Category Archives: Uncategorized

Google ordered to reveal identities of everyone who searched for fraud victim’s name

SINCE EDWARD SNOWDEN’S REVELATIONS, it has been public knowledge that the US national security agencies are able to trawl search engine logs to identify who is searching for what, but that right has now been extended to a local police department.

Police in Edina, Minnesota, have been granted court order requiring that Google hands over the identities of all those searching for the name of a local victim of fraud. The warrant was granted by Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson.

Islamophobia! Muslim arrested after threatened shooting at London Muslim Mosque

A 24-year-old Muslim man was in police custody Sunday after a threatened shooting at the London Muslim Mosque.

The mosque was disrupted after noon prayers by a man whom police say uttered threats when asked to leave.

“Shortly after 1:30 p.m. we received 911 calls from members of the London Mosque indicating there was a male there who had threatened to shoot members of the mosque,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Scrivens.

“It was of extreme concern. We dispatched multiple officers who arrived there shortly therafter and we were able to arrest a man.”

h/t MW

The high cost of marchin’, marchin’ for “Science”: If female, you could be road kill yourself

Political correctness decreed that there were no important brain differences between men and women but tests were done mainly on male animals. And, because the resulting problems didn’t help various political causes, they were dangerous to publicize. From Claire Lehmann at Commentary:

The insistence that gender differences were and are immaterial to the proper functioning of a free society has been a feature of our common conversation since the 1970s. It was the key to “second-wave feminism,” the political and social movement that took women’s liberation beyond issues of suffrage and wages and employment to the question of how a just society orders itself.

By the close of the 20th century, however, the insistence that gender differences be treated as inconsequential had ossified into orthodoxy precisely at the moment when the biological sciences were uncovering differences between the sexes that had hitherto been unknown. An ongoing tug-of-war has resulted between scientists who investigate sex differences and activists who oppose such research. This battle over theory has had horrific real-world consequences. The minimizing of sex differences in areas of health and medicine in particular has led to sweepingly harmful and often fatal results, especially for women.

I’d always wondered about that. I remember suffering through laborious explanations in social psychology texts that I proofread and indexed, as to how all such differences were artifacts of sexist bias in testing. For example, even differences in violent crime rates might just be bias…

Everyone on the project knew that such claims could not possibly be true because the ordinary experience of survivors, not their biases, contradicted it. Survivors of violent crime worked among us! Yet no one dared say a thing.

It’s good that social sciences are not really sciences anyway. But seeing how their point of view has spread into medical sciences, which can actually help people, is disconcerting:

It’s worth noting that historically, the hostility toward such research came not from the laboratory but from the humanities and social sciences. A 1986 paper in American Psychologist titled “Issues to Consider in Conducting Nonsexist Psychological Research” gives us a snapshot of the attitudes prevalent at the time. The authors state that “[sexist] bias need not be introduced into research intentionally or consciously” and that “even well-established findings can harbor unsuspected sexism.” They question whether objective scientific methods were even appropriate for use on women as women. Perhaps most troubling was their assertion that a male scientist studying female subjects is, by definition, “sexist.” Consider the following fiasco. More.

Well, if naturalism rules, maybe it is science’s destiny to be governed by cranks, crackpots and ideologues. We did not evolve so as to perceive reality, right?

See also: Blinkers Award goes to… Tom Nichols at Scientific American! On why Americans “hate science”

Objectivity is sexist.

Marchin’, marchin’ for Science (Hint: the problems are back at your desk, not out in the streets)

and

Even Michael Shermer thinks social science is politically biased

Puzzled by leftists and Islamists working together?

Okay, readers aren’t, but our neighbours and colleagues may be. From Najat AlSaied at Gatestone:

I just wonder where those feminists and John Kerry were when millions of Egyptian women needed their support when they marched against the Muslim Brotherhood, asking for America’s help. Where were they when thousands of Syrian and Iraqi women were enslaved and raped by radical ISIS militants?

While not a single voice among these liberal feminists spoke out against these inhumane acts perpetrated against Muslim women by radical Islamists, a Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer, Linda Sarsour, co-organized the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington. What’s worse, these liberal feminists want Sarsour to represent all Muslim women, while in fact she speaks for nobody except herself and those who fund her.

Sarsour’s interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC was full of false information, yet she was still cheered by several prominent liberal leftists. She said that Muslim children are being executed in the United States [a lie], that Muslims are prohibited from practising their faith [a lie] and that there is opposition to the building of mosques [a lie: There are more than 2,106 mosques in the US]. She also admitted that she wants Islamic sharia law to be applied in the United Sates and is offended that 22 states are opposed to this. All of these lies and allegations were not challenged by MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow. In fact, she agreed with Sarsour by saying, “What is happening domestically around issues about bigotry is spooky”. More.

Reality check: So neither group actually cares about the welfare of women but both want power. Later, they’ll fight it out at our expense and the Islamists will win. There’s a start in understanding our future if we cater to leftist-driven legislation against “Islamophobia.”

See also: Anti-Islamophobia legislation is just the beginning, of course. Much that is considered Islamophobia today consists in baldly stating unpopular facts, such as that Mohammed married a nine-year-old girl and that the Koran gives men the right to beat their wives. Or that a disproportionate number of terror attacks are linked to Islam. How convenient for the Islamist if he is the only one allowed to raise such issues.

Survey results: Political correctness makes people stupid: Part I – the CBC

and

Survey results: Political correctness makes people stupid: Part II Maclean’s

Are polls scientific?

Well, what happens when human complexity foils electoral predictions? From Denyse O’Leary at Salvo:

The Pew polling group admits it was stumped by last November’s U.S. presidential election. The results “came as a surprise to nearly everyone who had been following the national and state election polling.” Most pollsters put Hillary Clinton’s chances of defeating Donald Trump at 70 to 99 percent.

Few will care if fashion critics call the hemlines wrong this season. But election pollsters consider their work both important and scientific: “Polling is an art, but it’s largely a scientific endeavor,” says Michael Link, president and chief executive of the Abt SRBI polling firm in New York City and former president of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.2 That perception may help explain preeminent science journal Nature’s account of scientists being “stunned” and reacting to the results with “fear and disbelief.”

But the scientists’ response raises a question: Was the badly missed prediction a failure of the scientific method, or is opinion polling just not a science anyway?More.

See also: Evo-Elitism:  Civil Liberties link

St Louis Man Arrested in Threats Against Jewish Institutions

One arrest has been made in the threats, a St. Louis man accused of making eight of the calls in an effort to harass his ex-girlfriend. Juan Thompson has asked a federal judge in Missouri to release him on bond as he faces the federal charges out of New York. Thompson’s lawyer declined comment.

Miller said the New York Police Department is working with federal officials who are the lead investigators on the case. He said he’s working with institutions in New York to help them manage responses to the threats.

 

He’s from St Louis. He was fired from the Progressive Web site The Intercept for “fabricating” (I read that as lying!) He is a BLM guy (naturally) and wanted to run for Mayor of St Louis.

Research group: Up to 85% of medical research funds may be wasted

File:FileStack.jpg

What’s hot? What’s not?/Niklas Bildhauer, Wikimedia

From University of Plymouth at Eurekalert:

Funders need to take more responsibility for the efficiency of the research they fund

It has been estimated that up to 85% of medical research is wasted because it asks the wrong question, is badly designed, not published or poorly reported. Health research around the world depends heavily on funding from agencies which distribute public funds. But a new study has found that these agencies are not as open as they could be about what they are doing to prevent this waste and that governments responsible for the public money they distribute are not holding them to account.

The findings come in response to a question posed by a letter published on-line today, 9th March 2017, in The Lancet. It asks how transparent the funding agencies are about the policies and procedures they use to reduce waste and support methodological research and research infrastructure, and what they are doing to secure best value for taxpayers. The study was carried out by an international team of researchers led by Dr. Mona Nasser of Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry.

It arose from challenges laid down in The Lancet’s series on reducing waste and increasing value in medical research, published in 2014. More.

Much of the problem arises from the glorification of science as a special way of knowing truth, irrespective of who is doing it and why. Science journalists bear much of the blame.

One expects media in free countries to be sources of constructive criticism. North American political writers, for example, are generally worth reading, even when they call it wrong (see Brexit and US 2016). At least, one reasonably expects the political hacks will give themselves the right to give themselves a swift kick and get up to speed. They don’t necessarily feel they need to glamorize, let alone worship, their subjects in order to write about them. That fact alone sharpens thinking skills.

But the science writers’ cheerleader attitude (Sci-ENCE! Sci-ENCE!) has delayed efforts to address the huge problems of waste and fraud in research, probably for decades. To ay nothing of failures to even try to replicate findings.

It’s got so bad, it won’t be easy to fix. One must start somewhere. Today is always best.

Resources on research waste reduction. Keep up to date with Retraction Watch

See also: Peer review “unscientific”: Tough words from editor of Nature

and

Science writing in an age when we ran out of pom poms to wave

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Be the first to get all your news from Facebook’s “disputed” tag

From Lucas Nolan at Breitbart:

Facebook has begun to mark content that may be false with a tag reading “disputed” as part of their promise to crack down on “fake news.”

In December of last year, Facebook promised to take a hardline stance against “fake news,” partnering with partisan fact-checkers such as Politifact, Snopes and ABC News to police content on the platform. Recode reports that Facebook recently began implementing their new “fake news” measures by marking stories that may be false as “disputed” while linking to articles by Politifact and Snopes. More.

Reality check: The tag will soon amount to no more than telling everyone that this is something boffins deplore. All the more reason to have a look, one suspects.

See also: Twitter: The perils of Nanny as a business model. In other words, Twitter wants to be Nanny in 140 characters or less, but is there a market for that? Should Twitter be government?

Personality disorders among millennials on rise

From Ewan Morrison at PJMedia:

If you were to come across someone who cried in the streets, who saw the world in terms of black and white and made death threats against strangers, who cowered in a special room and made public displays of naked self-harm and blood letting, you might conclude that they were suffering from a personality disorder.

Alternatively, you might reason that these are the everyday behaviors of the modern Social Justice Warrior (SJW).

Of course, not every SJW has a personality condition, but sufferers from High Conflict disorders are often drawn to extreme beliefs and behaviors under the illusion that they are acting politically.

A 2016 UK survey found that, since 1990, rates of depression and anxiety among the young have increased by 70%, while the American Counseling Association has reported a “rising tide of personality disorders among millennial.” More.

Reality check: These behaviours are not disorders. They are Correct ways of being. They are also training for a future as an enforcer of irrational beliefs convenient to government. See Orwell’s Outer Party

See also: The social impact of the rise of a “useless” class

The Sweden of progressives’ dreams, including the Pope’s, is being murdered by reality.

You know, the peaceful sexpot welfare paradise? And, it turns out, progressives care only about the illusion.

From Katie Kieffer at Townhall:

Less than 13 days after President Trump accused Sweden of having an immigration problem—Scandinavia proved him right by announcing two prickly public policies: paid “sex breaks” for public workers and drafting female soldiers.

Swedish councilman Per-Erik Muskos announced plans to offer his municipality’s public workers a paid 60-minute weekly break to hurry home and procreate as a way to jump-start Sweden’s dwindling birthrate and dying culture. The next week, the Swedish government announced plans to draft some 4,000 18-year-olds every year, including young women, in response to a what is being reported as a “deteriorating security environment.”

Possibly a joke?

Why not enforce the law against rapists instead?

Stockholm police spokesperson Varg Gyllander admitted to The Guardian that police “are afraid of talking” due to political pressures. And Sweden’s National Police Commissioner Dan Eliasson requested 4,100 additional officers and staffers to handle migrant-related episodes.

Never talking about serious problems is a great way of dealing with them. Outlawing discussion is even better.

“The Pope specifically praised Sweden for welcoming and integrating foreigners,” The National Catholic Reporter wrote last month. In an interview with Scarp de Tenis magazine, Pope Francis emphasized: “Those who arrive in Europe are escaping war and famine. We are in some way responsible because we exploit their land but we don’t make any kind of investment for which they can benefit.” More.

Reality check:  “… we exploit their land but we don’t make any kind of investment for which they can benefit”: Putting violent criminals down slam for a long time would benefit them – and everyone else too. (People are less likely to support capital punishment if they are not forced to put up with the guy and the rest of us like safety and security.)

Good thing few Swedes are Catholics. Bad thing Sweden isn’t Texas.

See also: Will Political Correctness start to decline? Ordinary people must take the risk of voting no.

The CBC Does the Best Air-Brushing It Can for Trudeau

The CBC earns its taxpayer money with a fluff piece on the Yazidis, a token article that ignores Trudeau’s deliberate unwillingness to help them.

 

Remember this?

 

And this:

Michelle Rempel needs to get angry more often.

The 36-year-old former Conservative cabinet minister, now the Official Opposition critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, was the driving force behind Tuesday’s 313-0 House of Commons vote requiring Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to get its act together and open Canada’s doors to the persecuted Yazidi minority of Iraqi Kurdistan.

From her patient negotiations to build a consensus across party lines, and from her eloquence in the House debates leading up to Tuesday’s vote, you’d never know how angry Rempel has been. For two long years, pathetic excuses and institutional incompetence have prevented Canadians from making any use of themselves at all in coming to terms with the Yazidi genocide.

 

And this:

But unlike the thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria who were greeted by flashing cameras and intense public exposure, the Yazidis have been entering the country with no fanfare. That won’t change, say government officials who are protecting the identity of the asylum seekers because of just how vulnerable they are.

“Some of these women haven’t even told their own families about what they experienced” at the hands of their persecutors, associate deputy immigration minister Dawn Edlund told a news conference alongside Hussen.

 

Now:

Newly arrived Yazidis who escaped sex slavery of ISIS eager to build better future in Canada

 

Lysenko: The risks of politicizing science

Debate rages about whether scientists should get political. This story crossed the desk, and it might be food for thought: From Ian Goodwin and Yuri Trusov at the Conversation:

By the late 1920s, as director of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Vavilov soon amassed the largest seed collection on the planet. He worked hard, he enjoyed himself, and drove other eager young scientists to work just as hard to make more food for the people of the Soviet Union.

However, things did not go well for Vavilov politically. How did this visionary geneticist, who aimed to find the means for food security, end up starving to death in a Soviet gulag in 1943?

nter the villain, Trofim Lysenko, ironically a protégé of Vavilov’s. The notorious Vavilov-Lysenko antagonism became one of the saddest textbook examples of a futile effort to resolve scientific debate using a political approach.

We more or less know the Lysenko story, hauntingly recounted by Goodwin and Trusov:

In reality, Lysenko was what we might today call a crackpot. Among other things, he denied the existence of DNA and genes, he claimed that plants selected their mates, and argued that they could acquire characteristics during their lifetime and pass them on. He also espoused the theory that some plants choose to sacrifice themselves for the good of the remaining plants – another notion that runs against the grain of evolutionary understanding.

Pravda – formerly the official newspaper of the Soviet Communist Party – celebrated him for finding a way to fertilise crops without applying anything to the field.

None of this could be backed up by solid evidence. His experiments were not repeatable, nor could his theories claim overwhelming consensus among other scientists. But Lysenko had the ear of the one man who counted most in the USSR: Joseph Stalin. More.

A perennial historical illusion is that if we were there, we would have seen through it all. Don’t be so sure. Ideologically, Lysenko was just the ticket.  He said what cool people wanted to believe.

Inviting the politician into the lab is one thing; safely ejecting him is another.

See also: New Scientist: EU green energy policies make global warming worse.

Geologist on why a scientists’ march on Washington is a bad idea

and

March for Science in Boston: Geek sign language to ponder