Accounting for the mess we’re in

Date:      3 Sept 17
By:          Frank Gue, B,Sc,, MBA, P.Eng., 
               2252 Joyce St., Burlington ON Canada L7R 2B5
For:        Whom it may concern
Re:          Comment on the book Deep state
The deep state is a book in which the introduction says:
Our venerable institutions of government have 
outwardly remained the same, but they have 
grown more and more resistant to the popular 
will as they have become hardwired into a 
corporate and private influence network with 
almost unlimited cash to enforce its will.
For a much longer full book review, go to –
For a much shorter review of today’s socio-economic milieu,
see below for my take on it.
I have  accounted for the phenomena that “The Deep 
State” identifies in a lot fewer words.  Like these:
Start a thought experiment at the beginning of any huge socio-
economic upturn.  The end of WWII is a good place to do that.
The previous era was clearly over.  Much both good and bad had
been  destroyed.  We were, in many respects, starting-over.  Bitter
experience had taught us to avoid this, embrace that, as we
rebuilt.  We looked forward with hope and optimism.  That was the
mood in 1946-1950, as I am old enough to remember well.  
There was unspoken agreement on an over-arching socio-
economic environment: capitalist democracy.  There was also
knowledgeable, conscientious opposition, which is a good
thing: it kept the c-ds on the straight and narrow.
There followed several decades of rapid improvement based
on these c-d principles.
But what we too often don’t notice is that, although capitalist-
democracy is not evil, there are evil capitalist-democrats.
These evil c-ds gradually find all the ways to game the system, 
gain control of all the levers and pushbuttons, and divert the
benefits into their own hands.  Note “gradually”.  It takes 
decades.
Many, perhaps most, of these evil c-ds suffer from the 
serious, addictive, incurable Money-Disease (yes, I know 
I don’t need and cannot possibly use another $100 million,
but I just have to have it – where’s my next $100M “fix”
going to come from – I just must have my “fix” – get out 
of my way … ).
No one knows where the tipping point is, i.e. when the 
counter-productive activities of the evil c-ds overwhelm 
the production of the authentic c-cds.  When finally there 
are more “takers” than “makers” (ref: Gibbon, The 
collapse and fall of the Roman Empire), the socio-
economic system stagnates and then begins to crumble.
This stagnation-crumbling is under way now, having begun
with a tremor in Japan in 1990 and continuing with a
Force 7 or 8 earthquake in 2008 (remember, one point 
on the Richter scale is a ten-times increase in severity).  
We are now awaiting the probably-inevitable Force 9 
socio-economic quake.
Meanwhile, the evil c-ds, who don’t know where the 
tipping point is either, are grabbing what they can while
they can.  They have even managed to hijack the 
coterie of conscientious, responsible opposition c-ds,
sounding like them and thus further confusing the issue 
to their profit.
Also meanwhile, a small but growing minority of 
observers, including many political outsiders, have 
begun to understand what is being 
done to them and by whom.  In both organized and
un-organized groups, whose members range from 
loony-left through thinking-centrist to rabid-right, using 
the Web and other modern weapons, they are having
both successes and failures in their efforts to shore
up the crumbling wall.  Emblematic of their efforts, 
folk like President Trump, using poorly-aimed 
scatterguns, nevertheless have the right targets in 
their sights.  Their mantra is, “A plague on all your
houses.”
You might want to entertain yourself by identifying 
who occupies the houses on whom the plague is
being wished.  Any thoughts?
Here I must suspend the allegory lest I encounter 
an intellectual Slough of Despond and get sucked
right in.  But does any of it sound familiar to you?
Frank Gue,
Professional Engineer.
Advertisements

Friedman and supply-side policies –

From:     Gue Frank <frank.gue@cogeco.ca>Subject: Re:

 Re:           Friedman and supply-side policies 

                   Your August 26, p. 58

Date:       September 6, 2017 at 6:05:53 AM EDT
To:            letters@economist.com
Re:            NAIRU, etc.
Dear Editors:
We grunts who just work for a living are surrounded by naiveté,
malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance in high office and
among professionals who should know better.
Example: we rest major policies on that broken reed, GDP, which
erroneously includes things like the price of crude oil, which is
not a “product” at all in the dictionary meaning of the term and
draws no distinctions among value-added, non-value-added,
and value-subtractive economic activities.
As you say, Friedmanites (and endless others) are driven off-
course by “oil-price shocks” that utterly destroy neat formulae
like GDP or NAIRU.  One is reminded irresistibly of Harold
Macmillan who,  challenged to account for his plan changes,
responded condescendingly and with aphoristic precision,
“Events, dear boy, events.”
We desperately need to replace our bent, elastic, chipped,
illegible economic yardsticks with measures that will better
respond to Sir Harold’s “events”.  Perhaps then we can stop
driving the car by watching the rear-view mirror.
Frank Gue,
Professional Engineer

Commentary on book, “The deep state”

Date:       3 Sept 17

By:          Frank Gue, B,Sc,, MBA, P.Eng.,

2252 Joyce St., Burlington ON Canada L7R 2B5

For:         Whom it may concern

Re:          Comment on the counter-culture book The deep state, linked below, follows.

The deep state is a book in which the introduction says:

Our venerable institutions of government have outwardly remained the same, but they have grown more and more resistant to the popular will as they have become hardwired into a corporate and private influence network with almost unlimited cash to enforce its will.

For a much longer full book review, go to –

http://www.mikelofgren.net/introduction-to-the-deep-state/

For a much shorter review of today’s socio-economic milieu,

see below for my take.

I have  accounted for the phenomena that “The Deep

State” identifies in a lot fewer words.  Like these:

Start a thought experiment at the beginning of any huge socio-

economic upturn.  The end of WWII is a good place to do that.

The previous era was clearly over.  Much both good and bad had

been  destroyed.  We were, in many respects, starting-over.  Bitter

experience had taught us to avoid this, embrace that, as we

rebuilt.  We looked forward with hope and optimism.  That was the

mood in 1946-1950, as I am old enough to remember well.

There was unspoken agreement on an over-arching socio-

economic environment: capitalist democracy.  There was also

knowledgeable, conscientious opposition, which is a good

thing: it kept the c-ds on the straight and narrow.

There followed several decades of rapid improvement based

on these c-d principles.

But what we too often don’t notice is that, although capitalist-

democracy is not evil, there are evil capitalist-democrats.

These evil c-ds gradually find all the ways to game the system,

gain control of all the levers and pushbuttons, and divert the

benefits into their own hands.

Many, perhaps most, of these evil c-ds suffer from the

serious, addictive, incurable Money-Disease (yes, I know

I don’t need and cannot possibly use another $100 million,

but I just have to have it – where’s my next $100M “fix”

going to come from – I just must have it – get out of my

way … ).

No one knows where the tipping point is, i.e. when the

counter-productive activities of the evil c-ds overwhelm

the production of the authentic c-cds.  When finally there

are more “takers” than “makers” (ref: Gibbon, The 

collapse and fall of the Roman Empire), the socio-

economic system stagnates and then begins to crumble.

This stagnation-crumbling is under way, having begun

with a tremor in Japan in 1990 and continuing with a

Force 7 or 8 earthquake in 2008 (remember, one point

on the Richter scale is a ten-to-one increase in severity).

We are now awaiting the probably-inevitable Force 9

socio-economic quake.

Meanwhile, the evil c-ds, who don’t know where the

tipping point is either, are grabbing what they can while

they can.  They have even managed to hijack the

coterie of conscientious, responsible opposition c-ds,

sounding like them thus further confusing the issue to

their profit.

Also meanwhile, a small but growing minority of

observers, including many political outsiders, have

begun to understand what is being

done to them and by whom.  In both organized and

un-organized groups, whose members range from

loony-left through thinking-centrist to rabid-right, using

the Web and other modern weapons, they are having

both successes and failures in their efforts to shore

up the crumbling wall.  Emblematic of their efforts,

folk like President Trump, using poorly-aimed

scatterguns, nevertheless have the right targets in

their sights.  Their mantra is, “A plague on all your

houses.”

You might want to entertain yourself by identifying

who occupies the houses on whom the plague is

being wished.  Any thoughts?

Here I must suspend the allegory lest I encounter

an intellectual Slough of Despond and get sucked

right in.  But does any of it sound familiar to you?

Frank Gue,

Professional Engineer.

Frank Gue – Education and Politics <donotreply@wordpress.com>

Date:       3 Sept 17
By:          Frank Gue, B,Sc,, MBA, P.Eng., 2252 Joyce St., Burlington ON L7R 2B5
For:         Gary Reid
Re:          Comment on the counter-culture book The deep state, linked below
I have been able to account for the phenomena that “The Deep
State” accounts for in a lot fewer words.  Like these:
Start your thought experiment at the beginning of any huge socio-
economic upturn.  The end of WWII is a good place to do that.
The previous era was clearly over.  Much both good and bad was
destroyed.  We were, in many respects, starting-over.  Bitter
experience had taught us to avoid this, and embrace that, as we
rebuilt.  We looked forward with hope and optimism.  That was the
mood in 1946-1950, as I am old enough to remember well.
There was unspoken agreement on an over-arching socio-
economic environment: capitalist democracy.  There was also
knowledgeable, conscientious opposition, which is a good
thing: it kept the c-ds on the straight and narrow.
There followed several decades of rapid improvement based
on these c-d principles.
But what we too often don’t notice is that, although capitalist-
democracy is not evil, there are evil capitalist-democrats.
These evil c-ds gradually find all the ways to game the system,
gain control of all the levers and pushbuttons, and divert the
benefits into their own hands.
Many, perhaps most, of these evil c-ds suffer from the
serious, addictive, incurable Money-Disease (yes, I know
I don’t need and cannot possibly use another $100 million,
but I just have to have it – where’s my next $100M “fix”
going to come from – I just must have it – get out of my
way … ).
No one knows where the tipping point is, i.e. when the
counter-productive activities of the evil c-ds overwhelm
the production of the authentic c-cdsWhen finally there
are more “takers” than “makers” (ref: Gibbon, The 
collapse and fall of the Roman Empire), the socio-
economic system stagnates and then begins to crumble.
This stagnation-crumbling is under way, having begun
with a tremor in Japan in 1990 and continuing with a
Force 7 or 8 earthquake in 2008 (remember, one point
on the Richter scale is a ten-to-one increase in severity).
We are now awaiting the probably-inevitable Force 9
socio-economic quake.
Meanwhile, the evil c-ds, who don’t know where the
tipping point is either, are grabbing what they can while
they can.  They have even managed to hijack the
coterie of conscientious, responsible opposition c-ds,
sounding like them thus further confusing the issue to
their profit.
Also meanwhile, a small but growing minority of
observers have begun to understand what is being
done to them and by whom.  In both organized and
un-organized groups, whose members range from
loony-left through thinking-centrist to rabid-right, using
the Web and other modern weapons, they are having
both successes and failures in their efforts to shore
up the crumbling wall.  Emblematic of their efforts,
folk like President Trump, using poorly-aimed
scatterguns, nevertheless have the right targets in
their sights.  Their mantra is, “A plague on all your
houses.”
Here I must suspend the allegory lest I encounter
an intellectual Slough of Despond and get sucked
right in.  But does any of it sound familiar to you?
Frank Gue,
Professional Engineer.

“Be good, or else” and “An ORSome”, May 27 edition

Date:     15 June 17

By:         Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
              2252 Joyce St., Burlington, ON Canada        905 634 9538
For:        Editors, The Economist, London, UK
Re:         “Be good, or else” and “An ORSome”, May 27 edition
Dear Editors:
In a remarkable demo of aphorism, you have captured, in only a few lines within millimeters of each other, about three quarters of the aggressive populism (read: Trumpism) surrounding us, viz:
Traders have shown themselves ready not just to stretch the rules, but to collude in outright illegality.
 
– and:
 
The coalition of central bankers who developed he Common Reporting Standards is supported by a panel of industry participants.  The code of conduct’s 55 principles lay down international standards on a range of practices, from the handling of confidential information to the pricing and settlement of deals.
 
– and:
As the market has proved in the past, it is important not to underestimate the power of peer pressure to worsen behaviour as well as improve it.
 
– and:
Tax dodgers and their advisers are enterprising sorts, eager to clamber through the smallest loophole – and gaps in the “55 principles” in the Common Reporting Standard there are.
 
So, with the fox assiduously guarding the henhouse, the rest of us, the General Serfdom, can confidently forecast the results.
Frank Gue

News from the NEPC: Report Fails to Muster Evidence To Support School Improvement Strategies that Remove Democratic Control

From: Frank Gue [mailto:frank.gue@cogeco.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 12:45 PM
To: William Mathis <wmathis@sover.net>; gsunderman@umd.edunepcnews@gmail.com
Cc: Gue Frank <frank.gue@cogeco.ca>
Subject: Re: News from the NEPC: Report Fails to Muster Evidence To Support School Improvement Strategies that Remove Democratic Control

 

Date:      13 June 17

By:          Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,

2252 Joyce St., Burlington, ON L7R 2B5, Canada    905 634 9538

For:         Mr. Wm Mathis and Ms Gail Sunderman, NEPC

Re:          Measuring education results

 

Good day, William and Gail

 

Here are a citizen’s thoughts about the following sentence from your post (below), which reads:

 

It also relies on test score outcomes as the sole measure of success, thus ignoring other impacts these strategies may have on students and their local communities or the local school systems where they occur.

This warning appears repeatedly and predictably in statements by education apologists, some of whom, they should candidly acknowledge, fervently wish not to be measured at all.  As stated emphatically and publicly by one local (Burlington, ON) Supt of Ed, We will not use comparisons.  

OK then, lady, you will not improve your system, since improvement depends on comparison, which depends on measurement.

 

The educational enterprise as a whole should take to heart the motto of the Fraser Institute of Vancouver, BC, Canada:

If it matters, measure it.  We should start by agreeing, as I trust we can, that Education matters a whole lot.

 

I am a Professional Electronics Engineer (no, not an electrician, as many mistakenly think).  One definition:  An Engineer is one who believes in measurement, knows how to measure, measures, and abides by the result of the measurement whether they agree with his opinion or not.

 

My own aphorism, which springs from that definition and addresses the NEP’s dismissive reference to test scores, is:  The admitted inability to measure everything is not a valid excuse for measuring nothing.  And so, my good fellow educators, dismiss test scores if you feel you must, but you must then propose alternative specific, auditable measurements.

 

What are they?

 

Cheers,

 

Frank Gue,

Professional Engineer

 

On Jun 13, 2017, at 10:05 AM, National Education Policy Center <NEPC.NEWS@gmail.com> wrote:

 

Recent report provides little guidance for states considering improvement strategies for low-performing schools.

Report Fails to Muster Evidence to Support School Improvement Strategies that Remove Democratic Control

Key Review Takeaway: Recent report provides little guidance for states considering improvement strategies for low-performing schools.

 

Press Release: http://nepc.info/node/8706
NEPC Review: http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-ESSA-accountability
Report Reviewedhttp://edex.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/publication/pdfs/03.30%20-%20Leveraging%20ESSA%20To%20Support%20Quality-School%20Growth_0.pdf

Contact:

William J. Mathis: (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.net
Gail L. Sunderman: (301) 405-3572, gsunderm@umd.edu

Learn More:NEPC Resources on Elementary and Secondary Education Act

BOULDER, CO (June 13, 2017) – A recent report offers a how-to guide for reform advocates interested in removing communities’ democratic control over their schools. The report explains how these reformers can influence states to use the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Title I school improvement funds to support a specific set of reforms: charter schools, state-initiated turnarounds, and appointment of an individual with full authority over districts or schools.

Leveraging ESSA to Support Quality-School Growth was reviewed by Gail L. Sunderman of the University of Maryland.

While the report acknowledges that there is limited research evidence on the effectiveness of these reforms as school improvement strategies, it uses a few exceptional cases to explain how advocates seeking to influence the development of state ESSA plans can nevertheless push them forward.

As Sunderman’s review explains, the report omits research that would shed light on the models, and it fails to take into account the opportunity costs of pursuing one set of policies over another. It also relies on test score outcomes as the sole measure of success, thus ignoring other impacts these strategies may have on students and their local communities or the local school systems where they occur. Finally, and as noted above, support for the effectiveness of these approaches is simply too limited to present them as promising school improvement strategies.

For these reasons, concludes Sunderman, policymakers, educators and state education administrators should be wary of relying on this report to guide them as they develop their state improvement plans and consider potential strategies for assisting low-performing schools and districts.

Find the review by Gail L. Sunderman at:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/thinktank/review-ESSA-accountability

Find Leveraging ESSA to Support Quality-School Growth, by Nelson Smith and Brandon Wright, published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and Education Cities, at:
https://edex.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/publication/pdfs/03.30 – Leveraging ESSA To Support Quality-School Growth_0.pdf

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) Think Twice Think Tank Review Project (http://thinktankreview.org) provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: http://www.greatlakescenter.org

The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu

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Copyright © 2017 National Education Policy Center. All rights reserved.

Aggressive populism

Date:     15 June 17

By:         Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
              2252 Joyce St., Burlington, ON Canada        905 634 9538
For:        Editors, The Economist, London, UK
Re:         “Be good, or else” and “An ORSome”, May 27 edition
Dear Editors:
In a remarkable demo of aphorism, you have captured, in only a few lines within millimeters of each other, about three quarters of the aggressive populism (read: Trumpism) surrounding us, viz:
Traders have shown themselves ready not just to stretch the rules, but to collude in outright illegality.
 
– and:
 
The coalition of central bankers who developed he Common Reporting Standards is supported by a panel of industry participants.  The code of conduct’s 55 principles lay down international standards on a range of practices, from the handling of confidential information to the pricing and settlement of deals.
 
– and:
As the market has proved in the past, it is important not to underestimate the power of peer pressure to worsen behaviour as well as improve it.
 
– and:
Tax dodgers and their advisers are enterprising sorts, eager to clamber through the smallest loophole – and gaps in the “55 principles” in the Common Reporting Standard there are.
 
So, with the fox assiduously guarding the henhouse, the rest of us, the General Serfdom, can confidently forecast the results.
Frank Gue