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[P]
I Was Afraid of This

By codejack in Politics
Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 02:06:42 AM EST
Tags: politics, DINO (all tags)
Politics

Last year, I expressed my displeasure with the expected Democratic nominee for president. Now we have a good news/bad news scenario: The good news is that Lurleen has a less than even shot at the nomination; The bad news is that her competitor is almost as conservative as she is.


Obama impressed me, yesterday. His speech was focused, intelligent, articulate, and honest about one of the defining problems of American history: Race. Nor is that the only thing about the man I find admirable; his refusal to accept lobbyist money (or, at the very least, less of it and none from AIPAC), his honorable campaign tactics, his honesty and personality.

Why then am I not going to vote for him? He is a conservative. Let's take a look:

Civil Rights

Barack Obama is unsurprisingly vocal on this issue, not because of his race, but because of his constituency. This is not to say that he holds these views at arms length, but much of his rhetoric is aimed at style rather than substance; hate crime legislation, recidivism reform, "drug courts", etc, are all smoke and mirrors to disguise the political reality that he is not allowed to address these issues meaningfully. Hate crime legislation is the thin end of the wedge that is thought crime, while recidivism and drug courts would be unnecessary if the underlying problems of education and nonsense drug legislation.

But the oligarchy won't allow those issues to be addressed, will they? They make too much money off of them.

Iraq

More than half of Americans "strongly" oppose the war in Iraq, according to one poll, and roughly 2/3 oppose it overall. Yet Obama, far and away the least hawkish of the candidates still refuses to commit to withdrawal. After five years of saying "I told you so!", my voice is a little hoarse, so let's just chalk this one up to "things you aren't allowed to say and still run for president". I would give a lot to know who makes these rules, but they appear to be unbreakable.

The Economy

Ditto for the economy. NAFTA is a sacred cow that our corporations can glut themselves on, having assured us that it was best "for all Americans". Back then, many of us knew that they meant "for all Americans worth counting" with a threshold of about ten million dollars, yet the only man to stand up publicly and loudly to say so was dismissed on account of his ears.

Education

There seems to be a myth about public education, as with welfare, social security, and pretty much any other "socialist" program out there, that it was broken and needed to be fixed, despite clear evidence to the contrary. The No Child Left Behind Act was a thinly veiled knife designed to kill public schools; "What? Your school doesn't have enough money? Well, just for that, we're going to take money away from you to punish you!" Brilliant.

This is ignoring, of course, the great tradition of public education in (some parts of) America through most of the 20th century; the fruits of the New Deal and the Great Society that created the greatest nation on earth. We've thrown it away for lower taxes (if you're rich), smaller government (except it's not), and "compassionate conservatism" (from the man who's killed more people than Oliver Stone).

While it is true that just throwing money at the problem will not solve it, it is undeniable that the schools simply don't have enough money. Yes, it needs to be spent well: Pay teachers more, buy more (and better!) books, have more music and art classes. Certainly, they need performance evaluations, but don't tie it to funding and don't use standardized tests; it costs more, but that's part of the point. Obama knows what's wrong, but hasn't told us how to fix it, yet.

The Environment

Too much to say, and not enough time to say it; the problems facing us from the environment may very well be insurmountable. We've delayed too long, and it may have already doomed our children. That is no reason not to try, but we must try intelligently; biofuels must go away, purely electric cars must be made mandatory, and fossil fuels must be outlawed globally, or we must find a quick technological fix. The latter is more likely to meet with approval, but if it fails...

Obama is not addressing the problem correctly, and he must change his stance.



As an interesting aside, I was recently banned from a certain Democratic Party affiliated forum for suggesting that Ralph Nader would have less impact on the Democratic base if the valid issues he was raising were being addressed by the Democrats! For this I was called a traitor, a stealth Republican, and worse, then summarily banned and emailed a nasty message by the administrator. This is why we will lose this November, no matter who wins: the "liberal" candidate is more conservative than more than half the country, and the others are corporate-owned goons.

I despair.

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Display: Sort:
I Was Afraid of This | 189 comments (163 topical, 26 editorial, 5 hidden)
you're kinda fucking batshit insane (2.22 / 9) (#1)
by lonelyhobo on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 08:42:05 PM EST

don't worry i'm sure the greens will run someone for your retarded ass

NADER VOTERS ARE THE FUTURE (none / 0) (#63)
by ray eckson on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:42:08 PM EST

THANK GOD FOR YOU CODEJACK


wampsy: hey ray why don't you start up a site. you could call it ray5.
rusty: I gotta fix that stupid cancel bug.
booger: How's that for daring to get ray eckson all sniffy, you cow?
poopy: Not that I'm gay or anything, but for you I might make an exception.
[ Parent ]
zomfg (3.00 / 3) (#2)
by JugularVain on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:05:10 PM EST

if Obama is a conservative, then what were John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson?

confused are we? (3.00 / 4) (#5)
by postDigital on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:33:29 PM EST

John F. Kennedy was not president long enough to really know exactly what his politics were, and he is often judged by the actions of his brothers.

Johnson was one of the two fucktarded imbecilic Presidents who hailed from deep in the squat of Texas, that I've had the extreme displeasure to witness in my lifetime. They both pressed immoral foreign wars down the Nation's throat, causing far too much needless spilled blood from ours, theirs and the pitiful peasantry caught up in between.

They both could lose a game of wits played against a fence post as an opponent.



[ Parent ]
OK so you are saying that the invasion of Cuba (none / 1) (#8)
by JugularVain on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:06:40 PM EST

are the politics of a liberals and progressives? Your statement that he wasn't president long enough doesn't hold any water. Give me a break. The civil rights legislation we have today is the result of LBJ. And these are easy examples I can give.

Sorry, but your argument is unconvincing to say the least. They were Democrats and they were liberals and this article is saying Obama is conservative??

This article utterly ridiculous.

[ Parent ]

I heard recent assertions (none / 1) (#9)
by postDigital on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:43:45 PM EST

from a person within my network I consider to be a very informed individual about intelligence, and military matters, because of his past work experience, and who has shown himself to be neither boastful or consciously untruthful, that Kennedy was caught with his pants down about the Bay of Pigs, and it was initiated rogue without the Administration's prior knowledge. He referenced a book or study when telling me this, but it is not a priority of mine, and I do not even know where/what it was, so this is actually just conjecture.

No, Kennedy was nothing like many contemporary progressives, and that is understandable, because he was a Naval officer who saw combat in the WWII Pacific theater, and was also a product of the Cold War's escalation. Nikita Khrushchev took off his shoe at the UN and banged it on a table, and he also stated that the USSR would bury America during Kennedy's Presidency. Kennedy was a Noreaster Yankee aristocratical liberal who was a part of the same scene that conceived the Cultrual Cold War, which was one of the better Intelligence finesses I am aware of in all of history. God-damned Motherwell and Coltrane in a grudge match against Worker Reality and Shostakovich? We fucking buried them...USA, USA, USA...

Conservatism is nothing like what it was back then either. Before Goldwater's strident statement in '64:

"Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.
Tolerance in the face of tyranny is no virtue."

Barry Goldwater
1964 GOP National Convention

Conservatives were known for their isolationism. Yet still, there is not One Contemporary Conservative who is worthy enough to even suck Barry Goldwater's embalmed and interred dick, although many of the present day religious rightwats claim affinity to him. Goldwater was an adamant, card-carrying member of Planned Parenthood, and when it became an issue in America, a vocal supporter of gay rights, stating that both positions were borne from a true conservative viewpoint, since it obviously wasn't the government's damn business.

There is no liberal/conservative divide anymore. it's all smoke and mirrors, and a self-perpetuating two-party obscenity which is the source of America's problems.<L/p>

[ Parent ]

you state that (none / 1) (#12)
by JugularVain on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:01:08 PM EST


...that Kennedy was caught with his pants down about the Bay of Pigs, and it was initiated rogue without the Administration's prior knowledge. He referenced a book or study when telling me this,...

Interesting and almost believable but there is no primary source historical evidence to support this.

In fact, quite the opposite. Read the first sentence of the first paragraph here.

In short, from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum,


During the period between the election and his inauguration, JFK was briefed on a CIA plan developed within the Eisenhower Administration to train Cuban exiles for an invasion of their homeland.

All I am saying is that unless there is primary documentation to support what you claim, then it is all conjecture and conspiracy theory, something there is an abundance of surrounding Kennedy.

[ Parent ]

my mistake-picking data up sprinting over a thread (none / 0) (#86)
by postDigital on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 06:49:53 PM EST

and you caught the gist of it. The Bay of Pigs plan was indeed fomented in Eisenhower's administration, and JFK was briefed, as well as generally supportive of the plan. What is not certain it that JFK had been briefed in detail, or that he even desired to be given the details of the plans for The Bay of Pigs.

What is also unclear is whether Eisenhower would have ever even approved of the invasion. He had seen more than several lifetimes worth of war, and from a perspective of authority, both as a WWII General, and as the elected President who inherited the Korean Conflict.
<drift id="raveningstays"><[CDATA[ War is only about dying, and the vast majority of those who do, did not deserve it. The worthy of dying manipulate policy from back in respective capitols, or are the inhuman bastards who can keep their heads down, and asses covered, as a bro bleeds out alone upon foreign soil a scant few meters away.]]></drift>

Kennedy did accept responsibility for The Bay of Pigs, as well as the Gary Powers U-2 incident, which does offer more anecdotal evidence that both sides of the BiPolar Polity's coin have been steeply devalued in the interceding years. I derive no pleasure from nostalgic feelings for an idyllic America past, when our President's lies were only about consensual blows-job, cum-stained blue dresses and strangely aromatic cigars.

Thanks for the JFK library link; I'd not been there before.



[ Parent ]
Are you kidding? (none / 0) (#17)
by codejack on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:56:27 PM EST

Obama is many things, but he is no JFK. JFK wasn't great, but he wasn't bad, either, and he was no LBJ. LBJ was Great (get it?), but got stuck with Kennedy's mess in SE Asia, and LBJ was no Nixon. That last fact is the only evidence I have for the existence of God.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
{a|be}mused (3.00 / 3) (#3)
by postDigital on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:22:36 PM EST

You decry Obama's conservatism, and then you toss up one of the standard rationalisations for right-sided homophobia in the US? Might want to rethink:

Hate crime legislation is the thin end of the wedge that is thought crime

Laughably absurd, it is no more a criminalisation of "thought" than any other criminal code, because it DOES NOT criminalise thought or speech, of and by itself. A hate-crime is a violent criminal act in which the victim of the crime was specifically targeted because they are a member of a group which congress has decided needs extra protection due to the frequency of the group being targeted, or the hateful vehemence in which the attacks are often perpetrated, or that the group is deserving of special societal recognition for public service that has made them targetable, or that the victim is unable to properly defend themselves.

The latest round of delusive conservative screeching about hate crimes is a function of their deeply repressed sexuality, which manifests itself in the nation's public restrooms with an under the stall wall soft shoe performance, and solicitation of $20 blow-jobs from complete strangers, as conservatives are opposed to hate crimes covering victims targeted because of their sexual preferences and/or gender identity.

Almost every argument against hate crimes put-up by the right is a straw man easily knocked-down. No one's constitutionally protected religious liberty or free-speech rights is put at risk over the legislation, as it would be a great new leap into the ring of asshattery to claim that speech which conspired to commit a violent crime, or was the direct incitative trigger for violent crime is constitutionally protected. It most assuredly is not.

Here's a decent write-up and transcripts regarding last year's H.R. 1592: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act Of 2007 - An Act to provide Federal assistance to States, local jurisdictions, and Indian tribes to prosecute hate crimes, and for other purposes.

At the very least, read what Congressman Alcee L. Hastings had to say about right-sided deceits regarding hate crime legislation.

I'm cell locked in the doctrines of tha right;
Enslaved by dogma, and you talk about my birthrights?

Rage Against The Machine, "Year of the Boomerang", Evil Empire (1996)



or... (none / 1) (#11)
by chlorus on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:53:28 PM EST

you could just point out that the perpetrator's mental state is already taken into account in other, well-established areas of the law. murder, for example, is graded in severity by whether it was premeditated (that is, you thought about it) versus a "crime of passion" or otherwise.

The latest round of delusive conservative screeching about hate crimes is a function of their deeply repressed sexuality, which manifests itself in the nation's public restrooms with an under the stall wall soft shoe performance, and solicitation of $20 blow-jobs from complete strangers, as conservatives are opposed to hate crimes covering victims targeted because of their sexual preferences and/or gender identity.

oooOOOooo a pop-psychological analysis! would you like to, like, sit down and talk about each other's feelings, man? that'd be totally chill.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

theis wasn't a double-jeopardy based argument (none / 0) (#79)
by postDigital on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 03:57:10 PM EST

As I am very inclined to agree with a properly presented dissent against hate crimes legislation in that it represents a doubled penalty for one crime, but no one in the GOP is likely to advance that argument, and would be egregious hypocrites if they did. They supported the legislation tagging some green moron, who engaged in an ironically counterproductive crime spree of serial trespass upon upon Wisconsin fur farms setting free the semi-domesticated little furry chattel to a face a short and brutish life in the wild, starving to death, or being eaten by bigger and wilder furry creatures, as a terrorist. If the thought of this terrorises you, you had better be keeping an emergency stockpile of Depends® handy for your homeland's defense....

Unequal sentencing, based upon the victim of the crime is an established practise in American jurisprudence, and contrary to what the House Republican Conservative Committee claimed last summer in debate over the new hate crimes legislation, it does not punish an attacker of gays or trans-gendered worse than it does an attacker on police officers. The 2004 Federal Sentencing Guidelines; Chapter 3; Part A: Victim-Related Adjustments; 3A1.2. Official Victim, call for a 6x sentence enhancement when the victim is a law enforcement officer.

The other main House Conservates' argument against hate crimes legislation being extended to cover acts in which the victims were targeted for sexual preferences and gender identity, offers more evidence the wide-stance repression and a cowardly fear of fading one's own sexuality, is pandemic amongst members of The Public Potty Peeping Party. Tod Tiahrt (R-KS) expressed this clearly on May 7, 2007 when he said:

"The 14th Amendment affords equal protection under the law to all citizens. H.R. 1592 defies this principle by ranking victims according to nebulous categories like 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' that are based on behavior and are not easily definable."

Anyone who believes that sexual preferences and gender-identity are nebulous categories, not easily defined, should seek-out qualified psychiatric care, ASAP.



[ Parent ]
more ad hominem horseshit (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by chlorus on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 04:14:13 PM EST

The other main House Conservates' argument against hate crimes legislation being extended to cover acts in which the victims were targeted for sexual preferences and gender identity, offers more evidence the wide-stance repression and a cowardly fear of fading one's own sexuality, is pandemic amongst members of The Public Potty Peeping Party.

oh boy, more pop-psychology bullshit. the republicans probably have mommy issues too, right?

Anyone who believes that sexual preferences and gender-identity are nebulous categories, not easily defined, should seek-out qualified psychiatric care, ASAP.

aside from your asinine comment about inflicting psychiatric care on people who differ from your nutty views, there is a wide basis for believing that sexuality is fluid and indeed not rigidly defined. how many dicks do you have to suck before getting assaulted makes you a victim of a hate crime? one? five? twenty? how transgendered do you have to be to qualify? do you have to be on hormone therapy? maybe you need breast implants, too. spend only half your time as a "woman"? sorry, according to arbitrary court decisions that are sure to vary in nearly every case, you don't qualify.

in contrast, it's easy to define who a law enforcement officer is; never mind that it makes a lot more sense to offer this sort of protection to them under the law.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

Je vous accuser (none / 0) (#94)
by postDigital on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:05:49 PM EST

You distort and exaggerate the sarcasm I used to emphasise the illogical argument advanced by Tiahrt against the hate crimes bill, as well as a general derisive insult at Contemporary Conservatives, who have aided and abetted the theft of habeas corpus, and defended an American Governmental imprimatur upon acts of torture to humans detained Under The Colour of Authority Imparted By The American Flag, My god damned flag! and deceitfully imply it was the main content the post.

I clearly offered a direct citation to Federal sentencing guidelines which state that crimes perpetrated against law enforcement officers gets a 6 step bump at sentencing. I offered this example, because it was a direct argument against the hate crimes legislation, which was advanced by House Republicans in last spring's debate regarding it:

Mr. Gohmert of Texas offered an amendment that would add law enforcement officers to the list. There have been several instances where gang members and would-be gang members have targeted and killed law enforcement officers because of their hatred towards them for choosing to go to work each day to protect our communities. Is committing a crime against law enforcement officers simply because their job is to uphold our laws a crime not deserving of special assistance to investigate and prosecute that crime?

Doc Hastings (R-WA), House of Representatives, May 3, 2007

Tiahrt's farcical statement was not even the most absurd expression of convoluted Republican sexuality during the Hate Crimes legislation debate, either. Louie Gohmert grabbed that cock ring while riding the fairy-go-round at the GOP Circus:

"So, in other words, if someone opposed to your position that, perhaps, was having gender identity issues, like a transvestite, got between you and your office, and there were numbers of them, and you tried to get through to your office, then, as has happened in other places, he may be inclined now to go to the Federal Government, file a criminal complaint for which you could be arrested, and that would be bodily injury sufficient to rise to that level."

Louie Gohmert (R-TX), House of Representatives, May 3, 2007

Am I supposed to let Louie's craven retardedness about numbers of transvestite-likes having gender identity issues just slide? Do you also struggle, when attempting to understand the nebulous and ill-defined concepts of sexual preference and gender identity?

It is you, not I who engaged in a wholly insubstantial personal assault, but hey, I'm more than happy to play along, especially with one whose perpetual querulousness is shrilly evinced with extortionate hauteur. So care to discuss where the outrage over gay conservative humour really originates, chlorus leechman? Are you fighting a losing struggle against the will of your happy feet to engage in the restrooms of transportation hub terminals? Maybe you need to get an appointment with a Bush Man Date, and have him observe your technique to assure you are inserting your daily prescribed
Official Abu Ghraib Interrogators' Model
Chemical Light Stick of GOP Enlightenment®

properly deep up your anus.
It is self-evident that your mind still resides in its native darkness.



[ Parent ]
sorry, didn't read ur nutty shit. (none / 0) (#120)
by chlorus on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 01:05:39 PM EST

plz summarize and repost.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

Bullshit (none / 0) (#15)
by codejack on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:51:57 PM EST

Yes, a great many of the arguments the right puts up against it are smokescreens for various forms of bigotry. That's not my argument.

My argument is that hate crime legislation is a means of punishing people for their beliefs; that we think that their beliefs are wrong does not change this essential fact. A person has every right to be homophobic, racist, misogynistic, or anti-semitic. If they break a law, I don't care that they did it because they are bigoted pricks any more than I care that a drunk driver killed 5 people, but that he's an alcoholic.

This is the same problem I had on the forum I mentioned: there seems to be this attitude that you have to toe the Democratic party line, or you're a traitor. I say, that's the Republicans' game; Democrats are supposed to be tolerant and reasonable, not reactionary and authoritarian, and until we remember that, any modest successes we have will gain us nothing.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Is it your assertion, then... (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by mirleid on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 05:24:23 AM EST

...that motivations underlying the act of committing a crime have no bearing whatsoever in the punishment that the committer should receive?

I'd think about your answer carefully, if I were you...

Chickens don't give milk
[ Parent ]
Which way do you want it? (none / 0) (#21)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:23:52 AM EST

I could make a compelling case that bigots should receive lighter sentences than their counterparts by classifying them as insane, but that's patent nonsense; my issue is that if you can punish someone for their beliefs, then anyone who has any slightly different belief from everyone else (much less radically different, like me) is in terrible danger of legal persecution.

It's not that I disagree with the problem you're trying to solve, it's that I fear the next step; what happens when congress decides that not going to church is a "hate crime" against Christians?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Hold on... (none / 1) (#22)
by mirleid on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:59:16 AM EST

The expression "hate crime" is misleading. There's no such thing as a special crime that involves hate. Rather, if a given criminal act (as defined by the applicable statutes/laws) is motivated by somebody's bias against a number of pre-defined human traits/characteristics, then that offense becomes a hate crime, and can thus have a harsher punishment than it would otherwise have.

One example would be a thief that only targets kosher grocery stores because he/she/it believes that all Jews are thieves.

In the example that you give, a law would have to be first passed making it a crime to not go to church. And if such a law were to be passed, well, you'd already be in deep societal shit, and hate crimes would be the least of your worries.

This is the crux of my argument: there's are no such things as a number of activities that constitute hate crimes. A crime *becomes* a hate crime depending on the motivations that presided at committing it.

You might want to argue that "hate" motivations should not warrant harsher punishments; I would disagree; you need only to consider the crime that is committed when somebody burns a cross on somebody's lawn: reckless endangerment, trespassing, destruction of property perhaps. However, this should be punished much more harshly because the intent, motivation and potential outcomes are much more serious than the ones you'd get if such an act were to be conducted with no such motivation.

Chickens don't give milk
[ Parent ]
OK, bad example, was trying to illustrate a point (none / 1) (#46)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:37:54 PM EST

Essentially, what hate crime legislation does is outlaw a "bias", which is a belief; this is not only unconstitutional in the extreme, but also opens the door to a host of abuses if (when!) the crackpots come into power (oh, wait, they're already there). Again, I don't care why someone broke a law except as it applies to mitigating circumstances, such as insanity, or the "starving child" argument. Being a racist prick generally carries its own penalties, and needs no help from us.

Where you lose me is with the "potential outcomes" argument: a drunk driver is "potentially" going to kill someone; should they then be punished as if they had killed someone, even if they didn't?

You're really talking to the wrong person about this; I grew up in a racially segregated neighborhood, with all the abuses and injustice that entails. I have seen crosses burning on the lawns of black families, and felt ashamed that my community would play host to such intolerance. I oppose bigotry, in all its forms, with all my being, not least because I am a member of the most despised minority in the country. But this isn't the way to do it.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Potential outcomes... (none / 0) (#52)
by mirleid on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:03:30 PM EST

What I meant by that is that the act of burning a cross on somebody's lawn not only has an immediate effect (terror, etc), but it also aims to induce a larger community of people, all sharing a common racial trait, into doing things like leaving the area because it is not safe for them anymore. In this light, there's more than one victim, and the effect is greatly amplified, past the immediate "terrorise that person" one.

Regarding your drunk driver example, well, one of the basis for such harsh punishments as are currently being delivered for that crime is that the people committing them are really committing attempted murder by negligence. So, yes, in a way, the intent and potential outcomes do come into play when deciding what the punishment for that crime is.

Chickens don't give milk
[ Parent ]
Missing the point (2.00 / 2) (#89)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:30:26 PM EST

Being an alcoholic should not affect the sentence for drunk driving; being a racist pig should not affect the sentence for beating someone up (burning a cross, etc). For that matter, what if they burn a cross in their own yard? No trespassing, no reckless endangerment, but the effect would be identical.

I am not arguing for the drunk driver or the racist cross-burner, but they have rights, as well, and I have to defend their rights so that I can have my own.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
The problem I have with hate crimes is (none / 0) (#81)
by xC0000005 on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 04:36:48 PM EST

not that I want the criminal to be able to commit the crime. It's that I want them to be equally afraid of committing the crime against any target. I don't want them burning crosses in black people's yards, but I don't want my yard to be a better target because I'm white (and you don't get much more pasty white than I). Hate crimes create better and worse targets for criminals based on those same human attributes that were meant for protection.

Then there's the issue of rehabilitation. I'd still like to focus on rehabilitation over punishment when possible, and how does a longer sentence contribute to rehabilitating someone?

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]

It isn't a punishment for their beliefs (none / 1) (#96)
by godix on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:23:41 PM EST

It's a punishment for using crime to try and intimidate and suppress an entire group of people. It is not, or at least it shouldn't be, something that gets applied to any crime against a protected minority.

Illustrative example: Lets say a black family moves into a mostly white area. A week later a cross burned on their yard. That's clearly meant not as just an attack on this specific family but also as a 'lesson' for any other black person who might consider moving in. It's an intimidation attempt at an entire group and it's a crime who's victims are, to a degree, any black person that hears about the incident. As such it deserves harsher punishment than a normal crime. OTOH if the family has no problems and a year down the road one of them gets mugged then that isn't a hate crime. That isn't an attempt make every black around fearful of moving in, it's just a crime who's victim happened to be black.

So for that reason I support the idea of hate crime legislation although I gotta say in practice it's all rather questionable.


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]

I'm all for your theory... (none / 0) (#177)
by Pentashagon on Mon Mar 31, 2008 at 02:20:57 AM EST

...so long as we can sue the MAFIAA for hate crimes against file sharers, and sue the U.S. government for hate crimes against criminals (they make example killings of them all the time!)

[ Parent ]
it does seem, empirically, to be a slippery slope (none / 0) (#101)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:42:28 PM EST

I might have a particularly bad view of it since I'm in academia, but around here, "hate crime" and "hate speech" are frequently mentioned in the same breadth. The campus I'm currently on has regulations against both, including government-enforced speech codes.

[ Parent ]
It is still conflating terms (none / 0) (#175)
by postDigital on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 08:43:55 PM EST

There is a marked difference between censoring speech before it has been spoken, and a court determination of fact that past speech was a causative factor in a crime's commission.

As to the academia environment: it is not restricted in the same way that the state is, even when the school is publicly funded, so it is improper to make inferences between a University's hate speech regulations, and a state's hate crimes legislation. This doesn't change the fact that any hate-speech regulations on campus are bound to be counter-productive as a behaviour modifier of students off-campus, and will only result in the closeting of hate speech where it can grow undisturbed away from the free marketplace of ideas. It may have utility for minimising acts of violence, although I think even that purpose is dubious.



[ Parent ]
I voted for Obama in the primary (3.00 / 3) (#6)
by MichaelCrawford on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:36:14 PM EST

If Hillary wins the nomination, I'll be voting for Nader. I see her as too much a part of the political machine.


--
Looking for some free songs?


So vote for Ralph Nader (2.00 / 3) (#7)
by Social Democrat on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:48:39 PM EST

Or vote for whoever the Green Party candidate is (I am hoping for Cynthia McKinney) or the Socialist Party candidate.  

The problem with America is that Americans like you aren't willing to vote for a real leftist.  Obama is no leftist.  He is a Neocon like the rest of them.

------
The US is fucked up, diseased, mentally unstable & psychologically unhealthy. Its food supply is tainted, polluted, & full of chemical crap. Even worse, the US is trying to ruin the rest of the world.

Don't look at me (none / 1) (#13)
by codejack on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:39:11 PM EST

I am seriously considering voting for McKinney, though I continue to hold out hope that Obama will "tweak" his positions if and when he wins the primary. If Hillary wins, I'll vote for pretty much anyone else.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
why do you hate clinton so much? (none / 1) (#27)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 09:34:52 AM EST

latent misogyny is the only reason i can understand for the weird anticlinton hysteria out there. frankly, she's boring, bland, insipid. she should inspire sleep, nothing else. there is absolutely nothing at all in her entire history that should inspire any passion for her, or any passion against her

so when i see this bizarre antihillary hatred out there, the only reason my mind can come up with for the source of this bizarre hatred is straight up fear of women in general

look at every reason you mistrust hillary. at the bottom of it is your own retarded issues. what's the matter, your mommy didn't love you? some girl was mean to you in high school? what's with the women issues you loser?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Not sure why I'm even bothering to respond (none / 0) (#43)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:24:03 PM EST

Naturally, if I was being more critical of Obama, I would be a racist, right? No, I oppose Hillary because she shares too much in common with Bill, i.e. she does what her corporate owners tell her to. She is in the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies, meaning she won't enact serious health care legislation, and AIPAC, which means she'll keep up in Iraq until Israel stretches to the Euphrates.

I could go on, but why bother? You didn't read the other post where I suggested that I would like to vote for McKinney, did you?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
i understand your criticism of the clintons (none / 1) (#45)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:29:43 PM EST

i've heard every single one before

and all of those horrid crimes amount to nothing worse than the crimes of the bushes, or any other political clan, ever, really

but you don't display your rabid hatred for them, do you? you reserve it for hillary

in other words, you see these crimes every day, in every politician. so it is a false explanation as to why you hate the clintons. it's some sort of rationalization on your part that is so patently shallow that it betrays your real bias pretty baldly

it is possible that you are completely blind to your own misogyny. or if it's irrational clinton hatred, not hillary hatred, one wonders what the hell stokes your venom so much

dude: try this thought experiment: give me a poltician. any other politician of equivalent standing and dynasty as the lcintons. list their crimes. note that that list is equal in size and scope as the crimes of the clintons

now where's your seething venom for that politician?

see my point now?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Where to start (none / 0) (#91)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:42:25 PM EST

I'm ignoring your cheap attempts to paint me as a misogynist, and jumping straight to your thought experiment; the only question is where to begin.

How about the Bushes, and how Prescott Bush was financing the German Navy before, during, and after World War II, or how George Sr. is implicated in sabotaging the 1968 Paris peace talks with North Viet Nam, not to mention his casual trip to meet with Iranian revolutionaries during the Iran Hostage crisis, which resulted in that hilarious release right after Reagn won the election, essentially telling the world that it was a put-up job. All of which pales in comparison to the outright, in-your-face corruption that W has brought us.

The one thing that is missing is the "venom" you ascribe to me, when in fact, I have very little of that for any of these fools; contempt, maybe.

But this is the other piece of garbage floating around: "You won't vote for Hillary because you're a sexist", and the fact that I support Cynthia McKinney doesn't count. I'll make you another deal: You get Lynn Woolsey to run for president, and then come see how sexist I am.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
lol education (3.00 / 3) (#10)
by chlorus on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:46:30 PM EST

Pay teachers well, and you'll get good teachers; an example of where a "free market" would actually work, and these guys won't grab it!

Are you sure that's how it works? American CEOs are paid truly ludicrous amounts of money with no discernible effect on performance; often, in fact, they exhibit middling performance or even run their company into the ground. If money can't even get CEOs to perform, what makes you think it will magically produce better teachers? It's strange that you would resort to the argument that the "free market" (of government-subsidized and -regulated schooling) will provide a solution in the middle of a diatribe expounding on its supposed failures.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." -

Diminishing returns (none / 1) (#14)
by codejack on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:40:44 PM EST

When you think about it, the difference between $20k a year and $50k a year is more than the difference between $50k and $500k.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
you do have a point... (1.50 / 1) (#16)
by chlorus on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 11:52:18 PM EST

...but the salary you quoted ($20k/year) is more in line with pay for private school teachers than for public school teachers, who get paid more to frequently do less.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

mistake? (none / 1) (#20)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:14:13 AM EST

Um, was that a mistake, or did you just say that $20k/year is what private school teachers earn? Naturally, these things vary according to location, but the area I'm in is at the bottom of the pay scale, where public teachers make about $25k, while private teachers make $35-45k.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
You should come to Canada. (none / 1) (#24)
by Hiphopopotamus on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:25:56 AM EST

Our money is worth more, teachers get paid up to 60k - 90K at max (after approx. 10 years of teaching) and they do about as much as any other employee employed by a Union that is as powerful as the Teamsters.
_________________

I'm In LOVE!
[ Parent ]

Heh, seriously thinking about it /nt (none / 0) (#39)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:13:57 PM EST




Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
It's great here. And Americans always do well (none / 1) (#44)
by Hiphopopotamus on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:25:11 PM EST

because they talk so much louder. Canadians see this as a reason to promote them.
_________________

I'm In LOVE!
[ Parent ]

Not really my concern (none / 0) (#90)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:32:43 PM EST

As I am going into academia, I'm not sure how much that will benefit me, but I'll keep it in mind for the private sector :)


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
private school teachers generally make less. (none / 0) (#26)
by chlorus on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 09:32:32 AM EST

i'm not sure what area you're in, but it would be the exception rather than the rule.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

Hamilton County, TN (none / 0) (#40)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:17:42 PM EST

We have the highest ratio of private to public schools in the world, which makes sense when you realize that we pay our public school teachers less than almost anywhere else in the country. We are in the bottom percentile of school funding, and our schools are rated as some of the worst in the nation: 49 out of 50 states, and our county is 95th out of 96 in the state.

But we're just poor southern rednecks, right? Who cares?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
really? (none / 0) (#187)
by Morally Inflexible on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:30:49 PM EST

I live in California, my mother is a teacher;  she got a rather massive raise when she moved from a private school to a public school...   but then, she is working in a fairly wealthy central-vally disterict-  things might be different in the midwest.

But yeah, from what I understand, private school pays quite a bit worse than public school.  Most of the quality gains from private schools have less to do with the teacher and more to do with how private schools can filter students, and kick out the troublemakers.  

[ Parent ]

not really (none / 0) (#28)
by khallow on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:16:19 AM EST

$500k a year means you can live virtually anywhere and never have to borrow money except for convenience.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Really (none / 0) (#41)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:19:15 PM EST

$50k a year means you don't have to choose between medicine and food. Which one is more important?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Food (none / 0) (#70)
by khallow on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 02:02:32 PM EST

You still have to chose between medicine and living. It just lets you spend a little more on medicine.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Teacher pay (none / 1) (#76)
by anaesthetica on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 03:01:39 PM EST

You can't pay good teachers well. Teachers unions have organized the system such that pay is based primarily on seniority, not merit. And since you can't fire incompetent teachers, you either have to pay bad teachers even more in order to pay the good teachers a competitive amount, or just give up until the teachers unions are pulverized by someone with balls enough to destroy them.

—I'm the little engine that didn't.
k5: our trolls go to eleven
[A]S FAR AS A PERSON'S ACTIONS ARE CONCERNED, IT IS NOT TRUE THAT NOTHING BUT GOOD COMES FROM GOOD AND NOTHING BUT EVIL COMES FROM EVIL, BUT RATHER QUITE FREQUENTLY THE OPPOSITE IS THE CASE. ANYONE WHO DOES NOT REALIZE THIS IS IN FACT A MERE CHILD IN POLITICAL MATTERS. max weber, politics as a vocation


[ Parent ]
Education. (2.71 / 7) (#18)
by jd on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:58:10 AM EST


  • The optimal teacher:student ratio is about 1:3 for 5-year-olds, 1:10 for 10-year-olds, and probably gets to 1:20 for University students.
  • Where streaming is employed, students should be streamed not only according their abilities but also according to how they influence and motivate others, and how they themselves are motivated and influenced. Optimise students as a system, not as disconnected individuals.
  • Where multiple classes of the same subject exist, they should be taught to different styles. Different students work better in different contexts and therefore optimization can be improved by maximising the number of students who attend classes set in a context suitable for them.
  • Evaluation should be done in relation to the starting point of the student being evaluated, assuming learning follows an S-curve. Evaluation should not be done with intent to punish, but to improve where the student is within the system.
  • Examinations should test ability within the subject, NOT ability to sit exams, OR ability to memorize trivia. Understanding and ability to apply that understanding are the only two useful criteria. Memorization is not a useful quality and should not be a part an examination.
  • The evidence is strong that the more a person learns when young, the more they are capable of learning and the more resilient their brain is to the effects of aging, up to a limit that is different for different people. Education should therefore stress every part of the brain as the brain develops, as close to the limit for each individual as is practical, and should continue doing so for as long as brain development continues.
  • Some of the methods and ideas in Classical education (eg: emphasis on multiple languages) are not "directly" useful but maximize the brain's growth and therefore maximize the mind's potential.
  • The above requires sophisticated teaching practices, good non-intrusive analysis, objective streaming, significant infrastructure, extensive academic staff and support staff, flexible practices and a great deal of money.

As far as paying staff is concerned, the staff are turning raw material into individuals who will be the next generation of employees and employers. But it's pointless making 5 year olds aim to be what the market wants now. Twenty years from now, industry will be very different.

Since teachers aren't fortune-tellers, they should strive for students who are as well-rounded as practical, whilst still being as sharp as possible in their own chosen domains.

Standardized tests are largely useless, as any given individual in the above system would follow a different track from other individuals, correlate different information, and therefore understand differently.

Tests in such a system would need to take the ending points on each stream for any individual and generate a set of questions based on individual streams and the cross-over between streams. Very few students would get the same exam paper. Exams should take a fixed time. Students who finish early should get additional questions. The points value of questions should decline, so although answering more will always get you more, it's only worth it if you're able to answer more. The score is therefore open-ended but bounded.

Results, as noted before, would be plotted onto an S-curve. Actual score would by the Y position, the corresponding X position would be the skill required for that score. As score is relative to what the student has learned, the relative skill is the change in skill as a result of the education.

Provided the S curve is correct and the streaming is correct, a student should increase subject ability by a roughly equal amount each year, so their change in skill (the X value) shouldn't vary much between years. A student would then be graded relative to themselves by taking the ratio of their change in skill and the expected change in skill. A student learning by the expected amount, according to ability and circumstance, will have a ratio of 1 and should be given a grade of C. All other grades should be relative to this.

They should also get an absolute grade, which would be determined by the ratio of their score and the mean score across all students, with the median score being a C, and grade boundaries being determined by integer numbers of standard deviations. Boundaries should be such that there are the same number of people rated F as there are people rated A+ (ie: higher than A). Absolute grades of D and E are passing grades, provided the personal, relative grades are C or higher.

This system is very complex and would require substantial funding. It would also require an enormous number of people who are skilled at teaching the subject. To retain such people would require that they get paid substantially.

But how to do that? Teaching should be seen as no different from any other manufacturing job. In most such industries, people manufacture parts or products. Here, they're manufacturing minds and skills.

But this isn't some low-end cheap manufacturing plant making silly-string. If you want the best minds, if you want the best products schools can produce, then you're looking at high-end military-grade or space-grade manufacturing. You should be comparing it with the Mclaren Formula One team, not the local church lawnmower-racing division.

But how do we evaluate teachers by this process? Easy. Remember, we put people in with the teachers they will learn most from. If there's a teacher that nobody will learn most from, then it's reasonable to say that they're not teaching very well.

In other words, let the dynamics sort out all of that fluffy evaluation nonsense, and let entropy claim those who don't do well. Chances are, it won't happen much, that really most "poor" teachers aren't teaching the right set of kids at the right ability-level, they're being force-fit into a teaching role that they're not cut out for. Don't blame the teacher for inept management.

(On the other hand, there really are bad teachers, and the system does need a way to filter them out. But they need to be correctly identified for the right reasons, not pilloried for political reasons.)

Research Should Influence Education Policy (none / 0) (#152)
by chocolatetrumpet on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 12:07:27 PM EST

I have another request, which may or may not include all of the above. Let research guide educational policy!

Most decisions in education are made on a whim, or because "we've always done it that way." This should change.

1:3? 1:10? Ha. Try the inner city. Try 1:40 seven year olds, when half of them have IEPs. Been there. No joke. No, it's not legal. Yes, it is reality.

Education needs help, and we all need some hope. At least this candidate is talking about hope. It's not everything, but at least he's talking about it.

The truth is in the ice cream.
[ Parent ]

in defense of memorization (none / 0) (#161)
by Sacrifice on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 12:36:35 PM EST

Memorization is not a useful quality and should not be a part an examination

Memorization skills are useful, and not entirely innate.  I remember at least the flavor of the facts I memorized in past classes.  Aside from explicit memorization heuristics (which would be a  valuable course of instruction), one side effect of well-understood material is that you later remember (some of) it as a consequence of integrating it.

I'm sure that some students do end up preparing for tests by rote memorization of disconnected facts, almost without comprehension.  That would indeed not be useful.

I don't see what's wrong with testing some of the most essential skills or knowledge in a closed-book fashion, especially in the context of professional preparation, but on the whole I do prefer more challenging open-book tests.

[ Parent ]

"Modernizing" education (2.00 / 2) (#180)
by cdguru on Thu Apr 03, 2008 at 10:05:33 PM EST

The problem with many of the things you propose is there is a significant downside for the failed experments: students that fail. So far this has been something that has been the last thing anyone wants to happen, so every attempt has been founded with the idea that there will be no failures. Unrealistic? Sure, but the alternative is to admit that techniques that fail will result in someone having to be institutionalized to some degree for life. Because they didn't learn the things that are required for life.

The issue you seem to have with standardized testing is easy to understand, but there is no simple solution. Eliminating "teaching to the test" is a great idea, but it isn't as simple as it sounds. OK, you have two students that are at the end of the educational process. How do you evaluation the success of the educational process they went through? Is there some objective measure that can be applied, or are we doomed to rely on subjective measurements? Subjective measurements were all there were for a long time, and it led to some very simple decisions in education. Most of where we are today is because of subjective measurements in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with the one-room-schoolhouse being the guidepost.

Standardized testing has been the one thing that led to significant changes in the 1950s and 1960s because instead of simply relying on subjective evaluations from teachers there could be real comparisons between, say students in California and New York. Unfortunately there is substantial misuse and "teaching to the test" which tends to eliminate the benefits of such testing. It has also gotten a bad reputation because of this. But the alternative is relying on just subjective measurements.

Where do subjective measurements alone leave us? Well, with experiments and failures once again. How can you evaluate either an educational process or a teacher other than by measuring the outcome of the process, say by measuring the level of happiness or "success" through someone's life? Well, that would be really nice, but it takes a lot of time.

There is another aspect that some educators have figured out but much of the "progressives" that would like to call for big changes in education have not. People are different. The Bell Curve is reality, not some racist fantasy. Specifically, people have different abilities to manipulate abstract symbols. Some people are very good at this, others are very bad. The people that are bad at this have had obvious career paths through history as they became laborors rather than artisans. There are clear differences in abilities that cannot be overcome by education. Regardless of how much effort you put into the process, it is simply not possible to grant someone the ability to do abstract symbol manipulation. This means that not everyone can be a theortical physicist or an artist. Neither is it reasonable to assume that everyone can be a good assembly line worker or construction worker. Trying to make everyone into a "knowledge worker", as we are trying to do in the US today, is doomed to failure. Not because of a lack of educational opportunities but because of abilities and motivations.

We are currently involved in an experiment in both labor and education. In most of the Western world we are trying to export all low-skill jobs to low-cost countries or import low-cost workers. At the same time we are realizing that not everyone is equipped to be a high-skill worker. The answers so far? Reform the schools, educate everyone and make a college education manditory for everyone. Train them so they can be physicists, lawyers, doctors and programmers. Without regard as to their abilities to actually mentally perform the expected work. Can this succeed? Well, currently the outlook is pretty bleak and is almost certainly to prove that there are some limitations which are either self-selected or genetic. Nobody wants to hear this, so we are going to try anyway.

It is likely to lead to a large number of people that aren't going to be very happy. And we are engineering society in the West to make sure there are no other, less symbol-manipulating, careers available to them.

[ Parent ]

what's wrong with nafta? (2.00 / 7) (#23)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:02:54 AM EST

fuck the fat old white guy and his blue collar job in the rust belt. send all those jobs to china. seriously. then, you retrain in another field. it pays less? oh, i'm sorry, you get paid $54 an hour now to look at a machine press: you're grossly overpaid asshole. why should we pay more for our shit because you have a sense of privelege to your overpaid union job? fuck you

nafta simply means the vast majority of americans get cheaper shit. beginning of story. end of story. yay nafta. fuck you overpaid union assholes

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Usual CTS (none / 1) (#29)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 11:46:47 AM EST

Shortsighted; sure, the product is cheaper, but people are making even less money, resulting in a lower standard of living, less likelihood of providing their children with education, and we get a downward spiral as the economy eats itself, like it's doing now.

fuck you overpaid union assholes

Funny, the same people who are against unions love having weekends off, a 40-hour work week, overtime pay, benefits, etc; you wouldn't have any of that if it weren't for unions.

Jackass.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
history, retard (1.00 / 3) (#31)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 11:52:02 AM EST

most of also owe our existence on north america to the existence of a boat. but does that mean i have take a steamship the next time i want to go to hong kong? historical relevancy does not translate into allegiance forever. likewise, unions were instrumental in busting monopolies, pinkerton's gangs, and giving the workforce rights. wonderful. god bless them. ancient fucking history. nothing is owed. move the fuck on

furthermore, you have absolutely no fucking understanding of economics, nevermind simple fucking logic. apparently, according to you, we buy more expensive shit, and we get higher wages, in a protectionist economy

jesus fuckign christ what a fucking moron. people want to buy less expensive shit NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY MAKE

as soon as you defeat this fundamental force of reason right there, get back to us

ps: how's that decades old "buy american" campaign against japanese cars going?

fucking retard


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

ROFL (none / 0) (#36)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:11:49 PM EST

Yea, my 15 semester hours in American history have left me totally clueless about it. You are arguing against Keynesian economic theory; you know, the one that actually makes predictions that come true? As opposed to supply-side economics, which I assume you favor, which has consistently proven itself to be errant nonsense.

"Buy American" lost because we kept cheapening our product and shipping jobs out of the country; fewer people work for GM and Ford, and more for Honda and Toyota, so that's what they'll buy. They wind up with a better product for less money, from a company that gives them a job, and you're wondering why they don't by American? And then accuse me of being unreasonable?! Nevermind that my worldview matches reality, while yours keeps saying "well, it should have happened differently!", your ideologically-driven prattle overrides my logical narrative, right? Blow.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
And the 50 year old guy now on unemployment? (none / 0) (#33)
by Liar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:02:08 PM EST

If the government engages in an activity that undercuts its workforce, the workforce shouldn't bear the entire weight of that decision. That's not a net gain for the country.

What you say is a fair thing to someone under the age of 30, who can rapidly shift careers and who won't bear too great of a cost to start over. If a guy has been in the workforce for 30 years and the only thing you know is a skill now sent to China, it's not in our national interest to let him go hungry and be unable to pay for his kid's college (if for no other reason than we want him to pay for his kids to go to college).

Further, strict social darwinism is a reasonable claim only in dealing with natural factors. NAFTA was not a natural event and we could have prepared for the change better.


I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
[ Parent ]
where do you fucking retards come from? (1.00 / 3) (#35)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:06:40 PM EST

the government didn't do shit. the government is following what the market wants to do

if the government defies the market, as you protectionist morons want the us to do, you get a weaker us economy. you ge tmore expensive shit. this hurts the usa a LOT more than the loss fo some cushy union jobs by a loud vocal politically well connected bunch of assholes in the rust belt

retrain, get a nother job. move the fuck on. or blow up an irs building. whatever floats your boat, maladaptive losers

it isn't a good decent wage you assholes seek, it is protecting your cushy overpaid job. it's over. you had a good run. but some guy in china does your job a lot better than you for a lot less, and americans have voted overwhelmingly with their wallets to pay that guy in china rather than you, REGARDLESS OF WHAT WASHINGTON DC DECIDES

game over. move on whiners


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

you know China is not in North America, right? (none / 0) (#55)
by Liar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:07:58 PM EST

Because, I'm looking at my map of nations involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement, and except for some towns in Mexico whose names hint at an oriential origin, I'm not seeing it.

Further, you do realize that it was Washington involved in the decision to create NAFTA, right? So, yes, I think Washington has a say in how we enter into such deals.

I'm not a protectionist. I like NAFTA. I think it could have been better executed, though and I don't think it's too late to make repairs. I'd like to see more environmentally safe working conditions. I'd like to see improved labor conditions from our partners. We don't have to impose this all at once, but we can ask for gradualized conditions, so that the car maker in Detroit who plays by one set of rules can compete with the Mexican laborer who has fewer hurdles to clear. Otherwise, we're not working toward that free market that you seem to value.


I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
[ Parent ]
let us try talking on the same page: (1.33 / 3) (#57)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:15:25 PM EST

protectionism leads to more expensive items

this hurts the usa way more than all of the pluses protectionism can give the usa

"I'd like to see more environmentally safe working conditions. I'd like to see improved labor conditions from our partners. We don't have to impose this all at once, but we can ask for gradualized conditions, so that the car maker in Detroit who plays by one set of rules can compete with the Mexican laborer who has fewer hurdles to clear."

furthermore: safer work conditions, improved environmental conditions, etc.: with less trade barriers these things improve more than with trade barriers

  1. the mexican guy who makes crap cheaper than the american guy benefits the american guy's neighbors more than the americna guy loses because he has to retrain for another job

  2. the mexican guy's work conditions improve as compared to his work conditions if there is nowhere to work at all. duh

  3. as the mexican guy's work environment begins to approach parity with that of his american counterparts THERE'S NO NEED TO IMMIGRATE ILLEGALLY HERE

trade barriers WORSEN all of the issues you have brought up so far

protecitonism is a LOSER, economically, socially, morally, environmentally, all ways


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So, we agree China isn't in North America, then? (none / 0) (#59)
by Liar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:25:17 PM EST

I just want to make sure that we are on the same page...

same planet...


I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
[ Parent ]
you're changing the subject (1.00 / 3) (#66)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:47:21 PM EST

your arguments against nafta are a subset of the arguments for protectionism

so when i attack protectionism, in general, i also destroy your arguments against nafta by default

nafta should actually be spread around the entire world. all trade barriers should be dismantled. and so i can talk about trade between china and the usa, and those arguments are equally valid for trade ebtween the usa and mexico, brazil and angola, mongolia and italy, ad nauseum...

anything else i can help you with in the intellectual charity dept today?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Just to be clear, then (none / 0) (#72)
by Liar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 02:20:25 PM EST

Since you haven't said one way or another: China isn't in North America, right?

Seriously, I think this is the crux of the problem I have with your argument: you don't know what you're talking about and this is why you confuse the issue of NAFTA with sending jobs to China.


I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
[ Parent ]
follow the bouncing ball dear fucktard (1.00 / 3) (#75)
by circletimessquare on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 02:55:56 PM EST

argument about nafta = subset of argument about protectionism

therefore, argument which disproves protectionism = argument that disproves nafta

i don't know how to make it any simpler for you child

but please, be my guest: say "china isn't in north america" in response. totally blows my argument away dude, whoa

beats thinking, right?

fucktard


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No, thanks. (3.00 / 2) (#77)
by Liar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 03:12:12 PM EST

I'm still not convinced of your proficiency in world geography. That being unsatisfactorily demonstrated, it throws all other conclusions of yours into doubt.

Seriously, if you said the sky was blue, I'd have to verify it at this point.


I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
[ Parent ]
What the market wants? (none / 1) (#119)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 12:31:03 PM EST

We're all the market. Not many of us wanted that.

What the government followed were bribes by lobbyists hired by traitors that figured they could make out like bandits by selling us out.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Don't confuse him with the facts /nt (none / 0) (#37)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:13:16 PM EST




Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Everyone needs a hobby... (none / 1) (#56)
by Liar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:09:32 PM EST

And confusing CTS is easy and fun.


I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
[ Parent ]
Because it hurts Mexican Farmers nt (none / 0) (#103)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 06:47:36 AM EST



I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Why? (none / 0) (#118)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 12:29:47 PM EST

Because he turns around and spends that $54 an hour on something else made in this country, which feeds back into wages for other workers and profits for companies owned by americans.

That's why.

nafta simply means the vast majority of americans get cheaper shit.

Yeh, until their savings run out. Oh, and I'm glad you used the word "cheaper", which is correct, instead of the term "less expensive" which is only half-correct.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

I strongly disagree (2.00 / 2) (#25)
by khallow on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:47:36 AM EST

Liberals aren't that common. A few polls don't tell the story.

Further, your opinions on things like the Iraq situation or education seems pretty short sighted. Sure they might be against the current war in Iraq, after all who really is "for" wars aside from a few arms dealers? But are they for a prompt and panicked withdrawal, creating a mess in Iraq so big that the US ends up returning in a few years with yet another invasion? I doubt it.

You also come out with the theory that education needs more money. Let's ignore that money isn't the root of school problems.

As I see it, public schools are state institutions not federal institutions. I don't think that any federal funding solution should favor them over other schools (private schools, catholic or "parish" schools, home schooling, etc). That's why I favor school vouchers. I don't understand the liberal opposition to school vouchers. It's money for public schools as well as other schools. What is the problem?

I see some knee jerk blather over NAFTA. All I can say is that if your job is obseleted by cheap Mexican workers, then it's not worth protecting. Find a new job.

On the issue of civil rights, I mostly agree. I wouldn't have a problem with some sort of federal funding for significant ex-convict education. Nor with eliminating laws against victimless crimes.

And you're just spewing the latest overblown hype on the subject of environmentalism. What environmental problem has "doomed" our children? It's not global warming which we can barely detect. Yet I see blather about banning fossil fuels globally.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

On the contrary (none / 0) (#32)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:00:39 PM EST

The "conservative revolution" of the '90's was a direct result of liberal apathy given their choices; the oligarchs have conspired with the media to shut out any dissenting voices, skewing the perceived notions of the electorate to the right.

You say that money isn't the root of school problems, yet offer no evidence; the lack of incentive to become a teacher (low pay) drives off the best students, while disintegrating infrastructure distracts faculty and students alike from actual education. Yet none of this has to do with money?

NAFTA was a sop to manufacturers looking to make a cheaper product in order to compete with imports; the result has been disastrous for consumers (lower quality), workers (fewer jobs), and manufacturers (less revenue from the previous effects), while one of the major culprits was, strangely enough, the lack of universal health care in the U.S., which adds costs to every product made here.

Barely detect?! You did notice that the Northern Passage is now open year-round, right? I can't stand to hear that crap anymore. I WORK WITH THIS STUFF; I CAN DO THE MATH; WE ARE IN SERIOUS, SERIOUS TROUBLE.

And it's not just global warming; our pollution is causing mass death in the oceans, which provides food for billions of people; our water is becoming toxic; the level of carcinogens and teratogens in the air is causing an increase in chronic and terminal respiratory ailments.

There is no debate about this; there is no controversy. The scientific community agrees more on these points than they do on Einstein's equations, and the longer we hold it up with nonsense like calling it "overblown hype", the worse off we will be.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
cutting through the noise (2.00 / 2) (#69)
by khallow on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 02:00:17 PM EST

You say that money isn't the root of school problems, yet offer no evidence; the lack of incentive to become a teacher (low pay) drives off the best students, while disintegrating infrastructure distracts faculty and students alike from actual education. Yet none of this has to do with money?

Actually I haven't said that here. I've said it elsewhere though. But let's stick with your hypothesis that money is the root of the problem. Consider this. Back in the 50's and 60's, schools were doing quite well. There's plenty of evidence to indicate a long term decline in the quality of public education dating from around then.

We will assume then they were well funded. What changed? For funding to decline, the tax base (which is mostly property taxes) had to decline. That helps explain some of the problems in places with long term economic decline like Detroit or Philadelphia. It doesn't explain declines in places like Los Angeles. But you have things like Proposition 13 that reduced over the long term property taxes in California.

It doesn't explain why Detroit still is a disaster area or why California hasn't in 30 years found some way to adequately fund the problem public schools. For that you need to consider liberal policies like public housing and welfare, state protected labor unions (both in business and in public schools), ineffective crime prevention, and frivilous public spending.

NAFTA was a sop to manufacturers looking to make a cheaper product in order to compete with imports; the result has been disastrous for consumers (lower quality), workers (fewer jobs), and manufacturers (less revenue from the previous effects), while one of the major culprits was, strangely enough, the lack of universal health care in the U.S., which adds costs to every product made here.

First, you're one of the few people to bother noting that health care drives up the cost of labor. But let us remember that a lot of that health spending by employers is mandated by liberal-based policies. Further, who is going to pay for a universal health care system? I bet it'll be employers anyway.

Lower quality has been a long term trend. I don't know what influence globalization or NAFTA in particular played, but my take is that it's more driven by available time. People with more time tend to be more effective complainers and are more likely to get better service.

Barely detect?! You did notice that the Northern Passage is now open year-round, right? I can't stand to hear that crap anymore. I WORK WITH THIS STUFF; I CAN DO THE MATH; WE ARE IN SERIOUS, SERIOUS TROUBLE.

And what's unusual about melting ice in the Artic? It's happened before. Maybe it's due to global warming possibly induced by humans. I'll grant that. But it's a minor effect.

And it's not just global warming; our pollution is causing mass death in the oceans, which provides food for billions of people; our water is becoming toxic; the level of carcinogens and teratogens in the air is causing an increase in chronic and terminal respiratory ailments.

The developed world has already solved the air pollution problem. There are plenty of ways to cut down on air pollution and these have resulted in tremendous gains in air quality since the 60's and 70's.

There is no debate about this; there is no controversy. The scientific community agrees more on these points than they do on Einstein's equations, and the longer we hold it up with nonsense like calling it "overblown hype", the worse off we will be.

Welcome to the real world. What you are seeing in this thread is debate. Further, if you really were telling the truth, then the absence of debate should be throwing up warnings for you. It's not the sign of a scientific community.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Just more noise (none / 0) (#88)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:20:24 PM EST

It doesn't explain why Detroit still is a disaster area or why California hasn't in 30 years found some way to adequately fund the problem public schools. For that you need to consider liberal policies like public housing and welfare, state protected labor unions (both in business and in public schools), ineffective crime prevention, and frivilous public spending.


Yes, of course; the fact that the problems started cropping up when conservative politicians started pushing trickle-down economics had nothing to do with it, despite directly resulting in less tax revenue. What was I thinking?
First, you're one of the few people to bother noting that health care drives up the cost of labor. But let us remember that a lot of that health spending by employers is mandated by liberal-based policies. Further, who is going to pay for a universal health care system? I bet it'll be employers anyway.


Through taxes, sure; but the whole point of a single-payer system is to level the playing field, preventing the price-gouging we see from health care providers and pharmaceutical companies. The universal aspect insures that everyone is insured, which let's us accurately assess and predict costs. The only difference now is that your tax money is paying for a $1000 hospital stay when someone almost dies rather than the $30 trip to the doctor that could have prevented it. This is bad for everyone.
Lower quality has been a long term trend. I don't know what influence globalization or NAFTA in particular played, but my take is that it's more driven by available time. People with more time tend to be more effective complainers and are more likely to get better service.


I'm not sure what your argument here is; my contention is that the drive to produce cheaper cars, appliances, widgets, what-have-you results in lower quality products, and that this is a symptom of globalization. For the record, NAFTA would have been fine if they had insisted that the involved nations had to follow OSHA and EPA guidelines; by leaving this out, you didn't encourage businesses to leave, you forced them to.
And what's unusual about melting ice in the Artic? It's happened before. Maybe it's due to global warming possibly induced by humans. I'll grant that. But it's a minor effect.


No, it is neither minor, nor has it happened to this extent, at least not within the last million years or so. The evidence that we are causing it is significant, but I'll grant that it is not, quite, conclusive, so we get to play a game: If it is our fault, we can do something about it; If not, we're screwed anyway, so we better try to fix it and hope that we are causing it.
The developed world has already solved the air pollution problem. There are plenty of ways to cut down on air pollution and these have resulted in tremendous gains in air quality since the 60's and 70's.


More ill-informed propaganda; "Air quality" is defined by the presence of certain compounds and/or particles; pm0.25, for example, is a measure of airborne particulate matter with a diameter of less than 0.25 microns. The list of compounds does not include most pollutants that are released into the air, just the ones that have caused problems in the past, i.e. are visible. No, we have not solved anything.
Welcome to the real world. What you are seeing in this thread is debate. Further, if you really were telling the truth, then the absence of debate should be throwing up warnings for you. It's not the sign of a scientific community.


No, there was debate; it was over twenty years ago, and everything we've learned since then has merely reinforced the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of the smartest, best educated people on Earth have come to. I'm an opinionated, arrogant jerk, and I constantly question the veracity of everything that I learn, but I was fairly convinced of these facts before I went back to school and took modern chemistry and physics classes; now, I am very, very scared. Here's your sign.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
*sigh* (none / 1) (#100)
by khallow on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:01:22 PM EST

Yes, of course; the fact that the problems started cropping up when conservative politicians started pushing trickle-down economics had nothing to do with it, despite directly resulting in less tax revenue. What was I thinking?

Where do such movements come from? They are reactions to liberalism extremes. Same goes for mandatory employer-funded health insurance. The costs are out of control because the benefits and hence the demand are.

I'm not sure what your argument here is; my contention is that the drive to produce cheaper cars, appliances, widgets, what-have-you results in lower quality products, and that this is a symptom of globalization. For the record, NAFTA would have been fine if they had insisted that the involved nations had to follow OSHA and EPA guidelines; by leaving this out, you didn't encourage businesses to leave, you forced them to.

I was pointing out the cause. Globalization may have something to do with that. But it's not a direct effect.

No, it is neither minor, nor has it happened to this extent, at least not within the last million years or so. The evidence that we are causing it is significant, but I'll grant that it is not, quite, conclusive, so we get to play a game: If it is our fault, we can do something about it; If not, we're screwed anyway, so we better try to fix it and hope that we are causing it.

Or it might be something that happens quite regularly. They need better evidence for this sort of thing.

More ill-informed propaganda; "Air quality" is defined by the presence of certain compounds and/or particles; pm0.25, for example, is a measure of airborne particulate matter with a diameter of less than 0.25 microns. The list of compounds does not include most pollutants that are released into the air, just the ones that have caused problems in the past, i.e. are visible. No, we have not solved anything.

Improvements in air quality in the developed world over the past 3-4 decades are well known. Look it up.

No, there was debate; it was over twenty years ago, and everything we've learned since then has merely reinforced the conclusion that the overwhelming majority of the smartest, best educated people on Earth have come to. I'm an opinionated, arrogant jerk, and I constantly question the veracity of everything that I learn, but I was fairly convinced of these facts before I went back to school and took modern chemistry and physics classes; now, I am very, very scared. Here's your sign.

This is nonsense.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Nice argument (none / 1) (#108)
by codejack on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 10:41:10 AM EST

This is nonsense.

How can I possible argue with such fact-filled arguments? Better yet, why do I bother? I realize that you can't be bothered to actually research your opinions, but do you have to contradict those of us who do with whatever crap was being spewed on Faux News last night?


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
some free advice (none / 1) (#121)
by khallow on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:34:54 PM EST

How can I possible argue with such fact-filled arguments? Better yet, why do I bother? I realize that you can't be bothered to actually research your opinions, but do you have to contradict those of us who do with whatever crap was being spewed on Faux News last night?

I find that if I actually focus on the facts and research my opinions, I present better arguments. Here, I think the problem is more a poor understanding of risk on your part. You seem to have some information available, but the "omg sky will fall in 25-50 years" hysteria is really messing up your arguments.

Worst case scenario. In 50 years, oceans are a meter higher, food is a bit harder to grow in the traditional breadbasket locations and easier in higher lattitudes, fossil fuels get taxed to bits, and nobody but the nutcases argue that global warming is imaginary. Maybe we'd need to spend a few hundred billion dollars to move people and infrastructure around, but keep in mind that most infrastructure will have outlived its useful life by the time it needs to be moved and most people would be dirt cheap to move. That's pretty much it: higher seas, migration, and farmland changes.

The stupider assertions like the "runaway" scenarios ignore that the most significant sources of runaway effects like methane clathrates have recently had 100 more meters of water piled on them (after the end of the last ice age). 100 meters of water means a lot more pressure and means a much higher ocean temperature before the clathrates become scary unstable.

The concern about a shutdown of the northern part of the Gulf Stream seems more credible. But they are just starting to look at that (a common refrain in climate research, I might add), so we don't know how much of a risk in the long term that is.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Calling a stop to this (none / 1) (#138)
by codejack on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 08:08:15 PM EST

There's no point arguing with someone who is so absolutely sure about incorrect information that they're not even willing to look it up. Try again when you've actually done the reading.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
You don't? (none / 0) (#117)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 12:26:40 PM EST

I don't understand the liberal opposition to school vouchers.

Because it's never been about helping students to learn.

Maybe it's to protect a big and powerful union. Or maybe it's to keep an underclass ignorant and powerless.

Mind you, the conservative/republicans don't want to change any of that either... but they pretend to do so just to piss off the democrats. It's a slap during the pro wrestling match, and the Liberal Avenger truly doesn't like it, but it's part of the show just the same and ConservaManiac always pulls the punch.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

The real problem with vouchers: (none / 0) (#146)
by codejack on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 10:16:34 AM EST

Anyone notice that there aren't enough private schools for the kids who can pay, anyway? Free market my ass, here's a demand, with no one stepping up with a supply. In this context, school vouchers are just a way to sneak in another tax cut for the rich.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Who would want vouchers? (none / 1) (#150)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 11:01:49 AM EST

Teaching your children is something far too important to allow some half-assed babysitter to do anyway.

Still, how do you expect a free market to work? Do you expect thousands of empty private school buildings to just wait around until we actually do vouchers? No supply because there is no demand.

As for it being a tax cut for the rich, I'd surely take them up on it myself, assuming that I could just keep my kids at home and cash it in. They're going to need alot of books.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Doesn't work that way (none / 0) (#153)
by codejack on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 12:37:45 PM EST

First of all, for most people, I think that their kids are better off letting someone else teach them. Second, there are no "empty private schools"; if you want to get your kid in, you have to pay money up front years in advance to hold their spot, because they have more applicants than they have room for. Third, you don't get to "cash in" vouchers, they're a tax credit you get if you send your kids to private school. This is a double whammy for poor people, since they don't have the money to send their kids to private school in the first place, and so can never qualify, but it's also a tax credit, which means that if you are under, or close to, the poverty line, the voucher wouldn't help you, anyway.

No, the whole thing is a boondoggle.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
First of all... (none / 1) (#154)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 01:06:55 PM EST

First of all, for most people, I think that their kids are better off letting someone else teach them.

Really? That's a big claim, especially as worthless as most teachers are. You're saying, among other things, that the average parent isn't even capable of teaching children at the 1-2 grade levels.

Second, there are no "empty private schools"; if you want to get your kid in, you have to pay money up front years in advance to hold their spot, because they have more applicants than they have room for.

Well, what are you saying then? It sounded as if you were claiming that the "free market" wasn't providing schools. It seems like it's keeping up with demand, though, as one would expect.

If demand increases, expect supply to scramble to keep up.

Third, you don't get to "cash in" vouchers, they're a tax credit you get if you send your kids to private school.

Poh-tae-toh, poh-tah-toh. Chances are though, I won't get this tax credit, despite not sending my children to the public indoctrination camps. Figures. But if I did, I don't think it matters much that it shows up on my refund check instead of a seperate check.

This is a double whammy for poor people, since they don't have the money to send their kids to private school in the first place, and so can never qualify, but it's also a tax credit, which means that if you are under, or close to, the poverty line, the voucher wouldn't help you, anyway.

Depends. Even someone at the poverty line, if they were to receive the credit, might be able to buy the materials they'd need to teach.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Um, are you...slow? (none / 1) (#155)
by codejack on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 04:50:19 PM EST

You're saying, among other things, that the average parent isn't even capable of teaching children at the 1-2 grade levels.

Yes. Yes I am.
It seems like it's keeping up with demand, though, as one would expect.

How do you get that from "not enough slots for the one who can pay?" That was the thrust of my point: even if you have the money, there is no guarantee that there will be a slot open for your child.
If demand increases, expect supply to scramble to keep up.

Ah, yes; the so-called Invisible Hand of the marketplace that has so eluded supply-side economists for two centuries. Tell me something: how long does your economic theory have to make consistently incorrect predictions before you conclude that it is wrong?
I don't think it matters much that it shows up on my refund check instead of a seperate check.

Because it doesn't show up in either; if you pay no, or very little, in taxes, you don't get anything. It is only if you pay taxes that you get to subtract the voucher amount from what you would have otherwise paid.
Depends. Even someone at the poverty line, if they were to receive the credit, might be able to buy the materials they'd need to teach.

Again, they never see the money. At the poverty line, you don't pay taxes, so you subtract the voucher amount from what you would have otherwise paid; if it goes negative, you ignore it and set it to "0".

Moreover, you are suggesting that a single mother working two jobs has the time and skills necessary to properly provide education for her children, when she probably has only a marginal education herself! In an ideal world, this plan would work, but there would be no need for it. In the real world, it won't work at all.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Not slow, but you're a dumbfuck. (none / 0) (#156)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 07:17:28 PM EST

If public schools weren't able to teach the parents enough so that they can teach 1st grade, why would you send the children back to public school?

Those parents are a product of public schools, after all.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

And yet, you don't seem to be able to read... (none / 0) (#157)
by codejack on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 09:15:12 AM EST

The whole point was that we need to fix public schools; for the past 30 years, their budgets have been repeatedly cut, while their books and curriculum have been warped by a political agenda bent on destroying public education.

This is what we call a "self-fulfilling prophecy": 30 years ago, our schools were pretty good; yes, they could've been better, but certain politicians then started to decry the state of our schools, and insisted on fixing them. This they "accomplished" by targeting the aspects of the schools that worked, and changing them (book selection, teacher-driven curriculum, realistic funding, etc). Now, our schools have gone to hell, and you say that it is hopeless and we should give up, despite the fact that our schools used to work before people like you decided to "fix" them!

Quite frankly, if 3/4 of the money spent on the military was given to schools instead, and it helped even one student do better, I would consider that an acceptable trade.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
How can you fix them... (none / 1) (#158)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 12:04:22 PM EST

When you understand nothing about them? You just need more money, more money, and more money. Oh, and maybe it'd help if they come scoop your children out of the crib when they're 6 months old.

This is what we call a "self-fulfilling prophecy": 30 years ago, our schools were pretty good

No they weren't. They were god-awful, and had been for a long while. 30? That's the late 70s dude. We'd already been through several cycles of "the russians are teaching their kids to be ubergeniuses".

You seem to subconsciously grasp that they weren't always shitholes, and 30 years was chosen because it seems like a suitably long time ago, well before you were in school yourself.

Now, our schools have gone to hell

Not now. A long time ago.

Quite frankly, if 3/4 of the money spent on the military was given to schools instead

That we'd have an education utopia? How? Do you think fancier buildings will make this better? Or maybe, somehow, you think there are incredible potential teachers out there, that are sitting it out until you raise salaries to $170,000 a year?

Or maybe you think that the textbook companies will start cranking out non-shit once you throw x20 the money at them.

Money can't fix this problem. It is more fundamental than money ever could be. But if idiots like you ever get your way, you'll prop up a few examples of those places that were truly under-funded and claim it's a shining success, while when others point out how shitty things are elsewhere, there still won't be enough money somehow.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Lol, cut quotes... (none / 0) (#162)
by codejack on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 01:02:49 PM EST

...and intentionally misrepresenting what I said are not valid arguments. No, just "throwing money at it" won't fix it, although the same people seem to think that "throwing money" at Iraq is a great idea; maybe if the next president owned a publishing conglomerate...

But I digress. The operative point here is that a lack of funding is a first cause of many of our educational woes, and that 30 years ago was the apex of our educational system's ability to teach. You can deny it all you want, but the peak of funding coincided with the peak of college admission (before the recent "let anybody in" trend of the past 5 years or so), with the highest standards we could conceive of guiding us; now we cut funding to the schools that need it most, while using the silliest standards anyone has ever heard of.

All of this must change.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
I LOL'd (none / 0) (#171)
by WonderJoust on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 07:07:17 AM EST

Barely detect? Tell that to the drowning polar bears.

_________________________________
i like your style: bitter, without being a complete cunt about it.
-birds ate my face
[ Parent ]

Wrong point of view, I think (3.00 / 5) (#30)
by rusty on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 11:48:54 AM EST

It doesn't make sense to decide your vote by comparing candidates to some ideal of political theory. What you're choosing is between two or more distinct actual people. The question is not "is Obama liberal?" but "is Obama more liberal than John McCain?" That's your choice.

This whole article seems to be in support of a fundamental misapprehension of what voting is.

The other possibility is you do understand this, and you have some other candidate you're going to vote for (Nader?). But you never actually say so in the article, so it leaves the whole thing kind of incoherent.

____
Not the real rusty

Missing the point (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:04:17 PM EST

This isn't about Obama being "more liberal than xxxx", it is about "there are serious problems that need to be addressed; who is going to address them?"

The answer, unfortunately, appears to be "no one who will be allowed within a mile of the White House".

I don't want to vote for Nader; he has been tainted with the (patently false) blame for losing the 2000 election for Gore. I would much rather vote for Cynthia McKinney, but with Nader jumping in, she won't get the nomination.

I hold out hope that Obama will run left if and when he wins the primary, assuming Hillary doesn't steal it.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Nevertheless (none / 0) (#42)
by rusty on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:19:29 PM EST

There are real problems, and while Obama may deal with one or two, McCain will just add some more. Right now the question before the voter is "which do you want?"

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
The Pepsi Challenge (none / 0) (#48)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:49:22 PM EST

Possibly the single overriding problem with our system; we have two (three) "real" candidates who are essentially indistinguishable from one another. None of them appear willing to address the problems in any meaningful way; half-measures, in this case, are worse than no measures at all.

I'm trying out a new analogy, let me know what you think: You are at a track meet and have been asked to choose a runner to give morale support to, based on your perception of their performance; you get to choose while they are running. Your choices are between two excellent runners that everyone around you is screaming for, and insisting that you choose one or the other of, or several other runners that are being consistently ignored. The gun fires, and the two "front-runners" start running the wrong way! One of them is running backwards slowly, while the other is running backwards quickly; does this mean that you should support the runner who is running the wrong way slowest?

I maintain that letting the Republicans win just so the Dem party won't be tainted with leadership of this nonsense is as good an argument against Obama/Clinton as anything, and maybe we can get a serious candidate in 2012 (Feingold?). Allowing, of course, foe the possibility that Obama is just being coy during the primary.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
It's Democracy (none / 0) (#51)
by rusty on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:03:09 PM EST

So... here's the thing. The two parties represent the vast majority of Americans. To use your runners example, the Republican runner, the Democratic runner, and almost all of the audience all agree that the track is here, these lines represent the lanes, and the finish line is over there. That is, they broadly share an agreement about what the basic purpose and parameters of the game are.

You're the guy in the crowd who wishes he were at a chess match, and is rooting for the chess player. He might be a great chess player. He might be the greatest chess player ever. But no one else there wants to watch a chess match.

If you have a problem in this scenario, it's that the rules of American government make it pretty hard, if not impossible, to vote for a fundamental change in what game we're playing. It's gonna be a moderate-to-conservative liberal (small "l") democracy. You could sort of lean over toward Scoialism a ways, like FDR. You could lean back toward authoritarianism a ways, like Wilson. But basically the structure is such that you can't deeply change how shit works.

A parliamentary system is much more designed to let people vote for what game they want to play. You could legitimately institute a parliamentary socialist monarchy, if enough people wanted it. I mean, that's basically what the UK is. But we don't have that system, so our game remains much the same.

I think it's a strength, myself, even though it means I will never see a candidate I'm 100% in agreement with. No one else ever will either, so it's not like I'm losing.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

nice example (none / 0) (#61)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:30:29 PM EST

Another FDR is exactly what we need, as long as we're playing the game this way. The fact that we need that sort of extreme situation to actually get anything to work is the very problem we are facing now: we have issues that need urgent attention, and a system which makes that impossible short of the threat of universal revolt or World War III.

It's not a matter of winning or losing, it's quickly becoming a matter of surviving.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Not that bad yet (none / 0) (#65)
by rusty on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:45:02 PM EST

It's hard to overstate just how terrible life in this country was when we finally did manage to get an FDR. We're not even remotely close to that. Unemployment's still low, working conditions are worlds (two worlds, to be precise) better than they were then, generally things are just not nearly that bad.

There's "problems need a'fixin" and there's "large numbers of people are starving to death this minute." It's the difference between a bad toothache and a sucking chest wound.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

The "yet" is what I want to avoid /nt (none / 0) (#68)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:58:46 PM EST




Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
We need... (none / 0) (#116)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 12:22:17 PM EST

Another asshole who'll let a depression grind on for 20 years, who tries to pack the supreme court, who refuses to leave office until dead, and who drags us into a war that wasn't our problem?

Yeh, we need another FDR.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

/s/need/have (none / 0) (#172)
by WonderJoust on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 07:12:54 AM EST


_________________________________
i like your style: bitter, without being a complete cunt about it.
-birds ate my face
[ Parent ]

I used to say (none / 0) (#53)
by rpresser on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:05:02 PM EST

"No matter who you vote for, the government gets in."

In recent years I've realized that it's not quite true, because "the government" under Clinton was drastically different than "the government" under Bush (either one).

------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

Different? (none / 0) (#115)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 12:21:03 PM EST

Stock bubble. Housing/credit bubble. Bombed some people for their own good. Bombed some people because you're a homocidal maniac.

I'm trying to see the difference here, but I can't. Can you help?

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Under Clinton never got stuck in an unwinnable war (none / 0) (#145)
by BJH on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 08:17:04 AM EST


--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
Disagree (3.00 / 2) (#49)
by Liar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:58:11 PM EST

voting is only selection. How a person decides how to vote is up to each person individually; I know some people who voted for Gary Hart because he was handsome. When my mom ran for office, I would have voted for her even though I disagreed with her on almost every particular.

To say that voting is any particular thing more than another is to impose an ideal on it that doesn't (and shouldn't) exist.

If this guy thinks these are important, than that's his decision criteria for voting--he may even abstain based on this argument. Assuming he knows how to punch a chad or pull a lever, I don't think he misunderstands what voting is.


I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
[ Parent ]
Sure (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by rusty on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:06:47 PM EST

No, people can certainly vote or not vote for any reasoning they choose. I meant to say that the reasoning presented here is dumb. I was assuming an intelligent voter, hence assuming he would wish to vote in an intelligent manner, so I didn't bother to carve out exemptions for some of the dumber reasons people vote.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
No, tell me what you really think :) (2.00 / 2) (#67)
by codejack on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:57:20 PM EST

I think you have misunderstood my reasoning: I can appreciate that voting for a third party is unlikely to contribute to their chances of winning, but the alternative is to vote for one of two candidates that have little appreciable difference to me. Obama is pro-choice? Good for him. That's not a big issue right now. His stances on the environment, the war, education, and health care are no better than McCain's, and in some cases worse, and I find that unacceptable, regardless of his stances on other issues.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
I guess I still disagree with you (none / 0) (#78)
by Liar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 03:38:10 PM EST

A reasonable intelligent person can say that the candidate from the left is not properly representing that constituency. I see no problem with an article about that.

I've been reading up about William Jennings Bryan lately and I think if someone were to say that Bryan wasn't really a bimetalist, that he was going to implement the gold standard--that that would be an interesting read. And such revelations would have validly informed the voters before the election.

I guess I could have used a more modern example like abortion, but how often do we get a chance to bring up bimetalism?


I admit I'm a Liar. That's why you can trust me.
[ Parent ]
This is K5 (none / 0) (#93)
by godix on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:52:30 PM EST

Why would you ever assume there's an intelligent voter hanging around here?


- An egotist is someone who thinks they're almost as good as I am.
[ Parent ]
That's the choice. (none / 0) (#114)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 12:19:12 PM EST

The question is why people don't refuse to make a choice when the choice is pathological in nature. If a gunmen is holding you hostage, and offers you the choice of death by gun or strangulation, the smart strategy is not to play into his mind games and agree to one or another.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 0) (#122)
by rusty on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:40:01 PM EST

That analogy is flawed. The situation is "Do you want death or boondie? You and this other total fuckwad may choose. His vote will count half of yours." So either you can make your own choice, or let the fuckwad choose for you. And he will most assuredly choose boondie.*

Of course, technically it's "You and these 300 million fuckwads will all choose, and your votes will count equally. But at least you can hope that half will choose death and the other half will choose boondie. It's better than just stepping aside.

----------

* I wanted to link to this, but I cannot find anything about it online. The reference is to a joke that goes like this:

Three jungle explorers are captured by a savage tribe, bound hand and foot, and taken to the chief. He tells the first one, "You have a choice. You may choose death, or you may undergo the ritual of boondie, after which you will be released and free to go."

"Well," says the first guy, "that's not much of a choice, is it? I'll take boondie, whatever that is."

So they bend him over a log, and one by one all two hundred or so of the men in the tribe take their turn to fuck him in the ass. When this is finally over, they do indeed release him, and, bleeding and moaning and probably insane for the rest of his life, he staggers off into the jungle.

The chief turns to the second explorer and offers him the same choice. "And you sir? Death... or Boondie?"

Well this is a considerably more difficult choice. The second explorer thinks it over a bit, but he's got a young wife and two kids at home, so finally he grits his teeth and says, "I choose... boondie."

The vicious rogering commences, and eventually, at long last, he too is released off into the jungle.

Now the third explorer faces his turn. The chief asks his question, and the third explorer stands up straight and says "I am an old man. I've had a good life. I've never done anything I'm ashamed of, and my family is well provided for. I will choose death."

A disappointed hush falls over the assembled tribe. They look to their chief, who shakes his head sadly. He raises his staff of office in the air and proclaims gravely, "You have chosen death. So be it. I sentence you then to death...

...by BOONDIE!"

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Even with your lame old joke... (none / 0) (#125)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:59:47 PM EST

You still fail to understand. You still think that there is a choice of lesser evils here, and that if you're clever enough, you can figure out which is the lesser.

You can't. But even more important than that is that it's a trick question. There is no lesser evil. They've carefully matched it all up so that they're all perfectly and precisely equal in evil.

So when you tell the crazed gunmen that you prefer one death over another, not only are you failing to spare yourself some fate, you're playing into his game, getting him all worked up even more, so that he'll go do it to someone else.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Meh (none / 0) (#126)
by rusty on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 03:10:54 PM EST

It's ok by me if you believe that. Don't vote. Just makes my choice stronger.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
So you are voting for boondie or death by boondie? (none / 0) (#178)
by Just this guy on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 11:19:26 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Massive failure or massive troll? (1.50 / 2) (#60)
by GhostOfTiber on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 01:29:44 PM EST

Iraq: Obama's platform (especially his radio ads) bring up the fact that he's been opposed to the Iraq war "since the beginning".

Civil Rights: For everyone except whitey. BUT, he's opposed to gay marriage. So you black faggots aren't screwed that badly.

Economics: Stronger unions! JUST WHAT PHILADELPHIA NEEDS.

Guns: Plans on trying to make semiautomatic and automatic weapons illegal. I am lolling so hard at this, it's like trying to make four cylinder engines illegal. We've got to make sure that unscrupulous gun dealers aren't loading up vans and dumping guns in our communities, because we know they're not made in our communities. YOU'RE NOT RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF AFRICA, PEOPLE AREN'T MAKING AKs IN MUDHUTS.

Universal Healthcare: Now people can sue doctors and the government. Totally brilliant.

try harder.

[Nimey's] wife's ass is my cocksheath. - undermyne

I couldnt suspend (1.50 / 4) (#73)
by yellow shark on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 02:32:22 PM EST

belief enough to vote this article up

Regarding Schools and funding (2.33 / 3) (#74)
by xC0000005 on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 02:55:51 PM EST

Where I see this as wrong is that funding does not address the key component missing in today's public education: Parents who give a damn. I went to a school that wasn't well off. Didn't have really nice things, or great books but they had two coalitions determined to make the children learn all the could: Teachers who cared about the kids and parents who backed the teachers up. The parents were involved with their kids. I know I saw one dad at math tutoring night (every tuesday and thursday) and later found out he was attending so he could learn it as well. :) Parents cared and were involved with their kids.

What you are trying to do is make up for lack of parental involvement with money, and while some amount of it can be done, its expensive. A true fix isn't in dollars thrown at class rooms, it's in parents throwing the book at the kids and enforcing the commitment to education. It's in parents who band together to help their kids. At my kids school a parent with a passion for math offers free tutoring. I've been known to do the same English (I'm a coder but I like to write). Then you have to fix culture. It can't be culturally acceptable to not learn (at all ages). Find a socialist program that will fix that.

I've got no problems with money for schools. They definitely need basic equipment (I had to buy an overhead for one class my daughter was in, and books for another). Teachers need to be paid better, but if you want really better results you are going to have to solve the home problems.

As for the standardized tests, the only stick schools understand is funding, so it's the one they get beat with. Unfortunate and in some cases counter productive. Plus, it gives parents who are dis-satisfied a weapon against the school. A few years ago the parents of AP kids at a low performing school held their kids out during the standardized test. The results were ugly.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't

Authority is needed (2.00 / 2) (#82)
by jxg on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 05:05:44 PM EST

but you're completely wrong about who should wield it, as Pol Pot definitively shew.

Eliminating the role of local principalities and private individuals ("parents") in the education process, along with removing strictures on the disciplinary power of teachers, would do much to increase the efficiency and precision of your country's educational process.

[ Parent ]

I couldn't disagree more. (none / 1) (#83)
by xC0000005 on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 05:18:46 PM EST

Education is a lifelong process and it needs to (must) happen as much or more at home as at school until such time when all waking hours are spent at school, or at least more than are spent free from it. And precision of education implies there is a single target to aim at. Children are not plastic sheets to be stamped. They are like bansai kittens. Cute and twisted each in their own way. The best education for one child may not be anywhere near what another can handle, or may leave a third child feeling (perhaps rightly) dumb.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
That's what I was getting at. (none / 0) (#85)
by jxg on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 06:25:13 PM EST

until such time when all waking hours are spent at school, or at least more than are spent free from it.

Which will help you with the
Cute and twisted each in their own way.

problem as well.

[ Parent ]
You guys realize (2.50 / 2) (#97)
by spooked on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 09:30:16 PM EST

that your electoral system is a spectacle? And that your role as voters is the same as that of spectators at a sports game: pick a side and cheer.

Seriously.
it's supposed to be a spectacle (1.33 / 3) (#98)
by yellow shark on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 09:50:24 PM EST

otherwise we end up with dictators.

[ Parent ]
Exactly (none / 1) (#105)
by codejack on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:46:59 AM EST

But every now and again, we can force a change on the system; now should be one of those times.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Couple of things: (3.00 / 2) (#102)
by regeya on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:53:02 PM EST

Economy: Ross Perot stood to lose money due to NAFTA. His interest in keeping it away was self-serving. Did that make him wrong? No, but it did dent his credibility in this area.

Also, someone needs to push for massive economic reform. A growth-based economy is a doomed economy. Leading to... Environment: I too hope it's not too late but hope that gloom and doom doesn't keep people from trying. We need to be doing what we can to boost efforts worldwide to lower the human population level, so that nature doesn't do it for us. As we've seen with AIDS and other diseases, nature is far more brutal. Also, I disagree about biofuels. There are renewable ways to fertilize energy crops, and ways of creating the fuels that don't impact food supplies. It's a stopgap, to be sure; hey, we've been dependent upon oil for a while now, and even if we've already passed peak, we're going to need a while to adjust.


[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]

Mostly correct (none / 1) (#104)
by codejack on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:46:17 AM EST

But you've nailed the wrong problem with biofuels; yes, they are inefficient in that you need to use fuel to grow them, which is a major problem, but the worse problem is that they produce more greenhouse gases per unit energy than most fossil fuels.

I do not believe that it is too late to save the environment from global ecosystem collapse, but we've got to get to work; the longer we wait, the more people are going to die, and the worse the rest of us will be hit.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Really? (none / 1) (#123)
by regeya on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:45:27 PM EST

Most the stuff I've seen claiming that biofuels are dirtier are accounting for using fuel to plant and harvest crops, as well as the loss of rainforests/trees.

If you go with a system such as the one GM is investing in, it gets us that much closer to a sustainable, more closed system. Maybe farmers could be paid to plant trees and prairie grass in some of those feed corn fields. ;-)

I still maintain we're going to have to take baby steps. You won't, for example, convince people to go all-electric until power is cheaper than natural gas, so you have to work on clean--or at least cleaner--cheap plants. In the meantime, it wouldn't be a bad idea to look at New Zealand's, Japan's, and India's methane operations. Methane is ridiculously easy to make, and requires very little modification to work with existing infrastructure.

I know there are also disadvantages to this, but the attitude that we shouldn't do things because solutions currently in place are worse than what we're doing really sticks in my craw. There are new things in the pipeline, and this all-or-nothing attitude we've taken is part of what's kept alternative energy off the American market for the adult life of an entire generation. Yes, I said an entire generation; I was talking with my boss today, who was talking about alternative energy initiatives in the early seventies. He was freshly out of Vietnam then, and is old enough to qualify for Social Security now. That means alternative energies have been kept off the market effectively for the productive adult lifespan of Baby Boomers. That's not only an embarrassment, not only a travesty, but damn near criminal if you lend any credence to even a small part of the big oil conspiracies.

So let's get off our high horses, realize that continuing as we're going is horrible for the future, and take the next step. Non-fossil biofuels shouldn't be the ultimate step, no, but the technology is just now coming down the pike and instead of fighting it, we should be embracing it and encouraging companies and our legislators to come up with ways of ramping up production without starving developing countries any more than they're already starving, though as an aside, if they continue as they do, I don't think population growth in Africa and Asia will continue to be a problem!

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Absolutely (none / 0) (#134)
by codejack on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 06:52:37 PM EST

But we need to look very closely at what alternatives we are using; biofuels produce just as much CO2 as fossil fuels, but produce less energy. Methane has the same problem, because it has a shorter chain.

My ideal solution would be a short-term increase in the use of nuclear power, preferably thorium plants, along with serious conservation efforts while we ramp up fusion power and/or space-based power production.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
CO2 production (none / 0) (#141)
by rusty on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:20:41 PM EST

When you say "produce just as much CO2" do you mean "emit when burned?" Because if so, there is a difference. CO2 from fossil fuels is new CO2, dragged up from deep underground and added to the atmosphere. CO2 from plants is essentially CO2 that those plants removed from the atmosphere while they grew. That is, if we produced no carbon dioxide other than that from burning plants, it would be a neutral system.

This obviously falls apart when you grow biofuel corn with lots of fossil fuel based fertilizer.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Right (none / 0) (#166)
by regeya on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 10:24:26 PM EST

I think that New Zealand's plan, the plan to pump CO2 underground, makes a lot of sense in that context; in essence, for the short term at least, you're putting the carbon right back where it was.

One of the reasons I think it's of the essence to move away from fossil fuels right away, aside from projections that Sweden will be one of the only fossil-free countries by the time we run out (pessimistic projection is 2020, the year Sweden plans to be fossil-fuel-free; that's 12 years away, folks) is purely economical, and I don't mean saving money. I mean righting the trade balance.

Trade deficit, with and without oil. If it were not for oil, our trade deficit would be decreasing right now. And although our oil consumption is dropping, the price of oil is such that it doesn't seem to make a dent.

There are all sorts of things that can be done to help right our wrongs. Solar is naturally an excellent choice, as it's a known source and about as close as we can get to fusion right now; solar can also assist in all sorts of ways, such as in the creation of biofuels. Another is, as someone else suggested, electrifying the railways; once a freight train gets up to speed, it really uses no more energy than a semi.

Should I mention sewage? It's increasing in usage in the U.S., largely because it can be had largely for free (top THAT, chemical fertilizer!) and helps close the loop on food production.

There's a long way to go, and there's a good chance we'll never get there (right now I think it more likely we'll be thrust into the Stone Ages first) but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be trying.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

Producing CO2 isn't necesarily a problem (none / 0) (#144)
by xC0000005 on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 02:42:47 AM EST

at least, short term. The problem I have with carbon in general is how we've upset the carbon cycle by digging out oil (trapped safely under the crust for a reasonable period) and re-introduced it. When it was oil it wasn't impacting much outside of the occasional tarpit. We need to find a way to stabilize the carbon levels. That means getting the hell off of oil where it makes sense to (ships, for instance, would probably remain oil driven for a very long time). What we have to do is decide and commit to solving these problems. Haven't seen that yet from the US.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
Ships... (none / 0) (#160)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 12:08:14 PM EST

And big railroad engines are candidates for small nuclear reactors.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Maybe over the production cycle of transport ships (none / 0) (#164)
by xC0000005 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 06:23:21 PM EST

that would make sense. Electric retrofits are possible but unlikely. Still, converting in the next fifty to sixy years to nuclear makes sense, given that we can't keep nuclear power out of everyone's hands forever.

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
You don't get it. (1.71 / 7) (#110)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 12:05:19 PM EST

While it is true that just throwing money at the problem will not solve it, it is undeniable that the schools simply don't have enough money. Yes, it needs to be spent well: Pay teachers more

Paying more to the same teachers we have now will fix things?

Buying more books from the same 2 or 3 companies that give us garbage textbooks is going to fix things?

You don't understand the problem, and you want to throw money at it. You're scared, because something deep inside your head tells you that can't work, so you desperately scramble for methods that look clever.

Anyone that loves their children would never let them step foot inside of a school building. It's that simple.

Too much to say, and not enough time to say it; the problems facing us from the environment may very well be insurmountable. We've delayed too long, and it may have already doomed our children.

Doomed them to what? Things getting a little warmer? Not having to slog through 18" of snow in February?

Even that's probably not true.

Repeat after me: Climate changes. Every few hundred or thousand years. Hippos swam in the fucking Thames River in England only so many thousand years ago. Neanderthals driving Hummers did not cause that.

Greenland was green when the vikings named it. They weren't burning coal in giant power plants. They did not cause that either.

Scientists do not have a consensus. Consensus does not matter... science is not a "consensus" thing. The truth is the truth whether one believes it, all believe it, or even if none believe it. And do you want to know how they arrived at that "consensus"?

By a stupid computer simulation, tuned to give the results they were wanting to get all along. The same people that can't predict the weather 3 days from now are the ones telling you the world will end in 80-120 years.

Real science is based on observation, not computer simulation. Science couldn't tell you there was "global climate change" until 50 years after it was obvious to everyone that it really did occur. Astrology, now that can tell you these things, and the ones that believe in global warming are no different than astrologers.

Then again, you nailed Obama. So you're not completely stupid.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

Just curious (3.00 / 2) (#124)
by rusty on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 02:54:13 PM EST

Where is the limit of what you buy in the climate change thing? Like, do you accept that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have really jumped up since the industrial revolution? Do you accept the ice-core science that shows that global CO2 concentration has never, in the scientifically accessable history of the earth (which is pretty fucking long) been nearly as high as it is now? Do you accept the graphs that show a CO2 level that rises and falls, but never exceeds 300 ppm for the past 400,000 years, until the past couple decades?

That is, my view is that climate does indeed change, but what we've got right now is historically unprecedented, as far as we can tell -- and we've been working hard to tell and haven't come up with anything yet that says this sort of thing has happened before. The projections are based on assumptions, true. How do greenhouse gases affect the atmosphere? Well, there's a lot of evidence that they correspond to warm periods. It's likely not a simple if A then B correspondence though, and there's a lot of room for doubt as to what the result of our present jacking up of CO2 is going to be.

I'm juist trying to get at where you think science doesn't have a consensus. Your bringing up neanderthals and Greenland makes me think you've missed the fact that nothing has presented the earth with this kind of atmospheric challenge before, except possibly the extinction of the dinosaurs (and most of the other life on earth). And that didn't go so well for anyone. This doesn't fit into the historically normal up and down. And if historically normal variations have caused differences like the change in climate in Greenland (which wasn't much, actually -- Greenland was always a very marginal environment) and further back the bigger changes...

Well, doesn't it seem at least plausible to you that the current situation could cuase relatively large changes in global climate? Like ones similar to hippos swimming in the Thames? And that that might actually be cause for people to worry a little?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

CO2. (2.00 / 2) (#128)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 03:50:49 PM EST

Like, do you accept that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere have really jumped up since the industrial revolution?

Yes, there is more. Not much though. Some evidence that warming causes C02, not the other way around. As things warm up, resevoirs of the stuff are released.

Wouldn't characterize it as "jumping". They're not saying that it's 60% higher. They're not even saying it's 6% higher. They're not even saying it's 0.6% higher.

See where I'm going with this?

Do you accept the ice-core science that shows that global CO2 concentration has never, in the scientifically accessable history of the earth (which is pretty fucking long) been nearly as high as it is now?

Well, again, I accept this. But we're talking a small fraction of 1 percent. So the "not nearly as high" thing just falls flat.

Do you accept the graphs that show a CO2 level that rises and falls, but never exceeds 300 ppm for the past 400,000 years, until the past couple decades?

Yeh, interesting, that. So what?

That is, my view is that climate does indeed change, but what we've got right now is historically unprecedented

Yeh, I know. It's right out of that movie, what was it, The Day After Tomorrow. I just saw a big maritime freighter floating down what used to be Main St. And mexicans are desperately trying to learn how to build igloos, and some asshole billionaire is buying up Iowa beachfront property.

How do greenhouse gases affect the atmosphere?

Not much. And CO2 isn't even a good one. Water vapor's the thing that does most of it. Let's all tax grandpa's humidifier.

Well, there's a lot of evidence that they correspond to warm periods.

Some. And it seems to be the opposite correlation to what you seem to think. Also explains why there's a slight lag between warming and increases in CO2.

I'm juist trying to get at where you think science doesn't have a consensus.

You misunderstand. There may or may not be. Completely irrelevant. Anyone that even mouths the word consensus cannot possibly understand science. Consensus has no place in science, and never can.

_ Your bringing up neanderthals and Greenland makes me think you've missed the fact that nothing has presented the earth with this kind of atmospheric challenge before_

What challenge? Am I supposed to believe that 2 extra hurricanes in a season means it's all over? That I should cower in my bunker, freezing, because burning a little fuel for heat will kill Mother Earth?

What challenge? You mean the same types of challenges all humans have faced since the beginning, because the climate refuses to stand still? Sure, even civilizations die. The Anasazi, the mayans. All because of climate change.

Well, they didn't cause that climate change. It fucked with them, but wasn't their fault. It's entirely possible we're going to have one, we might even be overdue for one.

But if we can survive it, it won't be because we gave up all the tools we have that those other failed civilizations don't.

This doesn't fit into the historically normal up and down.

If you can say this, you've never read about just how much of an up or down the planet's capable of giving us, all on its own. For fuck's sake, they were growing grapes for wine in goddamned Scotland for a time. Thousands of years before that, much of the UK was fucking subtropical. At other times, glaciers covered much of north america and europe.

Well, doesn't it seem at least plausible to you that the current situation could cuase relatively large changes in global climate? Like ones similar to hippos swimming in the Thames?

Doesn't that make you wonder if the CO2 even has anything to do with it? Occam's razor and all... if we can get that without "manmade global warming", why would "manmade global warming" even be necessary?

When people start offering complicated explanations, sit back and think for a moment. It should matter to you, you're not rich either. Neither of us will be able to afford our carbon taxes, or whatever in the hell else they dream up. Neither of us will be able to lay out $75,000 on solar panels when the coal plants stop burning.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

I see (3.00 / 2) (#129)
by rusty on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 04:24:54 PM EST

At mauna loa, CO2 concentration was 316ppm in 1959. In 1998 it was 369 ppm. So that's 1.17% in 30 years. Not less than 0.6%. And for the 400,000 years, here's the graph.

If you can say this, you've never read about just how much of an up or down the planet's capable of giving us, all on its own.

That graph right there shows exactly how much of an up or down the planet's capable of giving us all on its own. I do completely understand that, which is what worries me. Perhaps you're right, and CO2 is not the boogeyman everyone would have it be. That that correlation is just more or less spurious, and reflects some other underlying factor which is not currently outside normal bounds. I hope that's true. And I don't even consider it all that unlikely, really. Climate science is still an infant, roughly at the same stage now as medicine was when it was giving us the theory of the humours, or physics in the days of phlogiston. But...

But if not, and taking into account how direly climate can change on its own (shown in those spikes and troughs), I would tend to think we're in some shit.

I feel like we're talking past each other a bit here. Doesn't that make you wonder if the CO2 even has anything to do with it? -- my point is that nature can throw us big changes on its own. Civilization-ending changes, as you point out. So what happens if what we've done is push down on one end of that balance hard, ourselves. Like, much more than nature would do by herself? So far history has plenty of examples of normal climate fluctuations wiping out marginal civilizations in various places. What that CO2 chart points at is the possibility that we just redefined "marginal" to include most human life.

So what matters, I guess, is on a practical level, do you think we ought to be doing anything to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

17% increase, Rusty (3.00 / 4) (#131)
by tetsuwan on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 04:57:21 PM EST

yet another child left behind ...

The jump in the last 150 years is more than 30% from a relatively stable level. At the rate we are going, we could see concentrations of 450 ppm within twenty years, as CO2 omissions are still steadily increasing. At 1000 ppm, the atmosphere will become toxic to humans (and most other species). This has happened before and was worse than the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Ha (none / 1) (#140)
by rusty on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 09:15:18 PM EST

I'm fucking retarded. I knew there was something wrong with that. Would you believe I got a 4 on the calculus AP exam and spent two years as a college physics major?

Yeah, I was never very good at math.

So I'll chalk you in the "it's definitely a big problem" column then, eh?

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

no doubt. (none / 0) (#142)
by tetsuwan on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 11:35:00 PM EST


Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

I do not think... (none / 0) (#151)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 11:10:12 AM EST

Humans are capable of pushing down hard on this balance. I could be wrong.

Also, keep in mind that single data points aren't necessarily indicative. A planetwide or at least regional average is needed.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

To Quote (none / 0) (#188)
by brain in a jar on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 04:52:54 PM EST

Wallace Broeker, who is considered an expert when it comes to the climate and the role of the oceans in influencing it:

"The climate system is an angry beast, and we are poking at it with sticks,"

The fact that the climate is a relatively volatile system isn't a reason that we shouldn't care about our emissions. It is a reason that we should.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.
[ Parent ]

So much wrong, I'll just pick the worst error (none / 0) (#133)
by codejack on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 06:46:22 PM EST

Not much. And CO2 isn't even a good one. Water vapor's the thing that does most of it.

Let's all say it together: WRONG!!!

You have obviously never taken a college chemistry class, because you are blatantly and flagrantly mistaken; water does not emit in the IR spectrum. For more details, see here.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Whatever. (none / 0) (#159)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 12:07:06 PM EST

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas#The_role_of_water_vapor

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Reading comprehension: (none / 0) (#174)
by codejack on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 05:34:09 PM EST

Something you might want to look into.

If you did, you would have noticed that even your article talks about the "equilibrium" level of water vapor, which has not been disturbed in millenia. That article is also referencing dubious information on the effect of water vapor, since it is basing it on a percent composition compared to other greenhouse gases, and not weighted for the relative ability of each component to contribute to the effect.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
My suggestion to you: (1.14 / 7) (#130)
by Enlarged to Show Texture on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 04:24:58 PM EST

Kill yourself. Seriously. -1, diarrhea of the keyboard


"Those people who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do." -- Isaac Asimov
That (1.28 / 7) (#147)
by Nimey on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 10:30:10 AM EST

was the stupidest political argument I've seen... outside of Kos or a conservative newspaper's loony pages.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

Very over the top (none / 1) (#170)
by maniac1860 on Mon Mar 24, 2008 at 07:39:00 PM EST

Civil Rights: If this wasn't your first point after calling Obama a conservative you might have something here, but if there is one thing that hate crime legislation is not its conservative. You're obviously very liberal but even for you there doesn't seem to be much advantage to using the word conservative when you mean "wrong" or "misguided". We have word for that. Words like "wrong" and "misguided".

Iraq: Obama was against the war from the start. I really don't see how much more you can ask for. It would be nice to have some sort of time table to get out of Iraq, but with over 130,000 people over there merely getting them back to the U.S. is going to take a nontrivial amount of time.

The Economy: The current attacks on NAFTA strike me as some of the most bizzare political behavior around. I can certainly see how people might be opposed to trade agreements in general, and NAFTA at the time it was passed. That said, NAFTA has been around for over ten years. The manufacturing jobs that it cost the U.S. are long gone. The factories are gutted and broken. Getting rid of NAFTA would have little effect on the upper class but it would have HORRIBLE immediate effects on the lower class for dubious long term gains.

Education: When you have school systems where the average high school graduate reads at less than a third grade level and has no ability to do any sort of math you don't need to be a conservative to see something is broken. NCLB might not be the greatest piece of legislation ever but something needs to be done. You're correct that Obama hasn't told us what needs to be done, but neither have you or anyone else.

The Environment: Here you don't even appear to be making a critique of Obama. You make some incredibly pessimistic statements about the environment. First these statements don't have even a slight basis in reality (its almost impossible to imagine a level of polution which would threaten the survival of humanity). Second, by their very nature they make it impossible for anyone to do anything about them.

Other people have said that you seem to be missing the differences between Obama and McCain but I don't think that's it at all. You're not looking for a president; you're looking for a God. And not just any God, but one who will make the world exactly as you would like it. While turning yourself into a deity is an admirable goal no electoral process is going to accomplish it no matter who the canidates are.

Au contraire (none / 1) (#173)
by codejack on Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 05:30:23 PM EST

Hate crime legislation is not conservative, but neither does it deserve the "liberal" adjective; let's just call it moronic, and leave it at that. Of course, I get "moronic" and "conservative" confused, sometimes...

Obama on Iraq; how about a realistic solution? It doesn't help that the only solution is viewed as political suicide, but that will be true no matter what we do or how long we stay, so can't we just get our troops out of there, already? How many 18 year old kids have to die to avoid political embarrassment?

NAFTA is a hideously complex issue, but the root of the problem with it remains: If businesses can hire cheap labor that they don't have to provide insurance, safe working environments, or a living wage, they will; this means that, to stay competitive, all businesses have to do this. They have no choice. Killing NAFTA, or better yet, simply requiring our partners to meet EPA, OSHA, and minimum wage standards, would return a great many of those jobs, and slow down the export of the few that remain. The only people who would be hurt would be the business owners, who are welcome to come down and kiss my ass.

As for education, everyone and their brother has told us what needs to be done; increase teacher pay to lure more promising college students into the field, re-fund art and music programs, replace and/or fix the dissolving infrastructure (not just new schools in the rich neighborhoods!), and enforce standards on textbook publishers. I will grant that this ignores the single biggest factor affecting a child's education: parental involvement. The solution to this is more difficult, with most parents working 60-80 hours per week just to keep kids clothed and fed, we're back to economics and how the oligarchs of this country have fucked us all over; the real solution is to double the minimum wage, put a cap on price increases (to keep business from effectively negating the minimum wage hike by jacking up prices), and reduce the work week to 30 hours, but somebody might call me a liberal if I suggested that.

Your knowledge of the environment is quite minimal; we have overwhelming evidence to suggest that our species, as well as most of the others on the planet, are in grave danger; not only is it easily imagined, but every mathematical model we can come up with suggests that it will be worse than I suggested. We in the scientific community are forced to walk a tightrope when we discuss this issue: on the one hand, if we exaggerate the problem, we lose credibility, and rightly so; on the other hand, if we are conservative in our estimates, we are accused of exaggerating, anyway (by people with an excess of willfull ignorance about the matter, to boot!), and then dismissed as unimportant.

I will say some more on the environment, then, because it is far and away the most important issue facing us. The levels of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are unprecedented in the past million years or so; this means, among other things, that something has changed within the past few centuries to alter the natural balancing reactions that take place on our planet. There are many possible reasons for this: an increase in ionizing radiation entering the upper atmosphere, a change in the metabolic process of plants and decay organisms, a large-scale die-off of subterranean or deep-sea life, the combustion of hydrocarbons on a massive scale; all of these and more have been hypothesized, criticized, and finally rejected, except human-driven hydrocarbon combustion. We have pure and simply overloaded the planet's ability to regulate its atmospheric composition. This is leading to a global increase in temperature at an exponentially-increasing rate.

You want an "imagined" threat to humanity? How about a global temperature increase of 15 degrees? Sure, you could go sunbathing in Siberia, but 3/4 of the planet would be uninhabitable; where are those 5 billion people going to go? How about a continent-wide drought for 30 years? A 40-foot increase in sea level? Category 7 hurricanes? And these are just the "imaginable", not to mention mathematically and physically probable; what's waiting for us that we can't imagine?

I am not looking for god, in whatever sense; I am looking for a leader with a brain and a heart.

This is another misunderstanding; that I, and other scientists, somehow "want" the world to be this way. I would like nothing better for the planet to be impervious to anything that we could throw at it; I would also like gunpowder and nuclear weapons to not work, Mountain Dew to not rot my teeth and make me fat, and my cats to fetch me marijuana from an infinite, hidden stash in the woods. Instead, I live in the world of mathematics and probability, where the data can be misinterpreted, but it does not lie; misinterpretations usually get cleared up by the 5th or 6th person to look at it, and we've had hundreds of thousands of us looking at global warming. Of course, if you know better than every scientist on Earth, maybe you're the one with the God complex.


Please read before posting.

[ Parent ]
Huh? (3.00 / 2) (#176)
by tthomas48 on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 11:10:10 AM EST

Why does everyone say that "throwing money at the problem (public education) won't solve it"? Have we tried it? When was this? Because we definitely have tried not throwing money at the problem. And that definitely doesn't work.

For your reading pleasure (none / 0) (#179)
by Just this guy on Tue Apr 01, 2008 at 11:38:11 AM EST

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_a175.asp

Current expenditure per pupil in average daily attendance in public elementary and secondary schools, by state or jurisdiction: Selected years, 1959-60 through 2004-05-Continued

Figures are in inflation adjusted dollars, US average.

1959-60   $2606
1969-70   $4410
1979-80   $5947
1999-00   $8915
2004-05   $9910

[ Parent ]

not going towards higher salaries (none / 0) (#181)
by Delirium on Thu Apr 17, 2008 at 07:30:21 AM EST

The main thing that would improve education is paying higher salaries to teachers to attract more qualified people to the job. That has not happened—teachers today are making the same, in inflation-adjusted terms, as they were in 1960 (average of about $40k in present dollars). Adjusted by average wages, they're actually making less (as wages in most other fields have risen faster than inflation).

The increase in spending is instead due to higher-than-inflation increases in all sorts of stuff that doesn't actually improve education by attracting better teachers. The growth of suburbia has doubled the cost of transportation in real terms; the massive increase in health care costs has cost schools a ton in supporting already-agreed-to benefits (and retirement benefits) packages; technology costs more to maintain than it used to; even cafeterias are costing a lot more to maintain than they used to; etc.

[ Parent ]

Higher salaries means /more/ teachers (none / 0) (#182)
by Just this guy on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:11:59 PM EST

If you want better quality teachers, you'll need to address burnout due to shitty conditions in "poor urban" schools (BLS's terminology) as well as difficulty some districts have in firing bad teachers.

http://www.alleducationschools.com/faqs/teacher-salary.php

 At over $34 an hour, according to 2005 BLS statistics, average teacher wages exceed that of many professionals:

        * Accountants earn a median hourly wage of $27.89.
        * Architects earn a median hourly wage of $32.96.
        * Civil engineers earn a median hourly wage of $33.41.
        * Medical scientists earn a median hourly wage of $33.24.
        * Fashion designers earn a median hourly wage of $32.39.

[ Parent ]

hourly wage isn't the attracting factor, though (none / 0) (#183)
by Delirium on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:41:41 PM EST

Total salary is. For example, I'm a lazy graduate student. Since I don't work all that much, my otherwise mediocre stipend, in hourly-wage terms, is over $100/hr. However, few people argue that grad-students are paid more than most professionals, and the stipends in themselves do not do much to attract people to the occupation.

[ Parent ]
Getting the summer off IS an attractive factor (none / 0) (#184)
by Just this guy on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 04:51:31 PM EST

and it's dishonest not to take that into account.

[ Parent ]
not sure that's true (none / 0) (#185)
by Delirium on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:12:28 PM EST

People don't really choose occupations based on the hourly wage. Many doctors make rather poor hourly wages, and if you took into account the fact that some of those hours aren't even predictable ones and could be in the middle of the night when on-call, it'd come out even worse. Yet the fact that some teachers make more per hour than some doctors doesn't prevent parents from pressuring their kids to become doctors, not teachers—because doctors make more money overall, and therefore have higher social status.

[ Parent ]
People choose based on total compensation (none / 0) (#186)
by Just this guy on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 06:16:50 PM EST

Hourly wage is one part. Getting a 3 month vacation during which you can either fuck around or take another job is another. If you don't believe me, try to guess what would happen if annual teacher salaries stayed the same but school was year-round.

[ Parent ]
Um... (none / 0) (#189)
by tthomas48 on Wed Sep 02, 2009 at 06:20:36 PM EST

Don't know where your statistics come from (perhaps a state with good schools?), but the schools in my neighborhood are still spending at 1969-70 levels. Of course we're 47th for education.

[ Parent ]
I Was Afraid of This | 189 comments (163 topical, 26 editorial, 5 hidden)
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