Daniel McClaine, Jr., a freshman at Poston Butte High School in Tan Valley, Arizona, made the mistake of setting a picture of a gun as the desktop background on his school-issued computer. The picture shows an AK-47 lying on a flag, reports KNXV-TV. The gun isn’t his, McClaine assured the ABC affiliate in Phoenix. He found it on the Internet and liked it, partly because he is interested in serving in the military after graduation.
Iran´s announcement that it had successfully sent a monkey into space has stirred questions on the internet, with people pointing to differences between official images of the primate before takeoff and after landing. On January 28, official Iranian media published pictures of a monkey with light grey fur and a red move above its right eye just before the launch. But later, the ISNA news agency released photos taken as the monkey was presented to the media after the landing which showed a darker fur and no mole. Questions are now being asked about the success of the monkey space mission.
FRESNO, Calif.- There´s a land rush of sorts going on across the nation´s most productive farming region, but these buyers don´t want to grow crops. They want to plant solar farms. With California mandating that 33 percent of electricity be generated from renewables by the end of the decade, there are 227 proposed solar projects in the pipeline statewide. Coupled with wind and other renewables they would generate enough electricity to meet 100 percent of California´s power needs on an average summer day, the California Independent System Operator says. And new applications for projects
Word of DARPA´s experimental 1.8-gigapixel surveillance video camera, ARGUS-IS, first surfaced in 2009. And now that they probably have something better hidden, more details continue to emerge. A PBS video got to look at the actual video feeds -- and they are stunning. Take a look. Watch for the arm waving guy at about 1:55 or so: One thing to note is that a drone can just hang out at 15,000 feet over a small city-sized area (roughly, half of Manhattan) and provide video surveillance of the whole thing. The other thing to note is that they are running machine vision on the moving objects,
I really, really wanted to shoot today, but wasn’t able to. Why, you might ask? Was I backed up with work? Nope. Did I have a long list of chores to do, to stay in my wife’s good graces? Nope. I was free as a bird. But I couldn’t shoot because, with the exception of 100 rounds of 22LR and the loaded 9 mm magazines that I keep at home for purposes of self-defense, I was out out of ammo. Nor was I alone. The shelves here in Minnesota are empty. You can still find a few rounds
A former Tarleton State University student who wrote the best selling book "American Sniper" was one of two victims shot and killed Saturday at Rough Creek Lodge. Chris Kyle and another man were found dead at Rough Creek Shooting Range between 3:30 and 4:00 pm according to Sheriff Tommy Bryant. Eddie Ray Routh was arrested just before 9 p.m. Saturday in Lancaster. Investigators would not release additional information about the case or comment on how Routh may have been connected to Kyle. (Snip) Kyle, 38, was a former Navy SEAL who served four tours of duty in Iraq,
The White House has released a photo of President Barack Obama firing a gun, two days before he is set to travel to Minnesota to discuss gun control. It shows Obama shooting at clay targets on the range at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland, where he says he engages in the sport "all the time." The image was released at a time when Obama is pushing a package of gun-control measures in response to the Newtown, Conn., school shooting. But the image of a U.S. president holding a gun is certainly nothing new. A number of men who
In his final legislative act as a senator, Secretary of State John F. Kerry sought to resolve an international dilemma. He filed Senate Bill 48, seeking “permanent resident status for Genesio Januario Oliveira,” a gay Brazilian national facing deportation because he does not qualify for a spousal visa. Now, President Obama is aiming to grant same-sex couples such as Oliveira and his American husband, Tim Coco, equal immigration rights as their heterosexual counterparts. The proposal could allow up to 40,000 foreign nationals in same-sex relationships to apply for legal residency and, potentially, U.S. citizenship.
Tiguentourine, Algeria - The goal of the heavily armed militants who seized the desert gas plant here is becoming increasingly clear: to turn the forest of pipes and tubes into a giant bomb, and to blow up everything and anyone around. What none of them knew was exactly how, in the endless maze of metal, to do it. (Snip) Now it seems clear that the siege was about more than disabling the plant, and that holding hostages for ransom was not part of the plan. Instead, the militants sought to orchestrate a spectacular fireball that could have killed everyone in the vicinity.
With apologies to Kris Kristofferson, “immigration reform” is just another phrase for “nothing left to lose,” and as Janis Joplin sang in her version of “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Nothing don’t mean nothing honey if it ain’t free.”Let’s face it, whether you are talking about immigration reform by George W. Bush, immigration reform by John McCain, immigration reform by Barack Obama, or immigration reform by Marco Rubio, all you get is the same old “nothing left to lose.” And maybe, at long last, they are right — maybe we have sunk so low, there is nothing left to fight for.
Paonia , CO - For a glimpse into the complications of President Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy, follow a curling mountain road through the aspens and into central Colorado’s North Fork Valley, where billboards promote “gently grown” fruits and farmers sell fresh milk and raw honey from pay-what-you-can donation boxes. (Snip) Officials from the Bureau of Land Management explained the situation: Under 90-year-old laws, companies and people can nominate public lands for drilling, and the government is obliged to auction them off after months of review and public comment.
New Orleans - San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver will begin sensitivity training and education immediately after the Super Bowl following his anti-gay remarks this week, then likely start volunteer work with at-risk homosexual youth nationwide. Culliver is scheduled to begin working with "The Trevor Project," an organization that provides crisis and suicide intervention to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, according to his public relations representative, Theodore Palmer. "He's so passionate about youth and people being comfortable with who they are and accepted by all,"
Abu Sayyaf gunmen have freed two Filipino members of a Jordanian TV journalist´s crew believed to have been kidnapped by the al-Qaida-linked militants in June as they set out to interview the extremists in their jungle lairs in the southern Philippines, police said Sunday. Policemen found frail-looking cameraman Ramel Vela and audio technician Roland Letriro late Saturday and brought them to a hospital in southern Sulu province, where they were kidnapped in June along with Jordanian Baker Abdulla Atyani, provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Antonio Freyra said. Atyani is believed to
Munich - The United States is ready for direct talks with Iran if it is serious about negotiations, Vice President Joe Biden said on Saturday, backing bilateral contact many see as crucial to easing a dispute over Tehran´s nuclear program. (Snip) Israel, which describes the prospect of Iran being able to weaponize enriched uranium as an existential threat, has made clear it would be ready to bomb the nuclear sites of its arch-enemy to prevent that outcome. The United States has also said it would not rule out the use of military force. Speaking at the Munich conference,
Bamako - France will withdraw its troops from Mali once the Sahel state has restored sovereignty over its national territory and a U.N.-backed African military force can take over from the French soldiers, French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday. "We have not yet finished our mission. But we do not foresee staying indefinitely. Once the sovereignty of Mali is restored, once MISMA (the African force) can replace our own troops, we will withdraw," he told a news conference in Bamako during a one-day visit to Mali. Hollande said shortly afterwards in a public speech