Tuesday, July 25, 2017

When was America Great, Mr. Trump?

When asked to relate when America was greatest (this quote is from CNN):
"If you look back, it really was, there was a period of time when we were developing at the turn of the century which was a pretty wild time for this country and pretty wild in terms of building that machine, that machine was really based on entrepreneurship," he told the Times.Trump also pointed to the "late '40s and '50s," a time when, he said, "we were not pushed around, we were respected by everybody, we had just won a war, we were pretty much doing what we had to do."
As a clarification, it should be pointed out that at the turn of the century there was no federal income tax in the United States. Something must have happened during that stretch that led to the creation of the income tax in 1913. Not long thereafter came the great depression. Without a doubt the first third of the 20th century was filled with fiscal and financial turmoil. Not too great.

The other time Trump termed "great" had a maximum tax rate at 90% or higher.
Does "Make America Great Again" ask for a return to pre-depression policies, or to a 90% maximum tax rate?
Can someone please explain?

    Thursday, April 13, 2017

    Bottle deposit scam

    Hannaford has evidently partnered with a bottle/can deposit redemption outfit called Clynk.

    Our Hannaford removed its machines for bottle & can returns and replaced them with a choice of using one machine (now broken) or their new service called Clynk.  Clynk requires that you place empties in one of their bags, create an account, drop off the bag, and wait for your money to appear in an online account. Sounds simple, but for two items:

    1. Clynk gives you 10 bags when you start, but after that you have to BUY the bags.  That is an added consumer cost.
    2. Instead of getting funds immediately at the store, they are held (our store says 2 days). During that time you do not get the benefit of your money, either Hannaford or Clynk does. This may be small potatoes to you, but after accounting for all the customers, it could and would be massive.
    This is sold as an easier way. Here is a quote directly from the Clynk web site:
    CLYNK is the only bottle redemption system that allows you to create a personal account, accumulate a balance and use your money at your discretion. CLYNK’s unique database lets you track your personal environmental impact every time you drop a bag at CLYNK. Start saving time, money and the environment.

    Wow! I have always wanted to have my own "personal account" so I could "accumulate a balance". It is too bad I can't use the money at my discretion, since when I return empties I do not get the cash in hand, but have to wait.

    If Hannaford truly wants to do something for their customers, they will toss this Clynk business immediately. The DEC web page states "A consumer can return empty containers to any store or vendor that sells the same type of container. " So Hannaford should get back to its won business.

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

    "Math rules" is a complete sentence!

    This is a reminder for my math blog at http://notesfromamathteacher.blogspot.com/.

    March 28, 2017 I posted a GeoGebra link which I then tweaked and converted to an animated gif in my 14-year-old image editor (Macromedia Fireworks).

    Images such as this can and should be used to advertise the "A" in "STEAM" education. In cae that is new to you, STEAM is

    • Science
    • Technology
    • Energy
    • Art
    • Mathematics

    Tuesday, March 21, 2017

    Fake news?

    So we have a president (no capital "p" here) who recently had a "rally" in Louisville. Imagine, he goes to the state that elected Mitch McConnell, and afterwords tweets "Thank you Louisville, Kentucky. Together, we will MAKE AMERICA SAFE AND GREAT AGAIN!"

    So now he is going to make America safe "again". It must have been safer when Kentuckians went into coal mines so that we "up top" could burn that coal.

    Please, @realdonaldtrump, tell me how sending people into coal mines so that we can burn coal is going to make us safer? Is the high-sulfur coal of Kentucky a hidden key to health and safety? (By the way, one cannot be safer if one is made less healthy: anyone who has breathed NYC air over the last 70 years should know that).

    I just cannot get over the thought that Trump wants to increase the defense budget for a country that he is trying to kill.

    Friday, February 24, 2017

    Time for an attitude adjustment in the USA

    The following is part of the platform stated by the US Conservative party (see it here)
    * Repeal and Replace The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
    Support candidates who support legislation that repeals the Affordable Care Act of 2010, aka “ObamaCare”. Support federal lawsuits promulgated by State Attorneys General to halt implementation of said Bill. All new health care solutions should:

    1. Provide meaningful Tort Reform that limits liability for pain and suffering. This cuts malpractice premiums and reduces the cost of needless “Defensive” tests.
    2. Allow posting of local prescription drug prices on the Internet so that people can shop for the lowest price.
    3. Allow individuals and small businesses to purchase health/dental insurance across state and regional lines.
    4. Encourage the medical industry to digitize medical practice paperwork to reduce related waste. However, no digital process should ever be mandated that excessively burdens medical practice to the detriment of the doctor patient relationship.
    5. Eliminate the Anti-Trust exemptions for Health Insurance companies which currently allow them to collude in setting prices and coverage.
    I pick on the Conservative party simply because the current administration seems to be beholden to "conservatism". 

    In this platform I see 5 items with which I wholly agree, even though I will never support them if they involve tearing down The Affordable Care Act.  Each and every one of them, if presented properly and calmly and clearly, would probably receive bipartisan support.  Each and every one of them, if presented under the guise of repealing "Obamacare" or as a we-alone-can-solve-this problem solution, would get ungraciously slammed into oblivion.

    A message to all political parties: if you wish to guide society to change its ways, your first step must be properly, clearly, and calmly articulating the problem (without placing blame) and your solution (without claiming credit) and try to get society to agree with you by persuasion and not by command. Anything else is doomed. 

    Our largest problem here in the US of A is that far too many are in the business of claiming credit and placing blame.  Neither of those businesses help anybody, and the more they remain in control, the quicker our country will implode and explode. If you wish to kill the USA, keep doing what you are doing.

    Thursday, February 9, 2017

    Boycott Kentucky!

    Mitch McConnell, Senator from Kentucky, has done enough damage, and the positions of Speaker of the House and Senate majority leader have done enough damage.

    No person in Congress elected to serve a state or a congressional district should have the power to control what Congress can or cannot do.  That applies no matter which political party claims the position. 

    There is no requirement that the Speaker of the House even be in congress. Given that, I have never understood why the Speaker is second in the line of Succession.

    Back to McConnell: he has got to go.  The rules may never change, but he has got to leave.

    I propose that the people of the United States adopt a "no go" policy towards the state of Kentucky, until such time as Mitch McConnell has left government.  By that I mean:

    • Do not visit the state. (No Mammoth Cave visit, ni Kentucky Derby stay, no Louisville Slugger trip)
    • Do not drive through the state unless you can do so without stopping. Most cars should be able to go the distance across the state on an interstate without needing gas, provided they are topped off before entering the state.
    • Do not fly into, out of, or through Cincinnati's main airport. (Apologies to the city, but they put their airport in Hebron, Kentucky.  The people of Hebron must have been irate when they called this airport CVG, in honor of what looks to be a gerrymandered city about a 15 mile drive away). Watch your Delta connections!
    This is not an original idea of mine (see here), but it is time to bring it on. 

    Unless and until McConnell is gone from Washington (and only Kentucky can make that happen), shun the state itself. 

    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    Political parties should not be deified

    As we survive the thirteenth day of the Trump realm, I have to comment on something that bothers me. That something is currently known by the moniker "party loyalty". (Even some of those who voiced opposition to Trump are voting in favor of his antics simply because it is a "Republican" thing to do.

    What bothers me is that far too many senators and congressmen give the impression that they see the country of the United States only as a necessary evil, required as an arena for what they really value, their political party. Currently it is Republicans who display it most, but Democrats have had their times as well. It has been covered in the media for ages.

    The mere fact that politicians' initial response to a legislative proposal is to love it or hate depending upon which party it came from or who is backing it. Mitch McConnell even verbalized his goal of making President Obama a "one term president", basically vowing to block anything he proposes. Ain't that a good ol' boy way of showing your love for your country?

    Our politicians will not change their ways unless forced to.  Perhaps we, the people, might make that happen by making a conscious effort to identify and vote out every congressman or politician who does not cross party lines at least once this session and speak out in national media in favor of at least one bill proposed by the other party. It is a small step, but that is how every journey starts.

    Another small step would be the minimizing of the effect of congressional gerrymandering. A small step would be a requirement that all congressional districts be convex in shape.

    Convexity is very simple. A district would be convex if, for any pair of points in the district, all points on the line between them are also in that district. Exclusion would be made only when the line connecting two points in a district passed through a neighboring state. An example of what would not be allowed is shown here. The red segment starts and ends withing a New York congressional district, but passes through another district. That would be a no-no. (Unless the other district was in a different state.)

    Sunday, January 15, 2017

    A dare for Donald Trump

    Donald Trump has claimed that America was "great" back in the early 20th century and also in the 1940's and 1950's (see here)(and here)

    I will not go into why he thinks those years were the greatest for America, but I can tell you one thing that did not exist at all back then: Twitter.

    Twitter began in July 2006. According to Donald Trump, America at that time was not great at all. The best I can sense is that Trump believes that America has gotten worse during the time of Twitter.

    So, Donald Trump, I dare you: live up to your goal of "make America great again" and stop using Twitter.

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Please, please...

    I just heard Donald Trump chastise news outlets for supplying "fake news" while allegedly speaking at an alleged news conference.

    Is there any chance that "Trump wins" will be discovered to be fake news? One can only hope.