Morning Reads For Monday July 16

Local Reads
– Plan B if TSPLOST goes down? Toll roads.
– If you haven’t heard enough already, there are several forums in Gwinnett where you can hear proponents and opponents talk about TSPLOST.
– The University System of Georgia has hired 5000 people during a period when the State workforce has been trimmed by 10,000.
Two Republicans and Democrat are challenging Congressman Phil Gingrey.
– What happens if Doug Collins and Martha Zoeller split the vote in Hall county?
– Walter Jones looks at the non-binding questions on the GOP Primary Election ballot.
– Georgia’s students scored better on the CRCT test this year.

National/International Reads
– Are some Republican House candidates being stalked?
– What are Governors doing about Obamacare?
– Microsoft and NBC are parting ways.
Anthony Weiner for Mayor?
Condoleeza Rice for VP?

Other Stuff
-The Braves won their 7th in a row and swept the evil Mets.
– The Gwinnett Braves dropped their 3rd in a row, losing to the Louisville Bats 3-2.
Allison Schmitt is getting ready for the Olympics.

69 comments

  1. xdog says:

    If the donks could name the goper VP candidate I’m sure they’d pick Palin, but Condi would be a strong second choice.

    • So you think Rice would help the Dems? I’m not so sure. She’s not my first choice but she’s smart, can deliver a good speech, would rip Biden to pieces in a debate, etc…

      • xdog says:

        I can see people talking about how neither Romney nor Rice have any foreign policy experience.

        She’s smart enough I guess but completely inexperienced as a candidate.

        We’ll have to disagree on how well she would handle Biden.

        Anyway, I don’t think she has a chance of being named. I expect Romney to name a boring white guy as his running mate.

        • DTK says:

          @xdog

          I’m not much of a Rice fan, but you can’t really get more foreign policy experience than being a former Secretary of State and national security advisor …

          • xdog says:

            DTK, I was being facetious.

            Donks will say yeah, she had the titles. So? She sat on them. Or, we got bin Laden, she stacked files, when she wasn’t ignoring them. Or, we trusted the intelligence community, she had them gin up reports to support her views.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        Rice also reminds the public of the political juggernaut that was the Bush Administration.

        …You know? The same Bush Administration that most Americans, myself included, can’t get enough of and would love nothing more than to relive it, over and over and over again, especially that stellar second term of his.

      • Joshua Morris says:

        You dems keep believing what you like. I believe Condi was possibly the most respected member of the Bush administration. I can find zero negatives for her. She is intelligent, thoughtful, and subtly compelling.

        However, I believe that all this talk about her is a diversion to keep the media busy while the actual candidates are vetted. We’ll see.

        • David C says:

          Yeah, not going to happen. Three Words: She’s Pro-Choice. The Christian Right would launch a floor fight over her nomination, and you’d have the worst convention environment since the Dems in Miami ’72. McCain couldn’t get Lieberman for the same reason. The base already doesn’t trust Romney, and it’d revolt over Rice. And the Romney campaign, which no doubt has the words “Not John McCain” on a wall somewhere in their headquarters, knows this and is only leaking it as a “shiny thing” to try and distract the media while the campaign keeps pissing down their leg failing to handle his record at Bain.

          As to her qualities as a Candidate, she’s respected and would be deemed moderate by the media, but she also has never displayed much charisma, made a prime time speech as big as she’d have to at the convention, gone on the stump, or barnstormed for people. She’s never done anything on domestic policy in what would be a domestic policy election. (For all the talk about how she’d beat Biden in a debate, I doubt it. He’s speaks blue collar in ways that she, despite her background, generally doesn’t, perhaps due to working in elite Washington or academic circles for all of her adult life. In an economy election, that matters.) She doesn’t seem to have the skill or drive to play the campaign attack dog, which is the general job of a VP nominee. She might play well on Sunday talk shows and the beltway press, but not the trail and not necessarily the debates.

          And she’d probably never take it anyway. I’d suspect she’s happy at Stanford, and has never demonstrated any ambition or desire to seek higher public office, and hasn’t looked to do it since leaving the post as Secretary of State. Why would she start now?

  2. saltycracker says:

    No worries: With the universities hiring, building and raising tuitions with no eye to the economics, citizens will rush forward for casino gambling to add another revenue piece.

  3. saltycracker says:

    Ballot question on the right to life:
    “earliest biological beginning without regard to……”

    As a right to lifer, with exceptions, and listening to a tragic story this weekend, I cannot fathom the inhumanity in this question.

  4. Daddy Got A Gun says:

    In regard to Plan B …..

    1) Stop diverting gas taxes to the General fund (according to GDOT this is nearly $200M/yr)

    2) Cut the university system’s budget by 30% (approximately $630M/yr – this should be done as part of an total overhaul of the system which involves changing its focus from bricks & motar locations serving the select few to internet learning for all, from elite esoteric useless degrees to real world applicable degrees that grow Georgia’s economy, fire 85% of the administrators starting with the Diversity Counselors and race focused admissions staff.)

    3) Waive all unnecessary construction requirements for critical infrastructure projects. (this could save 20% on any project. Let’s assume that 50% of GDOT’s $1B construction budget would qualify as critical, this is $100M/yr

    There you go ….. three ideas to find $1B/year for critical infrastructure projects.

    Plan B is a better option than destroying our economy with a 16% tax increase just as its getting back on its feet.

    • Rambler1414 says:

      “3) Waive all unnecessary construction requirements for critical infrastructure projects.”

      Like what?
      Can you give us some more details here?

      • Daddy Got A Gun says:

        Landscaping …. minority/small business set asides …. bicycle access …. sidewalks …. environmental/anthropology/etc. studies …. noise abatement …. electronic sensors/billboards … acquisition of ROW land beyond what is necessary. etc.

        In any project there are some “nice to haves” and “we’re here – let’s do it now” items. Strip out these items and you can save some big bucks. These little dollars add up to some surprisingly big numbers and larger percentages of the project budget than is obvious.

        If a project is truly critical and if we are truly in a crisis, then we should act fast and act like we are in a crisis. Right now, the list reads like a wish list for Civil Engineering and Road Building companies, who are going to be flooded with taxpayer money.

        TSPLOST will at least double the money spent on engineering / road /mass transit projects in Georgia. Whenever you have a limited supply and a doubling of demand, you end up with big price increases. I predict that per mile construction costs will at least double which will reduce the number of projects that local governments can do such as re-surfacing, bridge repair, etc.

        BTW – I’m an Professional Civil Engineer working in Telecommunications industry. I did traffic design a long time ago in NJ.

        • Rick Day says:

          Again, the first two items you specifically name are tied to issues of race. In GA, we can only guess this generally means…blackfolk™!

          BTW: an educated racially focused individual is a dangerous one. Careful or the ObamaPolice will getcha!

          Boo!

          • Daddy Got A Gun says:

            I’m already on the Obama’s Re-Education List. 🙂

            Over the years, I’ve seen several studies that found that White Women benefit the most from Affirmative Discrimination. Here is a quick article that I found on google …
            http://www.theroot.com/views/real-affirmative-action-babies

            …… Since I clearly don’t like women, that makes me Gay. Now you have to listen to me

            If you want to test the theory about if TSPLOST is a jobs program (a-la-Stimulus) or a transportation improvement project. Watch how TSPLOST supporters get upset when the racial set asides are not available.

    • Rick Day says:

      *golf clap* you just HAD to throw in the race thing, didn’t you? Out of all the potential bureaucracies, that was the one you singled out.

      And you guys wonder why people think you are the way you are.

      Image: Work on it.

  5. bgsmallz says:

    No offense to Buzz and his colleagues, but the thing with “Plan B”s is that the folks that botched “Plan A” tend to not be around to either plan or implement it.

    If the GOP or the TEA Party has any influence over Plan B after completely failing on Plan A, it will be a political miracle.

  6. debbie0040 says:

    There are other funding sources other than toll roads. The supporters of T-SPLOST are using toll roads to try to scare people into voting for it and it is not working.

    The AJC is in the tank for T-SPLOST and every article they write has a pro T-SPLOST slant. Their parent company donated $ 250,000 to the pro T-SPLOST effort yet they don’t mention that. I cancelled my subscription to the AJC this morning…

    • bgsmallz says:

      “Commuters battling traffic in the Bay Area or New York might protest, but Atlanta-area traffic seems to be uniquely awful.

      For more than a decade, Atlanta has been among the fastest-growing regions in the country, but the road and rail system in a state that ranks 49th in per capita transportation spending just could not keep up.”

      -That’s the lead-in from the NY Times and a slide on the powerpoint for Charlotte, Dallas, Nashville, and Birmingham the next time they are competing with us for a relocating company.

      • debbie0040 says:

        Agree there is traffic congestion in Atlanta and something needs to be done. Why are so many projects economic development type projects if the real concern was relieving traffic congestions?

        T-SPLOST is not the right solution.

        • debbie0040 says:

          I disagree about the stats the NY Times quoted as well and there are other reports that show completely different figures.. They do not have a good track record on accurate facts…

          • Rick Day says:

            They do not have a good track record on accurate facts…

            We will need a fact check on that statement.

            Of course, you understand that there is a place called the ‘retraction’ section when newspapers get a fact wrong, don’t you? It really does happen all the time, even with Fox. Part of being mass media.

          • bgsmallz says:

            Do you disagree with the 49th in per capita transportation spending? Anyway, we can’t continue to think that we can horde all our own money and expect the region to magically grow because of ‘cheap’ land in Gilmer Co. (or wherever the next sprawl movement will be).

            T-Splost isn’t just about ‘relieving traffic congestion’ nor should it be. It is about investing in transportation infrastructure as a region. Will that help traffic in the ‘burbs? Yes. Will it continue to develop infrastructure in our growing urban areas? Yes.

            And this is the disconnect…people want to complain about the Beltline because it isn’t commuter rail or pavement…It is transportation investment that is needed for a thriving urban environment.

            This is the real problem for Atlanta…folks in the suburbs look at the city as a throwaway because of political/ideological differences. They look at ITP transportation infrastructure as a political ploy to take their money instead of an investment in the ability to secure the future of where they like to live. Because that is the rub…two Atlanta’s exist, but they are not independent. If Atlanta stagnates, the suburbs and the quality of life that goes with it will die. If we have any doubt on what a stagnate home market will do to personal wealth in our suburbs after the past 5 years, we are crazy.

            Sorry to ramble…but Atlanta is the heart of the region and the heart doctors have all prescribed ‘transit solutions’ now the fine folks in the ‘burbs look at the heart and say ‘it is so small compared to the rest of the body’ and ‘why should we be spending all that extra money when we can buy twice as much foot medicine with what they say heart medicine costs’…and that is just silly. It is a choice to respect that different regions have different needs. If we want to work together, we can’t prescribe to the city what it should want…we have to listen to what it wants. Just like Mayor Reed shouldn’t come to Woodstock and tell it ‘this is what you need to connect to jobs’…he needs to listen. And at the end of the day, if we want the region to work, we iron out the details and all agree to fund what it is the other needs.

            Or we can continue to play ‘my way or the highway’ and horde our money while the region dies.

        • Stefan says:

          I assume that’s a dig on the Beltline. Sometimes you have to provide people with more than a way to get get there, but a reason to actually go.

          • debbie0040 says:

            Not just the Belt Line.. Many of the rail projects are economic development projects.

            Get wise, Cobb County, to the real goal of transportation systems

            http://mdjonline.com/view/full_story/19330423/article-Get-wise–Cobb-County–to-the-real-goal-of-transportation-systems?instance=lead_story_left_column

            Truth in advertising might help the supporters of the TSPLOST. The same can be said about showing some respect for folks who do not favor the regional 1 percent sales tax.

            Watching an “Untie Atlanta” television commercial, you see the tax plan touted as a way to achieve a major reduction in traffic congestion. Yet 52 percent of the estimated $6.1 billion to be raised would go into transit, based on either (1) a huge leap of faith that metro Atlanta commuters will flock to mass transit and abandon their automobiles, or (2) wishful thinking stemming from the belief that people should ride trains or buses whether they want to or not.

            And now we’re told the goal of building transportation systems is not moving people but economic development — something we had figured all along with regard to the TSPLOST. As the MDJ reported, land-use planner Chris Leinberger with Brookings Institution of Washington, D.C. last week told a meeting of the Cumberland Community Improvement District its top priority should be to invest heavily in rail transit. He said, “You do not build it to move people. That is not your goal … that’s not why you build transportation systems, and again, particularly rail transit. … You build transportation systems for economic development.”

            If that comes as news to the folks sitting in traffic out here in Cobb, it’s no wonder, seeing that we’re part of metro Atlanta that’s guilty of “racializing” MARTA, according to Mr. Leinberger. The problem with our metro area, he said, is too few “walkable urban” places. Apparently if we only had enough “walkable urban” areas, things would be fine.

            “One of the major reasons” we don’t have those areas, he told his listeners, “is that you turned your back on MARTA. You have so underinvested in MARTA. And of course we all know what MARTA really stands for. It’s not the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. It is ‘Moving African-Americans Rapidly Through Atlanta.’ You’ve racialized it. The white suburban neighborhoods and places have completely ignored the economic development potential that MARTA could have been and will be in the future.”

            Blaming racism for our traffic and/or economic problems is getting to be the in thing. Our county commission Chairman Tim Lee has painted opponents of the proposed TSPLOST rail line from Midtown Atlanta to Cumberland Mall as racists. Attacking opponents instead of making the case for the tax plan seems to be increasingly the tactic of choice for TSPLOST supporters.

            Yes, the TSPLOST is about economic development — by helping untie the real estate market, according to Atlanta attorney Douglas Dillard, chairman of the Council for Quality Growth. At a Marietta forum last week, he said, “If we’re going to bring real estate out of this depression, we’ve got to give it some help.”

            State Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), who now opposes the tax plan, hit the nail on the head when he said the focus should be “on fixing traffic, not transforming Atlanta into a transit fantasy” or funding “special interest projects.”

            • bgsmallz says:

              Can we please have a ban on this type of cut and paste job? Put the hyperlink up…if I want to go read it, fine. But pasting someone else’s editorial into your comment should be off limits.

            • benevolus says:

              Well people in other cities with well developed transit DO use it. The NY trains are almost always full, as so in Paris and Barcelona and San Francisco and Washington DC and Chicago, because they go where people need them to go.
              So yes, I think you can expect ridership to increase as the system expands. That’s not to say that congestion disappears, but if most of the people on the train or bus would otherwise be using a car, doesn’t that have to reduce congestion a little bit?

    • griftdrift says:

      Yes. Very interesting column by Maria. Particularly this….

      “So if all sources of transportation funding were to be included and if the tax were to pass, only 25 percent would be invested in transit over the next decade.”

  7. Rick Day says:

    This was not a good week for Romney.

    First, he goes to the NAACP. Not to pander votes, but to go back to his white base and tell him how he ‘told off those people’ that they just can’t have everything they want from the government (as if anyone in the crowed asked).

    The goes for the lame attempt to grab a Ring o Color™ and hints Rice was the VP pick. Which is totally fake because Rice is too moderate on social issues and she will prove once and for all that the GOP White Base won’t elect Dark People, no matter how Pollyanna her name sounds. Questions about Bain? Oh look, have some Condie Candy™.

    This guy is sinking like McCain.

    You could even say this was a….Black Week for The Mittens™

    • Rambler1414 says:

      How can that be, Debbie?

      Georgia is 49th in per capita for transportation and infrastructure investment,
      yet we have the 3rd best system in the state?

      I thought you people told us that GDOT was broken and has to be fixed?

  8. Bob Loblaw says:

    Don’t you know you’re only a real pro-lifer if you want to force raped women to carry a baby to term, even if its an imbred baby from an incestual attack? You’re not pro-life. You are pro-abort. Go ask GRTL.

    Only they know what the he/l the words in this question mean anyway. The hilarious part of the “personhood” question is that the fertilized egg, what they consider the “earliest biological beginning,” goes nowhere without a woman, in whose uterus the egg attaches itself to.

  9. wicker says:

    @Daddy Got A Gun:

    Excellent way to avoid the question.

    Seriously, how many “diversity Counselors and race focused admissions staff” do you think that universities have, and how many do you believe that they make? BTW … the only universities in Georgia where this would even be relevant for are UGA and MCG, because they are the only “real” (as in selective) universities that would have a need to use race in admissions anyway. (Georgia Tech and GSU are selective universities, but don’t use race in admissions.) So the notion that we are spending billions and billions on race programs is 100% untrue race baiting nonsense that comes straight from a David Duke newsletter. Even mentioning it with regards to finding billions in transit money shows real racial hostility issues. No diversions about re-education camps and links from ‘The Root’ are going to change that.

    • Harry says:

      “Georgia Tech and GSU are selective universities, but don’t use race in admissions.”

      What’s your source for the assertion that Georgia Tech doesn’t use race in admissions?

      • wicker says:

        Harry:

        Pretty much every reputable one, including the fact that while UGA has been sued several times over racial quotas and preferences, Georgia Tech never has, despite Georgia Tech being A) more selective than UGA and B) being more diverse.

        Georgia Tech uses very aggressive – and very legal -forms of outreach, including encouraging using HBCU students to transfer. For example, they have done a very good job selling AU center students on going to Tech for a 2nd undergraduate degree after completing their first undergraduate degree in math or hard sciences. The AU center schools market this as a way to give them a leg up on other HBCUs like Howard, Tuskegee and North Carolina A&T that offer their own engineering schools.

        Basically, being in Atlanta means that Tech doesn’t need preferences. They don’t aspire to have the same demographics as the city. They only need to get to about 8%, and they have never had any trouble doing so. Why it works for them and not for other public universities in large cities – why Tech is better at it than UCLA for instance, and UCLA actually does use preferences, or did anyway before Ward Connerly – is UCLA’s problem.

        Incidentally, FSU doesn’t use preferences either. Haven’t in over 20 years. Don’t need them. Why so many black students pass up UCF and USF to flock to FSU is a mystery, but that isn’t FSU’s problem.

        • Harry says:

          Georgia Tech may not used narrowly-defined “preferences” which are supposed to be illegal, but they use race in admissions. It would be better if organizations didn’t concern themselves with race.

          • wicker says:

            I will give you the same challenge that you gave me. Prove that Georgia Tech use races in admissions. Here is an article from Georgia Tech stating that they do not.

            http://technique.library.gatech.edu/issues/spring2003/2003-02-07/16.html

            The AJC also stated so when UGA was sued over their preference programs. Claiming that organizations use race in admissions or hiring when they don’t – as a matter of fact the overwhelming majority of colleges and workplaces do not – is David Duke stuff. And those tactics have been so effective for so long that a lot of people actually believe that you can reduce government spending by eliminating preference programs.

            And by the way: preference programs aren’t illegal except in places where they have been outlawed on the state level like California. Preserving preference programs was one of Sandra Day O’Connor’s last decisions (Grutter vs. Michigan I believe). There is a case before the Supreme Court now that has the potential to end them, but they’re legal in Georgia. So Harry, you’re just 100%, completely totally wrong.

            • Daddy Got A Gun says:

              Along with race being a part of admissions, there is a whole slew of back office edu-crats supporting the race-based system. For example, Kennesaw’s Director of Multicultural Student Retention Services. http://www.kennesaw.edu/stu_dev/msrs/.

              How is she so critical to the education outcome of students that her job can’t be cut?

              There are hundreds and maybe thousands of these feel-good – make work bureaucrat positions in the University system. We need less edu-crats and more educators serving more of Georgia, not just the ones that can afford college.

              • wicker says:

                @Daddy Got A Gun:

                I never said that these positions are not extraneous and cannot be eliminated. I merely stated that eliminating them would not save that much money when compared to transportation funding. You’d save $5 million, $10 million max. It is an argument for another day in another context.

                And I would like evidence that Kennesaw State University uses race as a part of admissions. The school has an acceptance rate of 64%. The average SAT score of KSU is 1045, about the same as Morehouse, lower than Spelman and in the ballpark of Fort Valley State (HBCU) and Clayton State (not HBCU but still PBCU). So, nonwhites don’t need race preferences to get into Kennesaw State. Racial preferences are instead used at higher profile, more selective institutions.

                Again, grotesquely overestimating the number of colleges and workplaces that use affirmative action is nothing but conservative vote-baiting. Only highly selective colleges use them, and only 4 of Georgia’s state universities are highly selective: MCG, UGA, GT and GSU. And GT and GSU don’t use them.

                • Daddy Got A Gun says:

                  We may be veering off the topic. My big point is that there is money to be saved by modernizing the University system and eliminating the edu-crats. I think we agree that there is money to be saved. Our disagreement is how much.

                  BTW – If we saved $10M/yr …. that would pay for TIA‐GW‐067 US 78 (Main Street) at SR 124 (Scenic Hwy) ‐ Intersection improvement in ONE YEAR.

              • AMB says:

                You want ignorant non-educated multicultural people walking around? Sorry, bubba, if there’s no one who wants to pick your cotton.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          “Why so many black students pass up UCF and USF to flock to FSU is a mystery, but that isn’t FSU’s problem.”

          Because Tallahassee is very well-known to be party central, that’s why.

  10. debbie0040 says:

    When the Dems on the national level are losing an argument, they trot out the race card. Appears the pro T-SPLOST folk are as well. They have become so desparate, they are crying racism. Except hard to cry racism when the NAACP and Sen. Vincent Fort are strongly opposing T-SPLOST. I did predict the Sen. Fort two weeks ago, this would be the next step the pro T-SPLOST crowd would take…

    • Harry says:

      Statists are the only people using race discussion to support their agenda. Conservatives go overboard to avoid these issues whenever possible.

      • wicker says:

        Harry:

        So I guess that Daddy Got A Gun, who made the ridiculous case that Georgia can meet is transportation needs by firing the (half a dozen at most) people who administer diversity and racial preferences at UGA, is a statist then?

        • Harry says:

          I agree with him. They don’t need concern themselves with or spend money on “diversity and racial preferences”.

          • wicker says:

            You are evading the question like Daddy Got A Gun. Claiming that preferences in university admissions have anything to do with funding highways and/or rail is David Duke type stuff.

          • Daddy Got A Gun says:

            David Duke Newsletter. Dat Their Is Funny!

            The point I was making was that the money we spend on the Board of Regents ($2B/year) could be better spent elsewhere. Plus, the business model of the Board of Regents is not serving the needs of Georgia.

            The BOR needs to be defunded significantly. Its budget needs to be redirected away from expensive Brick and Mortar facilities to an internet model. There is a tremendous amount of unnecessary and self-serving bureaucracy.

            When a gun bill regarding campus carry came up for a hearing in the Senate, no less than 21 representatives of the BOR attended, all with lobbyist badges.

            The Board of Regents is an easy place to save significant money.

            • wicker says:

              Daddy Got A Gun:

              Go look at any reputable economic/business source on the impact that having a respected university system that includes research universities has on a state. Consider the fact that A) Georgia Tech is an AAU school and B) UGA aspires to be an AAU school, which is why the Regents just gave UGA engineering and medical programs.

              Your proposal would cause the reputation of Georgia’s universities to plummet. The research dollars would disappear overnight. The top professors and researchers would flee in droves. The top students would avoid Georgia institutions like the plague, and even HOPE bribes would not be enough to get them to stay. Real estate values would plummet as parents seeking in-state tuition at competitive and nationally respected research universities would take the next plane and U-Haul out of Dodge – or more accurately Gwinnett and Forsyth. Georgia companies would relocate their corporate headquarters and regional offices. And so on, and so on, and so on …

              Look, if having the state university system of Georgia adopt the DeVry/University of Phoenix educational model is your idea of policy, then I don’t think that your transportation ideas are that much better.

              • Daddy Got A Gun says:

                You are locked in old-school thinking and limiting yourself.

                Do you know about Udacity.com? Its an internet based learning site created by a couple of the Google guys. I took an awesome programming class on the site. The learning experience was head and shoulders above anything I had experienced. Try one of their classes, they are free.

                We don’t need the University system. Its like Blockbuster in the streaming video age. Expensive, unscalable, teaching out-dated information that is useless in the 21st Century. Wisconsin and Texas are pursuing using the internet to train their citizens. $2B could buy alot of internet based resources to train every Georgian that wants training.

                • wicker says:

                  @Daddy Got A Gun:

                  First off, a substantial percentage of the college population needs classroom instruction. But let us assume that most don’t.

                  What you are talking about is only feasible for vocational schools and for lower level primarily undergraduate teaching universities. You could do it for Armstrong Atlantic State, but not for any university that has serious engineering, hard sciences and mathematics, or professional and business programs. And it is those institutions that create jobs and drive the economy.

                  Take engineering. Drafting education can be done online. Engineering technology education can for the students that are highly motivated. But a B.S. in ME, CE, ChemE or EE that has to take on actual design projects? Not likely. An M.S. that has to do some real research? Fantasy. A Ph.D. who has to go out invent new things? Delusions.

                  The folks on Udacity.com (I use w3schools.com myself) only exist because of the work that people at Georgia Tech, MIT, UCLA etc. did in computer science to make programming user friendly. (And by the way … there is a difference between programming and computer science. Big, big big difference. I guess you can say that computer scientists create jobs for programmers. And a lot of other people.)

                  • Daddy Got A Gun says:

                    You are right, there are certain elements of Engineering Education that require bricks and mortar experience, in particular the labs. But there are alot that don’t especially the courses that are presently taught in the huge lecture halls (calculus, physics, statics, dynamics, chemistry, etc.)

                    If we could create a program of internet based courses for the first 2 years of engineering course work and then finish the engineers up with in the classroom/lab work in the last 2 years, we could in theory reduce the cost of an engineering degree by 1/3 to 1/2. The total economic cost to the student would be less since he could work at a job during the day and do the course work at night.

                    Internet courses are scalable. Meaning it doesn’t cost any more to teach 500 students or 10,000. This means we could have AP High Schoolers taking TRUE college level courses. Other majors and people who aren’t looking for a degree could take those same classes at no additional cost. Businesses would love the distance program.

                    For example, we get a robotics company to re-locate to Georgia. With Distance learning we could custom design course work for their employees with the various courses we have on the shelf for the engineers.

                    I think you give Tech and universities too much credit for advances in computer science. Private Industry has done alot of the heavy lifting.

                    The University System needs to refocused onward to the 21st Century. Cut their budget, Fire the Edu-Crats, Embrace Technology.

  11. saltycracker says:

    Having recently attended graduation cermonies at UGA & MCG I had a few empirical observations….
    The students were pretty impressive but a large number were going home with degrees out of sync with today’s demands.
    Diversity was high among the graduate degrees, particularly foreign students.
    The impression was these kids were smart and highly motivated to improve their lot in life.
    The speakers comments, including Gov. Deal’s at UGA, smacked of a multi-category affirmative action bias.

    The pre-college educational programs in the U.S. cater to an “entitled” public and a bureaucractic system leaving the kids ill prepared to compete. We get what we demand.

    This is just an observation that may or may not have any merit, but it walks like a duck.

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