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In response to:

The Troubles with Common Core

Ed52 Wrote: Apr 21, 2014 10:44 AM
The common core standards are defensible; the actual implementation is not. The defenders combine the two and try to confuse the critics and give the media their talking points. The contracted cronies are businesses that control both the content of tests and the pool of remedial and coaching materials. It behooves the businesses to construct tests to guarantee mediocre to poor results in the beginning years so the remedial and coaching materials will sell well and will be proven to be invaluably beneficial over time as the subsequent tests will show. This factor get obfuscated when (a) political correctness drives the content and distracts from the larger intent and (b) people with no real world experience write answer choices that are vague or not mutually exclusive. The elitist educrats generally can't afford to ever admit error and will always ridicule suggestions of conspiracy.
Tax evasion is illegal; tax avoidance is a national sport. The true issue is the tax code created by Congress exercising its social engineering power to create the "loopholes" legally used by those who have the resources to pay people to advise them on how to exploit them. (Like the Kennedy Fiji Island trusts.) The headlines should be screaming about the existence of favoritism doled out by Congress, not the use of the loopholes by those who are aware enough to use them, regardless of the intended favored beneficiaries. In general, taxpayers don't make the rules they just have to play by them and the more rules are understood, the better the play. Speaking of which, employers should ask their accountants about IRS code section 274(j), another way to show appreciation by means of non-taxable (non-cash) awards.
In response to:

Why This Cold War Reboot is Different

Ed52 Wrote: Apr 17, 2014 11:02 AM
I'm a dinosaur who remembers when we had honorable adult statesmen as political leaders. Among the many who put the good of the country above personal power and wealth were Goldwater & Humphrey. They didn't agree on very much but they could meet for a drink and discuss issues - disagreeing without being disagreeable. They did agree on the greatness of America and it's position in the world and neither one hesitated to speak his mind to a president they thought was in error. A major difference is the President listened and understood, even if he did not agree the discussions added clarity to the issue and may have affected details. Obama is the first president without a traditional education in American History & Cultural Stories. The upcoming majority - those under 35 or so - are in the same situation. Truth, Justice and the American Way are rapidly being disregarded for the convenient, immediate and comfortable. Putin understands this better than most Americans.
The New Commandments for Successful Politicians: 1. Rely on people believing (a) the title of a law regardless of what's in the law and (b) the law is the ideal solution and works perfectly. 2. Rely on people not comprehending the size of a billion or trillion or realizing the 1,000 times difference ($3.25/person vs. $3,250/person). 3. Reduce everything to a slogan. Don't worry about what it means as long as it sounds good and promotes agreement. 4. Change education to superficially teach logic, math, literature, history and science. 5. Deny all absolutes - all statements & conditions are relative and subjective. 6. Use terms that allow the listeners/readers to interpret/understand that which is most favorable or comfortable for them. 7. Convince the majority that trying hard and meaning well is much better and more admirable than actually doing what you said you would do. 8. Rely on people thinking they don't understand the entirety of what you're saying rather than thinking you are talking irrationally or are living in some other reality. 9. Dismiss any unwanted but otherwise appropriate question as a nothing but logistical details and/or mere formalities. 10. Create programs, policies and situations that defer the responsibilities, duties and realities of traditional adulthood. 11. The prime (only) responsibility is to get re-elected. .
In response to:

Recovering America's Exceptionalism

Ed52 Wrote: Apr 16, 2014 11:18 AM
1. The former defenders of the Constitution were the press. There was no protest when a recent Executive Order trashed the 27th amendment. There will be less as the Constitution is looked as a biological "living document" subject to evolution and current whims. 2. Since we've stopped teaching history (and everything else) as real-life experiences to be learned from, as opposed to mistakes to be rueful of, society will be moved by guilt to correct the past instead of dealing with the present realities.
In response to:

Obamacare: Latinos Aren’t Buying It

Ed52 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 1:07 PM
Our Fearless Leaders have divided the primary group into sub-groups so they can better pander to cohesive voting blocs. The pandering leads to taking them for granted.
In response to:

Semper Sebelius

Ed52 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 1:03 PM
Our Fearless Leaders were never serious about the alleged reasons for the ACA. Sebelius looks like a loyal scape goat and might never have really been in the loop for decisions about what the program was or which campaign donors were to be hired to reinvent the wheel. This is shown by the actions of those "brilliant folks" who, in their infinite and righteous wisdom, not bothering to understand the complexities of the medical reimbursement systems, didn't bother to include input from the real, working providers - those that would actually perform "medicine" in the various formats available - probably because they would have added reality and other inconveniences to the plans. They also (a) confused health care with medical insurance, (b) disregarded any similarity between slavery and requiring medical professionals to provide services to any individual for whatever amount the government deems sufficient and (c) exempted themselves from negative aspects of the system. Furthermore, if the stated intent was true and a real, functioning system was desired then base models existed: both eBay and Amazon could create modified copies of their systems for the ACA - their robust, tested systems allow for a very secure environment with very high volume of simultaneous users shopping and paying for for third-party products. The additional data to be collected through adjunct modules would have been developmentally time consuming not only because of the security aspects and related testing surrounding a series of almost trivial processes and interfaces but because of the waits and delays caused by the bureaucratic entities at the other end of the interfaces . The roll-out would have been on-time, tested, within budget and functional.
2,000 times 7.25 = 14,500 /year. There a 2,080 hours in 52 weeks of a 40 hour work week. Even though it is true that corporate taxes are treated as an expense and passed along to the purchaser it is also rational to tax businesses. Taxing revenue instead of manipulated net profits reduces accounting and legal costs and allows for more attention to whatever business is being conducted. Changing the tax status of perqs increases taxes on those receiving the perqs. As far as "fairness" it is inherently fair to collect from someone with income of 30,000: 12% of (30,000 minus 14,500) and from someone with and income of 1,000,000 plus 50,000 in perqs : 12% of (1,050,000-14,500 ). 1.860 vs. 124,260. Earn 35 times more, pay over 66 times more in taxes.
In response to:

15 Examples Of "Liberal Privilege"

Ed52 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 11:34 AM
Re # 8 - the concept of explaining ideas or positions is anathema to a Liberal - they are merely promoting what "everybody knows" so no explanation is necessary. Only the ignorant refuse to enthusiastically welcome all those patently altruistic efforts that are done for "their own good".
In response to:

Obama and the Politics of Race

Ed52 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 11:25 AM
Not being called on a selective memory (or extreme ignorance) is an MSM gimme. A white AG named John Mitchell served time in prison. That's a bit worse than being asked questions one would rather not answer.
In response to:

Statistical Frauds

Ed52 Wrote: Apr 15, 2014 11:20 AM
Politicians reduce everything to a slogan and rely on an increasingly innumerate and scientifically illiterate population to react mindlessly to "sky is falling" pronouncements. They also rely on people not thinking or noticing contradictions - it's just too hard and it requires practice.
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