Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Intellectual Underpinnings of the Charter School Movement

KIPP's new bumper sticker slogan: Work Hard. Be Nice.

Translation: SHUT UP (work hard) AND DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD (be nice).

Mumbling Over Student Loan Defaults

Nowhere in this article on student debt is the obvious mentioned. The federal government could just increase grants to college students or make tuition free. The latter for like 80 billion, a minimal cost in the context of the federal budget.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Akin and Missouri

It looks like Akin is more than competitive in Missouri, which is confirmation of how much of a backwater the state has become.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Purple Violins

Just the fact it's an issue for a school district to ban a purple violin from public performance is a sign of how stupid the country has become. Hardly anyone is aware of the principles of classical music because the highest art they've been to is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. And they then think that is an 'orchestra'.

Briefly, classical music is about visual conformity so as to put the music first. Even most soloists dress in a rather conservative fashion, and those in the orchestra have very strict dress codes that are in the contract. You will never see a purple violin in a professional classical music concert.

Have respect for the tradition, for once. And have respect for the concept of a collective unit, not some type of phoney, non-talent based, individualism.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Scab Refs

I don't know why people aren't calling these NFL refs what they are - scabs, not 'replacements'.

In every guild profession I've been involved with, the union folks are far more skilled than the non-union.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Our Psychopathic Police

A Houston police officer shot and killed a one-armed, one-legged man in a wheelchair Saturday inside a group home after police say the double amputee threatened the officer and aggressively waved a metal object that turned out to be a pen.

1'Houston officer kills double amputee in wheelchair' - Ap

Liberal Heaven: Equality (of Misery)

Liberal race hustlers must be orgasmic about this. That 'racist' white trash is getting what they deserve.

Michael Marmot, director of the Institute of Health Equity in London, told the New York Times that the decline in life expectancy for poor white women over the five-year period from 2003 to 2008 brought to mind the seven years of falling life expectancy for Russian men after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991...

The decline for poor white women produced the remarkable result that in 2008 life expectancy for white women without a high school diploma was actually lower than for black women with the same educational level, the first time that such an inversion has been reported in relation to a major indicator of social distress.(1)

Identity politics is such a disgraceful fucking sham.

---- 1'Life expectancy falling for the poorest Americans' - WSWS

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Evil Mao

Under Mao, life expectancy in China went from 39 years (worst in the world) to 66 years.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Eating May Kill

Food is a major source of arsenic in the American diet, as the chemical is still used in feed for poultry and occasionally hogs to prevent disease. Waste from those animals can contaminate fields when it is used as fertilizer. As a result, arsenic can be found in fruits, vegetables, rice and seafood - all of which are considered healthy. The U.S. government has a federal limit for arsenic in drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb).(1)

But you see this is all about choice. Does eating have a marginal utility greater than the perceived risk of cancer ?

1'U.S. needs arsenic limits in rice: Consumer Reports" - Reuters

Potshots from the Rabble

If one is a financially comfortable and established blogger, there should be no annoyance at getting potshots from anonymous folks who are not using said potshots to gain money.

It's just very weird to be banned for being argumentative, but I suppose this is anyone's right.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Monitizing Our Familial Relations

Brad de Long:
In a non-recourse state like California, the optimal housing strategy is obvious: (i) build good relationships with your children so that you trust them with your assets ...

A very inspiring vision for society, no doubt. Once upon a time, this kind of craven materialism would have been looked down upon.

Economics really doesn't have much interest in the complexity of human nature.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chciago Teachers Strike

As Doug Henwood notes, if the Chicago would stop opening charter schools in every strip mall, it would have money to actually do something useful. Economies of scale are practiced by major corporations for a reason.

OK --in every strip mall might be an exaggeration. But not in Phoenix.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chicago Teachers Strike

The teacher's strike in Chicago is legitimate resistance to a proposal that increases hours without a commensurate increase in pay. And of course teachers already log many more hours than what they are officially paid for. That, in and of itself, is a scam perpetuated on the profession. I suppose Rahm's thuggish idea is to fire them all and replace them with Teach for America sycophants.

Has anyone noticed how much better American education was when teachers were "unaccountable" ?

The current crop of education reformers and administrators are wholly hostile to the idea of intellectualism. You will never catch these fuckers reading for joy.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cop Lover

Worth restating:

You should know by now that brave American policemen can kill you for any reason at any time, and nothing will happen to them.

Apple Stock

If I had $100,000 to spare I would short Apple stock. Its inflated prices based on chic name branding are not going to be competitive over the long-term in overseas markets. Also, its recent attacks on Samsung will do it no favors in Asian political circles which ultimately will play out in the economic arena.

Apple is a niche company for a certain type of upper middle-class Westerner with extra cash to spare, an interest in specialized software, and the desire to be fashionable in technology as some are in clothing.

It has no business being the highest valued company in history and this will proven out.

Friday, September 7, 2012


If you think the high school mindset is very different from your childhood then you should watch Glee. By the way, it's not entirely dismissed even in the ghetto. Kids like it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fuck Golden Dawn

If you travel as a tourist to Greece now, you are supporting a government that allows wanton fascist violence against minority groups. These groups include brown and black-skinned people, gays, and of course political Leftists, and will likely expand. The Golden Dawn operates with official impunity as it assaults and kills people for no other reason than they are in a minority group.

The U.S. does not have a free market

In a free market, one can design a product and sell it to the public in as easy a manner as possible. This entails the existence of actual street markets with minimum rents or regulations, something mostly non-existent in the U.S.

If I have a product I want to sell, I can not go out on a street corner and sell it. I will be fined or arrested. In order to sell to the public, at the minimum, I have to register as a business and pay a rather exorbitant vendor license or rent a store front. The market is therefore mediated through the interests of capital.

Either way, this process excludes a fairly large portion of the population, most of whom can then be shuttled off into low paying jobs with a high degree of dependency on rich bosses.

If you want to see a marketplace, go to another another country, what they call a developing one. What you have in the rich countries is not a free market.

Airport Groping

I thought the justification for x-ray scanners at the airport - the ones that denude you - was that they were effective enough to eliminate the need for patdowns. Instead, the patdowns have gotten more intrusive and frequent.

This is basically conditioning the public to accept mandated personal intrusion and control from the government and corporate state.

Human Nature and the Left

I think much of the frustration of the Left comes from an inability to acknowledge that things like greed and superficiality are a part of human nature. One can't merely say humans are a blank slate with which to write a utopian vision on, for one thing that doesn't sound like a very pleasant society to live in.