Govt Out Of Touch

Well, the spouse came home with an interesting “Certificate Of Recognition”.

From the “Everyone deserves an award” even if we have no money for basics department… Our California District Assemblyman has sent out, for “Teacher Appreciation Week”, an 11 inch x 14 inch high quality folio with gold embossed seal on the front, and a gold embossed with gold seal “Certificate Of Recognition” inside. Including a letter of “sincerest gratitude” for “your service to the community”. Addressed to “Dear School Staffer”. (The Certificates are all individually printed with the particular person’s name, which I’ve smudged out… but the letter is generic.) Yes, every single “staffer” got one of these.

California Legislative Award cover 11 x 14

California Legislative Award cover 11 x 14

California Legislative Award Letter and Certificate

California Legislative Award Letter and Certificate

Turns out that the topic of discussion among the staff as these were being “awarded” was how the State was supposedly so bankrupt that teachers were being given unpaid furlough days, and there was no money for supplies like copy paper; yet Our Dear Legislator could plop down a $Bundle to have these customized Certificates, letters, and high end folios made, assembled, and delivered / presented to each and every “Staffer” in their district. (One presumes it is being done in other districts too).

So lots of money for SWAG (Stuff We All Get – i.e. freebie handouts to curry favor) and try to assure teachers as a voting block are “in the pocket” and properly ego puffed (on the taxpayer dime); but not enough for materials, pencils, crayons, paper, etc. for the kids… (The spouse often buys her own paper and materials for the kids …)

Generally the staff were “not amused”.

It’s just so… so… so “out of touch” with the reality in the classroom. Lots of pressure to “teach to the test” in an environment of “beatings will continue until morale improves” (i.e. if your school doesn’t score high enough the principle gets spanked and the teachers get a reaming) and ever more mandates to teach crap like bananas and ‘little skinny balloons’ along with “diversity days” and “esteem building” all in prescribed forms; hardly any allowance for a professional teacher to be creative and deliver content of value (i.e. life skills) in a mode best suited to the kids. So teachers get beaten down all year long, constantly told “No, no supplies today… but if your kids don’t do well on the tests, punishment will follow…” (That one thanks to Baby Bush…) And yet they have plenty of money for gratuitous puff like this?

Sigh.

So much money wasted for nothing, or really, worse than nothing, since the teachers were generally NOT favorably disposed…

He’d have done better to send each one of them a box of copy paper and 40 pencils / crayons (depending on grade).

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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36 Responses to Govt Out Of Touch

  1. R. de Haan says:

    Must have been a truckload of guild he had to get rid off.

  2. John F. Hultquist says:

    This fits the insensitivity and arrogance of the current government in D.C. The “Dear School Staffer” is a nice touch and gold is a good color.

  3. JP Miller says:

    So sad.

  4. punmaster says:

    . . . gratuitous puff . . .
    Sounds like a good name for a band, except that all pop music today is exactly that.

    There are some who have responded by telling the Evil Bastards it isn’t worth it anymore.
    Letter

    And, speaking of good works from the source of all gifts:
    It is just paper

  5. philjourdan says:

    Bu-bu-but it is only a few thousand dollars! Not nearly enough to make a dent in the multi-billion dollar deficits!

    So goes the old argument. Wasting tax payer money, wasting resources. Each “insignificant” waste adds up. Eventually you have a pile of cash that is wasted – and they wonder why there is no money to spend on basic infrastructure.

    Government is like children when it comes to money. They have no conception of the value of it, so waste it constantly.

  6. Bloke down the pub says:

    Now if the company producing the certificates was owned by a family member, that would explain things.
    As Gilbert and Sullivan would say ‘When everyone’s a somebody, then no-one’s anybody’

  7. Gary says:

    Odds are the weasel gets reelected.

    In my state one gave out slices of pizza on election day. I used to joke that this was the price of a vote, but last time it was literally (and I DON’T mean that figuratively) true.

  8. omanuel says:

    Yes, E.M. Smith, world governments and most of society are now out of touch with reality. They are not to blame. Their intentions were good when the United Nations was formed on 24 Oct 1945 out of fear that humans might destroy life on Earth if allowed access to the source of energy that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Aug 1945.

    To save mankind from possible nuclear annihilation, the integrity and very fabric of these social constructs have been compromised, and the status of humans has almost been reduced to that of other domesticated animals since 1945:

    a.) Public education,
    b.) Government science, and
    c.) Constitutional limits on government

    As George Orwell warned would happen in the book he started writing in 1946 [Nineteen Eighty-Four (“1984″) (Secker and Warburg, London, 8 June 1949):
    http://www.amazon.com/Nineteen-Eighty-Four-Centennial-Edition-George/dp/0452284236

    or http://www.george-orwell.org/1984

    When post-1945 misinformation (AGW, the Big Bang, Standard Solar Model, Quarks, God Particles, Oscillating Solar Neutrinos, etc.) is peeled away, the universe is remarkably simple:

    The universe consists of two forms of one fundamental particle, the neutron (n) and its expanded form, the hydrogen atom (H-1). The universe is alive and vibrant and sustains life because of inequalities in basic forces between these two forms of matter:

    1. Einstein showed physical mass (m) is stored energy (E), E = mc2

    2. Forces of attraction and repulsion are equal and opposite between
    _ a.) Unlike and like electrical charges (+/-)
    _ b.) Unlike and like magnetic fields (N/S), but

    3. The force of repulsion between neutrons (n) is short-range and strong; The force of attraction between hydrogen atoms (H-1) is long-range and weak. That inequality of forces between the two fundamental forms of matter generates the basic pulse of the cosmos (~20 Gyr).

  9. J Martin says:

    omanuel.

    I could never understand how planetary orbits can be stable over billions of years just based on gravitational attraction. I feel sure there must be a repulsive force involved of some sort as well as the attraction of gravity. Do you think that perhaps neutron repulsion is the missing force ?

  10. punmaster says:

    Repulsive force? Sure there is; she has so many names and faces it is hard to mention just one.

  11. omanuel says:

    @ J. Martin: Yes.

    Read #3 again and contemplate how this asymmetry causes the universe to expand and contract in cycles of ~20 Gyr:

    3. The force of repulsion between neutrons (n) is short-range and strong; The force of attraction between hydrogen atoms (H-1) is long-range and weak. That inequality of forces between the two fundamental forms of matter generates the basic pulse of the cosmos (~20 Gyr).

  12. J Martin says:

    omanuel.

    So gravity which is weak and based on hydrogen pulls on the mass of an orbiting planet, and neutron repulsion pushes against the diameter (?) of an orbiting planet.

    And if gravity is based on Hydrogen attraction, then that perhaps explains the anomaly of why gravity over the ocean can be greater than gravity over nearby land, despite rocks having some 3 times the density of water.

    How I wish my mathematics was up to this challenge. Surely a breakthrough awaits a mathematician / physicist one day, unless Miles Mathis hasn’t already made that breakthrough with his variant, the charge field.

  13. J Martin says:

    20 Gyr. Is that a pulse or a lifecycle ?

    The Universe has been expanding from a big bang for 10 Gyrs and will then contract for 10 Gyrs ?
    Then it goes bang again.

    if we have a push force do we need dark energy / dark matter to explain anything ?

  14. J Martin says:

    So after I post that last comment, I google the age of the universe and get aprox 13.8 billion years.
    So perhaps the universe expands for 20Gyrs and contracts for 20 Gyrs, I guess a 10 Gyr error compared to my life span cannot be regarded as a significant error.

  15. Tim says:

    It reminds me of the time I worked for ICI Plastics. One day they announced a new wage structure and that employees would get a salary commensurate with the responsibility of their particular job. What they didn’t anticipate was that we would all compare the result afterwards. What they actually did was to give every grade exactly the same amount, and get rid of all the previous differences! That was c1960. Management think hasn’t changed much over the years.

  16. Gail Combs says:

    I agree with Bloke down the pub , the certificates were not for the teachers. It was pay back for $$$ contributed to a re-election campaign or as pork for a family member.

  17. Gail Combs says:

    I forgot to suggest trying to trace exactly who printed these certificates and who did the contribute $$$ to. – FOLLOW THE MONEY.

  18. Lynn Clark says:

    Inquiring (“enquiring” for you Brits) minds what to know. Is the assemblyman a Democrat or Republican? (I have my suspicions…)

  19. Graeme No.3 says:

    Tim says: What they didn’t anticipate was that we would all compare the result afterwards.

    Been there, done that as they say. This time it was ICI (surprise!) and we would get rated on our performance. (very) good performers could get up to 20% above the standard rate, poor performers would get up to 20% less than standard (in the short time they remained). Of our group of 17, 2 were above 100%, and 15 on or below 96%.
    The two above were 104 and 110%. Both eventually left the company years later not having achieved very much. (The 110% bloke’s rating was the butt of much derisory comment, the other one deserved his rating). Of those rated below 96%, 3 were promoted in the next few years, and 1 got further promotions). 2 who rated in the unsatisfactory zone (87%) left shortly and got promotions at their new companies within 3 years. The chap rated lowest (81%) was pushed out. He joined another firm, and was rapidly promoted. Within 3 years he was seconded to the large US company which they dealt with, who in turn promoted him, then tried to have him stay permanently (with promotion again). He wanted to return to Australia, where he was promoted to Divisional General Manager (turnover about the same as the ICI section he left) and then, after a takeover, as General Manager (in american CEO). I lost sight of him after about 15 years (too far above me).

    It would appear that the management’s judgement wasn’t all they thought it was, but they probably had good ratings.

  20. crosspatch says:

    I’m surprised they didn’t hand out paddle balls — in lieu of pay. (Blazing Saddles reference)

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    @Lynn Clark:

    Paul Fong, Democrat. Firm believer in the Carbon Mythology….

    @Gail Combs:

    The list of endorsements on his page is quite long, and from the looks of it, all Democrat Machine folks… so likely someone getting something out of it.

    @Tim & Graeme #3:

    An evaluation usually reflects an emotional opinion rather than an actual ability to perform. Usually not very useful.

  22. R. de Haan says:

    Alan Caruba just handed out a certificate of recognition to Obama: http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.de/2013/05/the-worst-president-ever.html

    Must be that time of the year.

  23. Tim says:

    E. M. Smith says:
    “An evaluation usually reflects an emotional opinion rather than an actual ability to perform. Usually not very useful.”

    Agreed. I was given a copy of “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman (he DID win a Nobel Prize) very recently. It occurred to me it might be useful to give copies to prominent Climate ‘Scientists’ such as Mann and Hansen as it looks critically at statistics, but I’m not sure they have the ability to understand it. It’s heavy going for me, and I’m not particularly bright.

  24. omanuel says:

    @J Martin

    Atoms attract each other with a weak, long-range force (gravity), but like nucleons repel each other with a powerful, short-range force (neutron repulsion). Proton repulsion is exactly equal to neutron repulsion, but it is hidden beneath Coulomb repulsion between their + charges. Oliver

  25. Gail Combs says:

    R. de Haan, Bill Clinton is my choice for worst president ever followed by FDR. Obama is just a zero, a puppet with no real brains.

    NAFTA, WTO and the five banking laws that led to the present world financial crisis all had Bill Clinton’s signature. The worst part however was Clinton selling US military secrets and US technology to China. link

  26. punmaster says:

    @Gail Combs:
    C,mon, give old Bill a break. ;-) He had his attention on other, make that one other, thing. Still does, AFAIK. He and Hil don’t have to look like a couple now.

  27. Gail Combs says:

    Punmaster, Yeah and Hitlery is still wearing the pants in that marriage.

  28. Jerry says:

    Awards are just universally under appreciated it would seem. :)
    http://www.dilbert.com/2013-05-19/

  29. E.M.Smith says:

    @Jerry:

    Oh Dear! I think you’ve given me a new ‘tag line’… “Hand me an award and watch carefully.” ;-)

    @Gail:

    Well, somebody in that family has to keep the pants on and it certainly wasn’t Bill who could do it!

  30. omanuel says:

    @ J. Martin, May 17, 2013, 8:10-8:22 pm

    I was traveling and unable to reply.

    We have no idea how long it will take for the cosmos to collapse back, after the expansion ceases. We guesstimate that one pulse is approximately twenty billion years (~20 Gyr).

    Society is rapidly slipping into a quagmire; Acrimonious debate and blame are helping nobody. We are all at fault for choosing the easier, softer way instead of being rigorously honest.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Peaceful_Resolution.pdf

  31. Gail Combs says:

    omanuel says: …. We are all at fault for choosing the easier, softer way instead of being rigorously honest…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Speak for yourself on that.

    I have been fired a couple of times for being honest and refusing to falsify data. I was finally blackballed for ‘Not being a Team Player.’ That is why I feel nothing but contempt for the ‘scientists’ who go along with the ‘Politically Correct science’ instead of defending the scientific method.

  32. omanuel says:

    @Gail Combs:

    I speak only for myself in suggesting that is intellectually dishonest to vilify my opponents. I have that most of my life. – Oliver

  33. Gail Combs says:

    Oliver, it depends on whether or not they are doing science as best they can or if they are just brown nosing and making up data so they can keep collecting a nice paycheck and pats on the back for being Politically Correct.

    How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data
    Abstract

    The frequency with which scientists fabricate and falsify data, or commit other forms of scientific misconduct is a matter of controversy…. This is the first meta-analysis of these surveys….

    A pooled weighted average of 1.97% (N = 7, 95%CI: 0.86–4.45) of scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once –a serious form of misconduct by any standard– and up to 33.7% admitted other questionable research practices. In surveys asking about the behaviour of colleagues, admission rates were 14.12% (N = 12, 95% CI: 9.91–19.72) for falsification, and up to 72% for other questionable research practices. Meta-regression showed that self reports surveys, surveys using the words “falsification” or “fabrication”, and mailed surveys yielded lower percentages of misconduct. When these factors were controlled for, misconduct was reported more frequently by medical/pharmacological researchers than others.

    Considering that these surveys ask sensitive questions and have other limitations, it appears likely that this is a conservative estimate of the true prevalence of scientific misconduct.

    Not doing anything about the 72% questionable research practices especially in medical/pharmacological research is bad enough. When you add in Democide, DEATH BY GOVERNMENT and the murder of 169,202,000 people by their own governments, I am not about to give these accessories to murder a free pass.

    Remember in the UK65 people a day are DYING as a direct result of the “Science” of Micheal Mann, James Hansen, Phil Jones and the rest.

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @Gail & Oliver:

    I’ve been on both sides of that one. On a couple of occasions I’ve found that “being fired by the right people” turns out to be a recommendation in future interviews…

    At the same time, it’s essential for effectiveness to have some degree of “political sense” in organizations. Think of Sheldon in “Big Bang Theory”… just waaay too “honest” even when it does nothing good.

    So in any social context “we all lie” is likely true. Things like “I love your hair!” while thinking “My but you have put on a few pounds…” Is there any benefit from stating that observation of poundage? Is it helpful or hurtful?

    In the end, the morality of “the polite lie” comes down to that second word. “Polite”. IFF the “lie” (even one of omission) is for purposes of personal gain and hurting others (i.e. the typical political manipulation) then it is not moral; yet, if that same “lie” is for nothing more than helping us all “get along” with a better and happier life, then it is doing no harm. IMHO, that same pattern generalizes to non-social “lying” and political manipulation. Essentially, it’s all about the motivation.

    So when a Senator says “My esteemed colleague” meaning “That lying thieving bastard over there”; it does no harm, so isn’t “a bad thing”. When that same Senator says “It will create jobs for the American People” while knowing it will mostly line the pockets of key contributors, that is self serving and fundamentally evil. Where, IMHO, folks go “off the rails”; is when they have mixed motivations. When it will create some jobs, while lining selected pockets. The so called “win – win”… Then it becomes very hard for most folks to keep their moral compass centered…

    So lets make it concrete…

    Hansen creates GIStemp. It fabricates a fictional “Global Average Temperature” and does so by a large number of individually justified but collectively unproven manipulations of the temperature data. Is that “self serving and evil”? IMHO, most likely not. Hansen, IMHO, suffers from a mix of “Noble Cause Corruption” in that he really does think he’s going to save the world, so looking too critically at things that support his beliefs is not going to happen; along with a ‘tyranny of small decisions’.
    https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/small-tyrants-large-tyrannies/

    So take a load of ‘true believers’ all looking for justification of their fundamental belief system. They find justifications and collect them. Never being critical enough of the ‘collective’. Not looking at countervailing factors (like convection and a tropopause that sucks heat sideways at Cat 2 hurricane force winds to the winter pole to radiate it off to space…) they find the only thing it can be is I.R. radiating at the tropopause over the tropical / temperate bands. Is that a fundamentally self serving conscious decision? Or just being a bit the fool?

    Yet we are all foolish at times…

    So a thing we can not know determines the level of “Evil” in Mr. Hansen. IMHO it is best not to attribute malice and evil at that point, and to avoid slinging mud. Lots and lots of folks “suck their own exhaust” and “believe their own bull shit”. That does not make them evil, so it’s a bad idea to accuse them of it, nor act with rancor based on that expectation. Were I to meet Mr. Hansen (or any of the others, even Mr. Mann et. al.) I would treat them with polite respect and a degree of political tact. Likely restricting my discussion to things informative like asking questions, not tossing rocks or staking out positions. (“Tell me, Mr. Hansen, how does the very high wind speed toward the Night Jet winter pole square with a radiative budget theory?” then politely accept the answer as insight to understanding and motivation…) If they want to take that as their “winning” the “challenge”, so be it. It costs me nothing to be polite and let them feel what they wish; besides, I might learn more with my ears open and my mouth shut…

    Unfortunately, this is not all rosy for the likes of Mr. Hansen. IMHO, it’s very clear that there are a load of fundamentally insurmountable failures in his method. (Temperature is not heat – that water and entropy problem. Temperature is an intrinsic property, so any average of temperatures is devoid of meaning, at a fundamental property level. Climate is not a “30 year average of weather” as there are known 60 year, 179 year, and 1500-1800 year cycles of weather (lunar orbital repeat is variable in the 1500-1800 range) and ignoring those cycles is lethal to attributing trend. Trend lines of averages are critically dependent on start / stop points and the data start point is anchored in a known cold period of the Little Ice Age. and so much more…) So he is stuck with the unfortunate choice of being Evil or The Fool. IMHO it does no service to him to say “I think he is not Evil”… but I don’t need to rub his nose in it over coffee and cookies… so name calling is just wasted air and I’m as likely to ask “So think a Pacific Island might make a nice retirement home?” as anything else…

    Finally, “Life is too short to drink bad wine.” When you get yourself all wound around the axle over a person and get all filled with “Piss and Vinegar” over it, the only one that hurts is yourself. YOU are the one spitting vinegar all day… and that’s just not pleasant. So yes, I feel some amount of anger at blatant evil and / or stupidities; but I “get over it” fast and get it out of my life at the best possible speed. I would rather be “quietly effective” than “that noisy cranky guy” who gets ignored. (There is a place for being ‘that noisy cranky guy’, but it’s only in very limited contexts… often involving positional authority. When using ‘soft authority’, being rich in negative emotional presentation is usually a reducer of effectiveness…) So I take a more Buddhist approach to animosity. Why fill my vessel with it? Be the empty vessel…

    But one can be an intelligent and moral empty vessel… and politely present evidence that evil or stupidity is being done, and advocate that it ought not be done…

    There is an infinite supply of The Power Of Stupid and an infinite supply of Evil Bastards and it’s important to work to mitigate their destructive influence (all of social order is in some way directed to that end); yet they are an infinite supply, so it is essential to hold that flood at a distance from your soul and not let it turn you to negativity. To find what joy you can in the interesting and the positive. To enhance the “Tidy Mind” in touch with the core of truth, to mitigate the errors in your own understandings, to find joy in life wherever it can be found. “Illegitimi non carborundum!” demands that you put yourself first, enjoy this time and this life; even while pointing at those mired in negativity and stuck on the evil / fool axis with a certain small smile on the lips… and hope not too many are looking at you with the same small smile…

  35. omanuel says:

    @ E. M. Smith @Gail Combs:

    I agree with both of you. I appreciate the good intentions of scientists and world leaders who decided to save the world from the threat of nuclear annihilation by:

    1. Forming the United Nations on 24 Oct 1945
    2. Publishing misinformation on solar and nuclear physics after 1946
    3. Effectively eliminating all constitutional limits on the power of governments

    But society is the verge of collapse worldwide from the unanticipated results of the 1945-46 decision to deceive. We need to focus all our efforts on getting society back on track:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Peaceful_Resolution.pdf

    We need the best talents of everyone, even Evil Bastards, to get mankind back on track ASAP after almost sixty-eight years (2013 – 1945 = 68 yrs) of wandering in the wilderness.

  36. Zeke says:

    ” So yes, I feel some amount of anger at blatant evil and / or stupidities; but I “get over it” fast and get it out of my life at the best possible speed. I would rather be “quietly effective”…” Cheifio

    Yes but a good zinger can have therapeutic effects and aid in the process of forgetting (:

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