Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Years Eve !!!

Buy Foreign Made and Support Layoffs

'A kick in the stomach': massive GM layoffs leave workers distraught – and angry

I often share the KOGOD Auto Index to try and help people understand how their choices impact US workers.  I mean liberals often vilify businesses for laying off American workers and destroying Unions as they buy their low domestic content vehicle.

Top 10 Small Cars
Top Sedans

The unfortunate reality as shown in the numbers is that most Americans don't seem to care where their money goes, which workers it supports or which country's taxes they are paying as long as they get the car they want for the price they deem acceptable.

Now 2 of my family's 6 cars are low domestic content vehicles for some strange timing and requirement reasons, however I always put "domestic content" as one factor of my buying criteria.  And since I don't cry about unions, minimum wages, the sad plight of American workers, evil companies off shoring jobs, etc... I am not being a hypocrite when I do buy foreign.

By the way, some foreign brands have high North American content models and some US brands have low North American content models, so look closely before you buy.

Finally, please remember that if you do choose to buy that Toyota Prius, Lexus, Nissan Rogue Sport, Mazda, Kia Soul, Volvo, BMW sedan, Subaru, Mercedes, Audi, etc it does not make you anymore evil than the companies that layoff American workers.  It just means that like them, you are a capitalist who is optimizing for your benefit.  The difference of course is that if companies do not make these hard choices they go bankrupt and everyone loses their jobs, where as you just end up driving a high domestic content vehicle that was not your first choice.  :-)

Sunday, December 30, 2018

More Mercury and Toxins in the Air?

Trump EPA Says Mercury Limits On Coal Plants Too Costly, Not 'Necessary'

FOX Business EPA Roll Back

USA Today Funny Math

In summary:

  • Mercury and co-benefits together justified the cost
  • Trump admin calculations ignore the co-benefits
  • Therefore they think pumping more mercury, soot and other toxins out of the smoke stacks is a good idea
  • Even though the plants have already been upgraded
  • Thankfully MN is dropping these quickly and few of them are upwind from me...

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Cost of Power Generation

Jerry has been trying to convince me over here that the new sources of electricity are still way too expensive.  So I read some of his links and also found these interesting current sources.

IRENA RenewablePowerGenerationCosts in 2017
FORBES Renewable Energy Will Be Consistently Cheaper
What I think I know based on this study is that the alternative energy sources were initially expensive and unreliable...  Since I am an engineer this makes perfect sense to me, I mean usually when developing new technologies and equipment:
  • there is a steep learning curve (ie very high new content)
  • the more complex, the more challenging (ie work in rain, sun, snow, hail, etc for decades)
  • it takes multiple generations to debug concepts, designs, etc
  • given the long life of this equipment, those generations are measured in decades
  • costs at low volume are HIGH, so volume matters
My point being that the costs of the old equipment and it's development are in no way predictive of what costs will be for the modern generations of the same equipment / technology.  I am sure these industries will continue to learn, improve and reduce costs. Thoughts?
This is an interesting piece explaining the big changes that have occurred in wind.
"Noble's company, Wintec Energy, eventually replaced its 212 original turbines with 35 larger machines. Those were later replaced with five even larger machines. Today, the five turbines generate six times as much energy as the original 212, Noble said.
"It's just the difference between a Model T Ford and a Porsche," he said."

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Charity or Enabling?

So one of my FB friends linked to this sweet piece.

Which seems somewhat aligned to Moose's comment regarding healthcare over here. "How about we look out for the needs of our neighbors, as Christians in a ‘Christian Country’ must do?"

To which I responded... "Moose, Unfortunately your vision of Christian is usually a bit too: Promoting Dependency for Me... How do you want to hold people responsible for making good life choices, living healthy, paying their way, avoiding being on the dole, etc?"

Now please remember I am a big fan of charitable giving to:

  • help people improve and escape poverty
  • help people during disasters
  • help people who are ill
  • care for the truly disabled
However I am not a big fan of charitable giving to:
  • enable people to stay dysfunctional
  • enable people to have more children than they can care for
  • manipulators and con artists
 So I usual give significant amounts to organizations who help those in need, and avoid giving blindly to those standing on the street. So what does that say about my character?

And for those who do give to street beggars... What does that say about their character?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Money Management

CNN Money Wall Street craves certainty but all it's getting is chaos

Well the good news is that I feel better now.  See...

  • back in middle to late 2017 I moved about 40% of our IRA type holdings to a combination of cash and bond funds, by that time I was pretty sure we were in for a wild ride
  • I mean with Trump being a loose cannon and the USA being over due for a recession / correction, it was just a matter of time.
  • so for the past 1+ years I have been kicking myself for not holding out for that top value...
  • well now the market is below where I sold and I am pretty happy
  • I mean not as happy as if I had held it all and sold it all at the peak... :-)
  • But happy all the same... 

Now for the BIG questions...

  • Should I move more to safer waters? I mean we are still way above the 2012 value
  • Should I buy something, there will likely be a bounce soon. If only temporary.
  • When will be the correct time to move back to 100% stocks? 

When I was younger and the value of our portfolio was much smaller, it was easy to just stay 100% in through the ups and downs...

  • I was buying more monthly relative to my holdings, so dollar cost averaging had great power.
  • And the value of my holdings were small, so 30% down was a modest value.

For better or worse, now a 30% swing is equal to years of my annual wage...  And I am not excited to give that wealth up without a fight. So though I will stay at least 50% in...  I am going to try some educated timing.  We will see how this goes...  Just remember the rules:

  • When EVERYONE is excited about stocks, think about selling.
  • When NO ONE wants to talk about stocks, think about buying.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Wind Farm Update

The Suburbs in 2020

Minnpost After the 2018 election, do Democrats own the suburbs — or are they just renting them? By Greta Kaul

I believe that most outer suburban voters are somewhat fiscally conservative and socially liberal...  So it is going to be a question of which party controls their extremist factions best...

The GOP lost the suburbs this time because of the antics of Trump and their inability or lack of desire to say no to the Freedom Caucus and Religious Right.

Since I see no change occurring in the GOP for at least the next 2 years, I see the DEMs keeping control unless they bow to their Congressional Progressive Caucus, all abortions are good, the more illegals allowed in is good and the socialism rocks folks.

Let the contest continue.  :-)

Monday, December 17, 2018

Brexit Referendum 2.0?

VOX The case for holding a second Brexit referendum
Meet the group that wants to call “Bracksies” on Brexit

It is strange to me that Theresa May is so against having a second referendum now that folks have a better idea of what the consequences of Brexit would be...

At 48% to 52% , it isn't like Brexit had a huge majority...

Here is a relevant opinion piece.


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Dr Roy Spencer

Here is some information from a catastrophic climate change denier that at least seems based somewhat in science

And here is what some catastrophic climate change believers think of his work.

Here is a wikipedia site dedicated to him.

Of course there is the question of his religious beliefs and how that impacts his scientific findings.

"Spencer is a signatory to "An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming",[32][33] which states that "We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history."[34] "

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A New Threat to ACA?

CNN Federal judge in Texas strikes down Affordable Care Act

Whenever I think the GOP is done harming themselves, they go an do it again.  Apparently this judge argues that since the tax penalty is now $0, the individual mandate is now unconstitutional.  And since the mandate is key to ACA, the whole law is now in question.

One has to remember that overall:

  • ACA is more popular than unpopular
  • The GOP has no better solution
  • Everyone may experience a severe physical or mental illness
  • Everyone should be paying for high quality insurance that will cover those possible expenses
  • Letting citizens buy bargain bare bones insurance, or worse no insurance, just transfers those costs to the rest of  us.
It will be interesting to see where this leads and what the consequences will be in 2020...

Monday, December 10, 2018

Who Wants to Work for Trump?

It does amaze me that anyone is willing to go work for our President in our White House...  I mean he has a 2 year history of praising people as he hires them, to vilifying and insulting them as they leave...

I can't even imagine what he is like in person...  Thoughts?
White House: Help Wanted
Trump Scrambles to Find Chief of Staff
Who is in the running
Ayers Declines Job
Dumb as a Rock

By the way, I am headed for China again...  So I will write when the Great Firewall allows. :-)

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Charters vs Traditional Public Schools

We are arguing AGAIN over here about if Charter or Traditional Public Schools (TPS) are better. The above graphic come from a CREDO NY Study. (CREDO Site)  Now I agree with the factors they use to match and compare schools:
  • Grade level
  • Gender
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Free or Reduced Price Lunch Status
  • English Language Learner Status
  • Special Education Status
  • Prior test score on New York state achievement tests
Except.  How does one account for what the child'(s) parent(s) are like?  Please remember that I think student success is 70% due to their parent(s) and community, and ~30% due to the school /teachers.

Now a Charter and TPS may be in the same community with similar student demographics, and have TOTALLY DIFFERENT parental demographics.  Please remember that the TPS is the default
  • The TPS gets every unlucky child who's parent do not make the effort or know enough to do anything special academically for their child(ren).  
  • The Charter will only have families where the parent(s) are aware, motivated and cared enough about academics to get their lucky child enrolled.
Now Jerry loves Charters and Vouchers for this reason. They make it easier for concerned and capable parent(s) with Lucky children to run from their Unlucky neighbor children who have Deadbeat or incapable parent(s).

Just like when parent(s) who can afford it move to a more expensive neighborhood with "better schools"...  Which we all know means "neighborhood with more capable people"...

So to me Charters and Vouchers have an upside in that more Lucky kids (ie good capable parents & no significant special needs) can get into schools with more kids like themselves.  The downside of course is that leaves the TPS with an ever higher density of Unlucky kids.  At which time the Charter school advocates:

  • Blame the TPS for failing with the most challenging families...
  • Praise the Charter for helping out the simplest families...

It is kind of like when people say that Wayzata district is better than Robbinsdale... Which is so silly since you are comparing apples and oranges. So my questions as always...
  • Do some Charters do better than the local TPS because they have the neighborhood kids with capable responsible parent(s) and the TPS got the dregs?
  • Do some Charters do worse than the local TPS because they have a much higher population of parent(s) who have low English capability? (family chose "Somali Charter school" to avoid change / assimilation) 
  • How do we really know which schools are doing well because of their systems, employees, curriculum?
  • How do we know which schools are doing well because the have good capable family / parental / community support?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

What Do Teachers Want?

We have been arguing about many school related things... Then someone asked a simple question... "When was the last time anyone talked to a teacher?"

To which I replied. "Whenever I try to talk to teachers about any of these topics... They say that "I can not understand because I am not a Teacher..." Like teaching is somehow different from every other job, organization, management system, etc in the world. Apparently they and their situation is different from us normal humans..."

This however did get me thinking about:
  • What do teachers want?
  • How do they think we can eliminate the achievement gap?
From the conversations I have had with Teachers, they want some pretty normal logical things:
  • To be fairly compensated for their work
  • To have job security and benefits
  • To have capable Supervisors who support their efforts
  • To have reasonable class sizes
  • To have children enter their classroom adequately prepared for the content that is to be taught (ie pre-requisites, behaviors, etc)
  • Parent(s) who want to and are capable of partnering in the development of their children.
  • To have very disruptive students removed from their class (EBD, etc)
  • Respect
Then there are those ones I question:
  • To be able do things their own way (ie curriculum, content, etc)
  • To be paid based on degrees and years served , rather than based on performance and responsibility levels
  • To be able to resist the goals of the school board and administrators
What have I missed here and how do the above help to eliminate the academic achievement gaps?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Easier to Become a MN Teacher?

MinnPost Thinking about switching career paths to become a teacher? It’s daunting, but might be getting easier

Historically the Teachers Union has worked hard to keep non-traditional candidates out of the classroom in MN.  I mean they want to limit competition just like many other worker groups.

Maybe things will improve...  Though I kind of doubt with the DEMs obtaining more control in the State.  They do tend to support ED MN no matter how it harms the Unlucky kids. :-(

MN Welfare Per Capita Spend is #5

I know this should not have surprised me, but it did... Especially since many of the Blue "Ocean States" did not even make the Top 10. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dangers of Early School Enrollment

Continuing from G2A EITC regarding my view on How to Win the War on Poverty
"Unfortunately focusing on only this one. "5.The welfare payments and service should be set up to make recipients work, learn, mature and improve their self sufficiency."Leaves a lot of kids hungry, homeless and poor...That's why excellent sex education, free birth control and even early term abortions are so important. Unfortunately those are three things that are not allowed in the Bible Belt...Well that and that they prefer to spend little on their early childhood education, K-12, and Higher Ed." G2A
"You need to see this-- not all of your solutions pass the test:Harvard Study Shows the Dangers of Early School Enrollment"  Jerry
I agree with the Harvard results.  Sending children into an academic setting before their brain development is where it needs to be to accomplish that curriculum can be frustrating and detrimental to the child. So we agree:

Age and child appropriate curriculum, methods and expectations are critical.

However this in no way means that sending children to pre-school is a bad thing.  It just means that those programs need to focus on age and child appropriate activities.  Some academic focus, but  mostly they focus on physical, social, problem solving, emotional, behavioral and other things that will help them develop well and learn effectively when they do enter kindergarten.

RDale Early Childhood Education
MN DOE Early Childhood Indicators of Progress by Topic
MN DOE School Readiness

Please remember that I am more concerned about the millions of unlucky kids in America who enter kindergarten without these basic capabilities.  Which leads to them staying academically behind their luckier peers who were ready to start learning on day 1...

Now I have known Parents who want to push their children faster than their child's physical, social, cognitive, emotional, etc current capabilities...  That is a totally different issue.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Bell Tolls for Trump?

From Sean
"If this holds up, I don't know how anyone can claim there was "no collusion". Now, Republicans will have to try to explain it away. Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy"
And then there is this.
CNN Alan Dershowitz says Mueller report will be 'devastating' to Trump

Monday, November 26, 2018

Trump is Bad for Business

VOX GM is closing plants and cutting jobs.
Here’s what it means for workers — and for Trump.
It’s not great.

FOX Trump Not Happy with GM after Job Cuts

Let's see...  Trump:
  • raises the cost of steel and aluminum with big tariffs
  • raises the cost of many components with big tariffs
  • does not place tariffs on completed products
  • destabilizes the US Healthcare system by picking away at ACA
  • and he is unhappy that manufacturers are suffering?
This is an interesting Letter... (ie Trump is BAD for Business)

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland

Sunday, November 25, 2018

4th National Climate Assessment

MN vs WI and IA

A Facebook friend linked to this exercise in selective comparisons with the comment. "Good information for those of you who think Minnesota is going in the wrong direction."

My thoughts are:
Personally I think comparing IA, MN and WI is silly since they are all excellent states to live in.  And according to this US News Comparison...  IA is #1, MN is #2, ND is #4, NE is #7, WI is #11 and SD is #14...  We all very fortunate!!!

And don't forget that our State has a terrible academic achievement, even though we have a very strong Education Union...  Could those 2 things be related?

Trump on Deficits

It must be hard to be a President when one apparently has ADHD...

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving !!!

Earned Income Tax Credit

From Laurie
"New Study Says EITC Expansion Would Be 87% Self-Financed  by Kevin Drum  So would you support more money to poor people if it cost very little? "

I think increasing the EITC may be a good idea if we can reduce the welfare budgets by the same amount. Or are you think we should increase EITC and keep the welfare / Medicaid the same?

I support most programs that require the recipient to learn, work, improve, etc...  I disagree with most programs that provide services or money with little or no expectations of the recipient... The goals need to be:
  • Promote fiscally responsible behavior
  • Promote escaping government dependency
  • Promote learning and improvement 
  • Promote raising children well
EPI EITC and CTC History
CBPP Reducing EITC Over Payments

Monday, November 19, 2018

Press Pass Games

Thank heavens for Lawyers and Judges to block Trump's more foolish actions.
The new rules seem somewhat common sense.  Thoughts?
  • A journalist called upon to ask a question will ask a single question and then will yield the floor to other journalists.
  • At the discretion of the President or other White House official taking questions, a follow-up question or questions may be permitted; and where a follow up has been allowed and asked, the questioner will then yield the floor.
  • Yielding the floor” includes, when applicable, physically surrendering the microphone to White House staff for use by the next questioner.
  • Failure to abide by any of rules may result in suspension or revocation of the journalist’s hard pass.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

2 Republican Wings?

MinnPost Lessons from the past for the GOP to become a majority party

This was an interesting piece...  Probably not likely given the GOP's current rightward shift, however worth consideration. Since a Far Right party does not seem to be very popular.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Trump's Racism is Showing

NPR Trump Is Reshaping The Judiciary. A Breakdown By Race, Gender And Qualification

The other day I was trying to give Trump the benefit of the doubt that he is not a true racist... Unfortunately it appears I was very wrong and this article pretty well confirms it.

I mean Obama found better qualified nominees from various races.  Where as Trump is picking White nominees that the Bar rate as less qualified.

I really can not think of another reason for Trump's behavior.

Then there is that very "White" White house.

Rasmussen Presents

MPR Scott Rasmussen says our tradition of pragmatic problem-solving still works today

I heard a little of this at noon and it was pretty interesting.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Trump The Manipulator

Trump sent 45 tweets about the caravan / invasion, and now...  None...

And the cost of the deployment is unknown yet...  But it is a LOT of money.

So he worked so hard to scare his True Believers, he spent many many millions on an unnecessary deployment stunt to scare them even further and the manipulation did not get him everything he wants...  So now he is skipping Presidential duties, moping and ranting... I sure wish he would grow up and start working with people instead of trying to manipulate them.

No Progressive Majority in America

"Frum says There Is No Progressive Majority in America. I think he is wrong and there is a progressive majority. The question is the distribution of these votes and will they amount to a win in the electoral college in 2020." Laurie
I agree with Frum as we have discussed before, especially if one considers Progressives to be Far Left.

G2A Hidden Tribes
G2A Where is G2A (ie John)?
G2A What would make Americans Happy?
G2A Nolan Diagram

Ironically, last night I watched Atlas Shrugged Part 1...  There is a good reminder to avoid Progressive policies. :-)

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Women and the GOP

Vogue Why Do White Women Keep Voting for the GOP and Against Their Own Interests?

Rarely do I actually get angry when I read articles, however this one was so condescending to women that disagree with the author that it raised my blood pressure a bit.  This Tammy Bruce response describes my views pretty well.

FOX News 'Unsisterly': Vogue Asks Why White Women Keep Voting for GOP, 'Against Their Own Interests'  Must-see response from Tammy Bruce.
Now given Trump's behaviors and the failure of the GOP to control him, I can understand why women are leaving the GOP. (ie "grab pussies", separate families, supporting Kavanaugh, attacking Ford, etc...)
However the DEMs are going to have a hard time attracting more women as long as they keep supporting all abortions, weak borders, more welfare w/ few expectations, etc.  

Controls the Burbs, Control the Country

MinnPost Suburban voters didn’t just elect Democrats to Congress and the Minnesota Legislature — they drove DFL victories statewide

We often talk about Urban and Rural voters, when the real decision makers are the folks in the burbs and large towns. I mean they have a lot of people living there and often they are more affluent.

Of course Trump's coarse behaviors, lies, etc drove a lot of us burbers away from our beloved GOP party...  I keep wondering if that man is capable of learning and improving, or if will stick with the same destructive hateful playbook?  If he doesn't learn and the DEMs find a likable candidate, I think 2020 is going to be very painful for the GOP.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Did DEMs Win MidTerms

VOX The strange argument that Democrats actually lost the midterms, debunkedWhat centrists like Nick Kristof and Bret Stephens get wrong about the midterms.

CNN Who really won the midterm elections?

In my opinion it was the DEMs that won the mid-terms.  And when Trump said that he had won it, I knew I was correct... :-)  I mean every thing fell has predicted for the most part.  The Senate was a stretch from the start due to who was up for election.  Thoughts?

Some other topics:
Trump Threatens More Journalists
Trump Denies Knowing AG He Put in Charge...
Trump With No Evidence Claims Fraud
Trump Bashes Kellyanne's Husband

Well I am pretty sure that we can now say that Trump is not going start acting Presidential anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Trump News Conf and More

Thank Hevens: Grid Lock Again

Well I got most of my wishes... I mean both the Fed and State governments are split again. Unfortunately MN went too far DEM for my tastes. 

The questions on my mind:
  • Will Trump change his style somewhat in response to this rebuke from the American people?  Or will he blame others for the failures, claim any successes and stay the same annoying person? (likely the latter)
  • Will the US Dems waste the next 2 years trying to impeach Trump? (likely)
  • Will that crackpot Ellison waste MN dollars suing the Feds, protecting illegal residents and fighting our police officers? (likely)
Thoughts or Questions?

CNN DEMs Ascendant
FOX News DEMs to Flex Muscles
MinnPost DEMs Win Most
MPR News Results

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Proof is in the Vote

Often folks here like to accuse me of being a Conservative, where as I see myself as a slightly right leaning moderate with slight libertarian leanings. Well today I voted across the board...  I voted for the DEMs in the National races, the GOPs in the State races,  Yes for the District 281 referendum and ignored all those local offices that I know NOTHING about...

My rationale was very simplistic:
  • Why vote for people if I have ZERO knowledge
  • MN is too Liberal for me, some years of GOP dominance could help the State.
  • The national GOP has lost its mind and needs some DEM moderation
Now my GOP friends and family will likely disagree with me, however I think Trump is poisoning our party. Here is my evidence:
Until we find a way to get a Third Party in the Middle, I guess my goal is to keep the Far Left and Far Right balanced so neither can do too much damage.  Though that is going to create its own problems.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Friday, November 2, 2018

Emotional Tribal Members

I am going deer hunting...  I will leave you with this excellent FB Image a friend of mine posted...  It is simply darling and oh so true...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

More Climate Change Info

We Need a Third Party?

Eric Black at MinnPost pointed me to this Gallup Perceived Need for Third Major Party Remains High in U.S. Eric is a big fan of countries with parliamentary systems.

Now I don't like either party since I am somewhat fiscal conservative and socially liberal... This interested me very much and I reviewed the Gallup piece linked above. Unfortunately their implications section did not fill me with hope.
"At various points since 2007, a majority of Americans have contended that a third major political party is needed in the U.S., while the minority have believed the two major parties adequately represent the American people. That pattern continues today with an unprecedented five-year stretch when demand for a third major party has been 57% or higher, including 71% or higher among independents. 
While this may seem promising for any group thinking about promoting such a party, it is one thing to say a third major party is needed and quite another to be willing to join or support it. Americans' backing of the idea could fall under a mentality of "the more, the merrier," in which they would be pleased to have more viable political choices even if they vote mainly for candidates from the two major parties. And that says nothing of the structural barriers third parties face in trying to get on the ballot. 
With most Republicans and Democrats viewing their own party favorably, the real constituency for a third party is likely to be political independents, meaning the party would have to be politically centrist. Thus far, the Green and Libertarian parties have succeeded in running national presidential campaigns but not in attracting big numbers of registered members. But with record numbers of Americans frustrated with the way the nation is being governed, the country could be inching closer to having enough people who want an alternative to the status quo to make it a reality, at least with the right candidate at the helm."
Well...  Maybe someday...

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

We Are Where We Want To Be

This is worth a read... MinnPost Ex-GOP chair Michael Steele on the politics and power of Trump by Eric Black

This is worth a read and I agree with Michael Steele... “We are where we are because this is where we want to be.”  I mean Tribe Liberal and Tribe Conservative both went so far out that a void was created...  And nature hates a void...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Policy and Intentions

Jerry, Moose and I are arguing about Policies and Intentions back here. It all started with me stating one of my core beliefs after Moose accused Jerry of prioritizing corporate "profits over pretty much anything else"...
"Then maybe you should assume good intent more often...Usually I have found that folks want to do the right thing for our country and citizens..."
I am never sure why Tribe Liberal and Tribe Conservative folks feel the need to accuse the other side of intentionally trying harm their fellow citizens?  I just have not found that to be the case very often.  I mean sometimes people want to implement policies to:
  • help themselves (ie tax cuts, program increases, etc)
  • help others (ie abortion laws, affirmative action, etc)
  • help the USA (ie border security, higher min wages, etc
However I can not think of many times when people said "let's pass this policy to punish that group of citizens"...  But maybe that is just my naΓ―ve friendly helpful optimistic nature showing. Thoughts?

Halloween Costume Etiquette

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Facebook and Tribes

One of my Conservative Tribe FB Friends started to post things that made fun of the people in the immigrant caravan. Of course, me being me I have to question people who post very "Tribal" beliefs on FaceBook.  I do this to both Tribe Liberal and Tribe Conservative members.  Some of the past occurrences:

  • Liberal who I know had some highly questionable events occurring in High School questioning regarding Kavanaugh. She took it with a grain of salt and asked that we "not go there"... :-)
  • Conservative who I know posted regarding gun control, liberal conspiracies, etc. He and his friends have been patient with my questions and disagreements.
  • Liberal who was a big supporter of Black Lives Matter and angry at police in general. She did not accept my questions and comments very well...  She then unfriended me.
  • Conservative person I barely knew that posted so many pointless and somewhat hateful things that I finally unfriended him.
  • Liberals who post regarding climate change, school systems, welfare, taxes, LGBT rights, religious rights, etc. They sometimes get frustrated with me, but usually they are good sports.

With this in mind, I was a little surprised recently to be unfriended by the older guy over the immigration topic. Here is some background:

  • He posted this image of the caravan that says they should be marching on their government, not marching to the USA for free stuff.
  • I commented that they would likely be killed or imprisoned, and that we in the USA are very lucky to be able to march our government.
  • He and another of course got defensive, asked me why I was commenting there and changed the subject to how their ancestors had done it very differently.  Somehow "more legally" apparently.
  • They shared stories of poor people risking their lives and sometimes dying on the ship to get here.  And how there was no welfare and freebies back then.
  • At which time I felt compelled to remind them that many folks got really really cheap land when they came here... Many of our families still own that 160 acres and it is worth ~$600,000 now...
  • Things went okay up to that point and we let the topic drop. Then the original poster who is usually a very nice guy took a parting shot at me. He posted a meme about people who support immigration should provide their names and addresses so they will have a place to live, and tagged it to me...
  • Well my competitive nature took issue with that, so I asked how are these poor families who are different from our ancestors? Why should they not be allowed to come to the border and have their claims heard? If we should open fire on them or something? Should Americans ~150 years ago have shot at the ships carrying our great grand parents?
  • Finally I did the judgmental moralistic thing... :-( I wrote that I was did not understand how good Christian country folk could dehumanize these potential refugees that they see them as a "problem / threat" instead of as people.
  • And please remember that I am against sanctuary cities, harboring illegal workers, etc.  However I do believe these are people that deserve a chance to be heard. Not "problems". 
I'll finish this later... Now I am going to the Anoka Halloween parade. :-)  Well, that was fun.  :-)

To end the story... Of course he gave no answer as to why these folks should be treat less humanely than his grand parents...  He just unfriended me instead.  The good news is I will not be exposed to his tribal memes anymore. The bad news is that he will not have any feedback loop questioning the tribe's hateful dehumanizing rhetoric. :-(

Friday, October 26, 2018

MN Buffer Strips

Here is an interesting MinnPost piece regarding the future of Buffer Strips. Thoughts?

Is Trump's Behavior Driving Violence?

NPR: After Suspicious Packages, Trump Tones Down Partisan Rhetoric, Attacks Media

Personally I believe that Trump owns the responsibility for this incitement and escalation.  A leader can not go around praising violence and calling people enemies of the USA without expecting consequences.  He did it, he should own it...  Unfortunately this guy never takes responsibility when his actions or words lead to failures...  Only when he thinks he can spin something to the positive.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Yes281 Reminder

Folks in the Robbinsdale School District 281 who support funding our schools well to help our kids grow into the best citizens they can be.  Remember to vote YES !!!

Folks in the Robbinsdale School District 281 who are cheap and willing put our community and kids at higher risk.  Just stay home and forget to vote!!! 😁

 YES 281 Facebook Page
Sample Ballot
District 281 Robbinsdale Referendum Page

And even though my youngest graduates this Spring, I will be voting YES!!!  As I often rant...  If we the members of our communities are not willing to fight for, fund and sacrifice to keep our community strong vibrant and healthy, then we deserve for it to slip into decay with other not to be named communities.

So pry open that wallet and Vote YES !!!

And you stingy self centered folks, please feel free to stay home...😁

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Scientists Apparently Know All

Houston Chronicle We're scientists. We know the climate's changing. And we know why.

One of my FB Friends who truly believes in man made climate change posted that link. And Jerry and I were still belaboring the balancing babies...  So I figured it was time for another endless comment string...

Here is their graph...  I just added the 2 lines to show at rate change...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Hidden Tribes of America

 This is interesting.   Hidden Tribes Site
"The segments have distinctive sets of characteristics; here listed in order from left to right on the ideological spectrum:
  • Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
  • Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
  • Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
  • Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial.
  • Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
  • Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
  • Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising, patriotic."

Thursday, October 18, 2018

What to Do about Saudi Arabia?

Sean and I have been disagreeing here about what actions the USA should take with regard to Saudi Arabia and their actions / potential actions.  He wants immediate actions (freeze military contracts, other?) where as I am much more...  Whatever...

I have been pondering why I am so indifferent to this terrible execution...  Here are some of the things I have come up with:
  • Too many spy movies where someone is brutalized and killed...  I mean 7 minutes from start to death...  He either talked too fast or they did not really want any answers.  I am still waiting for the Turks to release the tape if they really have one.
  • This nothing compared to what women had to put up with in Afghanistan and many of the Liberals would not have lifted a finger to help them.
  • This nothing compared to what 10's of thousands of Iraqi citizens had to put up with in Iraq and many of the Liberals would not have lifted a finger to help them.
  • China controls and "re-educates" far more citizens and the American consumers (including peace loving Liberals) do not blink an eye at supporting them to save a few bucks.
  • We know Saudi Arabia is a harsh controlling force in the Middle East, and after decades of Arab Spring chaos, torture and death... Maybe that is the kind of government they need to stay safe.
  • Saudi Arabia is opposing force to Iran in the region...  And compared to Iran they are stable lovable rational teddy bears...
  • Saudi Arabia will buy their weapons from somewhere, why should high paid American workers suffer to assuage our collective conscience. 
Now Sean called me on my G2A Principles...  The challenge is that those are MY guiding principles on how I should live my life. And since I am a tolerant accepting person who usual respects the beliefs and behaviors of others, I am not sure judging people from another country with problems I can only imagine fits into this.

Now what do I think does warrant a response by the USA:
  • If our "partners" lie to us...
  • So hopefully they finish their investigation, come clean about what happened and execute some people.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

What is McConnel Thinking?

Newsweek Mitch McConnell Calls to Cut Social Security, Medicare
"After instituting a $1.5 trillion tax cut and signing off on a $675 billion budget for the Department of Defense, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that the only way to lower the record-high federal deficit would be to cut entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

"It’s disappointing but it’s not a Republican problem," McConnell said of the deficit, which grew 17 percent to $779 billion in fiscal year 2018. McConnell explained to Bloomberg that "it’s a bipartisan problem: Unwillingness to address the real drivers of the debt by doing anything to adjust those programs to the demographics of America in the future." The deficit has increased 77 percent since McConnell became majority leader in 2015.

New Treasury Department analysis on Monday revealed that corporate tax cuts had a significant impact on the deficit this year. Federal revenue rose by 0.04 percent in 2018, a nearly 100 percent decrease last year’s 1.5 percent. In fiscal year 2018, tax receipts on corporate income fell to $205 billion from $297 billion in 2017."
Maybe he has decided to start supporting the DEMs in this years election? I can already hear the attack ads...
"Don't vote for Senator ??? because he will support the Republican agenda of cutting your benefits and kicking you out of your home!!!"

Trump On 60 Minutes

WAPO How Trump bobs and weaves to avoid the truth

I missed this weeks 60 Minutes, however it does not look like I missed much other than listening to Trump make stuff up.  Thoughts?

Monday, October 15, 2018

We Suck at Voting

Eric Black at MinnPost said it all...  We Suck at Voting

Economics of Childcare

MinnPost The vexing economics of child care in Minnesota, explained
"The issue has also been a thorny one for state legislators, who have passed reforms and cut regulations in response to scarcity of child care providers in Minnesota. (The number of in-home providers dropped nearly 30 percent between 2005 and 2014, according to a 2017legislative report.)"
You know that card game "Bull Shit"...  Well I call Bull Shit!!!
As many of you know I live in a home that is licensed for "In Home Daycare" and have since about 1992.   And over the last 8 years I have seen nothing but more filling out of forms, more repeated pointless training requirements, more check box exercises, more over the top safety requirements, etc.
I mean I am sure the intent is good (maybe), the liberal politicians and bureaucrats wanted to make all early child care facilities as safe, learning oriented, regimented and regulated as a public school.  Whereas many parent(s) just want a caring and safe place to put their kids while they are at work.
I mean just imagine this silliness...  If a Mom (or Dad) wants to stay home with his kid(s) and take in a couple of extra kids to help pay the bills...  Those couple of extra kids had better be siblings or they had better go through the full licensing process...  Yes people can only "baby sit" kids from 1 family in their home.  And we wonder why people are closing their homes to other kids and/or jacking up their prices...
I have the utmost respect for most old time In Home Daycare Providers, they were not necessarily perfect but they loved the kids they cared for, work absolutely crazy hours and overall did a good job.  And for that they made a pretty good living, and had very happy / loyal families coming to them.
Hopefully the government finds some more effective way to balance child safety and regulations...

The Challenges of Africa and AI

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Beware The Dark Side of the Force

From Laurie...
"So here is a link I found to explain to John a little more about what is wrong with conservatism these days and that the left and right are not equally dark or extreme: The dark side of American conservatism has taken over "

Small Changes and Climate Balance

Over here Jerry is making the same old argument...  The human impact on Earth is small compared to the total system size, therefore humans can not be driving the catastrophic climate changes we are seeing all around us. (ie floods, fires, heat waves, droughts, etc)

So I created a picture to help understand...

The reality is that the human use of carbon based fuels is pretty new to this incredibly balanced world environment we live in. For thousands of years the babies were just sitting there happy as could be.  I mean animals would come and go, the sun would get closer and further, etc.  Then along came humans who started giving the one baby toys...  So of course the balance will start to tip.

Now what I do not know is how Mother Nature will react in order to restore balance and how many of us silly short lived humans will survive it?  Will the babies keep smiling or will they both end up with the critters?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

SCOTUS Is Too Powerful?

From Laurie:
"I have an off topic link I found interesting. I think both left and right could agree that the supreme court is too powerful.  Here’s What’s Really Wrong With the Supreme Court: It’s Too Damn Powerful "
One solution I heard discussed on MPR earlier today was the requirement of a super majority of Justices being needed to over rule a law that has been passed by the Legislative / Executive branches of government. Here is some history Wiki SCOTUS

One other thought I have been having...
  • Are Justices partisan or does their personal interpretation of law and constitution just resonate with people in a specific party?
  • Let me use myself as an example... I personally do not care about what party or person I vote for.
  • I just know what I believe is best for America, and using that perspective and information available I pick between the 2 candidates.
  • Partisan: "a firm adherent to a party, faction, cause, or person"
  • So what if the Justices are just doing what they truly think is correct based on their interpretation of the law and constitution?
  • It seems they are not partisan at all.
  • I mean is Ginsberg partisan or does she just interpret the law differently.  And the DEMs picked her because they aligned with her beliefs, not the other way around?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Erik Paulsen's Ads Annoy Me

If I have to see Erik say "He Approves This Ad" in front of another one of his vile TV Ads, I think I will be voting for Phillips on principle.  How hopeless can Erik be if he can not promote his accomplishments and how he has helped the people of MN?

At least Phillips puts some humor into his ads.

Climate Change Update

Well the IPCC gave an update and it does not look good for us humans, especially those of us living in areas that are low and/or hot already.

IPCC Summary for Policy Makers

And if you are still denying that humans are accelerating Climate Change, who still believes that the severe floods, fires, drought, heat waves, etc that we have been experiencing more frequently are natural... Here is a link for you.


Here is a link to some of our past discussions of this topic.

And here is why I think humans are a primary driver...  Can anyone imagine such a huge change not having some consequence?  Please remember that though the atmosphere looks HUGE when one looks up.  It is only a thin layer of gas covering this big rock we live on. (~5 miles up)

The good news is that this big rock and it's atmosphere can adjust...  It is just that us humans may not like / survive that adjustment. :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Porn Star Teaches Consent

CNN Want to learn about consent? Ask a porn star

This interview was a little surreal, but very interesting given our current discussions.

Her there can be "no consensual sex" while drinking alcohol seems extreme...  Thoughts?

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Reds and Blues Sit Down

So my concern or morbid curiosity had me googling Jerry's name again...

Whenever a consistent commenter stops commenting, I have a to wonder if they just lost interest or if they just dropped dead.  It is kind of like when I kept getting a LinkedIn "Congratulate Dale on his Work Anniversary" 5 years after I attended his funeral...

That said, here is one the articles that comes up when I do so...
Star Tribune 'Reds' and 'blues' sit down together to try to heal the political divide A group called Better Angels is organizing the gatherings of Republicans and Democrats to talk, listen and find what they have in common.

And maybe if he is still upright...  It will convince him to chime in...
And if he isn't God Rest his Soul, He will be missed. :-)

Self Checkout is Terrible?

As a change from the serious, here is someone who really dislikes self checkout kiosks.  Of course since I am a do it yourselfer, usually I like self service.

VOX Wouldn’t it be better if self-checkout just died? Yes! Because you won’t like what it spawns next.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Sunday, September 30, 2018

More MN Schools Need Help

Erin at MinnPost writes another informative piece.  Minnesota’s new school accountability system: How is it different — and how is it being received?

For folks like me this is excellent news, it mean that data is being collected, studied and used to ensure all kids get the attention they deserve.  The challenge of course is that if folks keep protecting adults from making the necessary changes, improvement will be slow and more unlucky kids will be sacrificed.
As always...  Let's put the needs of kids before the wants of adults!!!