Still again, thanks Chairman Nadler.

December 16, 2019

Polling the public: the nays have it.

==============

OK, the Judicial Committee voted allong part lines to impeach … and Nadler published a 500 page report defending the decision.

With those acts in the book, there should be a public groundswell for impeachment, right?

Nope.

image

According to the RCP poll-of-polls, the lines have crossed and opposition to impeachment / removal now has a plurality:

Now, 46.7% support impeachment … but,  oppose impeachment … 47.3% oppose it.

For the first time, opposition has a plurality.

Nice job Schiff & Nadler!

===============

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Ken’s UEI (Ultimate Economic Indicator) … the real gauge of the economy.

December 16, 2019

Recently, I placed an Amazon order for a pair of shoes … checked ‘free shipping’ (not Prime) … and it took 10 days for the order to arrive on my doorstep.

Why is that important”

There are a lot of indicators bandied about to ‘prove’ how well or poorly the economy is doing.

There’s GDP, unemployment, CPI, and many, many other metrics.

Sometimes they provide a consistent view of the economy … sometimes they contradict.

image

Well, I now rely on my Ultimate Economic Indicator (UEI). An indisputable measure of economic activity …

Read the rest of this entry »

Thanks again, Chairman Nadler!

December 13, 2019

A milestone today in the RCP poll-of-polls

Support for impeachment and removal has dropped … opposition has increased … and, for the first time, support / opposition is now dead even.

image

Pelosi said no impeachment without bipartisan Congressional support and a groundswell of public support.

Well, looks like it’ll be partisan support and bipartisan opposition in Congress … and by the time the vote is taken next week, a plurality of public opposition to impeachment and removal.

Hmm.

=============

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Are you doing better than you were 3 years ago?

December 12, 2019

The classic Ronald Reagan campaign question seems likely to be resurrected in the 2020 election.

And, guess what?

Based on a recent Quinnipiac poll

A majority — 57% of registered voters — think they’re better off now.

The breakdown: 87% of Republicans and 54% of independents  think they’re doing better today … only 1/3 of  Democrats share the joy.

Hmm.

==============

A couple of other interesting cuts …

A higher proportion of younger registered voters (think: millennials) think they’re doing better today (66%) … but less than half (47%) of seniors feel the same way.

image

=============

Two-thirds of whites think they’re doing better today … half of Hispanics think they’re doing better … but less than 1/3 of blacks think they’re doing better.

image

=============

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I guess the Macedonian “content farms” are in the clear, right?

December 11, 2019

The Dems are now arguing that — since the Russians hacked the 2016 election — then it is simply a conspiracy theory to think that the Ukrainians did, too.

Apparently, there can only be one designated “meddler”.

My question: Using the same logic, aren’t the Macedonians innocent, too?

========

In case you’ve forgotten about the Macedonians, let’s flash back to one of Hillary’s first book launches…

Remember when HRC perched on a faux-throne at CodeCon and the Javits Center … spilled the beans on why she lost?

image

Of course, there are the usual villains: Comey, the Russians, WikiLeaks, deplorables, etc.

But, she’s also starting to turn on her support base: the DNC (bad data, no money, no ground game), mainstream media (for disclosing that she had classified docs on her server), women (both suburban and rural, urbans were ok), and low-information voters (her base !).

My personal favorite: “content farms in Macedonia” … apparently there’s an army of tech savvy social media writers based in Macedonia who turned their cannons on her.

Really?

=========
Here’s a current list of culprits and ill-wishers …

Read the rest of this entry »

Trump contemptuous of Congress…

December 10, 2019

Just like the vast majority of Americans !

============

Here’s a set of stats to keep in mind when you watch or hear about Nadler’s impeachment hearings…

Trump has a 43.7% job approval.

Pelosi is at 37.1% favorability.

And, my favorite: only 26% have a “positive opinion of” Adam Schiff.

image

Surprisingly, Schiff low-ball 26% pulls up the Congressional numbers ..

According to the RCP poll-of-polls, only 22% of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing.

image

Seems like contempt of Congress is even more widely spread than Trump-hating.

=============

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Thank you, Chairman Nadler!

December 9, 2019

Last week, we posted survey results seeming to indicate that the uptick in impeachment opposition that was increasing during the hearings …  was dissipating during the Congressional Thanksgiving recess.

At the time, I opined: I’m glad that Jerry Nadler is going to restart hearings and start drafting articles of impeachment. For sure, that’ll rally the opposition.

If you’ve been glued to CNN or MSNBC, all you’ve been hearing is how the 3 Trump-hating law professors hit it out of the park with their bombshell testimony … and, surely, support for impeachment would now sky-rocket.

  • Note: I know that’s true b/c I’m a channel switcher.

But, as is usually the case, facts (not opinions), get in the way of the Trump-hating narrative.

image

Based on the most recent RCP poll-of-polls, after the Nadler & Eggheads show, opposition to the impeachment inquiry process turned up again … and support for the inquisition dropped.

So, the gap has narrowed … to now be within the polls margin of error.

More hearings this week … that should close the gap even further … and keep impeachment support well below Pelosi’s stated requirement of “compelling public support and bipartisan Congressional approval.”

As a self-proclaimed devout Catholic who prays every day for President Trump, she wasn’t lying, was she?

==============

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Cognitive biases: Falling for false expertise …

December 6, 2019

This week’s “constitutional” hearings reminded me:

People don’t naturally know who they should listen to.
==========

Worse yet, in a majority of instances when a reliable expert is identified, people end up following somebody else’s advice.

That’s what Univ. of Utah’s management professor Bryan Bonner concludes.

image

==========

Bonner observes that rather than identifying advisers with actual competence, people habitually fall for spurious “proxies of expertise”.

Read the rest of this entry »

‘Ramblings of a basement blogger’ … say, what?

December 5, 2019

OK, maybe I’m being hyper-sensitive, but…

A couple of weeks ago, we posted the sad story of Maria Yovanovitch — who Trump “re-posted” (i.e. fired) from her position as ambassador to Ukraine — and “relegated her” to a teaching gig at Georgetown (at full government rank and pay).

Sensitive-me pointed out that when I got an offer to teach at Georgetown after 2+ decades in corporate and consulting jobs, I considered it an opportunity to change careers and pursue a life dream … I didn’t think that I was being relegated to to some junk heap job.

===============

Fast forward to yesterday…

Read the rest of this entry »

Burst the bubble !

December 4, 2019

High time to decentralize the government … at least geographically
============

I’ve long been a proponent of moving some (or many) Federal government agencies out of Washington to other locales … e.g. cities & states that have been upended by globalization-induced deindustrialization.

image

The idea has often been floated, but rejected.

The usual arguments: (1) Gov’t employees — especially departmental honchos — need to be geographically co-located in order to coordinate services and activities across agencies (2) The gov’t has already amassed a formidable network of real estate holdings in DC (think: offices) (3) there is a massive organization of gov’t employees (note that I try to avoid the term “government workers”)  up and operating. 

But, the idea of decentralizing the Federal government seems to be gaining some momentum…

Read the rest of this entry »

Smart states voted for Hillary, dumb states voted for Trump … right?

December 3, 2019

A friend sent along a study by an organization called SafeHome that ranks states by their relative “smartness”.

More specifically, the study used a formula that “takes into account college degrees, high school graduation, professional or advanced degrees and test scores to create a smartest states ranking.”

So, “smartness” isn’t just native IQ, it’s opportunity and achievement, too.

Without quibbling over the criteria or the formula, here is the answer:

imageclick to see the state by state details

I suspect that my friend was multi-motivated, sending me the study because (1) it’s interesting, (2) New Jersey — her home state — topped the list, and (3) it would prove that smart voted for HRC and dumb voted for DJT.

Of course, I had to drill down to see if #3 is true…

Read the rest of this entry »

Thank God, the impeachment hearings are starting up again…

December 2, 2019

There was practically no T-Day chatter among our friends & family re: the impeachment hearings.

It wasn’t out of respect for the holiday, it was pure apathy re: impeachment and the Schiff inquisition.  Vast majority didn’t watch any of the hearings … and, flat out didn’t care.

So, I was surprised when I checked the polls to see how the numbers are moving.

image

Bottom line:

According to the RCP poll-of-polls … since Congress went on recess (i.e. no hearings held) … support for the hearings increased a bit … support is up by a point, opposition is down by a point.

Could be that Dem Congressmen were able to rally the cause when they went back home for the recess … or it could just be rounding error … or it could just be that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Presuming the latter, I’m glad that Jerry Nadler is going to restart hearings and start drafting articles of impeachment.

For sure, that’ll rally the opposition.

===============

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Happy Thanksgiving !

November 27, 2019

image

* * * * * 
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What’s the ROI of a college education?

November 26, 2019

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce recently published a study on the ROI of college educations.

Billed as a “first try”, the report estimates the Net Present Value of a college education — taking into account the “price” of a college’s degree, the interest on student debt incurred, likely future earnings and the time value of money.

image

Among the reports key conclusions….

Read the rest of this entry »

Flashback: Obama schools Romney that “Russia isn’t a threat”

November 25, 2019

Watching the Impeachment Inquiry last week I was struck by Dem witnesses’ hyperbolic concern about Russia.

Just a minute guys…

Remember the 2012 Presidential debates?

A key moment was when President Obama ridiculed Gov. Romney’s knowledge of foreign affairs.

Given the current hysteria over Russia, the clip is a classic …  try to stay calm when you watch it

=====

Here’s more that’ll should make you scream …

Read the rest of this entry »

So, are the impeachment hearings moving the needle?

November 22, 2019

Short answer: Yes … to Trump’s benefit.
=============

Let’s ignore the partisan punditry for a moment and take another look at the numbers.

As we’ve posted before, TV ratings for the hearings have been dismal.

That’s no surprise since 60% of voters say that they are less interested in impeachment than are the politicos and the media … since the hearings are generally dull and confusing to most people … and since the hearings are broadcast during the day — when most people are at work.

So, people who do have an interest, resort to their usual partisan sources of news.

OK, so how are the numbers moving?

==============

Let’s starts with opinions re: the inquiry proceedings themselves…

image

According to the RCP poll-of-polls, support for Schiff’s impeachment inquiry has slipped from 51% to 48% … and opposition to the inquisition (err, inquiry) has increased from 42% to about 45%.

So, support has gone from 9% net favorable to 3% net favorable.

Still, support is net favorable … but it’s less than a majority …marginally net favorable … and decreasingly so (i.e. the trend is unfavorable.

What about views on impeachment itself?

Read the rest of this entry »

The question that I’d ask at the impeachment hearings…

November 21, 2019

“What would you say exactly … you do here at Initech?”
=============

The hearings have been so predictable and dull that — when I’ve been watching — I’ve played the game “What would I ask?”.

Yesterday, I watched some of the testimony of Laura Cooper — the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

Ms. Cooper seems like a serious, well-intended government bureaucrat.  I don’t have a beef with her specifically.

But, she prefaced several of her answers with a couple of recurring phrases: “My staff does that; “I’d have to ask my staff”; “that’s outside my purview”; etc.

Her answers flashed me back to a classic scene in the movie Office Space.

It’s only a minute long and worth the time … guaranteed: it’ll change the way you watch the hearings

click to view
image

When interviewing a “customer specifications analyst”, a pair of efficiency experts — the Bobs — laser in on the most fundamental question…

==============

“What would you say exactly … you do here at Initech?”

When watching the hearings, just substitute the words “the US government” for “Initech” and you’ll see what I’m getting at.

All of the witnesses:

  • Seem to have very narrow specialties.
  • The specialties seem to be duplicated in several departments.
  • The specialists in each of the departments seem to spend a lot of time in meetings, on the phone and at dinners … often with each other, honing their groupthink.
  • Nobody seems to have authority to actually do anything other than generate make-work for their staffs.
  • All seem to have locked up government paychecks and benefits for life.

May just be me, but the words “bloat”, “inefficiency” and “ineffectiveness” keep popping in my mind.

Where are the Bobs when you need them?

============

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Before climate change, there was the “Population Bomb”.

November 21, 2019

And, there are remarkable similarities.
============

Recently, in one of her articulated streams of consciousness, AOC warned that we all would be toast in 12 years if global warming wasn’t arrested.

Time to metal-cube our SUVs and mass-slaughter the bovine-methane creatures, right?

Well, not so fast.

While AOC’s warning may come to fruition, I’m betting the over on the 12 years … in part, because it fits a pattern of hysterical unrealized doomsday predictions.

For example, circa. 1970, Prof. Paul Ehrlich  (Stanford University) wrote Malthusian-inspired book: The Population Bomb. The book became a runaway “scientific” best-seller.

image
Smithonian.com

Ehrlich warned that because of unchecked population growth:

The battle to feed all of humanity is over.

Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.

All of us will face mass starvation on a dying planet.

While their were some deniers, demographers agreed almost unanimously with Ehrlich’s doomsday prediction ….

Read the rest of this entry »

CBS tunes out the Schiff Show … resumes regular soap operas.

November 20, 2019

And, public support for impeachment continues to erode.
=============

Earlier this week, we posted re: the dismal viewership the Dems’ impeachment hearings are getting.

Want an unmistakable indicator?

Well, CBS became the first major network to face reality — that nobody was watching the tedious hearings — and switched back to its usual soap operas, i.e. from one soap opera to another.

image

More important, the Pelosi-dreamed groundswell of support for impeachment sure doesn’t seem to be materializing…

Read the rest of this entry »

“Reduced to teaching at Georgetown” … say, what?

November 19, 2019

There was a part of Amb. Yovanovitch’s that made my jaw drop.

When the Dem counsel was prying into her firing, he was obviously trying his level best to get her to cry … “how did you feel?”; “what was the impact on your family?”; “can you describe how distraught you were?”, etc.

Boo-hoo …

image

In my business career, I was sold twice to new owners … and  “rationalized”, “synergized” and reassigned many times during internal regime changes.

So, I have zero sympathy when a “paying job for life” diplomat gets reassigned when a new sheriff comes to town.

But, that’s not what stopped me in my tracks …

Read the rest of this entry »

So, is the Dem’s impeachment action gaining widespread support?

November 18, 2019

In a word: NO!
=============

Pundits and politicos on the left are shouting BOMBSHELL! BOMBSHELL!! BOMBSHELL!!!

Those on the right are declaring: “nothingburger”.

So, what’s the answer?

image

Let’s look at some numbers…

==============

“Fan interest” for the televised hearings is pretty low.

Nielsen says that just under 14 million watched the first day of hearings.

That’s down from the 20 million that tuned into the Kavanaugh hearings … and only about 1% of the number of 2016 voters.

============

And, what impact are the hearings having on voters?

Well, according to left-leaning FiveThirtyEight, support for impeachment FELL a bit during week one of hearings. (See chart above)

Support for impeachment is now a mere 2 percentage points higher that opposition … but, at 47.7%, it’s less than a majority. 

And, according to RCP, approval for the inquiry process itself slid during the week of hearings … dipping below 50% for the first time in weeks.

image

Bottom line: Pelosi said “no impeachment unless there was bipartisan Congressional support and widespread public sentiment.

Doesn’t look like Inquiry will meet those hurdles…

==============

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More: Have colleges watered down their curriculums?

November 15, 2019

A survey of 700 schools answers the question.
===============

In a prior post, we outlined the criteria and method that the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) used to assess whether students are learning the “essential skills and knowledge” for work and for life.

image

In a nutshell, ACTA researchers culled through over 700 schools’ course catalogs and web sites to determine what courses were being offered and, more important, which courses were required of all students.

Specifically, they investigated whether undergraduates are gaining a reasonable college-level introduction in seven core subject areas:

  1. Composition & argumentation
  2. Literature and critical thinking
  3. Foreign language & culture
  4. U.S. government & history
  5. Economics: Macro, micro, behavioral
  6. Mathematics, logic & computer science
  7. Science & scientific experimentation.

Here’s what they found …

Read the rest of this entry »

Have colleges watered down their curriculums?

November 14, 2019

A survey seeks to  answer that question.
=============

In a prior  post, we reported that employers think that most college graduates are poorly prepared for the work force in such areas as critical thinking, communication and problem solving.

See A bigger college scandal than the recent admissions bruhaha…

Let’s dig a little deeper on that sentiment.

image

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) conducted a survey of “Core Requirements at our Nation’s Colleges and Universities” to determine what students are really learning in college.

Specifically, the ACTA survey focused on the courses that a student is required to take outside the major.

These courses — commonly called general education classes or the school’s core curriculum — are, according to the ACTA, “ the foundation of a school’s academic program”.

They are the courses “generally  designed to equip students with essential skills and knowledge” for work and for life.

Here is specifically what ACTA was looking for…

Read the rest of this entry »

Test: Can you find Ukraine on a map?

November 13, 2019

And, if you can, can you name its neighboring countries?
=============

OK, here’s a map of Eastern Europe.

Stick a pin in Ukraine…

image

And, the answer is …

Read the rest of this entry »

Test: Volodymyr Zelensky is the president of what country?

November 12, 2019

That should be an easy question since its been in the news 24 x 7 recently.

image

But, I’ve heard friends, pundits and outraged Dem politicos say that he is the President of:

(a) The Ukraine (like The Philippines or  The Ohio State University)

(b) Ukraine (like Canada or Smokey Bear)

(c) Ukrania (like Romania)

So, which is it?

Read the rest of this entry »

More: Have colleges watered down their curriculums?

November 12, 2019

A survey of 700 schools answers the question.
===============

In a prior post, we outlined the criteria and method that the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) used to assess whether students are learning the “essential skills and knowledge” for work and for life.

image

In a nutshell, ACTA researchers culled through over 700 schools’ course catalogs and web sites to determine what courses were being offered and, more important, which courses were required of all students.

Specifically, they investigated whether undergraduates are gaining a reasonable college-level introduction in seven core subject areas:

  1. Composition & argumentation
  2. Literature and critical thinking
  3. Foreign language & culture
  4. U.S. government & history
  5. Economics: Macro, micro, behavioral
  6. Mathematics, logic & computer science
  7. Science & scientific experimentation.

Here’s what they found …

Read the rest of this entry »

Legally speaking, when does “death do you part”?

November 11, 2019

A prison lifer seeks clarification … and freedom.
==============

According to several sources

In 1996, Benjamin Schreiber was sentenced to life without parole for bludgeoning a man to death.

Usually, that sentence is pretty clear cut.

Not in Schreiber ‘s case.

Here’s the rub…

Read the rest of this entry »

What are your chances of dying from ___ ?

November 8, 2019

Yesterday, we posted that men are 9 times more likely than women to be attacked by sharks … and 6 times more likely to be struck by lightning.

Continuing in that vein, here’s a test for you  …

image

Rank the the following by the odds that somebody who is in the group or who is exposed to the risk is likely to die.

Make #1 the highest risk of dying in the next year; make #7 the lowest risk circumstance

  • For women giving birth
  • For anyone thirty-five to forty-four years old
  • From asbestos in schools
  • For anyone for any reason
  • From lightning
  • For police on the job
  • From airplane crashes

And the answer is …

Read the rest of this entry »

Is it more dangerous to be a man than a woman?

November 7, 2019

Some evidence says it is …  by far in some situations.
=============

According to Prof. Walter E. Williams writing about Proportional Disparities

Men are roughly half of the population, right?

But, sharks are nine times likelier to attack and kill men than they are women.

image

Men are struck by lightning six times as often as women.

And, 82% of people killed by lightning are men.

Why is that?

Read the rest of this entry »

The degree-earning gender gap…

November 6, 2019

An interesting analysis done by economist Mark Perry concludes:

Since 1982, women have earned 13 million more college degrees than men.

image

Let’s drill down on those numbers…

Read the rest of this entry »

Do students really learn what’s taught?

November 5, 2019

Though I’ve retired from the practice, I’m still very engaged on education issues … especially whether our students (at all levels) are being adequately schooled to compete in the real world.

So, one of my summer reads is “What Schools Could Be” by Ted Dinterersmith – a well credentialed, experience-deep educator.

In a nutshell, author Ted Dintersmith spent a year visiting schools across the nation to identify outstanding teachers and catalog their secret sauces.

image

One of the anecdotes that he recounts in the book hit one of my longstanding questions: Do students really learn what they’re being taught?

Read the rest of this entry »

Schools: Test scores falling from already dismal levels…

November 4, 2019

… and, the gap is widening between highest achieving and lowest achieving students.

==============

Every 2 years, an organization called The Nation’s Report Card conducts an “Assessment of Educational Progress” being made in America’s school.

The overall conclusion: not much progress is being made.

image

Specifically…

Read the rest of this entry »

“Half of all U.S. colleges to close or go bankrupt in the next decade”

November 1, 2019

That’s the gloomy prediction of disruption guru Clayton Christensen
===============

And, it’s not just the tidal wave of online programs or ballooning college tuitions.

Moreso, Christensen’s prediction is on track, according to a WSJ recap of economist Nathan Grawe’s “Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education.”

image

Grawe’s central thesis: Birthrates have plunged 13% since the Great Recession … and that “birth dearth” will cost America 450,000 fewer college applicants in the 2020s.

Here are some of the specifics….

Read the rest of this entry »

Before climate change, there was the “Population Bomb”.

October 31, 2019

And, there are remarkable similarities.
============

Recently, in one of her articulated streams of consciousness, AOC warned that we all would be toast in 12 years if global warming wasn’t arrested.

Time to metal-cube our SUVs and mass-slaughter the bovine-methane creatures, right?

Well, not so fast.

While AOC’s warning may come to fruition, I’m betting the over on the 12 years … in part, because it fits a pattern of hysterical unrealized doomsday predictions.

For example, circa. 1970, Prof. Paul Ehrlich  (Stanford University) wrote Malthusian-inspired book: The Population Bomb. The book became a runaway “scientific” best-seller.

image
Smithonian.com

Ehrlich warned that because of unchecked population growth:

The battle to feed all of humanity is over.

Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death.

All of us will face mass starvation on a dying planet.

While their were some deniers, demographers agreed almost unanimously with Ehrlich’s doomsday prediction ….

Read the rest of this entry »

How do the rich get richer ..

October 30, 2019

… while others seem to just tread water?

============

Interesting study reported in the NY Times

The rich really are getting richer …  growing net worth faster than those on lower wealth rungs.

image

… and, there’s a logical reason why.

Read the rest of this entry »

So, how many “rich” folks are there?

October 29, 2019

Yesterday we reported survey results from Schwab and the WSJ that pegged the threshold for being classified as “rich” or “wealthy” at about $2.5 million.

Just being a millionaire doesn’t make the cut any more.

See What’s the “magic number” that makes you wealthy?

image
Source: NY Times

OK, so how many households do make the cut?

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s the “magic number” that makes you wealthy?

October 28, 2019

Several years ago I asked a colleague “What do you need to retire?”

image

His answer: “$5 million and playmates.”

Playmates?

What he meant was having enough leisure-time folks to hang out with during the day.

So, about the  “magic number” …

Read the rest of this entry »

Blame it on a Macedonian “content farm” … say, what?

October 25, 2019

Hillary is back … outing imagined Russian “assets”and rationalizing why  she lost.

========

So, let’s flash back to her first book launch…

Remember when HRC perched on a faux-throne at CodeCon and the Javits Center … spilled the beans on why she lost?

image

Of course, there are the usual villains: Comey, the Russians, WikiLeaks, deplorables, etc.

But, she’s also starting to turn on her support base: the DNC (bad data, no money, no ground game), mainstream media (for disclosing that she had classified docs on her server), women (both suburban and rural, urbans were ok), and low-information voters (her base !).

My personal favorite: “content farms in Macedonia” … apparently there’s an army of tech savvy social media writers based in Macedonia who turned their cannons on her.

Really?

=========
Here’s a current list of culprits and ill-wishers …

Read the rest of this entry »

Gotcha: Soon, speed cams will be so yesterday …

October 24, 2019

Speed cams are bad … AAA has done audits revealing that 1 in 10 tickets issued by them are in error … with drivers having little recourse since only  the cameras are are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Yep, they’re bad, but …

Imagine all speed limits being tightly enforced … 24 X 7.

Scary thought, right?

image

Here’s what will replace the speed cam … and disrupt our lives.

Read the rest of this entry »

New evidence: Screen time makes you grow older faster…

October 23, 2019

For sure if you’re a fly… quite possibly if you’re a human.
===============

Excerpted from Fast Company

You probably already know that staring at the blue light beaming from a smartphone or computer screen might damage your eyesight.

Here’s some worse news…

image

A new study suggests that long exposure to blue light could be doing some more fundamental damage: making you age faster.

Read the rest of this entry »

Decline in MBA applications accelerates…

October 22, 2019

Schools pressured to innovate programs and tighten cost belts.

==============

According to data collected by the WSJ

Applications to American M.B.A. programs fell for the fifth straight year … down by 9.1% last year to just over 135,000.

Elite schools — except for Chicago (my alma mater) – are experiencing declines and being forced to dig deeper into their still formidable pile of applications … i.e. increase their acceptance rates.

image

What’s going on?

Read the rest of this entry »

About the Dems’ groundswell for impeachment…

October 21, 2019

Reuters / IPSOS: Support for impeachment cools.
=============

Speaker Pelosi has said repeated;y that impeachment requires public support that is broad and deep.

Her dream: Americans would be appalled by Trump’s asking the Ukrainian president to investigate 2016 election meddling and “look into” Hunter Biden’s lucrative set on a Ukrainian energy company’s board  –despite zero experience in energy and no obvious ties to the Ukraine, save for his father’s political influence.

Surely, Adam Schiff’s secret interrogations would uncover a string of “bombshells” that would doom Trump’s presidency, right?

image

Well, the groundswell of public support seems to be sputtering…

Read the rest of this entry »

Last week on the HomaFiles

October 20, 2019

What’s the impact of declining birthrates on future college enrollments?
Schools will need to adjust their business model … or close their doors.

Why some millennials are fleeing the cities…
Workers with mobile jobs trying to improve their quality of life.

“Making dishwashers great again”
DOE drafting regs to shorten cycle times and get dishes clean

Move over FitBit …
Counting steps is passé … now, count your prayers!

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Move over FitBit …

October 18, 2019

Counting steps is passé … now, count your prayers!
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Given the the success of Fitbit (and its imitators) — counting steps, recording sleep patterns, nudging butts off couches — you just had to see this one coming:

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Here’s the scoop…

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“Making dishwashers great again”

October 17, 2019

For years, my wife has been justifiably complaining about how  dishwasher performance has gotten way worse because of goofy environmental rules enacted by the Feds.

Ostensibly, DOE rules were put in place to reduce energy and water consumption.

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While well-intended (maybe) , from the get-go, consumers started complaining that dishwashers made under the new rules don’t clean very well — dishes come out dirty and smelly … and take forever to run … often requiring follow-on runs to finish the job.

DOE itself has acknowledged this is caused by its regulations, saying: “To help compensate for the negative impact on cleaning performance associated with decreasing water use and water temperature, manufacturers will typically increase the cycle time.” Source

The news: help may be on the way….

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Why some millennials are fleeing the cities…

October 16, 2019

In a prior post, we reported  that census numbers are showing signs that urban millennials are starting to flee to the suburbs … and beyond.

According to the WSJ …

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. census figures have shown that thousands of millennials and younger Gen Xers are leaving big cities.

Since 2014 an average of about 30,000 residents between 25 and 39 have left big cities annually.

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Not exactly a groundswell … but, perhaps, an early indicator of the “next new trend for workers with mobile jobs: moving to a small town to improve our quality of life.”

A commentary in the weekend WSJ breathed some life into the trend…

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What’s the impact of declining birthrates on future college enrollments?

October 15, 2019

And, how should colleges brace for the changes?
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According to Nathan Grawe, a professor of social sciences at Minnesota’s Carleton College …

A declining birthrate means the currently typical college-going population could decline by more than 15 percent starting about 2026.

The impact: schools will need to tightened their cost belts, aggressively recruit students and do a better job retaining and graduating their enrollees … or close down.

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Let’s unpack Grawe’s argument…

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Annapolis: Very high tide…

October 14, 2019

What do you get when you mix seasonal high tides, a full moon and a tropical storm stalled off the eastern seaboard?

Answer: Flooding in the streets of historic Annapolis.

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P.S. It’s rare confluence of factors, but it has happened before.

So … no, it’s not proof of climate change.

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How’s your mental health?

October 11, 2019

Recent study finds that the prevalence of mental health symptoms is much higher than thought.
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MindShare Partners recently issued its 2019 report on mental health in the workplace.

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Specifically, MindShare  asked 1,500 working individuals if they had experienced any of the following symptoms in the year…

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Why Johnny can’t write …

October 10, 2019

Faculty colleagues and I often bemoaned that there seems to be a consensus that writing skills among MBA students have been declining.

I’m not talking about flowery prose and precise grammar.

I’m talking about logical argumentation … being able to explain why something is happening and what to do about it.

My hypothesis was that colleges aren’t requiring students to take courses (or demonstrate proficiency) in, say, critical thinking or logic … and that college students today aren’t required to write many papers that hone their thinking and writing skills.

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Testing my hypothesis on a middle school math teacher-friend, I got a rude awakening …

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