Monday, March 9, 2015

The Lattanzi Ten - 3/9/15

Tonight's Ten is a delightful smorgasbord of stupidity, politics, Pope Francis, media, Jim Boeheim, town revitalization, and how STEM is being promoted. -- J.L.

There are some really stupid people in this world, and what the title means to say is that even when I stopped being a liberal in my early 20's, I kept the superiority complex that is still a hallmark of that movement. It's one, though, that has been greatly tempered, as there have been enough humbling experiences, especially since 2009, to push most of that out of my system. However, stories like this, when people call the cops to complain their cocaine was stolen...well, let's just say, it should make us ALL feel better about ourselves!

As the Clinton e-mail scandal chugs into its second week, I am beginning to think this actually will have legs. This is especially true since many FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests that were once made and rejected on the basis of no records will be reopened and subject to potential penalties for misleading and lying. Anyway, I linked to this just because this opening sentences of the piece are amazing:
As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton schemed to subvert record-keeping and transparency rules for reasons that are probably more or less communicated by her surname: The Clintons are creeps and liars and scoundrels and misfits, always have been, always will be. They are the penicillin-resistant syphilis of American politics.
Made me laugh!

Cameras in every home? Chalk this up to What Could Possibly Go Wrong, Part #43549328485. Yes, I know, for "safety". Because when you have seconds, the police will be there in minutes.

Yes, as the story notes, Saudi Arabia is a big "ally" of ours. They have also beheaded 40 (yes FORTY) people in the first two-plus months of 2015. I wonder where all the hand-wringing from the anti-death penalty people are. This isn't to say that I am in favor of capital punishment, but credibility is strained when there is silence regarding real barbarity in the rest of the world. I just want to see some consistency. It's essentially the same complaint I have about feminism - if harming women/capital punishment is bad, the opponents ought to be speaking out wherever it is occurring.

Speaking of ISIS, now with a pledge of loyalty from Boko Haram, the idea that Islamic terrorist and extremist groups are less dangerous now just took a huge hit. Remember, huge swaths of Syria, Iraq, and central African nations are under the control of these groups. If we aren't careful, we'll be at war sooner rather than later.

As we come up on the second anniversary of Pope Francis' election to the papacy, I wrote this the day after he was elected:
3) A lot has been made of the Pope's dedication to the poor and less fortunate and his humble life - which is good, wonderful, and Godly.  However, as a Servant of God (now Servant of the Servants of God), it is part of his résumé, and it seems as if there is some media spin going on, as in they only want to focus on that particular aspect rather than parts that I am sure are going to disappoint them.  For example, he said this concerning pro-abortion Catholic politicians:
We should commit ourselves to ‘eucharistic coherence,’ that is, we should be conscious that people cannot receive holy communion and at the same time act or speak against the commandments, in particular when abortion, euthanasia, and other serious crimes against life and family are facilitated. The responsibility applies particularly to legislators, governors and health professionals.
I haven't seen too many of the prelates in the United States who would have the courage to make this statement, since we are all busy "trying to get along".  How long will it be before the media begins to lament Francis' "conservative" positions?  Answer: not long at all.
The original link here laments how people are discovering, to their horror, that Francis is...Catholic. It's interesting because the Papacy is the ultimate conservative office, in the most literal and clinical sense. It is about preserving the faith and the sacred Deposit that Christ entrusted to the Apostles and handed through the generations. For all the talk of "equality," most still don't get that "equality" doesn't mean "same." This has been the fatal flaw of the whole movement to try and attain the unattainable: men and women will never be the same. Full stop. Equal in the eyes of God? Absolutely, but "equal" ≠ "same."

7. Has CNN Done A Commemorative Special?

Been a year since Malaysia Air Flight 370 went down. I wonder if Don Lemon still entertains the possibility that the black hole got it?

8. Why Do 14 Members of the Maryland General Assembly Hate The People?

This was the easiest bill to pass. It is very unpopular with the voters, but alas, since taxes were increased several times in the eight years of Democratic Frontrunner Candidate O'Malley, I guess there isn't a tax they don't like. There are better ways to fund this, but I hear the teachers' union isn't going to give back any money.

9. What Are They Doing To My Town?

Many of you know I grew up in College Park and the changes that have occurred in the last ten years are breathtaking. It's amazing to see the development, although I'm not sure it is going to be all positive. There is such a thing as over-saturation. I know Maryland is a large campus, but it needs to be careful, because revitalization always comes at a cost, especially since most people there are not permanent residents.

10. Not Nine F------ Games!

You who are college basketball fans may remember Boeheim's epic rant in response (NSFW, by the way) to criticism that Gerry McNamara was "overrated." I am disappointed, but not surprised. I have always found Boeheim to be excessively whiny (not sanctimonious and smarmy like Coach K), but Syracuse has always had a decent program to watch. Let's see if the Carrier Dome has capacity crowds during the next conference season.

Bonus. The Premise Itself Is Flawed...

The article comes from the Washington Post's Wonkblog, and I am a bit concerned with the entire notion that one's "self-esteem" can determine success in academia, especially since it is boys at a young age who are suffering. I solicited from Friend of the Blog Nick Caputo (of Caputo's Corner and the author of tomorrow night's Ten) the following response to my question as to whether the article was complete B.S. or partial B.S.:
I would call that piece partial BS. There is some truth to the whole self-esteem thing when they're younger. They get Barbie dolls for presents while boys are more likely to get microscopes and chemistry sets. I believe I got Gabbie [My daughter -- J.L.] a doll for her birthday so I'm as guilty of that as anything. However, where I would call BS is that nowadays there is a TREMENDOUS push for more females in STEM fields. I don't think the author of the piece would agree, but I've seen it. There is a targeted push to get girls into STEM fields, starting at young ages. In my classes, I talk about Madame Curie and Rosalind Franklin for starters, and when I see scientfic interest in any of the girls, I try to develop it. Now, there are those who can't be bothered at all, but you can say the same thing about boys. Yet, you don't see any pushes to get more boys into STEM fields.
One of my contentions is that STEM is going to be an over-saturated field in the upcoming years, much as MBA's were during my father's time (1970's and 80's) and law degrees were in my twenties. Eventually, supply will outweigh demand and society will move on to demanding the next field get more interest and people involved.

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