Saturday, April 30, 2016


I know the poor

Poverty is a shortage of money, right?  It is not.  In our society, poverty is an effect of foolish decisions.  It is a behaviour problem, not a money problem.

I have seen it many times but I saw it most frequently when I was the proprietor of a 22-room boarding house located in a poor area. Many of the residents would buy basic groceries etc from a nearby service station, where the prices were about 50% dearer that at the supermarket.  And there was a branch of a large supermarket chain only ten minutes walk away.

And on "payday" (the day when government welfare money was paid into their accounts) it was a wonder to see the casks of "goon" (Sweet white wine in a cardboard box) coming into the place.  There was always money for alcohol.

And I had to be on the ball on "payday" too.  I had to get my rent before the money was all spent.  I even knew where some of them drank and would go in and collect my money from them at the bar.

And they would often have fights, usually over women.  And that often left me with property damage. I always had a glazier ready on call to fix broken windows.  I could have tried to claim that cost back off them but that would have been in vain. By the end of the week most had nothing left in their pockets.

And the fighting was not limited to my place.  They would also get into fights in bars and elsewhere.  And the loser in a fight generally had his money stolen off him, often on the night of "payday".  So, sometimes, if I had not got his money that day, he would have nothing left by the time I got to him.

But not all welfare clients are like that.  Many are prudent enough to have money left over at the end of the week and accumulate some savings.  One such was a tall black Melanesian man -- named Apu if I remember rightly.  When I approached him for his rent he said:  "I got into a fight last night and lost my money ... so I went to the bank and got some out".  He was the only man ever to say that to me.

So he was not poor. He had money for his needs and could put something aside as well.  He got the same "pay" as everyone else but he was more prudent in his behaviour.

I spent many years endeavouring to provide respectable accommodation for the poor but the poor did not make it easy for me.  Many are their own worst enemies.

And in my younger days I lived on Australia's student dole for a couple of years -- and led a perfectly comfortable life.  The student dole was actually a bit below what the unemployed got.  So I was not poor either.

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).


Friday, April 29, 2016


English has a big lack of  words for "State"

Is it perhaps an Anglo-Saxon dislike of government that makes it difficult for us to make immediately clear statements about government?  The old Sapir-Whorf codability hypothesis would certainly suggest that.

For instance, we don't have a separate word for an intermediate level of government, a State government. In the English-speaking world -- The USA, Canada, Australia  -- such forms of government are common and important: Governments running Texas, California, Alberta, Ontario, Queensland and Victoria, for instance.

So a self-governing nation can be called a state but so can one part of that nation.

Germans are much better off.  They can use Staat, Reich, Land and Nation.  A State government, for instance is a "Land" government in Germany, while the nation is a "Reich".

And "Reich" is both an extremely useful German word and one   that CANNOT adequately be translated into English.  That deficit gets a bit embarrassing when we try to translate what the people of China call their nation.  The best we can do is to translate it as:  "Middle Kingdom".  But that is absurd.  China is NOT a kingdom.  In German, by contrast, "Mittelreich" is a perfectly adequate translation.

I use German words quite a bit.  It would probably help if more German words became better known.  We use heaps of French words, so why not?

Germans of course don't have it all their way.  They don't, for instance, have a good word for "pink".  They usually translate it as "rosa" or "nelke".  But both those words are names for flowers and both flowers can of course have a variety of colors.  Who can forget the yellow rose of Texas, for instance? So Germans should probably adopt our word. Maybe some do.

But A BIG gap in German is that they have no word for "happy".  Does that tell us something?  Maybe.  The nearest word to happy that they have is "gluecklich", but that just means "lucky.  Many years ago I was talking to an old German Jewish refugee who had narrowly escaped Hitler.   I asked him if he was happy.  He knew I understood a bit of German so he said: "Gluecklich I am but happy I am not".  He knew he was lucky to escape but missed the high culture of Germany.  And he needed two languages to say that concisely

So let us have more linguistic borrowing! -- JR

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).


Thursday, April 28, 2016


REQUEST

I am totally out of touch with Mike Pechar, owner of this blog.  He has not answered emails from me, which is most unlike him.  Last I heard he was having big problems with his eyes.  So for all I know he may now be blind or deceased.

So if anyone reading this is in a position to contact him either over the phone or by knocking on his door, I would be grateful for any information

My email is: jonjayray@hotmail.com

John Ray


Munshi nails it again

Jamal Munshi is a very bright and very skeptical climate scientist.  He must have tenure or wouldn't get away with it. His latest paper is a new study of radiocarbon levels -- which shows that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is NOT the result of human activity.  Beat that!

Dilution of Atmospheric Radiocarbon Co2 by Fossil Fuel Emissions

Jamal Munshi

Abstract:    

Post bomb period data for 14C in atmospheric carbon dioxide from seven measurement stations are available in small samples up to and including the year 2007. They do not support the theory that dilution by 14C-free fossil fuel emissions is responsible for falling levels of 14C in atmospheric CO2. We find instead that the observed decline of 14C in atmospheric CO2 is consistent with the exponential decay of bomb 14C. We also find that the attribution to fossil fuel emissions of the pre-bomb dilution of 14C in atmospheric CO2 in the period 1900-1950 found by Stuiver and Quay in tree-ring data is inconsistent with total emissions and changes in atmospheric CO2 during that period. We conclude that the data for 14C in atmospheric CO2 do not serve as empirical evidence that the observed increase in atmospheric CO2 since the Industrial Revolution is attributable to fossil fuel emissions.

SOURCE  

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Mother, 47, pleads guilty to sending nude photos and videos to her daughter's 14-year-old ex-boyfriend and asking him to have sex with her
   


A mother has pleaded guilty to sending nude photos and videos of herself to her daughter's 14-year-old ex-boyfriend.

Dodi Wade, 47, admitted sending the lewd messages to the boy's cellphone and asking him to reply with naked pictures of himself.

She also asked the teenager to have sex with her several times during the explicit text message conversations.

Wade, from Akron, Ohio, sent the graphic videos to the boy between November 22 and December 25 last year.

The teenager's mother trawled through the boy's old phone on January 5 and found the sexually explicit messages and videos.  She reported the texts and footage to the police and gave the cell phone to investigators.

Wade was arrested in January and yesterday pleaded guilty to four counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and one count of importuning, Cleveland.com reported.

She will be sentenced on May 31 and could face up to three-and-a-half years in prison. Wade will have to register as Tier I sex offender, which means she will have to annually report her address to a county sheriff for the next 15 year


SOURCE  





The poor die sooner and that's not because of anything in their environment

So, by default it's genetic.  No amount of opportunity, information or education would help them.  The author below doesn't want to draw that conclusion (too politically incorrect) but that is what the findings of the very soundly-based research by Chetty et al show.  The excerpt below is presented as a convenient summary of the Chetty et al. findings.  The environmental factors considered and dismissed as causes of early mortality were described by Chetty et al. as: "access to medical care, physical environmental factors, income inequality, or labor market conditions"

Income, Life Expectancy, and Community Health. Underscoring the Opportunity

J. Michael McGinnis

In an impressive analysis based on mortality data and deidentified tax records with more than 1.4 billion person-year observations and nearly 7 million deaths among individuals living in the United States during the 15 years between 1999 and 2014, Chetty et al confirm the long-observed association between higher income and longer life expectancy, as well as the recent increase in the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest 5% of the US population.1 Looking specifically at the lowest income quartile, Chetty et al also found little association between life expectancy and various measures of access to medical care, physical environments, employment conditions, or levels of income inequality.

SOURCE

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).



Tuesday, April 26, 2016


British woman on trial



A 46-year-old woman who had sex with a 14-year-old boy has told the Old Bailey she believed he was 17.

Amanda Lockhart is accused of grooming the 'reluctant' boy for sex before forcing him to rub her breasts and have sex.

The court heard the youngster, who Lockhart allowed to take naked photos of her, felt he could not refuse her demands.

Lockhart, of Croydon, south London, claims she was duped into sex after the boy said he was 17 years old, even showing her his passport to prove his age.

She claims he then tried to blackmail her for £500 by threatening to show the naked photos he took to others.

Prosecutor Jose Olivares-Chandler said that, in a police interview, Lockhart 'asserted it was him not her that encouraged sexual activity’.

'The defendant admitted having sexual intercourse with (the boy) but denied knowing his true age’, the prosecutor added.

She claimed that the boy turned 'aggressive' after the tryst but she refused to give in to his alleged blackmail attempt.

Mr Olivares-Chandler said Lockhart initially got the boy to touch her legs when the grooming began.

‘He said he didn’t want to but she asked him again and he complied with her demands’, Mr Olivares-Chandler said.

She then convinced him to have sex with her in January last year, the court heard.

Mr Olivares-Chandler said: ‘She told him to go to the bathroom with her. He didn’t do so but she repeated her demand and once again he did as he was told.’

Mr Olivares-Chandler said the boy refused to take his clothes off so Lockhart undressed him while kissing and touching him.

‘He didn’t feel like there was anything he could do to stop the defendant’s sexual advances’, he said.

‘During the sexual activity in the bathroom, he took photos of the defendant who was naked on his mobile phone’, said the prosecutor.

‘He did so because he was afraid the defendant would engage in sexual activity in the future and he did so to prove to his family that it had taken place.’

The boy sent the pictures to his cousin, who then reported Lockhart to the police.

SOURCE  


Words, words

There is far too much weight given these days to using exactly the "right" form of words.  I suppose it is a hopeless case but I think we should instead just look at the basic meaning and think about that

Let me give an example of the difference that the "right" word can make these days.  I once said: "All Jews should get back to Israel.  They don't belong here".  Did I get condemned for that? Was I immediately fingered as an antisemite? Not at all.  How come?  Because I didn't actually say that.  I said it in Hebrew instead. What I said was: "I think all Jews should make Aliyah".  Both of those forms of words mean the same thing but one was phrased in a way that bore on a great Jewish controversy.

"Aliyah" literally mean "rising up"  -- rising up to Eretz Israel.  And many Jews acknowledge that as a holy duty and feel guilty and apologetic that they have chosen to live in the fleshpots of NYC instead.  So what I said was actually holy from a Jewish viewpoint. And some of my Jewish readers wrote to agree with me.

But isn't that crazy?  Why do we pay so much attention to superficialities? I may be wrong but I do genuinely believe that Israel, despite the attacks on it, is ultimately the safest place for Jewry -- but I was fortunate that I could put that thought in the "right" way.  If I had not been so able, I might have attracted much opprobrium for saying exactly the same thing.

So I hope that conservatives at least will sometimes look at and think about the underlying intention of an utterance and overlook or forgive less felicitous forms of expression.

FOOTNOTE:  My reason for thinking that all Jews should make Aliyah

The Ayatollahs have made clear that America is the great Satan.  Israel is only the little Satan.  And the 9/11 attacks were on NYC, not Israel.  So, if the Obama-enabled Ayatollahs are suicidal enough to unleash a nuclear strike, it will most likely be on NYC, not Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is, after all, holy to them too

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).




Monday, April 25, 2016


Organic Fertilizer Is Great at Killing Bees

There have been huge Greenie panics about recurrent deaths among bees. They are all sure that modern insecticide and fertilizer usage is the cause.  But could it be that "organic" farming is the real culprit?

A given of the organic agriculture movement is that organic growers don’t use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, like organophosphates and glyphosate (RoundUp). All that fear-mongering about pesticides is only possible because environmental groups only test for the synthetic kind, they don’t test for the pesticides and fertilizers used by organic growers.

Because those are safer? Absolutely not.

In the Journal of Economic Entomology, Brazilian scientists studied the effects of copper sulfate, a fertilizer and pesticide that is approved in the U.S. for use in organic agriculture and applied to the leaves of crop plants. Obviously the smarter approach is to treat seeds instead of using a broad spectrum pesticide, and that is the premise behind neonicotinoids, which environmental groups also protest — by treating seeds, which bees have no interest in, rather than plants, which bees do have an interest in, farmers get better yields with less environmental impact.

So why do organic farmers insist on carpet-bombing plants with chemicals instead? The science is clearly against them, so it’s for psychologists to figure out. The new paper adds to the literature showing that a targeted approach is just better, not just for honeybees, but also for stingless bees (Friesella schrottkyi), which are native to the Americas and not an introduced species like the honeybee. They are known to pollinate crop plants.

What did they find? The organic pesticide approach is incredibly toxic for bees.

The investigators compared the effects of copper sulfate and another leaf fertilizer mixture, as well as a commonly used insecticide (spinosad) on the stingless bees. They found that the copper sulfate was more lethal to the bees than the insecticide when the insects ingested it in a sugar solution.

They wrote: “[L]eaf fertilizers seem to deserve attention and concern regarding their potential impact on native pollinators, notably Neotropical stingless bees such as F. schrottkyi. Their heavy metal content is above the safety threshold for the stingless bee species studied, which may also be the case for related species. Furthermore, the mix of heavy metals in some leaf fertilizers and the presence of S[ulfur] and sometimes B[oron] may increase their risks. In sum, leaf fertilizers deserve proper risk assessment because of the isolated and mixed use of heavy metals in such fertilizers.”

So, the next time you read organic marketing claims about how synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are dangerous, be a little more skeptical. When they are applied by spray, there’s really no reason to distinguish between the two types.

SOURCE

Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).



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