On Progress

An end to reliance on religious charities for what should be covered by tax-funded social programs.

Single-payer, universal health care.

LGBT rights.

Religion out of politics and the classroom.

No more tax-exempt churches.

A serious look at how horrible our education system is and a willingness to entirely revamp it.

Oh, and levy more taxes on the wealthy. They've earned it.

Everything already mentioned and also ending the "War on Drugs".

Jolly Bill the Plumber as the next Everyman is something I could handle. And yes, I'd where BLUE overalls with a RED or GREEN shirt, always.

Edit: Unless someone hands me a fireflower. Then it's on.

clover wrote:

Americans have been taught that no bachelor's degree = destitute, illiterate peasant. College used to be the golden key to success and upward mobility, and people can't wrap their heads around the idea that that's not really the case anymore.

Any real change has to somehow address the fact that people here have been taught to look down on trades.

Edit: Bear already wrote this! I'm smrt.

Yes, I want to concur on this point and Paleo's above.

We need to restore respect and an emphasis in our education system on both ensuring that our population is better educated in science, math, and civics, and we also need to correct our attitudes towards trades and educating people who are interested in and well-suited to tradeskills.

I work in computers, but the more I learn as I progress in life, the more I realize I probably could've made a fairly kick-ass mechanic of some type.

I often daydream that if I ever win the lottery, I'll make custom knives for fun and sell them on the internet.

Progress? I just had an audition callback where out of ~40 junior college students, I was the only one who could pronounce "logarithm" and "centrifugal". All of these students were passed their first semester of college.

Oh, thanks for playing.

clover wrote:

Americans have been taught that no bachelor's degree = destitute, illiterate peasant. College used to be the golden key to success and upward mobility, and people can't wrap their heads around the idea that that's not really the case anymore.

Any real change has to somehow address the fact that people here have been taught to look down on trades.

Edit: Bear already wrote this! I'm smrt.

I would add something to this. Push some of the things you learn in college down into high school. Raise the bar in high school. My high school was so abysmal that I spent the first year playing catchup with people who had gone to real high schools and had the opportunity to take AP courses. It was really frustrating. Hand-in-hand with ending the idea that college is an entry level criteria for success would be making high schools more like colleges, IMO. Instead colleges have become more like the place to go to learn the things you didn't learn in high school and thus the idea of them being necessary is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Also I'd like to submit the following cartoon that caught my attention. I liked it because I don't understand why we don't strive to have a great country based purely on identity politics (i.e. having livable cities with grocery stores within walking distance is a "hippie" ideal).

IMAGE(http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11236522/savingtheplanet.jpg)

Progress? I just had an audition callback where out of ~40 junior college students, I was the only one who could pronounce "logarithm" and "centrifugal". All of these students were past their first semester of college.

I find it hard to believe that students haven't taken pre-algebra by their senior year. And even if that is the case, you have to take at least 3 science classes in high school, any one of which could mention both of those terms.

I mean, how can you not know centrifugal force? Its a fictional counterforce to centripedal but its the easiest example of science you can think of besides gravity. Hold your friend's hands. Spin in a circle a few times. And let go. You can be an illiterate and get the concept.

Don't mind me. I'll be in the corner weeping for humanity.

Oh, thanks for playing

I blame spell/gramar checker!

Er, um, I dont now wat yer tallkin bowt.

NSMike wrote:
Progress? I just had an audition callback where out of ~40 junior college students, I was the only one who could pronounce "logarithm" and "centrifugal". All of these students were passed their first semester of college.

Oh, thanks for playing.

Actually, that's not necessarily wrong. Social promotion FTW!

Farscry wrote:

Actually, that's not necessarily wrong. Social promotion FTW!

Heh--very true.

totally unrelated, but maybe there's such misspelling of these sorts of words because on the internet, we feel like we're having a conversation with people as opposed to making a written communication? Like our brain doesn't bother to turn on the "get the letters right" part and instead turns on the "make sure it sounds right" part?

CheezePavilion wrote:

Interesting quote from that article:

"I could see that most of the workers were over 50 years old. And I started digging a little deeper, and CEOs would tell me, 'Yeah, we just don't know where the next generation of workers is coming from.'"

I think there's some problems with some of the underlying assumptions here. The first is that there was ever this underlying population of machinists and welders that sprang up from the population naturally somehow. That's a fallacy. None of the machinists in the 1950's were getting their degrees from community colleges, and I doubt that they all learned their craft at the knees of their fathers. What actually happened is that a lot of those guys initially learned their trade in the military (specifically the navy), and a good number of the rest of them were taught through an apprentice system. Well, the military doesn't train as many of those guys (and girls) as they used to. Technology has become more advanced, and they've been forced to outsource a lot of the work. The apprentice system has largely been abandoned. I don't really have any insight into that, but I would suspect that firms and individuals largely decided that it wasn't worth training Computer-aided Machinist Jr. for 1.5x the price. So when that CEO is complaining that there aren't enough skilled workers, he's actually complaining that there aren't enough free skilled workers that he can poach away from other companies and organizations.

What's happened over the last few decades is a long series of tragedies of the common, wherein everyone thinks that they're being sneaky by taking advantage of the system, and since it doesn't collapse immediately, they figure it doesn't matter (or they didn't do enough damage on their own. Or any other number of excuses). It's a mentality that we've encouraged in our economic leaders, to the extent that they don't even realize when the problem is happening.

NSMike wrote:

An end to reliance on religious charities for what should be covered by tax-funded social programs.

Single-payer, universal health care.

LGBT rights.

Religion out of politics and the classroom.

No more tax-exempt churches.

A serious look at how horrible our education system is and a willingness to entirely revamp it.

Oh, and levy more taxes on the wealthy. They've earned it.

I think these would be even more beneficial than traveling to the Khuiper Belt and mining lesbian gas.

But to be honest, I feel America as a society has not so much turned back the clock as set the hourglass upside-down. Our zenith was c. ~1976, and from here it's just a slide down.

Here is the quick wishlist of things I would like seen.

Constitutional related

  • No more no-knock searches. You want to search my home? Get a search warrant and announce yourself.
  • Restore/Update FISA and end the illegal wiretapping.
  • Get rid of the Patriot Act.
  • Establish term limits on Congress Critters if debt is over x% GDP (hat tip Warren Buffet).
  • Strict following and enforcement of the Geneva convention (no waterboarding/torture). I will not be represented by organizations that want to act just as bad or worse than our enemies like a bunch of savages.
  • Close Gitmo, and either press charges on those in captivity for their crimes so we can put them on trial or release them. No more of the indefinite detention BS.
  • Voting days are now a federal national holiday and on Saturday. No more of this voting on Tuesday silliness.

Foreign Policies

  • End the wars.
  • War of drugs should go away too.

Domestic

  • Jail those responsible (after a fair and speedy trail) for the whole financial mess.
  • Overturn Citizens United. Corporations are not people.
  • Turn all non-renewable energy subsidies into those for renewable (feed in tariff?).
  • Repeal DOMA and make marriage a two step process, a civil and religious union (like Mexico).
  • Revamp the tax code system (how, I don't know, but we all know it's broken).
  • End this silliness of mountain top removal.
  • End minimum mandatory sentencing.
  • Mandate a balanced federal budget like most states have to as well.
  • Make sound supressors easier to get. Basic safety devices should not be so hard to get.
Edwin wrote:

Here is the quick wishlist of things I would like seen.

Constitutional related

  • No more no-knock searches. You want to search my home? Get a search warrant and announce yourself.
  • Restore/Update FISA and end the illegal wiretapping.
  • Get rid of the Patriot Act.
  • Establish term limits on Congress Critters if debt is over x% GDP (hat tip Warren Buffet).
  • Strict following and enforcement of the Geneva convention (no waterboarding/torture). I will not be represented by organizations that want to act just as bad or worse than our enemies like a bunch of savages.
  • Close Gitmo, and either press charges on those in captivity for their crimes so we can put them on trial or release them. No more of the indefinite detention BS.
  • Voting days are now a federal national holiday and on Saturday. No more of this voting on Tuesday silliness.

Foreign Policies

  • End the wars.
  • War of drugs should go away too.

Domestic

  • Jail those responsible (after a fair and speedy trail) for the whole financial mess.
  • Overturn Citizens United. Corporations are not people.
  • Turn all non-renewable energy subsidies into those for renewable (feed in tariff?).
  • Repeal DOMA and make marriage a two step process, a civil and religious union (like Mexico).
  • Revamp the tax code system (how, I don't know, but we all know it's broken).
  • End this silliness of mountain top removal.
  • End minimum mandatory sentencing.
  • Mandate a balanced federal budget like most states have to as well.
  • Make sound supressors easier to get. Basic safety devices should not be so hard to get.

+1 to all, except leave election day on a Tuesday - Orthodox Jews can't vote on a Saturday

Saturday, Edwin, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don't work, I don't drive a car, I don't f*cking ride in a car, I don't handle money, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as sh*t *don't f*cking vote*!

No need to be so hostile, I forgot about Shabbat. Does Sunday work for everyone? Let's just do it then. As long as it's not during the work week.

IMAGE(http://faroutshirts.com/images/MarkItZero-Preview.png)

fangblackbone:

Also, I'm not aware that "centripedal" is a common alternate spelling of "centripetal" referring to forces, unless we're actually talking about a specifically foot-applied force that counters centrifugal forces.

Edwin wrote:

No need to be so hostile, I forgot about Shabbat. Does Sunday work for everyone? Let's just do it then. As long as it's not during the work week.

Sorry, I didn't mean for it to come off as actually hostile. Just quoting The Big Lebowski.
I'm not sure if Sunday would work any better. I'm sure there's a group of ultra-orthodox Christians that feel about Sunday the same way ultra-orthodox Jews feels about Saturday. I think it works fine as it is. It's a school day, so stay-at-home parents don't have to watch the kids (provided they're old enough to go to school), it's early in the week, so 9 to 5ers won't be facing any Friday deadlines. It's not Monday, so they won't be swamped with stuff that came up over the weekend. I think it'd be a better idea to make a federal law that mandates paid time off to vote. Have it be it's own category too, don't count it against normal vacation or sick time like some states currently do.

I would say that in addition to changing election day to a national holiday, we need to institute compulsory voting, with a $30 fine or something if you don't vote. Otherwise, it would just turn into an extra day off, with tons of Americans not voting.

I'd likely also add something about addressing food deserts and community building on top of other points already made.

NSMike wrote:

I would say that in addition to changing election day to a national holiday, we need to institute compulsory voting, with a $30 fine or something if you don't vote. Otherwise, it would just turn into an extra day off, with tons of Americans not voting.

I think the logistics of this would become a nightmare. What if someone is extremely sick and couldn't make it to the polls that day?

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
NSMike wrote:

I would say that in addition to changing election day to a national holiday, we need to institute compulsory voting, with a $30 fine or something if you don't vote. Otherwise, it would just turn into an extra day off, with tons of Americans not voting.

I think the logistics of this would become a nightmare. What if someone is extremely sick and couldn't make it to the polls that day?

I don't know, ask Australia, they've got this in place already.

NSMike wrote:
KrazyTacoFO wrote:
NSMike wrote:

I would say that in addition to changing election day to a national holiday, we need to institute compulsory voting, with a $30 fine or something if you don't vote. Otherwise, it would just turn into an extra day off, with tons of Americans not voting.

I think the logistics of this would become a nightmare. What if someone is extremely sick and couldn't make it to the polls that day?

I don't know, ask Australia, they've got this in place already.

Belgian has compulsory voting. If you're sick, you need a doctor to sign off on it. If you're on vacation or otherwise incapable of voting you can 'give' your vote to another person. You can only vote for one other person besides yourself.

There's a fine for not showing up to vote, but it's almost never enforced. Even after the ruckus during the last election cycle in 2010, where some local celebrities told people to stay home because the politicians sucked, there was a participation rate of 99% or something (I should doublecheck this when I get home).

Stengah wrote:
Edwin wrote:

No need to be so hostile, I forgot about Shabbat. Does Sunday work for everyone? Let's just do it then. As long as it's not during the work week.

Sorry, I didn't mean for it to come off as actually hostile. Just quoting The Big Lebowski.
I'm not sure if Sunday would work any better. I'm sure there's a group of ultra-orthodox Christians that feel about Sunday the same way ultra-orthodox Jews feels about Saturday. I think it works fine as it is. It's a school day, so stay-at-home parents don't have to watch the kids (provided they're old enough to go to school), it's early in the week, so 9 to 5ers won't be facing any Friday deadlines. It's not Monday, so they won't be swamped with stuff that came up over the weekend. I think it'd be a better idea to make a federal law that mandates paid time off to vote. Have it be it's own category too, don't count it against normal vacation or sick time like some states currently do.

You don't necessarily have to be ultra-Orthodox to feel that way about Saturday; plenty of Conservative Jews do as well. And yes, there probably are Christians who feel that way about Sunday.

Why not make it the whole weekend though? Heck, why not make it the whole week? Also, make absentee voting easy.

H.P. Lovesauce wrote:

I think these would be even more beneficial than traveling to the Khuiper Belt and mining lesbian gas.

Do you have a pamphlet? Are you running for office, and if not, why not?

Also, I'm not aware that "centripedal" is a common alternate spelling of "centripetal" referring to forces, unless we're actually talking about a specifically foot-applied force that counters centrifugal forces.

There is a huge difference in making a typo in a hastily and frustratingly typed complaint and attending a post highschool education without grasping or being able to pronounce a rudamentary science concept.

KrazyTacoFO wrote:
NSMike wrote:

I would say that in addition to changing election day to a national holiday, we need to institute compulsory voting, with a $30 fine or something if you don't vote. Otherwise, it would just turn into an extra day off, with tons of Americans not voting.

I think the logistics of this would become a nightmare. What if someone is extremely sick and couldn't make it to the polls that day?

I don't think it would work. Americans don't like compulsory anything.

Make it like Washington state- we have 100% absentee voting. No more standing in lines, no more leaving work early to get to the polls before closing.

fangblackbone wrote:

rudamentary

"rudimentary"

[size=6]Sorry, I had to.[/size]