Monday, December 17, 2012

Affirmation vs. Information

I was listening to a popular radio sports talk show hosted by Colin Cowherd last week. His topic for the day was how society is much more interested in affirmation verses information. How we only watch, listen or read topics where we already know what we are going to get. We pick our Facebook friends, we only read what is comfortable or listen to the views we want to hear. We hire people who we believe they are like us or will do the right thing.

Yes we do listen and read opposing views but we prefer to be told that we are right and the way that we have always done things and continue to do them is the best way. Why, because it keeps us safe in our own little worlds, we get mad or choose to argue in an effort to convert others for having a different point of view than ourselves. If they don’t see things the way we see or understand them, they must be “wrong.”

This issue is becoming increasingly relevant in the light of recent events in our country: random gun violence, fiscal cliff issues, right vs. left, rich vs. poor, gay vs. straight. In our efforts to grow as human beings and develop our potential, we must increasingly reach out and up to others that don’t just tell us “yes.” Surrounding ourselves only in these environments delays our progression and retards our thoughts.

We must challenge our thought process in our home, our workplace, and above all else in our society by placing ourselves with others that can challenge our decision making and exposing us to different perspectives and opinions. Next time you reach out for information; reach up instead of out or down. Not only will we learn something new, we’ll have gone somewhere different than if we had or decided to do it on our own.

Affirmation makes us feel good and is easy, information is where growth occurs.

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Chris Evert (58), Jane Fonda (75), Al Kaline (78), Alyssa Milano (40),  Ray Romano (55), Rita Thakur …famous Dean.

THE TIMES ARE CHANGING - About 70 percent of the instructional faculty at all colleges is off the tenure track, whether as part-timers or full-timers, a proportion that has crept higher over the past decade.

Change has occurred more rapidly on some campuses, particularly at regionally oriented public institutions and mid-tier private universities like Saint Joseph's.

Community colleges have traditionally relied heavily on nontenure-track faculty, with 85 percent of their instructors in 2010 not eligible for tenure, according to the most recent federal data available. But the trend has been increasingly evident at four-year institutions, where nearly 64 percent of the instructional faculty isn't eligible for tenure.

When professors in positions that offer no chance of earning tenure begin to stack the faculty, campus dynamics start to change. Growing numbers of adjuncts make themselves more visible. They push for roles in governance, better pay and working conditions, and recognition for work well done. And they do so at institutions where tenured faculty, although now in the minority, are still the power brokers.

The changing nature of the professoriate affects tenured and tenure-track faculty, too. Having more adjuncts doesn't provide the help they need to run their departments, leaving them with more service work and seats on more committees at the same time that research requirements, for some, have also increased.

At many institutions with graduate programs, a shrinking number of tenured and tenure-track faculty members are left to advise graduate students—a task that typically does not fall to adjuncts. The shift can also affect students. Studies show that they suffer when they are taught by adjuncts, many of whom are good teachers but aren't supported on the job in the ways that their tenured colleagues are. Many adjuncts don't have office space, which means they have no place on campus to meet privately with students.

HOT DOCUMENT: TREASURY FINDS BRETTON WOODS TRANSCRIPT - "A Treasury economist rummaging in the department's library has stumbled on a historical treasure hiding in plain sight: a transcript of the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 that cast the foundations of the modern international monetary system. Historians had never known that a transcript existed for the event held in the heat of World War II, when delegates from 44 allied nations fighting Hitler gathered in the mountains of New Hampshire to create the [IMF] and the World Bank. But there were three copies in archives and libraries around Washington that had never been made public, until now."

2013 PREP - "Inauguration-Record: Obama to match FDR's record of 4 swearing-ins," : "President Obama is poised to match Franklin Roosevelt's record of being sworn in as the nation's leader four times. While FDR served four terms, Obama is getting double swearing-in ceremonies for each of his two terms. He's planning a private oath [with media access] at the White House on Jan. 20, when the Constitution requires that his second term begin. But since presidential inaugurations are not traditionally on Sundays, his public swearing-in is scheduled Jan. 21. In 2009, Obama had a do-over of his oath the day after Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts accidentally mixed up the words in the public ceremony. Presidential Inaugural Committee chief executive Steve Kerrigan pointed out the tie at a briefing Wednesday, and the historical distinction was confirmed by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies."

57TH INAUGURAL -- "2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee Launches, Announces Preliminary Schedule of Events for Inaugural Weekend and Inauguration Co-Chairs" - PIC release : "The ... weekend will kick off with a National Day of Service ... [O]n Saturday, January 19th, to honor our shared values and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and members of the President's Cabinet will participate in service projects in the Washington, DC area. In keeping with tradition for Inauguration Days that fall on a Sunday, the President will participate in a small private swearing-in ceremony on January 20. The President's public swearing-in, the parade and the official Inaugural balls will take place on Monday, January 21.

"The co-chairs for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee are: Ambassador Matthew Barzun, National Finance Chair of President Obama's reelection campaign and former Ambassador to Sweden ... Eva Longoria, Actress, Obama for America Campaign Co-Chair and Founder of the Eva Longoria Foundation ... Jane Stetson, National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee ... Frank White, former member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprises. ...

"PIC announced the following positions: Jim Messina, Chair, Inaugural Parade ... Stephanie Cutter, Chair, PIC Board of Directors ... Jen O'Malley Dillon, Chair, National Day of Service ... Julianna Smoot, Chair, Inaugural Balls and Receptions ... Rufus Gifford, Chair, PIC Finance ... Patrick Gaspard, Chair, National Mall. The staff for the 57th Presidential Inauguration will be led by Stephen J. Kerrigan, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer, and David J. Cusack, who will serve as Executive Director. ... More information on the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee can be found at and on Twitter @obamainaugural."

FISCAL CLIFF UPDATE: PROCEEDING AS EXPECTED - Talks to avoid the cliff continue along a path we laid out here weeks ago: Both sides would start off with fairly ludicrous initial offers (they did), Republicans would ultimately cave on top rates (they have), Democrats would balk at the initial price-tag for those rate increases (they are) and some kind of final deal would emerge to eliminate or delay mostly of the nearly $600 billion cliff. What will the final product look like? Hard to say. But it is not likely to include an increase in the Medicare retirement age, which Democrats (and most voters) hate and won't accept. Means testing and chained CPI for entitlement programs are much more likely fixes, as we have said here before.

And the sweet spot for rate increases remains $500,000. Even some Democrats (Sen. Chuck Schumer among them) balk at $250,000. And the $1 million threshold proposed by House Speaker John Boehner is too high and does not provide enough revenue for the White House. Will there be a deal this week? Certainly possible. Some hurdles remain, but neither side wants to drag a conflict-weary America through dismal, Christmas-week Beltway brinksmanship. Hard to imagine anything we need less as a nation right now. Could well drag congressional approval ratings to less than zero. The deal is there for the taking.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL BOWL PICK OF THE WEEK – Saturday 12/22, 3:30 PM ET – Las Vegas Bowl; Boise State Broncos (10-2) vs. University of Washington Huskies (7-5). On paper the Broncos have an easy one but Washington has a good offense that could pull an upset, not: Boise State 45 Washington 28.  Season to date (11-5)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Congratulations to the Mt. Union Purple Raiders  for winning the  D-III National Title. The 11th national title for the Ohio school. How about this Rink Rats record this year in D-III, 15 -1 – impressive!  (Season to date (15-1)

NFL FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 12/22. 8:00 PM ET, NBC; Seattle Seahawks (9-5) entertain the San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1). Two hot teams, but the game is in the Northwest, thus the edge to Seattle. Seahawks 17 San Francisco 14.   Season to date (8-7)

THE SWAMI’S TOP PICKS – Boise State 45 Washington 28, Seattle 17 San Francisco 14,  Season to date (41-22)

DRIVING THE WEEK - The fiscal cliff has quite rightly taken a secondary spot in the headlines and national consciousness to the horrific massacre in Newtown, Conn. But the work towards a deal goes on and should show significant movement toward resolution this week. If it does not, forget that desperately needed break between Christmas and New Year's ... Empire State survey today at 8:30 a.m. EST expected to drop to -10 from -5.2 ... Housing starts at 8:30 a.m. EST on Wednesday expected to dip to 873,000 pace from 894,000 ... Third estimate of third-quarter GDP out Thursday at 8:30 a.m. EST expected to increase to 2.8 percent from 2.7 percent ... Existing home sales at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday expected to rise to 4.9 million from 4.79 million.

Next week; a Rink Rats Christmas.

Until Next Monday, Adios.

Claremont, CA
December 17, 2012

#III-35, 140

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