Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Wish List

Some Christmas wishes that we hope will come true……

Violence and hatred to stop.

I want to know what my neighbor across the street does for a living.

College football players should get lifetime medical coverage.

Pat Haden should run the NCAA.

Kobe should coach the Lakers. He does anyway.

Hope the Dodgers are also trying to trade their awful TV contract.

The City of La Verne City Council to be impeached.

To know the winners of the opening four races at Santa Anita on December 26.

College Faculty to work in a job from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm every day for a year.

The NHL shoot-out to end…for the Detroit Red Wings sake at least.

All High School graduating seniors who can write a paragraph.

Written thank you notes.

The Snub to find a new hobby.

The Pin Ball Wizard to finally find out I am not a member of the Veritas Society.

Newspapers to not get any smaller.

All of my graduating undergraduate and graduate students to find a job and career that is rewarding and meaningful for their personal goals.

Business associates who manage their business unselfishly.

Egos to end.

First Lieutenant Geoffrey Ball to be safe and secure in his tour of duty.

A safe and healthy 2015 for my family, friends, associates, and President Obama.

Peace and love to all.

COLLEGE CHRONICLES - During a meeting two years ago to brainstorm a collaborative project, Ahmet Oğüt and two artist colleagues wanted to find a topic that addressed one of the most urgent current issues in the U.S. They landed on debt -- specifically the mammoth, more-than-trillion-dollar sum held by those who borrowed money for college.

“Day After Debt: A Call for Student Loan Relief" is about the demand for higher education, the related growth in student debt and the pressures that puts on graduates. The exhibit opened last month at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University.

The project aims not only to raise awareness about the student debt burden in the U.S., but also to help chip away at it. Each of the six pieces collects money that will be given to Debt Collective, an advocacy group that organizes projects around reducing student debt.

Oğüt’s contribution to the exhibit, called "Anti-Debt Monolith," is a large, solid black box modeled after the mysterious object built by an extraterrestrial species in Stanley Kubrick’s famous film “2001: A Space Odyssey.” Oğüt liked the simplicity of the box and the legend behind it, and he designed it to play coin-operated audio recording speaking about the growth of student debt in the past 10 years.

Other pieces include bricks full of shredded American currency and a transparent plastic shopping bag with spending levels tied to ironic and humorous names that praise the person giving money as, "you are a friend" and "you are an angel."

SIX QUESTIONS ABOUT COLLEGE RATINGS: The Obama administration's college ratings proposal is due any day now - and college presidents and higher education lobbyists have some burning questions. For example, what will the rating scale look like? It could have a big effect on how the public perceives the ratings and how much of a hit colleges would take if they rate poorly. Early word is that each institution will get a numerical score for each metric, such as graduation rate, loan default rate and accessibility to low-income students. Another one of the most contentious questions: Will graduates' salaries be considered? The White House has repeatedly indicated that it's an important measure of a college's success, but no one wants to penalize institutions that focus on preparing students for relatively low-paying jobs or that encourage graduates to enter public service.

THE COLLEGE RATINGS ARE COMING: But not any time soon. The Education Department released a draft framework today, detailing a list of things the agency is considering in its analysis of which institutions offer students the biggest bang for their buck. The highly anticipated draft has been delayed twice. And half the metrics - all of which aim to measure accessibility, affordability and outcomes - can't even be measured right now. The plan is to rate more than 4,000 two- and four-year colleges by the start of the next academic year. But it could be at least a few years until the system the administration envisions is in place. And the ratings proposal will have to survive challenges from Congress or perhaps from the next administration. "The question is, will we actually see ratings for the 2015-16 school year," said Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University and an expert on college ratings. "I'd be surprised ... to be honest." The department wants more public input on the framework; they're taking comments through Feb. 17.

BATTLE OF THE BULGE - 70 years ago this past week, World War II's Battle of the Bulge began. Per the History Channel, "On December 16 [1944], three German armies (more than a quarter-million troops) launched the deadliest and most desperate battle of the war in the west in the poorly roaded, rugged, heavily forested Ardennes" to Antwerp, Belgium.

 On Dec. 20, 1944, the lead article of the N.Y. Times - with the subhead, "OUR MEN CONFIDENT" -- called it "by far the greatest battle in American history."

TOM BROKAW in remission, per email  - "To my NBC FAMILY, A year ago my future was more uncertain than I cared to acknowledge but now I face the New Year with very encouraging news. The cancer is in remission and I will shortly go on a drug maintenance regimen to keep it there. Last weekend I was reminded of how fortunate we all are ... I was a Presidential delegate to the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the fight which went on for most of December 1944, in one of the worst winters in 20th century Europe. ... Monty Meigs and I went into the forest surrounding Bastogne, where remains of the original 101st Div fox holes still are visible.

"They slept in heavy snow, ... eating cold rations. About 30 vets returned. The oldest was 96 and the youngest 89. One Airborne old timer kept struggling to lift himself out of his wheelchair when the occasion called for a salute. I finally whispered to him, 'Stay seated. No one will give you KP for not standing.' We both had a good laugh. ... I flew home reflecting again on how lucky we are that generation gave us the lives we have today -- how my last year was a challenge but I was meeting it in world-class hospitals with brilliant physicians ... Happy New Year all. T Bone."

BIRTHDAYS THIS WEEK – Birthday wishes and thoughts this week to: Wesley Clark (70), Annie Lennox (60), Diane Sawyer (69), Sissy Spacek (65), Denzel Washington (60).

SYLLABUS – Claremont Unified School District is now on Winter Break until January 5, 2015. Claremont School District has 7,031 students in seven elementary schools, one intermediate school and two high schools. Student Population: 39% Hispanic, 36% White, 11% Asian, 6% African American, and 8% Other.

RINK RATS SPORTS - Steelers, Packers, Cowboys, Seahawks win, move into playoffs: The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers both qualified for the NFL playoffs with wins Sunday. Next week, they will play for division titles at home. Defending Super Bowl champion Seattle also qualified, routing Arizona 35-6, and moved into a tie for the top spot in the NFC West. The Seahawks (11-4) own the tiebreaker over the Cardinals should they both finish with the same record. ... The Bengals (9-4-1) host Denver (11-3) on Monday night.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – National University Holiday Bowl: Saturday 12/17, 8:00 PM ET, ABC: #24 University of Southern California Trojans (8-4) vs.  Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3). USC will win in San Diego, 38 – 28.   Season to date (10-7)

SMALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL PICK OF THE WEEK – D-III Playoffs, Finals: The Alonzo Stagg Bowl – Congratulations to UW Whitewater Warhawks in their victory 43-34 over Mount Union. A perfect season (15-0). Final Season totals (7-8)

NFL PICK OF THE WEEK – Sunday 12/28, 4:25 PM ET, CBS: Detroit Lions (11-4) vs. Green Bay Packers (11-4). A final battle for #2 in the NFC and the Norris Division Championship. The Pack is too tough at home, 24 – 21.   Season to date (11-5)


(NFL, Dec. 28) Carolina Panthers (6-8-1) 21 at Atlanta Falcons (6-9) 32

(NCAA hockey, Dec. 29) #5 Michigan Tech Huskies (13-3) 5 at Michigan Wolverines (8-7) 3

(NHL, Dec. 27) San Jose Sharks (19-11-4) 3 at Los Angeles Kings (17-11-6) 4

Season to date (77 - 66)



\KHOOT-spuh, HOOT-\
1. Slang. unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall.
2. Slang. audacity; nerve.
"That's chutzpa," Levy said admiringly, "pure, unadulterated chutzpa." "What's chutzpa?" "Yiddish for gall, nerve, arrogance—whatever…" -- Howard Fast, The Immigrants, 1977
Chutzpa came to English from Yiddish in the 1890s. This term is ultimately derived from the Aramaic ḥūṣpā.

verb - to get, to obtain; to take
“Voy a sacar dinero del cajero automático.” I’m going to take some money out of the ATM.

MARKET WEEK – During this holiday-shortened trading week, investors get a bunch of economic reports starting today with November existing home sales. A drop of 1.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.20 million units is expected, following October’s 1.5 percent increase to 5.26 million.

The stock market will close early Christmas Eve Wednesday at 1 p.m. ET. Financial markets are closed on Christmas Day, opening back up Friday for a full day of trading.

DRIVING THE WEEK –  Congress is gone, the President is in Hawaii and outside the tragic events in New York City on Saturday the news cycle should be fairly quiet. Big-city police departments and union leaders around the country are warning the rank and file to wear bulletproof vests and avoid making inflammatory posts on social media in the days after a man ambushed two officers and shot them to death inside their patrol car. The slayings of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu ... in Brooklyn heightened fears about the safety of law enforcement officials nationwide, though there is no evidence any threats are imminent.

Next week: 2014 Top Five

Until Next Monday, Happy Festivus.

Claremont, CA

December 22, 2014

CARTOON OF THE WEEK –  Peanuts by Charles Schultz

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