Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bayesian Statistics, in the News

The NY Times discovers Bayesian Statistical Calculations, and even gives a shout out to the obvious problems with it:
"One downside of Bayesian statistics is that it requires prior information — and often scientists need to start with a guess or estimate. Assigning numbers to subjective judgments is “like fingernails on a chalkboard,” said physicist Kyle Cranmer, who helped develop a frequentist technique to identify the latest new subatomic particle — the Higgs boson.

Others say that in confronting the so-called replication crisis, the best cure for misleading findings is not Bayesian statistics, but good frequentist ones. It was frequentist statistics that allowed people to uncover all the problems with irreproducible research in the first place, said Deborah Mayo, a philosopher of science at Virginia Tech. The technique was developed to distinguish real effects from chance, and to prevent scientists from fooling themselves.

Uri Simonsohn, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, agrees. Several years ago, he published a paper that exposed common statistical shenanigans in his field — logical leaps, unjustified conclusions, and various forms of unconscious and conscious cheating.

He said he had looked into Bayesian statistics and concluded that if people misused or misunderstood one system, they would do just as badly with the other. Bayesian statistics, in short, can’t save us from bad science."

[emphasis added]
It's actually worse than that. It is a favorite of ideological hacks who place their ideology into the equation up front, thereby getting the results they want rather than objective knowledge. Bayesian calculations are an open invitation to pretend that circular arguments are justified statistically.

That's not to say that with legitimate use of non-biased input, Bayes calculations can't be valuable, as in the case of the fisherman rescued by the Coast Guard which used Bayes to anticipate the location of the drifting man. But that uses known information, regarding physical data which is not ideological as an input to the calculation. That is far different from trying to calculate, say, the existence of a deity, where any input is prejudiced by definition.

Whenever Bayes is used, the calculations must ALWAYS be scrutinized for bias, because in some venues they always will be. And that is, indeed, like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Death Panels Are Not Needed When Hospitals DNR You At Will...

If medical personnel get away with this, then they are the death panels:
"Douglas DeGuerre was an 88-year old retired school custodian and a World War II veteran. He loved hockey, reading, and music. Unfortunately, he also suffered from medical problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and congestive heart failure.

On September 17, 2008, DeGuerre required amputation of both his lower legs. Although he was seriously ill, he still wanted to live. He and his family repeatedly told his doctors that he wanted to be a “full code,” meaning that he wished to be resuscitated in case of cardiac arrest. This was duly recorded in his hospital chart.

Five days later, the medical staff changed his status from “full code” to “DNR” (“do not resuscitate”) without consulting him or his daughter Joy Wawrzyniak, who had medical power of attorney. When Wawrzyniak came to visit her father that day, she found him struggling to breathe. Wawrzyniak (a registered nurse) grabbed an oxygen bag and tried to help her father, while begging from assistance from the hospital staff. The medical staff stood back and did nothing. DeGuerre died of cardiac arrest. According to Wawrzyniak her father’s last words were, “I’m drowning, I’m drowning.”"
Despite being illegal, it is being done. Moreover, it is just moving the act from the insurer (government bureaucrats looking at charts) to hospital staff.
"As Goldenberger notes:

In Canada, with our single-payer health care system, Rasouli’s situation has a very public bottom line: Should taxpayers foot the bill for his family’s indefinite goodbye?… When taxpayers provide only a finite number of acute care beds in public hospitals, a patient whose life has all but ended, but whose family insists on keeping her on life support, is occupying precious space that might otherwise house a patient whose best years are still ahead.

(Goldenberger also notes that, “The board is instructed by law to focus on the patient’s best interests, not the health care system’s, or the government’s bottom line.”)

Although Goldenberger recognizes that his approach would make most Americans “apoplectic,” he raises an important — and legitimate — point. Any government-funded health care system must necessarily set limits on medical spending. No government can issue a blank check for unlimited medical care for everyone. The only issue is where and how it draws that line."

[Emphasis Added]

Victims Tire of Their Messiah-Parasites

Monday, September 29, 2014

Things One May Not Say: The War on Free Speech

The Left will not allow contrary information to be disseminated if it can help it. Obama has attacked news outlets for allowing more news to reach the public than he likes. College campuses are now rampantly attacking any non-congruent opinions that might show up in speakers on their campuses. One leftist professor became violent when she came across a pro-life demonstration in a "free speech zone" (why are those necessary?), stealing a placard and striking one demonstrator who attempted to retrieve it. The rise in commencement speakers who have been run off by Leftist demonstrators has risen exponentially.

Even more dangerous is the trend toward demanding the incarceration and even death of those who disagree with major ideological tenets of the Left, especially AGW – now called Climate Justice. And the blackballing of academic applicants who question evolution is wide spread and well documented, as is the vitriol spewed by academics and sycophants against “Climate Deniers” who are equated with Holocaust Deniers as maximally evil and deludedly anti-science.

The current frenzy is “sexual assault”, the fav of the feministas who currently drive the Leftist culture. The drive against the “patriarchy”, meaning all men in general, now is the moral commandment du jour, as all Leftists bow in obeisance to whatever new directives the RadFems dictate. So when anyone questions the current moral dictates, even gently, the conversation is shut down immediately:

The current political environment is that of the constant LIE, where anything and everything which is said by the Leftists in control of the US Government is false, deliberately deceptive and ideologically manipulative. The administration is NOT the most transparent ever, is NOT truthful about any of the dozens of constitutional violations and scandals, and even deaths due to those violations and scandals. This sort of intellectually inverted environment is an underlying cause for the constant silencing attacks on all information which is contrary to their agenda and narrative.

Roger Simon has written,
“There is a sense in which the triumph of political correctness erodes free speech chiefly by negative means. It promulgates speech codes, rules against “hate speech,” and the like, but I suspect that its gravest damage is done by instilling a timidity of spirit among its charges. A reluctance to speak the truth instills an unwillingness or even inability to see the truth. Thus it is that the reign of political correctness quietly aids and abets habits of complacency and unfreedom.

This atmosphere of supine anesthesia is an invitation to tyranny. I was shocked to learn when at Winchester that Senate Democrats, led by Harry Reid, had actually introduced a bill to challenge key provisions of the First Amendment. Yes, you read that aright. Democratic senators have proposed to gut the First Amendment. If passed, the provision would enable Congress to ban movies, books, and other forms of expression that bore on political controversies. Breathtaking, is it not? As far as I can tell from here, public response to this outrageous attack on free speech has been muted. Republican Senator Ted Cruz had the right idea when he proposed replacing the Democratic proposal with the text of the First Amendment itself. His clever rejoinder, however, was unanimously rejected by the Democrats at the hearing. The First Amendment protects free speech, especially as it bears on political debate. But it is precisely such freedom that is anathema to those of our masters who prefer their citizens submissive.

It took several centuries and much blood and toil to wrest freedom from the recalcitrant forces of arbitrary power. It is a melancholy fact that what took ages to achieve can be undone in the twinkling of an eye. It seems to me that we are at a crossroads where our complacency colludes dangerously with the blunt opportunism of events. Courage, Aristotle once observed, is the most important virtue because without courage we are unable to practice the other virtues. The life of freedom requires the courage to recognize and to name the realities that impinge upon us. Day is Night. Peace is War. Love is Hate. Out of such linguistic capitulations, Orwell showed in 1984, totalitarian tyranny is born. We’ve all read the book. Have we learned that hard lesson?”

The arrogance of the Left coupled with the ignorance of the populace – schooled only in Leftist doctrine by government schools and otherwise maleducated and dependent, interested only in Hollywood’s Leftist star’s coupling and decoupling – will likely bring us as a nation to the point of no return from the necessity of renewed bloodshed in order to regain the freedoms being wrested away in the pursuit of Leftist totalitarian utopia. Those who revere the constitution have already been put on watch lists by the Administration; we are potential domestic terrorists, where Islamic killings are just “workplace violence” (still known to the Left as The Religion of Peace). The US Government now places itself as the enemy of the common American, the final inversion that the Left requires for its totalitarian grip.

Obama Unable To Tell the Truth, Therefore Korosan Group Created

The Khorosan Group Does Not Exist
It’s a fictitious name the Obama administration invented to deceive us.

"You haven’t heard of the Khorosan Group because there isn’t one. It is a name the administration came up with, calculating that Khorosan — the –Iranian–​Afghan border region — had sufficient connection to jihadist lore that no one would call the president on it.

The “Khorosan Group” is al-Qaeda. It is simply a faction within the global terror network’s Syrian franchise, “Jabhat al-Nusra.” Its leader, Mushin al-Fadhli (believed to have been killed in this week’s U.S.-led air strikes), was an intimate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the emir of al-Qaeda who dispatched him to the jihad in Syria. Except that if you listen to administration officials long enough, you come away thinking that Zawahiri is not really al-Qaeda, either. Instead, he’s something the administration is at pains to call “core al-Qaeda.”

“Core al-Qaeda,” you are to understand, is different from “Jabhat al-Nusra,” which in turn is distinct from “al-Qaeda in Iraq” (formerly “al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia,” now the “Islamic State” al-Qaeda spin-off that is, itself, formerly “al-Qaeda in Iraq and al-Sham” or “al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Levant”). That al-Qaeda, don’t you know, is a different outfit from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula . . . which, of course, should never be mistaken for “al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,” “Boko Haram,” “Ansar al-Sharia,” or the latest entry, “al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent.”

Coming soon, “al-Qaeda on Hollywood and Vine.” In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if, come 2015, Obama issued an executive order decreeing twelve new jihad jayvees stretching from al-Qaeda in January through al-Qaeda in December."

Friday, September 26, 2014

Holder Bolts

The injustice of Eric Holder

"Contrary to what liberal elites think, the average American isn’t dumb and can see when someone is abusing his office and allowing politics to drive his decision-making. They may think they can fool the American people, but that is a mistake that many arrogant politicians and government officials have made in the past, and Mr. Holder is just another in a long line of such government officials. From his misbehavior in everything from the New Black Panther voter-intimidation case to Operation Fast and Furious to the IRS targeting scandal, Mr. Holder has shown the public why he is the first and only attorney general in our history to be held in contempt by the House of Representatives.

As a longtime, current employee of the Justice Department told us, Mr. Holder and his subordinates have “racialized and radicalized” the department “to the point of corruption.” They have “embedded politically leftist extremists in the career ranks who have an agenda that does not comport with equal protection or the rule of law; who believe that the ends justify the means; and who behave unprofessionally and unethically. Their policy is to intimidate and threaten employees who do not agree with their politics, and even moderate Democrats have left the department, because they were treated as enemies by administration officials and their lackeys. Another black employee who has worked for the Justice Department for decades said to me, ‘There is no justice left in Justice under this administration.’"
Holder has transparently been at war with America, and he has radicalized the Justice Department to carry this war forward. Should a constitution-friendly president be elected next, s/he will have to completely purge this - and many other - federal departments.

Headline of the Day

Happy 18th Birthday No Global Warming! After Nearly Two Decades, We're Still Waiting for the Climate to Change
...with 'bated breath...