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8851  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Poster most similar to the previous poster on: July 31, 2007, 12:17:14 pm
Opebo
8852  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Poster most similar to the previous poster on: July 31, 2007, 09:10:31 am
INKS
8853  Election Archive / 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: Rasmussen: Kucinich trails both Giuliani and Thompson on: July 31, 2007, 08:37:41 am
Interestingly he's doing slightly better than Ron Paul. (well, within the MoE)
8854  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Iraqi parliament adjourns for August on: July 30, 2007, 06:40:47 pm
Can anyone seriously deny that Iraq wasn't run better under Hussein at this point?

Yes

Pretty much (If by "run better" you refer to the actual goverment). But we all know that no-one's opinion here actually matter, what actually matters is what Bush, Cheney & Co are thinking. The strongman part deux is a tempting option...
8855  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Pledge/Flags in public school on: July 30, 2007, 06:32:27 pm
Obviously, I didn't go to an American school. I did go to a public school here though. We don't have a pledge of allegiance and I don't ever remember seeing our national flag in any classrooms.

Of course because of the lack of a pledge and not seeing the national flag every hour of the school day, I hate my country. Tongue

All Patriotic Irishmen hate their country. That's what being a patriotic Irishman is all about. (Yes, there are plenty of things about Ireland which are mysterious to outsiders...)

Obviously as an Irish protestant who went to a protestant school we had a flag and a pledge - a flag which our teachers assisted us in spitting on and burning every morning during prayers while we laughed at those silly catholics who attend their witchcraft mass. Then we pledged our alleigance to Britain, the Queen and Iain Paisley in that order. Tongue

Note: Memo to self. This is an American forum. Now leave the Irish stuff outside.
8856  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Could quality education solve most of America's domestic problems? on: July 30, 2007, 06:27:21 pm
No; absolutely not. The idea that kids will always do what's best for them is only they were more educated is totally and utterly ridiculous, in saying it would benefit certain individual cases.

Also I'm not comfortable with the whole Social engineering aspect of this idea - though I suppose it's better than Christian home schooling.

Wixted pretty much summed up the other points I was going to make. In Ireland just over 50% of people aged 17-25 attend college and get a degree, partially as we have free third education. But what has happened here is that:

1) Middle class families (like mine - yay!) then are free to spend more money on their child's secondary education (High school to you Americans) in private or semi-private schools. (And on Tutorials, Extra lessons, etc. This money would have previously been saved up for college. Since the 90s when the FG\Lab govt. introduced 'free' fees, the semi-private "fee paying" schools like what I went to have seen their numbers rocket. While many free (and some quite old) schools in middle class areas have closed down.)
2) Meaning that such Middle class kids still better grades than those who go to second rate national schools.
3) Meaning that such Middle class kids then get into better college places meaning they get better careers and so on than those that aren't.
4) Meaning that the level needed to get a really high job is now in many cases a masters degree or PhD, which isn't free. And guess who can afford those..
5) Also meaning that it's politically impossible to bring fees back because of the potential suburban mum backlash at the polls.

In other words free third level education has only really benefitted the top bracket.. I'm grateful for it, because it will put less financial pain on myself and my parents when I start college, but it's a complete idealism to imagine that it will greatly improve the standards of the bottom 25% social class students. Their problems begin in the education system even before pre-school, actually pretty much the day their out of the womb in many cases...

* (Note: The above is generalization. Of course there are individual exceptions that contradict what I've just said.)

Actually, to defend the Irish system - I have benefitted enormously from it and I'm not a middle class kid who went to a private second level school. Nor am I alone - a great many of my friends would also not have been able to get the education we did without this system.

Three years of subsequent study beyond one's primary degree are also fundable on a mean's tested basis - something I have also been very grateful to benefit from. Something which I think weakens you're 4th point.

All of which is not to say that the system is perfect - certainly a level of 'academic inflation' has occured and certainly the ability of the middle class to send their kids to private second level schools gives them advantages - but I think the benefits to myself and others outway the cons.

As to the 5th point, this is propbably true. Former Minister for Education Noel Dempsey wanted to alter the system to make the fees system more means-tested, which I would have supported had it gone through. I think that would have helped level the playing field at second level.

Perhaps I should have made exceptions for rural areas; though the standard of education outside the pale can vary from school to school, area to area quite a bit. Can't say I know much about Monaghan; only my experience in South Dublin (where of course there are alot of overpriviledged Middle Class kids - and plently of nearby 'free' schools have closed down. Though many (but not all) of them were CBS, which can also be attributed to other factors.) shows what I think to be true. Of course, the Inner city schools are in a dreadful state. But that's hardly news. My more general point was that one's position in the "lucky sperm race" has a greater effect on one's education than any sort of similiar of financial advantages could ever enduce. In fault, I had actually forgotten about the grands system.. don't know how I left that out.

I should not say that the system has got worse since the 90s, since I wouldn't know before it. Though grade inflation is ridiculous (though my 'B2' in Classical studies states otherwise. Tongue ). If it weren't for personal greed I would strongly support you final point. Wink

I think Jas and me should get our own forum on Irish stuff. Every time we're in a thread together the topic always seems to move to Ireland. So...

*If you're not Jas or if you're not Irish in any way, ignore this post*
8857  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Could quality education solve most of America's domestic problems? on: July 30, 2007, 05:10:41 pm
No

Let's take one example, everyone gets a free college education. Well then that would mean that you'd have an over abundance of college educated people with not enough jobs that require a college education. You'd end up with guys with a BS in Chemistry being bartenders or a woman with a BA in Political Science becoming a checkout girl at Wal-Mart. Also what it could do is lead to more academic elitism than there current is as people who go to the free universities don't have as many opportunities as those who go to schools that you still have to pay to get into. If those things don't happen then most employers will just raise the amount of education that you need to move higher into the company. Because a college degree would mean less because more people are getting them, and thus you have an over abundance of college educated workers, it would be in a company's best interest to hire either those people who come from better schools or who have more higher education, graduate degrees and such, because those people would now have an advantage over the masses of college educated people.

That can be countered by making college more rigorous.  That way only the people who are smarter and willing to work hard will get the degrees.  That way the system completely rewards those who work hard, not those who have money.

And as I said already, by College most of the students are nearly all children of the well-off. Having better and more rigorous system of education isn't going to change the class system in the US (obviously some studious individuals will benefit). Any real change has to start at the lowest and youngest levels of education. Or hell, before that as the child grows up. Do you think that an averagly intelligent (potentially) child growing up in BRTD's wankfest of urban blight is going to stand as a potentially averagly intelligent child from an upper middle class suburb?
8858  Election Archive / 2008 Elections / Re: When will we have a new President-elect following the Nov. 2008 election? on: July 30, 2007, 04:59:34 pm
It'll be a Democratic landslide that becomes obvious early in the night unless the Democrats nominate Clinton or the Republicans nominate Giuliani.
neither of those things will affect the Democratic victory.  In fact they could potentially make it bigger.
Harry, you think Dennis Kucinich would be "competitive" in 2008.
If he gets the nomination somehow, then something weird has happened, and yes, he would be competitive under the new weird conditions.  It's not like I think he presently has a shot at being the next president.

All that would need to be said is:

"In 2004, Dennis Kucinich ran for President...in an automobile fueled by broccoli."

The Republican would win that easy. He is a total joke. For god's sake he said the first things he'd do as President would be getting rid of the Patriot Act and creating a Department of Peace!

Sounds very Orwellian.

Anyway as a foreigner I will foolishly predict either a Democratic blowout similiar to 1980 or 1920 (in which case a sudden decleration of victory) or a very narrow Republican victory ala 2004 in which case we might be in lawyer terriority again.
8859  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Victorian Labor Party Leadership (Monday) on: July 30, 2007, 04:47:03 pm
He said in his resignation speech, that he resigned because he wanted to spend more time with his family.

Yes. They always say that. But why did he resign?

Because he wanted to spend more time with his family. Duh.

Tongue
8860  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you agree with the preceding poster's statement? on: July 30, 2007, 04:43:33 pm
Only the Irish Judean people's front SWP are more darkly amusing than the British SWP. So it depends on which version you are talking about...

Assume you are an idiot, and assume you are a member of congress. But I repeat myself.
8861  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Describe the U.S. Presidential election of the preceding Atlasian on: July 30, 2007, 04:39:11 pm
Not good. Details not needed. You all know why Sad

All leading Democrats and Republicans are filmed having a bisexual orgy the day before the New Hampshire primary. Gporter is the only won left standing - he then wins 270-268 against a homeless nazi guy running on the "I want my shoes back" ticket.

Be that a Phoenix Nights reference?

No actually, I have never watched Phoenix nights. It was reference some joke poll posted in the forum before (well, the homeless nazi guy bit.. I just made up the bold bit on the spot.)

As for Al, A glorious victory by over 80EVs as he carries all the south (except Texas and florida), the Plains and the Rust belt. But loses the NE except Mass and RI, wins West Virginia by 65 points.
8862  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you agree with the preceding poster's statement? on: July 30, 2007, 04:36:51 pm
Couldn't Agree more.

An intellectual is someone who has found something in life more interesting than sex.
8863  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Nick Cohen and Johann Hari... on: July 30, 2007, 04:31:46 pm
P.S: Al, have you read the book?

Bits. And I've agreed with most of those bits.

Will probably buy it (and then read the whole thing) fairly soon; I've not done so yet (despite attacks on middle class trendy-lefties being music to my ears) because I can't quite stop thinking of Cohen as being the hard-left oddball he was a few years ago.

Why do you hate middle-class people Al, you classist bigot. Wink

Actually I agree with quite a bit of the book aswell, though not all of it. The review above is actually pretty good in showing that George Galloway is something a strawman.. how many people (at least outside of Bethnal Green & Bow) actually take him seriously at all any more? He's clearly a buffoon of the highest order. Plus he does not really make his position on the Bush adminstration clear, he celebrates the invasion and condemns the protesters while trying to distract from who's leading the charge. I might have supported the war had I believed the Bush adminstration was competent\trustworthy\truthful-in-it's-intentions.

I didn't take part in any march, simply because I hated the anti-war movement so much (something Cohen articulates well from my POV.)
8864  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Describe the U.S. Presidential election of the preceding Atlasian on: July 30, 2007, 04:26:52 pm
All leading Democrats and Republicans are filmed having a bisexual orgy the day before the New Hampshire primary. Gporter is the only one left standing - he then wins 270-268 against a homeless nazi guy running on the "I want my shoes back" ticket.
8865  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Could quality education solve most of America's domestic problems? on: July 30, 2007, 04:07:47 pm
No; absolutely not. The idea that kids will always do what's best for them is only they were more educated is totally and utterly ridiculous, in saying it would benefit certain individual cases.

Also I'm not comfortable with the whole Social engineering aspect of this idea - though I suppose it's better than Christian home schooling.

Wixted pretty much summed up the other points I was going to make. In Ireland just over 50% of people aged 17-25 attend college and get a degree, partially as we have free third education. But what has happened here is that:

1) Middle class families (like mine - yay!) then are free to spend more money on their child's secondary education (High school to you Americans) in private or semi-private schools. (And on Tutorials, Extra lessons, etc. This money would have previously been saved up for college. Since the 90s when the FG\Lab govt. introduced 'free' fees, the semi-private "fee paying" schools like what I went to have seen their numbers rocket. While many free (and some quite old) schools in middle class areas have closed down.)
2) Meaning that such Middle class kids still better grades than those who go to second rate national schools.
3) Meaning that such Middle class kids then get into better college places meaning they get better careers and so on than those that aren't.
4) Meaning that the level needed to get a really high job is now in many cases a masters degree or PhD, which isn't free. And guess who can afford those..
5) Also meaning that it's politically impossible to bring fees back because of the potential suburban mum backlash at the polls.

In other words free third level education has only really benefitted the top bracket.. I'm grateful for it, because it will put less financial pain on myself and my parents when I start college, but it's a complete idealism to imagine that it will greatly improve the standards of the bottom 25% social class students. Their problems begin in the education system even before pre-school, actually pretty much the day their out of the womb in many cases...

* (Note: The above is generalization. Of course there are individual exceptions that contradict what I've just said.)
8866  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Nick Cohen and Johann Hari... on: July 30, 2007, 02:08:11 pm
...are having a feud!

Hari wrote this review of Cohen's book What's Left?, which produced the following response from Cohen, which produced the following response to that... this looks like it might run and run.

It's also spilled over into what lefty blogosphere there is, but, sadly, an especially fun discussion/row was taken down after Hari threatend to sue.

Excellent Review btw.

Funny, but I also highly rated the book too.. or at least certain aspects of it. Cohen was better tackling the Left's general malaise rather then any issue pertaining to Iraq.

P.S: Al, have you read the book?
8867  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Communist Party USA praises GOP Senator McConnell on: July 30, 2007, 01:38:51 pm
I love their ghostbusters analogy. Smiley
8868  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: How many people have you ignored? on: July 30, 2007, 01:35:02 pm
I'm waiting to see if Richius comes around again to see if I can use my ignore function...

Oh, and whoever was ignoring me is no longer ignoring me. I'm so loved! Smiley
8869  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who would be better for America's educated class? on: July 30, 2007, 01:14:24 pm
I'll have a degree pretty soon. That's the definition of educated.

Not necessarily.  Anyone can spit back facts without knowing what they mean (or major in communications).

But if there is such a thing as an educated class (and I don't think that there is), then membership would have to be defined based on having a degree and so on.

PhD (if we're being really elitist.)? Though I agree that this whole "educated class" business is nonsense, most people with degrees\getting a degree are already in a high enough social class already.
8870  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Question for the libertarians on: July 30, 2007, 01:12:57 pm
I would describe myself as a libertarian in the broadest sense of the world - but no I would not, as you seem entirely devoted to social issues instead of economic or spirtual ones, and when I say social issues I'm really talking about sex.
8871  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Did you miss me? on: July 30, 2007, 01:11:32 pm
No, not really.
8872  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you agree with the preceding poster's statement? on: July 30, 2007, 11:09:01 am
Absolutely not.

"Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen."
8873  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: If the preceding poster were to run for president, who should he/she pick as VP? on: July 30, 2007, 11:07:19 am
Forum: Frodo
From Real life: Harold Ford Jnr
8874  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Japan Finally Has a Two-Party Democracy on: July 30, 2007, 10:54:24 am
Basically, Abe was and is the Japanese Bush

Except the LDP is more like Fianna Fail or the Swedish Social Democrats than the Republican Party.

FWIW, an eight-party opposition coalition actually held power in Japan from 1993 to 1996; the LDP's dominance has been constantly eroding for the past couple of decades.

Only for part of that period was their eight-party coalition, that collapsed sometime in 1994 and the LDP were invited into the coalition; though they allowed the Socialists (largest of the eight 'other' parties) to maintain the Prime Ministership until the next election.

Basically, Abe was and is the Japanese Bush

Then what did that make Koizumi?

Japanese Sarkozy?
8875  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who would be better for America's educated class? on: July 30, 2007, 10:40:44 am
The "educated class", whatever that is, are usually well educated people who have no clue what common sense is and are completely out of touch on how things work in the real world. I'm trying to be nice but most people I know would refer to them as "educated idiots".

But being Educated allows you to make comebacks like:

"Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down by the mind before you reach eighteen." - Albert Einstein.

Though I also like "There's nothing more unreal than the 'real' world"

Wink
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