Spork Boards

Granberry's Parlor

tomierna's Avatar Picture tomierna (Admin) – December 07, 2007 09:46PM Reply Quote
Politics. Don Granberry on the old Spork Boards was quite fond of talking about them, and here we continue on in that fine tradition.

El Jeffe – March 02, 2008 03:59AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
Retirement is a pipe dream, though.
$1,800 for 1,200 sq ft is high. I guess I'll have to live and retire HERE. Because I see apartments for I THINK $400 or so.

What a journey.

rino – March 02, 2008 09:29AM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
Plan to pay your residence off -- own it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/02/2008 09:30AM by rino.

El Jeffe – March 02, 2008 12:01PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
I think it's worthless to own a house. Your money you could use later in your life is in sticks, mortar, drywall. You guarantee your earnings go to someone else ...after death.

What a journey.

tliet – March 02, 2008 08:07PM Reply Quote
But then again, when your income drops to a low level, your housing costs are also very low. My parents live in a place that's been debt free for over a decade now, they pay like 80 euros a month for the service cost of the appartment complex. Which is nice because their income has gone down as well. In the event one of them would need very costly care, they could always sell the appartment and move to a rental appartment.

stan adams – March 03, 2008 06:07AM Reply Quote

While you say that mom or dad COULD sell their place and move to a rental I'm dealing with several relatives that, mostly for emotional/independence issues won't -- frankly as I get older I can see their point. It is hard enough to lose a spouse or have to deal with disease and to put the extra burden of making changes to how/where you live is almost too much. My sister is a nurse with hospice experience and says that among most people they won't shift until well after a crisis forces them to do so...


I really think that "success" is all about getting people to a point where they don't just "survive" but they have a "need to thrive". There are many many paths toward that end, as mokers highlights immigrants come packed with a lot of that "need", for others a stint in the service helps to focus things, for others (maybe Bill's kids) it is parental guidance/ass whooping.
One thing that depressed me a lot when I was teaching high school was just how miserable the average is -- from lack of intelligence to lack of training to lack of curiosity American teachers generally suck. Of course there are plenty of exceptions, but too often the best teachers end up working with kids that need them least -- America really ought to realize that competition is so ingrained in how we get into colleges, how we get jobs, how most people advance in their careers, how we decide where and how to live that it is beyond silly to let poor/mediocre coaches and gym teachers make the same as excellent teachers of mathematics, science, English -- the foundations of productiveness. WSJ took a look at Finland, well known as heavy very good academic performers. What they found was not surprising: very good teachers and students with a healthy sense of responsibility. No magic, but hard to reproduce too. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120425355065601997-7Bp8YFw7Yy1n9bdKtVyP7KBAcJA_20080330.html (free now that Bloomberg is knocking down most of the "walled garden"...)

I agree that Americans that make up the "non achieving" constitute a serious problem, though having seen first hand that too often literal brothers and sisters that were raised about identically as can be end up as different as 'goofus & gallant ' -- one having not just the drive to do well, but also doing good, while the other wallows in immature self-indulgence if not outright criminality. These are not differences of just "Head Start" but something more troubling; how much mental health assistance is given to kids/young adults that are violent? I fear that America's prison population will always be far larger than other countries -- with our extreme smörgåsbord of lifestyles and over acceptance of what few other societies would tolerate it is too easy for the truly sick to just blend in until they finally up before an angry frustrated court for too many heinous crimes any are incarcerated for the rest of the life. http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/821806,CST-NWS-stab02.article

tliet – March 03, 2008 06:23AM Reply Quote
Stan, true. They already moved into this place as to grow old. But, they could also sell it to the bank again, the reversed mortgage option.

rino – March 03, 2008 09:37AM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
> I think it's worthless to own a house. Your money you could use later in your life is in sticks, mortar, drywall. You guarantee your earnings go to someone else ...after death.

Well you could call that built equity.
It's not a horrible place to stash the cash provided you don't buy a shitty house in a shitty neighborhood in the geography of nowhere, but, that last part is tough to do in American sprawl which is the foci of this "geography of nowhere" where gentrification never needs to occur because one can keep moving out and out. Or at the least gentrification takes many generations. You can see this around Dallas - Fort Worth, the shit just keeps spreading and spreading. Why re-invest in this neighborhood there's a new one 12 miles down the freeway!
I guess even in my relatively stable neighborhood in a small state I wonder about this fact of gentrification vs. entropy of areas.

Well, we can own our dwelling soon enough if we stick around. Way before retirement and then that mortgage (very, very low compared to many) can be banked or spent on all those boomers selling ice cream to "stay busy".

Mokers (Moderator) – March 03, 2008 09:39AM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin

Nothing really special about my family. I grew up as an American kid since I was 3. My mom's kids from her previous marriage grew up in Africa. It took years to get permanent resident visas sorted out (but hey, we followed the law. should have shipped them in to canada and dealt with it later but that's a whole other rant). But as soon as they got here, it was nose to the grindstone. If I had 10% of their tenacity, I'd have like 10 PhDs by now.

Anyway, I wanted to illustrate that their are exceptional cases, but I guess the point I didn't make was the one stan touched on. The real problem is not that there are not enough people with poor educations that can't get ahead (although if we can get those people with poor educations to an even average education, it would help). I am talking about people that I went to high school with. Middle class area, decent schools, etc. A lot go to college and become engineers, doctors, teachers, business management, etc, but too many (at least from what I can tell from my reunions) settle for much less. Just don't know how the government fixes that problem.

stan adams – March 03, 2008 10:09AM Reply Quote

I totally agree with you. I must know a few dozen people that I grew up within 3-5 years of my age with completely f'ed lives. More than a few have actual college degrees from decent/superior schools. Some I guess you could classify as "stoners" or substance abusers, but that, to me, is a symptom not the cause (this despite my rant on NORML travel writer...). In the majority of these situations the reason these adults have no drive is that their parents have made it too easy to be total f'ing loads. Bailing them out (literally and figuratively) of any situation. If mom & dads pockets are deep enough and/or the parents don't care about their own financial security there is a generation that can literally do nothing. Although economically such off spring are at the opposite end of the economic spectrum these people live like 2nd/3rd generation "welfare moms" -- too useless to raise their own kids grandma/grandpa does it. These are NOT just people that would be considered traditionally "upper class" I also count among these screw-ups people whose parents were solid members of the top tier of "working class" -- dads were public employees/supervisors, moms were nurses/health care administration. As their kids should have been "flying right" mom and/or dad looked the other way as they continued to act they had some right to be a "spoiled brat". In some cases they have older or younger brothers/sisters that are completely different, so it is not just a "youngest" or "princess" kind of thing. I suspect it is almost a mild form or mental illness, as I also know about 3-4 people with full blown schizophrenia that have some of the same traits. The worst off of the schizophrenics of course are plagued with delusions that necessitate medication and are still "not functional" but those with milder forms can do work as long as they take their pills and don't try work in an environment that is too stressful. To the broader world a lot of these people are invisible, but to people who "used to know 'em" these can be the kids that change the light bulbs in their mom's tanning bed franchise before/after the shop opens, the guy who is 'partners' in his dad's Jiffy Lube but is never around, lead "delivery dispatcher" for family Domino franchise or similar easy to ignore roles.

Mokers (Moderator) – March 05, 2008 12:44PM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin

Sounds to me like the UN needs another committee or commission or whatever they call them these days.

El Jeffe – March 05, 2008 01:06PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
wow, I'm listening to a podcast on that subject right now!!!


What a journey.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2008 01:08PM by El Jeffe.

Mokers (Moderator) – March 05, 2008 08:19PM Reply Quote
Formerly Remy Martin


Discerning a human influence on climate, he said, “involves finding a signal in a noisy background.” He added, “The only way to do this within our noisy climate system is to average over a sufficient number of years that the noise is greatly diminished, thereby revealing the signal. This means that one cannot look at any single year and know whether what one is seeing is the signal or the noise or both the signal and the noise.”

The shifts in the extent and thickness of sea ice in the Arctic (where ice has retreated significantly in recent summers) and Antarctic (where the area of floating sea ice has grown lately) are similarly hard to attribute to particular influences.

Well, he obviously needs to work on his Power Point.

tliet – March 05, 2008 09:47PM Reply Quote
Oh, let there be no doubt about it; earth will survive us.

stan adams – March 06, 2008 06:31AM Reply Quote
I completely agree with Prof. Schlesinger, " ..any focus on the last few months or years as evidence undermining the established theory that accumulating greenhouse gases are making the world warmer was, at best, a waste of time and, at worst, a harmful distraction."

The simplest way to restate this is the "blind men and the elephant" -- you can't know the whole beast until you have all the info. Of course the "whole picture" of planetary climate is millions of years and the BEST we can hope for in a slice that MIGHT be tens of thousands -- we'll never have really unarguable data.

That said, it is foolish to argue about things when the consequences of inaction are so dire and even the most ardent deniers will agree that at least slowing greenhouse gas emissions ought to have at worst neutral effects on commerce.

Newspapers like controversy above all else...

El Jeffe – March 06, 2008 09:37AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
why doesn't google spell/grammar-check all the pages they look up and either mark it and provide stats on each site's accuracy? Or...sell the service of fixing the mistakes back to the providers?

What a journey.

stan adams – March 06, 2008 10:42AM Reply Quote
El Jeffe:

That one is another winner. Too bad you don't rub elbows with the Silicon Valley VC types -- that sounds a helluva lot more "value add" than any sort of FaceBook apps. Dude you really should patent that!

(OTOH with the 733t spellers and txtrs no one cares if things are correct...)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2008 10:43AM by stan adams.

El Jeffe – March 06, 2008 10:51AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
Go for it. I'll take .1% :)
I'm more the inspiration and less the perspiration guy. Now, I do have an inventor cousin in FL who actually productizes his ideas.

What a journey.

John Willoughby – March 06, 2008 05:02PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
>(OTOH with the 733t spellers and txtrs no one cares if things are correct...)

You misspelled "1337."

tliet – March 07, 2008 12:59AM Reply Quote
OK, here's one thing that is only possible in a justice system that uses public juries, I hadn't thought of this.


If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun's manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war. No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.

El Jeffe – March 07, 2008 02:12AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
I think that was brought up very soon after the initial discussion was started. The ability for juries to act as they see fit.

What a journey.

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