Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Asians Are Considered Minorities--Except In Education

As Instapundit often says, "Asians are the new Jews."  He says that in relation to Asians being discriminated against in Harvard (and other Ivy League schools) admissions.  Eighty years ago it was the Jews who, if merit alone were considered, would be "overrepresented" in the Ivies.  I don't know if Jews would still be overrepresented, but we know that Asians would be.  They aren't "interesting" enough to add diversity at today's universities.  Who says so?  University admissions officers.  That's why Asians have to score even higher than white kids to have the same chance of entry into so many of the nation's top universities.

The current lawsuit against Harvard, though, may not yield the hoped-for results, even if successful:
It is uncertain how the current lawsuit regarding Harvard’s alleged discriminate against Asian applicants will eventually turn out, but the smart money predicts little will change. After all, this is just one of many similar previous lawsuits, and racial preferences survived them all. Nor should we ignore administrative ingenuity in circumventing court orders. At most, Harvard and other elite schools will admit a handful more Asian applicants and hold their tongues in describing these youngsters as boring, plain vanilla dullards who add little to the school’s vital diversity.

The Court’s likely reluctance to flat out ban racial discrimination hardly settles the issue.
It's 2018 and we're still judging people by the color of their skin.  Fifty years after his death, Dr. King would be so disappointed.

Blast From The Past

Back in the late 90s/early 2000's, when all the cool kids were using RealPlayer to listen to music on their computers, I was using WinAmp--which went away in 2013.  But now it will be back:
One of the apps that helped define the 90s is getting a reboot. Winamp, perhaps the most popular way to listen to music on the computer before iTunes, is getting relaunched as an app.

“There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience,” says Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO of Radionomy, the company that bought Winamp in 2014, in an interview with TechCrunch. “You can listen to the MP3s you may have at home, but also to the cloud, to podcasts, to streaming radio stations, to a playlist you perhaps have built.”

Started by software house Nullsoft in 1997, Winamp was built by Justin Frankel while he was attending the University of Utah. Everything about Winamp screamed 90s. Nullsoft was a sarcastic and grunge-y play on Microsoft, and "Winamp" and its llama logo came from outsider musician Wesley Willis' nonsensical declaration that "Winamp really whips the llama's ass!" The program made money on voluntary shareware prompts asking for ten bucks upon opening, which Frankel only put in at the insistence of his parents.

Winamp offered more to its listeners than many competitors at the time. There was an equalizer for getting sound just right, easy to use playlists, visualizers which offered psychedelic images loosely in sync with the music, and heavy customization. Winamp skins became a valuable commodity online. Within a year and a half, the program had 15 million downloads...
It was shelved, then sold to a company that hasn't done much with it.  But now:
The company will be releasing a few updates to 5.8, but Saboundjian is also promising a Winamp 6 by 2019.
It all seemed important at the time.  These days, though, I just use whatever the default player in my operating system is….

Monday, October 15, 2018

Oh HECK No

I mean, sure, this author is entitled to his opinions.  But his opinions are stupid if he lists Journey's Don't Stop Believin' and Toto's Africa as overrated. 

Come on now.  He's as unhinged as a liberal if he believes that.  Maybe for just thinking that.

From the Reality-based Community/Party of Science

Remember when the Republican in Delaware mentioned witchcraft?  She was hounded mercilessly.  But these banshees?
Facebook blocked 800 sites yesterday because they had politically conservative bent, but this site is fine.  For those of you who have nothing to do Saturday night 10/20, Catland Books which claims it (is) Brooklyn’s premiere occult bookshop & spiritual community space is hosting a ritual to hex Brett Kavanaugh (Brooklyn has more than one occult bookshop & spiritual community space? Ah fuggedaboutit)

According to invite on the event’s Facebook page (see below), 1K witches have committed to the Hexing, and another 10K are interested. Which raises the question, if all those witches show up,  will they all wear black capes and pointed hats? If that happens, it will be challenging to figure out which witch is which. Even worse, if a spell is cast during this event, it will be even more challenging to figure out which witch successfully placed the hex, or in other worlds which witch is the bewitching witch.
Perhaps this is what lefties mean when they say "by any means necessary".

Saturday, October 13, 2018

How Does California Rank?

California used to be known as the Golden State.  People dreamed about coming here.

In steps US News and World Report, hardly a conservative magazine:
Policymakers have implemented a number of regulations over the past half-century to ensure a safe relationship between people and their environment. Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates air pollution. Similarly, the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act ensure that states properly dispose of pollutants at treatment plants and that public drinking water meets federal standards.

These laws not only help preserve the nation's natural resources, but they protect the public from harmful toxins and resulting health concerns that affect their quality of life.

In addition to a healthy environment, a person's quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them. Studies show that when people feel socially supported, they experience greater happiness, as well as physical and mental health.

North Dakota and Minnesota are the most effective at promoting their citizens' well-being by providing both a healthy environment and a sense of social connectedness. Other top states include Wisconsin, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Mississippi.
How does oh-so-progressive California rank?
#50 California
Oops. 

Update, 10/15/18:  The weather in San Diego is nice, so California has that going for it.  But what merits that poor ranking above?  Maybe it's something related to this:

Today California is creating a feudalized society characterized by the ultra-rich, a diminishing middle class and a large, rising segment of the population that is in or near poverty.Overall our state state now suffers one of the highest GINI rates — the ratio between the wealthiest and the poorest—among the states, and the inequality is growing faster than in almost any state outside the Northeast, notes liberal economist James Galbraith. The state’s level of inequality now is higher than that of Mexico, and closer to that of Central American banana republics like Guatemala and Honduras than it is to developed states like Canada and Norway.

California, adjusted for costs, has the overall highest poverty rate in the country, according to the United States Census Bureau. A recent United Way study showed that close to one in three of the state’s families are barely able to pay their bills. Overall, 8 million Californians live in poverty, including 2 million children, a number that according to a recent report, has risen since the Great Recession, despite the boom.

I Don't Care About Kanye, But Those Who Used To...

I remember when libs cheered the Kanye West who, on national tv, said "George Bush doesn't care about black people."  He later apologized.

I didn't care about Kanye West then, and I don't care about him now that he's friends with President Trump.  But people who did like him sure don't like that he left the plantation. Look what they're calling him:
This, right here, is exactly why being called a racist has pretty much lost its impact--because the people who usually call others racists constantly, repeatedly, and undeniably show themselves to be the racists.

To borrow a term from psychology, being a liberal means you're constantly projecting.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

You'd Think It Would Be Idiot-proof....

Our Integrated Math 1 students have to take a district benchmark test either this week or next, and I scheduled my school's students to take it this week.  It's given online in one of the zillion software packages that our district people think we teachers have time to learn but don't, and I had a district person out last week to show my department's IM1 teachers how to get to and administer the test.

I'd planned for today to be a dry run--the district types said that of course the kids would know their student ID numbers, would know how to log into Chromebooks, would know their district passwords, etc., but I knew better.  I scheduled "instruction" today--how to log in, how to take the test--with tomorrow being the actual test administration.  After they logged in they could take the practice test.

It took awhile, but eventually today I got all my students logged in and working.  Since it was just the practice test, I told them they could work together, show each other what they've figured out, etc.  Things started running smoothly, which gave me time to look at what I'd done setting up the test.

The kids weren't taking the practice test.  I mistakenly had them taking the actual benchmark test instead.

The best laid plans....

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Public Notices Universities Doing Stupid Things

Public faith in higher education is dropping, according to Gallup:
Gallup finds 48% of U.S. adults expressing "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in higher education this year, down from 57% in 2015. The decline is most evident among Republicans, whose confidence level has fallen by 17 percentage points, but Democrats and independents are also less confident now than they were three years ago...

Higher education has clearly become more politicized in Americans' eyes, consistent with trends in their opinions of the president, preferences on key issues, and trust in certain U.S. institutions. In the case of higher education, many Republicans believe colleges and universities are institutions that promote a liberal political agenda.
Examples here, along with a foretelling:
When taxpayers grow tired of subsidizing these schools because they see higher ed as a political-action tool for one party, we’ll be told it’s because of “anti-intellectualism.”

DNC Chairman Agrees With President Trump

Trump:
The truth is that the centrist Democratic Party is dead. The new Democrats are radical socialists who want to model America’s economy after Venezuela.

If Democrats win control of Congress this November, we will come dangerously closer to socialism in America. Government-run health care is just the beginning. Democrats are also pushing massive government control of education, private-sector businesses and other major sectors of the U.S. economy.
Perez:
Call it a Freudian slip at best, an unfortunate encounter with the truth at worst, with a top Democrat saying all the moderates have fled the party...

Speaking on MSNBC, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said “There are no moderate Democrats left…”
When people tell you something that makes themselves look bad, believe them.

We Work With Your Kids, But That Doesn't Make Us Saints

I don't find this hard to believe at all:
A large announcement sign at a middle school in North Carolina was photographed last weekend with the message “FUCK KAVANAUGH” on it, a reference to recently seated US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Blogger A.P. Dillon broke the news after a reader contacted her with an image of the South Charlotte Middle School sign. Dillon then contacted the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District … and was informed that the story was “fake news"...

Eventually, district officials admitted their mistake....
Who you gonna believe, district officials or your own lying eyes?

A Fortuitous Error

I caught a break at school today.

Our district pays for all sophomores and juniors to take the PSAT during school.  I was assigned as a proctor for that test, but no somehow no students were assigned to me!  Being a team player, though, I helped out as much as I could, putting out fires as the testing started.  After about a half an hour of running around, things calmed down, and then I had some time to catch up on work.  Nice!

After testing, classes began--which means that classes were only about 25 min long today.  Still, I was able to get some teaching and learning accomplished.

So what could have been a very crappy day ended up not being horrible, at least for me.  Under the circumstances I'll call it a victory!

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Current Liberal Tropes, and Crushing Them Beneath Your Sandled Feet

Liberals.  Sheesh.

They think President Trump is destroying democratic conventions?

What about discussing packing the Supreme Court?  Sure, put 12 justices on the Court next time you're in power.  The next time Republicans are in power, we'll put 15.  Genius solution, that.

What about suggesting that the Supreme Court is now illegitimate, or radical right-wing, because you don't like a new justice?
WE DON’T HAVE A “RADICAL RIGHT-WING SUPREME COURT,” despite lots of mewing on the left to the contrary. Here are some things that would be at the top of the list for a radical right-wing Court: (1) ban abortion nationwide as a violation of the right to life protected by the due process clause; (2) rule that publicly-provided (but not funded) education is unconstitutional because it inherently involves viewpoint discrimination by the government, or at least require vouchers for those who object to the public school curriculum; (3) overrule an 1898 precedent and completely abolish birthright citizenship; (4) Use the First Amendment as a sword to require “fairness” in the left-dominated media. Not only is the Supreme Court not about to do any of things, I don’t think any of these things would even get one vote on the current Court. Moreover, merely bringing the scope of Congress’s constitutional back to where it was, say, in 1935, which was already much broader than the original meaning of the Commerce power, probably wouldn’t get more than one or two votes. What you are looking at right now is a conservative Court that will only affect society on the margins, not a “radical right-wing” Court.

What about wanting to eliminate the Electoral College because it doesn't give you the results you want?
FUNNY ABOUT THAT: “Just 10 years ago Dems had the House, 60 person filibuster proof majority in the Senate, the WH, and for some reason there was no serious talk about changing the electoral college or about how unfair it is that small states get equal representation in the senate to large states.” link

What about all their violence?  At worst, President Trump says things that make lefties feel bad.  Talk to Congressman Scalise and Senator Paul about actual violence.  There is no one on the right promoting violence as are lefties, including leftie Congressmen and Senate staffers.  I don't hear anyone on the right defending Antifa's actions in Portland.

What about what Hillary Clinton actually said? "The first few seconds of this are key. Hillary says there can be no civility until the Democrats are back in power. That is the language of would-be totalitarians." link

Lefties like to project their own faults onto others.  Don't let them get away with it.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Violence

As I was reading this morning, a common theme kept recurring, violence.  First, dating violence:
A recent study has found that Canadian teen boys are more likely to be victims of physical dating violence, a disparity that has been documented — but rarely reported on — by researchers in other English-speaking countries...

Lead researcher Elizabeth Saewyc — a professor at the University of British Columbia —  told PJ Media on Sunday by phone that the difference in victimization is “small but statistically significant.”

For example: In 2003, boys were 2.6 percent more likely to report physical dating violence. In 2008, boys were 2.7 percent more likely to report dating violence. And in 2013, boys were 0.6 percent more likely to report physical violence from their partner.

“While it's a small difference because the overall percentages are fairly small, two or three percentage points might not seem significant. But when you look at that difference over thousands and thousands of high-school kids, it’s huge" Saewyc told PJ Media.

Boys are “50 percent more likely to report physical dating violence” said Saewyc, and that’s “a gap that has been more or less consistent for the last two decades.” While it’s a counterintuitive finding, Saewyc urged readers to put themselves in the place of teens.

"Think about how generally unacceptable for boys and young men to actually haul off and slap a girl. But for girls, there isn't the same social sanction for hitting a guy, whether they're dating or not,” said Saewyc.
It's wrong when guys hit girls, and it's just as wrong the other way around.

I thought Canadians were supposed to be nice and polite!  This guy sure isn't:
Jordan Hunt, the 26-year-old man accused of kicking a pro-life woman on Sunday, has been arrested. Toronto police announced Saturday that not only was he charged in that case, but he was also accused in a separate incident.

Hunt approached people protesting abortions, and began scribbling on their signs and clothing, police says. One of the protesters confronted him, and he allegedly kicked her in the shoulder, police said. In this account, it knocked the phone from her hand. He allegedly then ripped off a ribbon from her, and ran away.

Police said he surrendered to cops on Saturday. Officials didn’t name the alleged victim, but Marie-Claire Bissonnette said that was her. She claimed an unknown man crashed a pro-life demonstration, defaced two signs with markets, and scribbled on several participants. As seen on video, a woman confronts him. He brings up a hypothetical situation in which a 16-year-old girl gets pregnant by rape, and they argue over whether it’s justified for her to get an abortion. She says no, at which point, the man winds up, and apparently kicks her.

“I meant to kick her phone,” he says.
Oh, then it's completely ok.  Sheesh.

Then there's the completely made-up violence which now-Justice Kavanaugh was accused.  He wasn't actually guilty of it, but that doesn't matter to some lefties:
The goal posts on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh moved a little more during a massive anti-Kavanaugh protest outside a Federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. Thursday, organized by the Women's March. According to the group's Twitter account, an FBI report allegedly exonerating Kavanaugh of sexual assault charges is immaterial because it's clear Kavanaugh is "capable" of sexual assault.
Here's their own tweet:  "Kavanaugh was angry, vindictive, and hostile during his testimony about Dr. Blasey Ford’s allegations of attempted rape. We fully believe a man this belligerent and entitled is capable of sexual assault."

Used to be that sexual assault was a big deal.  It's such a big deal that the left thought they could make up accusations of it and derail now-Justice Kavanaugh.  If sexual assault, and accusations thereof, are such a big deal, you'd expect righteous anger from someone falsely accused.  That the left expected now-Justice Kavanaugh to just sit there and take it, accept false accusations without any hint of emotion, tells me that they must not think sexual assault is a very big deal.  (Aside:  had he shown no emotion at all, they'd have said that was evidence that he was guilty.  No-win scenario.) 

A comment at the last link above pretty much hits the nail on the head:  "Why is women's anger considered righteous and appropriate and men's anger considered potentially criminal?"  I'm sure the left's answer is "Because shut up."

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Democratic Hypocrisy re: The FBI


This Continues To Happen Partly Because Liberals Are Insane, Partly Because No One Has Had To Pay A Penalty Yet

Lock him up:
The former Democratic congressional staffer who posted personal information about Republican senators online faces nearly 50 years in prison.

Jackson Cosko, a 27-year-old Washington, D.C., resident, was arrested Wednesday by U.S. Capitol Police when he was caught sneaking into the offices of Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., after 10 p.m. Tuesday and using an aide’s computer and log-in.

He was charged with five federal offenses: making public restricted personal information, making threats in interstate commerce, unauthorized access of a government computer, identity theft, and witness tampering...

From August until his arrest, Cosko worked as an unpaid fellow (note:  a fellow is very different from an intern) with the office of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, which said it ended his fellowship and is cooperating in the investigation.

Prior to that, he worked for roughly 17 months as an aide to Hassan and before that was employed by former Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. According to an affidavit, five U.S. senators’ restricted personal information was posted on Wikipedia.com by Cosko.

The investigation began on Sept. 27 when it was found the Wikipedia pages of three U.S. senators had been edited to include restricted personal information without their knowledge or permission — information that included home addresses and personal telephone numbers.

Three edits took place nearly in parallel with the high-stakes Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 
The only reason to post such information is to encourage harassment, intimidation, and violence.  We used to stand against that in this country, but half of the political divide--that wants power by any means necessary, to use their own term--has decided that hatred and political violence are fair game in pursuing their temper tantrum.  Their lies, and they have been manifest, have failed to gain traction and work--Russian collusion, anyone?--and screaming into the sky doesn't give them the validation they need.

What they should remember is that the violence they are trying to provoke could cause our streets to run red with blood--and it's my side of the political spectrum that has most of the firearms, and the training to use them well.  They think their provocations will continue with impunity, they'd better hope they're right.

Mobs aren't good for anyone.  Even liberals used to believe that.

Update:  Have you no decency at all?  I remember, as recently as the last presidential administration, when a politician's children were supposed to be off limits:
The former aide was reportedly confronted by a staffer after being caught using a computer in Hassan’s office that he “was not authorized to use,” according to Fox News.

According to Capitol Police Captain Jason Bell’s sworn statement, as reported by Fox News, Cosko walked out after being confronted by the witness, who then called police. The witness then reportedly received an email from “livefreeorpwn@gmail.com” several hours later that said, “If you tell anyone I will leak it all. Emails signal conversations gmails. Senators children’s health information and socials.”
Lock him up.

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Frivolous lawsuits are the worst.  I sometimes think we should have a system whereby if you lose a lawsuit, and the judge or jury thinks your lawsuit was frivolous and/or just out of spite, you should be required to pay the winner's legal bills. 
What was supposed to be one man’s special day at Disney World turned out to be less than magical.

Marc Rubin, 57, who was visiting from New York, had plans to propose to his girlfriend in front of Cinderella’s Castle, but things went awry when he got into an altercation with a park employee who asked he move from the parade route.
Rubin blocks the parade route, is asked to move, cops an attitude, and 3 years later decides to sue?  How about this?
Rubin was escorted to the park’s security office and later arrested and charged. He had planned to propose at the conclusion of the night’s festivities.
Maybe, if you're going to propose to someone, you don't act like as ass.  It's just a suggestion.

Democrats FAILED

I don't "believe the woman", I believe the evidence.  Or lack thereof.

Democrats seriously overplayed their hand.  Their politics of personal destruction failed, and another good justice will soon sit on the Supreme Court.  It shouldn't be too long before Ginsburg is gone, and if that happens soon enough, President Trump will get a 3rd justice.

I wonder if many of the protesters believed what they spouted.  It's just as likely to me that they said whatever they needed to in order to win by any means necessary.  Yes, Judge Kavanaugh paid a heavy price, but he still won.  And they still lost.

And I like knowing that.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Ditch Admissions For A Lottery

If we're going to get rid of any objective standard and just let people into our universities willy-nilly, why go through the charade of an admissions process at all? Why not just have a lottery system?
California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White said Wednesday that he has asked academic leaders to study whether the SAT and ACT are valid predictors of student success, raising hopes that the nation’s largest public university system will ultimately drop standardized test scores as admission requirements.

Several studies have found that the tests do not accurately predict whether students can do well in college. Critics also argue that they place low-income students who can’t afford expensive test prep at a competitive disadvantage. Those concerns have prompted a growing list of more than 1,000 colleges and universities — including the University of Chicago — that have made the tests optional.
I'm not convinced that these tests should predict "student success", as there's a lot that happens to a person between taking such tests as a high school senior and graduating from college.  These tests used to be very strong predictors of academic success freshman year, has that changed?

But it's hard to take the given rationale seriously when you read outright lies like this:
 “We do focus on being inclusive rather than exclusive,” White said after an appearance Wednesday at Cal State Northridge. “There is a lot of evidence that [standardized testing] has a bias against students based on their demographics. There’s no doubt about that."
Really?  No doubt about that?   That's not even close to accurate.  The tests aren't biased against (black and Hispanic) students based on their demographics, the student's preparation, background, education, etc, are biased against them.  Because they're not as well prepared as upper-middle-class white and Asian kids.  It sickens me that I'm paying the salary of someone who pretends to think otherwise--or worse, who actually believes it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

A Colossal Waste of Taxpayer Money

On the radio on my drive home tonight I heard California's attorney general bragging about promoting "progressive values" in the 44 lawsuits he's filed against the Trump Administration.  These lawsuits have so far cost California taxpayers $12 million.  The major Sacramento newspaper has the details:
California’s war against the Trump Administration is costing state taxpayers millions for lawyers and other costs connected to nearly four dozen lawsuits.

Costs to fight the federal government in court have more than tripled since President Donald Trump took office, according to data provided to The Sacramento Bee by the California Department of Justice.

California has filed 44 lawsuits against the Trump administration in the past 21 months, with major battles on health care, immigration and energy policy. The federal government, meanwhile, has filed three suits against California. The price tag for the California vs. Trump war was $9.2 million for the 2017-2018 fiscal year ending June 30, up from $2.8 million the previous year — which included six months of the president’s first year in office...

“We are the No. 1 economy in the country, large enough that we’ve become the fifth largest in the world. That happens because we made investments — we made decisions which others have been unwilling to make,” Becerra said. “Our prosperity is intertwined with our progressive nature.”

But Republican leaders and taxpayer advocates say the lawsuits amount to a political stunt and a waste of taxpayer money.

“Just because California and its Democratic leaders disagree with something the president or his administration does, that doesn’t mean the courts are the place to have that disagreement,” said Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney and committeewoman for the Republican National Committee. “Xavier Becerra is misusing the courts to score political points.

“Not only is this a massive waste of taxpayer resources, but every time he files one of these frivolous lawsuits, that takes federal resources and court time — that means less time for immigration cases, business disputes, trademark cases, asylum cases.”
I disagree that this is the same thing as when Republican attorneys general filed suit against the Obama Administration, especially against the EPA. I view those as legitimate concerns about federal overreach, whereas these California cases are, as shown by the attorney general's own words, about his own "progressive nature".
Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, said the spending reflects poorly on Democratic leaders, who hold all constitutional offices in California.

“These lawsuits, including some of the more complicated ones, represent little more than political posturing by California politicians,” Coupal said. “Compared to the $120 billion state general fund, it may not seem like much, but it’s symbolic of an attitude of waste and foolish pursuits by our state government officials.”
Pretty much, yeah.