Sunday, 2/20/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

20 responses to “Sunday, 2/20/11, Public Square

  1. CapnAmerica

    http://www.truth-out.org/what-conservatives-really-want67907

    George Lakoff on why Dems need to stop using CON language:

    Democrats help conservatives when they function as policy wonks — talking policy without communicating the moral values behind the policies. They help conservatives when they neglect to remind us that pensions are deferred payments for work done. “Benefits” are pay for work, not a handout. Pensions and benefits are arranged by contract. If there is not enough money for them, it is because the contracted funds have been taken by conservative officials and given to wealthy people and corporations instead of to the people who have earned them.

    Democrats help conservatives when they use conservative words like “entitlements” instead of “earnings” and speak of government as providing “services” instead of “necessities.”

    Is there hope?

    I see it in Wisconsin, where tens of thousands citizens see through the conservative frames and are willing to flood the streets of their capital to stand up for their rights. They understand that democracy is about citizens uniting to take care of each other, about social responsibility as well as individual responsibility, and about work – not just for your own profit, but to help create a civilized society. They appreciate their teachers, nurses, firemen, police and other public servants. They are flooding the streets to demand real democracy – the democracy of caring, of social responsibility and of excellence, where prosperity is to be shared by those who work and those who serve.

  2. The Making of Manhattan’s Elite Welfare Farmers

    Want fiscal reform? Let’s start by targeting the fattest farm subsidy checks—which are mailed to the richest New York ZIP codes.

    http://nypress.com/article-21342-the-making-of-manhattans-elite-welfare-farmers.html

  3. Conservative politicians in the House have accomplished their goal of voting to defund Planned Parenthood, a move that could leave tens of thousands without access to affordable birth control, health screenings and STI prevention and treatment.

    But don’t worry, you are still paying millions of dollars to slap an Army logo on a racecar. The NASCAR sponsorship ban was defeated, death threats and all.

    http://www.care2.com/causes/politics/blog/house-votes-to-continue-spending-millions-in-taxpayer-dollars-on-nascar/

  4. There are only five states in the US that have deemed collective bargaining for educators illegal. Those states and their ranking on ACT/SAT scores are as follows:

    South Carolina — 50th
    North Carolina — 49th
    Georgia — 48th
    Texas — 47th
    Virginia — 44th

    Wisconsin ranked 2nd in 2010 in combined ACT/SAT

  5. The TV game show Jeopardy! experimented this week with IBM’s latest version of artificial intelligence, “Watson,” which destroyed its flesh-and-blood competition.

    Could Watson be coming next for our jobs in radiology or the law?

    Computer programmer and writer Martin Ford says he sees a future where artificial intelligence will take over many high-paying knowledge professions. He uses the example of radiology.

    “Radiologists basically focus on looking at visual images from medical devices — things like X-rays or CAT scans, that type of thing,” Ford told NPR’s Linda Wertheimer. “Now, machines are getting much better at analyzing that type of visual information.”

    Just as many jobs are being shipped overseas to cheaper workforces because they can be done by computer, Ford predicts the next step in that process: those same jobs will be done by artificial intelligence.

    continue —
    http://www.npr.org/2011/02/20/133916058/the-dark-side-of-watson?ps=cprs

    • I am forced to agree with this. The saving grace is that AI is difficult to program, so I may well be out of appeals when this comes to pass. Expert System application has been growing over the past 15 – 20 years, and bluntly, there is much within my practice that could be adequately and efficiently handled by “Watson, Esq.”.

  6. We really don’t get to take anything with us. Those who worship at the alter of the dollar should stop and listen, think and realize…

  7. Saw an article in the Eagle about changing the Kansas counties from 105 to 23. What I found online says 25. What do all of you think about this?

    http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/ConsReport.pdf

    • Hmmm… The picture didn’t post.

      Try this…
      [IMG]http://i669.photobucket.com/albums/vv59/moonshadow74/kansas.jpg[/IMG]

      • OK, you can remove the one above this and the one above. Why didn’t my html code for the picture work?

      • For some reason that I don’t understand I’ve only been able to post pictures to thread headers, not comments. It could well be because I don’t know how! There’s also the possibility that’s the way WordPress works. You want me to change your status to something that would allow you to start threads? This blog was always meant to be ‘interactive’ with the participants being who decided what they’d like to discuss…

      • That would be fine with me. I’m often up when everyone else is sleeping and I think I’ve posted to a dead thread more than once.

      • Moonshadow,

        First step — set up a WordPress account. Then I change your status with a few clicks. If setting up the account isn’t clear please let me know and I’ll see if I can go back and remember how that was done. It can’t be difficult as I accomplished it. 🙂

        http://wordpress.com/

    • It makes a lot of economic sense to me. I understand the practical drawbacks to this, but all in all, a good thing.

      • This would mean that the county seats would all be reduced to one each, or 25. Correct? I have to drive 30 miles to my courthouse now (I’m a couple miles from the county line). County seats aren’t necessarily located centrally within a county. How far are people going to have to travel to get to their courthouses with this re-distribution?

      • My sense is that there would be satellite offices for conducting certain normal busness, but you raise a good point about the travel burden, which is one of the things on my mind when I posted about the practical drawbacks.

  8. Funny thing about Kansas counties. I told myself I was going to memorize all 105 — names and locations — so I would have a better idea where weather warnings were when they were listed by county. Well, I didn’t ever get aroundtoit. When I read that little article in this morning’s paper my first thought was that maybe I could memorize 23. Of course my second thought was that wouldn’t help me much in pinpointing where the weather was since several of those fewer counties would cover a whole bunch of territory.

    • Of course, fnord, this would be helpful, but you would need to memorize the towns in the counties, as I suspect this would be the way that storms would be reported, i.e., partial county warnings with the name of the town(s) “in the path of the storm”.