Let us now praise famous men turned women

From the Washington Post:

Virginia’s most socially conservative state lawmaker was ousted from office Tuesday by Danica Roem, a Democrat who will be one of the nation’s first openly transgender elected officials and who embodies much of what Del. Robert G. Marshall fought against in Richmond.

The race focused on traffic and other local issues in suburban Prince William County but also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity. It pitted a 33-year-old former journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against a 13-term incumbent who called himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe” and earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee.

“Discrimination is a disqualifier,” a jubilant Roem said Tuesday night as her margin of victory became clear. “This is about the people of the 13th District disregarding fear tactics, disregarding phobias . . . where we celebrate you because of who you are, not despite it.”

Sorry for getting off topic, but having grown up in Virginia with a trans best friend as my rock-climbing buddy, I wanted to celebrate too. Sic semper tyrannus, Cathy.

How to help Puerto Ricans get water and electricity

I’m no former marine electrician, but it’s harder than you’d think. I asked a union friend and he sent me some links. The first one had a default of $9.99 a month and no way to change it. I’m guessing it’s a bit hard for them to update their website without electricity.

This one worked: https://www.fcpr.org/. In case your Spanish is as bad as mine, HAZ TU DONATIVO means exactly what you think it does. Paypal or credit card. If anyone has a better suggestion, please post it.

President Schill reiterates UO commitment to our DACA/Dreamer students

9/4/2017: The full text of President Schill’s message here includes links to UO resources and the UO Dreamers website, here.

Members of the University of Oregon community,

President Trump this week is expected to make changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration policy, also known as DACA. I join hundreds of university leaders as well as local, state, federal, and business leaders in strongly urging President Trump to continue this program. I also write to let our students know that we support them, and to provide information about where our students and their families can go for assistance, should the need arise.

In a world full of ambiguities, there is no ambiguity for me about the importance of continuing DACA. My view of morality dictates that young people, many of whom were brought here as infants or toddlers, must be allowed to remain in the United States to learn, work, and make a life for themselves. The United States is their home. To uproot them would be wrong. Period.

But the argument for DACA doesn’t just rest on principles of morality; it is also good for our country. One of the reasons the United States became the greatest nation in the world is because it was founded, built, and shaped by immigrants. Millions and millions of people, including all of my grandparents, risked everything to come to the United States to escape religious, ethnic, and political oppression or to seek out a better life for their children. The very act of coming here showed grit and determination, the willingness to assume risk, and courage—just the skills necessary to build our nation. …

The UO Senate resolution from last November, written by Prof. Lynn Stephens and other members of the DACA and Undocumented Students Working Group, with cooperation from the UO administration, is here. The video of the Senate meeting is here. Minutes:

4.4 Vote: US16/17-09: Declaring UO a Sanctuary Campus; Lynn Stephen (Anthropology) et al. Lynn Stephen read the motion. She thanked President Schill and Provost Coltrane for their statement on immigration earlier in the day and for working together with the Senate. She noted that over 200 local jurisdictions throughout the United States, though not Lane County, have expressed their unwillingness to help ICE enforce immigration laws.

Motion to adopt. Presented by: _______________. Second: ________________.

Craig Parsons expressed his concern about the Senate addressing issues like this one, which asks the UO to take a position on how it will deal with federal agencies. The previous resolution focused on the university’s own values, but this one requires a political stance from senators who were not elected based on their political beliefs. Jane Cramer said this resolution will make many students she knows feel safer. Chris Chavez said it is important for the university to speak up at critical moments like this.

Vote to adopt. No – 2. Yes – all other votes. Moved/Seconded/Carried.

9/4/2017: Miserable old man finds brief joy in punishing innocent children

Politico has the news on Donald Trump’s decision to repeal the Obama directive that gave temporary residency and a path to citizenship for the children of undocumented immigrants, here. Congress will have 6 months to decide to reinstate it, or not.

Sept 5 downtown Eugene rally against DACA/Dreamer repeal:

By some of the same people who organized the excellent Eugene Anti-Hate march. On Facebook here.

8/14/2017 update: Peaceful Eugene Anti-Hate march from EMU to downtown

Continue reading

Why I love Oregon

More great RG headlines:

“Putting the fun — and education — in fungi”, here.

“Here’s a mushroom that will give you a fun trip, and here’s one that going to kill you,” ,,,

“Someone wants to buy old city dump near Creswell”, here.

Oregon men, and dog, to face jury of their peers after seizing control of BLM badger hole. In the RG here.

OSU researchers lose Waldo Lake battle against Zika mosquitoes

8/1/2016: Anyone have a recent trip report?

UO Matters is now the #3 hit on google when you search for factual information on “Waldo Lake mosquitoes”. Help us get to #1 by sharing your data in the comments. Waldo lake weather forecast here, USFS map here, recreation passes here.

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But before you clog up the boat ramp this weekend trying to get your canoe off the rack (hint: there’s no cellphone reception, so download this helpful guide to knots in Oakridge) take a moment to consider the infamous Waldo Lake mosquitoes, and the risk that you may infect your colleagues or loved ones with the microencephalitic Zika virus.

Environmental extremists have pushed up the price of black market DDT, and while Oregon State researchers have tested an organic alternative at Waldo, and published the results in the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, they apparently failed to persuade our state government to spend the $5,000 needed to defeat this terrorist threat:

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The private sector took up the challenge with a device made from old digital cameras and lasers from broken printers that tracks and incinerates hundreds of mosquitos per minute:

I can only imagine how much money the big-mosquito lobby paid Apple to keep this app off my phone.

9/15/2013: Log of the “Sweet Pea”:

Whilst on a SW tack our lookout detected a canoe in distress. In accordance with the law of the sea, as the nearest vessel we answered the rather giggly SOS. With the wind at force 4 from WNW, we smartly came about and put her in irons at 90 degrees to the swamped vessel. Our able crew inverted same, dragged it aboard the Sweet Pea, righted it, and then assisted the two distressed sea-persons in re-boarding. 2 minutes by the ship’s clock and we were all safely away.

Beaching at our favorite location, we were chased off by some hostile Kiwis. Seriously. But unlike Captain Cook we avoided confrontation and death by moving to another beach, and our only real hardship arose from the fact that each family had assumed it was the other’s turn to bring the beer.

It was the most people I’ve ever seen on Waldo: canoes, kayaks, paddle-boards, inflatables, sailboats, a catamaran, and a misinformed Mackenzie fishing boat.

8/17/2013: 11:30AM-6:00PM. Wind from the west, force 3 on the Beaufort scale. A large gender balanced sample with significant age variation was recruited and informed consent was obtained. The number of mosquito bites was not significantly greater than zero, using a one-tailed test.

8/4/2013: A panel with n=4 and repeated observations from 11AM to 5PM centered around North Bay yielded only a few bites. Water was actually warm enough for swimming. Wind 5-10 knots out of the west. Light haze from the fires, but no smell of smoke. And no stink-pots! Great day.

FEMA: Odds Trump wins presidency same as for deadly Cascadia quake

“13,000 will die … millions of others will be displaced or lose access to power, running water, and functioning sewer systems.”

The most likely outcome, however, is still that Clinton wins, the Democrats take back the Senate, and PLC stands for at least another 10 years. The FEMA risk analysis is linked to here. Predictwise has the betting on Trump here:

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TSA profiling captures microeconomic theorist at work

The WP has the report here:

On Thursday evening, a 40-year-old man — with dark, curly hair, olive skin and an exotic foreign accent — boarded a plane. It was a regional jet making a short, uneventful hop from Philadelphia to nearby Syracuse.

Or so dozens of unsuspecting passengers thought.

The curly-haired man tried to keep to himself, intently if inscrutably scribbling on a notepad he’d brought aboard. His seatmate, a blond-haired, 30-something woman sporting flip-flops and a red tote bag, looked him over. He was wearing navy Diesel jeans and a red Lacoste sweater – a look he would later describe as “simple elegance” – but something about him didn’t seem right to her.

She decided to try out some small talk. Is Syracuse home? She asked. No, he replied curtly.

He similarly deflected further questions. He appeared laser-focused — perhaps too laser-focused — on the task at hand, those strange scribblings.

Rebuffed, the woman began reading her book. Or pretending to read, anyway. Shortly after boarding had finished, she flagged down a flight attendant and handed that crew-member a note of her own.

… this quick-thinking traveler had Seen Something, and so she had Said Something.

That Something she’d seen had been her seatmate’s cryptic notes, scrawled in a script she didn’t recognize. Maybe it was code, or some foreign lettering, possibly the details of a plot to destroy the dozens of innocent lives aboard American Airlines Flight 3950. She may have felt it her duty to alert the authorities just to be safe. The curly-haired man was, the agent informed him politely, suspected of terrorism.

The curly-haired man laughed. He laughed because those scribbles weren’t Arabic, or another foreign language, or even some special secret terrorist code. They were math. Yes, math. A differential equation, to be exact.

Had the crew or security members perhaps quickly googled this good-natured, bespectacled passenger before waylaying everyone for several hours, they might have learned that he — Guido Menzio — is a young but decorated Ivy League economist. And that he’s best known for his relatively technical work on search theory, which helped earn him a tenured associate professorship at the University of Pennsylvania as well as stints at Princeton and Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

The proof?

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