Jamesb101.com

commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Apple surpasses Microsoft……

I never really liked Microsoft (even though they lent Apple $250 M back when to save their ass )…..

I have Microsoft Word in my iMAC because…….Well……

I have to!

That’s  the rub isn’t it?

Word is the standard of the masses…

But the heck with it….I don’t like PC’s either…….

So I’m smiling at Microsoft getting passed……To damn bad!

Shares of Microsoft have dipped more than 15% in the past couple weeks, while Apple’s stock is down just over 6%, despite recent market volatility.

“What this really means is that Wall Street has more confidence in Apple’s growth prospects than it does in Microsoft’s growth prospects,” said Matt Rosoff, lead analyst at Directions on Microsoft, an independent firm.

“Apple is showing high growth, with the launch of its iPad and its new iPhone coming out, and while Windows is a great competitor versus the Mac, Microsoft just hasn’t come up with new areas of growth.”

Microsoft’s reputation as a market leader took another hit Tuesday when the company announced that it plans to shake up its management structure.

Amid the shuffle, Robbie Bach, who was in charge of years-long effort to turn Microsoft into more of a threat to Apple by heading the entertainment and devices group and overseeing innovative consumer products like Xbox and Zune, will retire from Microsoft in the fall.

“This just means those efforts didn’t work out,” said Roger Kay, president of analyst firm Endpoint Technologies. “It’s sort of like Japanese samurai ethic, which says you need to fall on your sword to maintain your honor.”

Tow the line or keep up with the Joneses?

Part of Microsoft’s problem is that, instead of finding its own audience, it has fallen into a game of catch-up and is focusing too much energy on finding products to directly rival Apple’s, said Kay.

“I don’t know if they have to compete,” he said. “What seems to be working for Microsoft is its serious applications for businesses, education institutions and other enterprises, and if they stay focused on their commercial business that gives them a lot.”

While Microsoft’s first quarter earnings were boosted by the success of its new operating system, Windows 7, Apple’s record profit and revenue in the first quarter was driven by iPhone sales…..

More…..

Update…..Micrsoft plays the issue off.……

May 27, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Computers, Counterpoints, Education, Entertainment, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Projections, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , | Leave a comment

Student achievement as a Partial basis for teacher raises is coming……

Gov. Bill Ritter

[ Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter is backed by members of the Legislature as he signs a teacher’s tenure bill at the Capitol. ]

Colorado is the first state to put into law the policy…..

Several states will follow….

The Dog whole hearty endorses the policy…

Having seen first hand the horrible results of teachers that decide that they give a s*#t about teaching anymore while they hide behind tenure….

While I don’t like the current ‘school report cards’ policy which has teachers ‘teaching to the test’…..

There simply has to be evaluations of teachers to catch the horrible actions of children wasting time in classroom of teachers that fail to teach…..

This deprives the child of an education and places an added burden on teachers who get kids who have not learned in earlier classes……

Where I live…..Teachers make darn good salaries…..They deserve them….But we need to rid the system of the ones that don’t teacher but collect those salaries….

A landmark Colorado law that ties teacher evaluations to the progress of their students on achievement tests could help build momentum for a national movement that seeks to overhaul how instructors’ tenure and pay is earned, education leaders say.

Colorado’s law will hold teachers accountable for whether their students are learning, with 50% of a teacher’s evaluation based on students’ academic growth as measured partially by test scores. In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is pushing legislation that will change the way teachers are evaluated, but its prospects are less certain; the state’s teachers union strongly opposes it.

Colorado’s action comes amid a national debate over how to get the best teachers into the classroom and remove the ones who aren’t doing a good job.

Similar legislation emphasizing teacher performance over job security is pending in Louisiana and Minnesota, and bills overhauling tenure protections and/or evaluation systems have already passed in Maryland, Connecticut, Washington, Tennessee and Michigan.

“It’s impossible to overstate just how significant this [Colorado] bill is,” said Tim Daly, president of the New Teacher Project, a national nonprofit that released a report last year revealing how the vast majority of teacher evaluation systems fail to distinguish effective teachers from ineffective ones.

Under Colorado’s law, passed with bipartisan support and signed by Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. on Thursday, even tenured teachers who are found to be “ineffective” for two consecutive years could lose job protections, and possibly their jobs.

Support from Democrats and, at the last minute, from a teachers union in Colorado represents a major political shift at a time when states are facing huge budget cuts that could mean thousands of teacher layoffs.

Colorado’s law also reflects a wholesale change in attitudes toward evaluating teachers. Like many states, Colorado is hoping to bolster its chances in the Race to the Top grant competition before second-round applications are due June 1. The program rewards states for assessing teacher effectiveness, and Colorado has $175 million at stake.

More……..

May 24, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, The Economy, Updates, Women | , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Immigration discussion is framed by age….Young American don't understand their elders…..

[ “I just feel like it’s unfair what the government does to immigrants.” ANDREA BONVECCHIO, 17-year-old U.S.-born daughter of a naturalized citizen. ]

BECAUSE of the nations immigration……

Most young people these days have vastly different takes on the issue…

There are very few grade schools and High Schools that don’t have a huge influx of new non-Anglo students….

As a result of immigration …..ALL across the country….Latinos/Hispanics, Indian, Middle Eastern, Oriental and even Russian students are joining the mix of students….

My wife’s school has children that speak over 15 languages…..

This mix of students have given native american children something their parents don’t have…

Close encounters with different human beings from different backgrounds….

And it is telling in the mindset of those children….

They aren’t afraid on new people and immigration like their parents and other old people are…..

While some of the kids may not hang out with the new arrivals….a lot in fact do….

And this is where the change in cultures meld into one…..groups of different skin toned kids skate boarding, playing basketball at the park, in study groups and yes Martha…even dating…..

Amen…..

‘And the children shall lead them’……

Meaghan Patrick, a junior at New College of Florida, a tiny liberal arts college in Sarasota, says discussing immigration with her older relatives is like “hitting your head against a brick wall.”

Continue reading

May 18, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Education, Family, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Projections, Travel, Updates, Women | , | 1 Comment

The Immigration discussion is framed by age….Young American don’t understand their elders…..

[ “I just feel like it’s unfair what the government does to immigrants.” ANDREA BONVECCHIO, 17-year-old U.S.-born daughter of a naturalized citizen. ]

BECAUSE of the nations immigration……

Most young people these days have vastly different takes on the issue…

There are very few grade schools and High Schools that don’t have a huge influx of new non-Anglo students….

As a result of immigration …..ALL across the country….Latinos/Hispanics, Indian, Middle Eastern, Oriental and even Russian students are joining the mix of students….

My wife’s school has children that speak over 15 languages…..

This mix of students have given native american children something their parents don’t have…

Close encounters with different human beings from different backgrounds….

And it is telling in the mindset of those children….

They aren’t afraid on new people and immigration like their parents and other old people are…..

While some of the kids may not hang out with the new arrivals….a lot in fact do….

And this is where the change in cultures meld into one…..groups of different skin toned kids skate boarding, playing basketball at the park, in study groups and yes Martha…even dating…..

Amen…..

‘And the children shall lead them’……

Meaghan Patrick, a junior at New College of Florida, a tiny liberal arts college in Sarasota, says discussing immigration with her older relatives is like “hitting your head against a brick wall.”

Continue reading

May 18, 2010 Posted by | Counterpoints, Education, Family, Government, Law, Media, Men, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Polls, Projections, Travel, Updates, Women | , | 1 Comment

Interesting…..Colin Powell WAS offered a Cabinet postion…..

As a connection to his work for the Mentoring Program she did after leaving the State Department….

President Obama DID offer Colin Powell the Education Secretary job when he started up his administration…

We all though it should have been offered at the time…and it was!….

From PolitcalWire…..

Powell Was Offered Cabinet Position

Ben Smith notes another interesting tidbit from Jonathan Alter’s The Promise: President Obama offered Colin Powell the job of secretary of education and gave it to Arne Duncan only after Powell turned him down.

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Education, Family, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | 2 Comments

The New Florida Female High School Sport……Flag Football!

YES!

The Dog played touch football for a long time…. growing up….

I went on to play High School Football also…

When I got into college and few years after…We played touch and flag football…

I Loved it!

As a matter of fact this ole’ Dog would jump at a chance to play touch , or flag again….

Now I’m talking about NO tackling football…

I’m entirely too old for the contact stuff..

Which brings us to young women playing the game now…

Why NOT?

The piece I’m going to put up here is really about the resistance to the game because there is nowhere for players who obtain a skill in the game to go…..

It’s not played in College and there is no Pro League…..

Again…..So What?

Keep playing the game young ladies……Keep organizing!

It will grow……You’ll see…..You have to start somewhere…..

Flag football, long relegated to family picnics and gym class, has quietly become one of the fastest-growing varsity sports for high school girls in Florida. A decade after it was introduced, nearly 5,000 girls play statewide — a welcome development in a state that, like others, has struggled to close the gender gap in high school athletics.

But rather than applaud the new opportunities, some women’s sports advocates call it a dead-end activity. Flag football is played only at the club and intramural level in colleges, and unless one counts the Lingerie Football League, no professional outlets exist. Alaska is the only other state that considers it a varsity sport.

“No one is saying flag football isn’t a great sport to play,” said Neena Chaudhry, the senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center, which has brought several cases against high schools alleging violations of Title IX, the federal law mandating gender equity in education. “But I do think it’s relevant to ask questions about whether girls are getting the same kind of educational opportunities as boys.”

Florida does not recognize any boys’ sports that have the limited future beyond high school that flag football does.

The sport’s supporters say that such criticism misses the point. The aim of high school sports is to encourage students to develop healthy habits, athletic officials say, and few become college athletes. Supporters also ask for patience, saying the sport is still in its infancy.

“Soccer didn’t exist in the 1970s in most high schools for women,” said Bill Massey, the athletic director at Boca Raton High School. “That has all changed because of Title IX.”

Varsity flag football had its start in the 1990s, after the Florida Legislature required high schools to report athletic participation numbers. Mr. Massey and other athletic directors in Palm Beach County, facing a dearth of female athletes, considered sports like field hockey, lacrosse, water polo and badminton to increase participation, he said, but a survey of students favored flag football.

By the time the athletic association set up a state championship in flag football for the 2002-3 academic year, 75 high schools were fielding teams. Still, despite the addition of flag football and other sports like competitive cheerleading, which was added in 2007, the proportion of girls who participate in high school athletics in Florida has remained constant. In the 1997-98 school year, when schools began playing flag football, girls made up 41 percent of Florida’s high school athletes, according to the state association, compared with 42 percent in 2008-09.

Of course, girls can and do participate in a range of sports that are traditionally available to both boys and girls. But one advocate for women’s sports said that by recognizing sports like flag football, administrators were artificially pumping up girls’ participation numbers.

“It did not come from a groundswell,” said Nancy Hogshead-Makar, a Jacksonville law professor and three-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming, who sued the Florida association last year over a scheduling issue that she argued violated Title IX. The case was settled out of court. “It was done by school administrators, not by kids.”

Coaches disagree. Interest in flag football is so high, some high schools field freshman, junior and varsity squads and still make cuts. Its popularity has led to grumbling by coaches of other spring sports, who say they have lost their best athletes to flag football……..

More……..

May 15, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Entertainment, Government, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Sports, Updates, Women | , , | 5 Comments

A small New York State Town makes English a requirement for town business…..

Ok…here we go!……

My wife is always grumbling……

If you come to America….

You have to learn to speak English…..

You know what?

If you go to France you’re gonna have problems not speaking French…

In Spain you’re gonna be hard pressed to do anything without knowing some spanish….

In China…you won’t far without understanding some Chinese…..

Me ….I agree…

I have no problem with different languages…

I game examples of language usage in Europe…

But I know near the borders of those countries people know SEVERAL languages…

But should we legislate the language policy????

It’s about 2,500 miles from this green, rural town in the rolling hills near Vermont to the Mexican border atNogales, but that hasn’t stopped Jackson from making a bid to be New York’s small version of Arizona in the immigration wars.

Or that’s how it is beginning to feel two months after Jackson — which has 1,700 people, no village, no grocery store or place to buy gasoline, no church, no school, two restaurants and maybe a few Spanish-speaking farm workers — decided it needed a law requiring that all town business be conducted in English.

One nearby town, Argyle, has since passed a similar resolution. A third, Easton, is likely to consider one at its Town Board meeting in June. The law has already put Jackson at odds with the New York Civil Liberties Union, which says it violates state and federal law. But in the great American echo chamber, every mouse gets to roar, so Roger Meyer, who proposed the law, feels he is making progress toward protecting the English language from threats near and far.

“For too long, the federal government has shirked its duty by not passing English as the official language of the United States,” said Mr. Meyer, 76, a Town Council member and retiree who runs Chains Unlimited, a sawmill and chain saw and logging supply company. “So seeing as this law couldn’t be passed from the top down, I felt I’d start a grass-roots movement to try to get it passed from the bottom up.”

The law designates English as the town’s official written and spoken language, “to be used in all official meetings and business conducted by the elected officials and their appointees.”

The civil liberties union has asked the board to rescind the ordinance.

“The English language is not under attack in Jackson or anywhere else in the state or country,” said Melanie Trimble, director of the civil liberties union’s capital region chapter.

The group said the law prohibited constitutionally protected speech and discriminated against anyone with limited English skills who tried to conduct business with the town, whether they wished to report a crime or to testify in local court or to obtain a building permit. It contains no exceptions for medical emergencies and police investigations, in which public health and safety are at stake, the group said………

More……..

The question will probably be kicked up to the Federal Courts …who will hold that the issue of language IS a Federal issue…

The towns adopting this policy know that…..

The more basic question is…..

What’s right for a little town in  upstate New York ?…….  verses what should apply to New York City? ……

May 12, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , | 1 Comment

The Goethe-Institut Washington…….A global German cultural institute

From time to time the Dog gets people interested in getting exposure to their organization….

The Dog will share that basic information with the Dog pound…….

More……..…..

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Education, Entertainment, Government, Media, Other Things, Updates | , | 1 Comment

SE on Lincoln and racism and RedState…….

RedState logo

If you know your history folks …you know that the history taught in the primary and high schools of America is sanitised…..and actually has very little to do with what REALLY happened in the past….

With that in mind ……SE has sent the Dog a RedState piece that gets into some things that the Great Emancipator President Lincoln uttered back when……

If you are up on your history you’ve known that Lincoln wrote the Emancipation Proclamation because he was worried about the Union…..Not about Slaves…

You would also know that the document only covered the area’s of the Union that the North controled……

The Dog has known that for a long time….

When I went to college back in the day…..

History was my major……..

The RedState piece is mostly correct…..

Lincoln who is viewed as a hero of Civil Rights….. Was Not….at the time…..

He did what he had to do to save the United States of what was then America…..

But his actions…what ever they where originally for……. have be turned into something more that Lincoln could ever have though of…

And THAT  we shall all embrace and be thankful for…….

So there’s right back  At Ya RedState.!…….

Here’s the Link.……

May 8, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Counterpoints, Education, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, PoliticalDogs SE posts, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Barack H. Obama…..Birth Certificate…..

Barack Obama was born on August 4, 1961[4] at Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States,[5] to Stanley Ann Dunham,[6] an American of predominantly English descent from Wichita, Kansas,[7] and Barack Obama, Sr., a Luo from Nyang’oma KogeloNyanza ProvinceKenya Colony. Obama is the first President to have been born in Hawaii.[8][9] Obama’s parents met in 1960 in a Russian language class at theUniversity of Hawaii at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.[10][11] The couple married on February 2, 1961,[12] but separated when Barack Sr. went to Harvard University on scholarship, and divorced in 1964.[11] Obama Sr. remarried and returned to Kenya, visiting Barack in Hawaii only once, in 1971. He died in an automobile accident in 1982.[13]

After her divorce, Dunham married Indonesian student Lolo Soetoro, who was attending college in Hawaii. When Suharto, a military leader in Soetoro’s home country, came to power in 1967, all Indonesian students studying abroad were recalled, and the family moved to the Menteng neighborhood ofJakarta.[14][15] From ages six to ten, Obama attended local schools in Jakarta, including Besuki Public School and St. Francis of Assisi School.[16][17]

In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Armour Dunham, and attended Punahou School, a privatecollege preparatory school, from the fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979.[18] Obama’s mother returned to Hawaii in 1972, remaining there until 1977 when she went back to Indonesia to work as an anthropological field worker. She finally returned to Hawaii in 1994 and lived there for one year, before dying of ovarian cancer.[19]

More……..

May 2, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Education, Family, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Travel, Updates, Women | , | 5 Comments