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kat2cute
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Post by kat2cute »

jfrazierjr wrote:In my opinion, he is yet another celebrity. The few people I have talked to (and seen interviewed on TV) have no real substance for liking him vs Hillary. He just makes them "feel" good.


And you know what; I liked Hillary too. I would have been happy if either got the nomination (though I was voting Obama from the start). Hillary, when 1st lady, had the great idea and initiative to try and give our nation an actual health care reform. If made president, It would have been easier for her to try again.

However, the main reason I like Obama has to do with the fact that he is a charismatic speaker and orator (I saw him speak in person and online several times) and that <i>is</i> one of the changes this country needs. Aren't you tired of everyone making fun of our president for all the "Bushisms"?
"Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?" —Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000
"You work three jobs? … Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that." —to a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005"

For more of lovely quotes from our last completely incompetent leader, check out this site, http://politicalhumor.about.com/cs/georgewbush/a/top10bushisms.htm

Plus everything Azhrei said about Obama is also important, he isn't just "empty rhetoric" like some like to call it. Did you see his acceptance speech from the Democratic convention? Not only was it well-orated, but he gave specific examples of his plans for the country that I believe everyone would be happy with. Plus, the comments that he hasn't done anything major legislative-wise are completely false. Check out these sites if interested: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303303.html and
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/20/172059/936

I have read through both candidates platforms and am much more impressed with Obamas. Apparently he actually hires smart and experienced advisors to help him, unlike McCain's who routinely say idiotic things. Like when Rick Davis said "this election is not about issues", apparently he thinks it is about personalities! Or when one of his advisers said noone in America is currently without health insurance so we should stop called them uninsured:
But the numbers are misleading, said John Goodman, president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, a right-leaning Dallas-based think tank. Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain's health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)

"So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime," Mr. Goodman said. "The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American - even illegal aliens - as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care.

"So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved."

I am aware that this advisor was not on his payroll, but that doesn't mean that this idiot didn't help draft McCain's horrible health care platform. Plus when McCain makes jokes about killing Iranians, or his other tasteless jokes that prove he is not the eloquent leader we need. There are many good points of Obama. Did you know he actually went on the O'Reilly show and let that unprofessional self-inflated pundit drill him? That shows some real bravery. And after one of the McCain advisers didn't like how their interview went with Larry King, they canceled all future interviews regarding Sarah Palin with all news media that don't already eat out of their hands. That is cowardice. If Tigh/Roslin, ...I mean McCain/Palin are such a great ticket, why are they refusing to talk to the media?

The celebrity comment is just a jab because the Democrats actually like their candidate and are happy to watch him speak. If you have 40min to spare, I really recommend hearing Obama's acceptance speech (skip the first 3 minutes, it is all clapping). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ0gxF869NE Maybe after you have actually heard his eloquent explanation of his future policies, people won't make blind statements that he is all air.
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Post by BigO »

kat2cute wrote:I am aware that this advisor was not on his payroll, but that doesn't mean that this idiot didn't help draft McCain's horrible health care platform. Plus when McCain makes jokes about killing Iranians, or his other tasteless jokes that prove he is not the eloquent leader we need. There are many good points of Obama.

Don't make the mistake of attacking McCain when I ask about Obama. First of all, I don't like McCain either, just for different reasons than I don't like Obama. Secondly, the failings of your opponent does not equal strength for your side, which I why I don't like negative campaign ads. And yes, I know both sides have them.

And don't even get me started on tasteless jokes. Joe Biden has put his foot in his mouth so many times it's mind boggling.
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kat2cute
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Post by kat2cute »

BigO wrote:Don't make the mistake of attacking McCain when I ask about Obama. First of all, I don't like McCain either, just for different reasons than I don't like Obama. Secondly, the failings of your opponent does not equal strength for your side, which I why I don't like negative campaign ads. And yes, I know both sides have them.

And don't even get me started on tasteless jokes. Joe Biden has put his foot in his mouth so many times it's mind boggling.

Well, I provided some of my reasons that I support Obama in my description, it is just hard to not also point out the strongponts of Obama compared to the weaknesses of McCain. And seeing as this is essentially a 2-party system and that negative ads have been known to be effective unfortunately, including "attack" points along with positive candidate points are all but necessary nowadays. The only time no "attack" would be needed would be if there is no fear of the other party winning. So at least you can feel grateful it is still a race because the media is still focusing on attack points.

I asked my husband why he likes Obama, and this is what he said
His mother was an atheist and his father was a Muslim, so he has a diverse background that makes him care about the little people and minorities. He understands religion but sticks to the constitutional requirement of secularism. And he won't assume all Muslims are faceless, nameless killing machines. I like him because he isn't a Bush or Clinton and I'm sick of the Dynasties. He HAS pulled himself up by his bootstraps (rather than married into money) and done it pretty much on his own. Even though he made his own wealth, if isn't trying to get tax cuts for the rich, but do what is best for the entire country. He fesses up when he makes a mistake, but isn't stupid enough to give the opposition those sound bites they desperately want. But most importantly, he is a young politician who understands new technology and has the best technology platform of the 2 candidates.
Net Neutrality is very important to us, as I would assume it would be to everyone who uses the internet for more than a hour each day. Obama is for it, McCain is against it. Again, if you don't know exactly what Net Neutrality is, check out this lecture by Lessig, an expert on it who has advised congress. It also has the bonus to translating the technology platform of the candidates into understandable language.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvohYMgp0oo
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Post by BigO »

kat2cute wrote:I asked my husband why he likes Obama, and this is what he said
His mother was an atheist and his father was a Muslim, so he has a diverse background that makes him care about the little people and minorities. He understands religion but sticks to the constitutional requirement of secularism. And he won't assume all Muslims are faceless, nameless killing machines. I like him because he isn't a Bush or Clinton and I'm sick of the Dynasties. He HAS pulled himself up by his bootstraps (rather than married into money) and done it pretty much on his own. Even though he made his own wealth, if isn't trying to get tax cuts for the rich, but do what is best for the entire country. He fesses up when he makes a mistake, but isn't stupid enough to give the opposition those sound bites they desperately want. But most importantly, he is a young politician who understands new technology and has the best technology platform of the 2 candidates.

Those are some of best reasons I've heard yet. Thank you.

kat2cute wrote:Net Neutrality is very important to us, as I would assume it would be to everyone who uses the internet for more than a hour each day. Obama is for it, McCain is against it.

Yes, I'm very very upset with how the entire Republican party stands on issues of Net Neutrality, DRM, Software Patents, and other tech issues. What bothers me so much is that the way I see it, it matches perfectly with their stated values. Things like free markets, promoting business, and preventing unfair monopolies. But they seem to be too beholden to the corporations padding their wallets to think for themselves and realize that Net Neutrality is the only way to ensure a free market for internet trade. GRRR!
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Post by Azhrei »

BigO wrote:Those are some of best reasons I've heard yet. Thank you.

Yes, I also like your husband's viewpoint. Bravo!

But they seem to be too beholden to the corporations padding their wallets to think for themselves and realize that Net Neutrality is the only way to ensure a free market for internet trade. GRRR!

I mentioned it previously: corporations being treated as "persons" under the law is an extreme travesty. The sad part is that constitutional law experts agree it was a mistake but there's no taking it back now. :(

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Post by Skanks »

Azhrei wrote:I mentioned it previously: corporations being treated as "persons" under the law is an extreme travesty. The sad part is that constitutional law experts agree it was a mistake but there's no taking it back now. :(


It's the same in every country that ended up giving those rights to them. They have the rights but few of the responsibilities.

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Post by Hawke »

Azhrei wrote:There's the obvious issue with abstinence-only education obviously not working (it didn't work for her daughter, right?).


For the record she had not-abstinence only education as well. It's a stupid thing to spend tax dollars no no matter what, but just wanted to clarify that jab I've seen several times... heck, one could make a dataless/anecdotal claim as you did in the opposite direction with much better effect. Still though, data will tell us abstinence-only education doesn't work and shouldn't be funded. If only the right would wake up!

I'm a little-l libertarian, but economic issues trump social issues any day of the week which is why I tend to vote republican in national elections (though locally democrats and other parties can produce some exceptional candidates for the limited scope of local jobs).

McCain is my choice primarily because he wants to lower business taxes to the world average of 25%. Complaining because jobs are moving overseas? That's a good way to help give them an incentive to stay here when we're currently the second highest rate in the world. And it's silly to think that "corporations" pay taxes - only the people who buy their products get passed that cost. The opposite party's plan is to keep them the same and tax the highest group higher. As much as the back-of-the-envelope calculation might suggest you'll earn all kinds, it never works out that way. His answer to "the past has shown that increasing investment taxes has actually reduced revenue" was an it doesn't matter, it's fair to do. That seems reckless... sticking it to the "rich" is okay by him even though it hurts the funds that provide relief for the "poor." Second is health care, McCain has a much better plan that I'd enjoy talking about sometime.

As far as "more money for the schools" that's a common trap that government lays for us. Check out the cost-per-pupil at your local public schools and then compare to religious, charter, etc. schools in your area. Sure there will be the expensive polo-playing outlier, but you'll find they're cheaper. Locally as an example, the popular catholic highschool has a cost-per-pupil of $3960 (actually parents pay more cause 33% of their tuition goes to the catholic diocese which in turn funds scholarships for a large percentage of unable-to-pay... but I'm talking the cost-to-educate) and the cost per-pupil for the public schools is $7000. The catholic school has a 98% graduation rate and a 90% college attendance rate. The public schools have a 60% graduation rate and I don't even want to look up the number for college. So how does the non-union catholic school with lay teachers and staff achieve this goal with 56% of the budget of the public schools? Whatever the answer is, it is certainly not more money and is why even a cent tax increase to go to the public schools here is something I'll stand against... and the catholic school I happen to be familiar with is in line with local christian, charter, and prep schools. Absolutely absurd.

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Post by jfrazierjr »

Hawke wrote:As far as "more money for the schools" that's a common trap that government lays for us. Check out the cost-per-pupil at your local public schools and then compare to religious, charter, etc. schools in your area. Sure there will be the expensive polo-playing outlier, but you'll find they're cheaper. Locally as an example, the popular catholic highschool has a cost-per-pupil of $3960 (actually parents pay more cause 33% of their tuition goes to the catholic diocese which in turn funds scholarships for a large percentage of unable-to-pay... but I'm talking the cost-to-educate) and the cost per-pupil for the public schools is $7000. The catholic school has a 98% graduation rate and a 90% college attendance rate. The public schools have a 60% graduation rate and I don't even want to look up the number for college. So how does the non-union catholic school with lay teachers and staff achieve this goal with 56% of the budget of the public schools? Whatever the answer is, it is certainly not more money and is why even a cent tax increase to go to the public schools here is something I'll stand against... and the catholic school I happen to be familiar with is in line with local christian, charter, and prep schools. Absolutely absurd.


EXACTLY MY POINT! Why would I want to give the federal government any MORE control over my life, taking away more of my choices? The private sector CAN and does do it better. If you want to fix healthcare, then letting the government take over is the last thing that should be done. Perhaps tort reform is a good first step. One of the reasons for high medical costs is ridiculous law suits. Like wise, if you want to "cover" everyone, then find a way to do it that does let the government have control of the purse strings.
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Post by Skanks »

Healthcare in the US seems bizarre to me. (I come from NZ) Especially given from what I gather that you guys spend far more per person on healthcare than we do. (We don't have those lawsuits per se back home either)

Personally I wouldn't not want to have a socialized healthcare system. It's not totally public (it's a mixture in NZ of both, you can choose to go totally private if you wish) nor is it totally free (there is a user pays element to it) but it means that being poor doesn't mean you don't get treated.

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Post by Hawke »

Health Care's biggest folly in the United States is that it is tied to your job. Totally worthless idea that was a result of wage freezes that prevented employers from giving workers what they were worth. How do you attract/keep employees? They provided health care as a benefit that wasn't a "wage" so therefore exempt. Unfortunately now we're stuck in that situation and need to get rid of it.

I mean think about it... I have one company I can choose from and I work for a very large defense contractor. One company. It's like if you could only get your car insurance from your job and they only had Farmers. And if you quit, you lost your Farmers coverage. What's with that?

And here's the real kicker... When I was married it was $80 "out of pocket" for me but the total cost for insurance was close to $400. Nobody knows this number here. The plan I really wanted was $120 a month, but that means an extra $40 out of pocket to me if I got it. That's stupid, why shouldn't I be able to just get paid $400 a month extra and then if I want to go with a $120 plan I can make that choice, if I want to stick with the other company at $400, great. If I want to pocket that money or put it in a HSA, that's my choice. Why should I be forced into what I am?

In addition, I have two retired veterans with health care from the VA and a slew of 18 year olds who have their parents insurance until 25 as part of my direct reports. I also have people who are getting health insurance in that category. Why is it that those with health insurance are effectively getting paid $400 a month extra, but those with other forms of personal health insurance aren't getting anything? But because nobody knows the true cost of health care, those without just "feel lucky because they don't have to pay $80 a month for health care."

That's why Obama's plan is bad. It further ties your healt hcare to your job which is the opposite direction we need to go. And of course McCain wants to take it out of your employers hands and put it back into yours. He doesn't go far enough, imho, but between the two it should be a no brainer.

If you think the government can do a better job with your health insurance, why shouldn't the government do a better job with your car insurance? Or if we feel health care is a right, so should clothing, housing, and transportation(need to get to a job). Why can't the government step in and run those better than the private market, too? If you honestly believe it can on all those accounts, I definitely respect your consistent logic and opinion (despite maybe a lack of understanding economics or human nature) - at least you hold consistent beliefs. And I don't say that sarcastically.

If you want to consider more about health care, I suggest checking out the hour long John Stossel special "Sick in America" - it even has Michael Moore. No, it's not the end all and be all, no it's not filled with tons of factual information, but it's definitely worth checking out if you really want to think a bit about the subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEXFUbSbg1I check out the subsequent parts as well.

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Post by Hawke »

Just happened to run into this graph which I felt was relevant

Image

We're paying double since 1970... are we really twice as good?

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Post by jfrazierjr »

Hawke wrote:Just happened to run into this graph which I felt was relevant

Image

We're paying double since 1970... are we really twice as good?


heh..

the more money we spend on public school students, the more stuppider they get



MY OPINION, is that one(if not the top) of the major issues is the lack of discipline. The less control over student discipline a teacher/principal has over the student body, the poorer the students average grades will be overall. This is due to law suits(which seem to be destroying most of everything IMO) and parents that have no backbone to allow their children to be disciplined iin a fashion that is effective. Likewise, all the shrinks who have conned the school system into thinking that we have to be careful to avoid hurting little Johnny's feeling and make sure he has a high self esteem (even if he turns into an ego maniacal gang banger that can't read or write.)
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Post by Orchard »

i just have to but in now don't i?

Gah, this graph is the ONE thing that would make me do it (and from my work computer too!).

You see, I've worked on NAEP projects...and it's a very deceiving graph.

It doesn't mean what you think it means.

Those scores are standardized. Which means that they are going to stay flat. Year after year. They are normalized so that they are going to remain flat. Period. The comparison is across grades within a single year, and within perhaps a couple years of work.

Moreover, recently non-cognitive assessments have been added to the NAEP assessment (I should know--I've been very busy with that this year), and it's been a real pain. The maintenance of trend data is a very sensitive issue to NCES (I know several of the folks down there) and ARI, but when you are looking at the standardized scores as opposed to the raw scores, you can't make very good comparisons from 1970 to 2004. It just doesn't work. Standardized scores aren't designed for that kind of comparison.

I know what the graph says it is, and I know that it was likely prepared by someone reasonably smart, but I've worked with a lot of these folks, and I'm not really going to get into this much except that this is bumping into my professional area and the entire graph is extremely dangerous to do a 'hey we're spending twice as much, why aren't reading scores better?' kind of comparison.

So while the dollars seem to be inflation adjusted (hmm...), that doesn't really talk about the differences in teacher salary, cost of living increases, and a whole host of other issues that are attendant with per-student expenditures that you wouldn't expect to have zero impact on reading scores.

Furthermore, as a psychologist (drink), I will unequivocally state that with very few exceptions there are certain levels of brain development expected at each grade level (the ages listed here are proxies for grades 4, 8 & 12, by the way, and I can't figure why they aren't listed by grade rather than age, because that's how NAEP is typically administered). You can expect some minor variation in reading ability, but not much.

Oh, and look, how much has age 9 really changed? It's not a doubling, but it is an increase from 1971 (but not from 1980).

My point is that overall the entire graph is misleading and that saying dollars spent isn't impacting education quality is hardly the best conclusion (you don't have enough information!) that you can draw. It's a conclusion, certainly, but until you get more information about relevant variables, I'd strongly suggest that you be a bit more cautious in the interpretation of this type of graph.

Just a word from someone working in the educational testing field. At one of the biggest players in that field.

Just sayin.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I support private education/home schooling backed by solid scientific research such as what my current employer does. We have solid data stating that exercise has strong benefits for education. So those stupid schools taking out recess? It's criminal.
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Post by BigO »

Hawke wrote:Just happened to run into this graph which I felt was relevant
...
We're paying double since 1970... are we really twice as good?

*sigh* the heritage foundation makes me cringe every time, and this chart is a great example of why.

In essence I agree with the point that you're trying to make about education because I don't at all think we are getting back what we are paying in, but that chart is basically meaningless. [edit]Orchard is much more versed on this that me, so I'll just refer you to his post as to why the data isn't accurate.[/edit]

And this is the main problem with the heritage foundation and other zealous special interest groups. They are so driven to convince people and win converts to their cause that they are willing to use arguments, and data, that don't stand up to the least bit of scrutiny. That's a sandy foundation to build an argument on because, even if your position is the correct one, it opens the door for your opponent to use that against you.

And just to be clear, I think that this is not a problem with only one party. Everyone seems to do it. Both parties (especially the special interest groups) on both sides of the isle.

To me this is very similar to global warming arguments (heh, how's THAT for a can of worms?). Think what you will about global warming, but it's a fact that groups that are very zealous about convincing people that it's a problem have been caught using so-called 'scientific data' and other things that fall apart under the least bit of scrutiny. For example, I once saw a photo comparison that was used to try to support global warming that was of a big ice shelf somewhere near one of the earth's poles. There was one picture taken in like the early 1900's of this spot, and someone went back to same spot and took a picture in the same place from the same angle. The two photos clearly show that the ice had receded by a good 100 meters or so. The group spreading this around was using it to drum up fear and panic in support of their cause. What they failed to mention was that this is a normal yearly cycle for that particular spot. It melts every year and then comes back every year. They just took the picture when it was the warm season and the ice wasn't there.

Does that mean that global warming is false? No, it doesn't prove anything at all about global warming, but it DOES open the door for the people on the right to say "SEE! They are lying to you! Global Warming is a hoax!"
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Post by Orchard »

I should say, I have avoided posting in this thread for a lot of reasons, and I have no desire to get mixed up in it all.

But when I see science and statistics brought into a thread, especially data that is close to my work, I'm not constitutionally capable of letting it slide. Unfortunately.

Do not, however, mistake any of my remarks as taking a stance for or against either major political party. I'm not a fan of the system as a whole, but I am a patriot. I love this world, and I believe that as long as I am an American Citizen, then I have certain responsibilities. With those responsibilities come certain privileges and freedoms, and I am grateful for those. I wish more politicians would see it that way.
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