Student loan forgiveness arrives — for 70,000 government employees

Source: USA Today

“The overhaul of a controversial loan forgiveness program was projected to erase the debt of 22,000 student loan borrowers in the effort’s first weeks. Three months in, more than triple that figure have had their debts wiped out. The U.S. Department of Education released the Public [sic] Service [sic] Forgiveness Loan figures Thursday, a year into President Joe Biden’s term as president. The loan forgiveness initiative, which was rolled out in 2007, was designed to entice people to work as teachers, police officers, firefighters or in other [government] jobs. After 10 years working in those jobs and making payments, their college debt would be erased. … Data from the department shows roughly 70,000 borrowers have qualified for nearly $5 billion in relief.” (01/20/22)

A Priori Certainty vs Physics

Source: Ideas
by David Friedman

“I have recently had an extended conversation with some supporters of the Austrian school of economics about the differences between the way they do economics and the way I do. One thing they offered as part of what distinguished their school of thought was the idea that one can determine economic laws by logical reasoning based on axioms known with certainty, just as one could know facts such as the Pythagorean Theorem without measuring any triangles. The interesting thing about that example is that it isn’t true.” (01/20/22)

The New Threat of a Different Kind of Pandemic

Source: American Consequences
by Trish Regan

“In August 1998, a shot was heard around the world. Russia had just defaulted on its government bonds, and a prominent New York hedge fund was about to pay the price. Long-Term Capital Management, the $126 billion hedge fund started by Nobel Prize-winning economists and some of Wall Street’s finest investors, began hemorrhaging cash. Despite losing hundreds of millions of dollars a day on its Russian bond portfolio, the fund’s trusted financial computer models told it to hang on… a decision that nearly took down the entire U.S. financial system. Now, 24 years later, a similar situation is emerging all over again — and in a far more disastrous, dangerous, and large-scale way. What was once known in financial circles as the ‘Russian flu’ back in 1998 could become our present-day 2022 global financial pandemic.” (01/20/22)

First contactless aid flights arrive in disaster-hit Tonga as islands aim to keep Covid-19 out

Source: CNN

“The first contactless aid flights arrived in disaster-hit Tonga on Thursday, as the coronavirus-free Pacific island nation takes precautions to keep the virus out of its borders in the wake of a devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami. Flights from Australia and New Zealand carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief landed at Fua’amotu International Airport in Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, after the runway was cleared of volcanic ash and debris following Saturday’s violent eruption of the underwater Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano. It also comes as a senior Tongan politician warned of potential food shortages in the country. The aid will be delivered without any contact, to prevent the risk of Covid-19 spreading in the nation — which has only seen a single case since the start of the pandemic.” (01/20/22)

Free Talk Live, 01/20/22

Source: Free Talk Live

“The midwifery bill in New Hampshire :: Is the FTC going to sue New Hampshire over midwifery? :: Central bank digital currencies :: You aren’t free; you’re lucky :: Sarah’s Multi-level marketing thing :: A long joke with no payoff :: California can’t shut down gun stores during a pandemic :: Caller wants to mansplain the Crypto Six to Aria :: The Free State Project :: Show: 2022-01-20 Aria, Matt, Bonnie.” [Flash audio or MP3] (01/20/22)

Nineteen-year-old British-Belgian woman sets record for youngest woman to circle the globe by plane

Source: The Hill
by Maureen Breslin

“Zara Rutherford, a 19-year-old Belgian-British woman, has become the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe by plane solo, setting a new world record when she landed in Belgium on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. The record had previously been held by a 30-year-old American woman, who made the flight in 2017, the AP reports. Rutherford’s flight had her cross 41 countries and went over 32,300 miles in a bespoke Shark ultralight aircraft, according to CNN Travel. The teenage pilot took off Aug. 18, 2021, and initially believed that her journey would take approximately three months, but she encountered setbacks along the way, though they did not impede her venture. Rutherford had to stop in Redding, Calif., because of the wildfires in the area causing poor visibility, and she was also denied permission to fly over China and narrowly avoided North Korean airspace, according to CNN.” (01/20/22)

His Name Wasn’t Really Robert Paulson: Meat Loaf, 1947-2022

Source: Rolling Stone

“Meat Loaf, the singer and actor best known for his best-selling Bat Out of Hell albums and roles in films as varied as The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Fight Club, died Thursday at the age of 74. The news was confirmed by the singer’s family in a post on his official Facebook page. A cause of death was not given. … Meat Loaf first found success on the Broadway stage in the groundbreaking musical Hair, and he had a brief, but memorable role in the Rocky Horror Picture Show as the ill-fated delivery boy Eddie — but it was his 1977 album Bat Out of Hell that turned him into a superstar and rock and roll icon.” (01/21/20)