Reason Morning Links: Gates Announces DoD Cuts, Russian Heat Wave, Mayor Levi?

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  • Take Care of THIS!||

    How soon until the Russian heat wave is claimed as more evidence of global warming even though we were told during the winter that one bad season isn't evidence of a global trend?

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    Ah, I see they've already started

  • Politically Homeless||

    How many thousands of people need to die in order for climate change to be considered a trend?

  • ||

    I don't know. Did people never die from weather events before 1988?

  • ||

    No. No one died in weather-related events before 1988.
    Next question.

  • Politically Homeless||

    Are imbecile questions your forte?

  • ||

    Is complete lack of understand of statistics and trends and the meaning of a single event yours?

  • Politically Homeless||

    No.

    If you must know, being a complete pain in the ass bitch is my forte.

    You're going to have to do better than stupid quips if you want to deal with me, but I look forward to kicking your ass, so it's all good.

  • ||

    Yes because ranting obscenities like a 12 year old who just learned new words is definitely the way to win an argument.

  • ||

    "Whatever" was funnier.

  • The Gobbler||

    HELLO SHIT FACKTORY!

  • MNG||

    Gobble gobble!

    Mom "busy" again gobby? Computer all to yourself...

  • Politically Homeless||

    Understand this John-

    'Death Map' Study: Heat Waves Kill More Than Any Other Natural Disaster

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/e.....s-47121801

    There is even a pretty graph

  • ||

    Damn, it's cold.

  • ||

    Exposure to cold kills vastly more people than just about anything else. Thing is, cold deaths rarely happen in large, multi-day, sexy media events.

  • ||

    Come on, Timon. We all know that heat-related deaths will go down once a carbon tax makes it much more expensive for people on fixed incomes to run their AC during peak temperature events. That's just common sense.

  • Politically Homeless||

    Not true. Heat waves kill more people, sever weather kills more people too.

    http://www.thedailygreen.com/e.....s-47121801

  • ||

    "Severe weather"...what the fuck? That could be anything from blizzard to tornado.

  • ||

    In that graph, tornadoes and flooding are NOT severe weather. What the everliving fuck?

  • ||

    AND, douchebag, this is a survey restricted entirely to the US.

  • Politically Homeless||

    OooOOOOoo. Someone doesn't like getting their facts checked.

  • ||

    In that graph, tornadoes and flooding are NOT severe weather. What the everliving fuck?

    Well, flooding isn't really weather. The rain that caused it is. What if a dam breaks? Is that suddenly severe weather, huh smart guy?

    Tornadoes though....*shrug*

  • Politically Homeless||

    "Well, flooding isn't really weather."

    I would expect to be called a name for pointing that out.

  • marlok||

    http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/hazstats/sum09.pdf

    Looks like rip currents killed more than heat waves in the US last year. Also, while heat waves killed 45, lightning killed 34. Be careful out there.

  • ||

    I'd contend that the number of dam breaches is small enough to render the number of deaths from same quite statistically small.

    Using a US study as a proxy for the world is pretty fucking disingenuous, too.

  • ||

    How many thousands of people need to die in order for climate change to be considered a trend?

    If you consider that many more lives have been saved from cold related stuff (freezing to death, icy road accidents, etc.), climate change could actually be considered a blessing.

  • Brett L||

    Stop using logic. Like eye contact, it only enrages them and causes them to fling poo.

  • Politically Homeless||

    Climate change is actually a constant in earth's history, and its impacts have been both beneficial and devastating, creating extinctions and conditions for evolution at the same time. If humans will be able to adapt remains to be seen.

  • Suki||

    See recent comments by Dr. Stephen Hawking.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    If massive wealth destruction is part of this adaptation, I'd rather be a late-adopter. Or adapter. Whatever.

  • Fluffy||

    Considering the fact that humans already have adapted to literally every climate present on Earth, I don't think that will be a problem.

  • MNG||

    You don't care that some people's property will be damaged by the actions of others? They should just "adapt", eh?

    Interesting...

  • ||

    Only if you can draw an absolute causality. And only if you can hold everyone who is responsible responsible. So, no, debatable science and crying "externality" doesn't give you to right to put everyone into poverty. Nice try though.

  • MNG||

    We shouldn't take steps to stop some people's actions from harming others and their property because we can't determine the exact proportion of harm for each violator?

    If we had many polluters on a river and people and property downstream were being harmed, we could not put restrictions on all the polluters to stop and prevent that harm? Only if we could calculate the exact proportion of harm from each polluter? WTF?

  • ||

    "If we had many polluters on a river and people and property downstream were being harmed, we could not put restrictions on all the polluters to stop and prevent that harm?"

    In fantasy land maybe, but not in reality. CO2 emissions are not linear. It is not like if the US consigns itself to third world poverty and China and India go merely on into wealth that warming will be any less. Either all the developed nations do it, or it doesn't do any good.

    You only want the US to do "something" that you know as well as I do will do no good, because you really do want the country to be poor. Nailing the bubbas to the cross of poverty and deprivation will no doubt make you feel better. And in the end that desire explains every policy you have ever advocated.

  • MNG||

    I think international cooperation is a huge obstacle to any plan actually, and until it is solved I would not be for unilaterally disarming so to speak.

    But that doesn't answer the question of whether the US, along with other developed nations, SHOULD do this to protect people and their property.

  • ||

    We shouldn't take steps to stop some people's actions from harming others and their property because we can't determine the exact proportion of harm for each violator?

    Actually what we should do is a cost-benefit analysis of both doing nothing and attempting to mitigate climate change exogenously. Tell me what the cost of doing nothing is and the associated probabilities and then we can look at the cost of various carbon tax schemes and the loss to everyone's standard of living. Then we can debate which is the rational path to follow. We should do it regardless of whether climate change is anthropogenic or not. But that is never going to happen when politics is driving policy.

  • MNG||

    "Actually what we should do is a cost-benefit analysis of both doing nothing and attempting to mitigate climate change exogenously."

    So if some people's liberty and property gets messed up by others actions its ok as long as the overall welfare would be maximized? How wonderfully utilitarian of you pareto!

    Being a utilitarian I actually agree with what you say, in fact every bit of it...

  • hmm||

    That was a pretty big stretch. You went from, "We should look at the situation as thoroughly as possible before acting." to "We should act in a utilitarian manner." As far as critical reasoning goes the assumptions needed to make that leap are just a tad fucking huge.

  • MNG||

    Er, that's what utilitarianism is dude. A key component is to look at all the future consequences of an act and do a cost-benefit analysis.

  • Yonemoto||

    who decides what costs are costs and what benefits are benefits?

  • hmm||

    I know what utilitarianism is, you seemed to assume that is what was being advocated by making a pretty large leap. When all that was being advocated is action based on thorough examination. Not utilitarian action based on through examination. You totally ignored the do nothing option.

  • ||

    So if some people's liberty and property gets messed up by others actions its ok as long as the overall welfare would be maximized? How wonderfully utilitarian of you pareto!

    Call me swill. And I am not suggesting that anyone who is deprived of liberty or property should not be compensated when it can be shown there is a tort. I am suggesting that Coase has already thought that through and so should you. And that rhymes.

  • hmm||

    How many people did it take getting mullet haircuts before it was a trend?

    I'd say about the same number.

  • AA||

    +1

  • Atanarjuat||

    On Whale Wars*, they saw a large Antarctic iceberg at a surprisingly northern latitude. The crew members attributed it to global warming, because warmer temps cause more calving or something. But, that out of place iceberg could just as easily have been proof of global cooling if you wanted it to.

    *It's stupid and slow-paced, but addictive.

  • ||

    What is those people's deal? Do they think whales are people to? They don't hunt endangered whales anymore. So what is the beef? Are they all radical vegetarians? If so, why aren't they doing feedlot wars?

  • MNG||

    Haven't you seen Star Trek IV John? You know, the funny one? Jesus!

  • ||

    They are saving the earth I guess.

  • tarran||

    Now say 'Nuclear Wessels'

  • Yonemoto||

    I thought Star Trek V was the funny one. (Or 7. Wasn't there a swear word in that one?)

  • ||

    Double Dumbass on you! (from IV)

  • Atanarjuat||

    They're crazy as shit. I bet many are vegetarians though, which is at least consistent.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    That's not so bad. My issue is with the militant vegans. They're taking over my neighborhood.

  • Brett L||

    Freeze meatballs and get a slingshot.

  • Ska||

    Reminds of PCU a bit.

  • ||

    Meat tossers!

  • JJ||

    Heh, that's a good one. :)

    On second thought, there go all the meatballs. Perhaps frozen baby tomatoes instead?

  • Politically Homeless||

    Warmer temps do cause more calving. Learn something today-

    Arctic Sea Ice 101 (4:29)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m-M37vc-m0

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    In 1962, an island twice that size calved off the same glacier. Was that caused by global warming, too? Glaciers calve islands. That is how they work. New snow and ice pushes old snow and ice into lower elevations where it breaks off or melts.

  • Politically Homeless||

    1) Global warming has been going on for decades- it's an ongoing process.

    2)The ice isn't being replenished with enough new snow hence new calving is increasing due to weaker/thinner ice. The ice at both poles is retreating, as are glaciers. This is a fact.

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    [citation needed]

  • Politically Homeless||

    NASA ok?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQTVF29Skmw

    http://climate.nasa.gov/

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    Arctic ice volume has increased by 25% from May 27, 2008 to May 29, 2010. Try again, troll.

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    And look at this chart from your own NASA link. Arctic sea ice has been INCREASING since 2007. Nice fail, troll.

  • Politically Homeless||

    That chart shows an increase in a handful of years to bring the MINIMUM ice back up to levels still below that of the 90s. Read the little note under it:

    "September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 11.2 percent per decade, relative to the 1979 to 2000 average."

    That increase still leaves the ice below average.

    Go ahead and ignore the rest of the data on that NASA page like the decrease in land ice.

    Denying reality to piss off liberals- not a winning strategy.

  • ||

    But, the trend may be reversing, meaning we don't need cap & trade rationing because we're going back to wherever normal is. Where is normal, by the way? What is the ideal global temp we're aiming for? And says who? The temperature is always too hot or too cold for someone, and that's just in my office at work.

  • Politically Homeless||

    I don't support cap and trade, btw, so I'm not biting on that line.

    If you can show me the trend reversing over multiple AGW indicators, I'd love to see it. Temporary reverses in particular indicators (like ice) haven't reversed the overall trend.

  • ||

    No, NASA is not ok.

  • Brett L||

    So that would be like, a negative feed back, right? Warmer temps causes ice to break off and transfers heat to the ice to melt it? You're aware that the heat of fusion (or melting) of water 338 kj/kg, while the specific heat of liquid water is 4.18 kj/(kg*K). So 1 kg of ice turning to liquid cools almost 100kg of water by 1 degree C.

    Its almost like there was a self-stabilizing mechanism seen in all natural damping systems.

  • hmm||

    I don't think cows really care what temperature it is when they give birth. I think the decision is more process driven than conscience decision.

  • ||

    +:-)

  • AA||

    "but physics trumps mans laws every time."

    They are attemtping to get around that one too.

  • AA||

    "but physics trumps mans laws every time."

    They are attemtping to get around that one too.

  • AA||

    Holy double post. I am post while at work for the DHS. I don't think Napolitano would like that.

  • hmm||

    It's hilarious when they get rammed and then complain that this giant ship didn't try to avoid them. It' the old the smaller boat has the right of way, but physics trumps mans laws every time.

  • MNG||

    Seems like someone needs G. K. Chersterton's quote on the difference between power and authority... He's a conservative so it's ok hmmm!

  • Brett L||

    So we should just ignore the protestors' lack of authority because they're trying to impose their ethic, but lack the power? I'm confused.

  • MNG||

    My post was based on the proposed rule of the sea that the smaller boat has the right of way.

  • cynical||

    Doesn't that rule also suggest that the smaller vessel can't use that right in bad faith to deliberately obstruct other vessels?

  • BeltwayLurker||

    joe is MNG now.

  • hmm||

    I always thought it was more akin to stupidity and common sense.

    Or Don Quixote, but at least he was insane or not insane and just living in his own world.

    You mean this quote from Chesterton? Professor MNG.
    "Though the academic authorities are actually proud of conducting everything by means of Examinations, they seldom indulge in what religious people used to describe as Self-Examination. The consequence is that the modern State has educated its citizens in a series of ephemeral fads.

    To be honest I know jack and shit about Chesterton.

  • MNG||

    If a rhinoceros were to enter this resteraunt now, there is no denying he would have great power here. But I would be the first to rise and assure him that he had no authority whatever.

  • hmm||

    That needs to end with, and I would be gored to death while those that didn't piss off the animal the size of a truck, with a giant horn, had rhino burgers the next day.

    There's a distinct difference between bravery and stupidity. And no it is not always in the eye of the beholder.

  • hmm||

    BTW, Two "m's" not three. Two. One two. I know not who this mysterious hmmm is.

  • #||

    What they are missing is that Russia is NOT having a heat wave. WESTERN Russia is having a heat wave. Eastern Russia has had a colder than nromal winter.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/01/kold-in-kazakhstan/

  • #||

    summer that is

  • ||

    No one cares about EASTERN Russia.

  • ||

    If you call it Siberia, some people will care.

  • ||

    Permafrost don't burn, though.

  • Suki||

    Eastern Russia suffers from Climate Change.

  • hmm||

    Think of the Russian bears.

    Oh god that was punish.

  • Politically Homeless||

    That's the thing about weather (not climate). Certain localities can go against the trend, but despite these anomalies, the data shows climate change is real.

  • Suki||

    It is only weather when nobody gets hurt.

  • ||

    Hey, who took my glaciers?? I was mostly covered with mile thick ice, and it receded long before the first capitalists walked the earth. WTF?

  • hmm||

    You mean weather has running average? Who'd a thunk it.

  • kinnath||

    It's only a matter of time until the next ice age arrives.

  • Politically Homeless||

    I agree, unless you're being facetious.

  • ||

    I bet you think the earth is flat, too.

  • The Gobbler||

    Some parts are. North Dakota for example.

  • Politically Homeless||

    +1

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    Awwww, the troll is too stupid to see when someone is making fun of him. Poor guy.

  • Politically Homeless||

    Are you talking to me? I didn't realize denying science was a libertarian principle, and if that's the case, then I guess I'm a troll.

    But because I accept the science of global warming doesn't equate accepting the "solutions" the left has offered. I have far different ideas than they.

    And with that- I need to take care of more important matters, but I do hope that the notion that accepting the science but not the solutions will give you enough food for thought you'll look at some of the links I provided. Good day.

  • BeltwayLurker||

    You are Ronald Bailey.

  • Politically Homeless||

    P.S. Am I a troll at this site for accepting evolution too? Just curious.

  • ||

    Well, it's clear that you're at the very least an interloper, as you'd realize that just about everyone here, including John and His Merry Band of Conservatarians accept evolution.

  • ||

    I'm not sure I like to be called merry.

  • Politically Homeless||

    So peer reviewed science is acceptable on the one hand (evolution), but not accepted on the other (climate change).

    What am I missing? Or is it the conflation of science and solutions that is the problem here?

  • ||

    I think we're missing the peer review.

  • Politically Homeless||

    Then you should look harder, Nick.

  • Politically Homeless||

    The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

    The drafting of such reports and statements involves many opportunities for comment, criticism, and revision, and it is not likely that they would diverge greatly from the opinions of the societies' members. Nevertheless, they might downplay legitimate dissenting opinions. That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords "climate change".

    The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.

    Source:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686

  • Pip||

    PILTDOWN MAN ARFARFARFARFARF!!!

  • Almanian||

    The science is settled. Right? Right??

  • ||

    http://online.wsj.com/article/.....TWhatsNews

    US productivity dropped last quarter. We are really fucked. Productivity should be going up in times of high unemployment as firms cut back and work their existing workers. It looks like the political class' dream of destroying the economy and the American way of life is within sight.

  • #||

    actually this is normal... productivity has been surging for the past year up until Q2. This happens durring the earlier parts of output expansion, which has been happening since mid 2009. It is normal that after a year of huge productivity gains that it comes to a standstill for a while. At this point firms normally will have to start hiring again. This productivity phenomena is why GDP recovery always happens before employment recovery. Assuming washington hasnt/ will not screw everything up (not likely) normal hiring patterns are likely to soon return.

  • ||

    That makes sense. I don't follow these things as closely as I once did.

  • hmm||

    I don't know how confident I am in the voracity of the correlation between productivity and a labor recovery. Given the political climate I'm worried that companies may prefer a much safer constant rate or view their previous rate as a ceiling to expansion. Which means labor may or may not recover significantly.

    It seems like a lot of businesses are taking a defensive stance. I hope I'm wrong.

  • ||

    My company needs more long term people badly, and yet we're not hiring anyone because the board is quarter watching expenses. Yay.

  • MNG||

    "Levi Johnston to run for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska."

    I hear he will refudiate out of wedlock births!

  • waffles||

    that word, refudiate, modern day shakespear-like skills of wordcrafting it is

  • Eff||

    Because if you're not at least average, eff you!

  • Politically Homeless||

    Levi Johnston to run for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska desperately seeks more needless attention.

    Levi's giving that spencer pratt idiot a run for his money.

  • MNG||

    If only Palin could run this nation as well as she has her family!

  • ||

    I know. Last I heard her husband ran off to Spain and left her alone on her birthday. What a horrible dysfunctional marriage she must have.

  • The Gobbler||

    You know what pisses me off? Not that Mama O vacationed in Spain for big bucks, but the fact when she was called on it, she used the excuse that it was to comfort a friend whose mother had just died.

    What a crock of shit.

  • MNG||

    Sorry John, if the right has taught us anything over the past few decades, it is the primacy of the problem of out of wedlock births!

  • ||

    Yeah, because it is the parents fault every daughter who gets knocked up.

    You really show just horrible people the Left are. You don't know anything about Palin or her family. But you make awful comments anyway because she is considered a political enemy. Since she is on the other side, no comment is beneath making.

    It really is easy to see why Leftist from 1789 have found it so easy to murder and imprison so many people. You can see the mentality behind it, albeit in a more benign for, in nearly comment you make.

  • MNG||

    Sorry John, family values candidates that have messed up family situations get called out...No amount of winking and dropping your g's can cover that up...

  • ||

    "Sorry John, family values candidates that have messed up family situations get called out."

    How do you know she has a messed up family? You have never met any of them. So what, her daughter got pregnant. That could have happened to any of us who had sex before marriage, which is to say everyone. That doesn't mean her family is messed up. It means her daughter had bad luck and made a bad choice of men. God knows that never happens.

    You just say it is messed up because you are awful. Because of her political consciousness, you don't view Palin as a human being. She is instead something less. Something to be held in contempt for which no treatment is too bad. That is why people end up in ovens when people like you ever get real power.

  • MNG||

    Her daughter got knocked up by a kid who then went on to pose for Playgirl magazine and then months later they announced their coming wedding to a tv audience...That's messed up.

  • ||

    Her teenage daughter slept with a prettyboy bad child. God that never happens. Al Gore's kid got caught drunk doing over a 100 mph down M street. That sounds a lot more messed up than fucking the wrong pretty boy. And no one ever said a word about it. Because, the media is run by people like you. And in their minds Al Gore is a human being and his family is entitled to deference. Palin is not a human being.

    You really belong to a sick ideology.

  • MNG||

    So do you refudiate folks like Ann Coulter who say that we need to revive the stigma associated with out-of-wedlock pregnancy?

  • ||

    Heavens no, guys born to single mothers are our job security!

  • ||

    No. I don't think what other people do is any of my business. I realize that is a foreign concept. But you might try it sometime.

  • MNG||

    So you refudiate the whol conservative meme of stigmatizing out of wedlock and teenage births that the right pushed for decades?

    Just so we can get you record...

  • ||

    "So you refudiate the whol conservative meme of stigmatizing out of wedlock and teenage births that the right pushed for decades?"

    Yeah dumb ass. I am not a social conservative. Unlike you I actually think for myself and don't get my daily talking points from above. What makes you think that I am some big social conservative? I hate Huckabee. And if you look hard enough, you find me ranting on here about Ashcroft back in the day.

  • MNG||

    Well, it't not the left that fostered the "stigmatize out-of-wedlock births" meme for the past few decades, but the right. Now it comes back to bite it's current darling on her cute lil' behind...

  • ||

    She has never said shit about out of wedlock births and stigmatization. You just project it on her because you are an ignorant hate filled asshole.

  • Fluffy||

    No, John.

    Because Palin is a fundie piece of crap who appeals to other fundie pieces of crap, we are actually perfectly free to judge her personally.

    Like all fundtards, she was campaigning for the opportunity to sit in judgement of others and to offer them moral instruction. And it's as fucking old as the Socratic dialogues to point out that if politicians are going to claim to be effective moral teachers, we have the right to examine the moral quality of the people over whom they have the most direct and immediate influence.

    If these fundtards actually could supply the moral leadership they claim they can offer, their children should be paragons of virtue. If they aren't, then something is definitely wrong with that politician's claim to the mantle of moral leadership.

  • ||

    "Because Palin is a fundie piece of crap who appeals to other fundie pieces of crap, we are actually perfectly free to judge her personally."

    That is funny. She is not a fundie. She goes to church. But she has never been a big "values" candidate. I have never heard her say one word about out of wedlock marriage or any of the issues that are important to real evangelicals like Huckabee campaign on.

    If you can find such statements by her that indicate otherwise, please link to them. And Fluffy you are worse than MNG. Think about the bile you are spewing about people you don't know and have never met.

    You are so irrational and full of hatred, you just assume that Palin is some kind of evangelical because you hate her and she just must be. It is just sad. You are not a stupid person. But you have gotten so involved in the culture war and are so beholden to Leftist culture and values that it has infected your judgment.

    Honestly, do you really think sitting around judging people's families and minor children is the way to be? Yeah, people who do that. And you claim to hate them. Yet, you are even worse. I have never heard the craziest evangelical speak with the kind of irrational hatred you do. You make them seem like tolerant reasonable people. Yet you are convinced it is them who are intolerant. Project much?

  • Pip||

    "That is funny. She is not a fundie. She goes to church. But she has never been a big "values" candidate. I have never heard her say one word about out of wedlock marriage or any of the issues that are important to real evangelicals like Huckabee campaign on."

    I was thinking the same thing. I don't recall her saying anything about social issues.

  • Fluffy||

    She ran for Vice President on the GOP platform, didn't she?

    She talked about "restoring a God-fearing America" didn't she?

    Nothing and no one is beyond judgement, John.

    What you want is for it to be OK to walk around campaigning for "real American family values" but for it to be out of bounds to look for the results of your expertise on the subject in the place where those results can most easily and readily be found.

    And that makes you no better than some Kos person whining about how it's not fair to consider the energy use of Nancy Pelosi's plane travel when talking about an energy bill.

    "You've gotten so involved in the culture war" blah blah blahdy blah blah. No, John. Like I told you above, the definitive rebuttal to the claim that politicians can impart moral virtue to their polities was already voiced almost 2400 years ago. If I'm a dick about it, it's because 2400 years have passed and this bitch Palin still hasn't clued in.

    My hatreds are all perfectly rational, John. OK, maybe not my hatred of Thai food. But most of them.

  • Fluffy||

    By the way, I am a political pluralist but not a personal pluralist. The two are immensely different.

  • ||

    "She ran for Vice President on the GOP platform, didn't she?

    She talked about "restoring a God-fearing America" didn't she?"

    So she is no different than Huckabee? That is just crazy. Not every in the person in the Republican party is an evangelical. And you can't come up with one link to a statement about Palin saying shit about unwed mothers or family values or anything. You just project all of your hatred for the designated other on her. I mean Jesus Fluffy, why don't you just buy a goat and slit its throat in your back yard. That method of working through your kind of issues seemed to work okay for the ancients.

  • Fluffy||

    Googling "Sarah Palin Family Values" gives you about a billion blogger hits and very few original source documents or transcripts.

    I do know that I've seen video of Palin holding hands with a witch-burner and praying for the strength to fight witches, so I think I'm safe in believing that she is in fact some kind of evangelical.

    It really kind of boggles my mind that your defense here is that Sarah Palin doesn't purport to stand for quote-unquote family values. Are you saying that you're willing to stipulate that for all time?

  • ||

    "It really kind of boggles my mind that your defense here is that Sarah Palin doesn't purport to stand for quote-unquote family values. Are you saying that you're willing to stipulate that for all time?"

    I am saying that she is not an evangelical in any significant way and has never claimed to be anything but a political Christian. And I am saying that she has never made an issue out of stigmitizing out of wedlock births or said shit about other people's families.

    If you can find me a quote from her where she talks about the need for parents to control their kids and for kids to keep their legs closed, then you might have a point. But even then so what? I think stealing is a really bad thing. I will gladly preach about the evils of dishonesty and stealing. And how people who do it are shit bags.

    But if I someday have a kid who ignores all of my injunctions about theft and knocks over a gas station, does that make me a hypocrite? I don't see how. It just means I had the misfortune of raising a stupid kid. Maybe that is my fault or maybe it is not. But unless you know me and my kid really well, you can't say that.

    Maybe Palin is a horrible mother and her neglected daughter got pregnant because of something Palin did. It is possible. But neither you or I know that or can comment on it in any intelligent way. In the end, there may be good reasons to dislike Palin. But her kid getting knocked up just isn't one of them, even if she is some sort of family values person. Gee, her kid didn't live up to the things that taught to her. Like that never happens.

    In the end it is ridiculous that you, the person who claims that Palin is the devil incarnate, is so desperate to criticize her that you have to stoop to going after her family. You would have a lot more credibility when you do criticize her for other things if you would admit the obvious in this case.

  • Fluffy||

    But if I someday have a kid who ignores all of my injunctions about theft and knocks over a gas station, does that make me a hypocrite?

    That's not the issue at all. [It wouldn't make you a hypocrite, by the way.]

    Here's the issue:

    "Values" candidates are inherently claiming that they can employ the power of government or the bully pulpit of their offices to improve citizens morally.

    If these candidates are, in fact, able to do that - use their leadership skills to impart moral virtue - then it follows that their children should be virtuous. They have greater access to their children, and more opportunity to impart their wisdom and guidance to their children, then they will ever have over anyone else.

    Therefore, if their children aren't virtuous [and I'm using the term here as a family-values person would employ it - I don't necessarily think that a teenager who becomes pregnant is "unvirtuous", but the Christians sure as shit do] then this proves that the politician can not, in fact, provide the moral leadership they're claiming.

    That's pretty much it, John.

    And yeah, to make that point you have to talk about the person's kids. Oh well. As long as it's factual, I don't see their grounds for complaint here.

  • Fluffy||

    But her kid getting knocked up just isn't one of them, even if she is some sort of family values person. Gee, her kid didn't live up to the things that taught to her. Like that never happens.

    Dude, the part where you say "like that never happens" is a rebuttal of the claim that it's possible to impart "family values" in the way "family values" politicians claim.

    That's the whole point. That's the whole reason to bring it up.

    In fact, here we are touching on one of the reasons that people like Palin annoy me: despite the fact that it's so obvious that they can't do what they claim to want to try to do that you knock it off as a truism - "like that never happens" - they keep right on doing it.

  • ||

    "Dude, the part where you say "like that never happens" is a rebuttal of the claim that it's possible to impart "family values" in the way "family values" politicians claim."

    That is insane. People still steal. But it is still a really good idea for society to say that it is a bad thing and to discourage it. Teenagers are always going to get pregnant sometimes. That doesn't mean we shouldn't admit that it is generally a bad idea. And I am quite sure Palin would freely admit her daughter was a dingbat for getting pregnant.

    But that fact, doesn't mean that either Palin or her daughter are bad people or give douchbags like MNG or anyone else the right to say without evidence that her "family is messed up".

    It has nothing to do with Palin. I would and should say the same thing if the debate were about Chelsea Clinton. There is a level of human decency everyone ought to follow.

  • ||

    "Dude, the part where you say "like that never happens" is a rebuttal of the claim that it's possible to impart "family values" in the way "family values" politicians claim."

    That is insane. People still steal. But it is still a really good idea for society to say that it is a bad thing and to discourage it. Teenagers are always going to get pregnant sometimes. That doesn't mean we shouldn't admit that it is generally a bad idea. And I am quite sure Palin would freely admit her daughter was a dingbat for getting pregnant.

    But that fact, doesn't mean that either Palin or her daughter are bad people or give douchbags like MNG or anyone else the right to say without evidence that her "family is messed up".

    It has nothing to do with Palin. I would and should say the same thing if the debate were about Chelsea Clinton. There is a level of human decency everyone ought to follow.

  • Fluffy||

    No, John, it's not insane.

    Let's say that Palin said she had a plan to get the schools to teach kids to fly by flapping their arms.

    FLUFFY: "Governor Palin, you've had Bristol around for 16 years and she ain't flying yet!"

    PALIN: "STOP ATTACKING MY FAMILY!"

    JOHN: "Fluffy you are so full of irrational hatred!"

    Come on.

  • ||

    "Let's say that Palin said she had a plan to get the schools to teach kids to fly by flapping their arms."

    That is a stupid example. Suppose her big thing was childhood obeseity and her daughter turned out to be a porker. The fact that her daughter ignored her advice and chose to be a porker anyway, doesn't mean that she is wrong that we ought not to stuff our kids with fatty foods. It just means her daughter, like many children, ignored her parents.

    You really are insane when it comes to Palin. You are incapable of having a rational conversation about it.

  • Fluffy||

    The fact that her daughter ignored her advice and chose to be a porker anyway, doesn't mean that she is wrong that we ought not to stuff our kids with fatty foods. It just means her daughter, like many children, ignored her parents.

    It would definitely mean that she had no grounds for holding herself out as someone who could impart the virtue of not eating fatty foods, though.

    It's a little amusing to me that you're accusing me of being unable to have a rational conversation when we're basically acting out the Protagoras here, with me as Socrates and you as Protagoras.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protagoras_(dialogue)

  • Politically Homeless||

    Sarah also supports intelligent design.

  • ||

    The adults are talking here. There are intelligent and interesting people worth conversing with on this blog. You are not one of them. You are just a fucking troll and you are messing up the thread and the conversation and adding nothing. So STFU and stop using your mother's computer. She probably needs it for something.

  • Politically Homeless||

    John- ad hominem is the last resort of those with no argument to present or the inability to form an argument in the first place.

  • Almanian||

    Politically Homeless|8.10.10 @ 12:30PM|#
    Sarah also supports intelligent design.

    As someone who works in mfg, I support "intelligent design" of stuff.

    Oh, you mean the whole Scopes Momnkey Trial redux thing...whatever. But intelligent design in stuff is definitely a good idea.

  • ||

    Only if the witches were made of wood, or floated, or were ducks, or...oh hell...

  • ||

    Dear Leader would even deny health care to babies who survive our best efforts. How's that for morals?

  • Politically Homeless||

    Don't back down, Fluffy.

    Sarah doesn't support science (like fruit fly research that helps babies like hers)- that's the mark of a fundie if ever there was one.

  • ||

    I would have paid to have my grandchild killed rather than born out of wedlock. We leftists are superior people.

  • Too bad||

    you were born before Roe v Wade..

  • ||

    If only she liked to rub Central Planning Hot Sauce on her butthole, she'd be able to control what grown ups do.

  • The Gobbler||

    I would like to subscribe to your news letter.

  • ||

    Yes, Palin has done a horrible job of running the country. Right you are, chief.

  • MNG||

    No, just her family...

  • be-boppin||

    Yes! She must rule with an iron fist. If you want to get married into the Palin family, prepare to subjugate yourself to Sarah's rule!

    I now see how you view the family and the state.

  • Almanian||

    Now I'm confused - when did Palin's family start runnin' the country? I thought it was BoooooooooooooooooooSH and Cheeeeeeney?

    No? Did I miss something?

  • BeltwayLurker||

    Tell that to Hillery.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    For Aphrodite Georgakopoulos, 16, the no-D policy means she will have to work a lot harder to avoid summer school again. She is repeating world history and Algebra 2 after getting lazy about assignments or just giving up in frustration, she said.

    "It's not like I can't do it; it's just that I won't push myself," she said. "I don't know why. I need someone to be constantly on top of me, making sure I do everything."

    This person does not belong in school.

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    But, but, but... every American has the RIGHT to go to college. It's right there in the Constitution.

  • MNG||

    Well, a lot of states do have a right to a k-12 education in their constitutions...

  • Subsidize Me!||

    A right to "education" is somewhat different than forcing kids to waste their teachers' time and taxpayer money.

    Let the little runt out into the workforce. She will wise up quickly.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Meant to add: she belongs in Greece.

  • ||

    Not right now. Wouldn't that person be better off working? I bet they would be happier if they could get a job. And their parents would be happier to as they contributed to rent.

    But to make a common sense decision like that would require us to admit that that person lives for himself. And that isn't the case. His purpose in life right now is to go to school so that he can help provide jobs to the teachers' union. It is their world now. We just live in it.

  • ||

    "D's are simply not useful in society," said Larrie Reynolds, the Mount Olive superintendent, who led the campaign against D's as a way to raise the bar and motivate students to work harder. "It's a throwaway grade. No one wants to hire a D-anything, so why would we have D-students and give them credit for it?"

    They already got rid of "E." Now they want to get rid of "D" too? I guess they'll be going after "C" next.

  • ||

    WTF? I missed that aspect of the story. Fuck...

  • Subsidize Me!||

    My GPA for my senior year of high school was ~1.0.

    My school didn't have F's. I had lots of E's.

  • ||

    I graduated with a 1.69 GPA, ranked 460 out of 530. And I was bored out of my mind the entire time.

  • The Gobbler||

    2.05 GPA and about 100th in a class of 200. But I scored the second highest in my class on the SAT's.

  • ||

    I was sleeping with our class valedictorian. She was pretty hot for a smart girl.

  • MNG||

    You once slept with girls SF? What happened?

  • ||

    So there's something wrong with gay people? Are they sinners, MNG? Or just objects of scorn for the po-faced progressives and their protestations of pro-tolerance?

    You used to just be a moron, now we know you're a bigoted moron as well.

  • MNG||

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with you folks. I even think you should be able to marry!

  • ||

    That intensive two-week PhD online program at the University of Phoenix really worked out for you, didn't it?

  • BakedPenguin||

    I quit HS in the 10th grade with an F (0.33) average. This was somewhat unfair, as I was actually making an A in one class where I got along with the teacher.

  • ||

    Jeez. Even I got out of 9th grade with two Ds and an A.

  • ||

    I am appalled at your lack of educational achievements. All of you. I had a 3.9 GPA in high school, and graduated 14th in my class.

    No, it was college where I began to lack educational achievement on your levels. I think the weed helped. Or would that be didn't help?

  • ||

    I was just flat out bored. I mostly just read all day in class and did great on the tests.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Epi - I was just the opposite (although not quite as good) - I had a B+ average in college, and when I got my Master's.

    When I found that they treated people like adults in college, I decided to act like one.

  • The Gobbler||

    ^^THIS^^

    I failed high school chemistry even though I aced the final. The teacher said he failed me because I didn't do the homework. My position was that it was obvious I didn't need to.

  • C||

    First they came for the E's and I said nothing...

  • ||

    Actually, they have A, B, C, and F.

    I've never decided whether E's were the result of warm fuzzy types trying to avoid the initial for "Failed" or chain-smoking COBOL programmers too lazy to write an extra IF statement.

  • ||

    They've had Es at Ohio State forever. And I doubt it has much to do with warm fuzziness so much as with ease of use/programming, back when things were much less computerized.

  • ||

    Prepared to be shocked: Interesting story in Slate about the history of lettered grades.

    (The "Interesting story in Slate" is the shocking part.)

  • ||

    Based on my wife's experience at a rather good private school, this is becoming a much more prominent attitude in this generation (both the laziness and the very candid "acceptance" of it, coupled with the throwing up of hands).

    On another note, that's one of the best Greek names of all time. You'd think that with a name like Aphrodite, she might be hot (or grow up to become so).

  • Subsidize Me!||

    She's a stripper in the making.

  • ||

    Apparently her parents thought she was when she was born. Back when I was a kid I thought girls with goddess names were automatically hot, until I ran into an Athena whose butt rolled when she walked and scratched her crotch roughly every 90 seconds.

  • ||

    Yeah, but isn't Athena the Goddess of War? She'd kick your ass, I bet. Hotness is usually detrimental to ass-kicking.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Is there a goddess of crotch-scratching? I think I've seen horrifically realistic visions of her on the Metro.

  • ||

    Are you saying Master Whedon has been lying to me all this time?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, but isn't Athena the Goddess of War?

    Part of her portfolio, but it also included wisdom and civilization.

  • The Gobbler||

    Why did she scratch her crotch roughly? And did she snort when she did it?

  • ||

    No, she wasn't Lorraine from MadTV.

  • BakedPenguin||

    I have a "dotted line" supervisor named Athena. She's very cute, although she just chopped off all her hair.

  • The Gobbler||

    All of it?

  • ||

    Oh...THAT dotted line.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...I need someone to be constantly on top of me...

    Well, we need pics before anyone volunteers. Not the kind of job you take sight unseen.

  • ||

    Constantly on top sounds awfully tiring.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Sometimes, sacrifices have to be made.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    "I need someone to be constantly on top of me, making sure I do everything."

    I hereby volunteer.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    Aggh, not fast enough. Fucking penguins.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Don't be angry, you proved me wrong.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    With me, age is the driving factor. Once they get a little older, the Tootsie Roll lure doesn't work so well.

  • Libertarian Pedophile Strawman||

    I can't believe you missed this.

    "I don't know why. I need someone to be constantly on top of me, making sure I do everything."

  • Abdul||

    Rand Paul says libertarian is an emotionally-charged word, says he's a "constitutional conservative."

    I heard he's not really a constitutiaonl conservative, but that he is "authority challenged" and may potentially have a "communitarian disability."

    I hope going to Congress cures his disabilities.

  • Jerry||

  • The Gobbler||

    On Morning Joe, they were alleging that while in college, he kidnapped someone and forced them to take bong hits.

    Gotta live the Dem Machine.

  • The Gobbler||

    ibid.

  • The Gobbler||

    live = love, BTW.

  • Inkblots||

    Hey, it's not like the media doesn't breathlessly report on unsubstantiated claims by anonymous sources in articles in men's magazines about liberal politicians. Fair is fair.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    But were they bong his for Jesus? This may play well in Peoria.

  • Subsidize Me!||

    Bong hits. Fuck.

    Somehow I doubt anyone was bonging Rand Paul's jesus.

  • Tim||

    No one is going to subsidize a grammatical heathen.

  • BeltwayLurker||

    Yet the Bill Ayres rape story gets no traction.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    School district eliminates the grade of D.

    Okay, look. I know you got a crocodile in spelling, but this has gone too far.

  • Joe M||

    School district eliminates the grade of D.

    It's the newspeak of grading.

  • Joe M||

    Under the old system, students could pass with a 65 -- 389 of the 1,500 students at Mount Olive High had a "D" on their final report cards in June -- but now anything lower than a 70 will be considered failure.

    Here in Texas, the scale was:
    A 100-90
    B 89-80
    C 75-79
    D 70-74
    F 0-69

    So a D actually makes more sense. I think out in California they consider a 60 to be a passing grade, fer Chrissakes.

  • ||

    The numbers are kind of an illusion. A 60 with tough coursework can mean more than a 70 in a class of fluff.

  • Joe M||

    Yeah, but we're talking about California.

  • ||

    KY used (at least the 80s):

    A 100-94
    B 93-87
    C 86-80
    D 79-73
    F 72-0

  • robc||

    Not how I remember it, but pretty close.

    A 100-93
    B 92-85
    C 84-78
    D 70-77
    F 69-

    roughly that, which is only pt or 2 different from yours, but I remember 70 being lowest D.

    Maybe that was just JCPS.

  • robc||

    The best system EVER was my college dynamics professor:

    Average grade was the B/C borderline, letter grades were 1 standard deviation in size.

    Beat the class by 1+ deviations: A
    0-1 deviations: B
    0-1 below avg: C
    1-2 below: D
    2+ below: F

    With a perfect normal distribution, that ends with a 2.48 class GPA.

  • ||

    Yes, that's called "curving down", an exceptionally effective way to discourage the marginally smart students from giving any help or advice to the students who are struggling for fear of raising the class average. Not so great for class morale and being accosted by students with no idea what's going on in office hours.

  • robc||

    Bullshit. It was curving up. Trust me, I remember some of the score numbers (like a 58 that was an A-).

    In a reasonably large class, studying with someone else benefits them WAY more than it hurts you. One person just doesnt change the mean or deviation that much.

    I had very few classes without a curve, much better a predefined one than an arbitrary one, IMO.

    Dont know where you went, but class morale wasnt an issue at Ga Tech. Heck, we all knew we were getting the Tech Shaft, and due to limited diversity of majors, we all mostly took the same classes. There was an Esprit de Corps. It was us against "them". Them being Ma Tech. Your classic love/hate relationship. Must have been some Marine instructors who set the place up or something.

    As visiting profs noted, the only school they ever saw where students referred to "getting out" instead of graduating.

    I got out in '91.

    That Dynamics Prof was one of the better professors I had, hence remembering details of that class 20+ years later.

  • ||

    I went to Tulane ( + Pennsylvania = Tulpa ) and came pretty close to being lynched in the Discrete Math class where the professor curved down. It wasn't a big class, and I probably was singlehandedly responsible for one or two people failing that class because of my grade being too high. And I admit with shame that I was a dick and didn't help anyone else, but that's the incentives that are set up!

  • robc||

    In a class size of 30 (the smallest class size it would be remotely reasonable to treat as normally distributed) you would have to be 30 pts above the average to move the mean 1 pt. And with a Std Dev of about 15 (which is what I would aim for if it was my class), that puts you 2 SDs above norm or right at the top of the A range (moving into the super-A range). About 1 person per class should be there.

    I dont see the problem. Heck, if as a Prof you are worried about it, design your tests with an avg of 60 and a SD or 20 and no one can bust +2 SDs anyway.

  • ||

    You don't know the average and SD until you give the test...

  • ||

    The class to which I was referring was smaller than 30.

  • robc||

    The class to which I was referring was smaller than 30.

    I wouldnt do a straight curve in that situation. Sample size is too small. In that case, its important to have a large number of classes taught so that you have an idea of Mean/SD in advance, and you can grade against that standard.

    If you are a newbie teaching a small class, you are going to be pulling grades out of your ass regardless of what you do. Hopefully there are natural breaks in the grade distribution to make it easy on you.

    You don't know the average and SD until you give the test...

    With experience you do.

  • robc||

    discourage the marginally smart students

    only if they are marginally smart in statisics too.

  • hmm||

    Who gives a shit about morale? You're there to learn and compete. If not tits or GTFO.

    I had a similar scale in a business law class that consisted of only 3 exams. Two exams consisted of 50 questions and the final 150. Each question was five T/F statements with 5 choices of combination of which were true and which were false. Correct answer was 2 points, mostly correct(3/5) was 1 point, mostly wrong (2/5) was 1/2 point, totally wrong was -1 point. There was a chance that two answer choices were mostly correct, wrong, or two were totally wrong, with only one correct. Talk about exams that made you sweat.

    My game theory class also had a similar scale, but the final grade was also based on your ability to realize how the scale worked and write a short paragraph justifying your strategy to get an A in the class. So in theory you could gain a better grade for still raising the class average and recognizing you are, or by competing for grades and either recognizing how the system worked or not recognizing (which did harm your final grade some). The class was also taught to people getting A's in the class, not to the mean grade students. Best class I ever took. It also took at least 4 times as much time as any class I ever took. The homework was generally 1-2 day (8ish hours each, usually at 2am) sessions to figure out strategies or answers. The competing games and strategies took at least 15-20 hours to organize well. When it was done the next semester they made our curriculum a graduate class and watered the curriculum down for an undergrad. I was more proud of that A- than any 100 percent A (I had a few) in any other class. A- because my group made a huge mistake in one game. We realized it immediately after making it without anything actually showing the mistake, but it was too late. Decisions were final and in the heat of a game and under a time constraint we choose poorly.

  • ||

    For a philosophy that insists that economic matters and life in general are not zero-sum, libertarians seem obsessed with making course grading into just that.

    Morale is important for two reasons: (1) college is not purely an academic exercise, it's also a place to make connections with future colleagues in your field; and (2) feelings of resentment, frustration, and despair that crop up in overly competititive setups interfere with the learning process. Also, having a class where the brighter students help the dull ones saves the professor a shitload of time, which we never have enough of.

    I know robc says below that a competitive environment worked at his school; I'm a bit skeptical about this when students walking into a class know that half the people in it are going to get a C or below no matter what, but maybe there are mitigating circumstances.

  • robc||

    The mitigating circumstance is that Cs and below are expected.

    A C is another way to say "I passed". That is a sign of success. D varied with major and specific class, my major required a C or better in math/science courses so a D wasnt a pass.

    If you think of a C as a step towards "getting out", then it isnt so negative.

    Instead of going in thinking 50% are getting C or worse, how about 84% are getting C or better. Mindset.

  • robc||

    84% pass, 16% fail (assuming C is necessary). That isnt zero-sum.

  • hmm||

    Grades aren't zero sum if you learn something, even if you get an F and learn one thing the encounter is not zero sum. Your assertion is focusing solely on an the grade, and that is a mistake.

    College is academic and the focus should be just that. This notion that you go to college to grow up and get laid is bullshit. You go to learn and hopefully get laid and meet people, the focus is learning the externalities to cramming a bunch of horny young adults into a small space is social interaction. To focus on the social interaction is one of the largest failings of today's college systems.

    If you feel resentment and despair due to competition, you are fucked when you enter the private sector. Since you will most likely have to continue learning losing morale because something is difficult means you are destine to continually fail or constantly be depressed.

  • ||

    There's a reason for the "co-" before the "lege".

    When I referred to making connections I didn't mean having sex (NTAWWT!), I meant working with and getting to know other people in your field who will be useful in your future career, both as job hunting contacts and people you can turn to for help with professional problems or opportunities in the future.

  • hmm||

    That's fine. I still think the focus is education and not socialization. The fact people gather to learn generates social contact. Not the fact that people gather to socialize generates learning. Like I said part of the problem is this notion that college is a social experience as well as a learning experience and not a learning experience with social aspects.

  • Fluffy||

    Curves are idiotic for the simple reason that the class should have content to it that students either master or don't master.

    If you master the content, you get an A. Whether everyone else in the class is a fool or is Leonardo da Vinci.

  • robc||

    Curves are idiotic for the simple reason that the class should have content to it that students either master or don't master.

    If you want to set a minimum mastery to get a C, thats fine. Above that, the difference between A/B/C should be purely competitive.

    Within the successful groups of students, lets separate them into 3 categories.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, C's are not usually seen that way by employers and scholarship funders anymore, they're seen the way you see D's. I graduated ten years after you and I can't imagine calling a C a successful grade.

  • robc||

    Unfortunately, C's are not usually seen that way by employers and scholarship funders anymore, they're seen the way you see D's. I graduated ten years after you and I can't imagine calling a C a successful grade.

    It was that way in my day too, EXCEPT AT GEORGIA TECH. We understood that we were in the land that grade inflation forgot (and from I understand, they are still the same way 20 years later).

    Dean's List only required a 3.0. It was tough to make. I knew plenty of people who never made it or only made it once or twice and were thrilled when they did. Graduating with a 2.2 was a success.

    Graduating with honor required a 3.2. This was not an easy task.

    Graduating with highest honor required a 3.6. I had a 3.5508, but we only measured to one significant digit past the decimal, so I have Highest Honor on my diploma.

  • robc||

    Oh, and that 3.6 included a number of Cs.

  • GT AE||

    I have a 4.0 at Georgia Tech. Going into my final year. In Aerospace Engineering. I have nothing interesting to say, just thought I'd brag a bit.

  • ||

    I go by a set scale of percentages so students know what to aim for in advance, but I always tell my students that my ideal grade distribution for the class is all A's. Hasn't happened yet...and if it did I'd have some serious explaining to do...but I think that's the best attitude to go with.

  • robc||

    I go by a set scale of percentages so students know what to aim for in advance, but I always tell my students that my ideal grade distribution for the class is all A's.

    Thats no different than the method I mentioned, just using the entire universe of classes you have taught as the distribution.

    Not an unreasonable approach, if you can make the tests of approximately the same ability each time.

  • robc||

    s/ability/difficulty/

  • hmm||

    The same teacher I had for Game Theory taught Intro Micro Econ to mostly business students. He was actually reprimanded (or talked to) by the department head for using the word derivative in a class that didn't require calculus. Some moron student complained that he was teaching stuff they were not required to know per the prerequisites. Keep in mind he was just using simple 1st derivatives and the power rule, nothing beyond, nothing difficult or tricky and he taught it in class. So what did he do? He called it the "magic formula" from that point on and continued to teach the class the same way.

  • Fluffy||

    Who gives a shit about morale? You're there to learn and compete.

    This sub-thread is dead, but I think the whole problem is that this is actually NOT why you are there.

    You are there to learn. You are buying education from the college.

    The function of the grade is to tell me if I have mastered the content I was supposed to master.

    Every other student in the class is fucking irrelevant to me and has nothing to do with me.

    Grading on a curve makes about as much sense as a restaurant telling me that if I buy food from them I have to enter a contest with the people at the other tables to see who can eat the fastest. Fuck you, Chef Dickwad, just give me my fucking food and shut up.

  • hmm||

    You can compete against yourself. Grades are to tell you and everyone else if you have mastered the content. Since everyone can in theory get an A the competition isn't zero sum, it's a tool to push each other. At least that's how I approached classes, and I got the most out of the classes when a group or the whole class would compete and study together.

  • kinnath||

    I had a Calculus professor that set up his tests so that the "average" score would be 50%. That way there were equal opportunities to excel or fail.

  • robc||

    I had a Calculus professor that set up his tests so that the "average" score would be 50%. That way there were equal opportunities to excel or fail.

    I believe in open ended testing, so something like that should be the norm. No one should get a zero or 100 or you havent really tested them.

  • kinnath||

    He also told us that we would occasionally stick a classic unsolved problem into a test for his grad students.

  • ||

    Henderson Co. had a few different systems during 84-88, so we could both be right. At the very least I remember going from 100-90 to 100-93/94 and back to 100-90 for a brief time. Supposedly KERA regularized it, but I not sure what they settled on.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Is that Jessamine County? I'm in Jessamine County!

  • robc||

    Jefferson.

    Jessamine is one of the 118 or so KY counties I can safely ignore.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Being smallest in the state, land mass-wise, does make it easy.

    But I will say that Louisville isn't nearly as cool as those who are from there think it is.

  • robc||

    Not from Louisville, Im from Jefferson County (Yes, I realize there isnt a difference now, but for most of my life....). Well, technically I was born within the city limits, but that was an accident of hospital placement.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I'm a reasonably new Kentuckian being originally from Florida, but yes, now Jeff county and Louisville are de facto the same for the most part.

    I will say that I love horse country of the bluegrass. I lie along the Jessamine county and Wilmore city limits.

    Sure is peaceful, even if hotter than shit these days.

  • robc||

    Legally, the city limits are the county limits, since the 2000 vote. But those of us who grew up/live outside the old city and opposed the merger liked it separate.

    I actually live in two cities, due to the fact that the small suburban cities didnt go away. Amazingly stupid. And yes, it is hot.

  • Suki||

  • ||

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/a.....026953.php

    This is a good vomit inducer

    "Citizenship is hard," Leach advises. "It takes a commitment to listen, watch, read, and think in ways that allow the imagination to put one person in the shoes of another. Words matter. They reflect emotion as well as meaning. They clarify -- or cloud -- thought and energize action, sometimes bringing out the better angels of our nature, and sometimes, baser instincts

  • Suki||

    That was only a partially SugarFreed link.

  • Suki||

    H1N1 pandemic is now over! Woo!

  • Brett L||

    Tell me about it. No CDC funding means this contractor has to find a new gravy train. Being in FL, I'm hoping that they'll need massive new IT reporting systems for the dengue fever outbreaks in the Keys.

  • ||

    *It's stupid and slow-paced, but addictive.

    If each episode of Whale Wars featured a high-tech pirate assault vessel packed with religious fanatics getting run over by a whaler, I might watch it.

  • Suki||

    That would be even funnier if they used Boston Whalers.

  • ||

    Or Hartford Whalers. I'm guessing Ron Francis and Brendan Shanahan have nothing better to do...

  • Tim||

    Has it got Johnny Depp?

  • ||

    The message I took from the anti-D article is that letter grades are basically meaningless. Percentages are a little more informative, but also ultimately meaningless, as they depend on the difficulty of the work.

    The school district is pretending to be hardassed by raising the passing requirement to 70%, but in reality what's going to happen is teachers -- who absolutely do not want to see the same kids coming back for the same classes year after year -- will water down the assignments and/or hand out extra credit projects like candy.

  • Tim||

    The message I took is that 70 years ago, our schools were poorly funded (by today's standards), understaffed, lacked mission statements and diversity policies, the teachers were under trained and poorly paid and they still turned out generations of students that won two world wars and the space race.

  • kinnath||

    +1

  • Brett L||

    Turns out motivation and home environment are important. Oddly enough, not wanting to walk behind a horse's ass up and down rows of crops or work in the mine/mill for the rest of your life focusses the mind.

  • kinnath||

    My father has a good friend that is in his 90's now. My father asked him if he ever felt the urge to hitch up a horse and go plow a few acres on a fine spring day. The friend replied that he had smelled enough oat farts to last a lifetime.

  • Tim||

    Now in 2010, you put on a shirt and tie, got to the office and report to the horses' ass. Plus ca change...

  • ||

    And in the old days, if a teacher told parents their kid was acting up in school he'd get a whipping at home -- while today he'd get a new PSP game to repair his damaged self-esteem while the parent called the principal to scream about how insensitive the teacher was to their poor little angel. As Brett L alluded to, we're much less hungry these days.

  • ||

    That is the dirty little secret of American education. As much as I like to rip on teachers and the education establishment, parents suck these days and won't push their kids.

  • ||

    Yeah, damned parents. Heck, if I wasn't busy defending liberty on this blog, I might just go and reproduce and show them how it's supposed to be done.

  • ||

    I was agreeing with you. Why the snide remark?

  • ||

    It wasn't intended to be snide to anyone but myself. Are you also an evolutionary dead ender?

  • ||

    Yes. But my wife is trying to change that.

  • The Gobbler||

    It's just what assholes do.

  • kinnath||

    I took a couple of graduate classes at Arizona State when I was working in Phoenix. The rule was that only A's and B's could be counted towards a graduate degree. So the effective grading system was A, B, and Fail.

  • robc||

    Pretty much the Stanford system too, as I understand it. They figure if you got in, you are a top tier student, so As and Bs are all they really need (except for the occasional F).

    Really stupid system, IMO.

  • kinnath||

    Prettty damn hard to have a final GPA under 3.0 with this system. Everyone graduates with a big number. Employers like that; so students like that; so the school does that.

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    It doesn't work that way. The C grade still counts in the GPA calculation and will show up on your transcript, but that class cannot be used to fulfill course requirements for the degree.

  • kinnath||

    Nope, you drop out early when it becomes clear that you ain't getting a B or better.

  • Take Care of THIS!||

    Most grad schools are that way. They figure if you're smart enough for grad school, you shouldn't be getting anything than above average grades.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Realistically speaking, however, even a B is a failure. In grad school, the understanding is that everyone starts with an A and has to royally fuck up to lower that grade. At least it was at UK.

  • ||

    Grades only matter for masters students in grad school. For PhDs, all that matters is your quals, your thesis, and your ability to network at conferences and such, which I was always terrible with.

  • ||

    Yep. That was how it was at Bama. I royally fucked up once and called my Chinese banking professor a communist for insisting on stricter regulations. He threw a fit: "I GET OUT IN 49!".

  • ||

    Maybe the grades could be switched to "present" or "not present".

  • Koba Too||

    I you saying I have to show up for class?

    Every day?!

  • Koba Too||

    "I you" s/b "are you"

  • Koba Too||

    "are you" s/b "Are you".

    Sigh.

    Just give me that last "D."

  • ||

    School district eliminates the grade of D.

    Kuos to the Mount Olive school istrict! It's about amn time they get ri of that stupi letter grae. It's like Granpa Simpson sai: "There are too many letters in the alphabet. Please remove three."

  • Another Slut||

    I need someone to be constantly on top of me, making sure I do everything.

    Effin' A!

  • ||

    http://www.illinoisisbroke.com/vendors.aspx

    A list of people that that state of Illinois owes money to. The Chicago machine are apparently deadbeats. I bet the fucking teachers and public employees are getting their money.

  • ||

    http://www.google.com/hostedne.....wD9HG7SG00

    Pee Wee Herman is apparently a big attraction at Sturges.

  • ¢||

    @ 10:25AM's link:

    ASSYRIAN NATIONAL CUNCL OF IL ($3,711,984.20)
    ASSYRIAN UNIVERSAL ALLIANCE FN ($4,280,517.45)

    WTF? There are Assyrians again?

  • robc||

    They never went away (entirely).

  • ||

    I believe the Syrian Christians call themselves "Assyrians". Either that or they are back and in Illinois planning to march on Skokie and enslave the population.

  • Jason||

    Iraqi Christians call themselves Assyrians or Assyrian Chaladeans, too.

  • ||

    But members of Congress tend to fight to protect jobs and spending in their districts, and some of the proposed cuts — in particular eliminating the Joint Forces Command — are certain to earn strong opposition.

    Just minutes after Mr. Gates announced his initiatives at a Pentagon news conference, Senator Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat who is on the Armed Services Committee, released a statement vowing to “carefully examine the justifications for this decision as well as its implications for the greater Norfolk community.”

    Huh.

  • ||

    JFCOM needs to go. They don't do shit. All they are is another layer of bureaucracy. If the combantant commander in the middle east needs a widget battalion, he can't just go to the Pentagon and ask. He has to go to JFCOM and they decide which service will provide it and then it goes to the service CONUS command to determine which unit. It is totally redundant and a waste of resources.

  • -||

    So what did we learn today?

  • BeltwayLurker||

    MNG is joe.

  • Pip||

    Greg Gutfeld: I’m raising money to build a Muslim gay bar next to the Ground Zero mosque:

    http://hotair.com/archives/201.....ro-mosque/

  • ||

    That'll go out of business pretty quick. Seems like a lot of effort for a guaranteed failure.

  • ||

    Why? A gay bar in Manhattan sounds like a decent investment.

  • ||

    It's supposedly to cater to the gay Muslim market. I'm pretty sure that gay Muslims aren't going to want to go into a gay bar that close to their place of worship.

  • ||

    yeah but non Muslims would come to it. A gay bar with good middle eastern food sounds okay.

  • Aunt Sally||

    Plus, you get to dress up. Cops in leather chaps, trannies, flamboyant Arabic robes and headgear...how could it fail? Also, there's the element of danger. Isn't homosexuality a mortal crime in Islam? Order a drink, get beheaded...life is always exciting in lower Manhattan.

  • ||

    My understanding was that Gutfeld was going to make it relatively exclusive to Muslims, though I don't know how.

  • ||

    The burqa drag shows are fabulous.

  • ||

    Well I am just improving his business model.

  • BeltwayLurker||

    Are you the president of Iran or something?

  • ||

    I'm not denying the existence of gay Muslims. Hell, I've seen A LOT on my travels. A seriously large number.

    I just don't think they'd go to THIS PARTICULAR PLACE in large enough numbers to keep it in business.

  • Aunt Sally||

    The "Ground Zero" Mosque

    Is that what they're calling it now? What exactly is the radius of Ground Zero? 200 yards? A mile? Five miles? All of Manhattan? Is every business that does business within that radius a "Ground Zero" business?

  • ||

    Heck, I was miffed by them calling the WTC site itself "Ground Zero", which was used to describe the effects of a nuclear explosion at various radii from the explosion site (radius 0).

    The origins of the term ground zero began with the Manhattan Project and the bombing of Japan. The Oxford English Dictionary, citing the use of the term in a 1946 New York Times report on the destroyed city of Hiroshima, defines "ground zero" as "that part of the ground situated immediately under an exploding bomb, especially an atomic one."
  • Aunt Sally||

    Right. We take a terrorist attack and elevate it to the level of a nuclear explosion. Age of Hyperbole, anyone? We're so self absorbed that something as horrible as 9/11 isn't horrible enough. No, we have to compare it with Hiroshima, call the real estate "hallowed ground" and politicize every discussion to follow, paralyzing all action for decades.

  • ||

    I think our generation is just jealous over not having a Depression or a Pearl Harbor or a Vietnam happening to us, so we build up what really amounted to a pinprick attack: 0.001% of the population dead, 0.01% of the annual GDP in damage.

    And yes, I'm serious.

  • Aunt Sally||

    "Our generation"? Generations overlap. The people driving this "Ground Zero" nonsense are not representative of any particular "generation." Bigots and loonies and xenophobes and jingoists of all ages are behind the "Ground Zero" cultism.

  • Steve Chaos||

    Look, could we finally all disabuse ourselves of the notion that Rand Paul really is anything close to a libertarian? I know that's what all of us want to believe, and if we're grading on a curve, then maybe you could say it's so.

    But really, the man does everything he can to distance himself from libertarians and libertarian ideas. Why is it exactly that he should deserve anyone's full-throated support around here? (Again, this is not an endorsement for his opponent or potential colleagues; just a question of how resources are allocated.)

  • Aunt Sally||

    Who cares what you call him? Or what he calls himself? If you support his principles, the label (or team) isn't important.

  • Tim||

    Libertarianism doesn't focus group well.

  • Aunt Sally||

    Correct. A candidate can't do a thing if he isn't elected. So he calls himself a "constitutional conservative." Big deal. How many philosophically consistent libertarians are there in office? Even his own father can't pass that test. People of limited intellectual means are obsessed with labels and team colors. They're chattering ignoramuses.

  • Steve Chaos||

    I guess I failed to realize that formerly substantiative issues such as the War on Drugs, immigration, foreign policy, etc. were just "empty labels" now. Silly me.

  • Steve Chaos||

    I guess I failed to realize that formerly substantiative issues such as the War on Drugs, immigration, foreign policy, etc. were just "empty labels" now. Silly me.

  • Steve Chaos||

    I guess I failed to realize that formerly substantiative issues such as the War on Drugs, immigration, foreign policy, etc. were just "empty labels" now. Silly me.

  • Steve Chaos||

    Damned server squirrels.

  • Yonemoto||

    How many philosophically consistent libertarians are there in office.

    How many philosophically consistent libertarians are there in the H&R site? Zero.

    It's okay to be imperfect.

  • Aunt Sally||

    Speak for yourself.

  • ||

    I don't agree with him on everything. But he seems like an improvement over what is in the Senate now.

  • Steve Chaos||

    An improvement, yes. Then again, that's a fairly low bar.

    All I'm talking about is where resources are allocated. Is this the best we've got right now? If so, God help us.

  • Yonemoto||

    My rule of thumb is that if a candidate is (subjectively) 50% better than the other candidate, then by all means vote for him or her. This is a good compromise between holding out for Godot and "voting for the lesser of two evils"

  • robc||

    I do grade on a curve (see above).

    He is easily more than 1 standard deviation more libertarian than the average senator.

  • ||

    Webb, a former Navy secretary and one of the Vietnam War's most-decorated Marines, said balancing the budget by cutting "the command that is leading the charge for the future of our military doctrine and training would be a step backward and could be harmful to the capabilities of the finest military in the world."

    Democratic Rep. Bobby Scott was clearly frustrated at a decision that he said appeared to lack a sound rationale. The realistic computerized modeling and simulation that the command offers saves the military billions of dollars and averts untold bloodshed, he said.

    "As a member of the Budget Committee, I completely understand and appreciate (Gates') motivation to weed out wasteful spending at the Department of Defense," Scott said.

    "We called (the command) earlier today and we frankly did not get a coherent response or explanation of what would happen," Scott said.

    Republican Rep. J. Randy Forbes was livid at the decision, calling it "further evidence of this administration allowing its budget for social change to determine defense spending."

    "What we are witnessing is the piecemeal auctioning off of the greatest military the world has ever known," he said.

    Business Week

    All government spending is essential; we must have more revenue!!!

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