Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Myths About Charter Schools

Short on time, but we are back at it regarding Charter schools.
MinnPost 7 myths regarding charter schools

This Ember Reichgott Junge pretty much nails it.

Here is one of my comments:
"Since I am more concerned with the well being of the students and less worried about the well being of the Teacher's Union, I actually enjoyed the article.

The citizens of Minnesota actually raise the money and fund K-12 education for the good of the students/society, not for the good of the districts, teachers, bureaucrats or unions.

Though I do understand the frustration that governmental and union personnel feel when the parents and children are given a competitive choice. I mean it reduces their power, compensation, etc.

That would be hard to swallow."
And strangely enough this one also morphed to discussing education in MN.

MinnPost Peril of dismissing cost of doing business in MN

Here is one of my comments:
"2 vs 20 
2 classrooms located next to each other.
Both have 25 students of equal demographics.

Room 1 has a gifted energetic organized teacher with 2 years of experience who is payed $38,000/yr. Students are engaged and excelling.

Room 2 has an ok teacher with 20 years of experience who is paid $58,000/yr. Students do okay but the class is somewhat disruptive and homework is lost sometimes.

Does this make sense to you? Rationale?

Worse yet. Budget cuts occur because this a shrinking school district. The gifted 2 year teacher is let go and the ok teacher is kept.

Does this really seem good for the students? Rationale?"

Thoughts?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Consequences of Ignoring MN Costs

This was a fairly interesting post that of course the Liberal commenters quickly worked to "dismiss".
MinnPost Dismissing the cost of doing business in Minnesota will be at our peril

I thought that was funny given the title of the post...  And some of the comments of course praised the DFL/Dayton tax and spend policies of last year for our great economy.  Here are some related posts.

MinnPost MN adds 8,500 Jobs in June (3900 were gov't jobs)
MinnPost Franken Defends DFL Policies (doing better than Wisc)

Of course I posted my usual view.
"Please note that the recovery started long before Dayton and the DFL's recent tax and spend work. The reality is that we don't know the impact of last years changes yet. The good times we are experiencing now came from the GOP's fiscal restraint.

Time will tell the impact of these higher taxes and additional spending."
 Thoughts?

McFadden Football Team Commercial

The regular MinnPost commenters are throwing stones at the McFadden TV commercial.  Which of course I thought was fun and caring rather than the typical political TV Ad cesspool.

MinnPost  McFadden Commercial

Here was how I commented:
"Truth In Advertising...

If this is the team, then he just showed the truth. If he had shown his work with minorities or charity, folks here would question his sincerity.

The reality is that none of the Liberal commenters here could be swayed by anything he showed, said or did. And the good thing is that you are not the people being targeted.

Moderates are the target and I think it will play well with them. Definitely better than Franken's let government save you message."
Of course that triggered a variety of the typical Left leaning responses.  See link for more detail.

Thoughts?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

MN Gay Marriage Backlash

Sorry for the delay, I am in the lovely Greensville/Spartansburg SC area visiting a customer.  And I have been busy stirring the pot over at MinnPost.  Briana is reporting on the apparent lack of back lash against politicians who voted for LGBT marriage against the will of their constituents.  I of course think it is a bit early to be counting those chickens.

Also, I am having trouble getting a response posted to these:
"Can you choose to be gay, John? I couldn't. Just like my gay and lesbian friends can't choose to be straight. Does it matter why they are wired that way? Do we need to find the gene for why you are straight?" Dan

"Why is it any of the government's concern that a person is gay or straight? Why, especially, would it matter to anyone who would espouse a "small government ideology?"

Falling back on the old "will of the people" meme isn't going to work here." RB

"Your insistence and/or acceptance of a genetic disposition is irrelevant and unnecessary. What needs improvement is the ability of some people to keep their nose out of others personal lives." Jason
 My response goes something like this:
The reality is that people have no "right" to marry.  It is a privelage granted by the society in which one lives.  This dependent on the beliefs of the society in which you live.  So this topic will likely be alive and well 100 years from now as societies values vascillate. 
As for Conservatives being bigots because they believe LGBT marriage is an unacceptable behavior that should not be recognized and rewarded by the government and our society.  Are Liberals who are against Polyandry, Polygamy, Incestual, etc marriages bigots because these relationships offend their values.  I mean those people are likely as in love as Bill and Tim, and Jane and Joan.  How dare you enforce your values on their need to be rewarded and recognized?

Thoughts?

One more thought.
I am less interested in LGBT marriage and more interested in the concept of representative government. What should citizens do when their politician votes against their will.
This is an excellent case study. These folks voted to make something illegal forever. Then their politician voted immediately to make it legal.
Very interesting...



Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rich People Are Robbers, Cheats and Sociopaths?

Jon had some pretty strong opinions to express as a comment on.  MinnPost Franken Defends Democrat Policies  As is often the case, his Liberal attacking comments were posted and my simple rebuttal was blocked. So here we go again:
"I am always fascinated with the concept of their "fair share".

Someone making $15,000 gets to use the schools, roads, bridges, libraries, services and pays almost no taxes after you figure in the cash benefits they receive like food stamps, medicaid, earned income tax credit, heating assistance, housing assistance, etc.

Apparently according to the link, someone making $1,000,000 pays ~$400,0000 in taxes and gets none of the cash benefits listed above. Yet apparently you don't think they are paying their fair share.

It is very interesting." G2A


"A billionaire has the same advantages as every other American? That's laughable. A billionaire gets what a billionaire wants and that's more money, more houses, more cars, more boats, just more of anything they want. Including welfare. True it's more than what we normally think of when we think of welfare but it's still welfare. There is no way a person on the bottom will ever achieve that kind of wealth and privilege by legal means. In fact most of the Robber barons of the 1800's were exactly that, robbers, cheats, and at best just sociopaths.

There comes a point where a person no longer cares about anyone but themselves. Even among other sociopaths any chance they get they'll cut each other loose if they figure it's advantageous to themselves, if and when they can. To the majority of the citizens of the US, the TP'ers are nothing if not hazardous to their lives. While not all are sociopaths, the TP'ers that aren't follow them blindly towards a cliff of their own making. They are listening to the crying of the wealthy TP'ers claims that they are being put upon by the poor. Good grief." Jon

My unacceptable response went something like this...
"So do you really believe that all these American Billionaires are Robbers, Cheats and Sociopaths?  I guess I disagree...
I just can not determine why some of these comments are blocked...

What do you think, are rich people robbers, cheats and sociopaths that need to be relieved of their ill gotten wealth?

Do the wealthy get something extra for their taxes that us normal tax payers don't? If so, what?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Wealth Fluctuations

From   G2A Americans Still Living Large
"There's not much evidence, in fact, that the wealthy took a huge hit. Their incomes continue to grow, while the bottom 90% or so have stagnated or declined since 2008." Sean
I find this an interesting comment, I mean those with wealth (ie stocks, real estate, etc) should have taken a beating in 2008 when the stock and real estate markets crashed.  Pew Research: Recovery Facts

And yes I understand that those who lost their jobs and didn't have the skills to find new ones had it worse. Please remember that I lost mine in Dec2012 in part due to the slow recovery, and in part due to a really aggressively reckless company President.  On the upside he was shown the door about 1 year later, which is good for my friends who still work there.

Now I appreciate that I was fortunate since I have invested aggressively since I was 25 years old, both in stock/bonds/home and in my continuous improvement. (ie job skills/qualifications and connections)  Also, I am a buy and hold individual, Sean is correct that I saw a huge decrease in my net worth in 2008.  I mean between stocks going down by 40+% and my home value going down by 20% it was devastating to watch...  However since I held firm, didn't sell, kept buying, etc I am doing very well today.

So I can relate to both sides of this topic.  Sean do you have any sources to back up your statement?  Here is a link with lots of graphs. Global Economic Intersection

One last thought on this...  Remember that if I own Subaru or Hyundai stock, I make money when American citizens buy these low domestic content vehicles...  However the American workers only make money if you buy the one with the most domestic content....   Just a reminder that your savings or joy likely means lower employment levels and wages in the USA.  I saw the folks in China making good use of the trillions of dollars we have willingly sent them. (ie high speed railways, incredible housing projects, wind powered generators, etc)

More Links:
PEW Research: How It Has Changed America
FOX News: Impact On Boomers
EPI The Shadow

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Clinton and Dayton: Really...

I thought these topics and surreal comments were interesting.

CNN Clinton on Hobby Lobby Ruling
MPR Dayton on IL Union Ruling

It seems that Clinton believes government should be able to force people/businesses to pay for what they believe is murder, and Dayton believes that government should be able to force private daycare providers to pay Union fees.

I will never understand these big government folks.  I mean if a person wants an IUD or morning after pill, work for a company that finds these acceptable or pay for them yourself.  And the idea that government can pressure people to pay Union fees seems oh so wrong to me. The Union should attract members by adding value, just like other businesses and groups do.

Thoughts?

G2A Is Pregnancy a Disease?
G2A Childcare Union Dues

Saturday, June 28, 2014

MN Senate Race Franken vs McFadden

 Per Laurie's request.
"After reading a couple of Minnpost columns I have become interested in the MN senate race.

Finally, Mike McFadden offers details on his health-care views

McFadden on how he would deal with his No. 1 worry: U.S. government debt

I think it will be a close race." Laurie

"Laurie, thanks for those posts. They were informative, even though Eric Black is a highly biased leftist. Once you know that, you can learn a lot from reading "between the li[n]es." Jerry
 I know nothing about these folks yet, so I welcome the opportunity to research, listen and learn.

Personally I am thinking Franken will win easily.  I mean this is Minnesota, he is the incumbent and he hasn't embarrassed MN as badly as I thought he would.

McFadden for US Senate
Franken for Senate
Real Clear Politics
WP A Break for GOP
WP McFadden / Franken

Friday, June 27, 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

G2A Is Censored?

Or maybe it was google and it's products...

Though I am a bit hard up for interesting topics, I was not intentionally avoiding my posting duty...  I have been in China since Saturday, and the Beijing Airport Hilton is the first place where I have been able to access my account. (ie blogger is part of google)

And that blockage is pretty impressive since I have been in 5 different cities in 5 days...Yes...  It has been a real "planes, trains and automobiles" trip...  (without John Candy fluffing pillows)  By the way:
  • high speed trains are really cool for travelling between major metropolitan areas.
  • there are wind turbines and big corn fields in the NE
  • air quality is pretty rough, my eyes and throat are looking forward to getting home
  • my new name for China is the land of 1 million sky cranes, they continue to build EVERYWHERE...
  • it is very interesting reading their local english newspapers...  apparently some folks in Hong Kong are being pretty subversive by talking about holding elections...
  • the street cleaners are still out in full force. (ie 1000's per city) we really need to consider giving brooms to those on public assistance or long term unemployment.  our blvd's could be that nice.
Thoughts regarding China, or ideas for future posts?

Flying back tomorrow.  Have a great weekend!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

California Teacher Tenure Ruling

Dan at MPP is all bent out of shape over some teacher ruling, so it is probably it likely a good thing for the K-12 students and a bad thing for that small group of unproductive Teachers.

CNN Will Tenure Ruling be a Lesson
Forbes Tenure Ruling

Thoughts?

Iraq: Waste or Failed Intervention

The Liberals are out to use the destruction and suffering in Iraq to prove that all that US money and those US lives were wasted.  The irony I see in this is that these same people continue to demand that we spend ever increasing amounts on welfare, medicare and other programs that have not solved the poverty problem.  They see one as our duty and one as waste.

I am very sad that things are going poorly in Iraq.  Just as I am sad when an alcoholic falls off the wagon, an abused spouse goes back to their abuser, a student wastes a free K-12 education opportunity, etc.  Does it mean that interventions that provide people a chance to change their lives are a "waste"?  I guess I see Afghanistan and Iraq as a significant intervention that may or may not work.  I guess I am not agreeing that it was a waste.

Whereas I see waste in supporting people who refuse to change and improve decade after decade.  That is kind of like going back to Iraq multiple times and expecting different results.  That I agree would be a waste.

MinnPost Tempest over Bergdahl
MPP New Rule on Iraq is Shut Up

 Here is one of the comment strings from the Bergdahl piece.
"Relative Concerns. On one hand, you are frustrated by low wages, corporate greed, job off shoring, global warming, mining issues, etc.

Yet you are seemingly indifferent to the plight of people in other countries who face very real and immediate problems.

I agree the USA can not save everyone, however ensuring school girls aren't shot on the way to school or stoned for dating the wrong man seems much more important than many of the trivial problems within the border of the USA.

Priorities are an interesting thing." G2A

"You forgot to mention. Several times Karzai has threatened to kick us out. He is very ambiguous about our continued presence in HIS country. Is that the thanks we get for committing blood and treasure to the support of a corrupt regime? No...it is time we leave this pathetic country and let them deal with their future themselves." Myles

"Lost Causes.  I don't mind leaving them to their issues, I mind the fact that Liberals are calling this a waste and we stop trying, while demanding that we spend more money on welfare, etc.

America spent money and lives to give the Afghan and Iraqi people a chance at better lives. They unfortunately are finding it hard to break old habits, thus to Liberals here it is a waste.

Yet we spend hundreds of billions each year trying to help those who are not willing to change, and the Liberals just ask for more.

I find it inconsistent." G2A

"Who is not willing to change. you're vilifying American citizens in the same breath as giving Iraqis and Afghans a pass for "unfortunately finding it hard to break old bad habits." You're either willfully obtuse or just plain mean spirited against the poor. Yeah, I'd rather spend billions to help the poor n this country than billions + American lives so Halliburton can rake in more corporate profits as we lumber into regions of the world that have been at war for thousands of years in some ludicrous attempt to whip a little American- style democracy on them. The money and lives spent WERE a colossal waste. The only "lost cause" is getting that reality across to people whose only personal sacrifice to these pointless wars is finding room on the bumper of their Suburban for a "we support the troops" ribbon." Jason
Yet to be cleared by the moderator.
"Yes very inconsistent.  
You want to spend Billions more on people in group 1. These people have been given an opportunity to obtain a free education.  They have access to many charities and other society provided services. They are protected by the rule of law.  And yet many of them choose to live in the safety hammock we continue to fund at increasing levels.
You see spending Billions on protecting people in group 2, women in particular, who live in near slavery with no chance at an education as a waste.
I am interested to know your rationale. " G2A 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

American Political Divide

Something new worth discussing.
MinnPost Yes we're more polarized most Americans still don't fit description

"The overall share of Americans who express consistently conservative or consistently liberal opinions has doubled over the past two decades from 10% to 21%." Pew

"That's a tall tree, and growing steadily taller. But don't forget to notice that the forest — the other 79 percent of the population — do not fit this description." Eric Black

Pew Research Political Polarization
NYT Polarization
WP Polarization

G2A Political Self Awareness
G2A The Popularity Contest
G2A Conservative / Liberals: Who Cares More

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Obama, Bergdahl, Boko Haram and West Point

Okay I am hard pressed for topics and working too much lately.  So let's give these links a try:

CNN Bergdahl, Boko Haram and Benghazi - by Gingrich
CNN Ethics Issues in Bergdahl Swap
CNN Bergdahl's Release Raises Questions
Fox News Briefing does little to quell concerns
The Atlantic Obama weakened rule of Law
MinnPost Muscle vs Obama Doctrine
MinnPost Afghanistan Exit Plan
Main Justice Holder's Committee
CSM Obama Singles Out Boko Haram
WP Obama at Westpoint

Thoughts and/or questions in my mind:
  • Did Obama break the law?  Bad enough to get him in trouble?
  • Was Bergdahl a prisoner or a somewhat willing guest?
  • What will be the consequences of this new precedent?
  • If we pull all of our troops out of the Middle East, will the Jihadists move their attacks to American soil?
  • Other?
Thoughts?