Author Topic: Current Events  (Read 4193 times)

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Offline smokester

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #45 on: October 08, 2020, 02:33:17 AM »
CNN banks on its ability to inspire rage.  I rarely watch it.  If you want to be informed about US news, try watching the PBS NewsHour.

I was reading this article today in the New York Times and I suddenly realized that the stellar British university system had eroded due to short sighted budget cutting. I had thought that the system was competitive but once accepted, tuition was free, at least.  But I guess that hasn't been the case for quite a while.  I wonder how much the government helps students, if at all?

The situation described in the article has worsened under COVID.  Several of the budget cutting measures and the related fallout also have hurt US colleges and universities.  So I was wondering about smokester TNG and how he was faring at Uni?  Here's the link.  They specifically refer to Manchester Metropolitan Uni.  It sounds pretty scary.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/06/world/europe/virus-UK-universities.html?searchResultPosition=1

To be fair, while I (selfishly) don't like the fact that students now have to contribute to their university education, the government was quite generous. The vast majority of students will never pay it back anyhow as they will either never earn enough to qualify to repay it, or it will just time out. I was impressed though, that the only other student from TNG's school that was going to Manchester with him has a mother that is on the verge of dying and some other dire family circumstances. His student loan was double what TNG's was so he had enough for tuition, accomodation and to maintain himself. I contribute £500 a month to the TNG for beer and curries, the rest was covered by his loan.

All that said, I had the opposite thinking when I was a young tradesman as I felt that students did nothing but get stoned on their student "grants", then cobble together a result for their degree that put them in a different earning bracket, and then bugger off abroad so the country never really saw the fruits of their smoking labour. But that was probably sour grapes due to the lack of opportunity from my particular socioeconomic situation.

TNG is doing quite well. I have suggested that he comes home and studies remotely as some others have in his halls, but there is still 7 out of 8 in his living section and they are all enjoying each other's company as much as they can. Interestingly, the 3 other men (sounds weird saying "men" in regards to my little boy) are overseas students. Two from Greece and one is Swiss.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

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Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #46 on: October 08, 2020, 11:36:35 AM »
There is a social aspect to the college experience that no amount of online education, no matter how well planned, can replace.  So I'm glad your son is doing well and it seems he is sensible enough to try to stay safe. 

I was surprised to hear that there is an income threshold to the required payback of student loans in England.  That seems sensible and fair.  In the U.S. many students are saddled with crushing debt that impedes their ability to buy homes, start families or to advance in their chosen careers in some instances.  There are a few professional schools that will forgive loans if graduates agree to work in underserved areas or for non-profits that provide a public benefit.  Those are few and far between, sadly.

I think that universally, college and/or university degrees have become a requirement that forces students who are not really equipped or interested in pursuing college when they might be better suited in apprenticeship or vocationally-oriented programs.  There are students who just go through the motions, like punching a time clock, figuring out how to get the degree by expending the least effort possible.  That seems like a waste of money and resources.  Elevating college as a status marker is a problem that undervalues the trades and erroneously suggests that those without formal postsecondary education are somehow less intelligent than their college educated peers.  That's simply ridiculous.

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #47 on: October 09, 2020, 12:30:09 AM »
Women who worls with my wife in Hospital has again  for the 3rd time cried off work stating ( and it is true this time) that father and brother has covid.
She has already had 2 months off for fear of catching covid, a further 2 weeks as her mother may have had covid, she refuses to go into any hospital wards for catching covid.
So she is rightly scared of it.

She cannot do her job because she bed coordinates for the hospital ( moves people to create space, makes covid + non covid wards + query wards for covid)  so shes pretty useless at what is required.

Friday last she phones in saying her father and brother have covid. Not nice then the whole truth comes out, one of her family was having a wedding but could not have the amount of guests they wanted and rightly the establishment cancelled due to law, so her family hosted the wedding. Being in Leicester and the area they live in all 300 or so turned of and had a great time, most were given the gift of Covid for free.

On the same weekend locally a venue hosted another wedding of 400 or so. Was held in a old library and the manager told all the party goers to park around the area so not to attract attention, so they did. This attracted lots of complaints and was reported to council who investigated.
Manager has lost his licence, fined, and given covid. The leicester party goers I imagine have also covid.
Both areas are in lock down  /  Both areas are classed as deprived  by the Cities Major Soulesbry.
This is why were in the do do due to parties "who dare not be named by anyone" in power for fear of being ..........   will not isolate and stop the spread.
Rant over , have a nice day

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #48 on: October 09, 2020, 05:29:05 PM »
Wait, so she's a fraud? or am I mixing things up?

She refuses to work where she might be exposed to COVID, but actively attends events that expose participants to COVID?
just one little time change so a draft board in 1968 turns down the bribe to accept "bone spurs" and we are home-free.

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #49 on: October 09, 2020, 11:49:14 PM »
Wait, so she's a fraud? or am I mixing things up?
Not a fraud,  just scared to death of catching Covid and refuses to go into any wards in the Hospital ( to see how bed space can be managed), so has had lots of time off since "march" ish away from work stating this person , that person I live with nay have Covid and isolates.

She refuses to work where she might be exposed to COVID, but actively attends events that expose participants to COVID?

Her family hosted a wedding at their house as the booked venue could not by law.
They have vary large weddings and her father / brother have tested positive So again she isolates.


Would be political suicide for anyone in charge to name and shame these people.
ATM touchy subject.

Offline smokester

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #50 on: October 10, 2020, 08:50:54 AM »
When I were but a lad, university places were restricted, subject to rigorous aptitude testing and therefore pretty much only available to those with ability. As a result, about 2-5% of school leavers went to university, and a degree was a real discriminator in the jobs market.

People like myself from what today is called "poverty" didn't pay tuition fees, and could and did get grants to help with living expenses. These grants were subject to means testing, but were not subject to repayment.

Graduates generally got paid more, so the anger of young tradesmen at the prospect of university students being coddled with free education and beer money was real and understandable. But misplaced, as presumably we graduates paid back a lot more in taxes as a result of the higher salaries, making it good value for money for the government.

Nowadays the politics of envy has devalued university education by making it open to anyone: more than 50% of the latest cohort went to university. To allow this they are essentially not ability-based any more - basically anyone can go. This is a triple whammy:

a) if you don't go you are "missing out" and potentially ostracised in the jobs market
b) if you do go (most of) you have to pay your own way through taking out a loan, and
c) when you graduate there are so many graduates that the salary differential is much lower (if it exists at all).

There is a combination of d and a that means that some jobs that don't really need graduates that ask for a degree simply as a selection ploy, meaning that even though the job doesn't need a degree, you can't get in without one.

There are nuances, of course:

in the olden days money could buy prospects: rich folk could pay for more concentrated pre-university teaching, and therefore "cheat" the system to ensure a better chance of Tim rich-but-dim getting a degree.

... and nowadays "better" universities are still more selective, therefore provide a "better" degree resulting in "better" job prospects (and are still more open to being bought into); but the politics of envy is working on this too, to ensure that a lack of ability is no bar to future prospects.

Further education is now compulsory and I guess that it would stand to reason you'd do a degree on the back of A-levels if that was the path that you had chosen. You may have embarked on an apprenticeship (or similar) and be at college for longer anyhow - or at least in training - so I guess all that has really happened is that they keep you learning for longer.

It's ironic that now what was considered lower tariff, blue collared professions are now some of the best paid and most secure - especially when there's a pandemic about. But I don't suppose you'd imagine that when still a teenager, so, whatyagonnado except try and broaden your prospects.

It's a crying shame that you can no longer say to kids "what do you want to be when you grow up?" without having to add "Good luck paying your rent as a fireman/woman" if that was their reply. What we really need is to stop the world's desire for more wealth and allow folk to just get on with living.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

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Offline 6pairsofshoes

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2020, 03:51:43 PM »
Wealth, in itself, is not bad.  It offers broad potential for change in the situation of self and others.  What seems particularly off about "wealth" is the obsessive consumerism that often goes with it.  How much do we really need to lead a happy life?  Food, shelter, healthcare, clothing and family and friends to share them with seems a reasonable measure.

The obsessive collection of items for the sake of slaking one's thirst to acquire "stuff" that one puts in a closet and forgets about is sort of what I'm talking about.  There's plenty of income disparity and sharing a bit of one's own good fortune seems necessary for a moral life.

To the extent that education furthers the prospect of success, then it's good.  It's also important to help one attain a degree of discernment and thoughtful consideration of how best to pursue a good life, but formal education is not, by any means, the sole method to secure those things.

Offline 8ullfrog

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #52 on: October 12, 2020, 06:33:53 PM »
I've read my generation will only ever have 5% of the wealth, over our entire lifetime. It's all being squeezed and centralized.
just one little time change so a draft board in 1968 turns down the bribe to accept "bone spurs" and we are home-free.

Offline smokester

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #53 on: October 15, 2020, 07:03:18 AM »
I don't think it is as simple as that, it isn't just wealth.

All human life is based on discrimination (I like this but I don't like that) and aspiration (I want to get more of what I like and less of what I don't).

When applied in moderation, this makes the world go round. When taken to excess*, the world starts to fall apart.

Edit: * excess:

when you consider that you have to impose your discrimination/ aspiration on others, up to and including the rest of the world


I was really hinting at the practice of companies trying to maximise the dividents paid to sharholders exponetially until they actually start to eat themselves. Why not just agree on a good rate of return on investment and let poorer folk have a holiday once a year. Does everything, from gas to water, have to constantly go up in price to the point when you are afraid to use either.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

There is an exception to every rule, apart from this one.

Offline smokester

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #54 on: October 15, 2020, 09:50:53 AM »
The problem is that (relatively) poorer folk are often (sometimes indirectly) shareholders, and they too demand that they get a "decent return" on their investments. "Poorest" folk are notionally addressed by social security, in whatever guise.

Poor, poorer and poorest are not immune from the (I like this but I don't like that) and (I want to get more of what I like and less of what I don't): count the number of not-very-well-off benefit recipients with 143" TVs and Air Jordan sneakers. But no food. And 17 kids.

I don't pretend to understand why a billionaire still goes to work everyday, and hoards their possessions in a perpetual search for more (how many yachts can one person actually use, anyway?). ... but equally I don't understand why anyone needs a 143" UVWXYZ-Extra-HD TV, when it is still the same episode of Eastenders on it.

It was noted by a newspaper columnist the other day that Jeff Bezos could - without really decreasing his personal fortune - purchase the entire Amazon rainforest and turn it into a nature park to preserve it. But why would he?

I sort of understand why someone that could afford another house would become a landlord - even a slum landlord, but once one has 100,000 low-rent properties, and has made one's first billion, why wouldn't one drop anchor, and then one could progressively reduce rents for folk in ones properties (or increase maintenance, or add rooms, or whatever other useful things they could do) whilst still maintaining an unspendable income: instead they tend to just buy more and increase the slum. This baffles me.

I understand poor white trash blaming immigrants for their lot (rightly or wrongly), but I can't understand a billionaire that has the same mindset: in the case of the billionaire, what harm is the immigrant doing to them? (other than enriching them) Surely it can't be fear? This is particularly poignant, of course, when the perceived "immigrant" is actually indigenous.

What I find even more incredible is that this attitude doesn't diminish with age. I sort of remember when I was young-ish and thought I'd earn millions, take many holidays a year, own many cars etc, but now, at this age, just one of everything will suffice (ok, 2 where kids are involved but that's just to make sure both hips a subject to the same amount of trauma).

When I read about bankers or CEOs, or even presidents that just want to keep churning in cash like there's no tomorrow, I wonder if any of them have actually read A Christmas Carol. They could learn a lot from that novella.
Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can put off until the day after.

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Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #55 on: October 16, 2020, 12:23:14 AM »
What I find even more incredible is that this attitude doesn't diminish with age. I sort of remember when I was young-ish and thought I'd earn millions, take many holidays a year, own many cars etc, but now, at this age, just one of everything will suffice (ok, 2 where kids are involved but that's just to make sure both hips a subject to the same amount of trauma).

When I read about bankers or CEOs, or even presidents that just want to keep churning in cash like there's no tomorrow, I wonder if any of them have actually read A Christmas Carol. They could learn a lot from that novella.
Work with a lad who was left prime building land from parents, he sold they built hes RICH.
still works with us and rents 5 houses and still moans he needs 10 more years for his pension to keep him going.
he paid more renting the houses than working.

more you have more you want ??

p.s he is a sad grumpy person

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #56 on: October 17, 2020, 12:58:11 AM »
It's not just money, though: what gets Andy Murray out of bed to drag his hip around a tennis court? It isn't money, that's for sure. Why is Tom Brady still throwing rugby balls in American Hand-Egg?

Sports people have a passion / drive to be the best and also take the cash whilst they can. It can be a short working lifespan and if people are prepared to pay them for it why not.
Many could sit on the bench and still be filthy rich but they want to play.

Something in the human psyche pushes people to aspire, and that aspiration doesn't seem to care if someone or something gets hurt if it gets in the way.

Agree with you, Passion to be the best or just greed.
Money earners love to earn money and as you say "human psyche pushes people to aspire" and money can aspire many not always for the right things though.

Money isnt everything, but it can help.

Offline goldshirt*9

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Re: Current Events
« Reply #57 on: Yesterday at 12:21:26 AM »
Had to nip to town center friday pm, I saw more youth's not wearing masks in a shopping center in a rather large crowd than in center London and in fact anywhere .
Not one security staff (and there are lots) dare say a word.
The message about BAME catching and dying at a faster rate than others clearly hasn't come home to some.
Why center Leic has not been removed from the lockdown since it first started.

So sad.