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Comment: Re:Sure, but (Score 1) 519

by joelgrimes (#47209099) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

There is a right to a quality education In CA's constitution. Also there must not be disparities between rich and poor, black and white, etc.

The lawsuit claimed that poor, minority students were disproportionately damaged by last-in first-out layoffs and early teacher tenure because newer teachers will take jobs in low income schools. So when they have to cut heads district-wide, poor schools get hit hardest. They can't lay off the worst teacher in the district, only the newest one.

The plaintiffs pounded home the message that ineffective teachers harm students, and ineffective teachers are prohibitively hard to dismiss due to 5 specific job-protections enshrined in CA law, and poor students are much more likely to be stuck with an ineffective teacher.

Comment: Re:War of government against people? (Score 1) 875

by joelgrimes (#47199919) Attached to: America 'Has Become a War Zone'

Violent crime is less than half what it was 20 years ago. And even less compared to 30 years ago.

I wouldn't argue with your points - or even your conclusion, but it should be noted that that same time period also coincides with the wide adoption of 3-strikes sentencing laws

California's murders peaked at 4096 in 1993. 3-strikes passed in 1994 and the murder rate has dropped almost every year since. It's now less than half what it was before 1884 in 2012.

Comment: Re:Questionable at best (Score 1) 138

by joelgrimes (#47130251) Attached to: The Light Might Make You Heavy

The causes of obesity are a multitude of factors. This article makes an overly simplistic suggestion that sleeping in a darker room will magically help one shed weight

claim of correlation != claim of causation. The article and the researcher were pretty careful on that point.

"But there is not sufficient evidence to know if making your room darker would make any difference to your weight. "There might be other explanations for the association, but the findings are intriguing enough to warrant further scientific investigation."

Comment: Re:Can I have a pinch of salt with that (Score 1) 288

by joelgrimes (#47083309) Attached to: HP Makes More Money, Cuts 16,000 Jobs

So joke all you want, those that do make it to US are rather smart and hard working.

sorry, not my experience at all (20+ years in the bay area and I have tons of experience with indians). they THINK they are good, but the code quality, design quality and attention to detail is far below par.

As an American working in a company with a half Indian workforce, both onshore and off, my experience is exactly what the gp says. The workers who made it to the US were much more capable than the offshore team. I chalked it up to the fact that the obstacles to emigrating went a long way towards selecting for the more intelligent/motivated/organized. At the very least they needed to convince someone to sponsor their H1b. The sponsor takes a sizable risk so they tend to choose carefully.

One of the things I experienced when I first started working with them was an uneasy sense of "If they're all this good and there are tens of millions of them waiting in the wings, we're all doomed in this profession". I'm a reasonably good programmer, but this level of competition is going to burn me out.

Fortunately, working with the offshore team put my fears to rest. Nobody in the company had a lot of faith in the offshore team.

Comment: Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (Score 2) 325

by joelgrimes (#46734877) Attached to: Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

Manning your post in a ship under fire is not heroic. You get trained to do it, failing to stay at your post would be the thing worthy of a title, not merely 'doing your job'.

What are you, Sergeant Slaughter? Being trained to do a job doesn't take away your fear. When doing your job involves facing enemy fire in defense of your country then simply not running away is a heroic act.

Comment: Re:Get rid of it. (Score 1) 1106

by jimmy_dean (#43029853) Attached to: The U.S. minimum wage should be

And what if your friends are broke too and your church is made up of other people who are also broke? This is hardly hypothetical: If you go into poor neighborhoods, you'll find churches that can barely afford to keep their lights on, and in some cases pastors who do the job on a volunteer basis. Also, how much better is "Work or belong to a church or die" versus "Work or die"? How about if the only available source of charity was a local mosque, and they said that they'd only help you if you converted to Islam, are you still happy with this solution?

Another way of thinking about it: Why is it that 15-year-old girls in Indonesia are willing to work in sweatshops for $0.34 per hour making Nike sneakers 15 hours a day? Do you seriously think that those girls are doing that because they have other viable options?

So nowhere did I say that things are perfect. However, I do believe that forced "charity" is evil. If governments were truly able to target just people like in your more rare hypothetical situation, I would have less of a problem with that. But it's not how things happen; instead, things get so entrenched because the people that keep voting for systems, such as minimum wage increases and gross welfare systems, are the same people who pay zero taxes! Why wouldn't they want to keep this system going so that they have to work very little or not at all? Second, it's easy just to assume that because a government "does something" versus leaving things up to truly caring individuals, entities and communities that things are getting better for these people. I submit, and there's plenty of studies to back me on this, that governments make it worse when they do more than just a little to help people. They create a crony, perpetual system that keeps the poor in more bondage to a broken system than if they were stuck in your sweatshop example. I challenge you to name a government program that's truly helped people without hurting anybody else. There are very few, if any. Governments transfer pain, they never make everybody better off at the same time.

Comment: Re:AT&T (Score 1) 238

by jimmy_dean (#43023701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should We Have the Option of Treating Google Like a Utility?

How much you would be willing to pay AT&T to ensure they did not give your information to the NSA?

For the analogy-impaired: Google and Facebook might be happy to sell you "privacy", but they're still not going to say "no" when the feds come knocking.

Yes exactly. I could (almost) care less about which other private entities a company like Google or AT&T sell access to my data only because what they do with that data is limited. What I do fear though is these companies bending so easily to when governments come knocking, demanding data. Governments have the power (they have the big guns) to put you in prison or to completely ruin your life and these types of things have gotten this out of control thanks to the U.S. government scaring people about terrorism. It's been a perfect storm really, we'll hand over all of our liberties in order to get "security." Well we've gotten neither now as we've given up our liberties and we really aren't any safer, plus we have the annoying and expensive Department of Homeland Security and an overreaching TSA. Bush started it, Obama continues to expand it.

Comment: Re:Get rid of it. (Score 1) 1106

by jimmy_dean (#43016731) Attached to: The U.S. minimum wage should be

That's wrong, there's a 3rd option. It's called having friends and being part of an organization, like a church, that will openly love and support you. Someone can choose to be prideful and not ask for help from things like this, but that's their choice. Forcing me through taxation to support someone is not charity, it's evil. The moral high ground rests in me choosing to help someone, or being available for someone to come and ask for my support for their hard financial and/or emotional times.

Comment: Re:Get rid of it. (Score 1) 1106

by jimmy_dean (#43016633) Attached to: The U.S. minimum wage should be

That's really overly simplistic. Poverty is a complex issue, and having a minimum wage versus not is not going to solve poverty. The point that proponents of minimum wage never stop to ask is their basic assumption, that minimum wage actually does help people to make enough to not be pragmatically poor. However, most of the evidence suggests (no it's not black and white) that in fact, minimum wage doesn't actually solve this problem. It seems intuitive that it would, but it's far from being intuitive. Here's a thought experiment. If we could solve people being poor by simply legislating a wage floor, then why not raise the wage to $100 an hour. If it's as simple as that, then everyone could instantly be rich! Why not $1000 an hour? Yes poverty is a problem and no, not everyone can be rich in this far from perfect world. The law of scarcity (the basis for all of economics) is that there is not enough to go around of anything in this world, and the best way to allocate that for almost everything is in a free market. When a government tries to impose artificial price floors or ceilings, it's the same as a basic law of Physics, shortages result. Governments, individuals, companies, everybody, are all subject to this basic law of the universe. Legislating minimum wage does not rewrite this law of economics.

So then ask yourself, if you're not for a $100 or $1000 an hour minimum wage, why is that so obviously wrong to you whereas $7.25 isn't as obvious to you? Don't let the emotion of poor people suffering on the streets cloud your judgement. We can help poor people in many ways, we're just discussing whether minimum wage actually does that, instead of only intending to do that but making people worse off.

Comment: Re:[NOT]Cool! (Score 1) 178

by jimmy_dean (#42989487) Attached to: France Plans 20-Billion Euro National Broadband Plan

Then most of the world is communism...
The government builds roads and all manner of other infrastructure for the benefit of all the people.
Many things are simply not economically viable to do in a capitalist system, so they would never get done at all without government intervention.

Two things, your last statement about things never getting done without government is easy to say, very difficult to prove.

Second, our crumbling and dangerous and non-innovative roads in the US seem to bend more rims on potholes and keep car repair shops in business than they do to help anybody. :)

Comment: Re:I have a better idea... (Score 1) 649

by jimmy_dean (#42801709) Attached to: Richard Stallman's Solution To 'Too Big To Fail'

Cool, another internet homespun philosopher who's been educated in the University Of Life and don't need no fancy economics professor to tell him what o'clock it is when the cows need milking.

Yeah, because you know me so well! What would I do without someone like you to put me in my box?

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.