Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SAR #11173

We have chosen self-destruction... deliberately.

Street View: The protesters in Athens' Syntagma Square are the disenfranchised – those on the receiving end of forced austerity that has no goal except to transfer even more wealth out of Greece. Some fear the growing separation between the government and the population over austerity could prove 'explosive'. The rest of us know it will.

Rinsed & Repeated: Sales of existing U.S. homes decreased in May to the lowest level in six months, Purchases of existing homes fell 3.8 percent to a 4.81 million annual pace last month it may take years to absorb the 1.8 million distressed properties on the market that are weighing down home values. Shop around for a spin you like: it is a sign for the worse, a sign for the better, a time to sow, a time to reap...

Upset: Green Bay teachers are 'upset' that they will be required to work an additional 2.5 hours a week and do their planning work “off the clock” while their pay has been frozen and they must pay more towards their retirement and health benefits. Why would they need a union when they employer treats them so well?

Once Around: The IEA warns that replacing nuclear power with fossil fuels will result in both higher energy costs and higher CO2 emissions. Japan, which is rapidly souring on nuclear power, has declined to renew its carbon reduction pledges from the expiring Kyoto Protocol as it begins to switch to more fossil fuel power production. Scientists report that the Arctic is melting much faster than the IPCC's forecasts, and that sea level rise is occurring far faster than previously estimated. Britain’s Royal Society fears that a 4ºC temperature rise this century has already been assured and that further CO2 emissions will only increase the warming of the atmosphere and acidification of the oceans.

Top of His Class: Jon Huntsman invited the press to his ceremony announcing his entry into the Republican presidential sweepstakes. The press passes his campaign sent out spelled his name wrong.

Getting & Getting More: In 1975 America, the richest 0.1% collected 2.5% of the nation's income. Now they get 10.4%. And the very cream – the 15,000 who make up the top 0.001% increased their take from 0.85% to over 5% of the total income. And because most of that $27,000,000 each is from capital gains, they pay very, very low taxes – which gives them far, far more than 5% of the take-home pay.

Huh? The US Supreme Court says that although South Carolina violated a man's right to counsel by not providing him with a lawyer, the state did not have to provide him with a lawyer. Right. Read that again, slowly.

Kiss & Tell: NATO said one of its unmanned drone helicopters disappeared over Libya on Tuesday. Unmanned drone helicopters?

Ancient History: Mankind, with its pollution of the waters and of the air has driven the world's oceans to the brink of a mass extinction of marine life unseen for 55 million years. The simple truth is we cannot change our ways in time to stop it – the oceans are already dying faster than the dire forecasts of a few years ago. Unlike the melting of the Greenland Ice Cap, which will take hundreds of years, the death of the oceans will be rapid enough to impact those alive today. Think of it as a real time disaster movie.

Hail Mary: Ireland was a warm-up, Greece is an appetizer. Portugal will be a brief introduction and Spain the first act – but the main event in the Euro drama will take place in Italy in a year or so. Either the EU/ECB/IMF comes up with a winning play, or when the conflagration reaches Italy the game will be over.

Consider This: Massachusetts is the most unionized state for teachers, South Carolina the most anti-union. Massachusetts has the highest student test scores, South Carolina the lowest.


I'm Not POTUS said...

I could care less for who does what on a test score.

What I would really like is to have some young people who have been trained for critical thinking.

Every year the "summer help" students who intern have "skills" that diminish faster than the health of the oceans.

They are now just goldfish, who can't process situational awareness if their life depended on it. If I can't find rote work for them to do, I just have them sit at a terminal and facebook. Teaching to the test is a disaster.

Anonymous said...

RE: Consider This

Once again... Correlation is not causation.


OSR said...

I'm Not Potus: We noticed the same thing two summers ago, at my workplace. The only intern that was worth a damn went to private schools. On the plus side, I'm not worried about unemployment anytime soon.

Drewbert said...

We have chosen self-destruction... deliberately.

No "we" haven't. The rich and powerful have under the assumption that they will escape the resulting chaos. In their eyes, it's not self destruction, it's taking "what is rightfully theirs", be it money, rainforests, oil, or healthcare.

I'm Not POTUS said...

On the topic of causation, I would love to here from an open shop teacher, or an authorized union representative, why I have this problem.

Who is at fault when I hand a key to an intern and a cart full of supplies and tell him " This key opens the dispensers for the folding towels, toilet paper and toilet covers, please go refill them, if you would be so kind, dear boy."

Whom do I blame when he returns from the first bathroom and asks if he should do another restroom and where is the key to the next one. He couldn't maybe guess a cart full of supplies was a big enough hint, as to my intentions.

Who is to blame when he returns from the handicapped stall and informs me that the key, that we have used for years, does not work because the grip bar blocks his hand from turning it.

Can I not find fault with his education when I have to demonstrate to him how to invert and reverse his grip on the key from under the grip bar and when I did unlock, open and PUSH close the dispenser, why did I really have to explain that all of the dispensers are spring loaded pincer locks and that he did not need to turn the key to lock the dispensers in the closed position.

He couldn't maybe have the least bit of curiosity and try, of his own volition, to experiment. Does he always have to run to the "teacher" for instruction.

He can't run some quick little logic tests in his head to deduce that maybe if I give him only 1 key and several tasks, that just maybe that tool is all that is needed to accomplish his goal.

He can most assuredly achieve high scores and grades in high school and most certainly score high in entrance exams and he can get very good grades in a university for his engineering degree, but he can't figure out how to refill paper towel dispensers?

Where is the corollary for that?
Is it MTV? Oprah? Playstation? Who else is at fault.

Is it his sheltered home life where he only had to swap rolls on the roll holder and only had to use "elitist" cloth towels.

Is it the fault of the Boy Scouts for not having a merit badge for Toiletry Dispensers?

All I know is that I didn't need a lesson plan to figure out how to use the key when I was told to do it as an intern, but that was a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away from this twilight (vampire free)zone.

And I am not picking on this kid. I have stories that would fill a month of Sundays. My stories keep piling up and the mantra given by society as a solution is to do more of the same.

Which brings me to my new favorite motto.

"Being a well adjusted member of a profoundly sick society is not an admirable goal."

CKMichaelson said...

Yet, ImNotPotus, the same lousy, unionized school teachers produced a kid who went on to get a ChemE PhD who volunteers his time to travel the world for Engineers Without Borders, a kid who uses her Math PhD to help struggling college kids, a kid who became a Family Practitioner, a kid who's curiosity lead him through a Physics PhD. And that's just my kids... who also are three great chefs, two home re-modelers, a bicycle mechanic and so on.

And, yes thank you, the parents and the home just might have had a bit to do with it.


Drewbert said...

"Being a well adjusted member of a profoundly sick society is not an admirable goal."

I like that. I may borrow that one.