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Ice Queen

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Everything posted by Ice Queen

  1. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    Mine expired and I never got it renewed. I used to go to Canada quite regularly, and all you needed was a driver's license. The kids didn't need anything. You can get a passport card for $30. It's good for one land crossing across the border and back. No need for a full passport. As an aside since someone mentioned Venezuela. I was in Caracas in 1992 not long after the coup. Scary stuff.
  2. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    But why was it Barr's decision to make? It should have been the House that made that determination.
  3. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    Our democracy is broken. The law means nothing. Why are people still kidding themselves that this evil thing will ever go willingly?
  4. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    No, it doesn't. We paid for it, it's ours, and we deserve to see it. All of it, unredacted. If he's as innocent as he claims, there's no harm in it.
  5. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    If you're covering for people who committed a crime on your behalf, you might not be guilty of the original crime, but it's still obstruction, yes? Maybe we should ask Nixon.
  6. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    Oh, I agree He should have recused himself. Mueller wants Congress to do its job, like that's ever going to happen. If they would have done that, Mueller wouldn't have been needed in the first place. So, that leaves the state attorneys general to save us. But I think the time is rapidly approaching when it gets bloody. Trump will take this as an exoneration, and it's full court authoritarian press from here. Law and order mean nothing, Trump is above the law thanks to Iran Contra Barr, and our democracy no longer functions. Sorry to be so nihilistic, but there you go.
  7. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    They probably could. Mueller left it up to Barr who, being the good little Republican foot soldier he is, won't prosecute. Republicans, party over country every time.
  8. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    We all heard what he said to Lester Holt. Seriously, what more do we need? Let's see the whole thing. Executive summaries never match what's in the actual report.
  9. Ice Queen

    U.S. Politics: Impoverished In Squalor

    Yep, they sentenced him to 13 years in January. And that Manafort got about $60 million for his trouble.
  10. I think gap years aren't for everyone, but as long as the kid has a plan for how they're going to use it, it can be very beneficial. Sitting at home on Mom's couch playing video games doesn't count. But working, or taking off in a pickup truck with just a backpack and no money, the Peace Corps...these experiences can really help them sort things out. When the year is up, they're a year older, a year more mature, and hopefully more focused.
  11. The skills gap is caused by boomers who have no idea how to use technology, much less to its full potential. And yet these people are the ones whining about how they can't get the kids to do anything, or they're not qualified.
  12. I'm not a fan of preschool or pre-K, at least not in its current form. We have a whole generation of 16 and 17 year old kids utterly stressed out and demoralized from the strain of trying to get into good schools because we've brainwashed them into thinking they have to get into the best schools and earn the most scholarship money. We're doing exactly the same thing to 3 and 4 year olds on the other end of the spectrum and there are probably just as many people bribing admissions people in "exclusive" pre-K programs as there are at the college level. My kids used to come home with homework in preschool. To me that's crazy. Once they become adults they're going to have 50 years of an overly structured environment. Can't we just let them be kids? They need unstructured playtime and time to be creative. No pre-planned Lego packages and Lincoln Logs. No "educational" video games. They need outdoor play and they need to be allowed to get dirty, climb trees, make mudpies. Young children are super absorbent sponges. They're going to learn anything and everything. Their brains are wired for it, and by kindergarten they're ready to learn. I never made my kids do summer homework, either. Being a well rounded kid is just as important as book knowledge. We're taking their childhood away from them by overly scheduling them and forcing them to do homework and excel before they're ready. As long as they know their alphabet, their numbers and colors by kindergarten, they're no worse off than their peers. Is there any evidence that these types of programs, in an attempt to create the next Einstein, have any benefit beyond elementary school?
  13. Employer based health care is a relic of WW II and has outlived its usefulness. I completely agree with you! It's long past time we had universal health care or some version of it. It would free up a lot of worry for the work force and would be much cheaper in the long run. With automation, you might lose your job to it, yes. However, you can avoid becoming a victim of it because we will always need people to design, build and maintain those machines! We need to get people into the trades so that they are the ones with those marketable skills. Instead of coal mines and fracking, people could be employed by the renewable industry. But they need those technical skills...and American kids don't have them. This is where we're missing the boat. Our kids aren't competing with the kid in the next desk for a job in a mill. They're competing with kids from all over the world, and we need to downsize their ambitions of making billions on Wall Street and draw them into fields that are going to be sustainable in the long run and actually give us a solid manufacturing base.
  14. One of my daughter's friends was an engineering major--not by his choice, but by his parents', who were both engineers. The parents were livid that he wanted to change his major and only relented when he tried to commit suicide. She also dated a boy who wanted to transfer to a school in Florida, and his parents told him that if he transferred they would no longer pay his tuition. He was miserable, too, and was barely coasting by because he didn't want to be there. While we're on this topic, I am all in favor of gap years. Very few people know what they want to do at 18 and it's really unrealistic of us to expect them to. Let them take a year off to work or travel or whatever and let them figure it out before committing four years and tens of thousands of what's most likely going to be YOUR money.
  15. Really? I didn't know that. Thanks for the link!
  16. It is a racket, absolutely. Just a little background, but one of the schools I got accepted to was Carnegie Mellon. However, my dad refused to help in any way, and I didn't want to go into debt to pay for it. Considering what happened a few years later, I should have just gone there. We are fortunate in that we were able to provide the kids with that little extra leg up, though not nearly as much as some of their classmates. Even helping them navigate through that process is more than our parents ever did for us. My son went to a 2 year program and paid for it himself. He was completely debt free. My daughter is a little more pie in the sky, but she did complete every application by herself, and paid the application fees on her own. I contributed nothing to that process--all I did was guide her through the FAFSA. I almost had her talked into community college because there was one school she hadn't heard back from yet. She said if she didn't hear from them by x date, she was going to community college. Great! Well, on the last day, she got her acceptance letter (from the Penn State campus 14 minutes from our house). So that's where she went and is still there. She'll graduate in December. She spent one semester in the dorms, and the rest at home which saved about $10K per year.
  17. I completely agree, and I'll add one thing. College has become four years of on the job training--it wasn't always that way. College was for refinement and a traditional liberal arts education. When did that change? The price of college REALLY skyrocketed in the 90s. I graduated in 1991 with about $3K in loans that I took out for books that I paid off in less than a year. When I went back in 1998, I could not believe how much it was. $13K per semester. I was married by then, so I qualified for NO aid whatsoever. I went almost $40K into debt for that, and I'm still not done paying it off. As an adult. And I have one still in college! We need to put more emphasis on the trades and their apprenticeships. When did auto shop stop being a thing? Being an electrician might not be glamorous, but it pays the bills and you make enough to be comfortable--without being saddled with the debt that comes with a 4 year university education. I will never forget when my daughter and I were discussing her college options and I mentioned a trade school. She looked at me with nothing but scorn and said something along the lines of, "That's for dumb people!" I was so angry that I raised holy hell at her for being so snobbish and out of touch with reality. That's what happens when you go to school with kids who have parents named Mario Lemieux and Lynn Swann and it is the real downside of being in an upper middle class school district. PTA meetings were absolute torture. As far as free education goes, I've always had an idea. Extend high school for 2 years. Kids can get trade school education for free, or earn a 2 year college degree at no extra cost. The taxpayers of those districts are already paying for public schools, and I can't imagine it would cost all that much more per student, but of course those studies would need to be done.
  18. I don't recall there being any such thing as prep classes for the SAT, to be honest. This was in the mid 80s. You took the PSAT, then the SAT. If you weren't happy with your score, you took it again and that was that. I was in a program called Centers for Advanced Studies, what would now probably be equivalent to AP classes without the college credit...you actually had to attend college classes to earn those credits. I took two classes at the local community college, and Chem 1 and 2 at Pitt for a total of 14 college credits. I had 3 study halls my senior year and I was also a 4 sport athlete. I also don't recall it being so cutthroat. For a lot of my classmates, we were the first ones to go to college. The steel industry had just collapsed, so for many it was college or the military (my high school was an ROTC and law magnet school). It was still frowned upon for girls to go to the military, so most of us opted for college or some kind of training program like beauty school. Boys had other options, like the trades. By and large, our parents didn't go to college, so we had to navigate that process on our own. I learned the hard way when prior to sophomore year, I didn't get my FAFSA in on time. What a mess! The school district I live in is very good--insane, but good. Almost every single student takes AP classes, something I do NOT agree with. I didn't push my kids to take them. My son knew he was going to be a chef, so he had no need for all that. My daughter, though bright, looked around at how stressed everyone was all the time and decided it wasn't worth doing that to herself. She took the SAT twice, no prep. She got accepted to every school she applied to. It helped that our district was so rigorous that the colleges added points. Her sophomore year was also eliminated in their considerations because she had mono for the entire school year, and they don't penalize the kids for chronic illness. All the stress and aggravation just isn't worth it. They'll get in somewhere, and if they don't there's always community college. Not everyone is cut out for college and we need to stop making our kids think if they don't get into Harvard they're worthless and their lives are over.
  19. Ice Queen

    Terrorist Attack at New Zealand mosques

    I apologize for the offense. I forgot you have a parliamentary system and elections don't work the same way there as here.
  20. Ice Queen

    Terrorist Attack at New Zealand mosques

    So they're out in the open. What do we do about it?
  21. Ice Queen

    Terrorist Attack at New Zealand mosques

    Here's his maiden speech. He actually uses the term "final solution". Not even Trump is that brazen. The fact that Australians elected him leads me to think they're even more racist than we are. Apologies to karaddin for that generalization--I realize that most Australians are no more to blame for this whacko than most Americans are to blame for Trump. But wow. Edit again: Louie Gohmert's statement leaves a lot to be desired, too. He doesn't like the shooters' methods, but agrees with the sentiment. At least that's the way I read it.
  22. Ice Queen

    Terrorist Attack at New Zealand mosques

    Great, thank you! I will get up to speed on that. In the meantime, Senator Fraser Anning is batshit insane. There's nothing like victim blaming.
  23. Ice Queen

    Terrorist Attack at New Zealand mosques

    Holy shit, really? That is just horrible. I'm sure there were hundreds if not thousands of people cheering them on, too. Is it me or has Australia become a hotbed of racism and white supremacy? Or was it always like that and I'm just now catching on?
  24. Ice Queen

    US Politics: compromising positions

    Mitchell went to prison for 19 months. He only got released because of medical reasons. Which is what Manafort is obviously trying to do.
  25. Ice Queen

    US Politics: compromising positions

    Stans, Magruder, Kalmbach, McCord, Colson...and, of course, Roger Stone. I know you're talking about the Plumbers, but a lot of prominent members of Creep went to jail.
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