Sunday, February 7, 2016

Political Blood Sport

After watching a few minutes of the GOP debate, I have to wonder if the parties do more damage than good with these debates.  I mean they spend so much time attacking each other and bashing America, I just don't get it...

I mean on the Democrat side you have Sanders complaining how terrible our country is and that only a revolution will make this country livable... And you have the GOP folks who seem to think we are living in the WORST of times. No wonder we have polarization, both sides do nothing about complain and vilify the other.

I vote that they all move to a different better country that is in better shape than America.  Thoughts?

CNN GOP Debate Takeaways
CNN GOP Debate Attacks
CNN Sanders Continues Attack
CNN Clinton Speaking Fees $153 MILLION

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Political Polarization

Eric has posted an interesting article.

This comment resonated with me:
""We" are polarized? Good points, Mr. Black. But I think you mean to say that "those who think and feel intensely about politics" are polarized. What percent of the US population is this? I suggest that it's a small minority - though it might be a majority of those who follow MinnPost." Tate
I think that Tate has a good point in that most American's are somewhat clueless about policy and politics.  Worse yet they are so busy that they live via sound bites. Which means that the far LEFT and far RIGHT media have a HUGE impact.  And Lord knows that neither side is preaching logic, negotiation, tolerance, balance, etc.

I you doubt me check out Rush, Glenn Beck, Daily KosMother Jones, etc.  If you listen to one side for too long, you will soon swear the opposing side consists of evil self centered illogical liars who are out to destroy the world as we know it...  Which of course is silly since the vast majority of American citizens love the USA and would prefer to not DESTROY it...  Thoughts?

CNN: Conservative Media's Influence

Monday, February 1, 2016

Abortion and Bodily Autonomy

Our newest commenter Anon asked that we discuss the linked article. And yes I tried to get them to select a more unique name... :-)

In summary the author is wondering if the right to life is so important, why aren't all of us citizens required to register on donor lists and required  to give our kidney if necessary to save lives? And why then do women have to sacrifice their time, money, body, possibly health, etc to save someone else's life???   Hines Abortion and Bodily Autonomy

I the author's words:
I’m not going to argue about when a group of cells transforms into a human being, whether that happens at conception or birth or some nebulous time in between.

But if the “right to life” is so important, why don’t we have mandatory organ registries in this country? Why isn’t everyone required to have their blood type and other information entered into a national database? Why don’t we require living organ donations, since most of us have some redundant organs we could give with no significant loss to our own quality of life?

Why have we so enshrined our right to control our own bodies … unless you happen to be a woman?
Of course I think it is a silly comparison. The government mandating a person care for the life that they willingly and/of their  own free will created, as compared to being mandated to sacrifice for a perfect stranger.

It is like saying that one must feed all dogs, just because you own and are required to feed your dog. Thoughts?

Friday, January 29, 2016

SS Benefits: What is in Your Wallet?

MN Transportation Funding

You will have to read the linked article  and the comments to see where the following comment came from.  I have to start working on taxes  :-( so I can fill out a FAFSA before March 1...  Likely we will get no College subsidies, however that score is needed to apply for some scholarships... MP Transportation
"How about the DFL reduce the income or sales tax to offset their gas tax increase. That way both the "dedicated funding stream" supporters and the people who want to keep government growth at or slightly above inflation will both be happy. :-)

Also, let's see them stop proposing government growth, and start proposing using the budget surplus to catch up on these supposed required maintenance tasks. Not much sense taking out a loan(ie bond) when you have the money in the bank...

Raising taxes/spending faster than the inflation rate AND adding more Taxes for Transportation seem like over reach to me..." G2A

GOP Debate and Trump's Absence

CNN GOP Debate
CNN Trump's Party

Any thoughts on either of these topics? 

My only thought is that Trump reinforced again that he is one of the biggest narcissistic prima donnas in the world and I can not understand why people are supporting him...  If our population likes actors so much, I think George Clooney would be a shoe in for President if he chose to run.  And if people like that womanizer Trump... They would LOVE George...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How to Close The Achievement Gap?

Continued from here
"Eliminating the gap will require at least 3 things:

  1. Change status quo public education work, retention, compensation, assignment, etc rules so they meet the needs of the kids. Not the wants of the Teachers.
  2. Change policies so incapable and/or negligent parents do not have more children than they can personally afford. Enable society to be able to enforce this if needed.
  3. Change policies so that US has a stronger Parenting and Early Childhood Education program for questionable / young Parents. " G2A

"John, in some sense you are correct that there is no silver bullet, because to repair a failing public school is going to require a combination of things to be done, successfully, over a number of years. On the other hand, we have close to that silver bullet in school choice.

As for "eliminating the gap" I think that is impossible, especially approached as you suggest. It is like attempting to turn the car by standing outside and pushing on the front wheels, rather than turning the steering wheel. Far easier to change those things we do control, like the public schools' funding and policies, then those things we do not, like social breakdown regardless of cause (and I will blame government for that, just not now).

We can and absolutely must REDUCE the gap, however. You have suggested that private schools do better because they have entrance requirements, and because they can expel difficult or troublesome students. So how is that different than having a school with rigorous testing followed by remedial effort like the RIF program? What about a school having a rigorous curriculum and high expectations, with talented teachers in every room, paid on the basis of student improvement? Why shouldn't a school have a strong and effective discipline policy, including, as many districts now do, a separate building (ours has bars on the windows) for those who need the extra discipline, short of the last-resort of expulsion? There are public schools everywhere doing one or more of these things to a greater or lesser degree. It would take a concerted effort and several years to turn that train around, but we never do. " Jerry

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

GOP Deserves Trump and Cruz

GOP establishment deserves Trump, Cruz
"If John takes enough interest to comment on the state of the GOP, I expect he will say something like the dems are no different - look at Bernie. To which I likely will not care to reply, so just don't bother making a post." Laurie

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hillary Wants to Stack SCOTUS

I find the following statement by Hillary fascinating and scary. CNN Cure for Citizen's United
"As president, I'll appoint Supreme Court justices who recognize that Citizens United is bad for America. And if necessary, I'll fight for a constitutional amendment that overturns it."
Now I understand that Presidents try to select Justices that lean their way. However to actually say you want to appoint individuals who would rule because they agree with you that something is "bad for America" instead of if it "is Constitutional" is amazing.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

U of MN Alert System Change

MPR Alert System Change

I found this amusing / strange when I heard it discussed yesterday on NPR.  Apparently young black men on campus felt singled out and discriminated against when a campus warning went out specifying the race of a person who was a potential threat.  Therefore they went through the effort to lobby to get the policy changed.

Maybe the warning should go out saying "beware a person in blue jeans, a brown coat and black hair" if the threat is a 20 year old black woman...  We would hate to be too descriptive in case it might save someone.

Of course if I had jeans, a brown coat and black hair...  Maybe I would feel unfairly singled out ...


Monday, January 18, 2016

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

SCOTUS and Union Dues

Personally I think every state should be a right to work state and union dues / membership should be optional, so I am hoping SCOTUS agrees.  Thoughts?

MinnPost Center of AE and Powerline
CAE View on Public Unions
Powerline Blow to Unions?
Fox News Forced Dues
MJ Major Blow

I like this quote from the CAE piece. 
"The Friedrichs case is not an assault on public unions, though if Friedrichs wins, public unions like Education Minnesota will have to stop taking their members for granted if they want to keep collecting fees and dues. An organization that can compel its members to fund its mission is bound to grow arrogant.

The Friedrichs case is, however, a heartfelt objection to the prejudicial idea that giving up one’s First Amendment rights in exchange for a job is somehow fair. It is also an opportunity for the court to get this one right."