Friday assorted links

Comments

#7 - Prediction - This year will be worse.

#5 and 7 Prediction. This year will be worse.

5. Douglas Rushkoff, writing for the Edge question bonds anti-science to rejection of deep time and evolution. It is something I hesitate about, thinking perhaps that a little cognitive dissonance is OK. You can say be a good surgeon, while answering religious questions the "right" way.

But if Rushkoff is right, and is important that we acknowledge deep time, then there is only one politics that supports it - the religious right.

Cherry picking "issues" doesn't seem to capture as much as that one big divide.

#5 Conservatives attack social science, and the natural sciences, significantly more than liberals. Pretending otherwise is just silly.

Yes, but our attacks are ones the purveyors of academic nonsense have earned and deserve, and pretending otherwise is just silly.

Those scheming climate scientists!

Which non-schemers are paying Michael Mann's legal bills?

The totality of AGW is ignored in favor of particular scapegoats. http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2015/12/the-components-of-agw.html

Aaron J,

Could you please answer the question?

Who is paying Mann's legal bills?

It is one level of sad that people think billing proves science, but it is a whole other level of sad that they forget the Exxon case at the same time.

Hey, Aaron J, when you ask the question : "do you believe in global warming" what, exactly do you mean?

Do you have any idea what you are asking? Or are you simply asking : "are you on my team?"

"Do you believe in global warming or do you think its all a hoax?"

Let me help clarify.

1) do you believe the planet is warming outside the parameters of historic natural volatility

2) do you believe the planet is warming since the beginning of the century

3) do you believe the planet is warming since the little ice age

4) do you think the planet is warming because of human activity - if yes, mostly or partially

5) do you think the planet is warming and this is a net cost for life on earth

6) do you think the planet is warming, humans are mostly responsible but current policies won't effect temperature and only divert money from addressing poverty and disease

7) do you think the planet is warming, that people are responsible, but that it is helping to mitigate a cycle of cooling.

I suggest that rather than asking people if they "believe" like a pastor waving a bible at his congregation, that you step back and appreciate this issue is far too complex for certainty on either side.

I have a shorter test. Can you read the NOAA pages without shouting "liars!", spittle sticking to your screen?

If you can make it through a few pages quietly, you are OK, you are sane.

a) I really enjoy that you consider acceptance of your favored source as the test of thought purity. The inquisition has nothing on you. Theist.

b) Further, those pages don't make too many unsubstantiated claims. The only times it strays off of the straight and narrow is when (a) it makes predictions of future sea rise and temperate without stating the rather large gaps in our knowledge, and when it picks non-standard dates for historical data. These are probably editorial issues with the subset of NOAA that are serious climate theists.

BTW, neither you no your theist friend have given a clear explanation of what the phrase "do you believe in climate change" means. But such is the way of dogma, I suppose.

Alain you can type "what is climate change?" into Google and it tells you. Then you can decide if you believe what Google says. Let us know.

No, theist,

Formulate your question and pose it. Say what you beleive/think you know.

Of course the real reason you play such games is that you know nothing and are nothing. You are a zero.

I wonder if Alain knows how he comes off or not.

Chip - Three questions. 1) Do you believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. 2) Do you believe that we are emitting greenhouse gases. 3) Are you aware of any mechanism whatsoever which would cause additional CO2 to not warm the planet.

I believe that a) CO2 is a greenhouse gas, b) we are emitting more of it, c) there are many underlying patterns and causes in climate making it difficult to know whether in the absence of rising CO2 we should be expecting warming or cooling, d) regardless of the answers to (c) we should expect more CO2 to make the planet warmer, and e) we don't know how fast natural systems are absorbing CO2 making it difficult to accurately predict how much warming to expect.

The question is not IF warming, but HOW MUCH warming.

> The question is not IF warming, but HOW MUCH warming.

The scientific question Nathan, is "what is the climate sensitivity of CO2". The answer is: we do not have a firm grasp on that number due to the complexity of the system.

Without a firm grasp of the climate sensitivity of CO2 attempting to make predictions as to the cost of CO2 is simply pissing in the wind. Or signaling. Probably signaling.

> The cost is somewhere between enormous and ginormous.

Show you work, theist.

We don't know the costs since the models are not even close to complete yet. They are somewhere between negative and positive infinity.

> 50 years too late to do anything about it.

Show your work, theist.

We don’t know the costs since the models are not even close to complete yet. They are somewhere between negative and positive infinity.

The costs are highly unlikely to be negative and even zero would be pretty stunning. To assert zero cost you are essentially saying a UFO that wanders by and would like to replace all the oxygen with CO2 in our air should be charged nothing since it would impose no cost on us....even though every single human would have to rely upon bottled oxygen or die. If you think the cost is negative then you are saying we should pay the UFO for 'helping' jumpstart the bottled oxygen industry!

In reality there is no need to demand 'cost models'. Today we have no 'cost model' that says your neighbor has a right to dump his garbage on your lawn. It is your lawn and he has no right to dump his junk on it. Suppose he can prove he is running a business that is so important it would double the GDP of the US, eliminate unemployment, balance the budget, etc etc and you don't care about your lawn? Not relevant, your lawn. If dumping junk on your lawn is so important, then your neighbor would have no problem offering you thousands, millions, even billions for the right to do so. In deriving property rights laws, there isn't a need to develop an intricate model to correctly price how much you value your clean lawn versus the possibility that your neighbor's life might be amazingly better if he could litter on it.

Boonton January 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm

The costs are highly unlikely to be negative and even zero would be pretty stunning. To assert zero cost you are essentially saying a UFO that wanders by and would like to replace all the oxygen with CO2 in our air should be charged nothing since it would impose no cost on us….even though every single human would have to rely upon bottled oxygen or die.

That is an interesting analogy. But it is only true if offering you a glass of water on a hot day is the same as dropping you in the middle of the Atlantic with concrete weights on your feet. We do not know the cost of the small amounts of CO2 we have added to the atmosphere but given that it causes greater plant growth - to the extent that some Greenhouses added it artificially - it is likely to have a period where it is a benefit before it reaches a point where it is neutral which in turn will be before it becomes a problem.

Today we have no ‘cost model’ that says your neighbor has a right to dump his garbage on your lawn. It is your lawn and he has no right to dump his junk on it.

But we have no law that says your neighbor is to blame if his trees drip rain water over the fence on your lawn. You are assuming that CO2 is like junk. Why?

Alain

I hereby single handedly demonstrate the costs of climate change. Also, all appropriate timelines for preventative measures. All of which has yet to be completed by collectives of thousands of PhD holders who have spent years and decades refining the models.

And I do so to 0.01% accuracy.

Because in the real world businesses and governments wait until they have 99.99% certainty until they lift a finger in response to risk. For example, in the real world the USA never spends a trillion dollars invading Iraq on the basis of a rumour (lie?), because we need 99.9% certainty, with accuracy of estimates to many decimal places, before we do anything.

Because we are smart and good at managing risk. Like terrorism, which kills less people in the USA than falling in bathtubs, but for which people are falling over themselves to give up civil liberties and enable the massive expansion of the police state.

If you want to find the information it's out there.

SMFS - It seems that you may not understand what "greenhouse effect" means.

A greenhouse works because it allows light to pass through and traps light-related heat inside. There is no such thing as CO2 fertilization in commercial greenhouses. I repeat, it's about trapping heat, not CO2. Glass has a greenhouse effect. Polythethylene has a greenhouse effect. All sorts of things have greenhouse effects.

Yes, all else equal, more CO2 (a greenhouse gas) has a marginal positive impact on plant growth. However, during the growing season, heat stress can severely negatively impact plant growth. If all else is NOT equal, namely things get warmer, it is expected that in most (but not all) growing regions, especially the ones where people are already the poorest (the tropics), additional heat stress during the growing season will have severe negative effects on agricultural productivity.

Ever try growing tomatoes at 40C? Now try at 42C and tell me what happens. How about for wheat and corn? Loads and loads of studies have been done on this question (look up CO2 fertilization and heat stress), and few to none think the CO2 fertilization effect will more than counterbalance the negative impact of additional heat stress.

Nathan W January 3, 2016 at 1:28 am

It seems that you may not understand what “greenhouse effect” means. A greenhouse works because it allows light to pass through and traps light-related heat inside. There is no such thing as CO2 fertilization in commercial greenhouses. I repeat, it’s about trapping heat, not CO2.

What a shame I know so little about greenhouses. As it turns out your own government seems to think there is such a thing as CO2 fertilization in commercial greenhouses:

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm

The benefits of carbon dioxide supplementation on plant growth and production within the greenhouse environment have been well understood for many years.

.....

For the majority of greenhouse crops, net photosynthesis increases as CO2 levels increase from 340–1,000 ppm (parts per million). Most crops show that for any given level of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), increasing the CO2 level to 1,000 ppm will increase the photosynthesis by about 50% over ambient CO2 levels.

But what would I and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture know about Greenhouses?

Yes, all else equal, more CO2 (a greenhouse gas) has a marginal positive impact on plant growth.

Marginal? That sounds very impressive. As if you have studied this issue. 50% more photosynthesis. That doesn't sound marginal to me. Could you please define "marginal" for me?

However, during the growing season, heat stress can severely negatively impact plant growth.

So it can. But it rarely does.

Ever try growing tomatoes at 40C? Now try at 42C and tell me what happens.

Tomatoes don't mind 42 C heat. As long as they get enough water.

How about for wheat and corn? Loads and loads of studies have been done on this question (look up CO2 fertilization and heat stress), and few to none think the CO2 fertilization effect will more than counterbalance the negative impact of additional heat stress.

That there is a wealth of poor information for you to google does not mean much. We don't know what heat stress will do. We do not know what slightly increasing CO2 levels will do. We can be pretty sure it won't be too bad.

And after all, most of the world's crops are grown in areas that are already marginal for agriculture. Mainly because they are so cold. The Great Plains of the US, Canada, Ukraine, Russia, and Australia. Warming of 2 C would improve the first four. In some of those places maize won't even grow because it is not warm enough. It may have an impact on places like Bangladesh. It is unlikely to do so. Crops like rice seem to prefer even warmer conditions and higher CO2 levels.

We can triple the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and only expect good results from the world's plants.

> Because in the real world businesses and governments wait until they have 99.99% certainty until they lift a finger in response to risk.

Always the same with you theists. 1st you demonstrated that you have little idea about the models about which you hang all of your believes, not understanding their key parameters and outputs. Now you insinuate that the models are outputting exceptionally reliable data.

Adults know that predicting the future is very difficult unless we have reliable models governing the phenomena in question. And as the time horizion of the prediction is extended further out the models need to be more robust. Sadly, our current climate models are not robust. Further, our models for the economic impact of warming ceteris paribus, are almost non-existent. FURTHER, we have absolutely no models for the impact given human adaption without any technologies, and finally we have no way of predicting future human innovation in this area and its results on the costs.

This is why, Nathan, that adults don't care one iota about this topic and we despise the religious wackos who continually harp that other people's money must be spent to fight this unknown threat.

That is an interesting analogy. But it is only true if offering you a glass of water on a hot day is the same as dropping you in the middle of the Atlantic with concrete weights on your feet. We do not know the cost of the small amounts of CO2 we have added to the atmosphere but given that it causes greater plant growth – to the extent that some Greenhouses added it artificially – it is likely to have a period where it is a benefit before it reaches a point where it is neutral which in turn will be before it becomes a problem. -

We are already putting a lot of CO2 in the air and the only benefit identified might be slightly better plant growth in some areas and nicer weather in a few spots (Bjorm Lomborg covered this years ago in The Skeptical Environmentalist). These benefits are marginal and we know they can be achieved by other means since if that wasn't the case those benefitting could simply pay to have other people burn lots of carbon. But in the case of plants it would clearly be cheaper to simply pipe CO2 into the air around the plants you want to grow than pay the whole world to make extra CO2 just to give your plants a few parts per million more of it. Likewise in the case of nicer weather, you can obtain additional warmth by simply burning carbon near you or moving to a warmer place. In other words, if you want your home to be warmer, you can burn a little carbon in your gas furnance and get the job done with a lot less fanfare than trying to get the world to burn an extra tillion tons of carbon so you're neighborhood is a degree warmer.

As I pointed out with the UFO hypothetical, the costs do not go to infinity. Even having our entire atmosphere replaced w/CO2 could make sense....if the UFO paid us well enough that we could build enclosed life supporting structures to keep us alive and well compensated for our trouble!

So the case that we are still anywhere near a point where additional carbon would be a net plus cannot be made. So CO2 imposes a net cost and currently the 'price' is being set around $0 or even less (since fossil fuels are actually net subsidized in many places!). Your argument against doing something is less plausible now since we know the current price is wrong and getting more wrong as time goes on and any change will be a move in the right direction.

Also carbon moves in one direction over our lifetimes. If we overshoot the 'correct price' of carbon it isn't like all that unburned coal, oil and gas disappears. It doesn't go anywhere. We can always take advantage of it in the future by burning the stuff we held off on when we thought warming was a huge problem. The flip side is not nearly as easy. If we release too much CO2 there's no cheap ways in terms of either time or cost to remove it.

But we have no law that says your neighbor is to blame if his trees drip rain water over the fence on your lawn. You are assuming that CO2 is like junk.

If you would benefit greatly from your neighbor's rain water but you have no legal right to it you can contract with him by offering to pay him divert some or all of his rain water onto your property.

That excuses nothing. Orwellianism is not ok, but neither is Stalinism. And in my case, it hurts more when this insanity comes from the left, because they were my last hope for preserving our collective decency and sanity.

On the left you're more likely to find the attitude that while our side has its crazies, they were provoked into being outrageous or nutty by a worser evil. Even a hardcore post-colonial theorist is unlikely to think that rather basic women's rights and atheism are bad per se, just that they're too bound up in imperial aggression to non-problematically promote.

Who on the right blames the left for their believing in creationism? Nay, it's only because the left hasn't been 100% successful that ANYONE still believes in it.

Even a hardcore post-colonial theorist is unlikely to think that rather basic women’s rights and atheism are bad per se, just that they’re too bound up in imperial aggression to non-problematically promote.

There are certainly female academics who will defend Female Genital Mutilation when done by Africans. That seems a little bit of a direct assault on women's rights to me. But they do not seem to think so. Such a defense is not unusual on the Left and it does not cause shaming or firing in academia.

"Who on the right blames the left for their believing in creationism?"

Well why would the Right blame anyone for that? A tolerant bunch they are. But Chomsky has an odd attitude to evolution that some people have remarked on. He is a well paid up member of the Khmer Rouge style Left so he can get away with it. No one criticizes him for it.

Every time you reference Khmer Rouge or Pol Pot, it significantly takes away credibility from what you're saying.

Nathan W, Noam Chomsky and Edward Hermann did in fact publish an article in The Nation defending the Khmer Rouges. The editor who approved it for publication was named Blair Clark. Academics and opinion journalists who defended the Khmer Rouges also included Malcolm Caldwell and Gareth Porter. It was not common at the time to do so, but the Khmer Rouges did have these five men in their corner.

they were my last hope for preserving our collective decency and sanity

You're last hope for preserving collective decency and sanity favors a legal regime which permits abortion on demand (1.3 million dismembered fetuses per annum), unilateral divorce on demand, the revival of debtors' prisons for divorced fathers (a comfortable majority of whom were put out on the curb for no very distinct or specific reason), homosexual pseudogamy, tearing up the constitution to promote the social fads of the legal profession, harassment of cops to the point where they cannot do their jobs properly, rampant street crime, ineffectual and disorderly primary and secondary schooling, tertiary schooling addled by nitwit official ideologies, tertiary schooling ruined by institutional politics, a civil service staffed with impregnable incompetents, a welfare system run so as to leave no social worker behind; promiscuous corruption borne of patron-client relationships between politicians, commercial and industrial sectors, and state agencies; and the manufacture of pseudo-professions maintained by pseudo-education and occupational licensing (see social work and teacher training). Did I mention the utter lack of patriotism? The utter indifference to the welfare of non-exotic working-class people?

There's not much point in discussing many of these points because they are emotional issues which are not easily discussed using much of any sort of logic.

But "harassment of cops to the point where they cannot do their jobs"? Come on, all people want is for cops to stop covering up their crimes. People can understand that the job is dangerous and the mistakes will be made.

Want to arrest a man? There is never ever ever a single reason to punch or kick a man to get the cuffs on. Any bit of violence after the cuffs are on is too much. We need real police, not hired thugs.

I am intrigued. Suppose a police officer comes across a man who is high on PCP and is engaged in beating some random woman with a 2x4.

What is your advice in this situation? What should the officer do? The suspect is, I think we can agree, likely to resist. He is also likely to be strong enough that the police officer isn't going to win that fight.

Is your solution ..... to wait until his arm gets tired and he stops?

It is all well and good asking people nicely not to commit crimes. But not all of us are law abiding members of the community. Some people are kind of bad. If police are not allowed to use force, what can they do?

Next you can posit the ticking bomb scenario.

What if he's trying to sell cigarettes illegally? Or is a 12 yo kid with pellet gun?

Seems to me NRA types would support kids with pellet guns. I grew up on a farm and before I could shoot a rifle or shotgun I had to learn with a pellet gun.

If thousands of people are marching because a cop came across a man beating a woman with a 2x4 and shot him when he refused to stop, I won't join it.

Please do us a service and alert us if such a march is scheduled to take place.

So both of you have no other response other than to change the subject? Notice what was claimed:

There is never ever ever a single reason to punch or kick a man to get the cuffs on. Any bit of violence after the cuffs are on is too much. We need real police, not hired thugs.

Any use of violence in making an arrest is out. That is what was claimed. It is about as extreme a statement as someone can make. So do you support it? No policeman is ever allowed to use his night stick? He is never allowed to use force to subdue a suspect?

As for selling cigarettes, laws don't come with a "Oh sucks, we don't mean it" label. When people pass laws, those laws get enforced. People die from time to time due to that enforcement. Especially if they are fat and have a health condition and then choose to fight with the police. You don't like it? Put a label on the laws you don't mean telling the police not to enforce them. Or don't pass them at all. But if you ask for more policing, you will get more policing.

Nathan's comment was a bit unclear. He first said there was never a reason to punch or kick to get cuffs on, then he said there is never an excuse for violence after cuffs are on.

Never, is, an extreme word. For example, if you are arresting a ninja and after you cuff his hands he starts kicking people in the head and jumping all around ala Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon then yes, I concur arresting officers would be justified in using violence to complete the arrest. But is that what anyone here has really been asserting?

I'm with Boontoon.

SMFS - I never said "Any use of violence in making an arrest is out." I said you never need to kick or punch a man to cuff him.

The should use as much violence as necessary to get him/her in cuffs, and no more. How much violence? As much as it takes. One punch or kick after the cuffs are on? The cop should lose his/her job and be barred from the service for life. We don't need violent criminals in the police force - they do more damage than good.

Cops always say they need public trust to do their jobs. That kind of policy would get instant public trust, if enforced.

Boonton January 2, 2016 at 3:02 pm

He first said there was never a reason to punch or kick to get cuffs on, then he said there is never an excuse for violence after cuffs are on.

So how do you restrain the PCP-using thug in question? Notice, not one recent "scandal" has involved a policeman throwing a punch or a kick. So what people like Nathan object to is more than punches. What types of physical force are allowable?

As for after the cuffs are on, if a man is violent and using PCP he can be battering his way through brick walls for hours. How precisely do you restrain him even after the cuffs are on? Wait for him to get tired? How will you explain those injuries to the coroner? He was bashing his brains out and so we stood around and watched?

Never, is, an extreme word. For example, if you are arresting a ninja and after you cuff his hands he starts kicking people in the head and jumping all around ala Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon then yes, I concur arresting officers would be justified in using violence to complete the arrest. But is that what anyone here has really been asserting?

PCP. Remember that most of the unpleasant parts of a policeman's job is doing precisely this. Maybe not ninjas, but drunken people who do not care to be arrested. What are you going to do about it? Let them choose not to be arrested today? When a very large fat man declines to be arrested for illegally selling cigarettes, what should the police do? Tell him it is OK, as long as he doesn't do it next time?

Nathan clearly has a problem with police. I notice that even policemen who should have gone to jail have been acquitted so far. It is outrageous that police roll up to a park and shoot without warning or thinking. But I don't live in that neighborhood. I don't have to deal with the criminals who do. The public does. Those 12 jurors do. And they showed people do trust the police. After all, it is a very difficult, dangerous and unpleasant job. Which requires some level of force to be used on a regular basis.

Come on, all people want is for cops to stop covering up their crimes.

I can never figure out if you habitually comment on things you know nothing about or are self-consciously dishonest. The controversies in recent years have concerned:

1. A neighborhood watch captain who shot a man who was beating his head into the concrete.

2. A suburban police officer who shot and killed a man who attacked him.

3. City police officers who tackled a man who was resisting arrest on a minor public order charge. The man turned out to be morbidly obese, diabetic, and asthmatic, and had a heart attack shortly thereafter.

4. Police who shot a youngster waving what looked like a gun at them. It turned out on inspection to be a toy.

5. Police who arrested a petty drug dealer who had some sort of accident in the paddy wagon. The worthless local prosecutor has charged the unassuming government lifer driving the wagon with 'depraved heart murder' and has similarly trumped up charges against other officers who crossed paths with him. The man repeatedly defied instructions and had to be restrained in various ways yet insists on standing up in the van and then tumbles over backward and suffers a fatal neck injury. Someone is criminally liable for this? Not in a sane world.

Actually, what it is is people demanding a set of rules of engagement wherein feral young men get to beat up people who annoy them, and attack police officers while police officers are liable for the stupidity, gluttony, and contumely of the pests and hoodlums they have to deal with every day.

Nathan W January 3, 2016 at 1:47 am

Anecdotes of where most reasonable people would not disagree with the use of force are not proof against the fact that SOME police abuse their authority and get away with it.

How do you know? What is your evidence for making this claim?

Police are routinely found to lie and cover up their wrongdoings, and that’s why people don’t trust them.

Where and when have they been found to lie and cover up their wrong doings? I mean it does happen. When the LAPD was forced to take some Affirmative Action remedies, standards slipped and you ended up with Ramparts, but recently, where has this happened?

We have seen police officer after police officer needlessly dragged in front of juries. We have seen political activists, endorsed by the White House, allege criminal behavior. Well, they lied. Jury after jury has dismissed all charged. Whatever else you can say, people still believe in and trust the police. It is next to impossible to convict a decent policeman who was going about his duty because people know what they are like.

Presumably things will get better when they all have vest cams, because they won’t be able to lie and cover up any more.

So far all cameras have shown is that the police are better people than the activists allege. Don't hold your breath.

Your last paragraph is beyond ridiculous. No one is asking for any such thing except in the imagination of people who think that those who oppose police abuses of authority and excessive violence are facile stupid people.

On the contrary, everyone calling for George Zimmerman to be convicted, or even to go to trial, were standing up for the right of a young thug to murder someone for looking at him in the wrong way. That is a simple statement of fact.

Most cops are good cops. But the failure to root out the bad apples and punish the criminals among them give them all a bad name.

How do you know a single one of those claims?

Orwellianism is Stalinism, fyi.

1984 was written after Orwell's personal run in with Stalin's allies in revolutionary Spain.

I think Orwell is intended for any time, anywhere.

Consider names of legislation or political slogans - they often basically mean the opposite of what supporters think they will mean. "Patriot Act" comes to mind. What's patriotic about doing nothing when the government abolishes due process and starts treating every last citizen as a potential criminal?

Aaron J January 1, 2016 at 2:34 pm

#5 Conservatives attack social science, and the natural sciences, significantly more than liberals. Pretending otherwise is just silly.

That is not remotely true. When have the conservatives ever managed a campaign like the Left waged against The Bell Curve? The Left's attacks are so powerful they got the President of Harvard University - one of the most powerful men in America in his own right - to step down for Thought Crimes. When has the Right ever managed to drive someone out of their university job? (That is, excluding the Neo-Cons who are basically former Trots. Yes, they did get Norman Finkelstein denied tenure and Ward Churchill fired, but that is their Trot background coming through). American colleges are happy to parade and endless supply of terrorists and torturers through their classrooms - as long as they are on the Left. Black Panthers get tenure. KKK members, despite being good Democrats, do not. The Right is powerless to stop this and doesn't even seem to want to stop. The Right can't even protect their own as they show when someone queries the IQ of immigrants.

The Right has nothing on Stephen Jay Gould's attempt to get E. O. Wilson fired.

You can't see the bias in the same way a fish does not notice the water it swims in. It is still there.

+1

Stephan Jay Gould's fabrication of evidence was the template that all subsequent liberal activists followed. Kudos to him for being a trendsetter.

I thought the last chapter of The Mismeasure Of Man laying out the theory that humans are a neotenized form of ape was pretty interesting. He was resurrecting a 19th-century theory that may be true. Now, with mapping the genome and CRISPR technology maybe we could find the clock that controls neoteny and push it even further to create a race of superintelligent humans. Gould may have been prescient in keeping alive the neoteny theory.

(That is, excluding the Neo-Cons who are basically former Trots. Yes, they did get Norman Finkelstein denied tenure and Ward Churchill fired, but that is their Trot background coming through).

Norman Finkelstein was canned by the superordinate administration of DePaul because he had over a period of 20 years produced no scholarship within any subdepartment of political science. He just produced polemical attacks on people at the direction of Noam Chomsky. That he was ever hired (after short term appointments at four or five different loci an more than one dismissal) and ever recommended for tenure at all is an indication that the political science faculty at DePaul is a corrupt and unserious operation. His principal antagonist was not some associate of the Committee for the Free World, it was Prof. Alan Dershowitz, who's a standard-issue liberal Democrat (or was, as the term was understood ca. 1998). Ward Churchill was sanctioned for academic fraud. There was no cabal of wire-pulling Trotskyists involved.

Around about 1939, Seymour Martin Lipset, Daniel Bell, Irving Howe, and Irving Kristol belonged to a discussion circle at the City College of New York which included a mess of Trotskyists and some others all distinguished by their refusal of Communist Party membership. The notion that the collection of people who've contributed to The Public Interest or Commentary or The Weekly Standard over the years are 'basically former trots' based on this biographical datum concerning Lipset and Kristol (the latter an admirer of Adam Smith who abandoned Trotskyism in 1942) is lunatic-fringe nutcase crazy.

Art Deco January 1, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Norman Finkelstein was canned by the superordinate administration of DePaul because he had over a period of 20 years produced no scholarship within any subdepartment of political science. He just produced polemical attacks on people at the direction of Noam Chomsky.

Well I am not sure that is true. His books look pretty much in the field of political science to me. Which is beside the point, his tenure would have been routine if people had not lobbied against him. People get it for much less. His Department and his University supported tenure. What is more, before he was canned in 2007 he had published:

Beyond chutzpah: on the misuse of anti-semitism and the abuse of history in 2005.

The Holocaust industry : reflections on the exploitation of Jewish suffering in 2003

Image and reality of the Israel-Palestine conflict also in 2003

Not one of them in place: modern poetry and Jewish American identity in 2001.

Four books would get anyone tenure in the normal course of events.

Now don't get me wrong - Finkelstein is a nut. A serious nut. But his Holocaust Industry book was one of the most interesting books written on the topic in recent times. He may be wrong, but the point is to meet bad ideas with good ideas, not with bans.

As it happened his denial of tenure was entirely legal, but it is not something that would have happened if he was more orthodox Leftist. After all, Peter Novick can write more or less the same thing in The Holocaust and collective memory: the American experience and no one minds.

His principal antagonist was not some associate of the Committee for the Free World, it was Prof. Alan Dershowitz, who’s a standard-issue liberal Democrat

I am happy to chalk one more up to the Left then.

Ward Churchill was sanctioned for academic fraud.

Which would have gone unnoticed but for the fact that he annoyed the wrong people at the wrong time. After all, Elizabeth Warren is still there.

We can agree modern academia is a cesspit. It is just not a cesspit due to the Right.

His books look pretty much in the field of political science to me.

Well, you're not doing any looking. Does he work within political theory, comparative politics, domestic politics, or international relations? Answer: none of these. Does he work within foreign area studies? Answer: he doesn't have any relevant language skills. None. These are journalistic / polemical works, not scholarly works. His original dissertation might have been considered to be within political theory, but he did no further work in that vein. What's more, you have to dig hard to find anyone kicking around for 14 years in visiting positions who ever lands a tenure track job. He not only did so, he did so at a research university even though he produces no research. As long as you had a provost and affiliated committees with a minimal commitment to professional standards, Norman Finkelstein was history. No Jew wirepullers necessary.

After all, Elizabeth Warren is still there.

And so is Joseph Ellis. Faking your biography or pedigree is an offense distinct from academic fraud, as you should know.

Art Deco January 1, 2016 at 9:32 pm

Anything written on the Israel-Palestine dispute is international relations. Anything on the Swiss Bank deal is both international relations and domestic politics. He only needs one book for tenure. Two at most. Not even always in the same field. He wasn't denied tenure for the poor quality of his research - which isn't poor quality. It may be, what is the polite word? eccentric, but his work is thoroughly footnoted.

If it had been left to the university, he would have got tenure. It wasn't. It is rare that the Board would get involved. Rare that they would appoint a panel of outsiders to investigate - and it was not at the request of his department. Academia is full of people with weaker CVs.

Art Deco January 1, 2016 at 9:35 pm

There are other allegations against Warren of course.

"5. Liberal attacks on social science."

This link is to Jesse Singal's article in NY Mag about Alice Dreger's book "God's Middle Finger," a part of which discusses Dreger's defense of Northwestern U. psychology professor J. Michael Bailey from vicious personal attacks by transsexuals such as economist D. McCloskey.

Something that it seems like almost nobody has noticed yet is that most of the prominent late in life m to f transsexuals are not conventional 21st Century liberals. McCloskey, for instance, is a brilliant libertarian. Other famous late onset m to f transsexuals include Jenner, an outspoken Republican, and Morris, a Kiplingesque romanticizer of the old British Empire.

My guess would be that this type of highly masculine late onset transsexual leans further to the right than the average celebrity about, say, 80% of the time. For example, I was at UCLA MBA school in 1981 with a man who is now listed as the highest paid "female" CEO in America. He certainly did not give anybody at UCLA, nor his wife or child, the impression that he felt like a girl on the inside. He was obsessed with outer space, and indeed went on to make his first fortune with rockets and satellites.

Common obsessions of late onset m to f transsexuals include the military (e.g., the Navy Seal or the military buddy of former Aussie PM Tony Abbott, or the Pritzker who is a retired Army Reserve colonel and built a beautiful library of military history in Chicago), sci-fi, computers, libertarian economics, and golf.

In contrast, early onset m to f transsexuals tend to be effeminate boys who displayed a marked preference from toddlerhood for girl clothes and girl toys. I've known a drag queen since he was two, and he definitely felt a lot like a girl on the inside when he was two. He was always delighted by dolls, feminine clothes, and playing house and had zero interest in boy toys.

Bailey and Blanchard are among the very few who have pointed out that there seem to be at least two quite different types of m to f trans individuals, an observation which drove McCloskey, Conway, etc. into a rage.

McCloskey and Conway found most of their allies in their anti-science jihad on the left (e.g., the SPLC invested in it, although their market timing was a little early), while Bailey and Blanchard found most of their defender on the right (although not Dreger). But most of the late onset individuals who have a personal interest in silencing theorizing about their condition are not by nature on the left.

How do you explain Steve Sailer's obsession with transwomen? It doesn't particularly seem to fit with his usual obsessions.

It depends what you think his interests (and I notice your telling use of the word "obsession" there) are. I assume he is interested in the nurture vs. nature debate. Which would explain a lot of his interest in race - and even his approach to things like sports.

Transsexuals seem to fit in perfectly there. If genes have any influence above the neck men are unlikely to transition well. If everything in our heads is a social construct, they will. What better topic for him to be interested in?

Right, it's a nature/nurture topic. Why wouldn't it be interesting?

SMFS - Name a single Black Panther member who was known to have tortured or killed someone and who got tenure.

If the left is able to exclude those who promote disgusting ideas more effectively than the right is able to exclude those who promote more disgusting ideas, perhaps this reflects some combination of a) society is generally more in agreement on the level of disgustingness of certain ideas compared to others, and b) perhaps the ideas held by some minority on one side are simply more disgusting that the ideas held by some minority on the other side.

Ericka Huggins.

In 1970, members of the New Haven Black Panthers tortured and murdered Alex Rackley, who they suspected of being an informant. Along with Black Panther Party co-founder Bobby Seale, Huggins was charged with murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy.[7] Huggins was heard speaking on a tape recording of Rackley's interrogation that was played during the trial.

By "heard speaking" they mean she was directing the beating and asking the questions. There is a partial transcript - as well as a description of the torture - here:

http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/rackley_trial_tape_surfaces/

Huggins is a Professor of Sociology at Laney College in Oakland and at Berkeley City College.[3] In addition, she has lectured at Stanford, Cornell, and UCLA.

The Left does not fight disgusting ideas. They do not fight people with disgusting ideas. They fight people with ideas they do not like. The Right does not. They still believe in academic freedom.

The Left does not fight disgusting ideas. They do not fight people with disgusting ideas.

At the top of this comment I saw:

In 1970, members of the New Haven Black Panthers...

So we are talking about something that happened nearly 46 years ago. A left wing person today who is old enough to be thinking about whether or not he is putting enough in his 401K to retire properly was either just being born or was a baby when this happened. A person who was alive and technically an adult when this happened...say 20 years old...is likely collecting Social Security today if he or she is still alive.

In other random stuff, surfing around my TV I noticed that Jimmy Swaggert still is a televangelist with a big church and serious fund raising operation plus he somehow got his son to have his own spinoff operation. Wait around long enough, especially in the US, and people will forget where your first 15 minutes of fame came from.

For some people it will always be the 60's. But people drooling in their nursing homes have little influence on public policy today nor the discussion.

Boonton January 2, 2016 at 11:44 am

So we are talking about something that happened nearly 46 years ago.

Remind me where you stood on Trent Lott's resignation. In 2002 he was forced to resign for saying something anodyne but nice about Strom Thurmond's Presidential bid. In 1948. 54 years before.

But I do like how you all have moved on. From denying that the Academic Left loves them some terrorists to saying it was so long ago no one cares. We have moved on. Except we didn't for Trent Lott. They are still prosecuting people for Klan crimes in the 60s.

It is more important because these universities are bringing these people in to teach. That partly explains, I guess, the utter lack of tolerance among the totalitarian young on campus today.

Remind me where you stood on Trent Lott’s resignation. In 2002 he was forced to resign for saying something anodyne but nice about Strom Thurmond’s Presidential bid. In 1948. 54 years before.

1. If you show me that Lott had volunteered as a young 20 something on Thurmond's campaign in 1948 I wouldn't care.

2. Last time I checked 2002 was not 54 years ago unless you are speaking to us through a time portal. If so I hope you're not incurring a lot of data charges on your mobile plan.

Boonton January 2, 2016 at 3:04 pm

1. If you show me that Lott had volunteered as a young 20 something on Thurmond’s campaign in 1948 I wouldn’t care.

Lott didn't. He merely made a joke about Thurmond's campaign. And your side hounded him for it. It is interesting you say you don't care.

What we have here is a double standard where universities are fine in inviting former terrorists to come and speak to their students, give them jobs and so on, but they do not extend that same tolerance to anyone on the other side of politics.

My side? I don't recall any vote being taken anymore than I recall being asked to vet 60's and 70's radicals who now give lectures. I do recall some republicans pouncing on Lott, which makes me suspects perhaps politics was afoot.

Regardless, your analogy fails. It is one thing if, say, we learned a particular Pope was a member of the Hitler Youth over a half century ago when he was a boy. It's quite a different thing if a Pope in 2002 said something like "it would have been better if the other side won WWII".

Leftists attack social science, and the natural sciences, significantly more than others. Pretending otherwise is just silly.

For example ... banning public research into gun violence or banning stem cell research?

Banning publicly-funded anti-gun propaganda and not approving federal funds for certain kinds of ethically dubious stem cell research.

I can understand ethical opposition to certain types of stem cell research, although the Bush stance on it was absurd....its ok for IVF clinics to flush thousands of unused fertilized eggs down the toilets every year but not ok to do any research on them....except for a dozen or so 'lines' that have already been cultivated.

As for 'propaganda', we have the classic right wing stance towards science. It's only allowed to be science if the conclusions align with your ideological desires. If you think some particular study is poorly done or its conclusions are not supported by the data then call it out. You don't ban the entire field of study. That hints to me you just don't want to know what the results are and prefer to be kept in the dark.

Boonton January 2, 2016 at 11:50 am

As for ‘propaganda’, we have the classic right wing stance towards science.

Actually no. There is no reason for the Health industry to get involved in gun policy. Gun ownership is not a public health issue. It is a classic example of a profession becoming politicized and over reaching itself. Public health needs to stick to health.

It’s only allowed to be science if the conclusions align with your ideological desires. If you think some particular study is poorly done or its conclusions are not supported by the data then call it out. You don’t ban the entire field of study. That hints to me you just don’t want to know what the results are and prefer to be kept in the dark.

The irony is that this is coming from someone on your side of the field. Tell me how the Left has responded to IQ studies? Tell me how people on the Left side of this argument did not get James Watson, one of the most distinguished scientists of his generation, fired for merely suggesting there was a genetic component to IQ?

Entire fields of study have been closed down by the Left. Talking about them is utterly forbidden - and no amount of track record will save you. As soon as the Left takes control of professional bodies they use them to close down the debate and forbid certain ideas and conclusions. The American Anthropological Association has a long and shameful history of doing this long before they stuck the knife into Chagnon. They are the ones who have flatly asserted as a matter of scientific fact that War is a learned human behavior, that race does not exist, that their members should be forbidden from working with the US government and military - but not, I note, the Soviet Union - that Arizona's laws are unconstitutional and so on.

On top of which the Left has a long history of using physical violence against people they do not like. Not only things like physically assaulting speakers until the American Psychiatric Association agreed to remove homosexuality from the DSM, but also harmless people like E. O. Wilson. Or my favorite - some guy came back from Papua New Guinea and claimed that facial expressions there are the same as in the West. Got beaten up every time he tried to speak. Now it would take some effort to work out what exactly the Left objected to in that, but they did.

Actually no. There is no reason for the Health industry to get involved in gun policy. Gun ownership is not a public health issue. It is a classic example of a profession becoming politicized and over reaching itself. Public health needs to stick to health. -

Why? We have PSA's warning us about undercooked food, unwashed veggies, letting children play in a kitchen where cleaning chemicals are not secured. Do you think that if you were an ER doctor you would never see people coming in from avoidable, accidental shootings?

Your position is basically that it is impossible to address something like gun safety without entering the gun control debate on the side of a UK style universal gun ban. That is about as sensible as saying the link between eating red meat and heart disease cannot be addressed least public health figures try to mandate a Vegan diet on everyone and free the cows into the hands of PETA groups.

Precisely. The right never, ever, attacks science.

Outright banning research on gun violence basically suggests the NRA knows the results wouldn`t be good. I mean, if you were an honest researcher you might ask a question like "do more guns make us safer?" But no, we ban research outright and leave it up to industrial lobbies to deliver your "science".

Right-wing science: whatever the industrial lobby says.

SMFS - which areas of research have been shut down by the left?

We have PSA’s warning us about undercooked food, unwashed veggies, letting children play in a kitchen where cleaning chemicals are not secured.

Respectively, because of diseases, because of diseases, and not by the CDC

Irrelevant argument is irrelevant

Look, do you really want to argue that the Center for Disease Control is supposed to be investigating gun violence? Why?

Look, do you really want to argue that the Center for Disease Control is supposed to be investigating gun violence? Why? -
Because the CDC investigates all causes of deaths in the US. For example, auto accidents:
https://www.google.com/search?q=CDC+auto+accidents&oq=CDC+auto+accidents&aqs=chrome..69i57.5242j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

Boonton January 2, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Do you think that if you were an ER doctor you would never see people coming in from avoidable, accidental shootings?

I think that is beside the point. It is not the job of the medical profession to micromanage a free people's individual lives.

Your position is basically that it is impossible to address something like gun safety without entering the gun control debate on the side of a UK style universal gun ban.

No. My position is that the voters have spoken about gun laws at some length. They vote on the issue regularly. It is immoral to take their money with threats of force and give it to people who will lie in order to bully them into changing their minds. The place to change the gun laws is the ballot box. Not the CDC. If someone at the CDC wishes to engage in political activism, they should ask Soros for the cash or do it on their own dime.

Nathan W January 2, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Right-wing science: whatever the industrial lobby says.

The amusing thing is that you do not see how unscientific this sort of Lysenkoism is.

Nathan W January 2, 2016 at 3:46 pm

SMFS – which areas of research have been shut down by the left?

You ask this in response to a long post which gave several examples of areas that have been shut down? Good one. Let me ask you - why was the PNG emotions guy shut down? What did he do that irritated them so much?

Boonton January 2, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Because the CDC investigates all causes of deaths in the US. For example, auto accidents

Earlier political overreach does not justify present political overreach. All that proves is that there is a wealth of budget cuts begging to be made. The medical profession has been determined to beclown itself recently. As with the Lancet's Iraq Body Count estimates. They cannot be trusted to do honest science. We should not fund them to do political activism.

"I think that is beside the point. It is not the job of the medical profession to micromanage a free people’s individual lives."

Actually reducing the danger of an accidental shooting with a gun you keep in your house requires a lot less micromanagement of your life by medical professionals than managing diabetes or lowering the risk of heart disease. Besides since when does your doctor micromanage your life?

No. My position is that the voters have spoken about gun laws at some length. They vote on the issue regularly. It is immoral to take their money with threats of force and give it to people who will lie in order to bully them into changing their minds. The place to change the gun laws is the ballot box. Not the CDC. If someone at the CDC wishes to engage in political activism, they should ask Soros for the cash or do it on their own dime.

I agree, fortunately the CDC does not issue grants to people who want to lobby congress or states for new laws. Thanks for arguing yourself out of the game.

Because the CDC investigates all causes of deaths in the US. For example, auto accidents:

Why? They are, once again, the center for disease control.

fortunately the CDC does not issue grants to people who want to lobby congress or states for new laws.

Actually, about 1/2 the CDCs budget in some fiscal years consists of grant distribution. Who knows what little prizes they've hidden in there.

Why? They are, once again, the center for disease control.

Mortality statistics are collected by the CDC. That function might conceivably be moved to another agency. CDC (and the public health trade generally) seem to be suffering a loss of focus.

"It is not the job of the medical profession to micromanage a free people’s individual lives."

Producing research on causes of death is not the same as micromanaging people's lives.

"voters have spoken about gun laws at some length ... It is immoral to take their money with threats of force and give it to people who will lie ..."

If there is bad research, then expose its flaws, don't ban research on the topic.

"The medical profession ... cannot be trusted to do honest science "

So, again, we should take the word of an industrial lobby?

#5 Conservatives attack social science, and the natural sciences, significantly more than liberals.

Most social scientists are liberals and (surprise!) few of their findings are conservative. If there were more conservative social scientists, and more conservative publications, there would be more liberal attacks. Look how hard it has been for evolutionary psychology and similar fields to get taken seriously. Even a good liberal like E.O. Wilson was kind of consigned to the wilderness for a while. As a big biodiversity activist, he has since come back into bien-pensant good graces.

5., 4., 7. and 2016. Nature vs. nurture. After 2008 vs. before 2008. Yachts and mansions vs. household goods at Walmart. Alabama vs. Clemson.

#5: she actually describes rancid academic politics within an asinine and corrupted professional association which corrals the practitioners of the most squishy-soft social research discipline there is. Dr. Changon's work was not 'solid' because cultural anthropology never is. Why Patrick Tierney had such a blinding animus toward Napoleon Changon and James Neel that he spent 11 years writing what is now regarded as a Bellesiles-like fraud is a matter of conjecture. Her other example is a mess of 'sexual minorities' activists trying to destroy an academic whose research was inconvenient. This will come as no surprise to anyone who has observed the gay lobby in action; at least Dr. Baily did not have his har-de-har 'professional association' gunning for him, which others in his situation have. Transexuals do not have the connections homosexuals have.

That there are bad men is hardly surprising, and it is of course classic improper generalization to go from them to a third of the population.

I am binge reading the Edge Question. In a more general theme, more than one answer has been on the reproducibility problem in social sciences, with even a shout out regarding the current confusion in macroeconomics.

That is a little more real to me than sagas of bad men.

You've written not one coherent sentence here.

"It is perhaps equally important to notice where we lack progress: sociology fails to teach us how societies work, philosophy seems to have become barren and infertile, the economical sciences seem to be ill-equipped to inform our economic and fiscal policies, psychology does not comprehend the logic of our psyche, and neuroscience tells us where things happen in the brain, but largely not what they are.

In my view, the 20th century’s most important addition to understanding the world is not positivist science, computer technology, spaceflight, or the foundational theories of physics. It is the notion of computation. Computation, at its core, and as informally described as possible, is very simple: every observation yields a set of discernible differences."

That article had poor computation, going from a couple sad stories to a generalization about 1/3 of the population, "liberals."

That from http://edge.org/response-detail/26733

"Transexuals do not have the connections homosexuals have."

They are very few in number, but late onset m to f transsexuals like Jenner or Dr. McCloskey tend to have massive cojones when it comes to determination to win at all costs.

I do hope you know that there's a difference between a transsexual who thinks they are (in their brain), and who have expensive operations to look like the other sex, versus a 'real' tranny who biologically has cells from both man and women? The latter, in theory, and this is true for humans but never actually recorded, can self-fertilize and have virgin births. Trannys are extremely common in Thailand, some say for biological reasons, akin to "Siamese Twins", also relatively common there.

Steve, the gay lobby isn't after you. Talk to some people it is after.

"Please, Br'er Fox, don't fling me in dat brier-patch,"

the two examples given in #5 are, at worst, members of the activist left taking ill-advised swings at members of the academic left. to conflate those petty squabbles with the hugely damaging attacks by the activist right on basic matters of public policy is somewhere between disingenuous and outright mendacious.

There is nothing 'hugely damaging' about not taking the clown car at the University of East Anglia terribly seriously. It's not as if ecological eschatology is a novelty. See Ehrlich, Paul.

Neither Chagnon or Neel or Bailey were members of 'the academic left', though Bailey has a goofy affection for sexual perversion. If they had been, the professional associations would have ignored their attackers.

Deirdre McCloskey isn't really a member of the activist left, at least in the economic sense. Nevertheless, the article justifiably puts her in a negative light that has to have some effect on her credibility. If she's as intelligent as some people seem to believe she would have kept her mouth shut.

The Left has been in charge of the legal system for a long time. In the 60s they got the solutions they wanted - letting everyone out of prison. Since the 80s, the Right has regained some limited control.

How is that working out? Crime sky rocketed when the Left decided everyone was nice and so shouldn't be stigmatized for rape or murder much less locked up. Crime has dropped slightly now sentencing is partially controlled by the Right.

When the ACLU went through the prison system, they made prison systems like Texas' more like Minnesota's. The only problem with that is that the violence from one prisoner to another is much worse than the violence in the system. It is also expensive. So prisons have become much more violent and dangerous places. Even at the time, Texas had safer prisons.

The Left has been in charge of a lot of public policy. Their prescriptions are almost universally a failure. Let's not talk about depriving children of a good life through the failure of the education system - entirely down to the Left. Failure so bad that the Old South does a better job of educating Black children than the liberal North. Let's stick to policies with a death toll. A quarter of a million young Black men are dead following the Left's use of the Civil Rights system to control the legal system.

Nothing the Right has done or wants to do is remotely close to that.

+1

You are on a roll today.

SMFS makes an excellent post and your reply is 'waaah he is't posting like my team wants!'

The irony that this is a comment chain from story #5 is, I am certain, lost on you.

You are a zero.

A fairer reading would be that strong partisans stock their stories with villains (always of another group).

And the only way to beat it is to opt out, not to self-identify as a partisan, and to cease destructive auto-neuro-programming.

BTW I do note above that you, and no one else, invoke team membership in place of science on AGW.

And yet the Left's criminal justice policy has a body count. That is not going to go away no matter how many times you try to change the subject to something more in line with your politics.

It is also absurd how you object to my specific mentions of specific policies but you ignore ibaien's general attack on the Right as a whole. It is almost as if your argument is no more than partisan hackery.

Meanwhile young Black men are still being killed because of policies people of your political persuasion put in place. I would suggest that instead of closing your mind to rational argument, you think about where you went wrong and what we can do now.

That link does not actually fault one side, it faults a two sided prejudice.

What part of "opt out" didn't you understand?

Gochujang January 1, 2016 at 7:48 pm

That link does not actually fault one side, it faults a two sided prejudice.

Sure. But you do not. You were faced with my specific detail-focused rebuttal of ibaien's general, fact-free, partisan attack, and you object to what I said and not what ibaien said. In other words, you responded as you usually do - in partisan attack mode.

What part of “opt out” didn’t you understand?

Which is the cute part. You really don't see it. Like the fish does not see water. You seriously think that you are opting out. If you were not quite so hyper-partisan ibaien's post might have given you pause for thought and you might have had something to say to him. But you are, so here we are.

And young Black men continue to shoot each other every day. Not because of policies I support.

I was actually aware, when I posted the link, of how much it covered.

That said, I do think that official party policies do matter, and if either party or platform are anti-science, I am fine with calling them out.

The Republicans are dishonest on climate, at the highest levels. What have we got on the Democratic platform?

I don't think "criminal justice is a liberal conspiracy" quite makes the grade.

@Alain: "You are on a [t]roll today." - corrected

Who advocated letting everyone out of prison? I really want to know.

Jerome Miller for one and the ACLU as a corporate body, with a few fig-leaf exceptions. It was the ACLUs corporate position as late as 1988 that imprisonment was only an appropriate penalty for murder. Miller maintained there was 'no evidence' that prison deterred. MacNeill-Leher used to host debates between Miller and Ernest van den Haag. Miller was just stupefying; the Dukakis voters in my household were aghast at him. He was actually the director of juvenile justice during Francis Sargent's administration in Massachusetts. Your government at work.

I'll have to read more about him, but, so far, he's not said anything like let everyone in prison out. However, it's a good topic for me to explore. My father helped released prison inmates get jobs and keep them for fifteen years.

What changes were made to prison systems to create the violence inside? A prison priest once told me that he was retiring because he couldn't handle the violence and drugs that infested the place. Violence and drugs can't exist in a prison without the acquiescence, if not cooperation, of elements of the administration.

Good question. It doesn't make sense to me that this comes down to left/right sorts of things, especially without being exceedingly specific about the changes involved.

I suggest that the failed war on drugs is responsible, since it concentrates so much money (power) in the hands of some mobsters that it becomes inevitable that some handful of officials will become corrupted, and hence both the presence of more drugs in prison (pay off some folks to get the drugs in) and violence (organized crime is present in prisons and continue in prisons what they started on the street).

I'm of the opinion that legalizing and controlling all drugs, combined with good access to non-propaganda information and access to drug counselling, would positively impact both drugs and violence in prison ... because most organized crime would atrophy rapidly in the absence of the profits that keep them together.

The ACLU stepped in and sued everyone in sight. The Texas system mostly relied on Trustees. They ran the prisons. They were even given guns. It is likely that they made things work by informally beatings.

Whatever they did, vastly fewer inmates were stabbed by other inmates, and few guards were as well when compared to places like Minnesota.

However once the ACLU stepped in, informal discipline went out of the window. Prisoners had rights. Guards became increasingly unable to step in between inmates. Gangs formed. The rule is usually that the inmates have more to fear from each other than the most brutal prison regime. At least in the US.

"The ACLU stepped in and sued everyone in sight."

Suits get filed every day, everywhere. They don't mean anything until they're decided. Ergo judges and the courts, ostensibly basing their decisions on laws similar to those that sent the criminals to the slammer in the first place, are responsible for whatever changes have taken place behind bars. Isn't there also the possibility that changing aspects of prison life reflect changes in society and culture?

chuck martel January 2, 2016 at 9:03 am

Ostensibly. In the Sixties, under pressure from the Left, the courts were finding all sorts of things in the Constitution that did not exist before. Some of the increase might have been due to changes in society. Some might have been due to changes in the law that most people think are beneficial - Miranda for instance. But that doesn't change the fact that even positive changes in the law have an impact.

Now an accused killer knows if he keeps quiet he is almost certainly going to walk. The police rarely convict murderers in gang-related deaths. They rarely convict unless someone confesses. In the old days, I am reasonably sure some degree of beating confessions out of people went on. Keeping quiet was harder even if it was only a threat.

Less risk of a conviction means more murders. We might accept that as the price we pay for Miranda. But we shouldn't deny it has a cost.

"under pressure from the Left, the courts were finding all sorts of things in the Constitution that did not exist before."

That's been going on for a long time. The Constitution has been legal silly putty since forever. But it's still the hallowed Supreme Court, the final arbiter in the holy governmental trinity that makes the decisions in the greatest democracy evah.

"The police rarely convict murderers in gang-related deaths."

The police never convict anybody. They investigate, arrest, maybe kill, but conviction takes place in the court system. The state, with a basically unlimited budget, gets to try defendants that eventually run out of money and are forced to cop a plea. There would be even fewer convictions if the financial playing field was a little more level. This is the case even though the state gets to use bogus evidence like lie detectors, breathalyzers, DNA analysis and other phony accouterments of scientism.

The Constitution has been legal silly putty since forever.

Rubbish. The number of state and federal statutes annulled during the antebellum period numbered about 3, and one of these rulings was hideously controversial and bogus. During the last quarter of the 19th century, there were 20-odd such federal court rulings. Inventing a 'right' to abortion or homosexual pseudogamy requires a measure of brazenness that appellate judges lacked eighty years ago.

If the left won my letting everyone out of prison, then why does the USA have nearly the highest incarceration rate on the planet?

The left has never advocated for going easy on murder and rape.

The left is not "in charge of a lot of public policy".

If the left is responsible for poor performance in American schools (unsubtantiated assertion), then what of use does the right have to offer on the matter?

On the death toll - this is primarily due to the insistence by the right of creating turf for organized crime to fight over, namely through the expensive and ineffective war on drugs. The quarter million dead black men has nothing to do with civil rights be acknowledged within the legal system - it's because they're poor, get into drug dealing to pay the rent, then get involved in violent turf wars.

In short, nothing you say has much relation to reality at all.

Because the left eventually lost and the judiciary was stripped of much of their discretion to substitute social work for punishment by state legislatures, Nathan. This isn't rocket science.

#1: should universities (or colleges) be spending money on competitive any-teams? Answer: no. Let the youngsters finance their intramural competitions out of their own fundraising, let sponsors finance small-ball extramural competitions, and lease or sell the bloody athletic facilities to various and sundry NBA and NFL franchises so they can develop their farm teams thereupon. NCAA is pure poison.

I think that sports scholarships for academically qualified students are absolutely defensible and even good. If the university profits through the prestige of successful athletes, it has a responsibility to give those athletes extra support. In that case, everybody wins. I'm not talking about something like present-day NCAA basketball and football programs, which are absurd. I'm talking about subsidizing talented students who are willing to represent the university on a high level, while completing their education. I'd be all for Starcraft or DOTA scholarships, for fencing, or whatever, as long as it's not allowed to inflate into something more than a side activity in the life of a student.

One of my shirt-tail relations had a golf scholarship at a rank and file state college. He gave up the scholarship with his father's approval because his berth on the golf team was witlessly time consuming. He was there to study accounting, not to be the golf coach's bitch. This is not my trade and I know nothing of it, but I suspect that your proviso 'not be allowed to inflate into something more than a side activity' would pretty much kill the whole mess off.

Ask the reverse question, why were universities ever spending money on competitive chess teams to begin with?

Clearly profit was never the answer. I don't think you could have ever raised serious money selling tickets to chess games and unlike the NFL, there's no real restriction that lets the university control the 'rebroadcasting rights' (i.e. the moves of a past chess game are instantly in the public domain).

I suspect the profit is a bit more indirect.

First, the university shows opportunities for winning status to more potential students. My theory is that colleges are more about selling character formation than actual knowledge. Part of that is trying to achieve status. A school where the only opportunities for status are profit making sports teams is simply a place that will not have as much appeal to the majority of tuition paying students.

Second, more diversity of 'things to do' on a campus mean a deeper ' campus experience' which means students become more enmeshed in the school's culture. This accomplishes two things that indirectly profit the school:
1. Alumni networks are more loyal to fellow members. This makes graduates land successful jobs faster and rise through the ranks faster. This rebounds as free advertising for the school to future students.
2. Deeper and more loyal alumni networks can be hit up for money with less effort and cost.

Another thing that bothers me about questions like this: Exactly how much does it cost universities to host chess teams? Chess sets aren't exactly that expensive. The facility requirements do not seem very important (you can use any empty room for 'practice'). OK maybe some schools hire a full time coach but I really doubt it so labor costs are marginal. What then is this huge cost at the university level? Some travel to chess meets?

You're almost there. I once asked a DIII hockey coach how his little school could afford a hockey program when nobody ever went to their games. His response: "You don't get the picture. It isn't about fans, it's about getting 35 guys enrolled in school that wouldn't be there if there wasn't a hockey program."

While college sports teams are primarily a means of extending adolescence, they also figure as attractions to students, just like goofy programs like film studies or dance. A certain portion of higher education is devoted to "fulfillment" rather than learning.

"they also figure as attractions to students, just like goofy programs like film studies or dance "

What is the total spent per year on film? It is huge when you consider not only the production of all new films and TV shows in a year but the amount of money people spend consuming them...that would be nearly $100 per month per household when you consider what people spend on cable and Internet streaming services like Amazon/Netflix etc.

Dance is a much smaller industry but with half the population attending at least some college in the US these days how many dance majors are there seriously?

I would add to that that highly competitive players, whether chess teams or basketball teams, should be able to directly earn profits from their efforts rather than the university getting to monopolize the majority of the benefits of having a good team. Just hire them directly as professionals, but maintain the rule that they have to maintain minimum academic performance to stay on the team.

Why? Nothing would stop a university from, say, purchasing an NFL or NBA team. Then anyone who is a great player can get hired to play professionally and does not have to pretend to be a student. Since many ivy league schools have endowments in the billions of dollars, that might be a more sensible investment for them than stocks or bonds.

I see a conflict here between the individual college that may want to have the most awesome team possible and the motivations of all the colleges who want college sports to be centered around actual students for the reasons I gave above.

Nothing would stop a university from, say, purchasing an NFL or NBA team.

NFL teams can't be bought by corporations or organizations like a university. Against league rules.

Harvard's endowment fund is about $36B while an NFL Franchise is around $1B or so invalue. I'm sure the rules could be adjusted to accommodate a sudden demand...

#2 . There is a similar story of a french impostor who pretended he was an American teenager abducted into a sex ring.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Bourdin, and the movie about him https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Imposter_(2012_film).

These people are sociopath/ compulsive liars. Of course they get good at manipulating emotions and fooling people

Yeah, I was thinking the title should be the dangers of the con story.

That said, it's clear in this day and age, there are a number of hot buttons that someone can push and get society chasing it's tail because we're never supposed to question the victim as long as that victim fits into a particular framework. I suspect the point could have been make with about 25% of the words used.

The person and the incidents described were extremely unusual. That's why they're notable and of interest. Nothing further can be judged about society in general on the basis of this person. Somebody's bound to be the weirdest person on the planet.

Everything written in NYMag or The New Yorker has four times as many words as it needs. It least in this story, the descriptions of clothing had some sort of rationale.

Since the article was about story telling, it's worth noting that the objective of a good story is ... to tell a good story, not to minimize word count.

E. Harding, how about this:

Williamson wrongly equates government spending with government consumption plus government investment, and then suggests it's about 17.5% of GDP. Actually, government spending includes transfers, and is closer to 35% of GDP.

And fiscal policy includes government consumption, government investment, transfers and taxes.

And the term 'fiscal policy' should exclude state and local spending, because fiscal policymakers have no more control over those categories than they do over private investment.

Fiscal policy was contractionary in 2013, otherwise it's been relatively neutral or even expansionary (in 2009).

Scott, I would recommend the fiscal barometer at Brookings: http://www.brookings.edu/research/interactives/2014/fiscal-barometer , for example, fiscal impact which "includes both the direct effects of government purchases as well as the more indirect effects of government taxes and government transfers." Some might prefer to focus on the impact of discretionary fiscal policy ... as changes in overall economic activity can muddy the policy story some. One example of that narrower definition is fiscal impetus used at the Fed: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/2009/200905/200905pap.pdf

I think one of the key questions is about the multiplier of additional public spending in the recent context. In which case I think it is correct to treat transfers separately.

5. Seems like one of those ignore the overwhelming evidence for conservatives being anti science because of a couple of anecdotes of some motivated hit pieces. Would have been more convincing if there was something more than anecdote. I'm sure conservatards love it because of motivated reasoning.

It's easy to ignore the 'overwhelming evidence' because it consists of polemical nonsense propagated by Chris Mooney. (Please note that Mooney has little or no science background himself and he wasted his time after finishing college working for one of Paul Kurtz cruddy little outfits).

Academics, including those in the natural sciences, tend to be regarded with more suspicion and skepticism among conservatives than among the news media. There's a reason for that: they have behaved in ways which have earned that skepticism. Mooney et al are not now nor have they ever been defenders of science, about which they know little. They are defenders of the social standing of people employed in science, and that's a different thing.

See Clayton Cramer on the editorial line of The Skeptical Inquirer and why he cancelled his subscription in 1980. See also disaffected associates of Kurtz et al on the train-wreck which ensued ca. 1979 when the "Committee on Scientific Investigations of Claims of the Paranormal" actually attempted to undertake a research project (with university scientists) under it's auspices. It was a disaster and they stopped any research activity at that point and CSiCOP and affiliates proceeded with publishing their crappy low-circulation magazines. The whole tale (to which I've lost the citation, I regret, but you might locate it somewhere) was comical and Philip Klass in particular came off badly. (Martin Gardner did not come off especially well).

Their main brain for years was a fellow named Joe Nickell, one of this nation's large population of displaced English professors. Poseurs all.

Conservatives prefer to get their "science" from entrenched industries with highly concentrated interests to manipulate truth, such as the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry and the gun industry.

There is no reason to believe that science should have a left or right wing bias, and every reason to be skeptical when attacks on natural or social sciences are so closely aligned with the interests of highly organized industrial lobbies.

On the right, it is common to attack the presumed ideological affiliation of any researcher who works on inconvenient areas of research, whereas on the left it is common to disagree with inconvenient findings on the basis of suspicion about the industrial lobbies which supported those inconvenient pieces of research.

I find it much more plausible that industrial lobbies manipulate research (left wing critique of some inconvenient research) than to suggest that academia and peer-review scientific research as a whole suffers from ideological skew (right wing critique of some inconvenient research).

The very existence of the petroleum industry is due to its understanding and implementation of science. Petroleum engineers know infinitely more about geology and how it works than fuzzy-headed neo-luddites with a Prius in the drive-way and a gas furnace in the basement. Attorneys and community organizers don't provide the wherewithal for civilization, they stand in its way. If they had the power they want we'd be washing our rags in the creek and driving a team of oxen to the village to pick up our grist. Of course, they'd be flying around in 747s and eating imported kiwi fruit.

Talk about muddle headed. Who here claims the petroleum industry doesn't know a lot about geology? One would absolutely expect the petro industry to be objectively collecting as much science as they can about geology, at least as it pertains to oil deposits. Since such companies only succeed in the market by finding and efficiently extracting and refining oil, even the most anti-oil environmentalist would accept that oil companies are in fact quite good at doing this.

The question is why would one trust oil science when the questions being asked are not in oil's interest? When it comes to questions like is burning oil good for us or are there harms to extracting and refining oil, why would any intelligent person here think that oil's 'science' is more trustworthy?

An analogy here might be Bill Cosby's lawyers. I have every reason to believe they are great at filing briefs and making legal arguments. But if I'm asking is he guilty or innocent I'd be an idiot just taking his lawyers' words for it because 'they know a lot of law'.

From where does the truth come? According to your line of reasoning you wouldn't want to take a car with an engine problem to an auto mechanic because he'd try to sell you new headlights. Better to have a dentist take a look at it. If you can't trust professionals in their industry, who do you trust? Do you accept at face value the pronouncements of politicians, since they're such altruists?

Again I have no problem trusting the 'experts'. If the petro industry tells me there is probably a lot of oil under a certain field, I'd probably be inclined to think they are right. Or at least more likely to be right than any other person's opinion on the matter. After all, a company that can't figure out where to find oil isn't going to be in business very long and scientists who work for such a company are probably under as much pressure as any other person on earth to figure it out correctly.

But why the hell would you trust an oil industry expert telling you climate change isn't a problem or that there's no serious problems extracting oil? Are those experts under pressure to get it right when it comes to those questions?

Nicholas Wade was the New York Times Science writer for a long time. Who's pushing his buttons? Sailer?

What do you think of his books? Oh, you haven't read them...

Ah yes, another anecdote in lieu of evidence.

You haven't cited any non-imaginary evidence.

From #5:

"There is, however, a lot identity-driven content on the internet, because it’s easy to produce and tends to travel well."

Could this be the reason why we see so many liberal arts majors who have limited options publish the dreck we see day in any day out?

I've lived in Utah for 16 of the last 24 years. I am not LDS.

It's not just Yoda's resemblance to Kimball.

I'm not sure if it's Mormons or Utahns (I've got myself about 70/30 convinced that it's Mormons), but the interest in fantasy and science fiction here is huge. Heck, there's a reasonably big name author of such who lives down the street.

Cute sidestory: about 15 years ago I went looking for free/pirated version of some fantasy stuff I remembered from being a kid in the 70's - these were so far out of date you couldn't buy them anywhere, you had to trade for them. On the internet, I found a guy in Anchorage who was up for a trade. When he found out I was in Utah he started asking lots of questions: his parents were Mormons who'd moved to Alaska, and he'd never been to Utah.

@#1 (Collegiate Chess) and @#3 -

Chess: notice most schools are unknowns who want name recognition but then there's Columbia in the top 4, interesting. Most chess players pretend to be intellectual but are quite obsessed with nothing but chess. But chess, like computer programming, gaming and a few other things, maybe cocaine addiction, has been found to be addictive.

Hugh: "He read widely and relentlessly, becoming an expert on a variety of matters like demography, migration, independent cinema and the social tendencies of the bonobo ape." - sometimes interest in the bonobo ape is because they tend to have sex as a way of smoothing over relationships, even between family members, though I've seen various studies that debunk that this is as common as generally believed. It's a fact however that incest does not (statistically) produce that many genetic freaks: something like less than 10%, and only 2% or so higher than offspring between unrelated humans. My ducks practice incest all the time, and insofar as I can tell they look like ordinary ducks. Notice Hugh did not have a PhD yet was prominent in economics, very rare. I bough his e-book that predicts the collapse of Japan's economy; let's see if he's as prescient as he was for the euro.

#2. NPR practices some of the most insidious forms of storytelling. Driving home from a wonderful afternoon on the ski slopes, I heard an NPR story about the great early snow season on the West Coast. One might have expected a story about the fun people are having, and the money the resorts are making, from the early snow windfall. But no. NPR turned this into a cautionary tale about climate change. Yes, the snow seems good at the moment. But listen to the concerns of the single resort operator we decided to consult, who just happens to also be an environmental activist. The story was about how these good snow seasons will become rarer, and how the resorts will have to scramble to stay open. Whenever I tune into NPR I notice this thread through an astonishing variety of stories: We are causing climate change, and it will be very, very bad.

During the fracking boom, they regularly played biased segments about some of the boomtowns. No talk about the benefits but plenty of grasping at straws about the negatives. Obvious things like how crime goes up in a town when the population increases 4x, without mentioning whether or not the crime *rate* actually increased or not.

^^and I say this as a liberal who is frustrated with widespread climate change denialism. It was pretty sad to see comedian John Oliver do a segment about fracking in ND that was far more comprehensive and relevant when compared to the garbage that NPR was putting out.

Re: fracking.

I don't know why the Republican Party doesn't hold the democrats feet to the fire wrt. this issue. The current low energy prices are entirely due to fracking which was resisted tooth and nail by the democrats and their allies. If we had listened to these charlatans we would have exceptionally expensive energy right now.

You're missing a key part of the story, which is that Saudi is flooding the market to try to drive shale oil out of business.

Did they mention fracking causes earthquakes in geologically unstable regions? This is not even controversial in geological circles (well documented) but it drives free-marketeers up the wall for some reason. Free-marketeers don't believe in externalities it seems.

Costs borne by other people don't matter to free marketeers.

They believe in personal responsibility until you want them to take responsibility for costs faced by other people who do not benefit from the transaction.

In what particularly geologically unstable region is fracking taking place? Fracking is done in wells that have already been completed, it's a recovery enhancement technique that's been used for many decades, not only in oil production but in water wells, too. If someone gave you the newest, most sophisticated service rig available and a few million dollars to operate it you couldn't produce an earthquake anywhere, even at gunpoint.

Here's one example: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/12/15/b-c-commission-confirms-4-6-magnitude-quake-in-august-caused-by-fracking_n_8814990.html. Google earthquakes and fracking and you'll find loads of hits. They are not rare, but mostly are too small to be damaging (of ones which have occurred to date).

I think fears of fracking are overblown by some, but to pretend that there are no downsides is downright dishonest. There will be earthquakes, and there will be cases where water resources become tainted. Since these are not well documented/understood (yet), it appears as though the industry gets a free pass in terms of not having to insure itself against the costs.

I'd be curious to know exactly how anyone would prove that an earthquake was caused by any particular human activity.

The crime rate goes up big time. Fracking boomtowns explode in population because they bring in a lot of single men who live in temporary housing rather than buying. Never in human history, with the possible exception of Vatican City, has that ever *failed* to increase the crime rate.

Crime was a rarity on Manhattan Island until all the Europeans moved in. Now there's lots of crime there.

Maybe but I doubt you have an example of bias. Crime does soar in oil boom towns.

When there's more people, there's more crime.

True but where you have more men, especially younger men who are typically single or whose wives are not living with them, you always have a higher rate of crime.

I think you should answer a serious question about bias, what in your mind would unbiased look like?

Conservatives lost all their credibility on bias after the 90's. They got Fox News and a host of smaller outlets. As far as I can tell the right has not produced a single example of what might be described as 'unbiased news'. Not only that, they don't even try. If the so-called 'mainstream media' was so biased it would be an easy market to steal. Just do an unbiased news outlet and capture the market. Yet that isn't even tried because in their hearts conservatives know there's little real bias to actually challenge.

Which leads to the question of what exactly is bias. So in stories about fracking does not being biased mean that every story must mention exactly one good to one bad thing about fracking? Can you do a story about several bad things and spend a lot of time on them if you mention really fast that fracking does create jobs? Do you have to also mention climate change? If you do do you have to mention climate skeptics? Given news most stories must be 30-60 seconds at most, how is such a thing workable?

Suppose you are doing a story about heroin addicts and lead with the sad story of some mother whose teen overdosed. Do you have to mention the fact that many people use heroin on a daily basis and never overdose and often hold down jobs, do not steal and avoid arrest? Do we have to seek out one 'happy addict' to pair with each story about the 'tragic addict' to be fair and balanced? What if most addicts are not happy? What if it is 10 unhappy to 1 happy?

Here is how I would define bias: Could a person who relied upon a particular news source for all their information about a topic be able to intelligently explain the thinking and motivations 'both sides' have? For example, say someone relied only on the New York Times for information about the abortion debate. What would that person be able to say about why pro-lifers oppose abortion? He would probably be able to tell you exactly why they do. Hence, like it or not the NYT is unbiased about abortion. IMO you can be unbiased even if you are doing an editorial taking a side in an issue.

In contrast what about someone who relied upon some right wing news outlets only for information about the Iran nuclear deal? If you asked such a person to summarize the reasoning behind support for the deal would you get a coherent answer that reflects the arguments of those who made and supported the deal? Or would you get "Obama hates America because he's a Muslim" or "Obama's too stupid to know Iran can't be trusted"?

Conservatives lost all their credibility on bias after the 90’s.

In the minds of human wind tunnels who never listened to us anyway. I'll give you two examples as if I thought you weren't unteachable;

1. One a network documentary on the economy about 3 years ago. The reporters insisted they arrived in Nashua, N.H. and just knocked on the door of the first house they came to, looking for a family to profile. That house just happened to have 11 people living in it, the matriarch (b. 1962), her husband, her children, her children's spouses and squeezes, and her grand-children. The matriarch is the only one in the house with a satisfactorily compensated full time job. (You know damn well they scrounged for days to find this family).

2. A NewsHour segment today on manufactured housing. Renting an apartment, buying an ordinary house, buying a condominium, or buying a row house is not an enterprise regarding which buyer's remorse is unknown, nor would any sentient adult think manufactured housing is any different. So, what do they lead off with? The usual boilerplate about 'growing calls for reform' (which no one knows about but the TV talking heads and some obscure advocacy group on their rolodex) and a profile of a purchaser who is dissatisfied with her situation. Why didn't they find a satisfied customer? Well, if your business is pushing social hypochondria, shilling for advocacy groups, and pushing state intervention, that would kind of kill the story.

You might think that PBS would attempt to be politically neutral. Then again, you might think the Lois Lerner sandbox formerly known as the IRS would be as well. Its all a scam, and you sell scams too.

I am ashamed to say I used to donate to NPR. Now I simply can't listen without thinking about the story selection and the shoddy, narrative peddling, 'reporting''. Was it always this bad? Why does the CPB pay for this? Why does the CPB exist?

While driving I now listen, almost exclusively, to Bloomberg. During the editorials I sometimes switch to CNBC or the comedy channel. XM has technical issues and sometimes fails, but I would rather drive on silence than listen to the drivel on NPR.

I still listen to NPR regularly. Morbid fascination. Also, I'm curious as to what will surface on CBS News 3-6 months from now.

4) The fact that current returns to capital are not low does not necessarily imply that there are significant new opportunities to employ capital. This would be especially true IF high returns to capital (partially) reflect oligopolistic markets and super-profits.

Hugh made a lot of sense when it came to identifying the problems of the eurozone, and will be sorely missed. His suggestions on how to fix it (ignore monetary policy, do an internal devaluation, which will ultimately turn your best young people into immigrants) and his support for Catalonia's independence will not be so missed.

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