Archive for US politics

International Women’s Day 2023 [and how far from a fair society…]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2023 by xi'an

surveying homelessness

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2023 by xi'an

A recent NYT article, entitled “582,462 and Counting“, is describing how the USA Federal Administation is running a yearly survey of homeless people. By sending agents and volunteers in the streets and shelters to get an idea of the magnitude of the problem. The figure of 582,462 was the one produced by HUD (the US Department of Housing and Urban Development) for 2022. In the methodological instructions related to this survey,  I could not find any mention of an advanced statistical technique such as capture-recapture. Despite a possible call to statistical software

The next step is to enter data from the survey into a computer program, such as SPSS, SAS, Excel, or the CoCs’ HMIS.

And both undercount and overcount are not formally addressed

CoCs must ensure that during the PIT count homeless persons are only counted once. It is critical that the counting methods be coordinated to ensure that there is no double-counting. Therefore, CoCs must also collect sufficient information to be able to deduplicate the PIT count (i.e. ensure that the same homeless person was not counted more than once.

(where CoC stands for Continuum of Care and PiT Point-in-Time). (I remember discussing homeless surveys in the 1990’s with researchers from INED, albeit they had already launched their survey and would thus be unable to “recapture” interviewees.)

Waco, indeed… [my body, your choice]

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2022 by xi'an

Just read a terrible story in The New York Time Magazine about a pregnant Texan teenager with absentee parents being denied abortion (in the Roe vs. Wade past era) by a Waco judge on the basis that “she was not mature enough to make that decision”… Leading to the irrational conclusion that she was deemed to be mature enough to raise children since she was to continue her pregnancy till delivery. Unsurprisingly, the story does not end up well.

“The question of “maturity” is open to wildly different interpretations, particularly when assessed by a judge who answers to voters (…)The maturity test was not about a teenager’s ability to weigh the benefits and risks of her medical choice.”


more threats on reproductive rights

Posted in Books, Kids, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2022 by xi'an

Despite the slightly positive attitude of the US electorate during the midterms towards abortion and reproductive rights, especially concerning ballots specifically targeting those rights, these elections did not see a shift in the States already suppressing these rights since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Incl. ten States where abortion is completely prohibited. And, unsatisfied with the outcome, US Catholic bishops have reinforced their anti-abortion activism with the election of Archbishop Broglio, under the newspeak slogan of fighting “an uncompromising secularism” [sic] even though the Supreme Court is so much bent in implementing a Catholic agenda. Most revealingly, they “worried that many Catholics actually support abortion rights under certain circumstances“. (Next they will think for themselves!)

Meanwhile, the far-right  National Front proposed to enshrine the right to abortion into the French constitution, incl. the current limitation to 14 weeks into pregnancy. This sounds most paradoxical from a party that has long been opposed to abortion rights. A first reason is to block in the near future any extension of the limitation. A second one is to protect and enlarge the conscience clause that protects practicians who refuse to perform abortions, clause that can be used to prohibit in practice abortions in an entire city or district if all local doctors claim this exemption (as exemplified by Italy)… The attempt was however short-cut at the eleventh hour by the [almost] entire Parliament moving towards this inclusion of the right to abortion without the snares planned by the far-right party. (But it is no over yet!)

cower [cover]

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2022 by xi'an

%d bloggers like this: