Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Desperate Need for Political Center

Eric posted and interesting piece. MinnPost New poll shows our desperate need for a political center. Here is my first comment on it. (hopefully)
I agree with you totally though I have no idea how to get there.  I have been playing the Devil's Advocate to people on the Far Left and Far Right for almost 10 years now and it seems folks are pretty much right where they started or even further split. 
Depending on the day I am now attacked for being a socialist by those on the Far Right, or a Conservative by those on the Far Left. And I think what concerns me most that it seems the level of anger is growing.  On the upside people are passionate about their beliefs.  On the down side it seems they are seeing the folks with different beliefs as an "enemy".  
And with people so strongly invested in confirmation bias, and mostly communicating with those of like minds...  I have no idea how to bring this nation back together. I really am starting to miss the days when we watched the same national news and had to actually talk to a mix of people. 
Here was my attempt to try and understand what is center and what would make Americans happy.  Unfortunately it did not get too far. :-(
G2A What would make Americans Happy

MN Bonding Battle Begins

I am guessing the GOP controlled legislatures are not going to be very friendly with Gov Dayton after his attempt to defund them last year... Thankfully they had enough in reserves to get by, though I am sure this is going to be a very confrontational year in MN.  Thoughts?
MN Bonding Fight Starts Again


We even made it in WAPO

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Monday, January 15, 2018

Trumps Biggest Accomplishment

Laurie apparently did not think much of "G2A American Liberals are SO Selfish" since she left us this gift. :-)
As your topic is idiotic I am going to post an unrelated link rather than a comment. Trump’s most consequential accomplishment so far isn’t the tax bill The accomplishment is not a good one. it is becoming the first administration that routinely lies about everything. I believe the count is at more than 2000 lies. 

Will DEMs Shutdown Government?

The days are slipping away towards the deadline, what will the moderate DEMs do?  Will they vote for the continuing resolution? Or stand up for the DACA kids and shutdown the government?  Then one can not forget those on the Far Right who may vote No also...

Since I am usually a fan of gridlock and don't work for the government, this is fine with me...  It will be interesting to see how the week proceeds.

American Liberals are SO Selfish

This writer has an interesting take on America's illegal residents and MP won't accept my comment. Even after 3 rewordings. Minnpost If the Trump era is about putting America first, those 200,000 Salvadorans should not only stay, they should become citizens
"But if the Trump era really is about putting America first, evidence suggests they not only should stay. They should become citizens. "
In essence the argument goes that the DACA, El Salvadorans and other illegal residents are smarter, more law abiding and harder working than many legal American citizens. And for the good of America we should convert them all to American citizens and keep them here. Now personally I have no problem doing this as long as we lock down the border first.
My questions that have not been posted are that if these 11,000,000 folks are smart, hard working, law abiding and Americanized:
  • Wouldn't their home countries benefit from getting them back?
  • Wouldn't that improve the odds of their countries changing and becoming much more successful?
  • Wouldn't that be beneficial of all the citizens of their home countries?
  • Aren't we being selfish by attracting and keeping the most daring and motivated from these countries?
  • In essence, sabotaging those more challenged countries?
This reminds of how community choice has destroyed many communities and schools in the USA. Whenever things start to get tough, the most capable, smartest and wealthiest run for the Burbs... Thus leaving a higher density of the incapable, not so smart and poor behind, and the toilet continues to flush.

Now it is too bad that Liberals seemingly want to promote destruction in those foreign countries. :-)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Racist, Bigoted or Logical

So is preferring to have immigrants from wealthy first world countries racist, bigoted or logical? VOX Trump's Long History
"Speaking about immigration in January 2018, Trump asked, in reference to Haiti and African countries, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" He then suggested that the US should take more people from countries like Norway. The implication: Immigrants from predominantly white countries are good, while immigrants from predominantly black countries are bad. "
When some one looks for a business partner, employee or son-in-law, does one start looking in places where fewer educated and culturally similar people live? As usual, I think Trump could phrase his comments much more tactfully, however he may have a point. We as Americans really need to determine what we want our immigration policy to accomplish.

By the way, the following comment didn't make it by the Minnpost moderators when I tried to post on 2 different articles. MP Drop in Refugees and MP Dreamers for a Wall I will never understand their guidelines...
"Now I truly do feel for the refugees of the world and the illegal workers in MN, however I have to wonder why so many Minnesotans want to prioritize their needs above the unlucky kids who are US Citizens and MN residents.

You know the kids I am talking about. The children born into generational poverty and are being raised by a "parent(s)" who simply is not mature, knowledgeable, self disciplined, financially stable, etc enough to be an effective parent(s).

Therefore the child(ren) fall behind academically, behaviorally, physically, etc. And then they usually get enrolled with many more children like themselves in a school that struggles to overcome the challenge this presents. Especially since the Parent(s) and the Local society are incapable or unwilling to help?

The unfortunate reality is that settling refugees in MN and harboring illegal workers in MN takes resources away from the most vulnerable residents of our state (ie our unlucky children) and puts downward pressure on wages. Thoughts? "

I agree that the USA needed a lot of the world's needy and down trodden to move here back when we had an excess of land, factories, etc.  Therefore we had a very open immigration policy to encourage laborers to come here.  Now that we have a large population of citizens who are struggling to succeed, shouldn't we adjust our immigration policies accordingly?

Instead of inviting the world's down trodden here, how can we help them improve their home countries?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Women Denounce Me Too Hysteria

Thankfully here are some women acting as the voice of reason regarding this sensitive topic...  And of course others will try to shout them down...  Thoughts?


CNN CD Denounces
NPR 100 Say Me Too Has Gone Too Far
Ind Men Should Be "free to hit on" Women 

Medicaid Work Requirements

Since I see Medicaid as just a different form of welfare, I agree that work requirements should be in place. Thoughts?


VOX Medicaid Work Requirements
CNN Money Work Requirements
KHN Work Requirements
Guidance Document

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

School Boundary Gerrymandering

This piece discusses how successful folks work hard to protect their children and property values from the unsuccessful folk. Which unfortunately contributes to unsuccessful folks staying unsuccessful...

Of course there is a good reason that districts do this. Successful people are free to take their children and the money tied to them to less demographically challenged schools whenever they choose. Our district, Robbinsdale 281 has been fighting this as long as I have been here. That is why we have 3 magnet schools and the people from the SW side go to Armstrong High School and the folks from the NE side go to Cooper High School. And even with these accommodations we still lose hundreds of successful families and their support to Wayzata, Orono, Minnetonka, Privates, etc

As I have asked before, what is the Parent to do:
Fight for their community and keep their children in a more demographical challenged / diverse school. Hoping that this benefits them in someway.
Ensure their child is able to attend the least demographically challenged / very homogenous school. Assuming that academics are more important than diversity.

Note: When I talk diversity, I am NOT TALKING RACE... I am talking economics, family structure, academic focus / history, parental engagement in child's learning, etc. As I have noted many times before, my girls have friends from all races. However we have taught them to steer clear of kids who are making poor choices. (ie gangs, drugs, drinking, smoking, bullying, skipping homework, etc)

VOX School Boundary Gerrymandering

And here is how RDale and Mpls look to their tool. As always. click the image to make it bigger...



Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Drop In Refugees Coming to MN

From Minnpost Drop In Refugees

"Now I truly do feel for the refugees of the world and the illegal workers in MN, however I have to wonder why so many Minnesotans want to prioritize their needs above the unlucky kids who are US Citizens and MN residents.

You know the kids I am talking about. The children born into generational poverty and are being raised by a "parent(s)" who simply is not mature, knowledgeable, self disciplined, financially stable, etc enough to be an effective parent(s).

Therefore the child(ren) fall behind academically, behaviorally, physically, etc. And then they usually get enrolled with many more children like themselves in a school that struggles to overcome the challenge this presents. Especially since the Parent(s) and the Local society are incapable or unwilling to help?

The unfortunate reality is that settling refugees in MN and harboring illegal workers in MN takes resources away from the most vulnerable residents of our state (ie our unlucky children) and puts downward pressure on wages. Thoughts?

Somewhat related.
MP Chronic Absence
MP School Discipline Issues
Black and White Inequality
We are #2 and that is NOT a good thing...
NCCP MN Kids Poverty

Monday, January 8, 2018

Freezing Schools

From Laurie...  Public school buildings are falling apart, and students are suffering for it
"Maybe you should stop complaining about lazy, underachieving students and support federal funding for adequate schools. as I mentioned yesterday this would be a better use for the money than Trump's wall."
The irony of course is that I don't think I have ever complained about "lazy, underachieving students"...  Mostly I complain about:
  •  irresponsible, neglectful, and/or immature Baby Mamas and Papas, and that our society is not holding them accountable for being good Parents.  
  • School Unions putting the Teacher / Administration's wants ahead of the needs of the unlucky kids. (ie tenure, steps, lanes, lowest paid Teachers with most challenged students, etc)
Now back to Laurie's link, please note that this is a State level issue.  And that Maryland has been a pretty Blue State. And it is a very wealthy state.

So why again are many of the school buildings not up to the Winter challenge?  And why is Baltimore such a poor messed up city?  And most importantly why should the Feds be involved?  Other than maybe to tell the State to get it's act together...


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Fire and Fury

A gift from Laurie.
The ‘stable genius’ isn’t even functioning as president

I am unsure why folks see Trump as so "deranged" when I have known several people very like him, these include family, bosses, commenters, etc.  Now I agree that Trump's habit of attacking and escalating is a bit more extreme.  Then again maybe not, I am not sure how the people I know would react if they had to defend their pride and self image in a very public form...

Some of their characteristics:
  • they believe they are owed unquestioning respect from people who they believe have less experience, age, stature, etc
  • they really like having "yes" people around them
  • they get very angry when people ask for their rationale / belief 
  • they "know more than others" and "know what to do"
Now imagine how frustrating being a President would be if one had that personality. I mean all the checks and balances built into the system and the non-stop critiques would be infuriating. I assume most of these people enjoy being self employed or being a CEO, in these positions they would not be questioned and could be the "emperor"...

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Market Gains Benefit Smaller Group

Here is one for the Liberals. And since I am not a big fan of progressive taxation to fix this, I really don't know what to do about it.  MSN Why Small Group Benefits from DOW Growth

To me the answer is to increase the capabilities of American workers:

  • strongly promote 2 parent households (indifferent to sex of Parents)
  • strongly dissuade single parent households 
  • demand that people on welfare / medicaid improve, grow, change, etc and stop being a drag on our country
  • demand that people on welfare / medicaid severely limit their number of children until they can afford and responsibly raise them
  • offer low cost education options for sectors that are short of skilled knowledgeable employees
And to drive lower end wages up using basic supply and demand rules:
  • limit the number of low end workers competing for those jobs (ie ship illegal workers home)
  • immigrate more workers for the high dollar jobs to push down those costs
  • encourage American consumers to support American workers
Now I am fine with progressive taxation to help the unsuccessful as long as there are strong improvement / learn / work incentives in place for the recipients of that wealth transfer.  It is the giving without expectation / consequences thus enabling people and their children to keep making the same mistakes decade after decade that I am against because it keeps them trapped in generational poverty that frustrates me greatly.  It is so unfair to the kids.

This piece from the Heritage org explains it pretty clearly.  An even simpler summary is:
  • Caring for and raising for kids is hard.
  • Paying household bills and saving is hard.
  • Single parenting often leads to poverty
  • Single parenting often leads to child problems
So if we really want to stop this gap from growing, we really need to focus on the bottom end.

DEMs Strive to Give Wealthy A Tax Cut

I find this so hypocritical of these supposed "tax the rich" and more government is good Liberals... I mean it is the Liberal States who continually push for more Federal programs and spending, and yet now they are trying hard to find ways to keep their wealthy residents from paying their full share in Federal taxes.


Please remember that the new tax bill left an up to $10,000 SALT tax deduction so most normal folks like ourselves can continue to write off our state and local taxes on the Federal form.  So all of these desperate State proposals are actually out to protect the write offs of their wealthy citizens...


Maybe it is true...  Big government is good as long as you are not the one paying for it...


CNN DEM States Looking for Ways to Avoid SALT cap
Reuters DEMs States...