Miscellaneous musings from the perspective of a lefty (both senses) atheist with a warped sense of humor.

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Location: Madison, WI, United States

I am a geek, but I do have some redeeming social skills. I love other people's dogs, cats, and kids. Snow sucks, but I'm willing to put up with it just to live in Madison.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Jobs, Math, and the Triumph of Bin Laden

Check my math.

US population = 310,000,000

50% of them are able to work and either doing so or available for it = 155,000,000

Unemployment is at 9% of that work force = 14,000,000 (rounded)

“Normal” unemployment would be about 5% = 7,750,000

Number of jobs we need to create to get back to “normal” = 6,250,000

Pretty decent annual wage = $40,000

Amount we’re spending each year trying to catch the last hundred al-Qaeda goons hiding under rocks in Afghanistan = $200,000,000,000

Number of $40,000 American jobs that would pay for = 5,000,000

Question of the day: Will either the Republicans or the Democrats run these numbers and come to the same conclusion any sane person arrived at 10 years ago?

Congratulations, Osama bin Laden. Even in death, you continue to get us to do your dirty work for you.

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“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” —Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), 1st US Congresswoman. Rankin served only 2 terms in Congress, each time losing her chance for re-election because she had voted against US entry into a world war. She cast the lone vote against WW2.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Educators and LIFO

To Time magazine:

In "The Great Brain Drain", Michelle Rhee reveals herself to be a Scott Walker–like stooge for corporatists trying to destroy teachers' unions — the better to privatize the schools — when she rails at LIFO (last in, first out) policies that apply to teacher layoffs. Anyone truly devoted to education (as she is evidently not) would be asking the much harder but more fundamental question: Why are they being laid off in the 1st place?

And her sob story about the loss of beloved, competent Las Vegas teacher Christine Simo? Why does Rhee fail to name the teacher whom she believes deserved to lose her job instead? Is it just possible that they're all beloved and competent and that none of them deserves to be fired? Clearly no right-thinking person (and I hope you detect the irony dripping off that use of the word "right") could even contemplate such a heretical idea.

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"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." — Dom Helder Camara