Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Romney Immigration 2 Step

From G2A The Decent Wage

"I would love to plan for the long term, but in this political environment, that's not possible, or at least it's useful. The other day, when Mitt Romney talked about his preference for long term solutions to the very short term problems of young immigrants, he was showing a remarkable naivete about both the actual needs of our people, and what the capability of our political system is in addressing them. Made me wonder if the guy even watches the news." Hiram

Given the mixture of opinions regarding this topic within the Conservative base alone, I am happy that I am not Romney.  As stated in the last post, this is a topic where the Rights and Lefts seem to mix often.

I was wondering though if Hiram was talking about "immigrants"  or "illegal immigrants".  Being a Law and Order type of guy, it still frustrates me when people want to reward people who budged in line by jumping the border or over staying their legal welcome.  Kind of like those folks that merge at the last possible minute...

I feel for the legal immigrants who waited and paid their dues to be met by lower income jobs because the budgers are helping to keep the pay low for those entry level jobs.  We seem to forget that consequence.

CNN Romney, GOP Struggle with Immigration

Monday, June 25, 2012

Arizona Immigration Ruling

The topic that makes strange bed fellows is back in the news.  Meaning, the Liberals that want to save the law breakers and the Conservatives that want cheap labor.  As compared to the Liberals that want higher wages and the Conservatives that want Law and Order.

At least it looks like they can still check immigration status when a law has been broken, thank heavens !!!  Thoughts?

CNN Immigration Ruling
Fox News Immigration Ruling

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Minnesota High Stakes Testing

Annie left the following over at the G2A MN Dept of Education MMR Info post.
"This is an interesting look at testing in Minnesota. One of the creators of NWEA/MAP tests (which are vastly superior to MCAs, imo) talks at some length at what standardized tests do well and what they don't." Annie.
MinnPost High Stakes Testing Trends

I think I agree that MAP tests are better than the MCA's, and have often wondered that the MN Dept of Ed doesn't standardize on them as the State's "measurement" tool.  I am guessing they may be somewhat more expensive and the need to take them on a computer may make it difficult in some school districts.  Ironically in a world where the schools and Teachers complain about too much testing,  Robbinsdale gives the MAP tests 2 or 3 times a year to monitor growth and forecast how the kids will do on the MCA's.

As for Jim Angermeyr's comments in the interview, I thought they were lacking.  His comments imply that he thinks high stakes testing and NCLB are not improving things, and that we should go back to local control with apparently no higher level quality monitoring.  Which strangely is where we were when all those kids were being Left Behind.

Also, he mentions that the money spent on Grad tests and the required catch up classes could be spent better elsewhere.  Apparently passing the Left Behind kids without even an effort to catch them up is acceptable to him.  Very odd...

As a counterpoint, here are a couple of opinion pieces by Charlie Weaver from the Star Tribune.  He seems to make more sense to me.  Maybe it is a private sector business results thing...
Star Tribune: State schools score better like magic
Star Tribune: Is Education Measuring Up?


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The "Decent" Wage?

Hiram posted this comment on this post, "One of the ways American workers were inefficient was that they insisted on a decent wage. Our socialist competitors have no such qualms." and it got me thinking...

What is a decent wage?
Does it vary by country?
Does it vary by desperation / alternatives?
Does it vary by "normal std of living"?
How should it be determined?
How should it be enforced?

I'll likely add to this later, however I am out time...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Government Control vs Globalization?

I have been conversing on MN Publius again and it is going as well as usual.  James in particular thinks that the government of the USA can in some way use tax policy to keep jobs in the USA, keep American products price competitive, keep American company profit levels that are acceptable to investors, and raise the income levels for American workers.  He gave some rough concepts that made no sense to me.  Check them out and share your thoughts.

He repeatedly alludes to some governmental changes that are at the heart of all our current problems.(during last 40 yrs)  I replied per the following quote:
"I did some quick math.  You apparently want things to go back to how it was in the 1950's and 1960's.  A time when Europe/Asia were attempting to recover from being nearly destroyed during WWII,  shipping was expensive, communications were slow, American baby boom was underway, etc.  I am thinking you had better start hoping for WWIII, and praying it stays off American soil.
The Europeans are done fixing, the Asians want our standard of living and are willing to work for it, communications is cheap and nearly instantaneous, shipping is a bargain,  America's growth is coming from lesser educated immigrants and Intellectual Property equals wealth.  I hope you have a time machine, because Pandora's box is open and we had best work hard, adjust and learn."
And I didn't even mention the age and healthcare demographic and cost changes...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

God and Variation

In our discussion regarding the Marriage Amendment, it became pretty clear that some folks believe that homosexual relationships are better left in the closet.  It seems that their rationale is that God made Man and Woman in their form so they could make children and live in a happy marriage.  This is how God meant things to be, therefore who are we as a society to challenge this?  It is just nature, and anything else is a incorrect.

Now since this is God we are talking about, how could there have been an error in this grand design?  I mean we are all created based on a Adam and Eve, so the variation should be minimal.  Right?

Now this where I probably fumble this whole post and end up with everyone frustrated with me.  The unfortunate reality is that our all powerful God is apparently not too good with Standard Work and Quality Control.  Here is a list of variations that can occur within us humans.  Unfortunately it is in Wiki as Genetic Disorders.  I prefer to think of it as Genetic variation.

I put this out there as proof that God's creation are not all the same.  Therefore variation is what is natural, and thinking that we are all hard wired the same way is incorrect.

All it takes is one little genetic, chemical or hormonal change in your body to trigger all kinds of good or bad responses.  I have no doubt that sexual attraction and bonding are the same.  So embrace all of God's children and treat them with the respect and compassion you would expect if your chemicals varied from template.  Thoughts ?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Gov't Should Encourage Dependency?

As usual when I am looking for something totally different, I stopped by MN Publius.  Apparently they believe that not only should the government provide a safety net for the less fortunate.  They believe we should also provide bonuses to those that convince more people to climb into the net.  See below for more.  Thoughts?
"Does this make sense to you? "We should be doing everything we can to get people who qualify for food stamps on the program."? If so, why?  If they are getting by, why would we strive to get them hooked to the system?  I agree that the GOP has it's problems also. Right now we are talking food programs." G2A

It doesn't take half a brain to figure out why we should get aid to those who need it. Kids can't learn if they are starving but of course you would rather give our money to those who don't need it. It is a very effective stimulus returning $1.73 into the economy for every dollar spent vs $.29 for the Bush tax cuts. The only reason we are talking about food stamps is that the Republicans will not pay their own way. They spend like drunken sailors and then expect to cut aid to the poor when the bill comes due.  Lenzy1000

"This is why the Public Schools provide free breakfasts and lunches in many needy neighborhoods. Apparently the food stamp money does not always make it into the kid's stomach.  By the way, I fully support rescinding all of the Bush tax cuts and believe they should have never been made. This means raising the taxes on the poor also, and getting rid of the tax credit. Are you ok with that?"  G2A
MN Publius Food Stamps

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Religious Folks Oppose MN Marriage Amendment

Here is a topic that I will never truly understand.  Of course with my more Libertarian leanings, I am pretty sure I will vote no on this one.  Here are my random thoughts regarding the topic:

  • Why in the world is the word "married" charged with so much importance?  Maybe we need the "State" to drop it all the way around.  We could just call the legal binding of 2 adults some form of "Partnership".  And the Churches can then use whatever term they want.
  • Why would the Roman Catholic church be against homosexual rights?  They seem to have employed many over the years?  And even hid some of their more egregious indiscretions.
  • Being a member of the ELCA that now allows homosexual Pastors, it looks like we have the blessing to go either way.
  • Why would I want to hoard the joys and pains of Marriage?  Let them share in some of the excitement !!!


KARE11 Religious Leaders Oppose Marriage Amendment
MPR Amendment Mobilizes Faithful on Both Sides
ELCA Paper

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wisconsin Sees the Light?

If you search G2A for Wisconsin or Union, you will see that this is one of my favorite topics.  Though I see some benefits in Unions having influence, to me they have too often gotten carried away in supporting their own needs at the cost of their customers and employer.  This seems to lead to ineffectiveness, high costs, keeping poor performers employed, etc.

Also, I absolutely can not understand the concept of forced membership and dues paying.  I realize that I could never work in a union shop, I am way too selfish.  I want to get results, make a difference and get well rewarded for the effort.  Also, I want to work long hours when needed to ensure that I satisfy my customers.  I appreciate flexibility way too much...

So tomorrow we will find out if the citizens of Wisconsin have seen the light.  Will they vote for the Democratic candidate, higher compensation for public workers, higher job security for questionable employees, higher taxes, etc?  Or will they vote for the Republican candidate, more competitive compensation, promotion of the most effective, lower taxes, etc.

I for one am very curious to see how it turns out.  If MSNBC and CNN are thinking Walker is good to go, it likely does not bode well for Barrett.  Thoughts?

MSNBC Labor Stares Down Possible Loss
CNN Fix, Don't Destroy Public Worker Unions
CNN No Obama in Wisconsin
G2A Attacking Unions or Saving Students?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

MN Dept of Education MMR Info

I am going to need to do some more reading before I can comment too much on this.  However here are some links to some homework for you.  As I review this I will be looking for several key things that are needed to improve a system.

  1. Does the method prioritize the Goals? (SMART)
  2. Does the method follow PDCA?
  3. Does the method have enough carrots and sticks to motivate people to be willing to accept and promote change?  And make hard decisions?
  4. Does the system ensure the gap is not closed by lowering the top scores?

What else should I be looking for?  Will this new system work?

Also, I link some comments regarding RDALE's take on the info.

MN Dept of Educ MMR Release
MN Dept of Educ New Accountability System
MN Dept of Educ Federal Accountability
MN Dept of Educ NCLB Waiver Site

ZLE Rated One of the Top in MN
RDALE Poised for Growth

AHS and CHS on Top HS List