Sunday, November 30, 2014

Women With Troubles - November 2014

Here is a compilation of women with troubles reported in news stories during November 2014. Each name is linked to an Interested-Participant blog entry displaying details.

For a more comprehensive listing, check the Women With Troubles category link.

(AL) Ashley Pruitt, 33,
teacher - Accused of sex with two students,

(AR) Shelby Nalley, 21,
neighbor - Accused of letting toddler son ingest drugs,

(AZ) Laura Gamble, 33,
neighbor - Accused of selling and possessing methamphetamine,

(AZ) Shelby Henrickson,
neighbor - Accused of felony child abuse,

(CA) Courtney Lynn Stewart, 24,
neighbor - Accused of child abuse of her young boys,

(CT) Marybeth Rataic, 25,
neighbor - Accused of sex assault of boy, 10,

(DE) Molly Shattuck, 47,
former NFL cheerleader - Accused of rape, unlawful sex with boy, 15,

(DE) Jennifer J. Suarez, 28,
teacher - Guilty of rape. Sentencing in January 2015,

(FL) Jessica Runae Brooker, 37,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 15,

(FL) Pamela Guthrie, 34,
teacher - Charged with burglary and criminal mischief,

(FL) Darlene Pierre, 26,
neighbor - Sentenced to prison for sex with boy,

(FL) Tara Roberts, 28,
teacher - Accused of child cruelty,

(GA) Arkebia Albury, 26,
neighbor - Sentenced to 9 years prison for driving over her 4-year-old,

(GA) Alexis J. Wilson-Britten, 22,
teacher - Accused of battery of child, 2,

(IA) Mandy Davenport,
teacher - Gets no jail for sex with student, 17,

(IL) Kirby Cheesman,
teacher - Accused of sex with student, 16,

(MI) Heidi Eastman aka Heidi Lewis, 45,
teacher - Ordered to pay $50 for sex with 3 male students,

(MI) Sarah M. Raymo, 32,
teacher - Gets prison for sex with 14-year-old student,

(MI) Abigail Simon, 35,
educator - Accused of sex assault of male student, 15,

(MS) Carmen Bigby, 29,
neighbor - Accused of sex with boy, 15,

(MS) Whitney Fair Mullen, 34,
teaching assistant - Accused of molesting student, age 12,

(NC) Elizabeth Lorraine Brown, 25,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate relationship with student, 16,

(NJ) Linda Hardan, 21,
teacher - Accused of sexually assaulting student, 16,

(NJ) Donna D. Pierce-Faley (aka Peirce-Faley), 28
teacher - Accused of sex with student, 18,

(NM) Gwendolynn Lindgren, 34,
neighbor - Accused of sex acts with boy, 7,

(NY) Heather Castrechino, 38,
neighbor - Gets 25 years prison for sex with 3-year-old,

(NY) Brenda McClaine, 39,
teacher - Gets jail for grand larceny,

(NY) Evelyn Reyes, 38,
neighbor - Accused of smuggling liquor into prison,

(NY) Julie Kay Werkheiser, 38,
dance teacher - Accused of sex assault of young child over a period of 3 years,

(OH) Jennifer Kuhlman,
teacher - Accused of inappropriate relationship with student,

(OH) Dr. Shannon L. Swanson, 44,
medical doctor - Indicted on multiple drug trafficking charges,

(OK) Melissa Kay Anderson, 35, and boyfriend Michael Glendon Burris, 39,
neighbor - Guilty of forcing sex on boy, 10. Sentencing in January 2015,

(OK) Misty Yeats, 53,
neighbor - Gets 10 years prison for manslaughter,

(OR) Stephanie Marie Kroker, 37,
neighbor - Accused of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of boy,

(OR) Jillian Meredeth McCabe,
neighbor - Accused of throwing 6-year-old son off bridge. Faces murder charge,

(SC) Crystal Williams, 35,
neighbor - Sentenced to life in prison for murdering husband,

(TX) Vinita Hegwood,
teacher - Accused of sending racially offensive messages on Twitter,

(UT) Jaime Renee Tactay, 37,
neighbor - Gets 20 years prison for sex with boy, 15,

(VA) Christine Lee Kim, 26,
office administrator - Accused of pretending to be a doctor and seeing patients,

(VA) Kyle Lynne Noro, 27,
educator - Gets 3 years prison for directing minor to perform pornography,

(WA) Elizabeth Kinkade, 37,
librarian - Accused of engaging in sex with an 18-year-old student,

(WI) Jessica Bell, 25,
neighbor - Gets 7 years prison for porn videos with own toddler son,

(England) Helen Louise Turnbull, 35,
teaching assistant - Accused of sex with boy, 16.

Thanks to the tipsters.

There is NO American Dream?

Gregory Clark is very good at both social history and economic history.  His latest work, however, leans on what I see as a very weak reed.  He finds surnames that are associated with wealth and tracks those surnames down the generations.  And he finds that in later generations those surnames continue to be associated with wealth.

That is all well and good but he is using only a very small sampling of the population so can tell us nothing about the society at large.  The well-known effect of a man making a lot of money only for his grandchildren to blow the lot is not captured by his methods.

So if the American dream consists of raising up a whole new lineage of wealth, we can agree that such a raising up is rare, though not unknown.  But if we see the American Dream as just one man "making it" (regardless of what his descendants do) Clark has nothing to tell us about it.  And I think that latter version of the dream is the usual one.

But his findings that SOME lineages stay wealthy is an interesting one.  And he explains it well.  He says (to simplify a little) that what is inherited is not wealth but IQ.  As Charles Murray showed some years back, smarter people tend to be richer and tend to marry other smart people.  So their descendant stay smart and smart people are mostly smart about money too.

And note that although IQ is about two thirds genetically inherited, genetic inheritance can throw up surprises at times.  I once for instance knew two brown-haired parents who had three red-headed kids.  The hair was still genetically inherited (there would have been redheads among their ancestors), but just WHICH genes you get out of the parental pool when you are conceived seems to be random.  So you do get the phenomenon of two ordinary people having a very bright child.  And that child can do very well in various ways -- monetary and otherwise.  I was such a child.


It has powered the hopes and dreams of U.S. citizens for generations.  But the American Dream does not actually exist, according to one economics professor.

Gregory Clark, who works at the University of California, Davis, claims the national ethos is simply an illusion and that social mobility in the country is no higher than in the rest of the world.

'America has no higher rate of social mobility than medieval England or pre-industrial Sweden,' he said. 'That’s the most difficult part of talking about social mobility - it's shattering people's dreams.'

After studying figures from the past 100 years and applying a formula to them, Mr Clark concluded that disadvantaged Americans will not be granted more opportunities if they are hard-working.

Instead, they will be stuck in their social status for the rest of their lives - and their position will, in turn, affect the statuses of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he said.

'The United States is not exceptional in its rates of social mobility,' the professor wrote in an essay published by the Council on Foreign Relations.  'It can perform no special alchemy on the disadvantaged populations of any society in order to transform their life opportunities.'

Speaking to CBS Sacramento, he added: 'The status of your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren will be quite closely related to your average status now.'

However, not all of Mr Clark's students agree with his findings, with some pointing out that although parents' wealth has an effect on a child's life, 'it is not the ultimate deciding factor'.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Leftist rediscovers Christianity

Out of all her agonizing about the fashionable "privilege" concept, the woman below extracts rules for her own behaviour that sound remarkably like what the Bible teaches.  She could repeat her advice from most church pulpits and get only nods of agreement.  In Western societies, Christian ideas still lurk close to the surface even among those who are not formally Christian

Privilege refers to the uneven distribution of power within a society. Privilege exists when that aspect of your life is seamlessly accepted into the world without scrutiny or suspicion. Personal privilege is the possession of these unearned attributes that dictate the ease and influence one will have within society.

Privilege is a fact, not an insult! You can’t help it if you have it, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it.

Privilege is not absolute. Most people occupy multiple social positions with multiple levels of privilege or disadvantage.

Take me for example!  While I am mentally ill, queer, and currently occupy a non-normative internal gender identity, I occupy several positions of privilege as well:

I’m white

I pass as a cisgender [normal] woman

I am able-bodied and without cognitive or intellectual impairments

My weight and height are within the boundaries of what is considered ‘acceptable’

(this list is not exhaustive!)

Here’s how I try to be responsible in the areas in which I hold privilege:

1. I Shut  Up: I recognize that the privileged groups that I belong to historically (and currently) are the ones who have dominated discussions, created knowledge, and dictated the language, environments, and modes of conversations. I recognize that I do not always need to be heard all the time, and by insisting on my inclusion, I risk inadvertently reenforcing harmful power dynamics. If I do participate, I will carefully monitor myself to make sure I don’t hijack the conversation.

2. I Listen: I recognize that my experiences in privilege are considered normal, and that the experiences of people who do not belong to a privileged group are often silenced or ignored. I try to listen to those experiences, even if it’s hard or I don’t like what’s being said. The ability to ignore and dismiss is part of my privilege, and I will not contribute to that legacy.

3. I Educate Myself: I seek out resources, authorities, dissenting opinions, and alternate viewpoints on topics in which I hold privilege. I do not require members of disadvantaged groups to be responsible for educating me. When I have a question, I will make sure I ask it at an appropriate time and that I am not making someone uncomfortable or upset. I will not ask overly personal or intimate questions unless I know for sure that that is ok.

RH: Hey, when you were talking back there, I heard you use a term to identify yourself that I hadn’t heard before. Can I ask you a little more about that?

4. I Use It for Good: Because social power dynamics have made my voice more important than others, I will use that voice for good. I will speak up in my peer group when someone tells a racist joke or when I hear a slur. I will not tolerate discriminatory and disempowering behaviour from the people around me. I will consider how the organizations and groups that I belong to treat people who are not privileged, and I will make responsible decisions about whether to associate with them. I will opt-in or opt-out where it matters. I will always be careful to not speak FOR people, but I will stand up with them wherever I can.

RH: look, you’re my friend. I know you’re a smart, kind woman, but the jokes you make and the words you use when someone mentions immigration are really not cool. Can we talk about that?

5. I Will Learn from Messing Up: My privilege has been internalized and reenforced for my entire life. I will mess up sometimes; I will be thoughtless, misinformed, aggressive, or unkind. I will listen when people call me out on it, and figure out how I can avoid messing up again.

These personal guidelines help me make sure that the privilege I hold does more good than harm.

(person) but whenever I try to talk, someone yells ‘privilege’ at me!

Some people may use the term to bully or silence, but I would gently suggest that this happens less than people would like. When I feel attacked, I try to reflect on whether there’s some truth behind it (even if the person could have been nicer about it). Sometimes the call-out is disingenuous, but it never hurts to be a little self-critical!


China: No Puns Allowed

Puns Mislead the Public and Children

From online discussions to adverts, Chinese culture is full of puns. But the country’s print and broadcast watchdog has ruled that there is nothing funny about them.

It has banned wordplay on the grounds that it breaches the law on standard spoken and written Chinese, makes promoting cultural heritage harder and may mislead the public – especially children.[…]

But the order from the State Administration for Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television says: “Radio and television authorities at all levels must tighten up their regulations and crack down on the irregular and inaccurate use of the Chinese language, especially the misuse of idioms.”

Programmes and adverts should strictly comply with the standard spelling and use of characters, words, phrases and idioms – and avoid changing the characters, phrasing and meanings, the order said.
Seems the order would be impossible to enforce.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Warthog New Mission

A-10 Thunderbolt

(Washington, D.C.) News stories over the last few months have indicated that President Obama's downsizing of the military budget included the demise of the A-10 Thunderbolt (aka Warthog).

In a new development, the A-10 will now be deployed in the Middle East to fight the Islamic State.
A squadron-sized element of A-10 Thunderbolts arrived in the region during the week of Nov. 17-21, according to the Air Force. The aircraft were previously being used in Afghanistan.

The move marks the first time the ugly but battle-proven jet, also known as the “Warthog,” has been thrown into the fight against Islamic State, which controls much of Iraq and Syria. The A-10 is a slow, low-flying plane that can unleash massive amounts of firepower against enemy ground forces while conducting close-air-support missions.
It doesn't seem logical to retire a proven weapons system strictly for budget cuts. I believe the Pentagon could squeeze some dollars to keep the A-10 ready and deadly.

California Mom Allegedly Starved & Abused Her Children

Courtney Lynn Stewart

(Murrietta, California) A 24-year-old local woman, Courtney Lynn Stewart, has been arrested for child abuse after one of her twin 3-year-old boys was hospitalized for severe malnutrition and a broken jaw.

Stewart faces charges of willfully harming a child and inflicting injury on a child.
Police began investigating the case Nov. 7 after Stewart -- at the urging of her mother -- took one of the twins to the emergency room at Rancho Springs Medical Center in Murrieta. The child could no longer walk, was suffering from malnutrition and had bruises, Detective Sgt. Phil Gomez said. He weighed less than 15 pounds.

The child was transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, police said. He was released this week.

The same day the boy arrived in the emergency room, detectives went to the home Stewart shares with several family members, including her mother. They found the boy’s twin brother, who also was in poor health, police said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment of nutritional and medical neglect and later released, officials said.

Police said the boys hadn’t been to a doctor since 2012.
Stewart was booked into custody with bail set at $130,000.

More unsettled science

The journal article below reveals that estimates of Antarctic ice were way out.  The sea ice should be shrinking according to the famous Warmist "models" but it is in fact expanding.  And now we know that it is not only expanding in area but also thickening in size.  Pesky!  So it will be more resistant to global warming than predicted, if such warming ever eventuates.  The findings are from what they found when they sent a robot sub under the ice.

An explanation of "deformed" ice:  "These thick, craggy floes likely wouldn't exist without the fierce winds that circle Antarctica from west to east, the researchers said. Winter storms bash up the ice, freezing and reforming the rubble into new, thicker ice. "It must have been crunched up a tremendous amount and [the floes] piled up on top of each other," Maksym said"

A telling comment from one of the researchers:  ""If we don't know how much ice is there is, we can't validate the models we use to understand the global climate," Maksym told Live Science. "It looks like there are significant areas of thick ice that are probably not accounted for."

Thick and deformed Antarctic sea ice mapped with autonomous underwater vehicles

G. Williams et al.


Satellites have documented trends in Antarctic sea-ice extent and its variability for decades, but estimating sea-ice thickness in the Antarctic from remote sensing data remains challenging. In situ observations needed for validation of remote sensing data and sea-ice models are limited; most have been restricted to a few point measurements on selected ice floes, or to visual shipboard estimates. Here we present three-dimensional (3D) floe-scale maps of sea-ice draft for ten floes, compiled from two springtime expeditions by an autonomous underwater vehicle to the near-coastal regions of the Weddell, Bellingshausen, and Wilkes Land sectors of Antarctica. Mean drafts range from 1.4 to 5.5 m, with maxima up to 16 m. We also find that, on average, 76% of the ice volume is deformed ice. Our surveys indicate that the floes are much thicker and more deformed than reported by most drilling and ship-based measurements of Antarctic sea ice. We suggest that thick ice in the near-coastal and interior pack may be under-represented in existing in situ assessments of Antarctic sea ice and hence, on average, Antarctic sea ice may be thicker than previously thought.


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

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ohio Doctor Faces Multiple Drug Charges

Dr. Shannon L. Swanson

(Jefferson, Ohio) A 44-year-old local doctor, Dr. Shannon L. Swanson, has been indicted on multiple drug trafficking charges.
The case was dismissed earlier this month so it could be brought back to the grand jury to include additional charges, said Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nick Iarocci.

In April, Swanson pleaded not guilty to the original 26 counts. She has yet to enter a plea to the new set of charges.[…]

Iarocci said the 52 charges go hand-in-hand. There were allegedly 26 “transactions” in which Swanson is accused of prescribing controlled substances to friends and coworkers who were not her patients, and not for legitimate medical purposes, according to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.
Swanson was terminated from her position at St. Joseph’s Andover Medical Center.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wisconsin Mom Sentenced for Own-Child Porn

Jessica Bell

(Milwaukee, Wisconsin) A 25-year-old local woman, Jessica Bell, was sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison for child pornography videos depicting herself in sexual conduct with her own toddler son.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Stephanie Rothstein ordered Bell to have no contact with the boy for 17 years. Bell was also ordered to be on the state sex offender registry for life.

Notably, Bell faces additional charges in Racine County.

Ferguson disgrace: Violent rioting and looting erupts for second night

Despite ample warnings of violence, the authorities clearly used a softly-softly approach where a firm hand was needed.  The violence and looting should have been promptly suppressed using any means necessary -- water cannon, tear gas, rubber bullets etc -- even live fire if all else failed.  Instead political correctness meant that blacks had to be allowed to do what no white group would ever be permitted to do.

Protecting citizens from gratuitous violence and property destruction is one of the most basic functions of government.  Clearly, that function is often very poorly discharged in the USA where blacks are concerned.  There is no "right" to destroy other people's property in a civilized society so the fact that such a right seems to be conceded to blacks in the USA earmarks the USA as a civilization in decline

And irrepressible ad-man Gavin McInnes had a germane comment on Twitter:  "I'm guessing about 300 black kids were murdered by black kids in NYC so far this year. Can they get a riot too?"  The political correctness is anti-white, not pro-black

Protests in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson have erupted for a second night after charges were not laid against a white police officer over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager.

It comes after Missouri's governor ordered National Guard reinforcements into the area following violent scenes on Monday night (local time) in which protesters fired guns at police, lit patrol cars on fire and hurled bricks into their lines.

Several shops in Ferguson were looted and about a dozen buildings burned in the immediate unrest that followed the grand jury's decision not to lay charges against officer Darren Wilson.

More than 60 people, mostly from the St Louis area, were arrested for crimes including burglary, illegal weapons possession and unlawful assembly, police said.

President Barack Obama called for calm.  "Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk - that is destructive and there's no excuse for it, there's no excuse for it," Mr Obama said.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon said he was meeting with law enforcement and bolstering the National Guard deployment to ensure that people and property are protected in the days ahead.

"Violence like we saw last night cannot be repeated," Mr Nixon said on his Twitter feed.

While news channels aired president Barack Obama's live remarks calling for restraint from the White House on one side of the screen, they showed violent scenes from Ferguson on the other.

Although no serious injuries were reported, St Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the rioting on Monday night and early Tuesday morning was "much worse" than the disturbances that erupted in the immediate aftermath of the August shooting.


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

Chicken Protest

(Berkeley, California)
An animal rights group staged a funeral for a singular frozen chicken in the meat and deli section of a Berkeley, California, grocery store.

The group, Direct Action Everywhere (DAE), posted the event on their YouTube channel earlier this month. In the video they chant their mantra, “It’s not food, it’s violence.” The group placed a single frozen chicken into a casket big enough for a human.
Everybody has to have a hobby, eh?

Demand for Free Clinics Higher

Despite Obamacare's purported affordable care for everyone, demand for free clinics is on the rise.
“Since ACA [Affordable Care Act] was passed, there’s a real misconception that free clinics are on the way out,” said Johanna Henz, executive director for Lake County Free Clinic in Painesville. “There’s two primary things happening here. People have easier access to Medicaid, but Lake County doesn’t have a lot of providers who accept Medicaid or there’s difficulty finding a provider that is accepting new Medicaid patients. If you have the flu today but you can only be seen three months from now, that doesn’t help you.”

More common, she added, are patients who bought low-cost bronze plans on the ACA health insurance marketplace but can’t afford the $6,000 deductible.
Free clinics are generally supported by donations and grants from charitable foundations. Read more here.

Posted by Note Taker

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cesspool Danger

(Hunan Province, China)
A cesspool filled with excrement has exploded in central China, injuring 15 people and knocking down a building, state-run media reported.

The blast was apparently sparked by a local man burning waste close to the cesspool, igniting methane gas which was emanating from the pit, the Xinhua news agency said late on Sunday.

The incident in Zhangjiajie city, in the central province of Hunan, caused a residential building to collapse and three of the injured had to be hospitalised, Xinhua said.

Michigan Teacher Fined $50 for Sex with 3 Students - Update

(Bay City, Michigan) A 45-year-old teacher formerly at Bay City Central High School, Heidi Eastman (aka Heidi Lewis), pleaded guilty to misdemeanor sex crimes with three male students..

As a result, Eastman was sentenced yesterday to pay $50 in restitution.

* * * * *

Michigan Teacher Accused of Sex with Students
[Previous 2/9/11 post]
(Midland, Michigan) Last month, a 41-year-old substitute teacher at Bay City Central High School, Heidi Lewis, was arrested for allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with three male students.

Today, Lewis was arraigned before Bay County District Judge Dawn A. Klida on six counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Bay City Police officers arrested Lewis on Dec. 28 after a female student told a school administer about an alleged relationship involving Lewis and a male student. The administrator passed on the information to police, whose investigation culminated in Lewis’ arrest.

The alleged sexual encounters took place off school property, investigators have said.
Lewis is free on $100,000 bond.

Georgia Woman Gets Prison for Driving Over Her Child

(Houston County, Georgia) Yesterday, 26-year-old local woman Arkebia Albury was sentenced to nine years in prison for running over her child as she fled a mall in Centerville after she was accused of shoplifting.
Her sentence, handed down by Houston County Superior Court Judge George Nunn, was based on convictions for serious injury by vehicle and failure to stop and return to the scene of an accident.

Her son, who was 4-years-old at the time, suffered skull fractures, a lacerated liver and other injuries in the May 23, 2013 incident, the release stated.

According to the release, Albury fled the Houston County Galleria after attempts to detain her for shoplifting failed. She neglected to place her son in her vehicle and thought he had climbed inside. As she fled the scene, she struck her son with her 2001 Toyota Camry and ran over him.

She then placed the injured boy inside the car and fled the scene. She was pulled over a few miles away by Centerville police. The boy was taken to the Houston County Medical Center.
Albury was also ordered to serve 11 years of probation.

Craig Idso on facts the IPCC ignores

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

Traffic Deaths in Europe

More than two decades after the fall of Communism, Europe remains a continent divided in many respects. Traffic statistics offer one example. Eastern Europeans still own fewer cars than their Western cousins, but road fatality rates in the east remain far higher, on average, than in the West.
Travelers should be cautious.

Monday, November 24, 2014

New York Woman Gets 25 Years Prison - Update

(Warsaw, New York) Heather Castrechino was sentenced last Friday to 25 years in prison.

* * * * *

New York Woman Convicted as Sexual Predator
[Previous 10/24/14 post]
(Warsaw, New York) A 38-year-old local woman, Heather Castrechino, has pleaded guilty in Wyoming County Court to performing oral sex on a 3-year-old child.
Her plea came in satisfaction of a four-count indictment filed against her, an indictment that included allegations that Castrechino videotaped the sexual assaults against the child.

Assistant District Attorney Vincent Hemming and defense attorney Adam Koch worked out a quick deal in the case against Castrechino.[…]

The indictment charged Castrechino with two counts of predatory sexual assault against a child, a class A felony punishable by 25 years to life in prison, same as a murder conviction.

Hemming said the plea, however, ensures that Castrechino will be in prison for 25 years and on post-release supervision for another 25 years. An order of protection bars her from contact with the child for 58 years.
Formal sentencing is scheduled for November 20.

Mexico: 43 Missing Students

(Mexico City, Mexico)
A day that's supposed to celebrate the anniversary of a revolution is instead turning into one of mass protests against political corruption and outrage over violence that probably left 43 missing students dead.

"There's a feeling of being fed up that's been building for some time," said law student Esteban Santillán, 24, who marched in Mexico City last month. The case of the missing students "is the best example of the rot that there is in the country's political class."

Students, parents and supporters of the missing plan protests in Mexico City and across the country Thursday, when Mexico normally marks the anniversary of the Revolution of 1910, which resulted from discontent over a lack of democracy and farmers' desire for land and liberty.

Protest organizers promise to block access to the international airport. Revolution Day parades have been canceled in parts of Guerrero and Michoacán states for security reasons. Government buildings have been burned in Guerrero state, and stores and delivery trucks have been looted since the students went missing.

"It's the most severe crisis that the country has experienced in the last 20 years, and it touches every area," said Bernardo Barranco, an academic and political analyst. "It's a sort of catharsis in which everything is rotten: government, parties, the economy, etc.
"Everything is rotten," eh?

Regin Spyware

An "extremely complex" and "stealthy" spying program has been stealing data from ISPs, energy companies, airlines and research-and-development labs, a security company has said.

With a "degree of technical competence rarely seen", Regin had probably taken years to develop, Symantec said.

And a nation state may have written it to serve its spying agencies' needs.

The program had been used in "systematic spying campaigns" over the past six years, Symantec said.

Aimed at Windows users, Regin slowly infiltrated its targets, taking care at each stage to hide its tracks, the company said.

"Many components of Regin remain undiscovered and additional functionality and versions may exist," it added.
Reportedly, it is very rare to find malware of such sophistication.

Climate Science is Settled?

Stop funding it then

Governments are running huge deficits, but still spend billions on “climate research” especially trying to model the effect of the atmosphere and its trace of carbon dioxide on surface temperature. Benefits are hard to find. It may have improved weather forecasts by a day or so, but official long-term predictions have not improved in the last fifty years. This is because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not the main driver of weather or climate.

“What is referred to reverently as “climate research” is mainly just grubby advocacy supporting the political war on carbon. Why are we still funding scientists who believe that “the science is settled”? If they believe that they know the answers, what are they are doing with their research funds?”

Around the world there are five official weather data-bases, about 14 weather satellites (some say there are 88 of them!), 73 climate computer models, at least 30 research groups and thousands of academics receiving grants and attending never-ending climate conferences. Much of this torrent of public money is now focussed on trying to torture a climate confession out of one normally un-noticed and totally innocent trace gas in the atmosphere – carbon dioxide.

The major determinants of surface weather are latitude, earth’s rotation, the seasons, the sun with its variable radiations and orbital changes; and nearness to the oceans which maintain the water cycle, moderate temperatures and house massive volcanic chains.

Earth’s mighty oceans cover 70% of the surface. Evaporation of water and convection in the atmosphere transfer large quantities of solar heat from the surface to the stratosphere. This process creates clouds, rain and snow and also forms low pressure zones which are the birthplace for cyclones and hurricanes. Wind direction and strength are related to sun-generated convection in the atmosphere, the transfer of solar heat from the equator to the poles, and the Coriolis effect of the rotation of the earth. Carbon dioxide plays no significant part in these processes.

Oceans also conceal most of the volcanic ring-of-fire and are home to huge numbers of volcanoes, many of which are active. The mighty weather-changing ENSO/El Nino starts with a pool of warm water in the eastern Pacific. Carbon dioxide plays no part in creating such hot-spots, but periodic eruption of undersea volcanoes may do it. We know less about the floor of the oceans and their volcanoes than we do about the surface of Mars.

The community is getting little benefit from much atmospheric research and most climate modelling, and that money should be redirected to more productive areas.

Half of “climate research” money should be spent on improving the ability of public infrastructure to survive natural disasters.

The remaining funds should be spent on real climate research - mapping the floor of the oceans, with particular reference to locating active volcanoes; and investigating how volcanism, solar variations and cycles of the sun, moon, planets and solar system impact long-term weather forecasts and future climate. This work should preferably be done by contracting private operators; and the climate models in public hands should be handed over to practising meteorologists to see if they are useful for short-term weather forecasting.


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

Burger King Germany Poor Performance

(Germany) Burger King in Germany reacts to poor performance by franchisees.
Following earlier reports of poor hygiene, the fast food giant announced Wednesday that it was terminating contracts for 89 franchised outlets because of continued poor treatment of staff.
Poor hygiene, eh?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Camo Swedish Warship


With contemporary electronics, it would seem that a camouflaged warship would be easy to discover.


In case you were wondering ...

Taking low-dose aspirin to prevent heart disease does not help  -- even if you are in an "at risk" category.  A short excerpt from the latest research report below.  The results could not have been more negative:

Low-Dose Aspirin for Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Japanese Patients 60 Years or Older With Atherosclerotic Risk Factors: A Randomized Clinical Trial

The study was terminated early by the data monitoring committee after a median follow-up of 5.02 years (interquartile range, 4.55-5.33) based on likely futility. In both the aspirin and no aspirin groups, 56 fatal events occurred.


Once-daily, low-dose aspirin did not significantly reduce the risk of the composite outcome of cardiovascular death, nonfatal stroke, and nonfatal myocardial infarction among Japanese patients 60 years or older with atherosclerotic risk factors.

JAMA, Nov. 17

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

Carolina Woman Acts to Kill Her Husband

(Pickens, South Carolina) A 35-year-old local woman, Crystal Williams, has been convicted of murder and conspiracy in the killing of her husband.

Williams pleaded guilty in Pickens County Court and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Walt Wilkins told the judge that Williams called 911 in the early morning hours of Jan. 26, telling a dispatcher that she had heard gunshots and found her husband in the floor of their home at 117 Devon Court, Easley.

She had asked her husband of 14 years to get up to put wood in their stove heater and had made arrangements for Marcus Channing Johnson to gun him down when he got out of bed, Wilkins said.

The two had been texting and chatting by phone to plan the murder, he said.

The couple’s 10-year-old son was at home during the shooting, Wilkins said. There was no sign of forced entry.
Details on incarceration not reported.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Good news: Leftist newspaper says the Australian government's climate change credentials have been battered

And see below that it includes some surprising claims, such as:  "The size of the Reef has halved in the past 30 years".  I have been following the barrier reef scares for around 60 years (long before global warming was invented) but that was a newie on me.

But I have traced the claim, and one amusing thing that we read there is:  "The exhaustive AIMS investigation reveals coral loss is uneven along the 2300km-long reef, with the far north still relatively healthy." So the WARMEST parts of the reef are doing best! How pesky can you get?

And what the research showed is NOT that the reef has shrunk by 50% but that the CORAL has shrunk by 50%.  The reef is of course an ancient and relatively permanent structure of dead coral skeletons.

 We also read:  "Storm damage accounted for 48 per cent of the coral loss in the past 27 years, crown-of-thorns starfish were responsible for 42 per cent, and bleaching caused 10 per cent of the coral to die".  No mention of global warming! Though no doubt they would claim that the storms were caused by global warming.  Since severe weather events worldwide  have been FEWER in recent years that however would be a rubbish claim, having no regard to the actual statistics.

Warmists have also been known to link starfish plagues with warming but again we read: "The study says the causes of the plagues were still not fully known".

And I won't mention that the period covered by the research was 27 years, not 30.

And I won't mention that the source paper for the research is no longer where it was.  Has it been taken down due to inaccuracy?

I could go on but the lesson is clear: As soon as we get into the details of the research findings, the sweeping claims made of the research by Warmists are extensively falsified.  So the appeals to authority below are junk.  It is the facts that matter, not authorities, and the facts are very pesky indeed for Warmists.

My habit of going back to the detailed research findings behind Green/Left claims once again shows what crooks and crazies they are

Prime Minister Tony Abbott's apparent, if modest, conversion to the idea that climate change was an "important subject"  following talks with French president Francois Hollande on Wednesday was greeted with no small measure of cynicism.

This was, after all, a politician who had built a political career on climate scepticism, with his famous remark in 2010 that it was "absolute crap" to assert the science was settled.

It took only two days, but the doubters can claim vindication after revelations that the government sent a briefing note to Barack Obama to dissuade him that the Great Barrier Reef was under threat by climate change.

In an interview with Fairfax Media's Latika Bourke in New York, Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said the Reef was "not under threat from climate change because its biggest threat is the nutrient runoffs agricultural land, the second biggest threat is natural disasters, but this has been for 200 years".

This is disingenuous, and factually wrong.

To be sure, the government believes the world is warming, and that human factors play a part.

But when it comes to acknowledging the urgency of the problem, how climate change will impact on the world, and what must be done to avert a catastrophic four-degree rise in global temperature, the Abbott government offers obfuscation and excuses.

So it was with the response to Obama's speech in Brisbane last week, when the US leader called on Australia's youth to rise up and demand more action to combat climate change, remarking that "incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened".

The US leader's speech might have been undiplomatic and rude to his hosts - but his analysis of the impact of climate change on the Reef was spot on.

Just ask the federal government agencies charged with monitoring and protecting the Reef.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority said in its 2014: "Climate change remains the most serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef. It is already affecting the reef and is likely to have far-reaching consequences in the decades to come."

Averting further degradation of the Reef can "only be successful if climatic conditions are stabilised" reported the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), another government body.

The size of the Reef has halved in the past 30 years. Outbreaks of crown of thorn starfish which consume soft corals -  along with cyclones -  have contributed to about 90 per cent of that decline, says AIMS.

Coral bleaching is responsible for the remaining 10 per cent.

Coral bleaching is the direct result of rising sea temperatures caused by global warming. The acceleration of crown of thorn starfish infestations - which spawn in warmer months - is also driven, at least in part, by hotter weather.

And, warns the government's marine scientists, cyclone activity will only increase as the planet heats up.  

Bishop's personal political stocks have soared in recent months due to some forceful international diplomacy on the MH17 disaster and the rise of the Islamic State terrorist group.

Her intervention on the Reef is unlikely to faze Obama, or harm relations. But some of the gloss has come of Bishop's credentials as a moderate alternative to Abbott.

And, the government's climate change credentials, once again, have been battered.


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

Florida Woman, 37, and Boy, 15

(Gainesville, Florida) A 37-year-old local woman, Jessica Runae Brooker, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy on May 5.

Brooker faces a charge of lewd and lascivious battery on a person under the age of 16.
An arrest report states the incident occurred between 3:30 and 5 p.m. The boy was 15 and the meeting was coordinated via text messages. The report did not say how the two knew each other.

The incident was initially reported to GPD by the boy’s stepmother after it came out in a conversation between the teen and the stepmother, said GPD officer Ben Tobias, the agency’s spokesman.
Details on booking are unavailable.

Iowa Teacher Gets Probation for Sex with Student - Update

Mandy Lynn Davenport

(Des Moines, Iowa)
Mandy Davenport, a former teacher in Ankeny, was sentenced Friday morning for having sexual contact with a student.

Davenport received a suspended sentence, 2 years of probation and will be put on state's Sex Offender Registry.
So, no jail.

* * * * *

Iowa Teacher Guilty of Sex with Student
[Previous 9/27/14 post]
(Ankeny, Iowa) A language arts teacher formerly at Ankeny Centennial High School, Mandy Lynn Davenport, has admitted to sexual contact with a 17-year-old student.

Davenport pleaded guilty yesterday to sexual exploitation by a school employee in January 2012.

Sentencing is scheduled for November 17.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ohio Attorney Hypnotized Female Clients

(Sheffield, Ohio) A 57-year-old attorney, Michael Fine, has been accused of performing sex acts on female clients after they were secretly hypnotized.

Police launched an investigation.
Fine, who has not been charged with any crime, is accused of posing “a substantial threat of serious harm to the public" by the Lorain County Bar Association after police say they busted one of his lurid sessions with a client earlier this month.

That woman, only identified as "Jane Doe," contacted Sheffield police after numerous meetings with Fine left her with "strange memories and feelings," according to the affidavit obtained by the Smoking Gun.

"She would be unable to recall substantial portions of the meetings, and afterwards she would realize her clothes and bra were out of place and moved, and her vagina was wet," stated investigator Richard Thomas with the Lorain County prosecutor's office.
Fine has been called "a substantial threat of serious harm to the public" by his bar association.

Utah Woman Gets 20 Years for Sex with Boy - Update

(St. George, Utah) Local woman Jaime Renee Tactay, 37, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 5th District Court Thursday for sexual exploitation and unlawful sexual activity with of a 15-year-old boy.

* * * * *

Utah Woman Guilty of Sex with Teen - Update
[Previous 10/10/14 post]
(St. George, Utah)
A St. George woman accused of maintaining a sexual relationship with a teenager even after a court order was issued against her pleaded guilty to charges in the case Thursday.

Jaime Renee Tactay, 37, is accused of having numerous sexual encounters with a male victim when the boy was 14 and 15 years old.

The incidents were reported in June when one of the boy’s parents, and the boy, told police investigators about the situation.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 20.

* * * * *

Utah Woman Accused of Sex with Teen
[Previous 9/3/14 post]
(St. George, Utah) A 36-year-old local woman, Jaime Renee Tactay, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 15-year-old.

Tactay faces counts of sexual exploitation of a minor; unlawful sexual activity with a minor between 14-15 years old; solicitation of child pornography; and evidence tampering.
The case was originally brought to the St. George Police Department’s attention on June 24.

After an investigation, officers discovered evidence that Tactay and the 15-year-old had sexual relations on at least eight occasions and shared sexually explicit photos and videos, St. George Police Officer John Manzer said in his probable cause statement supporting the arrest.
Judge John J. Walton ordered Tactay to be held without bail.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Deformed Infant Regarded as Hindu 'God Boy'

Indian God-Boy

(Baruipur, India)
A newborn baby boy in Baruipur, a city in West Bengal State, India, stirred controversy as thousands flock to the town to get a glimpse of what they called a reincarnation of a 'god'. He was born with eight limbs: four legs and four arms. He is now dubbed as the "God Boy" because multiple limbs are trademarks of Hindu deities.

Local police authorities say that it is a daunting task to control the crowd around the premises of the hospital. Thousands of bystanders are shouting and pushing guards to enter. Officials said they have not witnessed anything like this. As thousands flock to get glimpse of the baby, many of them have set camp outside the hospital.

A relative told reporters, "When he first came out we couldn't believe it, the nurses said he was badly deformed, but I could see that this was a sign from God. In fact, this is a miracle, it's God's baby."

However, medical experts say that the boy's condition is a result of the legs and arms of his twin being joined to him in the womb. As a result he has eight limbs similar to the Hindu god, Brahma.
Crowds have been 'going berserk' for the supposed son of Brahma.

Arizona Mom Accused of Felony Child Abuse

Shelby Henrickson

(Phoenix, Arizona) A local mom, Shelby Henrickson, has been accused of felony child abuse and felony endangerment for giving her baby and two toddlers an over-the-counter sleep aid meant for adults.
According to police, Shelby Henrickson's 10-month-old boy was rushed to Phoenix Children's Hospital and into intensive care on Nov. 4 after she gave him ZzzQuil.

The main ingredient in ZzzQuil is diphenhydramine. The product packaging clearly states that ZzzQuil is just a sleep aid and should not be given to children younger than 12.

According to court paperwork, Henrickson said she also gave ZzzQuil to her 2- and 3-year-old children and she gave "inconsistent accounts of how much each child was given."
Details on booking are not available.

Of mice and men

It has long been known that results from mouse research often do not generalize to humans so it is good to see an explanation for that below.

Food freaks often use the results of mouse experiments to claim that following their latest food fad will lengthen your life.  I have always argued that mice are particularly inappropriate in that application as mouse lifespans differ so markedly from human lifespans.  Making generalizations about lifespan from a short-lived species to a long-lived species is particularly absurd.

The finding below of large intrinsic differences between mouse and man should strengthen that criticism.  Food and health claims based on mouse research should be routinely disregarded.  The only occasion when mouse research could be of interest is when mouse research, human epidemiology and theory all point to the same conclusion

Mice and men are genetically far further apart than was previously thought, calling into question the important role the rodents play in medical research.

A new study has found that while mice and humans share many protein-coding genes, the way their genes are regulated is often very different.

US scientists were surprised to find that gene activity diverged wildly between the two species in some key biological pathways.

The finding may help explain why more than 90% of new medicines that pass animal tests then fail in human trials.

Laboratory mice have been a pillar of medical research for more than a century, being used by scientists investigating everything from social behaviour to obesity.

Only half of human and mouse DNA match compared with 96% of human and chimpanzee DNA.

Co-author Dr Michael Beer, from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said: "Most of the differences between mice and humans come from regulation of gene activity, not from genes themselves. Because mice are an important model for human biology, we have to understand these differences to better interpret our results."


(Yes.  My allusion in the heading to John Steinbeck and Robert Burns was deliberate)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Day Naked Protest

(New York City)
Animal rights advocates outraged that a SeaWorld float is included in next week's lineup for Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade unveiled plans on Wednesday for a naked protest outside the landmark store.

Demonstrators wearing nothing but black and white body paint to resemble orcas will squeeze into a bathtub outside the midtown Manhattan store on Thursday to mimic orcas held in captivity and to repeat last year's demand - which was denied - that the float be excluded, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said.

"It is unacceptable to confine orcas to barren tanks that, to them, are the size of a bathtub," said Delcianna Winders, PETA's deputy general counsel.
Our Futile Efforts to Boost Children's IQ

The twin studies have always shown little influence from family environment  -- both as regards IQ and personality.   Charles Murray notes more evidence to that effect below

It’s one thing to point out that programs to improve children's cognitive functioning have had a dismal track record. We can always focus on short-term improvements, blame the long-term failures on poor execution or lack of follow-up and try, try again. It’s another to say that it's impossible to do much to permanently improve children's intellectual ability through outside interventions. But that’s increasingly where the data are pointing.

Two studies published this year have made life significantly more difficult for those who continue to be optimists. The first one is by Florida State University’s Kevin Beaver and five colleagues, who asked how much effect parenting has on IQ independently of genes. The database they used, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, is large, nationally representative and highly regarded. The measures of parenting included indicators for parental engagement, attachment, involvement and permissiveness. The researchers controlled for age, sex, race and neighborhood disadvantage. Their analytic model, which compares adoptees with biological children, is powerful, and their statistical methods are sophisticated and rigorous.

The answer to their question? Not much. “Taken together,” the authors write, “the results … indicate that family and parenting characteristics are not significant contributors to variations in IQ scores.” It gets worse: Some of the slight effects they did find were in the “wrong” direction. For example, maternal attachment was negatively associated with IQ in the children.

There’s nothing new in the finding that the home environment doesn’t explain much about a child’s IQ after controlling for the parents’ IQ, but the quality of the data and analysis in this study address many of the objections that the environmentalists have raised about such results. Their scholarly wiggle-room for disagreement is shrinking.

The second study breaks new ground. Six of its eight authors come from King’s College London, home to what is probably the world’s leading center for the study of the interplay among genes, environment and developmental factors. The authors applied one of the powerful new methods enabled by the decoding of the genome, “Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis,” to ask how much effect socioeconomic status has on IQ independently of genes. The technique does not identify the causal role of specific genes, but rather enables researchers to identify patterns that permit conclusions like the one they reached in this study: “When genes associated with children’s IQ are identified, the same genes will also be likely to be associated with family SES.” Specifically, the researchers calculated that 94 percent of the correlation between socioeconomic status and IQ was mediated by genes at age 7 and 56 percent at age 12.

How can parenting and socioeconomic status play such minor roles in determining IQ, when scholars on all sides of the nature-nurture debate agree that somewhere around half of the variation in IQ is environmental? The short answer is that the environment that affects IQ doesn’t consist of the advantages that most people have in mind -- parents who talk a lot to their toddlers, many books in in the house for the older children, high-quality schools and the like.

Instead, studies over the past two decades have consistently found that an amorphous thing called the “nonshared” environment accounts for most (in many studies, nearly all) of the environmentally grounded variation. Scholars are still trying to figure out what features of the nonshared environment are important. Peers? Events in the womb? Accidents? We can be sure only of this: The nonshared environment does not lend itself to policy interventions intended to affect education, parenting, income or family structure.

The relevance of these findings goes beyond questions of public policy. As a parent of four children who all turned out great (in my opinion), I’d like to take some credit. With every new study telling me that I can’t legitimately do so with regard to IQ or this or that personality trait, I try to come up with something, anything, about my children for which I can still believe my parenting made a positive difference. It’s hard.

There’s no question that we know how to physically and psychologically brutalize children so that they are permanently damaged. But it increasingly appears that once we have provided children with a merely OK environment, our contribution as parents and as society is pretty much over. I’m with most of you: I viscerally resist that conclusion. But my resistance is founded on a sustained triumph of hope over evidence.


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

Connecticut Woman Accused of Sex with Boy, 10

(Meriden, Connecticut) A 25-year-old Willimantic woman, Marybeth Rataic, has been accused of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy.

Rataic faces counts of first-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a minor.
According to the arrest warrant, the mother of the child filed a report with city police on Aug. 25. The boy told his mother Rataic and he had sex on at least three occasions, the warrant says.

The boy’s mother was friends with Rataic, and Rataic would babysit her four children, the warrant said. The boy was taken to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where a forensic interview was completed. The reported incidents happened between Aug. 19 and 23.

A Department of Children and Families investigator and a police detective went to Rataic’s home in September. When asked about the allegations, Rataic said the boy forced the sexual activity on her, the warrant said. Rataic said she didn’t tell anyone what happened because she was “embarrassed.”
Rataic is in custody with bond set at $150,000.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Florida Woman Gets Prison for Violating Probation - Update

(Bartow, Florida) Last June, 26-year-old Darlene Pierre accepted a plea agreement and was sentenced to two years of probation for engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy.
Pierre was initially arrested in June 2013 for having sex with the teenager when she was 25.

The sexual encounters began when the boy was 15 years old, according to arrest reports, and Pierre was pregnant with his child when she was arrested.

Three weeks after accepting a plea deal to end the sex case, Pierre was arrested again for contacting the boy through text messages and for using Facebook.
A short time after hearing her probation sentence, Pierre violated the terms of her probation.

As a result, Pierre was sentenced last Thursday to two years in prison.

* * * * *

Florida Woman, 25, and Boy, 15
[Previous 6/7/13 post]
(Winter Haven, Florida) A 25-year-old local woman, Darlene Pierre, has been accused of engaging in sex with a 15-year-old boy, reportedly resulting in pregnancy.

Pierre faces 24 counts of unlawful sexual activity.
An arrest warrant was obtained after the boy's mother police after Pierre announced she was pregnant and the boy was the father.

According to reports, Pierre was a family friend who visited the victim's home frequently, along with her three small children.

According to the teen, the sexual encounters began occurring in January 2011 when he was 15.
Pierre was booked into custody at the Polk County Jail.

International Toilet Festival

(New Delhi, India) Dated yesterday in the article, the festival starts tomorrow.
Seven countries — Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Laos, Vietnam and Afghanistan including India are set to participate in an upcoming festival here, which aims to create awareness about the importance of toilets!

The International Toilet Festival, a three-day event that begins here from November 18 is being organized by Sulabh International an social service organization founded by Brindeshwar Pathak.

"The whole purpose is to draw the attention of masses towards the issue of sanitation which often raises a stink and is considered taboo," says Pathak.

The opening ceremony is set to see a convergence of about 1,000 students from the participating countries form a human chain as part of pledge for "Toilet for All by 2019".
The event is intended to promote the building of toilets for all so that India may be free from open defecation.

Spanish Navy Rams Greenpeace Boat

(Canary Islands)
Spanish navy boats protecting an oil drilling ship rammed Greenpeace boats during a protest, leaving one activist with a broken leg and another with minor cuts.

Dramatic footage filmed off the Canary Islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura on Saturday shows the moment when a navy rhib – a fast rigid hull inflatable boat – appeared to deliberately collide with a Greenpeace rhib which was approaching the oil ship Rowan Renaissance.

Matilda Brunetti, a 23 year-old Italian, can be heard screaming in pain in the video as her leg was broken and she was thrown into the water. According to a colleague, she then received cuts to her legs from a propeller, before she was taken by the Spanish navy to a hospital in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, where she is now recovering.
The Greenpeace captain said, "We will not allow reckless oil drilling…."

Six Conundrums Of Socialism

Here are six Conundrums of Socialism in the United States of America:

1. America is capitalist and greedy – yet half of the population is subsidized.

2. Half of the population is subsidized – yet they think they are victims.

3. They think they are victims – yet their representatives run the government.

4. Their representatives run the government – yet the poor keep getting poorer.

5. The poor keep getting poorer – yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.

6. They have things that people in other countries only dream about – yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

Think about it! It pretty much sums up the USA in the 21st Century. Makes you wonder who is doing the math.

These three, short sentences tell you a lot about the direction of our current government and cultural environment:

1. We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics.  Funny how that works. And here’s another one worth considering…

2. Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. But we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money? What’s interesting is the first group “worked for” their money, but the second didn’t.  Think about it… and Last but not least:

3. Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, no pay raises for our military and cutting our army to a level lower than before WWII, but we are not stopping the payments or benefits to illegal aliens.

Am I the only one missing something?


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

Monday, November 17, 2014

Solar Power When the Sun Don't Shine

Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System

(Los Angeles, California)
The largest solar power plant of its type in the world — once promoted as a turning point in green energy — isn't producing as much energy as planned.

One of the reasons is as basic as it gets: The sun isn't shining as much as expected.

Sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal desert near the California-Nevada border, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened in February, with operators saying it would produce enough electricity to power a city of 140,000 homes.

So far, however, the plant is producing about half of its expected annual output for 2014, according to calculations by the California Energy Commission.

It had been projected to produce its full capacity for 8 hours a day, on average.

"Factors such as clouds, jet contrails and weather have had a greater impact on the plant than the owners anticipated," the agency said in a statement.
Clouds are blamed.

Hawaii Volcano News

Lava from Kilauea volcano

(Honolulu, Hawaii)
Hawaii County Civil Defense officials said in a statement Thursday that molten rock is burning asphalt as it fills the driveway at a trash transfer station. Lava is also is oozing out near a cemetery and at another spot about 400 yards upslope of a rural road.
Lave flows have repeatedly made property worthless. It might be slow but it's painful.

  Woman walks through Mumbai for 10 hours in vest top and mini-skirt and receives NO sexual harassment... in stark contrast to similar video shot in New York  

Indians are polite and non-aggressive people (except when dealing with Muslims), something one could not say of the NYC blacks and Hispanics encountered by Shoshana B Roberts

After seeing the popular 10 Hours of Walking In New York City video, the team at India’s IndieTube decided to make a Mumbai version of the popular video.

And surprisingly, the Pooja Singh - dressed in a vest top and short skirt - was not catcalled or harassed once.

As the woman walks through the second most populated city in the world’s most populated country, several men stare - but nobody catcalls or says anything derogatory.

‘Not even a single incident of woman street harassment took place in a city that has diversified culture, demographics and economy,’ a title card at the end of the video reads.

‘The female citizens are safe, respected and treated unbiased in this city which never sleeps.’

This comes in contrast to actress Shoshana B Roberts - who was the subject of the original video set in New York.

Ms Roberts was told to smile, advised to thank the men for their lewd comments and threatened with rape.

The difference is stark: in the original New York version, there were more than 100 examples of harassment over the 10 hours Ms Roberts was walking the streets of New York, not including whistles and winks.

In India, subject Pooja Singh received none


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

Report: US Aid Worker Beheaded

Peter Edward Kassig

The Isis militant group has released a video purporting to show the killing of the US aid worker Peter Kassig.

The graphic new video, shared on YouTube via Isis-affiliated social media accounts, shows a black-clad militant who appears to be the British national known as "Jihadi John" standing over a severed head.
Not good news.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New York Woman Accused of Smuggling Liquor into Prison

(Ossining, New York) A 38-year-old woman, Evelyn Reyes, has been accused of smuggling liquor into Sing Sing Correctional Facility.

Reyes faces a charge of second-degree promoting prison contraband.
Reyes, 38, of the Bronx, allegedly tried to smuggle liquor into the facility during a Friday, Nov. 7 visit to the Ossining prison, police said.
A court appearance is scheduled for November 18.

Pope Francis Denounces Euthanasia

(Vatican City)
Pope Francis denounced the right to die movement on Saturday, saying that euthanasia is a sin against God and creation.

The Latin American pontiff said it was a “false sense of compassion” to consider euthanasia as an act of dignity.[…]

The Catholic Church opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, teaching that life starts at the moment of conception and should end at the moment of natural death.

The Pope also condemned in vitro fertilization, describing it as “the scientific production of a child” and embryonic stem cell research, which he said amounted to “using human beings as laboratory experiments to presumably save others.”

“This is playing with life,” he said. “Beware, because this is a sin against the creator, against God the creator.”

University of Qld preaches Warmism

They think that you learn critical thinking by absorbing warmist dogma, not by criticizing it.  Course outline below.  It's clear that climate skepticism has got them rattled.  It's an EDx (online) course -- which makes it difficult to ask questions and answer back.  The University of Qld is one of the homes of "Mr. 97%" -- psychologist John Cook.

In my years doing psychological research I grew accustomed to finding conclusions in the work of my colleagues that were  at variance with what they actually found.  And Mr Cook's work does not disappoint.  As you see below, the take-home message of his study was that "97% of climate scientists conclude humans are causing global warming".  What he actually found however was that two thirds of the academic publications he surveyed "expressed no position" on warming, probably suggesting that many of the writers disagreed with it.  Disagreeing with it explicitly is perilous for a scientist these days

There are also other serious problems with the Cook study and its conclusions

The fact that UQ students are being taught the sort of deceptive nonsense below goes a long way towards explaining why Obama got a rapturous response from some UQ students when he gave a Warmist speech there

Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.

About this Course

In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming.

Why the gap between the public and scientists?

What are the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus?

How has climate denial influenced public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?

This course examines the science of climate science denial.

We will look at the most common climate myths from “global warming stopped in 1998” to “global warming is caused by the sun” to “climate impacts are nothing to worry about.”

We’ll find out what lessons are to be learnt from past climate change as well as better understand how climate models predict future climate impacts. You’ll learn both the science of climate change and the techniques used to distort the science.

With every myth we debunk, you’ll learn the critical thinking needed to identify the fallacies associated with the myth. Finally, armed with all this knowledge, you’ll learn the psychology of misinformation. This will equip you to effectively respond to climate misinformation and debunk myths.


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

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