Monday, December 15, 2014

Reverse This Requirement Now!

 From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Gov. John Kasich's $10 million plan to bring mentors into Ohio's schools for students now has a surprise religious requirement – one that goes beyond what is spelled out in the legislation authorizing it.
Any school district that wants a piece of that state money must partner with both a church and a business – or a faith-based organization and a non-profit set up by a business to do community service.
No business and no faith-based partner means no state dollars.
But in the meantime, from the comments on this story:

 We can only hope.....

Worth Reading In Full

A black judge responds to Josh Marshall on the recent publicity over police violence towards people of color.

 We supporters don’t “miss” the “deep wells of support and trust” police have in the majority population. They have always had such support and trust. It just doesn’t matter here. What you seem to miss is that the reason that such support and trust exists is due to the fact that what they are protecting the majority population from, in the minds of far too many in that population, is us!
I have seen the disparity in criminal charges and sentencing up close and personal. I have seen the biased perceptions of our police result in imprisonment, beatings, mistreatment and yes, even death. But it is not only the overt physical violence that minorities are subjected to, it is the presumption of guilt that we confront on a daily basis. 
But listen to the defenders of the police in these latest cases… do you really want to live in the world they are promoting? One where you must immediately acquiesce to any request/order give by anyone in a uniform, without question or complaint… under penalty of death if you don’t comply, or comply too slowly for them? Do you really mean to give people in uniform the power to kill, maim, imprison any person simply because they questioned why they were being confronted or resisted rough treatment? Is the uniformed officers word to be deemed absolute, without recourse… and his/her power to punish to be deemed limitless? 
So, we don’t miss the support and trust police have in the majority population… t’was always thus… we just don’t care to let that support and trust kill more of our sons and daughters. We are tired of letting their subjective “fears” be reason enough to make us bury another child. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Small Value Coins

The case for doing away with the penny (each of which costs 2.4 cents to produce) is strong.
Some object with the following observation:
But eliminating it would result in greater use of the five-cent coin, the nickel, which costs 11.2 cents to produce.
 The obvious step is to eliminate the nickel as well.  Consider: the real value of a dime today is just a little more than a cent was worth in 1920 i.e. 12 cents. If we got along with a minimum coin value of about today's dime then, why can't we now?

There was a half cent coin produced in the US until 1857, when it was discontinued as not being worth enough to continue in circulation.  Its value at that time in today's currency:  14 cents - or almost 1½ dimes. It's clear: making the dime our smallest value coin should be a no-brainer.

Some might argue that we should look to the future, as there will be more inflation, further eroding the value of our coinage.  I believe the quarter (worth less than one cent in 1857 values, about two cents in 1920 values) should be our smallest value coin.  Consider: in 1858 our smallest value coin was the penny - whose spending power was about 28 cents in today's currency.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Political Correctness Strikes Again

From the Houston Chronicle:
A third-grade HISD teacher accused of making profane and anti-Muslim remarks on a public access television show will resign immediately and receive three months' pay under a deal approved by the school board Thursday.    
In online clips, Box could be heard referring to "bacon-haters," using profanity in connection with Muslims and asking, "Can't Ebola just take one for the team and take out Obama?"
"District administrators recommended accepting Box's offer of resignation after determining it was in the best interest of the school and its students," HISD said in a statement Thursday.
 While Angela Box's opinions and the expression of them are clearly obnoxious, as long as she was not expressing them in the classroom, and they did not otherwise affect her job performance, it's hard to see the justification for removing her from her position.  It reminds me of the "Red scare" firing of teachers in the 1920's:
"Red hunting" became the national obsession.  Colleges were deemed to be hotbeds of Bolshevism, and professors were labeled as radicals.  The hunt reached down to public secondary schools where many teachers were fired for current or prior membership in even the most mildly of leftist organizations.
Political views (however ugly) expressed outside of the workplace should not be cause for dismissal.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Black Protest


reminds me of this:

Plus ├ža change and all that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Another Press Failure

Right wing institutions like the American Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, and the Heartland Institute are clearly propaganda mills, yet the press gives them an air of intellectual respectability by describing them as "think tanks" - as thought they are sites that produce reasonable conclusions based on disinterested research, the way genuine think tanks like the Brookings Institute (and our universities) do.

Look for instance at some of the "scholars" associated with the American Enterprise Institute:  John Bolton, Lynne Cheney, Newt Gingrich.  And the Cato Institute?  Its original name says it all: The Charkes Koch Foundation.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Good CNN/Bad CNN

John Stewart was being pressed by Fareed Zakariah to acknowledge good reporting from CNN.  Stewart's response:
"CNN is very similar to the doll Chucky. Sometimes it's good Chucky, but you really got to watch out for bad Chucky."
As if to prove his point, here's Zakariah's pivot to his next story:
"Next on GPS: many accused Putin this week of putting the moves on China's first lady."
Sure, placing a shawl on the lady was a faux pas on Putin's part, but "putting the moves on"?

Bad Chucky!