Category Archive 'Uncategorized'
23 Jul 2017

27-Year-Old Catalan Huntress Blogger a Suicide

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Melania Capitán

You have to go down five Google pages to find an objective account, not sensationalistically identifying the young lady’s death as a fearful response to threats from animal activists or as an expression of guilt for hunting.

You-Blog Club:

A hunter and well-known Spanish blogger died in an apparent suicide this week, amid claims she was the target of online abuse from animal rights activists.

Melania Capitan, 27, was found dead at a farm in Huesca on Wednesday, the Guardia Civil said. She reportedly shot herself with a rifle, and left a suicide note, el Mundo reports.

Capitan was known for sharing her hunting lifestyle with her 36,000 Facebook and 8,700 Instagram followers.

She was a passionate hunter, and defended her actions online, posting pictures to Instagram of her posing with guns beside dead deer. Her controversial lifestyle reportedly garnered abuse and threats from animal rights activists.

Since her death, a number of people have posted cruel comments on her Facebook page, with one saying she “thankfully she killed herself, the only good thing she’s done lately.”

El Mundo quotes a close friend of Capitan’s saying she died by suicide, and that it was not related to the threats she received online. “For personal problems, not for the insults she received in social networks,” the unnamed friend is cited as saying.

“It is a lie that has been said that she committed suicide because of the threats because she was a very brave woman, very strong, a fighter,” she said, adding, “in all social networks, people have done a lot of harm to her and they continue to do so. Take action on this, this should be punished.”

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Roy Tingle for the Dail Mail typically milks the threats from Animal Rights Activists angle.

A female hunter has been found dead after apparently committing suicide weeks after she was reportedly threatened on social media by animal rights activists.

Melania Capitan, 27, was a well-known blogger and hunter with thousands of online followers.

She rose to fame due to her posts in which she explained hunting tactics as well as showing glimpses into her every day life.

Hunting magazine Jara y Sedal reported Melania, who was from Catalonia and had lived for the last three years in Huesca, had apparently killed herself.

She had also reportedly left a suicide note addressed to her friends.

This comes after it was reported that the internet star was threatened online.

Her posts caused much controversy across the internet, especially with animal rights activists who widely criticised her.

RTWT

23 Jul 2017

Social Justice Warrior Insult Generator

23 Jul 2017

Seven Most Expensive Guns

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Private Sam Wilson’s Walker Colt and flask

Breitbart lists seven of the most expensive guns in the world.

22 Jul 2017

Minnesota 11-Year-Old Allegedly Attacked by Muskie

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Twin Cities:

Ryan Kesselhon couldn’t figure out what was happening to his 11-year-old daughter, Maren. One minute, Maren had been peacefully dangling from her family’s paddleboard in Island Lake on Wednesday afternoon. The next second she was screaming wildly.

“I couldn’t figure out what she was screaming about,” Ryan Kesselhon said. “Then she lifted her foot out of the water, and I could see it was filleted open in many places.”

Closer examination revealed she had been cut in 25 places, mostly on her upper ankle and on top of her foot, Kesselhon said.

“There were nine deep lacerations that required stitches,” Kesselhon said.

Nobody knows for sure what attacked Maren while she was hanging on the paddleboard near the Minnesota Power boat launch on the east side of Island Lake. But Maren has her hunches.

“My daughter, right away, when I pulled her out of the water, she thought it was a fish,” Kesselhon said. “She could feel her foot in its mouth. She kicked it with her other foot. It released, but it left a torn-up foot.”

Maren had to undergo surgery at Essentia Health to repair her tendon and to stitch up her wounds, Kesselhon said in a telephone interview Thursday. Doctors there told him they thought it was likely that a fish had caused the lacerations.

RTWT

The photo of her injuries is horrific.

21 Jul 2017

First California Community College, Then Yale

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NPR interviews the head of California’s community college system, who is arguing in favor of eliminating Algebra as a course requirement. The reason? Algebra is too hard for minorities.

Algebra is one of the biggest hurdles to getting a high school or college degree — particularly for students of color and first-generation undergrads.

It is also the single most failed course in community colleges across the country. So if you’re not a STEM major (science, technology, engineering, math), why even study algebra?

That’s the argument Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California community college system, made today in an interview with NPR’s Robert Siegel.

At American community colleges, 60 percent of those enrolled are required to take at least one math course. Most — nearly 80 percent — never complete that requirement.

Oakley is among a growing number of educators who view intermediate algebra as an obstacle to students obtaining their credentials — particularly in fields that require no higher level math skills.

Their thinking has led to initiatives like Community College Pathways, which strays away from abstract algebra to engage students in real-world math applications. …

What are you proposing?

What we’re proposing is to take an honest look at what our requirements are and why we even have them. So, for example, we have a number of courses of study and majors that do not require algebra. We want to take a look at other math pathways, look at the research that’s been done across the country and consider math pathways that are actually relevant to the coursework that the student is pursuing.

You are facing pressure to increase graduation rates — only 48 percent graduate from California community colleges with an associate’s degree or transfer to a four-year institution within six years. As we’ve said, passing college algebra is a major barrier to graduation. But is this the easy way out? Just strike the algebra requirement to increase graduation rates instead of teaching math more effectively?

I hear that a lot and unfortunately nothing could be farther from the truth. Somewhere along the lines, since the 1950s, we decided that the only measure of a student’s ability to reason or to do some sort of quantitative measure is algebra. What we’re saying is we want as rigorous a course as possible to determine a student’s ability to succeed, but it should be relevant to their course of study. There are other math courses that we could introduce that tell us a lot more about our students.

Do you buy the argument that there are just some forms of reasoning — whether it’s graphing functions or solving quadratic equations that involve a mental discipline — that may never be actually used literally on the job, but may improve the way young people think?

There’s an argument to be made that much of what we ask students to learn prepares them to be just better human beings, allows them to have reasoning skills. But again, the question becomes: What data do we have that suggests algebra is that course? Are there other ways that we can introduce reasoning skills that more directly relate to what a student’s experience in life is and really helps them in their program of study or career of choice?

A lot of students in California community colleges are hoping to prepare for a four-year college. What are you hearing from the four-year institutions? Are they at ease with you dropping the requirement? Or would they then make the students take the same algebra course they’re not taking at community college?

This question is being raised at all levels of higher education — the university level as well as the community college level. There’s a great body of research that’s informing this discussion, much of it coming from some of our top universities, like the Dana Center at the University of Texas, or the Carnegie Foundation. So there’s a lot of research behind this and I think more and more of our public and private university partners are delving into this question of what is the right level of math depending on which major a student is pursuing.

And there are people writing about concepts of numeracy that may be different from what people have been teaching all this time. Do you have in mind a curriculum that would be more useful than intermediate algebra
?

We are piloting different math pathways within our community colleges. We’re working with our university partners at CSU and the UC, trying to ensure that we can align these courses to best prepare our students to succeed in majors. And if you think about it, you think about the use of statistics not only for a social science major but for every U.S. citizen. This is a skill that we should have all of our students have with them because this affects them in their daily life. …

Rates of failure in algebra are higher for minority groups than they are for white students. Why do you think that is? Do you think a different curriculum would have less disparate results by ethnic or racial group?

First of all, we’ve seen in the data from many of the pilots across the country that are using alternative math pathways — that are just as rigorous as an algebra course — we’ve seen much greater success for students because many of these students can relate to these different kinds of math depending on which program of study they’re in. They can see how it works in their daily life and how it’s going to work in their career.

The second thing I’d say is yes, this is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans. If you think about all the underemployed or unemployed Americans in this country who cannot connect to a job in this economy — which is unforgiving of those students who don’t have a credential — the biggest barrier for them is this algebra requirement. It’s what has kept them from achieving a credential.

RTWT

From the perspective of the Left, colleges are there to supply credentials which are tickets to comfortable, well-paying positions in Society. Results must be equal, so if some groups are having trouble earning those credentials, it is necessary to grease the skids. The goal is not education; the goal is credentials.

20 Jul 2017

As Long as You Don’t Let Him Drive…

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The circus arrived in Arkhangelsk with a 250-pound trained bear named Tim. He confidently climbs into the carriage and waves his paw on command. Tatiana, the “Area 29” circus administrator, said local bikers have supported and agreed to ride with Tim.

The motorcycle driver Michael said that it was his first time communicating with the bear, but that he is not afraid. “The main thing is to not let Tim climb behind the wheel!”

HT: Karen L. Myers.

20 Jul 2017

Kings College Replaces Portraits of White Founders With “Wall of Diversity”

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Sir Frederick Mott and Sir Henry Maudsley founded the Institute of Psychiatry in 1924.

Telegraph:

King’s College London is to swap portraits of some of its founding fathers with a “wall of diversity” amid pressure from students, a dean says.

The plans to move portraits of former faculty staff from the main entrance wall and replace them with more BME [“Black and Minority Ethnic”] scholars are being implemented by the world famous Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, following concern among academics that the current classroom environment is too “intimidating” for ethnic minorities.

The proposals were unveiled by Professor Patrick Leman, the Institute’s dean of education, who said that the faculty should not just be filled with “busts of 1920s bearded men” but rather more modern, diverse scholars so that the Institute feels less “alienating”.

Founded in 1924 as a hospital medical school, the Institute owes its existence to a donation from Dr Henry Maudsley, a pioneering British psychiatrist, and neurologist Sir Frederick Mott, who drew up plans for university courses for training in the field of psychiatry in 1896.

Their busts, which are believed to be the subject of Professor Leman’s remarks, were placed in the Institute in recognition of their work.

It comes two years after King’s sparked controversy for removing a photograph of Lord Carey, the former of Archbishop of Canterbury, in response to his opposition to gay marriage.

Facing widespread criticism at the time, the university defended its review of a “window display policy” on the grounds that some images had been unrepresentative of the “diversity of our university community”.

Professor Leman, who describes himself as “tribal Labour” in blogs, added that portraits lining the main entrance are “almost entirely white middle-aged men” and will be replaced with a “wall of diversity”.

He added that all current portraits of former deans would be “taken down” and rehung, with some being placed in less prominent positions, in comments that could be interpreted as them being sidelined by the Institute.

Meanwhile, teaching materials, such as diagrams of the human anatomy, will be changed to feature a “range of ethnic groups”, rather than just the “standard white male”.

Prof Leman said the plans had been backed by the faculty’s student body, which has been “exceptionally good” in pushing for a diversification of the curriculum.

“We’re trying to reflect the diversity in terms of students we have, but also trying to be more inter-cultural, more international in terms of how we develop the science,” he told The Telegraph.

“A great deal of medical, psychological research has been of white, male, North American or European students…so increasingly we try and broaden it to include more recent research from Asia, Africa, and from other parts of the world.

RTWT

20 Jul 2017

Bookplate

19 Jul 2017

USA Today: Not Enough Women & Minorities in “Dunkirk”

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Free Beacon was amused.

The USA Today review of Christopher Nolan’s newest film Dunkirk notes that there are not enough women and people of color in the World War II epic.

Film critic Brian Truitt gave the film a glowing review.

“The movie captures the real-life heroism of the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940, when nearly 400,000 Allied soldiers were pulled out after the Germans trapped them on a beach in Nazi-occupied France,” he wrote. “Nolan’s ambitious story revolves around three tales unfolding at different times over land, sea, and air, only coming together at the end.”

But somewhat apologetically, Truitt also bemoaned the film’s lack of diversity.

“The trio of timelines can be jarring as you figure out how they all fit, and the fact that there are only a couple of women and no lead actors of color may rub some the wrong way,” Truitt wrote.

The film revolves around the exploits of the British Expeditionary Force, which was drafted from the British Isles. Accordingly, there were no known women on the beaches of Dunkirk and or many people of color.

19 Jul 2017

Swiss Couple Missing 75 Years Found in Glacier

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Daily Mail:

The remains of 75-year-old remains found preserved in a receding glacier in the Alps have been confirmed as a couple who went missing after going to milk their cows.

Marcelin Dumoulin and wife Francine, who have now been pictured, were found lying near each other in the Diablerets massif in southern Switzerland, along with backpacks, a bottle, a book and a watch.

The confirmation came from a DNA test, and ends decades of uncertainty for their seven children.

Marcelin, a 40-year-old shoemaker at the time, and Francine, a schoolteacher aged 37, had left their village of Chandolin to milk their cows in a meadow above Chandolin in the Valais canton on August 15, 1942.

The couple never returned from their trip, and officials at the Glacier 3000 ski resort said that the couple had likely fallen into a crevasse.

RTWT

19 Jul 2017

Intersectionality is a Religion

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Elizabeth C. Corey, at First Things, describes the First Church of Intersectionality.

In 1968, the political philosopher Eric Voegelin published a little book called Science, Politics and Gnosticism. In a section of that book entitled “Ersatz Religion,” he argued that modern ideologies are very much like ancient Gnostic movements. Certain fundamental assumptions, Voegelin wrote, characterize both ancient and modern Gnosticism.

The gnostic, Voegelin observed, is fundamentally dissatisfied with his situation and believes that the world is “intrinsically poorly organized” and that salvation from the world’s evils is possible. The gnostic further thinks that “the order of being will have to be changed in an historical process” and that this is possible through human effort. Finally, the gnostic looks for a prophet who shares saving knowledge about how to make the transformation happen. It turns out that the intersectional project accords in every detail with Voegelin’s description.

Intersectional scholars are, by definition, unhappy with their situations in life. From an outsider’s perspective, this seems more reasonable for some than for others, though it’s apparent that everyone feels it to a greater or lesser extent. Most affectingly, at the Notre Dame conference, several black feminist scholars from South Africa described the explicitly repressive measures they had endured at their universities, where the prejudice against them is overt and sometimes results in violence. As one scholar put it, “It’s not like I’m full of despair.” Then she paused and thought for a moment. “But, of course, I am full of despair.”

This nearly moved black American women to tears. They detailed their feelings of inadequacy in American universities, confessing that they feel they have no legitimate place, or that they are expected constantly to serve, because this is what has always been expected of black women. A young Hispanic assistant professor explained that United States immigration policy was a systematic attempt “to deny intimacy and family” to immigrants from Mexico. A self-identified “Chicano gender non-conforming queer Latinx” detailed the exclusion she had felt until she discovered a support group of other transgender people in Los Angeles. And the stories continued.

Expressions of hurt and exclusion were inevitably followed by anger at the system—at the patriarchy, racism, unjust institutions, and structural prejudice—and then by exhortations to do something about it. In Voegelin’s terms, they were rebelling against the poor organization of the world, and maintained the hope of salvation through human effort.

Voegelin’s idea that the order of being must be changed “in an historical process” nicely captures the mandate of intersectionality. If schools, churches, and families are the primary institutions that have always formed people, and if they are fundamentally shot through with oppression and prejudice, then these institutions must themselves be thoroughly remade. In light of such an objective, the self-conscious deconstruction of what we take for granted makes sense. Gender, sexuality, family, ­hierarchy, capitalism, and, most of all, the university and its “pretense” to objective knowledge must be destroyed and reconstituted. Scholarship is secondary. Activism is what matters most.

RTWT

19 Jul 2017

Lunching With Liberals

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Charlie Martin is the latest in line to poke some fun at David Brooks’ identification of Italian cold cuts as a signifier of grand social superiority.

[T]hree bits of media: David Brooks’ famous sandwich story, this story about a village in Nunavut (the First Nations province in Canada) that buys great quantities of stuff from Amazon, and an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods in which he drives up the Pacific Coast Highway to sample the local delicacies of coastal mid-state California.

Brooks first. I imagine you all have already been exposed to this column, in which he argues that the lower economic classes are being held down because they don’t learn the “cultural signifiers” that mark the upper educated classes. Here’s the core paragraph:

    Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.

Presumably, she was more comfortable with tamales and enchiladas and menudo than sandwiches named “tomato” and “godfather.”

In Zimmern’s show, he went to sea with a fisherman and then had dinner with the fisherman’s family (which had been fishing professionally for generations), then went into the tidal zone with a Hmong couple who showed him where you could forage for mussels and whelks and limpets and make a meal of them, then went to an Elks Lodge where bartenders pour heavy and the Elks get together and cook big chunks of top sirloin on a spit. Zimmern was just ever so impressed with these folks living the American Dream, out there working and bringing in fish and raising cattle. And amazingly enough, not one of them had a bone through their nose.
Sponsored

Then we look at the village in Nunavut, where the story was that the whole village loved Amazon Prime, because they could order food and furniture and tools and supplies and get them with second-day delivery. The prices were far better — and the selection even more so — than the stores in the villages. The money quote to my eye was one person who said that Amazon Prime had done more for their quality of life than years of government programs. The bulk of the story, however, was that they were afraid Canada Post was going to not want to continue to deliver to their village because they were using so much shipping, along with people from the government saying that Amazon Prime wasn’t good because some people didn’t have credit cards, or were on assistance and so couldn’t buy things from Amazon.

The point is that for all Brooks’ talk about “social signifiers” and how the different signifiers were preventing the less-educated classes from moving up, when his female friend was confronted with this menu, he didn’t say: “Look, ‘Pomodoro’ and ‘Padrino’ are just names they gave the sandwiches, soppressata and capicollo are kinds of salami, and the other one is a kind of bread.” Instead of “insensitively” explaining things to her and giving her a chance to try something new, he “sensitively” took her to a Mexican place, and so preserved her from needing to learn all those “social signifiers.”

I used to frequent a steel mill bar in my old home town in Pueblo, where there would be a bunch of guys eating capicollo and soppressata sandwiches and drinking michelada (a Bloody Mary with beer instead of vodka). All those guys were wearing jeans with slag burns and had heavy work gloves and hard hats; not one of them had a crease in their pants leg. David may think that’s “gourmet” and exotic — but to people with real jobs, that’s just lunch.

Which is exactly the problem. In all of these stories, the underlying assumption is that they are the civilized people, and they’re out on the reservation where the unenlightened are living.

19 Jul 2017

Deirdre McCluskey’s Classical Liberalism Manifesto

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Patric Park, Adam Smith, 1845, Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

A must-read essay.

As Boaz says at the outset of The Libertarian Mind, “In a sense, there have always been but two political philosophies: liberty and power.” …

[The new liberalism, by inspiriting for the first time in history a great mass of ordinary people, produced a massive explosion of betterments. Steam, rail, universities, steel, sewers, plate glass, forward markets, universal literacy, running water, reinforced concrete, automobiles, airplanes, washing machines, antibiotics, the pill, containerization, free trade, computers, the cloud. It yielded in the end an increase in real income per head by a factor of thirty, and a startling rise in the associated ability to seek the transcendent in Art or Science or God or Baseball.

I said 30. It was a stunning Great Enrichment, material and cultural, well after the classic Industrial Revolution.

The Enrichment was, I say again in case you missed it, three thousand percent per person, near enough, utterly unprecedented. The goods and services available to even the poorest rose by that astounding figure, in a world in which mere doublings, increases of merely 100 percent, had been rare and temporary, as in the glory of fifth century Greece or the vigor of the Song Dynasty. In every earlier case, the little industrial revolutions had reverted eventually to a real income per head in today’s prices of about $3 a day, which was the human condition since the caves. Consider trying to live on $3 a day, as many people worldwide still do (though during the past forty years their number has fallen like a stone). After 1800 there was no reversion. On the contrary, in every one of the forty or so recessions since 1800 the real income per head after a recession exceeded what it had been at the previous peak. Up, up, up. Even including the $3-a-day people in Chad and Zimbabwe, world real income per head has increased during the past two centuries by a factor of ten, and by a factor of thirty as I said, in the countries that were lucky, and liberally wise. Hong Kong. South Korea. Botswana. The material and cultural enrichment bids fair to spread now to the world.

And the enrichment has been equalizing. Nowadays in places like Japan and the United States the poorest make more, corrected for inflation, than did the top quarter or so two centuries ago. Jane Austen lived more modestly in material terms than the average resident of East Los Angeles.

HT: Arnold Kling.

18 Jul 2017

Finnish Joke

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There is an entire genre of Finnish jokes at the expense of the Russians.

In 1939, Stalin grew tired of tolerating the existence of Finland on the Soviet Union’s western border, so he decided to crush it. In December, 120,000 soldiers, backed up by six hundred tanks and a thousand artillery pieces, readied themselves to invade Finland.

The Finns were unperturbed. Their generals were competent, their borders were fortified, and their people were ready to fight and die for their homeland.

As Russian bombs fell on Helsinki on the 30th of November, and Soviet divisions began crossing the border, a joke began to spread among the Finns:

“They are so many and our country is so small, where shall we find room to bury them all?”

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