Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sweat Shops, Better than the Alternatives?

Now Grace Kelly has joined the Ethics band wagon with a different spin.  MPP Fatal Flaw of Removed Decision Making  In essence she is saying that Apple and other corporations are knowingly and willingly perpetuating unsafe, toxic, etc factories overseas in the name of making a profit.  And my interpretation is that she thinks we should do something about that.  I wanted to share the following story with her, however we know how well that went...

My MBA Ethics Professor at the University of St Thomas told us a story about his first experiences with overseas factories.  He said that being a modern American he shared many of Grace's idealistic opinions before touring plants in different countries in South East Asia during the late 1970's.  He had a vision that the children should be free to go to school until they were 18.  He believed the workers should have good, clean and safe world class factories.  He believed they should be working ~40 hours per week. And on and on.  He said he was looking at it from his "dumb" American perspective.

Then during his tour he had the opportunity to see just how naive he was being.  These people were in severe poverty and were incredibly happy to have the opportunity to work in these "terrible places".  One particular benefit he said was that previously poor rural families with no work had often been forced to sell their daughters into the sex trade in order to keep the other family members fed.  Whereas now there were jobs where they could make a modest living based on local standards.

He carried that new more realistic perspective with him from then on.  It didn't mean that global companies should close their eyes and ignore problems.  However it did mean that Rome was not built in a day.  These global companies with higher standards could stop buying and influencing change in 3rd world countries, however where would that leave the citizens of those countries?

The reality is that us Americans are so very fortunate, and many others live a much darker existence.  It does not mean we stop trying to improve things, however it would be smart to be face the situation eyes wide open.

Remember that the path to hell is paved with good intentions.  Where would China have been if they hadn't experienced their "industrial boom" and it's problems.  Who's money do you think is funding the improvements they are starting to implement?  Remember that America had to go through the same stages of development...  Thoughts?

BI Apple to Audit Pegatrong
(wonder which China based corps conduct audits?)
G2A The Decent Wage
G2A Chinese Factories, Foxconn and Apple
G2A Business, Government or Citizen Control

For a more "out there" Grace post, check this one out.
MPP Bomb Syria or BP for Chemical Attacks

Tapolski, Dogs, Humans & Facts vs Faith

Dog Gone and I have been debating Science and Beliefs lately.  It started with his lively critique of Katherine Kersten and her opinion piece: Put People Before Dogs. (opinion piece comments are interesting)  She discusses a study where some folks would save a dog before saving a human.  (NR Dennis Prager's Article)

Now Dog has clarified his thoughts regarding Science, Facts, Faith and Belief in
MPP Faith is Insufficient, Frequently Wrong, and Sometimes Bad.  And since I and apparently others are intermittently blocked over there by system challenges, you get to hear my thoughts and questions...  (you're welcome or sorry)

In summary, it seems that Dog thinks that pretty much everything can resolved by the use of facts and a common ethics system.  Whereas I contend that there are a lot of gray areas where this won't work because some things simply have not been proven conclusively and there are many different philosophy systems out there.  Here is what I was going to respond to Dog's latest comments:
  1. Souls, God, Heaven and Hell are neither proven nor not. How do you handle them?
  2. Gay gene is just my short hand for they have no choice. Even my most Liberal readers can not provide a "root cause" for where people land on the gay to straight spectrum. (ie a medical test) Apparently the facts are not conclusively there to prove it is not a choice.
  3. I believe climate change is occurring and some of it is man made. What no one knows is what the severity will be. Therefore how much of our disposable income should we spend to change? Is it worth disrupting the status quo with huge costly changes, or do we keep improving slowly but surely?
  4. It sounds like you want to toss out some of the important parts of the Bible. And I agree that Genesis does seem a bit fantastic even for me. Since you say you are not an Atheist, what "faith" do you have? Remember that faith is to believe in something that can not be proven.
  5. Who is we? And which ethics system are you referring to? Since before Socrates humans have been arguing philosophy, ethics, etc. I have to hear the wisdom of “Dog Gone”.
Now my long time readers know that I love my English Springer Spaniel dearly.  Cassie is in fact laying next to me as I write this and she is 8.5 years old.  However maybe based on my farming background, I know that she is a dog with a very limited life span.  Given the choice between saving her or a human, I think I'll be in the market for a new puppy.
Thoughts on any of the many topics covered here?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Syria, Obama, Iraq, Bush ?

Eric Ferguson at MPP wrote an interesting piece that is causing some contention between their Liberal commenters.  MPP Syria not Iraq, Obama not Bush  And though I agree with the title, I think that is about where my agreement ends.

I think we had better reasons for bombing and invading Iraq:
  1. Saddam had attacked our allies.
  2. Saddam was still killing the Kurds and Shiites.
  3. The USA was still maintaining the No Fly Zones. (no forseeable end in sight)
  4. Iraq has lots of oil and we for better or worse need oil price stability to ensure our economy is stable and growing.
  5. For better or worse again, the USA supports fledging democarcies when practical.
Now as for Syria:
  1. No attacks on allies, though they support indirectly some attacks on Israel. (but who in the Middle East doesn't...)
  2. Assad is killing people, no doubt there.
  3. USA has no stake at this time. (ie not half pregnant)
  4. USA has no stake at this time. (ie little/no oil in Syria)
  5. We should have learned from Iraq/Egypt/Afganistan that Democracies have a real hard time in the Middle East.
 As for Bush and Obama, we knew where Bush stood on foreign policy and he took action that was aligned with it. (for better or worse)  With Obama, no one seems to no where Obama stands on foreign policy, maybe not even Obama himself.

This Syria issue reminds me a lot more of the Balkans and the never ending problems in Africa.  No real reason for the USA to get involved unless we are dedicated to being:

USA: World Police !!!


CNN Syria Quagmire
CNN Why Not Act
CNN Why Act

G2A Still America's Fault
G2A Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Syria Compared
G2A WAR, What Is It Good For
G2A A Tale of 2 Daughters
G2A Peace Lovers are Confusing
G2A Libya To Help or Not To Help

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Immigration Reform: Options

 Per Jerry's request:
"How about a post on immigration? I want to know why there seems to be only two choices being discussed-- "send them all back" or a "path to citizenship" when a) it's a far more complicated situation (NOT amenable to a "comprehensive" bill, IMHO) and b) there are LOTS of choices in between those two extremes that make a lot more sense than either."  J Ewing
 I am short on time right now, however I might add some links and comments later.

Thoughts on what lies between "deport them all" and "reward them all with citizenship"?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Obama Derangement Syndrome

"Here is a topic for you: Obama derangement syndrome. Today my mother got another one in a long line of anti Obama emails from conservative friends. This one had a picture of Obama holding the book The Post-American World and was full of anti Muslim nonsense. The funny part is that I googled it and learned the photo is from 2008. These emails truly never die.

Snopes: What does Obama read

Anyhow, I am curious why these email chains are such a conservative phenomena. I have seen dozens (and I am not at all in that loop) and have never seen a single one with a liberal slant

They are interesting mix of fear, hatred, and conspiracy. I would not enjoy seeing the world from this perspective. My liberal point of view seems more mentally healthy to me." Laurie

WP Conservatives Run Email Rumor Mill
Daily Kos Liberal Email Chains
Chain Smashers Liberal

I guess if the far right Conservatives have the upper hand on fibbing and displaying paranoia through chain emails...  I am thinking the far left Liberals have the upper hand on fibbing and displaying paranoia through blogs... I am thinking both extremes self impose a lot of stress and anxiety on themselves while looking for conspiracies. Thoughts?  G2A

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rights: Abortion vs Neglect

Still having MPP problems...  See link for first part of the discussion.

 MPP Women OK with the Choice They Made

"So in your opinion a fetus that is developing normally and rapidly into a smiling and laughing baby is the same as a brain dead adult who is slipping towards atrophy and death. (or foreskin cells) I guess I have to disagree. To me stopping the heart of the first is a reason mourn, whereas stopping the heart of the latter is mercy.

Let's say a mother, I mean "woman", delivers at 25 weeks and there is a high probability that the child will live if given the correct medical treatment.

Do you think the "woman" should be given the right to deny medical care to the preemie?
What if the preemie has birth defects? Same rights?
How does this differ from a 2nd trimester abortion?

As you note, viability is going to earlier and earlier as medicine advances..." G2A

Friday, August 23, 2013

Prejudging Teacher Capability

Sorry to drag you into this again, however I am giving the MPP site heartburn again.
MPP Educators for Excellence
"“many of the teachers I know are bargain hunters”, yes, we’re back to your usual “a guy I know” premise.

Here is fact for you, instead; empirical evidence.

The framework for this study includes five broad categories of measurable and policy-relevant indicators to organize the teacher characteristics assumed to reflect teacher quality.
The highlights of the empirical evidence include:

Teacher experience
• Several studies have found a positive effect of experience on teacher effectiveness; specifically, the “learning by doing” effect is most obvious in the early years of teaching.

Teacher preparation programs and degrees
• Research suggests that the selectivity/prestige of the institution a teacher attended has a positive effect on student achievement, particularly at the secondary level. This may partially be a reflection of the cognitive ability of the teacher.
• Evidence suggests that teachers who have earned advanced degrees have a positive impact on high school mathematics and science achievement when the degrees earned were in these subjects.
• Evidence regarding the impact of advanced degrees at the elementary level is mixed.

Teacher certification
• Research has demonstrated a positive effect of certified teachers on high school mathematics achievement when the certification is in mathematics.
• Studies show little clear impact of emergency or alternative-route certification on student performance in either mathematics or science, as compared to teachers who acquire standard certification.

Teacher coursework
• Teacher coursework in both the subject area taught and pedagogy contributes to positive education outcomes.
• Pedagogical coursework seems to contribute to teacher effectiveness at all grade levels, particularly when coupled with content knowledge.
• The importance of content coursework is most pronounced at the high school level.
• While the studies on the field experience component of teacher education are not designed to reveal causal relationships, they suggest positive effects in terms of opportunity to learn the profession and reduced anxiety among new teachers.

Teachers’ own test scores
• Tests that assess the literacy levels or verbal abilities of teachers have been shown to be associated with higher levels of student achievement.
• Studies show the National Teachers Examination and other state-mandated tests of basic skills and/or teaching abilities are less consistent predictors of teacher performance.

So, teaching experience, like other job experience, matters. THAT is why teachers are rewarded for their seniority — how long they teach makes a difference in how well they know how to teach.

Having a degree IN what they teach, and earning that degree at a good school, equates to better educational outcomes, as does the more they know in their area of expertise.

So while the process for advancement in teaching does not make sense to you G2, it seems to make very reasonable sense to me." Dog Gone

"I personally benefit from the fact that degrees and experience CAN make a professional more valuable. With 3 college degrees, several certifications, and ~22 years of engineering and project management experience I am compensated pretty well because of this. However the reality is that time and degrees will not always lead to wisdom, capability, drive, effectiveness, etc.

Now you are against stereotyping, profiling and all other forms of prejudice. Yet here you want to pre-judge the capability of ALL teachers based on years served, degrees, test scores, etc. Instead of allowing skilled, caring and knowledgeable administrators to evaluate the competency of individual teachers based on their actual personal performance in the classroom.

Worse yet, you want to reward / punish teachers based on this prejudice, instead of on how well each individual teacher actually helps kids to succeed in school. How about putting the needs of the students before your own personal biases and political/union agenda?

The reality is that Superintendents and Principals are just as interested as the Teachers in seeing the students succeed. Their job security and compensation usually relies on this happening. Therefore they want to hire and retain the best teachers. Which means they will reward experience and education when it makes sense.

It is ironic to me that Teachers fear being graded by their Management, when they actively grade the performance of each and every student. And that grade can affect the student's future in many ways. (ie college, income, self esteem, etc) Maybe we should just say that kids that have taken the same classes over the same number of years are equal academically? That seems to be what you are advocating for teachers..." G2A

As always, thoughts welcome.
Also, I am struggling for future posts.  Ideas welcome.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Cutting Headstart is Foolish

Now I may be a cold harded Conservative when it comes to welfare and wealth transfer, however this has to be one of the more foolish cuts.  CNN Headstart Cuts  Let's see, we want the unlucky and/or academically challenged students to catch up with their lucky and/or smart peers.  And we want to break the cycle of poverty, so let's leave these kids home with their deadbeat or over worked parents some more.  How does this make any sense at all?  Remember it is because of those parents that these kids are behind...

On the other hand, if the teacher's were compensated like other private pre-school teachers and the program was run like other private pre-schools, maybe we could have hired a bunch more teachers with the saved money and all of these kid could be going to pre-school...

I am so confused.  Thoughts?

Remember that I am a big believer in the logic of the Harlem's Children Zone Project Pipeline.  The challenge is how to replicate it in more cities.  And is there anyway to do it with public funds while the public employee unions and bureaucrats are in control?  And while the Conservatives think that all Parents are better than the support organizations.

Daily Kos Headstart
Time Headstart Ineffective
Time More on Headstart
WP Headstart works

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Progressives Against Improving Schools?

ALEC is concerned that Teacher's unions may lose their influence in Minneapolis if the wrong Mayor is elected. MPP Status Quo vs School Reform  And since I can't get my whole response to post there...  I'll post it here.  One advantage of having your own blog... The lead in is that I asked if they were a member of Education MN.  Based on previous exchanges and their not being willing to be progressive regarding school improvement, I was kind of guessing they were.
"You bet. I also have two children in public, urban schools. I also live in a large urban school district.

Collective bargaining and strong unionization has no correlation to educational outcomes, when comparing right to work states vs. strong union states. If anything, states with strong collective bargaining rights have better performance. The obvious, immediate, and faulty assault on labor is a sure sign that educational achievement takes a back seat to an ideological battle against teachers as professionals.

Why attack something that is not correlated to educational achievement?

A strong neighborhood school in every neighborhood. Period." ALEC

"Thoughts so. How about a correlation between:
1. class size and student achievement?
2. teacher compensation/job security and student achievement?

My guess is that we agree that #1 is important. However I am pretty sure we disagree regarding #2. Especially since I think they may actually be negatively correlated. My rationale is that today teacher comp/security is tied to "years in district" and degrees. Neither of which do I see as strongly correlated to student achievement.

In fact, I call tenure related comp the silver hand cuffs for teachers. Often they are trapped in a district, position or school that they hate and they can't justify changing jobs because they don't want to lose their relatively high comp or tenure related benefits. So how do you think this trapped Teacher performs. (ie good pay/security but unhappy/depressed/frustrated) And of course the administration can't do much except pay them because they are performing marginally, but ok.

Also, do you really think the best and brightest potential teachers are going to sign up to be teachers, when they have wait 20 years to hit the maximum compensation? Especially when the 5 year teacher is forced to teach the same sized class as the potentially burnt out 20 year teacher next door for 70% of the comp? It certainly would tweak me...

Getting rid of tenure related comp and benefits, and going to performance based would be wonderful for the teachers and students. Imagine if a teacher is frustrated they could quit and move to another school that would pay them based on their qualifications and performance. Young gifted teachers could make as much as their older equally capable peers. And if the cost of teachers did drop 10% due to market forces being in play, that means we could hire 10% more teachers and reduce the class sizes by ~10%. Or possibly leave 10% of those community schools open.

Now Oppressed Teacher and yourself may say you are fighting for the kids, but it sounds to me like you are fighting for your tenure related compensation, benefits and job security. (ie union stuff) Remember that most of us educated professionals in the real world earn a pretty good living and are free to change jobs when we are unhappy. Of course the downside is that we have to perform well and add more value than we cost almost everyday, otherwise we will be unemployed...

Thoughts?" G2A

 Then they followed up with this.  MPP A Bet against CB is a Bet against Kids


Friday, August 16, 2013

Photos on Social Security Cards?

So I had an epiphany while discussing identification and trust with Dog. MPP Seniors Fed Up with GOP  Since our social security number is like our primary personal identifier while we are alive in the USA, why don't we put a photo on the card.  Granted we may have to update it every 10 or so years as we age.  But just look at all the problems it could solve....

One ID could be used for voting, gun access, welfare benefits, proof of citizenship and a host of other things.  And all of us citizens are supposed to have one anyway.  Thoughts?

And kind of related, in a very weak way...  What do you think of Dog's idea to make voter registration compulsory and Rat's resistance to doing so?  (sorry in advance for their bickering) Personally I think all of these ideas really drive towards a "national ID", and an accurate running record of who is legally in our country, a few details about their sex, citizenship, criminal, mental health, etc status. With modern computers and servers it should be pretty easy to do, besides then the States could use this database instead of maintaining 50 unique ones...  Maybe the NSA already has it running???? (hahahaha)

Too "Big Brother" or a very good idea?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Vote For Your Self Interest

Dog Gone and I got a bit off the original topic here.  However I thought it would make a good post.  For all the comments, see this post. MPP How to Register Voters  Below are the snippets I want to focus on.  (side note: I am having a terrible time getting longer comments to publish over there so I'll also give my follow up thoughts here.)
"The term Low Information Voter is used by liberals to refer to those conservatives who foolishly vote against their self-interest. But it is NOT by any stretch a term unique to liberals in describing conservative voters. " Dog Gone
"I didn’t mean to tweak you. I thought I was in essence repeating what Eric said…“Registering new voters is probably the best way to make the elephant unhappy, given that non-voters who turn into voters tend to vote for the donkey.” The reality is that if they do not make the time to register, politics and voting isn’t very high on their priority list. I do like Dog’s addition though… “The term Low Information Voter is used by liberals to refer to those conservatives who foolishly vote against their self-interest.” So it seems that in Dog’s view a “high information voter” is one who votes for their “self interest”. No wonder our National Debt is so huge and the DFL likes to give things away to encourage voters. Dog apparently thinks it is a good thing that people are voting for low taxes and lots of pork/welfare. Personally I would think a “high information voter” would make responsible decisions that would be good for the country that has been so good to all of us…" G2A
"No, you weren’t just repeating what I said, and even after I explained it explicitly, you still don’t get it. You still seem unable to see the assumptions you’re making. The GOP seems unable to understand why they just can’t make any progress among certain groups. I’d rather Republicans treated them better rather than just handing their votes to us, but if Republicans want to go on assuming derogatory things, rather than learning about other people’s lives, Democrats will accept their votes." Eric Ferguson
So, why do you believe non-voters later vote for the donkey? These are people who were non-voters. Meaning they had not prioritized this civil responsibility high enough to get registered and vote. Now the DFL contacts them and cajoles them into getting registered… Does this bode well? “Registering new voters is probably the best way to make the elephant unhappy, given that non-voters who turn into voters tend to vote for the donkey.” By the way, do you agree with Dog that people should vote for what benefits themselves most? Be it pork, welfare, programs or low taxes…" G2A
"I believe that because that’s what the political scientists have told us. Yes, it bodes well, and the contempt you have for people you know nothing about is just dripping, yet you can’t see the puddle you’re making. Like I explained before, there are all sorts of circumstances people come from, but I guess if Republicans won’t challenge their own assumptions, good for Democrats." EF
"Now Eric, this statement is a cop out. “I believe that because that’s what the political scientists have told us.” Even Andrew did a better job of answering the question. “And yes, these people tend to be younger, older, less affluent, and with a higher percentage of communities of color and new immigrants i.e. Democrats.” By the way, there is no contempt here. I am a very pragmatic individual. Per Dog’s statement, you want to get these people out to vote for their self interest. (ie govt programs, welfare, education benefits, social security, medicaid, medicare, etc) You know the “free stuff”.  Just as the Conservatives want to get the people out who have to pay for this “free stuff”. Thereby voting in their own self interest. Seems pretty simple to me. How do you see it as more complicated?" G2A
"In response to ” Conservatives want to get the people out who have to pay for this free stuff. Thereby voting in their own self interest. ” Actually, conservatives have been conned into this story. Basically government creates wealth and better society for all. Because of this free stuff con game, the wealth has shifted to the richest few. This shift is very well documented. So conservatives are voting for the wealthy to get even more. Furthermore we used to have free stuff like clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Now conservatives are ensuring that toxins fill both. Conservatives basically are setting us all up for cancer and health problems. Oh, and conservatives want to ensure that we don’t know what is in our water, our food or other products. Because then we customers could make informed choices . Instead the rich get richer with shortcuts that we customers would not knowingly endorse or purchase. Conservative is just another name for conned." Grace Kelly
"I am not even sure where to go with this one… I mean it seems to me that Liberals want people to vote their self interest like Dog said. And they want people to have food, clothing, medical care, housing, education, clean air, clean water, etc whether the choose to work productively for it, or sit on their butts and wait for it to be handed to them. I just can’t see rewarding dead beats at the expense of the productive people as being good for America and the majority of her citizens." G2A
"As usual G2, you are factually deficient. Voting against one’s self-interest is when people vote for destructive politicians and policies, like those which increase the wealth and income gap, to their own and the nation’s detriment. And FYI – those rewards go to people who are not productive and who do not get paid on merit. (Let me know if you need me to supply those studies, data, etc.)
There is no problem with people refusing to work productively, having benefits handed to them. That’s garbage on your part – aka more willful ignorance. Do you need to have the Ronnie Ray-gun era myth about welfare queens debunked AGAIN? Or can you manage that for yourself without my doing it for you? Do you demand that children, the elderly, and those who are too impaired to work do so – or starve, etc.? Do you REALLY fail to understand the reality – with which conservative belief is disconnected, completely – that poor people DO work? Or do you figure swigging the kool aid of willful ignorance is all you need to do? You’re wrong, on all counts. Again.
I particularly like the concluding paragraph of that second article: This kind of data inspires me to ask if this is what a functional economy looks like. We have policies — e.g., the federal minimum wage and somewhat laissez faire free market policies — that create a situation in which working full time doesn’t allow a single parent to support even one child. When we hear criticisms of people who receive benefits, then, we should be careful to remember that their economic crisis is not a straightforwardly personal characteristic, one that can be explained by a poor work ethic or disorderly personality. There are structural reasons that people end up in need. We have three choices: let them suffer and perhaps die, help them, or change our society.
Then there was this comment on poverty facts, from the working poor project. Facts about poverty
The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) reported that close to 42 million working families (one in four families) were poor, with 5.5 million families spending more than a third of their income on housing. The same project reported that approximately 29.4 million low-income working families held jobs paying below the poverty threshold. About 72 percent of low-income families held a job, and married couples headed 52 percent of these families(WPFP 2008).
You would do well to check out the research compiled from next door in WI on poverty; they do an excellent job:
If you are worried about rewaring deadbeats, then you should be concerned about the executive compensation paid without regard to merit or performance:
Happy to sort you out with a refresher in facts; the data on excessive compensation without merit or justification by performance is HUGE. Sort of like the massive documentation on the effects of poverty on performance, it is so huge it is hard to understand how you could miss it, short of willful ignorance G2. It is not the poor who are receiving too many benefits, it is the wealthy. Time for us to end the redistribution of wealth to the 1% and to redistribute it back to those who deserve it through their work and high productivity levels. By all means, let us stop rewarding the deadbeats – at the top.  Read more:" DG
"Do I need to run the Pelosi video for you again? Yes welfare kings and queens are still very real and with us. With a large group or team, there are always some deadbeats / free loaders. To deny this is to deny human behavior. Or do you also believe there are no thieves, identity thieves, etc. Are you okay with raising the minimum wage to $12/hr and gutting welfare then. Since you say all those folks want to work, maybe that would be a good trade off." G2A
"No, welfare kings and queens were never real and are not real now. Welfare fraud is rare, far more rare than righties believe. I’d love to see the minimum wage go closer to $15, with a rise in the next five years or so to $21 an hour. It wouldn’t gut welfare, it would put more people into the tax base to pay for it; it would remain means tested." DG
"Please acquaint yourself with the actual large mountain of carefully accumulated data, well analyzed, peer reviewed, that says you’re wrong. Then be so kind as to demonstrate for me with similarly researched fact, not your usual ‘I know a guy who used to know someone that lived next to someone who…’ stuff.  We don’t end a government program that assists people who need it because of the existence of identity theft, which in any case is not what people usually mean by welfare fraud anyway.
Are you in favor, G2, of child labor of the kind we outlawed after the Dickensian era of abuse? Or do you want to see the elderly work until they drop dead in their tracks? How about the disabled, should they just be allowed to starve, to die without medical care? And you seem to be singularly silent about the payment of excessive compensation to the executive class aka the ‘C’ class (CEO, CFO, COO, etc.) without any justification of merit or performance, yet you begrudge those who have high productivity earning a living wage? How utterly devoid of logic or moral and ethical value, not to mention utility, is that kind of failed right wing thinking? Crickets are getting mighty loud while we wait for your moral outrage on that front. Try again G2; you’ve failed to provide either a rational or well-informed answer again." DG
"I am quiet because MPP is malfunctioning often for me…" G2A
With all that said, what do you think:
  1. Should people vote their own personal self interest or for something greater?
  2. Why do you think Andrew's statement is true? “And yes, these people tend to be younger, older, less affluent, and with a higher percentage of communities of color and new immigrants i.e. Democrats.”  Is it because they are all social Liberals, or is it because they are voting in their best self interest? (ie programs, cash, reverse discrimination, illegal alien pardons, etc ...)
  3. We know about blatant welfare fraud where people apply for more benefits than one person deserves, or when they sell their TANFF to get cash. But how would one quantify the number of people committing welfare fraud via lack of effort?  Meaning they could be getting an education, but don't.  They could be working, but don't. They could get or stay married, but don't?  In other words they find the subsistence life style acceptable enough, that it is not worth the struggle for them to attain more.  I had a friend who once delayed marrying his girl friend because the wic, housing assistance, etc was too good a gift to pass up.  Probably a good thing since they did not make it to the alter.
  4. If we jacked up the minimum wage, would the Liberals let us slash Welfare, Medicaid, etc? Though I wonder what a burger would cost if DG got his way...
 Finally, just because I copied DG's comments verbatim...  Please do not let his questionable style taint the very polite way you usually address each other.  Thoughts?

Friday, August 9, 2013

To Shutdown or Not to Shutdown...

"It occurred to me while on a long bike ride that score keeping on ideologically opposite blogs could be fun.

Powerline Most People Hate ObamaCare 
I rate the objective main idea (OMI) from the powerline Obamacare post - that house republicans should withhold funding from Obamacare - as dumb.

Agree or disagree?" Laurie
Since Laurie posted the above and CNN ran this article, it seemed I should bring it to the top...   CNN GOP To Shutdown Gov't?

FOX News Defund Drive Divides GOP
Daily Kos Distract GOP From Defund


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Smart get Smarter

I was just informed of a very interesting situation.  You know about that thing we call the achievement gap.  Where we have smart kids who are doing excellent and not so smart kids that are struggling. The very smart kids take challenging courses (AP/IB), and the normal and not so smart kids take normal courses.

With all this in mind, who do you think should have Summer homework to help them advance academically.  Of course it should be the not so smart kids...  I mean we want to close the gap, right???

Of course, the reality is that it is the AP/IB students who are given Summer homework assignments that apply to their Fall courses.  I mean they have the best study habits and most supportive parents, so I suppose there is a better chance that the homework will be done...

Now I think there is Summer school for some of the most challenged students, however I think this ~2 weeks in duration. 

So how do we help close the achievement gap if we keep challenging the smartest kids while letting the others twiddle their Summer away?  Anyway to get the challenged kids attending year round?  That seems like the logical solution...


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Odds and Ends Post

Here are links to some of the MPP posts I am participating on or found interesting.

MPP Judicial Bias?

MPP Gay Marriage / Consequences

MPP ObamaCare is Working?

MPP Islamophobia

MPP Childcare Unions
MPP Business and Union Poll

I greatly enjoy reading their posts and commenting since they are local, and yet so distant from me... Thoughts?