1/27/17

BYU Law School Ranked #1 for ROI

ABA Journal ~ January 25, 2017
If you want to earn a top salary as a lawyer, it’s a good idea to attend law school at Cornell, Columbia, New York University, the University of Chicago or Harvard.
But if you want the best return on investment (ROI), Brigham Young University and the University of Texas at Austin are good law-school choices, the New York Times DealBook blog reports.
At Brigham Young, tuition is only $12,000 for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while graduates seeking debt refinancing earn an average of $108,916. In-state tuition at the University of Texas is $34,000 a year, while graduates seeking debt refinancing earned an average of $105,254.
The findings (PDF) are based on an analysis of more than 60,000 student loan refinancing applications from January 2014 to December 2016. The applicants, on average, had worked for three years after graduation. Student loan refinance company SoFi conducted the study.
Here are the 10 law schools with the best graduate salaries relative to student debt:
  1. Brigham Young University
  2. University of Texas at Austin
  3. Yale University
  4. University of Houston
  5. University of Georgia
  6. Harvard University
  7. Stanford University
  8. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  9. University of Connecticut
  10. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

1/23/17

I’m a Debater, Not a Hater

To One Lover of Trump:

I see that this Trump thingy has gotten to ya, so bad that now you’re getting a bit too personal. In Trump’s manner of speaking (with hand gestures) I say  👌“Not good, not good!”👌  By the way, I’d like to think that I am quite proficient in reading between - and into - the lines, especially those sprinkled with sarcastic emotives.  I’ve read about people’s political views driving wedges into their relationships, but never believed them until now.  What’s with Trump anyway that you’ve decided to stoop low and cross a certain line?  I guess it’s his “power” and “stamina” to bring out the worst in some people, aea?  Anyway, as long as we have this convo, let me say a few things.

I don’t hate Trump, in fact I honestly and sincerely would very much like for him to succeed and lift this country up for everyone, not just for a select group or class.  That said, I, like millions here in the US and millions more around the world, take umbrage at  his divisiveness, petulance, distasteful demeanor, offensive, bullish and racist comments, indiscriminate arrogance, etc. etc. etc....

And so for your information, and others’ as well,  my “Faik News/Fake News” is political satire.* (I guess you’d have to understand something first before you can appreciate it.) Read it and laugh along! It can be a real effective antidote.  They’re REAL anyway, not made up stuff.  You call it negativity, I call it creativity and objectivity.  If you don’t appreciate it, then too bad; it’s your problem, not mine. And if you’re bothered by it to the point you feel adamant and unrestrained in defending Trump at all costs, then at least post a comment here and we can have a constructive exchange. You can even do it anonymously!

But please don’t use Facebook as a  conniving conduit to post veiled comments behind some annoying shares and newsfeeds rebuttal, and to smear my blog, hence insulting my intelligence especially since I can’t hit back because I don’t have a Facebook account.  Do it here, or another forum and I’m game.  Debating - not hating - is my forte.  I do like, and welcome, a good constructive debate.  That’s what good genuine people do - open and upfront, not backstabbing.

Yes, I do have a college degree but I don’t flaunt it or hang my hat on it, because a college degree does not mean anything until you’re in the real world and do something with it. Believe me.  Incidentally, I also don’t care with whom I debate, be it  someone with a Master’s, PhD, honorary degree - or NO degree.  I’m degree blind.  Because I’ve come across some Master’s and PhD degree holders who can’t spell and who don’t know the simple things like the difference between “its” and “it’s”, “you’re” and “your”, etc. Some in fact have their theses and dissertations written for them or degrees bought online or elsewhere.  These are the same people who use and write “could of”, “would of”,  instead of “could have” and “would have”.

So if it’s a debate you’re looking for, let’s do it. Bring it on.

Manuia le aso,

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>&
* “...the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”

1/21/17

Snowy Morning

Went to bed and there was snow on the ground, but woke up to almost another foot of the beautiful white powder.  The downside was that now I was going to shovel the driveway and sidewalk/footpath.  Snapped some pics while outside shoveling.






1/19/17

Faik News

Faik News (trademarked, lol!) will be a new feature in the blog, inspired by Trump’s obsession with calling any seemingly pernicious news about him as “fake news”.  The feature will consist of political humor, jokes, satire and parody.  The featured posts will contain material from various other sources and topics, not just politics.  Much, however, will be drawn from US politics, as it’s already proven, and will continue, to be a rich source for material.  This will also cover politics in other countries like Samoa. Speaking of Samoa, here’s a trivia question:

Trump and Stui
What do Trump and Samoa’s PM have in common?
They both call people stupid and fools and they both despise the media/press to the max.  Fate or Faik?

Here's a recent tweet by Trump in which he uses STui's favorite words (stupid and fools):
“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only “stupid” people, or fools, would think that it is bad!....”  - Trivial or Faik?

Don's Johns
Trump’s inauguration is less than a day away and the preparations have been in high gear.  And because of the crowds, the portable restrooms are a must. The name of the company that’s providing the service is “Don’s Johns”.  And so they have put a blue tape to cover the name.  The reason for covering the name is actually not because of Donald John Trump, as offensively coincidental as it is.  Yet it's still vedi funny!

Oh, by the way, yeah ...talking about "draining the swamp,"  albeit with the wrong people. ... Funny or Faik?

Plagiarism
Monica is in the POTUS news again (no not that Monica) - it’s Monica Crowley (formerly of Fox News) who was offered a job by Trump on the National Security Council, and has been forced to decline because of plagiarism charges in one of her books and dissertation. Plagiarism? No way! Well, in that case, maybe she can still work as a speech writer for ... hmmm.. . Melania? lol! ...Coincidence or  Faik?

Con-way
Speaking of coincidences, partisan politics often siphons and exposes collusion and connivance for many, but especially ridiculous when you’re one of the spokespersons for the president-elect. Just last week Anderson Cooper of CNN took Kellyanne Conway (Trump's campaign manager and advisor) to school.  She was trying, as always, her usual propagandistic spiel and to “con her way” through the conversation/interview, but Cooper called her out and left her flustered and discombobulated. Again when you have a name like “Conway” it could be more than a coincidence.  And did the president-elect call Conway "baby" tonight in the eve of the inauguration? Yes!... Eeewww sicko! ...  Con or Faik?

Obama and Trump
I think Obama should really appreciate and be extra happy for Trump as the next president. Why? Well he (Obama) will very likely not be referred to as the “worst president” anymore. ... Likely or Faik?

And now this:
Trump seems to desperately and seriously lack the aura of the office of President. ....True or Faik?

#FortyFifthFaikNewsFlash!

The Real End to the Conversation

LM wrote another response, this time directly to and against the Editor, with me as the third person. I responded again because of a flagrant slur in his letter, and I needed to call him out on it.

*********************************
Dear Editor,

Re: An ideal xenophobe bordering on being racist

A great response indeed!

It will be nice to follow the conversation right from the beginning to establish the truth and understand the full story.  I know my “fa’a Peretania” is terrible but at least I know the meaning of INJUSTICE.

I am fine for being called a xenophobe or racist because I am comfortable with what I’ve been writing to my friend LV and everything is on record.  LV is my lady friend and she’s a scholar from the Victorian era when all the history of the world was compiled in the form of ethnocentrism.

It’s basically “xenophobia and racism” when they refer to noble people living peacefully on their beautiful island as “savages”.  I have to be blunt with my lady friend because when it comes to the TRUTH you just can’t sugar coat anything.

So if she was brainwashed by the palagi in calling her forefathers “savages” then you have to pour cold water on her face to wake her up.  I know from all the facts on the internet that my forefathers were brilliant people with a brilliant culture so was I a racist or xeno - something to be blunt about the TRUTH?

So “xenophobe bordering on being racist” well it looks like LV is not the only one struggling with the TRUTH.  Just so that you should know Mr. Editor, someone that defend his country and the honour of his forefather is not a racist, he is simply called a ‘Patriot’. And that is the TRUTH in a nutshell.

Le Mafa P

******************************************
LV:
Se Le Mafa, e fai atu e tu’u ae fai lava? Silasila fo’i oe, o le tele o lou tautala so’o, ma e so’ona taumafai faamatafela e ta’usa’oina (justify) ou manatu, o le atili fo’i lena ona e lavea ma iloa ai lou faavalevalea.

The more you talk and try to assertively justify your position, the more you’re hurt and the more your incompetence and stupidity are exposed.

You say you’re not a racist, and yet your letter has racist/racism written all over it. You know it quite well and you do it intentionally; and yet you think others don’t [know your mendacity], especially those who mistakenly believe that I am a girl/woman.

So let me expound:

Referring to someone as a female, when he is not, or disparaging someone doing something in a feminine way, is the oldest chauvinistic bias in the book. Samoans are usually guilty of it.

For example, when playing a game that involves hitting a ball, you often hear a male say: “You hit like a girl.” (Se o le ka a le keige/fafige lau ka.) It’s a belittling tactic. Also, the sarcasm (reputed as a low form of wit) in “lady friend” just adds to your chauvinistic tendencies and character.

It’s especially worse when you’re not sure of someone’s gender (as in online forum exchanges) but still in a bodacious definitive way, assign and impose the female gender on that person - as in your letter. The tactic is bigoted, chauvinistic, misogynistic and ...RACIST!

So stop it. Everyone now knows you are a racist. And a xenophobe!

**********************

LM:
Re: I’m a patriot, not a racist

You are a “he” well let me say then that I’m truly sorry for not being able to read the signs properly. Believe me it was just a simple misunderstanding from my part and now I know that you’re a brother from another mother.

May I urge my brother to reconsider calling me a “racist and a xenophobe” because as far as I know, two bickering brothers shouldn’t be viewed as aggression or hostility against another race because we are brothers. Unless of course you are a half cast [sic] (afakasi) with 10% Samoan blood in you which makes you look 90% non-Samoan and if that’s the case, then I should apologise again for misreading the signs.

I love all races, females and all living things but I will refrain from hugging a tree so being labelled “chauvinistic and misogynistic” is quite painful to take.  And “bigotry” well (aisea e le eu muamua ai le fasi la’au i lou mata)

Yes I agree that this needs to stop, I think we are both guilty of going over the top/over board so this should not go on forever.  Nice conversing with you and PEACE OUT...

***************************
Postscript:
Notice how after he called me a "lady" and apologizes for it, but then he turns around and surmises that I am an afakasi (half caste) again in a derogatory way inferring that afakasi are not real Samoans.




1/9/17

Christmas 2016

Some pics ...finally got a chance to post 'em.

... different is good ..lol!

christmas eve ...waiting for the tribe to arrive 





with the grandkids ...precious moments 
made sure they don't run out of things to do .. play pool, air hockey, foosball 
or do karaoke.. and yes, they like the songs from Moana



 island treat (o'o) 

...  the children

highlight of our christmas ...skyping with our Elder/missionary (eldest grandson/child)
3-way with his parents and us

christmas gigs - number 3 in as many weekends in december.  doing sound check.



band break ...dj time

merry christmas!... belatedly..

 ...the calm after the beautiful and  "perfect storm" ...back to an empty house

1/4/17

Down in the Boondocks ("Kua")

A Christmas story in Samoa Planet on which I commented.

Excerpts from the story 

The air-condition dial in the office is set at 24 degrees centigrade, but on a very hot day like today, you can feel the blistering heat penetrating ever so quietly through the massive window pane overlooking the Savalalo Flea Market. The thickly-pleated curtains provide a buffer between the humidity on the outside and the comforts of an air conditioned office on the inside. It is only then that one muses over the spoils of corporate existence that seems so far removed from the huff and buff of the Fish Market next door or the smoke filled bus depot alive with commuters going about their usual daily grind.

I peel back the curtains to take a peek at the crowd outside and witness a fracas in the car park of what appears to be two young girls pulling at each other’s hair. What is more noticeable though is that one of them is wearing a Santa hat which seems to stay firmly attached amidst their energetic tug-of-war. Santa Hat!

My forehead cringes into thin layers of fatty tissues as I ponder the significance of it all which reminds me it is Christmas this week. I am curious to find out what the young ladies are fighting over and since I haven’t taken my afternoon tea break, I decide to wander over to the car park and have a bit of a nosey around.... I lean over the counter and ask the shopkeeper about the fight and was the least amazed at how fast the news travels in this small community of ours.

According to her husband who witnessed the fight up close, the two cousins are from ‘kua’ and they were arguing over the Christmas hat.

The two young ladies fighting over a Christmas hat never doubted for one moment, that the red woolen hat with blinking neon lights and probably made in China, was worth fighting for.

But is Christmas what it’s supposed to be anymore? Is it worth grovelling over? Is the three tala Christmas hat worth the hair pulling and the tears?

For the two young ladies who fought over the Christmas hat, I am sure that by the time they get on the bus on the way home at the end of the day, they would have experienced the ups and downs of Christmas through their own eyes – while getting caught up in the frenzy of pre-Christmas Apia. Hopefully they would have kissed and made up and learn to share their Christmas Hat with blinking neon lights on Christmas Day.  -- (Emphases mine)

**********************************************
My Comment:
  1. Kalofa e, i gai o’u kasegi mai kua..hahahaaa!
    I couldn’t help but mull the significance and/or implication of “kua” in the story. I think I know, having been born and raised in “kua” myself.
    Unless the word has gone through amelioration, it still carries the stigma that it had when I was growing up. For those not in the know, “kua” (kooh-ah) is a Samoan word that means “outback”, “back country” etc. It connotes backwardness, from the bush, boonies, destitution, inferiority, etc. I believe this is how kua is used in the story – intentional or not. The poor and backward context is compounded and made more compelling by the vivid, offsetting and contrasting description of the city/town (Apia) and the rich lifestyle of “corporate existence” (air-conditioned office, massive window panes, thickly-pleated curtains, afternoon tea break, etc.). If that’s not enough, the fact that the ladies were fighting over a “three tala Christmas hat” which was “probably made in China” amplifies the stigma of the poor and penniless people of “kua” fighting over cheap stuff.
    Tourism may help in ameliorating the word (from a pejorative to an approbative) through its association with modern resorts, beautiful beaches and accommodations in the villages (kua). However, the insinuations such as those in the story only serve to rekindle and resurrect the stigma.
    What would have made the story a lot more profound, beautiful, more meaningful and “Christmassy”, however, would be a redemption (pun intended) of the kua ladies. This can be done by mentioning the rustic, poor, humble, lowly and inferior conditions in which the Savior was born, and then liken those to the similar conditions in kua – poor, inferior, lowly and humble. Jesus may very well have been born in “kua” in other words.
    And as for me, even while I now live in the richest country in the world, I still, personally, would rather spend Christmas in the simple, lowly, poor, rustic village in kua. And definitely not in Apia either.
    … ia fai aku ai fo’i!
    ************************************************************
  2. Back in the 70's/80's pickup trucks were a common mode of transportation to town from the villages on Upolu. On Fridays, especially, after work, many of these pickup trucks, overloaded with students and villagers who work in town, would leave Apia on their way to kua (to Aleipata, for example, where I'm from) and as we passed the town dwellers, they would call out "Kofa oukou i kua!" (Goodbye to you from kua) often in teasing and mocking manner. Kua is also a variant of "kuapeki" (kuaback) which carries the same stigma of being poor and backwards. If you're a "kuaback" you're inferior. Today, I hear that the tables have turned (albeit slightly) as the townspeople are now attracted to - and frequenting - the beaches and resorts in the villages (e.g. Lalomanu) picknicking and spending their weekends in kua. Notwithstanding, I think the stigma still exists to some degree. Tourism, again, plays a role in this marginal reversal. 
    Here's a verse from the popular song (re: post title) that refers to the same kua stigma:
    Down in the boondocks, down in the boondocks
    People put me down 'cause that's the side of town I was born in
    I love her, she loves me but I don't fit her society
    Lord have mercy on the boy from down in the boondocks


    Hence, Lord have mercy on the girls from kua who fought over the Christmas hat..... LOL!!

Conversation Ends ...

I’ve submitted my last response (below) on the conversation in the previous posts.  In my experience with these kinds of conversations/debates, interlocutors, once “cornered” on the particulars/specifics of the debate, will often start to steer the debate to another topic or issue (red herring and/or strawman) or resort to conflation and equivocation.  That has been the case with this conversation, especially when LM’s previous response showed signs of anger, frustration and incoherence.  Using a boxing match analogy, when you see your opponent throwing indiscriminate and aimless punches (sauea), it’s time to stop. Sometimes, he may still continue his sauea in desperation and frustration, but for you, it’s time to lean back against the ropes and just watch his foolery.  Occasionally, if called for, a little schadenfreude is okay...lol!!

***************************************************
Le Mafa P:

I wasn’t going to dignify your appalling rambling, retrograding and disjointed thoughts and egregious knowledge with another response. Believe me, this last attempt of yours was/is a mess.

But then I thought that I could be a pedagogical benefactor in helping you and/or your like-minded friends to “get with the times”, as well as in endowing some erudition in your feeble brains. (Unless your like-minded friends are actually the same person (you) using different aliases.) In other words, let me get back to my level; it sure is uncomfortable at yours - at so many levels (punning of course). Allow me, as part of my dignification efforts, therefore, to indulge in a little schadenfreude. I see from your messy writing now that you’re hurt and injured - literally and figuratively. I also see that you are “gleefully disgusted with yourself” because you’re trying to defend the indefensible.

If anyone needs to crawl out of a shell, it’s you. You need to see the world - literally. You definitely seem to be one of those who may have never left Samoa and as a result you develop a sense of hatred, anger, insularity and paranoia against anything or anyone from outside Samoa. You are obviously an ideal xenophobe, bordering on being a racist.

The irony of it all is that you live in a world - even in Samoa - that is saturated with things foreign and use them everyday, and at the same time, repulsed by them. That’s a dangerous and apparent symptom of dementia, if not total and visceral imbecility. It’s also hypocritical, duplicitous and two-faced. It’s apparent that you have had some formal education, though not much; and yet you’re still biting at the hand that fed/feeds you. You’re also a dog barking up the wrong tree, with your misplaced and misguided yelping. Moreover, you’re committing a strawman in trying to drag the HRPP and passports into this. Again, your worldview is extremely shallow.

Lastly, that’s good that you’re resting your case, because you don’t and didn’t have much of any to begin with. By the way, why does “rest my case” ring loudly in my mind? Did you also use the alias “Impensable”? Your messy writing and rambling look and sound so similar; your inept grammar as well.

O lea la, e faapenei, talu ai e le lelei lau gagana faa-Peretania, o se isi taimi e te toe talanoa mai ai, faamolemole faaaoga mai le gagana Samoa. E lelei lena atonu e te malamalama lelei ai i talanoaga ma fetufaa’iga o manatu. Pe afai lena o ia te oe se agava’a ma se iloa o le gagana Samoa. Ae a leai, ia fai mai loa le isi loomatua, “E sili pe a ku’u!”