Mike Rowe takes Wallethub to task

Mike Rowe, an advocate for career and technical education, blasted a recent Wallethub ranking of the best and worst entry-level jobs in America.  One of the website’s authors, using his own makeshift methodology, ranked skilled trades lowest and engineering professions highest.

Rowe was not pleased.  He wrote,

There’s no better way to discourage the next generation from learning a skill that’s actually in demand, than by telling them that certain jobs are “bad,” and therefore “beneath” them. Consider the latest wisdom from the luminaries at WalletHub. For whatever reason, these arbiters of job satisfaction have taken it upon themselves to identify the “best and worst” vocations in America. To accomplish this, a cadre of “experts” were consulted, as WalletHub compared and contrasted over a hundred entry-level occupations across three “key dimensions” 1) Immediate Opportunity, 2) Growth Potential and 3) Job Hazards.

I’m tempted to spell out the absurdity of WalletHub’s methodology, and show you why the statistics they use are as flawed as they are irrelevant. Instead, I’m just going to post their Top 10 and Bottom 10 careers, and direct you to their website, where you can judge their methodologies and agenda for yourself.

Yes, we know all about the “absurdity of WalletHub’s methodology.”  When one of Wallethub’s super-duper rankings suits their narrative, liberals swear by it.

Rodney Ellis does his best Alex Jones

Rodney Ellis, president of the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), recently outlined his conspiracy theory about the origins and intent of Republican education policy.  In a recent podcast titled “Some Disassembly Conspired: The Plot Against Public Education,” Ellis says,

If you took the time and really connect the dots of what has happened – all the legislation that has been passed in the last few years – you can see that it clearly illustrates an attempt to dismantle our public schools…

Viren Swami, a psychology professor at the University of Westminster, contends that conspiracy theories originate from the rational need to feel in control.  She observes,

If you know the truth and others don’t, that’s one way you can reassert feelings of having agency.  It can be comforting to do your own research even if that research is flawed. It feels good to be the wise old goat in a flock of sheep.

This makes sense.  The NCAE lost a tremendous amount of influence when North Carolina voters elected a Republican majority in 2010 and even more when NCAE leaders joined the Moral Monday crowd.

Swami would argue that Ellis’ conspiracy theory about Republican legislators allows him to feel like he has some control over the situation.  Podcasts, social media, and other forms of communication enable him to share that feeling with his “flock of sheep.”

Why Are Liberal Organizations Such Hotbeds of Racism, Sexism, and Ageism?

Yesterday, a complaint was filed against the New York Times in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. According the the complaint:

Plaintiffs and classes of similarly situated older, Black and/or female current and former employees of the Times are victims of discriminatory barriers to equal opportunity advancement, which has included the unlawful denial of promotions, compensation commensurate with younger white employees, and equality with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment, including, in many cases, the termination of such employment.

Asheville, Chapel Hill schools have some of the nation’s largest achievement gaps

The Center for Education Policy Analysis recently unveiled the impressive Stanford Education Data Archive.  According to Education Week, researchers from Stanford and Harvard used the data to analyze the “average achievement gap trends for 3rd-8th grade students in more than 11,000 districts across the country from 2009 to 2013.”  It is the first in a series of studies to be published using the Stanford Education Data Archive. What did they find?

Sean Reardon, a professor of poverty and inequality in education at Stanford University concluded,

Richer places have bigger achievement gaps than poorer places, all else being equal–which is quite striking and disturbing, since you’d hope that those places that have the most resources would be most effective at reducing the gaps, but in fact they seem to have the largest gap.

But it’s not just wealthy districts that had large achievement gaps.  Many are wealthy districts in college towns.

In fact, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools had two of the nation’s largest achievement gaps.  White students in Chapel Hill outperformed their black and Hispanic classmates by around 1.5 full standard deviations or the equivalent of “four to five grade levels on the NAEP scale.”  Asheville City Schools also made the list of the 20 districts with the largest white-black achievement gap.

It is interesting that those who preach equality have little of it.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 12.38.28 PM

“a fellow veteran and a judge of compassionate heart”

The Fayetteville Observer has a remarkable story:

Standing before Judge Lou Olivera was a retired Special Forces Green Beret sergeant who was in Cumberland County veterans court on April 12 for violating probation.

“Every two weeks we go to veterans court, and my urinalysis test had come back positive,” Joe Serna, 41, says….

Olivera sentenced Serna to a night in lockup and told him to report back to court the next day for incarceration….

Serna reported for his punishment, where he was met by the judge.

“When Joe first came to turn himself in, he was trembling,” says Olivera, a veteran, too, who served in the Gulf War. “I decided that I’d spend the night serving with him.”

And down Interstate 95 south, the judge drove this nervous veteran.

“Where are we going, judge?” Serna asked.

“We’re going to turn ourselves in,” Olivera said.

“He said he was going to stay with me,” Serna said. “I couldn’t process a judge being my cellmate.

“They take me to the cell, and I’m sitting on my bunk. And, then, in walks the judge….

Mostly, from five in the afternoon on April 13 until 6:30 a.m. the next day, the judge and the veteran talked about their respective military service, Serna’s post-traumatic stress disorder from three tours of duty in Afghanistan and how the inmate could turn around his downward spiral that had resulted in a driving-while-impaired charge and other serious traffic offenses.

“I was having a hard time,” Serna says about his DWI charge. “I lost a lot of friends in Afghanistan and because of my injuries from an Afghanistan suicide-bomber, I medically retired and I was depressed and going down the wrong path.”

Then he met Olivera in veterans court.

“He stepped in there for me,” says Serna, a married father of seven ages 23, 20, 18, 15, 7, 2 and five months.

Rocio Serna, a military veteran, says she has seen a change in her husband and is grateful to Olivera.

“When he told me this story, I was in disbelief,” she says. “I said, ‘No way.’ The judge even bought doughnuts for the family when they came home.”…

“I cannot even put into words how I feel about him,” Serna says. “I look at him as a father. I’ve seen a lot of things, and this by far is the most compassionate thing I’ve ever seen anyone give to anybody. I will never let him down again.”

You might be a progressive if…

…you believe that the pediatrician who announces “it’s a boy” to the mom-to-be upon viewing her ultrasound is being presumptuous and transphobic, and that the appropriate reaction would be “biologically it’s a boy but it is too soon to tell what gender the baby will eventually identify with.”

Latin-speaking morons and knuckle-draggers

It’s established that HB2 is a big story in the sports world, so it’s perfectly understandable that N&R columnist Ed Hardin would weigh in:

And now the NCAA has said we have to prove ourselves to be normal, decent human beings or future games in Greensboro and Charlotte will be in the same jeopardy as the NBA All-Star Game scheduled for next year already is.

NCAA officials have now said that either we “provide an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination, plus safeguards the dignity of everyone in the event” or else.

We’ve been lumped into a category of knuckle-draggers along with states flying Confederate flags and states that allow their schools to use “abusive or offensive” imagery of Native American mascots.

You know, morons.

But then he closes the column with “Esse quam videri.” It’s still the sports page, dude—- this knuckle-dragger doesn’t understand Latin.

It’s not easy being green

Day in and day out we are told by, well almost everyone, that in order to “be green” we must do what ever we can to reduce our contribution to atmospheric CO2–you know, reduce our carbon foot print. Well now comes a study from the journal Nature Climate Change saying that no, additional CO2 in the atmosphere is making the planet greener. Here is how NASA is reporting the news:

From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25…The greening represents an increase in leaves on plants and trees equivalent in area to two times the continental United States.

Amazingly the title of the NASA release on the study is Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds. If we weren’t totally caught up in this “CO2 is pollution” hysteria an empirical finding like this one would probably be too trivial and obvious to even mention.