No, I am not a Luddite. No one can use technology as intensively as I do and be fairly accused of being anti-technology.

I am just naturally skeptical of the claims made for all miracle cures, whether it is snake oil, video game-playing, or the Land of Oz.

I promise you, when I see a guy with a crown who is buck naked, I’ll be the first to say so even if he is an emperor.

So I want to know: Can you really learn to be a carpenter at an online college? Can you learn HVAC online? Can you become a master electrician online?

My rant was brought on by an article in the Wall street Jpurnal. Someone said you can’t read it without a subscription. The quote follows this post.

Maybe it’s possible. I am not passing judgment. I’d like to know.

I’m not saying it can’t be done.

But I just finished a basement renovation, and I am afraid that the guys I hired learned their trades online.

Just wondering.


The Regulatory Power to Destroy

The Department of Education and the unjustified ruin of a for-profit col

Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters this week, and no surprise some liberals are comparing the villain Bane to . . . care to take a guess? In this comic conception of the world, corporations always play the Bane to government’s Batman. Regulators may have expansive powers, but they’re rarely so heroic. In fact, they’re often the real bane.

Take the case of for-profit Decker College, which a federal bankruptcy judge has concluded was driven into bankruptcy seven years ago by its accreditor’s falsehoods that followed unusual regulatory intervention. A fact-finding report by Judge Thomas Fulton of the Western District of Kentucky last week vindicates the college, but it comes too late to save the company and many of its creditors, who include students and workers.


Decker spiraled into insolvency in the fall of 2005 after the Council on Occupational Education unfairly withdrew accreditation of its online programs in carpentry, electrical science and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). That made Decker ineligible for federal student aid, its largest revenue source.

CEO William Weld, the former Massachusetts Governor, had no choice but to close up shop and hand control to bankruptcy trustee Robert Keats to settle $57 million in claims. Some 500 employees lost their jobs, and stories about Decker undermined Mr. Weld’s attempt to run for Governor in New York in 2006.

Mr. Keats has sought to recoup some federal student aid by challenging the Council’s statements to the Department of Education that it had never accredited Decker’s online programs. As a parenthetical, it may seem odd to teach construction over the Internet, but about 100 proprietary schools now do….