Strategic flexibility, public schools and creeping privatization

It's not often that business books have tight relevance to political and cultural issues, but The Strategy Paradox by Michael Raynor has much to recommend it. Here is my interpretation of the essence of Raynor's argument:

Given that the future is fundamentally unknowable, how can we determine the proper course of action at any point in time? The answer lies in the concept of "strategic flexibility."

At any point in time, there are possible actions that, if chosen, will support almost any possible future that emerges. Those core actions are the relatively safe bets that should be chosen.

Fathers Day

To all you dads out there, happy Fathers Day.

I'm planning to spend Sunday with my daughter, with not a minute of blogging. We're going to a party where there will be clogging and music and swimming and such, none of which interest me, but all of which will inspire the kid. This is the last Fathers Day before she heads off to college and leaves our nest empty.

NC Budget Update: Health and Human Services Programs at Risk in Senate Budget

Children's advocates are hearing that the Senate budget worker bees are looking at cutting crucial programs in order to fund other priorities. The priorities being funded are good things, like raises for teachers, but the programs being cut cannot sustain these reductions and maintain adequate services across the state for children and families.

North Carolina's Secret Senate

The Friday Follies over at NC Policy Watch are always worth reading, and today is no exception. Chris Fitzsimon tilts his lance at the North Carolina Senate windmill, one of the saddest examples of transparency in government you'll ever see.

Virtually unmentioned in the coverage of likely Senate budget details is the absurd process the Senate continues to use to put its plan together. Revealed is the most accurate way to describe what Senate leaders will do with the budget Monday. It has been written in secret and maybe the Senate Democratic Caucus will go over some of the big spending items in its private meeting, but you can bet there won't be a lot of amendments or protests from most rank and file Democrats about the leadership's plan.

Weekend wound-up: Paraskavedekatriaphobia

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Friday the 13th is considered a bad luck day in many parts of the world.

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia, a word derived from the concatenation of the Greek words Paraskeví (Παρασκευή) (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (δεκατρείς) (meaning thirteen), attached to phobía (φοβία) (meaning fear). The term is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a simple phobia (fear) of the number thirteen appearing in any case.

The word itself is enough to scare me.

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