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In response to:

The Cross Examined College Prep Course III

Ed52 Wrote: Jan 20, 2015 3:10 PM
Having been a science/engineering major I avoided a lot of claptrap disguised as scholarship. The required social science/humanities courses were carefully chosen for professors who kept to the subject and/or night courses taught by adjuncts from the real world. It may not be be possible to do that in the current system but one would gain quite an advantage if college was treated as a job. 1. Wake up like you're going to work, show up at every class, study and get work done. It's always easy to find someone to waste time with. Schedule work first, you'll have to do it in real life, get used to it. 2. Make sure all the courses taken assist in making you a more rounded person or have a direct bearing on your career goals; these are not contradictory. The required non-major course choices are important, don't go for the easy A, learn and absorb from substantive courses 3. It is very important that you learn how to communicate effectively, learn how to assess and comfortably address an audience of any size; acquire the skills of spelling, grammar and rhetoric. Writing and speaking clearly and concisely, expressing yourself accurately, reduces misunderstandings and excuses. The #3 skills are essential when dealing with the demagogue professor's idealistic proclamations. The time in college is too valuable to waste on trying to discomfort the entrenched Ceasars. Rephrasing and logically expanding the lecture points and submitting them for grade is a long-time tradition that wastes less time and causes less stress. Writing and debating in support of points of view you disagree with is a valuable rhetorical skill and is also good practice for when you have a demagogue boss and/or pursue a law career.
I think polygamy, polyandry and all combinations thereof comprise the next "marriage" issue. It's an easier issue because all the arguments for homosexual marriage apply to multiplicity of simultaneous spouses. The real danger at the end of this increasingly slippery slope is the movement to lower age of consent. Protecting children and judiciously developing them into rational, aware, capable and responsible adults is a fundamental responsibility of society. Turning them into victims, especially legal victims, is not a good idea.
In response to:

Why We Need a Better Sense of Humor

Ed52 Wrote: Jan 19, 2015 1:53 PM
Irony, sarcasm, satire and humor are rhetorical tools that are only effective when understood and recognized by those with a broad enough education to be able to perceive and appreciate depth and meaning. This eliminates most of those with knee-jerk reactions to anything that even slightly implies that their politically correct stances on things that are "universal truths" (because Everybody Knows...) are actually based on wishing and hoping.
In response to:

Obama's Tax Plan

Ed52 Wrote: Jan 19, 2015 12:59 PM
It is impossible to simply the tax system because it would take away the social engineering power of Congress and would eliminate a lot of work for CPAs, lawyers, and IRS drones. Whatever changes do occur will create more “loopholes” because the CPAs and lawyers understand the tax code in much more detail than those who enact it. The wealthy have the resources to pay professionals to structure their affairs so taxes are minimized. Changing citizenship is expensive but it's a one-time cost that can be evaluated within a business decision matrix and, obviously, has been found to be beneficial by a lot of wealthy people. The tendency toward demonization of people who have acquired and possess wealth and have the quaint idea of passing that wealth on to offspring relies on knee-jerk reactions in an unthinking populace not noticing the underlying implication that the government has a natural right and duty to confiscate amounts above what is considered acceptable. I wouldn't be surprised if California and other states try to enact a tax on those who dare to flee: “Any California citizen relocating out of state must pay a 50% wealth tax on all assets (owned anywhere and not adjusted by any liabilities) to compensate for the benevolent & all-caring State's loss of a productive taxpayer.”
1. They have also disarmed, in varying degrees, the citizens. The nanny state ethos is for the government to protect everyone. This, of course, is hampered by reality trumping idealism. 2. The realistic basis for operations of every emergency service is "When seconds count we are just minutes away." 3. Facing reality is not a liberal tendency, they'd rather avoid the inconvenience and act on what they believe the situation should be . When hearing the statement "I am going to kill you." a conservative recognizes it as threat and takes appropriate action; a liberal interprets it as a cordial invitation to negotiate.
In response to:

Don't Be Afraid To Give Kids Independence

Ed52 Wrote: Jan 16, 2015 12:33 PM
How did we survive in the fifies & sixties? We had cap guns, BB guns, shootin' shell guns, toy soldiers, toy tanks, wooden blocks and tool sets. Plus every boy & most girls carried a jackknife. We played with creativity & imagination and, most importantly, we knew the difference between play/fiction and real life. We played Cops & Robbers and Cowboys & Indians; we pushed and shoved and tied each other up - all just playing and having fun, doing no harm. Of course, in the course of playing as free range kids we got hurt and learned about pain. Nobody got upset much because (other than putting an eye out or breaking a neck) injuries were not considered serious, even broken bones and stitches, they were just part of growing up, no cops, no lawyers. Common sense was a lot more common. This also touches on the current movement toward the general acceptance of deferring adulthood and not training the young to accept and fulfill responsibilities. It seems that adulthood now officially starts well after college graduation - upon removal from the parent's health coverage. In the before times parents knew they were supposed to develop their children into productive adults - this also involved the neighborhood; other adults could yell at kids and the kids showed them respect. Children were expected to do chores, were given opportunities to make (low cost) wrong choices and learn from mistakes, were allowed to do their own homework, and were allowed to be free range kids - including getting into fights – an adult would break it up, lecture, force a handshake and it was over. A 12 year old could get a paper route; a 16 year old was expected to get a job. A high school graduate was considered an adult
Toleration is a two way street. We are a country that will allow a mosque to be built but, at the same time there should be legal impediment to near-by businesses selling pork, liquor or lingerie. Neither should there be any concern about near-by restaurants selling BBQ, ham and bacon or the having a community dog park across the street. Unless the local politicians have been intimidated or bought off, sidewalks are public rights of way and all can use then wearing everyday clothing accompanied by their pets without harassment or threat. American society can neither be tolerant of intolerance nor succumb to politically correct hypocrisy shrouded in respect for differences and behaviors that would otherwise be unacceptable, or illegal, outside of a religious filter. Those who demand tolerance cannot demand the law support and uphold their own intolerance.
Another sterling examples of one of the 535 Congress Critters who we pay, along with their minions, to look good on television, name post offices, lament conditions and play name-calling games with each other. Maybe we should attempt to return to the days when we elected adult type people to work for us.
The reliance on the monoculture grains foisted on us by Mega-Agriculture is of a more immediate threat. Natural organisms are, in the long term, uncontrollable and constantly mutating. It is inevitable that a virus or bacteria will evolve that will destroy a food grain. With luck, it will be recognized early enough so that only a million or so acres crops will have to be sacrificed.
In response to:

Offenders of the Western Faith

Ed52 Wrote: Jan 15, 2015 7:58 PM
Those who revel in self-righteous, perpetual indignation, decrying hate speech everywhere, refuse to recognize that (a) Freedom Of Religion is not equivalent to Freedom From Religion and (b) despite rumors to the contrary, there is no Freedom From Discomfort, Insult and Offense. Freedom of Speech includes Freedom to Utter Nonsense, Freedom to Offend and Freedom to Ignore and it certainly does not imply a right to an audience. Anyone who seriously says "I support Freedom of Speech but..." either is ignorant of the meaning of freedom or is a bully supporting oppression.
In response to:

Time for Coke and McDonald's to "Carry On"

Ed52 Wrote: Jan 15, 2015 7:38 PM
A. As with Microsoft when the Fearless Leaders were overcome with vapors because too many people found their products worth buying - the only way to protest whatever anyone is selling is to stop buying the product. B. The insidious NANNY STATE: 1. The government will provide health insurance; all outside of government are forced to buy it. 2. The government has to pay for all or part of health care. 3. The government can't afford to provide heath care to unhealthy people. 4. People with unhealthy lifestyles are a burden on taxpayers; they are leeches. unless, of course, they members of a protected minority. 5. Things that promote unhealthy lifestyles need to be banned or taxed; the taxes will be used for permanent government programs. 6. The taxes reduce consumption of the products but the predictable unforeseen result is lower tax revenue. Since all government programs are essential, general taxes must go up accordingly. 7. As people get used to the taxes on unhealthy items the consumption of unhealthy items will rise but the extra general taxes will remain. 8. Since all the above is for our own good, imposed by our benevolent government that always tries hard and means well, we should all shut up and pay our fair share.
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