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?