Making Math Meaningful – Really?? Tenet #9

 

sexy math

The Pro American Party presents Tenet #9:

“The Congress shall create a committee that surveys all U.S. businesses on a yearly basis for the purpose of determining the educational and technical skill needs within their work forces. These needs will be broadcast to all secondary and higher level schools, including private and technical schools so that programs can be created to meet those needs.”

We seek to answer the age old question: “Why do I need math?”

There are two primary goals for this tenet. First, we want to make sure schools are teaching those classes that will result in jobs for Americans. Second, we want to help parents when they have that inevitable discussion about why it is important for their children to learn math, history, geography, etc.

Let’s use math as an example.  The following is a copy of an article written by in Math Learning on August 14th, 2013

Lots of children dream big and we love that about them! Kids want to be sculptors, veterinarians, zoo keepers, pilots, baseball players, dancers — they are only limited by their imaginations. As parents and teachers, our job is to give kids the tools they need to realize these dreams. Math learning is one of those tools, as shown by our list of 7 cool jobs that require math.

Looking for ways to motivate your dreamer in math? You can encourage your child by talking about how a [insert dream job here] needs math in their job. Here are a few ideas to get you started!

These 7 cool jobs all require math learning

1. Animator

In animation, math and art go together like peanut butter and marshmallow fluff. Trigonometry helps rotate and move characters, while algebra creates the special effects to make images shine. Even artists have to pay attention in math class!

2. Game Designer

Designing board or video games is a cool job. Who wouldn’t want to playtest Candyland, Monopoly, or Clue? Every game designer needs to have a good grasp of game theory – a branch of applied mathematics. Aspiring video game programmers should also study trigonometry, physics, and calculus. Chances are, board game designers will need to know probability, even if they won’t be designing math games.

3. Robotics Engineer

Robotics engineers design, test, and maintain robots! It’s a growing industry and the employment outlook is sunny. Before you quit your day job and run off to design a house-cleaning robot, hit the math books. Most Robotics Engineers have a master’s or doctorate. According to the article, “Learn About Robots” robotics may be the most inter-disciplinary of engineering endeavors.

4. Roller Coaster Designer

Roller Coaster

As you ride a roller coaster through loops, dives, and dips, you’re busy wondering if you’re going to lose your lunch, not calculating velocity. But there are many different curves in a coaster and roller coaster engineers need to understand the mathematical properties of these curves, as well as physics, kinematics, and material strength. Like all cool jobs, roller coaster design is competitive — there are only 100 roller coaster design companies in the U.S.!

5. Jet Fighter Pilot

The thrilling life of a jet fighter pilot seems worlds away from the math classroom. Movies like “Top Gun,” show pilots streaking through the sky in futuristic birds, not calculating how much fuel they have left or figuring out the direction and speed of the wind. But pilots have to complete major math problems on the fly, and when they’re zipping through the air at 700 mph, math skills are life saving.

6. Sports Announcer

What is his batting average? How many bases has he stolen? When those sports personalities give the play-by-play, they have to pay attention to the numbers: percentages, player stats, the clock. And sports casting is done live, which means there’s no room for errors.

7. Professional Photographer

We think of shutterbugs as artists, not mathematicians. But professional photographers need mad math skills. They have to calculate depth of field, determine the correct film speed, shutter speed, aperture, and exposure — and more. And to capture the moment, they need to do it all in a matter of minutes. Who knew so much math went into one photograph?

– See more at: http://www.dreambox.com/blog/7-dream-jobs-that-require-math#sthash.44NV0J8Z.dpuf

 

For even more math-related jobs that kids will love, click on the following url: http://startingwright.cs.wright.edu/Teacher/ingut/21-seriously-cool-careers.pdf

 

 

 

Corporate Enemies – Identified – and the Way It Used To Be

The year was 1941. Pearl Harbor was just months away and Henry Ford wanted to prove to the United States government that he could mass produce bombers. Take a look at the video above and see what we used to be able to do.   One B-24 with 1,250,000 parts, every 55 minutes. No wonder we won the war. Oh, the good ol’ days!

When the Pro American Party states that manufacturing is important to national security, this video illustrates why. These days the manufacturing is more likely to be done in Mexico, China or India.

Corporations bolt from the U.S. for several reasons: tax avoidance, escape from pollution standards, and cheap labor prime among them. In this post, we identify some of the companies that have done just that.

Our first list comes to us from Richard A. McCormack, editor@manufacturingnews.com. In July, 2013, he wrote an article entitled “America’s Biggest Companies Continue To Move Factories Offshore And Eliminate Thousands of American Jobs“. According to research done by McCormack, seventy-seven petitions were filed on behalf of American workers, from companies such as IBM, Walgreens, International Paper, Sanmina Corp., Chicago Bridge and Iron, NCR, AT&T, Tenneco Automotive, Micron Technology and Honeywell, among others….and this was just in the first three weeks of July of that year!

Read more from McCormack by going to the following link: http://www.manufacturingnews.com/news/TAA0731131.html

By the way, did you know that when companies bolt from the U.S. and leave their former employees jobless that the former employees are then eligible for all types of benefits via the Department of Labor?   Guess who pays?   No need, you do.  The program is called the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program and includes a variety of benefits and services to support workers in their search for reemployment. This includes Trade Readjustment Allowance, training, assistance with healthcare premium costs, Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance, and job search and relocation allowances.   This is a second slap in the face.   The Pro American Party’s platform will fix this injustice.

The link below will take you to a DOL site and it reflects the decision made by the DOL in the case of Johnson Controls, when they left people jobless in ID, MI, TX, KY, WI, LA and OR.   https://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/taa/taadecisions/taadecision.cfm?taw=85773

The next list comes from CNN.   It covers every company that has moved overseas, in alphabetical order.   Unfortunately the list reads like a who’s who of American business.  CNN calls this list “Exporting America”…please read until you’re too fed up to continue.  You will be dismayed to say the least.  http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/lou.dobbs.tonight/popups/exporting.america/frameset.exclude.html

Last, but not least, is the environmental shuffle.   Apparently with our government’s blessing, coal companies are exporting their product overseas.   This allows us to say we have ‘reduced’ our emissions in the U.S., but fails to mention that the earth doesn’t benefit, because the pollution has just been moved outside the country…but still the same atmosphere.   The link below takes you to the site of “the day” which produced the article.  http://www.theday.com/article/20140728/NWS13/307289946

 

 

 

 

Congress – Please Tell Us The Truth – Tenet #8

 

Congress McConnell

The Pro American Party – Tenet #8

The Congress shall not pass any law with a title that does not include the actual purpose of the law. Duplicitous language shall not be allowed. The first paragraph of each law shall outline in direct language the intent of the law. (It would be illegal, for example, to title something as “The Clean Air Act” if it actually reduced protections against pollution.)

non partisan

The Congress will create a non-partisan group to examine the law prior to its being voted upon and publish an impact statement easily available to the public that outlines how the law will affect citizens, government and/or the environment. The public will have at least 15 days to review and comment to their representatives before any law can be enacted.

This requirement can be suspended only in the course of a national emergency.   In such a case the Congress needs to specifically invoke this exception and in that case the law will be reviewed when the emergency has ended.

The Corporate Enemy-Who’s With Us?

hillary bernietrump kasich cruz

Which of the candidates in the photos above would you choose to change corporate behavior? Who among them would actually be willing? Are any of them truly with us…or do they owe their souls to the corporations?

If you happen to get the chance, please ask one of them let us know what they said.

Corporations, especially multi-nationals, are the enemy of everyday Americans. Corporations play by a different set of rules from the rest of us. They now enjoy almost all the rights of citizens, but are not burdened by the civic responsibilities we follow. They follow only one rule: maximize profit. They don’t care about providing a living wage, maintaining human rights, improving public health and worker safety, protecting the environment or anything else that would better the lives of Americans. Of course the government could force them to… but corporations are willing to pay for the privilege of reeking havoc on us without such consideration…they provide campaign funds for candidates…who then write the laws.

Corporations bear responsibility for being bad citizens. Part of the problem is the never-ending push to be more competitive and increase profits. Even assuming that some corporations would be good citizens if given the chance, if their competitors did not also take this stance the good corporate citizen would quickly lose market share to those that cut corners. This is where a responsible government should step in. We need a government that will design a working set of laws that establish minimum standards of corporate conduct. The Pro American Party has already done much of the work via tenets # 1,2,4 and 5.

We also need to change our expectations. If we refused to do business with companies that were not good neighbors, they would soon go out of business or change their ways. So at least a part of this problem is one of our own doing. However, we need to recognize human nature for what it is; we’re all looking for the best deal and the lowest price. This is why we need the government to step in and establish a set of rules that require all corporations to consider more than just profit.

Robert Hinkley is a former corporate lawyer who has come up with an idea that would completely change the corporate culture. He calls it “The Code.” In his article he argues that lawmakers should change the law to reflect what the vast majority of people want. He states this can be accomplished by eliminating the doctrine of shareholder primacy (focus on profit only) and by adding the following:

It is the duty of directors to make money for shareholders … but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public health or safety, the communities in which the corporation operates or the dignity of its employees.

Hinkley goes on to say “This simple Code for Corporate Citizenship balances the rights of citizenship that corporations already have with obligations of citizenship that they have been able to avoid.”

Please look at his entire article using the following link: http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2002/02july-aug/july-aug02corp4.html#name

Do you want to change the corporate environment? If so, contact your elected representatives and let them know.

Service to Country – It’s About Time – Tenet #7

old soldier-young soldier

The Pro American Party believes in service to our country. All American citizens MUST provide a minimum of two years of service to their country when they become of legal age. This shall begin at the age of 18 if not in school or if high school has been completed. Otherwise it will begin the summer after they graduate from high school.

washington service to country

This service can be in the military or any other community, county, state or federal position. Once this requirement has been met each citizen is entitled to two years of free college or technical school. Those who complete their AA or similar degree within two years with at least a C average are then entitled to an additional two years of free higher education or approved technical school at no additional expense. Exceptions to the 2-year service requirement shall only be made in the case of severe disability. Such persons, by definition, shall not be eligible for free education benefits.

In an earlier post we mentioned the idea of American Teenage Ambassadors.   As part of their service to country requirement any teenager can take part in a service assignment to a foreign country.    The type of service will be negotiated between the State Department and the host country.   Each assignment will be a minimum of 4 months in duration, although an individual can serve on multiple assignments if desired and the project is not completed.   We envision that the type of assignment will vary greatly based on the needs in the host country.   This service will allow our ambassadors to learn in detail about the peoples and cultures worldwide.   Given the great spirit of American youth, it is our belief that this service will reap long and sustainable rewards for generations.

Kennedy quote

U.S. Military ≠ Foreign Policy

military bases worldwide

The Pro American Party believes our military needs to be the best in the world.   Comprised of many former military members, we love and respect our brothers and sisters at arms.  It will come as no surprise to those that serve, however, that we recognize the horrors of war and the physical and emotional destruction of which war is capable.   Further, we believe it is not in the best interests of the country to have a ‘military class’.   If there has to be a war, be believe every family should be equally subject to this danger.   In our view it is disgraceful that Congress can declare war, endangering our children in one instant, and then make sure their children are exempt in the next.  (More on this in future tenets.)

We believe our foreign policy should be weighted in favor of providing non-military assistance as a primary component of our foreign policy. The use of our military should be a last resort and only for clear and limited purpose that is the best interests of the vast majority of citizens and not of the elite or special interests.

Educational and cultural exchange opportunities should be encouraged for citizens and at all levels of government.  Contact and communication facilitate understanding, empathy and a more knowledgeable world view.   If millions of Americans had direct experience with countries around the globe we, as a nation, would be able to require more of our politicians.   As it is now, if an international event didn’t happen on Game of Thrones, most of us are probably  unaware of it.

The Pro American Party believes that cartons of food that say “USA” show more good will than military options and should be pursued when advantageous. When American goods are sent to a foreign country it is incumbent upon the State Department to devise a method for ensuring those goods are actually delivered to the people of the country and not simply to those in power.   Our people would be even better ambassadors than our products.   The PAP has a plan for creating these ambassadors that will be discussed in a future tenet.

Per our previous post requiring a balanced budget: Should it be necessary for the military to engage in war the Congress is authorized to collect an additional tax to pay for this expense.

Trade Agreements Suck

Land Of The Free And Home To A Lot Of Cheap Stuff
Land Of The Free And Home To A Lot Of Cheap Stuff

Ever wonder why the U.S. enters into so many trade agreements?   The short answer is to allow U.S. companies to exploit the natural and human resources of other countries.    In essence, most of these agreements have clauses that allow U.S. corporations to move their production activities to foreign countries, use their cheap labor and then bring their product back into the country without facing a tariff.

Why would U.S. corporations do this when they know it will cost American jobs?   The answer is simple.   They don’t care.  Cheap labor allows them to make more profit; that it also puts Americans out of work is ‘collateral damage’.   To our mind these ‘American’ companies are acting in an UN-American manner.  The Pro American Party protects our country from this abuse.  Take a look at tenets #2 and #4 to see how we address this.

Look at the results of the NAFTA agreement.  In the first 15 years following this trade agreement (1994 – 2010) we lost almost 700,000 jobs, mostly in manufacturing, and our trade deficit with Mexico has soared to just under 100 Billion dollars over those years.  These industries included motor vehicles, textiles, computers, and electrical appliances. (Source: Economic Policy Institute, “The High Cost of Free Trade,” May 3, 2011)

Ironically, many Americans are complaining about stagnant wages, when it is the inevitable result of bringing in products using cheap labor from foreign countries.   So why has this taken so long to become a big political issue?   The corporations pay big money in political donations to political candidates, and they don’t want it broadcast.   Although If I Had The Power does not endorse political candidates, it is interesting to note that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, who don’t rely upon corporate money, are both talking about the problems of our terrible trade agreements.

According to researcher Jeff Faux, NAFTA strengthened the ability of U.S. employers to force workers to accept lower wages and benefits. As soon as NAFTA became law, corporate managers began telling their workers that their companies intended to move to Mexico unless the workers lowered the cost of their labor. In the midst of collective bargaining negotiations with unions, some companies would even start loading machinery into trucks that they said were bound for Mexico. The same threats were used to fight union organizing efforts. The message was: “If you vote in a union, we will move south of the border.” With NAFTA, corporations also could more easily blackmail local governments into giving them tax reductions and other subsidies

In a double tragedy, NAFTA also caused thousands of Mexican farmers to lose their jobs.  The Congress, in their wisdom, blessed U.S. agribusiness with HUGE subsidies, allowing them to steamroll over poor Mexican farmers who could not compete.  In case you don’t know, agribusiness is NOT your local farmer, instead they are large corporations that take advantage of several laws designed for small farmers and rake in millions in taxpayer money.  (The ProAmericanParty will correct this problem too!)   By the way, when Mexicans can’t find work in Mexico, where do you think they go?

One other factor of these trade agreements is that U.S. pollution standards do not apply in foreign countries.   However, Mother Nature does not recognize borders and Mexican pollution finds its way to the U.S. whenever the wind blows our way. Once again corporations don’t care about people, or the environment.   Their short term, profit-oriented outlook harms Americans and the world on a daily basis.

The bottom line is that trade agreements almost always hurt U.S. workers.   They cost jobs and hurt the hourly wages of those who manage to keep their jobs.   They hurt our environment.  Big business use these agreements to increase profit and access, at the expense of our national well-being.   The rich get richer and the little guy gets screwed. Trade agreements suck and both political parties allowed this to happen.

Utopia – The Pro American Party?

utopia

Utopia –  An ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects.
Recently one of our readers suggested that we were trying to create a Utopia with the Pro American Party and its platform.   Flattering, but not really.
The PAP has simply designed a platform that looks at structural problems within our society and addresses them.
As mentioned in a previous post, the platform of the PAP creates a floor, not a ceiling.  The PAP attempts to recognize human needs that ALL of us have and design a political structure that addresses the most basic of these needs.   To be sure, the rich and super-rich will largely not like our platform.   Our platform requires more of them.   Our platform requires more from U.S. corporations.   This lies is stark contrast to an ideology of self-interest.

In his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” Abraham Maslow outlined a hierarchy of human needs.  According to Maslow a person needs to fulfill his/her most basic needs before s/he can fulfill higher level needs.Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

When you look at the platform of the PAP you can see we only address the bottom two levels of human needs.   So Utopia – no.   But it is a start and gives people a chance to become the people they want to be.

Guest Column – Dr. Steve Rose

The article connects the politics of racism with the social issue of Veterans in transition by looking at how “social justice” can serve as a perverted virtue to justify racist ideology as well as provide sense of purpose and belonging.

Steve Rose is a PhD graduate of the Department of Sociology at Queens University. His doctoral research focused on the social barriers facing Canadian Veterans in transition to civilian life, as related to suicidal ideation. He has also worked with the office of the Veterans ombudsman on research aimed at defining a “successful transition” for medically released Veterans, and is currently a lecturer in the sociology department at Eastern Michigan University.

The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) might sound like a cultural relic, hardly taken seriously in the 21st century, but it is actively recruiting American Veterans. A recent VICE documentary takes an inside journey into this divisive hate group, uncovering why Veterans are joining their ranks.

Founded shortly after the civil war, the KKK originally served as a support-group for disenfranchised and disgruntled confederate Veterans. Their mandate read:

“To protect the weak, innocent and defenseless from the indignities, wrongs, and outrage of the lawless, the violent, and the brutal; to relieve the injured and oppressed especially the widows and orphans of ex-Confederate soldiers”

Taking out the last line, one might mistake this for a contemporary social justice initiative or a counter-terrorist mandate. How could this be the mandate of one of the most infamous hate groups? The answer to this question gives us insight into why Veterans have joined the KKK.

What do Veterans, the KKK, and the rest of us have in common? The need for a sense of justice and belonging. The most extreme acts of violence are often committed due to one’s sense that it is for a just cause. Even murder-suicides are shown to result from a perversion of virtue, as argued by psychologist Thomas Joiner.

The KKK always had close recruitment ties to periods with a large influx of Veterans in transition. This occurred after each of the world wars, continuing to the most recent influx of Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Veterans are a prime target for the KKK because of their training as well as their vulnerability during transition. In addition to dealing with anger and psychological traumas, Veterans in transition are often seeking a sense of belonging. Regarding the Klan, as a well-decorated Purple Heart Veteran in the documentary states at 4:15:

“…you get to know these guys and it’s like a sense of belonging. It’s like you found brothers and sisters you never knew you had.”

Upon hearing that line, it sounded strangely familiar. In my own research a Veteran expressed a similar sentiment when discussing the sense of belonging he found at Treble Victor – an entrepreneurial support-group for Canadian Veterans. He stated: “it’s like meeting family you never met.”

When struggling with transition, Veterans need a group to come home to. Although biological and conjugal families often assist, they are not enough. Veterans require meaningful occupational groups that can guide their new mission in a search for justice. This way, we can combat the influence of predatory hate-groups like the KKK and their perverted sense of virtue, while also utilizing the elite skills and training of our nation’s Veterans.

Our thanks to Dr. Rose.   We will have additional discussions about the needs of veterans in the future.

How the PAP Reduces Crime

There are many factors that contribute to criminal activity.    Major influences are a lack of opportunity and a lack of resources.    A more complicated issue is environmental/cultural.  Yet another issue concerns Americans with criminal records.   The PAP addresses all of these issues.

There are three major social theories are address crime and are closely related to each other.   The first comes from social structure theory.   This theory recognizes that pathological conditions exist when people live within a socially disorganized community, and/or suffer from strain, usually financial in nature.  There is also a facet of this theory that addresses cultural conflict.   It maintains that some crime occurs because of a clash of values between cultures about what is acceptable.  Another facet is differential opportunity, which looks at the lack of opportunities available to certain segments of society.

The second of these major social theories has to do with social process theories.   These theories discuss how being surrounded by criminal activities and criminals, especially when young, influences our behavior.

A third social theory has to do with social conflict.  These are theories that discuss how wealth and power control law and policy and allow those with power to control those who do not have it.

When it comes to Americans with criminal records the data is clear.   Once someone has a criminal record, trying to lead a law-abiding life becomes even more difficult because getting a decent job is incredibly difficult.   As you might suspect, when you have mouths to feed and legitimate opportunity is not available, it is easy to turn to crime.

As stated in Tenet #2, the Pro American Party endorses the idea that having a working population is in the best interests of our country.   This tenet provides jobs for those who cannot find jobs in the private sector.   This means that we will no longer have any segments of our society that suffer from no opportunity.   It also means that over time, subcultures will naturally move towards the majority culture.   This tenet does not provide a ceiling, but it does provide a floor.  No American will have to go to a government agency and ask or beg for money or resources, because each person will be able to support themselves.   This is also true for Americans with criminal records.   They too will have a job, allowing them to become productive members of our society.    Felons that represent some type of threat will also have jobs, but depending on the type of threat they represent some jobs may not be available to them.

Tenet #2 supports equal opportunity, the development of positive social bonds and minimizes the effects of negative social labels.  It also supports gender equality and works to minimize tensions between the haves and the have nots.

All of these efforts will serve to reduce crime.    If I Had The Power believes this tenet will allow us to close many prisons and get rid of the vast majority of welfare programs currently active.  Perhaps most importantly, it will change the feeling of hopelessness that so many of our citizens feel.

A future post will deal with teenage crime and solutions for that problem.