Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Ronald Reagan Myth

I am following the Armstrong High School Marching Band through the middle of Florida.  They performed at Magic Kingdom Monday and will perform at the Outback Bowl on Friday. Sorry for any delays in blogging, but it is 87 and sunny here so sitting on my computer has little appeal. (ie record temps)  I heard I can get my snowmobiles out when I get back home. :-)

So here is another gift from Laurie !!!
Here is a link to a different topic that I found interesting. I am curious as to the conservative perspective. Is the story all wrong about Reagan or is this writer mostly accurate and it just didn't matter that Reagan was asleep or out to lunch so much.

Behind the Ronald Reagan myth: “No one had ever entered the White House so grossly ill informed”

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Congress: What is Productive?

I found this interesting:

MP People Say Congress Does not Get Things Done
"Sam, Excellent piece though I agree with Dennis that I think we should grade Congress on how well they work to simplify government and make it more productive / effective, not on how many laws they add to the books. 
This is an interesting link... Especially the "Total Pages in the Code of Federal Regulations (1950 - 2014)" graph.  Regulation Stats
No wonder the cost of government and the cost of complying with all of these laws have becoming somewhat overwhelming to citizens and businesses. As I often say, American consumers want low cost high quality goods and services. And all of the above noted costs make it harder for companies operating in this country to compete globally. 
No wonder Samsung, Hyundai, Subaru, LG, Lenova, etc have made such HUGE gains in our domestic market. They don't have the American regulatory burden, but they do have the American consumers." G2A
And here is another comment string
"That government that which governs least."- Henry David Thoreau Civil Disobedience" Dennis T.

'If one reads a bit: The message is not "no government" but "better government" with a "conscience"" Dennis W.

Here is an interesting link. And looking at the number of pages in my other link, I think Jefferson and Thoreau would be appalled at how big and intrusive government has become.  Quote Interpretation 
"Hence, government was to be shaped and determined by certain principles, not by some set rule for its size or scope without reference to those other principles. Experimentation and the will of the people would resolve the question of size, not some arbitrary limitation. 
"We are now vibrating between too much and too little government, and the pendulum will rest finally in the middle." --Thomas Jefferson to S. Smith, 1788. 
Such a 'happy mean' does not suggest that Jefferson was proposing the least government. Rather, it suggests that a theoretical statement specifically defining the scope of government is not an accurate description of his position. The limitations on government he proposed can better be discovered from examining his views on the proper function of government. 
Of course, Jefferson certainly did not believe in "big government." Even in his time, he felt that there was more government than what was needed. 
"I think, myself, that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious." --Thomas Jefferson to W. Ludlow, 1824." G2A

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas !!!

Due to a convergence of events, we are in our home for Christmas this year. For almost 30 years we have visited both families on every Thanksgiving and Christmas.  One in Madison SD and one about 7 miles South of Canby MN. Though the break with tradition feels odd, the not driving feels great.

Merry Christmas !!!

Comic 1      Comic 2       Comic 3     Comic 4

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

America's Stubborn Poverty

Another gift from Laurie:
Probably nothing new related to fighting poverty will be said here, but here are a couple of links anyway:

America’s stubborn poverty


The one thing I have picked up from following the election and commentary about voters this year is that most voters don't care about poverty or support government actions to reduce it. Two things that stuck out from the summary of this report is voters might support antipoverty programs that focus on more work requirements and also strenghtening two parent families.
Well her summary sounds excellent.  I'll check out the links later.  I am swamped at work preparing for Vacation/Holidays. :-)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Third Party Challenge?

Will the GOP Mount a Third-Party Challenge to Trump?Experts—and history—suggest it's an increasingly plausible scenario. And could end in disaster.

"Aside from I can't stand to watch the GOP debates or listen to any of the candidates speak, it is a very interesting to observe the race in general and try to figure out where it is headed. " Laurie

I agree...  Listening to the "vote for me and I will give you free stuff with no negative consequence" Democrats frustrates me... G2A

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Big New Budget Deal

"The big new budget deal, explained I don't have time to comment now, but maybe tomorrow. Any liberal commentary Ezra adds to the explanation of the deal I probably agree with." Laurie

Reuters Spending Deal
NPR No Gov't Shutdown Likely
Fox News Spending

Thinking about President Trump

Gift from Laurie
"Have you done a post on Trump? Rather than watch the GOP debate (I can't stand it) I am doing my usually web surfing and found this opinion piece very interesting:
Thinking About President Trump
and here is a very recent poll:
In face of criticism, Trump surges to his biggest lead over the GOP field" Laurie

"Don't Americans care whether their chief executive has a grasp on reality?"
Wow. Even from the Huffington Post, I didn't expect that. They're talking about /Trump/. And I can't imagine why people would be mad at our current crop of politicians. (I mean, we've got Obamacare so everybody is insured and paying less, ISIS is contained and the planet has been saved from Climate Change, right?)" Jerry
I don't have time to look at the links right now, I just think of Trump on the national stage as Jesse was on the MN stage.  And I truly do not understand what their followers are thinking.  I sure would not want either of those narcissistic hot heads negotiating with foreign countries with their finger on the button.

And any religious Conservatives who support that divorced womanizing debt defaulting candidate seem to be voting against their personal beliefs. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

MP Voucher Argument

This should be right down Jerry's alley.  I'll need to do some research.

Based on the admissions page it is looking like it going to be hard to compare them to the Mpls School District.  It looks like they get to pick and choose their students, and I am betting they have few special ed students.
Hope School Home Page
Hope School Admissions Page

Yep, pretty much Apples and Pumpkins.  Too bad all Parents aren't legally required to fulfill these simple requirements.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Climate Agreement

A Gift from Laurie.

196 countries approve historic climate agreement

“History will remember this day,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after the pact was gaveled through to thunderous applause. “The Paris agreement on climate change is a monumental success for the planet and its people.”

I haven't read that much about it, but the environmentalists seem reasonably happy about it, though far from ecstatic. The opinion that I have picked up, which I agree with, is there is still a very long ways to go in changing to a clean energy economy and the need for activism continues.

Here are a couple more links related to my climate deal topic. I really do think this is a very important agreement, thus making this a very historic day.

Breaking: World Leaders Just Agreed to a Landmark Deal to Fight Global Warming (the Mother Jones climate reporter seems quite happy about it)

as does President Obama Follow Along: A Global Agreement to Act on Climate (Obama speaks at about 45:30)

Appropriate College for the Student

So Justice Scalia apparently said something that was very logical but politically incorrect.
"There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don't come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they're being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them. 
He went on to say, "I'm just not impressed by the fact the University of Texas may have fewer [blacks]. Maybe it ought to have fewer. I don't think it stands to reason that it's a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible." MJ Link
NYDN In Praise of Scalia's Comments 

If it wasn't for the race sensitivity that many people have, I think most people would agree with him. I think that most people would want their own children to attend a good school that is matched to their current capabilities.  Since I went to South Dakota State University in Brookings, and have had an excellent fulfilling career. It has a good accredited engineering program but sure is not anything special.I do not understand the obsession of some folks to get into the "top schools".

On NPR someone was criticizing Scalia's comments and arguing that minority students with lower capabilities and support systems can do fine at very rigorous universities if the university provides the necessary support systems...  So not only does this person want the university to pick less capable students based on their race (ie reverse discrimination), they also want the university to cover the extra costs incurred in helping these student to succeed in their very rigorous programs.

Morgan Freeman How to Stop Racism: Stop Talking About It !!!

Thursday, December 10, 2015


ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) is now law. Here are a few different perspectives.
CSM NCLB Replacement
NBC NCLB Replacement
Examiner NCLB Replacement
Ed Week ESSA Cements Obama-Duncan Legacy
Politico New Edu-Era
DS Xmas Comes Early for Teachers

I hope the Local and State folks deliver for every child... However I am thinking many communities and States will go back to their old ways. Just lower the expectations and pass the unlucky students through... Hope I am wrong.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Some Muslims...

It is no wonder that many Americans question the dedication of normal Muslims towards weeding out and stopping terrorists that live in their communities.  Obama made what seemed to me like a logical statement/request.
"That does not mean denying the fact that an extremist ideology has spread within some Muslim communities. This is a real problem that Muslims must confront, without excuse. Muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like ISIL and al Qaeda promote; to speak out against not just acts of violence, but also those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity."

And some Muslims are angry about it...  I will never understand some Muslims...

Breibart Some Muslims...
WFDD Some Muslims...
MP Reactions to Trump Proposal

Seems like a good time for this quote. "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  Edmund Burke  Maybe that is why ISIS is flourishing?  All the good men ran for Europe...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Another NCLB Update

In G2A, NCLB Update Jerry noted that progress was being made and the opinion below.

MJ's View of NCLB Update
Breibart NCLB Update
"You left out one of the most important features of the NCLB law, the one requiring that schools failing to make adequate yearly progress to offer kids (parents) what would essentially be a voucher to attend another school. That was very quickly gutted by the liberal education cartel. Unfortunately that was the only thing that might "get the attention" of the educracy. " Jerry
I agree that things need to change to help the kids who are being left behind, however taking funding from them and busing the kids to a school with less poverty may not be a good answer given the number of factors that create a failing school. If all Parents and Children were the same, then that would be a good idea.  However we know that is not the case and that "the failing schools" are usually where the "failing Parents" live. (ie poor areas)

As for the silly Mother Jones article...  I do not even know where to start.  As far as I know NCLB only requires 2 to 3 tests per year (ie math, reading & science), how they come up with their numbers is beyond my understanding.

Muslim Internment Camps?

Well it was a crazy and exhausting trip, however I survived.  It typically takes me ~23 to get to my Shanghai hotel from the time I leave home.  Well this time we got to Shanghai and learned we could not land because of fog or something, so we were diverted to some small island near South Koreas for refueling and then sent to Tokyo to secure new flights to China...  What a BUMMER!!!  So it took ~40 hours of catching a little sleep on planes and in a cab before I got there.  On the upside the return flight went great.

So Jerry added the following comment to G2A Crazy People Everywhere
"The basic premise of terrorism is that it forces the government to curtail freedoms to try to stop further terrorism, thus alienating the government from its own citizens. In other words, if we react too strenuously, the terrorists win.

That doesn't mean there isn't some level of caution and precaution that IS acceptable to the vast majority of us. Nor does it mean that every precaution is wise and effective; just look at the TSA. But allowing in people who have SAID they are coming in to commit acts of terrorism, as ISIS has, strikes me as too risky. Why is that even arguable?" Jerry

We are not talking about letting in ISIS personnel or not.  We are talking about if we should let in Muslim refugees. The vast majority of whom do not support the violent actions committed by ISIS.
It reminds me of the Japanese internment camps.  There was a risk of a few Japanese sympathizers and the answer was to imprison a whole demographic of American citizens.

In your view, should we do that to American Muslims? I mean this weeks actions in California definitely indicate that American Muslims are more likely to be swayed by the ISIS message.  This was an interesting interview. How would we respond to learning that our brother had just killed 14 people... Does that mean everyone of the Muslims should be interred?

And of course most of the lone shooters are men...  Should all of us men be interred?

Where do we stop?  Do we let fear run our lives?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Crazy People Everywhere

I am fascinated at the fear the Conservatives have of letting refugees into the USA.  One would think that they believe we are a peaceful country where everyone is stable and peace loving.  Let's say the back ground checks miss 2 or 3 crazy people...  How again are we going to tell the difference between them and our home grown crazy people?

Or since we have ~400,000 illegal immigrants crossing the border each year...  The crazy or criminals in that huge group.

CNN Carson Goes to Jordan
CNN Carson Be Careful
CNN Colorado Shooting
LA Times Shootings
USA Today Murders Rise

I leave for China again tomorrow morning, probably one of the safest places in the world when it comes to becoming a victim of a Muslim Fundamentalist Terror attack...  Thoughts?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Who Turned My Blue State Red

Laurie's Newest Recommendations
This topic doesn't interest me so here is a link to an article that got a lot of attention from left leaning bloggers / media:   Who Turned My Blue State Red?  And here is one of the more interesting commentaries on the article / problem:  Quiet Desperation and American Fascism 
I am not sure why I shared it because I currently find conservative views very tiresome, so don't bother to read or comment.
 And Jerry's response:
Laurie, I read your "blue state red" item with great interest. Thank you. It's interesting how the liberal mind works, claiming that people who get government benefits should elect liberals who "provide" them (by stealing from the better off), rather than the conservatives who believe as they do that people should be responsible for themselves, "make their own way," etc. to the degree possible, and that private charity can do the rest. (Time and again, conservatives are proven more charitable.) And what kind of cynicism must be in play for liberals to WANT people taking government benefits just to "buy votes"? How about helping people OUT of poverty and into human dignity?
The author seems puzzled by the fact that those of lesser means seem to be the most disaffected about government, and that anti-government candidates fare so well. It's the same problem. Both sides of the divide see a government that is not solving the problems, and not listening to the people. When, regardless of the votes, government continues on its own way, democracy fails. And why shouldn't it?
Remember the famous Ben Franklin quote? Asked, after the Constitutional Convention finished, what kind of government had been created, he said, "A Republic, if you can keep it." We are not a democracy, nor should we be. The great red/blue divide is plain for all to see in the names of our two parties-- the Republican and Democrat parties.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Single Family Income

Joel said something that seemed to me to be so disturbingly flawed back G2A Balancing Freedoms that I thought it was worth making its own post.
"I found this statement by Bernie disturbing. "It is not a radical idea to say that a single mom should be earning enough money to take care of her kids." The idea that he wants to set the target as one income per household is very sad. The reality is that it took 2 adults to make the baby(ies) and there should be 2 Parents to raise the child." G2A

""The idea that he wants to set the target as one income per household is very sad."  This is nonsense. It USED to be that families lived quite well off of one income...and the families were larger then. And with the cost of child care these days, it's hardly a benefit most times for both parents to be working.
If income had kept up with inflation, we wouldn't even be talking about this, but Corporate America has colluded with the Government to keep their taxes down while suppressing wages at the same time their employees have become more productive. "Joel
"Let me say this-- you know, no public policy doesn't have in some cases negative consequences. But at the end of the day what you have right now are millions of Americans working two or three jobs because that wages that they are earning are just too low. Real inflation accounted for wages has declined precipitously over the years. So I believe that in fact this country needs to move toward a living wage.

It is not a radical idea to say that if somebody works 40 hours a week that person should not be living in poverty. It is not a radical idea to say that a single mom should be earning enough money to take care of her kids. So I believe that over the next few years, not tomorrow, that over the next few years we have got to move the minimum wage to a living wage $15.00 bucks an hour. And I apologize to nobody." Bernie Sanders
 This statement probably frustrates me the most. "It USED to be that families lived quite well off of one income..."  I would love to see a source for this malarky. Here are my thoughts in no particular order:

  • Most of the houses in Robbinsdale / Minneapolis tell the story. 2 or 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom and maybe a detached garage if you were lucky.
  • If you were lucky you had a black and white TV, one car and a phone that may have been on a party line.
  • The spouse who stayed home had pretty much a full time job taking care of the kids, volunteering in the community, maybe tending a garden, cooking and cleaning. Remember that our high tech high cost labor saving appliances were not available. (not even a microwave oven...) And their was a lot less use of pre-packaged foods.
  • And if you lived out in rural America, it was likely that that garden was actually a small field and you got really good at canning, storing food in a cellar, etc
  •  Just like today, to make a household work it was important to have 2 parents at home sharing the responsibilities. (Sorry for the source, it is hard to find all the graphs I wanted in one place)
So let's compare this to today:
  • Crazy folks like Bernie seem to think that it is good to encourage and reward single parent households.  Even though evidence clearly shows this not the case for the kids.
  • People seem to need more to be happy. Be it the size of their home, the model of their phone, the type of job they have, the distance to their vacation place, the perfect spouse, etc.
  • People seem to be fine with having other people raise THEIR children, as long as they can have the things noted above.
  • Median wages adjusted for inflation have apparently been pretty flat.
Now Joel would have us believe that folks are far worse of than they used to be, even though we are spending a huge amount more on government mandated wealth transfer than ever before.  And he thinks it is Corporate America and the Government that has kept incomes down, even though we know that it is the consumers who choose to shop at Walmart rather than their local Mom and Pop store.  And we know it is the consumer who chooses to buy cars that are designed and built in lower cost countries.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

NCLB Update

NCLB must be a great law because both the Far Right and Far Left seem to HATE it...  Checkout the comments here.  MP NCLB Update  And here is one I just added there.
"I think you should do more research and listen to the Union and Bureaucracy folks less.

I have no hate for the Unions or the Education Bureaucracy, they are just doing what normal capitalistic people strive to do. They fight tooth and nail for higher wages, more job security, more benefits, more control, more work rules, more vacation, more autonomy, etc. The problem is that these goals are at odds with what is needed to operate a highly effective and efficient customer (ie student) focused organization.

Kennedy realized this and wanted to find out just how bad it was, where it was bad, and to try to force change/improvement. So he fought for NCLB which simply requires States to test and grade their schools to a somewhat common standard and report the results publicly. Teachers test kids to determine if they are learning / performing, so it only makes sense to grade the school systems in a similar manner.

Now if you are part of a system that is leaving a large percentage of unlucky kids (ie poor with questionably capable parent(s)) behind, and someone starts shining a bright spot light on your poor results, what will you say about the test/process? Please remember that no one told them how to teach. They only demanded that they report the results of their efforts once per year.

By the way, NO Child Left Behind had two primary flaws. It had HIGH / unrealistic expectations in that they wanted even special ed, ELL, and other late arrivals to be proficient. It assumed that the School Bureaucracy would strive to improve and change once the light went on which did not happen. Instead the system spent 10 years pointing at the tests and each other. Remember the "Not Me" character in Family Circus... :-)" G2A

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Muslims, Refugees and Extremists

I am fine with vetting and accepting the refugees per the current system and accepting them into the USA. I am happy the hackers have found a better use for their "talents".  However the lack of action by the supposed "moderate Muslims" frustrates me to no end.

CNN Obama's Thoughts
MP Anonymous Fighting ISIS
"My question is when will the main stream peaceful Muslims that I hear so much about say enough is enough and start aggressively turning against the radicals? And begin working with the authorities to arrest them?

Our own local Muslim community Leaders were concerned that the outreach program served a secondary purpose of finding and stopping radical members within their society. Why would any peace loving and supporting group of individuals try to block those activities?

Multiple millions of Muslims are running from their country instead of fixing it. Something is strange in that. Maybe us Protestants and Catholics should start going at it... I do agree that ISIS and Al Qaeda are worse than most. But the idea that they needed Saddam Hussein to keep the Shiites and Sunnis from killing other speaks to deeper and more pervasive problems." G2A
I just couldn't see us Christians running from our country and standing by rather silently as a radical Christian offshoot started beheading people. Thoughts? 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Democrat Debate Good Sleep Aid

I can't get a comment published again...  Go figure.  After a long day of hunting and a good meal I sat down with my Conservative Parents to watch the debate on Saturday night. About 1 hour later I woke up and all 3 of us were sleeping soundly...  MP Democrats Debate  So here is my response to Paul's comment.
"Since the Democrats are all dealing with the same reality (we're the party that does that) they are going to converge on the same issues and solutions -- only the details vary. That may make for less exciting theatre, but for better governance." Paul
 I have to agree with him that they were consistent:
  • If you elect me President, I will provide many of you with additional programs, funding, services and bureaucracy, and it won't cost you anything because I am going to take the money from other evil greedy people.
  • If you elect me President, I will encourage more illegal "no background check" aliens to cross the border, and budge in front of legal "background checked" immigrants, by offering them amnesty, a path to citizenship and immediate programs, funding, services and bureaucracy. And it won't cost you anything because I will raise the minimum wage and take the money from other evil greedy people.
I think I heard that common message at least 5 times before I drifted off to sleep. 

I especially liked when they kept saying that the netflow of illegal immigrants was zero...  Which of course avoids addressing the fact that ~400,000 illegal immigrants entered the country without being screened.  Kind of tough to swallow after the Paris attack on Friday.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Balancing of Freedoms

 MP Tribes  Okay...  One more because Charles' comments are fascinating to me.
"The libertarian Right expresses a preference for formal freedom - that is, minimal collective constraint on individual action - even if that formal freedom, as a result of the ineluctable concentration of wealth and power over time that it fosters, results in an authoritarian system and the near-absence of actual freedom for almost everyone. (It is never clear if the self-professed libertarian actually favors formal freedom at the expense of actual freedom, or just doesn't have a very well-developed capacity for analytical thought in realms of political economy.)

The progressive Left expresses a preference for actual freedom. This means dismissing as irrelevant theoretical notions of absolute freedom and aiming at maximum freedom in a complex society, otherwise known as ordered freedom. Maximum freedom requires a great deal of collective constraint on individual action so that economic freedom is respected but not to the extent that the concentration of wealth is allowed to undermine the freedom of many.

The progressive Left doesn't value collective constraint (i.e., "regulations") as a good in itself, quite the opposite. The criterion is whether the collective constraint will have the net effect of increasing actual freedom." Charles

"It seems you are saying that we should be willing to sacrifice the individual freedoms of the few to maximize the freedom of the many.

Should we also apply that to police and security profiling? It would make the lines at the airport much shorter and eliminate some silly actions. (ie my ~70 year old Mom losing her cuticle scissors at the TSA checkpoint)

I understand that you would like to pick and choose who gets what freedoms based on your value set, however Libertarians typically don't seem to like to sacrifice the few for the many like you are suggesting. Be it on economic, security or in other areas." G2A

"""It seems you are saying that we should be willing to sacrifice the individual freedoms of the few to maximize the freedom of the many." I can't for the life of me figure out how you get that from my comment.

The basic value of our society is individual freedom. The role of the citizenry is to fill out its concept of "freedom" and then give it meaning through the decisions it makes about our laws and norms.

You say Libertarians prefer not to sacrifice the freedom of the few to maximize the freedom of the many. I conjecture that a thoughtful citizenry would prefer not to sacrifice the freedom of the many to maximize the freedom of the few.

My "value set" has nothing to do with it. Whatever a thoughtful, informed citizenry would decide would be what we've got. Unfortunately we don't have a thoughtful, informed citizenry (one result of freedom residing in the few), so it's all hypothetical." Charles

"As far as I know, everybody no matter their wealth has the freedom to learn and to vote. We provide free K-12 educations, many TV / Radio stations are free and there are many free libraries in which to access books and the internet. I know it is easier to blame the few that you likely disagree with, however the real problem is that many citizens do not take personal responsibility to learn about issues and practice their freedom by voting.

"a thoughtful citizenry would prefer not to sacrifice the freedom of the many to maximize the freedom of the few"

So do the thoughful citizenry and yourself support profiling by security personnel, it would definitely increase the freedom for most of us, reduce screening costs and reduce our wait times at airports, sporting events, etc. Of course those innocent people who seem more likely to be terrorists or smugglers won't be happy being singled out for sreenings." G2A
Per my understanding it seems Charles wants to limit the Private Property freedoms for the good of the Majority. However I am pretty sure he thinks differently in most other trade offs. (ie LGBT rights, "Appearance" Profiling, Special Ed main streaming, etc)  Thoughts? 

Fewer Swing Voters

MP Fewer Swing Voters I am preparing to leave for another weekend of hunting deer and pheasants, so I thought I would leave you with 2 topics.
"I agree that there are fewer voters today who might conceivably find either the D or R candidate worthy of consideration. I used to be a bit of a swing voter during my early years in Oregon. I was basically a Democrat, but I voted for Mark Hatfield for Senate and other Republicans for state offices. No longer. I cannot think of one state or national Republican who could win my vote today.

There are more voters who find neither party attractive. They think that the Republicans are in Cloud Cuckoo Land and that the Democrats have been co-opted by Big Money, in which case they might want to vote for a Green or Democratic Socialist candidate. Or else they think that the Republicans are too into foreign intervention and big money and the Democrats are for fostering dependence, in which case they might want to vote Libertarian.

When 50% of the population nationwide doesn't vote at all, we have a problem, which is not of lack of swing voters but of lack of voters, period. Low turnout is a sign of disengagement and fatalism, a hopeless sense that no positive changes, only negative changes, are in our future, no matter who is in office." Karen

"I agree that many think most politicians are similar and that their vote has little impact. However the "fatalism" piece is too dark for me. I personally think that most citizens are pretty satisfied with the status quo and don't want any big changes to the Left or Right. It seems to be only those on the Far Left and Far Right that spend a lot of energy complaining about America.

It is likely that more than a billion world citizens would love to live in the GREAT country that is America, yet folks who live here say silly things like "that no positive changes, only negative changes, are in our future, no matter who is in office." I will never understand that level of dissatisfaction with the greatest country in the world.

I learned quite a while back that I choose whether to look at the 5% of things in my life that were "bad or could be better" or the 95% of things in my life that were good or great. Focusing on the 5% led to unhappiness, anger, frustration and arguments, whereas focusing on the 95% led to happiness, gratitude, satisfaction and open communication. Choices Choices." G2A

Public Employee Unions and Higher Taxes

MP Can VA fire its way out of problems  This piece and the resulting comments raise some interesting points. Paul and I are disagreeing as often is the case, here are my views:
"I agree that there are many factors impacting the cost and quality of health care in America. One of them being Union collective bargaining and bureaucracy which drives up compensation (ie cost), sets work rules, often limits pay for performance, etc. I am not sure how anyone who says that Unions help employees get more compensation and job security can deny that they also increase costs to the tax payer or consumer?" G2A

"Now as for Unions increasing costs, of course they do or they would not be doing their job. (ie more money and security for all their workers)  
However you are correct that there are many other reasons why costs are high in America. (ie High Direct and Indirect Tort Cost, High End of Life Costs (ie try to save everyone), No Easy Low Cost Physician Assisted Suicide, Americans are Unhealthy (little exercise, bad diet, high obesity, etc), Highly government regulated system, Arduous Licensing and Training Requirements, etc)" G2A
Per Sean's recommendation, I have added "Excessive medical licensing requirements" to the list.
G2A American Healthcare Drivers

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Latest GOP Debate

I watched some, but lost interest quickly.  This seemed to be a good summary from what I saw.  Thoughts?  CNN Takeaways

Then we have Eric's biased perspective.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Political Tribes

Here is a comment I left over at MP Tribes in response to an exchange of comments that Dan and Paul are having.
"Many here find the gray zone that is reality very threatening for some reason.

I think what you have said is that government can be good or bad depending on how it is operated and by who. And the more power we give to the politicians that are located far from us citizens, the more likely it is that groups of bureaucrats and/or politicians will use it for their own benefit rather than society's. Finally, the greater the ability for them to do that, the greater the drive for people to seek those positions.

I am not sure why people disagree with this simple logic. Some folks seem to think that those millions of bureaucrats and public employees are pure of heart and there to serve us citizens. When in reality they are just humans who can be interested in empire building, better paychecks, more job security, pursuing their own agenda, etc like the rest of us. Of course the challenge is that we tax payers are paying for their excesses.
SC Times VA Probe Finds Mismanagement" G2A
 I think Dan's comments make a lot of sense.  Thoughts?

Friday, November 6, 2015

Damned if you do Damned if you don't

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't. That is my answer to Eric's latest post.
"People die whether the USA gets engaged or not. Of course when a million people die because the USA failed to act, none of the near pacifists seem to mind. Thankfully the USA usually only gets involved when some "evil" exists that is harming or killing people, AND there is a national interest in the region.
From what I remember, the Syria civil war started long after Iraq and before ISIS came on the scene. The USA pretty much stayed out of the fight and hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions have been displaced. Now do we bear the guilt of not helping out more earlier?
With great wealth and power comes great responsibility!!!
Just curious...
  • Should the USA let Putin take back Ukraine and maybe all the BLOC countries?
  • Should we let China take over the South China Sea uncontested?
  • Should we have let Germany have Europe in the 1940s?" G2A

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Democratic Party in Crisis?

Another gift from Laurie:
"Here is a new topic suggestion for you - I'll call it TMITIRT (the most interesting thing I read today.) The conclusions of several writers that are linked should make you and J. happy.

Don’t believe the Democratic Party is in crisis? Then read this tweet."

And here is what Eric had to say about the topic a few weeks ago.

Personally, I think most rational citizens understand that the government is inefficient, ineffective and some what not to be trusted.  And the Democrats answer for every issue is give the State more money and control.  I can see how that may reduce support for them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Congress: A New Beginning

Dennis W. asked a fascinating question in response to this post and some of the prior comments.  Unfortunately it is not getting any answers over there....  So what do you think?   MP Fresh Start
"It appears the fresh start lasted about what, less than 3-4 days? Seems this column can't even get a fresh start, how does anyone expect DC to move forward? Would be real curious, really curious, what does a "Centralist" look like? Are they like Unicorns? Got my ideas, be interested in other folks point of view." Dennis W.

"Remember my continuum.  Political Continuum...
  • We have Sanders trying to pull us to a 2 position.
  • We have Hillary maybe aiming for a 4 position
  • We have Jeb/Marco aiming for a 6 or 7 position
  • And the far Righters aiming for an 8 or 9
To me it is just a question of who do you want deciding how much you will save, where you will invest it, who will choose your insurance policy, etc. If a person wants the politicians and bureaucrats doing this, vote for Democrats. If you want to control it yourself, vote for a Republican." G2A
"Who would be in between Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton? Along those lines...
WP It is Hard to be a Moderate" G2A 


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Media Bias and Lying Politicians

A recommendation from Laurie:
Suggestion for a new post - something related to the last debate and the alleged media bias. WP The Republicans are right. We in the media do suck.
This topic has been getting a lot of attention in the left leaning media that I read. I am sure with a much different perspective from right leaning media.
Here are some related posts:  MP Debate    The Hill Debate  
Fox News Debate    Fox News CNBC Disaster

I did not watch it so I do not know much about it.  Though I just saw that foolish candidate Fiorina double down on her "harmed women" mis-truth when she was interviewed this morning.

I am happy whenever the press fact checks these politicians.  I am more annoyed that the voters on both sides seem to eat up exaggerations and mis-truths as long as they support their political view.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Teacher Preparation in MN

Here is an interesting if repetitive discussion.  MP Teacher Prep
"But he's got a point. Even if the best and the brightest were attracted to education as a major, why would they major in it when the teaching profession is so hard and pays so little? Especially since teachers are the equivalent of the Anti-Christ in some (influential) peoples' eyes. At this point in time, the only reason we have good teachers is that the unions manage to make sure there are SOME benefits (of course, that comes at the price of keeping bad teachers). But, at some point, it will be pure luck if kids ever see a good teacher because the unions appear to be not long for this world if the Republicans have any say...and quite frankly the Democrats, too, if the unions don't also figure out how to concede that we live in a new world.
All this boils down to the results of a system that doesn't value teachers. Even if the teaching colleges were transparent with the outcomes of their programs, it might not reflect the quality of the college, but the quality of their trainees. It might be impossible to evaluate the quality without taking into account lots of other factors, which rely on lots of other data sources, which might further make it impossible to calculate true outcomes. That's not to say that there aren't lots of super smart and talented teacher candidates, but I also suspect that there are lots of not so smart and/or not so talented teacher candidates that would bring down the average. And how do you factor in that hardships to new teachers are probably not limited to poor teachers? I'm no dummy (though I couldn't claim any talent for teaching), but if I had to deal with low pay, low respect, and long hours, I'd find something else to pay the bills no matter how good I was at it." Rachel
"Actually I do not know anyone who sees Teachers as the anti-Christ. However I do know many who see the Public Education system as a significant problem, especially for the unlucky kids who need the best Teachers they can get.
As we have read and discussed here over and over. The Union / Bureaucrat supported programs:
  • allows highest paid Teachers to avoid schools with the most unlucky kids
  • distribute wages and benefits based on years/degrees instead of responsibility level, performance, difficulty of position, etc
  • delay wage increases and job security for young energetic gifted teachers
  • sustain the high wages even if an older Teacher begins to burn out
  • works hard to delay allowing new Teachers in from out of State
I mean why would a young gifted hard working person ever become a Teacher? I mean no matter how hard you are willing to work for the kids who need you, you are paid according to some steps/lanes based schedule and you have little job security for at least 3 years. And you may spend years working for half the pay of a low energy Teacher in the next classroom just because they have been there for 15 years.
I will never understand how caring Liberals are continually willing to sacrifice the unlucky poverty stricken kids so that older Teachers make more whether they are worth it or not." G2A

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bengazhi and Hillary Part 2

Those very puzzling moderators are at it again... MinnPost Bengazhi
"Why didn't Cheney and "Scooter" and their ilk use the standard email system? Conservatives sometimes have short memories." Phil
"Emails, really ??? What is this really about then--is this the "House Committee to investigate email procedures of Hillary Clinton"? What about all of the other departments and department heads who followed similar wmails procedures? What about security at Benghazi? Nope, emails, emails, emails. Keep beating dead horses--they can't get away." Neal 
"Curious where is the partiality from the writer? What additional analysis/perspective was missed? Or did we see an early agreement that the 8th time around was similar to the last 7? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is akin to insanity. Should the arriving at the insanity part required additional analysis?" Dennis W.
My points in response seemed pretty tame to me, however 3 different wordings were REJECTED...

  • It is likely that Liberals found the behavior of Cheney and Scooter questionable and suspicious. Why doesn't Hillary's poor choices seem poor too Liberals?  Does the fact that another politician did something questionable set the new standard lower for future politicians?
  • Labels and tone matter. I would not expect to see a professional political analysis saying this. "The day was driven by the Obama/Clinton Derangement Syndrome afflicting the Republicans on the committee. "
  • There has been a big change since the previous investigations.  Hillary had for some reason neglected to turn over all of the related emails immediately during the previous investigations. The big question is why didn't she turn over her server when the first investigation opened?  Instead it took years for her to make her public governmental emails available to the proper authorities. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Reshaping of Education

"Here is a link that is related to the book I am currently reading:

No More Pencils, No More Books - Artificially intelligent software is replacing the textbook—and reshaping American education.

Education will being changing very significantly in the coming years." Laurie

One Big Catch 22

Laurie and I were discussing income inequality, tax policy and consumer choice over here. G2A Mad Mad World  However I thought this simple question deserved it's own post.
  1. The American people on the whole want the best value when they buy products or services. (ie cost, quality, features, performance, etc)
  2. The American investor wants the best returns on the 401K, IRA, College Saving Accounts, etc.
  3. The American workers want higher wages than the rest of the world, so they can have nicer cars, bigger houses, better electronics, etc than the typical citizens of other countries.
Therefore the American Consumers are happy to buy the lowest cost, coolest most reliable products from where ever.  The American Investor will remove their money from any company or mutual funds with less than average returns. In essence the typical American Consumers and Investors are big time Capitalists. They want to get the most for their money and time.

However the typical American Worker still wants that bigger pay check and those nicer things.  And the Liberal folks want to use the government policies to mandate higher wages and benefits in this country than those received by workers in the countries that our consumers happily support.  Which of course will increase the costs of doing business in the USA.

Which leads to the Catch 22:
  • We want more better stuff for less money and better returns....
  • We want higher wages and better benefits....
Of course the Liberal's answer is to take more money from the Investor class, and redistribute it to the Free Loaders and Workers.  At which time the Free Loaders and Workers will spend it on more high foreign content goods and services.  This is all very confusing...

Saturday, October 24, 2015

It is a Mad Mad World

The comments at the end of the MP Sanders article keep getting more and more strange.  Paul and Bill definitely have a different perception of reality than folks like myself do. (no surprise there)  By the way, you will need to continue to page 2 to see  all the comments.  I am getting ready to go to bed so I am happy that I don't see monsters all around me like some others...  Here was my last response in case it gets blocked.

And yes this is old stuff for us, so I will understand if you are just tired of this topic.
"I am happy this is America and we are all free to believe differently, because I can then disagree with the vast majority of what you wrote above.Your sources definitely have an agenda, and they want to create villains. Of course since I own a lot of financial stock right now (ie good buys in 2009), I disagree with Rolling Stones interpretation of reality. And since 72% of the company is owned by institutional investors, I am pretty sure that everyone who has a diversified pension, IRA, 401K, etc likely owns some of these villains and benefits when they earn a profit.
GS Ownership

Now I have no doubt that these institutions do strive to earn good returns within the bounds of the law. That is what we investors expect of them and pay them for. If they don't, we sell their stock and look for a better performer. So as we have discussed before I see the contributors to the Great Recession being irresponsible Mortagees (30%), inattentive regulators (15%), Mortgage companies (30%), Investing Entities (25%)
Crisis of Credit

Remember what WC Fields said "You can't cheat an honest man..." G2A
By the way, yes you can cheat an honest, humble, conservative person who does their due diligence... However it is pretty hard.  Most of us can tell when something seems too good to be true, when we are getting in over our head or when greed/hubris is controlling our actions.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Benghazi Hearing

After reading these, I am guessing the Left will still see her as innocent and the Right will still see her guilty or incompetent.  Now there was a waste of 11 Hours...

CNN 11 Take Aways
Fox News Benghazi
Politco 13 Top Moments
ABC Benghazi

From the ABC link, these are the facts/comments that still have me on the fence. Thoughts?
Some of the strongest testimony so far, most likely to be seized upon by critics of Clinton, was the exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Jordan pointed to two emails -- the first was a note providing a readout of a call between Clinton and the Egyptian prime minister sent on Sept. 12, 2012, the day after the Benghazi attack. The email quotes Clinton as having said, “We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack -- not a protest.” 
Clinton had a clear response: “When I was speaking to the Egyptian prime minister or in the other two examples you showed, we had been told by Ansar al-Sharia [a militia group] that they took credit for it. It wasn't until about 24 more hours later that they retracted taking credit for it," she said. 
Clinton also defended herself by saying she was sorry her version of events didn’t "fit your narrative." 
"Why didn't you just speak plain to the American people?" Jordan asked.
"I did," Clinton replied. "If you look at my statement, as opposed to what I was saying to the Egyptian prime minister, I did state clearly. I said it again in more detail the next morning, as did the president."

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

DSA and Democrats: Again

 Eric finds it amazing that so many Democrats are openly supporting a Democratic Socialist.  I find it amazing that he is surprised since so many of their goals are so closely aligned. MP Sanders and DSA
"I find it much more interesting that for years many Democrats have denied the reality that they are truly Democratic Socialists at heart. Republicans would say that the Democrats on the Far Left were socialists and the Far Left would yell back denying the reality and insisting that those on the Far Right were incorrect.

Maybe Sanders is giving many Democrats the courage to face reality and come out of the closet." G2A
"To me it looks like there is little difference between the DSA's short term goals and those of the Left leaning Democrats. See for yourself.

The difference appears to be in the Long Term Vision... The true Socialists dream of a world where the people via government own the businesses. And the businesses are operated purely for the good of society.

The idea that many people own the businesses via stock and they are operated to survive, grow, and make a profit is unacceptable in their view. 

As for Tea Party vs GOP... The GOP is ok with continuing to slowly move Left as a country. (% of GDP controlled by government... Was 10%, then 25% and is now ~36% ) The Tea Partiers think we have shifted too far and want to pull us back some before we go over a cliff. Thus they have a sense of urgency where as many of us are like cows going with the herd..."  G2A
See the MP comments for more context. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Come One Come All For Free Stuff

Apparently the these far left folks who block moderate commenters are still in business. MPP Immigration  Of course which leads to almost no comments... And simultaneously this discussion occurred on MinnPost Cruz .
"What would Jesus do 1 & 2.  Rafael Cruz: "the future of the United States lies in Christianity and the Bible."  Jesus: "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."  Ted Cruz: "We should end birthright citizenship."  Jesus: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." 
"Fox News's Megyn Kelly repeatedly pressed Cruz on a question that Trump was asked on the network Monday: If a husband and a wife were undocumented immigrants and had two children who were born in the United States and citizens, would you deport the citizen children? 
"Cruz did not answer the question, but instead launched into an explanation of how he thinks the immigration system should be changed... 'The United States should focus on securing the border.'"  WP Cruz " Bill 
"I think Jesus would have punished the line budgers who jumped in front of the law abiding process following legal immigrants. He definitely would not have rewarded them with gifts. 
Same old questions? The USA brings in ~1,000,000 legal immigrants each year. Many of whom are impoverished with a limited education. There are maybe 4,000,000,000 people in the world that would likely love to live in the USA. 
How many do you want to let immigrate each year? 
How many people do you want to have living in the USA?
Do you want 1.2 Billion like China/India? 
I don't hear the GOP talking about cutting back on legal immigration... Am I missing something here?" G2A
Back to MPP post, personally I think it is the Liberals who want it both ways. They apparently want to open our borders to whoever is willing to risk their life to get here, thus encouraging more people to risk their lives to get here. And they want to force businesses to pay more wages, more benefits, etc. And they want tax payers to provide even more government programs and assistance.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Democratic Presidential Debates

Well I tried twice to join this conversation, however the moderator appeared to have reservations about my thoughts.  Surprise...  I will never understand the method to their madness. MP Debates Eric's Spin

If Jerry thought 60 Minutes and Obama would be painful to watch, this would have been torture.  I could only take it for about 30 minutes...  These folks were espousing views so far Left that I was surprised:

  1. The common theme was that other people have more money than you, and that money should be yours. And if you vote for us we will take that money from them and return it to you through programs, services, etc. 
  2. The other interesting thing is that they repeatedly referred to 'immigrants or undocumented immigrants" and they seemed very excited to use a lot of that money mentioned above to provide these folks with free stuff also. I never heard them note that these sweet innocent "immigrants" had violated our border or over stayed their documentation. Or that they had taken low skill / low knowledge jobs from American citizens and put downward pressure on wages for these positions. Or that they had budged in front of legal immigrants who were standing in line to enter our great country.  It was almost surreal.
CNN Democratic Debate

60 Minutes and Obama

The Liberals over here think that the 60 Minute interview was poorly conducted and partisan. I think it was a typical hard hitting 60 Minutes interview with a interviewee who was trying to be somewhat evasive.  What do you think?

MP Obama on 60 Minutes

Monday, October 12, 2015

Education Funding Growth

Laurie said this in the last post.
"Teachers have been using standards to guide their teaching for about 15 years (or more) and education spending has been flat for many years. There is no sizable increase in spending also caused by the Union / Education Bureaucracy. Some of your other opinions are probably based on faulty facts, too. Those 2 bits of misinformation just jumped out at me."
I think she is so incorrect here that it is worth further discussion.  You can expand the following image by touching it or accessing it at the source.

Now I know that some of the 1% to 6% of GDP growth was due to huge changes in the special education laws and an expansion of what was expected from our schools.  However it is silly to think the massive education bureaucracy, unions, higher education compensation, management structures, etc did not cause a significant chunk of the cost increase.

My Grandma was actually a school teacher in Porter MN back in the 1940's /50's. I am thinking costs were real low back then and she likely did not make too much, but she was respected as a Teacher back in that little local school.  And if the kids misbehaved, it was the kid who got the punishment not the Teacher.

Now instead of a local school board and Teachers handling the education of the local kids.  We have to pay for lots of local, state and federal personnel as well as Union management /Collective Bargaining settlements that give more to the adults by taking it from the students. (ie  compensation and job security based on longevity / degrees, not based on results student/parent satisfaction)

"faulty facts"...  really :-)

Friday, October 9, 2015

GOP Congress in Chaos

Gone West with Dog.  Here is an interesting discussion. MP GOP Mess

"I've yet to see a Democrat campaign for ineffective government. The fight among Republicans doesn't seem to do with issues, but with tactics. There are Republicans who want to keep the government functioning while they pursue their issues and Republicans who want to see it collapse unless they get their way immediately." Dan 

"Or... These are folks who really seriously want to "reduce government control, spending, ineffectiveness and tax growth..." because they truly believe that ~35% of our GDP is too much government control...  US Spend History

I am not a huge fan of their tactics however I am not sure how else to stop and reverse this slow slide towards excessive government expenditures, control, bureaucratic inefficiency, etc. And our indifference to over spending more than we collect is absolutely fascinating.  Bloomberg Debt Ceiling

If you were on the Titanic and saw the iceberg coming, what would you do?  Listen to the band or take drastic action?" G2A

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Hurdles for the Education Bill

Here is an interesting exchange between Joe and me.  We will see if the last comment here shows up at MP...  It has been ~4 hours.  Thoughts?
MP Boehner and Duncan exiting may cause problems
"How about we eliminate the Federal control of education and bring the money and power back to the states. We have lost ground globally since the Federal Government got involved as far as our students ranking in basic learning skills. We became obsessed as WHAT the kids were reading not how to enjoy reading, had to change basic math because it was too hard to learn multiplication/subtraction tables- got news for you 3x3 will always be 9, learn it, took time out from learning math, reading and science to teach social issues (leave that to the parents) eliminated trade skill classes and de-emphasized the trades as an option to kids, basically turned to an agenda instead of teaching our kids skills they will need to succeed in a real work environment.
What we are doing now and the past couple decades have not worked, how about a change?" Joe

"Source please. Here are 2 good ones.
WP Myth of America Past
US Chamber More Countries Pass US in Education

The reason schools look worse now was because many States weren't measuring, and they sure were not measuring which children were just passed to move them along in the system. Only when States were forced to measure and report against a somewhat common standard did we realize exactly how bad of a job some of those "local folk" were doing." G2A

 "If that is the case then why did the USA go from one of the leaders in basic skills 40 yrs ago to anywhere from 25-35 world wide depending on the study? I'm sure those "local folk" were up to their low requirement, moving students along stunts back then. BTW the moving students along is an epidemic in today's Federal run system." Joe

" "one of the leaders in basic skills 40 yrs ago" Please provide a source, and did you read the WP source I provided. They discuss your nostalgic belief in great detail and why it is incorrect.

When kids are "moved along" now we see it clearly in the test data. That is why the Teacher's Unions want to stop the testing and go back to those good old days where people didn't know how many kids were being left behind and tax payers / parents weren't demanding accountability /results.

Usually I am a fan of local control, especially when it comes to taxing and spending. However when it comes to curriculum, teaching methods, performance stds, etc I am pretty sure that the "local folk" are not as competent as the "best of the best" in America. We are in a modern globally competitive world, I don't think the local school board and those few nosy pushy far Left/ far Right Parents are up to the challenge.

By the way, though I am up for national standards and expectations. I believe a good Teacher who can personalize the methods and concepts based on each child's personality and learning style can make a huge difference in the classroom. The question is are they okay with just helping kid's to truly learn or do they feel a need to control what content they teach to feel fulfilled?" G2A

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Colin Powell is a RINO?

I left many comments here:  MinnPost Colin Powell is a RINO on Steroids

Here is one of them:
""I think the party has shifted much further right than where the country is" 
I always find this statement interesting, it implies that the GOP is the group who is moving... Whereas in reality it is the country that has been shifting to the Left for decades. 
Any idea why Liberals insist on saying the GOP is moving Right instead of just saying the GOP is still fixed in their 1960's positions?" G2A
G2A Political Self Awareness 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What is the Best Capital Gains Rate?

To continue Sean and my discussion regarding capital gains rates.

"Is preventing "excessive" wealth inequality the goal? Or is it to encourage people to save and invest in America?" G2A
"Perhaps it might be possible to do both..." Sean
So what is the magic policy???  Thoughts?

Wiki Capital Gains History 
Tax Foundation Gains Rate History

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What To Do With Grandma / Grandpa?

"Again, that's been my experience. Or the experience of a lot of low income people who will tell you how hard it is to come up with the property tax payment." Hiram

Since most young people pay their property tax with their mortgage payment, I assume Hiram is talking about older fixed income folks who have more house than they can now afford, and likely more space than they need.  So what should society do about old folks who want to stay in their home of many years even though the kids are long gone.

My pragmatic side says they should move to a nice 1 bedroom apartment.  Less cost, less maintenance, etc. They likely even would qualify for subsidized housing if their income is as low as Hiram infers.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Poor People are Irresponsible Citizens

I mean I am paraphrasing what Laurie implied in this statement. :-)

"Here is another link that you will likely disagree with, John, I found it interesting. It explains the reason the USA has a lower rate of redistribution compared to other advanced countiries is our low voter turnout. It pretty much contradicts your view that we have a high rate of redistribution due to the votes of poor people." Laurie

One big reason Congress ignores the poor: they don't vote

Thoughts? Are poor people just lazy and irresponsible citizens?  Or are there real hurdles to them voting?

My belief is that for many, the reason they are poor, under educated and do not vote are the same.  The just are not too smart, ambitious, disciplined, hard working, etc.  And most importantly, they just don't know any better.  They have been raised by Parents that were poor role models and they did not fall far from the tree.

By the way, I say that Democrats try to buy votes by villifying the successful folks, and trying to convince the poor to vote by offering them more welfare, healthcare, education, phones, housing, etc that will be paid for by the successful people.  And thankfully apparently the poor still do not have the interest or ambition to go vote. 

On the downside, we have been drifting Left for 100 years...  Hopefully the responsible citizens who worked hard in school, work hard at their careers, work hard at their marriages, work hard at being great parents, pay a lot in taxes, work hard at being informed / voting, etc stop that leftward slide.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Villain and Daraprim

Laurie's Link on "a different evil corporation"...
MJ Heat Warming Story

Slate Martin Shkreli
CNBC Drug Story

Now this guy seems a bit extreme, however do you really want government breaucrats trying to decided how much you can charge when selling things?  What could be the good and bad consequences?

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pawlenty, Civics, Suburbs, Pheasants and Emissions

In Nanning I could not access my google backed site, here in Shenzhen I can...  I need to get ready for tomorrows design review, but here are some topics I was able to comment on from Nanning.

MinnPost Pawlenty
MinnPost Civil Engagement
MinnPost An Argument Against Suburbs
MinnPost Iowegians are Coming

And here is a new story that Laurie brought to our attention.
"Here is an interesting story I just read which might interest you as you work in the auto industry (I think.) It reinforces the liberal view that corportations are sometimes evil.  WTF, Volkswagen?" Laurie

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Interesting India

Yesterday I had an opportunity to take a car ride from New Delhi to Jaipur. (~4 hours each way)  It was definitely an interesting experience.  Imagine a major heavy use 3 lane each way highway that has no controlled intersections, slow vehicles drive in any lane they want, cars sometimes exceed 70 mph, people walk across the road ocassionally, there are many trucks, there are many farm tractors and don't forget the horse/camel drawn carts or the cows in the 4 foot wide median.  Here are a few of the memorable images.

4 people on a motorcycle.  Yes the mother is carrying a toddler.  I missed getting a photo of the guy carying 4 sheep in the saddle bags of his motorcycle. (2 on each side)
 Repeatedly we passed jeeps that were full to brimming with passengers.
 Many of the road side villages had trash and cows 15 feet off the road.
 Not to read too much into their culture, however mostly I saw men along the road.  Some working but many seemed to be hanging out.  And the construction workers, waiters, truckers, etc were all men.  The women I saw working seemed to be harvesting the fields by hand, planting grass tufts by hand, maintaining the plants in the median, etc.  It was interesting.