Thursday, May 24, 2018

Tomi Lahren Attacked in Minneapolis


Here’s one for the annals of incivility. The thought police have bled out of universities and have taken up residence in your local eatery. At Sunday brunch, no less.

You have heard all about it by now. Fox News commentator and former Blaze talk show host, Tomi Lahren, a young woman who is a bit of a provocatrice—though certainly not at the Milo level—was having brunch with her mother in Minneapolis, Minnesota. For having done nothing to provoke anyone she was assaulted, verbally and physically by a group of young women who felt very, very strongly about immigration issues. I might be wrong, but I believe that throwing things at people is an assault. In England, you know, they do not just throw water. They throw acid.

Anyway, by their reasoning Lahren does not have the right to have brunch with her mother because she holds wrong opinions and has said what they consider hateful things. There you have it, Congress can pass no law restricting the freedom of speech but the thought police can harass and assault you in public if you disagree with them.

Even Kathy Griffin thought that they had gone too far.

In the world of democratic norms, the kind that the left is constantly denouncing Donald Trump for violating, allowing someone to have brunch in peace has to count among the most basic. Promiscuously denouncing a differing  opinion to be “hate speech” violates the norms of civility. The reason we have these norms is simple: what goes around comes around. Those who proudly proclaim themselves to be policing thought will eventually be subjected to the same incivility.

The Daily Mail has the story:

One of the two young women involved in a brunch scuffle with Tomi Lahren spoke out on Wednesday to say that she stands by the incident and ‘doesn’t care’ that President Trump disapproves of her friend throwing water at the Fox News pundit.

Twenty-three-year-old college graduate Libby, 23, was at a table with eight girlfriends at UNION rooftop bar and restaurant in Minneapolis when her friend threw water at Lahren as she walked by.

After throwing the water, the girl under the screenname Jasmine Kohler shared photographs of it on her Snapchat story and wrote: 'Thanks for the screenshots. I did it lol'. Earlier in the day, she appeared to goad followers by telling them in post: 'Tomi Lahren at union (sic). 5 screenshots and we dump a drink on her.'

After being hit with the water, Lahren turned to engage the group but it was Libby, not Jasmine, who launched a foul-mouthed tirade at her which was also captured on another video which later emerged.

What did she say?

She called Lahren, who is her age, a 'racist piece of s***’ and a ‘f****** piece of human garbage trash.’ 

She went on to tell Lahren’s 55-year-old mother Trudy that she worked with immigrants ‘every day of her life’, didn't want to hear what her daughter had to say and told the Lahren family: ‘You’re done, you can go.’

Remember when women were ladies. Remember when women and even men thought it indecorous to use foul language. Now, women feel compelled, not just permitted, to spew out a string of vulgar invectives... because they feel strongly about it.

If you don’t want to hear something, don’t listen. If you feel compelling to punish those who think differently, you are out of order and out of line:

Speaking to DailyMail.com on Wednesday, Libby said that while she did not throw the water, her friend was quite right to do so because Lahren is ‘racist’ and was ‘not welcome’ Minneapolis. 

‘When you use your platform to spread hate speech, you have lost your privilege to have a peaceful discourse,' she said.

'Especially when you come into our city, Minneapolis, which is a huge city for people of color and immigrants. She is not welcome here. Have you heard anything she says? She equated the Black Lives Matters movement to the KKK. 

So, disagreeing with the principles and tactics of BLM gives people the right to shut you up, shut you down and assault you in public.

Who is Libby:

Libby is a liberal arts graduate who volunteers for a non-profit organization which helps immigrants seeking asylum. She hopes to attend law school in the fall and wants to become an immigration attorney. 

On Sunday, she said she watched as Lahren was accosted by other patrons on the rooftop bar where drag performances had been going on all day.

‘Tomi was there at the brunch and everyone at the restaurant figured it out people were walking by her table and calling her names. We were going to do a chant, “like go home Tomi,” but it didn't happen.

‘[As Lahren was leaving], she walked by and the girl in the video tossed the water and it barely hit her,' she said. 

So, people believed that they had the right to assault Lahren and her mother verbally. Were they all immigration activists? Were they cosmopolitan citizens of the world who believe in open borders? We know that President Trump expressed his solidarity with Tomi Lahren. How about asking President Open-Borders-Citizen-of-the-World himself, Barack Obama what he thinks about what he has spawned.

Another Sexual Predator Arrested


You can breathe a sigh of relief. Another sexual predator has been arrested and taken out of circulation. This time, it’s not a teacher; it’s an assistant principal in Ste. Genevieve, Wisconsin.

Image result for elizabeth giesler
Ste. Gen assistant principal arrested
Ste. Gen assistant principal arrested
Ste. Gen assistant principal arrested
Her name is Elizabeth Giesler. Read about the horrors she inflicted on a poor, innocent sixteen year old boy:

Elizabeth "Beth" Giesler, an assistant principal for Ste. Genevieve Schools, is being charged with three counts of Class E felony sexual contact with a student, three counts of a Class D felony of statutory sodomy in the second degree and two counts of statutory rape in the second degree….

According to a probable cause statement signed by Trooper T.S. Craig, on May 18 the student told Craig that Giesler performed a sexual act on him at her residence in Ste. Genevieve County between April 7-8 during the Riverdog Tourney.

He also said that they engaged in sexual intercourse and sexual acts twice between April and May. These incidents also allegedly occurred at her residence.

Apparently, the boy’s parents thought that she would be a good influence on him. Plaintively, they exclaimed said that they trusted her. 

“She talked to us about my son and stuff like this, what she can do for him through life, you know, give him a better life ... so she was going to try to make sure he got on the right path," the father said in an interview with the television station.

I guess it all depends on what you mean by the right path.

Generation Snowflake Is Mentally Ill


Generation Snowflake is real. Today’s college students are so stressed out that more and more of them are suffering from mental illness. They are so anxious and depressed that they cannot take exams in the allotted time. They need extra time, calmer rooms, better lighting… what have you. Otherwise many of them would flunk out.

How many students require extra coddling at exam time? Upwards of 25%. The Wall Street Journal has the story:

As many as one in four students at some elite U.S. colleges are now classified as disabled, largely because of mental-health issues, entitling them to a widening array of special accommodations like longer time to take exams.

Under federal law, students can be considered disabled if they have a note from a doctor. That label requires schools to offer accommodations depending on the student’s needs. A blind student, for example, would have access to specialized software or a reader for an exam.

The rise in disability notes for mental-health issues such as depression and anxiety has led to a surge in the number of students who take their exams in low-distraction testing centers, are allowed to get up and walk around during class or bring a comfort animal to school, among other measures.

You read that right. Some of these students need to bring a comfort animal with them to school. You might find this slightly puzzling. Haven't we all been told by our psycho professionals that we possess wondrous medications that can treat all manner of mental health conditions... beginning with depression and anxiety? Something is wrong somewhere.

It’s become something of an epidemic:

At Pomona, 22% of students were considered disabled this year, up from 5% in 2014. Other elite schools have also seen a startling jump in disabilities, according to data from the federal government and from the schools. At Hampshire, Amherst and Smith colleges in Massachusetts and Yeshiva University in New York, one in five students are classified as disabled. At Oberlin College in Ohio, it is one in four. At Marlboro College in Vermont, it is one in three.

Is it fair? Of course, it isn’t. Other students resent those who get extra special consideration.

The most common accommodations come during testing. Students who receive extended time may get twice as long as their classmates to take an exam.

Some professors question how this affects the fairness of exams.

“If you grade on a curve, does it disadvantage the rest of the class?” asks Ari Trachtenberg, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Boston University who is critical of the rise in accommodations. “There’s no calibration between how much extra time they want me to give and any sense how that would actually affect the exam.”

It’s not just professors?

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, an attorney who has represented public schools in special-education and disability law and has written several books about accommodations, said that giving some test takers extended time on the SAT is “like lowering the basket from 10 feet to 8 feet; you’re changing the game.”

“The reason we pay all this money for the test is so that we can compare someone from South Dakota to someone from California,” she says. “If the test is no longer standardized, then what are we paying for?”

But, why does Generation Snowflake suffer from so much mental illness?

Psychologists have many theories to explain the rise in mental-health diagnoses among college-age students, from social-media habits to less stigma around mental illness.

Could it be that their mental health was seriously compromised by a school system that doles out unearned praise, the better to raise their self-esteem? Have they been undermined by permissive parenting and a teenage culture that introduces them to too much sex and drugs before they can handle it? Have their minds be so completely warped by the politically correct thought police that they live in a constant state of anxiety over saying the wrong thing? Or are they depressed because they are no longer allowed to express pride in their country, given as they have been taught that America is a vast criminal conspiracy and thus that they must feel guilty for white privilege all the time?

I know what you are thinking. Once Generation Snowflake hits the job market reality will bite. And it will bite hard. They will discover that their managers are not going to disorganize the work flow because one or two people feel that they are special and require special considerations and accommodations. They will learn that they have to leave their pet llamas at home and that their comfort goats cannot accompany them on business trips.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Boomerang Children


Apparently, the problem is not unique to the United States. A survey of families in Europe—minus Great Britain—finds that more and more adult children are moving back home to live with Mom and Dad. The problem has a name: boomerang children. The study has discovered that the situation negatively effects the emotional well being of parents. See also today's post about Pajama boy Michael Rotondo.

It’s called intergenerational co-residence. The paper was reported by the BBC, via Maggie’s Farm:

The research paper, published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, says: "Over the past half century, intergenerational co-residence has declined dramatically in Western countries.

"However, this pattern has recently altered, and in some countries multigenerational co-residence has increased; a shift interpreted as a family response to high unemployment rates, poor job prospects and financial hardship among young adults."

The paper explores the effects of different reasons for returning home, such as unemployment and partnership breakdown, saying these are, in themselves, distressing to parents.

But after controlling for this, the researchers found the return of a child still caused a significant decline in parents' wellbeing.

One understands that parents are distressed when their children’s relationships break down and when their children are not gainfully employed. Surely, these events cause parents to feel that they have failed to bring up children who will become responsible adults.

Researchers believe that boomerang children disrupt the rhythm of an empty nest, by undermining the new routines that couples create after their children leave.

Study author Dr Marco Tosi said: "Our work shows that in contexts where family orientations and welfare institutions foster individuals' independence, returns home by adult children have negative implications for parents' well-being….

"When children leave the parental home, marital relationships improve and parents find a new equilibrium.

"They enjoy this stage in life, finding new hobbies and activities. When adult children move back, it is a violation of that equilibrium."

Is the Answer Blowing in the Wind?


Speaking of the environment, the news about offshore wind turbines is not encouraging. Governors from true blue Northeastern states thrill to the prospect of building more and more of them. Fortunately for them, but not for their citizens, these machines are a boondoggle.

Despite what Bob Dylan crooned, the answer to America’s energy problems is not blowing in the wind.

Steve Gorham tells the sad story at Watt’s Up With That (via Powerline):

Several eastern US states are planning major investments in offshore wind. Wind turbines are touted as clean, green, and economically sound. But experience from around the world shows that offshore wind systems are both expensive and at high risk for early system degradation.

The governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia have signed executive orders or passed laws to procure offshore wind systems valued at billions of dollars. Officials are eager to win leadership in what is perceived to be a new growth industry. The US Department of Energy has funded over $200 million in offshore wind research since 2011.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a law in 2016 requiring utilities to purchase 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind systems over the next 10 years.

Of course, there’s a downside to this fantasy. It’s called reality. Let’s count the problems created by these machines. Gorham explains:

Ocean-located turbines face one of the harshest environments on Earth. Turbines are battered by wind and waves, struck by lightning, and need to endure salt spray that is very corrosive to man-made structures.

In February, it was reported that Danish wind operator ├śrsted must repair more than 600 wind turbines due to early blade failure. The blades are to be disassembled and brought to shore for repair after only five years of operation, at a cost on the order of $100 million.

Then in March, it was announced that wind turbines at the 175-turbine London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind system, would also need major repairs after only five years of use. Few offshore systems have made it to the end their specified 25-year lifetimes without a major overhaul.

Wind turbines sited off the eastern US coast must survive brutal weather compared to offshore turbines in Europe. From March 1 to March 22 of this year, four powerful extratropical cyclones, called nor’easters, battered our east coast from Virginia to Maine. These storms produced ocean storm surges, large snowfalls, wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour, and even 20 tornados.

Specifications call for wind systems to withstand gusts up to 156 miles per hour, but this isn’t good enough for some of our Atlantic hurricanes.

But, you will be thinking, it’s worth it to save the environment. But, what is the price tag on the good feelings that will flood your psyche:

[H]istory shows that costs are likely to be far above the New England wholesale market price of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Massachusetts paid solar generators a subsidy of 25 cents per kilowatt-hour during the state’s solar build-out in 2013. Rhode Island’s Block Island wind system, the first offshore system in the United States, now receives over 27 cents per kW-hr, with an annual guaranteed rate increase of an additional 3.5 cents per kW-hr. New England residents must enjoy paying renewable generators more than six times the market price for electricity.

And this, Hinderaker reminds us, does not count the massive number of birds who will be killed by these machines.

Pajama Boy, All Grown Up


Guess what? Pajama Boy has grown up. He even has a name: Michael Rotondo.

Having camped out in his parents’ home for the past ten years, Rotondo has just been order to move out. His gracious and generous parents had put up with his sloth for all that time. They asked him nicely to move out. He refused, so they took him to court. A judge just ordered him to move out. Pajama Boy was evicted.

He didn’t pay rent. He didn’t contribute to the household. So, sayonara, Pajama Boy.

Tell me that that does not make you day? Do you see the symbolism?

In the meantime Rotondo did manage to father a son. He was not married or otherwise involved with the child’s mother. A fine, upstanding responsible human male.

The Daily Mail reports that his parents had already stopped providing food for him. They cut off his cell phone. They refused to let him to use the laundry facilities in the home.

At one time, he was working at Best Buy. He was fired because he refused to work on Saturdays. He is suing the company… because, how else do you make a living when you cannot do anything. As for college, he dropped out because he found it too hard.

The Daily Mail reports:

DailyMail.com did discovered that he used to work at a Best Buy, and that he is suing the company for discrimination, saying he was fired when he said he couldn't work Saturdays since that is when he had visitation with his child. He is seeking nearly $340,000 in damages, pay and attorney's fees from the big box store. 

He said he went to college, but didn't finish his degree. He started off studying engineering at Onondaga Community College, but switched to business when he 'couldn't hack the math'. 

As I said, Pajama Boy has grown up. Now, he is about to be homeless. Is he the pride of the millennial generation? Or is he just another symptom of what's wrong with America?

A Grizzly Tale


Nature loving Amber Kornak had just landed her dream job. She got an internship working with grizzly bears. She loved the beasts and thrilled to the chance of working with them in the Montana woods.

Unfortunately, the love was not returned. One bear, in particular, attacked her and put her in the ICU.

The Daily Mail has the grizzly story:

A Montana woman has been attacked by a grizzly bear in the Cabinet Mountains, just months after landing her dream job studying the animals.

Amber Kornak was working alone near a stream for the US Fish and Wildlife Service on May 17 when the bear approached her from behind and mauled her. 

She was 'lucky to have survived' and suffered two skull fractures and severe lacerations to her head, neck, and back, her friend Jenna Hemer wrote on a GoFundMe set up to help cover Ms Kornak's medical costs.

The 28-year-old seasonal field assistant was able to reach her bear spray as she was attacked and stop the predator.

With the bear finally gone, Ms Kornak then hiked two miles back to her car and drover herself to find help. She was flown out to Kalispell Regional Medical Center.   
'Once arriving at the hospital, she endured four grueling hours of surgery to remove bone fragments and clean wounds to her brain,' Ms Hemer wrote.

'Metal plates and screws were placed on her skull and drains were placed in her brain to relieve brain swelling and drain fluid. The lacerations to her scalp, neck, and back were also [cleaned].'

Apparently, Kornak will not be going out in the field any time soon. But, rest assured, she still loves wildlife and especially grizzly bears:

Ms Hemer said while her friend is passionate about all wildlife, it has been a longstanding dream of hers to work specifically with grizzly bears -  and while Ms Konak is staying positive, it would be a while before she'd be able to return to the mountains. 

'She's obviously passionate about all wildlife, but her dream and her primary focus was to work with grizzly bears,' Ms Hemer told Associated Press. 

'Last I spoke with her was yesterday and she's making great strides but it's going to be a long recovery.'