Video Of The Week: Obama Announces Computer Science For All

The President announced an initiative he calls Computer Science For All today. Here’s the video:

#hacking education

Comments (Archived):

  1. Gerald Buckley

    What would be on your short list of initiatives to spend $4B? Infrastructure? Computers for students? Solar farms? Space exploration? Revamped intellectual property system? Am sincerely curious what that portfolio would be.

    1. fredwilson

      Not computers for students. Broadband wifi for schools

      1. Gerald Buckley

        National Center for Ed Stats says there are 98,817 public schools in the US. Napkin math puts that ~$40,500 per school for broadband wifi during the three year period. Is your ask big enough Mr. Wilson or would you like to revise? 🙂 I love infrastructure projects. CCC is one good example. No doubt roads and parks and such require reinvestment. The question in my mind is what happens after year two? Are we measuring for short term wins? or long? Or, as a government project are we measuring at all? (USPS… clear throat)

      2. Matt Zagaja

        Curious how well the wifi things works in schools, as my hometown school district had some pushback from teachers who felt students waste too much time on their devices and it’d open them to distraction from classroom instruction time. Computers are awesome but it seems for many it’s more about snapchat and angry birds than Khan Academy.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Kids these days 😉

      3. Rob Underwood

        Fred is right. Yes, computers are important. But the big infrastructure obstacle in both NYC and nationally is going to be wifi and the network more generally. These networks were not designed in terms of speed, reliability, or openness (in NYC schools there is no non-DOE employee access) for CS Ed. This is the critical need to get right on the infrastructure side.

    2. jason wright

      i would like to see a dead city like Detroit try Albery Wenger’s BIG idea.

      1. JLM

        .They tried something like that already. That’s how they went bankrupt in the first place. Democratic, thug, thief Mayor who ended up in jail, no?Spare Detroit.It requires adult leadership.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. LE

        Why don’t you get on an airplane and take a walk through some of the neighborhoods in that dead city and then let me know if you think that Albert Wengers big idea will still work there.

        1. jason wright

          i’ve seen a couple of recent documentaries. are you saying it’s a bad idea?

          1. LE

            Albert is an intellectual. [1] I am not sure (I could be wrong) that he has spent time with poor working class or people in poverty (white or black) in order to fully understand at a gut level how they tick and why this is not an idea that would work.[1] Harvard and Ph.D. from MIT to me that makes you an intellectual.

          2. Rick Mason

            Are you kidding me? You saw a documentary from someone who was there for a few weeks and now you know how to fix Detroit?I’m a fifth generation Detroiter and before you propose solutions for the city how about doing what we used to call in ag ‘ground truthing’ and then let me know what you think. The view from the ground you will find is vastly different than the one from 50,000 feet.

          3. Kirsten Lambertsen

            What exactly about what you perceive to be Jason’s view is so different from the one on the ground?cc @domainregistry:disqus

          4. pointsnfigures

            Been through Detroit. Friends live there. It’s too far gone for BIG. Plenty of people there are on welfare etc. Surrounding areas like Pontiac, Flint etc are ghost towns because the factories are gone. The downtown is coming back because of one persons passion, and investment. There is a very small startup community there. Ann Arbor also has a startup community. The Big 3 are doing a lot of work on driverless cars. It’s still pretty violent in many areas. The schools are brutal. They have a long way to go. But, there is a glimmer of hope. Key is to use private industry, private things like vouchers and school choice to get it turned around. Having broadband might help, but when I have been on “free broadband” in places it is usually pretty painful to use. What the people there need is the resources, and the skills to start a business. It’s going to be a long road back. But, the bones are there.

          5. Rick Mason

            Detroit doesn’t need a guaranteed income. They need jobs and a better educational system, What would really help is an influx of educated young people and immigrants.Detroit will fix its own problems. The city has a lot of natural advantages and now that both the corrupt politicians and the debt are gone it will come back. Entrepreneurs can help with the jobs and although you’d think education would be the governments job I am not so sure that they can’t help out there.The city does need State and Federal money to tear down the 80,000 or so houses that are blighted For too long what the locals all ‘ruin porn’ has been the image of the city and they need to remove it so they can forge a new brand.I hate seeing the state’s new college graduates leave for Silicon Valley, NY or Chicago. Sure beginning your career in downtown Detroit is riskier, but the opportunities are much,much bigger. Heard a Startup Grind presentation this week with the Detroit energy entrepreneur, Carla Walker-Miller where she said people like her want to buy local but the city is missing everything.If you want something to ponder, how does Detroit tell their story?

          6. Rick Mason

            Fred if you’re looking for a subject to blog about my friends at Loveland Technologies published a report on the Detroit Public Schools this week:…Love to see your thoughts and those of the group on here about this subject. In 1950 Detroit had the best large city public school system in the nation. Now I’d venture they’re all alone in last place.

  2. William Mougayar

    Great. How does it relate to the $80MM initiative you announced in NYC with the Mayor, a few months ago? Will it be the recipient of that federal money?

  3. Richard

    This is your answer for yesterday’s blog. I was looking through Periscope last night and was blown away by the amount of minorities using the product. Twitter should lead an initiative to teach kids to build products and code on top of Twitter and Periscope

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      I think Jack has you covered

      1. Richard

        Link is expired

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Oh, damn. I thought it was supposed to still be available via the Periscope app 🙁

          1. Richard


        2. Kirsten Lambertsen

          I’m asking the original Periscoper if it’s available anywhere. Fingers crossed. It’s SUCH a great view into Dorsey’s mind and actions.

          1. Richard

            The periscope “culture” is interesting.

          2. Kirsten Lambertsen

            We’re outta luck. The “magic” of Periscope is that it’s only available for 24 hours. Next time I’ll know to take a screencast ;-)Dorsey has personally put a ton of his own money into efforts primarily in Ferguson, MO. You probably saw already that he put 70% of his Square equity into a foundation. He def walks the walk.

          3. Joe Cardillo

            It was really interesting, Yinka posted it on yesterday’s post and I watched most of the 1 hr runtime. It really does sound like they’re walking the walk at Twitter.

  4. JLM

    .I wonder if Hillary Clinton, who is apparently tech handicapped, might get some training on handling emails?The irony of a gov’t that can’t make their classified email system work and who could not get out of the cradle taking the lead in championing the cause of computer science education is delicious.Please pass the salt.A typical “feel good” unfunded bit of trash talk by a lame duck President who has stolen the real opportunities of the next generation by his lackluster and disastrous financial mismanagement.Must have had an early tee time. No foul there. I prefer him on the golf course any day of the week.One could buy a lot of computer training if they didn’t have to spend all of their money on the man’s signature legislation’s higher premiums and deductibles, no?Of course that is a real world reaction and not a bit of pablum regurgitation.I am not worried though because Pres Sanders will sort this out. Lickety split, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…PS — why can’t we talk about the really important stuff like Pres Obama’s Final Four bracket?

    1. Richard

      Had he made this a priority in 2008, Obama could have had Silicon Valley named after him.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Ah, there are so many other much more appropriate places we should name after him!

    2. Salt Shaker

      Obama’s Final Four bracket is already done and it looks like this: Hillary, Sanders, Biden and Bloomberg.I’ve got my money on Bloomberg entering the race, but I’m pretty sure much of the country isn’t quite ready for a New York, Jewish, anti-gun, anti-soda liberal. He’d make one heckuva President, though!

      1. JLM

        .Bloomberg is a good man as based on his accomplishments in toto. He can get a little weird at the edges but don’t we all? I collect antique wood planes (the tools, not the models) and solid brass nekkid woman bottle openers.Starting as a Democrat, he saw the light and converted to being a Republican before pulling the Independent lever.Of course, he cannot hope to ever be elected President because who’s going to elect a business guy? [Hey, wait a second?]I would take B’berg above almost anyone except for the Big Gulp business.I personally served the country in uniform to protect our right to drink copious amounts of sugar laden beverages. I cannot tell you the number of times I said that as a young man.Sitting on those cold ass runways at 2:00 AM with my parachute strapped on telling my guys, “this is for all the Big Gulps in the States, boys.”JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. awaldstein

          Two comments:-Bloomberg as mayor of NY. As good as they got.-Wood planes? Hippy carpenter making Appalachian dulcimers and Swedish looms from a past long long ago, I certainly knew how to use them.

          1. JLM

            .They are the cheapest works of art on the planet. I use them as paperweights.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Gerald Buckley

            And I use them to make bamboo fly rods. But, about those bottle openers…

          3. JLM

            .I use them as ……………………………………………. bottle openers?I have had a lot of them stolen.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. sigmaalgebra

            Split bamboo fly rods! WOW! There was a high prestige company that made those; maybe their brand name is still valuable. Dad made casting and fly rods from fiber glass blanks, with beautiful windings for the line guides, nicely turned cork handles, etc. I got good with both a fly rod and a casting rod. Sadly, the beautiful workmanship didn’t do much to attract fish!

        2. LE

          I would take B’berg above almost anyone Disagree on Bloomberg. He is an accomplished but nasty old man.He is not a deal maker or likable and motivating in the way that, say, a Donald Trump is. Bloomberg built up a single company (with very importantly co-founders) [1] and not to take away from his accomplishments but Donald has had to sell and start over and suck up all his life. Many do overs. Overcome adversity. Pretty much all by himself with only his brain and some lightweight help. Personally not through his staff, c suite partners and henchmen. Bloomberg is lacking that advantage. Bloomberg exploited a niche and had a moat. Quite an accomplishment but an accomplishment of a different sort if you analyze the nuance.Ask yourself why was Reagan good? A good communicator and persuader. (Even LBJ could jawbone people and get what he wanted “this is your President calling”).Thinking that Bloomberg can run the country because he built up a business (and only looking at that) is overlooking the fact that you have to mostly be good at persuading and bending people to your will. Bloomberg the way I see it didn’t really have to overcome that adversity.Summary: Being Stephen Hawking does not mean you will make a good President. (Non sequitur to make a point on just looking at accomplishments or traditional educational intelligence.)[1] Bloomberg:Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial software, data, and media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Bloomberg L.P. was founded by Michael Bloomberg in 1981 with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, Charles Zegar (add: Mike also had a 10 million dollar severance check from his job at an investment bank when he started this company with the help of others.)

          1. awaldstein

            Holding Reagan up as anything is a stretch my friend.His personal homophobia was directly responsible the aids epidemic. That’s his legacy. All else pales in the face of that.

          2. LE

            I disagree with you on Reagan. And you can’t deny that he was well regarded by many (which is my point) about leading.Gay phobic?http://www.realclearpolitic…By the way even if he was gay phobic so what he came from a different time and place.That’s his legacy. All else pales in the face of that.Well even if you are right about this (and I disagree but we can differ on this) that is the problem with this country. People deciding that one issue is the issue and not willing to consider a candidate because of one 3rd rail issue that they don’t like or that they support because of their brainwashing at a young age.Look I am all for pro choice and for Israel. But when it comes down to it it’s not so fucking important to me that I won’t vote for a candidate who maybe is better overall and isn’t strong in those areas. Hot button issues are the problem with politics.

          3. awaldstein

            Disagreeing is healthy.Though honestly the relationship between Reagon’s refusal to accept Aids as a disease which required research to control and the decimation of a generation is not an opinion.The why of why he did this being either prejudiced, terrified or stupid is of course conjecture on my part.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            Abortion wasn’t just a hot button issue but was JUST politics — get some voters all wound up so that they won’t notice the pickpocket.The whole abortion thing was always just a manipulation, a misdirection of attention.Finally, this time the Chair of the RNC suggested that the party just shut the … up about abortion. Smart move.There’s an easy resolution:(1) Abortion is ugly. Yup. E.g., it lowers the respect for human life.(2) Abortion is evidence of irresponsible fornication, love making without love, a corruption of the traditional family, and strongly against the religious lessons of Western Civilization. We know all that.(3) Still, there are plenty of men plenty willing to create a baby for her womb without being a husband for her bed.(4) Babies with missing fathers are a huge social problem and expense for society.(5) Some women do get pregnant and, then, very much want an abortion. Telling them that they should not have gotten pregnant is, in two words, too late.They will use bleach, a knitting needle, a coat hanger, a back alley bum, a basket on a door step, or just a dumpster if necessary. E.g., Jane Russell could have no children just because of a botched abortion. Yup, Mother Nature had given her a great body for motherhood, but, sadly, that never happened.(6) Roe v Wade has been settled law for 40+ years.(7) I wish each man and each woman could be in a marriage that is financially and emotional secure, healthy, where the two of them are great parents. I also wish for Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. In the meanwhile, back to reality.(8) I never got a girl pregnant, but as I look back and use what I know now about girls, I had plenty of opportunities. All the girls were from quite good families, but Mother Nature was trying to have her way. Net, a lot of girls in their early teens are quite vulnerable to getting pregnant. That’s still the situation. Send all complaints to Mother Nature.(9) At one point, Hillary, whom I very much do not like, said something I can agree with: “Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare”. And with Planned Parenthood, cheap.For me, I hope to hell we can just leave it at that.If really want the situation better, then work to get the economy going again so that all couples who mate can also afford to get married and be good parents. Importing a new slave labor supply is NOT such a way.

          5. Richard

            Was he? He came from Hollywood. How could that be?

          6. awaldstein

            I don’t know the why’s of this as I said.i do know the reality and that is that he refused to acknowledge the crisis for years till the chance of intervention from the first wave of deaths decimated the population and most of the populations of both the West Village and the Castro.That is fact.It may have been that he was just a coward. Or simply without moral courage.At that period this all came out of the bathouse movement that was a tough one to acknowledge much the less support in that era. For anyone. For any straight person anywhere. Hard to read about actually.Leadership requires courage and in this instance he simply didn’t have it regardless of the reason.

          7. pointsnfigures

            Reagan was the best Prez in the back half of the 20th Century. Especially given what he inherited.

          8. awaldstein

            With a huge amount of blood on his hands.

          9. pointsnfigures

            Much less than the current occupant, or the previous one.

          10. awaldstein

            I won’t go there my friend.Least of all with someone as smart and knowledgeable as you.That’s not the point.He may have done great things.He had patient freakin zero handed to him and didn’t have the courage to take it on to stop this scourge of humanity. He wasn’t the only one lacking the courage but he was president.That’s simply the facts.I’m not an historian.I’m not old enough to have been there.But anyone who lived in SF or NY has friends that died and owes this info the transparency it deserves.That’s my entire point.

          11. John Revay

            Talking about inheritance – Obama was dealt a pretty bad hand when he took over.

          12. pointsnfigures

            He made it worse. Much worse.

          13. John Revay

            I hear that from the right…but what metrics do you want to use….Stock market – all time highInterest Rates – historical lowsInflation – historical lowsUnemployment – again trending lowAddressed healthcare – good first try – still much more needs to be done ( drugs, tort)Inherited two wars – shutting them down – did not start any new warsKeeping us fairly safe (Boston & CA attacks)Tried to address Guns – many more american died in the last 8 years from mass shootings from american vs terrorist”Much worst” – hummm you must have a very high bar that you are trying to get to….look at the data / charts / trends

          14. pointsnfigures

            Stock market=Free money. Also, when he took over, it was at a long term low. Pretty hard to go lower. Domestic corporate expansion never took place, unless you count cutting costs and buybacks as expansion.Interest rates=when they are 0% it means no economic growth and no demand for money. GDP has steadily been under 2% during Obama’s entire term. It needs to be 3% or more for growth.Inflation=when it’s low or deflationary, it means no economic growth, no economic opportunity, and is very damaging if it persists. See the Great Depression and persistent deflation effects.Unemployment=record numbers of people dropped out of the workforce and not even looking for work because of lack of opportunity and all kinds of impediments to workAddressed healthcare-created massive federal one size fits all bureaucracy that has failed instead of thinking out of the box. Increased healthcare costs and reduced choice exponentially, and also made it impossible for people to move from state to state.Inherited wars=made them worse and lied about many things, including Benghazi.Didn’t keep us safe, but given the tenacity of ISIS and Al Queda, it would be hard to stop every terrorist attack. His policies on Israel, Iran, Iraq, Syria will have us paying the butcher’s bill in human blood years down the road.Guns=Your stats are wrong. Mass shootings are when 3 people or more die. They don’t happen very often. Nationwide gun violence is dropping except in isolated areas. Most people use guns for suicide.

          15. John Revay

            Thinking that Bloomberg can run the country because he built up a business…..He did a pretty good job running NYC….I don’t know the full history of Mike vs Donald…what I read quickly about Donald was that his father gave him a good start and fronted him….Mike on the other hand went to John Hopkins – not sure if his parents pulled any strings or fronted him any $$ when he started the the Bloomberg terminal biz…I would take smart over loud.

          16. LE

            what I read quickly about Donald was that his father gave him a good start and fronted him….I have been following Donald since roughly 1978 or 1979…Bloomberg to repeat:In 1981, the former Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers was acquired, and Michael Bloomberg, a general partner, was given a $10 million partnership settlement.(With three other partners by the way…)You think that Donald isn’t smart? Why do you think that? Solely because of what he says and the way he sounds? That’s a red herring. It’s being done to achieve a goal. And it is working. Very well, right? [1]You think he acted that way when he was trying to convince people to let him do things? You think he isn’t doing that for a reason? You think this isn’t pretty much all calculated out in his brain? It is. Have you ever been around self made people who are not on the public scene and see what they say and how they act and how they achieve their goals?And what else? Well so far he has outsmarted nearly every educated, knowledgeable about politics writer and political pundit talking head out there. That is how smart he is. This is world class. You think being stupid gets you this type of result? You think he is only loud and only blue collar people like him for his celebrity? [1]Do you know what it takes to build a skyscraper (Trump Tower) in NYC when you are in your early 30’s? The amount of skills (in many different areas) that are needed to do that? (Think it’s just money? It’s not).[1] Let’s take the “build a wall and Mexico will pay for it” point. He will get Mexico to “pay” for the wall. He will simply offset money that is going to Mexico and have it come back in the form of “paying for the wall”. Or a million other ways to achieve truth to that statement. Just the same way politicians say “no new taxes” but manage to get the money in a different way from us. (An example is not raising taxes for schools but then requiring parents to pay for school supplies for teachers..)

          17. sigmaalgebra

            Glad you see that. “Well played”. “I agree with you more than you agree with yourself”.For how to get Mexico to pay for the wall, broadly your are fully correct, but, for some details, yesterday at his Web site I downloaded a PDF that said some of just how. In short, some fees. But your ways are also candidates.Trump is one smart cookie. One thing to do, just lean back, watch, think, and learn.First exercise: How the heck did he get such big poll numbers so fast?Second exercise: How does he do so well not running ads?Third exercise: A lot of people were, and some still are, very much against him, even in the Republican party. So, against that headwind, how the heck did he do so well, e.g., spending next to nothing on ads?Fourth exercise: Trump said a lot of stuff that one would believe would leave him easy to hate and impossible to like, expect would just kill off his campaign, would make him less popular or respected than a skunk at a Victorian garden party, but didn’t. Why not?We need good answers to these, and luck doesn’t qualify. Smart cookie is broadly correct but leaves out a lot.Good that you see this. A huge number of people have seen it happen right in front of them, including full time newsies, and still don’t see it. E.g., Nate Silver. Poor Nate. Roger Ailes. Sad case. NYT, WaPo, back of the door when the memo was handed out. Jeb! — sad case that still doesn’t come even close to getting it, as if he didn’t even hear the starting gun go off.I didn’t look up betting opportunities, but likely there were some — terrific odds.Trump in effect has his own language, e.g., “loser” with not really dictionary meanings. He’s had people come around to learning and accepting his special language.The newsies have been like grade school guys playing a flute watching Heifetz play the Bruch Scottish Fantasy or the Sibelius concerto, see it right in front of them, but, of course, still have no idea at all what the heck they are looking at. Like looking at Uncle Albert in his sweat shirt and long, gray hair but still have no idea how the heck he dreamed up general relativity.I’m eager for some more lessons from this guy.When you get some good answers to the exercises, I’ll be an eager reader!

          18. Lawrence Brass

            Sir, sir, sir.. I have the answer for the second exercise: How he does so well not running ads? Coz’ he is a walking ad.

          19. sigmaalgebra

            Wow! Nice. You are now the first in the class!Class, are we learning yet?

          20. LE

            I will think about the exercises!

          21. John Revay

            Hi LE,HUMM – let me rephrase – lets assume he is some what smart…I think he took something that was handed to him and made it much bigger, I THINK it was partly a result of investing in the NYC Real estate market – I think Fred Wilson, Mayor Mike and Rudy help lift that market. After that he done a great job of promoting himself.I want hold it against mayor Mike that got a $10m settlement along w/ others if when you say he left Solomon Bros….good for him.I just think Donald is just appealing to a certain group of older, white, males.I would rather favor inclusion vs exclusion

          22. awaldstein

            Damn straight–I’m with you.

          23. sigmaalgebra

            > I would take smart over loud.You have sucked up some propaganda.

          24. John Revay

            Humm Re: Fair and Balance – I listen to CBS talk radio, Sean, Rush, MSNBC etc.I have tuned into a few Trump rallies..and listed in on some of the Republican debates…Donald just does not have any substance – other that giving a thumbs up ( which I fine myself doing recently) , talking about the polls, and talking loud how he does not care who he talks down about…reminds me of the bully when I was in HS.

          25. sigmaalgebra

            > he does not care who he talks down aboutWith his dropping hammers on so many people, one would guess that all there would be in front of him would be a big pile of rubble and everyone else would hate him. But, it didn’t work out that way.Exercise: Say why.> substanceGlad you like substance.I like substance. E.g., for substance in my posts at AVC, a fairly good estimate of the average length is 4,820 bytes per post. E.g., for substance, I got a high end, research university Ph.D. So, I like substance.And I have to believe that when Trump signs a contract, say, with a construction company for $50 million to put up a building, he has a lot of substance in that contract. So, he likes substance, too.For Trump’s political campaign, I’d like much more substance. We agree on that.So, for substance in the political campaign, just from watching YouTube videos of his rallies, and for me, here, quickly, just from memory, we can list some of his topics:ImmigrationStop illegal immigration.Build a wall on our southern border to stop the illegal immigration from that border.Deport illegals, first the criminals and then, humanely, the families. Is that possible? Ike deported illegals.Let the good illegals back in as legal immigrants.Let in good immigrants via the legal process, e.g., the many in the queue.JobsTweak US tax and trade policies to stop US businesses shipping US jobs to other countries. Bring back jobs already shipped out. E.g., ask Ford, Nabisco, Maytag, etc. to manufacture in the US.Have incentives to have US companies bring back earnings accumulated outside the US on which they have not yet paid US taxes — ballpark $2.5+ trillion. That cash should help US job growth.Get US manufacturing going again.Stop US companies from giving their proprietary intellectual property to China as a way to let China let them manufacture in China.Negotiate better trade deals to create more jobs in the US.Put back to work the people in our 25% real unemployment rate. Get a large fraction of the 95 million people working that now are not.TaxesGreatly simplify, and lower the rates for both individuals and companies. Achieve revenue neutrality via more economic growth and more efficient government spending. Start effectively paying down the national debt.EnvironmentEmphasize clean water and air.Less concerned about the carbon footprint.Trim back the nonsense at the EPA, e.g., shutting down coal plants just because of CO2.Hair spray laws and the ozone — nonsense.EducationTrim back the Department of Education. Get rid of Common Core. Let K-12 education be run locally. Get US K-12 education competitive in the world, e.g., no longer 26th (likely the PISA tests or some such).Gun ControlRespect the second amendment. Don’t chip away at the second amendment.Radical Islamic TerrorismIt’s real and a problem, and be willing to say so.”Bomb the shit out of ISIS”. Then “take the oil”. Cut off their money by taking their oil, blocking what they are doing in banking, etc.Get US generals who can say how to defeat ISIS.From the shootings in Paris and San Bernardino, etc., something is going on with the Muslims we don’t understand. Until we do understand, temporarily stop Muslim immigration.For Obama’s recent Muslim immigrants, watch them and, deport them.Watch some of the mosques.US Foreign PolicyDestroy ISIS.Reverse the Iran deal. Install the sanctions again as necessary.Cut good and fair trade deals.Try to work effectively with everyone, e.g., Putin in Russia.Have a safe zone in Syria.Realize that Iran wants to take over Iraq, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.US DoDRebuild US military readiness.Make the US military so strong “no one will mess with us” and “we won’t have to use it”.Be smart on where we use our military.VeteransClean up the corruption, incompetence, and waste in the VA.Get veterans the best possible medical care, the best quality, readily available, no waiting, etc.Immediately, let each veteran go for medical care at any health care provider that accepts Medicare.ObamaCareIt will die in 2017 anyway, but repeal every word of it and replace it with something much better.CompetenceAppoint especially competent people, as trade negotiators, generals, etc.The above was just fast, off the top of my head, just from memory. Since you have watched Trump rallies, you know all those, too.So, “substance”? Well, he has a lot of topics, and his full list of topics is quite different from all the other candidates although some candidates have started to agree on some of the topics.For substance, his Web site has at least four PDF files as policy papers. These are, generally, AFAIK, shorter than highly detailed legal documents but more in number, detail, and substance than the other candidates.But, really, for Jeb!, I don’t much care and here is a huge, enormous, biggie reason why: One of the worst chapters in US history was what W did in Iraq, and more than once, after his most careful consideration, Jeb still says that he likes what brother W did. To me this means that Jeb should be sweeping sidewalks except he might injure himself with the broom.So, comparatively, Trump has more in substance, really, comparatively, has the most in substance.So, on substance, among the candidates, Trump is the least bad, and that is essentially the same as the best.I want more: E.g., I’m concerned about what some of his policies will do to inflation and would like enough details so that some good economic modeling could be done, for inflation, government revenue, GDP growth, job growth, interest rates, the deficit, balance of trade, the value of the US dollar, etc. But, here, in a word, we’re talking politics where we get to go on whatever. I.e., we’re not going to get such details from the other candidates, either.And, to me, ballpark, what the mainstream Republican candidates want in a “balanced budget” would right away, essentially ASAP, throw the US economy into a second Great Depression, take much of the world economy with it, start WWIII, and kill 5+ billion people; while all of that is not certain, it is way too likely.With Ronald Reagan and “true conservative principles”, I want both ignited with the ashes flushed and replaced by the best thinking we can get for national security, economic security, standard of living, good middle class families, good opportunities for the poor, little things like those.So, IMHO, as far as I can see, on substance Trump is by a wide margin the least bad.I might spend more time and get more details deciding, and with enough other candidates, that so far don’t exist, maybe I would, but, with the current crop of candidates, to me, it’s 99 44/100% certain that Trump is by a wide margin the least bad on substance.Gee, right, maybe a committee of Bernanke, Ordiarno, and Trump could come up with something much better. Right. But, wait, just take Trump and let him hire Bernanke and Ordiarno. Trump is really good at hiring and delegating. I mean, you believe that he did all that brick laying himself? Did all those architectural drawings? All that rebar placement, steel welding?Is Trump often loud, angry, bombastic, not politically correct, crude, shocking, exposing the dirt under the carpet, challenging the status quo, accusing others of being bought and paid for? Yup. So far, fine with me: “Anyone who remains calm in the middle of this disaster simply doesn’t understand the situation.”. At least he seems to understand and be willing at least to make a strong effort to do something about the disaster.Loud? It’s fair to say that he has seen that one of the most important parts of his success in business and now in politics is his brand, and being loud is one of his keys. Okay with me. My computer has a little slider where I can turn down the volume.There’s a lot on the Internet about Trump being:Low on substance, a racist, a bigot, a misogynist, mean to women, xenophobic, anti-Muslim, a narcissist.The claims are rarely backed with good data.For substance, I addressed that here.For narcissist, I don’t really see it: Instead, my guess is that he is insecure. For security, he pursued financial success, pursued it very strongly and successfully. Well, long in the NY tabloids, he got a lot of insults. So, maybe now he wants to get some pride by showing that the insults were wrong and to help the country. He sees that he could put up some more buildings and enjoy his children and grandchildren, but now, maybe as his last act, he wants to do as well for the US as he did for his business, himself, and his family. For his business, he is eager to leave that to his children.For the rest of the negative claims, I can’t support those with data. E.g., for women, look what he did as the father of Ivanka, what she is doing, and how she turned out. He has long promoted women to high positions in his business and still does. He hugs women every chance he gets, at the Miss Universe, Diamond and Silk, the daughter of John Wayne, some of his campaign workers, etc. He has claimed that he will be really good for women’s health and wants Melania and Ivanka to speak on that.Obama and Hillary on women? They risk giving women a bad reputation. Obama has promoted women preferentially. So, for each such woman, we have to ask if they deserved the promotion, and that is bad for women, especially the highly qualified women.There is nothing about Hillary actually good for women. As an example of and for women, Hillary is a grand disaster. As an example of family formation, Hillary is a world-class, nearly unique, grand disaster — totally sick-o. Actually, that’s not new and, instead, significantly is a very old story: E.g., in the movie Woman of the Year (1942), with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, the Hepburn character is named “Woman of the Year”, and finally her husband, the Tracy character, concludes that “The Woman of the Year is not a woman at all”. Same for Hillary except the movie was a comedy, and there is nothing at all humorous about Hillary. She is not good for women. Instead, she is sick, a very sick woman, and needs to retire, get a good psychiatrist and a lot of meds, and try to recover.

          26. sigmaalgebra

            IIRC, in 1981 he also had the nice advantage of the Prime super-mini computer, 10-20X cheaper than IBM and much easier to use — borrowed a lot from Multics, and Intel borrowed a lot from Prime — e.g., rings and gate segments.

        3. sigmaalgebra

          And extra salt on your BBQ!

        4. sigmaalgebra

          BTW, from my ancestors, I have a nice collection of early 20th century wood working hand tools and a near furniture quality, cedar chest for them. Yup, a wood cutting set, a draw knife, leather hole punches, a drop dead gorgeous, furniture quality bubble level, a brace (that is, a drill with a crank, for drilling large holes in hard wood), maybe still some paint brushes with Chinese hog bristles, etc. Ah, tradition!

        5. John Revay

          Hi Jeff,Thank you for your service to our fine country….I am glad you were sitting on those cold ass runways @ 2:00AM….It bothers me to no end when I tune into the Republican debates and they lead w/ ISIS – selling and stoking fears – how irresponsible..Then they say we need to spend more on defense – Carriers, subs, new weapon systems – big ticket items…… My sense is if ISIS is the big enemy here, I don’t think we fight that battle w/ new carrier and big ticket items…Yes we have to deal w/ ISIS and have a generally strong defense system…butJon Stewart last year had this bit about the # of Americans have died from terrorists attacks, VS the number that have died from heart disease, ( over weight, smoking, second hand smoke), guns etc.I have no reason to question that Mayor Mike just wants to keep people safe – just like you were doing when you were on the run way…..Did you see two overweight parents w/ over weight children in tow – ordering super sized meals @ Mickey D’s….you and I if still alive will be paying for them while they are on welfare being operated on for having a heart attack.Thank you again for your service to our great country.

          1. pointsnfigures

            John Stewart? He’s funny. I don’t think quoting satirical comedians is wise when you are talking serious policy issues.

          2. John Revay

            ever what him…makes more sense than most of the people on the stage today –

          3. JLM

            .ISIS is a pimple on the world’s ass that can be popped in 60 days as soon as someone, who uses the men’s room regularly, is in charge of things.I wrote about it here.http://themusingsofthebigrehttp://themusingsofthebigre…The level of belligerence required is nominal. It is the level of leadership that is missing. The military (meaning also the C-in-C) should NEVER telegraph or talk about our intentions.Let the news organizations report the results and let the enemy go to bed every night wondering what that noise is they just heard.The entire Mil-Ind complex is just as warned by Eisenhower. We are developing weapons systems to beat capabilities the enemy does not have, won’t have for 25 years, and may never have.We could put every weapons development program on hold for 5-10 years (thereby saving a lot of money) and still be leading the world by a long shot.As a fiscal manager, it is difficult to see how this doesn’t get done. Right away.We need a sharper point on the spear — more Army divisions, more Marine divisions, carrier battle groups at sea and not at the dock, put our tanks back into Europe.The US has not one tank in Europe today.The issue of health care — wellness — is not an issue that the Fed gov’t should do anything more about than cheerleading. As a CEO, I provided comprehensive health insurance and a wellness program 25 years ago.Why?A CEO and a company “own” their employees problems. Simple calculus.The greatest honor I have been accorded was being entrusted with the lives of mothers’ sons. It is I who am in debt to the Nation for having trusted its lifes’ blood to me.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. sigmaalgebra

            > as soon as someone, who uses the men’s room regularly, is in charge of things.I just saw that one! Fantastic!But, now, uh, the question is, and we must address it, does Hillary qualify! Before you answer, are you sure?

      2. LE

        Bloomberg can’t win just for the fact that he is not likable enough, is to serious, is not entertaining, and is not engaging. [1] Forget religion, sodas and guns.He might win in another time and place but not this year. Even Nixon came across better. (Martians are invading and we are ready to get down to business). (Or like Eisenhower after the war but he had a big advantage there).Plus he never smiles and is not a “grinner”. Very important unless there is some other overwhelming advantage that you have (ie you are entertaining like Trump). This is the same thing that is holding Hillary back from complete domination. Reagan had it. Carter had it. Bill had it. He was a grinner. That’s what allows a guy to get away (I am serious about this by the way) with cheating on his wife.…[1] Along those lines Bratton would have a better chance.

        1. Salt Shaker

          Agreed, Bloomberg is a little light on the personality spectrum, but I’m still hopeful that’s at best 2nd level criteria. Maybe wishful thinking on my part. Bloomberg is a stellar leader and gets things done. He’s a far better biz leader than Trump. Bankruptcies: Trump 4, Bloomberg 0. (How Trump continues to get a free pass here is pretty astonishing). Bratton should run for Mayor in NYC. I think virtually any reasonable candidate will have a shot at unseating the doofus who is in office today.

          1. LE

            He’s a far better biz leader than Trump. Bankruptcies: Trump 4, Bloomberg 0.Bloomberg is close to a one trick pony with business. And he built Bloomberg with partners he didn’t have to do deals every single year.Trump didn’t declare bankruptcy his companies did and if you study business enough you see that there are many things that you can’t control when you take risks. And most importantly he has come out on top even after those failures.Do you hold it against Fred that the majority of the companies that he invests in fail? Or do you look at it as part of the game that he plays and the nature of the business?No pain, no gain. I am almost certain by the way that Bloomberg has made side investments that have failed that we don’t know about.

          2. Salt Shaker

            The biz model for Fred, or any VC, is lightyears different than a RE venture. Sure, any biz has inherent risks, but no biz that I know how outside of VC survives w/ a 20% success rate. Nothing wrong w/ being a 1-trick pony, like Bloomberg, especially when it’s a multi-billion dollar company that fundamentally has a monopoly within its industry. Trump is a con artist, and the American public is smitten by possibly having someone different, not necessarily someone better. Most know Trump through his silly little TV show and saw someone decisive. He disparages anyone remotely critical of him, has very little self control, is a blatant bigot, a horrendous speaker, and is yet to articulate a cohesive, succinct domestic or foreign policy, other than throw out ideas that are not attainable. Let’s be honest, he’s winning based more on a rejection of the status quo than personal merit.

          3. LE

            Trump is a con artistIf Trump is a con artist where are all of the people that have done business with him that have been screwed by him? Why has he managed to make all of his ex wives not disparage him? (Ever go through a divorce or known people that have?) Haven’t heard any complaints or Bill Cosby like accusers coming out because they have had plenty of chances to do so and the media would eat it up, right? Any guy who does business and screws people makes enemies and gets a reputation. Trump may have some but far less than others I am sure of that.Most know Trump through his silly little TV showI never watched Celebrity apprentice but watch the one before that. I thought it was a good show back when it had young people as the contestants. By the way, why is it any sillier than football or basketball or going ot a rock concert or obsessing over wine or art? Why call it a “silly show”? What do you do as a past time? Why is what you enjoy better than what anyone else enjoys?a horrendous speakerWhat is the definition of a horrendous speaker? To me he is a great speaker the public and the press can’t get enough of him. As such he can get his message across and bend people to his will. That’s what it’s all about. As opposed to, say, Jeb Bush who nobody wants to listen to and needs others to write his cue cards.and is yet to articulate a cohesive, succinct domestic or foreign policyPerhaps that is the strategy. Ever think of that? You know when doing negotiation or deals you don’t lay all of your cards down until you have to. It’s all timed out and changed on the fly. It’s what I do and it works quite well.Has it occurred to you that he is holding back on that stuff on purpose and as a strategy until the bitter end when it’s him and Hillary (or Bernie) and he needs to get a bolust or rocket boost to put him over the top? If he does it to early he loses that advantage. And he doesn’t have to do it now he is leading in the polls.Isn’t there a sports analogy for this?You know when I make my small deals or negotiate I am constantly calculating out when I should say or reveal certain things. The timing is everything. Of course Donald is doing the same thing. Perhaps people who don’t see this simply don’t think like that I guess.Let’s be honest, he’s winning based more on a rejection of the status quo than personal merit.Well you are right about that. But anytime someone is winning (sports, movies or otherwise) it’s because there is nobody any better. Remember the year that Christopher Cross won best artist?…Nobody else was better. Ditto for best anything. All depends on who else is playing the game or what the circumstances are at the time.

          4. Salt Shaker

            If I’m running against Trump as the GOP nominee I’m running ads w/ testimonials from prob hundreds, if not thousands, of people who lost their jobs cause of his bankruptcies. (Look what Mitt’s association w/ Bain did for him?) He disassociates himself from his failures, and in fact, he’s so arrogant he prob doesn’t believe he’s actually had any. I’d vote for his daughter, Ivanka, (who is quite charming in person) before I’d ever consider The Donald. I don’t find Trump calculating or cunning, or particularly smart for that matter. I think he’s created this little niche more by happenstance or luck than a pre-planned strategy. He’s not a dyed-in-the-wool politician like the other talking heads, that’s his biggest strength. He can say what he wants, and do what he wants, cause he has a nice little company to run if this endeavor fails. He just doesn’t give a shit, and unquestionably he initially pursued as a lark and only became more serious w/ traction. Trump made his mark initially in NYC. He’s been in the news here for 35+ years. Maybe it’s the circles I run in, but I don’t know of a single New Yorker who looks at this guy other than as a bombastic clown.

          5. LE

            Does anybody run for President (or political office of any type) for “the right reason”? I mean these guys are not driven by greater good they are driven by narcissism. All of them.Ivanka? Why what has she done exactly? Agree she sounds and looks nice of course but I fail to see why you think she is qualified.if not thousands, of people who lost their jobs cause of his bankruptciesWell maybe you should blame the states who legalized gambling in order to take a piece of the pie that ended up dooming Atlantic City and casino gambling. Or blame the politicians in AC who refused to move the poor people out of the city (per Reese Palley) who made it an unattractive destination. Nobody wants to drive through poverty to get to glitz (take note of Las Vegas where they shipped out all of the poor people for example).You know Ed Rendell (supported gambling in PA which as only one example hurt AC) because he didn’t like the dollars going over to NJ and wanted them for his own state. He didn’t give a shit about anybody losing a job in NJ only what was good for PA. That is the way the world works. You want to blame Donald because the jobs didn’t last because of competition so he had to file bankruptcy? Or the Indian tribes and the free ride they are getting with gambling?but I don’t know of a single New Yorker who looks at this guy other than as a bombastic clownNext time you are around your friends ask them if Trump called them would they take a meeting with him or say “you are a clown I have no interest in meeting with you!”. If they are honest they will say “sure I’d listen to what he says”. One thing is for sure they will tell you that he called them and brag that he wanted to talk to them in order to elevate themselves as being important. We can then try and have an actual clown call them and see how quickly they meet with a real clown.

          6. Salt Shaker

            Ha, you’re twisting my words LE. I didn’t say daughter Ivanka is qualified, I said I’d vote for her before her arrogant, bigoted, pompous father. Hardly a ringing endorsement. And your clown analogy. Big difference between taking a meeting w/ Senor Clown and having him as the next POTUS.You make Trump’s bankruptcies sound as if he has absolutely no accountability here, which is ridiculous. Granted there were likely mitigating factors in each, perhaps several, but he’s no Teflon Don, as he’d like everyone to believe. I’d hit him real hard in this area, his alleged leadership of biz. Many, many victims and why none of the GOP candidates have pursued this is a mystery to me. He’s more vulnerable here than people realize.

          7. LE

            arrogant, bigoted, pompous father.The fact that people say he is arrogant doesn’t impact me. The degree of which he is bigoted doesn’t impact me. The fact that he is pompous doesn’t impact me. The fact that (I will add) he is narcissistic doesn’t impact me.When you go out to dine at a NYC restaurant do you care how the cook treats his wife or what he says (that you don’t know about) or do you care about the quality of the food? I don’t really give a shit about soft issues like that unless I determine they will impact the job performance. And so far I don’t see proof of that. So what if he is all of what you say he is? Clinton got blow jobs in the White House that is a higher standard?I think he will be taken seriously specifically because he is a loose canon by the foreign leaders. Remember how we ran scared from the soviet nut jobs?And I think he will be able to play politics in a way (and this is important) that will at least stand a chance of getting things done. I think he has the skill set to do that. That to me is the 100% most important thing. Not whether he brags, boasts or even lies and stretches the truth.Also don’t give a shit that people lost jobs either. I would have done the same thing in that situation. You wouldn’t?

          8. sigmaalgebra

            Supposedly JFK saw a White House intern, grabbed her, pulled up her skirt, stuff his hand under her clothes between her legs. Just did it. He continued on with playing together in the bath tub. She was engaged. Maybe she kept him from actual intercourse. Jackie was out traveling or shopping or something.JFK molested the girl, a White House intern. Ugly stuff.The guy was a dirt bag. Tough to believe that he cared about anyone but himself. So, all his stuff about helping people was just political hog wash.

          9. LE

            Not to mention what his father did to get him elected in the first place.

          10. sigmaalgebra

            Ah, father Joe Kennedy, a big swinging one from tricky stuff, now illegal, on Wall Street, and what was the name of that movie actress, wanted the very best for US democracy so helped the US get the best election his money could buy!

          11. sigmaalgebra

            > bigotedNo way can I support that from his statements or actions. No way. I do see a lot of propaganda that so claims, but I can’t get any evidence.If you have some evidence, then trot it out. Else we will have to move on. [extra credit for the source!]

          12. LE

            Exactly. For that matter why not get into how many men in private make disparaging comments against women but also see if those comments have any impact on how they actually treat women? Or vice versa. For extra points go back to when they were 12 years old and quote their school friends and hold that against them.

          13. LE

            You make Trump’s bankruptcies sound as if he has absolutely no accountability here, which is ridiculous.I don’t get this. I really don’t.This is business. Saying that he was bad or wrong for laying people off (or filing) is like saying it’s wrong for a boxer to hit someone in the head. It’s part of the acceptable game that is played, within the law, and fair in every respect. It is taught in business school. You really want to say that people in business don’t need to do things like that? That jobs are given for life? No layoffs! Money grows on trees.I am noting that you also left out something else that bankruptcy does. I am guessing you did because you either forgot or you never had a vendor that you sold merchandise to or gave services to file for bankruptcy and then pay you nothing or only pennies on the dollar.Well I have. Luckily it didn’t have material impact but to some vendors it does (depending on the size of the business they do with the filer).So you know the way I ran my business I did it fully knowing that if I lost a key big account it could cost me my business. That was built into the risk that I was willing to take.I am not bragging since I also realize that the aversion to risk also had many downsides (more credit extended is good in some cases as you know).I had a big account that gave me 50% of my business at one point. By the time they filed for bankruptcy (maybe 6 years later) they only accounted for 5% of my business because I worked hard to get other customers instead of taking their business for granted and coasting. Losing the 5% (and the accounts receivable) was not nice. However what I focused on was the fact that I had a great customer for all of those years and the money that I had made. I did not whine about “being screwed”.The people layed off were not promised jobs for life. If they have no plan b that is not the business owners problem at least if you think of business the way that I do.

          14. Salt Shaker

            There’s nothing wrong w/ bankruptcy if that’s s sound biz decision. But at least “man up” rather than be in perpetual denial that one’s hands are soiled. That’s the problem, he dodges the issue and denies culpability, although filing 4X does make one scratch their head a bit. And he has the audacity to call McCain, a friggin war hero, a loser. This guy lacks moral fiber and continually shoots from the hip w/ out any regard for consequences.

          15. LE

            Anyway there is a school of thought (I will give credit to IBM) of not acknowledging competition or giving credit where credit is due or agreeing to flaws. He is simply from that school, once again a strategy. Plus he has said pretty much what I have said about the bankruptcy so we will have to differ on that point. “Business purpose”.Puffery and stretching the truth has worked for him and he is going to stick to that. And most likely if you try to be somebody else (a stand up guy as you and others want him to be) it’s not going to change the mind of the haters. They want complete “show me your belly” compliance with what they believe is right. All of their views. So why should he even go there? Won’t change things in the minds of people who have a problem with that, will it?While I didn’t agree with everything he said about McCain, I also actually don’t agree that getting caught and being a captive makes you a hero. But I think every time people use “hero” it is some stupid platitude that they roll out the make people take, quite frankly, stupid chances. “Guy jumps off subway platform and saves person on tracks, he’s a hero”. To me the guy is stupid in taking that chance. I wouldn’t. I’m glad my Dad didn’t when I was younger and didn’t die. What about you? Would you do that for a stranger so you could make it to the NY Post in a story and get pats on the back?And I guess I am not clear on how someone who gets caught while doing their job vs. someone who does not get caught is then a “hero”. Isn’t everyone who fights in a war a hero? What about Fred’s dad who didn’t fight (I think) but was a civil engineer. Is he a hero?By the way I think McCain had an opportunity (from memory no time to check) that he could have been let go but he choose to stay and do apparently the honorable thing for “his men”. Once again that is his choice to do that and maybe that is why he was “a hero”. But once again he could have died and maybe for his family it would have been better if he just came home. Perhaps that is what Trump is thinking.

          16. Salt Shaker

            I agree with Trump’s thinking that the world has become too politically correct, with heightened sensitivity often leading to paralysis or non-action. But Trump is the polar opposite of PC w/ absolutely no filter. He’s frankly dangerous. “Puffery and stretching the truth” is the last thing I want to see in any politician. I’m not a fan of politics and there are very, very few modern-day politicians that I truly admire. The system is broken w/ too much party patronage and loyalty to special interest groups, rather than the people they are elected to serve.

          17. LE

            But who gets to decide where the line is drawn with “no filter”? Your line is not the same as my line. Freedom of speech is freedom of speech. The reason the nazis could march in skokie (with appropriate protection from law enforcement of course..)By the way, this is what I feel started or fueled it all (Jimmy the Greek):…”The slave owner would breed his big black (man) to his big woman so that he could have a big black kid . . . . That’s where it all started,” he said.

          18. sigmaalgebra

            > I agree with Trump’s thinking that the world has become too politically correct, with heightened sensitivity often leading to paralysis or non-action.”Well played”. “I agree with you more than you agree with yourself”.E.g., my suspicion is that the whole PC thingy was a brilliant, over the top brilliantly insightful, conceptually astoundingly elegant, Achilles heel vulnerability, fatal flaw perception, deliberate Soviet sabotage of the US — no joke. It got the US, coast to coast, top to bottom, in big things and small, often, over and over, on maybe 50% of everything we thought and did, for decades, to regard reality as just untouchable, sent a huge fraction of our national thinking off into highly self-destructive, fantasy, incompetent, delusional, debilitating, irresponsible, helpless “fuzzy, bunny play time” and seriously sabotaged our whole country. Nothing less. No joke. A good candidate for the most brilliantly destructive conception in all of human history. No joke. Elegantly brilliant and astoundingly destructive.That Trump has at least started to see this pattern of sabotage and push back, e.g., in one of the larger cases, climate change and the efforts of the EPA to regard CO2 in some quasi-religion as sinful and, thus, deliberately cripple the US energy supply, e.g., as in Trump’s remark on “carbon footprint”, is just terrific.PC has damaged the US more than possible with several H-bombs. PC is comparable with some secret, psychoactive, debilitating drug in our water supply. E.g.. PC is one of the main enablers of our vulnerability to radical Islamic terrorism and in total threat and damage makes such terrorism look like a small pimple on Godzilla, like a small firecracker instead of a H-bomb.Right, PC was the main motivation of W for his disaster in Iraq.PC is the main reason for all the interests in solar power, wind power, renewable energy, reducing use of fossil fuels, and fighting climate change.PC was the main reason we got eight years of Obama.PC is the main reason for any interest at all in Hillary.And there’s more.Biggie damage.Yup, I agree that PC is bad stuff. But, I don’t really believe that a Soviet did it to us; instead, I suspect we just did it to ourselves. The main foundation is anxiety over our vulnerability to the hostile forces of nature and society (E. Fromm), the long exploited theme of guilt in much of Christian religion, and, e.g., the famous “There but for the grace of God go I”. Biggie stuff.

          19. sigmaalgebra

            > While I didn’t agree with everything he said about McCain,I suspect that if you would take out Trump’s likely deliberate provocativeness, you would essentially agree with his statement on McCain. The statement was in an interview with Frank Luntz — the full video and the full transcript are still at C-SPAN.The context was that McCain had accused Trump at one of his rallies in Nevada of “firing up the crazies”. Well, Trump pushed back, and I don’t recall just how.Then there was the Luntz interview where to push back against Trump Luntz said: “But he is a war hero” and based that claim on McCain’s time and suffering as a POW.Right away, Trump pushed back saying essentially that being a POW is not sufficient to be a war hero. On this point, literally, Trump was correct.And Trump said that McCain is commonly regarded as a war hero because of his POW experience, and here Trump was likely correct. E.g., that was the reason Luntz gave.Then Trump said that “maybe he is a war hero”. Again Trump was correct: McCain really was a war hero, and he has the medals to prove it. And, close to some of what you mentioned, at least one of his medals was from some of what he did that was special when he was a POW.Net, looks to me that you likely agree with what the heck Trump actually said and meant.Of course, much of the media took those few Trump words — the actual number is quite small — and used it as raw meat for biggie headlines, eyeballs, ad revenue, and propaganda against Trump, all super, astounding, big time, huge, and mostly deliberately quite far from the truth.Of course, since the media newsies did spell Trump’s name correctly, he got publicity. That one exchange may be $10 million of the $30 million he planned to spend on ads but didn’t and saved. And Trump’s provocative part may have been some quite fast on his feet, bright media and political strategy, although my guess is that it was mostly just part of his now very well practiced, nearly automatic, style of combative and assertive one on one interactions.So, Trump gets a Nevada audience all excited. McCain doesn’t like the bombast, success, etc. and says “crazies”. Trump sees the opportunity, picks up the ball and starts running with it, plays “counter puncher” and, with Luntz, attacks back and gets ballpark $10 million in freebie publicity. IMHO, those few words in that one little exchange with Luntz were a booster rocket on Trump’s early trajectory. Trump should thank McCain for the attack! Or, attack Trump, and …, presto, bingo, he gets another 10 points in the polls!It’s been one heck a show! I suspect I learned a lot and hope to use it.

          20. sigmaalgebra

            Excellent response. So, I don’t have to give something similar.But you somewhat overstate the stuff about lack of details: His Web site now has four PDF files with policy statements. For anything in law, finance, engineering, science, etc., they are just trivial, but for politics they are relatively detailed. As you mention, he is the least bad, that is, the other guys have less.

          21. LE

            By the way I don’t disagree that the pomposity and the way he often comes across is distasteful. However the bottom line is whether I think he can get the job done not whether he is rude or even to what degree (like any politician) he tells lies or what he does in the bedroom. All I really care about is whether I think he can get the job done given his skill set. Same as I don’t give a shit how Steve Jobs treated people or any of his shenanigans. You know what? If you do it’s just because you turn your head to others doing the same thing that you don’t know about.Don’t agree he is a “blatant bigot” either. And if he is and he gets us to a better place you have to take the good and the bad in order to achieve goals that put us in a better place (exhibit a is the bomb dropped on Japan let’s say..)You know there are tons of illegals in the area that I am in that mow lawns, clear snow and work in restaurants. The reason that the local “poor people” don’t do these jobs is because the prevailing under the table wages force them out.

          22. Jim Peterson

            Hi LENot for or against BloombergBut if he’s a one-trick pony. It is one heck of a pony.

          23. LE

            My thoughts are to be viewed relative to Trump who has done many many ventures each standing on their own (and some failing). (And additionally adding a completely different success as an entertainer..and producer).People who like Bloomberg, well, they are of the school that “a serious smart guy like that is what it takes to fix this country!!”. If that is the criteria then we should simply give people (faulty) IQ tests.Quite frankly anybody who rises to the level of even being able to run for office (at that level) is “smart enough” simply because you get more help and assistance with the job of Potus than practically any other difficult job out there. You have multiple and numerous advisers and access to the top resources the country has to offer.

          24. sigmaalgebra

            On the bankruptcy thing, it sounds like you have take in some of the propaganda. For details, I will just agree with the LE response below, and there also with the part about the AVC portfolio.

      3. sigmaalgebra

        You left out, put wind turbines on the tops of all the buildings. Tell everyone that NaCl is evil.IIRC he already gave $100 million to Johns Hopkins. If he wants to do good, let him just give the $1 billion he has in mind to Johns Hopkins.

    3. Matt Zagaja

      Obamacare lowered my base healthcare premiums by 50% compared to taking COBRA when I was unemployed, let me purchase private market insurance after I was excluded for a pre-existing condition, and then further extended that 50% savings with additional subsidies. If went for a plan with a deductible instead of a co-pay plan I probably could have cut my base premiums by 80%. I know it didn’t quite work out as well for some others, but I’m pretty happy with it.

      1. Richard

        Yep for people with pre-existing childhood conditions Obama care was a no-brainer and life saver

        1. sigmaalgebra

          What about in states with community rating?

      2. JLM

        .No doubt about it, Matt. You and three other guys.The company paid plan that I had offered was declared a “Cadillac plan” and was terminated under threat of financial penalty.$400/month with $10 copays for everything became $1,200/month with a hard rock $5,000 deductible.Different strokes, different folks.Who is subsidizing you?I think it is me. So, maybe, we don’t have the same view of things. Understandably so, no?Started with 17% uninsured in 2000 and ended up with ……………………………………….. 17% uninsured in the latest available numbers. Great progress, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Matt Zagaja

          With the healthy 6.8% return American taxpayers are making on their investment in my law school education, unfortunately I think I just ended up subsidizing myself. Either way I think it is a smart move by taxpayers to protect their investment in me with a little insurance as the cost of a few subsidies are quite a bargain compared to what they’d have to write down if I became disabled or passed away. If I’m really lucky I’ll have to pay mountains of taxes in the future and become the unicorn that returns the whole fund ;).According to The Hill the latest CDC numbers see us at 9% uninsured:….I wish I knew why private plans seem to struggle so much more with keeping costs down. But I do know that some of my premiums went to send 0.25/share to every shareholder of Aetna, a corporation whose stock price was $30/share when Obamacare was signed into law in 2010 and is now 101.84/share. Having not seen anything new or innovative come out of Aetna labs I can only assume they’ve adopted the same skill that my landlord has at exerting quite an effective private tax on people’s incomes.

          1. JLM

            .Look carefully at the graph. It is “non-elderly” which means before folks qualify for Medicare, the actual health insurance marketplace.More and more folks are being pushed onto Medicaid and Medicare. These programs have nothing to do with Obamacare.The test of Obamacare is still the non-elderly free market customers who are simply not signing up.Even by the administration’s own reporting we had 35MM that was reduced to 25MM uninsured with more than a 8MM increase in Medicaid/Medicare rolls.This is treading water, running in place.At an enormous cost in premiums, deductibles, and cost of service.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. sigmaalgebra

            You are omitting the upside, the good news, the free market benefits!!!! As illustrated by Aetna stock! So, much of how it passed was the payoff to the medical insurance companies! Maybe some K Street guys got new BMWs!I never dug into the details, but I was convinced what was in that egg just from the outside. Now we get the full effect of the H2S! Your details are terrific.

          3. JMC

            My policy for a family of 4 went from $1200 a month to $1700 a month and I now have a $12,000 family deductible. No one can tell me Obamacare is lowering costs.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            It was never intended to lower costs. It was intended to get the US started on socialized medicine, to make Nasty Nancy happy, to give Obama some headlines, and otherwise to flop. E.g., Obama never made any sincere or effective attempt to make it any good. He worked much harder on his jump shot.

          5. creative group

            Matt:an intelligent and factual point usually suffocates talking points. When hyperbole is pushed regularly in this space, factual events are difficult to discern from embellishments. Could be wrong but our eyes say yes.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          Wow. I knew it had to be three day old fish, and guessed roughly the cost transfer you made precise, and did hear much the same from Trump, but I never saw such details.Somehow the media is not big on passing out such details. Any bias in there? Ah, bias, we don’t need no stinking bias!

      3. LE

        Don’t you get covered for healthcare at your new job?

        1. Matt Zagaja

          I do now, but had to get coverage during my longer than expected unemployment gap before I started here.

      4. Parkite

        Trust me, you are now being subsidized by others like me (as JLM describes). There is no free lunch. Good for you on law school, but please don’t default on the unsecured loan you’ve been given at a very low rate. Fortunately, student loans aren’t dischargeable in bankruptcy, for good reason.

      5. pointsnfigures

        Mine are up over 700%

      6. creative group

        Matt:Nothing is perfect especially when government is involved. But doing nothing, obstructing and having no viable alternative but talk is not a viable option.Glad you were afforded an option for healthcare with a preexisting condition. Some would not want you to have that option.

    4. JMC

      JLM. You are spot on. The notion that computer science is good … therefore everyone needs it, is absurd. I have two children who have art degrees. Making them take computer science classes is a complete and total waste of time and money.

      1. pointsnfigures

        Exposing them to programming isn’t a bad idea. Forcing them to be proficient in it probably is. It’s not math or english, but it will be highly useful in the future to know basic coding.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          “Basic coding”. Okay, define storage, have expressions and the assignment statement, have if-then-else and do-while, and do I/O. Done. Takes, what, an hour sometime?

        2. Vasudev Ram

          > Exposing them to programming isn’t a bad idea. Forcing them to be proficient in it probably is.I agree on both.And will add: I think it is a good idea to teach people (both young and old) basic logical thinking; it would help them in many areas of life, including in investments, careers, voting in elections, etc …It (logic) seems to be present more by its absence (among a lot of people) – if you know what I mean.

      2. Rick Mason

        JMC you are wrong it places them at a profound disadvantage. It would be the same thing as not exposing kids to art or music. They don’t have to become proficient in art, music or computer science but their lives are enriched for having had the exposure.

        1. JMC

          Rick, I disagree. I have a degree in Electrical Engineering with an option in computer engineering. I’ve done programming … a lot. I agree kids need to know how to use technology, but that isn’t a problem. Some of them do indeed need to know how to program, but everyone? I would much rather have education do a good job on the basics, including math.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            The 3Rs. Hasn’t much changed.

          2. Vasudev Ram

            and logic.

    5. sigmaalgebra

      I said it in much more detail. You said it much more succinctly. Maybe your version is more effective.

  5. jason wright

    Nice initiative.Google concerns me. More and more it seems to have become a transnational private government.

  6. jason wright

    so all we need to do is seek out careers and jobs that no computer and no robot would ever be able to do.

  7. Kirsten Lambertsen

    “Hi, everybody!… Thanks, everybody!” I really love that. I know it’s not what’s important, but I love it.Here we have a president taking a cue from our industry innovators. Isn’t that something that everyone can agree on?Now, I wish they’d asked me to help edit this video. Jump cuts :-O

  8. creative group

    The rants against Obama have more to do with his ethnicity than his perceived policies.The same characters who rant about his failed policies failed in criticism of the W Bush administration which many of those failed policies they list Obama continued. It is like they have amnesia and act like W Bush never existed.To list those continued policies would be a waste of energy. The true reason for the contempt is known.All Presidents will have their detractors. But the detractors of Bush and Obama are siding on unpatriotic. The worst Supreme Court decision that put America on this decisive path is Citizens United.Still amazes us how money is the primary reason they appear contribute to this blog.Fred is no way of their ilk.May have to do with viewership. No one is reading or participating in their blogs.The vile non sense that can easily be refuted on either side with research. The talking points are continuous brainless diatribe.Nothing new to report.

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Sounds like you’ve paid zero attention to the election campaign so far. Trump has run explicitly against the legacies of both W and Obama.As for Obama’s ethnicity, it has motivated some on the left to carry water for him despite the failures on his watch. An example is Bill Maher, who explicitly said Obama needed to be reelected because it would look bad if the first black president weren’t. He’s since enthused about the “job creation” on O’s watch, while ignoring the 94 million Americans out of the work force, the ~50 million on food stamps, etc. O would have been pilloried like Carter if he were white (then again, he wouldn’t have been elected POTUS as a 1st term senator if he were white).

      1. creative group

        Bill Maher is Bill O’Reilly and Hannity for the left. All go in the same trash can. Would listen to any of it.Nothing new to report.If you are pledging your support for Trump that only would verify your depth of knowledge regarding Trump. He is a Democrat and RINO.In Trumps own changing words.

        1. JohnathanA

          Who is your “us”?

        2. Dave Pinsen

          If he’s a Democrat and a RINO, he should have great crossover appeal in the general election. Trump supporters aren’t under any illusion that he is a perfect candidate — far from it. They just think he’s better than the alternatives on offer.

    2. JohnathanA

      Could you provide some sort of background for your assertions?

  9. creative group

    We just reviewed a couple of resumes and claimed educational accomplishments. Would slow down on the rhetoric when criticizing a person’s intellect and yours is a shadow. Just saying.For the dump it down crowd it plays well but those equipped with education and common sense it doesn’t play so well.

  10. Mike Zamansky

    As a CS educator I find all of this very exciting.As just an educator I’m afraid that the federal govt will end up doing to CS education the same thing they’ve done to education in general.Time will tell.

    1. creative group

      Mike Z:Great job assisting our youth in NYC. Doesn’t go unnoticed. On your comment we hope not.

      1. Mike Zamansky

        Thanks. Truth be told, those of us in the trenches keep soldiering on regardless. Sometimes government helps, sometimes it’s a hindrance.Time will tell but for right now, all the exposure and coverage is a tremendous plus.

    2. pointsnfigures


    3. sigmaalgebra

      Yup. But don’t worry too much; mostly all there is here is just a headline and then, more time for him on his jump shot, golf game, cardio progress, and bro dinners. So, the good news is, if he doesn’t do much, then likely he doesn’t do much wrong.

  11. Andu @

    Best president US ever had. And I’m not even a US citizen. 🙂

    1. JohnathanA


    2. pointsnfigures

      He actually might be one of the worst.

    3. Tom Labus

      Right up there. The Right despises anything productive

  12. jason wright

    from a distance Washington DC seems to have an over supply of ex Google executives and their deterministic approach to tech, and data, and citizens.worth a read;

  13. David Cole

    Thanks for the link. I watched POTUS on CS for all and then wound up on reading J. Bezos’ shareholder letter on the impact of badging at Amazon U ( Two powerful shifts in education — coding as literacy and credentializing yourself, building your reputation and creating personal opportunity in the context of the workplace. Career academies and decades of School-to-Work policy are going to benefit from this convergence.Related note: for an interesting take on one city’s plan for CS competencies, see SFUSD’s current draft for the K-12 CS Scope & Sequence (

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Okay, I followed your URL and read the big page. Comments:(1) Good.Some of the stuff is good. E.g., solve a problem by decomposing it into relatively independent problems and then attacking those relatively independently.(2) Size.For the amount of good stuff, the whole is too big.(3) English v Code.They make a huge, gigantic, enormous mistake but one common in sad parts of the software community: They ask for a translation from code to English.Wrong. Fundamentally wrong. In principle wrong and even impossible. Yes, in practice, sadly, something like that is sometimes necessary.Instead, sorry guys, flatly, the code doesn’t mean anything, in English or anything else. Such a translation is fundamentally a guess and a detective problem. Mnemonic identifier spelling just provides hints to the puzzle — not more than just hints.And in principle it is impossible to know when a translation from code to English is correct. Might just say that the purpose of the code is to heat the processor to provide electric heating for the house. Might be. Prove this is wrong? Coming up with another purpose doesn’t prove that just heating the house is wrong. Translating code to English is wrong-headed.Or, from seeing someone beating egg whites with some cream of tartar with a wire whip does not mean that they are making a European chocolate cake. No way to tell what the heck they are doing. Instead, in making a European chocolate cake, one of the steps might be that work with a wire whip.Instead, and strongly and fundamentally, the only worthwhile translation is from English to code. Sorry ’bout that. Here they blew it.It would be a serious misservice to let the students believe that the code alone means anything. Better would be to emphasize that when software is first written and so far has no documentation, then only the programmer and God understand it. Six months later, only God.In principle, to correct or revise some software that has no documentation in English, step (A) is to set aside the software and step (B) is to write the documentation for the reason for the software, what it is to do, and how it is to do it. Then rewrite the software, likely ignoring the version set aside. Sorry ’bout that. Students need to know this.(4) Age.Much of this material is being taught at too young an age. Yes, some such material can be taught at those early ages but not much. Instead, in those years, the kids will be better off with the 3Rs, athletics, socialization, and, for kids really interested, working with their hands or in art or music. The lessons that can be taught so early and, necessarily with so little background or context, can be taught in minutes or seconds in high school.It appears that there is a hidden agenda, a case of an effort at early brain training, but computing is not worth that and there is no need.(5) Algorithms.The material mentions that an algorithm is a step by step way to solve a problem. Okay, for as far as that goes, which is not significantly far. So is a recipe for apple pie. Then it looks like the curriculum wants to say that a computer program is an algorithm — no, not really. That claim just mixes up two concepts that should be kept separate.For the mention of algorithms, there is no mention of what is the real key to algorithms, the famous, important ones, e.g., in Knuth’s Sorting and Searching. There the crown jewels are just two: (A) balanced binary trees (e.g., AVL trees) and (B) heap sort. The rest of algorithms are mostly inferior, trivial conceptually, or of very narrow utility. But the curriculum didn’t mention any specific algorithms.(6) Prior Drivers.The curriculum omitted essentially everything important about what comes before software and is driving the reason for writing the software. All there was of such drivers were games and drawing pictures.Instead, what comes before is heavily business record keeping, medical record keeping, digital communications, entertainment, or scientific-engineering data manipulations.When we write software, there is a reason that is logically prior to the software; that is, software is in the service of other, primary goals; and this point and context was not made clear.Yes, now there is a more general view: Software is to help automate all the work there is to be done. And there is a still more general view: Software does the data manipulations to provide the information we want and need as a civilization. The curriculum needs to emphasize some such prior drivers and not let stand a guess that software is a world for itself.(7) Database.I saw no mention of database. Relational database is relatively general material; entity, attribute, relationship data modeling is even more general. With all the rest, there should be something about database.(8) SimulationOkay, the curriculum wants to touch on simulation. Except, it’s a bit tough for the students that young to know enough about systems to be simulated or how the simulations would go (e.g., an ordinary differential equation, a Markov assumption, stochastic arrival processes, designed experiments, the curriculum did mention experiments, on the simulation output via analysis of variance), and that knowledge is not in the curriculum and is likely not in their high school curriculum at all.(9) Teaching.Apparently it was tough enough to get people with enough overview, depth, and judgement about computing to write the curriculum outline. Teaching it would be more difficult. Finding the teachers would be more difficult. Convincing employers of the value would be still more difficult. Convincing a well informed school board to allocate the class time and money would be still more difficult.My guess is that the effort will flop and likely should.

  14. sigmaalgebra

    Obama has a long established pattern: See an issue, make an announcement, get some headlines, f’get about the issue, and return to working on his cardo, jump shot, golf game, and bro dinners. 100% totally, angry, manipulative, contemptuous, disingenuous, destructive cynicism.For some reality:(1) Importance.Computing is just crucial for US national security, the US economy now, the future of the US economy, and our standard of living and our economic security and competitiveness. No joke. In a word, computing is important.In an historical context, computing is the new automation, the new industrial revolution, the new TV, radio, electricity, steam, steel, coal, open ocean sailing, domesticated animals, agriculture, etc. Biggie stuff.(2) Biggie Sources.Sadly, next to nothing good in computing came just from traditional capitalism or entrepreneurship. Instead, crucial sources were academic research, US national security, and some business monopolies, especially Bell and IBM.And after WWII, it was just totally clear to Truman, Ike, J. Conant, V. Bush, etc. that high end, STEM field academic research was just crucial for both US national security and US competitiveness. So, they set up various funding sources, NSF, Air Force Cambridge, Office of Naval Research, US Army, Durham, ARPA, etc. They made high end US academics an offer they couldn’t refuse — take the grant money and emphasize high end STEM field research or become at best a second class university. They took the money, Harvard to Chicago to Stanford. Lots of the classic STEM field texts were written with such funding. Soon, about 60% of the university budgets were from such funding. And about 60% of such funding went to university overhead, e.g., the pretty, new, stone, university gate, the fancy, glass walled lunchroom, the limo for the president, the English department, the metal art sculpture, the string quartet series, the university magazine, etc. What’d I leave out?For me, that funding paid for a special summer program after my 11th grade and another one after my college graduation, much of my ugrad physics department, nearly all of the first years of my career where I got deep into applied math and computing, and for my Ph.D. In strong terms, in comparison to the effectiveness of that funding, the commercial world and traditional capitalism were some junior high basketball team against the Cavs.Sure, it was the needs of US aerospace, especially DoD and NASA, that just screamed at Silicon Valley, and sent money, cost no object, for more in transistors, integrated circuits, microprocessors, and radar. That’s just what the heck built Silicon Valley. KPCB, Sequoia, Google, and Facebook are trivial in comparison.So, right, the STEM fields including computing are just crucial; really they have been much of a US national national security and industrial policy.Then, with this context, along comes Obama with a cynical headline before he returns to his jump shot. Again, once again, over again, one more time, yet again, we see the astounding contemptuous cynicism of Obama as he showed how to be POTUS without really trying and without really trying to do anything good. Indeed, by a wide margin, by far, the best thing he has done is to do less in the totally wacko nonsense W gave us in Iraq and Akrapistan. Good. Yes, he pulled out in a way that helped enable ISIS, but what really enabled ISIS was when W strung up Saddam.Yup, Saddam was awful. But W had two admittedly regrettable but nevertheless clearly distinguishable alternatives: (A) Put up with the thug Saddam or (B) turn most of the Mideast into an oily toilet of civil wars based on the 1000+ year old Sunni-Shiite battle.Of course, W wanted option (C) — turn Iraq and then the rest of the Mideast into a peaceful, prosperous, 21st century, secular, parliamentary democracy with freedom of speech, religion, and press, equality of the sexes, and separation of church and state. His justification? Sure his belief, guess, assumption, based on nothing solid, that, of course, “The Iraqi people are perfectly capable of governing themselves.”. LOL. For that, the main question has to be, where’d he get that really strong funny stuff he’d been smoking?W was a disaster, for Iraq, the Mideast, and the US. To bring us up to date, Jeb! wants more of the same. Somehow a lot of US voters sense that there is something wrong about that.I like the US. I see that often good government is crucial. I hate bad government. Computing is crucial. Much more so for the STEM fields. Somehow, for whatever reasons, at least for now, for the crucial progress we need in the STEM fields, especially since we can’t really rely on Bell or IBM and don’t really have any substitutes, we need a lot of Federal funding of work in the STEM fields. Sorry ’bout that, but we just do. E.g., computing will keep growing in importance, and for both our national security and our economy, we just must pursue computing and the STEM fields very effectively. In particular we have been leading the world in the STEM fields and computing, and it is just essential that we continue that.But for what Obama did for his latest headline for some middle school students in poor neighborhoods, we’d be better off for him to emphasize the 3Rs, get rid of Common Core, cut back the Department of Education, junk all the fear of, and respect for, that way to sabotage our ability to think about reality called political correctness, and let K-12 education be run by the states, counties, cities, and neighborhoods.E.g., the K-12 schools can compete. E.g., the high school I went to had 97% of its graduates go to college; the year before me three guys went to Princeton and ran against some sad, fourth guy for President of the Freshman class; on the Math SAT, #1 went to Purdue, #2 was me who got an applied math Ph.D., and #3 went to MIT and majored in physics — good school. MIT came recruiting, and the school let out all the classes for an hour for the MIT presentation. So, it was a relatively good high school. Why? Local control and competitiveness. IBM wanted to run a summer program in computing, gave their aptitude test to all the seniors in the city, and picked the best 16. I was one of those. There were some bright students in that class. That’s some of the talent it took to be good in my high school. Relatively good high school. Had nothing to do with the US Department of Education. It was good because the local community wanted it to be good. I went to that school because Dad was big on education and picked the school first and the house second.It’s called competitiveness. All across the US there are some communities really big, fired up, about good schools. No joke.The joke, the really bad joke, is what the US Department of Education tries to do. In two words, it’s called political correctness. In one word, it’s called dumb.If the US Department of Education wants to help, okay: Have them run some well designed, well evaluated pilot programs and then disseminate the results. That might help. Of course, that’s quantitative social science which is just darned hard to get solid, but they should try. There are some good quantitative measures — e.g., in one year, three guys go to Princeton.[Ah, I did well in high school physics, and since I took it as a junior instead of as a senior, likely competed well with those three guys, but I don’t really remember them, if only because in high school physics it was so easy mostly I slept in class!] But for just jumping off a cliff for Common Core or No Child Left Behind, that obviously promises to be a shot in the dark that could at best do no harm.Look politicians, to come up with some vast plans for the whole country for some social issue, first need some solid trials and evaluations and not just half-vast planning.Or, China just announced that they want to get into microelectronics. So, sure, to be generous they could fund some university with $100 million. Nope. To be more generous, they might build a fab for about $2 billion. Nope. They said, $100 billion. That begins to be serious. The US? Sure, Obama gets a headline about some poor middle school students writing some code and then returns to his jump shot.Who the heck voted for that loser? I voted against him. We knew what the heck he was. And people voted for him? Twice? Are we learning yet?Yes, given what W did in the Mideast oily toilet and Akrapistan, it was impossible for him, on balance, to do anything good. So a POTUS, e.g., Obama, who concentrates on his jump shot, could be better. So, right, as we learned with Nixon and the last year or two of each of Reagan and FDR, we can get by without a POTUS. But it’s not a good idea to do that.Jeb!, let’s borrow a phrase — first, do no harm. And explain that to your brother.Maybe with a real POTUS for the last eight years, by now we’d have our economy going again.And, NYT, for your dream date, Hillary, she’s sick. Let her go home.

    1. William Mougayar

      Wow, you attacked just about everybody 😉

      1. sigmaalgebra

        It’s a highly “target rich environment” where we need “situational awareness”! Or, in just domestic terms, it’s a sewer and we need clean it out. Or, as Ross Perot once said, we need to “shovel out the barn”.I don’t want to take time out from my project to sweat the small stuff, but we’re talking about national security, economic competitiveness, getting the economy going, education, computing, the next step up in the Ascent of Man, little things like those. So, right, I’m not pissed off. I’ve been pissed off. “This is way beyond pissed off.”.Gotta get the bozos, JV, losers, sick people where they belong, in the peanut gallery, in the hospital, in retirement, get’em some help but out of the main action, and, then, get on with it.For helping US computing, “either do it or don’t do it”, but don’t just get a headline and f’get about it.

        1. William Mougayar

          You have made some good points especially about the W’s fiascos.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Gee, good stuff from Canada!Sorry for the delay, but let me give you some advice in case you don’t know already: While I don’t know where Waterloo, Canada actually is, I suspect you do or would be able to find it, so by all means, especially as you work on bitcoin, block chains, etc. have a visit with the University of Waterloo’s world-class Department of Combinatorics and Optimization and, of course, in particular, with its long time Chair W. Cunningham, one of my former profs although not at Waterloo. Tell Cunningham that I was the guy who showed don’t need continuous differentiability in the core argument about Kuhn-Tucker necessity and who showed that for problems in functional form the Kuhn-Tucker and Zangwill constraint qualifications are independent! And I still think that Bland’s rule is darned clever!

  15. Pete Griffiths

    Contrast this with the odious Ted Cruz denying climate science. We have to have technologically literate leadership. Our age is an age of science and technology. Religious crackpots or opportunists catering to ignorance are no longer a sad sideshow, they are a serious danger to national security – a much greater danger than all the supposed threats ‘out there.’

    1. pwrserge

      Well, in my experience, pandering to communists is a far worse threat than some guy who actually has a moral compass. (Unlike Obama.)

      1. Pete Griffiths

        If you think Cruz has a genuine moral compass, as opposed to representing that he has one for political ends, then you are sadly misinformed. The reality of his past behavior is out there. You only have to want to look.As for “…pandering to communists…” If you seriously believe Obama is pandering I would be interested to better understand what sort of meaningful policies you might find more appropriate, given geopolitical reality as opposed to whatever little fantasy world is being spun for political gain.

        1. pwrserge

          Simple… Socialism is inherently evil as it gives people things they didn’t earn at the expense of people who did.

          1. Pete Griffiths

            You sound like you just read the kindergarten version of the Cliff Notes on socialism.

          2. pwrserge

            Sounds like you have no idea what basic morality is.Robbing from the rich to give to the poor is still robbery.

          3. Pete Griffiths

            How about robbing from the poor to get or stay rich? Even the most cursory study of history will tell you that’s been pretty common. Is that ‘basic morality?’

          4. pwrserge

            How do you “rob” from people who pay no income taxes?

          5. Pete Griffiths

            You really don’t know much, or perhaps anything, about history do you? Or sociology, or economics… And btw, have you even heard of the middle class?

          6. pwrserge

            You do realize that the top 10% of the income brackets pay more taxes than the rest put together? This despite the fact that they only make 1/3 of the money? Do you even math bro?45% of Americans don’t pay ANY federal income taxes and a large portion of the remainder pay under $1000 per year.

          7. Pete Griffiths

            “Do you even math bro?”Do you even literate bro?

          8. pwrserge

            Ah… So that would be a NO. Got it. Please tell me more about all the horrible unfairness and robbery of the “middle class” when people who are in the lower 50% of earners pays less than 3% of all income taxes despite making 13% of the money, while the top 5% of earners pay 56% of the income taxes but make only 34% of the money. Sounds like the “evil” “rich” people are carrying you slovenly lowlives.

  16. Mark

    There are large numbers of underemployed and unemployed CS-educated professionals. Why would Obama want to encourage even more education in a sector which is already severely oversupplied with people?

    1. pwrserge

      Because for a commie like O’bugh’hole, there is no such thing as bad socialism. Having more people drawing unemployment with useless degrees means his side of the isle gets more voters.

      1. Pete Griffiths

        Meaningless nonsense.

        1. pwrserge

          Oh really? Is that why Demokkkrats keep supporting policies that are shown to INCREASE the number of people living in poverty. (Such as welfare, which has done more to destroy the black family than decades of KKK members could have dreamed of.)

          1. Pete Griffiths

            Presumably you have studies at your fingertips to support these allegations? Or did you just pull them out of your ass?

          2. pwrserge

            Gee… If only there were stats to show this… Like the FBI UCR.



  18. Richard

    GEEK at heart? I don’t remember ever reading of him taking a science class .

  19. JLM

    .I dig the teleprompter. That is one cool and smart teleprompter.The only thing in this administration that has worked as planned.The TOTUS, no?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  20. Kirsten Lambertsen

    He has raised your expectations significantly. Obama’s awkward delivery is Dubya’s best performance.

  21. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I was terrible at science in school, and I’m a certifiable geek.

  22. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I am also a developer 😀 Totally self-taught. Figured out I was actually good at that stuff later in life, after I was able to recover from all the “girl” training I’d gotten.

  23. Richard

    A geek at heart is someone who teaches themselves science when nobody is looking.

  24. JLM

    .Hell, yes, the guy’s brilliant and when he isn’t it’s Bush’s fault, no?If Obama could have governed like he can speechify, wow!Sorry, I have to go for a good cry.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  25. Richard

    Terrible just means you had incompetent teachers.

  26. Vasudev Ram

    > I’m a certifiable geek.Larry Wall, Perl creator (this was there somewhere in the Perl FAQ):Q: Will Perl be certified? (meaning will it get standardized by a committee, like ANSI or ISO standardization for some languages)A: I’ll be certified before Perl is.

  27. Kirsten Lambertsen

    😛 You’re late. I expected you 9.5 minutes ago.

  28. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Oh, it goes deeper than that. Around 6th grade I started getting the message that math and science weren’t for girls. Oh rather, I didn’t need them to be ‘successful.’ I needed the right hairstyle.

  29. aminTorres

    ha! lovers gonna love..

  30. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I apologize for my comment, then. I was just trolling JLM 😉

  31. Richard

    We must have went to the sameHighschool.

  32. JLM

    .Life, the continuous collision of expectations and reality. Sometimes, you just have to wait on it.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  33. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Always worth it 🙂

  34. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Love it 🙂

  35. Richard

    That’s called being a politician

  36. creative group

    Kirsten Lamber :The common sense contributors already know what the same talking points and diatribe is based upon. Would respect them more if they would stop the code talk and just come on out that closet. Billy Bob’s with a little money but indoctrinated with the negative learned behavior.

  37. panterosa,

    Recovering from girl training. Love it. I’m deeply lucky my mother did not raise me as a girl but as a child.

  38. Kirsten Lambertsen

    And it’s hard to do that even now, isn’t it?

  39. PhilipSugar

    I really hope that is changing. I think it is, but I’m still not sure.I have a niece that is really good in math that is going to a performing arts school.I am conflicted. First it’s none of my business she is not my child. Second my sister is a CPA. Third it is her true love.I wonder. At my daughter’s school (private which used to be all boys Naval Academy Prep school) they push the girls on STEM like you can’t believe.

  40. panterosa,

    That depends on the kool-aid you were served, and which generation. I fear for the Disney Princess machine girls, though perhaps the pendulum is swinging back faster with STEM and coding etc to right that.

  41. LE

    I have a niece that is really good in math that is going to a performing arts school.You should say something. I did with my niece (told her not to go to Drexel for her major) and now she is much happier with what she choose for her career. I didn’t give a shit what my sister thought.My much younger brother in law (25 years younger) is really smart but he is wasting his life as an opera singer. He is tall, good looking and actually sings very well but instead of using his brain and actually making a good living (where he could still do singing maybe on the side) he is under the mistaken impression that he should pursue this career because it is what he loves. Or some stupid millenial thing like that (he is one of those). When I met my wife he was just starting out and I criticized him and I am not sure my wife initially agreed with me. Now 7 years later it’s pretty clear that this is not going to allow him to afford kids and a house. His plan B is to teach music at high school. What a waste for a tall good looking smart guy I could only hope I had those looks…