Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year !!!

"Happy New Year, and may the world conform to your best wishes!" Jerry

I tried to find a funny light hearted comic to share, but found this instead.  

Happy New Year !!!

The Mystery of How Men Think

For a change from the norm. In a world of political correctness and everyone is the same, I found this site to be an incredibly refreshing look into reality.  11 Secrets Men Keep From Women

And for some science to go with that life style piece.
Scientific American How They are Different
The Nothing Box
The Brains are Physically Similar

I find the Nothing Box link most humorous and true... :-)  Thoughts?

Friday, December 30, 2016

MN Education in 2017

MP 6 Education Stories to Watch in 2017

I think another important area to watch is hopefully the end of Teacher Tenure, Steps, Lanes, etc and the other work rules that protect and over pay questionable personnel based only on their time served and degrees achieved. These also limit the pay and job security of younger Teachers who may be more effective, energetic, etc.

Let's change the Public Education system so that the Teachers who successfully take on the most challenging student bodies, full of the kids who need them the most, receive the highest wages and job security !!!

G2A Who is Selfish

The Most Charitable in MN

Well this map does not surprise me at all.  Thoughts?
MP Charitable Giving Map

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Pre-Retirement Planning

Here is an interesting piece from CNN Money.  These 5 steps seem valuable.

And if you have not saved / invested enough, this one may help.

Any thoughts regarding this topic?

Conservative vs Liberal Intent

Well the Merry Xmas / Happy Holidays comments went quite far afield.

You will need to read the comments to catch up, but here were the last 2 comments from Jerry:
 I agree that good intentions are not enough, but we must acknowledge those good intentions exist. Both conservatives and liberals want to help the child, but conservatives believe in those parental good intentions and want to help these parents fulfill their willing obligation-- restoring the family structure if possible. Liberals seem to believe that THEY have all the good intentions, and insist that someone else pay for the paving job. They don't seem to care where the road goes.

I like your locution about 2 parents & 1 parents. It is even harder with government as the only parent.

Let me try to be more clear. Yes, people have kids who don't know how to raise them-- NONE of us do. Some people also lack the skills needed to succeed economically, so the question becomes why "we" do not help them to gain those skills, rather than handing them a government check and complaining that they lack those skills?  
My favorite liberal, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, said, "The greatest social change of the 20th century was the replacement of a viable economic unit, the two-parent family, with two non-viable economic units." and "The principal objective of American government at every level should be to see that children are born into intact families and that they remain so."
What amazes me the most about the whole exchange is that his plan seems very aligned with what I believe to be the Liberal plan.  Yet he believes his is very different.  Apparently you Liberals are fine with keeping these folks trapped in poverty, whereas the Conservatives care more and are somehow going to do the same things slightly differently and make a huge difference. Thoughts?

Here are some challenges I posed regarding Jerry's proposals.
Remember our favorite saying... The Path to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions...

I have no doubt that most people want the best for the sweet little baby that they are holding in their arms. This in no way means that they are mature, determined, capable, responsible, self disciplined and/or knowledgeable enough to provide it.

Especially when they have:
- few academic capabilities or skills
- low paying jobs, need to pay for daycare
- work strange hours/ short shifts / may not find child care
- only one Parent in household
- lack of consistent reliable birth control

As I keep saying, raising kids well with 2 Parents is hard. Doing it with one parent is very hard.
Useful Links from Xmas Comments:
Heritage Welfare and Single Parent Households
Guttmacher Unintended Pregnancies
  • "Two-thirds (68%) of U.S. women at risk for unintended pregnancy use contraceptives consistently and correctly throughout the course of any given year; these women account for only 5% of all unintended pregnancies.
  • In contrast, the 18% of women at risk who use contraceptives inconsistently or incorrectly account for 41% of all unintended pregnancies.
  • The 14% of women at risk who do not practice contraception at all or who have gaps of a month or more during the year account for 54% of all unintended pregnancies. (see graph)."

Monday, December 26, 2016

USA Israel Politics

Now I know little about this topic, but it seems the Israeli Jews are just as crazy as many Islamic fundamentalists. It seems that they having been treating Palestinians as bad as we treated Native Americans...

Israel West Bank Barrier Wall
Jewish Journal UN2334
Times of Israel Netanyahu at War with World
CNN What Resolution Means
CNN Kerry to Outline Peace Plan
CNN Israel lashes out at Obama
CNN Trump picks Friedman
ET Trump Insults UN
CNBC Trump Criticizes UN
CNN Graham US should Defund UN

So 14 out of 15 countries agreed that Israel is violating the law. And for some reason Trump and Graham think they know better???  And not only do they know better, but they are willing to try and bully all the other countries to comply with their wishes.

It reminds me a lot of Russia's using it's power to protect Assad in Syria.  Thoughts?

Sunday, December 25, 2016


From Laurie:
Are you familiar with the work of this guy? The article made me think of your blog title.
Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?
No I am not familiar with this individual, however I agree with his comments.  About 20 some years ago I set a simple set of goals for my work life:

  1. Do my job.
  2. Learn new things.
  3. Help others to learn new things.
And to this day that is how my yearly performance plans are written.

A related concept that I whole heartedly support is Servant Leadership.  It is part of why I lost that job 4 years ago... An upper manager who was transferred in was a hardcore "Traditional Hierarchical Leader". (ie my way or the highway)  Needless to say that I did not mix well with a guy who set arbitrary goals and bashed employees when they were not met... Thankfully for my ex-coworkers he was retired soon after...  But too late for me.

Also, Arbinger Institute is one of my favorite author groups and I am reading their latest book. "The Outward Mindset".  This encourages similar concepts.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays

Jerry shared the following very important comment.

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Also, safe travels for those of you who are going over the river and through the woods!!!

For your enjoyment from Jingle Bell Junction

Now Who Is Selfish?

Some comments from MP Never Trumpers
"Wanting to provide a safety net and wanting to live in a safety net are very different things. Again, you're assuming that liberals and democratic voters share your dystopic and selfish motivations. I don't vote for school levies because I have kids in school, I don't even have kids. I don't vote for safety nets because I think people want to live in safety nets, or because I want to live in one myself, I vote for safety nets because we live in a reality where people fall through a variety of cracks and need assistance. I don't want to live in Somalia, I don't want to live in a country where people starve and freeze to death or suffer an die because they don't have health care.

You can champion a society where people starve and freeze and die without health care if you want, but don't expect us to be impressed with your morality or "values"." Paul

"My goal is for the USA to eliminate the educational achievement gap and generational poverty problems. Maybe that is selfish since it would make the USA a much better and stronger country for my children and someday grand children.

The challenge of course is that to do so, many people who are lacking knowledge, have self limiting beliefs, lack self discipline, make bad decisions, etc will need to learn, change and improve which is not easy.

Think of a good Teacher who is facing a child who is struggling to be successful in class. Should the Teacher who truly cares for the student let them continue the behaviors that are causing them to struggle and just give them passing grade?

Or should the Teacher pressure / motivate the Child to learn, change and improve in order to earn that passing grade?

If the child fails to change and improve, thus failing to learn the material adequately... Should the caring Teacher just pass the student anyway? " G2A
So who is selfish:
  1. the person who just gives the dysfunctional person the grade, money, service, etc that allows them to continue their unsuccessful life?
  2. the person who knows they can learn, change and improve, and pushes them hard to do so?
You know my view... The welfare / war on poverty (#1) has just hid the problem and made it worse by reducing the consequences of making bad decisions.  Just like all those schools / teachers who were passing kids through the classes/grades because it was easier than pushing them to change. improve and learn. 

Personally I think the selfish folks are those who choose to enable bad behaviors rather than confront them.  Imagine a helicopter Parent who spoils and rescues their child often for their own personal happiness, pride, etc.  Instead of taking the time and effort to help their child to learn and become an independent adult. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Testing Friendships

Some one close to me lost a friend when they casually mentioned that their day was going better because Trump had won?  Have any of you experienced any severe reactions like that?  Or ended any friendships because the other person had different political beliefs?

For better or worse, many people are upset with me as usual... The Trump supporters don't like me questioning his capabilities and honesty...  And the Clinton supporters don't like that I voted for Trump...  The good news though is that my friends are used to my behaviors and beliefs, and seem happy to still hang with me... :-)  Well as long as I buy them a beer once in awhile...

Moving Through Stages of Grieving

It seems Eric is moving into the later Stages of Grieving.
The 5 Stages... "The 5 stages of grief and loss are:
  1. Denial and isolation
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance
People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them."

Here is the first of my Exchanges there:
Everyone I knew and those I argued with who voted for Trump didn't listen to him other than to pick out what they liked about what he said, then they ignored everything else. From that point on they gathered together to talk about what they thought was going to happen or should happen and didn't hear what they didn't want to hear.

They are going to be in trouble. Trump will blame it on the Democrats when he passes legislation that hurts them. They aren't going to be able to place the blame where it should go, Trump and his administration.

Most of these people are living on the edge now. Social Security and Medicaid, Unemployment insurance, etc. and getting help from the 'food stamp' (SNAP) program. They think that somehow it's going to get better for them when Trump produces the magic they believe in. But they are the first in line to be hurt. They don't know it.

Most of them are hugely undereducated when it comes to our own History. Most can't tell you the political leanings of the countries who fought in the first and second world war, and forget about the History of the World. Most of them have told me that the Nazi's were Socialists rather than the Fascists the Nazi's actually were.

Our educational system has already put us decades behind where we should be. It's going to get even worse." Jon 
"Took an hour to get here for this comment: Good heartfelt article: I still support HRC as the most qualified for the position. Would we hear the howling if the vote numbers had been reversed? we did in 2000! The majority can only be suppressed for a period of time, and per O'Reilly he thinks white supremacy is the law of the land.  
One day it will change, and if the Latino's, black etc chose to seek justice in a end justifies the means as the Republicans and Trump have, who is to blame them? Care of the seeds one sows. 
Per some above, true, it may take a tremendous crash and burn to shake folks of their fact ignorant stupor. For some facts/reality are to be ignored, Machiavellian is the answer, such appears to be the plight of man." Dennis
"You continue with the belief that these people want to be on the dole. (ie welfare, Medicaid, food stamps, heating assistance, etc) When the reality is these smart independent folks want good jobs. And as I mentioned before, Government, American History and World History are still required curriculum in all schools as far as I know.

As for the failures of our Social Services and Education Systems, it is possible that Trump etal may find a way to hold the parents, bureaucrats and public employees accountable for delivering excellent results that are aligned to the large amount of money we tax payers provide them to do so. I truly hope so since they have been leaving far too many kids behind for far too many years." G2A
I did leave a response to the Dennis comment, but it is not posted yet.  In essence I noted that African Americans seem to be the only minority group that is truly in the Democrat's pocket. I mean the GOP got ~30% from the other minorities. They own businesses, some of the them are pretty strong Christians, don't want job competition from illegal workers, etc.  I am not sure the Democrats can keep them as they become wealthier.  Also, I questioned if Liberals keep trying to label the opposition as racist to keep their supporters scared and in line?

One would think Urban Liberals would have learned to stop belittling and insulting the people who vote differently.  I kind of hope they keep it up, it makes getting Conservatives elected much easier. Thoughts?

Trumps Trade Council

CNN Trump Trade Council
Forbes Navarro Only Troubling Appt

It looks like we better get ready for some of our prices to go up on consumer goods...  Which will be good for manufacturing workers, but bad for many consumers. And especially bad for the low and fixed income folks.  Thoughts?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Guide Book to Stop Governing

Well I was out of ideas for a post, so I went to the Left Fringe for ideas.

Apparently some of the Liberals have created a guide book for fighting our soon to be President's agenda.  It seems I have heard some group complain that this behavior was wrong and terrible... Where was that again?  :-)

Oh well, apparently it is acceptable now that the GOP has the Presidency. Thoughts? 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Rebuilding Manufacturing

An interesting read. MP Rebuilding Manufacturing  Now for some reason folks like Matt here seem to think that Businesses are obsessed with paying rock bottom wages. Whereas I think they are a lot like most of us...  We want to not pay too much, however we want to pay enough to ensure we get quality work done, and the contractor / service provider will be agreeable to coming back if we need them again.

Or are there a lot of you out there who pay much higher than you need to? Three equally qualified roofing contractors give you quotes for the same work. (ie $7,000, $8,000 and $10,000) Do you go with the $10,000 contractor because that gives them a higher wage / profit?

"Would he just have typed: Please relieve our temporary labor shortage by funneling as many folks into the exact narrow niche we need to fill to meet our demand. Then when the supply of labor exceeds demand we can get our wages back where we really want them to be, rock bottom. Thanks! 
Seriously, how conservatives can be so adamant about applying capitalistic forces to every aspect of life, yet so blatantly obtuse in applying it to the labor market is befuddling. Why anyone in a lucrative career field would be excited about the prospect of wage deflation is a mystery to me." Matt

"The reality is that these jobs pay a lot better than most service industry jobs. Likely >$15/hr + benefits + career growth options. Now you can keep sending kids to Walmart, Target, McDonalds, etc or we can point them somewhere better. 
As for the growth or decline of the American Mfg industry, that is in our hands as consumers and citizens. If we are unwilling to pay more for American Made Products to support the higher paid employees, who will? And if we want more factories / jobs, how do we lower the cost of running them in the USA? (ie taxes, regs, paperwork, etc) 
Along those lines, I am absolutely fascinated by how many people my company has working in Human Resources, Finance, Compliance, Legal, etc. It is good that we employ these people, but they add almost NO VALUE for our customer. And adding value for the customer is what makes companies successful." G2A

Friday, December 16, 2016

Wealth Transfer Version 2.0

From Laurie...

The split I recommend is that the top 1 percent of earners should take home only 10.5 percent of the total national income, and the bottom half should get 20 percent of it.

Currently the top 1 percent earn a 20 percent share and the bottom half earn only 12.5 percent.

Nine New Findings About Inequality in the United StatesDistributional National Accounts Paper

And Jerry's Response

Laurie, those are great charts, but I was impressed by one, in light of your comment. The top 1% get 20% of the income now, and pay 36% of the taxes. The bottom 50% earned 13% of the income and paid only 3% of the taxes. Somebody want to explain to me how that is the least bit fair? And why you want to make it more unfair still?

Also the conclusion of your cite says that redistribution doesn't help. Especially arbitrary taxes to limit the free market in wages. Do you want to tell the next guy with an idea like Facebook that we're going to limit how much he can make out of it, if it succeeds at all?

Finally, I always find it laughable that people talk about "increasing inequality" as if it were some terrible thing, when in reality it is simple mathematics. The least real income one can have is zero. The maximum real income is-- there isn't one, and with inflation the number always goes up. SO... every year that "gap" gets wider, but it doesn't mean a darn thing! The only "solution" that should be considered is making sure that entrepreneurs have an incentive in the tax code to take those risks and grow the economy, and that everybody else has the opportunity to work hard and improve their standard of living because of it. Biggest problem over the last decade has been government putting the brakes on economic growth. That increases income inequality, and government attempts to remedy it make it worse.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

The USA Needs Counseling

From MP Counseling

I am assuming you are an Urban Liberal, so your questions, thoughts and feelings were even more interesting to me than Professor Doherty's answers. I realize that things are going to be a bit abnormal and bumpy for the next 4 years, but I can not understand the deep level of fear that legal citizens of the USA are expressing.

I think like the Professor, so his responses made balanced sense to me. And after all the bashing of the Trump supporters, it was nice to hear a voice of reason. Thank you.

We Demand Perfection, No Errors will be Tolerated

From MP Blacks and Police

"Finally, officers are civilians. The use of the word "civilian" for non-police civilians surrounds a mentality that they are not us, which is something that should absolutely be scrubbed out of every civilian police force in this country." Rachel

"The United States has two codes of justice: civilian and military.  Members of the armed forces are subject to the military code; everyone else (including the police) is subject to the civilian code of law, and thus legally a civilian. I agree that too often some police view themselves as an occupying army, and act accordingly." Paul

"Yep, just normal civilians like us... Except they are willing to risk death daily for a moderate wage.
  • Which of us actual normal civilians are willing to do this?
  • Are we willing to walk into a domestic dispute to save the family?
  • Are willing go to a party to help a woman who has been injured?
  • Are we willing to walk up to a car in the dark to question the driver?
  • Are we willing to try and arrest someone jacked up on drugs?
Now it is terrible that sometimes officers and/or suspects get shot, but this is not a normal job where mistakes mean that someone gets the wrong email, your suit case goes to the wrong city, a part is not installed correctly. etc. 
  • Do you expect perfection and zero mistakes at your job? 
  • Why do you expect perfection and zero mistakes in the high risk, high urgency and highly volatile police world?" G2A

Improve Voter Registration

Teachers are In It for the Money

Laurie and Jerry posted the following at Racism vs Probability.  And I think it deserves it's own post
"As for what can be done, I would look for innovative ways to make interventions in education to raise the achievement levels of populations that are currently failing." Laurie 
Hallelujah! My only quibble with this is that I believe our educators already KNOW half a dozen ways to improve results, but refuse to do them on a large enough scale. And why should they, when they get paid the same (or more) whether the kids learn or not?  
You had a couple of good suggestions. I would add to that merit pay for you and your fellow teachers, and additional resources like tutors and reading programs. I'm OK with spending more if what we spend on is working. Jerry

You must know Teachers who are VERY different than the ones I do. The Teachers I know are Teachers because they wanted to help children learn and they liked the idea of Summers off, not because they wanted MONEY. Some things I believe they do value:
  • Now they do want to be paid more if they work a longer year and/or more hours. (seems rational)
  • They do want extra personnel to be able to give the troubled and special needs children extra support so they can focus on the normal kids of the class.
  • They do want to ensure the troubled and special needs children get the correct medication, physical and psychological care so they can succeed in the classroom.
  • They do want support to get the kids washed up, put in clean clothes, and fed when necessary. ( and yes this not rare in some schools)
  • They do want extra security in the Halls to ensure the children are safe when they go to the bathroom or go to classes.
  • They want support so the kids who do not speak English can learn English quickly so the kids can participate and learn in class.
  • They want translators so they can communicate with the Parents.
The problem they have is that folks like yourself deny that all of this necessary and costs a lot of money...

Now before I start sounding like an Ed MN drone:

Teachers also burn out when they do not receive the above noted support. Or when they get older and lose some of their youthful hope / exuberance.

That is why it is important that their compensation and job security should be based on job challenge, work responsibility level and performance. And not paid based on degrees earned and years served.

Having a burned out overpaid Teacher in the classroom is not good for anyone. The Teacher would likely be happier elsewhere, the Teacher's lower paid higher energy peers get frustrated and the education of the children suffer.

3 Randomly selected Schools. Pick it to magnify

Monday, December 12, 2016

Racism vs Probability

The comment I left at MP Assessing Narrative. Now we will see if it makes it past the moderators.

"Racism: "The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."

"the vast majority of killers (71 percent of those convicted for homicide to 4 percent for whites.)"

It always amazes me how often people want to misuse statistics in the name of proving Racism. I mean even Jessie Jackson understands probability. “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.” That is unless you believe he is Racist against Blacks?

Now the unfortunate reality is that minorities often live in high crime areas, drive older cars that have problems, commit some crimes at higher rates, etc and this leads to them being pulled over more often. Don't complain to the police, be thankful that they are being vigilant. Instead complain to those in your community who give it a bad name.

And yes there are some bad officers, but that number is miniscule compared to the number of gang members who spoil the reputation of neighborhoods, communities, etc. Let's focus on the real problem."

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The End is Near... Repent and be Saved...

From Laurie:

Based on my reading the past few days it seems the following could be on the GOP / Trump agenda:
  • repeal the affordable care act
  • privatize medicare
  • slash SS benefits 
  • gut environmental regulation
  • pull out of climate agreement and attack scientists who help to create it
  • sell off public lands
  • start to privatise education 
There is more I am sure. I didn't include deport millions and attack Muslims, as those particular news stories didn't catch my eye in the news recently. Also implement crony capitalism and start a trade war that will wreck havoc on the economy are not included as my focus was more on a legislative agenda. Same goes for foreign policy / commander in chief blunders, as Trump is too busy tweeting to attend national security briefings.

Back to what I see as the Trump/ GOP legislative agenda, pretend my list is actually what they intend to do, which parts of this agenda would you object to, if any?

Right now I am still anticipating Trump will be every bit as horrendous as president that I have predicted, and worse (what adjective is worse than horrendous?)"

Baby Makers or Parents

From Jerry at the DeVos Post
"And you keep waltzing around the idea that the almighty State is the right person to decide who has children, how they are raised and what education they can get. Until you are ready to give people the freedom to make choices in all these things, even bad choices, you have no grounds on which to call them irresponsible. 
Besides, you still have not said how government will control these "irresponsible parents," while you seem unwilling to take even minimum steps to improve the public schools that government already controls. 
If you are correct, which I doubt, we could almost immediately solve 30% of the problem, and then try to figure out the other 70%. Myself, I think if you got the schools where they need to be, the other 70% would start to decline over time. That's the very promise of public schools, was it not?" Jerry
Here is two of my comments that preceded his.
"While disagreeing with Jerry, I decided to stop referring to all adults who make babies as Parents. Here is an interesting link regarding what it means to be a Real Actual Parent.

Not someone who just happened to have irresponsible sex and kept the resulting child. 
And yes I do think society should ensure that kids are raised by Parents, not just people who had sex and kept the resulting child." G2A
"People are often happier when they get to choose. That does not mean their children will get smarter faster. In fact it may mean their children will get smarter more slowly.
I mean the Parent may choose a school because of a charismatic administrator, a curriculum that they agree with, they love the arts, they love religion, the teachers are so sweet or other. And yet none of these ensure the child will effectively learn what is important." G2A
Here is another of my comments from MP Morrison County. (the moderators won't let me reply to Dennis...  so frustrating...)
"I have been arguing with my readers what the most basic Parental expectation should be.
  • Child is prepared for kindergarten. (ie socially, behaviorally, physically, academically, etc)
  • Child is fed, washed, rested and their homework is complete when they arrive at school each day.
  • Child can stay in the same school for years at a time.
  • Parent attends conferences and strives to learn how they can help.
These people made these babies and should be held responsible for raising them successfully. We should not be expecting our education system to be Teachers and "Parents" also. 
Currently we do spend Trillions of dollars per year via government to "fix poverty". You correctly point out that the systems are wasteful and ineffective. I am happy to try something different. 
As for what they will do with that basic knowledge, motivation, self confidence and skills... Only time will tell." G2A
The irony of course is that a Liberal like Dennis has similar views to Jerry...
"What do we do when the parents don't or fail at the responsibility clause? Oliver Twist 101? How are we going to hold them responsible, jail, take away WIC, food stamps, housing vouchers, throw them out in the street, deny them food? Many of these families move 2-3 times a year. Can we restrict their right to move? There seems to be a gigantic over "simple" of how the real world works." Dennis
My thoughts:

  • Jerry is a huge supporter of giving school vouchers (public money) to people who  "make babies" in the name of fairness, civil rights, equality, etc. And yet he is against giving these financially challenged individuals free Long Acting Reversible Contraception which would enable them to choose when to make babies (or not)...  Just like the well off men and women of America.
  • In MN Baby Makers have the choice of status quo public schools, magnets, charters, home schooling, online learning, private schools, open enrollment and moving to a new district, and I support all of these.  I am also for stopping seniority/ degrees based compensation / job security, and replacing it with performance / position difficulty based compensation and job security. Seems to me I support school choice/ school improvement.
  • In my opinion, vouchers may help some of the middle income folks who live in poor districts that have a high percentage of at risk / unlucky children.  The voucher will subsidize what they can afford to pay and they may be able to enroll their child in a Private school that has a much lower percentage of at risk / unlucky children.  So yes some people will be helped. Just as magnets, privates, open enrollment, moving, etc enable others to leave their unlucky peers and community behind.
  • Of course, that means that the density of unlucky and special needs kids left behind will increase, the number of good students and families will decrease and the status quo schools will become worse and more expensive.  Just as when the lucky students and families fled N Mpls over the decades leaving behind all the unlucky students and families.
  • As for stopping Baby Makers from making babies until they are truly ready to be Parents. My simplistic view is that having babies and raising children should be a privilege and not a right. Adults are not allowed to drive a car legally until they can afford insurance and pass 2 tests.  Yet to be a Baby Maker all one has to do is have unprotected sex...  No test required.
  • And ironically it is those who are least prepared, self disciplined and responsible who are more likely to unintentionally make a baby...  Now I think raising a child is far more difficult and important than driving a car.
  • In summary, Jerry wants to give many people who have proven themselves irresponsible even more responsibility for spending our tax dollars.
  • And I think Dennis wants the tax payers to keep spending more money to bear the consequences that should be carried by the baby makers
  • And neither wants to discuss how to promote reducing the number of unlucky kids born each year to Baby Makers who are unprepared or unwilling to be real Parents. I will leave you with this reminder...
Some useful graphs to better understand the problems that have increased over the past 50+ years.
Family Facts Children Living Arrangements
Family Facts Marriage / Family
Family Facts Sex / Child Bearing

Housing for Starving Artists

Since I am a STEM / business / buy a nice house guy pretty much through and through, I can not relate to this chosen artistic life style.  I figure it is good to pursue your passions "after you work to pay the bills".

And the idea that someone else is responsible for you choosing to live in a warehouse, surrounded by paint thinner and other highly flammable substances is amazing.  Thoughts?

Slate Blame the Housing Crisis for Deaths
USA Today Space for Artists

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trump, Carrier, Employees and Attacking

How does this guy have any credibility?  He brags up the 1,100 jobs will not be moving and hints that Carrier will not be using the Mexican Plant.(ie sell it)  Neither being true... Amazing...

And instead of apologizing he goes after the Union guy..  Amazing...
CNN When Trump Attacks
CNN Union Boss has No Regrets
Trump Speech Video (at ~23:00 to 24:00)

Importance of Credibility

DeVos and School Choice

Good timing for this MP Article

 "What do we have to loose?  Inner city schools have failed our inner city families. The racial disparities have been alarming for decades. School choice for inner city youth has worked yet the unions and elites fight school choice all the time. 
What do we have to do to stop the elites from further harming the inner city youth?!" Mike 
"The Mpls and St Paul school districts are poster children for this.
  • High Administration costs
  • Highest paid Teachers in easiest classrooms
  • Lowest paid Teachers in hardest classrooms
  • Compensation / Job Security not based on results
  • Many Children Left Behind
I especially like the Ed Mn reps comment. “It’s my understanding that President-elect Trump wants to take $20 billion ... from public schools and funnel it to for-profit enterprises. That will hurt a lot of students in the public system,” she said."
Hearing this from the same person who supports all the dysfunctions noted above is amazing. The reality is that the Union exists to ensure their employees make more, have more control and don't get fired. It is exists for the betterment of the adults, not the children.
By the way, please remember that I think the Public School are 30% of the problem. And irresponsible, incapable and/or neglectful Parents and our societal tolerance / support of them are 70% of the problem. Unfortunately the current systems care for all the adults and sacrifice the unlucky kids." G2A

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Where Did the Money Go?

From Laurie

"Stagnant wages have sliced the share of income collected by the bottom half of the population to 12.5 percent in 2014, from 20 percent of the total in 1980. Where did that money go? Essentially, to the top 1 percent, whose share of the nation’s income nearly doubled to more than 20 percent during that same 34-year period."

A Bigger Economic Pie, but a Smaller Slice for Half of the U.S.

So John can continue to blame people buying foreign goods for leaving so many workers behind in our economy and I will continue to blame the greedy top 1%.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What One Beggar Said to the Other Beggar

The Urban Liberal comments on MP are driving me CRAZY...  Repeatedly they bring up that the rural areas of MN receive LGA from the metro...  Then imply that this should in some way impact what and/or who the rural folks choose to vote for...  All the while ignoring the fact that most of the DFL controlled urban areas in MN receive LOTS and LOTS of LGA in absolute dollars.

So who is supplying all this LGA and receiving none? Per the MP tool below, it is the GOP controlled outer suburbs.  So does this mean that the DFL urban communities should comply with the wishes of the citizens of the outer burbs just because they are paying the bills?

I think the Urban Liberals need to develop their gratitude and giving skills further.

MP Confused
MP Morrison County Voted Trump
"Minnpost created an interesting tool awhile back. MP LGA Tool

Please note that it is the GOP controlled Burbs that are supporting the folks in the other cities. And as a citizen of Plymouth, you are all welcome. Those of you who live in Minneapolis/St Paul and those who live in Little Falls." G2A
And no I am not saying that the Urban Liberals should change their beliefs or votes, but I do think they should stop criticizing their fellow beggar just because they believe differently. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Downside of Protectionism

CNN Why Protecting Steel Workers is Bad for America

This piece explains things pretty well. It is pretty well aligned to the comment I made on the Carrier post.
"Now raising the import fees seem like a good idea if we can do it without killing our exports.

That will force people who want to buy that foreign car to pay more. A Prius price may increase by $10,000 until Toyota fires up a factory in the US to avoid the fee. But then it may cost more because we pay people more.

Just imagine if the price of everything foreign made at Target, Walmart, Car Dealerships, etc jumped by 30%... How will the lower income folks make do?

The reality is that this is apparently what Liberals want. (ie higher wages) Now the question is are they willing to pay for it? "
Here is an interesting piece regarding car choices.  I'll never understand why the people who supposedly support American Workers, American Unions, Higher Wages for American Employees, etc (ie Liberals) consistently buy more foreign designed / manufactured vehicles than the people who are supposedly greedy, self centered, against Unions, etc (ie Conservatives) ...

By the way, please note the difference between my 2 most recent purchases.
  • 2010 Subaru Forester - Scored 1 out 100 for domestic content
  • 2010 Ford Mustang Convertible - Scored 80 out of 100 for DC
Due to my "Buy American / Support Jobs Here" bias I feel guilty about buying the Subaru, but there were complicating factors...  On the upside I will be getting rid of a Yamaha so it will net out.

Ps...  My 2004 Yamaha FJR1300 is for sale...

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Trump Voucher Plan

From Laurie

Donald Trump’s huge, ambitious school voucher plan, explained

The title one portability could have a large impact on my school, though it is much too complicated for me to understand what it would be. We have nearly 100% students who would qualify for these vouchers. If they choose to stay at my school would we wind up with more or less money for title one intervention teachers? We currently have 3 in a building with about 350 students, so there are a great many students not getting the academic support they need. More intervention teachers funded by federal dollars would be great, or on the other hand we could lose students and dollars. I think there may be Somali private schools that families could choose with a really expanded voucher program, but I am not sure about this.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Carrier Deal

From Laurie:

Here is a topic slightly related to the concept of freeloaders if one thinks of corporate take breaks as freeloading. Here are 2 articles which seem like opposing views about the carrier deal. I haven't actually read them yet but they sounded interesting. Maybe somebody here can read them and tell me what to think about this. My first inclination is to go with the first viewpoint.

Trump’s Carrier deal could permanently damage American capitalism

but this second one sounds interesting, as who loves corporations, and maybe they should be forced to show more consideration for their workers.

Donald Trump’s Carrier deal could make American capitalism better

I am going to read them later as it is happy hour time. So what do people think of the Carrier deal?

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Birth Control Funding

I agree with this writer that it is stupid for Conservatives to cut funding to anything that prevents unwanted babies from being conceived.  Especially since they want nothing to do with funding the care and early education of these young unplanned/unwanted children. And yet they do have a tendency to be stupid at times, so I have no doubt that they will try. CNN Opinion: Birth Control

On the other hand I am not sure how one can say that the funding does not support PP's ability to do abortions? I mean if the funding goes away, I assume PP will need to reprioritize their spend unless make up donations can be found.

Well if their funding does get cut, I will probably have another charity to add to my list.  And if there are 10 million households like mine out there...  We only need to give $50 per year...  And the upside is that maybe PP can become more efficient and effective if they don't have their hands tied by the Religious Right Politicians / Bureaucrats...
Life News $500 Million / yr to PP

Those Thankless Free Loaders

Now MP Confused is a gift that keeps giving.
"As I read through these comments I am amazed at the spitefulness displayed by those who chose to live the urban lifestyle. I truly do not know where these folks get their information.

Perhaps the most significant statement is the one defining rural as people who want there roads and bridges and urbanites as people who want light rail and buses. No matter how many rail lines you build and bus routes are available urbanites are still dependent on someone else to transport them. Rural residents do want decent roads and bridges but they can and will travel independently when necessary. Just remember every dollar the government spends comes out of the working taxpayer's income. The government has no money to spend that it hasn't taken from some who earned it." Candace

"They take it from us (actively employed and successful urban folks) to give to you (unemployed, struggling rural folks). Kinda underlined by the premise of the article. Don't get me wrong, we're happy to help, as is our nature, being generally liberal and such. We just tend to get a bit miffed when folks decide they need to "take their country back" at the expense of those footing their ever increasing tab. Just because rural folks seem to want to be left to fail out of some misguided sense of duty doesn't mean we as a society should just leave them to it. Pride truly is one of humankind's greatest impediments to progress." Matt

"Being from an extended family who is footing a lot of the bills for many low income folks in the state. Somehow I find this amusing.

Now you do realize that most citizens get more out of the system than they pay in in taxes. I mean education costs for those who have children are huge, then there is Medicaid, food stamps, child tax credit, safety, roads, etc...

For a minute there I though it was a Conservative commenting... :-) " G2A

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Money Tree

Liberal commenters on MP often state that the way to the out state voter's heart is by spending more money on them. Since I came from out state this concept often confuses me. MP Confused
"I am always fascinated at where folks think the government money to service bonds and spend on projects comes from? Is there a secret money tree in St Paul?

From my simplistic understanding, every dollar that the government spends has to be taken from the citizens. Or in the case of bonds, it is spent on the current citizens while the burden of paying the bill is transferred to our children.

Now I understand that many here think that the MN government has not been increasing their spending fast enough. However this data from the MMB clearly shows that gov't spending is/has been increasing more rapidly than our incomes. Probably not a good trend. MN Spending History

And please remember that it was the DFL who wanted to raise taxes on fuel (regressive tax), rather than finding ways to make government more effective and efficient.
 A related string from MP GOP Surprise. (see link for responses from Dan)
"When I was visiting my family in SW MN, I heard this interesting story. Apparently one of our neighbors works road construction in MN and SD, he is apparently paid $16/hr in SD and $32/hr in MN due to MN's wage laws. Now the reality is that $16/hr is a good wage in that community, however the folks in St Paul apparently know better than the employers what a fair wage is.

Therefore citizens across MN are paying more in taxes, and the locals are not too happy about that."

"Actually they mandate much higher wages in the Metro...Prevailing Wage

Just remember that when you are wondering at the staggering cost of road, bridge, light rail, stadium, etc construction. It is the folks in St Paul who mandated the wages and drove up the project costs.

Not sure how taking more from all of us citizens to give more to certain citizens makes sense. Maybe it encourages those folks to vote for them..." G2A

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The MN GOP Surprise

Sean and the Urbanites are picking on the farm hicks again...
MP GOP Surprise
"I would be fine with lowering farm property taxes, for example, if that is what rural people want. If we're doing that I would like them to cut the MN Department of Agriculture or cut them out of Local Government Aid to pay for it, not make cuts to Metro Transit or the University of Minnesota.

People in rural areas need to realize that the Twin Cities are the engine of the local economy and metro taxes are paying for their schools, their nursing homes and their local government. If lower taxes are their highest priority then we need to stop paying for those items in rural areas to compensate for the loss of revenue.

I don't believe that is the best tactic in the long run. After all, those Greater Minnesota kids end up moving to the Twin Cities when they want a career and we need them prepared to contribute." Dan
"If rural Minnesota really wants to be left alone, they best make sure they understand what that means. Because without LGA or the state K-12 education funding formula or the historical 50-50 distribution of road funding dollars, the ability to kick gay people out of the local bakery may prove to be a hollow victory in the long run." Sean
"I think you underestimate how reliant the MN and Metro economy are on Agriculture, Tourism, Ag Business, etc.

Just like a 6 cylinder engine, 2 fouled plugs can ruin a car's performance.

It would be interesting to learn how many metro jobs our rural economy enables? A start is General Mills, Cargill, Land O'Lakes, CHS / Cenex, the Banks, U of MN, Syngenta, Hormel, Koch and Other Petroleum Industries, other food processing companies, Labs that focus on animal supplies/ medication / food, etc." G2A

And without rural MN, Minnesota would be a pretty boring and broke State. Who would want to live in a cold city if it were not for Cabin country, all those pristine lakes, hiking trails, etc?

Not to mention that agriculture is what made this State and the Metro what it is... Remember the term "Mill City" and some of those key businesses like General Mills, Pillsbury, Cargill, Land O Lakes, Minneapolis Moline, etc, etc.

Here is an interesting history of our area.
Development Periods 

My simple point is that somehow all Minnesotans need to work together. And respect each others views. Our system was wisely set up to force us to do so...  G2A

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Recount Equals Scam

NBC Recount Coverage  Trump's response is amusing/sad, especially after all his talk of a rigged system and not committing to accepting the results if he lost.

Of course on the other hand, it is very strange that Hillary is getting involved in this very long shot attempt after her previous comments and actions.. Thoughts?
"President-elect Donald Trump slammed the effort as a "scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded." He also posted on Twitter, including a series of tweets early Sunday quoting Clinton's previous comments on respecting the outcome of the election and calling the recount effort "sad.""

Friday, November 25, 2016

Who Is Scared of the Big Bad Trump?

From MP Trump Mandate, someone finally answered my question about why are Liberals so scared?  And what of?
"What do I expect. Full disclosure: I consider myself a progressive liberal. What I expect to see is a Republican Congress attempting to disable the ACA so that the 20 million newly insured people will find themselves unable to continue their insurance because of costs or lack of choices. Then there's the rest of us who will likely see higher premiums and fewer choices due to the Republicans trying to incentivize insurance companies to make more money. 
What I expect to see is our natural resources decimated by the renewed and increased push to drill for oil and coal rather than investing in greener and more renewable energy sources. 
I expect to see our education system become more and more privatized (which typically means more expensive and exclusive), leaving behind millions of children whose parents are unable to get into the privatized schools either due to lack of money or the proper credentials: race, religion, location, etc. 
I expect to see people become less civilized in their interactions with those who are different from them because of color, religion, wealth, occupation, education, gun ownership, or any other rationalized disdain. And I expect more people will live in fear of that increased vitriol even as many try to defuse the anger and bigotry. 
I expect to see more and more people struggle harder and harder to make it each month because their wages haven't seen an effective raise in several years. All while executives and others already wealthy people see thier taxes decrease so that they keep more of their "earned" money. 
I hope I'm wrong, but this is what I expect to see in the next 4 years. And, yes, I do expect it to be worse than if Hillary had won the election and/or the Democrats had gained the majority in Congress." Cindy
"Now that is better. It sounds like you expect them to behave like typical Republicans... Not Facists or crazy people. As for your concerns:

Please remember that most of those 20 million actual got insurance via the medicaid expansion. And please remember that we tax payers and insurance premium payers are funding that expansion, the pre-existing conditions coverage, coverage to age 26, etc by paying more. ACA had some good parts like the insurance mandate, otherwise it is for the most part a welfare expansion / wealth transfer program.

I am not sure how drilling "decimates natural resources"... Since the oil is under the ground. You should go visit ND. There are wells and pipelines, but mostly there are miles and miles and mile of wheat fields.

I see up and downsides to vouchers. However given the number of kids Left Behind in the Mpls, St Paul, and similar districts... Especially minority and poor children. I think we owe it to them to help them escape those schools and the monopoly that controls them.

After watching the post election protests, I agree with you that there are many on the Left who are very biased and angry. :-) Hopefully they will become more tolerant and peaceful.

Please note that the Democrats had full control for 2 years, and had the Presidency for 6 years. I agree that they did a poor job of growing our economy and helping the working class. Hopefully Trump and crew can do better.

I am a big believer in protecting the goose that lays the golden eggs. I think Hillary was ready to slaughter the goose in order to take all the eggs... I am not excited with Trump etal, but I think it could have been worse. Time will tell. Thanks for the clarification." G2A

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Gratitude and Happiness

I thought this was a good link on Thanksgiving Day, especially since many of us are nervous, scared and not very thankful these days.  CNN The Year of Living Thankfully

As I watch what is happening in Syria and Iraq, I think we should all be thanking heavens for our blessings be they big or small.  When I get frustrated and am feeling ungrateful, I draw a vertical line down the center of a piece of paper and label one side Good and the other Not Good. Then I start writing items down, and the Good list is always much bigger than the Not Good list...

Another trick is that I try to remember that I am not owed any effort by anyone. (except maybe basic politeness) This sounds negative, however I see it as positive.  It helps me to not get frustrated with other people doing differently than I wish. And it helps me to really appreciate when others choose to make my life easier.  I can see it for the gift it is.

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Problem with Sanctuary Cities

Ibrahim is on a roll...  My first comment was that I find comments like the one below amazing.

Why is it that the folks who want higher incomes for low end workers, more jobs for minority workers, more social services / benefits for low income folks, etc seem to be the most vocal "Do Not Deport" illegal workers voices?

Apparently there are ~90,000 illegal workers in MN.  Now that is a lot of job openings if they were all returned home.  Wouldn't this be good for all of the legal low end workers and those who are unemployed? 

"Tripiciano said that if police officers were forced to round up everyone who’s here without authorization, there will be numerous businesses that would have to close down. “You don’t want to put the companies that employ their community members at risk by taking away a large chunk of their workforce,” she added. “That just doesn’t make any sense.”

Personally I think police should cooperate with ICE.  Thoughts?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Robots are Coming

Ibrahim wrote a good piece here.

I accept that this is the future.  The question I posed is how is our society and education system willing to change to ensure NO Child is Left Behind.  It is critical that EVERY non-special needs child who graduates is academically and socially cable, and interested in working and life long learning.

You know my views:
  • hold Parents accountable
  • hold School and Social Service Systems accountable
  • promote households with 2 mature adults
  • other?

Monday, November 21, 2016

The Obstructionist Party

The other comment that did not make the cut here went something like this.

Now as you know, I am a fan of gridlock and slow steady change.  I like it when we take 2 steps forward, 1 step back, maybe a couple to the side. Anything to give people time to adjust to the social change and to allow our economy time to adjust to the new system.

For 6 years Liberal comments have been obsessed with how the GOP were OBSTRUCTIONISTS to the CORRECT function of Government.  They kept insisting that Government should be doing more of something in order to be deemed productive.

My big questions now are what are the Liberals going to call:

  • the GOP as they work to pass laws, budgets, tax cuts, Justices, etc?
  • the Democrats as they try to stop the passing of these?
Is the Democratic Party now the Obstructionist Party?  Thoughts?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Definitely NOT a Popular Mandate

Here was an interesting article that shows just how large Clinton's popular majority be when everything is sorted out.

Atlantic 1.5 million and Growing

And something interesting.

"Do All States Distribute Electoral Votes That Way?

No, but almost all do: 48 of the 50 U.S. states and Washington, D.C., award all of their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote there.

Which States Don't Use the Winner-Take-All Method?

Only two states award their electoral votes in a different manner. They are Nebraska and Maine.

How Do Nebraska and Maine Distribute Electoral Votes?

They allocate their electoral votes by congressional district. In other words, instead of distributing all of its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote, Nebraska and Maine awards an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district. The winner of the statewide vote gets two additional electoral votes. This method is called the Congressional District Method; Maine has used it since 1972 and Nebraska has used it since 1996.

Doesn't the U.S. Constitution Prohibit Such Distribution Methods?

Not at all. In fact, it's just the opposite.
While the U.S. Constitution requires states to appoint electors, the document is silent on how they actually award votes in presidential elections. There have been numerous proposals to circumvent the winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes.
The Constitution leaves the matter of electoral-vote distribution up to the states, stating only that:
"Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress." The key phrase pertaining to the distribution of electoral votes is obvious: " ... in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct."
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the states' role in awarding electoral votes is "supreme."

Are Electors the Same As Delegates?

No. Electors are not the same as delegates. Electors are part of the mechanism that chooses a president. Delegates, on the other hand, distributed by the parties during the primaries and serve to nominate candidates to run in the general election. "

Trump and White Old Men

It is hard to believe that Trump can not find more bright capable women and minorities to fill these posts.  Maybe all those folks are correct that say he thinks women and minority people are not as capable or smart...


Politico White Men Dominate
WP Binder of White Men
VOX All White Men

FoxNews Michelle Rhee

Friday, November 18, 2016

Trump and Facism?

Those MP Moderators... MP Hope from Bad Week
"Methods: What I haven't seen is a discussion on methods: Seems that Mr. T used most every propaganda trick in the book that equates to Machiavellian and Fascism. ~ 5-6 months back a suggestion was made to fight fire with fire, however, it may have been you Paul, that suggested that the progressive not entertain that idea! So is it elitism, to try to play to folks logic, fact & intellect? Or; better to go the low road with the slogans, veiled realities, and UN-substantiated character assassination? 
Personally I think the low road: Got an in-law that was a CFO, did he check T's numbers before buying? Not a chance Just let that one blow on by. Hate to say it but plenty of fascism to go around in America, sold out for a slogan." Dennis

"So where exactly do you see fascism in America?" Ilya

"Anti Muslin Rhetoric, Anti Mexican Rhetoric, (in the 30's of Germany it was the Jews. Stephen Banner, "Far Alt right (Fascism Land) Strategist for Trump!" Dennis

"Personally I think it is the Democrats who seem more interested in centralizing power in Washington DC... The GOP seems fine with keeping most of the power in the States...  Interesting question...  "Facism - Webster Definition - a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition"" G2A

"The central point folks like Ilya and Appelen always miss regarding their argument that liberals are more prone to Facism is the reference to a "dictatorial" leader. We live in a constitutional liberal democracy wherein our presidents are elected and subject to Constitutional limits. No amount of hysteria changes that central fact.

The reason people get worried about a guy like Trump and other republicans is historically dictators emerge from the right, or conservative ideologies, that's simply an historical fact. There's never been a truly liberal dictator, and the liberal preference for organized governance cannot be described as a latent tendency towards totalitarianism. And in fact republicans are more likely to tear up the Constitution despite their frequent claims to be "Constitutionalist".  
Republicans are for instance on the record as Theocrats who think this is a "Christian" nation. They have typically been the quickest to exercise extreme police force, and militarized policing based on racial and cultural stereotypes, i.e. "rounding up" millions of people and deporting them, creating religious registries, etc.  
Republican executives are also quite a bit more prone towards violating the laws, ignoring Congress, and overstepping authority; i.e. Nixon- Watergate and the illegal bombing of Cambodia, Reagan and the Iran Contra affair, Bush and his "rendition" program, the Guantanamo prisoner, use of torture, etc.  
And of course there's a plethora of policy initiatives from abortion to bathrooms where republican politicians are trying to regulate individual personal behavior in the service of their "values", which is a standard claim of all dictators.

Now some will point to the Communist model as an example of "liberal" dictatorship, and that's a common confusion that conflates left to right political spectrum's with discrete ideology. Marxism can be said to have emerged form the "left", but there was never anything liberal about Marxism or communism. Marx and the communist hated liberals and claimed that their ideology transcending liberal vs. conservative political spectrum's, i.e. it was all about the Dialectic." Paul
My answer went something like this:  Lenin, Castro, Chavez, Mao, etc, etc. Facism can come from the Left very easily.  For it to happen the majority of people need to be desperate and willing to sell their freedom and common sense to take from the wealthy... (ie pre-Nazi)  I think we are pretty safe...


Trump, Bannon and FEAR

Those MP Moderators...   MP Hope out of Bad Week
"Mr. Rose did not care to answer my question. Would you like to? What do you think about the fact that the white supremacist/neo-Nazi contingent is openly prominent among the Trump coalition? What do you think about the fact that Mr Trump has appointed Steve Bannon chief of staff, giving these groups a direct connection to the policy and tactical nerve center of the administration? Did the vast proportion of Trump voters who are not racists, homophobes, anti-Semites, misogynists, etc vote for this? If not, do you expect that they will rise up in protest very soon?" Charles

"Well... First you will need to convince us Trump Voters that Bannon is as bad as you say, and that is unlikely to happen based on the background research I did. It seems that it is only the Left leaning folks and publications who want to lynch Bannon without a trial. It looks like he has a pretty diverse background and education.

Second, I voted against Hillary's far left platform and was not excited to cast a vote for Trump. However since he is going to be put in office I will happily wait and see where things go from here. Not much sense protesting something that has not happened yet.

What terrible actions do you see Trump and Bannon taking that are causing you so much fear?" G2A

"Regrets. I can't dismiss a year of barely controlled excitement for Trump on every white supremacist/neo-Nazi site; his open acceptance of the endorsement of those groups; and his appointment as chief policy adviser of a man whose chief undertaking since taking over the scurrilous Breitbart site has been to launder white supremacist messaging. Nor can I conceive of a cogent concept of right and left pursuant to which Clinton's platform could be classified as "far left." So I don't think we share a moral or analytical universe to an extent sufficient for meaningful discourse." Charles
Response went something like this...

Facts and Data:
CNN Trump denounces Duke and KKK

Hillary was a Liberal...  And then she stretched even further left to secure the Democratic Socialists votes of the Bernie followers.

Again... Other than deporting ILLEGAL aliens..  What terrible actions do you see Trump and Bannon taking that are causing you so much fear?"

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Crazy Laws that are being Proposed

Things will certainly be exciting for us bloggers during the coming years...

I especially like the Suck It Up Buttercup proposed law.  Especially if it would allow us to toss anyone into jail who blocks a freeway, access to a police station, etc...  Preferably for weeks...  Not hours...

Please feel free to protest...  Just don't infringe on the freedoms of your fellow citizens.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

What to Do with Rural Hicks?

So Hiram wrote some "fighting words" that I think deserve prime time billing and further discussion.
"The Democrats stopped addressing the concerns of Rural America." G2A

"We really don't actually. In economic terms, rural America has been on the decline for the last century or so, and nothing anything anyone does, can stop that. We do support rural schools, nursing homes, various forms of infrastructure stuff. Out state, Republicans campaign on things like the state office building, and the supposed arrogance of urban liberals, but they offer little of the way of substance apart from the easing of environmental regulations." Hiram

"Rural America may have fewer voters now due to automation and big equipment. That does not make it any less important to our country. Ignore them at your own peril. They are very high "value add" citizens who support many of our aspects of the American economy. (ie wealth creators) Besides they are able to influence elections as we have seen... :-)" G2A

"It's important, sure, but a lot fewer people live there. And those who do are faced with economic forces nobody can do anything about. Certainly the Republicans offer no solutions, which is why they spent so much time demagoguing the office building." Hiram
I personally find this map fascinating.  All those huge parts of the country that "nobody can do anything about"?  And all that RED...  Oh my...  Thoughts?
USA Today Election in 4 Maps
MP Where is the F in DFL
Guardian Democrats Deserted Us
The Hill Democrats Forgot about Rural America
Slate Rural Elected Someone Who will Not Help Them

How to Improve the Electoral College System

Here are some thoughts from Joel:
Well here are my thoughts on changes (improvements?) that could be made to the EC:
  • Could we have national electors that would vote for the person who wins that national popular vote? These would be in addition to the existing 538 electors. How many would there be? One possible argument against is that it would effectively give a portion of the population more power than "one person, one vote".
  • Each State still gets the two "Senator" votes, meaning that two votes go to the winner of the statewide popular vote
  • Each congressional district still gets a single vote based on the popular vote within the district, with the following caveats:
With regard to Congressional Districts:
  • Gerrymandering is outlawed (how?)
  • District boundaries are not affected by State boundaries, meaning that all congressional districts would have to have, as closely as possible, the same population without respect to State borders. My questions regarding this are: Is there a good reason for congressional districts to be contained within States? What reason is there for it to continue? States already get electoral votes.