Obama Makes Me Laugh

September 21, 2009

Alright, in my last post, I might not have given Obama enough credit. He really *does* want to make us safer. He decided to prove it this week by choosing to extend the Patriot Act.

I'm slightly confused.

The Patriot Act, widely hated by liberals and seen as a negative result of Bush’s presidency, gives the government authority to wiretap phones and watch ‘lone wolves,’ who are individuals with no known ties to terrorist groups.

In fact, Obama just happened to be one of those Patriot Act hating liberals, saying that the act was “shoddy and dangerous” and saying, and I quote, “Yes, I would vote to repeal the U.S. Patriot Act.”  Repealing and extending tend to be opposites.

This would have been the perfect opportunity for Obama to show that he is taking steps to change Bush administration policies, as the Act was up for renewal anyway, without looking like he’s going out of his way to eliminate Bush’s policies. Whatever you think about the Act, or Obama, I think we can agree that this makes little political sense.

Advertisements

Obama Makes Me Smile

September 21, 2009

Guess who suddenly wants to be cost effective? Mr. O-We-absolutely-need-a-trillion-dollar-healthcare-plan-Bama. So, in order to do this, he’s eliminating a missile defense system that he called into action in early July when North Korea made their yearly threat to wipe us off the map. Of course, we must assume that’s why he’s doing it. The other possibility is that he’s doing it to appease Russia. 🙂

Here’s what he says…

To put it simply, our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s allies. It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it sustains and builds upon our commitment to protect the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats; and it ensures and enhances the protection of all our NATO allies.

Which of course implies that the new system will be safer than the old one…even though Russia was freaking out about the old one and enjoys this one. It seems that for once Russia had our best interests at heart.

We’ve also repeatedly made clear to Russia that its concerns about our previous missile defense programs were entirely unfounded.

Oh. I get it. They were worried about the old system, so we told them not to worry…and then went ahead and changed the worrisome system…all in order to make us safer.


Giving Republicans a Bad Name

September 17, 2009

Right now, conservatism is growing in the population even as the GOP’s popularity is shrinking. The fault probably lies in people like this.

NO, not people who attempt to take picture while driving. Though if you happened to be behind me in the turning lane when I was attempting to take this picture, sorry.

The fault lies in Right Wing Nut Jobs who claim that 9/11 was the wrath of God, etc. etc. The GOP does not need to inherently change its principles, after all the US population has  been more conservative in recent history, except for a break near the 2008 elections. They simply need to rid themselves of the crazies. The Democrats send their extremists to the Communists, the Republicans don’t really have a place to send their loons.

The problem is that the Republican party is divided between social liberals and conservatives. The social liberals are technically Libertarians (like myself) but of course they vote Republican. Furthermore, there is not strict definition of Conservatism. If a thirteen year old kid can write a book about what he thinks conservatism means, the concept is obviously very loose. One party, the American Conservative Party, says that being socially liberal is a key part of being conservative.

So the problem is that a small sect of social conservatives are religious fanatics, we could call them the Extreme Religious Right (ERR), and these people should really have their own party. Now don’t get me wrong, I do realize that the Objectivist Party and the Libertarian Party would probably be better off running one candidate, and that the Socialist Workers, the Socialists, and the Socialist Equality Parties might have a lot to chat about.   But the ERR has no true party. If Republicans could remedy this, that is to say form a branch party for the ERR, they might lose some votes, but they could improve their overall image.

Now all that’s left to do is name the ERR party. Any ideas? 🙂


Anti-Obama vs. Anti-Black

September 16, 2009

O’Reily brought it up last night. CNN brought it up this morning. And now we all must wonder: are Republicans Anti-Black or Anti-Healthcare Reform?  And the answer, according to our highly esteemed former President Carter is that they are racists. And it’s not that  just some of them are racist, it’s that an overwhelming portion of them are racist.

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African-American. I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shares the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African-Americans.”

“That racism inclination still exists, and I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of belief among many white people — not just in the South but around the country — that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.” –Carter’s quote pulled from CNN

This seems ridiculous. Republicans were against healthcare reform when Preisdent Clinton brought it up….but of course it is illegal to call the President a liar, as poor Joe Wilson found out, so we are forced to conclude that President Clinton was secretly black.

frame

Yes, this is supposed to be blank.

Here is where I would normally insert some sort of humorous picture depicting Clinton as a rapper…but now that my racist identity has been revealed, some people might assume that I think all blacks are rappers.

Of course, this is simply preposterous. I *know* that all blacks aren’t rappers! If all blacks had that kind of money, we wouldn’t need a wealthfare system. 🙂


My CSAP (No Child Left Behind) Scores

September 15, 2009

Okay. So in following my new policy of occasionally trying to write about things that I actually have some, however limited, experience with, I’d like to talk about No Child Left Behind. In Colorado, NCLB made it necessary to take the CSAPs for every year from third to tenth grade. Last year the testers realized that they were sending us meaningless numbers every year, and I got a nifty copy of all of my scores from sixth to tenth grade, on a scale that compared them. So, here they are. (Click on the image to see the whole thing)

CSAP scores

You may be wondering what on earth happened to my reading scores in 9th grade or my 10th grade math scores. I’m wondering the same thing. In fact, I don’t even have a clear idea of how well I did compared to anyone else. For all I know from the scores, I could have been the worst person tested in the entire state. Beyond that, I’m not really even sure how well I did compared to myself.

To attempt to put some of this into perspective, 10th grade was the year I got a 5 on the AP Calc BC test. Yet my math CSAPs went down. Does that drop mean that my math skills failed me, or that the test was harder? Or is the difference within some sort of range of error? I also can’t explain why I was allegedly better at reading in 8th grade than any other year. It’s kind of…sad. Maybe I cared more.

Now let’s pretend that my scores are the average scores for the school. Luckily, most of the students got advanced on their CSAPS. Yet the school probably did *not* make AYP, or adequate yearly progress. The way it works, the school must either decrease the percent of people who did not make proficient by ten percent, or meet a performance goal where the eventual target is to have 100% proficiency in math and reading by 2014.

Cherry Creek High School, my actual high school, a very high performing school, did not make AYP in reading or math. Probably because it is impossible to get everyone to proficiency, and as the school already has about 86% of its students at the required level, it can’t raise this by 10%. The school still received a rating of excellence.

Schools are also required to break down results by race and socioeconomic group. At Cherry Creek, 90% of Whites were proficient or advanced, compared to 49% of Hispanics, 59% of Blacks, and 80% of Asians. Every single one of the groups had worse scores in ’07 than ’08, but not by very much.

In general, we can see that these sorts of standardized tests do not make much sense for individuals (like myself) or for schools because minorities can get left behind even in the best of schools and without adversely affecting the ratings. We can also see that AYP doesn’t make very much sense.

All that I’ve been able to conclude from this (other than the obvious that NCLB needs some work) is that my public education has failed me. 😛


The VMA’s: This World is Just Crazy.

September 15, 2009

So Kanye just has to storm the stage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech where she is receiving the award for best female video for “You Belong with Me” and say that Beyoncé had the best video ever. Fine. Whatever. He’s like that. Then he apologizes and she sort of accepts the apology and blah, blah, blah. If you really care, you can read the full story here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or here. Or you can just Google the issue and check out any one of the other 36.X million other results.

So what, about all of this, bothers me? Why is this featured in my blog today? Because the similarities between the following two songs have been bothering me for a while and now seems like an excellent time to mention it. 🙂

Girl Next Door by Saving Jane.

Here’s Swift’s for comparison.

Huh.


President Obama’s Speech on Health Care: Notable Quotes

September 9, 2009

These quotes do a pretty good job of summing up the interesting points of the speech. Obama also says the things that he’s been saying about how his plan won’t help illegals, no one will have to change their insurance if they like it, and that there will be no death panels. Another thing to note is that I’m decently sure I heard a Republican shout that Obama was lying during the speech, around the time when he was talking about benefits to illegals. I’m sure more about this will some up in the news tomorrow, but if you have a guess as to who said it, please comment.

If you’d rather take the time to read the transcript of the speech, it’s here, done by the Anchorage Daily News.  I will post analysis of these quotes later tomorrow.

“it will be against the law for insurance companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition”

“And insurance companies will be required to cover, with no extra charge, routine checkups and preventive care”

“Now, even if we provide these affordable options, there may be those – particularly the young and healthy – who still want to take the risk and go without coverage…such irresponsible behavior costs all the rest of us money.”

“Insurance executives don’t do this because they are bad people. They do it because it’s profitable”

“the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects…But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits…it could provide a good deal for consumers”

“I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period.”

“Part of the reason I faced a trillion dollar deficit when I walked in the door of the White House is because too many initiatives over the last decade were not paid for – from the Iraq War to tax breaks for the wealthy.”

“we’ve estimated that most of this plan can be paid for by finding savings within the existing health care system – a system that is currently full of waste and abuse…Reducing the waste and inefficiency in Medicare and Medicaid will pay for most of this plan. Much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers”

“So don’t pay attention to those scary stories about how your benefits will be cut – especially since some of the same folks who are spreading these tall tales have fought against Medicare in the past”

“Add it all up, and the plan I’m proposing will cost around $900 billion over ten years”

“I don’t believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs”