Where No Man Has Gone Before

parts unknownI got a little giggle this morning when I popped up my Netflix connection and recommended under my interest in Space Adventures was Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown.

But what does that have to do with the upcoming celebratory event, The Concert for Valor, exclusively on HBO. Well, one possibility is that they are equally ridiculous. Why would I say that?

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Student Debt

UCLAWhen I went to college I relied on the Federal government to cover a sizable (for that time) loan and after graduating and going to graduate school, I eventually had to pay off a few thousand at 3 percent ($52 a quarter for 10 years). But I went to the University of California, starting in the good old days, but the Reagan darkness had descended before I graduated.

Now I have a daughter who went to a small private college and only ran up about twenty thousand in loans because she was a smart kid, a desirable student, and quite industrious. I paid off those loans for her since I felt a college education was my obligation to my child, but she was forced to take out many additional loans through graduate school so she has a healthy amount of debt (but still manageable). This is not so true for her husband who put himself through law school living almost exclusively on student loans. True, it looks like he will have a successful and profitable career in law and be able to pay off the loans but he may not be typical and another law school graduate might be chased by the loans for the rest of his or her life.

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Hey Dude, Is Our Town That Bad?

SvengoolieJohn Oliver may be strident thumping his desk-top and maintains an assuredly British viewpoint but he is spot on in his analysis and conclusions about the problems in this country (not to mention being extremely funny). Last Week Tonight is absolutely my favorite program on the television and since I tend to only watch three shows each week, that places Oliver in the spotlight. But he shouldn’t get too cocky since one of the other two is Svengoolie.

One thing that Oliver is successful doing is to reach his audience and get some form of action. In past weeks he has ignited email campaigns, gotten government officials to acknowledge his criticism, and now even has gotten the local officials in Saginaw, Michigan, to decommission their obscene and clearly unnecessary military vehicle. The local news said that it was because an HBO comedy show made fun of them … ya think?

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