Monday, November 12, 2012

Petitions and Relevance

The Examiner has a story about citizens petitioning for states to secede from the Union because Obama won. Sure, the people are all complete nutjobs who want to register a protest without any thought to what would happen if they somehow, improbably, succeeded. Sure, there are mental patients in every state who believe that Obama is conspiring with foreign countries and is secretly a Communist/Socialist/Dictator. (I'm looking at you, Donald Trump) There are more people who believe they are a firetruck.

Look at the numbers here and declare yourself surprised that this many people signed a pointless, doomed petition. Louisiana, 7,358; Texas, 3,771; Florida, 636; Georgia, 475; Alabama, 834; North Carolina, 792; Kentucky, 467; Mississippi, 475; Indiana, 449; North Dakota, 162; Montana, 440; Colorado, 324; Oregon, 328; New Jersey, 301 and New York, 169.

Get over it, people.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election cost perspective.

Sure,  $2.6 GBucks is a lot to spend for an election ... but the US spent $4.6 GBucks on chewing gum in 2011.

From NYTimes:
From makeshift voting sites in East Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy to the more typical voting booths set up in school gyms, libraries and town halls across the rest of the country, people began lining up before dawn to cast their ballots — collectively writing the ending to a bitter, expensive presidential campaign in which the candidates, parties and well-heeled outside groups were on pace to spend some $2.6 billion

Oddly, if you follow that link, the next article is headlined
"Total Cost of Election Could Be $6 Billion"
The total cost of the 2012 election could reach $6 billion, according to estimates from a leading research organization, which would obliterate the previous record by more than $700 million.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Factor Diagrams

Factor diagrams have been making the rounds and I was struck by this one from Brent:

Is it just me or should the diagrams for 15 and 45 be a blue pentagon with surrounds?

Still, it's cool.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Types of Homeschoolers

This rant was sparked by the comment described below about World of Warcraft.  Ignore it if you choose to, but I felt like a little rant was in order.

I figure that you can raise your kids in whatever fashion you feel appropriate within the limits set forth by the Division of Youth Services and the standards of human decency.  As long as you don't slip over into abuse or negligence, it's probably none of my business to tell you how to raise your kids.  And no, spanking isn't abuse. Schooling is one of those parental choices.

In my experience, homeschoolers' reasons fall into three basic categories.
  1. Those who feel they can do a better job.  This parent is usually well educated and has the ability to spend the time necessary to do the job right.  Sometimes, this is a work-from-home parent who can work from some really neat places, so they travel a lot and take their kids on a grand tour of the world. Perhaps the child is truly superior and the parents are nurturing that ability and don't want their child to slow down in any way. These people I have no problems with ... take your kid out of school ... he'll be fine and go to a decent college (or not) and live a good life.
  2. Then there are the religious reasons. These range from "the public school is too permissive and my kids are going to learn about all those horrible things and start doing drugs and forget about God" to a simple desire to have theology classes and a more spiritual approach to life.  This group, I have no problems with ... raising your kids in a closed environment probably isn't the best idea for psychological development, but it should be a choice that parents can make for their kids. Living a more religious life among the Heathens is a choice.
  3. Then there are the assholes, the parents who "homeschool" for asinine reasons. These are the ones who take their kid out of school so he can play Guitar Hero "professionally" or who sign the papers and let the kid sit at home all day long or make him go to work for the family business because they don't want to pay a real worker. I'll include here the racist clowns who "homeschool" because they don't want their kids in a building with "spics and niggers." (A friend of mine was visiting his nephew and noticed them playing World of Warcraft early around noon.  He asked who everyone was and was told that they were all Texas kids whose parents didn't want them in public school for that reason ... although on WoW, they can't use that language, so they have to say 'S&Ns")
Of course, none of these reasons justifies the "voucher" idea. If your town opens a public school for all of those who wish to take advantage of it, it shouldn't have to pay to send your kid somewhere else.  If you want to buck the group and get something special, I think the town/state should allow you to do so and not make a fuss beyond asking for a description of the curriculum/syllabus, but you need to provide that something special at your own cost.