Swickard: A look at college years ago

One of Michael Swickard's 1968 photos
© 2016 Michael Swickard, Ph.D.   Old folks joke about walking to school in snow, uphill both ways while their grandkids roll their eyes. But those words have some truth about the changes in a couple generations.
            Take myself: I went to college in a different world than kids today who live in the same town and attend the same college. In 1968 I packed my suitcase at my parent’s house in Alamogordo and moved to my uncle’s house in Las Cruces a mile from the New Mexico State University campus.
            My uncle allowed me a bedroom since I barely had enough money saved to pay tuition and fees and then books. There were no student loans so I paid my way through college and could because tuition and fees were about $180 a semester which adjusted to 2016 inflation is $1,200.
            Compare that to $4,400 a semester now charged at the same college and you see that loans are required.
            My possessions were a couple pair of jeans, some shirts and clothes and shoes. I had a four dollar Timex watch, a wind-up alarm clock and a 1930 Underwood #5 manual typewriter borrowed from my grandmother.
            It is no longer 1968 and college students have personal wealth items today in values I didn’t have for the first five years after I graduated and began working professionally. The only thing I didn’t have was debt which young people now have lots.
            I had the choice of going to college or having a car, my ability to earn money would not support both so I came to college on foot. The good of it was I had almost nothing for anyone to steal from me. The first couple years I lived a very small life that did not use much money.
            Luckily my father taught me photography when I was in junior high school so I had a trade to bring which allowed me to make money… typically two dollars a published picture. That was enough to keep me in school and allowed me enough to eat. But eating was another story.
            The first week I was walking to campus one Sunday afternoon to study at the library. As I walked by the Methodist student center just off campus I smell food and it smelled good. So I walked in. The campus minister, Don Murphy was standing there and asked, “Come to eat with us?”
            I replied that I didn’t have any money. He said, “Then you can wash dishes.” The food was great. They say that appetite is a great seasoning. My uncle was a bachelor and didn’t keep much food in his house.
            As I was leaving Reverend Don said, “Did you know that tomorrow the Church of Christ has a dinner, Tuesday the Presbyterians, we feed Wednesday night and the Baptists serve Spaghetti on Thursday.” He gave me a couple other leads to free food and I lived a fine life.
            Every Tuesday was Air Force ROTC which was a requirement for freshmen and sophomore men to take. I enjoyed the classes and actually enjoyed marching. They found that I was a photographer and I was appointed student photographer which meant I went to many functions.
            For a couple years I walked to and from campus once or twice a day through sunlight, dark, rain, dust and gloom of night. Not any snow that I remember but it would make a better story. Those days I had what I called the number but I didn’t share that with anyone.
            The number involved how soon I would be completely out of money and have to quit college. I got down to sixty days but never closer. Importantly, I left college without any debts.
            My graduation was a semester late since I was the first production director of KRWG-TV and helped put it on the air in February 1972. That was an unpaid position and I dropped hours to have the time which I made up to graduate the next semester.
            Yes, it is a different world for college students with computers, smart phones, designer clothes and cars along with a consuming life. Their choice, not mine. I wonder how a couple more generations will change.


The greatest scandal in the nation's history

© 2016 Jim Spence - There is a deep disconnect between the polls and the facts surrounding Hillary Clinton. The polls suggest people know she is a bald faced liar. But it would seem that she is still on the brink of the presidency. How could this be? The FBI finally cornered Hillary and asked her RELEVANT questions and the results are now public information. Will the press even cover the fact that late last week the FBI released their email investigation report? The report is damning beyond the pale. Let's explore the facts.
Hillary did not cooperate fully with the FBI’s investigation whatsoever. In fact, her lawyers invoked the attorney-client privilege excuse for not disclosing information repeatedly.
The level of incompetence that Hillary herself admitted to is astonishing. She did so because she had to. She could not admit to being a criminal. What she admitted to suggests she should not be trusted to clean toilets in the White House let alone be in charge. The list of head-scratchers is amazing. It is almost impossible to keep the list short. I'll try.
Hillary told the FBI she did not know that “C” meant “Confidential” when it was on a document and she was Secretary of State. This is the equivalent of not knowing she breathes oxygen.
Clinton used a concussion she sustained from a fall as an excuse many times for her suddenly faulty memory. It is a creative excuse and reminds of the old Watergate dodges the Nixon collaborators used. “I do not recall,” was a standard declaration made when telling the truth would do damage to Hillary. This is the excuse Hillary uses for not returning her work-related records to the State Department before she left in 2013. Hillary used this very same excuse as a reason for not answering thirty-nine other questions asked of her by the FBI. She can't remember. And what she does remember is false.
Hillary has already lied to the media about what Colin Powell said to her. And Powell has already pointed the out the fact that she is lying about him. The FBI report found that Powell warned Clinton in an email exchange on January 23, 2009, two days after Clinton took office, about her BlackBerry and her personal email account. Clearly Hillary ignored Powell's warning. Clinton actually told the FBI that Powell’s email did not sway her decision about using a private BlackBerry and private email account. The FBI report is telling in that it makes it clear that keeping the system secret was her goal of avoiding complying with laws governing the maintenance of federal records. It was not an accident, it was her goal. Who knows what the payoff by the Clinton's to FBI Director James Comey will be for refusing to enforce the law on her.
The criminality goes on and on.
State Department employees are prohibited from having any mobile devices in the executive suites at the State Department. However, several State Department Diplomatic Security agents told the FBI that Clinton routinely stored her BlackBerry in “Port 1” of the executive suites, known as Mahogany Row, a Sensitive Compartment Information Facility (SCIF) there.
The FBI also found that Clinton exchanged emails with President Obama while she was on overseas trips on her private BlackBerry. Obama’s FBI conveniently redacted the number of times this happened to minimize his involvement in the scandal:
“On [redacted] occasions while OCONUS (Outside Continental U.S.), Clinton had direct e-mail contact with an e-mail address for President Barack Obama,” the report reads. “Of the [redacted] e-mails between Clinton and President Obama, [redacted] were sent and received [redacted].”
Amazingly, the FBI found that Hillary began the process of deleting emails right after The New York Times published a story exposing Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email account. These actions are obstruction of justice pure and simple.
The FBI says that on May 3, 2016, a person whose name was conveniently redacted from the FBI report, “Indicated he believed he had an ‘oh shit’ moment and sometime between March 25-31, 2015 deleted the Clinton archive mailbox from the PRN server and used BleachBit to delete the exported .PST files he had created on the server system containing Clinton’s e-mails.” With these findings the scandal expands to the FBI Director James Comey himself. That NOBODY has been charged in this criminal conspiracy is a crime itself.
During her interview, Clinton discussed a Dec. 27, 2011 email which intelligence investigators said contained information classified as “SECRET//NOFORN.” These markings mean that in addition to being highly classified, the information cannot be seen by foreigners. Hillary defended sending this particular email, because it was get this…….”during the holidays.” She also admitted the communication was secret but said, “It was often necessary to communicate in code or do the best you could to convey the information considering the email system you were using.” This is what she told the FBI. Apparently the laws on the handling of top secret information are null and void during the holidays.
Clinton’s top 3 aides all lied to the FBI. Chief of staff Cheryl Mills, policy adviser Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin all told the FBI that they did not know about Clinton’s server until after they left the State Department in 2013. However, all three emailed extensively with Clinton.
It gets worse. Hillary’s laptop, which contained her emails, was sent to a third party and then lost in the mail. In February of 2014, Monica Hanley a Clinton aide sent her laptop to a conveniently unnamed individual with no security clearance to have the emails transferred to a server managed by Platte River Networks, a Denver-based company Clinton hired to manage her system after she left the State Department. Platte River has no security clearance either. The unnamed person at Platte allegedly scrubbed the computer (obstruction of justice) and then shipped the laptop and a thumb drive through either the U.S. Postal Service or UPS (no record of the shipper was uncovered). These two devices never arrived at their destination. The negligence on chain of possession here is criminal.
The FBI provides this Clinton excuse, “She advised that Clinton’s staff was moving offices at the time; and it would have been easy for the package to get lost during the transition period,” the FBI report also says, “Neither Hanley nor [redacted] could identify the current whereabouts of the Archive Laptop or thumb drive containing the archive, and the FBI does not have either item in its possession.”
The revelation of lying and deception in the FBI report are seemingly endless. When there is lying on a massive scale going on it was inevitable that Clinton and her aides would not be able to get all of their lies straight. Here is but one example: Hillary told the FBI that personal computers were never set up in the secured areas at her homes. But Huma Abedin, Justin Cooper and another individual said that they saw personal computers in secured rooms.
Some emails that Clinton failed to turn over were recovered through forensic investigation. These included work-related and personal emails. In fact, FBI director James Comey said in July that investigators had recovered “several thousand” work-related Clinton emails that she did not give the State Department in Dec. 2014. Again this is obstruction of justice.
In the wake of an avalanche of lies we now find that Hillary Clinton won’t hold a press conference. Does this surprise anyone? Early on in her White House run he tried holding press conferences. The only thing that happened during those press conferences was that reporters asked her relevant questions. Predictably Hillary always got caught telling lies. The Clintons know there is no upside to answering relevant questions if getting caught telling lies always gets in the way. It is much better to stage events for public consumption. Charades work.

The bottom line on Hillary Clinton is simple. The FBI has now reported all of the lies she told. And where she did tell the truth to the FBI she lied to Congress about the same things. This is not reckless or careless THIS IS CRIMINAL. Hillary should not be running for president, she should be facing criminal charges as should her top aides. All of these people lied repeatedly to the FBI as well as to Congress, the media, and the American people. That Hillary and none of her aides have been charged is the greatest scandal in the history of the United States of America. That Democrats pony her up as the best person in their party for the job is beyond shame.