An old, favorite poem ending

Read the whole thing, and then go buy the audio, but:

Vanishing Breed

last two lines:

To that I reply, “Bull Feces!”
They’re just hard to see from the road.

Grew up listening to him…in a family of said vanishing breed.  ;) Really can’t beat his delivery.   Some 30 years later, my mom is still  excited talking about seeing him at one of the fairs.


“We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident, that all Men are Created Equal…”

Cat Rotator's Quarterly

The unanimous Declarationof the thirteen unitedStates of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of…

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Proving The Court’s Point:

It’s buried right at the end of a rather biased article (the USCCB didn’t say anything; a committee chairman did) but this really jumped out at me:

Teachers’ unions could be “permanently crippled” by the decision, the journal Education Next reported, though the decision could provide an impetus for other changes.

A loss in teachers’ unions membership could result in a decline in revenues and ability to affect policy. The National Education Association has planned a 13 percent cut for its two-year budget, totaling about $50 million, with its estimated membership losses of 300,000 people, about 10 percent.

Means that yes, they were in fact using “agency fees” to lobby for political ends, not (as legally required) only for union services.

BMI, again

Yes, it’s a pet peeve.

This is a comment from over at Instapundit, figured I’d copy-paste it so that it has a chance of being read.


Found the article.

Those who looked at the years and went “hm, first one is before the BMI change, second is after,” yes they used BMI studies for each span.

On the upside, they did at least pick a cohort that has almost entirely hit puberty, 16-19.

On the other hand, they were using a screening test to diagnose “overweight.”

It’s known bad:

To find out whether BMI correlated with actual markers of health, a team of UCLA researchers analyzed data from 40,420 individuals who participated in the 2005-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They looked at individuals’ blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol, glucose, insulin resistance and C-reactive protein data — markers that are linked to heart disease and inflammation, among other issues.

They found that nearly half (47.4%) of overweight people and 29% of obese people were, from a metabolic standpoint, quite healthy. On the flip side, more than 30% of individuals with “normal” weights were metabolically unhealthy.

And “overweight” isn’t significantly associated with bad health outcomes– the ‘risk’ there is that you MIGHT be headed to “obese.” The lowest health risk appears to be situated inside of “overweight.”

Which makes sense for a screening test– having more body fat improves the outcomes if you get sick, but you don’t want so much body fat that it makes you sick, so logically the healthiest folks would be inside of the false positive.

Dumbing Down Extinction

There isn’t a problem.

Which is the problem.


Watts Up With That?

Guest ridicule by David Middleton

From the American Association for the Advancement of Science of America (AAASA)…

The world’s largest amphibian is being bred to extinction

The world’s largest amphibian—the Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus, pictured)—should be split into at least five species, all of which are critically endangered in the wild, according to a new study. What’s more, say the authors, current conservation practices could be causing these genetically distinct species to crossbreed with one another, effectively fusing them into a single species.

The salamanders, which can grow up to 2 meters in length, were once common in rivers across southeastern China. But today, most are found in commercial farms, which breed the giant amphibians to satisfy growing demand from the luxury food market. In an effort to augment wild populations, the Chinese government encourages the release of farm-raised individuals. But it’s not…

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A former sailor's ramblings on anything from family, country and Church through general geek-ness.