Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Foreign invasion

... of US colleges.

A good news story in this harsh recession with millions out of work indefinitely.


Reports like these implicitly assume that Americans who read them are nitwits.

Well, that's a bit harsh. They probably just assume that the readers are graduates of US colleges, and perhaps with no better reasoning or reading skills than the people who write these articles.

Take this quote from the story :

“International education is domestic economic development,” Mr. Goodman said. “International students shop at the local Wal-Mart, rent rooms and buy food. Foreign students bring $17.8 billion to this country

They spend almost $18Billion at Wal-Mart ? Or any significant amount of $18Billion there?

I don't think so. The vast majority of this 'domestic economic development' is tuition and college costs. This is a boon for colleges as these students typically pay full freight.

Again, this is another example of journalists not being required to take a math course in their own college educations.

$18 billion divided by 670,000 foreign students is just $27,000 each. Most of this is tuition that goes to colleges. Where do they 'rent rooms and buy food' ? Wow, what a coincidence, again at colleges mostly.

At State schools , collecting $27K a year from a student is a pretty good deal, much higher than what they can charge locals from their states. A good business model.

The old phrase, 'What's good for General Motors is good for the USA' for this article has morphed into 'What's good for American Colleges is good for the USA'. The former was untrue chutzpah as is the the latter now.

And this quote is also inadvertently funny ... more Chinese coming here and shopping at Wal-Mart , where they can buy virtually all Chinese-made goods. How's that for spurring the US economy!

By the way, haven't we been told that all US products are inferior to overseas ones without exception?

Why are US colleges deemed a better product than their foreign 'competitors'?

If they were better then wouldn't these US colleges also be producing some home-grown 'talent' , i.e. graduates ?

Then how come we have such an urgent need to take their graduates to fill our 'skilled' jobs here at home?

Many overseas Universities are 2nd rate ?

Then how come we have such an urgent need to take their graduates to fill our 'skilled' jobs here at home?

November 16, 2009

China Is Sending More Students to U.S.

American universities are enrolling a new wave of Chinese undergraduates, according to the annual Open Doors report.

While India was, for the eighth consecutive year, the leading country of origin for international students — sending 103,260 students, a 9 percent increase over the previous year — China is rapidly catching up, sending 98,510 last year, a 21 percent increase.

“I think we’re going to be seeing 100,000 students from each for years to come, with an increasing share of them being undergraduates,” said Peggy Blumenthal, executive vice president of the Institute of International Education, which publishes the report with support from the State Department.

Over all, the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by 8 percent to an all-time high of 671,616 in the 2008-9 academic year — the largest percentage increase in more than 25 years, according to the report.

With the current recession, the influx of international students has been especially important to the American economy, according to Allan E. Goodman, president of the institute.

“International education is domestic economic development,” Mr. Goodman said. “International students shop at the local Wal-Mart, rent rooms and buy food. Foreign students bring $17.8 billion to this country. A lot of campuses this year are increasing their international recruitment, trying to keep their programs whole by recruiting international students to fill their spaces.”

The number of international students exceeded the past peak enrollment year, 2002-3, by 14.5 percent. In 2008-9, undergraduate enrollment rose 11 percent, compared with only a 2 percent increase in graduate enrollment.

In China, that shift has been quite sharp. Last year, China sent 26,275 undergraduates and 57,451 graduate students to the United States — compared with 8,034 undergraduates and 50,976 graduate students five years earlier.

Ms. Blumenthal said the growing share of undergraduates would change the face of the Chinese students’ presence in the United States.

“It used to be that they were all in the graduate science departments, but now, with the one-child policy, more and more Chinese parents are taking their considerable wealth and investing it in that one child getting an American college education,” she said. “There’s a book getting huge play in China right now explaining liberal arts education.”

The book, “A True Liberal Arts Education,” by three Chinese undergraduates from Bowdoin College, Franklin & Marshall College and Bucknell University, describes the education available at small liberal arts colleges, and the concept of liberal arts, both relatively unknown in China.

Meanwhile, many large public universities are devoting new resources to building up their share of international undergraduates. The State University of New York, for example, recently made Mitch Leventhal the vice chancellor for global affairs. Mr. Leventhal, who at the University of Cincinnati helped build a network of ties abroad, expects to increase undergraduate recruiting, especially in India and China.

“There’s growing disposable income in China, and not enough good universities to meet the demand,” he said. “And in China, especially, studying in the United States is a great differentiator, because when students get home, they speak English.”

Although the report tracks only the 2008-9 numbers, a smaller survey by the institute last month found that over all, the increase in international students seems to be continuing, with China remaining strong. Of the institutions surveyed this fall, 60 percent reported an increase in Chinese students, and only 11 percent a decline. In contrast, the number of institutions reporting increases in their enrollment of Indian students equaled the number reporting declines.

The survey also found continuing growth this year in the number of students from the Middle East, and continuing declines in the numbers from Japan.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another indication that ...

... an elementary-level math course is not a requirement for a Journalism degree.

'Sergeant Todd, 42, is a native of California who spent most of his adult life as a military police officer in the Army. He left the military police after 25 years to join the civilian force at Fort Hood. Like most members of the military, he has moved around a lot, serving at four bases in the United States and two in Germany.'

Since he is working on the civilian force and had a 25 year career already we can assume that he has worked over 25 years.

Being 42 years old that would mean 42 -25 = 17. He joined the military at 17. If he has worked at least one year as a civilian then he would have had to join the military at 16.

It's not legal to join up before age 18.

What about his birth certificate? That would prove his age.

Well if his commander-in-chief doesn't have to produce one why would a former troop have to?

November 12, 2009

At Fort Hood, Witness Credits Second Officer

KILLEEN, Tex. — Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley has been applauded as a hero across the nation for shooting down Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan during the bloody rampage at Fort Hood last week. The account of heroism, given by the authorities, attracted the attention of newspapers, the networks and television talk shows.

But the story of how the petite police officer and the accused gunman went down in an exchange of gunfire does not agree with the account of an eyewitness who had gone to the base’s processing center, where the shooting occurred, to conduct business before being deployed.

The witness, who asked not to be identified, said Major Hasan wheeled on Sergeant Munley as she rounded the corner of a building and shot her, putting her on the ground. Then Major Hasan turned his back on her and started putting another magazine into his semiautomatic pistol.

It was at that moment that Senior Sgt. Mark Todd, a veteran police officer, rounded another corner of the building, found Major Hasan fumbling with his weapon and shot him.

How the authorities came to issue the original version of the story, which made Sergeant Munley a national hero for several days and obscured Sergeant Todd’s role, remains unclear. (Military officials also said for several hours after the shooting that Major Hasan had been killed, although he had survived.)

Six days after the deadly shooting rampage at a center where soldiers were preparing for deployment, the military has yet to put out a full account of what happened.

At a news conference outside the post on Wednesday, Lt. Col. John Rossi refused to take questions about who shot Major Hasan or why the initial reports said it had been Sergeant Munley rather than Sergeant Todd.

“These questions are specific to the investigation and I am not going to address that,” Colonel Rossi said.

Public affairs officials also declined to make Chuck Medley, the director of emergency services at the post, available for questions. It was Mr. Medley, who oversees the post’s civilian police and fire departments, who gave the first account of how Sergeant Munley stopped the gunman.

On Tuesday night, Lt. Col. Lee Packnett, of the Army’s Office of the Chief of Public Affairs at the Pentagon, declined to say whether it was Sergeant Todd who had shot Major Hasan. “It could have been, but the final outcome will be determined by the results of the ballistics tests.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Sergeant Todd’s wife, Lisa, said he had asked the Army to protect his identity in the immediate aftermath of the shootings. Her husband did not consider himself to be the real hero of the day, she said. “They were in this together,” she said.

Neither Sergeant Todd nor Sergeant Munley were made available by the military for this article, but on Wednesday on the “Oprah Winfrey Show,” they offered their first public comments on the shooting. They did not give a detailed chronology of what happened, nor did they say who had fired and hit the suspect.

Both are members of the civilian police force at Fort Hood. Sergeant Todd said on the talk show that he and Sergeant Munley had arrived at the Soldier Readiness Processing Center in separate squad vehicles about the same time.

Sergeant Todd acknowledged that he had played a major role in bringing the violence to an end. He said that he had fired at the suspect, kicked his weapon away and placed him in handcuffs. It was the first time in his 25 years in law enforcement and the military, Sergeant Todd said, that he had used his weapon.

“I just relied back on my training,” Sergeant Todd said. “We’re trained to shoot until there is no longer a threat. And once he was laying down on his back, his weapon just fell into his hand and I’m, like, ‘O.K., now’s the time to rush him and secure him.’ ”

The confusion over what happened and the quickness of the military to label someone a hero seemed reminiscent of the case of Pfc. Jessica Lynch in 2003, when the Army initially reported Private Lynch had been captured in Iraq after a Rambo-like performance in which she emptied her weapon and was wounded in battle. It was later learned she had been badly hurt in a vehicle accident during an ambush and was being well cared for by the Iraqis.

On Friday, the day after the Fort Hood shooting, Mr. Medley said Sergeant Munley had encountered Major Hasan, pistol in hand, chasing down a bleeding soldier. It was 1:27 p.m. She fired at him, he turned, they rushed at each other firing and both fell, Mr. Medley said.

“He turned and charged her rapidly firing, and she did what she was trained to do,” Mr. Medley said that day. He added, “She is absolutely a hero.”

Several hours later, at a late-night news conference on the post, Colonel Rossi expanded upon the story slightly in speaking to reporters. He said Sergeant Todd had arrived at the scene in the middle of the gunfight and had also fired his weapon.

The eyewitness, however, offered a different account. He said he was walking in a roadway between the main building, known as the Sportsdome, and five smaller buildings. Major Hasan was headed toward the main building, the witness said, when Sergeant Munley came around the corner of a smaller building. Major Hasan wheeled on her and shot her several times, the witness said. It was unclear whether she squeezed off a shot or not, but she fell over backward, disabled with wounds in her legs and one of her wrists, the witness said.

Major Hasan then turned his back on her and began to shove another magazine into his pistol. He did not appear wounded, the witness said. A few seconds later, Sergeant Todd came around another corner of the same building. He raised his weapon and fired several times at Major Hasan, who pitched over backward and stopped moving.

“He shot her, turned away from her and was reloading, when he was shot,” said the witness, who was nearby.

On the Winfrey show, Sergeant Munley, 35, said the incident was confusing and chaotic. “There were many people outside pointing to where this individual was apparently located,” she said. “When I got out of my vehicle and ran up the hill, that’s when it started getting bad and we started encountering fire.”

Sergeant Todd, 42, is a native of California who spent most of his adult life as a military police officer in the Army. He left the military police after 25 years to join the civilian force at Fort Hood. Like most members of the military, he has moved around a lot, serving at four bases in the United States and two in Germany.

Ms. Todd said her husband did not seem upset in the wake of shooting Major Hasan.

“He say’s he’s O.K.,” she said. “And I have to take him at his word.”

Good news for GM and America?

Not Quite.

'The Buick Regals sold in the U.S. will be built in Opel's factory in Russelsheim, Germany.'

Well, ok, manufacturing is a dirty business we'll do the higher-end work.

Note Quite.

'In Europe, where most of the engineering work on the car was done, it's sold as the Opel Insignia. The Insignia car was named 2009 European Car of the Year.'

So they have re-badged an Opel designed and built car and will sell it here.

That should help our economy and American workers.

An 'American' car company, GM, getting back on it's feet!

Those Toyotas and Hondas on American streets, many of them are made in the USA.

But they are 'foreign' companies.

Labels, they're a funny thing. A Buick that's not an American car and a Honda that is .

GM brings back the Buick Regal

The new model, which is slated to be unveiled in the U.S. next month, is already a hit in Europe and China.

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNNMoney.com senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- General Motors will bring back the Regal name on a new Buick car set to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show next month.

The 2011 Buick Regal will be smaller and sportier than the new Buick LaCrosse that went on sale this year. The new Regal is expected to hit the market in the spring.

"The Regal is the next chapter in Buick's transformation, and will expand the portfolio to include a sport sedan." said Susan Docherty, general manager of Buick GMC. Docherty is also in charge of sales for GM.

To attract more fuel-conscious consumers, the Regal will be offered with only four-cylinder engines, either turbocharged or not. The base engine will be a 182-horsepower 2.4. liter engine. A 220-horsepower 2.0-liter engine will become available in late summer. The car is expected to get 20 mpg in city driving and 30 on the highway with the base engine, and 18 and 29 mpg, respectively, with the turbocharged engine.

Turbocharged versions will also have suspension settings that the driver can select, so that ride quality and handling can be tuned for either sportier driving or more comfort. The suspension system will also automatically adapt to driving style.

A proven winner

The Regal will be new to the American market but it's been on sale in Europe and China for more than a year.

In Europe, where most of the engineering work on the car was done, it's sold as the Opel Insignia. The Insignia car was named 2009 European Car of the Year.

In China, where it was introduced at the end of 2008, more than 64,000 have been sold, according to GM.

The Buick brand's enormous popularity in China was a major reason that GM cited when it decided to keep the brand even as it shut down or spun off brands like Hummer, Saturn and Pontiac.

GM recently back-tracked on a decision to sell off a major part of its European Opel division. Opel has become an important engineering and design center for small and mid-sized front-wheel-drive cars within GM.

The Buick Regals sold in the U.S. will be built in Opel's factory in Russelsheim, Germany.