The Locker Room

January 25, 2005

Hats off to NC State sociology for this

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:59 PM

Here's a fun-laden discussion one that's open to any number of possibilities by NC State students about an incident in a sociology class, apparently today. (Being a discussion forum of college students, there is profanity aplenty, so be warned before you click the link.) A few highlights, beginning with the opening post:

Ok so we are sitting in class, and at the end the professor usually plays music video stuff. Well today he played a music video saying basicly the war is about oil. We are sheeps of society that watch tv, yada yada. This girls (definatly a conservative) stands up saying this is not what the war is about. This is not what it means, crying. Honestly shee looked as if it was her first election she ever voted in in teh first place. Are you kidding me. PLease talk amongst yourselfs, all i could do is laugh.

After several discuss the girl and other instances of people losing control during class, someone eventually asks the obvious:

wtf class do you watch music videos in

The answer is "soc," and we learn more about the professor, one "Dr. Tom": "so chill," "didnt care what party you were reppin' just make a change," "just wait until he starts talking about his pro-marijuana movement," "that dude is hardcore hippy, cool as [expletive] though." Someone handily provides a link to the prof's web site, www.hiphappy.com.

But "soc" isn't enough information for one character (see page 2), who presses for more detail: "Hey, what class was this in?? I wanna know what I can take to watch music videos of bush-slamming." Before he's given the answer (Sociology 202), someone impatiently snaps at him:

[profanity]

blindfold yourself, flip to a random page in a TRACS book [course selection book at NCSU], and stick your finger somewhere on the page.

chances are, you'll get a liberal pinko professor

In short, this thread illustrates several problems in academe: leftist bias in the classroom, dumbing down of course content, barely literate students who somehow gained admission to a major research institution, and disengaged students.

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Re: SUVs

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:16 PM

Chad, I have to hand it to you, once again you've forced me to concede a point. It's true that I can't see a trash can out of my back window while backing up. Fortunately for me, I rarely back towards trash cans, and even if I did, I can't see how that particular failing would present even a modicum of concern to me.

Given your description of your vehicle, however, I can understand why you might fret the possibility of backing into a trashcan. Sounds like an even match unless it's one of those stainless steel deals, of course!

Bring it, plastic boy!

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Hobbit Cars

Posted by Chad Adams at 10:04 PM

Jon - It's not a "tin can" it's a composite plastic, tin would be too heavy and unbearably loud in a rain storm. Thus the hobbit mobile would likely bounce off of your hummer wannabe like the trash can you can't see out your back window when you back up.
The S2000 on the other helps distract highway patrolman and seems to attract radar much better than the flat surfaces that characterize SUVs. Funny thing!

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RE: TNT Angry Left

Posted by Donna Martinez at 5:00 PM

I wonder if Ted Turner thinks CNN left out fluff or critical information when its exec made the call to withhold information about torture in the Iraqi regime prior to the war.

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Re: Reductio ad Hitleram

Posted by Hal Young at 4:55 PM

Aha! Fox News wins! Next topic, Ted.

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TNT Angry Left Classics presents: Reductio ad Hitleram!

Posted by Jon Sanders at 4:36 PM

While Fox may be the largest news network [and has overtaken Turner's CNN], it's not the best, Turner said. He followed up by pointing out that Adolph Hitler got the most votes when he was elected to run Germany prior to WWII. He said the network is the propaganda tool for the Bush Administration. "There's nothing wrong with that. It's certainly legal. But it does pose problems for our democracy. Particularly when the news is dumbed down," leaving voters without critical information on politics and world events and overloaded with fluff," he said.

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Re: SUVs

Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:59 PM

Chad, I won't dispute that SUVs are less nimble and more likely to roll over than "hobbit" cars, and I'll grant you that they don't stop as quickly. I'll just say: so what? How do they differ in that respect from mini-vans, which face no rabid opposition that I know of? Or worse yet, pollution-spouting Volkwagon buses?

Another thing: We knew what we were getting when we bought the vehicle. We realized we were sacrificing nimbleness atire (as opposed to afoot) for greater structural stability. We knew that this decision meant we would have to sacrifice more dangerous driving not that we ever engaged in that sort of thing! *kaff! kaff!* But having a precious life in the back seat had already provided its own strong encouragement in that regard.

Therefore our greater concern was safety from the speeding nimrods around us. That is to say, we wanted to be able withstand the unseen, heady blow of a tin can like yours and thank God, my wife and little girl did.

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More fun with Cars

Posted by Chad Adams at 2:49 PM

To my good friend Paul Chesser, 90% of cars have that very sticker on their gas cap. If you don't hear "three clicks" you might set the sensor off.

To Sanders, I'm not going to debate an analogy on safety. SUVs don't stop as quick, they roll over easier and cannot avoid wrecks as easily. My stock broker was in a one car SUV rollover accident now trying to regain the use of his left arm after being crushed by his SUV two years ago. In a wreck, your surival is completely situationally dependent.
Dale Earnhardt survived flips, fires and accidents that bordered on the miraculous, ultimately he was killed in a simple accident involving a harness failure that he should have survived.
SUVs are legal, but not necessarily safer vehicles. Debating safety on this reminds me of the story about two guys seeing an approaching bear. His friend, the strong one, was concerned about the bear attacking them. The little fella had an interesting reply, he just smiled and said, "heck, all I have to be is faster than you!"

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Re: My Auto Repair Shop Manager

Posted by Paul Chesser at 2:46 PM

Do you know what caused my engine light to come on? It's because my gas cap wasn't on tight enough! Do you believe that?! And they were going to charge me $40 to figure that out?!

Stupid, blasted automobile computers...makes me want to fill up with regular leaded gasoline and blast exhaust all over the Smokies...

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Re: SUVs

Posted by Hal Young at 2:44 PM

Quick, Rush, cue up the Elvis impersonator ...

As those small wheels turn
Fifty miles to the gallon
And their knees on their chest
They're gonna save enough gas for all the rest
In a Yugo

(Chorus: In a Yugoooooooo)

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Re: SUVs, gas mileage, and other consumer concerns

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:34 PM

Chad, all I can say is, I was glad my wife was driving our SUV the day some idiot slammed into her from behind because he was too distracted to notice her turn signal. Our then-one-year-old daughter was in the back. A lesser car would have sustained considerable damages, not to mention God knows what would have happened to my daughter.

As it was, my girl was unhurt though quite annoyed, my wife was also unhurt (though also annoyed), and our SUV had sustained some damage that necessitated repair.

The idiot's car by far fared the worse, however a fact that no doubt irritates the anti-SUV types, since it's "not fair" that my family chose a vehicle to meet other needs than primarily miles per gallon and is therefore stouter than the car that they would have chosen for us.

I don't begrudge other people's choices for bigger or even wussier vehicles. All I want is the freedom to choose the kind of vehicle that meets my needs, and I'm glad we had the choice for our SUV.

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Donna and the love of SUVs!

Posted by Chad Adams at 1:45 PM

I'm glad to hear that Donna has maintained her love for a vehicle that sits as high off the road as legally possible (feels powerful), cosumes enough fuel to power three other vehicles over the same distance (feels powerful) and is trapped like a wilderbeast in quicksand (but usually feels powerful) during this icing.
At least you can rest assured that you will be back floating high above the fray at 12mpgw watching the lesser mortals on the Interstate soon. A road, mind you, designed just for SUVs.
No, I'm not a tree hugger, I just love hearing the logistics behind SUV sales that extend beyond the "I like sitting high off the ground" argument.
Otherwise, I'll continue my long road journeys to and from Raleigh in my . . . I think Hood has a phrase for it. . . oh yes, my Hobbit cars (Honda Insight and S2000).

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RE: me, "global warming" victim

Posted by Donna Martinez at 1:05 PM

Hal, in reality I'm pulling a Britt Cobb with my SUV. I love it so much, feel so powerful behind its wheel, that I will have to be pried out of it, kicking and screaming all the way.

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Re: Donna Martinez, "global warming" victim

Posted by Hal Young at 12:32 AM

... selling my evil SUV.

I, like Paul, am contributing to the local service economy with my own little 185,000-mile "patient". Donna, if you're serious, you have my e-mail address.

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I Just Spoke to My Auto Repair Shop Manager

Posted by Paul Chesser at 11:57 AM

I asked him if he figured out yet why my engine light was on. His answer:

"We have been running a series of tests and I am awaiting my mechanic's analogy on that."

I hope he likens it to child with a boo-boo and not a cancer patient in need of chemo.

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Re: Donna Martinez, "global warming" victim

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:25 AM

And because America is so selfish, poor Donna's tears are probably like those of the penguin in "8 Ball Bunny" turning to ice cubes as they fall.

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RE: me, "global warming" victim

Posted by Donna Martinez at 11:15 AM

Jon, glad to know I can serve my community as the poster girl for global warming's terrible impact on society. I feel downright weepy and am considering selling my evil SUV.

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Donna Martinez, "global warming" victim

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:50 AM

But dear Donna, didn't you know that "global warming" includes extreme cooling? In fact, a major "global warming" concern is now the coming European Ice Age.

That is why I chose "global warming" as an example of the Procrustean bed:

There is another name for the unfalsifiable theory: the Procrustean bed, named after that unpleasant fellow of legend, Procrustes, whose joy it was to waylay travelers and tie them to his bed, which was truly one-size-fits-all. If the traveler were too short, he was stretched till he "fit," and if he were too tall, his dangling appendages were lopped off (an apt description of what the proponents of an unfalsifiable theory do to facts).

Oh, the irony! American cars and SUVs spin out as they continue to belch forth the fumes that some academics say caused their dilemma.

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Re: Chapel Hill leaf blowers

Posted by Hal Young at 10:49 AM

Don't sell the idea short. By boosting the price of landscapers, maybe the Chapel Hill leadership is pioneering the "living wage" idea while eliminating unesthetic noise at the same time.

If so, they could have left the noise in place and just pushed the local minimum wage up. At least this way there's some other benefit for the consumer, right?

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Leaf blowers targeted again for regulation in Chapel Hill

Posted by Donna Martinez at 10:44 AM

The Chapel Hill Town Council hasn't given up on trying to impose restrictions on the use of gas leaf blowers in Chapel Hill. Last fall the council considered banning them because, well, blowers make noise and that's bad for people, the environment, yada, yada. But, thank goodness, the town attorney killed the move by saying he didn't think the group had the authority to do that. Last night, however, the council decided to instead investigate regulating use of the gas blowers. Sadly, you have to read about 75 percent into the story to find the perspective of a landscaper, who noted that without blowers, customers might have to pay up to five times more for his service. If this ridiculous effort becomes law, I'd like to see some reasonable Chapel Hill residents turn the council's logic against them and lobby the council to ban -- or at least regulate -- cheering at Carolina sporting events held in oh-so pristine Chapel Hill. After all, UNC games of every variety are really, really noisy affairs that hurt people and the environment, right?

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I don't think so ...

Posted by Hal Young at 10:39 AM

Noticed a hand-lettered sign last week outside the Smithfield Flea Market which said "Haircuts - $6".

Somehow I don't like the words "flea" and "haircut" so close together.

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Re: envirowackos and global warming

Posted by Donna Martinez at 10:15 AM

Jon, I'd love to talk with you in person about the global warming crisis the scaremongers say is plaguing us, according to the Independent UK report you cited yesterday. However, the roads here in northern Orange County are still iced over in places so I can't drive in to the office. Count me among those hoping some of that imminent heat heads my way.

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Tsunami, Personal Account

Posted by Chad Adams at 10:07 AM

During the Fall of 2004 I was fortunate to speak in the Wilmington area at the home of Joyce Fernando to a gathering of her friends (and she has many) about the Locke Foundation. Over Christmas, she, her husband and two kids went to visit the former home of her husband in the Sri Lanka area. What started as a Christmas trip turned into a remarkable story covered in today's Wilmington Star News here.

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Those oppressive campus Christians!

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:50 AM

It didn't take long for the reporter at The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscriber site) to signal his position on the issue. The subhead announces: "Conservative Christian groups have forced colleges to allow them to bar gay students and nonbelievers."

UNC-Chapel Hill's brave battle against the three-member Christian fraternity menace on campus, Alpha Iota Omega, figures prominently in the Chronicle's report. That's because UNC-CH is one of three institutions facing a lawsuit for their actions who "are determined to fight the legal challenge, despite considerable costs." The other two are Arizona State University at Tempe and the University of California's Hastings College of Law. (Naturally it's the public institutions, the ones with the least tenable position before the law since they're bound by the Constitution in ways private institutions aren't, that have the legally coerced financial wherewithal to fight such lawsuits.)

The Chronicle apes the Moeser justification that the issue has "forced colleges to choose which of two basic principles is more important: freedom of religion, guaranteed by the First Amendment, or equal protection under the law, as established by the 14th Amendment." That is utter hogwash the 14th Amendment doesn't at all mean that there must be equal protection within private groups. Equal protection in regards to university programs means that the school grants the "official recognition, ... financial support, preferential access to campus facilities, and the right to use their college's name" to all private groups regardless of beliefs, not monkey around with the beliefs of each group. Or should I remind Moeser et al. that the freedoms of assembly and speech are also at issue here?

The Chronicle quotes Jordan Lorence, a senior lawyer at the Alliance Defense Fund (which is representing AIO). Requiring a Christian group to admit non-Christians or gay people "would be like requiring a vegetarian group to admit meat eaters," Lorence said. "It would be like forcing the College Democrats to accept Republicans."

Forcing the College Democrats to accept Republicans? Now really, who would be stupid enough to try something like that?

Oh, riiiiiiight: UNC-Wilmington!

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Re: not-even-a-tie Cobb

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:19 AM

Who will receive the pay for the Agriculture Commissioner position as the courts decide this issue, John?

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More Cobb salad

Posted by John Hood at 08:06 AM

Interim agriculture commissioner Britt Cobb, defeated by Republican Steve Troxler in the November election as it has become obvious, will nevertheless fight on to give North Carolina voters another chance to, I guess, get it right:

Cobb said Monday that he will stay put until the courts, Board of Elections or the Democrat-controlled General Assembly decideds the outcome. Cobb says Governor Mike Easley supports his decision.

"I'm prepared to stay in the office as long as it takes," Cobb said. "Hopefully for four years."


I hope someone clips his fingernails before Cobb gets dragged out of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as otherwise I fear that public property furniture, walls, doors, etc. may be damaged.

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