Monday, September 22, 2014

The libertarian Supreme Court

libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute (a libertarian thinktank) had a recent podcast where they broke down the rulings from the last session of the Supreme Court.  Their conclusion was that this last round was pretty libertarian.  A good listen.

https://soundcloud.com/libertarianism/episode-44-the-libertarian-supreme-court

For more, visit their webpage at http://www.libertarianism.org/

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If you choose not to work, you are choosing not to get paid. Live with it.

You may remember the story of the two boys who murdered their parents.  One of the jurors, when asked why she voted to acquit, said she felt sorry for them, because they were orphans.

Apocryphal?  Probably.  But this story illustrates a larger point, that as a society we frequently separate the causes and effects of people's actions.

I live near the Canadian border and so have been hearing regular updates on the British Columbia teacher's strike.  Yesterday a deal was reached and the hosts on a local radio station were talking about it.  The money quote was "It doesn't matter how they got here, you just have to feel bad for the teachers who haven't been paid since June. They have mortgages and families, they are spending their savings and retirement funds". 

The problem is that it absolutely does matter how they got there.  If you choose to go on strike for three or four months, you have made the decision to not get a paycheck.  No one else has put you in or contributed to your situation.  You and you alone are responsible.  If you are not happy with what your employer is offering you have two choices.  Find a different job or wait it out in an extended strike.  If you choose the second, let's not have any pity parties about how we have to feel sorry for the poor workers who haven't gotten paid in three months.  That was their choice.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Postmodern Jukebox

Pop music is crap.  I think we can all agree.

Or maybe, as Scott Bradley would say:

by simply altering the context of such songs, I could find quite a bit of artistic merit inside of them.
So with thanks to Captain Capitalism for keeping me entertained for almost an hour, here are my two favorite videos by Postmodern Jukebox, sung by the lovely and talented Robyn Adele Anderson.

First,We Can't Stop by Miley Cyrus, in 1950's doo-wop style.



Next, Gentleman by Psy, re-imagined in 1920s Great Gatsby style.




Rogue teacher

School started nine (week)days ago.  I have been teaching five classes of young minds mathematics for the past nine (week)days.  Nothing unusual here as this has been my September for the past nine years.  The difference is that I started this year without a teaching certificate.

Oh, I applied for one.  My certificate expired in June but so long as I am enrolled in the Professional Teaching Certificate program I can get an extension.  I am and so I applied for the extension. 

Waited. 

Waited. 

About the middle of August, with the beginning of the new school year looming I called.  Their message says they only answer the phone in the afternoons.  I called in the afternoon.  Their message says to leave a message.  I left a message. 

Waited. 

Waited. 

Never heard a thing.  Well, since I like having a job I kept my mouth shut.  Figured the district office would follow up on this since they knew my certificate was expired.  Meanwhile I keep teaching.  The lack of a piece of paper doesn't, of course, mean that I suddenly don't know what I am doing.

Waited. 

Waited.

Finally I start to get nervous.  I don't want the school to just suddenly find out that I don't have a certificate.  I don't like to blindside people.  Went and talked to my Principal.  He (after the obligatory doubletake) makes some phone calls.  Later that day he comes in and hands me a photocopy of my renewed certificate.

Great.  Thanks.

Yesterday in the mail I get a copy from OSPI, mailed on the 10th, the day I went and talked to my Principal.

Seriously?  They allegedly issued this on August 15th but didn't bother to tell either me OR my school district that I had a valid certificate until a week and a half into the school year?  Doesn't sound to me like they are particularly concerned so I wonder why I should be.  Maybe they know as well as I do that state certification is a scam, that school districts are perfectly capable of choosing, vetting, and hiring the people they want teaching their kids without an expensive and time consuming state run process.  Maybe they know that the whole process is a way for the state to justify their bloated budgets and bureaucracies.

Ray Rice or Benghazi?

Ray Rice or the IRS scandal?

Ray Rice or Fast and Furious?

Ray Rice or NSA eavesdropping?

Ray Rice or Justice Department targeting of conservative journalists?

Ray Rice of the suspension of the ACA by Executive fiat?

Ace of Spades points out that there appears to be more outrage on the Left about Ray Rice's two game suspension than over any of the scandals of the Administration over the past six years.

Democrats are more concerned about the NFL and Ray Rice. IRS scandal? Benghazi? Fast and Furious? Nope, no interest there. Dead Americans and corruption don't interest Democrats unless it involves a Republican. Funny I haven't heard these same Democrats going after the judge and prosecutor that allowed Rice to plead to a misdemeanor but threw the book at this woman for a firearms violation.
Here's a fun thought exercise. What if the NFL drags out its investigation into the Ray Rice thingy for 491 days like the IRS scandal? Would that be acceptable to Democrats as it has been for all other scandals involving this administration?

This and more at Ace of Spades.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Post deleted because it was poorly written and rambling.  So here's the takeaway:

If you haven't seen the anime Avatar: The Last Airbender, see it.  If you don't have it on DVD or download, get it.  If you don't, you are missing out.

Oh, and there's a sequel.  The Legend of Korra.  Set one hundred years later (apparently).  I'm rewatching Avatar then I'll be watching Korra.

Nuff said.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

$15 minimum wage? Take this!

Since it came up recently in the comments section on a previous post, here is what I believe will be the most likely result of the $15 minimum wage movement for fast food workers.

At McDonalds:





At Burger King:




At Jack in the Box:



And San Francisco company is working on a machine to make burgers.

The left, of course, is already starting to whine about the loss of jobs this will cause and suggesting that we need laws to require a minimum number of employees at companies, as well as "living wage" expanded welfare programs.