Thursday, July 11, 2019

Today's comments...

---The 1970 film "Woodstock" was watched over the last two days.  It was the expanded version that was edited by Martin Scorsese and Thelma Schoonmiller, both destined for later renown in cinema.  The film focused on both the music and the crowd, as well as the overwhelmed promoters.  The length of some of the performances must have been meant to replicate an actual experience of being there.  Ten Years After got ten years.  At its best, in retrospect, the film represents the height of the idealism of the counter culture years.  Some of the performances remain exceptional. A few are tedious.  Interviews with those attending are a look back 50 years in time, got that "cat".

---The ticker tape parade for the U.S. women's soccer team in New York was a well orchestrated event.  Two bobbleheads stood out, riding floats with the women.  Mayor Bill DiBlasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo, one a presidential primary hopeful and one an aspiring candidate still in the closet, rode on floats with the players waving to the crowd with their own little flags.  Why not just meet the players at City Hall and give them recognition?  Why did they seek the attention?  Could it have something to do with national television?  Certainly not?

---These online colleges advertise "certified" degree programs.  Go to college in your pajamas and meet no professors or fellow students, and, as one says, "complete your degree as quickly as possible."  The latest television ads are for Independence University, and if you sign up you get a "free" laptop computer.  Then there's Grand Canyon University, the largest Christian university in the world with 70,000 people enrolled online now, and 20,000 on campus somewhere in Arizona.  Jerry Falwell's spawn now have Liberty University online and Pat Robertson has Regent University online.  There's the granddaddy of them all, University of Phoenix plus Southern New Hampshire University, both of which look slightly more legitimate, and that does not imply that students necessarily learn anything.

Complicating this further, many well recognized colleges have joined in such as Purdue, Penn State, Boston University, and Arizona State.  How is the integrity of all of this protected.  How do these organizations know who is actually taking the tests and doing the work.  They do know who is paying them, and the courses are not cheap. 

Some of these outfits like ITT Tech and Corinthian Colleges have been shut down, but Kennedy Western PhD's are still out there.  This all seems like organized fraud here, perhaps an old fashioned point of view.

---Advertisements for intermediaries proliferate,  Some are reputable apparently, like Home Advisor.  There are intermediary sites for mortgages, lawyers, insurance, and doctors(knee pain?).  As opposed to benefiting the consumer, they are all just taking another slice of the pie, in amounts that are not transparent to the consumer.  For some, if the quality of their ads is indicative of their recommendations, keep the "knee pain."

---It's nice to be in the stock market these days.  Still adjusting investments, and in the aggregate reducing exposure.  Some bets still work out well.


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