The current struggle against uncommon sense


The purpose of knowledge, in my book, is that it be shared and the primary school teacher in my soul is always wanting to reduce difficult concepts to simplistic terms which denies those such as me a place at the intellectual’s table.

Therefore, Deogolwulf’s rejoinder, in answer to the question of one of my commenters: “How do you find the time to research all this?” was, “Evidently by not bothering to read Aristotle,” which brought a smile to the face and a tear to the eye.

He was partly right, whilst his own views, to me, seem to have more of the Platonic than the Aristotelian. Allow me to explain.

All must have prizes


It’s not even a new phenomenon and can’t be sheeted home specifically to Obama and Brown.  In 2003, the headline in America was  States Cut Test Standards to Avoid Sanctions.

The same thing happened over our way last year:

The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance – Britain’s biggest exam board – said it lowered grade boundaries in science tests to make papers less demanding than previous years.

According to the Times Educational Supplement, they failed to come to an agreement over the mark needed to get a C – officially a good pass – in science. One of AQA’s rival exam boards awarded C grades in one paper to pupils getting just 20 per cent of questions correct.

On August 7 – just two weeks before results were published – Ofqual wrote to the AQA ordering them to reduce its own grade boundaries to “bring it into line” with other boards.

And now, in the States again, the same story is occurring with the new “exit tests” adopted by 24 states.  Here are some excerpts from the article:

Portrait of an ignoramus or shill – haven’t decided yet

ANAKAL_h250Some people have it wrong some of the time, some people almost always have it wrong almost all of the time.  Kaletsky almost always has it wrong almost all of the time and seems to think it’s quite amusing and yet The Times retains him on its staff as an “economic expert”.  Doesn’t the man feel any shame at all?

So I stick to my guns in believing that a “roaring” US recovery is already under way. Unlike most other analysts, who believe that the strong fourth quarter will prove just a temporary aberration to be followed by a long period of sub-trend growth, I expect US growth to remain around 4 per cent throughout 2010, making this the strongest year for the US economy since the 1990s.

Now it’s only fair to mention that Kaletsky is a rabid Bilderberger and therefore he’ll do anything to support Europe and support the Fed and maybe that’s why he’s retained at The Times.  There’s no other reason I can think of.  Oh, if you need a forecast from an actual economist and an American to boot, try this:

The BEA’s numbers are a fantasy and as such so are claims of “economic recovery.”  The facts are found in the sales tax receipts and labor participation rate.

Or this:

America slides deeper into depression as Wall Street revels.  December was the worst month for US unemployment since the Great Recession began.

Just what game is Kaletsky trying to play?

Train disruption again but not in the UK


So we’re having snow disruption over here but downunder, it’s a different story.  Under the heading “Here we [don’t] go again”, which I presume means they have this sort of thing every summer, the article says:

Melbourne’s train network looks set to suffer another day of widespread delays and cancellations after yesterday’s extreme heat.  Even before this morning’s peak-hour rush got into full swing, 12 of the city’s 17 train lines were experiencing disruptions.

The Metro Melbourne website warns commuters to expect major delays on the Alamein, Belgrave, Broadmeadows and Lilydale lines.  By 7am, trains had been cancelled on the Werribee, Sydenham, Cranbourne and Hurstbridge lines.

The Metro website said overhead power supply issues were affecting city-bound trains on the Alamein line between Camberwell to Burnley, with buses replacing services along that stretch of track.

Different ends of the world, different causes, same sorts of issues.  Until recently, this service was run by Connex.  In Oz, summer appears to come round once a year and one would have thought the idea of summer heat might have crossed their minds but no, it doesn’t appear so.

Evening listening


As you can imagine, there’s a backlog which has built up while these country posts have been going on and I’ll get back to them some days down the track.  In the meantime, some nifty little numbers from Dearieme – prize to anyone who sits through them:

Kills me softly, this one: