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.
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Monday, August 25. 2008
This is likely my last week as a regular at Maggie's, so I have been given a special vacation break dispensation to post ad lib. If I begin my new job after Labor Day thinking about this friendly Yankee site, I won't be doing what I need to be doing. And I need to get ready to move this weekend. My only issue is my guns. Guns to NYC? I will leave them with my buddy in Mass. I have no clue about NYC gun laws.
Obama's tax plans would give you a 64% tax rate in California, for the self-employed. Bob Brinker. Would you work hard for that? Not to mention Obama's cap gains tax plans.
Related: The "tender-minded". And speaking of tender...
I smoked a pork butt yesterday. Had some friends over for beers and pulled pork. Don't tell me that it isn't Yankee food. It is now.
Best ocean photos.
Gay parade, no vet parade. Are gays the new vets?
Who lied about Iraq?
Chronic plagiarist? Hey, that's old news. As somebody said, maybe he'll teach Barack to fish. I don't think Barry's Dad knew how to fish.
Since conventions no longer select candidates, what's their purpose now? To create a TV narrative. The narrative is always the same: "Things are terrible. We are wonderful."
"Hillary is like 'Are you kidding me?'" Dave Barry
How to destroy a state (or country) - Malanga on New Jersey's gradual suicide. One quote:
Clintonista whining. Sheesh.
We are all gonna drown! Greenland glacier does glacial things:
Normal? It's a crisis! Run and hide!
Photo on top: pulled pork. Mr. Brown is my favorite. Lower photo, my new neighborhood hang-out: Scratcher's. I will miss Rudy's, but Scratcher's has cute gals - without brown roots, and with all of their teeth, too. I am looking forward to a change. Hope and Change!
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I smoked a pork butt yesterday.
You country boys sure have some odd habits.When you get to the big city, have someone teach you to smoke cigars.
Volleyball boring? Not hardly! Lose focus for a few seconds and you're liable to wind up with a broken nose or black eye. Great game that volleyball. I only got to see a few minutes of the gold medal match but that was some excellent play.
The beach variant is a bit lame perhaps.
Your contributions to Maggie's will be missed! You've always brought me to interesting places on the web.
I hope your new job is a good fit and you find the new neighborhood to be a place of pleasant surprises and friendship. (As well as some really hot mammas)!
If our skilled electrician works for a company, or a government agency, he may do very well for a while, but at some point his promotions will almost certainly stop because he lacks a college degree.
50 years ago, someone could start out as an electrician, a machinist, or a welder, and have a reasonable chance of becoming a department manager, even--if he was very good--a plant general manager. This has been made much more unlikely due to the obsessive focus on credentials.
Parents are probably sensing this, and know that their kids' position in the social hierarchy will indeed be limited by lack of a college degree. (What they may often fail to realize is that with a useless degree from a mediocre college, the kid may never have a chance to climb the promotion ladder to begin with.)
Businesses need to show more leadership in searching for and recognizing talent that may not have a degree associated with it.
I was just thinking of a conversation my wife and I had with two friends. They are originally from Mali but are now French citizens. Our conversation was about all of these un-truths they had been fed about the US. I can't recall specifics, but apparently they learned all they know about how awful the US and Americans are from the BBC. Of course they were both shocked when they realized the US is really a great place and Americans are not the the straw-men of the ubber-liberal elite.
I thought it was worth noting.
The best of luck to you, and when you start a blog, tell us where it is!
Hey, David Foster ... think you forgot something about the possibly bright future for electricians, plumbers and other craftspeople in our society. They can organize their own companies, hire other folks newer to the game and eventually become millionaires, like all of us college graduates. In my youth I was Technical Editor of Electrical Contractor magazine, a trade publication in Washington, D.C. and was impressed by its mailing list of upper income contractors and their employees. In my trips "out among 'em" I had many conversations with well-to-do contractors. I suspect that I would have been similarly impressed if I had worked for a plumbing contractor magazine. Certainly, the building contractors I know seem to be far more comfortably situated than my husband and I are [they never pay "word people" enough I think, but then everybody thinks they don't get paid enough for their wonderful skills].
Marianne...an excellent point. But the majority of people are going to work in fairly large organizations, and this is especially true in certain fields. If you work on offshore oil platforms, for instance (doing welding, let's say) it's unlikely that you can scrape the capital together to go into your own offshore drilling business.
Entrepreneurship does offer an escape valve to the uncredentialed to a much greater extent than it does in, say, France, but over-reliance on credentialism still does great harm to our society.
David Foster ... oopsie. You just entered a discussion of a field about which I know quite a bit, since my husband was editor and writer in the oil industry field for many years before he retired and went freelance. He's written many books, both about the oil industry and about nature subjects. We both wrote a book about the 1974 oil crisis for one of the Washington think-tanks.
The distinguishing fact about many modern oil exploration companies is that a surprising number of their founders worked in the oil fields in one way or another. Entrepreneurship is a distinguishing characteristic of the oil industry. These guys start out as craftsmen, if you can call a rigger, a welder or a driller a craftsman, and learn to run very profitable companies very profitably. I have the greatest of respect for them, and the industry which has accomplished so much in helping America to become a great capitalist country.
Since you & your husband are writers, maybe there could be an interesting book on this...anything that helps reduce credential-worship would be a good thing IMNSHO.
But are you arguing that there are so many ways around credentialism that it is not a real problem?
As far as "the crack" and manmade global warming is concerned, the Goracle's disciples seem to be getting more and more worried, as more and more sensible people realize that, as Jules Crittenden says, "the earth gets warmer, the earth gets cooler, and nobody quite knows why." Certainly not because of CO2, which is an essential gas, not a pollutant. If you want to live in a sandbox, eliminate CO2. It's essential fertilizer for all green plants, as all of you know.
Oh dear, oh dear. So many things to fix. So little time.
Good wishes on your job and all the changes it will entail. I have always enjoyed your links and especially your right-on commentary with each link. I know it's a lot of work to set those posts up. You deserve good things, and I hope you get them. You've got style, and that counts big time! :)
David and Marianne are having a heavyweight bout... I hardly got a word in they've been so busy. So I settled down and had a wee dram, a good smoke and I've been taking in the show.
D- exposed himself to M-'s area of expertise by bringing up the oil industry, but D- is pressing the issue of educational credentials as a barrier to significant advancement.
If I were to throw my two centavos in I'd say over-emphasis on academic credentials creates significant barriers for otherwise qualified workers. As my academic credentials are--shalll we say threadbare--I would like to bear witness for the uncredentialed. But--and I add this caveat because I don't want to tangle with M--it is not impossible to advance, just very difficult.
Jephnol ... your two centavos are right on the money when you say "over-emphasis on academic credentials creates significant barriers for otherwise qualified workers." It does or they do. Whatever. Creative success results from constant curiosity, the coupling together of facts and concepts that have never been joined together before. To use some famous words from another context, invention is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
I believe a large component of success in creating a start-up is the willingness to fail. Or rather, a willingness to pick things up and start again after failure. There's some statistic out there I vaguely remember suggesting an average of 9 failed attempts before an entrepreneur's efforts take root. I don't know, but it makes sense... It's the whole ant and the rubber tree thing. And to me, that's the whole American spirit thing in a nutshell. I hope we haven't lost that...
Getting a position in an established business with benefits is another thing altogether. That's where the barriers are really evident...