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Thursday, June 29, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
However, now Northwest has officially lost my business forever. They now have eliminated priority boarding and have embraced the Southwest Airlines herd boarding mentality. Thank you Northwest for ignoring the business travel. Thank you for igoring your consumer who pays more for tickets.
Thank you for making it easier for me to stick with United.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Cheryl is a graduate of the very small, rather diverse, University of Chicago Lab School and a very passionate alum. I went to the very big, very undiverse St. Charles High School, now St .Charles East.
Grades. One of the biggest selling points of St. Charles was that grades mattered. If you wanted to go to a decent college you needed to take virtually all AP classes and be ranked in the top 2 or 3%, no ifs, ands or buts about it. You knew you needed As and worked to get them. I think having to work in the pressure cooker is a good thing. Admittedly, this was made a bit easier by a curriculum that didn't real challenge you (but more on that later). Cheryl on the other hand, though she probably worked harder than I, didn't have to do it in a pressure-filled environment. People who were ranked in the bottom 10% of her class were admitted to Harvard and Yale. When I graduated, St. Charles hadn't sent a person to Harvard in the past 20 years.
Counseling. This is what you pay your tuition dollars for. Cheryl had a counselor who knew her personally and knew college admissions directors personally. She got SAT prep help that you can't find in any book and knew exactly how to get into any college she wanted to. I rotated through several counselors, one of whom didn't even know what state Yale was in.
Extracurricular activities. Obviously, alot more choices at St. Charles. Plus, any competition event St. Charles competition for state of national honors. (On a related note, I think the drop in athletic performance and academic performance since i graduated go hand in hand.) Lab had limited options. Big difference is that you could do whatever you wanted at lab and didn't need to specialize. At St. Charles, there can only be on newspaper editor or starting point guard. Despite this, kids always wanted to do more. Not sure why this was. Was it because there were more opportunities or because we all knew how stacked the college odds were against us.
Curriculum. Despite its size, Lab offered much much more for someone on the college track. Plus its relationship with the University was nice. St. Charles tried to offer more AP classes, but it had a catch-22. If it offered an advanced class, it needed to make sure that students would actually stick with it. As a result, the teachers couldn't push the students as much as they wanted to. I can really only remember two teachers who really pushed students, Jay Friberg and Lisa Hahns. Sadly, neither one of them is teacher there anymore. Don't get me wrong. I don't blame anyone at St. Charles High for the education I received. I truly believed most of the teachers and some of the administrators really tried hard and did what they could.
So where does that leave us? Obviously I believe that a large school has many selling points. Though from the perspective of a potential parent, you can't sacrifice your child's future just so they had an experience like Dad. In other words, if you live in the Chicago area and wanted to send your child to a top college from a public school, you have very limited options-- New Trier, Stevenson, Hinsdale Central and maybe a few others. There are some very good parochial schools as well like Loyola and Fenwick. But other than that, you are stuck with the big name private schools.
Its a funny game, a prisoner's dilemma of sorts. You want to prove that you can beat the system and get into a great college from an regular old public school, but you don't want to take the risk yourself. You'd like every other parent to send their smart kids to your public school, but you will still send your to the private school. An unfair game, but the one we live in.
Now, I am not crazy enough to think that a republican could win a citywide election in North Carolina. But to have someone actively challenging him should allow for additional details of the case to come out, which should have been out a long time ago.
- Increase the number of AP classes
- Add mandatory study halls
- Increase counseling
No wonder I would never send me kids there. For more on this breakthrough program, go here www.d303.org
Saturday, June 17, 2006
After watching a week of the World Cup, soccer must be the worst managed sport I have ever seen. You have referees kicking players out of the game without a clear reason. And then you have players ineligible for future games based on relatively minor infraction.
Imagine this. What is Shaquille O'Neal was ineligible to play in Game 5 tomorrow because he fouled out of the game. (Don't even get me going on Jerry Stackhouse.)
The organizers on any sport should work to ensure that the best players, the stars of its sport, are eligible to play on the world's greatst stage. I'm not sure if this is true, but someone told me that in the last world cup, Germany's best player wasn't eligible to play in the world cup final.
Beyond the nature of the game which puts a huge amount of the result under the capricious whimsy of the referee, what really irks me is that not even the announcers understand what is going on. For me, this is just a recipe for collusion and match fixture.
At this point I think the WWE has more credibility as a legitimate sporting even than the FIFA world cup.
Friday, June 16, 2006
However, as an anti-Tiger advocate, I am faced with a tought situation. If I criticize him, albeit deserved, then I am mean-spirited since I am hitting someone when he is down.
This is just like the entire Ann Coulter issue. Very few people dispute whether or not she is right about 9/11 widows. The issue is just something that shouldn't be said, at least publicly. Worse yet, in both cases, you can't retract what you said since it is true.
The hardest lies to take back are those that are true
... and no I am not talking about LC's breasts, but the latest reality show from MTV.
Got to love this show, its a break from rationale thought. Watch a group of privileged kids without any clue about life. LC's roommate, Heidi, who Bill Simmons calls the breakout star of the year, drops out of school after about 1/2 a day to take a job as an assistant with Bolthouse productions.
Oh, did i mentioned that Bolthouse productions is sponsoring the show? So anyway, Heidi is totally pumped about her new job, until her new boss tells her that she needs to come to work every day (gasp) and that she is expected to do actually work other than hang out with celebrities.She almost wants to quit since she thinks that liking envelopes is not what she though she signed up for. It amazes me how young people (even here in Chicago) think that they will be running the company on the first day.
LC is actually appears to be a somewhat sympathic character. She is the only person there who is taking her life seriously. She cares and wants to do well and feels overwhelmed by her Teen vogue job and school.Unlike my super sweet 16 and laguna, she is a reality character you actually want to see succeed.
One of my favorite blog post which I will repeat here. Also to see if anyone reads this...
Stolen from Kate
First, recommend to me:
A) A Movie
B) A Book
C) A City to visit
Then: Ask me three questions ... anything you want ... don't be shy ... and I will answer in the comments section.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Her word choice is appalling, irrational, and indefensible.
By now you have heard that in her new book, within a chapter titled "Liberals' Doctrine of Infallibility: Sobbing Hysterical Women", Coulter argues that certain Democrat messengers get a free ride because of their tragic backgrounds. Four vocal 9/11 widows are her best evidence. Her view that anyone who chooses to enter the fray themselves is open to criticism - regardless of their circumstance - is itself fair comment. Too bad she didn't leave it at that, and keep the dialogue respectful. But that's just not the way she earns a living.
She wrote that Kristen Brietweiser is a "scold", and "Miss Va-Va Voom of 1968". She referred to the four women as "weeping widows", and the "Witches of East Brunswick". She had the indecency to ask "how do we know their husband's weren't planning to divorce these harpies?", and wondered "now that their shelf life is dwindling, they'd better hurry up and appear in Playboy."
Bill O'Reilly got it right when he said that "a no-spin rule is that you don't justify bad behavior by pointing to other bad behavior." On the Factor, he said that one can easily get the impression that Coulter enjoys the personal attack "but once you get down to that level, you often lose the point".
That is exactly what occurred here. Too bad. Lost in the controversy she created to sell books are some otherwise salient, albeit less salacious points made by Coulter on such subjects as operation Able Danger.
Now, in the midst of her predictable vilification from the left, it is time for Coulter to be criticized from the right.
With an already difficult November just a summer away, Republicans should rush to confront Coulter's comments rather than run the risk that anyone would associate her views with them. She's a Fox fixture, who some may perceive as the personification of red states and Republican policy. But that's not the case. And that perception is dangerous. Whatever advantage comes from having Coulter ignite a fringe base is far outweighed by the way she will be properly perceived as damaged goods in anything other than small circles.
So far, nationally, the GOP has missed the boat. Last week, while Coulter's foibles filled the airwaves, the Republicans were busy grandstanding on gay rights, the death tax and flag burning. Don't get me wrong, each is worthy of an up-and-down vote, but lost in this pure political theatre designed to give GOP candidates the opportunity to trumpet select issues was the damage being done by Coulter who did not face an equally orchestrated Republican response.
Maybe that can change, beginning right here.
I've found that when asked, Republican office holders are willing to condemn Coulter. And I am talking about individuals involved in the hottest races in the country: Senator Santorum, and Congressmen Weldon, Gerlach and Fitzpatrick.
A day after Coulter appeared on Today with Matt Lauer, I spoke with Senator Santorum. I told him I was appalled by her comments and asked if he was?
"Probably more then you are. I mean this is ridiculous. I mean Ann is what? Ann is someone who is out there trying to sell books and, you know appeal to a certain audience and I guess she's doing it," Santorum replied.
I asked if he was in the audience to which she's appealing?
"No, no, I don't consider myself, I'm not a part of that audience at all that's really on the edge as far as I'm concerned, maybe over the edge."
Over the edge indeed.
When Congressman Curt Weldon was equally critical of what she'd written, I told him that I was happy to hear that she was not speaking for his brand of Republican.
"No. I think that is obscene, I mean to take to somebody in their darkest hour of grief and try to say that somehow they're personally benefiting from that is just plain wrong, and while I generally support her I think she stepped way, way over the bounds on this one," said Weldon.
Ditto for Congressman James Gerlach.
"I am most saddened and disheartened by Ann Coulter's hateful statements concerning these widows. Regardless of their views on any political or policy issue, they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and my heart continues to go out to them and all of the families of the 9/11 victims for their tragic loss."
And is she speaking for Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick?
"No she's not, that's unfortunate as well, certainly doesn't speak for me there."
Santorum, Weldon, Gerlach, and Fitzpatrick.
But it was a hero from Arizona, Senator John McCain, who best articulated to me why we as Americans, not necessarily as Republicans, need to respond to Ann Coulter:
"We need to be more respectful of the views of others who disagree with us. I've been giving a series of Commencement speeches. The day before yesterday at Ohio State University, it was wonderful, there were 47,000 people there and the subject of my speech was that we should have vigorous debate and dialogue but we're not enemies. The enemy is out there in Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and the people that want to destroy us."
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Saturday, June 10, 2006
In related news, a partner was recently fired for the turnover in Deloitte. Apparently, the last 25 people who left (all int he past 2 years from a 35 person group) named him as a reason. Gee, I wonder why the first 24 to leave wasn't a good sign.
In other news, Franco Turrinelli from William Blair has had yet another analyst quit on him. I wonder if he will need to go through 20 more before William Blair fires him or maybe they will be a bit more pro-active. Hopefully, they realize that having a senior analyst insult and demean his staff on a daily basis is not good for business.