Speaking a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes

PacificStandard

In the midst of a debate over the potential cognitive benefits of learning a second language, new research suggests it may have social value as well. Actually, even being around people who speak different languages may help children learn to take others’ perspectives, making communication more effective for everyone.

“[E]xposure to multiple languages is, and has been for millennia, an integral part of human development,” writes a team led by University of Chicago psychology graduate student Samantha Fan in Psychological Science. “Children in multilingual environments routinely have the opportunity to track who speaks which language, who understands which content, and who can converse with whom,” suggesting that language exposure may help them better comprehend the social aspects of conversation. In particular, the team argues, it might help kids learn an important skill, albeit one that’s difficult to master: taking the perspectives of the people they’re listening to.

Much of the academic debate over the consequences of multilingualism centers on executive control, the mental capacity to manage cognitive processes—for example, the ability to read a book while ignoring others’ conversations in a noisy coffee shop, or the skill to manage many different concerns while making a political decision.

 

The results were clear: Both bilinguals and, remarkably, monolinguals with foreign-language experience scored about 75 percent on ambiguous instructions, compared to plain old monolinguals’ 50 percent. Apparently, kids who’d at least heard more than one language understood more often than not which car the director could see and moved that one, while other children seemed to ignore than information and chose which car to move at random.

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Filed under Culture, Education

Matthew McConaughey receives standing ovation from grads: Don’t be a victim, life’s not fair

WashingtonExaminer

Congratulations class of 2015,” Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey told the graduating class at the University of Houston Friday. “Life’s not fair. It never was, isn’t now and won’t ever be. Do not fall into the entitled trap of feeling like you’re a victim. You are not.”

“Get over it and get on with it,” he said. “Yes, most things are more rewarding when you break a sweat to get them.”

McConaughey received a standing ovation from the UH class of 2015 for the commencement speech he gave after being booed at the Cannes Film Festival the day before.

The five key things the actor defines himself by are: fatherhood, being a good husband, health, career and friendships. “I want to keep all five in healthy shape,” he said. “If I don’t keep maintenance on them, one of them is going to get weak.”

He told graduates to do things for the joy of it, and success will follow. “As soon as the work, the daily making of the movie, the doing of the deed became the reward in itself for me,” he said, “I got more box office, more accolades, more respect than I ever had before.”

“Personally, as an actor, I started enjoying my work and literally being more happy when I stopped trying to make the daily labor a means to a certain end,” McConaughey, a native Texan, told the 4,300 graduates.

In very-McConaughey fashion, he said: “The truth’s all around us all the time. … Put yourself in place to receive the truth.”

The actor was paid over $140,000 for the speech, 100 percent of which he announced he will donate to his non-profit the Just Keep Living Foundation.

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Filed under *Trigger Warning!*, Americana, Culture, Education

Paid Ferguson protestors now protesting over not getting paid

AllenWest

According to the Washington Times, the “Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) has been paying protesters $5,000 a month to demonstrate in Ferguson. Last week, hired protesters who haven’t been paid held a sit-in at MORE’s offices and posted a demand letter online. Hired protesters with the Black Lives Matter movement have started a #CutTheCheck hashtag and held a sit-in at the offices for the successor group to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in Missouri after the group allegedly stopped paying them.”

First of all, can you even imagine getting paid $5,000.00 A MONTH for running around holding a sign and burning down an occasional building? That’s around $1,250.00 per week. Try making that at McDonalds or Starbucks. And not only that, but if you are unlucky enough to get arrested Ms. Beyoncé will bail you out.

“MORE is the re-branded Missouri branch of ACORN, which filed for bankruptcy in late 2010, FrontPage reported. MORE and other groups supporting the Black Lives Matter movement have received millions of dollars from billionaire financier George Soros. The group Millennial Activists United posted a letter on their blog demanding MORE “cut the checks” to demonstrators.

Sounds like the “protestors” need to form a union and get legal representation. Come on Mr. Soros, these guys worked their behinds off over there in Ferguson. Cut them a check!

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Filed under "Community Organizers", ACORN, Cronyism, Culture, Democrats, Elitism, Entitlement, Hypocrisy, Liberals, Politics, Socialism

Is Hillary’s Candidacy Just Another Business Deal?

Probably…

Jennifer Rubin notes this morning that Hillary’s obviously terrible campaign skills are getting noticed in the mainstream media. It’s so bad that Hillary is actually going to launch her campaign a second time next month with a big public rally.

It is said that a lot of second- and third-tier Republican candidates (Carson, Huckabee, Fiorina, etc) are only running to enable them to get nice post-campaign media contracts from Fox News, and in a similar vein I’ve been wondering whether Hillary’s entire candidacy isn’t basically the same thing, just on the Clinton scale. And apparently I’m not the only one thinking this.

My new theory is that indeed Hillary wants the nomination primarily for the market value it would confer on Clinton Inc., but that neither she nor Bill would mind her losing because it will cement their stratospheric market value for another decade either way. After all, once Obama becomes an ex-president, he’s going to become the top liberal draw—unless you are the first major party woman nominee for president. And if she happens to win, so much the better for Bill, who can keep charging $500,000 a speech.  (What? You think he’ll actually be the “first man” of the nation, taking on some kind of charitable cause like first ladies always have? Do you really not know the Clintons yet?)

Some enterprising reporter should ask whether Bill and Chelsea will continue to make paid speeches if she’s in the White House. If Hillary every answers a media question again.

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Filed under Cronyism, Culture, Democrats, Elitism, Entitlement, Fundraising, Hypocrisy, Liberals, Politics, Stupidity, Useful Idiots

I think it’s called “Weather”…

Former UN Lead Author: Global Warming Caused By ‘Natural Variations’ In Climate

Global temperature change observed over the last hundred years or so is well within the natural variability of the last 8,000 years, according to a new paper by a former Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) lead author.

Dr. Philip Lloyd, a South Africa-based physicist and climate researcher, examined ice core-based temperature data going back 8,000 years to gain perspective on the magnitude of global temperature changes over the 20th Century.

What Lloyd found was that the standard deviation of the temperature over the last 8,000 years was about 0.98 degrees Celsius– higher than the 0.85 degrees climate scientists say the world has warmed over the last century.

“This suggests that while some portion of the temperature change observed in the 20th century was probably caused by greenhouse gases, there is a strong likelihood that the major portion was due to natural variations,” Lloyd wrote in his study.

The United Nations’ IPCC claims there’s been 0.85 degrees Celsius of warming since the late 1800s, and concludes that most of this warming is due to human activities– mainly, the burning of fossil fuels and changes in land use. The IPCC says that “more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010” have been caused by human activity.

If Lloyd’s results hold, the IPCC may have to revise how much warming it attributes to mankind. In any case, the IPCC’s estimate of man-made and natural warming (0.85 degrees) is still below the standard deviation for the last 8,000, according to Lloyd’s results. This means that warming is not very significant within the context of the Earth’s recent climate history.

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Filed under "Global Warming", Ecology, Stupidity, Useful Idiots

Obama’s answer to Bagdad Bob…

Dumbfounded Americans UNLOAD on Marie Harf’s unbelievable statement: ‘Iraqi forces held their lines’

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf gave the Iraqi army props following the fall of Ramadi.

Never mind that Iraqi forces cut and ran, surrendering the city to Islamic State militants.

“The Iraqi security forces have held their lines on the outside of the city,” Harf told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday.

Talk about putting lipstick on a pig, that’s taking spin to a whole new level.

Bloomberg columnist Josh Rogin posted Harf’s comment on Twitter and the reaction indicates that the Obama administration is fooling very few people these days.

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Filed under Politics, Stupidity, Government, Democrats, Terrorism, "Transparency", President, Useful Idiots, Liberals, Elitism, "Intelligence", Middle East, Hypocrisy, Cronyism, Entitlement, Iraq, ISIS

Why should she? He was one of the little people…

EMAIL: HILLARY DIDN’T KNOW DEAD AMBASSADOR’S NAME

The night a U.S. ambassador was killed in a terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, Hillary Clinton sent a message three senior State Department officials.

The recepients were Jake Sullivan, Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Secretary of State Clinton, Cheryl Mills, an adviser to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and Counselor and Chief of Staff to the Secretary, and Victoria Jane Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.

“Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?” Clinton says in the email, time stamped 11:38 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2012.

The email had as its subject line: “Chris Smith.” The murdered ambassador was Chris Stevens.

The Secretary of State didn’t even know the name of the U.S. ambassador to Libya — even after terrorists stormed an American compound and killed him.

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Filed under Benghazi, Cronyism, Democrats, Elitism, Entitlement, Hypocrisy, Liberals, Politics, Stupidity, Terrorism, Useful Idiots

It’s a dud…

FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating.

Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.

The FBI did finally come up with procedures to try to minimize the information it was gathering on nontargets, but it took far too long, Mr. Horowitz said in the 77-page report, which comes just as Congress is trying to decide whether to extend, rewrite or entirely nix Section 215.

The new report adds ammunition to those opponents, with the inspector general concluding that no major cases have been broken by use of the Patriot Act’s records-snooping provisions.

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Filed under FBI, Government, Surveillance

Bobby Jindal on Religious Liberty Order: ‘Don’t Waste Your Time Trying to Bully Me in Louisiana’

DailySignal

Defying state legislators who rejected a measure that sought to protect “the right of conscience as it relates to marriage,” Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal acted on his own Tuesday.

“I’m going to do anything I can to protect religious liberty,” the Republican governor told The Daily Signal in a phone interview on Wednesday.

His executive order, issued after state legislators voted down the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act, prohibits “all departments, commissions, boards, agencies, and political subdivision of the state” from discriminating against people or businesses with deeply held religious beliefs about marriage.

“My executive order accomplishes the intent of the [Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act]. It prevents the state from discriminating against people or their business with deeply held religious beliefs,” Jindal said.

Jindal believes that both sides of the debate should be able to tolerate one another’s stance on marriage, but has a stern message for those who believe business owners must check their religious beliefs at the door:

“Don’t waste your breath trying to bully me in Louisiana,” he said. “It is absolutely constitutional to have religious liberty and economic freedoms.”

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Christianity, Culture, Economics, Homofascism, LGBT, Politics, Relationships, Religion, Religious Freedom, Traditional marriage

Franklin Graham Speaks Out Against School District’s Sex Ed Program as Being a ‘Poison’ Aimed at ‘Brainwashing’ Children to Believe Their Gender Can Change Over Time

Fluid spectrum” of sexuality??

Leading evangelist Franklin Graham has spoken out against a Virginia school district that’s weighing a curriculum change to its family life classes that focus on educating students on the “fluid spectrum” of sexuality, which would include teaching the concept that one’s sexuality “evolves” throughout his or her lifetime.

The Fairfax County School Board will introduce on Thursday recommendations provided by its Family Life Education curriculum subcommittee suggesting that the school district teach middle and high schools students about transgenderism, gender identity and sexual identity.

According to a 28-page recommendation report by the subcommittee, starting in the eighth grade, students in the county would be taught that sexuality is a “broader spectrum.”

“Students will identify that development of individual identity occurs over a lifetime and includes the component of sexual orientation and gender identity,” the report states. “Individual identity will also be described as having four parts — biological gender, gender identity (includes transgender), gender role, and sexual orientation (includes heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual). The concept that sexuality is a broader spectrum will be introduced.”

In ninth and tenth grades, students would be taught that their sexual orientation could naturally shift throughout their lifetimes.

After reading about the subcommittee’s proposal in a Fox News article, Graham, who is the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, took to Facebook to offer his opinion that the subcommittee’s recommendations are nothing more than “poison” and an attempt to “brainwash” students.

“Can you believe these idiots? Gender fluidity? Here’s an example of some of the wicked things misguided educators today want to expose our children to,” Graham wrote. “It should make your blood boil that they want to brainwash our children! Teaching them that there is no difference between boys and girls is nothing more than a lie. We are different because God made us different. School districts should not allow this poison anywhere near the classroom!”

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Filed under "Political Correctness", Abuse of Power, Education, Homofascism, LGBT, Religion, Stupidity, Useful Idiots