Sunday, July 31, 2016

How Many Sub-Parties are There?

Eric writes here about the current chaos of our "2" party system. MP 5 Parties in 2?

And in the comments here, Paul and Charles make an argument that both Clintons are actually Right of Center.  MP War On Gov't  Also, Paul makes a note that the Progressives have had it all figured out since the 70's and the Liberals are part of an "Elitism" problem.  I was going to copy some of their comments, but they are too wordy.

My question is where is the center from your perspective? Are there more classifications? What is the difference between a Liberal and a Progressive?  Is the Progressive to a Liberal as the Tea Party is to a Conservative?
  • Democratic Socialists /Progressives
  • Liberals
  • Moderate Liberals
  • Undecided
  • Moderate Conservatives
  • Conservatives
  • Tea Party Conservatives
G2A Political Self Awareness  And remember that per the Nolan Diagram there is "wealth transfer" axis and a "personal freedom" axis.  Are there more that Nolan did not recognize?

We See What We See

This was a very interesting piece. MP We See What We See
"David, Thank you. That was excellent.

I have found that not only does the tube limit one's field of view. It also seems to somewhat self directing towards news sources that support the owner's views. Or maybe it is the fear of seeing something that does not fit the persons view of reality." G2A
Reticular Activating System 1 
RAS 2: Tranquilize the Kid?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Trump's Deficit Busting Budget Plan

A gift from Laurie...
This govt is too big topic bores me so I am going to throw in a link for what I find interesting: 
Chart of the Day: Donald Trump's Deficit Busting Budget Plan 
So have you decided between Trump and Clinton yet? What do you think of Trump's invitation for Russia to interfere with our election?

American Freedoms

MP War on Government
"Here's the deal: Virtually ALL Republicans concede the need for government, It is SO much better than who-has-the-biggest-gun anarchy.

The problem comes with:

It is generally inefficient and wasteful--whether we are talking entitlements or military
It is WAY too subject to cronyism--both Dem & Repub.
It is VERY MUCH PRONE to curtailing liberties. Some may be liberties you don't than other people ought to have--but liberties that for the most part should not matter to you. (Smoking pot, deciding who to bake a cake for, who to marry, how many and what type of guns I may own, ad infinitum.

Hence the need to keep it small and watch it VERY closely.

It just drives me nuts that so many people think 'the government is my friend.' It is NOT." Dennis

"The problem with Dennis's republicans is that they simply cannot fathom the fact that there are different types of government, not just "government". Therefore this is a little more than a stereotype of government rather than an actual system that actually exists. The entire mentality is based on the bizarre notion that a Nazi government and a liberal democracy share the exact same characteristics because they're both governments. Many republicans actually don't believe in democratic governments, and on a basic level don't really believe they live in a democracy, they'll even tell you once and while this is a "republic" as if there's a difference. Liberal democracies are NOT prone to curtailing liberties, they have been expanding those liberties for 200+ years. The people most prone to curtailing liberties in this country are republicans. All this talk about "liberty" is rarely more than a thinly veiled attempt to curtail the liberties of others and apply authoritarian policies.

The rejection of liberal democracy leads republicans into a bizarre zero-sum notion of "liberty" wherein liberty cannot be expanded to someone without taking it away from others. In essence, republicans have no coherent concept of "liberty" much the same way fundamentalists have no coherent concept of religion. With a rational concepts of democracy and liberty you're never going to get coherent concepts of government.

Again, any notion of government based on size is simply incoherent. In liberal democracies governments are as big as they need to be in order to perform the functions citizens want them to perform. Those functions are determined by voters and elected representatives. Whenever you try to talk to proponents of small government about what you want or don't want the government to actually do they simply start whining about taxes and that's as far as it goes. Small government proponents have never been able to point a functioning example of their model and every nation on the planet with an affluent population that enjoy substantial personal liberties has a "large" government. Somalia is not the land of freedom and prosperity some would have you believe.

Models of government based on "size" can't even tell us how they actually measure the "size" of a government, it's an incoherent principle pretending to be a measurement of some kind.

Now by "republican" I'm not talking about everyone who votes republican, I'm talking about the Party leaders and those who support them." Paul

I always love your Somalia side note. I will give the best example of a country that thrived and maintained law and order when governmental costs were less.

Now it is true that people had to take personal responsibility for getting an education, getting a job, buying insurance, saving for a rainy day, saving for retirement, etc. And if they didn't or things went bad they would need to ask for charity. And the charities could then judge their lifestyle to determine if they were truly unfortunate or if their pain was self induced.

Whereas now the government forces us all to pay much higher taxes in order to ensure the irresponsible, lazy and/or unlucky will receive money, healthcare, food, etc and not be reliant on the charity of others.

If you doubt this. Please try to explain to the govt that you feel you should have the freedom to not pay 15+% for FICA because you want the freedom to invest it elsewhere." G2A

Monday, July 25, 2016

How to Handle Weight in Our Society

Apparently Ashley Graham has lost some weight which will likely make her doctor happy. Unfortunately it seems that it is making some people who like her plumper form very unhappy.

Who knew someone would be shamed for getting to a healthier weight. We sure live in a strange world. Thoughts?

CNN Ashley Graham Loses Weight

HP Tiegs Letter to Graham

CNN Graham Response

Saturday, July 23, 2016

MN: ESSA is Coming

MP MN Prepares for ESSA  Ray, who I believe is a Retired Teacher, makes some good points.  However he like most Ed MN Liberal supporters seems to want to focus on only one cause.  If only we could fix that Race and Poverty issue, then everything will get better...
"Words Matter. Education officials and commenters continue to use the phrase "low-performing schools" as if it reflected an obvious reality.  It does not. What Minnesota (and many other states) must deal with are low-performing students. 
To the degree that inadequately-trained teachers are a part of that inadequate student outcome, they must be properly trained, meet state standards, and be assigned classes in their field of expertise. Administrators charged with evaluation of professional staff ought to be people who themselves have substantial teaching experience. 
To the degree that inadequate and/or obsolete physical facilities affect and contribute to inadequate student outcome, those facilities must be upgraded, improved, and/or replaced.
In the unlikely event that schools in Wayzata or Minnetonka find themselves being rated as "low-performing schools," there might be reason to examine the root causes of such a ranking in areas that are normally not part of this picture. Lacking that, the primary reason for low-performing students has been known and pointed out by study after study over the past half-century and more: low-performing students in great disproportion come from families living in poverty, and especially from families living in what are now designated as RCAPs, or Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty. This is where Minnesota's largely unacknowledged legacy of racial and economic segregation has come home to roost, so to speak. 
Unless and until the Met Council, county officials, school district officials, legislators, state government, and the state's education hierarchy address this ongoing segregation, we can make plans to address low student performance 'til the cows come home, and some of them will actually make a difference for some kids, so I don't want to dismiss such plans out of hand, but they won't "cure" the fundamental underlying problem(s). 
To make genuinely significant progress among low-performing students requires that the state and the areas directly affected by it address, and begin to overcome, the ongoing racial and economic segregation that characterizes some parts of the Twin Cities metro, and perhaps – especially in an economic context – some of the state's rural areas, as well. 
In combination with other programs to directly address the issue of RCAPs, some important gains may finally be made in trying to improve the inadequate intellectual development and knowledge base of "low-performing students." 
Without addressing the issues of segregation and concentrated poverty, it's my hunch that there will be plenty of noise and commotion, but relatively little in the way of genuine progress for these children who are currently, and in the future, not developing the knowledge base and intellectual skills necessary to serve as vital, contributing citizens of the area, the state, and the country." Ray

"I agree with you that there is a root cause in your statement.

"low-performing students in great disproportion come from families living in poverty, and especially from families living in what are now designated as RCAPs, or Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty"

However when are folks going to stop making this about race and start making it about familial beliefs, single Parent households and and familial actions? Or about the Ed MN policies that allow the high cost Teachers to be employed mostly in the schools with the children who have good family support?

Here are a larger number of issues / causes...
G2A Blame vs Contributions

Just increasing the household incomes via public assistance will not help. Somehow we need to encourage 2 Parent households in these at risk communities, promote Parents who support education, and hopefully smaller families. That is how families get out of poverty and support their children.

Single Parent households with more children than they can afford is a recipe for continuing disaster..." G2A

Thursday, July 21, 2016

GOP's War on Government

Eric is back at again.  He is discussing VOX 3 decade war on govt gave us Trump.

Here are a couple of comments from there. More add since...
"Never sure if my thoughts are being chastised or simply extended by others. Yes, Proxmire's lists were always fun and fair. In any case, I'm pretty sure Republicans are not against all government.  
They certainly spend a lot of time and money pushing their products, as do Democrats their pet projects. I'm truly amazed at how much public and press denigration the Red brigade generally receives, except in those years they are overwhelmingly elected to majority rule by our nation's voters.  
I've been watching a bunch of old westerns lately, perhaps hiding from the complexities of 2016. In any case, I do understand current social absolutism to be rooted in our tradition of "good guys" and "bad guys." Those 1950s plots were simplistic, as simplistic as too much 2016 rhetoric remains." Jim

"I agree with you that many folks love to see Heroes and Villains. The facts are pretty clear that government controlled less than 10% of the US GDP ~100 years ago which means that individual citizens were able to make more of their own choices with 90+% of the money.  
And now thanks to actions taken by both parties over the past century, the government gets to divvy out ~35% of the GDP. Meaning that we citizens have less individual control, having only ~65% of the money. Spending History 

And now anyone who wants to slow or reverse this long term trend is deemed to be trying to eliminate government. They do like their villains." G2A

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Challenges in Turkey

I find this an interesting story of Secularists vs Islam Supporters.

Probably a good thing if we keep the number of Muslim folks a little lower in the USA.  Many here are concerned that the Christians influence our government too much and are too intolerant.  Which is nothing compared to the Muslims in Turkey right now.


CNN Turkey Details
CNN Turkey Crackdown

Monday, July 18, 2016

MN Special Session

I thought this goose was cooked, but it may have some life left in it.  I suppose both sides want to use it to their advantage during the election run up.

MP Possible Special Session

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Racism or Logic

Sean left this interesting comment and link.  "Clearly black folks are just making it all up, right?"

WP Disrespect from the Police
“While I thank God I have not endured bodily harm, I have, however, felt the pressure applied by the scales of justice when they are slanted,” Scott said. “I have felt the anger, the frustration, the sadness and the humiliation that comes with the feeling that you are being targeted for being nothing more than yourself.”
“The vast majority of time, I was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood, or some reason just as trivial,” Scott said. “Imagine the frustration, the irritation, the sense of a loss of dignity that accompanies each of those stops.”

Another time, Scott said, he was entering one of the Senate’s offices wearing the pin that identified him as a member of Congress. An officer stopped him, demanding his identification."
Now I am quite certain that the Black folks are not making this up.  I have no doubt that they are stopped more often. My point is that I don't think they are stopped by Racists.  I think they are stopped by discerning Police who have noticed something that looks out of place.

Some reason Blacks would be stopped more often include:
  • Many Black people are poor and therefore own old questionable vehicles (ie bad electrical systems)
  • Black membership in Gangs is far higher than white membership
  • Many Black people live in High crime areas
  • Many Black people have less education and/or communicate poorly with officers
  • Many Black families have single Parent (ie middles school kids likely have more "free / unscheduled / unsupervised time")
Just as a Middle Aged White Guy in a panel van near the park should be watched closer and maybe talked to, unfortunately young Black males need to watched closer.  It isn't their fault, it is just statistics based on the higher level of misbehavior by other Black males.

I mean look at this silliness. U of MN Stops Using Race as a Warning Descriptor  Maybe next they will stop using height, weight, hair color, etc...  I mean my hair is kind of brown, I may feel humiliated when a criminal with brown hair is on the loose raping girls...  Or maybe sex would be too vague...

Monday, July 11, 2016

Giuliani Says BLM is Racist

I think Rudy is not too far off, and Bill is busy campaigning.  I would have a lot more respect for BLM if they actually focused on improving Black Lives.  Instead they are obsessed with the questionable deaths of a few Black Men while millions of Black Lives fail to meet their full potential and/or die early from many other causes.  It is somewhat like focusing on one water drip in the corner, when most of the ceiling is open to the rain.

And worse yet they want to blame American society for their failures and high risk lifestyles.  I am serious...  Is there a White person gang out there?  I mean the movies often show Black and Hispanic gangs shooting up the streets.  And sometimes there are White Biker gangs. Is Hollywood making this up or are most gangs.  Here are some facts National Gang Center  Looks like Hollywood is about right...
Racist Defined: "a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one's own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others."
Racism Defined:
  1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.
  2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
  3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

CNN Black Lives Matter is Racist
CNN De Blasio Praises BLM 

Should Have Charged Clinton?

This is an interesting twist. Laurie said she thought people were losing interest in in Clinton's email.  I am not so sure...

CNN Majority Believe Clinton Should Have Been Charged

Thursday, July 7, 2016

More Fun at St Paul Schools

This article is interesting,It reminds me why the unlucky students are so SCREWED. MP St Paul Schools Change Rationale

"The DFL and Education Minnesota wanted increased compensation for the Teachers and reduced accountability for the Teachers, so they backed a board that would execute this plan.  The new Board Members then paid them back for their support. 
MP St Paul Schools: History 

I am always fascinated that Boards are allowed to sign Teacher Contracts right after the Teachers pay to get them voted in.  Can you imagine the conflict of interest case that would result if something like this occurred in the Private business world." G2A
Thoughts on the article or the comments? 

Police Shootings

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Happy Independence Day

I know it is a bit early, but I am kind of checked out from the electronic world and just enjoying family, the lake and the beautiful weather.

Even though we have plenty to discuss and resolve in America, today I am just thankful we live in a country where we are free to do so.  Just imagine a pretty stable democratic country with ~320 million people who for the most part maintain our domestic peace and care enough to try to help other parts of the world attain a similar miracle.  And the idea of having so much power and not being conquerors is so great and unique given the history of the world.

I realize that is hard to remember this when one focuses on how their policies are not being adopted, or how they are concerned when changes they disagree with are adopted.  However on this Independence Day I recommend spending some time remembering all the things that are great here instead of the few things that are wrong.

I think our glass is 95% full.  However it is easy to focus on that 5% that would make it "perfect" in "our" opinion.

Also, remember to give thanks for all the police, FBI, military and other personnel who are working endlessly to keep it this way.  :-)  Happy Independence Day !!!