Trump’s Expiration Date Has Been Exceeded

Donald Trump ‘s expiration date has been reached.

His main claim to fame, the birth certificate, has exploded, he received TWO PolitiFact ratings of “Pants on Fire” (Liar!) in a four hour period, and then dropped the “F” bomb several times in a speech – all within 24 hours.

The man give megalomania a bad name.

A School Reform Worth Discussing

One wonders if we could not learn something from the nation of Brazil.

Brazil is a huge nation, almost a continent in itself, with a population of 190 million of which 50 million are school children.

while it is not as good in education as the United States, much less Finland or Singapore or South Korea, it has found a way to drag itself out of a poor public school educational system: Corporate owned schools.

One of Brazils largest banks, Bradesco, recognizing the need for better educational outcomes than an almost 60% dropout rate in the coming technological revolution, has started a series of private schools with free tuition, lunches, books and uniforms, housed in state-of-the-art facilities.

The 51,000 students are taught by teachers who earn 50% more than public school teachers. Bradesco Bank was started by an entrepreneur with only a fourth grade education  but he understood better than anyone the limitations on those without a formal education.

Bradesco is just one of perhaps a thousand Brazilian companies who have taken the public school system by the horns, and either taken over the management of public schools or started their own schools.

That is certainly a model that could work here in the United States, and Apple Computer is perfectly positioned to do it as the leader. Apple has dominated schools from the very beginning and made a ton of money from that foresight. Steve Jobs has donated a lot of money to education, but without the further step of starting his own schools…something he can and should do rather than importing intelligence from India.

Corporations have always loaned talent to public schools and universities. Now is the time to take the next step — corporate ownership. A cursory search of Google finds no corporate-owned “public schools” in the sense that the public in general is invited to attend.

It is time, before our public schools completely collapse.

California public schools already have collapsed, and that is sufficient reason for corporation that depend upon an educated labor force to jump in. There are something like 17 Fortune 500 corporations in California that should take the lead, but there are may more Fortune 1000 corporations that could easily step in.

I know that Hewlett-Packard has had a partnership agreement with the Poway Unified School District, and when I taught at National University we had an excellent IBM loaned executive teaching computer science.

We now have universities that are operating excellent Charter Schools, and a good transition might be for corporations to fund university-led Charter Schools.

Universities have an incentive to feed higher education, not a bad incentive to be certain, and corporations have an incentive to have an educated workforce, another substantive incentive. Public schools as currently constituted have neither incentive to perform,  nor do they face any punishment for failure.

It is time to reform public schools, and do so quickly. The Brazilian model, in some form, could be a better answer than what we are currently doing because there is no doubt to anyone who looks at the numbers that what we are doing is called, failing.

The Future is Here

A Tip of the Hat to one of my Meadows readers, Tom Francl, who supplied me with this fascinating look at the future of book publishing:

http://www.ted.com/talks/mike_matas.html

On the iPAD2 there is the site I use for a news portal, Bing (by Microsoft), and it is starting to incorporate the vestiges of this coming technology.

Watch this short video and prepare to be astounded. You will understand the how ancient Dead Tree Publishing has become.

Carl Demaio Challenges Public Firefighter Pay/Benefits!

You have to give a high five to Carl Demaio for twisting the tiger’s tail–taking on the San Diego Firefighters.

For some unknown reason, firefighters (who seldom fight fires) are among the Holiest of society–although recently their halo has become somewhat tarnished.

In my fire district, Firefighters attend things other that fires more than 90% of the time. That they do a job that is dangerous there is no doubt, although it does not rank in the top ten of dangerous professions, and for people with no requirement above a high school diploma, they are exceedingly well paid.

So, when Carl produces a document showing the vast difference between firefighter/paramedic in the he private sector and the public sector in numbers, you can easily see the problem.

But seeing the problems, and solving the problems are two vastly different things.

The official report from Carl is only three pages long and the details are easy to read http://kpbs.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/news/documents/2011/04/21/SDFD_Comp.pdf, but I will summarize them here:

An Emergency Medical Tech gets a total yearly salary plus benefits of $30,240.00 in the private sector, and $71,556 when working for San Diego, a difference of $137%.

A Fireman II/EMT gets a total salary and benefits package of $30,240 when working for a private concern, and $128,406.13 when working in San Diego, a difference of 325%.

A Paramedic gets a salary and benefits package of $57,330.00 when working for a private concern, but $103,138.48 when working for the City of San Diego, a difference of 80%.

A combination of Firefighter II and Paramedic in the private sector receives $57,330 in the private sector, but in the City of San Diego receives $138,976.69, a difference of 142%.

These sorts of disparities in pay are the direct results of public sector union support of candidates through campaign donations and endorsements, and until they stop – or until the public recognizes the problem and defeats every union-supported political candidate.

When wearing the union label in an election is counter-productive, we will again gain control of the political process. Right now, it is a union-driven, public funded ATM machine for public service workers.

Carl deserves to be the next Mayor of San Diego. He is fearless!

Ahhh, The Lovely Kate….

Can anyone do Pomp like the Brits?

the answer is “No”

My only comment about the coming wedding is that the lovely Kate appears to be way too thin. Beautiful, no question. But she just appears to be physically fragile.

Finis The “Printed Word” On Dead Trees

The future of publishing is, obviously, electronic, and there is a great new website to make self-publishing cheap and easy! (Not just books, but music, and film as well!)

In the past I have flirted with publishing a book, but was discouraged by the experiences of my former newspaper editor who wrote a novel that she could not get published despite her writing ability and connections, and Jack Cheevers who has researched the Pueblo seizure to the nth degree and his frustrating experiences.

Jack, then a reporter for the Long Beach Press Telegraph and the San Francisco Chronicle, has been fighting the process with Wylie Books for YEARS! His terrific book, (and I both contributed research to it and read the manuscript,) is superb, but I have grown too old to dedicate to a book.

(His book, Act of War, will surely be published this year. (Hope, hope, hope…)

My time as a book publisher may have come, but I am now too old to participate

I have published more than 2,000 newspaper columns, That probably means I can write, and what I write at least someone thinks is worth reading. I just wonder if I have enough time… I have written several books that are free on my website — two of which remain: one on the seizure of the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) and my involvement in that particular episode; and a “How To” book on being a beginning real estate agent. I have taken my textbook on computers, one that was free and written for my university students, off the website because it is too much work to update because of the volatility of technology.

Apparently, createspace.com will let you upload your book in .PDF format, and it is cost free because it is printed only when the book is ordered, either in paper or electronically for Kindle.

Obviously, “Dead Tree” publishing is on the way out, and electronic publishing is far, far superior for the future.

Guess who owns createspace.com?

Amazon.com!

They are creating the future of the publishing they will eventually sell!

Smart!

Pathetic Padres

Congratulations to the Padres for falling into the category “No longer worth watching”

When you look up the part of the the word “pathetic” you see a photo of the Padres. .As I watch the Pathetic Padres bobble a hit into an inside the park home run on the part of the Phillies, but so far in more than 36 innings the Pathetic Padres have scored just three runs.

The Pathetic Padres have one of the best, if not THE best pitching in baseball, and they stand last in the league, a testament to their inability to score runs.

It is really hard to win when you score Zero runs. The best upside is a tie, which is not possible.

When You Really Want “Privacy”…

Leo Laport says that he is no more concerned with the smartphones tracking him than am I, because, as he says, his phone company knows thorough cell towers exactly where is every second, anyway.

He reports that police agencies have always been able to subscribe to a site that let’s them go back YEARS, to find out where anyone was at any time — mandate the thieves know that so they carry cell phones from drug stores that they throw away regularly.

What bothers Leo much more Is that many smartphones apps can turn on your microphone without your permission! You put your smartphone next to the bed in it’s charger…

DON’t make love to your spouse with the smartphone nearby!

I Can Get Into Hot Water For NOTHING!

One of the non-tech items I really love is my Keurig – that one-cup-of-coffee-at-a-time device that defies characterization as a “coffee pot.”

It shows that even the mundane can be improved.

It also shows that you can take a cheap device, tweak it just a smidgen and resell it for a fortune! Who knew that heating water could be so expensive?

Anyway, Starbucks is joining the K-Cup revolution, after a partnership with Green Mountain Coffee of New England, which sells the most K-Cups of various coffees and just, incidentally, OWNS Keurig!

So now Starbucks will sell Keurig devices – certainly for more money than Keurig – and put their coffee into a K-Cup series.  Others, including Cuisenart, sell a Keurig ho- water dispenser gussied up considerably for the kitchen showoffs, for tons more money than Keurig (which is already vastly overpriced). Obviously, Cuisenart and Starbucks must pay royalties to Keurig, and therefore to Green Mountain.

The controversy developing is about the fact that ultra-green, Green Mountain, developed a K-Cup that is basically indestructible – which is to say, non-biodegradable. Oh. poor old Green Mountain, which has done EVERYTHING possible to lean “Green” – had to find a compound that could keep coffee fresh as the day it was ground, but that compound is distinctly non-green.

Horrors!

The real horrors the cost of hot water!

I’ve Seen This Act Before. (Did’t like it then, either.)

We have all seen the Donald Trump act before.

I first remember it from the 60’s and 70’s and the act was that of one Pete Ellis, a Ford dealer in the Pacific Beach area as I recall. His radio and TV ads had nothing to do with Ford, or his dealerships superiority – the ad was someone singing, “Pete Elis is a great, GREAT Guy!”

It was always a question in my mind as to why I would care what kind of a guy owned the dealership, since I was unlikely ever to meet him much less befriend him, even if I bought a car from his dealership. (Which I never did, despite my preference for Ford among US manufacturers.)

As I recall Ellis took that act to Los Angeles, where it would be even more appreciated, and he opened a Ford dealership there.

There is a somewhat more subdued ad going on in San Diego today, if you have ever watched the TV ads for Angelo Damante and his Mercedes dealership in Escondido. His ads feature the star quality of Angelo and his Hollywood former actors, but have little to do with the quality of Mercedes or his dealership.

(Virtually within spitting distance of the Damante dealership, is the much more impressive Lexus dealership – which makes the Mercedes dealership look like a poor Arkansas cousin, whose primary car is on blocks in the front yard – and I’ll bet you can’t name the owner of the Lexus dealership!)

So “The Donald” is of a recognizable type, but not of a type that can win a national election.