Category Archives: Education

2020 Presidential Race Legislative Scorecard Compilation

“A Joe Biden presidency would be exactly the same as a second term for Donald Trump.” This is something that I have heard from various friends and, of course, from the Internet recently. For one friend, Trump’s various sexual misconduct allegations are exactly equal to reports of unwanted contact from Biden. There was also a Bloomberg quiz where you can guess, unsuccessfully, as to which person said which of a small collection of quotes.

Of course, that is pertinent information, but I think it ignores the significant differences in legislation that would be passed under each presidency and what might also happen to the Supreme Court under each presidency. To get a better picture of the actual impact of each person’s presidency, I have dug into the legislative careers of various presidential candidates.

Why “various”? Why not all of them? Well, obviously, not all of the candidates have a legislative trail. Julián Castro was most recently HUD Secretary and Mayor of San Antanio. Pete Buttigieg is mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Andrew Yang founded the nonprofit Venture for America.

Trump, of course, never held elected office until winning the electoral college in 2016. FiveThirtyEight, a website devoted to quantifying political, sports, and other phenomena, tracks how closely the voting records of congresspeople have aligned with Trump. The most-aligned with Trump by that metric was Jeff Sessions, who voted with Trump 100% of the time before becoming Attorney General. So, it is Sessions who will be used as an (imperfect) proxy for Trump.

I live in Arizona, and so I am especially interested in my own senators. Those two senators currently are Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema. They both became senators (Sinema by election and McSally by appointment) in 2019. Therefore, their House records are used for this comparison. Continue reading 2020 Presidential Race Legislative Scorecard Compilation

McSally vs. Sinema – AZ Senate Race 2018

People often focus more on what politicians say than on what they do. Those two things are often not in accordance, due to factors within their control and not within their control. My preference is to look at how candidates actually legislate. However, no one that I know of puts out this information in an easy-to-read way. So, I have tried below to compile all of the legislative scorecards I could find for two Arizona candidates. I hope you find it useful.



Supports government transparency; Supports eliminating discrimination against women, minorities, and LGBT people; Supports protecting the rights of immigrants

McSally and Sinema:


American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is the largest federation of unions in the United States.




Pro Small Government Advocacy/Tea Party-Affiliated

McSally and Sinema:

Human Rights Campaign

Advocates for LGBTQ Equality

McSally and Sinema:

Humane Society

Pro Animal Welfare Advocacy

McSally and Sinema:

League of Conservation Voters

Environmental Advocacy



NAACP: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Advocacy, “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination”

McSally and Sinema:

National Cannabis Industry Association

McSally: 17%
Sinema: 100%

NCPSSM – National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

McSally: 14%
Sinema: 86%

NEA – National Education Association

Labor union that represents public school teachers and other support personnel, faculty and staffers at colleges and universities, retired educators, and college students preparing to become teachers.


Immigration Reduction Advocacy

McSally and Sinema:


Gun Deregulation Advocacy

Planned Parenthood

Pro Reproductive/Abortion Rights

Jefferson on Public Education

From Notes on the State of Virginia, February 27, 1787*

[perfectpullquote align=”full” class=”” cite=”” link=”” color=””]Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories. [/perfectpullquote]

But of all the views of this law none is more important, none more legitimate, than that of rendering the people the safe, as they are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty. For this purpose the reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History by apprising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experience of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views.

In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will discover, and wickedness insensibly open, cultivate, and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe their minds must be improved to a certain degree. This indeed is not all that is necessary, though it be essentially necessary.

An amendment of our constitution must here come in aid of the public education. The influence over government must be shared among all the people. If every individual which composes their mass participates of the ultimate authority, the government will be safe; because the corrupting the whole mass will exceed any private resources of wealth: and public ones cannot be provided but by levies on the people. In this case every man would have to pay his own price.

The government of Great-Britain has been corrupted, because but one man in ten has a right to vote for members of parliament. The sellers of the government therefore get nine-tenths of their price clear. It has been thought that corruption is restrained by confining the right of suffrage to a few of the wealthier of the people: but it would be more effectually restrained by an extension of that right to such numbers as would bid defiance to the means of corruption.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” class=”” cite=”” link=”” color=””]If every individual which composes their mass participates of the ultimate authority, the government will be safe; because the corrupting the whole mass will exceed any private resources of wealth…. [/perfectpullquote]

US Holocaust Museum Poster Gets Patron “Shook”

I’ve been seeing this post floating around a lot lately. I was curious about the origins, so I called the Holocaust Museum. I got transferred to a guy named Luke who I think was in “exhibitions.” I asked if this was still on exhibit. He said it was never on exhibit, but that it was available in the gift shop. He then said that it was no longer being sold in the gift shop. I hadn’t realized the price tag on some of the images. Of course, there it is!

Turns out the list comes from a gentleperson named Laurence W. Britt who fleshed out these points in a March 2003 issue of Free Inquiry magazine. The full text appears to be included here. Britt is referred to there as a political scientist, but there doesn’t appear to be anything available on the web to suggest that he’s more than an aficionado.

He wrote the op-ed in the context of the Bush administration. Here’s the conclusion of an interview he gave to a Rochester paper in December 2004 (worth a read, I’d say):

City: Looking at the world right now, do you consider the US a fascist state?

Britt: No. By definition it’s a democracy. My article is a cautionary tale. This is what I’ve researched; this is what I’ve seen; this is what’s happened in the past. You can draw your own conclusions: No, this has nothing to do with the United States; or, there are some disquieting trends here that we certainly have to be aware of, and the powers that be exhibit many of these characteristics, and we’d better damn well be careful.

One thing I’d add is that most of these attributes would probably be ascribed to the other side by people of any political persuasion who felt disenfranchised to some degree.

Ultimately, I think US politics wastes far too much energy on political maneuvering and expends far too little on governance. If you’re devoting any energy whatsoever to trying to personally discredit an opponent by whatever means available, then you’re wasting energy that should be used on trying to make the city, state, country, and world better.

I think the answer is to let AI run things. We’ve trusted humans with government for far, far too long. Experts from relevant fields should reach a consensus on various policies and these policies should be implemented by computers. The computers should be overseen by other computers. Those computers should be overseen by technicians who have no idea what the computers do so that they cannot consciously or unconsciously influence their functioning.

Humans simply should not be allowed anywhere near the government. We can’t handle it. Maybe in a world where every person undergoes at least two decades of rigorous critical thinking education humans stood a chance. This isn’t that world.

Rene Camarillo: Bad Teacher or the Worst Teacher?

First Email

Professor Camarillo,

Hello. I just finished taking the Lesson 2 quiz and I missed three questions. However, I’m not sure that the answers to these questions actually appear in the textbook. I think it’s possible that at least one of these questions may be unanswerable.

I can find no evidence in the textbook that this is the correct answer:

Question text: “Data travels to the microprocessor on the….”

As far as I know, Apple has been using Intel processors since 2005; the most recent revision date of the textbook is 2012:

Question text: “The processor that is used in Apple computers to run OSX natively is manufactured by….”

I can find no data on what the internal bus speed of the first Pentium processors were anywhere. The book says that “[t]he first Pentium CPUs ran at the same speed as the bus–60Mhz”:

Question text: “The internal bus for the original Pentium series microprocessor is ____ bits in length.”

Thank you,

Clifton, thanks for the email.

1. External data bus is the correct answer. If you look at page 28, second sentence, it states, “The processor is called the CPU (central processing unit) or microprocessor. Therefore, if you look at page 29 it states, “The external data bus connects the processor to adapters…”

2. Motorola is the correct answer. If you look at page 28, last sentence of the first paragraph, it states, “The processor designed by Motorola have been used in Apple computers for years.”

3. 32 is the correct answer. If you look at page 30, second paragraph, it states, “Intel’s 80386D CPU has 32-bit internal…data buses.”

Continue reading Rene Camarillo: Bad Teacher or the Worst Teacher?

Metacommunication and Rio Salado College

If you end up taking COM100 at Rio Salado with Laura Helminski, I have some advice for you: don’t. Take a different class with a different professor at a different school.

OK, so you just want to get it over with. Hopefully, this will help a bit.

You see, in order to save you money, Rio is using an old version of Communication: Principles for a Lifetime. Bizarrely, somebody decided to randomly insert some material from a different textbook into this bastardized one.

The information on metacommunication appears on page 18 of my Rio textbook. Of course, the folks at Rio couldn’t be bothered to add an entry to this in the Frankenbook’s index. I hope this helps someone out there.

Here are the pages in question from the actual source: metacommunication.

Professor Doyle Burke

If anybody is voting for the Maricopa County Community College District 1 Governing Board, I encourage you to vote for Doyle Burke. I took two film classes with this guy. One of the classes was on Japanese film and I was the only student. The guy loves film and was willing to share that with just one interested student. Pretty cool. I have no idea where he stands politically and don’t really care. I don’t have any such data to share about his rival. Hope everybody has a nice vote.

El Cápac Ñan


El Cápac Ñan es el nombre que se les da al extenso sistema de caminos, eje principal de la red viaria del Imperio inca. Todos los caminos del imperio se vinculaban con el Cusco, la capital imperial, de donde se desprenden una serie de caminos que unen los distintos pueblos del Imperio Inca. Durante el Tahuantinsuyo constituyó un medio de integración para el desarrollo de la cultura andina en los aspectos político–administrativo, socioeconómicos, sociales, culturales y ambientales. Fue usado por los conquistadores españoles para dirigirse a Bolivia, Chile y las pampas cordilleranas argentinas.