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Presidential Politics

tomierna's Avatar Picture tomierna (Admin) – December 07, 2007 09:43PM Reply Quote
Every election is the most important one.

tliet – February 07, 2008 09:42AM Reply Quote
> Obviously we're seeing the start of the GOP fall campaign and the appearance of their strategy.

Yeah, it's about time the terror card is being pulled again. How about the old Threat Level? That should soon go up to Orange, wouldn't it? Can't have people feeling comfortable again...

tliet – February 07, 2008 10:11AM Reply Quote

Saw the list Bill and I agree with you that it's up to anyone's own interpretation what actions make a great president. That said however, it's from 2004 and quite a few points are pretty petty compared to the bigger things that might need one's attention, especially when we're talking about the president of what quite a few people would call 'the most powerful nation on earth'.

For example, as Rino pointed out, lowering taxes while spending more and more government funds on the military industrial complex (which has no real productive value to a society) it's actually pretty easy to imagine that those funds are diverted from other places that are valuable to a society to keep it alive and together. Schools, universities, nursing homes, hospitals, you know, stuff that people need to live their lives in a decent manner.

Of course, defense is a neccesarily evil, but it should not be the end goal of a society. If it would be the end goal (and that is what one could conclude watching the last 7 years of Republican policy) that means a totalitarian state. Nothing to do with conservatism, as the list is suggesting is apparently the greatest good of Bush.

In my book, conservatism is all about preservation. Preservation of life, but not by prohibiting abortions to those who can't afford or otherwise are unable to bring up a child, but by actually investing in a society where a life is valuable. Preservation of culture, not by banning everything that is deemed 'indecent' by whatever definition.

This can go on and on, but by my definition what Bush, Cheney and their corporate backers stand for has little to do with conservatism.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2008 10:21AM by tliet.

stan adams – February 07, 2008 10:23AM Reply Quote

NCLB is, like pretty much all previous national education initiatives, mostly bullshit. Where di they come up with this mechanism to "shut down/reconstitute" under- performing schools? Most likely the principal gets dumped, and any such dumpee probably deserved it. Never a bad idea to try and "reinterview" heinous teachers. Best case scenario some kids in really crappy schools get a little bit less bad teachers. Worst case, musical chairs on sinking ships.

Illinois has had uniform standardized testing in multiple subject areas for going on a decade. http://www.isbe.net/assessment/isat.htm The tests themselves are sort of a mixed bag, with the quality being far more variable than anything from the ACT or Iowa Basics -- the testing companies simply have no pride in their product. Some years they pay fairly good college profs to vet questions and do the studies to validate the questions and other years they skimp. It shows.

Any teacher/administrator who cuts science is an idiot. Study after study has shown that more time spent in school with actual science investigation builds vocabulary, aids in deductive reasoning, comprehension and application of mathematical knowledge. Further, studies for decades (even as far back as Sputnik and the Eisenhower grants, another load of BS from 50 years ago) have shown that teachers are least comfortable with their own mastery of science, most likely to voluntarily fore go teaching it, and most comfortable with trivial/rote tasks. While numerous studies have shown that technology can be used to make difficult topics in science/mathematics more accessible to children at younger ages and in the fat part of the bell curve, most often what happens is that such investments instead go toward ever more elaborate "digital drills" that barely raise the floor of achievement, let alone advance the mean. Forget about making school truly "challenging".

It ain't NCLB that is forcing teachers to "drill & kill" it is their own tendency to fall into patterns of instruction that are least creative. The national teachers unions are complicit
in this dereliction -- they rarely if ever speak out about the deplorable levels of education that teachers receive prior to get certified nor do they demand a high quality of continuing education for teachers. Perversely it is in the teachers best interest in almost every district not to become more proficient a teacher but rather to take courses that will move the teacher farther away from teaching...

I am conflicted about NCLB on several levels. Basically I applaud any effort to draw attention to just how mediocre/ poor schools in the US are. Yet, I object to efforts to manage/mandate schools from a federal level -- I honestly believe that education should be so important to towns, cities, regions and states that each should strive to outshine their rivals. Similarly I distrust/disdain federal funding. I even go so far to question the mindset that the "Feds ought to at least kick in for poor states so that they are not at such a disadvantage to the wealthier states". Why? Well, first the "shortfall" mindset makes it hard/impossible for such poor states ever to move from "under" to even 'average'. Second, I think everyone knows that many places do more than just "get by" on average spending, they excel.

I do think (as opposed to some former Presidents) that the US Dept of Ed should exist. Like other branches of the Federal Bureaucracy it can do some good. More funding of demonstration projects/schools can help the whole country. Being a better clearing house of info about what works to improve education, at all levels, should be an extremely vital role. Expanding broad efforts to build links between learners in the US and those in other countries would serve a national interest as well -- it ain't for nothing that our scientific universities and graduate schools are magnets for foriegn students, but education programs? Not on the radar... I can even envision a system that might operate similar to old-time banking regulation -- a "federally chartered" institution would be subject to uniform standards, federal scrutiny, and ideally more prestige to guarantee that it was more sound /better backed than a mere state backed (or lesser) institution.

Currently NCLB is nothing like this. I do think that it can be starting point toward something good or something even worse than what we have today.

rino – February 07, 2008 10:56AM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
We don't want science, too many facts.

stan adams – February 07, 2008 11:02AM Reply Quote
>We don't want science, too many facts.

I know you're joking, but that is often how it gets taught -- all memorization. A little bit of that goes a long way.

El Jeffe – February 07, 2008 11:50AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
What's the most important day-to-day stuff you USE? (Not WHAT did you LEARN IN SCHOOL and use daily)
But, what do you do/need to do/wish you could do, everyday to sustain your life, and to maybe enrich it some?

I for one at least think LANGUAGE is pretty high on that list. From there on out, what? (Asking each and every one of you)

THAT'S what should be taught.

And for those of us that think there is more to life (THAN life), that part needs learning/nurturing, too.

What a journey.

tliet – February 07, 2008 12:30PM Reply Quote
> And for those of us that think there is more to life (THAN life), that part needs learning/nurturing, too.

Well, if it's the fact that a lot of people believe in many different religions and that it's important to make up your mind about it but above all; keep an open mind about it, I'm all for it.

But, if it means presenting what some of us may BELIEVE as fact, no, I don't think religion has a place at school.

tliet – February 07, 2008 12:33PM Reply Quote

And to come back to your first question;

social behaviour.

Number one!

SoupIsGood Food – February 07, 2008 01:45PM Reply Quote
So, yeah, Romney. Never had a chance.

Lindbaugh and the other Neocon commisars were all-up-ons, seeing in Romney an easily manipulated, business-first candidate they could mold into their perfect culture warrior a'la Dubbya. Coupla problems with that... one, Romney couldn't carry his home state... home states. Maybe Utah, but no way Michigan or MA. or another, he was the Gub'nor of the most liberal of liberal strongholds, which meant he had to make real-world compromises, and your typical GOP ultra-con don't play that way. What's worse the God Squad could never seriously back a Mormon. And, finally, I think the GOP is sick of the Lindbaugh ultra-con/neo-con bullshit, and want out.

McCain says some scary things about Iraq, and he says he's the most conservative candidate on the slate, and he says he's a footsoldier in the Reagan Revolution... but no-one believes him. He's a thoughtful moderate, who's a populist because he holds opinions the average American can understand and appreciate, not because he's a self-serving tool. Be honest, you =know= the first Executive Mandate issued will be a complete moratirum on torture and torture-lite and a cashiering of anyone complicit in it, even if it's issued in secret.

That said, he's won big in states that usually vote Democrat. In the Red States, Huckabee's ahead, and Texas and Ohio have yet to be counted.

~ Soop

Dr Phred (Moderator) – February 07, 2008 02:00PM Reply Quote
owned by the mothership.
glad to see you leave, you arrogant sanctimonious prick.
I think we've seen that a vote for the GOP is a surrender to terror.

What a fucking tool.

Madaracs – February 08, 2008 05:47AM Reply Quote
Ooh! Scary! Scary! Don't we look mean? You can't see me! But I can see you!
He's out there. Won't admit defeat. Claims his not being in the running is a win for the terrorists. A real winner.

I'm voting for Leary.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2008 05:50AM by Madaracs.

Mokers (Moderator) – February 08, 2008 06:17AM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin
Oddly enough, if more states were like Minnesota, he would still be in the game!

stan adams – February 08, 2008 06:18AM Reply Quote
John McCain == real person

Mitt Romney == ultimate corporate image mask

Mike Huckabee == ultimate huckster

When I think Arizona Republicans obviously McCain is front & center, but also Sandra Day O'Conner, notoriously hard to read on so many things that seem(ed) like slam dunks on a Supreme Court dominated by GOP appointments, and then there is Barry Goldwater -- he had his extremist side, but the thing that most summarizes his 'conscience' is this:
We can be conquered by bombs or by subversion; but we can also be conquered by neglect—by ignoring the Constitution and disregarding the principles of limited government.

Madaracs – February 08, 2008 07:03AM Reply Quote
Ooh! Scary! Scary! Don't we look mean? You can't see me! But I can see you!
Oddly enough, if more states were like Minnesota, he would still be in the game!

What do you mean by that?

bahamut – February 08, 2008 07:57AM Reply Quote
I agree that science is really important for school, but our emphasis on math is completely misguided. We should be teaching programming not geometry. These are not by any means the same things as math teachers say they are either. I was an ace programmer in high school and a zero in math class. I have never applied a single less from my high school math classes (algebra was junior high) in my adult life. Do I use my programming skills (and not just for job related stuff). Yes, all the time. Why we have 12 years of math when we don't have 12 years of programming is beyond me. Do I know anybody who uses their high school math skills in their job? No. Nobody. Not even my wife, who is an engineer. Spreadsheet yes. If she knew programming she could do much cooler stuff with the databases she manages. But no, nobody uses math. It's a massive con job in my opinion.

El Jeffe – February 08, 2008 08:09AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
along those lines, someone said recently we should do away with FRACTIONS in schools, being that we all have calculators/computers. Not a BAD idea. I think they should abolish the penny and nickel, too. save one whole significant digit in prices, that way.

What a journey.

bahamut – February 08, 2008 08:32AM Reply Quote
Most european countries have gotten rid of pennies. The down side is that it causes a minor amount of inflation. speaking of which, why do we have calculus, which again, is almost completely useless, when most students don't graduate high school without any sense of basic economic theory.

El Jeffe – February 08, 2008 08:42AM Reply Quote
What a journey.

Again, I'd like to see more basic, useful skills. From daily routine type stuff, to picking insurance, to rudimentary self-employment/small biz and the taxes and regulations that go along with it. Etc. I think there'd be less nervousness, mental issues, etc. if people were properly skilled and not generally/vaguely skilled. I kind of like the apprenticeship path idea some nations (used) to have. It seems some of our schools (media?) only prepare people to have big DREAMS that 1 in 10,000 ever really can fully attain, due to a variety of variables.

What a journey.

Mokers (Moderator) – February 08, 2008 09:18AM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin
Oddly enough, if more states were like Minnesota, he would still be in the game!

What do you mean by that?

Romney won Minnesota.

Dr Phred (Moderator) – February 08, 2008 02:08PM Reply Quote
owned by the mothership.
Republican Caucus in Minnesota is not binding.

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