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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

VT's Misplaced Focus

[12.15.11 - Bumped Again] 

From yesterday's comments, I received this:
Is Jerry ready to eliminate "community services" that VT is mandated to deliver like Extension services for manufacturing and agriculture?

Or how about the urban planning and design school's mandated community redevelopment assistance program?

VT produces more engineers in a year than the sum of the rest of the schools in the state system that offer engineering. The economic impact and job creation benefits of that ONE college make the investment worthwhile.

Keep picking on the smaller programs with small graduate numbers. They make nice fodder. Meanwhile, the rest of the campus will hum nicely along producing highly educated graduates who produce wealth and jobs.
To which I reply:
The "urban planning and design school's mandated community redevelopment assistance program" is a waste of time.

But the extension services that Virginia Tech provides to the agricultural and manufacturing industries - call them "community services" if you will - are the kinds of educational outreach programs that the school should involve itself in (besides those that traditionally occur "within the four walls."

Had VT's focus been more heavily devoted to the latter, we might still have a strong manufacturing base here in Southwest Virginia.  Instead, the textile and furniture businesses have all but died and gone overseas.

Look, I, along with everyone else here in the Commonwealth, am proud of Virginia Tech's engineering department (as well as its business school).  But too much of the university's emphasis (and most all of its leadership)  are not focused on engineering or business.  They are, instead, devoted to the bureaucracy (I invite you to justify the position of "vice president for Outreach and International Affairs" and the salary that goes with the worthless position of $204,668) and those trendy fields of endeavor that get accolades within the world of academe.

You guys offer American Indian studies, for God's sake.  In Virginia.

At a time when the country is teetering on the brink.

Stop it.

Be proud of the best-in-class polytechnical courses of study that Virginia Polytechnic provides.  But I would ask that you demand that your university gets back to its roots and focuses on polytechnical services and educational endeavors.
[Bumped again]

Here's where Virginia Tech should be placing ALL its emphasis in 2011 and beyond:

Skills gap hobbles US employers

The nut:
US companies that are growing say an unqualified workforce is already a significant barrier to hiring.

In a September poll of owners of fast-growing, privately held US companies undertaken by the non-profit Kauffman Foundation, the inability to find qualified workers was cited as the biggest obstacle to growth. Some 40 per cent of respondents said they were being held back by the skills gap, compared with just 13 per cent by lack of demand.
Meanwhile, too much of Virginia Tech's emphasis is on this.

"ASPECT: Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought"?

"Africana Studies"?

"American Indian Studies"?

"Women and Genders Studies"?

Yeah, degrees in any one of those will get a person a position with First Energy Corp..

It's time to quit jacking around and get serious about America's growing problems.

[Bumped from yesterday]

Here's something you probably didn't know.  Virginia Tech has one of the most highly regarded business schools in the USA.  It's called the Pamplin College of Business.  And well-deserving its reputation is.

I just wish those who administer that highly regarded school held more sway on the Virginia Tech campus than do the touchy-feely, muddleheaded, sickeningly turgid dead-enders who, in fact, control things do.

Speaking of whom ...
A Hokie Nation of servant leaders
By John Dooley, Virginia Tech's vice president for Outreach and International Affairs, writing in the Roanoke Times

The many images of Virginia Tech are striking: the HokieBird and Hokie Stone; the Drillfield and the Duck Pond; CHARLI the robot and a Corps of Cadets with a fantastically high commissioning rate. So many vivid pictures.

I would submit one image trumps all others for the Hokie Nation: of Hokies, around the globe, practicing a central value of service, as expressed in the motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) and consummated through the university's mission of engagement. It is this value that inspires and connects our faculty, staff, students and alumni to dedicate themselves to making differences in the lives of others and in communities.

Entering this special time of year, when so many in society reach out to others, calls to mind ... [link]
Sorry for the interruption.  I just puked.

The university's mission of engagement. Do-gooders dedicating themselves to making differences in the lives of others.

May God help us.

You want to know what makes a difference in the lives of human beings, dude?

Employment.

What some small minds have termed unenlightened self-interest.  Others greed.

(By the way, before we get too far into the subject of the values that inspire and connect the faculty, staff, students and alumni at VT, values that drive them toward making differences in the lives of others and in communities, it should be mentioned that the servant/author of this fatuous bit of nonsense makes a paltry $204,668 a year. A one percenter by anyone's standard.  I might take him seriously if he did his good deeds at the same rate as those savage and ungodly capitalists among us do.)

Me?  I'm big on self-interest.  And admit it.

But here's the deal: Over the years, I've hired hundreds - thousands if we include those hired by those I've hired - of people.  And paid them for services rendered.  I gave them an opportunity to prosper.  And to enrich the lives of their wives, husbands and children.  I created wealth.

Virginia Tech - too often - creates a cute little diploma.  A diploma that, admittedly, comes with a whole lot of self-esteem.  Which serves those well who are on the unemployment line, seeking work at Wal-Mart with advanced degrees in "making differences in the lives of others and in communities."

Gimme a break.  Seventeen percent of America is currently out of work.  Can we get past the bullshit about community service and get back to talking about freaking paychecks?

Here's to the Pamplin College of Business. May its members someday overthrow the university administration and bring some sense to its addlebrained campus.

- - -

UPDATE: A commenter remarked:
This is one of the dumbest posts ever on this site, and that's saying something.

VT's grads have made a huge difference in the commonwealth for over a century. I dare say that VT's grads have made, on average, a bigger impact on the state's economy than just about any other school out there due to the schools primary mission of educating engineers.
I really don't have an argument with any of that (except maybe the "dumbest" part). But it's not enough.

America - and Virginia - are facing a new paradigm. Millions upon millions of Americans are unemployed and millions more underemployed. Most of them long-term. And the government's response - Obama's response - Virginia Tech's response - is to provide more comfort to the oppressed and downtrodden. Ours is a society that covets our ability to care for the less fortunate. And that's suicidal.

Tell me this: Who does more for a poor person - Obama handing him a food stamp card or me handing him a paycheck?

We in this country are facing each day a growing problem with having to deal with an ever increasing number of food stamp recipients and a reduced number of employers.

Virginia Tech's response (at the highest level) (as opposed to the engineering department level)? We're here to help. To give to the community. To nurture. To comfort.

Please.

Be the premier university in the land in those areas where they will have the most impact on our economy and on the lives of America's least fortunate. Business (yes, and engineering).

And fire the overpaid, clueless vice presidents in the organization who educate no one, deliver zero help toward fixing the USA, and offer boneheaded solutions to problems created by those over the years with the same boneheaded solutions to America's problems.

Community service?

Shut up. Go away.

I Turned The Station

You may remember - about a year ago - how I was singing the praises of a Fox TV show entitled, "Glee." Wholesome and wildly entertaining, it was - at the time - the best show on television.

And then some genius with the series decided to change direction. To go after ... me. To "more aggressively target conservatives."

Huh?

A show about teenagers learning their way into adulthood suddenly goes after me?

Needless to say, I haven't watched gleeless "Glee" in months.

And, as it turns out, a lot of other Americans (conservatives all?) have turned the channel as well:
Has 'Glee' lost its grip?
By Scott Collins, Los Angeles Times

A rare TV/music double sensation just last year, "Glee" — an over-the-top romp about a high-school show choir filled with colorful characters — has officially entered its awkward middle years.

Some of the stats are about as inviting as pimples and braces. "Glee" has shed 23% of its audience compared with last season even after DVR viewing is factored in, according to Nielsen. A 3-D movie tie-in was released in August and drew disappointing box office. Sales of the "Glee" albums — 13 in all, featuring the show's signature, chorus-style covers of pop hits — have plummeted lately compared with earlier efforts.

The deflation has been "kind of surprising," said Brad Adgate, an analyst at ad firm Horizon Media, given that the show is only in Season 3 and that for the rest of its schedule, Fox has seen big gains this fall compared with last year.

[T]here's little question that the "Glee" phenomenon has hit a junior-year slump. The show is averaging 10.3 million total viewers this season, down 23% compared with last year. [link]
There are a number of explanations for the show's precipitate drop in viewers.  All of which may be fact.

But here's my reason: Somehow I as a conservative became an enemy to those producing this once-entertaining show.  I'm not sure what I did to be a target for their vitriol but I can handle it.

In fact, it was easy to handle it.

I have 141 other channels on my TV to choose from.  None of which profess hatred toward me for who I am.

The geniuses who put out "Glee" made their bed.  Now they can lie in it.

Those Poor Packers

Who would have guessed.  The Green Bay Packers are well on their way toward producing a record only once achieved in previous years - a winning season from start to finish - and what's the big NFL story of 2011?

Tim Tebow walks with Jesus.

Well, I tell you what, if he wins Sunday, I'm buying me one of these:

Everyone loves a winner.

And there ain't no more glorious a winner than the Almighty Himself.

Along with those who walk in His path.

Still, I don't think Tebow has a prayer of winning.

No offense.

Maybe I need to look up that parable about "Doubting Thomas."

Gulp ...

Okay.  I'm not a paranoiac.  But Obama's starting to make me pee in my pants:

The story.

The future?


For the record:

I think Obama's a swell guy.
I think Obama's a swell guy.
I think Obama's a swell guy.
I ...

The Dole/McCain Syndrome Settles In

Oh, dear.  Not again.

Yes.  Again.  And forever.

Republicans, God love 'em, suffer from "electability syndrome."  It manifested itself in the nominations of the very electable Bob Dole in 1996 and the very electable John McCain in 2008.  Both were ever so electable until the day came that they weren't elected.

Yet the syndrome continues to ravage the party polity.

See "Winnowing the Field" in yesterday's National Review.

The crux?

Mitt Romney is electable and Newt Gingrich is not.

And so down that road to Shambala the Republican Party once again goes.

Sing it with me!
Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain
With the rain in Shambala
Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame
With the rain in Shambala.
Everyone is lucky, everyone is kind
On the road to Shambala.
Everyone is happy, everyone is so kind
On the road to Shambala.
How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?
In the halls of Shambala. Where President Dole and President McCain (and President Stevenson and President Willkie for that matter) wander aimlessly, wondering how it could be that they were so electable and yet weren't.

Those Lefties Are Hilarious


You know the difference between us and them? They like to define us. We like to quote them making fools of themselves trying to define us.

And have fun doing it.

Case in point: Mike Malloy, left-wing radio talk show host.

A major left-winger.

And proud Democrat, I should add.

Here's Malloy (courtesy of NewsBusters) defining for his audience ... us:
I'm talking about Democrats who understand that we are facing extinction as a species unless we do something about global warming and about getting off fossil fuels. So, I'm not talking about just going to the poll and voting for somebody with a D behind his name. Or her name. I'm talking about Democrats. We have the platform, we have the ind-, the party structure, and we have men and women in this country who are capable of providing the kind of leadership/survival that we need now. The Republicans are going to murder all of us. They are going to kill you, Mr. Right Winger. They're going to cut your throat, Miss Conservative. I don't give a goddamn how far up your ass you stick your head, they are going to kill you! They are going to end your country.
Okay, it's not exactly the most cogent fulmination you've ever heard. But it's typical of the loony Left in this country.

We're going to murder everyone - including ourselves!

Too funny.

Little weird.

But funny just the same.

What would we do for light-hearted mirth if it weren't for leftists to quote?

* You'll notice from the photo that Malloy has his left-wing thing down pat.

Romney's Flip-Flops Are Worrisome ...

... but has he really flipped?

This (from the Washington Post last month) isn't encouraging:
As governor, Romney worked to reassure liberals
By Peter Wallsten and Juliet Eilperin

Mitt Romney was firm and direct with the abortion rights advocates sitting in his office nine years ago, assuring the group that if elected Massachusetts governor, he would protect the state’s abortion laws.

Then, as the meeting drew to a close, the businessman offered an intriguing suggestion — that he would rise to national prominence in the Republican Party as a victor in a liberal state and could use his influence to soften the GOP’s hard-line opposition to abortion.

He would be a “good voice in the party” for their cause, and his moderation on the issue would be “widely written about,” he said, according to detailed notes taken by an officer of the group, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.

“You need someone like me in Washington,” several participants recalled Romney saying that day in September 2002, an apparent reference to his future ambitions.

Romney made similar assurances to activists for gay rights and the environment, according to people familiar with the discussions, both as a candidate for governor and then in the early days of his term.

The encounters with liberal advocates offer some revealing insights into the ever-evolving ideology of Romney, who as a presidential candidate now espouses the hard-line opposition to abortion that he seemed to disparage less than a decade ago.
So is he or isn't he? Is Romney the conservative he says he is or the liberal he said he was? Is he "evolving," as the reporters suggest, or lying through his teeth?

And do we want to take the chance to find out?

I'm reminded of another guy who presented us with the same dilemma. Another candidate for president who told us that he wasn't - in 2008 - the radical he had been in years prior. As it turns out, now that he's in the White House, he never lost his leftist stripes at all. He was just lying to us.

So Romney tells us he's a conservative. After telling others that he wasn't.

I don't know but I really don't want to go through this again.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice ...

In a Pig's Eye

Your chuckle for the day:

Poll: Obama leads both Romney and Gingrich in Virginia

Yeah. Right.

Democrats Celebrate Victory In Iraq

I am ashamed for them.