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Surf n Turf
02-18-2015, 21:58
Mike Rowe - Answer to Howard Dean re: Scott Walker no college

We had a thread from Mike Rowe a couple of years ago, and I think this is just as good

SnT

Old Thread -- Work Plain and Simple
http://www.professionalsoldiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22573&page=2&highlight=mike+rowe

New Thread
Off The Wall
https://www.facebook.com/TheRealMikeRowe/photos/pb.116999698310182.-2207520000.1424220109./944284522248358/?type=3&theater

Kyle Smith writes...
Howard Dean recently criticized Gov Scott Walker for never finishing college, stating that he was "unknowledgeable." What would your response be on college as a requirement for elected office?

Hi Kyle

Back in 1990, The QVC Cable Shopping Channel was conducting a national talent search. I had no qualifications to speak of, but I needed a job, and thought TV might be a fun way to pay the bills. So I showed up at The Marriott in downtown Baltimore with a few hundred other hopefuls, and waited for a chance to audition. When it was my turn, the elevator took me to the top floor, where a man no expression led me into a suite and asked me to take a seat behind a large desk. Across from the desk, there was a camera on a tripod. On the desk was a digital timer with an LED display. I took a seat as the man clipped a microphone on my shirt and explained the situation.

“The purpose of this audition is to see if you can talk for eight minutes without stuttering, blathering, passing out, or throwing up. Any questions?”
“What would you like me to talk about,” I asked.

The man pulled a pencil from behind his ear and rolled it across the desk. “Talk to me about that pencil. Sell it. Make me want it. But be yourself. If you can do that for eight minutes, the job is yours. Ok?”

I looked at the pencil. It was yellow. It had a point on one end, and an eraser on the other. On the side were the words, Dixon Ticonderoga Number 2 SOFT
“Ok,” I said.

The man set the timer to 8:00, and walked behind the tripod. He pressed a button and a red light appeared on the camera. He pressed another button and the timer began to count backwards. “Action,” he said. I picked up the pencil and started talking

“Hi there. My name’s Mike Rowe, and I only have eight minutes to tell you why this is finest pencil on Planet Earth. So let’s get right to it.”
I opened the desk drawer and found a piece of hotel stationary, right where I hoped it would be. I picked up the pencil and wrote the word, QUALITY in capital letters. I held the paper toward the camera.

“As you can plainly see, The #2 Dixon Ticonderoga leaves a bold, unmistakable line, far superior to the thin and wispy wake left by the #3, or the fat, sloppy skid mark of the unwieldy #1. Best of all, the Ticonderoga is not filled with actual lead, but “madagascar graphite,” a far safer alternative for anyone who likes to chew on their writing implements.”

To underscore the claim, I licked the point. I then discussed the many advantages of the Ticonderoga’s color.

“A vibrant yellow, perfectly suited for an object that needs to stand out from the clutter of a desk drawer.”

I commented on the comfort of it’s design.
“Unlike those completely round pencils that press hard into the web of your hand, the Ticonderoga’s circumference is comprised of eight, gently planed surfaces, which dramatically reduce fatigue, and make writing for extended periods an absolute delight.”

I pointed out the “enhanced eraser,” which was “guaranteed to still be there - even when the pencil was sharpened down to an unusable nub.”

I opined about handmade craftsmanship and American made quality. I talked about the feel of real wood.

“In a world overrun with plastic and high tech gadgets, isn’t it comforting to know that some things haven’t evolved into something shiny and gleaming and completely unrecognizable?’”

After all that, there was still five minutes on the timer. So I shifted gears and considered the pencil’s impact on Western Civilization. I spoke of Picasso and Van Gogh, and their hundreds of priceless drawings - all done in pencil. I talked about Einstein and Hawking, and their many complicated theories and theorems - all done in pencil.

“Pen and ink are fine for memorializing contracts,” I said, “but real progress relies on the ability to erase and start anew. Archimedes said he could move the world with a lever long enough, but when it came to proving it, he needed a pencil to make the point.”

With three minutes remaining, I moved on to some personal recollections about the role of pencils in my own life. My first legible signature, my first book report, my first crossword puzzle, and of course, my first love letter. I may have even worked up a tear as I recalled the innocence of my youth, scribbled out on a piece of looseleaf with all the hope and passion a desperate 6th grader could muster...courtesy of a #2 pencil.

With :30 seconds left on the timer, I looked fondly at the Dixon Ticonderoga, and sat silently for five seconds. Then I wrapped it up.

“We call it a pencil, because all things need a name. But today, let’s call it what it really is. A time machine. A match maker. A magic wand. And let’s say it can all be yours...for just .99 cents.”

The timer read 0:00. The man walked back to the desk. He took the pencil and wrote “YOU’RE HIRED” on the stationary, and few days later, I moved to West Chester, PA. And a few days after that, I was on live television, face to face with the never-ending parade of trinkets and chochkes that comprise QVC’s overnight inventory.

I spent three months on the graveyard shift, five nights a week. Technically, this was my training period, which was curious, given the conspicuous absence of supervision, or anything that could be confused with actual instruction. Every few minutes a stagehand would bring me another mysterious “must have item,” which I’d blather about nonsensically until it was whisked away and replaced with something no less baffling. In this way, I slowly uncovered the mysteries of my job, and forged a tenuous relationship with an audience of chronic insomniacs and narcoleptic lonely-hearts. It was a crucible of confusion and ambiguity, and in hindsight, the best training I ever had.

Which brings me to the point of your question, Kyle.

I don’t agree with Howard Dean - not at all.

Here’s what I didn’t understand 25 years ago. QVC had a serious recruiting problem. Qualified candidates were applying in droves, but failing miserably on the air. Polished salespeople with proven track records were awkward on TV. Professional actors with extensive credits couldn’t be themselves on camera. And seasoned hosts who understood live television had no experience hawking products. So eventually, QVC hit the reset button. They stopped looking for “qualified” people, and started looking for anyone who could talk about a pencil for eight minutes.

QVC had confused qualifications with competency.

Perhaps America has done something similar?

Look at how we hire help - it’s no so different than how we elect leaders. We search for work ethic on resumes. We look for intelligence in test scores. We search for character in references. And of course, we look at a four-year diploma as though it might actually tell us something about common-sense and leadership.

Obviously, we need a bit more from our elected officials than the instincts of a home shopping host, but the business of determining what those “qualifications” are is completely up to us. We get to decide what matters most. We get to decide if a college degree or military service is somehow determinative. We get to decide if Howard Dean is correct.

Anyone familiar with my foundation knows my position. I think a trillion dollars of student loans and a massive skills gap are precisely what happens to a society that actively promotes one form of education as the best course for the most people. I think the stigmas and stereotypes that keep so many people from pursuing a truly useful skill, begin with the mistaken belief that a four-year degree is somehow superior to all other forms of learning. And I think that making elected office contingent on a college degree is maybe the worst idea I’ve ever heard

But of course, Howard Dean is not the real problem. He’s just one guy. And he’s absolutely right when he says that many others will judge Scott Walker for not finishing college. That's the real problem

However - when Howard Dean called the Governor “unknowledgeable,” he rolled out more than a stereotype. He rolled a pencil across the desk, and gave Scott Walker eight minutes to knock it out of the park.
It’ll be fun to see if he does.

Mike

Joker
02-18-2015, 22:09
Ahhh, education comes in many forms, books just being one.

mugwump
02-18-2015, 22:10
Rowe always makes me feel like a drooling idiot in comparison. He should run for office himself.

mark46th
02-18-2015, 23:47
The best thing that ever happened to me was flunking out of college. Not in school, no student deferment. I was drafted within a year, enlisted for SF in BCT and within a year, I was in the 5th SFG. Happiest days of my life.

1stindoor
02-19-2015, 07:25
The best thing that ever happened to me was flunking out of college...

I could say the same thing. Failed myself (drank and partied too much...studied too little) at the start of my senior year and lost my commission in ROTC. Sat out of school for a semester and enlisted...never really looked back until just before retirement (27 yrs) when I finally finished my "four year" degree.

booker
02-19-2015, 08:51
I like Mike Rowe, and he' spot on. The only thing that is really left out is that a college degree has become a crutch for the self entitled who think the world should be handed to them on a platter. Yes, I went to college. I also dug ditches and worked shit jobs to pay for said education. Did I graduate with honors? Not even close. But guess what, I walk onto a site where I have designed something for construction, and I can actually pick up a shovel or run a track and know how to use it, how to explain concepts to the folks that do use it, much to the surprise of the other engineers who have never gotten their hands dirty. Guess my old man was right after all (damn it).

Joker - 100% agree, education is about experiences, not books. Books can give you all the ideas in the world, but you need the wherewithal to actually do something with those ideas. Otherwise you're a politician.

mark46th
02-19-2015, 09:07
Other than SWC, I have yet to find a school that teaches common sense...

Richard
02-19-2015, 10:46
Ahhh, education comes in many forms, books just being one.

Joker - 100% agree, education is about experiences, not books.

Really? :confused: What you just wrote is not in agreement with what Joker said.

As for the topic of the thread, and in spite of its intellectualism bashing tone, the context of the conversation between Dean and Scarborough on MSNBC is an interesting one to consider - for somebody running for POTUS today, can the lack of a college degree be problematic among voters and their perception of the candidate's intellectual abilities, even if the candidate has proven himself to be a successful political executive at a lower level of government?

Dean seems to think its a weakness that can be exploited by an opponent; I do, too. Whether or not it actually proves to be a problem is TBD.

If anyone's interested, here's their conversation:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/02/12/howard_dean_bashes_scott_walker_for_not_having_a_c ollege_degree_calls_him_unknowledgeable.html

And so it goes...

Richard

Team Sergeant
02-19-2015, 12:01
There have been 12 presidents without college degrees, George Washington and 10 others, including Abraham Lincoln.....

And why oh why would the left-wing liberals/progressives/socialists even care? 99% of their constituents have a 3rd grade education, obamacare and an obamaphone.

Flagg
02-19-2015, 13:22
Other than SWC, I have yet to find a school that teaches common sense...

College of the Ozarks

https://www.cofo.edu/

They've even trademarked "Hard Work U"

No tuition, required part-time manual labour in lieu of tuition, graduate without debt, develop character, value God and Country.

I recall a couple decades ago this school was kind of looked down on, now....not so much.

It's getting a LOT of positive press in recent years.

-----

Mike Rowe sounds like a pretty smart guy.

Dean Jarvis
02-19-2015, 13:42
I went back to college after returning from Vietnam and found I couldn't fit in and dropped out. Several years later with a family and working a full time job managing an International Freight Forwarding company I went back to night school but only had enough time left in my GI bill to get an associate degree before the money ran out.

I found the best solution to being successful is to surround yourself with people smarter than you.

As the POTUS I think that's the best way to approach it.

One of the many problems Barry has is that he thinks he's the smartest guy in the room.

Walker has my undivided attention right now.

Joker
02-19-2015, 16:39
...One of the many problems Barry has is that he thinks he's the smartest guy in the room...

Brother, I disagree with this statement. Very,very, sadly Barry is the smartest person in the room because he has chosen the most stupid and ignorant that follows him.

And education does open many doors, however experience is more valuable in many non-academic real world scenarios.

ddoering
02-19-2015, 17:29
There have been 12 presidents without college degrees, George Washington and 10 others, including Abraham Lincoln.....

And why oh why would the left-wing liberals/progressives/socialists even care? 99% of their constituents have a 3rd grade education, obamacare and an obamaphone.

It makes them feel smart and allows them to develop brilliant ideas like fighting ISIS thru job creation.:lifter

miclo18d
02-19-2015, 18:16
Really? :confused: What you just wrote is not in agreement with what Joker said.

As for the topic of the thread, and in spite of its intellectualism bashing tone, the context of the conversation between Dean and Scarborough on MSNBC is an interesting one to consider - for somebody running for POTUS today, can the lack of a college degree be problematic among voters and their perception of the candidate's intellectual abilities, even if the candidate has proven himself to be a successful political executive at a lower level of government?

Dean seems to think its a weakness that can be exploited by an opponent; I do, too. Whether or not it actually proves to be a problem is TBD.

If anyone's interested, here's their conversation:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/02/12/howard_dean_bashes_scott_walker_for_not_having_a_c ollege_degree_calls_him_unknowledgeable.html

And so it goes...

Richard
And a smart person turns lemons into lemonade... "We can see what a mess the so called "intelligentsia", the "college educated" has gotten us into. Why would we keep going down that rabbit hole?", that would have been my response. It's all politics, Baby!

Intellect, intelligence, experience, and education don't make a person smart and they don't nesseccerily come from books, or even experience. It is a combination of all these things, put to good use, with an ethical and (some would argue) moral road map, and a LOT of hard work that makes one great.

What makes a good SF trooper?

The Reaper
02-19-2015, 19:23
Maybe the POTUS should employ the same techniques he has used to fix our unemployment problems here. :rolleyes:

TR