Monday, June 11, 2012

Plains Pops: Monday Morning Musings At NFL National Debate Tournament Edition

Item 1: Blogging will be sporadic all week.  Further, it will probably be sloppy because I'm reduced to typing with my thumbs on my phone.

Item 2: I spent about 12 hours in a van listening to sports talk radio on Saturday.  When the programs' hosts weren't analyzing how and why either the Celtics' "Big 3 or 4" or the Heat's "Big 3" would be broken up, thy were asking questions about the future of horse racing.  A couple of analysts pointed out that horse racing doesn't get big TV crowds.  If people can spend an hour a week watching the World Series of Poker or the World Poker Tour, I can't understand why people wouldn't watch horse racing for an hour a week.  Watching horses run is more exciting than watching someone muck a bad hand.

Item 3: If the Common Core backers really want students to read more non-fiction, they should do more to promote debate classes.  During the course of this week, students in congressional debate, public forum debate, and the supplemental debate event will be arguing about U.S. involvement in Syria, governmental efforts to reduce obesity, the wisdom of U.S. efforts to support the Eurozone, and stand-your-ground laws.  All of these issues are covered in this morning's papers.  If the the Common Core's goal is truly to raise reading proficiency, competitive debate is an invaluable tool.  If the goal is merely to raise test scores, competitive debate is slightly less helpful because good arguments are rarely reduced to the bubble test level.

Item 4: I know this complaint is not original, but I am getting tired of the Google, Apple, Microsoft product wars.  Religious wars have been conducted with less acrimony.  Google's Blogger is no longer compatible with Microsoft's Explorer, and Apple will no longer install Google Maps on its devices.  It might be easier for a Roman Catholic to take communion at a Lutheran church than it will be for a Google user to use Microsoft or Apple products.

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