Quick Hits

No reason for me to comment further on the horse race, except to note that in head to head polls, Romney beats an incumbent president who is not being bloodied by infighting. But, it is a long time to November, and there are all sorts of minefields for the putative candidates to cross…


The announcement that Apple will announce “something” on March 7, and the word on the street is that is the iPad3. That is pretty certain, and that it will include SIRI and twice the resolution. What it is possible, also, MAY be a new Apple TV, but there is nothing being rumored about what that may entail. All I know is that Apple has $98 billion in the bank, and that is more than all but a handful of nations.


Oh, one more thing. The favored newspaper under the Jobs rule was the NY Times. Under the new regime, it appears to be the Wall Street Journal. When I was an Apple store owner back in the late 70s it was apparent that Apple was anti establishment and anti business. Apple has education wrapped up, let’s see if the new regime is less business hostile. And with both H-P and Dell stumbling, there is an opening. Just saying…


The Interpol arrest of Anonymous hackers yesterday  is really just an opening shot, and we can see it as something of a look at a future “roll up” of activists — much like the FBi rolled up the German spy rings nationwide in just a night or two before WWII. It takes a lot of “show prep” before the main event, and you don’t hear much before the curtain rises.


The Social Conservatives have continued to threaten to break out with their vaginal probe legislation, currently blunted successfully in Virginia, but still alive in Pennsylvania and Alabama. Look for the Democrats to seize on this for the national election because they don’t want to have to discuss the economy or the jobless rate.


I have posted previously of my interest and contribution to an upstart company through the on-line project called Kickstart, a project that permits startups to presell their product before they actually go into production. “Investors” don’t get a part of the company but rather get to be initial product owners. This next year, Kickstart expects to fund artistic endeavors to the tune of $150 million – private capitalization greater than that provided by the vaunted National Endowment for the Arts.


Speaking of private winning over governmental – The Senate government-run Barber Shop ran a $300,000 deficit last year. The House privately owned Barber Shop, with lower prices, paid a $2,000 PROFIT to the House!

San Diego Unified To Order 20,000 iPADS

The adoption of K-12 digital textbooks goes apace in San Diego schools.

The U-T (that is the new name for the old San Diego Union Tribune) has a great article today on the subject: “Cathedral Catholic High School this fall will put iPads in the hands of its 1,700 students and 110 teachers and staff, charging parents a $350 technology fee to cover the expense. The Encinitas Union School District has bought about 1,200 of the devices and next fall will buy another 2,500 for its third- through sixth-graders, using bond funds.

The biggest roll-out by far will be done by the San Diego Unified School District, which announced late Monday it will be purchasing close to 20,000 iPads for its fifth- and eighth-grade classes and select high school subjects this spring.”


Now, 20,000 iPADS at a time is a major buy for anyone at anytime.

One of the problems noted is that the State of California has placed a moratorium on their approval of K-8 textbooks, but that 9-12 textbooks only need be approved at the District level. Just doing approvals will be difficult when every textbook is updated annually, as can be done easily with digital textbooks as opposed to the current years between updates for printed books.

Of course, subjects are sometimes static, and sometimes dynamic. Teaching Shakespeare is relatively static, but computer science required me to be retrained daily when I was teaching at the university.

The Jefferson Bible

I finally obtained a beautiful copy of Jefferson’s Bible “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth Extracted Textually from the Gospels in Greek, Latin, French & English”, the “Bible” that Thomas Jefferson made by literally, and painstakingly cutting and pasting from English, Greek, Latin and French Bibles.

Jefferson would not let his “Bible” be reproduced during his lifetime, but the original is in the Smithsonian Museum.

This effort he had bound with his handwritten notes and which he shared with friends, was unbound, carefully restored and photographed so that the current Smithsonian Edition is an exact color copy of the original.

It is said that Jefferson was a Deist, but actually he did belong to the Unitarian church. His assembled “Bible” was a collection of worthy instructions by Jesus, but without the superstitions, miracles, etc.

For years, the Jefferson “Bible” was distributed to the Members of the House and Senate by the US Government Printing Office (in black and white) as good instructions on living (without particular church/state implications) and although that fell into disuse sometime last century, it is going on once again.

The original Jefferson Bible is now reproduced in all four languages, just like the original, by the Smithsonian Institute from whom it is available, but it is less expensive if bought from Amazon.com



Big “L” on Santorum’s Forehead

Santorum has stepped in it by saying that he almost puked when he heard the JFK speech on separation of church and state —  that was a real losing statement among most Americans.

It should be remembered that when JFK was running, anti-Catholic fervor was high and many Evangelicals actually thought that the Pope would direct American government policy if a Catholic was elected. JFK successfully blunted that issue with his speech.

I think Santorum would have done well to say that religious morality has a place in American politics, or he might have said that if President Obama thinks he can control religious institutions then that door swings both ways.

Instead, Santorum said there was no separation of church and state, but he didn’t even make the Constitutional argument that while a “separation” may have been Jefferson’s wording in a personal letter, it is NOT the actual wording of the Constitution.

Santorum, like Gingrich, would lose 50 states if he were the Republican nominee, but selecting losing candidates is a specialty of the Republicans.

I doubt Santorum will be the nominee, and after the latest gaffe I doubt he will even be the VP nominee. Considering that Santorum lost his most recent Senatorial race by a landslide 19 points, it’s do or politically die for a national political office. He may hope for appointed office so he can rehabilitate himself.

Even though Santorum is young, his career is probably finished because video is forever.

Self inflicted wound.

But, strangely, his worst enemy is Gingrich, who remains in the race ONLY because his primary (ONLY?) backer, a Vegas billionaire, is funding Gingrich beyond Gingrich’s means, and his polls. Gingrich’s backer hates Santorum, and is willing to continue backing a losing Gingrich hand to draw votes from Santorum, in order to help the billionaire’s second choice, Romney.

There is a lot of game-playing going on in the political arena, but Santorum — who would look strong if it were not for Gingrich dividing the Social Conservative votes and his own mis-steps — looks to be the loser.

Actually, even if he wins.


Aw, You Are Kidding Me! Right? (Wrong!)

Just when you think you have heard it all, you haven’t!

The Planned Parenthood of the Northwest is distributing QR Codes on condom wrappers, so that lovers can scan the wrapper on their cellphones and anonymously inform the social media of the PLACE and time that sex has taken place.

Now that is just weird.

(QR Codes are those funny symbols printed just about everywhere, which, if photographed by your cellphone will give additional information far in excess of the space taken for the encoded and printed symbol.)

Class Warfare II

EB-5 is an interesting immigration methodology that permits wealthy foreign business people to invest in the United States, and thereby gain a Green Card for themselves and their families.

As an example, just a few years ago I sold a home to such a man for $1.5 million (Cash), who invested many millions of dollars into businesses and he started new businesses worth millions. In return, the US granted this wealthy and educated European a Green Card.

But this administration is greatly reducing the number of EB-5s granted. Critics have complained that the program is “cash for visas” but developers (in particular) say it is just about the only money available for large construction projects.

The Daily reports that the rejection rate, historically at 39% is running at 61% so far this year. Last year there were 1,403 EB-5 admitted, of which the vast majority were from China, 935.

Gosh knows, we don’t need these wealthy,  successful foreigners spending money here when we have an unlimited number of illiterate and poor coming across our southern border!  We need more non-taxpayers using our underutilized schools and emergency rooms, not highly educated people who are already  college educated and can buy their own health insurance! (That is satire, for those who believe every literal written word.)


There is no more dominant local sports team than the Poway High Wrestling Team, and they deserve more good press notice than they get.

Poway High has won the Division 1 championship of the County for 25 CONSECUTIVE YEARS!

That is dominance. In fact they have won the county wrestling championship for 31 of the past 32 years!

This year they will send 12 wrestlers to the State Championship, an absolutely incredible feat.

Dawkin’s View of “Social Conservatism”

Richard Dawkins is the Charles Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, and a militant Agnostic who states his case much more militantly than I would express, but his writing is certainly pungent and to the point:

“If you live in America, the chances are good that your next door neighbours believe the following:

The Inventor of the laws of physics and Programmer of the DNA code decided to enter the uterus of a Jewish virgin, got himself born, then deliberately had himself tortured and executed because he couldn’t think of a better way to forgive the theft of an apple [by an ancestor who lived thousands of years before you that you never even knew personally], committed at the instigation of a talking snake. As Creator of the majestically expanding universe, he not only understands relativistic gravity and quantum mechanics, but actually designed them. Yet what he really cares about is “sin,” abortion, how often you go to church, and whether gay people should marry.

Statistically, the chances are that your neighbours believe all that — and they can vote.”

Social Worker’s View of the World vs. Police View

The father who destroyed his daughter’s laptop when she was disrespectful on-line, has certainly drew a bright line between those who have a social worker view of life and those who have a police view of life.

He reports that he was visited by Child Protective Services with tips on parenting, and the police, who congratulated him.

An unscientific poll taken online by the Today Show was answered by 93,000 viewers showed 74% agreed with the Dad.

(That excludes “Dr. Phil” who was on the wrong side of that discussion…but then he is a Social Worker.)

Learn Something New, Daily

The character played by Kevin Bacon in the movie “Diner” ask, “You ever get the feeling  there is something going on that we don’t know about?”

Yes! An awful lot, actually.

Just today, I learned not just the previous quote from The Weekly Standard, but the work of Julius Rosenwald who became the first Jew to spend a night at the White House (in  1912). That is not what he is known for, but it does give a clue about the antisemitism that is an unfortunate part of American history.

What I found interesting in reading a book report about a new book, “You Need a Schoolhouse” is that Rosenwald turned a $37,500 investment in a small company called Sears, Roebuck into a huge mail order company, and a $150 million personal fortune back when that was huge money (1925), and then what he did with it.

Rosenwald was a philanthropist, and when he met the Black education pioneer, Booker T. Washington, Rosenwald appreciated Washington’s belief in gradualism and education. Rosenwald started a public school movement to help the “Negro” population in the South with a program whereby he would put up a third of the money, and locals must sell cows and pigs, berries and cloth to raise the rest.

Although raised in the South, I had never heard of “Rosenwald Schools” but there were 4,977 such schools — an astounding number!

Yes, there are things going on about which we do not know!