Category Archives: Politics


Finding it hard to believe but realize it must be true. People don’t know the difference between million/billion/trillion. And, that there is no coordination between the pentagon and the VA hospitals. Nobody knows the true coast of war if they only look at the pentagon figures. Why do veterans kill themsleves at a 22 lives per day? Obviously, the VA is underfunded in this period.

Why don’t they prescribe ecstasy to veterans with PSTD. It works like magic. Hopefully, they get it anyway off the black market. I’ve never tried ecstasy. But read an interesting study.


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Wealth inequality

econ injust

At least the issue is being brought up during this presidential campaign. Here is a cartoon that sums it all up.

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It is about time for presidential candidates to declare running for 2016. I think it is Hillary’s to lose. But others might jump in the race. Jeb Bush seems like a logical choice.  I don’t think Hillary is as liberal as Obama. I’d really like to see Elizabeth Warren as president. She is my pick. But I want to hear what all the candidates have to say. It would be funny to see Bill Clinton as First Husband.

Look at Merkel in Germany. Apparently she can fluently speak in Russian, German, and English.  I think she shows that women can lead in a position of authority.

I love how the republicans want to outlaw the filibuster in the Senate. They must think people are stupid or don’t know their recent history.

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Just read that the inequality of income and wealth in the US is at a pre French revolution level. I wonder if that will continue or grow. Where is the tipping point? Is media the “church” of the masses. As long as people listen to the media for information they are happy with the reporting and take it as factual information. What would spark a revolution? Police killing unarmed young people? The whole notion of wealth seems to go back to Reagan’s trickle-down myth. I read the cup doesn’t overflow but rather the rich just get bigger cups. What is the demarkation line? 1 million in wealth? 10 million? I’d like to know. I wonder how you got on the list of people lined up for the guillotine in the french revolution? There must have been a criteria. Maybe not. Perhaps it was political and wealth identified.  I will look on wikipedia.


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Listening to the House


Today, I listened to the US Congress House debate the clean CR. Just as I tuned in, after a few minutes, the House stopped abruptly with little notice. I wondered what was the cause so I looked at a news site and the news was there was shooting on the Mall in Washington DC. I witnessed history. They ended because they thought they were in danger and wanted to hide. Some person rammed a barricade to the White House, resisted arrest, panicked and started a chase through Washington DC. The press reports clearly said there was an “exchange” of gun fire. It turns out there was “no exchange” of gunfire it was just the police shooting and killing the woman, the driver in a black sedan who had rammed the white house barricade and fled.

Anyway, this event or series of events was portrayed in the media as a “shooting” and there were preventive lockdowns on the Hill.

* Don’t believe the early reports about any event in the news.

Late today the media said it had information that the woman had mental health problems. At this point I treat that as disinformation. At least the media said that they didn’t have any information on the motivation of the woman ramming the barricade and fleeing the scene. Media reported the woman was from Connecticut. The irony is that the government has shut down and there are 800,000 furloughed federal employees. One media account this evening even interviewed a couple walking on the Mall that were furloughed federal employes coming to talk to their representative about the government shutdown. Another irony was that the capital police are working without pay. Another irony, which escapees me, is that Congress continues to get paid.

Washington was on edge after the Navy Yard shooting a few days back so I think many drew the conclusion that this was another shooting. It was not. Apparently, there was an infant in the car with the woman that somehow escaped injury. Apparently,one policeman was injured in the high speed chase when his police car ran into a barricade.

I might also say that the House debate was highly partisan. Each side blaming each other for the government shutdown. Since the House is controlled by Republicans they enjoyed a one sided debate where the Democrats were stifled by a procedural rule. It was quite the spectacle. Total dysfunction.

UPDATE: The media is now saying the woman was suffering from depression. “Relatives have said that she may have suffered postpartum depression.”-a quote from the news. And there was a report that the woman had a head injury about 1 year ago.

UPDATE: Some are questioning the use of deadly force on an unarmed woman and the need to escalate to a high speed chase. Others said that the police did the best they could given that it could have been a more dangerous threat.

UPDATE: At this point I still don’t know the details of the life of the woman. I feel sorry for her. It was so desperate. There is so little in the news as followup. Just the sensationalism of the day.

Who would want to be the police? Always having to deal with the public, always on guard and in crisis. And as Jo says, the police are shooting to kill these days.

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Rain after the drought


The rain came. The dirt was turning to dust and everything was drying up. The rain was late for the mono crops. Such a weird weather pattern. A very wet Spring followed by a flash drought. There are no bugs this summer and the hummingbirds are hungry. They mob the feeders. One soaking rain with just enough water to get the grass to grow again. Global climate change is about weather extremes. Who cares if it is man made. Working on climate change is a win-win situation.

So there is no rain in the forecast. Does the drought continue?

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Computers in the classroom

There are reoccuring issues with technology in the classroom. The first issue is whether the technology even works in the first place. The second issue is whether the technology is effective for all the activities in the classroom.

You might think that putting technology in a classroom is easy. When you have a CPU dedicated to the room then an IT staff usually controls and maintains it. My expereince is that there are problems putting everyone’s needs on one computer. What happens when class A increases the recording audio levels and class B doesn’t check the recording audio levels? One advantage of bringing your own laptop to the classroom is that you control the computer. But will your computer interface with the audio system? For along time PCs didn’t even have sound cards. Who would need them? Of course if you bring your own laptop you are responsible for it.

The other issue is the effectiveness of the technology to follow and document the interactivity in the classroom.  This is where things really fail. If the recording doesn’t capture a student question and faculty don’t restate the question the recording has a dead space.

The trend toward flipping lectures changes the issue. If faculty are pre-recording a lecture, distributing it via the Internet and hold discussion during class time, the need for lecture capture is diminished. But some faculty are experimenting with virtual classroom technology and virtual office hours. I would like to see what replaces the lecture in the flipped lecture scenerio. I am skeptical that class time will engage students.

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