Wednesday, 30 July 2008

A PhD in UFO Studies or Bigfoot?

Today....a major newspaper (the Spokesman-Review....out of Spokane, which I barely read one a decade, if ever)....and has published the names of 9,612 folks who bought phony degrees from a Spokane-based diploma mill. Somewhere in the midst of this the US Department of Justice just didn't want to force the business to release the names of folks associated with the diploma mill....and the paper just said....'damn' and published them anyway. The curious thing here is that 135 people had some kinda tie to the US military, and at least 39 had addresses which were tied to educational institutions. We can also report that seventeen were employed in some fashion by government agencies.

So, let analyze this Ripley style. For those without the knowledge of diploma mills....its basically an organization that claims accreditation to hand out degrees....but they are purely lying. You basically pay around $400 and get a

bachelor's degree, and around $700 for a masters degree. You get a nice certificate on paper, and everything looks legitimate. The key factor here is that the US government has significant numbers of jobs which require a degree....and some folks don't want to waste their time....on stupid classes. So they pay for the degree, and get the job....and quietly do the same work as educated folks.

The curious thing is that one New Jersey dude paid $24k for 16 degrees, including one for a doctorate in theology. I'm guessing he runs some kinda church operation currently....and blesses folks....and takes their money. They also had at least 800 folks who bought a PhD degree.

To be quiet honest....I've always thought about getting a bogus degree....to compliment my two bachelor degrees and three associate degrees....which are all truly earned (with sweat and wit). It'd be cool to walk around and claim that I had a PhD in monkey science or a Masters in Bolivian Animal Testicle study or a PhD in UFO Studies. It'd make me feel better and I'd probably impress more folks....with my keen knowledge, which is mostly from reading journals, science reports from the internet, and the London Times.

What happens here next? Well....some folks are are going to get a call from the department boss next week....asking to bring a bunch of paperwork over. They will find out that their GS-13 job with the Forestry department is now in jeopardy. There will be a short discussion where they will be offered 24-hours to resign, or be fired. The smart guy will resign....and try to get his degree work done now. How many NCO's or officers will have such a degree out of the 135? I'll bet less than ten....with the less being civilian workers...mostly in the GS-11 or GS-12 level.

There are two points here. This isn't the end of the diploma mills episode....because folks will just reopen more of these....somewhere else. The sad truth is that folks really don't care to sit in class to earn a degree that they consider worthless. But the second point is even more interesting. Most folks around or under these "cheaters", never noted that the guy was a diploma mill graduate. If you ask about a degree....and the name is given....then you can ask the base or post education center....to confirm its legit or not. Obviously.....a lot of folks didn't do their work in checking potential employees out. And some bosses never noticed that the guy wasn't that smart....which is kinda amusing now to look back upon.

So I sit here....wondering and pondering....what would have happened to my career...if only I'd spent that $900 on a PhD in German beer science....and where I might have gone in life? I might have been management or something...you know?

A Dark Day Over Elmendorf

The best that we actually know is that a 1-star Air Force general shot himself on Sunday night...at his onbase house at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. His name? Thomas L. Tinsley. There is virtually nothing else. No letter. No ideas about why. That should be about it....at least if you were relied on regular news.

So I dug. Around four years ago, Lt Col Tinsley was the squadron commander of newest Raptor squadron at Langley AFB, Virginia. He finished up the job....made rank....and went to the be the Exec of then 4-Star General Mosley.....chief of staff of the Air Force. Around this period of 2004 to 2006, an episode occurred at Nellis AFB, NV. The Thunderbirds demonstration unit found this guy, or he found them....who wanted to enhance their show as they toured America....with video and audio.

A contract was written up....to be awarded to someone there at Nellis (outside of Vegas). The guy that the AF wanted to give the contract to....bid $50 million. The number two bid would normally be a bit more....well....it wasn't. It was around $25 million. Normally....there would be a review....to see if someone misunderstood the bid....namely the $50 million guy or the $25 million guy. The AF leadership said no....they picked the $50 million guy. Contracting on base said this was WRONG. The AF leadership said sorry....but we are going ahead. So someone handed over this over to investigate, without asking the generals. Normally....it'd go to OSI.....but for some reason....which no one has fully explained yet.....it went to the FBI. It was a federal offense now.

There were a couple of contracts that folks began to figure out as being suspect. All led back to the AF headquarters at the Pentagon, and involved a number of figures....all of which had stars. And yes, General Mosley was one of the figures in the middle.

My guess is that the FBI were either coming to visit Tinsley for the first time....because he was in the middle of this mess and should have known everything.....or this was the second visit, of which they knew he was lying and were going to entrap him. In any case....it was the end for him.

Maybe I'm wrong. I would actually wish that in this case. But these idiots who run the leadership have made huge fools of themselves in public....and their reputations are now beginning to fall apart. Adding to this burden, is the fact that some folks tried to protect other folks....and I'm guessing the FBI has moved onto the next guy in line...who knows just as much.

More suicides? Maybe. I doubt that we are done on this yet. The chance of a general doing federal jail time? Well....at this point....nothing would surprise me.