Jobs Americans won’t do

A very interesting development. In addition to landscaping, housework, and construction, a new industry has decided to start hiring Mexicans. Now, most blue collar folk wouldn’t mind working an $18/hr starting wage, but apparently in eastern Kentucky people are too shiftless, lazy, and drug addled to become coal miners (that’s what Charlie Bearse, the guy at the mining company said). Perhaps Charlie ought to meet a few folks in Estill county and pop open an Ale-8-1 and negotiate with them instead of threatening to bring in Mexicans. I pity the Mexicans that go down the wrong hollow, if you know what I mean.

Bearse does have a point, however. And although Kentucky is the #3 producer of marijuana, and make up 9% of the total US market for pot, this is not a problem endemic to Kentucky alone. There are many able-bodied men in Louisiana, in their 30’s populating bars or trailers all day long. Ask them what they do for a living, and chances are they’ll tell you they got a settlement from an oil company, since their “something hurts”. Now, these aren’t guys like my uncle, who saved his crew from a fire offshore and lost both pinky fingers and was out of commission for a year. No, these guys are perfectly able-bodied, and gaming the system.

I’m not saying working offshore or in a coal mine is for everyone. But when not enough Americans are willing to bust their ass to feed their family, there is a serious problem with our society. I know enough about Kentucky to know the people Bearse is talking about, and I bet there were less and less of those types thirty years ago.

Posted at 06:13 pm by Johnny B

Shameful!

I’m so ashamed at what this country is coming to…I read this story in the AP…

BEAVER FALLS, Pa. (AP) — A 17-year-old high school student said he was humiliated when a teacher made him sit on the floor during a midterm exam in his ethnicity class — for wearing a Denver Broncos jersey.

Can you believe it? What kind of school teaches “ethnicity” class

Posted at 09:17 pm by Johnny B

Posted by Chrissy @ 01/29/2006 02:05 AM PST
I think I would have enjoyed an ethnicity class… perhaps I would have learned earlier that Cajuns are a federally recognized ethnicity and should claim themselves as such on the US Census 😉 Seriously though, that was one of the best parts of living in Los Angeles.. learning about all different types of people, customs, cultures, etc (and their foods. mmmm)

Posted by john broussard @ 01/29/2006 05:01 AM PST
Ethnicity class may have be fun, but a solid civics or history class is better in the long run for a student, in my opinion. I’m glad you’ve got to experience different customs and cultures, and it sounds like this is pretty easy to do, and doesn’t require formal instruction. There are many asian graduate students, and I’ve learned a few recipes from them. One thing I admire is their focus on science and math education, which will put them ahead of Americans unless we do something about it.

Posted by Chrissy @ 01/29/2006 02:37 PM PST
If I would have stayed in Louisiana, I would have never experienced anything outside of black and white. I think some people see teaching students about other cultures or even languages as threatening but I think it’s wonderful. There’s more to life the the three R’s.. like art, music and culture – both American and non-American. Learning about these things develops different parts of the brain and helps people to think differently (and it’s been said more efficiently). Plus when we understand other people’s differences we tend to be more accepting of them.

Asian-Americans and other Americans are thriving on the science and math that’s currently offered.. that leads me to believe that the content is there, the kids just have to be encouraged to appreciate it.

True cost of tuition

Jordan called me up and we had a nice discussion about the racket known as the higher educational system in the U.S. Jordan had an interesting point about the adverse effects of federally subsidized tuition. Now being the beneficiary of a lavish scholarship, I know the value of “investing in education”. If I didn’t have a scholarship, I probably would’ve gone to USL instead of LSU. There’s no shame in that. In fact, giving someone a scholarship to go to a higher priced school further away from home…may not always be good. Think about it, a 17-18 year old who isn’t extraordinarily smart may be well served to go to the local school for a couple of years while living at home. That way if they flunk out it’s not at such a huge cost to the taxpayer (and the parents, once you consider the costs of a dorm etc.) Moreover they are less likely to flunk out if they live close to or at home (I can think of a very specific example to which this could apply). The two year performance can be the benchmark for scholarships to the better schools. Let’s face it, the first year or two of college, unless it is at a high end school, is taught by grad students like myself. Now, one could learn a lot from Scottie (who is an instructor and not professor), probably more than from a math professor, but let’s not deal with outliers. All the cool classes are only available for juniors and seniors, and at that stage flunkers are already gone. Ohio State has an atrocious attrition rate (like 25%). 1/4 of all freshmen are gone by the end of the year. OSU is fighting that by lowering standards and inflating grades…I think they’re following the ivy league model on that front. How many of that 25% is receiving federal or state aid (my guess is a lot)? I think the whole question of federal and state aid for scholarships needs to be addressed.

Posted at 06:04 pm by Johnny B

When do we start getting revenue off this thing?

We just had our 1000th hit. That should count for something. Too bad about 900 of them came from me and Butch, checking to see if anyone posted. Anyway, I gotta question for you lawyers out there-you know who you are-this guy in the lab, y’all may have heard me talk about him, tells me he was accepted into Michigan State Law school, even though he has a 150 LSAT (their average is 160). Later he tells me he was accepted as a part-time student. Is this possible/plausible? Do y’all know any part-time students?

I got to rant on this for a second. Everybody here knows the Kobe-Shaq story, how Kobe forced Shaq out of LA so he could be the man. I remember when Shaq got traded (what a mistake on so many levels) for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant, and an autographed Ricky Williams helmet. I remember seeing those pictures of Kobe smiling like he just ate the canary. Lamar Odom is wondering where he left his bong in this picture. Anyway, one year later, which team is going to the finals? Which team will have the LONGEST summer in the last ten years for the franchise (hint: it’s the Lakers). Next time a general manager or owner needs to decide which player to trade or keep they should bear in mind one simple rule: Don’t trade the three-time champion MVP.

What’s my point? This guy in my lab wears a Kobe jersey. I’m sure he thinks he’s the Kobe Bryant of the lab. Like Kobe, he wants to hog the ball, never knows when to feed the big dog, and will NEVER win a championship on his own.

Posted at 12:50 am by Johnny B

Posted by Michael Gahagan @ 06/03/2005 02:01 AM PDT
MSU law doesn’t have an average score of 160 but, other than that, it sounds feasible. MSU does have an evening program and a 150 LSAT score was in the bottom 25 percent of all accepted students in 2002. see link here http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/view.php/52. MSU is a third tier school out of four tiers (somewhere between #101-#150) so even with an average score, he could have gotten in, especially if he is a minority, especially if he is black, Native American, or Hispanic.

Posted by John Broussard @ 06/03/2005 10:19 AM PDT
Mike,

My coworker told me the average score was 160…so I guess I should check my sources. Goes to show what kind of guy he is.

Culture Clash

Hey gang,

YJ (that’s short for Yun-ju, aka THE wife) and I just flew back from Taiwan last Friday. We were there ten days, and it was quite an amazing experience. Politically, it boils down like this: Freedom good, mainland China bad. That aside, there were about a million other interesting things going on there, a couple of which I picked up on.

YJ and I went to the National Palace in Taipei (that’s Taiwan’s capital and biggest city, about the size of Philadelphia). the museum was kind of like Taiwan’s Smithsonian of Old Chinese culture dating back oh, a few thousand B.C. I saw the Asian exhibit in the Smithsonian (Jordan remembers!) but this was the big leagues. Lots of jade. There were English tours twice a day, and our tour guide was a weird European lady who was nonetheless a top notch docent. She took us on a tour of the ancient religious relics, royal trinkets, and old art. There was a decent crowd for the english tours, among which there were these two chinese kids, an 11-ish year old girl and her younger brother (about 8-ish). While the rest of us walked, these two slid around on their shoes, which actually doubled as skates. I kept thinking that the little boy was probably overweight because he didn’t have to walk anywhere, he just slid around. YJ and I shared a look, the kind of look we shared before. You see, skates are loud, and usually not worn in a national museum. When kids skate around while the docent is trying to talk, it is kind of hard to understand what’s going on. In addition these kids strutted around with a complete disregard for everyone else in the room.

At one time when the docent was explaining the type of dye used to stain royal ceramics and why the dye was used. I didn’t understand it all because the little SHAT got right behind the ceramic and put his face on the glass and started banging on the glass. HA HA HA, so funny. The boy, heretofore known as SHAT, later pushed YJ to try to get behind another piece of royal jewelry to make more monkey shines for his more clever and quieter sister (AKA the puppetmaster). YJ was conspicuously preventing from doing so, huzzah to her, and he pushed her with all the might his sense of entitlement could muster. He’s only a little kid though, so no big deal. I later pushed the SHAT myself, right in front of his mother, too. She wouldn’t stop her kids, so I knew she wouldn’t stop me. I’m like 6th generation American, so that trumps the SHAT’s measly generation in the land of milk and honey.

Ok, long story, right. The point is YJ and I both knew these kids grew up in America. Their parents, maybe from China, but most likely from Taiwan, must have busted their ass to get an advanced degree, probably in engineering or medicine, overcome all kinds of difficulties to succeed. Now, the next generation is a bunch of inconsiderate little shite-ass punks. Some of the worst behavior I’ve seen has come out of American born Asian kids, and I’ve seen more than my fair share. Living off the largesse of their parent’s hard work, they completely turn their backs on their culture and buy into the most crass and base aspects of American materialism. They learn how to game the system to get A’s and letters of recommendation with a minimal amount of effort or interest…kind of like skating through a national museum.

I know I’m being too hard on these kids in particular, but my sister would beat that ass if her kids would try to pull that crap. YJ likewise said how ashamed her parents would be if she acted like that in public. By no means is this isolated to American born Asian kids…it’s just that every ABC (american born Chinese) seems to act this way. The thought of 60-70 million SHATs in our country (I’m factoring in all Americans this age) is not a happy one.

Posted at 10:43 pm by Johnny B

Posted by BP @ 01/14/2005 08:43 AM PST
It’s the number one downside of American Liberty, and that is if we’re not careful, the youngest generation takes it all for granted. It’s been a problem for generations, and shows itself in different ways in each generation.

Fortunately, it’s worth it.