Thursday morning Open Thread

One of my children had technical difficulties with a project (it hadn’t occurred to her to download a trial video editor software that she needed for a project), so I’ve been up quite late putting that project to bed. That’s okay — it’s why I’m the grown-up and she’s still a teenager.

But, as I said, I’m up quite late. I always have insomnia after working late, so I don’t expect to have anything approximating a good night’s sleep. My current plan, therefore, is to get the kids and the spouse out of the house tomorrow morning and then to gather the dogs around me and to try to go back to sleep.

If this plan works, it’s unlikely that I’ll be at my computer before 11 or noon, so please use this as an Open Thread. If this plan doesn’t work, I’ll be at my computer early, but probably writing gibberish. Years ago, I got too old for all-nighters. I’m now too old even for half-nighters.

One of the subjects you might find interesting is Paul Ryan’s budget deal with Patty Murray. Since he’s reputed to be smart and she’s reputed to be dumb as a post, I’m struggling to believe that there must be more to the deal than meets the eye. Here’s how Ryan explains it.

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  1. JKB says

    Ran across this the other day from the Adam Smith Institute 
    The minimum wage’s ugly allies | Adam Smith Institute 
    What strange bedfellows the minimum wage increase makes.  But one wonders, is the use of the min wage to keep the immigrants out of the job market just a conservative ploy?  Or when combined with immigration amnesty is it part and parcel of the Democrat plan to create a new dependency class to mine for votes?  They’d sure hate to got to all the trouble of getting these people legal status then have them go off and achieve the American Dream and stop voting as a monolithic block.

  2. JKB says

    Here’s another column on the minimum wage
    It points out that we’ve moved away from the job/hours killing minimum wage as the means to provide assistance to the lowest paid wage earners to the EITC.  The EITC is a better mechanism since the assistance goes to families and not middle-class teenagers living at home.  Not to mention the EITC doesn’t incentivize away from offering low skill jobs that provide not only training but validation of the employee’s most important job skills, i.e., that they show up and are punctual.  In short, reliable, which while discouraged by the Progressive education has been show to be key to success in both school and work.  
    The recent hubbub about international education comparisons had a much overlooked gem
    The analysis found a strong correlation between higher test scores and students’ school attendance and punctuality. But it found a low connection between class size and test scores.

  3. lee says

    I recall reading somewhere that the country where the kids seem to the best (I think it was one of the Scandinavian countries, and this was some years ago), had average classroom sizes of 30 to 50 children. My vague recollection was also that rote memorization was used a lot. Not fun or sexy, but it does work.

    • JKB says

      Memoriter method works if your goal is game show education.  Much of what our instructional system emphasizes is quick response of isolated facts, but, that is not education.  
      The way pupils study, depends on what is emphasized. The methods that are best to develop a sound knowledge of geography in pupils, will, as a rule, be the best to teach them how to study geography. The reason that mechanical memorizing is the main part of study in the elementary school, high school and university, is that reproduction is the primary thing required. If boys and girls find that the teachers’ questions ask for a reproduction of the text, they will memorize before thinking and without thinking. If, however, there is a thought question, it will cause them to organize and analyze the subject matter of the book, and then mechanical memorizing can not occupy such a prominent part.”

  4. Blick4343 says

    Re Budget deal.  I propose that taxpayers get a tax holiday if Congress cannot pass a budget and the President does not sign a Budget by October first each year.  NO BUDGET, NO TAXES.

  5. Mike Devx says

    There’s a place for rote memorization.  You need facts to back up your analysis.  If you lack facts, you’ll end up analyzing yourself into believing in things like global warming.
    Concerning the Ryan budget deal…  All you have to do is monitor the media and liberals:  How are they behaving?  If they are throwing complete fits, are in total hysteria, and are calling Republicans completely unreasonable and evil… then our GOP is doing its job.
    If they are relatively quiet, and are just grumbling a bit… then the GOP just got hammered and beaten like the proverbial red-headed stepchild.
    I’ll leave you to decide which just happened.
    Symbols matter.  Does this budget deal actually close even one agency?  Does it close down even one program?  If all it does it cut a few % pts here, and few other % pts there… then that is exactly what the Democrats want.  Especially when those cuts appear in the budget years into the future.  If you think even one of those future-year cuts will come to actually OCCUR, I have some ocean beachfront property in Kansas that I am just DYING to sell you, at a great price!

    • says

      That’s assuming the facts are true. What’s the difference between a student memorizing Lincoln being a Republican who fought against Democrat slavery and a student that memorizes Lincoln as being a Democrat? To the person unable to think, authority is their source of right and wrong, truth and fiction.
      Epistemology cannot be shortcut by relying on authority. It merely sets things up for the Left to come into power. The Left is a modern rendition of mind control over human beings. No traditional hierarchy or culture or nation has EVER been constructed to resist the Left’s invasion pathways. Because all traditional power structures are based upon Authority first and foremost.

  6. Matt_SE says

    If Murray is a nitwit as her reputation suggests, the Dems wouldn’t let her conduct the negotiations unsupervised.
    The deal wasn’t a disaster for us, but it wasn’t good. I’m guessing Ryan gave away a bunch in order to not have another budget showdown, which the Dems were itching for since they think they “won” the last one. This all for the thinking that the real changes would happen if Republicans retook the Senate in 2014.
    The problem with selling out so often is, if you eventually gain power you may not have any principles left by then. I think that was the problem the last time we had control.

  7. says

    Mike, the way they determine who gets cut is based on the social authority ladder. So the military and useful programs protecting citizens against crime are generally the ones that get the bulk of the cuts. This is used to enforce bureaucratic loyalty to the regime. Thus budget cuts are merely another Leftist power tool

  8. Katja says

    I came across this blog post, and thought you might enjoy it as well – “Obamacare and the Cold Equasions” .  Not that some of the things there haven’t been said before, but the science fiction story parallel there is pretty interesting, and serves as another illustration of math and eventually running into hard realities.  

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