body~politic

Saturday, October 18, 2014

How not to go about achieving change | Orphans of Liberty

How not to go about achieving change | Orphans of Liberty



Richard North is one of those on the correct side of politics in my book – wants smaller government, out of the EU, many other things and so I’m loathe to write against him, despite the way he’s been carrying on. I might have gone to Harrogate with them, I actually agree with a lot of it.
Two of his staunch allies, Witterings from Witney and Autonomous Mind I’d like to count as friends if they’ll accept that. True, he put down OoL when it first started but I paid that little mind, wanting to wait and see what happened.
Richard thought through Flexcit and is genuine about getting out of the EU. He can’t stand Farage and can’t stand UKIP. I can see why and let’s face it, Nige and UKIP are on something of a rollercoaster just now but they are vulnerable in some policy areas.

..........?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Family's anger over school lunch reveals more widespread issues

Family's anger over school lunch reveals more widespread issues





The Shortcomings of GDP as a Measure of Economic Growth | Hans Economics

The Shortcomings of GDP as a Measure of Economic Growth | Hans Economics



A recent Washington Post article reports that GDP has seen a recent uptick. While such news is most likely indicative of economic progress, this is not always the case. National output is not synonymous with the social economy, and as such, should always be evaluated with a critical eye.
Prior to WWII, there was very little collection of aggregate macroeconomic data. The Keynesian revolution shifted policymakers’ goals, however, and they began to more highly value a measurement of output in order to better “manage” the national economy. Thus, GDP was increasingly seen as a way to measure whether the “target” growth rate was being achieved. But the GDP possesses some serious shortcomings as a measure of economic growth, and should not be relied upon as the sole means of determining the health of an economy. As longtime BEA head warns, figures like GDP “are eminently useful in macroeconomic analysis if they are not regarded as a precision instrument and…may be lethal if they are.”
In short, GDP can be defined as the market value of current, final, domestic production during a specific interval of time. This means that all production is summed in terms of their market prices, only the value of final goods is included (as opposed to including the value of all intermediate sales), and only the output of productive factors located in a particular nation is counted. Already, some of the shortcomings of GDP as a measure of social welfare can be inferred, but I will highlight a few of them below.
Perhaps the most significant shortcoming of GDP as a measure of economic growth is its inclusion of government spending alongside other voluntary market transactions. This detracts from GDP’s usefulness as a measure of economic growth because government expenditures are not necessarily beneficial to social welfare, or at least not as beneficial as their cost would indicate. Indeed, there is no way to measure the value of a government service in terms of other goods because the transaction is coerced: it is not undertaken voluntarily by between contracting individuals in order to satisfy their ends and therefore increase their total welfare. Rather, money is coerced from private individuals who may indeed utilize the services provided, but may not have purchased them if they had the opportunity to opt out. The price for government services is not set by the market, and thus the calculation of their value is marked by a significant measure of arbitrariness.
GDP also fails to discount those economic activities that do not directly raise individual welfare. Military spending is the most obvious example of such an activity. While defense services may be seen as necessary to allow other economic activities to flourish, they are not valued for their own sake. Thus, if a nation’s GDP increases by 15% over the course of two years because of increased military spending, that does not mean that such a nation is consuming and investing more. As Roy Webb puts it: “Citizens of a nation that is able to obtain adequate defense for 1% of GDP can consume and invest more, thus having a higher standard of living, than citizens of a nation with the same GDP who had to spend 10% of GDP for defense.”
Another shortcoming is GDP’s failure to account for productive non-market activities. A mother raising a child, for example, is an extremely important activity. But it is not something that is paid for or provided on the market. Thus, such activity is not accounted for in the GDP. This might seem like an insignificant point, but many non-market activities can increase social welfare, and the aggregate of all productive non-market activities is certainly significant–indeed, GDP does not account for any unpaid work whatsoever, no matter how productive.
Yet another shortcoming is that certain destructive events or activities can increase GDP while decreasing overall welfare, making the GDP an inaccurate gauge of social welfare. A massive hailstorm that creates demand for thousands of new roofs and windows in a particular region, for example, is not an economically beneficial event (if you don’t believe me, read about the Broken Window Fallacy on ourcommon economic fallacies page). But it would have the effect of increasing GDP, as millions would be spent on acquiring these goods and services.
Here is another way to think about that last point. Consider divorce, which causes an immense amount of emotional strife for those involved. A high divorce rate is something almost no one considers beneficial. But divorce is expensive, and creates thousands of jobs for lawyers, judges, and other legal mediators. If the divorce rate were to increase by 10% one year, this would increase GDP. Overall welfare (which is determined by subjective preference and is thus immeasurable), however, would almost certainly decrease significantly.
Here is a real-life illustration of the above shortcoming. While the Soviet Union saw massive increases in GDP between 1970 and 1980 (from $430 billion to over $900 billion), the average life expectancy of a Russian male over the same period actuallydecreasedAlcohol abuse was rampant, infant mortality began to climb, and the crude death rate reversed its previously downward trend. Perhaps the Soviet Union was producing more, but quality of life and overall social welfare definitely took a hit in 1970s Russia. For a visual representation, see my (somewhat crude) chart below:
ussr gdp vs le The Shortcomings of GDP as a Measure of Economic Growth




The above shortcomings are only a few of the many problems with GDP. Needless to say, the figure should never be relied upon as an accurate assessment of economic growth. It certainly has its uses, and by no means would I advocate abandoning the figure altogether. But as with any other index, one must be cautious when using the figure to make judgments about the economic health of any nation. Frank Shostak has an excellent analysis of GDP that I highly recommend to anyone interested in understanding more fully the uses and shortcomings of the GDP figure.

Wall Street Journal on Twitter: "Low turnout among frustrated Hispanic voters could hurt Democrats in the midterm elections. http://t.co/MJ5nPefidN http://t.co/AYozEXydmh"

Wall Street Journal on Twitter: "Low turnout among frustrated Hispanic voters could hurt Democrats in the midterm elections. http://t.co/MJ5nPefidN http://t.co/AYozEXydmh"





Obama Convened a Meeting Coordinating Gov’t Ebola Response — and Someone was Noticeably Absent | TheBlaze.com

Obama Convened a Meeting Coordinating Gov’t Ebola Response — and Someone was Noticeably Absent | TheBlaze.com



President Barack Obama held a meeting Friday afternoon with his national security and public health teams aimed at coordinating the federal government’s response to Ebola — and someone was noticeably absent.
According to the list of participants released by the White House, the president’s new “Ebola Czar” Rob Klain was not in attendance.


Dr. Andy Baldwin on Twitter: "Please tell me this is a joke RT @USAToday Ron Klain, non-MD, w/ no health care experience to be named #EbolaCzar http://t.co/LhZizymRKa"

Dr. Andy Baldwin on Twitter: "Please tell me this is a joke RT @USAToday Ron Klain, non-MD, w/ no health care experience to be named #EbolaCzar http://t.co/LhZizymRKa"



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In Paris, Uber fined €100K as advertising for UberPop declared illegal

In Paris, Uber fined €100K as advertising for UberPop declared illegal



A court decision ruled this week that advertising UberPop - Uber’s low cost peer to peer transport solution in Europe – fining the company €100,000. The case, which is independent of Uber’s ongoing negotiations with Taxi authorities, was brought forth by the anti-competition & fraud commission of the French Ministry of Economy, and Uber currently plans to appeal the decision.
Europe’s reaction to Uber can best be described as a systematic, piece-by-piece dismantling of the Uber empire. Barcelona drivers (& passengers) are being pulled over for illegal operation, Germany has taken wide action against Uber, as has Brussels, Europe’s Capital, and the ongoing battle in France has put Uber on the defensive.


Australia's First 3D Printing Factory Aims to Shape Future of Manufacturing

Australia's First 3D Printing Factory Aims to Shape Future of Manufacturing



While there has been much said of 3D printing's potential to really shake up manufacturing, Minio explains the factory's role will largely be to supplement more traditional means of production.
"This is not something that will replace high-volume manufacturing," he said. "What we plan on doing is specialising in niche and customisable markets, which open the door to new opportunities where it might not have been affordable in the past."

Xi’s call for end to ‘weird architecture’ stirs debate | South China Morning Post

Xi’s call for end to ‘weird architecture’ stirs debate | South China Morning Post



Internet users were divided yesterday after President Xi Jinping called for an end to "weird architecture" in a country enjoying a huge building boom.
Much of the mainland's older building stock is made up of Soviet-style concrete blocks, but in recent years property development has played a huge economic role.
The phenomenon has drawn architects from around the world, from big names such as Zaha Hadid to younger designers whose reputations are still being established in the West.
Xi made the comments on Wednesday as he held a surprise meeting with a group of writers and artists which lasted for more than two hours, the People's Daily reported on its WeChat social media account yesterday.
The report said Xi told the group Beijing should build "no more weird architecture".
Many web users welcomed Xi's call. "My understanding is that 'no weird architecture' targets the property owners rather than the architects. Some unscrupulous owners should be reined in now," said one social media user.
But other users questioned whether Xi's comments were appropriate, voicing concerns over their potential impact on creative freedom.
"The 'weird architecture' is voluntarily chosen by the owners and the designers," said one, asking: "Do you want to replace millions of others' aesthetic sense with your own?"
At the symposium, a senior playwright of the People's Liberation Army complained to Xi about the "softness" in some recent works by military artists. Xi, whose wife is PLA singer Peng Liyuan , agreed they should reflect an appropriate tone.
"[Otherwise,] why are they dressing in military uniforms? Why are we spending so much military funding to maintain so many artistic troupes?" Xi said, according to comments aired in a special programme on state television.


BBC News - New viruses 'killing amphibians' in Spain

BBC News - New viruses 'killing amphibians' in Spain



Researchers fear the strains, which belong to the Ranavirus group, have already spread to other countries.






Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jim Rogers Warns: Albert Edwards Is Right "Sell Everything & Run For Your Lives" | Zero Hedge

Jim Rogers Warns: Albert Edwards Is Right "Sell Everything & Run For Your Lives" | Zero Hedge



From Bitcoin to the Swiss gold referendum, and from Chinese trade and North Korean leadership, Jim Rogers covers a lot of ground in this excellent interview with Boom-Bust's Erin Ade. Rogers reflects on the end of the US bull market. citing a number of factors from breadth to the end of QE, adding that he agrees with Albert Edwards' perspective that now is the time to "sell everything and run for your lives," as the "consequences of [The Fed] are now being felt." Most notably though, Rogers believes the de-dollarization is here to stay as Western sanctions force many nations to find alternatives. Simply put, Rogers concludes, "we are all going to pay a terrible price for all this money-printing and debt."




Ethereal Underwater Photos Capture Young Woman's Deep Connection with the Sea - My Modern Met

Ethereal Underwater Photos Capture Young Woman's Deep Connection with the Sea - My Modern Met




Erdogan Dilemma: Kurds no better than ISIS for Turkish president?

Padre José Palmar on Twitter: "La chulería de hoy nos demuestra que los únicos que podemos sacar a estos perversos somos los venezolanos, ni gringos, ni europeos ni nadie!"

Padre José Palmar on Twitter: "La chulería de hoy nos demuestra que los únicos que podemos sacar a estos perversos somos los venezolanos, ni gringos, ni europeos ni nadie!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jose on Twitter: "#Ebola ~ On January 2014~ Republicans gave CDC a 8.2% Budget INCREASE --must read--> http://t.co/fCYyb1W4Zv http://t.co/WxIp4rZ74F"

Jose on Twitter: "#Ebola ~ On January 2014~ Republicans gave CDC a 8.2% Budget INCREASE --must read--> http://t.co/fCYyb1W4Zv http://t.co/WxIp4rZ74F"

Fifth Circuit Rules In Favor Of Texas: Voter ID Law Remains In Effect

Fifth Circuit Rules In Favor Of Texas: Voter ID Law Remains In Effect




11 Body Positions and Gestures That Can Improve Your Performance | Inc.com

11 Body Positions and Gestures That Can Improve Your Performance | Inc.com



Sure, you control your body. But your body can also control you. Simple gestures, simple postures -- each can make a dramatic impact on how you think, feel, and act.
Best of all you don't have to be a yogi or athlete -- you can just be you. Only now you will be a better you.
-- Jeff Haden

Obama won't visit Barack Obama Elementary, despite students' pleas - Washington Times

Obama won't visit Barack Obama Elementary, despite students' pleas - Washington Times




Grimm's law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Grimm's law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




John Wick TRAILER 1 (2014) - Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe Action Movie HD

Red Lion - Drink Recipe – How to Make the Perfect Red Lion - Esquire

Red Lion - Drink Recipe – How to Make the Perfect Red Lion - Esquire

slone on Twitter: "Woman fighter leads battle against ISIS in besieged Syrian border town of Kobane http://t.co/Oegdyc7Wtv #tcot http://t.co/Vi44insGgH"

slone on Twitter: "Woman fighter leads battle against ISIS in besieged Syrian border town of Kobane http://t.co/Oegdyc7Wtv #tcot http://t.co/Vi44insGgH"

Monday, October 13, 2014

Watch Guard


Everyday Hero: This Brave Man Was About To Help A... | ClickHole

Everyday Hero: This Brave Man Was About To Help A... | ClickHole



You don’t need superpowers to be a hero. Heroes are simply those who respond to adversity with bravery and selflessness, which is exactly what 28-year-old grad student Jesse Atkinson did earlier this week.
When a woman on his subway car suddenly started suffering a seizure, Atkinson knew that someone needed to step up and come to her aid—and fast. Without a moment’s hesitation, he sprang to his feet and assumed the posture of a concerned bystander. But as he courageously steeled himself to intervene, another passenger suddenly rushed to her side and took control of the situation.
“In the heat of the moment, you’re not really thinking about what you’re doing,” said Atkinson, explaining that something deep inside of him had just kicked in that day. “You just do what you need to do, unless someone else does it for you.”
He added that even though he has no medical training, he was fully prepared to kneel down next to the woman and urgently gesture for someone else to go get a doctor, perhaps even holding the woman’s head up and ordering other passengers to hit the EMERGENCY button next to the door.
“Anybody else would’ve done the same thing,” said Atkinson, modestly shrugging off his heroics. “I’m just an ordinary guy who happened to be in the right place at the right time.”
When asked if the woman he almost helped had reached out to extend her gratitude, Atkinson insisted that he wasn’t interested in any sort of reward or accolade. He just hoped that she—and everyone else from the subway car that day—would one day pay it forward.
Spoken like a true hero. 

Loco Eric on Twitter: "I don't know what the opposite of 'surprised' is called, but it probably feels a lot like when Hillary Clinton finally announces she's gay."

Loco Eric on Twitter: "I don't know what the opposite of 'surprised' is called, but it probably feels a lot like when Hillary Clinton finally announces she's gay."

Matteo Wyllyamz on Twitter: "Drone footage reveals the foundations of #Apple’s new 'donut' futuristic HQ >> http://t.co/KebquHrqiV RT http://t.co/i2osinxXPQ"

Matteo Wyllyamz on Twitter: "Drone footage reveals the foundations of #Apple’s new 'donut' futuristic HQ >> http://t.co/KebquHrqiV RT http://t.co/i2osinxXPQ"

What is Psykopaint?

NFL players thumb nose at Beats headphones ban - CNET

NFL players thumb nose at Beats headphones ban - CNET



It's alluringly twisted that the $10,000 fine for wearing Beats (first offense) is higher than the $8,268 fine for a first offender who kicks, strikes, knees or performs a late hit on an opponent. Second offenses escalate in cost.
My suspicion is that Beats is adoring the boost to its image and will pay any fines on behalf of the players. Attempts to secure comment from the NFL have been unsuccessful, but I have made contact again and will update, should I receive a reply.
Could it be that the fines will continue to escalate until they mean something?


Capitalism and the contraction of the middle-class | Orphans of Liberty

Capitalism and the contraction of the middle-class | Orphans of Liberty



The word Capitalist is one of the most misunderstood because it is interwoven with socialism when it resorts to monopoly and high risk/return ratio, whereas it is meant to involve competition and free enterprise, i.e. the ability of “little people” to set up and run a new venture at a small profit.
The leftist conception is that the corporate gangsters and their friends the banksters are what Capitalism is all about and only about, therefore the State should step in and “guarantee” education, medicine, jobs and a lifestyle for all, irrespective of position in society. What they fail to address is the question, “Who pays?” We are seeing the answer to that today in the UK. They also fail to address why the capitalist model is the one which has created the most developed societies.
The rightist conception is that unfettered enterprise somehow leads to healthy competition and enables anyone with initiative, drive and nous to run a little business, whereas the truth is that the natural tendency of medium sized business is to become big business and thus to monopolize areas of trading. Along with the collusion of similarly minded people at the top and when the State becomes interwoven with that, the resultant corrupt mess is global socialist/MIC/bankster oligarchy.
The best solution has to be somewhere in the middle, based on the classical liberal stance – that anything is fine, as long as it is not to the detriment of others but to the chagrin of we on the right, that does not happen naturally. It’s clear that the corporate gangsters, in their manipulation of markets to suit themselves, buying off the regulators and driving up prices but not wages, are detrimental to most of us and when States assist with impossible taxes and banks assist with driving prices up through credit, then people drop off the old middle-class in droves, to become the new paupers.
The solution does not involve throwing out the baby with the bathwater, as the socialists or left-liberals are so quick and ready to do. Increased State intervention is never a good solution for anything. Nor is localism because localism is hijacked by Common Purpose types and perverted into communitarianism, i.e. regionalized or local socialism, to further the agenda of the oligarchs.
It’s interesting that in this article by Charles Hugh-Smith, the first factor in the new educational outcomes for graduates involves confusion:
1. Confusion as your destiny.
2. Hierarchy: You must stay in class where you belong.
3. Indifference: Not to care about anything too much.
4. Emotional dependency: Surrender your will/rights to the predestined chain of command who can withdraw your rights.
5. Intellectual dependency: Curiosity has no important place, only conformity.
6. Good people wait for an expert to tell them what to do.
7. Provisional self-esteem: Your self-respect should depend on expert opinion– children should not trust themselves or their parents, but need to rely on the evaluation of certified officials.
8. Controlled society: Constant surveillance and denial of privacy–no one can be trusted, that privacy is not legitimate.
There is a logical problem here. Education and in particular, institutes of higher learning, should reflect the needs of the society’s business structure and direction, as well as reinforcing the heritage and traditions of that society – its underpinnings, as it were, as well as the pursuit of academic excellence for the sake of that excellence and for the reduction of ignorance.
Fine. What happens though when what is taught in these institutes is perverted, the appointment system for academics is perverted and all that students receive at that place is perverted? This is the situation today where these institutes are crammed with socialist/feminist/PCist types, whilst those who support their nation and its heritage get short shrift.
What happens when the principle of graduates filling places in industry is perverted by the cost of education in the first place – artificially bumped up to ridiculous levels and where the whole thrust of enterprise is away from productive technologies and towards the illusory bankster created wealth?
What happens when the very industry new graduates are feeding into is not one we should be pursuing?
Another important change in the early 1970s was the increasing flow of capital into the FIRE economy (finance, insurance and real estate), eschewing real-world investments as comparatively unprofitable. Some of this was due to globalization — steel, for instance, could be produced cheaper in East Asia than in America — but policies and regulations influenced this capital flow. For example, while the environmental regulations enacted in the U.S. in the 1970s have been a major success in terms of cleaning up the air, land and water we all share, in some cases they raised costs to the point that moving production overseas made financial sense.

The 1970s also saw the first beginnings of a loosening of financial regulations and the growth of credit and financial “innovations,” such as securitization and derivatives. Capital increasingly fled real production for finance, which became the key profit-center of corporate America. GM didn’t make money manufacturing autos; they made money selling loans to buy their cars. General Electric made more with its GECC finance arm than it did selling light bulbs and generators.

As a result, where finance and banking once generated a mere six percent of total U.S. corporate profits, by the height of the housing bubble in 2006 it was churning out 45 percent of all corporate profits. Indeed, U.S. “financial services and innovations” were the most heralded exports of the nation.
And who ends up getting squeezed? Why the middle-class of course, the former taxpayers of our society:
This represents a major change from the glory years of the great American post-war boom, when the modern middle class came into its own. Historically, income inequality reached a peak in 1929, just before the stock market crash, and declined all through the postwar boom decades of the 1950s and ’60s as progressive tax rates and restrictions on financial speculation limited the income of the upper class. Widespread prosperity in the post-war period raised incomes in the middle and bottom income brackets. But that trend reversed in the early 1970s, and income inequality has again reached the extremes last seen in 1929. By some measures, inequality is now more pronounced than ever before.
There really have been grand illusions created in the past four decades. Credit has simultaneously created the illusion of an upper-middle-class lifestyle for families, whilst actually occasioning huge debt per household and creating an ever accelerating descent to debt slavery and dependence on the State for sustenance. The illusion that the middle-class who dabble in what the big boys are dabbling in are actually getting anywhere:
The story of the middle class squeeze is complex, but its effects are not hard to see. Despite an increase in national wealth over the last 40 years, the wages and wealth of most of the U.S. population are flat at best. Owners of capital and the professional class, who make up the top five percent (or less), are the only ones who received the benefits of economic growth over the last few decades.

While some observers point to middle class ownership of stocks and bonds as evidence that this trend benefits the middle class as well as the wealthy, they fail to note that middle class ownership of stocks and bonds is a mile wide but an inch deep. The vast majority of households own less than $10,000 in stocks or bonds, including IRAs.
For decades now, the banksters, with their Venetian traditions, have maintained the illusion of the middle-class, whereas, in reality, they have being creating the preconditions for a new feudalism, with them at the top. This is not Capitalism in the least, in the sense many of us see capitalism – as free enterprise, combined with classical liberalism. This latter is what we want – the former is what we are getting.


Encomienda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Encomienda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



The encomienda (Spanish pronunciation: [eŋkoˈmjenda]) was a legal system that was used by the Spanish crown during the Spanish colonization of the Americas to regulate Native Americans and to reward individual Spaniards for services to the crown.
In the encomienda, the Spanish crown granted a person a specified number of natives of a specific community, with the indigenous leaders in charge of mobilizing the assessed tribute and labor. In turn, encomenderos were to take responsibility for their Indian charges, in particular the instruction of the Indians in the Christian faith. The receiver of the grant was to protect the natives from warring tribes and to instruct them in the Spanish language. In return they could extract tribute from the natives in the form of labor, gold, or other products.[1] In the first decade of Spanish presence in the Caribbean, Spaniards divided up Indians who were worked relentlessly. With the ouster of Christopher Columbus, the Spanish crown sent a royal governor, Fray Nicolas de Ovando, who established the formal encomienda system.[2] In practice, the difference between encomienda and slavery could be minimal.[1] Many natives were forced to do hard labor and subjected to extreme punishment and death if they resisted.[1] Queen Isabella of Castile had forbidden Indian slavery and deemed the indigenous "free vassals of the crown." [3] Slavery was often characterized by the geographical displacement of those enslaved and the breakup of communities and family units, but the encomienda in Mexico functioned to rule these free vassals of the crown via existing community hierarchies with the indigenous not forced permanently from their families, homes, and land.[4]
In the former Inca Empire, for example, the system continued the Incaic (and even pre-Incaic) traditions of extracting tribute in the form of labor.


Bartolomé de las Casas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bartolomé de las Casas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Arriving as one of the first European settlers in the Americas, he participated in, and was eventually compelled to oppose, the atrocities committed against the Native Americans by the Spanish colonists. In 1515, he reformed his views, gave up his Indian slaves and encomienda, and advocated, before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, on behalf of rights for the natives. In his early writings, he advocated the use of African slaves instead of Natives in the West-Indian colonies; consequently, criticisms have been leveled at him as being partly responsible for the beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade. Later in life, he retracted those early views as he came to see all forms of slavery as equally wrong.




Nassim NicholنTaleb on Twitter: "Evidence that Sunnis have a soft spot/"lack of motivation" w/ ISIS: Compare uproar for #Gaza vs reaction for #Kobane #Mosul & #Yazidis. Sick"

Nassim NicholنTaleb on Twitter: "Evidence that Sunnis have a soft spot/"lack of motivation" w/ ISIS: Compare uproar for #Gaza vs reaction for #Kobane #Mosul & #Yazidis. Sick"





Thought Experiment: Privatizing Public Schools? | The Libertarian Latina

Thought Experiment: Privatizing Public Schools? | The Libertarian Latina



This weekend I’m going to DC to debate the topic Resolved: Send Your Child to Public School.I’m looking forward to this debate, because most of the attendants are veterans of the public school system, and I want to hear the arguments in its favor. I myself never saw a day of public school; I attended an independent private school from first grade through high school graduation, and I shudder to think how my life would have been different if I had gone to public school for twelve years. I probably would have been fine, but I wouldn’t have had half of the opportunities I’ve had. I’m pretty sure I would never have considered a school like Wesleyan, let alone applied with confidence.
From my limited understanding of it, attending public school is good deal if you live in wealthy suburb in Long Island, Westchester, or in Hudson Valley. If, like me, you’re a black or Hispanic kid from Brooklyn and your parents can’t afford $40,000 a year tuition to private schools, you’re pretty much out of luck. Public schools in New York City are increasingly turning into drop out factories. Leaving school without a high school diploma is essentially signing up for a life of poverty and hardship. Some of the people can manage to lift themselves out of poverty’s rat race, but in many cases, it’s a road that leads to crime, incarceration, violence, and death.
Recent figures show black and Hispanic students are very far behind their white and Asian counterparts: in dozens of schools, not a single black or Hispanic child passed the statewide reading or math exams. This is a condemnation of the public school systems, but it also shows a lack of parental involvement. Are these parents reading to their kids at night, helping them with homework, attending parent teaching conferences? Probably not. Not all of this is the parents’ fault. Some parents don’t speak English and have to work all the time to put food on the table. But it’s also a question of priorities.
But what about charter schools or specialized high schools? Yes, schools like Stuyvesant and Bronx Science are terrific if you can get in and survive the pressure-cooker competitiveness long enough to graduate and get into a top college. But most black kids don’t get in; Stuyvesant admits fewer than ten black students per class. It may be a question of not applying because of a lack of skills to score well enough on the test, or low self-esteem to not even consider attending a prestigious school such as Stuyvesant. New York City has the most segregated schools in the country.
Here’s a thought experiment: what would happen if we privatized public schools? How would that affect black and Hispanic students?
I don’t have the answers to these questions. I’m not in education policy. I just know America is falling behind in the world, and children of color are falling behind even further and faster. And if you’re a parent with a child in school, regardless if they’re going to public or private school, you must read to your child in order for them to compete on on a global stage.
I’ll do a post-debate blog post to let you know which way the debate turns out.

‘Archer’ Drops ISIS: The FX Series Dumps the Spy Org’s Name in Light of Recent Events - The Daily Beast

‘Archer’ Drops ISIS: The FX Series Dumps the Spy Org’s Name in Light of Recent Events - The Daily Beast



It seems, on the surface, like a throwaway shot. During the premiere episode of the sixth season of Archer, FX’s outrageously funny animated spy series, spy matriarch Malory Archer (Jessica Walter) is seen speaking on the phone with her juvenile, coddled son. In the background, you can see two movers rolling out a large, circular blue ISIS sign.






Souhan: Vikings ship is sinking but next three games could be life raft | Star Tribune

Souhan: Vikings ship is sinking but next three games could be life raft | Star Tribune



The Vikings on Sunday honored the 25th anniversary of the Herschel Walker trade by pretending it was a national holiday and taking the day off.
They played as if they had again given away 13 players — this time, all of them offensive linemen.
Detroit’s front four so thoroughly whipped the Vikings line that you didn’t just fear for the safety of Teddy Bridgewater; you feared that Bridgewater, Chandler Harnish, McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Sean Salisbury would get hurt, too, and the Vikings would have to play Christian Ponder.
Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders canceled practice Sunday morning to bring his players to the Vikings game, so they could watch another offense that specializes in three-pointers.


Elvis Presley Fever 1960

Sunday, October 12, 2014

L on Twitter: ""I would stop being incompetent if you just gave me more money.” -Every government agency ever"

L on Twitter: ""I would stop being incompetent if you just gave me more money.” -Every government agency ever"

A NEW PLAN on Twitter: "Are more or fewer families at poverty level now than 5 years ago?"

A NEW PLAN on Twitter: "Are more or fewer families at poverty level now than 5 years ago?"





Susan Rice: Obama WILL NOT Reassess ISIS Strategy Even as Airstrikes Prove Ineffective

Susan Rice: Obama WILL NOT Reassess ISIS Strategy Even as Airstrikes Prove Ineffective



While everyone, their uncle, and their uncle’s cat told the Obama administration that airstrikes just weren’t going to be enough to defeat ISIS, they continue stubbornly to pretend that doing the politically safe option will keep America safe. Here’s habitual Sunday show liar Susan Rice to admit they are not reassessing their strategy at ALL:

Wyatt's Torch on Twitter: "Favoring a government limited by the roles enumerated by the Constitution is not "anti-government". @JoyAnnReid"

Wyatt's Torch on Twitter: "Favoring a government limited by the roles enumerated by the Constitution is not "anti-government". @JoyAnnReid"

ISIS pour reinforcements into border town of Kobane after Kurdish forces halt advance  | Daily Mail Online

ISIS pour reinforcements into border town of Kobane after Kurdish forces halt advance  | Daily Mail Online



Today the town has been described as relatively quiet apart from some sniper fire. 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2789845/isis-pour-reinforcements-border-town-kobane-kurdish-forces-halt-advance.html#ixzz3FwgpMjgk
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