January 23, 2013

Math Education: An Inconvenient Truth

Another reason to homeschool...

January 21, 2013


My life is not being what I want it to be.  Although, I am not quite sure what I thought it would be, just not this.

Don't get me wrong, I have the greatest wife\best friend\soul mate ever.  My eldest son has a remarkable capacity to become and expert on interests he pursues. My Daughter is singularly amazing in her ability to accomplish goals both long term and short term.  Connor is both a joy and challenge who provides so much wonder in our lives.

Until last November I was in an amazingly happy place.  I had a job with huge potential, we were digging our way out of debt.  We had plans and goals for our house, home and community.  It turned out to be rather fragile.  In a confrontation not of my making I acted in a manner of which I am not proud. This single span of 90 seconds came with the cost of my life path.

I could wax philosophical as there are new opportunities and God has plans that are not seen by mortals.  Still, the loss and grief is substantial.  At times I just want to be someone else.

So we are not looking towards liquidation of our worldly possessions, moving to another place and time with a fresh start.  Not really where I thought I would be.

There was a funny bit from a movie in my youth, where the comic goes through the stages of grief.  Anger, denial, bargaining, depression, acceptance.  You'll note that happiness isn't in that grouping.

January 17, 2013

A quick thought.

I'm not saying that nobody should have access to vaginas, just that there should be a background check and a 7 day waiting period to keep them away from the mentally ill at least. 

Reality Check: An "Apples to Apples" Comparison of U.S. and U.K. Violent Crime Rates

Reality Check: An "Apples to Apples" Comparison of U.S. and U.K. Violent Crime Rates: Ben's fact check of arguments made by CNN host Piers Morgan and a look at the violent crime rates in the U.S. and U.K. But were those numbers really an apples to apples comparison? Tonight, Ben is setting the record straight and asking if the concern is really about lowing gun death rates then why aren’t pro gun control advocates going after handguns?

Government is okay in its place...

I'm a kid back in the 60's.  Our class it handing out some nutritional advice, about the four basic food groups.  I notice the breakfast cereal commercials end with "part of this complete breakfast."  My mom's  magazines have more food on the covers with warnings and advice.

The days of nutritional politics has begun...

My class has us do a report about the four food groups.  We have paper plates we glue stuff on to show how well we understand the nutritional guidelines.  At some point I look the food groups up in my beloved World Book Encyclopedia, and the list shows

  1. Milk and milk products
  2. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, peas and nuts
  3. Bread, flour and cereals
  4. Leafy green and yellow vegetables
  5. Potatoes and sweet potatoes
  6. Citrus, tomato, cabbage, salad greens
  7. Butter, fortified margarine
Which is a better breakdown then:

  1. Milk
  2. Meat
  3. Fruits and vegetables
  4. Grain products
This all but leaves my brain shortly after the assignment is finished.  Flash forward to the 90's.  I hear a gentleman on the radio talking about foods, humans, health and wellness and opt to get his book.  I read it and turn vegan.  Part of the book tells about the political influence various industries have had on the nutritional guides.

It turns out that the government has a curious notion of what expert means.  It turns out that influence and power has more to do with our elected officials then the best data out there.  There are a lot of nutritional quacks out there. Over the years wellness has been diverted by profit and greed.  The diet industry makes lots of money off of scare and envy tactics.

There are lots of expose' on these various corrupted examples as well.

A Fatally Flawed Food Guide
In the face of contradictory evidence: Report of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee
USDA Food Pyramid History

Over the course of my life I have deduced, what I feel are, healthy choices for my family.  I do not really sweat the small stuff.  The human body has amazing nutrient gathering ability.  We should have a focus on fitness over diet. As I get older I have been keeping fitter and trim.  Because, I want to be able to do things.  I do miss those golden days of yore when I could eat all I wanted and be assured of burning it off. I also miss days of not being sore, stiff and creaky.  Yet, I can run further and better then I ever could.  Go figure...

This guy understands.

January 16, 2013

The second amendment wasn't thought through...

Today our President is going to propose limits on our Liberty. I predict the press will fawn and slobber all over.  The left will complain that it is not enough and the right, well look at the above.

Just in case you do not know your constitution: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

To get an idea on what the founding fathers exactly meant:

"I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials."
— George Mason, in Debates in Virginia Convention on Ratification of the Constitution, Elliot, Vol. 3, June 16, 1788

"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed."
-- Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers at 184-188

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.
-- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 28

"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms ... "
-- Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, at 86-87 (Pierce & Hale, eds., Boston, 1850)

"[The Constitution preserves] the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms."
--James Madison, The Federalist Papers, No. 46

"To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws."
--John Adams, A Defense of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."
--Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).

"Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American...[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."
--Tenche Coxe, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

"Whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them; nor does it follow from this, that all promiscuously must go into actual service on every occasion. The mind that aims at a select militia, must be influenced by a truly anti-republican principle; and when we see many men disposed to practice upon it, whenever they can prevail, no wonder true republicans are for carefully guarding against it."
--Richard Henry Lee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
-- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787. ME 6:373, Papers 12:356

"No Free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Proposal Virginia Constitution, 1 T. Jefferson Papers, 334,[C.J. Boyd, Ed., 1950]

"The right of the people to keep and bear ... arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country ..."
-- James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty .... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
-- Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment, I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789

" ... but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights ..."
-- Alexander Hamilton speaking of standing armies in Federalist 29

January 15, 2013

Because life is cheap...?

There is an extreme disconnect in regards to life. Somehow when sperm hits egg, there is a question of letting the child live.  This question tends to be more applicable when it occurred at some teenage bacchanal.  Less so when you are a married couple pursuing procreation.

This list of reasons to kill a baby are long.  Going from punishment, to the life of mother and child.  It strikes me, that relegating intercourse to the bonds of marriage eliminates a good chunk of the debate.

However, we are told it is naive to think that kids will not engage in sex, and we should teach them how and to use proper protection. Sex is such a closed topic as well.  Even with the hedonism we have from entertainment, the focus is spun so far from reality.

Relying on the Government to teach and regulate sex is tantamount to abuse.  There has to be a moral sense of responsibility for actions (something that has been universally condemned).

January 10, 2013

The last days of the USA

hose who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. ~ B. Franklin

As I was going through the various news feeds, this caught my attention: NZ leads worldwide in human freedom 

While I was looking for the source of that headline I ran across this: Forbes ranks New Zealand at top of ‘Best Countries for Business’ list Which lead me to the source Forbes itself.  There is a handy slideshow that puts The USA at number 12 (Canada is number 5).

This got me recalling when the USA was exceptional. Something which our elected leader has deemed farcical. In my own recollection there was an overall depression I felt during the Carter administration.  It felt grey, the misery index caught that overall feeling.  We had a resurgence of exceptional ism with Reagan, which waned as "No new taxes" fell to the left. There was a better feeling with Clinton, despite his short comings.  Next was a horrible time for our country with some small tragic tinged silver linings as we rallied together.

It all seems so long ago.  We spend way past our means.  We send robots to kill children.  We blame objects for peoples actions. We vilify groups the name of Tolerance.   We confuse rights with responsibility.
We are being pushed away from belief in God by fundamentalist Atheists and fundamentalist Christians alike.We are being lied too about science and being told to shut up when pointing out the lies.  Our information is vast and spun and filtered down to nonsensical sound bites.

American politics often seems to boil down to the same two groups of enemies shouting “My rights!” “Dead children!” and then switching sides depending on whose ox is being gored. Sometimes, to spice things up, they switch to calling each other Hitler.

And we pride ourselves on being far more rational than those stupid medieval who held philosophical disputations. Then we go and watch “Are Ancient Astronauts Being Channeled by Psychics?” specials on the History Channel.

I look at Dubai and feel the USA should be at the forefront of engineering and architecture.  Yet, we are punishing those who succeed and glorifying those who settle.

Popular vote shows me, this is what we want from our nation.  Although, part of me hopes we can see the wrongness of the course we have set.

As it is, it takes my every iota to muster hope that we are not in the sunset.

January 09, 2013

Example of the Man Made Global Warming lie.

The New York Times:   Not Even Close: 2012 Was Hottest Ever in U.S.

The Los Angeles Times:  2012 was hottest year on record for Lower 48 states

The Washington Post:  2012 hottest year on record in contiguous U.S., NOAA says

Reuters:  2012 was hottest year on record in U.S., climate agency says

The source (or climate agency) that this  "Hottest Ever" story is based is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

We now find via Anthony Watts' intensive research, the NCDC has been keeping two sets of data: one for public consumption and the other the actual stats.

"First, I should point out that I didn’t go looking for this problem, it was a serendipitous discovery that came from me looking up the month-to-month average temperature for the CONtiguous United States (CONUS) for another project which you’ll see a report on in a couple of days. What started as an oddity noted for a single month now seems clearly to be systemic over a two-year period. On the eve of what will likely be a pronouncement from NCDC on 2012 being the “hottest year ever”, and since what I found is systemic and very influential to the press and to the public, I thought I should make my findings widely known now. Everything I’ve found should be replicable independently using the links and examples I provide. I’m writing the article as a timeline of discovery.

At issue is the difference between temperature data claims in the NCDC State of the Climate reports issued monthly and at year-end and the official NCDC climate database made available to the public. Please read on for my full investigation."

Why have two sets of Data?  Makes me wonder.

January 08, 2013

wither Weather...

I recall the new ice age from the 1970's.  It was a scary thought, the earth cooling and all of us freezing to death.  I remember the Man Made Global Warming, Hockey Stick Graph, showing a dramatic rise in temperature.  I remember thinking that we changed directions from the Ice age.  I figured we went too far.

Then I read an article about Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick and how Stephen went about checking the data and the stonewalls being put up to stop him.  It did not seem very scientific.  

  • The Scientific method:
  • Ask a Question
  • Do Background Research
  • Construct a Hypothesis
  • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
  • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion
  • Communicate Your Results
  • Peers duplicate your work
No place for hiding your data or attacking scientists who draw different conclusions or gather a consensus...

Global warming got re-branded as Climate Change.  This muddied the waters.  After all, who can deny that the Climate changes over time?  So you had to press for definition of terms.  If they had held onto the Man Made portion, you would not have too.  

There was a big political side to this which made things worse.  Vilification of those who did not swallow that we are killing the planet started happening.  Some took up the challenge and made some headway.

I remember the Kyoto treaty and how it was just a big payday to a bunch of governments.  The analysis was that even if we did everything Kyoto wanted, it would not stop Global Warming.  It would siphon lots of cash though...  Which seemed to be a pattern.

One of the larger points being made against Global Climate Warming Change, was that the world stopped warming up in 1998.  This caused lots of carefully worded defense of us destroying the planet.

We were treated to news releases telling us that hurricanes were the result of Global Warming.  Then the lack of hurricanes was due to global warming.  Hot summers were due to Global Warming.  Cold Summers were due to Global Warming. Warm winters  were due to Global Warming. Cold winters  were due to Global Warming.  Lower tides  were due to Global Warming.  Higher tides were due to Global Warming.

At the same time we saw ridicule being heaped upon those who suggested that Cooler summers and Cooler winters were proof that Man Made Climate Change was a farce.  I personally wondered how a system that is millions of years old and ever so complex can be modeled without heavy guessing.

1979 through 2012, ranked from warmest to coolest:
1. 1998 0.419
2. 2010 0.394
3. 2005 0.260
4. 2002 0.218
5. 2009 0.218
6. 2007 0.202
7. 2003 0.187
8. 2006 0.186
9. 2012 0.161
10. 2011 0.130
11. 2004 0.108
12. 2001 0.107
13. 1991 0.020
14. 1987 0.013
15. 1995 0.013
16. 1988 0.012
17. 1980 -0.008
18. 2008 -0.009
19. 1990 -0.022
20. 1981 -0.045
21. 1997 -0.049
22. 1999 -0.056
23. 1983 -0.061
24. 2000 -0.061
25. 1996 -0.076
26. 1994 -0.108
27. 1979 -0.170
28. 1989 -0.207
29. 1986 -0.244
30. 1993 -0.245
31. 1982 -0.250
32. 1992 -0.289
33. 1985 -0.309
34. 1984 -0.353

Weird eh?  Maybe we should re-brand to Extreme Weather?  And so they did...
Now you had a moniker that you could throw out there with little disagreement.

So back in 2006 Al Gore, who gave up public service to be the Global Warming whore.  "An Inconvenient Truth," was his  movie documenting his efforts to raise alarm on the effects of global warming.
At the Sundance festival he's palling around with  Larry David who says, "You know, Al is a funny guy, but he's also a very serious guy who believes humans may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan."  A little over three years left... Which goes back to Ted Dansen's dire dilemma back in 1998. Which again should have heaped ridicule upon him.

Al has cashed in big time, and whenever he needed a paycheck he just appears in the limelight again.  He even got together a bunch of suckers for a TV network, that no one watched.

Recently he sold it to an anti-american antisemitic organization, because it fit better with the stations sensibilities then Glen Becks pocket book..

Is man warming the planet?  Possibly, but there are far more likely culprits.  Should we slow or stop pollutants and find better ways?  Sure.

January 07, 2013

The next big cause for the left?

The argument is that because someone is born a certain way, we need to create\extend civil rights to those folks.

The article isn't calling for laws to allow pedophiles to act on their impulses.  This is about reclassifying pedophilia so that pedophiles are not stigmatized.  This is the first step.  De-stigmatize the “orientation”.  When it becomes an “orientation” like every other “orientation”, then you confer “civil rights” on it.  Then you punish the Catholic Church for being against it.

This is disgusting, but it is something to watch out for.  The next frontier for the homosexualists will be the legal age limit.  Mark my words.

Won’t it be ironic when the last institution on Earth to oppose pedophilia is the Catholic Church?

Language Shuffling

Blame it on Tarantino.  I was treated to Django Unchained by my daughter.  Great film, lots of fun. Even though it is set prior to the Civil war, the use of the "n-word" has been touted in the media.  It seems to be a fishing expedition to get a reaction.  There is something to be said for being polite, an art lost on the internet it seems.  One of the most offensive innovations by us humans is political correctness, conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities.

This has become a strong-arm tactic used to shift the focus from points made to attacking the point-makers.
Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.~(Dumbledore via J.K. Rowling)

January 01, 2013

Cliff diving.

You have to wonder why people are for larger government.  Look at this fiscal debate going on.  To start with, the numbers being flung around the media have little or no context. Plain English is just something that politicians never indulge.  The media used to break this down.  Some still do, in all honesty.

The nightmarish fiscal cliff has been driven over.  There was NOTHING signed into law by the executive branch.  There is just an understanding of a framework.  Seriously, look for the nuts and bolts for what cuts will take place, and when...

It is such a game when you make up your accounting rules as you go along.  There is something called Generally accepted accounting practices.  Our Government should abide by them.  Also, the use of words should be the same as well.

Do you realize that "Spending Cut" does not mean spending less on a project?

Do you realize that "Fair Share" means he top 50% of wage earners pay 97% of all income taxes? Take into consideration that the TOP 1% pay 39% of all income taxes?

I would tell the house to reduce spending levels to where they were with Clinton (last time we had a surplus, according to government accounting).

Of course Lindsey Lohan might be need more of our attention...