Monday, November 20, 2017

Orienting Principle Must Be Truth

Here is an interesting opinion piece. I especially like the conclusion...
"Journalists can help themselves by, simply put, being better at our jobs. Giving Trump less ammunition in the form of unforced errors is crucial. The media must prove it is deserving of the trust it desires. Mistakes, which will happen, must be corrected swiftly.

Instead of willing the news to go in a certain direction, we should wait and see if it actually does. Whataboutism isn't journalism. Neither is "look over here!"

Conservative journalism, in particular, must provide clear-eyed commentary and analysis in the era of Trump. While liberalism is united against a common enemy, conservatives are divided. Some like the President, some like him enough and some like him just because he is not the alternative, Hillary Clinton. With no orienting political direction, the uniting principle among conservatives in media must be truth. "
Some related links
Chris Wallace FOX Hard News vs FOX News Opinion
WAPO FOX Undermines Real News

Now I absolutely love watching Chris Wallace on FOX on Sunday mornings.  He is smart, demanding, balanced, etc.  Of course when I mentioned this opinion to my favorite couple who loves watching the FOX Opinion show hosts...  They said that they think Chris is a Liberal...  Of course one of them sees Rush Limbaugh as a good "news" source...  So that explains a lot... :-)

So with Trump etal dividing the Conservatives, I have to think this is going to be great for the DEMs in 2018.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Consequences of Weakening Unions?

This is an interesting analysis of the changes that occurred in Wisconsin. CNN Impact of Changes in Wisconsin  Though it certainly seems that the jury is still out.  Thoughts?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

America Needs Better Leaders

This is an interesting opinion piece.
CNN America is in Need of Leaders

Now I personally have a lot of cynicism and dislike for most Upper Level Managers, CEOs and Politicians.  That is because I am hard wired to be a Servant Leader, whereas most of the Upper Level Managers, CEOs and Politicians I have worked with and heard speak seem to be Traditional Top Down Leaders who see themselves as the focal point.

This is part of why I was laid off from my previous employer almost 5 years ago now, and why I am much more comfortable working as a Project Manager.  I am happy to work hard with my team and to mentor / support those who have less knowledge and experience.  However when it comes to doing as told by upper managers when it seems illogical or against the company's principles, I tend to speak up and try to change things.  Unfortunately self focused Traditional Top Down Managers tend to shoot the messenger... I would be a terrible military soldier...

The challenge of course is that self focused Traditional Top Down Managers tend to be the people who are willing to drag their family around the country and world to climb the ladder, get more power and larger compensation.  I have to assume we have the same challenge when it comes to politicians, that is why there are so many narcissists in office.

Often the best leaders and politicians are those who were reluctantly promoted or voted into that position.  By the way, I am also a big fan of Deming's work.

Will Trump etal be Good for DEMs in 2018

Given the number of people in the general population who Trump has annoyed, vilified, failed to help and/or insulted...  I am guessing the answer is yes.  And per this piece it seems the GOP governors understand this.  Next year's elections are going to be exciting !!!  Thoughts?

And please note that Trump's approval numbers are not getting any better given his not changing his ways....

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Guilty Until Proven Innocent?

With this rash of people claiming sexual assault etc, and others being fired , punished , etc based on only the accuser's word...  Where do we go from here?

CNN Moore
CNN The List
Salon Women Do It Also

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Tax Bill Review

I have been worried about Jerry's logic / consistency gaps lately. Hopefully he gets a check up.  NYT Tax Bill Impact Summary

"For example, I point out that the current House GOP plan would make taxes MORE progressive. Trump would pay more. Is that acceptable? It isn't fair by any means, if that is a value you wish to hold on this issue." Jerry 
"Not true at all."Sean 
"Sean, basis of that statement? I am basing that on the fact the top bracket is retained and the exclusion of SALT hits the rich harder, plus everybody else sees higher starts to their brackets and lower rates." Jerry 
"All you have to do is look at all the various analyses of the distributional impact -- whether from JCT, CBPP, TPC, Tax Foundation (which represent the full spectrum of ideologies) they all show more benefit (in absolute and % of income) accruing at the top of the scale, especially after all the temporary middle class measures fall off in five years." Sean 
"In that case I'm all for it. But you are looking at the Senate bill. Try looking at the House bill, it seems better all around, and since tax policy must originate in the House, I'm hopeful.  It's a question of "values," again. Do we value "sticking it to the rich"? Or do we value reducing taxes and promoting economic growth? I would say that one of those motivations is not like the other."Jerry

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Why Do I Have to Love or Hate Trump?

Given the strong feelings that Trump elicits here, this is an excellent piece that I can relate to
CNN Why Do I Have to Love or Hate Trump

I mean look at Laurie's take on Trump's presidency...
"What makes it crazy for women (or men) to vote for Trump is he is mentally ill and unfit to be president. He falls outside the norm of typical or acceptable presidents. It is unprecedented in how bad of a candidate / president he is. He is uniquely unqualified to hold office. I though GW was a bad president, but Trump is beyond terrible as president. I expect him to be rated at the very bottom once he has been in office long enough to be rated (number 45 out of 45)  (btw Obama has been rated as the 12th best president by presidential scholars.)"
And Lord knows criticizing the President's words or actions in front of the Trump Conservatives is to pick a fight...

Saturday, November 4, 2017

China Thoughts / Pics

Well, I have been on the road for a week and have made it to the Courtyard Marriott in Pangyo Korea. And even better yet, I get to stay here for 2 whole nights and have today to catch up on everything. (ie rest, work, blog, etc) By the way, this "office" does have a nice view !!! (remember: if you pick the picture it will enlarge) And here is map of my adventure.

My first thought was would the Light Rail / High Speed Rail folks support China's solution of elevating the whole darned thing? Whether it is in the country or the city... Just think: no worrying about pedestrians, cars, etc. Maybe that is what we should do with the SW corridor? I wonder how many law suits that would trigger in the USA. Also, please note that electric powered transportation solutions are great except they require transmission lines to get the power there.

Now I have complimented the roadways in China cities many times. They are clean and have maintained plants everywhere. And this work apparently creates a lot of low skill / low knowledge jobs. This is the first I have noticed in Tianjin and Bejing they are actually building covers to protect the hundreds of miles of plants in the medians during the winter.

And everyone in the USA should be thankful that squat toilets never caught on in the states. Especially the ones where you are in essence hovering over a sewage trough with no water trap to prevent the gases / smells from coming back into the room. When I got to Korea they had these useful instructions for people who have not used a western toilet. :-)

Now for bikes and scooters, there are many of them here and many are going electric. (be careful: they are very quiet...) However apparently high tech bike rentals are becoming a problem in the cities. Rental companies are flooding the streets with them, not maintaining them adequately and they end up with lots full of them in the wrong place. So the cities are confiscating them by the thousands... By the way, here is a typical scooter parking area.

By the way, most of the China hotels have been in very urban areas that make New York looks small and rural... :-) However here is the view from my Hilton up in the Hangzhou lake country. It made for a very nice change for the few hours I was there and awake to appreciate it.

Now that I am in Korea I thought maybe some of the building construction would be slower, but I was greeted by the usual Asian city scene. Cities building hundreds of apartment and office buildings simultaneously. It is almost impossible to comprehend. Just imaging building the whole Minneapolis downtown each year... And this was happening in every city I visited.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Those Silly Women

I found these interesting, especially after Laurie and Sean were attacking me for my Trump vote.

FOX News Michelle Obama Speaks
CNN Michelle Obama Speaks
FOX Opinion Do Not Speak for Me

Apparently Michelle Obama thinks that women who voted for Trump didn't "listen to their voice".  How can Liberals be so EGOTISTICAL?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Prospects for DEMs in 2018

Eric does some detail discussion here. MP Prospects for DEMS in 2018

My comment was "I guess I am curious what platform Democrats will run on???

Will they stick with their tired old... regulate more, tax more, grow government, grow public employees unions, redistribute more, hold people accountable less, protect more people, handout more "fish", etc Or will they change it up some?"

Ray left a long well thought out comment, however I found this part most interesting. "I'm waiting, as are many others, for the Democrats to devise a coherent message that speaks to fairness for, if not everyone, then as many as possible. So far, I'm not seeing or hearing that. It's not a case of "Obama's legacy," at least not for me. I thought Obama, while president, was an articulate and principled moderate Republican, in the guise of a mainstream Democrat. The current GOP's right wing strikes me as neofascist, so I can't support most of what it advocates, and I'm reasonably well informed. I'm not impressed (that's as politely as I can phrase it) with either the Republican Congress or the Current Occupant, but there's plenty of room for improvement on both their parts."

I mean David Brooks explained it well on PBS tonight. In essence he said that the DEMs should win a lot of seats in 2018 given how unpopular Trump and his supporters are.  However as the DEMs go further Left, people like me may have to continue to choose the party that supports capitalism, not democratic socialism.  Thoughts?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Ready to Give Up State Tax Deduction?

Well to me this seems fair... I mean why should people living in high tax states pay less in Federal taxes? And it seems to me that raising the standard deduction and eliminating this "loop hole" would help many of the working class folks.  Thoughts?

CNN Money State and Local Tax Deduction

Rational Gun Control

Jerry and I have been arguing about gun control over here.  I have proposed what I think are some sensible control actions that would focus on:
  • semi automatic rifles
  • large clips
  • bump fire stocks
  • holding owners accountable for keeping their weapons secure
  • registering these very dangerous weapons
It's not like people use these for personal or household defense. That is unless you are out on a ranch trying to hold off a small army.

Well in the midst of this I came across a couple of links that had the very interesting charts shown below.
NYT How to Reduce Mass Shootings
WP Shooting Incidents are getting More Deadly

Now I own multiple guns and I can even understand arguments for conceal / carry.  And I have no problem with semi-automatic handguns with ~15 round magazines.  However the idea that citizens be able to buy and keep semi-automatic rifles with few checks, records and/or responsibilities astounds me.  Thankfully my gun collector friends have big heavy gun safes that no one is going to breach or walk away with. This should be the expectation for anyone who owns these incredibly dangerous weapons. 

I am not sure why folks fight these simple requirements. We have to register and insure our cars, and maintain a valid driver's license. And yet apparently they think anyone is capable to keep and use guns responsibly.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Importance of Early Nurturing

A gift that Jerry posted on G2A The Guessing Game.  By the way, something about that post has made it the most accessed link on G2A during the last month...
"I am going to post something that actually supports your argument. But I would hate for that to absolve the schools of their responsibility. YN These two brains both belong to three-year-olds, so why is one so much bigger?
On an unrelated note, Jerry and I have been continuing our gun control difference of opinion.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Trump's Voter Fraud Witch Hunt

I thought this was an interesting piece.  AP Commission's Lack of Transparency  Apparently Trump has his own witch hunt operating in "stealth mode".

I think it is telling that a supposedly conservative committee tried to obtain so much "State Maintained" personal information about their citizens.  It seems that these supposed "small government conservatives" are actually "Big Brother / Fed Loving" folks at heart. Thankfully even Conservative States have the back bone to turn down this request from the people running the President's personal witch hunt. (see below)  BI States Refusing to Share Data
"Arkansas says it's received the letter and will provide publicly available information but not Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers or information about felony convictions or military status
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he recommended the secretary of state not release all the information, calling the panel's request too broad."
I sure hope us tax payers are not paying too much for this impossible attempt to prove our inaccurate Presidents wild speculation