College “Sports” Emilio DeGrazia

PRIVATIZE

“Have we gone insane?” is what a Minnesota cattle farmer probably not much interested in March Madness asked. His question was a reaction to the news that Jerry Kill, the University of Minnesota football coach, had his $1,2000,000 salary increased by an extra $2,100,000, plus perks, for guiding the Gophers to eight wins and five losses during the 2013 season. Maybe winning isn’t everything. It certainly isn’t for everyone.
No doubt Coach Kill is a nice enough guy and competent enough at what he does. And he didn’t complain about the salary bump he received. Ohio State’s Urban Meyer makes $4,600,000, plus perks, and he’s in the same league.
It’s hard to imagine anyone in his or her right mind seriously believing that the NCAA Division One big money sports––football, basketball, hockey––have anything but a tendril connection to a university’s higher education missions. There are several fine student-athletes who get excellent grades while working very hard at their sports. The graduation rate for athletes and non-athletes is comparable, though the amount of money it takes to get a student-athlete a degree is hidden in a murk of red ink. But it seems obvious that the hazards of football seem well out of line with what health educators teach, and that at the D-1 level students need to learn how to keep their classes from interfering with their serious sports jobs.
Student-athletes must suspect they’re part of an entertainment industry. Coach Kill was honest enough to fess up to it, and he left the impression that as a newcomer to the industry his new salary represents his fair market value.
But some of the people responsible for overseeing the numbers at D-1 higher educational institutions maybe need some refresher courses in elementary arithmetic. Only 23 of the 228 NCAA D-1 sports programs generated enough income to cover expenses in 2012, and 16 of the 23 winners received subsidies by way of student fees and university and state funds. The other 205 were losers, as were the donors and tax payers who picked up the tab. Losing seasons are a financial trend for most NCAA schools.
Meanwhile, the NCAA as an organization quietly showed a profit of $71,000,000 for 2012. Rather noisily state governments try to figure out how to pay their bills.
It’s time to turn these big-time sports teams into what they really are: Businesses. Because I’m addicted to thrift I think they should get off an unsustainable welfare system. Privatize them.
I’m not a spoil-sport. I know that millions love to cheer for the logos and colors on the laundry they love. Big time sports are major rituals that stimulate a deep need for community identity. As a kid in Michigan I grew up loving the Spartans and Wolverines, and I got my graduate degrees as a Buckeye at Ohio State, and when I married a Nebraska woman I learned to love Cornhuskers, and because I pay taxes in Wisconsin I have a Badger in me, and because my daughter is a student at the University of Iowa I’m a Hawkeye too. As a Minnesotan I’m a devout Gopher, for reasons I can’t fully explain. I want everyone to win.
A lot of people are not ready to give up big-time collegiate sports yet, even when they go home from a game losers again.
Turning big-time collegiate sports programs into for-profit enterprises should especially appeal to fiscal conservatives who have a passion to cut taxes and privatize the public schools.
Here’s my business plan: Turn the big-time intercollegiate sports over to private entrepreneurs willing to invest in new business ventures. Let entrepreneurs, rather than participating schools, run them as private for-profit businesses. They buy the naming, branding, and concessions rights from universities. They lease the cheerleaders and marching bands. They lease university facilities, or construct their own. They pay all travel and advertising expenses. They cut their own TV and bowl game deals. They hire the coaches and other managers. They pay the bills and enjoy the profits that come rolling in. Private investors could get involved, and maybe Wall Street too.
Could these new business enterprises––let’s call them clubs––still be considered intercollegiate sports? A few rules would give them permission to say yes. The players would be recruited from the pool of graduating high school student-athletes, as they are now. They would have five years to fulfill four years of service on the playing field. They would be required to establish student identity by taking at least one class at the university whose logo they wear during games.
Nothing much would change, except the ownership of teams, business plans, and bookkeeping responsibilities. Gopher fans could continue to cheer for players wearing Gopher uniforms, and everyone could continue to have a good time.
Currently there’s some talk about student-athletes unionizing. That’s an issue players could work out with management, maybe after some discussion about salaries for coaches and club executives. Clubs, as free enterprise businesses, could make millions, or not. And if not, owners could downsize or apply other lean strategies.
Already there are rumors about the University of Minnesota needing $190,000,000 for improved practice facilities. Experts feel that the UM will not be able to compete without the upgrades. They’re very probably right. Why would an eighteen year-old super athlete high school recruit want anything but the latest and best high-tech facilities? Why not go to Penn State instead?
Tim Dahlberg, sports writer for the AP, says, “That’s the way things are in big-time college athletics, where the rich are getting richer. Hard not to profit when the labor is free.” Hard not to profit when public university athletic programs are bailed out by student fees and tax dollars.
I’m with the cattle farmer from western Minnesota. Why play this game? “Have we gone insane?”
Four or five times a year I get a call from sweet-voiced students at my alma mater Ohio State. They want me to send OSU money because there’s never enough to go around. I plead with them to spread the word: For starters, I tell the voices on the line, cut the coaching salaries in half. Call me again after you begin there.=

David Suzuki… Measuring Progress With GDP Is A Gross Mistake

David Suzuki Foundation

Measuring progress with GDP is a gross mistake

kite

Governments, media and much of the public are preoccupied with the economy. That means demands such as those for recognition of First Nations treaty rights and environmental protection are often seen as impediments to the goal of maintaining economic growth. The gross domestic product has become a sacred indicator of well-being. Ask corporate CEOs and politicians how they did last year and they’ll refer to the rise or fall of the GDP.

It’s a strange way to measure either economic or social well-being. The GDP was developed as a way to estimate economic activity by measuring the value of all transactions for goods and services. But even Simon Kuznets, an American economist and pioneer of national income measurement, warned in 1934 that such measurements say little about “the welfare of a nation.” He understood there’s more to life than the benefits that come from spending money.

My wife’s parents have shared our home for 35 years. If we had put them in a care home, the GDP would have grown. In caring for them ourselves we didn’t contribute as much. When my wife left her teaching job at Harvard University to be a full-time volunteer for the David Suzuki Foundation, her GDP contribution fell. Each time we repair and reuse something considered disposable we fail to contribute to the GDP.

To illustrate the GDP’s limitations as an indicator of well-being, suppose a fire breaks out at the Darlington nuclear facility near Toronto and issues a cloud of radioactivity that blows over the city, causing hundreds of cases of radiation sickness. All the ambulances, doctors, medicines and hospital beds will jack up the GDP. And if people die, funeral services, hearses, flowers, gravediggers and lawyers will stimulate GDP growth. In the end, cleaning up the Darlington mess would cost billions and produce a spike in the GDP.

Extreme weather-related events, such as flooding and storms, can also contribute to increases in GDP, as resources are brought in to deal with the mess. Damage done by Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico added tens of billions to the GDP. If GDP growth is our highest aspiration, we should be praying for more weather catastrophes and oil spills.

The GDP replaced gross national product, which was similar but included international expenditures. In a 1968 speech at the University of Kansas, Robert Kennedy said, “Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things …Gross national product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities … and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

“Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.”

We deserve better indicators of societal well-being that extend beyond mere economic growth. Many economists and social scientists are proposing such indicators. Some argue we need a “genuine progress indicator”, which would include environmental and social factors as well as economic wealth. A number of groups, including Friends of the Earth, have suggested an Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare, which would take into account “income inequality, environmental damage, and depletion of environmental assets.” The Kingdom of Bhutan has suggested measuring gross national happiness.

Whatever we come up with, it has to be better than GDP with its absurd emphasis on endless growth on a finite planet.

By David Suzuki

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South Dakota – The Suzerainty of Teananderthalia

where drooling morans rule…

So. Dakota Bill Protects Teaching Intelligent Design in Schools
by John Timmer / Senior Science Editor / Ars Technica

Once again, state legislatures have been turned into battlegrounds by lawmakers who seem intent on slipping religion into the science classroom. As in years past, most of these bills simply seek to protect teachers who introduce spurious criticisms of evolution into their lesson plans. But South Dakota has the distinction of attempting to specifically protect the teaching of intelligent design, something that has already been determined to be unconstitutional following a bruising court defeat.

As tracked by the National Center for Science Education, four states are considering a total of five bills; Missouri has the honor of having two bills going at once, while Virginia and Oklahoma have one. The Virginia bill is fairly typical of these. It would prevent local school boards and administrations from punishing teachers who help students “analyze, critique, and review” scientific theories in their classrooms. In the past, these bills have singled out evolution as a topic that’s meant to be critiquedone Missouri bill still doesbut lately that’s often been dropped in favor of generic language like “scientific controversies” (see, for example, the Oklahoma bill).

Based on the evolutionary history of these bills, it’s clear that they were originally intended to encourage teachers who wished to introduce spurious criticisms of evolution, many of which have been published by the creationist and intelligent design movements. However, in an attempt to avoid legal scrutiny, the bills’ authors have been turning to increasingly generic language.

That said, this year’s bills include two distinct variations on the theme. One is the second Missouri bill, which would require schools to develop “a mechanism where a parent can choose to remove the student from any part of the district’s or school’s instruction on evolution.” And the second is the South Dakota bill, which would see any teacher that introduced intelligent design into their science classroom protected from disciplinary action, even though that instruction has been declared an unconstitutional imposition of religion. “[This bill] is a recipe for disaster,” said NCSE Executive Director Ann Reid. “If enacted, school districts are going to find themselves caught between a rock and a hard placeand they’ll wind up in court.”

If the long-running battle over evolution interests you, stay tuned to Ars. Next Tuesday, we’ll have two reporters at the Creation Museum to watch its founder debate Bill Nye, the Science Guy.

Reset from Win7 Repair-Restore

Here’s How:

  1. Insert either your Windows 7 installation DVD, or a Windows 7 System Repair disc, into your optical drive and then restart your computer. If you have either on a flash drive, that’ll work too.

    Tip: See How to Boot From a CD, DVD, or BD Disc or How to Boot From a USB Device if you’ve never booted from portable media before or if you’re having trouble doing so.

    Note: If you don’t have original Windows 7 media and never got around to making a system repair disc, don’t worry. As long as you have access to any other Windows 7 computer (another in your home or a friend’s will work fine), you can burn a system repair disc for free. See How to Create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc for a tutorial.

  2. After your computer boots from the disc or flash drive, click Next on the screen with your language and keyboard choices.

    Tip: Don’t see this screen or do you see your typical Windows 7 logon screen? Chances are good that your computer booted from your hard drive (like it normally does) instead of from the disc or flash drive you inserted, which is what you want. See the appropriate link in the tip from Step 1 above for help.

  3. Click on the Repair your computer link.

    Note: If you booted with a system repair disc instead of a Windows 7 installation disc or flash drive, you won’t see this link. Just move on to Step 4 below.

  4. Wait while your Windows 7 installation is located on your computer.
  5. Once your installation is found, take note of the drive letter found in the Location column. Most Windows 7 installations will show D: but yours may be different.

    Note: While in Windows, the drive that Windows 7 is installed on is probably labeled as the C: drive. However, when booting from Windows 7 install or repair media, a hidden drive is available that usually isn’t. This drive is given the first available drive letter, probably C:, leaving the next available drive letter, probably D:, for the next drive – the one with Windows 7 installed on it.

  6. Select Windows 7 from the Operating System list and then click the Next button.
  7. From System Recovery Options, choose Command Prompt.
  8. With Command Prompt now open, execute the following two commands, in this order:
    copy d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe d:\
    
    copy d:\windows\system32\cmd.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

    To the Overwrite question after executing the second command, answer with Yes.

    Important: If the drive that Windows 7 is installed on in your computer is not D: (Step 5), be sure to change all instances of d: in the commands above with the correct drive letter.

  9. Remove the disc or flash drive and then restart your computer.

    You can close the Command Prompt window and click Restart but it’s also okay in this situation to restart using your computer’s restart button.

  10. Once the Windows 7 logon screen appears, locate the little icon on the bottom-left of the screen that looks like a pie with a square around it and then click it!

    Tip: If your normal Windows 7 logon screen did not show up, check to see that you removed the disc or flash drive you inserted in Step 1. Your computer may continue to boot from this device instead of your hard drive if you don’t remove it.

  11. Now that Command Prompt is open, execute the net user command as shown, replacing myusername with whatever your user name is and mypassword with whatever new password you’d like to use:
    net user myusername mypassword

    So, for example, I would do something like this:

    net user Tim 1lov3blueberrie$

    Tip: If your username has spaces, put double quotes around it when executing net user, as in net user “Tim Fisher” 1lov3blueberrie$.

  12. Close the Command Prompt window.
  13. Login with your new password!
  14. Create a Windows 7 Password Reset Disk! This is the Microsoft-approved, proactive step you should have done a long time ago. All you need is a blank flash drive or floppy disk and you’ll never need to worry about forgetting your Windows 7 password again.
  15. While not required, it would probably be wise to undo the hack that makes this work. If you don’t, you won’t have access to accessibiily features from the Windows 7 login screen.

    To reverse the changes you’ve made, repeat Steps 1 through 7 above. When you have access to Command Prompt again, execute the following:

    copy d:\utilman.exe d:\windows\system32\utilman.exe

    Confirm the overwrite and then restart your computer.

    Important: Undoing this hack will have no impact on your new password. Whatever password you set in Step 11 is still valid.

omg i just witnessed a horribly hilarious thing

omg i just witnessed a horribly hilarious thing
(I was Joan of Arc, In My Former Life.)

i’m in a mixed group with some students, discussing sexual assault.
i asked if anyone feels like assault is the victim’s fault, to raise their hand.
one boy raised his hand and started to explain that girls who wear
revealing clothing, or get excessively drunk, should be held responsible
for whatever happens.
he was about to say something else when one girl got up
AND DECKED HIM SO HARD HE BLACKED OUT FOR TWO MINUTES
when he came to, he’s all, “why’d the fuck you hit me?!”
“if you weren’t just standing there when i decided to start swinging
wildly,
you wouldn’t have gotten hit. it’s your own fault.
“see how victim blaming works?”

i’m supposed to give her a referral for in-school suspension.
but dammit i’m so proud she earned a treat at the end of the week.

http://hotep-ho.tumblr.com/post/64120261120/omg-i-just-witnessed-a-horribly-hilarious-thing

Jacob Bacharach: We Like Ike…

Jacob Bacharach

Jacob Bacharach

A brutal and unfair society requires a population that conceives of the intellect in terms of taking instruction. Even in my own student days, when testing was far less important, I can recall teachers and exam proctors stalking up and down the aisles between desks warning us of the dire consequences of not carefully reading the instructions. A culture thus educated develops mental habits that revolve around taking and interpreting commands. Its sense of duty and ethics isnt is this right, but rather, am I doing this right? In this regard, the appointment of a David Petreaus, or a John Yoo, or a Condoleeza Rice to prominent positions in the academy are less significant because these people are monstrous than because they are expressly not so. When Yoo is asked about the torture memos he authored and replies that he was just providing the executive with what it requested and required, people tend to see obfuscation, but I see an instructive kind of honesty: he just cant imagine that one wouldnt provide what his boss required of him. He didn’t torture anyone.

This by the way, was Arendt’s misunderstood point she had the bad luck to coin a very quotable phrase that distracted from it. What enables evil is not so much the capacity of ordinary people to be converted to dark purposes, but instead the incapacity of people to think about purpose and consequence. Our dilemma is that this form of thoughtlessness is exactly what the reformers of education at all levels seek. Unfortunately, for the most part, they too are unable to think about what theyre doing. The people who hire a Petreaus only perceive that his instruction might in some way help some students do what he did, and what they themselves have done to a lesser degree: enter an institution, serve it, and move upward through its ranks to their natural place in the overall order. Does it occur to them that this is Huxleys dystopia, a life of servitude in a predetermined class interspersed with the occasional recreational bunga bunga and some Coors Light Lime? No. They haven’t read it. But you can divide into groups of four and prepare an in-class presentation for the next time we meet. Here is a Harvard Business Review article summarizing the case. Use it as the basis for your work.

We Like Ike, Man

Real reading is reincarnation.

 

there are readers and there are readers. There are people who read to anesthetize themselvesthey read to induce a vivid, continreal-readers-books-stackeduous, and risk-free daydream. They read for the same reason that people grab a glass of chardonnayto put a light buzz on. The English major reads because, as rich as the one life he has may be, one life is not enough. He reads not to see the world through the eyes of other people but effectively to become other people. What is it like to be John Milton, Jane Austen, Chinua Achebe? What is it like to be them at their best, at the top of their games?

English majors want the joy of seeing the world through the eyes of people wholet us admit itare more sensitive, more articulate, shrewder, sharper, more alive than they themselves are. The experience of merging minds and hearts with Proust or James or Austen makes you see that there is more to the world than you had ever imagined. You see that life is bigger, sweeter, more tragic and intensemore alive with meaning than you had thought.

Real reading is reincarnation.

https://chronicle.com/article/The-Ideal-English-Major/140553/