Sunday, September 04, 2011

Cognitive Indifference

The Obama administration, via the Eric Holder Justice Department, sued to block an AT&T and T-Mobile merger. In so doing, they offered a great rationale in favor of breaking up the government monopoly on education by saying the merger "would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the country facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services." So there is the proof that they know the damage caused by monopolies, but Obama and the left nonetheless is intent on keeping the government education monopoly rolling. This might cause some on the left to experience cognitive dissonance, but then again, that condition presupposes cognition.

Actually, in this regard, I don't really think the left is being stupid. Rather, I think they know full well that the government education monopoly results in "higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality." This is not "for the children." It is for the left to keep as much power as possible. I would have more respect for the left if they were merely stupid, but consigning children to education wastelands while using them to maintain political power is unconscionable.


BradK said...


Does that mean we're getting screwed financially on roads, national defense, lawmaking, and the other "core" services that the right expects the government to provide? It would seem that the analogy could be extrapolated to any service that is "public" by nature, and if so, are we constitutionally guaranteed to be at a financial disadvantage to all the things that the document tells us the government is there to provide? If so, where's the outrage? If the government is so inefficient at providing services that are cost-effective, why do we have only the US Army, and that's ok?

Just askin...

We're a democratic republic, which means we as a nation can decide what we want our gov't to give us, and then kick the bastards out at the next election if it's not what we expected. It's a blessing and a curse, but if the people of this country by majority want the education to be "public" and fully funded, and represent that desire via the elected ideology, then c'est la vie? If we're truly a democracy and a voice of / by / for the people and the people say "give me public education" then I would thing the gov't has that obligation.

I'm rambling a little bit, and I can predict your answer because I don't totally disagree with it. Also, the Brewers gave me ample opportunity to lube-up with Miller Lite before typing this, so take that for what it's worth too...

Consider it a talking point... ;)

Take care budddy!



Denis Navratil said...

Brad you raise interesting questions per usual. Re national defense I don't think it too difficult to imagine the problems that would arise with a system of competing national defense organizations. Same with lawmaking, to a point. Between the states there is competition of sorts so long as the laws comport with the constitution.

Yes we can decide to have monopolistic education system (locally or statewide at least) and I am free to gripe about it. I am merely pointing out the inconsistency on the part of the left when they consider monopolies bad for cell phone users but not for school children. As I have said I think on a previous occasion, people tend to like monopolies when they control them, and considerably less so when they don't.

Sean Cranley said...

First of all, I know lots of kids, including my own, who got really good educations in the public school systems that you ignorantly call "education wastelands".

Secondly, schools are not a busines and children are not a product.

Finally, both ATT and T mobile are businesses of nation and international reach, whereas school systems are local. Bad analogy.

Denis Navratil said...

Sean, yours is an incredibly weak response, even for you. I did not say that children were businesses. And gerbils aren't fire trucks in case you intend to make that point. This is what we call a straw man argument. But then, perhaps that's all you've got.

If you actually want to take on my argument, you will need to demonstrate one or more of the following: that Unified, for example, is not a monopoly or that it is a monopoly but that for the reasons provided it does not raise costs, reduce options and reduce quality.

If you choose to argue that RUSD is not a monopoly, please include the market share data regarding consumers of government funded education services. Recall Scott Walker? Ya, I do too. He is our governor and he helped reduce RUSD's market share to roughly 99.7% by allowing 400 school vouchers.

If you go the second route, please demonstrate how the RUSD education monopoly has improved quality, lowered costs and increased education options. Good luck with that.

And finally Sean, as usual you prove my point. You really aren't stupid on this issue at least. You know RUSD is a monopoly and you know monopolies reduce innovation, raise costs, lower quality etc.... but the kids consigned to lousy schools are just pawns in your larger power game. Like I said, cognitive indifference.

Sean Cranley said...

Thank you Denis for starting out by implying that my responses are weak. That is untrue and therfore, it discredits you.

The next little trick in your bag o tools is the tried and true switcheroo. In your original post you spoke on a national scale, citing Obama and Eric Holder, ATT and T-Mobile and refered to all public schools as "educational wastelands". But in your response to me offered up RUSD as the only example of local public education that is to be considered, when you never mentioned RUSD at all in the original. A switcheroo.

As ussual you made your claim about "educational wastelands" and that public schools result in "higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality" without a reasoned argument or supporting documentation. I on the other hand am about to provide a strong response that includes both.

First let's tackle the higher cost argument. Monopolies in business produce higher costs because they are run for profit. They will naturally charge the highest price they can without pricing a significant amount of their consumers out of the market.

Public schools are not businesses and they are not run for profit. Their purpose is to serve the public, which they have done very well for generations. They never price their consumers out because they serve EVERYONE. So you see, your analogy is totally flawed.

Secondly, you claim that public schools provide lower quality. That's just not square with the facts as the decades long failed experiment in Milweaukee has demonstrated:

EXCERPT: The test results showed that for all grades, 34.4 percent of voucher students were proficient or advanced in math compared to Milwaukee public schools' 47.8 percent average and the 43.9 percent average for low-income Milwaukee public schools students. Statewide, 77.2 percent of public school students scored proficient or advanced in math.

EXCERPT: On reading scores, 55.2 percent of voucher students were advanced or proficient compared with 59 percent of Milwaukee public school students. Among Milwaukee's low-income public school students, 55.3 percent proficient or advanced. Overall, 83 percent of public school students in Wisconsin hit those marks.

What these results clearly show, particularly the comparison of Milwaukee students (both public and voucher) to the rest of the state is that it is the issues that students in Milwaukee face that is the problem, not the schools.

And finally to choices. Those of us who have good jobs and mobility can easily make choices about which student bodies our children will be included in. We can move. We can choose private schools.

But for a lot of the people who live in the cities of Racine, Milwaukee, Beloit, etc. those kind of choices are very difficult if not impossible to take advantage of.

If we really want to solve the problem of these concentrations of under achieving students we need to break the cycle of concentrated poverty and joblessness in these particular geographic locations.

We could for example, provide cheap public transportation from these areas out to where the jobs are located. We could also encourage the construction of low density, low income housing out in the suburbs and the surrounding towns and villages.

But I doubt that today's Republicon Party will consider any of these solutions for these students and their families. They won't even acknowledge that the schools aren't the problem, because blaming the schools fits their goals of union busting as a tactic in their overall war on middle and working class American families.

Weak response? Hardly.

Sean Cranley said...

I can almost hear Denis now, cursing under his breath the critical thinking and argumentation skills I derived from my public education that allows me to run circles round him logically. Thank you citizens of Racine and Wisconsin, thank you indeed!

Denis Navratil said...

What you are almost hearing Sean is my realization of the pointlessness of arguing about religious belief with you.

Sean Cranley said...

Religious belief!? You lost me on that obscure obfuscation. I presented reasoned arguments, facts and documentation to back up my positions. If you're incapable of responding in kind than it is you sir who are engaged in a faith-based excercise. Which is in fact pointless, you are correct at least in that.

Intersting isn't that, faced with test results that didn't support their dogma, the Republicons have removed the requirement that voucher school kids take the same tests as pub;ic school kids so that us citizens could see what we're getting for our tax dollars from the privateers.

Cuz ya know GOPsters is all bout sunshine, transparency and accountability.

Denis Navratil said...

OK, I'll bite.

Re cost, you say that public schools can't have high costs because they serve everyone. This is pure nonsense. The cost is the cost regardless of who is or is not served. Excessive profit taking is one way to drive up costs, but then, so is union greed. To suggest that public schools can't generate high costs just doesn't square with the facts. To believe as you do requires a religious leap of faith.

Regarding the quality or lack thereof of Milwaukee voucher schools is an interesting question but doesn't address the question of whether a public school education monopoly lowers education quality. I won't get into a cut and paste war with you, but the beauty of vouchers is that parents get to determine the relative value of education and then choose accordingly. If the vouchers are of no value, why do parents keep voting for them with their feet?

Re choices, you say that the wealthier among us can easily choose to pay twice for education, ie once with taxes and again for a private education, and that some in Racine, Beloit, Milwaukee etc... don't have those choices, meaning we should break the cycle of poverty blah blah blah with low income housing, cheap public transport etc.... Well Sean, put your thinking cap on, remove the emoting cap, and consider that vouchers are cash transfers that allow some in Beloit, Racine, Milwaukee etc... access to the choices available to the wealthier and that these choices might just help break the cycle of poverty. At least that seems to be the conclusion reached by voucher parents, but what do they know Sean, they are probably poor, black and stupid, right Sean?

Anonymous said...

Sean, you are at war with yourself. How can distributed low income housing and "cheap" public transportation to the jobs in the boonies square with your argument about how we need trains and commuter rails with the bonanza of jobs and houses being built along those lines? Along with the enivitable government control that comes with mandating where people live, and how they move about, and who dictates the time schedules for all of that? Doesn't that make your head explode? Aren't you making my argument for letting the free market dictate who lives where, and where we take our kids?

Sean Cranley said...

Ano,if you can show me where I said "we need trains and commuter rails with the bonanza of jobs", I'll send $50 to your favorite charity.

I don't know who you think you're arguing with, but it ain't me. Must be some imaginary Lib concocted by your AM radio minders.

You Con Cultists kill me, if ya can't win on the facts, ya just make shtuff up. That being the case, I'm not going reread your rant to see if there's anything of a substantive argument mixed in with the rest of the drivel.

Nemo said...

From the now seemingly defunct kay's Blue Racine:


Sean Cranley
I think we should hence forth refer to walker as Governor Skippy. Not because he decided to skip the money, the jobs, the track restoration, the stations and the train mfg in Milwaukee, but simply because he looks like a Skippy. Definitely a SKIPPY. And since the trend in our political discourse, as eminently demonstrated by the teabagger juggernaut, is definitely downward toward the ingorant and the superficial, why fight it? Just get on board . . . so to speak.


Sean Cranley
What I haven't heard addressed is how improving this rail line would have helped freight train traffic. I would think improving a rail line wuold be valuable beyond just the passenger aspect.

While you did not use the specific verbiage anon used, I don't see any conflict between the three statements positions wrt rail.

sean, please send the $50 here:

Friends of Scott Walker, Kate Lind, Treasurer.

Thanks! Heh.

Sean Cranley said...

Also said right here on Free Racine; "I'm skeptical about the viability of rail transit outside major urban corridors."

It was the second to the last comment under Denis' November 7, 2010 post Imaginary Losses. Check it out for yourself.

And yes I was refering to the Milwaukee to Madison commuter rail line and others like it.

You've misinterpreted my comments from KBR. I thought Walker looked like a "Skippy" before he declined the federal money (that btw was spent elsewhere anyway).

I also thought that as long as there was a debate over the rail line project, the discussion should include the fact that private freight trains also use that line and that the track improvement would help them as well, which is good for commerce.

Nice try though Nemo.

Anonymous said...

Thank you my friend Nemo. You have a nose attenuated for sniffing out bs. You've been blessed with either bloodhound or truffle pig genetics, and I mean that in the best of ways. I'm way too lazy to dig through Sean's volumous pile of odiferous dogma, so I appreciate your effort. Proving him wrong is fun, but sooooo easy it's almost unfair - like beating up a girl. Frankly Sean has lost whatever credibilty he had by publishing his over-the-top "fascism" manifesto. Really unglued. But I wouldn't waste a beer by dunking him with it. The stuff I drink is too good; besides both Vos and I are gentlemen.

But don't expect him to pony up. You see, just like the anointed one, guys like Sean are so arrogant they can never be wrong. It's always someone elses fault - especially when a government monopoly fails in its stated mission.

Sean Cranley said...

Well Ano Nemo didn't prove me wrong as the post above yours demonstates. And since you admit that you didn't "dig through" my entries that proves that you had no access to real information on my position on the rail question and therefore simply made it up (ya know, lied), CONcocting your own convenient "reality" like a good little Con.

BTW what that cretin did to Vos was the act of a complete a-hole, even though Vos is a FALEC corporatist (AKA fascist) stooge. People should know on whose behalf laws that govern their live are being written in the interest of informed consent. You may like being a corporate serf, but you should at least know that you are.

But what's most amussing to me is that Nemo is still obsessively reading everything I write over at KBR despite the fact that he was booted from there long ago for his lack of intellectual integrity. I guess a troll just can't help his trollish nature, even when he can no longer climb up on the bridge for his obligatory rhetorical ramming. I guess the headbutts have taken their toll on old Omen, I mean Nemo, right Nemo? Kinda sad and pathetic really.

Anonymous said...

Don't pat yourself on the back too hard, Sean, because your last post was nothing other than senseless blather. Nemo knows you better than I do, so it never suprises me when he makes you eat your words. Beyond that, Denis' original thought was how socialists like you adore guvmint monopolies who rip off the taxpayers with no accountability, when any private sector concern who approaches monopoly status still is ultimately responcible to the market. And they fall as well, because a better mousetrap is constantly being built. Gov doesn't even know what that means. Which is why RUSD sucks as badly as it does.

Beyond that, your Koch, ALEC, et. al. references are the knee-jerk reactions of a mind-numb lunatic, always looking for a bogeyman when your philosopy fails at the polls. The beer slinger should be criminally prosecuted for assault because this is getting way out of control.

Nemo said...

Thanks Anon, but don't give me too much credit. The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare. To refute sean's ramblings, a monkey would need at best 10 minutes.

sean, my lack of intellectual integrity? Really? So easy to disprove. You still posted at kBR before it when dark. Clearly "intellectual integrity" had nothing to do with my banishing.

If you set the way-back machine to the date of my first banishing you'll find it was due to questioning liberals commitment to free speech. Funny stuff. The second time was for quoting Thomas Mann.

sean, "Nemo is still obsessively reading everything I write over at KBR...". Not quite, don't know if I could stand the laughing fit such a task would induce. It was a short and simple matter to search for train on kay's blathering site and then check the comments. Took about 2 minutes.

And finally, it's an interesting tactic to claim that you did not say something like,"we need trains and commuter rails with the bonanza of jobs" because you also added in a reference to freight traffic. No, wait, not interesting, dumb. sean, buddy, you're dropping below the 5 monkey minute mark here. Heh.

Sean Cranley said...

Ano, you can ignore my inconvenient statement "I'm skeptical about the viability of rail transit outside major urban corridors.", but it won’t change the fact that Nemo-The-Troll didn't make me eat my words no matter how many times you repeat the lie.

I am not a socialist.

Private sector monopolies are not only pervasive, they are immortal.

RUSD doesn't suck and neither do the rest of our public schools, the students at RUSD are failing at rates higher than those at other public schools and higher than observed historically at RUSD.

My comments about ALEC are not knee jerk, I've looked into the matter and corporations are writing your laws and you should know about it.

The beer slinger should be prosecuted.

Sean Cranley said...

Nemo says that I said "we need trains and commuter rails with the bonanza of jobs".

Nemo is a LIAR.

What I said; "I think we should hence forth refer to walker as Governor Skippy. Not because he decided to skip the money, the jobs, the track restoration, the stations and the train mfg in Milwaukee, but simply because he looks like a Skippy. Definitely a SKIPPY. And since the trend in our political discourse, as eminently demonstrated by the teabagger juggernaut, is definitely downward toward the ingorant and the superficial, why fight it? Just get on board . . . so to speak."


"What I haven't heard addressed is how improving this rail line would have helped freight train traffic. I would think improving a rail line wuold be valuable beyond just the passenger aspect."

Oh yeah, almost forgot: "I'm skeptical about the viability of rail transit outside major urban corridors."

Stick that in your intellectual integrity hole Nemo. Liar.

Nemo said...

sean sputtered, "Nemo says that I said 'we need trains and commuter rails with the bonanza of jobs'."

sean, what I said was,"And finally, it's an interesting tactic to claim that you did not say something like,"we need trains and commuter rails with the bonanza of jobs" because you also added in a reference to freight traffic."

Contrapositive observations aside, did you catch the difference? "say something like" does not equal "say". sean, misquoting brings you down under 2 monkey minutes. Heh.

Again, in case you forgot:

Friends of Scott Walker, Kate Lind, Treasurer.

Sean Cranley said...

Well Nemo since your 10:56 post directly above contained my EXACT quote, there was no need for you to concoct a deliberately dishonest distortion of what I said (a lie) and put it in quotation marks, further implying that it was what I said.

I used neither the word "need" nor "bonanza" or anything like them and by inserting those words you made it sound like I said something I neither said nor ment. Why do you need to resort to these sort of tactics? Because your arguments are weak and you're a dishonest person.

Here is what I actually said: "I think we should hence forth refer to walker as Governor Skippy. Not because he decided to skip the money, the jobs, the track restoration, the stations and the train mfg in Milwaukee, but simply because he looks like a Skippy. Definitely a SKIPPY."

I also said right here in Free Racine: "I'm skeptical about the viability of rail transit outside major urban corridors."

You continue to ignore that statement because it shows that you're wrong, that Ano lied and because you're dishonest and have no intellectual integrity.

And because of that statement there will not be a penny from me to support Walker's corporate take over of my state, which is not a charity at all, but rather a pestilence and a corruption, supported ill willed people like you and Ano.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I take exception to that "ill willed" thing, Sean. Your perverted and corrupted point of view of the free market is shared by Obama and unionistas alike. Pestilence (feeding at the public trough) and corruption (no accountability at the agency level) is the hallmark of lefties like yourself. Which is why we are taking back our country, thanks to the efforts of Walker and others. We are tired of paying for your Utopia; we can't afford it. How soon you forget the quagmire your guy Doyle got us into, with help from Lehman and Mason.

Sean Cranley said...

You're a fool Ano. And you continue to just make shtuff up (lie).

Thompson/McCallum handed Doyle a $3.2B deficit. Doyle handed that same deficit $3.2B to Walker, he may not have fixed it, but he didn't cause it either. Same with Obama.

And speaking of troughs, it is now crony corporatists who are oinking away while citizens of wisconsin have their taxes raised:

Yours Truly,


Anonymous said...

Speak for yourself, Sean, You are "fooling" nobody but yourself.

From MacIver: "In the last state budget, Doyle raised taxes $2 billion and allowed local property taxes to go up an additional $1.5 billion. The previous state budget raised taxes and fees $763 million, and the “fix”to that budget raised taxes again $1.2 billion."
Looks like he took whatever deficit there was, and upped the ante. A gambling reference, making sense being he sold out to the tribes. And teacher unions, and trial lawyers. All of your fees were raised, including hospital taxes. Talk about screwing the little guy! All those added taxes at both the state and local levels, and the "math majors" supporting him and writing the laws still couldn't get it done. Disgusting! And by now everyone knows Obama owns these dreadful deficits and falling apart economy. The one thing he didn't inherit was a credit downgrade. Yep, he inherited AAA rating.

Nemo said...

Anon, don't take too much exception in anything that sean rants about. Most is just projection wrapped in pejorative.

sean, man up:

Friends of Scott Walker, Kate Lind, Treasurer.


Sean Cranley said...

Well Ano, I don't have an readily available way to check McQuiver on all the facts. However, based on politifact and Legislative Reference Bureau they are at a minimum playing fast and loose with facts (and omission thereof) with the last figure cited of $1.2B:

EXCERPT: The Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the official scorekeeper, estimated the repair bill would raise $290 million from tax changes. The main source was "combined reporting," in which lawmakers closed what some viewed as a loophole that allowed corporations to shuffle profits to subsidiaries in states that don’t tax them.

If a new fee on hospital revenue was included, the new revenue total was $1.2 billion over three years, according to the fiscal bureau.

That element features its own mini debate:

The fiscal bureau calls the hospital assessment a fee. Media reports commonly referred to it as a tax. Hospitals backed the fee because it allowed the state to tap a large new stream of federal money that boosts Medicaid reimbursement to hospitals; Republicans derided it as a "sick tax" that would raise costs to patients.

As for Obama's ownership of the loss of AAA rating, the Republicons in congress are to blame as well for playing chicken with America's responsibility to pay it's debts.

And of course since the bu$h administration is directly responsible for $6 Trillion of the debt (42%) and for the decreased revenues from Great GOPrecession that followed, blaming Obama is about as credible as calling him a socialist, a terrorist, a foreigner, a secret muslim or any of the the other crap you guys peddle in your ignorant and ill-willed hatred.

Nemo said...

sean, let's be clear. I don't think that Obama is a terrorist, a foreigner, a secret Muslim. He's simply a disaster.

Sean Cranley said...

Nemotistical pronouncements are a waste of your time and mine. Can you present any factual evidence to support your "thought" that Obama is a disaster?

Anonymous said...

The factual evidence should be so overwhelming, even you should see it, but denial is a terrible thing. But an upcoming presidential loss of landslide proportions for the OBamster might clarify things for you. Continuing circular arguments are a waste of precious electronic bytes, though. But alas, you've swerved into a unique nickname all by yourself. Henceforth we shall refer to you as Sean "fiddy-dollar" Cranley. Way to go, fiddy!

Sean Cranley said...

Ano says the evidence is all around, but he can't produce ANY.

No evidence, no facts. Ano you truly suck at this. I pity you. You couldn't argue your way out of an erupting volcano. You're out of your element.

And then you go on to make predictions about the future like you're some kinda prophet. Yeah. The true mark of a fool. Or a Las Vegas sucker.

Whadda pity. Pity, pity.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the future, what were YOU predicting in 2010... just before you got SHELLACKED?


Fess up, Fiddy. Or do Nemo and I have to do your work for you???

Anonymous said...

To continue this thought, what were you predicting the day before you lost the State Senate and Governor's race?

It really sucks to be you.

What you saw last fall wasn't an aberation. Makes predicting the removal of a failed president pretty easy, really. He is even lost his own base. Kinda hard to win if your own supporters stay home. But you still might as well support your own failing effort by voting anyway, Fiddy, as long as you can show a legitimate ID.

Or is your side planning on suspending that election, too?

Sean Cranley said...

Makin Shtuff up again hey Ano? You see a specialist about your habitual lying disorder.

I didn't make predictions in 2010 and I'm not making them for 2012.

Honestly, I just don't see what the point of that is. "Hey lookie lookie, I got it right! I kin preeedict the future! Pay no tension to da times I got it wrong before. I AM A MAGIC MAN! sheesh.

But seriously, if you can show me where I made the prediction you claim (falsely) that I did, I'll "fess up". Cuz that's just the kinda guy I am. You see Ano, Integrity Matters.

Sean Cranley said...

Oh almost forgot, you were going to present some of the "factual evidence" that's "overwhelming" that Obama is a disaster, we're you not?

And if you could actually construct a reasoned argument around said evidence, I would be doubly impressed.

Anonymous said...

Integrity matters? That's a laugh. Everyone makes predictions. Even you. You just don't have the integrity to admit it. Especially when you get spanked. 2012 is looking really bad for you, BTW.

Sean Cranley said...

Evidence. Ya just can't provide ANY can ya. You suck at this.

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