Monday, May 20, 2019

We Need More Unskilled Immigrants?

VOX How Trump’s new immigration plan could hurt the economy
The US needs more low-skilled immigrants, not fewer.

It absolutely fascinates me when people:

  • on one hand complain that wages are too low and that we need the government to mandate higher wages and more welfare benefits...
  • and on the other hand saying that we should allow more unskilled immigrants into the country?

Here is a creative idea...

  1. Keep limiting the immigration of unskilled workers
  2. Cut the welfare benefits
  3. Have people take the jobs that will now pay "a living wage"
  4. Even if they are unpleasant demeaning hard jobs...
How did American low skilled low educated workers become so fussy?
And why did our society encourage it?

MN Tax / Budget Compromise

From MinnPost: ‘It was a draw’: State budget deal includes extension of provider tax, no gas tax increase

Well, it looks like they finally compromised...  I love divided government... :-)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Climate Change Proof?

From over here.  And based on a Flat Earther Piece.  I asked Jerry...  "What evidence would convince you that human created green house gases are causing and will continue to cause the world to heat at an increasing rate?" Jerry's response was.
Jerry's Response was:  "OK. What evidence would convince me?
  • IF the actual temperature records ever started to track the much higher predictions of the computerized climate models and IF those climate models were sufficiently precise (not +/- 100%) 
  • IF it could be proven that TOTAL CO2 was the proximate and essential cause of that warming.
  • IF it could be shown that manmade CO2 was the principal component of the increase in CO2
then all of them together would be a basis for concern. Since NONE of those things are happening in the real world, after thirty years of doom saying and a multitude of failed predictions, count me a skeptic. Your turn."

Since I doubt I will ever convince a Flat Earther like Jerry, here are my simplistic views just to get them down in writing:
  • Given the limited data available to the scientists in 1970, it seems their predictions are pretty good.
  • I mean they had to forecast almost everything. How and where population would grow? What power sources would change?  What power sources they would use?
  • And just think that we had just started monitoring a bunch of the factors that are in play.  I mean satellites were yet to be common.  And computers were rare.
  • Per the sources above, there are many factors and gases in play.  
  • The reason carbon dioxide is focused on is that it does not breakdown and disappear as quickly as the other gases.
  • Also, it is a gas that we can control the human emission of.
  • From my understanding, humans in essence are starting a chain reaction. When we started releasing all these gases into the atmosphere during the industrial revolution, we triggered a warming event.
  • Unfortunately the warming and melting, just like the pumping, mining and burning are releasing carbon that had been securely on or in the ground, ice, etc.
So Jerry believes that humans releasing all of these stored chemicals into the atmosphere will have no negative consequence.  He believes that plants will just absorb it all or something?

This research leaves me with one question...

  • If not humans, what is causing the continual rise in the levels of all of these green house gases to historic levels?



Monday, May 13, 2019

Climate Change Stuff

From Jerry back here.
What you cannot deny is that the GISS temperature dataset YOU rely on, GISS, clearly shows, just as I have said:
  • Total warming over the last 140 years amounts to about 1 degree C or 0.7 degrees per century. 
  • Even assuming the recent "accelerated" warming [since 1960] shown by the chart is real and continues indefinitely, you are looking at 0.8 degrees C over 60 years, or 1.33 degrees per century.
  • That is UNDER the LOWER target of the Paris Agreement!!"
  • NOW, do you wish to deny your own preferred data?
So I said I would post some charts to see if we do know this...
NASA Climate Change Effects
NCA Vol 1
NCA Vol 2
IPCC Report

So yes the temperature has increased about 1 deg C over 100 years. And unfortunately the rate of change started to increase in about 1970. :-(  And us humans refuse to change. :-(






Tuesday, May 7, 2019

A Government's Purpose?

AIER An Economy Is Neither a Family Nor a Firm; It Is a Catallaxy

A friend who is more Liberatarian posted the above link on FB with this quote from it:
"Unlike progressives and conservatives, libertarians judge society and government policy by how well individuals are able to fulfill their goals; libertarians do not suppose that individuals who comprise the large collectives that we call “countries” do or should aim at fulfilling the non-existent higher goals of these large collectives."
Now what is odd about this piece is that the author starts by talking about countries and governments, then he goes off to discussions regarding economies.  Now I agree that economies are somewhat natural and have no real goal.  However I totally disagree that governments should have no "higher goal"...

I mean even the author's statement states how wrong he is...  "libertarians judge society and government policy by how well individuals are able to fulfill their goals" I mean to fulfill this simple goal a government's policy has to support a lot of "higher goals".  Some include maintaining:

  • peace
  • property rights
  • law and order
  • helping the poor to attain their full potential
  • world class infrastructure
  • etc

A professor once told my MBA class that the primary reason we are and can be as successful as we are is because we were lucky enough to be born in America.  A wonderful place that balances personal success with safety nets / support.

Now there are some countries that allow "some individuals to fulfill their goals very well" while others fall far behind and their capabilities are squandered.

I always think of governments / societies as a whole bunch of people rowing a boat in a race against every other country.  It is best for the country if all the rowers are trained, capable, motivated a rowing.  It is bad if a large chunk of the rowers are:

  • untrained
  • unmotivated
  • lazy
  • disabled
  • etc 
Thoughts?

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Busting Social Security Myths

From Laurie:  Here is an article that might interest you:
Real World Economics: Busting the Social Security myths we choose to believe


Laurie, Yes I thought it was excellent!!!  Especially the point that the systems are already very progressive.  And that a lot of people who think they "earned it", are probably getting a LOT MORE than they paid for. :-)

Facebook Ban White Supremacist and Anti-Semites

NPR Facebook Bans Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan And Other 'Dangerous' Individuals

Thank Heavens !!!  There is no reason to give manipulative hateful people a free platform from which to work and spread their untruths.

And of course our liar in chief is supporting the manipulators.  :-(

David French at National Review doe raise a valid concern
"I firmly believe men like Alex Jones and Louis Farrakhan are truly loathsome. They’re toxic to our nation and to our culture. I’m also deeply concerned about Facebook’s decision.... 
I understand Facebook’s desire to rid itself of terrible speech, especially given the rise of online hate. But when considering how to deal with the worst ideas, it’s prudent to rely on principles of free speech and common law that have served America so well for so long. Facebook has a right to invent its own rules, but perhaps it’s better to exercise that right by deferring to the wisdom of the past."
The challenge of course is that FaceBook can get sued and be pulled in front of Congress when things go wrong.  Personally I agree with their decision, we need more civil discourse and ideas.  Not more conspiracy theories and hate speech.

If you are unfamiliar with Infowars and Alex Jones...

Friday, May 3, 2019

Religious Right Wants to Keep Kids Stupid. Again.

A FB friend posted this silliness regarding a portion of a bill that require schools in MN to provide sex education.  I say silliness because KARE11 MN House Heats Up over Sex Ed does a much better job of explaining the issue.
"But House members spent at least two hours debating language that would require all school districts to offer comprehensive sex education. School boards would create their own curriculum or use a model curriculum that will written by the Minnesota Dept. of Education if the bill becomes law."
 
The bill requires the model to include medically accurate and age-appropriate information on the following:
  • Human anatomy, reproduction, sexual development
  • Consent, bodily autonomy, and healthy relationships, including relationships involving diverse sexual orientations and gender identities
  • Abstinence and other methods for preventing unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections
  • The relationship between substance abuse and sexual behavior and health
And then of course one of the commenters commented that Planned Parenthood is EVIL... When it seems to me that the PP Sex Ed curriculum and its goals pretty excellent.  And the then there is the fact that PP, the following book, and/or a required curriculum is NOT in the bill.

And Common Sense Media gives the book in question, Its Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health,  an excellent review.  Please remember the people who want to keep kids stupid are the same ones who complain about too many unintended pregnancies and abortion.  They apparently think they know better than the women themselves.

Now I agree that giving detailed sex education at age 5 is too early, but the speaker in the video made this up...  It is not in the bill.  The school districts get to pick the curriculum and timing.

Thoughts?

Ps. If most Parents were responsible and capable enough to this well at home,  It may not be needed so badly in school, but the Kentucky article and the CDC data makes it clear that they ARE NOT.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Trump vs Biden

Technology, Stress and Health

VOX Bored and lonely? Blame your phone.
Our emotions today are radically different from what 19th-century Americans felt. That’s partly due to technology.


Stress and Technology


I am often concerned for my children and other young people.  The younger generations are much more reliant on or addicted to their technology than I hope to ever be.


An older person in my life was frustrated that I often do not answer my cell phone or text back quickly.  They thought that since I had all this cool technology, I would be accessible when ever they wanted me...  I then explained to them that "I have this technology for my convenience, not yours..."


Of course they did not think much of that answer... :-)


What are your thoughts on this topic and the linked articles? 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The Real Impact of Trump

Now the Trump True Believers keep telling me that he has accomplished SO MUCH and that things are MUCH BETTER / DIFFERENT than when Obama was President. Here are some graphs that define reality. Most are from the 2019 CBO Report

The biggest things I note here is that spending keeps going up, however revenues dropped under Trump due to the tax cut. Therefore the yearly deficit that was shrinking under Obama started to grow again under Trump. Our economy is being stimulated by "borrowed money" and the National Debt is growing at a faster rate under Trump.

Also, mandatory expenditures like Social Security, Medicare, etc are still a HUGE problem. The recipients are receiving more benefits than they paid for.




For all of Trump's talk of big GDP changes... I don't see it. The government is spending more, borrowing more and people have more money due to lower taxes. They are borrowing to stimulate a booming economy.  Unfortunately that additional debt will be a problem for our kids to deal with.




And as for the border crisis...  Things look about the same...

And as for unemployment, I see no big change when Trump entered the picture...  Do you?


Friday, April 26, 2019

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Son-in-Law is Like Father

VOX Jared Kushner conveniently rewrites history of Russian interference
He says it was just “a couple Facebook ads.” He’s not telling the truth.

Well, at least we know why Trump likes Jared...  However unfortunately it seems that people are believing the lies.

VOX Polling shows Fox News has been amazingly effective at shaping opinion on the Mueller report
Viewers are buying the pro-Trump spin the network is selling them.

Where as most of us who actually read the details agree with Eric from MinnPost.
Trump’s exoneration talk just insults our intelligence

I mean anyone who wants to know the truth can just read the report.

Unfortunately from my experiences this weekend, I think many people are happier just believing whatever Trump tells them... For someone like me who picks apart everything, it is so surreal. :-(

Monday, April 22, 2019

Is Trump Even More Angry Now?

CNN From 'total exoneration' to 'total bullsh**': Trump lingers on damning report


AP FACT CHECK: Trump, AG spread untruths on Mueller report


So I spent my weekend with my favorite Hard Core Trump True Believers, and they are still listening to him rather than researching the facts.  And it looks like Trump may be even more upset than before. Which makes sense to me given:
  • I mean in his mind he is a smart respected manager.
  • The report shows in a very detailed manner that many of the people involved thought he was not that, but almost the exact opposite.
  • They complained about him, they did not do as he requested, etc
For an extremely controlling narcissist like himself that has to be frustrating.


Though he seems to have a strong ability to deny the reality that the experts think he is an idiot who was willing to have them break the law to save his job.  It is good that they told him no, or he would have hung them out to dry at the first opportunity.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Robbinsdale Armstrong Principal Dahl Update

It seems that the District 281 Administration has decided to ignore all the supports of Principal Dahl.  Not that this surprises me after so many years in the district. Apparently it did not even make a talking point at the board meeting.


Here is a related piece. CS Did Race Play A Role?


Well here is the Job Posting...  This sticks out like a sore thumb...  Thoughts?


"Works to implement the Unified District Vision, including:
  • Serving as the leader of the elementary-middle-high school feeder pattern;
  • Attending special events, activities and functions sponsored by the school, parent organizations and the district;
  • Serving as a liaison between the school and stakeholders, including communicating with students, staff, parents and community members on a regular basis via social media, newsletters, parent meetings, phone calls and informal contacts;
  • Recognizing the achievements and accomplishments of students and staff;
  • Representing the School and District at meetings, workshops and conferences;
  • Designing and implementing opportunities for working collaboratively with Achievement & Integration to develop high-yielding strategies for  underrepresented students’ participation in advanced academic and co-curricular programs;
  • Assuming responsibility for the safety of students and staff;
  • Performing other duties as assigned."
I assume it means...  Get kids into those classes whether they are capable or not... Just make sure the equity stats look good. I think this does not bode well for AHS... :-(

Trump Yemen Death and Suffering

VOX Trump vetoes Congress’s directive to end US involvement in bloody Saudi-led war in Yemen
Congress reasserted its constitutional power over declaring wars. Trump called it an attempt to “weaken my constitutional authorities.”


My thought is that Trump should either commit US troops to help fix this terrible situation or get our country out of it. Enabling this humanitarian disaster is wrong.  Too bad those wimps in Congress will probably not over ride it.  The sad irony of course is that this unwavering support for Trump comes from people who says children's lives are important.  Thoughts?


BBC Yemen History and Status
PBS Yemen Starvation and Disease

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Trump Misleads about Ilhan Omar Statements

Trump continues to stoke hate, this time by taking words out of context and misusing them.

VOX Democrats unite to condemn Trump tweet linking Ilhan Omar and 9/11
The president’s tweet takes a clip of an Omar speech and combines it with footage from 9/11

FOX News Dems defend Omar after Trump retweets video against her
“Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I’m tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it,” Omar said. “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”
I mean her statement seems pretty correct to me, though she maybe should have said "some people committed a horrific act of terror".  The reality though is that she is simply saying that a whole population should not be judged guilty by the acts of a few.  And that is SO TRUE, or us gun owners would all be guilty of thousands of deaths through our gun loving belief system.

Tax Bill Winners and Losers

CNN Here's who's winning under Trump's tax law

I think I lost some this year, but I am more worried about our kids.  A whole society based on:
  • spending more
  • paying less
  • running up the debt
  • passing the burden forward
is definitely not good for their futures.



Friday, April 12, 2019

ACA Revisited... Again...

You know how I like to keep our posts and comments somewhat aligned. :-)
And Molly, you have some reading to do to catch up with our 10+ years of arguing this...
See the links below...
Sean, My guess is that she thinks the "activist judges" should have ruled against it... SCOTUS now rules against ACA, Not supported it. G2A 
Molly, Now I need to find a reason to post about ACA to see what you disliked about it and if you have a better solution. :-)  G2A 
All, It was a very complicated ruling. In the end the court claimed that forcing people to buy something was a tax and Obama had told the public that is was not a tax. He told the public if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor and said that it would save people money all untrue.Molly 
Molly, I lost my highly desirable plan also. No love here for the Unaffordable Care Act. Jerry 
John, I thought the original point of the ACA was to to get insurance for the uninsured. I would have rather had a tax to all to pay for those folks to have insurance rather than completely change our healthcare system.  Molly 
All, The real problem with the ACA is that it didn't change our healthcare system enough. Sean 
Sean, Nonsense. The ACA was supposed to solve all health care problems, for everybody, for all time. Maybe the actual legislation did not match the promises made for it?  Jerry 
Sean, what did you want the ACA to do that it didn’t?  Molly 
All, "X was supposed to solve all problems" is a classic straw man argument. There is no health care policy that will solve all problems. Making that the goal of policy is a de facto decision to have no health care policy at all.  ==Hiram  
All, I did not suggest that the ACA /could/ solve all problems. I merely suggest that is what was promised and not delivered. And how did we get off on this old topic? Jerry
 G2A ACA Search
G2A Health Search
G2A Healthcare Cost Control
G2A Sean Healthcare Improvement Plan


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Trump the Endless Victim

WAPO Trump says he was the target of ‘an attempted coup’ with Mueller investigation


It is interesting that Trump has such "victim mentality", I am happy I don't see the world like he does. :-)


And I am very puzzled why the IRS would not honor the request to see tax returns...  It seems to me they are government documents and Congress committees should have access...

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Should MN Grade Schools?

Minnpost Should Minnesota grade its schools?

I think this was an interesting article, however unfortunately it seems that one should just avoid the purple areas whenever possible. :-(



It looks like Jie Ming Mandarin Immersion is an outlier... But then again it is 60+% Asian and White.. And 25% poverty, so I am pretty sure its demographics vary greatly from the community.
And Great Schools does offer some detail.
But I like the MN DOE Report Card better.
Great Schools Map



Friday, April 5, 2019

The Drug Profit Paradox

VOX Trump is blaming Mexico for the US’s drug problem. He should blame a failed war on drugs.
Trump threatened to close the border “if the drugs don’t stop.” But the problem isn’t Mexico.
Some interesting concepts...

"First is a concept known as the “profit paradox.” One of the primary goals of the drug war is to make drugs more expensive by limiting their supply; the idea is that a drug habit is much more difficult to sustain if drugs are more expensive."

"There’s also the “hydra effect”: When one source of drugs shuts down, another takes its place. The name comes from the mythological hydra, a beast that, in some versions of the story, grew another head when its previous one was cut off."

Thursday, April 4, 2019

IRS Audits and Racism?

My Reticular Activating System must be set to notice these types of stories right now.  Or it is a very popular topic at this time...
 
VOX America’s anti-poor tax audits, in one infuriating map: A map from ProPublica shows who the taxman really inspects.
 
Here are the questions:
  • Do people like me not get audited because I hire someone to do my taxes and don't take any chances?  Am I sheltered by my wealth somehow?
  • Are poor less educated people simply more prone to making mistakes and triggering computer flags?
  • Are agents looking to audit minorities?
  • Are they just looking for poor people who don't have the knowledge or resources to fight the audits? 
  • Why would the GOP states have the most audits? A Liberal conspiracy?
  • Other?
Now the first 3 maps are from the article which tries to steer you to believing that this is a race issue.  I added the poverty by county map to open the discussion further.
Also, Sean posted this interesting test link elsewhere. It is worth trying.  I failed... Not sure what that means...
Pick on the map to expand it.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

NY School Racism?

74M Race-Blind or Discriminatory? NYC’s Plan to Diversify Elite High Schools Becomes Latest Fodder for Advocates Seeking Supreme Court Rollback on Affirmative Action


NPR Freshman Class For NYC's Top Public High School Includes 7 Black Students Out Of 895


I heard about this on "The Daily" the other day. It seems aligned with our recent discussions.


Are the Asian families and students really harder working, more education focused, etc than the White and Black students of NY? Or is this just one of those unearned racial stereotypes that the Left complains about? 


Should these schools allow less capable kids in to fulfill a racial quota of some sort? Thoughts?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

RDale Board Mtg 2Apr19

I decided to see if the Board had named who they hired a detective to investigate...  No luck there, but they do have a meeting Tuesday evening with some interesting things on the docket.

From my reading of the proposals, it looks like they are going implement some kind of "variable punishment policy". I assume to align with this deal. Thoughts?

Proposal to Change Handbook
2018/19 Handbook
Proposed Student Discipline Policy Change
"DISTRICTWIDE RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Every school shall establish a Schoolwide and Classroom Behavior Plan identifying and teaching behavior expectations and identified responses within the requirements of this policy and directives from the Superintendent.
  • Every classroom will establish and teach behavior expectations within the district’s policy, the Superintendent’s directives and the school’s behavior plan with participation from the students in the classroom.
  • Every school employee will demonstrate high standards of behavior, modeling appropriate actions and response to student behaviors.
  • Every school will examine its discipline data to ensure that responses to student behavior do not show evidence of bias or discriminatory behavior. Statistical data alone will not establish bias or discrimination. Schools shall also use behavior data to identify and provide additional training to staff and students; and to provide effective interventions for students to improve student outcomes.
  • Individual needs shall be considered in determining the appropriate response to behavior that does not meet school standards.

Special Ed Funding Shortfalls

MinnPost We can’t sustain this’: special-ed shortfalls strain Minnesota districts as lawmakers struggle to find long-term solution

This is quite the mess, the Feds and Courts want to mandate expectations and compliance to these very high cost efforts to care for and teach these challenged and sometimes unfortunately unteachable kids.  And yet the money simply is not being provided.

Here are some lists.
MN DOE Spec Ed
Spec Ed Types 1
Spec Ed Types 2
Spec Ed Types 3

Friday, March 29, 2019

Does Teacher's Race Matter?

We got a new comment from a new person back at G2A What's wrong with you. And I think it is worth a new post. :-)
"How does one determine if an action is racist or simply demanding a high common standard of behavioral excellence from all students and parents?"
  • Am I mildly racist for expecting excellence from all parent(s) no matter their race?
  • Are you mildly racist for expecting less from the parent(s) who are racial minorities?
I am pretty sure the kids want parental excellence no matter who their parent(s) are.." G2A
 
"I imagine some students are disruptive with one teacher and well behaved with another. This issue is not so simple as you seem to think. And getting you to understand about cultural differences and cultural competence is clearly not going to happen. Getting a more diverse teaching staff would be one step in the right direction." Laurie
 
"I don’t really know if a disruptive kid would behave better for a teacher of a different race." Molly

Thursday, March 28, 2019

How Popular / Unpopular is Trump?

Now I understand that Trump True Believers like to believe that he is more popular than he is.  Which amazes me since he does almost nothing to make anyone except his base happy.  And on top of that he vilifies and name calls pretty much everyone who disagrees with him. 


However I find this historical comparison and explanation very informative.  Apparently he is coming in right behind Carter...  But a little more popular than Truman. :-)
538 Trump’s Approval Rating Is Incredibly Steady. Is That Weird Or The New Normal?



Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Trump Trying to Kill ACA... Again...

It is strange that Trump would be happy to give the DEMs such an excellent platform.  I mean ACA is now fairly popular and Trump is still working to kill it.  I mean just think of the benefits that most people should appreciate:
  • Kids can stay on Parent's insurance until 26
  • People with pre-existing conditions can get reasonable insurance
  • Premiums for older Americans limited to 3 times those of younger Americans
  • Other
Thoughts?
The Hill Surprise ACA move puts GOP in Bind
NBC Trump says His plan will be better...  Trust me...
NPR If ACA is Repealed
Health Leaders Thump Trump DOJ Reversal
DN No Answers

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

GOP Congressman Quotes Hitler

WAPO GOP congressman quotes Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ to slam Trump’s adversaries as liars


It really is incredible some GOP idiots will say.  Maybe I'll have to claim to be independent to avoid the shadow...  Oh well...


Next they will insist that we salute the guy with funny hair. :-)

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Trump is as Innocent as Hillary

VOX Donald Trump isn’t being charged with obstruction — but Mueller didn’t exonerate him
Trump appointee William Barr made the decision not to charge the president.

NPR Mueller Report Doesn't Find Russian Collusion, But Can't 'Exonerate' On Obstruction

NPR Barr's Letter

Now Trump interprets this as "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION, KEEP AMERICA GREAT!", which of course is incorrect.  When all that really happened was the justice department does not think they have a strong enough case to file criminal charges.

The good or bad side of this is that the Congress has different criteria for judging if improper actions have taken place, so I assume we will be hearing about this topic for a LONG TIME..

Kind of like the Conservatives who are certain that Hillary broke some law or did something wrong after the justice department decided to not press charges in her case either.  Based on Trump's warped view of reality... Apparently she also has been fully exonerated... :-)

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Liberal Conspiracy Theories

Waking Times The 5 Cartels that Rule America and the World
The above link was posted on FB by one of my more liberal cousins. I made light of it. "Oh my good golly.... That is almost as amusing as some of the Conservative conspiracy theories." G2A"
And he responded... "Is it really that far fetched to believe that these huge conglomerates have been and will continue to manipulate people, politics and laws in their battle to keep control of the powers they have gained? Have we not exposed enough cheaters to show that anything is possible when the stake are high? I'd rather be the watch dog than the sheep." "
And another added..."I think most folks would be surprised at how long this corruption has been going on. I don't even know where to begin, but I guess the Rothschild brothers would be a start: “The few who understand the system, will either be so interested from its profits or so dependent on its favors, that there will be no opposition from that class.” — Rothschild Brothers of London, 1863"
I promised a response, so here goes... We the consumers decide how we choose to live:
  • if we want to live in debt or on cash only basis
  • if we want to take advantage of all the medical advancements or not
  • if we choose to live where we can walk every where, or if we choose to be reliant on man made power sources
  • if we want to grow our own food or buy from others
  • if we choose to leave our foot print on the world wide web or not
Now as for the supposed "cartels"...  It is at times like this I am very thankful for capitalism. Please remember the definition of cartel.  "an association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition."

The advantage of global competition and capitalism is that anyone can rise to power and influence if they have a good idea and can deliver results at a lower cost.  I mean the vast majority of companies in power today were not even an idea 50 years ago.  So if "cartels" are working to keep their power they are very incompetent and ineffective.

As the Rothschild Bank example, apparently Politifact looked into it.

As for the medical cartel, no one is forcing anyone to take advantage of all the medicines, procedures, tests and technologies that have been developed over the past 50 years. We volunatrily ask and sometimes beg for those benefits, especially if we can pass the bill on to the tax payers.

As for energy, if there was no consumer demand...  Prices would plummet and the Amazon would be safe.  Unfortunately we like to live in the big old house and driving to town instead of living in a studio apartment downtown.  We use energy, therefore someone will fulfill our desire.

As for those terrible food and energy producers... That awful cartel has done miracles with regard to raising yields and keeping prices under control..  So the cost of wheat is up 2.5 times over 50 years where as the CPI is up 8 times. Just imagine how hungry and poor all of us would be without those crop technologies.

As for people harvesting my personnel data to better market products to me...  I really have no secrets that I an trying to hide.  So know yourselves out.

Well this exercise has reminded me that the Right does not have a monopoly on conspiracy theories, paranoia and exaggeration.  Thoughts?

More State Education Mandates?

“I know some behaviors can be dangerous,” Johnson said. “I’ve seen preschool kids out of control. I know it can happen. But I also know the beauty of redirecting children and helping them understand what’s appropriate and not appropriate. If you show a child school is not a place for you, then you get socialized to believe that’s not a place for you.” 
School principals, however, have expressed concerns about the state mandating how schools deal with discipline problems without providing additional funding to support those alternative methods. 
“You don’t just get suspended: something’s happening,” said Roger Aronson, legal and legislative counsel for the Minnesota Elementary School Principals’ Association. “I do think the needs of kids of poverty, homeless, that are coming from abuse, broken families — that stuff comes to school and their needs for dealing with that are really huge. 
We just don’t have the resources to do anything. I understand there’s frustration with that in those settings. How do we work on that?” 
While there are models schools can adopt, Aronson said, they cost money schools don’t currently have. “We need that commitment,” he said. “We have no counselors. We are understaffed on assistant principals.”
Thoughts? 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Parents Of Color Demand More

Taryn at MinnPost: Parents of color want a clearer way to assess schools in Minnesota.


This seems pretty well aligned with the challenges RDale is facing. Certain segments of the population want the schools to bend to meet them where they are rather than working hard to conform to normal American business expectations. (ie dress, behave, speak, etc like typical American) 


Then to complain that the information is too hard to find.  Here is a hint...  Google "MDE School Report Card". Select "My School". (see below) Enter your school or district and hit search.  Then pick the subject you are interested in.  And if you do not read English, find a friend to help you.
"Torres Ray told MinnPost she thinks the state needs to make school data more accessible and understandable to parents. She thinks SF 299 is incomplete, but it would be valuable to develop a system that digs into schools’ ability to teach populations of students with challenging circumstances. “But we’ve been putting it in our heads that it’s so bad to expose the limitations and struggles of schools,” she said. “We prefer simply not to have a rating system.”

During the committee, she expressed disappointment with testimony from school leaders, as well as an assistant commissioner from the Minnesota Department of Education, who opposed this kind of rating system. They said it was rejected by a majority of stakeholders who attended public meetings about the new North Star system.

“Be creative and think about how you respond to these parents. I believe there was support … to figure out how to make our system accountable to predominantly children of color and indigenous children. The time has come and we must do that,” she said. “Saying no to this is just not helpful. Please see the room. See the room and get the message.”
 

DEM Healthcare Proposals

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Robbinsdale School Board Video

After postponing my year's tax preparation until the last minute as usual...  I decided to skip the Board Listening session and meeting last night...  So instead I decided to check in online and see how they went.  It was really anti-climactic. In summary:
  • The Board met in open session from 4:00 to 17:29
  • Supt Jenkins promoted the Equity mission again.
  • The Board then went to closed session from 1.15:30 to 1.19:30
  • The Board agreed to hire an investigator to investigate someone who they have over sight over.
  • Sherry Tyrrell reported Listening Time room was full:  12 of the 14 people who signed up at the Listening session got a chance to speak. Most talked about the AHS Principal debacle. Some supported Dave and some had school concerns. Then she said comments would be written up
  • The Board adjourned.
My thoughts:
Our district has not been this exciting since school closure discussions of ~2010... :-)

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Back to the Education Funding Formula


MN School Finance A Guide for Legislators

This is somewhat of a vicious cycle...

  • Districts / schools lower their behavior and academic standards.
  • This ensures the unlucky kids feel welcome and don't fail.
  • The academically focused more well to do families move to a different district / school.
  • The property values and tax revenues fall.
  • The Districts /Schools are short revenue with a more challenging student body.
  • They go to the State begging for more funding.
Now I do agree that the "special education" costs should be fully funded by the Feds / State since they are the ones mandating some of that high cost / low benefit care.

As for the "we need more money" because we contributed to scaring away our best and brightest families. I am unsure if that makes sense??? 

From an earlier post...
"In my district (where I live) they decided this year to get rid of honors classes at the middle school and mix students together for all classes (not sure about math)
When my kids went there they had almost all honors classes, but I think the staff found teaching the non-honors classes quite difficult. Anyway, my neighbor whose youngest child is in 6th grade, open enrolled him to another district and now drives him and 2 other students to a middle school about 10 miles away. The other district is less diverse and much less low income than the district in which I live. Not sure if they have honors type classes or just classes with less misbehavior due to their demographics." Laurie 
"Yes, that is what I fear will happen at RDale now that they are eliminating seperation between focused students with good grades and the others. The hallways of the schools held there own challenges, but we knew the classrooms were more stable. Now folks like me will be even more concerned about keeping our kids in the district. And if they leave and take with them their child’s funding, their financial and time donations, and the stabilizing influence their focused kids provide... The whole school, district and community will suffer.
The same thing that happened to most challenged schools. Those who can run do so, and leave the trouble makers behind.  Which I guess is what a good parent who wants the best for their child would do." G2A / John

Friday, March 15, 2019

Support Dave Dahl

Well in an interesting twist they unplugged the FB Support Dave Dahl page.  Maybe a some open dialogue is deemed a concern by those in power???


"Hello Everyone. I want to thank everyone in this group for their passion, and their commitment to AHS and District 281. I also want to thank everyone who has come here to show support for Principal Dahl. I created this page almost two weeks ago at the request of community members and students, in response to the reassignment of principal Dahl to a Principal on Special Assignment position. The community members and students that I was in touch with were looking for a way to communicate with one another effectively, amplify student voice, and share information and meeting dates etc.
I immediately removed myself as the group’s administrator, because as a district employee I did not think it was appropriate for me to have any real or perceived influence on the content that might get posted in an open forum. (I asked to be re-added as an admin to post this and delete the group.) I am grateful for the students and parents who volunteered to admin the group, and for all of the work that they have done here.

The admins and I have agreed that while many other worthwhile topics have been broached in this forum, at this point the group has fulfilled its original purpose. We encourage anyone who has continued thoughts to share to write to the district administration at:
carlton_jenkins@rdale.org
john_vento@rdale.org
michael_herring@rdale.org
pam_lindberg@rdale.org
helen_bassett@rdale.org
sherry_tyrell@rdale.org
sam_sant@rdale.org
david_boone@rdale.org
Please also consider attending the school board’s listening session on Monday, March 18th, as well as get involved in the student group “Activists For Change” at AHS led by Kaia Hirt. Thank you again for your passionate discussion, your ardent support of 281, and your support of Principal Dahl."

Thursday, March 14, 2019

RDale State of the Schools

I attended and was not impressed.  It really should have been called the  "RDale: Let's Clap Ourselves on the Back While We Dream"  Now I do agree that there were many people in attendance who deserved the applause and congratulations, especially the kids.

 A lot of the Supt's talk was based on the new Equity Mission Statement and the Unified District Vision.  Which apparently means we are going to keep kid's in the classroom no matter how challenging or dysfunctional they are.  This sounds like a very idealistic and great concept, except for one point...

Parent(s) who can move will move rather than leave their kids in a disruptive school or classroom.  They are not going to say... "We will leave little Janie in the chaotic classroom / school while little Bobbie is straightened out." 

They are going to focus on the needs of their child and move them to a school / classroom where all the kid's listen and learn.  That is the blessing and curse of school choice, Parent's can choose what is best for their child and take the tax payer's money with them...

It was humorous and sad as the Supt. preached about how it was our duty to ensure all kid's learned.

  • I mean I agree with him on a community level...
  • However from a Parent's perspective it so naive...
  • The Parent(s) job to ensure their child learns...
One last thought, it is odd the Supt's seem to be like Business Managers in that they move around a lot. Which to the cynic in me means that they move before they actually prove themselves or learn from their screw ups.  Being at CAT for 16 years gave me many opportunities to learn from my mistakes. (too many... :-)) I am not sure what I would learn from spending less than 3 years in each place?

What is Wrong with You!!!

Unfortunately my online views and real life have collided again, so I have removed almost all my comments from the FB Dave Dahl page.
  • Now I like Dave and hope he can stay on another year.
  • And I dislike the soft bigotry the district seems to be pursuing.
  • By lowering expectations and punishments for certain demographics
  • But I do think that Bosses should be able to pick their employees.
  • And I will have no kids in the district after June.
  • So the current parent(s) will need to seize the reins. 
Conveniently a conservative FB acquaintance posted the below image today...  I thought it was very accurate...  Though maybe I would change the caption some:
  • Judging people by their race, sex, wealth, religion and sexual preference is wrong !!!
  • Why can't you White, Male, Wealthy, Christian, Straight BASTARDS figure that out???
I posed some questions on the previous post that deserves some page 1 coverage:
  • Now folks on the Left expect and promote providing additional support and services to kids from certain demographic groups. 
  • Why are they surprised that the kids from those certain demographic groups would get in trouble at a higher rate?
  • Not only are they surprised, they blame the punishers and accuse them of being racist.
  • So are they racist when they want to give a greater percentage of the additional services and support to certain demographic groups?
  • Should they be screaming at the social services personnel for being racist?
Please remember that I really do not care about race. I happily work with people from all over the world.  However I do understand that one's home life does spill over into the school and classroom.  This is not a race issue, this is a poverty, parenting and social issue.




Wednesday, March 13, 2019

RDale State of the District

All families, staff and community members are invited to attend Robbinsdale Area Schools Annual State of the District Address.Thursday, March 14, 2019 6:30pm - 8:30pm Armstrong High School Auditorium 10635 36th Ave N, Plymouth, MN 55441
 
Well given the current politics going on in the district... This could be interesting... By the way, I am not getting answers to my questions...
My fear for my community is that they are falling into the trap of lowering the expectations for some students. (ie bigotry of low expectations) Which unfortunately leads to a very dark place as the students and parents who can afford to leave the district do so.  Instead of lowering behavioral and academic expectations for some kids, how do we help them to achieve the rigorous level. I have faith that they can rise to the expectation.

Cooper vs Armstrong HS Demographics
RDale General Info

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Trump Breaks Entitlement Promise?



Now I am okay with doing whatever it takes to bring the "benefits" into alignment with the "premiums".  This could either be:
  • Reducing benefits
  • Increasing the payroll tax Rate
The  current situation is not sustainable..


However it is interesting that Trump went after them after all his promises to not touch them.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Robbinsdale and Racial Equity?

The Support Dave Dahl FB site took an interesting twist when some people wanted to post critical comments regard racial inequality and where the Armstrong school was headed. The moderator wisely took them down since they had pretty much nothing to do with the purpose of the page and had more to do with political view points. However the removal triggered some discussion.

One commenter explained that the voices of " people who have experienced racist encounters " were being silenced. To which I responded...
How does one determine if an action is racist or simply demanding a high common standard of behavioral excellence from all students and parents?

An interesting perspective from the other side of the topic is that for years I have heard about minority students getting away with things that Caucasian students could not. Dress codes, disruptive behaviors, etc... The rationale for this that was explained to me was that often the kids did not have adequate support at home, therefore it was better to let it slide.

I would prefer to have community schools with high standards than one that practices the bigotry of low expectations. It is an interesting topic." Give2Attain (aka John)
Now if anyone wants to discuss RDale issues beyond the scope of the FB page. Please feel free to leave them here.  Just remember to stay polite, professional and factual.
G2A Rules
  • G2A will only discuss things that are general public knowledge. (ie no privileged info)
  • G2A will only link to public / posted documents. (ie school and other websites)
  • G2A will not post based on singular specific personal conversations or information without permission from the information provider.
  • G2A will only post after observing common themes, issues, discussions, etc. (ie it is out there and people are talking about it)
  • G2A will moderate any comments that apply derogatory labels. Be it to G2A, another commenter, group of people, etc.
  • G2A will moderate any comment that includes offensive language. (ie swearing)

The Invasion Accelerates

Need to Have Money to Lose Money?

NPR How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich

I heard this during my long drive to Oklahoma and back. A friend I were moving my eldest and her fiancee back to the Twin Cities. They must have missed seeing me often. 😀😀😀 By the way, it was about 68 degrees down there...

Back to the post, I guess it makes sense that people with money would get more of the disaster funds. I mean if you are renting an apartment, what funds should you get versus the person who owns the building.  Thoughts?