Monday, June 09, 2014

What I am reading 6/9/2014 - It's #ReagansFault when it isn't #BushsFault

Salon - Colleges are full of it: Behind the three-decade scheme to raise tuition, bankrupt generations, and hypnotize the media     -  

The price of a year at college has increased by more than 1,200 percent over the last 30 years, far outpacing any other price the government tracks: food, housing, cars, gasoline, TVs, you name it. Tuition has increased at a rate double that of medical care, usually considered the most expensive of human necessities. It has outstripped any reasonable expectation people might have had for investments over the period. And, as we all know, it has crushed a generation of college grads with debt. Today, thanks to those enormous tuition prices, young Americans routinely start adult life with a burden unknown to any previous cohort and whose ruinous effects we can only guess at.
Let me repeat, as a fact of some significance, that the great tuition price spiral began in 1981. That was the same year in which Ronald Reagan brought his jolly band of deregulators to Washington, in which Congress enacted the landmark Kemp-Roth tax cut, and in which the air-traffic controllers’ union went down to humiliating defeat. In 1981 the old order was crumbling, the soldiers of the free market were strapping on their Adam Smith neckties, and colleges all across America were deciding they needed to jack up tuition prices far in excess of the rate of inflation, something they had not done before.

So there you have it it's all Reagan's fault.  

AlterNet - Noam Chomsky: A Surveillance State Beyond Imagination Is Being Created in One of the World's Freest Countries

The documents unveil a remarkable project to expose to state scrutiny vital information about every person who falls within the grasp of the colossus - in principle, every person linked to the modern electronic society.

Nothing so ambitious was imagined by the dystopian prophets of grim totalitarian worlds ahead. 

Isn't Chomsky supposed to be one of the great polemicists?  Not only is his argument wrong - The two instances that I can think of off the top of my head are 1984 and Brave New World, but it isn't even well developed.  Additionally this article is subtitled, "A White House lawyer seems determined to demolish our civil liberties."  That point is never addressed in the article either, except to refer to the President as that constitutional lawyer in the White House, which frankly doesn't fit the context of the title and overstates Obama's legal qualifications.  In short if an idiot like me can spot these flaws then Chomsky is either being very lazy in advancing his argument or he has now real argument to advance.  

Infosec Island - U.S. Agencies Need to Improve Cyber Incident Response Practices -

Based on a statistical sample of cyber incidents reported in fiscal year 2012, GAO projects that these agencies did not completely document actions taken in response to detected incidents in about 65 percent of cases (with 95 percent confidence that the estimate falls between 58 and 72 percent). For example, agencies identified the scope of an incident in the majority of cases, but frequently did not demonstrate that they had determined the impact of an incident.

Sounds about right.

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