Jul 212017
 

Community Colleges Call for End to Algebra Requirement, Say it’s a “Civil Rights” Issue

Due to a combination of a crappy California educational system that has chosen to not do an adequate job of educating students in the basics, and various sub-cultures that do not stress the importance of intellectual achievement, the chancellor of California’s community college system, one Eloy (as opposed to Morlock) Oakley has decided that it would be best if the California community college system did away with the algebra requirement.

On one hand, this would not affect those who actually want to get a STEM degree; they’d still need proficiency in basic math. But it would make it easier for other “students” to get crappy, useless non-STEM degrees in vacuous subjects like Grievance Studies or Identity Politics or STEM Derision. It would make it easier for kids who got something no sane person would consider to be a valid education in the public schools to get a “degree” from the glorified daycares known as “post-STEM community colleges.”

 Posted by at 8:32 pm
Jul 112017
 

Your Biggest Risk of Measles May Be a Trip to Europe

Seems measles is going gangbusters over in Europe… due  to a decrease in vaccination rates. There are two causes of *that,* both stupid:

  1. People buying into “vaccinations cause autism” and other lies
  2. Mass importation of non-vaccinated people from the Dirt World

So, consider this. At the same time violent crime rates in the US is still at a decades-long low, when “poverty” means living really well for a long time, when the threat of a major world war – despite some concerns in the last couple of years – remains a ghost from more than a generation ago, when information is freely and instantly available… people who should really know better are glomming onto utter rubbish such as vaccine hysterics and flat-Eartherism. It seems there’s a pretty substantial bug in human programming.

 Posted by at 8:18 pm
Jul 112017
 

Well, this should prove endlessly fascinating for the press.

Trump Jr. Was Told in Email of Russian Effort to Aid Campaign

In short, in June 2016 Don Trump Jr. was informed via email of a meeting with Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Clinton… dirt dug up by the Russian government for the purpose of aiding Trump. Don Jr. expressed enthusiasm for this.

On  the one hand, this is not good news for the Trump narrative that he and his campaign had nothing to do with the Russians. On the other hand, it doesn’t really seem to back up the anti-Trump narrative that his campaign colluded with the Russians. It seems like the Russians – assuming the lawyer knew what she was talking about – had found the incriminating evidence on Clinton on their own initiative, and were simply offering it to the Trump campaign.

Now, on the one hand if someone offers you information that would be very useful or valuable to you, it seems reasonable enough to at least hear them out. On the other hand, there are laws against political campaigns accepting valuable gifts from foreign nationals, and “opposition research” can be considered monetarily valuable. Thus a violation of campaign finance laws. And on the other hand, we have hysterical Democrats like Tim Kaine crying “treason.” The problem with *that* is that treason is clearly defined in the US Federal Code:

Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason…

… and Don Jr.’s actions don’t come close to “treason.” In 2016,Russia was not an enemy of the US, so that wipes it out right there. And accepting information from even an enemy does not constitute giving them aid and comfort.

On the whole this is bad news for Trump. And potentially good news for future-President Pence.

 

 

 Posted by at 7:48 pm
Jul 082017
 

No matter how mind-snappingly stupid an idea or a movement is, no matter how objectively and *obviously* flawed its basic premise is… there will be people who cling to it forever. Observe:

These Coloradans say Earth is flat. And gravity’s a hoax. Now, they’re being persecuted.

The Flat Earth movement is growing in Colorado, thanks to technology and skepticism about science

Oy.

There’s no point in me rehashing the history and ideas behind the flat Earthers, we’ve heard it all before and it remains an infuriatingly awful conspiracy theory. What’s of interest is that as scientific data proving the non-flat nature of the Earth continues to pile up, more people seem to be signing on. Why?  Well… I think one quote from the article nails the cause:

“They want you to think you’re insignificant, a speck on the earth, a cosmic mistake,” Sargent says. “The flat earth says you are special, we are special, there is a creator, this isn’t some accident.”

Here’s the thing: you *ARE* insignificant. And I don’t even mean on the cosmic scale. Take *any* random human, from you, dear blog reader, to your most cherished loved one, your workplace nemesis, your best friend, your neighbor, whoever. Now, assume that that human has a perfectly normal heart attack and dies tomorrow. Will people care? Sure, probably. But how many? For virtually all the seven billion+ people, that one persons passing will be completely un-noticed. It would be surprising if the news goes beyond an obituary in the back of the local paper. And in a hundred years, that perfectly average human will have been *entirely* forgotten by living humans, remembered solely by unread words on a stone in a cemetery and in unread old databases.

Yeah, you’re insignificant. You’re a speck on the Earth, a cosmic mistake.

But you’re one insignificant speck among seven billion others. If you work at it, aren’t a jerk and behave rationally and intelligently, you might help be a part of turning this mess of specks into something meaningful on a cosmic scale. *YOU* won’t live to see it, but so what? If you live well, you might enjoy your brief life and have some satisfaction that you did something useful.

Or… you could decide to live delusionally and just decide that you are more important than you really are. It might make you feel special to think that the universe was set up just for your piddly ass, but it won’t mean that you really are special. In the end, you will not only die and be forgotten, like everyone else, you will play no useful or meaningful role in advancing mankind.

Oh, and headline writer? Being mocked is not “persecution.”

 Posted by at 3:46 pm
Jul 052017
 

Oy.

I can’t really blame the people in the video for being so twisted up. They are themselves victims… not of an evil racist America, but of a great many people – in the media, in the pulpits, in the government – who make bank off convincing people that they are oppressed, and that the way to deal with it is to keep themselves down.

 Posted by at 8:36 pm