Thursday, November 26, 2015


I think Thanksgiving is becoming an occasion mainly for conservatives.  Being grateful for our blessings is normal for conservatives (See here and here and here and here) whereas Leftists focus on problems.  And extreme Leftists of course say that the occasion celebrates a takeover of the territory of others by invaders and is therefore nothing to be celebrated.

Nonetheless, a lot of liberals do sit down with others to share a Thanksgiving meal. And where the gathering is politically mixed there can be tensions. The Boston Globe, writing from the heartland of self-righteousness, however, has a new twist on such dinner tensions.  They say:

"For years, the major Thanksgiving stressors have been set: politics and religion. But as a growing number of Americans go vegan, vegetarian, organic, local, grass-fed, free-range, wheat-free, or Paleo, a third flash point has been added — the divide between those who favor comfortable Thanksgiving fare and, well, food snobs."

And they go on to give examples of the real tensions that can cause.  So once again conservatives are blessed.  They may often have their own food beliefs but their appreciation of tradition would usually come to the fore -- so they would be very unlikely to make an issue of food disciplines on such a happy day.

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Jersey Teacher Accused of Sex with Student - Update

Nicole McDonough

(Mount Olive, New Jersey) A Mendham High School teacher, Nicole McDonough, 32, is accused of engaging in sex with an 18-year-old student and with having improper relations with two other students.
A Superior Court judge in Morristown issued the ruling on Thursday, Nov. 19, regarding the suspended teacher, Nicole McDonough 32, of Mount Olive. She is accused of having sex with an 18-year-old student and with having improper communications with two other students.

The teacher has not been charged with a sex-related offense because the three accusers were all 18.

* * * * *

New Jersey Teacher Accused of Improper Student Relations
[Previous 3/6/15 post]
(Morristown, New Jersey)
An English teacher at West Morris Mendham High School was indicted today on three counts of official misconduct for allegedly having "improper" relationships in 2013 and 2014 with three male students who were 18 years old.

Nicole McDonough, 32, of Mount Olive, who is also known as Nicole L. Howell, is accused of having a "physical sexual relationship" with one student, and having improper "communication" and "fraternization" with all three, according to a statement issued by Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp and Mendham Borough Police Chief Pasquale Libertino.

McDonough has been suspended from her job since her arrest on Dec. 30 during the school's holiday break.
Three students, eh? McDonough was a busy teacher.

What fun!  New nonsense from Lewandowsky!

The king of dodgy climate research strikes again!  He claims to be researching global warming but once again he is looking at what people are doing rather than what the climate is doing. Instead of looking at the evidence for the global warming "pause", he looks at what people say about it. His findings?  Warmist writers disagree about the details of it!  We should worry!

The only thing that matters is temperature, measured as accurately as possible, not people's comments on it.  So let me yet again bore everybody by pointing to the evidence about global temperatures:

The satellites are the only way of obtaining a truly global temperature reading and for the last 18 years they just show random fluctuations around a constant mean. Here's the graph:

And even the annual terrestrial datasets show no statistically significant global temperature change over the last 18 years.

So there's the evidence that Lewandowsky closed his eyes to!  No "agreed definition" there.  Just the facts


Now hear the oracle:

The study analysed scientific articles spanning the last 15 years which addressed this widely discussed 'pause' in global warming.

Though the term has been used in scientific circles for years, it has no agreed upon definition.

A new study from the University of Bristol, UK analyzed 40 peer-reviewed scientific articles between 2009 and 2014.

The study found that there was no conclusive definition to address a 'pause' in global warming, and there was no agreement on when it began or ends.

While scientists may refer to this pause in global warming, the researchers say that this comes with the greater understanding that climate change will not stop, and does not imply otherwise.

Professor Lewandowsky warns that continued use of this term is hazardous to public knowledge.

Now, the researchers are saying this is because it doesn't exist.

With no substantial evidence to support the idea of a pause in global warming, the study concluded that continued use of the term could be hazardous to public understanding of climate change issues.

The team from the University of Bristol was led by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky of Bristol's School of Experimental Psychology and the Cabot Institute, and analysed 40 peer-reviewed articles published between 2009 and 2014.


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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Unscientific ecofascist, Alan Betts, just KNOWS the truth

Elderly British-born and NOAA funded Vermonter, Dr. Alan Betts, has scientific credentials but a real scientist is always open to new evidence and argument.   We see below however that Betts regards the global warming theory as beyond question and is unrepentant of his wish to use all methods to suppress scientific discussion of it.  He is an ideological descendant of the Nazi book burners.  He regards it as corruption to fund research that does not lead to Warmist conclusions. He just KNOWS the truth, indicating that it is he who is the dogmatist, not skeptics. And everything he himself says below is unsupported assertion and selective use of evidence.  That oil companies give far more to Greenies than to skeptics is unmentioned, for instance.  Skeptics of course have nothing to fear from a RICO investigatiuon  -- but such an investigation would create the impression that they have.  It would be amusing to hear what Betts thinks of the First Amendment

A couple of months ago, I was one of 20 climate scientists who signed a letter to the United States attorney general requesting a RICO investigation of the companies that have poured millions into campaigns against climate science. This law, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, was signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970, and it was used to expose the way the tobacco industry knowingly deceived the public for decades at the cost of many lives.

But when we suggested that this kind of deliberate fraud should be exposed, since this obstruction of political action will lead to staggering loss of life on Earth this century, the hate mail poured in — targeting us for challenging the gospel of money and power. Fellow scientists at public universities were attacked with demands for all their emails for the past five years, driven by the fantasy that we are a scientific conspiracy, threatening the noble fossil fuel industry with false climate analyses. Really! When there is over $100 billion in annual profits at stake, it is not hard to guess where the conspiracy lies.

We now know that the Exxon team of research scientists examined the evidence that greenhouse gases were warming the global climate back in 1978. Their assessment agreed with the 1979 National Academy of Science report that said doubling carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would warm the planet by 5 to 8 degrees F. But Exxon management decided they should suppress their own scientific assessment and instead fund groups to undermine climate science, because they could see that climate science was an obvious threat to oil industry profits. Two weeks ago, the New York attorney general began a RICO investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public and investors about the risks of climate change.

But it is hard to deny reality forever. Last month the Canadian government that had silenced their own government scientists on climate change to protect the tar sands industry, was thrown out of office. I recall back in 1980, around the time Exxon decided to suppress its own science, meeting with a group of brilliant young Soviet scientists. We were part of an international science team for an Atlantic Ocean tropical experiment. After hours, they explained that the Soviet Union was on the path to collapse because of the irreconcilable conflict between ideology and reality. They were prophetic.

For two centuries the United States government respected scientific evidence and prospered. Now it faces collapse, because the merge of web technology with the infamous principle of the “big lie” has undermined the integrity of so many politicians.

So we, the people, must speak up, elect leaders who stand for the truth, start to work with the Earth, and build communities that are sustainable for generations to come.


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

Monday, November 23, 2015

World Wide Travel Alert

The US has issued a worldwide travel alert for its citizens in response to "increased terrorist threats".

The state department said "current information" suggested the Islamic State [IS] group, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and others continued "to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions".

The alert, it said, will remain in place until 24 February 2016.
It seems we have trouble ahead.

Scientology Banned in Moscow

(Moscow, Russia)
A court in Moscow has banned the local branch of the Church of Scientology, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the courtroom Monday.

The court backed the Russian Justice Ministry's claim that the organization's activity did not comply with the federal law on freedom of religion.

Texas Baby Dies on Oven

(Houston, Texas)
[P]olice say four children were left alone Monday night and their mother came home to find one of them dead.

The two 3-year-old siblings of the 19-month-old little girl who died, J'Zyra Thompson, told authorities that one of them put the baby in the oven and the other one turned it on and made it "hot," ABC 13 reports.
OK. Can somebody explain to me how young children are left alone?

Long overdue straight talk about Europe addressed TO Europe

Farage's speech to the European Parliament is Churchillian in its pin-point accuracy and clarity.  

Interesting that this superb performance by Nigel Farage of UKIP in Brussels wasn't reported in the French or German media - and it's wonderful seeing the shots of Merkel's and Hollande's faces as they listened to it! In clear RP English with French subtitles:

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

Sunday, November 22, 2015

"If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live."

Greenies love that quote because it gives a veneer of profundity to their totally ignorant scares about fluctuating bee populations.  They even attribute the quote to Einsten, even though it in fact comes from the writings of Maurice Maeterlinck, who was a Belgian poet.  And Maeterlinck was wrong if honey bees were what he was talking about, which he probably was and which Greenies clearly are. Honey Bees Are Not Native to North America so how did the Indians get on before the white man introduced them?  Did they starve?  Hardly. Background article on that below.  More on the 20,000 species of bees here.  Something I didn't know but which seems obvious when you know it, is that bees are descended from wasps

Honey bees are among the most recognizable and beneficial of the insects that live in North America. But these insects are not even native to the Americas. Like most of the livestock associated with American farms, honey bees were imported by European settlers.

Prior to the arrival of the Old World settlers, honey bees were unknown to Native Americans. In fact, several early American writers, including Thomas Jefferson, reported that honey bees were called “white man's flies.” The name was recognition that the appearance of honey bees in America was associated with the arrival of the Europeans.

There was a close association between the westward migration of Europeans and the establishment of wild colonies of honey bees. Native Americans were said to have noticed that shortly after colonies of honey bees were discovered, white settlers would not be far behind.

So when did the first colonies of honey bees arrive in the New World? These bees probably came from England and arrived in Virginia in 1622. By 1639 colonies of honey bees were found throughout the woods in Massachusetts. Some of the colonists who arrived at Plymouth likely brought bees, as well as sheep, cows and chickens on the trip across the Atlantic.

Once the bees were introduced, they, like other insects, were able to increase their range by moving into new territory. Honey bees increase colony numbers by swarming. Swarms are able to fly several miles to establish a new colony.

Such migrating swarms brought honey bees to Connecticut and Pennsylvania by the mid 1650s. Honey bees had swarmed their way into Michigan by 1776 and Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois by 1800. In the next 20 years or so, bees had made their way to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas, as well as Wisconsin.

Further westward migration of the honey bee was slow. In 1843 it was reported that there were no honey bees beyond Kansas. However, Mormons arrived in Utah, and the first bees were taken there on the back of a wagon in 1848. So successful was this introduction, it was reported that a considerable amount of honey was being made in the southern counties of Utah. By 1852 the swarms had reached Nevada.

Bees were finally introduced into the Pacific Coast states by using a sea route along the East Coast and crossing Panama, before using the Pacific Ocean for the final part of the journey. It was in 1853 that botanist C. A. Shelton used this route to introduce the first honey bees into California. Only enough bees from 12 colonies survived to establish one colony, but it was enough to allow history to credit him with starting the honey bee industry in the golden state.

Transporting colonies of bees either by sea or land in the 1700s and 1800s was not easy. The sea voyage from England lasted six to eight weeks, and it was not easy to keep bees alive for that length of time while confined. Many of the attempts to transport bees were unsuccessful as many stories relate.

For once in our history, the introduction of a foreign insect has a happy ending. After all, honey bees are a very important part of agriculture in this country, and we really can't do without them. Even if they do sting us once in a while!


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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Connecticut State Trooper Stole from Victim

Aaron Huntsman

(Hartford, Connecticut)
A Connecticut state police trooper who stole cash and jewelry from a dying motorcycle accident victim and then resigned has lost his state pension.

State Attorney General George Jepsen announced Thursday a Hartford Superior Court judge recently approved the revocation of Aaron Huntsman's pension.
So, Huntsman loses out on $1,530 a month pension and was sentenced to one year in prison. Huntsman apologized.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Virginia Murder-for-Hire Plot

Tammy Kelly

(Culpeper, Virginia) A 44-year-old local woman, Tammy Kelly, has been accused of trying to have four family members killed.
Kelly, of Stevensburg, was arrested Thursday after authorities allege she attempted to hire an undercover officer to kill her grandson’s maternal grandparents and their two adult children.[…]

The Sheriff’s Office became aware of the plot on Monday and set up the undercover operation.
Kelly faces counts of soliciting for murder and attempted capital murder.

Colorado Woman Accused of Attempted Murder

Carol Gallegos

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) A 56-year-old woman, Carol Gallegos, was arrested for repeatedly ramming her minivan into walls of a home, causing a wall to collapse.

Gallegos was arrested after she fled the scene. She is in custody for DUI, domestic violence and three counts of attempted first-degree murder.

California Teacher Faces Student Sex Charges

Lindsay Himmelspach

(Butte County, California)
A Butte County teacher accused of having sexual relations with her students appeared in Butte County Court Wednesday, pleading not guilty to charges of unlawful sex with minors.

Lindsay Himmelspach was a PE teacher at Las Plumas High School in Oroville until she was arrested on October 30.

The 33 year-old is accused of having sex with two 17 year-old boys, one from Prospect High School and the other from Las Plumas High School.

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