Open Thread

Ok guys, how about you move the off-topic discussion here,. please.

Comments

  1. #1 nanny_govt_sucks
    August 10, 2007

    DOS attack at CA? Optical fiber cut to SurfaceStations.org? Is it paranoia or just Rush Limbaughs big fat mouth? More: http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/climate_audit_down.html

  2. #2 ben
    August 10, 2007

    Oooh ooh! Me first!

    http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=8383

    So 1934 was the warmest year on record, and five of the ten warmest years on record were before WWII. According to, you know, NASA.

  3. #3 ben
    August 10, 2007

    Well, that was quick. Never mind post #2 above. Here’s something more interesting for an open thread: Democrats fudge democracy:

    The House of Representatives almost turned into the Fight Club Thursday
    night, when Democrats ruled that a GOP motion had failed even though,
    when the gavel fell, the electronic score board showed it winning
    215-213 along with the word FINAL. The presiding officer, Rep. Mike
    McNulty (D., N.Y.), actually spoke over the clerk who was trying to
    announce the result.

    In the ensuing confusion several members changed their votes and the GOP
    measure to deny illegal aliens benefits such as food stamps then trailed
    212-216. Boiling-mad Republicans stormed off the floor. The next day,
    their fury increased when they learned electronic records of the vote
    had disappeared from the House’s voting system.

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi made matters worse when she told reporters, “There
    was no mistake made last night.” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer had to
    rescue her by acknowledging that, while he thought no wrongdoing had
    occurred, the minority party was “understandably angry.” Under pressure,
    the House unanimously agreed to create a select committee, with subpoena
    powers, to investigate Republican charges the vote had been “stolen.

    Seems bad to me. The repubs would have been crucified in the media for
    doing that, but barely a whimper from Jeff’s “establishment media” when the dems do it.

  4. #4 ben
    August 10, 2007

    Argh! Where did I learn to use the “blockquote” tag.

  5. #5 dhogaza
    August 10, 2007

    Argh! Where did I learn to use the “blockquote” tag.

    The same place you learned the lower 48 states are the “G” in “AGW”???

    Just guessing.

  6. #6 ben
    August 10, 2007

    Way to side-step the issue, dhogaza. Lame.

  7. #7 Lee
    August 10, 2007

    As long as we’re going off topic to political process, ben, how about Stevens (R, Alaska) changing a budget bill to move money from one project to another, just day after he received a $50,000 donation from the beneficiary of the budget change. Better yet, that he substantively changed the bill AFTER the house and senate had passed it, during a process that allows typos and punctuation errors to be corrected, but that explicitly does not allow substantive change, and then allowed it to be sent to Bush for signature without congressional reconsideration.

    IOW, Stevens changed the wording of a passed bill, after passage, in away the benefited a recent major political ally. And Bush then signed a bill that included provisions that had never been voted on by Congress.

    Don’t we have a word for constitutional officers who intentionally subvert the constitution?

  8. #8 JohnP
    August 10, 2007

    So 1934 was the warmest year on record, and five of the ten warmest years on record were before WWII. According to, you know, NASA.

    Those temperature data are for the lower 48 states. We’re talking at most a 1-2% effect on global temperature. The graph of the corrected data is here.
    The GISTEMP website has many graphs. Damn, it looks like the globe is still warming.

  9. #9 bug_girl
    August 10, 2007

    I have a long review of the DDT paper touted in a recent AFM press release here:
    http://membracid.wordpress.com/2007/08/09/an-odd-email-campaign-by-africa-fighting-malaria/

    Also, Beck is completely loosing it at over at his blog. He just advocated “caring lefties” be thrown out of cars at 100 miles per hr, and devoted multiple posts to Ed and my’s writing about DDT.
    I can almost see the spittle on the screen….
    http://rwdb.blogspot.com/

  10. #10 Lee
    August 10, 2007

    The correction for the 48 US states was 0.15C.
    The 4 US states are about 2% of the planet’s surface.
    0.15 x .02 = 0.003.

    The impact of this correction on Global temp anomaly values is 0.003C, out of a total global increase over the last century of 0.8 – 1.1 C, depending on method.

    Now, that right there is some powerful overturning of existing paradigms. Simply a stunning reversal of what we thought we knew. Yup. Sure ’nuff is.
    /sarcasm

  11. #11 ben
    August 10, 2007

    “As long as we’re going off topic to political process, ben, how about Stevens (R, Alaska) changing a budget bill to move money from one project to another, just day after he received a $50,000 donation from the beneficiary of the budget change.”

    Fine, how about Carolyn McCarthy (D, California) funneling MILLIONS in pork to her husband’s company?

    Many in congress are scum. I’m talking about the entire dem house, not just one guy.

    “Don’t we have a word for constitutional officers who intentionally subvert the constitution?”

    Yes we do, and they should all be held accountable… preferably with baseball bats and angry constituents.

  12. #12 Ian Gould
    August 11, 2007

    “…the GOP measure to deny illegal aliens benefits such as food stamps…”

    Don’t you mean “The GOP measure to stop all funding for the Department of Agriculture approximately 0.001% of which goes to assist itinerant farm workers regardless of whether they’re illegal immigrants or not”?

  13. #13 Ian Gould
    August 11, 2007

    “Don’t we have a word for constitutional officers who intentionally subvert the constitution?’

    Republicans?

    Meanwhile I see libertarian foe of big government Ron Paul was responsible for $400 million worth of earmark porkbarreling in the last year.

  14. #14 Ian Gould
    August 11, 2007

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003821171_cong04.html

    In case anyone is wondering what the above back-and-forth over agriculture was about.

    The Republicans wanted to add a provision to the farm spending bill prohibiting illegal immigrants from getting food stamps (which is already illegal).

    Or at least that was the excuse they used to try and send the entire spending bill back to committee.

    This is the entire Republican strategy at the moment – to obstruct every significant piece of legislation in the hope that the Democratic majority will be blamed.

  15. #15 Ian Gould
    August 11, 2007

    Forgot the link:

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003821171_cong04.html

    “GOP lawmakers had marched out of the House chamber about 11 p.m. Thursday, shouting “shame, shame” and saying Democrats had “stolen” a vote on a parliamentary motion to pull an agriculture spending bill off the floor until it incorporated an explicit denial of federal benefits to illegal immigrants. The bill already would deny such benefits to illegal immigrants, and Democrats stressed that they won the vote fair and square.”

  16. #16 TCO
    August 11, 2007

    I protest the banning of a commenter who was not spamming, not abusive, but persisted in a disagreement with the host. I don’t know if the commenter was right or wrong on the merits. But banning was wrong, regardless. It’s not JUST that this is as bad as Steve McIntyre behaviour. It’s that when you do this, you set a bad example for him to emulate!

  17. #17 Lee
    August 11, 2007

    TCO, I don’t like it either, any more than I like McIntyre’s behavior. But the fact is that oconnellc was explicitly accusing Lambert of dishonesty for exaggerating the scale of a graph of a data set, accusing Lambert of trying to minimize the trend of the data by choosing too large a scale. In fact, the chosen scale just encompassed the data being presented.

    oconnellc repeatedly refused to address specifics of why that was not a problem with that data. There is a point at which such behavior dos become just trolling, and I think there is a need to dispute your characterization that oconnellc was not spamming or abusive.

  18. #18 TCO
    August 11, 2007

    Maybe that’s what Occonnelc really thinks is true. Even mistakenly thinks is true. I just don’t think that someone should be banned for that. I have accused Steve of dishonesty for conflating (de)centering with standard deviation dividing. If the claim is wrong, then let it stand and readers evaluate on their own.

  19. #19 luminous beauty
    August 11, 2007

    TCO,

    oconnellc was banned for 24 hrs. That’s a reasonable cooling off period. The guy was stumbling all over himself on a variety of non-sequiturs and starting to quack badly. Maybe he’ll think things over a bit and come back with his reason restored. Maybe he’ll hold a grudge. Who knows?

    Bottom line, it’s Tim’s blog.

  20. #20 TCO
    August 11, 2007

    Let him stumble. And let us judge him off of that. As it is, it is way too easy for Tim too control those he disagrees with.

  21. #21 nanny_govt_sucks
    August 11, 2007

    Meanwhile I see libertarian foe of big government Ron Paul was responsible for $400 million worth of earmark porkbarreling in the last year.

    Well, this is “earmarking”, not spending per se. Once the spending has been approved (over libertarian objections) how should a libertarian decide how to earmark the funds? Personally, I’d want to convert the funds in to small bills and drop them out of an airplane, blanketing my district, but I don’t think such a program would win approval. It appears Paul earmarked much for infrastructure improvements in his district. More: http://www.johntant.com/tx.14.paul.pdf

  22. #22 ben
    August 12, 2007

    “Don’t we have a word for constitutional officers who intentionally subvert the constitution?’

    Republicans?

    Right. Last time I checked it was the Democrats who are constantly trying to subvert the Second Amendment. Like it or not, it’s part of the constitution.

  23. #23 cooler
    August 12, 2007

    Its a saturday, are you bored? Then cuddle up with the family and watch some free movies.

    Loose change/ 9/11 coverup film, most watched film ever on the internet

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929448192753501

    Hiv fact or fraud, Learn from Duesberg and his pals in this Documentary, you can learn more and be able to refute him and his pals better, or agree with him
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5064591712431946916

  24. #24 cooler
    August 12, 2007

    Mycoplasma incognitus may play a role in some AIDS cases and many other illnesses Like CFS etc. Every animal Dr. shyh ching lo, the armys highest ranking scientist, injected with it died, he found it in AIDS patients etc and not in healthy controls. The animals tha died only had a weak antibody response when near death, so PCR is the way to detect this microbe, not antibody testing. Here’s a summary of Lo’s peer reviewed work.

    http://www.aegis.com/pubs/atn/1990/ATN09501.html

    Dr.Garth nicolson has found this Bug in CFS/gulf war syndrome, and it appears to have been part of the bioweapons program, 5 of his collegues were killed and they tried to kill him to when he found it in the blood of sick Gulf war one vets, he developed confidential sources within the pentagon that revealed it was part of the bioweapons program and wrote a book called Project Day Lily that is darn scary and good, you can read chapter one for free.

    http://www.projectdaylily.com/

  25. #25 Tyler DiPietro
    August 12, 2007

    My god cooler, you’re a 9/11 conspiracy crank too? Is there any crackpot notion out there that you don’t endorse?

  26. #26 cooler
    August 12, 2007

    Ive already got the facts on my side,99% of planes dont dissapear, while terrorists passports and bandana’s survive, like in shankesville, buildings have never collapsed due to fire/damage, so its hard to believe that all 90 columns of building 7 weakened at the same time, at several different levels throughout building 7, I dont accept the fatty bin laden tape as evince for the OCT. Strange how they don’t release the 80 cameras at the Pentagon, dont you think fatty?

    I find it strange that Cheney tried to block the 9/11 commisssion and totally forgot about Bin Laden for several years. This guys supposedly killed 3,000 people and the Bush administration totally forgeot about him! LOL Youre a big fat nut to ignore evidence like that.

    You are the big fat crank to mindlessly believe everything the government tells you.

  27. #27 Boris
    August 12, 2007

    Wow, a 911truther using “mindlessly” to describe someone else.

  28. #28 ben
    August 12, 2007

    It’s nice to see troophers not getting any play here. That would be a deal breaker.

  29. #29 Tyler DiPietro
    August 12, 2007

    Shorter cooler: There are leprechauns where I live, and gunships that fly in the air! WHEEE!!!

  30. #30 cooler
    August 13, 2007

    A good invesigator does not dismiss theories out of hand, especially when many conspiracies in the past were able to take place because no one could beleive their government could do such a thing, Like in Germany and Russia, and the lack of a serious investigation helped them occur.

    Especially if there is precedent and motive a good investigator investigates leads, and only after can claim that certain leads are unrealistic, the 9/11 commission never even invesigated the lead that 9/11 was a false flag event, when it could have proven/falsified the “inside job” hypothesis by demanding the release of footage from the 80 cameras, interviewing witnesses under oath etc.

    There surely is precedent and motive, all you have to do is read the declassified “Operation Northwoods” document, a plan to kill americans and blame it On Cuba to start a war, not to mention all the much larger conspiracies in history such as the Holocaust that seemed unbeleivable to most ordinary Germans, and would have been dismissed as a “crazy” conspiracy theory.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods

  31. #31 ben
    August 13, 2007

    Cooler, the idea that the twin towers were blown up by pre-placed explosives is ridiculous. Why did the second tower hit fall down first? Because it was hit further down and so had more weight bearing on the steel structure that was weekened by the burning jet fuel and office supplies than the tower that was hit first, but higher up.

    Why did both towers start to collapse at the point of impact of the airplanes? Because, well, duh. How would the conspirators have known where to pre-place the explosives? Are you trying to claim that the ENTIRE building was pre-, and independently, -wired with explosives so that the conspirators could detonate at precisely the point of impact of the planes? The 9-11 conspiracy theories are laughable.

    Just to change the topic once more, I’d espeically like to see Jeff Harvey’s reaction to this.

  32. #32 Tyler DiPietro
    August 13, 2007

    Cooler, Operation Northwoods was a plan to fake civilian deaths and stage funerals. And furthermore, it was rejected by the state department. Are we supposed to accept that the state department rejects a crazy plan to fake civilian deaths as evidence that they’re capable of faking the most devastating terrorist in history?

    And if you don’t think loony ideas occasionally fall through the cracks of the Pentagon, I got four you: Big Gay Love Bomb.

  33. #33 Tyler DiPietro
    August 13, 2007

    “[F]our words for you.” Sorry.

  34. #34 cooler
    August 13, 2007

    Youre lying again, one of the proposals was to wage a terror campaign In America, not to mention all the people that would die in the subsequent war.

    Saying it wasnt carried out is like saying if a childs parent put plans on paper to kill thier son, decided against it, and then the son mysteriously died years later. This is not supposed to raise any flags?

    Ben,
    The explosive theory can easily explain the evidence.

    -the simultanoues failure of all the columns (how could fire weaken them all at the same time?)

    -the huge explosion the janitor and several other witnesses heard and felt before the first plane impact

    -What happened to the tops of the towers (above impact zone), how did they disintergrate? explosives are the only/easiest explanation.

    -how did 80 floors of cold steel superstructure provide very little resistance?, if you dropped a 15 story building through air it would have fell to the ground at almost the same time as if you dropped on a 80 story building according to the official theory. Explosives can easily resolve this paradox.

    -many people like Scott Forbes and Willaim rodriguez noted many unprecedented power downs before the collapse, im sure ther are others who are to afraid to speak out.

    -experts have a tendancy to support the States propaganda, like they did in Russia and Germany. This stuff is high school science anyways. Many experts have questioned the collapse anoynomously, and many more have come out. (Architects and engineers for truth)

    See Loose change, 9/11 coverup film

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929448192753501

  35. #35 cooler
    August 13, 2007

    keep in mind fire/damage has never caused a building to collapse…………..

  36. #36 ben
    August 13, 2007

    keep in mind fire/damage has never caused a building to collapse

    keep in mind also that a building has never been on fire fueled by jet fuel before either.

    how did 80 floors of cold steel superstructure provide very little resistance?, if you dropped a 15 story building through air it would have fell to the ground at almost the same time as if you dropped on a 80 story building according to the official theory. Explosives can easily resolve this paradox.

    have you never watched a controlled demolition of a building before? Same thing.

    the simultanoues failure of all the columns (how could fire weaken them all at the same time?)

    Er, on account of the fire was pretty well spread throughout the entire floor. If you noticed, the upper part of the buildings do not start to fall straight down, but tilt a smidge to the side that is weakest. Once what appears (but is in reality not) a small movement starts, the “stronger” less fire damaged parts of the same floors cannot support the added weight that is no longer being supported by the failed sections. So the whole thing goes down, just like the 8 bricks a Karate expert can punch through. No longer are the lower floors supporting only the weight of the floors above, but now the there is an impulsive force of the upper floors impacting the lower floors which they were never designed to withstand.

    I’m not an expert in civil engineering, but I’m enough of an expert in mechanical engineering to know that the “loose change” video is full of crap. Have you bothered to watch the debunking of “loose change”?

    http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/

  37. #37 Dennis Williams
    August 14, 2007

    lol…check out the truther guy (btw…where is NIST’s final report on WTC7?…it was supposed to come out in “spring” ’07…further evidence of a conspiracy I suppose)

    Tim, TCO has it right, your position on the graph is more tenable, however I don’t think oconnellc is being deceitful, just wrong. Perhaps you should follow Gavin’s lead and adopt a more “fatherly” style.

  38. #38 cooler
    August 14, 2007

    I suggest you all read Dr. David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 debunking, get some real science in your lives, not eternal woo.

    Nist exclude the hypothesis thst would easiest explanation for building 7′s collapse, explosives, thats why it’s taking so long, Even the lead invesigator Dr. Sunder admitted he didn’t know why the building collapsed and had trouble getting a handle on it in 2006.

    Any other hypothesis would have to include that somehow the columns underneath the east penthouse failed first( even though the were on the other side of the towers), which then led to all 90 columns failing at the same time in several places throughout the building, so all 90 columns failed on floor 5 at the same time, then floor 10, then floor 15 etc,so the building fell straight down in a rapid and near symetrical fashion. Somehow Damage and fires did this, even though this convoluted chain reaction has never occured before in history, and has only happened in controlled implosions.

    YOu have to be a total woo to accept the OCT.

  39. #39 cooler
    August 14, 2007

    “Nist excluded the hypothesis that would be the easiest” (Sic) above

  40. #40 cooler
    August 14, 2007

    9/11 conspiracies are for those with the big heart, and open minds that can think indepenently.

  41. #41 Boris
    August 15, 2007

    “I suggest you all read Dr. David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 debunking, get some real science in your lives, not eternal woo.”

    This sounds interesting. What’s Dr. Griffin’s PhD in? Structural engineering? Physics? Hold on, I’ll google real quick….

    Philospohical theology? Real science, huh?

  42. #42 Tyler DiPietro
    August 15, 2007

    “Saying it wasnt carried out is like saying if a childs parent put plans on paper to kill thier son, decided against it, and then the son mysteriously died years later. This is not supposed to raise any flags?”

    It raises red flags, but not the kind you want it to. We all know the Pentagon’s history of tossing around loony ideas (psychics, remote viewing, big gay love bomb, etc.). It means that those working for the CIA occasionally have stupid ideas.

    BTW, I didn’t lie about anything. The staging of a “terror campaign” itself involved “real or simulated attacks” and was proposed to be carried out in Havanna, not the continental U.S. Furthermore, it was one of several proposals, all others involving fakes deaths, in a plan that was rejected by the State department. (In case you are unfamiliar with American civil institutions, our government doesn’t work entirely in unision, there are layers and layers of bureaucracy).

    “keep in mind fire/damage has never caused a building to collapse…………..”

    Wrong. The McCormack Center in Chicago and the Sight and Sound Theater in Pennsylvania both collapsed due to fire. This claim alone reveals that you have done no research aside from reading conspiracist websites.

    “Nist exclude the hypothesis thst would easiest explanation for building 7′s collapse, explosives…”

    And exactly why is this the explanation that best “explains” it? A demolition has several visual indicators that were not present when building seven collapsed (for instance, top to bottom explosions when explosives are detonated, and squibs appearing prior to collapse). I also haven’t seen you mention the inconvenient fact that WTC7 had a 20 story gash in it’s SW corner.

  43. #43 Tyler DiPietro
    August 15, 2007

    “The staging of a “terror campaign” itself involved “real or simulated attacks” and was proposed to be carried out in Havanna, not the continental U.S.”

    Okay, I see that Miami was also proposed along with several places, so I should correct my statement. But my point still stands: Operation Northwoods was ultimately rejected, and all proposals outside of this particular one involved faking civilian deaths through blowing unmanned drone vehicles or ships.

  44. #44 Tyler DiPietro
    August 15, 2007

    Okay, my apologies to cooler, but I got more details wrong or mangled:

    1. The attacks in Havana were actually aimed at Guantanamo Bay, and were separated from attacks on “friendly Cubans” in the aforementioned plan.

    2. The blowing up of a ship in Guantanamo Bay involved both lethal and non-lethal versions, the former of which involved actual Naval servicemen being killed.

    It is indeed reprehensible that such a plan was even being considered, but I still stand by my original point that it doesn’t prove anything about 9/11 since it was A.) rejected by the state department and the White House and B.) is one of many crazy and infeasible ideas the CIA has toyed with.

  45. #45 s
    August 15, 2007

    i think we should move this off-topic school discussion to the open thread
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/08/open_thread_1.php#commentsArea
    and i will start by crossposting this reply there.

    Well, I guess I can’t argue with that. Without any citation, it is difficult to know what you are considering when you say that it “explains” it. For example, it may be that children with disabilities are routinely sent to public schools as a matter of course. Educating these children certainly takes more money. However, I’m not sure what this has to do with dhogaza’s original statement. My goodness, you can do a google search and find lots of this research. You could spend days and days arguing it and discussing it. Of course, that might get in the way with the original statement of:

    you made the claim, that puplic schools are inefficient. he claimed that you don t have the data to back this up.
    you need to back it up, before you can call him a liar. (even then, it would be a weak claim).

    the problem: you did not provide any data, that shows that a private school system would be more efficient.

    the data you provided, does not control for a peer effect
    http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0276-8739(200024)19%3A1%3C75%3APEIPAP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-S

    nor for selectivity Bias
    http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0735-0015%28198501%293%3A1%3C23%3ACPAPST%3E2.0.CO%3B2-N&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage

    public school teachers earn more money? could be linked to the violence they have to endure
    Private school teachers were less likely than teachers in other sectors to report being threatened with injury in the past 12 months. Among private school teachers, 3.9 percent reported injury threats, compared with 9.6 percent of traditional public school teachers. Teachers in public charter schools (10.8 percent) and BIA schools (12.6 percent) were most likely to report being threatened with injury.
    http://nces.ed.gov/programs/quarterly/vol_4/4_3/2_1.asp
    and salaries were highest in … Alaska!

    at the end, to proof your efficiency claim, you d even have to destroy this idea:
    Local Public Schools Are a Local Public Good
    http://www.investintexasschools.org/legislative/current/files/2004/april/economic_case.pdf

    the ultimate coparison would be, between a country with ONLY private schools and a public school system. good luck.

  46. #46 mgr
    August 16, 2007

    S:good save of my mangled post.

    I found two interesting articles that elaborate on your points:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0JSD/is_7_54/ai_77196329/pg_1

    This one discusses the differences in comparing catholic parochial schools (private) to public schools.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_22_37/ai_72960621/pg_1

    The second makes the effort to compare public schools with Catholic parochial schools in Washington. It pretty much explodes the fiscal efficiency that was touted by oconnellc, the expenditure per pupil is narrowed once the correct strata of public education is isolated, and hidden services in that cost are factored out. With the remainder, all one needs to do is factor in work days that are in services/training for public sector teachers to make the comparable public expenditure less that the parochial.

    Additionally, what should be pointed out with the link oconnellc provided is that it is well known that private schools outperform public in when grossly compared for decades. What I was getting at was the no statistical difference for fourth grade reading suggests is that disparity is beginning to evaporate.

    Mike

  47. #47 oconnellc
    August 16, 2007

    Mike, you said this:
    > 2.) The report states that the difference is not statistically significant.

    > But I wonder what this says about you?

    And then you said that what you meant by not statistically significant was:
    > What I was getting at was the no statistical difference for fourth grade reading suggests is that disparity is beginning to evaporate.

    You did a good job obfuscating what you were really getting at. It certainly sounded like you were saying that there was no statistical difference. Now it sounds like you are really saying is that there is a statistical difference, but it may be less by some unstated amount than some difference some unknown time in the past.

    What point were you trying to make with this, then:
    > But I wonder what this says about you?

  48. #48 oconnellc
    August 17, 2007

    Mike, regarding your first FA reference. I got to the part where it said that Catholic schools are tuition driven. I stopped there. It doesn’t cite anything specific for this. My first thought was that article that SG referred to on the other thread that talked about how some private schools only got 40% of their fees from tuition. My own experience attending a catholic school and what is happening to the catholic schools in my home town. When I attended catholic school, the great majority of the expense came not from tuition, but from weekly tithing by members of the parish. Tuition covered only a tiny % of the expense. My high school tuition was subsidized by mandatory contributions that each parish in the archdiocese was required to make. In my hometown, the individual catholic schools are being forced to consolidate because the archdiocese has decided it cannot support the expense of multiple schools anymore.

    The second article is interesting. One thing I have a problem with though is that it states that the cost of administration should not be considered (the local office costing ~$700/student). I disagree. If the money is being spent, why not consider it? I don’t have the option to get that part of my property taxes back. The local districts must think that the money is required to maintain the district. If it isn’t, then don’t spend it. It also didn’t think that the cost of food service should be considered. I guess I would want a good reason to know why that shouldn’t. When I attended private school, I ate hot lunch. My parents had to pay for a lunch ticket for me. Perhaps it shouldn’t be considered, but I wouldn’t consider this article a good argument for that.

    And I don’t understand this at all:
    > With the remainder, all one needs to do is factor in work days that are in services/training for public sector teachers to make the comparable public expenditure less that the parochial.

    I seem to remember that we had ‘in service’ days when I was in grade school as well. I recall that my educational requirements were set by the local public school district and that I had to attend as many days of school as children who attended a public school. I googled and I couldn’t find anything about national averages. If anyone found anything that compared attendance requirements between the two, I would think it would be interesting.

  49. #49 oconnellc
    August 17, 2007

    s, I’m not sure I understand why you say that the article I cited didn’t account for peer affects. I could only read the abstract of your first article. It seems to imply that there is a peer affect. Ok. I believe that. The article I cited lists 9 student level variables that are accounted for. It also lists 13 school variables that include student specific things like student mobility, race, eligibility for reduced price lunches, student absenteeism. It sure looks like it is including peer effects. That paper was publised in 2000. The study I cited was written in 2003. Perhaps the authors of my study read your study?

    Your second paper stated that there is such a thing as a selectivity bias. I also agree with that. I could only read the first page of your paper (this conversation isn’t worth $14 to me). It said this:
    > In so doing, the article clarifies the assumptions underlying the increasingly popular two-step methods for controlling selectivity bias and highlights the hazards of using these methods when the assumptions are not satisfied.

    It also states that this article explains why two recent studies using the same data came up with different results. I couldn’t read what the assumptions were and what the hazards of using those methods were. I don’t see how the fact that a selectivity bias exists means that it can’t be accounted for. Without knowing what those assumptions were and how they should be handled, I don’t know if my study correctly dealt with them or no. It certainly doesn’t just follow that the existance of a paper published in 1985 in the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics invalidates a study published in 2003 by the Department of Education.

    I still feel confident that the first study I found after about 8 seconds of googling the subject meets the criteria of ‘any data’. I wonder what would happen if I really spent a lot of time on this.

  50. #50 oconnellc
    August 17, 2007

    s:
    > Local Public Schools Are a Local Public Good http://www.investintexasschools.org/legislative/current/files/2004/april/economic_case.pdf

    I don’t see why I would even bother to try to destroy that. Did you actually read the article. It makes no economic case. The preposition is that local public schools are good because they foster social capital. That is, the adult parents of the children get to know each other if their children attend school in a local area. The children are neighbors, so the parents meet and develop the social network.

    The article is entirely subjective and states as its only proof the fact that voters continually vote against vouchers. The only reason they would vote against vouchers is because vouchers would foster children attending schools further from their homes and so the adults vote the way they vote to prevent this and to maintain a high community level of social capital.

    This might be true, but the article doesn’t offer any proof other than the voting pattern. There are no estimates of the economic ‘value’ of the social capital and how this could be compared to the benefits of vouchers and how the social capital outweighs them. There is a nod to studies that show benefits of social capital, but no discussion of the losses that are associated with the local public schools. He continually states that if given the opportunity, parents would take their vouchers and send their children to private schools. But the author at the same time argues that those same people are still voting against the vouchers. I couldn’t find anything that explains that inconsistency.

    Sorry, but I’m not sure it is even possible to destroy that idea, since it doesn’t seem to offer any provable facts to destroy.

  51. #51 dhogaza
    August 17, 2007

    One thing I have a problem with though is that it states that the cost of administration should not be considered (the local office costing ~$700/student). I disagree. If the money is being spent, why not consider it?

    What would you compare that figure with? Does your local archdiocese, for instance, document true administrative costs for running a school system?

  52. #52 oconnellc
    August 17, 2007

    > What would you compare that figure with? Does your local archdiocese, for instance, document true administrative costs for running a school system?

    I don’t know. That doesn’t mean I would assume that it has been withheld and that it is some large non-zero number that I can’t find out. What is the reasoning behind assuming that that cost, apart from others, has not been considered when coming up with the total private school cost?

  53. #53 cooler
    August 18, 2007

    “I suggest you all read Dr. David Ray Griffin’s Debunking 9/11 debunking, get some real science in your lives, not eternal woo.”

    This sounds interesting. What’s Dr. Griffin’s PhD in? Structural engineering? Physics? Hold on, I’ll google real quick….

    Philospohical theology? Real science, huh?”

    Hes a brilliant guy, who can defeat anybody in a debate (its high school science)…………….if he does not make you happy, here are over a hundered practicing architects/engineers from the Bay Area who formed a group saying the building’s were imploded
    http://www.ae911truth.org/

    See Loose change most watched movie ever on the internet/9/11 coverup
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929448192753501

  54. #54 cooler
    August 19, 2007

    Anyone check out the architects for truth site, what do you think, any rebutalls, or is anybody compelled?

  55. #55 z
    August 19, 2007

    OT scientific illiteracy

    So… last night on the Sci-Fi channel on US cable tv is a disaster movie; in this case the disaster is that solar coronal mass ejections which have suddenly increased are going to ignite the methane in the atmosphere. Lots of fulminating about how the atmosphere is oxygen and nitrogen, plus about 2% other gases; well, that has recently increased to 5% other gases, and the difference is all methane, and that’s enough methane for the CMEs to ignite and that will eliminate all the oxygen in the atmosphere and all life on earth will cease. And; the only thing protecting us from the CME thus far has been…. the ozone layer, which now has holes in it.

    Sigh.

  56. #56 mgr
    August 20, 2007

    oconnellc said

    “Mike, regarding your first FA reference. I got to the part where it said that Catholic schools are tuition driven. I stopped there. It doesn’t cite anything specific for this.”

    Since it is from a Catholic press, I would not think that the author would need to since he runs a catholic school.

    “Mike, you said this:

    ’2.) The report states that the difference is not statistically significant.

    But I wonder what this says about you?’”

    Selective quoting will get you nowhere. I was pressed for time at work, and lost the second bullet, wrote it quickly and posted. If you have a problem with this, oh well.

    The problem with the study is best addressed from the first bullet which you did not cite, that addresses the failure of the study to provide any true measure of achievement, as it lacked any metric for previous performance of private and public school students. All it measures is the disparity between private and public student performance, which is trivial, given the selectivity private schools enjoy.

    The point is that the result that jumps out, and is counter intuitive is that public schools are closing the gap given the 4th grade reading scores. This undermines the argument that private schools outperform public, which is part of your efficiency argument.

    The article from Seattle undermines the second, that they are more cost effective.

    And, just why is it that a Catholic paper comes out trying to clarify their operations? Could it be that they do not seek state interference if there is federal money involved?

    If you factor out the Catholic schools from the private schools that a voucher program is supposed to get one into, and I would hazard a guess that the private school performance would not be so sterling.

    “And I don’t understand this at all:

    With the remainder, all one needs to do is factor in work days that are in services/training for public sector teachers to make the comparable public expenditure less that the parochial.

    I seem to remember that we had ‘in service’ days when I was in grade school as well. I recall that my educational requirements were set by the local public school district and that I had to attend as many days of school as children who attended a public school. I googled and I couldn’t find anything about national averages. If anyone found anything that compared attendance requirements between the two, I would think it would be interesting.”

    And so you do not know that all your catholic school (through out your education, not just primary school) instructors were also paid to attend conferences, local universities, etc.?

    Mike

  57. #57 oconnellc
    August 29, 2007

    Mike, I know it is now more than a week later, but I hope you will bear with me…

    I asked you to explain what you meant when you made the statement:
    > But I wonder what this says about you?

    What did you mean?

    You also just said that I selectively quoted you. Huh? I quoted your entire line? You had one line summarizing the performance as this:
    > 2.) The report states that the difference is not statistically significant.

    How could quoting that line be ‘selective quoting’? That was the only line. I quoted all of it. Why accuse me of selective quoting? I mean, do you have so little idea of what point you are making that it boils down to making comments about my actions and motives?

    You said this:
    > If you factor out the Catholic schools from the private schools that a voucher program is supposed to get one into, and I would hazard a guess that the private school performance would not be so sterling.

    That DOE report I cited said that all private schools performed roughly the same, except for Conservative Christian schools (which actually performed a little worse than other private schools. which put them just below the level of the public schools), and Catholic schools (which performed worse than other private schools, but as well as public schools.). Do you have any reason for hazarding that guess?

    > The point is that the result that jumps out, and is counter intuitive is that public schools are closing the gap given the 4th grade reading scores. This undermines the argument that private schools outperform public, which is part of your efficiency argument.

    I don’t see how the single data point shows that they are closing the gap. Is there some number in the past that you are comparing it to? Please cite it? Are you saying that there is some trend showing 4th grade performance? What is it? Do you know that in that quote, you state that public schools are closing the gap and that the argument that private outperforms public is undermined. Well, which is it? Is their a gap that is being closed (of some unknown size being closed at some unknown rate) or is their no gap?

    > Since it is from a Catholic press, I would not think that the author would need to since he runs a catholic school.

    Ok, great. That catholic school is not tuition driven. The author is arguing that the school is driven by other forces. What is the difference? The point was the cost it took to achieve a specific result. If catholic schools (which I showed above, is actually one of the worst performing of private schools, so hardly one that seems to merit the attention of your arguments) are driven by other forces to achieve their results, maybe we should figure out a way to get public schools driven by the same forces?

    And you state this:
    > And so you do not know that all your catholic school (through out your education, not just primary school) instructors were also paid to attend conferences, local universities, etc.?

    I still don’t understand that. Is there a cost that private schools have the public schools don’t? Or vice versa? Or is there some result achieved by one and not the other?

    Look at the discussion above. I am quoting a paper by the US Dept of Education that states that performance of 8th grade students in public schools is not as good as that of 8th grade students in private schools. And people are pulling out 15 year old studies that discuss how certain cohort groups must correctly be accounted for as proof that a 1 year old study doesn’t account for them.

    In fact, I found this study: http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/pepg/PDF/Papers/PEPG06-02-PetersonLlaudet.pdf

    That states that the original study actually incorrectly accounted for certain peer and school factors. After correctly accounting for them, the relative comparison of public schools is even *worse*.

    Read the second paper. It is actually kind of interesting (it seems obvious that you didn’t read the first). It does talk about the limitations of certain kinds of studies. I see no reason to disagree with them. However, compare this back to the original question, which was that there was no data to back up my claim of private vs. public eduction. That claim was made because the person who made the claim has no interest in ever citing a reference. So, it was easier to just make up something and then not address my point. What point are you arguing again?