False Measurement in Certification

“The market is telling us that hiring and recruiting are ready for what we bring to the table: how to utilize Big Data to uncover and evaluate top developer candidates based on actual skills, rather than pedigree or personal connections,” Desai said in a prepared statement.”

A case against certification, formal testing and resumes is coming now to the job market. Computer companies are now using search engines to find free software code being used on the web and who wrote it as a measure of a quality job candidate. They could not care about your college degrees or how much your ticket is punched.

The way we evaluate students, teachers and other producers has failed to predict success. Standardized testing is not a good measure and should not be the determining factor used to give creditability.

It comes down to what a person can do rather than what they were trained to do.

Is Tupelo falling behind the curve again?

FAA a Bad Joke

Should the taxpayer support the perks of flying? Why not make the costs of the FAA be the responsibility of those who fly. All pilots, airplane owners, passengers, and anyone else that benefits from the service bare the costs of the service of the FAA. Those that have nothing to do with flying already have to submit to the burden of the noise and pollution of airplanes trespassing over their property. The flying customers should be compensating the hassled public rather then the taxpayers rewarding the air services.

The working poor are waking up in Chicago

An increase in the minimum wage is WAAAY past due and I hope the people in Chicago can get some traction





Tupelo in the Big Picture

What is the big picture?  Of values what order do you put them in? Money, power, love, happiness, family, health, education, wisdom, comfort, religion, etc., I am sure there are many desires and many different ways of arranging priorities, what is yours? Do you think we can all live in harmony with different priorities? How can government decide to use your tax money to meet all this different priorities?

Look beyond just Tupelo and look at has the world has to cooperate to bring you your needs such as food and materialistic consumables. Is everyone treated fairly such as the laborer making less than one dollar in unsafe conditions for doing the same thing your neighbor does for much more. With free trade do you think this inequality can continue? Many people today are doing similar physical labor sitting by a computer terminal but the mental tasks are very different including the difference in compensation. Machines are replacing manual labor at an ever increasing rate. Machines need energy and resources. Humans need energy and resources. Energy and resources are finite and like most things compete in the supply and demand pipeline.

What our leaders do in Tupelo is strongly connected to the big picture of the world and should be planned in a way to include the changing picture of the world if we are to continue to each control our own priorities.

Danes Rethink a Welfare State Ample to a Fault

Recomended by J Newman


SUZANNE DALEY  NYT April 20 2013

COPENHAGEN — It began as a stunt intended to prove that hardship and poverty still existed in this small, wealthy country, but it backfired badly. Visit a single mother of two on welfare, a liberal member of Parliament goaded a skeptical political opponent, see for yourself how hard it is.

It turned out, however, that life on welfare was not so hard. The 36-year-old single mother, given the pseudonym “Carina” in the news media, had more money to spend than many of the country’s full-time workers. All told, she was getting about $2,700 a month, and she had been on welfare since she was 16.

In past years, Danes might have shrugged off the case, finding Carina more pitiable than anything else. But even before her story was in the headlines 16 months ago, they were deeply engaged in a debate about whether their beloved welfare state, perhaps Europe’s most generous, had become too rich, undermining the country’s work ethic. Carina helped tip the scales.

With little fuss or political protest — or notice abroad — Denmark has been at work overhauling entitlements, trying to prod Danes into working more or longer or both. While much of southern Europe has been racked by strikes and protests as its creditors force austerity measures, Denmark still has a coveted AAA bond rating.

But Denmark’s long-term outlook is troubling. The population is aging, and in many regions of the country people without jobs now outnumber those with them.

Some of that is a result of a depressed economy. But many experts say a more basic problem is the proportion of Danes who are not participating in the work force at all — be they dawdling university students, young pensioners or welfare recipients like Carina who lean on hefty government support.

“Before the crisis there was a sense that there was always going to be more and more,” Bjarke Moller, the editor in chief of publications for Mandag Morgen, a research group in Copenhagen. “But that is not true anymore. There are a lot of pressures on us right now. We need to be an agile society to survive.”

The Danish model of government is close to a religion here, and it has produced a population that regularly claims to be among the happiest in the world. Even the country’s conservative politicians are not suggesting getting rid of it.

Denmark has among the highest marginal income-tax rates in the world, with the top bracket of 56.5 percent kicking in on incomes of more than about $80,000. But in exchange, the Danes get a cradle-to-grave safety net that includes free health care, a free university education and hefty payouts to even the richest citizens.

Parents in all income brackets, for instance, get quarterly checks from the government to help defray child-care costs. The elderly get free maid service if they need it, even if they are wealthy.

“In the past, people never asked for help unless they needed it,” said Karen Haekkerup, the minister of social affairs and integration, who has been outspoken on the subject. “My grandmother was offered a pension and she was offended. She did not need it.

“But now people do not have that mentality. They think of these benefits as their rights. The rights have just expanded and expanded. And it has brought us a good quality of life. But now we need to go back to the rights and the duties. We all have to contribute.”

In 2012, a little over 2.6 million people between the ages of 15 and 64 were working in Denmark, 47 percent of the total population and 73 percent of the 15- to 64-year-olds.

While only about 65 percent of working age adults are employed in the United States, comparisons are misleading, since many Danes work short hours and all enjoy perks like long vacations and lengthy paid maternity leaves, not to speak of a de facto minimum wage approaching $20 an hour. Danes would rank much lower in terms of hours worked per year.

In addition, the work force has far more older people to support. About 18 percent of Denmark’s population is over 65, compared with 13 percent in the United States.

One study, by the municipal policy research group Kora, recently found that only 3 of Denmark’s 98 municipalities will have a majority of residents working in 2013. This is a significant reduction from 2009, when 59 municipalities could boast that a majority of residents had jobs. (Everyone, including children, was counted in the comparison.)

Joachim B. Olsen, the skeptical politician from the Liberal Alliance party who visited Carina 16 months ago in her pleasant Copenhagen apartment, is particularly alarmed. He says Sweden, which is already considered generous, has far fewer citizens living on government benefits. If Denmark followed Sweden’s example, it would have about 250,000 fewer people living on benefits of various sorts.

“The welfare state here has spiraled out of control,” Mr. Olsen said. “It has done a lot of good, but we have been unwilling to talk about the negative side. For a very long time it has been taboo to talk about the Carinas.”

Already the government has reduced various early-retirement plans. The unemployed used to be able to collect benefits for up to four years. Now it is two.

Students are next up for cutbacks, most intended to get them in the work force faster. Currently, students are entitled to six years of stipends, about $990 a month, to complete a five-year degree which, of course, is free. Many of them take even longer to finish, taking breaks to travel and for internships before and during their studies.

In trying to reduce the welfare rolls, the government is concentrating on making sure that people like Carina do not exist in the future. It is proposing cuts to welfare grants for those under 30 and stricter reviews to make sure that such recipients are steered into jobs or educational programs before they get comfortable on government benefits.

Officials have also begun to question the large number of people who are receiving lifetime disability checks. About 240,000 people — roughly 9 percent of the potential work force — have lifetime disability status; about 33,500 of them are under 40. The government has proposed ending that status for those under 40, unless they have a mental or physical condition that is so severe that it keeps them from working.

Instead of offering disability, the government intends to assign individuals to “rehabilitation teams” to come up with one- to five-year plans that could include counseling, social-skills training and education as well as a state-subsidized job, at least in the beginning. The idea is to have them working at least part time, or studying.

It remains possible that the cost-cutting push will hurt the left-wing coalition that leads the government. By and large, though, the changes have passed easily in Parliament and been happily endorsed by conservatives like Mr. Olsen, who does his best to keep his meeting with Carina in the headlines.

Carina was not the only welfare recipient to fuel the sense that Denmark’s system has somehow gotten out of kilter. Robert Nielsen, 45, made headlines last September when he was interviewed on television, admitting that he had basically been on welfare since 2001.

Mr. Nielsen said he was able-bodied but had no intention of taking a demeaning job, like working at a fast-food restaurant. He made do quite well on welfare, he said. He even owns his own co-op apartment.

Unlike Carina, who will no longer give interviews, Mr. Nielsen, called “Lazy Robert” by the news media, seems to be enjoying the attention. He says that he is greeted warmly on the street all the time. “Luckily, I am born and live in Denmark, where the government is willing to support my life,” he said.

Some Danes say the existence of people like Carina and Mr. Nielsen comes as no surprise. Lene Malmberg, who lives in Odsherred and works part time as a secretary despite a serious brain injury that has affected her short-term memory, said the Carina story was not news to her. At one point, she said, before her accident when she worked full time, her sister was receiving benefits and getting more money than she was.

“The system is wrong somehow, I agree,” she said. “I wanted to work. But she was a little bit: ‘Why work?’ ”

Anna-Katarina Gravgaard contributed reporting.



Paul Kevin Curtis arrested Re risin letters

Does anyone recall Kevin Curtis from the old DJ forum? Of course the forum was thoroughly cleansed and Curtis’ rants might have been at the top of the DISCARD list. This is his issue





Tupelo Life Skills Program

For all the efforts to control what people can buy, the suffering in Boston used ordinary home made parts. The problem is not the tools but the society in which some are pushed to harm others.

The more you control what people can do the more frustrated the society gets and those on the fringe explode. The problems are never addressed only the result of the problems gets attention.

We have poverty and suffering in our own town and then the leaders want to solve it with promoting tourism.  Tourism does not get people out of poverty or reduce suffering, either does swimming pools, covering tennis courts, computers in school, buying up old buildings or moving the Spain house.

We have a serious lack of education of common sense and what is important in life. Religion has also failed as it has not solved the problems of suffering especially for non believers and non members of the club.

We can start a program for adults in Tupelo on life skills that anyone wanting a better life can attend.

Can Government fix Stupid?

Congress science committee doesn’t get science


I was talking to a teacher with 40 years experience in public school Special Education who has a PhD. She told me that the parents expected the school to fix their mentally disabled son. She told the parents the school could not fix the problem only help in making the best of the abilities the child had.

Tupelo Jobs

Do we understand the system to a point that it is the best system we could have? Much of the media talk is about consumption and jobs. It seems that schools are so concerned with standards they forgot how to inspire creativity. When the system is competitive the strongest in the competitive skills wins. But are we not all equal?

Perhaps we should start from the beginning? People have needs, wants, and desires, being successful in our society we are to provide some of those benefits for others so they can provide them for you.  Look at the drug pusher, that has, with very little knowledge, started a business of supplying a desire. There is one big problem it is not a moral and ethical thing to do in this case. What if the same skills were applied to a moral and ethical field? It would be a thriving business, not a job, but to use natural skills and inspiration to be a productive part of society.

If children learned the concepts of the entrepreneur and how to find the partners and investors to make ideas a reality, we would not need a government agency to provide jobs. When we have business owners on the school board that make a fortune off the backs of workers, it is against their personal financial interests to educate children to be a business competition and compete for the community spending dollar.

We must start from the individual life goals of children to assist them with the tools of education so they can complete those goals. The extra information we expose them to could be icing on the cake of a happy life. Once they see that to get to a goal it will require some skills such as Math, English, Reading, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Science, etc., they will naturally work themselves to reach their inspirations.

The community goal should be to direct youthful energy to positive productive goals rather than train them for jobs and so the company store can sell them entertainment.

Questions for a Tupelo Mayor

Can you contract out your problems? Tupelo uses many consultants and ends up holding the bag. They are always taking poor advice and failed predictions. Almost all of the estimates are wrong and cost the town more money. When a consultant calls the city on its problems the city hires an attorney to smash the consultant.

“Youth advocates and judges say more children are being sent into the criminal justice system for acts like scuffles and truancy that are better handled in the principal’s office.”

We have way too many administrators that are not working with the children. The schools spend money on security rather than finding and solving the child’s problems.

“The lavish spending and questionable performance of a company that provided therapy to young children underscores problems in a segment of New York’s special education program.”

We have a Charter school under contract in the Alternative school (reform school for you old timers), has it worked? As MS and the city take federal money and grants we measure success by their score card which does not equal success in our town.

What a parent and community want is a healthy, productive, happy child that is a benefit to society, his family and himself. We should start with the goal (vision) and work to find a plan (mission) to help make that happen. Washington runs on money not happiness. Is it money only that makes a great life?