Archive | October, 2015

Comments from an OLD BLACK FART: Pressitutes not journalists

31 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD BLACK FART. Urban Dictionary defines pressititute:

presstitute

A term coined by Gerald Celente and often used by independent journalists and writers in the alternative media in reference to journalists and talking heads in the mainstream media who give biased and predetermined views in favor of the government and corporations, thus neglecting their fundamental duty of reporting news impartially. It is a portmanteau of press and prostitute.

Bishop T.D. Jakes tweets about the power of thought:

T. D. Jakes @BishopJakes
Most people’s thoughts are held captive by the influences of their past or held hostage by their environment. Research and think 4 yourself!

Moi chooses to use the Investing Answers definition of “critical mass” because when one analyzes why a Free Press is important to the information stream of a society, “critical mass” is important.

What It Is:

Critical mass refers to the size a company needs to reach in order to efficiently and competitively participate in the market. This is also the size a company must attain in order to sustain growth and efficiency.

How It Works/Example:

A company’s critical mass is determined by the size of its staff, resources, revenues, and market share. Once these elements reach the size that enables a company to operate efficiently, it is said that a company has reached its critical mass. Critical mass is the point at which a company becomes profitable.

To illustrate a company’s critical mass, consider Company XYZ which was recently formed and has been experiencing steady growth and increasing strength in the market. The company’s steady revenues allowed Company XYZ to invest in more capital and to hire additional employees. XYZ’s productivity subsequently increased and their revenues exceed their expenses: XYZ then becomes profitable. The company is said to have reached its critical mass, since its capital and human resources have reached a size at which they can sustain themselves through productive efficiency.

Why It Matters:

A company’s critical mass is important to consider because it can mean the difference between thriving and surviving in a market environment. A company that sustains profitability is safely above its critical mass. http://www.investinganswers.com/financial-dictionary/economics/critical-mass-623

In Critical thinking is an essential trait of an educated person, moi wrote:                                                                               The key is developing the idea that facts should be used to support an opinion.
The Critical Thinking Community has several great articles about critical thinking at their site. In the section, Defining Critical Thinking:

A Definition

Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.

The Result

A well cultivated critical thinker:

• raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely;
• gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively comes to well-reasoned conclusions and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards;
• thinks openmindedly within alternative systems of thought, recognizing and assessing, as need be, their assumptions, implications, and practical consequences; and
• communicates effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.

Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism. (Taken from Richard Paul and Linda Elder, The Miniature Guide to Critical Thinking Concepts and Tools, Foundation for Critical Thinking Press, 2008). http://www.criticalthinking.org/pages/defining-critical-thinking/766 http://drwilda.com/2012/01/22/critical-thinking-is-an-essential-trait-of-an-educated-person/

Critical mass, journalism and education are intertwined if one thinks the critical issue is how to get peopleto fully participate in the political process, especially when their participation in the political process is key to the society’s movement up the economic ladder and democratic development.

Moi wrote about “group think” in Penn State: An example of ‘groupthink’ The University of Oregon has a great synopsis of “groupthink.”
In Groupthink, the synopsis describes the key elements of “groupthink.”

Groupthink occurs when a homogenous highly cohesive group is so concerned with maintaining unanimity that they fail to evaluate all their alternatives and options. Groupthink members see themselves as part of an in-group working against an outgroup opposed to their goals. You can tell if a group suffers from groupthink if it:

1. overestimates its invulnerability or high moral stance,
2. collectively rationalizes the decisions it makes,
3. demonizes or stereotypes outgroups and their leaders,
4. has a culture of uniformity where individuals censor themselves and others so that the facade of group unanimty is maintained, and
5. contains members who take it upon themselves to protect the group leader by keeping information, theirs or other group members’, from the leader.

Groups engaged in group think tend to make faulty decisions when compared to the decisions that could have been reached using a fair, open, and rational decision-making process. Group thinking groups tend to:

1. fail to adequately determine their objectives and alternatives,
2. fail to adequately assess the risks associated with the group’s decision,
3. fail to cycle through discarded alternatives to reexamine their worth after a majority of the group discarded the alternative,
4. not seek expert advice,
5. select and use only information that supports their position and conclusions, and
6. does not make contigency plans in case their decision and resulting actions fail. http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/theory/grpthink.html

The Founders of the U.S. Constitution recognized the importance of a Free Press and attempted to guarantee an Free Press by enacting the First Amendment. The Pressitutes have Voluntarily given up much of the Freedom they have been granted.

According to the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics:

Seek Truth and Report It

Ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Journalists should:
– Take responsibility for the accuracy of their work. Verify information before releasing it. Use original sources whenever possible.
– Remember that neither speed nor format excuses inaccuracy.
– Provide context. Take special care not to misrepresent or oversimplify in promoting, previewing or summarizing a story.
– Gather, update and correct information throughout the life of a news story.
– Be cautious when making promises, but keep the promises they make.
– Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.
– Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was grante– Diligently seek subjects of news coverage to allow them to respond to criticism or allegations of wrongdoing.
– Avoid undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information unless traditional, open methods will not yield information vital to the public.
– Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable. Give voice to the voiceless.
– Support the open and civil exchange of views, even views they find repugnant. – Recognize a special obligation to serve as watchdogs over public affairs and government. Seek to ensure that the public’s business is conducted in the open, and that public records are open to all.
– Provide access to source material when it is relevant and appropriate.
– Boldly tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience. Seek sources whose voices we seldom hear.
– Avoid stereotyping. Journalists should examine the ways their values and experiences may shape their reporting.
– Label advocacy and commentary.
– Never deliberately distort facts or context, including visual information. Clearly label illustrations and re-enactments.
– Never plagiarize. Always attribute.

Minimize Harm…….                                                                                                                                                   http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.
George S. Patton

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD BLACK FART: Do Blacks want to SUCCEED in the U.S.?

25 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD BLACK FART: The American Mirror reported in VIDEO: ‘Black Lives Matter’ protester rips down American flag at police chiefs’ convention:

Dozens of “Black Lives Matter” protesters were arrested in Chicago this weekend when they ripped down the American flag outside McCormick Place and blocked a road leading to the venue — the site of a convention for some 14,000 law enforcement officers from around the world…. http://www.theamericanmirror.com/video-black-lives-matter-protester-rips-down-american-flag-at-police-chiefs-convention/

Meanwhile, Black groups all over the country complain about the lack of police protection in the hood. Kevin Jackson wrote in What if police didn’t protect black neighborhoods:

If I were the police, I would take black neighborhoods off my radar. Let’s face it, white neighborhoods are safer, and they don’t shout “Kill the cops!”

….There is a reason there are a disproportionate number of black men in jail; and despite the Liberals tome, it’s not because the police are bad. This cops didn’t decide come off a donut break to target Michael Brown for sport. The cop stopped Brown for a reason. Would you hang out in a black neighborhood for “shiggles,” if you didn’t have to?
And like with the Trayvon Martin story, if Brown had complied with the cop, instead of playing Tommy Toughass, he would likely be alive today.

I’m not exonerating a cop for a bad decision, if he acted hastily or irrationally. But people need to learn how to behave with the men in blue, beccause they have a difficult job. Stupidity on anybody’s part enhances that difficulty exponentially…. https://theblacksphere.net/2014/08/police-didnt-protect-black-neighborhoods/

This leads to the question of whether a segment of what is called “Black leadership” wants Blacks to succeed in the because they would lose their leadership position and perks.

All moi can say is one has a Constitutional right to be a MORON. One must ask what are folk thinking and where do they want to go in THIS society and not some mythical Africa which most will never see and which probably does not exist. Remember, folk live in THIS society, at THIS time and in THIS place.

Moi wrote in Black people MUST develop a culture of success: Michigan State revokes a football scholarship because of raunchy rap video.

The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture. See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts and Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink? http://drwilda.com/2013/05/01/hip-hop-and-rap-represent-destructive-life-choices-how-low-can-this-genre-sink/

Resources:

Culture of Success
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/culture-success

How Do Asian Students Get to the Top of the Class?
http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/teaching-values/481-parenting-students-to-the-top.gs

Related:

Is there a model minority?
http://drwilda.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

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COMMENTS FROM AN OLD BLACK FART: Drink and drugs make college kids STUPID

18 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD BLACK FART: We live in a society with few personal controls and even fewer people recognize boundaries which should govern their behavior and how they treat others. Aftab Ali wrote in the Independent article, Students more likely to have sex after using marijuana or binge drinking, according to US research:

Students are more likely to have sex on days they’ve used marijuana or binged* on alcohol, according to new research on intercourse and condom use while under the influence.

Professor of psychological science at Oregon State University (OSU) in the US, David Kerr, also found binge drinking and being in a serious dating relationship were linked with less condom use, which puts young adults at risk for sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) and unplanned pregnancies.

The findings – published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs – came to light after researchers recruited 284 students to report on their marijuana use, alcohol use, sexual activity, and condom use every day for 24 consecutive days.
According to the professor, two findings stood out. He said: “Students in serious relationships had almost 90 per cent of the sex reported in our study, but serious partners used a condom only a third of the time – compared to about half the time among single students. More frequent sex, plus less protection equals higher risk.”

The stereotypical image of students drinking and having casual sex is ‘real’, he added. However, in the OSU study, he said it was ‘striking’ how often those in serious relationships were putting their guard down, indicating how people may judge risks differently while under the influence….http://www.independent.co.uk/student/news/students-more-likely-to-have-sex-after-using-marijuana-or-binge-drinking-according-to-us-research-a6685676.html

For many college students, college brings more freedom and fewer restrictions than they may have been accustomed to during their high school years. Many college students are naive about the consequences that can arise from certain social situations. So parents when you are preparing to drop your children off at college, in addition to what type of frig or microwave to buy for the dorm room you need to have the following conversations:

1. Another candid conversation about sex, this conversation should be ongoing from when they were age appropriate children

2. Sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy

3. Binge drinking and substance abuse

4. Personal safety issues such as always letting at least one person know where they are going

5. The college’s code of conduct

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Does society have to pay because you choose to take risks and hurt yourself?

12 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD BLACK FART: Moi lives in the Republic of Seattle where the city muckety mucks admire Europe not only for its socialist leaning governments, but the high number of folks who ride bikes. They are trying to banish cars from the city by making it so expensive to drive, you give up. Not that transit in Seattle is as good as in Europe. Parking is so expensive, one might as well get a Fiat or Mini, rent an apartment and take the car up on the elevator.

Although, the Republic of King County which includes Seattle makes the following comment:

Bicycling is a marvelous way to get around. Bicycling reduces traffic jams, protects the environment, and is a great source of physical activity. Unfortunately, bicycling is not risk-free. In fact, from 2008 to 2012, each year an average of 3 bicyclists died in King County each year and 45 were severely injured in collisions with motor vehicles.
…Washington Traffic Safety Commission, July 2013

To stay safe, follow Washington’s bicycling laws and always wear a helmet! Visit the Washington state Department of Transportation’s Bicycle Laws page to learn more about bicyclist responsibilities and state laws. For safety tips, check out the King County Department of Transportation’s bicycle safety page.
Bike helmets

Wear a helmet! It’s the law!

In July 2003, the King County Board of Health extended the King County bike helmet regulation (PDF) to include Seattle. The new rule went into effect in August 2003 and requires that all bicyclists (regardless of age) must wear a helmet.

Bicyclists throughout the county can be cited for not wearing helmets. Avoid fines, fees, and injuries by wearing a bike helmet! http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/injury/traffic/bicycles.aspx

Moi walks and rides the bus all over the Republic of Seattle and she observes many cyclists do not wear helmets despite the law.

Science Daily reported in Helmeted bicycle riders have significantly reduced severity of injury after an accident:

Helmeted bicycle riders have a 58 percent reduced odds of severe traumatic brain injury after an accident compared to their non-helmeted counterparts, according to researchers from the University of Arizona, Tucson…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151008141626.htm

Helmet related statistics can be found here: http://www.helmets.org/stats.htm

A Canadian study, Societal cost of traumatic brain injury: A comparison of cost-of-injuries related to biking with and without helmet use found:

Results: The median costs of hospitalization were significantly higher (p = 0.037) in the no helmet group ($7246.67 vs. $4328.17). No differences in costs were found for inpatient rehabilitation (p = 0.525), outpatient rehabilitation (p = 0.192), loss of productivity (p = 0.108) or death (p  = 1.000). Overall, the differences in total societal costs between the helmet and no helmet group were not significantly different (p =  0.065). However, the median total costs for patients with isolated TBI in the non-helmet group ($22 232.82) was significantly higher (p = 0.045) compared to the helmet group ($13 920.15).
Conclusion: Cyclists sustaining TBIs who did not wear helmets in this study were found to cost society nearly double that of helmeted cyclists…. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/02699052.2015.1004758

This leads to the original question which is should society pay for risks that an individual freely decides to take.

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If Black lives matter, why isn’t your kid in school?

7 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD BLACK FART. Education is a partnership between the student, the teacher(s) and parent(s). All parties in the partnership must share the load. The student has to arrive at school ready to learn. The parent has to set boundaries, encourage, and provide support. Teachers must be knowledgeable in their subject area and proficient in transmitting that knowledge to students. All must participate and fulfill their role in the education process. http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/school-absenteeism-absent-from-the-classroom-leads-to-absence-from-participation-in-this-society/

Sara Guaglione of ischoolguide wrote in A new report from two nonprofits Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign revealed kindergarten attendance is linked to future academic success:

A new report from two nonprofits Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign revealed kindergarten attendance is linked to future academic success.
“Poor attendance is among our first and best warning signs that a student has missed the on-ramp to school success and is headed off track for graduation,” the report says. “We must address attendance and its connection to public health early in a child’s life.”
According to the Washington Post, the report discovered that 5-year-olds in kindergarten who were chronically absent lagged behind their peers in later grades, scoring an average of 20 percentage points lower on reading tests and 25 points lower in math. They also were twice as likely to be retained a grade.
The report found that absenteeism rates among kindergartners are nearly as high as those among high school freshmen. An estimated 1 in 10 kindergartners misses at least 18 days of school, or nearly a month of class, per year.

The Washington Post suggests that absences from kindergarteners may go unnoticed, as they are often associated with mental or physical health problems. Fourteen million absences – or one-third of all missed school days – are due to asthma, the leading cause of absenteeism, according to the Centers for Disease

Control and Prevention.

But the consequences of missing school can be long-term.
According to the report, the association between poor attendance and lower National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores is a significant pattern that holds throughout the U.S.
Students who missed three or more days of school in the prior month had lower average NAEP scores in reading and math than students with fewer absences.
The report also notes that absenteeism in preschool and kindergarten can influence whether a child will be held back in third grade. Several studies show a link between chronic absence (missing 10 percent of the school year) in the early grades and a child’s ability to master reading by the end of third grade. Researchers in Baltimore and Chicago found the effects starting in preschool, the report adds.
http://www.ischoolguide.com/articles/24388/20150903/report-attendance-works-kindergarten-future-academic.htm

Here is the report summary:

Absences Add Up

This state-by-state analysis of national testing data demonstrates that students who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests, a result that holds true at every age, in every demographic group, and in every state and city tested.

Absences Add Up: How School Attendance Influences Student Success is based on the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). It compares attendance rates and NAEP scores for every state and for 21 large urban areas.

Supplemental Tables:

These supplemental tables provided expanded information on the national trends shown in this analysis.
http://www.attendanceworks.org/research/absences-add/
The disintegration of the family has profound implications for the education success of children. Schools are dealing with the reality of certain cultural dynamics because many parents have not absorbed from their upbringing the thought that education is crucial to later success in life. Further, children of these parents often face emotional and economic challenges because of their family circumstance.

Related:

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Hard truths: The failure of the family
http://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/hard-truths-the-failure-of-the-family

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Well duh, study finds hanging around A-holes depresses you

4 Oct

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD BLACK FART. A prof at Vanderbilt University conducted a study to find out if hanging around high status folk makes one happy. Both China and the U.S. were studied and here is what the prof concluded:

Song found that in urban China, knowing high-status people was detrimental to mental health. This was true whether people knew mostly high-status people, any high-status people or even just many people of comparatively higher-status than themselves. This was surprising because China, being a collectivist society, places high value on interdependence, making a strong case for social capital theory. Song says these findings indicate that comparative reference group theory predominates in urban China, because while collectivist societies are more oriented toward interdependence, they also promote negative self-comparisons to people of higher status….

In the United States, the findings were even more interesting. Here, knowing high-status people or comparatively higher-status people than themselves was also detrimental to mental health, consistent with comparative reference group theory — we tend to feel worse except when most of a person’s network was clustered at one end of the status range. When, on average, members of an individual’s network had high-status jobs, depression rates were lower, and when many members of individuals’ networks had lower-status jobs than themselves, depression was higher, consistent with social capital theory….

Journal Reference:

1. Lijun Song. Does who you know in the positional hierarchy protect or hurt? Social capital, comparative reference group, and depression in two societies. Social Science & Medicine, 2015; 136-137: 117 DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2015.05.012

Let moi summarize, there are many consistent characteristics of happy folk among which are positive outlook on life, a life purpose, and getting toxic folk and situations out of one’s life.

One of the best lists of what makes folk happy comes from Thomson’s 10 Characteristics of a Happy Person:

And the results are these ten characteristics that make a happy person.

1.Happy people always have happy friends. Remember the old proverb, birds of a feather flock together. Those having a positive and happy outlook to life understand and prefer the company of others with the same outlook to life.
2. Happy people usually know how to speak for themselves about what they feel and if they are not treated well. In addition to this, happy people tend to lead a life of integrity, are honest and sincere with others and themselves and always live according to their values.
3. Happy people love, and enjoy listening to music. Remember that music always makes the world go round, especially for happy people.
4. Happy people appreciate what they have and recognize the blessings that come their way. They know how to show appreciation and gratitude constantly.
5. As happy people receive and share lots of love, compassion and affection, they enjoy life better. And in the process, find that they can sleep better.
6. Happy people not only know how to eat well, they also know how to feed their body with great quality food. In addition to this, they also follow a regular exercise routine. This is because they believe in self care and work at reaching the epitome of mental and physical strength.
7. Happy people are both patient with people and things around them, and excitedly look forward to life everyday. They are always ready and welcome the adventures life offers them.
8. Happy people look for the best in themselves and in people around them as they are naturally optimistic. They know how to alter negative positions into positive ones.
9. Happy people know their purpose in life and live to their passions. It is because of this that they are always learning new things, and are open to new and fresh ideas.
10. Happy people are always ready to forgive themselves, and don’t beat themselves up for unavoidable mistakes. Being spiritual, they believe in the power of praying, and consider everything is possible and attainable through constant prayer…. http://www.growyourselves.com/10-characteristics-of-a-happy-person.html

Happy folk come in all flavors and any social status. It doesn’t matter the job title or social group.

If you want to be happy, be.
Leo Tolstoy

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