Friday, January 20, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Re-Building Our Country

This process will not be just a simple matter of diving into the politics, or making/removing laws. Those things are what we hired Trump for - to reduce the size of the federal government, and to take our country back to its Constitutional roots.

No, the real challenge in re-building our country will be to change the culture. That process will be multi-generational, expensive, and time-consuming.

And, it will be viciously opposed by the Left.

About the only advantage we have is that the Left so far over-stepped the boundaries, that they caused the average person to say "WT-?" That point may have been when they:

  • Made normal male-female relations a trap to catch unwary men, and criminalized the normal interactions between men and women.
  • Criminalized failure for MEN to pay for the care of their children, and excused WOMEN from any responsibility to contribute. Men will always owe money, even when unemployed. Women on welfare don't have to pay it back when they begin to earn money.
  • Made claims of sexual abuse of children by their father the first line of attack in many divorces, as a negotiating tactic.
  • Said that men (PWPs - Persons With a Penis) could arbitrarily decide that they 'really' were women, and use that restroom, locker facilities, and other amenities without challenge. If challenged, they could (and did) sue, using the force of government's many commissions to do so without expense to them.
  • It's a SERIOUS offense to call someone by a 'wrong' pronoun. Even if the someone is clearly of a different sex, you MUST call them by their chosen appellation.
  • It is a CRIME to refused to provide services to a gay wedding. However, it is an Enlightened Action to refuse to provide services to Trump or his family, or anyone supporting them. Oh, and if there is a person who wants to make a buck playing music at the Inauguration, it's TOTES OK to send death threats to them.
  • We are told that we aren't paying enough for the education of our kids, despite schooling taking a bigger and bigger bite out of our budget each year. However, the kids know less and less every year.
  • Teaching about gayness has permeated the elementary schools, even to the Kindergarten level. Parent preferences to move those discussions to later in the school years are blithely ignored by the administration. In the middle school, at times, the presentations are so graphic they constitute child abuse. The language used would cause a teacher to lose his or her (or zher) job, if they said the EXACT SAME WORDS in the presence of those kids.
Amazingly, despite a childhood devoted to reading just about everything I could get my hands on, I had never read The Prince. I recently read yet another reference to it in the news, and decided to rectify that deficiency.


Correlation vs Causation

One of the toughest things for beginning Stats courses to teach is the idea that:

Correlation does NOT mean Causation

What does that mean?

Just because two things are often found in common, does NOT mean that one caused the other.

A prime example is religion. Families that raise kids who succeed often are regular church goers. However, going to church, by itself, is NOT necessarily connected with successful kids. That distinction is not shown in this article.
Even the religious gap between the rich and the poor—traditionally rather narrow—is widening. These days, Mr. Putnam laments, ‘poor families are generally less involved in religious communities than affluent families,’ which is unfortunate, he notes, given that churchgoing is associated with better performance in school, less drinking and drug use, and less delinquency.
In my early teaching career, I taught at a VERY tough school in Cleveland. In one of my classes, there was a kid who was gang-connected (both by his own admission and by the many tats he wore), foul-mouthed, often chemically altered, and someone who did not hesitate to use force with his peers - male or female. His mom took him to church regularly, hoping to offset the environment he was being raised in.

Didn't help. One of his more infamous fights occurred when he was carrying his Bible at school. Some kid said something - I don't remember what - and it was ON.

He used the Bible to administer the smack-down. Literally, Bible-thumping.

Does that mean that religion is of no use?


IF the parent ACTS to put their religious convictions into practice in their own life - not shacking up, not using, working for a living, not hanging out with bad influences, etc., then the religious influence might tip the scales. However, it's the way that parent puts their faith into practice that really makes the difference, not dragging the kid into the building.

Probably the most influential thing a parent can do to raise good kids is to get out of the hood. That DOESN'T mean moving to a high-priced neighborhood that will require that parent to put in long hours at work, just moving to a less crime-ridden neighborhood. While that will reduce the number of good people in that urban neighborhood, which will likely make it more miserable, I maintain that individuals do not have the responsibility to put their own kids in harm's way just to prove a point.

Some of the people from the Katrina flood were able, after relocation, to build better lives far from New Orleans. Some of them moved to small towns and rural areas, and reduced their kids' exposure to the seamier side of life. Others broke with the old family/friendship relationships that were holding them back, and made a new life.

No matter what method parents use, the most important thing is to PUT THE KID FIRST.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Round-up of Various Thoughts

Marxism is not well understood. Part of the reason is that students and the general public are only exposed to the individual tenets of such Marxist philosophers such are Fanon, Gramsci, and other staunch Communists.

Here is a quick breakdown of how that influence is working to destroy our America.

Apparently, some organizers of the Milo upcoming event at UCLA-Berkeley have experienced doxxing (release of personal information - name, address, phone, workplace, etc. - designed to make it easy for the opposition to open up a $hit-$torm against their opponents). I commented, suggesting it was time for dox-in-response to that crappy tactic.

Repeat after me - your enemy is NOT Hitler. You will not go down in history as the Brave Opposition to the Nazis of Your Time.

You will go down as The Intolerant Nut Who Suppressed Those Who Disagreed With Him/Her/Zher.

WHY are the Leftists seemingly so Triumphant, since no sensible person you know agrees with their nutty thinking?

Was this the secret to Trump's success?


Saturday, January 14, 2017

6 Days to Go!

The always bitter, mean-spirited Left is working furiously to gin up "protests" against Trump on Inauguration Day - next Friday, January 20th.

Activists are charging the government with restricting their Free Speech Rights.

Nope, honey. Haven't you ever heard of the concept of Security? Trumps - oops, there's that word! - your Constitutional Rights in the event of a credible threat. Which, there has been a plethora of.

As far as I can determine, this Mass Action is destined to be a Big Bust (kind of like those beauty pageant participants have). Too many venues, too few people in Washington - the coverage of the actual inauguration should overshadow the Bitter Soros Clingers.

Will Women make the difference? Not likely The unity they would need to succeed is unraveling, as we watch.

The number of bus permits has exceeded previous inaugural events, so the media is dutifully reporting that the protesters will outnumber the celebrants.

Eh. The cost of applying for, and getting, the permits is minimal. FILLING the seats in those buses might be hard. I just don't see it happening.

There are multiple days of protests planned, by different organizations. My guess is that the same core groups will attend ALL of them, supplemented by a small number of actual participants. Look for the media to number the protesters ADDITIVELY, as though the numbers each day composed entirely different participants.


Friday, January 13, 2017

The Parliament of Clocks

When there really is no basis for determining something in a factual way, consensus becomes important - even more important than the truth.

There are times when consensus makes sense:

  • A time standard - the atomic clock - is agreed to be the "official" time.
  • The French - who invented it - define SI - the international system (better known in America as Metric Measurement).
  • Pantone sets the standard for color, and all other methods of identifying color agree to follow its color shadings standard.
  • If there is disagreement in a family about where to go on vacation, they may decide to vote, and accept the consensus of the majority. They might agree, by consensus, to cede that decision to a single person.
Where consensus cannot be the basis for determining things is in fields, such as science, where the data, and analysis of it, are critical. No matter how many scientists agree, if the data can be shown not to back up their consensus, they must give way.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Gentrification & Crime

I tell you, even the Elites can learn, if you believe this article.

Long article about the fact that - amazing as it seems - people are more likely to move to parts of the city/region that are lower in crime.

I know, who would have thought that?

In a side note, if you scroll down to the end of this article, the writers/publishers acknowledge that Donald Trump - after being criticized about not correctly citing facts - is found to have been correct, after all.

Correction: January 7, 2017 
An earlier version of this article misstated that Donald J. Trump was inaccurate in citing a statistic for rising homicides in Washington, D.C. Appearing to cite the 2015 statistics for the city, he was correct in saying that homicides rose by about 50 percent that year.
Imagine that - a man who made a living understanding numerical data actually might know more than the Liberal Arts types!


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Smartness vs. Education

I was reading something on Sarah Hoyt's site, According to Hoyt, and it triggered some thoughts about smartness.

Now, you would think that, as I'm a teacher, I would look upon the book-smart (those who do well in school) as the top of the line in Smartness.

You would be wrong. I'm of the belief that many people are smart, some are as dumb as a box of rocks (maybe even dumber), but that it all had very little to do with school. Or smart parents, in general. Or social class.

What, to me distinguishes the Smart from the Not-So is not the degrees awarded, nor the tests passed with stratospherically high scores, nor even an official designation of Gifted & Talented.

It's the desire to know more.

Years ago, I read about a bus driver, who started attending college in his spare time, eventually graduating at the top of his class, and winning a scholarship for further study. He'd grown up in a poor family, with few prospects for more education after high school.

One thing he said struck me at the time as wrong - he said that he didn't believe that brains could be inherited. He felt that it was the desire to learn that might be passed on.

I thought that was absolutely wrong. I was certain that IQ was proven to be heritable, and the determining factor was that heritage.

After years of teaching, I've come to realize that he may have had something - that his insight may be more correct than I realized at that time.

I've known smart kids - and, many average. Seldom actually dumb, except in the sense that teens are always dumb - little experience, a tendency to believe plausible lies, and impulsiveness that leads them to do things even they have to agree were pretty dumb.

What has distinguished the Life Winners - those that made the most of what they had been given access to - was, generally, ambition, that burning desire for more than they had.

Some have it.

Others, equally or MORE gifted, do not.

Kids whose parents are CEOs of multinational corporations sometimes, just don't have the burn.

Others, from desperately wretched backgrounds, with every excuse for failure, find the guts to overcome all obstacles and do whatever it takes to succeed.

Some people are content to just meander through life without making their mark. They make enough money to satisfy their needs, and keep their time clear for what interests them - family, sports, video games, hobbies.

That's actually OK. Despite all the ads and campaigns that urge everyone to be MORE, in America, if you just want to "go with the flow", life can be pretty good. There isn't a law that forces you to run around madly trying to pile up more of the world's riches.

Similarly, just because someone has attended a prestigious university, graduated with high honors, and is pulling down a huge salary, is no guarantee that he/she isn't an absolute moron.

Grade inflation has reached such a level as to invalidate any reliance on grades as an indicator of knowledge. The person with that 'A' might have learned something, they might not. Since both the learned, and the un-learned have the same grade, there is no way to tell the difference.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Why Bother?

I ran across this when clearing out some old draft posts on this site - it's still worth reading, no matter what your political/cultural leanings.

Nock on the Remnant

Saturday, January 07, 2017

How Views on Abortion Changed

I highly recommend this article - it's by a former supporter, who has come to evolve her thinking.

It's hard for today's citizens to believe, but there was a time when the mere thought of abortion was enough to horrify the majority of Americans.  Women, in particular, were vehemently against the killing.  Even the movies were reflexively pro-life.  Some examples:

  • Love With the Proper Stranger - a young woman gets pregnant as a result of a one-night stand with someone she barely knows.  She initially just wants the money to end the pregnancy.  After scraping up the cash, she and the father go to the abortionist, but she can't go through with it, and confronts her family with the truth.

  • A Place in the Sun - not technically an abortion movie, the film is of the murder of the pregnant mother committed by the father of the child, in order to facilitate his marriage to the rich girl.

  • Georgie Girl - a party girl becomes pregnant, her roommate and the boyfriend persuade her to have it, the roommate ends up raising it.  The mother is relieved to give the kid up, the boyfriend goes back to his slacker life, and Georgie marries an older, rich widower.

  • Dirty Dancing - lots of sympathy for the whoops-not-a-mother from everyone.

  • Cabaret - the Liza Minelli character has an abortion.  She is shown to be relatively shallow and unconventional.

  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High - it's considered a relatively small problem with a quick, although expensive solution.

  • Coach Carter - until I Googled Abortion movies, I had forgotten this.  A promising athlete and his girlfriend are confronted with a pregnancy.  The father involved works to find a way to make it work for them.  The mother aborts without telling him.

  • A Walk in the Clouds - a retro movie about a WWII vet as a traveling salesman, who finds a nice young lady in "delicate circumstances".  He decides to help her out by posing as her husband.  Very respectful of unwed pregnancy, and of the tough choices women make.
Until around the 1960's, abortion in movies was relatively rare.  This was a reflection of the prevalent moral code that condemned abortion, and also practical - abortions were, for most people, either not available, or very dangerous, not to mention illegal.  So, promotion of a dangerous practice would have been reckless.

Recently, there have been several movies that presented the possibility of a would-be mother continuing the pregnancy, to either raise the child herself, or to select the adoptive family that would do it.  They were quality films, and fairly reflect the current practice of women not worrying about "the disgrace" of unwed pregnancy.

Many of the original reasons for the push to legalize abortion are no longer valid:

  • Rape - the common use of the post-pregnancy emergency contraception (I'm using the terminology that is best-known, without regard to scientific controversy about whether it's an abortive drug) has made this a less-common reason for later abortion.

  • Lack of access to contraceptives - Please!  They are everywhere, and cheap.

  • Public shame - just about every family knows someone, or has someone, who became sexually active before marriage.

  • Lack of money - our society supports - quite liberally - those families that have little money.  Also, provides LOTS of opportunity to educate/train for better-paying work.

  • Medical - many doctors point out that truly medical abortions are quite rare.  Almost all pregnancies could be managed medically, and brought to term - IF the mother wanted it.

  • The young couple being doomed to a life of poverty, misery, and no hope.  For heaven's sake, not unless they want it.  There are programs for young mothers who need to finish their education, money for all medical expenses, help for the new baby, etc.

What is the Downside of Interacting ONLY With Those Who Agree With You?

That's the situation in too many colleges and universities. Here is a thoughtful take from a moderately conservative professor, who did NOT vote for Trump, but has friends and relatives who did.

Why Thought Diversity may be MORE important than Ethnic Diversity.


The Future for Women?

I'd hate to see it - I've long enjoyed wandering around unescorted.

However, the New Reality in the EU is that women's freedoms may continue to be restricted, to allow the Elites to pump up their Progressive (Regressive) Self-Esteem.

Do not let his Hispanic name lull you into complacency. The FL airport Jihadi's background.

Christians, both in public and in their churches, need to make protection of their fellow Christians a priority. I'm hoping that Trump will put some muscle into assisting Christians get out of danger zones around the world - NOT necessarily bringing them to America, but helping use our influence, and TARGETED money to help them re-settle.

I'd not thought of this before, but it does make some sense.

Send these refugees from tropical countries to Puerto Rico. DO NOT give them the right to travel to the rest of the USA.

This fake "Born in America" scam needs to be shut down - NOW. Perhaps we could present them with a bill for the expected cost of their child's American passport - just offhand, how about $10 million dollars? They could avoid paying the bill - right then - by renouncing their child's citizenship claims, and leaving - NOT to return. Stamp their passport "NOT PERMITTED IN THIS COUNTRY". Any fines would be waived if they turn in the people who facilitated this scam.

But, they would still have to waive citizenship claims and leave.

Same for those jumping our Southern borders. Add up the costs of educating their kids, anticipated medical benefits, etc. Present them with a bill, and give them the same choice - renounce their "American" citizenship claims for all time, or go to jail - then be deported. If there is an American who is one of the parents, they could be hit with the bill - to be paid BEFORE getting any government benefits. Suddenly, having sex with illegals would not be so attractive. All bills and fines waived if they leave to go back to their own country - and stay there. Coming back again invalidates the agreement.