Archive for April 17th, 2011

How standardized test essay questions are graded

| April 17, 2011 | Reply
How standardized test essay questions are graded

Ever wonder how those big testing companies grade the essay questions on standardized tests? This article in the City Pages (an alternative weekly in the Twin Cities) will make you wonder, more than ever.

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Ayn Rand’s worship of a serial killer

| April 17, 2011 | 2 Replies
Ayn Rand’s worship of a serial killer

I was stunned when I read this article by Mark Ames at Alternet. I’ve long found Ayn Rand’s worldview to be morally stunted, even sociopathic, but I had no idea that she was so far gone that she fervently admired a serial-killer/dismemberer. Check out this intro:

There’s something deeply unsettling about living in a country where millions of people froth at the mouth at the idea of giving health care to the tens of millions of Americans who don’t have it, or who take pleasure at the thought of privatizing and slashing bedrock social programs like Social Security or Medicare. It might not be so hard to stomach if other Western countries also had a large, vocal chunk of the population that thought like this, but the U.S. is seemingly the only place where right-wing elites can openly share their distaste for the working poor. Where do they find their philosophical justification for this kind of attitude?

It turns out, you can trace much of this thinking back to Ayn Rand, a popular cult-philosopher who exerts a huge influence over much of the right-wing and libertarian crowd, but whose influence is only starting to spread out of the U.S.

One reason most countries don’t find the time to embrace Ayn Rand’s thinking is that she is a textbook sociopath. In her notebooks Ayn Rand worshiped a notorious serial murderer-dismemberer, and used this killer as an early model for the type of “ideal man” she promoted in her more famous books. These ideas were later picked up on and put into play by major right-wing figures of the past half decade, including the key architects of America’s most recent economic catastrophe . . .

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American doctors applauding Canadian health care

| April 17, 2011 | Reply
American doctors applauding Canadian health care

Eight American doctors were recently interviewed by the Toronto Globe and Mail. Here’s an excerpt:

What is the most surprising thing you have learned so far?

I learned that doctors are compensated much better than what we presumed they were here and their work lives are very nice. In the U.S., most doctors are afraid of two things with a single-payer system: they will lose money – of course, they won’t say that – and that they are going to lose autonomy.

What is work life like for an American doctor?

You spend so much time hassling with insurance companies, you just can’t imagine. You have to fight with them to get paid.

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