Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Not the way I'd initially expected

A young man's parents are suing because their son was required by his school to share locker rooms--and as a junior, this means showers too--with a biological female who, for reasons known to her, decided she was "male" enough to use the boys' locker room.  Now of course, I don't know her motives, but I know that my response would have been (and would be today) about the same. 

And along those lines, those who genuinely do suffer from this mental illness need to be treated compassionately as well--by not opening up the opposite sex's restrooms and locker rooms to them.  Like it or not, this girl is mentally ill according to DSM-5, and it doesn't do her any good to be exposed to the catcalls of her peers calling her a "freak", "pervert", "slut", and the like.  Never mind what happens to all participants when some boy's body does, or does not, respond to her exposed female form.

Isn't high school tough enough without this kind of silliness?   

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

It's all a sham

Recently, a transgender person named Laurel Hubbard won the "over 90kg" category for women's weightlifting at the Australian International with a total lift of 268kg, about 19kg greater than the runner up, but far short of the world record of 348kg set by Tatiana Kashirina of Kazakhstan--suspended in 2006 for failing doping tests. 

Now what's interesting here is that Hubbard's advantage in weight--9kg above all other competitors--scales nicely with the advantage in terms of results--8% or so.  In other words, having been born male does not seem to confer a disproportionate advantage vs. women in the sport.

How is that so?  Well, it might have something to do with the fact that at least 137 weightlifters have been caught doping, which would in turn imply that the actual rate of doping is likely much higher, and would then imply that--like we learned during the scandal with Lance Armstrong--the sport is a sham at elite levels.   The problem is not that sports federations are allowing the transgender to compete now, but rather that they've been allowing them to compete for half a century. 

On Comey's testimony

We have on the one side an active FBI investigation into whether the Russians were working with the Trump campaign to influence the election, and on the other hand we have James Comey saying he's unaware of any wiretaps of the Trump campaign.  It strikes me that both of these contentions cannot be true in any meaningful way--one might object that there were not physical devices connected to phone systems in Trump Tower specifically, but if indeed Comey is correct that there is an investigation, the idea that there was no surveillance of the campaign is hard to believe.

As the good professor noted in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, it seems that schools, including fairly elite law schools, are simply not teaching logic anymore.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Silliness out of Boulder

Yes, I know I'm being redundant here, but this story just floors me.  Apparently, when lecturing in a legal ethics class, Neil Gorsuch may have pointed out that it can be seen as unethical for a motherhood-minded lawyer to obtain a job with maternity leave benefits for the sake of....maintaining income while growing her family, especially when she has significant student loans.

In response, a former law student claims that this somehow discounts the worth of women in the workforce....as if pointing to the cost of maternity leave is equivalent to saying women shouldn't work at all.  The issue is compounded by a claim that Gorsuch pointed out that female lawyers have twice the divorce rate of male lawyers.

Now, on the planet I inhabit, warning people about the perils of their chosen profession--and I did quickly find a study from the ABA that said 50% more female lawyers were divorced than their male counterparts--would ordinarily be seen as a "service", not a "harm."  Apparently, however, the sun shines a different color in the People's Republic of Boulder.

Yes, we were all Irish....

What to do with leftover corned beef after St. Patrick's Day?  Why not a dish of pho?


Friday, March 17, 2017

Where's my latte?

Apparently, Senator Ted Cruz has gotten himself in some trouble by tweeting a link to the "Politichicks" and a parody of  Garth Brooks' Friends in low places called Friends in safe spaces. 

It's awesome.  Especially good is the prelude commercial I saw, something for the "Powderpuff Girls" toy or something like that.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

A little proposal for reducing the budget

Graph out each agency's spending by month over the year, and set their next year's budget according to spending for the first ten months.  Many agencies are notorious for "blowing" their budgets in the last month or two of the fiscal year to avoid cuts.

Fire the heads of those agencies with this pattern, and do not replace them. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Interesting logic by the CBO

....is that defunding Planned Parenthood Infanticide for a year will result in more births because women in poor areas do not have nearby clinics that are not affiliated with them.  So just for giggles, I did a google search for medical clinics in Gary, Detroit, and Chicago, and amazingly, I found that within a few miles of any place in each city, there was a medical clinic not affiliated with Planned Parenthood.  It is sad, but not surprising, that this five minute exercise was apparently beyond the ability of the Post reporters and editors, even apart from the notion that the money currently given to Planned Infanticide could be used as well to found clinics in underserved areas. 

And, of course, even more shamefully, figuring this out is beyond the ability of the CBO.  Is it too much to ask that our government do its work honestly?  Apparently so.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Yet another reason to homeschool

Apparently, the state of New York is contemplating doing away with a literacy test for teachers because too many "minority" applicants are failing it.  Now that's depressing enough--one would hope that any high school graduate, never mind a person with a bachelor's degree or more in education, would be able to pass such a test with flying colors--but it actually gets worse. 

Overall, nearly 40% failed, and when the Manhattan Institute reviewed the test exam, their professional writer achieved only a 55% score and noted that several of the "multiple guess" questions appeared to have multiple correct answers, but only one would be scored as correct.  This may explain why the exam did not predict (according to those with the data) success in the profession.

So what we have is a situation where the state board of education can't write a basic reading test, huge numbers of teachers may be dishonoring their almae matriae by not being able to read, larger numbers of teachers may be dishonoring their profession by not performing better than illiterate colleagues, and schools of education are acting as if the problem is primarily one of racial equity.

So for the sake of the great State of New York, here's a simple reading test; open a newspaper, read, and tell me what you just read.  You're welcome.

Cool, but yikes

Engineers at Google and Levi's have teamed together to create a jacket designed to allow cyclists to be connected with the world, but not staring at the screen on their phone.  As such, they view it as a big safety advance--and then they promote it with a video of a cyclist without a helmet. 

Hint; if it's cool enough to wear a jacket while cycling, it's not too hot to wear a helmet, and quite frankly I much prefer the thought of shattering a helmet to the thought of shattering my skull.   So they take care of a third order safety issue while neglecting a first order one--did they actually talk to any cyclists before doing that video, or for that matter before they did the jacket?

They certainly didn't ask me--while the technology is cool, time on two wheels is generally "alone" time for me, and quite frankly the weather in Minnesota is too volatile to achieve connectivity with just one jacket.   So it falls, as far as I'm concerned, into the bin of "solution in search of a problem."


Friday, March 10, 2017

Gun control logic

Apparently in 2015, an entire container full of firearms from Sturm, Ruger, and Company was stolen by gang-bangers in Chicago.  111 firearms were stolen, some of which were of course used by Chicago's many gangs.

Now of course, the city and various community organizers therein are wondering why the railroads don't hire more security to prevent things like this, but it occurs to me that if the trains were moving, instead of parked at the railyards, then it would be far more difficult to rob them.  Along these lines, a train that could go around the city in a few hours if the tracks were clear actually takes 27 hours on average to get around the city.  That's a lot of time for the Vice Lords and Gangster Disciples to work.

But that said, 111 guns is a drop in the bucket in Chicago, and railroads are one of the few things going on the South Side, so maybe this isn't the big reason to change how trains go around the Windy City.  Cutting of one's nose to spite one's face, as it were.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Marxist theory of history from my Senator

I heard Senator Al Franken talking about the confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch on WCCO today, and it was interesting (but infuriating) to hear his reasons for being against Gorsuch; more or less that the Supreme Court was, in his opinion, in favor of corporations instead of workers.

Now of course, this is interesting for starters because the Constitution says nothing whatsoever about the rights of corporations vs. those of workers, but rather provides that Congress can do things to ensure uniform rules for bankruptcy and interstate commerce.  So Franken is for starters positing a role for the Supreme Court nowhere suggested in the Constitution.  If he doesn't like federal law regarding corporations and trade unions, he has only himself to blame, really.  He's also stating very clearly that he is all for judicial activism as long as his side is calling the shots in how the Constitution will be twisted.

But more importantly, notice as well that he's more or less trying to set the entrepreneurial class--the corporations or bourgeoisie if you will--against the working class or proletariat.  In other words, Franken is for all practical purposes a Communist, something that he's been hinting at ever since he was the "Church Lady" "Stuart Smalley" (H/T Sue) on Saturday Night Live, and something he started shouting with his books.   Long past time for Minnesotans to wake up to who our junior senator really is.

Monday, March 06, 2017

Pure Biblicity in cake decorating

My second daughter did this beautiful rendition of Judges 4:21.


Thursday, March 02, 2017

On the allegations against Jeff Sessions

What strikes me about the recent Washington Post article claiming Jeff Sessions spoke with the Russian ambassador no less than twice prior to the election is that....ahem, isn't this someone leaking classified information?  Isn't it a fact that people can and do die when intelligence officials leak this kind of thing?

It would be nice if the Post were as worked up about unauthorized release of classified information as a misstatement, possibly a lie, by Jeff Sessions about meeting with ambassadors--something that was, ahem, part of his job as part of the Armed Services Committee.  It is also worth noting that if Senator Franken knew that Sessions had met with the ambassador, he was illegally in possession of classified information--he is not on a committee which requires a security clearance.

Yes, there are some criminals here that need to be prosecuted, specifically writers and editors at the Washington Post, along with their sources in the "deep state."  But Jeff Sessions is not among them.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Humor for our Catholic friends

....a "study" finds that people who comment daily on what they're giving up for Lent have greater closeness with God.  Along the same lines, we can only assume the worst for a man who joined CrossFit without telling anyone.