Sunday, June 11, 2017

on voter ID laws

a perfect strike in politics is when you can do something that benefits yourself, hurts your opponent, and wrap that action completely within a banner of plausibility that you're doing it for a perfectly logical reason that is fair to all.

requiring an ID to verify identity, eligibility, and defend against fraud is an airtight logical idea; and i can't believe that any rational person would argue any different... ...conceptually.

that said, i think we all know that's not the issue. the fact that the gop targets money toward jurisdictions where voter ID laws will create the most impactful demographic voter suppression is well-documented. most of the time by sloppy republicans who *themselves* stupidly admit it on the record. seen it many times from different sources over the years. highly googleable.

  • republicans need to stop pretending this isn't actually a two-dimensional problem.
  • republicans need to stop pretending that there aren't hundreds of thousands of otherwise eligible citizens in a situation where obtaining a gov't ID is very difficult, too expensive, or in some cases nearly impossible.
  • republicans need to stop pretending that they're not secretly ok with this, while outwardly waving the banner of "you need to show ID, because we're fighting fraud".

why is it that republican proposed legislation is most often not much more than "we require ID now; tough".

you want to get *everyone* on-board with voter ID laws? here's how:

if we really care about liberty and justice for all, then the proposed legislation would look a lot more like "we require ID now; here's what you can use, here's how to get it, and here's where to turn if you get stuck".

i would hope that even "small government" conservatives would admit that there can't be many government services more valuable to spend tax dollars on than one that knocks down government-imposed barriers to participation. maybe some are doing this; i hope so.

Friday, May 12, 2017

on trump

please. my liberal friends. get past it. the electoral college works the way it should. we didn't elect a public servant this time. stop pretending he will act as such.

if you wanna play the daily news cycle "gotcha" game, president trump will give you more than you can handle, and you'll drown in it, and the right doesn't care.

here's what happened... to punish the professionally lobby-bought politician motivated by whoever lines their pockets the most, we elected a CEO. that's right--we wanted to see what happens when gov't by the people and for the people is run like a business. these first 5 months are just a taste. objectively defined ethical right and wrong are out, teamwork and loyalty are in.

of course director james comey had to go. if you pull the wagon against the president, you have to go. does that make trump a kim jong-un dictator? no. (close, but no)

look, i've been in the corporate world for almost 30 years. if you pull against the boss, you're gone, and you *should* be gone. the pro-business right wingers know this, because a lot of them are business owners who tightrope through life on nothing more than their ideas and grit and have others' livelihoods on their shoulders. they stick their necks out more than liberals do. try to understand them for a second.

but, ok, look, what we're going to learn from this presidency is that, while government can learn a lot--and i mean A LOT--from business when it comes to cost-effectiveness, what business will never understand (nor should it) is that government needs to protect the level playing field and infrastructure of our. entire. society. and act in the best interest of the PEOPLE. and this basic thought is something business is simply *not* designed to do, let alone understand.

business will NEVER act in the best interest of everyone. it ONLY acts in the best interest of the market and in trumps case, the winners. for example, if you read stories of chemical companies in west virginia dumping poison in rivers then using incorporation to shield themselves personally, going out of business to escape liability, then reforming as a NEW company with new poison to dump, you're smart enough to know that business will never act in the best interest of the environment as long as competitors are saving money by not doing so.

i don't blame trump for lying. all. the. time. i don't blame trump for saying whatever he wants to in order to gain the most in any given situation. anyone who's followed how he works knows that this is in his DNA. he has no foundational principles, no ethics, and no integrity. his objective is to win or create the perception of winning. this is what creates the highest gain for a businessman who is driven to gain the most in the shortest amount of time, for himself and investors and stockholders, then let bankruptcy laws (and the taxpayers) clean up the mess left after private profits have been captured. this is smart business, folks. this is what happens when we elect a CEO to run gov't like a business.

in 4 (or 8) years we will learn, and then of course, thankfully, the american political pendulum will swing toward a younger bernie clone. and we will remember the lessons we learn from the trump presidency for a long time. 20 years at least, until thanks to our education system we will forget history and let the pendulum have at it again.

bottom line, whether you're on the right or on the left, i'm going to do my american duty to ask you to THANK the other side for their strength. because i've spent a good amount of time in countries where ONE political party gains too much power for too many decades, and it never ends up well. (i'm lookin at you mexico).

the extreme of the left is european socialism (bad), the extreme of the right is fascist dictatorship (not good), the extreme of libertarianism is anarchism (which while attractive while pulling on a bong in a dorm, fails a few steps into the game). in the end, keep voting, keep acting, keep caring, and america will be fine.

i am a wildly social liberal, wildly fiscal conservative, and if you're like me there is no party for us. maybe time to step up(?)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

on STEM versus STEAM

artists are sneaky.

education in the STEM fields has for the past few years increased as a national priority. apparently we're not teaching enough science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in schools, from K-12, and not enough bachelors degrees in STEM fields are coming out of our universities. the problem is both the immediate needs of our job market, and the strategic long term productivity and innovation of our economy.

so... STEM gets a lot of attention. you know who that seems to bother? the artists.

are the arts important? of course they are.
when you build something, is design just as important as the engineering? of course it is.

the reason why it's STEM and not STEAM is not because the "hard" sciences are better than the arts, rather it simply comes down to supply versus demand.  the US imports a few dozen thousand foreign nationals every year, and most of them aren't artists.  they're engineers, scientists, math whizzes, and technology people.  they're not art history majors, sociologists, or those who do work in comparative literature.

  • STEM is important because our country creates more B.A. graduates than it needs.
  • STEM is important because jobs in the sciences and engineering should go to americans first, and there is a perennial shortage.

why do artists get butthurt when STEM initiatives don't include the "A"?

you really want to help arts education? fight for it on its own merits. everyone knows that the education that goes into what to do, why we're doing it, what it looks like, and how it functions is at least as important as the education that goes into the details of how it's built.

arts are important on their own. quit lumping it in where it doesn't belong.