INTERESTING: Probability lessons for weighing the odds  

From The Times
January 5, 2009
Probability lessons may teach children how to weigh life’s odds and be winners
Professor wants ‘risk literacy’ on the curriculum Risk literacy could be taught as part of maths, science, or civics and personal and social education
Mark Henderson, Science Editor

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Professor Spiegelhalter’s four rules of risk, which he says everyone should know

* Stuff happens We cannot predict exactly how every precise event will turn out, but we can often predict the overall pattern of events surprisingly well

* Compare like with like If you want to show that speed cameras reduce road traffic accident rates, don’t just put them in places that have just had a run of accidents

* What am I not being told? This person may well have got better after she took this wonder treatment, but how many other people’s stories are not being featured?

* Twice not-very-much is still not very much Increasing a tiny risk may not be so important: almost everything interesting might help and it might also harm. The trick is working out the balance for you

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NATIONAL: Expansion Of SCHIP Passes

Expansion Of SCHIP Passes, Millions Of Kids Get Health Insurance
February 1, 2009

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The Senate has agreed with the House and has approved an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), supplying millions of low-income children with health insurance.<br /> ….Washington (dbTechno) – The Senate has agreed with the House and has approved an expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), supplying millions of low-income children with health insurance.

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While on the surface this seems that it’s a “great idea”, however let’s look at the “silent victim”. The taxpayer. We are getting hammered all over the place.

Is it efficient to send money to Washington in taxes? After all they take half for handling to send it to the states, the states “handle” it, and “distribute” it. What the “load” or losses do to friction of all those hands.

Is it effective to “insure” children in this manner? It’s not MY problem that parents haven’t provided for their children. I am taxed to educate them even though I had no part in the decision to have them or anything else. I’m not taxed to feed them. YET? Is that next?


And, we are sending a message to parents that they can’t take care of their own children without the gooferment. What happens when the choices conflict? You know they will. And, the queues for service and reimbursement?


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GUNS: ‘Defiance’ — “Without a rifle, you are nothing”

Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Vanderboegh: ‘Defiance’ — “Without a rifle, you are nothing”


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Though the movie may insert inappropriate comic relief and its versions of the Bielski brothers are at times so incompetent that they would not have survived for a week, let alone for years, it does what Holocaust movies all too often avoid doing, it focuses on the survival. The Germans, when they arrive, are soldiers in gray moving in and out. The locals collaborate or don’t, for their own reasons. There is no moral to be learned, except that if you want to live and want others to live, you must be prepared to do what it takes.

That is the first and foremost lesson of the Holocaust to be learned. For all the unanswered moral, philosophical and theological questions– the bottom line is that millions of Jews were killed, because they could be. The only true defense against a Holocaust is the ability to resist and to survive one.

Before the State of Israel was officially declared, the Bielskis made their own Jewish state in a forest, to live as free men and women mere kilometers from their would be killers, and though like the real state and its real leaders, they may have been flawed, their triumph is not some uplifting moral, but a matter of accomplishment, the 1200 they hid in the forest against all odds, and through determination and hard work, they did not become victims or fatalities, they survived. And through their guidance and efforts so did 1200 others.

No higher praise is needed.

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Makes me want to see it even more.

Hopefully, this isn’t a portend of things to come in America.

Disarming the people is the first step on a short road to genocide!

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