We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, February 15. 2016
Lady Gaga - National Anthem - Super Bowl 2016
Beyonce and the Black Panthers (video)
Einstein’s gravitational waves rest on a genuinely radical idea.
What Scalia Taught Us
Kimball: RIP Antonin Scalia
Louisiana governor: College football in jeopardy in midst of budget crisis
I thought football was a profit center for schools
"Brave New World is one of my favorite books for the simple reason it got so much right."
Even Democrats' Rigged Superdelegate System May Not Be Enough for Hillary to Prevail
Trump Was Half-Crazed, but Does Anyone Care?
Interesting: Hillary - house in NYC burbs. Bernie - from Brooklyn. Trump - from Queens. Bloomberg? - NYC.
The Marines' new Iraq mission - IT'S NOT A DOOR-TO-DOOR FIGHT, BUT THE WAR ON ISIS IS HEATING UP
"Treason" In Turkey: Asking for Peace
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Unfortunately for the SEC, their "student-athletes" still have to pretend to go to school in order to meet NCAA guidelines.
That's the rub! Being attached to those darned academics guidelines. So the politicians can vaguely link foo'ball with academics.
Einstein’s gravitational waves rest on a genuinely radical idea.
LIGO is like HRC: Verification bias arising from the enormous funding that hopes to validate theories that get too little peer criticism. Everybody runs off in one direction - like AGW - and must find something that validates the herd. Science is religious this way.
HRC confirmed the Hibbs Boson but the HB, such as it may be, wasn't what was either expected or useful - it placeholds another phenomenon. The $1.1B LIGO seeks to find gravity propagating at relativistic speed when gravity operates nearly instantaneously.
The HRC had to be repurposed into a big band disprover. Einstein’s gravitational waves may these days rest as much on cultism as on sound theory.
"You’re not imagining things, the economy really is rigged against you"
Real unemployment (measured by the standards used until Clinton and the Bureau of Labor Statistics started manipulating them) is currently at 22.9%. Real inflation is running at about 8%.
As with many Europeans who struggle to comprehend how the system of American college sports actually works, can anyone explain to me how a college professor with a PhD in physics or mathematics can make less than a football coach?
And if these college teams make so much money for the universities through television contracts or brand endorsements, then why are the students still going into debt to pay for their education?
For example, take LSU Basketball coach Johnny Jones who is ranked 36th in the NCAA 2015 pay scale :
School pay: $1,500,000
Other pay: $6,000
Total pay: $1,506,000
According to Wiki, the average the average salary for a tenured professor at a four year university was $98,974. 
A PhD professor educates and trains engineers who will in turn contribute to the greater good of society through better roads, buildings, medical improvements, growth sectors in engineering and manufacturing, and any number of advancements.
Meanwhile a sports coach trains people how to toss a ball through a hoop. Seriously?
Sorry, but it seems to me there's something terribly wrong with your education system when a college sports coach, who probably can't balance his own checkbook, makes this much money.
Who do you propose reconfigure things to suit your sensibilities, Karl?
Heck, it all depends. I just saw on our local TV that the pension for a Chicago Board of Education teacher (K - 12) is $118,000/year. Manford Byrd, who both taught and headed the Board for a few years, gets $187,000. No wonder Illinois is broke and taxpayers are moving out of the state. Half these teachers can't parse a sentence or teach a civics class.
It all depends. I just saw on our local TV that the pension for a retired Chicago Board of Education teacher (K - 12) is $118,000/year. Manford Byrd, who both taught and headed the Board for a few years, gets $187,000. No wonder Illinois is broke and taxpayers are moving out of the state. Half these teachers can't parse a sentence or teach a civics class.
Its called the "market", Karl.
There are only a very few persons with talent to organize, develop, teach, recruit and coach football and basketball teams at the college level, about 500 or so. And people are willing to pay their own money to watch the teams put together by these talented individuals, play their respective sports. So the demand for coaches greatly exceeds the supply, thus the price paid for their talents goes up.
Maenwhile, there are thousands of individuals willing to sell their talents as teachers of any given subject, so the supply greatly exceeds the demand for these individuals' talents, thus the price is suppressed and goes down.
What you want is to create an arbitrary and artificial price to be paid for talent, based upon your perception of what is good for society, not what society actually wants. Like all such systems, it will fail.
The market is just an information exchange used to price goods or services for allocation of such resources among those who want or need such resources.
You just want to substitute your prejudices for the "real information" used in market exchanges.
look, Mr Horse. It's a cultural thing. we Americans like sports, you people go musk every few years with your kaiser und Führerlieben, that is when you're not batshit insane for karl marx.
and don't forget, carl. we kicked your asses back across the rhine twice before, we can damn well do it again.
At the top 50 or so programs, football at least pays for itself. At the Championship Division level or below, most, if not all, programs receive at least some subsidy through the scholarship programs, capital spend on facilities, and/or activity funding. Even liability insurance on a team would likely run to a minimum of six figures a year.
The issue with LSU is that if there are early closures to the school year, there will not be enough classroom hours available to the players, and the athletes will not be considered academically eligible to play next season by the NCAA.
It's the smaller schools that would lose football directly due to budget cuts.
I understand the difference between the concepts of instantaneous gravitational effects and gravity waves propagating at finite (though very high) speeds. What I don't get yet is how the detection of these waves from the colliding black holes demonstrates that the waves propagated at finite speeds. From what little I understand of interferometers, they detect a literal change in the length of very long rods, presumably from relativistic effects. The point of having two very long rods at right angles to each other is that whatever effect is occurring should shrink one but not the other, and the distances can be accurately compared by some kind of trick involving measuring the speed of signals going back and forth between their endpoints (thus the mirrors?). So someone presumably proved that the rods really do shrink, just as physicists have been predicting would happen to objects moving at very high speeds--or objects that are subject for some other reason to relativistic distortions, like gravity waves? I keep ploughing through these articles, but they leave me a bit confused.
Not a physicist, but as I understand, the system detects distortions in spacetime that are consistent with gravity waves. There is a very small signal to noise ratio which makes this a difficult task.
It seems that Turkey is taking a page from the UK playbook, during the heyday of the Irish Republican movement. There were indeed some violent actors, and plenty of people just looking for more independence.
But in those days, simply expressing support could be a carreer altering experience, and involve visits from the police.
Never thought much of Lady Gaga until I saw the video of her and Tony Bennett doing "This Lady is a Tramp."
That inspired me to watch her singing the national anthem at the top link.
That was the best rendition I've ever heard! It brought tears to my eyes.
Maybe less sizzle and more steak is her future path which will be for the good I think.
She sang it really well, but like most people her tempo was way too slow.
I don't like Gaga's music, but I know she has a good voice when she goes legit. I've seen bits of a few performances on youtubes. She has real talent, like it or not. She has the potential to become a very creative artist in the likeness of Bowie or she could end up pumping out crap for the next 100 years like Madonna.
Jack Walter: She has real talent, like it or not. She has the potential to become a very creative artist in the likeness of Bowie
Watch Lady Gaga's Tribute to as Many David Bowies as Possible at the Grammys
@ Donny - Do you mean like the Americans did in Viet Nam, Somali and pretty much everywhere else since. Over 30,000 maimed and injured Americans have returned from Iraq alone and for what? And since you're obviously not up on current events, we haven't had a Kaiser for quite a while. Have you ever walked the American cemeteries of Omaha Beach or Verdun and paid your respects? I have. Quick, without Wikipedia, where is Patton buried? Didn't think so. And yes, I've visited his grave too.
@ Earl - I understand free market, we actually have it here in Europe. In fact we've had the free market, science, medicine and everything else since well before your country existed. It's where you learned it from scholars like John Locke and Adam Smith. Men of academics, (not sports) and obviously....not Americans.
And please, to every other small minded person on this forum, spare me the "we put a man on the moon". Of course you did, thanks to Werner Von Braun. A German.
What's wrong with you people? You can't take a little criticism? Do you have to get so defensive towards people don't understand about your culture? You make threats like Donny and other assorted insults and references to Karl Marx about a society you obviously know little or nothing about other than what you've watched on the History Channel. I would love to know how many of you have actually lived in Germany (or anywhere in Europe) that you can make such comments. And no, a but tour to Oktoberfest doesn't count.
From the outside looking in, it seems as if America is in free fall and has been for decades despite your patriotism and flag waving. So please, stop living in the past. The laurels of WW2 are long faded. Good god, are you people so sensitive when someone challenges your belief system you resort to name calling and threats? If the presidential debates are any indication of what you have come to believe a real 'debate" actually is, then this forum, and any other like it, is doomed.
Name calling and insults are not debate and they have no place in it.
I'm simply trying to understand why our education system seems to be so focused on sports rather than academia. And still none of you have answered two very simple questions:
1. Why is state run elementary and high school free, but you have to pay for state run colleges?
2. And if these sports teams are making so much money, why are college students being forced to pay such outrageous tuition and fees that they're in debt after graduation?
1. K-12 ed. is a guaranteed right in many (most?) states' constitutions. Higher Ed. is not, though it is significantly subsidized, and almost any academically qualified student can receive a quality education at a price they and their families can afford.
2. In general, college sports don't net a profit (make money). On avg.
Mr Horse, thanks for playing.
Where's germany these days on the political spectrum? commie or fascist?
You know, you people would be a lot happier if you obsessed over college sports rather than kulture and your next european tour.
1. Because K-12 is a basic education that is supposed to get you to a starting point for a career. A college education is required for some fields, not for others. Why should a college student be subsidized, but not a plumber's apprentice? I don't really care if someone wants to go to college or not. I don't plan on even paying for my sons to go to college. By that time they will be grown men and can find a way to pay for it themselves.
Besides that, I'm pretty sure that "state run" means something different in the U.S. than it does in Europe. In theory, our federal government should have no say at all in the various education systems. I know this doesn't exactly play out in reality, but at it's foundation the goals of public education are decided on at the state and local level. Why should I care if someone in NY goes to school? I don't live there and I don't pay taxes there. It's none of my business. I certainly don't have the right to interfere, nor do my representatives in DC.
2. The sports systems do fund the other departments in part, but they keep much of the profit also. And why not? They generated it. It cost a lot to hire a coach that is in high demand.
Also, no one in America is forced to pay outrageous tuition. There are many moderate to high paying jobs that require no college degree. Many companies will help their employees advance their education. Often, the self-employed don't need a degree. There are also community colleges that that will greatly reduce the cost of your education. Other times, people with a college degree make a lot of money and can afford the loans. Why should I pay for someone's engineering degree? I don't ask for a cut of their paychecks.
Now, some low paying jobs require a college degree, for better or worse. Take teachers, for example. As long as K-12 systems require a degree in education then there is a good argument for some type of loan-reduction plan or state-funded scholarships for teachers that come back home to teach. We need good k-12 teachers. I don't think good teachers necessarily need a college degree.
@ Donny - Actually we're not anywhere near either. Perhaps you should step up into the new millennium and get out of the 1940's. We did decades ago.
If you mean "you people" as a reference to Germans, we're quite happy with our universities focusing on education to ensure our population is well trained and employed. Sports is a hobby for those unable to achieve academic performance, which is why they revert to kicking a ball; it doesn't require much thought.
Then ask yourself why American companies are leaving the US in droves and are moving to Mexico, China and Europe. It's because your educational system is so bad, they have to go outside of the US to find people who are smart enough to do the work "you people" can't.
Happy to play!
Your German friend "the Horse". ;-)
Oh...and one last comment...Einstein. German. You're welcome. :-)
Sure, Einstein was German born, but he died an American. He would not have lived as long as he did if he had stayed in Germany.
Bach was German too, perhaps the greatest genius that ever lived. It took 600,000 years of varying civilization to produce Bach.
It only took the US 1/3000 of that time to validate The Enlightenment's ideal of liberty and with a pile of diverse immigrants, therewith construct the greatest industrial engine and highest standard of living on Earth, including to liberate whole lands from the polar opposite, as you may recall.
Aren't you all about standards of living, Karl? I can't tell, really, because you won't say how you intend to capture it, or by whose management. If I had to guess, however, probably not by simple nationalism...
@ Ten - Americas had the advantage of a blank sheet with nearly unlimited resources. There was no established form of government, and you had timber, oil, coal, iron and every possible resource at your disposal. So your founding fathers were able to look at hundreds of years of what did and what didn't work and apply the best model and America simply took what they learned from everyone else with fantastic results. I'm not saying it's bad, but give credit where it's due. Not every invention or idea is American and of course it's a country built on immigrants. Europe was full, Germany deforested, Ireland was starving and the peasants were revolting...and they smelled bad too! ;-)
I think the American Constitution is a work of genius. Our own constitution is based on it. I just hope we (the west) can all keep it together.
If you are referring to standard of living by how much debt one has or how many people live in mobile homes and don't have adequate health care, then I would guess the US leads the way. However if you mean by education, literacy, industry, lifespan, and infrastructure, most European countries are way ahead.
@ Jack Walter - We see education as a benefit to everyone, so all education is free, including the trades and apprenticeship programs. In fact, anyone who has gone through an apprenticeship program (mechanic, shop keeper, dental hygienist, etc.) has to do a three year study, which includes basic subjects in math and language in addition to the subject matter. While you may not realize it, when you come into a German grocery store or clothes shore, the lady (or gentleman) behind the counter is very well trained. We have no problem with someone making a career out of being a shop keeper. Why not?
We don't have the stigma attached to non-college trades as you do in America. We accept that not everyone is college bound nor do they need to be. We don't give every student a little gold star for showing up and push them into a degree program for which they are totally unfit.
Our colleges are state funded, but operate independently of the state in the same way your elementary and high schools are. Each state can teach as it wishes to its own standard just like California and Idaho are state funded, but operate under their own systems.
At the end of the day, by almost any standard you want to use, German children and college graduates are better educated than Americans at the equal grade level. This is not opinion or boasting, this is fact just like saying VW is bigger than Ford. Not brag, just fact.