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I could talk all I want. So could you. Let’s not waste that time but look at how the voters spoke instead….

The Right wing which calls those who speak to the other side “Republican in name only”, lost very big.

Americans blame them for the shut down. Rightly so because it was all caused by them. That hatred towards authority, manifested in a loss for Tea Party candidates across the nation.

A Democrat won Virginia, a republican state. Looking at Virginia’s House of Delagate races which almost all went Republican, shows Virginia was not anti Republican. but anti-extremist….

One might expect Republicans to loose all the way around. Not Christie. Though hated by extremists for hugging Obama after Hurricane Sandy, it apparently did well for him. As a Republican he has an overwhelming majority in a Democratic state….

Because he is not an extremist, voters rewarded him with another term.

Some may try false spin. but if anyone gets outside their bubble, they will quickly know that Americans don’t want extremists. They want people who like after a championship game, shake hands, and drop all animosity….

People who act like Ted Cruz are a joke. The tribe has spoken.

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I sometimes forget that people really don’t understand the financial markets as well as they should.  That’s very understandable.  I don’t understand everything it takes to build a road, as much as I should. 

There are so many things to know; we can’t know everything.  When I posted a message about getting out of the markets, I received a comment that reminded me that not everyone was up to par on what is about to happen and how that will affect them.  

Here is why getting out now is a good thing, and why staying in “for the long haul” is a bad thing.

Assume you have $10,000 in stocks.   If the stock market drops 40% as it is prone to do, it will be years before it gets back up to its level.  On the Dow Jones a 40% drop would be like going down to 9000 to give you an idea.  That can happen in a day, and with most IRA’s, you have to put your bid in one day and it comes out the next.  You could do it now, and if it crashes tomorrow still lose it all.

Which is why you should act today, Friday, and take a chance on Monday.

If you don’t.  here is what will happen.   That $10,000 could become $6,000 by next Monday afternoon.  But you are in it for the long haul, right?.  Again after 2 years of  awesome 30% growth,, that money-total of yours has again climbed up to $10,000.  No big deal you shrug. You were in it for the long haul. You lost nothing.

Now, the other side of the story.

You switch the $10,000 right now over to a Treasury bond fund.  There is not much growth, so it stays at $10000 for a while.  Of course, everyone else has lost 40% but you are steady.  

So when the market stops losing and starts bouncing back, you go in at the bottom. with your full $10,000.   After 2 years of 30% growth, you have $16,000.  Had you stayed, you only had $10,000.

That is why, both those who are smart and unsmart should get out of  the stock market now.

In layman’s terms its the equivalent of protecting your property upon notice that Superstorm Sandy is headed for Delaware’s shores.  You can take your chances that it will blow over and do nothing….. you could be right if you are very lucky.  or you could hedge your bets and with little or no expense, and just a tiny bit if effort, protect your assets from any damage that could occur…. 

Just saying that an economic superstorm of gigantic proportions is headed your way.

 

 

Just read that the NSA is pressing for a Justice Dept. probe to find out who leaked the PRISM plan to the Guardian…   I’m slightly befuddled.  Why don’t they just look in their files?  They have the records.

http://www.citypages.com/2011-02-23/news/inside-the-multimillion-dollar-essay-scoring-business/full/

Let’s assume I were to tell you to stop what you are doing, get up from where you are, go to the nearest outside door, open it and go outside, and look straight up at the sky… Then, return and tell me in 5 sentences what it was you saw, and I would rate you against my own personal preconceived notion of what you should have seen…

Oh, did I add,… if you didn’t guess the same as I, you’d flunk, possibly retake a year of school, you would not graduate, it would cause your teacher to get fired, it would close your school, and cause your district to lose funding… It’s all on you, babe.. You had better guess right!

I apologize for not thinking of this sooner… and getting it into the House and Senate committees before the voting of SB51… Those creative neurons just didn’t fire. It was afterwards that the thought occurred to me to find out where the tests were graded, search the local papers there, and find some exposé interviewing people who grade standardized tests.

The tests are graded in Minnesota, and in the Minneapolis City Pages, there it was… Written back in February 2011 by Jessica Lussenhop. .

Here are some excerpts:

DiMaggio had good reason to worry. His score could determine whether the school was deemed adequate or failing—whether it received government funding or got shut down.

DiMaggio soon learned that his boss was a temp like him. In fact, the boss was only the team leader because he’d once managed a Target store.

DiMaggio found out that the human resources woman who’d hired them both was a temp. He realized that their office space—filled with long tables lined with several hundred computer monitors and generic office chairs—was rented.

======

Eventually, DiMaggio got used to not asking questions. He got used to skimming the essays as fast as possible, glancing over the responses for about two minutes apiece before clicking a score.

Every so often, though, his thoughts would drift to the school in Arkansas or Ohio or Pennsylvania. If they only knew what was going on behind the scenes.

“The legitimacy of testing is being taken for granted,” he says. “It’s a farce.”

=====

In 2009, K-12 testing was estimated to be a $2.7 billion industry.  Today, it has almost doubled to a $5.3 billion dollars. Today, tens of thousands of temporary scorers are employed to correct essay questions. This year, Maple Grove-based Data Recognition Corporation will take on 4,000 temporary scorers, Questar Assessment will hire 1,000, and Pearson will take on thousands more. From March through May, hundreds of thousands of standardized test essays will pour into the Twin Cities to be scored by summer. Now scorers from local companies are drawing back the curtain on the clandestine business of grading student essays, a process they say goes too fast; relies on cheap, inexperienced labor; and does not accurately assess student learning.

——

As part of their training, Indovino and her co-workers read through pre-graded examples out loud, then discussed why each had been scored the way it was. The process quickly divided the room into two camps—the young, unemployed kids who were just there for a paycheck, and the retired teachers. “The retired teachers would argue everything,” says Indovino. All over the room, the teachers were raising their hands and disputing the rubric. Indovino preferred to keep her head down and just score the way she was told to. “I was good at the bad system,” she says.

—-

One student wrote, “Martin Luther King Jr. was a good leader.” With artfulness far beyond the student’s age, the essay delved into King’s history with the civil rights movement, pointing out the key moments that had shown his leadership.

There was just one problem: It didn’t fit the rubric. The rubric liked a longer essay, with multiple sentences lauding key qualities of leadership such as “honesty” and “inspires people.” This essay was incredibly concise, but got its point across. Nevertheless, the rubric said it was a 2. Puthoff knew it was a 2.

He hesitated the way he had been specifically trained not to. Then he hit, “3.”

It didn’t take long before a supervisor was in his face. He leaned down with a printout of the King essay.

——–

There were the students who wrote extremely well but whose responses were too short—in his mind he saw them, bored with the essay topic, hurrying to finish. Or the essays where the handwriting got rushed and jumbled at the end, then cut off abruptly—he imagined the proctor telling the frantic student to lay down his pencil on a well-written but incomplete response.

And there were the kids who just did what they wanted. Like the boy from Arkansas who, instead of writing about the most fun thing to do in his town, instead wrote a hilarious essay on why his town is terrible and how he wanted to burn it down and pee on the ashes.

“I wanted the kid to get the score they deserved,” Puthoff says of his time in the business. “But they want to put them in boxes.”

—–

Farley now understood the reasons why, when he’d been a scorer, his team leaders would tell the room he wanted to start seeing more 3s or 4s or whatever. Supervisors were expected to turn the test scores into a nice bell curve. If his room did not agree at least 80 percent of the time, the tests would be taken back and re-graded, wasting time and money. The supervisor would be put on probation or demoted. When Farley complained to a fellow supervisor about his problem, she smiled wryly and held up a pencil.

“I’ve got this eraser, see,” she told him. “I help them out.”

So Farley simply began changing Harry’s scores to agree with his peers’. The practice soon spread well beyond Harry. “I’d just change a bunch of answers to make it look like my group was doing a great job,” Farley says. “I wanted the stupid item to be done, and so did my bosses.”

——

That’s when the representative informed Farley that the rubric for her state’s scoring had suddenly changed.

“We can’t give this many 1s and 2s,” she told him firmly.

The scorers would not be going back to re-grade the hundreds of tests they’d already finished—there just wasn’t time. Instead, they were just going to give out more 3s.

No one objected—the customer was always right. “They get paid money to put scores on paper, not to put the right scores on papers,” he says. “They have a bottom line. Why anyone would expect anything else is beyond me.”

——

And I love this one… When Pearson was contacted for their take on this article, the spokespersons response was “why would anyone take a former employee’s view seriously.”

But then…. who would take the word of a spokesperson for a multi-billion dollar corporation whose profits mostly derive from its perceived legitimacy in honestly grading tests?

If you think testing scores are still real, you must read the whole article here. It crystallizes the problem perfectly, for in it you can see this is not the work of bad people. Just the efforts of a lot of people treading water desperately trying to keep their heads afloat….

But the point I am making and one that must be dear to every parent’s heart, … is this the best system to insure your child gets guided correctly through his life? Remember, this information will be shared and available to every future employer of his.

Is this adequate grounds for firing a teacher?
Is this adequate grounds for closing a school?
Is this adequate grounds for cutting funding to a district?
Is this adequate grounds for scrapping the 31st best(2012) educational teaching facility in the number one best teacher preparation country in the world?

According to Jack Markell, Mark Murphy, RTTT, Rodel Foundation, and 59 of all 63 state legislators… it is.

The Dow Jones fell 216 points or 1.6%.

Because of no new news on any movement by the Republicans in regards to the sequester.

We’re going somewhere with this.

Republicans legislators in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida have put forth bills to take urine from welfare recipients to test for drugs.

Seriously.  Some well known Republicans brag among themselves that they even want to hold the cup….

Ohio had this bill squashed last spring by their Governor.  It is back again in the form of a three county trial.

Virginia,  tried passing it last year but it was shelved because it would cost the state $1.2 million to implement while saving $ 229,000….

Florida did pass it and too, found out that so few tested positive, that the cost of the testing far outweighed any savings.  Plus, they are still being assessed for legal fees from the action being declared unconstitutional.

One would think Republicans would remember what doesn’t work.  But no.. Now Kansas and Ohio and Virginia have new legislation to redo the same problem….

I’m just curious,…. with only paltry savings on the indigent, why wasn’t this procedure proscribed when we lent big banks  an open line of credit to put themselves back on their feet?

Did we make AIG pee in a cup?  Did we make Bank of  America pee in a cup? Did we make Citibank pee in a cup? And why not?

I wonder how much cocaine those $4o million in bonuses bought?  Poor people don’t do coke.  They don’t have that kind of money.

Just imagine if testing positive could have save us $440 billion?

Since Democrats don’t legislate pee, it can only mean Republican do other things like fantasize  with pee when they are behind closed doors.  For if you didn’t love pee so much…. ugh, why would you even bring it up?

“I find it to be scary, creepy, it simply is not based on logic. I can’t relate to that kind of thinking.” Chief Johnson, Baltimore County Police Chief in response to Wayne LaPierre’s statement that entire military arsenals are needed to protect citizens from the police…

Protect citizens from the police…. Wayne LaPierre: Head of the NRA
From the police.

Draw you’re own conclusion. These guys are the sickest human beings we have ever had in the United States of America. These guys need locked up.

Fact, Alambama’s law is just the first.
Fact, Right to Work States are also anti-foreigner states.
Fact, Union states, have a more balanced approach to business.
Fact, laws passed by Alabama, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, and Utah, will apply to your executives as well as Mexican farm workers.
Fact, in Alabama, one German executive was detained from a Mercedes Plant, and one Japanese executive visiting a Honda plant, was picked up in a dragnet.. Because they couldn’t prove they were citizens (they weren’t), they were incarcerated.. In both those cases hush money and calls from the state executive, took care of the issues, putting the executives out of jail.

If you are a foreign company, thinking of building in any redneck state to save labor, there is a good chance you might find yourself in jail the next time you visit…

As they currently say in Alabama (while the crops rot in the fields…). “The Law… is the Law.” You would be safer building a plant in Venezuela where, yes, it could be nationalized, than you are in building in Alabama where you can’t visit… or find decent workers who will work for the prices you want to pay.

Move North. Safest place? Delaware.

i first saw him as a pig.

That was because the author who was telling me this story, was trying rather hard to portray him as just that…

Jauntily waving around a cannister of pepper spray, then without any visible remorse, spraying the poison down the line of tiny little students.

Another author, provides a video showing him patting a student on the back, joking with him and his mates, just two minutes before spraying that same student, arm locked with his peers, with the orange tainted poison….

That bothered me. That was unusual. The hillbilly in Deliverance didn’t show any camaraderie. The militia’s at Selma, didn’t show camaraderie before going on the attack. The police attacking in Berkley, didn’t have a jocular attitude upon swinging their batons.

No, this is different….

If you analyze the scene where the comes up to the student, pats him on the back, you can see the Lieutenant is a person enjoying being swept up in the moment. It is very hard to feel that Lieutenant Pike has gross animosity to students in general… He does not have any characteristics of a thug.

What most likely happened is that Lieutenant Pike, figured on his own, that since pepper spray is relatively harmless (which is why it is so often used; it has no long lasting effectual damage), the students who were locked arm in arm, would then be easier to remove, if they left on their own power. He also figured out that clubbing the students with batons, was not a viable option, especially when being streamed over so many cameras.

if you watch the video you can see that the officer in charge, later identified as Lieutenant Pike, seem to stand for a moment, head out, as if he knows what is about to happen. His life is about to change forever. He seems to be enjoying his time on stage.. pepper Sprays do not need to be shaken that much. The shaking serves as a relief of nervous tension, as well as an intimidatory warning; as if saying as one often does to one’s children: “are you sure you want to go through with this? This is your last chance.”

The other contingent of police officers then comes up to attempt arrests without pepper spray, (they don’t try very hard; pulling gently on only one females arm) but he waves them off.

He wslks to the center of the line, begings sprahing students until reaching he end .He returns back, still spraying crossing the center and spartying the other half, returning to the center wehre he stops spraying. Each Student only got sprayed two times.

MY EXPERIENCE: I personally have been sprayed with pepper spray in a training exercise, so I know exactly how it feels. This was not a tiny stream of spray that grazed my eye. It was a full blast pepper fogger spray that hit me square in the face from only a couple feet away. Having been in 1994, when pepper spray was relatively new to the market, you would think that it would not have been that bad. If you have ever bit into a really hot pepper, say a cayenne pepper, then you might know what hot is. Or if you ate the whole pepper even. Now lets grind up a whole sack full of cayenne peppers and put the juices into a spray bottle that has a propellant. Now imagine this stuff hitting you right in the eyes, mouth and nose. It not only burns these mucous membranes, but it feels as if your skin is on fire. Pepper spray is the real deal, and yet a non-lethal solution to protecting yourself.

Lieutenant Pike stops at a student, waves the contingent to come forward, and pulls a male student out of line, using no force he squats beside the student, and we can see other officers taking the student who go patted on the back, off the concrete in to the grass where he is turned over, bound and arrested. We can see the officer beside that student take out his baton, and later we see him re-sheath it. It does not get used. Instead we see officer Pike keep a reassuring hand on one student and a knee lightly pinning down another. He gets up, leaves those two students unattended, and goes back to the center of the corps.

Officer Pike then does no more arrests. We see him in the crowd still holding the cannister, and we see he doesn’t make any attempt to arrest any student. many of the students are turned over to into the custody of their friends who were watching from the sidelines.

Officer Pike comes across as more of a David Anderson than a Don Ayotte.

This is not someone who shouts “commie, pinko, fag.”…

My theory is that he’s simply enjoying his hour upon the stage. The theatricality of patting a former adversary on the back, establishing a rapport, of shaking the cannister abnormally long, (they’re made for pointing and firing at a moments notice under attack), of waving off the other contingent with broad motions, of then walking half a length before pressing the trigger, of then returning so the dose is even on all the students, of then when all the actors move in, knowing that his part is over, and pulling back and letting the others handle the arrest.

This is behavior from someone who has been a hero before, someone who knows fame is fleeting, and who knows that just doing what you have to do, is how you answer it…

I would conclude that there does not seem to be any driving hatred underlying Lieutenant Pike’s actions. I would conclude that Lieutenant Pike most likely thought the less damaging option presented to the police, the one with the least likely consequences, was the one he performed: using pepper spray to break up the line. Long term damage from pepper spray is by far less severe than even one billy club to the head. Damage from pepper spray is far less severe than even one billy club into the uterus. Both which were performed just days earlier on University of Berkley Students. Any smart person studying the videos of Berkley, trying to figure out the best possible way to break up such an action would quite rationally conclude, that first using pepper spray would be better for all those involved., including of course those officers who had to do the arresting.

I find this very disturbing.

I find that I, were I in Mr. Pike’s (now a civilian) shoes, would probably thought along the same lines.

This video shows authority cracking down on its own citizens protesting politely. It does not speak kindly of the former Lieutenant, Mr. Pike. Fortunately there was other evidence, which I hope, in the name of truth, sees the light of day……

We need to see Mr. Pike, not as a bad man, but as a very good man forced by a very bad society, to do something he can not afford to refuse. Just as every boss who gets told to lay of 20% of hie workforce, who knows it is wrong, who knows it is bad for society, who knows it is bad for the Bank of America, but who, by being tied to a paycheck, has no recourse but to follow through. must do what is ordered…. The good ones try to do it in a way that is least damaging upon those receiving it.

Originally I thought Lieutenant Pike was a pig. The real pigs are those who put him in that position….

If the wealthy had paid their fair share of taxes in the first place, this incident would never have occurred.

Everyone remembers Standard and Poors? They were the only credit rater to downgrade America’s debt during last summer’s debt crises. Of course the question arose in everyone’s mind, gee, why didn’t the other two follow suit, which upon investigation, it was proven that Standard and Poors made a miscalculation…

When confronted with details of that gross miscalculation by the Treasury Department, Standard and Poors, said.. “well, despite our having made a mistake, we are keeping it the erroneous rating intact.. ” …

If you remember, up until their announcement, the markets were surprising us by rebounding, over the positive discussion coming out of the political summit on Capitol Hill.

Expectation was that someone on their inside, had bet the wrong way and then, had to throw the race in order not to lose it all….

This time, the France episode was blamed on a computer error.

It said that in December 2010, it had placed its Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment (BICRA) for France on the company’s main Global Credit Portal.

They did this as a test, but eventually did not place the other country BICRA rankings on the portal.

When S&P on Thursday issued a new review of BICRA rankings, the ranking page for France on the portal automatically was made “N/A”, or “not available”.

That triggered emails to subscribers notifying them of a downgrade of France, which has a top-flight AAA rating, sparking short-lived havoc in the markets before S&P sent out a correction.

“The system mistakenly interpreted this change as a ‘downgrade’ and triggered a message to a limited number of subscribers who had signed up to receive e-mail alerts,” S&P said.

S&P has since reiterated France’s rating of “AAA/A-1+’ with a stable outlook.”

So, again, a generic programming mistake affecting only one country. And the downgrade came at just when the markets were rebounding at the news that Greece and Italy were fixing their problems,…

Did someone again, bet the wrong way?

One time could be an accident. But twice?

The supposed mistake contributed to the worst day for France’s government bonds since before the euro was launched in 1999.

Hmmmmm, now if someone just happened to KNOW this was going to happen…. Hmmmmm…

(Remember: It’s been twice.)

When countries start having their entire investment futures controlled by someone in the top 1%, it is probably time to begin changing the rules affecting that 1%… Don’t you think?