Monday, February 27, 2012

Conservative Math is Flawed

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Let's see if I got this right:
In the quest for lower taxes, not smaller government per se, you all cheered when better technologies allowed for fewer government employees, and you reduced the number of employees. Right?
You also are all men of your word, your word stand for something, and your government's word is likewise supposed to be sacred, right?
So basically speaking, you only did part of the math. You, not the government employees, forgot to take into account that fewer employees would result in lower tax revenue, and thus less money to pay the pensions which you had already promised to do. Right?
Now who are you blaming for and want to have pay for YOUR BIG FAT MISTAKE?
The government employees, right?
Somehow the situation is all their fault, right?
The pensions were set up well before the demands for lower taxes via fewer employees, right? I'm not positive on this, but I'm pretty darned sure the pensions were not set up post 2007.
It's cool that automated websites and phone systems can handle many more citizens requests for information than a bunch of employees at a much lower cost, but in calculating that much lower cost, YOU FORGOT to take into account the pensions that had already been promised as a condition of employment. Poor math aptitude, if I ever saw it.
"The devil is always in the details."
or more accurately, "The devil is always in the details, prior obligations, YOU forgot to factor in".
Don't go around blaming others for your mistakes, be a Lannister, and pay your debts. And next time, do oversee the details.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gasoline Prices are Politically Manipulated, REVISED

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All that money that corporate America has stashed appears to be playing the tulip games with oil futures.  Unlike 2008 when gas prices went down down down, all the way for $.00 in June to $1.62 in December, we can njow expect to see them go up up up, in an effort to blame Obama for the situation.  Comes January 2013, prices will fall like a rock.. 

Note the incredible drop for the 2008 election below, when a "good" economy would favor the election of a Republican candidate:


This from this original:


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Obama Is, Has, and Was Given/Born With....

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" Obama Is, Has, and Was Given/Born With...."

Many Americans today seem to be unable to distinguish between the three different but related concepts.

Obama is a cheerful and intelligent human being.
Obama deeply loves his family.
Obama is a great father and husband.
Obama is the President of the United States.

Obama has chosen to be very well educated.
Obama has chosen to run for and win multiple offices.
Obama has chosen to keep a healthy body and mind, by choosing basketball and body surfing and golf, as both exercise and relaxation, to maintain his cheerful and intelligent self in peak condition to meet life's challenges.

"anima sana in corpore sano," which translates to "Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body".

Obama was given (by God or evolution, take your pick) a large and genetically healthy body, and a quick mind, which he has chosen to use for the public good.
Obama was given, by the United States of America's Constitution, full and complete, Presidential qualified citizenship.  Even Michelle Bachman and the State of Georgia agree on this, along with every billionaire on the planet, with the possible exception of minor billionaire Donald Trump.

© Douglas Keachie, 2012
First published in his Blog, "Farstars."

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gas Prices Are Politically Manipulated

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All that money that corporate America has stashed appears to be playing the tulip games with oil futures.  Unlike 2008 when gas prices went down down down, all the way for $.00 in June to $1.62 in December, we can njow expect to see them go up up up, in an effort to blame Obama for the situation.  Comes January 2013, prices will fall like a rock..

Republican Jobs Bills??? HA! In a Pig's Eye!

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Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report, a nonpartisan firm that tracks congressional races, said the "jobs-bill" card may help many House Republicans believe that they have a "coherent message to run on."
"If they can demonstrate what they are for, they can rebut Obama's charge that they are 'obstructionists' who aren't for anything," Gonzales said. "But we have to see to what extent Republicans are willing and able to follow this playbook."
All 242 House Republicans have been urged by leadership to flash these cards at Washington news conferences as well as town-hall meetings and campaign events back home.
Yet along the way they face skepticism about how many jobs their proposals would actually create - and at what cost. The Republican bills focus largely not on creating new positions but on protecting existing jobs by eliminating federal regulations on businesses -- from Internet firms and oil drillers to cement factories and industrial boilers.
"I have yet to see a single one that was actually a jobs bill," said Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington think tank.
"Everyone of these, as far as I can tell, is basically from decades-old conservatives playbook of cut taxes for business, cut regulations for business," Ornstein said.
Reid has called the Republican proposals "subterfuge" and said that cutting regulations would "make people sicker, our air dirtier and our food less safe."
"That's what they're doing to create jobs," Reid scoffed a day after Boehner touted the jobs bills on a TV talk show.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Sierra Economic and Science Foundation, a Review

The test is straight math. There are typically four problems, and all are solved by math. There are no questions from the life sciences, no questions about chemistry, and minimal participation with physics. I think it should simply be , “The Math Test.” as that is all it appears to test. Advanced story problems, and that’s about it.

The Foundation and its Goals:

I also feel that the test, being only for those who have reached the very top of the high school mathematics curriculum ladder, may not be the most efficient way of funding technological education improvements in the schools.

It merely addresses the high achievers in math, who are most likely from high achieving families in the first place, who probably are well awash with cash. It is a very nice “attaboy” for the winners, who were winners to begin with. It is also a nice tax writeoff for all the participants at the dinner, except of course the county.
Africa did a similar thing way back when. They spent tons of foreign aid on building up their college and university systems. India, on the other hand, concentrated on the lower grades. Look where they both are now.

I think that the money for scholarships might be more broadly spent in rewards for students in the elementary grades for greatest year to year gains, and highest scoring yearly, on a 50:50 basis. 1/2 of the money direct to the kid, 1/2 to a trust fund that will dole it out for either well written learning projects that the kid wants to undertake, any time after 5th grade, or for college. This could be buying a chemistry, life sciences, or mechano like set, or simply a top notch telescope, or a microscope, or a compass, or a multimeter.

I think the Foundation should also add an area to their website, which would be both a listing of supposedly science oriented websites, split into major and then sub categories, and a two blogs, one for adults, and one for kids, where they could comment and rate said sites. The listing for each site could be directly connected to comments about the sites, for easy reference, and a star system with a pro con variable, low to high controversy, could also be implemented.

To a certain extent the Foundation has hijacked the word “tech” and made it synonymous with “math.” I think that this is disingenuous. They need to be much clearer about their mission, and they need to make it very clear, that the entire economic mission as expressed both there and at Rebane's blog includes “dog eat dog” hiring of programmers and engineers from abroad, at the lowest possible rates, as their prime focus for the future. I challenge them to prove otherwise.

There is also an undertone of technocracy and Scientology to their apparent disdain for anyone who has not mastered math at a level that they feel is acceptable. They will, of course, compartmentalize the whole shipwreck, as in “the blog has nothing to do with the foundation which has nothing to do emergency plans for the county which has nothing to do with closing off the government in emergencies except for those certified with a need to know, ” (read their plans for disaster preparedness, vintage 2006, Bird flu). Everything is “separate” from everything else, as befits those who think in terms of problem one and problem two, and never the twain shall meet. Tea Party claims of being non political for the longest time was the classic local example.

As for the economic side of things, economics is a social science, and they have a very one-sided outlook, which seems to be free market capitalism run amuck.

Technology is supposed to serve people, not enslave them, and discussions about which technology to use (say for example, solar) are very much social questions, and indeed, over the long term it may be much smarter to use something that doesn’t “pencil out,” (translation: taxes go up on the rich, PG&E gets nationalized) than to go with coal and oil and gas.

In addition the show is being recorded for NCTV, but will be merely broadcast, and not available for download, nor will it be streamed. I assume not streaming do to the amount of hassle involved in a full director controlled remote, but why no download available? Count it be that the speaker is doing a copyrighted speech, and wants no copies of it floating around? Oh the horror! I thought this was, “for the children.?” Could it also be that all expenses are paid, and maybe a handsome honorarium too, or at least a good writeoff for Cisco? Tell me it isn’t so!

I grant them that there is no “royal road” to math competence (but good well paid and trained teachers can help a lot), and I will grant that competent scientists can earn royalties from patents but it does not give them carte blanche to go around slagging others who have gone through life, and done much for the collective “Good,” without being able to figure out trains, and taxis, and appointments, and walking (see this math problem at Numeracy Nuggets #10 or so at SESF). resulting in “time walked.”

BTW, George, the solution(s) can be worked out on the basis that the appointment could not have been before 3:21, and going from there, for a range of answers, dependent of assumptions about walking speed and taxi speed.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rebane vs Pelline

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After reading a bunch of name calling posts by Rebane's regulars, including snide remarks about Jeff Pelline and the likelihood of him getting part of the cash from the county for promoting tourism in the county, I posted the following there, at  Since I am not sure how long it will stay up there, and to gain a wider audience, I am reporting it here.

So, which one of the "responsible adults" has a bio and a magazine to compete with Jeff's in the servicing of the rain making aspects of tourism in Nevada County? Or are you all just children throwing sand at the much better castle he's built?

"Editorial content is overseen by Jeff Pelline, whose award winning 30-year journalism career includes editing and management positions at the San Francisco Chronicle, CNET (since sold to CBS for $2 billion) and The Union in Grass Valley. Jeff’s work has also been published in the New York Times, Time magazine and the Chicago Tribune. CNET won a prestigious National Magazine Award when Jeff was Editor, among the first for an online publication.

We publish and distribute 15,000 copies to more than 300 locations each quarter, including Auburn, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Rocklin and Roseville, Folsom, Lincoln, the greater Sacramento area, Placerville, Marysville, Yuba City, Chico, Paradise, Colfax, Truckee, Tahoe City, South Lake Tahoe and Reno. We also distribute our magazine at California Welcome Centers in Northern California.

We seek high-demographic readers and provide restocking over the course of the three-month run of each issue. We also can customize distribution to fit advertiser’s specific needs, including the Bay Area markets."

Thursday, February 09, 2012

How to Fix Congress

"PaulE 926pm - How would such soft revolution be launched to make it work in one election cycle?"

Simple, nobody is allowed to be an incumbent.


all computer files and emails, contact lists, etc., must be left behind, intact, not scrambled, for use by the next person in office, and positions on committees are drawn from a hat. Positions may be bartered for three weeks after the drawing. Then work begins anew.


Visiting (lobbying) times with members of Congress will be put into a nation wide lotto, and those who win can barter their time slots on a market that would be across between eBay and the stock markets. Every minute, so purchased, would have to be accounted for and recorded on video with sound and available online. No other contacts between the general public/corporations and the Congressperson would be allowed.
in short, Open Government.  All letters and email would have to be made available before the Congressperson can read them, in a searchable common database for the entire Congress, so that patterns of attempted undue influence would be obvious.

The nationwide lotto issues for free, one entry to each voter who voted in the last Two national elections. Odds are the sloths would not see the future value, and wouldn't sign up for one, if the reward couldn't possibly show up for at least two years.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The Union's Towntalk, a Pithy Review

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Looks like someone's ticked off that I called The Union on their no payment for freelance photography policy this morning in Towntalk, and they didn't even publish it!  Otherwise why all the interest in this old post today?

Towntalk seems to have evolved into a cross between a very long one act improv  play, varying between comedy and pathos and back fence gossip; and a good bar,less the smoke (on my end) and expense of the liquor.  The Union has rejected me under my own name, but happily accepts my comments as, "Dignified Reader."

Dear Union, please note the time stamp of this post, and then go look up, and learn who it is you've been quite happy to publish for the last couple of weeks.  Surprise!  Note the time stamp at farstars is older than your time here and now.  If you wish to delete "Dignified Reader,"  I'll be back, under a new nom de sock, new IP, new OS, new browser, etc.  Hamilton and Harbert should understand, I am more than capable of shifting writing styles with ease, using different vocabs, etc, just as I am versatile with a camera.

It is now 9:10 am on Thursday, February 8th.

Interesting switch noticed this morning, after I suggested to the moderator that they substitute Jeff Ackerman's name into any questionable post to see if it "sounded OK."  The first image was the total insult, published by the moderator, I don't know which one.  I assume it slipped through because probably some of the commenters get Gold Passes to publish without moderation.

TheUnionUnmodified copy


Then follows the deletion and admonishment, after my comment went in.  They did not publish my comment.

UnionModifiedCropped copy

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Raising Up French Children

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This is such a topic that I won't even bother with m aking my own stand yet.  Druckerman's new book is in the eye of this hurricane:

  1. Who Says American Parents Are Inferior? - Motherlode Blog - New ...
    1 day ago – New York Times ... From reading the Journal excerpt of Ms. Druckerman's book, one could easily conclude that practically all ... But inside the cadre, French parents entrust their kids with quite a lot of freedom and autonomy.
  2. PAMELA DRUCKERMAN - Motherlode Blog - New York Times
    1 day ago – Our children are overindulged. ... we are anxious, we shout too much and if that weren't enough, Ms. Druckerman asserts, French mothers are ...
  3. Are French mothers superior? » Jake and Ella's Blog: Raising ...
    5 days ago – Druckerman is right that French kids eat better and are generally better ... of vacation, according to Paul Krugman from The New York Times. ... that French women's more detached attitude toward their children has a flip side.
  4. Zut! Can the French really be parents sans pareil? - Telegraph › NewsWorld NewsEuropeFrance
    Jan 24, 2012 – Pamela Druckerman's French Children Don't Throw Food, is just such an incendiary work. ... to resume athletic conjugal relations at a time Britain's new mothers are still ... and take photographs of the food to email friends in New York. ... “There's an attitude that children have an aesthetic sensibility and are ...
  5. Mastering the art of French parenting
    Jan 26, 2012 – Pamela Druckerman, mother of three, has written a book about it called French Children Don't ... One is that the French teach their children to be patient. ... investment, all-consuming project it has become to over-anxious parents in New York or London. ... More time online = less happiness among girls ...
  6. Politifact, Genes and Jumps, and the Row over Religious Woo ...
    Jan 27, 2012 – Pamela Druckerman's French Children Don't Throw Food, is just such an incendiary work. We mothers are a notoriously touchy lot at the best of times, ... While we pick and mix our attitudes, in France boundaries are reinforced by society. ... Center for Genomics and Systems Biology at New York University, ...
  7. French Children Don't Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman – review ...
    Jan 14, 2012 – New Yorker Pamela Druckerman married an Englishman and lived with him in Paris, ... ate at adult meal times, often attended nursery from nine months, where they ate a ... But the French think children must learn to cope with frustration. ..... The French seem to have a different attitude to child rearing.
  8. French Children Don't Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman – review ...
    Jan 21, 2012 – New Yorker Pamela Druckerman married an Englishman and lived with him in ... Music video by Sting performing Englishman In New York. ... 'Nightingale' released 7th March 2011 in UK/Europe on Full Time Hobby & 29th ...... 16 and 19 per cent, according to successive British Social Attitudes Surveys.
  9. Are French Women the New Tiger Mothers? | Parenting - Yahoo ...
    4 hours ago – Author Pamela Druckerman's new book, Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother ... French children aren't constantly dashing off, talking back, or engaging in ... Only one snack a day at the exact same time is a mainstay of the country's ... Atlanta Los Angeles Chicago Tampa Dallas Russellville New York Ypsilanti Houston ...
  10. Comments on French parents: Non, non and non | The Economist
    Jan 21, 2012 – In New York, this book might be a revelation, but in most of small town ... Druckerman that children in New York are different than French children. ... I have spent little time around French children so I do not have an impression. ... assimilate into French attitudes, and before I am accused of racism, all I mean ...

Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Tea Party DOES Endorse Candidates!

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As for not endorsing candidates, that is a total falsehood. Everyday across the nation, Tea Party members endorse checks supporting a particular subgroup of possible candidates. Let the money flow stop, and then, and only then, will Tea Party members not be "endorsing" anyone.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Birther Madness AKA Tea Party Contagion

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Billy T, then what possible use would the information you are so earnest about provide you? Is the man his grades in college, or the person he is now?

Has it not occurred to you that there are people who go through college without forming large groups of friends? It is entirely possible that you are looking for what isn't there to find. Frankly, from high school and college, I formed not more than 10 to 12 close friends, at least by my sense of the term.

One, a very successful educator in the international field, Bob Sills, is dead of heart failure. A second, Laurie Glass, an artist and mother, was driving home and on an overcrossing in the MacArthur maze, on a curve where there lights of the on-coming traffic blind you, and where nothing should be stopped, hit a an empty vehicle with no lights, turned sideways to the line of travel, that had 40 seconds before been abandoned by a drunken car thief. Died in the OR, RIP, Laurie. Chris Yip is still a prof at Cal Poly. Rodger Egan made his fortune in Mendocino real estate. Jon Wolford, son of an architect, was a juvenile delinquent, got into glass blowing, and created a nice lamp for his first wife, who was business savvy. They are both successful, and he is into horses now, last I talked with him.

Vince I've lost track of. John Roventini died of a heroin overdose, being from New York. A dancer named LeBallister went on to be a prof, we are still friends having relocated one another after 40 years via the web and Facebook. Karn {( no last name used by request) and I are also in contact via Facebook and one very nice lunch about ten years ago. She worked for IBM and spends time in several homes around the planet, and loves photography as I do.

The only one I know of who is not in contact was the poor kid on the block. I never thought of him that way, but he developed quite a chip on his shoulder, apparently, and went in to Tax law to be sure to be rich. At the time, I was not focused on earning cash, but rather more so on anthro research and saving the planet and the war on poverty. He apparently wants no contact, and his father told me years ago his son has developed a serious drinking problem. For obvious reasons, I'm not naming him here. Dave is a successful chemist with numerous patents, and Gorden, son of a longshoreman, got a degree in English, but made his money designing and building motorized wheelchairs.

So there you have it. No fraternities, no sororities, the illustrator David Goines did write once about the punch card caper, but we really didn't know one another.
Douglas Keachie
There is another possibilities. He had lots of friends. Friends so good and so talented and so honorable that they have no desire to be part of a media circus that they know would develop should they come forward, especially not if FOX news was looking for anything and everything they possibly could to defame Obama's character.

Billy T, then what possible use would the information you are so earnest about provide you? Is the man his grades in college, or the person he is now?

On Presidential qualifications and ratings, see:

What's a natural born citizen?

Currently, Title 8 of the U.S. Code fills in the gaps left by the Constitution. Section 1401 defines the following as people who are "citizens of the United States at birth:"
Anyone born inside the United States *
Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as one parent has lived in the U.S.
Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one year
Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic service included in this time)
A final, historical condition: a person born before 5/24/1934 of an alien father and a U.S. citizen mother who has lived in the U.S.

Has Congress voted on Obama's birth information?

A congressional resolution introduced by Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of island statehood was delayed Monday.
The resolution includes a clause noting Obama's Hawaiian birthplace. The line "Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961" appeared to be construed by birthers as a thinly veiled attempt to get Congress to affirm Obama's U.S. citizenship, said Dave Helfert, an Abercrombie spokesman.
As the issue came to a vote Monday, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., rose to object, saying there was not a quorum present. The House later voted 378-0 to approve the resolution. Bachmann voted in favor of the resolution.
Birthers denounce the notion that Obama was born in Kapiolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu on Aug. 4, 1961, despite court rulings and statements by Fukino, a hospital administrator, and Hawaii's Republican governor, Linda Lingle.

When did Hawaii become a state?

Alaska became the 49th state on January 3, 1959, only seven months before Hawaii became the 50th state. August 21, 1959.

When was Obama born?

Barack Hussein Obama II was born August 4, 1961 and is the 44th and current President of the United States. Not even his conception occurred before Hawaii became a state.

Final question, how many of your high school, college, and university records, including birth certificates, are still available as paper originals?

I know for a fact that my birth certificate is not! San Francisco went first to microfilm, and now to digital copies of the microfilm. I went to the records department and got a copy and inquired. Let the first person who says their documents are still on the paper originals stand up and say what and where. As for the rest of you.....

Thursday, February 02, 2012

If Obama is Stupid, Consider This ...

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He was smart enough to get himself elected President of the United States, and 160 million other Americans with the right age qualifications all had a chance to beat him, but he won.  Many of those folks had 4.0's and 800's on their SATs and GRE's and played sports and music, but he won.  In the other thread a lot was made of OTJT and people who for example took a slide rule and taught themselves hydraulic engineering.  None of them made President, but he won.

He did not come from a monied family, but he won.  So no matter whatever else you can say about him, remember he beat you out for the top job in the nation.  He won.

If you want to call, insinuate, hint at etc., that he is stupid, then take a look in the mirror and figure out what you're going to call your "unable-to-beat-him" self. A real loser?

Thanks for the inspiration for this piece, Bill!