Sunday, December 28, 2008

Donations and Free Classroom supplies.

I added links to Adopt-A-Classroom, DonorsChoose and iLoveSchools to's Education Resource Table. Just go there, click and you will be taken to your chosen website.

When I think about what they offer, I wonder if there isn't strings attached. Seems like we rarely get something for nothing from strangers without them wanting something in return.

I've heard it said, "There isn't any such thing as a free lunch". So be very careful. I'm not advising you to use any of these websites.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Benedict XVI warned the world ....

The Pope has addressed the economic gloom in his Christmas message.

Benedict XVI warned that the world was headed toward ruin if selfishness prevails over solidarity during tough times for both rich and poor nations.

'If people look only to their own interests, our world will certainly fall apart.' Read the remainder at this link.

I agree with the Pope. George would not, he would only rationalize his lack of compassion and cause us to accept it. The Pope does not have to justify what he did. No rationalization is needed.
The world is fortunate to have a man like Benedict XVI.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Times They Are a Changin by Dylan

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin
'Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.

It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order isRapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Economic Darwanism: the loss of compassion

Hi Stephen,

Eventually those folks would find employment in more productive segments of the economy. There's no denying there will be some pain felt, but better to get it out of the way early, rather than having society subsidize a non-productive group of companies for who knows how many years. Toyota, Honda, Nissan, BMW and others aren't looking for a handout. Your company and my company aren't getting one, and as taxpayers we'd ultimately be footing the bill (the Ontario government here in Canada announced they'll spend up to $3.4 billion, conditional on the US doing the same).

If money is to be spent, I'd rather see it go for skills upgrading and retraining of the unemployed, so that they can fill the new types of jobs that are being created. That's an investment in "human capital"that will mean higher wages (and higher taxes for the government over their lifetime), because employees can better compete internationally and are more productive. Instead, politics is leading to a misallocation of precious resources.

The economy as a whole can't simply magically do better by throwing taxpayer money at the problem. The fundamentals that determine how well an economy performs are 1) the skills and education of its labour force and 2) the productiveness of its infrastructure (machinery,etc.). If they're going to give money to those automakers, they better have firm commitments on #1 and #2 (e.g. improving technology in cars,making them more fuel efficient, raising CAFE standards, etc.). But,frankly, they've been so mismanaged that it might just be better to let them face bankruptcy so that more productive companies (Japanese,Koreans, Germans, etc.) buy up their assets and redeploy them more effectively. In the past 10 years, people have been buying bigger houses (i.e. consumption goods), whereas others have been investing in productive capital goods (machinery, technology, factories, etc.).It's no surprise that the latter are now doing well (e.g. China),whereas the US has massive deficits that are paid for by foreign bondholders.

Happy holidays,


Sometimes people are rejected not because of what they did, but because of what they might do or fail to do.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Solar minimum is ending,

On's homepage is a link to It is important and interesting to know what our Sun is doing. You can know by visiting SpaceWeather every time you visit I do it.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

It's too late now to study for the exam.

That is what I heard a teacher say she told all of her students before and exam. I never said that to my students. I expected them to study for my exams.

When I was a student, I always studied for my exams. Beginning a few days before the exam I would review my notes. They contained what the teacher had stressed was important. Some times the teacher said that you should know this because it's going to be on the exam. If that was said, then I would make a note of it and know before the exam what I was expected to know. I also high-lighted what was important in my text books. Before the exam I reviewed all high-lighted text. Consequently, I was on the Dean's list and Presidents list many times because I studied. I was also in class even if I was sick.

It is never too late to study for an exam.