Random thoughts about life.

I Love to Learn

I can’t get enough of learning. I love to learn, but there is so little time.

I just found Khan academy.  He is written up in the Sept issue of Fortune – he makes homemade tutorials for us to learn a variety of subjects by.  And then I also just learned of iTunes University – which is okay, but not stellar.  But combining these with Ted.com, and the world just got incredibly more interesting.
This is fabulous!  Check this out. From Ted.com
Okay, now for a  downer.  (I apologize in advance, but it still qualifies as learning ….)

Pension Reform, 1st Black President

New find . . . .  http://reason.tv/video/show/jack-dean   an interview with the founder of pensiontsunami.com,  an aggregate news “publisher” for pension-related news.

Also, in yesterday’s WSJ (Aug, 27, 2010), we were told by the CA Accounting Board that 80 cents of every tax dollar goes to support CA employee compensation and benefits.  Something’s gotta give.  This is just one of the reasons why big government is a bad idea.  They can’t just “mind the store” . . . .  they steal from it, because no one cares enough to watch.  So if we are wondering where our sense of entitlement comes from, look no further than the system we have allowed to grow.  Like a weed, but deadly like a cancer.
Peter Berkowitz has a good column in the WSJ, too. I like the line that “Big government tends to crowd out self-government—producing sluggish, selfish and small-minded citizens, depriving individuals of opportunities to manage their private lives and discouraging them from cooperating with fellow citizens to govern their neighborhoods, towns, cities and states.”
Ain’t that the truth!
So back to the statement “no one cares enough to watch”.  While it appears that way, it is not true. A lot of people – both good and bad – care.  The bad ones care because they can benefit from public neglect, worming their self-interests into policy, so they try to propagate it (they do this by telling us partial truths about what they are doing).  The good ones care but are naively too busy working to pay 80 cents on their tax dollar for their neighbor’s retirement.
But now the evidence of the neglect is apparent, and its weight is crushing all of us.
There is one more thing I’d like to go on record with.  This has to do with the 1st black President, the 1st black actor, and actress to win the Academy Award’s Oscar for best actor/actress.
We know who the 1st black president of the US is, so let’s keep moving….
The first black actor to win the Oscar for best performance was Sidney Poitier.  His 1963 acceptance speech was dignified, simple – and as always, he was unassuming.  The first black female to win was Halle Barry.  Her 2002 acceptance speech was marked with uncontrolled emotion for “the faceless women of color who now have a chance because this door has been opened”, thanking the Academy for choosing her “to be this vessel”.
Halle Berry was a bit over the top, for me, but the point I wish to make is this:  I wish that in Obama that what we got was a Sidney Poitier, not a Halle Berry, for our first black President.   I would have liked to have seen General Colin Powell, or Thomas Sowell (see his archives here).  Or think about Nelson Mandela, and how he led.
How in the world did we manage to strike out with a guy like Obama?  This is one of the saddest aspects of our first black president – there were so many good to great choices, and we got a junior senator who doesn’t know better to withhold judgement until all the facts are in, to stay home and work than to continue to campaign, who doesn’t know that perceptions are people’s reality – stop flaunting vacations, wife’s vacations, etc, in such tough economic times.
I could go on but I don’t want to bore you.