Archive for August, 2009


Monday, August 31st, 2009

Back a few years ago there was a Republican governor in Massachusetts and it looked for a while like he would be able to appoint a replacement US Senator. A man by the name of Ted Kennedy and his supporters got the law changed to prevent that from happening. They argued that the voters should have that choice not the governor.

Recently that same Ted Kennedy, shortly before his death opened a vacancy in the US Senate, argued that the governor should be able to appoint a replacement Senator so that the office would not remain vacant for months. His supporters are calling for that to happen. Apparently Democratic governors can be trusted but Republican governors can not. Frankly I’m getting more and more upset about this all the time. It is hypocrisy. It is pure politics. It is just plain dishonest.

I’ve never been a big fan of Ted Kennedy but normally I would keep quiet about it because he’s gone and it is so soon after his death. But this deathbed political move should be seen as something that tarnishes his final days and be condemned.

And it is not about how to choose a replacement. Some states have special elections. Some have governors appoint replacements. I imagine some combine the two. How is is done is not what upsets me about this. I just want to hear one Democrat denounce this move and demand that no changes be made until there is an other US Senator selected under the current system. That is the only right, ethical, moral thing to do.

Now if the people who fought the move to take the appointment away from the governor push for it and it passed without support from those who pushed the present system I could accept that as fair and honest. It’s unlikely which is sort of a shame. The whole thing highlights how much party has become more important than principle and what is best for the people is secondary. If it ranks that high at all.

The Vick Affair

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

So it appears that Michael Vick has signed a new football contract. And not everyone is happy about it. He was convicted of running a dog fighting operation and served his prison time for it. I always thought that technically that was “paying ones debt to society.” It appears that some people want him never to work again. I’m not sure if they don’t want him to work anywhere or just not play football. But it doesn’t seem fair to me.

I’m not excusing what he did but I don’t think we should have unforgivable sins. If people pay their court ordered debt then we should give them a second chance. What’s the alternative? Sentence them to a life of crime or keep anyone in jail for life regardless of crime?

How to pack a dishwasher

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

It always amazes me how poorly so many people pack a dishwasher. There have lots of unused and unusable space left and they still have things that should go in. Here now some advice.

Just because something fits doesn’t mean you should put it there. There are small spaces and large spaces. Small things will fit in small places or large spaces. Unfortunately large things only fit in large spaces. So put the small things in small places.

If there are places for glasses put the glasses in those spaces. Don’t put them in spaces where plates will fit. In fact you’re best off placing the large things in first. Once they are in you will know what spaces you can use for smaller things. Easy yes?

You’d think so but some people use no order at all and place what ever they grab first into what ever space they find first.OK end of rant. I have to go unload the dishwasher.

What Does A Degree Mean?

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Fairly often I see people list their degrees or their highest degree received next to their names. I think it is supposed to impress people. A way of saying “look at me I’m smart.” Now in some cases the degree indication makes some sense. Basically that is limited to the academic environment or some professional/licensing situations though. In academia degrees received is pretty much directly tied to rank. Outside academia is all too often seems pretentious. It doesn’t add credibility to what one says or writes in the business world. And unless you have a terminal degree (generally a doctorial level degree) you’re only going to impress people with lower level degrees than you have. So why bother advertising that?

Now some degrees do carry professional weight. MSW (Masters in Social Work) have special meaning and are required for some jobs or professional licenses. But in other fields other things make more sense. CPA (Certified Public Accountant) is more important than a specific degree for accounting. Or PE (Professional Engineer) over a specific engineering degree. A lot depends on the field and more importantly the audience. Advertising a degree outside of those contexts, well, to me it doesn’t mean much.

A friend of mine once asked senior management if they would get a raise if they earned an additional degree. The answer was “not automatically.” The assumption was that if you really learned things that helped you do your job better the normal reward and promotion system would take care of you. You are valued for the work you do and not for the degrees you earn. This is not true in academia but that’s something of a world a part.

So what does a degree mean? Basically all it really automatically means is that one has completed a course of study. What really counts is not the degree earned but  the knowledge gained.