Sarah Jeong, NYT’s new hire

Oh man, it’s kind of sick how much joy I get out of being cruel to old black men.

Dumba… f…ing brown people marking up the internet with their opinions like dogs pissing on fire hydrants


I dare you to go on wikipedia and play Things Black People Can Definitely TAke Credit For. It’s Really Hard.

The NYT just hired Sarah Jeong, the person who wrote the above tweets  to their editorial boards.  There are people who object to her abject racism and giving that racism a platform on the NYT.  They are being called an internet outrage mob, because apparently objecting to bigotry for hire makes you a mob. The NYT defends their hire and says she was merely responding in kind to online racist harassment, which they do not support by any evidence (she shared two comments as examples, both of which came some time *after* her racist outbursts, so could not have been the cause.  Also, of course, there are many  claims the outrage mob is racist and is only harassing her because she’s an Asian woman.

I supposed I should now confess that I’ve altered her remarks every so slightly. I substituted black or brown where she was talking about white people.  Is it okay now?

For many people, yes.  There is in academia, bleeding out into the real world for some time now, a nonsensical notion that only white people can be racists, bigots, or prejudiced.  No other race has this ability.  The idea is supposedly related to power- only white people have power, no darkskinned people have the institutional or personal power to be racist. Not only is this straight out Orwel redefining of racism unacceptable nonsense, it is not even based on truth.  We had a brown president for 8 years, seriously, he had no power?  There are no black or brown employers, landlords, teachers, administrators, and bureaucratic human road blocks behind the desk of the DMV? Of course there are.  In the real world.  Racism is racism and anybody can be racist.


Sarah Jeong also joined the Twitter mob against Tim Hunt.


City University London journalism professor Connie St. Louis tweeted out that Tim Hunt had ruined a science conference by sexist remarks he made at a luncheon.   American science journalists—former New York Times columnist Deborah Blum and Retraction Watch blogger Ivan Oransky supported St. Louis’s rendition of Hunt’s comments.

Hunt’s wife, also a scientist, and several women scientists who had worked with him came to his defense.  Blum doubled down. She insisted his sexist remarks were as she had claimed and that others had reacted in stunned silence- St. Louis said a ‘deathly silence’ in a radio interview she gave.

And then it turned out they lied.  A European Union official in attendance had already given a very different version of Hunt’s remarks to his organization, and had also reported that afterwards  a woman from the Korean National Research Council of Science and Technology had told him she was impressed by Hunt’s warmth and humour in his off the cuff comments.  Russian science journalist Natalia Demina had been challenging St Louis’s claims from the start and she continued to argue that St. Louis was not accurately representing Hunt, and she was taking obvious joke comments and treating them as straight up sexist claims, and Malaysian science journalist Shiow Chin Tan shared that while St. Louis was correct that Hunt had suggested maybe segregating scientists by sex, it was a joke and he had immediately followed up by saying men would be the worst for it.  And then Natlaia Demina found a recording that included part of his speech- which showed warm laughter and not stony silence was the response to his remarks, followed by applause.

You can read more about the Hunt story here.

In the meantime, Hunt had been forced to resign from several positions, at least one invitation to speak was withdrawn (who knows how many will never be made), and his reputation smeared by a woman careless of the facts and refusing to accept any other version of them.   It is fortunate that a recording existed.

In this case, we have another sort of recording, Jeong’s own words.  The NYT can keep her, or not.  They have very little credibility anyway, regardless.  Just another example of the double standard in today’s media.


She also thinks men and cops should be killed.



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Audible Sale for Sci-Fi Fans

This sale is for members only.  Titles start at 4.95, so it’s cheaper to buy them outright than use your nearly 15 dollar monthly credit.  They have C.S. Lewis, Heinlein (inluding Star Troopers and one of his juveniles), LeGuin, Correa, The Hunger Games, Connie Willis, Orson Scott Card, Anne McCaffrey, Ursula K. Le Guin, some of the dragon singer books, and many others more familiar to those of you who keep up with sci-fi and fantasy- most between 4.95 and 6.95. Sale lasts about 2 more days.

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A Riddle

Riddle me ree
Ridle me roh
Tell me something I want to know….

You know how impossible it is to get permanent marker out of your clothes?
I have a very pink cotton shirt that is one of my favourite shirts. It’s lightweight, cool, has sleeves to the elbows, covering my wobbling fat grandma arms but the sleeves are loose enough to move. I accidentally got a spatter of bleach on the front- so there is this little patch of bleached white pinpoint sized polka dots, but enough of them to be clearly visible. I have a hot pink permanent marker (doesn’t every-one?) and I used it to touch up each of those spots.

It came out in the very first wash. All of it. Every last hot pink mark. Easily, without strain or effort.

If I had gotten that pink marker on any other item of clothing it would have bonded to the substrate so permanently nothing but scissors would have taken it out.

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Pride and Destruction

I want to tell some stories. They are stories I have told in part here before, and they are not pleasant stories. If you are among the sadly increasing tribe of those walking wounded who need trigger warnings, consider this a warning.

These are not my stories, but some of them could be. They may not be your stories, but I guarantee you know more people than you wish, more than you are aware, who could be telling these stories.

The first story: JImmy Hinton is a preacher in the churches of Christ. He grew up there. His daddy John was a preacher, too, well loved, respected, popular, and much admired by everybody, including his own children. And then one day their world came crashing down when they learned that John had been molesting children pretty much his entire adult life. Jimmy turned his father into the police, and his dad is in jail now (or was the last I read). This was incredibly brave and altruistic and the right thing to do, but he did more than that. Jimmy took that heart-ache and grief and turned it into an outreach where he helps teach others to recognize the signs and how to deal with the uniquely dishonest, deceptive, and elusive pathology of the pedophile, and more importantly and often entirely overlooked for some reason, how to love the victims.

He says he hears a lot from church members who are hurt, stunned, horrified, shocked, and often directly wounded by pedophiles in their midst- first by the wicked themselves, and then by the responses of leadership. He doesn’t hear much from leaders asking what to do, how to respond, what to watch for. In fact, he says, “many leaders are making uninformed decisions and doing it with complete confidence. They routinely shut down people who try to warn them that they are making dangerous decisions.” {1}
Here, he says, are the most common excuses leadership give for handling things as they do:

“He (or she) did his time
We don’t want to bring shame on this brother
It’s not fair to publicize his past sins
He poses no threat to children
We’re keeping an eye on him
He’s not allowed near the children’s wing
We met with him and he’s very remorseful and repentant
We need to encourage him and his family and shining a light on his past sins will greatly discourage him
You’re not to tell anyone about this because you’ll be undermining the leadership” {1}

I hope none of this sounds familiar to anybody reading this.

That’s one story. Here’s another one.
There was once a church leader in his fifties who was convicted of molesting two fatherless boys who were part of the church’s outreach program. He molested them while chaperoning a church outing for underprivileged children. He insisted it was his first time, ever. He was convicted of those two counts and spent a short time in jail.

Released from prison, he placed his membership at another congregation in the same denomination in the same large city where his previous church as. The elders wrote a letter to all parents when he first joined to let them know the boundaries they put in place to keep the children of the church safe. They promised he would not to come into contact with children, would not to be in the classroom areas, and would always to have an escort with him while on church property.

One of those parents saw him alone in an isolated hallway, chatting up a vulnerable youngster, no supervision or escort in sight. The parent notified leadership who had no apologies to make, but promised to ‘remind’ the pedophile of the boundaries he was supposed to be keeping.

Shortly thereafter his name appeared on a list of volunteers for a children’s program, where he was prominently thanked for his help. The same parent went to leadership again, and was assured his help was in preparing materials, that there was no contact with children at all. Also, leadership said, “He’s repented. And he’s not ‘like that’ anymore anyway.”

Here’s another story:
A prosecutor who specializes, if there is such a thing, in prosecuting sex crimes against children says that in all the years he practiced, he often saw church leadership and members show up at court and sit on the side of the accused, to support him. He never saw church people at court sitting with the victims. He’s retired from procescuting and now works with an organization dealing with such abuse in church settings. {2}

Here’s another one:
A 16 y.o. girl asked for help with a see you at the pole event and the 25 year old pastoral student who answered her call proceeded to seduce her, use her, and drop her in what she would later realize was classic pastoral abuse. She told church leadership multiple times, shocked to learn her abuser was an overseas missionary working with kids. The Southern Baptist Convention’s church missions board knew. They investigated and found the allegations were true, “more likely than not”, and that he was dishonest with them about the extent of the relationship. He resigned but went on to serve the same church organization in other capacities which gave him access to teen-agers and parents were not warned. His crimes against his first victim were severe enough that when she went to the police ten years later, there was no statute of limitation and he was charged and prosecuted. Meanwhile, the advice of church leadership to is victim was that she needed to forgive and move on. {3}

You don’t really have to work hard to imagine this, because it’s happening all over the country.  Some of the minor details change, but the gist of it remains the same and church leadership gambles recklessly with children in that church while claiming to protect them.

In many situations where a perpetrator is caught, he will do what they all do in these circumstances- sob, cry wretchedly, express self-loathing, claim repentance, and say this is the first time it ever happened, or some other way minimize what he did, focus on his feelings, and try to stop you from looking deeper. If law enforcement gets involved,they may confess, but only to the exact same children law enforcement taxed him with, not one child more. That’s a red flag. Short of something like a brain tumour, no normal, healthy upright adult of integrity just gets the urge to violate a single child out of the blue in his fifties. It’s happened before, many, many times. It’s going to happen again.

It is not appropriate for leadership to act like law enforcement. A crime has been committed, a crime against children, and it needs to be referred to law enforcement and anybody who could have had contact with that perpetrator needs to know. Not just church members, not just parents. Are there no uncles, aunts, neighbors, grandparents who might bring along a child to church? Shouldn’t they know? What about visitors? Do we really only care about protecting the congregation’s reputation and not children who are not associated with our group? You cannot put in place enough protections to keep children safe while allowing a known child molester in your midst.

Quite often people who pride themselves on being good judges of character are the worst people in the world to decide what to do about a pedophile in the midst of the church (or anywhere). Pedophiles are clever manipulators and con-artists. Child molesters love people who think they are good judges of character. They are charismatic con-artists and gifted communicators who work very, very, hard to manipulate their image to get into positions of trust. They need to get you to let them have access to children and to have everybody trust them and think “What a great guy!” They are incredibly good at it, and they convince people so thoroughly that they doubt themselves before they would doubt the predator.

Molesting children is not just a whim, a taste that one loses. IT is always there, that attraction to children. IT’s not normal. You can’t use your healthy mind to assess the future behaviour of somebody else’s unhealthy mind and make determinations that put children at risk. Nobody can know they ‘aren’t like that’ anymore. And even if it were true, people can repent and yet still fall prey to temptation. Dont let them in temptation’s way, and more importantly, do not risk children over your pride in your own judgement.

There is some horrifying research showing molesters typically have abused 200 children by the time they are caught, and many of those children multiple times. That number should horrify you. Don’t let the 201st child be one that happened because of your silence.

Be wise as serpents here. It’s entirely possible that the people nattering on about forgiveness and believing in repentance without much proof other than the kind of thing that we already know pedophile excels at (tricking people into believing he is something he is not) are just naive. but there could be more sinister reasons at play for sweeping this kind of thing under the rug as well. I have become increasingly cynical. At the very least, pride is often at play- they want to believe in him (he’s one of them, after all), and they don’t like being challenged or told they are probably wrong. They probably consider themselves good judges of character. But sometimes, birds of a feather… Don’t be paranoid. But don’t be stupidly naive, either.

Here are some tools to help you be wise rather than gullible dupe: has some helpful programs and resources.”>Definitely read this: “Good hard statistics show that the vast majority of sex offenders re-offend when put back into a high risk setting, such as a church. Why? Because they are tempted by children and because we give them access to the drug of their choice. I believe that, with good treatment and lots of prayer, pedophiles can repent. But make no mistake—they will always be attracted to children. And because they are attracted to children, and because they have successfully offended in the past, and because survivors of abuse fear their presence, and because we are called to protect the vulnerable, when we invite them in a gathering with children, and because there is no true test to know if they’ve repented, and because they prey on the naivety of church members, and because sexual abuse has such devastating spiritual, mental, and emotional effects, we owe it to everybody to keep children and sex offenders separate. Period.”

From the comments on that  article: “According to a very reliable study of thousands of pedophiles done my Dr. Gene Abel, 93% of pedophiles described themselves as religious. Religious people go to church. My dad told me the 2 easiest places to get away with sexually abusing children are churches and Christians daycares.”

Also from the comments: “If there is evidence that pedophiles, as defined by the medical definition of pedophilia, can successfully break their attraction to children for good, I am unaware of those studies. There are studies that evidence about 40% of pedophiles can successfully avoid offending again but only with constant treatment. The downside is that these studies only follow them for about 4 years. And the attraction still remains. They can learn how to identify and avoid high risk scenarios. The reality is that nobody knows of people who have successfully avoided offending again long-term. We certainly are made new creatures in Christ, but temptation is still a very real factor.”

And this: “we do not mix registered sex offenders with children is because of the revictimization that is so commonplace among survivors of abuse, which accounts for anywhere from 40-50% of our church members. Sometimes in an effort to accommodate the sex offender, we forget about the victims.”

This is also by Jimmy in the comments of the Wineskins article:
“people diagnosed with pedophilia average over 200 victims each. That’s not 200 instances of abuse, it’s 200 children. Some of those children are abused by the perpetrator hundreds of times. Dr. Gene Abel, et. al predicts that a pedophile only has a 3% chance of getting caught each time they abuse a child. It literally is that difficult for us to detect it. Had someone not spoken up when they did about dad, he would have abused children for the rest of his life and none of us would have ever known it. One common misconception is that registered sex offenders (specifically pedophiles) just “messed up” and had a run in with one child. Once people understand the grooming process, however, we find that it is anything but accidental, and there is rarely ever only one victim. The reason this misconception sticks is that plea deals are struck and they usually are only charged for one victim, even though there could be hundreds. For example, dad confessed to 23 victims and only had charges on 3. So in the news, they reported that he had 3 victims which is entirely inaccurate.”

“Another point to make is that probably 40 percent of the women at any given congregation, as well as a large number of the males, were likely molested as children. Openly letting a convicted child molester be involved at this level is re-traumatizing them.

“It is unfair to your child to assume that someone couldn’t be a pedophile.”

“John the Baptist, as he was baptizing people, said, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8, ESV). In other words, prove that you have changed, don’t just say it. Paul, in giving a defense before Roman authorities, tells King Agrippa that he preached the Gospel to Jews and Gentiles, “that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:20, ESV).

In other words, Paul didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt. Paul wasn’t so naïve as to think that, just because people claimed that they loved God and were good people, it meant that they really were. He demanded, as John did, that they prove themselves through their actions. Jesus, as he sent the 12 out to preach, warned, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16). In other words, don’t be naïve and think we live in a safe world where all people should be trusted just because they go to your church. Remain innocent, but don’t be fooled. So with that in mind, I demand that people prove themselves when they question my boundaries. You want me to believe you are a good person? Don’t violate my boundaries and then we’ll talk!”
That’s adapted from here:

Pedophiles will violate boundaries. It will be an accident.  They will have a good reason.  A good excuse. Plausible deniability.  Understand that they were already given the benefit of the doubt before people found out they were pedophiles. They don’t get more.  Now the burden is on them.  Keep an eye on them, and report suspicious behavior to the police.
What is suspicious behaviour? For somebody who is known to have a pedophile history, it’s contact with children. Gift giving, no matter how small, passing out suckers, pretty much anything endearing him to children is no okay once the predilection is known. Consider, too, that a truly repentant person would want to avoid any contact with children himself, and would certainly not be trying to make them comfortable with him or attached to him.

Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t be swayed by tears and pleas. Remember this person has a history of deceit, look back and remind yourself how you were previously deceived.  Learn about they groom potential victims and their parents and other adults, some of the links in this post will help with that.  Remember that Evil hates the light and fights it tooth and nail.  It will be hard.  But don’t give up.  There are children, children who were victimized, and children who need to be kept safe from future predations, children who need strong advocates for what is right.


Jimmy Hinton’s mother blogs about her horrible experience being unknowingly married to a pedophile, here:

Her story also gives insight into how predators work and how they groom their victims.


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Knowledge and Education

Reposted from 2006

“Root ideas are much more important in practical affairs than we usually realize, especially when they are so much taken for granted that they are hidden from our view.

In American education, the ideas that influence us, though often hidden from view, come to us from the intellectual movement known as Romanticism, which held great sway during our country’s formative years. It is thanks to the Romantics (also known as transcendentalists, pragmatists, and, in education, progressives) that the word “natural” has been a term of honor in our country and that the ideas of “nature” and “natural” were elevated to a status that previously had been occupied only by divine law. We can hear these romantic beliefs in John Dewey’s writings, which continually use the terms “development” and “growth”—terms that came as naturally to him as they do to us.

…. unnoticed metaphors like “growth” and “development” unconsciously govern our thought—and continue to do so….

These ideas become unspoken assumptions, accepted without even realizing we’re accepting anything, just as we take in air without consciously thinking about breathing. This particular idea, says the author, is directly responsible for a number of ‘deleterious romantic ideas’ influencing our schools and particularly the growth of ‘whole language’ and its replacement of phonics in schools of education.

The most harmful idea is that children do not need a knowledge-rich curriculum to become proficient readers. The word reading, of course, has two senses. The first means the process of turning printed marks into sounds and these sounds into words. But the second sense means the very different process of understanding those words. Learning how to read in the first sense, as vital as it is, does not guarantee learning how to read in the second sense, comprehending the meaning of what is read. To become a good comprehender, a child needs a great deal of knowledge. A romantically inspired long delay in beginning to teach that knowledge is socially and economically harmful to our students—especially our most disadvantaged students. (emphasis added)

This ‘disparagement of factual knowledge, as found in books,’ is a ‘strong current in American thought.’ We make movies romanticizing the ignorant (Forest Gump), and we here have seen teachers and others dismiss a high goal of literacy as elitist.

Instead of a respect for the importance of knowledge, Romanticism gave us faith in the half-truth that the most important thing for students to learn is “how to learn.” It bequeathed to us a tendency to dismiss the acquisition of broad knowledge as “rote learning” of “mere facts,” to subtly disparage “merely verbal” presentations in books and by teachers, and to criticize school knowledge unless it is connected to “real life” in a “hands-on” way. These ideas are now so commonplace that we don’t think twice about them; we don’t scientifically scrutinize them. Yet, these ideas underlie what we as a nation think about reading comprehension.

This particular assumption has become so internalized that I have even heard homeschoolers talk wisely about ‘it doesn’t matter what they learn, so long as they learn how to learn.’ Usually everybody in the room will nod sagely, as though something profound was just said. I’ve done it myself. We seldom think about the meaning behind such a statement. Of course it ought to matter immensely what the children learn, especially since we all know, if we would only think about it, that healthy children already know how to learn. They do come hard-wired with a desire to know. It’s the stuff of learning that they don’t have. As early as the 1900’s Charlotte Mason was addressing this faulty assumption. In fact, though she usually is gentle to a fault when speaking of ideas with which she disagrees, she goes so far as to call this one a farce:

We must give up the farce of teaching young people how to learn, which is just as felicitous a labour and just as necessary as to teach a child the motions of eating without offering him food… The multitudinous things that every person wants to know must be made accessible in the schoolroom, not by diagrams, digests, and abstract principles; but boys and girls, like ‘Kit’s little brother,’ must learn ‘what oysters is’ by supping on oysters. There is absolutely no avenue to knowledge but knowledge itself, and the schools must begin, not by qualifying the mind to deal with knowledge, but by affording all the best books…. We have to face two difficulties. We do not believe in children as intellectual persons nor in knowledge as requisite and necessary for intellectual life.

Charlotte Mason was a British educator, and I hope that her fellow educators in her native land paid her words some heed. Here in the US, we continue to be rather dismissive towards knowledge. We hear it in classrooms, see it in our textbooks, and portray this attitude in our movies and cultural icons.

Pick up a typical basal reader and the clear implication is that comprehension skill depends on formal “comprehension strategies,” such as predicting, summarizing, questioning, and clarifying.2 Look in them fruitlessly to find evidence that the publishers believe reading depends on imbibing a body of knowledge. I call this romantic idea, “formalism”—a belief that reading comprehension can best be improved by acquiring formal comprehension strategies, not by building children’s knowledge base.

The more we know, the more we are able to know, because knowledge is related to other knowledge in marvelous ways. There are myriad connections between one thing and another. Relations formed with one group of knowledge (say, the names of common wildflowers) give us tools and keys to understanding and knowing something else (allusions and similes in literature). This is what I think Miss Mason means when she observes that education is the science of relations. E.D. Hirsch, Jr. puts it this way:

knowledge of content and of the vocabulary acquired through learning about content are fundamental to successful reading comprehension; without broad knowledge, children’s reading comprehension will not improve and their scores on reading comprehension tests will not budge upwards either. Yet, content is not adequately addressed in American schools, especially in the early grades. None of our current methods attempt to steadily build up children’s knowledge; not the empty state and district language arts standards, which rarely mention a specific text or piece of information; not the reading textbooks, which jump from one trivial piece to another; and not the comprehension drills conducted in schools in the long periods of 90-120 minutes devoted to language arts. These all promote the view that comprehension depends on having formal skills rather than broad knowledge.

This may sound like an academic point. It is, in fact, an important argument about the science that underlies learning. I believe inadequate attention to building students’ knowledge is the main reason why the reading scores of 13- and 17-year-olds on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have not budged in years. I believe this neglect of knowledge is a major source of inequity, at the heart of the achievement gap between America’s poor and non-poor. I also believe that if this idea about what is limiting students’ comprehension isn’t understood and aggressively addressed, reading scores won’t move up, no matter how hard teachers try. And the public debate will wrongly continue to pillory teachers and public schools for stagnant achievement scores….

….Formal comprehension skills can only take students so far; knowledge is what enables their comprehension to keep increasing.

Unfortunately, our typical response is not to increase knowledge, but to decrease complexity, to dumb down. Think about this the next time somebody says something like, “That’s too hard. Kids these days can’t understand those words. We need something easier….” This is to condemn children to a spiraling down of their ability to understand, and the less we respect their abilities and the importance of a body of knowledge, the less they will be able to cope with new information.
This is truly disturbing:

Anne Cunningham and Keith Stanovich have shown that under current conditions of American schooling, vocabulary in second grade is a reliable predictor of academic performance in 11th grade.11 They have also shown that the biggest contribution to the size of any person’s vocabulary must come from the printed page (whether it is heard or read), because print uses a greater number of different words than everyday oral speech does.

The entire article is rather long, but those who are interested can find it here.

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