Friday, February 5, 2016

Female Genital Mutilation

Indonesian women among 200m suffering genital mutilation, says UNICEF report 


(From AP)
At least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries are estimated to have undergone female circumcision, half of them in Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia, the UN children’s agency said in a report released Thursday night.

 The UNICEF statistical report said the global figure includes nearly 70 million more girls and women than it estimated in 2014. It said this is due to population growth in some countries and new data from Indonesia.

 The UN General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution in December 2012 calling for a global ban on female genital mutilation, a centuries-old practice stemming from the belief that circumcising girls controls women’s sexuality and enhances fertility. One of the targets in the new U.N. goals adopted last September calls for the practice to be eliminated by 2030.

UNICEF statistical expert Claudia Cappa, lead author of the report, said the estimate of 200 million circumcisions comes from household surveys on the prevalence of female genital mutilation, and statistical modeling.
The 30 countries, mainly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, “have large-scale representative data,” she said.
Cappa said the practice exists in other countries not in the study, where large-scale data was not available, like India, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, as well as in pockets in Australia, North America and Europe where immigrants from countries with a large number of female circumcisions live.


Oddly, or maybe not so oddly, we seldom hear anything about the barbaric and common practice of MALE circumcision.

Using these assumptions, we estimate that approximately 30% of the world’s males aged 15 years or older are circumcised (Table 2). Of these, around two thirds (69%) are Muslim (living mainly in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa), 0.8% are Jewish, and 13% are non-Muslim and non-Jewish men living in the United States of America.

This method is likely to underestimate the true prev-
alence of male circumcision, as we have excluded
circumcision among non-Muslim and non-Jewish
men in heavily populated countries such as Brazil,
China, India and Japan where a small proportion of
men are also circumcised, for medical, cultural or
social reasons. If we assume that 5% of men aged
15 years or above who are not included in the coun-
tries or religions above are circumcised, then our
estimate rises to 33%.

World Health Organization

It's wrong to take a knife to the vagina of little girls but just fine to chop off the foreskin of little boys.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Public Opinion Polling

The efforts of the Radio Project conspirators to manipulate the population, spawned the modern pseudoscience of public opinion polling, in order to gain greater control over the methods they were developing.
Today, public opinion polls, like the television news, have been completely integrated into our society. A "scientific survey" of what people are said to think about an issue can be produced in less than twenty-four hours. Some campaigns for high political office are completely shaped by polls; in fact, many politicians try to create issues which are themselves meaningless, but which they know will look good in the polls, purely for the purpose of enhancing their image as "popular." Important policy decisions are made, even before the actual vote of the citizenry or the legislature, by poll results. Newspapers will occasionally write pious editorials calling on people to think for themselves, even as the newspaper's business agent sends a check to the local polling organization.
The idea of "public opinion" is not new, of course. Plato spoke against it in his Republic over two millenia ago; Alexis de Tocqueville wrote at length of its influence over America in the early nineteenth century. But, nobody thought to measure public opinion before the twentieth century, and nobody before the 1930's thought to use those measurements for decision-making.
It is useful to pause and reflect on the whole concept. The belief that public opinion can be a determinant of truth is philosophically insane. It precludes the idea of the rational individual mind. Every individual mind contains the divine spark of reason, and is thus capable of scientific discovery, and understanding the discoveries of others. The individual mind is one of the few things that cannot, therefore, be "averaged." Consider: at the moment of creative discovery, it is possible, if not probable, that the scientist making the discovery is the only person to hold that opinion about nature, whereas everyone else has a different opinion, or no opinion. One can only imagine what a "scientifically-conducted survey" on Kepler's model of the solar system would have been, shortly after he published the Harmony of the World: 2% for, 48% against, 50% no opinion.

Michael Minnicino, The Frankfurt School and 'Political Correctness, Winter 1992 issue of Fidelio magazine.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Florida State U Pays $950,000 To Settle Rape Accusation Claim

Florida State University has agreed to settle the claim that football star Jameis Winston raped student Erica Kinsman in 2012 rather than taking the matter to trial, according to this account.

The $950,000 settlement will be divided with $250,000 going to Kinsman and $700,000 being paid to her attorneys. Kinsman’s attorneys in her lawsuit against Winston, Baine Kerr and John Clune, are considered two of the most accomplished on Title IX matters. They've been involved in several prominent cases where student-athletes are accused of sexual assault, such as the Title IX cases at the University of Colorado and Arizona State University.


John Clune and Blaine Kerr, who together took in over twice as much as victim Erica Kinsman in the FSU settlement, $700,000.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Takes $1,000,000 Pay Cut!

As the result of a somewhat tortured year on Wall Street, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has had his compensation reduced by a whopping ONE MILLION DOLLARS!  For his services to the big bank the balding 61 year-old executive will receive a paltry $23 million in salary, stock and bonuses, as opposed to $24 million in 2014, a 4% reduction. In 2007 the feisty banker was awarded $70 million so times are indeed tough in the lower Manhattan financial jungle, even for a billionaire.

Goldman Sachs shares dropped 7% in 2015 and profits went down 31%. Company profits were a little less than $6 billion.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Killer Koyotes, They're Not a Rock Band

Those darn coyotes are at it again. The predator plague that's got the country in a tizzy has apparently made a meal of a rare animal being kept by the Smithsonian National Zoo, a dama gazelle, as the Associated Press advises us:

FRONT ROYAL — The Smithsonian National Zoo says it wants to hunt down the trio of coyotes that recently killed a critically endangered dama gazelle at its sprawling Conservation Biology Institute here. Plans are to soon target the coyote group that got into an enclosure and was seen near the gazelle carcass. Those predators, having found a good food source, are now liable to kill other such vulnerable animals at the 3,200-acre site.
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The institute’s deputy director, William Pitt, said it was a painful decision, but the zoo has a responsibility to protect endangered species from predators.
A rash of coyote sightings have recently been reported in Fairfax and Prince William counties.
“It is a choice you have to make,” Pitt said. “It hasn’t been an easy decision for me. ... If there were a thousand coyotes on the property and this (killing) didn’t happen, it would be fine.”
The killing of the gazelle was the first time the institute has lost an animal to a coyote.
Pitt said the hunt will try to target only those coyotes that killed the gazelle, by focusing on the specific territory where they live around the complex.

He said a hunter will probably stake out the area, lure the coyotes with a recording of a rabbit in distress, and shoot the predators when they come to investigate.

The dama gazelle is native to the Sahara area of northern Africa. It's possible that the coyotes regard the gazelles as an invasive species rather than lunch but who knows? Of course, attempting to draw in the guilty coyotes by the use of a predator call may well result in the murder of an innocent coyote, should there even be such a thing. Even if the trio of killer koyotes is eliminated, considering the exploding population of the canines, it's likely that others will come to take their place. Nature abhors a vacuum.

 Image result for dama gazelle


Friday, January 15, 2016

Optum Pro Cycling Becomes Rally Cycling

Minneapolis-based Circuit Sport has announced a new title sponsor for the cycling team once known as Optum Pro Cycling. The new primary sponsor is Rally Health and the team will be known as Rally Cycling.

The highly successful team has its usual complement of incumbent members on the men's side, Tom Zirbel, Jesse Anthony, Brad Huff and Will Routley among them. There's been big changes in the female roster, however, and it will be interesting to see how some fresh faces do in the upcoming season. Canadian all-around rider Jasmin Glaesser and US veteran Erica Allar will be the leaders in 2016.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Women's Pro Cycling Pre-Season All-Star Team

It's a new year for the women's peloton and we have no way of knowing for sure who will be the most successful riders this season. Marianne Vos has missed a year with injuries. It remains to be seen if the most dominant cyclist of her generation can return to her normal spot on the top of the podium. Emma Pooley is talking about moving back to cycling from endurance running in an effort to make the Rio Olympics. In fact, for some of the very best female cyclists, making it to Rio de Janiero is more important than the season as a whole and might have an effect on the make-up and results of some very important races. Some riders are perhaps in the twilight of their careers, others have yet to reach their potential. These are the ladies that we think have will real success in 2016.

Floortje Machaij - Team Liv-Plantur 2016
Floortje Mackaij, the rider that Liv-Plantur is counting on for the future.

 Even with the uncertainty of the coming year for Marianne Vos, Rabo-Liv still has the firepower needed to dominate women's cycling. Anna van der Breggen, at the peak of her career, supplies some of the ammunition.          

Image result for emma johansson

If Marianne Vos has been the queen of women's cycling, super consistent Emma Johansson has been the princess. The Swedish star moves to the Wiggle High 5 team for 2016, making noises that she may soon retire.

                      Megan Guarnier, riding for Boels-Dolmans, is the 2015 world championships bronze medalist.

Canyon rider Alena Amialiusik represented Belarus in the London Olympics and will probably ride in Rio as well.
Image result for Lotta lepisto

Finnish road racing champion Lotta Lepisto will be carrying the mail for Bigla.

Hard-charging Valentina Scandolara will be one of the leaders of the new Cylance team.

Now riding for Orica-AIS, American Tayler Wiles seems to be ready for a breakout season.

A native of Belgium, where cycling is the national sport, Jolien d'Hoore is a national champion on the road and the track.

 Leah Kirchmann - Team Liv-Plantur 2016
Triple Canadian champion Leah Kirchmann moves over to Europe to sprint for Liv-Plantur.

Now with the Wiggle High-5 team, Elisa Longo Borghini has been a force to be reckoned with on the international peloton since she was 20 years old.

Rabobank, maybe in their last year of sponsoring a ladies team, still has Dutch star Lucinda Brand.

Rising Italian pro Elena Cecchini has moved to Canyon-SRAM.

World Champion and probable Olympic favorite Elizabeth Armitstead of the Boels-Domans team.

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, 2014 world champ, mountain bike and cyclocross star and a general in the Rabobank army.