Friday, February 18

Ethnic Enclaves in the classroom

So the fact that minorities and immigrants prefer to live in their own enclaves is well known. This has a positive effect insofar as helping avoid the racism and discrimination they might fare in a heterogeneous enclave versus a negative effect where they do not adopt or adapt host country cultures or attain language proficiency. This behaviour is shown in every country and this can also be due to in country migration patterns as well, such as linguistic group enclaves or state enclaves, etc. But what happens to their children who are in a government secular school where presumably this impact would be reduced>?

A good paper caught my eye. Quote the abstract:

We use data on elementary-school students to investigate how the home language and other characteristics of a student's same-grade schoolmates influence that student's academic achievement. We exploit the availability of multiple cohorts of data within each school to control for endogenous selection by incorporating school fixed effects in the model. We also exploit the longitudinal structure of the data to estimate value-added models of the educational production function. We find that attending an “enclave” school provides a slight net benefit to Chinese home-language students and a large net cost to Punjabi home-language students. The results are consistent with a simple peer effects mechanism in which the academic achievement or behavior of peers is much more important than their home language.

I am not going to bore you with the statistics, but concentrate on the results. What this canadian study finds is that students who speak Punjabi at home have a strong negative association with math test scores while Chinese home language peers have a weak positive association with math scores. How curious, cultural factors? Linguistic factors? The study doesn't say this and their explanation is weak. They also reference similar results achieved by studying Black students in the USA. So linguistic factors are of lower importance compared to cultural factors. The authors also refer to another study that Punjabi youth in British Columbia, Canada have an oppositional sub culture and negative attitudes about academic work. No wonder their math scores are so crap, compared to the Chinese culture based students. Very un-pc, but I am reminded of the furore about the Chinese mother recently.

Well, here you go, some data points behind this debate, and lends some credence towards the fact that school achievement has some links with the culture you belong to.

A letter from a British Citizen

Man, he had it bad, didnt he? From here.

Dear Sir
Me LL.B (Hons.) Dip LP – 20 years in the legal profession – last 14 as a qualified solicitor of the supreme court. Own high street practice since 2002 – left the profession in October 2010. No longer worth the effort – over regulated, no respect from the public or the state, totally bored with being an unpaid VAT collector, dealing with the bullshit SRA and its “diversity” agenda, paying through the nose for PI insurance and for regulation, rates, having my rubbish collected from the offices I rented, etc. etc. I had two tiny rented offices, no more than bucket shops in reality and with all of the outgoings, the useless local authority and the tax man and others’ it cost me £100k each year just to open the doors of those offices before I earned a single penny. Clients going bankrupt throughout 2008-2009 leaving me with over 50k of unpaid fees which comes straight off of profit. Everyone else (usually the state) gets paid of course.
Wife BA, MA – 15 years as a wonderful teacher respected and admired by all in her job – a real go getter – excellent at her job and assistant head of one of the best secondary schools in the area – outstanding in last two Ofsted reports largely as a result of things put in place by her. Giving up her job. Sick of ever changing government targets, syllabus changes, instead of being a teacher being required to be mum, entertainer, best friend, disciplinarian, teacher, and at risk every day of some pathetic charge by some scrote of a child about something she may have done that could wreck her entire career. Sick of kids who can’t be arsed, and have no parental input but have all the “rights” given to them by the state.
I earned a decent profit (save in 2008-2010) on which I paid tax (as well as rates and as well as employing a number of staff). My wife earned over £55k per annum on which she paid PAYE. We have one son aged 14 at secondary school and who I spend a great deal of time educating – he gets NO homework from his school (and complaints in this regard are ignored even though parent governors have been raising the issue for years – perhaps it is something to do with the fact that the school has had a head on sick leave for years – much like many schools in this area – Over £100k per annum of taxpayers money and pension for sitting on your arse at home “ill” – it must be in the air here) and much of our time together in this regard is in combating what is essentially propaganda taught to our kids today. He will only grow up as an intelligent free thinking adult because of my input and despite his state education. I went to a grammar school. Getting rid of these has been a massive mistake.
We have both chucked our jobs. I made three people redundant and myself and my wife will no longer be paying taxes at anywhere near the rate we did before. We will both be seeking part time jobs and don’t really care about the salary levels.
Why would two professional people like us both dump our professions, the very things that as young adults we strove to achieve?
Simple. It just isn’t worth the effort anymore in a world where a significant minority leech off of the rest of us and where the government spends over 50% of what we earn and takes that money on pain of imprisonment. The North East and Wales live off of the rest of us. In my building alone I know that statistically we are paying everything for at least three families in the block. Why? Only 200 years ago the average worker worked 170 days each year. When I was a child (and I am only 45 now) a single full time salary was enough to buy a house and send children to university. In this country today it is impossible to survive without both adults working full time to pay the myriad of taxes, mortgage payments to the bankers for our massively overpriced houses, and god forbid that we wonder why our parents and grandparents never had to do this. Thanks to the labour government and the execrable Blair and Brown and that idiot Balls, money belonging to our children and grandchildren has already been stolen and spent on crap that no-one needs.
For at least twenty years we have seen the breakdown of society as it was when we were growing up and we no longer recognise the world we live in. There is no respect for me as a lawyer or for my wife as a teacher and that lack of respect is not only present in society at large, but also from the state. The claim that the world is a different place is usually a claim made by very elderly people. I am 45 and my wife is 39 and we are saying this already. So many millions of people don’t lift a finger and have families where no-one has ever worked. My father left my mother in 1967 when she had two children under the age of 3. She worked. We got on with it. She never claimed a single penny in benefits. I closed my practice in September 2010 but will never dream of going on the dole. I never saw my useless hapless father but I grew up, went to a grammar school and then to university. My eldest brother joined the army and served with distinction in the Falklands and elsewhere and went into the police. My younger brother joined a bank, then a building society and is now a university lecturer. Not one of us has ever lived off of the taxpayer, we have paid our taxes and have produced families of our own. We are all, to a man, sick of the country we live in. Millions economically inactive. A significant percentage of children leaving school at 16 unable to read or write properly and largely numerically illiterate. The corrosive “all must have prizes” mentality has ruined state education. Political correctness everywhere so that we are caged in by professional offence takers and rent seeking “charities” expounding that we are all too fat, drink too much, eat the wrong things, smoke (how dare we), think and say the wrong things, and that the sky is falling in, all clearly based on fake science and presented in a way that could only be believed by morons – politicians of course swallow it whole and continue to send these rent seekers large shovel fulls of our money.
Global warming (now called climate disruption) is going to kill us all even though empirical and actual real life measurements say the exact opposite, (have you noticed the Maldives and other island nations are still in situ? The Arctic and Antarctic are dong fine, polar bears are increasing and most glaciers are ok and the IPCC has been shown clearly to be a pathetic activist organisation, but we are still paying through the nose more and more as the months go by – I went to the Maldives on my honeymoon, but the fantastically large amount I paid for that holiday is nothing compared to the “damages” that we western countries must pay to these people because of our “crimes” – why hasn’t anyone just told them to fuck off?), even though the Team have been shown to be activists and not scientists (despite whitewashes to the contrary that treat us all like cretins). All of this garbage is repeatedly and never endingly stuffed into our faces by the disgustingly biased BBC, by those who teach my child, and by useful idiots who have taken on board fake science and whitewashed any difficulties in that respect – the crazed Huhne wishing to cover our country with wind farms even though Germany has caught a massive cold with this technology and it is clear to anyone who isn’t a cretin that it is a crazy way to seek to provide our energy needs.
Politicians who promise things and then break those promises. There is a massive list of these from both labour and the coalition. Blair was a liar – Cameron and Clegg are no different, especially on Europe. Where is the Big Repeal Bill? Where is “Cast Iron” Dave on Europe? – lets not think about the passing of powers that have happened since he became PM. We are all looking at Egypt and wondering when that day will come here. I confidently predict that it will come within my son’s lifetime if things don’t change.
So what will we do? The only solution is to opt out. We have been lucky and sensible enough to purchase a number of properties over the years. We will never sell them – they are the only things the state cannot steal from us. I have already told my wife that the state will renege on its promise to pay her pension – look at Poland.
Politicians – a mere 650 of them – have totally fucked this country and continue to sell us down the river to the post-democratic EU. If you have any interest in what your constituents think about their lives in this country I hope that you will take note of the opinion of myself and my wife. We are sick of the whole thing. We will buy a house with a garden and I will grow vegetables and hit things with axes, and she will manage our properties. The rest of you can go f**k yourselves.

Thursday, February 17

Buddhist Monks and Marriage

I didnt know that Buddhist Monks used to be married. See this note. I betcha this will come as much as a rude shock to some as the fact that Hindu’s ate beef came as a shock to some gits.

       University of Tokyo Faculty of Humanities
Fuse Academic Lecture

Hosted by the Department of Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies
University of Tokyo

We are happy to announce the upcoming lecture by Dr. Shayne Clarke
of McMaster University, who has recently concluded ground-breaking
research in the area of Vinaya Studies. Dr. Clarke's lecture is
supported by the Fuse academic fund.

Presenter: Dr. Shayne Clarke (McMaster University)
Title: The Good Monk and His Wife are Seldom Parted: Reflections on
Married Monks in Indian Buddhism
Date/Time: February 16 (Weds.), 15:00-17:00
Place: Indian Philosophy and Buddhist Studies Seminar Room (Hō-bun
Bldg. 2, 3rd floor)
Presentation Language: English

Abstract: It is often assumed that Buddhist monks in India were not
married. Although we find occasional references to married monks in
Mahāyāna sūtras, the lifestyle of these monks is generally viewed as
an aberration of the monastic life, and their conduct is thought of as
being in contravention of the extant Vinayas.

In the present paper I investigate the position of married monks in
canonical Vinaya literature. The extant Vinayas contain several
interesting narratives that assume the existence of married monks in
India. Not only could monks continue to visit their lay (former?)
wives after ordination, but they could also leave home for the
religious life together with their wives. Husband and wife could enter
the religious life as monk and nun. Moreover, divorce, which is said
to be unknown in Brahmanical India, is mentioned in a number of Vinaya
texts. Although the canonical authors of the extant Vinayas knew about
divorce or some process by which unhappy couples could annul their
marriages, they never seem to insist that men get divorced before
becoming monks. I conclude, then, not that monks never marry in India,
but that monks in fact never divorce.

Tuesday, February 15

No white people allowed in the zoo today


We are still facing discrimination in the world, even after so many decades of the fight for equality and fairness. Long way to go. We are still discriminating on the basis of gender, national origin, age, class, caste, you name it.

Perfectly proportioned bookshops

I am speechless.

Ask most people to paint a picture of their perfect bookstore and it probably involves a pair of bay windows housing a selection of titles specially selected by the shop’s long-serving staff. Through the front door (complete with a brass bell) there are well-worn harvest tables with stacks of new releases, solid classics, cash-generating genres and obscure but wonderfully readable selections from loyal customers. The oak floors are dark and well worn and they probably creak and sag a little. There’s a wonderful scent of various papers, ink, glue, linen, card-stock and toxic varnishes, and in certain corners of the shop a jazzy tune can be heard through crackly old speakers. Scattered about are armchairs for children to read and pensioners to pause (they’re not meant as a satellite office for people to do research or conduct business) and there are plenty of decently paid staff (read: not minimum wage) to advise on cookbooks for the helpless, picture books to calm hyper tots, and travel guides to less-explored corners of Turkey.

The male staff wear cosy cardigans and the women favour loafers, kilts and turtlenecks for an overall effect that says these people look like they know what they’re talking about and therefore I’ll buy whatever they suggest. Perhaps the most important detail is that you can see all the way to the back of the shop from the front door but once inside you discover there are enough cosy nooks and corners to get lost in an absorbing first chapter. In short, the bookstore that people dream about is small-scale, warm and welcoming and personal. American and British retail chains that are suffering are anything but.

and reality?

Scan the parking lots of many US malls and there’s a good chance you’ll spot a red brick or yellow stucco box belonging to a book retailer bolted on to a bigger yellow stucco box that anchors a host of other similar looking boxes with backlit logos, no windows and zero personality. Inside the book box, the experience is bewildering and alienating. The lighting is bright and harsh, there’s a vague scent of popcorn and there’s not a sales person or shelf-stocker in sight.

The store is so big and devoid of any hint of cosiness that you feel there’s little need to return because you never locked eyes with a sales person, never found a welcoming corner to linger and browse, didn’t stumble on any literary surprises and ultimately didn’t connect as a customer.

Sad, very sad indeed.

Monday, February 14

Why blame the parents for fraud?

See this article. I quote:

Head teachers claim stimulants are being over-prescribed to young children, who they suspect are not sufferers of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They say unscrupulous parents of troubled youngsters are pushing for an ADHD diagnosis to claim disability benefits.

"I think parents are very well aware of how the system works, in terms of obtaining the drugs for their children, and the monetary gains that they get through a diagnosis."

As an economist, this behaviour is perfectly logical. When given the choice of getting money for very little pain, who wouldnt say no? Morals aside, that’s perfectly incentivised. Lets say this, you get a chance of getting a steady stream of money in return for you having to lie a bit to your doctor, you dont even have to give your child the medicine and you get money. Hey, parents are experts in lying, specially when the child asks difficult questions, no?

Sunday, February 13

Home Start–the voyage begins

So as i had said before, I looked around to check out where else I can assist now that the PhD is completed. On the Do-It website, found that they were looking for trustees so I applied, got to speak to the Home Start scheme manager, and then filled out a clutch of forms and finally got to meet the chairperson of trustees and the scheme manager.

I was disgracefully late, the place is just 10 miles away from me and I totally underestimated the traffic, landed about 8 minutes late. It was in a church and met the ladies. Quite an interesting setup, this unit provides assistance to families with children under 5 years of age and helps people who have mental health problems, unemployment problems, domestic violence, etc. Volunteers are trained, CRB checked and then associated with a family. Then they create and agree a goal for 3 months and try to achieve it.

The unit is primarily funded via government grants and there are cutbacks on the horizon with the deficit reduction plans of the government. I actually think this is good. This is purely community service and we should be able to do things that can assist in local and national fund raising that can assist in making sure that we have a sustainable business model. Relying on getting funding from local authorities or central government is not a sustainable business model, it will shrink and go away. There are also some financial tricks and tips that I have which hopefully I can bring to the table with assisting in fund raising.

So have been invited to attend a board meeting next week, lets see how that turns out.

Protests against Valentines Day

This is what passes for religion. These morons talk about removing all red items and heart shaped gifts during Valentine’s Day. Hey, I have seen morons like this as well, at this time, the Hindu morons come out to play as well, trashing card and florist shops. I personally dislike this entire concept of Valentine’s day – you are supposed to show your love only on one day? but if somebody wants to get flowers and pap, by all means, go for it.

But the idea that somebody can come and tell you to stop being loving or give your wife/daughter/sister/etc. etc. a loving gift is stupid. And the irony? These Hindu militants hate the fundamentalist Islamists, little understanding that they are both morons, they are the same. But then, they dont have any brains, do they? Literally morons. They are barbarians, bereft of any kind of intelligence and principles and morals and logic and comprehension and and and. Look what happens, they sell red roses under the counter?

Just what impression does that give to the world about the birthplace of Islam and the most holy sites? Why am I dragging Islam into this? Well, these muppets are speaking on behalf of Islam, no? and they take their justification, authority and actions from their reading of it. Welcome to Saudi Arabia, just dont wear red. Black is good. Stick to black. bah! I quote:

“I was so furious last year when I was having a romantic dinner at a restaurant in Jeddah. Haia men marched in and grabbed my husband by his arms and cornered him, while I was surrounded by a number of them asking both of us stupid questions,” said Sara Naseem, a 27-year-old college lecturer.

“I was horrified by how they ambushed us and treated us like we were doing something immoral and inappropriate in public.”

The ban on selling red flowers on Valentine’s Day could have a negative effect on profits, according to florist Alex.

“Our annual plan for Valentine’s Day to keep our profit stable is to sell red flowers and gifts from under the counter or behind closed doors,” he said.

“We don’t sell them to everyone, we only make secret deals with trustworthy people or tell open-minded people to keep ourselves safe. We raise the price from SR10 for a red rose to SR30 because it’s the high season for them.”

While those brilliant defenders of Hinduism, these paragons of Hindu Culture, example of Sri Ram Sene, are doing this this year.

Delhi, Feb 11: Yes, the Sri Ram Sene has reared its ugly head once again. What an apt time but the Valentine's Week to do so. The right-wing sensationalist group who went about doing its own moral policing earlier headed by Pramod Muthalik went on a rampage in Mangalore targetting pubs and youth who were into public display of affection (PDA) over Valentine's Day.

The Sri Ram Sene is also targetting youth but have mellowed down considerably still has frowning eyebrows over PDAs and Valentine's Day in general.

The Sene intends to educate youth and organize a three-day awareness campaign at the north campus of Delhi University and will carry their rhetoric to other colleges in Delhi. They will drill down the fact through their supporters in Delhi that Valentine's Day was against the Indian culture and youth need to shun such celebrations. They have also given an alternative ocassion to celebrate and suggested that they rejoice the festival Basant Panchami instead.
Even if the Sene has shunned violence they have issued a warning to couples who wants to celebrate Valentine's Day come what may. The Sene has stated that the couples who are out to celebrate will be videotaped and the videos telecast through YouTube. The idea behind it being that they would be shamed in front of the entire world. Sene members have armed themselves with many cameras and spycams to capture the 'culprits in action'.
Young, 23 year old Sunil Tyagi, who is also the national spokesperson of Sri Ram Sene and also the Delhi unit president said, "We are not against love. What we are protesting against is the vulgar display of love. We won't allow our culture to be hijacked by foreign multinationals who have introduced concepts like Valentine's Day just to sell cards. When we upload such videos on YouTube, the couples will learn their mistake."

Eight to ten teams will scan the city for violating the Sene values and will spread the message of 'love in a decent manner'. Tyagi added, "Make love, not war is also our slogan. Just do it in the privacy of your rooms and not in public."

None of your business, you dunderhead morons, just bugger off. Better still, go to Saudi Arabia where they seem to like this sort of thing. Quarantine all the religious crazies inside that place, lock the door and throw away the key. Hopefully they can foam and foul each other and leave civilised people alone.

btw, remember the Pink Chaddi Campaign? This was in reaction to these morons.

And over here in the UK, the National Trust is urging people to kiss more and plant mistletoe, how sweet and how green. Kiss and help the planet at the same time? Wonderful idea. See this, you muppets in Saudi and India? Learn.

Then again, a New York Zoo is offering the chance to name a cockroach after their loved ones. These are giant Madagascar Hissing Roaches. Here is a nice video of these little critters.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Facts -- powered by

Maybe we can let loose some valentine day named madagascar hissing cockroaches to the muttawa and the sri ram sene.