Waking up at 6:00AM to watch Opening Day baseball is an interesting experience. I wouldn’t really know, because I didn’t really “wake up” until about 7:00AM yesterday. I flipped on ESPN2 and saw some good baseball, which was nice to see. My lovely girlfriend, who is stationed in
Part of me likes the idea, part of me doesn’t. I don’t really subscribe to the idea that it’s completely wrong to have opening day in a foreign country, since baseball is “
Nowadays you have teams with players from all over the world. The Red Sox are not the most diverse team out there (historically they are slow to integrate), but they have players from several countries. The Yankees’ pitching staff at one point had players from five countries (the
The point is: how American is baseball? It can still be
But the teams are (save one) based in the
There are two parts of this that need to be weighed, and I think MLB made the right choice. First, you don’t want to waste every one’s time by going all the way to Japan just to play exhibition games. Teams won’t take the games seriously, and
I think having the games this week, then more exhibition games before the real opening day in April, is the right move. You want the teams to take the games seriously, but you don’t want them to get worn out. It’s the only way to balance things out. Besides, many fans pay more attention to the home opener, which both teams will still have. The only fans that really care are so hardcore that they’ll play along anyway. Who would pass up the chance to watch the Sox live over breakfast? Come on. It’s pretty cool.
I read an interesting op-ed on WSJ.com about the recent happenings in
The author is pretty openly against this. They apparently don’t like how the teachers unions are somehow benefiting from this legislation. I won’t argue for or against that. I’m not a fan of teachers unions, either, but I do see some of the author’s point in that it does help keep kids in schools.
There are, like almost every topic, several sides of this debate. It’s not a simple Red vs. Blue type issue. One part of it involves the freedom to educate your child as you see fit. One part involves properly educating a child. Another part involves the role of teachers and schools in this. All are valid, but not all are relevant to the core issue: should parents be required to be government certified to home-school their children?
I’m not going to argue against having a mandate. I want to simply point out some of the different sides of the argument and to point out some of the flawed logic involved.
There’s a big assumption being made here, which is that a “credentialed” educator is inherently better at educating a child than a “non-credentialed.” For this argument, “credentialed” means the educator has been certified to teach by a qualified government organization. How is this a guaranteed outcome? How is it that we have legions of credentialed teachers in
There are several possibilities. One is environment; another is culture; another is funding. But how has certification solved this? At what level must an educator be competent to have the proper credentials? If it’s at a high level, then why are some schools so much worse than others? If it’s at a lower level, then why rely so heavily on the standard?
The other issue is the role of individual education vs. the social education a school environment provides. Which is more important? If a child can be given much more individual attention and reinforcement of basic math, science, and English skills at a young age, is that more important than for them to develop social skills? Is there an age at which there is a benefit?
When I was a child I was terrified of school. I’m naturally quite shy. It was only after receiving special, individual attention that I built up the confidence to speak up in class. My teacher was too busy educating the class as a whole, and I don’t blame her for it. It’s her job, and that’s absolutely fine. But many children today and in the past are scared of school. Why not allow those children to be taught at home for a few years to build up their intellect? What if a shy child has a question, and is simply too scared to ask for fear of ridicule? I personally have had that happen to me countless times. Not ridicule itself, but fear of it. I got over it eventually, but it wasn’t by engaging it directly. I received individual attention from my parents and educators, and I gained confidence.
With a variety of class sizes, educators’ competencies, funding, curricula, and many other factors, how is it that simply requiring a parent to be certified will help their child? What if they don’t apply the same principles, but it still works? The scary part is this all started because of a child abuse case. I would never defend some one who abuses their kids. But that’s a case that should be dealt with on an individual basis. It should not be the basis for state-wide legislation against home-schooling.
I do recognize the issue of properly teaching children, though. There does need to be a system to insure some level of competency with the parent if the child expects to enter the public school system. That’s the catch. Many educators complain about how students will come in at the sixth grade and can barely read because they were poorly home-schooled. That’s a real issue. It costs more money and time to educate that child, which is a valid argument.
Here’s what I propose: require any parent without a Bachelor’s Degree who wishes to home-school their child for more than a year, and then to send their child to public school, to obtain a basic level of certification. But, there needs to be a grace period involved in this. That’s the key. Some kids will still slip through during the transition. In addition, there should be some economic incentive, like a tax deduction on the expense for receiving the certification. The state could run the program to help keep it a level playing field.
The reason why I say a minimum of a Bachelor’s is that I believe some one who has completed such a degree would have the basic concepts down pretty well. Now, there is a lot of room for debate there. Perhaps there could be varying levels of the program, and those with a Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degrees could jump in later on or have shorter programs. Those people may also be employed, so taking time away from them and their children would need to be addressed (but that’s also a whole other side to this argument). I would argue that a parent with a college degree should be exempt. At the very least they can research good teaching methods.
One needs to keep this core concept in mind: the best sort of education for a young child depends on the child. If it needs to be done on an individual basis, then why prevent that? It’s up to the parent whether or not they go to public or private school, so if they are already being trusted with that decision, why not allow them to teach their own child? Private schools do not require the same competencies of educators as public schools, yet many of them seem to do a decent job. Who is to say a parent can’t do the same?
I go to this great deli every once in a while, recently it’s been weekly, that has these awesome sandwiches. It’s technically a “Salumeria,” but its website calls it a deli. I’m telling you, great sandwiches. If you’re ever in
One of my favorite parts of visiting a traditional deli is the atmosphere. It’s 100% personal. I get sick and tired of these fast food places who try to rush you through as fast as possible, and if you’re lucky you might get a smile. It’s frustrating. When you go into a deli, especially if you’re a regular, you get a smile and they make things fresh right in front of you. And there’s a lot more personality, so don’t tell me “Well you can get that at Subway.” Any place that’s an international chain can’t have local personality.
I really hope there are still delis when “the world becomes flat.” I hope people remember to slow things down. I don’t think it’s a huge problem now, but it does seem like people are slowly forgetting to take their time. People want things done fast fast fast. That’s fine for some things, but food doesn’t have to be done fast. The thing I like most about the South is that they don’t need to be told to slow things down.
I don’t think I have a favorite holiday, but the fact that it’s my saint’s day, I always love it when St. Patrick’s Day comes around every year.
I used to dread St. Patrick’s Day’s dinner when I was a kid, though. I never liked corned beef or cabbage. I always liked potatoes and carrots, though. I’d eat those with no problem. But corned beef always gave me the willies, and I just couldn’t handle cabbage.
But I realized that within the past couple of years, I’ve become quite a fan of these two Irish delicacies. I think it all started when I began liking Reuben sandwiches, which are my favorite of all sandwiches. I’m not talking about those namby-pamby pastrami alternatives, though. I’m talking corned beef, sauerkraut, the whole deal. I don’t mess around when it comes to Reubens. When I was the Steward of my Fraternity while in college (in charge of the kitchen), I’d order Reubens on a bi-weekly basis. Some guys hated that, but for some reason I only listened to the compliments. One guy (the Fraternity President) wanted them ordered weekly. I nearly gave in, but you can’t have too much of a good thing.
What I don’t like about St. Patrick’s Day is all the boozing that’s associated with it. I have no problem with tipping back a few, but getting stupid and rowdy has no place in it. It’s just poor taste. “Everybody’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day” does not mean “Every one can get drunk out of their minds on St. Patrick’s Day.” Be smart, people.
The Elliot Spitzer scandal is an interesting one on several levels. First, he’s a governor of a very influential state. He’s also a big Hillary Clinton supporter, and a noted super delegate. But, of all things, he was a famed New York Attorney General who fought to stop a great deal of crime, including prostitution rings.
The real issue that Spitzer simply couldn’t avoid was that he could be charged with a federal crime. Apparently there is a 98 year old law called the Mann Act, which was put in place to prevent white slavery and the sex trade, which prohibits the transportation of a woman across state lines for immoral purposes. It’s a federal crime, and there have been some famous members of societies, like Chuck Berry, Charlie Chaplin, and Charles Manson (watch out Charlie Sheen!), who have been charged under the Mann Act. Spitzer could face jail time. That’s pretty significant.
The other interesting part is how other politicians reacted.
Spitzer comes out like a hypocrite in all of this, which he is. Though, I’m sure if he is found to have funded the organization, it will be a lot worse. He did something incredibly reckless, and immoral, and he deserves punishment. I’m not sure how this will pan out, but it’s not good for American politics in general. I’m not going to say “the Democrats had it coming!” and say that not just Republicans get into scandals. That doesn’t do anything, and nobody looks good in this. It just points out the obvious that even the “holiest” of politicians… have holes.
Check out this website: http://www.brookfieldpropertieshudsonyards.com/
I found it off the NYC MTA website. It’s a concept design for the new development on the West Side Yards on
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, the rail yards are an eye sore on the west side of
The other interesting part is that most of the concepts pay particular attention to sustainability. It’s good to see that
Still, fascinating stuff.
For about 90 minutes, Lord Monckton gave a stirring presentation on various issues surrounding the man-made global warming debate. He started off by saying “I am not a scientist. I am a policy maker.” He’s no slouch, either. He advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He’s been spending a significant amount of time studying the debate itself, and the massive amount of math and science that goes into it.
My favorite part of the presentation was how he explained what he was not arguing. He wasn’t arguing against global warming. He wasn’t arguing against humans producing carbon dioxide. He was simply arguing against the studies performed by the IPCC and how so many people are following simply bad science.
The amount of data he presented was astounding. He picked apart several arguments made by the “Greenies” as he called them, mostly how they relied too heavily on computer models and did not peer review enough. As an engineer who peer reviews and deals with (relatively) simple computer models, I know that it is not important to fact check and get it right, but it’s even more important that you don’t rely on computer models for long-term prediction. Failures occur all the time in simple systems. Look at how difficult it is to predict the weather today! It’s been determined by many meteorologists and statisticians that you really can’t stay accurate for more than 2 weeks in predicting the weather.
What was also amazing was the “mathy” stuff. This guy really did his homework and put in the effort. He took what the IPCC did, which is relied upon quite heavily by many policy makers, and picked apart the math and came up with some new figures. He went a bit fast, but there were time constraints. What’s funny is that it took him months to even determine how the IPCC calculated their value. They simply were not very transparent in their methodology. He kept reminding us of how he was worried that too much “politicizing” had gone in to the alarmist mentality.
Monckton didn’t come up with a set theory of what was happening, but he had his ideas. He had read a tremendous amount of literature, and was also insisting that we wait for the peer review process to be done on some of the papers. Monckton proposed that the sun spot cycle might have a bit to do with it, and that more attention should be paid to the oceans. He insisted that carbon dioxide does not nearly have the effect as a greenhouse gas that people are claiming.
The even more impressive part of the program was the Q&A afterward. I stayed for about 20 minutes of it, and Monckton was great. He answered a couple questions on how the economy would be affected, and responded very eloquently by saying that the carbon trading program was a farce and has failed in
It’s too bad this guy has been basically shut out by the media. No one from the local paper came. I guess they’d rather print a story on some traffic accident or some drug bust in
God speed, Lord Monckton.
I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff on the radio that has been solely focused on the battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It’s all over the news. I was listening to a station out of
There are a few issues I have with some of the arguments made by supporters of both candidates. I’d just like to highlight a few for now.
1. “I won’t vote for Hillary Clinton because I didn’t like Bill Clinton’s administration.”
How is that even relevant? Since when does the First Lady run the government? I understand that Hillary was far from the typical First Lady, but does that mean she ran the government then? I can see how people are afraid that Bill will return and Hillary will be running as a puppet President, but aren’t there enough safeguards against that as is? Aren’t there people in Congress who would notice that?
The same goes for people who vote for Hillary because they liked Bill Clinton. They are two separate people with different management styles. Hillary is a legislator; Bill was an experienced governor. It won’t be Bill’s administration all over again.
2. “I won’t vote for Barack Obama because I don’t know enough about him.”
Well whose fault is that, really? He may have limited experience on that national level, but surely you can check on his website or read something about him in the paper, right? Besides, how much executive experience does either Democratic candidate really have? They’re both legislators. Look at their voting records. Obama was a state senator in
3. “I’m tired of the way things are going and I want change and I think Obama is the only one that can bring change.”
Not so fast, there. Slow down. You think a candidate with less clout on Capitol Hill is going to effect more change than the other candidate? You can honestly say that a candidate with more extreme ideas is going to effect more change? As polarizing as Hillary Clinton is, and as much as she is a spear-head of party politics, she is more likely to change things in four years than Obama. Just because some one has been shouting “Change! Change! Change!” and speaking almost spiritually about how we need to unite does not make them the country’s savior. These two candidates are too similar on too many levels, policy-wise, to make a clear distinction that one of them will bring change more quickly.
The real issue is electability. Which one will stand up against McCain? Look at the demographics involved. McCain is more popular among independents than