Archive for September, 2011

Bypassing democracy, the Democrat way

September 27, 2011 3 comments

Peter R. Orszag Director of the U.S. Congressi...

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It is typical of the elite to lose faith in the messy processes of democracy and the normal political friction of legislation. Without the intrinsic faith in the people (and the wisdom of crowds) its too easy for them to look for shortcuts.

For example, here is Peter Orszag, fresh from the Obama administration recommending less democracy and more “expert solutions”

Here is a Dimocrat governor considering a cessation of elections. It will of course be laughed off, but the message will be clear to many.  Sure its a joke.



Why trade?

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

Hamburg-090613-0336-DSC 8433-Hanseatic-Trade-C...

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have to trade because of the intellectual and emotional challenge and the satisfaction I get from trading well.

love to trade because I find it interesting, and it challenges me every day to discover who I am and what I can do.

like to trade because it combines my passions for action, research, intellectual challenge and adaptation.

Trading directly supports my personal and financial goals and rewards me for the time and effort invested compared to other things I can do with my time.

“Conclusions” about efficacy of Khan Academy

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Mark Guzdial‘s always thoughtful blog on issues associated with computer science education, and larger education topics, surfaces this discussion of Khan Academy efficacy.
My notes to self:
  • This is why Research is capitalized in Action Research
  • dont confuse activity with results.
  • understand the importance of experimental design and critical thinking about conclusions that may be fairly drawn from data

Using Khan Academy to teach the rich kids is just not impressive

Mark Guzdial | September 22, 2011 at 8:38 am | Tags: distance educationvideos | Categories: Uncategorized | URL

My PhD advisor, Elliot Soloway, has a blog on learning with mobile technologies. His most recent post is a dialogue about the excitement over Khan Academy.  It’s a fun-to-read and biting critique (more of the Wired article than Khan Academy itself).

Elliot: The Khan Academy clearly demonstrates that all one has to do is put out a bunch of engaging videos and bingo kids will watch them and learn. See, teaching is a snap; I told you so.

Cathie: The Wired article reports on two schools – Santa Rita Elementary and Egan Junior High, both in Los Altos, CA – that are successfully using the Khan Academy videos.

Elliot: Yes and the free & reduced lunch rate in each of these schools is 4%. On the webpage with that info, if you hit the button “show homes in the area around the school” you will see homes that range in price from $900,000 to $4,000,000.

Cathie:  Santa Rita Elementary is a “California Distinguished School” and has been designated as a “National Blue Ribbon School.” These schools are not your typical schools; these schools are not the troubled schools that one reads about.

Elliot: Using these already successful schools – and communities with parents who care deeply about education for their children to illustrate the value of the Khan Academy is a huge mistake. But apparently, Clive Thompson, the article’s author and the editorial staff of Wired Magazine can’t see the mistake.

Related articles

Robert Higgs on the connection between the private economy and property rights

September 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Jim Rogers echoes these sentiments when he describes his preference for investing in regions with more political stability

Here is Higgs on regime uncertainty

As I understand regime uncertainty, it has to do with widespread inability to form confident expectations about future private property rights in all of their dimensions. Private property rights specify the property owner’s rights to decide how property will be used, to accrue income from its uses, and to transfer these rights to others in various voluntary arrangements. Because the content of private property rights is complex, threats to such rights can arise from many different sources, including actions by legislators, administrators, prosecutors, judges, juries, and others (e.g., sit-down strikers, mobs).

Because of the great variety of ways in which government officials can threaten private property rights, the security of such rights turns not only on law “on the books,” but also to an important degree on the character of the government officials who administer and enforce the law. An important reason why regime uncertainty arose in the latter half of the 1930s, for example, had to do with the character of the advisers who had the greatest access to President Franklin Roosevelt at that time—people such as Tom Corcoran, Ben Cohen, William O. Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, and others of their ilk. These people were known to hate businessmen and the private enterprise system; they believed in strict, pervasive regulation of the market system by—who would have guessed?—people such as themselves. So, as bad as the National Labor Relations Board was on paper, it was immensely worse (for employers) in practice. And so forth, across the full range of new regulatory powers created by New Deal legislation. In a similar way, the apparatchiki who run the federal regulatory leviathan today can only inspire apprehension on the part of investors and business executives. President Obama’s cadre of crony capitalists, which he drags out to show that “business is being fully considered,” in no way diminishes these worries

Knee-jerk connected to the …nuclear football

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

What an artful turn of phrase, and one that I think captures the Perry phenomenon pretty well.

RICK PERRY has never spent any serious time outside of Texas, except for a five-year stint in the military. Nobody sent him off to boarding school to expand his horizons. He grew up in Paint Creek, where he graduated third in a high school class of 13. He went to the most deeply Texas of all the state’s major institutions of higher learning. He was a terrible student, but won the prized post of yell leader, the most deeply Texas of all possible Aggie achievements.

Categories: education, Military, politics

Political correctness come full circle

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment



There should be a lot of political correctness tap-dancing on this one.  Choose your side and start shaking. Whose race card will trump the other? in the battle between the Native Americans, descendents of slaves held by the Cherokee, self-determination, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Other peoples’ moral courage with your money

September 15, 2011 1 comment

Official biographic pic of the congresswoman

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Speaking truth to her own power as a legislator. Tirelessly finding ways to spend your money on her ideas.

CHICAGO (WLS) – A lot of reaction Wednesday morning to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky‘s interview with Don Wade and Roma.

Schakowsky said that Americans don’t deserve to keep all of their money because we need taxes to support our society.

LISTEN: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky joins Don Wade and Roma

“I’ll put it this way. You don’t deserve to keep all of it