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Re: Teachers on Strike!?

Tue, 11 Sep 2012 03:23:59 GMT2012-09-11T03:23:59Z

LivinLikeYOLO : I agree that it's really sad that these teachers are on strike. It certainly is tough on parents to have to scramble for childcare. I have been involved in several strikes and other labor actions. I have been a labor organizer in the past, including a few years working for the American Federation of Teachers. I think it's useful to remember that these teachers are also parents, they are neighbors, they are consumers, and they are people. They have chosen a career which is, simultaneously, one of the most important and most maligned in our society. Either teachers are selfless wonderful people (when they act passive and do not complain about wages, class sizes, etc) or they are greedy, lazy, and selfish (when they demand a living wage, increased wages for longer work or larger class sizes, or fair assessment systems). I never met a worker who wanted to go on strike. It's scary and it is, generally, the last step any union member wants to take. Our society is really at a turning point. There is a well funded effort underway, which has been underway for many many years, to defund and destroy public education in America. The demonization of American teacher unions is one part of that. This is happening at all levels of education from pre-school (attacks on headstart) to college (defunding of public universities). Again, this is really sad that these teachers feel they have to do this. It is really worth looking past the media coverage a bit and understanding that these people want to teach. They care about our children. When it's time to tighten our belts, education should be one of the last things cut when all to often it is the first. This union has not struck in over 20 years, I am sure that in that time it is the teachers who have absorbed many of the cuts, from buying their own supplies to working extra hours unpaid. I think we should give them the benefit of the doubt and support them in the hopes that this comes to a speedy resolution and students can get back to class. I don't think these teachers are punishing students out of anger, they are using a drastic action to try to keep teaching a viable career for people in this country. Here is an article which is sympathetic to the teachers and is a good "other side" to the story to consider : http://www.salon.com/2012/09/10/standing_up_to_rahm/



Re: Celebrity speaks at political convention. Helpful?

Thu, 06 Sep 2012 17:08:38 GMT2012-09-06T17:08:38Z

Dare_2_Dream : I think it depends. Look at last week's Clint Eastwood "speech." I think that is an example of the GOP having a celebrity make an appearance in hopes that the generally good feelings the public have for the celebrity rub off on the candidate. I think last night was different. Bill Clinton isn't just a celebrity, he's one of the most successful politicians of our time. He has his faults, but is generally considered to be extremely intelligent and he has an ability to communicate with a segment of America that Obama has trouble with. If you didn't watch his speech, I encourage you to do so, or at least read it. While some of it was spent praising Obama, much of it was spend dismantling the Republican distortions and lies aimed at Obama. It would be hard, I think, for someone to watch Paul Ryan and Bill Clinton's speeches back to back and not come away agreeing with Clinton. I know that isn't how ti actually plays out. People are very stubborn and don't want to hear evidence that doesn't agree with their beliefs. A right winger probably will disregard something Clinton said, for example, that 44 million of the last 66 million private sector jobs created in America were created under Democrat administrations (2/3s!!!). Clinton has a freedom to hit a little harder and to say things a little tougher. He's not running for election and has less to lose from seeming mean. I suppose it is wishful thinking on my part, but I would hope that well reasoned and delivered speeches should sway the public. Celebrity, however, should matter less than stature.



Re: Culture and stereotypes

Tue, 21 Aug 2012 16:55:22 GMT2012-08-21T16:55:22Z

@CE: Calling Eyes' posts arrogant and ignorant is not insulting him. In fact, I went out of my way to state that I was not attacking him personally. You are right to stop arguing here because your argument lacks merit. If you want to see insults, see how many times I was called stupid and ACTUALLY insulted by Eyeswideshut in this forum from March: http://collegenet.com/elect/app/app?service=external/Forum&sp=38669 It's funny, I don't see any posts in there where you call him out for that. It's also pretty odd that you could read his response to Alexandrea in this forum and actually find my response MORE offensive. I wonder if you have a personal beef with me, or a personal attachment to Eyes, which might bias your interpretations of our posts. I do have some beef with Eyes. I have sen him be rude to newbies. I have seen him say incredibly insensitive things to people. I have seen him call people whiny bitches and other actual insults. Over the years it got old and it led me to follow his posts with a more critical eye. It's quite fair for me to call him on factual errors and hypocrisy and that is what I have been doing. I have only posted a few more than 100 times. The vast majority of those posts are not about Eyeswideshut. At least 2/3s of my recent posts, and you can go verify this, are not addressing him or not on his forums. So you cherry picked a string of responses there. Anyhow, as CouveCougar pointed out in her new forum, there aren't a lot of rules here. The site seems to be self-policing. If people want to reward Eyes' behavior with votes, then they will. I noticed that he wasn't hitting the top ten often last tournament, though, perhaps some indication that I'm not the only one bothered by the way he treats people. BTW: I still don't see where I have been sarcastic lately. It's funny you bring up that forum,, because I did post there, a completely non-Eyes related post by the way, and explained that I'd had a recent epiphany regarding sarcasm and it's uses. I know every now and then it's hard not to throw in a little jab, but I hardly think my recent posts have been very sarcastic at all.



Re: Culture and stereotypes

Mon, 20 Aug 2012 19:13:09 GMT2012-08-20T19:13:09Z

@CompositoraEspañola : This comment was not sarcastic, by any definition: "That you can seriously complain about how you're oppressed and paint hundreds of distinct cultures and peoples with one broad brush stroke is an astounding maneuver of ignorance and arrogance." It's harsh, but in the context I think it is completely justified. Eyes response was an ignorant one and it is extremely arrogant. I am not saying that Eyes is ignorant or arrogant in real life, but that comment sure is! It's also one of the most insensitive things I have read on here, ever. That you took issue with me comment and are giving Eyeswideshut a free ride on this is something you might want to introspect about. I have done some meta-bitching recently, but honestly it is in response to a series of forums created where the topic is basically the same old shit: "People complain too much, let me invalidate their complaints and complain some more. " I'm not doing that, I'm not posting whole forums about it. I am calling out hypocrisy where I see it. We all read things through different lenses, but sometimes when reading posts, which I do a LOT, I am surprised by how much people apply one set of rules/standards/morals to their own problems/ideas/issues and another set to someone else's.



Re: ah, thats actually not that funny....

Mon, 20 Aug 2012 18:34:07 GMT2012-08-20T18:34:07Z

I used to use sarcasm a lot more than I do now. Then I heard a great quote (from a great book, A Separate Peace by John Knowles): "Sarcasm is the protest of the weak." Sometimes sarcasm can be pretty funny, but it's probably best left to professional comedians. I analyzed many of my uses and found that often the quote was applicable. It was not that my complaint was invalid, but the use of sarcasm was a lazy way out. For example, I'm a cyclist, and I used to say things to motorists like "nice turn signal" or "way to stay in your lane." I realized that not only is the sarcasm inflaming the situation, but it's ineffective. It doesn't invite introspection by the person you use it against. Now I just say "you are a horrible driver." So, to answer your question, I think repeating that quote at someone who is like the person you describe is a great way to let them know they are taking it too far.



Re: Culture and stereotypes

Mon, 20 Aug 2012 18:16:52 GMT2012-08-20T18:16:52Z

@CompositoraEspañola : What is the point? Eyes posts on topics which I am passionate about and which I make an effort to stay informed about. When I see him post something that is factually incorrect, or that I don't agree with, it's perfectly fine for me to attack his argument. I do focus more on him as he invites the attention by so vigorously and aggressively attacking other people. Have you ever stuck up for any of the feminist posters who he follows around on the site? I don't see how I am disguising my posts as logical arguments. I make actual arguments and I often cite my references. I did the same on one of your topics and I never got a response back (Obama's "you didn't build that" speech). I also observe that it's probably better to let a forum die when it is challenged, rather than to waste posts defending it, so I am not trying to critique your decision to not respond. Sorry I wasn't aware of the "other posters" feelings. I am not participating in off site Facebook groups or otherwise where high level alliances seem to be formed, I don't have to. My record of posts shows that I post about similar topics and I've gone head to head with many people over the years. If I'm attacking your argument 8 times in a row, it's because you're a repeat offender! Alexandrea, I am sorry that this had to get more meta in your forum. I don't know where I'm supposed to "take it out back" to and fight like a "man." It's perfectly fair for me to challenge Eyes, and whoever else I wish to. The smart thing to do is either to engage respectfully, or disengage. Now we have mountains being made of molehills and the drama doesn't hurt me, I'm just a voter!



Re: Culture and stereotypes

Mon, 20 Aug 2012 17:07:59 GMT2012-08-20T17:07:59Z

"Your ancestors were not the innocent victims you want to make them out to be. " You are aware that she has stated that she is Lakota? I don't think they were doing any raiding in Jamestown. Not all Native Americans are the same. That you can seriously complain about how you're oppressed and paint hundreds of distinct cultures and peoples with one broad brush stroke is an astounding maneuver of ignorance and arrogance. You might also read a history book. I think your understanding of Native American relations in the country is flawed (and that's a generous assessment). You can whine about me picking on you, but I'm certainly not fighting with you or calling you names. I think it is fair to call out intellectual laziness and bullying when I see it, and I see it a lot in your posts. "Don't start fights you can't win." Wow.



Re: Work for welfare?

Sun, 19 Aug 2012 23:32:00 GMT2012-08-19T23:32:00Z

@Eyes: I don't appreciate the way you are rude to people on the site. I also think you whine a lot about other people whining and you aren't very self-actualized about your own whining. I suspect that you grew up in a pretty homogeneous environment and have a lot of trouble empathizing with people who aren't like you. I could be wrong about the cause, but if your posts are any real indication, the second part is likely true. I would guess that a lot of people let you slide on here because they don't want to waste their votes on a troll. They also have to play the politics of trying to win scholarships. I'm not a candidate, so I don't have to play the game. The fact is, you gave us the Fox News version of this story. It's simply not true that the Obama administration plans to let people get unemployment without looking for work. You said "Do we do away with the requirement, which is what Obama seems to want to do?" and "which under Obama, may no longer require people to try to find work in order to qualify for welfare." I don't read much into those statements or anything else in your post that actually describes the situation accurately. I don't think I had to try desperately to make you look like an idiot, a google search on your topic was all it took. The minimum wage was as low as $2.65/hour in 1978 (http://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/chart.htm) and is currently $7.25. Prices, however, keep going up. According to the BLS (http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm) that $2.65 would buy you $9.31 worth of stuff today. Talk about showing people the value for their work and time! Someone's already making money by raising prices. I'd look at some recent wealth inequality charts to find out who HAS been making money since 1978 (hint: it's the extremely wealthy).



Re: Work for welfare?

Sun, 19 Aug 2012 19:07:04 GMT2012-08-19T19:07:04Z

This forum is pretty misleading and isn't well cited. http://goo.gl/aba91 That link is to the PolitiFact research on the statement by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell claiming, basically, what you said: that Obama is removing the work search requirement. If you actually looked into it, you'd see that they want to allow states to try to use more efficient methods. Obviously, and you point this out, the ones mandated by the Fed aren't so great. Letting the states try to figure out their own problems seems like something that conservatives and the tea party should be into. But since this is coming from a black democrat president, it is obviously the end of the world. If you don't think that has anything to do with it, then you're delusional. Regardless, this should only be seen as a good thing, in my opinion. Different states have different problems and different solutions are probably warranted. I also notice that you didn't offer up increasing the minimum wage as part of the solution. If employers are paying less than welfare for jobs, then working doesn't seem to be worth it. You don't get ton of money on public assistance and I am sure, contrary to race baiting stories of Cadillac driving welfare moms, most people aren't living high on the hog with their assistance. Raising the minimum wage to a livable $10 an hour would make it easier to make more than welfare. I'd rather make sure people who want to work can live on their wages than take away their social security and continue the race to the bottom for the labor market in America. Maybe we could give more tax assistance to smaller employers to help them afford the wage increase, if that's a problem. Maybe cities could stop giving all the tax assistance to WAL*MART and other low wage giant employers and use that to help out the real small businesses and citizens.



Re: "F-Bomb" now in the dictionary?

Tue, 14 Aug 2012 22:50:39 GMT2012-08-14T22:50:39Z

It's perfectly appropriate, in my opinion, to put words and phrases that are commonly used into the dictionary. It's a reference book, not a style guide. "Head" is already in the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary as a slang synonym for fellatio, as it should be. If you were sufficiently sheltered and came across the term in an interview or work of fiction, you might like to be able to learn it's meaning (if context was not enough). Seems like a bit of a "non-issue" to me.