Other blogs on civility

Note that two of my brother bloggers have weighed in on the civility debate from their own respective sites.

Here’s Mike Cakora’s thoughtful reflections on the subject, and here’s Bob McAlister’s silly, dismissive take on it. Not that I would express preferences or anything.

Just kidding, Bob! Seriously, the approach he takes — let the hotheads have their say — was the very position I took for more than a year. Then I realized that my policy was running off some of the most serious people who wanted the blog to be a more useful forum for deliberate, civil debate — as did I.

I will take this occasion to thank Mike C for bringing Tony Blair’s speech to our attention. It was a cruel twist of fate that gave us George W. while conferring the blessing of Mr. Blair upon Britain, which doesn’t appreciate him.

If ever you doubt what we’re doing (or supposed to be doing) in the War on Terror, check with Tony. He can always explain it masterfully.

71 thoughts on “Other blogs on civility

  1. Randy E

    There’s nothing wrong with setting these standards in a blog to accomplish a specific goal. If the goal is to have little more than name calling, let the inmates run the asylum…and populate it as well. The goal stated by the person with the name in the title of the blog is something more. We’re not talking firemen burning any book they find (subtle reference).
    There is precendent for taking action for the good of the community. People can not say anything they want hide behind the protection of the constitution. You can’t go into a public library and yell. You can’t verbally assault people as they walk through a mall. There are obscenity laws that preclude the use of certain words in certain situations.
    Out of all the bloggers, only two have reached a threshhold of being so poisonous, “everyone else piles on” the criticism. Only two elicit such venom from bloggers who otherwise engage in much higher discourse i.e. play nice with everyone else.
    As some of these same critics who espouse the market model as a solution for everything keep suggesting; if you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else!! You have that choice. Unfortunately, it has been the ones playing nice that are making that choice.

  2. LexWolf

    Watch out, Randy. You’ll really hurt yourself once you drop back down to earth and reality.

  3. Randy E

    Your reality? There are people who see themselves as the Messiah, and that’s reality to them. You and Lee have your own reality, which many on this site do not share.
    Again, I’d be embarassed to be called out like that. I can take a hint. A whole thread with 2 specific names on it is not a hint.

  4. Lee

    Try to be embarassed enough to stop with the personal attacks and just talk about a South Carolina social issue, like fixing the government schools.

  5. Randy E

    Lee, what do you, as an economist, engineer, and vaunted school volunteer suggest? I’m sure you have details to offer beyond “let the market handle it.”

  6. Lee

    Stop playing dumb by pretending to not have seen some of my suggestions. It is so dishonest. You already responded to all of them with insults, and no ideas of your own. Teachers seem to be really afraid to make suggestions. Why is that?

  7. LexWolf

    What is your goal for your blog? I’ve seen you write more or less that you want it to be a serious discussion of ideas but who should be included in that discussion? As it is now, you have Lee, Dave, and me (and Mike C today) on the Right (let’s call us ‘righties’). The rest of the dozen or so frequent, and most of the infrequent, posters are all moderate to hard Left (let’s call them ‘lefties’). Some of the lefties now complain that we are driving some posters away, simply by expressing our opinion I guess. Something they just can’t abide even while we are supposed to worship their opinions. The incivility argument simply doesn’t wash because they are easily as incivil as we are, if not more so. I can tit-for-tat you on any incivil post claimed by the lefties, without even trying hard. Just look at Randy E who absolutely stuffs your blog with about 20-25% of the posts, most of which are personal attacks, fake or distorted “quotes” and other useless stuff (talk about bullying and incivility!). That’s OK, I guess, if you just want to get your hit count up but otherwise it’s death for the blog.
    How can you seriously discuss ideas when everyone basically agrees? Purge Lee and me, the dissidents, and your blog would be reduced to a lefty Kumbaya lovefest. Dave against the rest.
    In the interest of the fairness and balance you profess, shouldn’t you even want some of the lefties to be driven away? Or more righties to be added so you’ll get a somewhat even distribution of viewpoints? Your blog demographics are already way out of whack when we compare them to SC demographics. After all, the country breaks down into roughly a third each Dem, Rep, and Indy. In SC, that’s probably closer to half Rep, and 1/4 each Dem and Indy. Yet the blog is somewhere between 3:1 and 4:1 left/right. If you are at all interested in a blog that’s representative of SC, shouldn’t you try to encourage more righties to participate instead of driving them away? After all, isn’t 3:1 or 4:1 bad enough already? Do you really want a 10:1 left/right situation on your blog? Based on emails I’ve received, I submit to you that there are quite a few righties who would love to post on your blog if it weren’t for the immediate attacks and hassles they would face from the lefties. Any way you look at it, the predominant conservative part of this state is vastly underrepresented on your blog. If you want to grow the blog, driving away half or more of your potential audience isn’t very smart. Unless of course your target market is the Left.
    Now a suggestion you might want to consider for the blog. Strictly enforce the topic of each thread. Delete off-topic posts and bounce repeat offenders. If your thread is about, say, SC education, we don’t need any posts about the Middle East war, and vice versa. At the same time, have an “open thread” every day or two where any topic is fair game. That allows serious discussion on a particular topic while giving an outlet for other stuff.
    I hope this helped a little. While I don’t agree with you most of the time, I also don’t want to screw up your blog. The lefties are already doing so well at that.

  8. Randy E

    Is this an example of the “whinning and sniveling” of a “crybaby” as Lexwolf describes others?
    Lexwolf reveals again in this post the extent of his and Lee’s oversimplification of the issues. It’s not a matter of taking a strong or even extreme position. It’s a matter of being constructive.
    Lex and Lee have consistently dismissed every single dissenting view, which is okay in of itself, but they do so in a disparaging and destructive manner. If you say the sky is blue, some may say “no it’s yellow” simply so to disagree. L&L respond “No it’s yellow. What, these failed government schools not teach you properly? That’s the problem, these ignorant libs skewing the world around us. 96.8% of all the sky is yellow. If you ever go to college, maybe they’ll teach you colors.”
    Dave is a “rightie” and you don’t see his name listed in the Axis of Irritation.” Some of us too have strayed into incivility, but ours has been in response to and directed at TWO PEOPLE. There’s no doubt a pattern has developed here.
    Lex, spare us the pity party. You came in here guns blazing. Don’t cry when you take a bullet in the butt.

  9. Randy E

    Lex proves my point with this classy gem:
    “At this point I don’t believe that Randy is a teacher, nor do I believe that he has done any graduate work in statistics or any other subject. Based on past statements, a floundering freshman in Ed School sounds about right.”
    Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 4, 2006 9:16:58 PM

  10. Randy E

    I have a suggestion/request. I’d like to have a thread devoted to SC education. Let Lex and I duke it out. The only rule is we must remain on topic. Of course others could chime in.
    I believe that not only will I expose the sand on which Lex builds his idea (singular) for reform, but everyone can see the method he employs in debating issues. We’d have a focused debate on a meaningful issue. And I think it would be interesting to all. This is much of what Dr. Paul suggested.
    Of course, I believe Lex will back out with some excuse of how Brad’s unfair, or I’ll unfairly ask him to support his position, or others will pile on. I actually wouldn’t blame him. It seems to me he can’t maintain a substantive position and fears the public beat down I would perpetuate on his ego.
    Engarde Lexie!

  11. mark g

    I stopped contributing to this blog not because of hotheads who disagree, but because the forum became clogged with the same old attacks from the same people.
    I like having my point of view challenged, and I like the opportunity for rebuttal. But the responses are like a broken record. (Does anyone under 30 know what “broken record” refers to?)
    We only have so much time in the day– books, newspapers, magazines piling up; the Tivo maxed-out; long list of professional and personal comitments…who has the time to re-read the same old insults and attacks day after day?
    I do value Brad’s blog comments. Whether I agree or disagree, they give me some insight into the thinking at The State, or a behind the scenes glimpse into politics I might not have otherwise. I appreciate Brad taking the time to do this blog– it’s a valuable service, and I hope he’ll keep this blog going.
    But I confess, I now skip the comments portion…sorry gang.

  12. Kyle

    Dissenting opinions aren’t the problem; in fact, they are the cornerstone of any open forum. However, dissenting opinions clouded in ad-hominem attacks and smart-aleck jabs contribute nothing.
    I don’t mind folks disagreeing with me. I learn from them. But I don’t gain anything by arguing with someone who sees me as some evil liberal hack worshipping my opinions. That makes a debatable issue a personal one, and you can’t deal with those on a forum. In a true internet forum, threads like that get locked and the people involved in them get a temporary ban for not playing nice.

  13. Lee

    Mainstream socialist drivel is not the dissenting view, unfortunately. It is the party line served up by government schools and the dominant infotainment media.
    The dissenting view today is Americanism, individualism, self-government.
    We Americanists will continue to dismiss all socialist dogma with exhibits of facts which expose socialism and it modern liberal forms as mere propaganda.
    If someone wants to make a case for big government programs, they need to bring examples of success, suggestions for correcting the failures, and explanations of why the private sector cannot provide a better solution for less cost, money and quality of life.

  14. Kyle

    Lee, if you believe that all liberals are socialists and believe in socialist dogma, you are living in a very polarized parallel universe.

  15. Lee

    I don’t have to believe that ALL liberals are socialists. I simply point out that most of the political agenda of modern liberals is not that of classical liberals, but actually socialist: government control of schools, medical care, housing, welfare, retirement, etc. Most are good people, just not educated about the ancestry of their ideas and the phrases they use coming from Marxism. Even fewer are aware of how instrumental liberals were in helping Mussolini and Hitler rise to power.
    The short of it is, their ideas don’t solve the social problems, and bring about much oppression, war and suffering.
    The Islamic radicals we fight today go back to their associations with Hitler and the KGB of the Cold War.

  16. Kyle

    Glad to see that you’re not making as big a sweep as I thought you were, Lee. How about when you speak of those sort of liberals that you believe are extreme socialists, preface it with “extreme” or something? That way, you don’t appear to be equating all liberals with socialists. And you don’t contribute further to the misleading connotations of the word “liberal.”
    I think of myself as “liberal” in the classical sense, e.g. “free thinker.” I’m no socialist, but I believe that certain elements of Marxism/socialism have their place in a democracy. I believe in public systems and the public good…that has hints of socialism, but it doesn’t scare me. I know where I draw the line.
    If a country goes too far in one direction (democracy, socialism, etc), that country isn’t going to function well. By virtue of “free thinking,” I don’t believe that we should be so quick to totally dismiss everything about other systems of government and philosophies. I think you’d agree that a pure, 100% system of any kind really isn’t in anyone’s best interests.

  17. Randy E

    I see Lex has shied away from my challenge to debate. Again, I don’t blame him. A test of ideas vs playground tactics is not his strength.

  18. LexWolf

    we’ve already had such a debate several times and it was like arguing with a toddler. Nary a fact in sight during your temper tantrums.
    However, if you want such a debate, you’re on IF:
    1. you will actually answer my questions to you.
    2. you will produce facts and links to support your claims of fact if I challenge you to do so. You can have all the opinions you want but when you want to claim a fact be prepared to back it up.
    3. you agree not to cherrypick a few words out of a sentence and completely change its meaning as you have done so many times before. I have no intention of debating something with you that I never said.
    Since Brad may not be around to post such a thread, or may be unwilling to do so, you can probably just pick an older thread that hasn’t seen any action for at least a week or had no response at all.

  19. Randy E

    Speaking of tantrums, go back and read your 2nd post on this thread.
    As far as answering questions and giving specifics, I started off with such posts. Your reply was to dismiss everything as “an exception.” When I realized that facts and reasoned debate was lost on you (speaking of toddlers), I resorted to stooping to your level. You apparently don’t like having a dose of your own medicine.
    Hence, there was no debate before, it was a series of political ploys mixed with playground bully tactics.
    It all started with your claim “SC schools are terrible” and your blanket dismissal of all administrators as “educrats.” So let’s see you live up to your own standard and support your claim:
    “2. you will produce facts and links to support your claims of fact if I challenge you to do so. You can have all the opinions you want but when you want to claim a fact be prepared to back it up.”

  20. Dave

    Lexwolf — You say it could come down to DAve against all the leftists. Hahhah That made me think of Rush, taking on lefties with one arm tied behind his back, and still winning. Actually, I seldom get to listen to Rush (sadly) as work just doesn’t offer that time period. My advice to all is keep on whacking at the issues and forego personal attacks, although sometimes some things are too humorous to pass up. Let the debates continue, I say.

  21. Ready to Hurl

    Randy, Rush is the role model for these guys.
    You know– overinflated ego; refusal to recognize reality; mischaracterizes the opposition’s position; takes on strawman arguments; throws out red herring innuendo; and, launchs ad hominem attacks.
    Unfortunately for these guys they don’t have Rush’s screener eliminating inconvenient callers. Nor can they pull the plug when a reality-based caller sneaks through.
    Have you ever seen the video of Rush guest hosting Pat Sajak’s old talk show? He’d been so accustomed to ditto head worship that he was truly shaken when dissent broke out in the studio audience. His defense and wrap-up is so disingenuous that I lol every time he bloviates it.
    At least Lexie and Dave attempt to debate. Rush merely pontificates to the simpering masses who take his word as gospel.
    When someone (Dave?) started talking about Hezbollah fighters as “hezbos” I knew that we had a live ditto head on board.

  22. Lee

    Classical Liberalism rejects all socialism, because socialism depends upon arbitrary central control over the individuals at gunpoint. Anyone who thinks any form of Marxism has a place in society, simply doesn’t know much about history, or doesn’t care for the impediments of democratic institutions.
    That is what happened to liberals in the 1920s, when they grew tired of trying to convince people and backed Mussolini and Stalin to force reforms on the masses.

  23. Brad Warthen

    OK, guys — the right has no monopoly on stupid partisanship on the radio. Seems I’ve heard of something along those lines by Al Franken, or is he off the air now?
    Nor does that “side” have the patent on kneejerk attacks or insults. Anybody read the posts by Ready to Hurl or Mary Rosh?
    I’ll be glad to start a thread specifically for a debate on any topic by LexWolf and Randy E, if they agree to the following conditions:
    — No insults or personal putdowns.
    — No labels substituting for argument (“liberal,” “right-winger,” etc.)
    — Make every effort to write in a way designed to CHANGE THE MINDS OF PEOPLE WHO MIGHT DISAGREE WITH YOU.
    If everyone would do that last one, in fact, our civility problem would be solved.
    This experiment could be useful to us all. Y’all up for it?

  24. Lee

    IOW, the words “liberal” and “socialist” have no meaning to most people, so let’s ban their use. Why stop there in the dumbing down speech code?

  25. Lee

    I think it is good to educate “liberals” on the fact that most of their Marxist ideas have been tried, failed, and rejected by the civilized West. Otherwise, they will go around believing that everyone can sit around collecting welfare checks, without anyone producing wealth.

  26. Randy E

    Lee, please give the threshhold one must meet to be classified a liberal. What qualifies one as a liberal?

  27. LexWolf

    Go for it, Brad. But before we start we probably should agree on what exactly it is that we are debating. If Randy wants to argue against the proposition that SC schools are bad, the debate would be over before we even started (yes, there are some good schools here and there but taken as a whole we all know where SC schools stand). Same thing when he disagrees that administrators are educrats. Educrat is simply a contraction of ‘education bureaucrat’ and by definition that’s what administrators are. Again there would be no point in having a debate.
    I will agree not to use a label as an argument in itself, i.e. I will not say ‘this proposal is liberal or leftist so it’s bad’. However, I will use it as shorthand for something that would take a bunch of words to express otherwise. For example, someone who advocates big government, less power for the people, running other people’s lives, and lots of taxing and spending is a liberal or a leftist. I don’t intend that as demeaning or negative in any way but simply in a descriptive sense. At the same time I don’t have a problem with conservative or libertarian. Despite lots of denials from many people, usually on the left, labels do mean something and they make it much easier to express an idea.
    I also want Randy to refrain from painting everything as a black-and-white proposition. He has a tendency to take even simple statements as categorical and absolute, with no exceptions allowed. For example, if one says that 62% of black children are growing up with only one parent or no parent at all which might indicate that a good number of black parents don’t care about their children, he twists that into an accusation that one said “all black parents don’t care about their children”. Obviously that’s not true and just as obviously that’s not what was said. Yet this usually goes on for 10 or 20 posts of Randy throwing out this “quote” again and again. Totally out of context and I don’t feel like debating against that. If he wants to use quotes, have him use real, in-context and complete quotes.
    Finally, it would probably make it easier for readers if we tried to limit our posts to one or at most two points per post. That makes it easier to quote and respond. Your last post was 20 lines on my monitor. Something like that, maybe a few lines more, is vastly preferable to one of those humongous posts that goes on for 200 or 300 lines and where your eyes glaze over before you’re halfway through it.

  28. Mike C

    Sheesh! I drive 500 miles, get some cold brewskis, unload and start up my computer only to find another fight.
    Brad –
    Methinks using the word “civility” on a blog is like shouting “movie” in a firehouse: it don’t do no harm, but ya sure do git some strange reactions.
    Blair gives good speeches, but Bush does too. Over at my blog I replied to that #&*#$!@ Phillip that I’d do a roundup of Bush speeches soon. Try to contain your excitement.
    But speaking of speeches, I think that a lot of the shenanigans of the Defeatist Party during Iraqi PM Al-Maliki’s visit were intended to distract from his speech. I think it is a durn good speech with several poignant moments.
    I will close with the observation that I’ve not gotten one uncivil word about my dollhouse blog entry. I thought that the digression on male obstinacy was worthy of at least a snide remark, if not a vulgarity.
    I was only kidding Phillip about #&*#$!@, trying to maintain the standards of civility ‘round heah.

  29. Randy E

    Lex, you seem to want to split hairs in how you support Lee’s quotes. BTW, his latest quote is that most black students suffer the experience of having “parents who abandon them, abuse drugs and go to jail” (Civilty thread Aug 5, 2006 7:41:41 PM). Are you going to offer some support for this quote as well?
    I’m game for a meaningful debate. Specifically, I take issue with your depiction of schools, educators, and “educrats.” Previously Lex, when I pointed out any good schools you dismissed them as “exceptions.” Are you backtracking on that position now?
    I also question your one suggestion for reform. So I guess the debate is on the status of schools and how to improve.

  30. LexWolf

    Aaah Randy, good of you mention that other thread because it’s a classic example of how you take quotes out of context, and chop off important words in or around the quote to completely change the meaning. I just finished responding to your post on that thread and totally blew you out of the water!! This sort of crap is exactly what I don’t want to see from you again, if we are having a debate. Be honest for a change.
    Good schools in SC were an exception in those earlier threads and they are still exceptions. As an eminent statistics expert with 33 hours of training surely you can understand that, if you look at the big picture, there will be some schools that are clearly above average (e.g. Irmo) and some clearly below average (e.g. Allendale). The rest will be close to average so in any debate please refrain from trotting out the positive exceptions in a spurious attempt to “prove” that the average SC school isn’t at or near the bottom in the country. Let’s talk about the system as a whole.

  31. Randy E

    Yes, muddy the waters by suggesting that I took your quote out of context and tweak the topic so it fits your current rationale.
    Let’s be clear. You stated “schools in SC are terrible.” That’s a blanket statement painting all schools as bad. I took issue and gave you specifics to refute this. You dismissed these as “exceptions” which seems to indicate you find almost ALL SC schools to be terrible.
    Are you now backtracking on this?

  32. LexWolf

    Do you comprehend anything at all? Why is everything an all-or-nothing for you? Where’s all that ‘nuance’ you guys always claim for yourselves?
    Once again, with feeling. There are some fairly good schools and there are some fairly terrible schools. The rest are average. All schools taken as a whole are close to the bottom in nationwide comparisons.
    You were incensed yesterday because I doubted that you were a teacher or had the graduate training you claimed to have. This last post (and many previous ones) is the sort of stuff that gives reason to such doubt. This is juvenile stuff – definitely not what a 40-something person with a graduate degree should be saying. Maybe you should look for someone else to fill in for you in that debate because it doesn’t appear that you’re up to it.
    Oh, and show me the post where I said that all schools in SC are terrible.

  33. Randy E

    “You know, you’re really working very hard at removing all doubts that you aren’t a teacher, much less a math teacher. If you can’t even comprehend a simple statement like this, I shudder to think what you’re teaching your students.” – Lex
    No personal attacks, eh? If you can’t debate with substance, resort to attacks?

  34. Randy E

    “It is my considered opinion that the current public school system has failed abysmally.”
    Posted by: LexWolf | Jun 20, 2006 5:14:04 PM Actual Reality thread
    “Why is everything an all-or-nothing for you?” – Lex
    Gee Lex, that sounds like an all or nothing quote about the whole system.
    More of Lex’s all or nothing coming up…

  35. Randy E

    “4. Are your public schools doing even a minimally acceptable job with this now?”
    Posted by: LexWolf | Jun 22, 2006 1:33:06 PM
    Let’s Talk thread
    Hmmm, this seems to contradict his earlier statement above: “Once again, with feeling. There are some fairly good schools and there are some fairly terrible schools. The rest are average.” – Lexwolf

  36. LexWolf

    Randy, please get some common sense. This above quote is exactly what I was and am talking about – the system as a whole. There are some decent schools and then there are some that are even worse than abysmal but as a whole the system has failed. Why is it so hard for you to comprehend this simple concept?

  37. Randy E

    “This is as clear an admission as we can possibly get that public schools are indeed substandard.”
    Posted by: LexWolf | Jun 22, 2006 6:37:17 PM
    Let’s Talk thread
    More contradiction with above statement that overall schools are average.
    Which is it Lex? Or I am “pulling quotes out of context again?”
    I’m guessing you’ll resort to personal attacks again.

  38. Randy E

    Lexie, you paint schools as “substandard” and not even achieving a “minimally acceptable” level.
    Then you claim “most schools are average.”
    And now your back to “the whole system has failed.”
    This last one is so “black and white” and “all or nothing” which you criticized before. I see lots of flip flopping here.

  39. Randy E

    Back to square one. I pointed out that you claimed “SC schools are terrible.”
    You got in a huff, belittled my education and teaching, decried us “all or nothing types” and explained “Once again, with feeling. There are some fairly good schools and there are some fairly terrible schools. The rest are average.”
    If ONLY some schools are fairly terrible, then how is the whole system substandard?

  40. LexWolf

    please find someone else to debate against me. This is pathetic stuff he’s been coming up with for the last few posts.
    has it ever occurred to you that schools can be “substandard” and below “minimally acceptable” yet be average for the state. The state’s schools as a whole have failed (again, Mr. Math Teacher, don’t forget that there are some above and some below and most average).

  41. Dave

    RTH – You need to read my posts. I said I hardly ever get to hear Rush. And I can’t stream him in at work (against rules you know) or even blog. So I am work impaired when it comes to blogging. Anyway, how many times do you think I want to type out Hezbollah? Why couldn’t they have called themselves The A Team, or simply Da Mob? I can type that easier.

    Some outside advice to Randy and Lex. Continue on ONLY with new posts, agree to stop pulling back the old posts, or you two could go on forever. The blog version of the Rocky Horror show. Egads.

  42. LexWolf

    if by some miracle you really did snag a teacher’s job somewhere, maybe I should take your job. Here, let me explain a simple concept that a math teacher should know in his sleep.
    Let’s put all schools in the US on a 1-10 scale where 10 is best. The national median might be a 6.5 and you would have half the states scoring above and half below. Now let’s say SC scores a 3.5, with some schools as high as 7.8 and some others as low as 1.2 but most schools at 3.5 or so. Clearly we have a few good schools, above the state and national average, and some atrocious schools. As a whole, however, we are clearly below average, or substandard.

  43. Randy E

    Lexie’s Greatest Hits Volume II
    The first 5 came AFTER Brad agreed to sponsor a debate with the condition of no personal insults. All quotes ironically came in the two Civility threads (BC OBOC).
    Well, Brad, you can have Lee and Lex. I’ll look elsewhere for dialogue.
    “Do you comprehend anything at all?” Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 5, 2006 9:29:48 PM OBOC
    “Randy, please get some common sense.” Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 5, 2006 10:08:26 PM OBOC
    “Aaargh! Nobody can possibly be this dense.” Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 5, 2006 10:12:53 PM BC
    “You know, you’re really working very hard at removing all doubts that you aren’t a teacher, much less a math teacher.
    If you can’t even comprehend a simple statement like this, I shudder to think what you’re teaching your students.”
    Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 5, 2006 9:41:33 PM BC
    “Try to be intellectually honest for a change”
    Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 5, 2006 8:52:03 PM BC
    “Randy, what’s wrong with your comprehension skills?” Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 5, 2006 9:30:17 AM BC
    “At this point I don’t believe that Randy is a teacher, nor do I believe that he has done any graduate work in statistics
    or any other subject. Based on past statements, a floundering freshman in Ed School sounds about right.”
    Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 4, 2006 9:16:58 PM BC
    “Randy, I’m really starting to see why our kids are doing so poorly in school, with “teachers” like you …Not to mention
    that you seem to think that the blog can’t function unless your verbal diarrhea produces at least 25% of the posts. Despite your all too many posts you rarely produce anything worthwhile – such as some actual substantive discussion concerning my post above.”
    Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 4, 2006 6:44:12 PM BC

  44. LexWolf

    The first 5 came AFTER Brad agreed to sponsor a debate with the condition of no personal insults.
    Note that this isn’t the debate thread.
    I stand by all the above quotes. At this point, especially since you favor “real names” posting and all that, it would probably be best if you contacted Brad with evidence that you really are a teacher as you claim to be. I just can’t believe it anymore. If I’m wrong on that point, it’s even worse. Then all I can say is God help our kids and keep them out of any of your classes.

  45. Kyle

    Randy, again, take my advice….let it die. Lex isn’t going to believe anything you say and will continue to believe you are an idiot. It’s a lost cause. Focus on constructive argument.

  46. Lee

    One threshold of being called a “liberal” is when you call yourself one. For example, 85% of journalists, editors, and broadcast news producers call themselves “liberal” or “progressive” and vote Democrat.
    Could public school apologist explain why a teacher who goes through the process to obtain a “National Certification” should be paid $10,000 more per year for doing the same job, with the same skillset they already had?
    In industry, you get certifications to keep your job. If you expect to earn more, you take classes to increase your knowledge, quit your job, and take someone else’s job from them.

  47. Kyle

    Well, Lee, by your own definition, they qualify (sort of) – they increase their knowledge and expertise. Quitting isn’t really the thing to do, because if every teacher who wanted to earn more quit their job, the turnover would be horrible. That’s a disservice to the students.
    Good constructive question, although I noticed you still threw in an extraneous jab. You’re almost there. 😉

  48. Lee

    My examination of the National Teach Certification has uncovered no gaining of new knowledge, because it is not about instruction or study. It is a documentation process and a small project, to punch your ticket for a piece of paper which the vote-pandering politicians have made worth $10,000 extra a year.
    The details are not as important as the larger question: “Why increase the pay of any current teachers?”
    There are only two reasons, as there are for any employees.
    1. Retain the good ones.
    2. Attach new talent to replace the bad ones.
    If the pay raise is not enough to retain the best, and does not replace the worst, then it is just a cost increase to the taxpayers with no benefit to the students.

  49. Capital A

    Lee, have you ever taught or coached at any level?
    I don’t mean “talked in front of people while making a point that you thought was an obvious truth”. I mean “taught”.
    This is a straightforward question in an attempt to discover from where you are coming.

  50. Lee

    Alexx, I guess that means you are unaware that Saddam Hussein and assassin Sirhan Sirhan are Islamic fascists, of the Ba’ath Party, whose founding goes back to the Nazis.
    Are you also unaware of the KGB and Red Chinese training of many of the Arab terrorists? That’s why they are following the same playbook and using the same Soviet weapons as the Viet Cong and South American guerrillas.

  51. Lee

    Capital A, I have taught and coached at the college level and above. Why? Does that entitle me to question the waste of money and poor results I see in education, or do I have to teach every grade K-12 for 5 years each?
    Are only factory certified automobile mechanics qualified to criticize automobile quality and offer suggestions for improvement?

  52. Capital A

    Capital A, I have taught and coached at the college level and above. Why? Does that entitle me to question the waste of money and poor results I see in education, or do I have to teach every grade K-12 for 5 years each?
    Posted by: Lee | Aug 9, 2006 5:33:20 AM
    Lee, I just asked a simple question. I was honestly trying to understand your opinions and why you hold them. A person’s background is key in this.
    I guess I’ll just give up on you and the other two of the tres enfantes terrible. Your overly defensive response to a simple question belies a self-loathing and insecurity that none of us on these boards can exorcise from you.
    Sorry to have bothered you with my inquiry.

  53. Lee

    Your refusal to answer my direct questions indicates that your credential game just hit a brick wall.
    Randy E also refused to answer the question.
    As long as you folks refuse to honestly put your beliefs on the table and defend them with direct speech, don’t expect anyone to treat you with respect.

  54. Capital A

    I just find it odd that a “professor” wouldn’t seek to tackle the twisted matter of college tenure before moving on to the problems of public schools. Isn’t that problem closer to your job experience?
    Assuming I believe your story, were you a professor at USC? I know of one with your political leanings who was seemingly socially retarded as yourself. His/your(?) class was the only time I saw an entire classroom empty in the middle of a lecture due to what was being spoken.
    Also, I’m not really seeking your respect. I’ve never cared what a racist, Republican drone has thought of me.

  55. Lee

    I have addressed the problems with USC and Clemson in this forum and elsewhere. What’s stopping you from responding, much less bringing up some of your own ideas for change?

  56. Capital A

    Lee, if you would scan some of my posts other than the ones that eloquently and masterfully insult your ignorance, you’d see that I have no problem with some of the ideas of school and teacher reform that you have expressed. We differ greatly on how these should be handled, however.
    In fact, the recertification in almost every career, I think, should be increased in difficulty and frequency. Even in my current field of finance, I think that a retaking of the Series 7 and 66 should be required and on a more ongoing basis.
    To sum up, I’m not sure why Lee only singles out teachers for this, while I think ALL professions should be more rigorously tested to prove certification. It could only serve to benefit the nation as a whole to have people truly skilled in their career of pursuit. I guess my problem is that someone would serve to financially gain from giving these tests, and I despise consultants and middle men, as a rule.
    Also, Lee, you don’t get to make fun of any student until you pass your grammar class. You could certainly use some homework where that subject is concerned.
    RTH, the “professor” in question was a former “son in spirit” of Lee Atwater who chose to openly spread his cancerous bile. He was making comments that were concerning racial econimics and that were suspiciously similar in wording to those expressed by Lee. They had the same troglodytic delivery as well.
    Of course, all this came after he had already given a verbose rundown on why the state of Michigan is so much more forward-thinking in economic and social affairs than that of our dear Sandlappers. It couldn’t have been Lee because I think we have to claim him as a native son…as much as I’d prefer to adopt.

  57. Lee

    I don’t single out teachers, but I do discuss education in the education threads. I am suspicious of certification as a requirement for working, because it them becomes more of a means to limit competition rather than to improve skill levels. Certifications in any field should not be controlled by the government, or it becomes a means of censorship and suppressing dissent through denial of income to people who truly have the skills, but the “wrong attitude”.
    I don’t bother to proof my posts because I know that those who want get the point will, and most of the rest don’t know enough about grammar, punctuation and spelling to catch the mistakes that often.

  58. Capital A

    Maybe we’re not as far apart on this issue as either of us originally thought…
    We essentially agree on this and on the opposition of senseless smoking bans. That’s two steps in the right direction.
    You’re a much more effective and intelligent as a poster when you’re not spinning tales of xenophobia and implicit racism. I wish you’d produce more posts like the above rather than the attention-seeking ones that create venomous 300 post topics.

  59. Lee

    I am much more effective when the reader knows what real racism is, and doesn’t use pseudo-medical terms like “xenophobia” to dismiss the uncomfortable facts, which is usually a sign of their own condescending form of racism.

  60. Lee

    Smear jargon like “xenophobia” and “homophobia” are intended to stop your opponents’ arguments, but they first poison your own thought processes. Lay off them.

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