Thursday, April 28, 2011

That Scheming Obama

Now I'm not a huge conspiracy theorist. I'm not. But the theory I heard that the reason Barack Hussein Obama released his "long form" birth certificate was solely to keep the "birthers" going and to keep Trump as the top GOP candidate is... a good theory.
And if Obama weren't from Chicago maybe I'd dismiss it.
But this is politics, and if making your opponent look terrible by releasing a birth certificate can be done, it will be done.
The Orly Tait's of the world (sp?) will never be mollified, but that's not the point. The point is that the great swath of "independent" voters think those people are nuts. Perhaps... because they're nuts.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Sum-up of Everything

Roger Ebert on Ayn Rand's political philosophy:

"I’m on board; pull up the lifeline."
The left in America is doing a lot of whining about Barack Obama. I still feel what John Rogers says about it is true.
[Before the election]
Republicans: Jesus, you're just voting for Hopey McChangey because he's a great speaker and he's promising unicorns and rainbows of change.
Democrats: How condescending. No, I'm voting for Obama based on his stated policy goals and his deliberative nature. We are, after all, the reality-based community.
[After the election] 
Ultimately I shouldn't even have a political blog. Why? Because I basically agree with everything John Scalzi says. Here he is on the budget compromise.

Obama’s smart enough to know that what he’s going to get out of Congress with this will look nothing like what he proposes, but I wouldn’t mind too terribly if it was close to it eventually. We’ll see where everything goes from here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Barack Obama, the Best President Ever

The left in America do a lot of complaining about Barack Obama. This is, to me, the same kind of complaining they did under Bill Clinton. Somehow, to the left, Barack Obama is "exactly the same" as the GOP. Yet somehow to the GOP he's a socialist Marxist.
Obviously, somebody's wrong here. Let's find out who.
Oh look, it turns out neither of them is right.
Back in the deep, dark, distant past (and by that I mean the early 1990's) I was reading the English translation of a French Trotskyist newspaper. I'm paraphrasing but it said something to the effect of "While we applaud (French President) Mitterand's elimination of the debt to France by the world's 20 poorest countries, we believe he should eliminate the debt of all third-world countries should be eliminated."
Could you fathom anyone on the American left saying that about a Democratic President?
"Although we appreciate the President keeping us out of World War Freakin' III, we believe he should also blah blah blah whatever." Nope. Even moving us off the brink of another arms race and possible nuclear holocaust doesn't get him any points at all.
I mean seriously -- do you really think we'd have been better off with President John McCain and Vice-President Sarah Palin? Or do you forget just how bad the G. W. Bush administration really was?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Solve All Education's Woes

I have a guaranteed way to fix the US education system.
The system I have is guaranteed to work. Every student will be brought to his or her potential. We can have tests to prove the students have/can learned anything we as a society think they should.
And the system is unimpeachable. No reasonable person can say it wouldn't work. Because it will. Absolutely. Work.

You're saying to yourself "That's mighty big talk, Mister. What's the downside?"

Well friend, I'll tell ya. We can have all those things we want. Calculus in the 8th grade. Kids all know French and Latin and Chinese before their second year of High School. Whatever we want. The sky's the limit.

What do we have to do?

Make the average size of a public school class 6.

That's right. All we need to do is make the average size of all the elementary, middle, and high school classes, six students.

There is absolutely no doubt it would work. We would have the best education system in the world.

"Oh" you whine "But the cost!"

You are a whiner.

Let's look at the costs:

How many teachers do we employ in the US?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of teachers in primary and secondary schools in the US is about 3.5 million.
How many kids are in school?
There are 47.7 million primary and secondary school students according to IES.
So that's about 13 teachers/student. But the average class size is almost 24 according to The New York Times.
According to the Republicans, teachers cost about $100,000/year with salary and benefits. If we were allowed to do accounting in education, we'd either divvy up the total number of students by how much the whole system costs (which, according to the IES, is $562.3 billion.) So let's say we need to actually triple the budget in order to get down to 6 students, on average, per class.
Or, perhaps wishfully, let's think in terms of 1.5 trillion dollars. On education.

Yup. Thinking this way, education will cost 1.5 trillion bucks. Per year. And all we'd get out of it are kids who can do math and read critically and know more about science and the world.

Sure, there are people who are actually against kids knowing that stuff. And a lot of them have been elected to position of great importance in inverse proportion to their own ignorance.

But I'm just saying: you wanna reform schools? There's a way.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Go Ahead, Privatize It

The House Republicans want to "privatize" Medicare? Do you smell that?

Sniff sniff.

It smells like doom.

Remember how well privatizing Social Security went? Exactly.

The Tea Partier's ideology is such that they'd love to take away all "entitlement" programs. That is, without somehow telling anyone what entitlement programs are. Yeah, I'd love to be running against someone who is promising to privatize Medicare.