Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Online Math History Exhibit

The Washington Post provides an over view here:

The exhibition is a collaboration between the National Museum of Mathematics in New York and tech company Wolfram Research and was funded by the Overdeck Family Foundation. It features over 70 artifacts and goes back a whopping 4,000 years to the earliest days of counting and computation.

The actual exhibit is here.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Models, or Curve Fitting?

If you fit a parabola to a data set, you're going to get a parabola.  If you fit a logarithm curve to a data set, you're going to get a log curve.  If you're curve fitting, your own assumptions dictate the final results--and probably won't predict the future:

Climate change prophecy hangs its hat on computer climate models. The models have gigantic problems. According to Kevin Trenberth, once in charge of modeling at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, “[None of the] models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate [of the Earth].” The models can’t properly model the Earth’s climate, but we are supposed to believe that, if carbon dioxide has a certain effect on the imaginary Earths of the many models it will have the same effect on the real earth.

The climate models are an exemplary representation of confirmation bias, the psychological tendency to suspend one’s critical facilities in favor of welcoming what one expects or desires. Climate scientists can manipulate numerous adjustable parameters in the models that can be changed to tune a model to give a “good” result. Technically, a good result would be that the climate model output can match past climate history. But that good result competes with another kind of good result. That other good result is a prediction of a climate catastrophe. That sort of “good” result has elevated the social and financial status of climate science into the stratosphere...

Testing a model against past history and assuming that it will then predict the future is a methodology that invites failure. The failure starts when the modeler adds more adjustable parameters to enhance the model. At some point, one should ask if we are fitting a model or doing simple curve fitting. If the model has degenerated into curve fitting, it very likely won’t have serious predictive capability.

A strong indicator that climate models are well into the curve fitting regime is the use of ensembles of models. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) averages together numerous models (an ensemble), in order to make a projection of the future. Asked why they do this rather than try to pick the best model, they say that the ensemble method works better. Why would averaging worse models with the best model make the average better than the best? This is contrary to common sense. But according to the mathematics of curve fitting, if different methods of fitting the same (multidimensional) data are used, and each method is independent but imperfect, averaging together the fits will indeed give a better result. It works better because there is a mathematical artifact coming from having too many adjustable parameters that allow the model to fit nearly anything.

One may not be surprised that the various models disagree dramatically, one with another, about the Earth’s climate, including how big the supposed global warming catastrophe will be. But no model, except perhaps one from Russia, denies the future catastrophe.

Read the whole thing.

Politicians Are Mostly Scumbags

Hypocrites are some of the worst people of all, which means politicians are some of the worst people of all:

Video montage of Democrat politicians expressing vaccine hesitancy for partisan reasons last year. Today, many Democrat politicians accuse vaccine skeptics or critics as people who want to kill others.

Video at the link. 

And let's not forget:

Last year, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris repeatedly undermined confidence in and questioned the safety of COVID-19 vaccines that were being developed under Operation Warp Speed.

Tuition And Fees Refund for Online Classes?

I hope Columbia isn't the last school to get hit for trying to keep their students' money and not providing everything the students paid for:

Columbia University has agreed to pay $12.5 million to resolve a lawsuit seeking tuition and fee reimbursements in the wake of coronavirus-spurred campus closures, according to a settlement proposal filed in New York federal court...

At least 261 lawsuits have been filed against U.S. colleges and universities over their alleged failure to refund tuition and fees when the pandemic forced them into remote learning, according to the law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

I'm curious how much that $12.5 million is per student.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The Oceans Will Rise, Or Heat Up, Or Something

Barack told us the oceans would rise--then bought a mansion near the ocean.  Nancy has just purchased a huge mansion near the coast in Florida.  Hypocrisy is a strong suit of lefties--as evidenced by all their private jets whenever there's a global warming conference.

Much of the leftie media screams about global warming, too...

I have often posted that the models used to tie man to climate change were not only bogus but impossible to be correct. There is no way for the model designers to understand all the factors influencing Earth’s climate. A new report proves that the climate models are wrong—it was big news and CNN even reported it. Of course, they chose to report it on Thanksgiving when people aren’t following the news. questioning climate change models.

CNN is still called a news network, although it’s an incorrect description. The network decided that a bombshell report that questions anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change and the models that we are currently using to guide policy and funding should be reported on Thanksgiving Day. When people watch football, the first wave of Christmas specials, or stuffing their faces with turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and other food goodies.

On Wednesday, the journal Science Advances published a new study of Arctic water temperature that has determined that the warming has been occurring decades earlier than the “scientific consensus” had believed.

CNN reports that the study found that “the expansion of warm Atlantic Ocean water flowing into the Arctic, a phenomenon known as ‘Atlantification,’ has caused Arctic water temperature in the region studied to increase by around 2 degrees Celsius since 1900.” 

And just about yearly we get stories like this:

More than two dozen cargo vessels are stuck in Russia’s Arctic ice, waiting for ice-breakers to come to their rescue, after an inaccurate forecast from the country’s Met Office.

Maritime traffic in the Northern Sea Route has been on the rise in recent years as rapidly warming winters reduce ice cover, and Russia invests in its Arctic ports in preparation for a further boom.

But this year several segments of the Northern Sea Route froze up about a fortnight earlier than usual, catching many ships unawares.

 When the facts contradict your expectations, believe the facts.

Media Truthiness


Thursday, November 25, 2021

Do We Discover Math or Do We Invent It?

Math explains so much of the universe to us that I can't help but think it's an integral part of the universe, a part we merely discover.  However, our math would be different if we used a different number basis, for example, so I think we discover the underlying math and interpret it in a way that makes sense to us.

Many people think that mathematics is a human invention. To this way of thinking, mathematics is like a language: it may describe real things in the world, but it doesn't 'exist' outside the minds of the people who use it.

But the Pythagorean school of thought in ancient Greece held a different view. Its proponents believed reality is fundamentally mathematical.

More than 2,000 years later, philosophers and physicists are starting to take this idea seriously.

As I argue in a new paper, mathematics is an essential component of nature that gives structure to the physical world.  link

Is It Legal to Tie The Hands of Law Enforcement This Way?

Here in the capital city of the Demokratic Peoples Republik of Kalifornia, lawsuits like this occur:

In a distressing sign of the times, the official elected to enforce the law in a major U.S. County is being sued for transferring illegal immigrant criminals to federal authorities. Collaborating with the feds—rather than releasing illegal alien offenders back into the community—compounds racial disparities in the policing, immigration, and criminal justice systems, in which black and Latinx communities are disproportionately targeted for arrest, detention, and deportation. At least that is what the leftist civil rights group that filed the lawsuit this week claims. The scary part is that the local law enforcement agency will probably lose the legal battle because the entire state is a sanctuary for illegal immigrants and official measures have been enacted to protect the undocumented from deportation.

The defendant in the case is Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, currently serving his third term as the top cop in the central California county of around 1.6 million that includes the state’s capitol. Jones and his agency are accused of violating California sanctuary laws by reporting illegal immigrants jailed for committing local crimes to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) upon completing their sentence. The offenders are eligible to return to their home and communities in the U.S. but instead are enduring a “cruel double punishment,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney, Sean Riordan, who filed the complaint on behalf of the illegal immigrants. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s “anti-immigrant agenda” harms communities, the ACLU lawyer asserts.

The ACLU lost any credibility a couple decades ago.  


Having rules you can't or won't enforce only breeds contempt for all other rules--and seriously, who is going to abide by this one?


Will anyone's behavior be altered by this so-called mandate?

Even if you've supported the crazy rules, requirements, and mandates of the last year and a half, you have to admit that this jumps the shark.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

I'm Not Catholic

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Catholic.  

During my last visit to Rome I had mixed feelings about the Catholic Church.  For the first few hundred years of their church, they were the underdog--I stood in a small room in a catacomb that once held the remains of 5 popes.  Of course, the popes back then bore no resemblance to what popes eventually became--they were just the head of the church in Rome.  Still, I have a soft spot in my heart for underdogs.

Then they got power, and Western Europe had a millenium and a half of domination by the Catholic Church.  Historically they often destroyed what they didn't assimilate--the only reason the Pantheon still exists is because it was converted to a Catholic church.  There are ancient Egyptian obelisks scattered throughout Rome, and Roman (Empire) ceremonial columns--that have crosses on the top, so the Catholics could tolerate the heathen history in their capital city.

And to be charitable, the history of the Catholic Church isn't one of peace, love, harmony, and tolerance.

So yes, I have mixed feelings about the Catholic Church.  But when I went inside St. Peter's Basilica, I was so in awe that I briefly entertained the thought of converting.

When I was 11 I saw Pope Paul VI.  He was standing in a window in the Vatican, blessing the throng below in St. Peter's Square.  I was a bit young to know anything about him other than he was some form of celebrity.

I liked JP2 and Benedict, I'm not much of a fan of Francis.  Then again, I didn't get to vote for any of them.

All of that serves as a lead-in to this article: Who Hated Pope John Paul II More — Sinead O’Connor or the Jesuits?

Fr. Mankowski is in full force in “Liberal Jesuits and the Late Pope,” an essay in Jesuit at Large that was originally published after the death of John Paul II in 2005. In it Fr. Mankowski unmasks the raw hatred that leftist Jesuit priests had for John Paul II. Fr. Mankowski describes the 1992 Saturday Night Live show where singer Sinead O’Connor tore up a picture of John Paul II and cried out, “Fight the real enemy!”

Most people who saw the incident, Fr. Mankowski writes, were shocked. “I wasn’t. I’m a Jesuit, you see.”

I haven't fact-checked any of this, but it was a shocking read.

Slide Rule In the News

I love slide rules.  They are one of the most impressive non-electronic inventions of the last half-millenium.  I don't have a K&E, which is supposed to be the gold standard of slide rules, but I do have a Lafayette that's older than I am.  I also have an Isaac Asimov book on how to use slide rules (see below for almost-entertaining vignette).

As a former Army Air Defender, I like stories about military aircraft--after all, I trained to shoot them down.  So when I saw this story about Russian "fighter pilots" using slide rules, I thought I should give it a read.

Something wasn't right, though.  Read the first few paragraphs, did you catch any errors?

In the tense skies over Central Europe, where Russian and U.S. planes patrol opposite sides of the Belarus–Poland border, Russian military video shows their pilots using slide rules — raising the risk of accidental collisions or other midair tragedies.

Slide rules, which perform multiplication and division, and can calculate different logarithmic scales, largely disappeared from U.S. military bases and college classrooms in the early 1970s, replaced by pocket calculators. That’s why it’s surprising to see the Russians using them in 2021 while traveling hundreds of miles per hour, thousands of feet above a violent border dispute.

In the video, shot aboard a Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bomber and released by the Russian Ministry of Defense, a crew member appears to operate a slide rule for a calculation. The incident took place on Nov. 11 during “patrols” in which the nuclear bombers were escorted by a pair of Su-30SM fighters of the Belarusian Air Force, the ministry said in a statement.

First, a strategic bomber is not a fighter.  Additionally, the person using the slide rule is clearly not the pilot.  And later in the article, the "slide rule" referenced by the Air Force Academy spokesperson is not a mathematical slide rule, but a "slide-rule-style flight computer".  *sigh*

Gotta love civilian journalists.

Vignette:  At the first school at which I taught, staff meetings were held in the library.  During one such meeting my attention wandered to the nearby books, including an Asimov book on slide rules.  I looked through it and noticed that the last time it had been checked out, it was due on my 10th birthday.  It was copyrighted the year I was born.  After the meeting I took it to the librarian and asked if I could check it out, and she just coded the book out of inventory and gave it to me.  A book does no good in a library if no one checks it out.

What Possible Reason...

Is there a legitimate reason for this?

Joe Biden’s Department of Education is seeking to roll back a Trump-era effort to collect data on teacher-on-student sex crimes.

“The department’s Office for Civil Rights will not ask school districts questions regarding teacher-on-student sexual assault allegations as part of its 2021-2022 Civil Rights Data Collection, proposed Thursday,” reports the Washington Free Beacon. According to an Education Department spokesman, the change is designed to “reduce burden and duplication of data,” but not everyone is buying that explanation...

Districts will still be asked to document cases of rape and sexual assault to the Department of Education, but not pending cases or allegations that resulted in the resignation, reassignment, or retirement of the accused teacher.

Got Your Goat

The best laid plans:

West Point cadets attempting to nab the U.S. Naval Academy's mascot ahead of the annual Army-Navy football game ended up grabbing a different goat, according to a report.

U.S. Military Academy cadets traveled this weekend to a farm near Annapolis, Maryland, that is home to Navy mascot Bill, who belongs to a long line of goat mascots with the same name. Cadets gave chase to the spooked goats. And instead of grabbing Bill No. 37, they came away with Bill No. 34, a one-horned, 14-year-old retiree, according to The New York Times...

"The U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy are disappointed by the trust that was broken recently between our brothers and sisters in arms. These actions do not reflect either academy's core values of dignity and respect," read a prepared statement attributed to superintendents Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams and Vice Adm. Sean Buck.

I've become less and less impressed with Darryl Williams, but at least there's a reason for signing on to that statement:

Nabbing mascots is a decades-long service academy tradition, typically viewed by the perpetrators as a prank. But it has been officially off-limits since the early 1990s.

It was sort-of expected back in my day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Off To The Camps

First they came for the people with 'rona, but I didn't have 'rona, so I said nothing:

The Australian army has begun forcibly removing residents in the Northern Territories to the Howard Springs quarantine camp located in Darwin, after nine new Covid-19 cases were identified in the community of Binjari. The move comes after hard lockdowns were instituted in the communities of both Binjari and nearby Rockhole on Saturday night.

What has happened to Australia?  They used to be a freedom-loving people.

Monday, November 22, 2021

This One Was Actually Funny

An SNL skit:  Republican or Not?

Did He Offer Them Candy, Too, Or Let Them See His Puppy?

What kind of sicko is this?

Parents protested before the North Kingstown School District in Rhode Island on Tuesday after administrators withheld reports of the school's basketball coach having student athletes strip naked to conduct "fat tests" behind closed doors.

Basketball coach Aaron Thomas resigned in February just before North Kingstown High School planned to terminate him, WPRI reports.

Parents turned out last night to express outrage over North Kingston School District’s handling of a coach who reportedly made students strip so he can conduct “naked fat tests” on them.

They apparently covered it up since 2018.

Friday, November 19, 2021


Do governments work for the people, or do the people live at the whim of governments?  It's an important question to ask:

Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said Friday that the country will go into a national lockdown to contain a fourth wave of coronavirus cases.

Schallenberg said the lockdown will start Monday and initially last for 10 days. Most stores will close, and cultural events will be canceled...

Starting on Feb. 1, the country will also make vaccinations mandatory, public broadcaster ORF reported.

A political conservative will answer my question one way, a lib will answer it the opposite way.

Standing Up To The Mob

A year ago, Kyle Rittenhouse stood against a mob.  Today, 12 more stood against a mob when the jury found him not guilty of all counts--standing up against those outside threatening violence, and despite being followed and photographed earlier in the trial.

And the president, the person who is sworn to uphold the Constitution and ensure the laws are faithfully executed, showed what a truly despicable person he is.

I understand the governor of Wisconsin had 500 national guardsmen on the streets of Kenosha in anticipation of the verdict.  If he'd have done that a year ago, none of this would have been necessary.

Kyle Rittenhouse is a good American who was forced to endure a political show trial to appease rioters and racists.  Screw all of them--and if fires start burning in cities tonight, screw them even more.  One of the primary functions of government is to maintain the peace and protect property, and if they won't do it, someone should.

I'll be honest, I thought the jury might cave to the mob and find him guilty of at least one count.  That they didn't speaks well to their integrity and character.

Today was a good day for justice.

Update:  Instapundit says it well:

Of course, the real responsibility is that of politicians and law enforcement who let armed lefty thugs rampage at will in the streets, necessitating self-defense by people who had every right to expect the government to stand between them and the thugs. This is malfeasance, and in a just world those officials would be on trial.

If you don’t want people taking guns into scenes of civil unrest, then don’t pull police out and leave citizens to fend for themselves in scenes of civil unrest.

Update #2, 11/20/21:  Was this man let off the hook--in Florida, no less!--because of his skin color, or because he wasn't guilty?

Some details:

A jury found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty on all accounts on Friday afternoon. On the same day as the Rittenhouse acquittal, another young man who claimed he fired a gun in self-defense was also found not guilty of murder.

“A jury found Andrew ‘A.J.’ Coffee IV, 27, not guilty of second-degree felony murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer by discharging a firearm, and one count of shooting or throwing a deadly missile,” the TC Palm reported on Friday.

Around 5 a.m. on March 19, 2017, at least 14 law enforcement officers — including SWAT team members in camouflage pants and shirts with “SWAT” on the sleeve — arrived at the home in Gifford, Florida. The shooter’s father, Andrew Coffee III, reportedly opened the front door to the house and was taken into custody by officers, according to Vero News.

Before entering the house, deputies yelled, “sheriff’s office search warrant,” according to witness statements from deputies.

“Coffee IV told the court he was asleep at the time the SWAT team arrived,” the TC Palm reported. “He woke up and thought he was being robbed. Coffee said he saw what appeared to be a rifle sticking through an open bedroom window pointed at him. That’s when he fired a .45-caliber pistol out of the window, shooting two or three times.”

Deputies returned fire with more than a dozen rounds shot towards the bedroom, according to court records. Andrew’s 21-year-old girlfriend, Alteria Woods, was killed after reportedly being struck by 10 bullets fired by the SWAT team, including one bullet that entered her chest. 

I don't support such raids by police.   Too much can, and often does, go wrong.  Looks like justice went 2-0 here.

There's more, though:

The younger Coffee was acquitted of all of the murder charges after claiming he fired in self-defense. However, he was found guilty of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon. Coffee — who has four felony convictions — faces a maximum prison term of 30 years at his sentencing on Jan. 13.

If you're in fear for your life, self-defense is a legitimate plea. 

Update #3, 11/21/20:  Maybe such stupidity works for those who don't know any history, but for those of us who do, I'd say the NAACP president jumped the shark with this comment:

On Friday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson stated that Kyle Rittenhouse’s acquittal “was an injustice. This was worse than the Emmett Till trial.”

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Facts About Slavery They Don't Teach You In School

From Thomas Sowell:

If you want to talk about slavery, at least know what you're talking about--and Thomas Sowell does.

F*** Joe Biden Flag at School

I agree with the sentiment.  I have nothing but contempt for Biden and his Administration. 

Having said that, foul language in public is not something I can support.  Neither is foul language by students.  As I wrote regarding the "Bong Hits For Jesus" case, such language and behavior is not appropriate at school:
In a demonstration meant to honor U.S. military veterans, students in Paso Robles High School’s Conservative Club waved flags on campus for several hours — including one that said “F--- Biden.”
Although most of the flags displayed by students on Nov. 10, the day before Veterans Day, were traditional star-spangled American flags, others included the one with the profanity-laced slogan, at least one “Trump 2020” flag and a Gadsden flag featuring a snake and the words “Don’t Tread on Me” on a bright yellow background.
Trump 2020 and Gadsden are ok.  Foul language is not.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Canada? This Already Happens In My California School District.

This is happening in Canada:

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) will allow students to "make their own decisions about their gender identity and expressions" at school without their parents' knowledge...

The email states that parents or guardians "do not have to be involved" in their childrens' new identities. Parents will be able to see any changes to a student's chosen name or gender marker.

Oh, those wacky Canucks, you say.  No one would do anything so crazy here in the good ole U.S. of A., would they?

Buckle up, because here it's worse.  It's not ethical to keep information about their children from parents, but it's the law in many places--California among them. 

Did you know that if a student wants to leave school for a "medical procedure" (that's a euphemism for abortion, BTW), not only are we required to let the minor leave school, but we're not allowed to tell the parents even that the student left school?  We don't let kids get tattoos, and we can't even give a kid an aspirin for a headache, but we are required let them make such decisions without parental input, permission, or even knowledge.

Also, if a child wants to go by a different name and gender at school, not only are we required to comply with such silliness, but we are not allowed to let parents know this.  In fact, if involved in a parent conference, we're required to hoodwink the parents by referring to the child with the name/gender the parent thinks is the case so as not to "out" the child.

We expect parents to be responsible for their children, we want them to be "partners in their children's education", but we withhold from them information about their minor children so that someone else's political beliefs can be satisfied.

This is execrable.

Update, 11/18/21:  Seen on Instagram:


Update #2, 11/19/21Sue the district?  Not a bad idea, but what if it's state law--then who do you sue?

A Wisconsin school district is facing a lawsuit from the parents of a 12-year-old female student after they stated that would be using a male name and pronouns for the young student expressing gender dysphoria, despite objections from the parents.

They're.not.our.kids.  They're their parents' kids.

This Is What A Domestic Terrorist At A School Board Meeting Sounds Like

"Threatening" to vote people out of office for imposing their political beliefs on your children isn't the sign of a domestic terrorist, Merrick Garland.  This is:

Malikk Austin turned to address parents who had expressed their discontent over Critical Race Theory (CRT) pedagogy being taught in the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) during the public comment portion of the meeting, according to video footage of the incident.

“For those who got an issue with this critical race theory, equity it’s something I fought for my children,” Austin said to meeting attendees. “How dare you come out from here and talk about the things that my daddy and my grandparents went through, the lynching, the oppression, Jim Crow. My kids are still being afflicted by this. How dare you come off in here and challenge me on critical race theory"...

“Look at the word racism, this is something deliberately done to people of African descent to shackle us down, this hate, fear-mongering ain’t gonna work no more,” Austin added. “It’s over with, we are not our ancestors. I got over 1,000 soldiers ready to go"...

Onlookers and attendees continued to engage with Austin, when a school board member repeated “One and done.” Austin was then escorted out by officers while he shouted “I’ll bring my soldiers with me next time … locked and loaded.”

Monday, November 15, 2021

Kids Haven't Changed

Adults get soft and give in to kids (and/or their parents), that's how things have gotten so bad at school:

Sunday, November 14, 2021

It Was Real

Thursday morning I hitched up the trailer and headed up to Lake Tahoe for some camping, returning home yesterday.  It was a magnificent respite.

It usually takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours to drive there from home, but there was work going on that required many stretches of Highway 50 to be reduced to one-way, so it took 3 1/2 to 4 hours to get there.  What was this work, you might ask?  Tree removal.  Burned tree removal.

One of those horrific fires we all heard about this past summer burned through a lot of the El Dorado National Forest and made its way to the Tahoe Valley, some of the most beautiful (and expensive) real estate in the country.  There were very real fears that the fire, once cresting Echo Summit, would burn its way down the mountains and right up to the lake itself.  Fortunately, it didn't get down into the valley, but the Lake Tahoe area was evacuated.

I had to drive through a lot of burned area to get to Tahoe.  We were stopped a lot so that one-way traffic could get past a work area, and the damage was visible and bad.  Here would be a wall of burned, cut, and stacked trees, and there would be the remains of someone's cabin--the stone chimney remained standing, with warped corrugated aluminum from the roof covering ashes.  Here you'd see a scorched propane tank for a cabin, and there--there would be a complete cabin, seemingly untouched by the fire that charred all that was around it.  Much like a tornado, the damage was devastating, but once in awhile you'd see a completely freestanding cabin amidst all the other ruins, completely unharmed by the inferno that obviously raged all around it.  

Will we ever allow small fires to burn, or clear underbrush, so that these huge fires don't do so much damage?  Hard to say.

Woke Math

The author of this piece solicited my input but I didn't see or respond to her email until the I got home from work, which was too late.  Still, I think she did pretty good!

According to California's draft "Mathematics Framework," math is not just a "neutral discipline"; it also can be used to promote equity and "social justice."

Call it "Woke Math."

The authors mean well. They want to close the achievement gap between white and Black and Latino students. But they're doing it the wrong way. They're trying to close the gap by pretending that math -- a discrete discipline forged on the purity of numbers -- can be taught like English or political science.

If California approves the framework, expect it to be a guide for textbooks used across the land. This is what it looks like.

It was shelved until next year--but they'll try it again next year.

Thursday, November 11, 2021


Dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks Kamala Harris asks a NASA representative about trees:

Vice President Kamala Harris asked NASA if it could use its satellites to track trees “by race” in various neighborhoods as part of “environmental justice” during a recent display on climate change, leading many to ridicule the vice president online and even giving rise to a “Black Trees Matter” hashtag.

You don't believe it?  Believe your lyin' eyes:

That came immediately to mind as I read this article:

A landmark report conducted by University of Michigan environmental sociologist Dorceta Taylor in 2014 warned of the “arrogance” of white environmentalists when they introduce green initiatives to black and brown communities. One black  environmental professional Taylor interviewed for the report, Elliot Payne, described experiences where green groups “presumed to know what’s best” for communities of color without including them in the decision-making and planning processes.

“I think a lot of the times it stems from the approach of oh we just go out and offer tree plantings or engaging in an outdoor activity, and if we just reach out to them they will come,” Payne told Taylor.

In fact, this is exactly what was happening in Detroit at the time that Taylor’s report came out. In 2014, the city was a few years deep into a campaign to reforest its streets after decades of neglecting to maintain its depleted tree canopy. A local environmental nonprofit called The Greening of Detroit was the city’s official partner for carrying out that reforesting task, which it had started doing on its own when it was founded in 1989. By 2014, TGD had received additional funding to ramp up its tree-planting services to the tune of 1,000 to 5,000 new trees per year. To meet that goal, it had to penetrate neighborhoods somewhat more aggressively than it had in the past and win more buy-in from the residents.

The tree-planters met stiff resistance: Roughly a quarter of the 7,500 residents they approached declined offers to have new trees planted in front of their homes. It was a high enough volume of rejections for such an otherwise valuable service that University of Vermont researcher Christine E. Carmichael wanted to know the reasons behind it. 

The reason?

The residents Carmichael surveyed understood the benefits of having trees in urban environments—they provide shade and cooling, absorb air pollution, especially from traffic, increase property values, and improve health outcomes. But the reasons Detroit folks were submitting “no tree requests” were rooted in how they have historically interpreted their lived experiences in the city, or what Carmichael calls “heritage narratives.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

America's Nine Political Tribes

I don't know how accurate this is, but it struck a chord with me nonetheless:

U.S. voters are segmented into nine political tribes - four that lean left, four that lean right, and the 'stressed sideliners' who have a minimal interest in politics - according to a report released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center.

Pew surveyed 10,221 adults this July, but has been conducting interviews  with respondents since January 2020. 

While partisan polarization remained high, the research also showed that there are divisions within both the Democrats and the Republicans - as members' views vary on issues including racial justice, abortion, taxes and the future role of former President Donald Trump

Of all the groups, I identify most closely with the committed conservatives.  However, one of the comments got my attention and made a salient point that I had missed upon my first reading of the article:

Gotta love how there was alot of negative descriptions on the conservative side, but hardly any descriptions other than "educated and intelligent" on the liberal side.

Take this article with a grain of salt.  YMMV.

Veterans Day Discounts

If we veterans really wanted to, we could eat free all day.

Of course, that's not why we joined the military, but it's a nice thank you from many companies across the country.  Here are some of them.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Voting Fraud

The left tries to tell us there's no such thing as voter fraud, but some beg to differ:

Hans von Spakovsky and John Fund have teamed to write an emotionless history of voter fraud, filled with recent examples, especially in the 2020 election, and based on the Heritage Foundation’s election fraud database.

In Our Broken Elections: How the Left Changed the Way You Vote , the duo with three decades of voting study between them highlighted the 1,334 cases of fraud and 1,147 criminal convictions Heritage has collected dating to the 1982 conviction of 63 involved in a scheme to stuff 100,000 extra ballots in an Illinois gubernatorial primary.

Evidence is a wonderful thing, but it won't convince the lefties.

Monday, November 08, 2021

It's Coming To A School Near You

You can be struthious all you want, but this will be at your or your kid's school soon enough:

Columbia University released a video stating that "intentionally misgendering someone" is against the Ivy League university's nondiscrimination policy, which could lead to an employee being dismissed.

The video, titled "Why Pronouns Matter," was uploaded to Columbia University's official YouTube account and explained how "using correct pronouns is a way to respect those around you."

"Intentionally misgendering someone by refusing to use the correct pronouns or name is a violation of the Columbia University nondiscrimination policy," the video stated. "Words matter. Even unintentional errors can create challenges."

It's a good thing I don't use gendered language, I used biological-sexxed language.

Here's the thing about pronouns--except for "you", which is non-gendered/unisex, pronouns are used in the 3rd person:  HE did a good job.  (You) give that to HER.  In other words, the person being referred to with the pronoun is not part of the conversation, and you don't get to dictate how I refer to you to other people.

As Bill Maher said in a video I posted a few days ago:  "You can try to change reality by changing the words, but you can't.  It just stops you from dealing with it."  Pretty much nailed it, Bill.

This attempt to control your thought and speech won't stop at Columbia.  It's coming to your kid's school, you watch.

Hot On The Tails Of Our Local Commie

California is one of the bluest of the blue states, and teachers are some of the bluest of California's blue.  Recently a local commie teacher was outed and fired, and now we get another nearby (but as yet unidentified) teacher who thinks it's perfectly reasonable to, well, read on:

A Northern California high school says it is investigating after an alleged inappropriate, politically charged question appeared on a quiz last week.

Justin Cutts, principal of Whitney High School in Rocklin, wrote in a letter to parents that “students, families and the Rocklin community have raised concern about the class assignment,” which was a quiz given by a social science teacher Thursday. The teacher was not identified.

“While personnel matters will remain confidential, appropriate disciplinary steps will be taken,” Cutts wrote in the letter, sent Friday.

The principal’s letter came shortly after an image — allegedly a screenshot of the quiz, which was administered electronically — quickly went viral on social media. The post showed a multiple-choice question with the prompt: “A group of complete idiots.”

The four multiple-choice options were allegedly: “KKK,” “all of Florida,” “Fox news” and “Texans.”

Doing this makes all of us look bad in the eyes of the public.

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Big Win!

It's a lot easier to spend over $1500 on a weekend trip, including putting up with airports and flights, when your team wins!

If you believe in omens, my trip didn't start auspiciously.  Before I even got to the airport, my flight had already been delayed a half an hour.  At least good movies were available on the flight.

I've long been a fan of Wonder Woman, in both the Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot incarnations, so I watched Wonder Woman 1984.  What a terrible movie.  It was so bad, in fact,  that I stopped watching it after the first hour and a half.  I couldn't put up with another hour of that turd.  It was bad, very bad.  Better to read my Economist magazine.

And after we landed in Dallas, we sat on the ramp for over 15 minutes waiting for our gate to be available.  Plenty of empty gates, but there we sat, after 11pm.

I Ubered to my hotel/resort, got in after midnight, and still made my bus at 8 am.  Didn't really have time for breakfast; fortunately, a student of mine heard I liked hot fudge sundae Pop-tarts and gave me a package a couple days before I left.  That, and an apple another student gave me, served as breakfast.

I'm told the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the size of Connecticut, and I believe it.  No, I didn't check the map scale, but it seemed such a short distance from the hotel to the stadium, but it was well over 20 minutes!  When we arrived, within sight of Six Flags, we found not one but three stadiums!  They like their stadiums in Texas.  We headed into Globe Life Field.

I met up with a friend of mine from the Air Force Academy before the game.  We texted a bit during the game.  It was good to see him.  Also met up with a couple friends from my West Point company, and texted others.  It was an exciting game despite the 0-0 halftime score.  The scoreboard lit up in the 2nd half, with Army going up 14-3 at one point--but the game could have turned on any single play, so you could not ignore it for even a moment.  With about 25 seconds left in the game, Air Force tied it up and we went into overtime. 

Army moved the ball in the OT period, and the quarterback fumbled the ball while crossing the goal line.  Fortunately an Army player recovered, the play was confirmed by replay, and Army went up 21-14.  Then it was Air Force's turn.  They moved the ball until it was "4th and game", and an Army defender broke up the pass.  Game over, Army won!  It was such a thrilling game that my heart was racing for hours afterward.  Since Air Force had already beaten Navy, even if we lose to Navy this year (which would be a difficult loss, given Navy's performance this year) we would still keep the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since we won it last year and each team would have one win.  Heck with that, Beat Navy!

By the time I got to the airport this morning my flight had already been delayed by half an hour, and we ended up taking off about an hour late.  I watched Marvel's Black Widow on the flight, which wasn't great but was good enough that I watched the entire movie.  I finally got home a little before 5pm PST.

My classmates who took it upon themselves to plan and execute an impromptu mini-reunion did a fantastic job--kudos to them.  Next year will be our 35th reunion, and the second of three consecutive years in which the Army-Air Force Game (aka The Commander's Classic, if you're to believe sponsor Lockheed Martin) will be in Arlington.  Will our reunion be at West Point or in Texas, or maybe both?  I'll let you know next year 😊

Friday, November 05, 2021

I'm Off!

This afternoon I'm leaving for the Army-Air Force Game in Arlington, TX.  I'll arrive at the hotel late at night, and the bus leaves for the game at 8am sharp.  Guess I won't be getting much sleep!

I don't care if the Southwest pilots refuse to work again.  I just hope that if they do, they do it after they get me to Dallas.  I'll survive if I have to stay in a hotel in Dallas for a couple days, I'll be really ticked off if I've spent around $1500 so far and don't even get to see the game!

As I type this, the line is Air Force by 2.5.  If Army wins, we keep the Commander-in-Chief's trophy no matter the outcome of the Army-Navy Game.  If Air Force wins, they'll get the trophy.

The two prettiest words in the English language are:  TOUCHDOWN, ARMY!  I hope they're announced throughout the stadium many times on Saturday.

Beat Air Force!

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Everything They Say Is A Lie

Not only do they know it's a lie, but even when it's demonstrably a lie they double down and lie more:

Georgia’s new voting law — the Election Integrity Act of 2021 — took effect on July 1. The main point of the bill, according to Gov. Brian Kemp, was to make it “easy to vote but hard to cheat” in the Peach State.

If the real intent of this law was to usher in “Jim Crow 2.0,” as many Democrats claimed, it turned out to be Bizarro Jim Crow...

The first elections under the Election Integrity Act took place on November 2, coincidentally the same day the Atlanta Braves won the World Series, and one of the highest-profile contests was the Atlanta mayoral race. This year, embattled Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms chose not to run, so the field was wide open, with most candidates focusing on the city’s crime problem.

The last mayoral race took place in November 2017, and 96,777 Atlantans cast their ballots. Bottoms won in an eventual runoff...

Guess what? Supposedly suppressed voters turned out in droves. The final turnout was 168,212. That’s right: 70,000 more people turned out to vote in Tuesday’s election.

Not that I give a crap about baseball, but remember, this is the law that caused MLB to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta. 

Lyin' liars gonna lie.

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Jury Duty

Yesterday when I checked my mailbox, I was dismayed to find an envelope from the Sacramento County Courts.  Yes, I'm being summoned to jury duty again.  It's been a few years, but it's hard to believe they've gone through everyone in Sacramento County since the last time I was called.  Whatever.

I don't miss school for jury duty.  Teachers and students are allowed to postpone service until the next available school break, and that's what I always do.  Thus, as a conscientious teacher I always end up with jury duty over Spring Break, over summer, or over Christmas vacation.  I tore open the envelope to see my date, to see if it's early enough that I could push it out to Christmas instead of Spring Break.

Was it luck, or do they know me by now?  My reporting date is December 20th, the first Monday of Christmas break.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Do They Think We've Forgotten?

For years they called us "teabaggers" (snicker snicker, like a 7th grader), yelled F*** Trump whenever they could, especially in public; proudly wore what they explicitly called pink pussyhats, fantasized about the president being killed, hooted and hollered when Nancy Pelosi made an ass of herself on the world stage with a hissy fit--and now they get upset when we on the right mock President Poopypants with the rated-G statement Let's Go Brandon?

Perhaps they're upset that we, too, can follow some of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, specifically:

Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.


A good tactic is one your people enjoy.

So lefties?  Enjoy the new rules that you made.

And Let's Go Brandon!

Gawd, I do enjoy saying that  😁

Monday, November 01, 2021

The 'Rona Has Made Lefties Insane

Baseball's All-Star game was moved out of Atlanta so MLB could “protest” a voting law that requires less identification for absentee balloting than Los Angeles requires to get into a building:

The city of Los Angeles recently released strict proof-of-vaccination rules requiring photo ID — and they appear to be tougher than Georgia’s voter ID laws. Approved earlier this month and slated to go into effect next month, the rules for being allowed to enter “an Indoor Portion of a Covered Location” in Los Angeles will be as follows...
Consistency has never been a strong suit of the left.  Of course, neither has intelligence.