Friday, January 29, 2010

Another Thing To Put On Your List Of Things GWB Would Never Have Done

Would George W have stood in front of the Dem Caucus any time in his 8 years as president, unscripted? Doubtful. Props to Obama:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Prop H8 Gets it's opening review in court today

Initially, the whole case was to be broadcast via youtube. Now we have to wait and read the texts. What can you do. Here's one link to opening statements:
At the end of the day, whatever the motives of its Proponents, Proposition 8 enacted an utterly irrational regime to govern entitlement to the fundamental right to marry, consisting now of at least four separate and distinct classes of citizens: (1) heterosexuals, including convicted criminals, substance abusers and sex offenders, who are permitted to marry; (2) 18,000 same-sex couples married between June and November of 2008, who are allowed to remain married but may not remarry if they divorce or are widowed; (3) thousands of same-sex couples who were married in certain other states prior to November of 2008, whose marriages are now valid and recognized in California; and, finally (4) all other same-sex couples in California who, like the Plaintiffs, are prohibited from marrying by Proposition 8.

There is no rational justification for this unique pattern of discrimination. Proposition 8, and the irrational pattern of California’s regulation of marriage which it promulgates, advances no legitimate state interest. All it does is label gay and lesbian persons as different, inferior, unequal, and disfavored. And it brands their relationships as not the same, and less-approved than those enjoyed by opposite sex couples. It stigmatizes gays and lesbians, classifies them as outcasts, and causes needless pain, isolation and humiliation.

It is unconstitutional.
I've yet to hear an argument that is believable as to why gay marriage harms heterosexual marraige. In my view, allowing two people, consenting adults, to marry no matter their sex, elevates the institution. And, I have seen with my own two eyes, some gay married relationships that are shining beacons of what's good about marriage.

By comparison with some of the loathsome marriages I've seen in the heterosexual community, I stand by my conviction. Allow gays to marry. There's no harm, and in fact their example may fix what's broken about heterosexual relationships.

Here's the link to the court web location for official updates.

Fox News Is Fair AND Blanced?

Here's how you know that Sarah Palin and Fox News should not be trusted. They say:
"I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News," Palin said in a statement posted on the network's Web site. "It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."
Right. And I'm Jesus Christ.

It shows that there is no end to the warped set of values that would place Sarah Palin in such a highly paid post. I would have been scared even more if she became a teacher, that said. Just wondering when we will they start paying teachers what Sarah will be making, or if we just don't want to for fear of attracting such people to scar our children?

The audience and advertisers will dictate, but I have to say, I'll be monitoring those who advertise on her show so I know what not to buy. Boycotting Sarah Palin now become a whole lot easier.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Just Another Day At The Office

While you are grinding it out in your cube, just think: If you could only just hang with Levi without getting dusted, your office might look like this too:

Levi Leipheimer Time Trial Training from Roger Bartels on Vimeo.

Or, if you could hit the big air like Shaun, like this.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

More Whining From the Choir?

Found this interesting article authored by an academic, this morning.
Teachers change lives and careers, not just writing styles, says bestselling author and editor Janis Kaplan, recalling her professor at Yale, William Zinsser. “Theoretically, books can change lives. But practically, it’s great teachers who do.” Sadly each year many such teachers pack up their briefcases and reenter the job market as consultants, real estate brokers, or a hundred other non-academic professions.

Exactly why they leave is hard to tell. Some say money is the problem. Certainly a person seeking wealth should never become a teacher, for there are few bonuses and pay incentives for even the best in the field.

Speaking as a teacher of over 30 years, I feel that even if we increased professors’ salaries by 15%, it still wouldn’t pay those dedicated men and women what they deserve for educating the next generation of America’s doctors, lawyers, clergy and CEOs, for ours is the prime profession: We teach all the other professions. Without us, civilization would wither on the stem like an autumn rose.

Here's my response:
When you say "Without us, civilization would wither on the stem like an autumn rose," I become skeptical. Society is resilient. If teachers don't teach, people would learn how to learn on their own. The apprenticeship model worked long before there was a formal organized, regimented, industrial education complex. Clearly, "because we don't get paid what we are worth" is an argument to be made, but not without the "you get what you pay for caveat." What the market will bear is how professional athlete salaries are always justified. But clearly, societal values are warped when entertainment is substantially and exponentially rewarded over education. Rather than whine about poor quality teaching (on the student/customer side), or poor salaries (on the faculty side), what we should focus on is how to remedy what's truly wrong with the educational enterprise; that it's not structured from the ground up to entice and spur learning more than it is to act as the gate keeping function by squashing enthusiasm for expeditionary and intrepid exploration of both the truth and development of new knowledge. Toward that end, perhaps the evolution of the internet will make all formal education obsolete, but until that day, we will need great teachers to spark enthusiasm for learning. The argument can be made that learning is best facilitated by great teaching. In the end, proof of learning is only obviated by the evidence of change and improvement. And in that respect, if there has been no change but negative change in how teachers are viewed and valued, might we not only have ourselves to blame?