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playground player
Member since Oct-01-06 · Last seen Aug-21-14
NJ--no rating. Favorites, Morphy, Marshall, Anderssen. Played a lot as a teen, then let it go for 40 years. Trying to reconstitute myself as a chess player.

Meanwhile, let this forum serve as a refuge from wild-eyed loony leftism. Here there will be no admiration for Hugo Chavez, Castro, or any of the other tin-pot dictators admired by chess players from the safety of freedom-loving Western democracies. Here will be found a premise that most of the nations of the world today are governed by Godless fools. Ours, too, unfortunately.

I was also going to say some uncomplimentary things about Queen Pawn games, the Sicilian and the French Defenses, Semi-Slav games, and a few other chess matters. But as those are purely questions of personal taste, I have chosen to leave them alone.

Since setting up this forum, I have also had several novels published: "Bell Mountain," "The Cellar Beneath the Cellar," and "The Thunder King." For more information about them (and me), visit my website, http://leeduigon.com/

Update, much delayed: my fourth book, "The Last Banquet," came out last year, and my fifth, "The Fugitive Prince," I expect to be published sometime this Spring. For book covers and free sample chapters, visit my blog.

Update again: "The Fugitive Prince" is out now and the next project is "The Palace." Editing is well advanced, but we're still waiting for a cover.

Chessgames.com Full Member

   playground player has kibitzed 4259 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Aug-21-14 Lasker vs Nimzowitsch, 1934 (replies)
 
playground player: <Once> What in the world was that video? "The Music of Chess"--do the moves somehow generate the notes that are played? Play a really sweet game, and it comes out as Mozart?
 
   Aug-21-14 playground player chessforum (replies)
 
playground player: <hms123> Looks like you broke a major story. I got great traffic with it yesterday, and this morning some of the national pro-family groups have worked the incident into their newsletter emails. Suspending a kid for saying "Bless you" when another kid sneezes--what ...
 
   Aug-21-14 Phony Benoni chessforum (replies)
 
playground player: I'll never forget that pine tar game. I thought George Brett was going to have an apoplexy. Anybody got video of that?
 
   Aug-15-14 Judit Polgar (replies)
 
playground player: <Esteemed Colleagues> All right, I stand corrected. But they still would've made a fortune on the match.
 
   Aug-12-14 Steinitz vs Chigorin, 1892 (replies)
 
playground player: Morphy vs. Steinitz: more than one way to skin a cat.
 
   Aug-07-14 hms123 chessforum (replies)
 
playground player: <Mr. October> You don't mind if I call you that in August, do you?
 
   Jul-27-14 Pachman vs Bronstein, 1946 (replies)
 
playground player: The Focus> <"Not the way I'm teaching you."> LOL!
 
   Jul-19-14 PinnedPiece chessforum (replies)
 
playground player: Global Warming makes it cold, Global Warming makes it hot. Global Warming makes what is, And also causes what is not.
 
   Jul-17-14 C Ward vs Anand, 1990 (replies)
 
playground player: Long live Narnia! To all those kind persons who have compared my books to C.S. Lewis'-- Thanks and thanks again: but you must be crazy.
 
   Jun-28-14 H Zollner vs W Elm, 1934 (replies)
 
playground player: OK--who didn't see this pun coming?
 
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 156 OF 336 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-18-12  frogbert: <information and knowledge present in the public space>

i meant public domain.

Apr-18-12  frogbert: <i won't use the norwegian school system as the perfect example, because it isn't - but it's neither far from totally broken.>

hihi. double negatives make a mess. choose one of "it's neither totally broken" and "it's far from totally broken".

ps! jessica, i'm not a great reader (of books) these days, but i might give the first book in lee's series a chance. :o)

Apr-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <YouRang: In this fiction, YouRang16 doesn't have a convincing reason for wanting a motorcycle, but he's not inconsistent.>

I'll settle for not convincing. Nor was the original proposition that believing strongly in a position was sufficient cause to appeal to governmental force to implement the objects of that belief. You were objecting to my point before I used the term inconsistent though.

<Your argument against me (see playground player chessforum) goes more like this:>

No, that isn't analgous nor consistent. Have you run the conversation by anyone else?

<I do find it peculiar that you feel the need to run your comments by someone else before posting, and my impression is that this other person merely agrees with whatever you say (which was the implied point of the photo).>

The other person is someone I ask "Is that okay?" in reference to proper for a Christian. They happened to comment on the content too. In general, I don't care a bit if people agree with me. In this present case, I don't care a bit that you think I'm wrong. I'm right.

<Once again, the root of all this is that you obviously take issue with a comment I made with <pgp> in our MMGW discussion. But rather than simply taking issue directly with what I said, you tried this dubious "debate tactic", and here we are debating the logic of fictional accounts. I've wasted enough time on this.>

Appealing to analogies is a dubious debate tactic? Meh.

<Did you have anything further to say on the other matter (how science influences the way we interpret scripture)?>

Language means what it means. I'll stick with the linguists to properly provide the dictionaries. You can stick with the scientists to intepret the dictionaries. It seems to me that by your reckoning, people couldn't know what the Bible meant about some pretty important issues for a couple thousand years.

Apr-18-12  frogbert: i find this page interesting: http://www2.ed.gov/about/overview/f...

although some 5-6 years old, i guess the trends are mostly representative. i noticed that a notable amount of the total public school funding came from "local governments", i.e. below the state level.

what types of local taxes (sub-state) exist in various us states? would there be other types of "local funding" except taxes?

from various wikipedia articles i also learned a little more about the typical 3-level division of school administration in the us:

1) federal level (ed)
2) state level
3) local level (school districts)

i also read up on the big unions nea and aft.

school board members are typically elected, it seems, but i'm not totally clear on the limits of their influence over what goes on in public schools in a school district, like curriculum, wages, employment, etc. neither am i clear on which legislation (state level) that impacts issues like teacher wages. i did find a figure from 2007 saying that the average income for a us teacher is roughly $50,000 - so the percentage of teachers earning 6 figure wages can't be very high i take it.

Apr-18-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <OhioChessFan><<YR: Your argument against me (see playground player chessforum) goes more like this:>

OCF: No, that isn't analgous nor consistent.>

So you say. I think it parallels your argument quite precisely -- complete with taking the proposed course of action for one situation and applying it to another completely different situation -- and then accusing a dissenter of having a double standard.

<Language means what it means. I'll stick with the linguists to properly provide the dictionaries. You can stick with the scientists to intepret the dictionaries. It seems to me that by your reckoning, people couldn't know what the Bible meant about some pretty important issues for a couple thousand years.>

It seems to me that by your reckoning, the sun orbited around the earth for several centuries, until scientists forced the linguists to interpret differently.

BTW, regarding these issues for which there have been disputes between theologians and scientists -- I don't see them as being particularly important.

The weighty issues of the Bible revolve around love for God, love for each other, justice, mercy, a desire to seek truth, and the spreading of the Gospel. The Bible is quite clear on these matters, and they remain unaffected by scientific theories. One's idea of whether the earth is 10,000 years old or 4.5 billion years old doesn't need to change ones attitudes on the important things.

There may always be some issues in the Bible that human understanding will never comprehend because our ability to interpet is limited. One cannot get around this limitation simply by being more confident about one's favored interpretations.

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings...
Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Steamed Colleagues> My column this week is about another little hiccup in our glorious public education system:

http://www.newswithviews.com/Duigon...

<frogbert> There is no way to reform public education in America. We've tried everything, but the teacher unions, with the adamant support of the Democrat Party, block any and all efforts at reform.

As it is, public education's greatest achievement is to soak up money. But it has also come to excel in teaching statism, sexual anarchy, and, above all, conformity. It does not succeed at teaching science, history, mathematics, language skills, or much of anything else.

Forget about "average" teacher salaries in the US. Some of the Southern states deflate that figure. Here in the Northeast, it's not uncommon to find a school teacher making two, three, or even four times the median income of the taxpayer who supports her--and don't forget the early retirement, the tenure, and the fantastic pensions! Consequently, many American cities are lurching toward bankruptcy--and a few states, too.

As for the unions' unceasing propaganda against homeschooling, a) it would hardly be possible for parents to do worse, and b) a plethora of surveys and studies show consistently that homeschooled children dramatically outperform the public-schooled in every academic area.

But equally important, and in my opinion more important, children must be removed from the toxic spiritual/moral content of American public education.

I don't know what they do in Norway, but here in New Jersey the schools have little kids marching around the playground, chanting the name of a certain politician as if he were a little god. Actually, that probably stopped, once the video got around and everybody was talking about it.

Even if I granted the necessity of a modern state having a public school system, I would have to say, "Not OUR public school system!" You have to raze that system before you can replace it.

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <YouRang> I guess this is a good time to end that discussion. We've both had our say and so be it.

<pp> I am a recent convert to home schooling. I still think there are socialization problems, but the moral cesspool that we call the American Public School System is so vile that I despair at the future of this country.

Apr-19-12  frogbert: pgp, i'm surprised if you don't realize that you have no comparable data between "public schooling" and home-schooling. this was one of the major logical flaws in your previous posts too.

do you see what i'm hinting at?

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: There's no way to control for the children self selected for home schooling. It's obvious that:

1. Homes able to financially get by with one parent at home

2. Homes with parental interest great enough to try home schooling

3. Homes with parents literate enough to teach their kids

4. Homes concerned about the moral education of their children

5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. etc etc etc etc etc etc

are going to be homes with built in advantages for success. So be it.

I agree with <pp> that home schooling is anathema to many czars of the education world who want to endoctrinate school kids into their leftist anti-God world view.

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <frogbert> No, I don't see what you're getting at. Every year there are a number of national academic achievement tests administered, some of them by the government, to measure what is laughingly called the progress of our public school students. Every year, the scores go down--even when they make the tests easier. We also have tests to see how our students stack up with those in other countries: and there, too, we continue to slip.

Homeschoolers take tests--the SAT, for instance--to qualify for admission to college, and many of them take the national tests, too. They routinely do better than the public-schooled.

<OhioChessFan> Don't let the "socialization" issue worry you. Even without the purposely anti-Christian content of public schooling, the whole idea of socializing children by segregating them with their age group peers is unnatural and ridiculous. It only breeds conformity.

Apr-19-12  frogbert: ocf, exactly. and the totals are something like 89% in public schools and 1-2% being home taught.

if my exposure to education and teachers have taught me one thing, then it is that the major factor having influence on a student's results is the (total) resources of the student himself/herself.

hence, as long as the "inputs" to different teaching systems are in no way comparable, it makes no sense at all to compare ouputs. taking the same standardized tests does nothing to change this fact.

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  YouRang: <OhioChessFan: <YouRang> I guess this is a good time to end that discussion. We've both had our say and so be it.>

Alright.

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <if my exposure to education and teachers have taught me one thing, then it is that the major factor having influence on a student's results is the (total) resources of the student himself/herself.>

So why does the NEA insist it's teacher/student ratios, higher pay to attract higher quality teachers, more _______(name the latest liberal educational fad), etc etc etc?

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  hms123: <OCF>

I need to weigh in here on one point: there is a difference between paying the current crop of teachers (including lots of incompetents)more money and raising the amount we pay teachers by enough to attract really good smart people who would otherwise go into other better-paying professions.

If I were king, I would make every single teacher in the country re-apply for his or her job every single year. All salaries would be doubled, but there would be no tenure. It wouldn't take long before we had engineering grads teaching math and science, etc.

Btw, principals (and principles) matter, so I would fire all but the very top school principals and hire some MBA grads (at twice the old salaries) with work experience to whip the schools into shape.

Money does matter, but throwing good money after bad teachers is crazy. On that I am sure we agree.

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  OhioChessFan: <hms: I need to weigh in here on one point: there is a difference between paying the current crop of teachers (including lots of incompetents)more money and raising the amount we pay teachers by enough to attract really good smart people who would otherwise go into other better-paying professions.>

Agree completely. Alas, if we were able to raise teacher salaries 40%, there is no way the NEA would go along with opening the field up to the new higher quality candidates who would then want in.

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  hms123: <OCF> I share your low opinion of the NEA.
Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: <Steamed Colleagues>

I have no statistics. I can however report that I was socialized at public school in a good way. It took at least a decade there for me to learn not to be a sociopath, which was my natural inclination, apparently.

Also, I currently teach public school, and the teachers and students are of the highest order with regard to qualifications and behavior.

Of course, I live in Korea.

I am forced to reapply for my job every single year. I have no union and no "rights" with respect to this contract.

If they want me again, they offer me a contract. If they don't, they don't.

What is the NEA? Is it a splinter group of the NRA? If so, sounds well out of order. In Korea, we are not allowed to bring hand guns to school even if we have a permit for them.

Curiously, Korean public school students are forbidden to bring playing cards to school, but they are permitted to bring PSPs and allowed to watch television in between classes. Or in classes, if they can get away with it.

Entertainingly, as I've snuck up on dozens of these youngsters, most of them who watch TV during my class are tuning in to University Math lectures.

Those darn kids!

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: <google> NEA - NEA Homewww.nea.org/Cached - Similar You +1'd this publicly. Undo
United States labor union committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA represents teachers, secretaries and educational support personnel ...

NEA Members Log In - Read Across America - Careers at NEA - About NEA

Apr-19-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  jessicafischerqueen: tks <crmr>, and tks - G
Apr-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: you're welcome queen jess ..... tks G
Apr-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  cormier: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings...
Apr-20-12  frogbert: <<if my exposure to education and teachers have taught me one thing, then it is that the major factor having influence on a student's results is the (total) resources of the student himself/herself.>

So why does the NEA insist it's teacher/student ratios, higher pay to attract higher quality teachers, more _______(name the latest liberal educational fad), etc etc etc?>

the fact that the smartest and most resourceful students will do best mostly due to their features going *into* the education system does in no way mean that it's irrelevant what kind of teaching that is offered. but it makes it clear that a comparison of the results of <student groups with vastly different resources/backgrounds can't be used to rate the quality of their education> - the predominant factor will be the "raw material" in the two, very different groups.

the challenge of teaching in bigger groups is to provide instruction that is appropriate for students at different levels of skills, motivation and help outside the school. home-schooling is taking this challenge to its extreme, offering a 1-to-1 ratio (or close to it) between students and teachers. the *real* cost of this for society at large is obviously huge, if it means that one parent will have to work 50% or less to do the teaching. (it really doesn't matter *who* provides the teaching, because even *assuming* that it can be twice as efficient in general in single student "groups", it still requires a 50% "position" per student - or a 25% position if the groups are of size 2.)

when teacher unions ask for smaller groups of students then that's entirely consistent with the strategy that probably make home-schooling more "efficient" in terms of the time the *student* spends learning the curriculum. however, taking the "teacher" time needed into account, teaching groups of 15-20 students requires far less resources in total than teaching groups of 1-3 students, for very obvious reasons. why a proponent of home-schooling should be negative towards smaller classes (which would, of course, require more teachers) is quite incomprehensible to me - if it's the *quality* of the teaching one is concerned about.

anyway, i tried to learn a bit more about current costs and funding of education (that i wasn't able to find on the gov ed-pages), and based on pgp's experience with school boards i assume this is info that probably is possible to provide:

<school board members are typically elected, it seems, but i'm not totally clear on the limits of their influence over what goes on in public schools in a school district, like curriculum, wages, employment, etc. neither am i clear on which legislation (state level) that impacts issues like teacher wages> - and to which extent *individuals* among elected politicians might influence wages and so on.

also, i'm ignorant regarding this (although i probably would be able to dig up more info on my own if i tried harder):

<i noticed that a notable amount of the total public school funding came from "local governments", i.e. below the state level.

what types of local taxes (sub-state) exist in various us states? would there be other types of "local funding" except taxes?>

Apr-20-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: <Esteemed Colleagues> The NEA (National Education Assn.) and the AFT (American Federation of Teachers) are the two most powerful teachers unions in the US. The NEA is bigger, but the AFT dominates in some key states like New York and Illinois.

Both unions are welded to extreme statist political programs. Both unions have succeeded in blocking any education reform ever proposed. Both unions insist that all teachers be treated alike, under all circumstances--so incompetent teachers who richly deserve to be fired are protected to the uttermost.

In New York City it's virtually impossible to fire a teacher, regardless of the reason. And so teachers who are deemed unfit to enter a classroom--either because of total incompetence repeatedly demonstrated, or because of grossly immoral conduct--are kept at their full salary and benefits, but not allowed to work. So their reward is a perpetual vacation at full pay! Right up until retirement, when they will retire with lavish pensions and other benefits.

This system will never be reformed. It must be destroyed. Cartago delenda est...

Apr-20-12  frogbert: <Both unions have succeeded in blocking any education reform ever proposed.>

1) what's an "education reform", technically speaking? (how would you define it?)

2) would it be unreasonable to ask you for the list of *all* reforms proposed, which *all* have been blocked by these two unions?

i'm not saying that these two unions aren't self-serving and "monopolist" in some or several ways (they probably are, as are most unions that are able to), but i'd like more concrete data than what currently feels like undocumented claims. exaggerations might work to rally people who already agree with you, but it has the opposite effect on those who are neutral or are leaning slightly to the other side.

also, do you equally object to other mighty lobbying groups, like the nra?

if you accept that nra has got huge influence then i don't see how you can object to nea's influence - democratically they represent the same kind of problem. if the only difference is that you agree with one lobbying group and disagree with another, then i find most of your beefs with the nea (and the aft) to be somewhat hollow.

a principled stand would be to work for the reduced impact and importance of various lobbying groups in us politics. if one accepts money and power to decide in certain areas, then one has to accept it in areas where one disagrees to, imho.

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