Someone frame this headline. pic.twitter.com/MyVijFlx09
— Peter Hart (@peterfhart) January 6, 2015
1. We need a modern, up-dated version of the Turing Test — let's call it "The Trolling Test"
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) January 7, 2015
Speaking of gormless, local news is all excited that Boston has beaten out DC, LA, and SF for the right to bid for the 2024 Olympics. I’m kinda hoping Paris or Rome or Germany wins in the final round, because after living in the Boston beltway for 25 years, I’m not at all sanguine about “our” suitability.
Apart from sneering & carping, what’s on the agenda for the evening?
I have to take a round of pretty strong antibiotics (Biaxin) for my bad tooth, so if anyone has a probiotic that works for them, let me know.
Sadly, the tooth is probably doomed — both the dentist and the endodontist think it’s a cracked root, and the only remedy for that is to pull it. I went and got a CT scan of it at UCLA just to be sure before I let them do it. ?
Amazing, fantastic meal at Sambuca in Dallas. I hate going to Dallas, but from now on I have a new fave restaurant there and it will make business trips sooooo much nicer.
Instead of getting the Olympics Boston should just bulldoze some old neighborhoods and set millions of dollars on fire. It’s quicker and keeps the patronage local.
Myself? I am really tired of hearing how “We are all Charlie Hebdo now.” Uhhh excuse me, no I’m not. I also don’t walk into North Side bars with people who scream out “I HATE ALL NI**ERS!!!!” as soon as they walk thru the doors.
And my step daughter just got here with Chinese. Ya’ll will have to wait to hate on me come morning.
Headed out for my evening workout. I hated running around the track and the godawful purple sweat pants my mom bought me. Now I’m a gym rat, working on training for a natural bodybuilding contest. Funny world.
Well, as a white man I can tell you we do have stories to tell. But at least I realize no one really wants to hear them.
ETA: Okay, I seem to have a naughty word in my question. Probiotics?
Can anyone recommend a good probiotic to take with the antibiotic they prescribed me for my bad tooth?
ETA: Problem may be the brand name of the antibiotic. I fear my bad tooth may be doomed — both the dentist and the endodontist think it’s a cracked root, and the only thing you can do for that is to pull it. :-(
Well it’s about time. Maybe we’ll start to see some white males in movies again who aren’t that token Uncle Tom Bill Murray.
I just do not know what the idiots were thinking when they put this forward. Unless someone has promised tens of billions for roads, bridges and mass transit Boston can’t accommodate an Olympic games. Plus, we don’t need the drag on our economy.
I’m guessing even if LA were to be the choice at this level, the IOC would never go for it since pretty much everything they would need is already built and available. And that just wouldn’t do
@Mnemosyne: This is my favorite. I always do a bottle in one week after antibiotics, then go back to the regular dose.
Chewable is preferred, my dentist says it helps keep gums and mouth healthy, too.
@KG: Maybe it would give Mittens something to do – again.
I’m just glad that DC dodged that bullet.
I’m off to buy the ingredients for tomorrow’s recipe exchange. Should be….interesting.
@weaselone: my understanding is that Boston is known for its swift efficiency when building public works. I wouldn’t worry. Also it’s going to be paid for with time capsules. There’s got to be dozens of them.
Obama proposes free community college tuition for 18 million students.
Thanks! I’m probably going to need to take it while I’m on the antibiotic as well — I tend to get nasty gastro effects from antibiotics and this particular one is notorious for causing them. Apparently it’s best to take the probiotic 2 or 3 hours after the antibiotic. There is also much yogurt with live cultures in my near future.
Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism
I just unearthed a souvenir from a trip to Boston.
*wanders off singing “Dancing Qveen”*
Kay will be thrilled. I always thought she had Obama’s ear.
We especially need to see more white men on the Sunday morning talk shows.
I share my birthday with Elvis but I am not addicted to drugs so life just is not as exciting. OTOH I probably won’t die on the crapper with a colon packed shut with sludge.
It’s too friggin cold to go out tonight but we have plans for tomorrow. Big weekend, the two best womens hocky teams in the country will be playing Saturday & Sunday.
@Mnemosyne: My friend is a nurse and she says to take your antibiotic, then 4 hours later take the probiotics. Rinse and repeat. Most of the antibiotic work is done in the first 2 hours. This keeps it from wiping out the probiotics when you take them.
@Poopyman: It really surprises me. I was just reading that something like 70% of the venues in Boston would be temporary, which seems like a lot. And that they’d be using 100 universities in the area.
Just seems like LA is the logical choice, we have plenty of venues (which means construction would be limited and mostly focused on updating existing venues), hotels, and enough sprawl that it won’t be a complete nightmare for the locals (plus we’re used to tourists).
Every so often someone proposes building a permanent Summer Games site, outside Athens for historical reasons. Sure you’d have to spend bazillions, and the Greeks would have to figure out how to keep the place in use (and in good shape) for the remaining 47 months of each Olympiad. But the idea is that the ongoing circus of corruption known as the IOC would then have one less banquet table to feed at.
The people of Rome don’t seem to keen on hosting the Olympics. Maybe Germany should be the permanent host of both the winter and summer Olympics.
I’d hate to think of the damage it’d do to Rome and dintorni. Paris on the other hand has the infrastructure and the exurban area to handle it. Boston: disaster. Berlin would be fun.
@Amir Khalid: Yes, there’s zero incentive for the crooks at the IOC.
Heh. Look up Big Dig sometime.
Has Boston ever hosted the Summer Games?
@ruemara: Whoa! Is this a recent resolve?
@Mnemosyne: I heartily recommend implant instead of bridge if it comes to that.
My one trip to Boston was right in the middle of that massive project. I thought it was nuts to try to do all that at one go.
I’d offer Qatar for the summer games & Nepal for the winter.
@Schlemazel: You could count on the weather.
@NotMax: Pretty sure that was sarcasm. But being the internets and all, ya never know.
DougJ should have a thread on the best songs written by middle-aged white men to balance out the bias at this site.
When the earth moved, are you sure it wasn’t just the earthquakes? (/snark)
Think of the great downhill runs on Everest!
Plus the Olympic marathon through the desert in August.
@Schlemazel: Poor Nepal wouldn’t stand a chance, but I’m sure the IOC could easily be bribed into making Qatar the permanent host.
OK, move it over to the other side of the mountain & have CHina bribe the hell out of the IOC
So… what is your favorite ” white man’s media, a lost [art?] form or marginalized genre. ” song?
That is a real quote from the Wolff piece I got to following the links.
I don’t watch much TV, but I still so much ‘white man’s media’ it makes me want to scream. Maybe that is why I don’t watch much. (edit: and I am white man, so I wonder what others’ responses are)
Do we really need another Updike or Cheever? Back when I read that kind of thing, seems to me that, towards the end, they had wrung everything interesting out for a while. A breather seems in order.
And has Wolff ever read Carver. I do hope what Carver wrote about transcends race and gender, otherwise these middle aged white men are bunch of sad sack neurotic maladjusted losers.
Tree With Water
That’s good news about Boston, because I didn’t want the Games anywhere near the Bay Area. As always, I say throw Greece a bone and make it the permanent home of the Olympics. That would also serve to derail the gravy train that is the Olympic committee- in other words, it would be a win-win.
“There’s Abebe stepping up his crawl while McElroy is hallucinating that he’s already won! And Schwartz is down with heatstroke but I don’t think he’s getting up again–“
I think a bunch of it would be spent on updated infrastructure. We’ve been pushing hard on public transit, and this would justify more spending on that.
@Tree With Water: I am glad too, as a Bay Area-ite. On the other hand, by the time the SF Bay people put in the bid, it had been spread out so over the whole region, not sure it would be a disaster.
I read that there the SF Bay Area bid put an emphasis on building permanently useful facilities whenever new ones were needed. Or, at least trying to. Oakland had hopes for getting a new football/soccer stadium out of it. Maybe trying to avoid ugly white elephants did not appeal to the IOC’s aesthetic sensibilities.
It was adjudged — correctly, IMO — that either it would happen in one go, or not at all.
Finishing the Big Dig really has made a huge improvement (and given the city a new iconic image, which still lifts my heart every time we drive through it). But Boston is still too small & congested & cramped a place for a modern Summer Olympics, whatever the rich boosters want to believe. They’re talking about spreading out the facilities/events across a broad swathe of eastern central Massachusetts, and still pretending it’ll be “walkable”. Some of the housing accommodations for the athletes are supposed to be in my town, which is 15 miles outside Boston, and traffic on the local freeways comes to a virtual standstill between 3-7pm on a normal workday!
@Amir Khalid: only American cities to host the Summer Olympics are LA (twice), Atlanta, and St Louis
@efgoldman: I’m just glad that San Francisco didn’t get it. It’s bad enough when the A’s and Giants are both playing at home.
@Mnemosyne: My gastroenterologist recommends VSL #3. It has a lot of research behind it and doesn’t seem to upset his patients’ intestinal issues. I think you have to order it unless you know a doctor who sells it.
@Anne Laurie: I can’t even imagine how awful the traffic would be. Here’s hoping someone else gets it.
” Obama proposes free community college tuition for 18 million students. ”
I like that idea. Good for Obama. Hope he keeps up the good proposals, which seem to bait the GOP into being ugly and going out its way to take a few dozen steps backward in its outreach program. I do not think that is the reason Obama proposes them at all, but I like the synergy.
@Darkrose: From what I have seen of Boston, the traffic is already a nightmare. My condolences to Boston residents.
Maybe the plan is for everyone to walk between venues, jaywalking at random angles through traffic. Who would notice anything.
(edit: and, yes, SF Bay Area traffic and congestion is just as bad, just in a different way. I admit that).
(edit: and I have not experienced the finished Big Digged Boston, so I should admit that too)
“. . . he’s going to have a go, no, no, bad luck, he’s up, he doesn’t know when he’s beaten, this boy, he doesn’t know when he’s winning either. He doesn’t have any sort of sensory apparatus.”
Nah. Boston traffic is purpose driven. People want to get somewhere, and try to do it quickly, with a minimum of fuss.
Seattle traffic is hell. People don’t understand first to the intersection goes first, car on the right goes first, etc. Don’t be “nice” to me. Just drive your car following the rules.
That’s so 60 years ago.
I’d like to think this is a big deal. I know more people are talking about this on my FB page than anything else.
should have added: h/t Upper-Middle Class Twit Of the Year
@lamh36: Thanks. That looks to be some good TV. Watching now.
@efgoldman: It’s absolutely purpose driven, and the purpose is “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY!!!!”
@Mike J: You are, Sir, alluding to the age-old skilled versus unskilled bad driver debate?
Unfortunately, I need to start taking the antibiotic right away so the (small) infection will subside and stop making everything hurt so damn much, so I have to go mass-market this time.
@jl: Well, of course there is The Bono. Ok, maybe not. Hmm, middle-aged white men… Chris Cornell and Eddie V is all I can think of.
I just watch the Beeb stuff. Luther vs Sherlock – who would win?
@efgoldman: My theory is that the traffic is so hopeless in big NE cities, and maintaining tolerable traffic conditions so fraught and delicate, that people give up any hope and just enjoy it as best they can as an experience. Often this takes the form of do-it-yourself pillow-punching anger management therapy committed with a several thousand pound object.
On the west coast, there are enough glimmers of hope to lure people into thinking something good might happen.
Then there is Seattle, which I admit has puzzled me greatly whenever I have visited.
The NYPD Probably Wants You to Think That de Blasio Smokes Weed
Watched Obama’s announcement for free community college. Just him on his big fancy plane. I was hoping for some dumb reporter questions following the announcement, but no luck this time.
Obama mentioned the importance of life-long adult job training. He wants to turn us into Sweden!
New Tamir Rice video shows cop tackle his 14-year-old sister as she rushed to dying brother’s aid
Do we even have a bikini team?
My feeling is that people on the East Coast see traffic as a conflict of man against man, while West Coast people see it as a conflict of man against nature.
@Mnemosyne (iPhone): A friend’s husband had very good luck with the Whole Foods house brand (365, I think) probiotics. I suggested he take them to help a stomach issue. She went out and bought those from Whole Foods (in the refrigerated section) and within hours the stomach problems he’d had for three days improved. If you have a WF near you, those might be helpful.
There are rules, they just have nothing to do with the book the DMV puts out.
I once went three blocks in reverse in the back bay. My car was pointed the proper way down the one way street though.
@Violet: FYWP won’t let me edit. Just to be clear, I suggested he take probiotics and those were the ones she bought. I don’t have personal experience with them.
No. But West Coast types tend to see traffic as a vast, impersonal force like a natural disaster that affects everyone. Because of that, their response is to cooperate to minimize the damage to everyone. Yeah, there are a few jerks who take advantage, but for the most part people behave decently. East Coast types see traffic as a Hobbesian war of all against all, with the natural result that it winds up being nasty, brutish, and endless.
@lamh36: Even worse is the cell phone video on NBC news – with the poor child hollering that “they killed my baby brother” over and over.
Words fail me. So terrible, honest to god sickening.
Oh and just great to watch those cops stand there and DO NOTHING while the 12 yr old bleeds to death in from of them. Callous fucking bastards.
@efgoldman: Rules for Boston driving:
* When making a left turn, the double yellow stripe halfway across the road is the same as the stop line.
* If there is a break in traffic long enough for one car, you can get three cars through it by forming a train.
* Two car lengths between vehicles is enough room for two cars.
* Turn signals are just giving your opponent information they can use against you.
* In a rotary, the right-of-way belongs to whomever looks the craziest.
Rules for Boston Pedestrians:
* If you don’t look at it, it can’t kill you.
* Push the walk light button even if you don’t plan to wait for it — it doesn’t actually do anything anyway.
* Run halfway across the road until you are firmly established in traffic, walk the rest of the way.
* It is considered polite to time your jaywalking for maximum driver inconvenience. Always attempt to ensure that you are in front of the leading headlight the moment the driver’s light turns green, so that your time in front of the vehicle is optimized.
I shudder at the thought of the Olympic venues spread around through this area. Not a good idea.
@efgoldman: We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!
@weaselone: I’m gonna guess that this is how the local boosters think they can finally get a stadium on the waterfront.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I do think it’s a really good idea :)
It could be huge, have the kind of impact the education provisions of the GI Bill had, over time. It would be wildly popular here.
as a DC-area resident all I can say is THANK YOU GOD IT’S NOT US!
Um, yeah, and???
Then I hope it happens, or, at least, that the right people are blamed if it doesn’t.
@BGinCHI: We’ve done that before. Ever hear of the Great Molasses Flood?
@Darkrose: There won’t be any traffic. Remember the Democratic National Convention and, of course, the Tsarnaev brothers? This place will shut the fuck down.
Seriously, I took the T down to Downtown Crossing during the DNC, and there were guys in back w/ helmets wandering around the T stops. I assumed then (and now) that they were TSA “Contractors”, and it will only get worse.
The other problem with the bids is the outright lies. The IOC wants a self-contained Olympic Village; that will NOT happen in Boston. No single Uni has that much dorm space (let alone that much dorm space that isn’t already rented out). The local universites make 10-year contracts with conferences; summer is our high tourist season, when 3/4 of the conferences take place. Anyone who sweltered through MacWorld in the ’90s remembers the insanity, and that was 50K people across 3 convention centers.
What the IOC is looking for is graft. If Romney can fork over some of his quarter-billion, the fix is in. I’ll send HerrDoktor and WarriorGirl to Ireland or something, and spend my time here in H2OTown making caltrops.
Bodybuilding sounds intense. I’m a 45 minutes cardio and then scoot through all the weights and get the heck out kind of gym person.
So sorry to hear about your tooth. I hope they can save it.
The whole city has gone soft ever since the Sox started selling those pink hats…
Make the athletes take the Green Line, I say — gives an added dimension to the competition.
It will end up with his free pre-K initiative – going nowhere but I love that he is swinging for the fences. Plus, this is a GOP plan adopted by Tennessee Governor. Makes it harder to refuse.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I know this is a joke, but is there any possibility? I wouldn’t put anything past Harold Ford. Does he have some California connection?
C’mon kids, just 16 comments away from our first TBogg Unit in ages!
VSL #3 is actually non-prescription, but has to be kept refrigerated. So it’s usually sold in the pharmacy, and you usually have to ask for it at the pharmacy counter, because they don’t allow you to have access to the pharmacy’s fridge.
So it is sort of mass-market, just sort of hidden. That is, you don’t just run across it on the shelves.
@Mike J: Cordelia, is that you?
Ha!! I’ve sone the same more than once. I learned to drive in Boston and I swear once I get close to the city I morph into a Masshole driver.
Mike in NC
When the Ben Affleck heist movie “The Town” came out, most of the people in my office saw it. I mentioned in passing that we all learned to drive like that.
@efgoldman: I can’t find the darn link, but I remember a few years ago coming across an article that revealed they had similar plans for the Back Bay, on the reasoning that it was inevitably going to become a slum!
It’s horrible. I get sick thinking about it.
@different-church-lady: Make them take the Orange Line!!!
4 subway/trolley lines in Boston, a couple hundred regular bus lines, a “Bus Rapid Transit” Silver line, and a dozen or so commuter rail lines terminating at South or North Stations.
The Green Line splits into 4 routes (Green B-E), which go through a huge volume of University space.
The Red Line goes through Harvard and MIT, and not-that-far from Tufts plus about 50 smaller institutions (Lesley, Emerson, UMassBoston, etc). It splits into two branches to the south, one inland to a slighly risky area of Dot, and the other along the coast to the suburbs of Quincy and Braintree.
The Blue Line goes to the Airport.
The Orange Line is, well, where everyone I know whose ever been pickpocketed has gotten picked. Including my mom.
And, if you’ve ever read Universal Hub, you know just how bad an idea adding people with either GPSs or more T traffic could be.
Only the decathletes.
PS: love Universal Hub. They’re actually more informative thatn Boston.com lately. I bet they’ll have some really fun snark in the next few days.
@efgoldman: Get your haircut at Max the Barber?? [LAME LEONARD NIMOY REFERENCE]
The modern West End is Hospital, Rehab Clinic, and Condos housing employees of the above. And parking garages. Fine Urban Renewal there. At least we got a hospital out of it.
@different-church-lady: It’s already started.
@jl: Hard to justify paying for 2 year college degrees if you’re not also going to pay for students attending 4 year colleges/universities.
Another problem is that he’ll be trying to sell it based on the bogus argument that the job market has too few educated workers. Fact is that there are lots of well educated people already who struggle to land non-existent jobs. That plus the fact that a community college degree is useful for only a narrow range of jobs.
If on the other hand Obama thinks he’s going to pay for the first 2 years of a four-year degree this way, and then funnel millions of students into 4-year colleges/universities, I don’t see how that would work in practice – at least, not without bankrupting those colleges/universities by depriving them of half their expected tuition dollars.
Its called Western Civ 101, and it’s required, you two-bit ratfucking jackass.
MrsFromOhio was discussing diet over dinner with my teenage daughter, like what makes a good plate and balance in all things. She mis-pronounced ‘protein’ and it sounded to us like ‘BROtein.’
TeenFromOhio: What? What is brotein?
BruceFromOhio: It’s when you serve MRA as an entree.
Nah, the Orange line is inconvenient, but the Green Line is horrific. Since it’s that weird indoor/outdoor overhead-wires trolley hybrid, the cars sway horrifically, the wires go down at unpredictable intervals, automobiles stall on the crossways, and “wet leaves on tracks” are a common excuse for delays… and that’s even apart from the problems inherent in century-old underground construction at the key downtown stations, not to mention having to pick the right route out of the available four, which overlap at a non-Euclidean pattern, and are frequently changed (see ‘leaves on tracks’, ‘stalled auto’, ‘flooded out at Copley Square’).
States may do it. Some of them are doing pre-K, and this is 75/25 federal/state funding split. It’s also not just for “traditional” students. Anyone can use it. Employers will love that.
Public Pre-k is odd, because it’s presented as wildly progressive, but we’ve had it in public schools in this county for a decade in the smaller, most rural districts. . My school district was actually the last in the area to bring it in and we’re the largest and best-funded district in the county. They’re building pre-k rooms in our new school. It’ll be pre-k to 12, like K-12 is now.
Gin & Tonic
@Roger Moore: East Coast types see traffic as a Hobbesian war of all against all
Um, that’s because it is. That’s like saying “East Coast types see the sky as blue and the sun as yellow.”
@Anne Laurie: Plus the catenary wire sure as heck would make the gymnastics competition a LOT more interesting…
@FlyingToaster: I do remember that part of the ‘sweetener’ for the locals would be finally building the North Station / South Station connector. If I believed that would actually happen, it would almost be worth all the costs and inconvenience!
Actually, that’s how it used to work, in California at least. Junior college cost almost nothing when I attended, and a lot of us did a year or two before transferring to the big state schools. They managed to survive. Of course back then the state schools got most of their money from the state, now they’re much more dependent on tuition dollars. Still, I don’t see that as a reason not to help out the kids.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I like Barbara Boxer, but the fact that we’re apparently supposed to be shocked that she gave two years’ notice that she’s going to retire after three long terms is not a sign of our political health
ETA: a bigger sign of our bad political health, Sacramento political reporter says Condi Rice would be a strong candidate.
They’re not approaching it like that here, as a stepping stone to automatically head for a bachelor’s degree. They’ve been pushing it for a while in Ohio, thru Labor Dept programs. Our local community college just got a grant for one. They’re approaching it as a 2 year degree or certificate program for anyone who wants to get training with the goal of getting a job that pays better. One of the options here is to train as an electrician, for example, so it includes skilled trades, or they can apply the credits toward a 2 year degree if they want to go that route.
@smintheus: A big and ever growing chunk of community college attendance and revenue is for technical education and certificates, two-year professional degrees, and adult job re-training. Not two-year associate degrees or transfers to 4 year colleges.
A big part, though not all, of the battle over SF City College accreditation kerfluffle is over how much that community college should be concentrating on technical training and professional certificates rather than old-fashioned academics.
The main competition for non-profit community colleges is private for-profit technical schools, which have tended to be rip offs.
I agree that lack of education and training is not reason for weak job market, but weak job market is a macroeconomic problem that is short run in nature. The macro problem needs to be solved, and maybe that can happen after 2016. The US workforce needs education and training, and retraining.
So, I think Obama’s program is good. And a disguised, though small-bore, fiscal policy stimulus which can’t hurt.
Edit: what Kay said, and thanks, Kay, for an example.
Wow, that’s great news about public Pre-K being incorporated into your schools. That really isn’t the case overall in Minnesota. We have some 1/2 day programs in Minneapolis for poor kids but that is it. But, we also just switched to free all-day Kindergarten this past fall (thanks Governor Dayton!!!).
While not legal yet, same sex marriage became not illegal in Vietnam.
@JustRuss: Helping out kids attending 2-year colleges but not those attending 4-year colleges makes what kind of sense?
If the 4-years survive under that scheme, they’d have to expel tons of students in the first two years to make room for the influx of the community college grads.
@Kay: I understand that, Kay. But first, there are a limited range of jobs in trades where a 2-year degree will help. Are you going to keep cranking those out in huge numbers every year just because the education is free? Around here, there’s already an over supply of electricians and plumbers/air conditioning techs.
And second, I find it hard to get past the fairness question. How’s it fair to pay for a student getting a community college degree but not for a more academic degree?
@Anne Laurie: Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahah.
Gotta catch my breath.
God has ordained that there will be no connection between North and South Stations. If the Boston2024 committee attempts to mess with this, God will retaliate.
Mortals who take trains will descend to the Red Line, go “toward Harvard” to Downtown Crossing, then follow the Orange Line signs to “Oak Grove”, and debark at North Station, where they will ascend partway to the train station, and not all the way to Nirvana (Boston Garden). With Luggage.
The IOC will have limos stocked with everclear and imported hookers. They won’t notice how long it takes to get between venues.
As another example, in California, a lot of RN training is at community colleges. Or program starts at a community college and then finishes up at a California State Universities.
And California state university and UC campuses are horribly short of slots, so they prefer first two-years at community college, And CA community colleges provide very good academics for first two-years. Not sure how it works in other states. But public schools do not start eyeing each other over money problems, they look at the source, which is savage cuts in state support. Guv Brown is better than alternative, but I read that he is trying to renege on deal he made with CA state higher education system on cuts they took during fiscal crisis. I guess that was then and this is now. One reason that UC regents are proposing ridiculous tuition increases is attempt to get public’s and Brown’s attention. Many of them are dicks and just love doing that anyway, but it also a tactic to get the money promised to them if they went along with the big cuts several years ago.
@jl: I think what the workforce really needs is to be compensated for the education/training it already has. I think if you pay for everybody’s CC degree, you’re almost certainly going to create such a huge glut of trained electricians etc. that wages in those areas will plummet.
@efgoldman: The southern part (south of Essex) was still an El when I got to Bwastin (well, the ‘ville) in ’87. And getting rid of the El dropped about 50% of the crime on the T.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Who could have foreseen?
They toured the courthouse the other day. They were so quiet! I didn’t even hear them until I came down the stairs and saw them. There were like 75 three and four year olds tromping around somberly. I don’t know what they told them to keep them so muted and serious :)
@smintheus: Regardless of whether you help a kid with the last two years, doing the first two years at very low cost, and in local school so kids can live at home or pay cheap rent will help. I don’t think there will be much resentment.
And, again, weak job market is a macroeconomic problem, that won’t last forever. I think they are two different problems. Maybe there is an oversupply now, but that will not last forever. And local districts do need to adjust their programs to match demand. Not sure that is done well where you are or not.
Are you sure about that? I always thought that curve was tight because the line used to terminate at Dudley and it was a very tight balloon loop.
Back in my school days I used to pick up the Green Line at North Station nearly daily. I remember seeing the old elevated platform to the east of the Green Line tracks piled up with construction material and debris and wonder in the back of my mind what that structure was all about. Many years later when I discovered it was an old Orange Line platform my mind was completely blown!
The city recently put up awonderful collection of the North Station elevated structures under construction.
@efgoldman: Used to run down Beech Street, right where the big archway/pagoda thing is in Chinatown. I’ve always wondered if that thing was an elevated support that got re-purposed.
@smintheus: Nice piss-take there, Professor Lilywhite.
Mike in NC
@BruceFromOhio: Brotein is best when washed down with Brawndo. It has electrolytes.
@efgoldman: Nothing’s wrong with local hookers, but BCG* boys always import cheaper help.
*Boston Consulting Group. Romney, Bibi Netanyahu, and about half-a-dozen CEOs at former clients. And a plurality of the Boston 2024 crowd, if I am parsing the names correctly.
@jl: But Obama’s proposal is not to help all kids with the first 2 years of their degree, not unless they choose to do those at a CC and then transfer. What about those who wouldn’t benefit much from going to a CC?
Well, they can do two and two, academic, but they don’t have to. I think the idea is community colleges should be plugged into the local work scene, so here the focus is on manufacturing but somewhere else it would be healthcare or whatever.
They do need skilled trades here. The older people who have those jobs say it themselves. They’re not going to work forever.
I just don’t think it’s as linear as that for a lot of people. I have a technical degree and then I went back later and got an academic degree and then a law degree. My eldest son has an academic degree and he has a purely technical career. He makes more than I do. Nothing whatever to do with his bachelor’s degree, if he had been predicting where he’d end up, I don’t think.
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9:25 PM – 8 Jan 2015
@smintheus: I am mostly familiar with higher education system in California. and here, Obama’s proposal will help every student who wants a higher education,whether they should or want, to do go to a CC or not. Maybe situation is different in other states.
But, Obama did not offer the program as a universal elixir for all higher education. If you watch the clip lamh36 posted, he put a lot of emphasis on adult job training and retraining, which I think is badly needed in the US.
@Kay: X-Ray tech, LPN, IT, Pharm Tech, Dental Asst, Dental Hygenist and even MLT are all Associates Degree with 2 years programs where graduates come out of school able to find a job that pays pretty well for an entry level position.
Too, it’s not just “kids”. It’s anyone who wants any kind of training or courses or certificate or degree offered at a community college. I would think a big part of that would nontraditional students or people who hope to make more where they’re already working.
@lamh36: CC’s very big in training health care technicians in California. And from what I have heard, high quality training too. Much better on average than what comes out of private for-profits.
@smintheus: I may be biased, but community colleges in California are extremely popular. What is the alternative in Central Valley or Sierra foothills, or Inland Empire for average HS graduate? Try to get by on HS degree? The programs are popular, the schools are crammed full, and cannot build out fast enough. Programs, at least the ones I know about, are very in touch with local community,agriculture, businesses and unions. They need more money. I will give any proposal that gets them more money a very good look.
@jl: I’m not opposed in principle to paying some or all of students’ costs at CCs. I’m opposed to doing that while not kicking in for students attending non-CCs, because it’s unfair and because it might be highly destabilizing to a lot of 4-year colleges if every undergrad suddenly decides to take the first 2 years for free elsewhere and then transfer in for just the final two years.
Never a bad bet when concerning Boston. However…
Did you know you can still see the gorgeous old elevated station canopy? They lowered it to street level, and it’s now used as the busway canopy. I’m pretty sure Bruce Bolling was the one who spearheaded that idea.
I believe they also have Control Tower C, which used to sit on the Charlestown Elevated. In ’75 the lowered it onto a barge and floated it up to Maine.
Next time you’re near Charlestown, look carefully at the Charlestown Bridge — you’ll see it has support structures for the elevated line in the middle. It’s literally the last vestige of the old elevated Orange Line, and it won’t be there much longer, as there’s plans to replace the bridge in the next few years.
Wow, look what I stumbled across while Googling!
Sure, I agree. Those programs are really popular here, and they’re popular among people who have parents who didn’t go to college because they can’t afford to put off earning and they want to be independent from their parents.
I’ve had the same dental hygenist for 15 years and I think she does quite well. She raises those giant draft horses as a hobby, some unusual breed, and that can’t be cheap! No kids though, so that’s probably key :)
@Kay: In international comparisons, US really sucks at adult technical education and retraining. Nordic countries very big on it, and evidence is that it one the reason their labor markets working better than most other high income industrialized countries, even by pinched stingy narrow-minded neo-liberal standards.
@efgoldman: And while we’re on all this, because I’m such a trolley geek — next time you’re on the Green Line, look towards the inside of the tracks just north of the current Haymarket Station and you’ll see the closed-off remains of the original Haymarket Station platforms before they did the horrible, horrible thing to Haymarket Square in the 60’s. The new station platforms are actually in what was the tunnel south of the original station. They built the current platform over the center two tracks. That’s why today’s Green Line Haymarket platform is such an odd little shitty cave of a thing.
@smintheus: If you think that is a problem where you are, then that is a problem then. Please explain how things work in your area, then.
I know California best, and what you fear will not happen here. As I said before, CSU and UC want more two year transfers, because that would solve several problems for them.
@Kay: For s lot of people nowadays, who can’t get into a 4 year college due to test scores or lower than average GPA (2.5 is actually not very competitive for freshman) the recommendation is to go to a CC, takes some core coursework, and then reapply to the 4 year college as a transfer student.
Transfer admissions is based soley on undergraduate work. So someone with less than stellar academic records, can go to a CC and hopefully do well and then get to be accepted to 4 year and continue on with there bachelors.
Also too, some people (like me) who are “nontraditional” who has to pay for school or who has to work AND go to school, would be able to go to CC without an added expense they don’t have. Get a 2 year associates, or tech cert, and get out being able to find gainful employment with a decent wage. They are able to work, and take care of family and still hopefully have enough to continue on for Bachelor work if they are interested.
@Kay: In California, a 4 year degree at a CSU or UC can get very expensive in fees and foregone income, because there are not enough damn seats for kids to get done in four years. The CA CC system is very plugged in to CSU and UC in terms of getting really solid and equivalent pre-reqs out of the way.
I should confess that I spent first two years at a CA CC, and I think I got much better calculus, basic science and stats and at the CC than I would have gotten at the big name UC campus I went to. Heck, I was tutoring kids who were lost in their 250 seat intro calculus classes soon after I transferred.
I really liked Obama’s mention of adult education. I have not been a big fan of some of Obama’s education policy, and certainly did not like an earlier emphasis i heard about performance metrics based on churning out academic degrees. To the extent that would be applied to granting associate degrees at CCs, that policy really missed their main area of growth. And it seems that accreditation agencies have been pounding CCs for not churning out as many two-year AAs as they can. And the CCs object, and rightly so. So I was glad Obama indicated he knows where CC policy should go today.
I was going through some old boxes and found a registration receipt for a summer class I took at Pasadena City College in 1992. $24 for 3 units ($1 student fee, $5 health fee, and $6 per unit – and even that was controversial because it had been $5 per unit before that). Today, that same class would cost me $152. The student fee has stayed the same, the health fee has increased to $13, and the per unit fee has jumped to $46.
@jl: Our local CCs have large enrollments, with very few ever graduating however. They have only the occasional program that’s at all rigorous (nursing programs being the most obvious of those, but they can only admit a few students because there aren’t enough hospitals for them to train at). The rest of their courses are either remedial high-school level academics or trade school certificates. Almost all the CC faculty are adjuncts, with massive yearly turnover. The administrators are something of a joke – lots of highly paid deans, almost no higher educational degrees among the lot of them. Obama visited one of these CCs a few years ago and praised it to the skies. (It does have a decent radio station.)
I can’t for the life of me understand why you’d pay for students to study for 2 years at these CCs but refuse to pay for these kids’ classmates who are attending local colleges and universities, which in some cases are quite good institutions (and heavily invested in excellent STEM programs).
@smintheus: Added random bitching: I am tired of the push towards STEM.
@WereBear: Not really. I ran into a former bookstore customer who’s physique is AMAZING. Long story short, she’s a former natural bodybuilding competitor and teaches at the local UC plus at one of the local gyms. I checked out her kickboxing class, survived, came back for shadowboxing the next day (died) and DID NOT PUKE during her weightlifting class the day after. Realized that even with $5 drop-ins, the monthly member ship of $46 was reasonable since I was hooked. Since the first of September, I’ve been at the gym 6 days a week, up to 3 classes in a day (but only once, twice a week). I take kickboxing, weightlifting,zumba, yoga, plus learned to love the elliptical, do free weights and free train in kickboxing before my Friday zumba. And now that I know the local dance/zumba teacher, I sometimes slide into her studio for zumba, latin dance and she just added a contemporary dance class. I go through a lot of workout gear, but I feel the mental release the endorphins bring. Only problem, I’m like the firmest blob you’ve ever seen. but I do a really good roundhouse kick.
@smintheus: You in California? Sounds like you are not. Where are you?
Also, best writing course I had was at my CC.
I had to take a big fancy technical writing course at a UC when I started my post-doc, so I do have some points of comparison.
Or… is writing STEM education too, as far as you…. lawyers….. are concerned? ha ha ha..
@jl: I did an IB diploma in high school and went to a LAC for undergrad. My lawyerness isn’t really an issue here. My private fancy-ish college-ness may be.
@jl: I’m in PA. The CA higher ed establishment is very different from the rest of the US (I did an MA at UCLA and taught at Cal). For starters, there’s almost no parallel to the Cal State system. I can easily believe that the CCs there are leagues better than they are back east. My FIL taught at a CA CC his whole career, and while she was in HS my wife took several courses she liked at that CC.
@smintheus: Thanks. Now that you mention it, the CSU type systems are pretty rare in other states. If Obama’s proposal is bad for most states, then I hope he makes it California program, it would work very well here.
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Thanks! I have to go back to the pharmacy tomorrow to pick up my prescription, so I’ll ask if they carry it.
As a Capitol Hill resident I am beyond thrilled DC didn’t get the nod.
Oh, ef, you’re SO out of touch. Why, Boston has become a traffic-planning mecca of sorts (without the Mooslims running the show, of course). Why, what used to take 30 minutes – going from Mass Ave to Arlington Street, via Boylston Street, let’s say – now take only half an hour! It just goes to show you how things have improved. Especially since Mitch McConnell has now become Senate Emperor.
(The Economy, Boston traffic, getting us out of Afghanistan – what WILL those Republicans do NEXT to make our lives better? Ooh, I know – do something to help reduce the number of people without medical insurance!]
I think there’s a misunderstanding of where they’re going with this. I think they’re expanding the range of a free, public education from K-12 to prek-14. This isn’t designed for people who were headed off to get a bachelor’s degree immediately after high school. It’s designed for people who wouldn’t have gone anywhere at all.
I’m a huge critic of the Obama Administration on education, I think they’ve been absolutely dreadful on public schools. Duncan isn’t just misguided, he’s not very bright. He speaks like a caricature- he recites slogans and business-speak. Half his speeches quote Tom Friedman. He might be a moron.
But, I DON’T think everyone has to go from high school and immediately get a bachelor’s degree. I think the country is much, much more diverse than that.
There’s also this myth that they’re pushing everyone towards STEM and away from liberal arts, but the most popular undergrad degree in the country isn’t liberal arts. It’s business. Maybe they’re pushing people away from business degrees :)
@Kay: Yes, Arne Duncan is an idiot. That almost guarantees that any plan he comes up with will be bad.
This plan looks like it incentivizes CCs to expand exponentially, as well as to lower standards to ensure that students maintain the 2.5 GPA and thus keep the federal money flowing. The administrators at my local CC are not the people I’d want to entrust with virtually open-ended funding.
And as I’ve said, the plan unfairly withholds money from the kids who have studied hard in school – as Obama urges them to do – and gone to a traditional college. There’s nothing wrong with subsidizing two years of higher ed; there is something wrong with doing it for some but not for others simply because they’re not attending a CC.