I-Team obtains Alameda Co. DA’s email; lesser sentence for Jasper Wu’s killers?


I-Team obtains Alameda Co. DA’s email; lesser sentence for Jasper Wu’s killers?

Dan Noyes

March 30, 2023

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) — Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price is drawing new criticism over her plans not to pursue jail time for those who commit violent crimes against the Asian American community. Price discussed that in an email obtained by the I-Team’s Dan Noyes.

Jasper Wu, a 23-month-old boy, lost his life to a stray bullet while riding in his car seat.

Nancy O’Malley was the DA at the time, and explained at a news conference, “It happened because two rival gangs were having a rolling gun battle on Highway 880.”

Three men – Trevor Green, Johnny Jackson, and Ivory Bivens have their preliminary hearing on murder charges in three weeks. A member of the AAPI community asked Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price for an update on the case, and Price sent this email Tuesday that reads in part, “Our office is currently working on a partnership with the Asian Law Caucus to support AAPI victims of violence in ways that open up broader possibilities for healing and non-carceral forms of accountability.”

“Non-carceral”- meaning no jail time, even for violent criminals.

Norbert Chu served as Alameda County prosecutor for 35 years. He told the I-Team, “If I were Jasper’s parents, I would be highly offended. And I would be very fearful.”

Chu says, looking at that email, it is clear Price is paving the way for lesser charges and lesser sentencing in the Jasper Wu case. He called it “insulting.”

Norbert Chu: “And in the tone to me is that somehow we’re lesser victims, than other people. And that is, that’s just stupefying.”

Dan Noyes: “And you’re lesser victims than the perpetrators.”

Chu: “Exactly.”

A spokesman for the Wu family sent us a statement saying under Price’s plan, “There are almost no consequences due to no threat of severe punishments waiting. How would that restore public’s faith in the justice system? How would the public feel safe?”

We also checked with the Asian Law Caucus, and they knew nothing about Price’s email, saying the first meeting with her office was just introductory and had nothing to do with Jasper Wu. “I’m very confused about this,” said the Caucus’ executive director.

Just two days ago, the I-Team’s Dan Noyes had an exclusive interview with a prosecutor who quit the Alameda County DA’s Office over Price’s plans to drop sentencing enhancements, potentially even those in the Jasper Wu case.

Charly Weissenbach told us, “And to just do it as a knee jerk reaction without proper information is, I think really sad for the family and I think can result in injustice and can result in more people getting hurt. More gun battles down the freeway, right?”

In the email, Price insists no decision has been made about dropping enhancements in Jasper Wu’s death. By the way, she has asked his parents to come in for a meeting next week.

March 31, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Social justice warriors, Soft on crime, Violent crime. Leave a comment.

When Riley Gaines asked University of Pittsburgh professor Gabby Yearwood if an archeologist could differentiate between two sets of bones as male and female, Professor Yearwood, who calls himself the “expert in the room,” answers “no” to which the entire audience laughed.


March 31, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Pittsburgh, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Guardian: “The forest carbon offsets approved by the world’s leading provider and used by Disney, Shell, Gucci and other big corporations are largely worthless and could make global heating worse, according to a new investigation.”


Revealed: more than 90% of rainforest carbon offsets by biggest provider are worthless, analysis shows

Investigation into Verra carbon standard finds most are ‘phantom credits’ and may worsen global heating

Patrick Greenfield

January 18, 2023

The forest carbon offsets approved by the world’s leading provider and used by Disney, Shell, Gucci and other big corporations are largely worthless and could make global heating worse, according to a new investigation.

The research into Verra, the world’s leading carbon standard for the rapidly growing $2bn (£1.6bn) voluntary offsets market, has found that, based on analysis of a significant percentage of the projects, more than 90% of their rainforest offset credits – among the most commonly used by companies – are likely to be “phantom credits” and do not represent genuine carbon reductions.

The analysis raises questions over the credits bought by a number of internationally renowned companies – some of them have labelled their products “carbon neutral”, or have told their consumers they can fly, buy new clothes or eat certain foods without making the climate crisis worse.

But doubts have been raised repeatedly over whether they are really effective.

The nine-month investigation has been undertaken by the Guardian, the German weekly Die Zeit and SourceMaterial, a non-profit investigative journalism organisation. It is based on new analysis of scientific studies of Verra’s rainforest schemes.

It has also drawn on dozens of interviews and on-the-ground reporting with scientists, industry insiders and Indigenous communities. The findings – which have been strongly disputed by Verra – are likely to pose serious questions for companies that are depending on offsets as part of their net zero strategies.

Verra, which is based in Washington DC, operates a number of leading environmental standards for climate action and sustainable development, including its verified carbon standard (VCS) that has issued more than 1bn carbon credits. It approves three-quarters of all voluntary offsets. Its rainforest protection programme makes up 40% of the credits it approves and was launched before the Paris agreement with the aim of generating revenue for protecting ecosystems.

Verra argues that the conclusions reached by the studies are incorrect, and questions their methodology. And they point out that their work since 2009 has allowed billions of dollars to be channelled to the vital work of preserving forests.

The investigation found that:

Only a handful of Verra’s rainforest projects showed evidence of deforestation reductions, according to two studies, with further analysis indicating that 94% of the credits had no benefit to the climate.
The threat to forests had been overstated by about 400% on average for Verra projects, according to analysis of a 2022 University of Cambridge study.

Gucci, Salesforce, BHP, Shell, easyJet, Leon and the band Pearl Jam were among dozens of companies and organisations that have bought rainforest offsets approved by Verra for environmental claims.

Human rights issues are a serious concern in at least one of the offsetting projects. The Guardian visited a flagship project in Peru, and was shown videos that residents said showed their homes being cut down with chainsaws and ropes by park guards and police. They spoke of forced evictions and tensions with park authorities.

The analysis: “It’s disappointing and scary”

To assess the credits, a team of journalists analysed the findings of three scientific studies that used satellite images to check the results of a number of forest offsetting projects, known as Redd+ schemes. Although a number of studies have looked at offsets, these are the only three known to have attempted to apply rigorous scientific methods to measuring avoided deforestation.

The organisations that set up and run these projects produce their own forecasts of how much deforestation they will stop, using Verra’s rules. The predictions are assessed by a Verra-approved third party, and if accepted are then used to generate the credits that companies can buy and use to offset their own carbon emissions.

For example, if an organisation estimates its project will stop 100 hectares (247 acres) of deforestation, it can use a Verra-approved formula to convert that into 40,000 CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) of saved carbon emissions in a dense tropical forest if no deforestation takes place, although the formula varies according to habitat and other factors. Those saved emissions can then be bought by a company and applied to its own carbon reduction targets.

Two different groups of scientists – one internationally based, the other from Cambridge in the UK – looked at a total of about two-thirds of 87 Verra-approved active projects. A number were left out by the researchers when they felt there was not enough information available to fairly assess them.

The two studies from the international group of researchers found just eight out of 29 Verra-approved projects where further analysis was possible showed evidence of meaningful deforestation reductions.

The journalists were able to do further analysis on those projects, comparing the estimates made by the offsetting projects with the results obtained by the scientists. The analysis indicated about 94% of the credits the projects produced should not have been approved.

Credits from 21 projects had no climate benefit, seven had between 98% and 52% fewer than claimed using Verra’s system, and one had 80% more impact, the investigation found.

Separately, the study by the University of Cambridge team of 40 Verra projects found that while a number had stopped some deforestation, the areas were extremely small. Just four projects were responsible for three-quarters of the total forest that was protected.

The journalists again analysed these results more closely and found that, in 32 projects where it was possible to compare Verra’s claims with the study finding, baseline scenarios of forest loss appeared to be overstated by about 400%. Three projects in Madagascar have achieved excellent results and have a significant impact on the figures. If those projects are not included, the average inflation is about 950%.

The studies used different methods and time periods, looked at different ranges of projects, and the researchers said no modelling approach is ever perfect, acknowledging limitations in each study. However, the data showed broad agreement on the lack of effectiveness of the projects compared with the Verra-approved predictions.

Two of the studies have passed the peer review process and another has been released as a preprint.

However, Verra strongly disputed the studies’ conclusions about its rainforest projects and said the methods the scientists used cannot capture the true impact on the ground, which explains the difference between the credits it approves and the emission reductions estimated by scientists.

The carbon standard said its projects faced unique local threats that a standardised approach cannot measure, and it works with leading experts to continuously update its methodologies and make sure they reflect scientific consensus. It has shortened the time period in which projects must update the threats they face to better capture unforeseen drivers, such as the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Verra said it already used some of the methods deployed by the researchers in its own standards, but does not believe they are appropriate for this project type.

Verra was specifically concerned with the use of “synthetic controls”, where the international group picked comparable areas and used them as a basis for deforestation measurements. Verra felt this was problematic because the controls might not reflect pre-project conditions, and also would compare the project with a hypothetical scenario rather than a “real area, as Verra does”. But the study authors argue that this mischaracterises their work: the comparison areas used in both cases are real areas, with deforestation levels based on rates that are local to the projects. The Cambridge group does not use synthetic controls.

“I have worked as an auditor on these projects in the Brazilian Amazon and when I started this analysis, I wanted to know if we could trust their predictions about deforestation. The evidence from the analysis – not just the synthetic controls – suggests we cannot. I want this system to work to protect rainforests. For that to happen, we need to acknowledge the scale of problems with the current system,” said Thales West, a lead author on the studies by the international group.

Erin Sills, a co-author in the international group and a professor at North Carolina State University, said the findings were “disappointing and scary”. She was one of several researchers who said urgent changes were needed to finance rainforest conservation.

“I’d like to find that conserving forests, which conserves biodiversity, and conserves local ecosystem services, also has a real effective impact on reducing climate change. If it doesn’t, it’s scary, because it’s a little bit less hope for reducing climate change.”

‪David Coomes‬, a professor of forest ecology at the University of Cambridge who was a senior author on a study looking at avoided deforestation in the first five years of 40 Verra schemes, was part of the Cambridge group of researchers. He reviewed the Guardian’s findings and said there was a big gap between the amount of deforestation his team estimated the projects were avoiding and what the carbon standard was approving.

“It’s safe to say there are strong discrepancies between what we’re calculating and what exists in their databases, and that is a matter for concern and further investigation. I think in the longer term, what we want is a consensus set of methods which are applied across all sites,” he said.

Julia Jones, a co-author and professor at Bangor University, said the world was at a crossroads when it came to protecting tropical forests and must urgently correct the system for measuring emission reductions if carbon markets are to be scaled up.

“It’s really not rocket science,” she said. “We are at an absolutely critical place for the future of tropical forests. If we don’t learn from the failures of the last decade or so, then there’s a very large risk that investors, private individuals and others will move away from any kind of willingness to pay to avoid tropical deforestation and that would be a disaster.

“As someone who sits outside of the kind of cut and thrust of the wild west that is the carbon markets, I need to believe it can be made to work because money is needed to fund the emissions reductions from forest conservation.”

Yadvinder Singh Malhi, a professor of ecosystem science at the University of Oxford and a Jackson senior research fellow at Oriel College, Oxford, who was not involved in the study, said two of his PhD students had gone through the analysis without spotting any errors.

“This work highlights the main challenge with realising climate change mitigation benefits from Redd+. The challenge isn’t around measuring carbon stocks; it’s about reliably forecasting the future, what would have happened in the absence of the Redd+ activity. And peering into the future is a dark and messy art in a world of complex societies, politics and economics. The report shows that these future forecasts have been overly pessimistic in terms of baseline deforestation rates, and hence have vastly overstated their Redd+ climate benefits. Many of these projects may have brought lots of benefits in terms of biodiversity conservation capacity and local communities, but the impacts on climate change on which they are premised are regrettably much weaker than hoped. I wish it were otherwise, but this report is pretty compelling.”

Shell told the Guardian that using credits was “in line with our philosophy of avoid, reduce and only then mitigate emissions”. Gucci, Pearl Jam, BHP and Salesforce did not comment, while Lavazza said it bought credits that were certified by Verra, “a world’s leading certification organisation”, as part of the coffee products company’s “serious, concrete and diligent commitment to reduce” its carbon footprint. It plans to look more closely into the project.

The fast food chain Leon no longer buys carbon offsets from one of the projects in the studies, as part of its mission to maximise its positive impact. EasyJet has moved away from carbon offsetting to focus its net zero work on projects such as “funding for the development of new zero-carbon emission aircraft technology”.

Barbara Haya, the director of the Berkeley Carbon Trading Project, has been researching carbon credits for 20 years, hoping to find a way to make the system function. She said: “The implications of this analysis are huge. Companies are using credits to make claims of reducing emissions when most of these credits don’t represent emissions reductions at all.

“Rainforest protection credits are the most common type on the market at the moment. And it’s exploding, so these findings really matter. But these problems are not just limited to this credit type. These problems exist with nearly every kind of credit.

“One strategy to improve the market is to show what the problems are and really force the registries to tighten up their rules so that the market could be trusted. But I’m starting to give up on that. I started studying carbon offsets 20 years ago studying problems with protocols and programs. Here I am, 20 years later having the same conversation. We need an alternative process. The offset market is broken.”

March 31, 2023. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

Teen accused of paralyzing woman in Houston robbery confesses in jailhouse phone calls


Teen accused of paralyzing woman in Houston robbery confesses in jailhouse phone calls

By Michelle De Pacina

March 29, 2023

Joseph Harrell, the 17-year-old teen who was arrested in connection to a violent robbery that left a Vietnamese mother paralyzed last month, was caught on jailhouse phone calls confessing to the crime and continuing to threaten the victim.

In the calls obtained by ABC 13, Harrell can reportedly be heard discussing probation while laughing at those who think he could spend up to 20 years in prison for his crime.

“We were snatching purses,” Harrell confessed. “I hopped out, snatched the purse, the lady ran with the money, I grabbed her, slammed her and she was paralyzed.”

“The lady probably wants justice and some more (expletive). They’ll try to max me out 20 years basically. That (expletive). I ain’t going for it. The (expletive) already ran up $230,000 off GoFundMe. (Expletive) better run on with her life. Like, (expletive) you done run up $230,000. Look. They say she ran up $230,000 and she’ll be back walking in no less than a year.”

The recording was obtained from a source close to the investigation amid a judge’s controversial decision to cut the suspect’s bond in half from $200,000 to $100,000.

Harrell, who was also charged in a separate robbery that took place more than a week later, also had his bond lowered from $40,000 to $30,000 for that case.

President of Houston Police Officers Union Douglas Griffith told ABC 13 that Harrell will be a threat to the public if he makes bond.

“My concern is for the public. If this kid gets out of jail, he is going to victimize more individuals. He does not care about anyone but himself, and for the judge to lower his bond baffles my mind. I can’t wrap my head around it. This kid is a danger to others and the community and needs to be locked up.”

On Feb. 13, Harrell was captured on surveillance footage physically attacking Nhung Truong, 44, during a robbery at the 9800 block of Bellaire in Houston, Texas.

Truong, who had withdrawn a large amount of cash for an upcoming trip to visit her family in Vietnam, suffered broken ribs and a severe spinal cord injury.

Authorities said the suspect observed Truong withdrawing from a bank in Chinatown before following her for more than 20 miles to Bellaire.


Harrell’s 19-year-old accomplice, Zy’Nika Ayesha Woods, was also arrested and charged with robbery. Woods was handed a $50,000 bond.

If Harrell makes bond, he would be placed under house arrest and be required to wear a GPS monitor.

Truong is currently unable to walk.

The single mother, who has been relying on help from her three children, may never regain full function of both legs. Her doctors said that there is a 50% chance she will fully recover.

“I’m feeling really scared that they are coming after us because of what happened. I need everyone’s help to get them the punishment they deserve,” she previously told ABC13.

As of Wednesday, the GoFundMe campaign that was set up by Truong’s family has raised more than $330,000 in donations.

March 29, 2023. Tags: , , . Violent crime. Leave a comment.

Woman shoots, kills man who tried to rob her SW Houston food truck, HPD says

Video description: Houston police said a 23-year-old man was shot and killed when he tried to rob a food truck on South Main on Tuesday afternoon.


March 29, 2023. Tags: , , . Guns, Self defense. Leave a comment.

Car thief jumps out of car while going 45 mph. The laws of physics are very unforgiving. I’m guessing this guy didn’t get an A in high school physics. Skip to 4:05.



Driver Dies After Jumping From Stolen CHP Car During Chase North of LA

The driverless CHP car coasted into a ditch and knocked down a utility pole after the driver jumped out and onto a two-lane road near Lancaster.

By Jonathan Lloyd and Rudy Chinchilla

March 28, 2023

The driver of a stolen CHP car died after jumping from the vehicle as it was speeding on a two-lane road during a pursuit north of Los Angeles.

The driver jumped out on West Avenue D near Lancaster and landed in the middle of the road. The car was traveling at an estimated 50 mph when the driver jumped.

Officer Alec Pereyda, a CHP spokesman, said CHP officers provided “life-saving measures” for the driver’s “major injuries.” He was rushed to Antelope Valley Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The car with no driver behind the wheel coasted into a ditch and knocked down a wooden utility pole. The rear tires were damaged earlier by a spike strip deployed by CHP officers on the Highway 138.

The chase began near Castaic on the 5 Freeway. Pereyda said CHP officers from the Newhall area received calls around 11:38 a.m. about a reckless driver on the northbound 5 Freeway at Hasley Canyon Road. They then got calls that the driver had crashed on the freeway. One other vehicle was involved in that wreck, Pereyda said, adding that he could not confirm if anyone in that vehicle was hurt.

A CHP officer arrived to investigate. During the investigation, the driver hopped into the patrol vehicle and took off. Pereyda said it is standard procedure for CHP officers to leave their vehicle running during an investigation, though it must be locked.

After the theft, the officer relayed what happened to dispatchers, which prompted a high-speed pursuit, Pereyda said.

The driver continued on the northbound 5 Freeway before entering eastbound Highway 138 in the Gorman area and heading east toward Lancaster. The chase ended between 90th and 70th streets.

The weapons in the vehicle were locked, and the driver was not able to access them, Pereyda said.

The name of the driver was being withheld until his family was notified of the death. The investigation was ongoing.

March 29, 2023. Tags: , , , . Reckless drivers. Leave a comment.

Kofi Montzka, a black mother, denounces ethnic studies curriculum in Minnesota: “I see why you white proponents of this bill might support it. It’s not your kids being told they can’t succeed and you get to shed some of your white guilt in the process.”



‘Invisible Boogeyman Of Systematic Racism’: Black Mom Shreds Minnesota ‘Ethnic Studies’ Bill, Slams Woke Nonsense

By Tim Meads

March 25, 2023

Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen once said, “To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood.” Using that metric, if America has even a handful of women even remotely close to the caliber of Minnesota mother Kofi Montzka, then we’re doing just all right.

Earlier this week, Monztka took a sledgehammer to Critical Race Theory-inspired education a la “Ethnic Studies” courses that Democrats in The Gopher State want to mandate starting in kindergarten.

Montzka is a volunteer with Take Charge Minnesota, an “organization committed to supporting the notion that the idea of America works for everyone regardless of race and station in life.” She is also an excellent communicator of why the Democrats’ so-called anti-racism crusade is bad for all students — regardless of their skin color — and the country as a whole.

“This bill requires that schools teach ethnic studies starting in kindergarten, and I am against this,” she said on Tuesday. “You might ask, ‘Why in the world would a black person speak against ethnic studies?’ Because not everything that sounds good is good.”

Monztka then drilled down exactly how the bill is racially discriminatory while wrongfully indoctrinating a sense of inferiority amongst minorities while telling them they are “stuck in a caste system.”

“I’m sick of everyone denying the enormous progress we’ve made in this country, acting like it’s 1930,” she continued.

Monztka also compared the class to Jim Crow.

“This curriculum will not help kids of color succeed. All it does is remove any reason to try,” she said.

“This is not some theoretical crap,” she continued before giving a real-world example where her children’s high school band teacher “took 20 minutes at the beginning of class to talk about anti-racism. He told the kids to look around and then he said the black boys in the school would likely not live to retirement because of racism and the police.”

Montzka wasn’t done. She directly called out the white leftist adults pushing this “hopelessness” onto children.

“I can see why you white proponents of this bill might support it,” she said. “It’s not your kids being told that they can’t succeed and you get to shed some of your white guilt in the process, but you legislators of color — how can you?”

Montzka argued that they all succeeded “despite the invisible Boogeyman of systematic racism” and were voted in by “a majority of white people” to hold “some of the most powerful positions in this state.”

The woman was praised endlessly on social media for her comments.

In response, DailyWire+ host Dr. Jordan B. Peterson tweeted, “The reason the curriculum ‘removes any reason to try’ is because the point of the curriculum is to deny the utility of trying.”

“This is precisely how unconscientious people rationalize their parasitism,” he added. “And cloak that rationalization in the guise of moral virtue.”

It’s rare that something is must-watch, but Montzka’s statements fit that description.

March 28, 2023. Tags: , , , , . Education, Racism. Leave a comment.

San Francisco doesn’t prosecute public defecation, public drug use, serial shoplifting, car break-ins, or hate crimes against Asians. But here’s something they do prosecute.


San Francisco is forcing couple to remove sidewalk ‘obstruction’ — or pay $1,400. It’s a little free library.

By Aidan Pollard

March 26, 2023

library 1

library 2library 3

A popular little free library in San Francisco was ordered to be removed, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The order was prompted by a call to a city hotline used for complaints about regulatory violations.

The library volunteered by residents is just one of many items caught up in a crackdown.

A couple in San Francisco was told to remove an obstruction from the sidewalk in front of their house, or pay a $1,402 fine. The city’s target: a little free library.

The library is part of a crackdown in San Francisco on unpermitted objects that interfere with public ways, the Wall Street Journal reported. The city has a hotline for anonymous tips about the obstructions, which include decades-old awnings on businesses in the city’s Chinatown district, and benches constructed by residents for the convenience of passersby.

The library, a sturdy wooden box that sits on a statue and resembles a dollhouse, is owned by Susan and Joe Meyers.

According to the Journal, local officials have little choice but to act when a complaint is filed through the hotline.

“The fact that we live in a city where they would rather fight someone that is doing something positive is what I find so disheartening,” Geoff Claus, a neighbor living near the little library, told the Journal.

The library is popular in the Meyers’ neighborhood, the Journal reported. Many on social media even staged a campaign to save it, resulting in letters to the city from residents; one from a young girl begged, “Plees do not dustroy Joe & Susan’s Libary,” per the Journal.

A city official responded, per the Journal: “Our office could not agree more. This is a favorite spot of many of your neighbors and we will do everything we can to make sure it stays in place for you and others to enjoy for years to come.”

Others targeted recently in the unpermitted objects crackdown include a 79-year-old laundromat owner, whose awning apparently drew a call to the city’s hotline that prompted an official call to Lee.

“They asked if I had a permit for the sign,” Bill Lee told the Journal. “I said, ‘How do I know, it’s been over 40 years?”

The Meyers could get a permit to keep their library for $1,402, but ultimately decided instead to work to change the system. As a result, city officials are considering cheaper permits — around $5, according to the Journal — for similar free libraries, and benches.

The Meyers’ library is still standing, the Journal reported, as the city sorts out new rules for the small box and many like it.

In the end, Susan Meyers told the Journal the original hotline complaint may have been a catalyst for the city to rethink its regulations.

“Maybe we should thank that person,” she told the Journal. 

March 26, 2023. Tags: , , , . Books, Kindness, Police state. Leave a comment.

SF parents sue local school district to put Algebra I back in middle school


SF parents sue local school district to put Algebra I back in middle school

By Ryan General

March 22, 2023

San Francisco parents are suing the city’s public school district for not offering Algebra I to middle school students and for requiring students to retake the course in ninth grade even if they have already passed it elsewhere.

The lawsuit, filed on March 22, calls for the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to offer Algebra I in middle school, arguing that current policies and practices hinder students’ academic growth in mathematics and creates barriers to excelling in the subject.

According to the suit, advanced students have become bored with what their parents have referred to as dumbed-down math. The parents have also expressed concerns that their children are falling behind those enrolled in private schools and in other districts that offer a middle school option.

In an interview with the San Francisco Examiner, SFUSD alumnus and parent Maya Keshavan accused the district of misleading the public about key metrics of its math program.

[District officials] claimed to dramatically reduce algebra 1 failure after it was delayed to ninth grade but have offered no evidence to back this claim. In fact, the rate fell only because the district eliminated an exit exam students were required to pass. Public data requests revealed the purported success could not be replicated, and the district refused to explain.

The suit also alleges that students who took Algebra I outside the district were forced to retake it, violating California’s education code, which prescribes that students who complete the course prior to high school already satisfy the Algebra I graduation requirement in the state.

Currently, only those who took Algebra I before high school and demonstrated proficiency by passing a “math validation test” will not be required to retake it.

SFUSD’s math policy, implemented in 2014, keeps all students together in math until junior year, when advanced students can then surge ahead by taking a combined Algebra II and precalculus course, followed by calculus during their senior year.

However, the policy has been criticized for not offering equitable access to advanced math and for resulting racial gaps in enrollment in higher-level math courses. According to the concerned parents, the current system makes it almost impossible for students to access calculus in high school.

Parents are pushing for those consolidated courses to be offered in middle school instead as completing these courses would give their children an advantage when applying to colleges.

In 2016, the parents petitioned the district to restore Algebra I to the middle school curriculum, submitting over 1,000 signatures.

The study noted that figures from before and after the reform was implemented were the same: “White and Asian students in SFUSD enroll in Precalculus at rates roughly two to four times higher than their Black and Hispanic peers.”

According to Stanford researcher Thomas Dee, he is hoping the study will inspire a “rethink about what is going on here to prevent equitable access to advanced math.”

March 23, 2023. Tags: , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Equity. Leave a comment.

And the dumbing down of our educational system continues…



Florida Principal Out After Viewing Of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ Upsets Parents

Sara Boboltz

March 23, 2023

david 2

The principal of Florida’s Tallahassee Classical School is out of a job after parents complained that their sixth-grade children were shown Michelangelo’s 16th century “David” sculpture, with one parent calling it “pornographic,” the Tallahassee Democrat first reported.

The now-former principal, Hope Carrasquilla, told HuffPost the situation was also “a little more complicated than that,” noting that the usual protocol is to send parents a letter before students are shown such classical artwork.

Due to “a series of miscommunications,” the letter did not go out to the sixth-grade parents, and some complained, Carrasquilla said.

One parent was “point-blank upset,” Carrasquilla continued, and “felt her child should not be viewing those pieces.”

The board of the charter school decided Monday to give the principal the choice to resign or be fired after less than a year in the job. She was the school’s third principal since it opened in the fall of 2020, per the Tallahassee Democrat.

The move comes as conservatives in Florida and elsewhere battle to step up their input in primary education.

Michelangelo’s marble sculpture of the Biblical figure David was crafted between 1501 and 1504, originally commissioned for display inside an Italian cathedral. It now resides at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence.

Carrasquilla said she had taught in classical education for a decade and knew that “once in a while you get a parent who gets upset about Renaissance art” — hence the letter. She was not surprised by the reaction from the school board chair, Barney Bishop, but the fact that other board members went along with him was unexpected.

In a call with HuffPost, Bishop emphasized that the nude sculpture incident was one of multiple issues with Carrasquilla. He declined to go into specifics, citing advice from the school’s employment lawyers.

Bishop explained he was lobbying for legislation that would give parents even more input in primary education.

“Parental rights trump everything else,” Bishop said. He added that the pandemic’s remote teaching gave parents a clearer window into their children’s education and prompted some to choose schools like Tallahassee Classical.

“They didn’t like the woke indoctrination that was going on,” he said.

Bishop accused Carrasquilla of trying to “gin up a lot of publicity” by sharing her experience.

Carrasquilla said many other parents and faculty members were upset about her ouster and have been reaching out with support.

The Tallahassee school is a public charter institution that focuses on classical learning, a teaching philosophy centered on a traditional Western liberal arts education that aims to impart critical thinking skills children can use throughout their lives. Classical learning is also popular within the Christian homeschooling movement.

The Tallahassee Classical School is affiliated with Hillsdale College, a conservative Christian institution that has sought to expand its influence over the last decade by helping set up public charter schools. Hillsdale briefly cut ties with the Tallahassee school in early 2022 for not meeting improvement standards, but it later regained affiliation.

Hillsdale has raised funds for the charter school network by pledging to fight “leftist” and “distorted” teaching of American history, such as the lessons about slavery contained in The New York Times’ 1619 Project, the newspaper reported last year.

“We don’t use pronouns,” Bishop said. “We don’t teach CRT and we don’t ever mention 1619 — those are not appropriate subjects for our kids.”

March 23, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Art and sculpture, Dumbing down, Education. Leave a comment.

Here is yet another news article about a mother who is struggling to provide for her children, where the article makes absolutely zero mention of the children’s father, and the article puts 100% of the blame on the lack of sufficient government programs

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 20, 2023

Here is yet another news article about a mother who is struggling to provide for her children, where the article makes absolutely zero mention of the children’s father, and the article puts 100% of the blame on the lack of sufficient government programs.

This woman has six young children, including a baby that was born just a few months ago.

I am completely disgusted that the writer of the article makes no mention whatsoever of the children’s father, and blames the entire situation on a lack of sufficient government programs.

Here’s part of the article:

“I’m hard-pressed to believe a woman with six kids who is homeless can’t be the highest preference person,” he said, referring to Arvizo, who had her sixth child in October. “And that’s why I don’t believe in these lotteries.”

Because there are far fewer vouchers than households who need them, the shortage creates a “zero-sum” mentality that unfairly pits voucher seekers against one another, said Philip Garboden, an affordable housing professor at the University of Hawaii.

“I think it’s important to remind everybody, the main culprit here is the shortage” of vouchers, Garboden said.

You can read the entire article at this link.


March 20, 2023. Tags: , , , . Media bias. Leave a comment.

Tough Love: Study Shows Kids Benefit from Teachers With High Grading Standards


Tough Love: Study Shows Kids Benefit from Teachers With High Grading Standards

By Kevin Mahnken

March 20, 2023

high standards study

They might not want to hear it, but it’s true: Students assigned to teachers with tougher grading policies are better off in the long run, research suggests.

According to a paper released last fall through Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform, eighth- and ninth-graders who learned from math teachers with relatively higher performance standards earned better test scores in Algebra I. The same students later saw their improved results carry forward to subsequent years of math instruction, and — contradicting fears that high expectations might cause kids to resist or give up — they were less likely to be absent from classes than similar students assigned to more lax graders.

Seth Gershenson, an economist at American University and one of the paper’s co-authors, said the breadth and longevity of the positive results showed that they were not flowing from a quirk of testing. Rather, high standards “change the way students engage with school,” he argued.

“There really is a persistent, long-lasting sea change that students experience when they have a tougher grader,” Gershenson said. “And it’s not like you have to be super tough; any marginal increase in standards adds a little boost.”

The findings build on earlier work by Gershenson, which showed that pervasive grade inflation in K-12 settings — defined as student course grades that are considerably higher than their corresponding scores on end-of-year exams — is more prevalent in schools serving larger percentages of affluent students. They are also noteworthy in light of the post-COVID academic environment, which has seen many teachers relax their grading policies either through personal initiative or in response to district mandates.

The study is built on grading and testing records for a huge swath of North Carolina students who took Algebra I in either the eighth or ninth grades. In all, the sample included over 365,000 pupils across nearly 27,000 classrooms and 4,415 teachers — a rich enough selection to allow comparisons between thousands of similar students assigned to different Algebra teachers over a 10-year span.

To assess the impact of different standards, Gershenson and his colleagues used multiple measures of grading severity, again relying on the relationship between course grades (over which teachers have wide, though not total, latitude) and performance on end-of-year exams. For example, an Algebra teacher whose students tend to receive higher course grades than their scores would indicate is considered an “easier” grader, and vice versa.

The researchers then sorted the teacher sample into four comparison groups, ranging from the easiest graders to the hardest, and charted the trajectories of their respective students before and after they took Algebra I. Disproportionately, the teachers grouped in the “toughest” quarter were likelier to be white, female, and more experienced than the sample as a whole.

They also tended to achieve more in the classroom.

Across several metrics of academic success, students who were exposed to higher grading standards fared better than their peers. Compared with students who had previously demonstrated similar levels of math performance, those assigned to stricter graders saw larger scoring gains. Notably, those effects were both sizable and linear, meaning that the tighter the grading practices — moving from the easiest-grading quarter to the very hardest — the larger the improvement on test scores.

Students of tougher graders also maintained some of their scoring advantage into the next two classes of North Carolina’s math sequence, geometry and Algebra II. The effects were actually twice as large in Algebra II as they were in geometry, a nuance the authors specifically cited in the paper: Perhaps because of the similarities in content between the two levels of algebra, they theorized, students who were formerly held to higher standards did especially well in the later class, even though the effects should have faded more because of the further passage of time.

“That suggests this wasn’t a pure grade-chasing effect where students crammed more for the test so that they could do better and get the grade they needed,” Gershenson explained. “Instead, it makes me think that there was some real learning that happened and was retained.”

‘Good for everybody’

Though it sets out to measure the benefits of tougher grading policies, the study jibes somewhat with research investigating the inverse phenomenon of grade inflation. According to the High School Transcript Study, a long-term analysis of student grades conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, the average high school GPA rose from 3.00 in 2009 to 3.11 in 2019. But performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, referred to as the Nation’s Report Card, stayed flat over the same period.

That federal assessment generated some attention when it appeared last spring, but it only covered the years before the pandemic. Another report, released by the testing group ACT, found evidence of significant grade inflation over 2020 and 2021, with self-reported student GPAs climbing even as ACT scores themselves did not.

Not all education policy scholars are concerned about these revelations. Zachary Bleemer, a professor of economics at the Yale School of Management, has argued that some grade inflation — whether at the university or K-12 levels — can correct inequalities in which student groups pursue intellectually rigorous subjects. (Female college students, in particular, have been shown to discontinue studies in economics if their initial grades are poor.) What’s more, ACT’s hypothesis could rightly be viewed with caution, given the organization’s potential interest in casting high school grades as less reliable than scores on college admissions tests.

But it is also broadly reflected in accounts given by teachers themselves, who have sometimes spoken openly about softening their approach to grading as a response to COVID’s disruption to in-person learning. In big districts like Los Angeles, San Diego, and Clark County, Nevada (home to Las Vegas), new standards have deemphasized deadlines and classroom behavior, giving students more time and chances to complete graded work.

Education authorities have justified those changes as an equity-minded strategy to keep students engaged who might otherwise become frustrated or fall behind in their studies. But Gershenson and his co-authors found no evidence that North Carolina students assigned to harder graders became alienated from school. In fact, those students were slightly less likely than their peers to rack up unexcused absences.

Best of all, whether measured by attendance or test scores, the results of higher standards were broadly similar for a range of different students. While higher-performing math students enjoyed marginally larger gains than their relatively lower-performing classmates, effects were ultimately beneficial across 20 different student categories — each differing by race, sex, class rank, and prior achievement level in math.

Gershenson, who sees grade inflation as a significant problem that distorts how scholastic performance is interpreted, said the near-uniformity of his team’s findings was a strong signal that high standards are “good for everybody.”

“For none of these outcomes… is the effect negative. Sure, the effects are smaller for some groups than others, and they’re smaller for some outcomes than others. But on no dimension are students being harmed by higher grading standards.”

March 20, 2023. Tags: . Education. Leave a comment.

“Apparently, you don’t have to be that bright to get into Stanford’s law school” – “Stanford Law students that shouted down federal judge demand reporter hide their names and obscure their faces” – Their names are Lily Bou and Mary Cate Hickman.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 20, 2023

I’m happy to make this blog post under my real name.

But these idiots from Stanford Law who did something in public are now trying to censor other people from publishing their names.

And these are the same hypocrites who doxed members of the Federalist Society.

Their names are Lily Bou and Mary Cate Hickman.

I guess they’re never heard of the Streisand effect.


Streisand effect

The Streisand effect is the way in which attempts to hide, remove, or censor information can lead to the unintended consequence of increasing awareness of that information. It is named after American singer and actress Barbra Streisand, whose attempt to suppress the California Coastal Records Project’s photograph of her cliff-top residence in Malibu, California, taken to document California coastal erosion, inadvertently drew greater attention to the photograph in 2003.



Stanford Law students that shouted down federal judge demand reporter hide their names and obscure their faces

By Thomas Lifson

March 20, 2023

Apparently, you don’t have to be that bright to get into Stanford’s law school, formerly regarded as highly competitive and demanding in its legal education. The budding totalitarians there who don’t believe in free speech for people with whom they disagree also apparently believe that they have to right to control news coverage of their heinous acts.  Are they ashamed of what they did, or do they just worry that they may not be able to cash in after graduation with lucrative offers or prestigious clerkships?

Washington Free Beacon reporter Aaron Sibarium “appeared Sunday on Fox News and shared his blunt response to “hypocritical” Stanford Law School students who have demanded their names be removed from his reporting about their controversial activism.”





March 20, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Check out this hypocrisy from Yahoo News! March 19, 2023: “A Landlord Got a Low Appraisal. He Is Black, and So Are His Tenants.” Yahoo News March 20, 2023: “‘We don’t deserve to be priced out’: Law aims to end gentrification in Black neighborhoods”

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 20, 2023

On March 19, 2023, Yahoo News published this article, which is called, “A Landlord Got a Low Appraisal. He Is Black, and So Are His Tenants.”

Source: https://news.yahoo.com/landlord-got-low-appraisal-black-143506573.html

Then on the very next day, March 20, 2023, Yahoo News published this other article, which called, “‘We don’t deserve to be priced out’: Law aims to end gentrification in Black neighborhoods”

Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/dont-deserve-priced-law-aims-090417689.html

So, at the same time, racism is causing the price of housing in black neighborhoods to be both too low, and too high.

The people who see racism everywhere will never be happy with the price of housing in black neighborhoods.

If the price is too low, that’s racism.

But if the price is too high, that’s racism too.

For the people who see racism everywhere, there is no price for housing that is not racist.

No matter what the price is, it is always racist.

This is what happens when you see racism everywhere.

Now I’m going to give my own opinion about the price of housing.

If you’re the buyer, then low prices are a good thing. But if you’re the seller, then low prices are a bad thing.

Likewise, if you’re the seller, then high prices are a good thing. But if you’re the buyer, then high prices are a bad thing.

And the best thing about this is that it applies to all races.

Buyers of every race want the price to be low.

And sellers of every race want the price to be high.

See how that works out? It’s got nothing to do with race. Instead, it’s all about whether a person is the buyer or the seller.

The great thing about my way of seeing this is that it is consistent for every person, every race, every house, every neighborhood, and every price. No matter what the combination of race and price is, my way of viewing this is 100% consistent.

March 20, 2023. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Economics, Housing, Media bias, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

San Francisco supervisor Hillary Ronen begs for more police in her district after voting to defund in 2020


San Francisco supervisor Hillary Ronen begs for more police in her district after voting to defund in 2020

By Andrea Vacchiano

March 19, 2023

A San Francisco district supervisor is calling for more policing in the crime-ridden city – despite advocating to defund the police in 2020.

Hillary Ronen, Democrat, represents District 9 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. During a Budget and Appropriations Committee meeting on Wednesday, she made an impassioned plea to add more officers to the Mission District, which she represents.

Ronen was attacking San Francisco’s police chief for spending a large amount of overtime on an anti-retail theft program instead of prioritizing police presence in her district.

“I’ve been begging this department to give the Mission what it deserves in terms of police presence all year long,” Ronen said. “And I have been told time and time and time and time again there are no officers that we can send to Mission.”

“It hurts. And I feel betrayed by the department. I feel betrayed by the mayor. I feel betrayed by the priorities of the city,” the Democratic politician added.

The speech contradicts her stance on policing in 2020. After the George Floyd protests, Ronen tweeted that she believed “strongly” that San Francisco’s police force needed to be reduced.

“I want to make it clear that I believe strongly in defunding the police and reducing the number of officers on our force,” Ronen wrote. “For decades we’ve had an imbalance in our city’s budget, with hundreds of millions of dollars going to SFPD to have them do work they are not qualified to do.”

In 2020, Mayor London Breed redirected $120 million from law enforcement to fund other city initiatives. Crime in San Francisco continued to worsen, with homicides increasing by 20% in 2020 compared to 2019. Homicides also increased 17% in 2021 compared to the previous year.

By December 2021, Breed made an emergency request to the Board of Supervisors to add more funds to the city’s police department.

The San Francisco Police Department has struggled with lack of staffing the past few years. In February, officers responded to a burglary over 15 hours after the 911 call was made.

“While the SFPD is short-staffed and our response times have been negatively impacted as a result, a response time of over 12 hours for a call of this nature falls far short of the department’s and the public’s expectations,” Officer Robert Rueca said.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Ronen’s office for comment, but has not heard back.

March 19, 2023. Tags: , , , . Defund the Police, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

New York continues to dumb down its educational curriculum

In this previous blog post, I quoted this excerpt from an article that the New York Times had published on March 13, 2017:

“The Board of Regents on Monday eliminated a requirement that aspiring teachers in New York State pass a literacy test to become certified after the test proved controversial because black and Hispanic candidates passed it at significantly lower rates than white candidates.”

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20181112191532/https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/nyregion/ny-regents-teacher-exams-alst.html?_r=0

So that happened six years ago.

Now here’s a new article about how New York has dumbed down its educational curriculum even further.

New York wants its citizens to be dumb, ignorant, stupid, and uneducated:


NYS changes minimum scores for student proficiency in math, English

Committee tells Board of Regent the lower scores are the “new normal”

By Kathleen Moore

March 16, 2023

ALBANY — New York will change what it takes for students to reach “proficiency” on state math and English language arts tests, calling last year’s lower scores the “new normal.”

A scoring committee that reports to the Board of Regents said Monday that they must take into account the results of last year’s tests for students in grades three through eight to determine whether schools are showing improvement from year to year. On Thursday, the committee wanted to clarify that they must also reset scores because the tests will have new performance standards.

Last year some schools posted shocking results — in Schenectady, no eighth grader who took the math test scored as proficient. And the scores for the third through eighth grade tests throughout the state were much lower in 2022 than in 2019, a result no doubt of the absence of in-person learning during the first year and beyond of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee handles all scoring methodology, not just this year’s changes.

In setting the lowest score a student can get to reach each achievement level, teachers on the committee consider what content a student must know, the committee told the Board of Regents.

They reorganize the tests, ranking every question from easiest to hardest based on the percent of students who got it right. Then they decide how far into the test the student had to get, in terms of correct answers, to be rated a level 3, which means they are proficient.

“How much third-grade math is just enough for me to put you in proficiency,” said Technical Advisory Committee Co-Chair Marianne Perie, explaining that they decide what is borderline but “good enough.”

Then the committee considers how many students won’t reach proficiency if they set the score at that point.

That’s where last year’s scores matter.

“Yes, there’s learning loss between 2019 and 2022, but in some ways we don’t want to keep going backwards,” Perie said. “We’re at this new normal. So for New York we are saying the new baseline is 2022.”

The committee is resetting the lowest scores — called cut scores — for each achievement level on this spring’s new ELA (English language arts) and math tests.

“Right now we’re setting new cut scores for 2023. This is the baseline moving forward,” Perie said.

Over the summer the committee will do the same for the U.S. history Regents exam, with the change taking effect in 2024.

Some teachers have been pressing for tests to be “re-normed” so that students can pass at a lower level than in previous years, reflecting their learning loss.

But the executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education said the whole idea of changing the minimum score needed to be considered proficient diminishes people’s confidence in the tests.

“I think that just speaks to the politics of test scores and why so many families have been joining the opt-out movement,” Executive Director Jasmine Gripper said in an interview Wednesday.

Parents are realizing “that test scores aren’t a true reflection of learning,” she said, adding that changing minimum standards is nothing new. When she was a teacher, educators would encounter students who were rated as proficient but were not truly proficient, she said.

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester Young Jr. spoke in favor of the tests, describing a meeting years ago in which parents were shocked that their eighth graders didn’t qualify for certain high schools based on the school entrance exams, even though teachers had given the students good grades for years. He called that “unconscionable.”

Gripper agreed that parents should be told if their students are struggling, but said the state testing comes with big consequences: Schools with poor scores can be labeled as failing and placed in receivership.

“It destabilizes the school,” she said. “The most senior staff tend to leave with their expertise.”

Board of Regents member Frances Wills also questioned the tests, saying public confidence in education has declined since state testing for students in third through eighth grades began.

“In my perspective, we’re still wrestling with that: public perception of what the standardized test means,” she said.

She suggested adaptive tests, which offer easier or harder questions based on what the student gets right, as well as alternatives to testing.

“So you don’t put a test in front of a student and completely demoralize them,” she said, adding, “We’re looking at new ways to measure what students know. The idea that there’s more to a student than that standardized test.”

March 17, 2023. Tags: , , , . Dumbing down, Education, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

‘No way to charge this battery’: Tesla owner was left stranded when his Model S died in the cold.


‘No way to charge this battery’: Tesla owner was left stranded when his Model S died in the cold.

As EV popularity skyrockets, here’s why some enthusiasts might get cold feet

By Jing Pan

March 16, 2023

Original video: “Tesla S will not charge in the cold. Stranded on Christmas Eve!”


“UPDATE: I received several calls today from @Tesla Motors . They have been very accommodating so far, and are towing my car 2 hours away to Richmond to the service center at their own expense. Also, they delivered a loaner in the meantime.”


“UPDATE: Shocking interaction with Tesla service! They sent an estimate of nearly $2,000 and said my battery heater is broken. The notification on my screen said the battery is heating which was not true and their response regarding this false notification was very disappointing.”


Domenick Nati from Virginia, for instance, tried to charge his Tesla Model S ahead of Christmas but encountered some problems.

“I tried to charge it at my house, it won’t let me. So there’s no way to charge this battery or let it warm up in the cold,” Nati said in a TikTok video.

He then took the car to a Tesla Supercharger station and plugged it in but it failed to charge again.

The vehicle showed a message that the battery was heating and the car had a range of 19 miles at 1:11 pm.

“3:03, almost two hours later — battery is heating, 19 miles,” Nati read from the vehicle display with frustration later that day.

The temperature was reportedly around 19°F, or -7°C, at the time.

Nati’s video — titled “Tesla S will not charge in the cold. Stranded on Christmas Eve!” — has now amassed roughly 113,000 likes on TikTok.

March 16, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . automobiles, Environmentalism, Technology. Leave a comment.

This article says there’s a racist aspect to brushing your teeth before you go to the dentist. I disagree. I always brush my teeth before I go to the dentist, but it has nothing to do with racism. Why do some people insist on seeing racism everywhere? 

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 16, 2023

This article from the Grio starts out with the following:

Black patients modify speech, dress up to reduce medical bias, survey shows

Black Californians report adjusting their appearance, changing behavior, minimizing questions and signaling to providers that they are educated to reduce chance of discrimination in hospitals and doctors’ offices.

A young mother in California’s Antelope Valley bathes her children and dresses them in neat clothes, making sure they look their very best — at medical appointments. “I brush their teeth before they see the dentist. Just little things like that to protect myself from being treated unfairly,” she told researchers.

I always brush my teeth, take a shower, and put on clean clothes before I go to the dentist, or any other medical appointment.

I don’t see what race has to do with it.

Why do some people insist on seeing racism everywhere?


Black patients modify speech, dress up to reduce medical bias, survey shows

By Annie Sciacca

March 16, 2023

Black Californians report adjusting their appearance, changing behavior, minimizing questions and signaling to providers that they are educated to reduce chance of discrimination in hospitals and doctors’ offices.

A young mother in California’s Antelope Valley bathes her children and dresses them in neat clothes, making sure they look their very best — at medical appointments. “I brush their teeth before they see the dentist. Just little things like that to protect myself from being treated unfairly,” she told researchers.

A 72-year-old in Los Angeles, mindful that he is a Black man, tries to put providers at ease around him. “My actions will probably be looked at and applied to the whole race, especially if my actions are negative,” he said. “And especially if they are perceived as aggressive.”

Many Black Californians report adjusting their appearance or behavior — even minimizing questions — all to reduce the chances of discrimination and bias in hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices. Of the strategies they describe taking, 32% pay special attention to how they dress; 35% modify their speech or behavior to put doctors at ease. And 41% of Black patients signal to providers that they are educated, knowledgeable, and prepared.

The ubiquity of these behaviors is captured in a survey of 3,325 people as part of an October study titled “Listening to Black Californians: How the Health Care System Undermines Their Pursuit of Good Health,” funded by the California Health Care Foundation. (California Healthline is an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation.) Part of its goal was to call attention to the effort Black patients must exert to get quality care from health providers.

“If you look at the frequency with which Black Californians are altering their speech and dress to go into a health care visit,” said Shakari Byerly, whose research firm, Evitarus, led the study, “that’s a signal that something needs to change.”

One-third of Black patients report bringing a companion into the exam room to observe and advocate for them. And, the study found, more than a quarter of Black Californians avoid medical care simply because they believe they will be treated unfairly.

“The system looks at us differently, not only in doctors’ offices,” said Dr. Michael LeNoir, who was not part of the survey.

LeNoir, an Oakland allergist and pediatrician who founded the African American Wellness Project nearly two decades ago to combat health disparities, found the responses unsurprising, given that many Black people have learned to make such adjustments routinely. “There is general discrimination,” he said, “so we all learn the role.”

There is ample evidence of racial inequality in health care. An analysis by the nonprofit Urban Institute published in 2021 found that Black patients are much more likely to suffer problems related to surgical procedures than white patients in the same hospital. A study published in November by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that Black mothers and babies had worse outcomes than other groups across many health measures. And a study published in January, led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators, found that older Black and Hispanic patients with advanced cancer are less likely to receive opioid medications for pain than white patients. (Hispanic people can be of any race or combination of races.)

Gigi Crowder, executive director of the Contra Costa County chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said she frequently sees delayed mental health diagnoses for Black patients.

“I hear so many stories about how long it takes for people to get their diagnoses,” Crowder said. “Many don’t get their diagnoses until six or seven years after the onset of their illness.”

Almost one-third of respondents in the California Health Care Foundation study — which looked only at Black Californians, not other ethnic or racial groups — reported having been treated poorly by a health care provider because of their race or ethnicity. One participant said her doctor advised her simply to exercise more and lose weight when she reported feeling short of breath. She eventually discovered she had anemia and needed two blood transfusions.

“I feel like Black voices aren’t as loud. They are not taken as seriously,” the woman told researchers. “In this case, I wasn’t listened to, and it ended up being a very serious, actually life-threatening problem.”

People KHN spoke with who weren’t part of the study described similar bad experiences.

Southern California resident Shaleta Smith, 44, went to the emergency room, bleeding, a week after giving birth to her third daughter. An ER doctor wanted to discharge her, but a diligent nurse called Smith’s obstetrician for a second opinion. It turned out to be a serious problem for which she needed a hysterectomy.

“I almost died,” Smith said.

Years later and in an unrelated experience, Smith said, her primary care doctor insisted her persistent loss of voice and recurring fever were symptoms of laryngitis. After she pleaded for a referral, a specialist diagnosed her with an autoimmune disorder.

Smith said it’s not clear to her whether bias was a factor in those interactions with doctors, but she strives to have her health concerns taken seriously. When Smith meets providers, she will slip in that she works in the medical field in administration.

Black patients also take on the additional legwork of finding doctors they think will be more responsive to them.

Ovester Armstrong Jr. lives in Tracy, in the Central Valley, but he’s willing to drive an hour to the Bay Area to seek out providers who may be more accustomed to treating Black and other minority patients.

“I have had experiences with doctors who are not experienced with care of different cultures — not aware of cultural differences or even the socialization of Black folks, the fact that our menus are different,” Armstrong said.

Once he gets there, he may still not find doctors who look like him. A 2021 UCLA study found that the proportion of U.S. physicians who are Black is 5.4%, an increase of only 4 percentage points over the past 120 years.

While health advocates and experts acknowledge that Black patients should not have to take on the burden of minimizing poor health care, helping them be proactive is part of their strategy for improving Black health.

LeNoir’s African American Wellness Project arms patients with information so they can ask their doctors informed questions. And the California Black Women’s Health Project is hiring health “ambassadors” to help Black patients navigate the system, said Raena Granberry, senior manager of maternal and reproductive health for the organization.

Southern California resident Joyce Clarke, who is in her 70s, takes along written questions when she sees a doctor to make sure her concerns are taken seriously. “Health professionals are people first, so they come with their own biases, whether intentional or unintentional, and it keeps a Black person’s guard up,” Clarke said.

While the study shed light on how Black patients interact with medical professionals, Katherine Haynes, a senior program officer with the California Health Care Foundation, said further research could track whether patient experiences improve.

“The people who are providing care — the clinicians — they need timely feedback on who’s experiencing what,” she said.

March 16, 2023. Tags: , , . Clothing, Health care, Racism. Leave a comment.

Anyone who tries to steal a person’s means of earning a living deserves to get beaten up like this


March 15, 2023. Tags: . Self defense. Leave a comment.

WATCH: Jane Fonda Proposes MURDERING Pro-Lifers As ‘The View’ Hosts SCRAMBLE To Laugh It Off


March 14, 2023. Tags: , . Abortion. 1 comment.

This is what happens when people don’t think for themselves, or have any curiosity or skepticism. A small amount of research could have prevented this.


City of Newark humiliated after signing trade deal and holding sister city ceremony with Hindu nation that doesn’t exist

By Joseph MacKinnon

March 14, 2023

The Democrat-run city of Newark, New Jersey, recently formalized its sister city partnership with the Hindu nation of Kailasa. Evidently, city officials did not consult a map before doing so.

The “United States of Kailasa” does not exist. It is the invention of an accused rapist who has been on the run from Indian authorities since 2019 for child abduction and other crimes.

Newark residents have spoken out about Democrat officials’ failed foray into foreign policy, questioning whether anyone at City Hall is capable of performing a simple Google search.

A sisterhood of deception

According to its website, the so-called nation of Kailasa “is the home and refuge for the international Hindu diaspora. … The nation of KAILASA stands as the world’s sole beacon of genuine Hindu self-governance and autonomy.”

The population of the fictitious realm that Newark had a fleeting relationship with is allegedly “100 million Adi Shaivites; 2 Billion practicing Hindus.”

The fake nation has its own flag, emblem, national anthem, constitution, and passport.



March 14, 2023. Tags: , , , , . Dumbing down. Leave a comment.

The global warming of today is far preferable to the upcoming ice age that was being predicted by every mainstream news source in the 1970s

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 13, 2023

When I was a child in the 1970s, we were constantly being scared by mainstream news sources about the upcoming ice age that was being predicted.

It was absolutely terrifying.

Fortunately, the predicted ice age never came.

The global warming that we are experiencing today is far preferable to the upcoming ice age that was being predicted by every mainstream news source in the 1970s.

I am so, so very glad that those predictions did not come true.

Here are some examples of those predictions:

New York Times, February 23, 1969: “Worrying About a New Ice Age”


Washington Post, January 11, 1970: “Colder Winters Held Dawn of New Ice Age: Scientists See Ice Age In the Future”


Boston Globe, April 16, 1970: “Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century”


Washington Post, July 9, 1971: “U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming”


New York Times  Jan. 27, 1972: “Climate Experts Assay Ice Age Clues”


The Guardian, January 29, 1974: “Space satellites show new ice age coming fast”


Time, June 24, 1974: “Another Ice Age”


Newsweek, April 28, 1975: “The Cooling World”


New York Times, January 5, 1978: “International Team of Specialists Finds No End in Sight to 30‐Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere”


In Search of… The Coming Ice Age (originally broadcast in 1978):


March 13, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . Environmentalism. Leave a comment.

I don’t blame Greta Thunberg for the fact that her prediction from 5 years ago turned out to be wrong. What I do blame her for is that she has not displayed enough intellectual curiosity to try to find out why her prediction was wrong.

It’s OK to be wrong about something. It’s OK to make predictions that turn out to be false.

But a good scientist will try to learn why they made the mistake. A good scientist will try to learn why their prediction was wrong.

This is a dead link to a tweet that Greta Thunberg made 5 years ago. The reason the link is dead is because she deleted it:


Fortunately, the Internet Archive has an archive of the tweet at this link:


Her tweet from 5 years ago says:

“A top climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.”

This is a screenshot of how the archived version of her tweet appears on my computer screen:

Greta Thunberg tweet from 5 years ago

Like I said, it’s OK to be wrong about something, and it’s OK to make predictions that turn out to be false.

However, by deleting her tweet, instead of trying to learn why her prediction was wrong, she is showing a complete lack of scientific curiosity.

And that is wrong.

Science is all about learning from past mistakes.

March 13, 2023. Tags: , , , , . Environmentalism, Science. Leave a comment.

I said to ChatGPT: “Somalia is ignorant and uneducated.” ChatGPT responded: “This content may violate our content policy. If you believe this to be in error, please submit your feedback — your input will aid our research in this area.”

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 13, 2023

I recently had the following conversation with ChatGPT:

Me: Why is Somalia so messed up?

ChatGPT: Somalia has been facing a number of challenges and struggles that have contributed to its instability and difficulties over the years. Here are some of the factors that have contributed to the current state of Somalia:

Political instability: Somalia has experienced political instability for several decades, which has resulted in frequent changes in government and weak institutions. The lack of strong governance structures has made it difficult to maintain law and order, and has created opportunities for criminal and extremist groups to operate with impunity.

Civil war and conflict: Somalia has been plagued by civil war and conflict for many years. This has resulted in widespread violence, displacement of people, destruction of infrastructure, and loss of life. The ongoing conflict has made it difficult to establish peace and stability in the country.

Poverty and unemployment: Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, with high levels of poverty and unemployment. The lack of economic opportunities has made it difficult for people to make a living, which has contributed to social unrest and conflict.

Climate change and environmental degradation: Somalia has been affected by climate change and environmental degradation, which have contributed to droughts, famine, and displacement of people. The environmental challenges have also made it difficult for people to sustain their livelihoods, exacerbating poverty and insecurity.

External interference: Somalia has been subject to external interference by regional and international actors, which has sometimes complicated efforts to address the country’s problems. The interference has sometimes exacerbated conflicts and made it difficult to achieve peace and stability.

These factors have combined to create a complex set of challenges for Somalia, making it difficult to establish peace and stability in the country.

Me: What about the average I.Q.?

ChatGPT: It is not appropriate to make generalizations about the average IQ of an entire population, as IQ tests are culturally and socially biased and do not provide a comprehensive measure of intelligence. Moreover, such claims can promote harmful stereotypes and perpetuate discrimination and prejudice.

Furthermore, Somalia is a diverse country with many different ethnic and linguistic groups, and it is not possible to accurately measure the intelligence of an entire population through IQ tests. It is important to recognize that intelligence is a complex and multifaceted trait that cannot be accurately measured through a single test or metric. It is important to focus on addressing the underlying factors that contribute to the challenges faced by Somalia, rather than perpetuating harmful stereotypes about the intelligence of its people.

Me: What if the stereotype is actually true?

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I must clarify that stereotypes are often based on limited and biased information and are not a reliable way to understand a group of people or a culture. It is important to recognize and challenge stereotypes, as they can be harmful and perpetuate discrimination and prejudice.

Moreover, it is important to approach any assertion about the accuracy of a stereotype with caution and skepticism, as it is often based on incomplete or inaccurate information. Instead of relying on stereotypes, it is important to seek out diverse perspectives and engage with individuals and communities directly to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences and perspectives.

Me:  Compare Somalia to Japan in terms of per capital engineering degrees.

ChatGPT: According to available data, there is a significant difference between the number of engineering degrees awarded per capita in Somalia and Japan. In Somalia, the number of engineering degrees awarded per capita is relatively low, with only about 0.02% of the population receiving an engineering degree. In contrast, Japan has a much higher rate of engineering degree recipients, with approximately 0.4% of the population receiving an engineering degree.

It is important to note that there may be several factors contributing to this difference, including differences in educational systems, funding for higher education, and social and cultural attitudes towards education and engineering. Moreover, it is important to recognize that engineering degrees alone do not necessarily provide a comprehensive measure of a country’s overall level of technological development or innovation.

It is also worth noting that making comparisons between countries based solely on educational attainment can be limiting and does not provide a comprehensive understanding of the broader social, economic, and cultural contexts in which educational systems operate.

Me:  Appreciation of math and science is a good thing.

ChatGPT: As an AI language model, I cannot have opinions or beliefs. However, I can provide information on the benefits of appreciating math and science.

Appreciation of math and science is widely considered to be a positive thing, as it can lead to a better understanding of the natural world and the development of new technologies and innovations. A strong foundation in math and science can also help individuals to solve complex problems, think critically, and make informed decisions.

Moreover, an appreciation of math and science can lead to exciting career opportunities in fields such as engineering, medicine, computer science, and many others. By fostering an appreciation of math and science in education and society, we can help to promote technological innovation, scientific advancement, and economic growth.

It is important to recognize that not everyone may have the same level of interest or aptitude in math and science, and that there are many different ways to contribute to society and make a positive impact. Nonetheless, fostering an appreciation of math and science can provide individuals with valuable skills and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Me:  Somalia is ignorant and uneducated.

ChatGPT: This content may violate our content policy. If you believe this to be in error, please submit your feedback — your input will aid our research in this area.

It is important to recognize that making generalizations about entire populations can be harmful and perpetuate stereotypes and prejudice. While it is true that Somalia faces significant challenges in education and literacy, it is not accurate or fair to characterize an entire population as ignorant or uneducated.

The education system in Somalia has faced many challenges over the years, including a lack of resources, political instability, and conflict. These challenges have made it difficult for many Somalis to access quality education and develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed.

Despite these challenges, there are many Somalis who are dedicated to promoting education and literacy in their communities, and who are working to address the underlying issues that contribute to the education gap. Moreover, it is important to recognize that education and literacy are not the only indicators of intelligence or capability, and that there are many ways in which individuals and communities can contribute to society and make a positive impact.

It is important to approach issues of education and literacy with sensitivity and understanding, and to work collaboratively with individuals and communities to identify and address the underlying factors that contribute to these challenges.

March 13, 2023. Tags: , , , , , . ChatGPT, Dumbing down, Education, Political correctness, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

CBS News: “Robert Redfield, the former director of the CDC, testified that money from the NIH, the State Department, USAID and the Defense Department provided funding for high-risk virus research in Wuhan.”


U.S. government agencies may have been double billed for projects in Wuhan, China, records indicate; probe launched

By Catherine Herridge and Analisa Novak

March 13, 2023

The U.S. government may have made duplicate payments for projects at labs in Wuhan, China, through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), according to records reviewed by CBS News.

“What I’ve found so far is evidence that points to double billing, potential theft of government funds. It is concerning, especially since it involves dangerous pathogens and risky research,” said Diane Cutler, a former federal investigator with over two decades of experience combating white-collar crime and healthcare fraud.

Cutler found evidence of possible double payments as she investigated U.S. government grants that supported high risk research in China leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was hired by Republican Sen. Roger Marshall, who took her records to USAID and the internal watchdog at USAID, which launched a new probe, details of which have not been previously reported.

Cutler said she has viewed over 50,000 documents, and that the U.S. government may have made duplicate payments for possible medical supplies, equipment, travel and salaries.

Sources told CBS News that tens of millions of dollars could be involved.

Sources familiar with the grant records did not dispute CBS News’ reporting.

A spokesperson for USAID declined to comment. A USAID inspector general spokesperson declined to comment “on the existence of a specific open investigation.” The press office for NIH did not respond to CBS News’ questions.

Sources told CBS News the investigation of possible double-billing could take at least six months to conclude.

Marshall is now calling for a 9/11-style commission.

“I think there’s 1.1 million reasons that American taxpayers should care,” he said. “You’ll have a plane crashes. We want to find out why the plane crashes. We go to any lengths to do that. And the hope is we don’t have another plane crash for the same reason.”

While intelligence agencies have not been able to reach a consensus on the origin of the pandemic, the FBI and Energy Department have found an accidental lab leak is plausible. The Wuhan Institute of Virology conducted viral research in the city where the SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged.

During a recent congressional hearing regarding the origins of COVID-19, the House voted unanimously on a bill ordering the declassification of intelligence about the origins. Robert Redfield, the former director of the CDC, testified that money from the NIH, the State Department, USAID and the Defense Department provided funding for high-risk virus research in Wuhan.

March 13, 2023. Tags: . COVID-19. Leave a comment.

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