We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, April 1. 2016
For the first time in history, more people are obese than underweight.
Too much good food. Governments must intervene.
College 'snowflakes' keep hitting new lows
10 Shocking Secrets of Flight Attendants
Z-man on the RC Church:
Yesterday's Dystopian Fiction Is Today's New World Order
Famous lefty professor argues that algebra is too hard for American kids
Should it be limited to Asian kids?
Feds Tell Watchdog To Get Lost On Pollution Cleanup Costs
EPA Dumps 880,000 Lbs Of Toxic Metal Into River, Won’t Answer Any Questions
And they would not let me restore a 300 year-old wooden bridge at the farm
Not Only Is Obama Seeking to "Annex the Suburbs" As Part of His Plan
The Administrative State is out of control
Klavan: What's the Matter with Ted Cruz?
Does Part of Trump Not Want to Win?
Why Hillary Won't Be Indicted and Shouldn't Be: An Objective Legal Analysis
Russia, despite draw down, shipping more to Syria than removing
Former Intelligence chairman: More foreign spies in US than ever
Police tactics, intelligence-sharing tip scales in Jerusalem’s war on terror
Europe Courting Godfather Erdogan
Shifting blame, White House faults war general’s 2014 ISIS assessment as he departs
War and Madness: A Retrospective of Five Years of Reporting on the War in Syria
Tracked: Apr 03, 09:33
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That "objective" legal analysis fails the laugh test. To credit Clinton's claim that she did not know any of the information she was dealing with was classified is ridiculous -- and I say that from the standpoint of being an attorney and having held a security clearance for over a decade. If she wants to claim that she is so dumb that she could not recognize classified information, such as eyes only emails from foreign ministers, real time defense information, etc., that is what is called a "jury question." There is more than enough information in the public realm at the moment to charge her with at least ten separate violations of mishandling classified information. About the only thing we don't know for certain is whether there was an attempt to destroy government records when she ordered her server wiped of "personal" emails. Bottom line, if I or anyone else did what she has done, we would be, at best, out on bail at the moment. The author of this "objective analysis" is either incompetent or, more likely, a typical prog for whom unequal application of the law is just fine if it means winning political power.
Well, he convinced me of the likelihood. The justice of it is another matter.
probably wouldn't see much of the trial because of the Classified Information Procedures Act.
the hildabeest's server wipe is an outrageous example of spoliation of evidence, and would merit adverse inference instructions to the jury that it may assume the absent evidence was negative. courts are perfectly capable of evaluating privilege/privacy/relevancy claims and there's a duty to preserve potentially relevant evidence if person knows litigation is looming.
This seems to be advice about a legal strategy. The alternative to Hillary willfully, knowingly, provably, etc is that she is stupid, because she should have known. However, proving all that willfully, knowingly is made more difficult if there is an escape hatch, any escape hatch. So she bolts through that hole, even though it is tantamount to an admission of stupidity.
Because at that point she can just lie and stall her way out as usual. "You as much as admitted you were stupid!" No I didn't. "But it WAS stupid." The Republicans are attacking me with insults and baseless accusations.
We are dealing with supporters who believe that twenty-five years ago American conservatives decided that they especially had it in for a Democratic Leadership Council couple who had raised money for the Contras and were running as centrists, all because the female half of the couple was a Strong Woman - and that said enemies have been unfairly accusing her for no clear reason ever since on a wide variety of trumped-up charges.
this is why jury instructions on evidence spoliation are important. she wiped her server and the jury may infer that she did this to destroy evidence that she knowingly and willingly mishandled classified information.
What does seem likely is that some people other than Hillary will be indicted and most likely allowed to take a plea. This would also lead to a lot of information being made public AND perhaps even more significantly a lot of information being hidden. If the press does their job this coverup should be exposed. I think when the truth about this comes out it will be huge. No doubt she had ALL of the classified information available to a Secretary of State on her server and no doubt ALL of that was hacked by our enemies. She may well have provided the largest leak of important classified data in history. Additionally it is probable that there is evidence of her using her position to extort funds and favors from people of power and this will be what the DOJ will most likely try to hide.
"If the press does their job..." Stop, stop, you're killing me! HAHAHAHAHA!
That article came from the American Prospect, a leftist magazine. Nothing in it should be a surprise.
"Famous lefty professor argues that algebra is too hard for American kids"
So for decades, millions of American kids handily handled Algebra as part of their schooling.
But now that the majority of American kids are non-white, suddenly the Lefties believe Algebra is to hard. Hmmm?
Could their be the racism of low expectations at play here?
I suspect it has as much to do with teacher competence as it does with student capability.
I wouldn't worry too much about this. in school, a $5 calculator will handle any calculation. this convenience is probably why Johnny can't triganomic a quadrant with a pencil or whatever it is they do.
in the real world, I'd hire an accountant and tell him the results I want.
don't know and don't care. they do what they're told to do. they can use an abacus or count on their fingers for what its worth.
It's a breathtaking attitude--the idea that civilization will continue to provide us with experts we can farm out all the hard thinking to, even if our schools completely fail us. Who needs all those mental skills? Well, anyone that doesn't want to be at the mercy of unscrupulous people who are prepared to put a little effort into the development of cognitive ability.
I was speaking of my own professional practices. I don't need the same degree of expertise of experts hired for their specific disciplines. I am not a statistician or a mathematician or an accountant. As long as their work falls with certain parameters of professionalism, that's ok. While I must have a general idea, my concern is the bigger picture.
As for kids in school, I believe the reason for their inability to do algebra is because cheap calculators do it for them, not because they're dumb or white or the teachers are lazy. I don't know why is is a cause for concern.
No. 6 makes the point better and I see you somewhat disagree with him, as if reliance were a bad thing. But consider that you farm out a lot of expertise, including HV electrical repairs. You also farm out medical care, probably tax and legal advice.
the key isn't knowing everything, but knowing what you don't know and who to ask for answers.
Calculators don't do algebra.
Algebra is basically a proxy for being able to think clearly.
you're not thinking clearly. proxy doesn't mean what you think it means. maybe you shouldn't have taken algebra.
Or, is it the teachers unions making sure the teachers can't teach?
Mathematics has long been a Europhallologocentric rape of the holistic, organic female mind. At least that's what the feminists who taught me argued.
"Why Hillary Won't Be Indicted and Shouldn't Be: An Objective Legal Analysis"
YES! "Objective legal analysis", that's the ticket!
Depends upon what the meaning of "is" is! Now that was objective legal analysis of the sort offered in that article: The fine parsing of commonly understood words, mixed in with some far-too-favorable to Hilary suppositions surrounding her behavior and her knowledge. But the article fails to address at all, the issues related to corruption of selling decisions as SecState in exchange for yuuuge contributions to the Clinton Foundation racket.
The obesity claims again. This all stems from the decision in 1998 to throw out the old measurement of weight and install the BMI as the standard. On the day they did that the number of obese and the number of overweight doubled. The usual claim about the data created by that event is that Americans are getting fatter. Think about the blatant dishonesty of the fat shaming crowd to knowingly use this statistical anomaly to push the obesity claims. Using the BMI Mariah Carey is obese, do you really think she is "obese"? Obesity used to mean weighing 350 lbs or more now you can be obese at a normal weight while looking good.
The article also conflated diabetes with this obesity "crisis" as well. Diabetes is genetic. The rates of diabetes hasn't changed. What has changed is:
1. A few years back the medical community began an effort to identify people with diabetes earlier, That is many people have who diabetes don't discover it until their 20's or 30's and since diabetes is a degenerative disease early identification can be very beneficial. However the effort identified about a million or so more diabetics and this stat was used to falsely claim diabetes is on the rise. The rate of diabetes didn't change one bit but this data anomaly was used falsely to hype the diabetes stats.
2. Diabetes is a genetic disease and some races/ethnicities have much higher rates than others. The changing American population favors those ethnicities with higher diabetes rates. The rates for these groups hasn't changed but the mix within the U.S. has. The people pushing the diabetes agenda have again used this to make the false claim that diabetes is on the rise.
For their own reasons the diabetes activists are pushing this false narrative. I don't think it is useful and it is certainly dishonest.
At least you finally learned paragraph breaks.
It may be true that you can "reverse" diabetes through diet and weight loss and probably physical activity added in for good measure. It "may" be true but we don't know because no valid scientific study has concluded this. Mostly this is pushed by the "natural" or "supplement" websites.
What is probably happening is simply diminishing symptoms. And a second factor is the new fad "pre-diabetes" and "Metabolic syndrome". While the symptoms or evidence of both of these new fads are real the connection between them and actual diabetes is not so clear. Every marathon runner just prior to the race would test positive for metabolic syndrome. Quite possibly half the people leaving a typical buffet restaurant would test positive for it as well. It is something you can reduce through weight loss and diet but is it meaningful? In other words if a marathon runner or pro football player followed the rules to reverse pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome could they still perform? Are we putting too much of our biases into this. What confounds this is that often those who get these tests and are found to have pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome are indeed unhealthy. The question is: Is everyone who tests positive for pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome going to get diabetes or otherwise unhealthy? OR is it simply one end of the "normal" range? BUT, you can't sell health food or supplements with that kind of thinking, can you???
I think I must dispute this. I can't count the number of people I'm in touch with who had started down the path of fruitless diabetes meds, terrible A1C numbers, and increasing health risks--until they lost 20, 30, or more pounds. Suddenly their blood tests are coming back fine and they're off all their meds. My doctor confirms that this is the experience he has had with his patients over a long career: even a 20-lb. loss often produces dramatic results. The correlation is rock solid, admitting of few exceptions, as far as I have been able to find out. That's Type II, of course. Type I is a different kettle of fish.
To clarify, I don't think you are disagreeing with my point. I don't doubt that individuals through diet or being overweight can have higher than "normal" A1c readings AND could be told they are pre-diabetes or have metabolic syndrome (which is the latest craze in boutique health problems. What I am saying is that these conditions are not uncommon in healthy people who never acquire diabetes and live long healthy lives. If you were to test every football player in the NFL just prior to the game I suspect 90% would have these same "symptoms". These readings are 'possibly' significant for people who are sedentary and meaningless for people who work hard or are otherwise active. When I ran marathons I ate so much food, mostly carbs that I suspect if I had been tested for these symptoms I would scare the doctors. But what does it mean? Does it mean the same thing for someone who does nothing all day long and is underweight to have the same terrible numbers that your friends had? If not why not? Is it absolutely related to weight? Does it always mean that you will develop diabetes? Those are the questions no study has answered and in fact couldn't answer without a decades long major study of a significant number of people. What I do know is that studies that have been performed with significant populations over decades has shown that diet is not a determining factor in health outcomes.
The question then becomes; why does the medical community still offer broad dietary advice in the face of what we know now. Things like low salt, low sugar, low fat, eliminating saturated fats, or worse low carbs? I think I know why:
1. Because that is what many of them learned in school and over time from contacts.
2. Because erring on the side of being too cautious is less likely to get you in trouble.
3. Because there are in fact some illnesses that do lend themselves to these kinds of proscriptions AND they cannot divorce themselves of the very 'human' failing of conflation, i.e. if cutting out fats and sugar is good for some people why then it 'must' be good advice for everyone, don'tcha know.
High A1C numbers indicate a dangerous condition that correlates strongly with an increased risk of many unpleasant woes, from neuropathy to kidney damage to retina damage to stroke to impaired healing of sores to limb loss. We call that condition "diabetes." It's true that some percentage of people with insulin resistance and chronically elevated blood sugar will luck out and not suffer one or more of these effects until they are relatively old, but it's not a benign condition, or a question of improper labeling. A quick survey of your acquaintance with out-of-control A1C numbers should persuade you that they're playing Russian roulette with their health--to say nothing of the immediate practical problems with fatigue and joint stress that come from carrying around too much weight.
"high A1C numbers"
Ahhh, but the latest boutique illness is NOT "high A1C numbers it is modestly elevated A1C numbers which are popularly called "pre-diabetes" (whatever that is). IT is NOT diabetes it is nothing more than A1C numbers on the higher edge of normal AND the doctor using that opportunity to encourage the patient to lose weight or change diet. It mirrors the trend we saw with cholesterol numbers where clearly HIGH cholesterol was a serious indicator moderate cholesterol levels were not. This did not prevent books being written declaring that all cholesterol levels above starvation rates were BAD for you and it didn't prevent some doctors from telling their patients with 'normal' levels of cholesterol that they should adopt a diet to lower it even further.
We tend to do this, it is a human trait. When I was a runner every other runner would monitor their resting heart rate as though it was the indicator of superhuman strength. A resting heart rate in the 50's was considered "golden" while one in the 40's denoted health royalty. But in the end it was a meaningless measure.
In the past 10 years or so the number of friends and family who have been told by their health care providers that they are "pre-diabetic" has skyrocketed. Yet as far as I know none of them has ever been proven to be or become diabetic. It is just the latest buzzword and the A1C measure on otherwise healthy people is just the latest fad.
You are correct though that for ill people and some serious health problems A1C is important and can measure both improvement and degradation of their health. For healthy people, not so much. The gold standard is fasting blood glucose levels (not to detract from the value of A1C in measuring longer term effects). But yet even in that measurement there is a range of normal and it's important to note that being on the higher end of the normal range is not 'proof' of impending disaster. It is in fact nothing more than proof that the range is just that; a range and not a single perfect value.
Obfuscators will probably always replace cultural or social tradition with genetics, as if having proof that it's impossible to generationally influence the body but it's absolutely assured that you'll hereditarily influence it. It's a logical sleight of hand.
Why do kids of obese people tend toward obesity? Local influence. Habit. Opportunity.
Obviously it's impossible to validate the all-genetics fallacy. It simply fails the common sense test: Genetics and influence both exist and factor, and it's going to take some remarkable science to unravel them.
Which means maybe fallacists obscure the obvious fact by wanting to be misunderstood. You can't credibly present one side of what you surely must know is a two-sided phenomenon while preventing the other.
Unless genes are altered by diet - and our friendly obfuscators deny so much as the existence of a proper, healthy diet at the top of their lungs - the effect of instances of weight loss on "genetic" diabetes is incontrovertible proof it's not just genetics, if its genetics all.
Why would anyone want to read this asshatted bigot's poorly researched, rarely cogent writing as he wobbles between smug platitudes and general incompetence.
is there a break in the prune juice supply chain or is he projecting and he's actually a closeted GayMan?
the RC church doesn't run marquette.
He loves to be provocative. He has fun with it.
That's his job.
that's my job too.
he also doesn't realize the irony of his banner picture.
What a bigoted piece of nonsense. I'll resist the urge to punch him in the nose, and just pray that a better Catholic than I changes his mind.
I've only been a Catholic for a week or so, but I have news for the Z man. My priest and my parish are certainly not "spineless, gutless, and hypocritical." Our pews are not empty. They're actually full every week, and full of young families. Catholics are a very small minority in OK, but this parish is alive and growing. In fact, I was in the largest RCIA class in living memory. This, in spite of the molestation scandals. This, in spite of the socialist pope that many Catholics disagree with. The current pope has nothing to do with my entering the church. In my months of education to become catholic the pope was barely mentioned. Most of the time when the Pope was mentioned it was to remind us that he goes to confession on a weekly basis.
I can assure you that no one here cares about what Marquette does or thinks. I don't even know what state it's in. They may hear the same readings at their masses, but they definitely hear different homilies.
And BD, his piece isn't provocative. It's thoughtless, shallow bigotry. And his main target isn't Catholics, but Christians in general. The last paragraph makes that clear.
Your self-beclownment is very entertaining. Maybe it is a gag or maybe you are this stupid, but either way, it is a good show.
Famous lefty professor argues that algebra is too hard for American kids...Should it be limited to Asian kids?
From my reading of the linked article, my interpretation of what Hacker says is that algebra is not appropriate for a certain proportion of students, which may be as high as 20 per cent.
Andrew Hacker, reports the Associated Press [says]: (snip) “One out of 5 young Americans does not graduate from high school. This is one of the worst records in the developed world. Why? The chief academic reason is they failed ninth-grade algebra,” Hacker told the Associated Press.The education establishment has been telling us for years that algebra is appropriate for ALL students. The dropout rate above indicates that one-size-fits-all may not work for algebra.
Based on my experience with teaching math to 8th and 9th graders, my opinion is that a certain segment of the student population would be better served by a "general math" course instead of algebra.
The high school I attended was highly rated. About ten percent of its graduates went on to Ivy League universities or their equivalent - such as MIT, Stanford, or Univ Chicago. When I was a student, there was no attempt to teach algebra to every student. Even at such a highly rated high school, there was a general math course in 9th grade which about a sixth of the class took instead of algebra.
I don't believe that these students were poorly served by not taking algebra. They went on to successful lives without algebra. I am reminded of one classmate who took five years to graduate from high school. Upon graduating, he went to work as a helper at an auto repair shop. Several years into his apprenticeship, the owner died of cancer, and willed the business to his helper. At the time, my classmate was far from being an accomplished mechanic. He continued his on the job training by reading the manuals after work. For this study he was much more motivated to learn than he was for his high school work. In short order,he evolved into an accomplished auto mechanic whose repair shop has for decades earned a reputation for honesty and competency. But he didn't take algebra? How could he have had a successful life? Or so the education establishment would inform us.
At the same time, a general math course may track people who would have been better served by algebra. I am reminded of one student in my "slow" algebra class who was better at algebra than most of the students in my "regular" algebra classes. He transferred out of the "slow" class after Christmas. I don't know how he got slotted into the "slow" class. Mistakes are made.
I agree with this. Any decent school should make higher math available to the students who can handle it, but not everyone will prove able to handle it, and those who can't, can very easily get through life without it, though at the price of having to depend on and trust the skill and honesty of the people they farm it out to. They should stay away from complicated financial deals for the same reason I stay away from high-voltage electrical equipment repairs.
re The World May Have Too Much Food
"For the first time in history, more people are obese than underweight."
One more reason for the omnipotent state to ration our food. Because it's for our own good.
Only leftists can turn a historical blessing into a problem.
RE Foreign Spies (Mike Rogers)
Here we go again "Rogers claimed that the proliferation of foreign intelligence operatives in the U.S. ought to serve as a warning to privacy and civil liberties advocates who have called for the Obama administration to rein in federal spying powers"
That's right folks, you can trust the government. Of course actual spies are not sending information plaintext, they have tools to maintain their privacy. Of course the less privacy Americans have, the easier it is for these spies to get their stuff.
I'll bet this authoritarian has wet dreams over the power of the old STASI.
Study: People Who Point Out Typos Are Jerks
According to a bunch of fancy linguists, people who are more sensitive to written typos and grammatical errors are indeed the kinds of Type A assholes everyone already suspects them to be.
You should have capitalized the first "h" in "heh" and put a period after the second sentence.
Does "The Smartest Woman in the World" really want us to believe she is as dumb as she is, which is MIGHTY DANG DUMB indeed? And elect her President? Sure seems so.