Monday, October 31, 2011

Cost of education increases similar to sports: bidding war on professors similar to ones on athletes

A very common complaint about professional (and to an extent, collegiate too) sports has been the high cost of tickets in order to pay for the extensive salaries of professional athletes, as the two highest salaried stars in sports are Spanish F1 driver Fernando Alonso Diaz of Scuderia Ferrari ******** (Because of censorship laws, the team's full name must be censored) at a $40 million salary, and Cameroon footballer Samuel Eto'o of ФК "Анжи" Махачкала (СОГАЗ Russian Football Championship), who is paid $29 million a year – greater than any MLB or NFL star. The bidding wars on star players has sent ticket prices soaring in sports.

But with complaints about college tuition roaring into massive debt, the nationalisation of student loans passed in ObamaCare, and here in South Carolina, the cost of education soaring after the state government was massively expanded with the mockery called the “state lottery,” there's one issue I haven't heard in the discussion of education costs that is similar to sports, and that is the bidding war on professors.

As schools begin adding further research arms to their institutions, they are needing professors to lead these research divisions. To do so, they often engage in bidding wars with each other in order to hire the best talent, similar to sports. In once case over a decade ago, a professor's pay went from $90,000 to over $200,000 after a bidding war for him. Another case featured Ivy League rivals in a bidding war on a professor. When the bidding wars are as heated in the academic field as they are on an athletic field, the result will be the same. And with the “we must try the latest and greatest experiment” mentality in academics, the new buildings carry the most expensive experimental equipment. All of these are increasing the cost of schools on the level of sports. Has anyone noticed the similarities of academic bidding wars to athletic bidding wars? A generation of protesting students do not seem to understand that, but it's clearly evident with a bidding war, trying to entice professors, building new buildings, housing allowances, extra academic freedom for the professor, and the lure of such, the same things we see in professional sports are there in academic prices.

This Just In

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Peggy Lee campaign

I include the above in order to explain the title of this post, since anyone younger than me probably won't get it. (Your loss; you should get Peggy Lee, at least once in your lifetime.)

I can't help but think, though, that this was the question on the lips of many Republicans after last week's demolition derby of a debate in Las Vegas. It was great theater, at least for people you like David Mamet plays, but does this kind of attack politics really do any good? It made the candidates look small, like the children that fill the stage at the National Spelling Bee. And it leaves me asking one more question: "If this is the best we have to offer, how in the world are we going to beat Obama?"

Are they for real?

Guest post by Cathy of Alex

It's easy to make fun of the Occupy Wall Street and it's offshoot demonstrations in various cities - including one locally in Minneapolis, MN. I'm sure they are still laughing in downtown Tripoli too! Minnesota is usually, at least, a season behind the fashions and the music that are on the streets and on the radio (for those dinos that still listen to the radio) everywhere else in the U.S. so it makes sense while the Arabs had their Spring we are into Fall.

I hesitate to call the Occupy Wall Street a movement. It's not a movement, per se, in that it is not a cohesive and organized event positioning itself toward a common goal. It's almost like a "be-in" (remember those, you folks that are still listening to the RADIO!?) or Summer of Love or Woodstock or even an Andy Hardy film. Hey, kids, let's put on a show!? How about a bunch of us just show up someplace at a certain time and try and get something going, see what happens... It seems like a flash mob but the mob has no flash.

Occupy Wall Street, to me, is part of a current cultural phenomenon that is sweeping the globe. Really, it is - look around. Arab Spring, demonstrations in Rome, Greece, those periodic World Trade Organization dust-ups, the Tea Party, appear, on the surface, to have absolutely nothing in common. But, I think they do. They are all started by disaffected and disengaged youth. It's tempting to yell out: Get a job you hippies! or wonder why these kids appear to have so much free time on their hands that they can camp out in downtown New York for weeks. No kids? No families? Turn on, Tune in, Drop out?

I used to date this super-prog guy about 15 years ago (I was prog then but he made me look like a "Contract with America" supporter) who claimed that Generation Y was going to put the Baby Boomers to shame as far as protesting and radicalism goes. I thought he was full of crap (actually, not the reason we broke up). Now, I wonder if I should find him and apologize.

Except I think neither one of us saw a day when so many young people literally cannot get jobs, don't have a stable home life (if a home life at all), can't afford college, don't believe that they'll ever be able to own a home, are paying child support before they are out of high school, and perceive that education is meaningless as there isn't anything to prepare you for other than debt, unemployment and take-out.

What is different with some of today's youth-started protest phenomenon from those of 3 - 5 decades ago is the resulting demographic of the protesters is not just Gen Y and Millenials - a lot of older, employed people with families have joined in. Perhaps, relieving their protest days of yore, or, perhaps, we have finally seen a day when all generations have the same gripes.

I'm not saying I agree with this new youth-driven phenomenon; but I also acknowledge that I don't see the world as they do. I'm pretty well established. I had a stable home growing up. I have a life full of purpose with Christ. I have a job. I don't have trouble putting food on the table. But, I've also got over 2 decades of head start.

It's true that no two people in the Occupy Wall Street can identify the reason why the collective is protesting. They are not even sure what they are protesting. There are probably some people who don't even realize they are at a protest but it just seemed like a great place to get laid! There is no common platform. However, I just caution us as a society to refrain from thinking Occupy Wall Street is meaningless and nothing will come from it. Revolutions have started this way. We may not have to break out the guns, but new ideas can sometimes be as powerful and scary as any armament.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Occupy Wall Street and related activists: Communist perpetrators

Listening to Neal Boortz discuss he demands of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement reminds states their demands will destroy the economy, with the current realistic unemployment rate of nearly 20% ready to soar if these leftists' agenda is met.

The crazy mandates wanted by the organisers is to raise the minimum wage, which four years ago was raised 40% from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour, to $20 per hour. When the Pelosi Reign of Terror led a 40% hike in the minimum wage in 2007 by a no-debate, no-discussion supermajority forcedown, the beginning of the current American crisis in jobs began, as Walter E. Williams noted in [i]Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed by Discrimination [/i]? Youth unemployment starts at the 15% range and in some groups is over 40%, as noted by Charles Payne this summer on Fox Business Network, as a byproduct of the Pelosi stupidity. James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation noted rescinding the 40% minimum wage hike would encourage such hiring of novices, and create more entry-level hiring. He notes this on the job training results in most workers accelerating skills that result in raises, including interacting with co-workers and bosses. The result of the last severe round of minimum wage hikes led to a lack of entry-level hiring as the value of hiring such workers was lacking. Some states have added further hikes to destroy their states.

A nearly 150% hike in the minimum wage to $20 would destroy jobs for good, and businesses would choose to locate their businesses in Mexico, or worse yet, the rising four nations of the BRIC (Brasil, Россия, India, and Communist China).

A related demand is to guarantee such income – regardless of the person is employed or not. This has no logic. Another is “free college education,” but thanks to ObamaCare, the federal government, not private parties or financial institutions, is the only place for student loans, and we are paying the price for having gambling money subsidise college education in South Carolina after over a decade of such outrageous policies. A government monopoly is the worst possible idea, and the passing of ObamaCare gave us one, and a mandate by these activists is to fully implement ObamaCare by adopting the Canadian-style single payer system that outlaws private industry and kill health care.

Another demand of these liberals is to outlaw oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy to push the standard liberal mantra of “wind and solar only”. However, as SCANA investors were told at a meeting, wind energy requires a minimum of 3.6 m/s of constant wind, and turbines shut down if the wind speed exceeds 20 m/s. The total demand of outlawing oil, gas, coal, and nuclear, with related “ecological restoration,” reminds me of the Taliban's anti-industry push. Many Communists have adopted the extreme environmentalist movement in order to push the idea of government in control of everything, and Lenin's Birthday (22 April 1870) is celebrated under the disguise of “saving the planet,” which popular culture has taught is more important than anything, and we see it in our trashy schoolbooks, where math, science, history, writing, and classics are ignored, while the fads of the trash are mandated in schools.

These activists demand gross Keynesian economics of spending on infrastructure, and have no regard on how they will pay for this, including a request of forgiveness of all debt, thereby creating a massive “spending without responsibility,” thinking we are a massive credit card that by law they will pay our debt. Money does not grow on trees, and they want spending without paying for it. What lesson does this teach a generation? Spend even past being broke, and get away with it?

Other demands mandate “card check,” which is part of the Left's push to unionise the entire nation, which would likely include a ban on replacement workers and legalisation of closed shops. And of course, we have the sexual deviants, successfully imposing speech codes and replacing the military with an activist organisation pushing their agenda, who want to occupy America to impose marriage laws and adoption policies in their form, banning churches from anything.

Regardless of the agenda by separate activists in Occupy Wall Street and related left-wing events, it's clear they want a utopia reminiscent of the CCCP that will fail.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Las Vegas tragedy

I had just finished some housekeeping chores when I turned on our Vizio HDTV to our ESPN Broadcast affiliate and saw the IZOD IndyCar World Championship had been stopped for what was cleanup.

After finishing our Bible study tonight, on the drive home, I learned the horrifying tragedy of what happened, and saw what was clearly X-rated clips (violence) of the Bowers & Wilkins Honda flying into the catchfence. In the past three and a half years, we've seen fatal crashes in drag racing from various classes of cars flying into netting at the end of drag strips when cars are unable to slow down sufficiently in the sand trap. Now we've had another INDYCAR* fatality with a car flying into the catchfencing, open cockpit first.

The ultimate irony is that INDYCAR was criticised for a Nerf Bar (something that's seen on a NASCAR Modified) style tail for the new Dallara cars that will be used starting in March. After seeing the gruesome tragedy of today, maybe the Nerf Bars are a must. And the Nerf Bar may not be good on aerodynamics, but to prevent cars from flying is the most important issue. Wheel-to-wheel contact, regardless of it being an IndyCar, F1, GP2/3, Modified, or Formula Nippon (built in California), is the most dangerous because exposed wheels in contact with exposed wheels is easily grounds for launch. This bar may have prevented three cars from going airborne.

It was horrifying to see replays of what happened. Our thoughts and prayers go to the Wheldon family.

Réquiem ætérnam dona eis Dómine; et lux perpétua lúceat eis. Requiéscant in pace. Amen.

Let's Flash Back: 2005. 2011.

* The stylebook issued by Indy Racing League LLC states INDYCAR, the trade name of the IRL (the legal name of the organisation is Indy Racing League, LLC). All rule books posted by the organisation in regards to the sanctioning body has the name in all capital letters.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Retro TV Friday

I enjoy listening to talk radio, and often the catchy theme songs on the radio are some of the craziest you will hear. While many hosts will select various tunes they think are catchy theme songs, some are always stuck in your head, associated with the hosts. From "My City Was Gone" (Limbaugh), "Independence Day" (Hannity), "Heart of Rock and Roll" (Boortz), and the local radio talk show hosts, the themes are an integral part of any talk radio programme.

This was the theme song to a news/talk radio show from the mid-1990's. She responded, "Oh yeah. The opening to the show. Been awhile."

But it's Retro TV Friday. Why are you discussing old talk radio? There's a reason. In that time, I owned interest in CBS, including the CBS Cable operations. And I do miss the old Nashville Network, shut down by MTV after parent Paramount purchased CBS and sent the CBS Cable operations to MTV, allowing MTV to use the CBS Cable operations to shut down the outdoor and country channel in favour of a channel that sounds like it's a volleyball-talking channel but is an explicit adult channel.

This was the theme song to the radio talk show in question, as a performance on The Nashville Network's "Prime Time Country," with Gary Chapman hosting.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mr. Jobs' Eastern Mysticism: was he an advancer of the New Age cause in the nation?

There are some news cartoons that can go over the edge, and in some instance, they are highly inappropriate in light of Steve Jobs' death. One inappropriate cartoon I saw was one of Steve Jobs at the Pearly Gates with St. Peter -- and when I read his belief system and worldview was built in Buddhism, where he becomes dust after death, it was highly inappropriate to draw considering his worldview is built in a religion of nothingness, as I've learned is the view of Zen Buddhism, which he believed, and was married to his wife in a ceremony conducted by a Buddhist monk. Was one of Mr. Jobs' legacies the advancement of Eastern Mysticism to the point even today's Life Enhancement Centres are embracing such "contemplative spirituality" even in our houses of worship where we are supposed to study God's Word?

Forbes found this on his New Age beliefs:

Another perspective of Mr. Jobs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Opera Wednesday

Opera, as I've learned over the years, is a place where the fun and frolicking can happen. As I've learned from many a round of lessons from Dr. LaRoche in the decade past, we can have humour as I've shown my anger parodying Magda, and even Lauretta. Now the Seattle Opera Blog has found a humourous look at the life of opera. They asked the question, "What would Sevilla look like with Carmen and her friends were on a social networking site?" Oh, this one is funny and it makes us love our opera!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Three stories to steam

Sorry that I've been on the sickly side the past few days, I have not been able to write much thanks to falling ill and being busy at work, as you might expect.

The controversy over Gibson: All the attacks on Gibson aside, I remind myself that Gibson claims to be a victim of political contributions to opponents, which is true, but those who rally for Gibson forget that Gibson shut down the Baldwin piano plants in Arkansas in favour of opening plants in China. I remember the Baldwin pianos in my youth, and in the past five years, Gibson's idea of taking pianos to China and away from the States has now occurred. Where is the discussion of Gibson's piano plants now being in the PRC?

As for my take on Steve Jobs: Earlier this year, I noted how Apple has caused the demise of music stores and even bookstores to the easily manipulated portable file formats of readers such as the iPad and music players such iPod and iPhone concern me. Compression is nary a problem pop music because they do not have the quirks that perfectionists in classical music demand. Furthermore, we are not sitting there with 25-minute pieces (often 10-12 minutes a suite) in pop music when a song can start and finish in four minutes. As for the portable e-readers replacing books, the biggest concern has indeed come true with Amazon's advertiser-supported Kindles. Truly it can now be abused where you may read a conservative pamphlet and see ads for the 2012 campaign for President Obama, or read a Bible on the e-reader and see sexual deviant activists' push for their agenda come. Do "all your base belong to us," as the video game lore states, now?

The White House's recent launch of "We The People" to give citizens petition ideas has shown its Leftist colours. Some of the crazier ideas have included removing "God" from the Pledge and "In God We Trust" from currency, banning churches from tax-exempt status, ban coal mining, releasing drug offenders, legalising prostitution, redefining marriage to appease leftist activists, unemployment benefits for life, and banning the Bible from the country. We also have recognition and praise for those who are blockading Wall Street as another petition. What type of losers do we have on that site, trying to push every leftist cause? It's a dangerous utopia.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Steve Jobs, R.I.P.

Hullo there, remember me? I used to write for this blog from time to time.

I can't say whether or not this represents a permanent return to form, but I didn't want to be the only person in the Western world who hadn't commented on Steve Jobs' death.

Actually, I'm even cheating here, since all I'm really doing is linking to this fine piece by Philip Terzian at the Weekly Standard.  It speaks to me on several levels: the danger of sanctifying the dead, a trap into which we all fall at one time or another; my ambivilence at the technological revolution, which Jobs without a doubt spearheaded; and the ultimate question of how we treat the people with whom we interact.  Is it merely me, or is there a real irony in the fact that Jobs, who did so much through the iPad and the iPhone and the iPod to minimize actual human interaction, was apparently so bad at human interaction himself?  Chicken or egg?

Concludes Terzian, "It does take a genius of sorts to make technology adaptable to a mass market, and to persuade consumers they need to consume. But that is not quite the same as 'changing the world.' It is one thing to influence human behavior -- which might be said of figures as disparate as Sigmund Freud or Jesus -- but quite another to understand human behavior, and profit handsomely." 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cybersquatting by leftist activists on a presidential campaign, and poor Lacey Schwimmer . .

In January, I had the opportunity to participate at my fourteenth South Carolina Citizens for Life March for Life Weekend, with Rick Santorum as the keynote speaker at the event. Mr. Santorum is now officially registered as a Candidate for the Republican Nomination for the President of the United States.

The issue today is something more disturbing that came to my attention but uses the former Pennsylvania Senator who was defeated in the Pelosi Revolution that has led to the current economic crisis. If you type “Rick Santorum” on a search engine, one of the top three links will be to a sexually explicit site run by sexual deviant Dan Savage, best known for promoting his “anti-bullying” campaign, a cover for advancing sexual deviants’ agenda (it has successfully clinched in the 111th Congress both a speech code similar to “progressive” nations that makes the Bible criminal speech, forcing Dr. Laura Schlessinger to pay radio, which was a goal of liberals to throw her off public airwaves, and the elimination of the military, replacing it with the Special Rights Division of the Department of Social Engineering).

Recently, a Catholic minister I know from classical music events promoted Mr. Savage's social agenda on his social networking page, promoting sinful behaviours in violation of Romans 1, resulting in a phone call to the local Diocese, and the local church where he is employed, but they refused to discipline him for his promotion of sinful behaviour that violates doctrinal teachings (and it doesn't matter if it's Catholic or Protestant, sexual deviancy is a sin).

This form of cybersquatting will make people associate Mr. Santorum not to the Presidential candidate, pro-life advocate, and father, but to the explicitness of the sexual deviant activist Mr. Savage. Worse yet, the campaign in question has aggressively pushed the campaign for the deviants on network television during family-friendly programming, and it was responsible for pushing for the redefinition of marriage in many states, including the prohibition of Catholic and Protestant charities from running adoption agencies or foster homes as part of the banishment of faith through these new laws.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen inappropriate searches with common names in the news. A recent image search of a Daytona 500 champion and current Chase driver did not give me the gentleman in question, but of a teen actress few people know. This is a well-known celebrity it seems has been cybersquatted, and the person they show is not known by anyone outside of a few obscure places.

And don’t forget the number of times anyone wants to discuss the corrupt socialised medicine act, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a. k. a. ObamaCare, where searches will advance users to sites promoting the President and his propaganda.

Search engines are selling out to extreme left-wing causes, as we’ve seen with Mr. Santorum and the fight against socialised medicine. But when a Daytona 500 champion’s name can be abused too, this issue is over the edge. Penny Nance has a report on it.

And speaking of sexual deviants’ craziness, I agree with those who believe we should not watch the local version of Strictly Come Dancing. Pity poor Lacey Schwimmer, who has to be partnered with a woman this season. Ballroom dancing is for people of the opposite sex. What is Disney doing? Ron and Diane Miller have seen the betrayal of her father’s company from the start, and this shows what is truly crazy, considering too that the show’s producer, the BBC, has just banned “Before Christ” and “Anno Domini”. Next?
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