UPDATED: Slow! Critters Crossing

Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Ethics

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A delightful little opossum graced us with a visit the other day. Opossums are shy, nocturnal creatures, so it was indeed a treat to watch him and snap him drinking from the bird bath. My mother’s was the keen little eye that spied him.

Sadly, while out for a constitutional, I spotted the little guy. “When attacked by predators, opossums ‘play dead’ or ‘play possum’ by collapsing and lying still.” This little critter, however, was dead; roadkill of a careless driver. Probably a speeding kid.

Signs that read “Slow: [bloody, rude] kids crossing” are everywhere around the neighborhood.

These gentle critters deserve the same consideration.

UPDATE: In reply to the Facebook thread:

Fred, I hardly think that these sloth-like, slow and shy Marsupials can by their nature do the damage you describe. Sounds like nonsense on stilts. You must mean racoons; they are aggressive and quick to pounce. The creature that wreaks the most havoc on little critters in the wild is the common household cat: voles, shrews, birds: they don’t stand a chance. I recall once reading a study in Scientific American, I think (but unsure) about the eradication of small species by cats, feral and other.


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UPDATE II: Pseudoscience Bolsters Violence-Against-Women Claims

Feminism, Gender, Propaganda, Pseudoscience

“Sub-Science Bolsters Violence-Against-Women Claims” was penned in the late 1990s. It dealt with a subject few questioned at the time: the pseudoscience that undergirds the violence-against-women claims and attendant policy in Canada. You know: the one-in-four women are assaulted rot, etc.

In particular, the column questioned the reliability and validity of the 1993 StatsCan Violence Against Women survey, together with other equally outrageous surveys like the CanPan, which propped up the inflated numbers nobody questioned; the same numbers advocates bandy about and politicians rely on for drafting policy and plumping for resources.

Wendy McElroy schools us on the “statistical myths” that pervade the rape-is-rampant claims, stateside. There’s a lot that goes into skewing data; starting with “deeply biased researchers,” to proceeding from a “false premise or assumption,” to using biased and small samples whose selection is further biased by paying participants, to the general pitfalls of survey methodology (leading questions have always been a big problem; surveys are dodgy on many counts).

Having done years of statistics at a good school (a non-American, South-African-before-“freedom” university), this is all simple, straightforward research methodology.

In the realm of “never admit there is sound contradicting evidence,” this tidbit is particularly interesting:

“Federal data estimate that about one in five women becomes the victim of sexual assault while in college, most of which is committed by assailants known to the victim” (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control 2012).

The 1-in-5 figure has been exhaustively debunked for many months and should be rendered unresurrectable by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report (12/14) that found the actual rate of rape to be 0.61 percent per year – or 6.1 per 1,000 students.

MORE.

By the way, like their liberal sisters, conservative teletarts also cite these bogus statistics.

UPDATE I (1/26): A must read: “Gender Studies, an Aberrant Ideology” by Steve Moxon, contributor to the great Quarterly Review.

UPDATE II: Gender Studies is not only an aberrant ideology, but I doubt very much that it qualifies as an intellectual discipline, a thing the ancient Greeks thought up. Gender Studies is an intellectual aberration.


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State Of Disunion, 2015 (Master of Cliches & Cupidity)

Barack Obama, Economy, Media, Private Property

That TIME calls this State Of Disunion “a new vision” says more about this rag than about the dreadful cur that is Barack Obama.

He began his extravaganza by fudging on the economy, neglecting to mention that the indices he touts as terrific are a function of trickery; of omitting that more people than ever have dropped out of the workforce for good, are not working; are receiving state assistance, and that the bumper crops of ignoramuses graduating from colleges are without the prospect of a job.

Regarding those millions who’ve gained healthcare coverage: how many have lost it? How many like this family are paying exorbitant copays and deductibles?

Onan No. 1 takes credit for economic growth such as it is. The economy grew despite government and because of private sector productivity and industry.

The media should be expressing its collective disgust, as I am, that the same hollow cliches are tumbling from this moron’s mouth this year like years past: everyone “gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

One’s so-called “share” of private property is a result of one’s effort to accrue it, or the efforts and abilities of one’s kin, if property is bequeathed.

The same media that won’t scold this insufferable scold for his cretinous cliches won’t roar some truths in response to the many free goods BHO is offering. Those truths are that there is no free lunch. Someone pays, except that someone is invisible (and is certainly not sitting in the First Lady’s Box).

The Cuba comment about “ending the embargo” is fine; a very good thing, at last.

The text of the 2015 State of the Union is here.


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From The Pen Of Marine LePen

IMMIGRATION, Islam, Jihad, Left-Liberalism, Media

I shared a sneaking suspicion about the media vis-à-vis the Charlies Hebdo horror: The former is running scared. Here: “The malfunctioning Media must have gotten something of a fright at the horrific events unfolding in Paris … Truth tellers who seldom get a hearing on the idiot’s lantern, Fox News included, have been called upon to shed light where media and their cyphers in skirts have shed only darkness.”

My much-missed colleague, Vox Day, concurs. He writes:

Interesting to see the New York Times run an opinion piece written by the leader of France’s Front National, Marine LePen … It would appear that events in Paris have so frightened the editors of the New York Times that they’re actually willing to countenance the discussion of immigration and Islamization. What LePen is suggesting is far from sufficient, obviously, but it is a start.

However, the fact that both the French and German governments have banned anti-Mahometan marches this week tends to indicate that some sort of democratic upheaval will be required before any serious action is taken.

MORE from the pen of LePen, who quotes Albert Camus. Neat. However, while castigating the left for refusing to name names, LePen resorts to similar linguistic trickery, writing that “France … was attacked on its own soil by a totalitarian ideology.”

A concept—“totalitarian ideology”—can attack and kill in the same way that violence hits a country, not at all.

Killers kill. Violent individual attack. … etc.


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O Promises Usual Marxist Maneuvers

Barack Obama, Economy, Taxation

“I’m really looking forward to hearing a speech by someone who is involved in innovation, knows America’s place in the world market and has fiscal responsibility. And I hope that Obama is listening very carefully when Steve Jobs speaks tomorrow.”

That was magician Penn Jillette on the eve of Barack Obama’s first, much-anticipated State of the Union Address. Tomorrow is his sixth State of the Union address. Like those that came before, it’ll be written at an eighth-grade level, “as measured by the Flesch-Kincaid readability test,” and showcase the man’s utter economic illiteracy.

This year, like yesteryear, Zero is treating us to a Marxist maneuver: promising to move money around, from those who make it to those who take it.

” … during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, [Obama] will call for raising the capital gains rate on top income earners and eliminating a tax break on inheritances. The revenue generated by those changes would fund new tax credits and other cost-saving measures for middle-class taxpayers, officials said.” (Business Insider)

I’m copying from a 2010 column mocking this moron for his obfuscations with respect to tax cuts vs. tax credits.

Obama’s “tax credits” are not tax cuts. Ask Wikipedia, the left-leaning online encyclopedia, according to which tax credits are “subsidies disguised as tax cuts. In other words, they are spending in the form of direct transfers from the treasury to individuals, except that they are administered by the tax authorities rather than the agencies usually responsible for welfare.”
A better definition of tax credits is social tinkering or engineering, as they target certain politically desirable constituents to the detriment of others. “Taxpayers can receive a raft of tax credits if they engage in various government-specified activities,” confirms Peter Ferrara, director of entitlement and budget policy for the Institute for Policy Innovation.

Then there is the “Stalinesque extravaganza” that ought to offend “anyone of a republican (small ‘r’) sensibility,” which is how John Derbyshire described the annual State of the Union address. “American politics frequently throws up disgusting spectacles. It throws up one most years in January: the State of the Union speech,” writes Derbyshire in “We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism,” in which John goes on to detail how “the great man” is announced, how he makes an entrance; the way “the legislators jostle to catch his eye” and receive his favor. (MORE: “Barry Soetoro Frankenstein: Spawn of the State.”)


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Academic Disintegration From Homer To Homo

Affirmative Action, Education

By Myron Robert Pauli

President Obama has proposed making college education free for everybody. It used to be considered that college education was for people with IQ in excess of 110 – e.g. 20% of the population; however, the solution to that problem is, of course, to dumb down college. Apparently, college reading levels are now at the 7th grade level [1]. It is interesting to see what was required for completion of 8th grade in “lowly” Kentucky with the modern curriculum [2]. I would hardly be surprised if Masters Students were reading “Run Spot Run” in 2015.

There are still a few isolated spots of higher education left. I have admiration for serious students of “fine arts” who wish to be next Vladimir Horowitz or Enrico Caruso. Aside from the Church of Global Warming, political correctness has often left the hard sciences and engineering alone. Here is a sample of the 61 graduate students studying Materials Science at Columbia University [3]: Cao, Chang, Chen, Chen, Chen, Chuang, Duan, Gao, …, Li, Li, Li, Liang, Liao, Lin, Lin, 3 Lius! , Lu, Lu, Luan, … ,7 Wangs!, Wong, Xu, Xu, Yang, Yang, Ye, Yue, Zhang, Zhang, Zhao, Zhen, Zhen, Zheng, Zhong, Zhou. Those damn Xu’s are running things! Affirmative action means that for every 2 students from Shanghai, one is chosen from Beijing!

Arguably, many of our enlightenment-era leaders such as Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton received a thorough “liberal arts” education which included history, philosophy, the sciences, geography, logic, and literature classics such as Homer and Shakespeare. But a few blocks away from the Chens and Wangs working on understanding nature and producing products, Columbia is also teaching English [4]. Check out the link to find that in our “top 10 University”, the kids/parents/taxpayers shelling out over $200,000 are paying for courses in LGBT Lit (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender), “Clarissa”, “Frankenstein”, “Postmodern Poetries”, and “Medieval Women Adventurers” (and G-d knows what junk is even in the normal-sounding offerings?).

Remember that the English Department is a “classical” department. How about Ivy League University of Pennsylvania’s course offerings in the “Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies [5]? I guess you can first earn a Bachelors in Bitchery and rise higher with a Masters in Male-Hating and a Doctorate of Dyking.

Here is what passes for advanced Social Sciences “Research” at elite Cornell University: “Network Evolution and the Beauty Advantage”, “Innovation Through Imitation”, and “Failing to See or Failing to Seize Opportunities to Build Social Capital? The Role of Neuroticism” [6]. I’m NOT making phony Ivy League websites!!!! No sense picking on the “second rate” schools who merely follow in the footsteps of the elite.

Recently, there was an academic “scandal” involving the football and basketball players at the (30th ranked nationally) University of North Carolina [7]. The “scandal” is that talented players like Julius Peppers did not actually “attend the classes” of moronic phony parasitical blowhards like faux-Injun Ward Churchill [8]. In other words, guys like Michael Jordan did not sit and watch Lone Ranger and Tonto re-runs. Can anyone seriously tell me that ATTENDING seminars in “White People Really Really Suck” is a productive use of anyone’s time? Failing to attend is a “scandal”?!!

Sure, send EVERYONE to college [9]! Why not??! Here is a one minute advanced look at an elite American university education in the 22nd Century. When I was 11, I read “Planet of the Apes” by Pierre Boule mistaking it for fiction instead of prophesy. And I am talking about white Americans also – they are merely following in the politically correct footsteps as their minority brothers and sisters.

REFERENCES

[1] http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/education/item/19867-education-expert-says-college-freshmen-read-at-7th-grade-level
[2] http://www.bullittcountyhistory.com/bchistory/schoolexam1912.html
[3] http://matsci.columbia.edu/materials-science-engineering-graduate-students_6653
[4] http://english.columbia.edu/files/english/content/Spring%202015%20Course%20Distribution%20Vrs%202.4.pdf
[5] http://www.sas.upenn.edu/gsws/pc/term/2015A/GSWS
[6] http://sdl.soc.cornell.edu/research
[7] http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/acc/2012/12/20/north-carolina-basketball-football-julius-peppers/1782113/
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Churchill
[9] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonzo_Goes_to_College

******
Barely a Blog (BAB) contributor Myron Pauli grew up in Sunnyside Queens, went off to college in Cleveland and then spent time in a mental institution in Cambridge MA (MIT) with Benjamin Netanyahu (did not know him), and others until he was released with the “hostages” and Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1981, having defended his dissertation in nuclear physics. Most of the time since, he has worked on infrared sensors, mainly at Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC. He was NOT named after Ron Paul but is distantly related to physicist Wolftgang Pauli; unfortunately, only the “good looks” were handed down and not the brains. He writes assorted song lyrics and essays reflecting his cynicism and classical liberalism. Click on the “BAB’s A List” category to access the Pauli archive.


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