Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Few Bosworth Questions

Gordon Howie contends that the felony charges against Annette Bosworth should be dismissed because everybody does it. Cory Heidelberger, who led the effort to show that Bosworth was not in the country when she claims she witnessed petitions being signed, takes issue with the Howie's claim.

I  grew tired long ago of the Bosworth circus. This political soap opera should have gone away before election day. In most normal situations, there would have been a plea deal. The lack of plea bargain prompts a few questions.

First, why hasn't a deal happened?

Second, has the prosecution offered a deal that Bosworth refused because the refusal helps her cause as a political martyr?

Third, did Bosworth offer to plea but prosecution rejected the deal for personal or political reasons?

Fourth, is it too much to hope for that a plea deal can be reached so that this political circus can finally end?

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Scripture And Song For The Week: Luke 12 Edition

Luke 12
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Quotation Of The Day: Courage In The Political Lions' Den Edition

From Representive Reverend Steve Hickey in the comments section at Dakota War College:
We blew through our 125th anniversary year with no acknowledgement that 10% of our population resents we are even here. It’s not okay native families are struggling in third world conditions within a couple hundred miles of our hundred million dollar sportsplexes and entertainment centers. It’s not okay native kids are killing themselves. If a similar suicide rate was for white kids it’d be front page news. A 15 year old native girl in our state hung her self in her own home and no one even noticed for two weeks. Spare me the decades old excuses why these are their problems not ours. Time for a South African style truth and reconciliation to commission lead the way out of the past into the future. We brag about our low unemployment rate but ignore it nearly triples when natives are factored in. It’s not okay we have states attorneys who brag openly how many natives they’ve put on the hill. We create criminals and then wonder why there are more of them.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Predictions For 2015 Legislative Session

1. There will be talk but little action on anything relating to education funding.

2. Social issues, especially marriage and abortion, will create memorable sturm und drang. More than one socal conservative will espouse the concept of nullification on the marriage issue.

3. Republicans may leave the inflation adjustment of the recently passed minimum wage initiative alone this session, but they will at a minimum lay the groundwork to remove it during the 2016 session.

4. Representative Mickelson will start working his fellow legislators to lay the groundwork for a 2018 gubernatorial run. 

5. Republicans will bury any Democratic efforts at Medicaid Expansion.

6. Over 45% of the legislation proposed by Republicans will be a cut and paste from ALEC model legislation. (As a side note, I probably hate plagairism worse than I hate bad legislation.)

7. Republicans will continue to claim South Dakota has an open government while they continue to caucus behind closed doors.

8. At some point near the end of the session Republican leaders will bemoan a tight budget and without any sense of chagrin or irony congratulate themseleves on increasing all "rainy day trust funds" to record levels.

9. Nothing will be done to correct the practices that allowed Benda/Bollen et al to lose millions in the EB 5 mess.

10. In order to the retain the ability to call other Republicans RINOS, some of the more "conservative" Republicans will form cabal with the expressed goal of ensuring that no legislation that has a Democrat as the prime sponsor will pass. Any Republican who votes for Democratic sponsored legislation including resolutions that praise motherhood, the flag, angels, and puppies will, of course be labeled a RINO.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

After a long hiatus, I want to wish all a Happy New Year. I hope to return to more regular blogging.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quotation Of The Day: Intelligence, Education, And Insults Edition

Indeed, the biggest insult to the intelligence of American teachers is the idea that their intelligence doesn't matter. “The teaching of A, B, C, and the multiplication table has no quality of sacredness in it,” Horace Mann said in 1839. Instead of focusing on students’ mental skills, Mann urged, teachers should promote “good-will towards men” and “reverence to God.” Teachers need to be good, more than they need to be smart; their job is to nurture souls, not minds. So Garret Keizer’s first supervisor worried that he might have too many grades of A on his college transcript to succeed as a high school teacher, and Elizabeth Green concludes her otherwise skeptical book with the much-heard platitude that teachers need to “love” their students.
Keizer is offended by comments like that, and he has every good reason to be. Do lawyers have to love their clients? Must doctors adore their patients? What American teachers need now is not love, but a capacity for deep and disciplined thinking that will reflect—and respect—the intellectual complexities of their job. It won’t do to simply strip away our insipid accountability systems and leave everything in the hands of present-day teachers, who are mostly unprepared for the tasks we have set before them. The US badly needs to design and develop an entirely different system of teacher education, stressing cognitive skills above all else. Anything less will leave our teachers languishing in “intellectual stagnation,” as Elizabeth Cady Stanton told Susan B. Anthony, and our schools mired in mediocrity.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wars And Rumors Of Wars: It's Still The Economy

I've just finished teaching a short Norse myth unit. Ragnarok is fresh on my mind. Coincidentally, PNR has an interesting post contending that Obama's foreign policy ensures a 21st Century World War. I have little doubt that there will be another war before my 80th birthday. Laying the blame on Obama's foreign policy which, by and large, is a continuation of the policies of previous administrations means that one should also blame every post Cold War President including Bush I, Bush II, and Clinton.

The reason for war will not be foreign policy. Writing a short post for The Week, William Falk sums it up well:
Wage stagnation — and the resulting erosion of the middle class — is this country's biggest problem. When hard work no longer produces upward mobility for workers who lack elite skills, America's implicit promise is broken. At National Review, conservative Maggie Gallagher complains that "for more than a decade Americans have been losing ground financially, and the GOP has yet to address the issue." In The Washington Post, liberal Harold Meyerson grouses that "the Democrats have had precious little to say about how to re-create…widely shared prosperity." Perhaps that's because the standard liberal and conservative nostrums (Tax the rich! Eliminate regulations!) won't address the fundamental problem: Globalization and technology have devalued both labor and workers, and made companies more ruthlessly competitive. Here's a scary thought: Neither party is offering a remedy because there isn't one.
When hard work produces disillusionment not advancement, governments will distract the populace with foreign adventures. Given that nations' economies are becoming entwined in a Gordian Knot, the distraction will be monstrous.