Thursday, January 29, 2015

Obama, Iran, and Netanyahu

While Obama plays cozy with Iran by doing essentially nothing to stop their nukes, he goes ballistic over Netanyahu giving a speech to Congress, and promises to snub Netanyahu during his visit to the USA.

Iran, on the other hand, calls for Hezbollah to assassinate Netanyahu's children, as well as the children of prior leaders... and continues to make their nukes.

Perhaps Michelle could put out a tweet about that. That's what the full force of the Obama administration looks like: a twit tweet.

Government Destruction of an Entire Generation

The Unteachables: A Generation that Cannot Learn
The greatest tragedy of progressive education is not the students' lack of skills, but of teachable character.
As some have said, character is discriminatory; it's just too hard for some people. So it must be ignored. The "pedagogy of self-esteem" has destroyed entire generations of newly minted narcissists who have perfect self-esteem, and who need, not education, but affirmation of their perfection.
"“The honeymoon is over.” Instructors who award low grades in humanities disciplines will likely be familiar with a phenomenon that occurs after the first essays are returned to students: former smiles vanish, hands once jubilantly raised to answer questions are now resentfully folded across chests, offended pride and sulkiness replace the careless cheer of former days. Too often, the smiles are gone for good because the customary “B+” or “A” grades have been withheld, and many students cannot forgive the insult.

The matter doesn’t always end there. Some students are prepared for a fight, writing emails of entreaty or threat, or besieging the instructor in his office to make clear that the grade is unacceptable. Every instructor who has been so besieged knows the legion of excuses and expressions of indignation offered, the certainty that such work was always judged acceptable in the past, the implication that a few small slip-ups, a wrong word or two, have been blown out of proportion. When one points out grievous inadequacies — factual errors, self-contradiction, illogical argument, and howlers of nonsensical phrasing — the student shrugs it off: yes, yes, a few mistakes, the consequences of too much coffee, my roommate’s poor typing, another assignment due the same day; but you could still see what I meant, couldn’t you, and the general idea was good, wasn’t it? “I’m better at the big ideas,” students have sometimes boasted to me. “On the details, well … ”.

Meetings about bad grades are uncomfortable not merely because it is unpleasant to wound feelings unaccustomed to the sting. Too often, such meetings are exercises in futility. I have spent hours explaining an essay’s grammatical, stylistic, and logical weaknesses in the wearying certainty that the student was unable, both intellectually and emotionally, to comprehend what I was saying or to act on my advice. It is rare for such students to be genuinely desirous and capable of learning how to improve. Most of them simply hope that I will come around. Their belief that nothing requires improvement except the grade is one of the biggest obstacles that teachers face in the modern university. And that is perhaps the real tragedy of our education system: not only that so many students enter university lacking the basic skills and knowledge to succeed in their courses — terrible in itself — but also that they often arrive essentially unteachable, lacking the personal qualities necessary to respond to criticism.

The unteachable student has been told all her life that she is excellent: gifted, creative, insightful, thoughtful, able to succeed at whatever she tries, full of potential and innate ability. Pedagogical wisdom since at least the time of John Dewey — and in some form all the way back to William Wordsworth’s divinely anointed child “trailing clouds of glory” — has stressed the development of self-esteem and a sense of achievement. Education, as Dewey made clear in such works as The Child and the Curriculum (1902), was not about transferring a cultural inheritance from one generation to the next; it was about students’ self-realization. It involved liberating pupils from that stuffy, often stifling, inheritance into free and unforced learning aided by sympathy and encouragement. The teacher was not so much to teach or judge as to elicit a response, leading the student to discover for herself what she, in a sense, already knew. In the past twenty years, the well-documented phenomenon of grade inflation in humanities subjects — the awarding of high “Bs” and “As” to the vast majority of students — has increased the conviction that everyone is first-rate."
When everyone gets a blue ribbon for merely existing, the concept of excellence is made moot. Even the concept of trying is made moot. Because why should I? I get the prize without even doing anything, much less putting in the effort to do something well. In this way no child is left behind; even a brain-dead child is equal to all other children.
"More than a few students know that something fishy is going on. The intelligent ones see their indifferent, mediocre, or inept counterparts receiving grades similar to their own, and the realization offends their sense of justice. Moreover, there is little satisfaction in consciously playing the system. The smart student with his easy “A” knows that he has not been challenged to develop his intellect. I remember once walking in the hallway behind a student who had just picked up her final term essay; as she joined her friends, she flipped to the back of the paper without reading any of the instructor’s comments. “An A,” she said jubilantly, but with a strong undertone of derision. “And I didn’t even read the book!” As the paper thudded into the trash basket, her friends joined in the disdainful laughter.

In contrast, the weak student who believes in his high grades has also had a disservice done him. He has been misled about his abilities, falsely persuaded that career paths and goals are open that may be out of reach. Eventually, the fraud will be revealed: by an employer who finds him inadequate, by his own dawning recognition that he cannot achieve what he hoped. The reckoning will likely be bitter; evidence exists that the pedagogy of false esteem can even cause psychological harm. When students who have always been praised must confront the reality of their low achievement, their tendency is, as researchers James Coté and Anton Allahar report, not to confront the problem directly but to hit back at its perceived source — the teacher who has given them the bad news, the employer who does not renew a contract. Far more than their adequate peers when faced with difficulties, these students experience a range of negative reactions, including anger, anxiety, and depression.

Even more seriously, such students have not only been misled but fundamentally malformed. They have never learned to listen to criticism, to recover from disappointment, or to slog through difficulties with no guarantee of success except commitment. The person who is never challenged is also never refined, never learns to cope with the setbacks that come on the way to high endeavor. And it is not only in the academic realm, of course, that they may be hampered: a full life outside of university also requires the ability to confront one’s weaknesses and recover from defeat. Despite the admittedly important emphasis on character formation in our schools — on tolerance, anti-racism, refusal of bullying, and so on — it seems that we have failed to show students what real achievement looks like and what it will require of them."
It would be interesting to follow the lives of these fully entitled yet unteachables. Do they ever acquire a thirst for learning, an appreciation of accomplishment? How well do they survive the realities of a world for which they are totally unprepared? Perhaps they become perpetual victims, or victim/messiahs whose entire value is self-derived, and maintained by deprecating the Other as inferior to their own self-perception of abused glory. I personally suspect that to be the case.

At the risk of making this far too long, consider the following from another article by Fiamengo:
"That many of my colleagues seemed sincere in their commitment to history’s underdogs cannot excuse the damage caused by their policies and by their skewed teaching practices — for their ideological convictions were often imported into the classroom, where a balanced overview of course material was sacrificed to the politics of “race, class, and gender.” Students learn quickly enough in such courses that success requires them to adopt approved positions: to be skeptical of Western nations’ claims to equality and justice, to understand their country’s history as a record of oppression, and to look with ready admiration at non-Western cultures, which they are taught to see as superior. Young white men learn early on that history’s villains are usually white men. Lesbian identities, Aboriginal culture, and Sharia law are protected from critical appraisal by charges of homophobia, genocidal racism, or cultural imperialism. Instructors often choose the texts on their syllabus not to represent the traditional scholarly consensus on the important and best literature of the period but rather to represent a range of victim groups presented in noble conflict with the forces of social prejudice. Literature is taught not because it is valuable in itself but because it teaches students to denounce inequality and to empathize with victims, and to feel appropriately empowered in grievance or guilty by association.

Indeed, some students become so immersed in Leftist ideology — a kind of secret society whose code language they have learned in fear and trembling and now exercise with pride — that they believe it the only possible view of the world and have never seriously considered alternatives except as the deplorable prejudices of the hateful unwashed. Their conviction of rightness has revealed itself in a multitude of anti-intellectual and repressive behavior on university campuses across the country.

What is to be done? De-radicalizing the Humanities will be no easy task, for the ranks of the professoriate are filled with instructors who see their primary responsibility to be that of advancing ideological goals. True believers as they are, they will not be easily dissuaded from their cause, and dissenters from Left orthodoxy often feel overwhelmed, beleaguered, and under threat. Yet saving the Humanities for genuine scholarship has never been more urgent, and it is heartening to know that articulate champions of reform such as Horowitz and others, including Richard Cravatts, Stanley Fish, and David Solway, continue to raise their voices in dismay and stalwart hope. Some day, perhaps, if the decline is not irreversible and if more courageous professors will stand against the corruption of the academic enterprise, departments of English might once again become places where professors and students pursue a love of literature."

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Medical Journals Accept Gibberish Not Even About Cocoa Puffs

Occasionally someone will scam the scammers, and this is one of those. Writing the gibberish below, an author got this article accepted by 17 journals. It turns out that many "medical journals" are frauds, which promise publication for the extraction of $500 from the author.
Cuckoo for cocoa puffs? The surgical and neoplastic
role of cacao extract in breakfast cereals


Running title: Cuckoo for coco puffs?

Pinkerton LeBrain1*, Orson G. Welles2

1Department of Statistical Research, Green Mountain Institute of Nutrition, Sharon, MA, USA
2Asuza Atlantic University, Department of Nutrition and Tomography, Westchester, NY, USA

Accepted 11 January, 2014

Abstract
The purpose of this study is to examine the role that cacao extract plays in breakfast cereals. We examine cacao extract in breakfast cereals. Rigorous statistical analysis was performed. We find that cacao extract has a significant role in breakfast cereals.

Keywords: Cocoa puffs, cuckoo, surgical, neoplastic role, breakfast cereals

The random words, below, show the nature of the articles which can be accepted and published by such frauds.
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sweetness questions the gentleman. Chapter shyness
matters mr parlors if mention thought.

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direction zealously the unwilling bed sex. Lose and gay
ham sake met that. Stood her place one ten spoke yet.
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peculiar replying in moderate. Roused get enable garret
estate Old County. Entreaties you Devonshire law
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mr it feelings. To or three offer house begin taken am at.
It turns out that many of the fake journals are hard to detect by the layman, and many third world scientists might even think that they are submitting to legitimate publications.
"If Harvard-trained researchers are sometimes not able to spot a real journal from a fake, what chance do the rest of us have? Journalists, for instance, often cite medical research in their articles without the expertise to know whether their source is credible or not. The good news is that there are tools available to navigate the process. Jeffrey Beall, an academic librarian, has compiled a list of predatory publishers that he updates every year. Shrime recommends that people who cite medical research cross-reference journals with this list, but keep in mind that brand-new predatory journals pop up every day and Beall may not have found them yet."

Political Correctness: Pity the Poor White Male Liberal-Leftist

I once saw a video of a swarm of sharks swimming around, apparently aimlessly. After a short while, one of the sharks got bumped off-balance. Another shark drew a little blood, and suddenly the off-balance shark was shredded and all that remained was a cloud of blood in the water.

The Left repeats this scene when one of its own gets off-balance. And now, it is off-balance to find oneself in a Wrong Class, such as being a white, cis-gendered male, for example.

Jonathan Chait has reaped a bit of what he has sown, as a Social Justice Warrior upon whom the SJWs have turned. He is being dismissed as irrelevant due to his identity, which is white, cis-gendered, male.

The Left is an encampment of many tribes, most of which are enemies of the other tribes even though all the tribes hate the same Other. But their penchant for Othering slops over into their own camp, too, because some of their own camp share identities with the Other, such as Chait shares in his whiteness, maleness etc. He is Othered by those who are not white, male, cis-gendered. Those are the only true Victimhood Classes, not anyone who does not share their identity. Lacking the proper identity, Chait may not speak for these classes, and should he try to do so he would be victimizing them even more. Chait is Othered.

So the identity Class War becomes a feeding frenzy upon their own, as the tactic of "political correctness" (thought control) excludes Chait, for example, or males who transgender into faux females, or white women who cannot comprehend black women, on and on and on. Because the identity of all Leftist Victimhood Classes is based purely on hatred of other people who are designated as Oppressor Class enemies, sooner or later each individual Victimhood Class will find that other Victimhood Classes are stuffed with their enemies, too. And that is what has happened.

Chait's plaints have aroused hoots and peals of laughter from both of the Classes which he himself has designated as Oppressors of his own, small, Messiah Class. He positions himself as a "liberal" which is different from Leftists and also different from conservatives, both of which fall into Chait's Oppressor Classes. He is a Class and Social Justice Warrior, as much politically correct as those he demonizes. Here he thrashes his own supposedly anti-PC arguments:
"Political correctness appeals to liberals because it claims to represent a more authentic and strident opposition to their shared enemy of race and gender bias. And of course liberals are correct not only to oppose racism and sexism but to grasp (in a way conservatives generally do not) that these biases cast a nefarious and continuing shadow over nearly every facet of American life. Since race and gender biases are embedded in our social and familial habits, our economic patterns, and even our subconscious minds, they need to be fought with some level of consciousness. The mere absence of overt discrimination will not do."
He cannot hide his own PC Leftist position, even when attacking PC Leftist positioning. It is clear that he merely wants his own Victimhood Categories to trump those of the Other Leftists, who view his own identity as Oppressor.

So this whole episode is just another case of the Left savaging the Left, an eventuality which is self-evidently necessary within the bounds of hate-war that the entire Left wages.

Muhammad as the Precise Model for Murder of Dissidents

Are the self-righteous slaughters of dissenters part of Islam or not?

Denis MacEoin Addresses this from the history of Muhammad's life and actions.
"There is an inspiration for attacks like those on writers, cartoonists, and film-makers: France's Charlie Hebdo journalists; Amsterdam's Theo van Gogh; Denmark's Kurt Westergaard, Carsten Juste, and Flemming Rose, and Sweden's Lars Vilks -- as well as the assassination attempt on the Nobel Prize winning Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz and the fatwa for the murder of the British writer Salman Rushdie. The inspiration for this behavior is not that the Prophet Muhammad was lampooned or criticized or mocked. The inspiration for this behavior is that Muhammad himself would have ordered or approved such attacks as revenge for assaults on his honour.

How can one make such an outrageous suggestion? The answer is that Muhammad did exactly the same thing -- many, many times. This may appear to be an Islamophobic calumny, perhaps something concocted by medieval churchmen in Europe (who did make up some fancy legends about Muhammad), but it is solidly recorded in the almost canonical biography of the Prophet by Ibn Hisham and in the canonical collections of prophetic traditions (hadith) by Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.[3]

Shortly after his move from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE, for instance, when he became the effective ruler of the town, opponents emerged in the Jewish and wider communities. Poets wrote lampoons and disrespectful verses. Muhammad had them killed. Not just poets, but almost anyone who disagreed with him and his "revelations."

In 624, for example, a Jewish poet named Ka'b ibn al-Ashraf wrote verses condemning the killing of notables from Mecca. He later became a one-man Charlie Hebdo, writing obscene and erotic verses about the Muslim women. Muhammad took offense and instructed one of his companions, Muhammad ibn Maslama, to assassinate Ka'b. When Ibn Maslama expressed doubts about having to lie to Ka'b in order to trick him into going with him, Muhammad told him lying was permissible for such purposes. Ibn Maslama and some other Muslims went out with Ka'b under false pretenses and murdered him.

Ka'b ibn al-Ahraf was not Muhammad's only victim. The poets Asma' bint Marwan (a woman), Abu Afak, and Al-Nadir ibn al-Harith, and Abu Rafi' ibn Abi Al-Huqaiq were all assassinated in the same year for the same offence of mockery. In the next few years, several other poets were killed, such as Abdullah ibn Zib'ari, Al-Harith bin al-Talatil, Hubayra, Ka'b ibn Zuhayr ibn Abi Sulama, and Huwayrith ibn Nafidh. Abdullah bin Khatal and two of his slave girls were murdered for having recited poems insulting the Prophet. There is a list in WikiIslam of 43 people -- as well as all the men from the Jewish tribe of the Banu Qurayza -- who were killed on Muhammad's orders or whose murders were sanctioned by him."
As MacEoin has pointed out, not only are the killings of dissenters justified by the exact same actions of Muhammad, but also lying about them is justified by Muhammad's own words.

The entire "religion of peace" concept is purely propaganda, a lie for expediency just as Muhammad approved; Muhammad was a vicious autocratic tyrant, a murderer, liar and pedophile. These are the ideals of Islam, as exemplified in their prophet. When the western politicians deny this, they are either deluded or terrified of the truth. Both of those will lose to the realities, as they become more boldly expressed by Islamics.

Speaking of Self-Parody

At first glance this op ed seemed to be strictly parody, and yet it apparently is not.
Occupy the syllabus

"We are calling for an occupation of syllabi in the social sciences and humanities. This call to action was instigated by our experience last semester as students in an upper-division course on classical social theory. Grades were based primarily on multiple-choice quizzes on assigned readings. The course syllabus employed a standardized canon of theory that began with Plato and Aristotle, then jumped to modern philosophers: Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Weber and Foucault, all of whom are white men. The syllabus did not include a single woman or person of color.

We have major concerns about social theory courses in which white men are the only authors assigned. These courses pretend that a minuscule fraction of humanity — economically privileged white males from five imperial countries (England, France, Germany, Italy and the United States) — are the only people to produce valid knowledge about the world. This is absurd. The white male syllabus excludes all knowledge produced outside this standardized canon, silencing the perspectives of the other 99 percent of humanity.

The white male canon is not sufficient for theorizing the lives of marginalized people. None of the thinkers we studied in this course had a robust analysis of gender or racial oppression. They did not even engage with the enduring legacies of European colonial expansion, the enslavement of black people and the genocide of indigenous people in the Americas. Mentions of race and gender in the white male canon are at best incomplete and at worst racist and sexist. We were required to read Hegel on the “Oriental realm” and Marx on the “Asiatic mode of production,” but not a single author from Asia. We were required to read Weber on the patriarchy, but not a single feminist author. The standardized canon is obsolete: Any introduction to social theory that aims to be relevant to today’s problems must, at the very least, address gender and racial oppression."
These students are in the first course, so they probably are 18 years old. And being products of government education, they already know everything they need to know: Class War is the only truth; white men are evil; dissent must be stopped; triggers cause mental distress due to unacceptable concepts.
"The exclusions on the syllabus were mirrored in the classroom. Although the professor said he wanted to make the theory relevant to present issues, the class was out of touch with the majority of students’ lives. The lectures often incorporated current events, yet none of the examples engaged critically with gender or race. The professor even failed to mention the Ferguson events, even though he lectured about prisons, normalizing discourse and the carceral archipelago in Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” the day after the grand jury decision on the murder of Michael Brown.

Furthermore, the classroom environment felt so hostile to women, people of color, queer folks and other marginalized subjects that it was difficult for us to focus on the course material. Sometimes, we were so uncomfortable that we had to leave the classroom in the middle of lecture. For example, when lecturing on Marx’s idea of the “natural division of labor between men and women,” the professor attributed some intellectual merit to this idea because men and women are biologically distinct from each other, because women give birth while men do not. One student asked, “What about trans* people?” to which the professor retorted, “There will always be exceptions.” Then, laughing, the professor teased, “We may all be transgender in the future.” Although one might be tempted to dismiss these remarks as a harmless attempt at humor, mocking trans* people and calling them “exceptions” is unacceptable."
Their morals are offended. What are their morals? The NEW Leftist Canon, from which professors must not deviate, or it will trigger their "discomfort" which they must not ever, ever, ever, ever feel. Ever.

As one commenter said, these students don't want to learn anything. They want their prejudices confirmed and nothing more; nothing.

So there should be two degree tracks, one intellectual and one anti-intellectual: first, an intellectual track for students who don't know everything and want to learn, a track that would culminate in a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Second, an anti-intellectual track for students who don't want to learn anything, culminating in a Doctor of Dogma and Triggers degree.

It would be useful for future identification and class identity: the Messiahs would hold the DDT degrees, the Other would hold the PhD degrees. It would make it easier to determine which university to send your child to, based on your worldview regarding the intellect. The university with all DDT's would attract Leftist students, and they could revel in their superiority in peace without any contradictory facts to trigger their massive discomfort zones.

There's more at the site, if you can stand it.

Addendum:
There are some great comments. I love this one:
"Ms. Perret's affiliation with the GERC suggests that this kerfuffle is yet another instance of the Diversity Mau-Mau Racket. How the racket works: Activists raise a big fuss over some contrived offense -- perhaps they go so far as to stage the offense themselves, as in hoax incidents that have happened on other campuses -- and then use the offense as a pretext for making demands on the school administration. These demands inevitably include that the campus hire yet more diversity officers (with graduate degrees in the same "Studies" majors the activists are pursuing, of course); or initiate some new mandatory sensitivity training program (to be overseen by the "marginalized-oppression-victims-resource-center" organization with which the activists are affiliated, of course). In other words, the Diversity Mau-Mau Racket is a way for otherwise-unemployable "Studies" majors to create jobs for themselves and their co-ideologists."

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Bill Nye: Why Do They Let Him On TV?

Here's Nye on MSNBC, pontificating on the great snow storm that wasn't:
"The Cycle, 1/26/15 at 3:34 PM EST:

[Nye was on to discuss Deflategate. Shifts to global warming.]

BILL NYE: I just want to introduce the idea that this storm is connected to climate change. I want to introduce that idea. I know there will be certain viewers who will become unglued. They are throwing things at their television sets and so on. But the economic effect of storms like this is huge. You cancel half the flights out of the world's -- one of the world's busiest airports, certainly the eastern seaboard is a very busy area economically for airplane travel. And so when you start having these storms and you don't have the infrastructure to deal with it, you are costing your society a lot of money.

And we're in the developed world where we can handle this stuff. So I just want to introduce the idea that the strong winds that we had in southern California, the very strong winds that will be associated with this storm in the next couple of days, these could be connected to climate change. Now, proving any one storm is connected, especially cold-weather events is quite difficult. But I just want to present that. And both of these stories for me –

TOURE [interrupting to close the segment] Bill, I love you for bringing that in. Thank you so much, Bill."
Well, if this snow storm is indicative of the science and seriousness of "climate change", then we have nothing to worry about except for the impact of believing in radically wrong predictions, i.e. Scientismic snow jobs.

Losing Jorge Ramos

Jorge Ramos is the "Walter Cronkite" of Latino media, they say. If you lose Jorge Ramos, you lose Latinos.

Two questions:
First: What would it take, not to lose Jorge Ramos?

Answer: Ignore the rule of law, just for him. In fact, demanding that Illegals be given legal status in trade for support and votes is just the same as kidnapping a population for ransom. The ransom amounts to ignoring law in order to get elected: you can't get elected, unless you ignore the law, just for Ramos. Ramos and his illegals don't care about American law, or about being law abiding; they ignore it at the borders; Ramos ignores it on the airwaves. What sort of citizens ignore federal laws, openly and without fear of consequences?

Second: Are Latinos unable to think outside the Ramos narrative?

Answer: That remains to be seen. Are there no Latinos in favor of lawful civil order? If there are none, then why would we want any importation of such cavalier anti-legal behavior into the USA? The American Left is also guilty of anti-legal behavior, as they continue to incite the influx of illegals into the united States on the perception of future amnesty for illegal behavior. On that basis, promoting illegality, the Left hopes to get their power back.

Which is worse, losing Jorge Ramos and the open flouting of federal law, or losing the rule of law to scofflaws by keeping Jorge Ramos happy?

Juxtaposing Headlines of the Day

PROFILES IN HYPOCRISY: Obama Films Anti-Oil-Drilling Video . . . From A Jet With A 53,000 Gallon Fuel Tank. “On Saturday, Obama flew Air Force One over 8,000+ miles to India to discuss global warming and other issues.”

BLIZZARD NIGHT: 28 MILLION IN ZONE
Nor’Easter Could Paralyze Northeastern U.S.

The End of Snow? NYT, Feb 7, 2014

Monday, January 26, 2015

Instapundit headline:
SO THERE’S HOPE FOR AMERICA, POST-OBAMA, AFTER ALL: Scientists Figure Out How to Unboil an Egg.
No, they did NOT unboil an egg. What they did was to untangle some proteins which became tangled due to high temperature.
"Scientists at the University of California Irvine have developed a way to unboil egg whites by “untangling” their proteins, a development that has the potential to significantly reduce costs for any biotechnology process that requires the folding of proteins.

“Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,” UCI biochemistry professor Gregory Weiss said in a statement. “We start with egg whites boiled for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius and return a key protein in the egg to working order.”

In a paper published Friday in the journal ChemBioChem, Weiss and his team of chemistry students describe a method capable of pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold."
Not to trivialize what they actually did do, the scientist should be roundly chastised for misleading in order to generate publicity for himself. The statement was just click-bait, and self-promotion, and its headline claim is ridicule-bait.

Great Headline; Bogus Science Claim

Instapundit headline:
SO THERE’S HOPE FOR AMERICA, POST-OBAMA, AFTER ALL: Scientists Figure Out How to Unboil an Egg.
No, they did NOT unboil an egg. What they did was to untangle some proteins which became tangled due to high temperature.
"Scientists at the University of California Irvine have developed a way to unboil egg whites by “untangling” their proteins, a development that has the potential to significantly reduce costs for any biotechnology process that requires the folding of proteins.

“Yes, we have invented a way to unboil a hen egg,” UCI biochemistry professor Gregory Weiss said in a statement. “We start with egg whites boiled for 20 minutes at 90 degrees Celsius and return a key protein in the egg to working order.”

In a paper published Friday in the journal ChemBioChem, Weiss and his team of chemistry students describe a method capable of pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold."
Not to trivialize what the actually did do, the scientist should be roundly chastized for misleading in order to generate publicity for himself. The statement was just click-bait, and self-promotion, and its claim is ridicule-bait.

Obama and Salman

Obama snubs the Israeli Prime Minister and goes instead to meet with the new Saudi king, Salman - who is anti-semitic, and funds terror groups in Afghanistan. Makes perfect sense, IFF you are an anti-rational, anti-American, class-warrior president of the USA.
Stalin, Muhammad and Obama

"But leftists need a utopia, a fantasy heaven on earth, to comfort them and to give their lives purpose. Robbed of the Soviet dream, the forlorn left was in need of a new redeemer.

Welcome, Comrade Usama! The left—and young Barack Obama -- already saw Islam as an oppressed religion, the noble faith of the wretched of the earth, while casting Christianity and Judaism in the role once occupied by capitalist imperialists: that of oppressors. Bin Laden gave the left a new torch to carry. While it remained necessary to condemn terrorism in public, the left simultaneously justified it in a globalized version of the Marxist construct of a class struggle.

Really, didn’t American deserve 9/11?

Islamism fit the left like a tailored glove. Just as Western Reds didn’t need to endure life in the Soviet Union (“Pass the foie gras, Comrade!”), so today’s leftwing cadres need not actually live in the Middle East or North Africa. From the comfort of Cambridge or the splendor of California’s coast, they can rationalize radical Islam, a creed that would, if imported here, exterminate them as surely as Comrade Stalin would have purged the old American left.

The staff of Charlie Hebdo? Stalin would have killed those pranksters, too. The only difference is that “Uncle Joe” would have gotten them all.

When you take the long view, it’s disheartening (to put it mildly) that the Western left simply cannot live without dreaming of an impossible utopia to be imposed by one ideology or another on the rest of us. Radical Islam? It’s a “religion of peace.” Just as Soviet Communism was an ideology of peace, justice and brotherhood.

So President Obama’s just playing by the time-honored rules, substituting Muhammad for Josef Stalin or Mao: Never criticize the Party. Ignore the facts. If the facts can’t be ignored, deny or twist them. No matter what, stick to the script (let them laugh for now, they’ll see soon enough...). And anyone who strays one inch must be neutralized, whether as a Trotskyist yesteryear or slandered as an Islamophobe today."

[Emphasis added]
The communist connection in Obama's juvenile training is unassailable; and his killing of Osama can be seen as accommodating the martyring of a middle-eastern hero and legend at the hands of the hegemonic western Satans. When taken in their overarching historical completeness, these things start to make sense. It is no secret that Barack and Michelle hate the USA, even while profiting from it (as are their friends). So it is completely in line that they would also hate other self-sufficient western nations, like Israel, especially those who are in conflict with the Victimhood of poor, defenseless Islam.

Why I Am Against the Death Penalty

It's because of this type of official incompetence (as well as prosecutor overreach).
After 37 years in prison, innocent North Carolina man freed

"But his freedom almost didn’t happen because evidence had been lost for years.

His attorney, Christine Mumma, took the case in 2004 and felt like she had been running out of options and considered closing the case in 2012. Then court clerks discovered a misplaced envelope of evidence while cleaning out a high shelf of a vault.

The envelope contained hair, found on the victim and believed to be the attacker’s, that turned out to be a key piece of evidence needed to do DNA testing, which wasn’t available when Sledge went on trial 1978.

“I understand those shelves were very high, but there was a ladder in that room,” said Mumma, a lawyer for the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence."

[Emphasis Added]
This man should be fully compensated for his erroneous conviction and punishment. I am certain that others have been killed by the state on equally false grounds.

German Toilets and the Sitzpinkel: Why German Men Pee Sitting Down

It's purely an engineering issue that has become a cultural standard: the German toilet design provides for a "dry drop" onto a dry ledge. Astounding.
German Toilets

"Whenever folks who have lived or traveled in Germany gather for a beer, sooner or later one subject is sure to rear its ugly head: what is the deal with those toilets?

German toilets are quite extraordinary. Other European toilets - well, the ones that aren't merely holes in the floor - work much like their North American cousins. They are shaped a little differently, but the basic principle is the same: the excrement either lands directly in the water or it slides down a steep slope into the water, before being flushed away. Simple, effective and clean. See?

"Normal" toilet


Not so the German toilet. The excrement lands on a bone-dry horizontal shelf, mere inches beneath one's posterior. Repeated flushings are required to slide the ordure off the shelf into a small water-filled hole, from which it hopefully disappears. See?

German toilet


I do not understand the purpose of this toilet. It does not save water - you must flush it eight or ten times to remove every last scrape and smear. It is not hygienic - the smell is ungodly. The only conceivable explanation is that Germans love to inspect their stool, so the German toilet of necessity features a built-in stool inspection shelf. I wouldn't be surprised if the more expensive models include a digital scale: "Mein Gott, zwei kilogram!" exclaims Günter, joyful and relieved.

Further research has revealed that the German toilet is in fact designed to facilitate stool examination. This is a wise, healthy practice, argue Germans, a person's best defence against intestinal disease, water-borne parasites or worm-riddled, undercooked pork sausage. While this made perfectly good sense around 1900, thanks to improvements in public health the whole shelf business should have become obsolete shortly after World War II.

Germans, however, see nothing amiss. They actually like their toilets. Some even dislike North American toilets. You splash yourself, they claim. I don't think this is possible. I've never splashed myself sitting on the toilet. For the wave to reach one's bottom, one would need to eject a hefty pellet at tremendous velocity. I think they're making that up."
For interesting toilet experiences, and the "sitzpinkel", go there. Personally, I'm not sure which is worse, the dry ledge toilet, or the infernal "squat holes" that aren't toilets at all, just holes in the floor over which you must squat.

But you can see why a man's right to pee standing up has to be a legal decision. It should be a case for wall urinals in every restroom, one would think. Of course, many men can't hit those, either. I always liked the horse trough up against a wet-wall that you could find in some rough-house bars; you couldn't miss those no matter how drunk you get, although you could fall in. (An observation from a prior life).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

John C. Wright Strikes Bone

John C. Wright cuts deep into the malfunctioning minds of AtheoLeftism... again. I can't resist excerpting a large part from the beginning, but please go to his page to read it all.
A reader with the abstract yet addictive name of Concept Junkie leaves this comment regarding the case in favor of marriage, now, for some reason that does not bear close examination, called traditional marriage. (As if a three-sided triangle needed to be called a traditional triangle to distinguish it from all those square triangles with four sides):
Our gracious host has made the case better than anyone I’ve ever seen, but I don’t think his arguments, however sound and logical would change the vast majority of minds.
An understatement. My reasoning will change NO minds, zero, nada, zip, simply because those who uphold the perverse as equal to the decent, the sick as equal to the hale, the unwholesome as equal to the wholesome were never reasoned into that worldview, no, not one, not ever.

You cannot reason someone out of a stance he was not reasoned into.

A Leftist is not someone who has an alternative political philosophy to yours, or different reasons. He is someone who, in the realm of politics, has decided to eschew philosophy and abandon reason.

Leftism is what you get when you stop reasoning, kill it dead, and substitute word fetishes instead.

Consider: Marx proposed an economic system where goods and services would be produced without reference to prices, to supply and demand, and to the scarcity of resources. In other words, he proposed economics without economics. This would like someone who proposed a geometric system without points and lines, without definitions and without common notions. In order to answer his critics, Marx told them that to minds conditioned by bourgeoisie means of production, the results of the material dialectic once the dictatorship of the proletarian had ended the exploitation of private property forever was unimaginable to them. For those of you who don’t speak Leftist, Marx merely proposed that oldest and most favorite of Leftist counter-arguments: he told them to shut up.

A close study of Marx will show that he was not an economist at all, he was someone making up a plethora of windbaggy excuses, slurs, counter-attacks, and slanders to deconstruct, that is, to destroy economics. Economics led to a conclusion that Marx did not like, namely, that there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch; you cannot eat your cake and save it, too. So rather than accept the conclusion, he rejected the art of reasoning. Keynes followed in his footsteps, and used a more convoluted terminology.

These terminologies are word-fetishes. A fetish is a magic token you use in order to get a magic effect in the world, and, when the effect does not take place, instead of throwing the fetish away, you adore it and implore it all the more.

A word-fetish is when you have a bit of language which you hope will have a magical effect on the world, turning gold into lead.

The simplest example is the phrase ‘wage slavery’ which, like the phrase ‘bright darkness’ or ‘four-sided triangle’ or ‘homosexual marriage’ is a nonsense phrase, signifying nothing and meant to signify nothing.

What word fetishes do is carry a connotation without carrying a denotation. In the above example, a slave is defined as one who is coerced into doing labor without a wage. The payment of a wage is the defining thing that makes a laborer not a slave; it is the sign that the exchange was voluntary. Hence the term ‘wage slavery’ has a connotation of a horrible and involuntary servitude, akin to bondage, and the connotation is affixed to working for a wage, a voluntary exchange between equals, which is the opposite.

Word fetishes are used instead of reasoning. When a man reasons, he defines his terms. When a Leftist unreasons — or whatever the mental activity is called whereby mental activity is deliberately made unable to act — what he does is undefine his terms. He makes clear terms muddy.

When the word fetish does not work, they, like the zealous medicine man whose rain dance cannot make it rain, merely dances again, this time harder. So the Leftist says his word fetish again louder or more forcefully or more scornfully. When nothing continues to happen, they try again. And so on.

I used economics as my first example because Marx is the defining pioneer of Leftism. But the same neurosis and the same results obtain for any topic discussed by the Left.

In philosophy, the word fetish is to declare that the only truth is that there is no truth. It is, in other words, an insolent abandonment of philosophy, the love of truth.

In ethics, the word fetish is to say that it is evil to distinguish good from evil, and that being judgmental or condemnatory must be brought to judgment and condemned. This is an insolent abandonment of ethics.

In politics, the word fetish is to call a greedy desire to plunder others a right or an entitlement, and to call a man’s right, especially to his own property to which he alone is entitled, greed. This abolition of all rights and boundaries is an insolent abandonment of politics, even of the concept of politics.

The other word fetish is to put the word ‘social’ in front of a second word so as to rob that second word of meaning, or reverse the meaning: ‘social justice’ in other words, means punishing the innocent and rewarding the guilty, as when non slave owners pay black rioters reparations for a non existent crime.

In logic, they use the word binary to indicate that they disapprove of the proposition that ‘A is A’ is true and that ‘A is not-A’ is false. Of course, without the binary distinction between self consistent and self contradictory statements, logic is vain. It is the insolent abandonment of logic.

Some more energetic Leftists make the argument — pardon me, they unlimber the word fetish — that unless you share the sex, tastes, race, social class, faith and nation of origin of the other man in the argument, your logic is disqualified, on the grounds that all races have different logical systems. Jew logic is not the same as Aryan logic. The mere fact that Nazis invented this argument so as to elude the need to answer critics should deter the Leftist, who claims to hate Nazis, but in truth does not.

In art, ugliness is called daring or subversive and beauty is insulted and deconstructed by any number of words mocking the motive of the artist and ignoring the merit of the art.

The mere fact that all these arguments are self defeating, absurdly obvious logical absurdities, does not shame them. Nothing does. The whole reason why the Leftist abandons reason is to quell his shame. Leftism is shamelessness.

Shamelessness is like guiltlessness in that one is free of feeling guilty, albeit, of course, one can endlessly continue to indulge in the most vile, low, vulgar, and shameful of vices. Neither the virgin nor the whore blushes, albeit, obviously, because the first has no need where the second no ability.

Shamelessness is like guiltlessness in that neither the sinner nor the saint goes to confession, albeit, of course, for opposite reasons.

If you have ever had the unpleasant experience of attempting a rational debate with a Leftist, you have no doubt come away with the same queasy sensation one might encounter if watching a man try to eat a rubber chicken, or copulate with an inflatable doll, or, to use a less grotesque example, like watching a retarded man in clown make up who does not know how to juggle tossing a single ball up into the air and letting it drop, and then smiling and bowing to the puzzled and bored children in the audience, as if he does not know that dropping the ball is not what juggling is, and does not understand why they are not as thrilled as he could be when he watches a juggler.

What the Leftist does in debate is utter his idiot word fetishes and slogans with the sneering hauteur of a card player displaying his trump card, or a chessmaster a checkmate.

And when his nonsense does not win the debate, or even address the debate, he realized you are the OTHER, and he blames you, and insults your character, your intelligence, your education, your moral stature, your maturity, et cetera.

The more mentally agile Leftists will invent some implausible sounding motive for you to be dishonest, such as (and this is the least plausible I have ever heard) he will answer cite your mental incapacity is due to ‘Christian Privilege’.

As far as I can recall, no one either in a debate or as an onlooker to a debate has ever been convinced by the ad hominem, or any like it. Why do Leftists always resort to this shift?

Naturally, he does not expect this bit of verbal drool to convince you or impress you: it is a code word, a shibboleth, a display of his credentials, a secret handshake.

[All emphasis added]

Davos and the Self-unaware Leftist Hypocrites

If you've just come out of your cave to sniff the air, then the stench of Davos will certainly choke you up a bit. The filthy rich have congealed in a single spot (Davos) to develop their world domination tactics and to tell the rest of us how to live more sparsely:
Multi-billionaire who gave a lecture about American's 'needing to have less things and live a smaller existence' owns a staggering FIVE mansions... including the nation's most expensive home

Jeff Greene, 60, is a billionaire property investor and entrepreneur
He made his money betting against subprime mortgages
At the recent World Economic Forum in Switzerland he said Americans need to lower their lifestyle expectations
He owns five multi-million dollar properties - three in California, one in Florida and one in New York
His $195 million Beverly Hills estate has been called America's most expensive house
They all arrived there in private jets so they could pontificate on the environment:
Hundreds of Private Jets Delivered People to Davos. Also, It’s Climate Change Day at Davos.
And this...
...advice from Al Gore's pet pollution puppy, Pharrell Williams:

Pharrell Williams urges climate change awareness. From a private jet. Where he sits, alone.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Is Physics Corrupted By Evolutionary Science Techniques?

Attempts to exempt speculative theories of the Universe from experimental verification undermine science, argue George Ellis and Joe Silk.

"This year, debates in physics circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed Universe, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical physics is done. They began to argue — explicitly — that if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally, breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical. We disagree. As the philosopher of science Karl Popper argued: a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific."
It would be interesting to edit this article to replace "physics" and "the universe" with "evolution"... so I will.
Attempts to exempt speculative theories of evolution from experimental verification undermine science, argue actual biologists.

"This year, debates in evolution circles took a worrying turn. Faced with difficulties in applying fundamental theories to the observed biological facts, some researchers called for a change in how theoretical evolution is done. They began to argue — explicitly — that if a theory is sufficiently elegant and explanatory, it need not be tested experimentally, breaking with centuries of philosophical tradition of defining scientific knowledge as empirical. We disagree. As the philosopher of science Karl Popper argued: a theory must be falsifiable to be scientific."
The article continues:
"Chief among the 'elegance will suffice' advocates are some string theorists. Because string theory is supposedly the 'only game in town' capable of unifying the four fundamental forces, they believe that it must contain a grain of truth even though it relies on extra dimensions that we can never observe. Some cosmologists, too, are seeking to abandon experimental verification of grand hypotheses that invoke imperceptible domains such as the kaleidoscopic multiverse (comprising myriad universes), the 'many worlds' version of quantum reality (in which observations spawn parallel branches of reality) and pre-Big Bang concepts."
Now for the Evolution equivalent:
"Chief among the 'elegance will suffice' advocates are some evolutionary theorists. Because evolution is supposedly the 'only game in town' capable of unifying biology [except for first life, common ancestor, predictive ability, and utility for biology of modern life] they believe that it must contain a grain of truth even though it relies on emergent complexity and organic change that we can never observe. Some biologists, too, are seeking to abandon experimental verification of grand hypotheses that invoke imperceptible domains such as first life as molecular replicators and first life as metabolites, the Darwinian “variation and selection” (in which all life is gradually and infinitely variable) and preserved mutation concepts."
And then this on physics:
"These unprovable hypotheses are quite different from those that relate directly to the real world and that are testable through observations — such as the standard model of particle physics and the existence of dark matter and dark energy. As we see it, theoretical physics risks becoming a no-man's-land between mathematics, physics and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any."
With this evolution analog:
"These unprovable hypotheses are quite different from those that relate directly to the real world and that are testable through observations — such as organic operation of modern organisms and the function of DNA in genetics, and the information transmission and feedback systems in cells. As we see it, theoretical evolution risks becoming a no-man's-land between fossils and philosophy that does not truly meet the requirements of any."
The similarity is uncanny; physics:
"The issue of testability has been lurking for a decade. String theory and multiverse theory have been criticized in popular books1, 2, 3 and articles, including some by one of us (G.E.)4. In March, theorist Paul Steinhardt wrote5 in this journal that the theory of inflationary cosmology is no longer scientific because it is so flexible that it can accommodate any observational result. Theorist and philosopher Richard Dawid6 and cosmologist Sean Carroll7 have countered those criticisms with a philosophical case to weaken the testability requirement for fundamental physics."
And the evolution analog continues:
"The issue of testability has been lurking for a decade. Evolutionary theory has been criticized in popular books and articles. In comparative criticism claims that the theory of Evolution is no longer scientific because it is so flexible that it can accommodate any observational result. Theorists … have countered those criticisms with a philosophical case to weaken the testability requirement for fundamental Evolution."
And these paragraphs stand as they are:
"Pass the test

We agree with theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder: post-empirical science is an oxymoron (see go.nature.com/p3upwp and go.nature.com/68rijj). Theories such as quantum mechanics and relativity turned out well because they made predictions that survived testing. Yet numerous historical examples point to how, in the absence of adequate data, elegant and compelling ideas led researchers in the wrong direction, from Ptolemy's geocentric theories of the cosmos to Lord Kelvin's 'vortex theory' of the atom and Fred Hoyle's perpetual steady-state Universe.

The consequences of overclaiming the significance of certain theories are profound — the scientific method is at stake (see go.nature.com/hh7mm6). To state that a theory is so good that its existence supplants the need for data and testing in our opinion risks misleading students and the public as to how science should be done and could open the door for pseudoscientists [i.e. evolutionists] to claim that their ideas meet similar requirements."
With this finale:
"The imprimatur of science should be awarded only to a theory that is testable. Only then can we defend science from attack."
BRAVO! Well said, and more power to you!

The reason that this will never be heard from respectable biologists regarding evolution is purely ideological: evolution is a political and religious theory which is protected by law in order to establish Atheism and Materialism as respectable worldviews. To criticize it so brutally might get such talk declared a hate crime.

A Message to Valerie Tarico

I left the following comment over at Valerie Tarico's site. I hope she responds, but few Atheists actually do, especially when they are asked to defend their Atheism. They cannot, so they don't. We'll see.

"Valerie,
Your visceral hatred has truly colored your view of the world, to the point of spreading your distortions to other haters who feed on your hate. Atheism has been the most destructive ideology that the world has ever known, even in just the past 100 years, torturing and killing several hundred million humans and enslaving entire continents under the slavery of Atheist ideological oppression.

Yet you act as if "religion", under which generalization you categorize Christianity along with all other "sects", is the world's only issue. Atheism starts with rejection of principles, including morality, thereby placing itself into an unprincipled void of pure rejectionism (euphemistically called "doubt" by yourself, but really just blind rejection supported by cherry picking certain self-assigned offenses about which to complain). Doubt and rejectionism become solipsist and pyrrhonian, rejecting all knowledge, yet they are thought to generate logical arguments without the benefit of actual disciplined deduction. Skepticism never generates actual knowledge. Taken to emotional limits it prevents analysis of concepts and thus denies possible truths merely on the basis of its own presumed truth claim.

Atheism ultimately self-entitles the Atheist to believe in the inferiority of all non-Atheists, and hence creates the self-perception of the personal superiority of the Atheist. This leads directly to the elitism of self-endowed Messiahism described by Thomas Sowell, and the three-class system of the Leftist elites, who thrive on placing people into Victimhood Classes and Oppressor Classes in order to maintain themselves in their elitist Messiah Class.

You are a Messiah Class elitist who demonizes your preferred enemy, "religion", as the Oppressor Class. You, like feminists and black racists, are also in your own Victimhood Class, as an officially oppressed victim of the Oppressor Class. The three-class system clinches your superiority by your inclusion into a phony class. But it self-authorizes your class war on the Other, the Oppressor Class which you have designated as such by yourself.

The three-class system derives directly from Marxism, and is imbued with the same elitist, savior mentality which involves the Nietzschean will to power for the elites, and the domination of the inferior "herd", and the Leninist claim to a "scientific" basis (in your case psychology, the least empirical of sciences save anthropology which renounced its scientific basis in a spurt of intellectual honesty).

As is common, this is all falsely predicated in "science" (a la Lenin), in your case the faux science of psychological "interpretations" which in your hands become moral judgments, from an ideology which denies the existence of morality (again per Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil). Yet you and Atheists in general create your own moral principles, and fully condemn those who are Othered by their differing ideology from your own personal creation.

Your site is strikingly similar to white supremacist sites I have stumbled onto.

In fact, the morality of the modern western Messiah Class is eliminationist, just as are all supremacists. Tolerance now means tolerance for all Classes except the Oppressor Class, whose opinions of dissent must be quashed under hate crimes. Equality now means equality for all Classes except the Oppressor Class, which must be held back in education, have its wealth redistributed, and its "privilege" revoked and reversed in order to favor the Victimhood Classes.

Atheist supremacism has demonstrated its vile character sufficiently in the Atheist domination of the USSR, China, S.E.Asia, Cuba, etc, with political genocides and gulags - all similar to the Atheist French Revolution and its Reign of Terror.

Atheism and its complete moral and intellectual void is the world's biggest hazard, even today, as the Russians re-invade their previous captive nations and China arms itself beyond the capabilities of free nations. Atheist domination differs from ISIS only in the fact that Atheism has no morality attached to it, and thus is free to assert any atrocity, anywhere, any time.

Actually, Atheism is on the same moral plane as ISIS, isn't it?

Your own pretensions of morality and moral judgment are purely derived from yourself as the determiner of what is moral and what is not, under your own personal moral authority to decide morality for the masses. It cannot come from Atheism, because Atheism has no morality attached to it. So it is purely your own device, your own opinion, which you pass off as definitive morality from your presumed position of moral (and intellectual) superiority. Thus you have self-elevated to godhood, and the self-perception of elitism and perfection, purely based on three words: "ain't no God". And that enabling phrase has created (in you) a moral authority over your designated Oppressor Class.

Being the elite, then, perhaps you can prove that there is no God other than yourself. No Atheist has ever done that, though, certainly not using the intellectual tools of disciplined deduction, nor the functional tools of materialist empiricism. Yet if you have managed to do so, then how about providing that proof over at this site:
atheism-analyzed.blogspot.com

We'll watch for your proof.
Stan
"
Valerie moderates comments, so this might not make it onto her site. We'll see.

UPDATE:
My comment did not make it onto her site, but many hundreds of others did make it, well over 700 so far. Tarico is a magnet for the eliminationist AtheoLeft, it appears. And Tarico censors criticism that is dangerous to the ambient narrative, although some cannon fodder is allowed in to feed the Atheist site dwellers.