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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:Cost? (Score 1) 48

by joelgrimes (#37001040) Attached to: DOE Announces Philips As L Prize Winner

You can buy 60W equivalents for about $40 right now through Lowes online. I'm using the 40 Watt version, which are only $15 and they're... adequate. I bought 8 and 1 of them wasn't up to snuff (low output).

After 4 months none of them have failed (even though I cracked one of them - it continues to work) and the difference in my electric bill vs last year is noticeable. I estimate I'll recoup my investment in about 6 months. They also put out very little heat, which counts for a lot in the summer.

Of course, now I'm anxious to see what the award-winning 60s are like. I'd really like a brighter living room.


Comment: Re:Classic! (Score 1) 990

by joelgrimes (#36738982) Attached to: Congress Voting To Repeal Incandescent Bulb Ban

They are ridiculously expensive, but It might not pay to wait.

If you replace 25W candelabra bulbs with 3 watt leds, each bulb could save you around 60 cents per month (@4 hours per day, $0.25 per kWh), so even if you pay $15 each for them, they're returning about 50% annually. Where else can you make that kind of tax-free, risk-free return?

Comment: Re:The People Problem (Score 1) 595

by joelgrimes (#30637958) Attached to: How Norway Fought Staph Infections

I have to disagree with much of your post. I don't think your in-laws' experience is that close to typical.

Norway's system may be superior, I'll take your word for it. But honestly speaking, it SHOULD be. Norway's problem is much more manageable because Norway is quite a bit wealthier than the US (53k per capita GDP vs 45k) and has a population the size of Kentucky.

Kaiser Permanente, which is a single insurance provider in the US, has twice as many members as Norway has people (and rates extremely highly for quality of care, by the way).

Have you ever asked your in-laws why they go to a doc-in-a-box and don't pick a primary physician? Every insurance plan I've ever had has let me pick a primary doc and see them any time - I've had the same doctor for 15 years.

Most people I know have "their" doctor and stick with them until they decide to switch or a change of insurance takes them out of their list of approved providers. The only people I know that don't have a primary physician are younger people who haven't had a reason to see a doctor since they left their parents insurance.

Also, maybe I haven't been paying attention, but I've never seen an employer require a doctor's note for sick leave of any length. Maybe companies put language to that effect in their employee handbook in case they need it to deal with abuse of the system, but in 20 years working I've never known of anyone being asked for a note.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin