November 30, 2011
OBAMA/ALINSKY: Newt “Goes There.” This is why he’s polling so well. Romney take note.
OBAMA/ALINSKY: Newt “Goes There.” This is why he’s polling so well. Romney take note.
CHANGE: U.S. Nears Milestone: Net Fuel Exporter. “U.S. exports of gasoline, diesel and other oil-based fuels are soaring, putting the nation on track to be a net exporter of petroleum products in 2011 for the first time in 62 years. A combination of booming demand from emerging markets and faltering domestic activity means the U.S. is exporting more fuel than it imports, upending the historical norm.”
This would be good news, if it weren’t for the “falling domestic activity” part. That really just means that our economy is falling behind.
UPDATE: Note the difference between “oil” and “fuel.” We’re still importing a lot of oil. But if we get the shale-oil going, that’ll change.
POLITICS: “I’m fascinated by a few things: how Democrats close ranks around one of their own, how much these people drink together, and the hypocrisy about feminist matters.” It’s like Penn State. But then, anywhere the powerful gather is like Penn State.
WHERE WERE PENN STATE’S TRUSTEES? When the most highly paid employee is the football coach, it’s clear something is awry. “Every generation or so, a scandal emerges that not only exposes the flaws of an institution but shakes entire industries to their foundations. For higher education, that scandal should be Penn State. The unfolding events of the Penn State sports scandal show a major university that has been more interested in protecting itself than in educating students or serving the public. The institutional reckoning must begin and end with the governing board. It is responsible for the actions of university leaders, and its members owe taxpayers and students accountability and transparency.”
UPDATE: Reader Ken Bullock emails:
I don’t write in very often, but your uncritical quotation of a vacuous WSJ article has moved me. Ms. Neal apparently didn’t look up the facts about Joe Paterno’s salary, which was 11th among the 12 Big 10 coaches. More to the point, the ousted PSU President, Graham Spanier, made about eight times as much as Joe did.
Both Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz and Michigan’s Brady Hoke made over three times as much as Joe did, even though their life achievements are only a small fraction of Paterno’s . I’m sure that Jim Tressel made much more than Paterno did, before he was forced out. And none of the direct salary comparisons take into account the fact that Joe contributed a large portion of his pay back to the university.
The PSU Board of Trustees has some sins to answer for, but first among those sins is the way they ousted Joe Paterno.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Oops — I was tired and missed this but my alert readers didn’t. Reader Theodore Simon writes:
Quote: “More to the point, the ousted PSU President, Graham Spanier, made about eight times as much as Joe did.”
Don’t think so. From the information at the links your reader Ken Bullock provided:
11. Joe Paterno, Penn State: $1,022,794 (64)
PSU President Graham Spanier is fifth on the Chronicle of Higher Education’s survey of public college presidents’ pay at $800,500 in total compensation.
It looks to me as if the coach is paid more than the prez. Bad math: someone has slipped a decimal point. If Spanier earned 8X what Paterno earned, his annual salary would have been $8 million. According to the sources linked by your reader, Spanier’s salary was only $800K, or ten times less than that.
Those decimal points can be tricky. And reader Gary Rosen emails: “Ken Bullock made some good points in his response to the WSJ article on Paterno’s salary. I read the article before that and something about it didn’t seem quite right to me, more of a rant about relative salaries than the ugly goings-on. But Bullock was off-base in condemning the firing of Paterno. One comment I heard put it all in perspective – ‘Coaches get fired for having a losing season’. Maybe you could argue he should have been put on leave instead in the spirit of ‘innocent until proven guilty’. But Paterno has been the public face of PSU for 40 years and regardless of their own shortcomings the trustees were well within their rights to not let him continue in that role.”
TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: Bioethicists’ built-in conflict of interest.
UPDATE: Reader Craig Mason emails:
Regarding your re-post of your “Bioethicists’ built-in conflict of interest” story, years ago as part of my training to be a clinical psychologist, I attended a lecture by a bioethicist. He presented data from a study he did in which a hypothetical “patient”, his/her spouse, and his/her doctor, were each presented with increasingly dire end-of-life medical situations faced by the “patient”. Each was asked when the patient would want to have care terminated. He found that the doctor was consistently the first one to pull the plug, the spouse was the second one, and the “patient” would be the last one to say to pull the plug.
Without missing a beat, the bioethicist went on to conclude that this demonstrated why such decisions should be left to doctors because it shows how patients can’t make the right decision.
I have been skeptical of that field ever since.
I remember talking with a bioethicist about how he pulled the plug on his father. I’m not saying it was the wrong decision, but he seemed a bit too proud of it.
NEW YORK, AMERICA, WHATEVER: “Every Time Obama Comes to New York, It’s a Nightmare.” “Obama’s ill-timed trip turned Midtown into a parking lot for hours, and ticked off New Yorkers simply looking to get around as the President glad-handed fat cats from the Upper East Side to the East Village to the Sheraton New York.”
UPDATE: Occupy Protesters Mobilize for Obama’s Visit. “Demonstrators held signs that leveled some of the Occupy protest’s most pointed criticism to date of the president. ‘Obama is a corporate puppet,’ one said. ‘War crimes must be stopped, no matter who does them,’ read another, beside head shots of President George W. Bush and President Obama.”
Nice to see that someone in NYC was mobile. Of course, the story says that the Occupy folks had a police escort, which is kind of odd. Oh, well — it gives them some common ground with Obama!
CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR: Tea party activists audited by city. Would that happen to Occupy protesters? “The city denies allegations that the audit warning was some kind of political retaliation or harassment. But for tea party groups, the city missive highlights long-running complaints of a double standard in the treatment of tea party activists.”
SIGNATURE FRAUD IN WISCONSIN RECALL PETITIONS? Does the Justice Department’s Voting Rights office know about this? Hey, stop laughing . . . .
PERFORMANCE ENHANCERS: Opiate of the Student Proletariat?
#OCCUPYFAIL: Occupy L.A.: 30 tons of debris left behind at City Hall tent city. “Sanitation officials said Wednesday that they expect to haul away 30 tons of debris from the Occupy L.A. encampment –- everything from clothing to heaps of garbage to oddball curiosities left behind by the protesters who lived at the City Hall tent city for two months.”
Remember how the Tea Party protesters left things neater than they found them? Which group is more likely to have a positive vision for America’s future?
MORE ON SKILLED TRADES: In this interview with Andy Grove, he talks about his support for vocational education. “Most people don’t even realize the need for more highly trained workers. The assumption remains that technical education is for less intelligent people. The first item cut from educational budgets is vocational education. People are required to be suitably trained for their work requirements, and yet the classes that are required for this are cut to the bone. In some instances, students are halfway through the course when funding is cut and then they are sent home. We create a damned obstacle course for people who want to work! . . . We fund scholarships for students at community colleges and in other vocational programs. The value of the scholarships ranges from $500 to $5,000 per year, depending on the type of training and needs of the student. The people for whom we provide support are not those who intend to transfer to four-year universities. Rather, we are funding scholarships for those students who intend to enter a career immediately upon completion of their studies.”
Plus, a model trade school.
All of this is great. I should note, though — as several readers have pointed out — that you can’t just “decide” to go into skilled trades any more than you can just decide to become a lawyer or a doctor. It varies, of course, but most trades take years of practice and a considerable degree of native talent. But it’s certainly true, as Grove notes and as others have said, that we’ve systematically undervalued such work for the past 50 years or more.
UPDATE: Reader Phil Hawkins writes:
I’m 62, have a degree in Christian Education, but have been a small businessman since 1975, the last 25 years as a carpenter/remodeler. The conclusion I reached a long time ago was that few 18-year-olds in our society have enough experience to know what they would be good at and enjoy doing. I was a “brain” in high school and college, graduated with honors. Got into small business, went back to school and studied accounting. About the time I had enough hours taken to sit for the CPA exam, I figured out that I did not have enough tolerance for paperwork to do that for a living, especially dealing with the IRS. Being good at school can be deceptive in that way–I aced most of the accounting classes. Just because you’re good at the classes does not mean you will like the work. Eventually, rehabbing a couple of old houses for my family to live in got me into remodeling as a business. The accounting was useful–most contractors have little clue how to run their business, even when they’re great at doing the work. Knowing how to analyze situations and solve problems has been a plus; being able to read and follow written directions is a big help–many guys in the trades can’t, and are slow to adopt new products and methods. But most of all, I found I liked working with my hands as well as my mind. I had little background with tools, but once I learned, I became pretty good at it. And I found it very satisfying. (Not to mention, swinging a hammer is a great way to get rid of stress.)
With my own kids, we told them if they wanted to do something that required college, go for it; but don’t go to college just to be going to college. We also encouraged them in hobbies and let them work with me when possible. (Even my daughter learned to tape drywall and paint.) Over time, each had certain things he/she was good at, and was not afraid to tackle new things. The older two are established, the youngest (24) is still struggling in this economy, but has several things going that may lead to success.
Success is a process, not an event. And I took the intro-accounting sequence in college because my advisor — Jack Reese, who was the Chancellor — ordered me to. He had gotten his Ph.D in English, but as Chancellor had to teach himself accounting. I found it hugely useful, in law practice, on the boards of various nonprofits, and in my own business interests.
DONALD SENSING: The “perfect storm” of bullishness – or not. “It’s true that the latest jobs report looks good. Even so, I think the surge will retreat – the move announced today has already weakened the dollar, resulting in higher prices of futures for oil, gold and silver, which are always priced internationally in dollars. . . . The fact is that none of the underlying, weak fundamentals about the Eurozone’s or America’s economy have changed.” If printing money can make us rich, we’ll be rich. Otherwise, not so much.
IS PHYSICAL STRENGTH the most important thing in life?
As the holiday travel season approaches, millions of American air passengers will become painfully reacquainted with Transportation Security Agency (TSA) screening measures. Passengers must submit to either medically unnecessary X-rays or intrusive gropings. Yet in the realm of health care the federal government has adopted a new policy of discouraging routine screening tests for many cancers. Although these two policies may seem superficially contradictory, they demonstrate an underlying common theme of the government seeking ever-greater control over our bodies and our freedom.
Screening travelers and screening patients share some common features. In both cases the goal is to sort through a large, mostly-normal population to identify the relatively few problem cases — either an undetected terrorist or a hidden cancer.
The TSA’s current approach of mass passenger screening has long angered many Americans.
Indeed it has.
EUROZONE FALLOUT: The reality, though, is that there are no safe havens anywhere any longer. I’m going long on shotgun shells and canned goods.
TINA BROWN: Obama Isn’t A Leader. “I think knowing how to exercise power is absolutely crucial. He doesn’t understand how to underpin his ideas with the political gritty, granular business of getting it done. And that kind of gap has just widened and widened and widened. And so that every time there is a moment, a window where he can jump in, like something like a Simpson-Bowles as well, he just doesn’t do it. He hangs back at crucial moments when you have to dive through that window.” Video at the link.
RESEARCH: Georgetown students shed light on China’s tunnel system for nuclear weapons. “Led by their hard-charging professor, a former top Pentagon official, they have translated hundreds of documents, combed through satellite imagery, obtained restricted Chinese military documents and waded through hundreds of gigabytes of online data. The result of their effort? The largest body of public knowledge about thousands of miles of tunnels dug by the Second Artillery Corps, a secretive branch of the Chinese military in charge of protecting and deploying its ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads.”
UPDATE: Payback? Heh.
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Blue Storm Batters Black America. “The civil rights movement and the emergence of a Black middle class has been one of America’s greatest successes of the 20th century, now Black families are seeing decades of progress unravel in the span of two years.”
I guess things aren’t living up to those 2008 hopes.
MEGAN MCARDLE: Reasons to Worry About the Prospects for a European Bailout. “The world used up a lot of its firepower during earlier phases of the crisis. I’m not just talking about those debt and spending numbers highlighted above. I’m talking about the political capital, the diplomatic capital, the institutional capital. In 2007, if this had happened, the US could have taken a much more aggressive role in helping Europe to get its act together. These days, even if Obama wanted to do the right thing at the expense of his sure and certain defeat in 2012, he’d never get Congress to go along. Similarly, my sense is that the last few years have frayed whatever pan-European goodwill existed.”
REALLY? 2014 Infiniti EV to Debut Wireless Inductive Charging System. “Nissan is now working on inductive charging, with the first production application of the technology arriving when Nissan’s luxury arm, Infiniti, launches its new EV model in 2014. Nissan says the charging system is 80-90 percent efficient depending on how well aligned the car is to the charging area. That’s about the same range, the automaker says, as a conventional (conductive) plug-in charger because of electrical losses between the plug on the car and the plug in the wall. Inductive charging would certainly leave homeowner’s garages free of cords. But the real benefit would come in the city.”
KABOOM: A second Iranian nuclear facility has exploded, as diplomatic tensions rise between the West and Tehran. “Perhaps it is the hand of God.”
FASTER, PLEASE: Fluorescent Spray Could Help Surgeons Identify Cancer Quickly.
HMM: Declassified Memo Hinted of 1941 Hawaii Attack. “Three days before the Dec. 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt was warned in a memo from naval intelligence that Tokyo’s military and spy network was focused on Hawaii, a new and eerie reminder of FDR’s failure to act on a basket load of tips that war was near.”
There’s a new book, so this claim’s getting attention, but in William Patterson’s biography of Robert Heinlein I learned that while in the Navy Heinlein was involved in a Pearl Harbor carrier-attack wargame that eerily presaged Pearl Harbor. The Navy’s battleship mafia deep-sixed the report, but the Japanese noticed.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: House subcommittee looking at rising tuition costs; not-for-profit colleges increasing more than for-profits.
UPDATE: Reader Donald Gately writes:
Local governments are clearly shifting from chasing criminals to chasing revenue. Which, from the point of view of their own self-interest, makes a lot of sense.
Let’s say that you are a local government, and you think of your budget as YOUR resources and not those of your constituents. You have a choice of two broad strategies (or a mix thereof): either pursue actual criminals for CRIMINAL OFFENSES, a process which requires the expenditure of resources and can be hard/dangerous work. Or you can pick on generally law-abiding citizens for civil offenses via revenue light cameras, roadside BAC screenings, “driving while talking” laws, seatbelt enforcement, aggressive parking enforcement, laws limiting grass/weed height, etc. While those non-criminals may sometimes show up in court to fight the charge, they typically don’t run or put up much of a fight (physical or otherwise). They pay their fines and get on with working, raising their families, paying their taxes, etc.
Given the quality of our political class, and given how many bureaucrats and government employees see their job as a birthright rather than a solemn responsibility, it should come as no surprise that taxpayers are getting it from both ends, and are seen as prey for both criminals and bureaucrats.
HMM: Foreclosure fraud whistleblower found dead. “A notary public who signed tens of thousands of false documents in a massive foreclosure scam before blowing the whistle on the scandal has been found dead in her Las Vegas home.”
RAND SIMBERG defends Andrew Sullivan against charges of racism.
#OCCUPYFAIL: Hey, what happened to the press coverage of the Occupy movement? “I’m guessing that the expression of the protesters — in form and substance — wasn’t serving the interests journalists favor. Excessively left-wing speech coming out of an angry/confused/unclean face… it’s not helping the mainstream Democrats.”
IN THE MAIL: Time for Outrage: Indignez-vous!
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Weather, Not Climate:
Those Via Meadia readers old enough to remember Hurricane Katrina can no doubt remember the many moralizing predictions of smug and condescending green climate hacktivists that followed: global warming was going to mean more hurricanes and bigger ones. Our coasts were toast; it was baked in the cake. The rising sea level combined with the inexorably rising number of major hurricanes were going to knock the climate skeptics out of the park.
Well, no. Andrew Revkin has called attention to this post from Roger Pielke’s blog which shows that as of today it has been 2,226 days since the last major hurricane (Category 3 or higher) hit the US mainland. Unless a big hurricane hits this winter, it means we are on track to break a 100 year record for the longest gap between major hurricanes hitting the coast. (The last Big Calm was between 1900 and 1906.)
But this is just weather, not climate, for reasons Mead explains.
CHANGE: Lawmakers Propose End To Congressional Pensions. “While vast numbers of the private-sector workforce have seen their pensions vanish over recent decades and find themselves with precarious, market-based 401(k) plans, members of Congress receive both a pension and a quality employer-match plan. According to at least two lawmakers, it’s time for elected officials to join the real world.”
IN LIGHT OF YESTERDAY’S POSTS ON LAW SCHOOLS TEACHING LAWYERING, reader James Eric Johnson writes:
The question really applies to any profession specific education program. Do engineering schools teach students how to be engineers? Hardly. I graduated from both an engineering school and a law school. I can’t say that either ever intended to teach me how to be one or the other. They teach concepts. They teach methods. They test whether you are able to grasp the concepts and implement the methods you will need in order to operate in the profession. Are law school graduates ready to be lawyers? No, but they’re vastly more ready than graduates of philosophy or grievance studies programs. That probably explains why all philosophy and grievance studies graduates want to go to law school. If they had the ability to pursue an engineering education, they would never have majored in philosophy or grievance studies to begin with.
Well, there’s math. Meanwhile, I should note that at the University of Tennessee College of Law, we have not only the clinical programs I mentioned in the earlier post, but a Center For Entrepreneurial Law aimed at business lawyers, and an advocacy program for people who want to be litigators, both of which emphasize practical training.
UPDATE: A reader who requests anonymity emails:
Add computer science degrees to that list. Schools rarely teach their students how to work as software developers, not even at the “concept” level. Good design, testing, and user interfaces are notably absent from the taught skill set, in favor of rote procedures. The exceptions apparently exist primarily because of the relative infancy of computer science to other fields. The constantly evolving technology encourages some cross-pollination between those providing the credentials and those doing the work. However, the norm is still that a new hire out of school, even one with a masters degree, must first be “untaught” bad habits before real work can commence.
Well, a school is not an apprenticeship program. But I do think we’ll see increased pressure to narrow the gap.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Kenneth Parker writes:
I’m a professional in the field (~25yrs). I don’t expect schools to teach students how to be professional programmers; they aren’t trade schools. The problem we’re seeing for the last five years or so is that kids are graduating from reputable state and private schools – with good grades – but without even the foggiest clue about fundamental concepts. Even stupid questions with no wrong answers like “Explain some of the differences between text files and binary files” stumps them. We had one interviewee that couldn’t remember the names of any of his courses from last semester, much less what was taught in them.
While price is certainly part of the education bubble, the other is that many kids simply aren’t learning anything. Whether that’s on the schools or the students I don’t know.
Yes, the value is declining on both the price and the result sides.
MORE: Reader Ray Ward writes:
One of your correspondents has officially gored my ox.
That probably explains why all philosophy and grievance studies graduates want to go to law school. If they had the ability to pursue an engineering education, they would never have majored in philosophy or grievance studies to begin with.
I majored in Philosophy at UT (the real one, in Texas). Two of my classes were all that was needed for a career in Computer Science: Symbolic Logic, and The Philosophy of Science. I have been in that field from bottom to top, both in the technical and the managerial tracks, since 1975. I taught my self the languages and concepts out of books, while working my way through school. The ability to think, learn, pursue knowledge, and the persistence to gain and hone skills, are the basics. The ability to read critically, write, and speak also help. Public speaking I acquired by training NRA firearms instructors, and teaching firearms classes.
I took Philosophy because it gave me the most freedom in scheduling different kinds of classes. I wanted and got an education before job training. That way I knew what was valuable, what to want, before considering the practical aspects of a job and career.
I took Symbolic Logic. History of Science, too, though it wasn’t taught in the Philosophy department.
But the Texas UT isn’t the real one, it’s a Johnny-Come-Lately.
And reader Michael Wallace writes:
I have two daughters. When they were in grade school I told them they better understand the math and science because I will only pay for a real degree and I will only pay for four years. Not long afterwards they began asking what real degrees were and the answers were engineering, science, medicine and accounting. Seeing how much I worked I knew that would develop no desire to be an accountant. (Not that it is easier in other professions, they just wouldn’t see it first hand.)
Year after year I made the same point when their report cards came in and when they complained. Eight months ago the oldest earned a CE from CMU in four years. Even though she was nowhere near at the top of the class (most of her A’s came in liberal arts requirements) she currently is working as a production engineer in the Texas oil fields and earning at a rate of 70/pa. In a couple months she will probably get a scheduled raise which will increase the rate to 80/pa plus a car allowance. It is hard work. It is a little dangerous. It has long hours. She loves it. Anyone know any poetry majors earning like that? Or drama majors? Outside of sales that is.
The youngest? She is working on an EE with a Math minor out in Silicon Valley. Teach and prepare your kids for the real world. If they are destined to be poets or writers or critics then they can do that after they have a real degree and are prepared for the world.
Preparing for the real world.
UPDATE: Michael Graham says the real problem is the GOP nominating process.
WE HAVE NOTHING TO SNEER but sneer itself.
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Conservatives should think twice about Newt.
But why do/did people like Newt? Or Herman Cain? Or Michele Bachmann? Because they weren’t afraid to go after Obama hammer-and-tongs. Romney take note.
UPDATE: On the hammer-and-tongs point, reader David Shorrosh writes:
You are exactly right. Here in Oklahoma (where none of the 77 counties went to Obama in 2008), the ‘normal’ folks I’m around don’t normally talk politics that much but — but:
1 – Thanksgiving dinner ended up with a robust discussion on politics, focusing on Obama’s policies/political associations and the juxtaposition of Tea Partiers vs #OWS’ers
2 – The three folks who admitted voting for Obama admitted they made a mistake based on media hype and Bush fatigue, and
3 – Pretty much all were fired up about Newt specifically because he is going after Obama — and the media
It looks like this groundswell will be too big for the MSM arm of the Democrat Party to control. I’m hoping, anyway.
We’ll see. But I agree that disgust with Obama will be the main issue this election — if there’s enough, he’ll lose. If not, he’ll squeak by. And Romney needs to take the hammer-and-tongs lesson.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Edward Nutter writes:
While we’re still in the primaries Mitt and Newt should play nice with each other. Their debates and discussions should focus on which hammer size of tongs would best knock Obama down and drag him out of the White House.
Romney in particular could answer the DNC’s “flip flop” ads three for one. His staff could research by simply doing a search on Instapundit for “They told that if I voted”.
MORE ON THE HORRIBLE “STOP ONLINE PIRACY ACT:” NBC Universal Threatens Partners That They Need To Sign ‘Grassroots’ Support Of SOPA/PIPA Or It Might Have To Drop Them.
Take a moment to call your Representative and urge them to vote against this horrible sellout to Hollywood.
MICHAEL SILVER: Strategic Metals and American Competitiveness in the 21st Century. “Is America confronting a situation similar to the 1970s OPEC oil embargo? No, the current situation is actually far worse.”
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE ABROAD: After Decades of Building Colleges, South Korea Faces a Lack of Students.
HANDS-ON TOYS, AND GEEK FODDER: I mentioned the Snap Circuits toys the other day, and it occurred to me that I should also mention this post on learning electronics. There’s also Penny Norman’s Inventions Kit. And I should also mention The Dangerous Book For Boys and, of course, The Daring Book For Girls. (Bumped).
BILL AYERS: Actually, I did host that fundraiser for Barack Obama. “I’d say this sort of relationship merits more coverage than it’s currently getting in the MSM. But maybe that’s why I don’t work in the MSM.”
HOLDER IS IN TROUBLE: Isakson becomes first US senator to demand Holder’s resignation. “Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson told The Daily Caller on Tuesday that he thinks Attorney General Eric Holder should resign over Operation Fast and Furious, making him the first U.S. senator to demand that Holder step down now. . . . Isakson joins 52 congressmen, three presidential candidates and two sitting governors in demanding that Holder resign immediately.”
Also, the pressure seems to be getting to him: “Isakson’s call comes after Holder lost control and accused TheDC of being ‘behind’ calls for his resignation — rather than address them — during an interview at the White House. Holder scolded a Daily Caller reporter when he asked the attorney general to address the surge in calls for his resignation.”
JAMES TARANTO: The Receding Democratic Majority? “In other words, the economic group that is most pro-Obama consists of those who make their living, directly or indirectly, off government. To some extent, this group’s interests are at odds with those of Republican-leaning private-sector workers. But only to some extent. When government gets so big and intrusive that it suppresses economic growth, it hurts the public sector too. The worst thing a parasite can do is to kill its host.”
No matter how dumb you think voters are, even a flatworm is smart enough to turn away from pain.
S.I. HAYAKAWA, WHERE ARE YOU? New Protests At University of California Campuses.
JIM TREACHER LOOKS AT recent rhetorical history.
#OCCUPYFAIL: Will Wilkinson: The Occupy Movement’s Enthusiasm and Contempt for Democracy. “So, as much as I might love commotions generally, and unauthorized camping specifically, at a certain point you’ve got to ask whether an ongoing commotion really continues to be healthy.”
JIM GERAGHTY: What Do Democrats Really Stand For Today? “You think the Democratic Party cares about wealth? Come on. In their minds, George Soros spending his money to help out his political views is noble, but the Koch Brothers are evil incarnate. Higher taxes are good, but no one will complain if Tim Geithner or Charlie Rangel cut corners on paying them. One might be tempted to argue that the righteousness of unions represent an inviolate principle to Democrats, but in New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trimming here and there and living to tell the tale. No, the party really is about identity politics now; us vs. them. And everybody knows which side they’re on.”
“BARNEY FRANK, MODERATE:” The New York Times Sums Up Its Ideology In A Single Headline.
ZEROHEDGE: Record Black Friday Sales Made At A Loss: “Yup. The rumors were all true: record sales… on negative margins. Because it is not difficult to dump product when you are, well, dumping.” Hmm.
OUR SMARTEST PRESIDENT: Does Obama Know the Difference between Great Britain and England? “In a press conference this evening, the president referred in stumbling fashion to the “English Embassy” in Iran instead of the British Embassy. One can only imagine the kind of howls of derision that would greet any presidential contender if that kind of basic error were made before, say, the editorial board of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. You can watch the video above. In case the president is unaware, England forms part of Great Britain, which also includes Scotland and Wales, though not Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom. There is no such thing as an ‘English’ embassy anywhere in the world, and there hasn’t been one for several centuries.”
UPDATE: Reader Carl Stritter writes: “Glenn Now that Obama has honed his ‘Austrian’ maybe he can learn to speak ‘Great Britain.'”
TEN YEARS AGO ON INSTAPUNDIT: Thoughts on therapeutic cloning.
MODERN POLICING: At least he wasn’t pepper sprayed or tased.
AT AMAZON, post-Cyber Monday deals in Electronics.
WHITEWASHING the Ku Klux Klan’s progressive ties. Don’t be silly. All the Klansmen were conservative Republicans. And it was that liberal Democrat Abe Lincoln who freed the slaves!
EUROPE: George Osborne prepares for run on banks in troubled eurozone countries. “Behind the scenes Treasury officials are hard at work. They are losing sleep over fears of a run on the banks in Italy and some of the other troubled eurozone members.”
1979 ALL OVER AGAIN: MORE TROUBLE WITH EMBASSIES IN IRAN: “OK, so this time the Embassy in question is Britain’s not America’s. But the similarities are more significant than the differences. What is happening now is happening for a very particular reason: because the West has lost its authority in the Middle East. By attempting to appease it it has shown the weakness which the Islamic world despises and which it is now exploiting with vicious glee.” See, this problem would be solved with my flamethrower idea.
And, on a more serious note, had Jimmy Carter responded with force instantly in 1979, we’d have been spared a lot of subsequent problems.
BUSTED: Ayers Admits To Obama Fundraiser That Obama Campaign Called ‘Myth.’ “In 2008 the Barack Obama for President campaign went into full denial mode accusing the McCain/Palin campaign of lying about a fundraiser held in domestic terrorist Bill Ayers’s home for Barack Obama’s Illinois State Senate campaign. Watch this clip from October 15, 2008 where spokesman Robert Gibbs flat-out denies the fundraiser story to an inquiring Chris Matthews. Then watch Bill Ayers, in his own words, admit to the event himself.”
What other stories that they denied, and the press dismissed, will turn out to have been true?
AT AMAZON, bestsellers in Grocery & Gourmet Food.
HOW TO PRINT FROM YOUR WIRELESS DEVICE to a not-wireless printer.
THEY TOLD ME IF I VOTED FOR JOHN MCCAIN, WE’D SEE A RETURN TO RACIAL THEORIES OF INTELLECTUAL INFERIORITY. And they were right!
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Ezra Klein: From ‘Journolist’ To Liberal Activist.
EMPLOYMENT: Over on Facebook, some friends have been talking about yesterday’s jobs post, and a couple comment on how with so many resumes coming in, they’ll toss any that contain typos. One comments: “I used to screen for my law firm. We would receive piles and piles of resumes, and that was during the boom years. I found myself tossing the majority of them for typos and the like. I also was surprised by how many applicants had inappropriate e-mail addresses (e.g., partygirl88@____.com).”
The Insta-Daughter has a job where, as low person on the totem pole, she’s in charge of sorting the resumes, and she’s been amazed by how many (1) don’t indicate the job sought (sometimes they’re hiring multiple positions, and it’s not always obvious from the resume which one the person is applying for); (2) are several pages long, but don’t have page numbers and the person’s name at the top of each page (which makes them hard to reconstruct if they’re mixed up, as happens); and (3) refer the reader to a website for crucial information. Then there are the typos and grammatical errors, which are distressingly common even though these are mostly people with fancy educational backgrounds, and often with industry experience.
So here’s some advice: As you put your resume together, imagine that you’re an intern or other junior employee faced with a stack of 500 resumes to sort, because that’s who’ll probably be the first person to see it. Make yours easy to sort, easy to keep together, and easy to follow. And remember that people faced with big stacks of resumes are basically looking for reasons to weed yours out, to reduce things to a manageable number, so don’t give them those reasons. Proofread, proofread, proofread — then have a friend proofread for you. It’s okay to have samples of your work on a website, but make sure that all the stuff people need to decide whether they want to look at you that closely is right there on the resume in convenient form.
And do think about the email address. I see that kind of thing surprisingly often among my law students. (My favorite was a student — a big Democrat — whose email was “lickBush@___.com”; I suggested a change to something less political, or otherwise subject to misinterpretation). And in general, although people often spend a lot of time fussing over their resumes — because that’s the only part of the process where you’re in complete control — it’s a mistake to view your resume from your own perspective. You need to try to look at it from the perspective of the people who’ll be reading it at the other end.
Books like Live For Success or What Color Is Your Parachute? are easy to make fun of, but these kinds of simple points are important, and anyone who spends any time doing hiring soon learns that there are a lot of people applying for jobs who haven’t mastered the basics yet. Don’t be one of them.
UPDATE: Reader Michael Becker emails:
In addition to the excellent information about resumes – all stuff I’ve been hammering people about for years – add in the ring back tones used on their phones and their voice mail messages. An utterly vile, hip-hop ring tone or a message like “You know what to do…” or “Leave a message, if it’s important I might call you…” (all stuff I encounter with frightening frequency) are good for a message to the effect “I was going to invite you for an interview until I was exposed to your complete unprofessional ring tone/voicemail message”.
Also remember that your tweets, Facebook postings, blog, etc. are likely to be viewed by potential employers.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Ben Dolfin writes:
If you’re looking for a job in the trades go meet people and introduce yourself, who you are and what you’re looking for. I do a lot of IT stuff for small companies and they’re not the kind of place that puts a help wanted ad on Monster or hires professional HR staff. They’re the company that hires their friends nephew or the guy they know from the baseball team or the IT guy from church so get out there and meet people. Almost everyone I know started with crappy jobs like hauling shingles up a ladder, but if you’re not willing to do the crap work chances are you won’t make it that far. There are lots of jobs advertised but there are lots more that aren’t.
Yes, and even the advertised jobs are more likely to be filled by someone who found out via word-of-mouth.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Reader Mike Miller emails: “Here’s a new State sponsored university started in Indiana. Online 4 year BS degree $23,120, 2 years Masters cost is $13,000. The end is near for old school universities.” Yeah, the Western Governors’ University model is going to pose a real cost challenge.
SHOCKING RELATIONSHIP ADVICE: Stop Nagging and Treat Husbands with Respect. An idea so crazy, it just might work!
21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: Dinner Table Talk For Lesbians & Their Possible Sperm Donors.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: At the Boston Herald, 25 years of Barney Frank stories.
Perhaps a useful remedy for the media airbrushing at NPR and elsewhere.
THE TRUTH ABOUT the Chevy Volt battery fire.
IS THE GAO ON A WITCH HUNT AGAINST FOR-PROFIT SCHOOLS? “Guess who else admits students with fake credentials? Harvard.”
WE ONLY WANT THE APPEARANCE OF BANNING INSIDER TRADING: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Bizarre and Toothless Version of the STOCK Act.
Somebody should write a book on this sort of scam.
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: Keystone Pipeline Opponents Are Idiots. He actually says “naive,” but he’s just being polite. . . .
MARY DUDZIAK WORRIES ABOUT a growing civilian-military gap, and its consequences. I’ve worried about that too. Perhaps restoring ROTC to the Ivies will help a little. And I notice that more of the high schools in my area have Junior ROTC, and it seems to be well-respected among the students. Perhaps that should be encouraged — particularly in blue-state areas where support for the military is less visible.
STUDY: Adolescent boys more prone to delinquency without a father. The sense of security generated by the presence of a male role model in a youth’s life has protective effects for a child, regardless of the degree of interaction between the child and father.”
UPDATE: Reader Ronald Fox writes: “For this they needed a study? I’ve been a Boy Scout leader for 20 years, and I figured this out in my first 4 Troop meetings.”
SO IN LIGHT OF ALL THE TALK THAT LAW SCHOOLS DON’T TEACH STUDENTS TO BE LAWYERS, it’s worth noting that, though a fair criticism in general, that doesn’t always obtain. Here at the University of Tennessee College Of Law, for example, we have loads of clinical programs. I was just in a faculty meeting about the Business Clinic, where students work with startups and entrepreneurs and do all sorts of work ranging from transactional (incorporation, asset sales, LLC formation, etc.) to litigation and commercial. A lawyer from an M&A firm who hired one of our students last year said that she was “light years ahead” of the other first-year associates as a result. (She could certainly have answered the questions posed at the opening of the linked article above. And done all the documents.) We have the usual criminal and civil clinics, too, and a large percentage of our students do one or another. There’s even a special Wills clinic. And while clinics are an untenured ghetto at some schools, our clinic faculty are all on the tenure track just like other faculty.
Of course, another criticism of legal education is that it’s expensive, and clinics don’t address that. The appeal of the Kingsfield model popularized in The Paper Chase — where one professor declaims to a classroom of 200 students — is that it’s cheap. The hands-on stuff is more time-consuming, and hence more expensive.
ON YESTERDAY’S STOLEN SPERM POST, reader Donald G. Porter emails: “Something you didn’t mention. The linked story fails to identify the mother by name, sticking to the ‘ex-girlfriend’ label throughout. Why? What possible convention of journalism compels them to leave out this basic fact? Everyone else, the father, the attorneys, the clinic staff are named.” Excellent point.
SMARTPHONE APP WARNS PEDESTRIANS OF ONCOMING CARS: “The app relies on machine-learning and image-recognition algorithms to identify the fronts and backs of vehicles, and takes into account varying light conditions, phone tilt, and blur. When WalkSafe detects a car approaching at 30 miles per hour or faster, it vibrates the phone and makes a sound to alert the distracted user.”
UPDATE: Reader J.R. Ott writes: “We wonder why people are underemployed and unable to meet tough goals. Hell they can no longer walk by themselves without a gadget. Heaven help them if the battery dies, they will collapse on the sidewalk sucking their thumb crying.”
RICHARD EPSTEIN: Curing The Unemployment Blues. “Deregulation is our last, best hope.”
IN THE MAIL: Losers in Space.
HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Byran Caplan: The Magic Of Education.
THE WEEK: Democrats should fear a third-party challenge in 2012. Naw, anybody who’d mount a third-party challenge to Obama would be tarred as a racist or something.
REVOLVING DOOR: Obama And Billy Tauzin:
Here’s a YouTube of a 33-second Barack Obama campaign commercial titled “Billy” that aired in the 2008 campaign about Billy Tauzin, a congressman who went to work for the pharmaceutical industry as a lobbyist.
Here’s a Bloomberg News article from today headlined, “Tauzin’s $11.6 Million Made Him Highest-Paid Health-Law Lobbyist.” It begins: “Billy Tauzin, the former congressman turned pharmaceutical industry lobbyist, was paid $11.6 million in 2010, the year he brokered a deal with President Barack Obama that helped pass the health-care overhaul.”
Taken together, the two are a pretty devastating combination.
Plus, a reference to my anti-revolving door surtax.