Friday, June 30, 2023

Pay Your Own Damn Debts

There is no logic at all behind the "pay off my student loans for me" argument, especially since I have no doubt that there is significant overlap between the "I didn't understand what I was getting into when I took out loans as an adult and now can't pay off my debts" crowd and the "12-year olds are mature enough to decide what sex they want to be" crowd.

You'd think FoxNews would be the last place you'd hear sympathy for the "pay off my loans for me" crowd, but you'd be wrong:

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the Biden administration's $400 billion student loan bailout in response to a legal challenge by Job Creators Network Foundation. This ruling sets the stage for long-overdue bipartisan action to address the underlying reason for this debt crisis: unaccountable colleges that have raised tuition by more than double the inflation rate over the last generation...

Broader reforms such as requiring colleges to take over some responsibility for making student loans will incentivize them to ensure students don't take on too much debt and graduate with skills to succeed. Talk about a win-win.

Win-win?  Uh, no

Universities are not job training sites, they're institutions of higher learning.  No one is going to make a lot of money with a degree in Medieval Uzbeki Film Studies, but if someone wants to study it and a university is capable of teaching it, why not?  

There are plenty of degrees out there that don't lead to many high-paying jobs, Aggrieved Victim Studies being one such field.  Still, that doesn't mean that the courses shouldn't be offered if they're academically rigorous and someone wants to take them.  It's not a university's place to determine what any individual might earn or to say "no, you can't afford that course/major."

Yes, tuition has increased much faster than inflation over the last couple decades.  But let's be honest, a good part of that happens at public universities--in other words, government institutions.  And who do most people get student loans from?  Government!  Notice a similarity there?

Perhaps government should get out of the student loan business, and put lending money back in the hands of institutions that know about lending money.  If that means a poor black kid can't get a loan to go to USC to study art, well, a poor white kid won't be able to get a loan to go to USC to study art, either!  No one has a right to go to USC, any more than they have a right to fly first class or a right to own a Tesla.  I have to believe that my proposed policy would exert a downward pressure on tuition, as I can't see at all how it could possibly be inflationary.

I do think that incoming students should better understand loans and interest, and should probably have some idea of how much they'll earn to determine how much they'll be able to pay.  I can't understand how any adult could take out such loans without that information, but apparently many have done so!

Under the status quo, where the federal government backs all student loans, there's little check on such college profligacy. Yet smart reforms can reverse runaway college tuition and spending.  

Recent legislation introduced by Senate Republicans helps get to the root of the problem by imposing student loan transparency and eliminating inflationary Graduate PLUS loans, but more needs to be done.

That seems far more reasonable than holding colleges and universities "accountable" for loans they aren't even making:

Biden can’t forgive student loan debt, so it’s time for Congress to hold colleges accountable

What, exactly, are they to be held accountable for?  Why aren't the adults who took out the loans held accountable?

Let's now take a trip to the other side of the media's ideological spectrum, to CNN:

For my whole adult life, debt and financial hardship has dictated my path, first through a cycle of generational poverty and now in the form of student debt. With Friday’s Supreme Court decision, it looks as if I have many years ahead of student loan repayment. It could take, quite literally, the rest of my working life before my student loans are paid off. 

Why did you assume such loans?  Why is it my responsibility, along with the 2/3 of Americans who don't even have a degree, to pay off loans that you voluntary took out?  There is no logic in such an appeal, only emotion--which is what most leftie arguments are based on.  Note the title of this article:

Opinion: It’s hard to break free of generational poverty. The Supreme Court just made it harder

Why is it the Supreme Court's responsibility to make your life easier?  Answer:  it's not.  It's their job to determine what is constitutional and lawful, regardless of who the decision helps or hurts.
The author, Rachel, opens with her family story and about how she got loans to enter college.  She made some poor choices (imnsho) and didn't understand financial aid, but she made good economic decisions once she graduated, right?

After college, I took a position as a teacher at a non-profit preschool in my community, where I was employed for the first decade of my working life. I then got a job as a classroom teacher and eventually moved into the role of studio arts teacher at the same school.

The school where I worked was an incredible community of dedicated and innovative educators, hardworking, curious children and committed families. I felt lucky to be working with them. As a community, we came together to problem-solve around societal issues like the abysmally low pay for teachers, the lack of government support for early childhood education and insufficient health care options for school staff.

Attitudes about early childhood education are such that most workers in the field know they will never be paid what they truly deserve.

So she took on debt she didn't understand (but should have), and instead of prioritizing paying off that debt, she went to work in a "non-profit preschool" knowing about the low pay.  Sorry, Rachel, you can follow your bliss, but you're not entitled to do so on my dime.

The rest of her article is in the same vein--no logic or principle to what she says, just "pay off my loans so I can envision a better financial future for myself in spite of my choices".  I'm not as hard-hearted as I sound, I do have sympathy for her plight, but I don't accept any moral or financial responsibility for that plight.

Let me share with you my own experience from 40 years ago.  I was estranged from my mother, and my dad made just enough to support his family but not enough to put me through college even at the relative bargain it was compared to today.  I was accepted into three of the four schools I applied to (I never received a nomination to the Air Force Academy), but in 1983 there were no scholarships for a poor, smart, white kid.  I was arrogant and hadn't even applied for an ROTC scholarship.  I had to give up on UCLA and Purdue.  West Point offered me early admission in November but I turned it down because it was my last choice and I was still counting on Air Force; come March, West Point was the only school I had any chance of attending.  Doors were closing fast in the spring and I ended up with only 2 options:  either West Point offers me regular admission, or I enlist in the Army and go to school later on the GI Bill.  It was a big day, in Mrs. Gordon's 4th period class, when I got a note from the office:  "Call home, thick envelope from West Point."

As you can see, I made some bad decisions, too.  But nowhere in those decisions was there a thought that someone owed me anything I hadn't earned, I made plans that would allow me to get an education despite my financial situation.  Of course, no one should have to join the military in order to go to college, but it's certainly one option.  Going to a community college would be another.  Getting a job that has higher education benefits (a la Starbucks and the University of Arizona) is another.  My point is this:  take responsibility for yourself.  Make good decisions.  Accept the consequences of your actions.

Mine is the dad-like, toughlove approach that conservatives tend to favor.  Anyone want to guess Rachel's political leanings?

Giving Up The 'Bone

Army football is giving up the option offense, a scheme the service academies have used since the 80s:

Over Christmas break, Monken instructed his position coaches to phone their players and tell them something they would have considered unfathomable when they were recruited here. The Black Knights would relinquish the flexbone triple option, a scheme detractors consider archaic and one that rarely features downfield passing to control the clock and limit opposing offensive possessions. Army, Navy and Air Force all held on to a version of the system as a way to cope with the rigors of recruiting against schools that did not require its graduates to complete at least four years of military service after graduation or wake up at ungodly hours in the morning to march in formation.

Army was unsuccessful without the option in the early 2000's but went back to it, but now is giving up the option because of an NCAA rules change:

But two days before its 2022 spring game, an NCAA ruling forced the Black Knights’ hand.

Monken found out via email that the organization’s playing rules oversight panel approved a proposal banning players from blocking below the waist outside the tackle box, allowing only lineman and stationary backs to do so inside the box on their initial blocking movement. The panel cited player safety as a reason, but Monken wonders whether that was the real reason and says tackles below the waist are much more dangerous that blocks, and there’s no way you’d outlaw them.

“People don’t want to have to defend it,” Monken says. “They don’t want to have to teach the cut block. It eliminates having to teach that fundamental skill. It eliminates them having to defend the offense because it’s going to be really difficult to run this offense the way we ran it without being able to block below the waist and those linebackers in the box that are screaming to the perimeter that you can’t cut-block anymore.” 

Would this rule have changed if Texas, Georgia, Clemson and Ohio State ran the flexbone? It’s doubtful college football’s biggest fish would have been O.K. with that, but the rule affects only a small percentage of FBS’s 133 schools.

Monken says he was surprised at how much the new rules limited the offense.

“You can’t use a tackle and loop them and cut [defenders],” Monken says. “You can’t run the fullback out of the back field and cut. You can’t use the slot back and load them and cut them. All those blocks were effective from keeping the linebackers from getting out there, and everything we do is full flow under center.”

Monken had to go back to the drawing board....

Army changed to the wishbone offense in the 1984 season, and in one season went from a 2-9 team to an 8-3-1 team.  I hope this current change is as productive and that this season we get to hear, so many times, the two prettiest words in the English language,  TOUCHDOWN ARMY!

Thursday, June 29, 2023

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

Chief Justice Roberts penned those words in his majority opinion in the Parents Involved v. Seattle School District school desegregation case back in 2007.  Today the Supreme Court applied those words to higher education in the Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard case.  The newest member of the Court, Justice Jackson, isn't a fan of the ruling, and Justice Thomas is having none of her silliness:

"Though Justice Jackson seems to think that her race-based theory can somehow benefit everyone, it is an immutable fact that ‘every time the government uses racial criteria to ‘bring the races together,’ someone gets excluded, and the person excluded suffers an injury solely because of his or her race,'" Thomas wrote. 

"Justice Jackson seems to have no response—no explanation at all—for the people who will shoulder that burden. How, for example, would Justice Jackson explain the need for race-based preferences to the Chinese student who has worked hard his whole life, only to be denied college admission in part because of his skin color?" Thomas questioned.

I once read, but as yet have not found evidence supporting, that Governor Reagan was once told that if affirmative action were not applied, UC Berkeley would have too many Asians.  His response was along the lines of "so what?"  Even if the story is apocryphal, I still like it.

California Approaches "Failed State" Status

Governor Newsollini is a hypocritical failure.  Twice during his draconian 'rona lockdowns he appeared in large settings without a mask.  He travels to states to which he's banned state travel--they're good enough for him but not for the government?  He whines about the Supreme Court's anti-affirmative action ruling while governing a deep-left state that has twice voted against affirmative action in recent years.

And it's not like California presents a shining example of good governance.

Recall the state's "travel ban" and his flouting of it:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday appeared to flout his own state’s laws by speaking at an event in Texas, one of 22 states for which California has banned official government travel...

California has banned state-funded travel to states with "discriminatory laws." The state first passed the law in 2017 in reaction to North Carolina preventing transgender people from using restrooms that aligned with their own identity. In the ensuing years, the list of banned states ballooned from four to nearly two dozen.

One of those states on California’s naughty list is Montana, where Newsom vacationed earlier this summer to visit his in-laws. Newsom’s team said he did not violate the law as he was traveling in his personal capacity – despite having a security detail.

Not everyone in California pretends to believe that those two dozen states have nothing to teach us here in California:

San Jose’s homelessness response team visited Houston earlier this year. City and county representatives from the Los Angeles area went last fall...

In April, two city council members from the East Bay city of Richmond headed to Austin to tour a 51-acre tiny home community that provides permanent housing for 350-and-counting homeless residents. Elected officials from Sacramento trekked to San Antonio to see a 1,600-person shelter that offers everything from dental care to counseling – serving nearly the city’s entire homeless population in one place...

[T]he California Legislature and some Golden State cities don’t even allow publicly funded travel to Texas. Some Californians who have made the trip have had to seek exemptions by arguing the travel is in their jurisdiction’s best interest...

Why are these cities sending people to Texas? 

In Texas, 81 people are homeless for every 100,000 residents. In California, the rate is more than five times worse...

“While Austin built 350 small homes, we are putting 1,200 across the state, including 500 in Los Angeles,” she said in an emailed statement sent on behalf of Newsom’s office. “California continues to make unprecedented investments into housing and homelessness which includes shelter and wrap-around supportive services, cleaning up encampments, and creating more housing. The state has invested more to increase housing supply than ever before in our history while holding local governments accountable.”

But the difference in outcomes in Texas versus California is unmistakable. The Houston area’s homeless population dropped 57% between 2012 and last year, dipping to 3,124, according to the federally mandated point-in-time count. A New York Times article published last year highlighted the “remarkable progress,” catapulting the city that was already known in wonky homeless policy circles into the national limelight – and catching California’s attention. 

Los Angeles County’s homeless population increased 106% over the same period. Sacramento County’s jumped a whopping 230%.

We deserve the government we vote for.  Good job, California.

Those of you who vote for these people--what part of California government do you think is well-run?  What programs would you publicly support?


This morning I read two articles pertaining to autism.  First, from the Netherlands:

Several Dutch citizens who had autism or other intellectual disabilities have died by physician-assisted suicide in recent years after doctors determined their afflictions were untreatable obstacles to a normal life, researchers found.

Nearly 40 people who identified as autistic or intellectually disabled were legally euthanized in the Netherlands between 2012 and 2021, according to a Kingston University investigation of Dutch euthanasia cases.

Five people younger than 30 who were killed at their own request cited autism as the sole or a major reason for their decision to end their lives, the UK study found...

When the Netherlands became the first country to legalize human euthanasia, the debate focused on people with cancer — not those with autism, Raus said...

One of the report’s main authors Irene Tuffrey-Wijne, a palliative care specialist at Kingston University, questioned the ethics of ending the lives of the autistic.

“There’s no doubt in my mind these people were suffering,” she said. “But is society really OK with sending this message, that there’s no other way to help them and it’s just better to be dead?”

Then from the United States

Philadelphia Eagles star center Jason Kelce is a man of many talents, and one of them was on full display in Sea Isle City, New Jersey, Wednesday.

Kelce was back at Ocean Drive Bar & Restaurant in the Jersey Shore town to raise money and awareness for the Eagles Autism Foundation, and he kicked off the event by showcasing his ability to destroy a 30-ounce beer in a chugging competition...

Kelce was accompanied by his little brother, Kansas City Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce, for the fundraiser, which raised $100,000 for the foundation last year.

Jason Kelce donated an extra $50,000 of his own money...

The event is in its third summer, and Jason Kelce kicked it off with quite the show. 

In the first story we have the government allowing the killing of people with autism.  In the second we have a celebrity donating and raising money for an autism foundation.  Which one seems more compassionate to you?

Update:  15 minutes after posting the above, I encountered this book on Audible.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Nuclear Power

Sweden is moving in the right direction:

Sweden's parliament on Tuesday adopted a new energy target, giving the right-wing government the green light to push forward with plans to build new nuclear plants in a country that voted 40 years ago to phase out atomic power.

Changing the target to "100% fossil-free" electricity, from "100% renewable" is key to the government's plan to meet an expected doubling of electricity demand to around 300 TwH by 2040 and reach net zero emissions by 2045.

"This creates the conditions for nuclear power," Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson said in parliament. "We need more electricity production, we need clean electricity and we need a stable energy system."

Anyone who claims to be an "environmentalist" but doesn't support nuclear power is just a poser.  Even Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, supports nuclear energy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Happy Mark Janus Day! An Annual Post.

In February 2018, I altered my flight plans home from Iceland to detour to Washington, DC.  Among so many other exciting activities, I gave a speech on the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court and stood behind Mark Janus as he talked to the press after the Court heard his case.

Four months later, as I walked among the Mayan ruins at Tulum, I got the word so many of us had hoped for.  It was five years ago today.


Earlier today I read that "we allow teenagers to work, drive, pay taxes, etc, why don't we allow them to vote?"  The answer is that teenagers don't always make the best decisions.  Sure, they can be academic or athletic superstars (I've taught a lot of those) and they can be wonderful people (taught a lot of those, too), but their brains aren't fully developed yet.  Too often they make bad decisions--which is why we let them work only during certain hours, in California we limit their driving privileges for the first couple years they have their licenses, and why their car insurance rates are so high.

Yes, I know adults make bad decisions, too, duh.  Teenagers make more of them.  I know that I don't make near as many stupid decisions now as I did when I was a teenager!

So when I saw this article, I thought, the solution is pretty simple:

Almost two-thirds of teenagers globally have been targeted for “sextortion” schemes by criminals seeking to pressure victims into sexual activity or extort money, according to recent research.

Sixty-five percent of Generation Z teens and young adults have been targets of “catfishing” scams across popular social media platforms or had their personal data hacked by criminals, according to a June 21 report by Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc. and published by the WeProtect Global Alliance.

“In both scenarios, the resulting photos and videos were then used to threaten or blackmail the young people, with abusers demanding money, gift cards, more sexual imagery, or other personal information in supposed exchange for not releasing the material to the young person’s family and friends,” the report said.

Yes, I know adults also do stupid things regarding pictures and video of their naked bodies and sex acts.  Again with a small sample size, over the years my school has had many issues regarding students' sending naked pics of themselves or others to each other, but none of our teachers has.  The kids don't always make good decisions.  How many adults ate Tide Pods vs how many teenagers?!

I remember hearing about this:

In a May 3 press conference, Jennifer Buta, the mother of a 17-year-old boy from Michigan who committed suicide after being a victim of a sextortion scheme, asked parents to have “tough conversations” with their children about the dangers such scams pose.

Telling your kid not to send naked pictures of him/herself to others should not be a "tough conversation".  I can see how it might be awkward for some people, but it's a lot less awkward than the birds and the bees talk.  Not only can such a talk keep your kid from being humiliated, it might keep him/her off the sex offenders list, too.

This Isn't Good For My Ford Stock

Years ago I bought Ford stock; I think from now on I'll just buy into index funds and leave the individual stock roulette to others:

Ford Motor plans to lay off at least 1,000 salaried employees and contract workers in North America, people familiar with the matter said, the automaker’s latest effort to defray the heavy cost of investing in electric cars.

In internal meetings Monday, Ford began notifying some salaried workers in North America that job cuts would be coming, a company spokesman confirmed Tuesday morning. The planned layoffs are concentrated in the engineering ranks, where Ford is targeting costs across its business units, he said.

The automaker has made several rounds of global layoffs over the past year, including a 3,000-person reduction in the U.S. last summer and a slightly larger layoff in Europe initiated earlier this year.

Ford has about 28,000 salaried employees in North America. The U.S. automaker’s plan for another round of layoffs was first reported last week by The Wall Street Journal.

I've read that Ford lost $34,000 on every electric vehicle it sold last year.  Ugh.

An Interesting View of Affirmative Action In College Admissions

I don't recall hearing it put this way before:

Affirmative action in college admissions has failed to help disadvantaged black students, writes Bertrand Cooper in The Atlantic. If the U.S. Supreme Court rules against racial preferences, low-income students will lose nothing. 

In 2020, 15 percent of Harvard's incoming class was black, equal to the percentage of young blacks in the U.S. population, he writes. But many came from high-earning immigrant or biracial families...

The wealth disparity -- and the likelihood of incarceration -- between the black upper class and the black poor is huge, writes Cooper. Class matters.

After affirmative action, he hopes for a system that treats gives (sic) disadvantaged students a better shot at upward mobility. 

I haven't thought this through yet so I'll just brainstorm a bit.  In general I'm against considering race at all; to me it's like considering eye color or height, an immutable characteristic that doesn't say anything about who the person is.  If changing from race-based admissions to class-based admissions is merely a way to get around the hoped-for end of affirmative action (the ruling will come down any day now), what would be the point?  If the hoped-for end of affirmative action brings about a class-based/income-based admissions regime, it could be a more honest and moral method as long as the admitted students still meet academic requirements.  I'm big on meeting standards.

Update, 6/29/23:  Now I guess we'll see what happens.

Monday, June 26, 2023

They Lie, And Pat Themselves On The Back For Their Creativity

Do lefties "exaggerate", or do they just lie through their teeth?

Remember the old children’s story about Chicken Little? An acorn falls on Chicken Little’s head, and she surmises that “the sky is falling” and the world is coming to an end. As a result, Chicken Little creates mass hysteria among the barnyard animals.

Chicken Little whipped the other animals into a frenzy with her histrionics, which makes her the perfect metaphor for today’s leftists...

Democrats act as if every Republican proposal is an existential threat to life in one way or another. Fossil fuels will destroy the planet. Efforts to secure elections will prevent minorities from voting. Measures to keep young children from irreversibly damaging their bodies amount to erasing transgender people. You get the picture.

The Biden administration has turned progressive melodrama into an art form. We’re talking about the people who compare anyone who didn’t vote for Joe Biden to violent extremists and who promised a “winter of severe illness and death” to anyone who didn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine.

A Wall Street Journal editorial by Barton Swaim demonstrates how bad the left has gotten when it comes to histrionics.

“President Biden’s re-election announcement video warned that ‘MAGA extremists are lining up’ to repeal ‘bedrock freedoms,'” Swaim begins. “Uh oh—what freedoms? The extremists plan on ‘dictating what healthcare decisions women can make, banning books, and telling people who they can love, all by making it more difficult for you to be able to vote' "...

“The other threats on Mr. Biden’s list—’banning’ books, ‘telling people who they can love’ and voter suppression—are literally nonexistent,” Swaim points out. “Mr. Biden isn’t engaged in the time-honored political craft of exaggeration. He’s seeing things that aren’t there.”

I'm going with "lying to sway the low-information voter", of which there are unfortunately too many.  Remember the blatant lie Harry Reid told about Mitt Romney?  "Romney didn't win, did he" was Reid's reply when called out, so the ends justified the means.  It always does for lefties.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Many states used to fund their infrastructure projects in part through gas taxes.  Combine better fuel economy and electric cars and you sell less gas, meaning not as much tax revenue.  How to deal with that problem?

One proposal that seems to be gaining in popularity would be to charge drivers by the mile instead of the gallon. 

Other ideas that have been presented include taxing electricity from public vehicle charging stations.

Another is to tack charges onto door-to-door package deliveries. 

States are now weighing whether to start making the programs mandatory.

The only mistake above is that they'll charge by the mile and the gallon.  No way are states going to get rid of gas taxes.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

When They Aren't Pissing It Away On Ideology...

...they're giving it away via incompetence.  My retirement, that is:

We’re talking about names, social security numbers and other personal information of almost 770k retirees potentially being compromised.

Letters from CalPERS started going out to their retired members on Thursday about exactly what happened, and where they go from here...

The concern: A Russian ransomware gang, known as Clop’s, and its worldwide cybersecurity hack. 

Myers said on June 6, CalPERS’ third-party contractor, PBI Research Services, first notified the government agency about a potential data breach.

Then on June 9, PBI confirmed that the information sent for them to verify was impacted...

The California state teachers’ retirement system was also affected. 

A member of CalSTRS spoke with FOX40 and said, “CalSTRS is working with PBI to identify the CalSTRS members whose information was involved in PBI’s incident. CalSTRS will provide notice to any members and beneficiaries whose personal information was involved in accordance with applicable law.”


Friday, June 23, 2023

A Few Pics From Puerto Vallarta

I see those angel wing pictures on Instagram a lot, do they mean something besides my innocence??

In my previous post I mentioned the climb up Mt. Everest.  Here's a view from up there at the overlook:

 Blogger has to compress the video a bit, unfortunately, but you get the idea.

I snapped this picture of a pelican at just the right time:


I didn't pay for surfing pictures, but I'm not sure how good such pics of me would look anyway!

As you can see, Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful place, and I had a great 6 days there.

Update:  a bonus picture from my last day, 2 ships in port! 

Strange New Worlds

For whatever reason, I don't usually like Star Trek episodes, or even most of the movies, the first time I see them.  After rewatching them, though, I can get on board--even with the first few seasons of Voyager, or most of Enterprise.

While the three "Kelvin timeline" movies have been good movies, I haven't found them to be good Star Trek.  Still, I watch (and sometimes rewatch) them all.  What they lack is the relationship between the characters; Star Trek was about the interactions of the characters, primarily the troika of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy.  It should be possible to make blockbuster movies and build on the character relationships, but that isn't what happened.

We Trekkies/Trekkers (I've never understood what's wrong with the first term) have a fixation on "canon"--what the Star Trek universe is supposed to be, and the events that take place in that universe.  Something that violates canon is considered a big no-no.  This might explain the Kelvin timeline, as the writers would not be bound by all the history mentioned in the previous tv series and movies since the events of these movies take place in a timeline different from the "prime" timeline.

I was interested in Star Trek: Discovery when it first came out, but let's face it, I just can't get past a ship that's powered by magic mushrooms.  Also, the spinning before a jump?  It's just silly.  Star Trek was always supposed to be science fiction, not science fantasy.  I watched the first couple seasons because I liked the characters and stories but I just had a hard time accepting it as Star Trek.  After the first couple seasons, though, the stories got goofier and goofier, and even before Discovery jumped almost a thousand years into the future, well, the show had become unwatchable for me.  Star Trek: Picard is just horrible; Patrick Stewart speaks as if every breath will be his last, and given his age, it just might be. And then there are the Star Trek cartoon series that are available now; I don't really get into cartoon shows.

I have considered only the movies and TV shows through Enterprise to be canon.  

On my flight to Puerto Vallarta last week, episodes of Discovery, Picard, and the newest show, Strange New Worlds, were available on the entertainment system.  I watched an episode or two of Discovery just to fill the time, but Strange New Worlds really piqued my interest.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is the story of the Enterprise when it was commanded by Captain Pike (of the original series episode The Menagerie fame) in the years immediately prior to Kirk's command.  Spock is a lieutenant, Uhura is a cadet, and Scotty, McCoy, Sulu, and Chekov are not yet crew members.  The show is very well done; it's good science fiction, and more important, it's good Star Trek.  The crew members are relatable as people and the ship, while not the 1701 of the original series, is still enjoyable to watch.  There are nods to people we heard about in previous series--Robert April, Jim Kirk's brother Sam, and Khan Noonien-Singh being three who come immediately to mind.  The Gorn make an appearance in the show, and in one episode there's an entire sequence that's an homage to one in my favorite original series episode Balance of Terror.

The show respects what came before it, it respects the Star Trek ethos, and it respects the long-time fans.  I consider Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to be canon.  

I'm not going to subscribe to Paramount+, oh heck no, so I've watched the full first season of Strange New Worlds on PlutoTV.  I understand the first episode of Season 2 is there as well, and also on YouTube; I hope Season 2 will soon be added to PlutoTV's lineup.

Do you want to watch some good old fashioned Star Trek?  Strange New Worlds just might be for you.  It is for me.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

What A Fun Trip To Puerto Vallarta

I spent the entire day traveling yesterday, including dealing with severely delayed flights.  My personal rule is, except in very few situations, to have flight connections of at least 2 hours, and yesterday that rule allowed me to get home rather than be put up in a hotel in Salt Lake City for the night.  It was nice to be in my own home, even though I didn't get here until just after 2 am.

I did take a 2 hour surfing lesson in Punta Mita, and was shocked at how tiring surfing is.  About the time I was at a level where I could conceivably try to stand on the board, I was too exhausted to do so.  I was able, though, to get up on my knees and steer the board somewhat, at least I accomplished that much!

I rented a Waverunner and drove it around for awhile.  That was fun!

I also hiked up Mt. Everest.  Not that pansy little hill in Nepal, the real one in PV--the Mirador de la Cruz.  It wasn't more than mile or two from my hotel, but that's just the "walk through town" part.  Then you start walking up vertical streets that are like some in San Francisco or something.  Eventually the streets ended and then the stairs started.  Oh, the stairs!  I honestly wondered if my heart would explode in my chest, or perhaps my lungs wouldn't be able to keep up, but much like a Sherpa I kept on going until I got to the top!  The view was nice, and the trip back down was somewhat easier.

Did you know that Mexico has a navy?  I'd never really thought about it, but the Museo Naval on the malecon was enjoyable.  Incidentally, Mexicans' view of Mexican-American conflicts over the years is a little different from what I learned in school, although I'm sure the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

The first couple days I got pink, but repeated applications of aloe and sunscreen have resulted in the body of a bronze statue.  Not a Greek god statue, more like a buddha-belly statue, but bronze nonetheless.  The beach in Puerto Vallarta was beautiful, and the water was the perfect temperature.  The waves could easily knock you down, though.  If I had another day or so, perhaps I'd have spent an entire day at the beach and eaten some of the shrimp skewers being sold.

A very good breakfast was included at my hotel, I usually didn't eat lunch, and I did something different for dinner each night.  My favorite activity was going to different food stands for dinner and trying new things (think street food, but with tables and plastic chairs).  On recent trips to Mexico I learned to like tortas and huaraches, this trip introduced me to volcanes--tortilla, cheese, shredded meat, cilantro, onions, topped with shredded pineapple!  So good.

I did go out to a club on Friday night and had a great time, I'm sure the few rum-and-cokes didn't hurt at all!  I have a vague memory of the mic being handed to me as I sang along with the blaring song in the midst of the crowd....

I talked to a real estate agent there--he's from the Lake Tahoe area!  He's added me to his mailing list for properties that meet certain criteria, I'm looking forward to getting more emails.

6 days in PV made for a nice trip.  I haven't yet been to Mazatlan, perhaps that'll be my next south-of-the-border adventure.

Independent Taiwan

I despise such silliness:

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated U.S. support of the "One China" policy on Monday, saying that the U.S. does not support Taiwanese independence following a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

"We do not support Taiwan independence," Blinken said in a press conference on Monday. "We remain opposed to any unilateral changes to the status quo by either side. We continue to expect the peaceful resolution of cross strait differences. We remain committed to continuing our responsibilities under the Taiwan Relations Act including making sure Taiwan has the ability to defend itself."

This has been US policy since I was in elementary school and it's stupid--about as stupid as the Cuban embargo. 

But back to my point.  Worse than the policy is total lack of diplomatic ability in Blinken's remarks.  There was no subtlety to them.  Would it not be better, if you're going to have a stupid policy that hopefully no one truly supports, to be a little more vague so as to keep the Chicoms guessing?  At least be coy, maybe wink at Taiwan and smirk while making such comments?  Something?

Here's my hard-nosed view:  the government in Taiwan is the legitimate government of China.  It was forced out of mainland China at gunpoint in 1949 and set up shop just off the coast, where it has operated nonstop ever since.  The government in Beijing is illegitimate.

Here's my realpolitik.  I have another international relations belief, that 25 years after something has happened, it's over.  Israel has held "Syrian" land since 1967, and the Syrians haven't taken it back; they've lost claim to it.  China annexed Tibet in 1951, and all the "Free Tibet" bumper stickers in the world haven't altered that reality.  Unless borders change in a few years, Crimea will be part of Russia and not Ukraine.  And the Chicoms have run mainland China since well before I was born, so whether we like it or not, we have to recognize the situation on the ground and deal with them as a government.  Of course, by my philosophy we'd also officially recognize Taiwan as independent and would seek to have it readmitted to the UN.

If I were Taiwanese, I wouldn't have a lot of faith in the US Secretary of State or the current White House occupant, not at all.  I certainly wouldn't trust them to abide by any defense pacts.  Scenes from Kabul 2021 would keep me awake at night.

Update, 6/27/23:  I'm not the only one

A large majority of Americans say the United States should recognize democratic Taiwan as independent from Communist China, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday.

Sixty-four percent of likely voters told Rasmussen that "the United States should officially recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, separate from China." Only 14 percent oppose U.S. recognition of Taiwan, while 22 percent are unsure.

The Last Day of Humanity

It's the end of the world as we know it...


link--click pic to enlarge

...and I feel fine.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

They're Playing With My Retirement Money

Do this with your own money, not with mine:

If you think that CalSTRS, the behemoth pension system that supports California’s retired teachers, is focused on pensions, you are wrong. The largest teacher-focused pension system in the country is abandoning its core fiduciary role to chase left-wing political goals. Its mission creep will hurt teachers, taxpayers, and students alike.

In April, CalSTRS issued an extraordinary press release stating their priorities for the companies they invest in, including corporate greenhouse gas disclosures. CalSTRS is interested in achieving a “net zero” emissions portfolio. Of course, CalSTRS is also interested in corporate diversity, and states: “CalSTRS will vote against an entire board of directors that does not include at least one woman and against a board’s nominating and governance committee if at least 30% of its board members are not women. Furthermore, CalSTRS will vote against the nominating and governance committees of Russell 3000 companies that do not disclose their board members’ diversity characteristics.”

CalSTRS’ Board has morphed into Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with a $300-billion billy club to swing at businesses that aren’t sufficiently Progressive.

If you were scouring the news for a few words about supporting corporate boards trying to grow profits, entering or creating new markets, utilizing innovation, expanding geographically, then CalSTRS is not the investment entity for you.

Monday, June 12, 2023

The Difference Between "Equity" and Equality

From Instapundit today:

WELL, YES, THAT’S THE GOAL: “You’re seeing the destruction of our standards because we are using so-called equity instead of equality”.

“Equity” is a term chosen because it sounds kind of like “equality,” which Americans support. But it means the opposit (sic) of equality. Equality constrains authorities by forcing them to treat everyone the same. The whole point of “equity” to to break authorities free of that constraint, so that they can favor those they wish to favor, and disfavor those they wish to punish.

Affirmative Action

"Reverse" discrimination is still discrimination, and the government has no business playing racial favorites.  As Thurgood Marshall once said, "Classifications and distinctions based on race or color have no moral or legal validity in our society. They are contrary to our constitution and laws."  Those of us who believe in justice and equality hope that the Supreme Court will strike down so-called affirmative action, at least in university admissions, next year:

An Asian-American teenager who could help end affirmative action has been pictured for the first time, as he spoke out against racist discrimination he says he suffered.  

Jon Wang, 18, got a 1590 on his SAT and a 4.65 high school grade point average but was rejected by six top schools.

He is one of the plaintiffs in a Supreme Court case seeking to end the practice over claims it unfairly discriminates against high-performing Asian Americans.

In January, the high court said it will take up lawsuits from anti-affirmative action group Students For Fair Admission claiming that Harvard University, a private institution, and the University of North Carolina, a state school, discriminate against Asian American applicants. 

The suits claim that affirmative action - policies meant to favor members of historically disadvantaged groups - gives an edge to African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans over Asian students. 

A decision against the schools could mean the end of that practice and disregard race altogether in college admissions. Wang has sued a public and private college in the hopes of having the practice struck down at all universities nationwide.

He said despite his terrific scores - and a perfect score on his math SAT - he was rejected by Harvard, as well as MIT, CalTech, Princeton, Carnegie-Mellon and UC Berkeley.

Wang, who has come forward to speak for the first time alleges he was warned in advance that it's 'gospel' that it's 'tougher to get in, especially as an Asian American' by friends and guidance counselors...

The affirmative action case probably will be argued in the fall. 

I'm rooting for you, Jon.

Update, 6/29/23Congratulations, Jon:

 The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down affirmative action admissions policies used by Harvard College and the University of North Carolina to diversify their campuses, a decision with enormous consequences not only for higher education but also the American workplace.

In one of its most closely watched cases this year, the court ruled along ideological lines that the way the two nationally recognized colleges approached race violated the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. The decision drew a sharp rebuke from the court's liberal wing, who said it rolled "decades of precedent and momentous progress."

Chief Justice John Roberts, long a skeptic of race-based policies, wrote that too many universities "have concluded, wrongly, that the touchstone of an individual’s identity is not challenges bested, skills built, or lessons learned but the color of their skin." The nation's constitutional history, he wrote, "does not tolerate that choice."

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Muslims and Gay Pride In The News

Who wins the oppression Olympics here?

What happened: A group of adorable Muslim children stomped all over the LGBTQQIP2SAA+ Pride Flag on Friday at an "education over indoctrination" protest in Ottawa, Canada.

• "Leave our kids alone!" shouted a woman wearing a traditional headscarf who appeared to be the mother of one of the children.

Why it matters: Posting a video of Muslim children stomping all over the American flag would be considered "Islamophobic," but Muslim kids stomping on a Pride Flag is more challenging because it involves two "oppressed" minorities.

• Woke liberals are temperamentally ill-equipped to process this kind of situation. To feel morally superior, they convince themselves that white Christians are the only ones who disagree with their radical ideology.

I thought Canadians were supposed to be oh-so-polite

A female teacher in Alberta, Canada recently was recorded blasting Muslim students in her class for skipping school during Pride-themed events — telling them that if they continued, they “can’t be Canadian” and “don’t belong” in the country.

The unnamed teacher from Londonderry School attempted to guilt-trip the students by noting their classmates showed up for them during Ramadan: “They’re showing respect to the class — for your religion.”

“It goes two ways,” the teacher continued. “If you want to be respected for who you are, if you don’t want to suffer prejudice for your religion, your color of skin or whatever, then you better give it back to people who are different from you. That’s how it works. It’s an exchange.”

The teacher noted that other countries execute homosexuals, and that if anyone in the class shared that belief they should leave the country.

Very interesting. 

Update, 6/12/23:  And in Maryland:

A Democrat Maryland elected official apologized in a Sunday afternoon statement addressed to the Muslim community days after she blasted their children who spoke against an LGBTQ+ curriculum at a Montgomery County Public Schools board meeting as being aligned with "White supremacists."

Kristin Mink, a Montgomery County council member and former public school teacher at MCPS, maintained in her apology statement that her Tuesday board of education meeting remarks were "focused on promoting inclusion." 

"[My remarks] created an opportunity for misunderstanding and mischaracterization," she said. "I apologize for the hurt that caused in the Muslim community." 

Muslim children at the Montgomery County Public Schools district had been speaking out against their parents' inability to opt them out of LGBTQ+ lessons they deemed violated their faith at the meeting.

Update, 6/21/23:  And then there's jolly old England, although these stories don't necessarily involve Muslims:

Parents have lodged a formal complaint with the principal of a school in the U.K. regarding a lecture during which a teacher told students they would be "dealt with severely" if they object to being instructed about LGBTQ relationships.

The complaint comes after students secretly recorded their teacher at Stationers’ Crown Woods Academy in London as he berated anyone who would speak out against the LGBTQ curriculum, according to the London-based nonprofit Christian Legal Centre.

The unidentified teacher, who suggested he identifies with the LGBTQ community, also explained to students how he is "a good human being" and that anyone who objects to the instruction is effectively violating British values by claiming they do not value him.  link


Following the lesson one of the students asked a classmate: “How can you identify as a cat when you’re a girl?”

The teacher told the students they were being reported to school administrators and would no longer be welcome at the school if they continued to express the view that only boys and girls exist, according to a recording of the exchange.

In the clip, taken by one of the students, the teacher starts off by saying, “How dare you, you’ve just really upset someone” by “questioning their identity,” according to The Telegraph.

The student replies: “If they want to identify as a cat or something then they are genuinely unwell – crazy.”

The teacher then asks the young girls where they got the idea that there are only two genders.  link

Veteran Apprenticeship Programs

Two West Point classmates who made it to Congress – one Republican and one Democrat – are teaming up on a bill aimed at expanding opportunities for veterans to pursue non-college educational opportunities with their GI Bill benefits. 

Reps. John James, R-Mich., and Pat Ryan, D-N.Y., are leading the legislation, which would target pre-apprenticeship programs that aren't currently covered for those leaving the service. Those programs can help veterans get skills they need for formal apprenticeships that can lead to good-paying jobs. 

"What this bill does is, it helps on the very ground level to help with housing, to help with tuition, to make it more affordable for veterans to have a smooth dovetail into apprenticeship programs," James said in an interview with Fox News. 

"This expands the options for vets who may say, I don't need to go to college," Ryan added. "This lets them use the benefits they've earned to do that."


Thursday, June 08, 2023

An Amendment to the 2nd Amendment

As I type this, search of "Newsom" on the CNN web site fails to turn up this story.

California governor Gavin Newsollini wants to gut the 2nd Amendment.  If you want to gut a right that's in the Bill of Rights, might that indicate you're a wannabe tyrant?

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to change the Constitution to curb gun rights. 

Fed up with inaction on gun control, Newsom unveiled a proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution on Thursday that would implement "commonsense" gun safety measures he claims have widespread bipartisan support.

"Our ability to make a more perfect union is literally written into the Constitution," Newsom said Thursday. "So today, I’m proposing the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to do just that. The 28th Amendment will enshrine in the Constitution commonsense gun safety measures that Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and gun owners overwhelmingly support — while leaving the Second Amendment unchanged and respecting America’s gun-owning tradition."

Newsom's proposal comes after federal courts have delivered a series of victories for gun rights activists, led by the Supreme Court's landmark decision last year striking down a century-old New York law that made it difficult to obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun. 

The Democratic governor's proposed 28th Amendment would not abolish the Second Amendment, which establishes a right to bear firearms for personal self-defense. However, it would raise the federal minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21; mandate universal background checks to purchase firearms; institute a waiting period for all gun purchases; and ban "assault weapons." 

Newsom's proposed amendment would also affirm that Congress, states and local governments can enact additional gun control measures. 

It's clear that this proposed amendment would never pass pass, the constitutional hurdles are just too high.  By proposing it, though, Newsollini is merely demonstrating his leftie bona fides without any cost to himself.  In fact, he'll probably use California taxpayer money and employees to do this just to stir up a few headlines for himself.

Even the text of this proposed "amendment" is problematic.  It sounds like legislation, not something that should be in a constitution.  The US Constitution has about 7600 words, including amendments; according to Wikipedia, California's has about 77,000 words, and I don't know if that includes amendments.  The US Constitution has been amended 27 times since 1789, the California constitution has been amended 517 times since the current state constitution was adopted in 1879.  Just for giggles, a search of the California constitution for "almond" or "almonds" turns up 9 different references, including in the Food and Agricultural Code, the Vehicle Code, the Government Code, the Health and Safety Code, and the Education Code sections.  My point?  You can get just about anything put into California's constitution.  The US Constitution should be preserved for weighty issues, not for every opinion like California's constitution.

Bottom line?  I despise California's tyrant governor.  And he wants to be president.

Wednesday, June 07, 2023

The Last Time

Have you seen that meme that says something like, "There was that last time you and all your childhood friends went out to play together, and none of you knew it was the last time."  I guess it's supposed to be nostalgic.

Yesterday was our last day of school with students.  Today was a teacher work day, and I slept in a bit before going in to work to prepare my classroom for the summer.  All the tile is being torn out and carpeting will be put in, so I had to "put everything away" so the furniture could be moved.  I pulled into the parking lot, which wasn't anywhere near full...and someone was in my spot.

The parking lot is being expanded, resurfaced, and even reoriented over the summer.

Yesterday was my last time parking in my spot, and I didn't know it at the time.

Yes, it's summer vacation now, but we go back to work on August 7th or 8th.  August 7th or 8th.  Exactly 2 months to recharge those batteries.

Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Are You *Kidding* Me?

On January 26th I ordered some Queen Elizabeth commemorative coins from the Royal Canadian Mint.

In February I received an estimated delivery date of March 21st.

In March I received an estimated delivery date of April 11th.

Later in March I received an estimated delivery date of April 27th.

In April I received an estimated delivery date of May 17th.

In May I received an estimated delivery date of June 8th.

Later in May I received an estimated delivery date of June 28th.

Today I was notified that the order has shipped and has an estimated delivery date of June 15th.  I won't even be in the United States on that date or for several days after.  But I will be here June 28th.


Update, 6/12/23:  The Canada Post web site says my package is out for delivery today.  I confirmed the US Postal Service and not a package delivery company will deliver it, so I went to my local post office (I currently have the post office hold my mail).  It wasn't there.  You know what was there, though?  The King Charles coronation commemorative coin I ordered from the UK's Royal Mint when TV coverage of the coronation was finished on May 6th.

Covid Mortality Mitigation

When even the Brits are saying this...:


The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to determine the effect of lockdowns, also referred to as ‘Covid restrictions’, ‘social distancing measures’ etc., on COVID-19 mortality based on available empirical evidence. We define lockdowns as the imposition of at least one compulsory, non-pharmaceutical intervention (NPI). We employ a systematic search and screening procedure in which 19,646 studies are identified that could potentially address the purpose of our study. After three levels of screening, 32 studies qualified. Of those, estimates from 22 studies could be converted to standardised measures for inclusion in the metaanalysis.

They are separated into three groups: lockdown stringency index studies, shelter-in-place-order (SIPO) studies, and specific NPI studies. Stringency index studies find that the average lockdown in Europe and the United States in the spring of 2020 only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 3.2 per cent. This translates into approximately 6,000 avoided deaths in Europe and 4,000 in the United States. SIPOs were also relatively ineffective in the spring of 2020, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.0 per cent. This translates into approximately 4,000 avoided deaths in Europe and 3,000 in the United States. Based on specific NPIs, we estimate that the average lockdown in Europe and the United States in the spring of 2020 reduced COVID-19 mortality by 10.7 per cent. This translates into approximately 23,000 avoided deaths in Europe and 16,000 in the United States. In comparison, there are approximately 72,000 flu deaths in Europe and 38,000 flu deaths in the United States each year. When checked for potential biases, our results are robust. Our results are also supported by the natural experiments we have been able to identify. The results of our meta-analysis support the conclusion that lockdowns in the spring of 2020 had a negligible effect on COVID-19 mortality. This result is consistent with the view that voluntary changes in behaviour, such as social distancing, did play an important role in mitigating the pandemic.


  • The Herby-Jonung-Hanke meta-analysis found that lockdowns, as reported in studies based on stringency indices in the spring of 2020, reduced mortality by 3.2 per cent when compared to less strict lockdown policies adopted by the likes of Sweden

  • This means lockdowns prevented 1,700 deaths in England and Wales, 6,000 deaths across Europe, and 4,000 deaths in the United States.

  • Lockdowns prevented relatively few deaths compared to a typical flu season – in England and Wales, 18,500–24,800 flu deaths occur, in Europe 72,000 flu deaths occur, and in the United States 38,000 flu deaths occur in a typical flu season

  • These results pale in comparison to the Imperial College of London’s modelling exercises (March 2020), which predicted that lockdowns would save over 400,000 lives in the United Kingdom and over 2 million lives in the United States

  • Herby, Jonung, and Hanke conclude that voluntary changes in behaviour, such as social distancing, played a significant role in mitigating the pandemic – but harsher restrictions, like stay-at-home rules and school closures, generated very high costs but produced only negligible health benefits

  • COVID-19 lockdowns were “a global policy failure of gigantic proportions,” according to this peer-reviewed new academic study. The draconian policy failed to significantly reduce deaths while imposing substantial social, cultural, and economic costs.

  • The comprehensive 220-page book, began with a systematic review of 19,646 potentially relevant studies....
Substantial costs.  Typical British understatement.

Stanley Cup and West Point

Interesting news from the Alma Mater:

Two teams are left standing at the pinnacle of success, ready to battle it out for the most coveted trophy in ice hockey—the Stanley Cup. As the Stanley Cup Finals approach, hockey fans around the world eagerly anticipate the clash between the Florida Panthers and the Vegas Golden Knights. Both teams have defied the odds, showcasing their exceptional skill, teamwork, and resilience throughout the playoffs. The good news for West Point NHL fans is we can’t lose, since both teams share a unique connection to the United States Military Academy, adding an extra layer of significance to each teams’ journey to the finals...

The Florida Panthers have a notable link to the United States Military Academy at West Point in their owner, Vinnie Viola ’77...

The Vegas Golden Knights also have a unique West Point connection through their owner Bill Foley ’67...

As these two teams battle for hockey’s ultimate prize, the West Point bond serves as a reminder of the enduring values that drive excellence in sports and beyond. And let us note—Navy isn’t writing this article. Go Army!

Monday, June 05, 2023

EEOC and So-called Systemic Racism

I met Mark Perry at Freedom Fest almost 2 years ago.  He's brilliant.  Case in point:

California Community Colleges Are In The News Lately

A couple weeks ago I posted about how California's incoming community colleges chancellor thinks all 9th graders should be enrolled in a community college course.  Now we learn that the community colleges might perhaps consider doing a better job keeping scam artists from enrolling before they try to enroll high school freshmen:

Months after a mysterious check for $1,400 landed in Richard Valicenti’s mailbox last summer, the U.S. Department of Education notified him that the money was a mistake — an overpayment of the $3,000 Pell grant he had used to attend Saddleback College in Orange County.

“I told them I never applied for a Pell,” said Valicenti, a 64-year-old radiation oncologist at UC Davis who had never even heard of Saddleback.

Valicenti’s name is among the stolen identities used in thousands of fraudulent attempts to enroll in community colleges in California and across the country since classes shifted online during the pandemic. The aim is to steal financial aid. 

Fake enrollments also crowd out legitimate students and create hours of work for colleges trying to eliminate “ghost students.” Colleges that disburse grants to fraudsters are on the hook to repay the feds.

Today, about 20% of California’s community college applications are scams: more than 460,000 of the 2.3 million requests to the state’s online application system since July alone, says the state Chancellor’s Office, which oversees the 116 campuses. Community colleges are required to accept any student in the state with a high school diploma, and a Social Security number is not required to apply.

There's much more at the link, and none of it is reassuring.

Sunday, June 04, 2023

The Left Has Mastered Hypocrisy

In Vermont They Can Still Criticize Having Boys Compete In Girls' Sports

First, the good news:

In October of last year, a school in Randolph, Vermont, became the center of controversy when some female athletes objected to sharing their locker room with a biological male.

The female students were banned from their own locker room, and the father of one of the students was suspended from his coaching job at the middle school for defending his daughter.

The school has now been forced to settle with the Allen family.

Now, the bad news:

That settlement requires that the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust pay $125,000 in damages and attorneys’ fees and costs to Travis Allen and Jessica Allen, on behalf of their daughter, Blake Allen, and their attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

That's right, the people who screwed up pay no penalty at all, and while the victims have to pay their own bills or hope a legal team will work for them pro bono, those in the wrong have all the resources of the public purse at their disposal.

In other words, they use other people's money to act illegally, and do so with impunity.

Saturday, June 03, 2023

Global Warming

Warming is happening.  I don't believe man (man-made emissions) is the cause, though:


There's also this: