LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby thepittman on Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:02 am

Grunthy wrote:I don't understand this country's obsession with college. This country so demonizes trade jobs in high school it is embarrassing. We need to get off of the every body needs to go to college.

If the government has to throw money around, this would be a great place for improvement.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby MWB on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:17 am

pensfan1989 wrote:I want people who have the best chance to succeed at a level that they are able to pay back their loans. Too many people are getting degrees that won't get them jobs that won't put them in a position to do that.

With each loan backed by the federal government, the American taxpayer is taking a risk. And they should be managing that risk to people who have the best chance to live up to the terms of their loans. The taxpayer shouldn't be taking a risk on someone getting a degree in "something they enjoy" that will never have the potential to be paid back.

They could also do things with the loans to encourage people to save money, like requiring those who take loans to take general requirements at community colleges. Last time I checked, CCAC was about 1/4 the price of Pitt.

The ease of getting loans has no doubt contributed to the rising costs of higher education. Universities can charge more because they know more students can pay. Universities aren't helping much with some of the focus on research and their hiring practices, but that's an issue for another topic.


I think the lack of getting a job has more to do with the person than the degree they choose. How would you even go about legislating such a thing? What if a person chooses an approved degree and then doesn't try to get a job on graduation?

I agree there are issues with student loans, but saying a person can only get one based on a degree seems wrong.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby MWB on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:25 am

Grunthy wrote:I don't understand this country's obsession with college. This country so demonizes trade jobs in high school it is embarrassing. We need to get off of the every body needs to go to college.


:thumb:

Instead, when cuts come to schools, one of the first things to go is a vocational program. Unfortunately it is a complete attitude change that needs to happen. You aren't interested in or struggle with the traditional high school courses? Ok, let's look at some trade schools instead. You're really into machinery and how things work? Ok, let's see what trade would suit you. Yes, math (and whatever else) will be needed. However, when a kid is doing what they are interested in they are more likely to push through something they struggle with. Now we do it backwards. We say, "You know, someday you'll need this geometry if you want to be a carpenter." Kids don't see that far ahead.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:42 am

Grunthy wrote:I don't understand this country's obsession with college. This country so demonizes trade jobs in high school it is embarrassing. We need to get off of the every body needs to go to college.

My wife and I were talking about this last night. She's from a rural city in western Illinois, I'm from Altoona. Where I grew up, we had a vocational-technical school ("Vo-Tech") for students that wanted to learn trades. The curriculum ranged from masonry to welding to culinary. Mrs Tif's school didn't have a separate school for that, but they did have a separate curriculum in their high school for those programs. We both agreed that back in the day (lat 80s-early 90s) the common theme was that students in these tracks were 'short bussers'. They were universally looked down upon and regarded by the 'normal' students as low aspirational dolts. Where I went to school, these were the kids who were most likely to have denim jackets festooned with Metallica patches and hang out in the smoker's corner of the parking lot.

The point being, the 'regular' students all kind of looked down their noses at these guys (and the were like 90% male) and considered them to be something of an underclass. Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs guy) was on Real Time last night and was talking about this. He said there are something like 3 million blue-collar jobs in this country that cannot be filled right now because the companies offering them cannot find applicants. He specifically cited a Caterpillar dealership in Nevada that current has over two dozen openings for warehouse type people. He said the jobs start in the low-mid 40s, but within a couple years normally end up just north of 100k. But no one wants to do these jobs, driving forklifts and whatnot. It's as if contemporary culture thinks success and achievement can be divorced from hard work. Maher summed it up saying that too many people want to be cave painters now, and there aren't any hunter/gatherers left.

Then again, of the 430-odd people from my graduating class of 1991, over 300 of them still live within 50 miles of Altoona/Hollidaysburg and the two most common occupations of my classmates are convenience store clerk and prison guard. So there's that.
Last edited by tifosi77 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby tifosi77 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:44 am

And adding on to that.......... one of the reasons that college is so preferred is that it is an empirical fact that a college graduate will be likely to earn close to a million dollars more in their lifetime than a contemporary with just a high school education or a GED.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby since1970 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:45 am

....the emphasis certainly has changed in time since I was in school, practically everything was geared towards trades, but then we were an industrial-centric city. You learned a craft/trade and made 2 or 3 times what those college schlubs earned. That time is gone, and that's another issue. We could spend the entire weekend discussing what effect the lack of manufacturing,which I feel is mostly negative, has done to this country.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:47 am

Tif, your characterization of the Vo Tech kids at AAHS is spot frigging on
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby MWB on Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:25 am

shafnutz05 wrote:Tif, your characterization of the Vo Tech kids at AAHS is spot frigging on


Think it's probably true in most places, sadly.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:26 am

tifosi77 wrote:Where I went to school, these were the kids who were most likely to have denim jackets festooned with Metallica patches and hang out in the smoker's corner of the parking lot.


Or perhaps Raven or Celtic Frost. :wink:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Kaizer on Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:35 am

the last thing i wanted to do was move here for college, i tried to get jobs stacking boxes, repairing window chips, and a few others that were ground level grunt work for their companies, but the only way in was to go pay someone to apply for me, and then they'd take some of my money if i got the job. if i didnt get the job, they keep what they already got out of me. every one of those jobs went through the same place. i dont know if i should have done it or not, but it pissed me off too much to bother.

cool story bro. anyway, what happened to walking into a place of business, asking for a job and talking to the boss about it?
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby King Sid the Great 87 on Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:59 am

columbia wrote:Hmmmm....I've provided a lot of value in my career in information services and software development.

I was a history & political science major and certainly don't regret that choice.


It's all about the expected value of a degree. Your salary may be several sigma above what is expected for a history/poly sci major. There is more than enough data correlating degree-to-earnings to develop a calculation to determine how much someone should be able to get a loaned for based on expected future ability to repay it.

I don't know where the sweet spot is, but as an example, as a tax payer, I don't feel good backstopping a student expected to graduate with $50K in debt if the expected earnings at the entry level is only $30K. Fair or not, It's all about return on investment.

For every person like yourself that is X-sigma above expected earnings for a history major, there is a person at the other end that is X-sigma below. If you want to take the gamble that you will be on the good side, go for it. But go find someone to give you a private loan for whatever an appropriate algorithm determines is in excess of a calculated payback-ability. Putting a gun to tax payers' heads is not the way to go about this.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Kaizer on Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:23 am

that could work if the "lower paying" degrees cost comparatively less than higher paying ones.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby jf on Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:54 am

I think the government should be out of the student loan system . There are too many ways for the colleges and government to manipulate the system . Let individuals convince the private banks to lend them the money . I think that the grant system could be changed. With the grants , I would give everyone the same amount regardless of income. The system does not reward hard work , why should kids bust their butts working when they get rewarded with less grants.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby GaryRissling on Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:11 pm

Again, another inevitable result of acquiescing to the premise that muslims are an intrinsic enemy.

A stunning tweet just came across the wires from Major League Baseball’s recently hired “new media coordinator” Jonathan Mael. It reads, “The @nyjets are a disgrace of an organization. The Patriots have Aaron Hernandez, the Jets have Oday Aboushi.” (Mael has since deleted his account, making him a rather ineffectual “new media coordinator”.)

Aaron Hernandez is, of course, the former star tight end now on trial for premeditated murder. So who is Oday Aboushi? He’s a Brooklyn-born fifth-round rookie lineman from the University of Virginia. His crime, in the eyes of Mael, is being of Palestinian heritage as well as having the temerity to discuss what a life of dispossession this has meant to him and his extended family.

Read more: The Slandering of NY Jet Oday Aboushi | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/175216/sl ... z2Ywv5aKQi
Follow us: @thenation on Twitter | TheNationMagazine on Facebook


http://www.thenation.com/blog/175216/sl ... z2YuJkI5xJ
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Grunthy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:29 pm

I would almost go as far as totally revamping our education system. I think tests should be administered to those who wish to take higher level courses. Those that pass move on to basically a college preparation schedule. If you don't want to take the test or are unable to pass move onto a more trade style preparation leading to an associate degree. At any time a kid could retake or take the test up to their senior year. Even if you go the vocational route, the SATs still would be available if you wanted to go to college. I think this would greatly help this country.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Grunthy on Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:33 pm

I am all for thinking no child should be left behind, but we are doing it in all the wrong ways. I am sorry to say that not every kid is equal in schools, nor will that ever be the case. Us trying to force kids that cannot live up to "expectations" causes a lot more issues. I am not saying my scenario would fix everything, but possibly it could help a little more.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:14 pm

Loophole lets Colorado lawmakers avoid photo radar fines
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_23652 ... adar-fines
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby topshelf on Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:56 pm

Grunthy wrote:I would almost go as far as totally revamping our education system.


Agreed.

Grunthy wrote:I think tests should be administered to those who wish to take higher level courses. Those that pass move on to basically a college preparation schedule.


This already exists via the Advanced Placement program. Kids who are in the top percentage of their class can take AP courses (which are essentially college level), as opposed to the common courses.

Grunthy wrote:I think this would greatly help this country.


The two things that will greatly help the education program in this country is the removal of standardized testing and funding.

In public schools, everything is driven by the test scores that a school produces on their state's standardized tests. Schools with good results get more funding, more funding means more resources and more faculty/staff, more faculty/staff means both happier faculty/staff plus smaller class sizes, smaller class sizes mean more one-on-one time for the students. The problem with this is, teachers end up teaching to the standardized tests as opposed to the curriculum out of fear of getting poor tests results. They are forced to cut out valuable information from the curriculum, and they're left with no option but to teach at a rabid pace to get the lessons done before the testing. The tests don't adequately assess the student, they don't take into account the fact that some students test better than others, or that a school who already has poor resources and large class sizes is already at a massive disadvantage, etc. It is a flawed system, but the system exists because it is a cash cow.

In regards to funding, when you look at the funding schools get vs. what they need, there is a major deficit. Here in Central Florida, a proposed 1% property tax that would go directly to my county's school system was voted down about 8 years ago (only 1%), and the result of that is the county has been on a hiring freeze for teachers for 3 years, 5 schools have closed, and schools are way to over crowded. These poor conditions will only perpetuate the larger problems with the education of today's youth.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby MWB on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:17 pm

topshelf wrote:The two things that will greatly help the education program in this country is the removal of standardized testing and funding.

In public schools, everything is driven by the test scores that a school produces on their state's standardized tests. Schools with good results get more funding, more funding means more resources and more faculty/staff, more faculty/staff means both happier faculty/staff plus smaller class sizes, smaller class sizes mean more one-on-one time for the students. The problem with this is, teachers end up teaching to the standardized tests as opposed to the curriculum out of fear of getting poor tests results. They are forced to cut out valuable information from the curriculum, and they're left with no option but to teach at a rabid pace to get the lessons done before the testing. The tests don't adequately assess the student, they don't take into account the fact that some students test better than others, or that a school who already has poor resources and large class sizes is already at a massive disadvantage, etc. It is a flawed system, but the system exists because it is a cash cow.



Regarding the funding... yes and no. Title I schools are schools that get more money and more resources that other schools. They have a high percentage of low income families. Those Title I schools end up with smaller class sizes and more resources than your average public school. The test results are one aspect of Race to the Top that help determine some federal funding, but most funding comes from the state. Race to the Top is Obama's brainchild, with the help of Arne Duncan, that was supposed to improve NCLB, but is just as bad. The schools in high income areas get more local help because people are willing to pay more in taxes. The schools that are especially screwed over in funding are the ones in the middle. They don't get the Title I funds and they don't get the extra local money from local taxes.

And you're right about the cash cow. Standardized testing companies are making bundles of money right now.

topshelf wrote:In regards to funding, when you look at the funding schools get vs. what they need, there is a major deficit. Here in Central Florida, a proposed 1% property tax that would go directly to my county's school system was voted down about 8 years ago (only 1%), and the result of that is the county has been on a hiring freeze for teachers for 3 years, 5 schools have closed, and schools are way to over crowded. These poor conditions will only perpetuate the larger problems with the education of today's youth.



Since about 2008 most areas are not willing to vote for any type of tax increase. I live in a county that has a decent tax rate, very good schools, and population growth. However, the local government is not willing to raise taxes to increase teacher salaries. As a result, salaries have been frozen for 6 years. Last year we did get a 1% bonus of some sort, but that was a one year stipend. With health care costs increasing, many teachers are seeing their take home pay go down. As a result, good teachers are leaving this county to work in Charlotte Mecklenburg County because they pay more. At some point local leaders will realize that a lot of people move to this area because of the schools and you pay for what you get.

But putting all that aside, the biggest factor in school success is parent involvement. You can get a ton of money, like Title I schools, but if the parents don't care it's very hard to reach those kids.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Grunthy on Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:56 pm

Yeah I am not talking AP course tests. I'm not dumb, I know what those are... I am talking about the European/asian method of schooling. Either you pass a test and get into high school or do not.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby GaryRissling on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:05 pm

For me, the essential aspect of the NSA scandal isn't the unimaginable amounts of private data which has been collected; it's about the FISC railroading the constitutional protections which should deter the government from being able to implement such programs.

On Oct. 29, about seven months before the recent revelations about secret government surveillance programs, Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. made a commitment to the Supreme Court.

He said, a little comically in retrospect, that the human rights groups, lawyers and reporters who sought to challenge the law had no particular reason to think that their communications were being collected. The plaintiffs could not show they had been harmed by the surveillance program, he said, so they lacked standing to sue. Their fears, he said, were the product of “a cascade of speculation.”

Yes, said Mr. Verrilli, giving what he called a “clear example.” If the government wants to use information gathered under the surveillance program in a criminal prosecution, he said, the source of the information would have to be disclosed. The subjects of such surveillance, he continued, would have standing to challenge the program.

What has happened since then in actual criminal prosecutions? The opposite of what Mr. Verrilli told the Supreme Court. Federal prosecutors, apparently unaware of his representations, have refused to make the promised disclosures.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/16/us/do ... d=all&_r=0
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby shafnutz05 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:36 pm

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/07/15/obama-to-bush-41-we-are-a-gentler-nation-because-of-you/

Regardless of your thoughts on the Bush family as a whole, George HW Bush is a great man. Sad to see him in such a physical state.
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby columbia on Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:23 am

How To Compete With NSA By Hacking a Verizon Network Extender
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/13/0 ... m=facebook

:lol:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby ExPatriatePen on Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:38 am

columbia wrote:How To Compete With NSA By Hacking a Verizon Network Extender
http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/13/0 ... m=facebook

:lol:


:pop:

:fist:
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Re: LGP Political Discussion Thread - Latest news at top

Postby Factorial on Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:21 am

Looks like the GOP is going to back down and allow an up or down vote on Obama's nominations.
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