Thursday, June 23, 2016

Donald Trump is Frying My Brain

From Laurie
Off topic question - raised by Kevin drum - Why do 40% of voters still support Trump? Why is Hillary currently ahead by only 5 points? As John has said he might vote for Trump and has family members that support Trump maybe he can explain. Everyone I know thinks Trump is the worst candidate ever, unbelievably bad, etc. I was going to comment on the Drum post and try to explain the appeal of Trump but realized I have no idea (other than racism.)

Donald Trump Is Frying My Brain

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What if Welfare Stopped?

Sean asked a fascinating question on How to Help Kids Escape Poverty that deserves it's own post.

"Stockholders of many retail companies, for instance, benefit significantly from the fact that the government picks up the slack for their failure to pay a living wage to many of its front line employees." Sean

"Also, the reality is that neither the consumers nor the businesses receive any benefit from the government, only the employees do. It is like we are rewarding them for squandering the free education that we gave them at a significant cost to the tax payers. "Oh... You barely got that HS degree or you dropped out... Don't worry... We will charge society even more to make sure you are paid well to sit at that music or vaping store..." ." G2A
"If we ended welfare today, would the social costs disappear or would they just be shifted?" Sean
I had to fix a slight error in my quote, I changed "customers" to "businesses".  Now back to Sean's brilliant question...  What would happen if the government stopped spending even half of that $1 Trillion per year that we currently are?  (that leaves $500 Billion per year to care for the truly disabled and elderly)
  1. I assume wages would stay the same or go down some, since I believe there are quite a few healthy capable potential workers who will have to enter the market to get money.
  2. I assume charitable giving would increase as people saw an increased need.
  3. I assume people would be more careful to ensure they did not get pregnant, since the burden would fall more fully on them.
  4. Rents in some areas may fall since the subsidies would not be available.
  5. Some tent cities may be set up, crime/prostitution may increase somewhat, etc.
What do you think would happen?

Personal Rights vs Personal Safety

The balance point between maintaining the rights of citizens and protecting other citizens is amazing.  We all want to be safe and yet many strive to tie the hands of our police officers, FBI, etc.


CNN Sotomayor Writes Strong Dissenting Comments
4th Amendment Definition

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Trump Tells Others to Hush

Yes.  I continue to think that Trump is an idiot...  I hope I don't finally decide he is the best of the bad candidates...

CNN Trump Says People Talking too Much


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Fun with Gun Death Stats

Here was an interesting comment in response to MP Gun Deaths
"Mixing rates and raw numbers 
SUBMITTED BY ANDREW LEWIS ON JUNE 16, 2016 - 5:09PM. 
Kristof commits at least 2 of my least favorite data analysis sins, mixing rates with raw numbers and applying arbitrary thresholds. He even admits it, but doesn't let it derail his conclusion. 
Raw numbers that should probably be corrected for population and definitely for criteria:
Over the last two decades, Canada has had eight mass shootings. Just so far this month, the United States has already had 20. 
Arbitrary 7 month threshold:
Canada has admitted more than 27,000 Syrian refugees since November, some 10 times the number the United States has. 
And the 3 bullet points are comparisons of things that are not comparable.
This is a list of surprising facts, not evidence that increased gun ownership causes more violence. 
If all the analysis out there is incomprehensible, we won't get intelligent reform, we'll get stupid reform supported by gullible stupid people."

How to Help Kids Escape Poverty

From Frredom and the Sharp Edge, here are some of Sean's ideas for dealing with a Parent or Parent's who have children they can not afford to feed, house, care for well, raise well, etc. Reasons for this inability may include that they themselves are self centered, immature, lack self discipline, poorly educated, indifferent, addicted, want kid(s), etc.
Only 18 states require that public schools inform students about contraception as part of their sex education guidelines. Only 13 states require that sex education content provided to students be "medically accurate". Guttmacher Institute State Policies Brief 
There's no quick solution, but we can do better than we are today. Elements of such a plan would include:
  • making sure that all public schools in the country offer comprehensive sex education and ensuring that the ACA's contraceptive mandate is as universal it can be under the law.
  • We need to ensure that safety net programs provide the sort of assistance required to actually help struggling parents out of poverty, by ensuring that they get the sort of support (like child care and real job training/educational support) in order to improve their lives.
Now  I don't disagree that these are important, however I think these will be about as effective as peeing on a forest fire.  And where is that deep desire to punish those who subject others to abuse, neglect, etc that we saw when the 6 month sentence was announced?

Here are some amusing links:
Blaming the Victim
Baby Mama Signs
The Rubber Came Off
Beyond Baby Mamas
DK Single Mothers: Poverty
Bad Mothers



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Oh Canada

For a change of pace, I am visiting a customer in Ottawa Canada...  And get this...  Even with a connection in Detroit it only took me about 6 hours to get here !!!!  :-)  As compared to my ~22 hour adventures to Shanghai.  And I am only 1 hour off my time...  Not 13...


Apparently things are pretty active in Canadian Politics, since they operate a parliamentary system here. And after 10 years of Conservatism, the Liberals who are now in control are working to undo many of the things done during the past 10 years...  On the upside they don't have grid lock / slow change, but people and businesses must suffer some whiplash when this happens.


CBC Politics

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Gay Night Club Shooting

My condolences to all those who lost friends, family and loved ones.


Other thoughts?

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Freedom and the Sharp Edge

Jerry is about to steal my next post so I figured I would seize the moment.
"You don't fight cultural problems with bombs and missiles. And the "rape culture" of the Turner case is a cultural problem. I wonder something different. Are those outraged at Turner's "light" sentence wanting the harsher punishment as an example for others, so that the culture might be changed, or are they making him the sacrifice so they can continue the culture as it is?" Jerry
One of my many sources in the Turner post said the exact same thing.  It said something like...
The Judge is not allowed to issue a judgment on society through the punishment of one offender.  The Judge must make the sentence based on the individual case. Criteria: Severity of crime relative to similar, Damages to the victim, Likelihood of the Offender to repeat crime, Level of Offender's sorrow and understanding of the damages, etc.
Now I personally am a fan of our very free society. The reality is that a very free society comes with risks and dangers. And a very free society where organized religion and traditional values are on the decline is even more dangerous. Our youth are being raised in a world where freedom, pushing limits, drinking, drugs and sexual activity are normal. I mean if you want to see what the kids can access anytime, checkout redtube.com. (Warning: Content is EXPLICIT)

The irony of the Turner sentence debate is that many of the people who believe the punishment should be harsher are those who often argue against the religious values that our country was founded on...  As for an answer to Jerry's question.

Personally I think those wanting a harsher sentence are "making him the sacrifice so they can continue the culture as it is".  Of course this makes for a very sharp edge and sometimes young stupid Male and Female impaired people will fall over it.  The question then is do we ruin a young life full of potential because we / society set the Offender up for failure?

If you doubt me, think back to the days when courtships had to be approved by Parents and follow a rigid process.  Do you think Brock and the girl would have ended up on the ground next to the dumpster and not remembering what happened if the Parents were involved?

Thoughts?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Libertarian Wins Against Clinton

Our Women Matter More

I had another of my strange thoughts.  We have been discussing Brock Turner's punishment and the fact that millions of Americans are outraged at how "light" it was.  Now as I have said multiple times, what Brock did was criminal and should be punished.  However I think the variety of punishments he endured is adequate.

What I am curious about is are/were these 1 million people supportive of the US military and political involvement in Afghanistan.  I mean the treatment of women under the Taliban is TERRIBLE. We are not talking some drunken tryst that went too far, we are talking near slavery, abuse, denial of education, murder, etc...

So I am curious if these outraged Americans stood up for the many millions of  women there or if they just said...  "You can't save everyone"...

Here is something I wrote long ago. G2A Protector of the Small


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

MN Teacher Supports Tenure Lawsuit

I greatly appreciate this article.  And the comments are so predictable.


MP Teacher Supports Tenure Lawsuit

Stanford Rapist Sentence

I know there is a reason I keep telling my 21 year old to:
  • avoid shots and drugs
  • avoid drinks that someone else mixed 
  • always party with 2+ close female friends
What do you think regarding this case and the sentencing?


CNN Rape Sentence
CNN Victim's Letter