{california} cal exit

October 18, 2017

California is on its third ballot initiatives to secede from the United States of America.

  • 1st – Fizzled, when one of the petition drive’s leader decided to make Russia his home, rather than California. We are not making this up. This can only happen in CA, and you wonder why people don’t take this seriously.
  • 2nd – Governor to negotiate with federal government to give CA more autonomy – a “nation within a nation.”
  • 3rd – Constitutional Convention – to propose amendments to U.S. Constitution, including creating a way for state (particularly California) to secede.

Make no mistake, if the petition comes around to me, I will sign it. How many times do you get the opportunity to be involved in the birth of a new nation? This exercise would be a bit more intriguing, if the petition has any chance, greater than absolute zero, of succeeding.

U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states don’t have the right to secede. A state can only secede through revolution or if other states let it.

  • Revolution usually comes only through armed conflict. I would hope even those ardent secessionists don’t want that, and where would the California’s army come from? Try ask nicely?  A Texas petition did asked the Obama administration, after Obama’s re-election, to allow it to secede. To which, the Obama administration replied – Ha Ha, nice try, NO.
  • Other states allow it – chance = 0
    • 2/3 of the Senate and House of Representatives have to agree. Then,
    • 3/4 of the state legislatures, meaning 38 states, would have to agree to the secession.

Constitutional Convention could provide a way. 2/3 of the Senate and House, or 2/3 of the State Legislatures would have to propose one. However, Constitutional Convention is a pandora’s box. Once opened, you can change anything in the Consitution, including eliminating the Bill of Rights, if enough states agree. Probably, a box you would prefer not to ever open.

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Came across an article on defunct restaurant chains, I actually had some work history with a couple of them on that list.

Gino’s Burgers & Chicken – combining burgers and KFC fried chickens. It’s definitely ahead of its time. Today, combined chains or co-located chains are all over the landscape.

I got my first job at a Gino’s, making $1.60 an hour.

Also, worked at Howard Johnson’s. HoJo, known for its iconic orange roof, had over 1,000 restaurant/motels dotting American highways and suburbs. Sadly, the same report also said, as of 2017, there is only one Howard Johnson’s still in business

Others that I have dined in – Bennigan’s (casual dining and sports bar, a few are still around) and Ponderosa Steakhouse (it’s steaks were not that memorable).

Still others I have seen, but don’t remember if I had dined in them.

Burger Chef – at one time, rivaled McDonald’s.

at large: futurist

September 20, 2017

I happened to catch the beginning of a TV show. The host introduced himself as a Futurist. Is it like he is from the future? He is like Doctor Who, or Marty McFly of Back to the Future? Tell us what the future holds! He must also be the winner of that billion dollar lottery, not long ago.

May be he is trying to say he embraces the future. Isn’t it just as important, perhaps even more important, to embrace the past? After all, if you don’t learn from the past, you might just repeat it. Ah, the Pastists !

And those who just want to live for the present, are called the Presentists, the Todayists ? How about the Nowists?

Just because you invent a term and call yourself that, doesn’t mean it makes a lick of sense, or people know what the heck you are talking about. Hey, Mr. Futurist, language is for communication. If you are the only one who knows what that language means, then by definition, there is no communication. Is that what your vision of the future hold?

A University of Georgia professor has come up with a novel idea – let students choose their own grade. Dr. Richard Watson, for his Business courses has adopted a “stress reduction policy.” Students will be allowed to select their own grade, if they “feel unduly stressed” by the grades they actually earned. https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=9551

One question came to everyone’s mind: “why didn’t I get professors like that?”

Dr. Watson’s course syllabus states “if in a group meeting, you feel stressed by your group’s dynamics, you should leave the meeting immediately.” Such students can discontinue all further group work and with their remaining grade being “based totally on non-group work.”

Well… since you can choose your own grade, what does it matter what the grade is based on?

For tests and examines, they are open book and open notes, of course. They are “designed to assess low lever mastery of the course material.” Dr. Watson does concede that “this policy might hinder the development of group skills and mastery of the class material.”

Oh really, you think !!??

Let’s see, University of Georgia will educate their students to be

  • totally without skill to function in a group,
  • conform to the lowest denominator – low level mastery of course material.

Come to think of it, don’t even bother with the low mastery, since you can just choose your own grade!

I am sure this really warms the hearts of the University of Georgia parents.

In fact, the students should protest too, for stereotyping them, for assuming that students will take advantage of this policy and select a grade that they do not deserve. Such disrespect. Where is the campus-wide protest against this professor?

{upstate new york} falls

August 16, 2017

In upstate New York Finger Lakes region, we visited a few falls. These were not exactly on the scale of Niagara Falls, but at least, worth one visit. Come to think of it, does Niagara Falls really need multiple visits?

Buttermilk Falls – one of the smallest we saw

Pratt Falls                                                   Chittenango Falls

Treman Park Falls

Watkin Glen Falls – multi-feature falls