Closing Thought–11Oct17

My Brain Is Bigger Than Your Brain!

I have often said just how childish the Trump person can be.

He, Trump, is taking grief over his thing with SecState Tillerson….so our commander in chief has a way to solve this problem….a contest.

We may never know for sure whether Rex Tillersoncalled President Trump a moron, a “f—ing moron,” or never let an unkind word pass his lips, but Trump himself offers up a solution to the conundrum: “I think it’s fake news, but if he did that, I guess we’ll have to compare IQ tests,” the president says in an interview with Forbes. “And I can tell you who is going to win.” Trump also doubles down on his contention that Tillerson “was wasting his time” in negotiating with North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un, leading his interviewer to question whether “publicly upbraiding” the nation’s top diplomat renders him ineffectual. “I’m not undermining,” Trump responds. “I think I’m actually strengthening authority.”

Seriously?  The world is going to crap and our prez wants to compare IQs with his SecState…..so sad and so pathetic.

This is a silly 7 year old tantrum…..

I would say just by saying this sort of crap then his IQ may not be as high as he thinks.

Was this just a joke?

Trump has spent time denigrating Tillerson privately and praise him publicly….that is the kiss of death for Tillerson…..how much more can he tolerate?

“I don’t know. I’m not a diplomat” is an odd statement to make if you’re a high-ranking US Cabinet official tasked with critical matters of diplomacy. Yet those words were uttered by the US secretary of state during a September meeting at the UN regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the kickoff anecdote in Dexter Filkins’ deep dive in the New Yorker into the Trump administration oddity that is Rex Tillerson. From a hardscrabble childhood in Texas, Tillerson ascended to the top of the Exxon hierarchy, where he got used to calling the shots and making major decisions of his own volition. It’s a drastically different role than his current post as President Trump’s foreign policy chief, where the reticent former executive now finds himself in a job “marked by strife and confusion” and “uncomfortably subordinate to an unpredictable man,” Filkins writes.

The story delves into Tillerson’s “mixed” legacy at Exxon, including his attempts to rehab the company’s image on climate change, as well as an almost obsessive drive to make multibillion-dollar deals with overseas entities, even those that may have flouted US foreign policy; his “very close” relationship to Vladimir Putin receives special note. His challenges now are quite different, including a high number of vacancies in the State Department, a seeming inability to keep up with the day-to-day, and a reportedly sour relationship with UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. “Rex … f—ing hates her,” one official says. The undercutting of Tillerson’s efforts by the president himself is only adding to the pile-on that has observers wondering how much more he can take. “Tillerson was contemplating his retirement from Exxon, after which he could do whatever he wanted. … Now he’s got to feel like he’s covered in s—,” one aide says. “I can’t imagine this is what he expected.” Entire profile here.

Let’s say he goes….who is in the shadows waiting their turn in the diplomatic barrel?  Will there be an IQ test for the position?

This admin gets more pathetic by the day…….and it is only 274 days old….what can the future bring?

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Why Do They Hate So?

For decades now the Right has had a hard on for higher education.  They take every opportunity to degrade anyone with an advanced degree as some sort of elitist.

The burning question is why do conservatives hate higher education?  I have my thoughts but I am usual a bit harsh…..but someone has to have a good idea where higher education became such a negative force in our society.

Conservatives don’t like professors. When conservative Republicans were asked to gauge their feelings about college professors, over half gave a “cold” response, while only 24% were “warm”. I experience that disdain in the comments that conservatives make to my columns, where the word “professor” itself is a taunt, a curse.

Conservatives don’t like the institutions where professors work. A recent Pew poll found that only 29% of conservative Republicans thought that colleges and universities have a positive impact on our country.

Republican politicians encourage these views. Betsy DeVos, the new Secretary of Education, was explicit in her condemnation of professors as she was being confirmed: “The faculty, from adjunct professors to deans, tell you what to do, what to say, and more ominously, what to think. They say that if you voted for Donald Trump, you’re a threat to the university community.”

Source: Why Conservatives Don’t Like Higher Ed – LA Progressive

At what point will this continue?  There are many incidents in history where the first people to be deposed by an authoritarian regime are the educated and community leaders.

Hope do these people hope to gain by demonizing the educated?

She Made Me Proud Again

Saturday and rain…..and a visit from my granddaughter….she has been very busy with the start of school and her band commitments…but today she is coming by for we need to talk about something she is thinking about doing…..another activity.

She knows that I am a foreign policy wonk and do a lot of international analyses…..she is thinking about joining the Model United Nations Program…..and she wanted my input.

In Model United Nations, students step into the shoes of ambassadors from U.N. member states to debate current issues on the organization’s vast agenda. Student “delegates” in Model United Nations prepare draft resolutions, plot strategy, negotiate with supporters and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and intensely navigate the United Nations rules of procedures, as applied in the respective United Nations bodies, all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect almost every country on Earth. All MUN delegates have to obey these Rules of Procedure, which are a simplified version of those used in the real United Nations conferences. The sessions of the committees will be led by Chairs and Co-Chairs.

Before playing out their ambassadorial roles in Model United Nations, students research global problems to be addressed, drawn from today’s headlines. Model United Nations participants learn how the international community acts on its concerns about topics including peace and security, human rights, the environment, food and hunger, economic development, and globalization. Model United Nations delegates also look closely at the needs, aspirations, and foreign policy of the countries they will represent at the event. In almost all the Model United Nations around the world today, it is a common practice that students (delegates) are not allowed to represent their own countries of origin.

She wants to get the heads up from the old fart…..

I told her that here was also an on-line version of the Model United Nations that she might like to check it out first to get the feel of things that would be expected of her……

Source: Home | Online Model United Nations

What can I say….she NEVER ceases to amaze me.  If all goes well she may well be writing for IST in the future.

Another opinionated chuq….she is already opinionated all she needs is a good solid foundation……I could not ask for more.

That’s my girl!

The G I Bill

When I left the US Army in 1971 I wanted to use my GI Bill benefits for my education….the only thing that I ever asked of my country for my service…..I got the education I wanted and think that all service people should have a good GI Bill.

The Trump admin has signed into law a new GI Bill…..

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law an updated veterans’ education bill that marks the largest expansion of college assistance for military veterans in a decade.

The Forever GI Act immediately removed a 15-year time limit on the use of GI benefits. The measure also increases financial assistance for thousands serving in the National Guard and Reserve, building on a 2008 law that guaranteed veterans a full-ride scholarship to any in-state public university, or a similar cash amount to attend private colleges.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who joined Trump for the signing, said the new law also provides benefits to Purple Heart recipients whose injuries forced them to leave the service. Benefits can also now be transferred to the eligible dependent of service members who are killed in the line of duty.

Veterans would get additional payments for completing science, technology and engineering courses, part of a broad effort to better prepare veterans for life after active-duty service amid a fast-changing job market. The law also restores benefits if a college closes in the middle of the semester, a protection that was added after thousands of veterans were hurt by the collapse of for-profit college giant ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian Colleges.

“This is expanding our ability to support our veterans in getting education,” Shulkin told reporters at a briefing after Trump signed the measure at his New Jersey golf club upon returning there after two nights at his home at New York’s Trump Tower. Journalists were not permitted to watch Trump sign the bill, as the White House has done for earlier veterans’ legislation he has turned into law. That includes a measure Trump signed at the club Saturday to provide nearly $4 billion in emergency funding for a temporary veterans health care program.

Glad to see that the troops are still foremost on the minds of our government….

It falls short of what I wanted to see…..the first four years of a public college would be free as long as a C+ average was maintained.  I believe that is a small price to pay for what we ask our troops to accomplish.

Meeting Of The Psi Phi Society

First let me wish all the Fathers that follow and read IST a very Happy Father’s Day.  Enjoy your special day.

Yesterday I got to watch the start of 24 hrs du Le Mans……as a sports car racing fan this is a must…..I am pulling for the Ford GT and the Toyota in the “hybrid” category…..had to take a break from the race to attend my meeting…..

To celebrate the race I am preparing a Cassoulet served with a fine white Bordeaux and a baguette….very French…….oui?

The Psi Phi Society has nothing to do with science fiction or the channel on cable (SyFy)……it is just a friendly (mostly) discussion group that meets a couple times a year.

My Sunday begins and I would like to talk about the meeting of the Psi Phi Society…..we have our get together at a local steak house and hold our discussions and debates.

After our meal we settle in with a cocktail and decide what the topic will be for the evening…..the group is me and another professor, a preacher, a scientist (chemist), a nurse, a contractor and a local artist.

As you would imagine with a diverse group there would be diverse opinions on what the discuss….after about an hour of debate my fellow professor, a historian, brought up a topic that we all found interesting….what race were the Greeks and Romans?  (To be honest she picked up the check for all of us as a bribe to discuss her topic)

She brought up a paper that she had read recently on this subject…..to be on equal footing we asked the owner of the steakhouse (a friend) if he would print out the paper so that we could read it and then debate…..

Recent films about ancient Greece such as Troy, Helen of Troy, and 300, have used actors who are of Anglo-Saxon or Celtic ancestry (e.g. Brad Pitt, Gerard Butler). Recent films about ancient Rome, such as Gladiator and HBO’s series Rome, have done the same (e.g. Russell Crowe). Were the directors right, from an historical point of view? Were the ancient Greeks and Romans of North European stock?

Most classical historians today are silent on the subject. For example, Paul Cartledge, a professor of Greek culture at Cambridge, writes about his specialty, Sparta, for educated but non-academic readers, yet nowhere that I can find does he discuss the racial origins of the Spartans. Some years ago I asked several classics professors about the race of the ancient Greeks only to be met with shrugs that suggested that no one knew, and that it was not something worth looking into. Today, an interest in the race of the ancients seems to be taken as an unhealthy sign, and any evidence of their Nordic origins discounted for fear it might give rise to dangerous sentiments.

Source: What Race Were the Greeks and Romans? – The Unz Review

The discussion went into the late evening.

Me?

I came down on the side that the Greeks were of Minoan descent because they were great seafaring people and opened up new lands for colonies and settlements….thus Romans were descendants of these people as well…therefore olive skin with dark hair.

The evening ended when I got a call from a friend in Lebanon and had to cut my evening short.

We did decide to have another meeting next month…..

If you read the paper then….what do you think?

Settling in for a good a restful day and in prep for Monday and a new week……after all it is Father’s day….I hope everyone enjoys their special day……plus the race should be ending shortly…..Peace Out……chuq

Nothing Better Than An Education!

Happy Easter…if you celebrate that sort of thing……

First some breaking news….I appears that the much anticipated North Korean missile test this weekend was a …….Failure……yes I said….FAILURE.

Another beautiful Spring Sunday….garden is going nicely, blueberries are about ready to harvest and my granddaughter is playing her flute for me……not a better day to be found.

My regulars know that I am a huge supporter of education…this country can go no further than it has without an educated populace.

I recently posted on something I read about education in Rhode Island……(in case you missed my post)…..

Source: Closing Thought–11Apr17 – In Saner Thought

Well I read another educational piece about the state of New York…..it seems that they are trying to make a 4 year college education free for poor and middle class students……

New York will be the only state in the country to offer universal public college tuition coverage for working- and middle-class residents after the program was included in the budget package approved Sunday night.

The state’s Excelsior Scholarship program will be rolled out in tiers over the next three years, starting with full coverage of four-year college tuition this fall for students whose families make less than $100,000.

Source: New York Becomes Only State to Offer Free Four-Year College – NBC News

A damn capital idea….this should be policy in ALL 50 states…..

Thoughts?

That is my post for the day (you only get one on the weekends)…..I will enjoy family and the beautiful weather…..not long until the 100 degree days return…..enjoy the weather while you can……

Thanx for all your visits in the past week and I look forward to the coming week….so much stuff and so little time……

I will be back in the morrow with more stuff and more thoughts…..peace out….my friends….chuq

Closing Thought–11Apr17

The Future Is Education!

I have been calling for some sort of free college education for our citizens…..I have always believed that education was the key to a great society….shame not many see it that way…..

I recently read a plan in the state of Rhode Island that I approve of and should be the same in all 50 states.

Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo plans today to propose that the state offer two tuition-free years for full-time students in public higher education.

Students at the Community College of Rhode Island would pay no tuition while earning an associate degree. For state residents who start at Rhode Island College or the University of Rhode Island, their junior and senior years would be tuition-free. There is no income limit, although the public system in Rhode Island serves many more low-income students than wealthy students.

Source: Rhode Island governor proposes two free years of public higher education

A capital idea!